Federal Register Vol. 80, No.223,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 223 (November 19, 2015)

Page Range72327-72553
FR Document

80_FR_223
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 72357 - Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Removal of Cuba From the List of State Sponsors of Terrorism (DFARS 2015-D032)PDF
80 FR 72551 - Honoring the Victims of the Attack in Paris, FrancePDF
80 FR 72433 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
80 FR 72470 - Sunshine Act Meeting; Meeting No. 15-04PDF
80 FR 72470 - In the Matter of the Designation of Nasir al-Wahishi as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Pursuant to Section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224, as AmendedPDF
80 FR 72470 - Delegation of Authority Under Section 306 of the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002 to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs and the Assistant Secretary for Consular AffairsPDF
80 FR 72470 - Delegation to the Assistant Secretary for International Security and Nonproliferation of Authority Under Section 1322(a) of the Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (Pub. L. 113-291)PDF
80 FR 72446 - Information Collection Request to Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0041PDF
80 FR 72444 - Collection of Information Under Review by Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0015PDF
80 FR 72443 - Collection of Information Under Review by Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0010PDF
80 FR 72449 - Collection of Information Under Review by Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0070PDF
80 FR 72356 - Safety Zones; Fireworks Events in Captain of the Port New York ZonePDF
80 FR 72455 - Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended: New System of RecordsPDF
80 FR 72412 - Approval of Expansion of Subzone 77E; Cummins, Inc.; Memphis, TennesseePDF
80 FR 72412 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 45-Portland, Oregon; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Lam Research Corporation; Subzone 45H; (Semiconductor Production Equipment, Subassemblies and Related Parts) Tualatin and Sherwood, OregonPDF
80 FR 72441 - Collection of Information Under Review by Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0046PDF
80 FR 72447 - Collection of Information Under Review by Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0088PDF
80 FR 72450 - Collection of Information Under Review by Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0067PDF
80 FR 72445 - Collection of Information Under Review by Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0099PDF
80 FR 72451 - Information Collection Request to Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0009PDF
80 FR 72448 - Collection of Information Under Review by Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0103PDF
80 FR 72442 - Information Collection Request to Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0042PDF
80 FR 72468 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Request and Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 72489 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Form 8874PDF
80 FR 72488 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Regulation ProjectPDF
80 FR 72487 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for 13768, Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee Membership ApplicationPDF
80 FR 72486 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Regulation ProjectPDF
80 FR 72489 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Form 8900PDF
80 FR 72490 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Form 5213.PDF
80 FR 72487 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Regulation ProjectPDF
80 FR 72453 - Information Collection: NRC Form 244, Registration Certificate-Use of Depleted Uranium Under General LicensePDF
80 FR 72418 - South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 72437 - Advisory Committee on Interdisciplinary, Community-Based Linkages; Notice for Request for NominationsPDF
80 FR 72439 - Advisory Committee on Training in Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry; Notice for Request for NominationsPDF
80 FR 72438 - Council on Graduate Medical Education, Notice for Request for NominationsPDF
80 FR 72414 - Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 72417 - North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingsPDF
80 FR 72418 - New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting; AddendumPDF
80 FR 72486 - Union Pacific Railroad Company-Temporary Trackage Rights Exemption-BNSF Railway CompanyPDF
80 FR 72471 - WTO Dispute Settlement Proceeding Regarding United States-Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Measures on Certain Coated Paper From IndonesiaPDF
80 FR 72327 - Amendment of Asian Longhorned Beetle Quarantine Areas in Massachusetts and New YorkPDF
80 FR 72433 - Notice of Termination; 10454 The Royal Palm Bank of Florida, Naples, FLPDF
80 FR 72410 - Office of the Under Secretary, Research, Education, and Economics; Notice of the Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture MeetingPDF
80 FR 72452 - Exelon Generating Company, LLC; Braidwood Station, Units 1 and 2PDF
80 FR 72454 - In the Matter of All Operating Reactor Licensees With Mark I and Mark II ContainmentsPDF
80 FR 72358 - Regulatory Improvements for Decommissioning Power ReactorsPDF
80 FR 72408 - Control Date for the Trawl Limited Access Fishery for Yellowfin Sole in the Bering Sea and Aleutian IslandsPDF
80 FR 72451 - Advisory Committee on Family Residential Centers MeetingPDF
80 FR 72434 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
80 FR 72422 - Notice of Availability of Government-Owned Inventions; Available for LicensingPDF
80 FR 72480 - Notice of Buy America WaiverPDF
80 FR 72422 - Eligibility Designations and Applications for Waiver of Eligibility Requirements; Programs Under Parts A and F of Title III of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as Amended (HEA), and Programs Under Title V of the HEAPDF
80 FR 72433 - Notice of Termination, 10472 Gold Canyon Bank, Gold Canyon, ArizonaPDF
80 FR 72421 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; “Madrid Protocol”PDF
80 FR 72415 - Final Notice of Fee Calculations for Special Use PermitsPDF
80 FR 72440 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 72411 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Oklahoma Advisory Committee To Discuss Findings and Recommendations Resulting From Its Inquiry Into the Civil Rights Impact of School Disciplinary Policies That May Contribute to High Rates of Juvenile Incarceration in OklahomaPDF
80 FR 72421 - Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee; Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 72438 - Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 72342 - Consumer Price Index Adjustments of Oil Pollution Act of 1990 Limits of Liability-Vessels, Deepwater Ports and Onshore FacilitiesPDF
80 FR 72473 - Surface Transportation Project Delivery Program; TxDOT Audit ReportPDF
80 FR 72436 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
80 FR 72427 - Consolidated Water Power Company; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and ProtestsPDF
80 FR 72428 - PacifiCorp Energy; Notice of Availability of Draft Environmental AssessmentPDF
80 FR 72429 - Pacific Gas and Electric Company; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing, Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and ProtestsPDF
80 FR 72431 - Magnolia LNG, LLC, Kinder Morgan Louisiana Pipeline LLC; Notice of Availability of The Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Magnolia LNG and Lake Charles Expansion ProjectsPDF
80 FR 72426 - Combined Notice of Filings #2PDF
80 FR 72428 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 72431 - Idarado Mining Company, Newmont Mining Corporation; Notice of Transfer of ExemptionPDF
80 FR 72428 - BIF III Holtwood LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 72430 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 72404 - Aviation Maintenance Technician SchoolsPDF
80 FR 72405 - Amendment To Clarify When Component Part Testing Can Be Used and Which Textile Products Have Been Determined Not To Exceed the Allowable Lead Content Limits; Notice of Reopening of Comment PeriodPDF
80 FR 72342 - Amendment To Clarify When Component Part Testing Can Be Used and Which Textile Products Have Been Determined Not To Exceed the Allowable Lead Content Limits; Delay of Effective Date and Extension of Comment PeriodPDF
80 FR 72434 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
80 FR 72452 - Meeting of the Office of Justice Programs' Science Advisory BoardPDF
80 FR 72432 - Office of Research and Development; Ambient Air Monitoring Reference and Equivalent Methods: Designation of One New Reference Method and One New Equivalent MethodPDF
80 FR 72457 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the NYSE Arca Options Fee Schedule Effective December 1, 2015PDF
80 FR 72465 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending the NYSE Arca Options Fee SchedulePDF
80 FR 72458 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; ICE Clear Credit LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Revise ICC End-of-Day Price Discovery Policies and ProceduresPDF
80 FR 72460 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing of Amendment Nos. 3 and 5 and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment Nos. 1, 3 and 5, Amending Exchange Disciplinary Rules To Facilitate the Reintegration of Certain Regulatory Functions From Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.PDF
80 FR 72434 - Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of AuthorityPDF
80 FR 72412 - Foreign-Trade Zone 78-Nashville, Tennessee; Application for Expansion of Subzone 78A Nissan North America, Inc. Smyrna, TennesseePDF
80 FR 72484 - Aston Martin Lagonda Limited, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential NoncompliancePDF
80 FR 72483 - Michelin North America, Inc., Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential NoncompliancePDF
80 FR 72482 - Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential NoncompliancePDF
80 FR 72422 - U.S. Air Force Academy Board of Visitors: Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 72401 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
80 FR 72395 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
80 FR 72398 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
80 FR 72393 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
80 FR 72373 - Energy Conservation Program: Enforcement of Regional Standards for Central Air ConditionersPDF
80 FR 72390 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (Formerly Eurocopter France) HelicoptersPDF
80 FR 72406 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; District of Columbia; Regulation To Limit Nitrogen Oxides Emissions From Large Non-Electric Generating UnitsPDF
80 FR 72327 - Responsibilities of Boards of Directors, Corporate Practices and Corporate Governance MattersPDF
80 FR 72411 - Notice of New Fee Site; Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement ActPDF
80 FR 72491 - Rights-of-Way on Indian LandPDF

Issue

80 223 Thursday, November 19, 2015 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

See

Forest Service

NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture, 72410-72411 2015-29540
AIRFORCE Air Force Department NOTICES Meetings: U.S. Air Force Academy Board of Visitors, 72422 2015-29470 Animal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service RULES Quarantine Areas: Asian Longhorned Beetle in Massachusetts and New York, 72327 2015-29542 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 72434-72437 2015-29500 2015-29517 Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of Authority, 72434 2015-29485 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: Oklahoma Advisory Committee, 72411-72412 2015-29522 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Consumer Price Index Adjustments of Oil Pollution Act Limits of Liability--Vessels, Deepwater Ports and Onshore Facilities, 72342-72356 2015-29519 Safety Zones: Fireworks Events in Captain of the Port New York Zone, 72356-72357 2015-29604 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 72441-72451 2015-29571 2015-29572 2015-29573 2015-29574 2015-29575 2015-29576 2015-29579 2015-29610 2015-29611 2015-29612 2015-29614 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

Patent and Trademark Office

Consumer Product Consumer Product Safety Commission RULES Amendment to Clarify When Component Part Testing Can Be Used and Which Textile Products Have Been Determined Not to Exceed the Allowable Lead Content Limits, 72342 2015-29503 PROPOSED RULES Amendment to Clarify When Component Part Testing Can Be Used and Which Textile Products Have Been Determined Not to Exceed the Allowable Lead Content Limits, 72405 2015-29504 Defense Acquisition Defense Acquisition Regulations System RULES Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Removal of Cuba from the List of State Sponsors of Terrorism, 72357 C1--2015--27467 Defense Department Defense Department See

Air Force Department

See

Defense Acquisition Regulations System

See

Navy Department

Education Department Education Department NOTICES Eligibility Designations and Applications for Waivers: Programs under Parts A and F of Title III and Title V of the Higher Education Act, 72422-72426 2015-29527 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

PROPOSED RULES Energy Conservation Program: Enforcement of Regional Standards for Central Air Conditioners, 72373-72390 2015-29435
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: District of Columbia; Regulation to Limit Nitrogen Oxides Emissions from Large Non-Electric Generating Units, 72406-72408 2015-29369 NOTICES Designation of One New Reference Method and One New Equivalent Method: Ambient Air Monitoring Reference and Equivalent Methods, 72432-72433 2015-29492 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Airplanes, 72395-72404 2015-29442 2015-29443 2015-29444 Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter France) Helicopters, 72390-72393 2015-29402 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 72393-72395 2015-29441 Aviation Maintenance Technician Schools, 72404-72405 2015-29505 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Terminations of Receiverships: Gold Canyon Bank, Gold Canyon, AZ, 72433 2015-29526 The Royal Palm Bank of Florida, Naples, FL, 72433 2015-29541 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Applications: Consolidated Water Power Co., 72427 2015-29515 Pacific Gas and Electric Co., 72429-72430 2015-29513 Combined Filings, 72426-72431 2015-29506 2015-29510 2015-29511 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: PacifiCorp Energy, 72428 2015-29514 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Magnolia LNG, LLC; Kinder Morgan Louisiana Pipeline, LLC; Magnolia LNG Project and Lake Charles Expansion Project, 72431-72432 2015-29512 Exemption Transfers: Idarado Mining Co.; Newmont Mining Corp., 72431 2015-29508 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: BIF III Holtwood, LLC, 72428 2015-29507 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Surface Transportation Project Delivery Program; TxDOT Audit Report, 72473-72480 2015-29518 Federal Housing Enterprise Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight Office RULES Responsibilities of Boards of Directors, Corporate Practices and Corporate Governance Matters, 72327-72341 2015-29367 Federal Housing Finance Agency Federal Housing Finance Agency RULES Responsibilities of Boards of Directors, Corporate Practices and Corporate Governance Matters, 72327-72341 2015-29367 Federal Housing Finance Board Federal Housing Finance Board RULES Responsibilities of Boards of Directors, Corporate Practices and Corporate Governance Matters, 72327-72341 2015-29367 Federal Mine Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 72433-72434 2015-29675 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 72434 2015-29530 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Proposed Production Activities: Lam Research Corporation, Subzone 45H, Foreign-Trade Zone 45, Portland, OR, 72412-72414 2015-29580 Subzone Expansion Applications: Nissan North America, Inc., Foreign-Trade Zone 78, Smyrna, TN, 72412 2015-29481 Subzone Expansions: Subzone 77E, Cummins, Inc. Memphis, TN, 72412 2015-29581 Forest Forest Service NOTICES New Fee Sites, 72411 2015-28925 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines, 72438 2015-29520 Requests for Nominations: Advisory Committee on Interdisciplinary, Community-Based Linkages, 72437-72438 2015-29550 Advisory Committee on Training in Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry, 72439-72440 2015-29549 Council on Graduate Medical Education, 72438-72439 2015-29548 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department See

Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight Office

Indian Affairs Indian Affairs Bureau RULES Rights-of-Way on Indian Land, 72492-72549 2015-28548 Interior Interior Department See

Indian Affairs Bureau

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 2015-29562 2015-29563 72486-72490 2015-29564 2015-29565 2015-29567 2015-29568 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee Membership Application, 72487-72488 2015-29566 Justice Department Justice Department See

Justice Programs Office

Justice Programs Justice Programs Office NOTICES Meetings: Science Advisory Board, 72452 2015-29499 National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NOTICES Buy America Waivers, 72480-72482 2015-29528 Petitions for Inconsequential Noncompliance: Michelin North America, Inc., 72483-72484 2015-29473 Petitions for Inconsequential Noncompliance; Approvals: Aston Martin Lagonda, Ltd., 72484-72486 2015-29474 Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., 72482-72483 2015-29472 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration PROPOSED RULES Control Date for the Trawl Limited Access Fishery for Yellowfin Sole in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands, 72408-72409 2015-29535 NOTICES Fee Calculations for Special Use Permits, 72415-72417 2015-29524 Meetings: Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee, 72421 2015-29521 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 72414-72415 2015-29547 New England Fishery Management Council, 72418 2015-29545 North Pacific Fishery Management Council, 72417-72418 2015-29546 South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 72418-72421 2015-29560 Navy Navy Department NOTICES Government-Owned Inventions Available for Licensing, 72422 2015-29529 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Improvements for Decommissioning Power Reactors, 72358-72373 2015-29536 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Registration Certificate—Use of Depleted Uranium under General License, 72453-72454 2015-29561 Director's Decision: All Operating Reactor Licensees with Mark I and Mark II Containments, 72454-72455 2015-29537 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Exelon Generating Company, LLC; Braidwood Station, Units 1 and 2, 72452-72453 2015-29538 Patent Patent and Trademark Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Madrid Protocol, 72421-72422 2015-29525 Personnel Personnel Management Office NOTICES Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 72455-72457 2015-29583 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Special Observances: Honoring the Victims of the Attack in Paris, France (Proc. 9369), 72551-72553 2015-29744 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: ICE Clear Credit, LLC, 72458-72460 2015-29489 New York Stock Exchange, LLC, 72460-72465 2015-29488 NYSE Arca, Inc., 2015-29490 72457-72458, 72465-72468 2015-29491 Social Social Security Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 72468-72470 2015-29570 State Department State Department NOTICES Delegations of Authority to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs and the Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs, 72470 2015-29619 Delegations to the Assistant Secretary for International Security and Nonproliferation of Authority under the National Defense Authorization Act, 72470 2015-29616 Specially Designated Global Terrorists: Nasir al-Wahishi, 72470 2015-29620 Substance Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 72440-72441 2015-29523 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Temporary Trackage Rights Exemptions: Union Pacific Railroad Co.; BNSF Railway Co., 72486 2015-29544 Tennessee Tennessee Valley Authority NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 72470-72471 2015-29673 Trade Representative Trade Representative, Office of United States NOTICES WTO Dispute Settlement Proceedings: United States—Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Measures on Certain Coated Paper from Indonesia, 72471-72472 2015-29543 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

See

Surface Transportation Board

Treasury Treasury Department See

Internal Revenue Service

Immigration U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Family Residential Centers, 72451-72452 2015-29534 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Interior Department, Indian Affairs Bureau, 72492-72549 2015-28548 Part III Presidential Documents, 72551-72553 2015-29744 Reader Aids

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

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

80 223 Thursday, November 19, 2015 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 7 CFR Part 301 [Docket No. APHIS-2015-0016] Amendment of Asian Longhorned Beetle Quarantine Areas in Massachusetts and New York AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Affirmation of interim rule as final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that amended the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) regulations by removing the boroughs of Manhattan and Staten Island in New York City, as well as the counties of Suffolk and Norfolk in the State of Massachusetts, from the list of quarantined areas for ALB. The interim rule was necessary to relieve restrictions on the movement of regulated articles from areas no longer under ALB quarantine. As a result of the interim rule, movement of such articles from areas no longer under quarantine can proceed while preventing the artificial spread of ALB from infested areas to noninfested areas of the United States.

DATES:

Effective on November 19, 2015, we are adopting as a final rule the interim rule published at 80 FR 48001-48002 on August 11, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Claudia Ferguson, Senior Regulatory Policy Specialist, Regulatory Coordination and Compliance, Imports, Regulations, and Manuals, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 851-2352; [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

In an interim rule 1 effective and published in the Federal Register on August 11, 2015 (80 FR 48001-48002, Docket No. APHIS-2015-0016), we amended the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) regulations in 7 CFR part 301 by removing the boroughs of Manhattan and Staten Island in New York City, as well as the counties of Suffolk and Norfolk in the State of Massachusetts, from the list of quarantined areas for ALB.

1 To view the interim rule, go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2015-0016.

Comments on the interim rule were required to be received on or before September 10, 2015. We did not receive any comments. Therefore, for the reasons given in the interim rule, we are adopting the interim rule as a final rule without change.

This action also affirms the information contained in the interim rule concerning Executive Order 12866 and the Regulatory Flexibility Act, Executive Orders 12372 and 12988, and the Paperwork Reduction Act.

Further, for this action, the Office of Management and Budget has waived its review under Executive Order 12866.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 301

Agricultural commodities, Plant diseases and pests, Quarantine, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

PART 301—DOMESTIC QUARANTINE NOTICES

Accordingly, we are adopting as a final rule, without change, the interim rule that amended 7 CFR part 301 and that was published at 80 FR 48001-48002 on August 11, 2015.

Done in Washington, DC, this 12th day of November 2015. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-29542 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P
FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE BOARD 12 CFR Parts 914 and 917 FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY 12 CFR Parts 1236 and 1239 DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight 12 CFR Parts 1710 and 1720 RIN 2590-AA59 Responsibilities of Boards of Directors, Corporate Practices and Corporate Governance Matters AGENCY:

Federal Housing Finance Board; Federal Housing Finance Agency; Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is amending its regulations by relocating and consolidating certain regulations of its predecessor agencies—the Federal Housing Finance Board (Finance Board) and Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO)—that pertain to the responsibilities of boards of directors, corporate practices, and corporate governance matters. The OFHEO regulations addressed corporate governance matters at the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) (collectively, the Enterprises), while the Finance Board regulations addressed the powers and responsibilities of the boards of directors and management of the Federal Home Loan Banks (Banks). The final rule consolidates most of those regulations into a new FHFA regulation, parts of which will apply to both the Banks and the Enterprises (together, regulated entities), and parts of which will apply only to the Banks or only to the Enterprises. Most of the content of the new regulations has been derived from the regulations of the predecessor agencies, with such modifications as are necessary to apply the regulations to all of the regulated entities, to respond to issues raised by the commenters, or to clarify the regulatory text. The final rule also amends the Prudential Management and Operations Standards (Prudential Standards) provisions by designating certain introductory language—which pertains to the general responsibilities of senior management and boards of directors—as a separate Prudential Standard. The final rule also repeals a provision of the OFHEO regulations that related to minimum safety and soundness requirements for the Enterprises.

DATES:

The final rule is effective on December 21, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Amy Bogdon, Associate Director, Division of Federal Home Loan Bank Regulation, at [email protected] or (202) 649-3320, or Neil R. Crowley, Deputy General Counsel, Office of General Counsel, at [email protected] or (202) 649-3055 (not toll-free numbers), Federal Housing Finance Agency, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20024. The telephone number for the Telecommunications Device for the Hearing Impaired is (800) 877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background A. Proposed Rule

On January 28, 2014, FHFA published a proposed rule that would relocate, revise, and consolidate into a new FHFA regulation certain of the rules of the predecessor agencies that dealt with corporate practices and governance at the Banks and the Enterprises.1 The proposed rule was one phase of FHFA's ongoing project to repeal or relocate remaining OFHEO and Finance Board regulations. Both predecessor agencies had regulations addressing director responsibilities, corporate practices, and corporate governance matters. Pursuant to the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA), Public Law 110-289, 122 Stat. 2654, those regulations remain in effect until they are superseded by regulations issued by FHFA. See id. at sections 1302, 1312, 122 Stat. 2795, 2798. The intent of the proposed rule was to consolidate certain of those regulations into a new set of FHFA regulations that would address those same matters, and to repeal any predecessor regulations that were not adopted as FHFA regulations. The proposed rule was not intended to address conservatorship matters, but rather to address matters of corporate practice and governance that currently are addressed by OFHEO regulations, to which the Enterprises remain subject. The applicable regulations of the predecessor agencies addressed by this rulemaking currently are located at parts 914, 917, 1710, and 1720 of title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations. All of the relocated portions of these regulations would be codified as a new part 1239 of the FHFA regulations.

1See 79 FR 4414 (January 28, 2014).

The proposed rule included a number of provisions that would apply to all of the regulated entities because they addressed matters of general applicability, but also included other provisions that would apply only to the Banks or only to the Enterprises because they addressed topics that are unique to the particular type of entity. The substance of most of the provisions of the proposed rule was unchanged from that of the predecessor regulations, except for the provision on risk management, which was new. The proposed rule would also have carried over a Finance Board regulation on regulatory reporting and applied that provision to all of the regulated entities.

In conjunction with the relocation of the predecessor regulations, the proposed rule also would have revised certain provisions of FHFA's Prudential Standards. Specifically, the proposal would have redesignated the introductory section to the Prudential Standards—which recites general concepts of corporate governance and responsibilities of the board of directors and senior management—as a separate standard. Doing so would clarify FHFA's authority to enforce those provisions in the same manner as any of the other ten enumerated standards. Lastly, the proposal would have repealed a provision of the OFHEO regulations, 12 CFR part 1720, which had established certain safety and soundness standards for the Enterprises, because many of the matters addressed by those regulations are also addressed by the Prudential Standards or by the proposed rule.

B. Considerations of Differences Between the Banks and the Enterprises

When promulgating regulations or taking other actions that relate to the Banks, section 1313(f) of the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992 (Safety and Soundness Act) requires the Director of FHFA (Director) to consider the differences between the Banks and the Enterprises with respect to the Banks' cooperative ownership structure; mission of providing liquidity to members; affordable housing and community development mission; capital structure; and joint and several liability. 12 U.S.C. 4513(f). In preparing the proposed and final rules, the Director has considered those differences as they relate to the above factors and has determined that none of the statutory factors would be adversely affected by the final rule. None of the comment letters addressed this requirement.

II. Response to Comment Letters

In response to the proposed rule, FHFA received three substantive comment letters, one each from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and a joint letter from the Banks. Each letter generally supported the proposed rule, but also recommended different ways in which FHFA should revise certain aspects of the rule. In response to these recommendations, FHFA has incorporated a number of revisions into the final rule. The following sections of this document describe the issues raised by the commenters, along with FHFA's responses, which are included as part of FHFA's descriptions of the particular provisions of the final rule for which the commenters had suggested revisions. For other provisions of the proposed rule about which the commenters raised no issues, FHFA has adopted them without change.

III. Final Rule A. Overview

The organizational structure of the final rule is the same as that of the proposed rule, meaning that it includes one subpart for definitions and four subparts for the substantive provisions. Subpart A defines terms used within the final rule. Subpart B includes provisions relating to certain core corporate governance principles and applies to both the Banks and the Enterprises. Subpart C addresses codes of conduct for the entities, risk management, compliance programs, and regulatory reports, and also applies to all regulated entities. Subparts D and E include regulations from the predecessor agencies that address matters specific to the Banks (such as those relating to a Bank's member products policy) or to the Enterprises (such as those relating to the Enterprise boards), respectively. None of these provisions is intended to address conservatorship matters at the Enterprises. Instead, they are intended to address matters of corporate practice and governance for regulated entities that are not in conservatorship by replacing the existing OFHEO regulations on those same topics.2 The following paragraphs describe the manner in which each of the subparts of the final rule differs from those of the proposed rule and, as applicable, describes the material issues raised by the commenters and FHFA's responses to them.

2 FHFA as conservator has exercised its authority under 12 U.S.C. 4617(b)(2)(C) to provide for the Enterprises' management to be overseen by the boards of directors under their charter acts, 12 U.S.C. 1452(a), 1723(b), and those boards have been operating under the OFHEO regulations, which are being replaced by this regulation.

B. Subpart A—General Definitions (1239.2)

The proposed rule included seventeen defined terms, most of which were derived from the predecessor agencies' regulations and were to be incorporated into the FHFA's regulations without change. The final rule revises one of the proposed definitions, deletes two proposed definitions, and adds one new definition.

The proposed rule would have defined “executive officer” to include the chairperson and vice-chairperson of an Enterprise, along with a number of other specified senior executive positions at any Bank or Enterprise. Both Enterprises commented that defining “executive officer” to include the chairperson and vice-chairperson created a conflict with another provision of the proposed rule, 12 CFR 1239.20(a)(3), which requires the chairperson of an Enterprise to be a person other than the chief executive officer, who also must be independent, as defined by the rules of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The applicable NYSE rule provides that a company's chairperson is not “independent” if the person is, or has been within the past three years, an executive officer of the company. In order to resolve this conflict, FHFA agrees with the commenters and has amended the definition of “executive officer” to delete the references to an Enterprise's chairperson and vice-chairperson.

The proposed rule had used the term “risk profile” in several places within the risk management section of the rule, but did not define that term. In considering how to define that term for the final rule, FHFA determined that a similar term—“risk appetite”—as defined by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in its guidelines establishing heightened standards for national banks, better described the concept that FHFA had intended with its use of the term “risk profile” in the proposed rule. Accordingly, the final rule replaces the references to “risk profile” with the new term “risk appetite” and defines that term to mean the aggregate level and types of risk the board of directors and management are willing to assume to achieve the regulated entity's strategic objectives and business plan, consistent with applicable capital, liquidity, and other regulatory requirements.

The final rule deletes the defined term “authorizing statutes” because FHFA has recently defined that term within its general definitions section, at 12 CFR 1201, which definitions apply to all of FHFA's regulations. FHFA has also deleted the definition of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act from the final rule, because that term is only used once within the regulatory text, which now refers to that act by its name, rather than the acronym.

The proposed rule defined credit risk as “the potential that a borrower or counterparty will fail to meet its financial obligations in accordance with agreed terms.” Credit risk is one of the several specified risks that the rule requires a regulated entity's risk management program to address. Freddie Mac contended that the proposed definition was both too broad and too narrow and also suggested that FHFA replace “financial obligations” with “contractual obligations.” Freddie Mac also suggested that FHFA define “credit risk” in terms of an actual failure of a counterparty to perform, i.e., as the risk that the counterparty will fail to perform. FHFA declines to accept either of those suggestions, and notes that its definition is consistent with those of other banking regulators, which also focus on the potential that a borrower or counterparty will fail to meet its obligations.3 FHFA also believes that using the term “contractual obligations” in the definition would make it overly broad, in that such language would include other types of contractual obligations that may not have any relevance to credit risk.

3See e.g., Principles for the Management of Credit Risk—Consultative Document, Bank for International Settlements, July 1999 (“Credit risk is most simply defined as the potential that a bank borrower or counterparty will fail to meet its obligations in accordance with agreed terms.”). See also, Interagency Counterparty Risk Management Guidance, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, SR 11-10, July 5, 2011 (“Counterparty credit risk is the risk that the counterparty to a transaction could default.”) and Supervisory Policy Statement on Investment Securities and End-User Derivatives Activities, Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, Oct. 3, 1997 (A component of credit risk is settlement and pre-settlement credit risk. “These risks are the possibility that a counterparty will fail to honor its obligation at or before the time of settlement.” (emphasis added)).

C. Subpart B—Corporate Practices and Procedures Applicable to All Regulated Entities

Subpart B of the proposed rule included three provisions that addressed certain core principles of corporate practices or governance that were to apply to both the Enterprises and the Banks. Those provisions addressed choice of law for governance and indemnification matters, duties of directors, and committees of the boards of directors. Nearly all of the content of those provisions was derived from the Finance Board or OFHEO regulations.

Choice of Law and Indemnification (1239.3) Choice of Law

Proposed § 1239.3(a) and (b) generally would have required that a regulated entity's corporate governance and indemnification practices comply with any applicable federal law, but also would have required each regulated entity to designate in its bylaws a body of law to follow with respect to those practices. The proposed rule would have allowed a regulated entity to follow: (1) The law of the jurisdiction in which the entity maintains its principal office; (2) the Delaware General Corporation Law; or (3) the Revised Model Business Corporation Act. This choice of law provision would be new only for the Banks because the OFHEO regulations had previously imposed this requirement on the Enterprises.

The Banks expressed concern that by choosing a particular body of state law to follow they could subject themselves to the jurisdiction of those states' courts and would allow their members to assert all of the rights available to stockholders of corporations organized under those state laws. Although FHFA does not believe that its regulations would cause either of those possibilities to occur, it agrees that for the sake of clarity the final rule should be revised to state explicitly that the regulation does not create any rights in the members or other third parties and that it does not otherwise cause the regulated entities to become subject to the jurisdiction of state courts on matters of corporate governance and indemnification. In addition, FHFA has determined that it would be appropriate to allow the Banks an additional period of time within which to compare the relative merits of the three bodies of law from which they may choose. Accordingly, the final rule allows the Banks a period of 90 days after the effective date of the rule by which to designate in their bylaws their chosen body of law.

The Banks also suggested that the regulation should allow them to model their bylaw provisions after certain specific state law provisions, rather than on an entire body of state corporate law. FHFA has declined to make that revision for the final rule because it does not believe that the selective designation of various state corporate law provisions would result in an effective or uniform source of guidance for the entities.

Indemnification

The proposed rule would have required the regulated entities to indemnify their directors, officers, and employees under terms and conditions to be determined by the entities' boards of directors. Section 1239.3(c)(2) further would have required that each regulated entity adopt policies and procedures for indemnifying its personnel, which had to address how the board would make decisions on indemnification requests and what standards the board would use for indemnification requests, as well as for board investigations and review by outside counsel. These provisions were modeled on FHFA's regulations governing the Office of Finance, 12 CFR 1273.7(i)(3), and the OFHEO indemnification provisions at 12 CFR 1710.20.

The Banks' comment letter questioned FHFA's authority to subject the Banks to regulations relating to indemnification, citing a provision of the Federal Home Loan Bank Act (Bank Act), 12 U.S.C. 1427(k), which they believed committed matters of indemnification exclusively to the discretion of the Bank's board of directors. FHFA believes that the language of the proposed rule is fully consistent with the authority granted to the Banks' boards of directors by section 1427(k) because the rule largely restates and elaborates on the statutory requirement that the boards of directors are to determine the terms and conditions on which the regulated entities are to provide indemnification to their personnel.

The one aspect of the proposed rule that differed from the statute pertained to the provisions requiring the entities to adopt policies describing the manner in which they would exercise their indemnification authority. In effect, those provisions would have required the entities to commit to writing the decisions that their boards of directors make with respect to the circumstances under which they intend to provide indemnification to their officers and employees and the manner in which they will make those decisions. Requiring the entities to document the policies, procedures, and standards that the board of directors will use when considering requests for indemnification does not diminish the authority of the boards of directors to set the terms and conditions on which the entity will indemnify its personnel. In such cases, the boards would still decide the terms and conditions for indemnification, and the written policies, procedures, and standards would reflect and implement those board decisions. Requiring a regulated entity to have in place procedural safeguards, such as policies, procedures, and standards for indemnification, benefits the board of directors by helping to ensure that they make their indemnification decisions on a consistent basis, which in turn increases the likelihood that the entities will make these decisions in a safe and sound manner. FHFA has explicit authority to adopt regulations to ensure that the purposes of the Bank Act are carried out.4 For those reasons, FHFA has retained this requirement in the final rule.

4 Safety and Soundness Act section 1319G, 12 U.S.C. 4526.

The proposed rule also included a provision carried over from the OFHEO regulations that authorized FHFA to review an entity's indemnification policies, procedures, and practices and to limit or prohibit an entity from making indemnification payments based on FHFA's safety and soundness authority. The commenters questioned whether FHFA has the legal authority to prohibit indemnification payments based solely on its safety and soundness authority, particularly in light of a 2008 statutory amendment that explicitly authorized FHFA to prohibit indemnification payments only in cases where FHFA has initiated the action against an officer or director of a regulated entity. 12 U.S.C. 4518(e). Fannie Mae also objected to certain language in the supplementary information to the proposed rule, which described this provision as allowing FHFA to prohibit indemnification payment to “any person found to have violated any law or regulation,” as going beyond the language of the regulatory text.

To address these comments, FHFA has revised § 1239.3(c)(4) of the final rule in two respects. First, the final rule no longer asserts the authority of FHFA to limit or prohibit indemnification payments based solely on safety and soundness grounds. To the extent that FHFA deems it necessary to limit or prohibit indemnification payments by a regulated entity, it will act under the authority conferred by 12 U.S.C. 4518(e), which applies only to instances in which FHFA has initiated the underlying civil or administrative action. Second, the final rule revises the regulatory language to provide that FHFA may review a regulated entity's indemnification policies, procedures, and practices to ensure that they are consistent with law and with safety and soundness, and that they are carried out in a safe and sound manner. FHFA anticipates that this type of review could focus on issues such as whether a regulated entity has been consistent in how it acts on indemnification requests from different persons, and whether it has documented that it has made its decisions in accordance with the body of state law that the entity has chosen to follow for indemnification purposes.

Lastly, the Banks asked that FHFA clarify the circumstances in which it would exercise its statutory authority under the factors enumerated in 12 U.S.C. 4518(e)(2), which authorizes FHFA to limit or prohibit indemnification payments in connection with civil or administrative actions brought by FHFA. Because the proposed rule did not include any provisions relating to section 4518(e)(2), FHFA cannot address that provision for the first time as part of this final rule. That statutory provision is the subject of a separate rulemaking.5

5See 74 FR 30975 (June 29, 2009).

Duties and Responsibilities of Directors (1239.4)

Proposed § 1239.4 set forth certain duties and responsibilities of directors of a regulated entity. The text of the proposed regulation consisted mostly of provisions carried over from Finance Board regulations § 917.2, § 917.10, and, to a lesser extent, OFHEO regulation § 1710.15. This section of the proposed rule generally stated that the responsibility for managing a regulated entity is vested in the board of directors. The provision also included a list of duties for the directors, which included a duty to act with the degree of care of an ordinarily prudent person, and a duty to have a working familiarity with basic finance and accounting matters. The proposed rule also included a set of director responsibilities, which included having in place policies and procedures to relating to the board's oversight of risk management, compensation, financial reporting, and regulatory reporting. Commenters raised four questions about these provisions.

The Enterprises expressed concern about the language of the proposed rule that stated that the management of a regulated entity “shall be vested in its board of directors.” The Enterprises believed this language could be read as expanding the traditional role of corporate directors and imposing on them some responsibility for becoming involved in the day-to-day operations of the entity. As a general proposition, FHFA agrees that the role of the board is one of oversight, and that it is management who is to be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the entities. The language used in the proposed rule was derived from the Bank Act and the Finance Board regulations. In order to address the concerns raised by the Enterprises about how the rule should describe the role of the board of directors, FHFA looked to Delaware corporate law for guidance. The relevant provision of the Delaware statutes provides that “the business and affairs of every corporation organized under this chapter shall be managed by or under the direction of a board of directors.” Delaware General Corporation Law, § 141(a). FHFA believes that this language accurately describes the roles of corporate directors generally, and is consistent with the language of the Bank Act, which provides that the management of the Banks is to be “vested in” the board of directors. Accordingly, FHFA has revised § 1239.4(a) of the final rule by replacing the proposed language with language stating that the management of a regulated entity is to be “by or under the direction of” its board of directors. FHFA intends this revision to make clear that the final rule should not be construed as requiring the directors of a regulated entity to become responsible for the day-to-day operational functions of the entity.

The Enterprises also expressed concern about language of § 1239.4(b)(1) of the proposed rule relating to the directors' duty of care, which provided, in part, that a director should carry out his or her duties “with such care, including reasonable inquiry, as an ordinarily prudent person in a like position would use under similar circumstances.” Freddie Mac believed that the use of the “ordinarily prudent person” standard of care for how a director must discharge his or her duties could conflict with the body of state law that the Enterprises have chosen for corporate governance purposes, which would not use an “ordinarily prudent person” standard of care. Fannie Mae believed that the proposed language went beyond the fiduciary duties imposed on board members under Delaware law. FHFA has decided not to establish a separately defined standard of care for the directors of the regulated entities, but instead to rely on § 1239.3(b)(1) of the proposed rule, which would require each entity to designate a body of state law for its corporate governance practices. As the Enterprises noted, neither Virginia law, which Freddie Mac has designated, nor Delaware law, which Fannie Mae has designated, uses a standard of care for corporate directors that is based on an “ordinarily prudent person” concept. Indeed, both of those states, as well as all other states, have adopted some version of the business judgment rule for corporate directors. The Delaware courts have construed that state's business judgment rule as establishing a standard of gross negligence as the basis on which a corporate director could be held liable for breach of his or her duty of care to the corporation.6 In order to ensure that the directors of the regulated entities are not held to a standard of care different from the standard likely to be applicable to directors of other financial institutions, which could affect the availability of director candidates, FHFA is amending § 1239.4(b)(1) of the final rule by deleting the reference to an “ordinarily prudent person” and replacing it with language requiring directors of a regulated entity to exercise the degree of care that is required under the Revised Model Business Corporation Act or the other body of state law that the regulated entity has chosen to follow for its corporate governance and indemnification practices. Under the revised provision, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could continue to look to their chosen bodies of law, Delaware and Virginia, respectively, to determine the standard of care owed by their directors to the entities. Likewise, the Banks could look to whatever body of law they choose to govern their corporate governance practices, including the standard of care for their directors.

6Aronson v. Lewis, 473 A.2d 805 (1984) (Supreme Court of Delaware).

The proposed rule would have carried over and applied to all of the regulated entities a Finance Board provision that requires directors of Banks to “administer the affairs of the regulated entity fairly and impartially.” The Enterprises contended that that provision, which is derived from the Bank Act and reflects the cooperative structure of the Banks, was not well-suited for the Enterprises because they are not cooperatives. They also contended that the proposed provision was unnecessary because general concepts of fairness are inherent in the fiduciary duties of their directors to act in the best interest of the corporation. In response to the Enterprises' concerns, FHFA has amended the final rule so that this language will apply only to the Banks.

The proposed rule also included a provision derived from the Finance Board regulations that provided that all directors have a duty to have a “working familiarity with basic finance and accounting practices,” so that they are able to ask substantive questions of management and the auditors. The provision would allow a director to acquire that level of knowledge either prior to becoming an entity's director or within a reasonable time thereafter, such as through appropriate training. Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac expressed concern about this provision, believing that it could be read to require all directors to become “audit committee financial experts” and that it could effectively preclude them from recruiting directors who have specialized expertise outside of the realms of finance and accounting. FHFA does not believe that the language of the proposed rule, which uses the terms “working familiarity” and “basic finance and accounting” can reasonably be construed as being equivalent to requiring the same level of knowledge as is required to be an “audit committee financial expert.” The knowledge and experience required under the regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to be deemed an “audit committee financial expert” are quite detailed and go far beyond concepts of basic finance and accounting. For example, an audit committee financial expert must have an understanding of generally accepted accounting principles and financial statements, the ability to assess the application of those principles, experience in preparing, auditing, or analyzing financial statements, an understanding of internal controls over financial reporting, and an understanding of audit committee functions. The expert also must have acquired those attributes through education and experience as a principal financial officer, principal accounting officer, controller, public accountant, or auditor, or by supervising persons performing those functions.7 FHFA also does not believe that requiring directors of the regulated entities to have or develop an understanding of basic concepts of finance and accounting will preclude them from recruiting persons whose expertise lies in other areas. Although FHFA has not defined the terms “working familiarity” or “basic finance and accounting practices,” they should be read in the context of the remainder of the provision, which indicates that the level of understanding has to be sufficient to allow the persons to read and understand the entity's financial statements (which the Enterprise directors already certify when filing their Form 10-K with the SEC) and to engage in a dialogue with management and the auditors about the operations and financial condition of the entity. Moreover, the Banks, which also have a minority of their directors chosen from outside of the financial services industry, have been able to recruit and retain capable directors notwithstanding this requirement, which has applied to Bank directors since 2000. Accordingly, FHFA is adopting § 1239.4(b)(3) of the final rule with no changes from the proposed rule. Lastly, Freddie Mac objected to § 1239.4(c) of the proposed rule that required the board of directors to have in place policies and procedures to address certain matters, such as risk management, compensation programs, financial reporting, and regulatory reporting. Freddie Mac suggested that FHFA revise this provision to make clear that it does not require the board of directors to establish the required policies and procedures, which can be developed by management. Because FHFA agrees that the development and implementation of procedures is a management responsibility, the final rule removes the reference to “procedures” from this section. The final rule retains, however, the requirement that the board must have in place adequate “policies” to assure its oversight of risk management, compensation, and financial reporting. As revised, this provision allows the board of directors to delegate to management the responsibility to develop, implement, and monitor compliance with the procedures used to implement board policies, but also requires the board of directors to review and approve those policies, as appropriate, as part of its responsibility to oversee management of the regulated entity.

7 17 CFR 229.407(d)(5)(ii).

Board Committees (1239.5)

The proposed rule would have required each regulated entity to have four specified committees of the board of directors, which are to address risk management, audit, compensation, and governance. The proposal also authorized the regulated entities to establish any other committees they deemed appropriate and prohibited the entities from combining their risk management committee or the audit committee with any other committee. The proposal further required that each committee have a formal written charter and that it meet with sufficient frequency to carry out its responsibilities.

FHFA is revising this provision of the final rule in two respects, both of which respond to comments from Freddie Mac. Apart from those revisions, FHFA is adopting this section as proposed. First, the final rule revises § 1239.5(c) to require that the full board of directors adopt a formal written charter for each committee. This replaces a provision of the proposed rule that would have allowed a committee to adopt its own charter. Second, the final rule revises § 1239.5(d) by adding language to the effect that a committee that is designed to meet only on an as-needed basis, rather than on a fixed schedule, such as an executive committee, which may meet regularly or only as necessary to address matters arising between meetings of the full board, shall meet in the manner specified in that committee's charter, rather than “regularly,” as the proposed rule had provided.

The Banks objected to the proposed rule's prohibition on combining the audit and risk committees with other committees, citing the need for flexibility in determining committee structure. While FHFA understands that the entities may need some flexibility when staffing their committees, FHFA also believes that the responsibilities of the audit committee and risk management committee are sufficiently important that each should be structured as a stand-alone committee, without any competing responsibilities.

D. Subpart C—Other Requirements Applicable to All Regulated Entities

Subpart C of the proposed rule included four other provisions that would have applied to all of the regulated entities. These provisions addressed: (1) Code of conduct; (2) risk management; (3) compliance programs; and (4) regulatory reports. The final rule revises portions of the provisions dealing with the code of conduct and risk management, which revisions are described below. FHFA is adopting the provisions relating to compliance programs and regulatory reports as proposed, and the discussion below also addresses suggested revisions to the compliance program, which FHFA has declined to adopt.

Code of Conduct and Ethics (1239.10)

Proposed § 1239.10 carried over the substance of an OFHEO regulation that required each regulated entity to establish a written code of conduct for directors, executive officers, and employees that is reasonably designed to ensure that they discharge their duties in an objective and impartial manner and that includes the standards required under section 406 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Neither the OFHEO regulation nor the proposed rule described the substance of those standards, but simply incorporated them by cross-reference. The section 406 standards pertain to promoting honest and ethical conduct, accurate financial disclosures, and compliance with applicable laws. The Banks expressed two concerns about this provision of the proposed rule. First, they believed that it was unnecessary and duplicative because, as SEC registrants, they already must disclose whether they have adopted such a code of conduct. Second, they believed that the scope of the provision was too broad because it covered all employees, not just those involved with preparing the financial statements.

FHFA agrees that the scope of the proposed rule was broader than it needed to be insofar as it would have applied to employees that are not involved in the preparation of the entity's financial statements. To address these concerns about overbreadth, FHFA revised the final rule so that it imposes general requirements on all employees of a regulated entity and separately imposes other requirements on those officers that are responsible for preparing the financial statements. As part of that approach, the final rule no longer cross-references section 406 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, but instead incorporates the essential language of section 406 into the FHFA regulation. Accordingly, the final rule first provides that each entity must adopt a code of conduct that is reasonably designed to assure that its directors, officers, and employees discharge their duties in an objective and impartial manner and that promotes honest and ethical conduct, compliance with applicable laws and regulations, accountability for adhering to the code, and prompt internal reporting of violations of the code. Each of those elements is derived from section 406 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The final rule separately provides that the code of conduct must include provisions that apply only to the entities' principal executive officer, principal financial officer, and principal accounting officer or controller. Those provisions must be reasonably designed to promote full, fair, and accurate disclosures in an entity's reports filed with the SEC and other public communications pertaining to the entity's financial condition. Those provisions also are derived from section 406, but will not apply to the officers and employees who have no role in preparing the financial statements or other disclosures.

FHFA appreciates that the Banks, as SEC registrants, are already required to disclose whether they have a code of conduct that satisfies the requirements of section 406 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. That requirement, however, is simply a disclosure requirement and does not require the Banks to actually adopt a code of ethics. Because FHFA believes that a code of conduct as described above is an important tool in assuring that the entities operate in a safe and sound manner, the final rule continues to require that the entities actually adopt the code of conduct. Accordingly, FHFA declines to adopt the Banks' suggestion that this matter be addressed solely through the existing disclosure mechanism.

Risk Management (1239.11)

The proposed rule contained a new risk management section that was based in large part on a recent proposal of the Federal Reserve Board relating to its supervision of large banking institutions.8 The proposed risk management section included little content from the regulations of the predecessor agencies, which had become somewhat dated. Among other things, proposed § 1239.11 would have required each entity to establish an enterprise-wide risk management program and specified certain requirements for that program, as well as the responsibilities of the risk committee. The proposal also would have required each entity to appoint a chief risk officer to oversee the risk management function, and specified the responsibilities of the chief risk officer. In the final rule, FHFA retained most of the content of the proposed rule, but reorganized certain provisions of the regulatory text to improve its readability. The final rule retains the three core elements of the proposed rule, which require the establishment of an enterprise-wide risk management program, the establishment of a risk committee with specified structure and responsibilities, and the establishment of a chief risk officer with specified responsibilities. FHFA also made certain revisions to the regulatory text in response to the comment letters. All of those revisions are described below.

8See Enhanced Prudential Standards and Early Remediation Requirements for Covered Companies, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 77 FR 594 (Jan. 5, 2012). The commenters asked that to the extent that FHFA had looked to these standards for guidance, it should look to the final rule adopted by the Federal Reserve Board instead of its proposed rule, especially as it relates to distinguishing between the respective roles of directors and management. FHFA has reviewed that final rule document and made conforming revisions to this final rule, as appropriate. See Enhanced Prudential Standards and Early Remediation Requirements for Covered Companies, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 79 FR 17240 (Mar. 27, 2014).

Establishment of the Risk Management Program

Section 1239.11(a) of the proposed rule would have required the establishment of a risk management program that aligns with the entity's overall risk profile and mission objectives, while § 1239.11(c)(1) had specified several required elements for the risk management program. In the final rule, FHFA combined those provisions into a revised § 1239.11(a), which deals only with the risk management program. FHFA also revised the regulatory text, which formerly provided that the board of directors must have a risk management program “in effect at all times,” to clarify that the board must approve and periodically review the risk management program, as well as having it in effect. As noted previously, the final rule also replaces all references to the term “risk profile” with the newly defined term “risk appetite.” The final rule also makes some revisions to the provisions that specified the minimum requirements for the risk management program, principally to address concerns expressed by the commenters. The final rule now provides that the board of directors must ensure that the risk management program aligns with the entity's risk appetite, and it deletes a reference to this being a joint responsibility of the board and senior management. These provisions of the final rule are not intended to require that the board of directors actually develop or implement the risk management program, which tasks may be delegated to management, but the board is responsible for approving the program, as well as the entity's risk appetite, and ensuring that the two are consistent with each other. In the paragraphs describing the requirements of the risk management program, the final rule deletes certain references that the commenters believed could be read to impose management level responsibilities on the board or its committee. Thus, the final rule deletes from proposed § 1239.11(c)(ii), (iii), and (iv) references to “risk management practices and risk control structure,” “procedures . . . practices, risk controls,” and “control objectives,” respectively.

Establishment and Duties of the Risk Committee

Section 1239.11(b) of the proposed rule would have required the board of each regulated entity to establish a risk committee that oversees the entity's risk management practices, while § 1239.11(c) and (d) had addressed the risk committee structure and responsibilities, respectively. The final rule combines all of those provisions into a revised § 1239.11(b), which deals only with risk committee matters. FHFA also revised certain of these provisions in response to concerns of the commenters that the proposed rule could be read to assign management type responsibilities on the board of directors or the risk committee. Thus, the final rule has deleted language from proposed § 1239.11(b) that stated that the committee was “responsible for oversight of . . . risk management practices” and replaced it with language saying that the committee is to assist the board of directors in carrying out its duties to oversee the “risk management program,” rather than the “practices” of the entity.

The final rule revises certain of the provisions relating to the qualifications of the risk committee members that had been located in § 1239.11(c)(2) of the proposed rule, also in response to suggestions from the commenters. The proposed rule would have required that the committee have at least one member with “risk management expertise” that is commensurate with the business of the regulated entity, and further that the other committee members have “experience developing and applying risk management practices and procedures measuring and identifying risks.” The Banks and the Enterprises contended that such levels of expertise would likely be found only in a person who was serving, or had previously served, as a chief risk officer at a financial institution and that it would be difficult to find persons who are eligible for board positions who also have such expertise. FHFA believes that this is a valid concern and has revised the rule to require that the risk committee have at least one member with risk management “experience” rather than “expertise,” and that the other committee members have, or acquire through training, a practical understanding of risk management principles and practices. FHFA also deleted in its entirety the provision of the proposed rule that would have required risk committee members to also have had experience developing and applying risk management practices and procedures. Notwithstanding those revisions, FHFA believes that it is appropriate and reasonable to retain some language in the final rule requiring that the persons charged with assisting the board in its oversight of the risk management program have had some opportunity, either through prior experience or education or other training while on the board, to gain sufficient understanding of risk management principles to meaningfully engage with management on risk management matters.

Freddie Mac objected to the requirements in proposed § 1239.11(c)(2)(v) and (d)(1) that the risk committee fully document and maintain records of its meetings, including its risk management decisions and recommendations, and that it be responsible for documenting and overseeing the entity's risk management “policies and practices.” It believed that these requirements go beyond the existing obligation on board committees to prepare minutes of meetings. FHFA disagrees with the first of those suggestions and has retained the requirement that the committee document and maintain records of its meetings and decisions because risk management is a vital function and decisions of the risk committee and the justification for those actions need to be well documented. FHFA agrees with the second suggestion and removed from the final rule the language stating that that the committee is to be responsible for documenting and overseeing the risk management “policies and practices” of the entity because “practices” are more appropriately characterized as a management function than as a function for the risk committee. In its place, FHFA included an alternative provision, to be located in § 1239.111(b)(2)(i) of the final rule, providing that the risk committee must periodically review the entity's risk management program and make recommendations to the board of directors for any appropriate revisions to the program to ensure that the program remains aligned to the risks associated with the entity's business activities. The final rule also includes a parallel provision requiring the committee to periodically review the capabilities of, and the adequacy of the resources allocated to, the risk management program.

Chief Risk Officer

The proposed rule would require each entity to appoint a chief risk officer and described both the organizational structure of the risk management program and the responsibilities of the chief risk officer. The final rule makes some modest revisions to these provisions, stating that the chief risk officer shall “head” (rather than “oversee”) an independent risk management function and be responsible for the entity's risk management function. Both the proposed and final rules require that the head of the risk management function must be “independent.” FHFA construes that term to mean that the chief risk officer may not have dual responsibilities within the organization, such as also serving as the chief financial officer or as any other senior executive officer.

Compliance Program (1239.12)

The proposed rule would require that regulated entities establish a compliance program to be headed by a chief compliance officer and set forth criteria for the program. Proposed § 1239.12 would require the program to be reasonably designed to ensure that the regulated entity complies with applicable laws, rules, regulations, and internal controls. In addition, the proposal would require the compliance officer to report directly to the chief executive officer, to report regularly to the board of directors (or a committee thereof) on the adequacy of the entity's compliance policies and procedures, and to make recommendations to the board for any adjustments to those policies or procedures, as appropriate. The final rule adopts this provision as it was proposed.

The Banks expressed concern that these provisions were too prescriptive and believed that oversight of the compliance program need not reside solely with a single chief compliance officer, so long as the Banks have established clear lines of responsibilities for compliance matters with other executives. The Banks also objected to requiring the compliance officer to report to the chief executive and asked that the final rule allow for reporting lines to other senior executives. The Banks also suggested replacing the words “internal controls” with “policies” in the provision that requires that the compliance program ensure compliance with “laws, rules, regulations, and internal controls.” The Banks believe that internal controls themselves are designed to achieve compliance with laws, rules, regulations, and policies and therefore it did not make sense to require compliance with internal controls.

FHFA does not believe that this provision can be characterized as being overly prescriptive, as the Banks contend. The regulation is short, only three sentences, which require the establishment of a compliance program, the designation of a compliance officer, and the establishment of reporting requirements. As to the concern about reporting lines, FHFA believes that the compliance function is sufficiently important that it should be headed by a person holding an executive level position, who would be a peer of the executives taking the business risks, and who would have direct access to the CEO. Lastly, although internal controls are designed to ensure compliance with laws, regulations, and policies, this can only be achieved if the regulated entity complies with the internal control procedures themselves. Therefore, FHFA believes that it is appropriate to retain the term “internal controls” in the first sentence of the provision.

Regulatory Reports (1239.13)

Proposed § 1239.13 required each regulated entity to provide FHFA with such regulatory reports as are necessary for it to evaluate the condition of a regulated entity, or compliance with applicable law, and to do so in accordance with the forms and instructions issued by FHFA from time to time. It was derived from the Finance Board regulations at 12 CFR 914.1 and 914.2. FHFA received no comments on this provision and the final rule adopts this provision as proposed.

E. Subpart D—Enterprise Specific Requirements

Subpart D of the proposed rule included two provisions that were to apply only to the Enterprises. FHFA received no comments on these provisions from the Enterprises. Accordingly, with the exception of the one matter noted below, FHFA adopted both provisions as proposed. The first provision, § 1239.20, addresses age and term limits for Enterprise directors and requires that a majority of the directors be independent, as defined under the rules of the NYSE. It also addresses the frequency of Enterprise board meetings, quorum requirements, and voting by directors. The rule carries over these provisions from the OFHEO regulation without substantive change. Proposed § 1239.20(a)(3) included a new provision that would prohibit the chief executive officer of an Enterprise from also serving as the chairperson of the board of directors.

In the final rule, FHFA also revised the language of § 1239.20(b)(5), which requires the Enterprise boards of directors annually to review the requirements of applicable laws, rules, regulations, and guidelines. FHFA has been asked whether this provision requires a board of directors to review all laws that apply to the Enterprises or only on those that have been revised during the past year. FHFA believes that going forward this provision should be read to require that the boards of directors be kept informed of any significant changes to the applicable laws and regulations. Accordingly, the final rule revises this provision to state that at least annually the boards of the Enterprises shall be informed of any significant changes that have been made to the laws, rules, regulations, and guidelines to which the Enterprises are subject since the prior year's annual review. The second provision, § 1239.21, requires that the Enterprises pay their directors reasonable and appropriate compensation for the time required for the performance of their duties.

F. Subpart E—Bank Specific Requirements

Subpart E of the proposed rule included five provisions that were to apply only to the Banks. For three of those provisions, those relating to a Bank's member products policy (§ 1239.30), its strategic business plan (§ 1239.31), and its dividends (§ 1239.33), FHFA received no comments and the final rule adopts those provisions as proposed. The final rule deletes the proposed provision on internal controls in its entirety, for the reasons described below, and makes some modest revisions to the provision on Bank audit committees, also as described below.

Internal Control System

The proposed rule would have carried over without substantive change a Finance Board regulation dealing with Bank internal control systems. The proposed regulation set forth detailed responsibilities of senior management and the board of directors with respect to internal controls and solicited comments on whether the internal controls regulation should be expanded to apply to the Enterprises, as well as to the Banks. Freddie Mac urged FHFA not to extend the internal controls regulation to the Enterprises because they are already subject to numerous requirements related to internal controls. The Banks generally favored the adoption of a principles-based approach for the rules relating to internal controls, rather than the more prescriptive approach of the existing Finance Board regulations, and asked that FHFA revise the rule accordingly.

FHFA initially decided to adopt the Banks' suggestion and revise this provision to make it more principles-based. When making those revisions, however, FHFA determined that creating a more principles-based regulation would result in the revised regulation overlapping considerably with the provisions of FHFA's existing Prudential Standards that deal with internal controls. In order to avoid that result, and the potential confusion that having two separate provisions addressing internal controls could cause, FHFA decided a better approach would be to delete the provision on internal controls from the final rule and rely instead on the internal controls provisions of the Prudential Standards. Accordingly, the final rule does not include a separate regulation on internal controls for the Banks. In making this change, FHFA emphasizes that a strong system of internal controls is a critical first line defense for all of the regulated entities. FHFA expects that all of the regulated entities will devote the necessary resources and attention to this area.

Audit Committee (1239.32)

The proposed rule would have carried over without substantive change Finance Board regulations that required the establishment of an audit committee and established requirements for the composition, independence, charter, duties, and meetings of Bank audit committees. FHFA requested comment on whether it should adopt a single regulation addressing the audit committees for all regulated entities, whether the independence requirements for Bank audit committees should consider the amount of Bank stock or advances held by a member that has a representative on the committee, and whether Bank audit committees should have a majority of members who are not affiliated with the Bank's members. No commenters supported any of those revisions, and FHFA has not made any such changes to the final rule.

FHFA made three revisions to § 1239.32 of the final rule in response to comments from the Banks. The Banks asked that FHFA modify the requirement relating to representation on the audit committee of directors from the various types of members and of both member directors and independent directors by providing that the committee should be required have such a balance “to the extent that it is practicable to do so.” The Banks contended that the skill sets of the individual directors, particularly the member directors, will vary. As a result, there may be times when the persons whose experience is most suited to having them serve on the audit committee will not necessarily result in a committee composition that includes persons from all segments of the membership base. FHFA agrees with that statement and added the language requested by the Banks to the final rule. The Banks also asked that FHFA clarify that a reference to “independent directors” in this section refers to those directors who are not affiliated with a member institution, as defined in the Bank Act, so as not to suggest that it relates to the “independence” requirement for audit committee members. FHFA made that revision. The final rule also revises a provision that requires the audit committee to review “the policies and procedures used by senior management” by deleting the reference to “procedures” because FHFA agrees with the Banks that the development and review of particular procedures is more properly considered a management function. The final rule also makes one conforming change by revising the language of the existing rule to state that the board of directors, not the audit committee, is responsible for amending and periodically reapproving the audit committee charter. This change conforms this provision to an earlier provision of the rule that vests in the board of directors the sole authority to adopt committee charters.

G. Provisions To Be Repealed

As was proposed, the final rule will repeal several portions of the predecessor agency regulations that are not being carried over into the FHFA regulations. No commenters objected to the proposed repeal of these provisions, which included several OFHEO regulations that essentially repeated certain statutory requirements, certain provisions of the OFHEO regulations relating to the responsibilities of boards of directors that address matters now covered by the Prudential Standards, a Finance Board regulation requiring the preparation of annual budgets, and 12 CFR part 1720 of the OFHEO regulations, which established certain safety and soundness standards for the Enterprises.

Freddie Mac sought clarification as to the effect of the repeal of these provisions on specific regulatory guidance, such as the 2006 OFHEO Corporate Governance Examination Guidance. FHFA continues to evaluate the various types of guidance issued by the predecessor agencies to determine whether to retain, revise, or repeal the guidance. Those efforts are being done independently of this rulemaking. On March 26, 2015, FHFA issued Advisory Bulletin AB 2015-03, which rescinded five examination guidance documents that had been issued by OFHEO because they have been superseded by FHFA guidance, simply restated the text of regulations, or are no longer relevant or applicable in the current environment.9

9 The Advisory Bulletin rescinded the following OFHEO examination guidance documents: PG-00-001 (regarding minimum safety and soundness requirements); PG-00-002 (regarding non-mortgage liquidity investments); PG-06-001 (regarding corporate governance examinations); PG-06-003 (regarding accounting practices examinations); and PG-08-002 (regarding standards for use of fair value options).

IV. Prudential Standards

The Prudential Standards include an introductory section, which recites general responsibilities of the boards of directors and senior management, as well as ten enumerated standards that address the topics required by statute. In the proposed rule, FHFA proposed to designate this introductory section as an additional Prudential Standard. Doing so would clarify that the introductory provisions have the same effect and could be enforced in the same manner as the ten enumerated standards. The Banks commented that this action would create some uncertainty about the role of the boards of directors because the introductory section currently includes references to the board of directors being responsible for adopting and implementing “procedures,” which the Banks contend is a management function. FHFA agrees that the development and implementation of procedures is a management responsibility, and has revised the first three paragraphs of the Prudential Standards introductory section by deleting the four references to “procedures” as responsibilities of the board of directors. FHFA received no other comments on this aspect of the proposal and the final rule otherwise adopts the final rule as proposed.

V. Paperwork Reduction Act

The final rule does not contain any information collection requirement that requires the approval of the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

VI. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires an agency to analyze a regulation's impact on small entities if the regulation is expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 5 U.S.C. 605(b). FHFA has considered the impact of this final rule and determined that it is not likely to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because it applies only to the regulated entities, which are not small entities for purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

List of Subjects 12 CFR Part 914

Federal Home Loan Banks, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

12 CFR Part 917

Federal Home Loan Banks.

12 CFR Part 1236

Administrative practice and procedure, Federal Home Loan Banks, Government-Sponsored Enterprises, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

12 CFR Part 1239

Administrative practice and procedure, Federal Home Loan Banks, Government-Sponsored Enterprises, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

12 CFR Part 1710

Administrative practice and procedure, Mortgages.

12 CFR Part 1720

Administrative practice and procedure, Mortgages.

Accordingly, for reasons stated in the Supplementary Information and under the authority of 12 U.S.C. 1426, 1427, 1432(a), 1436(a), 1440, 4511(b), 4513(a), 4513(b), and 4526, FHFA hereby amends subchapter C of chapter IX, subchapter B of chapter XII, and subchapter C of chapter XVII of title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

CHAPTER IX—FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE BOARD Subchapter C—[Removed and Reserved] 1. Subchapter C, consisting of parts 914 and 917 is removed and reserved. CHAPTER XII—FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY Subchapter B—Entity Regulations PART 1236—PRUDENTIAL MANAGEMENT AND OPERATIONS STANDARDS 2. The authority citation for part 1236 continues to read as follows: Authority:

12 U.S.C. 4511, 4513(a) and (f), 4513b, and 4526.

3. Amend § 1236.2 by revising the definition of “Standards” to read as follows:
§ 1236.2 Definitions.

Standards means any one or more of the prudential management and operations standards established by the Director pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 4513b(a), as modified from time to time pursuant to § 1236.3(b), including the introductory statement of general responsibilities of boards of directors and senior management of the regulated entities.

4. Amend the Appendix to part 1236 as follows: a. By redesignating the phrase “The following provisions constitute the prudential management and operations standards established pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 4513b(a).” following paragraph 10 under “Responsibilities of the Board of Directors and Senior Management” as introductory text to the appendix; and b. By revising paragraphs 1., 2., and 3. under “Responsibilities of the Board of Directors and Senior Management” to read as follows: Appendix to Part 1236—Prudential Management and Operations Standards Responsibilities of the Board of Directors and Senior Management

1. With respect to the subject matter addressed by each Standard, the board of directors is responsible for adopting business strategies and policies that are appropriate for the particular subject matter. The board should review all such strategies and policies periodically. It should review and approve all major strategies and policies at least annually and make any revisions that are necessary to ensure that such strategies and policies remain consistent with the entity's overall business plan.

2. The board of directors is responsible for overseeing management of the regulated entity, which includes ensuring that management includes personnel who are appropriately trained and competent to oversee the operation of the regulated entity as it relates to the functions and requirements addressed by each Standard, and that management implements the policies set forth by the board.

3. The board of directors is responsible for remaining informed about the operations and condition of the regulated entity, including operating consistently with the Standards, and senior management's implementation of the strategies and policies established by the board of directors.

5. Part 1239 is added to subchapter C to read as follows: PART 1239—RESPONSIBILITIES OF BOARDS OF DIRECTORS, CORPORATE PRACTICES, AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE Subpart A—General Sec. 1239.1 Purpose. 1239.2 Definitions. Subpart B—Corporate Practices and Procedures Applicable to All Regulated Entities 1239.3 Law applicable to corporate governance and indemnification practices. 1239.4 Duties and responsibilities of directors. 1239.5 Board committees. Subpart C—Other Requirements Applicable to All Regulated Entities 1239.10 Code of conduct and ethics. 1239.11 Risk management. 1239.12 Compliance program. 1239.13 Regulatory reports. Subpart D—Enterprise Specific Requirements 1239.20 Board of directors of the Enterprises. 1239.21 Compensation of Enterprise board members. Subpart E—Bank Specific Requirements 1239.30 Bank member products policy. 1239.31 Strategic business plan. 1239.32 Audit committee. 1239.33 Dividends. Authority:

12 U.S.C. 1426, 1427, 1432(a), 1436(a), 1440, 4511(b), 4513(a), 4513(b), and 4526.

Subpart A—General
§ 1239.1 Purpose.

FHFA is responsible for supervising and ensuring the safety and soundness of the regulated entities. In furtherance of those responsibilities, this part sets forth minimum standards with respect to responsibilities of boards of directors, corporate practices, and corporate governance matters of the regulated entities.

§ 1239.2 Definitions.

As used in this part, (unless otherwise noted):

Board member means a member of the board of directors of a regulated entity.

Board of directors means the board of directors of a regulated entity.

Business risk means the risk of an adverse impact on a regulated entity's profitability resulting from external factors as may occur in both the short and long run.

Community financial institution has the meaning set forth in § 1263.1 of this chapter.

Compensation means any payment of money or the provision of any other thing of current or potential value in connection with employment or in connection with service as a director.

Credit risk is the potential that a borrower or counterparty will fail to meet its financial obligations in accordance with agreed terms.

Employee means an individual, other than an executive officer, who works part-time, full-time, or temporarily for a regulated entity.

Executive officer means the chief executive officer, chief financial officer, chief operating officer, president, any executive vice president, any senior vice president, and any individual with similar responsibilities, without regard to title, who is in charge of a principal business unit, division, or function, or who reports directly to the chairperson, vice chairperson, chief operating officer, or chief executive officer or president of a regulated entity.

Immediate family member means a parent, sibling, spouse, child, dependent, or any relative sharing the same residence.

Internal auditor means the individual responsible for the internal audit function at a regulated entity.

Liquidity risk means the risk that a regulated entity will be unable to meet its financial obligations as they come due or meet the credit needs of its members and associates in a timely and cost-efficient manner.

Market risk means the risk that the market value, or estimated fair value if market value is not available, of a regulated entity's portfolio will decline as a result of changes in interest rates, foreign exchange rates, or equity or commodity prices.

NYSE means the New York Stock Exchange.

Operational risk means the risk of loss resulting from inadequate or failed internal processes, people, or systems, or from external events (including legal risk but excluding strategic and reputational risk).

Risk appetite means the aggregate level and types of risk the board of directors and management are willing to assume to achieve the regulated entity's strategic objectives and business plan, consistent with applicable capital, liquidity, and other regulatory requirements.

Significant deficiency means a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control that is less severe than a material weakness, yet important enough to merit attention by those charged with governance.

Subpart B—Corporate Practices and Procedures Applicable to All Regulated Entities
§ 1239.3 Law applicable to corporate governance and indemnification practices.

(a) General. The corporate governance practices and procedures of each regulated entity, and practices and procedures relating to indemnification (including advancement of expenses), shall comply with and be subject to the applicable authorizing statutes and other Federal law, rules, and regulations, and shall be consistent with the safe and sound operations of the regulated entities.

(b) Election and designation of body of law. (1) To the extent not inconsistent with paragraph (a) of this section, each regulated entity shall elect to follow the corporate governance and indemnification practices and procedures set forth in one of the following:

(i) The law of the jurisdiction in which the principal office of the regulated entity is located;

(ii) The Delaware General Corporation Law (Del. Code Ann. Title 8); or

(iii) The Revised Model Business Corporation Act.

(2) Each regulated entity shall designate in its bylaws the body of law elected for its corporate governance and indemnification practices and procedures pursuant to this paragraph, and shall do so by no later than March 18, 2016.

(c) Indemnification. (1) Subject to paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, to the extent applicable, a regulated entity shall indemnify (and advance the expenses of) its directors, officers, and employees under such terms and conditions as are determined by its board of directors. The regulated entity is authorized to maintain insurance for its directors and any other officer or employee.

(2) Each regulated entity shall have in place policies and procedures consistent with this section for indemnification of its directors, officers, and employees. Such policies and procedures shall address how the board of directors is to approve or deny requests for indemnification from current and former directors, officers, and employees, and shall include standards relating to indemnification, investigations by the board of directors, and review by independent counsel.

(3) Nothing in this paragraph (c) shall affect any rights to indemnification (including the advancement of expenses) that a director or any other officer or employee had with respect to any actions, omissions, transactions, or facts occurring prior to the effective date of this paragraph.

(4) FHFA has the authority under the Safety and Soundness Act to review a regulated entity's indemnification policies, procedures, and practices to ensure that they are conducted in a safe and sound manner, and that they are consistent with the body of law adopted by the board of directors under paragraph (b) of this section.

(d) No rights created. Nothing in this part shall create or be deemed to create any rights in any third party, including in any member of a Bank, nor shall it cause or be deemed to cause any regulated entity to become subject to the jurisdiction of any state court with respect to the entity's corporate governance or indemnification practices or procedures.

§ 1239.4 Duties and responsibilities of directors.

(a) Management of a regulated entity. The management of each regulated entity shall be by or under the direction of its board of directors. While a board of directors may delegate the execution of operational functions to officers and employees of the regulated entity, the ultimate responsibility of each entity's board of directors for that entity's oversight is non-delegable. The board of directors of a regulated entity is responsible for directing the conduct and affairs of the entity in furtherance of the safe and sound operation of the entity and shall remain reasonably informed of the condition, activities, and operations of the entity.

(b) Duties of directors. Each director of a regulated entity shall have the duty to:

(1) Carry out his or her duties as director in good faith, in a manner such director believes to be in the best interests of the regulated entity, and with such care, including reasonable inquiry, as is required under the Revised Model Business Corporation Act or the other body of law that the entity's board of directors has chosen to follow for its corporate governance and indemnification practices and procedures in accordance with § 1239.3(b);

(2) For Bank directors, administer the affairs of the regulated entity fairly and impartially and without discrimination in favor of or against any member institution;

(3) At the time of election, or within a reasonable time thereafter, have a working familiarity with basic finance and accounting practices, including the ability to read and understand the regulated entity's balance sheet and income statement and to ask substantive questions of management and the internal and external auditors;

(4) Direct the operations of the regulated entity in conformity with the requirements set forth in the authorizing statutes, the Safety and Soundness Act, and this chapter; and

(5) Adopt and maintain in effect at all times bylaws governing the manner in which the regulated entity administers its affairs. Such bylaws shall be consistent with applicable laws and regulations administered by FHFA, and with the body of law designated for the entity's corporate governance practices and procedures in accordance with § 1239.3(b).

(c) Director responsibilities. The responsibilities of the board of directors include having in place adequate policies to assure its oversight of, among other matters, the following:

(1) The risk management and compensation programs of the regulated entity;

(2) The processes for providing accurate financial reporting and other disclosures, and communications with stockholders; and

(3) The responsiveness of executive officers in providing accurate and timely reports to FHFA and in addressing all supervisory concerns of FHFA in a timely and appropriate manner.

(d) Authority regarding staff and outside consultants. (1) In carrying out its duties and responsibilities under the authorizing statutes, the Safety and Soundness Act, and this chapter, each regulated entity's board of directors and all committees thereof shall have authority to retain staff and outside counsel, independent accountants, or other outside consultants at the expense of the regulated entity.

(2) The board of directors and its committees may require that staff of the regulated entity that provides services to the board or any committee under paragraph (d)(1) of this section report directly to the board or such committee, as appropriate.

§ 1239.5 Board committees.

(a) General. The board of directors may rely, in directing a regulated entity, on reports from committees of the board of directors, provided, however, that no committee of the board of directors shall have the authority of the board of directors to amend the bylaws and no committee shall operate to relieve the board of directors or any board member of a responsibility imposed by applicable law, rule, or regulation.

(b) Required committees. The board of directors of each regulated entity shall have committees, however styled, that address each of the following areas of responsibility: Risk management; audit; compensation; and corporate governance (in the case of the Banks, including the nomination of independent board of director candidates, and, in the case of the Enterprises, including the nomination of all board of director candidates). The risk management committee and the audit committee shall not be combined with any other committees. The board of directors may establish any other committees that it deems necessary or useful to carrying out its responsibilities, subject to the provisions of this section. In the case of the Enterprises, board committees shall comply with the charter, independence, composition, expertise, duties, responsibilities, and other requirements set forth under rules issued by the NYSE, and the audit committees shall also comply with the requirements set forth under section 301 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, Public Law 107-204.

(c) Charter. The board of directors shall adopt a formal written charter for each committee that specifies the scope of a committee's powers and responsibilities, as well as the committee's structure, processes, and membership requirements.

(d) Frequency of meetings. Each committee of the board of directors shall meet regularly and with sufficient frequency to carry out its obligations and duties under applicable laws, rules, regulations, and guidelines. Committees that are structured to meet only on an as-needed basis shall meet in the manner specified by their charter. All such committees shall also meet with sufficient timeliness as necessary in light of relevant conditions and circumstances to fulfill their obligations and duties.

Subpart C—Other Requirements Applicable to All Regulated Entities
§ 1239.10 Code of conduct and ethics.

(a) General. A regulated entity shall establish and administer a written code of conduct and ethics that is reasonably designed to assure that its directors, officers, and employees discharge their duties and responsibilities in an objective and impartial manner that promotes honest and ethical conduct, compliance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations, accountability for adherence to the code, and prompt internal reporting of violations of the code to appropriate persons identified in the code. The code also shall include provisions applicable to the regulated entity's principal executive officer, principal financial officer, principal accounting officer or controller, or persons performing similar functions, that are reasonably designed to promote full, fair, accurate, and understandable disclosure in reports and other documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and in other public communications reporting on the entity's financial condition.

(b) Review. Not less often than once every three years, a regulated entity shall review the adequacy of its code of conduct and ethics for consistency with practices appropriate to the entity and make any appropriate revisions to such code.

§ 1239.11 Risk management.

(a) Risk management program—(1) Adoption. Each regulated entity's board of directors shall approve, have in effect at all times, and periodically review an enterprise-wide risk management program that establishes the regulated entity's risk appetite, aligns the risk appetite with the regulated entity's strategies and objectives, addresses the regulated entity's exposure to credit risk, market risk, liquidity risk, business risk and operational risk, and complies with the requirements of this part and with all applicable FHFA regulations and policies.

(2) Risk appetite. The board of directors shall ensure that the risk management program aligns with the regulated entity's risk appetite.

(3) Risk management program requirements. The risk management program shall include:

(i) Risk limitations appropriate to each business line of the regulated entity;

(ii) Appropriate policies and procedures relating to risk management governance, risk oversight infrastructure, and processes and systems for identifying and reporting risks, including emerging risks;

(iii) Provisions for monitoring compliance with the regulated entity's risk limit structure and policies relating to risk management governance, risk oversight, and effective and timely implementation of corrective actions; and

(iv) Provisions specifying management's authority and independence to carry out risk management responsibilities, and the integration of risk management with management's goals and compensation structure.

(b) Risk committee. The board of each regulated entity shall establish and maintain a risk committee of the board of directors that assists the board in carrying out its duties to oversee the enterprise-wide risk management program at the regulated entity.

(1) Committee structure. The risk committee shall:

(i) Be chaired by a director not serving in a management capacity of the regulated entity;

(ii) Have at least one member with risk management experience that is commensurate with the regulated entity's capital structure, risk appetite, complexity, activities, size, and other appropriate risk-related factors;

(iii) Have committee members that have, or that will acquire within a reasonable time after being elected to the committee, a practical understanding of risk management principles and practices relevant to the regulated entity;

(iv) Fully document and maintain records of its meetings, including its risk management decisions and recommendations; and

(v) Report directly to the board and not as part of, or combined with, another committee.

(2) Committee responsibilities. The risk committee shall:

(i) Periodically review and recommend for board approval an appropriate enterprise-wide risk management program that is commensurate with the regulated entity's capital structure, risk appetite, complexity, activities, size, and other appropriate risk-related factors;

(ii) Receive and review regular reports from the regulated entity's chief risk officer, as required under paragraph (c)(5) of this section ; and

(iii) Periodically review the capabilities for, and adequacy of resources allocated to, enterprise-wide risk management.

(c) Chief Risk Officer.—(1) Appointment of a chief risk officer (CRO). Each regulated entity shall appoint a CRO to implement and maintain appropriate enterprise-wide risk management practices for the regulated entity.

(2) Organizational structure of the risk management function. The CRO shall head an independent enterprise-wide risk management function, or unit, and shall report directly to the risk committee and to the chief executive officer.

(3) Responsibilities of the CRO. The CRO shall be responsible for the enterprise-wide risk management function, including:

(i) Allocating risk limits and monitoring compliance with such limits;

(ii) Establishing appropriate policies and procedures relating to risk management governance, practices, and risk controls, and developing appropriate processes and systems for identifying and reporting risks, including emerging risks;

(iii) Monitoring risk exposures, including testing risk controls and verifying risk measures; and

(iv) Communicating within the organization about any risk management issues and/or emerging risks, and ensuring that risk management issues are effectively resolved in a timely manner.

(4) The CRO should have risk management expertise that is commensurate with the regulated entity's capital structure, risk appetite, complexity, activities, size, and other appropriate risk related factors.

(5) The CRO shall report regularly to the risk committee and to the chief executive officer on significant risk exposures and related controls, changes to risk appetite, risk management strategies, results of risk management reviews, and emerging risks. The CRO shall also report regularly on the regulated entity's compliance with, and the adequacy of, its current risk management policies and procedures, and shall recommend any adjustments to such policies and procedures that he or she considers necessary or appropriate.

(6) The compensation of a regulated entity's CRO shall be appropriately structured to provide for an objective and independent assessment of the risks taken by the regulated entity.

§ 1239.12 Compliance program.

A regulated entity shall establish and maintain a compliance program that is reasonably designed to assure that the regulated entity complies with applicable laws, rules, regulations, and internal controls. The compliance program shall be headed by a compliance officer, however styled, who reports directly to the chief executive officer. The compliance officer also shall report regularly to the board of directors, or an appropriate committee thereof, on the adequacy of the entity's compliance policies and procedures, including the entity's compliance with them, and shall recommend any revisions to such policies and procedures that he or she considers necessary or appropriate.

§ 1239.13 Regulatory reports.

(a) Reports. Each regulated entity shall file Regulatory Reports with FHFA in accordance with the forms, instructions, and schedules issued by FHFA from time to time. If no regularly scheduled reporting dates are established, Regulatory Reports shall be filed as requested by FHFA.

(b) Definition. For purposes of this section, the term Regulatory Report means any report to FHFA of information or raw or summary data needed to evaluate the safe and sound condition or operations of a regulated entity, or to determine compliance with any:

(1) Provision in the Bank Act, Safety and Soundness Act, or other law, order, rule, or regulation;

(2) Condition imposed in writing by FHFA in connection with the granting of any application or other request by a regulated entity; or

(3) Written agreement entered into between FHFA and a regulated entity.

Subpart D—Enterprise Specific Requirements
§ 1239.20 Board of directors of the Enterprises.

(a) Membership—(1) Limits on service of board members.—(i) General requirement. No board member of an Enterprise may serve on the board of directors for more than 10 years or past the age of 72, whichever comes first; provided, however, a board member may serve his or her full term if he or she has served less than 10 years or is 72 years on the date of his or her election or appointment to the board; and

(ii) Waiver. Upon written request of an Enterprise, the Director may waive, in his or her sole discretion and for good cause, the limits on the service of a board member under paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section.

(2) Independence of board members. A majority of seated members of the board of directors of an Enterprise shall be independent board members, as defined under rules set forth by the NYSE, as amended from time to time.

(3) Segregation of duties. The position of chairperson of the board of directors shall be filled by a person other than the chief executive officer, who shall also be a director of the Enterprise that is independent, as defined under the rules set forth by the NYSE, as amended from time to time.

(b) Meetings, quorum and proxies, information, and annual review—(1) Frequency of meetings. The board of directors of an Enterprise shall meet at least eight times a year and no less than once a calendar quarter to carry out its obligations and duties under applicable laws, rules, regulations, and guidelines.

(2) Non-management board member meetings. Non-management directors of an Enterprise shall meet at regularly scheduled executive sessions without management participation.

(3) Quorum of board of directors; proxies not permissible. For the transaction of business, a quorum of the board of directors of an Enterprise is at least a majority of the seated board of directors and a board member may not vote by proxy.

(4) Information. Management of an Enterprise shall provide a board member of the Enterprise with such adequate and appropriate information that a reasonable board member would find important to the fulfillment of his or her fiduciary duties and obligations.

(5) Annual review. At least annually, the board of directors of an Enterprise shall be informed of significant changes to the requirements of laws, rules, regulations, and guidelines that are applicable to its activities and duties.

§ 1239.21 Compensation of Enterprise board members.

Each Enterprise may pay its directors reasonable and appropriate compensation for the time required of them, and their necessary and reasonable expenses, in the performance of their duties.

Subpart E—Bank Specific Requirements
§ 1239.30 Bank member products policy.

(a) Adoption and review of member products policy—(1) Adoption. Each Bank's board of directors shall have in effect at all times a policy that addresses the Bank's management of products offered by the Bank to members and housing associates, including but not limited to advances, standby letters of credit, and acquired member assets, consistent with the requirements of the Bank Act, paragraph (b) of this section, and all applicable FHFA regulations and policies.

(2) Review and compliance. Each Bank's board of directors shall:

(i) Review the Bank's member products policy annually;

(ii) Amend the member products policy as appropriate; and

(iii) Re-adopt the member products policy, including interim amendments, not less often than every three years.

(b) Member products policy requirements. In addition to meeting any other requirements set forth in this chapter, each Bank's member products policy shall:

(1) Address credit underwriting criteria to be applied in evaluating applications for advances, standby letters of credit, and renewals;

(2) Address appropriate levels of collateralization, valuation of collateral and discounts applied to collateral values for advances and standby letters of credit;

(3) Address advances-related fees to be charged by each Bank, including any schedules or formulas pertaining to such fees;

(4) Address standards and criteria for pricing member products, including differential pricing of advances pursuant to § 1266.5(b)(2) of this chapter, and criteria regarding the pricing of standby letters of credit, including any special pricing provisions for standby letters of credit that facilitate the financing of projects that are eligible for any of the Banks' CICA programs under part 1292 of this chapter;

(5) Provide that, for any draw made by a beneficiary under a standby letter of credit, the member will be charged a processing fee calculated in accordance with the requirements of § 1271.6(b) of this chapter;

(6) Address the maintenance of appropriate systems, procedures, and internal controls; and

(7) Address the maintenance of appropriate operational and personnel capacity.

§ 1239.31 Strategic business plan.

(a) Adoption of strategic business plan. Each Bank's board of directors shall have in effect at all times a strategic business plan that describes how the business activities of the Bank will achieve the mission of the Bank consistent with part 1265 of this chapter. Specifically, each Bank's strategic business plan shall:

(1) Enumerate operating goals and objectives for each major business activity and for all new business activities, which must include plans for maximizing activities that further the Bank's housing finance and community lending mission, consistent with part 1265 of this chapter;

(2) Discuss how the Bank will address credit needs and market opportunities identified through ongoing market research and consultations with members, associates, and public and private organizations;

(3) Establish quantitative performance goals for Bank products related to multi-family housing, small business, small farm and small agri-business lending;

(4) Describe any proposed new business activities or enhancements of existing activities; and

(5) Be supported by appropriate and timely research and analysis of relevant market developments and member and associate demand for Bank products and services.

(b) Review and monitoring. Each Bank's board of directors shall:

(1) Review the Bank's strategic business plan at least annually;

(2) Re-adopt the Bank's strategic business plan, including interim amendments, not less often than every three years; and

(3) Establish management reporting requirements and monitor implementation of the strategic business plan and the operating goals and objectives contained therein.

(c) Report to FHFA. Each Bank shall submit to FHFA annually a report analyzing and describing the Bank's performance in achieving the goals described in paragraph (a)(3) of this section.

§ 1239.32 Audit committee.

(a) Establishment. The audit committee of each Bank established as required by § 1239.5(b) shall be consistent with the requirements set forth in this section.

(b) Composition. (1) The audit committee shall comprise five or more persons drawn from the Bank's board of directors, each of whom shall meet the criteria of independence set forth in paragraph (c) of this section.

(2) The audit committee shall include, to the extent practicable, a balance of representatives of:

(i) Community financial institutions and other members; and

(ii) Independent directors and member directors of the Bank, both as defined in the Bank Act.

(3) The terms of audit committee members shall be appropriately staggered so as to provide for continuity of service.

(4) At least one member of the audit committee shall have extensive accounting or related financial management experience.

(c) Independence. Any member of the Bank's board of directors shall be considered to be sufficiently independent to serve as a member of the audit committee if that director does not have a disqualifying relationship with the Bank or its management that would interfere with the exercise of that director's independent judgment. Such disqualifying relationships include, but are not limited to:

(1) Being employed by the Bank in the current year or any of the past five years;

(2) Accepting any compensation from the Bank other than compensation for service as a board director;

(3) Serving or having served in any of the past five years as a consultant, advisor, promoter, underwriter, or legal counsel of or to the Bank; or

(4) Being an immediate family member of an individual who is, or has been in any of the past five years, employed by the Bank as an executive officer.

(d) Charter. (1) The audit committee of each Bank shall review and assess the adequacy of the Bank's audit committee charter on an annual basis, and shall recommend to the board of directors any amendments that it believes to be appropriate;

(2) The board of directors of each Bank shall review and assess the adequacy of the audit committee charter on an annual basis, shall amend the audit committee charter whenever it deems it appropriate to do so, and shall reapprove the audit committee charter not less often than every three years; and

(3) Each Bank's audit committee charter shall:

(i) Provide that the audit committee has the responsibility to select, evaluate and, where appropriate, replace the internal auditor and that the internal auditor may be removed only with the approval of the audit committee;

(ii) Provide that the internal auditor shall report directly to the audit committee on substantive matters and that the internal auditor is ultimately accountable to the audit committee and board of directors; and

(iii) Provide that both the internal auditor and the external auditor shall have unrestricted access to the audit committee without the need for any prior management knowledge or approval.

(e) Duties. Each Bank's audit committee shall have the duty to:

(1) Direct senior management to maintain the reliability and integrity of the accounting policies and financial reporting and disclosure practices of the Bank;

(2) Review the basis for the Bank's financial statements and the external auditor's opinion rendered with respect to such financial statements (including the nature and extent of any significant changes in accounting principles or the application thereof) and ensure that policies are in place that are reasonably designed to achieve disclosure and transparency regarding the Bank's true financial performance and governance practices;

(3) Oversee the internal audit function by:

(i) Reviewing the scope of audit services required, significant accounting policies, significant risks and exposures, audit activities, and audit findings;

(ii) Assessing the performance and determining the compensation of the internal auditor; and

(iii) Reviewing and approving the internal auditor's work plan.

(4) Oversee the external audit function by:

(i) Approving the external auditor's annual engagement letter;

(ii) Reviewing the performance of the external auditor; and

(iii) Making recommendations to the Bank's board of directors regarding the appointment, renewal, or termination of the external auditor.

(5) Provide an independent, direct channel of communication between the Bank's board of directors and the internal and external auditors;

(6) Conduct or authorize investigations into any matters within the audit committee's scope of responsibilities;

(7) Ensure that senior management has established and is maintaining an adequate internal control system within the Bank by:

(i) Reviewing the Bank's internal control system and the resolution of identified material weaknesses and significant deficiencies in the internal control system, including the prevention or detection of management override or compromise of the internal control system; and

(ii) Reviewing the programs and policies of the Bank designed to ensure compliance with applicable laws, regulations and policies, and monitoring the results of these compliance efforts;

(8) Review the policies established by senior management to assess and monitor implementation of the Bank's strategic business plan and the operating goals and objectives contained therein; and

(9) Report periodically its findings to the Bank's board of directors.

(f) Meetings. The audit committee shall prepare written minutes of each audit committee meeting.

§ 1239.33 Dividends.

A Bank's board of directors may not declare or pay a dividend based on projected or anticipated earnings and may not declare or pay a dividend if the par value of the Bank's stock is impaired or is projected to become impaired after paying such dividend.

CHAPTER XVII—OFFICE OF FEDERAL HOUSING ENTERPRISE OVERSIGHT, DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT SUBCHAPTER C—SAFETY AND SOUNDNESS PART 1710—[REMOVED] 6. Remove part 1710. PART 1720—[REMOVED] 7. Remove part 1720. Dated: November 10, 2015. Melvin L. Watt, Director, Federal Housing Finance Agency.
[FR Doc. 2015-29367 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8070-01-P
CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION 16 CFR Parts 1109 and 1500 [Docket No. CPSC-2011-0081] Amendment To Clarify When Component Part Testing Can Be Used and Which Textile Products Have Been Determined Not To Exceed the Allowable Lead Content Limits; Delay of Effective Date and Extension of Comment Period AGENCY:

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

ACTION:

Direct final rule; delay of effective date and extension of comment period.

SUMMARY:

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (“Commission” or “CPSC”) published a direct final rule (“DFR”) and notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPR”) in the same issue of the Federal Register on October 14, 2015, clarifying when component part testing can be used and clarifying which textile products have been determined not to exceed the allowable lead content limits. The DFR provided that, unless the Commission receives a significant adverse comment by November 13, 2015, the DFR would become effective on December 14, 2015. In response to a request for an extension of time for comments, the Commission is extending the comment period to December 14, 2015. The Commission is also delaying the effective date for the DFR to January 13, 2016.

DATES:

The effective date for the direct final rule published October 14, 2015, at 80 FR 61729, is delayed from December 14, 2015, until January 13, 2016. The rule will be effective unless we receive a significant adverse comment. If we receive a significant adverse comment, we will publish notification in the Federal Register withdrawing this direct final rule before its effective date. The comment date is extended to December 14, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CPSC-2011-0081, by any of the following methods:

Electronic Submissions

Submit electronic comments in the following way:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. The Commission does not accept comments submitted by electronic mail (email), except through: http://www.regulations.gov. The Commission encourages you to submit electronic comments by using the Federal eRulemaking Portal, as described above.

Written Submissions

Submit written submissions in the following way:

Mail/Hand delivery/Courier, preferably in five copies, to: Office of the Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Room 820, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814; telephone (301) 504-7923.

Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this notice. All comments received may be posted without change, including any personal identifiers, contact information, or other personal information provided, to: http://www.regulations.gov. Do not submit confidential business information, trade secret information, or other sensitive or protected information electronically. Such information should be submitted in writing.

Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to: http://www.regulations.gov and insert the Docket No. CPSC-2011-0081 into the “Search” box and follow the prompts.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On October 14, 2015, the Commission published a DFR and an NPR in the Federal Register, clarifying when component part testing can be used and clarifying which textile products have been determined not to exceed the allowable lead content limits. (DFR, 80 FR 61729 and NPR, 80 FR 61773). The American Apparel and Footwear Association (“AAFA”) has requested an extension of the comment period for 30 days because AAFA-member companies are currently reviewing the Commission's proposed amendment to the rule and need additional time to submit comments.

The Commission has considered the request and is extending the comment period for an additional 30 days. Because 30-day extension date falls on a Sunday, the comment period will close on December 14, 2015. The Commission believes that this extension allows adequate time for interested persons to submit comments on the proposed rule, without significantly delaying the rulemaking. Because the Commission is extending the period for comments 30 days, the Commission is extending the effective date for the DFR 30 days, as well. Thus, unless the Commission receives a significant adverse comment by December 14, 2015, the rule will become effective on January 13, 2016.

Alberta E. Mills, Acting Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission.
[FR Doc. 2015-29503 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6355-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 138 [Docket No. USCG-2013-1006] RIN 1625-AC14 Consumer Price Index Adjustments of Oil Pollution Act of 1990 Limits of Liability—Vessels, Deepwater Ports and Onshore Facilities AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard is issuing a final rule to increase the limits of liability for vessels, deepwater ports, and onshore facilities, under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, as amended (OPA 90), to reflect significant increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This final rule also establishes a simplified regulatory procedure for the Coast Guard to make future required periodic CPI increases to these OPA 90 limits of liability. These regulatory inflation increases to the limits of liability are required by OPA 90 and are necessary to preserve the deterrent effect and “polluter pays” principle embodied in OPA 90. In addition, this final rule clarifies applicability of the OPA 90 vessel limits of liability to edible oil cargo tank vessels and tank vessels designated as oil spill response vessels. This clarification to the prior regulatory text is needed for consistency with OPA 90. Finally, this rule makes several non-substantive clarifying and editorial revisions to the regulatory text. This rulemaking promotes the Coast Guard's missions of maritime safety and maritime stewardship.

DATES:

This final rule is effective December 21, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For information about this document call or email Benjamin White, Coast Guard; telephone 202-309-1937, email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents for Preamble I. Abbreviations II. Basis and Purpose III. Background and Regulatory History A. Creation of 33 CFR Part 138, Subpart B B. Prior Regulatory Inflation Adjustments to the OPA 90 Limits of Liability for Vessels and Deepwater Ports C. Clarification of the Coast Guard's Delegated Authority To Adjust the Onshore Facility Limit of Liability D. Overview of Changes Proposed by the NPRM for This Rulemaking (CPI-2 NPRM) IV. Discussion of Comments and Changes A. Limit of Liability Adjustments B. Simplified Regulatory Procedure for Future Inflation Adjustments to the Limits C. Inflation Adjustment Methodology D. Clarifying Applicability of the “Other Vessel” Limits of Liability to Edible Oil Tank Vessels and Oil Spill Response Vessels E. Applicability of the Tank Vessel Limits of Liability, Including for MODUs F. Other Revisions to Clarify the Regulatory Text V. Regulatory Analyses A. Regulatory Planning and Review B. Small Entities C. Assistance for Small Entities D. Collection of Information E. Federalism F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act G. Taking of Private Property H. Civil Justice Reform I. Protection of Children J. Indian Tribal Governments K. Energy Effects L. Technical Standards M. Environment I. Abbreviations Annual CPI-U The Annual “Consumer Price Index—All Urban Consumers, Not Seasonally Adjusted, U.S. City Average, All Items, 1982-84=100” BLS U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics BOEM The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management CFR Code of Federal Regulations COFR Certificate of Financial Responsibility COFR Rule The Coast Guard regulation, at 33 CFR part 138, subpart A, implementing the requirements under OPA 90 (33 U.S.C. 2716 and 2716a) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (42 U.S.C. 9608 and 9609) for responsible parties to establish and maintain evidence of financial responsibility in the event of an oil spill incident or hazardous substance release. CPI Consumer Price Index CPI-1 Rule The Coast Guard's first rulemaking amending 33 CFR part 138, subpart B, to adjust the OPA 90 limits of liability for vessels and deepwater ports for inflation, as required by 33 U.S.C. 2704(d)(4), and to establish the Coast Guard's procedure for future required inflation adjustments to the OPA 90 limits of liability (Docket No. USCG-2008-0007). See 73 FR 54997 (September 24, 2008) [CPI-1 NPRM]; 74 FR 31357 (July 1, 2009) [CPI-1 Interim Rule]; 75 FR 750 (January 6, 2010) [CPI-1 Final Rule]. CPI-2 NPRM The NPRM for this rulemaking, published at 79 FR 49206 (August 19, 2014). CPI-2 Rule This rulemaking, which is the Coast Guard's second rulemaking under 33 U.S.C. 2704(d)(4) to amend 33 CFR part 138, subpart B, to adjust the OPA 90 vessel and deepwater port limits of liability for inflation, and the first rulemaking adjusting the onshore facility limit of liability for inflation (Docket No. USCG-2013-1006). Deepwater port A facility licensed under the Deepwater Port Act of 1974 (33 U.S.C. 1501-1524) DHS U.S. Department of Homeland Security DRPA The Delaware River Protection Act of 2006, Title VI of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2006, Pub. L. 109-241, July 11, 2006, 120 Stat. 516 E.O. Executive Order FR Federal Register Fund The Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund created by 26 U.S.C. 9509, and administered by NPFC LNG Liquefied natural gas LOOP Louisiana Offshore Oil Port MARAD U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration MODU Mobile offshore drilling unit NPFC U.S. Coast Guard, National Pollution Funds Center NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking OMB U.S. Office of Management and Budget OPA 90 The Oil Pollution Act of 1990, as amended (33 U.S.C. 2701, et seq.) SBA U.S. Small Business Administration § Section symbol U.S. United States U.S.C. United States Code II. Basis and Purpose

In general, under Title I of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, as amended (OPA 90),1 the responsible parties for any vessel (other than a public vessel) 2 or for any facility 3 from which oil is discharged, or which poses a substantial threat of discharge of oil, into or upon the navigable waters or the adjoining shorelines or the exclusive economic zone of the United States, are strictly liable, jointly and severally, under 33 U.S.C. 2702 for the removal costs and damages that result from such incident (“OPA 90 removal costs and damages”). Under 33 U.S.C. 2704, however, a responsible party's OPA 90 liability with respect to any one incident 4 is limited (with certain exceptions set forth in 33 U.S.C. 2704(c)) to a specified dollar amount.

1 33 U.S.C. 2701, et seq.

2 Public vessels are expressly excluded from OPA 90 coverage. See 33 U.S.C. 2701(29) and (37) (definitions of public vessel and vessel) and 33 U.S.C. 2702(c)(2) (public vessel exclusion).

3 OPA 90 (33 U.S.C. 2701(9)) defines “facility” as “any structure, group of structures, equipment, or device (other than a vessel) which is used for one or more of the following purposes: Exploring for, drilling for, producing, storing, handling, transferring, processing, or transporting oil. This term includes any motor vehicle, rolling stock, or pipeline used for one or more of these purposes”.

4 The term “incident” is defined in 33 U.S.C. 2701(14) as “any occurrence or series of occurrences having the same origin, involving one or more vessels, facilities, or any combination thereof, resulting in the discharge or substantial threat of discharge of oil”.

In instances when a limit of liability applies, the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (Fund) is available to compensate the OPA 90 removal costs and damages incurred by the responsible party and third-party claimants in excess of the applicable limit of liability.5 This Fund is managed by the Coast Guard's National Pollution Funds Center (NPFC).

5 See 33 U.S.C. 2708, 2712(a)(4) and 2713; and 33 CFR part 136. A more comprehensive description of the Fund can be found in the Coast Guard's May 12, 2005, “Report on Implementation of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990”, which is available in the docket.

OPA 90 sets forth the statutory limits of liability for vessels and three types of facilities: Onshore facilities, deepwater ports licensed under the Deepwater Port Act of 1974 (hereinafter “deepwater ports”), and offshore facilities other than deepwater ports.6 In addition, to prevent the real value of the OPA 90 statutory limits of liability from depreciating over time as a result of inflation and preserve the “polluter pays” principle embodied in OPA 90, 33 U.S.C. 2704(d)(4) requires that the OPA 90 limits of liability be adjusted by regulation “not less than every 3 years . . . to reflect significant increases in the Consumer Price Index”.7

6 The term “onshore facility” is defined in 33 U.S.C. 2701(24) as “any facility (including but not limited to, motor vehicles and rolling stock) of any kind located in, on, or under, any land within the United States other than submerged land”. The term “deepwater port” is defined in 33 U.S.C. 2701(6) as “a facility licensed under the Deepwater Port Act of 1974 (33 U.S.C. 1501-1524)”. The term “offshore facility” is defined in 33 U.S.C. 2701(24) as “any facility of any kind located in, on, or under any of the navigable waters of the United States, and any facility of any kind which is subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and is located in, on, or under any other waters, other than a vessel or a public vessel;” Onshore facilities, deepwater ports and offshore facilities include component pipelines. See definition of “facility” in footnote 3, above.

7 33 U.S.C. 2704(d)(4).

The President has delegated this regulatory authority to the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating, in respect to the statutory limits of liability for vessels, deepwater ports, and onshore facilities. The Secretary of Homeland Security has further delegated this authority to the Commandant of the Coast Guard.8

8 The regulatory authority to adjust the offshore facility limit of liability for damages has been delegated to the Secretary of the Interior. See further discussion of the delegations in Part III.C., below, under Background and Regulatory History.

In this final rule we are making four changes to the Coast Guard regulations at 33 CFR part 138, subpart B. First, we are carrying out the required inflation adjustments to the OPA 90 limits of liability for vessels, deepwater ports and onshore facilities. Second, we are establishing a simplified regulatory procedure to ensure timely future required inflation adjustments to those limits of liability. Third, we are clarifying applicability of the OPA 90 vessel limits of liability to edible oil cargo tank vessels and to tank vessels designated in their certificates of inspection as oil spill response vessels.9 This clarification to the regulatory text is needed for consistency with OPA 90. Fourth, we are making several non-substantive clarifying and editorial revisions to the regulatory text. These revisions include adding a cross-reference to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) section that sets forth the offshore facility limit of liability for damages, as adjusted for inflation by the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). That limit of liability can be found at 30 CFR 553.702. The regulatory text revisions made by this final rule were discussed in the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), and the Coast Guard is adopting them today without substantive change.

9 33 U.S.C. 2704(c)(4).

III. Background and Regulatory History A. Creation of 33 CFR Part 138, Subpart B

In 2008, we promulgated 33 CFR part 138, subpart B, setting forth the OPA 90 limits of liability for vessels and deepwater ports. (See, Docket No. USCG-2005-21780.) This was done in anticipation of the Coast Guard periodically adjusting those limits of liability to reflect significant increases in the CPI, as required by 33 U.S.C. 2704(d)(4), and to ensure that the applicable amounts of OPA 90 financial responsibility that must be demonstrated and maintained by vessel and deepwater port responsible parties, as required by 33 U.S.C. 2716 and 33 CFR part 138, subpart A (COFR Rule), would always equal the applicable OPA 90 limits of liability as adjusted over time.

B. Prior Regulatory Inflation Adjustments to the OPA 90 Limits of Liability for Vessels and Deepwater Ports

We published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on September 24, 2008 (73 FR 54997) (CPI-1 NPRM), and an interim rule with request for comments on July 1, 2009 (74 FR 31357) (CPI-1 Interim Rule) adjusting the vessel and deepwater port limits of liability at 33 CFR part 138, subpart B, to reflect significant increases in the CPI.10 The CPI-1 Interim Rule also established the Coast Guard's procedures and methodology for adjusting the OPA 90 limits of liability for inflation over time at § 138.240.

10 This included adjustments to the regulatory limit of liability established for the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) under the OPA 90 deepwater port risk-based limit of liability adjustment authority at 33 U.S.C. 2704(d)(2), 60 FR 39849 (August 4, 1995). See the CPI-1 Rule for more background on LOOP. We promulgated the CPI-1 Rule adjustments as an interim, rather than final, rule to clarify the regulatory text in response to a late comment we received on a related 2008 rulemaking amending the COFR Rule. That comment is discussed below in Part IV.E., in response to a comment submitted on this rulemaking.

We received no adverse public comments on the CPI-1 Interim Rule. We, therefore, published a final rule on January 6, 2010, adopting the CPI-1 Interim Rule amendments to 33 CFR part 138, subpart B, without change (CPI-1 Final Rule, 75 FR 750).11

11 All Federal Register notices, comments and other materials related to the CPI-1 Rule are available in the public docket for that rulemaking (Docket No. USCG-2008-0007).

C. Clarification of the Coast Guard's Delegated Authority To Adjust the Onshore Facility Limit of Liability

The CPI-1 Rule was the Coast Guard's first set of inflation adjustments to the OPA 90 limits of liability for vessels and deepwater ports. We, however, deferred adjusting the statutory limit of liability for onshore facilities in 33 U.S.C. 2704(a)(4) at that time. This was because Executive Order (E.O.) 12777, Sec. 4, and its implementing re-delegations vested the President's responsibility to adjust the OPA 90 limits of liability in multiple agencies.

Specifically, the delegations vested the President's limit of liability adjustment authorities in the Commandant of the Coast Guard for vessels, deepwater ports and marine transportation-related onshore facilities, in the Secretary of the Department of Transportation for non-marine transportation-related onshore facilities, in the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency for non-transportation-related onshore facilities, and in the Secretary of the Interior for offshore facilities. That division of responsibilities complicated the CPI adjustment rulemaking requirement, particularly in respect to the three sub-categories of onshore facilities. Further interagency coordination was, therefore, needed to avoid inconsistent regulatory treatment.

By deferring the first onshore facility limit of liability inflation adjustment we were able to complete the required first set of inflation increases to the vessel and deepwater port limits of liability by the 2009 statutory deadline established by the Delaware River Protection Act of 2006 (DRPA).12 In addition, as of that date, there had never been an onshore facility incident that exceeded the statutory onshore facility limit of liability, and there were no adverse public comments on our decision to defer the first regulatory inflation adjustment to the onshore facility limit of liability.

12 Title VI of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2006, Public Law 109-241, July 11, 2006, 120 Stat. 516. Section 603 of DRPA added a 2009 statutory deadline for completing the first rulemaking to increase the limits of liability for inflation to 33 U.S.C. 2704(d)(4).

On March 15, 2013, the President signed E.O. 13638, restating and simplifying the delegations in E.O. 12777, Sec. 4, and vesting the authority to make CPI adjustments to the onshore facility statutory limit of liability in “the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating”.13 The restated delegations also require interagency coordination, but otherwise preserve the earlier delegations, including the authority to adjust the limits of liability for vessels and deepwater ports. On July 10, 2013, the Secretary of Homeland Security issued DHS Delegation Number 5110, Revision 01, re-delegating these authorities to the Commandant of the Coast Guard.

13 E.O. 13638, Sec. 1, 3 CFR, 2014 Comp., p.227 (also available at 78 FR 17589, March 21, 2013), amending E.O. 12777, Sec. 4, 3 CFR, 1991 Comp., p. 351, as amended by E.O. 13286, Sec. 89, 3 CFR, 2004 Comp., p. 166.

D. Overview of Changes Proposed by the NPRM for This Rulemaking (CPI-2 NPRM)

On August 19, 2014, we published an NPRM to amend 33 CFR part 138, subpart B (CPI-2 NPRM, at 79 FR 49206). The CPI-2 NPRM proposed four changes to 33 CFR part 138, subpart B. First, we proposed to carry out the second set of inflation adjustments to the vessel and deepwater port limits of liability, and the first inflation adjustment under the Commandant's newly-delegated authorities to the onshore facility statutory limit of liability. Second, we proposed a simplified regulatory procedure, at new § 138.240(a), for the Coast Guard to make future required periodic CPI increases to the OPA 90 limits of liability for vessels, deepwater ports, and onshore facilities. Third, we proposed to clarify applicability of the vessel limits of liability to edible oil cargo tank vessels and oil spill response vessels for consistency with statute, and to renumber some of the subparagraphs for clarity. Fourth, we proposed a number of non-substantive clarifying and editorial revisions to the regulatory text. These revisions included: Updates to the titles for Part 138, Subpart B and § 138.240, to the list of authorities, and to the scope, applicability and definitions sections (e.g., to reflect the addition of the onshore facility limit of liability); adding cross-references (e.g., including a cross-reference in § 138.230(d) to the OPA 90 offshore facility limit of liability for damages as adjusted for inflation by BOEM and set forth at 30 CFR 553.702); and paragraph restructuring and plain language revisions to improve the rule's readability (e.g., replacing public law citations with U.S. code citations).

We discussed the following two issues in the CPI-2 NPRM, and they are of relevance to changes we are making to the regulatory text in this final rule.

1. Updated Annual CPI-U. To keep the limits of liability current, the inflation adjustment methodology established by the CPI-1 Rule at § 138.240 requires that we use the Annual CPI-U that has been most recently published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as the “current period” value. We, therefore, noted in the CPI-2 NPRM that the limits of liability shown in proposed § 138.230 were estimates, calculated using the then-available 2013 Annual CPI-U value of 232.957 as the “current period” value.14 We further noted that we would calculate the limit of liability adjustments at the final rule stage using the most recently-published Annual CPI-U then available, and that the final limits of liability would therefore differ marginally from the proposed values.

14 See Table 24 of the BLS CPI Detailed Reports, which are made available each month at the following link: http://www.bls.gov/cpi/tables.htm.

2. Previous period options. The CPI-2 NPRM notified the public that, after considering any public comments on the proposal, we might re-calculate the inflation adjustments to the deepwater port and onshore facility statutory limit of liability (33 U.S.C. 2704(a)(4)) using the 1990 Annual CPI-U value of 130.7 as the “previous period”. This would be instead of the 2008 Annual CPI-U value of 215.3 that we used to calculate the proposed deepwater port limit of liability (shown in § 138.230(b)(1) of the CPI-2 NPRM), and the 2006 Annual CPI-U “previous period” value of 201.6 that we used to calculate the proposed onshore facility limit of liability (shown in § 138.230(c) of the CPI-2 NPRM).

We discuss public comments received on these topics and how we have resolved them in Part IV, of this preamble, below.

IV. Discussion of Comments and Changes A. Limit of Liability Adjustments

We received nine written submissions to the docket. Two submissions were from citizen advisory groups organized under OPA 90, Sec. 5002. Four submissions (including one set of comments submitted on behalf of two commenters) were from environmental advocacy organizations. One comment document was from a drilling contractor association, and two submissions were from anonymous individuals. We received no requests for public meetings, and held no public meetings for this rulemaking.

1. General public support for the rulemaking. Six commenters expressed general support for the proposal. In addition, one commenter expressed support for prioritizing regulations that provide environmental change. No commenter opposed the proposal. The Coast Guard appreciates this support.

2. Issues raised by the public that are outside the scope of this rulemaking. Two commenters stated that the OPA 90 statutory limits of liability are inadequate and should be significantly increased. Four commenters expressed the view that OPA 90 liability should not be capped. Several of these commenters stated that removing the liability limits would encourage industry best practices and be consistent with Congressional intent that polluters pay for the injuries they cause. These comments are outside the scope of this rulemaking because, as several of the commenters recognized, striking or significantly increasing the statutory limits of liability would require legislative change.

One commenter expressed the view that penalties for oil spills should not be limited. (This comment concerns civil or criminal penalty liability for oil spills, and is therefore in addition to the comments discussed above in the previous paragraph about the adequacy or need for OPA 90 limits of liability for removal costs and damages.) Another commenter stated that independent third parties should audit clean-ups by responsible parties. Both of these comments also are outside the scope of this rulemaking. This rulemaking only concerns the inflation adjustments to the OPA 90 limits of liability for removal costs and damages that are required under 33 U.S.C. 2704(d)(4). It does not concern penalty liability or the procedures for carrying-out removal actions.

3. Updated Annual CPI-U. We received no comments opposing use of the Annual CPI-U that has been most recently published by the BLS, as required in § 138.240.

4. Public comments concerning use of a 1990 “previous period”. No commenter opposed, and five commenters expressed support for, using the 1990 Annual CPI-U as the “previous period” value to adjust the statutory onshore facility and deepwater port limit of liability. Several of these commenters stated that using a 1990 “previous period” would capture the full amount of inflation since OPA 90 was enacted, thereby restoring the onshore facility and deepwater port statutory limit of liability to the amount intended by Congress. One of the commenters stated that using the 1990 “previous period” is appropriate because of the increasing risks to U.S. waters of new, more intensive methods of oil production and transportation, including Bakken crude and tar sands. The commenter expressed the view that the approach would help achieve Congress's intent of ensuring the “polluter pays,” and would encourage onshore facility and deepwater port operators to conduct their operations in the safest manner possible.

5. Final adjusted limits of liability.

As we noted above in Part III.D.1., the inflation adjustment methodology established by the CPI-1 Rule at § 138.240 requires that we use the Annual CPI-U that has been most recently published by the BLS as the “current period” value. This requirement is to keep the limits of liability current. On January 16, 2015, the BLS published the 2014 Annual CPI-U value of 236.736. This is the most recently published Annual CPI-U. We have, therefore, used the 2014 Annual CPI-U as the “current period” value to calculate the new vessel, deepwater port and offshore facility limits of liability established by this final rule.

We also agree with the public comments summarized above, in subpart A.4. of this part, that it is appropriate to use the 1990 Annual CPI-U as the “previous period” value for adjusting the onshore facility and deepwater port statutory limit of liability in 33 U.S.C. 2704(a)(4). This approach captures the full amount of inflation since that limit of liability was established by OPA 90 and is, therefore, consistent with congressional intent. It is also consistent with the approach recently taken by BOEM to adjust the offshore facility limit of liability. (See 79 FR 73832, December 12, 2014.) We have, therefore, recalculated the adjustments to the onshore facility and deepwater port statutory limit of liability using the 1990 Annual CPI-U value of 130.7 as the “previous period”.15

15 We are not changing the approach we used in the CPI-1 Rule to adjust the vessel limits of liability for inflation, where we used the 2006 Annual CPI-U value as the “previous period.” We continue to view that approach as consistent with congressional intent, because in 2006 Congress passed DRPA revising the vessel limits of liability. Importantly, however, Congress did not revise the facility limits of liability in 2006 and has not done so since. Thus, although we used the 2006 CPI-U value in making inflation adjustments to the deepwater port limits of liability in the CPI-1 Rule, and we stated that we would also use that same approach in adjusting the onshore facility limits of liability at some future date, we have now decided (with the benefit of public comments on the issue and for the other reasons discussed above and in the CPI-2 NPRM) to use a different approach in adjusting the limits for deepwater ports and onshore facilities. As explained, we are making inflation adjustments for these limits of liability using the 1990 Annual CPI-U value as the “previous period,” because Congress established these limits in 1990 and has not revised them since that time. In addition to being more consistent with congressional intent and the “polluter pays” principle than our prior approach reflected in the CPI-1 Rule, our revised approach also may encourage onshore facility and deepwater port operators to conduct their operations in the safest manner possible, as a commenter suggested.

Applying the formula set forth in § 138.240(b) for calculating the cumulative percent change in the Annual CPI-U, we have determined that the percent change in the Annual CPI-U exceeds the significance threshold specified in § 138.240(c). We have, therefore, calculated the limit of liability adjustments using the formula set forth in § 138.240(d).

Table 1 shows the vessel, deepwater port and onshore facility limits of liability before their adjustment by this final rule (Previous Limits of Liability), the percent change in the Annual CPI-U, and the final inflation-adjusted limits of liability established by today's final rule at § 138.230 (New Limits of Liability). These New Limits of Liability will take effect on December 21, 2015.

Table 1—CPI-Adjusted Limits of Liability [§ 138.230] Source category Previous limit of
  • liability
  • Percent change in the annual CPI-U New limit of
  • liability
  • (a) Vessels (1) The OPA 90 limits of liability for tank vessels, other than edible oil tank vessels and oil spill response vessels, are— (i) For a single-hull tank vessel greater than 3,000 gross tons,16 the greater of $3,200 per gross ton or $23,496,000 10 The greater of $3,500 per gross ton or $25,845,600. (ii) For a tank vessel greater than 3,000 gross tons, other than a single-hull tank vessel, the greater of $2,000 per gross ton or $17,088,000 10 The greater of $2,200 per gross ton or $18,796,800. (iii) For a single-hull tank vessel less than or equal to 3,000 gross tons, the greater of $3,200 per gross ton or $6,408,000 10 The greater of $3,500 per gross ton or $7,048,800. (iv) For a tank vessel less than or equal to 3,000 gross tons, other than a single-hull tank vessel, the greater of $2,000 per gross ton or $4,272,000 10 The greater of $2,200 per gross ton or $4,699,200. (2) The OPA 90 limits of liability for any vessel other than a vessel listed in subparagraph (a)(1) of § 138.230, including for any edible oil tank vessel and any oil spill response, vessel, are— the greater of $1,000 per gross ton or $854,400 10 The greater of $1,100 per gross ton or $939,800. (b) Deepwater ports (1) The OPA 90 limit of liability for any deepwater port, including for any component pipelines, other than a deepwater port listed in subparagraph (b)(2) of § 138.230, is— $373,800,000 81.1 $633,850,000. (2) The OPA 90 limits of liability for deepwater ports with limits of liability established by regulation under OPA 90 (33 U.S.C. 2704(d)(2)), including for any component pipelines, are— (i) For the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) $87,606,000 10 $96,366,600. (ii) [Reserved] N/A N/A N/A. (c) Onshore facilities The OPA 90 limit of liability for onshore facilities, including, but not limited to, any motor vehicle, rolling stock or onshore pipeline, is $350,000,000 81.1 $633,850,000.
    B. Simplified Regulatory Procedure for Future Inflation Adjustments to the Limits

    Four commenters supported adoption of the simplified regulatory procedure proposed in new § 138.240(a) for making future CPI adjustments to the limits of liability. The Coast Guard appreciates and agrees with these comments. No commenter opposed this proposal. We are, therefore, adopting the simplified regulatory procedure as proposed. This procedure, which is based on a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission fee-adjustment procedure in 18 CFR 381.104(a) and (d), will help ensure regular, timely inflation adjustments to the limits of liability, and is an appropriate and helpful efficiency measure given the mandatory and routine nature of the CPI adjustments.

    16 As of January 1, 2015, tank vessels not equipped with a double hull can no longer operate on waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, including the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), carrying oil in bulk as cargo or cargo residue; and there are no waivers or extensions of the deadline. See Coast Guard message DTG 221736ZDEC14. OPA 90, however, continues to specify limits of liability for single-hull tank vessels. The Coast Guard will, therefore, continue to adjust those limits of liability for inflation.

    C. Inflation Adjustment Methodology

    The CPI-2 NPRM did not propose any substantive changes to the § 138.240 limit of liability adjustment methodology promulgated by the CPI-1 Rule (§ 138.240(b)-(d), and previously designated as paragraphs (a)-(c)). Two commenters, however, expressed support for the inflation significance threshold in § 138.240(c) and the adjustment methodology established by the CPI-1 Rule generally, including the annual reviews the Coast Guard will conduct if the significance threshold is not met after 3 years. We appreciate receiving that input and are today adopting those provisions of § 138.240 with no substantive change.

    The only changes we have made to the regulatory text of § 138.240, as adopted by the CPI-1 Rule, are: (1) Changing the title, (2) adding the simplified regulatory procedure that was proposed as new paragraph § 138.240(a) in the CPI-2 NPRM; (3) redesignating the paragraph lettering in the provisions that follow to accommodate insertion of the simplified regulatory procedure and for clarity; and (4) an editorial amendment to § 138.240(b)(2) to more clearly cross-reference § 138.240(b)(1).

    D. Clarifying Applicability of the “Other Vessel” Limits of Liability to Edible Oil Tank Vessels and Oil Spill Response Vessels

    The CPI-2 NPRM proposed to clarify the regulatory text for consistency with OPA 90 as amended by the 1995 Edible Oil Regulatory Reform Act 17 and the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1998.18 Those amendments to OPA 90 exclude edible oil tank vessels and oil spill response vessels from the definition of “tank vessel”. As a result, both vessel types are classified as a matter of law to the “any other vessel” category for purposes of determining the applicable OPA 90 limits of liability and evidence of financial responsibility requirements.

    17 Pub. L. 104-55, Nov. 20, 1995, 109 Stat. 546, Section 2(d) amending OPA 90 33 U.S.C. 2704(a)(1) and 33 U.S.C. 2716(a).

    18 Pub. L. 105-383, title IV, section 406, Nov. 13, 1998, 112 Stat. 3429.

    One commenter expressed support for our proposal to clarify applicability of the vessel limits of liability to these two vessel categories. We appreciate receiving this comment and believe that the proposed clarification will reduce regulatory uncertainty. No commenter opposed this proposal. We are therefore adopting the proposed regulatory text clarification, with minor non-substantive editorial revisions.

    E. Applicability of the Tank Vessel Limits of Liability, Including for MODUs

    One commenter recommended that the Coast Guard amend the regulatory text to further clarify that a mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) that is not “constructed or adapted to carry, or carries, oil in bulk as cargo or cargo residue” is subject to the lower tank vessel limits of liability in § 138.230(a)(1)(ii) and (iv). The commenter's understanding of the rule is correct. We, however, already clarified this issue in the CPI-1 Rule. Resolving this issue was, indeed, the only reason we published the CPI-1 Rule initially as an interim rule, rather than a final rule, in July, 2009.

    Specifically, in response to late comments we received on our separate but related 2008 COFR Rule amendments (Docket No. USCG-2005-21780), our CPI-1 Interim Rule proposed a new definition in § 138.220 for the term “single-hull”. The revision limited the term “single-hull” to a tank vessel that is “constructed or adapted to carry, or that carries, oil in bulk as cargo or cargo residue.” In addition, we added limiting language in § 138.230(a). We received no adverse public comments on those proposed CPI-1 Interim Rule revisions and, therefore, adopted the clarifications in the CPI-1 Final Rule without change.

    Those regulatory text revisions made clear that any tank vessel that does not meet the regulatory definition of “single hull”—including but not limited to a MODU that is neither constructed nor adapted to carry, and that does not carry, oil in bulk as cargo or cargo residue—are excluded from the single-hull tank vessel limit of liability categories in § 138.230(a)(1)(i) and (iii). All such vessels are instead subject to the “other than a single-hull tank vessel” limit of liability categories in § 138.230(a)(1)(ii) and (iv).

    Therefore, since the same standard applies to all tank vessels (i.e., a vessel either is, or is not, a vessel “constructed or adapted to carry, or that carries, oil in bulk as cargo or cargo residue”), we do not see a need to single-out specific categories of tank vessels, such as MODUs, in the regulatory text. Singling out MODUs could, moreover, create unintended ambiguity respecting applicability of the general standard to other types of tank vessels.

    We note that this issue is very different from the clarifications we are adopting today in respect to the treatment of edible oil tank vessels and oil spill response vessels. We are adopting those clarifications because those two vessel categories are, as a matter of law, not “tank vessels” under OPA 90.19 They are, therefore, subject to the “other vessel” limits of liability in § 138.230(a)(2), rather than any of the “tank vessel” limits of liability in § 138.230(a)(1). A MODU, by comparison, is treated in OPA 90 as a “tank vessel”.20

    19 See 33 U.S.C. 2704(c)(4)(A) and (B).

    20 33 U.S.C. 2704(b)(1).

    F. Other Revisions To Clarify the Regulatory Text

    The CPI-2 NPRM proposed a number of non-substantive clarifying and editorial changes to the regulatory text to improve its readability. These included: Updates to titles, and the list of authorities and definitions; adding cross-references, including a cross-reference in § 138.230(d) to the OPA 90 offshore facility limit of liability for damages as adjusted for inflation by BOEM; paragraph restructuring and renumbering to accommodate new regulatory text; and plain language revisions. We received no comments opposing these changes. This final rule, therefore, adopts the proposed changes and we have further clarified and edited the text for readability. The additional revisions include: Further updates to and simplification of the list of authorities citations; wording to clarify applicability of the limits of liability to motor vehicles, rolling stock and pipelines for consistency with OPA 90; simplification of the paragraph structure and introductory clauses in § 138.230 for readability and to eliminate subparagraph titles; and an editorial amendment to § 138.240(b)(2) to more clearly cross-reference § 138.240(b)(1).

    V. Regulatory Analyses

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

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    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 has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the rule has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. A final Regulatory Assessment is available in the docket, and a summary follows.

    1. Regulatory Costs

    We have analyzed the potential costs of this rulemaking, and expect it to:

    Regulatory Cost 1: Increase the cost of liability; and

    Regulatory Cost 2: Increase the cost of establishing and maintaining evidence of financial responsibility.

    a. Discussion of Regulatory Cost 1

    This rule could increase the dollar amount of OPA 90 removal costs and damages the responsible party of a vessel (other than a public vessel), deepwater port, or onshore facility must pay in the event of an OPA 90 incident. This regulatory cost, however, would only be incurred by a responsible party if an incident resulted in OPA 90 removal costs and damages that exceeded the applicable vessel, deepwater port, or onshore facility Previous Limit of Liability. In any such case, assuming as we do in this analysis that the responsible party is entitled to a limit of liability (i.e., that none of the exceptions in 33 U.S.C. 2704(c) apply), the difference between the Previous Limit of Liability amount and the New Limit of Liability amount is the maximum increased cost to the responsible party. The responsible party would have no legal obligation to incur incident costs above this value.

    i. Affected Population—Vessels

    This rule could affect the responsible parties of any vessel (other than a public vessel),21 involved in an OPA 90 incident.22 The impact would, however, only occur if the incident resulted in OPA 90 removal costs and damages in excess of the vessel's Previous Limit of Liability.

    21 According to Coast Guard's MISLE database, there are over 200,000 vessels of various types in the population of vessels using U.S. waters that are not public vessels. Examples of vessel types include, but are not limited to: fish processing vessel, freight barge, freight ship, industrial vessel, mobile offshore drilling unit, offshore supply vessel, oil recovery vessel, passenger vessel, commercial fishing vessel, passenger barge, research vessel, school ship, tank barge, tank ship, and towing vessel.

    22 See the OPA 90 definition of “incident” in footnote 4, above.

    Coast Guard data as of May 2014 indicate that—since OPA 90 was enacted in August of 1990—67 vessel incidents (i.e., an average of approximately three vessel incidents per year) resulted in OPA 90 removal costs and damages in excess of the applicable Previous Limits of Liability.23 For the purpose of this analysis, we have therefore assumed that three OPA 90 vessel incidents with costs exceeding the Previous Limits of Liability would occur each year throughout the 10-year analysis period (2016-2025).

    23 See United States Coast Guard Report to Congress, “Oil Pollution Act Liability Limits in 2014”, Department of Homeland Security, October 2, 2014, which is available in the docket at http://www.regulations.gov, Docket No. USCG-2013-1006, RIN 1625-AC14.

    ii. Affected Population—Deepwater Ports

    This rule could affect the responsible parties of any deepwater port (including its component pipelines) involved in an OPA 90 incident. The impact would, however, only occur if the incident resulted in OPA 90 removal costs and damages in excess of the deepwater port's Previous Limit of Liability.

    Currently there are only two licensed deepwater ports in operation—LOOP and Northeast Gateway. Northeast Gateway is a liquefied natural gas (LNG) port and, as currently designed and operated, uses less than 100 gallons of oil. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that Northeast Gateway would ever be the source of an OPA 90 incident with removal costs and damages in excess of the Previous Limit of Liability. We therefore do not include Northeast Gateway in this analysis.24

    24 Two other similarly-designed LNG deepwater ports, Gulf Gateway Energy Bridge and Port Dolphin, were mentioned in the regulatory analysis for the CPI-1 Rule. But, on June 28, 2013, the Maritime Administrator (MARAD) cleared decommissioning of the Gulf Gateway Energy Bridge, approving termination of its license; and, on August 28, 2015, Port Dolphin Energy LLC Deepwater Port surrendered its license. In addition, MARAD licensed the Neptune LNG, LLC, deepwater port on March 23, 2007. But, on July 22, 2013, MARAD approved a request by Suez Energy North America, Inc., to suspend that deepwater port's operations for five years and to amend its license. Neptune, moreover, has substantially the same design as Northeast Gateway and, therefore, also is not likely to ever have an oil pollution incident with removal costs and damages in excess of the Previous Limit of Liability. These LNG deepwater ports, therefore, also are not included in this analysis. MARAD has received applications for two other LNG deepwater ports, and we expect others will be proposed over the next ten years. If those ports are designed to use substantially the same technology as Northeast Gateway, they also would not be likely to ever have oil pollution incidents with removal costs and damages in excess of the Previous Limit of Liability.

    To date, LOOP (the only oil deepwater port in operation) has not had an OPA 90 incident that resulted in removal costs and damages in excess of LOOP's Previous Limit of Liability of $87,606,000. However, the potential for such a spill exists. Therefore, for the purposes of this analysis, we show the cost of one OPA 90 incident occurring at LOOP over the 10-year analysis period (2016-2025), with OPA 90 removal costs and damages in excess of the Previous Limit of Liability for LOOP.

    iii. Affected Population—Onshore Facilities

    This rule could affect the responsible parties for any onshore facility (including onshore pipelines) involved in an OPA 90 incident. The impact would, however, only occur if the incident resulted in OPA 90 removal costs and damages in excess of the onshore facility Previous Limit of Liability.

    Because of the large number and diversity of onshore facilities, it is not possible to predict which specific types or sizes of onshore facilities might be affected by this rule. Coast Guard data, however, indicate that from the enactment of OPA 90 in August, 1990, through May, 2015, only one onshore facility incident—the 2010 Enbridge Pipeline spill in Michigan—has likely resulted in OPA 90 removal costs and damages exceeding the onshore facility Previous Limit of Liability of $350,000,000.25

    25 As of June 2015, Enbridge Energy Partners reported costs of more than $1.2 billion resulting from the pipeline spill. http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2015/06/enbridge_to_pay_additional_4_m.html.

    The Enbridge Pipeline incident indicates that the Previous Limit of Liability for an onshore facility, although high, can still be exceeded by a low likelihood, but high consequence oil spill. Therefore, for the purposes of this analysis, we assume one onshore facility incident would occur over the 10-year analysis time period (2016-2025) with OPA 90 removal costs and damages in excess of the onshore facility Previous Limit of Liability.

    iv. Cost Summary Regulatory Cost 1 (a) Vessels

    We estimate the greatest cost to a vessel responsible party entitled to a limit of liability under OPA 90, for purposes of this analysis, by assuming that the average annual cost from the historical incidents analyzed would remain constant throughout the analysis period (2016-2025). The average annual increased cost of liability was estimated first by calculating the difference between the Previous Limit of Liability and the New Limit of Liability for each of the 67 historical vessel incidents with removal costs and damages in excess of the applicable OPA 90 limit of liability. These values were then totaled 26 and divided by the number of years of data to estimate the average annual increased cost.

    26 See Figure 3 in the Regulatory Assessment.

    $60,376,000 ÷ 24 years = $2,515,700 per year (non-discounted dollars) (b) Deepwater Ports

    We estimate the greatest cost to a deepwater port responsible party entitled to a limit of liability under OPA 90, for purposes of this analysis, by assuming that the cost of the incident would be equal to the New Limit of Liability. As mentioned above, LOOP has never had an incident with OPA 90 removal costs and damages in excess of its Previous Limit of Liability. Therefore, given the lack of any deepwater port historical data, we have assumed that a LOOP incident with costs above its Previous Limit of Liability of $87,606,000 would be analogous to a vessel incident with costs in excess of $87,606,000 with respect to the duration of responsible party payments.

    Specifically, relying on historical duration of payment data for vessel incidents, we assume that the LOOP responsible parties would make OPA 90 removal cost and damage payments for the one hypothetical incident over the course of 10 years after the incident date.27 In addition, for the purposes of this analysis, we assume that the payments would be spread out in equal annual amounts over the 10-year analysis period (2016-2025).28 Applying these assumptions, the average annual cost resulting from the one hypothetical LOOP incident would be $876,000 (non-discounted dollars).

    27 The per-incident duration of payments was determined by comparing the incident date and the completion date for each vessel incident occurring since enactment of OPA 90 with incident removal costs and damages (in 2014 dollars) above LOOP's “Previous Limit of Liability” of $87,606,000. There were six incidents fitting this criteria. Three are ongoing incidents, and three are completed. The average duration of payments for the three completed incidents was approximately 10 years.

    28 Based on Coast Guard subject matter expert experience, we have assumed that the payments would be spread out equally over the 10-year analysis period. This realistically models the long duration of OPA 90 removal actions (particularly in the case of an incident resulting in OPA 90 removal costs and damages exceeding the limit of liability), the time lag in billings and payments and, if applicable, associated claim submissions, claim payments and litigation.

    $96,366,600−$87,606,000 = $8,760,600 $8,760,600 ÷ 10 years = $876,000 per year (non-discounted dollars) (c) Onshore Facilities

    We estimate the greatest cost to an onshore facility responsible party entitled to a limit of liability under OPA 90, for purposes of this analysis, by assuming that the cost of the incident would be equal to the New Limit of Liability. Based on NPFC's experience with onshore facility incidents, we assume that an onshore facility responsible party would be making OPA 90 removal cost and damage payments for the one estimated incident over the course of 10 years after the incident date.29 We further assume that the payments would be spread out in equal annual amounts over the 10-year analysis period (2016-2025).30 Applying these assumptions, the average annual cost resulting from the one estimated onshore facility OPA 90 incident over 10 years is estimated to be $28,385,000 (non-discounted dollars).

    29 The per-incident duration of payments was determined by comparing the incident date and the completion date of each onshore facility incident occurring since enactment of OPA 90 with incident removal costs and damages (in 2014 dollars) greater than or equal to $5 million. There were 21 incidents fitting these criteria: 9 are ongoing incidents and 12 are completed. The average duration for the 12 completed incidents was approximately 10 years.

    30 See footnote 28, above.

    $633,850,000−$350,000,000 = $283,850,000 $283,850,000 ÷ 10 years = $28,385,000 per year (non-discounted dollars). v. Present Value of Regulatory Cost 1

    The 10-year present value of Regulatory Cost 1, at a 3 percent discount rate, is estimated to be $271.1 million. The 10-year present value of Regulatory Cost 1, at a 7 percent discount rate, is estimated to be $223.2 million. The annualized discounted cost of Regulatory Cost 1, at a 3 percent discount rate, is estimated to be $31.8 million. The annualized discounted cost of Regulatory Cost 1, at a 7 percent discount rate is estimated to be $31.8 million.

    b. Discussion of Regulatory Cost 2

    OPA 90 requires that the responsible parties for certain types and sizes of vessels and for deepwater ports establish and maintain evidence of financial responsibility to ensure that they have the ability to pay for OPA 90 removal costs and damages, up to the applicable limits of liability, in the event of an OPA 90 incident.31 Therefore, because the regulatory changes contemplated by this rule would increase those limits of liability, vessel and deepwater port responsible parties could incur additional costs establishing and maintaining evidence of financial responsibility as a result of this rulemaking.

    31 See 33 U.S.C. 2716(a) and (c)(2). OPA 90 also imposes financial responsibility requirements on offshore facilities. Those requirements are, however, regulated by the BOEM. (See 30 CFR part 553.) OPA 90 does not impose evidence of financial responsibility requirements on onshore facilities.

    As discussed above and further below, there will be no Regulatory Cost 2 impacts on deepwater ports because LOOP is the only deepwater port in operation required to provide evidence of financial responsibility, and LOOP is not expected to have any increased evidence of financial responsibility costs as a result of this rule. Therefore, only vessel responsible parties are expected to see Regulatory Cost 2 impacts.

    i. Affected Population—Vessels

    Vessel responsible parties who are required to establish and maintain evidence of financial responsibility, may do so using any of the following methods: Insurance, Self-Insurance, Financial Guaranty, Surety Bond, or any other method approved by the Director, NPFC.32 As of April 1, 2015, the NPFC's Certificate of Financial Responsibility (COFR) database contained 19,750 vessels using Insurance, 4,199 vessels using Self-Insurance, 1,368 vessels using Financial Guaranties, and 2 vessels using Surety Bonds. This rule could affect the cost to vessel responsible parties of establishing and maintaining evidence of financial responsibility using any of these methods.33 The OPA 90 evidence of financial responsibility applicable amounts required under 33 CFR 138.80(f) are equal to the OPA 90 limits of liability in 33 CFR 138.230(a) and automatically update when the limits of liability are increased for inflation. Because of this relationship, the amount of financial responsibility required is also based on the type of vessel and, in the case of tank vessels, on their hull type.

    32 See 33 CFR 138.80(b). The term “Insurance” is capitalized here to refer to the insurance used to comply with the requirement under OPA 90 (33 U.S.C. 2716) for responsible parties to establish and maintain evidence of financial responsibility. This use of the term “Insurance” is distinct from other types of insurance a responsible party might have (e.g., vessel hull insurance, marine pollution insurance, etc.).

    33 There currently are no vessel responsible parties using other methods of demonstrating financial responsibility approved by the Director, NPFC, and, based on historical experience, NPFC does not expect any responsible parties will use any other method during the analysis period (2016-2025)

    ii. Affected Population—Deepwater Ports

    As discussed above in respect to Cost 1, currently there are two licensed deepwater ports in operation—LOOP and Northeast Gateway. The Coast Guard, however, has not yet proposed regulations implementing OPA 90 financial responsibility requirements for deepwater ports. Therefore, although LOOP is providing evidence of financial responsibility under a procedure that was grandfathered by OPA 90, 33 U.S.C. 2716(h), there are no OPA 90 evidence of financial responsibility regulatory requirements that currently apply to deepwater ports generally, including Northeast Gateway. We have, therefore, analyzed Cost 2 impacts only in respect to LOOP.

    iii. Affected Population—Onshore Facilities

    None. There is no requirement in OPA 90 for onshore facility responsible parties to establish and maintain evidence of financial responsibility.

    iv. Cost Summary Regulatory Cost 2 (a) Vessels

    Increases to Vessel Insurance Premiums. The calculation of Insurance premium rates are dependent on many constantly changing factors, including: market forces, interest rates and investment opportunities for the premium income, the terms and conditions of the policy, and underwriting criteria such as vessel age, loss history, construction, classification details, and management history. As calculated above, the change in the limits of liability for vessels is 10 percent (rounded to one decimal place as required by the rule). At the NPRM stage of this rulemaking, data was requested from 9 of a possible 14 Insurance companies. Four responded with their current premium rates and their best estimates of the increase in premium rates resulting from the proposed regulatory change. These four Insurance companies represented approximately 93 percent of vessels that use the Insurance method of financial responsibility. The data provided estimated that a 6 percent increase in premiums would occur for an increase in the limits of liability in the range of 5 percent to 10 percent. Therefore, consistent with the NPRM's Regulatory Analysis, it is assumed that a 10 percent increase in the limits of liability would cause on average a 6 percent increase in Insurance premiums charged across all vessel types.34

    34 After we published the NPRM, several Insurance companies provided updated data indicating that, due to changing market conditions, an increase in limits of liability for vessels of 15% or less should not cause them to raise their premiums. The actual impact of Regulatory Cost 2 could therefore be less than the impact we are estimating here. This is because we rely in this analysis on the data used for the NPRM regulatory analysis.

    We estimated costs by multiplying the number of vessels by vessel category for each year of the analysis (2016-2025) by the Expected Average Increase in Premium for that particular vessel type. The annual cost associated with increased Insurance premiums is estimated to be $6.5 million (non-discounted dollars).

    Migration of responsible parties currently using the Self-Insurance and Financial Guaranty Methods of Financial Responsibility to the Insurance market. Based on the financial documentation received from responsible parties using the Self-Insurance or Financial Guaranty methods, the Coast Guard estimates that the responsible parties for 2 percent of the vessels that have COFRs based on those methods might need to migrate to the Insurance method of financial responsibility.

    The cost estimates for responsible parties migrating to the Insurance method of financial responsibility were calculated by first multiplying the number of vessels using Self-Insurance or Financial Guaranty by vessel category for each year of the analysis period (2016-2025) by the presumed percent of impacted vessels (2 percent) and then multiplying the product by the estimated Expected Average Annual Premium for that particular vessel type.

    The annual cost associated with vessel responsible parties migrating to Insurance is estimated to be $532,100 (non-discounted dollars).

    Increased Cost to Responsible Parties using the Surety Bond Method. Currently only one responsible party uses the Surety Bond method to establish evidence of financial responsible for two tank vessels. For that responsible party, additional Surety Bond coverage will be required to establish or maintain evidence of financial responsibility up to the New Limits of Liability. The responsible party would also have the option of changing the method of financial guaranty to the Insurance method, or (if the responsible party meets the financial requirements to do so) to the Self-Insurance or Financial Guaranty method.

    We do not have data on the fees charged by Surety Bond providers. But, if the cost of obtaining Surety Bond coverage were higher than the cost of Insurance, we would expect the one responsible party currently relying on the Surety Bond method to use the Insurance method instead. Therefore, we assume that the cost to the responsible party of using the surety method does not exceed the Insurance premium associated with the Insurance method. In the case of the one responsible party that is using the Surety Bond method for two tank vessels under 3,000 gross tons, this would be cost of $3,700 per vessel per year (i.e., the cost of Insurance per vessel) or a total annual cost of $7,400.

    (b) Deepwater Ports

    The 10 percent increase in the LOOP limit of liability resulting from this rulemaking is not expected to increase the cost to the LOOP responsible parties associated with establishing and maintaining LOOP's evidence of financial responsibility. This is because the LOOP responsible parties are already providing evidence of financial responsibility to the Coast Guard at a level that exceeds both LOOP's Previous Limit of Liability and its New Limit of Liability of $96,366,600. The Coast Guard has historically accepted the following documentation as evidence of financial responsibility for LOOP:

    An insurance policy issued by Oil Insurance Limited (OIL) of Bermuda with coverage up to $150 million per OPA 90 incident and a $225 million annual aggregate,

    Documentation that LOOP operates with a net worth of at least $50 million, and

    Documentation that the total value of the OIL policy aggregate plus LOOP's working capital does not fall below $100 million.

    The Coast Guard, therefore, does not expect this action to change the terms of the OIL policy, to result in an increased premium for the OIL policy, or to require LOOP to have higher minimum net worth or working capital requirements.

    (c) Onshore Facilities

    None. There is no requirement in OPA 90 for onshore facility responsible parties to establish and maintain evidence of financial responsibility.

    v. Present Value of Regulatory cost 2

    The 10-year present value, at a 3 percent discount rate, is estimated to be $60.0 million. The 10-year present value, at a 7 percent discount rate, is estimated to be $49.3 million. The annualized discounted cost, at a 3 percent discount rate, is estimated to be $7.0 million. The annualized discounted cost, at a 7 percent discount rate, is estimated to be $7.0 million.

    c. Present Value of Total Cost

    The 10-year present value, at a 3 percent discount rate, is estimated to be $331.0 million. The 10-year present value, at a 7 percent discount rate, is estimated to be $272.5 million. The annualized discounted cost, at a 3 percent discount rate is estimated to be $38.8 million. The annualized discounted cost, at a 7 percent discount rate is estimated to be $38.8 million.

    2. Regulatory Benefits

    In our Regulatory Analysis, we have analyzed the regulatory benefits of this final rule qualitatively.

    a. Regulatory Benefit 1: Ensure that the OPA 90 limits of liability keep pace with inflation.

    OPA 90 (33 U.S.C. 2704(d)(4)) mandates that limits of liability be updated periodically to reflect significant increases in the CPI to account for inflation. The intent of this requirement is to ensure that the real values of the limits of liability do not decline over time. Absent CPI adjustments, a responsible party ultimately gains an advantage that is not contemplated by OPA 90 because the responsible party pays a reduced percentage of the total incident costs the responsible party would be required to pay with inflation incorporated into the determination of the applicable limit of liability. This final rule requires responsible parties to internalize inflation, thereby benefitting the public.

    b. Regulatory Benefit 2: Ensure that the responsible party is held accountable.

    By increasing the limits of liability to account for inflation, this final rule ensures that the appropriate amount of removal costs and damages are borne by the responsible party and that liability risk is not shifted away from the responsible party to the Fund. This helps preserve the ”polluter pays” principle as intended by Congress and preserves the Fund for its other authorized uses. Failing to adjust the limits of liability for inflation, by comparison, shifts those costs to the public and the Fund.

    c. Regulatory Benefit 3: Reduce and deter substandard shipping and oil handling practices.

    Increasing the limits of liability serves to reduce the number of substandard ships in U.S. waters and ports because Insurers, Surety Bond providers and Financial Guarantors are less likely to provide coverage for substandard vessels at the new levels of OPA 90 liability. Maintaining the limits of liability also helps preserve the deterrent effect of the OPA 90 liability provisions for Self Insurers.

    With respect to oil handling practices, the higher the responsible parties' limits of liability are, the greater the incentive for them to operate in the safest and most risk-averse manner possible. Conversely, the lower the limits of liability, the lower the incentive is for responsible parties to spend money on capital improvements and operation and maintenance systems that will protect against oil spills.

    d. Regulatory Benefit 4: Provide statutory consistency, regulatory certainty and administrative efficiency using the streamlined approach.

    Under the simplified regulatory procedure established by this final rule, the Director, NPFC, will publish the inflation-adjusted limits of liability in the Federal Register as final rule amendments to 33 CFR 138.230. The Director will also use this simplified regulatory procedure to update 33 CFR 138.230 to reflect statutory changes to the OPA 90 limits of liability. This will ensure that the limits of liability set forth in 33 CFR 138, Subpart B, remain consistent with the statutory limits of liability if they are amended. This simplified regulatory procedure will provide regulatory certainty by ensuring regular, timely inflation adjustments to the limits of liability as required by statute. The approach is also an appropriate and helpful efficiency measure given the mandatory and routine nature of the CPI adjustments. The public comments on the NPRM supported this simplified rulemaking procedure, and no commenter opposed it.

    e. Regulatory Benefit 5: Provide regulatory clarity to responsible parties for edible oil and response tank vessels.

    As discussed above, 33 U.S.C. 2704(c)(4) excludes edible oil tank vessels (i.e., tank vessels on which the only oil carried as cargo is an animal fat or vegetable oil) and oil spill response vessels from the OPA 90 tank vessel limits of liability in 33 U.S.C. 2704(a)(1). The effect of this exclusion is that edible oil tank vessels and oil spill response vessels are classified, as a matter of law, to the “any other vessel” limit of liability category in 33 U.S.C. 2704(a)(2) of OPA 90. In addition, edible oil tank vessels and oil spill response vessels are subject to the lower OPA 90 evidence of financial responsibility requirements applicable to the “any other vessel” category.

    The special treatment accorded by OPA 90 to edible oil tank vessels and oil spill response vessels was not reflected in the prior regulatory text of 33 CFR part 138. The Coast Guard's clarification to the regulatory text by this final rule will, therefore, promote consistency with OPA 90 and be helpful to industry and the public by reducing regulatory uncertainty.

    B. Small Entities

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, we have considered whether this rule would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 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. A Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis discussing the impact of this rule on small entities is available in the docket, and a summary follows.

    We have analyzed the potential impacts of this final rule on small entities, and expect it to: 35

    35 We expect the simplified regulatory procedure and the clarification of edible oil cargo tank vessels and tank vessels designated as oil spill response vessels to provide a marginal benefit to all responsible parties, including small entities.

    Regulatory Cost 1. Increase the cost of liability, and

    Regulatory Cost 2. Increase the cost of establishing and maintaining evidence of financial responsibility.

    1. Regulatory Cost 1: Increase the Cost of Liability

    As explained above in Part V.A of this preamble and in the Regulatory Analysis for this rule, Regulatory Cost 1 will only occur if there is an OPA 90 incident that has OPA 90 removal costs and damages in excess of the existing limits of liability.

    a. Affected Population—Vessels

    The rule could affect the responsible parties of any vessel (other than a public vessel) from which oil is discharged, or which poses the substantial threat of a discharge of oil, into or upon the navigable waters or adjoining shorelines or the exclusive economic zone of the United States. This can include vessels owned, operated or demise chartered by small entities.

    According to Coast Guard's MISLE database, there are over 200,000 vessels of various types in the vessel population that are not public vessels. Examples of vessel types include, but are not limited to: fish processing vessel, freight barge, freight ship, industrial vessel, mobile offshore drilling unit, offshore supply vessel, oil recovery vessel, passenger vessel, commercial fishing vessel, passenger barge, research vessel, school ship, tank barge, tank ship, and towing vessel.

    Coast Guard data indicate that—from the date of enactment of OPA 90 through May 1, 2014—there were 67 OPA 90 vessel incidents (i.e., an average of approximately three OPA 90 vessel incidents per year) that resulted in OPA 90 removal costs and damages in excess of the Previous Limits of Liability. For the purpose of this analysis, we have therefore assumed that three OPA 90 vessel incidents would continue to occur each year throughout the 10-year analysis period (2016-2025). In addition, although we do not have any way to predict if any of the estimated three incidents per year would involve a small entity, we have assumed that the three vessels involved are owned, operated or demise chartered by small entities.

    b. Cost Summary—Vessels

    As calculated in the Regulatory Analysis, the average cost of a vessel incident that exceeds its Previous Limit of Liability is approximately $838,600 but could range from $85,800 to $11,368,500. We note that the majority of the incidents, 60 percent, would only have incurred an additional $85,800 in OPA 90 removal costs and damages. However, in the event that a small entity had a vessel incident which resulted in OPA 90 removal costs and damages above the Previous Limit of Liability in that amount, it would likely have a significant economic impact.

    c. Affected Population—Deepwater Ports

    As discussed above in Part V.A of this preamble and in the Regulatory Analysis, the only deepwater port affected by the final rule is LOOP. LOOP, however, does not meet the Small Business Administration (SBA) criteria to be categorized as a small entity.36

    36 LOOP is a limited liability corporation (NAICS Code: 48691001) owned by three major oil companies: Marathon Oil Company, Murphy Oil Corporation, and Shell Oil Company. None of these companies are small entities.

    d. Cost Summary—Deepwater Ports

    Because there are no small entity deepwater ports, there would be no Regulatory Cost 1 small entity impacts to Deepwater Ports.

    e. Affected Population—Onshore Facilities

    As discussed above in Part V.A of this preamble and in the Regulatory Analysis, the final rule could affect the responsible parties for any onshore facility.37 Since the enactment of OPA 90, however, the 2010 Enbridge Pipeline spill in Michigan may well be the only onshore facility incident resulting in OPA 90 removal costs and damages exceeding the previous $350 million onshore facility limit of liability and that onshore facility is not a small entity. Nevertheless, in the Regulatory Analysis for the rule, we assume that there will be one onshore facility OPA 90 incident occurring over the 10-year analysis period with OPA 90 removal costs and damages exceeding the existing limit of liability.

    37 See the OPA 90 definitions of “facility” and “onshore facility” in footnotes 3 and 6, above.

    The onshore facility population encompasses dozens of NAICS codes representing diverse industries.38 It, therefore, would not be practical to predict which specific type or size of onshore facility might be involved in the one hypothetical incident assumed to occur over the 10-year analysis period, or whether it would involve a small entity.

    38 Examples of onshore facilities include, but are not limited to: onshore pipelines; rail; motor carriers; petroleum bulk stations and terminals; petroleum refineries; government installations; oil production facilities; electrical utility plants; electrical transmission lines; mobile facilities; marinas, marine fuel stations and related facilities; farms; residential and commercial fuel tank owners; fuel oil distribution facilities; and gasoline stations.

    f. Cost Summary—Onshore Facilities

    As previously stated above, there has never been a small entity onshore facility incident with OPA 90 removal costs and damage that exceeded the Previous Limit of Liability of $350 million. However, in the event that a small entity onshore facility were to have an incident with OPA 90 removal costs and damages equal to the New Limit of Liability, that onshore facility would be responsible for an average annual additional cost of $28,385,000. This would likely have a significant economic impact on the small entity.

    2. Regulatory Cost 2: Increase the Cost of Establishing and Maintaining Financial Responsibility a. Affected Population—Vessels

    Regulatory Cost 2 will only apply to vessel responsible parties required to establish and maintain OPA 90 evidence of financial responsibility under 33 U.S.C. 2716 and 33 CFR part 138, subpart A. As of July 3, 2013, there were 1,744 unique entities in the Coast Guard's COFR database that could be affected by the rulemaking. Because of the large number of entities, we determined the statistically significant sample size necessary to represent the population. The appropriate statistical sample size, at a 95 percent confidence level and a 5 percent confidence interval, for the population is 315 entities. This means we are 95 percent certain that the characteristics of the sample reflect the characteristics of the entire population within a margin of error of + or −5 percent.

    Using a random number generator, we then randomly selected the 315 entities from the population for analysis. Of the sample, 309 were businesses, 0 were not-for-profit organizations and 6 were governmental jurisdictions. For each business entity, we next determined the number of employees, annual revenue, and NAICS Code to the extent possible using public and proprietary business databases. The SBA's publication “U.S. Small Business Administration Table of Small Business Size Standards Matched to North American Industry Classification System codes effective January 22, 2014” 39 was then used to determine whether an entity is a small entity. For governmental jurisdictions, we determined whether they had populations of less than 50,000 as per the criteria in the RFA.

    39http://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/files/Size_Standards_Table.pdf.

    Of the sampled population, 220 would be considered small entities using SBA's criteria, 72 would not be small entities, and no data was found for the remaining 23 entities.40 If we assume that entities where no revenue or employee data was found are small entities, then small entities make up 77 percent of the sample.41 We can then extrapolate the entire population of entities from the sample using the following formula, where “X” is the number of small entities within the total entities in the population.

    40 The 6 governmental jurisdictions were a subset of the 23 entities where no data was found.

    41 The data show that small entities are often responsible parties for multiple vessels.

    (X small entities in the total population ÷1,744 total entities in the population) = (243 small entities in the sample ÷ 315 total entities in the sample).

    Solving for X, X equals 1,345 small entities within the total population of 1,744 vessel responsible parties.

    b. Cost Summary—Vessels

    As discussed above in Part V.A. and in the Regulatory Analysis, the rule could increase the cost to vessel responsible parties associated with establishing and maintaining evidence of financial responsibility in three ways:

    Responsible parties using the Insurance method of establishing and maintaining evidence of financial responsibility could incur higher Insurance premiums.

    Some responsible parties currently using the Self-Insurance or Financial Guaranty methods of establishing and maintaining evidence of financial responsibility might need to migrate to the Insurance method for their vessels. This would only be the case if the Self-Insuring responsible parties or Financial Guarantors' financial condition (working capital and net worth) no longer qualified them to establish and maintain evidence of financial responsibility.

    The one responsible party using the Surety Bond method will need to ensure that the amount of the Surety Bonds are adequate to cover OPA 90 removal costs and damages up to the New Limits of Liability. Alternatively, the responsible party could opt to switch to one of the other methods of establishing and maintaining evidence of financial responsibility.

    i. Increases to Vessel Insurance Premiums

    Based on the data in the Regulatory Analysis above, we have estimated the average annual per-vessel increase in Insurance premiums to be $300.

    $6,450,800 ÷ 19,724 vessels = $327 per vessel Rounded to nearest 100 = $300 per vessel

    The estimated increased cost of establishing evidence of financial responsibility for each small entity is calculated by multiplying the number of vessels using the Insurance method by the average increase in insurance premiums. This calculation was conducted for each small entity. The value was then divided by the annual revenue for the small entity and multiplied by 100 to determine the percent impact of the final rule on the small entities' annual revenue.

    ii. Migration of Responsible Parties Currently Using the Self-Insurance and Financial Responsibility Methods of Financial Responsibility to the Insurance Market

    Based on review of financial data of entities using the Self-Insurance or Financial Guaranty method for establishing and maintaining evidence of financial responsibility, Coast Guard subject matter experts estimate that responsible parties for 2 percent of vessels using those two methods would not have the requisite working capital and net worth necessary to qualify for these methods as a result of the rule. In those cases, we assume they will use the Insurance method to establish and maintain evidence of financial responsibility. Based on the data in Part V.A., above, and in the Regulatory Analysis, the estimated average annual cost per vessel of migrating from the Self-insurance/Financial Guaranty methods to the Insurance method is $5,100.

    $564,700 ÷ 111 vessels = $5,087 per vessel Rounded to nearest 100 = $5,100 per vessel

    The increased cost of establishing and maintaining evidence of financial responsibility for each small entity is calculated by:

    Multiplying the number of vessels using the Self-Insurance/Financial Guaranty methods by 2 percent and then multiplying by the Average Annual Insurance Premium ($5,100)

    For example, the cost for a small entity responsible party with 100 vessels that would not have the requisite working capital and net worth necessary to use the Self-Insurance or Financial Guaranty method for all of its vessels would be calculated as follows:

    (100 vessels using Self-Insurance or Financial Guaranty method × 2 percent of vessels expected to migrate from Self-Insurance or Financial Guaranty method to the Insurance method × $5,100/year) = $10,200/year

    This calculation was conducted for each small entity. The value was then divided by the annual revenue for the small entity and multiplied by 100 to determine the percent impact of the rule on the small entities' annual revenue.

    iii. Increased Cost of Using the Surety Bond Method of Financial Responsibility

    As previously noted, there is one responsible party using the Surety Bond method of establishing and maintaining financial responsibility for two vessels. This responsible party is not a small entity. In addition, based on Coast Guard subject matter expertise, we do not expect any other responsible party to use the Surety Bond method during the analysis period. Because there are no small entities involved, there would be no Regulatory Cost 2 small entity impacts for these two vessels.

    c. Affected Population—Deepwater Ports

    As discussed above, the only deepwater port potentially affected by the rule is LOOP. LOOP, however, does not meet SBA's criteria to be categorized as a small entity.

    d. Cost Summary—Deepwater Ports

    Because there are no small entity deepwater ports, there would be no Regulatory Cost 2 small entity impacts to Deepwater Ports.

    e. Affected Population—Onshore Facilities

    As stated above in Part V.A. and in the Regulatory Analysis, onshore facilities are not required to establish and maintain evidence of financial responsibility under 33 U.S.C. 2716.

    f. Cost Summary—Onshore Facilities

    Because onshore facilities are not required to establish and maintain evidence of financial responsibility, there are no Regulatory Cost 2 small entity impacts to onshore facilities resulting from this rulemaking.

    The figure below shows the economic impact to small entities of Regulatory Cost 2.

    Economic Impact to Small Entities—Regulatory Cost 2 Percent of annual revenue Extrapolated number of small entities Percent of small entities 1% to 2% 17 1.3% < 1% 1,328 98.7% C. Assistance for Small Entities

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, Public Law 104-121, we offered to assist small entities in understanding this rule so that they could better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking. 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.

    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).

    D. Collection of Information

    This rule calls for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.

    E. Federalism

    A rule has implications for federalism under E.O. 13132 (“Federalism”) if it has a substantial direct effect on 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 final rule under that Order and have determined that it is consistent with the fundamental federalism principles and preemption requirements described in E.O. 13132. This final rule makes necessary adjustments to the OPA 90 limits of liability to reflect significant increases in the CPI, establishes a framework for such future CPI increases, and clarifies the OPA 90 limits of liability for certain vessels. Nothing in this final rule affects the preservation of State authorities under 33 U.S.C. 2718, including the authority of any State to impose additional liability or financial responsibility requirements with respect to discharges of oil within such State. Therefore, it has no implications for federalism.

    The Coast Guard recognizes the key role that State and local governments may have in making regulatory determinations. Additionally, for rules with federalism implications and preemptive effect, E.O. 13132 specifically directs agencies to consult with State and local governments during the rulemaking process. The NPRM, therefore, invited anyone who believed this rule has implications for federalism under E.O. 13132 to contact us. We received no such public comment.

    F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    G. Taking of Private Property

    This rule will not cause a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications under E.O. 12630 (“Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights”).

    H. Civil Justice Reform

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

    I. Protection of Children

    We have analyzed this rule under E.O. 13045 (“Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks”). This rule is not an economically significant rule and would not create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that might disproportionately affect children.

    J. Indian Tribal Governments

    This rule does not have tribal implications under E.O. 13175 (“Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments”), because it would 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.

    K. Energy Effects

    We have analyzed this rule under E.O. 13211 (“Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use”). We have determined that it is not a “significant energy action” under that order because it is not a “significant regulatory action” under E.O. 12866 and is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy.

    L. Technical Standards

    The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act, codified as a note to 15 U.S.C. 272, directs agencies to use voluntary consensus standards in their regulatory activities unless the agency provides Congress, through OMB, with an explanation of why using these standards would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (e.g., specifications of materials, performance, design, or operation; test methods; sampling procedures; and related management systems practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies. This rule does not use technical standards. Therefore, we did not consider the use of voluntary consensus standards.

    M. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01, Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, and 67 FR 48243 (July 23, 2002) which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, 42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f, and have concluded that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. A final environmental analysis checklist supporting this determination is available in the docket where indicated under the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” section of this preamble. This rule increases the OPA 90 limits of liability for vessels, deepwater ports, and onshore facilities to reflect significant increases in the CPI using the methodology established in the CPI-1 Rule. This action is one of a category of actions which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment and is categorically excluded from further environmental documentation under paragraph 6(b) of 67 FR 48243 (July 23, 2002).

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 138

    Financial responsibility, Guarantors, Hazardous materials transportation, Insurance, Limits of liability, Oil pollution, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Surety bonds, Water pollution control.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 138 as follows:

    PART 138—FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR WATER POLLUTION (VESSELS) AND OPA 90 LIMITS OF LIABILITY (VESSELS, DEEPWATER PORTS AND ONSHORE FACILITIES) 1. The authority citation for part 138 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 2704, 2716, 2716a; 42 U.S.C. 9608, 9609; 6 U.S.C. 552; E.O. 12580, Sec. 7(b), 3 CFR, 1987 Comp., p. 193; E.O. 12777, Secs. 4 and 5, 3 CFR, 1991 Comp., p. 351, as amended by E.O. 13286, Sec. 89, 3 CFR, 2004 Comp., p. 166, and by E.O. 13638, Sec. 1, 3 CFR, 2014 Comp., p.227; Department of Homeland Security Delegation Nos. 0170.1 and 5110, Revision 01. Section 138.30 also issued under the authority of 46 U.S.C. 2103 and 14302.

    2. Revise the heading to part 138 to read as set forth above. 3. Revise Subpart B to read as follows: Subpart B—OPA 90 Limits of Liability (Vessels, Deepwater Ports and Onshore Facilities) Sec. 138.200 Scope. 138.210 Applicability. 138.220 Definitions. 138.230 Limits of liability. 138.240 Procedure for updating limits of liability to reflect significant increases in the Consumer Price Index (Annual CPI-U) and statutory changes. Subpart B—OPA 90 Limits of Liability (Vessels, Deepwater Ports and Onshore Facilities)
    § 138.200 Scope.

    This subpart sets forth the limits of liability under Title I of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, as amended (33 U.S.C. 2701, et seq.) (OPA 90), for vessels, deepwater ports, and onshore facilities, as adjusted under OPA 90 (33 U.S.C. 2704(d)). This subpart also sets forth the method and procedure the Coast Guard uses to periodically adjust the OPA 90 limits of liability by regulation under OPA 90 (33 U.S.C. 2704(d)(4)), to reflect significant increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), and to update the limits of liability when they are amended by statute. In addition, this subpart cross-references the U.S. Department of the Interior regulation setting forth the OPA 90 limit of liability applicable to offshore facilities, as adjusted under OPA 90 (33 U.S.C. 2704(d)(4)) to reflect significant increases in the CPI.

    § 138.210 Applicability.

    This subpart applies to you if you are a responsible party for a vessel, a deepwater port, or an onshore facility (including, but not limited to, motor vehicles, rolling stock and onshore pipelines), unless your liability is unlimited under OPA 90 (33 U.S.C. 2704(c)).

    § 138.220 Definitions.

    (a) As used in this subpart, the following terms have the meanings set forth in OPA 90 (33 U.S.C. 2701): deepwater port, facility, gross ton, liability, oil, offshore facility, onshore facility, responsible party, tank vessel, and vessel.

    (b) As used in this subpart—

    Annual CPI-U means the annual “Consumer Price Index—All Urban Consumers, Not Seasonally Adjusted, U.S. City Average, All items, 1982-84=100”, published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    Current period means the year in which the Annual CPI-U was most recently published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    Director, NPFC means the person in charge of the U.S. Coast Guard, National Pollution Funds Center (NPFC), or that person's authorized representative.

    Edible oil tank vessel means a tank vessel referred to in OPA 90 (33 U.S.C. 2704(c)(4)(A)).

    Oil spill response vessel means a tank vessel referred to in OPA 90 (33 U.S.C. 2704(c)(4)(B)).

    Previous period means the year in which the previous limit of liability was established, or last adjusted by statute or regulation, whichever is later.

    Single-hull means the hull of a tank vessel that is constructed or adapted to carry, or that carries, oil in bulk as cargo or cargo residue, that is not a double hull as defined in 33 CFR part 157. Single-hull includes the hull of any such tank vessel that is fitted with double sides only or a double bottom only.

    § 138.230 Limits of liability.

    (a) Vessels. (1) The OPA 90 limits of liability for tank vessels, other than edible oil tank vessels and oil spill response vessels, are—

    (i) For a single-hull tank vessel greater than 3,000 gross tons, the greater of $3,500 per gross ton or $25,845,600;

    (ii) For a tank vessel greater than 3,000 gross tons, other than a single-hull tank vessel, the greater of $2,200 per gross ton or $18,796,800;

    (iii) For a single-hull tank vessel less than or equal to 3,000 gross tons, the greater of $3,500 per gross ton or $7,048,800; and

    (iv) For a tank vessel less than or equal to 3,000 gross tons, other than a single-hull tank vessel, the greater of $2,200 per gross ton or $4,699,200.

    (2) The OPA 90 limits of liability for any vessel other than a vessel listed in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, including for any edible oil tank vessel and any oil spill response vessel, are the greater of $1,100 per gross ton or $939,800.

    (b) Deepwater ports. (1) The OPA 90 limit of liability for any deepwater port, including for any component pipelines, other than a deepwater port listed in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, is $633,850,000;

    (2) The OPA 90 limits of liability for deepwater ports with limits of liability established by regulation under OPA 90 (33 U.S.C. 2704(d)(2)), including for any component pipelines, are—

    (i) For the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), $96,366,600; and

    (ii) [Reserved]

    (c) Onshore facilities. The OPA 90 limit of liability for onshore facilities, including, but not limited to, motor vehicles, rolling stock and onshore pipelines, is $633,850,000.

    (d) Offshore facilities. The OPA 90 limit of liability for offshore facilities other than deepwater ports, including for any offshore pipelines, is set forth at 30 CFR 553.702.

    § 138.240 Procedure for updating limits of liability to reflect significant increases in the Consumer Price Index (Annual CPI-U) and statutory changes.

    (a) Update and publication. The Director, NPFC, will periodically adjust the limits of liability set forth in § 138.230(a) through (c) to reflect significant increases in the Annual CPI-U, according to the procedure for calculating limit of liability inflation adjustments set forth in paragraphs (b)-(d) of this section, and will publish the inflation-adjusted limits of liability and any statutory amendments to those limits of liability in the Federal Register as amendments to § 138.230. Updates to the limits of liability under this paragraph are effective on the 90th day after publication in the Federal Register of the amendments to § 138.230, unless otherwise specified by statute (in the event of a statutory amendment to the limits of liability) or in the Federal Register notice amending § 138.230.

    (b) Formula for calculating a cumulative percent change in the Annual CPI-U. (1) The Director, NPFC, calculates the cumulative percent change in the Annual CPI-U from the year the limit of liability was established, or last adjusted by statute or regulation, whichever is later (i.e., the previous period), to the most recently published Annual CPI-U (i.e., the current period), using the following escalation formula:

    Percent change in the Annual CPI-U = [(Annual CPI-U for Current Period−Annual CPI-U for Previous Period) ÷ Annual CPI-U for Previous Period] × 100.

    (2) The cumulative percent change value calculated using the formula in paragraph (b)(1) of this section is rounded to one decimal place.

    (c) Significance threshold. Not later than every three years from the year the limits of liability were last adjusted for inflation, the Director, NPFC, will evaluate whether the cumulative percent change in the Annual CPI-U since that date has reached a significance threshold of 3 percent or greater. For any three-year period in which the cumulative percent change in the Annual CPI-U is less than 3 percent, the Director, NPFC, will publish a notice of no inflation adjustment to the limits of liability in the Federal Register. If this occurs, the Director, NPFC, will recalculate the cumulative percent change in the Annual CPI-U since the year in which the limits of liability were last adjusted for inflation each year thereafter until the cumulative percent change equals or exceeds the threshold amount of 3 percent. Once the 3-percent threshold is reached, the Director, NPFC, will increase the limits of liability, by regulation using the procedure set forth in paragraph (a) of this section, for all source categories (including any new limit of liability established by statute or regulation since the last time the limits of liability were adjusted for inflation) by an amount equal to the cumulative percent change in the Annual CPI-U from the year each limit was established, or last adjusted by statute or regulation, whichever is later. Nothing in this paragraph shall prevent the Director, NPFC, in the Director's sole discretion, from adjusting the limits of liability for inflation by regulation issued more frequently than every three years.

    (d) Formula for calculating inflation adjustments. The Director, NPFC, calculates adjustments to the limits of liability in § 138.230 for inflation using the following formula:

    New limit of liability = Previous limit of liability + (Previous limit of liability × percent change in the Annual CPI-U calculated under paragraph (b) of this section), then rounded to the closest $100.
    Dated: November 3, 2015. William R. Grawe, Director, U.S. Coast Guard, National Pollution Funds Center.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29519 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0968] Safety Zones; Fireworks Events in Captain of the Port New York Zone AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce various safety zones within the Captain of the Port New York Zone on the specified dates and times. This action is necessary to ensure the safety of vessels and spectators from hazards associated with fireworks displays. During the enforcement period, no person or vessel may enter the safety zones without permission of the Captain of the Port (COTP).

    DATES:

    The regulation for the safety zones described in 33 CFR 165.160 will be enforced on the dates and times listed in the table below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this notice, call or email Petty Officer First Class Daniel Vazquez U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 718-354-4154, email [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zones listed in 33 CFR 165.160 on the specified dates and times as indicated in Table 1 below. This regulation was published in the Federal Register on November 9, 2011 (76 FR 69614).

    Table 1 1. City of Poughkeepsie, Poughkeepsie, NY, Hudson River Safety Zone, 33 CFR 165.160(5.13) • Launch site: A barge located in approximate position 41°42′24.50″ N. 073°56′44.16″ W. (NAD 1983), approximately 420 yards north of the Mid Hudson Bridge. This Safety Zone is a 300-yard radius from the barge. • Date: October 29, 2015. • Time: 7:00 p.m.-08:20 p.m. 2. KPMG #1, Liberty Island Safety Zone, 33 CFR 165.160(2.1) • Launch site: A barge located in approximate position 40°41′16.5″ N. 074°02′23″ W. (NAD 1983), located in Federal Anchorage 20-C, about 360 yards east of Liberty Island. This Safety Zone is a 360-yard radius from the barge. • Date: November 5, 2015. • Time: 9:00 p.m.-10:30 p.m. 3. HKM Productions, Liberty Island Safety Zone, 33 CFR 165.160(2.1) • Launch site: A barge located in approximate position 40°41′16.5″ N. 074°02′23″ W. (NAD 1983), located in Federal Anchorage 20-C, about 360 yards east of Liberty Island. This Safety Zone is a 360-yard radius from the barge. • Date: November 6, 2015. • Rain Date: November 7, 2015. • Time: 9:00 p.m.-10:30 p.m. 4. KPMG #2, Liberty Island Safety Zone, 33 CFR 165.160(2.1) • Launch site: A barge located in approximate position 40°41′16.5″ N. 074°02′23″ W. (NAD 1983), located in Federal Anchorage 20-C, about 360 yards east of Liberty Island. This Safety Zone is a 360-yard radius from the barge. • Date: November 19, 2015. • Time: 9:00 p.m.-10:30 p.m. 5. Circle Line Sightseeing Yachts NYE, Liberty Island Safety Zone, 33 CFR 165.160(2.1) • Launch site: A barge located in approximate position 40°41′16.5″ N. 074°02′23″ W. (NAD 1983), located in Federal Anchorage 20-C, about 360 yards east of Liberty Island. This Safety Zone is a 360-yard radius from the barge. • Date: December 31, 2015. • Time: 11:30 p.m.-12:40 a.m.

    Under the provisions of 33 CFR 165.160, vessels may not enter the safety zones unless given permission from the COTP or a designated representative. Spectator vessels may transit outside the safety zones but may not anchor, block, loiter in, or impede the transit of other vessels. The Coast Guard may be assisted by other Federal, State, or local law enforcement agencies in enforcing this regulation.

    This notice is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.160(a) and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this notice in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide mariners with advanced notification of enforcement periods via the Local Notice to Mariners and marine information broadcasts. If the COTP determines that a safety zone need not be enforced for the full duration stated in this notice, a Broadcast Notice to Mariners may be used to grant general permission to enter the safety zone.

    Dated: November 2, 2015. M.H. Day, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port New York.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29604 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Defense Acquisition Regulations System 48 CFR Part 252 RIN 0750-AI67 Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Removal of Cuba From the List of State Sponsors of Terrorism (DFARS 2015-D032) Correction

    In rule document 2015-27467 appearing on pages 67252-67253 in the issue of October 30, 2015, make the following correction:

    On page 67253, in the first column, the last line, “BILLING CODE 6820-ep-P” should read “BILLING CODE 5001-06-P”.

    [FR Doc. C1-2015-27467 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1505-01-D
    80 223 Thursday, November 19, 2015 Proposed Rules NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Parts 26, 50, 52, 73, and 140 [NRC-2015-0070] RIN 3150-AJ59 Regulatory Improvements for Decommissioning Power Reactors AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Advance notice of proposed rulemaking; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing this advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) to obtain input from stakeholders on the development of a draft regulatory basis. The draft regulatory basis would support potential changes to the NRC's regulations for the decommissioning of nuclear power reactors. The NRC's goals in amending these regulations would be to provide an efficient decommissioning process, reduce the need for exemptions from existing regulations, and support the principles of good regulation, including openness, clarity, and reliability. The NRC is soliciting public comments on the contemplated action and invites stakeholders and interested persons to participate. The NRC plans to hold a public meeting to promote full understanding of the questions contained in this ANPR and facilitate public comment.

    DATES:

    Submit comments by January 4, 2016. Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the NRC is able to ensure consideration only for comments received on or before this date.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods (unless this document describes a different method for submitting comments on a specific subject):

    Federal rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2015-0070. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

    Email comments to: [email protected] If you do not receive an automatic email reply confirming receipt, then contact us at 301-415-1677.

    Fax comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission at 301-415-1101.

    Mail comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, ATTN: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff.

    Hand deliver comments to: 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. (Eastern time) Federal workdays; telephone: 301-415-1677.

    For additional direction on obtaining information and submitting comments, see “Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments” in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jason B. Carneal, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-1451; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments II. Background A. Regulatory Actions Related to Decommissioning Power Reactors B. Licensing Actions Related to Decommissioning Power Reactors III. Discussion IV. Regulatory Objectives A. Applicability to NRC Licenses and Approvals B. Interim Regulatory Actions V. Specific Considerations VI. Public Meeting VII. Cumulative Effects of Regulation VIII. Plain Writing IX. Availability of Documents X. Rulemaking Process I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments A. Obtaining Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2015-0070 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this action by any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2015-0070.

    NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected] The ADAMS accession number for each document referenced (if it is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that it is mentioned in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section. For the convenience of the reader, instructions about obtaining materials referenced in this document are provided in Section IX, “Availability of Documents,” of this document.

    NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

    B. Submitting Comments

    Please include Docket ID NRC-2015-0070 in your comment submission.

    The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your comment submission. The NRC posts all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as entering the comment submissions into ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove identifying or contact information.

    If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove such information before making the comment submissions available to the public or entering the comment submissions into ADAMS.

    II. Background A. Regulatory Actions Related to Decommissioning Power Reactors

    Significant regulations for the decommissioning of nuclear power reactors were not included in NRC rules promulgated before 1988. The NRC published a final rule in the Federal Register on June 27, 1988 (53 FR 24018), establishing decommissioning requirements for various types of licensees. By the early 1990s, the NRC recognized a need for more changes to the power reactor decommissioning regulations and published a proposed rule to amend its regulations for reactor decommissioning in 1995 (60 FR 37374; July 20, 1995). In 1996, the NRC amended its regulations for reactor decommissioning to clarify ambiguities, make generically applicable procedures that had been used on a case-by-case basis, and allow for greater public participation in the decommissioning process (61 FR 39278; July 29, 1996). However, as an increasing number of power reactor licensees began decommissioning their reactors, it became apparent in the late 1990s that additional rulemaking was needed on specific topics to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the decommissioning process.

    In a series of Commission papers issued between 1997 and 2001, the NRC staff provided options and recommendations to the Commission to address regulatory improvements related to power reactor decommissioning. In the Staff Requirements Memorandum (SRM) to SECY-99-168, “Improving Decommissioning Regulations for Nuclear Power Plants,” dated December 21, 1999 (ADAMS Accession No. ML003752190), the Commission directed the NRC staff to proceed with a single, integrated, risk-informed decommissioning rule, addressing the areas of emergency preparedness (EP), insurance, safeguards, staffing and training, and backfit. The objective of the rulemaking was to clarify and remove certain regulations for decommissioning power reactors based on the reduction in radiological risk compared to operating reactors. At an operating reactor, the high temperature and pressure of the reactor coolant system, as well as the inventory of relatively short-lived radionuclides, contribute to both the risk and consequences of an accident. With the permanent cessation of reactor operations and the permanent removal of the fuel from the reactor core, such accidents are no longer possible. As a result of the shutdown and removal of fuel, the reactor, reactor coolant system, and supporting systems no longer operate and, therefore, have no function. Hence, postulated accidents involving failure or malfunction of the reactor, reactor coolant system, or supporting systems are no longer applicable.

    During reactor decommissioning, the principal radiological risks are associated with the storage of spent fuel onsite. Generally, a few months after the reactor has been permanently shut down, there are no possible design-basis events that could result in a radiological release exceeding the limits established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) early- phase Protective Action Guidelines of 1 roentgen equivalent man at the exclusion area boundary. The only accident that might lead to a significant radiological release at a decommissioning reactor is a zirconium fire. The zirconium fire scenario is a postulated, but highly unlikely, beyond-design-basis accident scenario that involves a major loss of water inventory from the spent fuel pool (SFP), resulting in a significant heat-up of the spent fuel, and culminating in substantial zirconium cladding oxidation and fuel damage. The analyses of spent fuel heat-up scenarios that might result in a zirconium fire are related to the decay heat of the irradiated fuel stored in the SFP. Therefore, the probability of a zirconium fire scenario continues to decrease as a function of the time that the decommissioning reactor has been permanently shut down.

    On June 28, 2000, the NRC staff submitted SECY-00-0145, “Integrated Rulemaking Plan for Nuclear Power Plant Decommissioning” (ADAMS Accession No. ML003721626) to the Commission, proposing an integrated decommissioning rulemaking plan. The rulemaking plan was contingent on the completion of a zirconium fire risk study provided in NUREG-1738, “Technical Study of Spent Fuel Pool Accident Risk at Decommissioning Nuclear Power Plants” (ADAMS Accession No. ML010430066), on the accident risks at decommissioning reactor SFPs. The NUREG was issued on February 28, 2001.

    Although NUREG-1738 could not completely rule out the possibility of a zirconium fire after a long spent fuel decay times, it did demonstrate that storage of spent fuel in a high-density configuration in SFPs is safe, and that the risk of accidental release of a significant amount of radioactive material to the environment is low. The study used simplified and sometimes bounding assumptions and models to characterize the likelihood and consequences of beyond-design-basis SFP accidents. Subsequent NRC regulatory activities and studies (described in more detail below) have reaffirmed the safety and security of spent fuel stored in pools and shown that SFPs are effectively designed to prevent accidents.

    Because of uncertainty in the NUREG-1738 conclusions about the risk of SFP fires, the NRC staff faced a challenge in developing a generic decommissioning rule for EP, physical security, and insurance. To seek additional Commission direction, on June 4, 2001, the NRC staff submitted to the Commission SECY-01-0100, “Policy Issues Related to Safeguards, Insurance, and Emergency Preparedness Regulations at Decommissioning Nuclear Power Plants Storing Fuel in Spent Fuel Pools” (ADAMS Accession No. ML011450420). However, based on the reactor security implications of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11), and the results of NUREG-1738, the NRC redirected its rulemaking priorities to focus on programmatic regulatory changes related to safeguards and security. In a memorandum to the Commission, “Status of Regulatory Exemptions for Decommissioning Plants,” dated August 16, 2002 (ADAMS Accession No. ML030550706), the NRC staff stated that no additional permanent reactor shut downs were anticipated in the foreseeable future, and that no immediate need existed to proceed with the decommissioning regulatory improvement work that was planned. Consequently, the NRC shifted resources allocated for reactor decommissioning rulemaking to other activities. The NRC staff concluded that if any additional reactors permanently shut down after the rulemaking effort was suspended, establishment of the decommissioning regulatory framework would continue to be addressed through the license amendment and exemption processes.

    Between 1998 and 2013, no power reactors permanently ceased operation. Since 2013, five power reactors have permanently shut down, defueled, and are transitioning to decommissioning. For these decommissioning reactor licensees, the NRC has processed various license amendments and exemptions to establish a decommissioning regulatory framework, similar to the method used in the 1990s.

    Following the 9/11 attack, the NRC took several actions to further reduce the possibility of a SFP fire. In the wake of the attacks, the NRC issued orders that required licensees to implement additional security measures, including increased patrols, augmented security forces and capabilities, and more restrictive site-access controls to reduce the likelihood of an accident, including a SFP accident, resulting from a terrorist initiated event. The NRC's regulatory actions after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 have significantly enhanced the safety of SFPs. A comprehensive discussion of post 9/11 activities, some of which specifically address SFP safety and security, is provided in the memorandum to the Commission titled, “Documentation of Evolution of Security Requirements at Commercial Nuclear Power Plants with Respect to Mitigation Measures for Large Fires and Explosions,” dated February 4, 2010 (ADAMS Accession No. ML092990438).

    In addition, the NRC amended § 50.55(hh)(2) of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) to require licensees to implement other mitigating measures to maintain or restore SFP cooling capability in the event of loss of large areas of the plant due to fires or explosions, which further decreases the probability of a SFP fire (74 FR 13926, March 27, 2009). The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) provided detailed guidance in “NEI-06-12: B.5.b Phase 2 & 3 Submittal Guideline,” Revision 2, dated December 2006 (ADAMS Accession No. ML070090060). The NRC endorsed this guidance on December 22, 2006 (non-publicly available), for compliance with the § 50.54(hh)(2) requirements. Under § 50.54(hh)(2), power reactor licensees are required to implement strategies such as those provided in NEI-06-12. The NEI's guidance specifies that portable, power-independent pumping capabilities must be able to provide at least 500 gallons per minute (gpm) of bulk water makeup to the SFP, and at least 200 gpm of water spray to the SFP. Recognizing that the SFP is more susceptible to a release when the spent fuel is in a nondispersed configuration, the guidance also specifies that the portable equipment is to be capable of being deployed within 2 hours for a nondispersed configuration. The NRC found the NEI guidance to be an effective means for mitigating the potential loss of large areas due to fires or explosions.

    Further, other organizations, such as Sandia National Laboratory, have confirmed the effectiveness of the additional mitigation strategies to maintain spent fuel cooling in the event the pool is drained and its initial water inventory is reduced or lost entirely. The analyses conducted by the Sandia National Laboratories (collectively, the “Sandia studies”), are sensitive security related information and are not available to the public. The Sandia studies considered spent fuel loading patterns and other aspects of a pressurized-water reactor SFP and a boiling water reactor SFP, including the role that the circulation of air plays in the cooling of spent fuel. The Sandia studies indicated that there may be a significant amount of time between the initiating event (i.e., the event that causes the SFP water level to drop) and the spent fuel assemblies becoming partially or completely uncovered. In addition, the Sandia studies indicated that for those hypothetical conditions where air cooling may not be effective in preventing a zirconium fire, there is a significant amount of time between the spent fuel becoming uncovered and the possible onset of such a zirconium fire, thereby providing a substantial opportunity for both operator and system event mitigation.

    The Sandia studies, which account for relevant heat transfer and fluid flow mechanisms, also indicated that air-cooling of spent fuel would be sufficient to prevent SFP zirconium fires at a point much earlier following fuel offload from the reactor than previously considered (e.g., in NUREG-1738). Thus, the fuel is more easily cooled, and the likelihood of an SFP fire is therefore reduced.

    Additional mitigation strategies implemented subsequent to 9/11 enhance spent fuel coolability, and the potential to recover SFP water level and cooling prior to a potential SFP zirconium fire. The Sandia studies also confirmed the effectiveness of additional mitigation strategies to maintain spent fuel cooling in the event the pool is drained and its initial water inventory is reduced or lost entirely. Based on this more recent information, and the implementation of additional strategies following 9/11, the probability of a SFP zirconium fire initiation is expected to be less than reported in NUREG-1738 and previous studies.

    The NUREG-2161, “Consequence Study of a Beyond-Design-Basis Earthquake Affecting the Spent Fuel Pool for a U.S. Mark I Boiling Water Reactor,” dated September 2014 (ADAMS Accession No. ML14255A365), evaluated the potential benefits of strategies required in § 50.54(hh)(2). The NUREG-2161 found that successful implementation of mitigation strategies significantly reduces the likelihood of a release from the SFP in the event of a loss of cooling water. Additionally, NUREG-2161 found that the placement of spent fuel in a dispersed configuration in the SFP, such as the 1 x 4 pattern, would have a positive effect in promoting natural circulation, which enhances air coolability and thereby reduces the likelihood of a release from a completely drained SFP. An information notice titled, “Potential Safety Enhancements to Spent Fuel Pool Storage,” dated November 14, 2014 (ADAMS Accession No. ML14218A493), was issued to all licensees informing them of the insights from NUREG-2161. This information notice describes the benefits of storing spent fuel in more favorable loading patterns, placing spent fuel in dispersed patterns immediately after core offload, and taking action to improve mitigation strategies.

    In addition, in response to the Fukushima Dai-ichi accident, the NRC is currently implementing regulatory actions to further enhance reactor and SFP safety. On March 12, 2012, the NRC issued Order EA-12-051, “Issuance of Order to Modify Licenses with Regard to Reliable Spent Fuel Pool Instrumentation,” (ADAMS Accession No. ML12054A679), which requires that licensees install reliable means of remotely monitoring wide-range SFP levels to support effective prioritization of event mitigation and recovery actions in the event of a beyond-design-basis external event. Although the primary purpose of the order was to ensure that operators were not distracted by uncertainties related to SFP conditions during the accident response, the improved monitoring capabilities will help in the diagnosis and response to potential losses of SFP integrity. In addition, on March 12, 2012, the NRC issued Order EA-12-049, “Order Modifying Licenses with Regard to Requirements for Mitigation Strategies for Beyond-Design-Basis External Events,” (ADAMS Accession No. ML12054A735), which requires licensees to develop, implement, and maintain guidance and strategies to maintain or restore SFP cooling capabilities, independent of alternating current power, following a beyond-design-basis external event. These requirements ensure a more reliable and robust mitigation capability is in place to address degrading conditions in SFPs.

    The NRC believes that much of the information in the SFP studies that have been accomplished since NUREG-1738, as discussed previously, will contribute to the development of a regulatory basis for the current power reactor decommissioning rulemaking effort.

    In the SRM to SECY-14-0118, “Request by Duke Energy Florida, Inc., for Exemptions from Certain Emergency Planning Requirements,” dated December 30, 2014 (ADAMS Accession No. ML14364A111), the Commission directed the NRC staff to proceed with rulemaking on reactor decommissioning and set an objective of early 2019 for its completion. The Commission also stated that this rulemaking should address the following:

    • Issues discussed in SECY-00-0145 such as the graded approach to emergency preparedness;

    • Lessons learned from the plants that have already (or are currently) going through the decommissioning process;

    • The advisability of requiring a licensee's post-shutdown decommissioning activity report (PSDAR) to be approved by the NRC;

    • The appropriateness of maintaining the three existing options (DECON, SAFSTOR, and ENTOMB 1 ) for decommissioning and the timeframes associated with those options;

    1 These options were first identified in the 1988 Generic Environmental Impact Statement and defined as follows:

    DECON: The equipment, structures, and portions of the facility and site that contain radioactive contaminants are promptly removed or decontaminated to a level that permits termination of the license shortly after cessation of operations.

    SAFSTOR: The facility is placed in a safe, stable condition and maintained in that state (safe storage) until it is subsequently decontaminated and dismantled to levels that permit license termination. During SAFSTOR, a facility is left intact, but the fuel has been removed from the reactor vessel, and radioactive liquids have been drained from systems and components and then processed. Radioactive decay occurs during the SAFSTOR period, thus reducing the quantity of contaminated and radioactive material that must be disposed of during decontamination and dismantlement. The definition of SAFSTOR also includes the decontamination and dismantlement of the facility at the end of the storage period.

    ENTOMB: Radioactive systems, structures, and components are encased in a structurally long-lived substance, such as concrete. The entombed structure is appropriately maintained, and continued surveillance is carried out until the radioactivity decays to a level that permits termination of the license.

    • The appropriate role of State and local governments and nongovernmental stakeholders in the decommissioning process; and

    • Any other issues deemed relevant by the NRC staff.

    In SECY-15-0014, “Anticipated Schedule and Estimated Resources for a Power Reactor Decommissioning Rulemaking,” dated January 30, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15082A089—redacted), the NRC staff committed to proceed with a rulemaking on reactor decommissioning and provided an anticipated schedule and estimate of the resources required for the completion of a decommissioning rulemaking. In SECY-15-0127, “Schedule, Resource Estimates, and Impacts for the Power Reactor Decommissioning Rulemaking,” dated October 7, 2015, (non-publicly available), the staff provided further information to the Commission on resource estimates and work that will be delayed or deferred in fiscal year (FY) 2016 to enable the staff to make timely progress consistent with Commission direction to have a final rule submitted to the Commission by the end of FY 2019.

    B. Licensing Actions Related to Decommissioning Power Reactors

    In 2013, four power reactor units permanently shut down without significant advance notice or pre-planning. These licensees and the associated shut down reactors are: Duke Energy Florida for Crystal River Unit 3 Nuclear Generation Plant; Dominion Energy Kewaunee for Kewaunee Power Station; and Southern California Edison for San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, Units 2 and 3.

    On December 29, 2014, Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc., shut down Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station (VY), and on January 12, 2015, the licensee certified that VY had permanently ceased operation and removed fuel from the reactor vessel. Furthermore, Exelon Generation Company, the licensee for the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station, has indicated that it is currently planning to shut down that facility in 2019.

    Both the decommissioning reactor licensees and the NRC have expended substantial resources processing licensing actions for these power reactors during their transition period to a decommissioning status. Consistent with the power reactors that permanently shutdown in the 1990s, the licensees that are currently transitioning to decommissioning are establishing a long-term regulatory framework based on the low risk of an offsite radiological release posed by a decommissioning reactor. The licensees are seeking NRC approval of exemptions and amendments, to reduce requirements no longer needed or no longer relevant for permanently shutdown reactors.

    The NRC has not identified any significant risks to public health and safety in the current regulatory framework for decommissioning power reactors. Consequently, the need for a power reactor decommissioning rulemaking is not based on any identified safety-driven or security-driven concerns. When compared to an operating reactor, the risk of an offsite radiological release is significantly lower, and the types of possible accidents are significantly fewer, at a nuclear power reactor that has permanently ceased operations and removed fuel from the reactor vessel. Although the need for a power reactor decommissioning rulemaking is not based on safety concerns, the NRC understands that the decommissioning process can be improved and made more efficient and predictable by reducing its reliance on processing licensing actions to achieve a long-term regulatory framework for decommissioning. Therefore, the primary objective of the decommissioning rulemaking is to implement appropriate regulatory changes that reduce the number of licensing actions needed during decommissioning.

    The NRC anticipates that a power reactor decommissioning rulemaking will require substantial interactions with all stakeholders. The information developed in SECY-00-0145 provides a historical perspective on the regulatory challenges that the NRC is facing for those licensees currently transitioning to decommissioning. In addition, SECY-00-0145 serves as a good starting point for the current reactor decommissioning rulemaking effort. However, as a result of the changes to operating reactor regulations in the areas of EP and security after September 11, 2001, and the earthquake and tsunami affecting the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station in Japan, there will likely be many differences in the current rulemaking effort as compared to the rulemaking approach proposed in SECY-00-0145. The proposed decommissioning rulemaking effort needs to be carefully scoped to ensure an efficient and timely rulemaking process. Incorporating too broad of a regulatory scope into a single rule was one of the challenges encountered during the prior rulemaking effort.

    Until a new decommissioning rulemaking is complete, licensees that are considering decommissioning can use recently completed decommissioning licensing actions as a template for beginning decommissioning activities. In addition, the NRC can use these recent licensing action evaluations as a precedent when processing similar decommissioning actions. The recently completed licensing actions will also provide supporting information for the framework and context of a power reactor decommissioning rulemaking. The NRC has also completed interim staff guidance on processing EP license exemptions (NSIR/DPR-ISG-02, “Emergency Planning Exemption Requests for Decommissioning Nuclear Power Plants,” ADAMS Accession No. ML13304B442), and has issued draft interim staff guidance for physical security license exemptions (NSIR/DSP-ISG-03, “Review of Security Exemptions/License Amendment Requests for Decommissioning Nuclear Power Plants,” ADAMS Accession No. ML14294A170).

    The NRC intends to work closely with all stakeholders to ensure that the decommissioning rulemaking can be achieved within a reasonable timeframe.

    III. Discussion

    The NRC has determined that interaction with the public and stakeholders will help to inform the development of a regulatory basis for the power reactor decommissioning rulemaking. This ANPR is structured around questions intended to solicit information that: (1) Defines the scope of stakeholder interest in a decommissioning rulemaking, and (2) supports the development of a complete and adequate regulatory basis. Commenters should feel free to provide feedback on any aspect of power reactor decommissioning that would support this ANPR's regulatory objective, whether or not in response to a question listed in this ANPR.

    IV. Regulatory Objectives

    The NRC is developing a proposed rule that would amend the current requirements for power reactors transitioning to decommissioning. Experience has demonstrated that licensees for decommissioning power reactors seek several exemptions and license amendments per site to establish a long-term licensing basis for decommissioning. By issuing a decommissioning rule, the NRC would be able to establish regulations that would maintain safety and security at sites transitioning to decommissioning without the need to grant specific exemptions or license amendments in certain regulatory areas. Specifically, the decommissioning rulemaking would have the following goals: (1) Continue to provide reasonable assurance of adequate protection of the public health and safety and common defense and security at decommissioning power reactor sites; (2) Ensure that the requirements for decommissioning power reactors are clear and appropriate; (3) Codify those issues that are found to be generically applicable to all decommissioning power reactors and have resulted in the need for similarly-worded exemptions or license amendments; and (4) Identify, define, and resolve additional areas of concern related to the regulation of decommissioning power reactors.

    A. Applicability to NRC Licenses and Approvals

    The NRC would apply these updated requirements to power reactors permanently shut down and defueled and entered into decommissioning.

    Accordingly, the NRC envisions that the requirements would apply to the following:

    • Nuclear power plants currently licensed under 10 CFR part 50;

    • Nuclear power plants currently being constructed under construction permits issued under 10 CFR part 50, or whose construction permits may be reinstated;

    • Future nuclear power plants whose construction permits and operating licenses are issued under 10 CFR part 50; and

    • Current and future nuclear power plants licensed under 10 CFR part 52.

    B. Interim Regulatory Actions

    The NRC recognizes that it will take several years to issue a final rule. If additional reactors begin decommissioning before implementation of the final rule, the NRC anticipates that licensees will continue to use existing regulatory processes (for example, exemptions and license amendments) to establish their decommissioning regulatory framework.

    V. Specific Considerations

    The NRC is seeking stakeholders' input on the following specific areas related to power reactor decommissioning regulations. The NRC asks that commenters provide the bases for their comments (i.e., the underlying rationale for the position stated in the comment) to enable the NRC to have a complete understanding of commenters' positions.

    A. Questions Related to Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Decommissioning Power Reactor Licensees

    The EP requirements of 10 CFR 50.47, “Emergency Plans,” and appendix E, “Emergency Planning and Preparedness for Production and Utilization Facilities,” to 10 CFR part 50 continue to apply to a nuclear power reactor after permanent cessation of operations and removal of fuel from the reactor vessel. Currently, there are no explicit regulatory provisions distinguishing EP requirements for a power reactor that has been shut down from those for an operating power reactor. The NRC is considering several changes to the EP requirements in 10 CFR part 50, “Domestic Licensing of Production and Utilization Facilities,” including § 50.47, “Emergency Plans;” appendix E to 10 CFR part 50, “Emergency Planning and Preparedness for Production and Utilization Facilities”; § 50.54(s), (q), and (t), and § 50.72(a) and (b). These areas are discussed in more detail in this section. The questions on EP have been listed in this document using the acronym “EP” and sequential numbers.

    EP-1: The NRC has previously approved exemptions from the emergency planning regulations in § 50.47 and appendix E to 10 CFR part 50 at permanently shut down and defueled power reactor sites based on the determination that there are no possible design-basis events at a decommissioning licensee's facility that could result in an offsite radiological release exceeding the limits established by the EPA's early-phase protective action guidelines of 1 rem at the exclusion area boundary. In addition, the possibility of the spent fuel in the SFP reaching the point of a beyond-design-basis zirconium fire is highly unlikely based on an analysis of the amount of time before spent fuel could reach the zirconium ignition temperature during a SFP partial drain-down event, assuming a reasonably conservative adiabatic heat-up calculation. A minimum of 10 hours is the time that was used in previously approved exemptions, which allows for onsite mitigative actions to be taken by the licensee or actions to be taken by offsite authorities in accordance with the comprehensive emergency management plans (i.e., all hazards plans). For licensees that have been granted exemptions, the EP regulations, as exempted, continue to require the licensees to, among other things, maintain an onsite emergency plan addressing the classification of an emergency, notification of emergencies to licensee personnel and offsite authorities, and coordination with designated offsite government officials following an event declaration so that, if needed, offsite authorities may implement protective actions using a comprehensive emergency management (all-hazard) approach to protect public health and safety. The EP exemptions relieve the licensee from the requirement to maintain formal offsite radiological emergency preparedness, including the 10-mile emergency planning zone.

    a. What specific EP requirements in § 50.47 and appendix E to 10 CFR part 50 should be evaluated for modification, including any EP requirements not addressed in previously approved exemption requests for licensees with decommissioning reactors?

    b. What existing NRC EP-related guidance and other documents should be revised to address implementation of changes to the EP requirements?

    c. What new guidance would be necessary to support implementation of changes to the EP requirements?

    EP-2: Rulemaking may involve a tiered approach for modifying EP requirements based on several factors, including, but not limited to, the source term after cessation of power operations, removal of fuel from the reactor vessel, elapsed time after permanent defueling, and type of long-term onsite fuel storage.

    a. What tiers and associated EP requirements would be appropriate to consider for this approach?

    b. What factors should be considered in establishing each tier?

    c. What type of basis could be established to support each tier or factor?

    d. Should the NRC consider an alternative to a tiered approach for modifying EP requirements? If so, provide a description of a proposed alternative.

    EP-3: Several aspects of offsite EP, such as formal offsite radiological emergency plans, emergency planning zones, and alert and notification systems, may not be necessary at a decommissioning site when beyond-design-basis events—which could result in the need for offsite protective actions—are few in number and highly unlikely to occur.

    a. Presently, licensees at decommissioning sites must maintain the following capabilities to initiate and implement emergency response actions: Classify and declare an emergency, assess releases of radioactive materials, notify licensee personnel and offsite authorities, take mitigative actions, and request offsite assistance if needed. What other aspects of onsite EP and response capabilities may be appropriate for licensees at decommissioning sites to maintain once the requirements to maintain formal offsite EP are discontinued?

    b. To what extent would it be appropriate for licensees at decommissioning sites to arrange for offsite assistance to supplement onsite response capabilities? For example, licensees at decommissioning sites would maintain agreements with offsite authorities for fire, medical, and law enforcement support.

    c. What corresponding changes to § 50.54(s)(2)(ii) and 50.54(s)(3) (about U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)-identified offsite EP deficiencies and FEMA offsite EP findings, respectively) may be appropriate when offsite radiological emergency plans would no longer be required?

    EP-4: Under § 50.54(q), nuclear power reactor licensees are required to follow and maintain the effectiveness of emergency plans that meet the standards in § 50.47 and the requirements in appendix E to 10 CFR part 50. These licensees must submit to the NRC, for prior approval, changes that would reduce the effectiveness of their emergency plans.

    a. Should § 50.54(q) be modified to recognize that nuclear power reactor licensees, once they certify under § 50.82, “Termination of License,” to have permanently ceased operation and permanently removed fuel from the reactor vessel, would no longer be required to meet all standards in § 50.47 and all requirements in appendix E? If so, describe how.

    b. Should nuclear power reactor licensees, once they certify under § 50.82 to have permanently ceased operation and permanently removed fuel from the reactor vessel, be allowed to make emergency plan changes based on § 50.59, “Changes, Tests, and Experiments,” impacting EP related equipment directly associated with power operations? If so, describe how this might be addressed under § 50.54(q).

    EP-5: Under § 50.54(t), nuclear power reactor licensees are required to review all EP program elements every 12 months. Some EP program elements may not apply to permanently shut down and defueled sites; for example, the adequacy of interfaces with State and local government officials when offsite radiological emergency plans may no longer be required. Should § 50.54(t) be clarified to distinguish between EP program review requirements for operating versus permanently shut down and defueled sites? If so, describe how.

    EP-6: The Emergency Response Data System (ERDS) transmits key operating plant data to the NRC during an emergency. Under § 50.72(a)(4), nuclear power reactor licensees are required to activate ERDS within 1 hour after declaring an emergency at an “Alert” or higher emergency classification level. Much of the plant data, and associated instrumentation for obtaining the data, would no longer be available or needed after a reactor is permanently shut down and defueled. Section VI.2 to appendix E of 10 CFR part 50 does not require a nuclear power facility that is shut down permanently or indefinitely to have ERDS. At what point(s) in the decommissioning process should ERDS activation, ERDS equipment, and the instrumentation for obtaining ERDS data, no longer be necessary?

    EP-7: Under § 50.72(a)(1)(i), nuclear power reactor licensees are required to make an immediate notification to the NRC for the declaration of any of the emergency classes specified in the licensee's NRC-approved emergency plan. Notification of the lowest level of a declared emergency at a permanently shut down and defueled reactor facility may no longer need to be an immediate notification (e.g., consider changing the immediate notification category for a Notification of Unusual Event emergency declaration to a 1-hour notification). What changes to § 50.72(a)(1)(i) should be considered for decommissioning sites?

    EP-8: Under § 50.72(b)(3)(xiii), nuclear power reactor licensees are required to make an 8-hour report of any event that results in a major loss of emergency assessment capability, offsite response capability, or offsite communications capability (e.g., significant portion of control room indication, emergency notification system, or offsite notification system). Certain parts of this section may not apply to a permanently shut down and defueled site (e.g., a major loss of offsite response capability once offsite radiological emergency plans would no longer be required). What changes to § 50.72(b)(3)(xiii) should be considered for decommissioning sites?

    B. Questions Related to the Physical Security Requirements for Decommissioning Power Reactor Licensees

    Currently, the physical protection programs applied at decommissioning reactors are managed through security plan changes submitted to the NRC under the provisions of §§ 50.90 and 50.54(p) and exemptions submitted to the NRC for approval under § 73.5. All physical protection program requirements contained in the current § 73.55, appendix B to 10 CFR part 73, “General Criteria for Security Personnel,” and appendix C to 10 CFR part 73, “Licensee Safeguards Contingency Plans,” are applicable to operating reactors and decommissioning reactors unless otherwise modified. The questions on physical security requirements (PSR) have been listed in this document using the acronym “PSR” and sequential numbers.

    PSR-1: Identify any specific security requirements in § 73.55 and appendices B and C to 10 CFR part 73 that should be considered for change to reflect differences between requirements for operating reactors and permanently shut down and defueled reactors.

    PSR-2: The physical security requirements protecting the spent fuel stored in the SFP from the design basis threat (DBT) for radiological sabotage are contained in 10 CFR part 73 and would remain unchanged by this rulemaking. However:

    a. Are there any suggested changes to the physical security requirements in 10 CFR part 73 or its appendices that would be generically applicable to a decommissioning power reactor while spent fuel is stored in the SFP (e.g., are there circumstances where the minimum number of armed responders could be reduced at a decommissioning facility)? If so, describe them.

    b. Which physical security requirements in 10 CFR part 73 should be generically applicable to spent fuel stored in a dry cask independent spent fuel storage installation?

    c. Should the DBT for radiological sabotage continue to apply to decommissioning reactors? If it should cease to apply in the decommissioning process, when should it end?

    PSR-3: Should the NRC develop and publish additional security-related regulatory guidance specific to decommissioning reactor physical protection requirements, or should the NRC revise current regulatory guidance documents? If so, describe them.

    PSR-4: What clarifications should the NRC make to target sets in § 73.55(f) that addresses permanently shut down and defueled reactors?

    PSR-5: For a decommissioning power reactor, are both the central alarm station and a secondary alarm station necessary? If not, why not? If both alarm stations are considered necessary, could the secondary alarm station be located offsite?

    PSR-6: Under § 73.54, power reactor licensees are required to protect digital computer and communication systems and networks. These requirements apply to licensees licensed to operate a nuclear power plant as of November 23, 2009, including those that have subsequently shut down and entered into decommissioning.

    a. Section 73.54 clearly states that the requirements for protection of digital computer and communications systems and networks apply to power reactors licensed under 10 CFR part 50 that were licensed to operate as of November 23, 2009. However, § 73.54 does not explicitly mention the applicability of these requirements to power reactors that are no longer authorized to operate and are transitioning to decommissioning. Are any changes necessary to § 73.54 to explicitly state that decommissioning power reactors are within the scope of § 73.54? If so, describe them.

    b. Should there be reduced cyber security requirements in § 73.54 for decommissioning power reactors based on the reduced risk profile during decommissioning? If so, what would be the recommended changes?

    PSR-7: Under § 73.55(p)(1)(i) and (p)(1)(ii), power reactor licensees suspend security measures during certain emergency conditions or during severe weather under the condition that the suspension “must be approved as a minimum by a licensed senior operator.” Literal interpretation of these regulations would require that only a licensed senior operator could suspend certain security measures at a decommissioning reactor facility. However, for permanently shut down and defueled reactors, licensed operators are no longer required, and licensees typically eliminate these positions shortly after shut down. Decommissioning licensees create a new certified fuel handler (CFH) position (consistent with the definition in § 50.2) as the senior non-licensed operator at the plant. These positions cannot be compared directly, so licensees typically are unable to demonstrate that the CFH position meets the “as a minimum” criteria in § 73.55(p). Because the regulation does not include a provision that authorizes a CFH to approve the suspension of security measures for permanently shut down and defueled reactors (similar to § 50.54(y) authorizing the CFH to approve departures from license conditions or technical specifications), licensees have requested exemptions from § 73.55(p)(1)(i) and (p)(1)(ii) to allow CFHs to have this authority.

    Based on this discussion, are there any concerns about changing the regulations to include the CFH as having the authority to suspend certain security measures during certain emergency conditions or during severe weather for permanently shut down and defueled reactor facilities? If so, describe them.

    PSR-8: Regulations in § 73.55(j)(4)(ii) require continuous communications capability between security alarm stations and the control room. The intent of § 73.55(j)(4)(ii) is to ensure that effective communication between the alarm stations and operations staff with shift command function responsibility is maintained at all times. The control room at an operating reactor contains the controls and instrumentation necessary to ensure safe operation of the reactor and reactor support systems during normal, off-normal, and accident conditions and, therefore, is the location of the shift command function. Following certification of permanent shut down and removal of the fuel from the reactor, operation of the reactor is no longer permitted. Although the control room at a permanently shut down and defueled reactor provides a central location from where the shift command function can be conveniently performed because of existing communication equipment, office computer equipment, and access to reference material, the control room does not need to be the location of the shift command function since shift command functions are not tied to this location for safety reasons, and modern communication systems permit continuous communication capability from anywhere on the site.

    The NRC is considering revising the requirements of § 73.55(j)(4)(ii) for a permanently shut down and defueled reactor. The revised requirements would be focused on maintaining a system of continuous communications between the shift manager/CFH and the security alarm stations (rather than the control room). Such a change would provide the facility's shift manager/CFH the flexibility to leave the control room without necessitating that other operational staff remain in the control room to receive communications from the security alarm stations. Personal communications systems would permit the shift manager/CFH to perform managerial and supervisory activities throughout the plant while maintaining the command function responsibility, regardless of the supervisor's location.

    Based on the discussion above, are there any concerns related to changing the regulations in § 73.55(j)(4)(ii) to allow another communications system between the alarm stations and the shift manager/CFH in lieu of the control room at permanently shut down and defueled reactors? If so, describe them.

    C. Questions Related to Fitness for Duty (FFD) Requirements for Decommissioning Power Reactor Licensees

    The NRC's regulations at § 26.3 lists those licensees and other entities that are required to comply with designated subparts of 10 CFR part 26, “Fitness for Duty Programs.” Part 26 does not apply to power reactor licensees that have certified under § 50.82 to have permanently shut down and defueled. The questions on fitness for duty (FFD) have been listed in this document using the acronym “FFD” and sequential numbers.

    FFD-1: Currently, holders of power reactor licenses issued under 10 CFR part 50 or 10 CFR part 52, “Licenses, Certifications, and Approvals for Nuclear Power Plants,” must comply with the physical protection requirements described in § 73.55 during decommissioning. Under § 73.55, each nuclear power reactor licensee shall maintain and implement its Commission-approved security plans as long as the licensee has a 10 CFR part 50 or 52 license. Furthermore, § 73.55(b)(9) requires the licensee to establish, maintain, and implement an insider mitigation program (IMP) that contains elements from various security programs, including the FFD program described in 10 CFR part 26. Each power reactor licensee has committed within its security plan to using NEI 03-12, “Security Plan Template,” revision 7, as the framework for developing its security plans to meet the requirements of § 73.55. NEI 03-12, which was endorsed by NRC Regulatory Guide (RG) 5.76, “Physical Protection Programs at Nuclear Power Reactors (Safeguards Information (SGI)),” letter dated November 10, 2011, states that the IMP is satisfied when the licensee “implements the elements of the IMP, utilizing the guidance provided in RG 5.77, `Insider Mitigation Program.' ” The NRC is in the process of revising RG 5.77 in order to clarify those FFD elements needed for the IMP.

    a. Should the NRC pursue rulemaking to describe what provisions of 10 CFR part 26 apply to decommissioning reactor licensees or use another method of establishing clear, consistent and enforceable requirements? Describe other methods, as appropriate.

    b. As an alternative to rulemaking, should the drug and alcohol testing for decommissioning reactors be described in RG 5.77, with appropriate reference to the applicable requirements in 10 CFR part 26? This option would be contingent on an NEI commitment to revise NEI 03-12 to include the most recent revision to RG 5.77 (which would include the applicable drug and alcohol testing provisions) and an industry commitment to update their security plans with the revised NEI 03-12.

    c. Describe what drug and alcohol testing requirements in 10 CFR part 26 are not necessary to fulfill the IMP requirements to assure trustworthiness and reliability.

    d. Should another regulatory framework be used, such as a corporate drug testing program modelled on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing or the U.S. Department of Transportation's drug and alcohol testing provisions in 49 CFR part 40? If this option is proposed, describe how (i) the laboratory auditing, quality assurance, and reporting requirements would be met by the proposal; (ii) licensees would conduct alcohol testing; and (iii) the performance objectives of 10 CFR 26.23(a), (b), (c), and (d) would be met.

    FFD-2: On March 31, 2008, the NRC published a final rule in the Federal Register (73 FR 16966) adding subpart I, “Managing Fatigue,” to 10 CFR part 26. The addition of subpart I in the revised rule provides reasonable assurance that the effects of fatigue and degraded alertness on an individual's ability to safely and competently perform his or her duties are managed commensurate with maintaining public health and safety. The fatigue management provisions also reduce the potential for worker fatigue (e.g., that associated with security officers, maintenance personnel, control room operators, emergency response personnel, etc.) to adversely affect the common defense and security. The 2008 rule established clear and enforceable requirements for operating nuclear power plant licensees and other entities for the management of worker fatigue. Power reactor licensees that had permanently shut down and defueled were not considered within the scope of that rulemaking effort. This is because the scope of activities at a facility undergoing decommissioning is much less likely to create a public health and safety concern due to the significantly reduced risk of a radiological event.

    a. Should any of the fatigue management requirements of 10 CFR part 26, subpart I, apply to a permanently shut down and defueled reactor? If so, which ones?

    b. Based on the lower risk of an offsite radiological release from a decommissioning reactor, compared to an operating reactor, should only specific classes of workers, as identified in § 26.4(a) through (c), be subject to fatigue management requirements (e.g., security officers or certified fuel handlers)? Please provide what classes of workers should be subject to the requirements and a justification for their inclusion.

    c. Should the fatigue management requirements of 10 CFR part 26, subpart I, continue to apply to the specific classes of workers identified in response to question b above, for a specified period of time (e.g., until a specified decay heat level is reached within the SFP, or until all fuel is in dry storage)? Please provide what period of time workers would be subject to the requirements and the justification for the timing.

    d. Should an alternate approach to fatigue management be developed commensurate with the plant's lower risk profile? Please provide a discussion of the alternate approach and how the measures would adequately manage fatigue for workers.

    D. Questions Related to Training Requirements of Certified Fuel Handlers for Decommissioning Power Reactor Licensees

    Reactor operators are licensed under 10 CFR part 55 to manipulate the controls of operating power reactors. The regulations at § 55.4 define “controls” to mean, “when used with respect to a nuclear reactor . . . apparatus and mechanisms the manipulation of which directly affects the reactivity or power level of the reactor.” “Controls” are not relevant at decommissioning reactors because the reactors are permanently shutdown and defueled and no longer authorized to load fuel into the reactor vessel. Consequently, without fuel in the reactor vessel, decommissioning reactors are in a configuration in which the reactivity or power level of the reactor is no longer meaningful and there are no conditions where the manipulation of apparatus or mechanisms can affect the reactivity or power level of the reactor. Therefore, licensed operators are not required at decommissioning reactors. The NRC regulations do not explicitly state the staffing alternative for licensed operators after a reactor has permanently shutdown and defueled under § 50.82(a)(1). When licensees permanently shut down their reactors, they must continue to meet minimum staffing requirements in technical specifications and regulatory required programs (e.g., emergency response organizations, fire brigade, security, etc.). Given the reduced risk of a radiological incident once the certifications of permanent cessation of operation and permanent removal of fuel from the reactor vessel have been submitted, licensees typically transition their operating staff to a decommissioning organization. This transition includes replacing licensed operators with CFHs as the on-shift management representative responsible for supervising and directing the monitoring, storage, handling, and cooling of irradiated nuclear fuel in a manner consistent with ensuring the health and safety of the public. Regulations in § 50.2 define a CFH for a nuclear power reactor as a non-licensed operator who has qualified in accordance with a fuel handler training program approved by the Commission. The transition to the use of CFHs from licensed operators at decommissioning reactors occurs following the NRC's approval of a licensee's CFH training program and an amendment to the administrative and organization section of the licensee's defueled technical specifications.

    However, the NRC regulations do not contain criteria for an acceptable CFH training program. Because of the reduced risks and relative simplicity of the systems needed for safe storage of the spent fuel, the Commission stated in the 1996 decommissioning final rule that “[t]he degree of regulatory oversight required for a nuclear power reactor during its decommissioning stage is considerably less than that required for the facility during its operating stage” (61 FR 39278). In the proposed rule, the Commission also provided insights as to the responsibilities of the CFH position. Specifically, the CFHs are needed at decommissioning reactors to ensure that emergency action decisions necessary to protect the public health and safety are made by an individual who has both the requisite knowledge and plant experience (60 FR 37374, 37379).

    In previous evaluations of licensee CFH training programs (ADAMS Accession Nos. ML14104A046, ML13268A165), the NRC has determined that an acceptable CFH training program should ensure that the trained individual has requisite knowledge and experience in spent fuel handling and storage and reactor decommissioning, and is capable of evaluating plant conditions and exercising prudent judgment for emergency action decisions. In addition, since the CFH is defined as a non-licensed operator, the NRC staff has also evaluated the CFH training program in accordance with § 50.120, which includes a requirement in § 50.120(b)(2) that the training program must be derived from a systems approach to training as defined in § 55.4.

    However, as previously noted, the specific training requirements for the CFH program are not in the regulations. In addition, § 50.120 specifies the training and qualification requirements for non-licensed reactor personnel but does not address the CFH staffing position. Because the regulations are silent on the training attributes of the CFH, regulatory uncertainty regarding the CFH training program exists. In addition, because the NRC's regulations do not address the replacement of licensed operators by CFHs, licensees also have questions regarding the transition from licensed operator training programs to CFHs' training programs. The questions on CFH have been listed in this document using the acronym “CFH” and sequential numbers.

    CFH-1: Based on the NRC's experience with the review of the CFH training/retraining programs submitted by licensees that have recently permanently shutdown, the following questions are focused on areas that may need additional clarity. Specifically:

    a. When should licensees that are planning to enter decommissioning submit requests for approval of CFH training/retraining programs?

    b. What training and qualifications should be required for operations staff at power reactors that decommission earlier than expected and that do not have an approved CFH training/retraining program?

    c. Should the NRC issue new requirements that prohibit licensees from surrendering operators' licenses before implementation of an approved CFH training/retraining program, or should other incentives or deterrents be considered? If so, what factors must be included?

    d. Should the contents of a CFH training/retraining program be standardized throughout the industry? If so, how should this be implemented?

    e. Should a process be implemented that requires decommissioning power reactor licensees to independently manage the specific content of their CFH training/retraining program based on the systems and processes actually used at each particular plant instead of standardization? If so, how should this work?

    f. Is there any existing or developing document or program (from the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, NEI, NRC, or other related sources) that provides relevant guidance on the content and format of a CFH training/retraining program that could be made applicable to CFH training?

    g. Should the requirements for CFH training programs be incorporated into an overall decommissioning rule, or addressed using other regulatory vehicles such as associated NUREGs, regulatory guides, standard review plan chapters or sections, and inspection procedures?

    E. Questions Related to the Current Regulatory Approach for Decommissioning Power Reactor Licensees

    In the SRM to SECY-15-0014, the Commission directed the staff to determine the appropriateness of (1) maintaining the three existing options for decommissioning and the timeframes associated with those options, and (2) address the appropriate role of State and local governments and non-governmental stakeholders in the decommissioning process. Based on the Commission's direction, the NRC staff is seeking additional information on the need for any regulatory changes concerning the use of decommissioning options, the timeframe to complete decommissioning, and the role of external stakeholders in the decommissioning process. The questions on regulatory approach (REG) have been listed in this document using the acronym “REG” and sequential numbers.

    REG-1: The NRC has evaluated the environmental impacts of three general methods for decommissioning power reactor facilities, DECON, SAFSTOR, or ENTOMB, as described in Section II.A, footnote 1 of this document. The choice of the decommissioning method is left entirely to the licensee, provided that the decommissioning method can be performed in accordance with NRC's regulations. The NRC would require the licensee to re-evaluate its decision on the method of the decommissioning process that it chose if it (1) could not be completed as described, (2) could not be completed within 60 years of the permanent cessation of plant operations, (3) included activities that would endanger the health and safety of the public by being outside of the NRC's health and safety regulations, or (4) would result in a significant impact to the environment. The licensee's choice is communicated to the NRC and the public in the PSDAR. To date, most utilities have used DECON or SAFSTOR to decommission reactors. Several sites have performed some incremental decontamination and dismantlement during the storage period of SAFSTOR, a combination of SAFSTOR and DECON as personnel, money, or other factors become available. No utilities have used the ENTOMB option for a commercial nuclear power reactor.

    a. Should the current options for decommissioning—DECON, SAFSTOR, and ENTOMB—be explicitly addressed and defined in the regulations instead of solely in guidance documents, and how so?

    b. Should other options for decommissioning be explored? If so, what other technical or programmatic options are reasonable and what type of supporting documents would be most effective for providing guidance on these new options or requirements?

    c. The NRC regulations state that decommissioning must be completed within 60 years of permanent cessation of operations. A duration of 60 years was chosen because it roughly corresponds to 10 half-lives for cobalt-60, one of the predominant isotopes remaining in the facility. By 60 years, the initial short-lived isotopes, including cobalt-60, will have decayed to background levels. In addition, the 60-year period appears to be reasonable from the standpoint of expecting institutional controls to be maintained. Completion of decommissioning beyond 60 years will be approved by the NRC only when necessary to protect public health and safety. Should the requirements be changed so that the timeframe for decommissioning is something other than the current 60-year limit? Would this change be dependent on the method of decommissioning chosen, site specific characteristics, or some other combination of factors? If so, please describe.

    REG-2: In support of decommissioning planning for a permanently shut down and defueled power reactor, the licensee submits to the NRC a PSDAR that: (1) Informs the public of the licensee's planned decommissioning activities; (2) assists in the scheduling of NRC resources necessary for the appropriate oversight activities; (3) ensures that the licensee has considered the costs of the planned decommissioning activities and has funding for the decommissioning process; and (4) ensures that the environmental impacts of the planned decommissioning activities are bounded by those considered in existing environmental impact statements. After receiving a PSDAR, the NRC publishes a notice of receipt, makes the PSDAR available for public review and comment, and holds a public meeting in the vicinity of the plant to discuss the licensee's plans and address the public's comments. Although the NRC will determine if the information is consistent with the regulations, NRC approval of the PSDAR is not required. However, should the NRC determine that the informational requirements of the regulations are not met in the PSDAR, the NRC will inform the licensee, in writing, of the deficiencies and require that they be addressed before the licensee initiates any major decommissioning activities. Any decommissioning activities that could preclude release of the site for possible unrestricted use, impact a reasonable assurance finding that adequate funds will be available for decommissioning, or potentially result in a significant environmental impact not previously reviewed, must receive prior NRC approval. Specifically, the licensee is required to submit a license amendment request for NRC review and approval, which provides an opportunity for public comment and/or a public hearing. Unless the NRC staff approves the license amendment request, the licensee is not to conduct the requested activity. Consistent with Commission direction, the NRC staff is seeking comment on the appropriate role for the NRC in reviewing and approving the licensee's proposed decommissioning strategy and associated planning activities.

    a. Is the content and level of detail currently required for the licensee's PSDAR, adequate? If not, what should be added or removed to enhance the document?

    b. Should the regulations be amended to require NRC review and approval of the PSDAR before allowing any “major decommissioning activity,” as that term is defined in § 50.2, to commence? What value would this add to the decommissioning process?

    REG-3: The NRC's regulations currently offer the public opportunities to review and provide comments on the decommissioning process. Specifically, under the NRC's regulations in § 50.82, the NRC is required to publish a notice of the receipt of the licensee's PSDAR, make the PSDAR available for public comment, schedule separate meetings in the vicinity of the location of the licensed facility to discuss the PSDAR within 60 days of receipt, and publish a notice of the meetings in the Federal Register and another forum readily accessible to individuals in the vicinity of the site. For many years, the NRC has strongly recommended that licensees involved in decommissioning activities form a community committee to obtain local citizen views and concerns regarding the decommissioning process and spent fuel storage issues. It has been the NRC's view that those licensees who actively engage the community maintain better relations with the local citizens. The NRC's guidance related to creating a site-specific community advisory board can be found in NUREG-1757, “Consolidated Decommissioning Guidance,” Appendix M, “Overview of the Restricted Use and Alternate Criteria Provisions of 10 CFR part 20, subpart E,” Section M.6 (ADAMS Accession No. ML063000243). Appendix M does not require licensees to create a community advisory board, but only provides recommendations for methods of soliciting public advice. Nonetheless, Section M.6 contains useful guidance and suggestions for effective public involvement in the decommissioning process that could be adopted by any licensee.

    a. Should the current role of the States, members of the public, or other stakeholders in the decommissioning process be expanded or enhanced, and how so?

    b. Should the current role of the States, members of the public, or other stakeholders in the decommissioning process for non-radiological areas be expanded or enhanced, and how so? Currently, for all non-radiological effluents created during the decommissioning process, licensees are required to comply with EPA or State regulations related to liquid effluent discharges to bodies of water.

    c. For most decommissioning sites, the State and local governments are involved in an advisory capacity, often as part of a Community Engagement Panel or other organization aimed at fostering communication and information exchange between the licensee and the public. Should the NRC's regulations mandate the formation of these advisory panels?

    F. Questions Related to the Application of Backfitting Protection to Decommissioning Power Reactor Licensees

    In the SRM to SECY-98-253, “Applicability of Plant-Specific Backfit Requirements to Plants Undergoing Decommissioning,” dated February 12, 1999 (ADAMS Accession No. ML12311A689), the Commission approved development of a Backfit Rule for plants undergoing decommissioning. The Commission directed the staff to continue to apply the then-current Backfit Rule to plants undergoing decommissioning until the final rule was issued. The Commission ordered the development of a rulemaking plan, which became SECY-00-0145. In SECY-00-0145, the staff proposed amendments to § 50.109 to clearly show that the Backfit Rule applies during decommissioning and to remove factors that are not applicable to nuclear power plants in decommissioning. As explained in section II.A of this document, that rulemaking never occurred, but the Commission, in SRM-SECY-14-0118, directed the staff to proceed with a rulemaking that addresses, among other things, the issues discussed in SECY-00-0145.

    The questions on backfitting protection (BFP) have been listed in this document using the acronym “BFP” and sequential numbers.

    BFP-1: The protections provided by the backfitting and issue finality provisions in 10 CFR parts 50 and 52, respectively, can apply to a holder of a nuclear power reactor license when the reactor is in decommissioning. Backfitting and issue finality during decommissioning can be divided into two areas:

    a. When a licensee's licensing basis for operations continues to apply during decommissioning until: (1) The licensee changes the licensing basis, (2) the NRC's regulations set forth generic criteria delineating when changes can be made to the licensing basis, or (3) the NRC takes a facility-specific action that changes the licensee's licensing basis. Why would backfitting protection apply in this area?

    b. When a licensee engages in an activity during decommissioning for which no prior NRC approval was provided. The activity could be required by an NRC regulation or new NRC approval (through an order or licensing action). Why would backfitting protection apply in this area?

    BFP-2: Should the NRC propose amendments to § 50.109 consistent with the preliminary amendments proposed in SECY-00-0145 that would have created a two-section Backfit Rule: one section that would apply to nuclear power plants undergoing decommissioning and the other section that would apply to operating reactors?

    G. Questions Related to Decommissioning Trust Funds

    The questions on decommissioning trust fund (DTF) have been listed in this document using the acronym “DTF” and sequential numbers.

    DTF-1: The Commission's regulation at § 50.75 includes the reporting requirements for providing reasonable assurance that sufficient funds will be available for the decommissioning process. The regulation at § 50.82 contains, in part, requirements on the use of decommissioning funds. Every 2 years each operating power reactor licensee must report to the NRC the status of the licensee's decommissioning funding to provide assurance to the NRC that the licensee will have sufficient financial resources to accomplish radiological decommissioning. After decommissioning has begun, licensees must annually submit a financial assurance status report to the NRC.

    The NRC's authority is limited to assuring that licensees adequately decommission their facilities with respect to cleanup and removal of radioactive material prior to license termination. Activities that go beyond the scope of decommissioning, as defined in § 50.2, such as waste generated during operations or demolition costs for greenfield restoration, are not appropriate costs for inclusion in the decommissioning cost estimate. The collection of funds for spent fuel management is addressed in § 50.54(bb) where it indicates that licensees need to have a plan, including financing, for spent fuel management.

    The NRC has not precluded the commingling of the funds in a single trust fund account to address radiological decommissioning, spent fuel management, and site restoration, as long as the licensee is able to identify and account for these specific funds. In the 1996 decommissioning rule, the Commission indicated that the rule “does not prohibit licensees from having separate subaccounts for other activities in the decommissioning trust fund if minimum amounts specified in the rule are maintained for radiological decommissioning.” Similarly, in the 2002 Decommissioning Trust Provisions Rule, the Commission stated that it “appreciates the benefits that some licensees may derive from their use of a single trust fund for all of their decommissioning costs, both radiological and not; but, as stated above, a licensee must be able to identify the individual amounts contained within its single trust. Therefore, where a licensee has not separately identified and accounted for expenses related to non-radiological decommissioning in its DTF, licensees are required to request exemptions from § 50.82(a)(8)(i)(A) and either § 50.75(h)(1)(iv) or § 50.75(h)(2), to gain access to monies in the decommissioning trust fund for purposes other than decommissioning (e.g., spent fuel management). The NRC has approved exemptions from the requirements of §§ 50.82 and 50.75 allowing withdrawals to be made from decommissioning trust funds for spent fuel management in instances where the level of funding needed to complete decommissioning is not adversely affected. In each instance, the NRC found, pursuant to § 50.12, the exemptions were authorized by law, presented no undue risk to public health and safety, and were consistent with the common defense and security, and found that the application of the rules was unnecessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the rules.

    In some cases, a licensee will not need an exemption. Those cases exist when a licensee can clearly show that (1) its decommissioning trust includes State-required funds and (2) the amount of radiological decommissioning funds in the trust exceeds the amount of money estimated to be needed for radiological decommissioning in the licensee's site specific decommissioning cost estimate (or if the licensee does not have a site specific decommissioning cost estimate yet, then the minimum amount necessary to provide financial assurance under § 50.75). If the licensee meets these criteria, then reasonable assurance of adequate radiological decommissioning funding still exists after removal of the State-required funds, and the licensee does not need an exemption to use those State-required funds.

    The NRC issued Regulatory Issue Summary (RIS) 2001-07, Revision 1, “10 CFR 50.75 Reporting and Recordkeeping for Decommissioning Planning,” on January 8, 2009 (ADAMS Accession No. ML083440158), to clarify the need for licensees to preserve the distinction in their decommissioning trust accounts between the radiological decommissioning fund balance and amounts accumulated for other purposes, such as paying for spent fuel management and site restoration, when using the trust for commingled funds. However, based on NRC experience with the power reactors that have recently and permanently shut down and entered into decommissioning, licensees continue to report funds they have accumulated to address spent fuel management and site restoration as part of the amount of funds reported for radiological decommissioning.

    Should the regulations in §§ 50.75 and 50.82 be revised to clarify the collection, reporting, and accounting of commingled funds in the decommissioning trust fund, that is in excess of the amount required for radiological decommissioning and that has been designated for other purposes, in order to preclude the need to obtain exemptions for access to the excess monies?

    DTF-2: The regulation at § 50.82(a)(8)(i)(A) states that decommissioning trust funds may only be used by licensees if their withdrawals “are for expenses for legitimate decommissioning activities consistent with the definition of decommissioning in § 50.2.” In accordance with § 50.2, decommission means to remove a nuclear facility or site safely from service and reduce residual radioactivity to a level that permits: (1) Release of the property for unrestricted use and termination of the license; or (2) release of the property under restricted conditions and termination of the NRC license. Thus, “legitimate decommissioning activities” include only those activities whose expenses are related to removing a nuclear facility or site safely from service and reducing residual radioactivity to a level that permits license termination and release of the property for restricted or unrestricted use.

    While the regulations are silent with regards to what specific expenses are related to legitimate decommissioning activities, the NRC's guidance documents identify some specific expenses that may or may not be paid from the decommissioning trust fund. For example, Regulatory Guide (RG) 1.184, Revision 1, “Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Reactors” (ADAMS Accession No. ML13144A840), states that the amount set aside for radiological decommissioning as required by § 50.75 “should not be used for: (1) The maintenance and storage of spent fuel in the spent fuel pool, (2) the design, construction, or decommissioning of spent fuel dry storage facilities directly related to permanent disposal, (3) other activities not directly related to radiological decontamination or dismantlement of the facility or site.” Similarly, other NRC guidance explain that the NRC's definition of decommissioning does not include other activities related to facility deactivation and site closure, including operation of the spent fuel storage pool, construction and/or operation of an ISFSI, demolition of decontaminated structures, and/or site restoration activities after residual radioactivity has been removed. The NRC also has additional guidance that states that removing uncontaminated material, such as soil or a wall, to gain access to contamination to be removed would be a legitimate decommissioning cost. Finally, guidance also exists that provides examples of activities outside the scope of decommissioning including, “(1) the maintenance and storage of spent fuel, (2) the design and/or construction of a spent fuel dry storage facility, (3) activities that are not directly related to supporting long-term storage of the facility, or (4) any other activities not directly related to radiological decontamination of the site.”

    a. What changes should be considered for §§ 50.2 and 50.82(a)(8) to clarify what constitutes a legitimate decommissioning activity?

    b. Regulations in § 50.82(8)(ii) states that 3 percent of the decommissioning funds may be used during the initial stages of decommissioning for decommissioning planning activities. What should be included or specifically excluded in the definition of “decommissioning planning activities?”

    H. Questions Related to Offsite Liability Protection Insurance Requirements for Decommissioning Power Reactor Licensees

    The questions on offsite liability protection insurance (LPI) have been listed in this document using the acronym “LPI” and sequential numbers.

    LPI-1: The Price Anderson Act of 1957 (PAA) requires that nuclear power reactor licensees have insurance to compensate the public for damages arising from a nuclear incident, including such expenses as those for personal injury, property damage, or the legal cost associated with lawsuits. Regulations in 10 CFR part 140, “Amounts of Financial Protection for Certain Reactors,” set forth the amounts of insurance each power reactor licensee must have. Specifically, § 140.11(a)(4) requires a reactor licensee to maintain $375 million in offsite liability insurance coverage. In addition, the primary insurance is supplemented by a secondary insurance tier. In the event of an accident causing offsite damages in excess of $375 million, each licensee would be assessed a prorated share of the excess damages, up to $121.3 million per reactor, for a total of approximately $13 billion.

    Regulations in § 140.11(a)(4) do not distinguish between a reactor that is authorized to operate and a reactor that has permanently shut down and defueled. Most of the accident scenarios postulated for operating power reactors involve failures or malfunctions of systems that could affect the fuel in the reactor core, which in the most severe postulated accidents, would involve the release of large quantities of fission products. With the permanent cessation of reactor operations and the permanent removal of the fuel from the reactor core, such reactor accidents are no longer possible with a decommissioning reactor.

    The PAA requires licensees of facilities with a rated capacity of 100,000 electrical kilowatts or more to have the primary and secondary insurance coverage described above, which the NRC establishes in 10 CFR part 140. Typically, the NRC will issue a decommissioning licensee a license amendment to remove the rated capacity of the reactor from the license. This has the effect of removing the reactor licensee from the category of licensees that are required to maintain the primary and secondary insurance amounts under the PAA and 10 CFR part 140.

    Most permanently shut down and defueled power reactor licensees have requested exemptions from § 140.11(a)(4) to reduce the required amount of primary offsite liability insurance coverage from $375 million to $100 million and to withdraw from the secondary insurance pool. As noted above, these licensees are no longer within the category of licensees that are legally required under the PAA to have these amounts of offsite liability insurance. The technical criteria for granting these exemptions are based on the determination that there are no possible design-basis events at a licensee's facility that could result in an offsite radiological release exceeding the limits established by the EPA's early-phase Protective Action Guidelines of 1 rem at the exclusion area boundary. In addition, the exemptions are predicated on the licensee demonstrating that the heat generated by the spent fuel in the SFP has decayed to the point where the possibility of a zirconium fire is highly unlikely. Specifically, if all coolant were drained from the SFP as the result of a highly unlikely beyond design-basis accident, the fuel assemblies would remain below a temperature of incipient cladding oxidation for zirconium based on air-cooling alone. For a postulated situation where the cooling configuration of a highly unlikely beyond design basis accident results in an unknown cooling configuration of the spent fuel, analysis should demonstrate that even with no cooling of any kind (conduction, convection, or radiative heat transfer), the spent fuel stored in the SFP would not reach the zirconium ignition temperature in fewer than 10 hours starting from the time at which the accident was initiated. The NRC has considered 10 hours sufficient time to take mitigative actions to cool the spent fuel. Based on this discussion:

    a. Should the NRC codify the current conservative exemption criteria (i.e., 10 hours to take mitigative actions) that have been used in granting decommissioning reactor licensees exemptions to § 140.11(a)(4)?

    b. As an alternative to codifying the current conservative exemption criteria (i.e., 10 hours to take mitigative actions), should the NRC codify a requirement to allow decommissioning reactor licensees to generate site specific criteria (i.e., time period to take mitigative actions) based upon a site specific analysis?

    c. The use of $100 million for primary liability insurance level is based on Commission policy and precedent from the early 1990s. The amount established was a qualitative value to bound the claims from the Three Mile Island accident. Should this number be adjusted?

    d. What other factors should be considered in establishing an appropriate primary insurance liability level (based on the potential for damage claims) for a decommissioning plant once the risk of any kind of offsite radiological release is highly unlikely?

    I. Questions Related to Onsite Damage Protection Insurance Requirements for Decommissioning Power Reactor Licensees

    The questions on onsite damage protection insurance (ODI) have been listed in this document using the acronym “ODI” and sequential numbers.

    ODI-1: The requirements of § 50.54(w)(1) call for each power reactor licensee to have insurance to provide minimum coverage for each reactor site of $1.06 billion or whatever amount of insurance is generally available from private sources, whichever is less. The insurance would be used, in the event of an accident at the licensee's reactor, to provide financial resources to stabilize the reactor and decontaminate the reactor site, if needed.

    The requirements in § 50.54(w)(1) do not distinguish between a reactor authorized to operate and a reactor that has permanently shut down and defueled. With the permanent cessation of reactor operations and the permanent removal of the fuel from the reactor core, operating reactor accidents are no longer possible. Therefore, the need for onsite insurance at a decommissioning reactor to stabilize accident conditions or decontaminate the site following an accident, should be significantly lower compared to the need for insurance at an operating reactor.

    Based on NRC policy and precedent, permanently shut down and defueled reactor licensees have requested exemptions from § 50.54(w)(1). The exemption granted to a permanently shut down reactor licensee permits the licensee to reduce the required level of onsite property damage insurance from the amount established in § 50.54(w)(1) to $50 million. The NRC has previously determined that $50 million bounds the worst radioactive waste contamination event (caused by a liquid radioactive waste storage tank rupture) once the heat generated by the spent fuel in the SFP has decayed to the point where the possibility of a zirconium fire in any beyond design-basis accident is highly unlikely, and in any case, there is sufficient time to take mitigative actions. The technical criteria used in assessing the possibility of a zirconium fire, as discussed in question LPI-1 above, is also used for exemptions from § 50.54(w)(1). Based on this discussion:

    a. Should the NRC codify the current exemption criteria that have been used in granting decommissioning reactor licensees exemptions from § 50.54(w)(1)? If so, describe why.

    b. The use of $50 million insurance level for bounding onsite radiological damages is based on a postulated liquid radioactive waste storage tank rupture using analyses from the early 1990s. Should this number be adjusted? If so, describe

    c. Is the postulated rupture of a liquid radioactive waste storage tank an appropriate bounding postulated accident at a decommissioning reactor site once the possibility of a zirconium fire has been determined to be highly unlikely?

    J. General Questions Related to Decommissioning Power Reactor Regulations

    The general (GEN) questions related to decommissioning power reactor regulations have been listed in this document using the acronym “GEN” and sequential numbers.

    GEN-1: Section 50.51, “Continuation of License,” states in paragraph (b)(1) that all permanently shut down and defueled reactor licensees shall continue to take actions to maintain the facility, and the storage and control and maintenance of spent fuel, in a safe condition beyond the license expiration date until the Commission notifies the licensee in writing that the license is terminated. The NRC has recently focused on the licensee's maintenance of long lived, passive structures and components at decommissioning reactors. The NRC expects that many long-lived, passive structures and components may generally not have performance and condition characteristics that can be readily monitored, or could be considered inherently reliable by licensees and do not need to be monitored under § 50.65(a)(1). There may be few, if any, actual maintenance activities (e.g., inspection or condition monitoring) that a licensee conducts for such structures and components. Treatment of long-lived, passive structures and components under the maintenance rule is likely to involve minimal preventive maintenance or monitoring to maintain functionality of such structures and components in the original licensing period. The NRC is interested in the need to provide reasonable assurance that certain long-lived, passive structures and components (e.g., neutron absorbing materials, SFP liner) are maintained and monitored during the decommissioning period while spent fuel is in the SFP.

    Based on the discussion above, what regulatory changes should be considered that address the performance or condition of certain long-lived, passive structures and components needed to provide reasonable assurance that they will remain capable of fulfilling their intended functions during the decommissioning period?

    GEN-2: Section 50.54(m) of the NRC's regulations for operating reactors specifies the minimum licensed operator staffing levels (e.g., minimum staffing per shift for licensed operators and senior operators) for power reactors authorized to operate. The regulations define the duties of licensed operators as either the manipulation of controls or supervising the manipulation of controls that directly affect the reactor reactivity or power level of the reactor. A decommissioning plant is clearly not operating and no manipulation of controls that affect reactor reactivity or power can occur at a permanently defueled reactor. Therefore, the requirements in § 50.54(m) concerning licensed operator staffing levels for operating reactors are not applicable to a decommissioning plant. For a decommissioning power reactor, the senior on-shift management representative is a certified fuel handler who, as stated in § 50.2, is a non-licensed operator that has qualified in accordance with a fuel handler training program approved by the Commission. However, there are no regulatory provisions similar to § 50.54(m) concerning operator staffing levels for a power reactor licensee once it has certified that it is permanently shut down and defueled under § 50.82(a)(1). Because the decommissioning regulations are silent regarding staffing levels, licensees have sought amendments in their defueled technical specifications to specify minimum non-licensed operator staffing. Based on precedent used at most previous permanently shut down reactors, and considering the demonstrated safety performance of reactor decommissioning sites over many years, the NRC has found that an operations staff crew complement consisting of one certified fuel handler and one non-certified operator is an acceptable minimum staffing level.

    Considering the discussion above, should minimum operations shift staffing at a permanently shutdown and defueled reactor be codified by regulation?

    GEN-3: Related to the decommissioning plant operator staffing levels is the requirement for and the use of a control room during decommissioning. Section 50.54(m) specifies the control room staffing requirements for licensed operators at an operating reactor with a fueled reactor vessel. No such requirements exist for the location of operations staff at a permanently shutdown and defueled reactor. The control room at an operating reactor contains the controls and instrumentation necessary for complete supervision and response needed to ensure safe operation and shutdown of the reactor and support systems during normal, off-normal, and accident conditions and, therefore, is the location of the shift command function. Following permanent shutdown and removal of fuel from the reactor, operation of the reactor is no longer permitted and the control room no longer performs all of the functions that were required for an operating reactor. There are no longer any activities at a permanently shutdown and defueled reactor that require a quick decision and response by operations staff in the control room. For most decommissioning reactors, the NRC has approved license amendments to the technical specifications that require at least one non-licensed operator to remain in a control room. This technical specification change is primarily based on precedent. However, the NRC has noted in the license amendment safety evaluations that the primary functions of the control room at a permanently shutdown reactor are monitoring, response, communications, and coordination. Specifically, the control room at a decommissioning reactor is where many plant systems and equipment parameters are monitored (for operating status and conditions, radiation levels, electrical anomalies, or fire alarms for example). Control room personnel assess plant conditions; evaluate the magnitude and potential consequences of abnormal conditions; determine preventative, mitigating and corrective actions; and perform notifications. The control room provides a central location from where the shift command function can be conveniently performed because of the availability of existing monitoring and assessment instrumentation, communication systems and equipment, office computer equipment, and ready access to reference material. The control room also provides a central location from which emergency response activities are coordinated. When activated, the emergency response organization reports to the control room.

    During reactor decommissioning, the control room may be subject to extensive changes, which are evaluated by the licensee for safety implications under the § 50.59 process. There is precedent among some previous decommissioning reactor licensees to design and construct a decommissioning control room that is independent of the original operating control room. Most decommissioning reactors can probably demonstrate that the command, communications, and monitoring functions performed in the control room could be readily performed at an alternate onsite location, based on the site-specific needs of a licensee during its decommissioning process. Consequently, several decommissioning licensees have questioned the meaning of the control room as it relates to decommissioning nuclear power plants.

    Based on the discussion above, what regulatory changes should be considered for a permanently shutdown and defueled reactor to prevent ambiguities concerning the meaning of the control room for decommissioning reactors and should minimum staffing levels be specified for the control room?

    GEN-4: Are there any other changes to 10 CFR Chapter I, “Nuclear Regulatory Commission,” that could be clarified or amended to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the reactor decommissioning process?

    GEN-5: The NRC is attempting to gather information on the costs and benefits of the changes in the regulatory areas discussed in this document as early as possible in the rulemaking process. Given the topics discussed, please provide estimated costs and benefits of potential changes in these areas from either the perspective of a licensee or from the perspective of an external stakeholder.

    a. From your perspective, which areas discussed are the most beneficial or detrimental?

    b. From your perspective, assuming you believe changes are needed to the NRC's reactor decommissioning regulatory infrastructure, what are the factors that drive the need for changes in these regulatory areas? If at all possible, please provide specific examples (e.g., expected savings, expectations for efficiency, anticipated effects on safety, etc.) about how these changes will affect you.

    c. Are there areas that are of particular interest to you, and for what reason?

    d. Please provide any suggested changes that would further enhance benefits or reduce risks that may not have been addressed in this ANPR.

    VI. Public Meeting

    The NRC will conduct a public meeting to discuss the contents of this ANPR and to answer questions from the public regarding the contents of this ANPR. The NRC will publish a notice of the location, time, and agenda of the meeting on the NRC's public meeting Web site at least 10 calendar days before the meeting. Stakeholders should monitor the NRC's public meeting Web site for information about the public meeting at: http://www.nrc.gov/public-involve/public-meetings/index.cfm. In addition, the meeting information will be posted on www.regulations.gov under Docket ID NRC-2015-0070. For instructions on how to receive alerts when changes or additions occur in a docket folder, see Section IX of this document.

    VII. Cumulative Effects of Regulation

    The NRC has implemented a program to address the possible Cumulative Effects of Regulation (CER), in the development of regulatory bases for rulemakings. The CER describes the challenges that licensees, or other impacted entities (such as State partners) may face while implementing new regulatory positions, programs, and requirements (e.g., rules, generic letters, backfits, inspections). The CER is an organizational effectiveness challenge that results from a licensee or impacted entity implementing a number of complex positions, programs or requirements within a limited implementation period and with available resources (which may include limited available expertise to address a specific issue). The NRC is specifically requesting comment on the cumulative effects that may result from this potential rulemaking. In developing comments on the development of the regulatory basis for revisions to the requirements for decommissioning power reactor licensees relative to CER, consider the following questions:

    (1) In light of any current or projected CER challenges, what should be a reasonable effective date, compliance date, or submittal date(s) from the time the final rule is published to the actual implementation of any new proposed requirements including changes to programs, procedures, or the facility?

    (2) If current or projected CER challenges exist, what should be done to address this situation (e.g., if more time is required to implement the new requirements, what period of time would be sufficient, and why such a time frame is necessary)?

    (3) Do other (NRC or other agency) regulatory actions (e.g., orders, generic communications, license amendment requests, and inspection findings of a generic nature) influence the implementation of the potential proposed requirements?

    (4) Are there unintended consequences? Does the potential proposed action create conditions that would be contrary to the potential proposed action's purpose and objectives? If so, what are the consequences and how should they be addressed?

    (5) Please provide information on the costs and benefits of the potential proposed action. This information will be used to support any regulatory analysis performed by the NRC.

    VIII. Plain Writing

    The Plain Writing Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-274) requires Federal agencies to write documents in a clear, concise, and well-organized manner. The NRC has written this document to be consistent with the Plain Writing Act as well as the Presidential Memorandum, “Plain Language in Government Writing,” published June 10, 1998 (63 FR 31883). The NRC requests comment on this document with respect to the clarity and effectiveness of the language used.

    IX. Availability of Documents

    The documents identified in the following table are available to interested persons through one or more of the following methods, as indicated.

    Date Document ADAMS Accession No./
  • Federal Register citation
  • May 10, 1993 SECY-93-127, “Financial Protection Required of Licensees of Large Nuclear Power Plants during Decommissioning” ML12257A628. July 20, 1995 Proposed Rule: Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Reactors 60 FR 37374. July 29, 1996 Final Rule: Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Reactors 61 FR 39278. December 17, 1996 SECY-96-256, “Changes to Financial Protection Requirements for Permanently Shutdown Nuclear Power Reactors, 10 CFR 50.54(w)(1) and 140.11” ML15062A483. June 30, 1998 SRM to SECY-98-075, “DSI-24 Implementation: Risk-Informed, Performance-Based Concepts Applied to Decommissioning” ML003752383. November 4, 1998 SECY-98-258, “DSI-24 Implementation: Decommissioning Licensing Actions and Priorities and Milestones for Addressing Rulemaking and Guidance Development” ML992870144. February 24, 1999 SRM to SECY-98-258 ML003753861. June 30, 1999 SECY-99-168, “Improving Decommissioning Regulations for Nuclear Power Plants” ML992800087. December 21, 1999 SRM to SECY-99-168 ML003752190. June 28, 2000 SECY-00-0145, “Integrated Rulemaking Plan for Nuclear Power Plant Decommissioning” ML003721626. September 27, 2000 SRM to SECY-00-0145 ML003754381. February 2001 NUREG-1738, “Technical Study of Spent Fuel Pool Accident Risk at Decommissioning Nuclear Power Plants” ML010430066. June 4, 2001 SECY-01-0100, “Policy Issues Related to Safeguards, Insurance, and Emergency Preparedness Regulations at Decommissioning Nuclear Power Plants Storing Fuel in Spent Fuel Pools” ML011450420. August 16, 2002 Memorandum to the Commission: Status of Regulatory Exemptions for Decommissioning Plants ML030550706. September 18, 2002 SECY-02-0169, “Annual Update Status of Decommissioning Program” ML022120432. February 4, 2010 Memorandum to the Commission, “Documentation of Evolution of Security Requirements at Commercial Nuclear Power Plants with Respect to Mitigation Measures for Large Fires and Explosions” ML092990438. December 2006 NEI-06-12, “B.5.b. Phase 2 & 3 Submittal Guideline, Revision 2” ML070090060. December 22, 2006 Response to December 14, 2006 request to endorse NEI 06-12, “B.5.b Phase 2& 3 Submittal Guideline” Non-publicly available. August 8, 2008 The Attorney General of Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Attorney General of California; Denial of Petitions for Rulemaking 73 FR 46204. November 12, 2013 COMSECY-13-0030, “Staff Evaluation and Recommendation for Japan Lessons-Learned Tier 3 Issue on Expedited Transfer of Fuel” ML13329A918. September 2014 NUREG-2161, “Consequence Study of a Beyond-Design-Basis Earthquake Affecting the Spent Fuel Pool for a U.S. Mark I Boiling Water Reactor” ML14255A365. November 14, 2014 IN-2014-14, “Potential Safety Enhancements to Spent Fuel Storage” ML14218A493. December 30, 2014 SRM to SECY-14-0118, “Request by Duke Energy Florida, Inc., for Exemptions from Certain Emergency Planning Requirements” ML14364A111. January 30, 2015 SECY-15-0014, “Anticipated Schedule and Estimated Resources for a Power Reactor Decommissioning Rulemaking” ML15082A089. December 23, 2013 NSIR/DPR-ISG-02, “Emergency Planning Exemption Requests for Decommissioning Nuclear Power Plants” ML13304B442. November 25, 2014 NSIR/DSP-ISG-03, “Review of Security Exemptions/License Amendment Requests for Decommissioning Nuclear Power Plants” ML14294A170. November 10, 2011 Letter Endorsing NEI 03-12, Revision 7 ML112800379. March 2009 RG 5.77, “Insider Mitigation Program” Non-publicly available. March 31, 2008 Final Rule: “Fitness for Duty Programs” 73 FR 16966. March 12, 2012 Order EA-12-051, “Issuance of Order to Modify Licenses with Regard to Reliable Spent Fuel Pool Instrumentation” ML12054A679. March 12, 2012 Order EA-12-049, “Issuance of Order to Modify Licenses with Regard to Requirements for Mitigation Strategies for Beyond-Design-Basis External Events” ML12054A734. October 7, 2015 SECY-15-0127, “Schedule, Resource Estimates, and Impacts for the Power Reactor Decommissioning Rulemaking” Non-publicly available.

    The NRC may post additional materials to the Federal rulemaking Web site at www.regulations.gov, under Docket NRC-2015-0070. The Federal rulemaking Web site allows you to receive alerts when changes or additions occur in a docket folder. To subscribe: (1) Navigate to the docket folder [NRC-2015Y-0070]; (2) click the “Sign up for Email Alerts” link; and (3) enter your email address and select how frequently you would like to receive emails (daily, weekly, or monthly).

    X. Rulemaking Process

    The NRC does not intend to provide detailed comment responses for information provided in response to this ANPR. The NRC will consider comments on this ANPR in the rule development process. If the NRC develops a regulatory basis sufficient to support a proposed rule, there will be an opportunity for additional public comment when the draft regulatory basis and the proposed rule are published. If supporting guidance is developed for the proposed rule, stakeholders will have an opportunity to provide feedback on the guidance as well. Alternatively, if the regulatory basis does not provide sufficient support for a proposed rule, the NRC will publish a Federal Register notice withdrawing this ANPR and summarizing the public comments received on this ANPR.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 6th day of November 2015.

    For the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Frederick D. Brown, Acting Executive Director for Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29536 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Parts 429 and 430 [Docket No. EERE-2011-BT-CE-0077] RIN 1904-AC68 Energy Conservation Program: Enforcement of Regional Standards for Central Air Conditioners AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is proposing requirements related to the enforcement of regional standards for central air conditioners, as authorized by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) of 1975.

    DATES:

    DOE will accept comments, data, and information regarding this notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) no later than January 4, 2016.

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, DOE is also seeking comment on a new information collection. See the Paperwork Reduction Act section under Procedural Issues and Regulatory Review, section III.C. Please submit all comments relating to information collection requirements to DOE no later than January 19, 2016. Comments to OMB are most useful if submitted within 45 days of publication.

    ADDRESSES:

    Any comments submitted must identify the NOPR for Enforcement of Regional Standards for Central Air Conditioners and provide docket number EERE-2011-BT-CE-0077 and/or regulatory information number (RIN) 1904-AC68. Comments may be submitted using any of the following methods:

    1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    2. Email: [email protected] Include the docket number and/or RIN in the subject line of the message.

    3. Mail: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, Mailstop EE-2J, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. If possible, please submit all items on a CD. It is not necessary to include printed copies.

    4. Hand Delivery/Courier: Ms. Brenda Edwards, U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Program, 950 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Suite 600, Washington, DC 20024. Telephone: (202) 586-2945. If possible, please submit all items on a CD. It is not necessary to include printed copies.

    Docket: The docket, which includes Federal Register notices, public meeting attendee lists and transcripts, comments, and other supporting documents/materials, is available for review at regulations.gov. All documents in the docket are listed in the regulations.gov index. However, some documents listed in the index, such as those containing information that is exempt from public disclosure, may not be publicly available. The docket Web page can be found at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=EERE-2011-BT-CE-0077.

    For further information on how to submit a comment, review other public comments and the docket, or participate in the public meeting, contact Ms. Brenda Edwards at (202) 586-2945 or by email: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ashley Armstrong, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Program, EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: 202-586-6590. Email: [email protected]

    Laura Barhydt, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, GC-32, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 287-5772. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Authority and Background A. Authority B. Background II. Discussion A. Regional Standards B. Definitions C. Public Awareness D. Reporting E. Proactive Investigation F. Record Retention and Requests G. Violations and Routine Violations H. Remediation I. Labeling J. Manufacturer Liability K. Additional Prohibited Acts for Distributors, Contractors and Dealers L. Summary Table M. Impact of Regional Enforcement Proposal on National Impacts Analysis III. Procedural Issues and Regulatory Review A. Review Under Executive Order 12866 B. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act C. Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 D. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 E. Review Under Executive Order 13132 F. Review Under Executive Order 12988 G. Review Under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 H. Review Under the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999 I. Review Under Executive Order 12630 J. Review Under Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001 K. Review Under Executive Order 13211 L. Review Under Section 32 of the Federal Energy Administration Act of 1974 IV. Public Participation A. Submission of Comments B. Issues on Which DOE Seeks Comment V. Approval of the Office of the Secretary I. Authority and Background A. Authority

    Title III of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, as amended (“EPCA” or, in context, “the Act”) sets forth a variety of provisions designed to improve energy efficiency.1 Part A of Title III (42 U.S.C. 6291-6309) establishes the “Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles.” These consumer products include central air conditioners, which are the subject of this rule. (42 U.S.C. 6295(d))

    1 All references to EPCA in this document refer to the statute as amended through the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015, Public Law 114-11 (Apr. 30, 2015).

    Under EPCA, this program consists essentially of four parts: (1) Testing; (2) labeling; (3) Federal energy conservation standards; and (4) certification and enforcement procedures. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is primarily responsible for labeling consumer products, and DOE implements the remainder of the program.

    Pursuant to EPCA, any new or amended energy conservation standards for covered consumer products must be designed to achieve the maximum improvement in energy efficiency that are technologically feasible and economically justified. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(A)) Furthermore, the new or amended standard must result in significant conservation of energy. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(3)(B)) The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007) amended EPCA to require that DOE consider regional standards for certain products if the regional standards can save significantly more energy than a national standard and are economically justified. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(6)(A)) Under EPCA, DOE is authorized to establish up to two additional regional standards for central air conditioners and heat pumps. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(6)(B)(ii)) DOE must initiate an enforcement rulemaking after DOE issues a final rule that establishes a regional standard. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(6)(G)(ii)(I)) DOE must also issue a final rule for enforcement after DOE issues a final rule that establishes a regional standard. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(6)(G)(ii)(III))

    B. Background

    On June 27, 2011, DOE promulgated a Direct Final Rule (June 2011 DFR) that, among other things, established regional standards for central air conditioners. 76 FR 37408. DOE subsequently published a notice of effective date and compliance date for the June 2011 DFR on October 31, 2011, setting a standards compliance for central air conditioners and heat pumps of January 1, 2015. 76 FR 67037.

    As required by EPCA, DOE initiated an enforcement rulemaking by publishing a notice of data availability (NODA) in the Federal Register that proposed three approaches to enforcing regional standards for central air conditioners. 76 FR 76328 (December 7, 2011). DOE received numerous comments expressing a wide range of concerns in response to this NODA. Consequently, on June 13, 2014, DOE published a notice of intent to form a working group to negotiate regulations for the enforcement of regional standards for central air conditioners and requested nominations from parties interested in serving as members of the Working Group. 79 FR 33870. On July 16, 2014, the Department published a notice of membership announcing the eighteen nominations that were selected to serve as members of the Working Group, in addition to two members from Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee (ASRAC), and one DOE representative.2 79 FR 41456. The members of the Working Group were selected by ASRAC to ensure a broad and balanced array of stakeholder interests and expertise, and included efficiency advocates, manufacturers, utility representatives, contractors, and distributors. Id.

    2 The list of members is published in Table II.1.

    As required, the Working Group submitted a final report to ASRAC on October 24, 2014, summarizing the group's recommendations for DOE's rule for enforcement of regional standards for central air conditioners. Working Group Recommendations, No. 70.3 The recommendations included a statement that the nongovernmental participants conditionally approved the recommendations contingent upon the issuance of the final guidance (See No. 89 and No. 90 for the draft versions) consistent with the understanding of the Working Group as set forth in these recommendations. Working Group Recommendations, No. 70 at 37. ASRAC subsequently voted to approve these recommendations on December 1, 2014. ASRAC Meeting Transcript, No. 73 at 42-43. In this document, DOE is proposing to adopt the Working Group's recommendations. Working Group Recommendations, No. 70.

    3 A notation in this form provides a reference for information that is in the docket for this rulemaking (Docket No. EERE-2011-BT-CE-0077), which is maintained at www.regulations.gov. This notation indicates that the statement preceding the reference is from document number 70 in the docket.

    After consideration of the comments received in response to the guidance documents, DOE determined that regulatory changes were necessary to implement the approach agreed to by the Working Group. Accordingly, DOE has proposed changes to the unit selection and testing requirements in a parallel test procedure rulemaking (CAC TP SNOPR). 80 FR 69278 (November 9, 2015). DOE reaffirms its commitment to the approach advocated by the Working Group, subject to consideration of comments received in this and the test procedure rulemaking.

    II. Discussion

    Between August 13, 2014, and October 24, 2014,4 the Working Group held fourteen full public meetings in Washington, DC, primarily at the DOE headquarters.5 Thirty-seven interested parties, including members of the Working Group, attended the various meetings. Table II.1 lists the entities that attended the Working Group meetings and their affiliation. The Working Group's recommendations for enforcement of the regional standards for central air conditioners are presented in this proposed rule. A more detailed discussion of the recommendations can be found in the Working Group meeting transcripts.6

    4 The Working Group met on August 13, 2014; August 14, 2014; August 26, 2014; August 27, 2014; August 28, 2014; September 3, 2014; September 4, 2014; September 24, 2014; September 25, 2014; October 1, 2014; October 2, 2014; October 15, 2014; October 16, 2014; and October 24, 2014.

    5 Due to conflicts at DOE, the August 27th meeting took place at ACEEE's office in Washington, DC.

    6 Docket Folder, Energy Conservation Program: Enforcement of Regional Standards for Residential Furnaces and Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps, http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=EERE-2011-BT-CE-0077 (last visited Aug. 26, 2015).

    Table II.1—Interested Parties Name Acronym Organization type Working group membership
  • (Y/N)
  • Air Conditioning Contractors of America ACCA Contractor Association Y Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute AHRI Manufacturer Trade Association Y Allied Air Enterprises Allied Air Manufacturer Y American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy ACEEE Energy Efficiency Advocacy Group Y American Public Gas Association APGA Utility Association California Energy Commission CEC California State Government Agency Y California Investor Owned Utilities CA IOUs Utility Association Carrier Corporation Carrier Manufacturer Y Daikin Corporation Daikin Manufacturer EarthJustice Energy Efficiency Advocacy Group Y Edison Electric Institute EEI Utility Association Emerson Manufacturer First Co. Manufacturer Goodman Global, Inc. Goodman Manufacturer Y Scott Harris* Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee (ASRAC) Y Heating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International HARDI Distributor Trade Association Ingersoll Rand Manufacturer Y Johnson Controls Inc JCI Manufacturer Y Johnstone Supply Distributor Y Lennox International, Inc. Lennox Manufacturer Lincoln Electric Cooperative Utility Y McDermott Will & Emery Law Firm Mortex Products, Inc. Mortex Manufacturer National Association of Home Builders NAHB Trade Association National Comfort Products Manufacturer National Consumer Law Center* Consumer Advocacy Group Y National Rural Electric Cooperative Association NRECA Utility Association Natural Resources Defense Council NRDC Energy Efficiency Advocacy Group Y New York State Office of Attorney General Government Agency NORDYNE Inc. NORDYNE Manufacturer Y Pacific Gas and Electric Company PG&E Utility Y Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association PHCC Contractor Association Y Pacific Northwest National Laboratory PNNL U.S. Government Research Laboratory Regal-Beloit Corporation Regal-Beloit Manufacturer Rheem Manufacturing Company Rheem Manufacturer Y Unico, Inc. Unico Manufacturer Xcel Energy* Utility Association Y * Withdrew from working group.
    A. Regional Standards

    As discussed in section I.B, DOE adopted regional standards for central air conditioners in its June 2011 DFR. That rule set regional standards for split-system central air conditioners and single-package central air conditioners. 10 CFR 430.32(c). A split-system central air conditioner is a type of air conditioner that has one or more of its major assemblies separated from the others. Typically, the air conditioner has a condensing unit (“outdoor unit”) that is separate from the evaporator coil and/or blower (“indoor unit”). Accordingly, a split-system condensing unit is often sold separately from the indoor unit and may be matched with several different models of indoor units and/or blowers. For this reason, a condensing unit could achieve a 14 SEER or above if it is paired with certain indoor units and/or blowers and could perform below 14 SEER when paired with other indoor units and/or blowers.

    The Working Group suggested the regional standards required clarification because a particular condensing unit may have a range of efficiency ratings when paired with various indoor evaporator coils and/or blowers. The Working Group provided the following four recommendations to clarify the regional standards: that (1) the least efficient rated combination for a specified model of condensing unit must be 14 SEER for models installed in the Southeast and Southwest regions; (2) the least efficient rated combination for a specified model of condensing unit must meet the minimum EER for models installed in the Southwest region; (3) any condensing unit model that has a certified combination that is below the regional standard(s) cannot be installed in that region; and (4) a condensing unit model certified below a regional standard by the original equipment manufacturer cannot be installed in a region subject to a regional standard(s) even with an independent coil manufacturer's indoor coil or air handler combination that may have a certified rating meeting the applicable regional standard(s). Working Group Recommendations, No. 70 at 4.

    DOE is proposing to adopt these recommendations as part of this NOPR and requests comment on these recommendations. DOE notes that the test procedure supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (CAC TP SNOPR) proposes multiple regulatory changes necessary to implement these recommendations. See the CAC TP SNOPR for those detailed proposals. 80 FR 69278. In addition, DOE has proposed two alternatives to implement the clarification with respect to the standards. In this rulemaking, DOE proposes to specify that any condensing unit model that has a certified combination with a rating below 14 SEER cannot be installed in the Southeast and Southwest United States. To clarify responsibility with respect to split-system air conditioners, this rulemaking proposes that a condensing unit model certified below 14 SEER by the outdoor unit manufacturer cannot be installed in those regions even if an independent coil manufacturer certifies an indoor coil or air handler combination with that outdoor unit with a rating at or above 14 SEER. In contrast, in the test procedure rulemaking, DOE proposes to specify that the least efficient combination of each basic model must comply with the regional standard, but provides additional parameters regarding what combinations are permitted to be certified. See, e.g., 80 FR 69278 at 69290. The approach taken in this rulemaking relies less on some of the other regulatory changes that are necessary to implement the policies the Working Group advocated with respect to the guidance documents; the approach taken in the test procedure rulemaking would require the additional regulatory changes with respect to unit selection and testing. DOE requests comment on the two approaches, whether interested parties consider one approach to be easier to understand, and what the pros or cons may be of the two alternatives.

    B. Definitions

    EPCA prohibits manufacturers from selling to “distributors, contractors, or dealers that routinely violate the regional standards.” (42 U.S.C. 6302(a)(6)) EPCA defines a distributor as a person (other than a manufacturer or retailer) to whom a consumer appliance product is delivered or sold for purposes of distribution in commerce. (42 U.S.C. 6291(14))

    Because neither EPCA nor existing DOE regulations define the terms “contractor” and “dealer,” the Working Group recommended the following definitions to further clarify the prohibited act:

    Contractor means a person 7 (other than the manufacturer or distributor) who sells to and/or installs for an end user a central air conditioner subject to regional standards.

    7 DOE defines “person” as “any individual, corporation, company, association, firm, partnership, society, trust, joint venture or joint stock company, the government, and any agency of the United States or any State or political subdivision thereof.” (10 CFR 430.2)

    Dealer means a type of contractor, generally with a relationship with one or more specific manufacturers.

    The Working Group further requested DOE make clear that in the context of the definition of “contractor,” the term “end user” means the entity that purchases or selects for purchase the central air conditioner. Some examples of typical “end users” are homeowners, building owners, building managers, and property developers.

    Additionally, the Working Group recommended that DOE define the term “installation” as:

    Installation of a central air conditioner means the connection of the refrigerant lines and/or electrical systems to make the central air conditioner operational.

    In this NOPR, DOE proposes to adopt the Working Group's recommended definitions for these three terms and requests comments on these definitions. DOE also proposes to codify the definition of “distributor.”

    The Working Group requested that DOE make explicit in this proposed rule that, depending upon their particular conduct, parties conducting internet sales may be considered a contractor or distributor under the proposed definitions. Specifically, internet sellers that sell to contractors or dealers meet the definition of a “distributor,” while internet sellers that sell directly to home owners would qualify as “contractors.” Further, retailers who sell central air conditioners directly to homeowners would also fit within the definition of a “contractor.”

    While not specifically discussed by the Working Group, it is also of note that some internet sellers will be considered manufacturers if they are the importers of the product they are selling via the internet. Pursuant to EPCA, the term “manufacturer” includes importers. (42 U.S.C. 6291(10), (12)) Those parties that import products subject to regional standards are expected to meet the regulatory obligations of manufacturers.

    In their discussion of definitions, members of the Working Group also raised the point that some manufacturers distribute their own product. DOE clarified that, consistent with EPCA's definitions of “manufacturer” and “distributor,” if a manufacturer distributes its own product, then the company (the manufacturer-owned or “factory owned” distributor) is considered to be a manufacturer rather than a distributor.

    Since DOE received the recommendations of the Working Group from ASRAC, DOE has received questions about the applicability of the regional standards to private labelers. The Working Group did not address this issue. The statutory prohibited acts treat manufacturers and private labelers in the same way. (42 U.S.C. 6302(a)(6) (making it unlawful for “any manufacturer or private labeler to knowingly sell a product to a distributor, contractor, or dealer with knowledge that the entity routinely violates any regional standard applicable to the product.”)) DOE notes that, although private labelers are liable for distribution in commerce of noncompliant products generally, DOE does not require private labelers to submit certification reports unless the private labeler is also the importer. Therefore, DOE believes that it may not be necessary for exactly the same requirements to apply to private labelers. Consequently, DOE is proposing that the same requirements apply to private labelers as discussed in more detail throughout this notice. However, DOE requests comment on whether these proposed requirements should be the same or whether different requirements should apply. DOE may adopt the same requirements as proposed today or some variation for private labelers in the final rule as a result of comments received.

    C. Public Awareness

    The Working Group discussed the importance of public education to a successful enforcement program for central air conditioner regional standards. The Working Group recommended DOE establish a Web page with information on regional standards for central air conditioners that could be referenced by manufacturers, distributors, contractors, and other interested parties. As recommended, DOE established a Web page about enforcement of regional standards which can be found at http://www.energy.gov/gc/enforcement.

    The Working Group also opined on the need to deliver a consistent message to central air conditioner consumers and contractors about the regional standards. The Working Group recommended that DOE provide public educational materials that manufacturers and distributors could provide their customers. Accordingly, DOE is posting links from its Web page for regional standards to two different documents: (1) A printable trifold tailored to provide information to consumers and (2) and a printable flier to educate contractors and answer common questions.

    Beyond creating a regional standards Web page, the Working Group recommended DOE conduct a public presentation (accessible via internet as well as in-person) on regional standards for central air conditioner standards and the enforcement of such standards to educate stakeholders and the public on these regulations. The Department will issue a Notice of Public Meeting announcing its presentation on regional standards after the issuance of a final rule and will post the slides from the presentation to this docket and on the regional standards Web page.

    The Working Group also recommended that all information sources—the Web page, trifold, flier, and presentation—should include information, including email links, on how to report suspected violations of the regional standards for central air conditioners.

    Finally, the Working Group recommended that central air conditioner manufacturers provide training about regional standards to distributors and contractors/dealers. Distributors and contractors also agreed to conduct their own training on regional standards. The Working Group did not establish specific guidelines for the training.

    D. Reporting

    The Working Group discussed methods for facilitating the reporting of suspected regional standards violations and recommended that the Department provide multiple pathways for the public to report such information. Specifically, the Working Group recommended that DOE accept complaints regarding central air conditioners regional standards from both an email address and call-in number. As requested, the Department will accept reports of suspected violations of the regional central air conditioner standards that are received via the email address: [email protected] or phone number: 202-287-6997. DOE committed to look into all credible complaints, meaning DOE will follow up on all complaints that provide a reasonable amount of information to the Department. The Working Group emphasized, and DOE affirmed, that the complainant will have confidentiality to the maximum extent authorized by law.

    E. Proactive Investigation

    In addition to responding to reports of noncompliance with the regional standards, the Working Group recommended that the Department consider conducting proactive investigations. Specifically, the Working Group recommended that, if funding is available, DOE consider conducting a survey of homes in any region of the United States to determine if a central air conditioner not in compliance with the regional standards has been installed. DOE, as a member of the Working Group, agreed to consider proactive investigations if funding for such investigations is available.

    F. Record Retention and Requests

    To ensure that the Department is able to obtain sufficient information to establish a noncompliant installation and the relevant parties, the Working Group recommended that manufacturers, dealers, and contractors retain records detailing specific information about central air conditioner sales and installations. The Working Group recommended the following records retention scheme.

    Beginning 30 days after the issuance of a final rule, a manufacturer must retain:

    • For split-system central air conditioner condensing units: the model number, serial number, date of manufacture, date of sale, and party to whom the unit was sold (including person's name, full address, and phone number);

    • For split-system central air conditioner indoor coils or air handlers (not including uncased coils sold as replacement parts): the model number, date of manufacture, date of sale, and party to whom the unit was sold (including person's name, full address, and phone number); and

    • For single-package central air conditioners: the model number, serial number, date of manufacture, date of sale, and party to whom the unit was sold (including person's name, full address, and phone number).

    Beginning November 30, 2015, a distributor must retain:

    • For split-system central air conditioner condensing units: the manufacturer, model number, serial number, date the unit was purchased from the manufacturer, party from whom the unit was purchased (including person's name, full address, and phone number), date unit was sold to a dealer or contractor, party to whom the unit was sold (including person's name, full address, and phone number), and, if delivered to the purchaser, the delivery address; and

    • For single-package central air conditioners: the manufacturer, model number, serial number, date the unit was purchased from the manufacturer, party from whom the unit was purchased (including person's name, full address, and phone number), date unit was sold to dealer or contractor, party to whom the unit was sold (including person's name, full address, and phone number), and, if delivered to the purchaser, the delivery address.

    For all installations in the Southeast and Southwest, beginning 30 days after issuance of a final rule in this rulemaking, contractors must retain:

    • For split-system central air conditioner condensing units: the manufacturer name, model number, serial number, location of installation (including street address, city, state, and zip code), date of installation, and party from whom the unit was purchased (including person's name, full address, and phone number);

    • For split-system central air conditioner indoor coils or air handlers (not including uncased coils sold as replacement parts): the manufacturer name, model number, location of installation (including street address, city, state, and zip code), date of installation, and party from whom the unit was purchased (including person's name, full address, and phone number); and

    • For single-package central air conditioners: the manufacturer name, model number, serial number, location of installation (including street address, city, state, and zip code), date of installation, and party from whom the unit was purchased (including person's name, full address, and phone number).

    See 2013-BT-NOC-0005, No. 30 at 14-16.

    The Working Group recommended that contractors retain records for 48 months after the date of installation, distributors retain records for 54 months after the date of sale, and manufacturers retain records for 60 months after the date of sale. The Working Group explicitly noted that retaining records allows each entity to archive records as long as they are not deleted or disposed of. The Working Group also clarified that the records retention requirements neither mandate that contractors, distributors, or manufacturers create new forms for the purpose of tracking central air conditioners nor require records to be electronic. See 2013-BT-NOC-0005, No. 30 at 17-18. DOE proposes to adopt these record retention requirements as with a few minor modifications and requests comment on these requirements.

    DOE proposes two modifications to the recommendations of the Working Group. First, due to the delay issuing this notice of proposed rulemaking, DOE proposes that distributors be required to retain records as of July 1, 2016. Second, after extensive discussion, the working group recommended that DOE refer to “indoor coils or air handlers” with respect to the record retention requirements for split-system air conditioners. DOE proposes, instead, to use the term “indoor unit” to reflect the term proposed in DOE's recent CAC TP SNOPR. See 80 FR 69278 at 69284. At the time of the negotiation, DOE had no regulatory term that embodied the concept the Working Group sought to describe. If “indoor unit” is adopted in the test procedure final rule, then its use in the context of this rulemaking would conform to the concept the Working Group described while ensuring consistency within the DOE regulations.

    Although not discussed by the Working Group, DOE recognizes that some internet sellers may perform the role of contractor or distributor, depending on who is purchasing the product. DOE proposes that those entities will have to keep records consistent with the requirements of the transaction, for the length of time required for that transaction.

    To limit the potential of burden associated with producing records at the request of the Department, the Working Group recommended that DOE must have a reasonable belief a violation occurred before requesting records. DOE will determine if it has reasonable belief by assessing a variety of factors, such as:

    • Whether it has an address of a suspected noncompliant installation or attempted installation;

    • Whether it has identifying information for an installed unit;

    • Whether it has physical evidence (e.g., a picture of a noncompliant condensing unit and its nameplate, copy of EnergyGuide label, copy of completed work order or invoice, bill of sale for equipment, copy of bid for installation, distributor prepared price book);

    • Whether there have been repeat complaints about the party; or

    • Whether the complainant has a history of filing complaints of violations that have been substantiated by the Department through investigation.

    Once DOE determines it has a reasonable belief, then it may request records from relevant manufacturers, distributors, and contractors. Records must be produced within 30 days of a request by the Department. However, DOE may, at its discretion, grant additional time for production of records if the affected entity makes a good faith effort to produce records within 30 days. To receive this extra time, the entity, after working to gather the records within the 30 days, must provide DOE all the records gathered and a written explanation for the need for additional time including the requested date for completing the records request.

    DOE proposes to adopt the Working Group's recommendations for records requests. The Department requests comment on the threshold for records requests and the proposed timeframe for responding to such requests.

    G. Violations and Routine Violations

    As mentioned above, it is unlawful for any manufacturer to knowingly sell to a distributor, contractor, or dealer with knowledge that the entity routinely violates any regional standard applicable to the product. (42 U.S.C. 6302(a)(6), 10 CFR 430.102(a)(10)) To clarify this prohibited act, the Working Group discussed what activities would constitute a violation by a distributor, contractor or dealer. For a distributor, the Working Group agreed that it would be a violation to knowingly sell a product to a contractor or dealer with knowledge that the entity will sell and/or install the product in violation of any regional standard applicable to the product. Additionally, it would be a violation for a distributor to knowingly sell a product to a contractor or dealer with knowledge that the entity routinely violates any regional standard applicable to the product. For contractors, the Working Group agreed it would be a violation to knowingly sell to and/or install for an end user a central air conditioner subject to regional standards with knowledge that such product would be installed in violation of any regional standard applicable to the product.

    To further clarify what constituted an installation of a central air conditioner in violation of an applicable regional standard, the Working Group agreed that:

    (1) A person cannot install a complete central air conditioner system—meaning the condensing unit and evaporator coil and/or blower—unless it has been certified as a complete system that meets the applicable standard. A previously discontinued combination may be installed as long as the combination was previously validly certified to the Department as compliant with the applicable regional standard and the combination was not discontinued because it was found to be noncompliant with the applicable standard(s);

    (2) a person cannot install a replacement condensing unit unless it is certified as part of a combination that meets the applicable standard; and

    (3) a person cannot install a condensing unit that has a certified combination with a rating that is less than the applicable regional standard.

    To determine if a violation occurred, the Department will conduct an investigation into the alleged misconduct. In a typical investigation, DOE may discuss the installation in question with the end user or the homeowner and other relevant parties, including the alleged violator. DOE may also request records from the dealer, contractor, distributor, and/or manufacturer if the Department has reasonable belief a violation occurred.

    The Working Group recommended that if no violation is found, the Department should issue a case closed letter to the party being investigated. If DOE finds that a contractor or dealer completed a noncompliant installation in one residence or an equivalent setting (e.g., one store), but the violator remediated that violation by installing a compliant unit before DOE concluded its investigation, then DOE will issue a case closed letter to the party being investigated, as long as that person has no history of prior violations. The purpose of this practice would be to incentivize parties who, on one occasion, mistakenly install one noncompliant unit to replace the product and thereby not suffer any public stigma. However, if the non-compliant installation is not remediated and a violation is found, DOE will issue a public “Notice of Violation.” The party found to be in violation can remediate the single violation and it will not count towards the finding of “routine violator” unless the party is found, in the course of a subsequent investigation, to have committed another violation. For more on remediation of a single violation, see section II.H.

    In determining whether a party “routinely violates” a regional standard, the Working Group recommended that DOE consider the following factors:

    • Number of violations (in both current and past investigations);

    • Length of time over which the violations were committed;

    • Ratio of compliant to noncompliant installations or sales;

    • Percentage of employees committing violations;

    • Evidence of effort or intent to commit violations;

    • Evidence of training or education provided on regional standards; and

    • Subsequent remedial actions.

    The Working Group also agreed that DOE should consider whether the routine violation was limited to a specific contractor or distribution location. DOE would rely on the same factors considered in determining whether a routine violation occurred.

    The Working Group recommended that DOE issue a “Notice of Finding of Routine Violator” if the Department determines that a violator routinely violated a regional standard. This notice would identify the party found to be a routine violator and explain the scope of the violation. Additionally, if DOE, in its discretion, finds that the routine violation was limited to a specific location, DOE may in the Notice of Finding of Routine Violation state that the prohibition on manufacturer sales is limited to a particular contractor or distribution location This notice would be both posted to the Department's enforcement Web site and would be emailed to those signed up for email updates.8

    8 DOE's enforcement Web site is: http://energy.gov/gc/enforcement.

    If DOE makes a finding of routine violation, the violator has the right to file an administrative appeal of the finding. Any appeal of a Notice of Finding of Routine Violation would be required to be filed within 30 days of the issuance of the notice. The appeal would be reviewed by DOE's Office of Hearings and Appeals. The appeal must present information rebutting the finding of routine violation. The appeal will be decided within 45 days of filing of the appeal. The violator may also file a Notice of Intent to Appeal with the DOE Office of Hearings and Appeals. If this notice of intent is filed within three business days of the Notice of Finding of Routine Violation, then manufacturers may continue to sell products to the routine violator during the pendency of the appeal. See section II.J for more details on sales during the pendency of an appeal.

    DOE proposes to adopt the Working Group's recommendations pertaining to violations and routine violations and requests comment on these proposals.

    H. Remediation

    As previously mentioned, the Working Group recommended that violators may be given the opportunity to remediate. The sole method of remediation would be the replacement of noncompliant unit with compliant units. If a violator is unable to replace all noncompliant units, then the Department may, in its discretion, consider the remediation complete if the violator satisfactorily demonstrates to the Department that it attempted to replace all noncompliant units. In practice, the violator would have to show that they replaced almost all of the noncompliant units and document significant, yet refused, efforts to complete the replacement of the remaining noncompliant units. The Department would also scrutinize those “failed” attempts at replacement to ensure that there was indeed a good faith effort to complete remediation of the noncompliant unit.

    The replacement of noncompliant units with compliant units would be at the cost of the violator. The violator would not be allowed to use warranty or other replacement claims to recoup the cost of the replacement from the manufacturer. To ensure that warranties or other replacement claims are not used, the violator must provide DOE with the serial numbers for the new and old units. The Department will then provide these numbers to the manufacturer(s) and distributor(s) to verify that warranties and other replacement claims were not wrongfully used. If the violator successfully remediates, then DOE will issue a public “Notice of Remediation.”

    The Working Group recommended that routine violators should also be entitled to remediation. As manufacturers are prohibited from selling to routine violators, remediation would be coordinated through the Department. If the routine violator wants to remediate then it must contact the DOE Office of the General Counsel, Office of Enforcement, via the DOE point of contact listed in the Notice of Finding of Routine Violation. The routine violator must inform DOE of the distributor or manufacturer from whom it wishes to purchase compliant replacement units. Within three business days of the routine violator's request to remediate, the Department will contact the necessary distributor(s) or manufacturer(s) and authorize sale for purposes of remediation. DOE will also provide the manufacturer(s) or distributor(s) with an official letter authorizing the sale for purposes of remediation for the seller's records. The routine violator must provide documentation of the installation of the compliant units to DOE once the remediation is completed. DOE will also follow up with the routine violator within 30 days of the date of the official letter authorizing the sale for purposes of remediation to determine the status of the remediation. If a routine violator successfully remediates, then DOE will issue a Notice indicating the entity is no longer a routine violator no more than 30 days after DOE received documentation demonstrating the remediation is completed.

    DOE proposes to adopt the Working Group's recommendation on remediation and requests comment on this proposal.

    I. Labeling

    The Working Group recommended, with DOE abstaining, that the FTC initiate a rulemaking to adopt a simplified label for equipment rated below the regional standards and a separate simplified label for equipment rated at or above the regional standards. The Working Group found that the simplified labels, as drafted by AHRI (a manufacturer trade association), provide better alignment with the Working Group's proposed regional enforcement plan. The simplified labels are posted in the docket for this rulemaking. See Example Voluntary Marking, No. 91, for sample label provided by a manufacturer during the negotiation.

    The Working Group also recommended, and manufacturers agreed, to add a label to the central air conditioner condensing unit to indicate where the unit can legally be installed. The label would be near to, or part of, the nameplate and ruggedized to withstand elements. For units that do not meet the EER standards applicable to the Southwest region, the label would state, “Install Prohibited in Southwest.” For units that cannot be sold in the Southeast or Southwest because their SEER value is below the minimum required in those regions, the label would state, “Install Prohibited in Southwest and Southeast.” As a result, a contractor should never install for an end user in a region a unit that bears the label indicating that installation is prohibited in that region. The manufacturers agreed they would start using the label scheme by March 1, 2015. Additionally, AHRI stated it would require all manufacturers participating in the AHRI certification program to apply these labels to split-system and single package central air conditioners with rated combinations below the minimum standard(s) required in each region as of March 1, 2015.

    J. Manufacturer Liability

    In accordance with the Department's regulations on prohibited acts, manufacturers may be fined for “knowingly sell[ing] a product to a distributor, contractor, or dealer with knowledge that the entity routinely violates any regional standard applicable to the product.” (42 U.S.C. 6302, 10 CFR 429.102(a)(10)) The Working Group had significant discussions on the scope of the term “product” as it relates to this prohibited act. The Department explained that it interprets the term “product” to include all classes of central air conditioners and heat pumps found within 10 CFR 430.32(c). Ultimately, the Working Group could not come to consensus on whether the scope of any prohibition on sales could be limited to split-system air conditioners and single-package air conditioners instead of the Department's interpretation.9

    9 For more details regarding this discussion, see the public meeting transcript for October 24, 2014, No. 88.

    EPCA defines a “central air conditioner” as a “product . . . which . . . is a heat pump or a cooling only unit” and refers to all central air conditioners as one “product.” (42 U.S.C. 6291(21)) Therefore, to be consistent with EPCA, DOE interprets the term “product” to be inclusive of all central air conditioner and heat pump product classes listed in 10 CFR 430.32(c), meaning that manufacturers may be subject to civil penalties for sales to a routine violator of any unit within the central air conditioning product classes.

    If a manufacturer sells a central air conditioner (including heat pumps) to a routine violator after a Notice of Finding of Routine Violation has been issued, then the manufacturer would be liable for civil penalties. The maximum fine a manufacturer is subject to is $200 per unit sold to a routine violator.10 (10 CFR 429.120)

    10 As discussed in section II.B, a manufacturer-owned distributor is considered to be a manufacturer and thus is liable for all noncompliant sales.

    The Working Group recommended that DOE provide manufacturers with 3 business days from the issuance of a Notice of Finding of Routine Violation to stop all sales of central air conditioners and heat pumps to the routine violator. During this time, manufacturers would not be liable for sales to a routine violator. DOE noted that, consistent with its penalty guidance,11 it would consider the manufacturer's efforts to stop any sales in determining whether (or to what extent) to assess any civil penalties for sales to a routine violator after that three day window.

    11 The DOE civil penalty guidance is available at http://energy.gov/gc/enforcement under “Enforcement Guidance.”

    If the routine violator is appealing the finding, the Working Group recommended that manufacturers be allowed to continue to sell central air conditioners and heat pumps to the routine violator during the pendency of the appeal. In order to provide parties notice that a routine violator is appealing the determination, the routine violator must file a Notice of Intent to Appeal with the Office of Hearings and Appeals within three business days after the issuance of the Notice of Finding of Routine Violator. If the finding is ultimately upheld, then the manufacturers could face civil penalties for sale of any products rated below the regional standards to the routine violator.

    The Working Group also recommended that DOE provide an incentive for manufacturers to report routine violators. The Working Group recommended that if a manufacturer has knowledge of a routine violator, then the manufacturer can be held liable for all sales made after the date such knowledge is obtained by the manufacturer. However, if the manufacturer reports such knowledge to DOE within 15 days of receipt of the knowledge, then the Department will not hold the manufacturer liable for sales to the suspected routine violator made prior to notifying DOE.

    On a separate note, nothing in this rulemaking impacts DOE's ability to determine that a manufacturer has manufactured and distributed a noncompliant central air conditioner in accordance with the existing procedures at 10 CFR 429.104-429.114. Furthermore, those processes apply to DOE's determination of a manufacturer's manufacture and distribution of a central air conditioner that fails to meet a regional standard. With respect to liability, if DOE determines that a model of condensing unit fails to meet the applicable regional standard(s) when tested in a combination certified by the same manufacturer (i.e., one entity manufactures both the indoor coil and the condensing unit), the condensing unit manufacturer will be responsible for this model's noncompliance. If DOE determines that a basic model fails to meet regional standards when tested in a combination certified by a manufacturer other than the outdoor unit manufacturer (e.g., an independent coil manufacturer (ICM)), the certifying manufacturer will be responsible for this combination's noncompliance. The responsible manufacturer will be liable for distribution in commerce of noncompliant units. The responsible manufacturer can minimize liability by demonstrating on a unit-by-unit basis that the noncompliant combination was installed in a region where it would meet the standards. For example, if a 14 SEER split-system air conditioner was tested by the Department and determined to be 13.5 SEER, then the manufacturer may minimize its liability by proving only a portion of sales for this combination was installed in the Southeast and Southwest. Manufacturers represented during the course of the negotiations that the bulk of sales are of minimally compliant units and so they expect most of the products that comply with the Southeast and Southwest regional standards would be sold in those regions. Given this, DOE will presume all units of a model rated as compliant with a regional standard but determined to be noncompliant with that standard were in fact installed illegally. Manufacturers can rebut this presumption by providing evidence that a portion of the units were instead installed in a location where they would have met the applicable energy conservation standards.

    DOE proposes to adopt these clarifications of manufacturer liability as recommended by the Working Group and requests comment on this proposal.

    K. Additional Prohibited Acts for Distributors, Contractors and Dealers

    The Working Group had significant discussions on whether to include additional prohibited acts and ultimately could not come to consensus on whether to include additional prohibited acts.12

    12 For details on the discussions regarding additional prohibited acts see the public meeting transcript for October 16, 2014. No. 87 pp. 3-87.

    L. Summary Table

    The Working Group developed a summary table for inclusion in this document. This summary table helps explain the responsibilities for the various parties impacted by this rulemaking and does not include any proposed requirements not previously described in today's NOPR. DOE has further added columns depicting the roles and responsibilities of those making sales through the internet to this chart.

    Table II-2—Central Air Conditioner Regional Enforcement Summary Table Manufacturer Importer Manufacturer owned
  • distributor
  • Independent
  • distributor
  • Contractors or dealer Internet sellers
  • to contractors
  • or dealers
  • Internet sellers
  • to end users
  • Subject to civil penalties based upon committing a prohibited act Yes Yes Yes No No No No. Can be labeled a routine violator No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes. Considered a manufacturer under definition Yes Yes Yes No No No No. Can remediate to get off routine violator list N/A N/A N/A Yes Yes Yes Yes. Right to appeal finding of Routine Violation N/A N/A N/A Yes Yes Yes Yes. Record retention 60 months 60 months 60 months 54 months 48 months 54 months 48 months. Record retention start date 30 days after Final Rule 30 days after Final Rule 30 days after Final Rule Nov. 30, 2015 (DOE proposes July 1, 2016) 30 days after Final Rule Nov. 30, 2015 (DOE proposes July 1, 2016) 30 days after Final Rule.
    M. Impact of Regional Enforcement Proposal on National Impacts Analysis

    In the June 2011 DFR, DOE considered the economic impacts of amending the standards for central air conditioners and heat pumps. Included in the economic analyses was National Impacts Analysis (NIA) which estimated the energy savings and the net present value (NPV) of those energy savings that consumers would receive from the new energy efficiency standards of central air conditioners (CAC) and heat pumps (HP). This NPV was the estimated total value of future operating-cost savings during the analysis period (2015-2045), minus the estimated increased product costs (including installation), discounted to 2011. However, DOE did not account for the financial burden on distributors and installers related to record retention requirements necessary to demonstrate compliance with the regional standards in the June 2011 DFR.

    From the enforcement plan proposed in this rulemaking, DOE estimated that manufacturers, distributors, and contractors face some financial burden primarily related to the proposed record retention requirements. DOE assumed that the proposed records retention requirements would cause manufacturers, distributors, and contractors additional labor costs from collecting and filing such records. These labor costs would be an annual burden to the market participants. At the Working Group public meetings, distributors stated that the proposed records retention requirements would cause distributors to update their enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to track the necessary information. DOE considered this update to the EPR systems an initial conversion cost. The cost of retaining records on each market participant is summarized in Table II-3.

    Table II-3—Cost of Proposed Records Retention Due to Regional Standards Enforcement for Central Air Conditioner and Heat Pump Market Participants Manufacturers Distributors Contractors Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours 574,167 287,083 359,949 Estimated Total Annual Cost $4,162,708 $2,081,354 $2,609,631 Estimated Initial Conversion Cost $46,340,000

    In this NOPR, DOE re-evaluated the NIA to include the cost of the proposed record retention requirements to manufacturer, distributors, and contractors. DOE conservatively estimated the consumer benefits by assuming that the annual cost from the proposed record retention requirements would be passed on to consumers and thus decreasing the NPV. However, DOE assumed that distributors would entirely bear the initial up-front cost of updating their ERP systems, causing no impact to the NPV for that portion of the impacts. The updated NPV results are summarized in Table II-4. The impact of including the proposed record retention requirement costs on the NPV is estimated to reduce the benefit by $0.30 billion at a 3% discount rate and $0.16 billion at a 7% discount rate. The costs of the record retention requirements are estimated to have no impact on national energy savings. Because the record retention requirement costs have only a small impact on NPV, ranging from a minimum of 2-percent at a discount rate of 3% and a maximum of 4-percent at a discount rate of 7%, and no impact on national energy savings, DOE's economic justification of the energy conservation standards chosen and published in the 2011 DFR would be unaffected by the quantification and inclusion of enforcement plan costs. Consequently, DOE is reaffirming the 2011 DFR energy conservation standards based on this analysis.

    Table II-4—National Impacts Analysis Results With Costs From Proposed Regional Enforcement Plan for Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps National impacts
  • estimated from 2011 DFR
  • for the chosen energy
  • conservation standards
  • National impacts
  • estimated from 2011 DFR
  • for the chosen energy
  • conversation standards
  • with enforcement
  • plan costs
  • National Energy Savings (quads) 3.20 to 4.22 3.20 to 4.22. NPV of Consumer Benefits at 3% discount rate (2009$ billion) 14.73 to 17.55 14.43 to 17.25. NPV of Consumer Benefits at 7% discount rate (2009$ billion) 3.93 to 4.21 3.77 to 4.05.

    DOE requests comment on its assumptions for the financial burden from the proposed record retention requirements and the resulting impact on NPV at the amended standard level.

    III. Procedural Issues and Regulatory Review A. Review Under Executive Order 12866

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has determined that today's regulatory action is not a “significant regulatory action” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review,” 58 FR 51735 (Oct. 4, 1993). Accordingly, this action was not subject to review under the Executive Order by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the OMB.

    B. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act

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

    DOE reviewed the proposed requirements under the provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act and the procedures and policies published on February 19, 2003. As discussed in more detail below, DOE found that the entities impacted by the proposals in this NOPR (central air conditioning manufacturers, distributors, and contractors) could potentially experience a financial burden associated with these new requirements. Additionally, the majority of central air conditioning contractors and distributors are small business as defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA). DOE determined that it could not certify that the proposed rule, if promulgated, would not have a significant effect on a substantial number of small entities. Therefore, DOE has prepared an IRFA for this rulemaking. The IRFA describes potential impacts on small businesses associated with the proposed requirements.

    DOE has transmitted a copy of this IRFA to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for review.

    1. Description and Estimated Number of Small Entities Regulated

    The SBA has set a size threshold for manufacturers, distributors, and contractors of central air conditioning products that define those entities classified as “small businesses.” DOE used SBA's size standards to determine whether any small businesses would be impacted by this NOPR. 65 FR 30836, 30849 (May 15, 2000), as amended at 65 FR 53533, 53545 (Sept. 5, 2000) and codified at 13 CFR part 121. The size standards are listed by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code and industry description, and are available at http://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/files/Size_Standards_Table.pdf. The size standards and NAICS codes relevant to this rulemaking are listed in Table III-1.

    To estimate the number of companies that could be small business manufacturers, distributors, and contractors of equipment covered by this rulemaking, DOE conducted a market survey using available public information. DOE's research involved examining industry trade association Web sites, public databases, and individual company Web sites. DOE also solicited information from industry representatives such as AHRI, HARDI, ACCA, and PHCC. DOE screened out companies that do not offer products covered by this rulemaking or are not impacted by this rulemaking, do not meet the definition of a “small business,” or are foreign owned and operated.

    Table III-1—Small Business Classification Summary Table Impacted entity NAICS Code NAICS Definition of small business Total number of impacted businesses Total number of small
  • businesses
  • Contractors 13 238220 $15 million or less in revenue 14 22,207 21,763 Distributors 423730 100 or less employees 15 2,317 2,000 Manufacturers 333415 750 or less employees 29 12
    2. Description and Estimate of Regional CAC Requirements

    As discussed in the preamble of this proposed rule, the Working Group recommended an enforcement plan for central air conditioners that would include public awareness efforts, records retention requirements, and voluntary efforts like remediation and labeling. The Working Group also made explicit the terms “violation” and “routine violator.” While most of the proposals in this rulemaking will not have an impact on manufacturers, distributors, and contractors that adhere to the central air conditioner regional standards, the records retention requirements may result in some financial burden.

    The Working Group worked to negotiate records retention requirements that would have limited financial burden on the impacted parties—manufacturers, distributors, and contractors. The Working Group made a few general provisions regarding the records retention requirements to help mitigate some of the financial burden. The Working Group tried to reduce the impact of the records retention requirements by staggering the length of time for which records must be maintained. Manufacturers, the entities understood to have the most resources and sophistication, would have to retain records for the longest time period (60 months); distributors would have to retain records for less time (54 months); and contractors would have to retain records for the least amount of time (48 months). Additionally, in the case that records are requested, the Working Group recommended that the party from whom the records were requested should have an extended period of 30 days to produce such records. The Working Group also explicitly recommended that manufacturers, distributors, and contractors should not have to create new forms to retain such records, and that the records would not have to be retained electronically.

    DOE expects central air conditioning manufacturers to be the least burdened entity of all the affected entities by the record retention requirements proposed in this document. Manufacturers have the fewest record retention requirements. Many of the record retention requirements being proposed in this rulemaking expand on DOE's existing certification requirements and thus should only slightly increase the recordkeeping burden. DOE does not expect manufacturers to incur any capital expenditures as a result of the proposals since the rulemaking does not impose any product-specific requirements that would require changes to existing plants, facilities, product specifications, or test procedures. Rather, this proposed rule imposes record retention requirements, which may have a slight impact on labor costs. DOE included certification and enforcement requirements associated with the regional standards for central air conditioners in the June 27, 2011 energy conservation standards final rule for central air conditioners and heat pumps.16

    13 The number of impacted contractors and small contractors is based on the number of contractors installing in the Southwest and Southeast regions.

    14 Chapter 18: Regional Standards Impacts on Market Participants. Technical Support Document: Energy Efficiency Program for Consumer Products: Residential Central Air Conditioners, Heat Pumps, and Furnaces. http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EERE-2011-BT-STD-0011-0012.

    15 “Statistics of U.S. Businesses: 2008: NAICS 423730—HVAC equip. merchant wholesalers United States.” U.S. Census Bureau. http://www.census.gov/epcd/susb/2008/us/us423730.htm.

    16 Chapter 12: Manufacturer Impact Analysis. Technical Support Document: Energy Efficiency Program for Consumer Products: Residential Central Air Conditioners, Heat Pumps, and Furnaces. http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EERE-2011-BT-STD-0011-0012.

    Based on comments at the Working Group meetings, DOE expects the record retention requirements to cause distributors the most financial burden. Distributors track equipment and sales in ERP systems and are expected to incorporate the proposed recordkeeping requirements into their ERP systems. HARDI expected that 40% of distributors currently retain the proposed records and will not need to update their ERP systems. HARDI expected 50% of distributors would need to make some changes to their ERP systems and 10% of distributors would need to make major changes to their ERP system. HARDI expected that small distributors are more likely to require major changes to their ERP systems because typically small distributors have older and more inflexible systems. HARDI estimated that changes to ERP systems to accommodate the record retention proposals may cost $20,000 to $100,000 depending on the type of change needed to the system. According to HARDI, the entire central air conditioner distribution industry would incur an initial conversion cost of around $46,340,000 to modify the ERP systems. To help alleviate some of the financial burden, the Working Group recommended that DOE not require distributors to retain records for sales of central air conditioner indoor coils or air handlers, which were identified as difficult components to track for the distributors. Additionally, the Working Group recommended that distributors should not have to start retaining records until November 30, 2015, at the earliest, which DOE is proposing in this NOPR to delay until July 1, 2016. Finally, as previously stated, DOE is not proposing to require records to be retained in electronic form and is not mandating that distributors make changes in their ERP systems to retain the information proposed in this document.

    DOE believes central air conditioning contractors will experience a minimal recordkeeping burden. DOE is proposing to limit the records retention requirements on contractors to installations in the Southeast and Southwest. For all central air conditioner installations in those regions, contractors would have to keep a record of installation location, date of installation, and purchaser. Contractors would have to keep records specific to the type of units (outdoor condensing unit, indoor coil or air handler, or single-package air conditioner) installed as well. A contractor trade association remarked at the public meetings that most contractors already retain such records and the record retention requirements would have limited financial impacts. (ACCA, Public Meeting Transcript, No. 77 at 12-13) DOE estimates that any additional expense caused by the records requirements proposed in this rulemaking would be related to the time required to file these records. DOE estimates that contractors may spend an additional 10 minutes per installation to comply with the proposed records retention requirements.

    3. Duplication, Overlap, and Conflict With Other Rules and Regulations

    DOE is not aware of any rules or regulations that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with the proposed rule being considered today.

    4. Significant Alternatives to the Rule

    DOE could mitigate the potential impacts on small manufacturers, distributors, or contractors by reducing or eliminating the proposed types of information to be maintained. However, these requirements were negotiated as an acceptable compromise among the participants in the Working Group. While there may be some financial burden, the Working Group unanimously agreed to the record retention requirements for manufacturers, distributors, and contractors. Furthermore, DOE believes that the record retention requirements are the least burdensome requirements possible to provide DOE sufficient information to determine whether manufacturers, distributors and contractors are complying with regulatory requirements. Thus, DOE rejected the alternative of reducing or eliminating the record retention requirements and is proposing these record retention requirements for the aforementioned parties. DOE continues to seek input from businesses that would be affected by this rulemaking and will consider comments received in the development of any final rule.

    C. Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 1. Description of the Requirements

    In this document, DOE proposed record retention requirements for central air conditioner manufacturers, distributors, and contractors. DOE is requesting approval for a new information collection associated with these requirements. These requirements were developed as part of a negotiated rulemaking effort for regional central air conditioner enforcement. These requirements are described in detail in section II.F.

    2. Information Collection Request Title: Enforcement of Regional Standards.

    3. Type of Request: New.

    4. Purpose: Generally, DOE is proposing that manufacturers retain records of the model number and serial number for all split system and single-package air conditioners, when these units were manufactured, when these units were sold, and to whom the units were sold. DOE proposed that manufacturers would retain these records for 60 months. DOE proposed that distributors would retain the manufacturer, model number and serial number for all their split system outdoor condensing units and single-package units. In addition, distributors must keep track of when and from whom each of these types of units was purchased, and when and to whom each of these units was sold. Distributors would retain these records for 54 months. Contractors must retain records of all split system and single-package air conditioner installations in the Southeast and Southwest region. These records would be required to include what was installed (e.g. manufacturer and model number), date of sale, and the party to whom the unit was sold. Contractors would retain these records for 48 months.

    This proposed rule primarily requires central air conditioner manufacturers, distributors, and contractors to retain records for CAC installations. If DOE has a “reasonable belief” that an installation in violation of regional standards occurred, then it may request records specific to an ongoing investigation from the relevant manufacturer(s), distributor(s), and/or contractor(s). The Working Group recommended that DOE determine if it has a “reasonable belief” of a CAC violation based on the factors described in section II.F. Once DOE establishes reasonable belief and requests records from the relevant parties, then the entity from whom DOE requested records has 30 days to produce those records. The party from whom DOE requested records may ask for additional time with a written explanation of the circumstances.

    The following are DOE estimates of the total annual recordkeeping burden imposed on manufacturers, distributors, and contractors of central air conditioners. These estimates take into account the time necessary collect, organized and store the record required by this notice of proposed rulemaking.

    Manufacturers

    Estimated Number of Impacted Manufacturers: 29.

    Estimated Time per Record: 10 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 574,167 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to the Manufacturers: $4,162,708.

    Distributors

    Estimated Number of Impacted Distributors: 2,317.

    Estimated Time per Record: 5 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 287,083 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to the Distributors: $2,081,354.

    Contractors

    Estimated Number of Impacted Contractors: 22,207.

    Estimated Time per Record: 10 minutes per installation.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 359,949 hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to the Contractors: $2,609,631.

    5. Annual Estimated Number of Respondents: 24,553.

    6. Annual Estimated Number of Total Responses: 24,553.

    7. Annual Estimated Number of Burden Hours: 1,221,199.

    8. Annual Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Cost Burden: $8,853,693.

    D. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969

    DOE has determined that this proposed rule falls into a class of actions that are categorically excluded from review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and DOE's implementing regulations at 10 CFR part 1021. Specifically, this proposed rule would adopt changes to the manner in which regional standards for central air conditioners are enforced, which would not affect the amount, quality or distribution of energy usage, and, therefore, would not result in any environmental impacts. Thus, this rulemaking is covered by Categorical Exclusion A6 under 10 CFR part 1021, subpart D. Accordingly, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required.

    E. Review Under Executive Order 13132

    Executive Order 13132, “Federalism,” 64 FR 43255 (August 4, 1999) imposes certain requirements on agencies formulating and implementing policies or regulations that preempt State law or that have Federalism implications. The Executive Order requires agencies to examine the constitutional and statutory authority supporting any action that would limit the policymaking discretion of the States and to carefully assess the necessity for such actions. The Executive Order also requires agencies to have an accountable process to ensure meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have Federalism implications. On March 14, 2000, DOE published a statement of policy describing the intergovernmental consultation process it will follow in the development of such regulations. 65 FR 13735. DOE has examined this proposed rule and has determined that it 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. EPCA governs and prescribes Federal preemption of State regulations as to energy conservation for the products that are the subject of today's proposed rule. States can petition DOE for exemption from such preemption to the extent, and based on criteria, set forth in EPCA. (42 U.S.C. 6297(d)) No further action is required by Executive Order 13132.

    F. Review Under Executive Order 12988

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

    G. Review Under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) requires each Federal agency to assess the effects of Federal regulatory actions on State, local, and Tribal governments and the private sector. Public Law 104-4, sec. 201 (codified at 2 U.S.C. 1531). For a proposed regulatory action likely to result in a rule that may cause the expenditure by State, local, and Tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100 million or more in any one year (adjusted annually for inflation), section 202 of UMRA requires a Federal agency to publish a written statement that estimates the resulting costs, benefits, and other effects on the national economy. (2 U.S.C. 1532(a), (b)) The UMRA also requires a Federal agency to develop an effective process to permit timely input by elected officers of State, local, and Tribal governments on a proposed “significant intergovernmental mandate,” and requires an agency plan for giving notice and opportunity for timely input to potentially affected small governments before establishing any requirements that might significantly or uniquely affect small governments. On March 18, 1997, DOE published a statement of policy on its process for intergovernmental consultation under UMRA. 62 FR 12820; also available at http://energy.gov/gc/office-general-counsel. DOE examined this proposed rule according to UMRA and its statement of policy and determined that the rule contains neither an intergovernmental mandate, nor a mandate that may result in the expenditure of $100 million or more in any year, so these requirements do not apply.

    H. Review Under the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999

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

    I. Review Under Executive Order 12630

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

    J. Review Under Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001

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

    K. Review Under Executive Order 13211

    Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use,” 66 FR 28355 (May 22, 2001), requires Federal agencies to prepare and submit to OMB, a Statement of Energy Effects for any proposed significant energy action. A “significant energy action” is defined as any action by an agency that promulgated or is expected to lead to promulgation of a final rule, and that: (1) Is a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, or any successor order; and (2) is likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy; or (3) is designated by the Administrator of OIRA as a significant energy action. For any proposed significant energy action, the agency must give a detailed statement of any adverse effects on energy supply, distribution, or use should the proposal be implemented, and of reasonable alternatives to the action and their expected benefits on energy supply, distribution, and use.

    Today's proposal to adopt a regional standards enforcement plan for central air conditioners is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866. Moreover, it would not have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy, nor has it been designated as a significant energy action by the Administrator of OIRA. Therefore, it is not a significant energy action, and, accordingly, DOE has not prepared a Statement of Energy Effects.

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

    Under section 301 of the Department of Energy Organization Act (Pub. L. 95-91; 42 U.S.C. 7101), DOE must comply with section 32 of the Federal Energy Administration Act of 1974, as amended by the Federal Energy Administration Authorization Act of 1977. (15 U.S.C. 788; FEAA) Section 32 essentially provides in relevant part that, where a proposed rule authorizes or requires use of commercial standards, the notice of proposed rulemaking must inform the public of the use and background of such standards. In addition, section 32(c) requires DOE to consult with the Attorney General and the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) concerning the impact of the commercial or industry standards on competition. Today's proposed rule does not requires use of any commercial standards.

    IV. Public Participation A. Submission of Comments

    DOE will accept comments, data, and information regarding this proposed rule no later than the date provided in the DATES section at the beginning of this proposed rule. Interested parties may submit comments using any of the methods described in the ADDRESSES section at the beginning of this NOPR.

    Submitting comments via regulations.gov. The regulations.gov Web page will require you to provide your name and contact information. Your contact information will be viewable to DOE Building Technologies staff only. Your contact information will not be publicly viewable except for your first and last names, organization name (if any), and submitter representative name (if any). If your comment is not processed properly because of technical difficulties, DOE will use this information to contact you. If DOE cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, DOE may not be able to consider your comment.

    However, your contact information will be publicly viewable if you include it in the comment or in any documents attached to your comment. Any information that you do not want to be publicly viewable should not be included in your comment, nor in any document attached to your comment. Persons viewing comments will see only first and last names, organization names, correspondence containing comments, and any documents submitted with the comments.

    Do not submit to regulations.gov information for which disclosure is restricted by statute, such as trade secrets and commercial or financial information (hereinafter referred to as Confidential Business Information (CBI)). Comments submitted through regulations.gov cannot be claimed as CBI. Comments received through the Web site will waive any CBI claims for the information submitted. For information on submitting CBI, see the Confidential Business Information section.

    DOE processes submissions made through regulations.gov before posting. Normally, comments will be posted within a few days of being submitted. However, if large volumes of comments are being processed simultaneously, your comment may not be viewable for up to several weeks. Please keep the comment tracking number that regulations.gov provides after you have successfully uploaded your comment.

    Submitting comments via email, hand delivery, or mail. Comments and documents submitted via email, hand delivery, or mail also will be posted to regulations.gov. If you do not want your personal contact information to be publicly viewable, do not include it in your comment or any accompanying documents. Instead, provide your contact information on a cover letter. Include your first and last names, email address, telephone number, and optional mailing address. The cover letter will not be publicly viewable as long as it does not include any comments.

    Include contact information each time you submit comments, data, documents, and other information to DOE. If you submit via mail or hand delivery, please provide all items on a CD, if feasible. It is not necessary to submit printed copies. No facsimiles (faxes) will be accepted.

    Comments, data, and other information submitted to DOE electronically should be provided in PDF (preferred), Microsoft Word or Excel, WordPerfect, or text (ASCII) file format. Provide documents that are not secured, written in English and free of any defects or viruses. Documents should not contain special characters or any form of encryption and, if possible, they should carry the electronic signature of the author.

    Campaign form letters. Please submit campaign form letters by the originating organization in batches of between 50 to 500 form letters per PDF or as one form letter with a list of supporters' names compiled into one or more PDFs. This reduces comment processing and posting time.

    Confidential Business Information. According to 10 CFR 1004.11, any person submitting information that he or she believes to be confidential and exempt by law from public disclosure should submit via email, postal mail, or hand delivery two well-marked copies: One copy of the document marked confidential including all the information believed to be confidential, and one copy of the document marked non-confidential with the information believed to be confidential deleted. Submit these documents via email or on a CD, if feasible. DOE will make its own determination about the confidential status of the information and treat it according to its determination.

    Factors of interest to DOE when evaluating requests to treat submitted information as confidential include: (1) A description of the items; (2) whether and why such items are customarily treated as confidential within the industry; (3) whether the information is generally known by or available from other sources; (4) whether the information has previously been made available to others without obligation concerning its confidentiality; (5) an explanation of the competitive injury to the submitting person which would result from public disclosure; (6) when such information might lose its confidential character due to the passage of time; and (7) why disclosure of the information would be contrary to the public interest.

    It is DOE's policy that all comments may be included in the public docket, without change and as received, including any personal information provided in the comments (except information deemed to be exempt from public disclosure).

    B. Issues on Which DOE Seeks Comment

    Although DOE welcomes comments on any aspect of this proposal, DOE is particularly interested in receiving comments and views of interested parties concerning the following issues:

    1. DOE requests comments on the four clarifications to the regional standards discussed in section II.A.

    2. DOE requests comments on its proposed definitions for contractor, dealer, and installation of a central air conditioner.

    3. DOE requests comments on its proposed records retention requirements for manufacturers, distributors, and contractors. The Department is specifically interested in any financial burden imposed but these proposed requirements.

    4. DOE requests comments on the threshold for records request and the proposed timeframe for responding to such requests.

    5. DOE requests comments on the proposed violations for distributors, contractors, and dealers.

    6. DOE requests comments on the factors used to determine if a violation is routine.

    7. DOE requests comments on the proposed concept for remediation.

    8. DOE requests comments on the proposed scheme for manufacturer liability.

    V. Approval of the Office of the Secretary

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

    List of Subjects 10 CFR Part 429

    Administrative practice and procedure, Confidential business information, Energy conservation, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    10 CFR Part 430

    Administrative practice and procedure, Confidential business information, Energy conservation, Household appliances, Imports, Intergovernmental relations, Small businesses.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on November 12, 2015. Kathleen B. Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, DOE is proposing to amend parts 429 and 430 of Chapter II, subchapter D, of Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations as set forth below:

    PART 429—CERTIFICATION, COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT FOR CONSUMER PRODUCTS AND COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL EQUIPMENT 1. The authority citation for part 429 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 6291-6317.

    2. Amend § 429.102 to add paragraph (c) to read as follows:
    § 429.102 Prohibited acts subjecting persons to enforcement action.

    (c) Violations of regional standards:

    (1) It is a violation for a distributor to knowingly sell a product to a contractor or dealer with knowledge that the entity will sell and/or install the product in violation of any regional standard applicable to the product.

    (2) It is a violation for a distributor to knowingly sell a product to a contractor or dealer with knowledge that the entity routinely violates any regional standard applicable to the product.

    (3) It is a violation for a contractor or dealer to knowingly sell to and/or install for an end user a central air conditioner subject to regional standards with the knowledge that such product will be installed in violation of any regional standard applicable to the product.

    (4) A “product installed in violation” includes:

    (i) A complete central air conditioning system that is not certified as a complete system that meets the applicable standard. Combinations that were previously validly certified may be installed after the manufacturer has discontinued the combination, provided the combination meets the currently applicable standard.

    (ii) An outdoor unit with no match (i.e., that is not offered for sale with an indoor unit) that is not certified as part of a combination that meets the applicable standard.

    (iii) An outdoor unit that is part of a certified combination rated less than the standard applicable in the region in which it is installed.

    3. Add an undesignated center heading and § 429.140 in subpart C to read as follows: Regional Standards Enforcement Procedures
    § 429.140 Regional standards enforcement procedures.

    Sections 429.140 through 429.158 provide enforcement procedures specific to the violations enumerated in § 429.102(c). These provisions explain the responsibilities of manufacturers, private labelers, distributors, contractors and dealers with respect to central air conditioners subject to regional standards; however, these provisions do not limit the responsibilities of parties otherwise subject to 10 CFR parts 429 and 430.

    4. Add § 429.142 to subpart C to read as follows:
    § 429.142 Records retention.

    (a) Record retention. The following records shall be maintained by the specified entities.

    (1) Contractors and dealers.

    (i) For installations of a central air conditioner in the states of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, or Virginia or in the District of Columbia, contractors and dealers must retain the following records for at least 48 months from the date of installation.

    A. For split-system central air conditioner outdoor units: The manufacturer name, model number, serial number, location of installation (including street address, city, state, and zip code), date of installation, and party from whom the unit was purchased (including person's name, full address, and phone number); and

    B. For split-system central air conditioner indoor units: The manufacturer name, model number, location of installation (including street address, city, state, and zip code), date of installation, and party from whom the unit was purchased (including person's name, full address, and phone number).

    (ii) For installations of a central air conditioner in the states of Arizona, California, Nevada, and New Mexico, contractors and dealers must retain the following, additional records for at least 48 months from the date of installation.

    A. For single-package central air conditioners: The manufacturer name, model number, serial number, location of installation (including street address, city, state, and zip code), date of installation, and party from whom the unit was purchased (including person's name, full address, and phone number).

    B. [Reserved]

    (2) Distributors. Beginning November 30, 2015, all distributors must retain the following records for no less than 54 months from the date of sale.

    (i) For split-system central air conditioner outdoor units: The outdoor unit manufacturer, outdoor unit model number, outdoor unit serial number, date unit was purchased from manufacturer, party from whom the unit was purchased (including company or individual's name, full address, and phone number), date unit was sold to contractor or dealer, party to whom the unit was sold (including company or individual's name, full address, and phone number), and, if delivered, delivery address.

    (ii) For single-package air conditioners: The manufacturer, model number, serial number, date unit was purchased from manufacturer, party from whom the unit was purchased (including company or individual's name, full address, and phone number), date unit was sold to a contractor or dealer, party to whom the unit was sold (including company or individual's name, full address, and phone number), and, if delivered, delivery address.

    (3) Manufacturers and Private Labelers. All manufacturers and private labelers must retain the following records for no less than 60 months from the date of sale.

    (i) For split-system central air conditioner outdoor units: The model number, serial number, date of manufacture, date of sale, and party to whom the unit was sold (including person's name, full address, and phone number);

    (ii) For split-system central air conditioner indoor units: The model number, date of manufacture, date of sale, and party to whom the unit was sold (including person's name, full address, and phone number); and

    (iii) For single-package central air conditioners: The model number, serial number, date of manufacture, date of sale, and party to whom the unit was sold (including person's name, full address, and phone number).

    5. Add § 429.144 to subpart C to read as follows:
    § 429.144 Records request.

    (a) DOE must have reasonable belief a violation has occurred to request records specific to an on-going investigation of a violation of central air conditioner regional standards.

    (b) Upon request, the manufacturer, private labeler, distributor, dealer, or contractor must provide to DOE the relevant records within 30 calendar days of the request.

    (1) DOE, at its discretion, may grant additional time for records production if the party from whom records have been requested has made a good faith effort to produce records.

    (2) To request additional time, the party from whom records have been requested must produce all records gathered in 30 days and provide to DOE a written explanation of the need for additional time with the requested date for completing the production of records.

    6. Add § 429.146 to subpart C to read as follows:
    § 429.146 Notice of violation.

    (a) If DOE determines a party has committed a violation of regional standards, DOE will issue a Notice of Violation advising that party of DOE's determination.

    (b) If, however, DOE determines a noncompliant installation occurred in only one instance, the noncompliant installation is remediated prior to DOE issuing a Notice of Violation, and the party has no history of prior violations, DOE will not issue such notice.

    (c) If DOE does not find a violation of regional standards, DOE will notify the party under investigation.

    7. Add § 429.148 to subpart C to read as follows:
    § 429.148 Routine violator.

    (a) DOE will consider, inter alia, the following factors in determining if a person is a routine violator: Number of violations in current and past cases, length of time over which violations occurred, ratio of compliant to noncompliant installations or sales, percentage of employees committing violations, evidence of intent, evidence of training or education provided, and subsequent remedial actions.

    (b) In the event that DOE determines a person to be a routine violator, DOE will issue a Notice of Finding of Routine Violation.

    (c) In making a finding of Routine Violation, DOE will consider whether the Routine Violation was limited to a specific location. If DOE finds that the routine violation was so limited, DOE may, in its discretion, in the Notice of Finding of Routine Violation limit the prohibition on manufacturer and/or private labeler sales to a particular contractor or distribution location.

    8. Add § 429.150 to subpart C to read as follows:
    § 429.150 Appealing a finding of routine violation.

    (a) Any person found to be a routine violator may, within 30 calendar days after the date of Notice of Finding of Routine Violation, request an administrative appeal to the Office of Hearings and Appeals.

    (b) The appeal must present information rebutting the finding of violation(s).

    (c) The Office of Hearings and Appeal will issue a decision on the appeal within 45 days of receipt of the appeal.

    (d) A routine violator must file a Notice of Intent to Appeal with the Office of Hearings and Appeals within three business days of the date of the Notice of Finding of Routine Violation, serving a copy on the GC Office of Enforcement to retain the ability to buy central air conditioners during the pendency of the appeal.

    9. Add § 429.152 to subpart C to read as follows:
    § 429.152 Removal of finding of “routine violator”.

    (a) A routine violator may be removed from DOE's list of routine violators through completion of remediation in accordance with the requirements in § 429.154 of this subpart.

    (b) A routine violator that wants to remediate must contact DOE Office of Enforcement via the point of contact listed in the Notice of Finding of Routine Violation and identify the distributor(s), manufacturer(s), or private labeler(s) from whom it wishes to buy compliant replacement product.

    (c) DOE will contact the distributor(s), manufacturer(s), or private labeler(s) and authorize sale of central air conditioner units to the routine violator for purposes of remediation within 3 business days of receipt of the request for remediation. DOE will provide the manufacturer(s), distributor(s), and/or private labeler(s) with an official letter authorizing the sale of units for purposes of remediation.

    (d) DOE will contact routine violators that requested units for remediation within 30 days of sending the official letter to the manufacturer(s), distributor(s), and/or private labeler(s) to determine the status of the remediation.

    (e) If remediation is successfully completed, DOE will issue a Notice indicating a person is no longer considered to be a routine violator. The Notice will be issued no more than 30 days after DOE has received documentation demonstrating that remediation is complete.

    10. Add § 429.154 to subpart C to read as follows:
    § 429.154 Remediation.

    (a) Any party found to be in violation of the regional standards may remediate by replacing the noncompliant unit at cost to the violator; the end user cannot be charged for any costs of remediation.

    (1) If a violator is unable to replace all noncompliant installations, then the Department may, in its discretion, consider the remediation complete if the violator satisfactorily demonstrates to the Department that it attempted to replace all noncompliant installations.

    (2) The Department will scrutinize any “failed” attempts at replacement to ensure that there was indeed a good faith effort to complete remediation of the noncompliant unit.

    (b) The violator must provide to DOE the serial number of any outdoor unit and/or indoor unit installed not in compliance with the applicable regional standard as well as the serial number(s) of the replacement unit(s) to be checked by the Department against warranty and other replacement claims.

    (c) If the remediation is approved by the Department, then DOE will issue a Notice of Remediation and the violation will not count towards a finding of “routine violator”.

    11. Add § 429.156 to subpart C to read as follows:
    § 429.156 Manufacturer and private labeler liability.

    (a) In accordance with § 429.102(c), manufacturers and private labelers are prohibited from selling central air conditioners and heat pumps to a routine violator.

    (1) To avoid financial penalties, manufacturers and/or private labelers must cease sales to a routine violator within 3 business days from the date of issuance of a Notice of Finding of Routine Violation.

    (2) If a Routine Violator files a Notice of Intent to Appeal pursuant to § 429.150, then a manufacturer and/or private labeler may assume the risk of selling central air conditioners to the Routine Violator during the pendency of the appeal.

    (3) If the appeal of the Finding of Routine Violator is denied, then the manufacturer and/or private labeler may be fined in accordance with § 429.120, for sale of any units to a routine violator during the pendency of the appeal that do not meet the applicable regional standard.

    (b) If a manufacturer and/or private labeler has knowledge of routine violation, then the manufacturer can be held liable for all sales that occurred after the date the manufacturer had knowledge of the routine violation. However, if the manufacturer and/or private labeler reports its suspicion of a routine violation to DOE within 15 days of receipt of such knowledge, then it will not be liable for product sold to the suspected routine violator prior to reporting the routine violation to DOE.

    12. Add § 429.158 to subpart C to read as follows:
    § 429.158 Product determined noncompliant with regional standards.

    (a) If DOE determines a model of outdoor unit fails to meet the applicable regional standard(s) when tested in a combination certified by the same manufacturer, then the outdoor unit basic model will be deemed noncompliant with the regional standard(s). In accordance with § 429.102(c), the outdoor unit manufacturer and/or private labeler is liable for distribution of noncompliant units in commerce.

    (b) If DOE determines a combination fails to meet the applicable regional standard(s) when tested in a combination certified by a manufacturer other than the outdoor unit manufacturer (e.g., ICM), then that combination is deemed noncompliant with the regional standard(s). In accordance with § 429.102(c), the certifying manufacturer is liable for distribution of noncompliant units in commerce.

    (c) All such units manufactured and distributed in commerce are presumed to have been installed in a region where they would not comply with the applicable energy conservation standard; however, a manufacturer and/or private labeler may demonstrate through installer records that individual units were installed in a region where the unit is compliant with the applicable standards.

    PART 430—ENERGY CONSERVATION PROGRAM FOR CONSUMER PRODUCTS 13. The authority citation for part 430 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 6291-6309; 28 U.S.C. 2461 note.

    14. Amend § 430.2 by adding, in alphabetical order, new definitions for “contractor,” “dealer,” “distributor,” and “installation of a central air conditioner” to read as follows:
    § 430.2 Definitions.

    Contractor means a person (other than the manufacturer or distributor) who sells to and/or installs for an end user a central air conditioner subject to regional standards. The term “end user” means the entity that purchases or selects for purchase the central air conditioner. Some examples of typical “end users” are homeowners, building owners, building managers, and property developers.

    Dealer means a type of contractor, generally with a relationship with one or more specific manufacturers.

    Distributor means a person (other than a manufacturer or retailer) to whom a consumer appliance product is delivered or sold for purposes of distribution in commerce.

    Installation of a central air conditioner means the connection of the refrigerant lines and/or electrical systems to make the central air conditioner operational.

    15. Amend § 430.32, by revising paragraph (c) to read as follows:
    § 430.32 Energy and water conservation standards and their compliance dates.

    (c) Central air conditioners and heat pumps. The energy conservation standards defined in terms of the heating seasonal performance factor are based on Region IV, the minimum standardized design heating requirement, and the provisions of 10 CFR 429.16 of this chapter.

    (1) Each basic model of single-package central air conditioners and central air conditioning heat pumps and each individual combination of split-system central air conditioners and central air conditioning heat pumps manufactured on or after January 1, 2015, shall have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and Heating Seasonal Performance Factor not less than:

    Product class Seasonal
  • energy
  • efficiency
  • ratio
  • (SEER)
  • Heating
  • seasonal
  • performance
  • factor
  • (HSPF)
  • (i) Split-system air conditioners 13 (ii) Split-system heat pumps 14 8.2 (iii) Single-package air conditioners 14 (iv) Single-package heat pumps 14 8.0 (v) Small-duct, high-velocity systems 12 7.2 (vi)(A) Space-constrained products—air conditioners 12 (vi)(B) Space-constrained products—heat pumps 12 7.4

    (2) In addition to meeting the applicable requirements in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, products in product class (i) of that paragraph (i.e., split-system air conditioners) that are installed on or after January 1, 2015, in the States of Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, or Virginia, or in the District of Columbia, shall have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio not less than 14. The least efficient combination of each basic model must comply with this standard.

    (3) In addition to meeting the applicable requirements in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, split-system air conditioners that are installed on or after January 1, 2015, in the States of Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, or Virginia, or in the District of Columbia, must have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio of 14 or higher. Any outdoor unit model that has a certified combination with a rating below 14 SEER cannot be installed in these States. An outdoor unit model certified below 14 SEER by the outdoor unit manufacturer cannot be installed in this region even with an independent coil manufacturer's indoor unit that may have a certified rating at or above 14 SEER.

    (4) In addition to meeting the applicable requirements in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, split-system air conditioners and single-package air conditioners that are installed on or after January 1, 2015, in the States of Arizona, California, Nevada, or New Mexico must have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio of 14 or higher and have an Energy Efficiency Ratio (at a standard rating of 95 °F dry bulb outdoor temperature) not less than the following:

    Product class Energy
  • efficiency
  • ratio
  • (EER)
  • (i) Split-system rated cooling capacity less than 45,000 Btu/hr 12.2 (ii) Split-system rated cooling capacity equal to or greater than 45,000 Btu/hr 11.7 (iii) Single-package systems 11.0

    Any outdoor unit model that has a certified combination with a rating below 14 SEER or the applicable EER cannot be installed in this region. An outdoor unit model certified below 14 SEER or the applicable EER by the outdoor unit manufacturer cannot be installed in this region even with an independent coil manufacturer's indoor unit that may have a certified rating at or above 14 SEER and the applicable EER.

    (5) Each basic model of single-package central air conditioners and central air conditioning heat pumps and each individual combination of split-system central air conditioners and central air conditioning heat pumps manufactured on or after January 1, 2015, shall have an average off mode electrical power consumption not more than the following:

    Product class Average
  • off mode
  • power
  • consumption
  • PW,OFF
  • (watts)
  • (i) Split-system air conditioners 30 (ii) Split-system heat pumps 33 (iii) Single-package air conditioners 30 (iv) Single-package heat pumps 33 (v) Small-duct, high-velocity systems 30 (vi) Space-constrained air conditioners 30 (vii) Space-constrained heat pumps 33
    [FR Doc. 2015-29435 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-5914; Directorate Identifier 2014-SW-056-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters (Formerly Eurocopter France) Helicopters AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Airbus Helicopters Model SA341G and SA342J helicopters. This proposed AD would require repetitive inspections of a certain part-numbered main rotor hub torsion bar (torsion bar). This proposed AD is prompted by several cases of corrosion in the metal strands of the torsion bar. The proposed actions are intended to detect corrosion and prevent failure of the torsion bar, loss of a main rotor blade, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by January 19, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments by any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-5914; or in person at the Docket Operations Office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt. For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.airbushelicopters.com/techpub. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Grant, Aviation Safety Engineer, Safety Management Group, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Fort Worth, Texas 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. We also invite comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that might result from adopting the proposals in this document. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should send only one copy of written comments, or if comments are filed electronically, commenters should submit only one time.

    We will file in the docket all comments that we receive, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal, we will consider all comments we receive on or before the closing date for comments. We will consider comments filed after the comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. We may change this proposal in light of the comments we receive.

    Discussion

    EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, issued EASA AD No. 2014-0216, dated September 24, 2014, to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus Helicopters Model SA341G and SA342J helicopters. EASA advises that several cases of cracks were found on the polyurethane (PU) coating of part-numbered 704A33633274 torsion bars installed on military Model SA341 helicopters. EASA states that these parts can also be installed on civilian Model SA341 and SA342 helicopters. According to EASA, analysis of the cracked torsion bars showed small areas of superficial corrosion on the strands inside the bars can also develop during the manufacturing process. EASA states that cracking of the PU coating near these areas and the associated penetration of water can lead to further and deeper development of the corrosion. EASA advises that this condition, if not detected and corrected, allows water to penetrate into the torsion bar causing corrosion and failure of the metal strands inside the bar. Failure of the metal strands could lead to torsion bar failure, resulting in an in-flight loss of a main rotor blade and consequent loss of control of the helicopter.

    FAA's Determination

    These helicopters have been approved by the aviation authority of France and are approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with France, EASA, its technical representative, has notified us of the unsafe condition described in its AD. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all known relevant information and determined that an unsafe condition is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Airbus Helicopters Gazelle work card 65.12.607, dated August 2008. This service information describes inspecting the torsion bars for a crack in the PU coating and for corrosion and thickness of the bushings.

    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.

    Other Related Service Information

    Airbus Helicopters has issued Alert Service Bulletin No. SA341/SA342-05.40, Revision 0, dated April 28, 2014 (ASB), for Model SA341G and SA342J helicopters certificated by the FAA, and military Model SA341B, C, D, E, F, and H and SA342K, L, L1, M, M1, and Ma helicopters. The ASB specifies repetitively inspecting the torsion bars in accordance with certain work cards, including work card 65.12.07. These inspections are part of Airbus Helicopters' current maintenance program, and the ASB revises the compliance time interval for the inspections.

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require removing and performing repetitive inspections of each torsion bar for a crack in the PU coating, the dimension of the angle between the bushings, corrosion on the inside diameter of each bushing, the thickness of each bushing, the size of the inside diameter of each bushing, and missing varnish on the two faces of each bushing. This proposed AD would require replacing the torsion bar before further flight if there is a crack in the PU coating of a torsion bar that matches or exceeds the damage criteria, if the angle of the torsion bar is 7 degrees or more, if any corrosion on a bushing cannot be removed by rubbing it with an abrasive pad, if the thickness of a bushing is less than 37.520 mm (1.477 in), or if the diameter of a bushing is larger than 21,040 mm (.828 in). If varnish is missing from more than 15 percent of the surface area from a face of a bushing, this proposed AD would require removing all varnish, finishing with an abrasive pad, and applying a coat of paint to the face of the bushing.

    Differences Between This Proposed AD and the EASA AD

    This proposed AD would require you to replace a torsion bar instead of returning it to the manufacturer for examination.

    Interim Action

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 33 helicopters of U.S. Registry.

    We estimate that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this AD. We estimate $85 per work hour for labor. We estimate 8 work hours to inspect each helicopter at an estimated cost of $680 per helicopter and $22,440 for the fleet per inspection cycle. Replacing a torsion bar would cost $7,020 for required parts; no additional labor would be necessary.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed, I certify this proposed regulation:

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter France): Docket No. FAA-2015-5914; Directorate Identifier 2014-SW-056-AD. (a) Applicability

    This AD applies to Model SA341G and SA342J helicopters with a main rotor head torsion bar (torsion bar) part number 704A33633274 installed, certificated in any category.

    (b) Unsafe Condition

    This AD defines the unsafe condition as a crack in the coating of the torsion bar resulting in corrosion. This condition could result in failure of a torsion bar, loss of a main rotor blade, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

    (c) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by January 19, 2016.

    (d) Compliance

    You are responsible for performing each action required by this AD within the specified compliance time unless it has already been accomplished prior to that time.

    (e) Required Actions

    (1) For each torsion bar with less than 5 years since the first date of installation on any helicopter, within the compliance time shown in Table 1 to paragraph (e)(1) of this AD:

    (i) Remove the torsion bar and, using a magnifying glass with a maximum magnification level of 10X, visually inspect for a crack in the polyurethane (PU) coating of the torsion bar as depicted in Figure 1 of Airbus Helicopters Gazelle work card 65.12.607, dated August 2008 (work card). Consider two cracks that are less than 5 mm (.196 in) apart as a single crack. If there is a crack in the PU coating that is more than 5 mm (.196 in), replace the torsion bar before further flight. Do not rework the PU coating of the torsion bar in any way.

    (ii) Inspect the angle, dimension alpha, as depicted in View on Arrow F of Figure 1 of the work card. If the angle is 7 or more degrees, replace the torsion bar before further flight.

    (iii) Inspect each bushing for corrosion on the inside diameter. If any corrosion cannot be removed by rubbing it with an abrasive pad, replace the torsion bar before further flight.

    (iv) Using an outside micrometer, measure the thickness, dimension a, of each bushing as depicted in Detail AA of Figure 1 of the work card. If the thickness is less than 37.520 mm (1.477 in), replace the torsion bar before further flight.

    (v) Using an inside micrometer, measure the inside diameter, dimension b, of each bushing as depicted in Detail AA of Figure 1 of the work card. If the diameter is larger than 21.040 mm (.828 in), replace the torsion bar before further flight.

    (vi) Inspect the two faces of each bushing for missing varnish. If varnish is missing from more than 15% of the surface area on a face of a bushing, before further flight, remove all varnish using 400-grit abrasive paper. Finish with an abrasive pad and apply a coat of P05 paint to the face of the bushing.

    Table 1 to Paragraph (e)(1) Time accumulated on torsion bar Compliance time (i) Less than 320 hours time-in-service (TIS) since new and has never been inspected in accordance with Airbus Helicopters 341G-342J Airworthiness Limitations, Revision 18, dated June 2014 (limitations inspection) Before accumulating 420 hours TIS since new or within 24 months since the date of first installation on any helicopter, whichever occurs first. (ii) 320 or more hours TIS since new and has never had a limitations inspection Within 100 hours TIS, or before accumulating 600 hours TIS since new, or within 24 months since the date of first installation on any helicopter, whichever occurs first. (iii) Less than 320 hours TIS since the last limitations inspection Before accumulating 420 hours TIS since the last limitations inspection or within 24 months since the last limitations inspection, whichever occurs first. (iv) 320 or more hours TIS since the last limitations inspection Within 100 hours TIS, or before accumulating 600 hours TIS since the last limitations inspection, or within 24 months since the last limitations inspection, whichever occurs first.

    (2) For each torsion bar with 5 or more years since the first date of installation on any helicopter, within the compliance time shown in Table 2 to paragraph (e)(2) of this AD, do the inspections required by paragraphs (e)(1)(i) through (vi) of this AD.

    Table 2 to Paragraph (e)(2) Time accumulated on torsion bar Compliance time (i) Less than 320 hours TIS since new, and less than 6 months since the date of first installation on any helicopter, and has never had a limitations inspection Before accumulating 420 hours TIS since new or within 12 months since the date of first installation on any helicopter, whichever occurs first. (ii) 320 or more hours TIS since new or more than 6 months since the date of first installation on any helicopter, and has never had a limitations inspection Within 100 hours TIS, or within 6 months, or before accumulating 600 hours TIS since new, or within 24 months since the date of first installation on any helicopter, whichever occurs first. (iii) Less than 320 hours TIS since last limitations inspection and less than 6 months since the last limitations inspection Before accumulating 420 hours TIS since last limitations inspection or 12 months since last limitations inspection, whichever occurs first. (iv) 320 or more hours TIS since last limitations inspection or 6 or more months since the last limitations inspection Within 100 hours TIS, or within 6 months, or before accumulating 600 hours TIS since the last limitations inspection, or within 24 months since the last limitations inspection, whichever occurs first.

    (3) Repeat the inspections required by paragraphs (e)(1)(i) through (vi) of this AD as follows:

    (i) For torsion bars with less than 6 years since the date of installation on any helicopter, at intervals not to exceed 420 hours TIS or 24 months, whichever occurs first.

    (ii) For torsion bars with 6 or more years since the date of installation on any helicopter, at intervals not to exceed 420 hours TIS or 12 months, whichever comes first.

    (f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

    (g) Additional Information

    (1) Airbus Helicopters Alert Service Bulletin ASB No. SA341/SA342-05.40, Revision 0, dated April 28, 2014, which is not incorporated by reference, contains additional information about the subject of this AD. For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus Helicopters, 2701 N. Forum Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052; telephone (972) 641-0000 or (800) 232-0323; fax (972) 641-3775; or at http://www.airbushelicopters.com/techpub. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy., Room 6N-321, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    (2) The subject of this AD is addressed in European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No. 2014-0216, dated September 24, 2014. You may view the EASA AD on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov in the AD Docket.

    (h) Subject

    Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 6700 Main Rotor.

    Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on November 9, 2015. Lance T. Gant, Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29402 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-5808; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-111-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 reports of water leakage from the potable water system due to improperly installed waterline couplings, and water leaking into the electronics equipment (EE) bays from above the floor in the main cabin, resulting in water on the equipment in the EE bays. This proposed AD would require replacing the potable waterline couplings above the forward and aft EE bays with new, improved couplings. This proposed AD would also require sealing the main cabin floor areas above the aft EE bay, installing drip shields and foam blocks, and rerouting the wire bundles near the drip shields above the equipment in the aft EE bay. We are proposing this AD to prevent a water leak from an improperly installed potable water system coupling, or main cabin water source, which could cause the equipment in the EE bays to become wet, resulting in an electrical short and potential loss of system functions essential for safe flight.

    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-2015-5808.

    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-2015-5808; 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:

    Susan L. Monroe, 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: 425-917-6457; 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-2015-5808; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-111-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD 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 of water leakage from the potable water system due to improperly installed waterline couplings, and water leaking into the EE bays from above the floor in the main cabin, resulting in water on the equipment in the EE bays. Such leakage could result in an electrical short and potential loss of system functions essential for safe flight.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed the following service information:

    • Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB380009-00, Issue 001, dated March 26, 2015.

    • Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB530029-00, Issue 001, dated March 26, 2015.

    • Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB530031-00, Issue 001, dated March 26, 2015.

    This service information describes procedures for replacing the potable waterline couplings above the forward and aft EE bays with new, improved couplings; sealing the floors, seat tracks, and lavatories above the aft EE bay; installing drip shields and foam blocks; and rerouting the wire bundles adjacent to the drip shields above the aft EE bay. 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, except as discussed under “Difference Between this Proposed AD and the Service Information.” Refer to this service information for details on the procedures and compliance times.

    Difference Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information

    Although Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB530029-00, Issue 001, dated March 26, 2015; and Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB530031-00, Issue 001, dated March 26, 2015, recommend accomplishing the sealing of the floors and seat tracks, installing drip shields, and rerouting adjacent wiring within 24 months; this proposed AD would require accomplishing those actions within 60 months. We have determined that a 60-month compliance time for accomplishing these actions would address the unsafe condition in a timely manner.

    This compliance time has been coordinated with Boeing.

    Explanation of “RC” Steps in Service Information

    The FAA worked in conjunction with industry, under the Airworthiness Directive Implementation Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC), to enhance the AD system. One enhancement was a new process for annotating which steps in the service information are required for compliance with an AD. Differentiating these steps from other tasks in the service information is expected to improve an owner's/operator's understanding of crucial AD requirements and help provide consistent judgment in AD compliance. The steps identified as RC (required for compliance) in any service information identified previously have a direct effect on detecting, preventing, resolving, or eliminating an identified unsafe condition.

    For service information that contains steps that are labeled as Required for Compliance (RC), the following provisions apply: (1) The steps labeled as RC, including substeps under an RC step and any figures identified in an RC step, must be done to comply with the AD, and an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) is required for any deviations to RC steps, including substeps and identified figures; and (2) steps not labeled as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the RC steps, including substeps and identified figures, can still be done as specified, and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 17 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
  • Replace waterline couplings Up to 24 work-hours × $85 per hour = up to $2,040 $3,195 Up to $5,235 Up to $88,995 Seal floors and seat tracks Up to 108 work-hours × $85 per hour = up to $9,180 137 Up to 9,317 Up to 158,389 Install drip shields and reroute wiring Up to 42 work-hours × $85 per hour = up to $3,570 34,594 Up to 38,164 Up to 648,788
    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-2015-5808; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-111-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by January 4, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 787-8 series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in the service information specified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), and (c)(3) of this AD.

    (1) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB380009-00, Issue 001, dated March 26, 2015.

    (2) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB530029-00, Issue 001, dated March 26, 2015.

    (3) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB530031-00, Issue 001, dated March 26, 2015.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 38, Water/Waste; and Code 53, Fuselage.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This proposed AD was prompted by reports of water leakage from the potable water system due to improperly installed waterline couplings, and water leaking into the electronics equipment (EE) bays from above the floor in the main cabin, resulting in water on the equipment in the EE bays. We are issuing this AD to prevent a water leak from an improperly installed potable water system coupling, or main cabin water source, which could cause the equipment in the EE bays to become wet, resulting in an electrical short and potential loss of system functions essential for safe flight.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Replace Potable Waterline Couplings

    Within 24 months after the effective date of this AD: Replace the existing potable waterline couplings located above the forward and aft EE bays with new, improved couplings, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB380009-00, Issue 001, dated March 26, 2015. Before further flight after doing the replacement, do a potable water system leak test and repair any leaks found before further flight, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB380009-00, Issue 001, dated March 26, 2015.

    (h) Seal Floor Panels and Seat Tracks/Install Drip Shields and Reroute Wiring

    Within 60 months after the effective date of this AD: Do the actions specified in paragraphs (h)(1) and (h)(2) of this AD.

    (1) Apply sealant to the main cabin floor areas located above the aft EE bay, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB530029-00, Issue 001, dated March 26, 2015.

    (2) Install drip shields and foam blocks, and reroute the wire bundles above the equipment in the aft EE bay, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB530031-00, Issue 001, dated March 26, 2015.

    (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, alteration, or modification required by this AD if it is approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) that has been authorized by the Manager, Seattle ACO to make those findings. For a repair method to be approved, the repair method, modification deviation, or alteration deviation must meet the certification basis of the airplane, and the approval must specifically refer to this AD.

    (4) For service information that contains steps that are labeled as Required for Compliance (RC), the provisions of paragraphs (i)(4)(i) and (i)(4)(ii) apply.

    (i) The steps labeled as RC, including substeps under an RC step and any figures identified in an RC step, must be done to comply with the AD. An AMOC is required for any deviations to RC steps, including substeps and identified figures.

    (ii) Steps not labeled as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the RC steps, including substeps and identified figures, can still be done as specified, and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition.

    (j) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Susan L. Monroe, 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: 425-917-6457; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on November 9, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29441 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-4817; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-115-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) 95-18-08, for all Airbus Model A300-600 series airplanes. AD 95-18-08 currently requires repetitive inspections to detect cracks in the bottom skin of the wing in the area of the cut out for the pylon rear attachment fitting, and repair if necessary. Since we issued AD 95-18-08, we received a report that updated fatigue and damage tolerance analyses and a fleet survey found that certain inspection thresholds and intervals must be reduced to allow more timely findings of cracking. This proposed AD would, for certain airplanes, reduce the compliance times for the inspections. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct such fatigue-related cracking, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the wing.

    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-2015-4817; 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-2015-4817; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-115-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 August 29, 1995, we issued AD 95-18-08, Amendment 39-9355 (60 FR 47677, September 14, 1995). AD 95-18-08 requires actions intended to address an unsafe condition on all Airbus Model A300-600 series airplanes (which includes Airbus Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes, Model A300 B4-622 airplanes, and Model A300 F4-622R airplanes that were added to the U.S. Type Certificate Data Sheet since issuance of AD 95-18-08).

    Since we issued AD 95-18-08, Amendment 39-9355 (60 FR 47677, September 14, 1995), we received a report that updated fatigue and damage tolerance analyses and a fleet survey done to support a second extended service goal for Model A300-600 series airplanes found that certain inspection thresholds and intervals must be reduced to allow more timely findings of cracking.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0119, dated May 13, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition on all 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). The MCAI states:

    Full-scale fatigue tests carried out on the A300-600 test specimen by Airbus revealed crack initiation in the bottom skin adjacent to the aft pylon attachment fitting.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could affect the structural integrity of the aeroplane.

    To address this unsafe condition, DGAC [Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile] France issued AD 94-069-158(B) (http://ad.easa.europa.eu/blob/1994069158tb_superseded.pdf/AD_F-1994-069-158_2) [which corresponds to FAA AD 95-18-08, Amendment 39-9355 (60 FR 47677, September 14, 1995)] to require repetitive detailed visual inspections (DVI) of the wing bottom skin in the area of the cut-out for the pylon rear attachment fitting on Left Hand (LH) and Right Hand (RH) wings [to detect cracks, and repair if necessary].

    Since that [DGAC] AD was issued, 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. As a result, it was revealed that the inspection threshold and interval must be reduced to allow timely detection of cracks and the accomplishment of an applicable corrective action. Prompted by these findings, Airbus issued Revision 07 of Service Bulletin (SB) A300-57-6028.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of DGAC France AD 94-069-158(B), which is superseded, but reduces the inspection thresholds and intervals [e.g., compliance times].

    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-2015-4817.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6028, Revision 07, dated June 6, 2011. The service information describes procedures for inspections to detect cracks in the bottom skin of the wing in the area of the cut out for the pylon rear attachment fitting, and repair. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this NPRM.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

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

    Costs of Compliance

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

    The actions that are required by AD 95-18-08, Amendment 39-9355 (60 FR 47677, September 14, 1995), and retained in this proposed AD take about 6 work-hours per product, at an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the actions that are required by AD 95-18-08 is $510 per product.

    In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions would take about 15 work-hours and require parts costing $10,000, for a cost of $11,275 per product. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these actions.

    The new requirements of this proposed AD add no additional economic burden.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 95-18-08, Amendment 39-9355 (60 FR 47677, September 14, 1995), and adding the following new AD: Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2015-4817; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-115-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by January 4, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 95-18-08, Amendment 39-9355 (60 FR 47677, September 14, 1995).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(4) of this AD, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers.

    (1) Airbus Model A300 B4-601, B4-603, B4-620, and B4-622 airplanes.

    (2) Airbus Model A300 B4-605R and B4-622R airplanes.

    (3) Airbus Model A300 F4-605R and F4-622R airplanes.

    (4) Airbus Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 57, Wings.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report that updated fatigue and damage tolerance analyses and a fleet survey found that certain inspection thresholds and intervals must be reduced to allow more timely findings of cracking. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct such fatigue-related cracking, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the wing.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Retained Inspection and Corrective Action With Additional Repair Information

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (a) of AD 95-18-08, Amendment 39-9355 (60 FR 47677, September 14, 1995), with additional repair contact information. Prior to the accumulation of 24,000 total flight cycles since date of manufacture of the airplane, or within 750 flight cycles after October 16, 1995 (the effective date of AD 95-18-08), whichever occurs later, perform a detailed visual inspection to detect cracks in the bottom skin of the wing in the area of the cut out for the pylon rear attachment fitting, in accordance with Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6028, Revision 3, dated September 13, 1994. Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 9,000 flight cycles. If any crack is detected, prior to further flight, repair the wing bottom skin in accordance with a method approved by the Manager, Standardization Branch, ANM-113, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, or 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). Accomplishing any inspection required by paragraph (h) of this AD terminates the inspections required by this paragraph.

    (h) New Requirement of This AD: Revised Inspection Thresholds and Intervals

    Within the applicable compliance times required in paragraphs (h)(1) and (h)(2) of this AD, do a detailed visual inspection of the wing bottom skin in the area of the cut-out for the pylon rear attachment fitting on left-hand and right-hand wings, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6028, Revision 07, dated June 6, 2011. Repeat the inspections thereafter at the applicable intervals required in paragraphs (h)(3) and (h)(4) of this AD. Accomplishing any inspection required by this paragraph terminates the inspections required by paragraph (g) of this AD.

    (1) For “normal range operations” airplanes having an average flight time of 1.5 flight hours or more: Do the inspection at the applicable time required in paragraphs (h)(1)(i) and (h)(1)(ii) of this AD.

    (i) For Model A300 F4-605R and F4-622R airplanes: Do the inspection at the later of the times specified in paragraphs (h)(1)(i)(A) and (h)(1)(i)(B) of this AD.

    (A) Within 24,000 flight cycles or 51,800 flight hours after first flight of the airplane, whichever occurs first.

    (B) Within 2,000 flight cycles or 4,300 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first.

    (ii) For Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes: Do the inspection at the later of the times specified in paragraphs (h)(1)(ii)(A) and (h)(1)(ii)(B) of this AD.

    (A) Within 19,100 flight cycles or 41,200 flight hours after first flight of the airplane, whichever occurs first.

    (B) Within 1,500 flight cycles or 3,200 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first.

    (2) For “short range operations” airplanes having an average flight time of less than 1.5 flight hours: Do the inspection at the applicable time required in paragraphs (h)(2)(i) and (h)(2)(ii) of this AD.

    (i) For Model A300 F4-605R and F4-622R airplanes: Do the inspection at the later of the times specified in paragraphs (h)(2)(i)(A) and (h)(2)(i)(B) of this AD.

    (A) Within 25,900 flight cycles or 38,800 flight hours after first flight of the airplane, whichever occurs first.

    (B) Within 2,100 flight cycles or 3,200 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first.

    (ii) For Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes: Do the inspection at the later of the times specified in paragraphs (h)(2)(ii)(A) and (h)(2)(ii)(B) of this AD.

    (A) Within 20,600 flight cycles or 30,900 flight hours after first flight of the airplane, whichever occurs first.

    (B) Within 1,600 flight cycles or 2,400 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first.

    (3) For “normal range operations” airplanes having an average flight time of 1.5 flight hours or more: Repeat the inspection at the applicable time required in paragraphs (h)(3)(i) and (h)(3)(ii) of this AD.

    (i) For Model A300 F4-605R and F4-622R airplanes: Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 9,000 flight cycles or 19,400 flight hours, whichever occurs first.

    (ii) For Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes: Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 7,100 flight cycles or 15,300 flight hours, whichever occurs first.

    (4) For “short range operations” airplanes having an average flight time of less than 1.5 flight hours: Repeat the inspection at the applicable time required in paragraphs (h)(4)(i) and (h)(4)(ii) of this AD.

    (i) For Model A300 F4-605R and F4-622R airplanes: Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 9,700 flight cycles or 14,500 flight hours, whichever occurs first.

    (ii) For Model A300 B4-600, B4-600R, and Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes: Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 7,600 flight cycles or 11,500 flight hours, whichever occurs first.

    (i) Definition of Average Flight Time for Paragraph (h) of This AD

    For the purpose of paragraph (h) of this AD, the Average Flight Time must be established as follows:

    (1) For the initial inspection, the average flight time is the total accumulated flight hours, counted from take-off to touch-down, divided by the total accumulated flight cycles at the effective date of this AD.

    (2) For the first repeated inspection interval, the average flight time is the total accumulated flight hours divided by the total accumulated flight cycles at the time of the inspection threshold.

    (3) For all inspection intervals onwards, the average flight time is the flight hours divided by the flight cycles accumulated between the last two inspections.

    (j) New Requirement of This AD: Corrective Action for Any Cracking Found

    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 EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA. Accomplishing a repair does not constitute terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (h) of this AD.

    (k) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for inspections required by paragraph (h) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using any of the service information identified in paragraphs (k)(1), (k)(2), and (k)(3) of this AD, which are not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (1) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6028, Revision 04, dated October 25, 1999.

    (2) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6028, Revision 05, dated January 11, 2002.

    (3) Airbus Service Bulletin A300-57-6028, Revision 06, dated May 17, 2006.

    (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 95-18-08, Amendment 39-9355 (60 FR 47677, September 14, 1995), are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of paragraph (g) of this AD.

    (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the 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) European Aviation Safety Agency Airworthiness Directive 2014-0119, dated May 13, 2014, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-4817.

    (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 11, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29443 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-4815; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-112-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) 2015-03-06, for all Airbus Model A330-200, A330-200 Freighter, A330-300, A340-200, A340-300, A340-500, and A340-600 series airplanes. AD 2015-03-06 currently requires repetitive inspections of the left-hand and right-hand wing main landing gear (MLG) rib 6 aft bearing lugs (forward and aft) to detect any cracks on the two lugs, and replacement if necessary. Since we issued AD 2015-03-06, we have received reports of additional cracking of the MLG rib 6 aft bearing lugs. This proposed AD would reduce certain compliance times. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct cracking of the MLG rib 6 aft bearing lugs, which could result in collapse of the MLG upon landing.

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

    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-2015-4815; 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:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    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-2015-4815; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-112-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 February 2, 2015, we issued AD 2015-03-06, Amendment 39-18102 (80 FR 8511, February 18, 2015). AD 2015-03-06 requires actions intended to address an unsafe condition on all Airbus Model A330-200, A330-200 Freighter, A330-300, A340-200, A340-300, A340-500, and A340-600 series airplanes.

    Since we issued AD 2015-03-06, Amendment 39-18102 (80 FR 8511, February 18, 2015), we have determined that it is necessary to introduce a more restrictive initial inspection threshold and a grace period for airplanes that have already exceeded the new threshold.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2015-0120, dated June 26, 2015 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model A330-200, A330-200 Freighter, A330-300, A340-200, A340-300, A340-500, and A340-600 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

    During Main Landing Gear (MLG) lubrication, a crack was visually found in the MLG rib 6 aft bearing forward lug on one A330 in-service aeroplane. The crack had extended through the entire thickness of the forward lug at approximately the 4 o'clock position (when looking forward). It has been determined that a similar type of crack can develop on other aeroplane types that are listed in the Applicability paragraph.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could affect the structural integrity of the MLG attachment.

    To address this situation, Airbus issued inspection Service Bulletin (SB) A330-57-3096, SB A340-57-4104 and SB A340-57-5009 to provide instructions for repetitive inspections of the gear rib lugs.

    Prompted by these findings, EASA issued Emergency AD 2006-0364-E to require repetitive detailed visual inspections of the Left Hand (LH) and Right Hand (RH) wing MLG rib 6 aft bearing lugs.

    Later, EASA issued AD 2007-0247-E, which superseded [EASA] AD 2006-0364-E, to:

    —expand the Applicability to all A330 and A340 aeroplanes, because the interference fit bushes cannot be considered as a terminating action, owing to unknown root cause; and

    —add a second parameter quoted in flight hours (FH) to the inspection interval in order to reflect the aeroplane utilisation in service.

    EASA AD 2007-0247-E was revised to correct a typographical error.

    Since the first crack finding and issuance of the inspection SBs and related ADs, six further cracks were reported.

    Consequently, EASA issued AD 2013-0271 [which corresponds to FAA AD 2015-03-06, Amendment 39-18102 (80 FR 8511, February 18, 2015)], which retained the requirements of [EASA] AD 2007-0247R1-E, which was superseded, and expanded the Applicability of the [EASA] AD to the newly certified models A330-223F and A330-243F. That AD also reduced the inspection threshold(s) to reflect the updated risk assessment and in-service experience.

    Since this [EASA] AD was issued, a new occurrence of crack finding was reported. Further analysis resulted in the need to reduce the threshold of the initial inspection.

    Prompted by this finding, Airbus issued SB A330-57-3096 Revision 06 to introduce a more restrictive initial inspection threshold and a grace period for aeroplanes which have already passed the new threshold.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD partially retains the requirements of EASA AD 2013-0271, which is superseded, and introduces reduced initial inspection thresholds.

    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-2015-4815.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A330-57-3096, Revision 06, dated May 29, 2015. The service information describes procedures for detailed inspections to detect any cracking on the forward and aft lugs of the Left Hand (LH) and Right Hand (RH) wing MLG Rib 6. 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.

    Explanation of “RC” Procedures and Tests in Service Information

    The FAA worked in conjunction with industry, under the Airworthiness Directive Implementation Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC), to enhance the AD system. One enhancement was a new process for annotating which procedures and tests in the service information are required for compliance with an AD. Differentiating these procedures and tests from other tasks in the service information is expected to improve an owner's/operator's understanding of crucial AD requirements and help provide consistent judgment in AD compliance. The procedures and tests identified as Required for Compliance (RC) in any service information have a direct effect on detecting, preventing, resolving, or eliminating an identified unsafe condition.

    As specified in a Note under the Accomplishment Instructions of the specified service information, procedures and tests that are identified as RC in any service information must be done to comply with the proposed AD. However, procedures and tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an alternative method of compliance (AMOC), provided the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC will require approval of an AMOC.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 101 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    The actions required by AD 2015-03-06, Amendment 39-18102 (80 FR 8511, February 18, 2015), and retained in this proposed AD take about 2 work-hours per product, at an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the actions that are required by AD 2015-03-06 is $170 per product.

    This proposed AD reduces the initial compliance time but adds no new actions.

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2015-03-06, Amendment 39-18102 (80 FR 8511, February 18, 2015), and adding the following new AD: Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2015-4815; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-112-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by January 4, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2015-03-06, Amendment 39-18102 (80 FR 8511, February 18, 2015).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, -223F, -243, -243F -301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes; and Model A340-211, -212, -213 -311, -312, -313, -541, and -642 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 reports of cracking of the main landing gear (MLG) rib 6 aft bearing forward lug. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking of the MLG rib 6 aft bearing lugs, which could result in collapse of the MLG upon landing.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspections

    At the later of the times specified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD: Do a detailed inspection for cracking of the left-hand and right-hand wing MLG rib 6 aft bearing lugs (forward and aft), in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-57-3096, Revision 06, dated May 29, 2015 (for Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, -223F, -243, -243F, -301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes); A340-57-4104, Revision 04, dated October 17, 2013 (for Model A340-211, -212, -213, -311, -312, -313 airplanes); or A340-57-5009, Revision 03, dated October 17, 2013 (for Model A340-541 and -642 airplanes); as applicable.

    (1) Within 24 months or 2,000 flight cycles, whichever occurs first since airplane first flight or since the last MLG support rib replacement, as applicable.

    (2) Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD.

    (h) Repetitive Inspections

    Repeat the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD thereafter at the time specified in paragraphs (h)(1) through (h)(7) of this AD, as applicable.

    (1) For Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, and -243 airplanes: Repeat the inspections at intervals not to exceed 300 flight cycles or 1,500 flight hours, whichever occurs first.

    (2) For Model A330-223F and -243F airplanes: Repeat the inspections at intervals not to exceed 300 flight cycles or 900 flight hours, whichever occurs first.

    (3) For Model A330-301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes: Repeat the inspections at intervals not to exceed 300 flight cycles or 900 flight hours, whichever occurs first.

    (4) For Model A340-211, -212, and -213 airplanes: Repeat the inspections at intervals not to exceed 200 flight cycles or 800 flight hours, whichever occurs first.

    (5) For Model A340-311 and -312 airplanes; and Model A340-313 airplanes (except weight variant (WV) 27): Repeat the inspections at intervals not to exceed 200 flight cycles or 800 flight hours, whichever occurs first.

    (6) For Model A340-313 (only WV27) airplanes: Repeat the inspections at intervals not to exceed 200 flight cycles or 400 flight hours, whichever occurs first.

    (7) For Model A340-541 and -642 airplanes: Repeat the inspections at intervals not to exceed 100 flight cycles or 500 flight hours, whichever occurs first.

    (i) Corrective Action

    If any crack is found during any inspection required by paragraphs (g) or (h) of this AD: Before further flight, replace the cracked MLG support rib 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). Replacement of an MLG support rib does not terminate the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (h) of this AD.

    (j) 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 the applicable service information identified in paragraphs (j)(1) through (j)(15) of this AD.

    (1) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-57A3096, dated December 5, 2006, which was incorporated by reference in AD 2007-03-04, Amendment 39-14915 (74 FR 4416, January 31, 2007).

    (2) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-57A3096, Revision 01, dated April 18, 2007, which is not incorporated by reference by this AD.

    (3) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-57-3096, Revision 02, dated August 13, 2007, which was incorporated by reference in AD 2007-22-10, Amendment 39-15246 (72 FR 61796, November 1, 2007; corrected November 16, 2007 (72 FR 64532)).

    (4) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-57-3096, Revision 03, dated October 24, 2012, which is not incorporated by reference by this AD.

    (5) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-57-3096, Revision 04, dated February 6, 2013, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (6) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-57-3096, Revision 05, dated October 17, 2013, which was incorporated by reference in AD 2015-03-06, Amendment 39-18102 (80 FR 8511, February 18, 2015).

    (7) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-57A4104, dated December 5, 2006, which was incorporated by reference in AD 2007-03-04, Amendment 39-14915 (72 FR 4416, January 31, 2007).

    (8) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-57-4104, Revision 01, dated August 13, 2007, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (9) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-57-4104, Revision 02, dated September 5, 2007, which was incorporated by reference in AD 2007-22-10, Amendment 39-15246 (72 FR 61796, November 1, 2007; corrected November 16, 2007 (72 FR 64532)).

    (10) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-57-4104, Revision 03, dated October 24, 2012, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (11) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-57A5009, dated December 5, 2006, which was incorporated by reference in AD 2007-03-04, Amendment 39-14915 (72 FR 4416, January 31, 2007).

    (12) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-57-5009, Revision 01, dated August 13, 2007, which was incorporated by reference in AD 2007-22-10, Amendment 39-15246 (72 FR 61796, November 1, 2007; corrected November 16, 2007 (72 FR 64532)).

    (13) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-57-5009, Revision 02, dated October 24, 2012, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (14) Airbus Alert Operators Transmission A57L005-14, dated July 15, 2014, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (15) Airbus Alert Operators Transmission A57L005-14, Revision 01, dated August 15, 2014, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (k) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

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

    (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: 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 the EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (3) Required for Compliance (RC): If any service information contains procedures or tests that are identified as RC, those procedures and tests must be done to comply with this AD; any procedures or tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC require approval of an AMOC.

    (l) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2015-0120, dated June 26, 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-2015-4815.

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 45 80; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this 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 11, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29442 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-4816; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-238-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Model A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by investigations that revealed that the cover seal of the brake dual distribution valve (BDDV) was damaged and did not ensure efficient sealing. This proposed AD would require modifying the BDDV having certain part numbers; modifying the drain hose of the BDDV; checking for the presence of water, ice, and hydraulic fluid; and re-identifying the BDDV; and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. We are proposing this AD to prevent damage to the BDDV, which could lead to water ingestion in the BDDV and freezing of the BDDV in flight, possibly resulting in loss of braking system function after landing.

    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 Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. 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-2015-4816; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1405; fax 425-227-1149.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-4816; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-238-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD based on those comments.

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

    Discussion

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0251R1, dated December 17, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus Model A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

    In 1998, an operator experienced a dual loss of braking systems. Investigation results revealed that the cover seal of the Brake Dual Distribution Valve (BDDV) was damaged and did not ensure the sealing efficiency.

    This condition, if not corrected, could lead to water ingestion in the BDDV and freezing of the BDDV in flight, possibly resulting in loss of braking system function after landing.

    [The Directorate General for Civil Aviation] (DGAC) France issued AD 2000-258-146 [http://ad.easa.europa.eu/blob/20002580tb_superseded.pdf/AD_F-2000-258-146_1] [which corresponds to certain actions in FAA AD 2001-15-10, Amendment 39-12344 (66 FR 39413, July 31, 2001)] to require modification of the BDDV with a new cover and installation of a draining tube with a cap.

    Since that French AD was issued, following a new event, Airbus developed a modification of the BDDV drain tube which will leave it open, ensuring continuous drainage of any ingested water, thereby preventing freezing of the brake system.

    For the reasons described above, EASA issued [another AD] * * *, to require modification of the BDDV drain tube.

    Since that [EASA] AD was issued, comments were received that indicated a need for correction and clarification. Consequently, this [EASA] AD is revised to add a Note to Table 1 and to amend paragraph (3).

    The modification includes a check for the presence of water, ice, and hydraulic fluid, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. Related investigative actions include an inspection for corrosion. Corrective actions include replacing the BDDV. 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-2015-4816.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A320-32-1415, dated September 2, 2014. The service information describes procedures for modifying the BDDV having certain part numbers; and modifying the drain hose of the BDDV; the modification includes a check for the presence of water, ice, and hydraulic fluid; and re-identifying the BDDV; and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this NPRM.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

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

    Explanation of “RC” Procedures and Tests in Service Information

    The FAA worked in conjunction with industry, under the Airworthiness Directive Implementation Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC), to enhance the AD system. One enhancement was a new process for annotating which procedures and tests in the service information are required for compliance with an AD. Differentiating these procedures and tests from other tasks in the service information is expected to improve an owner's/operator's understanding of crucial AD requirements and help provide consistent judgment in AD compliance. The procedures and tests identified as RC (required for compliance) in any service information have a direct effect on detecting, preventing, resolving, or eliminating an identified unsafe condition.

    As specified in a NOTE under the Accomplishment Instructions of the specified service information, procedures and tests that are identified as RC in any service information must be done to comply with the proposed AD. However, procedures and tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an alternative method of compliance (AMOC), provided the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC will require approval of an AMOC.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 953 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We also estimate that it would take about 6 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 $421 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $887,243, or $931 per product.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2015-4816; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-238-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by January 4, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(3) of this AD, certificated in any category, all manufacturer serial numbers, except those on which Airbus Modification 26925 has been embodied in production.

    (1) Airbus Model A319-111, -112, -113, -114, -115, -131, -132, and -133 airplanes.

    (2) Airbus Model A320-211, -212, -214, -231, -232, and -233 airplanes.

    (3) Airbus Model A321-111, -112, -131, -211, -212, -213, -231, and -232 airplanes.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 32, Landing Gear.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by investigations that revealed that the cover seal of the BDDV was damaged and did not ensure efficient sealing. We are issuing this AD to prevent damage to the BDDV, which could lead to water ingestion in the BDDV and freezing of the BDDV in flight, possibly resulting in loss of braking system function after landing.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Modification and Re-Identification

    Within 24 months after the effective date of this AD, modify the BDDV having a part number listed in the column “Old Part Number” in table 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD; modify the drain hose of the affected BDDV; check for the presence of water, ice, and hydraulic fluid; and re-identify the BDDV to the corresponding part number, as applicable, as listed as “New Part Number” in table 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD; and do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions; in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A320-32-1415, dated September 2, 2014. Do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions before further flight.

    Table 1 to Paragraph (g) of This AD—BDDV Part Number Re-Identification Old part number New part number A25434006-3 A25434006-3000. A25434005-101 A25434005-1010. A25434005-201 A25434005-2010. A25434005-301 A25434005-3010. A25434005-401 A25434005-4010. A25434006-101 A25434006-1010. Note 2 to table 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD:

    The part number listed in table 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD can have an “A” or “B” suffix, which is an indication of the amendment level of the BDDV. This does not affect compliance with this AD.

    (h) Parts Installation Limitations

    As of the applicable time specified in paragraph (h)(1) or (h)(2) of this AD, no person may install a BDDV having a part number listed as “Old Part Number” in table 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD, on any airplane.

    (1) For any airplane that, on the effective date of this AD, has a BDDV installed with a part number listed as “Old Part Number” in table 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD: After modification of the airplane, as required by paragraph (g) of this AD.

    (2) For any airplane that, on the effective date of this AD, has a BDDV installed with a part number listed as “New Part Number” in table 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD, or has a BDDV installed with a part number not listed in table 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD: As of the effective date of this AD.

    (i) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1405; fax 425-227-1149. Information may be emailed to: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

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

    (3) Required for Compliance (RC): If any service information contains procedures or tests that are identified as RC, those procedures and tests must be done to comply with this AD; any procedures or tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC require approval of an AMOC.

    (j) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0251R1, dated December 17, 2014, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-4816.

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. 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 10, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29444 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 147 [Docket No.: FAA-2015-3901; Notice No. 15-10] RIN 2120-AK48 Aviation Maintenance Technician Schools AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM); extension of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    This action extends the comment period for an NPRM published on October 2, 2015. In that document, the FAA proposes to amend the regulations governing the curriculum and operations of FAA-certificated Aviation Maintenance Technician Schools. These amendments would modernize and reorganize the required curriculum subjects in the appendices of the current regulations. They would also remove the course content items currently located in the appendices and require that they be placed in each school's operations specifications so they could more easily be amended when necessary. The amendments are needed because the existing curriculums are outdated, do not meet current industry needs, and can be changed only through notice and comment rulemaking. These amendments would ensure that aviation maintenance technician students receive up-to-date foundational training to meet the demanding and consistently changing needs of the aviation industry. This extension is a result of a joint request from Aviation Technical Education Council (ATEC), Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA), Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), Airlines for America (A4A), Aviation Suppliers Association (ASA), Helicopter Association International (HAI), Modification And Replacement Parts Association (MARPA), National Air Carrier Association (NACA), National Air Transport Association (NATA), Regional Airline Association, STEM Education Coalition (STEM), and University Aviation Association (UAA) (collectively, the “Petitioners”).

    DATES:

    The comment period for the notice of proposed rulemaking published on October 2, 2015 (80 FR 59674), is extended. Send comments on or before February 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments identified by docket number FAA-2015-3901 using any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

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

    Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at 202-493-2251.

    Privacy: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at www.dot.gov/privacy.

    Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read at http://www.regulations.gov at any time. Follow the online instructions for accessing the docket or go to the Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For technical questions concerning this action, contact Robert Warren, Aircraft Maintenance Division, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-1711; email [email protected] For legal questions concerning this action, contact Edmund Averman, Office of the Chief Counsel (AGC-210), Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-3147; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    The FAA continues to invite interested persons to take part in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views about the NPRM we issued on October 2, 2015 (part 147, Aviation Maintenance Technician Schools (80 FR 59674)(October 2, 2015). The most helpful comments will reference a specific portion of the NPRM, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data.

    Background

    On October 2, 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued Notice No. 15-10, Aviation Maintenance Technician Schools (80 FR 59674) (October 2, 2015) (“NPRM”). The comment period for the NPRM ends on December 31, 2015.

    By letter dated October 26, 2015, the Petitioners jointly asked the FAA to extend the NPRM's comment period by 90 days. The Petitioners believe that, with the additional time requested, the aviation industry and its partners in technical education will help the FAA develop a rule that supports schools, aids students at the beginning of a rewarding career, and serves an important growing industry.

    The FAA recognizes the NPRM's contents are significant and complex and that a ninety-day comment period may not be sufficient. However, the FAA believes that a 90 day extension, for a total of 180 days, is excessive. We have determined that an additional 30 days will be enough for potential commenters to collect the cost and operational data necessary to provide meaningful comments to the NPRM (for a total of 120 days from October 2, 2015). Absent unusual circumstances, the FAA does not anticipate any further extension of the comment period for this rulemaking.

    Extension of Comment Period

    In accordance with 14 CFR 11.47(c), the FAA has reviewed the petition submitted by the Petitioners for an extension of the comment period to the NPRM. The FAA finds that the petitioners have a substantive interest in the proposed rule, and that an extension of the comment period for Notice No. 15-10 is consistent with the public interest, and that good cause exists for granting this extension.

    Accordingly, the comment period for Notice No. 15-10 is extended until February 1, 2016.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on November 16, 2015. Lirio Liu, Director, Office of Rulemaking.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29505 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION 16 CFR Parts 1109 and 1500 [Docket No. CPSC-2011-0081] Amendment To Clarify When Component Part Testing Can Be Used and Which Textile Products Have Been Determined Not To Exceed the Allowable Lead Content Limits; Notice of Reopening of Comment Period AGENCY:

    U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking; reopening of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Consumer Product Safety Commission (“Commission” or “CPSC”) published a direct final rule (“DFR”) and notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPR”) in the same issue of the Federal Register on October 14, 2015, clarifying when component part testing can be used and clarifying which textile products have been determined not to exceed the allowable lead content limits. The DFR and the NPR invited the public to submit written comments by November 13, 2015. In response to a request for an extension, the Commission is reopening the comment period on the NPR to December 14, 2015.

    DATES:

    The comment period for the notice of proposed rulemaking published on October 14, 2015 (80 FR 61773), is reopened. Submit comments by December 14, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CPSC-2011-0081, by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. The Commission does not accept comments submitted by electronic mail (email), except through: http://www.regulations.gov. The Commission encourages you to submit electronic comments by using the Federal eRulemaking Portal, as described above.

    Written Submissions

    Submit written submissions in the following way:

    Mail/Hand delivery/Courier, preferably in five copies, to: Office of the Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Room 820, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814; telephone (301) 504-7923.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this notice. All comments received may be posted without change, including any personal identifiers, contact information, or other personal information provided, to: http://www.regulations.gov. Do not submit confidential business information, trade secret information, or other sensitive or protected information electronically. Such information should be submitted in writing.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to: http://www.regulations.gov and insert the Docket No. CPSC-2011-0081 into the “Search” box and follow the prompts.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kristina Hatlelid, Ph.D., M.P.H., Directorate for Health Sciences, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 5 Research Place, Rockville, MD 20850; (301) 987-2558; email; [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On October 14, 2015, the Commission published a DFR and an NPR in the Federal Register, clarifying when component part testing can be used and clarifying which textile products have been determined not to exceed the allowable lead content limits. (DFR, 80 FR 61729 and NPR, 80 FR 61773). The American Apparel and Footwear Association (“AAFA”) has requested an extension of the comment period for 30 days because AAFA-member companies are currently reviewing the Commission's proposed amendment to the rule and need additional time to submit comments.

    The Commission has considered the request and is reopening the comment period for an additional 30 days. Because the 30-day extension date falls on a Sunday, the comment period will close on December 14, 2015. The Commission believes that this extension allows adequate time for interested persons to submit comments on the proposed rule, without significantly delaying the rulemaking.

    Alberta E. Mills, Acting Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29504 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6355-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2015-0666; FRL-9937-17-Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; District of Columbia; Regulation To Limit Nitrogen Oxides Emissions From Large Non-Electric Generating Units AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE). This revision caps emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOX) from large non-electric generating units (non-EGUs) to meet the requirements of EPA's NOX SIP Call. This action is being taken under the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before December 21, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-R03-OAR-2015-0666 by one of the following methods:

    A. www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.

    B. Email: [email protected]

    C. Mail: EPA-R03-OAR-2015-0666, Cristina Fernandez, Associate Director, Office of Air Program Planning, Mailcode 3AP30, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103.

    D. Hand Delivery: At the previously-listed EPA Region III address. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2015-0666. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change, and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI, or otherwise protected, through www.regulations.gov or email. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

    Docket: All documents in the electronic docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available in www.regulations.gov or may be viewed during normal business hours at the Air Protection Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103. Copies of the State submittal are available at the District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment, Air Quality Division, 1200 1st Street NE., 5th Floor, Washington, DC 20002.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Marilyn Powers, (215) 814-2308, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On June 19, 2015, DOEE submitted, as a revision to its SIP, a regulation to limit NOX emissions from the non-EGUs in the District that are subject to EPA's NOX SIP call.

    I. Background

    On October 27, 1998 (63 FR 57356), EPA issued a finding that required 22 states and the District of Columbia to submit SIPs to address the regional transport of ground level ozone that was significantly contributing to nonattainment or interfering with maintenance for the 1-hour and 8-hour ozone NAAQS in downwind areas, known as the NOX SIP Call. The October 27, 1998 rulemaking action established a model trading rule under 40 CFR part 96 that states could adopt to comply with the reduction requirements of the NOX SIP Call, commonly referred to as the NOX Budget Trading Program (NBTP). The NBTP established under the NOX SIP Call applied to electric generating units (EGUs) greater than 25 megawatts electric (25 MWe) and non-EGUs (large industrial boilers and turbines) with a maximum rated heat input capacity greater than 250 million British thermal units per hour (mmbtu/hr). To comply with the NOX SIP Call, the District submitted a SIP revision that incorporated by reference the 40 CFR part 96 model trading rule. On November 1, 2001 (66 FR 55099), the revision was approved into the District of Columbia SIP.

    On May 12, 2005 (70 FR 25162), EPA promulgated the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR), which required 28 states and the District of Columbia to reduce NOX and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions that were significantly contributing to downwind nonattainment and interfering with maintenance of the 1997 8-hour ozone standard and the 1997 fine particulate matter (PM2.5) annual standard. The May 12, 2005 rulemaking established model trading rules for EGUs that states could adopt to comply with their reduction obligations under CAIR. The NOX SIP Call requirements continued to apply, and the CAIR model trading rules included a CAIR NOX ozone season trading program that was coordinated with the NOX SIP Call, replacing the NBTP as it applied to EGUs for those states that chose to participate in the CAIR trading program. In addition, as part of their CAIR SIP, states had the option of expanding the applicability provisions of the CAIR NOX ozone season trading program to include the non-EGUs that were trading under the NBTP. Thus, a state that elected to have non-EGUs participate in the CAIR NOX ozone season trading program would meet its NOX SIP Call obligations for both the EGUs and non-EGUs that were formerly trading under the NBTP through the CAIR trading program.

    On April 28, 2006 (71 FR 25328), EPA promulgated Federal implementation plans (FIPs) for all States covered by CAIR in order to ensure that the emission reductions required by CAIR were achieved on schedule. The CAIR FIPs, which applied only to EGUs, required participation in the CAIR trading programs. The CAIR FIP trading programs imposed essentially the same requirements as, and were integrated with, the respective CAIR SIP trading programs. Thus a state subject to the CAIR FIP would be meeting its NOX SIP Call requirements with respect to its EGUs. Upon approval of a SIP revision implementing CAIR, a state's CAIR FIP would be withdrawn.

    Subsequently, EPA discontinued the NBTP in 2008. The District of Columbia, however, did not submit a CAIR SIP. Therefore it became subject to the CAIR FIP in January 2009, and its NOX SIP Call reductions for EGUs that were trading in the NBTP were met by the CAIR NOX ozone season trading program under the FIP.1 However, because the CAIR FIP did not have an option for inclusion of non-EGUs as trading participants, the District was required to submit a SIP revision to demonstrate compliance with its NOX SIP Call state budget for non-EGUs, in accordance with 40 CFR part 51.121.

    1 On January 1, 2015, the trading programs under the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) replaced the trading programs under CAIR. EPA had promulgated CSAPR to replace CAIR after the D.C. Circuit remanded CAIR to EPA in 2008. See North Carolina v. EPA, 550 F.3d 1176 (D.C. Cir. 2008). See also 76 FR 48208 (August 8, 2011) (promulgating CSAPR). After litigation on the merits of CSAPR, EPA began implementing CSAPR in 2015. See EPA v. EME Homer City Generation, L.P., 134 S. Ct. 1584 (2014). See also 79 FR 71663 (December 3, 2014) (interim final rulemaking adjusting CSAPR's implementation dates). CSAPR does not apply to the District of Columbia. The District has no EGUs meeting the applicability criteria under CSAPR since the only EGU in the District permanently shut down in 2012. With this shut down, the District therefore also no longer has any EGU obligations under the NOX SIP Call.

    II. Summary of SIP Revision

    On June 19, 2015, DOEE submitted a SIP revision that addresses NOX reductions from its non-EGUs to meet its obligations under the NOX SIP Call. The submission removes, from the District's SIP, regulation Title 20 DCMR Chapter 10—Nitrogen Oxides Emissions Budget Program. Sections 1000 through 1013 of 20 DCMR Chapter 10 comprised the District's Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) NOX Budget Program, which preceded the NOX SIP Call trading program, and section 1014 incorporated by reference the NBTP. This submission replaces this regulation with revised Chapter 10—Air Quality—Non-EGU Limits on Nitrogen Oxides Emissions. The revised Chapter 10 regulation establishes a 25 ton ozone season NOX emissions cap on applicable non-EGUs 2 in the District, and allocates the cap to the non-EGUs located at the U.S. General Services Administration Central (GSA) Heating and Refrigeration Plant, with a reallocation required whenever a new non-EGU in the District becomes subject to the NOX SIP Call. The regulation also requires continuous emissions monitoring (CEMs) of NOX emissions, recordkeeping and reporting pursuant to 40 CFR part 75 to ensure compliance with the District's non-EGU emissions cap. The submission includes a revision to an associated definition and an abbreviation in the District's regulations to ensure consistency with NOX SIP Call requirements. The submission also removes the obsolete requirements in 20 DCMR Chapter 10 for the OTC NOX Budget Program because the program ended in 2003 upon the start of the EPA NBTP under the NOX SIP Call.

    2 Applicable non-EGUs are the non-EGUs that were subject to the NOX SIP Call, including large industrial boilers and turbines with a maximum rated heat input capacity greater than 250 mmbtu/hr.

    Under section 110(l) of the CAA, EPA may not approve a revision of a plan if the revision would interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment and reasonable further progress or any other applicable requirement under section 110 of the CAA. EPA finds the proposed removal of the regulations for the discontinued OTC and NOX SIP Call trading programs from the District's SIP will not interfere with attainment or reasonable further progress of any NAAQS nor interfere with any other applicable CAA requirement. First, the revision to the SIP merely removes outdated provisions from the SIP (i.e., the NBTP and OTC program) which are no longer effective. Second, the District's emissions budget under the NOX SIP Call was more stringent than the budget under the OTC NOX Budget Program thus providing for greater NOX reductions and protection of the NAAQS so removal of the OTC program has no effect on the NAAQS. Likewise, the CAIR NOX Ozone Season trading program budget was designed to replace the NBTP for EGUs and was more stringent than the NOX SIP Call budget, thus providing greater NOX reductions and protection of the NAAQS than the NBTP. As the District no longer has any EGUs subject to the NOX SIP Call nor to CSAPR which replaced CAIR, removal of the NBTP from the SIP has no effect on NOX emissions in the District. Finally, approval of this proposed SIP revision will maintain the NOX emission reduction requirements of the NOX SIP Call for the District's non-EGUs and allow the District to meet its remaining NOX SIP Call emissions budget. As the District no longer has any EGUs, the District has no further obligations under CSAPR, CAIR or the NOX SIP Call regarding EGUs. Therefore, removal of the previous trading programs from the District's SIP does not interfere with attainment or reasonable further progress on any NAAQS nor interfere with any applicable requirement under section 110 of the CAA.

    III. Proposed Action

    EPA's review of this material indicates that the submittal is adequate to address the emission reduction requirements of the non-EGUs under the NOX SIP Call and is in accordance with requirements in CAA section 110 and its implementing regulations. EPA is proposing to approve the District of Columbia SIP revision, submitted on June 19, 2015, that establishes a 25 ton ozone season NOX emissions cap for non-EGUs in the District. EPA is soliciting public comments on the issues discussed in this document. These comments will be considered before taking final action.

    IV. Incorporation by Reference

    In this proposed rulemaking action, EPA is proposing to include in a final EPA rule, regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with the requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is proposing to incorporate by reference revised District of Columbia regulation Title 20 DCMR, Environment, Chapter 10—Air Quality—Non-EGU Limits on Nitrogen Oxides Emissions, and the revised definition of “Fossil fuel-fired” in Chapter 1, General Rules. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and/or may be viewed at the appropriate EPA office (see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, this action proposing approval of the District of Columbia regulation to limit NOX emissions from non-EGUs subject to the NOX SIP Call and approval of a related definition and abbreviation, does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because the SIP is not approved to apply in Indian country located in the state, and EPA notes that it will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: November 6, 2015. Shawn M. Garvin, Regional Administrator, Region III.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29369 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 151027997-5997-01] RIN 0648-BF48 Control Date for the Trawl Limited Access Fishery for Yellowfin Sole in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR); control date.

    SUMMARY:

    At the request of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), this document announces a control date of October 13, 2015, that may be used as a reference date for a future management action to limit future access to the offshore sector of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) trawl limited access fishery for yellowfin sole. This date corresponds to the date the Council announced its intent to evaluate participation and effort in response to a public request to consider further limits on access to the offshore sector of the BSAI trawl limited access fishery for yellowfin sole. This document is intended to promote awareness of possible rulemaking and provide notice to the public that any participation in the offshore sector of the BSAI trawl limited access fishery for yellowfin sole after the control date may not ensure continued access to that fishery under a future management action. This document is also intended to discourage speculative entry into the fishery while the Council considers whether and how access to the fishery may be further limited under a future management action.

    DATES:

    October 13, 2015, shall be known as the control date for the offshore sector of the BSAI trawl limited access fishery for yellowfin sole and may be used as a reference for participation in a future management action that is consistent with the Council's objectives and applicable Federal laws.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rachel Baker: 907-586-7228 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NMFS manages the groundfish fisheries in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the BSAI under the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP). The Council prepared, and NMFS approved, the FMP under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Regulations governing U.S. fisheries and implementing the FMP appear at 50 CFR parts 600 and 679.

    This advance notice of proposed rulemaking would apply to owners and operators of vessels that participate in the Federal fishery for yellowfin sole with trawl gear in the offshore sector of the BSAI. The BSAI is defined at § 679.2 and shown in Figure 1 to 50 CFR part 679.

    Vessels that participate in the offshore sector of the BSAI trawl limited access fishery for yellowfin sole include catcher vessels, catcher/processors, and motherships. Catcher vessels participate in the offshore sector by delivering yellowfin sole to catcher/processors or motherships for processing. Catcher/processors participate in the offshore sector by catching and processing yellowfin sole or by receiving and processing deliveries of yellowfin sole from catcher vessels. Motherships participate in the offshore sector by receiving and processing deliveries of yellowfin sole from catcher vessels. This advance notice of proposed rulemaking would not apply to owners and operators of trawl catcher vessels that participate in the inshore sector of the BSAI trawl limited access fishery for yellowfin sole, i.e., vessels that deliver yellowfin sole to shoreside processors rather than to catcher/processors or motherships.

    The Council and NMFS annually establish biological thresholds and annual total allowable catch limits for groundfish species, such as yellowfin sole, to sustainably manage the groundfish fisheries in the BSAI. To achieve these objectives, NMFS requires vessel operators participating in BSAI groundfish fisheries to comply with various regulatory restrictions, such as fishery closures, to maintain catch within specified total allowable catch limits. The BSAI groundfish fishery restrictions also include prohibited species catch (PSC) limits for Pacific halibut that generally require halibut to be discarded when harvested. When harvest of halibut PSC reaches the specified halibut PSC limit for that fishery, NMFS closes directed fishing for the target groundfish species, even if the total allowable catch limit for that species has not been harvested. The Council and NMFS have long sought to control fishing effort in the North Pacific Ocean to ensure that fisheries are conservatively managed and do not exceed established biological thresholds. One of the measures used by the Council and NMFS is the license limitation program (LLP) which limits access to the groundfish, crab, and scallop fisheries in the BSAI and the Gulf of Alaska. The LLP is intended to limit entry into federally managed fisheries. For groundfish, the LLP requires that persons hold and assign a license to each vessel that is used to fish in federally managed fisheries, with some limited exemptions. The preamble to the final rule implementing the groundfish LLP provides a more detailed explanation of the rationale for specific provisions in the LLP (October 1, 1998; 63 FR 52642).

    On October 13, 2015, the Council received public testimony from participants in the offshore sector of the BSAI trawl limited access fishery for yellowfin sole. These participants indicated that several new vessels entered the fishery during 2015. The testimony indicated that this new entry may negatively impact the ability of historical participants to maintain yellowfin sole harvests and may increase halibut PSC in the fishery.

    After considering this public testimony, the Council stated its intent to evaluate participation and effort in the BSAI trawl limited access fishery for yellowfin sole in response to a potential need to limit entry in the offshore sector of that fishery. To dampen the effect of speculative entry into the offshore sector of the BSAI trawl limited access fishery for yellowfin sole in anticipation of potential future action to further limit access to the fishery, the Council announced a control date of October 13, 2015. The control date may be used as a reference date for a future management action to further limit access to the offshore trawl limited access fishery for yellowfin sole in the BSAI. The Council clarified that the control date would not obligate the Council to use this control date in any future management action. Further, the control date would not obligate the Council to take any action or prevent the Council from selecting another control date. Accordingly, this document is intended to promote awareness that the Council may develop a future management action to achieve its objectives for the offshore sector of the BSAI trawl limited access fishery for yellowfin sole; to provide notice to the public that any current or future access to the offshore sector of the BSAI trawl limited access fishery for yellowfin sole may be affected or restricted; and to discourage speculative participation and behavior in the fishery while the Council considers whether to initiate a management action to further limit access to the fishery. Any measures the Council considers may require changes to the FMP. Such measures may be adopted in a future amendment to the FMP, which would include opportunity for further public participation and comment.

    NMFS encourages public participation in the Council's consideration of a management action to further limit access to the offshore sector of the BSAI trawl limited access fishery for yellowfin sole. Please consult the Council's Web site at http://www.npfmc.org/ for information on public participation in the Council's decision-making process.

    This notification and control date do not impose any legal obligations, requirements, or expectations.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: November 16, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29535 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 223 Thursday, November 19, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Office of the Under Secretary, Research, Education, and Economics; Notice of the Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture Meeting AGENCY:

    Agricultural Research Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App. 2, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announces a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture (AC21). The committee is being convened to update committee members on USDA activities to support coexistence among different agricultural production systems, consistent with AC21 recommendations contained in the committee's previous report; and to discuss a new task related to coexistence for committee deliberations and develop a plan for addressing it.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Monday-Tuesday, December 14-15, 2015, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day. This meeting is open to the public. On December 14, 2015, if time permits, reasonable provision will be made for oral presentations of no more than five minutes each in duration, starting at 3:30 p.m. Members of the public who wish to make oral statements should also inform Dr. Michael Schechtman in writing or via email at the indicated addresses below at least three business days before the meeting.

    ADDRESSES:

    U.S. Access Board Conference Room, 1331 F Street NW., Suite 800, Washington, DC 20004-1111.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    General information about the committee can also be found at: http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?navid=BIOTECH_AC21&navtype=RT&parentnav=BIOTECH. However, Dr. Michael Schechtman, Designated Federal Official, Office of the Deputy Secretary, USDA, Jamie L. Whitten Building, Room 202B, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250; Telephone (202) 720-3817; Fax (202) 690-4265; Email [email protected] may be contacted for specific questions about the committee or this meeting.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The AC21 has been established to provide information and advice to the Secretary of Agriculture on the broad array of issues related to the expanding dimensions and importance of agricultural biotechnology. The committee is charged with examining the long-term impacts of biotechnology on the U.S. food and agriculture system and USDA, and providing guidance to USDA on pressing individual issues, identified by the Office of the Secretary, related to the application of biotechnology in agriculture. In recent years, the work of the AC21 has centered on the issue of coexistence among different types of agricultural production systems. The AC21 consists of members representing the biotechnology industry, the organic food industry, farming communities, the seed industry, food manufacturers, state government, consumer and community development groups, as well as academic researchers and a medical doctor. In addition, representatives from the Department of Commerce, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of State, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Council on Environmental Quality, and the Office of the United States Trade Representative may serve as “ex officio” members. The objectives for the meeting are:

    • To review the AC21 purpose, history, and operational process, and member responsibilities;

    • To update committee members on regulatory developments and initiatives on biotechnology-derived agricultural products;

    • To update committee members on USDA activities to support coexistence consistent with AC21 recommendations contained in the committee's previous report; and

    • To outline the new task for committee deliberations and develop a plan for addressing it.

    Background information regarding the work and membership of the AC21 is available on the USDA Web site at: http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=AC21Main.xml&contentidonly=true.

    Register for the Meeting: The public is asked to pre-register for the meeting at least 10 business days prior to the meeting. Your pre-registration must state: the names of each person in your group; organization or interest represented; the number of people planning to give oral comments, if any; and whether anyone in your group requires special accommodations. Submit registrations to Ms. Dianne Fowler at (202) 720-4074 or by email at [email protected] by December 4, 2015. The Agricultural Research Service will also accept walk-in registrations. Members of the public who request to give oral comments to the Committee, must arrive by 8:45 a.m. on December 14, 2015 and will be given their allotted time limit and turn at the check-in table.

    Public Comments: Written public comments may be mailed to Dr. Michael Schechtman, Designated Federal Official, Office of the Deputy Secretary, USDA, Jamie L. Whitten Building, Room 202B, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250; via fax to (202) 690-4265 or email to [email protected] All written comments must arrive by December 10, 2015. Oral comments are also accepted. To request to give oral comments, see instructions under `Register for the Meeting' above.

    Availability of Materials for the Meeting: All written public comments will be compiled into a binder and available for review at the meeting. Duplicate comments from multiple individuals will appear as one comment, with a notation that multiple copies of the comment were received. Please visit the Web site listed above to learn more about the agenda for or reports resulting from this meeting.

    Meeting Accommodations: USDA is committed to ensuring that all employees are included in our work environment, programs, and events. If you are a person with a disability and request reasonable accommodations to participate in this meeting, please note the request in your registration. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis.

    Issued at Washington, DC, this 13th day of November 2015. Catherine E. Woteki, Under Secretary, Research, Education, and Economics.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29540 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-03-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Notice of New Fee Site; Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act AGENCY:

    Deschutes National Forest, Crescent Ranger District, Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of new fee site—Crescent Lake Guard Station.

    SUMMARY:

    The Deschutes National Forest is proposing to charge $120 fee for the overnight rental of Crescent Lake Guard Station. This cabin has not been available for recreation use prior to this date. Rentals of other guard stations and lookouts on the Deschutes National Forest have shown that people appreciate and enjoy the availability of historic rental cabins. Funds from the rental will be used for the continued operation and maintenance of Crescent Lake Guard Station. This fee is only proposed and will be determined upon further analysis and public comment. Crescent Lake Guard Station was built in the early 1930's as a one bedroom one bath cabin on the eastern shore of Crescent Lake in Klamath County, Oregon. It has been refurbished utilizing grant dollars and boasts a full kitchen, running water and gas heat. The guard station will comfortably sleep 1-4 people and has beautiful views of the Cascades.

    DATES:

    Send any comments about this fee proposal by December 30, 2015 so comments can be compiled, analyzed and shared with a Recreation Resource Advisory Committee. Crescent Lake Guard Station is intended to become available for recreation rental July 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    John Allen, Forest Supervisor, Deschutes National Forest, 63095 Deschutes Market Road, Bend, OR 97701.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Gentry, Recreation and Lands Team Leader, Crescent Ranger District, [email protected], 541-433-3205.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Federal Recreation Lands Enhancement Act (Title VII, Pub. L. 108-447) directed the Secretary of Agriculture to publish a six month advance notice in the Federal Register whenever new recreation fee areas are established. This new fee will be reviewed by a Recreation Resource Advisory Committee prior to a final decision and implementation.

    The Deschutes National Forest currently has two other recreation rental opportunities. These rentals are often fully booked throughout their rental season. A market analysis indicates that the $120/per night fee is both reasonable and acceptable for this sort of unique recreation experience.

    Once approved this rental opportunity will be available through the National Recreation Reservation Service, at www.recreation.gov, or by calling 1-877-444-6777. The National Recreation Reservation Service charges a $9 fee for reservations.

    Dated: November 9, 2015. A. Shane Jeffries, Deschutes National Forest, Deputy Forest Supervisor.
    [FR Doc. 2015-28925 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-M
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Oklahoma Advisory Committee To Discuss Findings and Recommendations Resulting From Its Inquiry Into the Civil Rights Impact of School Disciplinary Policies That May Contribute to High Rates of Juvenile Incarceration in Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma Advisory Committee (Committee) will hold a meeting on Thursday, December 3, 2015, from 10:00-11:00 a.m. CST for the purpose of discussing and findings and recommendations related to its inquiry regarding the civil rights impact of the “school to prison pipeline” in Oklahoma.

    Members of the public may listen to the discussion. This meeting is available to the public through the following toll-free call-in number: 888-329-8862, conference ID: 6368974. 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, 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.

    Member of the public are also invited and welcomed to make statements at the end of the conference call. In addition, members of the public may 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, Corrine Sanders 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: https://database.faca.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=269 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
    Welcome and Roll Call Discussion of findings and recommendations regarding “Civil Rights and the School to Prison Pipeline in Oklahoma Open Comment Adjournment DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Thursday, December 03, 2015, from 10:00-11:00 a.m. CST.

    Public Call Information:

    Dial: 888-329-8862 Conference ID: 6368974 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Melissa Wojnaroski, DFO, at 312-353-8311 or [email protected].

    Exceptional Circumstance: Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.150, the notice for this meeting is published less than 15 days prior to the meeting because of the exceptional circumstance of the technological issues.

    Dated: November 16, 2015. David Mussatt, Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29522 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6335-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [S-125-2015] Approval of Expansion of Subzone 77E; Cummins, Inc.; Memphis, Tennessee

    On August 28, 2015, the Executive Secretary of the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board docketed an application submitted by the City of Memphis, grantee of FTZ 77, requesting to expand Subzone 77E subject to the existing activation limit of FTZ 77, on behalf of Cummins, Inc. in Memphis, Tennessee.

    The application was processed in accordance with the FTZ Act and Regulations, including notice in the Federal Register inviting public comment (80 FR 54520-54521, September 10, 2015). The FTZ staff examiner reviewed the application and determined that it meets the criteria for approval. Pursuant to the authority delegated to the FTZ Board's Executive Secretary (15 CFR Sec. 400.36(f)), the application to expand Subzone 77E is approved, subject to the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations, including Section 400.13, and further subject to FTZ 77's 2,000-acre activation limit.

    Dated: November 13, 2015. Elizabeth Whiteman, Acting Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29581 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-77-2015] Foreign-Trade Zone 78—Nashville, Tennessee; Application for Expansion of Subzone 78A Nissan North America, Inc. Smyrna, Tennessee

    An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board by the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, grantee of FTZ 78, requesting to expand Subzone 78A—Site 1 at the facility of Nissan North America, Inc., located in Smyrna, Tennessee. The application was submitted pursuant to the provisions of the Foreign-Trade Zones Act, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a-81u), and the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR part 400). It was formally docketed on November 12, 2015.

    Subzone 78A was approved on April 2, 1982 (Board Order 190, 47 FR 16191, April 15, 1982) and expanded on March 18, 1993 (Board Order 632, 58 FR 18850, March 30, 1993). The subzone currently consists of two sites: Site 1 (1,004 acres) located at 983 Nissan Drive, Smyrna; and, Site 2 (958 acres) located at 520 Nissan Powertrain Drive, Decherd.

    The applicant is requesting authority to expand Site 1 of the subzone to include 22 additional acres adjacent to the present Site 1. No authorization for additional production activity has been requested at this time.

    In accordance with the FTZ Board's regulations, Kathleen Boyce of the FTZ Staff is designated examiner to review the application and make recommendations to the Executive Secretary.

    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 29, 2015. Rebuttal comments in response to material submitted during the foregoing period may be submitted during the subsequent 15-day period to January 13, 2016.

    A copy of the application 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 Kathleen Boyce at [email protected] or (202) 482-1346.

    Dated: November 12, 2015. Elizabeth Whiteman, Acting Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29481 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-78-2015] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 45—Portland, Oregon; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Lam Research Corporation; Subzone 45H; (Semiconductor Production Equipment, Subassemblies and Related Parts) Tualatin and Sherwood, Oregon

    The Port of Portland, grantee of FTZ 45, submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board on behalf of Lam Research Corporation (Lam), operator of Subzone 45H, at sites in Tualatin and Sherwood, Oregon. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on November 6, 2015.

    The facilities are used for the production of semiconductor production equipment, subassemblies and related parts. 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 Lam from customs duty payments on the foreign-status components used in export production. On its domestic sales, Lam would be able to choose the duty rate during customs entry procedures that applies to semiconductor production equipment, subassemblies and related parts (duty free) for the foreign-status inputs noted below. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign-status production equipment.

    The components and materials sourced from abroad include: Clean room grease and lubricants; caulking compounds; petroleum-based greases and similar lubricants; polymer-based adhesives; wafers and partial-wafers principally of silicon or germanium intended for testing purposes and not for commercial production of semi-conductors; PH buffer solutions and litmus paper; fluorinated and other polyether-based lubricants; polyethylene tubes, pipes and hoses; polypropylene tubing; PVC tubing; plastic tubing; flexible tubes, pipes and hoses of plastics; flexible plastic tubing with/without fittings; plastic tube fittings; foam tapes; scotch tapes, packing tapes, and similar tapes; electrical tapes; reflective tapes; plastic labels; plastic signs and similar plates of polymer plastics; polycarbonate windows; shims of polyester plastics; Teflon wraps and pads; protection and insulation pads of polyurethane plastics; wipes of polyurethane plastics; plastic templates for facilities layout; plastic film sheets and foam strips for packaging; plastic boxes and crates; reservoirs and tanks of plastics principally in the form of polypropylenes and fluoropolymers; plastic caps; plastic packing materials; plastic o-rings, gaskets, washers, seals, and timing belts; plastic clips and similar attaching devices; plastic tinting lenses; plastic bushings; plastic hole plugs; plastic screws, pins, and similar fasteners; plastic brackets and mounts; plastic wafer clamps; plastic parts not otherwise identified in the HTSUS*; unreinforced rubber tubing with fittings; reinforced rubber tubing with/without fittings; transmission belts; rubber gaskets, washers and seals; rubber caps; rubber sheets, grommets, bladders, collars and parts not otherwise identified in the HTSUS*; wooden crates for packing; paper labels; gaskets, washers and other seals of paper; technical manuals, procedures, and work instructions; certificates, brochures, other work documents other than manuals; duct tape; nonelectrical components and accessories of graphite and carbon fiber made predominantly in the form of fiber plate disks or grafoil liner “choke” rings*; porcelain or china ceramic machinery components, rings, disks, RF “window” disks, plates, liners, shields, guards, end effectors, plugs, screws, components and accessories*; ceramic components, rings, RF “window” disks, plates, guards, end effectors, plugs, and screws*; quartz reactor tubes; fused silica and fused quartz components, disks, windows, liners, rings, tubes, holders, and funnels*; sapphire pins, balls, shims, windows/viewports, liners, tubes, components and accessories*; steel pipes; cast steel fittings; stainless flanges; stainless steel pipes- sleeves; stainless steel pipes- elbows; stainless steel, not cast, fittings for tubes and pipes; other steel fittings; steel roller chains; steel link chains; steel chain links; steel screws- springs; steel socket head screws; steel grub screws; steel nuts; other threaded steel fasteners; steel spring washers; iron or steel washers other than spring washers; steel retaining rings; steel fasteners without threads; steel springs; steel gas springs, wave springs, and plunger springs; compression springs; belts and inserts of steel wire; steel parts, bushings, collars, blocks, rings, seals, and plates*; bus bars, ground bars, and rods of copper; copper tubing; copper alloy for tubes and pipes; copper washers; small brass screws; copper threaded fittings; copper parts, straps, anodes, sleeves, shields, gaskets, pins, and screens*; nickel screws, shims, orifices, washers, straps, anodes, sleeves, shields, gaskets, pins, springs, nuts, and screens; nameplates; rods and rails of aluminum; aluminum tubing; aluminum alloy tubing; aluminum fittings for tubes and pipes; aluminum screws; aluminum fasteners; aluminum covers, spinners, sleeves and screens*; zinc fittings, screws, fasteners, and backshells; titanium pins, screws, washers, bolts, nuts, inserts, and plates; saw blades; pliers; knockout punches and hose cutters; hand-operated adjustable-flat spanners and torque wrenches; hand-operated adjustable spanners and wrenches—other; socket wrenches; drills; screwdrivers; other hand tools, extraction tools, debar tools, and epoxy removal tips, and install tools; grease guns; metal clamps; manual drills; drill bits; padlocks; locks other than padlocks; keys; hinges and parts; casters; metal fittings of a type for buildings; metal fittings of a type for furniture; iron/steel/aluminum/zinc mountings, fittings, straps, clamps, brackets, levelers, struts and valves; base metal brackets; braided steel tubing and hoses; braided metal tubing; air cylinders and other pneumatic power engines; pneumatic power engines other than linear acting; shock absorbers; parts for pneumatic engines; diaphragm pumps for liquids and gases; centrifugal pumps for liquids and gases; syringe and other pumps; parts of centrifugal pumps; vacuum pumps; fans; parts of fans- metal wires, pump actuators; heat exchange units; evaporators for use in semi-conductor manufacturing equipment; heaters for use in semi-conductor manufacturing equipment; parts of heat exchange units; parts of heaters; water filters; liquid filtration devices; air and other gas filtration devices; filter parts; chemical applicators; nozzles and orifices; lift and handling fixtures; housing bearings and plain shaft bearings; computer laptops; computers; keyboards and computer peripherals; hard disk drives and optical drives; hubs; interface and input/output cards and similar interface articles; “dongles”: Peripheral pieces of hardware intended to interface with a computer to enable additional functions such as copy protection or authentication; optical readers; printed circuit assemblies; teaching pendants and terminals; valves (pressure reducing, air flow control, check valves, safety, solenoid, liquid control, electric, pneumatic, bellows, butterfly, ball and vacuum); other manual valves of steel; vacuum and other manual valves of fluorocarbons, polyethers, and polyvinyl chloride; valve parts; bearings (ball, roller, bearing rings, transmission shaft, roller, housing, and plain shaft); fixed, multiple and variable ration speed changers, ball or roller screws; pulleys; shaft couplings; gear parts made of steel; mechanical gaskets; mechanical seals; gaskets sets; machines for the production of semiconductors; tools and process modules for chemical vapor deposition/physical vapor deposition/plasma dry etch/stripping of photo resist/ultraviolet thermal processing/wafer cleaning for semi-conductor production; conductor material deposition process modules and machines for wafer packaging; transport modules; wafer transport robots; baffles, bellows, bezels, wafer chucks and related parts designed specifically for semiconductor manufacturing equipment; complex elements in the form of tubing for distribution of gases and fluids and pneumatic harnesses, designed specifically for semiconductor manufacturing equipment; radio frequency and high frequency electrodes and related parts; drive units for process modules gap management; structural elements designed specifically for semiconductor manufacturing equipment and transport modules; fluid and gas distribution modules and assemblies and structural parts and components designed for these modules; printed circuit board assemblies and control assemblies for system management or signal interface and distribution; metal and plastic (including silicon) parts designed for semiconductor manufacturing equipment and transport modules; plasma sources for semiconductor manufacturing equipment; silicon rings; radio frequency and high frequency coils and electrodes and related parts designed specifically for semiconductor manufacturing equipment for plasma generation; radio frequency generators and related structural components designed specifically for semiconductor manufacturing equipment; radio frequency matching networks and related structural; metal and plastic (including silicon) parts designed for semiconductor transport equipment; fluid management tanks; mechanical brakes; electric motors; universal AC/DC motors; lamp ballasts; electrical transformers; power suppliers; static converters; inductors; parts of power supplies; magnets; magnetic brakes; manganese dioxide batteries; lithium batteries; portable electric lamps; resistive heating elements; network equipment; training videos on tape; unrecorded magnetic media; software on CD-ROM or similar optical storage units; video cameras; LCD computer; general use motors; LED indicators; electric sound or visual signaling apparatus; tantalum fixed capacitors; single layer ceramic dielectric fixed capacitors; multi-layer ceramic dielectric fixed capacitors; fixed electrical capacitors; variable or adjustable capacitors; composition or film type fixed carbon resistors and attenuators; other resistors; other fixed carbon resistors and attenuators; potentiometers; electrical variable resistors other than other potentiometers; raw circuit boards; ion bars; fuses made of glass and other materials with both high and low amps; circuit breakers; electromechanical relays; switches; lamp holders and contactors; terminals and connectors; connectors—assemblies, converters, receptacle panels, interlock converters, electrical ducts and lock-outs; electrical terminals and terminal blocks; conduit assemblies, backshells, buses, and similar connectors; control apparatus- assemblies, couplers, cards, valve cards, drivers, load ports, terminal boards, programmable controllers, and motion controllers; connector sockets; tungsten lamps; fluorescent lamps; arc lamps; ultra violet lamps; parts of electrical filament or discharge lamps; magnetrons and magnetron tubes; diodes; transistors; LED lamps, oscillators, photo sensors and fiber optic sensors; processor and logic controller integrated circuits; memory cards; integrated circuit amplifiers; other non-processor, non-memory integrated circuits; equipment for performing electrolysis; insulated electrical cable wire; coax cables; USB, ethernet, and similar cables with connectors; cables with connectors; insulated wire cable without connectors; fiber optic cables; ceramic insulators; electrical insulators; insulating fittings—ceramic; insulating fittings of plastic; quartz rings; electric filter devices; dollies; optic fibers; optical lenses and mirrors; optical filters and windows; mounted windows and lenses; prisms; flat panel displays; optical amplifiers; non-electric levels; calipers and linear gauges; hand instruments for measuring length; linear gauge clamps and heads; caliper clamps and heads; face shields with respirators; electrical temperature, thermocouples and temperature gauges; flow meters, level gauges and similar fluid measurement equipment; electrical pressure checking and measurement equipment; mechanical pressure checking and measurement equipment; leak sensors; interferometers and hydrogen sensors; gas analysis systems; spectrometers; optical temperature sensors; PH analysis sensors, controllers, probes and complete systems; parts of gas analysis systems; speedometers and tachometers; power analyzers principally in the form of voltage detectors, probes, monitors and measurement cards; test fixtures and similar electrical analysis systems; wafer measurement equipment; leak detectors; parts of equipment used for checking electrical quantities; equipment for inspecting semiconductor wafers; optical inspection equipment; measuring equipment associated with semiconductor production; panels, frames, boards, blocks, doors, jigs, shafts, sides, and structural bases for test fixtures and electrical analysis systems; automatic thermostats and temperature control equipment; automatic manostats; vapor on demand injectors; process control equipment, (temperature controllers, pressure controllers, liquid controllers, mass flow controllers, pump controllers, and similar process control equipment); temperature controller parts; time switches, time relays and other timers; carts and racks for servers; and brushes (duty rates range from free to 10.7%). (*See Lam's production notification for additional descriptions of these products.)

    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 29, 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 Diane Finver at [email protected] or (202) 482-1367.

    Dated: November 13, 2015. Elizabeth Whiteman, Acting Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29580 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE324 Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC); Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of a public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a four-day meeting.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, December 7-10, 2015, starting at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, 9 a.m. on Wednesday, and 8 a.m. on Thursday.

    ADDRESSES:

    On Monday, December 7, the meeting will be held at O'Callaghan Hotel, 174 West Street, Annapolis, MD 21401; telephone: (410) 263-7700 and on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, December 8-10 at the Westin Annapolis, 100 Westgate Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401; telephone: (410) 972-4300.

    Council address: Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 800 N. State Street, Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901; telephone: (302) 674-2331 or on their Web site at www.mafmc.org.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher M. Moore, Ph.D., Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; telephone: (302) 526-5255.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Agenda Monday, December 7, 2015

    In the morning session the Executive Committee will meet in closed session to review nominees for the Ricks E Savage Award and other awards. The Council will review and approve the Comprehensive 5-year Research Priority Plan. The Council will also review and approve policies regarding non-fishing activities that impact fish habitat.

    During the afternoon session, Golden Tilefish Framework 2 will be discussed. The Council will review the public hearing document for Blueline Tilefish. The Council will review the findings from the Scientific and Statistical Committee and adjust specification recommendations for Spiny Dogfish Committee Meeting as a committee of the whole.

    Tuesday, December 8, 2015

    The Council will receive a report on the Pacific Fishery Management Council's experience with management of forage-species. The Council will then review and approve the list of species for inclusion in the public hearing document and approve management alternatives for National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis and public hearing document for unmanaged forage fish. The Council will discuss and adopt alternatives related the Scup GRA (Gear Restricted Areas) Framework.

    During the afternoon session, the Fisheries Forum will hold a Summer Flounder Goals and Objectives Workshop to review feedback, discuss priorities for the revised FMP (fishery management plan) goals and objectives, and identity draft goals and objectives for the Summer Flounder Amendment.

    Wednesday, December 9, 2015

    The Demersal Committee Meeting will meet as a Committee of the Whole with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's (ASMFC) Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Board. They will discuss the Monitoring and Technical Committees recommendations on 2016 Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass commercial management measures and recommend any changes to the commercial management measures. There will be a Board Action regarding an ASMFC Addendum for summer flounder. The Council will review recommendations from the Monitoring Committee and Advisory Panel then adopt recommendations for the 2016 Summer Flounder recreational management measures. The Council will discuss the timeline and give an update on the progress for the Summer Flounder Amendment. There will be a Board Action regarding an ASMFC Addendum for black sea bass. The Council will review recommendations from the Monitoring Committee and Advisory Panel then adopt recommendations for the 2016 Black Sea Bass and Scup recreational management measures.

    Thursday, December 10, 2015

    The Council will receive a presentation regarding the Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office (GARFO) Recreational Implementation Plan and receive a report from the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) regarding the NEFSC Strategic Plan. The Council will review and approve their 2016 Implementation Plan. The day will conclude with brief reports from the National Marine Fisheries Service's GARFO and the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, NOAA's Office of General Counsel and Office of Law Enforcement, the U.S. Coast Guard, the ASMFC, the New England and South Atlantic Fishery Council's liaisons and the Regional Planning Body Report. The Council will also receive the Council's Executive Director's Report, the Science Report, and Committee Reports for the Executive Committee, Collaborative Research Committee, and the River Herring/Shad Committee, and discuss any continuing and/or new business.

    Although other non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this Council for discussion, those issues may not be the subjects of formal action during this meeting. Council action will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens act, provided that the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to M. Jan Saunders, (302) 526-5251, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: November 16, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29547 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Final Notice of Fee Calculations for Special Use Permits AGENCY:

    Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with a requirement of Public Law 106-513 (16 U.S.C. 1441(b)), NOAA hereby gives public notice of the methods, formulas and rationale for the calculations it will use in order to assess fees associated with special use permits (SUPs).

    DATES:

    This notice is effective November 19, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Matt Nichols, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, 1305 East West Highway (N/NMS2), Silver Spring, MD 20910, telephone (301) 713-7262, email [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This Federal Register document is also accessible via the Internet at [http://www.thefederalregister.org].

    I. Background

    Congress first granted NOAA the authority to issue SUPs for conducting specific activities in national marine sanctuaries in the 1988 Amendments to the National Marine Sanctuaries Act (“NMSA”) (16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.) (Pub. L. 100-627). The NMSA allows NOAA to establish categories of activities that may be subject to an SUP. The list of applicable categories of activities was last updated in 2013 (78 FR 25957). SUPs may be issued for the placement and recovery of objects on the seabed related to public or private events, or commercial filming; the continued presence of commercial submarine cables; the disposal of cremated human remains; recreational diving near the USS Monitor; the deployment of fireworks displays; or the operation of aircraft below the minimum altitude in restricted zones of national marine sanctuaries. Congress also gave NOAA the discretion to assess an SUP fee and laid out the basic components of an SUP fee (16 U.S.C. 1441 (d)). The NMSA states:

    (d) Fees—

    (1) Assessment and Collection—The Secretary may assess and collect fees for the conduct of any activity under a permit issued under this section.

    (2) Amount—The amount of the fee under this subsection shall be the equal to the sum of—

    (A) Costs incurred, or expected to be incurred, by the Secretary in issuing the permit;

    (B) Costs incurred, or expected to be incurred, by the Secretary as a direct result of the conduct of the activity for which the permit is issued, including costs of monitoring the conduct of the activity; and

    (C) An amount which represents the fair market value of the use of the sanctuary resource.

    (3) Use of Fees—Amounts collected by the Secretary in the form of fees under this section may be used by the Secretary—

    (A) For issuing and administering permits under this section; and

    (B) For expenses of managing national marine sanctuaries.

    (4) Waiver or Reduction of Fees—The Secretary may accept in-kind contributions in lieu of a fee under paragraph (2)(C), or waive or reduce any fee assessed under this subsection for any activity that does not derive profit from the access to or use of sanctuary resources.

    With this notice, NOAA establishes standard procedures for assessing fee components associated with the application for and issuance of an SUP. SUPs are generally a small portion of the total number of permits issued by ONMS. However, with the addition of new SUP categories in 2013 and the current and potential expansion of the National Marine Sanctuary System, ONMS may see a rise in the number of applications submitted annually as well as an increase in the complexity of the proposed projects.

    II. Summary of Fee Calculations

    When an SUP is applied for by an interested party, and ultimately issued by ONMS, the total fee assessed to the applicant will be the sum of the three categories of fees provided for in section 310(d)(2) of the NMSA: Administrative costs, implementation and monitoring costs, and fair market value.

    A. Administrative Costs per 16 U.S.C. 1441(d)(2)(A)

    NOAA will assess a non-refundable $50 application fee for each SUP application submitted. Administrative costs spent reviewing the permit for sufficiency and suitability will be calculated by multiplying a regional labor rate, derived from the pay rates of ONMS permitting staff and averaged across ONMS regions, by the time spent by staff reviewing each permit application. NOAA will update the rate every year to account for staff changes as well as inflation. Such administrative costs could also include, but are not necessarily limited to, any environmental analyses and consultations associated with evaluating the permit application and issuing the permit; and equipment used in permit review and issuance (e.g., vessels, dive equipment, vehicles, and general overhead). Equipment includes but is not limited to autonomous underwater vehicles, remotely operated underwater vehicles, and sampling equipment. If equipment is acquired specifically to monitor the permit, the actual cost of the acquisition will be included.

    B. Implementation and Monitoring Costs per 16 U.S.C. 1441(d)(2)(B)

    NOAA may also charge a fee for costs associated with the implementation and monitoring of a permitted activity. Such costs will include staff time (calculated similarly to the labor rate described above), equipment use (including vessels or aircraft to oversee permit implementation), the expenses of monitoring the impacts of a permitted activity, and compliance with the terms and conditions of the permit.

    C. Fair Market Value per 16 U.S.C. 1441(d)(2)(C))

    To date, ONMS has assessed fair market value (FMV) fees assessed for an SUP on a case-by-case basis. The SUP category for continued operation and maintenance of submarine cables is the only category that has an established protocol for determining FMV (Aug. 28, 2002; 67 FR 55201). Conducting in-depth economic valuation studies for each SUP application are normally overly burdensome for NOAA and the permit applicant relative to the scope and effects of proposed SUP projects. In establishing standard FMV fees for all SUP categories, NOAA has examined the fees assessed for past SUPs as well as comparable fees assessed by other federal, state, and local agencies for similar activities. NOAA now adopts the following standard FMV fee structure for the following seven SUP categories:

    1. The placement and recovery of objects associated with public or private events on non-living substrate of the submerged lands of any national marine sanctuary. The FMV for this activity is $200 per event, based on fee values historically applied at national marine sanctuaries for this activity.

    2. The placement and recovery of objects related to commercial filming. With this notice, NOAA adopts the fee structure below from the National Park Service (NPS), which shares a similar mandate with ONMS to protect natural spaces of national importance. ONMS has determined NPS's broad evaluation methods to be sound and within the intent of ONMS SUPs for commercial filming.

    FMV Fee Table for Placement and Recovery of Objects Associated With Commercial Filming Events Number of people Motion pictures/videos Number of people Still photography 1-10 $150/day 1-10 $50/day. 11-30 $250/day 11-30 $150/day. 31-49 $500/day Over 30 $250/day. Over 50 $750/day

    The number of people refers to the cast and/or crew on location within the sanctuary for the commercial filming event, including pre- and post-production.

    3. The continued presence of commercial submarine cables on or within the submerged lands of any national marine sanctuary. NOAA assesses FMV for submarine cables in national marine sanctuaries based on the findings of its 2002 study entitled “Fair Market Value Analysis for a Fiber Optic Cable Permit in National Marine Sanctuaries”(67 FR 55201). For most SUPs, FMV for cables is assessed annually and adjusted according to the consumer price index. NOAA will continue using this methodology for assessing FMV fees for the continued presence of commercial submarine cables.

    4. The disposal of cremated human remains (“cremains”) within or into any national marine sanctuary. NOAA will waive all fees, including the FMV fee, for private individuals disposing of cremains. NOAA will assess a $50 per disposal FMV fee for commercial operators. This value is based on similar practices of state governments, such as the State of Washington, which assesses a $70 flat fee for a Cremated Human Remains Disposition Permit for disposal of cremains by airplane, boat, or other disposal methods for businesses.

    5. Recreational diving near the USS Monitor. NOAA will waive the FMV fee for any SUP issued for recreational diving within Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, given that (1) individual recreational divers do not derive profits from their use of the sanctuary; and (2) permits for commercial recreational divers further the sanctuary's objectives by educating the public about the sanctuary and the historical significance of the U.S.S. Monitor.

    6. Fireworks displays. The FMV for fireworks will be a tiered structure based on the number of fireworks events conducted per calendar year. The fee schedule will be as follows: 1 event per calendar year—$100; 2-5 events per calendar year—$300; 6-10 events per calendar year—$500; 11-20 events per calendar year—$700.

    7. The operation of aircraft below the minimum altitude in restricted zones of national marine sanctuaries. The FMV will be $500 per site/per day. This is an existing value that has been applied historically at national marine sanctuaries for this activity.

    III. Waiver or Reduction of Fees

    NOAA may accept in-kind contributions in lieu of a fee, or waive or reduce any fee assessed for any activity that does not derive profit from the access to or use of sanctuary resources. NOAA may consider the benefits of the activity to support the goals and objectives of the sanctuary as an in-kind contribution in lieu of a fee.

    IV. Response to Comments

    Comment: One commenter supported NOAA's intent to assess and collect fees associated with special use permits and proposed that NOAA should require a larger range of for-profit operators to pay fees for the use of sanctuary resources.

    Response: While NOAA appreciates the public support for the use of this authority in protecting sanctuary resources, the suggestion to collect fees for activities which currently do not require a special use permit is not within the scope of this action.

    V. Classification A. National Environmental Policy Act

    NOAA has concluded that this action will not have a significant effect, individually or cumulatively, on the human environment. This action is categorically excluded from the requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement in accordance with Section 6.03c3(i) of NOAA Administrative Order 216-6. Specifically, this action is a notice of an administrative and legal nature. Furthermore, individual permit actions by NOAA will be subject to additional case-by-case analysis, as required under NEPA, which will be completed as new permit applications are submitted for specific projects and activities.

    NOAA also expects that many of these individual actions will also meet the criteria of one or more of the categorical exclusions described in NOAA Administrative Order 216-6 because SUPs cannot be issued for activities that are expected to result in any destruction of, injury to, or loss of any sanctuary resource. However, the SUP authority may at times be used to allow activities that may meet the Council on Environmental Quality's definition of the term “significant” despite the lack of apparent environmental impacts. In addition, NOAA may, in certain circumstances, combine its SUP authority with other regulatory authorities to allow activities not described above that may result in environmental impacts and thus require the preparation of an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement. In these situations NOAA will ensure that the appropriate NEPA documentation is prepared prior to taking final action on a permit or making any irretrievable or irreversible commitment of agency resources.

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act

    Notwithstanding any other provisions of the law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., unless that collection of information displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. Applications for the SUPs discussed in this notice involve a collection-of information requirement subject to the requirements of the PRA. OMB has approved this collection-of-information requirement under OMB control number 0648-0141.

    Dated: November 12, 2015. John Armor, Acting Director, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29524 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-NK-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE318 North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and its advisory committees will meet December 7, 2015 through December 15, 2015.

    DATES:

    The Council will begin its plenary session at 8 a.m. in the Denali Room on Wednesday, December 9, continuing through Tuesday, December 15, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Anchorage Hilton Hotel, 500 W. 3rd Ave., Anchorage, AK 99501.

    Council address: North Pacific Fishery Management Council, 605 W. 4th Ave., Suite 306, Anchorage, AK 99501-2252; telephone: (907) 271-2809.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Witherell, Council staff; telephone: (907) 271-2809.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) will begin at 8 a.m. in the King Salmon/Iliamna Room on Monday December 7 and continue through Wednesday December 9, 2015. The Council's Advisory Panel (AP) will begin at 8 a.m. in the Dillingham/Katmai Room on Tuesday December 8, and continue through Saturday, December 12, 2015. The Recreational Quota Entity Committee (RQE) will meet on Monday, December 7, 2015, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (room to be determined). The Enforcement Committee will meet on Tuesday, December 8, 2015, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (room to be determined). The Charter Implementation Committee will meet on Tuesday, December 8, 2015, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (room to be determined). The Individual Fishing Quota Committee will meet on Tuesday, December 8, 2015, from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (room to be determined).

    Agenda Monday, December 7, 2015 Through Tuesday, December 15, 2015

    Council Plenary Session: The agenda for the Council's plenary session will include the following issues. The Council may take appropriate action on any of the issues identified.

    (1) Executive Director's Report (Quintillion Fiber Optic Cable Presentation (T)) (2) NMFS Management Report (Report on Final 2016 Observer Annual Deployment Plan) (3) ADF&G Report (4) NOAA Enforcement Report (5) USCG Report (6) USFWS Report (7) Protected Species Report (8) Amendment 80 Coop Reports on 2016 Halibut PSC Management Plans (9) BSAI Groundfish Harvest Specifications—Final Action (10) GOA Groundfish Harvest Specifications and Halibut DMRS—Final Action (11) GOA Chinook Salmon PSC Reapportionment—Final Action (12) Bering Sea Fishery Ecosystem Plan—Discussion Paper (13) Charter Halibut Measures for 2016—Final Action (14) Charter Halibut RQE Program—Initial Review (15) Halibut Management Framework—Review (16) Biomass-based BSAI Halibut PSC Limits—Discussion Paper (17) GOA Trawl Bycatch Management Workplan—Review (18) Halibut Retention in Pots—Discussion Paper (19) Area 4 Halibut Leasing Options for CDQ Vessels—Discussion Paper (20) Halibut/Sablefish IFQ Program Review—Review Outline (21) AFA Program Review—Review Workplan (22) Enforcement Precepts—Enforcement Committee Report (23) Bristol Bay Red King Crab Savings Area Exempted Fishing Permit—Review

    The Advisory Panel will address most of the same agenda issues as the Council except B reports.

    The SSC agenda will include the following issues:

    (1) BSAI Groundfish Harvest Specifications—Final Action (2) GOA Groundfish Harvest Specifications and Halibut DMRS—Final Action (3) Bristol Bay Red King Crab Savings Area Exempted Fishing Permit—Review (4) GOA Chinook Salmon PSC Reapportionment—Final Action (5) Charter Halibut RQE Program—Initial Review

    In addition to providing ongoing scientific advice for fishery management decisions, the SSC functions as the Councils primary peer review panel for scientific information as described by the Magnuson-Stevens Act section 302(g)(1)(e), and the National Standard 2 guidelines (78 FR 43066). The peer review process is also deemed to satisfy the requirements of the Information Quality Act, including the OMB Peer Review Bulletin guidelines.

    The Agenda is subject to change, and the latest version will be posted at http://www.npfmc.org/.

    Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before these groups for discussion, in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), those issues may not be the subject of formal action during these meetings. Actions will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Shannon Gleason at (907) 271-2809 at least 7 working days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: November 16, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29546 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE313 New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting; Addendum AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting, additional agenda item.

    SUMMARY:

    The New England Fishery Management Council (Council, NEFMC) will hold a three-day meeting to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, December 1-3, 2015, starting at 9 a.m. on December 1, at 8:30 a.m. on December 2, and at 8:15 a.m. December 3.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Holiday Inn by the Bay, 88 Spring Street, Portland, ME 04101; telephone: (207) 775.2311, fax: (207) 761.8224, or online at www.innbythebay.com/.

    Council address: New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950; telephone: (978) 465-0492.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council; (978) 465-0492, ext. 113.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The original notice published in the Federal Register on November 13, 2015 (80 FR 70188). This notice includes an additional agenda item to be added to the meeting on December 3, 2015.

    Agenda Thursday, December 3, 2015

    On Thursday, December 3, the final day of New England Fishery Management Council's last meeting in 2015, the NEFMC will hold a brief closed session at 8:15 a.m. At that time, Council members will review the roster of applicants for open seats on its Scientific and Statistical Committee and appoint members for 2016-18.

    Although other non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this Council for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Council action will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, provided that the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Thomas A. Nies (see ADDRESSES) at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: November 16, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29545 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE319 South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Meeting of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC).

    SUMMARY:

    The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold meetings of the: Personnel Committee (Closed Session); Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) Committee; Habitat Protection and Ecosystem-Based Management Committee; Snapper Grouper Committee; Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) Selection Committee (Closed Session); Information and Education Committee; King and Spanish Mackerel Committee; Data Collection Committee; Dolphin Wahoo Committee; Spiny Lobster Committee; Protected Resources Committee; Executive Finance Committee; and a meeting of the Full Council. The Council will also hold a Council Member Visioning Workshop for the Snapper Grouper Fishery. The Council will take action as necessary. The Council will also hold a formal public comment session.

    DATES:

    The Council meeting will be held from 8 a.m. on Monday, December 7, 2015 until 3:30 p.m. on Friday, December 11, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Meeting address: The meeting will be held at the Doubletree by Hilton, 2717 W. Fort Macon Raod, Atlantic Beach, NC 28512; phone: 800/222-8733 or 252/240-1155; fax 252/222-4065.

    Council address: South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, N. Charleston, SC 29405.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kim Iverson, Public Information Officer, SAFMC; phone: (843) 571-4366 or toll free: (866) SAFMC-10; fax: (843) 769-4520; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The items of discussion in the individual meeting agendas are as follows:

    Council Member Visioning Workshop, Monday, December 7, 2015, 8 a.m. until 10:15 a.m.

    Council members will receive a recap of the October 2015 Council Visioning Workshop, review and approve the Vision Blueprint for the snapper grouper fishery, review the Evaluation Plan for the Vision Blueprint, and review/develop approaches for applying the blueprint.

    Personnel Committee, Monday, December 7, 2015, 10:15 a.m. until 6 p.m. (Closed Session)

    The Committee will conduct interviews and provide recommendations for hiring a new Executive Director for the Council. Note: all Council members will participate in this Committee meeting.

    SEDAR Committee, Tuesday, December 8, 2015, 8 a.m. until 9:30 a.m.

    1. The Committee will receive updates on SEDAR activities, review the SEDAR Steering Committee report and provide guidance as appropriate.

    2. The Committee will receive a presentation on NOAA Fisheries Assessment Prioritization, and discuss and provide guidance for application to Council stocks and SEDAR.

    Habitat Protection and Ecosystem-Based Management Committee, Tuesday, December 8, 2015, 9:30 a.m. until 12 p.m.

    1. The Committee will receive a report from the Habitat Advisory Panel and an overview of the redrafted Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) Policy on Energy Exploration, Development and Transportation and provide recommendations as appropriate.

    2. The Committee will receive an overview of the Fishery Ecosystem Plan II Development, EFH Updates and Regional Ecosystem Coordination, a presentation on Lenfest Fisheries Ecosystem Task Force Activities and provide recommendations as appropriate.

    Snapper Grouper Committee, Tuesday, December 8, 2015, 1:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. and Wednesday, December 9, 2015 from 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

    1. The Committee will receive an update on the status of commercial and recreational catches versus quota for species under Annual Catch Limits (ACLs) and an update of actions currently under formal review by NOAA Fisheries.

    2. The Committee will receive a report from the Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) and the Snapper Grouper Advisory Panel.

    3. The Committee will receive an overview of Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 16 addressing modifications of the current seasonal closure of the commercial black sea bass pot fishery, modify the document as appropriate and provide recommendations for approving the amendment for Secretarial Review.

    4. The Committee will review Snapper Grouper Amendment 37 addressing measures for hogfish, discuss and modify the document as appropriate, select preferred management alternatives, and recommend approval for public hearing.

    5. The Committee will receive a report on a study on blueline tilefish stock identification, discuss management options and provide direction to staff.

    6. The Committee will review Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 25 addressing management measures for blueline tilefish, yellowtail snapper, and black sea bass, consider public hearing input, modify the document as appropriate, select preferred alternatives, and provide recommendations for approval for Secretarial Review.

    7. The Committee will review Snapper Grouper Amendment 41 addressing management measures for mutton snapper, modify the document as appropriate and provide recommendations for approval of the draft amendment for public scoping.

    8. The Committee will review Snapper Grouper Amendment 36 to establish Spawning Special Management Zones (SMZs), modify the document as necessary, select remaining preferred alternatives and approve all actions.

    9. The Committee will receive an overview of the System Management Plan for Deepwater Marine Protected Areas established in Snapper Grouper Amendment 14, modify the document as necessary and provide recommendations for approval.

    10. The Committee will receive an overview of management for red snapper, discuss management approaches and timing for addressing red snapper and provide direction to staff. The Committee will also discuss approaches to monitor recreational harvest of deepwater species and provide direction to staff.

    Formal Public Comment, Wednesday, December 9, 2015, 5:30 p.m.—Public comment will first be accepted on items before the Council for final action: Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 16 (removal of the black sea bass pot closure) and Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 25 (blueline tilefish, yellowtail snapper and black sea bass). Public comment will then be accepted on any other items on the Council agenda. The Council Chair, based on the number of individuals wishing to comment, will determine the amount of time provided to each commenter.

    SSC Selection Committee, Thursday, December 10, 2015, 8 a.m. until 8:30 a.m. (Closed Session)

    The Committee will review applications and provide recommendations for appointment, and consider designating Social and Economic Scientist specific seats on the SSC.

    Information and Education Committee, Thursday, December 10, 2015, 8:30 a.m. until 9 a.m.

    The Committee will receive a report from the Information and Education Advisory Panel and provide recommendations as appropriate.

    King and Spanish Mackerel Committee, Thursday, December 10, 2015, 9 a.m. until 10:30 a.m.

    1. The Committee will receive updates on the status of recreational and commercial catches versus ACLs.

    2. The Committee will receive an overview of the decision document for Amendment 26 to the Coastal Migratory Pelagics Fishery Management Plan, modify the document as appropriate, select preferred alternatives and provide recommendations for approval for public hearings.

    Data Collection Committee, Thursday, December 10, 2015, 10:30 a.m. until 12 p.m.

    1. The Committee will receive an update on the Commercial Logbook Pilot Study and the Implementation Plan for Commercial Logbook Reporting, discuss and take action as appropriate.

    2. The Committee will receive an overview of the South Atlantic For-Hire Reporting Amendment Decision Document, modify as appropriate, select preferred alternatives and provide recommendations for approval for public hearings. The Committee will also receive an update on the agenda for the upcoming Citizen Science Workshop, discuss, and take action as appropriate.

    Dolphin Wahoo Committee, Thursday, December 10, 2015, 1:30 p.m. until 3 p.m.

    1. The Committee will receive updates on the status of recreational and commercial catches versus ACLs for dolphin and wahoo.

    2. The Committee will receive an update on the status of amendments under review and an overview of Regulatory Amendment 1 to the Dolphin Wahoo FMP to establish a commercial trip limit for the dolphin fishery in federal waters off the Atlantic coast. The Committee will review the document as appropriate, select preferred alternatives and provide recommendations as appropriate.

    3. The Committee will discuss actions to include in draft Amendment 10 to the Dolphin Wahoo FMP and provide direction to staff.

    Spiny Lobster Committee, Thursday, December 10, 2015, 3 p.m. until 4 p.m.

    1. The Committee will receive updates on the status of recreational and commercial catches versus ACLs for spiny lobster.

    2. The Committee will review spiny lobster landings for 2014-2015, a notification from NOAA Fisheries regarding spiny lobster landings, and landings from pervious years, discuss landings and take action as necessary. The Committee will also discuss the need for a joint meeting of the Spiny Lobster Advisory Panels from both the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Councils and provide direction to staff.

    Protected Resources Committee, Thursday, December 10, 2015, 4 p.m. until 5 p.m.

    1. The Committee will receive updates on protected resources related issues from NOAA Fisheries

    2. The Committee will review the compliance policy for turtle excluder devices in the Southeast shrimp fishery, the status of the Endangered Species Act/Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Integration Agreement, and receive an update from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service on protected resources related issues.

    Executive Finance Committee, Thursday, December 10, 2015, 5 p.m. until 6 p.m.

    1. The Committee will review the Calendar Year 2015 budget expenditures, Council Activities and Accomplishments during 2015, review the Council Follow-up and priorities, and provide recommendations as appropriate.

    2. The Committee will discuss standards and procedures for participating in Council webinar meetings, the concept of participating with the other Regional Fishery Management Councils in supporting a representative to look out for Council interests and to keep the Council informed, and address other issues as appropriate.

    Council Session: Friday, December 11, 2015 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

    8-8:15 a.m.: Call the meeting to order, adopt the agenda, and approve the September 2015 meeting minutes.

    8:15-9:15 a.m.: The Council will receive a report from the Snapper Grouper Committee, and approve/disapprove Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 16 (removal of the black sea bass pots season) for formal Secretarial Review; approve/disapprove Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 25 (blueline tilefish, yellowtail snapper and black sea bass) for formal Secretarial Review; approve/disapprove all actions in Snapper Grouper Amendment 36 (Spawning SMZs); approve/disapprove Snapper Grouper Amendment 37 (hogfish) for public hearing; and approve/disapprove Snapper Grouper Amendment 41 (mutton snapper) for public scoping. The Council will consider other recommendations and take action as appropriate.

    9:15-9:30 a.m.: The Council will receive a report from the Mackerel Committee, approve/disapprove Amendment 26 to the Coastal Migratory Pelagics FMP for public hearings, consider other Committee recommendations, and take action as appropriate.

    9:30-9:45 a.m.: The Council will receive a Council Member Visioning Workshop report, approve/disapprove the Vision Blueprint for the Snapper Grouper Fishery, approve/disapprove the Evaluation Plan for the Vision Blueprint, consider other Committee recommendations, and take action as appropriate.

    9:45-10 a.m.: The Council will receive a report from the Habitat Protection and Ecosystem-Based Management Committee, consider committee recommendations, and take action as appropriate.

    10-10:15 a.m.: The Council will receive a report from the Protected Resources Committee, consider recommendations and take action as appropriate.

    10:15-10:45 a.m.: The Council will receive a report from the SEDAR Committee, consider Committee recommendations and take action as appropriate.

    10:45-11 a.m.: The Council will receive a report from the Executive Finance Committee, approve the Council Follow-Up and Priorities, consider other Committee recommendations and take action as appropriate.

    11-11:15 a.m.: The Council will receive a report from the Dolphin Wahoo Committee, consider committee recommendations and take action as appropriate.

    11:15-11:30 a.m.: The Council will receive a report from the Data Collection Committee, approve/disapprove the South Atlantic For-Hire Reporting Amendment for public hearings, consider other Committee recommendations and take action as appropriate.

    11:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m.: The Council will receive a report from the Spiny Lobster Committee, consider Committee recommendations and take action as appropriate.

    11:45-12 p.m.: The Council will receive a report from the SSC Selection Committee, consider Committee recommendations and take action as appropriate.

    1:30-1:45 p.m.: The Council will receive a report from the Information and Education Committee, consider Committee recommendations and take action as appropriate.

    1:45-3:30 p.m.: The Council will receive status reports from NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office and the Southeast Fisheries Science Center; review and develop recommendations on Experimental Fishing Permits as necessary; receive agency and liaison reports; and discuss other business and upcoming meetings.

    Documents regarding these issues are available from the Council office (see ADDRESSES).

    Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during these meetings. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for auxiliary aids should be directed to the council office (see ADDRESSES) 3 days prior to the meeting.

    Note:

    The times and sequence specified in this agenda are subject to change.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: November 16, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29560 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee; Public Meeting AGENCY:

    Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce (DOC).

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given of a meeting via web conference call of the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee (Committee). The web conference calls are open to the public, and participants can dial in to the calls. Participants who choose to use the web conferencing feature in addition to the audio will be able to view the presentations as they are being given.

    DATES:

    Members of the public wishing to participate in the meeting are asked to register in advance by Wednesday, December 16, 2015.

    The meeting will be held Thursday, December 17, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. EDT. These times and the agenda topics described below are subject to change. Refer to the Web page listed below for the most up-to-date meeting agenda.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held via web conference call. Register by contacting Gonzalo Cid at [email protected] or 301-713-7278. Webinar and teleconference capacity may be limited.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lauren Wenzel, Acting Designated Federal Officer, MPA FAC, National Marine Protected Areas Center, 1305 East West Highway, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910. (Phone: 301-713-7265, Fax: 301-713-3110); email: [email protected]; or visit the National MPA Center Web site at http://www.marineprotectedareas.noaa.gov).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Committee, composed of external, knowledgeable representatives of stakeholder groups, was established by the Department of Commerce (DOC) to provide advice to the Secretaries of Commerce and the Interior on implementation of Section 4 of Executive Order 13158, on marine protected areas.

    Matters To Be Considered: The focus of the Committee's meeting is an update from the Subcommittees and Working Groups on their progress in addressing the Committee charge, and Committee discussion. Reports will include: Ecological Connectivity; External Financing for MPAs; and working toward an Arctic Marine Protected Areas Network. The Committee will also hear updates from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Department of the Interior. The agenda is subject to change. The latest version will be posted at http://www.marineprotectedareas.noaa.gov.

    Dated: November 12, 2015. John Armor, Acting Director, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29521 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-NK-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Patent and Trademark Office Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; “Madrid Protocol”

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

    Agency: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

    Title: Madrid Protocol.

    OMB Control Number: 0651-0051.

    Form Number(s):

    • PTO-2131

    • PTO-2132

    • PTO-2133

    • PTO-1663

    • PTO-1683

    • TEAS Global Form

    Type of Request: Regular.

    Number of Respondents: 16,557.

    Average Hours per Response: The responses in this collection should take an average of 17.8 minutes to complete, with response times ranging from 17 minutes to 75 minutes depending upon the instrument used.

    Burden Hours: 4,918.45 hours annually.

    Cost Burden: $2,175,480.36.

    Needs and Uses: The Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks (“Madrid Protocol”) is an international treaty that allows a trademark owner to seek registration in any of the participating countries by filing a single international application. An international application submitted through the USPTO must be based on an active U.S. application or registration and must be filed by the owner of the application or registration. The public uses this collection to submit applications for international registration and related requests to the USPTO under the Madrid Protocol.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households; businesses or other for-profits; and not-for-profit institutions.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain or retain benefits.

    OMB Desk Officer: Nicholas A. Fraser, email: [email protected]

    Once submitted, the request will be publicly available in electronic format through reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Further information may be requested by:

    Email: [email protected] Include “0651-0051 copy request” in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Marcie Lovett, Records Management Division Director, Office of the Chief Information Officer, United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent on or before December 21, 2015 to Nicholas A. Fraser, OMB Desk Officer, via email to Nichola[email protected], or by fax to 202-395-5167, marked to the attention of Nicholas A. Fraser.

    Dated: November 13, 2015. Rhonda Foltz, Director, Office of Information Management Services, USPTO, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29525 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-16-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Air Force U.S. Air Force Academy Board of Visitors: Notice of Meeting AGENCY:

    U.S. Air Force Academy Board of Visitors, Department of the Air Force, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Meeting notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with 10 U.S.C. Section 9355, the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) Board of Visitors (BoV) will hold a meeting at the Rayburn House Office Building, Gold Room 2168, Washington, DC on December 10, 2015. The meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. The meeting is scheduled to close to the public from 11:15 a.m-12:15 p.m. The purpose of this meeting is to review morale and discipline, social climate, curriculum, instruction, infrastructure, fiscal affairs, academic methods, and other matters relating to the Academy. Specific topics for this meeting include a Superintendent's Update; Legislative Calendar Update; Future Budget; Culture and Climate Update; and an annual USAFA Battle Rhythm Review. In accordance with 5 U.S.C. Section 552b, as amended, and 41 CFR Section 102-3.155, one session of this meeting shall be closed to the public because it involves matters covered by subsection (c)(6) of 5 U.S.C. Section 552b. Public attendance at the open portions of this USAFA BoV meeting shall be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis up to the reasonable and safe capacity of the meeting room. In addition, any member of the public wishing to provide input to the USAFA BoV should submit a written statement in accordance with 41 CFR Section 102-3.140(c) and section 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act and the procedures described in this paragraph. Written statements must address the following details: The issue, discussion, and a recommended course of action. Supporting documentation may also be included as needed to establish the appropriate historical context and provide any necessary background information. Written statements can be submitted to the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) at the Air Force address detailed below at any time. However, if a written statement is not received at least 10 calendar days before the first day of the meeting which is the subject of this notice, then it may not be provided to or considered by the BoV until its next open meeting. The DFO will review all timely submissions with the BoV Chairman and ensure they are provided to members of the BoV before the meeting that is the subject of this notice. If after review of timely submitted written comments and the BoV Chairman and DFO deem appropriate, they may choose to invite the submitter of the written comments to orally present the issue during an open portion of the BoV meeting that is the subject of this notice. Members of the BoV may also petition the Chairman to allow specific personnel to make oral presentations before the BoV. In accordance with 41 CFR Section 102-3.140(d), any oral presentations before the BoV shall be in accordance with agency guidelines provided pursuant to a written invitation and this paragraph. Direct questioning of BoV members or meeting participants by the public is not permitted except with the approval of the DFO and Chairman. For the benefit of the public, rosters that list the names of BoV members and any releasable materials presented during the open portions of this BoV meeting shall be made available upon request.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information or to attend this BoV meeting, contact Maj Jen Hubal, Chief, Commissioning Programs, AF/A1PT, 1040 Air Force Pentagon, Washington, DC 20330, (703) 695-4066, [email protected]

    Henry Williams, CIV, DAF, Acting Air Force Federal Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29470 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-10-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy Notice of Availability of Government-Owned Inventions; Available for Licensing AGENCY:

    Department of the Navy, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The inventions listed below are assigned to the United States Government, as represented by the Secretary of the Navy, and are available for domestic and foreign licensing by the Department of the Navy.

    The following patents are available for licensing: Patent No. 9,180,528: EXTRACTION DEVICE AND METHOD //Patent No. 9,182,435: METHOD AND SOFTWARE FOR SPATIAL PATTERN ANALYSIS//Patent No. 9,184,805: FRACTAL DIPOLE ANTENNA COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS AND RELATED METHODS AND USE//Patent No. 9,184,822: MEDICAL APPARATUS AND METHODS INLCUDING AN ARRAY SYSTEM FOR SEGMENTING SIGNALS AND GENERATING A COMPLEX WAVEFORM AT A FOCAL POINT USING RECOMBINATION OF SEGMENTED SIGNALS.

    ADDRESSES:

    Requests for copies of the patents cited should be directed to Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Div, Code OOL, Bldg 2, 300 Highway 361, Crane, IN 47522-5001.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Christopher Monsey, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Div, Code OOL, Bldg 2, 300 Highway 361, Crane, IN 47522-5001, Email [email protected], telephone 812-854-4100.

    Authority:

    35 U.S.C. 207, 37 CFR part 404

    Dated: November 12, 2015. N.A. Hagerty-Ford, Commander, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy, Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29529 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810-FF-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Eligibility Designations and Applications for Waiver of Eligibility Requirements; Programs Under Parts A and F of Title III of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as Amended (HEA), and Programs Under Title V of the HEA AGENCY:

    Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education (Department).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    Overview Information

    Notice announcing process for designation of eligible institutions, and inviting applications for waiver of eligibility requirements, for fiscal year (FY) 2016.

    This notice applies to the following programs:

    1. Programs authorized under Part A, Title III of the HEA: Strengthening Institutions Program (Part A SIP), Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions (Part A ANNH), Predominantly Black Institutions (Part A PBI), Native American-Serving Nontribal Institutions (Part A NASNTI), and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (Part A AANAPISI).

    2. Programs authorized under Part F, Title III of the HEA: Hispanic-Serving Institutions STEM and Articulation (Part F, HSI STEM and Articulation), Predominantly Black Institutions (Part F PBI), Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions (Part F ANNH), Native American-Serving Nontribal Institutions (Part F NASNTI) and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (Part F AANAPISI).

    3. Programs authorized under Title V of the HEA: Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) and Promoting Postbaccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans (PPOHA).

    Dates:

    Applications Available: December 1, 2015.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: January 4, 2016.

    This year, the Department has instituted a process known as the Eligibility Matrix (EM), under which we will use information submitted by institutions of higher education (IHEs or institutions) to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) to determine which institutions meet the basic eligibility requirements for the programs authorized by Title III or Title V of the HEA listed above. We will use enrollment and fiscal data for the 2013-2014 academic year submitted by institutions to IPEDS to make eligibility determinations for FY 2016. Beginning December 1, 2015, an institution will be able to review the Department's decision on whether it is eligible for Title III or Title V grant programs through this process by examining its entry in the EM linked through the Department's Institutional Service Eligibility Web site at: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/idues/eligibility.html.

    The EM is a read-only worksheet that lists all potentially eligible postsecondary institutions, as determined by the Department using the data described above. If the entry for your institution in the EM shows that your institution is eligible to apply for a grant for a particular program, and you plan to submit an application for a grant in that program, you will not need to apply for eligibility or for a waiver through the process described in this notice. Rather, you may print out the eligibility certification directly. However, if the EM does not show that your institution is eligible for a program in which you plan to apply for a grant, you must submit a waiver request as discussed in this notice.

    You may search the EM by institution name, IPEDS unit ID number, or OPE ID number. If you are inquiring about general eligibility, look up your institution's name under the SIP column. If you are inquiring about specific program eligibility, look under that program's column.

    If the EM does not show that your institution is eligible for a program, or if your institution does not appear in the EM, or if you disagree with the eligibility determination in the EM, you can apply for a waiver or reconsideration through the process described in this notice. The waiver application process is the same as in previous years; you will choose the waiver option on the Web site at http://opeweb.ed.gov/title3and5/ and submit your institution's waiver request.

    Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description Purpose of Programs

    The Part A SIP, Part A ANNH, Part A PBI, Part A NASNTI, and Part A AANAPISI programs are authorized under Title III, Part A, of the HEA. The HSI and PPOHA programs are authorized under Title V of the HEA. The Part F, HSI STEM and Articulation, Part F PBI, Part F AANAPISI, Part F ANNH, and Part F NASNTI programs are authorized under Title III, Part F of the HEA. Please note that certain programs in this notice have the same or similar names as other programs that are authorized under a different statutory authority. For this reason, we specify the statutory authority as part of the acronym for certain programs.

    Under the programs discussed above, institutions are eligible to apply for grants if they meet specific statutory and regulatory eligibility requirements. An IHE that is designated as an eligible institution may also receive a waiver of certain non-Federal cost-sharing requirements for one year under the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program authorized by Part A, Title IV of the HEA and the Federal Work-Study (FWS) program authorized by section 443 of the HEA. Qualified institutions may receive the FSEOG and FWS waivers for one year even if they do not receive a grant under the Title III or Title V programs. An applicant that receives a grant from the Student Support Services (SSS) program that is authorized under section 402D of the HEA, 20 U.S.C. 1070a-14, may receive a waiver of the required non-Federal cost share for institutions for the duration of the grant. An applicant that receives a grant from the Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language (UISFL) program that is authorized under section 604 of the HEA, 20 U.S.C. 1124, may receive a waiver or reduction of the required non-Federal cost share for institutions for the duration of the grant.

    Note:

    To qualify as an eligible institution under the grant programs listed in this notice, your institution must satisfy several criteria. For most of these programs, these criteria include those that relate to the enrollment of needy students and to core expenses (Core Expenses) per full-time equivalent student count (FTE) for a specified base year. The most recent data available for Core Expenses per FTE are for base year 2013-2014. In order to award FY 2016 grants in a timely manner, we will use this data to evaluate eligibility.

    Accordingly, all institutions interested in applying for a new grant under the Title III or Title V programs addressed in this notice or in requesting a waiver of the non-Federal cost share, must be designated as an eligible institution for FY 2016 before applying for a grant. Under the HEA, any IHE interested in applying for a grant under any of these programs must first be designated as an eligible institution. (34 CFR 606.5 and 607.5).

    Eligible Applicants

    The eligibility requirements for the programs authorized under Part A of Title III of the HEA are in Sections 312 and 317-320 of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1058, 1059d-1059g) and in the Department's implementing regulations at 34 CFR 607.2 through 607.5. The regulations may be accessed at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2001-title34-vol3/xml/CFR-2001-title34-vol3-part607.xml.

    The eligibility requirements for the programs authorized by Part F of Title III of the HEA are in Section 371 of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1067q). There are currently no specific program regulations for these programs.

    The eligibility requirements for the Title V HSI program are in Part A of Title V of the HEA and in 34 CFR 606.2 through 34 CFR 606.5. The regulations may be accessed at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2001-title34-vol3/xml/CFR-2001-title34-vol3-part606.xml.

    The requirements for the PPOHA program are in Part B of Title V of the HEA and in the notice of final requirements published in the Federal Register on July 27, 2010 (75 FR 44055), and in 34 CFR 606.2(a) and (b), and 606.3 through 606.5.

    Note:

    Section 312 of the HEA and 34 CFR 607.2-607.5 include most of the basic eligibility requirements for grant programs authorized under Titles III and V of the HEA. Section 312(b)(1)(B) of the HEA provides that, to be eligible for these programs, an institution's average ”educational and general expenditures” (E&G) per FTE undergraduate student must be less than the average E&G expenditures per FTE undergraduate student of institutions that offer similar instruction in that year.

    Since 2004, NCES has calculated Core Expenses per FTE of postsecondary institutions, a statistic similar to E&G per FTE. Both E&G per FTE and Core Expenses per FTE are based on regular operational expenditures of postsecondary institutions (excluding auxiliary enterprises, independent operations, and hospital expenses). They differ only in that E&G per FTE is based on fall undergraduate enrollment, while Core Expenses per FTE is based on 12-month undergraduate enrollment for the academic year.

    To avoid inconsistency in the data submitted to and produced by the Department, for the purpose of section 312(b)(1)(B) of the HEA, E&G per FTE will now be calculated using the same methodology as Core Expenses per FTE. Accordingly, with regard to this and future notices inviting applications, to calculate E&G per FTE for the purpose of determining institutional eligibility for programs under Part A and Part F of Title III and Title V of the HEA, the Department will apply the NCES methodology for calculating Core Expenses per FTE. Institutions requesting an eligibility waiver determination must use the Core Expenses per FTE data reported to IPEDS for the most currently available academic year, in this case academic year 2013-2014.

    Enrollment of Needy Students: For the Title III and V programs (excluding the PBI programs), an institution is considered to have an enrollment of needy students if: (1) At least 50 percent of its degree students received financial assistance under the Federal Pell Grant, FSEOG, FWS, or the Federal Perkins Loan programs; or (2) the percentage of its undergraduate degree students who were enrolled on at least a half-time basis and received Federal Pell Grants exceeded the median percentage of undergraduate degree students who were enrolled on at least a half-time basis and received Federal Pell Grants at comparable institutions that offer similar instruction.

    To qualify under this latter criterion, an institution's Federal Pell Grant percentage for base year 2013-2014 must be more than the median for its category of comparable institutions provided in the 2013-2014 Median Pell Grant and Core Expenses per FTE Student table in this notice. If your institution qualifies under the first criterion, where at least 50 percent of its degree students received financial assistance under one of several Federal student aid programs (the Federal Pell Grant, FSEOG, FWS, or the Federal Perkins Loan programs), but not the second criterion, where an institution's Federal Pell Grant percentage for base year 2013-2014 must be more than the median for its category of comparable institutions provided in the 2013-2014 Median Pell Grant and Core Expenses per FTE Student table in this notice, you must submit a waiver request including the requested data, which is not available in IPEDS.

    For the definition of “Enrollment of Needy Students” for purposes of the Part A PBI program, see section 318(b)(2) of the HEA, and for purposes of the Part F PBI program see section 371(c)(9)of the HEA.

    Core Expenses per FTE Student: For the Title III, Part A SIP; Part A ANNH; Part A PBI; Part A NASNTI; Part A AANAPISI; Title III, Part F HSI STEM and Articulation; Part F PBI; Part F AANAPISI; Part F ANNH; Part F NASNTI; HSI and PPOHA programs, an institution should compare its base year 2013-2014 Core Expenses per FTE student to the average Core Expenses per FTE student for its category of comparable institutions in the base year 2013-2014 Median Pell Grant and Average Core Expenses per FTE Student Table in this notice. The institution meets this eligibility requirement under these programs if its Core Expenses for the 2013-2014 base year are less than the average for its category of comparable institutions.

    Core Expenses are defined as the total expenses for the essential education activities of the institution. Core Expenses for public institutions reporting under the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) requirements include expenses for instruction, research, public service, academic support, student services, institutional support, operation and maintenance of plant, depreciation, scholarships and fellowships, interest, and other operating and non-operating expenses. Core Expenses for institutions reporting under the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) standards (primarily private, not-for-profit, and for-profit) include expenses for instruction, research, public service, academic support, student services, institutional support, net grant aid to students, and other expenses. For both FASB and GASB institutions, core expenses exclude expenses for auxiliary enterprises (e.g., bookstores, dormitories), hospitals, and independent operations. The following table identifies the relevant median Federal Pell Grant percentages for the base year 2013-2014 and the relevant Core Expenses per FTE student for the base year 2013-2014 for the four categories of comparable institutions:

    Type of institution Base year
  • 2013-2014
  • median pell grant
  • percentage
  • Base year
  • 2013-2014
  • average core expenses per FTE Student
  • Two-year Public Institutions 41 $11,768 Two-year Non-profit Private Institutions 60 16,169 Four-year Public Institutions 38 28,501 Four-year Non-profit Private Institutions 38 35,543

    Waiver Information: IHEs that do not meet the needy student enrollment requirement or the Core Expenses per FTE requirement may apply to the Secretary for a waiver of these requirements, as described in sections 392 and 522 of the HEA, and the implementing regulations at 34 CFR 606.3(b), 606.4(c) and (d), 607.3(b), and 607.4(c) and (d).

    IHEs requesting a waiver of the needy student enrollment requirement or the Core Expenses per FTE requirement must include in their application detailed information supporting the waiver request, as described in the instructions for completing the application.

    The regulations governing the Secretary's authority to waive the needy student requirement, 34 CFR 606.3(b)(2) and (3) and 607.3(b)(2) and (3), refer to “low-income” students or families. The regulations at 34 CFR 606.3(c) and 607.3(c) define “low-income” as an amount that does not exceed 150 percent of the amount equal to the poverty level, as established by the U.S. Census Bureau.

    For the purposes of this waiver provision, the following table sets forth the low-income levels for various sizes of families:

    2014 Annual Low-Income Levels Size of family unit Family income for the 48 contiguous States, DC, and outlying jurisdictions Family
  • income for
  • Alaska
  • Family
  • income for
  • Hawaii
  • 1 $11,670 $14,580 $13,420 2 15,730 19,660 18,090 3 19,790 24,740 22,760 4 23,850 29,820 27,430 5 27,910 34,900 32,100 6 31,970 39,980 36,770 7 36,030 45,060 41,440 8 40,090 50,140 46,110
    Note:

    We use the 2014 annual low-income levels because those are the amounts that apply to the family income reported by students enrolled for the fall 2013 semester. For family units with more than eight members, add the following amount for each additional family member: $4,060 for the contiguous 48 States, the District of Columbia, and outlying jurisdictions; $5,080 for Alaska; and $4,670 for Hawaii.

    The figures shown under family income represent amounts equal to 150 percent of the family income levels established by the U.S. Census Bureau for determining poverty status. The poverty guidelines were published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the Federal Register on January 24, 2014 (79 FR 3593). Information about “metropolitan statistical areas” referenced in 34 CFR 606.3(b)(4) and 607.3(b)(4) may be obtained at: www.census.gov/prod/2010pubs/10smadb/appendixc.pdf and www.census.gov/prod/2008pubs/07ccdb/appd.pdf.

    Electronic Submission of Waiver Applications

    If your institution does not appear in the EM as one that is eligible for the program under which you plan to apply for a grant, you must submit an application for a waiver of the eligibility requirements. To request a waiver, you must upload a waiver narrative at: http://opeweb.ed.gov/title3and5/.

    Exception to the Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your application in paper format if you are unable to submit an application electronically because—

    • You do not have access to the Internet; or

    • You do not have the capacity to upload documents to the Web site;

    and

    • No later than two weeks before the waiver application deadline date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevents you from using the Internet to submit your application. If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the application deadline date.

    Mail or fax your statement to: Don Crews, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., Room 6032, Washington, DC 20006-8513. Fax: (202) 502-7861.

    Your paper waiver application must be submitted in accordance with the mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.

    Submission of Paper Applications by Mail

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: Don Crews, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., Room 6032, Washington, DC 20006-8513.

    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.

    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service.

    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier.

    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:

    (1) A private metered postmark.

    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

    Note:

    The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office. We will not consider waiver applications postmarked after the application deadline date.

    Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: Don Crews, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., Room 6032, Washington, DC 20006-8513.

    Hand delivered applications will be accepted daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted in 2 CFR part 3474. (d) The regulations for the Title III programs in 34 CFR part 607, and for the HSI program in 34 CFR part 606. (e) The notice of final requirements for the PPOHA program, published in the Federal Register on July 27, 2010 (75 FR 44055).

    Note:

    There are no program-specific regulations for the Part A AANAPISI, Part A NASNTI, and Part A PBI programs or any of the Part F, Title III programs. Also, there have been amendments to the HEA since the Department last issued regulations for the programs established under Titles III and V of the statute. Accordingly, we encourage each potential applicant to read the applicable sections of the HEA in order to fully understand the eligibility requirements for the program for which they are applying.

    Note:

    The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants except federally recognized Indian tribes.

    Note:

    The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to IHEs only.

    For Applications and Further Information Contact

    Christopher Smith or Jeffrey Hartman, Institutional Service, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., Room 6134, Request for Eligibility Designation, Washington, DC 20006-8513.

    You can contact these individuals at the following email addresses or phone numbers: [email protected], 202-219-7012, [email protected], 202-502-7607.

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf or a text telephone, call the Federal Relay Service, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audio tape, or compact disc) on request to one of the contact persons listed in this section.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Delegation of Authority: The Secretary of Education has delegated authority to Jamienne S. Studley, Deputy Under Secretary, to perform the functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.

    Dated: November 16, 2015. Jamienne S. Studley, Deputy Under Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29527 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #2

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC16-34-000.

    Applicants: C.P. Crane LLC, Raven Power Marketing LLC.

    Description: Joint Application of C.P. Crane LLC and Raven Power Marketing LLC for Authorization under Section 203 of the FPA, and Requests for Shortened Comment Period, Expedited Action, Waivers of Filing Requirements and Confidential Treatment.

    Filed Date: 11/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20151113-5197.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/4/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following exempt wholesale generator filings:

    Docket Numbers: EG16-20-000.

    Applicants: Black Oak Wind, LLC.

    Description: Self-Certification of EWG status of Black Oak Wind, LLC.

    Filed Date: 11/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20151113-5133.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/4/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER16-319-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Revisions to OATT Schedule 12 Appdx A—RTEP Approved by the PJM Board Oct 2015 to be effective 2/11/2016.

    Filed Date: 11/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20151113-5135.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-320-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative, Inc., Michigan Electric Transmission Company, LLC.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: 2015-11-13_SA 2818 METC-Wolverine Amended E&P (J392) to be effective 11/14/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20151113-5147.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-321-000.

    Applicants: Evergreen Wind Power II, LLC.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Revised Market-Based Rate Tariff to be effective 1/12/2016.

    Filed Date: 11/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20151113-5149.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-322-000.

    Applicants: Blue Sky West, LLC.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Revised Market-Based Rate Tariff to be effective 1/12/2016.

    Filed Date: 11/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20151113-5150.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-323-000.

    Applicants: Ohio Valley Electric Corporation.

    Description: Compliance filing: Application for MBR to be effective 1/12/2016.

    Filed Date: 11/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20151113-5179.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-324-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: 2015-11-13_SA 2864 Consumers-Wolverine E&P Agreement (J392) to be effective 11/14/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20151113-5190.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-325-000.

    Applicants: EDF Energy Services, LLC.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Compliance 2015 to be effective 11/16/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20151113-5209.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-326-000.

    Applicants: EDF Industrial Power Services (CA), LLC.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Compliance 2015 to be effective 11/16/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20151113-5210.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/4/15.

    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 13, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29511 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 2192-022] Consolidated Water Power Company; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Protests

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection:

    a. Application Type: Change in Land Rights and Non-Project Use of Project Lands and Waters.

    b. Project No: 2192-022.

    c. Date Filed: July 8, 2014 and supplemented September 30, 2015.

    d. Applicant: Consolidated Water Power Company.

    e. Name of Project: Biron Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: Wisconsin River in Wood and Portage counties, Wisconsin.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791a-825r.

    h. Applicant Contact: Thomas J. Witt, 610 High Street, P.O. Box 8050, Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54495-8050, (715) 422-3927.

    i. FERC Contact: Jon Cofrancesco at (202) 502-8951, or email: [email protected].

    j. Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, and protests: December 15, 2015.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file motions to intervene, protests, comments, or recommendations using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-2192-022.

    The Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure require all intervenors filing documents with the Commission to serve a copy of that document on each person whose name appears on the official service list for the project. Further, if an intervenor files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency.

    k. Description of Request: By orders issued November 17, 2006 and September 8, 2008, the Commission approved a proposed land exchange involving specific lands within the project boundary and required Consolidated Water Power Company (licensee) to fulfill certain conditions related to the land exchange, such as measures to provide for specific public benefits (i.e., increased public recreational and access opportunities and a 100-foot-wide, approximately 3,000 linear foot shoreline buffer). In its amendment application, the licensee proposes changes to some of these conditions, including, among other things: (1) Specific modifications and additions to various required recreation and public access improvements, (2) a shoreline buffer plan that would allow additional development within the buffer, including several multi-slip boat docks and pedestrian paths, and (3) a reduction in the width of the 100-foot-wide buffer to 50 feet wide for 300 feet to accommodate existing restaurant improvements.

    l. Locations of the Application: A copy of the application is available for inspection and reproduction at the Commission's Public Reference Room, located at 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, or by calling (202) 502-8371. This filing may also be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field (P-2192) to access the document. You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, call 1-866-208-3676 or email [email protected], for TTY, call (202) 502-8659. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item (h) above. Agencies may obtain copies of the application directly from the applicant.

    m. Individuals desiring to be included on the Commission's mailing list should so indicate by writing to the Secretary of the Commission.

    n. Comments, Protests, or Motions to Intervene: Anyone may submit comments, a protest, or a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210, .211, .214, respectively. In determining the appropriate action to take, the Commission will consider all protests or other comments filed, but only those who file a motion to intervene in accordance with the Commission's Rules may become a party to the proceeding. Any comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be received on or before the specified comment date for the particular application.

    o. Filing and Service of Documents: Any filing must (1) bear in all capital letters the title “COMMENTS”, “PROTEST”, or “MOTION TO INTERVENE” as applicable; (2) set forth in the heading the name of the applicant and the project number of the application to which the filing responds; (3) furnish the name, address, and telephone number of the person commenting, protesting or intervening; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 385.2001 through 385.2005. All comments, motions to intervene, or protests must set forth their evidentiary basis. Any filing made by an intervenor 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 385.2010.

    Dated: November 13, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29515 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [ Docket No. ER16-287-000] BIF III Holtwood LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding BIF III Holtwood LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is December 2, 2015.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: November 12, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29507 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 308-007] PacifiCorp Energy; Notice of Availability of Draft Environmental Assessment

    In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) regulations, 18 CFR part 380, the Office of Energy Projects has reviewed the application for subsequent license for the Wallowa Falls Hydroelectric Project, located on Royal Purple Creek and the East and West Forks of the Wallowa River in Wallowa County, Oregon, and has prepared a Draft Environmental Assessment (DEA) for the project. The project occupies 12 acres of federal lands administered by the United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.

    The DEA contains the staff's analysis of the potential environmental effects of the project and concludes that relicensing the project, with appropriate environmental protective measures, would not constitute a major federal action that would significantly affect the quality of the human environment.

    A copy of the DEA is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY).

    You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    Any comments should be filed within 45 days from the date of this notice.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file comments using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support. In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-308-007.

    For further information, contact Matt Cutlip at (503) 552-2762.

    Dated: November 13, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29514 Filed 11-18-15; 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: EC15-213-000.

    Applicants: Public Service Company of New Mexico, PNMR Development and Management Corporation.

    Description: Supplement to September 25, 2015 Application for Authorization Pursuant to Section 203 of the Federal Power Act for Acquisition of Jurisdictional Facilities, et. al of Public Service Company of New Mexico, et al.

    Filed Date: 11/12/15.

    Accession Number: 20151112-5388.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/24/15.

    Docket Numbers: EC16-15-000.

    Applicants: Michigan Power Limited Partnership.

    Description: Supplement to October 19, 2015 Application for Authorization Pursuant to Section 203 of the Federal Power Act of Michigan Power Limited Partnership.

    Filed Date: 11/12/15.

    Accession Number: 20151112-5377.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/27/15.

    Docket Numbers: EC16-33-000.

    Applicants: Coram California Development, L.P.

    Description: Application of Coram California Development, L.P. for Authorization under Section 203 of Federal Power Act and Request for Expedited Consideration and Confidential Treatment.

    Filed Date: 11/12/15.

    Accession Number: 20151112-5378.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/3/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER10-2130-012.

    Applicants: Forward Energy LLC.

    Description: Supplement to June 30, 2015 Triennial Report for Central Region of Forward Energy LLC.

    Filed Date: 11/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20151113-5082.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER10-2136-010.

    Applicants: Invenergy Cannon Falls LLC.

    Description: Supplement to June 30, 2015 Triennial Report for Central Region of Invenergy Cannon Falls LLC.

    Filed Date: 11/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20151113-5083.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER11-4044-013.

    Applicants: Gratiot County Wind LLC.

    Description: Supplement to June 30, 2015 Triennial Report for Central Region of Gratiot County Wind LLC.

    Filed Date: 11/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20151113-5080.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER11-4046-012.

    Applicants: Gratiot County Wind II LLC.

    Description: Supplement to June 30, 2015 Triennial Report for Central Region of Gratiot County Wind II LLC.

    Filed Date: 11/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20151113-5079.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER12-164-011.

    Applicants: Bishop Hill Energy III LLC.

    Description: Supplement to June 30, 2015 Triennial Report for Central Region of Bishop Hill Energy III LLC.

    Filed Date: 11/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20151113-5077.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER12-645-013.

    Applicants: California Ridge Wind Energy LLC.

    Description: Supplement to June 30, 2015 Triennial Report for Central Region of California Ridge Wind Hill Energy LLC.

    Filed Date: 11/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20151113-5078.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2742-001.

    Applicants: Panda Patriot LLC.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Amended Market-Based Rate Tariff, FERC Electric Tariff, Volume No. 1 to be effective 11/13/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/12/15.

    Accession Number: 20151112-5286.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/23/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-89-001.

    Applicants: Jether Energy Research, LTD.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Amended MBR Application to be effective 12/14/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20151113-5081.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-315-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., West Penn Power Company, Duquesne Light Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: West Penn & Duquesne submit Interconnection Agreement No. 2532 to be effective 1/11/2016.

    Filed Date: 11/12/15.

    Accession Number: 20151112-5285.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/3/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-316-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Ministerial Clean-Up due to Overlapping Filings RE Capacity Perfomance to be effective 4/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/12/15.

    Accession Number: 20151112-5296.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/3/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-317-000.

    Applicants: Arizona Public Service Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Service Agreement No. 348—Non-conforming A-1 with Navopache to be effective 1/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 11/12/15.

    Accession Number: 20151112-5297.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/3/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-318-000.

    Applicants: AES Huntington Beach, L.L.C., California Independent System Operator Corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Rate Change to be effective 1/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 11/12/15.

    Accession Number: 20151112-5372.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/3/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following PURPA 210(m)(3) filings:

    Docket Numbers: QM15-3-000.

    Applicants: Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp.

    Description: Response to July 14, 2015 Deficiency Letter [Question No. 4] of Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation.

    Filed Date: 11/12/15.

    Accession Number: 20151112-5375.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/10/15.

    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 13, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29510 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 77-275] Pacific Gas and Electric Company; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing, Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Protests

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection:

    a. Type of Application: Application for Temporary Variance of Minimum Flow Requirement.

    b. Project No.: 77-275.

    c. Date Filed: November 10, 2015.

    d. Applicant: Pacific Gas and Electric Company (licensee).

    e. Name of Project: Potter Valley Project.

    f. Location: Eel River and East Fork Russian River in Lake and Mendocino Counties, California.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791(a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contact: Ms. Elizabeth Rossi, License Coordinator, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Mail Code: N13E, P.O. Box 770000, San Francisco, CA 94177, (415) 973-2032.

    i. FERC Contact: Mr. John Aedo, (415) 369-3335, or [email protected]

    j. Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, protests, and recommendations is November 27, 2015. The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file motions to intervene, protests, comments, or recommendations 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. Please include the project number (P-77-275) on any comments, motions to intervene, protests, or recommendations filed.

    k. Description of Request: The licensee requests an extension of a previous temporary variance of the minimum flow requirements in the Eel River and East Branch Russian River. On June 18, 2015, the Commission issued an order approving a temporary variance of the minimum flow requirements in the Eel River below Scott Dam (gage E-2), the Eel River below Cape Horn Dam (gage E-11), and East Branch Russian River (gage E-16). Specifically, the order granted the licensee's request to operate under a dry water year scenario through December 1, 2015, in order to preserve limited water resources during the current drought. In its November 10, 2015 request, the licensee states that the project reservoir (Lake Pillsbury) is projected to drain by mid-January. Consequently, the licensee requests Commission approval to operate as low as the critically dry year minimum flow requirements in the Eel River below Scott Dam (20 cubic feet per second (cfs) release) and the East Branch Russian River (5 cfs release) and the exceptionally low minimum flow requirements in the Eel River below Cape Horn Dam (9 cfs release) in order to preserve water storage. In addition, the licensee requests Commission approval for a modified minimum flow compliance criteria of a 24-hour average, rather that an instantaneous requirement. The licensee requests the temporary variance through January 31, 2016, or when storage in Lake Pillsbury reaches 27,000 acre-feet, whichever comes first.

    l. Locations of the Application: A copy of the application is available for inspection and reproduction at the Commission's Public Reference Room, located at 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, or by calling (202) 502-8371. This filing may also be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, call 1-866-208-3676 or email [email protected], for TTY, call (202) 502-8659. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item (h) above.

    m. Individuals desiring to be included on the Commission's mailing list should so indicate by writing to the Secretary of the Commission.

    n. Comments, Protests, or Motions to Intervene: Anyone may submit comments, a protest, or a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210, .211, .214. In determining the appropriate action to take, the Commission will consider all protests or other comments filed, but only those who file a motion to intervene in accordance with the Commission's Rules may become a party to the proceeding. Any comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be received on or before the specified comment date for the particular application.

    o. Filing and Service of Responsive Documents: Any filing must (1) bear in all capital letters the title “COMMENTS”, “PROTEST”, or “MOTION TO INTERVENE” as applicable; (2) set forth in the heading the name of the applicant and the project number of the application to which the filing responds; (3) furnish the name, address, and telephone number of the person protesting or intervening; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 385.2001 through 385.2005. All comments, motions to intervene, or protests must set forth their evidentiary basis and otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 4.34(b). All comments, motions to intervene, or protests should relate to project works which are the subject of the license surrender. Agencies may obtain copies of the application directly from the applicant. A copy of any protest or motion to intervene must be served upon each representative of the applicant specified in the particular application. If an intervener files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency. 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.

    Dated: November 13, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29513 Filed 11-18-15; 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 rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1345-002.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Compliance filing: 2015-11-12_SMEPA Compliance Amendment to be effective 6/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/12/15.

    Accession Number: 20151112-5253.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/3/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2239-001.

    Applicants: NextEra Energy Transmission West, LLC.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: NextEra Energy Transmission West, LLC Response to Deficiency Letter to be effective 10/20/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20151110-5163.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/1/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2679-000.

    Applicants: Latigo Wind Park, LLC.

    Description: Latigo Wind Park, LLC submits tariff filing per 35.12: Latigo Wind Park, LLC MBR Tariff to be effective 11/15/2015 Replaces 20150921-5134).

    Filed Date: 10/22/15.

    Accession Number: 20151022-5049.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/3/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-36-001.

    Applicants: Public Service Company of Colorado.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: 2015-11-12_PSC-WAPA-Con Fac Agrmt-359-0.0.1-Amend to be effective 12/8/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/12/15.

    Accession Number: 20151112-5199.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/3/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-305-000.

    Applicants: California Independent System Operator Corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2015-11-10 Filing to Maintain Default Loss Allocation Provisions Effectiveness to be effective 2/11/2016.

    Filed Date: 11/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20151110-5165.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/1/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-306-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2015-11-11_SA 2865 ITCTransmission-Michigan Wind 3 E&P Agreement (J321) to be effective 11/12/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/12/15.

    Accession Number: 20151112-5008.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/3/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-307-000.

    Applicants: ISO New England Inc.

    Description: ISO New England Inc. submits Installed Capacity Requirement, Hydro Quebec Interconnection Capability Credits and Related Values for the 2019/2020 Capacity Commitment Period.

    Filed Date: 11/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20151110-5193.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/1/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-308-000.

    Applicants: ISO New England Inc.

    Description: ISO New England Inc. submits Informational filing for Qualification in the Forward Capacity Market.

    Filed Date: 11/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20151110-5195.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/25/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-309-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Notice of Cancellation of ISA No. 4076, Queue No. Z1-098 to be effective 1/5/2016.

    Filed Date: 11/12/15.

    Accession Number: 20151112-5143.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/3/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-310-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Amendment to Oregon Clean Energy ISA No. 3876, Queue No. Y1-069 to be effective 5/9/2014.

    Filed Date: 11/12/15.

    Accession Number: 20151112-5153.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/3/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-311-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: ice Agreement No. 4299; Queue No. AA2-072 to be effective 10/13/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/12/15.

    Accession Number: 20151112-5204.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/3/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-312-000.

    Applicants: Parrey, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Shared Facilities Agreement, FERC Electric Rate Schedule No. 1 to be effective 1/12/2016.

    Filed Date: 11/12/15.

    Accession Number: 20151112-5251.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/3/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-313-000.

    Applicants: Java Solar, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Shared Facilities Agreement, FERC Electric Rate Schedule No. 1 to be effective 1/12/2016.

    Filed Date: 11/12/15.

    Accession Number: 20151112-5252.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/3/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-314-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., South Mississippi Electric Power Association.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2015-11-12_SMEPA Protocol Filing to be effective 6/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/12/15.

    Accession Number: 20151112-5255.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/3/15.

    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 12, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29506 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 6623-011] Idarado Mining Company, Newmont Mining Corporation; Notice of Transfer of Exemption

    1. By letter filed December 12, 2010, Idarado Mining Company and Newmont Mining Corporation informed the Commission that the exemption from licensing for the Bridal Veil Falls Project No. 6623, originally issued August 3, 1989,1 has been transferred to Newmont Mining Corporation. The project is located on Bridal Veil Creek in San Miguel County, Colorado. The transfer of an exemption does not require Commission approval.

    1 Order Accepting Settlement Agreement and Granting Exemption from Licensing (5MW or less), (48 FERC ¶ 61,188).

    2. Newmont Mining Corporation is now the exemptee of the Bridal Veil Falls Project, No. 6623. All correspondence should be forwarded to: Mr. Lawrence E. Fiske, Newmont Mining Corporation, 6363 South Fiddler's Green Circle, Suite 800, Greenwood Village, CO 80111.

    Dated: November 12, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29508 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket Nos. CP14-347-000 CP14-511-000] Magnolia LNG, LLC, Kinder Morgan Louisiana Pipeline LLC; Notice of Availability of The Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Magnolia LNG and Lake Charles Expansion Projects

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) has prepared a final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Magnolia LNG Project proposed by Magnolia LNG, LLC (Magnolia) and the Lake Charles Expansion Project proposed by Kinder Morgan Louisiana Pipeline LLC (Kinder Morgan) in the above-referenced dockets. The Magnolia LNG Project would include construction and operation of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal that would include various liquefaction, LNG distribution, and appurtenant facilities. The Lake Charles Expansion Project would include reconfiguration of Kinder Morgan's existing pipeline system in order to accommodate Magnolia's request for natural gas service at the LNG terminal site. The projects would provide an LNG export capacity of 1.08 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas.

    The final EIS assesses the potential environmental effects of construction and operation of the Magnolia LNG and Lake Charles Expansion Projects in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The FERC staff concludes that approval of the proposed projects would result in adverse environmental impacts; however, these impacts would be reduced to less-than-significant levels with the implementation of Magnolia's and Kinder Morgan's proposed mitigation and the additional measures recommended in the final EIS.

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Transportation, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency participated as cooperating agencies in the preparation of the final EIS. Cooperating agencies have jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to resources potentially affected by a proposal and participate in the NEPA analysis. Although the cooperating agencies provided input on the conclusions and recommendations presented in the final EIS, the agencies will present their own conclusions and recommendations in their respective records of decision or determinations for the projects.

    The final EIS addresses the potential environmental effects of the construction, modification, and operation of the following facilities associated with the two projects:

    • A new LNG terminal that includes four liquefaction trains, two LNG storage tanks, liquefaction and refrigerant units, safety and control systems, and associated infrastructure;

    • LNG truck loading facilities;

    • LNG carrier and barge loading facilities;

    • one new meter station;

    • one new 32,000 horsepower compressor station;

    • approximately 40 feet of 36-inch-diameter feed gas line to supply natural gas to the LNG terminal from Kinder Morgan's existing natural gas transmission pipeline;

    • a new 1.2-mile-long, 36-inch-diameter low pressure natural gas header pipeline;

    • a new 700-foot-long, 24-inch-diameter high pressure natural gas header pipeline;

    • modifications at six existing meter stations; and

    • construction of miscellaneous auxiliary and appurtenant facilities.

    The FERC staff mailed copies of the final EIS to federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes; potentially affected landowners; other interested individuals and non-governmental organizations; newspapers and libraries in the project areas; and parties to these proceedings. Paper copy versions of this EIS were mailed to those specifically requesting them; all others received a compact disk version. In addition, the final EIS is available for public viewing on the FERC's Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. A limited number of hardcopies are available for distribution and public inspection at: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8371.

    Additional information about the projects is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on “General Search,” and enter the docket number(s) excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., CP14-347 and CP14-511). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676; for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings.

    In addition, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription that allows you to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Dated: November 13, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29512 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9937-20-ORD] Office of Research and Development; Ambient Air Monitoring Reference and Equivalent Methods: Designation of One New Reference Method and One New Equivalent Method AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of the designation of one new reference method and one new equivalent method for monitoring ambient air quality.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated, in accordance with 40 CFR part 53, one new reference method for measuring concentrations of carbon monoxide (CO) and one new equivalent method for measuring concentrations of ozone (O3) in the ambient air.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Vanderpool, Human Exposure and Atmospheric Sciences Division (MD-D205-03), National Exposure Research Laboratory, U.S. EPA, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In accordance with regulations at 40 CFR part 53, the EPA evaluates various methods for monitoring the concentrations of those ambient air pollutants for which EPA has established National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQSs) as set forth in 40 CFR part 50. Monitoring methods that are determined to meet specific requirements for adequacy are designated by the EPA as either reference or equivalent methods (as applicable), thereby permitting their use under 40 CFR part 58 by States and other agencies for determining compliance with the NAAQSs. A list of all reference or equivalent methods that have been previously designated by EPA may be found at http://www.epa.gov/ttn/amtic/criteria.html.

    The EPA hereby announces the designation of one new reference method for measuring concentrations of carbon monoxide (CO) in the ambient air and one new equivalent method for measuring concentrations of ozone (O3) in the ambient air. These designations are made under the provisions of 40 CFR part 53, as amended on August 31, 2011(76 FR 54326-54341).

    The new reference method for CO is an automated method (analyzer) utilizing a measurement principle based on infrared absorption spectroscopy and is identified as follows:

    RFCA-0915-228, “Environnement S.A. Model CO12e Carbon Monoxide Analyzer”, an infrared absorption spectroscopy technique operated on a full scale range of 0-50 ppm, at any temperature in the range of 10 °C to 35 °C, with a teflon sample particulate filter with the following software settings: Automatic response time ON; Automatic “ZERO-REF” cycle either ON or OFF and with or without the following options: ESTEL Analog Input/Output Board, LCD color touch screen and Carbon Dioxide CO2 sensor.

    This application for a reference method determination for this CO method was received by the Office of Research and Development on July 20, 2015. This analyzer is commercially available from the applicant, Environnement S.A., 111, Boulevard Robespierre, 78300 Poissy France.

    The new equivalent method for O3 is an automated method that utilizes a measurement principle based on non-dispersive ultraviolet absorption photometry. The newly designated equivalent method for O3 is identified as follows:

    EQOA-1015-229, “Teledyne Advanced Pollution Instrumentation, Model 430 Ozone Analyzer”, operated with a full scale range between 0-500 ppb, at any operating temperature from 5 °C to 40 °C, with a sample particulate filter, with a 100-240V AC to DC power adapter or a 12V DC source capable of providing 9 watts of power, in accordance with the associated instrument manual, and with or without any of the following options: Internal long-life pump, external long-life pump, external portable battery pack, external communication and data monitoring interfaces.

    The application for an equivalent method determination for this candidate method was received by the Office of Research and Development on August 27, 2015. The analyzer is commercially available from the applicant, Teledyne Advanced Pollution Instrumentation, Inc., 9480 Carroll Park Drive, San Diego, CA 92121-2251.

    Representative test analyzers have been tested in accordance with the applicable test procedures specified in 40 CFR part 53, as amended on August 31, 2011. After reviewing the results of those tests and other information submitted by the applicant, EPA has determined, in accordance with part 53, that these methods should be designated as a reference or equivalent method.

    As a designated reference or equivalent method, these methods are acceptable for use by states and other air monitoring agencies under the requirements of 40 CFR part 58, Ambient Air Quality Surveillance. For such purposes, each method must be used in strict accordance with the operation or instruction manual associated with the method and subject to any specifications and limitations (e.g., configuration or operational settings) specified in the designated method description (see the identification of the method above).

    Use of the method also should be in general accordance with the guidance and recommendations of applicable sections of the “Quality Assurance Handbook for Air Pollution Measurement Systems, Volume I,” EPA/600/R-94/038a and “Quality Assurance Handbook for Air Pollution Measurement Systems, Volume II, Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Program,” EPA-454/B-13-003, (both available at http://www.epa.gov/ttn/amtic/qalist.html). Provisions concerning modification of such methods by users are specified under Section 2.8 (Modifications of Methods by Users) of Appendix C to 40 CFR part 58.

    Consistent or repeated noncompliance with any of these conditions should be reported to: Director, Human Exposure and Atmospheric Sciences Division (MD-E205-01), National Exposure Research Laboratory, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711.

    Designation of these reference and equivalent methods is intended to assist the States in establishing and operating their air quality surveillance systems under 40 CFR part 58. Questions concerning the commercial availability or technical aspects of the method should be directed to the applicant.

    Dated: November 6, 2015. Jennifer Orme-Zavaleta, Director, National Exposure Research Laboratory.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29492 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice of Termination; 10454 The Royal Palm Bank of Florida, Naples, FL

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), as Receiver for 10454 The Royal Palm Bank of Florida, Naples, FL (Receiver) has been authorized to take all actions necessary to terminate the receivership estate of The Royal Palm Bank of Florida (Receivership Estate); The Receiver has made all dividend distributions required by law.

    The Receiver has further irrevocably authorized and appointed FDIC-Corporate as its attorney-in-fact to execute and file any and all documents that may be required to be executed by the Receiver which FDIC-Corporate, in its sole discretion, deems necessary; including but not limited to releases, discharges, satisfactions, endorsements, assignments and deeds.

    Effective November 1, 2015 the Receivership Estate has been terminated, the Receiver discharged, and the Receivership Estate has ceased to exist as a legal entity.

    Dated: November 16, 2015. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29541 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice of Termination, 10472 Gold Canyon Bank, Gold Canyon, Arizona

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), as Receiver for 10472 Gild Canyon Bank, Gold Canyon, Arizona (Receiver) has been authorized to take all actions necessary to terminate the receivership estate of Gold Canyon Bank (Receivership Estate); The Receiver has made all dividend distributions required by law.

    The Receiver has further irrevocably authorized and appointed FDIC-Corporate as its attorney-in-fact to execute and file any and all documents that may be required to be executed by the Receiver which FDIC-Corporate, in its sole discretion, deems necessary; including but not limited to releases, discharges, satisfactions, endorsements, assignments and deeds.

    Effective November 01, 2015 the Receivership Estate has been terminated, the Receiver discharged, and the Receivership Estate has ceased to exist as a legal entity.

    Dated: November 16, 2015. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29526 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH REVIEW COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meeting November 17, 2015. TIME AND DATE:

    10:00 a.m., Thursday, December 3, 2015.

    PLACE:

    The Richard V. Backley Hearing Room, Room 511N, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20004 (enter from F Street entrance).

    STATUS:

    Open.

    MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED:

    The Commission will consider and act upon the following in open session: Secretary of Labor v. Rex Coal Company, Inc., Docket Nos. KENT 2010-956, et al. (Issues include whether the Judge erred in upholding a citation alleging that the operator failed to provide immediate notification that an accident had occurred.)

    Any person attending this meeting who requires special accessibility features and/or auxiliary aids, such as sign language interpreters, must inform the Commission in advance of those needs. Subject to 29 CFR 2706.150(a)(3) and § 2706.160(d).

    CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFO:

    Emogene Johnson (202) 434-9935/(202) 708-9300 for TDD Relay/1-800-877-8339 for toll free.

    Sarah L. Stewart, Deputy General Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29675 Filed 11-17-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6735-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies

    The companies listed in this notice have applied to the Board for approval, pursuant to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq.) (BHC Act), Regulation Y (12 CFR Part 225), and all other applicable statutes and regulations to become a bank holding company and/or to acquire the assets or the ownership of, control of, or the power to vote shares of a bank or bank holding company and all of the banks and nonbanking companies owned by the bank holding company, including the companies listed below.

    The applications listed below, as well as other related filings required by the Board, are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The applications will also be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing on the standards enumerated in the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1842(c)). If the proposal also involves the acquisition of a nonbanking company, the review also includes whether the acquisition of the nonbanking company complies with the standards in section 4 of the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1843). Unless otherwise noted, nonbanking activities will be conducted throughout the United States.

    Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding each of these applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than December 14, 2015.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta (Chapelle Davis, Assistant Vice President) 1000 Peachtree Street NE., Atlanta, Georgia 30309:

    1. Sabal Palm Bancorp, Inc., Sarasota, Florida; to become a bank holding company by acquiring 100 percent of the voting shares of Sabal Palm Bank, Sarasota, Florida.

    B. Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (Gerald C. Tsai, Director, Applications and Enforcement) 101 Market Street, San Francisco, California 94105-1579:

    1. HomeStreet, Inc., Seattle, Washington, to become a bank holding company upon the conversion of HomeStreet Bank, Seattle, Washington, to a commercial bank.

    In connection with this application, Applicant also has applied to retain HomeStreet Capital Corporation, Seattle, Washington, and engage in originating, selling, and servicing multi-family mortgage loans, pursuant to sections 225.28(b)(1) and (b)(2)(vi).

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, November 16, 2015. Michele Taylor Fennell, Assistant Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29530 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-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, dated October 14, 1980, and corrected at 45 FR 69296, October 20, 1980, as amended most recently at 80 FR 5874, dated September 29, 2015) is amended to reflect the reorganization of the Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Section C-B, Organization and Functions, is hereby amended as follows:

    Revise the functional statement for the Office of the Director (CQA), as follows:

    After item (22), insert the following item: (23) conducts periodic assessments of field staff and project officer needs; (24) assists in the coordination of CDC and OSTLTS Director site visits to State, Tribal, Local and Territorial agencies (STLT).

    Delete in its entirety the title and mission for the Field Services Office (CQA4) and insert the following:

    Public Health Associate Program Office (CQA4). (1) Provides cross-agency support for the monitoring and reporting of CDC field staff embedded within external public health agencies; and (2) manages the Public Health Associates Program and provides direct oversight and supervision for the Associates.

    Revise the functional statement for the Office of the Director (CQB1), Division of Public Health Performance Improvement (CQB) as follows:

    After item (4), insert the following item: (5) Conducts periodic assessments of field staff and project officer needs; (6) supports grants management optimization efforts to improve STLT health agencies; (7) provides agency-wide leadership and coordination in the identification, assessment, and development of solutions to improve CDC technical assistance and service delivery around Health Systems Transformation.

    James Seligman, Acting Chief Operating Officer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29485 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4160-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [60Day-16-0217; Docket No. CDC-2015-0105] 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 the proposed revision of the NCHS Vital Statistics Training Application. The NCHS Registration Methods Program assists in achieving the comparability needed for combining data from all States into national statistics, by conducting a training program for State and local vital statistics staff to assist in developing expertise in all aspects of vital registration and vital statistics.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before January 19, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CDC-2015-0105 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.

    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

    Vital Statistics Training Application (OMB Control No. 0920-0217, exp. 5/31/2016)—Revision—National Center for Health Statistics NCHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    In the United States, legal authority for the registration of vital events, i.e., births, deaths, marriages, divorces, fetal deaths, and induced terminations of pregnancy, resides individually with the States (as well as cities in the case of New York City and Washington, DC) and Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. These governmental entities are the full legal proprietors of vital records and the information contained therein. As a result of this State authority, the collection of registration-based vital statistics at the national level, referred to as the U.S. National Vital Statistics System (NVSS), depends on a cooperative relationship between the States and the Federal government. This data collection, authorized by 42 U.S.C. 242k, has been carried out by NCHS since it was created in 1960.

    NCHS assists in achieving the comparability needed for combining data from all States into national statistics, by conducting a training program for State and local vital statistics staff to assist in developing expertise in all aspects of vital registration and vital statistics. The training offered under this program includes courses for registration staff, statisticians, and coding specialists, all designed to bring about a high degree of uniformity and quality in the data provided by the States. This training program is authorized by 42 U.S.C. 242b, section 304(a). NCHS notifies State and local vital registration officials, as well as Canadian counterparts, about upcoming training. Individual candidates for training then submit an application form including name, address, occupation, and other relevant information.

    In this revision, the application for the Vital Statistics Training is being updated to capture additional logistical information. NCHS is requesting a three-year clearance to collect information using these training application forms. There is no cost to respondents 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
    State, Local Health department And vital health Employees Annual Survey Training Needs 60 1 15/60 15 State, Local Health department And vital health Employees NCHS Vital Statistics Training Application 60 1 15/60 15 Total 30
    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. 2015-29500 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [30Day-15-15AGK] 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

    Understanding Barriers and Facilitators to HIV prevention for Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM)—Pulse Study—New—National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

    Background and Brief Description

    The National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP)/Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP) is requesting a one-year approval for a study-related data collection entitled, “Understanding Barriers and Facilitators to HIV prevention for Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM).” The purpose of this study is to conduct primarily qualitative research with most at risk HIV-negative MSM.

    There are four goals to this study: (1) Understand issues surrounding HIV risk for MSM; (2) learn more about how gay community or peer norms, and community identification influence risk behaviors; (3) understand individual HIV risk management, such as having an HIV-positive partner with suppressed viral load, barriers and facilitators for use of biomedical interventions (i.e., pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), non-occupational post-exposure prophylaxis (nPEP); and (4) understand factors that promote resiliency among HIV-negative MSM.

    The present research will be conducted in the top five Southern metropolitan areas in the United States with the highest HIV diagnoses for MSM-Atlanta, Georgia; Jackson, Mississippi; Miami, Florida; and New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. These cities rank among those in the South with the highest prevalence and incidence of HIV and STIs among black/African American and Hispanic/Latino MSM.

    The study population will consist of black/African-American and Hispanic/Latino (1) male adolescents who are attracted to men and report they are HIV negative or have not been tested and (2) adult MSM who are recently tested and verified as HIV-negative. All study participants will be 13 years of age or older. Participants will be recruited in the selected cities through referrals from Health Departments, clinics and community based organizations (CBOs).

    For the purposes of this study, we will use a primarily qualitative research design and will include a brief quantitative survey to reduce participant burden where possible (for example, when we do not need to know an in-depth answer for socio-demographics, HIV testing history, housing status, health insurance status). The first portion of the interview instrument consists of brief structured demographic questions to characterize the respondents. The second portion of the instrument consists of open-ended in-depth qualitative questions. This research design was chosen based on the exploratory nature of our study purpose. All interviews will be conducted by trained personnel. The data collection will take place at a time and place that is convenient to the respondent. Locations will be private. Data collection may be audio-recorded and transcribed with the consent of the respondent.

    Recruitment will consist of health departments and CBOs who conduct testing to give HIV negative males who meet the recruiting eligibility criteria the study flyer following post-result counseling.

    We estimate one minute for the flyer distribution. We anticipate screening a total of 300 respondents, at various locations, and anticipate the screening process to take five minutes per respondent for a total of 26 burden hours. Of the 300 respondents screened, we anticipate a 50% response rate. We anticipate that recording a participant's contact information to take one minute per respondent for a total of three burden hours for the 150 participants.

    We will conduct a one-hour in depth interview for HIV-negative MSM (minors and adults) that will take a total of 150 burden hours for all 150 study participants.

    The total number of burden hours is 184.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of
  • respondent
  • Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • State Health dept. and CBO Recruitment (flyer hand out) 300 1 1/60 General Public—Adults and Minors HIV-negative MSM Screener—English 210 1 5/60 General Public—Adults and Minors HIV-negative MSM Screener—Spanish 90 1 5/60 General Public—Adults and Minors HIV-negative MSM Contact Information Form—English 105 1 1/60 General Public—Adults and Minors HIV-negative MSM Contact Information Form—Spanish 45 1 1/60 General Public—Adults HIV-negative MSM In-Depth Interview Guide—English 95 1 1 General Public—Minors HIV-negative MSM In-Depth Interview Guide—English 10 1 1 General Public—Adults HIV-negative In-Depth Interview Guide—Spanish 35 1 1 General Public—Minors HIV-negative In-Depth Interview Guide—Spanish 10 1 1
    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. 2015-29517 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Health Resources and Services Administration Advisory Committee on Interdisciplinary, Community-Based Linkages; Notice for Request for Nominations SUMMARY:

    The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is requesting nominations to fill vacancies on the Advisory Committee on Interdisciplinary, Community-Based Linkages (ACICBL). The ACICBL is authorized by 42 U.S.C. 294f, section 757 of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act, as amended by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Advisory Committee is governed by the Federal Advisory Act, Public Law (Pub. L.) 92-463, as amended (5 U.S.C. Appendix 2) which sets forth standards for the formation and use of advisory committees.

    DATES:

    The agency will receive nominations on a continuous basis.

    ADDRESSES:

    All nominations should be submitted to Regina Wilson, Advisory Council Operations, Bureau of Health Workforce, HRSA, 11w45c, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20857. Mail delivery should be addressed to Regina Wilson, Advisory Council Operations, Bureau of Health Workforce, HRSA, at the above address, or via email to: [email protected].

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joan Weiss, Ph.D., RN, CRNP, FAAN, Designated Federal Official, ACICBL at 301-443-0430 or email at [email protected]. A copy of the current committee membership, charter and reports can be obtained by accessing the http://www.hrsa.gov/advisorycommittees/bhpradvisory/acicbl/index.html.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The ACICBL provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary) concerning policy, program development and other matters of significance related to interdisciplinary, community-based training grant programs authorized under sections 750-759, title VII, part D of the PHS Act, as amended. The ACICBL prepares an annual report describing the activities conducted during the fiscal year, identifying findings and developing recommendations to enhance these title VII, part D programs. The annual report is submitted to the Secretary and ranking members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce. The ACICBL also develops, publishes, and implements performance measures for programs under this part; develops and publishes guidelines for longitudinal evaluations (as described in section 761(d)(2)) for programs under this part; and recommends appropriation levels for programs under this part.

    Specifically, HRSA is requesting nominations for voting members of the ACICBL representing: Area Health Education Centers, Education and Training Relating to Geriatrics, Rural Interdisciplinary Training, Allied Health, Podiatry, Chiropractic, Psychology, and Social Work.

    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will consider nominations of all qualified individuals with the areas of subject matter expertise noted above. Individuals may nominate themselves or other individuals, and professional associations and organizations may nominate one or more qualified persons for membership. Nominations shall state that the nominee is willing to serve as a member of the ACICBL and appears to have no conflict of interest that would preclude the ACICBL membership. Potential candidates will be asked to provide detailed information concerning financial interests, consultancies, research grants, and/or contracts that might be affected by recommendations of the ACICBL to permit evaluation of possible sources of conflicts of interest.

    A nomination package should include the following information for each nominee: (1) A letter of nomination from an employer, a colleague, or a professional organization stating the name, affiliation, and contact information for the nominee, the basis for the nomination (i.e., what specific attributes, perspectives, and/or skills does the individual possess that would benefit the workings of ACICBL, and the nominee's field(s) of expertise); (2) a letter of self-interest stating the reasons the nominee would like to serve on the ACICBL; (3) a biographical sketch of the nominee and a copy of his/her curriculum vitae; and (4) the name, address, daytime telephone number, and email address at which the nominator can be contacted. Nominations will be considered as vacancies occur on the ACICBL. Nominations should be updated and resubmitted every three years to continue to be considered for committee vacancies.

    HHS strives to ensure that the membership of HHS federal advisory committees is balanced in terms of points of view represented and the committee's function. Every effort is made to ensure that the views of women, all ethnic and racial groups, and people with disabilities are represented on HHS Federal advisory committees. The Department also encourages geographic diversity in the composition of the committee. The Department encourages nominations of qualified candidates from all groups and locations. Appointment to the ACIBL shall be made without discrimination on the basis of age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and cultural, religious, or socioeconomic status.

    Jackie Painter, Director, Division of the Executive Secretariat.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29550 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Health Resources and Services Administration Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines; Notice of Meeting

    In accordance with section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463), notice is hereby given of the following meeting:

    Name: Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines (ACCV)

    Date and Time: December 3, 2015, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT.

    Place: Audio Conference Call and Adobe Connect Pro.

    The ACCV will meet on Thursday, December 3, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (EDT). The public can join the meeting by:

    1. (Audio Portion) Calling the conference phone number 877-917-4913 and providing the following information:

    Leader's Name: Dr. A. Melissa Houston Password: ACCV

    2. (Visual Portion) Connecting to the ACCV Adobe Connect Pro Meeting using the following URL: https://hrsa.connectsolutions.com/accv/ (copy and paste the link into your browser if it does not work directly, and enter as a guest). Participants should call and connect 15 minutes prior to the meeting in order for logistics to be set up. If you have never attended an Adobe Connect meeting, please test your connection using the following URL:

    https://hrsa.connectsolutions.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm and get a quick overview by following URL: http://www.adobe.com/go/connectpro_overview. Call (301) 443-6634 or send an email to [email protected] if you are having trouble connecting to the meeting site.

    Agenda: The agenda items for the December 2015 meeting will include, but are not limited to: Updates from ACCV Adult Immunization Workgroup, the Division of Injury Compensation Programs (DICP), Department of Justice (DOJ), National Vaccine Program Office (NVPO), Immunization Safety Office (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (National Institutes of Health) and Center for Biologics, Evaluation and Research (Food and Drug Administration). A draft agenda and additional meeting materials will be posted on the ACCV Web site (http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/accv.htm) prior to the meeting. Agenda items are subject to change as priorities dictate.

    Public Comment: Persons interested in providing an oral presentation should submit a written request, along with a copy of their presentation to: Annie Herzog, DICP, Healthcare Systems Bureau (HSB), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Room 8N146B, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857 or email: [email protected] Requests should contain the name, address, telephone number, email address, and any business or professional affiliation of the person desiring to make an oral presentation. Groups having similar interests are requested to combine their comments and present them through a single representative. The allocation of time may be adjusted to accommodate the level of expressed interest. DICP will notify each presenter by email, mail, or telephone of their assigned presentation time. Persons who do not file an advance request for a presentation, but desire to make an oral statement, may announce it at the time of the public comment period. Public participation and ability to comment will be limited to space and time as it permits.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Anyone requiring information regarding the ACCV should contact Annie Herzog, DICP, HSB, HRSA, Room 8N146B, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857; telephone (301) 443-6593, or email: [email protected]

    Jackie Painter, Director, Division of the Executive Secretariat.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29520 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Health Resources and Services Administration Council on Graduate Medical Education, Notice for Request for Nominations SUMMARY:

    The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is requesting nominations to fill vacancies on the Council on Graduate Medical Education (COGME). The COGME is authorized by 42 42 U.S.C. 294o, section 762 of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act, as amended. The Advisory Committee is governed by the Federal Advisory Act, Public Law (Pub. L.) 92-463, as amended (5 U.S.C. Appendix 2) which sets forth standards for the formation and use of advisory committees.

    DATES:

    The agency will receive nominations on a continuous basis.

    ADDRESSES:

    All nominations should be submitted to Regina Wilson, Advisory Council Operations, Bureau of Health Workforce, HRSA, 11w45c, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20857. Mail delivery should be addressed to Regina Wilson, Advisory Council Operations, Bureau of Health Workforce, HRSA, at the above address, or via email to: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joan Weiss, Ph.D., RN, CRNP, FAAN, Designated Federal Official, COGME at 301-443-0430 or email at [email protected] A copy of the current committee membership, charter and reports can be obtained by accessing the http://www.hrsa.gov/advisorycommittees/bhpradvisory/COGME/index.html

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The COGME provides advice and makes policy recommendations to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Secretary) and ranking members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce on matters under section 762 of part E of title VII concerning the supply and distribution of physicians in the United States, physician workforce trends, training issues and financing policies. Meetings are held twice a year. The COGME prepares reports concerning the activities under section 762 of part E of title VII. Reports are submitted to the Secretary and ranking members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce.

    Specifically, HRSA is requesting nominations for voting members of the COGME representing: Primary care physicians, national and specialty physician organizations, international medical graduates, medical student and house staff associations, schools of medicine, schools of osteopathic medicine, public and private teaching hospitals, health insurers, business, and labor. Among these nominations, students, residents, and/or fellows from these programs are encouraged to apply.

    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will consider nominations of all qualified individuals with the areas of subject matter expertise noted above. Individuals may nominate themselves or other individuals, and professional associations and organizations may nominate one or more qualified persons for membership. Nominations shall state that the nominee is willing to serve as a member of the COGME and appears to have no conflict of interest that would preclude the COGME membership. Potential candidates will be asked to provide detailed information concerning financial interests, consultancies, research grants, and/or contracts that might be affected by recommendations of the COGME to permit evaluation of possible sources of conflicts of interest.

    A nomination package should include the following information for each nominee:

    (1) A letter of nomination from an employer, a colleague, or a professional organization stating the name, affiliation, and contact information for the nominee, the basis for the nomination (i.e., what specific attributes, perspectives, and/or skills does the individual possess that would benefit the workings of COGME, and the nominee's field(s) of expertise); (2) a letter of self-interest stating the reasons the nominee would like to serve on the Council, (3) a biographical sketch of the nominee and a copy of his/her curriculum vitae; and (4) the name, address, daytime telephone number, and email address at which the nominator can be contacted. Nominations will be considered as vacancies occur on the COGME. Nominations should be updated and resubmitted every 3 years to continue to be considered for committee vacancies.

    HHS strives to ensure that the membership of HHS federal advisory committees is balanced in terms of points of view represented and the committee's function. Every effort is made to ensure that the views of women, all ethnic and racial groups, and people with disabilities are represented on HHS federal advisory committees. The Department also encourages geographic diversity in the composition of the committee. The Department encourages nominations of qualified candidates from all groups and locations. Appointment to the COGME shall be made without discrimination on the basis of age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and cultural, religious, or socioeconomic status.

    Jackie Painter, Director, Division of the Executive Secretariat.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29548 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Health Resources and Services Administration Advisory Committee on Training in Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry; Notice for Request for Nominations SUMMARY:

    The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is requesting nominations to fill vacancies on the Advisory Committee on Training in Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry (ACTPCMD). The ACTPCMD is authorized by 42 U.S.C. 217a, section 222 and 42 U.S.C. 293l, section 749 of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act, as amended by section 5103(d) and re-designated by section 5303 of the Affordable Care Act. The Advisory Committee is governed by provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (5 U.S.C. Appendix 2), as amended, which sets forth standards for the formation and use of advisory committees.

    DATES:

    The agency will receive nominations on a continuous basis.

    ADDRESSES:

    All nominations should be submitted to Regina Wilson, Advisory Council Operations, Bureau of Health Workforce, HRSA, 11w45c, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20857. Mail delivery should be addressed to Regina Wilson, Advisory Council Operations, Bureau of Health Workforce, HRSA, at the above address, or via email to: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joan Weiss, Ph.D., RN, CRNP, FAAN, Designated Federal Official, ACTPCMD at 301-443-0430 or email at [email protected] A copy of the current committee membership, charter and reports can be obtained by accessing the http://www.hrsa.gov/advisorycommittees/bhpradvisory/actpcmd/.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The ACTPCMD provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Secretary) on policy, program development and other matters of significance concerning the activities under sections 747 and 748, part C of title VII of the PHS act. The ACTPCMD prepares an annual report describing the activities conducted during the fiscal year, identifying findings and developing recommendations to enhance these title VII, part C, section 747 and 748 programs. The annual report is submitted to the Secretary and ranking members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce. The ACTPCMD also develops, publishes, and implements performance measures for programs under this part; develops and publishes guidelines for longitudinal evaluations (as described in section 761(d)(2)) for programs under this part; and recommends appropriation levels for programs under this part. Meetings are held twice a year.

    Specifically, HRSA is requesting nominations for voting members of the ACTPCMD representing: Family medicine, general internal medicine, general pediatrics, physician assistant, general dentistry, pediatric dentistry, public health dentistry, and dental hygiene programs. Among these nominations, students, residents, and/or fellows from these programs are encouraged to apply.

    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will consider nominations of all qualified individuals with the areas of subject matter expertise noted above. Individuals may nominate themselves or other individuals, and professional associations and organizations may nominate one or more qualified persons for membership. Nominations shall state that the nominee is willing to serve as a member of the ACTPCMD and appears to have no conflict of interest that would preclude the ACTPCMD membership. Potential candidates will be asked to provide detailed information concerning financial interests, consultancies, research grants, and/or contracts that might be affected by recommendations of the ACTPCMD to permit evaluation of possible sources of conflicts of interest.

    A nomination package should include the following information for each nominee: (1) A letter of nomination stating the name, affiliation, and contact information for the nominee, the basis for the nomination (i.e., what specific attributes, perspectives, and/or skills does the individual possess that would benefit the workings of ACTPCMD, and the nominee's field(s) of expertise); (2) a letter of self-interest stating the reasons the nominee would like to serve on the ACTPCMD; (3) a biographical sketch of the nominee and a copy of his/her curriculum vitae; and (4) the name, address, daytime telephone number, and email address at which the nominator can be contacted. Nominations will be considered as vacancies occur on the ACTPCMD. Nominations should be updated and resubmitted every 3 years to continue to be considered for committee vacancies.

    HHS strives to ensure that the membership of HHS federal advisory committees is balanced in terms of points of view represented and the committee's function. Every effort is made to ensure that the views of women, all ethnic and racial groups, and people with disabilities are represented on HHS federal advisory committees. The Department also encourages geographic diversity in the composition of the committee. The Department encourages nominations of qualified candidates from all groups and locations. Appointment to the ACTPCMD shall be made without discrimination on the basis of age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and cultural, religious, or socioeconomic status.

    Jackie Painter, Director, Division of the Executive Secretariat.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29549 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    Periodically, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will publish a summary of information collection requests under OMB review, in compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35). To request a copy of these documents, call the SAMHSA Reports Clearance Officer on (240) 276-1243.

    Project: Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) (OMB No. 0930-0335)—Revision

    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is requesting a revision of the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) data collection (OMB No. 0930-0335), which expires on January 31, 2016. TEDS is a compilation of client-level substance abuse treatment admission and discharge data submitted by states on clients treated in facilities that receive state funds. SAMHSA is requesting the addition of client-level mental health admission and update/discharge data (MH-TEDS/CLD) submitted by states on clients treated in facilities that receive state funds. These mental health data have been previously collected in support of the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant (MHBG) and Substance Abuse and Prevention Treatment Block Grant (SABG) Application Guidance and Instructions (OMB No. 0930-0168).

    TEDS/MH-TEDS/CLD data are collected to obtain information on the number of admissions and updates/discharges at publicly-funded substance abuse treatment and mental health services facilities and on the characteristics of clients receiving services at those facilities. TEDS/MH-TEDS/CLD also monitors trends in the demographic, substance use, and mental health characteristics of admissions. In addition, several of the data elements used to calculate performance measures for the Substance Abuse Block Grant (SABG) and Mental Health Block Grant (MHBG) applications are collected in TEDS/MH-TEDS/CLD.

    This request includes:

    • Continuation of collection of TEDS (substance abuse) client-level admissions and discharge data;

    • Continuation of collection of MH-TEDS client-level admissions and update/discharge data of mental health clients beyond the pilot phase; and

    • Addition of collection of MHCLD client-level admissions and update/discharge data (transferred from OMB No. 0930-0168).

    Most states collect the TEDS/MH-TEDS/CLD data elements from their treatment providers for their own administrative purposes and are able to submit a cross-walked extract of their data to TEDS/MH-TEDS/CLD. No changes are expected in the (substance abuse) TEDS collection. No changes are expected in the (mental health) MH- CLD collection (other than recording the MH-TEDS/CLD burden hours separately from the Substance Abuse Block Grant (SABG) and Mental Health Block Grant (MHBG) application approval instructions (OMB No. 0930-0168) and the addition of MH-TEDS beyond the pilot phase. No data element changes for TEDS/MH-TEDS/CLD are expected.

    The estimated annual burden for the separate TEDS/MH-TEDS/CLD activities is as follows:

    Type of activity Number of
  • respondents
  • (states/
  • jurisdictions)
  • Responses
  • per
  • respondent
  • Total
  • responses
  • Hours per
  • response
  • Total burden hours
    TEDS Admission Data 52 4 208 6.25 1,300 TEDS Discharge Data 52 4 208 8.25 1,716 TEDS Crosswalks 5 1 5 10 50 MH-CLD BCI Data 30 1 30 30 900 MH-CLD SHR Data 30 1 30 5 150 MH-TEDS Admissions Data 29 4 116 6.25 725 MH-TEDS Update/Discharge Data 29 4 116 8.25 957 MH-TEDS Crosswalks 1 10 10 100 State Total 59 723 5,898

    Written comments and recommendations concerning the proposed information collection should be sent by December 21, 2015 to the SAMHSA Desk Officer at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB). To ensure timely receipt of comments, and to avoid potential delays in OMB's receipt and processing of mail sent through the U.S. Postal Service, commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] Although commenters are encouraged to send their comments via email, commenters may also fax their comments to: 202-395-7285. Commenters may also mail them to: Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, New Executive Office Building, Room 10102, Washington, DC 20503.

    Summer King, Statistician.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29523 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4162-20-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard [Docket No. USCG-2015-0473] Collection of Information Under Review by Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0046 AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Thirty-day notice requesting comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 the U.S. Coast Guard is forwarding an Information Collection Request (ICR), abstracted below, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), requesting an extension of its approval for the following collection of information: 1625-0046, Certificates of Financial Responsibility under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 without change. Our ICR describe the information we seek to collect from the public. Review and comments by OIRA ensure we only impose paperwork burdens commensurate with our performance of duties.

    DATES:

    Comments must reach the Coast Guard and OIRA on or before December 21, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by Coast Guard docket number [USCG-2015-0473] to the Coast Guard using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Alternatively, you may submit comments to OIRA using one of the following means:

    (1) Email: [email protected].

    (2) Mail: OIRA, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503, attention Desk Officer for the Coast Guard.

    (3) Fax: 202-395-6566. To ensure your comments are received in a timely manner, mark the fax, attention Desk Officer for the Coast Guard.

    A copy of the ICR is available through the docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Additionally, copies are available from: COMMANDANT (CG-612), ATTN: PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT MANAGER, U.S. COAST GUARD, 2100 2ND STREET SW., STOP 7710, WASHINGTON, DC 20593-7710.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Contact Mr. Anthony Smith, Office of Information Management, telephone 202-475-3532, or fax 202-372-8405, for questions on these documents.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Public Participation and Request for Comments

    This Notice relies on the authority of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended. An ICR is an application to OIRA seeking the approval, extension, or renewal of a Coast Guard collection of information (Collection). The ICR contains information describing the Collection's purpose, the Collection's likely burden on the affected public, an explanation of the necessity of the Collection, and other important information describing the Collection. There is one ICR for each Collection. The Coast Guard invites comments on whether this ICR should be granted based on the Collection being necessary for the proper performance of Departmental functions. In particular, the Coast Guard would appreciate comments addressing: (1) The practical utility of the Collection; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden of the Collection; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of information subject to the Collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the Collection on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. These comments will help OIRA determine whether to approve the ICR referred to in this Notice.

    We encourage you to respond to this request by submitting comments and related materials. Comments to Coast Guard or OIRA must contain the OMB Control Number of the ICR. They must also contain the docket number of this request, [USCG-2015-0473], and must be received by December 21, 2015.

    Submitting Comments

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions. Documents mentioned in this notice, and all public comments, are in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that Web site's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    OIRA posts its decisions on ICRs online at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain after the comment period for each ICR. An OMB Notice of Action on each ICR will become available via a hyperlink in the OMB Control Number: 1625-0046.

    Previous Request for Comments

    This request provides a 30-day comment period required by OIRA. The Coast Guard has published the 60-day notice (80 FR 45667, July 31, 2015) required by 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2). That Notice elicited no comments. Accordingly, no changes have been made to the Collections.

    Information Collection Request

    1. Title: Certificates of Financial Responsibility under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.

    OMB Control Number: 1625-0046.

    Summary: The information collection requirements described in this supporting statement are necessary to provide evidence of a respondent's ability to pay for removal costs and damages associated with discharges or substantial threats of discharges of hazardous material or oil into the navigable waters, adjoining shorelines or the exclusive economic zone of the United States. The requirements are imposed generally on operators and financial guarantors of vessels over 300 gross tons.

    Need: If the requested information is not collected, the Coast Guard will be unable to comply with the provisions of OPA and CERCLA to ensure that responsible parties have the ability to pay for cleanup costs and damages when there is an oil or hazardous material spill or threat of a spill.

    Legal authority: Section 1002 of OPA 90, as limited by section 1004(a), or section 107(a)(1) of CERCLA.

    Forms: CG-5585, Application for Vessel Certificate of Financial Responsibility (Water Pollution); CG-5586, Insurance Guaranty; CG-5586-1, Master Insurance Guaranty; CG-5586-2, Surety Bond Guaranty; CG-5586-3, Financial Guaranty; and CG-5586-4, Master Financial Guaranty.

    Respondents: Vessel operators and approved insurers. Respondents are estimated at 3,300.

    Frequency: Annually, to include collection of information on a three year cycle.

    Hour Burden Estimate: The estimated annual burden remains 3,400 hours a year.

    Authority:

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended.

    Dated: November 10, 2015. Thomas P. Michelli, U.S. Coast Guard, Deputy Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29579 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard [Docket No. USCG-2015-0908] Information Collection Request to Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0042 AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Sixty-day notice requesting comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the U.S. Coast Guard intends to submit an Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), requesting approval for reinstatement, with change, of the following collection of information: 1625-0042, Requirements for lightering of Oil and Hazardous Material Cargoes. Our ICR describe the information we seek to collect from the public. Before submitting this ICR to OIRA, the Coast Guard is inviting comments as described below.

    DATES:

    Comments must reach the Coast Guard on or before January 19, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by Coast Guard docket number [USCG-2015-0908] to the Coast Guard using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. See the “Public participation and request for comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments.

    A copy of the ICR is available through the docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Additionally, copies are available from: COMMANDANT (CG-612), ATTN: PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT MANAGER, U.S. COAST GUARD, 2100 2ND STREET SW., STOP 7710, WASHINGTON, DC 20593-7710.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Anthony Smith, Office of Information Management, telephone 202-475-3532, or fax 202-475-8405, for questions on these documents.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public Participation and Request for Comments

    This Notice relies on the authority of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended. An ICR is an application to OIRA seeking the approval, extension, or renewal of a Coast Guard collection of information (Collection). The ICR contains information describing the Collection's purpose, the Collection's likely burden on the affected public, an explanation of the necessity of the Collection, and other important information describing the Collection. There is one ICR for each Collection.

    The Coast Guard invites comments on whether this ICR should be granted based on the Collection being necessary for the proper performance of Departmental functions. In particular, the Coast Guard would appreciate comments addressing: (1) The practical utility of the Collection; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden of the Collection; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of information subject to the Collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the Collection on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. In response to your comments, we may revise this ICR or decide not to seek reinstatement of the Collection. We will consider all comments and material received during the comment period.

    We encourage you to respond to this request by submitting comments and related materials. Comments must contain the OMB Control Number of the ICR and the docket number of this request, [USCG-2015-0908], and must be received by January 19, 2016.

    Submitting Comments

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions. Documents mentioned in this notice, and all public comments, are in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that Web site's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    Information Collection Request

    1. Title: Requirements for Lightering of Oil and Hazardous Material Cargoes.

    OMB Control Number: 1625-0042.

    Summary: The information for this report allows the U.S. Coast Guard to provide timely response to an emergency and minimize the environmental damage from an oil or hazardous material spill. The information also allows the Coast Guard to control the location and procedures for lightering activities.

    Need: Section 3715 of title 46 U.S.C. authorizes the Coast Guard to establish lightering regulations. Title 33 CFR 156.200 to 156.300 prescribes the Coast Guard regulations for lightering, including pre-arrival notice, reporting of incidents and operating conditions.

    Forms: None.

    Respondents: Owners, masters and agents of lightering vessels.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Hour Burden Estimate: The estimated burden has increased from 217 hours to 372 hours a year due to an increase in the estimated annual number of responses.

    Authority:

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended.

    Dated: November 10, 2015. Thomas P. Michelli, Deputy Chief Information Officer, U.S. Coast Guard.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29571 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard [Docket No. USCG-2015-0378] Collection of Information Under Review by Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0010 AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Thirty-day notice requesting comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 the U.S. Coast Guard is forwarding an Information Collection Request (ICR), abstracted below, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), requesting approval of a revision to the following collection of information: 1625-0010, Defect/Noncompliance Report and Campaign Update Report. Our ICR describes the information we seek to collect from the public. Review and comments by OIRA ensure we only impose paperwork burdens commensurate with our performance of duties.

    DATES:

    Comments must reach the Coast Guard and OIRA on or before December 21, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by Coast Guard docket number [USCG-2015-0378] to the Coast Guard using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Alternatively, you may submit comments to OIRA using one of the following means:

    (1) Email: [email protected]

    (2) Mail: OIRA, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503, attention Desk Officer for the Coast Guard.

    (3) Fax: 202-395-6566. To ensure your comments are received in a timely manner, mark the fax, attention Desk Officer for the Coast Guard.

    A copy of the ICR is available through the docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Additionally, copies are available from: Commandant (CG-612), Attn: Paperwork Reduction Act Manager, U.S. Coast Guard, 2703 Martin Luther King Jr Ave. SE., Stop 7710, Washington, DC 20593-7710.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Contact Mr. Anthony Smith, Office of Information Management, telephone 202-475-3531, or fax 202-372-8405, for questions on these documents.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public Participation and Request for Comments

    This Notice relies on the authority of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended. An ICR is an application to OIRA seeking the approval, extension, or renewal of a Coast Guard collection of information (Collection). The ICR contains information describing the Collection's purpose, the Collection's likely burden on the affected public, an explanation of the necessity of the Collection, and other important information describing the Collection. There is one ICR for each Collection. The Coast Guard invites comments on whether this ICR should be granted based on the Collection being necessary for the proper performance of Departmental functions. In particular, the Coast Guard would appreciate comments addressing: (1) The practical utility of the Collection; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden of the Collection; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of information subject to the Collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the Collection on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. These comments will help OIRA determine whether to approve the ICR referred to in this Notice.

    We encourage you to respond to this request by submitting comments and related materials. Comments to Coast Guard or OIRA must contain the OMB Control Number of the ICR. They must also contain the docket number of this request, [USCG-2015-0378], and must be received by December 21, 2015.

    Submitting Comments

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions. Documents mentioned in this notice, and all public comments, are in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that Web site's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    OIRA posts its decisions on ICRs online at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain after the comment period for each ICR. An OMB Notice of Action on each ICR will become available via a hyperlink in the OMB Control Number: 1625-0010.

    Previous Request for Comments

    This request provides a 30-day comment period required by OIRA. The Coast Guard published the 60-day notice (80 FR 42509, July 17, 2015) required by 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2). That Notice elicited no comments. Accordingly, no changes have been made to the Collection.

    Information Collection Request

    1. Title: Defect/Noncompliance Report and Campaign Update Report.

    OMB Control Number: 1625-0010.

    Summary: Manufacturers whose products contain defects that create a substantial risk of personal injury to the public or fail to comply with an applicable Coast Guard safety standard are required to conduct defect notification and recall campaigns in accordance with 46 U.S.C. 4310. Regulations in 33 CFR 179 require manufacturers to submit certain reports to the Coast Guard concerning progress made in notifying owners and making repairs.

    Need: Under 46 U.S.C. 4310(d) and (e); and 33 CFR 179.13 and 179.15, the manufacturer shall provide the Commandant of the Coast Guard with an initial report consisting of certain information about the defect notification and recall campaign being conducted and follow up reports describing progress. Upon receipt of information from a manufacturer indicating the initiation of a recall, the Recreational Boating Product Assurance Branch assigns a recall campaign number, and sends the manufacturer CG Forms CG-4917 and CG-4918 for supplying the information.

    Forms: CG-4917, Defect/Noncompliance Report and CG-4918, Campaign Update Report.

    Respondents: Manufacturers of boats and certain items of “designated” associated equipment (inboard engines, outboard motors, sterndrive engines or an inflatable personal flotation device approved under 46 CFR 160.076).

    Frequency: This Information Collection has recordkeeping requirements. The frequency for reporting is Quarterly.

    Hour Burden Estimate: The estimated burden has decreased from 252 hours to 207 hours annually. The number of campaigns has decreased due to the pro-active nature of the Coast Guard factory inspectors who detect and correct recreational boat deficiencies before a watercraft is placed in the market for sale.

    Authority:

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended.

    Dated: November 10, 2015. Thomas P. Michelli, U.S. Coast Guard, Deputy Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29611 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard [Docket No. USCG-2015-0690] Collection of Information Under Review by Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0015 AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Thirty-day notice requesting comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 the U.S. Coast Guard is forwarding an Information Collection Request (ICR), abstracted below, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), requesting an extension of its approval for the following collection of information: 1625-0015, Bridge Permit Application Guide (BPAG). Our ICR describes the information we seek to collect from the public. Review and comments by OIRA ensure we only impose paperwork burdens commensurate with our performance of duties.

    DATES:

    Comments must reach the Coast Guard and OIRA on or before December 21, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by Coast Guard docket number [USCG-2015-0690] to the Coast Guard using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Alternatively, you may submit comments to OIRA using one of the following means:

    (1) Email: [email protected]

    (2) Mail: OIRA, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503, attention Desk Officer for the Coast Guard.

    (3) Fax: 202-395-6566. To ensure your comments are received in a timely manner, mark the fax, attention Desk Officer for the Coast Guard.

    A copy of the ICR is available through the docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Additionally, copies are available from: Commandant (CG-612), Attn: Paperwork Reduction Act Manager, U.S. Coast Guard, 2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE., STOP 7710, Washington, DC 20593-7710.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Anthony Smith, Office of Information Management, telephone 202-475-3532, or fax 202-372-8405, for questions on these documents.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Public Participation and Request for Comments

    This Notice relies on the authority of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended. An ICR is an application to OIRA seeking the approval, extension, or renewal of a Coast Guard collection of information (Collection). The ICR contains information describing the Collection's purpose, the Collection's likely burden on the affected public, an explanation of the necessity of the Collection, and other important information describing the Collection. There is one ICR for each Collection. The Coast Guard invites comments on whether this ICR should be granted based on the Collection being necessary for the proper performance of Departmental functions. In particular, the Coast Guard would appreciate comments addressing: (1) The practical utility of the Collection; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden of the Collection; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of information subject to the Collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the Collection on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. These comments will help OIRA determine whether to approve the ICR referred to in this Notice.

    We encourage you to respond to this request by submitting comments and related materials. Comments to Coast Guard or OIRA must contain the OMB Control Number of the ICR. They must also contain the docket number of this request, [USCG-2015-0690], and must be received by December 21, 2015.

    Submitting Comments

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions. Documents mentioned in this notice, and all public comments, are in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that Web site's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    OIRA posts its decisions on ICRs online at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain after the comment period for each ICR. An OMB Notice of Action on each ICR will become available via a hyperlink in the OMB Control Number: 1625-0015.

    Previous Request for Comments

    This request provides a 30-day comment period required by OIRA. The Coast Guard published the 60-day notice (80 FR 51291, August 24, 2015) required by 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2). That Notice elicited no comments. Accordingly, no changes have been made to the Collections.

    Information Collection Request

    1. Title: Bridge Permit Application Guide (BPAG).

    OMB Control Number: 1625-0015.

    Summary: This collection of information is a request for a bridge permit submitted as an application for approval by the Coast Guard of any proposed bridge project. An applicant must submit to the Coast Guard a letter of application along with letter-size drawing (plans) and maps showing the proposed project and its location.

    Need: 33 U.S.C. 401, 491, and 525 authorize the Coast Guard to approve plans and locations for all bridges and causeways that go over navigable waters of the United States.

    Forms: N/A.

    Respondents: Public and private owners of bridges over navigable waters of the United States.

    Frequency: On occasion. There are no recordkeeping requirements for this information collection.

    Hour Burden Estimate: The estimated burden has increased from 10,760 hours to 12,354 hours a year due to a increase in the estimated annual number of respondents.

    Authority:

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended.

    Dated: November 10, 2015. Thomas P. Michelli, U.S. Coast Guard, Deputy Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29612 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard [Docket No. USCG-2015-0691] Collection of Information Under Review by Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0099 AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Thirty-day notice requesting comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 the U.S. Coast Guard is forwarding an Information Collection Request (ICR), abstracted below, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), requesting approval of a revision to the following collection of information: 1625-0099, Requirements for the Use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas and Compressed Natural Gas as Cooking Fuel on Passenger Vessels. Our ICR describes the information we seek to collect from the public. Review and comments by OIRA ensure we only impose paperwork burdens commensurate with our performance of duties.

    DATES:

    Comments must reach the Coast Guard and OIRA on or before December 21, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by Coast Guard docket number [USCG-2015-0691] to the Coast Guard using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Alternatively, you may submit comments to OIRA using one of the following means:

    (1) Email: [email protected].

    (2) Mail: OIRA, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503, attention Desk Officer for the Coast Guard.

    (3) Fax: 202-395-6566. To ensure your comments are received in a timely manner, mark the fax, attention Desk Officer for the Coast Guard.

    A copy of the ICR is available through the docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Additionally, copies are available from: COMMANDANT (CG-612), ATTN: PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT MANAGER, U.S. COAST GUARD, 2703 MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. AVE SE., STOP 7710, WASHINGTON, DC 20593-7710.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Anthony Smith, Office of Information Management, telephone 202-475-3532, or fax 202-372-8405, for questions on these documents.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public Participation and Request for Comments

    This Notice relies on the authority of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended. An ICR is an application to OIRA seeking the approval, extension, or renewal of a Coast Guard collection of information (Collection). The ICR contains information describing the Collection's purpose, the Collection's likely burden on the affected public, an explanation of the necessity of the Collection, and other important information describing the Collection. There is one ICR for each Collection. The Coast Guard invites comments on whether this ICR should be granted based on the Collection being necessary for the proper performance of Departmental functions. In particular, the Coast Guard would appreciate comments addressing: (1) The practical utility of the Collection; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden of the Collection; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of information subject to the Collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the Collection on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. These comments will help OIRA determine whether to approve the ICR referred to in this Notice.

    We encourage you to respond to this request by submitting comments and related materials. Comments to Coast Guard or OIRA must contain the OMB Control Number of the ICR. They must also contain the docket number of this request, [USCG-2015-0691], and must be received by December 21, 2015.

    Submitting Comments

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions. Documents mentioned in this notice, and all public comments, are in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that Web site's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    OIRA posts its decisions on ICRs online at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain after the comment period for each ICR. An OMB Notice of Action on each ICR will become available via a hyperlink in the OMB Control Number: 1625-0099.

    Previous Request for Comments

    This request provides a 30-day comment period required by OIRA. The Coast Guard published the 60-day notice (80 FR 48555, August 13, 2015) required by 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2). That Notice elicited no comments. Accordingly, no changes have been made to the Collection.

    Information Collection Request

    1. Title: Requirements for the Use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas and Compressed Natural Gas as Cooking Fuel on Passenger Vessels.

    OMB Control Number: 1625-0099.

    Summary: The collection of information requires passenger vessels to post two placards that contain safety and operating instructions on the use of cooking appliances that use liquefied gas or compressed natural gas.

    Need: Title 46 U.S.C. 3306(a)(5) authorizes the Coast Guard to prescribe regulations for the use of vessel stores of a dangerous nature. These regulations are prescribed in both uninspected and inspected passenger vessel regulations.

    Forms: None.

    Respondents: Owners and operators of passenger vessels. The annual number of respondents is estimated at 6,429.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Hour Burden Estimate: The estimated burden has increased from 5,948 hours to 6,429 hours a year due to an increase in the estimated number of respondents.

    Authority:

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended.

    Dated: November 10, 2015. Thomas P. Michelli, U.S. Coast Guard, Deputy Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29574 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard [Docket No. USCG-2015-0757] Information Collection Request to Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0041 AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Sixty-day notice requesting comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the U.S. Coast Guard intends to submit an Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), requesting approval for reinstatement, with change, of the following collection of information: 1625-0041, Various International Agreement Pollution Prevention Certificates and Documents, and Equivalency Certificates. Our ICR describe the information we seek to collect from the public. Before submitting this ICR to OIRA, the Coast Guard is inviting comments as described below.

    DATES:

    Comments must reach the Coast Guard on or before January 19, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by Coast Guard docket number [USCG-2015-0757] to the Coast Guard using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. See the “Public participation and request for comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments.

    A copy of the ICR is available through the docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Additionally, copies are available from: Commandant (CG-612), Attn: Paperwork Reduction Act Manager, U.S. Coast Guard, 2100 2nd Street SW., Stop 7710, Washington, DC 20593-7710.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Anthony Smith, Office of Information Management, telephone 202-475-3532, or fax 202-372-8405, for questions on these documents.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public Participation and Request for Comments

    This Notice relies on the authority of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended. An ICR is an application to OIRA seeking the approval, extension, or renewal of a Coast Guard collection of information (Collection). The ICR contains information describing the Collection's purpose, the Collection's likely burden on the affected public, an explanation of the necessity of the Collection, and other important information describing the Collection. There is one ICR for each Collection.

    The Coast Guard invites comments on whether this ICR should be granted based on the Collection being necessary for the proper performance of Departmental functions. In particular, the Coast Guard would appreciate comments addressing: (1) The practical utility of the Collection; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden of the Collection; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of information subject to the Collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the Collection on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. In response to your comments, we may revise this ICR or decide not to seek reinstatement of the Collection. We will consider all comments and material received during the comment period.

    We encourage you to respond to this request by submitting comments and related materials. Comments must contain the OMB Control Number of the ICR and the docket number of this request, [USCG-2015-0757], and must be received by January 19, 2016.

    Submitting Comments

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions. Documents mentioned in this notice, and all public comments, are in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that Web site's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    Information Collection Request

    1. Title: Various International Agreement Pollution Prevention Certificates and Documents, and Equivalency Certificates.

    Omb Control Number: 1625-0041.

    Summary: Required by the adoption of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL 73/78) and other international treaties, these certificates and documents are evidence of compliance for U.S. vessels on international voyages. Without the proper certificates or documents, a U.S. vessel could be detained in a foreign port.

    Need: Compliance with treaty requirements aids in the prevention of pollution from ships.

    Forms: CG-5352, International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate; CG-5352A, Supplement to the International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate (IOPP Certificate); CG-5352B, Supplement to the International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate (IOPP Certificate); CG-6047, International Sewage Pollution Prevention Equivalency Certificate; CG-6047A, Statement of Voluntary Compliance for sewage Pollution Prevention; CG-6056, International Air Pollution Prevention Certificate; CG-6056A, Supplement to International Air Pollution Prevention Certificate (IAPP Certificate); CG-6056B, Statement of Voluntary Compliance for ANNEX VI of MARPOL 73/78; CG-6056C, Supplement to Statement of Voluntary Compliance for ANNEX VI of MARPOL 73/78; CG-6057, Statement of Voluntary Compliance; CG-6059, International Anti-Fouling Systems Certificate; CG-6059A, Record of Anti-Fouling Systems; CG-6060, International Energy Efficiency (IEE Certificate); and CG-6060A, Supplement to the International Energy Efficiency Certificate (IEE Certificate).

    Respondents: Owners, operators, or masters of vessels.

    Frequency : On occasion.

    Hour Burden Estimate: The estimated burden has increased from 2,738 hours to 73,900 hours a year due to an increase in the estimated annual number of response.

    Authority:

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended.

    Dated: November 10, 2015. Thomas P. Michelli, Deputy Chief Information Officer, U.S. Coast Guard.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29614 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard [Docket No. USCG-2015-0636] Collection of Information Under Review by Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0088 AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Thirty-day notice requesting comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 the U.S. Coast Guard is forwarding an Information Collection Request (ICR), abstracted below, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), requesting approval of a revision to the following collection of information: 1625-0088, Voyage Planning for Tank Barge Transits in the Northeast United States. Our ICR describes the information we seek to collect from the public. Review and comments by OIRA ensure we only impose paperwork burdens commensurate with our performance of duties.

    DATES:

    Comments must reach the Coast Guard and OIRA on or before December 21, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by Coast Guard docket number [USCG-2015-0636] to the Coast Guard using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Alternatively, you may submit comments to OIRA using one of the following means:

    (1) Email: [email protected]

    (2) Mail: OIRA, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503, attention Desk Officer for the Coast Guard.

    (3) Fax: 202-395-6566. To ensure your comments are received in a timely manner, mark the fax, attention Desk Officer for the Coast Guard.

    A copy of the ICR is available through the docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Additionally, copies are available from: COMMANDANT (CG-612), ATTN: PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT MANAGER, U.S. COAST GUARD, 2703 MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. AVE. SE., STOP 7710, WASHINGTON, DC 20593-7710.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Anthony Smith, Office of Information Management, telephone 202-475-3532, or fax 202-372-8405, for questions on these documents.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Public Participation and Request for Comments

    This Notice relies on the authority of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended. An ICR is an application to OIRA seeking the approval, extension, or renewal of a Coast Guard collection of information (Collection). The ICR contains information describing the Collection's purpose, the Collection's likely burden on the affected public, an explanation of the necessity of the Collection, and other important information describing the Collection. There is one ICR for each Collection. The Coast Guard invites comments on whether this ICR should be granted based on the Collection being necessary for the proper performance of Departmental functions. In particular, the Coast Guard would appreciate comments addressing: (1) The practical utility of the Collection; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden of the Collection; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of information subject to the Collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the Collection on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. These comments will help OIRA determine whether to approve the ICR referred to in this Notice.

    We encourage you to respond to this request by submitting comments and related materials. Comments to Coast Guard or OIRA must contain the OMB Control Number of the ICR. They must also contain the docket number of this request, [USCG-2015-0636], and must be received by December 21, 2015.

    Submitting Comments

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions. Documents mentioned in this notice, and all public comments, are in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that Web site's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    OIRA posts its decisions on ICRs online at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain after the comment period for each ICR. An OMB Notice of Action on each ICR will become available via a hyperlink in the OMB Control Number: 1625-0088.

    Previous Request for Comments

    This request provides a 30-day comment period required by OIRA. The Coast Guard has published the 60-day notice (80 FR 48552, August 13, 2015) required by 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2). That Notice elicited no comments. Accordingly, no changes have been made to the Collection.

    Information Collection Request

    1. Title: Voyage Planning for Tank Barge Transits in the Northeast United States.

    OMB Control Number: 1625-0088.

    Summary: The information collection requirement for a voyage plan serves as a preventive measure and assists in ensuring the successful execution and completion of a voyage in the First Coast Guard District. This rule (33 CFR 165.100) applies to primary towing vessels engaged in towing tank barges carrying petroleum oil in bulk as cargo.

    Need: Section 311 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1998, Pub. L. 105-383, 33 U.S.C. 1231, and 46 U.S.C. 3719 authorize the Coast Guard to promulgate regulations for towing vessel and barge safety for the waters of the Northeast subject to the jurisdiction of the First Coast Guard District. This regulation is contained in 33 CFR 165.100. The information for a voyage plan will provide a mechanism for assisting vessels towing tank barges to identify those specific risks, potential equipment, failures, or human errors that may lead to accidents.

    Forms: None.

    Respondents: Owners and operators of towing vessels. The annual number of respondents is estimated at 1,759.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Hour Burden Estimate: The estimated burden has decreased from 1,116 hours to 880 hours a year due to a decrease in the estimated annual number of responses.

    Authority:

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended.

    Dated: November 10, 2015. Thomas P. Michelli, U.S. Coast Guard, Deputy Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29576 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard [Docket No. USCG-2015-0692] Collection of Information Under Review by Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0103 AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Thirty-day notice requesting comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 the U.S. Coast Guard is forwarding an Information Collection Request (ICR), abstracted below, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), requesting approval of a revision to the following collection of information: 1625-0103, Mandatory Ship Reporting System for the Northeast and Southeast Coasts of the United States. Our ICR describes the information we seek to collect from the public. Review and comments by OIRA ensure we only impose paperwork burdens commensurate with our performance of duties.

    DATES:

    Comments must reach the Coast Guard and OIRA on or before December 21, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by Coast Guard docket number [USCG-2015-0692] to the Coast Guard using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Alternatively, you may submit comments to OIRA using one of the following means:

    (1) Email: [email protected].

    (2) Mail: OIRA, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503, attention Desk Officer for the Coast Guard.

    (3) Fax: 202-395-6566. To ensure your comments are received in a timely manner, mark the fax, attention Desk Officer for the Coast Guard.

    A copy of the ICR is available through the docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Additionally, copies are available from: COMMANDANT (CG-612), ATTN: PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT MANAGER, U.S. COAST GUARD, 2703 MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. AVE SE., STOP 7710, WASHINGTON, DC 20593-7710.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Anthony Smith, Office of Information Management, telephone 202-475-3532, or fax 202-372-8405, for questions on these documents.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public Participation and Request for Comments

    This Notice relies on the authority of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended. An ICR is an application to OIRA seeking the approval, extension, or renewal of a Coast Guard collection of information (Collection). The ICR contains information describing the Collection's purpose, the Collection's likely burden on the affected public, an explanation of the necessity of the Collection, and other important information describing the Collection. There is one ICR for each Collection. The Coast Guard invites comments on whether this ICR should be granted based on the Collection being necessary for the proper performance of Departmental functions. In particular, the Coast Guard would appreciate comments addressing: (1) The practical utility of the Collection; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden of the Collection; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of information subject to the Collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the Collection on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. These comments will help OIRA determine whether to approve the ICR referred to in this Notice.

    We encourage you to respond to this request by submitting comments and related materials. Comments to Coast Guard or OIRA must contain the OMB Control Number of the ICR. They must also contain the docket number of this request, [USCG-2015-0692], and must be received by December 21, 2015.

    Submitting Comments

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions. Documents mentioned in this notice, and all public comments, are in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that Web site's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    OIRA posts its decisions on ICRs online at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain after the comment period for each ICR. An OMB Notice of Action on each ICR will become available via a hyperlink in the OMB Control Number: 1625-0103.

    Previous Request for Comments

    This request provides a 30-day comment period required by OIRA. The Coast Guard published the 60-day notice (80 FR 48554, August 13, 2015) required by 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2). That Notice elicited no comments. Accordingly, no changes have been made to the Collection.

    Information Collection Request

    1. Title: Mandatory Ship Reporting System for the Northeast and Southeast Coasts of the United States.

    OMB Control Number: 1625-0103.

    Summary: The information is needed to reduce the number of ship collisions with endangered northern right whales. Coast Guard rules at 33 CFR part 169 establish two mandatory ship-reporting systems off the northeast and southeast coasts of the United States.

    Need: The collection involves ships' reporting by radio to a shore-based authority when entering the area covered by the reporting system. The ship will receive, in return, information to reduce the likelihood of collisions between themselves and northern right whales—an endangered species—in the areas established with critical-habitat designation.

    Forms: N/A.

    Respondents: Operators of certain vessels. The estimated annual number of respondents is 1,773.

    Frequency: On occasion. There are no recordkeeping requirements for this information collection.

    Hour Burden Estimate: The estimated burden has decreased from 200 hours to 188 hours a year due to a decrease in the estimated annual number of responses.

    Authority:

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended.

    Dated: November 10, 2015. Thomas P. Michelli, U.S. Coast Guard, Deputy Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29572 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard [Docket No. USCG-2015-0689] Collection of Information Under Review by Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0070 AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Thirty-day notice requesting comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 the U.S. Coast Guard is forwarding an Information Collection Request (ICR), abstracted below, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), requesting approval of a revision to the following collection of information: 1625-0070, Vessel Identification System. Our ICR describes the information we seek to collect from the public. Review and comments by OIRA ensure we only impose paperwork burdens commensurate with our performance of duties.

    DATES:

    Comments must reach the Coast Guard and OIRA on or before December 30, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by Coast Guard docket number [USCG-2015-0689] to the Coast Guard using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Alternatively, you may submit comments to OIRA using one of the following means:

    (1) Email: [email protected]

    (2) Mail: OIRA, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503, attention Desk Officer for the Coast Guard.

    (3) Fax: 202-395-6566. To ensure your comments are received in a timely manner, mark the fax, attention Desk Officer for the Coast Guard.

    A copy of the ICR is available through the docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Additionally, copies are available from: Commandant (CG-612), Attn: Paperwork Reduction Act Manager, U.S. Coast Guard, 2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE., Stop 7710, Washington, DC 20593-7710.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Anthony Smith, Office of Information Management, telephone 202-475-3532, or fax 202-372-8405, for questions on these documents.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Public Participation and Request for Comments

    This Notice relies on the authority of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended. An ICR is an application to OIRA seeking the approval, extension, or renewal of a Coast Guard collection of information (Collection). The ICR contains information describing the Collection's purpose, the Collection's likely burden on the affected public, an explanation of the necessity of the Collection, and other important information describing the Collection. There is one ICR for each Collection.

    The Coast Guard invites comments on whether this ICR should be granted based on the Collection being necessary for the proper performance of Departmental functions. In particular, the Coast Guard would appreciate comments addressing: (1) The practical utility of the Collection; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden of the Collection; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of information subject to the Collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the Collection on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. These comments will help OIRA determine whether to approve the ICR referred to in this Notice.

    We encourage you to respond to this request by submitting comments and related materials. Comments to Coast Guard or OIRA must contain the OMB Control Number of the ICR. They must also contain the docket number of this request, [USCG-2015-0689], and must be received by December 30, 2015.

    Submitting Comments

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions. Documents mentioned in this notice, and all public comments, are in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that Web site's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    OIRA posts its decisions on ICRs online at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain after the comment period for each ICR. An OMB Notice of Action on each ICR will become available via a hyperlink in the OMB Control Number: 1625-0070.

    Previous Request for Comments

    This request provides a 30-day comment period required by OIRA. The Coast Guard published the 60-day notice (80 FR 48550, August 13, 2015) required by 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2). That Notice elicited no comments. Accordingly, no changes have been made to the Collection.

    Information Collection Request

    1. Title: Vessel Identification System.

    OMB Control Number: 1625-0070.

    Summary: The Coast Guard established a nationwide vessel identification system (VIS) and centralized certain vessel documentation function. VIS provides participating States and Territories with access to data on vessels numbered by States and Territories. Participation in VIS is voluntary.

    Need: Title 46 U.S.C. 12501 mandates the establishment of a VIS. Title 33 CFR part 187 prescribes the requirements of VIS.

    Forms: N/A.

    Respondents: Governments of States and Territories. The estimated number of respondents annually is 34.

    Frequency: Daily.

    Hour Burden Estimate: The estimated burden has decreased from 5,456 hours to 5,164 hours a year due to a decrease in the estimated annual number of responses.

    Authority:

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended.

    Dated: November 10, 2015. Thomas P. Michelli, Deputy Chief Information Officer, U.S. Coast Guard.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29610 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard [Docket No. USCG-2015-0382] Collection of Information Under Review by Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0067 AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Thirty-day notice requesting comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 the U.S. Coast Guard is forwarding an Information Collection Request (ICR), abstracted below, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), requesting approval for reinstatement, with change, of the following collection of information 1625-0067, Claims under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. Our ICR describe the information we seek to collect from the public. Review and comments by OIRA ensure we only impose paperwork burdens commensurate with our performance of duties.

    DATES:

    Comments must reach the Coast Guard and OIRA on or before December 21, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by Coast Guard docket number [USCG-2015-0382] to the Coast Guard using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Alternatively, you may submit comments to OIRA using one of the following means:

    (1) Email: [email protected]

    (2) Mail: OIRA, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503, attention Desk Officer for the Coast Guard.

    (3) Fax: 202-395-6566. To ensure your comments are received in a timely manner, mark the fax, attention Desk Officer for the Coast Guard.

    A copy of the ICR is available through the docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Additionally, copies are available from: COMMANDANT (CG-612), ATTN: PAPERWORK REDUCTION ACT MANAGER, U.S. COAST GUARD, 2100 2ND STREET SW., STOP 7710, WASHINGTON, DC 20593-7710.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Anthony Smith, Office of Information Management, telephone 202-475-3532, or fax 202-372-8405, for questions on these documents.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public Participation and Request for Comments

    This Notice relies on the authority of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended. An ICR is an application to OIRA seeking the approval, extension, or renewal of a Coast Guard collection of information (Collection). The ICR contains information describing the Collection's purpose, the Collection's likely burden on the affected public, an explanation of the necessity of the Collection, and other important information describing the Collection. There is one ICR for each Collection. The Coast Guard invites comments on whether this ICR should be granted based on the Collection being necessary for the proper performance of Departmental functions. In particular, the Coast Guard would appreciate comments addressing: (1) The practical utility of the Collection; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden of the Collection; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of information subject to the Collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the Collection on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. These comments will help OIRA determine whether to approve the ICR referred to in this Notice.

    We encourage you to respond to this request by submitting comments and related materials. Comments to Coast Guard or OIRA must contain the OMB Control Number of the ICR. They must also contain the docket number of this request, [USCG-2015-0382], and must be received by December 21, 2015.

    Submitting Comments

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions. Documents mentioned in this notice, and all public comments, are in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that Web site's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    OIRA posts its decisions on ICRs online at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain after the comment period for each ICR. An OMB Notice of Action on each ICR will become available via a hyperlink in the OMB Control Number: 1625-0067

    Previous Request for Comments

    This request provides a 30-day comment period required by OIRA. The Coast Guard has published the 60-day notice (80 FR 35386, June 19, 2015) required by 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2). That Notice elicited no comments. Accordingly, no changes have been made to the Collection.

    Information Collection Request

    1. Title: Claims under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.1625-0067.

    Summary: This information collection provides the means to develop and submit a claim to the National Pollution Funds Center to seek compensation for removal costs and damages incurred resulting from an oil discharge or substantial threat of discharge. This collection also provides the requirements for a responsible party to advertise where claims may be sent after an incident occurs.

    Need: This information collection is required by 33 CFR part 136, for implementing 33 U.S.C. 2713(e) and 33 U.S.C. 2714(b).

    Forms: None.

    Respondents: Claimants and responsible parties of oil spills.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Hour Burden Estimate: The estimated burden has increased from 8,267 hours to 9,370 hours a year due to an increase in the estimated number of annual respondents.

    Authority:

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended.

    Dated: November 10, 2015.

    Sincerely,

    Thomas P. Michelli, U.S. Coast Guard, Deputy Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29575 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard [Docket No. USCG-2015-0756] Information Collection Request to Office of Management and Budget; OMB Control Number: 1625-0009 AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Sixty-day notice requesting comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the U.S. Coast Guard intends to submit an Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), requesting approval for reinstatement, with change, of the following collection of information: 1625-0009, Oil Record Book for Ships. Our ICR describe the information we seek to collect from the public. Before submitting this ICR to OIRA, the Coast Guard is inviting comments as described below.

    DATES:

    Comments must reach the Coast Guard on or before January 19, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by Coast Guard docket number [USCG-2015-0756] to the Coast Guard using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. See the “Public participation and request for comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments.

    A copy of the ICR is available through the docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Additionally, copies are available from: Commandant (CG-612), Attn: Paperwork Reduction Act Manager, U.S. Coast Guard, 2100 2nd Street SW., Stop 7101, Washington, DC 20593-7710.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Anthony Smith, Office of Information Management, telephone 202-475-3532, or fax 202-372-8405, for questions on these documents.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Public Participation and Request for Comments

    This Notice relies on the authority of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended. An ICR is an application to OIRA seeking the approval, extension, or renewal of a Coast Guard collection of information (Collection). The ICR contains information describing the Collection's purpose, the Collection's likely burden on the affected public, an explanation of the necessity of the Collection, and other important information describing the Collection. There is one ICR for each Collection.

    The Coast Guard invites comments on whether this ICR should be granted based on the Collection being necessary for the proper performance of Departmental functions. In particular, the Coast Guard would appreciate comments addressing: (1) The practical utility of the Collection; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden of the Collection; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of information subject to the Collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the Collection on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. In response to your comments, we may revise this ICR or decide not to seek reinstatement of the Collection. We will consider all comments and material received during the comment period.

    We encourage you to respond to this request by submitting comments and related materials. Comments must contain the OMB Control Number of the ICR and the docket number of this request, [USCG-2015-0756], and must be received by January 19, 2016.

    Submitting Comments

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions. Documents mentioned in this notice, and all public comments, are in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that Web site's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    Information Collection Request

    1. Title: Oil Record Book for Ships.

    Omb Control Number: 1625-0009.

    Summary: The Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) and the International Convention for Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the 1978 Protocol relating thereto (MARPOL 73/78), requires that information about oil cargo or fuel operations be entered into an Oil Record Book (CG-4602A). The requirement is contained in 33 CFR 151.25.

    Need: This information is used to verify sightings of actual violations of the APPS to determine the level of compliance with MARPOL 73/78 and as a means of reinforcing the discharge provisions.

    Forms: CG-4602A; Oil Record Book for Ships.

    Respondents: Operators of vessels.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Hour Burden Estimate: The estimated burden has increased from 20,221 hours to 28,536 hours a year due to an increase in the estimated annual number of responses.

    Authority:

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended.

    Dated: November 10, 2015. Thomas P. Michelli, Deputy Chief Information Officer, U.S. Coast Guard.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29573 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement [Docket No. ICEB-2015-0004] Advisory Committee on Family Residential Centers Meeting AGENCY:

    ICE, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Advisory Committee on Family Residential Centers (ACFRC) will hold its inaugural meeting in Washington, DC to discuss specific challenges within ICE family residential centers and areas of focus for its initial work. This meeting will be open to the public. Individuals who wish to attend the meeting in person are required to register online at www.ice.gov/acfrc by December 7, 2015, to allow for security screening. Due to limited seating, the public portion of this meeting may be attended via teleconference.

    DATES:

    The Advisory Committee on Family Residential Centers will meet on Monday, December 14, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Please note that these meetings may conclude early if the Committee has completed all business.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held in the Julie Myers Conference Center at ICE Headquarters, 500 12th St. SW., Washington, DC 20536.

    For information on facilities, services for individuals with disabilities, or to request special assistance at the meeting, contact Mr. John Amaya, Designated Federal Officer, at [email protected].

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. John Amaya, Designated Federal Officer for the Advisory Committee on Family Residential Centers, at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice of this meeting is given under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, (title 5, United States Code Appendix). Written statements may be submitted to the ACFRC Designated Federal Officer (DFO) (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). Statements should be no longer than two type-written pages and address the following details: The issue, discussion, and recommended course of action. Additional information, including the agenda, electronic registration, and teleconference details are available on the ACFRC Web site at www.ice.gov/acfrc.

    Meeting Agenda

    The agenda for the Advisory Committee on Family Residential Centers meeting is as follows:

    Monday, December 14, 2015 (1) Ethics Training (2) FACA 101 (3) Welcome and Opening Remarks (4) Official Swearing-in of Members (5) Meeting Norms and Overview of Agenda (6) Role of the Advisory Committee (7) American Immigration Lawyers Association Presentation: Concerns & Challenges at Family Residential Centers (8) ICE State of Play (9) Overview of Committee Norms and Approach for Developing Consensus Recommendations (10) Public Comment (11) Closing Remarks (12) Adjourn

    The meeting agenda and all meeting documentation will be made available online at: www.ice.gov/acfrc. Alternatively, you may contact Mr. John Amaya as noted in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section above.

    A public oral comment period will be held at the end of the day. Speakers are requested to limit their comments to 2 minutes. Please note that the public comment period may end before the time indicated, following the last call for comments.

    Dated: November 16, 2015. Margaret Stubbs, Regulatory Coordinator, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29534 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-28-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Office of Justice Programs [OJP (OJP) Docket No. 1700] Meeting of the Office of Justice Programs' Science Advisory Board AGENCY:

    Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Justice.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a forthcoming meeting of OJP's Science Advisory Board (“the Board”). General Function of the Board: The Board is chartered to provide OJP, a component of the Department of Justice, with valuable advice in the areas of science and statistics for the purpose of enhancing the overall impact and performance of its programs and activities in criminal and juvenile justice.

    DATES:

    The meeting will take place on Friday, January 22, 2016, from approximately 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a break for lunch at approximately 12:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will take place in the Main Conference Room on the third floor of the Office of Justice Programs, 810 7th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20531.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Katherine Darke Schmitt, Designated Federal Officer (DFO), Office of the Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs, 810 7th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20531; Phone: (202) 616-7373 [Note: This is not a toll-free number]; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This meeting is being convened to brief the OJP Assistant Attorney General and the Board members on the progress of the subcommittees, discuss any recommendations they may have for consideration by the full Board, and brief the Board on various OJP-related projects and activities. The final agenda is subject to adjustment, but the meeting will likely include briefings of the subcommittees' activities and discussion of future Board actions and priorities. This meeting is open to the public. Members of the public who wish to attend this meeting must register with Katherine Darke Schmitt at the above address at least seven (7) calendar days in advance of the meeting. Registrations will be accepted on a space available basis. Access to the meeting will not be allowed without registration. Persons interested in communicating with the Board should submit their written comments to the DFO, as the time available will not allow the public to directly address the Board at the meeting. Anyone requiring special accommodations should notify Ms. Darke Schmitt at least seven (7) calendar days in advance of the meeting.

    Katherine Darke Schmitt, Policy Advisor and SAB DFO, Office of the Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29499 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-18-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. 50-456 and 50-457; NRC-2013-0169] Exelon Generating Company, LLC; Braidwood Station, Units 1 and 2 AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Supplemental environmental impact statement; issuance.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing a final plant-specific supplement, Supplement 55, to NUREG-1437, “Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants” (GEIS), regarding the renewal of Exelon Generating Company, LLC (Exelon) operating licenses NPF-72 and NPF-77 for Braidwood Station, Units 1 and 2 (Braidwood), respectively, for an additional 20 years of operation.

    DATES:

    The final Supplement 55 to the GEIS is available as of November 19, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2013-0169 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this document using any of the following methods:

    • Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2013-0169. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

    • NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected] The final Supplement 55 to the GEIS is in ADAMS under Accession No. ML15314A814.

    • NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Richard Baum, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-0018; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In accordance with § 51.118 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, the NRC is making available final Supplement 55 to the GEIS regarding the renewal of Exelon operating licenses NPF-72 and NPF-77 for an additional 20 years of operation for Braidwood. Draft Supplement 55 to the GEIS was noticed by the NRC in the Federal Register on March 25, 2015 (80 FR 15827), and noticed by the Environmental Protection Agency on March 27, 2015 (80 FR 16384). The public comment period on draft Supplement 55 to the GEIS ended on May 12, 2015, and the comments received are addressed in final Supplement 55 to the GEIS. Final Supplement 55 to the GEIS is available as indicated in the ADDRESSES section of this document.

    As discussed in Chapter 5 of the final Supplement 55 to the GEIS, the NRC determined that the adverse environmental impacts of license renewal for Braidwood are not so great that preserving the option of license renewal for energy-planning decision makers would be unreasonable. This recommendation is based on: (1) The analysis and findings in the GEIS; (2) information provided in the environmental report and other documents submitted by Exelon; (3) consultation with Federal, State, local, and Tribal agencies; (4) the NRC staff's independent environmental review; and (5) consideration of public comments received during the scoping process and on the draft Supplement 55 to the GEIS.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 13 day of November 2015.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    James G. Danna, Chief, Projects Branch 2, Division of License Renewal, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29538 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [NRC-2015-0116] Information Collection: NRC Form 244, Registration Certificate—Use of Depleted Uranium Under General License AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of submission to the Office of Management and Budget; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has recently submitted a request for renewal of an existing collection of information to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. The information collection is entitled, “NRC Form 244, Registration Certificate—Use of Depleted Uranium Under General License.”

    DATES:

    Submit comments by December 21, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments directly to the OMB reviewer at: Vlad Dorjets, Desk Officer, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (3150-0031), NEOB-10202, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503; telephone: 202-395-7315, email: [email protected].

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tremaine Donnell, NRC Clearance Officer, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-6258; email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments A. Obtaining Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2015-0116 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this action by any of the following methods:

    Federal rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2015-0116. A copy of the collection of information and related instructions may be obtained without charge by accessing Docket ID NRC-2015-0116 on this Web site.

    NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected]. A copy of the collection of information and related instructions may be obtained without charge by accessing ADAMS Accession No. ML15251A575 (Form 244). In addition, the supporting statement is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML15251A571.

    NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

    NRC's Clearance Officer: A copy of the collection of information and related instructions may be obtained without charge by contacting the NRC's Clearance Officer, Tremaine Donnell, Office of the Chief Information Officer, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-6258; email: [email protected].

    B. Submitting Comments

    The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information in comment submissions that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your comment submission. All comment submissions are posted at http://www.regulations.gov and entered into ADAMS. Comment submissions are not routinely edited to remove identifying or contact information.

    If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons for submission to the OMB, then you should inform those persons not to include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should state that comment submissions are not routinely edited to remove such information before making the comment submissions available to the public or entering the comment into ADAMS.

    II. Background

    Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35), the NRC recently submitted a request for renewal of an existing collection of information to OMB for review entitled, “NRC Form 244, Registration Certificate—Use of Depleted Uranium Under General License.” The NRC hereby informs potential respondents that an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and that a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    The NRC published a Federal Register notice with a 60-day comment period on this information collection on June 16, 2015 (80 FR 34466).

    1. The title of the information collection: NRC Form 244, “Registration Certificate—Use of Depleted Uranium Under General License.”

    2. OMB approval number: 3150-0031.

    3. Type of submission: Extension.

    4. The form number if applicable: NRC Form 244.

    5. How often the collection is required or requested: Within 30 days after the first receipt or acquisition of depleted uranium. Any changes in information furnished by the registrant in the NRC Form 244 shall be reported in writing to the Director, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, with a copy to the Regional Administrator of the appropriate U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Regional Office listed in appendix D of part 20 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR); this report shall be submitted within 30 days after the effective date of such change.

    6. Who will be required or asked to respond: Persons who receive, acquire, possess, or use depleted uranium pursuant to the general license established in 10 CFR 40.25(a).

    7. The estimated number of annual responses: 9.4 responses (1.3 NRC licensee responses and 8.1 Agreement State licensee responses).

    8. The estimated number of annual respondents: 7.2 respondents (1 NRC licensee and 6.2 Agreement State licensees).

    9. An estimate of the total number of hours needed annually to comply with the information collection requirement or request: 9.4 hours (1.3 NRC licensee hours and 8.1 Agreement State licensee hours).

    10. Abstract: Part 40 of 10 CFR establishes requirements for the receipt, possession, use, and transfer of radioactive source and byproduct materials. Section 40.25 established a general license authorizing the use of depleted uranium contained in industrial products or devices for the purpose of providing a concentrated mass in a small volume of the product or device. The NRC Form 244 is used to report the receipt and transfer of depleted uranium, as required by § 40.25. The registration information required by the NRC Form 244 enables the NRC to make a determination on whether the possession, use, or transfer of depleted uranium source and byproduct material is in conformance with the NRC's regulations for the protection of public health and safety.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 16th day of November 2015.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Tremaine Donnell, NRC Clearance Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29561 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [NRC-2011-0267] In the Matter of All Operating Reactor Licensees With Mark I and Mark II Containments AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Director's decision under 10 CFR 2.206; issuance.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued a director's decision with regard to a petition dated July 29, 2011, filed by Mr. David Lochbaum, Director for Nuclear Safety Project of Union of Concerned Scientists (the petitioner), requesting that the NRC take action with regard to all operating General Electric (GE) boiling-water reactor (BWR) licensees with Mark I and Mark II primary containment designs (referred hereafter as the licensees).

    ADDRESSES:

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2011-0267 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this document using any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2011-0267. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected]. For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

    NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected]. The ADAMS accession number for each document referenced (if it is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is referenced.

    NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John G. Lamb, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-3100, email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that the Director, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, has issued a director's decision (ADAMS Accession No. ML15132A625) on a petition filed by the petitioner on July 29, 2011 (ADAMS Accession No. ML11213A030).

    The petitioner requested that the NRC issue a demand for information (DFI) of the operating licenses of all GE BWRs that utilize the Mark I and Mark II primary containment designs.

    The NRC sent a copy of the proposed director's decision to the petitioner and the licensees for comment on April 17, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML12215A283). The petitioner and the licensees were asked to provide comments within 30 days on any part of the proposed director's decision that was considered to be erroneous or any issues in the petition that were not addressed. The NRC staff received comments on the proposed director's decision from the petitioner by letter dated May 8, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15128A388). The NRC staff responses to the comments are attached to the director's decision.

    The Director of the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation denies the petition because the NRC staff has reasonable assurance that the design and operation of SFP cooling systems for BWRs with Mark I and II containment designs provide adequate assurance of public health and safety and satisfy current regulations. The concern associated with development of harsh environmental conditions following a beyond-design-basis event that induces a sustained loss of spent fuel pool forced cooling was resolved through the issuance of orders and implementing guidance associated with the lesson-learned as a result of the Fukushima Dai-ichi accident. The reasons for this decision are explained in the director's decision (DD-15-11) pursuant to section 2.206 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), of the Commission's regulations.

    The NRC will file a copy of the director's decision with the Secretary of the Commission for the Commission's review in accordance with 10 CFR 2.206. As provided by this regulation, the director's decision will constitute the final action of the Commission 25 days after the date of the decision unless the Commission, on its own motion, institutes a review of the director's decision in that time.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 2nd day of November 2015.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

    William M. Dean, Director, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
    [FR Doc. 2015-29537 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended: New System of Records AGENCY:

    U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

    ACTION:

    Notice of a new system of records.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), as amended, and Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Circular No. A-130, notice is given that the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) proposes to establish a new agency-wide system of records entitled “Correspondence Management for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management,” Internal-21. The purpose of this agency-wide notice is to increase administrative efficiency and to centralize and simplify for the public the process of obtaining information and making requests. This system notice does not supersede systems of records covered by separately-noticed systems.

    DATES:

    Please submit any comments by December 21, 2015. The routine uses for releasing records from this system will be effective without further notice on December 21, 2015 unless comments are received that would result in a contrary determination.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send written comments to the Office of Personnel Management, ATTN: Jozetta Robinson, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street NW., Room 5450, Washington, DC 20415. Written comments can also be sent by email to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jozetta Robinson by telephone at 202-606-1000, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4) and (11), the public is given a 30-day period in which to submit written comments. Therefore, please submit any comments by December 21, 2015. A description of the new system of records is provided below. In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552a(r), the agency has provided a report to OMB and the Congress.

    U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Beth F. Cobert, Acting Director. SYSTEM NAME:

    Correspondence Management for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Internal-21

    SYSTEM LOCATION:

    U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20415 and other U.S. Office of Personnel Management locations throughout the United States and the rest of the world.

    CATEGORIES OF INDIVIDUALS COVERED BY THE SYSTEM:

    Individuals originating, receiving, or named in correspondence (including attachments) to or from OPM or whose correspondence is referred to OPM, or persons communicating electronically, by mail, or by telephone with OPM regarding official business of OPM, including Members of Congress, other government officials, individuals, and their representatives; individuals originating, receiving, or named in internal memoranda (including attachments) within OPM, including OPM employees, contractors, and individuals relating to investigations, policy decisions, or administrative matters of significance to OPM.

    CATEGORIES OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM:

    The categories of records within the system vary according to the wide scope of the responsibilities of OPM. Categories of records may include correspondence identification (e.g., correspondent's name, address, title, organization, control number, date of correspondence, date received, subject), status of response within OPM, the original correspondence, OPM's response, office or staff member assigned to handle the matter, referral letters, name and identification of person referring the correspondence, copies of any enclosures, and related materials. Some internal memoranda, email correspondence, and logs/notes of official telephone calls to/by OPM staff may also be tracked. This system does not cover systems of records covered by separately-noticed systems.

    AUTHORITY FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE SYSTEM:

    5 U.S.C. 301 and 44 U.S.C. 3101.

    PURPOSE(S):

    The system controls and tracks correspondence received or originated by OPM or referred to OPM, and action taken by OPM in response to correspondence received, as well as some internal memoranda, action items, email correspondence, and logs/notes of official telephone calls. It also serves as a reference source for inquiries and response thereto.

    ROUTINE USES OF RECORDS MAINTAINED IN THE SYSTEM, INCLUDING CATEGORIES OF USERS AND THE PURPOSES OF SUCH USES:

    In addition to those disclosures otherwise permitted under 5 U.S.C. 552a(b), all or a portion of the records or information contained in this system may be disclosed outside of OPM, for a routine use under 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(3) as follows:

    a. For Law Enforcement Purposes—To disclose pertinent information to the appropriate Federal, State, or local agency responsible for investigating, prosecuting, enforcing, or implementing a statute, rule, regulation, or order, where OPM becomes aware of an indication of a violation or potential violation of civil or criminal law or regulation.

    b. For Certain Disclosures to Other Federal Agencies—To disclose information to a Federal agency, in response to its request in connection with the hiring or retention of an employee, the issuance of a security clearance, the conducting of a suitability or security investigation of an individual, the classifying of jobs, the letting of a contract, or the issuance of a license, grant, or other benefit by the requesting agency, to the extent that the information is relevant and necessary to the requesting agency's decision on the matter.

    c. For Congressional Inquiry—To provide information to a congressional office from the record of an individual in response to an inquiry from that congressional office made at the request of that individual.

    d. For Judicial/Administrative Proceedings—To disclose information to another Federal agency, to a court, or a party in litigation before a court or in an administrative proceeding being conducted by a Federal agency, when the Government is a party to the judicial or administrative proceeding. In those cases where the Government is not a party to the proceeding, records may be disclosed if a subpoena has been signed by a judge.

    e. For National Archives and Records Administration—To disclose information to the National Archives and Records Administration for use in records management inspections.

    f. Within OPM for Statistical/Analytical Studies—By OPM in the production of summary descriptive statistics and analytical studies in support of the function for which the records are collected and maintained, or for related workforce studies. While published studies do not contain individual identifiers, in some instances the selection of elements of data included in the study may be structured in such a way as to make the data individually identifiable by inference.

    g. For Litigation—To disclose information to the Department of Justice, or in a proceeding before a court, adjudicative body, or other administrative body before which OPM is authorized to appear, when: (1) OPM, or any component thereof; or (2) any employee of OPM in his or her official capacity; or (3) Any employee of OPM in his or her individual capacity where the Department of Justice or OPM has agreed to represent the employee; or (4) the United States, when OPM determines that litigation is likely to affect OPM or any of its components; is a party to litigation or has an interest in such litigation, and the use of such records by the Department of Justice or OPM is deemed by OPM to be relevant and necessary to the litigation provided, however, that the disclosure is compatible with the purpose for which records were collected.

    h. For the Merit Systems Protection Board—To disclose information to officials of the Merit Systems Protection Board or the Office of the Special Counsel, when requested in connection with appeals, special studies of the civil service and other merit systems, review of OPM rules and regulations, investigations of alleged or possible prohibited personnel practices, and such other functions, e.g., as promulgated in 5 U.S.C. 1205 and 1206, or as may be authorized by law.

    i. For the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission—To disclose information to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission when requested in connection with investigations into alleged or possible discrimination practices in the Federal sector, compliance by Federal agencies with the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures or other functions vested in the Commission and to otherwise ensure compliance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 7201.

    j. For the Federal Labor Relations Authority—To disclose information to the Federal Labor Relations Authority or its General Counsel when requested in connection with investigations of allegations of unfair labor practices or matters before the Federal Service Impasses Panel.

    k. For Non-Federal Personnel—To disclose information to contractors, grantees, or volunteers performing or working on a contract, service, grant, cooperative agreement, or job for the Federal Government.

    l. To appropriate agencies, entities, and persons when (1) OPM suspects or has confirmed that the security or confidentiality of information in the system of records has been compromised; (2) the agency has determined that as a result of the suspected or confirmed compromise there is a risk of harm to economic or property interests, identity theft or fraud, or harm to the security or integrity of this system or other systems or programs (whether maintained by OPM or another agency or entity) that rely upon the compromised information; and (3) the disclosure made to such agencies, entities, and persons is reasonably necessary to assist in connection with OPM's efforts to respond to the suspected or confirmed compromise and prevent, minimize, or remedy such harm.

    POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR STORING, RETRIEVING, ACCESSING, RETAINING AND DISPOSING OF RECORDS IN THE SYSTEM: STORAGE:

    Records are stored in electronic form and on paper.

    RETRIEVABILITY:

    Information can be retrieved by name of individual; subject matter of topic; or in some cases, by other identifying search term employed.

    SAFEGUARDS:

    Information in this system is safeguarded in accordance with applicable rules and policies, including OPM's Information Security & Privacy Policy. In general, records and technical equipment are maintained in buildings with restricted access. The required use of password protection identification features and other system protection methods also restrict access. Access is limited to those who have an official need for access to perform their official duties.

    RETENTION AND DISPOSAL:

    Records are retained and disposed of in accordance with the OPM records schedules approved by the National Archives and Records Administration and/or pursuant to the General Records Schedule.

    SYSTEM MANAGER(S) AND ADDRESS(ES):

    The system manager is Director, Office of the Executive Secretariat, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street NW., Room 5450, Washington, DC 20415.

    NOTIFICATION AND RECORD ACCESS PROCEDURE:

    Individuals wishing to determine whether this system of records contains information about them may do so by writing to the FOIA/PA Requester Service Center, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street NW., Room 5415, Washington, DC 20415, or by emailing [email protected] Individuals must furnish the following information:

    1. Full name, former name, and any other names used.

    2. Date and place of birth.

    3. Social Security Number.

    4. Signature.

    5. Description of the information sought.

    6. The reason why the individual believes the system contains information on them.

    Individuals requesting access must also comply with OPM's Privacy Act regulations regarding verification of identity and access to records (5 CFR part 297). In addition, requesters must provide a notarized statement or an unsworn declaration made in accordance with 28 U.S.C. 1746, in the following format:

    • If executed outside the United States: “I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on [date]. [signature].”

    • If executed within the United States, its territories, possessions, or commonwealths: “I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on [date]. [signature].”

    Attorneys or other persons acting on behalf of an individual must provide written authorization from that individual for the representative to act on their behalf. The written authorization must also include an original notarized statement or an unsworn declaration, as described above.

    AMENDMENT PROCEDURES:

    Individuals wishing to amend information maintained in the system should direct their requests to the FOIA/PA Requester Service Center, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street NW., Room 5415, Washington, DC 20415, or by emailing [email protected], stating clearly and concisely what information the individuals seek to amend, the reasons for seeking amendment, and the proposed amendments. Some information is not subject to amendment. A determination whether a record may be amended will be made at the time a request is received. Individuals must furnish the following information in writing for their records to be located:

    1. Full name, former name, and any other names used.

    2. Date and place of birth.

    3. Social Security Number.

    4. Signature.

    5. Information the individual seeks to amend, the reasons for seeking amendment, and the proposed amendments.

    Individuals requesting access must also comply with OPM's Privacy Act regulations regarding verification of identity and access to records (5 CFR part 297). In addition, requestors must provide a notarized statement or an unsworn declaration made in accordance with 28 U.S.C. 1746, in the following format:

    • If executed outside the United States: “I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on [date]. [signature].”

    • If executed within the United States, its territories, possessions, or commonwealths: “I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on [date]. [signature].”

    Attorneys or other persons acting on behalf of an individual must provide written authorization from that individual for the representative to act on their behalf. The written authorization must also include an original notarized statement or an unsworn declaration, as described above.

    RECORD SOURCE CATEGORIES:

    The information contained in this system is derived from incoming and outgoing correspondence and internal memoranda. Sources include individuals; state, local, tribal, and foreign government agencies as appropriate; the executive and legislative branches of the Federal Government; the Judiciary; and interested third parties.

    SYSTEMS EXEMPT FROM CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE ACT:

    A determination as to exemption shall be made at the time a request for access or amendment is received. OPM has promulgated rules in 5 CFR 297.501(c) reserving the right to assert exemptions for these records when received from another agency that could properly claim such exemptions in responding to a request, and reserving the right to refuse access to information compiled in reasonable anticipation of a civil action or litigation.

    [FR Doc. 2015-29583 Filed 11-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6325-47-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-76439; File No. SR-NYSEARCA-2015-112] Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the NYSE Arca Options Fee Schedule Effective December 1, 2015 November 13, 2015.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) 1 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”) 2 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,3 notice is hereby given that, on November 9, 2015, NYSE Arca, Inc. (the “Exchange” or “NYSE Arca”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III below, which Items have been prepared by the self-regulatory organization. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 15 U.S.C. 78a.

    3 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    I