Federal Register Vol. 80, No.230,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 230 (December 1, 2015)

Page Range74965-75417
FR Document

80_FR_230
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 75068 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
80 FR 75129 - Notice of Intent To Collect Fees on Public Land in San Juan County, UTPDF
80 FR 75051 - Expansion of Subzone 84P, Houston Refining LP, Houston, TexasPDF
80 FR 75051 - Approval of Subzone Status, Sasol Chemicals (USA), LLC, Calcasieu Parish, LouisianaPDF
80 FR 75050 - Approval of Subzone Status, Outokumpu Stainless USA, LLC, Calvert, AlabamaPDF
80 FR 75051 - Reorganization of Foreign-Trade Zone 258 Under Alternative Site Framework, Bowie County, TexasPDF
80 FR 75052 - Reorganization of Foreign-Trade Zone 33 under Alternative Site Framework; Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaPDF
80 FR 75056 - Welded Line Pipe From the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Turkey: Antidumping Duty OrdersPDF
80 FR 75099 - Extension of Public Comment Period for the National Wetland Condition Assessment 2011 Draft ReportPDF
80 FR 75052 - Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip From the United Arab Emirates; Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014PDF
80 FR 75054 - Welded Line Pipe From the Republic of Turkey: Countervailing Duty OrderPDF
80 FR 75060 - Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014PDF
80 FR 75074 - Notice of Intent To Grant a Partially/Co-Exclusive License; Envoy Flight Systems, Inc.PDF
80 FR 75055 - Brass Sheet and Strip From France: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015PDF
80 FR 75058 - Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity To Request Administrative ReviewPDF
80 FR 75076 - Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement for Navy Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 75064 - Initiation of Five-Year (“Sunset”) ReviewPDF
80 FR 75161 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Smart Traveler Enrollment ProgramPDF
80 FR 75076 - Notice of Intent To Grant a Partially/Co-Exclusive License; CogniTek Management SystemsPDF
80 FR 75075 - Notice of Performance Review Board MembershipPDF
80 FR 75097 - Request for Scientific Views on the Draft Recommended Aquatic Life Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Cadmium-2015PDF
80 FR 75075 - Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement for Hawaii-Southern California Training and Testing and Notice of Public Scoping Meetings; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 75075 - Notice of Intent to Grant Exclusive Patent License: Lockmasters IncorporatedPDF
80 FR 75024 - Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Update for the 2008 Ozone NAAQSPDF
80 FR 75107 - Medicare Program; Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems; 0.2 Percent ReductionPDF
80 FR 75148 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Establishing Fees for the NYSE MKT Integrated FeedPDF
80 FR 75141 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change To Adopt Rule 11.27 Regarding the Data Collection Requirements of the Tick Size Pilot ProgramPDF
80 FR 75068 - Defense Advisory Committee on Military Personnel Testing; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
80 FR 75042 - Petitions for Reconsideration and Clarification of Action in Rulemaking ProceedingPDF
80 FR 75167 - Sanctions Actions Pursuant to Executive Order 13582PDF
80 FR 75167 - Additional Identifying Information Associated With Persons Whose Property and Interests in Property Are Blocked Pursuant to Executive Order 13712 of November 23, 2015, “Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Burundi”PDF
80 FR 75088 - National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation Empire Pipeline, Inc.; Supplemental Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Northern Access 2016 Project and Request for Comments on Environmental IssuesPDF
80 FR 75068 - 36(b)(1) Arms Sales NotificationPDF
80 FR 75162 - Locomotive Alerters Resetting Without Direct Engineer ActionPDF
80 FR 75072 - 36(b)(1) Arms Sales NotificationPDF
80 FR 75070 - 36(b)(1) Arms Sales NotificationPDF
80 FR 75120 - Proposed Collection; 60-Day Comment Request: NIH Information Collection Forms To Support Genomic Data Sharing for Research Purposes (OD)PDF
80 FR 74997 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna FisheriesPDF
80 FR 74987 - Army Privacy ProgramPDF
80 FR 75078 - President's Council of Advisors on Science and TechnologyPDF
80 FR 75078 - National Offshore Wind Strategy WorkshopPDF
80 FR 75049 - Notice of Intent To Request Extension, Without Change, of a Currently Approved Information CollectionPDF
80 FR 75043 - Notice of the Specialty Crop Committee's Stakeholder Listening SessionPDF
80 FR 74966 - Changes to Fees and Payment MethodsPDF
80 FR 75049 - Notice of Intent to Request Revision and Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection.PDF
80 FR 75008 - Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Bluefish Fishery; Quota TransferPDF
80 FR 75102 - Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 75048 - Notice of Intent To Request Revision and Extension of a Currently Approved Information CollectionPDF
80 FR 75043 - Meeting Notice of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory BoardPDF
80 FR 75140 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 75044 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-Follow Up to an Assessment of the Roles and Effectiveness of Community-Based Organizations in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance ProgramPDF
80 FR 75132 - Hot-Rolled Steel Products From India; Scheduling of a Countervailing Duty Proceeding Under the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA)PDF
80 FR 75104 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
80 FR 75104 - Notice of Proposals to Engage in or to Acquire Companies Engaged in Permissible Nonbanking ActivitiesPDF
80 FR 75104 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
80 FR 75138 - New Postal ProductPDF
80 FR 74985 - Notice of Delay of Discharge Requirements for U.S. Coast Guard Activities in Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine SanctuariesPDF
80 FR 75122 - Current List of HHS-Certified Laboratories and Instrumented Initial Testing Facilities Which Meet Minimum Standards To Engage in Urine Drug Testing for Federal AgenciesPDF
80 FR 75139 - New Postal ProductPDF
80 FR 75125 - Information Collection Request Sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for Approval; Wolf-Livestock Demonstration Project Grant ProgramPDF
80 FR 75091 - BioUrja Power, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 75094 - Shelby County Energy Center, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 75088 - Colonial Eagle Solar, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request For Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 75094 - Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C.; Notice Of Intent To Prepare An Environmental Assessment For The Proposed Orion Project And Request For Comments On Environmental IssuesPDF
80 FR 75092 - Combined Notice Of Filings #3PDF
80 FR 75093 - Combined Notice Of Filings #2PDF
80 FR 75085 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 75046 - Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland, Brush Creek/Hayden Ranger District; Wyoming; North Savery ProjectPDF
80 FR 75067 - New England Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 75067 - Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingsPDF
80 FR 75077 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; EDFacts Data Collection School Years 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19PDF
80 FR 75101 - Notice of Termination; 10437 Palm Desert National Bank, Palm Desert, CAPDF
80 FR 75101 - Notice of Termination; 10108 First Coweta Bank, Newnan, GAPDF
80 FR 75101 - Notice of Termination; 10040 Pinnacle Bank, Beaverton, ORPDF
80 FR 75155 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Extend the Tier Size Pilot of FINRA Rule 6433 (Minimum Quotation Size Requirements for OTC Equity Securities)PDF
80 FR 75388 - Bloomberg STP LLC; SS&C Technologies, Inc.; Order of the Commission Approving Applications for an Exemption From Registration as a Clearing AgencyPDF
80 FR 75119 - Veterinary Feed Directive Common Format Questions and Answers; Draft Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 75135 - Proposed Collection, Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 75134 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Asbestos in Shipyards StandardPDF
80 FR 75066 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery PlansPDF
80 FR 75020 - Protection of Human SubjectsPDF
80 FR 75020 - Port of Miami Anchorage Area; Atlantic Ocean, Miami Beach, FLPDF
80 FR 75076 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Data Challenges and Appeals Solution (DCAS)PDF
80 FR 75081 - Lock Hydro Friends Fund III; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing ApplicationsPDF
80 FR 75081 - Energy Resources USA Inc., Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments and Motions To IntervenePDF
80 FR 75080 - Energy Resources USA Inc.; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments and Motions To IntervenePDF
80 FR 75093 - Lock Hydro Friends Fund III; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing ApplicationsPDF
80 FR 75097 - Notice of Commission Staff AttendancePDF
80 FR 75079 - Magnum Gas Storage, LLC; Notice of Application for AmendmentPDF
80 FR 75091 - Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C; Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Susquehanna West ProjectPDF
80 FR 75079 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
80 FR 75086 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 75083 - Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Mountaineer XPress Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues and Notice of Public Scoping MeetingPDF
80 FR 75080 - New England Hydropower Company, LLC; Notice of Surrender of Preliminary PermitPDF
80 FR 75082 - RE Astoria 2 LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 75096 - RE Astoria LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 75087 - Cogentrix Virginia Financing Holding Company, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 75082 - Ohio Valley Electric Corporation; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request For Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 75091 - PáTu Wind Farm, LLC v. Portland General Electric Company, PáTu Wind Farm, LLC; Notice of ComplaintPDF
80 FR 75087 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 75100 - Information Collections Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and BudgetPDF
80 FR 75157 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Establish Fees and Rebates Related to BX Price Improvement Auction (PRISM)PDF
80 FR 75147 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Include Managed Fund Shares in the Lead Market Maker ProgramPDF
80 FR 75169 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Regulation ProjectPDF
80 FR 75170 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Notice 2012-48PDF
80 FR 75136 - Records Schedules; Availability and Request for CommentsPDF
80 FR 75173 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Revenue Procedure 2006-16PDF
80 FR 75171 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Form 8613PDF
80 FR 75172 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Notice 97-34PDF
80 FR 75170 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Form 8918PDF
80 FR 75168 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Information CollectionPDF
80 FR 75070 - Defense Transportation Regulation, Part IVPDF
80 FR 75099 - Stratospheric Protection Division; Teleconference on the Clean Air Act Section 608 Technician Certification Program Test BankPDF
80 FR 75045 - Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest and Ashley National Forest; Utah; High Uintas Wilderness Domestic Sheep AnalysisPDF
80 FR 75139 - Product Change-Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
80 FR 75140 - Product Change-Priority Mail Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
80 FR 75171 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Regulation ProjectPDF
80 FR 75173 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Information CollectionPDF
80 FR 75139 - Product Change-Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, & First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
80 FR 75174 - Office of the Assistant Secretary for International Affairs; Survey of U.S. Ownership of Foreign Securities as of December 31, 2015PDF
80 FR 75025 - Supplemental Finding That It Is Appropriate and Necessary To Regulate Hazardous Air Pollutants From Coal- and Oil-Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating UnitsPDF
80 FR 75018 - Rules and Regulations Under the Trade Regulation Rule Concerning Preservation of Consumers' Claims and DefensesPDF
80 FR 75105 - Progressive Chevrolet Company and Progressive Motors, Inc.; Analysis of Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public CommentPDF
80 FR 75106 - Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support (OSTLTS); Meeting and Tribal Consultation SessionPDF
80 FR 75009 - Uninterruptible Monitoring of Coolant and Fuel in Reactors and Spent Fuel PoolsPDF
80 FR 75125 - Washington; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
80 FR 75124 - South Carolina; Amendment No. 12 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
80 FR 75124 - Alaska; Major Disaster and Related DeterminationsPDF
80 FR 75122 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 75125 - California; Amendment No. 6 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
80 FR 74988 - Special Regulations, Areas of the National Park System, Lake Chelan National Recreation Area, Solid Waste DisposalPDF
80 FR 75022 - Special Regulations, Areas of the National Park System, Rocky Mountain National ParkPDF
80 FR 74965 - Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards; Updating ReferencesPDF
80 FR 75134 - Meeting of the Judicial Conference Committee on Rules of Practice and ProcedurePDF
80 FR 75163 - Proposed Collection of Information: TreasuryDirect SystemPDF
80 FR 75163 - Martin Marietta Materials, Inc.-Acquisition of Control Exemption-Rock & Rail LLCPDF
80 FR 75174 - Notice of Performance Review Board MembersPDF
80 FR 75117 - Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 75134 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Consent Decree Under the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction ActPDF
80 FR 75356 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Marine Geophysical Survey in the South Atlantic Ocean, January to March 2016PDF
80 FR 74966 - Highly Fractionated Indian Land (HFIL) Loan ProgramPDF
80 FR 74982 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus HelicoptersPDF
80 FR 74986 - Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans; Valuation of Benefits and Assets; Expected Retirement AgePDF
80 FR 75164 - Update to the List of Medical SuppliesPDF
80 FR 75130 - Petroleum Wax Candles from China; Institution of a Five-Year ReviewPDF
80 FR 75126 - Deepwater HorizonPDF
80 FR 74974 - Miscellaneous CorrectionsPDF
80 FR 75010 - Liquidity Coverage Ratio: Public Disclosure Requirements; Extension of Compliance Period for Certain Companies To Meet the Liquidity Coverage Ratio RequirementsPDF
80 FR 74999 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; 2016 Atlantic Shark Commercial Fishing SeasonPDF
80 FR 74991 - Expanded Access to Non-VA Care Through the Veterans Choice ProgramPDF
80 FR 75178 - Petroleum Refinery Sector Risk and Technology Review and New Source Performance StandardsPDF

Issue

80 230 Tuesday, December 1, 2015 Contents Agricultural Research Agricultural Research Service RULES Changes to Fees and Payment Methods, 74966 2015-30449 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Research Service

See

Farm Service Agency

See

Food and Nutrition Service

See

Forest Service

See

National Agricultural Statistics Service

NOTICES Meetings: National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board, 75043 2015-30444 Specialty Crop Committee's Stakeholder Listening Session, 75043-75044 2015-30450
Army Army Department RULES Army Privacy Program, 74987-74988 2015-30454 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Meetings: Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support, 75106-75107 2015-30357 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Medicare Program: Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems; 0.2 Percent Reduction, 75107-75117 2015-30486 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 75117-75119 2015-30337 Coast Guard Coast Guard PROPOSED RULES Anchorage Regulations: Port of Miami Anchorage Area, Atlantic Ocean, Miami Beach, FL, 75020-75021 2015-30406 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 75068 2015-30563 Consumer Product Consumer Product Safety Commission PROPOSED RULES Protection of Human Subjects, 75020 2015-30407 Defense Department Defense Department See

Army Department

See

Navy Department

NOTICES Arms Sales, 75068-75074 2015-30467 2015-30468 2015-30470 Defense Transportation Regulation, Part IV, 75070 2015-30373 Meetings: Defense Advisory Committee on Military Personnel Testing, 75068 2015-30478
Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Data Challenges and Appeals Solution, 75076-75077 2015-30405 EDFacts Data Collection School Years 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19, 75077-75078 2015-30417 Energy Department Energy Department See

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office

See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

NOTICES Requests for Information: President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, 75078 2015-30453
Energy Efficiency Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office NOTICES Meetings: National Offshore Wind Strategy Workshop, 75078-75079 2015-30452 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Petroleum Refinery Sector Risk and Technology Review and New Source Performance Standards, 75178-75354 2015-26486 PROPOSED RULES Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Update for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS; Public Hearing, 75024-75025 2015-30489 Supplemental Finding that it is Appropriate and Necessary to Regulate Hazardous Air Pollutants from Coal- and Oil-Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units, 75025-75042 2015-30360 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: National Wetland Condition Assessment 2011 Draft Report; Extension, 75099 2015-30505 Meetings: Stratospheric Protection Division; Clean Air Act Section 608 Technician Certification Program Test Bank; Teleconference, 75099-75100 2015-30372 Request for Scientific Views on the Draft Recommended Aquatic Life Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Cadmium—2015, 75097-75099 2015-30493 Farm Service Farm Service Agency RULES Highly Fractionated Indian Land Loan Program, 74966-74974 2015-30331 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Helicopters, 74982-74985 2015-30274 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission PROPOSED RULES Petitions for Reconsideration and Clarification of Action in Rulemaking Proceeding, 75042 2015-30477 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 75100-75101 2015-30387 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Terminations of Receiverships: First Coweta Bank, Newnan, GA, 75101 2015-30415 Palm Desert National Bank, Palm Desert, CA, 75101-75102 2015-30416 Pinnacle Bank, Beaverton, OR, 75101 2015-30414 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Major Disaster Declarations: California; Amendment No. 6, 75125 2015-30350 South Carolina; Amendment No. 12, 75124-75125 2015-30353 Washington; Amendment No. 1, 75125 2015-30354 Major Disasters and Related Determinations: Alaska, 75124 2015-30352 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Amendment Applications: Magnum Gas Storage, LLC, 75079-75080 2015-30399 Combined Filings, 75079, 75085-75088, 75092-75094 2015-30388 2015-30396 2015-30397 2015-30423 2015-30424 2015-30425 Complaints: PaTu Wind Farm, LLC v. Portland General Electric Co., 75091 2015-30389 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: National Fuel Gas Supply Corp. and Empire Pipeline, Inc.; Northern Access 2016 Project, 75088-75091 2015-30472 Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co., LLC, Susquehanna West Project, 75091-75092 2015-30398 Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co., LLC; Orion Project; Wayne and Pike Counties, PA, 75094-75096 2015-30427 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC, Mountaineer XPress Project, 75083-75085 2015-30395 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: BioUrja Power, LLC, 75091 2015-30430 Cogentrix Virginia Financing Holding Co., LLC, 75087 2015-30391 Colonial Eagle Solar, LLC, 75088 2015-30428 Ohio Valley Electric Corp., 75082 2015-30390 RE Astoria 2, LLC, 75082 2015-30393 RE Astoria, LLC, 75096 2015-30392 Shelby County Energy Center, LLC, 75094 2015-30429 Preliminary Permit Applications: Energy Resources USA, Inc., 75080-75081 2015-30402 2015-30403 Lock Hydro Friends Fund III, 2015-30401 75081-75082, 75093 2015-30404 Preliminary Permits: New England Hydropower Co., LLC; Termination, 75080-75081 2015-30394 Staff Attendances, 75097 2015-30400 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration NOTICES Safety Advisories: Locomotive Alerters Resetting Without Direct Engineer Action, 75162-75163 2015-30469 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System PROPOSED RULES Liquidity Coverage Ratio: Public Disclosure Requirements; Extension of Compliance Period for Certain Companies to Meet the Liquidity Coverage Ratio Requirements, 75010-75018 2015-30095 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 75102-75104 2015-30446 Changes in Bank Control: Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company, 75104 2015-30438 Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 75104 2015-30436 Proposals to Engage in or to Acquire Companies Engaged in Permissible Nonbanking Activities, 75104-75105 2015-30437 Federal Trade Federal Trade Commission PROPOSED RULES Trade Regulation: Preservation of Consumers' Claims and Defenses, 75018-75020 2015-30359 NOTICES Proposed Consent Agreements: Progressive Chevrolet Co. and Progressive Motors, Inc.; Analysis of Proposed Consent Order, 75105-75106 2015-30358 Fiscal Fiscal Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: TreasuryDirect System, 75163-75164 2015-30344 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Wolf-Livestock Demonstration Project Grant Program, 75125-75126 2015-30431 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Draft Guidance for Industry and Staff: Veterinary Feed Directive Common Format Questions and Answers, 75119-75120 2015-30411 Food and Nutrition Food and Nutrition Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Follow Up to An Assessment of the Roles and Effectiveness of Community-based Organizations in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, 75044-75045 2015-30442 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 2015-30474 75167-75168 2015-30475 Updated List of Medical Supplies, 75164-75167 2015-30207 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Applications for Subzone Expansion: Subzone 84P, Houston Refining LP, Houston, TX, 75051 2015-30512 Applications for Subzone Status: Outokumpu Stainless USA, LLC, Calvert, AL, 75050-75051 2015-30509 Sasol Chemicals (USA), LLC, Calcasieu Parish, LA, 75051 2015-30511 Reorganizations under Alternative Site Frameworks: Foreign-Trade Zone 258, Bowie County, TX, 75051-75052 2015-30508 Foreign-Trade Zone 33, Pittsburgh, PA, 75052 2015-30507 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland, Brush Creek/Hayden Ranger District; Wyoming; North Savery Project, 75046-75048 2015-30422 High Uintas Wilderness Domestic Sheep Analysis: Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest and Ashley National Forest; UT, 75045-75046 2015-30371 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

See

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

NOTICES Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill; Draft Phase V Early Restoration Plan, 75126-75128 2015-30189
Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 75168-75174 2015-30364 2015-30366 2015-30368 2015-30375 2015-30376 2015-30377 2015-30378 2015-30380 2015-30382 2015-30383 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Aluminum Extrusions from the People's Republic of China, 75060-75064 2015-30502 Brass Sheet and Strip from France, 75055-75056 2015-30500 Initiation of Five-Year Sunset Reviews, 75064-75066 2015-30497 Opportunity to Request Administrative Review, 75058-75060 2015-30499 Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip from the United Arab Emirates, 75052-75053 2015-30504 Welded Line Pipe from the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Turkey, 75056-75058 2015-30506 Welded Line Pipe from the Republic of Turkey, 75054 2015-30503 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Hot-Rolled Steel Products from India, 75132-75134 2015-30441 Petroleum Wax Candles from China; Five-Year Review, 75130-75132 2015-30197 Judicial Conference Judicial Conference of the United States NOTICES Meetings: Judicial Conference Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure, 75134 2015-30345 Justice Department Justice Department NOTICES Proposed Consent Decree under the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act, 75134 2015-30334 Labor Department Labor Department See

Labor Statistics Bureau

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Asbestos in Shipyards Standard, 75134-75135 2015-30409
Labor Statistics Labor Statistics Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 75135-75136 2015-30410 Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Intent to Collect Fees on Public Land in San Juan County, UT, 75129-75130 2015-30515 National Agricultural National Agricultural Statistics Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 75048-75050 2015-30445 2015-30448 2015-30451 National Archives National Archives and Records Administration NOTICES Records Schedules, 75136-75138 2015-30381 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Information Collection Forms to Support Genomic Data Sharing for Research Purposes, 75120-75122 2015-30465 Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 75122 2015-30351 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Atlantic Highly Migratory Species: Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries, 74997-74999 2015-30464 Atlantic Shark Commercial Fishing Season, 74999-75008 2015-30032 Boundary Expansions: Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries; Delay of Discharge Requirements for U.S. Coast Guard Activities, 74985-74986 2015-30434 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Atlantic Bluefish Fishery; Quota Transfer, 75008 2015-30447 NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Species: Recovery Plans, 75066-75067 2015-30408 Meetings: Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Webinar, 75067-75068 2015-30418 New England Fishery Management Council, 75067 2015-30419 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities: Marine Geophysical Survey in the South Atlantic Ocean, January to March 2016, 75356-75386 2015-30333 National Park National Park Service RULES Special Regulations: Areas of the National Park System, Lake Chelan National Recreation Area, Solid Waste Disposal, 74988-74991 2015-30349 PROPOSED RULES Special Regulations: Areas of the National Park System, Rocky Mountain National Park, 75022-75024 2015-30348 Navy Navy Department NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Hawaii-Southern California Training and Testing and Notice of Public Scoping Meetings; Correction, 75075 2015-30492 Navy Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing; Correction, 75076 2015-30498 Exclusive Patent Licenses: Lockmasters Inc., 75075 2015-30491 Memberships: Performance Review Board, 75075-75076 2015-30494 Partially Exclusive and Co-Exclusive Licenses: CogniTek Management Systems, 75076 2015-30495 Envoy Flight Systems, Inc., 75074 2015-30501 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission RULES Miscellaneous Corrections, 74974-74982 2015-30153 PROPOSED RULES Petitions for Rulemaking: Uninterruptible Monitoring of Coolant and Fuel in Reactors and Spent Fuel Pools, 75009-75010 2015-30355 Pension Benefit Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation RULES Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans: Valuation of Benefits and Assets; Expected Retirement Age, 74986-74987 2015-30221 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products, 2015-30432 75138-75139 2015-30435 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Product Changes: Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreement, 75139 2015-30370 Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement, 75139-75140 2015-30362 Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreement, 2015-30367 75140 2015-30369 Railroad Retirement Railroad Retirement Board NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 75140-75141 2015-30443 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Applications for Exemption from Registration as a Clearing Agency: Bloomberg STP, LLC; SS and C Technologies, Inc., 75388-75417 2015-30412 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: BATS Exchange, Inc., 75141-75146 2015-30479 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., 75155-75157 2015-30413 NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc., 75157-75161 2015-30386 NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC, 75147-75148 2015-30384 NYSE MKT, LLC, 75148-75155 2015-30480 State Department State Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, 75161-75162 2015-30496 Substance Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NOTICES Certified Laboratories and Instrumented Initial Testing Facilities: Facilities that Meet Minimum Standards to Engage in Urine Drug Testing for Federal Agencies, 75122-75124 2015-30433 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Acquisitions of Control Exemptions: Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. and Rock and Rail, LLC; Correction, 75163 2015-30341 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

See

Surface Transportation Board

Treasury Treasury Department See

Fiscal Service

See

Foreign Assets Control Office

See

Internal Revenue Service

NOTICES Survey of U.S. Ownership of Foreign Securities as of December 31, 2015, 75174 2015-30361
Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department RULES Expanded Access to Non-VA Care through the Veterans Choice Program, 74991-74996 2015-29865 Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards; Updating References, 74965-74966 2015-30346 NOTICES Performance Review Board Members Authority, 75174-75175 2015-30338 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Environmental Protection Agency, 75178-75354 2015-26486 Part III Commerce Department, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 75356-75386 2015-30333 Part IV Securities and Exchange Commission, 75388-75417 2015-30412 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.

80 230 Tuesday, December 1, 2015 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 2 CFR Part 802 38 CFR Parts 41 and 43 RIN 2900-AP03 Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards; Updating References AGENCY:

Department of Veterans Affairs.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This rule adopts as final, without change, interim final rule amending the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) regulations governing Office of Management and Budget (OMB) citations and references for federal grant programs. This amendment is necessary to replace obsolete OMB references in VA regulations.

DATES:

Effective Date: This final rule is effective December 1, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Brian McCarthy, Office of Regulatory and Administrative Affairs (10B4), Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20420, (202) 461-6345. (This is not a toll-free telephone number.)

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On December 19, 2014, OMB published a joint interim final rule in the Federal Register (79 FR 75871), Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards; Updating References. VA received no public comments and therefore makes no changes to the regulation. Based on the rationale set forth in the interim final rule, VA is adopting the interim final rule as a final rule with no changes.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity). Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review) emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility. Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) defines a “significant regulatory action,” which requires review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), unless OMB waives such review, as “any regulatory action that is likely to result in a rule that may: (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities; (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in this Executive Order.”

The economic, interagency, budgetary, legal, and policy implications of this regulatory action have been examined, and it has been determined not to be a significant regulatory action under Executive Orders 12866. VA's impact analysis can be found as a supporting document at http://www.regulations.gov, usually within 48 hours after the rulemaking document is published. Additionally, a copy of the rulemaking and its impact analysis are available on VA's Web site at http://www1.va.gov/orpm/, by following the link for “VA Regulations Published.”

Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) requires an agency that is issuing a final rule to provide a final regulatory flexibility analysis or to certify that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This final rule implements OMB final guidance issued on December 26, 2013, and will not have a significant economic impact beyond the impact of the December 2013 guidance.

Unfunded Mandates

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

Paperwork Reduction Act

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

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance numbers and titles for the programs affected by this document are 64.005, Grants to States for Construction of State Home Facilities; 64.024, VA Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program; 64.026, Veterans State Adult Day Health Care; 64.033, VA Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program; 64.034, VA Assistance to United States Paralympic Integrated Adaptive Sports Program; 64.037, VA U.S. Paralympics Monthly Assistance Allowance Program; 64.038, Grants for the Rural Veterans Coordination Pilot; 64.100, Automobiles and Adaptive Equip for Certain Disabled Vets and Members of the Armed Forces; 64.201, National Cemeteries; and 64.203, State Cemetery Grants.

Signing Authority

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or designee, approved this document and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the document to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Robert L. Nabors II, Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs, approved this document on November 18, 2015, for publication.

Dated: November 24, 2015. Michael P. Shores, Chief Impact Analyst, Office of Regulation Policy & Management, Office of the General Counsel, Department of Veterans Affairs. Accordingly, the interim final rule adding 2 CFR part 802 and amending 38 CFR parts 41 and 43, which was published in the Federal Register at 79 FR 75871 on December 19, 2014, is adopted as final without changes.
[FR Doc. 2015-30346 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Research Service 7 CFR Part 504 RIN 0518-AA05 Changes to Fees and Payment Methods AGENCY:

Agricultural Research Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) increases its Patent Culture Collection charges, and revises the method of payment.

DATES:

This rule is effective December 1, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jeffrey Kurtz, ARS-Budget and Program Management Staff, George Washington Carver Center, 5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Room 4-1106, Beltsville, Maryland, 20705, telephone: (301) 504-4494, email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Microbial-based agriculture and biotechnology rely on superior production strains, new strains with novel characteristics, and reference strains for comparative purposes. Such strains are often difficult to acquire or are cost prohibitive for many researchers. ARS has a staff dedicated to the acquisition and distribution of microbial germplasm in which patented strains can be deposited in and distributed from its Patent Culture Collection for a one-time fee to cover maintenance and distribution costs.

ARS' Patent Culture Collection receives about 120 patent deposits per year, and distributes about 450 cultures per year. Nearly all of the accessions and distributions are requested by companies, universities, or Government agencies. Currently, ARS charges $500 for each microbial culture deposit, as set forth in 7 CFR 504.2(a). For each microbial culture distribution ARS charges $20, as set forth in 7 CFR 504.2(b). The current fees, which were established in 1985, did not reflect the actual costs of providing materials and services. ARS is increasing these fees to reflect their actual costs of $670 and $40, respectively, and to apply the distribution fee to all patent deposits regardless of the date of the deposit.

Currently, payment for deposit and requisition of microbial cultures is made by check, draft, or money order payable to the USDA, National Finance Center, as set forth in 7 CFR 504.3(b). ARS is adding pay.gov as a method of payment to assist customers.

The increased fees will enable ARS' Patent Culture Collection to continue its mission of supporting microbiological research and biotechnological innovation, and serve as a repository where patented microbial strains can be deposited and distributed to the scientific community. All of the current services will continue to be offered under the revised fee schedule and method of payment.

This rule was published as a proposed rule for comment on September 2, 2015. See 80 FR 53021, September 2, 2015. No comments were received.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 504

Agricultural research.

For reasons set forth in the preamble, ARS amends 7 CFR part 504 as set forth below:

PART 504—USER FEES 1. The authority citation for part 504 continues to read as follows: Authority:

31 U.S.C. 9701.

2. Revise § 504.2 to read as follows:
§ 504.2 Fees for deposit and requisition of microbial cultures.

(a) Depositors of microbial cultures must pay a one-time $670 user fee for each culture deposited on or after December 1, 2015.

(b) For cultures deposited on or after December 1, 2015, requestors must pay a $40 user fee for each culture distributed.

3. Revise § 504.3 to read as follows:
§ 504.3 Payment of fees.

(a) Payment of user fees must accompany a culture deposit or request.

(b) Payment shall be made by check, draft, money order, or pay.gov, payable to USDA, National Finance Center.

Dated: November 23, 2015. Simon Y. Liu, Associate Administrator, ARS.
[FR Doc. 2015-30449 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-03-P
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Farm Service Agency 7 CFR Parts 761 and 769 RIN 0560-AI32 Highly Fractionated Indian Land (HFIL) Loan Program AGENCY:

Farm Service Agency, USDA.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is implementing the HFIL Loan Program to provide revolving loan funds to eligible intermediary lenders familiar with Indian Lands. The intermediary lenders will provide loan funds to qualified individuals, entities, and tribes to purchase highly fractionated Indian land consistent with the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill). FSA is also requesting public comments on the rule.

DATES:

Effective date: December 1, 2015.

Comment date: We will consider comments that we receive by February 29, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

We invite you to submit comments on the rule. In your comment, include the Regulation Identifier Number (RIN), the volume, date, and page number of this issue of the Federal Register. You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

Federal Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

Mail: Carrie L. Novak, Senior Loan Officer, Loan Making Division, Deputy Administrator for Farm Loan Programs, FSA, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Stop 0522, Washington, DC 20250-0522.

Comments will be available online at http://www.regulations.gov. A copy of this rule is available through the FSA home page at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Carrie Novak; telephone; (202) 720-1643. Persons with disabilities or who require alternative means for communication should contact the USDA Target Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

The HFIL Loan Program is authorized by the section 5402 of the 2014 Farm Bill (Pub. L. 113-79), which amended 25 U.S.C. 488 to allow the Secretary to make and insure loans to intermediary lenders to establish revolving loan funds for the purchase of HFIL. FSA will loan funds to intermediary lenders, who will facilitate the purchase and consolidation of fractionated interest by relending the funds to qualified tribes, individuals, and entities. FSA is adding 7 CFR part 769 to specify the requirements for the HFIL Loan Program. The rule provides a way for tribes and tribal members to obtain loans to purchase fractionated interests via intermediary lenders. The intermediary lenders will work with the U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) on the processes and procedures needed for the ultimate recipients to resolve the undivided interests in the fractionated land. FSA will provide a long term loan to the intermediary lender and will review their reports and agreement to provide oversight of the lender's loan process and procedure; FSA will not provide oversight for the ultimate recipients.

As a result of the General Allotment Act of 1887 (also commonly known as the Dawes Act), Indian reservation land was allotted to individual tribal members. When an allottee died, title ownership was divided among his or her heirs, but the land itself was not partitioned and, as such, each Indian heir received an undivided interest in the land. As each generation passes, the number of owners grows exponentially. This has resulted in the highly fractionated ownership of much of the nation's Indian land. As ownership of Indian land descends from one generation to another, the long standing problem of fractionation continues to worsen as many tracts are owned by hundreds or even thousands of individuals. The ability of the owners to use land decreases as fractionation increases, sometimes to the point where it is nearly impossible to locate the owners or for the known owners to coordinate the use of the property. The HFIL Loan Program will help encourage intermediary lenders to provide loans to individual tribal members in order to resolve the highly fractionated ownership of land.

To ensure the HFIL Loan Program would have the greatest chance of success, FSA held a Tribal Consultation session on December 10, 2014. Recommendations on issues discussed during the Tribal Consultation have been addressed in this rule.

Definitions

Some definitions in this rule originate from other already established laws and regulations and are used here for consistency. Indian Country uses the definition in 18 U.S.C. 1151. “Native American Tribe” and “Tribal Entity” definitions are consistent with 7 U.S.C. 770, “Indian Tribal Land Acquisition Program.” HFIL will be defined as undivided interests held by four or more individuals. The definition in 25 U.S.C. 2201 defines highly fractionated as 50 or more undivided owners. A less constraining definition is needed for this rule in order for the HFIL Loan Program to effectively meet the objectives of consolidating fractionated interests. Tribal Consultation indicated that not all fractionated parcels have 50 or more owners and using the strict definition could exclude the parcels from the HFIL Loan Program.

In addition, § 761.2 needs to be revised to specify that the products of tree farming and the products of other plant and animal production are agricultural commodities. Therefore, this rule also revises the definition of “Agricultural Commodity” in § 761.2 as a conforming change. The intention of the list of items that are considered agricultural commodities has not changed; it is strictly correcting the language in the definition.

Intermediary Lenders

Through Tribal Consultation, it became apparent to FSA that the most important characteristics of an intermediary lender are the knowledge and familiarity of working with Indian Country and experience working with BIA. The list of entities in § 769.103 should be flexible enough to include any qualifying entity interested in participating in the HFIL Loan Program.

FSA will develop guidelines for and provide loan funds to the intermediary lenders, who will facilitate the purchase and consolidation of fractionated interest by relending the funds to qualified tribes, individuals, and entities. FSA will establish criteria in § 769.103(b) and (c) for the intermediary lender that will be tied to the organization's demonstrated skills, ability, and knowledge of working with Indian land. The intermediary lender will establish eligibility criteria for the ultimate recipient as restricted by this rule in § 769.104.

An ultimate recipient is an entity or individual that receives a loan from an intermediary's HFIL revolving fund. The eligibility requirements of the ultimate recipient in § 769.104 are restrictive because this program is limited by the provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill; therefore, only Tribes, individual Tribal members, and Tribal entities are eligible to apply. In addition, the 2014 Farm Bill authorizes the HFIL Loan Program under 25 U.S.C. 488 rather than the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (CONACT, 7 U.S.C. 1911-2008r) where most FSA loan programs are authorized. Accordingly, the FSA loan is to the intermediary lender as authorized under 25 U.S.C. 488 and the CONACT requirements regarding credit elsewhere and maximum loan amounts which typically apply to applicants of the FSA Farm Loan Programs do not apply to the intermediary or the ultimate recipient.

Use of HFIL Loan Funds

The purposes of the HFIL Loan Program are very specific and funds can only be used for the purchase of HFIL and related expenses as specified in §§ 769.105 and 769.106.

The HFIL Loan Program is subject to environmental compliance provisions specified in 7 CFR part 1940, subpart G. Accordingly, each intermediary lender will provide FSA with documentation of its process to address environmental issues on the land to be purchased.

The Tribal Consultation resulted in the strong recommendation that the ultimate recipient be limited in use of loan funds to purchasing land for an agricultural use for the term of the loan. The requirement to qualify for HFIL loans is contained in this rule in § 769.106.

Intermediary Relending Agreement

The rate of interest for the intermediary lender will be set annually, but will not be less than 1 percent and the maximum HFIL loan term is 30 years. The intermediary lender will relend at a rate of interest and term negotiated with the ultimate recipient in a manner detailed in the Intermediary Relending Agreement approved by FSA.

The Intermediary Relending Agreement will contain the policies and procedures that the intermediary lender will follow with respect to the loan and the working relationship with the ultimate recipients. This will provide maximum flexibility for the intermediary lender to work with its ultimate recipient on loan making and loan servicing and will be approved by FSA prior to the HFIL loan closing. The required elements of the agreement are specified in § 769.103(d). The agreement and requirements are similar to the requirements in § 762.106 that must be met by FSA guaranteed lenders seeking certification as a preferred lender.

Revolving Loan Fund

An intermediary lender will be required to have a revolving loan fund. All HFIL loan funds received by an intermediary lender must be deposited into an HFIL revolving fund account. The account must be fully covered by federal deposit insurance or fully collateralized with U.S. Government obligations and must remain separate from other funds of the intermediary lender. The fund will have two types of deposit accounts, one of which will be HFIL funds from FSA. The other will be comprised of repayments of loans from the ultimate recipients, interest earned on funds in the account and cash, or other short-term marketable assets that the intermediary lender chooses to deposit. Loans made to ultimate recipients will be from both deposit accounts within the revolving fund account, and therefore, loans can be made from initial loan funds from FSA and from repayments. Administrative fees and debt servicing costs will be paid from funds accumulated from repayments by ultimate recipients. Maintenance of the fund is described in § 769.121.

Primary security for the HFIL Loan Program will be in the form of a first lien in the intermediary lender's revolving loan fund. Additional security will be required if needed to fully secure the loan.

FSA determined that yearly monitoring reports would be both necessary for the success of the program and beneficial to the intermediary lender. FSA did not want to be over burdensome in the required type of reporting or audits and therefore adopted an approach similar to what has been successfully used in the Boll Weevil Eradication Loan Program in 7 CFR part 77.

Transfer and Assumption of HFIL Loans

This rule is adding § 769.124 to allow for transfer and assumptions of the HFIL loans in the event that an intermediary lender should want or need to discontinue participation in the HFIL Loan Program.

Effective Date

The Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) provides generally that before rules are issued by Government agencies, the rule is required to be published in the Federal Register, and the required publication of a substantive rule is to be not less than 30 days before its effective date. One of the exceptions is when the agency finds good cause for not delaying the effective date. This rule is exempt from notice and comment rulemaking requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553). The rule provides a way for tribes and tribal members to obtain loans to purchase fractionated interests via intermediary lenders as a way to help resolve the longstanding problems relating back to HFIL and will enable tribal members to participate in USDA programs that require land ownership. As noted in this rule, FSA has conducted Tribal consultation and will take public comments following the publication of this rule. Therefore, to help tribal members as soon as possible, using the administrative procedure provisions in 5 U.S.C. 553, FSA finds that there is good cause for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. This rule allows FSA to implement the HFIL Loan Program in time for the 2016 fiscal year. Therefore, this final rule is effective when published in the Federal Register.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review,” and Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review,” direct agencies to assess all 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.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) designated this rule as not significant under Executive Order 12866 and, therefore, OMB has not reviewed this final rule.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), generally requires an agency to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule whenever an agency is required by the APA or any other law to publish a proposed rule, unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule is exempt from notice and comment rulemaking requirements of the APA and no other law requires that a proposed rule be published for this rulemaking initiative.

Environmental Review

The environmental impacts of this rule have been considered in a manner consistent with the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA, 42 U.S.C. 4321-4347), the regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), and the FSA regulations for compliance with NEPA (7 CFR part 1940, subpart G). This rule is to implement the new HFIL Loan Program, a program created by the 2014 Farm Bill. The discretionary provisions needed to implement the HFIL Loan Program, specifically those relating to our loans to the intermediary lenders include the loan making and servicing rules, which will mirror present FLP regulations. One discretionary provision that will not mirror current FSA rules is that implementation will be through an intermediary lender that will relend the funds, an approach that will be a new lending tool for FSA. The process FSA will use to administer the intermediary lending model was vetted through and determined to be acceptable by a Tribal consultation, held on December 10, 2014, at the Intertribal Agricultural Council annual meeting. As the provisions needed to implement this rule are all administrative in nature, FSA will not prepare an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement for this regulatory action.

Executive Order 12372

Executive Order 12372, “Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs,” requires consultation with State and local officials. The objectives of the Executive Order are to foster an intergovernmental partnership and a strengthened Federalism, by relying on State and local processes for State and local government coordination and review of proposed Federal Financial assistance and direct Federal development. For reasons set forth in the final rule related notice regarding 7 CFR part 3015, subpart V (48 FR 29115, June 24, 1983), the programs and activities within this rule are excluded from the scope of Executive Order 12372.

Executive Order 12988

This rule has been reviewed in accordance with Executive Order 12988, “Civil Justice Reform.” This rule will not preempt State or local laws, regulations, or policies unless they represent an irreconcilable conflict with this rule. The rule does not have retroactive effect. Before any judicial action may be brought regarding the provisions of this rule, the administrative appeal provisions of 7 CFR parts 11 and 780 are to be exhausted.

Executive Order 13132

This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 13132, “Federalism.” The policies contained in this rule do not have any substantial direct effect on States, on the relationship between the Federal Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Nor would this rule impose substantial direct compliance costs on State and local governments. Therefore, consultation with the States is not required.

Executive Order 13175

This rule has been reviewed for compliance with Executive Order 13175, “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments.” Executive Order 13175 imposes requirements on the development of regulatory policies that have Tribal implications or preempt Tribal laws. The USDA Office of Tribal Relations has concluded that the policies contained in this rule do not, to USDA's knowledge, preempt Tribal law.

Rulemaking to address the issue of HFIL was initially considered as part of the implementation of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-246, known as the 2008 Farm Bill). An HFIL loan program was authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill; however, the language required that the program operate as a direct loan program in which FSA would make loans directly to the ultimate recipients. During 2010, USDA held two sets of face-to-face Tribal consultation sessions across the country. FSA Farm Loan Programs held seven Tribal consultation sessions specifically to discuss the HFIL Loan Program (section 5501 of the 2008 Farm Bill) in the following locations on the following dates:

1 Washington DC August 3, 2010. 2 Pendleton, OR August 10, 2010. 3 Billings, MT August 24, 2010. 4 Rapid City, SD August 25, 2010. 5 Oklahoma City, OK August 30, 2010. 6 Albuquerque, NM August 31, 2010. 7 Fairbanks, AK September 7, 2010.

FSA Farm Loan Programs also participated in an additional seven Tribal consultation sessions across the country to discuss the 2008 Farm Bill changes, including the HFIL Loan Program. The USDA 2008 Farm Bill Tribal consultations were held in the following locations on the following dates:

1 Rapid City, SD October 28 to 29, 2010. 2 Oklahoma City, OK November 3 to 4, 2010. 3 Minneapolis, MN November 8 to 9, 2010. 4 Seattle, WA November 22 to 23, 2010. 5 Nashville, TN November 29 to 30, 2010. 6 Albuquerque, NM December 1 to 2, 2010. 7 Anchorage, AK December 13 to 14, 2010.

Early on, during the 2008 Farm Bill Tribal consultations, FSA heard the various concerns that were raised and thought a workable solution could still be found to implement the HFIL Loan Program; however, as additional concerns continued to be raised and differences were identified in other regions of the country, it became clear that one of the problems was that the 2008 Farm Bill provision was tied to the BIA definition of highly fractionated and as such would also be tied to the BIA procedures for clearing titles, so it was determined that a regulation would not result in a successful program for Indian country. FSA listened and heard concerns about the land being too fractionated, the process being too complicated, the difficulties in really understanding the issues that caused the fractionation, problems with consolidation, and related cultural issues. In addition to the complexity of the BIA process for clearing titles for fractionated land, the results were different across the country. In one example, it took 6 months to clear a title, in another example, clearing a title took 10 years. There were suggestions that the HFIL Loan Program would work if FSA worked with existing Native American organizations that were already established to consolidate fractionated land and make it a relending program.

As a direct result of everything that FSA heard and learned throughout the 2008 Farm Bill Tribal consultations, FSA provided input for the new requirements in the 2014 Farm Bill to work out a way to make the regulations effective for Indian Country by incorporating the option for an intermediary lender to relend the funds and remove the tie to the BIA definition of highly fractionated.

For the development of this rule, a Tribal consultation was held on December 10, 2014, at the Intertribal Agricultural Council annual meeting. The participants in the Tribal consultation have strongly supported the HFIL Loan Program. During the Tribal consultation, FSA staff asked for and received feedback on the following proposed provisions of the HFIL Loan Program.

HFIL Proposed Provision: Should the HFIL Loan Program be administered as a relending program?

Tribal Consultation Response: Yes.

HFIL Proposed Provision: Should there be a minimum number of acres consolidated with the HFIL Loan Program?

Tribal Consultation Response: No.

HFIL Proposed Provision: Should there be a limited number of intermediary lenders?

Tribal Consultation Response: Yes, given the limited amount of funds, approved intermediary lenders should be limited to no more than two lenders per year.

HFIL Proposed Provision: Should there be any restrictions to the use of funds under the HFIL Loan Program?

Tribal Consultation Response: Yes, funds should be used only for the consolidation of agricultural land.

During the 90-day comment period for this rule, FSA will schedule additional Tribal consultation on the HFIL Loan Program. Although FSA is making this rule effective on publication, FSA will work on changes to the regulation as needed based on comments and additional input from Tribal consultation.

In addition, to developing the HFIL Loan Program, FSA will continue to engage with Tribal organizations to ensure HFIL Loan Program rules are consistent with Tribal laws and so that the HFIL Loan Program has a maximum opportunity for success. USDA will continue to coordinate with Tribal governmental organizations concerning this rule and will provide appropriate venues, such as webinars and teleconferences, to host collaborative conversations with Tribal leaders and their representatives concerning ways to improve this rule in Indian country.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

Title II of the Unfunded Mandate Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA, Pub. L. 104-4) requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their regulatory actions on State, local, or Tribal governments or the private sector. Agencies generally must prepare a written statement, including a cost benefit analysis, for proposed and final rules with Federal mandates that may result in expenditures of $100 million or more in any 1 year for State, local, or Tribal governments, in the aggregate, or to the private sector. UMRA generally requires agencies to consider alternatives and adopt the more cost effective or least burdensome alternative that achieves the objectives of the rule. This rule contains no Federal mandates under the regulatory provisions of Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 for State, local, or Tribal governments, or the private sector. Therefore, this rule is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of UMRA.

Paperwork Reduction Act

FSA will not be collecting any information from the ultimate recipients in the HFIL Loan Program. There are some reporting requirements on the HFIL Loan Program activities from intermediary lenders to FSA. The intermediary lenders must allow FSA to review the ultimate recipients' records; the intermediary lenders maintain the records are expected to be a part of customary and usual business practices for the process of loans. Therefore, the burden associated with recordkeeping is excluded. The intermediary lenders will be an entity that meets certain criteria to be established by FSA such as: Has been active in the previous 5 years, and has expertise in technical assistance, is an established financial organization which is regulated by an acceptable state or federal regulatory agency, meets certain capital requirements, and ability to work with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). FSA will lend funds to an eligible entity, which will then relend directly to a Tribe or an individual. There are limited entities that will qualify to be intermediary lenders for the HFIL Loan Program. The current annual allocation of $10 million will not sufficiently fund multiple intermediaries. For the HFIL Loan Program to be effective adequate funds must be available for each intermediary lender to borrow to relend. As discussed above, at the Tribal Consultation held on December 10, 2014, members in attendance strongly suggested that HFIL Loan Program be restricted to no more than 2 intermediary lenders per year for funding due to limited funding. FSA expects to have less than 10 intermediary lenders eligible to participate in the HFIL Loan Program annually. Therefore, this would not require OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

E-Government Act Compliance

FSA is committed to complying with the E-Government Act, to promote the use of the Internet and other information technologies to provide increased opportunities for citizen access to Government information and services, and for other purposes.

List of Subjects 7 CFR Part 761

Accounting, Loan programs-agriculture, Rural areas.

7 CFR Part 769

Loan program-Agriculture, Indians, Land.

For the reasons discussed above, FSA amends 7 CFR chapter VII as follows:

PART 761—FARM LOAN PROGRAM; GENERAL PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION 1. The authority citation for part 761 continues to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 301 and 7 U.S.C. 1989.

Subpart A—General Provisions 2. Amend § 761.2 as follows: a. In the introductory text, add “and 769” immediately after “767”; and b. In paragraph (b), revise the definition of “Agricultural commodity”.

The revision reads as follows:

§ 761.2 Abbreviations and definitions.

(b) * * *

Agricultural commodity means livestock, grains, cotton, oilseeds, dry beans, tobacco, peanuts, sugar beets, sugar cane, fruit, vegetable, forage, nursery crops, nuts, aquacultural species, and the products resulting from: livestock, tree farming, and other plant or animal production as determined by the Agency.

3. Add part 769 to read as follows: PART 769—HIGHLY FRACTIONATED INDIAN LAND LOAN PROGRAM Sec. 769.101 Purpose. 769.102 Abbreviations and definitions. 769.103 Eligibility requirements of the intermediary lender. 769.104 Requirements of the ultimate recipient. 769.105 Authorized loan purposes. 769.106 Limitations. 769.107 Rates and terms. 769.108 Security requirements for HFIL loans and ultimate recipients. 769.109 Intermediary lender's application. 769.110 Letter of conditions. 769.111 Loan approval and obligating funds. 769.120 Loan closing. 769.121 Maintenance and monitoring of HFIL revolving fund. 769.122 Loan servicing. 769.123 Transfer and assumption. 769.124 Appeals. 769.125 Exceptions. Authority:

5 U.S.C. 301, 7 U.S.C. 1989, and 25 U.S.C. 488.

§ 769.101 Purpose.

(a) This part contains regulations for loans made by the Agency to eligible intermediary lenders and applies to intermediary lenders and ultimate recipient involved in making and servicing Highly Fractionated Indian Land (HFIL) loans.

(b) The purpose of the HFIL Loan Program is to establish policies and procedures for a revolving loan fund through intermediary lenders for the purchase of HFIL by a Native American tribe, tribal entity, or member of either.

§ 769.102 Abbreviations and definitions

(a) Abbreviations. The following abbreviations are used in this part:

BIA—The Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). HFIL—Highly Fractionated Indian Land.

(b) Definitions. The following definitions are used in this part:

Administrator means the head of the Farm Service Agency or designee.

Highly Fractionated Indian Land (HFIL) means for the purpose of this part only, Highly Fractionated Indian Land is undivided interests held by four or more individuals as a result of ownership or original allotments passing by state laws of intestate succession for multiple generations.

Indian Country land, communities, and allotments means the following:

(1) All land within the limits of any Indian reservation under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Government, notwithstanding the issuance of any patent, and, including rights-of-way running through the reservation,

(2) All dependent Indian communities within the borders of the United States whether within the original or subsequently acquired territory thereof, and whether within or without the limits of a state, and

(3) All Indian allotments, the Indian titles to which have not been extinguished, including rights-of-way running through the same; or

(4) All land, communities, and allotments that meet the definition of 18 U.S.C. 1151.

Intermediary lender means the entity requesting or receiving HFIL loan funds for establishing a revolving fund and relending to ultimate recipients.

Intermediary relending agreement means the signed agreement between FSA and the intermediary that specifies the terms and conditions of the HFIL loan.

Native American tribe means the following:

(1) An Indian tribe recognized by the U.S. Department of the Interior; or

(2) A community in Alaska incorporated by the U.S. Department of the Interior pursuant to the Indian Reorganization Act.

Revolving funds means a fund that has two types of deposit accounts, one of which will be HFIL funds from FSA and the other will be comprised of repayments of loans from the ultimate recipients, interest earned on funds in the account and cash, or other short-term marketable assets that the intermediary lender chooses to deposit. Revolving funds are not considered Federal funds.

Tribal entity means an eligible entity established pursuant to the Indian Reorganization Act.

Ultimate recipient means Native American tribe, tribal entity, or member of either that receives a loan from an intermediary lender's HFIL revolving fund.

Undivided interest means a common interest in the whole parcel of land that is owned by two or more people. Owners of undivided interest do not own a specific piece of a parcel of land; rather they own a percentage interest in the whole.

§ 769.103 Eligibility requirements of the intermediary lender.

(a) Eligible entity types. The types of entities that may become an intermediary lender are:

(1) Private and Tribal operated nonprofit corporations;

(2) Public agencies—Any State or local government, or any branch or agency of such government having authority to act on behalf of that government, borrow funds, and engage in activities eligible for funding under this part;

(3) Indian tribes or tribal corporations; or

(4) Lenders who are subject to credit examination and supervision by an acceptable State or Federal regulatory agency.

(b) Intermediary lender requirements. The intermediary lender must:

(1) Have the legal authority necessary for carrying out the proposed loan purposes and for obtaining, giving security for, and repaying the proposed loan;

(2) Have a record of successful lending in Indian Country and knowledge and experience working with the BIA. The Agency will assess the applicant staff's training and experience in lending in Indian Country based on recent experience in loan making and servicing with loans that are similar in nature to the HFIL program. If consultants will be used, FSA will assess the staff's experience in choosing and supervising consultants; and

(3) Have an adequate assurance of repayment of the loan based on the fiscal and managerial capabilities of the proposed intermediary lender.

(c) The Intermediary Relending Agreement. The intermediary lender and the Agency will enter into an Intermediary Relending Agreement, satisfactory to the Agency based on:

(1) Loan documentation requirements including planned application forms, security instruments, and loan closing documents;

(2) List of proposed fees and other charges it will assess the ultimate recipients;

(3) The plan for relending the loan funds. The plan must have sufficient detail to provide the Agency with a complete understanding of the complete mechanics of how the funds will get from the intermediary lender to the ultimate recipient. Included in the plan are the service area, eligibility criteria, loan purposes, rates, terms, collateral requirements, a process for addressing environmental issues on property to be purchased, limits, priorities, application process, analysis of new loan requests, and method of disbursement of the funds to the ultimate recipient;

(4) Loan review plans that specify how the intermediary lender will review the loan request from the ultimate recipient and make an eligibility determination;

(5) An explanation of the intermediary lender's established internal credit review process; and

(6) An explanation of how the intermediary lender will monitor the loans to the ultimate recipients.

§ 769.104 Requirements of the ultimate recipient.

(a) Ultimate recipients must be individual Tribal members, Tribes or eligible Tribal entities, with authority to incur the debt and carry out the purpose of the loan.

(b) The intermediary lender will make this determination in accordance with the Intermediary Relending Agreement.

§ 769.105 Authorized loan purposes.

(a) Intermediary lender. Agency HFIL loan funds must be placed in the intermediary's HFIL revolving fund and used by the intermediary to provide direct loans to eligible ultimate recipients.

(b) Ultimate recipient. Loans from the intermediary lender to the ultimate recipient using the HFIL revolving fund:

(1) Must be used to acquire and consolidate at least 50 percent of the highly fractionated Indian land parcel and interests in the land. The interests include rights-of-way, water rights, easements, and other appurtenances that would normally pass with the land or are necessary for the proposed operation of the land located within the tribe's reservation;

(2) Must finance land that will be used for agricultural purposes during the term of the loan;

(3) May be used to pay costs incidental to land acquisition, including, but not limited to, title clearance, legal services, archeological or land surveys, and loan closing; and

(4) May be used to pay for the costs of any appraisal conducted in accordance with this part.

§ 769.106 Limitations.

(a) Loan funds may not be used for any land improvement or development purposes, acquisition or repair of buildings or personal property, payment of operating costs, payment of finders' fees, or similar costs, or for any purpose that will contribute to excessive erosion of highly erodible land or to the conversion of wetlands to produce an agricultural commodity as specified in 7 CFR part 12.

(b) The amount of loan funds used to acquire land may not exceed the current market value of the land as determined by a current appraisal that meets the requirements as specified in 7 CFR 761.7(b)(1).

(c) Agency HFIL loan funds may not be used for payment of the intermediary's administrative costs or expenses. The amount removed from the HFIL revolving fund for administrative costs in any year must be reasonable, must not exceed the actual cost of operating the HFIL revolving fund and must not exceed the amount approved by the Agency in the intermediary lender's annual loan monitoring report.

(d) No loan to an intermediary lender may exceed the maximum amount the intermediary can reasonably expect to lend to eligible ultimate recipients, based on anticipated demand for loans to consolidate fractioned interests and capacity of the intermediary to effectively carry out the terms of the loan.

§ 769.107 Rates and terms.

(a) Loans made by the Agency to the intermediary lender will bear interest at a fixed rate as determined by the Administrator, but not less than 1 percent per year over the term of the loan.

(1) Interest rates charged by intermediary lender to ultimate recipients on loans from the HFIL revolving fund will be negotiated between the intermediary lender and ultimate recipient, but the rate must be within limits established by the Intermediary Relending Agreement.

(2) The rate should normally be the lowest rate sufficient to cover the loan's proportional share of the revolving fund's debt service costs and administrative costs.

(b) No loan to an intermediary lender will be extended for a period exceeding 30 years. Interest will be due annually but principal payments may be deferred by the Agency.

(1) Loans made by an intermediary lender to an ultimate recipient from the HFIL revolving fund will be scheduled for repayment over a term negotiated by the intermediary lender and ultimate recipient but will not exceed 30 years or the date of the end of the term of the HFIL loan, whichever is sooner.

(2) The term of an HFIL loan must be reasonable and prudent considering the purpose of the loan, expected repayment ability of the ultimate recipient, and the useful life of collateral, and must be within any limits established by the intermediary lender's Intermediary Relending Agreement.

§ 769.108 Security requirements for HFIL loans and the ultimate recipients.

(a) HFIL loans. Security for all loans to intermediaries must be such that the repayment of the loan is reasonably assured, taking into consideration the intermediary's financial condition, Intermediary Relending Agreement, and management ability. The intermediary is responsible to make loans to ultimate recipients in such a manner that will fully protect the interest of the intermediary and the Government. The Agency will require adequate security, as determined by the Agency, to fully secure the loan, including but not limited to the following:

(1) Assignments of assessments, taxes, levies, or other sources of revenue as authorized by law;

(2) Investments and deposits of the intermediary; and

(3) Capital assets or other property of the intermediary and its members.

(b) Liens. In addition to normal security documents, a first lien interest in the intermediary's revolving fund account will be accomplished by a control agreement satisfactory to the Agency. The control agreement does not require the Agency's signature for withdrawals. The depository bank must waive its offset and recoupment rights against the depository account to the Agency and subordinate any liens it may have against the HFIL depository bank account.

(c) Ultimate recipient. Security for a loan from an intermediary lender's HFIL revolving fund to an ultimate recipient will be adequate to fully secure the loan as specified in the relending agreement.

(1) The Agency will only require concurrence in the intermediary lender's security requirement for a specific loan when security for the loan from the intermediary lender to the ultimate recipient will also serve as security for an Agency loan.

(2) The ultimate recipient will take appropriate action to obtain and provide security for the loan.

§ 769.109 Intermediary lender's application.

(a) The application will consist of:

(1) An application form provided by the Agency;

(2) A draft Intermediary Relending Agreement and other evidence the Agency requires to show the feasibility of the intermediary lender's program to meet the objectives of the HFIL Loan Program; and

(3) Applications from intermediary lenders that already have an active HFIL loan may be streamlined by filing a new application and a statement that the new loan would be operated in accordance with the Intermediary Relending Agreement on file for the previous loan. This statement may be submitted at the time of application in lieu of a new Intermediary Relending Agreement.

(4) Documentation of the intermediary lender's ability to administer HFIL in accordance with this part;

(5) Submission of a completed Agency application form;

(6) Prior to approval of a loan or advance of funds, certification of whether or not the intermediary lender is delinquent on any Federal debt, including, but not limited to, Federal income tax obligations or a loan or loan guarantee or from another Federal agency. If delinquent, the intermediate lender must explain the reasons for the delinquency, and the Agency will take such written explanation into consideration in deciding whether to approve the loan or advance of funds;

(7) Prior to approval of a loan or advance of funds, certification as to whether the intermediary lender has been convicted of a felony criminal violation under Federal law in the 24 months preceding the date of application.

(8) Certification of compliance with the restrictions and requirements in 31 U.S.C. 1352, and 2 CFR 200.450 and part 418.

(9) Certification to having been informed of the collection options the Federal government may use to collect delinquent debt.

(b) An intermediary lender that has received one or more HFIL loans may apply for and be considered for subsequent HFIL loans provided:

(1) The intermediary lender is relending all collections from loans made from its revolving fund in excess of what is needed for required debt service, approved administration costs, and a reserve for debt service;

(2) The outstanding loans of the intermediary lender's HFIL revolving fund are performing; and

(3) The intermediary lender is in compliance with all regulations and its loan agreements with the Agency.

§ 769.110 Letter of conditions.

(a) The Agency will provide the intermediary lender a letter listing all requirements for the loan. After reviewing the conditions and requirements in the letter of conditions, the intermediary lender must complete, sign, and return the form provided by the Agency indicating the intermediary lender's intent to meet the conditions. If certain conditions cannot be met, the intermediary lender may propose alternate conditions in writing to the Agency. The Agency loan approval official must concur with any changes made to the initially issued or proposed letter of conditions prior to acceptance. The loan request will be withdrawn if the intermediary lender does not respond within 15 days.

(b) At loan closing, the intermediary lender must certify that:

(1) No major changes have been made in the Intermediary Relending Agreement except those approved in the interim by the Agency;

(2) All requirements of the letter of conditions have been met; and

(3) There has been no material change in the intermediary lender or its financial condition since the issuance of the letter of conditions. If there have been changes, the intermediary lender must explain the changes to the Agency. The changes may be waived, at the sole discretion of the Agency.

§ 769.111 Loan approval and obligating funds.

(a) Loan requests will be processed based on the date the Agency receives the application. Loan approval is subject to the availability of funds.

(b) The loan will be considered approved for the intermediary lender on the date the signed copy of the obligation of funds document is mailed to the intermediary lender.

§ 769.120 Loan closing.

(a) Loan agreement. A loan agreement or supplement to a previous loan agreement must be executed by the intermediary lender and the Agency at loan closing for each loan setting forth, at a minimum,

(1) The amount of the loan, the interest rate, the term and repayment schedule,

(2) The requirement to maintain a separate ledger and segregated account for the HFIL revolving fund; and

(3) It agrees to comply with Agency reporting requirements.

(b) Loan closing. Intermediary lenders receiving HFIL loans will be governed by this part, the loan agreement, the approved Intermediary Relending Agreement, security instruments, and any other conditions that the Agency requires on loans made from the “HFIL revolving fund.” The requirement applies to all loans made by an intermediary lender to an ultimate recipient from the intermediary lender's HFIL revolving fund for as long as any portion of the intermediary lender's HFIL loan from the Agency remains unpaid.

(c) Intermediary lender certification. The intermediary lender must include in their file a certification that:

(1) The proposed ultimate recipient is eligible for the loan;

(2) The proposed loan is for eligible purposes; and

(3) The proposed loan complies with all applicable laws and regulations.

§ 769.121 Maintenance and monitoring of HFIL revolving fund.

(a) Maintenance of revolving fund. The intermediary lender must maintain the HFIL revolving fund until all of its HFIL obligations have been paid in full. All HFIL loan funds received by an intermediary lender must be deposited into an HFIL revolving fund account. Such accounts must be fully covered by Federal deposit insurance or fully collateralized with U.S. Government obligations. All cash of the HFIL revolving fund must be deposited in a separate bank account or accounts so as not to be commingled with other financial assets of the intermediary lender. All money deposited in such bank account or accounts must be security assets of the HFIL revolving fund. Loans to ultimate recipients must be from the HFIL revolving fund.

(1) The portion of the HFIL revolving fund that consists of Agency HFIL loan funds may only be used for making loans in accordance with § 769.105. The portion of the HFIL revolving fund that consists of repayments from ultimate recipients may be used for debt service, reasonable administrative costs, or for making additional loans;

(2) An intermediary lender may use revolving funds and HFIL loan funds to make loans to ultimate recipients without obtaining prior Agency concurrence in accordance with the Intermediary Relending Agreement;

(3) Any funds in the HFIL revolving fund from any source that is not needed for debt service, approved administrative costs, or reasonable reserves must be available for additional loans to ultimate recipients;

(4) All reserves and other funds in the HFIL revolving loan fund not immediately needed for loans to ultimate recipients or other authorized uses must be deposited in accounts in banks or other financial institutions. Such accounts must be fully covered by Federal deposit insurance or fully collateralized with U.S. Government obligations, and will be interest bearing. Any interest earned thereon remains a part of the HFIL revolving fund;

(5) If an intermediary lender receives more than one HFIL loan, it does not need to establish and maintain a separate HFIL revolving loan fund for each loan; it may combine them and maintain only one HFIL revolving fund, unless the Agency requires separate HFIL revolving funds because there are significant differences in the loan purposes, Intermediary Relending Agreement, loan agreements, or requirements for the loans; and

(6) A reasonable amount of revolved funds must be used to create a reserve for bad debts. Reserves should be accumulated over a period of years. The total amount should not exceed maximum expected losses, considering the quality of the intermediary lender's portfolio of loans. Unless the intermediary lender provides loss and delinquency records that, in the opinion of the Agency, justifies different amounts, a reserve for bad debts of 6 percent of outstanding loans must be accumulated over 5 years and then maintained.

(b) Loan monitoring reviews. The intermediary lender must complete loan monitoring reviews, including annual and periodic reviews, and performance monitoring.

(1) At least annually, the intermediary lender must provide the Agency documents for the purpose of reviewing the financial status of the intermediary Lender, assessing the progress of utilizing loan funds, and identifying any potential problems or concerns. Non-regulated intermediary lenders must furnish audited financial statements at least annually.

(2) At any time the Agency determines it is necessary, the intermediary lender must allow the Agency or its representative to review the operations and financial condition of the intermediary lender. Upon the Agency requests, the Intermediary must submit financial or other information within 14 days unless the data requested is not available within that time frame.

(c) Progress reports. Each intermediary lender will be monitored by the Agency based on progress reports submitted by the intermediary lender, audit findings, disbursement transactions, visitations, and other contact with the intermediary lender as necessary.

§ 769.122 Loan servicing.

(a) Payments. Payments will be made to the Agency as specified in loan agreements and debt instruments. The funds from any extra payments will be applied entirely to loan principal.

(b) Restructuring. The Agency may restructure the intermediary lender's loan debt, if:

(1) The Government's interest will be protected;

(2) The restructuring will be performed within the Agency's budget authority; and

(3) The loan objectives cannot be met unless the HFIL loan is restructured.

(c) Default. In the event of monetary or non-monetary default, the Agency will take all appropriate actions to protect its interest, including, but not limited to, declaring the debt fully due and payable and may proceed to enforce its rights under the loan agreement or any other loan instruments relating to the loan under applicable law and regulations, and commencement of legal action to protect the Agency's interest. The Agency will work with the intermediary lender to correct any default, subject to the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section. Violation of any agreement with the Agency or failure to comply with reporting or other program requirements will be considered non-monetary default.

§ 769.123 Transfer and assumption.

(a) All transfers and assumptions must be approved in advance in writing by the Agency. The assuming entity must meet all eligibility criteria for the HFIL Loan Program.

(b) Available transfer and assumption options to eligible intermediary lenders include the following:

(1) The total indebtedness may be transferred to another eligible intermediary lender on the same terms; or

(2) The total indebtedness may be transferred to another eligible intermediary lender on different terms not to exceed the term for which an initial loan can be made. The assuming entity must meet all eligibility criteria for the HFIL Loan Program.

(c) The transferor must prepare the transfer document for the Agency review prior to the transfer and assumption.

(d) The transferee must provide the Agency with information required in the application as specified in § 769.109.

(e) The Agency prepared assumption agreement will contain the Agency case number of the transferor and transferee.

(f) The transferee must complete an application as specified in § 769.109(a).

(g) When the transferee makes a cash down-payment in connection with the transfer and assumption, any proceeds received by the transferor will be credited on the transferor's loan debt in order of maturity date.

(h) The Administrator or designee will approve or decline all transfers and assumptions.

§ 769.124 Appeals.

Any appealable adverse decision made by the Agency may be appealed upon written request of the intermediary as specified in 7 CFR part 11.

§ 769.125 Exceptions.

The Agency may grant an exception to any of the requirements of this part if the proposed change is in the best financial interest of the Government and not inconsistent with the authorizing law or any other applicable law.

Val Dolcini, Administrator, Farm Service Agency.
[FR Doc. 2015-30331 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-05-P
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Parts 1, 2, 4, 7, 9, 11, 15, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 30, 32, 37, 40, 50, 51, 52, 55, 60, 61, 62, 63, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 76, 81, 95, 100, 110, 140, 150, 170, and 171 [NRC-2015-0239] RIN 3150-AJ69 Miscellaneous Corrections AGENCY:

Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is amending its regulations to make miscellaneous corrections. These changes include renaming the Office of Information Services, renaming the Computer Security Office and removing it as a standalone office, capitalizing the words Tribe, Tribes, and Tribal, correcting a Web site address, correcting a misspelling, removing a submission requirement, correcting an email address, correcting a room number, removing a Federal Register notice requirement, and adding missing information collection references. This document is necessary to inform the public of these non-substantive changes to the NRC's regulations.

DATES:

This rule is effective December 31, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2015-0239 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this final rule. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this final rule by any of the following methods:

Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2015-0239. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, please contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this final rule.

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 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:

Jill Shepherd-Vladimir, Office of Administration, telephone: 301-415-1230, email: [email protected]; U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Introduction

The NRC is amending its regulations in parts 1, 2, 4, 7, 9, 11, 15, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 30, 32, 37, 40, 50, 51, 52, 55, 60, 61, 62, 63, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 76, 81, 95, 100, 110, 140, 150, 170, and 171 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) to make miscellaneous corrections. These changes include renaming the Office of Information Services, renaming the Computer Security Office and removing it as a standalone office, capitalizing the words Tribe, Tribes, and Tribal, correcting a Web site address, correcting a misspelling, removing a submission requirement, correcting an email address, correcting a room number, removing a Federal Register notice requirement, and adding missing information collection references. This document is necessary to inform the public of these non-substantive changes to the NRC's regulations.

II. Summary of Changes 10 CFR Part 1

Remove Office. This final rule removes and reserves § 1.38. The Computer Security Office has been renamed the Information Security Directorate and will now be part of the Office of the Chief Information Officer. The Information Security Directorate information is now included as new paragraphs (h) through (l) under § 1.35. Additional editorial changes have been made as the result of adding the new paragraphs. Also, in § 1.3, paragraph (c), the phrase “Information and Records Services Division” is being removed as reference to the Office is sufficient information.

10 CFR Parts 1, 2, 4, 7, 9, 11, 15, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 30, 37, 40, 50, 51, 52, 55, 60, 61, 62, 63, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 76, 81, 95, 100, 110, 140, 150, 170, and 171

Rename Office. This final rule removes all references to the office name “Office of Information Services” and replaces them with the new office name “Office of the Chief Information Officer.”

10 CFR Parts 1, 2, 7, 32, 40, 51, 61, 71, 72, 73, and 150

Capitalize The Words Tribe, Tribes, And Tribal. This final rule capitalizes all references of “Tribe,” “Tribes,” and “Tribal.” These changes are being made so that these terms are used consistently in the NRC's regulations.

10 CFR Part 37

Correct Web site Address. In § 37.77(a)(1), this final rule removes the incorrect Web site address “https://nrc.stp.ornl.gov/special/designee.pdf” and replaces it with the correct Web site address “https://scp.nrc.gov/special/designee.pdf.”

10 CFR Part 50

Correct Misspelling. In § 50.34(f)(3)(v)(A)(1) and (B)(1), this final rule removes the misspelled term “subsubarticle” and replaces it with the correct term “subarticle.”

Remove Submission Requirement In section V, of appendix E, this final rule removes the requirement on nuclear power plant licensees to submit any changes to their emergency plans or procedures to the Commission, as specified in § 50.4, within 30 days. Changes to an emergency plan, however, must still be reported to the NRC or requested in a license amendment application as required in 10 CFR 50.54(q). With regard to changes to procedures that are required to be submitted under appendix E, section V only, and not under 10 CFR 50.54(q), the NRC has found that these changes consist of administrative information that is inconsequential to the NRC's licensing or regulatory oversight activities (such as address changes and phone number changes). Even after the effective date of this rule, these changes to procedures will remain subject to NRC inspection. Thus, the change to appendix E, section V will reduce the regulatory burden on the licensee and the administrative burden on the NRC staff without impacting the NRC's oversight and inspection of nuclear power plant licensees. For these reasons, this rule reflects a non-substantive change of a duplicative requirement where notice-and-comment is unnecessary under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553(b)).

10 CFR Part 51

Correct Email Address. In § 51.123(a) and (b), this final rule removes the incorrect email address “[email protected]” and replaces it with the correct email address “[email protected]

10 CFR Part 55

Correct Office Room Number. In Footnote 1 of § 55.40, this final rule removes the incorrect room number for the NRC Public Document “(0-1 F23)” and replaces it with the correct room number “(O-1 F21).”

10 CFR Part 71

Remove Federal Register Notice Requirement. In § 71.97(c)(3)(ii), this rule removes the requirement that changes to the list of governor's designees and Tribal official's designees of participating Tribes be published annually in the Federal Register on or about June 30th. This section will now direct stakeholders to the NRC's public Web site where the most accurate information is available. This change also conforms this section to §§ 37.77(a)(1) and 73.37(b)(2).

10 CFR Part 73

Add Missing Information Collection References. In § 73.8, this final rule adds sections “73.23” and “73.51” to the list of sections in 10 CFR part 73 that contain information collections. These two sections were added to § 73.8 in a final rule dated July 6, 2012 (77 FR 39909), and were inadvertently removed in a final rule published on May 20, 2013 (78 FR 29550).

Correct Web site Address. In § 73.37(b)(2), this final rule removes the incorrect Web site address “https://nrc.stp.ornl.gov/special/designee.pdf” and replaces it with the correct Web site address “https://scp.nrc.gov/special/designee.pdf.”

III. Rulemaking Procedure

Under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553(b)), an agency may waive the normal notice and comment requirements if it finds, for good cause, that they are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest. As authorized by 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B), the NRC finds good cause to waive notice and opportunity for comment on the amendments, because notice and opportunity for comment are unnecessary. The amendments will have no substantive impact and are of a minor and administrative nature dealing with corrections to certain CFRs related only to management, organization, procedure, and practice. Specifically, the revisions rename offices, capitalize words, correct a Web site address, correct a misspelling, remove a submission requirement, correct an email address, correct a room number, remove a Federal Register notice requirement, and add missing information collection references.

The Commission is exercising its authority under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) to publish these amendments as a final rule. The amendments are effective December 31, 2015. These amendments do not require action by any person or entity regulated by the NRC. Also, the final rule does not change the substantive responsibilities of any person or entity regulated by the NRC.

IV. Environmental Impact: Categorical Exclusion

The NRC has determined that this final rule is the type of action described in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(2), which categorically excludes from environmental review rules that are corrective or of a minor, nonpolicy nature and do not substantially modify existing regulations. Therefore, neither an environmental impact statement nor an environmental assessment has been prepared for this rule.

V. Paperwork Reduction Act Statement

This final rule does not contain a collection of information as defined in the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) and, therefore, is not subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The final rule, however, makes a non-substantive modification to an information collection, as the final rule eliminates a collection of information previously contained in 10 CFR part 50, appendix E, section V. The collection of information was approved by the Office of Management and Budget, approval number 3150-0011.

Public Protection Notification

The NRC may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless the requesting document displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget control number.

VI. 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).

VII. Backfitting and Issue Finality

The NRC has determined that the corrections in this final rule do not constitute backfitting and are not inconsistent with any of the issue finality provisions in 10 CFR part 52. The revisions are non-substantive in nature, including renaming offices, capitalizing words, correcting a Web site address, correcting a misspelling, removing a submission requirement, correcting an email address, correcting a room number, removing a Federal Register notice requirement, and adding missing information collection references. They impose no new requirements and make no substantive changes to the regulations. The corrections do not involve any provisions that would impose backfits as defined in 10 CFR chapter I, or would be inconsistent with the issue finality provisions in 10 CFR part 52. For these reasons, the issuance of the rule in final form would not constitute backfitting or represent an inconsistency with any of the issue finality provisions in 10 CFR part 52. Therefore, the NRC has not prepared any additional documentation for this correction rulemaking addressing backfitting or issue finality.

List of Subjects 10 CFR Part 1

Flags, Organization and functions (Government Agencies), Seals and insignia.

10 CFR Part 2

Administrative practice and procedure, Antitrust, Byproduct material, Classified information, Confidential business information, Freedom of information, Environmental protection, Hazardous waste, Nuclear energy, Nuclear materials, Nuclear power plants and reactors, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sex discrimination, Source material, Special nuclear material, Waste treatment and disposal.

10 CFR Part 4

Administrative practice and procedure, Aged, Blind, Buildings, Civil rights, Employment, Equal employment opportunity, Federal aid programs, Federal buildings and facilities, Grant programs, Handicapped, Individuals with disabilities, Loan programs, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sex discrimination.

10 CFR Part 7

Advisory committees, Sunshine Act.

10 CFR Part 9

Administrative practice and procedure, Courts, Criminal penalties, Freedom of information, Government employees, Privacy, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sunshine Act.

10 CFR Part 11

Hazardous materials transportation, Investigations, Nuclear energy, Nuclear materials, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Security measures, Special nuclear material.

10 CFR Part 15

Administrative practice and procedure, Claims, Debt collection.

10 CFR Part 19

Criminal penalties, Environmental protection, Nuclear Energy, Nuclear materials, Nuclear power plants and reactors, Occupational safety and health, Penalties, Radiation protection, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sex discrimination.

10 CFR Part 20

Byproduct material, Criminal penalties, Hazardous waste, Licensed material, Nuclear energy, Nuclear materials, Nuclear power plants and reactors, Occupational safety and health, Packaging and containers, Penalties, Radiation protection, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Source material, Special nuclear material, Waste treatment and disposal.

10 CFR Part 21

Nuclear power plants and reactors, Penalties, Radiation protection, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

10 CFR Part 25

Classified information, Criminal penalties, Investigations, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Security measures.

10 CFR Part 26

Administrative practice and procedure, Alcohol abuse, Alcohol testing, Appeals, Chemical testing, Drug abuse, Drug testing, Employee assistance programs, Fitness for duty, Management actions, Nuclear power plants and reactors, Privacy, Protection of information, Radiation protection, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

10 CFR Part 30

Byproduct material, Criminal penalties, Government contracts, Intergovernmental relations, Isotopes, Nuclear energy, Nuclear materials, Penalties, Radiation protection, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Whistleblowing.

10 CFR Part 32

Byproduct material, Criminal penalties, Labeling, Nuclear energy, Nuclear materials, Radiation protection, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

10 CFR Part 37

Byproduct material, Criminal penalties, Export, Hazardous materials transportation, Import, Licensed material, Nuclear materials, Penalties, Radioactive materials, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Security measures.

10 CFR Part 40

Criminal penalties, Exports, Government contracts, Hazardous materials transportation, Hazardous waste, Nuclear energy, Nuclear materials, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Source material, Uranium, Whistleblowing.

10 CFR Part 50

Administrative practice and procedure, Antitrust, Classified information, Criminal penalties, education, Fire prevention, Fire protection, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nuclear power plants and reactors, Penalties, Radiation protection, Reactor siting criteria, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Whistleblowing.

10 CFR Part 51

Administrative practice and procedure, Environmental impact statements, Hazardous waste, Nuclear energy, Nuclear materials, Nuclear power plants and reactors, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

10 CFR Part 52

Administrative practice and procedure, Antitrust, Backfitting, Combined license, Early site permit, Emergency planning, Fees, Incorporation by reference, Inspection, Limited work authorization, Nuclear power plants and reactors, Probabilistic risk assessment, Prototype, Reactor siting criteria, Redress of site, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Standard design, Standard design certification.

10 CFR Part 55

Criminal penalties, Manpower training programs, Nuclear power plants and reactors, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

10 CFR Part 60

Criminal penalties, Hazardous waste, Indians, High-level waste, Intergovernmental relations, Nuclear energy, Nuclear materials, Nuclear power plants and reactors, Penalties, Radiation protection, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Waste treatment and disposal, Whistleblowing.

10 CFR Part 61

Criminal penalties, Hazardous waste, Indians, Intergovernmental relations, Low-level waste, Nuclear energy, Nuclear materials, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Waste treatment and disposal, Whistleblowing.

10 CFR Part 62

Administrative practice and procedure, Denial of access, Emergency access to low-level waste disposal, Hazardous waste, Intergovernmental relations, Low-level radioactive waste, Low-level radioactive waste treatment and disposal, Nuclear energy, Nuclear materials, Radiation protection, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

10 CFR Part 63

Criminal penalties, Hazardous waste, High-level waste, Indians, Intergovernmental relations, Nuclear energy, Nuclear power plants and reactors, Penalties, Radiation protection, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Waste treatment and disposal.

10 CFR Part 70

Classified information, Criminal penalties, Emergency medical services, Hazardous materials transportation, Material control and accounting, Nuclear energy, Nuclear materials, Packaging and containers, Penalties, Radiation protection, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Scientific equipment, Security measures, Special nuclear material, Whistleblowing.

10 CFR Part 71

Criminal penalties, Hazardous materials transportation, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nuclear materials, Packaging and containers, Penalties, Radioactive materials, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

10 CFR Part 72

Administrative practice and procedure, Criminal penalties, Hazardous waste, Indians, Intergovernmental relations, Manpower training programs, Nuclear energy, Nuclear materials, Occupational safety and health, Penalties, Radiation protection, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Security measures, Spent fuel, Whistleblowing.

10 CFR Part 73

Criminal penalties, Exports, Hazardous materials transportation, Incorporation by reference, Imports, Nuclear energy, Nuclear materials, Nuclear power plants and reactors, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Security measures.

10 CFR Part 74

Accounting, Criminal penalties, Hazardous materials transportation, Material control and accounting, Nuclear energy, Nuclear materials, Packaging and containers, Penalties, Radiation protection, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Scientific equipment, Special nuclear material.

10 CFR Part 76

Certification, Criminal penalties, Nuclear energy, Penalties, Radiation protection, Reporting and record keeping requirements, Security measures, Special nuclear material, Uranium, Uranium enrichment by gaseous diffusion.

10 CFR Part 81

Administrative practice and procedure, Inventions and patents, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

10 CFR Part 95

Classified information, Criminal penalties, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Security measures.

10 CFR Part 100

Nuclear power plants and reactors, Radiation protection, Reactor siting criteria, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

10 CFR Part 110

Administrative practice and procedure, Classified information, Criminal penalties, Exports, Incorporation by reference, Imports, Intergovernmental relations, Nuclear energy, Nuclear materials, Nuclear power plants and reactors, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Scientific equipment.

10 CFR Part 140

Criminal penalties, Extraordinary nuclear occurrence, Insurance, Intergovernmental relations, Nuclear materials, Nuclear power plants and reactors, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

10 CFR Part 150

Criminal penalties, Hazardous materials transportation, Intergovernmental relations, Nuclear energy, Nuclear materials, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Security measures, Source material, Special nuclear material.

10 CFR Part 170

Byproduct material, Import and export licenses, Intergovernmental relations, Non-payment penalties, Nuclear energy, Nuclear materials, Nuclear power plants and reactors, Source material, Special nuclear material.

10 CFR Part 171

Annual charges, Byproduct material, Holders of certificates, registrations, approvals, Intergovernmental relations, Nonpayment penalties, Nuclear materials, Nuclear power plants and reactors, Source material, Special nuclear material.

For the reasons set out in the preamble and under the authority of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended; the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, as amended; and 5 U.S.C. 552 and 553, the NRC is adopting the following amendments to 10 CFR parts 1, 2, 4, 7, 9, 11, 15, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 30, 32, 37, 40, 50, 51, 52, 55, 60, 61, 62, 63, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 76, 81, 95, 100, 110, 140, 150, 170, and 171:

PART 1—STATEMENT OF ORGANIZATION AND GENERAL INFORMATION 1. The authority citation for part 1 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 23, 25, 29, 161, 191 (42 U.S.C. 2033, 2035, 2039, 2201, 2241); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, secs. 201, 203, 204, 205, 209 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5843, 5844, 5845, 5849); Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 552, 553); Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1980, 5 U.S.C. Appendix (Reorganization Plans).

§ 1.3 [Amended]
2. In § 1.3, paragraph (c), remove the phrase “Information and Records Services Division, ”. Also in paragraph (c), remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”.
§ 1.32 [Amended]
3. In § 1.32, paragraph (b), remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”. 4. In § 1.35: a. Revise the section heading and the introductory text; b. In paragraph (f), remove the word “and” at the end of paragraph; c. In paragraph (g), remove the “.” at the end of paragraph and add in its place “;”; and d. Add new paragraphs (h) through (l).

The revision and additions read as follows:

§ 1.35 Office of the Chief Information Officer.

The Office of the Chief Information Officer—

(h) Plans, recommends, and oversees the NRC's Information Technology (IT) Security Program consistent with applicable laws, regulations, management initiatives, and policies;

(i) Provides principal advice to the NRC on the infrastructure, as well as the programmatic and administrative aspects of cybersecurity;

(j) Establishes NRC-wide cybersecurity guidelines;

(k) Guides security process maturity, as well as formulating and overseeing the cybersecurity program budget; and

(l) Ensures NRC-wide integration, direction, and coordination of IT security planning and performance within the framework of the NRC IT Security Program.

§ 1.38 [Removed and Reserved]
5. Remove and reserve § 1.38.
§ 1.42 [Amended]
6. In § 1.42, paragraph (b)(3), remove the word “tribe” and add in its place the word “Tribe”.
PART 2—AGENCY RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE 7. The authority citation for part 2 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 29, 53, 62, 63, 81, 102, 103, 104, 105, 161, 181, 182, 183, 184, 186, 189, 191, 234 (42 U.S.C. 2039, 2073, 2092, 2093, 2111, 2132, 2133, 2134, 2135, 2201, 2231, 2232, 2233, 2234, 2236, 2239, 2241, 2282); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, secs. 201, 206 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5846); Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, secs. 114(f), 134, 135, 141 (42 U.S.C. 10134(f), 10154, 10155, 10161); Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 552, 553); National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

Section 2.205(j) also issued under Sec. 31001(s), Pub. L. 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321-373 (28 U.S.C. 2461 note). 8. In part 2, wherever it may occur, remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”. 9. In part 2, wherever it may occur, remove the word “tribal” and add in its place the word “Tribal”.
PART 4—NONDISCRIMINATION IN FEDERALLY ASSISTED PROGRAMS OR ACTIVITIES RECEIVING FEDERAL FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FROM THE COMMISSION 10. The authority citation for part 4 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 161, 223, 234, 274 (42 U.S.C. 2201, 2273, 2282, 2021); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, secs. 201, 401 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5891); 29 U.S.C. 794; 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.; 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

Subpart A also issued under 42 U.S.C. 2000d through d-7.

Subpart B also issued under 29 U.S.C. 706.

Subpart C also issued under 42 U.S.C. 6101 through 6107.

§ 4.5 [Amended]
11. In § 4.5 remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”.
PART 7—ADVISORY COMMITTEES 12. The authority citation for part 7 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, sec. 161 (42 U.S.C. 2201); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, sec. 201 (42 U.S.C. 5841); 5 U.S.C. Appendix (Federal Advisory Committee Act).

§ 7.2 [Amended]
13. In § 7.2, the definition of Advisory Committee, in paragraph (10), remove the word “tribal” and add in its place the word “Tribal”.
§ 7.22 [Amended]
14. In § 7.22, paragraph (b), remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”.
PART 9—PUBLIC RECORDS 15. The authority citation for part 9 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, sec. 161 (42 U.S.C. 2201); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, sec. 201 (42 U.S.C. 5841); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

Subpart A also issued under 31 U.S.C. 9701.

Subpart B also issued under 5 U.S.C. 552a.

Subpart C also issued under 5 U.S.C. 552b.

16. In part 9, wherever it may occur, remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”.
PART 11—CRITERIA AND PROCEDURES FOR DETERMINING ELIGIBILITY FOR ACCESS TO OR CONTROL OVER SPECIAL NUCLEAR MATERIAL 17. The authority citation for part 11 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 161, 223 (42 U.S.C. 2201, 2273); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, sec. 201 (42 U.S.C. 5841); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

Section 11.15(e) also issued under 31 U.S.C. 9701; 42 U.S.C. 2214.

§ 11.15 [Amended]
18. In § 11.15, paragraph (a)(1), remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”.
PART 15—DEBT COLLECTION PROCEDURES 19. The authority citation for part 15 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, sec. 161, 186 (42 U.S.C. 2201, 2236); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, sec. 201 (42 U.S.C. 5841); 5 U.S.C. 5514; 26 U.S.C. 6402; 31 U.S.C. 3701, 3713, 3716, 3719, 3720A; 42 U.S.C. 664; 44 U.S.C. 3504 note; 31 CFR parts 900 through 904; 31 CFR part 285; E.O. 12146, 44 FR 42657, 3 CFR, 1979 Comp., p. 409; E.O. 12988, 61 FR 4729, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p.157.

§ 15.3 [Amended]
20. In § 15.3, remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”.
PART 19—NOTICES, INSTRUCTIONS AND REPORTS TO WORKERS: INSPECTION AND INVESTIGATIONS 21. The authority citation for part 19 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 53, 63, 81, 103, 104, 161, 223, 234, 1701 (42 U.S.C. 2073, 2093, 2111, 2133, 2134, 2201, 2273, 2282, 2297f); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, secs. 201, 211, 401 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5851, 5891); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

§ 19.17 [Amended]
22. In § 19.17, paragraph (a), remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”.
PART 20—STANDARDS FOR PROTECTION AGAINST RADIATION 23. The authority citation for part 20 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 11, 53, 63, 65, 81, 103, 104, 161, 170H, 182, 186, 223, 234, 274, 1701 (42 U.S.C. 2014, 2073, 2093, 2095, 2111, 2133, 2134, 2201, 2210h, 2232, 2236, 2273, 2282, 2021, 2297f); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, secs. 201, 202 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5842); Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1985, sec. 2 (42 U.S.C. 2021b); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

24. In part 20, wherever it may occur, remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”.
PART 21—REPORTING OF DEFECTS AND NONCOMPLIANCE 25. The authority citation for part 21 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 53, 63, 81, 103, 104, 161, 223, 234, 1701 (42 U.S.C. 2073, 2093, 2111, 2133, 2134, 2201, 2273, 2282, 2297f); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, secs. 201, 206 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5846); Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982,, secs. 135, 141 (42 U.S.C. 10155, 10161); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

§ 21.5 [Amended]
26. In § 21.5, remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”.
PART 25—ACCESS AUTHORIZATION 27. The authority citation for part 25 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 145, 161, 223, 234 (42 U.S.C. 2165, 2201, 2273, 2282); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, sec. 201 (42 U.S.C. 5841); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note; E.O. 10865, 25 FR 1583, as amended, 3 CFR, 1959-1963 Comp., p. 398; E.O. 12829, 58 FR 3479, 3 CFR, 1993 Comp., p. 570; E.O. 13526, 75 FR 707, 3 CFR, 2009 Comp., 9.298; E.O. 12968, 60 FR 40245, 3 CFR, 1995 Comp., p. 391.

Section 25.17(f) and Appendix A also issued under 31 U.S.C. 9701; 42 U.S.C. 2214.

§ 25.9 [Amended]
28. In § 25.9, remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”.
PART 26—FITNESS FOR DUTY PROGRAMS 29. The authority citation for part 26 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 53, 103, 104, 107, 161, 223, 234, 1701 (42 U.S.C. 2073, 2133, 2134, 2137, 2201, 2273, 2282, 2297f); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, secs. 201, 202 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5842); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

§ 26.11 [Amended]
30. In § 26.11, remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”.
PART 30—RULES OF GENERAL APPLICABILITY TO DOMESTIC LICENSING OF BYPRODUCT MATERIAL 31. The authority citation for part 30 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 11, 81, 161, 181, 182, 183, 184, 186, 187, 223, 234, 274 (42 U.S.C. 2014, 2111, 2201, 2231, 2232, 2233, 2234, 2236, 2237, 2273, 2282, 2021); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, secs. 201, 202, 206, 211 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5842, 5846, 5851); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

§ 30.6 [Amended]
32. In § 30.6, paragraph (a)(3), remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”.
PART 32—SPECIFIC DOMESTIC LICENSES TO MANUFACTURE OR TRANSFER CERTAIN ITEMS CONTAINING BYPRODUCT MATERIAL 33. The authority citation for part 32 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 81, 161, 170H, 181, 182, 183, 223, 234, 274 (42 U.S.C. 2111, 2201, 2210h, 2231, 2232, 2233, 2273, 2282, 2021); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, sec. 201 (42 U.S.C. 5841); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

§ 32.1 [Amended]
34. In § 32.1, paragraph (c)(1), remove the word “tribe” wherever it may occur, and add in its place the word “Tribe”.
PART 37—PHYSICAL PROTECTION OF CATEGORY 1 AND CATEGORY 2 QUANTITIES OF RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL 35. The authority citation for part 37 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 11, 53, 81, 103, 104, 147, 148, 149, 161, 182, 183, 223, 234, 274 (42 U.S.C. 2014, 2073, 2111, 2133, 2134, 2167, 2168, 2169, 2201, 2232, 2233, 2273, 2282, 2021); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, secs. 201, 202 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5842); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

36. In part 37, wherever it may occur, remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”.
§ 37.77 [Amended]
37. In § 37.77(a)(1), remove the Web site address “https://nrc.stp.ornl.gov/special/designee.pdf” and add in its place the Web site address “https://scp.nrc.gov/special/designee.pdf”.
PART 40—DOMESTIC LICENSING OF SOURCE MATERIAL 38. The authority citation for part 40 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 62, 63, 64, 65, 69, 81, 83, 84, 122, 161, 181, 182, 183, 184, 186, 193, 223, 234, 274, 275 (42 U.S.C. 2092, 2093, 2094, 2095, 2099, 2111, 2113, 2114, 2152, 2201, 2231, 2232, 2233, 2234, 2236,2237, 2243, 2273, 2282, 2021, 2022); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, secs. 201, 202, 206, 211 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5842, 5846, 5851); Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978, sec. 104 (42 U.S.C. 7914); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

39. In part 40, wherever it may occur, remove the word “tribe” and add in its place the word “Tribe”.
§ 40.5 [Amended]
40. In § 40.5, paragraph (a)(3), remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”.
PART 50—DOMESTIC LICENSING OF PRODUCTION AND UTILIZATION FACILITIES 41. The authority citation for part 50 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 11, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 108, 122, 147, 149, 161, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 189, 223, 234 (42 U.S.C. 2014, 2131, 2132, 2133, 2134, 2135, 2138, 2152, 2167, 2169, 2201, 2231, 2232, 2233, 2234, 2235, 2236, 2237, 2239, 2273, 2282); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, secs. 201, 202, 206, 211 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5842, 5846, 5851); Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, sec. 306 (42 U.S.C. 10226); National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note; Sec. 109, Pub. L. 96-295, 94 Stat. 783.

§ 50.4 [Amended]
42. In § 50.4, paragraphs (a) and (e), remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”.
§ 50.34 [Amended]
43. In § 50.34(f)(3)(v)(A)(1) and (f)(3)(v)(B)(1), remove the word “Subsubarticle” wherever it may occur, and add in its place the word “subarticle”. 44. In appendix E to part 50, revise section V. to read as follows: Appendix E to Part 50—Emergency Planning and Preparedness for Production and Utilizations Facilities. V. Implementing Procedures

No less than 180 days before the scheduled issuance of an operating license for a nuclear power reactor or a license to possess nuclear material, or the scheduled date for initial loading of fuel for a combined license under part 52 of this chapter, the applicant's or licensee's detailed implementing procedures for its emergency plan shall be submitted to the Commission as specified in § 50.4.

PART 51—ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION REGULATIONS FOR DOMESTIC LICENSING AND RELATED REGULATORY FUNCTIONS 45. The authority citation for part 51 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 161, 193 (42 U.S.C. 2201, 2243); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, secs. 201, 202 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5842); National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332, 4334, 4335); Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, secs. 144(f), 121, 135, 141, 148 (42 U.S.C. 10134(f), 10141, 10155, 10161, 10168); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

46. In part 51, wherever it may occur, remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”. 47. In part 51, wherever it may occur, remove the word “tribe” and add in its place the word “Tribe”. 48. In part 51, wherever it may occur, remove the word “tribes” and add in its place the word “Tribes”.
§ 51.123 [Amended]
49. In § 51.123, in paragraphs (a) and (b), remove the email address “[email protected]” and add in its place the email address “[email protected]”.
PART 52—LICENSES, CERTIFICATIONS, AND APPROVALS FOR NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS 50. The authority citation for part 52 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 103, 104, 147, 149, 161, 181, 182, 183, 185, 186, 189, 223, 234 (42 U.S.C. 2133, 2134, 2167, 2169, 2201, 2231, 2232, 2233, 2235, 2236, 2239, 2273, 2282); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, secs. 201, 202, 206, 211 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5842, 5846, 5851); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

§ 52.3 [Amended]
51. In § 52.3, paragraph (a), remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”.
PART 55—OPERATORS' LICENSES 52. The authority citation for part 55 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 107, 161, 181, 182, 183, 186, 187, 223, 234 (42 U.S.C. 2137, 2201, 2231, 2232, 2233, 2236, 2237, 2273, 2282); Energy Reorganization Act secs. 201, 202 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5842); Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, sec. 306 (42 U.S.C. 10226); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

53. In part 55, wherever it may occur, remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”. 54. In § 55.40, revise footnote 1 to read as follows:
§ 55.40 Implementation.

1 Copies of NUREGs may be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Publishing Office, P.O. Box 38082, Washington, DC 20402-9328. Copies are also available from the National Technical Information Service, 5301 Shawnee Road, Alexandria, VA 22312. A copy is available for inspection and/or copying in the NRC Public Document Room, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike (O-1 F21), Rockville, MD.

PART 60—DISPOSAL OF HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTES IN GEOLOGIC REPOSITORIES 55. The authority citation for part 60 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 51, 53, 62, 63, 65, 81, 161, 182, 183, 223, 234 (42 U.S.C. 2071, 2073, 2092, 2093, 2095, 2111, 2201, 2232, 2233, 2273, 2282); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, secs. 201, 202, 206, 211 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5842, 5846, 5851); 42 U.S.C. 2021a; National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332); Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, secs. 114, 117, 121 (42 U.S.C. 10134, 10137, 10141); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

§ 60.4 [Amended]
56. In § 60.4, paragraph (a), remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”.
PART 61—LICENSING REQURIEMENTS FOR LAND DISPOSAL OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE 57. The authority citation for part 61 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 53, 57, 62, 63, 65, 81, 161, 181, 182, 183, 223, 234 (42 U.S.C. 2073, 2077, 2092, 2093, 2095, 2111, 2201, 2231, 2232, 2233, 2273, 2282); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, secs. 201, 206, 211 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5846, 5851); Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1985, sec. 2 (42 U.S.C.2021b); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

58. In part 61, wherever it may occur, remove the word “tribe” and add in its place the word “Tribe”. 59. In part 61, wherever it may occur, remove the word “tribes” and add in its place the word “Tribes”. 60. In part 61, wherever it may occur, remove the word “tribal” and add in its place the word “Tribal”.
§ 61.4 [Amended]
61. In § 61.4, remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”.
PART 62—CRITERIA AND PROCEDURES FOR EMERGENCY ACCESS TO NON-FEDERAL AND REGIONAL LOW-LEVEL WASTE DISPOSAL FACILITIES 62. The authority citation for part 62 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, sec. 161 (42 U.S.C. 2201); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, sec. 201 (42 U.S.C. 5841); Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act of 1985, secs. 2, 6 (42 U.S.C. 2021b, 2021f); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

§ 62.3 [Amended]
63. In § 62.3, remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”.
PART 63—DISPOSAL OF HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTES IN A GEOLOGIC REPOSITORY AT YUCCA MOUNTAIN, NEVADA 64. The authority citation for part 63 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 51, 53, 62, 63, 65, 81, 161, 182, 183, 223, 234 (42 U.S.C. 2071, 2073, 2092, 2093, 2095, 2111, 2201, 2232, 2233, 2273, 2282); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, secs. 201, 202, 206, 211 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5842, 5846, 5851); 42 U.S.C. 2021a; National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332); Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, secs. 114, 117, 121 (42 U.S.C. 10134, 10137, 10141); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

§ 63.4 [Amended]
65. In § 63.4, paragraph (a)(3), remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”.
PART 70—DOMESTIC LICENSING OF SPECIAL NUCLEAR MATERIAL 66. The authority citation for part 70 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 51, 53, 57(d), 108, 122, 161, 182, 183, 184, 186, 187, 193, 223, 234, 274, 1701 (42 U.S.C. 2071, 2073, 2077(d), 2138, 2152, 2201, 2232, 2233, 2234, 2236, 2237, 2243, 2273, 2282, 2021, 2297f); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, secs. 201, 202, 206, 211 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5842, 5846, 5851); Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, secs. 135, 141 (42 U.S.C. 10155, 10161); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

§ 70.5 [Amended]
67. In § 70.5, paragraph (a)(3), remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”. PART 71—PACKAGING AND TRANSPORTATION OF RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL 68. The authority citation for part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 53, 57, 62, 63, 81, 161, 182, 183, 223, 234, 1701 (42 U.S.C. 2073, 2077, 2092, 2093, 2111, 2201, 2232, 2233, 2273, 2282, 2297f); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, secs. 201, 202, 206, 211 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5842, 5846, 5851); Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, sec. 180 (42 U.S.C. 10175); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

Section 71.97 also issued under Sec. 301, Pub. L. 96-295, 94 Stat. 789 (42 U.S.C. 5841 note).

§ 71.1 [Amended]
69. In § 71.1, paragraph (a), remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”.
§ 71.4 [Amended]
70. In § 71.4, in the definition of Indian Tribe, remove the word “tribe” wherever it may occur, and add in its place the word “Tribe”. 71. In § 71.97, revise paragraph (c)(3)(ii) to read as follows:
§ 71.97 Advance notification of shipment of irradiated reactor fuel and nuclear waste.

(c) * * *

(3) * * *

(ii) Contact information for each State, including telephone and mailing addresses of governors and governors' designees, and participating Tribes, including telephone and mailing addresses of Tribal officials and Tribal official's designees, is available on the NRC Web site at: https://scp.nrc.gov/special/designee.pdf.

PART 72—LICENSING REQUIREMENTS FOR THE INDEPENDENT STORAGE OF SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL, HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE, AND REACTOR-RELATED GREATER THAN CLASS C WASTE 72. The authority citation for part 72 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 51, 53, 57, 62, 63, 65, 69, 81, 161, 182, 183, 184, 186, 187, 189, 223, 234, 274 (42 U.S.C. 2071, 2073, 2077, 2092, 2093, 2095, 2099, 2111, 2201, 2210e, 2232, 2233, 2234, 2236, 2237, 2238, 2273, 2282, 2021); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, secs. 201, 202, 206, 211 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5842, 5846, 5851); National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332); Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, secs. 117(a), 132, 133, 134, 135, 137, 141, 145(g), 148, 218(a) (42 U.S.C. 10137(a), 10152, 10153, 10154, 10155, 10157, 10161, 10165(g), 10168, 10198(a)); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

73. In part 72, wherever it may occur, remove the word “tribe” and add in its place the word “Tribe”.
§ 72.4 [Amended]
74. In § 72.4, remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”. PART 73—PHYSICAL PROTECTION OF PLANTS AND MATERIALS 75. The authority citation for part 73 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 53, 147, 149, 161, 170D, 170E, 170H, 170I, 223, 229, 234, 1701 (42 U.S.C. 2073, 2167, 2169, 2201, 2210d, 2210e, 2210h, 2210i, 2273, 2278a, 2282, 2297f); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, secs. 201, 202 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5842); Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, secs. 135, 141 (42 U.S.C. 10155, 10161); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

Section 73.37(b)(2) also issued under Sec. 301, Pub. L. 96-295, 94 Stat. 789 (42 U.S.C. 5841 note).

76. In part 73, wherever it may occur, remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”.
§ 73.2 [Amended]
77. In § 73.2, in the definition of Indian tribe, remove the word “tribe” and add in its place the word “Tribe”. 78. In § 73.8, revise paragraph (b) to read as follows:
§ 73.8 Information collection requirements: OMB approval.

(b) The approved information collection requirements contained in this part appear in §§ 73.5, 73.20, 73.21, 73.23, 73.24, 73.25, 73.26, 73.27, 73.37, 73.38, 73.40, 73.45, 73.46, 73.50, 73.51, 73.54, 73.55, 73.56, 73.57, 73.58, 73.60, 73.67, 73.70, 73.71, 73.72, 73.73, 73.74, and appendices B, C, and G to this part.

§ 73.37 [Amended]
79. In § 73.37(b)(2) introductory text, remove the Web site address “https://nrc-stp.ornl.gov/special/designee.pdf” and add in its place the Web site address “https://scp.nrc.gov/special/designee.pdf”.
PART 74—MATERIAL CONTROL AND ACCOUNTING OF SPECIAL NUCLEAR MATERIAL 80. The authority citation for part 74 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 53, 57, 161, 182, 183, 223, 234, 1701 (42 U.S.C. 2073, 2077, 2201, 2232, 2273, 2282, 2297f); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, secs. 201, 202 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5842); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

§ 74.6 [Amended]
81. In § 74.6, paragraph (c), remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”.
PART 76—CERTIFICATION OF GASEOUS DIFFUSION PLANTS 82. The authority citation for part 76 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 122, 161, 193(f), 223, 234, 1701 (42 U.S.C. 2152, 2201, 2243(f), 2273, 2282, 2297f); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, secs. 201, 206, 211 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5846, 5851); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

§ 76.5 [Amended]
83. In § 76.5, paragraph (c), remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”.
PART 81—STANDARD SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE GRANTING OF PATENT LICENSES 84. The authority citation for part 81 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 156, 161 (42 U.S.C. 2186, 2201); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, sec. 201 (42 U.S.C. 5841); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

§ 81.3 [Amended]
85. In § 81.3, remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”. PART 95—FACILITY SECURITY CLEARANCE AND SAFEGUARDING OF NATIONAL SECURITY INFORMATION AND RESTRICTED DATA 86. The authority citation for part 95 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 145, 161, 223, 234 (42 U.S.C. 2165, 2201, 2273, 2282); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, sec. 201 (42 U.S.C. 5841); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note; E.O. 10865, as amended, 25 FR 1583, 3 CFR, 1959-1963 Comp., p. 398; E.O. 12829, 58 FR 3479, 3 CFR, 1993 Comp., p. 570; E.O. 12968, 60 FR 40245, 3 CFR, 1995 Comp., p. 391; E.O. 13526, 75 FR 707, 3 CFR, 2009 Comp., p. 298.

§ 95.9 [Amended]
87. In § 95.9, paragraph (c), remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”.
PART 100—REACTOR SITE CRITERIA 88. The authority citation for part 100 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 103, 104, 161, 182 (42 U.S.C. 2133, 2134, 2201, 2232); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, secs. 201, 202 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5842); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

§ 100.4 [Amended]
89. In § 100.4, remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”.
PART 110—EXPORT AND IMPORT OF NUCLEAR EQUIPMENT AND MATERIAL 90. The authority citation for part 110 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 11, 51, 53, 54, 57, 62, 63, 64, 65, 81, 82, 103, 104, 109, 111, 121, 122, 123, 124, 126, 127, 128, 129, 133, 134, 161, 170H, 181, 182, 183, 184, 186, 187, 189, 223, 234 (42 U.S.C. 2014, 2071, 2073, 2074, 2077, 2092, 2093, 2094, 2095, 2111, 2112, 2133, 2134, 2139, 2141, 2151, 2152, 2153, 2154, 2155, 2156, 2157, 2158, 2160c, 216d, 2201, 2210h, 2231, 2232, 2233, 2234, 2236, 2237, 2239, 2273, 2282); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, sec. 201 (42 U.S.C. 5841); Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 552, 553); 42 U.S.C. 2139a, 2155a; 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

Section 110.1(b) also issued under 22 U.S.C. 2403; 22 U.S.C. 2778a; 50 App. U.S.C. 2401 et seq.

§ 110.4 [Amended]
91. In § 110.4, remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”.
PART 140—FINANCIAL PROTECTION REQUIREMENTS AND INDEMNITY AGREEMENTS 92. The authority citation for part 140 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 161, 170, 223, 234 (42 U.S.C. 2201, 2210, 2273, 2282); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, secs. 201, 202 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5842); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

§ 140.5 [Amended]
93. In § 140.5, remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”.
PART 150—EXEMPTIONS AND CONTINUED REGULATORY AUTHORITY IN AGREEMENT STATES AND IN OFFSHORE WATERS UNDER SECTION 274 94. The authority citation for part 150 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 11, 53, 81, 83, 84, 122, 161, 181, 223, 234, 274 (42 U.S.C. 2014, 2201, 2231, 2273, 2282, 2021); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, sec. 201 (42 U.S.C. 5841); Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, secs. 135, 141 (42 U.S.C. 10155, 10161; 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

§ 150.4 [Amended]
95. In § 150.4, remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”.
§ 150.15a [Amended]
96. In § 150.15a, paragraph (b)(6), remove the word “tribe” wherever it may occur, and add in its place the word “Tribe”.
PART 170—FEES FOR FACILITIES, MATERIALS, IMPORT AND EXPORT LICENSES, AND OTHER REGULATORY SERVICES UNDER THE ATOMIC ENERGY ACT OF 1954, AS AMENDED 97. The authority citation for part 170 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 11, 161(w) (42 U.S.C. 2014, 2201(w)); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, sec. 201 (42 U.S.C. 5841); 42 U.S.C. 2214; 31 U.S.C. 901, 902, 9701; 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

§ 170.5 [Amended]
98. In § 170.5, remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”.
PART 171—ANNUAL FEES FOR REACTOR LICENSES AND FUEL CYCLE LICENSES AND MATERIAL LICENSES, INCLUDING HOLDERS OF CERTIFICATES OF COMPLIANCE, REGISTRATIONS, AND QUALITY ASSURANCE PROGRAM APPROVALS AND GOVERNMENT AGENCIES LICENSED BY THE NRC 99. The authority citation for part 171 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 11, 161(w), 223, 234 (42 U.S.C. 2014, 2201(w), 2273, 2282); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, sec. 201 (42 U.S.C. 5841); 42 U.S.C. 2214; 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

§ 171.9 [Amended]
100. In § 171.9, remove the phrase “Office of Information Services” and add in its place the phrase “Office of the Chief Information Officer”.
Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 20th day of November, 2015.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Helen Chang, Acting Chief, Rules, Announcements, and Directives Branch, Division of Administrative Services, Office of Administration.
[FR Doc. 2015-30153 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-5806; Directorate Identifier 2015-SW-083-AD; Amendment 39-18331; AD 2015-22-53] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Helicopters AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are publishing a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B3 helicopters. This AD was sent previously to all known U.S. owners and operators of these helicopters and supersedes Emergency AD 2015-22-52, dated October 28, 2015. This AD requires revising the rotorcraft flight manual (RFM) to stop performing the yaw load compensator check during preflight procedures and instead perform it during post-flight procedures after rotor shut-down. This AD also requires the yaw servo hydraulic switch to be in the “ON” position before taking off. This AD is prompted by two accidents and one incident of Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B3 helicopters. From preliminary investigations, loss of tail rotor (T/R) control during takeoff was evident in each event. These actions are intended to prevent takeoff without hydraulic pressure in the T/R hydraulic system, loss of T/R flight control, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective December 16, 2015 to all persons except those persons to whom it was made immediately effective by Emergency AD 2015-22-53, issued on October 30, 2015, which contains the requirements of this AD.

We must receive comments on this AD by February 1, 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-2015-5806; or in person at the Docket Operations Office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the 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 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:

Stephen Barbini, Flight Test Engineer, Regulations and Policy Group, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Pkwy, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone (817) 222-5110; email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

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

Discussion

On October 28, 2015 we issued Emergency AD 2015-22-52 for Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B3 helicopters with a dual hydraulic system that prohibited performing the yaw load compensator check (collective switch) during preflight procedures and instead required performing it during post-flight procedures. Emergency AD 2015-22-52 also required the yaw servo hydraulic switch (collective switch) to be in the “ON” (forward) position before taking off. Emergency AD 2015-22-52 was sent previously to all known U.S. owners and operators of these helicopters. The actions in Emergency AD 2015-22-52 were intended to prevent takeoff without hydraulic pressure in the T/R hydraulic system, loss of T/R flight control, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

Emergency AD 2015-22-52 was prompted by two accidents and one incident of Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B3 helicopters with a dual hydraulic system installed. From preliminary investigations, loss of T/R control during takeoff was evident in each event. Each event experienced a counterclockwise rotational yaw immediately after takeoff. It was also noted that the anti-torque pedals felt jammed or locked in the neutral position by the pilots in the two non-fatal events. The conditions in the events are indicative of takeoffs without hydraulic T/R assistance caused by a lack of pressure in the T/R hydraulic system. When taking off without T/R hydraulic assistance with the switch on the collective grip in the “OFF” (aft) position, the yaw load compensator remains discharged and degrades the T/R hydraulic system, which significantly increases the pilot T/R control load and prevents sufficient T/R thrust for takeoff.

Based on the accidents and incident, EASA, which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, issued EASA AD No. 2015-0178, dated August 26, 2015, to correct an unsafe condition for Airbus Helicopters Model AS 350 B3 helicopters, equipped with a dual hydraulic system identified as modification OP 3082 or OP 3346. EASA advises of a perceived loss of T/R control that mimics jamming during take-off if the T/R hydraulic preflight checks are not performed in accordance with the checklist in the RFM. According to EASA, performing the T/R hydraulic preflight checks improperly may result in reduced function of the T/R hydraulic system, thereby significantly increasing the T/R control load for the pilot.

After we issued Emergency AD 2015-22-52, we received comments noting an error in terminology and a defect in reporting compliance that resulted in confusion in how to comply with Emergency AD 2015-22-52. Specifically, we referred to the collective switch for the yaw load compensator check, when we should have referred to the ACCU TST switch. Activating the collective switch after rotor shut-down will have no effect due to the absence of hydraulic pressure in the system. We also omitted a method of recording compliance. Therefore, on October 30, 2015, we issued Emergency AD 2015-22-53 to supersede Emergency AD 2015-22-52 to correct the error in terminology and the defect in recording compliance. Emergency AD 2015-22-53 requires revising the normal operating procedures section of the RFM to prohibit performing the yaw load compensator check (ACCU TST switch) during preflight procedures and instead require performing it during post-flight procedures after rotor shut-down. Emergency AD 2015-22-53 also requires revising the RFM to state that the yaw servo hydraulic switch (collective switch) must be in the “ON” (forward) position before taking off. Emergency AD 2015-22-53 was also sent previously to all known U.S. owners and operators of these helicopters.

FAA's Determination

This helicopter has been approved by the aviation authority of France and is 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 the EASA AD. We are issuing this AD because we evaluated all information provided by EASA and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other helicopters of this same type design.

Related Service Information

Airbus Helicopters issued Service Bulletin No. AS350-67.00.66, Revision 1, dated October 22, 2015 (SB AS350-67.00.66), which specifies inserting specific pages of the bulletin into the RFM. These pages revise the preflight and post-flight hydraulic checks by moving the T/R yaw load compensator check from preflight to post-flight. These pages also revise terminology within the flight manuals for the different engine configurations.

Airbus Helicopters also issued Safety Information Notice No. 2944-S-29, Revision 0, dated August 26, 2015 (SIN 2944-S-29), which warns that attempting to take off without T/R hydraulic assistance (which may be caused by the yaw servo hydraulic switch on the collective grip in the “OFF” (aft) position) might be incorrectly perceived as T/R control failure (jam), which could lead to loss of control of the helicopter if not quickly identified and corrected. SIN 2944-S-29 also advises of the RFM update that revises the run-up hydraulic check starting procedures to no longer specify “pressing” the yaw servo hydraulic switch. To mitigate this potential error, the yaw load compensator check has been moved from preflight to post-flight procedures. Further, SIN 2944-S-29 states the yaw servo hydraulic switch, which is located on the collective grip, is also called the hydraulic pressure switch or hydraulic cut off switch in various RFMs.

AD Requirements

This AD requires, before further flight, revising the RFM to stop performing the yaw load compensator check (ACCU TST switch) during preflight procedures and instead perform the yaw load compensator check during post-flight procedures after rotor shut-down. This AD also requires revising the RFM to state that the yaw servo hydraulic switch (collective switch) must be in the “ON” (forward) position before taking off.

Differences Between This AD and the EASA AD

The EASA AD requires revising the RFM by incorporating procedures contained in Airbus Helicopters Service Bulletin No. AS350-67.00.66, Revision 0, dated August 26, 2015, and informing all flight crew of the RFM changes. This AD requires revising the RFM by inserting a copy of this AD or by making pen and ink changes.

Interim Action

We consider this AD to be an interim action. The design approval holder is currently developing a terminating action that will address the unsafe condition identified in this AD. Once this terminating action is developed, approved, and available, we might consider additional rulemaking.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 427 helicopters of U.S. Registry. We estimate that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this AD at an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour. It takes about 0.5 work-hour to revise an RFM for a cost of $43 per helicopter and $18,361 for the U.S. fleet.

FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date

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

Since it was found that immediate corrective action was required, notice and opportunity for prior public comment before issuing this AD were impracticable and contrary to public interest and good cause existed to make the AD effective immediately by Emergency AD 2015-22-53, issued on October 30, 2015, to all known U.S. owners and operators of these helicopters. These conditions still exist and the AD is hereby published in the Federal Register as an amendment to section 39.13 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 39.13) to make it effective to all persons.

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

Regulatory Findings

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

For the reasons discussed, I certify that this AD:

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

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

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

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

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2015-22-53 Airbus Helicopters: Amendment 39-18331; Docket No. FAA-2015-5806; Directorate Identifier 2015-SW-083-AD. (a) Applicability

This AD applies to Airbus Helicopters Model AS350B3 helicopters with a dual hydraulic system installed, certificated in any category.

Note 1 to paragraph (a) of this AD:

The dual hydraulic system for Model AS350B3 helicopters is referred to as Airbus modification OP 3082 or OP 3346.

(b) Unsafe Condition

This AD defines the unsafe condition as lack of hydraulic pressure in a tail rotor (T/R) hydraulic system. This condition could result in loss of T/R flight control and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

(c) Affected ADs

This AD supersedes Emergency AD 2015-22-52, Directorate Identifier 2015-SW-074-AD, dated October 28, 2015.

(d) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective December 16, 2015 to all persons except those persons to whom it was made immediately effective by Emergency AD 2015-22-53, issued on October 30, 2015, which contains the requirements of this AD.

(e) Compliance

You are responsible for performing each action required by this AD within the specified compliance time unless it has already been accomplished prior to that time.

(f) Required Actions

Before further flight, insert a copy of this AD into the rotorcraft flight manual, Section 4 Normal Operating Procedures, or make pen and ink changes to the preflight and post-flight procedures as follows:

(1) Stop performing the yaw load compensator check (ACCU TST switch) during preflight procedures, and instead perform the yaw load compensator check during post-flight procedures after rotor shut-down.

(2) The yaw servo hydraulic switch (collective switch) must be in the “ON” (forward) position before takeoff.

Note 2 to paragraph (f)(2) of this AD:

The yaw servo hydraulic switch is also called the hydraulic pressure switch or hydraulic cut off switch in various Airbus Helicopters rotorcraft flight manuals.

(g) Special Flight Permits

Special flight permits are prohibited.

(h) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

(i) Additional Information

(1) Airbus Helicopters Service Bulletin No. AS350-67.00.66, Revision 1, dated October 22, 2015, and Airbus Helicopters Safety Information Notice No. 2944-S-29, Revision 0, dated August 26, 2015, which are not incorporated by reference, contain 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 a copy of the 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. 2015-0178, dated August 26, 2015. You may view the EASA AD on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating it in Docket No. FAA-2015-5806.

(j) Subject

Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 2910, Main Hydraulic System.

Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on November 13, 2015. Lance T. Gant, Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-30274 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 15 CFR Part 922 Notice of Delay of Discharge Requirements for U.S. Coast Guard Activities in Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries AGENCY:

Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), National Ocean Service (NOS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce (DOC).

ACTION:

Final rule; delay of effectiveness for discharge requirements with regard to Coast Guard activities.

SUMMARY:

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) expanded the boundaries of Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (now renamed Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary or GFNMS) and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary (CBNMS) to an area north and west of their previous boundaries with a final rule published on March 12, 2015. The Final Rule entered into effect on June 9, 2015. At that time, NOAA postponed the effectiveness of the discharge requirements in both sanctuaries' regulations with regard to U.S. Coast Guard activities for 6 months. This document extends the postponement of the discharge requirements for these activities for another 6 months to provide adequate time for completion of an environmental assessment, and subsequent rulemaking, as appropriate.

DATES:

The effectiveness for the discharge requirements in both CBNMS and GFNMS expansion areas with regard to U.S. Coast Guard activities is June 9, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

Copies of the FEIS, final management plans, and the final rule published on March 12, 2015 can be viewed or downloaded at http://farallones.noaa.gov/manage/expansion_cbgf.html.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Maria Brown, Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Superintendent, at [email protected] or 415-561-6622; or Dan Howard, Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary Superintendent, at [email protected] or 415-464-5260.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On March 12, 2015, NOAA expanded the boundaries of Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (now renamed Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary or GFNMS) and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary (CBNMS) to an area north and west of their previous boundaries with a final rule (80 FR 13078). The Final Rule entered into effect on June 9, 2015 (80 FR 34047). At that time, NOAA postponed the effectiveness of the discharge requirements in both sanctuaries' regulations with regard to U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) activities for 6 months.

This document postpones the effectiveness of the discharge requirements in both sanctuaries with regard to USCG activities for another 6 months, until June 9, 2016. In the course of the rule making to expand GFNMS and CBNMS, NOAA learned from USCG that the discharge regulations had the potential to impair the operations of USCG vessels and air craft conducting law enforcement and on-water training exercises in GFNMS and CBNMS. The USCG supports national marine sanctuary management by providing routine surveillance and dedicated law enforcement of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act and sanctuary regulations.

To ensure that the March 12, 2015 rule does not undermine USCG's ability to perform its duties, NOAA postponed for 6 months the effectiveness of the discharge requirements for USCG operations. Specifically, the effectiveness of the discharge requirements was postponed until December 9, 2015. However, NOAA needs more time to assess USCG activities and develop alternatives for an environmental assessment developed pursuant to the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. Therefore, NOAA is postponing the effectiveness of the discharge requirements with respect to USCG operations for another 6 months, until June 9, 2016. During this time, NOAA will consider how to address USCG's concerns and will consider, among other things, whether to exempt certain USCG activities in sanctuary regulations. The public, other federal agencies, and interested stakeholders will be given an opportunity to comment on various alternatives that are being considered. This will include the opportunity to review any proposed rule and related environmental analysis.

Authority:

16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.; 16 U.S.C. 470.

Dated: November 20, 2015. John Armor, Acting Director for the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.
[FR Doc. 2015-30434 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-NK-P
PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION 29 CFR Part 4044 Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans; Valuation of Benefits and Assets; Expected Retirement Age AGENCY:

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This rule amends the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's regulation on Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans by substituting a new table for determining expected retirement ages for participants in pension plans undergoing distress or involuntary termination with valuation dates falling in 2016. This table is needed in order to compute the value of early retirement benefits and, thus, the total value of benefits under a plan.

DATES:

Effective January 1, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Catherine B. Klion ([email protected]), Assistant General Counsel for Regulatory Affairs, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, 1200 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20005, 202-326-4024. (TTY/TDD users may call the Federal relay service toll-free at 1-800-877-8339 and ask to be connected to 202-326-4024.)

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) administers the pension plan termination insurance program under Title IV of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). PBGC's regulation on Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans (29 CFR part 4044) sets forth (in subpart B) the methods for valuing plan benefits of terminating single-employer plans covered under Title IV. Guaranteed benefits and benefit liabilities under a plan that is undergoing a distress termination must be valued in accordance with subpart B of part 4044. In addition, when PBGC terminates an underfunded plan involuntarily pursuant to ERISA section 4042(a), it uses the subpart B valuation rules to determine the amount of the plan's underfunding.

Under § 4044.51(b) of the asset allocation regulation, early retirement benefits are valued based on the annuity starting date, if a retirement date has been selected, or the expected retirement age, if the annuity starting date is not known on the valuation date. Sections 4044.55 through 4044.57 set forth rules for determining the expected retirement ages for plan participants entitled to early retirement benefits. Appendix D of part 4044 contains tables to be used in determining the expected early retirement ages.

Table I in appendix D (Selection of Retirement Rate Category) is used to determine whether a participant has a low, medium, or high probability of retiring early. The determination is based on the year a participant would reach “unreduced retirement age” (i.e., the earlier of the normal retirement age or the age at which an unreduced benefit is first payable) and the participant's monthly benefit at unreduced retirement age. The table applies only to plans with valuation dates in the current year and is updated annually by the PBGC to reflect changes in the cost of living, etc.

Tables II-A, II-B, and II-C (Expected Retirement Ages for Individuals in the Low, Medium, and High Categories respectively) are used to determine the expected retirement age after the probability of early retirement has been determined using Table I. These tables establish, by probability category, the expected retirement age based on both the earliest age a participant could retire under the plan and the unreduced retirement age. This expected retirement age is used to compute the value of the early retirement benefit and, thus, the total value of benefits under the plan.

This document amends appendix D to replace Table I-15 with Table I-16 in order to provide an updated correlation, appropriate for calendar year 2016, between the amount of a participant's benefit and the probability that the participant will elect early retirement. Table I-16 will be used to value benefits in plans with valuation dates during calendar year 2016.

PBGC has determined that notice of, and public comment on, this rule are impracticable and contrary to the public interest. Plan administrators need to be able to estimate accurately the value of plan benefits as early as possible before initiating the termination process. For that purpose, if a plan has a valuation date in 2016, the plan administrator needs the updated table being promulgated in this rule. Accordingly, the public interest is best served by issuing this table expeditiously, without an opportunity for notice and comment, to allow as much time as possible to estimate the value of plan benefits with the proper table for plans with valuation dates in early 2016.

PBGC has determined that this action is not a “significant regulatory action” under the criteria set forth in Executive Order 12866.

Because no general notice of proposed rulemaking is required for this regulation, the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 does not apply (5 U.S.C. 601(2)).

List of Subjects in 29 CFR Part 4044

Pension insurance, Pensions.

In consideration of the foregoing, 29 CFR part 4044 is amended as follows:

PART 4044—ALLOCATION OF ASSETS IN SINGLE-EMPLOYER PLANS 1. The authority citation for part 4044 continues to read as follows: Authority:

29 U.S.C. 1301(a), 1302(b)(3), 1341, 1344, 1362.

2. Appendix D to part 4044 is amended by removing Table I-15 and adding in its place Table I-16 to read as follows: Appendix D to Part 4044—Tables Used To Determine Expected Retirement Age Table I-16—Selection of Retirement Rate Category [For plans with valuation dates after December 31, 2015, and before January 1, 2017] If participant reaches URA in year— Participant's Retirement Rate Category is— Low 1 if monthly benefit at URA is less than— Medium 2 if monthly benefit at URA is— From— To— High 3 if monthly benefit at URA is greater than— 2017 627 627 2,647 2,647 2018 640 640 2,705 2,705 2019 655 655 2,767 2,767 2020 670 670 2,831 2,831 2021 686 686 2,896 2,896 2022 701 701 2,962 2,962 2023 718 718 3,030 3,030 2024 734 734 3,100 3,100 2025 751 751 3,171 3,171 2026 or later 768 768 3,244 3,244 1 Table II-A. 2 Table II-B. 3 Table II-C.
Issued in Washington, DC, this day of November 17, 2015. Judith Starr, General Counsel, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
[FR Doc. 2015-30221 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7709-02-P
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army 32 CFR Part 505 [USA-2015-HQ-0036] RIN 0702-AA71 Army Privacy Program AGENCY:

Department of the Army, DoD.

ACTION:

Direct final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Department of the Army is amending the Army Privacy Program Regulation. Specifically, this direct final rule is removing the exemption for A0601-222 USMEPCOM, titled Armed Services Military Accession Testing. Based on a recent review of A0601-222 Armed Services Military Accession Testing it has been determined that records in this system will now be covered by DMDC 15 DoD, Armed Services Military Accession Testing, which published in the Federal Register on February 11, 2015. This rule is being published as a direct final rule as the Department of Defense does not expect to receive any adverse comments, and so a proposed rule is unnecessary.

DATES:

The rule will be effective on February 4, 2016 unless comments are received that would result in a contrary determination. Comments will be accepted on or before February 1, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments, identified by docket number and/or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) and title, by any of the following methods:

Federal Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer, Directorate for Oversight and Compliance, Regulatory and Audit Matters Office, 9010 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-9010.

Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number or RIN for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Tracy Rogers, Chief, FOIA/PA, telephone: 703-428-6513.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The revisions to this rule will be reported in future status updates as part of DoD's retrospective plan under Executive Order 13563 completed in August 2011. DoD's full plan can be accessed at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=DOD-2011-OS-0036.

Direct Final Rule and Significant Adverse Comments

DoD has determined this rulemaking meets the criteria for a direct final rule because it involves changes dealing with DoD's management of its Privacy Programs. DoD expects no opposition to the changes and no significant adverse comments. However, if DoD receives a significant adverse comment, the Department will withdraw this direct final rule by publishing a notice in the Federal Register. A significant adverse comment is one that explains: (1) Why the direct final rule is inappropriate, including challenges to the rule's underlying premise or approach; or (2) why the direct final rule will be ineffective or unacceptable without a change. In determining whether a comment necessitates withdrawal of this direct final rule, DoD will consider whether it warrants a substantive response in a notice and comment process.

Executive Summary

This rule provides policy and procedures for Army's implementation of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. The Army is removing an exemption rule from the exemptions section. This regulatory action imposes no monetary costs to the Agency or public.

Regulatory Procedures Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review” and Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review”

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all 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, distribute 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. It has been determined that this rule is not a significant rule.

Public Law 96-354, “Regulatory Flexibility Act” (5 U.S.C. Chapter 6)

It has been determined that this rule does not have significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because it is concerned only with the administration of Privacy Act within the Department of Defense.

Public Law 95-511, “Paperwork Reduction Act” (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35)

It has been determined that this rule imposes no information collection requirements on the public under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

Section 202, Public Law 104-4, “Unfunded Mandates Reform Act”

It has been determined that this rule does not involve a Federal mandate that may result in the expenditure by State, local and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more and that such rulemaking will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments.

Executive Order 13132, “Federalism”

It has been determined that this rule does not have federalism implications. This rule does not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the National Government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 505

Privacy.

Accordingly 32 CFR part 505 is amended as follows:

PART 505—ARMY PRIVACY PROGRAM 1. The authority citation for 32 CFR part 505 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Pub. L. 93-579, Stat. 1896 (5 U.S.C. 552a).

Appendix D to Part 505 [Amended] 2. Amend appendix D to part 505 by: a. Removing paragraph (g)(32). b. Redesignating paragraphs (g)(33) through (35) as paragraphs (g)(32) through (34). Tracy Rogers, Chief, Privacy and FOIA Office.
[FR Doc. 2015-30454 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3710-08-P
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service 36 CFR Part 7 [NPS-LACH-19666; PPPWNOCAM3 PPMOMFO1Z.F00000] RIN 1024-AE09 Special Regulations, Areas of the National Park System, Lake Chelan National Recreation Area, Solid Waste Disposal AGENCY:

National Park Service, Interior.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The National Park Service is authorizing a solid waste transfer station near Stehekin, Washington, within the boundary of Lake Chelan National Recreation Area, that does not meet all the siting criteria of the general National Park Service regulations and accepts solid waste generated within the boundary of the recreation area from non-National Park Service activities.

DATES:

This rule is effective December 31, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Kerri L. Cook, Facility Operations Specialist, National Park Service, North Cascades National Park Complex, 810 State Route 20, Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284; (360) 854-7280. Email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

On December 22, 1994, the National Park Service (NPS) adopted regulations codified at 36 CFR part 6 to implement a statutory requirement of Public Law 98-506 (54 U.S.C. 100903) (Act), which was enacted in 1984. The Act prohibits the operation of a solid waste disposal site within the boundary of any unit of the National Park System except for those operating as of September 1, 1984, or those “used only for disposal of wastes generated within that unit of the park system so long as such site will not degrade any of the natural or cultural resources of such park unit.” The Act directed the Secretary of the Interior to promulgate regulations “to carry out the provisions of this subsection, including reasonable regulations to mitigate the adverse effects of solid waste disposal sites in operation as of September 1, 1984, upon property of the United States.”

The general regulations at 36 CFR part 6 ordinarily control both existing and new solid waste disposal sites within the boundaries of any unit of the National Park System to ensure that operation of such sites will not degrade the natural or cultural resources of the park unit. Transfer stations are included in the definition of “solid waste disposal site” in § 6.3 and are therefore subject to 36 CFR part 6.

Section 6.4(a) prohibits any person (including NPS) from operating a new solid waste disposal site within the boundaries of a park unit unless the criteria in § 6.4(a) are met. Section 6.4(a)(1) requires that the solid waste handled by the site is generated solely from “National Park Service activities,” defined in § 6.3 as “operations conducted by the National Park Service or a National Park Service contractor, concessionaire or commercial use licensee.” Section 6.4(a)(9) requires that “the site is not located within one mile of a National Park Service visitor center, campground, ranger station, entrance station, or similar public use facility, or a residential area.” Section 6.4(a)(10) requires that the site is not detectable by public sight, sound, or odor from a scenic vista, a public use facility, a designated or proposed wilderness area, a site listed on (or eligible for listing on) the National Register of Historic Places, or a public road. Section 6.8(a) prohibits the NPS from accepting waste at an NPS operated solid waste disposal site, except for waste generated by NPS activities.

Final Rule

The NPS is promulgating a park-specific regulation in 36 CFR 7.62 to authorize a limited exception to the general regulations described above. The rule authorizes an NPS transfer station on federal lands near Stehekin, Washington, within the boundary of Lake Chelan National Recreation Area (LACH or park), that does not satisfy all of the siting requirements in part 6 and that accepts non-NPS waste generated by the Stehekin community. The need for this regulation is explained below.

Stehekin is a remote community of approximately 75 year-round, plus 80 seasonal, residents located on privately owned land within the statutory boundary of LACH. Stehekin is located at the head of 55-mile-long Lake Chelan and is accessible only by boat, float plane, or foot trail. Non-NPS services and facilities in Stehekin include seasonal lodging, food operations, and other small businesses that help support 35,000-45,000 park visitors annually. The NPS operates the only facility in the Stehekin Valley for the management of solid waste. Waste consolidated at the NPS transfer station is shipped by barge 55 miles down the lake for ultimate disposal. The geographically isolated private residents and businesses in Stehekin have no feasible method of properly disposing solid waste other than at the NPS transfer station. Consequently, the NPS has for many years accepted Stehekin community waste in its transfer station to deter small dumps on private lands and illegal dumping on public lands. Although the Act does not prohibit the NPS from receiving Stehekin waste, this waste does not qualify as waste generated from “National Park Service activities” under the existing regulations, so the current practice of accepting waste from Stehekin at the existing NPS transfer station conflicts with 36 CFR 6.8(a).

The existing NPS transfer station is located within the 100-year floodplain and is part of a larger maintenance facility that is being relocated outside of the Stehekin River floodplain due to frequent flooding.1 The NPS seeks to build a new transfer station at the site of the new maintenance facility in a more environmentally suitable location within LACH and outside the 100-year floodplain. The NPS has determined that there is no available or suitable nonfederal land, and a limited amount of buildable federal land, outside the floodplain in the lower Stehekin River valley.2 The NPS has also determined that, due to geographic constraints, there are no suitable locations for the new transfer station that comply with the site location requirements in § 6.4(a)(9) and (10). Specifically, like the existing maintenance facility and transfer station, the proposed site of the new transfer station: (i) Is located within one mile of a campground (Harlequin Campground) and residential housing; (ii) will likely be visible from scenic vistas and off-trail areas in designated wilderness areas; (iii) may be heard from a campground (Harlequin Campground); and (iv) may be detectable by sight, sound, or odor from a road open to public travel.

1 For more information about flooding in the Stehekin River Channel Migration Zone and plans to move the existing maintenance facility, see the Stehekin River Corridor Implementation Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) which can be viewed at the park's planning Web site, http://www.nps.gov/noca/parkmgmt/planning.htm, then click on the link entitled “Stehekin River Corridor Implementation Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (2012).”

2 See the Replacement of Administrative Facilities at Stehekin Environmental Assessment that tiers off the 2012 FEIS and specifically evaluates what facilities would be constructed and precisely where they would be located. This document can be viewed at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/SMFRP by clicking on “Document List.”

The NPS has determined that in these unique circumstances, it will best protect park resources to allow the NPS transfer station, whether at the existing or proposed location, to accept waste generated by the community of Stehekin, notwithstanding the prohibition on accepting non-NPS waste in §§ 6.4(a)(1) and 6.8(a) and the siting criteria in § 6.4(a)(9) and (10). Due to its geographic isolation, the community of Stehekin has no environmentally responsible or practicable alternative for the disposal of its waste, much of which is generated by the provision of essential services to thousands of park visitors each year. Prohibiting this community from using the existing or proposed NPS transfer station could result in the illegal disposal of waste on park lands, or other disposal practices which would degrade the natural resources of LACH. In this exceptional situation, accepting non-NPS-generated waste for transfer and ultimate disposal outside the park boundary will pose significantly fewer environmental land use concerns than other alternatives. This determination is supported by the analysis contained in the November 2014 Replacement of Administrative Facilities at Stehekin Environmental Assessment (EA) and the August 2015 Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), which examine the environmental impacts of the continued operation of the existing NPS transfer station and the construction and operation of the new transfer station, which will employ contemporary environmental methods for handling waste.

The NPS promulgates a special regulation to authorize an exception to a prohibition found in a general regulation only in limited circumstances. The only other exceptions to the part 6 requirements have been granted by special regulation for Alaskan parks under similar circumstances, where geographically isolated communities have no feasible alternative for solid waste disposal that complies with the part 6 requirements. The rule accommodates the circumstances of the Stehekin community which is located in a remote area within the boundary of LACH and has no other practicable options for environmentally responsible solid-waste disposal. It is designed only to authorize the operation of the existing transfer station and the proposed transfer station at the locations identified in the EA, which the NPS believes will best protect park resources based upon the analysis contained in the EA. All other requirements in part 6 will remain in effect and apply to the existing and new NPS transfer station, including the requirement in § 6.4(a)(3) that the site of the existing and new facility “will not degrade any of the natural or cultural resources” of LACH. The rule is consistent with the Act, which does not prohibit new solid waste disposal sites from handling waste generated by non-NPS activities within a park unit provided that the site will not degrade any of the park unit's natural or cultural resources. The rule does not supersede or replace other requirements applicable to solid waste disposal sites, including the policy (unless there is an approved waiver) in Director's Order #35B (Sale of National Park Service Produced Utilities) that NPS recover the cost of utilities (including the collection and disposal of solid waste) provided to non-NPS users.

Under these circumstances, the NPS has determined that the exceptions to part 6 in the rule are appropriate and the sites will not degrade the park's natural or cultural resources.

Summary of Public Comments

The NPS published the proposed rule at 80 FR 39985 (July 13, 2015). The NPS accepted comments through the mail, hand delivery, and the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Comments were accepted through October 13, 2015.The NPS also held public workshops to discuss the proposed rule on October 7 in Wenatchee and on October 8 in Stehekin. The NPS did not receive any comments on the proposed rule. The NPS has not made any changes to the proposed rule.

Compliance With Other Laws, Executive Orders, and Departmental Policy Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563).

Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Office of Management and Budget will review all significant rules. OIRA has determined that this rule is not significant.

Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of Executive Order 12866 while calling for improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. The executive order directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with regulatory objectives. It emphasizes further that regulations must be based on the best available science and that the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open exchange of ideas. We have developed this rule in a manner consistent with these requirements.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

This rulemaking will not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). This certification is based on the benefit-cost and regulatory flexibility analyses found in the report entitled “Benefit-Cost and Regulatory Flexibility Analyses: Solid Waste Management at Lake Chelan National Recreation Area” which can be viewed online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/SMFRP by clicking the link entitled “Document List.”

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA)

This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the SBREFA. This rule:

a. Does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more.

b. Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government agencies, or geographic regions.

c. Does not have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

Takings (Executive Order 12630)

This rule does not effect a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications under Executive Order 12630. A takings implication assessment is not required.

Federalism (Executive Order 13132)

Under the criteria in section 1 of Executive Order 13132, this rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism summary impact statement. A Federalism summary impact statement is not required.

Civil Justice Reform (Executive Order 12988)

This rule complies with the requirements of Executive Order 12988. Specifically, this rule:

a. Meets the criteria of section 3(a) requiring that all regulations be reviewed to eliminate errors and ambiguity and be written to minimize litigation; and

b. Meets the criteria of section 3(b)(2) requiring that all regulations be written in clear language and contain clear legal standards.

Consultation With Indian Tribes (E.O. 13175 and Department policy)

The Department of the Interior strives to strengthen its government-to-government relationship with Indian Tribes through a commitment to consultation with Indian Tribes and recognition of their right to self-governance and tribal sovereignty. We have evaluated this rule under the criteria in Executive Order 13175 and under the Department's tribal consultation policy and have determined that tribal consultation is not required because the rule will have no substantial direct effect on federally recognized Indian tribes.

In May and July 2014, the NPS sent letters to the Tribal Historic Preservation Officers for the Colville Confederated Tribes and the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation inviting comment regarding the inventory, evaluation, and finding of no effect on cultural resources within the project area. This encompasses the relocation of all maintenance facilities, including the transfer station, as proposed in the preferred alternative (Alternative 2) in the EA. These tribes did not identify any concerns related to the project.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.)

This rule does not contain information collection requirements, and a submission to the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act is not required. We may not conduct or sponsor and you are not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA)

This rule does not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. A detailed statement under the NEPA is not required because we reached a Finding of No Significant Impact. This rule implements part of the preferred alternative (Alternative 2) in the EA, which is the selected alternative in the FONSI. The EA and FONSI are referenced above and available online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/SMFRP by clicking on “Document List.”

Effects on the Energy Supply (Executive Order 13211)

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

Drafting Information

The primary author of this regulation is Jay Calhoun, Regulations Program Specialist, Division of Regulations, Jurisdiction, and Special Park Uses, National Park Service, 1849 C Street NW., Washington, DC 20240.

List of Subjects in 36 CFR Part 7

National parks, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

In consideration of the foregoing, the NPS amends 36 CFR part 7 as follows:

PART 7—SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM 1. The authority citation for part 7 continues to read as follows: Authority:

54 U.S.C. 100101, 100751, 320102; Sec. 7.96 also issued under D.C. Code 10-137 and D.C. Code 50-2201.07.

2. In § 7.62, add paragraph (d) to read as follows:
§ 7.62 Lake Chelan National Recreation Area.

(d) Solid waste disposal. A solid waste transfer station located near Stehekin within the boundary of Lake Chelan National Recreation Area must comply with all provisions in 36 CFR part 6, except it may:

(1) Accept solid waste generated within the boundary of the park unit that was not generated by National Park Service activities;

(2) Be located within one mile of a campground or a residential area;

(3) Be visible by the public from scenic vistas or off-trail areas in designated wilderness areas;

(4) Be detectable by the public by sound from a campground; and

(5) Be detectable by the public by sight, sound, or odor from a road open to public travel.

Dated: November 19, 2015. Karen Hyun, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
[FR Doc. 2015-30349 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-EJ-P
DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 17 RIN 2900-AP60 Expanded Access to Non-VA Care Through the Veterans Choice Program AGENCY:

Department of Veterans Affairs.

ACTION:

Interim final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) revises its medical regulations that implement section 101 of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (hereafter referred to as “the Choice Act”), which requires VA to establish a program to furnish hospital care and medical services through eligible non-VA health care providers to eligible veterans who either cannot be seen within the wait-time goals of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) or who qualify based on their place of residence (hereafter referred to as the “Veterans Choice Program” or the “Program”). These regulatory revisions are required by the most recent amendments to the Choice Act made by the Construction Authorization and Choice Improvement Act of 2014, and by the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015. The Construction Authorization and Choice Improvement Act of 2014 amended the Choice Act to define additional criteria that VA may use to determine that a veteran's travel to a VA medical facility is an “unusual or excessive burden,” and the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 amended the Choice Act to cover all veterans enrolled in the VA health care system, remove the 60-day limit on an episode of care, modify the wait-time and 40-mile distance eligibility criteria, and expand provider eligibility based on criteria as determined by VA. This interim final rule revises VA regulations consistent with the changes made to the Choice Act as described above.

DATES:

Effective date: This rule is effective on December 1, 2015.

Comment date: Comments must be received on or before March 30, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Kristin Cunningham, Director, Business Policy, Chief Business Office (10NB), Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20420, (202) 382-2508. (This is not a toll-free number.)

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (the Choice Act, Pub. L. 113-146, 128 Stat. 1754) was enacted on August 7, 2014. Further amendments to the Choice Act were made on September 26, 2014, by the Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-175, 128 Stat. 1901, 1906); on December 16, 2014, by the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015 (Pub. L. 113-235, 128 Stat. 2130, 2568); on May 22, 2015, by the Construction Authorization and Choice Improvement Act (Pub. L. 114-19, 129 Stat. 215); and on July 31, 2015, by the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act (Pub. L. 114-41, 129 Stat. 443). This interim final rule revises VA regulations that implement the Choice Act in accordance with the most recent amendments made by Public Laws 114-19 and 114-41. Prior to discussing the regulatory changes made in this interim final rule, a brief history of previous rulemakings that created and revised regulations that implement the Choice Act is provided below.

Section 101 of the Choice Act creates the Veterans Choice Program (the Program) and requires VA to enter into agreements with identified eligible non-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) entities or providers to furnish hospital care and medical services to eligible veterans who elect to receive care under the Program. Sec. 101(a)(1)(A), Public Law 113-146, 128 Stat. 1754. On November 5, 2014, VA published an interim final rule, as required by section 101(n) of the Choice Act, to implement the Veterans Choice Program through new regulations at 38 CFR 17.1500-17.1540. 79 FR 65571 (hereafter referred to as the “November interim final rule”). VA published another interim final rule on April 24, 2015, modifying § 17.1510(e) to revise the methodology for calculating distances under that section from geodesic (or “straight-line”) distance to driving distance. 80 FR 22906 (hereafter referred to as the “April interim final rule”). VA published a final rule (hereafter referred to as the “final rule”) amending the payment rates in the Program to account for two exceptions: One for Alaska, and one for states with an All-Payer Model Agreement (Maryland). These two payment rate exceptions were authorized by section 242 of Division I of Public Law 113-235. 128 Stat. 2568.

Changes in Public Law 114-19 Related to the “Unusual or Excessive Burden” Standard

Under the November interim final rule at § 17.1510(b)(4)(ii), veterans may be eligible to participate in the Veterans Choice Program if they live 40 miles or less from a VA medical facility but face an “unusual or excessive burden” in traveling to such medical facility based on the presence of a body of water or a geologic formation that cannot be crossed by road. As explained in the November interim final rule, this standard for “unusual or excessive burden” was VA's interpretation of the language in the Choice Act, which at that time required the burden to be “due to geographical challenges, as determined by the Secretary.” Sec. 101(b)(2)(D)(ii)(II), Pub. L. 113-146, 128 Stat. 1754. As explained in the final rule, section 3(a)(2) of Public Law 114-19 amended section 101(b)(2)(D)(ii)(II) of the Choice Act by defining additional criteria that could be the basis for finding that a veteran faced an “unusual or excessive burden” in traveling to receive care in a VA medical facility, including environmental factors such as roads that are not accessible to the general public, traffic, or hazardous weather; a medical condition that affects the ability to travel; or other factors, as determined by the Secretary. VA implemented two of these factors, namely the environmental factors such as roads that are not accessible to the general public, traffic, or hazardous weather, or a medical condition that affects the ability to travel, ahead of these regulatory revisions. We did so because we believe these factors are easily understood by the public and that implementation fulfilled a clear Congressional mandate that had an immediate effective date. These changes were not subject to notice and comment prior to implementation because they had an immediate effective date and VA did not need to interpret the language to give it effect. VA is now adding these criteria to § 17.1510(b)(4)(ii) and is merely restating the existing statutory law to make our regulations consistent with Congressional intent as well as consistent with our current practice. These new criteria in § 17.1510(b)(4)(ii) are a virtually verbatim copy from section 3(a)(2) of Public Law 114-19 without the addition of further clarifying criteria, although we provide some examples here for clarity. For instance, roads that are not accessible to the general public include roads through military bases or other restricted areas. If veterans are only able to access a VA medical facility that is 40 miles or less from their residence via such a restricted road, they can be considered eligible for the Program under this standard. Traffic or hazardous weather includes special traffic congestion and patterns or weather conditions that make travel of a veteran to a VA medical facility 40 miles or less from their residence excessively or unusually burdensome. A medical condition that affects the ability to travel includes a medical condition of the veteran that affects the ability of the veteran to safely travel for 40 miles or less to a VA medical facility or that otherwise makes such travel burdensome. As an example, veterans on portable ventilators or with oxygen tanks may only be able to travel for a certain amount of time before their health is in jeopardy. As another example, veterans with spinal cord injuries or other serious conditions may require the use of assistive devices or may not be able to traverse over bumpier or windier roads, and may also face an unusual or excessive burden in traveling to a VA medical facility that is 40 miles or less from their residence. If traveling to a non-VA facility would be safer for such veterans than traveling to the nearest VA medical facility, they can qualify for the Program under this standard because traveling to the VA medical facility would be unusually or excessively burdensome. These are intended to be clarifying but not exhaustive examples of medical conditions that may qualify veterans to receive care at non-VA facilities under the new medical condition criterion in § 17.1510(b)(4)(ii). VA currently makes determinations regarding eligibility under the “unusual or excessive burden” criterion in § 17.1510(b)(4)(ii) based on the facts presented by the particular veteran's circumstances, and will continue to do so under the new criteria in § 17.1510(b)(4)(ii). Such determinations do not need to be made in person and can instead be made based on information that is available in the veteran's medical record or that is otherwise available to VA.

In addition to the express factors in section 3(a)(2) of Public Law 114-19 that are related to the environment or that are related to the medical condition of a veteran, we add three “other factors” to § 17.1510(b)(4)(ii)(A) through (C) that the Secretary may consider when determining whether a veteran faces an unusual or excessive burden in travelling to a VA medical facility that is 40 miles or less from their residence. These criteria are newly implemented in this interim final rule and are not intended to be an exhaustive list, although VA anticipates they will address the majority of cases that could reasonably be the basis for finding an unusual or excessive burden in travel. These other factors are the nature or simplicity of the hospital care or medical services the veteran requires, how frequently the veteran needs hospital care or medical services, and the need for an attendant, which is defined as a person who provides required aid and/or physical assistance to the veteran, for a veteran to travel to a VA medical facility for hospital care or medical services. Considering the nature or simplicity of the care or services will allow VA to determine, for example, that routine and simple procedures that do not necessarily require the expertise or best practices of VA providers (such as simple tests or treatments like an allergy test or an immunization) do not justify traveling a longer distance just to receive that care from VA. Similarly, if a veteran needs repeated appointments for a course of treatment, such as chemotherapy, the frequency of travel could become an excessive burden on the veteran that could be alleviated or lessened by receiving care closer to home. If a veteran requires an attendant to travel to a VA medical facility, this could also create an excessive or unusual burden on the veteran, as he or she may need to arrange transportation with another person. VA will define the term “attendant” to include any person who provides required aid and/or physical assistance to the veteran to travel to a VA medical facility for hospital care or medical services. This definition is consistent with the definition of this term in VA's beneficiary travel regulation (see 38 CFR 70.2.), but the definition at § 70.2 is dependent on separate eligibility under the beneficiary travel program, and therefore is not cross referenced in § 17.1510(b)(4)(ii)(C). The list of factors in § 17.1510(b)(4)(ii)(A) through (C) is demonstrative and not exhaustive. There may be other unique factors that create an unusual or excessive burden for a veteran, and in such cases, VA will make a determination on a case-by-case basis.

Changes Made by Public Law 114-41 Related to Veteran Eligibility, Periods of Follow Up Care, Wait Times, Distance Requirements, and Provider Eligibility

Section 4005 of the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 amended section 101 of the Choice Act to: Remove the August 1, 2014 enrollment date restriction, thereby making all veterans enrolled in the VA health care system under § 17.36 eligible for the Program if they meet its other eligibility criteria; remove the 60-day limit on an episode of care; modify wait-time eligibility requirements; modify the 40-mile distance eligibility criterion; and expand provider eligibility based on criteria as determined by VA. Sec. 4005, Public Law 114-41, 129 Stat. 443. Paragraph (a) of § 17.1510 is therefore revised, and paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) are removed, so it is clear under revised § 17.1510(a) that all veterans enrolled under § 17.36 are potentially eligible, as required by subsection (b) of section 4005 of Public Law 114-41. VA has already implemented these changes related to removal of the August 1, 2014 enrollment date ahead of the regulatory revisions in this interim final rule. These changes were not subject to notice and comment prior to implementation because they had an immediate effective date and VA did not need to interpret the language to give it effect. These changes are merely a restatement of existing statutory law to make our regulations consistent with Congressional intent as well as consistent with our current practice. VA enrolls new veterans every day, so these changes have allowed more veterans who also meet the other eligibility requirements under § 17.1510 to be eligible for the Program.

We discuss below the remaining changes made by Public Law 114-41 to section 101 of the Choice Act that are newly implemented in this interim final rule. Section 4005(a) of Public Law 114-41 amended section 101(h) of the Choice Act by removing the 60-day limitation on an “episode of care.” Sec. 4005(a), Public Law 114-41, 129 Stat. 443. The definition of “episode of care” in § 17.1505 is therefore revised by removing the phrase “which lasts no longer than 60 days from the date of the first appointment with a non-VA health care provider.” We replace the 60-day limitation with a 1-year limitation, consistent with VA's authority in section 101(c)(1)(B)(i) of the Choice Act to establish a timeframe for authorization of care. This change creates a broader standard in terms of the possible duration of an episode of care, but the definition of “episode of care” in § 17.1505 still means a “necessary course of treatment, including follow-up appointments and ancillary and specialty services” for identified health care needs. VA therefore retains clinical judgment in this revised definition to determine whether ancillary and specialty care of any duration up to 1 year is actually needed in the course of a veteran's treatment. We reiterate from the November interim final rule that while some episodes of care require only a single visit, others may require multiple visits, but in all cases VA will authorize only the care that it deems necessary as part of a course of treatment. If a non-VA health care provider believes that a veteran needs additional care outside the scope of the authorized course of treatment, the health care provider must contact VA prior to administering such care to ensure that this care is authorized and therefore will be paid for by VA. Whether additional care constitutes a new “episode of care” will continue to be a clinical determination made by VA on a case-by-case basis. VA anticipates that the vendors that administer the Choice Program will require additional time after the effective date of this interim final rule to fully integrate this revision into their administrative functions. VA will work with the vendors that administer the Choice Program to ensure that care under the Choice Program is authorized in accordance with this rulemaking, even as the administrative functions of these vendors continue to change to accommodate this revision.

Section 4005(d) of Public Law 114-41 amended section 101(b)(2)(A) of the Choice Act to create eligibility for veterans that are unable to be scheduled for an appointment within “the period determined necessary for [clinically necessary] care or services if such period is shorter than” VHA's wait time goals. Sec. 4005(d), Public Law 114-41, 129 Stat. 443. This new wait-times based criterion is added as paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of § 17.1510, and creates eligibility when VA clinically determines that a veteran requires care within a period of time that is shorter than 30 days from the date an appointment is deemed clinically appropriate by a VA health care provider, or shorter than 30 days from the date that a veteran prefers to be seen.

Section 4005(e) of Public Law 114-41 amended section 101(b)(2)(B) of the Choice Act to modify the 40-mile distance eligibility criterion. Section 101(b)(2)(B)(i)-(ii) of the Choice Act now provides that veterans may be eligible if they reside more than 40 miles from “(i) with respect to a veteran who is seeking primary care, a medical facility of the Department, including a community-based outpatient clinic, that is able to provide such primary care by a full-time primary care physician; or (ii) with respect to a veteran not covered under clause (i), the medical facility of the Department, including a community-based outpatient clinic, that is closest to the residence of the veteran.” We find it would be impracticable to apply a “seeking primary care” eligibility criterion as literally written in the Act. Many individuals that seek VA care generally do not specifically “seek” primary care, but rather “seek” treatment for a specific complaint, and are directed first to primary care for the very purpose of determining what health care needs must be addressed. For instance, a veteran who is eligible for the Program and who seeks VA care for a complaint of generalized back pain would in most cases be directed first to primary care and not immediately to an orthopedist or chiropractor. Under a strict reading of the phrase “seeking primary care” in section 4005(e) of Public Law 114-41, such a veteran might not be considered eligible under the new section 101(b)(2)(B)(i) criterion because they did not specifically “seek” primary care.

Rather than make this distinction, between those veterans “seeking primary care” and those not “seeking primary care,” we interpret section 4005(e) of Public Law 114-41 as a clarification of the eligibility criterion for the 40-mile distance determination. Effectively, this would raise the threshold for what constitutes a qualifying VA medical facility to include only those facilities with at least a full-time primary care physician. For instance, previously, if a veteran lived 10 miles from a VA-community based outpatient clinic (CBOC) that did not have a full-time primary care physician, but lived 50 miles from another VA medical facility that did, the veteran would not be eligible for the Program because of their proximity to the CBOC. Under this interim final rule, however, that veteran would be eligible for the Program because the nearest VA medical facility with a full-time primary care physician is more than 40 miles away. We therefore do not revise the general 40-mile requirement in § 17.1510(b)(1), but do revise § 17.1505 to add a definition of “full-time primary care physician,” as well as amend the definition of “VA medical facility” to require that such a facility have a full-time primary care physician. We note that “full-time primary care physician” will mean at least one individual physician whose workload, or multiple physicians whose combined workload, equates to a 0.9 full time equivalent employee that works at least 36 clinical work hours per week. This definition's requirement that 36 of the 40 hours must be clinical is reasonable to ensure that for purposes of determining eligibility for the Veterans Choice Program, we are taking into account how much clinical work, as opposed to administrative work, a physician actually performs. VA updates full-time equivalent employee data for primary care physicians on a regular basis, and will use such data when making these determinations.

Not distinguishing between those veterans that are “seeking primary care” and other veterans is additionally more veteran-centric because we find that a veteran's access to specialty care can be as important as their access to primary care, and in a majority of cases if a veteran lives more than 40 miles from a VA medical facility with a full-time primary care physician, it is very likely that such veteran also lives more than 40 miles away from a VA medical facility that would be able to provide the vast majority of specialty care that we know our veteran population requires. Lastly, if VA did distinguish between those veterans that are “seeking primary care” versus all other veterans who otherwise live more than 40 miles from a VA facility with a full-time primary care physician, this may have the effect of creating an unintentional back door for veteran eligibility in the Program, whereby veterans might be directed to seek primary care to be determined eligible, when such veterans may not actually need primary care. This interpretation gives effect to section 4005(e) of Public Law 114-41 by accounting for those veterans that would be specifically “seeking primary care” and that live more than 40 miles from a VA facility with a full-time primary care physician, as well as for those veterans seeking care generally that live more than 40 miles from a VA facility with a full-time primary care physician.

Section 4005(c) of Public Law 114-41 amended sections 101(a)(1)(B) and 101(d) of the Choice Act to permit VA to expand provider eligibility beyond those providers expressly listed in section 101(a)(1)(B) of the Choice Act, in accordance with criteria as established by VA. Sec. 4005(c), Public Law 114-41, 129 Stat. 443. Under the authority of sections 101(a)(1)(B)(v) and 101(d)(5) of the Choice Act, we revise § 17.1530(a) to refer to a new paragraph (e) that will establish eligibility for these other providers, and add a new paragraph (e) to § 17.1530 to list these providers specifically. We also revise paragraph (d) to reorganize current requirements and add new requirements for these providers, in accordance with section 101(d)(5) of the Choice Act. We revise paragraph (d) to retain all requirements related to provider credentialing and licensure, as well as the annual provision to VA of documentation of such requirements, in new paragraph (d)(1)(A). We add paragraph (d)(1)(B) to require that all providers not be excluded from participation in a Federal health care program, as defined in particular sections of the Social Security Act, as well as not be listed as excluded sources or excluded providers or entities in databases and lists maintained under certain Federal programs (such as the System for Award Management or the List of Excluded Individuals and Entities that is maintained by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). These requirements in § 17.1530(d)(1)(B) ensure that providers that would participate in the Program are not those that are otherwise excluded from participating in Federal health care programs for a number of reasons, such as being convicted of criminal Medicare or Medicaid fraud, patient abuse or neglect, or felony convictions for other health care-related fraud, theft, or other financial misconduct. Lastly, new paragraph (d)(2) maintains the current requirement that eligible entities must ensure that their providers meet the standards established in § 17.1530(d).

Paragraph 17.1530(e) will specifically add new eligible providers for the Veterans Choice Program. Paragraph (e)(1) of § 17.1530 adds to the list of eligible providers any health care provider that is participating in a State Medicaid plan under title XIX of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396 et seq.), including any physician furnishing services under such program, if the provider has an agreement under a State plan under title XIX of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1396 et seq.) or a waiver of such a plan. Opening eligibility to Medicaid providers will increase VA's ability to offer certain services under the Program, including dental services (for veterans otherwise eligible for VA dental care) as well as some unskilled home health services, because providers of such services are not typically one of the provider types listed in section 101(a)(1)(B)(i)-(iv) of the Choice Act. We note that these services such as dental care and certain home health services are already considered “medical services” that VA is authorized to furnish under the Choice Act as well as under other statutory authorities that permit VA to provide non-VA care to veterans. See 38 U.S.C. 1703 and 38 U.S.C. 8153. Making Medicaid providers eligible under the Veterans Choice Program therefore does not newly authorize the provision of services to veterans generally, but merely expands services offered under the Veterans Choice Program specifically by expanding the pool of potential Choice providers.

Paragraph (e)(2) will make certain providers of extended care services eligible, namely an Aging and Disability Resource Center, an area agency on aging, or a State agency (as defined in section 102 of the Older Americans Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 3002)), or a center for independent living (as defined in section 702 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 796a)). Paragraph (e)(3) of § 17.1530 will establish eligibility for any provider meeting all requirements of § 17.1530(d) that is not listed in section 101(a)(1)(B)(i)-(iv) of the Choice Act or § 17.1530(e)(1)-(e)(2). This is essentially a flexible provision for these regulations so that VA can furnish care under the Program through providers who do not fall into the specific categories listed in section 101(a)(1)(B)(i)-(iv) of the Choice Act or § 17.1530(e)(1)-(e)(2), but satisfy the requirements in § 17.1530(d) to ensure that the provider is skilled and safe to provide services to veterans. This avoids the possible scenario that future required revisions to § 17.1530(e) would create delays in care being provided to veterans under the Program.

Miscellaneous Changes

To ensure that VA had the resources in place to support care for eligible veterans, the November 2014 interim final rule established different start dates for eligible veterans in § 17.1525 so that implementation of the Program could be phased in. Because the start dates in § 17.1525 have already passed, we remove the language in § 17.1525 to include the section header, but retain § 17.1525 and mark it is as reserved for future use.

Administrative Procedure Act

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs finds under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) that there is good cause that advance notice and opportunity for public comment are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest and under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) that there is good cause to publish this rule with an immediate effective date. Section 101(n) of the Choice Act authorized VA to implement the Veterans Choice Program through an interim final rule, and provided a deadline of no later than November 5, 2014, the date that is 90 days after the date of the enactment of the law. Additionally, the Program is only authorized to run until August 7, 2017, or until funds expire, which creates a need for expedited action. The changes made by the Construction Authorization and Choice Improvement Act included an immediate effective date under section 3(b) of that Act. These provisions clearly demonstrate that Congress intended that VA act quickly in expanding access to non-VA care options.

This interim final rule changes the criteria VA may consider when determining if a veteran faces an unusual or excessive burden in traveling to the nearest VA medical facility. This interim final rule also expands eligibility for veterans in other ways (through the new criteria related to wait times and to the distance requirements), as well as expands eligibility for providers as required and permitted by the most recent amendments to the Choice Act. These changes will increase the number of veterans who are eligible for the Veterans Choice Program. In order for these veterans to have access to needed health care under the Program, it is essential that the revised criteria be made effective as soon as possible. For the above reasons, we are issuing this rule as an interim final rule. However, VA will consider and address comments that are received within 120 days of the date this interim final rule is published in the Federal Register.

Effect of Rulemaking

Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as revised by this interim final rule, represents VA's implementation of its legal authority on this subject. Other than future amendments to this regulation or governing statutes, no contrary guidance or procedures are authorized. All existing or subsequent VA guidance must be read to conform with this rulemaking if possible or, if not possible, such guidance is superseded by this rulemaking.

Paperwork Reduction Act

Although this action contains provisions constituting collections of information, at 38 CFR 17.1530(d), under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521), no new or proposed revised collections of information are associated with this interim final rule. The information collection requirements for § 17.1530(d) are currently approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and have been assigned OMB control number 2900-0823.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity). Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review) emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility. Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) defines a “significant regulatory action,” requiring review by OMB, unless OMB waives such review, as “any regulatory action that is likely to result in a rule that may: (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities; (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in this Executive Order.”

The economic, interagency, budgetary, legal, and policy implications of this regulatory action have been examined, and it has been determined that this is an economically significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866. VA's regulatory impact analysis can be found as a supporting document at http://www.regulations.gov, usually within 48 hours after the rulemaking document is published. Additionally, a copy of the rulemaking and its regulatory impact analysis are available on VA's Web site at http://www.va.gov/orpm/, by following the link for “VA Regulations Published From FY 2004 Through Fiscal Year to Date.”

Congressional Review Act

This regulatory action is a major rule under the Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801-08, because it may result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more. Although this regulatory action constitutes a major rule within the meaning of the Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 804(2), it is not subject to the 60-day delay in effective date applicable to major rules under 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(3) because the Secretary finds that good cause exists under 5 U.S.C. 808(2) to make this regulatory action effective on the date of publication, consistent with the reasons given for the publication of this interim final rule. In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1), VA will submit to the Comptroller General and to Congress a copy of this regulatory action and VA's Regulatory Impact Analysis.

Unfunded Mandates

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule that may result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for inflation) in any 1 year. This interim final rule will have no such effect on State, local, and tribal governments, or on the private sector.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Secretary hereby certifies that this interim final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612. This interim final rule will not have a significant economic impact on participating eligible entities and providers who enter into agreements with VA. To the extent there is any such impact, it will result in increased business and revenue for them. We also do not believe there will be a significant economic impact on insurance companies, as claims will only be submitted for care that will otherwise have been received whether such care was authorized under this Program or not. Therefore, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b), this rulemaking is exempt from the initial and final regulatory flexibility analysis requirements of 5 U.S.C. 603 and 604.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance numbers and titles for the programs affected by this document are as follows: 64.007, Blind Rehabilitation Centers; 64.008, Veterans Domiciliary Care; 64.009, Veterans Medical Care Benefits; 64.010, Veterans Nursing Home Care; 64.011, Veterans Dental Care; 64.012, Veterans Prescription Service; 64.013, Veterans Prosthetic Appliances; 64.014, Veterans State Domiciliary Care; 64.015, Veterans State Nursing Home Care; 64.016, Veterans State Hospital Care; 64.018, Sharing Specialized Medical Resources; 64.019, Veterans Rehabilitation Alcohol and Drug Dependence; 64.022, Veterans Home Based Primary Care; and 64.024, VA Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program.

Signing Authority

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or designee, approved this document and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the document to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Robert L. Nabors II, Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs, approved this document on October 9, 2015, for publication.

List of Subjects in 38 CFR Part 17

Administrative practice and procedure, Alcohol abuse, Alcoholism, Claims, Day care, Dental health, Drug abuse, Government contracts, Grant programs-health, Grant programs-veterans, Health care, Health facilities, Health professions, Health records, Homeless, Mental health programs, Nursing homes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Travel and transportation expenses, Veterans.

Dated: November 19, 2015. Michael P. Shores, Chief Impact Analyst, Office of Regulation Policy & Management, Office of the General Counsel, Department of Veterans Affairs.

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, VA amends 38 CFR part 17 as follows:

PART 17—MEDICAL 1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows: Authority:

38 U.S.C. 501, and as noted in specific sections.

2. Amend § 17.1505 by: a. Revising the definition of “episode of care”. b. Adding a definition of “full-time primary care physician”. c. Revising the definition of “VA medical facility”. d. Revising the authority citation.

The revisions and addition read as follows:

§ 17.1505 Definitions.

Episode of care means a necessary course of treatment, including follow-up appointments and ancillary and specialty services, which lasts no longer than 1 calendar year from the date of the first appointment with a non-VA health care provider.

Full-time primary care physician means a single VA physician whose workload, or multiple VA physicians whose combined workload, equates to 0.9 full time equivalent employee working at least 36 clinical hours a week at the VA medical facility and who provides primary care as defined by their privileges or scope of practice and licensure.

VA medical facility means a VA hospital, a VA community-based outpatient clinic, or a VA health care center, any of which must have at least one full-time primary care physician. A Vet Center, or Readjustment Counseling Service Center, is not a VA medical facility.

(Authority: Sec. 101, Pub. L. 113-146, 128 Stat. 1754; Sec. 4005, Pub. L. 114-41, 129 Stat. 443)
3. Amend § 17.1510 by revising paragraphs (a), (b)(1), (b)(4)(ii), and the authority citation to read as follows:
§ 17.1510 Eligible veterans.

(a) A veteran must be enrolled in the VA health care system under § 17.36.

(b) * * *

(1) The veteran attempts, or has attempted, to schedule an appointment with a VA health care provider, but VA is unable to schedule an appointment for the veteran within:

(i) The wait-time goals of the Veterans Health Administration; or

(ii) With respect to such care or services that are clinically necessary, the period VA determines necessary for such care or services if such period is shorter than the wait-time goals of the Veterans Health Administration.

(4) * * *

(ii) Faces an unusual or excessive burden in traveling to such a VA medical facility based on geographical challenges, such as the presence of a body of water (including moving water and still water) or a geologic formation that cannot be crossed by road; environmental factors, such as roads that are not accessible to the general public, traffic, or hazardous weather; a medical condition that affects the ability to travel; or other factors, as determined by VA, including but not limited to:

(A) The nature or simplicity of the hospital care or medical services the veteran requires;

(B) The frequency that such hospital care or medical services need to be furnished to the veteran; and

(C) The need for an attendant, which is defined as a person who provides required aid and/or physical assistance to the veteran, for a veteran to travel to a VA medical facility for hospital care or medical services.

(Authority: Sec. 101, Pub. L. 113-146, 128 Stat. 1754; Section 3(a)(2) of Pub. L. 114-19, 129 Stat. 215)
§ 17.1525 [Removed and Reserved]
4. Remove and reserve § 17.1525 5. Amend § 17.1530 by revising paragraphs (a), and (d), adding paragraph (e), and revising the authority citation to read as follows:
§ 17.1530 Eligible entities and providers.

(a) General. An entity or provider is eligible to deliver care under the Veterans Choice Program if, in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section, it is accessible to the veteran and is an entity or provider identified in section 101(a)(1)(B)(i)-(iv) of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 or is an entity identified in paragraph (e) of this section, and is either:

(d) Requirements for health care providers. (1) To be eligible to furnish care or services under the Veterans Choice Program, a health care provider must:

(i) Maintain at least the same or similar credentials and licenses as those required of VA's health care providers, as determined by the Secretary. The agreement reached under paragraph (b) of this section will clarify these requirements. Eligible health care providers must submit verification of such licenses and credentials maintained by the provider to VA at least once per 12-month period.

(ii) Not be excluded from participation in a Federal health care program (as defined in section 1128B(f) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1320a-7b(f)) under section 1128 or 1128A of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1320a-7 and 1320a-7a)), not be identified as an excluded source on the list maintained in the System for Award Management or any successor system, and not be identified on the List of Excluded Individuals and Entities that is maintained by the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

(2) Any entities that are eligible to provide care through the Program must ensure that any of their providers furnishing care and services through the Program meet the standards identified in paragraph (d)(1) of this section. An eligible entity may submit this information on behalf of its providers.

(e) Other eligible entities and providers. In accordance with sections 101(a)(1)(B)(v) and 101(d)(5) of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (as amended), the following entities or providers are eligible to deliver care under the Veterans Choice Program, subject to the additional criteria established in this section.

(1) A health care provider that is participating in a State Medicaid plan under title XIX of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396 et seq.), including any physician furnishing services under such program, if the health care provider has an agreement under a State plan under title XIX of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1396 et seq.) or a waiver of such a plan;

(2) An Aging and Disability Resource Center, an area agency on aging, or a State agency (as defined in section 102 of the Older Americans Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 3002)), or a center for independent living (as defined in section 702 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 796a)).

(3) A health care provider that is not identified in paragraph (e)(1) or (2) of this section, if that provider meets all requirements under paragraph (d) of this section.

(Authority: Sec. 101, Pub. L. 113-146, 128 Stat. 1754; Sec. 4005, Pub. L. 114-41, 129 Stat. 443) (The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information collection requirements in this section under control number 2900-0823.)
[FR Doc. 2015-29865 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 635 [Docket No. 150121066-5717-02] RIN 0648-XE335 Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fisheries AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Temporary rule; inseason General category bluefin tuna quota transfer and retention limit adjustment.

SUMMARY:

NMFS is transferring 80 metric tons (mt) of Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT) quota from the Reserve category to the General category for the remainder of the 2015 fishing year. This transfer results in an adjusted 2015 General category quota of 646.7 mt. NMFS also is adjusting the Atlantic tunas General category BFT daily retention limit from four large medium or giant BFT per vessel per day/trip to three large medium or giant BFT per vessel per day/trip for the remainder of the 2015 fishing year. This action is based on consideration of the regulatory determination criteria regarding inseason adjustments and applies to Atlantic tunas General category (commercial) permitted vessels and Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Charter/Headboat category permitted vessels when fishing commercially for BFT.

DATES:

Effective November 25, 2015 through December 31, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Sarah McLaughlin or Brad McHale, 978-281-9260.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Regulations implemented under the authority of the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA; 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.) and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act; 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) governing the harvest of BFT by persons and vessels subject to U.S. jurisdiction are found at 50 CFR part 635. Section 635.27 subdivides the U.S. BFT quota recommended by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) among the various domestic fishing categories, per the allocations established in the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan (2006 Consolidated HMS FMP) (71 FR 58058, October 2, 2006), as amended by Amendment 7 to the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP (Amendment 7) (79 FR 71510, December 2, 2014). NMFS is required under ATCA and the Magnuson-Stevens Act to provide U.S. fishing vessels with a reasonable opportunity to harvest the ICCAT-recommended quota.

Earlier this year, NMFS implemented a final rule that increased the U.S. BFT quota and subquotas per ICCAT Recommendation 14-05 (80 FR 52198, August 28, 2015). The base quota for the General category is 466.7 mt. See § 635.27(a). Each of the General category time periods (January, June through August, September, October through November, and December) is allocated a portion of the annual General category quota. Although it is called the “January” subquota, the regulations allow the General category fishery under this quota to continue until the subquota is reached or March 31, whichever comes first. Based on the General category base quota of 466.7 mt, the subquotas for each time period are as follows: 24.7 mt for January; 233.3 mt for June through August; 123.7 mt for September; 60.7 mt for October through November; and 24.3 mt for December. Any unused General category quota rolls forward within the fishing year, which coincides with the calendar year, from one time period to the next, and is available for use in subsequent time periods. To date this year, NMFS has published four inseason quota transfers that have adjusted and distributed the available 2015 Reserve category quota among other quota categories (80 FR 7547, February 22, 2015; 80 FR 45098, July 29, 2015; 80 FR 46516, August 5, 2015; and 80 FR 68265, November 4, 2015). The Reserve category balance currently is 82.1 mt. The adjusted General category quota, following the four inseason actions, is 566.7 mt.

Quota Transfer

The 2015 General category fishery was open January 1, 2015, through March 31, 2015, reopened June 1, 2015, and remains open until December 31, 2015, or until the General category quota is reached, whichever comes first.

Under § 635.27(a)(9), NMFS has the authority to transfer quota among fishing categories or subcategories, after considering determination criteria provided under § 635.27(a)(8), including five new criteria recently added in Amendment 7. The determination criteria are: The usefulness of information obtained from catches in the particular category for biological sampling and monitoring of the status of the stock; the catches of the particular category quota to date and the likelihood of closure of that segment of the fishery if no adjustment is made; the projected ability of the vessels fishing under the particular category quota to harvest the additional amount of BFT before the end of the fishing year; the estimated amounts by which quotas for other gear categories of the fishery might be exceeded; effects of the adjustment on BFT rebuilding and overfishing; effects of the adjustment on accomplishing the objectives of the fishery management plan; variations in seasonal distribution, abundance, or migration patterns of BFT; effects of catch rates in one area precluding vessels in another area from having a reasonable opportunity to harvest a portion of the category's quota; review of dealer reports, daily landing trends, and the availability of the BFT on the fishing grounds; optimizing fishing opportunity; accounting for dead discards, facilitating quota monitoring, supporting other fishing monitoring programs through quota allocations and/or generation of revenue; and support of research through quota allocations and/or generation of revenue.

NMFS has considered the determination criteria regarding inseason adjustments and their applicability to the General category fishery for the end of 2015, including, but not limited to, the following: Regarding the usefulness of information obtained from catches in the particular category for biological sampling and monitoring of the status of the stock, biological samples collected from BFT landed by General category fishermen and provided by tuna dealers continue to provide NMFS with valuable parts and data for ongoing scientific studies of BFT age and growth, migration, and reproductive status. Additional opportunity to land BFT would support the collection of a broad range of data for these studies and for stock monitoring purposes.

NMFS also considered the catches of the General category quota to date and the likelihood of closure of that segment of the fishery if no adjustment is made; the projected ability of the vessels fishing under the particular category quota to harvest the additional amount of bluefin tuna before the end of the fishing year; and the estimated amounts by which quotas for other gear categories of the fishery might be exceeded. General category landings in the winter BFT fishery, which typically begins in December or January each year, are highly variable and depend on availability of commercial-sized BFT to participants. Commercial-sized BFT continue to be landed by General category vessels.

Without a quota transfer at this time, NMFS would have to close the 2015 General category fishery as the currently available General category quota would be reached shortly. As of November 20, 2015, the General category has landed approximately 550 mt, or 97 percent of its available 2015 quota of 566.7 mt. Overall, approximately 79 percent of the total of the commercial BFT subquotas for 2015 has been harvested. NMFS will need to account for 2015 landings and dead discards within the adjusted U.S. quota, consistent with ICCAT recommendations, and anticipates having sufficient quota to do that even with this transfer. This quota transfer would provide additional opportunities to harvest the U.S. bluefin quota without exceeding it, while preserving the opportunity for General category fishermen to participate in the winter BFT fishery.

Another principal consideration is the objective of providing opportunities to harvest the full annual U.S. BFT quota without exceeding it based on the goals of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and Amendment 7, including to achieve optimum yield on a continuing basis and to optimize the ability of all permit categories to harvest their full BFT quota allocations. This transfer would be consistent with the quotas recently established and analyzed in the Atlantic bluefin tuna quota final rule (80 FR 52198, August 28, 2015) and with objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and amendments, and is not expected to negatively impact stock health or to affect the stock in ways not already analyzed in those documents.

Based on the considerations above, NMFS is transferring 80 mt of Reserve category quota to the General category for the remainder of 2015, resulting in adjusted General and Reserve category quotas for 2015 of 646.7 mt and 2.1 mt, respectively. NMFS will close the 2015 General category fishery when the adjusted General category quota of 646.7 mt has been reached, or it will close automatically on December 31, 2015.

Adjustment of General Category Daily Retention Limit

Under § 635.23(a)(4), NMFS may increase or decrease the daily retention limit of large medium and giant BFT over a range of zero to a maximum of five per vessel based on consideration of the relevant criteria provided under § 635.27(a)(8), and listed above. For the 2015 fishing year, NMFS adjusted the daily retention limit from the default level of one large medium or giant BFT to three large medium or giant BFT for the January subquota period (79 FR 77943, December 29, 2014), which closed March 31, 2015; and four large medium or giant BFT for the June through August period (80 FR 27863, May 15, 2015) as well as the September, October through November, and December periods (80 FR 51959, August 27, 2015). NMFS has considered the relevant criteria and their applicability to the General category BFT retention limit for the remainder of the fishing year. These considerations include, but are not limited to, the following:

Regarding the usefulness of information obtained from catches in the particular category for biological sampling and monitoring of the status of the stock, additional opportunity to land bluefin tuna would support the collection of a broad range of data for the biological studies and for stock monitoring purposes. Regarding the effects of the adjustment on BFT rebuilding and overfishing and the effects of the adjustment on accomplishing the objectives of the fishery management plan, this action would be taken consistent with the previously implemented and analyzed quotas, and it is not expected to negatively impact stock health or otherwise affect the stock in ways not previously analyzed. It is also supported by the Environmental Analysis for the 2011 final rule regarding General and Harpoon category management measures, which established the current range over which NMFS may set the General category daily retention limit (i.e., from zero to five fish (76 FR 74003, November 30, 2011)). As described above, a principal consideration is the objective of providing opportunities to harvest the full annual U.S. BFT quota without exceeding it based on the goals of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and Amendment 7.

Based on these considerations, NMFS has determined that a three-fish General category retention limit is warranted for the remainder of the year. It would provide a reasonable opportunity to harvest the U.S. quota of BFT without exceeding it, while maintaining an equitable distribution of fishing opportunities, help optimize the ability of the General category to harvest its available quota, allow collection of a broad range of data for stock monitoring purposes, and be consistent with the objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and amendments. Therefore, NMFS adjusts the General category retention limit from four to three large medium or giant BFT per vessel per day/trip, effective November 25, 2015 through December 31, 2015.

Regardless of the duration of a fishing trip, the daily retention limit applies upon landing. For example (and specific to the limit that will apply through the end of the year), whether a vessel fishing under the General category limit takes a two-day trip or makes two trips in one day, the day/trip limit of three fish applies and may not be exceeded upon landing. This General category retention limit is effective in all areas, except for the Gulf of Mexico, where NMFS prohibits targeted fishing for BFT, and applies to those vessels permitted in the General category, as well as to those HMS Charter/Headboat permitted vessels fishing commercially for BFT.

Monitoring and Reporting

NMFS will continue to monitor the BFT fishery closely. Dealers are required to submit landing reports within 24 hours of a dealer receiving BFT. General, HMS Charter/Headboat, Harpoon, and Angling category vessel owners are required to report the catch of all BFT retained or discarded dead, within 24 hours of the landing(s) or end of each trip, by accessing hmspermits.noaa.gov. Depending on the level of fishing effort and catch rates of BFT, NMFS may determine that additional adjustment or closure is necessary to ensure available quota is not exceeded or to enhance scientific data collection from, and fishing opportunities in, all geographic areas. If needed, subsequent adjustments will be published in the Federal Register. In addition, fishermen may call the Atlantic Tunas Information Line at (978) 281-9260, or access hmspermits.noaa.gov, for updates on quota monitoring and inseason adjustments.

Classification

The Assistant Administrator for NMFS (AA) finds that it is impracticable and contrary to the public interest to provide prior notice of, and an opportunity for public comment on, this action for the following reasons:

The regulations implementing the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and amendments provide for inseason retention limit adjustments to respond to the unpredictable nature of BFT availability on the fishing grounds, the migratory nature of this species, and the regional variations in the BFT fishery. Affording prior notice and opportunity for public comment to implement the quota transfer and daily retention limit for the remainder of the year is impracticable as NMFS is reacting as quickly as possible to updated data and information that then requires immediate action to be effective on the fishing grounds. NMFS could not effectively react to this data if, in implementing the retention limit, it allowed a public comment period, which, as it relates to quota transfers, would preclude fishermen from harvesting BFT that are legally available consistent with all of the regulatory criteria.

Delays in adjusting the retention limit may result in the available quota being met or exceeded and NMFS needing to close the fishery earlier than otherwise would be necessary under a lower limit. This could adversely affect those General and HMS Charter/Headboat category vessels that would otherwise have an opportunity to harvest BFT under retention limits set in response to the most recent data available. Limited opportunities to harvest the respective quotas may have negative social and economic impacts for U.S. fishermen that depend upon catching the available quota within the designated time periods. Adjustment of the retention limit needs to be effective as soon as possible, to extend fishing opportunities for fishermen in geographic areas with access to the fishery only during this time period. Therefore, the AA finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) to waive prior notice and the opportunity for public comment. For these reasons, there is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d) to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness.

This action is being taken under §§ 635.23(a)(4) and 635.27(a)(9), and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

Authority:

16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. and 1801 et seq.

Dated: November 25, 2015. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-30464 Filed 11-25-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 635 [Docket No. 150413357-5999-02] RIN 0648-XD898 Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; 2016 Atlantic Shark Commercial Fishing Season AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule; fishing season notification.

SUMMARY:

This final rule establishes an opening date of January 1, 2016, for all Atlantic shark fisheries, including the fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico. This final rule also establishes the quotas for the 2016 fishing season based on over- and/or underharvests experienced during 2015 and previous fishing seasons. The large coastal shark (LCS) retention limit for directed shark limited access permit holders will start at 45 LCS other than sandbar sharks per trip in the Gulf of Mexico region and at 36 LCS other than sandbar sharks per trip in the Atlantic region. These retention limits for directed shark limited access permit holders may decrease or increase during the year to provide, to the extent practicable, fishing opportunities for commercial shark fishermen in all regions and areas. NMFS anticipates that the retention limit in the Atlantic region will likely increase to the default limit of 45 LCS other than sandbar sharks per trip around July 15, 2016, subject to NMFS' evaluation of the inseason trip limit adjustment criteria. These actions could affect fishing opportunities for commercial shark fishermen in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean, including the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea.

DATES:

This rule is effective on January 1, 2016. The 2016 Atlantic commercial shark fishing season opening dates and quotas are provided in Table 1 under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

ADDRESSES:

Highly Migratory Species Management Division, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Guý DuBeck or Karyl Brewster-Geisz at 301-427-8503.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

The Atlantic commercial shark fisheries are managed under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). The 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and its amendments are implemented by regulations at 50 CFR part 635. For the Atlantic commercial shark fisheries, the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and its amendments established, among other things, commercial shark retention limits, commercial quotas for species and management groups, accounting measures for under- and overharvests for the shark fisheries, and adaptive management measures such as flexible opening dates for the fishing season and inseason adjustments to shark trip limits, which provide management flexibility in furtherance of equitable fishing opportunities, to the extent practicable, for commercial shark fishermen in all regions and areas.

On August 18, 2015 (80 FR 49974), NMFS published a rule proposing the 2016 opening dates for the Atlantic commercial shark fisheries and quotas, based on shark landings information reported as of July 15, 2015. The August 2015 proposed rule contains details that are not repeated here. The comment period on the proposed rule ended on September 17, 2015.

During the comment period, NMFS received several written and oral comments on the proposed rule. Those comments, along with the Agency's responses, are summarized below. As further detailed in the Response to Comments section, after considering all the comments, NMFS is opening the fishing seasons for all shark management groups on January 1, 2016, as proposed in the August 18, 2015, proposed rule. For directed shark limited access permit holders, the Gulf of Mexico blacktip, aggregated LCS, and hammerhead management groups will start the fishing season with a retention limit of 45 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip. The aggregated LCS and hammerhead shark management groups in the Atlantic region will start the fishing season with a retention limit of 36 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip for directed shark limited access permit holders, which is a change from the proposed rule. Also, some of the quotas have changed since the proposed rule, based on updated landings information as of October 16, 2015. The retention limit for incidental shark limited access permit holders has not changed and remains at 3 LCS other than sandbar sharks per trip and a combined total of 16 small coastal sharks (SCS) and pelagic sharks, combined, per trip, consistent with § 635.24(a)(3) and (4).

This final rule serves as notification of the 2016 opening dates of the Atlantic commercial shark fisheries and 2016 quotas, based on shark landings updated as of October 16, 2015, pursuant to the “opening commercial fishing season” criteria at § 635.27(b)(3)(i) through (vii). This action does not change the annual base commercial quotas established under the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and its amendments for any shark management group. Any such changes would be performed through a separate action. Rather, this action adjusts the annual base commercial quotas for 2016 based on over- and/or underharvests that occurred in 2015 and previous fishing seasons, consistent with existing regulations.

Response to Comments

NMFS received 6 written comments on the proposed rule from fishermen, dealers, and other interested parties. All written comments can be found at http://www.regulations.gov/ by searching for RIN 0648-XD898. NMFS received approximately 5 oral comments which were received through phone conversations. All of the oral comments are incorporated with the written comments below.

A. LCS Management Group Comments

Comment 1: NMFS received several comments regarding the proposed opening date for the aggregated LCS and hammerhead management groups in the Atlantic region. The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries (NCDMR) and other commenters from the southern and northern part of the region supported the proposed opening date of January 1 for the aggregated LCS and hammerhead management groups, retention limit, and inseason retention limit adjustments for LCS fisheries as long as the majority of the quota is available later in the year. The comments from some of the fishermen supporting the January 1 opening date noted they preferred the opportunity to land some LCS that were caught while targeting SCS and other non-shark species rather than discard them if the season is closed in January. NMFS also received a few comments regarding the timing for the inseason retention limit adjustment. One commenter supported the January 1 opening date with reducing the retention limit on March 1 to incidental levels (3 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip) before increasing the retention limit on August 1 to 55 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip. Another commenter supported the January 1 opening date until 50 percent of the quota is reached before reducing the retention limit to incidental levels and then increasing the retention limit on July 1 to 55 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip. NMFS also received comments opposing the proposed opening date of January 1 with inseason retention limit adjustments. The Commonwealth of Virginia Marine Resources Commission requested a June or July opening date for the LCS fisheries to allow their state-water fishermen an opportunity to fish for sharks under the proposed retention limit, while other commenters suggested a July 1 LCS fishery opening date at the proposed retention limit with no inseason retention limit adjustments. The comments from some of the fishermen in the southern part of the region noted they preferred the opportunity to fish for sharks in October through December because they participate in other, non-shark fisheries at the beginning of the year and in the shark fisheries later in the year, when there are no other fisheries open in Florida. Also, these commenters are concerned that having the LCS fisheries in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico regions open at the same time will flood the market with shark products, causing a dramatic drop in potential revenue.

Response: NMFS evaluates the “opening commercial fishing season” criteria (§ 635.27(b)(3)) when choosing an opening date. These criteria include: (1) The available annual quotas for the current fishing season for the different species/management groups based on any over- and/or underharvests experienced during the previous commercial shark fishing seasons; (2) estimated season length based on available quota(s) and average weekly catch rates of different species and/or management group from the previous years; (3) length of the season for the different species and/or management group in the previous years and whether fishermen were able to participate in the fishery in those years; (4) variations in seasonal distribution, abundance, or migratory patterns of the different species/management groups based on scientific and fishery information; (5) effects of catch rates in one part of a region precluding vessels in another part of that region from having a reasonable opportunity to harvest a portion of the different species and/or management quotas; (6) effects of the adjustment on accomplishing the objectives of the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and its amendments; and/or (7) effects of a delayed opening with regard to fishing opportunities in other fisheries.

After evaluating these criteria, as described in the proposed rule, and reviewing the public comments, NMFS has decided to open the fisheries in the Atlantic region with a lower retention limit than proposed. Specifically, on January 1, 2016, the LCS fisheries in the Atlantic region will open with a retention limit of 36 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip for directed shark limited access permit holders. NMFS has determined that a lower retention limit at the start of the season will allow NMFS to more easily and closely monitor the quota and catch rates in the beginning of the year to help ensure equitable fishing opportunities later in the year. NMFS chose 36 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip because that was the commercial retention limit for the fishery from 2013 through August 2015, and thus is familiar to both NMFS and the participants in the fishery.

The proposed rule stated that, if it appears that the quota is being harvested too quickly to allow fishermen throughout the entire region an opportunity to fish, NMFS will reduce the commercial retention limit after a portion of the quota is harvested (e.g., 30 percent) and then raise the commercial retention limit at a later date (e.g., July 1 or 15) to allow greater fishing opportunities later in the year. Reducing the retention limit when 50 percent of the quota has been harvested, as suggested by a commenter, would likely not allow for fishing opportunities later in the year when the majority of the fishing occurs. Under § 635.28(b), NMFS closes any shark management group that has reached, or is projected to reach, 80 percent of the available quota. After considering public comment, NMFS believes that it is more appropriate to consider a retention limit reduction, when approximately 20 percent of the quota has been harvested (which is expected to occur in March or April, based on landings data from prior years). Any such action will depend on consideration of the factors under § 635.24(a)(8). If catch rates and landings are similar to past years, NMFS anticipates that it could reduce the retention limit to 3 LCS other than sandbar sharks, which is consistent with the retention limit for incidental limited access permit holders, when the 20 percent is reached. However, if the quota is being landed quickly at the beginning of the year, or if, after reducing the retention limit, the reduction to 3 LCS other than sandbar sharks does not slow the rate of harvest enough to allow for a fishery later in the year, NMFS could reduce the retention limit to 0. Alternatively, if the quota is being landed slowly, NMFS could choose not to reduce the retention limit, or not to reduce it all the way down to 3.

After considering public comment, NMFS anticipates that it will increase the commercial retention limit around July 15, 2016, as this was the date used for prior season opening dates. The retention limit will be the default level of 45 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip for directed shark limited access permit holders, or another amount, as deemed appropriate after considering the inseason trip limit adjustment criteria (§ 635.24(a)(8)). NMFS believes that utilizing the inseason retention limit adjustment during the fishing season will promote equitable fishing opportunities in the Atlantic region, while still allowing the majority of quota to be harvested later in the year. The January 1 opening date should allow fishermen in the southern and northern portions of the Atlantic region the opportunity to fish at the beginning of the year, while providing all fishermen in the Atlantic region fishing opportunities later in the year, when the majority of fishing occurs, as the majority of the quota will still be available.

Regarding the comments from constituents suggesting when to adjust the retention limit, NMFS intends to reduce the retention limit to 3 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip if the quota is being caught too quickly (e.g., if approximately 20 percent of the quota is harvested at the beginning of the year), and then anticipates that it will increase the retention limit to the default level of 45 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip for directed shark limited access permit holders, or another amount, as deemed appropriate after considering the inseason trip limit adjustment criteria, around July 15, 2016. If NMFS were to reduce the retention limit when approximately 20 percent of the quota is harvested, based on past landings data, the aggregated LCS quota will likely reach 20 percent around March, which is similar to the time suggested by a commenter. Regarding an increase on August 1, NMFS will determine any potential increase in the retention limit at a later time, but notes that an increase around July 15 would be closer to recent opening dates of the fishery than August 1 and could better promote equitable fishing opportunities. Regarding the comment to wait until 50 percent of the quota was harvested before reducing the retention limit and then increasing the retention limit on July 1, when the Atlantic LCS fisheries last opened in January, the quota reached 50 percent in July. Thus, under that scenario, it is unlikely that any adjustment would be needed until much later in the season (e.g., August). In addition, under § 635.28(b), NMFS closes any shark management group that has reached, or is projected to reach, 80 percent of the available quota. Thus, waiting until 50 percent of the quota has been harvested before reducing the retention limit would likely prevent the majority of the quota from being available later in the year, which is what most of the public comments requested.

Regarding the comments from the Commonwealth of Virginia Marine Resources Commission and other commenters requesting an opening date in June or July in order to allow state-water fishermen the opportunity to fish and regarding the comments from constituents who prefer a later start date in order to fish for sharks at the end of the year, NMFS agrees that the fishery should remain open later in the year and anticipates having the majority of the quota available after July 15, 2016. Based on past landings data, having the majority of the quota available after July 15 would allow Virginia state-water fishermen the opportunity to fish for sharks and potentially allow the fishery to be open in October through December. Regarding the comments that having the LCS fisheries in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico regions open at the same time will impact the market prices, NMFS has no control over the market prices and this is not one of the criteria NMFS evaluates when choosing an opening date. However, in the past, the LCS fisheries in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico regions have been open at the same time, and during those times, NMFS has not noticed any dramatic impacts on the ex-vessel prices in either region. For example, in 2013, when both regional LCS fisheries were open in January, the ex-vessel price for Atlantic aggregated LCS stayed consistent throughout the year and was much higher than the Gulf of Mexico aggregated LCS ex-vessel prices.

Comment 2: NMFS received comments regarding the proposed sub-regional opening dates and commercial retention limit for the Gulf of Mexico blacktip, aggregated LCS, and hammerhead management groups. One commenter supported the proposed January 1 opening date for both Gulf of Mexico sub-regions and the proposed retention limit, suggesting that NMFS use this season as an experiment to see how the fishery operates under the new management measures from Amendment 6 to the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP (Amendment 6). Another commenter suggested staggering the Gulf of Mexico sub-regional opening dates and increasing the retention limit. Specifically, the commenter suggested that both sub-regions open at 55 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip, with the western Gulf of Mexico sub-region opening on January 1 and the eastern Gulf of Mexico sub-region opening on March 1.

Response: After considering public comment and the “opening commercial fishing season” criteria (§ 635.27(b)(3)) described in the proposed rule, NMFS has determined that opening the Gulf of Mexico blacktip, aggregated LCS, and hammerhead shark management groups on January 1 at 45 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip for directed shark limited access permit holders, as proposed, will promote equitable fishing opportunities for constituents in each sub-region. In reaching this determination, NMFS considered, in particular, the length of the season for the different species and/or management groups in 2015 and whether fishermen were able to participate in the fishery (§ 635.27(b)(3)(iii)), and found that with a January 1 opening date in 2015, the length of the fishing season provided all fishermen with equitable fishing opportunities to participate in the fishery in 2015.

Regarding the comment relating to the different sub-regional opening dates, at this time, NMFS prefers to open both sub-regions at the same time to evaluate how the changes in the regulations, such as the increase in the retention limit, affect the fishery before making other changes to the commercial shark fishing season. NMFS may consider staggered opening dates for the sub-regions in future years if such an approach is needed to promote equitable fishing opportunities throughout the region.

B. Atlantic SCS Management Group Comments

Comment 3: NMFS received comments regarding the proposed opening date for the non-blacknose SCS and blacknose shark management groups in the Atlantic region. Most commenters, including NCDMR, supported the proposed January 1 opening date, while only a few commenters requested that the SCS fisheries not open until August to ensure that the southern part of the fishery would not be closed because of the blacknose shark quota linkage.

Response: Taking into consideration the “opening commercial fishing season” criteria (§ 635.27(b)(3)), as described in the proposed rule, and the general public support of the proposed opening date, NMFS has determined that keeping the proposed opening date of January 1 for the non-blacknose SCS and blacknose shark management groups in the Atlantic region will provide commercial shark fishermen year-round access to the increased non-blacknose SCS quota. In reaching this determination, NMFS considered, in particular, the current length of the 2015 season for the different species and/or management groups and whether fishermen were able to participate in the fishery in 2015 (§ 635.27(b)(3)(iii)), and found that with a January 1 opening date in 2015, the length of the fishing season provided all fishermen with equitable fishing opportunities to participate in the fishery in 2015. NMFS still encourages fishermen south of 34 degrees to avoid blacknose sharks to keep the non-blacknose SCS fishery open year-round in that area. NMFS linked these quotas due to concerns regarding the incidental harvest of blacknose sharks, which are overfished, while fishermen were targeting non-blacknose SCS. During the Amendment 3 to the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP rulemaking process (75 FR 30484; June 1, 2010), fishermen indicated that they could avoid catching blacknose sharks when fishing for non-blacknose sharks. Fishermen successfully avoided blacknose sharks for several years. However, in the past few years, a small number of individuals began targeting blacknose sharks, resulting in early closures.

Comment 4: NMFS received comments to adjust the commercial retention limit for SCS, implement a commercial retention limit for Atlantic blacknose sharks, and establish a bycatch allowance for non-blacknose SCS (approximately 200 lb dw) once the blacknose quota is reached to reduce dead discards of SCS.

Response: This comment is outside the scope of this rulemaking because there is currently no commercial retention limit for blacknose sharks, and the purpose of this rulemaking is to adjust quotas based on over- and underharvests from the previous years and set opening dates for the 2016 shark seasons. The commenter thought that because NMFS was proposing to adjust the commercial retention limit for the LCS fisheries that NMFS could do the same for SCS fisheries. However, at this time, the only retention limit for SCS is for incidental shark permit holders, who can retain up to 16 SCS or pelagic sharks per vessel per trip.

NMFS considered a commercial retention limit for blacknose shark in Amendment 5a to the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP (see Section 2.3, Alternatives Considered But Not Further Analyzed, of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for Amendment 5a) and received similar comments during the public comment period for Amendment 6. In those actions, NMFS preferred to address blacknose shark landings and discards by linking the blacknose shark and non-blacknose SCS quotas, which should provide a greater and more effective incentive for reducing landings of blacknose sharks than a retention limit, thus more effectively managing the blacknose fishery in a manner that maximizes resource sustainability, while minimizing, to the greatest extent possible, socioeconomic impacts. After the blacknose shark quota was reached much earlier this year (June 7) than in previous seasons (July 28, 2014, and September 30, 2013), NMFS examined the blacknose shark landings from the HMS electronic dealer data from 2015 on a per trip basis. These data indicate that the majority of the trips (60 percent of the total number of trips) landed less than 200 lb dw of blacknose sharks per trip; however, there were multiple trips (11 percent of the total number of trips) that landed more than 700 lb dw of blacknose sharks per trip, with some as high as 3,170 lb dw, which is approximately 8 percent of the entire quota. Because the blacknose shark linkage has caused the SCS fishery south of 34 degrees to close sooner than in previous seasons and given that the commercial quota continues to be overharvested, NMFS is re-considering the appropriateness of a commercial blacknose retention limit and may pursue this issue in a separate action.

C. General Comments

Comment 5: NMFS received comments to stop all shark fishing.

Response: This comment is outside the scope of this rulemaking because the purpose of this rulemaking is to adjust quotas for the 2016 shark seasons based on over- and underharvests from the previous years and set opening dates for the 2016 shark seasons. Management of the Atlantic shark fisheries is based on the best available science to achieve optimum yield while also rebuilding overfished shark stocks and preventing overfishing. The final rule does not reanalyze the overall management measures for sharks, which were analyzed in the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and its amendments. NMFS is considering further shark management measures, including those to rebuild shark stocks or prevent overfishing, in other upcoming rulemakings, such as Amendments 5b to the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP.

Comment 6: NMFS received comments from the NCDMR that requested NMFS to perform a benchmark stock assessment on Atlantic blacktip and sandbar sharks as soon as possible.

Response: This comment is outside the scope of this rulemaking because the purpose of this rulemaking is to adjust quotas based on over- and underharvests from the previous years and set opening dates for the 2016 shark seasons. Most of the domestic shark stock assessments follow the SEDAR process. This process is also used by the South Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils and is designed to provide transparency throughout the stock assessment. With regard to the timing of upcoming shark stock assessments, NMFS aims to conduct a number of shark stock assessments every year and to regularly reassess these stocks. The number of species that can be assessed each year depends on whether assessments are establishing baselines or are only updates to previous assessments. Assessments also depend on ensuring there are data available for a particular species. Tentatively, in addition to the shark assessments being conducted by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), NMFS intends to conduct a dusky shark update assessment in 2016 and a Gulf of Mexico blacktip shark update assessment in 2017. NMFS is currently considering options that would allow for both Atlantic blacktip and sandbar sharks to be assessed in 2018.

Changes From the Proposed Rule

NMFS made four changes to the proposed rule, as described below.

1. NMFS changed the final eastern Gulf of Mexico blacktip shark quota from the 28.9 mt dw (63,835 lb dw) in the proposed rule to 28.9 mt dw (63,819 lb dw), a difference of 16 lb dw, based on updated landings through October 16, 2015. In the 2016 shark season proposed rule (80 FR 49974; August 18, 2015), which was based on data available through July 17, 2015, the 2016 adjusted annual quota for eastern Gulf of Mexico blacktip shark was proposed to be 28.9 mt dw (63,835 lb dw), based on an underharvest of 0.1 mt dw (308 lb dw) from 2014 and an underharvest of 3.7 mt dw from 2015 (8,088 lb dw). NMFS explained in the proposed rule that it would adjust the proposed quotas based on dealer reports as of mid-October or mid-November 2015. Based on updated landings data through October 16, 2015, the overall 2015 Gulf of Mexico blacktip shark management group underharvest was 37.4 mt dw (82,373 lb dw). Consistent with Amendment 6 and the August 2015 proposed rule, NMFS will account for underharvest based on the sub-regional quota percentage split. Thus, the eastern Gulf of Mexico blacktip shark quota is increased by 9.8 percent of the 2015 underharvest or 3.7 mt dw (8,072 lb dw). Therefore, the 2016 adjusted annual quota for eastern Gulf of Mexico blacktip shark is 28.9 mt dw (63,819 lb dw) (25.1 mt dw annual base quota + 0.1 mt dw from 2014 underharvest + 3.7 mt dw from the 2015 underharvest = 28.9 mt dw). Landings information beyond October 16, 2015, was not available while NMFS was writing this rule. This final rule used the most recent available information to allow NMFS to properly analyze the fishery and open the fishery as proposed on January 1, 2016. Any landings between October 16 and December 31, 2015, will be accounted for in the 2017 shark fisheries quotas, as appropriate.

2. NMFS changed the final western Gulf of Mexico blacktip shark quota from the 266.6 mt dw (587,538 lb dw) in the proposed rule to 266.5 mt dw (587,396 lb dw), a difference of 142 lb dw, based on updated landings through October 16, 2015. In the proposed rule, which was based on data available through July 17, 2015, the 2016 adjusted annual quota for western Gulf of Mexico blacktip shark was proposed to be 266.6 mt dw (587,538 lb dw), based on an underharvest of 1.3 mt dw (2,834 lb dw) from 2014 and an underharvest of 33.7 mt dw (74,443 lb dw) from 2015. Based on updated landings data through October 16, 2015, the overall 2015 Gulf of Mexico blacktip shark management group was underharvested by 37.4 mt dw (82,373 lb dw). Consistent with Amendment 6 and the August 2015 proposed rule, NMFS will account for underharvest based on the sub-regional quota percentage split. Thus, the western Gulf of Mexico blacktip shark quota is increased by 90.2 percent of the 2015 underharvest, or 33.7 mt dw (74,301 lb dw). Therefore, the 2016 adjusted annual quota for eastern Gulf of Mexico blacktip shark is 266.5 mt dw (587,396 lb dw) (231.5 mt dw annual base quota + 1.3 mt dw from 2014 underharvest + 33.7 mt dw from the 2015 underharvest = 266.5 mt dw 2016 adjusted annual quota). As described above, landings information beyond October 16, 2015, was not available while NMFS was writing this rule. This final rule used the most recent available information to allow NMFS to properly analyze the fishery and open the fishery on January 1, 2016. Any landings between October 16 and December 31, 2015, will be accounted for in the 2017 shark fisheries quotas, as appropriate.

3. NMFS changed the final Atlantic blacknose shark quota from the 15.7 mt dw (34,700 lb dw) in the proposed rule to 15.7 mt dw (34,653 lb dw), a difference of 47 lb, based on updated landings through October 16, 2015. In the proposed rule, the quota for the Atlantic blacknose shark management group was proposed to be 15.7 mt dw (34,700 lb dw), due to an adjustment of 0.5 mt dw (1,111 lb dw) for a 2012 overharvest that was spread over five years and an adjustment of 1.0 mt dw (2,110 lb dw) for a 2015 overharvest that was spread over three years. However, based on the updated landings data, NMFS found that the 2015 quota was overharvested by 3.0 mt dw (6,471 lb dw) and not the 6,328 lb dw originally considered. Consistent with the proposed rule, NMFS will spread this overharvest amount over 3 years at 1.0 mt dw (2,157 lb dw) each year from 2016-2018. Thus, NMFS will reduce the 2016 base annual quota by 1.5 mt dw (3,268 lb dw), based on the 2012 overharvest amount and the most recent estimates of the 2015 landings. Therefore, the 2016 adjusted annual quota for Atlantic blacknose shark is 15.7 mt dw (34,653 lb dw) (17.2 mt dw annual base quota − 0.5 mt dw 2012 overharvest − 1.0 mt dw 2015 overharvest = 15.7 mt dw 2016 adjusted annual quota). As described above, landings information beyond October 16, 2015, was not available while NMFS was writing this rule. This final rule used the most recent available information to allow NMFS to properly analyze the fishery and open the fishery on January 1, 2016. Any landings between October 16 and December 31, 2015, will be accounted for in the 2017 shark fisheries quotas, as appropriate.

4. NMFS changed the retention limit for directed shark limited access permit holders at the start of the commercial shark fishing season for the aggregated LCS and hammerhead shark management groups in the Atlantic region from 45 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip to 36 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip. As explained above, NMFS changed the retention limit after considering the “opening commercial fishing season” criteria (§ 635.27(b)(3)), public comment, and the 2015 landings data in order to promote equitable fishing opportunities throughout the Atlantic region.

2016 Annual Quotas

This final rule adjusts the 2016 commercial quotas due to over- and/or underharvests in 2015 and previous fishing seasons, based on landings data through October 16, 2015. The 2016 annual quotas by species and species group are summarized in Table 1. All dealer reports that are received by NMFS after October 16, 2015, will be used to adjust the 2017 quotas, if necessary. A description of the quota calculations is provided in the proposed rule and is not repeated here. Any changes are described in the “Changes from the Proposed Rule” section.

Table 1—2016 Annual Quotas for the Atlantic Shark Fisheries [All quotas and landings are dressed weight (dw), in metric tons (mt), unless specified otherwise. 1 mt dw = 2,204.6 lb dw] Region or
  • sub-region
  • Management group 2015
  • annual quota
  • (A)
  • Preliminary
  • 2015
  • landings 1
  • (B)
  • Adjustments
  • (C)
  • 2016
  • Base annual
  • quota
  • (D)
  • 2016
  • Final annual
  • quota
  • (D+C)
  • Eastern Gulf of Mexico Blacktip Sharks 25.1 mt dw (55,439 lb dw) 21.5 mt dw (47,366 lb dw) 2 3.8 mt dw (8,380 lb dw) 3 25.1 mt dw (55,439 lb dw) 28.9 mt dw (63,819 lb dw) Aggregated Large Coastal Sharks 85.5 mt dw (188,593 lb dw) 84.5 mt dw (186,223 lb dw) 2 85.5 mt dw (188,593 lb dw) 85.5 mt dw (188,593 lb dw) Hammerhead Sharks 13.4 mt dw (29,421 lb dw) 7.3 mt dw (16,198 lb dw) 2 13.4 mt dw (29,421 lb dw) 13.4 mt dw (29,421 lb dw) Western Gulf of Mexico Blacktip Sharks 231.5 mt dw (510,261 lb dw) 197.7 mt dw (435,961 lb dw) 2 35.0 mt dw (77,135 lb dw) 3 231.5 mt dw (510,261 lb dw) 266.5 mt dw (587,396 lb dw) Aggregated Large Coastal Sharks 72.0 mt dw (158,724 lb dw) 69.6 mt dw (153,380 lb dw) 2 72.0 mt dw (158,724 lb dw) 72.0 mt dw (158,724 lb dw) Hammerhead Sharks 11.9 mt dw (23,301 lb dw) 6.5 mt dw (14,360 lb dw) 2 11.9 mt dw (23,301 lb dw) 11.9 mt dw (23,301 lb dw) Gulf of Mexico Non-Blacknose Small Coastal Sharks 45.5 mt dw (100,317 lb dw) 69.9 mt dw (154,077 lb dw) −5.3 mt dw (−11,612 lb dw) 4 112.6 mt dw (248,215 lb dw) 107.3 mt dw (236,603 lb dw) Atlantic Aggregated Large Coastal Sharks 168.9 mt dw (372,552 lb dw) 90.1 mt dw (198,651 lb dw) 168.9 mt dw (372,552 lb dw) 168.9 mt dw (372,552 lb dw) Hammerhead Sharks 27.1 mt dw (59,736 lb dw) 8.5 mt dw (18,703 lb dw) 27.1 mt dw (59,736 lb dw) 27.1 mt dw (59,736 lb dw) Non-Blacknose Small Coastal Sharks 176.1 mt dw (388,222 lb dw) 106.2 mt dw (234,170 lb dw) 264.1 mt dw (582,333 lb dw) 264.1 mt dw (582,333 lb dw) Blacknose Sharks (South of 34° N. lat. only) 17.5 mt dw (38,638 lb dw) 20.5 mt dw (45,109 lb dw) −1.5 mt dw (−3,268 lb dw) 5 17.2 mt dw (37,921 lb dw) 15.7 mt dw (34,653 lb dw) No regional quotas Non-Sandbar LCS Research 50.0 mt dw (110,230 lb dw) 18.1 mt dw (39,830 lb dw) 50.0 mt dw (110,230 lb dw) 50.0 mt dw (110,230 lb dw) Sandbar Shark Research 116.6 mt dw (257,056 lb dw) 63.6 mt dw (140,258 lb dw) 90.7 mt dw (199,943 lb dw) 90.7 mt dw (199,943 lb dw) Blue Sharks 273.0 mt dw (601,856 lb dw) 0.5 mt dw (1,114 lb dw) 273.0 mt dw (601,856 lb dw) 273.0 mt dw (601,856 lb dw) Porbeagle Sharks 0 mt dw (0 lb dw) 0 mt dw (0 lb dw) 1.7 mt dw (3,748 lb dw) 1.7 mt dw (3,748 lb dw) Pelagic Sharks Other Than Porbeagle or Blue 488.0 mt dw (1,075,856 lb dw) 71.3 mt dw (157,099 lb dw) 488.0 mt dw (1,075,856 lb dw) 488.0 mt dw (1,075,856 lb dw) 1 Landings are from January 1, 2015, through October 16, 2015, and are subject to change. 2 The blacktip, aggregated LCS, and hammerhead shark management group preliminary 2015 landings were split based on the sub-regional quota percentage splits established in Amendment 6 to the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP. 3 This adjustment accounts for underharvest in 2014 and 2015. In the final rule establishing the 2015 quotas (79 FR 71331; December 2, 2014), the 2014 Gulf of Mexico blacktip shark quota was underharvested by 72.0 mt dw (158,602 lb dw). After the final rule establishing the 2015 quotas published, late dealer reports indicated the quota was underharvested by an additional 1.4 mt dw (3,142 lb dw), for a total underharvest of 73.4 mt dw (161,744 lb dw). In 2015, the Gulf of Mexico blacktip shark quota was underharvested by 37.4 mt (82,373 lb dw). Therefore, this final rule increases the Gulf of Mexico blacktip shark quota by 38.8 mt dw (37.4 mt dw underharvest in 2015 + 1.4 mt dw underharvest from 2014). Recently, NMFS implemented Amendment 6 to the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP which, among other things, established sub-regional quotas for the Gulf of Mexico blacktip shark management group. NMFS will account for underharvest based on the sub-regional quota percentage split. Thus, the eastern Gulf of Mexico blacktip shark quota is increased by 3.8 mt dw, or 9.8 percent of the underharvest, while the western Gulf of Mexico blacktip shark quota is increased by 35.0 mt dw, or 90.2 percent of the underharvest. 4 This adjustment accounts for overharvests from 2014. In the final rule establishing the 2015 quotas (79 FR 71331; December 2, 2014), the 2014 Gulf of Mexico non-blacknose SCS quota was not overharvested. After the final rule establishing the 2015 quotas published, late dealer reports indicated the quota was overharvested by 5.3 mt dw (11,612 lb dw) due to landings by state-water fishermen fishing in state-waters after the federal closure. NMFS will decrease the 2016 base annual quota based on the overharvest estimate of 5.3 mt from 2014. Based on the original 2015 annual commercial quota, the 2015 annual quota was overharvested by 7.8 mt dw (17,184 lb dw) as of October 16, 2015. In Amendment 6 to the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP, NMFS increased the commercial Gulf of Mexico non-blacknose SCS quota to 112.6 mt dw (248,215 lb dw) and re-opened the fishery. Based on the revised annual commercial quota, reported landings have not exceeded the revised 2015 base quota to date. 5 This adjustment accounts for overharvest in 2012 and 2015. After the final rule establishing the 2012 quotas published, late dealer reports indicated the blacknose shark quota was overharvested by 3.5 mt dw (7,742 lb dw). In the final rule establishing the 2014 quotas, NMFS implemented a 5-year adjustment of the overharvest amount by the percentage of landings in 2012. Thus, NMFS will reduce the Atlantic blacknose sharks by 0.5 mt dw (1,111 lb dw) each year for 5 years from 2014-2018. In 2015, the Atlantic blacknose shark quota was overharvested by 3.0 (6,471 lb dw). NMFS is implementing an additional 3-year adjustment of the overharvest amount in 2015. NMFS will reduce the quota by 1.0 mt dw (2,157 lb dw) each year from 2016-2018. Therefore, this final rule decreases the Atlantic blacknose shark quota by 1.5 mt dw (1.0 mt dw overharvest in 2015 + 0.5 mt dw overharvest from 2012).
    Fishing Season Notification for the 2016 Atlantic Commercial Shark Fishing Seasons

    Based on the seven “opening commercial fishing season” criteria listed in § 635.27(b)(3), NMFS is opening all the 2016 Atlantic commercial shark fishing seasons on January 1, 2016 (Table 2).

    Regarding the LCS retention limit, as shown in Table 2, for directed shark limited access permit holders, the Gulf of Mexico blacktip shark, aggregated LCS, and hammerhead shark management groups will start the commercial fishing season at 45 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip, and the Atlantic aggregated LCS and hammerhead shark management groups will start the commercial fishing season at 36 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip. In the Atlantic region, as described above, NMFS will closely monitor the quota at the beginning of the year. If it appears that the quota is being harvested too quickly to allow fishermen throughout the entire region an opportunity to fish (e.g., if approximately 20 percent of the quota is caught at the beginning of the year), NMFS will reduce the commercial retention limit, then raise it later in the season. Based on prior years' fishing activity, to allow greater fishing opportunities later in the year, NMFS anticipates raising the commercial retention limit to the default limit of 45 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip around July 15, 2016. However, any retention limit reductions and increases will be based on consideration of the trip limit adjustment criteria at 50 CFR 635.24(a)(8).

    All of the shark management groups will remain open until December 31, 2016, or until NMFS determines that the fishing season landings for any shark management group has reached, or is projected to reach, 80 percent of the available quota; however, consistent with § 635.28(b)(5), NMFS may close the Gulf of Mexico blacktip shark management group before landings reach, or are expected to reach, 80 percent of the quota. Additionally, NMFS has established non-linked and linked quotas; linked quotas are explicitly designed to concurrently close multiple shark management groups that are caught together to prevent incidental catch mortality from exceeding the total allowable catch. The linked and non-linked quotas are shown in Table 2. NMFS will file for publication with the Office of the Federal Register a notice of closure for that shark species, shark management group including any linked quotas, and/or region that will be effective no fewer than 5 days from date of filing. From the effective date and time of the closure until NMFS announces, via the publication of a notice in the Federal Register, that additional quota is available and the season is reopened, the fisheries for the shark species or management group are closed, even across fishing years.

    Table 2—Quota Linkages, Season Opening Dates, and Commercial Retention Limit by Regional or Sub-Regional Shark Management Group Region or sub-region Management group Quota
  • linkages
  • Season opening dates Commercial retention limits for directed shark limited access permit holders
  • (inseason adjustments are available)
  • Eastern Gulf of Mexico Blacktip Sharks Not Linked January 1, 2016 45 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip. Aggregated Large Coastal Sharks
  • Hammerhead Sharks
  • Linked
    Western Gulf of Mexico Blacktip Sharks Not Linked January 1, 2016 45 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip. Aggregated Large Coastal Sharks
  • Hammerhead Sharks
  • Linked
    Gulf of Mexico Non-Blacknose Small Coastal Sharks Not Linked January 1, 2016 N/A Atlantic Aggregated Large Coastal Sharks
  • Hammerhead Sharks
  • Linked January 1, 2016 36 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip
  • [If quota is landed quickly (e.g., if approximately 20 percent of quota is caught at the beginning of the year), NMFS anticipates an inseason reduction (e.g., to 3 or fewer LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip), then an inseason increase to 45 LCS other than sandbar sharks per vessel per trip around July 15, 2016].
  • Non-Blacknose Small Coastal Sharks
  • Blacknose Sharks (South of 34° N. lat. only)
  • Linked (South of 34° N. lat. only) January 1, 2016 N/A
    No regional quotas Non-Sandbar LCS Research
  • Sandbar Shark Research
  • Linked January 1, 2016 N/A
    Blue Sharks
  • Porbeagle Sharks
  • Pelagic Sharks Other Than Porbeagle or Blue
  • Not Linked January 1, 2016 N/A
    Classification

    The NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that the final rule is consistent with the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and its amendments, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law.

    This final rule is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    In compliance with section 604 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), NMFS prepared a Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) for this final rule, which analyzed the adjustments to the Gulf of Mexico blacktip shark, Gulf of Mexico aggregated LCS, and blacknose shark management group quotas based on over- and/or underharvests from the previous fishing season(s). The FRFA analyzes the anticipated economic impacts of the final actions and any significant economic impacts on small entities. The FRFA is below.

    Section 604(a)(1) of the RFA requires an explanation of the purpose of the rulemaking. The purpose of this final rulemaking is, consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and its amendments, to establish the 2016 Atlantic commercial shark fishing quotas and fishing seasons. Without this rule, the Atlantic commercial shark fisheries would close on December 31, 2015, and would not open until another action was taken. This final rule will be implemented according to the regulations implementing the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and its amendments. Thus, NMFS expects few, if any, economic impacts to fishermen other than those already analyzed in the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and its amendments. While there may be some direct negative economic impacts associated with the opening dates for fishermen in certain areas, there could also be positive effects for other fishermen in the region. The opening dates were chosen to allow for an equitable distribution of the available quotas among all fishermen across regions and states, to the extent practicable.

    Section 604(a)(2) of the RFA requires NMFS to summarize significant issues raised by the public in response to the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA), provide a summary of NMFS' assessment of such issues, and provide a statement of any changes made as a result of the comments. The IRFA was done as part of the proposed rule for the 2016 Atlantic Commercial Shark Season Specifications. NMFS did not receive any comments specific to the IRFA. However, NMFS received comments related to the overall economic impacts of the proposed rule, and those comments and NMFS' assessment of and response to them are summarized above (see Comments 1 and 3 above). As described in the responses to those comments relating to the season opening dates, consistent with § 635.27(b)(3), the opening date for the all of the commercial shark fisheries will be implemented as proposed (January 1, 2016).

    Section 604(a)(4) of the RFA requires NMFS to provide an estimate of the number of small entities to which the rule would apply. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has established size criteria for all major industry sectors in the United States, including fish harvesters. The SBA size standards are $20.5 million for finfish fishing, $5.5 million for shellfish fishing, and $7.5 million for other marine fishing, for-hire businesses, and marinas (79 FR 33647; June 12, 2014). NMFS considers all HMS permit holders to be small entities because they had average annual receipts of less than $20.5 million for finfish-harvesting. The commercial shark fisheries are comprised of fishermen who hold shark directed or incidental limited access permits and the related shark dealers, all of which NMFS considers to be small entities according to the size standards set by the SBA. This final rule applies to the approximately 210 directed commercial shark permit holders (124 in the Atlantic and 86 in the Gulf of Mexico regions), 253 incidental commercial shark permit holders (153 in the Atlantic and 100 in the Gulf of Mexico regions), and 100 commercial shark dealers (71 in the Atlantic and 29 in the Gulf of Mexico regions) as of October 2015.

    Section 604(a)(5) of the RFA requires NMFS to describe the projected reporting, recordkeeping, and other compliance requirements of the final rule, including an estimate of the classes of small entities which would be subject to the requirements of the report or record. None of the actions in this final rule would result in additional reporting, recordkeeping, or compliance requirements beyond those already analyzed in the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and its amendments.

    Section 604(a)(6) of the RFA requires NMFS to describe the steps taken to minimize the economic impact on small entities, consistent with the stated objectives of applicable statutes. Additionally, the RFA (5 U.S.C. 603(c)(1)-(4)) lists four general categories of “significant” alternatives that would assist an agency in the development of significant alternatives that would accomplish the stated objectives of applicable statutes and minimize any significant economic impact of the rule on small entities. These categories of alternatives are: (1) Establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into account the resources available to small entities; (2) clarification, consolidation, or simplification of compliance and reporting requirements under the rule for such small entities; (3) use of performance rather than design standards; and (4) exemptions from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for small entities.

    In order to meet the objectives of this rule, consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act, NMFS cannot exempt small entities or change the reporting requirements only for small entities because all the entities affected are small entities. Thus, there are no alternatives discussed that fall under the first, second, and fourth categories described above. NMFS does not know of any performance or design standards that would satisfy the aforementioned objectives of this rulemaking while, concurrently, complying with the Magnuson-Stevens Act; therefore, there are no alternatives considered under the third category.

    This rulemaking does not establish management measures to be implemented, but rather implements previously adopted and analyzed measures as adjustments, as specified in the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and its amendments and the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the 2011 shark quota specifications rule (75 FR 76302; December 8, 2010). Thus, in this rulemaking, NMFS adjusted the base quotas established and analyzed in the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and its amendments by subtracting the underharvest or adding the overharvest, as specified and allowable in existing regulations. Under current regulations (§ 635.27(b)(2)), all shark fisheries close on December 31 of each year, or when NMFS determines that the fishing season landings for any shark management group has reached, or is projected to reach, 80 percent of the available quota, and do not open until NMFS takes action, such as this rulemaking to re-open the fisheries. Thus, not implementing these management measures would negatively affect shark fishermen and related small entities, such as dealers, and also would not provide management flexibility in furtherance of equitable fishing opportunities, to the extent practicable, for commercial shark fishermen in all regions and areas.

    Based on the 2014 ex-vessel price, fully harvesting the unadjusted 2016 Atlantic shark commercial baseline quotas could result in total fleet revenues of $4,583,514 (see Table 3). For the Gulf of Mexico blacktip shark management group, NMFS has increased the baseline sub-regional quotas due to the underharvests in 2015. The increase for the eastern Gulf of Mexico blacktip shark management group could result in a $8,397 gain in total revenues for fishermen in that sub-region, while the increase for the western Gulf of Mexico blacktip shark management group could result in a $77,289 gain in total revenues for fishermen in that sub-region. For the Gulf of Mexico non-blacknose SCS management group, NMFS has reduced the baseline quota due to the overharvest in 2014. This will cause a potential loss in revenue of $7,571 for the fleet in the Gulf of Mexico region. For the Atlantic blacknose shark management group, NMFS will continue to reduce the baseline quota through 2018 to account for overharvest in 2012 and will reduce the baseline quota for the next 3 years to account for overharvest in 2015. These reductions will cause a potential loss in revenue of $3,203 for the fleet in the Atlantic region.

    All of these changes in gross revenues are similar to the changes in gross revenues analyzed in the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and its amendments. The FRFAs for those amendments concluded that the economic impacts on these small entities are expected to be minimal. In the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and its amendments and the EA for the 2011 shark quota specifications rule, NMFS stated it would be conducting annual rulemakings and considering the potential economic impacts of adjusting the quotas for under- and overharvests at that time.

    Table 3—Average Ex-Vessel Prices per lb dw for Each Shark Management Group, 2014 Region Species Average ex-vessel meat price Average ex-vessel fin price Gulf of Mexico Blacktip Shark $0.50 $9.53 Aggregated LCS 0.54 10.04 Hammerhead Shark 0.48 10.21 Non-Blacknose SCS 0.36 5.84 Blacknose Shark 0.86 5.84 Atlantic Aggregated LCS 0.75 4.19 Hammerhead Shark 0.57 2.33 Non-Blacknose SCS 0.74 4.00 Blacknose Shark 0.78 4.00 No Region Shark Research Fishery (Aggregated LCS) 0.58 7.68 Shark Research Fishery (Sandbar only) 0.69 10.12 Blue shark 0.67 2.34 Porbeagle shark 1.41 2.34 Other Pelagic sharks 1.41 2.34

    For this final rule, NMFS reviewed the “opening commercial fishing season” criteria at § 635.27(b)(3)(i) through (vii) to determine when opening each fishery will provide equitable opportunities for fishermen while also considering the ecological needs of the different species. Over- and/or underharvests of 2015 and previous fishing season quotas were examined for the different species/complexes to determine the effects of the 2016 final quotas on fishermen across regional fishing areas. The potential season lengths and previous catch rates were examined to ensure that equitable fishing opportunities would be provided to fishermen. Lastly, NMFS examined the seasonal variation of the different species/complexes and the effects on fishing opportunities. In addition to these criteria, NMFS also considered other relevant factors, such as recent landings data and public comments, before arriving at the final opening dates for the 2016 Atlantic shark management groups. For the 2016 fishing season, NMFS is opening all of the shark management groups on January 1, 2016. The direct and indirect economic impacts will be neutral on a short- and long-term basis for the Gulf of Mexico blacktip shark, Gulf of Mexico aggregated LCS, Gulf of Mexico hammerhead shark, Gulf of Mexico non-blacknose shark SCS, Atlantic non-blacknose shark SCS, Atlantic blacknose shark, sandbar shark, blue shark, porbeagle shark, and pelagic shark (other than porbeagle or blue sharks) management groups, because NMFS did not change the opening dates of these fisheries from the status quo.

    Opening the aggregated LCS and hammerhead shark management groups in the Atlantic region on January 1 will result in short-term, direct, moderate, beneficial economic impacts, as fishermen and dealers in the southern portion of the Atlantic region will be able to fish for and sell aggregated LCS and hammerhead sharks starting in January. These fishermen will be able to fish earlier in the 2016 fishing season compared to the 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2015 fishing seasons, which did not start until June or July. Based on public comment, some Atlantic fishermen in the southern and northern part of the region prefer a January 1 opening for the fishery as long as the majority of the quota is available later in the year. With the implementation of the HMS electronic reporting system in 2013, NMFS now monitors the quota on a more real-time basis compared to the paper reporting system that was in place before 2013. This ability, along with the inseason retention limit adjustment criteria in § 635.24(a)(8), should allow NMFS the flexibility to further provide equitable fishing opportunities for fishermen across all regions, to the extent practicable. Depending on how quickly the quota is being harvested, NMFS will reduce the retention limits to ensure that fishermen farther north have sufficient quota for a fishery later in the 2016 fishing season. The direct impacts to shark fishermen in the Atlantic region of reducing the trip limit depend on the needed reduction in the trip limit and the timing of such a reduction. Therefore, such a reduction in the trip limit for directed shark limited access permit holders is only anticipated to have minor adverse direct economic impacts to fishermen in the short-term; long-term impacts are not anticipated as these reductions would not be permanent.

    In the northern portion of the Atlantic region, a January 1 opening for the aggregated LCS and hammerhead shark management groups, with inseason trip limit adjustments to ensure quota is available later in the season, will have direct, minor, beneficial economic impacts in the short-term for fishermen as they will potentially have access to the aggregated LCS and hammerhead shark quotas earlier than in past seasons. Fishermen in this area have stated that, depending on the weather, some aggregated LCS species might be available to retain in January. Thus, fishermen will be able to target or retain aggregated LCS while targeting non-blacknose SCS. There will be indirect, minor, beneficial economic impacts in the short- and long-term for shark dealers and other entities that deal with shark products in this region as they will also have access to aggregated LCS products earlier than in past seasons. Thus, opening the aggregated LCS and hammerhead shark management groups in January and using inseason trip limit adjustments to ensure the fishery is open later in the year in 2016 will cause beneficial cumulative economic impacts, because it allows for a more equitable distribution of the quotas among constituents in this region, consistent with the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and its amendments.

    Section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 states that, for each rule or group of related rules for which an agency is required to prepare a FRFA, the agency shall publish one or more guides to assist small entities in complying with the rule, and shall designate such publications as “small entity compliance guides.” The agency shall explain the actions a small entity is required to take to comply with a rule or group of rules. As part of this rulemaking process, NMFS has prepared a brochure summarizing fishery information and regulations for Atlantic shark fisheries for 2016. This brochure also serves as the small entity compliance guide. Copies of the compliance guide are available from NMFS (see ADDRESSES).

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.; 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: November 20, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30032 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 140117052-4402-02] RIN 0648-XE321 Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Atlantic Bluefish Fishery; Quota Transfer AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; quota transfer.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS announces that the State of North Carolina is transferring a portion of its 2015 commercial Atlantic bluefish quota to the State of New York. These quota adjustments are necessary to comply with the Bluefish Fishery Management Plan quota transfer provision. This announcement is intended to inform the public of the revised commercial quota for each state involved.

    DATES:

    Effective November 30, 2015, through December 31, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Reid Lichwell, Fishery Management Specialist, 978-281-9112.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Regulations governing the bluefish fishery are found at 50 CFR part 648. The regulations require annual specification of a commercial quota that is apportioned among the coastal states from Florida through Maine. The process to set the annual commercial quota and the percent allocated to each state are described in § 648.162.

    The final rule implementing Amendment 1 to the Bluefish Fishery Management Plan, which was published in the Federal Register on July 26, 2000 (65 FR 45844), provided a mechanism for bluefish quota to be transferred from one state to another. Two or more states, under mutual agreement and with the concurrence of the Administrator, Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator), can transfer or combine bluefish commercial quota under § 648.162(e). The Regional Administrator is required to consider the criteria in § 648.162(e)(1) in the evaluation of requests for quota transfers or combinations.

    North Carolina has agreed to transfer 250,000 lb (113,398 kg) of its 2015 commercial quota to New York. This transfer was prompted by state officials in New York to address an overage of its commercial bluefish quota and to provide sufficient quota to allow the fishery to remain open. The Regional Administrator has determined that the criteria set forth in § 648.162(e)(1) have been met. The revised bluefish quotas for calendar year 2015 are: North Carolina, 1,139,371 lb (512,727 kg); and New York, 1,094,304 lb (496,367 kg).

    Classification

    This action is taken under 50 CFR part 648 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: November 25, 2015. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30447 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 230 Tuesday, December 1, 2015 Proposed Rules NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Part 50 [Docket No. PRM-50-113; NRC-2015-0230] Uninterruptible Monitoring of Coolant and Fuel in Reactors and Spent Fuel Pools AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Petition for rulemaking; notice of docketing.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has received a petition for rulemaking (PRM) requesting that the NRC amend its “Domestic licensing of production and utilization facilities” regulations to require “installation of ex-vessel instrumentation for uninterruptible monitoring of coolant and fuel in reactors and spent-fuel pools.” The petition, dated September 10, 2015, was submitted by Dr. Alexander DeVolpi (the petitioner). The petition was docketed by the NRC on September 21, 2015, and was assigned Docket Number PRM-50-113. The NRC is examining the issues raised in this petition to determine whether they should be considered in rulemaking. The NRC is not requesting public comment on PRM-50-113 at this time.

    DATES:

    The PRM is available on December 1, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2015-0230 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this petition. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this petition by any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2015-0230. 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 in this document (if that document 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:

    For technical questions contact Jennifer Tobin, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, telephone: 301-415-2328, email: [email protected] For questions related to the petition for rulemaking process contact Anthony de Jesús, Office of Administration, telephone: 301-415-1106, email: [email protected] Both are staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. The Petitioner

    The petitioner, Dr. Alexander DeVolpi, states that he “has had a substantial technical career starting in the late 1950s in reactor safety and engineering, having worked for and been funded by U.S. nuclear development and regulatory agencies.” The petitioner notes that he has carried out relevant research and development and published supportive technical papers and filed patent applications.

    II. The Petition

    The petitioner requests that the NRC amend part 50 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), “Domestic licensing of production and utilization facilities,” to require “installation of ex-vessel instrumentation for uninterruptible monitoring of coolant and fuel in reactors and spent-fuel pools.” The petition is available in ADAMS under Package Accession No. ML15264A857.

    III. Discussion of the Petition

    The petitioner requests that the NRC amend its regulations in 10 CFR part 50 to require “installation of ex-vessel instrumentation for uninterruptible monitoring of coolant and fuel in reactors and spent-fuel pools.” The petitioner cites a 2014 National Research Council report titled, “Lessons Learned from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident for Improving Safety of U.S. Nuclear Plants,” that gave high priority to recommendation 5.1A, which stated that greater “[a]ttention to availability, reliability, redundancy, and diversity of plant systems and equipment is specifically needed for . . . Instrumentation for monitoring critical thermodynamic parameters in reactors, containments, and spent fuel pools.” 1 In addition, the petitioner cites to section 5.1.1.4 of the report, “Instrumentation for Monitoring Critical Thermodynamic Parameters,” which states that “robust and diverse monitoring instrumentation that can withstand severe accident conditions is essential for diagnosing problems, selecting and implementing accident mitigation strategies, and monitoring their effectiveness.”

    1 The report can be accessed at http://www.nap.edu/catalog/18294/lessons-learned-from-the-fukushima-nuclear-accident-for-improving-safety-of-us-nuclear-plants.

    The petitioner claims that requiring the “installation of ex-vessel instrumentation for uninterruptible monitoring of coolant and fuel in reactors and spent-fuel pools” might prevent or mitigate potential accidents at reactors and spent fuel pools. The petitioner asserts that the Three Mile Island accident “might have been prevented if realtime uninterruptible ex-vessel reactor water-level monitoring had been in place.” Furthermore, the petitioner notes that one or both of the Fukushima meltdowns “might have been delayed or averted if uninterruptible ex-vessel real-time reactor water-level monitoring had been in place and operating on self-contained low-current battery supplies.” The petitioner states that ex-vessel instrumentation “would provide autonomous and redundant measurements of reactor water level and density at all times, irrespective of power level.” The petitioner asserts that amending the NRC's regulations to require ex-vessel instrumentation would be “[c]onsistent with a more anticipatory defense-in-depth strategy” and would enhance strategies to mitigate beyond-design-basis accidents. In addition, the petitioner suggests that requiring ex-vessel instrumentation would “reduce potential financial risk and public apprehension” and that ex-vessel monitoring could “supply routine operational nuclear-process information that might enhance fuel-consumption efficiency.” Finally, the petitioner notes that ex-vessel instrumentation could be “designed to be functional and capable of providing data on fuel relocation” after a reactor shutdown and could “monitor post-accident reactor fuel reconcentration over a period of many years.”

    VI. Conclusion

    The NRC has determined that the petition meets the threshold sufficiency requirements for docketing a petition for rulemaking under 10 CFR 2.802, “Petition for rulemaking,” and the petition has been docketed as PRM-50-113. The NRC will examine the issues raised in PRM-50-113 to determine whether they should be considered in the rulemaking process.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 23rd day of November, 2015.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Annette L. Vietti-Cook, Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30355 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM 12 CFR Part 249 [Regulation WW; Docket No. 1525] RIN 7100 AE-39 Liquidity Coverage Ratio: Public Disclosure Requirements; Extension of Compliance Period for Certain Companies To Meet the Liquidity Coverage Ratio Requirements AGENCY:

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board).

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking with request for public comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Board invites public comment on a proposed rule that would implement public disclosure requirements regarding the liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) of large, internationally active banking organizations and certain smaller, less complex banking organizations. The proposed rule would apply to all depository institution holding companies and covered nonbank companies that are required to calculate the LCR (covered companies). A covered company would be required to publicly disclose on a quarterly basis quantitative information about its LCR calculation, as well as a discussion of certain features of its LCR results. The proposed rule also would amend the LCR Rule to provide a full year for certain companies to come into compliance.

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice of proposed rulemaking must be received by February 2, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    When submitting comments, please consider submitting your comments by email or fax because paper mail in the Washington, DC area and at the Board may be subject to delay. You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. R-1525, RIN 7100 AE 39, by any of the following methods:

    Agency Web site: http://www.federalreserve.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments at http://www.federalreserve.gov/generalinfo/foia/ProposedRegs.cfm.

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

    Email: [email protected] Include docket number in the subject line of the message.

    Fax: (202) 452-3819 or (202) 452-3102.

    Mail: Robert de V. Frierson, Secretary, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20551.

    All public comments are available from the Board's Web site at http://www.federalreserve.gov/generalinfo/foia/ProposedRegs.cfm as submitted, unless modified for technical reasons. Accordingly, your comments will not be edited to remove any identifying or contact information. Public comments may also be viewed electronically or in paper form in Room 3515, 1801 K Street NW. (between 18th and 19th Street NW.), Washington, DC 20006 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekdays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gwendolyn Collins, Assistant Director, (202) 912-4311, Peter Clifford, Manager, (202) 785-6057, Adam S. Trost, Senior Supervisory Financial Analyst, (202) 452-3814, J. Kevin Littler, Senior Supervisory Financial Analyst, (202) 475-6677, SoRelle Peat, Financial Analyst, (202) 452-2543, Risk Policy, Division of Banking Supervision and Regulation; Dafina Stewart, Counsel, (202) 452-3876, or Adam Cohen, Counsel, (202) 912-4658, Legal Division, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th and C Streets NW., Washington, DC 20551. For the hearing impaired only, Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD), (202) 263-4869.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents I. Overview of Proposed Rule A. LCR Rule B. Proposed LCR Disclosure Requirements II. Quantitative Disclosure Requirements A. Disclosure of Eligible HQLA B. Disclosure of Cash Outflows C. Disclosure of Cash Inflows D. Disclosure of HQLA Amount, Total Net Cash Outflow Amount, Maturity Mismatch Add-on, and Liquidity Coverage Ratio III. Qualitative Disclosure Requirements IV. Frequency of Disclosure V. Transition and Timing VI. Amendment to the Modified LCR VII. Plain Language VIII. Regulatory Flexibility Act IX. Paperwork Reduction Act I. Overview of Proposed Rule A. LCR Rule

    On September 3, 2014, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (collectively, the agencies) adopted a final rule (LCR Rule) to implement a quantitative liquidity requirement, the liquidity coverage ratio 1 (LCR), for certain companies. The LCR is designed to promote the short-term resilience of the liquidity risk profile of large and internationally active banking organizations, thereby improving the financial sector's ability to absorb shocks arising from financial and economic stress, and to further improve the measurement and management of liquidity risk. The LCR Rule requires a company subject to the rule to maintain an amount of high-quality liquid assets (HQLA) (the numerator of the ratio) 2 that is no less than 100 percent of its total net cash outflows over a prospective 30 calendar-day period of stress (the denominator of the ratio).3

    1 79 FR 61440 (October 10, 2014). The LCR is consistent with the liquidity coverage ratio standard established by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (Basel III Liquidity Framework). See Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, “Basel III: The Liquidity Coverage Ratio and liquidity risk monitoring tools” (January 2013), available at http://www.bis.org/publ/bcbs238.htm.

    2 A company's HQLA amount is calculated according to 12 CFR 249.21.

    3 A company's total net cash outflows is calculated according to 12 CFR 249.30 or 249.63.

    The LCR Rule applies to large and internationally active banking organizations, generally, (1) bank holding companies, certain savings and loan holding companies, and depository institutions that, in each case, have $250 billion or more in total consolidated assets or $10 billion or more in on-balance sheet foreign exposure; (2) depository institutions with $10 billion or more in total consolidated assets that are consolidated subsidiaries of such bank holding companies and savings and loan holding companies; and (3) nonbank financial companies designated by the Financial Stability Oversight Council for Board supervision to which the Board has applied the LCR Rule by rule or order. The LCR Rule also applies, via a final rule adopted by the Board (modified LCR Rule) that implemented a modified LCR requirement (modified LCR), to bank holding companies and certain savings and loan holding companies that, in each case, have $50 billion or more in total consolidated assets but that do not meet the threshold for large and internationally active firms (modified LCR holding companies). Community banking organizations are not subject to the LCR Rule.

    B. Proposed LCR Disclosure Requirements

    One of the key lessons of the recent financial crisis was that market participants did not have adequate access to information about the liquidity risk profiles of large banking organizations. In the Supplementary Information to the LCR Rule, the agencies indicated their plans to seek comment on “instructions pertaining to a covered company's disclosure of the final rule's LCR.” 4 Such public disclosures would facilitate transparency and help to promote market discipline by providing investors and other stakeholders with comparable information about the liquidity risk profiles of those companies.

    4 79 FR 61440, 61445 (October 10, 2014).

    The proposed rule would apply to the following companies subject to the LCR Rule: (1) All bank holding companies and certain savings and loan holding companies that, in each case, have $250 billion or more in total consolidated assets or $10 billion or more in on-balance sheet foreign exposure; (2) nonbank financial companies designated by the Financial Stability Oversight Council for Board supervision to which the Board has applied the LCR Rule by rule or order (covered nonbank company); 5 and (3) modified LCR holding companies (collectively, covered companies). The proposed rule would not apply to depository institutions.

    5 At this time, General Electric Capital Corporation is the only nonbank financial company designated by the Financial Stability Oversight Council for Board supervision to which the Board has applied the LCR Rule. See 80 FR 4411 (July 24, 2015).

    The proposed rule would require a covered company to publicly disclose information about certain components of its LCR calculation in a standardized tabular format (LCR disclosure template) and discuss certain features of its LCR results.6 Under the proposed rule, a covered company would be required to provide timely public disclosures, including the LCR disclosure template, each calendar quarter in a direct and prominent manner on its public internet site or in a public financial or other public regulatory report. Such disclosures would need to remain available to the public for at least five years from the time of initial disclosure.7

    6 The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) published liquidity coverage ratio disclosure standards in January 2014 and revised the standards in March 2014 (BCBS disclosure standards). Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, “Liquidity coverage ratio disclosure standards” (March 2014), available at http://www.bis.org/publ/bcbs272.htm. The BCBS disclosure standards include a common disclosure template (BCBS common template) intended to improve the transparency of regulatory liquidity requirements, enhance market discipline, and reduce uncertainty in the markets. This proposed rule would implement public disclosure requirements that are consistent with the BCBS disclosure standards and the BCBS common template with some modifications to require more granularity and to reflect ways in which the LCR Rule differs from the BCBS standard. The differences between the proposed rule and the BCBS disclosure standards relate primarily to the enhancements implemented in the LCR Rule. The disclosure requirements contained in the proposed rule generally will ensure comparability of components of the liquidity coverage ratio calculations on an international basis.

    7 Although the proposed rule would apply only to covered companies, in the future the Board, along with the other agencies, may develop a different or modified reporting form that would be required for both covered companies and depository institutions subject to the LCR Rule. The Board anticipates that it would solicit public comment on any such new reporting form.

    Each of the proposed disclosure requirements is designed to highlight important aspects of a covered company's liquidity position. Public disclosure of information about covered company LCR calculations would help market participants and other parties consistently assess the liquidity risk profile of covered companies. In designing the proposed disclosure requirements, the Board has considered the burden of the proposed disclosures relative to the public interest served by requiring their disclosure. All the required quantitative disclosures reflect data that covered companies are already required to compute under the LCR Rule. Moreover, the disclosure requirements for a discussion of certain features of covered companies' LCR results largely reflect information that covered companies already should have prepared to meet the liquidity risk management standards and practices required by the agencies through other applicable liquidity regulations and described in guidance. The Board invites comment on all aspects of the proposed rule, including what changes, if any, could improve the clarity and utility of the disclosure.

    II. Quantitative Disclosure Requirements

    As noted above, under the proposed rule, a covered company would be required to publicly disclose certain components of its LCR calculation in a standardized tabular format. The proposed standardized tabular format will help market participants compare the LCRs of covered companies across the U.S. banking industry and international jurisdictions.

    The proposed LCR disclosure template is similar to a common disclosure template developed by the BCBS; however as discussed in more detail in sections II.A through II.D of this Supplementary Information, the proposed rule reflects differences between the LCR Rule and the Basel III Liquidity Framework.

    The proposed rule includes a number of requirements designed to help ensure the comparability of data across companies. Under the proposed rule, a covered company would be required to calculate all disclosed amounts as simple averages of the components used to calculate its daily LCR over a quarterly reporting period, except that modified LCR holding companies would be required to calculate all disclosed amounts as simple averages of the components used to calculate their monthly modified LCR. In addition, a covered company would be required to calculate all disclosed amounts on a consolidated basis; express the results in millions of U.S. dollars or as a percentage, as applicable; and clearly indicate the date range covered by the disclosure by indicating the beginning and end-date of the reporting period on the LCR disclosure template. The proposed rule would require a covered company to disclose both average unweighted amounts and average weighted amounts for the covered company's HQLA, cash outflow amounts, and cash inflow amounts. The proposed rule includes cross-references to the applicable sections of the LCR Rule and to each numbered row of the proposed LCR disclosure template.

    1. What, if any, unintended consequences might result from a covered company publicly disclosing its LCR and the components used to calculate its LCR, specifically in terms of liquidity risk? A. Disclosure of Eligible HQLA

    The proposed rule, like the BCBS common template, would require a covered company to disclose its average eligible HQLA.8 In addition, the proposed rule would require disclosure of the average amounts of a covered company's eligible HQLA that qualify as eligible level 1, level 2A, and level 2B liquid assets to assist market participants and other parties to assess the quality and composition of a covered company's HQLA amount.9

    8 Eligible HQLA are high-quality liquid assets that meet the requirements set forth in 12 CFR 249.22.

    9See 12 CFR 249.20 and 249.22.

    The proposed rule would require the disclosure of both average unweighted amounts and average weighted amounts of eligible HQLA and each of its component levels of assets (i.e., level 1, level 2A, and level 2B liquid assets). The average unweighted amounts would be calculated prior to applying the haircuts required under 12 CFR 249.21(b) to the asset amounts. The average weighted amounts would be calculated after applying the haircuts required under 12 CFR 249.21(b) to the asset amounts.

    B. Disclosure of Cash Outflows

    The proposed rule would require a covered company to disclose its cash outflows, including both the average unweighted amounts and average weighted amounts. This information is important to understand the ongoing funding risks facing a firm, and in particular, potential sources of strain during a 30 calendar-day period of market volatility. The average unweighted amounts of cash outflows would be calculated prior to applying the outflow rates specified in 12 CFR 249.32. The average weighted amounts of cash outflows would be calculated after the application of the outflow rates specified in 12 CFR 249.32.

    The proposed disclosure requirements for cash outflows are consistent with the BCBS common template, with a few modifications. First, the proposed rule adjusts some of the cash outflow category titles from those in the BCBS common template for consistency with the terminology used in the LCR Rule. For example, the proposed rule would have an outflow title that includes “unconsolidated structured transactions” and “mortgage commitments” because those items are separate outflow provisions in the LCR Rule.

    Second, in the Supplementary Information section of the LCR Rule, the agencies explained that certain types of retail brokered deposits could result in greater liquidity risks and, as a result, the LCR Rule provides outflow rates tailored to these types of retail brokered deposits in 12 CFR 249.32(g).10 Given the LCR Rule's treatment of retail brokered deposits, the proposed rule would require the unweighted and weighted average amounts of cash outflows from retail brokered deposits to be disclosed separately from other retail deposits.

    10See 79 FR 61440, 61490-61494.

    Third, the proposed rule would require disclosure of both the average unweighted and average weighted amounts of secured wholesale funding (e.g., repurchase agreements) and asset exchange outflows as specified in 12 CFR 249.32(j). Although the BCBS common template includes only disclosure of the weighted amount of secured wholesale funding, disclosure of the average unweighted value will allow market participants and other parties to better understand the composition of assets supporting these types of transactions.

    C. Disclosure of Cash Inflows

    The proposed rule would require a covered company to disclose its cash inflows, including both average unweighted amounts and average weighted amounts. As with information regarding cash outflows, information regarding cash inflows is important to understand the ongoing funding risks facing a firm. Similar to the requirements for cash outflows, the average unweighted amounts of cash inflows would be calculated prior to applying the inflow rates specified in 12 CFR 249.33. The average weighted amounts of cash inflows would be calculated after the application of the inflow rates specified in 12 CFR 249.33.

    The proposed disclosure requirements for cash inflows are similar to the BCBS common template, with a few modifications. As with outflows, the proposed rule adjusts some of the cash inflow category titles from those used in the BCBS common template to make the terminology consistent with the LCR Rule and to disaggregate certain categories. For instance, the proposed rule would require “net derivative cash inflow,” “securities cash inflow,” “broker-dealer segregated account inflow,” and “other cash inflow” amounts each to be disclosed separately. In contrast, these inflow amounts are aggregated in the BCBS common template.

    D. Disclosure of HQLA Amount, Total Net Cash Outflow Amount, Maturity Mismatch Add-on, and Liquidity Coverage Ratio

    The proposed rule would require a covered company to disclose its average HQLA amount, average total net cash outflow amount, and the average LCR as measured over the quarterly reporting period. A covered company's HQLA amount and total net cash outflow amount are the numerator and the denominator of the LCR, respectively, and thus, are important to help market participants and other parties understand the liquidity risk profile of a covered company and compare profiles across companies.

    A covered company is required to calculate its HQLA amount pursuant to 12 CFR 249.21. The HQLA amount is equal to the covered company's eligible HQLA, minus the appropriate amount to comply with the caps on the inclusion of certain assets as specified in the LCR Rule.

    A covered company is required to calculate its total net cash outflow amount pursuant to 12 CFR 249.30. In order to determine a covered company's total net cash outflow amount, the LCR Rule requires covered companies, except modified LCR holding companies, to calculate a maturity mismatch add-on under 12 CFR 249.30(b) to address liquidity risks posed by maturity mismatches between a covered company's outflows and inflows during the 30 calendar-day period.11 To show the effect of the maturity mismatch add-on calculation on the total net cash outflow amount, the proposed rule would require separate disclosure of this calculation. Because a modified LCR holding company is not required to calculate a maturity mismatch add-on, these companies are not subject to the requirement to disclose the maturity mismatch add-on calculation.

    11 In order to calculate the maturity mismatch add-on, a covered company first must identify the largest single-day maturity mismatch within the 30 calendar-day LCR period by calculating the daily difference in cumulative outflows and inflows that have set maturity dates, as specified by 12 CFR 249.31, within the 30 calendar-day period. The day with the largest difference reflects the net cumulative peak day. The covered company then must calculate the difference between that peak day amount and the net cumulative outflow amount on the last day of the 30 calendar-day period for those same outflow and inflow categories that have maturity dates within the 30 calendar-day period. This difference equals the maturity mismatch add-on.

    Pursuant to § 249.63 of the modified LCR Rule (12 CFR 249.63) a modified LCR holding company is required to calculate its total net cash outflow by multiplying its net cash outflow by a factor of 0.7. Consistent with this calculation of the modified LCR, the proposed rule would require a modified LCR holding company to disclose its average cash outflows and inflows before applying the factor of 0.7, but to disclose its average total net cash outflow after applying the factor of 0.7.

    Under the proposed rule, the average values disclosed for HQLA amount, total net cash outflow amount, and the LCR (rows 29, 32, and 33) may not equal the calculation of those values using component values reported in rows 1 through 28. This lack of equivalence is due to technical factors such as the application of the level 2 liquid asset caps, the total inflow cap, and for modified LCR holding companies, the application of the 0.7 factor to total net cash outflows. The application of the asset and inflow caps and modified LCR 0.7 factor may affect a covered company's LCR calculation in varying degrees across the calculation dates used to determine the average values that would be disclosed in rows 29, 32, and 33, and thus, would affect the averages for the HQLA amount, total net cash outflow amount, and the LCR. The proposed LCR disclosure template includes a footnote that would highlight this difference.

    III. Qualitative Disclosure Requirements

    The proposed rule would require a covered company to provide a discussion of certain features of its LCR results, which is consistent with the BCBS disclosure standards. The discussion of a covered company's LCR results will facilitate an understanding by market participants and other parties of the covered company's LCR and certain components used to calculate its LCR. A covered company's discussion of its LCR results may include, but does not have to be limited to, the following items: (1) The main drivers of the LCR results; (2) changes in the LCR results over time; (3) the composition of eligible HQLA; (4) concentration of funding sources; (5) derivative exposures and potential collateral calls; (6) currency mismatch in the LCR; (7) the covered company's centralized liquidity management function and its interaction with other functional areas of the covered company; and (8) other inflows and outflows in the LCR that are not specifically identified by the required quantitative disclosures, but that the covered company considers to be relevant to facilitate an understanding of its liquidity risk profile. The proposed rule also would require that a covered company provide a brief discussion of any significant changes that occur such that current or previous quantitative disclosures are no longer reflective of a covered company's current liquidity risk profile.

    IV. Frequency of Disclosure

    The proposed rule would require a covered company to provide timely public disclosures after each calendar quarter. Disclosure on a quarterly basis is appropriate to meet the objectives of the public disclosure requirements by providing information that will help market participants and other parties assess the liquidity risk profiles of covered companies over the previous quarter while not destabilizing covered companies, which could occur with more frequent public disclosure such as daily disclosure. The Board acknowledges that the timing of disclosures under the federal banking laws may not always coincide with the timing of disclosures required under other federal law, including disclosures required under the federal securities laws and their implementing regulations by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). For calendar quarters that do not correspond to a covered company's fiscal year-end, the Board would consider those disclosures that are made within 45 days of the end of the calendar quarter (or within 60 days for the limited purpose of the covered company's first reporting period in which it is subject to the proposed rule's disclosure requirements) as timely. In general, where a covered company's fiscal year-end coincides with the end of a calendar quarter, the Board considers disclosures to be timely if they are made no later than the applicable SEC disclosure deadline for the corresponding Form 10-K annual report. In cases where a covered company's fiscal year-end does not coincide with the end of a calendar quarter, the Board would consider the timeliness of disclosures on a case-by-case basis.

    This approach to timely disclosures is consistent with the approach to public disclosures that the Board has taken in the context of other regulatory reporting and disclosure requirements. For example, the Board has used the same indicia of timeliness with respect to the public disclosures required under its regulatory capital rules.12

    12See 78 FR 62018, 62129 (October 11, 2013).

    2. Under what circumstances, if any, should the Board require more frequent or less frequent disclosures of a covered company's LCR and certain components used to calculate its LCR? What negative effects may result should the Board require a covered company to disclose qualitative or quantitative information about its LCR or certain components used to calculate its LCR with 30 days prior written notice? V. Transition and Timing

    For covered companies that currently are subject to the LCR Rule, the proposed effective dates for the proposed public disclosure requirements would differ based on the size, complexity, and potential systemic impact of those companies. The proposed rule would require covered companies that have $700 billion or more in total consolidated assets or $10 trillion or more in assets under custody and that are subject to the transition period in 12 CFR 249.50(a) to comply with the proposed public disclosure requirements beginning on July 1, 2016. Other covered companies (that are subject to the transition period in 12 CFR 249.50(b)) would be required to comply with the proposed public disclosure requirements on July 1, 2017. These proposed compliance dates would provide covered companies that are currently subject to the LCR Rule one year from the date that the covered companies are required to calculate their LCR on a daily basis to comply with the proposed public disclosure requirements. In addition, for modified LCR holding companies, the proposed rule would require the covered companies to comply with the public disclosure requirements on January 1, 2018. This proposed compliance date would provide modified LCR holding companies that are currently subject to the modified LCR Rule one year from the date that the modified LCR holding companies are required to calculate and maintain, on a monthly basis, an LCR equal to or greater than 1.0, to comply with the proposed public disclosure requirements.

    For a covered company that becomes subject to the LCR Rule pursuant to 12 CFR 249.1(b)(2)(ii) after the effective date of the rule, the covered company would be required to make its first disclosures for the reporting period that starts on the date the company is required to begin to comply with the LCR Rule, which would be three months after the date that the covered company becomes subject to the LCR Rule under 12 CFR 249.1(b)(1). During the time such company is required to calculate the LCR monthly pursuant to 12 CFR 249.1(b)(2)(ii),13 the company would be required to calculate all disclosed amounts as simple averages of the components used to calculate its monthly LCR over a quarterly reporting period. For a modified LCR holding company that becomes subject to the modified LCR Rule pursuant to 12 CFR 249.60(c)(2) 14 after the effective date of the modified LCR Rule, the proposed rule would require the company to comply with the public disclosure requirements 18 months after the date it becomes subject to the modified LCR Rule. For example, if a modified holding company becomes subject to the modified LCR Rule beginning in December 2016, the proposed rule would require that company to comply with public disclosure requirements beginning July 1, 2018.

    13 Under 12 CFR 249.1(b)(2)(ii), a covered company that becomes subject to the LCR Rule after the rule's effective date must calculate the LCR on a monthly basis from April 1 to December 31 of the year in which the covered company becomes subject to the LCR Rule, and thereafter the covered company must calculate the LCR on a daily basis.

    14 As discussed in section VI below, the proposed rule provides that modified LCR holding companies that become subject to the modified LCR Rule after the rule's effective date will have a full year to comply with the rule.

    VI. Amendment to the Modified LCR

    For a modified LCR holding company that becomes subject to the modified LCR Rule after the rule's effective date, subpart G of the rule currently applies on the first day of the first quarter after which the company's total consolidated assets equal $50 billion or more. This compliance date may not provide sufficient time for these companies to build the systems required to calculate the modified LCR. In light of this operational challenge, the Board proposes to amend the modified LCR Rule to provide these companies with a full year to come into compliance with the rule.

    3. What, if any, particular operational challenges remain given the proposed one-year extension to the compliance date for modified LCR holding companies that become newly subject to the modified LCR Rule? VII. Plain Language

    Section 722 of the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act 15 requires the Board to use plain language in all proposed and final rules published after January 1, 2000. The Board invites your comments on how to make this proposal easier to understand. For example:

    15 Public Law 106-102, 113 Stat. 1338, 1471, 12 U.S.C. 4809.

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

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

    • Does the proposed rule contain language or jargon that is not clear? If so, which language requires clarification?

    • Would a different format (grouping and order of sections, use of headings, paragraphing) make the proposed rule easier to understand? If so, what changes to the format would make the proposed rule easier to understand?

    • What else could the Board do to make the regulation easier to understand?

    VIII. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act 16 (RFA), requires an agency to either provide an initial regulatory flexibility analysis with a proposed rule for which a general notice of proposed rulemaking is required or to certify that the proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities (defined for purposes of the RFA to include banks with assets less than or equal to $550 million). In accordance with section 3(a) of the RFA, the Board is publishing an initial regulatory flexibility analysis with respect to the proposed rule. Based on its analysis and for the reasons stated below, the Board believes that this proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Nevertheless, the Board is publishing an initial regulatory flexibility analysis. A final regulatory flexibility analysis will be conducted after comments received during the public comment period have been considered.

    16 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.

    As discussed above, the proposed rule would establish a public disclosure requirement for the LCR applicable to all top-tier depository institution holding companies and nonbank financial companies required to calculate the LCR. The proposed rule would require a covered company to publicly disclose on a quarterly basis quantitative information about certain components of its LCR calculation in a standardized tabular format and a discussion of certain features of its LCR results.

    Under regulations issued by the Small Business Administration, a “small entity” includes a depository institution, bank holding company, or savings and loan holding company with total assets of $550 million or less (a small banking organization). As of June 30, 2015, there were approximately 628 small state member banks, 3,676 small bank holding companies, and 257 small savings and loan holding companies.

    The proposed rule would not apply to “small entities” and would apply only to (1) bank holding companies and certain savings and loan holding companies that, in each case, have $250 billion or more in total consolidated assets or $10 billion or more in on-balance sheet foreign exposure and (2) nonbank financial companies designated by the Financial Stability Oversight Council for Board supervision to which the Board has applied the LCR Rule by rule or order. The proposed rule also would apply to bank holding companies and certain savings and loan holding companies with $50 billion or more in total consolidated assets, which are subject to the modified LCR Rule. Companies that are subject to the proposed rule therefore substantially exceed the $550 million asset threshold at which a banking entity is considered a “small entity” under SBA regulations.

    As noted above, because the proposed rule is not likely to apply to any company with assets of $550 million or less, if adopted in final form, it is not expected to apply to any small entity for purposes of the RFA. The Board is aware of no other Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with the proposed rule. In light of the foregoing, the Board does not believe that the proposed rule, if adopted in final form, would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities supervised and therefore believes that there are no significant alternatives to the proposed rule that would reduce the economic impact on small banking organizations supervised by the Board.

    The Board welcomes comment on all aspects of its analysis. A final regulatory flexibility analysis will be conducted after consideration of comments received during the public comment period.

    IX. Paperwork Reduction Act

    Certain provisions of the proposed rule contain “collection of information” requirements within the meaning of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521). In accordance with the requirements of the PRA, the Board may not conduct or sponsor, and the respondent is not required to respond to, an information collection unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. The Board's OMB control number is 7100-0367 and will be extended, with revision. The Board reviewed the proposed rule under the authority delegated to the Board by OMB. The proposed rule contains requirements subject to the PRA. The disclosure requirements are found in §§ 249.66, 249.90, and 249.91.

    Comments are invited on:

    (a) Whether the collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the Board's functions, including whether the information has practical utility;

    (b) The accuracy of the estimates of the burden of the information collections, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    (c) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected;

    (d) Ways to minimize the burden of the information collections 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.

    All comments will become a matter of public record. Commenters may submit comments on aspects of this notice that may affect burden estimates at the addresses listed in the ADDRESSES section. A copy of the comments may also be submitted to the OMB desk officer by mail to U.S. Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street NW., Room 10235, Washington, DC 20503; by facsimile to 202-395-6974; or by email to [email protected] Attention, Federal Banking Agency Desk Officer.

    Proposed Information Collection

    Title of Information Collection: Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Disclosure Requirements Associated with the Liquidity Risk Measurement Standards (Regulation WW).

    Frequency of Response: Event generated, quarterly.

    Affected Public: Insured state member banks, bank holding companies, savings and loan holding companies, and nonbank financial companies supervised by the Board, and any subsidiary thereof.

    Abstract: The proposed rule would require a depository institution holding company and nonbank financial company subject to the LCR (covered company) to publicly disclose information about certain components of its LCR calculation in a standardized tabular format and include a discussion of certain features its LCR results. Public disclosure of information about covered company LCR calculations would help market participants and other parties consistently assess the liquidity risk profile of covered companies. Under the proposed rule, a covered company would be required to provide timely public disclosures each calendar quarter. A covered company would be required to include the completed disclosure template on its public internet site or in a public financial or other public regulatory report and make its disclosures available to the public for at least five years from the time of the initial disclosure.

    A covered company must publicly disclose the information required under subpart J beginning on July 1, 2016, if the covered company is subject to the transition period under § 249.50(a) or July 1, 2017, if the covered company is subject to the transition period under § 249.50(b). For modified LCR holding companies, the proposed rule would require them to comply with the public disclosure requirements beginning on January 1, 2018.

    Under the proposed rule, quantitative disclosures will convey information about a covered company's high-quality liquid assets and short-term cash flows, thereby providing insight into a covered company's liquidity risk profile. Consistent with the BCBS common template, the proposed rule would require a covered company to disclose both average unweighted amounts and average weighted amounts for the covered company's HQLA, cash outflow amounts, and cash inflow amounts. A covered company would also be required to calculate all disclosed amounts as simple averages of the components used to calculate its daily LCR over a quarterly reporting period, except that modified LCR holding companies would be required to calculate all disclosed amounts as simple averages of the components used to calculate their monthly modified LCR. A covered company would be required to calculate all disclosed amounts on a consolidated basis and express the results in millions of U.S. dollars or as a percentage, as applicable.

    In addition, the proposed rule would require a covered company to provide a discussion of certain features of its LCR results. A covered company's qualitative discussion may include, but does not have to be limited to, the following items: (1) The main drivers of the LCR results; (2) changes in the LCR results over time; (3) the composition of eligible HQLA; (4) concentration of funding sources; (5) derivative exposures and potential collateral calls; (6) currency mismatch in the LCR; (7) the covered company's centralized liquidity management function and its interaction with other functional areas of the covered company; and (8) other inflows and outflows in the LCR that are not specifically identified by the required quantitative disclosures, but that the covered company considers to be relevant to facilitate an understanding of its liquidity risk profile. The proposed rule also would require that a covered company provide a brief discussion of any significant changes that occur such that current or previous quantitative disclosures are no longer reflective of a covered company's current liquidity risk profile.

    Estimated Paperwork Burden

    Estimated Burden per Response: Reporting—0.25 hours; recordkeeping—10 hours and 100 hours; disclosure—24 hours.

    Frequency: Reporting—monthly, quarterly, and annual; recordkeeping—annual; disclosure—quarterly.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 42.

    Current Total Estimated Annual Burden: Reporting—13 hours; recordkeeping—1,140 hours.

    Proposed Total Estimated Annual Burden: Reporting—13 hours; recordkeeping—1,140 hours; disclosure—4,032 hours.

    List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 249

    Administrative practice and procedure; Banks, banking; Federal Reserve System; Holding companies; Liquidity; Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Authority and Issuance

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Board proposes to amend part 249 of chapter II of title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    PART 249—LIQUIDITY RISK MEASUREMENT STANDARDS (REGULATION WW) 1. The authority citation for part 249 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 248(a), 321-338a, 481-486, 1467a(g)(1), 1818, 1828, 1831p-1, 1831o-1, 1844(b), 5365, 5366, 5368.

    2. Amend § 249.60 by revising paragraph (c)(2) to read as follows:
    § 249.60 Applicability.

    (c) * * *

    (2) A Board-regulated institution that first meets the threshold for applicability of this subpart under paragraph (a) of this section after September 30, 2014, must comply with the requirements of this subpart one year after the date it meets the threshold set forth in paragraph (a).

    3. Add § 249.64 to subpart G to read as follows:
    § 249.64 Disclosures.

    (a) Effective January 1, 2018, a covered depository institution holding company subject to this subpart must publicly disclose the information required under subpart J of this part each calendar quarter, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section.

    (b) Effective 18 months after a covered depository institution holding company first becomes subject to this subpart pursuant to § 249.60(c)(2), the covered depository institution holding company must provide the disclosures required under subpart J of this part each calendar quarter.

    Subparts H and I [Reserved] 4. Add reserved subparts H and I. 5. Add subpart J, consisting of §§ 249.90 and 249.91, to read as follows: Subpart J—Disclosures Sec. 249.90 Timing, method and retention of disclosures. 249.91 Disclosure requirements.
    § 249.90 Timing, method and retention of disclosures.

    (a) Applicability. A covered depository institution holding company or covered nonbank company that is subject to the minimum liquidity standards and other requirements of this part under § 249.1, must publicly disclose all the information required under this subpart.

    (b) Timing of disclosure. (1) A covered depository institution holding company or covered nonbank company subject to this subpart must provide timely public disclosures each calendar quarter of all the information required under this subpart.

    (2) A covered depository institution holding company or covered nonbank company subject to this subpart must provide the disclosures required by this subpart for the reporting period beginning on:

    (i) July 1, 2016, and thereafter if the covered depository institution holding company is subject to the transition period under § 249.50(a); or

    (ii) July 1, 2017, and thereafter if the covered depository institution holding company or covered nonbank holding company is subject to the transition period under § 249.50(b).

    (3) A covered depository institution holding company or covered nonbank company that is subject to the minimum liquidity standard and other requirements of this part pursuant to § 249.1(b)(2)(ii), must provide the disclosures required by this subpart for the first reporting period beginning no later than the date they are first required comply with the requirements of this part pursuant to § 249.1(b)(2)(ii).

    (c) Disclosure method. A covered depository institution holding company or covered nonbank company subject to this subpart must publicly disclose, in a direct and prominent manner, the information required under this subpart on its public internet site or in its public financial or other public regulatory reports.

    (d) Availability. The disclosures provided under this subpart must remain publicly available for at least five years after the initial disclosure date.

    § 249.91 Disclosure requirements.

    (a) General. A covered depository institution holding company or covered nonbank company subject to this subpart must publicly disclose the information required by paragraph (b) of this section in the format provided in the following table.

    Table 1 to § 249.91(a)—Disclosure Template XX/XX/XXXX to YY/YY/YYYY
  • In millions of U.S. Dollars
  • Average
  • unweighted
  • amount
  • Average
  • weighted
  • amount
  • HIGH-QUALITY LIQUID ASSETS 1. Total eligible high-quality liquid assets (HQLA), of which: 2. Eligible level 1 liquid assets 3. Eligible level 2A liquid assets 4. Eligible level 2B liquid assets CASH OUTFLOW AMOUNTS 5. Deposit outflow from retail customers and counterparties, of which: 6. Stable retail deposit outflow 7. Other retail funding 8. Brokered deposit outflow 9. Unsecured wholesale funding outflow, of which: 10. Operational deposit outflow 11. Non-operational funding outflow 12. Unsecured debt outflow 13. Secured wholesale funding and asset exchange outflow 14. Additional outflow requirements, of which: 15. Outflow related to derivative exposures and other collateral requirements 16. Outflow related to credit and liquidity facilities including unconsolidated structured transactions and mortgage commitments 17. Other contractual funding obligation outflow 18. Other contingent funding obligations outflow 19. TOTAL CASH OUTFLOW CASH INFLOW AMOUNTS 20. Secured lending and asset exchange cash inflow 21. Retail cash inflow 22. Unsecured wholesale cash inflow 23. Other cash inflows, of which: 24. Net derivative cash inflow 25. Securities cash inflow 26. Broker-dealer segregated account inflow 27. Other cash inflow 28. TOTAL CASH INFLOW Average amount1 29. HQLA AMOUNT 30. TOTAL NET CASH OUTFLOW AMOUNT EXCLUDING THE MATURITY MISMATCH ADD-ON 31. MATURITY MISMATCH ADD-ON 32. TOTAL NET CASH OUTFLOW AMOUNT 33. LIQUIDITY COVERAGE RATIO (%) 1 The amounts reported in this column may not equal the calculation of those amounts using component amounts reported in rows 1-28 due to technical factors such as the application of the level 2 liquid asset caps, the total inflow cap, and for depository institution holding companies subject to subpart G of this part, the application of the modification to total net cash outflows.

    (b) Calculation of disclosed average amounts—(1) General. (i) A covered depository institution holding company or covered nonbank company subject to this subpart must calculate its disclosed average amounts:

    (A) On a consolidated basis and presented in millions of U.S. dollars or as a percentage, as applicable; and

    (B) With the exception of amounts disclosed pursuant to paragraphs (c)(1), (5), (9), (14), (19), (23), and (28) of this section, as simple averages of daily calculations over a quarterly reporting period;

    (ii) A covered depository institution holding company that is required to calculate its liquidity coverage ratio on a monthly basis pursuant to § 249.61, must calculate its disclosed average amounts as provided in paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section, except that those amounts must be calculated as simple averages of monthly calculations over a quarterly reporting period;

    (iii) A covered depository institution holding company or covered nonbank company subject to this subpart must disclose the beginning date and end date for each quarterly reporting period.

    (2) Calculation of average unweighted amounts. (i) A covered depository institution holding company or covered nonbank company subject to this subpart must calculate the average unweighted amount of HQLA as the average amount of eligible HQLA that meet the requirements specified in §§ 249.20 and 249.22 and is calculated prior to applying the haircuts required under § 249.21(b) to the amounts of eligible HQLA.

    (ii) A covered depository institution holding company or covered nonbank company subject to this subpart must calculate the average unweighted amount of cash outflows and cash inflows before applying the outflow and inflow rates specified in §§ 249.32 and 249.33, respectively.

    (3) Calculation of average weighted amounts. (i) A covered depository institution holding company or covered nonbank company subject to this subpart must calculate the average weighted amount of high-quality liquid assets after applying the haircuts required under § 249.21(b) to the amounts of eligible HQLA.

    (ii) A covered depository institution holding company or covered nonbank company subject to this subpart must calculate the average weighted amount of cash outflows and cash inflows after applying the outflow and inflow rates specified in §§ 249.32 and 249.33, respectively.

    (c) Quantitative disclosures. A covered depository institution holding company or covered nonbank company subject to this subpart must disclose all the information required under Table 1 to § 249.91(a)—Disclosure Template, including:

    (1) The sum of the average unweighted amounts and average weighted amounts reported under paragraphs (c)(2) through (4) of this section (row 1);

    (2) The average unweighted amount and average weighted amount of level 1 liquid assets that are eligible HQLA under § 249.21(b)(1) (row 2);

    (3) The average unweighted amount and average weighted amount of level 2A liquid assets that are eligible HQLA under § 249.21(b)(2) (row 3);

    (4) The average unweighted amount and average weighted amount of level 2B liquid assets that are eligible HQLA under § 249.21(b)(3) (row 4);

    (5) The sum of the average unweighted amounts and average weighted amounts of cash outflows reported under paragraphs (c)(6) through (8) of this section (row 5);

    (6) The average unweighted amount and average weighted amount of cash outflows under § 249.32(a)(1) (row 6);

    (7) The average unweighted amount and average weighted amount of cash outflows under § 249.32(a)(2) through (5) (row 7);

    (8) The average unweighted amount and average weighted amount of cash outflows under § 249.32(g) (row 8);

    (9) The sum of the average unweighted amounts and average weighted amounts of cash outflows reported under paragraphs (c)(10) through (12) of this section (row 9);

    (10) The average unweighted amount and average weighted amount of cash outflows under § 249.32(h)(3) and (4) (row 10);

    (11) The average unweighted amount and average weighted amount of cash outflows under § 249.32(h)(1), (2), and (5), excluding paragraph (h)(2)(ii) (row 11);

    (12) The average unweighted amount and average weighted amount of cash outflows under § 249.32(h)(2)(ii) (row 12);

    (13) The average unweighted amount and average weighted amount of cash outflows under § 249.32(j) and (k) (row 13);

    (14) The sum of the average unweighted amounts and average weighted amounts of cash outflows reported under paragraphs (c)(15) and (16) of this section (row 14);

    (15) The average unweighted amount and average weighted amount of cash outflows under § 249.32(c) and (f) (row 15);

    (16) The average unweighted amount and average weighted amount of cash outflows under § 249.32(b), (d), and (e) (row 16);

    (17) The average unweighted amount and average weighted amount of cash outflows under § 249.32(l) (row 17);

    (18) The average unweighted amount and average weighted amount of cash outflows under § 249.32(i) (row 18);

    (19) The sum of average unweighted amounts and average weighted amounts of cash outflows reported under paragraphs (c)(5), (9), (13), (14), (17), and (18) of this section (row 19);

    (20) The average unweighted amount and average weighted amount of cash inflows under § 249.33(f) (row 20);

    (21) The average unweighted amount and average weighted amount of cash inflows under § 249.33(c) (row 21);

    (22) The average unweighted amount and average weighted amount of cash inflows under § 249.33(d) (row 22);

    (23) The sum of average unweighted amounts and average weighted amounts of cash inflows reported under paragraphs (c)(24) through (27) of this section (row 23);

    (24) The average unweighted amount and average weighted amount of cash inflows under § 249.33(b) (row 24);

    (25) The average unweighted amount and average weighted amount of cash inflows under § 249.33(e) (row 25);

    (26) The average unweighted amount and average weighted amount of cash inflows under § 249.33(g) (row 26);

    (27) The average unweighted amount and average weighted amount of cash inflows under § 249.33(h) (row 27);

    (28) The sum of average unweighted amounts and average weighted amounts of cash inflows reported under paragraphs (c)(20) through (23) of this section (row 28);

    (29) The average amount of the HQLA amounts as calculated under § 249.21(a) (row 29);

    (30) The average amount of the total net cash outflow amounts excluding the maturity mismatch add-on as calculated under § 249.30(a)(1) and (2) (row 30);

    (31) The average amount of the maturity mismatch add-ons as calculated under § 249.30(b) (row 31);

    (32) The average amount of the total net cash outflow amounts as calculated under § 249.30 or § 249.63, as applicable (row 32);

    (33) The average of the liquidity coverage ratios as calculated under § 249.10(b) (row 33).

    (d) Qualitative disclosures. (1) A covered depository institution holding company or covered nonbank company subject to this subpart must provide a qualitative discussion of its liquidity coverage ratio results. The qualitative discussion may include, but does not have to be limited to the following items to the extent they are significant to the liquidity coverage ratio results of the covered depository institution holding company or covered nonbank company, and facilitate an understanding of the data provided:

    (i) The main drivers of the liquidity coverage ratio results;

    (ii) Changes in the liquidity coverage ratio results over time;

    (iii) The composition of eligible HQLA;

    (iv) Concentration of funding sources;

    (v) Derivative exposures and potential collateral calls;

    (vi) Currency mismatch in the liquidity coverage ratio;

    (vii) The centralized liquidity management function of the covered depository institution holding company or covered nonbank company and its interaction with other functional areas of the covered depository institution holding company or covered nonbank company; or

    (viii) Other inflows, outflows, or other factors in the liquidity coverage ratio calculation that are not captured in the disclosures required by paragraph (b) of this section, but which the covered depository institution holding company or covered nonbank company considers to be relevant to facilitate an understanding of its liquidity risk profile.

    (2) If a significant change occurs such that the disclosed amounts or previously disclosed amounts are no longer reflective of the current liquidity profile of the covered depository institution holding company or covered nonbank company, then the company must provide a brief discussion of this change and its likely impact.

    By order of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, November 20, 2015. Robert deV. Frierson, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30095 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 433 RIN 3084-AB16 Rules and Regulations Under the Trade Regulation Rule Concerning Preservation of Consumers' Claims and Defenses AGENCY:

    Federal Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Request for public comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Trade Commission (“Commission”) requests public comment on the overall costs and benefits, and regulatory and economic impact, of its Rules and Regulations under the Trade Regulation Rule Concerning Preservation of Consumers' Claims and Defenses, commonly known as the “Holder Rule,” as part of the agency's regular review of all its regulations and guides.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before February 12, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties may file a comment online or on paper, by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write “Holder Rule Review, FTC File No. P164800” on your comment. You may file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/holderrule by following the instructions on the Web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, mail it to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex B), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor Suite 5610 (Annex B), Washington, DC 20024.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Stephanie Rosenthal (202) 326-3332, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20580.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    On November 14, 1975, the Commission promulgated its Trade Regulation Rule concerning the Preservation of Consumers' Claims and Defenses. The Holder Rule protects consumers who enter into credit contracts with a seller of goods or services by preserving their right to assert claims and defenses against any holder of the contract, even if the original seller subsequently assigns the contract to a third-party creditor or assignee. It requires sellers that arrange for or offer credit to finance consumers' purchases to include the following Notice in their contracts:

    ANY HOLDER OF THIS CONSUMER CREDIT CONTRACT IS SUBJECT TO ALL CLAIMS AND DEFENSES WHICH THE DEBTOR COULD ASSERT AGAINST THE SELLER OF GOODS OR SERVICES OBTAINED . . . WITH THE PROCEEDS HEREOF. RECOVERY HEREUNDER BY THE DEBTOR SHALL NOT EXCEED AMOUNTS PAID BY THE DEBTOR HEREUNDER.1

    1 16 CFR 433.2.

    A creditor or assignee of the contract is thus subject to any claims or defenses that the consumer could assert against the seller. II. Regulatory Review Program

    The Commission periodically reviews all of its rules and guides. These reviews seek information about the costs and benefits of the agency's rules and guides, and their regulatory and economic impact. The information obtained assists the Commission in identifying those rules and guides that warrant modification or rescission. Therefore, the Commission now solicits comments on, among other things, the economic impact of and the continuing need for the Holder Rule; possible developments in the case law that need to be reflected in the Holder Rule; and the effect on the Holder Rule of any regulatory, technological, economic, or other industry changes.

    III. Request For Comment

    The Commission solicits comment on the following specific questions related to the Holder Rule:

    (1) Is there a continuing need for the Holder Rule as currently promulgated? Why or why not?

    (2) What benefits has the Holder Rule provided to consumers? What evidence supports the asserted benefits?

    (3) What modifications, if any, should the Commission make to the Holder Rule to increase its benefits to consumers?

    (a) What evidence supports the proposed modifications?

    (b) How would these modifications affect the costs and benefits of the Holder Rule for consumers?

    (c) How would these modifications impact businesses, particularly small businesses?

    (4) What impact has the Holder Rule had on the flow of truthful information to consumers and on the flow of deceptive information to consumers?

    (5) What significant costs, if any, has the Holder Rule imposed on consumers? What evidence supports the asserted costs?

    (6) What modifications, if any, should be made to the Holder Rule to reduce any costs imposed on consumers?

    (a) What evidence supports your proposed modifications?

    (b) How would these modifications affect the costs and benefits of the Holder Rule for consumers?

    (c) How would these modifications affect the costs and benefits of the Holder Rule for businesses, particularly small businesses?

    (7) What benefits, if any, has the Holder Rule provided to businesses, and in particular to small businesses? What evidence supports the asserted benefits?

    (8) What modifications, if any, should be made to the Holder Rule to increase the benefits to businesses, and particularly to small businesses?

    (a) What evidence supports your proposed modifications?

    (b) How would these modifications affect the costs and benefits of the Holder Rule for consumers?

    (c) How would these modifications affect the costs and benefits of the Holder Rule for businesses?

    (9) What significant costs, if any, including costs of compliance, has the Holder Rule imposed on businesses, particularly small businesses? What evidence supports the asserted costs?

    (10) What modifications, if any, should be made to the Holder Rule to reduce the costs imposed on businesses, and particularly on small businesses?

    (a) What evidence supports your proposed modifications?

    (b) How would these modifications affect the costs and benefits of the Rule for consumers?

    (c) How would these modifications affect the costs and benefits of the Holder Rule for businesses?

    (11) What evidence is available concerning the degree of industry compliance with the Holder Rule? Does this evidence indicate that the Rule should be modified? If so, why, and how? If not, why not?

    (12) Are any of the Holder Rule's requirements no longer needed? If so, explain. Please provide supporting evidence.

    (13) What modifications, if any, should be made to the Holder Rule to account for changes in relevant technology or economic conditions?

    (a) What evidence supports the proposed modifications?

    (b) How would these modifications affect the costs and benefits of the Holder Rule for consumers and businesses, particularly small businesses?

    (14) Does the Holder Rule overlap or conflict with other federal, state, or local laws or regulations? If so, how?

    (a) What evidence supports the asserted conflicts?

    (b) With reference to the asserted conflicts, should the Holder Rule be modified? If so, why, and how? If not, why not?

    (15) Are there foreign or international laws, regulations, or standards with respect to the products or services covered by the Holder Rule that the Commission should consider as it reviews the Holder Rule? If so, what are they?

    (a) Should the Holder Rule be modified in order to harmonize with these foreign or international laws, regulations, or standards? If so, why, and how? If not, why not?

    (b) How would such harmonization affect the costs and benefits of the Holder Rule for consumers and businesses, particularly small businesses?

    IV. Instructions for Submitting Comments

    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before February 12, 2016. Write “Holder Rule Review, FTC File No. P164800” on your comment. Your comment, including your name and your state, will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, on the public Commission Web site, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/publiccomments.shtm. As a matter of discretion, the Commission tries to remove individuals' home contact information from comments before placing them on the Commission Web site.

    Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive personal information, like anyone's Social Security number, date of birth, driver's license number or other state identification number or foreign country equivalent, passport number, financial account number, or credit or debit card number. You are also solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive health information, such as medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, do not include any “[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information which is . . . privileged or confidential,” as discussed in Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2). In particular, do not include competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names.

    If you want the Commission to give your comment confidential treatment, you must file it in paper form, with a request for confidential treatment, and you must follow the procedure explained in FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c). In particular, the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comments to be withheld from the public record. Your comment will be kept confidential only if the FTC General Counsel, in his or her sole discretion, grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest.

    Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit your comments online. To make sure that the Commission considers your online comment, you must file it at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/holderrule, by following the instructions on the Web-based form. If this Notice appears at http://www.regulations.gov/#!home, you also may file a comment through that Web site.

    If you file your comment on paper, write “Holder Rule Review, FTC File No. P164800” on your comment and on the envelope, and mail it to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex B), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor Suite 5610 (Annex B), Washington, DC 20024. If possible, submit your paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service.

    Visit the Commission Web site at http://www.ftc.gov to read this Notice and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives on or before February 12, 2016. For information on the Commission's privacy policy, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, see http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.htm.

    By direction of the Commission.

    Donald S. Clark, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30359 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
    CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 1028 Protection of Human Subjects AGENCY:

    Consumer Product Safety Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking; extension of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    On September 8, 2015, the federal departments and agencies subject to the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects (referred to as the “Common Rule”) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPR”) amending the Common Rule. Separately, on September 24, 2015, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC” or “Commission”) proposed to adopt the Common Rule NPR by amending the Commission's regulations. The comment period for the Common Rule NPR is being extended; therefore, CPSC is extending the comment period for its proposed rule, accordingly.

    DATES:

    The comment period for the CPSC's NPR published on September 24, 2015 (80 FR 57549), is extended by 30 days and thus will end on January 6, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket ID number HHS-OPHS-2015-0008, by one of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Enter the above docket ID number in the “Enter Keyword or ID” field and click on “Search.” On the next Web page, click on “Submit a Comment” action and follow the instructions.

    Mail/Hand delivery/Courier [For paper, disk, or CD-ROM submissions] to: Jerry Menikoff, M.D., J.D., OHRP, 1101 Wootton Parkway, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20852.

    Comments received, including any personal information, will be posted without change to www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Hope E. J. Nesteruk, Human Factors Engineer, Division of Human Factors, Directorate for Engineering Sciences, Consumer Product Safety Commission, 5 Research Place, Rockville, MD 20850; telephone: 301-987-2579; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Since the Common Rule NPR was published on September 8, 2015 (80 FR 53933), participating departments and agencies have received requests to extend the comment period to allow sufficient time for a full review of the proposed rule. Accordingly, the comment period for the Common Rule NPR published on September 8, 2015, has been extended and will end on January 6, 2016. Along with the other participating departments and agencies subject to the Common Rule, the CPSC provides notice that the comment period on the CPSC's NPR published on September 24, 2015 (80 FR 57549), has been extended to afford the public an additional opportunity to comment through the process set forth in the ADDRESSES section of this document.

    Dated: November 25, 2015. Todd A. Stevenson, Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30407 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6355-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 110 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0729] Port of Miami Anchorage Area; Atlantic Ocean, Miami Beach, FL AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of study; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    U.S. Coast Guard Sector Miami received a study from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative (SEFCRI) concluding that the Miami Anchorage could be changed to reduce threats to protected coral and its habitat. The study indicated that the Miami Anchorage could be divided into two separate anchorage areas to reduce threats to protected coral while also facilitating the safe anchorage of shallow and deep draft vessels. The Coast Guard requests comments from interested persons regarding a possible modification of the Miami Anchorage based on the SEFCRI study.

    DATES:

    All comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before February 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2015-0729 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.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions about this document, call or email LT Ruth Sadowitz, Sector Miami Waterways Division Chief at 305-535-4307 or email at [email protected]

    I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register SEFCRI Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative U.S.C. United States Code II. Background and Purpose

    South Florida is home to numerous threatened and endangered marine species, including hard and soft corals. These corals are routinely damaged by standard maritime activities such as anchoring. Damage to corals not only affects the survivability of individual corals but may have a cumulative impact on the marine ecosystem as a whole.

    The Coast Guard establishes anchorage areas in order facilitate use of the navigable waterways by both recreational and commercial vessels. Anchorage areas ensure safe navigation, and protection of life and the environment. The Coast Guard previously established an anchorage area in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, east of Miami Beach, Florida.

    In 2008, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative (SECFRI) in coordination with the Anchorage Working Group (AWG) and the Coast Guard began working on methods to reduce damage to coral in the Miami Anchorage area. SECFRI completed a study indicating that it may be appropriate to change the Miami Anchorage area. The revision to the Miami Anchorage described below would break the anchorage into two authorized anchorage zones, a western anchorage and a larger eastern anchorage. We believe such a change would continue to ensure safe navigation in and around the Port of Miami while preserving imperiled species in the marine environment.

    III. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We encourage you to submit comments on the change to the Miami Anchorage area described in the SECFRI study. SECFRI's study will be available on the docket and can be accessed on the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for the following docket number: USCG-2015-0729. We will consider all submissions in helping us to determine whether we should initiate a rulemaking to amend our existing Miami Anchorage regulation. If you submit a comment, please include the docket number, indicate the specific aspect of the change described in SECFRI study to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation.

    Please 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 publication, and all public comments, will be 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 or other material is added to the docket, including all documents published by the Coast Guard related to this request for comments.

    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).

    Please provide comments regarding the possible change listed below. In addition, please provide comments regarding potential impacts of this possible change and/or other concerns that you may have regarding the Miami Anchorage.

    SECFRI's study concludes that the current Miami Anchorage established by coordinates in 33 CFR 110.188 (Atlantic Ocean off Miami and Miami Beach, FL) could be amended to mitigate threats to coral habitat and ensure that no vessels anchored in the area would damage protected coral bottom. The amended coordinates would establish two anchorages with a combined area of approximately 1.5 square miles and reduce the total anchorage area by approximately 3 square nautical miles. The amended anchorage areas would be established with the following coordinates:

    Small Western Anchorage [Approximate water depths: 45 ft] NW Corner 80° 5′37.225″ N 25° 47′57.687″ W. NE Corner 80° 5′26.466″ N 25° 47′57.341″ W. SE Corner 80° 5′27.069″ N 25° 46′31.443″ W. SW Corner 80° 5′37.868″ N 25° 46′31.557″ W. Large Eastern Anchorage [Approximate water depths: 120 ft] NW Corner 80° 4′59.155″ N 25° 48′13.841″ W. NE Corner 80° 4′4.582″ N 25° 48′4.617″ W. SE Corner 80° 4′28.387″ N 25° 46′32.712″ W. SW Corner 80° 4′59.775″ N 25° 46′32.767″ W Authority:

    This notice is issued under authority of 5 U.S.C. 552(a).

    Dated: November 24, 2015. S.A. Buschman, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Seventh Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30406 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service 36 CFR Part 7 [NPS-ROMO-19562; PPIMROMO6P PPMPSAS1Z.YP0000] RIN 1024-AE31 Special Regulations, Areas of the National Park System, Rocky Mountain National Park AGENCY:

    National Park Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; notice of determination.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Park Service proposes to amend the special regulations for Rocky Mountain National Park to allow bicycle use on a 2-mile segment of the East Shore Trail located within the park. A portion of this 2-mile segment will require trail construction activities to accommodate bicycles and is therefore considered a new trail that will be opened to bicycles. National Park Service regulations require promulgation of a special regulation to designate new trails for bicycle use off park roads and outside developed areas. National Park Service regulations require publication of notice in the Federal Register providing the public at least 30 days to review and comment on a written determination supporting bicycle use on an existing trail.

    DATES:

    Comments on the proposed rule and the notice of determination must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST on February 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) 1024-AE31, by either of the following methods:

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

    Mail or hand deliver to: Superintendent, Rocky Mountain National Park, 1000 U.S. Highway 36, Estes Park, CO 80517.

    Instructions: Comments will not be accepted by fax, email, or in any way other than those specified above. All submissions received must include the words “National Park Service” or “NPS” and must include the docket number or RIN (1024-AE31) for this rulemaking. Comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Larry Gamble, Chief of Planning and Compliance, Rocky Mountain National Park, 1000 U.S. Highway 36, Estes Park, CO 80517. Phone (970) 586-1320. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    Rocky Mountain National Park (park) was established in 1915 and is located in north central Colorado. The approximate 265,761-acre park contains spectacular scenery that includes majestic mountains, lakes, rivers, forests, meadows, and abundant wildlife. The East Shore Trail is an existing hiking trail that runs roughly north/south along the east shore of Shadow Mountain Lake near the town of Grand Lake, Colorado. The entire trail is 6.2 miles long and ends at the southern boundary of the park. The East Shore Trailhead is located south of the town of Grand Lake. The trailhead and the first 0.7 miles of the trail are located on land administered by the U.S. Forest Service as part of the Arapaho National Recreation Area. Bicycle use is currently permitted only on this 0.7-mile section of the trail. The remaining 5.5 miles of the East Shore Trail are located within the park. Hiking and fishing access to the lake are allowed along the trail. The proposed rule applies to the northernmost 2-mile segment of the East Shore Trail within the park extending north from Shadow Mountain Dam to the park boundary. Within this 2-mile segment, livestock (horses, mules, and llamas) are permitted on the northernmost 0.9 mile of the trail, which is also part of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. The 2-mile segment of the East Shore Trail corridor within the park is bounded on the west by Shadow Mountain Lake and on the east by designated wilderness.

    In January 2014, the National Park Service (NPS) published the East Shore Trail Environmental Assessment (EA). The EA evaluates (i) the suitability of the trail for bicycle use; and (ii) life cycle maintenance costs, safety considerations, methods to prevent or minimize user conflict, and methods to protect natural and cultural resources and mitigate impacts associated with bicycle use on the trail. After a public review period, the Regional Director of the Intermountain Region signed a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) in February 2015 that selected the preferred alternative (Alternative B) described in the EA.

    At the same time that the Regional Director signed the FONSI, the Superintendent signed a written determination concluding that bicycle use on the 2-mile trail segment is consistent with the protection of the park area's natural, scenic and aesthetic values, safety considerations and management objectives, and would not disturb wildlife or park resources. This written determination is attached to the FONSI and appears on page 15 of that document. The FONSI concludes that a 1.75-mile section of the trail is an “existing trail” under 36 CFR 4.30 and that bicycle use on that section of the trail will have no significant impacts. Bicycle use therefore may be authorized on that section of the trail after the written determination is published in the Federal Register with a minimum 30-day public review and comment period, after consideration of any comments submitted on the written determination, and after the Regional Director approves the written determination. The FONSI separately concludes that, due to rerouting and trail modifications, a 0.25-mile section of the trail that has not yet been constructed is a “new trail” under 36 CFR 4.30 and therefore requires promulgation of a special regulation before allowing bicycle use on this portion of the trail. The NPS has determined that, instead of publishing two documents in the Federal Register (notice of the written determination and this proposed rule), it would be more efficient to consolidate both documents into a single one, publish a single document in the Federal Register, and allow the public 60 days to comment at the same time on both the written determination for the 1.75-mile section of existing trail and the proposed rule that would allow the Superintendent to designate all or portions of the 2-mile segment of the East Shore Trail for bicycle use.

    The EA, FONSI, and written determination, which contain a full description of the purpose and need for taking action, scoping, the alternatives considered, maps, and the environmental impacts associated with the project, may be viewed on the park's planning Web site at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/romo, by clicking on the link entitled “East Shore Trail Environmental Assessment” and then clicking on the link entitled “Document List.”

    Proposed Rule

    This proposed rule would implement the selected action in the FONSI and authorize the Superintendent to designate bicycle use on a 2-mile segment of the East Shore Trail within the park. This segment of the trail extends north from Shadow Mountain Dam to the park boundary. To accommodate bicycle use, a 0.25-mile section of the existing trail will be rerouted to improve public safety, to avoid sensitive natural and cultural resources, and to provide for sustainability of the trail. NPS regulations at 36 CFR 4.30 require a rulemaking to implement this decision because a portion of the rerouted trail will require trail construction activities and is located in an undeveloped area. Bicycle use would not be authorized by the Superintendent until the rerouted trail segments are completed. Rerouting is expected to be completed by 2017.

    The proposed rule would add a new paragraph (f) to section 7.7—Special Regulations, Areas of the National Park System for Rocky Mountain National Park. The proposed rule would require the Superintendent to notify the public of any designation of the trail for bicycle use through one or more of the methods listed in 36 CFR 1.7, and identify the designation on maps available in the office of the Superintendent and other places convenient to the public.

    The rule would also authorize the superintendent to establish closures, conditions, or restrictions for bicycle use on designated routes in accordance with 36 CFR 4.30(f).

    Compliance With Other Laws, Executive Orders and Department Policy Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

    Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget will review all significant rules. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has determined that this rule is not significant.

    Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of Executive Order 12866 while calling for improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. The executive order directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with regulatory objectives. Executive Order 13563 emphasizes further that regulations must be based on the best available science and that the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open exchange of ideas. We have developed this rule in a manner consistent with these requirements.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This rule will not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). This certification is based on information contained in the economic analyses found in the report entitled “Benefit-Cost and Regulatory Flexibility Analyses: East Shore Trail at Rocky Mountain National Park” which is available online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/romo by clicking on the link entitled “East Shore Trail Environmental Assessment” and then clicking on the link entitled “Document List.”

    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This rule:

    (a) Does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more.

    (b) Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government agencies, or geographic regions.

    (c) Does not have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    This rule does not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector of more than $100 million per year. The rule does not have a significant or unique effect on State, local or tribal governments or the private sector. It addresses public use of national park lands, and imposes no requirements on other agencies or governments. A statement containing the information required by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) is not required.

    Takings (Executive Order 12630)

    This rule does not effect a taking of private property or otherwise have takings implications under Executive Order 12630. A takings implication assessment is not required.

    Federalism (Executive Order 13132)

    Under the criteria in section 1 of Executive Order 13132, the rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism summary impact statement. This proposed rule only affects use of federally-administered lands and waters. It has no outside effects on other areas. A Federalism summary impact statement is not required.

    Civil Justice Reform (Executive Order 12988)

    This rule complies with the requirements of Executive Order 12988. This rule:

    (a) Meets the criteria of section 3(a) requiring that all regulations be reviewed to eliminate errors and ambiguity and be written to minimize litigation; and

    (b) Meets the criteria of section 3(b)(2) requiring that all regulations be written in clear language and contain clear legal standards.

    Consultation With Indian Tribes (Executive Order 13175 and Department Policy)

    The Department of the Interior strives to strengthen its government-to-government relationship with Indian Tribes through a commitment to consultation with Indian tribes and recognition of their right to self-governance and tribal sovereignty. We have evaluated this rule under the criteria in Executive Order 13175 and under the Department's tribal consultation policy and have determined that tribal consultation is not required because the rule will have no substantial direct effect on federally recognized Indian tribes. Nevertheless, the NPS mailed a letter on April 18, 2013 inviting input specifically from affiliated Native American tribes and offering to arrange a site visit. No response was received.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not contain information collection requirements, and a submission to the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act is not required. We may not conduct or sponsor and you are not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    National Environmental Policy Act

    We have prepared the EA to determine whether this rule will have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. This rule would not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. A detailed statement under the National Environmental Policy Act is not required because we reached a FONSI. A copy of the EA and FONSI can be found online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/romo by clicking on the link entitled “East Shore Trail Environmental Assessment” and then clicking on the link entitled “Document List.”

    Effects on the Energy Supply (Executive Order 13211)

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

    Clarity of This Rule

    We are required by Executive Orders 12866 (section 1(b)(12)) and 12988 (section 3(b)(1)(B)), and 13563 (section 1(a)), and by the Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, to write all rules in plain language. This means that each rule we publish must:

    (a) Be logically organized;

    (b) Use the active voice to address readers directly;

    (c) Use common, everyday words and clear language rather than jargon;

    (d) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and

    (e) Use lists and tables wherever possible.

    If you feel that we have not met these requirements, send us comments by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. To better help us revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as possible. For example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections or paragraphs that you find unclear, which sections or sentences are too long, the sections where you feel lists or tables would be useful, etc.

    Drafting Information

    The primary authors of this regulation are Larry Gamble of Rocky Mountain National Park, Jay Calhoun, Regulations Program Specialist, National Park Service, and Andee Sears of the Alaska Regional Office.

    Public Participation

    It is the policy of the Department of the Interior, whenever practicable, to afford the public an opportunity to participate in the rulemaking process. Accordingly, interested persons may submit written comments regarding this proposed rule by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document.

    Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    List of Subjects in 36 CFR Part 7

    National parks, Reporting and Recordkeeping requirements.

    In consideration of the foregoing, the National Park Service proposes to amend 36 CFR part 7 as set forth below:

    PART 7—SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM 1. The authority citation for part 7 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    54 U.S.C. 100101, 100751, 320102; Sec. 7.96 also issued under D.C. Code 10-137 and D.C. Code 50-2201.07.

    2. Add paragraph (f) to § 7.7 to read as follows:
    § 7.7 Rocky Mountain National Park.

    (f) Bicycle Use on the East Shore Trail. The Superintendent may designate all or portions of a 2-mile segment of the East Shore Trail, extending north from Shadow Mountain Dam to the park boundary, as open to bicycle use. A map showing portions of the East Shore Trail open to bicycle use will be available at park visitor centers and posted on the park Web site. The Superintendent will provide notice of all bicycle route designations in accordance with § 1.7 of this chapter. The superintendent may limit, restrict, or impose conditions on bicycle use, or close any trail to bicycle use, or terminate such conditions, closures, limits, or restrictions in accordance with § 4.30 of this chapter.

    Dated: November 19, 2015. Karen Hyun, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30348 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-EJ-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 52, 78, and 97 [EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0500; FRL-9939-17-OAR] Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Update for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of public hearing.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing a public hearing to be held for the proposed rule “Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Update for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS” which will publish in the Federal Register. The hearing will be held on Thursday, December 17, 2015, in Washington, DC.

    DATES:

    The public hearing will be held on December 17, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The public hearing will be held at the Environmental Protection Agency, William Jefferson Clinton East Building, Main Floor Room 1153, 1201 Constitution Avenue NW. in Washington, DC 20460. The public hearing will convene at 9:00 a.m. EST and continue until 8:00 p.m. EST or one hour after the last registered speaker has spoken, whichever is earlier. The EPA will make every effort to accommodate all speakers that arrive and register. Because this hearing is being held at a U.S. government facility, individuals planning to attend the hearing should be prepared to show valid picture identification to the security staff in order to gain access to the meeting room. No large signs will be allowed in the building, cameras may only be used outside of the building, and demonstrations will not be allowed on federal property for security reasons. The EPA Web site for the rulemaking, which includes the proposal and information about the public hearing, can be found at: http://www2.epa.gov/airmarkets/proposed-cross-state-air-pollution-update-rule.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you would like to present oral testimony at the public hearing, please register online at http://www2.epa.gov/airmarkets/proposed-cross-state-air-pollution-update-rule or contact Ms. Gabrielle Stevens, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Atmospheric Programs, Clean Air Markets Division, (MS 6204-M), 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460, telephone (202) 343-9252, fax number (202) 343-2359, email address: [email protected] (preferred method for registering), no later than 2 business days prior to the public hearing. The last day to register will be Tuesday, December 15, 2015. If using email, please provide the following information: Time you wish to speak (morning, afternoon, evening), name, affiliation, address, email address, and telephone and fax numbers.

    Questions concerning the proposed “Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Update for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS” should be addressed to Mr. David Risley, U.S. EPA, Office of Atmospheric Programs, Clean Air Markets Division, (MS-6204 M), 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number (202) 343-9177, email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This public hearing provides the public with an opportunity to present oral comments regarding EPA's proposed Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Update for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS, which proposes Federal Implementation Plans that identify and limit emissions of nitrogen oxides in 23 eastern states that affect the ability of downwind states to attain and maintain compliance with the 2008 ozone national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS).

    Public hearing: The proposal for which EPA is holding the public hearing will be published in the Federal Register and also in docket EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0500 and is available at http://www2.epa.gov/airmarkets/proposed-cross-state-air-pollution-update-rule. The public hearing will provide interested parties the opportunity to present data, views, or arguments concerning the proposal. The EPA may ask clarifying questions during the oral presentations, but will not respond to the presentations at that time. Written statements and supporting information submitted during the comment period will be considered with the same weight as any oral comments and supporting information presented at the public hearing.

    Commenters should notify Ms. Stevens if they will need specific equipment, or if there are other special needs related to providing comments at the hearings. The EPA will provide equipment for commenters to show overhead slides or make computerized slide presentations if we receive special requests in advance. Oral testimony will be limited to 5 minutes for each commenter. The EPA encourages commenters to provide EPA with a copy of their oral testimony electronically (via email or CD) or in hard copy form.

    The hearing schedules, including lists of speakers, will be posted on EPA's Web site http://www2.epa.gov/airmarkets/proposed-cross-state-air-pollution-update-rule. Verbatim transcripts of the hearings and written statements will be included in the docket for the rulemaking.

    EPA will make every effort to follow the schedule as closely as possible on the day of the hearing; however, please plan for the hearing to run either ahead of schedule or behind schedule.

    How can I get copies of this document and other related information?

    The EPA has established a docket for the proposed “Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Update for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS” under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0500 (available at www.regulations.gov).

    Dated: November 24, 2015. Sarah Dunham, Director, Office of Atmospheric Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30489 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 63 [EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234; FRL-9939-45-OAR] RIN 2060-AS76 Supplemental Finding That It Is Appropriate and Necessary To Regulate Hazardous Air Pollutants From Coal- and Oil-Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed supplemental finding and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is soliciting comment on a proposed supplemental finding that consideration of cost does not alter the agency's previous conclusion that it is appropriate and necessary to regulate coal- and oil-fired electric utility steam generating units (EGUs) under section 112 of the Clean Air Act (CAA). In light of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Michigan v. EPA, 135 S.Ct. 2699 (2015), the EPA has taken cost into account in evaluating whether such regulation is appropriate. In this document, the EPA sets forth its proposed supplemental finding and requests comment on all aspects of that finding and the supporting legal memorandum in the docket for this action. This proposed supplemental finding, if finalized after consideration of comments, will conclude that coal- and oil-fired EGUs are properly included on the CAA section 112(c) list of sources that must be regulated under CAA section 112(d).

    DATES:

    Comments. Comments must be received on or before January 15, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments. Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234 at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the Web, Cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and Docket ID No. (EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234). The EPA's policy is to include all comments received without change, including any personal information provided, in the public docket, available online at http://www.regulations.gov, unless the comment includes information claimed to be CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through http://www.regulations.gov or email. Send or deliver information identified as CBI only to the following address: OAQPS Document Control Officer (C404-02), Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, U.S. EPA, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711, Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information on a disk or CD-ROM that you mail to the EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD-ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD-ROM the specific information you claim as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as CBI, you must submit a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI for inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.

    The EPA requests that you also submit a separate copy of your comments to the contact person identified below (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT). If the comment includes information you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected, you should send a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI or otherwise protected.

    The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means the EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to the EPA without going through http://www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, the EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If the EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, the EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available (e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute). Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the EPA Docket Center, EPA WJC West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the Air Docket is (202) 566-1742. Visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm for additional information about the EPA's public docket.

    In addition to being available in the docket, an electronic copy of this proposed supplemental finding will be available on the World Wide Web (WWW). Following signature, a copy of the proposed supplemental finding will be posted at the following address: http://www3.epa.gov/mats/actions.html.

    Public Hearing: A public hearing will be held if requested by December 6, 2015 to accept oral comments on this proposed action. The hearing will be held, if requested, on December 16, 2015 at the EPA's North Carolina Campus located at 109 T.W. Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711. The hearing, if requested, will begin at 9:00 a.m. (local time) and will conclude at 1:00 p.m. (local time). To request a hearing, to register to speak at a hearing, or to inquire if a hearing will be held, please contact Ms. Virginia Hunt at (919) 541-0832 or by email at [email protected] The last day to pre-register to speak at a hearing, if one is held, will be December 14, 2015. Additionally, requests to speak will be taken the day of the hearing at the hearing registration desk, although preferences on speaking times may not be able to be fulfilled. Please note that registration requests received before the hearing will be confirmed by the EPA via email.

    Please note that any updates made to any aspect of the hearing, including whether or not a hearing will be held, will be posted online at http://www3.epa.gov/mats/actions.html. We ask that you contact Ms. Virginia Hunt at (919) 541-0832 or by email at [email protected] or monitor our Web site to determine if a hearing will be held. The EPA does not intend to publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing any such updates. Please go to http://www3.epa.gov/mats/actions.html for more information on the public hearing.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Nick Hutson, Energy Strategies Group, Sector Policies and Programs Division (D243-01), U.S. EPA, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711; telephone number (919) 541-2968, facsimile number (919) 541-5450; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Organization of This Document. The information presented in this document is organized as follows:

    I. General Information A. Executive Summary B. Does this action apply to me? C. The Limited Scope of This Action II. Hazards to Public Health and the Environment From HAP Emitted by EGUs III. Cost Consideration Under CAA Section 112(n)(1) IV. Considerations of Cost A. Introduction B. Consideration of Cost to the Power Sector C. Other Costs D. Incorporating Cost Into the Appropriate Finding V. Consideration of the Benefit-Cost Analysis in the MATS RIA A. Introduction B. Background on Benefit-Cost Analyses C. Consideration of HAP Benefits D. Consideration of Total Benefits and Benefit-Cost Comparisons E. Conclusions Regarding the Benefit-Cost Analysis VI. Conclusion VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks H. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations K. Determination Uunder CAA Section 307(d) VIII. Statutory Authority I. General Information A. Executive Summary

    The EPA is requesting comment on this proposed supplemental finding that including a consideration of cost does not alter the agency's previous determination that it is appropriate and necessary to regulate coal- and oil-fired EGUs under section 112 of the CAA. In light of the U.S. Supreme Court (Supreme Court) decision in Michigan v. EPA, 135 S.Ct. 2699 (2015), the EPA has taken cost into account in evaluating whether such regulation is appropriate and has determined that including such consideration does not alter the EPA's original conclusion that it is appropriate to regulate hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emissions from EGUs. This proposed supplemental finding, if made final after consideration of public comments, will conclude that coal- and oil-fired EGUs are properly included on the CAA section 112(c) list of sources that must be regulated under CAA section 112(d).

    The EPA issued national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP) for coal- and oil-fired electric utility units, known as the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards or “MATS,” on February 16, 2012. Almost 12 years earlier, on December 20, 2000, the EPA determined, pursuant to CAA section 112(n)(1)(A), that it was appropriate and necessary to regulate coal- and oil-fired EGUs under CAA section 112 and added such units to the CAA section 112(c) list of sources that must be regulated under CAA section 112(d). (December 2000 Finding; 65 FR 79825.) The appropriate and necessary finding was based primarily on consideration of the Utility Study Report to Congress (Utility Study),1 the Mercury Study Report to Congress (Mercury Study),2 the National Academies of Science's Toxicological Effects of Methylmercury (NAS Study),3 and mercury data collected from coal-fired EGUs after completion of the studies. 65 FR 79826. After consideration of this information, the EPA found that it was appropriate to regulate HAP emissions from EGUs because such emissions pose significant hazards to public health and the environment and also because the EPA determined that there were available controls to effectively reduce mercury and other HAP emissions from EGUs. 64 FR 79825, 79830/2. The EPA found that it was necessary to regulate HAP emissions from EGUs because implementation of the other requirements of the CAA would not adequately address the serious hazards to public health and the environment posed by HAP emissions from EGUs and because CAA section 112 is the authority intended to regulate HAP emissions from stationary sources. Id.

    1 U.S. EPA. 1998. Study of Hazardous Air Pollutant Emissions from Electric Utility Steam Generating Units—Final Report to Congress. EPA-453/R-98-004a. February. Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234-3052.

    2 U.S. EPA. 1997. Mercury Study Report to Congress. EPA-452/R-97-003. December. Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234-3054.

    3 National Research Council. 2000. Toxicological Effects of Methylmercury. Committee on the Toxicological Effects of Methylmercury, National Academy Press, Washington, DC. Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234-3055.

    On May 3, 2011, the EPA reaffirmed the 2000 appropriate and necessary finding and listing of EGUs, and proposed MATS pursuant to CAA section 112(d). 76 FR 24976. The EPA responded to comments on the appropriate and necessary finding, as well as the proposed MATS, and issued the final MATS on February 16, 2012. 77 FR 9304. Industry, states, environmental organizations, and public health organizations challenged many aspects of the EPA's appropriate and necessary finding and the final MATS rule in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit Court), and the Court denied all challenges. White Stallion Energy Center v. EPA, 748 F.3d 1222 (D.C. Cir. 2014). Some industry and state petitioners sought further review of the final MATS rule, and the Supreme Court granted certiorari to determine whether the EPA erred when it concluded that the appropriate and necessary finding under CAA section 112(n)(1)(A) could be made without consideration of cost. On June 29, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that the EPA acted unreasonably when it determined cost was irrelevant to the appropriate and necessary finding. Michigan v. EPA, 135 S.Ct. 2699 (2015). Specifically, the Supreme Court held that the agency must consider cost before deciding whether regulation is appropriate and necessary, noting also that it will be up to the agency “to decide, within the limits of reasonable interpretation, how to account for cost.” Michigan, 135 S.Ct. at 2711.

    The EPA, in response to the Supreme Court's direction, has now added consideration of cost to the appropriate and necessary finding as detailed in this document. In this document, the EPA concludes that including such consideration of cost does not alter the agency's previous determination that it is appropriate to regulate HAP emissions from EGUs. The agency is taking comment on the proposed supplemental finding through this document. The EPA is also taking comment on the supporting document “Legal Memorandum Accompanying the Proposed Supplemental Finding that it is Appropriate and Necessary to Regulate Hazardous Air Pollutants from Coal- and Oil-Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units (EGUs)” (Legal Memorandum) available in the docket for this action (EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234).

    B. Does this action apply to me?

    The regulated categories and entities potentially affected by this proposed supplemental notice are shown below in Table 1.

    Table 1—Potentially Affected Regulated Categories and Entities Category NAICS Code 1 Examples of potentially affected entities Industry 221112 Fossil fuel-fired electric utility steam generating units. Federal government 2 221122  Fossil fuel-fired electric utility steam generating units owned by the federal government. State/local/tribal government 2 221122  Fossil fuel-fired electric utility steam generating units owned by municipalities. 921150 Fossil fuel-fired electric utility steam generating units in Indian country. 1 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). 2 Federal, state, or local government-owned and operated establishments are classified according to the activity in which they are engaged.

    This table is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide for readers regarding entities that may be affected by this action. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult either the air permitting authority for the entity or your EPA Regional representative as listed in 40 CFR 60.4 or 40 CFR 63.13 (General Provisions).

    C. The Limited Scope of This Action

    This action is in response to the Supreme Court's decision that the EPA must consider cost in the initial determination that regulation of HAP emissions from EGUs is appropriate under CAA section 112. In this document, the EPA provides detailed information on how the agency has taken cost into account in evaluating whether regulation of HAP from coal- and oil-fired electric utility steam generating units is appropriate and explains why the EPA proposes to find that including such consideration does not alter the previous determination. The EPA requests comment on this proposed supplemental finding and on the supporting Legal Memorandum available in the rulemaking docket (EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234).

    The EPA is accepting comment only on the consideration of cost in making the appropriate determination and listing of EGUs. The analyses presented in this document and the Legal Memorandum in support of this document do not affect or alter other aspects of the appropriate and necessary interpretation or finding, or the CAA section 112(d) emission standards promulgated in MATS. These analyses also do not alter the Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) prepared for the final MATS. Specifically, the EPA is not accepting comment on the scientific or technical aspects of the 2000 appropriate and necessary finding and subsequent reaffirmation. These findings include that mercury and other HAP emissions are hazardous to public health and the environment, that EGUs are the largest emitter of many HAP, that effective control strategies for HAP emissions are available, and that HAP hazards remain after implementation of other CAA provisions. We are only accepting comment on the consideration of cost aspect presented in this proposed supplementary finding. Therefore, we are not opening for comment or proposing to revise any other aspects of the appropriate and necessary interpretation or finding, or the MATS standards themselves, as part of this action. The final MATS standards were supported by an extensive administrative record and based on available control technologies and other practices already used by the better-controlled and lower-emitting EGUs, and the EPA previously concluded that the standards are achievable and reduce hazards to public health and the environment from HAP emitted by EGUs. 76 FR 24976 (MATS proposal); 77 FR 9304 (MATS final). In addition, the public had ample opportunity to comment on all aspects of the CAA section 112(d) standards, the RIA, and the appropriate and necessary finding beyond the consideration of cost; and the EPA responded to all of the significant comments.4

    4 77 FR 3919-62; 77 FR 9386-9423; U.S. EPA. 2011. EPA's Responses to Public Comments on EPA's National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants from Coal- and Oil-Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units. December 2011. Volumes 1 and 2. Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234-20126.

    Also, the Supreme Court's decision neither calls into question nor reverses the portions of the D.C. Circuit Court's opinion unanimously rejecting all other challenges to the appropriate and necessary interpretation and finding and the HAP emission standards that the EPA promulgated in the final MATS rule. Industry, states, environmental organizations, and public health organizations challenged many aspects of the EPA's appropriate and necessary finding and the MATS emissions standards, including: (1) The EPA's reliance on the CAA section 112(c)(9) delisting criteria for determining the level of risk worth regulating; (2) the EPA's decision not to consider cost in making the appropriate and necessary determination and listing of EGUs; (3) the EPA's use of identified environmental harms as a basis for finding it appropriate and necessary to regulate HAP emissions from EGUs; (4) the EPA's consideration of the cumulative impacts of HAP emissions from EGUs and other sources in determining whether EGUs pose a hazard to public health or the environment; (5) the EPA's regulation of EGUs pursuant to CAA section 112(d) after adding EGUs to the section 112(c) list pursuant to the appropriate and necessary finding; (6) the EPA's determination that all HAP from EGUs should be regulated; (7) the EPA's technical basis for concluding that EGUs pose a hazard to public health or the environment; (8) the EPA's determination to regulate all EGUs as defined in CAA section 112(a)(8) in the same manner whether or not the individual units are located at major or area sources of HAP; (9) the EPA's emissions standards for mercury and acid gas HAP, including the EPA's decision not to set health based emission standards for acid gas HAP; (10) the EPA's use of certified data submitted by regulated parties; (11) the EPA's denial of a delisting petition filed by an industry trade group; (12) the EPA's decision not to subcategorize a certain type of EGU; and (13) the EPA's decision to allow EGUs to average HAP emissions among certain EGUs. The D.C. Circuit Court denied all challenges to the CAA section 112(n)(1)(A) appropriate and necessary finding and to the CAA section 112(d) MATS rule, and, with the exception of the cost issue relevant to the section 112(n)(1)(A) finding, all the challenges were unanimously rejected. White Stallion Energy Center v. EPA, 748 F.3d 1222 (April 15, 2014). Consequently, we are not soliciting comment nor are we revisiting those final actions that were unanimously upheld in White Stallion Energy Center v. EPA, 748 F.3d 1222 (April 15, 2014).

    In addition, the EPA's citation to any final decision, interpretation, or conclusion in the MATS record does not constitute a re-opening of the issue or an invitation to comment on the underlying decision in which the EPA considered some cost of MATS (e.g., in CAA section 112(d) beyond-the-floor analyses either establishing or declining to establish a standard more stringent than the maximum achievable control technology (MACT) floor).

    It is worth noting that the issue addressed in this document—whether a consideration of cost alters the agency's previous determination that it is appropriate and necessary to regulate HAP emissions from coal- and oil-fired EGUs—goes to the listing of EGUs under CAA section 112. Under CAA section 112, such listing decisions are not final agency actions for purposes of judicial review. Instead, the public can comment on listing decisions during the CAA section 307(d) standard development process and challenge such decisions when the EPA issues final standards for a source category. See CAA section 112(e)(4) (“Notwithstanding section [307 of the CAA], no action of the Administrator . . . listing a source category or subcategory under subsection (c) of this section shall be a final agency action subject to judicial review, except that any such action may be reviewed under section [307 of the CAA] when the Administrator issues emission standards for such . . . category.”). Because the final standards for coal- and oil-fired EGUs have been issued, the normal vehicle for taking comment on aspects of the listing decision is not available to the EPA at this time. Consequently, the agency is providing this separate proposal to provide an opportunity for public comment on this nationally applicable proposed supplemental finding that it is appropriate and necessary to regulate coal- and oil-fired EGUs after considering cost, the cost analyses set forth below, and the supplemental legal analysis in the supporting Legal Memorandum available in the docket for this rulemaking. The EPA will issue its final determination after consideration of significant comments, consistent with the rulemaking requirements set forth in CAA section 307(d).

    II. Hazards to Public Health and the Environment From HAP Emitted by EGUs

    In the current action, the EPA adds a consideration of cost to the determination of whether it is appropriate to regulate HAP emissions from EGUs. As discussed in Sections III and IV.D of this document, it is the EPA's view that the consideration of cost in the appropriate finding should be weighed against, among other things, the volume of HAP emitted by EGUs and the associated hazards to public health and the environment. In this supplemental finding, therefore, the significant hazards to public health and the environment from HAP emitted by EGUs (and the substantial reductions in HAP emissions achieved by MATS that are described in Section IV.B.2 of this document) should be weighed against the costs of compliance.5 Indeed, these hazards provided the basis for the EPA's December 2000 Finding,6 and the agency's 2011 reaffirmation of the finding,7 8 that regulation of HAP emissions from EGUs is appropriate and necessary. In this Section, we provide a summary of these hazards, which are further described in the record for the MATS.

    5 The context provided by CAA section 112 generally demonstrates Congress' focus on the inherent risks posed by HAP emissions. To address those risks, Congress substantially amended CAA section 112 in 1990 to achieve prompt, permanent and ongoing reductions of HAP emissions from stationary sources and to reduce the associated risks to public health, including the effects on the most exposed and sensitive members of the population, and the environment. See NMA v. EPA, 59 F.3d at 1352-53 (discussing the purpose and impact of the 1990 CAA Amendments to section 112); see also Cement Kiln Recycling Coalition v. EPA, 255 F.3d 855, 857-58 (D.C. Cir. 2001); Sierra Club v. EPA, 353 F.3d at 978-80; NRDC v. EPA, 489 F.3d 1364, 1368-69 (D.C. Cir. 2007); NRDC v. EPA, 529 F.3d 1077, 1079-80 (D.C. Cir. 2008).

    6 65 FR 79825-31.

    7 76 FR 24976-25020.

    8 77 FR 9304-66.

    As described in the peer-reviewed Mercury Study, mercury is a persistent, bioaccumulative toxic metal that can be emitted from coal-fired power plants in several chemical forms. Once deposited to water or land, mercury can be transformed into methylmercury (MeHg) by microbial action. MeHg is efficiently taken up by aquatic organisms and bioaccumulates in the aquatic food web. Larger predatory fish may have MeHg concentrations many times higher than, typically on the order of 1 million times, that of the concentrations in the freshwater body in which they live. Exposure to MeHg through ingestion of fish is the primary route for human exposures in the U.S. In 2000, the NAS Study reviewed the effects of MeHg on human health and concluded that mercury is highly toxic to multiple human and animal organ systems. Chronic low-dose prenatal exposure to MeHg from maternal consumption of fish has been associated with subtle neurotoxicity, which is manifest as poor performance on neurobehavioral tests, particularly on tests of attention, fine motor-function, language, and visual-spatial ability. The NAS concluded that the population at highest risk is the children of women who consumed large amounts of fish and seafood during pregnancy and that the risk to that population is likely to be sufficient to result in an increase in the number of children who have to struggle to keep up in school.

    Exposure to high levels of the various non-mercury HAP (e.g., arsenic, nickel, chromium, selenium, cadmium, hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride, hydrogen cyanide, formaldehyde, benzene, acetaldehyde, manganese, and lead) emitted by EGUs is associated with a variety of adverse health effects. See, e.g., 76 FR 25003-5. These adverse health effects include chronic health disorders (e.g., irritation of the lung, skin, and mucus membranes, effects on the nervous system, and damage to the kidneys), and acute health disorders (e.g., lung irritation and congestion, alimentary effects such as nausea and vomiting, and liver, kidney and nervous system effects). Three hazardous air pollutant metals (i.e., arsenic, nickel, and chromium) have been classified as human carcinogens, and cadmium is classified as a probable human carcinogen.

    In 2011, the EPA conducted additional technical analyses to support the appropriate and necessary finding reaffirmation, including peer-reviewed risk assessments on human health effects associated with mercury and non-mercury HAP emissions from EGUs, focusing on risks to the most exposed and sensitive individuals in the population. In addition, the EPA found that EGUs are by far the largest U.S. anthropogenic source of mercury, selenium, hydrogen chloride, and hydrogen fluoride emissions, and a significant source of metallic HAP emissions including arsenic, chromium, nickel, and others.9 The revised nationwide Mercury Risk Assessment 10 estimated that up to 29 percent of modeled watersheds potentially have sensitive populations at risk from exposure to mercury from U.S. EGUs, including up to 10 percent of modeled watersheds where deposition from U.S. EGUs alone leads to potential exposures that exceed the reference dose 11 for MeHg. See, e.g., 77 FR 9310-6. In addition, the inhalation risk assessment for non-mercury HAP 12 of 16 facilities estimated a lifetime cancer risk for an oil-fired EGU facility of 20-in-1 million, five coal-fired EGU facilities with cancer risks greater than 1-in-1 million, and one coal-fired facility with cancer risks of 5-in-1 million. See, e.g., 77 FR 9317-9.13 Further, qualitative analyses on ecosystem effects found that mercury emissions from U.S. EGUs contribute to adverse impacts on fish-eating birds and mammals and that acid gases contribute to environmental acidification and chronic non-cancer (respiratory) toxicity. See, e.g., 77 FR 9362-3. Moreover, the EPA concluded that in 2016, after implementation of other provisions of the CAA, HAP emissions from U.S. EGUs would still reasonably be anticipated to pose hazards to public health. See, e.g., 77 FR 9362-3. Finally, the EPA stated that the only way to ensure permanent reductions in HAP emissions from U.S. EGUs and the associated risks to public health and the environment is through standards set under CAA section 112.

    9 Specifically, the EPA estimated that in 2005 (the most recent inventory year available during the MATS rulemaking), U.S. EGUs emitted 50 percent of total domestic anthropogenic mercury emissions, 62 percent of total arsenic emissions, 39 percent of total cadmium emissions, 22 percent of total chromium emissions, 82 percent of total hydrogen chloride emissions, 62 percent of total hydrogen fluoride emissions, 28 percent of total nickel emissions, and 83 percent of total selenium emissions. Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234-19914.

    10 U.S. EPA. 2011. Revised Technical Support Document: National-Scale Assessment of Mercury Risk to Populations with High Consumption of Self-caught Freshwater Fish In Support of the Appropriate and Necessary Finding for Coal- and Oil-Fired Electric Generating Units. Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards. November. EPA-452/R-11-009. Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234-19913.

    11 A reference dose is an estimate of daily exposure, experienced over a lifetime that is likely to be without a risk of adverse health effects to humans, including sensitive subpopulations.

    12 U.S. EPA. 2011. Supplement to Non-mercury Case Study Chronic Inhalation Risk Assessment for the Utility MACT Appropriate and Necessary Analysis. Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards. November. Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234-19912.

    13 For context, CAA section 112(c)(9)(B) does not allow the EPA to delete a source category from the CAA section 112(c) list if any source in the category emits HAP in quantities that may cause a lifetime risk of cancer greater than 1-in-1 million to the most exposed individual.

    As explained above, the agency's conclusions regarding these public health and environmental hazards are not affected by the cost analyses presented in this document and comments on the hazard conclusions will be considered outside the scope of this action. However, it is critical to note that the EPA's conclusions regarding the public health and environmental hazards associated with emissions from EGUs form the primary basis for the agency's previous determinations that regulation of HAP emissions from coal- and oil-fired EGUs is appropriate and necessary. See December 2000 Finding and proposed and final MATS. Furthermore, in evaluating costs (Section IV, below), the agency has considered whether the cost of compliance estimated to be incurred by the utility sector under MATS is reasonable when weighed against, among other things, the substantial hazards to public health and the environment posed by HAP emissions from EGUs.

    III. Cost Consideration Under CAA Section 112(n)(1)

    In Michigan, the Supreme Court held that the EPA erred when it concluded that it need not consider cost when determining whether the regulation of HAP emissions from coal- and oil-fired EGUs was appropriate and necessary. Because the EPA had adopted this interpretation in the December 2000 Finding and confirmed it in the MATS rulemaking, before now the agency had not evaluated the statute to determine how cost should be considered when determining whether regulation is appropriate. The EPA has now reevaluated its interpretation of CAA section 112(n)(1) to identify how cost considerations should be incorporated into this threshold listing determination. See “Legal Memorandum Accompanying the Proposed Supplemental Finding that it is Appropriate and Necessary to Regulate Hazardous Air Pollutants from Coal- and Oil-Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units (EGUs)” (Legal Memorandum). In this Section, the EPA provides a summary of the legal conclusions relating to the consideration of cost in the appropriate finding. The Legal Memorandum lays out, in more detail, the interpretation of CAA section 112(n)(1)(A) that provides the basis for this proposed action. The EPA is requesting comment on the Legal Memorandum.14

    14 Nothing in this document or the Legal Memorandum disturbs the EPA's prior interpretations of the terms “appropriate” and “necessary” set forth in the proposed and final MATS rules, except to the extent they concluded that the EPA was not required to take cost into account when deciding whether regulation is “appropriate.”

    In the Legal Memorandum, the EPA reevaluates the statute in light of the Supreme Court's holding in Michigan. The EPA considers the purpose and scope of the 1990 amendments to CAA section 112, including section 112(n)(1), to determine the cost considerations generally relevant to HAP-related actions, the advantages of regulating HAP emissions from stationary sources, and a reasonable approach to weighing the costs with the other factors relevant to determining whether regulation of HAP emissions from EGUs is appropriate. See Legal Memorandum, pages 6-23.

    The EPA's evaluation of CAA section 112 leads us to conclude that the purpose of that section of the CAA is to achieve prompt, permanent and ongoing reductions in HAP emissions from stationary sources to reduce the hazards to public health and the environment inherent in exposure to such emissions, with the goal of limiting the risk to the most exposed and most sensitive members of the population. See Legal Memorandum, pages 6-13. To accomplish this goal, the statute requires as a starting point uniform levels of control from all sources in the same listed category or subcategory, and ongoing review to determine whether additional reductions can be achieved to further reduce the volume of HAP emissions. Id. Thus, the EPA concludes that the benefit Congress sought in amending CAA section 112 was permanent and ongoing reductions in the volume of HAP emissions. Id. These general goals are relevant to the EPA's evaluation of specific statutory provisions including the EGU specific requirements in CAA section 112(n)(1). See New Jersey v. EPA, 517 F.3d at 582 (rejecting the EPA's argument that section 112(c)(9) does not apply to EGUs, and citing section 112(c)(6) as support for the conclusion that “where Congress wished to exempt EGUs from specific requirements of section 112, it said so explicitly.”).

    The EPA has also evaluated the specific section under which the appropriate and necessary determination is made—CAA section 112(n)(1)—to further inform our interpretation of the role of cost in making the appropriate determination under section 112(n)(1)(A). See Legal Memorandum, pages 13-17. The studies required under CAA section 112(n)(1) focus on potential hazards to public health and the environment, including the potential hazards to the most sensitive members of the population. In addition, the statute requires the agency to evaluate available control technologies for HAP emissions from EGUs, and to specifically evaluate the cost of mercury controls. See CAA sections 112(n)(1)(A) and 112(n)(1)(B). Thus, cost is one of the several factors that the EPA must consider in addition to the other relevant factors identified in the statute when determining whether regulation of HAP emissions from EGUs is appropriate, but CAA section 112(n)(1) does not support a conclusion that cost should be the predominant or overriding factor. See Legal Memorandum, pages 13-17.

    CAA section 112(n)(1)(A) also does not dictate the manner in which cost is to be considered in the appropriate finding. In fact, the sole mention of cost in CAA section 112(n)(1) is the direction in section 112(n)(1)(B) to consider the costs of mercury controls. The statute thus gives the EPA discretion to identify a reasonable approach to incorporating cost into the analysis required under CAA section 112(n)(1)(A). In addition, because section 112(n)(1)(A) is a listing provision, the EPA must focus on whether HAP emissions from EGUs collectively should be regulated, and not on the specific manner of regulation.15 Under the statutory structure, this listing decision is to be made significantly before the 112(d) standards would be promulgated, and, therefore, it is reasonable for the EPA to consider what types of cost information would be available at that threshold stage when determining how to consider cost in the analysis. See Legal Memorandum, pages 19-21.

    15 As explained in the MATS record and the Legal Memorandum, the manner of regulation for listed source categories is established pursuant to CAA section 112(d)(2) for major stationary sources. In addition, the EPA determined in the Legal Memorandum that CAA section 112(d)(3) minimum stringency standards are technologically feasible and presumptively cost reasonable because the standards are based on existing sources in the same category or subcategory of sources. See Legal Memorandum, page 8 and Section III of this document.

    In determining whether it is appropriate to regulate HAP emissions from EGUs, the EPA concludes that it is reasonable to focus on whether the power sector can reasonably absorb the cost of compliance with MATS. The D.C. Circuit has previously provided general guidance on how to evaluate cost in the context of determining the reasonableness of New Source Performance Standards under section 111 of the CAA. The approach under CAA section 112 is somewhat different as section 112(d)(3) of the statute defines the minimum level of control based on levels that have been actually achieved by the best performing similar sources in the source category—a level deemed per se reasonable for other similar sources. Thus, the agency need not determine in the analysis the level of control that is technologically feasible and cost reasonable as is required when establishing standards under CAA section 111. Instead, the purpose of the cost analysis under CAA section 112(n)(1)(A) is to help evaluate whether the costs of regulation are reasonable when weighed against other relevant factors, most notably the identified hazards to public health and the environment from HAP emitted by EGUs that are reduced when the significant volume of HAP emission from EGUs is reduced. For EGUs, the reasonableness of the costs of CAA section 112(d) standards could be determined in part by an evaluation of this sector's ability to perform its primary and unique function—the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity. As explained below, the EPA considered several different cost metrics to evaluate whether cost of compliance with MATS are reasonable.

    The statute also does not specify how much weight should be given to cost relative to other relevant factors. It thus provides the EPA discretion to develop reasonable approaches to considering cost while taking into account the goals of the statute. Cost is but one of several factors the EPA must consider before it may add, pursuant to CAA section 112(n)(1)(A), EGUs to the list of source categories to be regulated under section 112. Specific pollutants were listed by Congress as HAP under CAA section 112 due to their inherently harmful characteristics, and this section instructs the EPA to reduce the risks to public health and the environment, including the risks to the most sensitive individuals in the population from those harms, by reducing the volume of such HAP emissions from stationary sources. Thus, the advantages of reducing identified hazards to public health and the environment must be considered and weighed against the costs or disadvantages, taking into account the statutory goals. See Legal Memorandum, pages 21-29.

    The EPA also concludes in the Legal Memorandum that a benefit-cost analysis is not required to support a threshold finding that regulation is appropriate. However, to the extent a benefit-cost analysis is used to evaluate whether regulation of HAP emissions from EGUs is appropriate, it is important to account for the full range of benefits associated with the action, including benefits that cannot be monetized due to lack of data. The statute does not require the EPA to compare only the monetized HAP-specific benefits to the compliance costs to support the finding. Neither does the statute direct the EPA to consider only the HAP benefits of the rule and ignore co-benefits, if the control strategies employed achieve multi-pollutant reductions. Instead, the EPA concludes that such an analysis would appropriately evaluate all of the known consequences of the rule. The Legal Memorandum concludes that the benefit-cost analysis in the RIA that accompanied the final MATS presents a reasonable evaluation of the costs and benefits of the final MATS rule.

    The legal interpretations summarized above, and explained in greater detail in the Legal Memorandum, provide the basis for the evaluation of cost and conclusions presented in the remainder of this document. The EPA is requesting comment on all aspects of the Legal Memorandum and all conclusions contained therein.

    IV. Considerations of Cost A. Introduction

    This Section explains how the EPA has taken cost into account in evaluating whether regulation of coal- and oil-fired EGUs under section 112 of the CAA is appropriate. As the EPA explains above, and in the Legal Memorandum, there is little guidance in CAA section 112 on how the EPA could or should consider cost when making the threshold finding under CAA section 112(n)(1)(A) and the EPA has substantial discretion in identifying appropriate metrics for considering cost. The EPA has evaluated costs in this Section primarily through a consideration of whether the cost of compliance to the power sector is reasonable.

    In Section IV.B below, the EPA discusses how it evaluated the reasonableness of the direct and indirect costs of the final CAA section 112(d) standards. As discussed earlier and in the Legal Memorandum, the EPA has substantial discretion in identifying appropriate metrics for considering cost. In evaluating how to appropriately consider costs, the EPA was mindful of Congress' statement regarding the 1990 CAA Amendments: “Our goal . . . has been to promote the public health and welfare and the productive capacity of our nation. We have given EPA both the regulatory tools to accomplish cleaner air and the flexibility to protect our industrial and productive capacity.” 16 In the context of CAA section 112(n)(1), adherence to Congress' goal can be evaluated by considering whether the cost of addressing, through MATS, the significant public health and environmental hazards posed by emissions of HAP from EGUs is reasonable and whether those hazards can be addressed while protecting the “productive capacity” of the power sector (i.e., without significant harm to the power sector's ability to perform its primary and unique function—the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity.) In Section IV.B the EPA presents an evaluation of multiple metrics to determine the cost reasonableness of the CAA section 112(d) standards for EGUs.

    16 “A Legislative History of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990” (CAA Legislative History), Vol II, p. 3187.

    The EPA has also identified other costs that help inform the agency's understanding of whether it is appropriate to regulate HAP emissions from EGUs. As discussed in the Legal Memorandum, the explicit reference to the cost of mercury controls in CAA section 112(n)(1)(B) and the reference to the availability of alternative control strategies in section 112(n)(1)(A) suggests that the EPA should consider the cost of controls for mercury and other HAP emitted from EGUs when determining whether regulation is appropriate.17 The cost of the ARP is also worth noting in light of its relationship to the inclusion of CAA section 112(n)(1)(A) in the 1990 CAA amendments. Thus, in Section IV.C below, the EPA discusses briefly the cost of the ARP, the evolution of mercury controls and the reduction in the cost of such controls since the EPA issued the Mercury Study. The EPA also discusses the controls for other HAP emissions from EGUs.

    17 The EPA believes that it could have developed rough projections of the control technology costs of an eventual standard based on information obtained in the CAA section 112(n)(1) studies and general knowledge of the costs of controls at the time the agency made the appropriate finding. For example, the Mercury Study estimated the potential cost of mercury controls for EGUs and other sources, and the EPA could have attempted to provide similar cost estimates for the other HAP emissions from EGUs based on available information, including information in the Utility Study. However, the agency now has an updated and further refined cost estimate of the cost of compliance with the final MATS rule, and the EPA is using this cost information in this action because it was developed at the time the EPA reaffirmed the finding that regulation of HAP emissions from EGUs is appropriate and necessary. See U.S. EPA. 2011. Regulatory Impact Analysis for the Final Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, Research Triangle Park, NC. EPA-452/R-11-011. Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234-20131.

    Finally, while the EPA recognizes that cost is an important consideration in the determination of whether it is appropriate to regulate HAP emissions from EGUs, it is not the only consideration and CAA section 112(n)(1) does not support a conclusion that cost should be the predominant or overriding factor. As stated earlier, and detailed in the Legal Memorandum, the EPA must weigh the cost of compliance against other relevant factors—such as the advantages of regulation and achievement of statutory goals—in determining whether such consideration of cost causes the agency to alter its previous determination that it is appropriate to regulate HAP emissions from EGUs. This is discussed below in Section IV.D. As noted in Section I.C of this document, the public had ample opportunity to comment on all aspects of the MATS RIA, and the EPA responded to all of the significant comments.18 Although the EPA is not accepting comments on the methods applied in the MATS RIA, the agency requests comments on the use of the MATS RIA results as a way to consider cost in the CAA section 112(n)(1)(A) determination.

    18 See pp. 477-660 of the EPA's Responses to Public Comments on EPA's National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants from Coal- and Oil-Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units. Volume 2. Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234-20126.

    B. Consideration of Cost to the Power Sector 1. Introduction

    In light of the statutory ambiguity regarding how to consider cost in making the appropriate and necessary finding, the EPA has exercised the discretion granted to it and applies several metrics relevant to the power sector to determine whether the estimated cost of compliance with MATS is reasonable. The EPA has also considered the reasonableness of the direct and indirect costs of compliance with MATS and the power sector's ability to maintain performance of its primary and unique function—the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity.

    As explained below, the EPA considered direct and indirect costs at the sector level because of the interconnectedness of the electricity grid and the fact that most power companies own diverse inventories of power generating units, including coal- and oil-fired EGUs. In this Section, the EPA has applied a number of different analyses (metrics) to assess whether the power sector's costs of compliance with the CAA section 112(d) standard is reasonable. Each of these analyses independently support a conclusion that the estimated costs of compliance with MATS are reasonable.

    In 2012, the EPA reaffirmed the appropriate and necessary finding and established CAA section 112(d) standards, and, as part of that rulemaking, the EPA estimated the cost of compliance with the proposed and final MATS standards pursuant to Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 and other applicable statutes and executive orders. In this Section, the EPA is evaluating whether the costs of compliance with MATS is reasonable, based on the RIA cost estimates.

    In the following Sections, the EPA presents the methodology used to estimate annual compliance costs for MATS. The EPA then evaluates the estimates of the total annual costs of compliance with the standards, including a focus on estimates of total annualized costs of compliance compared to power sector retail sales and a comparison of capital expenditures required under MATS to overall power sector capital expenditures. We also present analyses of the impacts these costs are projected to have on the power sector and its consumers, including estimates of impacts on the average retail price of electricity and the characteristics of the units choosing to retire as a result of MATS.

    2. Predicted Compliance Costs for MATS

    In this and the following Sections, we present compliance cost and impact estimates from the MATS RIA for the year of 2015 in the broader historical context of power sector trends. The analyses demonstrate that the projected costs and impacts of MATS requirements are reasonable.

    We focus on the 2015 impacts presented in the RIA because these results represent the first year of compliance with the MATS rule, and those compliance cost estimates would be the most relevant to the threshold determination. As discussed later, of the years analyzed in the MATS RIA, the compliance costs are highest in 2015, and thus we focus on it here as a representation of the maximum impact. The analyses in the final MATS RIA represented the best forecast of cost and impacts available to the EPA when MATS was promulgated.

    In accordance with guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 19 and the EPA,20 the EPA developed RIAs for the proposed 21 and final 22 MATS rulemakings. In the MATS RIAs, the compliance cost estimates were established using the Integrated Planning Model (IPM).23 IPM, developed by ICF International, is a state-of-the-art, peer-reviewed dynamic, deterministic linear programming model of the contiguous U.S. electric power sector. IPM provides forecasts of least-cost capacity expansion, electricity dispatch, and emission control strategies while meeting electricity demand and various environmental, transmission, dispatch, and reliability constraints. The EPA has used IPM for over 2 decades to understand power sector behavior under future business-as-usual conditions and to evaluate the economic and emission impacts of prospective environmental policies. The model is designed to reflect electricity markets as accurately as possible using the best available information from utilities, industry experts, gas and coal market experts, financial institutions, and government statistics. Notably, the model includes state-of-the-art estimates of the cost and performance of air pollution control technologies with respect to mercury and other HAP controls.24

    19 Office of Management and Budget. 2003. Circular A-4: Regulatory Analysis. Washington, DC. Available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars/a004/a-4.html.

    20 U.S. EPA. 2010. Guidelines for Preparing Economic Analyses. EPA 240-R-10-001. National Center for Environmental Economics, Office of Policy Economics and Innovation. Washington, DC. December. Available at http://yosemite.epa.gov/ee/epa/eerm.nsf/vwAN/EE-0568-50.pdf/$file/EE-0568-50.pdf.

    21 U.S. EPA. 2011. Regulatory Impact Analysis of the Proposed Toxics Rule. March 2011. Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234-3051.

    22 U.S. EPA. 2011. Regulatory Impact Analysis for the Final Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. EPA-453/R-11-011. December 2011. Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234-20131.

    23 Detailed IPM documentation and run files for MATS are available in the docket (see, for example, EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234-19996 and EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234-3071). The underlying data inputs to IPM continually evolve as the emissions profile of the power sector changes with time in response to control technology advances, environmental regulation, and economic influences, such as changes in fuel prices. The EPA provides information on, and documentation of, underlying assumptions and any changes to the IPM each time it is used in a regulatory context.

    24 See, for example, USEPA Base Case v.4.10 Documentation (EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234-3049) and Documentation Supplement for EPA Base Case v.4.10_MATS—Updates for Final Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) (EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234-19996).

    In the MATS RIA, the power sector's “compliance costs” are estimated in IPM as the change in electric power generation costs between a base case without MATS and a policy case where the sector complies with the HAP emissions limits in the final MATS. The base case provides a future projection of the power sector in the absence of MATS, and serves as the baseline against which projections under policy cases are compared. The policy case examined in the MATS RIA introduces the requirements of the rule as constraints on affected EGUs, which results in new projections of power sector outcomes under MATS. In simple terms, these compliance costs are an estimate of the increased expenditures by the entire power sector to comply with the EPA's requirements while continuing to serve a given level of electricity demand. Therefore, the projected compliance cost estimate is not limited to the increase in expenditures by those EGUs directly affected by MATS, nor does it account for the ability of many electricity producers to reduce the costs they bear by passing along their costs to consumers of electricity through higher electricity prices.25

    25 The MATS RIA does not clearly distinguish how much of the increased expenditures are incurred by owners of EGUs and how much are borne by consumers of electricity. Therefore, the $9.6 billion in compliance costs are relevant to all participants in the U.S. economy, not just individuals that own EGUs. In addition, these compliance costs do not account for changes in profits for firm owners who supply inputs such as coal and natural gas to the electricity sector. The compliance costs for MATS are, in part, attributable to higher fuel prices due to higher fuel demand, particularly natural gas, which would likely increase the profits for those fuel producers. A more comprehensive assessment of costs that accounted for these net changes in profits and consumer welfare would also subtract the higher profits to fuel producers from the compliance costs. Similarly, such an assessment would also subtract from the compliance costs changes in tax payments by electricity producers, which are transfers rather than the use of real resources that have an opportunity cost to society as a whole.

    The EPA notes that the projected compliance cost estimate represents the incremental costs to the entire power sector to generate electricity, not just the compliance costs projected to be borne by coal-fired and oil-fired EGUs regulated under MATS. EGUs operate interdependently within a large and complex system. While the MATS requirements are directed at a subset of EGUs in the power sector, the compliance actions of the MATS-regulated EGUs will affect production costs and revenues of other units due to fuel and electricity price changes. Furthermore, EGUs are often owned and operated by firms with multiple generating sources, many of which are not subject to MATS requirements. Therefore, limiting the consideration of costs only to those expenditures incurred by EGUs directly regulated by MATS, and not the other costs expended by their owners, would provide an incomplete assessment of the costs of the rule. Thus, analyses that compare system-wide (or sector-level) compliance cost impacts of MATS to sector-level economic indicators are appropriate for considering whether the power sector can absorb compliance costs, and do so without diminishing its ability to supply electricity. This approach is also consistent with the EPA's analytical objective to evaluate as best as is reasonable and possible all consequences of economically significant regulatory actions.

    Using IPM, the EPA estimated the emissions reductions and annual incremental costs resulting from MATS, including the costs of installing and operating additional pollution controls, investments in new generation capacity, shifts between or amongst various fuels, and other actions associated with compliance. The EPA estimated that, relative to the base case, the final MATS rule would reduce annual emissions of mercury by 75 percent, hydrogen chloride by 88 percent, and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) (filterable PM is a surrogate for non-mercury metal HAP) by 19 percent from coal-fired EGUs greater than 25 megawatts (MW) projected for 2015. IPM was also used to estimate reductions of other pollutants that resulted from the application of the MATS emissions limits. The EPA projected sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions reductions of 41 percent and carbon dioxide (CO2) reductions of one percent from coal-fired EGUs greater than 25 MW in 2015, relative to the base case. The EPA projected that the annual incremental cost of final MATS would be $9.6 billion in 2015.26 The MATS RIA also reports estimates of compliance costs of $8.6 billion and $7.4 billion in 2020 and 2030, respectively. Compliance cost estimates are, therefore, highest in 2015. Incremental annual capital expenditures represent approximately $2.4 billion of the $9.6 billion in annual costs in 2015.27 All costs in this and subsequent Sections are reported in 2007 dollars.

    26 As described in the MATS RIA, IPM was used to estimate the compliance costs to the sector associated with applying MATS emissions limitations to coal-fired EGUs. The EPA did not use IPM, however, to estimate compliance costs to the sector associated with applying MATS emissions limitations to oil-fired steam boilers or to estimate monitoring, reporting, and recordkeeping (MR&R) costs for MATS-regulated EGUs. The cost of control for oil-fired steam boilers was estimated separately in the RIA, and then added to the IPM-based compliance costs for coal-fired unit emissions limitations. The cost of control for the oil-fired steam boilers was either the expenditures by these units to install pollution controls or increased expenditures of switching to lower-emitting fuels. Broken into the three components, IPM-based compliance costs were $9.4 billion, the separately estimated cost of control for oil-fired steam boilers was $56 million, and MR&R costs were $158 million, totaling the $9.6 billion compliance cost estimate. Note the sum does not total exactly because of independent rounding.

    27 The $2.4 billion increase in capital expenditures under MATS is found by taking the difference between capital expenditures in the IPM MATS policy case and the capital expenditures in the IPM MATS base case. These values are found in Table 15 of “MATS Policy Case Summary Report” (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234-19985) and Table 15 in “MATS Base Case Summary Report” (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234-19984).

    3. Annual Compliance Costs as a Percent of Power Sector Sales

    We compare annual compliance costs to electricity sales at the power sector-level, often called a sales test. The sales test is a frequently used indicator of potential impacts from compliance costs on regulated industries.28

    28 For example, the sales test is often used by the EPA when evaluating potential economic impacts of regulatory actions on small entities. In the context of a small entity analysis, an evaluation of the change in profits to owners is likely the best approach to assessing the economic burden to owners from a regulatory action. In the analysis provided in this section, the sum of the change in profits to EGU owners in the entire sector and the increased electricity bills of consumers of electricity is compared to total revenues. Data limitations prevent solely analyzing profit changes to EGU owners as a result of MATS in this proposed supplemental finding.

    Table 2 presents the value of retail electricity sales from 2000 to 2011, based on information from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).29

    29 We do not include figures for years after 2011 in this and later comparisons as this information would not have been available during the development of the MATS RIA.

    Table 2—Retail Electricity Sales, All Sectors, 2000 to 2011 [2007 dollars] Year Revenue from retail sales
  • (billions of 2007 dollars)
  • 2000 277.2 2001 287.5 2002 285.5 2003 291.5 2004 295.0 2005 315.3 2006 335.2 2007 343.7 2008 356.6 2009 343.9 2010 354.8 2011 349.6 Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form-826 Detailed Data, http://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/eia826/, accessed 10/14/15. Note: Dollar figures adjusted to 2007 dollars using the Gross Domestic Product—Implicit Price Deflator, https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/GDPDEF, accessed 10/14/15.

    Revenues from retail electricity sales increased from $277.2 billion in 2000 to a peak of $356.6 billion in 2008 (an increase of 29 percent during this period). As would be expected, the general increase in sales (in dollar terms) over this time period is partly due to increases in electricity sales (in electricity sold) and increases in prices over the same time period. The $9.6 billion in annual compliance costs of MATS projected for 2015 would represent about 2.7 percent of 2011 power sector revenues from retail electricity sales. If retail sales were to return to their 2008 peaks, the annual compliance costs would also represent about 2.7 percent of sales. If retail electricity sales were to decline to 2000 levels, the estimated annual compliance costs for MATS would represent approximately 3.5 percent of retail sales. Thus, the projected annual compliance costs of MATS represent a small fraction of the value of overall sales.

    After considering the potential costs of MATS in light of power sector sales, the EPA concludes that the costs to the power sector are reasonable. As noted above, the EPA is not accepting comments on the methods applied in the MATS RIA, but rather the agency requests comments on the use of incremental compliance costs from the MATS RIA results as a way to consider costs in the CAA section 112(n)(1)(A) determination.

    4. Annual Compliance Capital Expenditures Compared to the Power Sector's Annual Capital Expenditures

    Another way in which cost can be evaluated is by comparing the annual capital expenditures required by MATS to the range of variation in capital expenditures from year to year. Capital costs represent largely irreversible investments for firms that must be paid off regardless of future economic conditions, as opposed to other important variable costs, such as fuel costs, that may vary according to economic conditions and generation needs. Table 3 presents two sets of estimates for trends in the annual capital expenditures by the electric power sector. This information informs the second metric used to consider the costs of MATS to the power sector, namely a ratio of annual capital expenditures estimated to be needed for MATS compliance to historical power sector-level overall capital expenditures.

    For power sector-level capital expenditures, the EPA relies on two sets of information. The first set of information is from the U.S. Census Bureau's Annual Capital Expenditures Survey. The second set of information is from information compiled by SNL, a private sector firm that provides data and analytical services. While each dataset has limitations, the estimates from each correspond to one another reasonably well. The annual sector-level capital expenditures reported by SNL are generally lower than the information from the Census Bureau. This is in part because SNL captures information on capital expenditures from Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, which are submitted by most but not by all entities in the power sector, whereas the U.S. Census Bureau's estimate of capital expenditures in the power sector is intended to capture capital expenditures for all entities in the power sector. For this reason, we present both sets of information to better depict capital expenditures in the power sector.

    Table 3—Total Capital Expenditures for the Electric Power, Generation, Transmission, and Distribution Sector, 2000 to 2011 Year Capital expenditures collected by SNL
  • from SEC filings 1
  • Capital expenditures
  • (billions of 2007 dollars)
  • Change from
  • previous year
  • (billions of 2007 dollars)
  • Capital expenditures based on U.S. census bureau annual capital expenditures survey 2 Capital expenditures
  • (billions of 2007 dollars)
  • Change from
  • previous year
  • (billions of 2007 dollars)
  • 2000 51.8 62.5 2001 70.1 18.2 85.9 23.4 2002 56.4 −13.6 66.4 −19.6 2003 43.8 −12.6 52.7 −13.7 2004 40.4 −3.4 45.0 −7.7 2005 46.7 6.3 50.0 5.0 2006 57.6 10.9 61.6 11.6 2007 66.9 9.3 73.9 12.3 2008 78.1 11.2 83.5 9.6 2009 76.6 −1.5 87.9 4.4 2010 75.1 −1.5 79.8 −8.2 2011 79.6 4.5 79.2 −0.6 1 Source: SNL, accessed 10/14/15. 2 Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Annual Capital Expenditures Survey, http://www.census.gov/econ/aces/index.html, accessed 10/14/15. Note: Dollar figures adjusted to 2007 dollars using the Gross Domestic Product—Implicit Price Deflator, https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/GDPDEF, accessed 10/14/15. Changes may not sum due to independent rounding.

    Capital expenditures generally increase from 2000 to 2011 but not in a linear fashion, partly a result of increased demand. In 2000, capital expenditures for the electric power sector are estimated to be $51.8 billion (based on SNL) and $62.5 billion (based on Census). Capital expenditures for this sector reached a low in 2004 at $40.4 billion (based on SNL) and $45.0 billion (based on Census), rising to their peak in 2011 at $79.6 billion (based on SNL) or in 2009 at $87.9 billion (based on Census).

    The final MATS RIA estimated the incremental capital expenditures to be $2.4 billion for 2015, which represent about 3.0 percent of 2011 power sector-level capital expenditures using either SNL or Census information.30 If power sector-level capital expenditures declined to 2004 levels, the incremental capital expenditures estimated for MATS would represent about 5.9 percent (based on SNL) or 5.3 percent (based on Census).

    30 As noted above in this Section, the incremental annual capital expenditures represent approximately $2.4 billion of the $9.6 billion in annual compliance costs in 2015. The incremental capital expenditures is the change in capital expenditures for the entire sector as a result of the MATS emissions limitations (that is, above those estimated in the base case). As a result, the estimate includes the change in capital expenditures from installing pollution controls and the capital expenditures of new generating technologies in the MATS policy case relative to the base case.

    The increased capital expenditures estimated to be required under MATS represent a small fraction of the power sector's overall capital expenditures in recent years. Additionally, the EPA notes that the projected $2.4 billion in incremental capital costs is well within the range of annual variability over the 2000-2011 period. During this period, based on the Census information for example, the largest year-to-year decrease in power sector-level capital expenditures was $19.6 billion (from 2001 to 2002) and the largest year-to-year increase in power sector-level capital expenditures was $23.4 billion (from 2000 to 2001). This wide range indicates substantial year-to-year variability in industry capital expenditures, and the projected $2.6 billion increase in capital expenditures in 2015 projected under MATS falls well-within this variability. Similar results are found using the SNL information.

    After considering the potential impacts of MATS on industry capital expenditures, the EPA concludes that the costs to the power sector are reasonable. As noted above, the EPA is not accepting comments on the methods applied in the MATS RIA, but rather the agency requests comments on the use of incremental compliance expenditures from the MATS RIA results as a way to consider costs in the CAA section 112(n)(1)(A) determination.

    5. Impact on Retail Price of Electricity

    In electricity markets, costs imposed on utilities can be fully or partly passed through to consumers, which can result in increased retail electricity prices. Evaluating the projected effect on retail electricity prices against the variations in electricity prices from year to year therefore provides an additional way to evaluate the “cost” or impact of MATS, in this instance on electricity consumers, instead of on owners of EGUs in the power sector. Using data from the EIA, Table 4 presents trends in the average retail price of electricity for all sectors (residential, commercial, industrial, transportation, and other sectors) from 2000 to 2011. This information informs the comparison of the percent increase in retail electricity prices projected to result from MATS for 2015 to historical levels of variation in electricity prices.

    While compliance costs and electricity prices are evaluated independently when considering whether it is appropriate to regulate steam-fired EGUs under MATS, they are not independent or separable economic indicators. The cause of higher electricity prices is the increase in expenditures by the power sector described earlier. Therefore, the electricity price impacts and the associated increase in electricity bills by consumers are not costs that are in addition to the compliance costs described earlier in this section, and, in fact, to the extent the compliance costs are passed on to electricity consumers, the costs to the EGU owners in the power sector are reduced.

    Table 4—Average Retail Price of Electricity, All Sectors, 2000 to 2011 Year Average electricity
  • retail price
  • (cents per kilowatt-hour in 2007 dollars)
  • Change from
  • previous year
  • (cents per kilowatt-hour in 2007 dollars)
  • 2000 8.10 2001 8.47 0.38 2002 8.24 0.23 2003 8.35 0.11 2004 8.31 0.04 2005 8.61 0.30 2006 9.14 0.52 2007 9.13 −0.01 2008 9.55 0.42 2009 9.56 0.01 2010 9.45 −0.11 2011 9.33 −0.13 Source: U.S Energy Information Administration, Electricity Data Browser, http://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/browser, accessed 10/14/15. Notes: Dollar figures adjusted to 2007 dollars using the Gross Domestic Product—Implicit Price Deflator, https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/GDPDEF, accessed 10/14/15. Changes may not sum due to independent rounding.

    The final RIA estimated that MATS would result in relatively small changes in the average retail price of electricity. Retail electricity prices for 2015 were projected to increase from 9.0 cents per kilowatt-hour on average in the base case to 9.3 cents per kilowatt-hour with MATS, an increase of about 3.1 percent. The regional price increases projected for MATS ranged from 1.3 percent to 6.3 percent. Four regions out of the 13 regions for which retail prices were estimated (encompassing all lower 48 states) were projected to have a higher percentage increase in prices than the national average increase of 3.1 percent. However, each of these four regions also has a price that is lower than the national average.

    The EPA notes that the projected 0.3 cents per kilowatt-hour increase in national average retail electricity price under MATS is well within the range of annual variability over the 2000-2011 period. During this period, based on the EIA information, the largest year-to-year decrease in national average retail electricity price was −0.2 cents per kilowatt-hour (from 2001 to 2002) and the largest year-to-year increase in national average retail electricity price was 0.5 cents per kilowatt-hour (from 2005 to 2006). This wide range indicates substantial variability, and the 0.3 cents per kilowatt-hour increase in the national average retail electricity price under MATS is well-within normal historical fluctuations.

    After considering the potential impacts of MATS on retail electricity prices, the EPA concludes that the estimated increase in electricity prices is within the historical range and is reasonable. In addition, because the increase in electricity prices is in part due to the ability of many EGUs to pass their costs on to consumers, the estimated MATS compliance costs discussed above are in fact less of a burden on owners of EGUs in the power sector. As noted above, the EPA is not accepting comments on the methods applied in the MATS RIA, but rather the agency requests comments on the use of average retail price increases from the MATS RIA results as a way to consider costs in the CAA section 112(n)(1)(A) determination.

    6. Impact on Power Sector Generating Capacity

    The EPA believes the statutory concern with the cost of compliance expressed in CAA section 112(n)(1) can reasonably be tied to a concern with the ability of EGUs to comply with the ARP and other CAA requirements, as well as CAA section 112(d)(3) standards, while at the same time maintaining a reliable supply of electricity.31 Therefore, the EPA recognized the importance of considering the ability of EGUs to comply with MATS and maintain a reliable supply of electricity.

    31 The EPA generally uses the term “reliability” to refer to the ability to deliver the resources to the projected electricity loads so the overall power grid remains stable, and the term “resource adequacy” generally refers to the provision of adequate generating resources to meet projected load and generating reserve requirements in each region.

    The MATS RIA reported projected net changes in generation capacity under MATS, as compared to the base case. Relative to the base case, about 4.7 gigawatts (GW) of additional coal-fired capacity was projected to retire by 2015 as the result of MATS.32 These projected retirements reflect less than two percent of all coal-fired generation capacity projected in 2015 (310 GW in the base case without MATS) and less than 0.5 percent of total projected capacity (1,026 GW in the base case without MATS). As with the estimate of compliance costs and capital expenditures projected by IPM and described above in this Section, this projection was based on assumptions about a number of factors that affect the power sector (e.g., other available capacity, demand for electricity, fuel supply and fuel prices) and unit attributes (e.g., efficiency).33 In addition, as Table 6 shows, the units that were projected to retire under MATS are, on average, older, smaller in terms of capacity, and less frequently used as indicated by capacity factors.

    32 In this analysis, changes in generation capacity levels should be viewed as “net” changes as some units that retire from service in the base case do not do so in the MATS policy case.

    33 A number of these factors have changed since promulgation and as a result there were additional retirements that are not directly attributed to MATS. The EPA's projections under MATS are based on information available at the time of MATS promulgation.

    Table 6—Characteristics of Covered Operational Coal Units and Additional Coal Units Projected To Retire Under MATS, 2015 Average age
  • (years)
  • Average capacity
  • (MW)
  • Average capacity factor in base case
  • (%)
  • Retire 52 129 54 Operational 43 322 71 Source: Integrated Planning Model run by the EPA, 2011. Table 3-7 in final MATS RIA.

    This analysis indicates that the vast majority of the generation capacity in the power sector directly affected by the requirements of MATS would be able to absorb the anticipated compliance costs and remain operational. In order to ensure that any retirements resulting from MATS would not adversely impact the ability of affected sources and electric utilities from meeting the demand for electricity, the EPA conducted an analysis of the impacts of projected retirements on electric reliability. These resource adequacy analyses found that reserve margins could be maintained over a three-year MATS compliance period indicating that reliability could be maintained as the power sector complied with MATS.34

    34 U.S. EPA. 2011. Resource Adequacy and Reliability in the Integrated Planning Model Projections for the MATS Rule, http://www3.epa.gov/ttn/atw/utility/revised_resource_adequacy_tsd.pdf, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234-19997.

    After considering the potential impacts of MATS on power sector generation capacity, the EPA concludes that the costs to the power sector are reasonable. As noted above, the EPA is not accepting comments on the methods applied in the MATS RIA, but rather the agency requests comments on the use of the MATS RIA results as a way to consider costs in the CAA section 112(n)(1)(A) determination and on the analyses (metrics used to assess whether the power sector's cost of compliance with the CAA section 112(d) standards are reasonable).

    7. Conclusions of Considerations of Costs to Power Sector

    In this Section, the EPA considers the costs of MATS to the power sector from a variety of perspectives. First, the EPA estimates that the total projected cost of the MATS rule to the power sector in 2015 represents between 2.7 and 3.5 percent of annual electricity sales when compared to years from 2000 to 2011, a small fraction of the value of overall sales. Second, the EPA demonstrates that the projected capital expenditures in 2015 represent between 3.0 and 5.9 percent of total annual power sector capital expenditures when compared to years leading up to the finalization of the MATS rule. This investment by the power sector comprises a small percentage of the sector's historical annual capital expenditures on an absolute basis and also falls within the range of historical variability in such capital expenditures. Third, the EPA finds the projected average retail price increases are within the range of historical variability as well as lower than their peak on an absolute basis. The EPA has compared the projected national average retail electricity price for 2015 under MATS to the period from 2000 to 2011 and has shown that the projected increase in electricity rates of 0.3 cents/kWh for 2015 represents an increase of 3.1 percent, well within the range of retail price fluctuations over the 2000 to 2011 period. Finally, this analysis indicates that the vast majority of the generation capacity in the power sector would be able to absorb the anticipated compliance costs and remain operational and that the generating capacity the EPA estimated would retire as a result of the rule was generally older and less efficient than the capacity projected to operate.

    The EPA judges each of these analyses to be appropriate bases for evaluating whether the costs to the power sector are reasonable. Having performed these analyses independently, the EPA concludes that every one of them supports its conclusion that costs are reasonable.

    C. Other Costs 1. Introduction

    In addition to the cost considerations described in Section IV.B above, the EPA considered the cost of mercury controls consistent with the requirement in CAA section 112(n)(1)(B), and the cost of controls for other HAP emissions from EGUs. In addition, we discuss the cost of implementing the ARP because of its relationship to the inclusion of section 112(n)(1)(A) in the 1990 CAA Amendments. Below we first address the ARP and then the costs of mercury and other controls.

    2. Cost of the Acid Rain Program (ARP)

    As explained above and in the MATS record, section 112(n)(1)(A) was added to the CAA in 1990 along with other significant revisions to section 112, and that provision requires the EPA to conduct the Utility Study and determine the hazards to public health reasonably anticipate to occur after imposition of the other requirements of the CAA. In addition to significantly revising section 112, the 1990 amendments to the CAA included the utility specific ARP. The ARP was established with the goal of reducing emissions of SO2 and nitrogen oxides (NOX) from the power sector, and there was an expectation that compliance with the ARP could result in widespread installation of control technologies that would also lead to ancillary or co-benefit reductions in HAP emissions.35 The ARP was also projected to be costly—estimates of the cost of the program ranged from $6 to $9 billion per year (2000 dollars).36 Notably, the ARP has been extremely successful in reducing emissions of SO2 and NOX from the utility power sector, and the cost of the ARP has been shown to be much less than what was initially estimated (up to 70 percent lower than initial estimates).37 In addition, the compliance choice to not use scrubbers reduced the cost of the ARP and significantly reduced the co-benefit reductions in HAP emissions that would have occurred if more EGUs installed SO2 scrubbers. As a result, in both 2000 when the EPA made its initial finding and in 2011 when it reaffirmed the finding that it is appropriate and necessary to regulate HAP from EGUs, those sources were still significant emitters of HAP, and almost all EGUs are major sources of HAP.

    35 For example, flue gas scrubbers that control SO2 can also be effective at controlling acid gas HAP such as hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride, and selenium oxide. Note, however, that NOX controls are not effective at directly controlling HAP (though selective catalytic reduction units can promote improved mercury control in scrubbers).

    36 U.S. EPA Clean Air Markets Div., 2005, National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program Report to Congress 2005: An Integrated Assessment, National Science and Technology Council, Washington, DC; Note: These estimates would be approximately $7 to $11 billion in 2007 dollars using a GDP deflator.

    37 U.S. EPA Clean Air Markets Div., 2011, National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program Report to Congress 2011: An Integrated Assessment, National Science and Technology Council, Washington, DC.

    3. Consideration of the Cost of HAP Control Technologies

    As described below, the EPA first considers the cost of mercury control technologies, consistent with CAA section 112(n)(1)(B), focusing on information available at the time the agency issued the Mercury Report through the time the EPA reaffirmed the appropriate and necessary finding in 2011. The EPA then considers the cost of control technologies for non-mercury HAP, and the changes in those costs over time.

    The Mercury Study estimated the potential cost of mercury controls for EGUs and other sources,38 and the agency updated and further refined the mercury control cost estimate information in the RIA conducted for the final MATS rule.39 The EPA also estimated the cost of controls for other HAP in the RIA. These analyses show that mercury control is more effective and less costly than initially estimated in 1997. The cost of non-mercury HAP control has also generally decreased since 1990.

    38 At the time the Mercury Study was developed, mercury controls for utility boilers were still in the research, development and pilot program phase. The Mercury Study concluded that full-scale emission tests were needed and that the presented cost estimates were highly uncertain. The Mercury Study also noted that significant research on mercury emission control was underway and concluded that there were strong incentives for technology innovation and that the development of more cost-effective controls was likely.

    39 U.S. EPA. 2011. Regulatory Impact Analysis for the Final Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, Research Triangle Park, NC. EPA-452/R-11-011. Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234-20131.

    a. Cost of Technologies for Control of Mercury Emissions

    Pursuant to CAA section 112(n)(1)(B), the EPA completed the peer-reviewed Mercury Study in 1997, and it considered, among other things, the availability and cost of mercury controls. The EPA used the findings in the Mercury Study to develop the mercury-related findings contained in the Utility Study.

    Based on data available at the time, detailed estimates of mercury control costs were developed for several model plants that represented electric power generation at coal-fired power plants. For the EGUs, the Mercury Study evaluated the costs of activated carbon injection and carbon filter beds at model plants with different pre-existing controls. The Mercury Study also described the potentially significant co-benefit control of mercury emissions by conventional SO2 scrubbers and PM controls. At the time the Mercury Study was developed, mercury controls for utility boilers were still in the research, development and pilot program phase. The Mercury Study concluded that full-scale emission tests were needed and that the presented cost estimates were highly uncertain. The Mercury Study also noted that significant research on mercury emission control was underway and concluded that there were strong incentives for technology innovation and that the development of more cost-effective controls was likely. Because the EPA did not incorporate consideration of cost into the December 2000 Finding, no conclusions were reached at that time regarding whether the costs of the technologies outlined in the Mercury Study were reasonable for purposes of the mercury reductions that could be achieved.

    The agency also considered alternative control strategies that were available and effective in reducing HAP emissions from EGUs pursuant to CAA section 112(n)(1)(A). In fact, in the December 2000 Finding, the EPA stated that “the application of technologies used to control mercury emissions in conjunction with technologies used to control other pollutants, an approach called multi-pollutant control, can substantially reduce or offset the costs of HAP control.” 65 FR 79825, at 79828 (December 20, 2000). The EPA also discussed new methods in development to adsorb mercury onto injected particles (sorbents) so that the mercury could be more readily removed by PM controls. Id. at 79829. While the EPA did not explicitly consider costs in the December 2000 Finding, the inclusion of this information demonstrates that the EPA was mindful even then of mercury controls and associated costs.

    The EPA similarly concluded in the MATS rule that there were available mercury controls (76 FR 25014), and the record reflects that mercury control costs have declined considerably since 2000.40 In fact, the mercury sorbents discussed in the Mercury Study and the December 2000 Finding are now routinely used and newer and more effective mercury sorbents and other control strategies have been developed prior to and during the MATS rulemaking process.

    40 For example, see Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234-20232.

    b. Cost of Technology for Control of Non-Mercury HAP

    The EPA considered the cost of controls for the non-mercury metal, acid gas, and organic HAP. In 1990, the types and costs of control technologies were generally known (e.g., PM controls (bag-houses and electrostatic precipitators) were the best controls for non-mercury metal HAPs and SO2 scrubbers were the best controls for acid gas HAP, and the costs of those controls were known in 1990). CAA section 112(n)(1)(A) thus reasonably required the EPA to “develop and describe . . . alternative control strategies for [HAP] emissions which may warrant regulation under this section”,41 but did not require the EPA to consider the cost of such alternative controls. In the Utility Study, the EPA developed and described many pre- and post-combustion controls, both proven and being developed, for HAP emissions, and many of those control approaches are in use today at other HAP sources to reduce the cost of compliance with CAA section 112(d) standards. The EPA believes that many EGUs will use these approaches to reduce the cost of compliance with MATS.

    41 The EPA states in the Utility Study that “[t]he HAPs of concern include the trace elements identified in chapter 5 as potential health risks. These consist of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese, mercury, and nickel; dioxins and furans (due to the toxicity of the organic chemical); and HCl [hydrogen chloride] and HF [hydrogen fluoride] (due to the estimated emission quantities of the compounds).” Utility Study, 13-1.

    Concerning the cost of non-mercury controls, we considered flue gas desulfurization (FGD) controls that can effectively reduce acid gas HAP and can also reduce mercury and other non-mercury HAP to varying degrees based in part on control configuration (e.g., some NOX controls facilitated the removal of mercury with a wet scrubber). The cost to reduce acid gas HAP using SO2 controls has declined over time with the increased use of alternative technologies such as spray drier absorber and dry sorbent injection.

    D. Incorporating Cost Into the Appropriate Finding

    In response to the Supreme Court's holding in Michigan that the EPA erred in concluding that it was appropriate and necessary to regulate EGUs without considering cost, the EPA has now evaluated cost. The EPA must now, because it has already determined that HAP emissions from EGUs present significant hazards to public health and the environment, consider its conclusions regarding the cost of MATS in light of other factors relevant to the appropriate determination. Other relevant factors include the EPA's prior conclusions that HAP emissions from EGUs pose significant hazards to public health and the environment that will not be addressed through imposition of the other requirements of the CAA and that there are controls available to reduce HAP emissions from EGUs. The EPA must also consider its prior conclusion that EGUs are by far the largest remaining source of mercury, selenium, hydrogen chloride, and hydrogen fluoride emissions, and a major source of metallic HAP emissions including arsenic, chromium, nickel, and others,42 and that MATS will significantly reduce EGU emissions of many HAP. The EPA has estimated that MATS would reduce annual emissions from EGUs of mercury by 75 percent, hydrogen chloride (a surrogate for all acid gas HAP) by 88 percent, and PM2.5 (filterable PM is a surrogate for all non-mercury metal HAP) by 19 percent.43

    42 See Section II of this document and Emissions Overview: Hazardous Air Pollutants in Support of the Final Mercury and Air Toxics Standard, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234-19914.

    43See Section IV.B.2 of this document and 77 FR 9424.

    These conclusions, contained in the December 2000 Finding and the 2011 MATS rule 44 were not affected by the Supreme Court decision in Michigan. Instead, the Supreme Court concluded that the appropriate finding could not be made without also considering cost. Michigan, 135 S.Ct. at 2711.

    44 December 2000 Finding, 65 FR 79825-31; Proposed MATS, 76 FR 24976-25020; Final MATS, 77 FR 9304-66.

    The EPA has now evaluated cost and considered cost in light of the other factors relevant to determining whether regulation of HAP emissions from EGUs is appropriate. Based on a consideration of these factors, the EPA concludes that the consideration of cost does not cause us to alter our determination that regulation of HAP emissions from EGUs is appropriate.

    The EPA concludes above that the direct and indirect costs to the power sector to comply with the final MATS standards based on several different metrics. The EPA also concludes above that the costs of compliance with the CAA section 112(d) standards established in MATS are reasonable and do not jeopardize the power sector's ability to perform its primary and unique function—the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity.

    The EPA has considered the conclusion that the costs of compliance with the final MATS rule are reasonable in conjunction with the other relevant factors to determine whether the cost of regulation causes us to conclude that, despite the advantages of regulation such as the progress regulation will make toward reducing the identified hazards to public health, it would not be appropriate to regulate HAP emissions from EGUs. Specifically, the EPA considered the cost in light the findings that mercury and non-mercury HAP from EGUs pose significant hazards to public health and the environment that will not be addressed through imposition of the other requirements of the CAA. See Section II of this document, the December 2000 Finding, and the MATS record. The EPA also considered the fact that coal- and oil-fired EGUs are the predominant anthropogenic source in the U.S. of several listed HAP, including mercury, hydrogen chloride, selenium, and hydrogen fluoride, and all but a handful of EGUs are major sources of HAP.

    The EPA also considered the purpose of CAA section 112 to achieve prompt, permanent and ongoing reductions in the volume of HAP emissions that pose identified or inherent hazards to public health and the environment to reduce the risks posed by such emissions, including risks to the most exposed and most sensitive members of the population. The EPA considered the fact that absent regulation of HAP emissions from EGUs, such units would continue to emit significant volumes of HAP emissions without a need to reduce or even monitor such emissions. This is particularly problematic for persistent HAP such as mercury, which, once emitted, can be re-emitted in the future, and as a result continue to contribute to mercury deposition and associated health and environmental hazards.45 The EPA also considered the fact that the statute contemplates that all major sources of HAP will be subject to standards and that all listed sources will be evaluated every 8 years to determine if additional reductions in HAP emissions can be achieved at a reasonable cost, based on the availability of new controls or work practices. The statutory structure generally supports the regulation of all significant sources of HAP emissions, and the EPA has demonstrated that HAP are emitted in significant volumes by EGUs and such emissions have been determined to pose ongoing hazards to public health and the environment.

    45 EGUs have emitted many hundreds of tons of mercury into the environment and those emissions will continue to pose hazards to public health and the environment into the future. 76 FR 25015.

    Having considered all of the relevant factors, including cost, the EPA finds that the cost of compliance with CAA section 112(d) standards does not cause us to alter our determination that regulation of HAP emissions from EGUs is appropriate. Numerous independent metrics support the conclusion that MATS, the regulation promulgated by the EPA to address HAP emissions from EGUs, is reasonable. MATS makes significant progress toward implementing the statutory goals of reducing the inherent hazards associated with HAP emissions and to reduce the risks posed by such emissions, including risks to the most exposed and most sensitive members of the population. In light of the meaningful progress MATS makes towards the important statutory objectives, and the EPA's conclusion that its associate costs are reasonable and will not affect the power sector's ability to continue supplying reliable power, the EPA concludes that it is appropriate to regulate HAP emissions from EGUs after considering cost.

    Moreover, many of the congressional concerns related to costs and regulatory burden on the power sector, which led to the inclusion of section 112(n)(1) in the CAA, have been mitigated by more recent developments and consideration of these developments further supports the EPA's proposed conclusion. The EPA is expressly required to consider the cost of mercury controls in CAA section 112(n)(1)(B). The EPA has done so and determined that the estimated cost of mercury control has decreased significantly since 1997 when the EPA issued the Mercury Study. In the MATS rule, the EPA determined that there were available mercury controls (76 FR 25014), and the record reflects that mercury control costs have further declined since 2000.46 In fact, the mercury sorbents discussed in the Mercury Study and the December 2000 Finding are now routinely used and new, more effective mercury sorbents and other control strategies have been developed prior to and during the MATS rulemaking process. The decreased cost of mercury controls and further supports our conclusion that consideration of cost does not cause us to alter our conclusion that it is appropriate to regulate HAP emissions from EGUs.

    46 For example, see Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234-20232.

    Finally, the EPA considered the fact that CAA section 112(d) ensures that the MACT floor level of control is technologically feasible and presumptively cost reasonable because it is based on the level of control actually achieved by existing sources in the same category or subcategory. See Legal Memorandum, Section III. In addition, while the statute requires a minimum level of control, the EPA maintains discretion under CAA section 112(d) to minimize the cost of compliance, for example, through subcategorization and emissions averaging. See December 2000 Finding, 65 FR 79830. The inherent reasonableness of MACT floor standards and the flexibility included in the standard setting process further support the EPA's proposed supplemental finding.

    By adding cost considerations into the EPA's evaluation of whether regulation of HAP emissions from EGUs is appropriate, the EPA has corrected the deficiency identified by the Supreme Court in Michigan. Now, having considered cost and for all of the reasons explained above, the EPA is proposing this supplemental finding that, as the costs imposed by MATS are reasonable, it is appropriate for the EPA to regulate HAP emissions from EGUs in light of the meaningful progress the rule makes toward achieving key statutory goals and reducing the previously identified significant hazards to public health and the environment. In sum, the significant advantages of regulating these emissions outweigh the costs of regulation.

    V. Consideration of the Benefit-Cost Analysis in the MATS RIA A. Introduction

    As discussed above and in the Legal Memorandum, the EPA has discretion to determine the manner in which to consider cost under CAA section 112(n)(1). The EPA does not interpret CAA section 112(n)(1)(A) as requiring a formal benefit-cost analysis in which benefits are monetized and compared against the monetary costs of an action. Further, it is the EPA's judgment that a formal, monetized benefit-cost analysis is not the preferred approach for weighing the advantages and disadvantages of regulating HAP emissions from EGUs. See Section IV.D (setting forth the EPA's preferred approach to incorporating cost in the appropriate finding). However, a formal benefit-cost analysis was conducted in accordance with all relevant guidance and is presented in the final MATS RIA. In this Section, the EPA provides background on the benefit-cost approach and considers the results of the benefit-cost analyses developed for MATS. As explained herein, the final MATS RIA demonstrates that the benefits of the rule significantly outweighed the costs of the rule and thus fully and independently supports the EPA's proposed supplemental finding.

    As noted in Section I.C of this document, the public had ample opportunity to comment on all aspects of the MATS RIA, including the benefits analysis, and the EPA responded to all of the significant comments.47 Although the EPA is not accepting comments on the methods applied in the MATS RIA, the agency requests comments on the use of the MATS RIA results as a way to consider costs in the CAA section 112(n)(1)(A) determination.

    47 See pp. 477-660 of the EPA's Responses to Public Comments on EPA's National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants from Coal- and Oil-Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units. Volume 2. Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234-20126.

    B. Background on Benefit-Cost Analyses

    The EPA developed RIAs for both the proposed and final MATS rule pursuant to Executive Orders 12866 and 13563, as well as other applicable statutes and executive orders. Among other requirements, these executive orders require agencies to assess the costs and benefits of significant regulatory actions with the recognition that some impacts are difficult to quantify. Agencies are also required to make a reasoned determination that the benefits of an action justify its costs. The final MATS RIA met these requirements and followed all applicable guidance documents by closely examining all of the important consequences of the rule and applying rigorous, peer-reviewed methods to calculate the monetized costs and benefits, when possible.

    According to the EPA's guidance, the foundation of benefit-cost analysis is determining whether a policy's overall net benefits to society are positive.48 Net benefits are derived by summing all of the benefits that result from a policy change less the costs of that policy, including all ancillary consequences (positive and negative). Further, OMB's guidance notes that benefit-cost analysis can be used to indicate which policy option generates the largest net benefits to society, at least to the extent that all benefits and costs can be quantified and expressed in monetary units.49 OMB also notes that this information can be useful for decision makers and the public, even when economic efficiency (e.g., maximizing net benefits) is not the overriding public policy objective, such as when a policy is explicitly designed to address distributional unfairness.50

    48See p. 1-4 of the EPA's Guidelines for Preparation of Economic Analyses.

    49See p. 2 of OMB's Circular A-4.

    50 OMB's guidance also recognizes that there may be other social purposes for regulation beyond economic purposes such as removing distributional unfairness. See p. 5 of OMB's Circular A-4.

    In addition to interpreting CAA section 112(n)(1)(A) as not requiring a benefit-cost analysis, the EPA does not consider a formal, monetized benefit-cost analysis to be the preferred approach for weighing advantages and disadvantages under that section for several important policy reasons. First, it is well-recognized that some categories of benefits can be difficult to monetize,51 and this incomplete quantitative characterization of the positive consequences can underestimate the monetary value of net benefits. As discussed in Sections V.C. and V.D. of this document, the numerous categories of benefits that the EPA was unable to quantify leads to an underestimate of the benefits in the MATS RIA. Second, national-level benefit-cost analyses may not account for important distributional effects, such as impacts to the most exposed and most sensitive individuals in a population. Thus, these equity considerations that are difficult to quantify are often considered outside of analyses that test (or determine) whether actions strictly improve economic efficiency (i.e., increase net benefits).

    51 See Executive Order 13563; pp. 2 of OMB's Circular A-4 (“It will not always be possible to express in monetary units all of the important benefits and costs. When it is not, the most efficient alternative will not necessarily be the one with the largest quantified and monetized net-benefit estimate.”; and pp. 7-49 of the EPA's Guidelines for Preparation of Economic Analyses (“It often will not be possible to quantify all of the significant physical impacts for all policy options . . . When there are potentially important effects that cannot be quantified, the analyst should include a qualitative discussion of benefits results. The discussion should explain why a quantitative analysis was not possible and the reasons for believing that these non-quantified effects may be important for decision making.”).

    Using peer-reviewed methods consistent with the agency's standard practices and the EPA's and OMB's guidance, the final MATS RIA found significant net benefits. As described in Section IV.B.2 of this document, the EPA estimated the changes in costs and emissions from MATS by using IPM to model the consequences of achieving the HAP emission limits on the power sector (specifically, for coal-fired EGUs). As described in the MATS RIA, the EPA evaluates the health benefits associated with these changes in emissions using a multi-step process. First, the EPA models the chemical transport of those emission reductions and the associated change in exposure. Next, the EPA estimates the number of specific health effects associated with the modeled exposure changes using relationships from health studies. Lastly, the EPA assigns a dollar value to those health effects based on the economic literature.

    C. Consideration of HAP Benefits

    The EPA estimated in the final RIA that MATS would reduce annual emissions from EGUs of mercury by 75 percent, hydrogen chloride (a surrogate for all acid gas HAP) by 88 percent, and PM2.5 (filterable PM is a surrogate for all non-mercury metal HAP) by 19 percent.52 Hazardous metals, acid gases, and organic pollutants can cause various adverse cancer and noncancer health effects including many chronic and acute health disorders, but the EPA was unable to quantify many of the health effects attributable to these emission reductions because data and methods available do not currently exist in the scientific literature.53 Nevertheless, the EPA qualitatively accounted for these benefits from HAP emission reductions in Chapter 4 of the final MATS RIA, and the EPA maintains that the HAP-specific consequences of the rule are vital and further the goals of the statute.54 In fact, the MATS RIA specifically accounted for these benefits in the comparison of monetized benefits to costs by adding a “+B” to denote the sum of all unquantified benefits (see Table ES-1 of the final MATS RIA).

    52See 77 FR 9424.

    53 The EPA explained in the MATS RIA that there are significant obstacles to successfully quantifying and monetizing the public health benefits from reducing HAP emissions. These obstacles include gaps in toxicological data, uncertainties in extrapolating results from high-dose animal experiments to estimate human effects at lower doses, limited monitoring data, difficulties in tracking diseases such as cancer that have long latency periods, and insufficient economic research to support the valuation of the health impacts often associated with exposure to individual HAP.

    54See p. 73-79 of the final MATS RIA for discussions of the health effects associated with reducing emissions of 13 non-mercury HAP emitted by EGUs.

    In the MATS RIA, the EPA could only quantify and monetize a small subset of the health and environmental benefits attributable to reducing mercury emissions. Specifically, among neurodevelopmental effects, the EPA was only able to quantify and monetize IQ loss among a small subset of recreational fishers. The analyses the EPA conducted for this endpoint generated an estimate of $4 to $6 million annually, which reflects the dollar value of the reduction in IQ loss associated with changes in mercury exposure for typical recreational fishers who consume fish during pregnancy from the freshwater watersheds where the EPA had fish tissue data. While IQ loss is the only health effect that could be quantified and monetized, the EPA's independent Science Advisory Board noted that it is not the most potentially significant health effect associated with mercury exposure as other neurobehavioral effects, such as language, memory, attention, and other developmental indices, that are more responsive to mercury exposure.55 This estimate of the monetized benefits of reducing mercury emissions did not account for (1) benefits from reducing adverse health effects on brain and nervous system development beyond IQ loss; (2) benefits for consumers of commercial (store-bought) fish (i.e., the largest pathway to mercury exposure in the U.S.); (3) benefits for consumers of self-caught fish from oceans, estuaries or large lakes such as the Great Lakes; (4) benefits for the populations most affected by mercury emissions (e.g., children of women who consume subsistence-level amounts of fish during pregnancy); (5) benefits to children exposed to mercury after birth; and (6) environmental benefits from reducing adverse effects on birds and mammals that consume fish. Thus, the limited estimate for the single neurodevelopmental endpoint that could be monetized (IQ loss among certain recreational fishers) is a substantial underestimate of the total mercury impacts among affected populations. These monetized estimates also do not reflect any benefits associated with reducing non-mercury HAP emissions.

    55 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-Science Advisory Board. 2011. Peer Review of EPA's Draft National-Scale Mercury Risk Assessment. EPA-SAB-11-017. September. Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0234-19689. Available at: http://yosemite.epa.gov/sab/sabproduct.nsf/BCA23C5B7917F5BF8525791A0072CCA1/$File/EPA-SAB-11-017-unsigned.pdf. See p. 2 (“IQ loss is not a sensitive response endpoint for methylmercury and its use likely underestimates the impact of reducing methylmercury in water bodies”) and p. 8 (“[I]n the Faroe Island study the most sensitive indicators were in the domains of language (Boston Naming Test), attention (continuous performance) and memory (California Verbal Learning Test) . . . In the Seychelles study, the Psychomotor Development Index was the most sensitive measure”).

    D. Consideration of Total Benefits and Benefit-Cost Comparisons

    Because the subset of mercury-only benefits that the EPA could quantify from MATS does not account for many of the important benefits associated with reducing HAP emissions from EGUs, it would be unreasonable to draw any conclusions from a comparison of the mercury-only benefits to the full costs of MATS. Instead, a complete benefit-cost comparison would account for all of the consequences of achieving the HAP emission limits (i.e., direct and indirect as well as quantified and unquantified).56 The MATS RIA contains a benefit-cost comparison that reflects only certain categories of benefits that could be confidently quantified and/or monetized. Reflecting just these impacts, the EPA estimated that the final MATS would yield annual monetized benefits (in 2007 dollars) of between $37 billion to $90 billion using a 3-percent discount rate and $33 billion to $81 billion using a 7-percent discount rate. Despite the fact that these estimates capture only a portion of the benefits of the rule, it is clear that the benefits of MATS outweigh the costs substantially. Specifically, the monetized benefits outweigh the estimated $9.6 billion in annual costs by between 3-to-1 or 9-to-1 depending on the benefit estimate and discount rate used. As noted above, these total monetized benefits are underestimated due to the numerous categories of HAP and other benefits that were not monetized in the MATS RIA.

    56 For example, as described in Section IV.B.2 of this document, the estimated costs of MATS reflect consequences beyond just the affected units.

    As discussed above in Section IV.B, installing control technologies and implementing the compliance strategies necessary to reduce the HAP emissions directly regulated by the MATS rule also results in concomitant (co-benefit) reductions in the emissions of other pollutants such as directly emitted PM2.5 and SO2 (a PM2.5 precursor). PM2.5 emissions are comprised in part by the mercury and non-mercury HAP metals that the MATS rule is designed to reduce. The only way to effectively control the particulate-bound mercury and non-mercury metal HAP is with PM control devices that indiscriminately collect all PM along with the metal HAP, which are predominately present as particles. Similarly, emissions of the acid gas HAP (hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride, hydrogen cyanide, and selenium oxide) are reduced by acid gas controls that are also effective at reducing emissions of SO2 (also an acid gas, but not a HAP). The benefits associated with reducing other pollutants (e.g., PM2.5 and SO2) are substantial and comprise a primary portion of the monetized benefits of MATS, and the quantification of PM2.5-related health effects is strongly supported by hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific studies.57 While these reductions are not the objective of the MATS rule, the reductions are, in fact, a direct consequence of regulating the HAP emissions from EGUs. Consideration of known and quantifiable co-benefits such as these in a benefit-cost analysis is fully consistent with economic principles and is directed by guidance documents for conducting benefit-cost analyses of federal regulations from the EPA and OMB.58

    57 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA). 2009. Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter (Final Report). EPA-600-R-08-139F. National Center for Environmental Assessment—RTP Division. December. Available at http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/cfm/recordisplay.cfm?deid=216546.

    58 Consideration of ancillary benefits in benefit-cost analysis is directed by OMB (Circular A-4, 2003, p. 26): “Your analysis should look beyond the direct benefits and direct costs of your rulemaking and consider any important ancillary benefits and countervailing risks. An ancillary benefit is a favorable impact of the rule that is typically unrelated or secondary to the statutory purpose of the rulemaking.” It is also directed by the EPA's Guidelines for Preparation of Economic Analyses (2010, p. 11-2): “An economic analysis of regulatory or policy options should present all identifiable costs and benefits that are incremental to the regulation or policy under consideration. These should include directly intended effects and associated costs, as well as ancillary (or co-) benefits and costs.”

    Further, as discussed in the Legal Memorandum, CAA section 112(n)(1)(A) itself supports the inclusion of co-benefits because the statute directs the EPA to perform a study of the hazards to public health from HAP emissions from EGUs that are likely to remain after imposition of the other provisions of the CAA, including the ARP. In other words, Congress directed the EPA to consider the HAP co-benefits attributable to the regulation of SO2 and nitrogen oxides in the ARP and other CAA programs. Thus, it is reasonable to conclude that the statute would also allow the EPA to consider other pollutant reductions directly resulting from regulation of HAP emissions if a benefit-cost analysis were required to support the appropriate finding. Because the co-benefits are a direct consequence of actions to reduce HAP emissions, are consistent with economic guidance documents, and are consistent with statutory requirements in CAA section 112(n)(1)(A), it would be unreasonable for the EPA to ignore co-benefits in the comparison of monetized benefits to monetized costs for MATS.

    E. Conclusions Regarding the Benefit-Cost Analysis

    Although data and methodological limitations did not allow the EPA to calculate all of the benefits that would result from reducing HAP emissions, the benefits (monetized and non-monetized) of MATS are substantial and far outweigh the costs, thus, the benefit-cost analysis presented in the RIA for MATS fully and independently supports the EPA's determination that it is appropriate to regulate HAP emissions from EGUs. The EPA requests comments on this conclusion.

    VI. Conclusion

    As directed by the Supreme Court, the EPA has now taken cost into account in evaluating whether it is appropriate to regulate coal- and oil-fired EGUs under section 112 of the CAA. As explained in Section IV of this document, the EPA considered the reasonableness of the direct and indirect compliance costs of MATS based on several metrics and weighed the cost of regulation with other factors relevant to a decision to regulate HAP emissions from EGUs. The EPA found based on that evaluation that including a consideration of cost does not cause the agency to alter its determination that regulation of HAP emissions from EGUs is appropriate. The EPA also found that other cost considerations further support this conclusion.

    In addition, though the EPA does not view formal benefit-cost analysis as required to support the appropriate finding, the EPA conducted a formal benefit-cost analysis in the RIA for MATS and that analysis demonstrates that the monetized and non-monetized benefits of MATS are significant and far exceed the cost. The benefit-cost analysis thus supports the finding that it is appropriate to regulate HAP emissions from EGUs.

    The EPA finds that the analysis set forth in Section IV of this document and the benefit-cost analysis in the RIA for MATS (and summarized in Section V) each provide independent support for a conclusion that regulation of HAP emissions from EGUs is appropriate. Based on these findings, the EPA proposes that the agency's previous determination that it is appropriate to regulate HAP emissions from EGUs under section 112(d) of the CAA is not altered by a consideration of cost and that coal- and oil-fired EGUs are properly listed pursuant to section 112(c).

    VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    This action is a significant regulatory action that was submitted to OMB for review because it “raises novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates.” Any changes made in response to OMB recommendations have been documented in the docket. The EPA does not project any potential costs or benefits associated with this action.

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This action does not impose an information collection burden under the PRA. There are no information collection requirements in this proposed action.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. This action will not impose any requirements on small entities. The EPA does not project any potential costs or benefits associated with this action.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action does not contain any unfunded mandate as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. The action imposes no enforceable duty on any state, local or tribal governments or the private sector.

    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action does not have federalism implications. It will not have substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

    F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

    This action does not have tribal implications as specified in Executive Order 13175. It would neither impose substantial direct compliance costs on tribal governments, nor preempt Tribal law. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

    G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks

    The EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 as applying only to those regulatory actions that concern environmental health or safety risks that the EPA has reason to believe may disproportionately affect children, per the definition of “covered regulatory action” in section 2-202 of the Executive Order. This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it does not concern an environmental health risk or safety risk.

    H. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

    This action is not a “significant energy action” because it is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. This action is not anticipated to have notable impacts on emissions, costs, or energy supply decisions for the affected electric utility industry.

    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    This action does not involve technical standards.

    J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

    The EPA believes the human health or environmental risk addressed by this action will not have potential disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority, low-income or indigenous populations because it is limited in scope and only considers cost of whether it is appropriate to regulate HAP emissions from electric utility steam generating units.

    K. Determination Under CAA Section 307(d)

    Pursuant to CAA section 307(d)(1)(V), the Administrator determines that this action is subject to provisions of section 307(d). Section 307(d) establishes procedural requirements specific to rulemaking under the CAA. Section 307(d)(1)(V) provides that the provisions of section 307(d) apply to “such other actions as the Administrator may determine.”

    VIII. Statutory Authority

    The statutory authority for this proposed action is provided by sections 112, 301, 302, and 307(d)(1) of the CAA as amended (42 U.S.C. 7412, 7601, 7602, 7607(d)(1)). This action is also subject to section 307(d) of the CAA (42 U.S.C. 7607(d)).

    Dated: November 20, 2015. Gina McCarthy, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30360 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 20 [AU Docket No. 14-252, GN Docket No. 12-268, WT Docket No. 12-269; MB Docket No. 15-146, Report No. 3033] Petitions for Reconsideration and Clarification of Action in Rulemaking Proceeding AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Petitions for reconsideration and clarification.

    SUMMARY:

    Petitions for Reconsideration and Clarification (Petitions) have been filed in the Commission's rulemaking proceeding by: Rick Kaplan, on behalf of the National Association of Broadcasters (two petitions) and D. Cary Mitchell, on behalf of the Blooston Rural Carriers.

    DATES:

    Oppositions to the Petitions must be filed on or before December 16, 2015. Replies to an opposition must be filed on or before December 28, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mark Montano, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, (202) 418-0691, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of Commission's document, Report No. 3033, released November 24, 2015. The full text of the Petitions is available for viewing and copying at the FCC Reference Information Center, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554 or may be accessed online via the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System at http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/. The Commission will not send a copy of this Public Notice pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A), because this Public Notice does not have an impact on any rules of particular applicability.

    Subject: Broadcast Auction Scheduled to Begin March 29, 2016; Procedures for Competitive Bidding in Auction 1000, Including Initial Clearing Target Determination, Qualifying to Bid, and Bidding in Auctions 1001 (Reverse) and 1002 (Forward), published at 80 FR 61918, October 14, 2015, in AU Docket No. 14-252, GN Docket No. 12-268, WT Docket No. 12-269, MB Docket No. 15-146, Public Notice, and FCC 15-78. This Public Notice is being published pursuant to 47 CFR 1.429(e). See also 47 CFR 1.4(b)(1).

    Number of Petitions Filed: 3.

    Federal Communications Commission. Gloria J. Miles, Federal Register Liaison Officer. Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30477 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    80 230 Tuesday, December 1, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Office of the Secretary Meeting Notice of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board AGENCY:

    Research, Education, and Economics, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App 2, Section 1408 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3123), and the Agricultural Act of 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announces a meeting of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board.

    DATES:

    December 16-18, 2015. The public may file written comments before or up to January 4, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, 10300 Baltimore Avenue, Building 005, Room 020, Beltsville, Maryland 20705. Written comments may be sent to: The National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board Office, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 332A, Jamie L. Whitten Building, Mail Stop 0321, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-0321.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michele Esch, Executive Director or Shirley Morgan-Jordan, Program Support Coordinator, National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board; telephone: (202) 720-3684; fax: (202) 720-6199; or email: [email protected] or [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Meeting: To provide advice and recommendations on the top priorities and policies for food and agricultural research, education, extension, and economics. The main focus of this meeting will be on the food safety and nutrition programs of the USDA Research, Education, and Extension mission area. The Board will also receive updates and information pertinent to the research, education, and economics activities in USDA. A detailed agenda may be received from the contact person identified in this notice.

    Tentative Agenda: On Wednesday, December 16, 2015, an orientation session for new members and interested incumbent members will be held from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. (noon) followed by the full Advisory Board convening at 12:00 p.m. (noon) and ending by 5:30 p.m.

    On Thursday, December 17, 2015, the full Advisory Board will convene at 8:00 a.m. and adjourn at 5:00 p.m. An evening session will be held at 6:00 p.m. at the Greenbelt Marriott at 6400 Ivy Lane, Greenbelt, Maryland 20770.

    On Friday, December 18, 2015, the Board will reconvene at 8:00 a.m. and adjourn at 12:00 p.m. (noon).

    Public Participation: This meeting is open to the public and any interested individuals wishing to attend. Opportunity for public comment will be offered at the end of each day of the meeting. To attend the meeting and/or make oral statements regarding any items on the agenda, you must contact Michele Esch at 202-720-8408; email: [email protected] at least 5 business days prior to the meeting. Members of the public will be heard in the order in which they sign up at the beginning of the meeting. The Chair will conduct the meeting to facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Written comments by attendees or other interested stakeholders will be welcomed for the public record before and up to two weeks following the Board meeting (or by close of business Monday, January 4, 2014). All written statements must be sent to Michele Esch, Designated Federal Officer and Executive Director, National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 332A, Jamie L. Whitten Building, Mail Stop 0321,1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-0321; or email: [email protected]. All statements will become a part of the official record of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board and will be kept on file for public review in the Research, Education, and Economics Advisory Board Office.

    Done at Washington, DC, this 24th day of November 2015. Catherine E. Woteki, Under Secretary, Research, Education, and Economics, Chief Scientist, USDA.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30444 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-03-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Office of the Secretary Notice of the Specialty Crop Committee's Stakeholder Listening Session AGENCY:

    Research, Education, and Economics, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of stakeholder listening session.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App 2, and the Specialty Crop Competitiveness Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-465), the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announces a stakeholder listening session of the Specialty Crop Committee, a subcommittee of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board.

    DATES:

    December 10, 2015 starting at 9:00 a.m. EST.

    ADDRESSES:

    Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo and Michigan Greenhouse Growers EXPO, DeVos Place Conference Center, River Overlook Room A-B, DeVos Place Convention Center, 303 Monroe Ave. NW., Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49503.

    The public may file written comments by December 21, 2015, to: The National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board Office, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 332-A, Jamie L. Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC, 20250-2255 or [email protected].

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michele Esch, Executive Director, National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board; telephone: (202) 720-8408; fax: (202) 720-6199; or email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Specialty Crop Committee was established in accordance with the Specialty Crops Competitiveness Act of 2004 under Title III, Section 303 of Public Law 108-465. This Committee is a permanent subcommittee of the National Agricultural Research Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board (the Board). The Committee's charge is to study the scope and effectiveness of research, extension, and economics programs affecting the specialty crop industry. The congressional legislation defines “specialty crops” as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits and nursery crops (including floriculture).

    In order to carry out its responsibilities effectively, the Committee is holding a stakeholder listening session. The listening session will elicit stakeholder input from industry and state representatives, national organizations and institutions, local producers, and other groups interested in the issues with which the Specialty Crop Committee is charged. This session will be an opportunity to share ideas on the specialty crop industry with members of USDA's Specialty Crop Committee, including: measures designed to improve the efficiency, productivity, and profitability of specialty crop production in the United States; measures designed to improve competitiveness through research, extension, and economics programs affecting the specialty crop industry; and programs that would: enhance quality and shelf-life, development of new crop protection tools, preventing foreign invasive pests and diseases, developing new and improved marketing tools, and enhancing food safety, improvement of mechanization of production practices, and enhancing irrigation techniques. Input received will help formulate recommendations from the Specialty Crop Committee to USDA.

    Written comments by attendees and other interested stakeholders will be welcomed as additional public input by December 21, 2015. All verbal and written statements will become part of the official public record of the REE Advisory Board Office.

    Done at Washington, DC, this 24th day of November 2015. Catherine E. Woteki, Under Secretary, Research, Education, and Economics, Chief Scientist, USDA.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30450 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-03-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request—Follow Up to an Assessment of the Roles and Effectiveness of Community-Based Organizations in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program AGENCY:

    Food and Nutrition Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on this proposed information collection. This is a revision of an existing collection for the Food and Nutrition Service to describe the roles of community-based organizations (CBOs) in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and to assess if, and how, the use of CBOs to conduct SNAP applicant interviews has impacted SNAP program outcomes such as timeliness, payment error rates, access, and client satisfaction across five (5) States.

    DATES:

    Written comments on this notice must be received on or before February 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    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 will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's burden estimate for the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions that were used; (c) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, and (d) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected.

    Comments may be sent to: Rosemarie Downer, Food and Nutrition Service/U.S. Department of Agriculture, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 1014, Alexandria, VA 22302. Comments may also be submitted via fax to the attention of Rosemarie Downer at 703-305-2576 or via email to [email protected]. Comments will also be accepted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for submitting comments electronically.

    All written comments will be open for public inspection at the office of the Food and Nutrition Service during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday) at 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 1014, Alexandria, Virginia 22302.

    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of this information collection should be directed to Rosemarie Downer at 703-305-2129. Information requests submitted through email should refer to the title of this proposal.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Follow Up to an Assessment of the Roles and Effectiveness of Community-Based Organizations in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

    OMB Number: 0584-0578.

    Form Number: Not Applicable.

    Expiration Date: May 31, 2016.

    Type of Request: Revision of a currently approval information collection.

    Abstract: To provide more timely and efficient services to the growing number of applicants to SNAP, State and local SNAP offices are partnering with CBOs that have the capacity to provide application assistance and conduct applicant interviews for SNAP across five (5) States. FNS has approved these partnerships as part of a demonstration of “Community Partner Interviewer Projects.” In 2015, FNS released a report that assessed whether the use of CBOs to conduct SNAP applicant interviews had an impact on SNAP program performance. Specific program outcomes included efficiency, payment accuracy and client satisfaction. FNS has extended the demonstration projects, and to further assess the impact of these SNAP-CBO partnerships on SNAP program outcomes, FNS is seeking to collect additional data from the five States that are participating in the demonstration.

    The information collection plan for this follow-up includes a satisfaction survey to be completed by SNAP participants who were interviewed by CBO staff at the time of application or recertification for SNAP, and program administration data (error rates, timeliness, payment accuracy, and eligibility determination) from the five participating States. FNS' data collection strategy aims to maximize both efficiency and data quality. The participant satisfaction survey will take no more than five minutes. FNS will use the information collected to evaluate whether the 10 Community Partner Interviewer projects have helped to improve SNAP access and performance.

    Affected Public: 3,452 Individuals and Households (3,384 Respondent & 68 Non-Respondent type SNAP participants).

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 3,384.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Estimated Total Annual Response: 3,384.

    Estimated Time per Respondent: 0.08 hours (4.8 minutes).

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 272.08 burden hours.

    Affected Public: State Agencies.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 5 States.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 2.

    Estimated Total Annual Responses: 10.

    Estimated Time per Respondent: 1.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 10 burden hours.

    Affected Public: Business-for-not-for-Profit (Respondent type: Community-Based Organizations (CBOs).

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 10.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 338.40.

    Estimated Total Annual Responses: 3,384.

    Estimated Time per Respondent: 0.08.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 270.40.

    FNS is requesting 552.48 burden hours.

    There is no recordkeeping requirements involved in this data collection.

    Dated: November 24, 2015. Yvette S. Jackson, Acting Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30442 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest and Ashley National Forest; Utah; High Uintas Wilderness Domestic Sheep Analysis AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement.

    SUMMARY:

    In 2007, the Wasatch-Cache National Forest, now the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest (UWCNF), along with other forests in the Nation issued a number of decisions reissuing term grazing permits on range allotments using a provisional categorical exclusion (CE) authorized by Congress. In 2010, the United States Forest Service was sued for authorizing grazing on allotments using this CE authority. In December 2013, the Intermountain Region and the United States District Court for the District Court of Idaho agreed to the Range CE settlement agreement. This agreement stipulated that the UWCNF would issue a scoping notice by May 2014 on five domestic sheep allotments.

    These were Gilbert Peak, Hessie Lake-Henry's Fork, Red Castle, East Fork Blacks Fork, and the Middle Fork Blacks Fork allotments. In reviewing the management of these domestic sheep allotments it became apparent that the effects of grazing had to be considered for both the north and south slope of the Uinta Mountains because sheep trailed from the north slope of the Uinta Mountains to the south slope for the summer grazing season. Therefore, the analysis was then extended to include the Painter Basin, Tungsten, Oweep, Ottoson Basin, and Fall Creek sheep allotments on the Ashley National Forest, which are some of the domestic sheep allotments on the south slope of the Uinta Mountains.

    Since 2007, various species of terrestrial and aquatic animals as well as plants have been added to or removed from the Regional Forester's Sensitive Species (RFSS) list. The RFSS will be analyzed as part of the EIS.

    In May of 2014, scoping was initiated for this project; at that time, it was anticipated that the project would be completed as an Environmental Assessment. Since then, it has become apparent that there is a potential for significant impacts and that an Environmental Impact Statement is needed. This project will evaluate the effects of continued domestic sheep grazing on these 10 allotments. These 10 sheep allotments located on the north and south slopes of the Uinta Mountains and are located in the Ashley or Uinta-Wasatch-Cache NFs.

    DATES:

    Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received by December 31, 2015. The draft environmental impact statement is expected around November, 2016 and the final environmental impact statement is expected around October, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send written comments to David Whittekiend, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest Supervisor at 857 West South Jordan Parkway, South Jordan, UT 84095. Comments may also be sent via email to [email protected] or [email protected], or via facsimile to 801-253-8118.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Paul Cowley, Interdisciplinary Team Leader, at the Uinta-Wasatch Cache Supervisor's Office (telephone: 801-999-2177; email: [email protected]).

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Purpose and Need for Action

    In response to the requirements of the 2013 settlement, the UWC is required to reassess the effects of domestic sheep grazing on the Gilbert Peak, Hessie Lake-Henry's Fork, Red Castle, East Fork Blacks Fork, and the Middle Fork Blacks Fork allotments. As such there is a need to respond to the requirements of the 2013 settlement. Since the Ashley NF neighbors those allotments to the south (Painter Basin, Tungsten, Oweep, Ottoson Basin, and Fall Creek), and domestic sheep utilize both the north and south slopes of the High Uintas, it was determined that an analysis of all 10 allotments was needed.

    With the addition of new species to the RFSS,1 the Forest Service must design and manage projects when they are initiated and implemented to account for impacts to those species.2 As such there is a need to evaluate and better understand the impacts of sheep grazing on recently designated RFSS. There is also a need to better understand the effects of domestic sheep grazing on the surrounding physical environment and the social environment. The overall purpose of this project is to evaluate the effects of domestic sheep grazing in these allotments and determine the impacts on the physical and social aspects of the project area.

    1 RFSS are “those plant and animal species identified by a regional forester for which population viability is a concern . . .” (FSM 2670.5).

    2 Forest Service Manual 2670.32 required that the Forests “Avoid or minimize impacts to species whose viability has been identified as a concern.” The Forests are also required to “Analyze, if impacts cannot be avoided, the significance of potential adverse effects on the population or its habitat within the area of concern and on the species as a whole. (The line officer, with project approval authority, makes the decision to allow or disallow impact, but the decision must not result in loss of species viability or create significant trends toward federal listing.)”

    Proposed Action

    The Forest Service will evaluate the 10 sheep allotments on the UWC and Ashley NFs: Those allotments are Gilbert Peak, Hessie Lake-Henry's Fork, Red Castle, East Fork Blacks Fork, and the Middle Fork Blacks Fork on the UWCNF, and Painter Basin, Tungsten, Oweep, Ottoson Basin, and Fall Creek on the Ashley NF.

    Based on current information both Forests are proposing to authorize grazing on five allotments on the UWCNF and five allotments on the Ashley NF. Livestock grazing would be authorized using Forest Plan direction to meet or move toward the desired conditions identified in the Forest Plans. The Forests are also proposing to continue to use the sheep driveway that allows for sheep that graze the listed allotments

    The project will evaluate multiple resources for impacts to include range, wilderness, recreation, hydrology, wildlife, fisheries and aquatic organisms, plants, soils, as well as potential impacts to economics and society.

    The project analysis area is located in Uinta County, Wyoming and Duchesne and Summit Counties, Utah on the Evanston-Mountain View and Duchesne/Roosevelt Ranger Districts. The project area is located approximately 40 miles north-northwest of Duchesne, Utah, and about 40 miles southeast of Evanston, Wyoming. The project area encompasses about 160,000 acres and is located in the Uinta Mountains on both the north and south facing slopes of the central ridgeline.

    The Forest Service will begin the environmental analysis in 2015, and the project is anticipated to end in late 2017.

    Possible Alternatives

    At this time, there are two alternatives that are being considered. The first is the proposed action described above. The second is the “No-Action” alternative which would not authorize grazing on the allotments. During the course of the project analysis, it is possible additional alternatives will be analyzed that may result from public participation or from staff participation, or from both.

    Responsible Official

    There are two Responsible Officials for this project: The Uinta Wasatch Cache Forest Supervisor and the Ashley Forest Supervisor.

    Nature of Decision To Be Made

    The decision to be made includes whether or not sheep grazing will continue on these allotments, and whether or not a site specific Forest Plan amendment could be needed.

    Preliminary Issues

    Preliminary issues that have been identified include impacts to Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, wilderness, socioeconomics, recreation, soils, hydrology, and vegetation. Additional issues may arise from the public during the comment process.

    Scoping Process

    Scoping for this project was initiated in May of 2014. At that time a scoping package was sent to interested parties, tribes, and organizations. The proposed action has not changed from that original scoping letter, with the exception that the Forests have decided to prepare an environmental impact statement instead of an environemental assessment.

    This notice of intent initiates the scoping process, which guides the development of the environmental impact statement. Following this Notice of Intent, it is anticipated that a second scoping letter describing the nature of the project will be sent to interested parties and organziations in the fall of 2015. There will also be opportunities to comment when the draft EIS is released. Additionally, public meetings are being considered as well, and would occur after a scoping letter was sent out.

    The Forest Service is looking for comments identifing issues or concerns with regards to sheep grazing on these allotments. Comments that clearly and concisely articulate a percieved problem, and how to find a solution to that problem are most helpful.

    It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times and in such manner that they are useful to the agency's preparation of the environmental impact statement. Therefore, comments should be provided prior to the close of the comment period and should clearly articulate the reviewer's concerns and contentions.

    Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the public record for this proposed action. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered, however.

    November 20, 2015. David C. Whittekiend, Forest Supervisor, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Dated: November 20, 2015. John R. Erickson, Forest Supervisor, Ashley National Forest.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30371 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-11-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland, Brush Creek/Hayden Ranger District; Wyoming; North Savery Project AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement.

    SUMMARY:

    In the North Savery Project, the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland, Brush Creek/Hayden Ranger District proposes approximately 6,500 acres of salvage logging, precommercial thinning, and hazard tree clearing on National Forest System lands in the northwest Sierra Madre mountain range. The District also proposes changes to the road system in the project area, including decommissioning 26 miles of roads that are causing direct impacts to watershed resources. The Governor of Wyoming has identified the project area as a priority landscape for treatment under the 2014 Farm Bill and amended Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003, which provide for expedited environmental analysis and treatments to address areas affected by insect and disease infestations. Accordingly, the environmental analysis associated with the North Savery Project will proceed according to Section 104 of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act and will be subject to subparts A and C of the U.S. Forest Service Project-Level Predecisional Administrative Review Process documented at 36 CFR 218.

    DATES:

    Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received by February 1, 2016. The draft environmental impact statement is expected in May 2016 and the final environmental impact statement is expected in September 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send written comments to Medicine Bow National Forest; Attn: Melanie Fullman; PO Box 249, Saratoga, WY 82331. Comments may also be sent via email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 307-326-5250. Comments may be hand delivered during business hours (8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.) to 2171 Highway 130, Saratoga WY 82331.

    All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and are available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at 2171 Highway 130, Saratoga WY. Visitors are encouraged to call ahead to 307-326-2500 to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Monique Nelson, Medicine Bow National Forest; 2468 Jackson St, Laramie WY 82070; phone (307)745-2310; or email: [email protected] A scoping document, including maps, is available online at http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/nepa_project_exp.php?project=47913.

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Purpose and Need for Action

    The purpose of the North Savery Analysis is to (1) promote forest regeneration in stands affected by mountain pine beetle; (2) treat overstocked timber stands to improve growth and vigor; (3) reduce the development of large continuous high hazard fuel conditions in high timber production areas; (4) remove hazard trees from high priority areas affecting public safety; (5) provide merchantable timber products for sale from designated timber units; and (6) relocate, reconstruct, or restore to natural conditions portions of the existing road system that are in need of maintenance or are detrimentally contributing to watershed health.

    Over the past decade, a mountain pine beetle epidemic has killed pine trees across thousands of acres of forest land in southern Wyoming. In lodgepole pine forests, approximately 70% of the trees greater than 6″ in diameter are dead or dying from mountain pine beetle infestation. Timber stands in the North Savery Project analysis area are among the most productive growing sites on the Medicine Bow National Forest, and it is a priority to reforest and return these stands to timber production. There is a limited time in which to salvage these trees and recover a sawtimber product. The Governor of Wyoming has identified this project location as a priority area for treatment due to insect and disease infestation.

    Proposed Action Salvage Harvest

    The Forest Service has identified and will analyze approximately 7,700 acres for salvage harvest. Approximately 2,200 of the analyzed acres will not be harvested in order to conserve watershed heath and wildlife habitat. Acres to be set aside from treatment will be determined based on the analyzed effects to water yields in each watershed and the presence of wildlife and other resources of interest. Overstory Removal and Clearcut treatments would be used in lodgepole pine stands to salvage dead and dying trees; some live trees will also be harvested.

    Overstory removal treatments are used in areas that have a significant understory component. The intent is to harvest overstory trees while maintaining understory trees that are too small to be merchantable. Clearcut prescriptions are used in stands that have beetle mortality greater than 70%, are highly mistletoe infested, have low levels of existing regeneration, or where the remaining green trees would be at high risk of windthrow. Species present and the presence, distribution, and health of the understory will dictate what options are available for salvage treatments on a stand-by-stand basis. Generally, lodgepole pine trees over 7.0 inches in diameter would be designated for removal. Trees of all species less than 7.0 inches in diameter would generally remain on site. Areas within units that have large, contiguous components of Engelmann spruce may be retained for wildlife. Subalpine fir, when found as a minor component in lodgepole pine stands, would not be retained unless included as wildlife habitat.

    Precommercial Thinning

    Precommercial thinning is proposed on approximately 1,000 acres of densely regenerating lodgepole pine seedling/sapling stands. Precommercial thinning would improve growth and vigor, reduce stress from overcrowding and competition, and provide for a future stand that is less susceptible to bark beetles.

    Hazard Tree Clearing

    Some areas identified for salvage harvest include hazard trees along roads, trails, and administrative sites.

    Roads Proposals

    The Forest Service proposes to decommission (return to a natural state) approximately 26 miles of roads that are causing direct impacts to wetland and water resources, provide redundant access in areas of high road density, or are in greater sage-grouse core habitat. To ensure adequate access to the area, the Forest Service proposes to add approximately 6 miles of well-placed unauthorized routes to the National Forest road system, convert 1 mile of road to ORV trail, and build approximately 1 mile of ORV trail. Finally, the Forest Service proposes to construct 1 mile of road, reconstruct 2 miles of road, and reroute 1 mile of road. Approximately 20 miles of temporary roads may be needed to facilitate timber harvest.

    Responsible Official

    Melanie B. Fullman, District Ranger; Medicine Bow Routt-National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland, Brush Creek/Hayden Ranger District.

    Nature of Decision To Be Made

    The Responsible Official will decide whether to adopt and implement the proposed action, implement an alternative to or modification of the proposed action, or take no action with respect to the North Savery Project.

    Preliminary Issues

    The following issues were identified while scoping a larger “Savery” project in 2011. The Savery Project was scoped but was not analyzed or implemented. This North Savery Project is located with the former Savery Project analysis area but is smaller in extent and includes fewer proposals. Preliminary issues are: (1) effects of proposed timber salvage treatments on wildlife, wildlife habitat, and watershed funtion; (2) effects of road closures and road decommissioning on recreational access to the national forest.

    Scoping Process

    This notice of intent initiates the scoping process, which guides the development of the environmental impact statement. There will a public meeting held at the Bureau of Land Management Rawlins Field Office located at 1300 North 3rd St., Rawlins WY 82301 on December 9, 2015 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. A second public meeting will be held at the Platte Valley Community Center located at 210 W Elm Ave, Saratoga, WY 82331 on December 10, 2015 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

    It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times and in such manner that they are useful to the agency's preparation of the environmental impact statement. Therefore, comments should be provided prior to the close of the comment period and should clearly articulate the reviewer's concerns and contentions.

    Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the public record for this proposed action. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered, however.

    Melanie B. Fullman, District Ranger.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30422 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-11-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE National Agricultural Statistics Service Notice of Intent To Request Revision and Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection AGENCY:

    National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the intention the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to request revision and extension of a currently approved information collection, the Cold Storage Survey. Revision to burden hours will be needed due to changes in the size of the target population, expected increases in response rates, and modes of data collection. The questionnaires have had some minor modifications to accommodate changes in the products stored by the industry, and to make the questionnaires easier to complete. The target population for cold storage operators (both mandatory and voluntary samples) will be contacted for this data on a monthly basis. Fruit storage operations are contacted on a monthly—seasonal basis. The capacity survey is conducted once every other year of all operations with refrigerated storage capacity. Most of these surveys are voluntary; the one exception is for operations that store certain manufactured dairy products that are required by Public Law 106-532 and 107-171 to respond.

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by February 1, 2016 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number 0535-0001, by any of the following methods:

    • Email: [email protected]. Include docket number above in the subject line of the message.

    • E-fax: (855) 838-6382.

    • Mail: Mail any paper, disk, or CD-ROM submissions to: David Hancock, NASS Clearance Officer, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 5336 South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-2024.

    • Hand Delivery/Courier: Hand deliver to: David Hancock, NASS Clearance Officer, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 5336 South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-2024.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    R. Renee Picanso, Associate Administrator, National Agricultural Statistics Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, (202) 720-2707. Copies of this information collection and related instructions can be obtained without charge from David Hancock, NASS—OMB Clearance Officer, at (202) 690-2388 or at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Cold Storage Survey.

    OMB Control Number: 0535-0001.

    Expiration Date of Approval: May 31, 2016.

    Type of Request: To revise and extend a currently approved information collection for a period of three years.

    Abstract: The primary objective of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is to collect, prepare, and issue State and national estimates of crop and livestock production, prices, and disposition; as well as economic statistics, environmental statistics related to agriculture and also to conduct the Census of Agriculture. The monthly Cold Storage Survey provides information on national supplies of food commodities in refrigerated storage facilities. A biennial survey of refrigerated warehouse capacity is also conducted to provide a benchmark of the capacity available for refrigerated storage of the nation's food supply. Information on stocks of food commodities that are in refrigerated facilitates have a major impact on the price, marketing, processing, and distribution of agricultural products.

    Authority: These data will be collected under authority of 7 U.S.C. 2204(a). Individually identifiable data collected under this authority are governed by Section 1770 of the Food Security Act of 1985 as amended, 7 U.S.C. 2276, which requires USDA to afford strict confidentiality to non-aggregated data provided by respondents. This notice is submitted in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, (Pub. L. 104-13) and Office of Management and Budget regulations at 5 CFR part 1320.

    NASS also complies with OMB Implementation Guidance, “Implementation Guidance for Title V of the E-Government Act, Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002 (CIPSEA),” Federal Register, Vol. 72, No. 115, June 15, 2007, p. 33362.

    Most of these surveys are voluntary; the one exception is for operations that store certain manufactured dairy products that are required by Public Law 106-532 and 107-171 to respond.

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this information collection is based on 3 individual surveys with expected responses of 10-30 minutes. The Refrigerated Capacity Survey is conducted once every 2 years, the other surveys are conducted monthly.

    Respondents: Refrigerated storage facilities.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 1,600.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: With an estimated response rate of approximately 85%, we estimate the burden to be 4,200 hours.

    Copies of this information collection and related instructions can be obtained without charge from David Hancock, NASS Clearance Officer, at (202) 690-2388.

    Comments: Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, technological or other forms of information technology collection methods.

    All responses to this notice will become a matter of public record and be summarized in the request for OMB approval.

    Signed at Washington, DC, November 20, 2015. R. Renee Picanso, Associate Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30445 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-20-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE National Agricultural Statistics Service Notice of Intent to Request Revision and Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection. AGENCY:

    National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the intention the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to request revision and extension of a currently approved information collection, the Agricultural Prices Surveys. Revision to burden hours will be needed due to changes in the size of the target population, sampling design, and/or questionnaire length.

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by February 1, 2016 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number 0535-0003, by any of the following methods:

    • Email: [email protected]. Include docket number above in the subject line of the message.

    • E-fax: (855) 838-6382.

    • Mail: Mail any paper, disk, or CD-ROM submissions to: David Hancock, NASS Clearance Officer, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 5336 South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-2024.

    • Hand Delivery/Courier: Hand deliver to: David Hancock, NASS Clearance Officer, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 5336 South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-2024.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    R. Renee Picanso, Associate Administrator, National Agricultural Statistics Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, (202) 720-2707. Copies of this information collection and related instructions can be obtained without charge from David Hancock, NASS-OMB Clearance Officer, at (202) 690-2388 or at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Agricultural Prices.

    OMB Control Number: 0535-0003.

    Expiration Date of Approval: May 31, 2016.

    Type of Request: Intent to Seek Approval to Revise and Extend an Information Collection for 3 years.

    Abstract: The primary objective of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is to prepare and issue State and national estimates of crop and livestock production, prices, and disposition; as well as economic statistics, environmental statistics related to agriculture and also to conduct the Census of Agriculture.

    The Agricultural Prices surveys provide data on the prices received by farmers and prices paid by them for production goods and services. NASS estimates based on these surveys are used as a Principle Economic Indicator of the United States. These price estimates are also used to compute Parity Prices in accordance with requirements of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 as amended (Title III, Subtitle A, Section 301(a)). In addition, price data are used by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation to help determine payment rates, program option levels, and disaster programs.

    Authority:

    These data will be collected under authority of 7 U.S.C. 2204(a). Individually identifiable data collected under this authority are governed by Section 1770 of the Food Security Act of 1985 as amended, 7 U.S.C. 2276, which requires USDA to afford strict confidentiality to non-aggregated data provided by respondents. This Notice is submitted in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-113) and Office of Management and Budget regulations at 5 CFR part 1320.

    NASS also complies with OMB Implementation Guidance, “Implementation Guidance for Title V of the E-Government Act, Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002 (CIPSEA),” Federal Register, Vol. 72, No. 115, June 15, 2007, p. 33362.

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this information collection is based on more than 30 individual surveys with expected responses of 5-20 minutes and frequency of 1-12 times per year. Estimated number of responses per respondent is approximately 2.6 times per year.

    Respondents: Farmers and farm-related businesses.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 75,000.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 33,000 hours.

    Copies of this information collection and related instructions can be obtained without charge from David Hancock, NASS Clearance Officer, at (202) 690-2388.

    Comments: Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, technological or other forms of information technology collection methods.

    All responses to this notice will become a matter of public record and will be summarized in the request for OMB approval.

    Signed at Washington, DC, November 20, 2015. R. Renee Picanso, Associate Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30448 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-20-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE National Agricultural Statistics Service Notice of Intent To Request Extension, Without Change, of a Currently Approved Information Collection AGENCY:

    National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the intention of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to request extension without change of a currently approved information collection, the Generic Clearance for Survey Research Studies. There are no revisions to burden hours or the number of responses under this information collection request.

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by February 1, 2016 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number 0535-0248, by any of the following methods:

    • Email: [email protected]. Include docket number above in the subject line of the message.

    • E-fax: (855) 838-6382.

    • Mail: Mail any paper, disk, or CD-ROM submissions to: David Hancock, NASS Clearance Officer, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 5336 South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-2024.

    • Hand Delivery/Courier: Hand deliver to: David Hancock, NASS Clearance Officer, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Room 5336 South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-2024.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    R. Renee Picanso, Associate Administrator, National Agricultural Statistics Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, (202) 720-2707. Copies of this information collection and related instructions can be obtained without charge from David Hancock, NASS—OMB Clearance Officer, at (202) 690-2388 or at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Generic Clearance to Conduct Survey Research Studies.

    OMB Control Number: 0535-0248.

    Type of Request: To extend a currently approved information collection for a period of three years.

    Abstract: The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for a generic clearance that will allow NASS to rigorously develop, test, and evaluate its survey instruments and methodologies. The primary objectives of the National Agricultural Statistics Service are to prepare and issue State and national estimates of crop production, livestock production, economic statistics, and environmental statistics related to agriculture and to conduct the Census of Agriculture. This request is part of an on-going initiative to improve NASS surveys, as recommended by both its own guidelines and those of OMB.

    In the last decade, state-of-the art techniques have been increasingly instituted by NASS and other Federal agencies and are now routinely used to improve the quality and timeliness of survey data and analyses, while simultaneously reducing respondents' cognitive workload and burden. The purpose of this generic clearance is to allow NASS to continue to adopt and use these state-of-the-art techniques to improve its current data collections efforts. These tests will also be used to aid in the development of new surveys.

    NASS envisions using a variety of survey improvement techniques, as appropriate to the individual project under investigation. These include focus groups, cognitive and usability laboratory and field techniques, exploratory interviews, behavior coding, respondent debriefing, pilot surveys, and split-panel tests. After obtaining participants' permission, NASS plans to audio-record some cognitive interviews and usability interviews, in order to allow for more complete and accurate summaries of these qualitative interviews. This is a standard procedure for cognitive interviews and usability interviews at many other survey organizations, including Federal agencies. The consent form would be used for audio recording some cognitive interviews and usability interviews for research purposes. For these types of interviews, there will be no collection of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) or any identifying information about the operator or operation.

    Following standard OMB requirements NASS will submit a change request to OMB individually for each survey improvement project it undertakes under this generic clearance and provide OMB with a copy of the questionnaire (if one is used), and all other materials describing the project.

    Authority: These data will be collected under the authority of 7 U.S.C. 2204(a). Individually identifiable data collected under this authority are governed by Section 1770 of the Food Security Act of 1985, 7 U.S.C. 2276, which requires USDA to afford strict confidentiality to non-aggregated data provided by respondents. This Notice is submitted in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13) and Office of Management and Budget regulations at 5 CFR part 1320. Participation in all surveys and studies conducted under this approval will be voluntary.

    NASS also complies with OMB Implementation Guidance, “Implementation Guidance for Title V of the E-Government Act, Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002 (CIPSEA),” Federal Register, Vol. 72, No. 115, June 15, 2007, p. 33362.

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for these collections of information is estimated to average from 15 minutes to 1.5 hours per respondent, dependent upon the survey and the technique used to test for that particular survey. The overall average is estimated to be 0.6 hours per response.

    Respondents: Farmers, ranchers, farm managers, farm contractors, agri-businesses, and households.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 25,000.

    Frequency of Responses: On occasion.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden: 15,000 hours.

    Comments: Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, technological or other forms of information technology collection methods.

    All responses to this notice will become a matter of public record and be summarized in the request for OMB approval.

    Signed at Washington, DC, November 20, 2015. R. Renee Picanso, Associate Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30451 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-20-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [Order No. 1990] Approval of Subzone Status, Outokumpu Stainless USA, LLC, Calvert, Alabama

    Pursuant to its authority under the Foreign-Trade Zones Act of June 18, 1934, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a-81u), the Foreign-Trade Zones Board (the Board) adopts the following Order:

    Whereas, the Foreign-Trade Zones Act provides for “. . . the establishment . . . of foreign-trade zones in ports of entry of the United States, to expedite and encourage foreign commerce, and for other purposes,” and authorizes the Foreign-Trade Zones Board to grant to qualified corporations the privilege of establishing foreign-trade zones in or adjacent to U.S. Customs and Border Protection ports of entry;

    Whereas, the Board's regulations (15 CFR part 400) provide for the establishment of subzones for specific uses;

    Whereas, the City of Mobile, grantee of Foreign-Trade Zone 82, has made application to the Board for the establishment of a subzone at the facility of Outokumpu Stainless USA, LLC, located in Calvert, Alabama (FTZ Docket B-62-2015, docketed September 10, 2015);

    Whereas, notice inviting public comment has been given in the Federal Register (80 FR 56962, September 21, 2015) and the application has been processed pursuant to the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations; and,

    Whereas, the Board adopts the findings and recommendations of the examiner's memorandum, and finds that the requirements of the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations are satisfied;

    Now, therefore, the Board hereby approves subzone status at the facility of Outokumpu Stainless USA, LLC, located in Calvert, Alabama (Subzone 82I), as described in the application and Federal Register notice, subject to the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations, including Section 400.13.

    Signed at Washington, DC, this 20th day of November, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Enforcement and Compliance, Alternate Chairman, Foreign-Trade Zones Board. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30509 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [Order No. 1988] Expansion of Subzone 84P, Houston Refining LP, Houston, Texas

    Pursuant to its authority under the Foreign-Trade Zones Act of June 18, 1934, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a-81u), the Foreign-Trade Zones Board (the Board) adopts the following Order:

    Whereas, the Foreign-Trade Zones Act provides for “. . . the establishment . . . of foreign-trade zones in ports of entry of the United States, to expedite and encourage foreign commerce, and for other purposes,” and authorizes the Foreign-Trade Zones Board to grant to qualified corporations the privilege of establishing foreign-trade zones in or adjacent to U.S. Customs and Border Protection ports of entry;

    Whereas, the Board's regulations (15 CFR part 400) provide for the establishment of subzones for specific uses;

    Whereas, the Port of Houston Authority, grantee of Foreign-Trade Zone 84, has made application to the Board to expand Subzone 84P on behalf of Houston Refining LP to include an additional 5.05 acres at Site 1 located in Houston, Texas (FTZ Docket B-49-2015, docketed August 3, 2015);

    Whereas, notice inviting public comment has been given in the Federal Register (80 FR 46954, August 6, 2015) and the application has been processed pursuant to the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations; and,

    Whereas, the Board adopts the findings and recommendations of the examiner's memorandum, and finds that the requirements of the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations are satisfied;

    Now, therefore, the Board hereby approves the expansion of Subzone 84P on behalf of Houston Refining LP as described in the application and Federal Register notice, subject to the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations, including Section 400.13.

    Signed at Washington, DC, this 20th day of November, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Enforcement and Compliance, Alternate Chairman, Foreign-Trade Zones Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30512 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [Order No. 1987] Approval of Subzone Status, Sasol Chemicals (USA), LLC, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana

    Pursuant to its authority under the Foreign-Trade Zones Act of June 18, 1934, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a-81u), the Foreign-Trade Zones Board (the Board) adopts the following Order:

    Whereas, the Foreign-Trade Zones Act provides for “. . . the establishment . . . of foreign-trade zones in ports of entry of the United States, to expedite and encourage foreign commerce, and for other purposes,” and authorizes the Foreign-Trade Zones Board to grant to qualified corporations the privilege of establishing foreign-trade zones in or adjacent to U.S. Customs and Border Protection ports of entry;

    Whereas, the Board's regulations (15 CFR part 400) provide for the establishment of subzones for specific uses;

    Whereas, the Lake Charles Harbor & Terminal District, grantee of Foreign-Trade Zone 87, has made application to the Board for the establishment of a subzone at the facilities of Sasol Chemicals (USA), LLC, located in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana (FTZ Docket B-48-2015, docketed July 28, 2015);

    Whereas, notice inviting public comment has been given in the Federal Register (80 FR 45944, August 3, 2015) and the application has been processed pursuant to the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations; and,

    Whereas, the Board adopts the findings and recommendations of the examiner's memorandum, and finds that the requirements of the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations are satisfied;

    Now, therefore, the Board hereby approves subzone status at the facilities of Sasol Chemicals (USA), LLC, located in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana (Subzone 87E), as described in the application and Federal Register notice, subject to the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations, including Section 400.13.

    Signed at Washington, DC, this 20th day of November, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Enforcement and Compliance, Alternate Chairman, Foreign-Trade Zones Board. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30511 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [Order No. 1991] Reorganization of Foreign-Trade Zone 258 Under Alternative Site Framework, Bowie County, Texas

    Pursuant to its authority under the Foreign-Trade Zones Act of June 18, 1934, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a-81u), the Foreign-Trade Zones Board (the Board) adopts the following Order:

    Whereas, the Board adopted the alternative site framework (ASF) (15 CFR Sec. 400.2(c)) as an option for the establishment or reorganization of zones;

    Whereas, the TexAmericas Center, grantee of Foreign-Trade Zone 258, submitted an application to the Board (FTZ Docket B-42-2015, docketed June 22, 2015) for authority to reorganize under the ASF with a service area that includes a portion of Bowie County, Texas, adjacent to the Shreveport-Bossier City Customs and Border Protection port of entry, and FTZ 258's existing Sites 1 and 2 would be categorized as magnet sites;

    Whereas, notice inviting public comment was given in the Federal Register (80 FR 36967-36968, June 29, 2015) and the application has been processed pursuant to the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations; and,

    Whereas, the Board adopts the findings and recommendations of the examiner's report, and finds that the requirements of the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations are satisfied;

    Now, therefore, the Board hereby orders:

    The application to reorganize FTZ 258 under the ASF is approved, subject to the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations, including Section 400.13, to the Board's standard 2,000-acre activation limit for the zone, and to an ASF sunset provision for magnet sites that would terminate authority for Site 2 if not activated within five years from the month of approval.

    Signed at Washington, DC, this 20th day of November, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Enforcement and Compliance, Alternate Chairman, Foreign-Trade Zones Board. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30508 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [Order No. 1989] Reorganization of Foreign-Trade Zone 33 under Alternative Site Framework; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Pursuant to its authority under the Foreign-Trade Zones Act of June 18, 1934, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a-81u), the Foreign-Trade Zones Board (the Board) adopts the following Order:

    Whereas, the Board adopted the alternative site framework (ASF) (15 CFR Sec. 400.2(c)) as an option for the establishment or reorganization of zones;

    Whereas, the Regional Industrial Development Corporation of Southwestern Pennsylvania, grantee of Foreign-Trade Zone 33, submitted an application to the Board (FTZ Docket B-43-2015, docketed June 23, 2015) for authority to reorganize under the ASF with a service area of Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland Counties, Pennsylvania, in and adjacent to the Pittsburgh Customs and Border Protection port of entry, FTZ 33's existing Sites 1, 2 and 18 would be categorized as magnet sites, existing Sites 3, 4, 5 and 10 would be categorized as usage-driven sites and Sites 1, 3 and 10 would be modified to reduce the sites' boundaries;

    Whereas, notice inviting public comment was given in the Federal Register (80 FR 37221, June 30, 2015) and the application has been processed pursuant to the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations; and,

    Whereas, the Board adopts the findings and recommendation of the examiner's report, and finds that the requirements of the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations are satisfied;

    Now, therefore, the Board hereby orders:

    The application to reorganize FTZ 33 under the ASF is approved, subject to the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations, including Section 400.13, to the Board's standard 2,000-acre activation limit for the zone, to an ASF sunset provision for magnet sites that would terminate authority for Sites 2 and 18 if not activated within five years from the month of approval, and to an ASF sunset provision for usage-driven sites that would terminate authority for Sites 3, 4, 5 and 10 if no foreign-status merchandise is admitted for a bona fide customs purpose within three years from the month of approval.

    Signed at Washington, DC, this 20th day of November, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Enforcement and Compliance, Alternate Chairman Foreign-Trade Zones Board. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30507 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-520-803] Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip From the United Arab Emirates; Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on polyethylene terephthalate film, sheet, and strip (PET Film) from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The period of review (POR) is November 1, 2013, through October 31, 2014. The review covers one producer/exporter of the subject merchandise, JBF RAK LLC (JBF). The Department preliminarily determines that sales of subject merchandise have been made below normal value by JBF. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: December 1, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Andrew Huston, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4261.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Scope of the Order

    The products covered by the order are all gauges of raw, pre-treated, or primed polyethylene terephthalate film, whether extruded or co-extruded. Excluded are metallized films and other finished films that have had at least one of their surfaces modified by the application of a performance-enhancing resinous or inorganic layer more than 0.00001 inches thick. Also excluded is roller transport cleaning film which has at least one of its surfaces modified by application of 0.5 micrometers of SBR latex. Tracing and drafting film is also excluded. Polyethylene terephthalate film is classifiable under subheading 3920.62.00.90 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). While HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, our written description of the scope of the order is dispositive.

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this review in accordance with section 751(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). Export price is calculated in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Normal value is calculated in accordance with section 773 of the Act.

    For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, which is hereby adopted by this notice.1 The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and in the Central Records Unit in room B8024 of the main Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the Internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    1See the Memorandum from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip from the United Arab Emirates” (Preliminary Decision Memorandum), dated concurrently with this notice.

    Preliminary Results of Review

    As a result of our review, we preliminarily determine the following weighted-average dumping margins exist for the period November 1, 2013, through October 31, 2014:

    Manufacturer/
  • exporter
  • Weighted-
  • average
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • JBF RAK LLC 1.71
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    The Department intends to disclose the calculations used in our analysis to parties in this review within five days of the date of publication of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). Interested parties are invited to comment on the preliminary results of this review. Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c)(1)(ii), interested parties may submit case briefs not later than 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may not be filed later than five days after the time limit for filing case briefs.2 Parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this review are requested to submit with each brief: (1) A statement of the issue, (2) a brief summary of the argument, and (3) a table of authorities.3 Executive summaries should be limited to five pages total, including footnotes.4

    2See 19 CFR 351.309(d)(1).

    3See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2), (d)(2).

    4Id.

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), any interested party may request a hearing within 30 days of the publication of this notice in the Federal Register. If a hearing is requested, the Department will notify interested parties of the hearing schedule. Interested parties who wish to request a hearing, or to participate if one is requested, must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, filed electronically via ACCESS within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Requests should contain: (1) The party's name, address, and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of the issues to be discussed. Issues raised in the hearing will be limited to those raised in the respective case briefs.

    We intend to issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of our analysis of issues raised by the parties in the written comments, within 120 days of publication of these preliminary results in the Federal Register, unless otherwise extended.5

    5See section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act.

    Assessment Rates

    Upon issuing the final results of the review, the Department shall determine, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries. The Department intends to issue assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the date of publication of the final results of review.

    For any individually examined respondents whose weighted-average dumping margin is above de minimis, we will calculate importer-specific ad valorem duty assessment rates based on the ratio of the total amount of dumping calculated for the importer's examined sales to the total entered value of those same sales in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).6 We will instruct CBP to assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review when the importer-specific assessment rate calculated in the final results of this review is above de minimis. Where either the respondent's weighted-average dumping margin is zero or de minimis, or an importer-specific assessment rate is zero or de minimis, we will instruct CBP to liquidate the appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties.

    6 In these preliminary results, the Department applied the assessment rate calculation methodology adopted in Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Proceedings: Final Modification, 77 FR 8101 (February 14, 2012).

    The final results of this review shall be the basis for the assessment of antidumping duties on entries of merchandise covered by the final results of this review and for future deposits of estimated duties, where applicable.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following deposit requirements will be effective for all shipments of PET Film from the UAE entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of the final results of this administrative review, as provided for by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) the cash deposit rate for the companies under review will be the rate established in the final results of this review (except, if the rate is zero or de minimis, no cash deposit will be required); (2) for previously reviewed or investigated companies not listed above, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recent period; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a prior review, or the less-than-fair-value investigation, but the manufacturer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recent period for the manufacturer of the merchandise; and (4) the cash deposit rate for all other manufacturers or exporters will continue to be 4.05 percent, the all-others rate established in the investigation.7 These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    7See Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip from Brazil, the People's Republic of China and the United Arab Emirates: Antidumping Duty Orders and Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value for the United Arab Emirates, 73 FR 66595, 66597 (November 10, 2008).

    Notification to Importers

    This notice also serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Department's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    These preliminary results of administrative review are issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: November 23, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. APPENDIX List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum 1. Summary 2. Background 3. Scope of the Order 4. Date of Sale 5. Discussion of Methodology 6. Product Comparisons 7. Export Price 8. Normal Value 9. Cost of Production Analysis 10. Currency Conversion
    [FR Doc. 2015-30504 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-489-823] Welded Line Pipe From the Republic of Turkey: Countervailing Duty Order AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    Based on affirmative final determinations by the Department of Commerce (the Department) and the International Trade Commission (ITC), the Department is issuing a countervailing duty order on welded line pipe from the Republic of Turkey (Turkey).

    DATES:

    Effective Date: December 1, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Elizabeth Eastwood, AD/CVD Operations, Office II, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-3874.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On October 13, 2015, the Department published its final determination in the countervailing duty investigation of welded line pipe from Turkey.1 On November 20, 2015, the ITC notified the Department of its final determination pursuant to section 705(b)(1)(A)(i) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), that an industry in the United States is materially injured by reason of subsidized imports of subject merchandise from Turkey.2

    1See Welded Line Pipe from the Republic of Turkey: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination, 80 FR 61371 (October 13, 2015).

    2See Letter to Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Enforcement and Compliance, from Meredith Broadbent, Chairman of the U.S. International Trade Commission, regarding welded line pipe from the Turkey (November 20, 2015). See also Certain Welded Line Pipe from Korea and Turkey, Investigation Nos. 701-TA-525 and 731-TA-1260-1261 (Final), USITC Publication 4580 (November 2015).

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by this order is circular welded carbon and alloy steel (other than stainless steel) pipe of a kind used for oil or gas pipelines (welded line pipe), not more than 24 inches in nominal outside diameter, regardless of wall thickness, length, surface finish, end finish, or stenciling. Welded line pipe is normally produced to the American Petroleum Institute (API) specification 5L, but can be produced to comparable foreign specifications, to proprietary grades, or can be non-graded material. All pipe meeting the physical description set forth above, including multiple-stenciled pipe with an API or comparable foreign specification line pipe stencil is covered by the scope of this order.

    The welded line pipe that is subject to this order is currently classifiable in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under subheadings 7305.11.1030, 7305.11.5000, 7305.12.1030, 7305.12.5000, 7305.19.1030, 7305.19.5000, 7306.19.1010, 7306.19.1050, 7306.19.5110, and 7306.19.5150. The subject merchandise may also enter in HTSUS 7305.11.1060 and 7305.12.1060. While the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of this order is dispositive.

    Countervailing Duty Order

    In accordance with sections 705(b)(1)(A)(i) and 705(d) of the Act, the ITC has notified the Department of its final determination that the industry in the United States producing welded line pipe is materially injured by reason of subsidized imports of welded line pipe from Turkey. Therefore, in accordance with section 705(c)(2) of the Act, we are publishing this countervailing duty order.

    As a result of the ITC's final determination, in accordance with section 706(a) of the Act, the Department will direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assess, upon further instruction by the Department, countervailing duties on unliquidated entries of welded line pipe entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after March 20, 2015, the date on which the Department published its preliminary countervailing duty determination in the Federal Register,3 and before July 18, 2015, the date on which the Department instructed CBP to discontinue the suspension of liquidation in accordance with section 703(d) of the Act. Section 703(d) of the Act states that the suspension of liquidation pursuant to a preliminary determination may not remain in effect for more than four months. Therefore, entries of welded line pipe made on or after July 18, 2015, and prior to the date of publication of the ITC's final determination in the Federal Register are not liable for the assessment of countervailing duties due to the Department's discontinuation, effective July 18, 2015, of the suspension of liquidation.

    3See Welded Line Pipe From the Republic of Turkey: Preliminary Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination and Alignment of Final Determination With Final Antidumping Determination, 80 FR 14943 (March 20, 2015).

    Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 706 of the Act, the Department will direct CBP to reinstitute the suspension of liquidation of welded line pipe from Turkey, effective the date of publication of the ITC's notice of final determination in the Federal Register, and to assess, upon further advice by the Department pursuant to section 706(a)(1) of the Act, countervailing duties for each entry of the subject merchandise in an amount based on the net countervailable subsidy rates for the subject merchandise. On or after the date of publication of the ITC's final injury determination in the Federal Register, CBP must require, at the same time as importers would normally deposit estimated duties on this merchandise, a cash deposit equal to the rates noted below:

    Producer/
  • Exporter
  • Net subsidy
  • rate
  • (percent)
  • Borusan Istikbal Ticaret, Borusan Mannesmann Boru Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S., Borusan Mannesmann Boru Yatirim Holding A.S., and Borusan Holding A.S 152.20 Tosçelik Profil ve Sac Endustrisi A.S., Tosyali Demir Celik Sanayi A.S., Tosyali Dis Ticaret A.S., Tosyali Elektrik Enerjisi Toptan Satis Ith. Ihr. A.S., and Tosyali Holding A.S 1.31 All Others 1.31

    This notice constitutes the countervailing duty order with respect to welded line pipe from Turkey, pursuant to section 706(a) of the Act. Interested parties may contact the Department's Central Records Unit, Room B8024 of the main Commerce Building, for a copy of an updated list of countervailing duty orders currently in effect.

    This order is issued and published in accordance with section 706(a) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.211(b).

    Dated: November 23, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30503 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-427-602] Brass Sheet and Strip From France: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on brass sheet and strip from France,1 pursuant to section 751(a)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). This review covers two companies, Griset SA (Griset) and KME France SAS (KME France). The period of review (POR) is March 1, 2014, through February 28, 2015. We preliminarily find that subject merchandise has been sold at less than normal value by both Griset and KME France. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    1See Antidumping Duty Order; Brass Sheet and Strip From France, 52 FR 6995 (March 6, 1987) (the Order).

    DATES:

    Effective Date: December 1, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mark Flessner or Robert James, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-6312 or (202) 482-0649, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Scope of the Order

    The product covered by the orders is brass sheet and strip, other than leaded and tinned brass sheet and strip, from France. The merchandise is currently classified under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) item numbers 7409.21.00 and 7409.29.00.

    A full description of the scope of the order is contained in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.2 The written description is dispositive.

    2See memorandum from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, entitled “Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Results of the 2014-2015 Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Brass Sheet and Strip from France” (Preliminary Decision Memorandum), dated concurrently with this notice.

    Methodology

    Because both Griset and KME France failed to respond to the Department's questionnaire, we preliminarily determined to rely on facts available with an adverse inference with respect to Griset and KME France, in accordance with sections 776(a) and (b) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.308. Thus, we preliminarily assigned a rate of 42.24 percent as the weighted-average dumping margin for both Griset and KME France.3 For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is made available to the public via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the Internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. A list of topics included in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included in Appendix I attached to this notice. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    3 Because this was an AFA rate derived from the petition in the investigation, the rate was not subject to the Department's so-called “zeroing” methodology. See Brass Sheet and Strip From France, Italy, and Japan: Final Results of the Expedited Third Sunset Reviews of the Antidumping Duty Orders, 76 FR 39849 (July 7, 2011) and accompanying Issues and Decision memorandum at 1-3 (“History of the Orders” section); see also the Order; see also Brass Sheet and Strip from France: Final Determination of Sales at Less than Fair Value, 52 FR 812 (January 9, 1987).

    Preliminary Results of Review

    As a result of this review, we preliminarily determine that the following weighted-average dumping margins on brass sheet and strip from France exist for the period March 1, 2014, through February 28, 2015, at the following rates:

    Producer or exporter Estimated weighted-
  • average
  • dumping margin
  • (Percent)
  • Griset SA 42.24 KME France SAS 42.24
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c), interested parties may submit case briefs not later than 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may be filed not later than five days after the date for filing case briefs.4 Parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.5 Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.6 Requests should contain: (1) The party's name, address and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of issues to be discussed. Issues raised in the hearing will be limited to those raised in the respective case briefs.

    4See 19 CFR 351.309(d).

    5See 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements).

    6See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    When submitting a document to the Department via the Department's electronic records system, ACCESS, the document must be received successfully in its entirety by 5 p.m. Eastern Time on the date on which it is due.

    The Department intends to issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of its analysis of the issues raised in any written briefs, not later than 120 days after the date of publication of this notice, unless extended, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act.

    Assessment Rates

    Upon completion of the administrative review, the Department shall determine, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review. For the final results, if we continue to rely on adverse facts available to establish the weighted-average dumping margins for Griset and KME France, we will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to apply an ad valorem assessment rate of 42.24 percent to all entries of subject merchandise during the POR which were produced and/or exported by Griset or KME France.

    The Department clarified its “automatic assessment” regulation on May 6, 2003.7 This clarification will apply to entries of subject merchandise during the POR produced by the respondent for which it did not know its merchandise was destined for the United States. In such instances, we will instruct CBP to liquidate un-reviewed entries at the all-others rate if there is no rate for the intermediate company involved in the transaction.8

    7See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 68 FR 23954 (May 6, 2003).

    8Id.

    We intend to issue liquidation instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of the final results of review.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the notice of final results of administrative review for all shipments of brass sheet and strip from France entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication as provided by section 751(a)(2) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for Griset and KME France will be equal to the weighted-average dumping margin established in the final results of this administrative review except if the rate is de minimis within the meaning of 19 CFR 351.106(c)(1), in which case the cash deposit rate will be zero; (2) for merchandise exported by manufacturers or exporters not covered in this review but covered in a prior segment of the proceeding, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding in which the manufacturer or exporter participated; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a prior review, or the original less-than-fair-value investigation but the manufacturer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recently completed segment of the proceeding for the manufacturer of the merchandise; (4) the cash deposit rate for all other manufacturers or exporters will continue to be 42.24 percent ad valorem, the all-others rate established in the less-than-fair-value investigation.9 These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    9See the Order at 52 FR 6996.

    Notifications to Importers

    This notice serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of doubled antidumping duties.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    We are issuing and publishing these results in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: November 17, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum A. Summary B. Background C. Scope of the Order D. Discussion of the Methodology 1. Application of Facts Available and Use of Adverse Inference a. Use of Facts Available b. Application of Facts Available With an Adverse Inference c. Selection and Corroboration of Information Used as Facts Available E. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2015-30500 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-580-876, A-489-822] Welded Line Pipe From the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Turkey: Antidumping Duty Orders AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    Based on affirmative final determinations by the Department of Commerce (the Department) and the International Trade Commission (the ITC), the Department is issuing antidumping duty orders on welded line pipe from the Republic of Korea (Korea) and the Republic of Turkey (Turkey).

    DATES:

    Effective Date: December 1, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ross Belliveau (Korea) or David Crespo (Turkey), AD/CVD Operations, Office II, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4952 and (202) 482-3693, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    In accordance with sections 735(d) and 777(i)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), and 19 CFR 351.210(c), on October 13, 2015, the Department published its affirmative final determinations in the less-than-fair-value (LTFV) investigations of welded line pipe from Korea and Turkey.1 Pursuant to section 735(e) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.224(f), the Department published its amended final determination in the LTFV investigation of welded line pipe from Korea on November 10, 2015.2 On November 20, 2015, the ITC notified the Department of its affirmative determinations that an industry in the United States is materially injured within the meaning of section 735(b)(1)(A)(i) of the Act, by reason of the LTFV imports of welded line pipe from Korea and Turkey.3

    1See Welded Line Pipe From the Republic of Turkey: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 80 FR 61362 (October 13, 2015) (Turkey Final Determination), and Welded Line Pipe From the Republic of Korea: Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 80 FR 61366 (October 13, 2015).

    2See Welded Line Pipe From the Republic of Korea: Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, 80 FR 69637 (November 10, 2015).

    3See Letter to Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Enforcement and Compliance, from Meredith Broadbent, Chairman of the U.S. International Trade Commission, regarding certain welded line pipe from Korea and Turkey (November 20, 2015). See also Certain Welded Line Pipe from Korea and Turkey, USITC Investigation Nos. 701-TA-525 and 731-TA-1260-1261 (Final), USITC Publication 4580 (November 2015).

    Scope of the Orders

    The merchandise covered by these orders is circular welded carbon and alloy steel (other than stainless steel) pipe of a kind used for oil or gas pipelines (welded line pipe), not more than 24 inches in nominal outside diameter, regardless of wall thickness, length, surface finish, end finish, or stenciling. Welded line pipe is normally produced to the American Petroleum Institute (API) specification 5L, but can be produced to comparable foreign specifications, to proprietary grades, or can be non-graded material. All pipe meeting the physical description set forth above, including multiple-stenciled pipe with an API or comparable foreign specification line pipe stencil is covered by the scope of these orders.

    The welded line pipe that is subject to these orders is currently classifiable in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) under subheadings 7305.11.1030, 7305.11.5000, 7305.12.1030, 7305.12.5000, 7305.19.1030, 7305.19.5000, 7306.19.1010, 7306.19.1050, 7306.19.5110, and 7306.19.5150. The subject merchandise may also enter in HTSUS 7305.11.1060 and 7305.12.1060. While the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of these orders is dispositive.

    Antidumping Duty Orders

    As stated above, on November 20, 2015, in accordance with section 735(d) of the Act, the ITC notified the Department of its final determinations in these investigations, in which it found material injury with respect to welded line pipe from Korea and Turkey.4 Therefore, in accordance with section 735(c)(2) of the Act, we are issuing these antidumping duty orders. Because the ITC determined that imports of welded line pipe from Korea and Turkey are materially injuring a U.S. industry, unliquidated entries of such merchandise from Korea and Turkey, entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, are subject to the assessment of antidumping duties.

    4Id.

    Therefore, in accordance with section 736(a)(1) of the Act, the Department will direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assess, upon further instruction by the Department, antidumping duties equal to the amount by which the normal value of the merchandise exceeds the export price (or constructed export price) of the merchandise, for all relevant entries of welded line pipe from Korea and Turkey. Antidumping duties will be assessed on unliquidated entries of welded line pipe from Korea and Turkey entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after May 22, 2015, the date of publication of the preliminary determinations,5 but will not include entries occurring after the expiration of the provisional measures period and before publication of the ITC's final injury determination as further described below.

    5See Welded Line Pipe From the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Postponement of Final Determination, 80 FR 29620 (May 22, 2015) (Korea Preliminary Determination); and Welded Line Pipe From the Republic of Turkey: Preliminary Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Postponement of Final Determination, 80 FR 29617 (May 22, 2015) (Turkey Preliminary Determination).

    Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with section 735(c)(1)(B) of the Act, we will instruct CBP to continue to suspend liquidation on all relevant entries of welded line pipe from Korea and Turkey. These instructions suspending liquidation will remain in effect until further notice.

    We will also instruct CBP to require cash deposits equal to the amounts as indicated below. Accordingly, effective on the date of publication of the ITC's final affirmative injury determinations, CBP will require, at the same time as importers would normally deposit estimated duties on this subject merchandise, a cash deposit equal to the estimated weighted-average dumping margins listed below.6 The relevant all-others rates apply to all producers or exporters not specifically listed. For the purpose of determining cash deposit rates, the estimated weighted-average dumping margins for imports of subject merchandise from Turkey will be adjusted, as appropriate, for export subsidies found in the final determination of the companion countervailing duty investigation of this merchandise imported from Turkey.7

    6See section 736(a)(3) of the Act.

    7See Turkey Final Determination, 80 FR at 61364.

    Provisional Measures

    Section 733(d) of the Act states that instructions issued pursuant to an affirmative preliminary determination may not remain in effect for more than four months, except where exporters representing a significant proportion of exports of the subject merchandise request the Department to extend that four-month period to no more than six months. At the request of exporters that account for a significant proportion of welded line pipe from Korea and Turkey, we extended the four-month period to six months in each case.8 In the underlying investigations, the Department published the preliminary determinations on May 22, 2015. Therefore, the extended period, beginning on the date of publication of the preliminary determinations, ended on November 18, 2015. Furthermore, section 737(b) of the Act states that definitive duties are to begin on the date of publication of the ITC's final injury determination.

    8See Korea Preliminary Determination and Turkey Preliminary Determination.

    Therefore, in accordance with section 733(d) of the Act and our practice, we will instruct CBP to terminate the suspension of liquidation and to liquidate, without regard to antidumping duties, unliquidated entries of welded line pipe from Korea and Turkey entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption after November 18, 2015, the date on which the provisional measures expired, until and through the day preceding the date of publication of the ITC's final injury determinations in the Federal Register. Suspension of liquidation will resume on the date of publication of the ITC's final determination in the Federal Register.

    The weighted-average dumping margins are as follows:

    Exporter/
  • Producer
  • Dumping
  • margins
  • (percent)
  • Korea Hyundai HYSCO 6.23 SeAH Steel Corporation 2.53 All Others 4.38
    Exporter/
  • Producer
  • Dumping
  • margins
  • (percent)
  • Cash deposit
  • (percent)
  • Turkey Borusan Istikbal Ticaret 22.95 0.00 Borusan Mannesmann Boru Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S 22.95 0.00 Çayirova Boru Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S./Yücel Boru Ithalat-Ihracat ve Pazarlama A.S 22.95 22.09 Tosçelik Profil ve Sac Endustrisi A.S./Tosyali Dis Ticaret A.S 6.66 5.80 All Others 7.10 6.24 Note: The cash deposit rates are adjusted to account for the applicable export subsidy rate of 27.32 percent for Borusan Istikbal Ticaret and Borusan Mannesmann Boru Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S.; and 0.86 percent for Çayirova Boru Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S./Yücel Boru Ithalat-Ihracat ve Pazarlama A.S., Tosçelik Profil ve Sac Endustrisi A.S./Tosyali Dis Ticaret A.S., and all other exporters/producers in Turkey.

    This notice constitutes the antidumping duty orders with respect to welded line pipe from Korea and Turkey pursuant to section 736(a) of the Act. Interested parties can find a list of antidumping duty orders currently in effect at http://enforcement.trade.gov/stats/iastats1.html.

    These orders are published in accordance with section 736(a) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.211.

    Dated: November 23, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30506 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity To Request Administrative Review AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brenda E. Waters, Office of AD/CVD Operations, Customs Liaison Unit, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, telephone: (202) 482-4735.

    Background

    Each year during the anniversary month of the publication of an antidumping or countervailing duty order, finding, or suspended investigation, an interested party, as defined in section 771(9) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”), may request, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.213, that the Department of Commerce (“the Department”) conduct an administrative review of that antidumping or countervailing duty order, finding, or suspended investigation.

    All deadlines for the submission of comments or actions by the Department discussed below refer to the number of calendar days from the applicable starting date.

    Respondent Selection

    In the event the Department limits the number of respondents for individual examination for administrative reviews initiated pursuant to requests made for the orders identified below, the Department intends to select respondents based on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) data for U.S. imports during the period of review. We intend to release the CBP data under Administrative Protective Order (“APO”) to all parties having an APO within five days of publication of the initiation notice and to make our decision regarding respondent selection within 21 days of publication of the initiation Federal Register notice. Therefore, we encourage all parties interested in commenting on respondent selection to submit their APO applications on the date of publication of the initiation notice, or as soon thereafter as possible. The Department invites comments regarding the CBP data and respondent selection within five days of placement of the CBP data on the record of the review.

    In the event the Department decides it is necessary to limit individual examination of respondents and conduct respondent selection under section 777A(c)(2) of the Act:

    In general, the Department finds that determinations concerning whether particular companies should be “collapsed” (i.e., treated as a single entity for purposes of calculating antidumping duty rates) require a substantial amount of detailed information and analysis, which often require follow-up questions and analysis. Accordingly, the Department will not conduct collapsing analyses at the respondent selection phase of this review and will not collapse companies at the respondent selection phase unless there has been a determination to collapse certain companies in a previous segment of this antidumping proceeding (i.e., investigation, administrative review, new shipper review or changed circumstances review). For any company subject to this review, if the Department determined, or continued to treat, that company as collapsed with others, the Department will assume that such companies continue to operate in the same manner and will collapse them for respondent selection purposes. Otherwise, the Department will not collapse companies for purposes of respondent selection. Parties are requested to (a) identify which companies subject to review previously were collapsed, and (b) provide a citation to the proceeding in which they were collapsed. Further, if companies are requested to complete the Quantity and Value Questionnaire for purposes of respondent selection, in general each company must report volume and value data separately for itself. Parties should not include data for any other party, even if they believe they should be treated as a single entity with that other party. If a company was collapsed with another company or companies in the most recently completed segment of this proceeding where the Department considered collapsing that entity, complete quantity and value data for that collapsed entity must be submitted.

    Deadline for Withdrawal of Request for Administrative Review

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), a party that requests a review may withdraw that request within 90 days of the date of publication of the notice of initiation of the requested review. The regulation provides that the Department may extend this time if it is reasonable to do so. In order to provide parties additional certainty with respect to when the Department will exercise its discretion to extend this 90-day deadline, interested parties are advised that, with regard to reviews requested on the basis of anniversary months on or after December 2015, the Department does not intend to extend the 90-day deadline unless the requestor demonstrates that an extraordinary circumstance prevented it from submitting a timely withdrawal request. Determinations by the Department to extend the 90-day deadline will be made on a case-by-case basis.

    The Department is providing this notice on its Web site, as well as in its “Opportunity to Request Administrative Review” notices, so that interested parties will be aware of the manner in which the Department intends to exercise its discretion in the future.

    Opportunity to Request a Review: Not later than the last day of December 2015,1 interested parties may request administrative review of the following orders, findings, or suspended investigations, with anniversary dates in December for the following periods:

    1 Or the next business day, if the deadline falls on a weekend, federal holiday or any other day when the Department is closed.

    Period of review Antidumping Duty Proceedings BRAZIL: Carbon Steel Butt-Weld Pipe Fittings A-351-602 12/1/14-11/30/15 CHILE: Certain Preserved Mushrooms A-337-804 12/1/14-11/30/15 GERMANY: Non-Oriented Electric Steel A-428-843 5/22/14-11/30/15 INDIA: Carbazole Violet Pigment 23 A-533-838 12/1/14-11/30/15 Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products A-533-820 12/1/14-11/30/15 Commodity Matchbooks A-533-848 12/1/14-11/30/15 Stainless Steel Wire Rod A-533-808 12/1/14-11/30/15 INDONESIA: Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products A-560-812 12/1/14-11/30/15 JAPAN: Non-Oriented Electrical Steel A-588-872 5/22/14-11/30/15 Prestressed Concrete Steel Wire Strand A-588-068 12/1/14-11/30/15 Welded Large Diameter Line Pipe A-588-857 12/1/14-11/30/15 REPUBLIC OF KOREA: Non-Oriented Electrical Steel A-580-872 5/22/14-11/30/15 Welded Astm A-312 Stainless Steel Pipe A-580-810 12/1/14-11/30/15 RUSSIA: Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products A-821-809 12/19/14-11/30/15 SOCIALIST OF REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM: Uncovered Innerspring Units A-552-803 12/1/14-11/30/15 SOUTH AFRICA: Uncovered Innerspring Units A-791-821 12/1/14-11/30/15 SWEDEN: Non-Oriented Electrical Steel A-401-809 5/22/14-11/30/15 TAIWAN: Carbon Steel Butt-Weld Pipe Fittings A-583-605 12/1/14-11/30/15 Non-Oriented Electrical Steel A-583-851 5/22/14-11/30/15 Steel Wire Garment Hangers A-583-849 12/1/14-11/30/15 Welded Astm A-312 Stainless Steel Pipe A-583-815 12/1/14-11/30/15 THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: Carbazole Violet Pigment 23 A-570-892 12/1/14-11/30/15 Cased Pencils A-570-827 12/1/14-11/30/15 Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled into Modules A-570-979 12/1/14-11/30/15 Hand Trucks and Certain Parts Thereof A-570-891 12/1/14-11/30/15 Honey A-570-863 12/1/14-11/30/15 Malleable Cast Iron Pipe Fittings A-570-881 12/1/14-11/30/15 Multilayered Wood Flooring A-570-970 12/1/14-11/30/15 Non-Oriented Electrical Steel A-570-996 2/21/14-11/30/15 Porcelain-on-Steel Cooking Ware A-570-506 12/1/14-11/30/15 Silicomanganese A-570-828 12/1/14-11/30/15 Countervailing Duty Proceedings INDIA: Carbazole Violet Pigment 23 C-533-839 1/1/14-12/31/14 Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products C-533-821 1/1/14-12/31/14 Commodity Matchbooks C-533-849 1/1/14-12/31/14 INDONESIA: Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Products C-560-813 1/1/14-12/31/14 TAIWAN: Non-Oriented Electrical Steel C-583-852 3/25/14-12/31/14 THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA: Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled into Modules C-570-980 1/1/14-12/31/14 Multilayered Wood Flooring C-570-971 1/1/14-12/31/14 Non-Oriented Electrical Steel C-570-997 3/25/14-12/31/14 THAILAND: Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products C-549-818 1/1/14-12/31/14 Suspension Agreements MEXICO: Sugar A-201-845 12/19/14-11/30/15 Sugar C-201-846 12/19/14-12/31/14

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(b), an interested party as defined by section 771(9) of the Act may request in writing that the Secretary conduct an administrative review. For both antidumping and countervailing duty reviews, the interested party must specify the individual producers or exporters covered by an antidumping finding or an antidumping or countervailing duty order or suspension agreement for which it is requesting a review. In addition, a domestic interested party or an interested party described in section 771(9)(B) of the Act must state why it desires the Secretary to review those particular producers or exporters. If the interested party intends for the Secretary to review sales of merchandise by an exporter (or a producer if that producer also exports merchandise from other suppliers) which was produced in more than one country of origin and each country of origin is subject to a separate order, then the interested party must state specifically, on an order-by-order basis, which exporter(s) the request is intended to cover.

    Note that, for any party the Department was unable to locate in prior segments, the Department will not accept a request for an administrative review of that party absent new information as to the party's location. Moreover, if the interested party who files a request for review is unable to locate the producer or exporter for which it requested the review, the interested party must provide an explanation of the attempts it made to locate the producer or exporter at the same time it files its request for review, in order for the Secretary to determine if the interested party's attempts were reasonable, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.303(f)(3)(ii).

    As explained in Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 68 FR 23954 (May 6, 2003), and Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694 (October 24, 2011) the Department clarified its practice with respect to the collection of final antidumping duties on imports of merchandise where intermediate firms are involved. The public should be aware of this clarification in determining whether to request an administrative review of merchandise subject to antidumping findings and orders.2

    2See also the Enforcement and Compliance Web site at http://trade.gov/enforcement/.

    Further, as explained in Antidumping Proceedings: Announcement of Change in Department Practice for Respondent Selection in Antidumping Duty Proceedings and Conditional Review of the Nonmarket Economy Entity in NME Antidumping Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 65963 (November 4, 2013), the Department clarified its practice with regard to the conditional review of the non-market economy (NME) entity in administrative reviews of antidumping duty orders. The Department will no longer consider the NME entity as an exporter conditionally subject to administrative reviews. Accordingly, the NME entity will not be under review unless the Department specifically receives a request for, or self-initiates, a review of the NME entity.3 In administrative reviews of antidumping duty orders on merchandise from NME countries where a review of the NME entity has not been initiated, but where an individual exporter for which a review was initiated does not qualify for a separate rate, the Department will issue a final decision indicating that the company in question is part of the NME entity. However, in that situation, because no review of the NME entity was conducted, the NME entity's entries were not subject to the review and the rate for the NME entity is not subject to change as a result of that review (although the rate for the individual exporter may change as a function of the finding that the exporter is part of the NME entity).

    3 In accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(b)(1), parties should specify that they are requesting a review of entries from exporters comprising the entity, and to the extent possible, include the names of such exporters in their request.

    Following initiation of an antidumping administrative review when there is no review requested of the NME entity, the Department will instruct CBP to liquidate entries for all exporters not named in the initiation notice, including those that were suspended at the NME entity rate.

    All requests must be filed electronically in Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”) on Enforcement and Compliance's ACCESS Web site at http://access.trade.gov. 4 Further, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.303(f)(l)(i), a copy of each request must be served on the petitioner and each exporter or producer specified in the request.

    4See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011).

    The Department will publish in the Federal Register a notice of “Initiation of Administrative Review of Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation” for requests received by the last day of December 2015. If the Department does not receive, by the last day of December 2015, a request for review of entries covered by an order, finding, or suspended investigation listed in this notice and for the period identified above, the Department will instruct CBP to assess antidumping or countervailing duties on those entries at a rate equal to the cash deposit of (or bond for) estimated antidumping or countervailing duties required on those entries at the time of entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption and to continue to collect the cash deposit previously ordered.

    For the first administrative review of any order, there will be no assessment of antidumping or countervailing duties on entries of subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption during the relevant provisional-measures “gap” period of the order, if such a gap period is applicable to the period of review.

    This notice is not required by statute but is published as a service to the international trading community.

    Dated: November 13, 2015. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30499 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-967] Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on aluminum extrusions from the People's Republic of China (PRC).1 The period of review (POR) is May 1, 2013, through April 30, 2014. These final results cover 39 companies for which an administrative review was initiated and not rescinded.2 The Department selected the following companies as mandatory respondents: Guangzhou Jangho Curtain Wall System Engineering Co., Ltd. and Jangho Curtain Wall Hong Kong Ltd. (collectively, Jangho), Union Industry (Asia) Co., Ltd. (Union), and Guang Ya Aluminium Industries Co., Ltd., Foshan Guangcheng Aluminium Co., Ltd., Kong Ah International Company Limited, and Guang Ya Aluminium Industries (Hong Kong) Ltd. (collectively, Guang Ya Group); Guangdong Zhongya Aluminium Company Limited, Zhongya Shaped Aluminium (HK) Holding Limited, and Karlton Aluminum Company Ltd. (collectively, Zhongya); and Xinya Aluminum & Stainless Steel Product Co., Ltd. (Xinya) (collectively, Guang Ya Group/Zhongya/Xinya).3

    1 The Department initiated this review on June 27, 2014. See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 79 FR 36462 (June 27, 2014) (Initiation Notice).

    2 This administrative review initially covered 155 companies. See Initiation Notice. However, on January 29, 2015, the Department rescinded this review with respect to 116 companies. See Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China: Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 80 FR 4868 (January 29, 2015).

    3 In prior segments of this proceeding the Department found that the Guang Ya Group, Zhongya, and Xinya were affiliated and should be treated as a single entity. See, e.g., Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Rescission, in Part, 2010/12, 79 FR 96 (January 2, 2014) and Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2012-2013, 79 FR 78784 (December 31, 2014) (2012-2013 Final Results).

    The Department finds for these final results that Union made sales of subject merchandise at less than normal value. In addition, the Department determines that Jangho, Guang Ya Group/Zhongya/Xinya, and 15 other companies subject to this review did not demonstrate eligibility for a separate rate, and, accordingly, are to be considered part of the PRC-wide entity. We also determine for these final results that one company, Xin Wei Aluminum Company Limited (Xin Wei), had no shipments.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: December 1, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Deborah Scott, Mark Flessner, or Robert James, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-2657, (202) 482-6312 or (202) 482-0649, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On June 8, 2015, the Department published the Preliminary Results of this administrative review.4 At that time, we invited interested parties to comment on the Preliminary Results. On June 10, 2015, we received comments from the Aluminum Extrusions Fair Trade Committee (Petitioner) on the calculation of the margin for Union.5 On July 8, 2015, we received case briefs from Petitioner 6 and Zhongya.7 On July 15, 2015, we received rebuttal briefs from Jangho 8 and Petitioner.9 On September 25, 2015, the Department extended the deadline for the final results until November 5, 2015.10

    4See Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014, 80 FR 32347 (June 8, 2015) (Preliminary Results) and the accompanying memorandum from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, entitled, “Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Aluminum Extrusions from the People's Republic of China; 2013-2014,” dated June 1, 2015 (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    5See letter from Petitioner to the Secretary of Commerce entitled, “Aluminum Extrusions from the People's Republic of China: Comments on Union's Preliminary Margin Calculations,” dated June 10, 2015.

    6See letter from Petitioner to the Secretary of Commerce entitled, “Aluminum Extrusions from the People's Republic of China: Case Brief of the Aluminum Extrusions Fair Trade Committee,” dated July 8, 2015.

    7See letter from Zhongya to the Secretary of Commerce entitled, “Aluminum Extrusions from China: Zhongda {sic} Case Brief,” dated July 8, 2015.

    8See letter from Jangho to the Secretary of Commerce entitled, “Aluminum Extrusions from the People's Republic of China: Rebuttal Brief: Guangzhou Jangho Curtain Wall System Engineering Co., Ltd. and Jangho Curtain Wall Hong Kong Ltd.,” dated July 15, 2015.

    9See letter from Petitioner to the Secretary of Commerce entitled, “Aluminum Extrusions from the People's Republic of China: Rebuttal Brief of the Aluminum Extrusions Fair Trade Committee,” dated July 15, 2015.

    10See memorandum from Mark Flessner to Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, entitled, “Aluminum Extrusions from the People's Republic of China: Extension of Time Limit for Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review,” dated September 25, 2015.

    Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by the Order11 is aluminum extrusions which are shapes and forms, produced by an extrusion process, made from aluminum alloys having metallic elements corresponding to the alloy series designations published by The Aluminum Association commencing with the numbers 1, 3, and 6 (or proprietary equivalents or other certifying body equivalents).12

    11See Aluminum Extrusions from the People's Republic of China: Antidumping Duty Order, 76 FR 30650 (May 26, 2011) (Order).

    12 For a complete description of the scope of the Order, see Memorandum from Gary Taverman, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, entitled, “Aluminum Extrusions from the People's Republic of China: Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014,” dated concurrently with this notice (Issues and Decision Memorandum).

    Imports of the subject merchandise are provided for under the following categories of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS): 7609.00.00, 7610.10.00, 7610.90.00, 7615.10.30, 7615.10.71, 7615.10.91, 7615.19.10, 7615.19.30, 7615.19.50, 7615.19.70, 7615.19.90, 7615.20.00, 7616.99.10, 7616.99.50, 8479.89.98, 8479.90.94, 8513.90.20, 9403.10.00, 9403.20.00, 7604.21.00.00, 7604.29.10.00, 7604.29.30.10, 7604.29.30.50, 7604.29.50.30, 7604.29.50.60, 7608.20.00.30, 7608.20.00.90, 8302.10.30.00, 8302.10.60.30, 8302.10.60.60, 8302.10.60.90, 8302.20.00.00, 8302.30.30.10, 8302.30.30.60, 8302.41.30.00, 8302.41.60.15, 8302.41.60.45, 8302.41.60.50, 8302.41.60.80, 8302.42.30.1 0, 8302.42.30.15, 8302.42.30.65, 8302.49.60.35, 8302.49.60.45, 8302.49.60.55, 8302.49.60.85, 8302.50.00.00, 8302.60.90.00, 8305.10.00.50, 8306.30.00.00, 8414.59.60.90, 8415.90.80.45, 8418.99.80.05, 8418.99.80.50, 8418.99.80.60, 8419.90.10.00, 8422.90.06.40, 8473.30.20.00, 8473.30.51.00, 8479.90.85.00, 8486.90.00.00, 8487.90.00.80, 8503.00.95.20, 8508.70.00.00, 8515.90.20.00, 8516.90.50.00, 8516.90.80.50, 8517.70.00.00, 8529.90.73.00, 8529.90.97.60, 8536.90.80.85, 8538.10.00.00, 8543.90.88.80, 8708.29.50.60, 8708.80.65.90, 8803.30.00.60, 9013.90.50.00, 9013.90.90.00, 9401.90.50.81, 9403.90.10.40, 9403.90.10.50, 9403.90.10.85, 9403.90.25.40, 9403.90.25.80, 9403.90.40.05, 9403.90.40.10, 9403.90.40.60, 9403.90.50.05, 9403.90.50.10, 9403.90.50.80, 9403.90.60.05, 9403.90.60.10, 9403.90.60.80, 9403.90.70.05, 9403.90.70.10, 9403.90.70.80, 9403.90.80.10, 9403.90.80.15, 9403.90.80.20, 9403.90.80.41, 9403.90.80.51, 9403.90.80.61, 9506.11.40.80, 9506.51.40.00, 9506.51.60.00, 9506.59.40.40, 9506.70.20.90, 9506.91.00.10, 9506.91.00.20, 9506.91.00.30, 9506.99.05.10, 9506.99.05.20, 9506.99.05.30, 9506.99.15.00, 9506.99.20.00, 9506.99.25.80, 9506.99.28.00, 9506.99.55.00, 9506.99.60.80, 9507.30.20.00, 9507.30.40.00, 9507.30.60.00, 9507.90.60.00, and 9603.90.80.50.

    The subject merchandise entered as parts of other aluminum products may be classifiable under the following additional chapter 76 subheadings: 7610.10, 7610.90, 7615.19, 7615.20, and 7616.99 as well as under other HTSUS chapters. In addition, fin evaporator coils may be classifiable under HTSUS numbers: 8418.99.80.50 and 8418.99.80.60. While HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of this Order is dispositive.

    Analysis of Comments Received

    All issues raised in the case and rebuttal briefs filed by parties in this review are addressed in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, which is incorporated herein by reference. A list of the issues which parties raised, and to which we respond in the Issues and Decision Memorandum, follows as an appendix to this notice. The Issues and Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the internet at http://www.trade.gov/enforcement/frn/index.html. The signed Issues and Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Issues and Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Changes Since the Preliminary Results

    Based on an analysis of the comments received from interested parties and a review of the record, the Department corrected calculation errors for the final adjusted margin to be applied to Union. For a full explanation, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum at Comment 2. This recalculation of Union's rate affected the rate for other companies; see the section below entitled, “Rate for Non-Examined Companies Which Are Eligible for a Separate Rate.” The Department also reconsidered the necessity of having applied adverse facts available in the Preliminary Results with respect to Jangho and Guang Ya Group/Zhongya/Xinya in light of the Department's recent change of practice concerning the conditional review of the PRC-wide entity.13 For additional explanation, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum at “Application of Facts Available and Use of Adverse Inference” and Comments 4 and 5.

    13See Antidumping Proceedings: Announcement of Change in Department Practice for Respondent Selection in Antidumping Duty Proceedings and Conditional Review of the Nonmarket Economy Entity in NME Antidumping Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 65963, 65970 (November 4, 2013) (Conditional Review of NME Entity Notice).

    Companies Eligible for a Separate Rate

    In our Preliminary Results, we determined that 11 companies, plus Union, are eligible for a separate rate.14 These companies are: Allied Maker Limited; Changzhou Changzheng Evaporator Co., Ltd.; Dongguan Aoda Aluminum Co., Ltd.; Justhere Co., Ltd.; Kam Kiu Aluminium Products Sdn Bhd; Kromet International Inc. (Kromet); Metaltek Group Co., Ltd.; Permasteelisa South China Factory; Permasteelisa Hong Kong Ltd.; Taishan City Kam Kiu Aluminium Extrusion Co., Ltd.; and tenKsolar (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. We received no information since the issuance of the Preliminary Results that provides a basis for reconsideration of this determination. Therefore, the Department continues to find that these 12 companies are eligible for a separate rate.

    14See Preliminary Results, 80 FR at 32348.

    Rate for Non-Examined Companies Which Are Eligible for a Separate Rate

    Neither the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), nor the Department's regulations address the establishment of the rate applied to individual separate rate companies not selected for examination where the Department limited its examination in an administrative review pursuant to section 777A(c)(2) of the Act. The Department's practice in administrative reviews involving limited selection based on exporters accounting for the largest volumes of trade has been to look to section 735(c)(5) of the Act for guidance, which provides instructions for calculating the all-others rate in a market-economy antidumping investigation. Section 735(c)(5)(A) of the Act instructs the Department to avoid calculating an all-others rate using any rates that are zero, de minimis, or based entirely on facts available in investigations. Section 735(c)(5)(B) of the Act provides that, where all rates are zero, de minimis, or based entirely on facts available, the Department may use “any reasonable method” for assigning an all-others rate.

    In the Preliminary Results, we assigned the rate of 32.79 percent, the most recent rate (from the less than fair value investigation) calculated for the non-examined separate rate respondents, to the non-examined separate rate respondents in the instant review.15 However, we have determined in these Final Results that the methodology used in the Preliminary Results was predicated on the erroneous calculation of a rate of zero for Union. As Union's rate at these Final Results is neither zero nor de minimis, we are applying Union's calculated rate to the non-examined, separate rate companies in accordance with section 735(c)(5) of the Act. For a full explanation, see the accompanying Issues and Decision Memorandum at Comment 3.

    15Id., at 32349.

    Determination of No Shipments

    One company remaining under review, Xin Wei, timely submitted a certification indicating that it had no sales, shipments, or entries of subject merchandise during the POR.16 Consistent with our practice, the Department requested that CBP conduct a query on potential shipments made by Xin Wei during the POR; CBP provided no evidence that contradicted Xin Wei's claim of no shipments. Based on Xin Wei's no-shipment certification and our analysis of the CBP information, in the Preliminary Results we determined that Xin Wei had no shipments during the POR.17 No party commented on that determination. The Department will issue appropriate instructions to CBP.18

    16See letter from Xin Wei to the Secretary of Commerce entitled, “Aluminum Extrusions from the People's Republic of China: Certification of No Sales, Shipments, or Entries,” dated August 26, 2014.

    17See Preliminary Results, 80 FR at 32349.

    18See Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694, 65695 (October 24, 2011).

    PRC-Wide Entity

    In the Preliminary Results, the Department determined that the mandatory respondents Jangho and Guang Ya Group/Zhongya/Xinya were not eligible for a separate rate, and, accordingly, were part of the PRC-wide entity.19 For purposes of these Final Results, the Department continues to find that Jangho and Guang Ya Group/Zhongya/Xinya are not eligible for a separate rate and are part of the PRC-wide entity. For a full explanation, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum at Comments 4 and 5.

    19See Preliminary Results, 80 FR at 32350.

    In addition, 14 companies still subject to these final results are not eligible for separate-rate status because they did not submit separate-rate applications or certifications; those companies are: Aluminicaste Fundicion de Mexico; China Zhongwang Holdings, Ltd.; Classic & Contemporary Inc.; Dongguan Golden Tiger; Dongguan Golden Tiger Hardware Industrial Co., Ltd.; Gold Mountain International Development, Ltd.; Golden Dragon Precise Copper Tube Group, Inc.; Metaltek Metal Industry Co., Ltd.; Nidec Sankyo Singapore Pte. Ltd.; Press Metal International Ltd.; tenKsolar, Inc.; Tianjin Jinmao Import & Export Corp., Ltd.; WTI Building Products, Ltd.; and Zahoqing China Square Industry Limited/Zhaoqing China Square Industry Limited.20 Further, one company still under review, Shenyang Yuanda Aluminium Industry Engineering Co., Ltd., submitted a separate-rate application that did not demonstrate eligibility for a separate rate. As a result, the Department finds for these final results that these 15 companies are also part of the PRC-wide entity. The Department's change in policy regarding conditional review of the PRC-wide entity applies to this administrative review.21 Under this policy, the PRC-wide entity will not be under review unless a party specifically requests, or the Department self-initiates, a review of the entity. Because no party requested a review of the PRC-wide entity in this review, the entity is not under review and the entity's rate from the previous administrative review (i.e., 33.28 percent) is not subject to change.22

    20 One company, Zhaoqing New Zhongya Aluminum Co., Ltd. (New Zhongya), was determined to have been succeeded by Guangdong Zhongya Aluminum Company Limited (Guangdong Zhongya) in a changed circumstances review. See Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Changed Circumstances Review, 77 FR 54900 (September 6, 2012). Thus, despite the fact that a review was initiated of New Zhongya, it is not being included among these 14 companies because its successor in interest, Guangdong Zhongya, is part of the Guang Ya Group/Zhongya/Xinya single entity.

    21See Antidumping Proceedings: Announcement of Change in Department Practice for Respondent Selection in Antidumping Duty Proceedings and Conditional Review of the Nonmarket Economy Entity in NME Antidumping Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 65963, 65970 (November 4, 2013) (Conditional Review of NME Entity Notice).

    22See 2012-2013 Final Results, 79 FR at 78787.

    Adjustments for Countervailable Subsidies

    Because no mandatory respondent established eligibility for an adjustment under section 777A(f) of the Act for countervailable domestic subsidies, the Department, for these final results, did not make an adjustment pursuant to section 777A(f) of the Act for countervailable domestic subsidies for Union or the separate-rate recipients.23

    23See Preliminary Decision Memorandum at 34 and Attachment 1.

    Pursuant to section 772(c)(1)(C) of the Act, the Department made an adjustment for countervailable export subsidies. For Union, we made adjustments to its reported U.S. price.24 For the companies eligible for a separate rate, because all of these companies participated in the second countervailing duty administrative review,25 an adjustment has been made based on the countervailable export subsidy found for the non-selected companies in the final results of the second countervailing duty administrative review (or its own calculated rate, in the case of Kromet).26 For a full explanation, see the Issues and Decision Memorandum at Comment 3.

    24See Memorandum from Mark Flessner to the File entitled, “2013-2014 Administrative Review of the Antidumping Duty Order on Aluminum Extrusions from the People's Republic of China: Analysis of the Final Results Margin Calculation for Union Industry (Asia) Co., Ltd.,” dated concurrently with this notice (Union Final Analysis Memorandum).

    25See Aluminum Extrusions From the People]s Republic of China: Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2012, 79 FR 78788, 78789-90 (December 31, 2014).

    26See Preliminary Decision Memorandum at Attachment 1.

    For the PRC-wide entity, since the entity is not currently under review, no adjustments were warranted to its rate, as its rate is not subject to change.27

    27See 2012-2013 Final Results, 79 FR at 78787; see also Conditional Review of NME Entity Notice, 78 FR 65970. As the rate for the PRC-wide entity is not subject to change in the instant review, the margin from the 2012-2013 Final Results that we are applying to the PRC-wide entity in the instant review is net of countervailable domestic and export subsidies.

    Final Results of Review

    The Department determines that the following weighted-average dumping margins exist for the POR for these final results:

    Exporter Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (%)
  • Margin
  • adjusted for
  • liquidation
  • and cash
  • deposit
  • purposes 28
  • (%)
  • Allied Maker Limited 86.01 85.73 Changzhou Changzheng Evaporator Co., Ltd 86.01 85.73 Dongguan Aoda Aluminum Co., Ltd 86.01 85.73 Justhere Co., Ltd 86.01 85.73 Kam Kiu Aluminium Products Sdn Bhd 29 86.01 85.73 Kromet International Inc 86.01 85.66 Metaltek Group Co., Ltd 86.01 85.73 Permasteelisa Hong Kong Ltd 30 86.01 85.73 tenKsolar (Shanghai) Co., Ltd 86.01 85.73 Union Industry (Asia) Co., Ltd 86.01 85.73

    28See the memorandum from Mark Flessner to The File entitled, “Aluminum Extrusions from the People's Republic of China: Export Subsidy Adjustment Memorandum for the Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014,” dated concurrently with this notice.

    29 Although the Department initiated a review for both Taishan City Kam Kiu Aluminium Extrusion Co., Ltd. and Kam Kiu Aluminium Products Sdn Bhd, it is apparent from the company's separate-rate application that Kam Kiu Aluminium Products Sdn Bhd is the exporter and Taishan City Kam Kiu Aluminium Extrusion Co., Ltd. is a producer only; thus, Kam Kiu Aluminium Products Sdn Bhd is the appropriate party to grant the separate rate status.

    30 Although the Department initiated a review for Permasteelisa South China Factory and Permasteelisa Hong Kong Ltd., it is apparent from the company's separate-rate application that Permasteelisa Hong Kong Ltd. is the exporter and Permasteelisa South China Factory is a producer only; thus, Permasteelisa Hong Kong Ltd. is the appropriate party to grant the separate rate status.

    Additionally, the Department determines for these final results that the following companies are part of the PRC-wide entity: Jangho (which includes Guangzhou Jangho Curtain Wall System Engineering Co., Ltd. and Jangho Curtain Wall Hong Kong Ltd.); Guang Ya Group/Zhongya/Xinya (which includes Guang Ya Aluminium Industries Co., Ltd.; Foshan Guangcheng Aluminium Co., Ltd.; Kong Ah International Company Limited; Guang Ya Aluminium Industries (Hong Kong) Ltd.; Guangdong Zhongya Aluminium Company Limited; Zhongya Shaped Aluminium (HK) Holding Limited; Karlton Aluminum Company Ltd.; and Xinya Aluminum & Stainless Steel Product Co., Ltd.); Aluminicaste Fundicion de Mexico; China Zhongwang Holdings, Ltd.; Classic & Contemporary Inc.; Dongguan Golden Tiger; Dongguan Golden Tiger Hardware Industrial Co., Ltd.; Gold Mountain International Development, Ltd.; Golden Dragon Precise Copper Tube Group, Inc.; Metaltek Metal Industry Co., Ltd.; Nidec Sankyo Singapore Pte. Ltd.; Press Metal International Ltd.; Shenyang Yuanda Aluminium Industry Engineering Co., Ltd.; tenKsolar, Inc.; Tianjin Jinmao Import & Export Corp., Ltd.; WTI Building Products, Ltd.; and Zahoqing China Square Industry Limited/Zhaoqing China Square Industry Limited. The rate previously established for the PRC-wide entity in the previous administrative review is 33.28 percent.31

    31See 2012-2013 Final Results, 79 FR at 78787.

    Assessment

    Pursuant to section 751(a)(2)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.212(b), the Department will determine, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries. The Department intends to issue assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the date of publication of the final results of review in the Federal Register. Consistent with the Department's assessment practice in NME cases, for entries that were not reported in the U.S. sales databases submitted by companies individually examined during this review, the Department will instruct CBP to liquidate such entries at the PRC-wide rate.32 In addition, if the Department determines that an exporter under review had no shipments of subject merchandise, any suspended entries that entered under the exporter's case number (i.e., at that exporter's rate) will be liquidated at the PRC-wide rate.33

    32See Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings; Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694 (October 24, 2011) (Assessment Practice Refinement).

    33Id.

    For each individually-examined respondent whose weighted-average dumping margin is above de minimis (i.e., 0.50 percent) in the final results of this review, the Department will calculate importer-specific ad valorem duty assessment rates based on the ratio of the total amount of dumping calculated for the importer's examined sales to the total entered value of those same sales, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1). We will instruct CBP to assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review where an importer- (or customer-) specific assessment rate calculated in the final results of this review is above de minimis. Where either the respondent's weighted-average dumping margin is zero or de minimis, or an importer- (or customer-) specific assessment rate is zero or de minimis, the Department will instruct CBP to liquidate the appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties. For the other companies eligible for a separate rate, the Department will instruct CBP to assess antidumping duties on the company's entries of subject merchandise at the rates listed above in the section “Final Results of Review.”

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the final results of this administrative review for all shipments of the subject merchandise from the PRC entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date, as provided for by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) for Union and the other companies eligible for a separate rate, the cash deposit rate will that listed above in the section “Final Results of Review”; (2) for previously investigated or reviewed PRC and non-PRC exporters not listed above that have a separate rate, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the exporter-specific rate published for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding in which the exporter was reviewed; (3) for all PRC exporters of subject merchandise which have not been found to be entitled to a separate rate, the cash deposit rate will be that established for the PRC-wide entity of 33.28 percent;34 and (4) for all non-PRC exporters of subject merchandise which have not received their own rate, the cash deposit rate will be the rate applicable to the PRC producer or exporter that supplied that non-PRC exporter with the subject merchandise. The deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    34See 2012-2013 Final Results, 79 FR at 78787.

    Disclosure

    The Department intends to disclose to the parties the calculations performed for these final results within five days of the date of publication of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    Notification to Importers

    This notice serves as a final reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties and/or countervailing duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this POR. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Department's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties and/or countervailing duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of doubled antidumping duties.

    Administrative Protective Order Notification to Interested Parties

    This notice serves as the only reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3), which continues to govern business proprietary information in this segment of the proceeding. Timely written notification of the return or destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and the terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    This administrative review and notice are issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(h).

    Dated: November 20, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix—List of Issues Raised in Case and Rebuttal Briefs Summary Background Application of Facts Available and Use of Adverse Inference Discussion of the Issues Issue 1: Collapsing of Zhongya Issue 2: Improper Calculation of Union's Dumping Margin Issue 3: Assignment of Union's Revised Dumping Margin to the Separate Rate Respondents Issue 4: Use of Union's Recalculated Margin as the AFA Rate Issue 5: Revision of the PRC-Wide Rate to Reflect Union's Recalculated Dumping Margin Conclusion
    [FR Doc. 2015-30502 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Initiation of Five-Year (“Sunset”) Review AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with section 751(c) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”), the Department of Commerce (“the Department”) is automatically initiating the five-year review (“Sunset Review”) of the antidumping and countervailing duty (“AD/CVD”) orders listed below. The International Trade Commission (“the Commission”) is publishing concurrently with this notice its notice of Institution of Five-Year Review which covers the same orders.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: December 1, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    The Department official identified in the Initiation of Review section below at AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230. For information from the Commission contact Mary Messer, Office of Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission at (202) 205-3193.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The Department's procedures for the conduct of Sunset Reviews are set forth in its Procedures for Conducting Five-Year (“Sunset”) Reviews of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders, 63 FR 13516 (March 20, 1998) and 70 FR 62061 (October 28, 2005). Guidance on methodological or analytical issues relevant to the Department's conduct of Sunset Reviews is set forth in Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Duty Proceedings; Final Modification, 77 FR 8101 (February 14, 2012).

    Initiation of Review

    In accordance with 19 CFR 351.218(c), we are initiating Sunset Reviews of the following antidumping and countervailing duty orders:

    EN01DE15.061 Filing Information

    As a courtesy, we are making information related to sunset proceedings, including copies of the pertinent statute and Department's regulations, the Department's schedule for Sunset Reviews, a listing of past revocations and continuations, and current service lists, available to the public on the Department's Web site at the following address: http://enforcement.trade.gov/sunset/. All submissions in these Sunset Reviews must be filed in accordance with the Department's regulations regarding format, translation, and service of documents. These rules, including electronic filing requirements via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”), can be found at 19 CFR 351.303.1

    1See also Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011).

    This notice serves as a reminder that any party submitting factual information in an AD/CVD proceeding must certify to the accuracy and completeness of that information.2 Parties are hereby reminded that revised certification requirements are in effect for company/government officials as well as their representatives in these segments.3 The formats for the revised certifications are provided at the end of the Final Rule. The Department intends to reject factual submissions if the submitting party does not comply with the revised certification requirements.

    2See section 782(b) of the Act.

    3See Certification of Factual Information To Import Administration During Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 42678 (July 17, 2013) (“Final Rule”) (amending 19 CFR 351.303(g)).

    On April 10, 2013, the Department modified two regulations related to AD/CVD proceedings: The definition of factual information (19 CFR 351.102(b)(21)), and the time limits for the submission of factual information (19 CFR 351.301).4 Parties are advised to review the final rule, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/2013/1304frn/2013-08227.txt, prior to submitting factual information in these segments. To the extent that other regulations govern the submission of factual information in a segment (such as 19 CFR 351.218), these time limits will continue to be applied. Parties are also advised to review the final rule concerning the extension of time limits for submissions in AD/CVD proceedings, available at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/2013/1309frn/2013-22853.txt, prior to submitting factual information in these segments.5

    4See Definition of Factual Information and Time Limits for Submission of Factual Information: Final Rule, 78 FR 21246 (April 10, 2013).

    5See Extension of Time Limits, 78 FR 57790 (September 20, 2013).

    Letters of Appearance and Administrative Protective Orders

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.103(d), the Department will maintain and make available a public service list for these proceedings. Parties wishing to participate in any of these five-year reviews must file letters of appearance as discussed at 19 CFR 351.103(d)). To facilitate the timely preparation of the public service list, it is requested that those seeking recognition as interested parties to a proceeding submit an entry of appearance within 10 days of the publication of the Notice of Initiation.

    Because deadlines in Sunset Reviews can be very short, we urge interested parties who want access to proprietary information under administrative protective order (“APO”) to file an APO application immediately following publication in the Federal Register of this notice of initiation. The Department's regulations on submission of proprietary information and eligibility to receive access to business proprietary information under APO can be found at 19 CFR 351.304-306.

    Information Required From Interested Parties

    Domestic interested parties, as defined in section 771(9)(C), (D), (E), (F), and (G) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.102(b), wishing to participate in a Sunset Review must respond not later than 15 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register of this notice of initiation by filing a notice of intent to participate. The required contents of the notice of intent to participate are set forth at 19 CFR 351.218(d)(1)(ii). In accordance with the Department's regulations, if we do not receive a notice of intent to participate from at least one domestic interested party by the 15-day deadline, the Department will automatically revoke the order without further review.6

    6See 19 CFR 351.218(d)(1)(iii).

    If we receive an order-specific notice of intent to participate from a domestic interested party, the Department's regulations provide that all parties wishing to participate in a Sunset Review must file complete substantive responses not later than 30 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register of this notice of initiation. The required contents of a substantive response, on an order-specific basis, are set forth at 19 CFR 351.218(d)(3). Note that certain information requirements differ for respondent and domestic parties. Also, note that the Department's information requirements are distinct from the Commission's information requirements. Consult the Department's regulations for information regarding the Department's conduct of Sunset Reviews. Consult the Department's regulations at 19 CFR part 351 for definitions of terms and for other general information concerning antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings at the Department.

    This notice of initiation is being published in accordance with section 751(c) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.218(c).

    Dated: November 16, 2015. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30497 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE212 Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plans AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability; extension of public comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announces the extension of the comment period for the notice of availability of the public draft of the Endangered Species Act Coastal Multispecies Recovery Plan for the California Coastal Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU), the Northern California steelhead (O. mykiss) Distinct Population Segment (DPS), and the Central California Coast steelhead (O. mykiss) DPS, which published on October 5, 2015. These species spawn and rear in streams and rivers along the central and northern California coast, and in tributaries to San Francisco Bay. NMFS is soliciting review and comment from the public and all interested parties on the Public Draft Recovery Plan, and will consider all substantive comments received during the review period before submitting the Recovery Plan for final approval. The comment period is being extended—from December 4, 2015, to January 18, 2016—to provide additional opportunity for public comment.

    DATES:

    The deadline for receipt of comments on the Public Draft Recovery Plan published on October 5, 2015 (80 FR 60125), is extended to close of business on January 18, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on the Public Draft Recovery Plan by the following methods:

    Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via: [email protected]

    Mail: Recovery Team, National Marine Fisheries Service, 777 Sonoma Avenue, Room 325, Santa Rosa, CA 95404.

    Instructions: Comments must be submitted by one of the above methods to ensure comments are received, documented, and considered by NMFS. Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

    Electronic copies of the Public Draft Recovery Plan are available online at: http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/protected_species/salmon_steelhead/recovery_planning_and_implementation/north_central_california_coast/north_central_california_coast_salmon_recovery_domain.html. A CD-ROM of these documents can be obtained by emailing a request to [email protected] or by writing to: Recovery Team, National Marine Fisheries Service, 777 Sonoma Avenue, Room 325, Santa Rosa, CA 95404.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Korie Schaeffer, (707) 575-6087, [email protected], or Erin Seghesio, (707) 578-8515, [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Extension of Comment Period

    On October 5, 2015, (80 FR 60125) we (NMFS) published in the Federal Register a request for public comment on the notice of availability of the Coastal Multispecies Recovery Plan for the California Coastal Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU), the Northern California steelhead (O. mykiss) Distinct Population Segment (DPS), and the Central California Coast steelhead (O. mykiss) DPS. The public comment period for this action is set to end on December 4, 2015. The comment period is being extended through January 18, 2016, to provide additional opportunity for public comment.

    Background

    The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA), as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) requires we develop and implement recovery plans for the conservation and survival of threatened and endangered species under our jurisdiction, unless it is determined that such plans would not promote the conservation of the species. The Public Draft Recovery Plan was developed for three salmon and steelhead species: The California Coastal (CC) Chinook salmon ESU, and the Northern California (NC) and Central California Coast (CCC) steelhead DPSs. Between 1997 and 2000, NMFS listed the CCC steelhead DPS (62 FR 43937; August 18, 1997), the CC Chinook salmon ESU (64 FR 50394; September 16, 1999), and the NC steelhead DPS (65 FR 36074; June 7, 2000), as threatened under the ESA due to the precipitous and ongoing declines in their populations.

    Our goal is to restore the threatened CC Chinook salmon, and NC and CCC steelhead to the point where they are self-sustaining populations within their ecosystems and no longer need the protections of the ESA.

    The Public Draft Recovery Plan

    The ESA requires recovery plans incorporate, to the maximum extent practicable: (1) Objective, measurable criteria which, when met, would result in a determination that the species is no longer threatened or endangered; (2) site-specific management actions necessary to achieve the plan's goal for the conservation and survival of the species; and (3) estimates of the time required and costs to implement recovery actions.

    The Public Draft Recovery Plan provides background on the natural history, population trends and the potential threats to the viability of CC Chinook salmon, and NC and CCC steelhead. The Public Draft Recovery Plan lays out a recovery strategy to address conditions and threats based on the best available science and incorporates objective, measurable criteria for recovery. The Public Draft Recovery Plan is not regulatory, but presents guidance for use by agencies and interested parties to assist in the recovery of CC Chinook salmon, and NC and CCC steelhead. The Public Draft Recovery Plan identifies actions needed to achieve recovery by improving population and habitat conditions and addressing threats to the species; links management actions to a research and monitoring program intended to fill data gaps and assess effectiveness of actions; incorporates an adaptive management framework by which management actions and other elements may evolve as we gain information through research and monitoring; and describes agency guidance on time lines for reviews of the status of species and recovery plans. To address threats related to the species, the Public Draft Recovery Plan references many of the significant efforts already underway to restore salmon and steelhead access to high quality habitat and to improve habitat previously degraded.

    Recovery of CC Chinook salmon, and NC and CCC steelhead will require a long-term effort in cooperation and coordination with Federal, state, tribal and local government agencies, and the community. Consistent with the Recovery Plan, we will implement relevant actions for which we have authority, work cooperatively on implementation of other actions, and encourage other Federal and state agencies to implement recovery actions for which they have responsibility and authority.

    In compliance with the requirements of the ESA section 4(f), NMFS is providing public notice and an opportunity to review and comment on the Public Draft Recovery Plan for CC Chinook salmon, and NC and CCC steelhead prior to its final approval.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.

    Dated: November 25, 2015. Angela Somma, Chief, Endangered Species Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30408 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Observer Policy Committee meeting on Thursday, December 17, 2015 to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.

    DATES:

    This meeting will be held on Thursday, December 17, 2015 at 9 a.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Radisson Airport Hotel, 2081 Post Road, Warwick, RI 02886; telephone: (401) 739-3000; fax: (401) 732-9309.

    Council address: New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council; telephone: (978) 465-0492.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Agenda

    The Observer Committee will focus its discussion on the omnibus alternatives in the Omnibus Industry-Funded Monitoring (IFM) Amendment. The Committee may receive a brief update on the revised economic analysis for herring and mackerel alternatives, only if the analysis is sufficiently complete before the meeting date.

    Discussion topics include: To review/discuss omnibus alternatives in the IFM Amendment; review primary components to the omnibus alternatives, including standard cost responsibilities, administrative requirements for monitoring service providers, the framework adjustment process, and the prioritization process; review/discuss data utility considerations for observer/at-sea monitoring, portside sampling, and electronic monitoring; review/discuss revised cost assumptions for electronic monitoring and portside sampling; review/discuss the monitoring set-aside option in the IFM amendment. The Committee will also develop recommendations regarding the selection of preferred omnibus alternatives for the omnibus IFM amendment and possibly review revised economic analysis for herring and mackerel alternatives. The Committee may address other business as necessary.

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, at (978) 465-0492, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: November 25, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30419 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public hearing (webinar).

    SUMMARY:

    The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a public hearing to solicit public comments on Electronic Reporting for For-Hire Vessels via webinar.

    DATES:

    The webinar will be held Thursday, December 17, 2015, beginning at 6 p.m. and will conclude no later than 9 p.m. Written public comments must be received on or before 5 p.m. E.S.T., Friday, December 18, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The public documents can be obtained by contacting the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, 2203 N. Lois Avenue, Suite 1100, Tampa, FL 33607; telephone: (813) 348-1630 or on their Web site at www.gulfcouncil.org.

    Meeting addresses: The public hearing will be held via webinar. You may register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6492235001962146818.

    Public comments: Comments may be submitted online through the Gulf Council's public portal by visiting www.gulfcouncil.org and clicking on “CONTACT US”.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. John Froeschke, Fishery Biologist/Statistician, Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; telephone: (813) 348-1630; fax: (813) 348-1711; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Council is considering several changes that would require electronic reporting for the Reef Fish and Coastal Migratory Pelagic (CMP) species for the for-hire operators. The agenda for the public hearing/webinar is as follows: Council staff will brief the public on the proposed Amendment then Council staff will open the meeting for questions and public comments.

    Register to participate at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6492235001962146818.

    Special Accommodations

    Requests for auxiliary aids should be directed to Kathy Pereira (see ADDRESSES), at least 5 working days prior to the meeting date.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: November 25, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30418 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meetings TIME AND DATE:

    10:00 a.m., Friday, December 4, 2015.

    PLACE:

    Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC, 9th Floor Commission Conference Room.

    STATUS:

    Closed.

    MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED:

    Surveillance, enforcement, and examinations matters. In the event that the time, date, or location of this meeting changes, an announcement of the change, along with the new time, date, and/or place of the meeting will be posted on the Commission's Web site at http://www.cftc.gov.

    CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Christopher Kirkpatrick, 202-418-5964.

    Christopher J. Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30563 Filed 11-27-15; 4:30 pm] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Defense Advisory Committee on Military Personnel Testing; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Meeting notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is publishing this notice to announce the following Federal advisory committee meeting of the Defense Advisory Committee on Military Personnel Testing.

    DATES:

    Thursday, January 7, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Friday, January 8, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Pine Inn, Ocean Avenue, between Lincoln and Monte Verde Street, Carmel, California.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Jane M. Arabian, Assistant Director, Accession Policy, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Room 3D1066, The Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-4000, telephone (703) 697-9271.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This meeting is being held under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (title 5, United States Code (U.S.C.), Appendix, as amended), the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended), and 41 CFR 102-3.150.

    Purpose of the Meeting: The purpose of the meeting is to review planned changes and progress in developing computerized tests for military enlistment screening.

    Agenda: The agenda includes an overview of current enlistment test development timelines, test development strategies, and planned research for the next 3 years.

    Public's Accessibility to the Meeting: Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b and 41 CFR 102-3.140 through 102-3.165, and the availability of space, this meeting is open to the public.

    Committee's Designated Federal Officer or Point of Contact: Dr. Jane M. Arabian, Assistant Director, Accession Policy, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Room 3D1066, The Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-4000, telephone (703) 697-9271.

    Persons desiring to make oral presentations or submit written statements for consideration at the committee meeting must contact Dr. Jane M. Arabian at the address or telephone number in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section no later than December 31, 2015.

    Dated: November 25, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30478 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Transmittal No. 15-76] 36(b)(1) Arms Sales Notification AGENCY:

    Department of Defense, Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is publishing the unclassified text of a section 36(b)(1) arms sales notification. This is published to fulfill the requirements of section 155 of Public Law 104-164 dated July 21, 1996.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sarah A. Ragan or Heather N. Harwell, DSCA/LMO, (703) 604-1546/(703) 607-5339.

    The following is a copy of a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Transmittal 15-76 with attached Policy Justification and Sensitivity of Technology.

    Dated: November 25, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. BILLING CODE 5001-06-P EN01DE15.060 BILLING CODE 5001-06-C Transmittal No. 15-76 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(l) of the Arms Export Control Act, as amended

    (i) Prospective Purchaser: United Kingdom.

    (ii) Total Estimated Value:

    Major Defense Equipment * $80 million Other $ 0 million TOTAL $80 million

    (iii) Description and Quantity or Quantities of Articles or Services under Consideration for Purchase:

    Major Defense Equipment (MDE): Five hundred (500) AGM-114R Hellfire II Semi-Active Laser (SAL) Missiles.

    (iv) Military Department: Air Force (YAY), Amendment 4.

    (v) Prior Related Cases, if any:

    FMS Case UK-B-WKG—$113,000—Apr 1998 FMS Case UK-B-WKI—$21M—Sep 2007 FMS Case UK-D-YAC—$22M—May 2008 FMS Case UK-D-YAF—$21M—Mar 2011 FMS Case UK-D-YAY—$67M—Aug 2013

    (vi) Sales Commission, Fee, etc., Paid, Offered, or Agreed to be Paid: None.

    (vii) Sensitivity of Technology Contained in the Defense Article or Defense Services Proposed to be Sold: See Attached Annex.

    * As defined in Section 47(6) of the Arms Export Control Act

    (viii) Date Report Delivered to Congress: 9 NOV 2015.

    POLICY JUSTIFICATION United Kingdom—Hellfire Missiles

    The Government of the United Kingdom (UK) requested a possible sale of five hundred (500) AGM-114R Hellfire II Semi-Active Laser (SAL) Missiles. The estimated cost is $80 million.

    This sale directly contributes to the foreign and national security policies of the United States by enhancing the close air support capability of the UK in support of NATO and other coalition operations. Commonality between close air support capabilities greatly increases interoperability between our two countries' military and peacekeeping forces and allows for greater burden sharing.

    The proposed sale improves the UK's ability to meet current and future threats by providing close air support to counter enemy attacks on coalition ground forces in U.S. CENTCOM's area of responsibility. The UK currently has Hellfire missiles in its inventory and will have no difficulty absorbing these additional missiles.

    The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

    There is no principal contractor for this sale as the missiles are coming from U.S. Army stock. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

    Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives to the UK.

    There will be no adverse impact on United States defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale. All defense articles and services are approved for release by our foreign disclosure office.

    Transmittal No. 15-76 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act Annex—Item No. vii

    (viii) Sensitivity of Technology:

    1. AGM-114R Hellfire. The AGM-114R Hellfire II Semi-Active Laser (SAL) Missiles are rail-launched guided missiles developed and produced by Lockheed Martin. The weapon system hardware, as an “All Up Round,” is UNCLASSIFIED. The highest level of classified information to be disclosed regarding the AGM-114R Hellfire II missile software is SECRET. The highest level of classified information that could be disclosed by a proposed sale or by testing of the end item is SECRET and the highest level that must be disclosed for production, maintenance, or training is CONFIDENTIAL. Software sensitivity is primarily in the programs that instruct the system on how to operate in the presence of countermeasures.

    2. If a technologically advanced adversary obtained knowledge of the specific hardware and software elements, the information could be used to develop countermeasures or equivalent systems which might reduce system effectiveness or be used in the development of a system with similar or advanced capabilities.

    3. A determination has been made that the UK can provide substantially the same degree of protection for the AGM-114R Hellfire II missiles as the United States Government. Transfer of these missiles to the UK is necessary in the furtherance of United States foreign policy and national security objectives.

    4. All defense articles and services listed in this transmittal are authorized for release and export to the Government of the United Kingdom.

    [FR Doc. 2015-30470 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Defense Transportation Regulation, Part IV AGENCY:

    United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM), DoD.

    ACTION:

    Announcement.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense has rescinded the Defense Transportation Regulation Part IV (Personal Property), (DTR 4500.9R), Appendices in connection with the Defense Personal Property Program (DP3) Phase III Intra-Country Moves (iCM).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Jim Teague, United States Transportation Command, TCJ4-PI, 508 Scott Drive, Scott Air Force Base, IL 62225-5357; (618) 220-4803.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The following DTR Part IV Appendices have been rescinded:

    Appendix V.E.3 (CSS) Appendix V.F.3 (Best Value) Appendix V.G.3 (TPPS) Appendix V.J.3 (Shipment Management)

    Intra-Country type personal property shipments will be solicited under SDDC International Tender provisions (e.g., channel, code of service, rate filing etc.), and/or under Military Services Personal Property Shipping Office Direct Procurement Method contract provisions.

    A complete version of the DTR is available via the Internet on the USTRANSCOM homepage at http://www.transcom.mil/dtr/dtrp4.cfm.

    Dated: November 24, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30373 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Transmittal No. 15-78] 36(b)(1) Arms Sales Notification AGENCY:

    Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is publishing the unclassified text of a section 36(b)(1) arms sales notification. This is published to fulfill the requirements of section 155 of Public Law 104-164 dated July 21, 1996.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sarah A. Ragan or Heather N. Harwell, DSCA/LMO, (703) 604-1546/ (703) 607-5339.

    The following is a copy of a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Transmittal 15-78 with attached Policy Justification.

    Dated: November 25, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. BILLING CODE 5001-06-P EN01DE15.059 BILLING CODE 5001-06-C Transmittal No. 15-78 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act, as amended

    (i) Prospective Purchaser: Lithuania

    (ii) Total Estimated Value:

    Major Defense Equipment * $462 million Other $137 million TOTAL $599 million

    (iii) Description and Quantity or Quantities of Articles or Services Under Consideration for Purchase:

    Major Defense Equipment (MDE):

    Eighty-four (84) M 1126 Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicles (ICV) with the ATK 30mm cannon, the XM813 30mm cannon, or a European variant with the Remote Weapon Station.

    Eighty-four (84) M2 Flex Machine Guns.

    Also included are the following non-MDE: ICV-30 package including contractor logistics support, support equipment, spare parts, armaments, two (2) AN/PRC-152 Radios per vehicle, one (1) AN/PSN-13 DAGR per vehicle, one (1) VIC-3 per vehicle, training aids/devices/simulators & simulations (TADSS), translated technical manuals with laptop computers, training, Foreign Service Representatives (FSRs), OCONUS Contractor vehicle deprocessing services and technical assistance.

    (iv) Military Department: U.S. Army (UDL).

    (v) Prior Related Cases, if any: None.

    (vi) Sales Commission, Fee, etc., Paid, Offered, or Agreed to be Paid: None.

    (vii) Sensitivity of Technology Contained in the Defense Article or Defense Services Proposed to be Sold: See Attached Annex.

    (viii) Date Report Delivered to Congress: 04 NOV 2015.

    * as defined in Section 47(6) of the Arms Export Control Act.

    POLICY JUSTIFICATION Lithuania—M 1126 Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicles (ICY) with 30mm cannon and M2 Machine Guns, and Related Support Equipment

    The Government of Lithuania has requested a sale of eighty-four (84) M 1126 Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicles (ICV) with the ATK 30mm cannon, the XM813 30mm cannon or a European variant with the Remote Weapon Station and eighty-four (84) M2 Flex Machine Guns. Additionally, they have requested the ICV-30 package, including contractor logistics support, support equipment, spare parts, armaments, two (2) AN/PRC-152 Radios per vehicle, one (1) AN/PSN-13 DAGR per vehicle, one (1) VIC-3 per vehicle, training aids/devices/simulators & simulations (TADSS), translated technical manuals with laptop computers, training, Foreign Service Representatives (FSRs), OCONUS Contractor vehicle deprocessing services and technical assistance. The total estimated value of MDE is $462 million. The overall total estimated value is $599 million.

    This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a NATO ally.

    Lithuania's acquisition of the Stryker ICV system would represent a major advancement in capability for the Lithuanian Land Forces, filling a vital capability gap that is not currently addressed. The Stryker ICV system would provide maneuverability, speed, and firepower to the Lithuanian Land Forces and enhance Lithuania's ability to contribute to territorial defense and NATO and coalition operations. Lithuania will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.

    The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

    The principal contractor is unknown at this time. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

    Implementation of this proposed sale will require up to 30 U.S. Government or contractor representatives to travel to Lithuania. It is estimated that it will take up to 30 personnel to execute the managing, fielding, training, initial establishment of spare storage and maintenance facilities, and the execution of maintenance over a two-year period, beginning with the first fielding of vehicles.

    There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

    Transmittal No. 15-78 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act, as amended Annex Item—No. vii

    (vii) Sensitivity of Technology:

    1. The following Major Defense Equipment items do not contain any sensitive technologies or classified material: 84 Ml 126 Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicles (ICV) with the ATK 30mm cannon, the XM813 30mm cannon or a European variant with Remote Weapons Station and M2 Flex Machine Guns.

    2. The following Non-Major Defense Equipment items that contain sensitive technologies, but no classified material: Support equipment (COMSEC radios and GPS DAGRS). Lithuania is cleared to receive these items. The following Non-Major Defense Equipment items do not contain any sensitive technologies or classified material: Contractor Logistics Support, spare parts, Armaments, Command and Control Communications Computers Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance, Training Aids/Devices/Simulators & Simulations (TADSS), translated technical manuals with laptop computers, training, Foreign Service Representatives, Outside Continental United States Contractor vehicle deprocessing services, and Technical Assistance.

    3. A determination has been made that the recipient country can provide the same degree of protection for the sensitive technology being released as the U.S. Government.

    4. This sale is necessary in furtherance of the U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives outlined in the Policy Justification. Moreover, the benefits derived from this sale, as outlined in the Policy Justification, outweigh the potential damage that could result is the sensitive technology were revealed to unauthorized persons.

    5. All defense articles and services listed in this transmittal have been authorized for release and export to the Government of Lithuania.

    [FR Doc. 2015-30467 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Transmittal No. 15-60] 36(b)(1) Arms Sales Notification AGENCY:

    Department of Defense, Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is publishing the unclassified text of a section 36(b)(1) arms sales notification. This is published to fulfill the requirements of section 155 of Public Law 104-164 dated July 21, 1996.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sarah A. Ragan or Heather N. Harwell, DSCA/LMO, (703) 604-1546/ (703) 607-5339.

    The following is a copy of a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Transmittal 15-60 with attached Policy Justification and Sensitivity of Technology.

    Dated: November 25, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. BILLING CODE 5001-06-P EN01DE15.058 BILLING CODE 5001-06-C Transmittal No. 15-60 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act, as amended

    (i) Prospective Purchaser: The Government of Finland.

    (ii) Total Estimated Value:

    Major Defense Equipment * $ 100 million Other $ 50 million TOTAL $ 150 million

    (iii) Description and Quantity or Quantities of Articles or Services Under Consideration for Purchase:

    The Government of Finland has requested a possible sale of forty (40) Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System Pods: Fifteen Pods of M31A1 Unitary Missiles (6 missiles per pod for a total of 90 missiles) and 25 Pods of M30A1 Alternative Warhead Missiles (6 missiles per pod for a total of 150 missiles).

    Also included with this request are publications, personnel training and training equipment, software development, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistical and program support.

    (iv) Military Department: Army (VAP & VAQ).

    (v) Prior Related Cases, if any: None.

    (vi) Sales Commission, Fee, etc., Paid, Offered, or Agreed to be Paid: None.

    (vii) Sensitivity of Technology Contained in the Defense Article or Defense Services Proposed to be Sold: See Attached Annex.

    (viii) Date Report Delivered to Congress: 09 NOV 2015.

    * as defined in Section 47(6) of the Arms Export Control Act

    POLICY JUSTIFICATION Finland—Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) M31A1 Unitary and GMLRS M30A1 Alternative Warhead Rockets in Pods

    The Government of Finland has requested a possible sale of forty (40) Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Pods: Fifteen Pods of M31A1 Unitary Missiles (6 missiles per pod for a total of 90 missiles) and 25 Pods of M30A1Alternative Warhead Missiles (6 missiles per pod for a total of 150 missiles). Also included are publications, personnel training and training equipment, software development, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistical and program support. The total estimated cost is $150 million.

    This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country which has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress in Europe. The proposed sale of the GMLRS M31A1 Unitary and M30A1 GMLRS Alternative Warhead Rockets will improve Finland's capability to meet current and future threats.

    Finland will use this enhanced capability to strengthen and secure its national borders. Finland will have no difficulty absorbing these rocket pods into its armed forces.

    The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

    The prime contractor will be Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control in Grand Prairie, TX. There are no known offset agreements in connection with this potential sale.

    Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. or contractor representatives in Finland.

    There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

    Transmittal No. 15-60 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act Annex—Item No. vii (vii) Sensitivity of Technology:

    1. Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) M31A1 is the Army's primary organic Joint Expeditionary, all-weather, 24/7, tactical GPS PPS precision-guided rocket. M31A1 is the primary rocket for units fielded with the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) M142 and Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) M270A1 Rocket/Missile Launcher platforms. The M31A1 provides close, medium, and long range precision and area fires to destroy, suppress, and shape threat forces and protect friendly forces. The M31A1 integrates guidance and control packages and an improved rocket motor achieving greater range and precision accuracy. The M31A1 Unitary is the only variant currently in production, integrating a multi-option mode proximity height of burst (HOB) sensor fuze and high explosive warhead making it an all-weather, low collateral damage, precision strike rocket. GMLRS Unitary expands the MLRS/HIMARS target set into urban and complex environments by adding, point, proximity and delay fuzing modes. The highest level of classified information that may be transferred by export of this munition is SECRET.

    2. Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) M30A1 will be the Army's primary organic Joint Expeditionary, all-weather, 24/7, tactical precision guided rocket. The M30A1 Alternative Warhead (AW) will be the primary munition for units fielded with the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) and Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) M270A1 Rocket/Missile Launcher platforms. M30A1 AW is designed to replace the M26 and M30 Dual Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions (DIPCM), to attack/neutralize/suppress/destroy area and precisely locate targets using indirect precision fires while greatly decreasing the probability of Unexploded Ordinance (UXO). M30A1 AW shares more than 90% commonality with the GMLRS M31A1 Unitary. The commonality includes the motor, GPS PPS inertial guidance and control systems, fuzing mechanisms and proximity multi-option HOB fuze capability. Only the warhead/payload is different. The highest level of classified information that may be transferred by export of this munition is SECRET.

    3. All defense articles and services listed in this transmittal have been authorized for release and export to the Government of Finland.

    [FR Doc. 2015-30468 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of Navy Notice of Intent To Grant a Partially/Co-Exclusive License; Envoy Flight Systems, Inc. AGENCY:

    Department of the Navy, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Navy hereby gives notice of its intent to grant to Envoy Flight Systems, Inc. located at 201 Ruthar Drive, Suite 3, Newark, Delaware 19711, a revocable, nonassignable, partially exclusive license throughout the United States (U.S.) in the fields of use for Portable Firefighting Systems and Cleaning Systems, but for Spray Cleaning and disinfection of food, flavors, paints, inks and desiccants; and a co-exclusive license throughout the U.S. in the fields of use for Water Desalination and Cleaning Systems for Health Products in the Government-Owned inventions described in U.S. Patent number 5,520,331 issued on May 28, 1996 entitled “Liquid Atomizing Nozzle” and U.S. Patent number 7,523,876 B2 issued on April 28, 2009 entitled “Adjustable Liquid Atomization Nozzle”.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written objections are to be filed with the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Technology Transfer Office, Attention Michelle Miedzinski, Code 5.0H, 22347 Cedar Point Road, Building 2185, Room 2160, Patuxent River, Maryland 20670.

    DATES:

    Anyone wishing to object to the grant of this license must file written objections along with supporting evidence, if any, within fifteen (15) days of the date of this published notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michelle Miedzinski, 301-342-1133, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, 22347 Cedar Point Road, Building 2185, Room 2160, Patuxent River, Maryland 20670.

    (Authority: 35 U.S.C. 207, 37 CFR part 404.) Dated: November 24, 2015. N.A. Hagerty-Ford, Commander, Office of the Judge Advocate General, U. S. Navy, Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30501 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810-FF-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy Notice of Intent to Grant Exclusive Patent License: Lockmasters Incorporated AGENCY:

    Department of the Navy, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Navy herby gives notice of its intent to grant to Lockmasters Incorporated a revocable, nonassignable, exclusive license for three years and a nonexclusive license thereafter to practice in the field of use of security locking devices in the United States and its territories, the Government-owned invention described in U.S. Patent Application 14/826014 entitled “Spindle Locator Tool”, filed on Aug 13, 2015.

    DATES:

    Anyone wishing to object to the grant of this license must file written objections along with supporting evidence, if any, not later than [INSERT DATE 15 DAYS AFTER PUBLICATION FIRST APPEARS IN Federal Register].

    ADDRESSES:

    Written objections should be directed to NAVFAC Engineering & Expeditionary Warfare Center, 1100 23rd Avenue, Port Hueneme, CA 93043-4370.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Victor Cai, Office of Research and Technology Applications, NAVFAC EXWC, 1100 23rd Avenue, Port Hueneme, CA 93043-4370, telephone 805-982-3009, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Spindle Locator Tool enables identification of proper and improper placement of a spindle in a locking mechanism. Specifically, it will be used for the X-10 electromechanical lock which has experienced a spindle and cam interface issue that can result in lockouts requiring neutralization.

    Authority:

    (35 U.S.C. 207, 37 CFR part 404)

    Dated: November 24, 2015. N.A. Hagerty-Ford, Commander, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy, Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30491 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810-FF-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement for Hawaii-Southern California Training and Testing and Notice of Public Scoping Meetings; Correction AGENCY:

    Department of the Navy, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Navy published a document in the Federal Register (80 FR 218) on November 12, 2015, announcing a Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement for Hawaii-Southern California Training and Testing and a Notice of Public Scoping Meetings. The document contained an incorrect date.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Nora Macariola-See, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Pacific. Attention: HSTT EIS/OEIS, 258 Makalapa Drive, Suite 100, Pearl Harbor, HI 96860-3134. 808-472-1402.

    CORRECTION: In the Federal Register (80 FR 218) of November 12, 2015, on page 69952, in the third column, correct the mailed comments postmarked date to read January 12, 2016.

    Dated: November 24, 2015. N.A. Hagerty-Ford, Commander, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy, Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30492 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810-FF-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy Notice of Performance Review Board Membership AGENCY:

    Department of the Navy, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 4314(c)(4), the Department of Navy (DON) announces the appointment of members to the DON's numerous Senior Executive Service (SES) Performance Review Boards (PRBs). The purpose of the PRBs is to provide fair and impartial review of the annual SES performance appraisal prepared by the senior executive's immediate and second level supervisor; to make recommendations to appointing officials regarding acceptance or modification of the performance rating; and to make recommendations for performance bonuses and basic pay increases. Composition of the specific PRBs will be determined on an ad hoc basis from among the individuals listed below:

    CAPT Mark Bruington CAPT Robert Palisin Dr. John Montgomery Dr. Judith Lean Dr. Thomas Killion Dr. Walter Jones LtGen Mark Brilakis Mr. Anthony Cifone Mr. William O'Donnell Mr. Brian Persons Mr. Bryan Wood Mr. Dennis Biddick Mr. Donald McCormack Mr. Garry Newton Mr. Gary Kessler Mr. Gary Ressing Mr. James McCarthy Mr. James Meade Mr. James Smerchansky Mr. John Goodhart Mr. John Pazik Mr. John Thackrah Mr. Joseph Ludovici Mr. Mark Andress Mr. Mark Honecker Mr. Mark Ridley Mr. Michael Kistler Mr. Patrick Sullivan Mr. Paul Jaeger Mr. Phillip Chudoba Mr. Robert Hogue Mr. Ronald Davis Mr. Samuel Worth Mr. Scott Lutterloh Mr. Scott O'Neil Mr. Stephen Trautman Mr. Steve Iselin Mr. Thomas Hicks Mr. Todd Balazs Mr. Tom Dee Mr. William Deligne Ms. Allison Stiller Ms. Anne Brennan Ms. Carmela Keeney Ms. Cindy Shaver Ms. Diane Boyle Ms. Gloria Valdez Ms. Jennifer LaTorre Ms. Joan Johnson Ms. Leslie Taylor Ms. Lynn Wright Ms. Mary Tompa Ms. Sharon Smoot Ms. Wen Masters RADM Elizabeth Train RADM Jeffrey Harley RADM Thomas Moore RDML Jon Hill RDML Lorin Selby RDML William Galinis VADM Terry Benedict
    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jacqueline Wourman, Performance Management Program Manager, Executive Management Program Office, Office of Civilian Human Resources at 202 685-6665.

    Dated: November 24, 2015. N.A. Hagerty-Ford, Commander, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy, Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30494 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810-FF-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of Navy Notice of Intent To Grant a Partially/Co-Exclusive License; CogniTek Management Systems AGENCY:

    Department of the Navy, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Navy hereby gives notice of its intent to grant to CogniTek Management Systems located at 3175 Commercial Avenue, Suite 102, Northbrook, Illinois 60062, a revocable, nonassignable, partially exclusive license throughout the United States (U.S.) in the fields of use for Spray Cleaning and Disinfecting for food, flavors, paints, inks, and desiccants; Fuel Atomization for Combustion, Power Generation and Fuel Production; Water Atomization and Water Evaporation for Heating, Cooling, Humidification and Dehumidification in Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning and Greenhouse applications, as well as Freeze Drying; and a co-exclusive license throughout the U.S. in the fields of use for Water Desalination and Cleaning Systems for Health Products in the Government-Owned inventions described in U.S. Patent number 5,520,331 issued on May 28, 1996 entitled “Liquid Atomizing Nozzle” and U.S. Patent number 7,523,876 B2 issued on April 28, 2009 entitled “Adjustable Liquid Atomization Nozzle”.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written objections are to be filed with the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Technology Transfer Office, Attention Michelle Miedzinski, Code 5.0H, 22347 Cedar Point Road, Building 2185, Room 2160, Patuxent River, Maryland 20670.

    DATES:

    Anyone wishing to object to the grant of this license must file written objections along with supporting evidence, if any, within fifteen (15) days of the date of this published notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michelle Miedzinski, 301-342-1133, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, 22347 Cedar Point Road, Building 2185, Room 2160, Patuxent River, Maryland 20670.

    Authority:

    35 U.S.C. 207, 37 CFR part 404.

    Dated: November 24, 2015. N.A. Hagerty-Ford, Commander, Office of the Judge Advocate General, U S. Navy, Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30495 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810-FF-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement for Navy Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing; Correction AGENCY:

    Department of the Navy, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Navy published a document in the Federal Register (80 FR 218) on November 12, 2015, announcing a Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement/Overseas Environmental Impact Statement for Navy Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing. The document contained an incorrect date and phone number.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lesley Dobbins-Noble, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Code EV22LDN (AFTT EIS/OEIS Project Manager), 6506 Hampton Boulevard, Norfolk, Virginia 23508-1278. 757-322-4625.

    Correction: In the Federal Register (80 FR 218) of November 12, 2015, on page 69951, in the third column, correct the mailed comments postmarked date and telephone number to read:

    1. January 12, 2016; and

    2. 757-322-4625.

    Dated: November 24, 2015. N.A. Hagerty-Ford, Commander, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy, Administrative Law Division, Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30498 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810-FF-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No. ED-2015-ICCD-0112] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Data Challenges and Appeals Solution (DCAS) AGENCY:

    Federal Student Aid (FSA), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 3501 et seq.), ED is proposing an extension of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before December 31, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED-2015-ICCD-0112. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Room 2E103, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Beth Grebeldinger, 202-377-4018.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: Data Challenges and Appeals Solution (DCAS).

    OMB Control Number: 1845-0137.

    Type of Review: An extension of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Private Sector, State, Local and Tribal Governments.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 1,029,889.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 175,081.

    Abstract: This is a request for an extension of the emergency clearance that was granted on this collection for the Data Challenges and Appeals Solution (DCAS), a new system that will allow institutions to challenge their self-reported data as well as Department calculated metrics. The system will ultimately provide for the receipt, processing, data storage and archiving of data challenges received from institutions for challenges of Gainful Employment (GE) metrics, Cohort Default Rates (institutional and programmatic), and Disclosure Rates and Metrics. This request is for the first phase of DCAS, the institutional challenge to the GE completers list provided to institutions by the Department of Education. The other aspects of DCAS will be made functional and available to institutions in stages, to allow for full development and testing, through subsequent system releases.

    Dated: November 25, 2015. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30405 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2015-ICCD-0090] Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; EDFacts Data Collection School Years 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19 AGENCY:

    National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 3501 et seq.), ED is proposing a revised information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before December 31, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting Docket ID number ED-2015-ICCD-0090 or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. If the regulations.gov site is not available to the public for any reason, ED will temporarily accept comments at [email protected] Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted; ED will ONLY accept comments during the comment period in this mailbox when the regulations.gov site is not available. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, LBJ, Mailstop L-OM-2-2E319, Room 2E103, Washington, DC 20202.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Kashka Kubzdela at (202) 502-7411or by email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: EDFacts Data Collection School Years 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19.

    OMB Control Number: 1850-NEW.

    Type of Review: A revised information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: State, Local or Tribal Government.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 61.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 126,880.

    Abstract: EDFacts is a U.S. Department of Education (ED) initiative to collect, analyze, report on and promote the use of high-quality, pre-kindergarten through grade 12 (pre-K-12) performance data for use in education planning, policymaking, and management and budget decision making to improve outcomes for students. EDFacts enables the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) to report on students, schools, staff, services, and education outcomes at the state, district, and school levels, by centralizing data provided by state education agencies, local education agencies, and schools. This centralized approach provides ED users with the ability to efficiently analyze and report on submitted data and has reduced the reporting burden for state and local data producers through the use of streamlined data collection, analysis, and reporting tools. EDFacts collects information on behalf of ED grant and program offices for approximately 180 data groups for all 50 states, Washington DC, Puerto Rico, and seven outlying areas and freely associated states (American Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Marshall Islands, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Republic of Palau, and the U.S. Virgin Islands), the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA), and the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE). NCES seeks authorization from OMB to continue its EDFacts data collection and is requesting a new clearance for the 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19 school years in order to continue to provide EDFacts data to Department of Education program offices, as well as SEAs, LEAs, and schools. In response to the 60-day public comment period announced in the Federal Register on July 9, 2015, ED received 52 comments from 49 commenters. A summary of the comments and ED's responses are provided in Attachment F. This notice announces that the revised collection package is now available for a 30-day public comment period. This submission includes a few proposed changes to the EDFacts data collection. In addition to reviewing the proposed changes (detailed in Attachment C and the B Attachments), ED requests that SEAs and other stakeholders respond to the directed questions found in Attachment D.

    Dated: November 25, 2015. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Privacy, Information and Records Management Services, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30417 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology AGENCY:

    Office of Science, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of solicitation for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) is interested in hearing from stakeholders on a series of questions related to forensic science.

    DATES:

    Please submit all responses by December 23, 2015, 12:00 p.m. EST.

    ADDRESSES:

    input must be submitted electronically using the Web-based form available at https://www.whitehouse.gov/webform/pcast-forensic-science-solicitation-questions-0.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Specific questions about this notice should be sent via email to Ms. Jennifer Michael at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) is an advisory group of the Nation's leading scientists and engineers, appointed by the President to augment the science and technology advice available to him from inside the White House, Cabinet Departments, and other Federal agencies. See the Executive Order at http://www.whitehouse.gov/ostp/pcast. PCAST is consulted about and provides analyses and recommendations concerning a wide range of issues where understandings from the domains of science, technology, and innovation may bear on the policy choices before the President. PCAST is co-chaired by Dr. John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, and Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President, The White House; and Dr. Eric S. Lander, President, Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard.

    Please note that because PCAST operates under the provisions of FACA, all public comments and/or presentations will be treated as public documents and will be made available for public inspection, including being posted on the PCAST Web site.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on November 24, 2015. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30453 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy National Offshore Wind Strategy Workshop AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notification of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Energy (DOE) Wind and Water Power Technologies Office (WWPTO) and the Department of the Interior (DOI) Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Office (BOEM) are convening a workshop to obtain individual stakeholder insight into the technical and market challenges and potential pathways to facilitate the development of the offshore wind industry in the United States. The workshop seeks individual input across the range of U.S. offshore wind stakeholders to better inform efforts to update and refine the 2011 A National Offshore Wind Strategy.

    DATES:

    DOE and DOI will hold a workshop on Thursday, December 10th, 2015, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Washington, DC. RSVP is required by December 7th, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The workshop will be held at the Hotel Palomar DC located at 2121 P St NW., Washington, DC 20037.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Questions may be directed to Greg Matzat, Department of Energy at (202) 586-2776 or [email protected], or Jim Bennett, Department of the Interior at (703) 787-1300 or [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Since the release of the 2011 A National Offshore Wind Strategy: Creating an Offshore Wind Energy Industry in the United States, DOE has invested in 55 projects and demonstrations and DOI has held five offshore wind lease sales. A 2016 update to A National Offshore Wind Strategy is currently underway at the agencies, which aims to better understand how the industry has changed in the past five years, identify the key challenges still facing the U.S. industry, explore potential pathways for offshore wind in the U.S., and identify the activities needed to facilitate offshore wind development.

    The focus of the workshop will be for agencies to receive public input, questions, and recommendations for areas of potential improvement in the refinement and updating of the 2011 A National Offshore Wind Strategy. Particular areas of interest will include technical and market challenges facing offshore wind and potential pathways forward. Participants should limit information and comments to those based on personal experience, individual advice, information, or facts regarding these topics.

    It is not the object of this session to obtain any group position or consensus relating to the strategic actions or inactions of the industry as a whole or those of DOE or DOI; rather, the agencies are seeking as much insight as possible from all the individuals at this meeting. To most effectively use the limited time please refrain from passing judgment on another participant's recommendations or advice and, instead, concentrate on your individual experiences.

    Public Participation: This meeting is open to the public, subject to space availability. Stakeholders from all sectors in U.S. offshore wind energy are encouraged to attend. Pre-registration is required as space is limited.

    Pre-Registration: To pre-register, please include/enter your registration information at the following URL online: http://goo.gl/forms/1zm7NP2wCt. If you have any questions about registration, please contact Ronee Penoi via email at [email protected] or by telephone at (202) 853-9005. Participants interested in attending should pre-register no later than the close of business on December 7th, 2015. All attendees are required to pre-register. Space will be limited, and DOE and DOI will continue to accept RSVPs until they have reached maximum attendance based on space limitations.

    Privacy Notice: DOE and DOI are requesting your name, company/organization, work email address and work telephone number in order to register you for this government-led event and to facilitate feedback, provide updates, and potentially to plan for future workshops. Providing this information is voluntary, but is necessary in order to attend the workshop. Please be advised that we may include your name and associated company/organization only in a meeting summary that we will make available to the general public after the workshop, and by providing this information you are consenting to allowing us to make it publicly available. DOI's contractor will collect and manage the information until the workshop is over. The contractors and the government will only use your information for the limited purposes stated above, will only share it with authorized personnel, and will not share it with third parties for promotional purposes.

    Information on Services for Individuals with Disabilities: Individuals requiring special accommodations at the meeting, please contact Ronee Penoi no later than the close of business on December 3th, 2015.

    Minutes: A summary report of the meeting will be available for printing at the DOE Wind Program Online Publication and Product Library at: wind.energy.gov/publications.html.

    Dated: November 25, 2015. Jose Zayas, Director, Wind and Water Power Technologies, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30452 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP16-203-000.

    Applicants: Kern River Gas Transmission Company.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: 2015 Molycorp to be effective 9/21/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20151118-5088.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/30/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP16-204-000.

    Applicants: Alliance Pipeline L.P.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: November 21—30 2015 Auction to be effective 11/21/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20151118-5101.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/30/15.

    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.

    Filings in Existing Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP16-144-000.

    Applicants: TransColorado Gas Transmission Company L.

    Description: Filing Withdrawal: Motion to Withdraw Filing.

    Filed Date: 11/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20151118-5075.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/30/15.

    Any person desiring to protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rule 211 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    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 19, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30397 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP16-18-000] Magnum Gas Storage, LLC; Notice of Application for Amendment

    Take notice that on November 16, 2015, Magnum Gas Storage, LLC (Magnum), 3165 E. Millrock Dr., #330, Holladay, Utah 84121, filed an application pursuant to section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) and Parts 157 and 284 of the Commission's Regulations requesting that the Commission approve an amendment (Amendment) to the certificate of public convenience and necessity issued to the Magnum in Docket No. CP10-22-000 on March 17, 2011 (March 17 Order). The March 17 Order authorized Magnum to construct facilities in Millard, Juab, and Utah Counties, Utah consisting of four salt caverns, various related aboveground supporting facilities and a 61.6-mile long, 36-inch diameter, header pipeline extending from the storage site to points of interconnection with existing interstate gas transmission facilities owned by Kern River Gas Transmission Company and Questar Pipeline Company near Goshen, Utah.

    The Amendment requested by Magnum would authorize the relocation of Magnum's approved natural gas storage caverns and associated surface facilities within the previously analyzed Project area, grant authority to Magnum to provide a new firm wheeling transportation service under market-based rates, and extend the time by which the facilities must be constructed and placed in service. The filing may be viewed on the Web at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number, excluding the last three digits, in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC at [email protected] or call toll-free, (886) 208-3676 or TYY, (202) 502-8659.

    Any questions concerning this application should be directed to Tiffany A. James, Vice President, Project Development and Government Affairs, Magnum Gas Storage, LLC, 3165 E. Millrock Dr., #330, Holladay, Utah 84121, telephone: (801) 993-7001, email: [email protected], or J. Gordon Pennington, Attorney at Law, Georgetown Place, 1101 30th Street NW., Suite 500, Washington, DC 20007, phone: (202) 625-4330, email: [email protected].

    Pursuant to section 157.9 of the Commission's rules, 18 CFR 157.9, within 90 days of this Notice the Commission staff will either: complete its environmental assessment (EA) and place it into the Commission's public record (eLibrary) for this proceeding, or issue a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review. If a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review is issued, it will indicate, among other milestones, the anticipated date for the Commission staff's issuance of the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) or EA for this proposal. The filing of the EA in the Commission's public record for this proceeding or the issuance of a Notice of Schedule will serve to notify federal and state agencies of the timing for the completion of all necessary reviews, and the subsequent need to complete all federal authorizations within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's FEIS or EA.

    There are two ways to become involved in the Commission's review of this project. First, any person wishing to obtain legal status by becoming a party to the proceedings for this project should, on or before the comment date stated below, file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.214 or 385.211) and the Regulations under the NGA (18 CFR 157.10). A person obtaining party status will be placed on the service list maintained by the Secretary of the Commission and will receive copies of all documents filed by the applicant and by all other parties. A party must submit 5 copies of filings made with the Commission and must mail a copy to the applicant and to every other party in the proceeding. Only parties to the proceeding can ask for court review of Commission orders in the proceeding.

    However, a person does not have to intervene in order to have comments considered. The second way to participate is by filing with the Secretary of the Commission, as soon as possible, an original and two copies of comments in support of or in opposition to this project. The Commission will consider these comments in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but the filing of a comment alone will not serve to make the filer a party to the proceeding. The Commission's rules require that persons filing comments in opposition to the project provide copies of their protests only to the party or parties directly involved in the protest.

    Persons who wish to comment only on the environmental review of this project should submit an original and two copies of their comments to the Secretary of the Commission. Environmental commenters will be placed on the Commission's environmental mailing list, will receive copies of the environmental documents, and will be notified of meetings associated with the Commission's environmental review process. Environmental commenters will not be required to serve copies of filed documents on all other parties. However, the non-party commenters will not receive copies of all documents filed by other parties or issued by the Commission (except for the mailing of environmental documents issued by the Commission) and will not have the right to seek court review of the Commission's final order.

    Motions to intervene, protests and comments may be filed electronically via the Internet in lieu of paper; see, 18 CFR 385.2001(a)(1)(iii) and the instructions on the Commission's Web site under the “e-Filing” link. The Commission strongly encourages electronic filings.

    Comment Date: December 15, 2015

    Dated: November 24, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30399 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 14686-000] Energy Resources USA Inc.; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments and Motions To Intervene

    On June 25, 2015, Energy Resources USA Inc., filed an application for a preliminary permit, pursuant to section 4(f) of the Federal Power Act (FPA), proposing to study the feasibility of a hydropower project to be located at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' (Corps) David D. Terry Lock and Dam on the Arkansas River near the town of Little Rock in Pulaski County, Arkansas. The sole purpose of a preliminary permit, if issued, is to grant the permit holder priority to file a license application during the permit term. A preliminary permit does not authorize the permit holder to perform any land-disturbing activities or otherwise enter upon lands or waters owned by others without the owners' express permission.

    The proposed project would consist of the following: (1) A 100-foot-long overflow bank extension connecting to the existing dam; (2) a 770-foot-long, 200-foot-wide intake channel with a 85-foot-long retaining wall; (3) a 220-foot-long, 90-foot-wide powerhouse containing four generating units with a total capacity of 18 megawatts; (4) a 500-foot-long, 200-foot-wide tailrace with a 85-foot-long retaining wall; (5) a 4.16/69 kilo-Volt (kV) substation; and (6) a 4-mile-long, 69 kV transmission line. The proposed project would have an estimated average annual generation of 128,200 megawatt-hours, and operate as directed by the Corps.

    Applicant Contact: Mr. Ander Gonzalez, Energy Resources USA Inc., 2655 Le Jeune Road, Suite 804, Coral Gables, Florida 33134; Phone: +34 93 252 38 40; Email: [email protected]

    FERC Contact: Christiane Casey, [email protected], (202) 502-8577.

    Competing Application: This application competes with Project No. 14664-000 filed March 3, 2015. Competing applications had to be filed on or before July 20, 2015.

    Deadline for filing comments and motions to intervene: 60 days from the issuance of this notice. Comments and motions to intervene may be filed electronically via the Internet. See 18 CFR 385.2001(a)(1)(iii) and the instructions on the Commission's Web site 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] or toll free at 1-866-208-3676, or for TTY, (202) 502-8659. Although the Commission strongly encourages electronic filing, documents may also be paper-filed. To paper-file, mail an original and five copies to: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    More information about this project, including a copy of the application, can be viewed or printed on the “eLibrary” link of Commission's Web site at ­http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the docket number (P-14686) in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    Dated: November 24, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30402 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 14518-001] New England Hydropower Company, LLC; Notice of Surrender of Preliminary Permit

    Take notice that New England Hydropower Company, LLC, permittee for the proposed Lensdale Pond Dam Hydroelectric Project, has requested that its preliminary permit be terminated. The permit was issued on July 25, 2013, and would have expired on June 30, 2016.1 The project would have been located on the Quinebaug River in the town of Southbridge, Worcester County, Massachusetts.

    1 144 FERC ¶ 62,066 (2013).

    The preliminary permit for Project No. 14518 will remain in effect until the close of business, December 18, 2015. But, if the Commission is closed on this day, then the permit remains in effect until the close of business on the next day in which the Commission is open.2 New applications for this site may not be submitted until after the permit surrender is effective.

    2 18 CFR 385.2007(a)(2) (2015).

    Dated: November 18, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30394 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 14689-000] Energy Resources USA Inc., Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments and Motions To Intervene

    On June 26, 2015, Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation, filed an application for a preliminary permit, pursuant to section 4(f) of the Federal Power Act (FPA), proposing to study the feasibility of a hydropower project to be located at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' (Corps) Col. Charles D. Maynard Lock and Dam on the Arkansas River near the town of Pine Bluff in Jefferson County, Arkansas. The sole purpose of a preliminary permit, if issued, is to grant the permit holder priority to file a license application during the permit term. A preliminary permit does not authorize the permit holder to perform any land-disturbing activities or otherwise enter upon lands or waters owned by others without the owners' express permission.

    The proposed project would consist of the following: (1) A 100-foot-long overflow bank extension connecting to the existing dam; (2) a 770-foot-long, 300-foot-wide intake channel with a 85-foot-long retaining wall; (3) a 220-foot-long, 90-foot-wide powerhouse containing four generating units with a total capacity of 18 megawatts; (4) a 1000-foot-long, 220-foot-wide tailrace with a 85-foot-long retaining wall; (5) a 4.16/69 kilo-Volt (kV) substation; and (6) a 3-mile-long, 69 kV transmission line. The proposed project would have an estimated average annual generation of 123,700 megawatt-hours, and operate as directed by the Corps.

    Applicant Contact: Mr. Ander Gonzalez, Energy Resources USA Inc., 2655 Le Jeune Road, Suite 804, Coral Gables, Florida 33134; Phone: +34 93 252 38 40; Email: [email protected]

    FERC Contact: Christiane Casey, [email protected], (202) 502-8577.

    Competing Application: This application competes with Project No. 14665-000 filed March 3, 2015. Competing applications had to be filed on or before July 20, 2015.

    Deadline for filing comments and motions to intervene: 60 days from the issuance of this notice. Comments and motions to intervene may be filed electronically via the Internet. See 18 CFR 385.2001(a)(1)(iii) and the instructions on the Commission's Web site 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] or toll free at 1-866-208-3676, or for TTY, (202) 502-8659. Although the Commission strongly encourages electronic filing, documents may also be paper-filed. To paper-file, mail an original and five copies to: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    More information about this project, including a copy of the application, can be viewed or printed on the “eLibrary” link of Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the docket number (P-14689) in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    Dated: November 24, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30403 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 14672-000] Lock Hydro Friends Fund III; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing Applications

    On March 30, 2015, Lock Hydro Friends Fund III, filed an application for a preliminary permit, pursuant to section 4(f) of the Federal Power Act (FPA), proposing to study the feasibility of a hydropower project to be located at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' (Corps) Selden Lock and Dam on the Black Warrior River near the town of Sawyerville in Green and Hale Counties, Alabama. The sole purpose of a preliminary permit, if issued, is to grant the permit holder priority to file a license application during the permit term. A preliminary permit does not authorize the permit holder to perform any land-disturbing activities or otherwise enter upon lands or waters owned by others without the owners' express permission.

    The proposed project would consist of the following: (1) A 150-foot-long, 25-foot-wide lock frame module containing ten generating units with a total capacity of 15 megawatts; (2) a 150-foot-long; 65-foot-wide tailrace; (3) a 50-foot-long, 25-foot-wide switchyard; and (4) a 2.3-mile-long, 34.5kV transmission line. The proposed project would have an estimated average annual generation of 78,840 megawatt-hours, and operate as directed by the Corps.

    Applicant Contact: Mr. Wayne F. Krouse, Hydro Green Energy, LLC, P.O. Box 43796, Birmingham, AL 35243; Phone: (877) 556-6566; Email: [email protected]

    FERC Contact: Christiane Casey, [email protected], (202) 502-8577.

    Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, competing applications (without notices of intent), or notices of intent to file competing applications: 60 days from the issuance of this notice. Competing applications and notices of intent must meet the requirements of 18 CFR 4.36. Comments, motions to intervene, notices of intent, and competing applications may be filed electronically via the Internet. See 18 CFR 385.2001(a)(1)(iii) and the instructions on the Commission's Web site 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] or toll free at 1-866-208-3676, or for TTY, (202) 502-8659. Although the Commission strongly encourages electronic filing, documents may also be paper-filed. To paper-file, mail an original and five copies to: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-14672-000.

    More information about this project, including a copy of the application, can be viewed or printed on the “eLibrary” link of Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the docket number (P-14672) in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    Dated: November 24, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr. Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30404 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER16-323-000] Ohio Valley Electric Corporation; 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 Ohio Valley Electric Corporation'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 8, 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 18, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30390 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER16-343-000] RE Astoria 2 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 RE Astoria 2 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 8, 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 18, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30393 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. PF15-31-000] Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Mountaineer XPress Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues and Notice of Public Scoping Meeting

    The staff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) that will discuss the environmental impacts of the Mountaineer XPress Project (MXP) involving construction and operation of facilities by Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC (Columbia) in 14 counties in the western portion of West Virginia. The Commission will use this EIS in its decision-making process to determine whether the project is in the public convenience and necessity.

    This notice announces the opening of the scoping process the Commission will use to gather input from the public and interested agencies on the project. You can make a difference by providing us with your specific comments or concerns about the project. Your comments should focus on the potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. Your input will help the Commission staff determine what issues they need to evaluate in the EIS. To ensure that your comments are timely and properly recorded, please send your comments so that the Commission receives them in Washington, DC on or before December 17, 2015.

    If you sent comments on this project to the Commission before the opening of this docket on September 16, 2015, you will need to file those comments in Docket No. PF15-31-000 to ensure they are considered as part of this proceeding.

    This notice is being sent to the Commission's current environmental mailing list for this project. State and local government representatives should notify their constituents of this planned project and encourage them to comment on their areas of concern.

    If you are a landowner receiving this notice, a pipeline company representative may contact you about the acquisition of an easement to construct, operate, and maintain the planned facilities. The company would seek to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement. However, if the Commission approves the project, that approval conveys with it the right of eminent domain. Therefore, if easement negotiations fail to produce an agreement, the pipeline company could initiate condemnation proceedings where compensation would be determined in accordance with state law.

    A fact sheet prepared by the FERC entitled “An Interstate Natural Gas Facility On My Land? What Do I Need To Know?” is available for viewing on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov). This fact sheet addresses a number of typically asked questions, including the use of eminent domain and how to participate in the Commission's proceedings.

    Public Participation

    For your convenience, there are four methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. The Commission will provide equal consideration to all comments received, whether filed in written form or provided verbally. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or [email protected] Please carefully follow these instructions so that your comments are properly recorded.

    (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for submitting brief, text-only comments on a project;

    (2) You can file your comments electronically by using the eFiling feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. With eFiling, you can provide comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on “eRegister.” If you are filing a comment on a particular project, please select “Comment on a Filing” as the filing type; or

    (3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to the following address. Be sure to reference the project docket number (PF15-31-000) with your submission: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.

    (4) In lieu of sending written or electronic comments, the Commission invites you to attend one of the public scoping meetings its staff will conduct in the project area, scheduled as follows.

    Schedule and Locations for the Mountaineer XPress Project Public Scoping Meetings Date and time Location Monday, December 7, 2015, 6:00 p.m. The Lewis Wetzel Family Center, 442 E. Benjamin Drive, New Martinsville, WV 26149. Tuesday, December 8, 2015, 6:00 p.m. Doddridge County Park—Main Lodge, 1252 Snowbird Road, West Union, WV 26456. Wednesday, December 9, 2015, 6:00 p.m. Cedar Lake Conference Center—Assembly Hall, 82 FFA Drive, Ripley, WV 25271. Thursday, December 10, 2015, 6:00 p.m. LaBelle Theater, 311 D Street, South Charleston, WV 25303.

    The doors will open at 5 p.m. at which time we will begin our sign up of speakers for the meetings. For the hour prior to the start of the meetings, Columbia representatives will be present with maps depicting the project and to answer questions.

    The scoping meetings will begin at 6 p.m. with a description of our environmental review process by Commission staff, after which speakers will be called. The meetings will end once all speakers have provided their comments or at 10 p.m., whichever comes first. Please note that depending on the number of people signed up to speak, there may be a time limit of 3 minutes to present comments, and speakers should structure their comments accordingly. If time limits are implemented, they will be strictly enforced to ensure that as many individuals as possible are given an opportunity to comment. The meetings will be recorded by a court reporter to ensure comments are accurately recorded. Transcripts will be entered into the formal record of the Commission proceeding.

    Please note this is not your only public input opportunity; refer to the review process flow chart in appendix 1.1

    1 The appendices referenced in this notice will not appear in the Federal Register. Copies of the appendices were sent to all those receiving this notice in the mail and are available at www.ferc.gov using the link called “eLibrary” or from the Commission's Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, or call (202) 502-8371. For instructions on connecting to eLibrary, refer to the “Additional Information” section of this notice.

    Summary of the Planned Project

    Columbia plans to construct and operate approximately 167 miles of 36-inch and 24-inch-diameter pipeline; construct three new compressor stations and three regulator stations; and modify three existing compressor stations and other existing appurtenant facilities in West Virginia. The MXP would provide about 2.7 billion standard cubic feet per day of natural gas transportation capacity from production areas to markets on the Columbia system. According to Columbia, its project would enable infrastructure-constrained natural gas supplies to reach waiting markets served by Columbia's system. Columbia has entered into firm contracts for over 88 percent of the MXP capacity.

    The MXP would consist of the following facilities:

    • Construction of 161.1 miles of new 36-inch-diameter pipeline and associated equipment (main-line valves, pigging facilities,2 etc.), located in Marshall, Wetzel, Tyler, Doddridge, Ritchie, Calhoun, Wirt, Roane, Jackson, Mason, Putnam, and Cabell Counties, West Virginia;

    2 A “pig” is a tool that the pipeline company inserts into and pushes through the pipeline for cleaning, conducting internal inspections, or other purposes.

    • construction of 6.3 miles of 24-inch-diamter pipeline in Doddridge County (the Sherwood Lateral);

    • construction of three new compressor stations and related equipment in Doddridge County (Sherwood Compressor Station), Ritchie County (White Oak Compressor Station), and Jackson County (Mt. Olive Compressor Station);

    • construction of three new regulator stations and associated equipment in Marshall County (the Leach Interconnect), Doddridge County (Sherwood Lateral Regulator), and Cabell County (the Saunders Creek Tie-in);

    • replacement of two sections of existing 30-inch-diameter pipeline, 1,295 feet and 814 feet in length, in Cabell County;

    • installation of additional compression at the anticipated Lone Oak Compressor Station (Marshall County), Elk River Compressor Station (Wayne County), and Ceredo Compressor Station (Kanawha County)—all of which are under review in other Commission dockets; and

    • construction and/or installation of other related equipment.

    The general location of the project facilities is shown in appendix 2.

    Land Requirements for Construction

    Columbia has proposed to use a 125-foot-wide right-of-way for construction of the new pipeline in upland areas, consisting of a 50-foot-wide permanent and a 75-foot-wide temporary right-of-way, except where site conditions require specific workspace configurations. Temporary right-of-way used during construction would be restored and revert to former uses once construction is completed. However, the permanent right-of-way would be maintained for permanent operation of the MXP.

    Additional temporary workspace would be required at road, utility lines, and waterbody crossings; steep slopes; side slopes; horizontal directional drill locations; and at the beginning and end of construction spreads for mobilizing construction equipment. Disturbance would also result from the use of staging areas and construction of new and/or upgrading of existing access roads associated with construction and operation of the planned facilities.

    The pipeline would be sited to follow existing pipeline, utility, and road rights-of-way to the maximum extent practicable.

    The EIS Process

    The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires the Commission to take into account the environmental impacts that could result from an action whenever it considers the issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. NEPA also requires us 3 to discover and address concerns the public may have about proposals. This process is referred to as scoping. The main goal of the scoping process is to focus the analysis in the EIS on the important environmental issues. By this notice, the Commission requests public comments on the scope of the issues to address in the EIS. We will consider all filed comments during the preparation of the EIS.

    3 “We,” “us,” and “our” refer to the environmental staff of the Commission's Office of Energy Projects.

    In the EIS, we will discuss impacts that could occur as a result of the construction and operation of the planned project under these general headings:

    • Geology and soils;

    • land use;

    • water resources, fisheries, and wetlands;

    • cultural resources;

    • vegetation and wildlife;

    • socioeconomics;

    • air quality and noise;

    • endangered and threatened species;

    • public safety; and

    • cumulative impacts.

    We will also evaluate possible alternatives to the planned project or portions of the project, and make recommendations on how to lessen or avoid impacts on the various resource areas.

    Although no formal application has been filed, we have already initiated our NEPA review under the Commission's pre-filing process. The purpose of the pre-filing process is to encourage early involvement of interested stakeholders and to identify and resolve issues before the FERC receives an application. As part of our pre-filing review, we have begun to contact some federal and state agencies to discuss their involvement in the scoping process and the preparation of the EIS.

    The EIS will present our independent analysis of the issues. We will publish and distribute the draft EIS for public comment. After the comment period, we will consider all timely comments and revise the document, as necessary, before issuing a final EIS. To ensure we have the opportunity to consider and address your comments, please carefully follow the instructions in the Public Participation section, beginning on page 2.

    With this notice, we are asking agencies with jurisdiction by law and/or special expertise with respect to the environmental issues related to this project to formally cooperate with us in the preparation of the EIS.4 Agencies that would like to request cooperating agency status should follow the instructions for filing comments provided under the Public Participation section of this notice. Currently, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has expressed its intention to participate as a cooperating agency in the preparation of the EIS to provide special expertise on environmental issues related to this project.

    4 The Council on Environmental Quality regulations addressing cooperating agency responsibilities are at Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1501.6.

    Consultations Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act

    In accordance with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's implementing regulations for section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, we are using this notice to initiate consultation with the applicable State Historic Preservation Office(s), and to solicit their views and those of other government agencies, interested Indian tribes, and the public on the project's potential effects on historic properties.5 We will define the project-specific Area of Potential Effects (APE) in consultation with the SHPO(s) as the project develops. On natural gas facility projects, the APE at a minimum encompasses all areas subject to ground disturbance (examples include construction right-of-way, contractor/pipe storage yards, compressor stations, and access roads). Our EIS for this project will document our findings on the impacts on historic properties and summarize the status of consultations under section 106.

    5 The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation regulations are at Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 800. Those regulations define historic properties as any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, or object included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.

    Currently Identified Environmental Issues

    We have already identified several issues that we think deserve attention based on a preliminary review of the planned facilities and the environmental information provided by Columbia. This preliminary list of issues may change based on your comments and our analysis.

    • Removal of forested areas;

    • impacts on endangered and threatened species that not covered under Columbia's Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan;

    • changes to existing land uses; and

    • safety of landowners during the operation of the proposed pipeline.

    Environmental Mailing List

    The environmental mailing list includes federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American Tribes; other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. This list also includes all affected landowners (as defined in the Commission's regulations) who are potential right-of-way grantors, whose property may be used temporarily for project purposes, or who own homes within certain distances of aboveground facilities, and anyone who submits comments on the project. We will update the environmental mailing list as the analysis proceeds to ensure that we send the information related to this environmental review to all individuals, organizations, and government entities interested in and/or potentially affected by the planned project.

    Copies of the completed draft EIS will be sent to the environmental mailing list for public review and comment. If you would prefer to receive a paper copy of the document instead of the CD version or would like to remove your name from the mailing list, please return the attached Information Request (appendix 3).

    Becoming an Intervenor

    Once Columbia files its application with the Commission, you may want to become an “intervenor” which is an official party to the Commission's proceeding. Intervenors play a more formal role in the process and are able to file briefs, appear at hearings, and be heard by the courts if they choose to appeal the Commission's final ruling. An intervenor formally participates in the proceeding by filing a request to intervene. Motions to intervene are more fully described at http://www.ferc.gov/resources/guides/how-to/intervene.asp. Instructions for becoming an intervenor are in the “Document-less Intervention Guide” under the “e-filing” link on the Commission's Web site. Please note that the Commission will not accept requests for intervenor status at this time. You must wait until the Commission receives a formal application for the project.

    Additional Information

    Additional information about the project 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, excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., PF15-31-000). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings.

    In addition, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription which 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.

    Finally, public meetings or site visits will be posted on the Commission's calendar located at www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/EventsList.aspx along with other related information.

    Dated: November 18, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30395 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC16-38-000.

    Applicants: The Potomac Edison Company.

    Description: Application of The Potomac Edison Company for Authorization pursuant to Section 203 of the Federal Power Act, and Requests for Waivers of Certain Filing Requirements, Shortened Notice Period, and Expedited Consideration.

    Filed Date: 11/20/15.

    Accession Number: 20151120-5315.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/11/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following exempt wholesale generator filings:

    Docket Numbers: EG16-23-000.

    Applicants: Golden Hills Interconnection, LLC.

    Description: Notice of Self-Certification of Exempt Wholesale Generator Status of Golden Hills Interconnection, LLC.

    Filed Date: 11/20/15.

    Accession Number: 20151120-5233.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/11/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER16-367-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Service Agreement Nos. 4290, 4291; Queue Nos. Y3-044/Y3-050/Y3-053, Y3-048 to be effective 10/21/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/20/15.

    Accession Number: 20151120-5196.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-368-000.

    Applicants: Shelby County Energy Center, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Market-Based Rate Tariff to be effective 12/31/9998.

    Filed Date: 11/20/15.

    Accession Number: 20151120-5208.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-369-000.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Letter Agreement Desert Stateline Project to be effective 11/20/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/20/15.

    Accession Number: 20151120-5216.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-370-000.

    Applicants: Nevada Power Company.

    Description: Initial rate filing: Service Agreement No. 15-00055 NPC and NPC Dry Lake to be effective 11/21/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/20/15.

    Accession Number: 20151120-5235.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-371-000.

    Applicants: BioUrja Power, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: BioUrja Power, LLC Market-Based Rate Application to be effective 11/23/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/20/15.

    Accession Number: 20151120-5240.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-372-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Compliance filing: Revisions to OATT Att K-Appx and OA Sched 1 re Hourly Offers, EL15-73-000 to be effective 12/31/9998.

    Filed Date: 11/20/15.

    Accession Number: 20151120-5242.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-373-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2015-11-20_3rd-4th Quarter Clean-Up Filing to be effective 11/21/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/20/15.

    Accession Number: 20151120-5243.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-374-000.

    Applicants: Idaho Power Company.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Notice of Cancellation of Jefferson Line Memorandum of Understanding with PAC to be effective 1/20/2016.

    Filed Date: 11/23/15.

    Accession Number: 20151123-5002.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/14/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric securities filings:

    Docket Numbers: ES16-4-000.

    Applicants: AEP Generating Company.

    Description: Amendment to October 30, 2015 Application Under Section 204 of the Federal Power Act for Authorization of AEP Generating Company to Issue Securities.

    Filed Date: 11/20/15

    Accession Number: 20151120-5152.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/11/15.

    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 23, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30423 Filed 11-30-15; 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: ER12-1296-001.

    Applicants: ResCom Energy LLC.

    Description: Notice of Material Change in Status of ResCom Energy LLC.

    Filed Date: 11/24/15.

    Accession Number: 20151124-5127.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/15/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER12-1355-003.

    Applicants: Iron Energy LLC.

    Description: Notice of Material Change in Status of Iron Energy LLC.

    Filed Date: 11/24/15.

    Accession Number: 20151124-5120.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/15/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER14-209-002.

    Applicants: PowerOne Corporation.

    Description: Notice of Material Change in Status of PowerOne Corporation.

    Filed Date: 11/24/15.

    Accession Number: 20151124-5124.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/15/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER14-2751-002.

    Applicants: Xcel Energy Southwest Transmission Company, LLC.

    Description: Response to September 22, 2015 Deficiency Letter of Xcel Energy Southwest Transmission Company, LLC.

    Filed Date: 11/23/15.

    Accession Number: 20151123-5362.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/14/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER14-2752-002.

    Applicants: Xcel Energy Transmission Development Company, LLC.

    Description: Response to September 22, 2015 Deficiency Letter of Xcel Energy Transmission Development Company, LLC.

    Filed Date: 11/23/15.

    Accession Number: 20151123-5364.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/14/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2631-003.

    Applicants: Odell Wind Farm, LLC.

    Description: Supplement to September 9, 2015 and October 19, 2015 Odell Wind Farm, LLC tariff filings.

    Filed Date: 11/23/15.

    Accession Number: 20151123-5225.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/7/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-368-001.

    Applicants: Shelby County Energy Center, LLC.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Amendment to Market-Based Rate Tariff to be effective 12/31/9998.

    Filed Date: 11/23/15.

    Accession Number: 20151123-5297.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/14/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-383-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2015-11-24_SA 2871 NSP-North Star Solar GIA (J385) to be effective 11/25/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/24/15.

    Accession Number: 20151124-5151.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/15/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-384-000.

    Applicants: Mulberry Farm, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Compliance Filing—Removal of Affiliate Waiver to be effective 11/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/24/15.

    Accession Number: 20151124-5165.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/15/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-385-000.

    Applicants: ITC Interconnection LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Facilities Reimbursement Agreement to be effective 1/24/2016.

    Filed Date: 11/24/15.

    Accession Number: 20151124-5170.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/15/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-386-000.

    Applicants: Arizona Public Service Company.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Rate Schedule No. 249—Round Valley Agreement to be effective 1/24/2016.

    Filed Date: 11/24/15.

    Accession Number: 20151124-5176.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/15/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-387-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2015-11-24_SA 2872 Montana Dakota-Montana Dakota GIA (J405) to be effective 11/25/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/24/15.

    Accession Number: 20151124-5220.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/15/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric securities filings:

    Docket Numbers: ES16-5-000.

    Applicants: Baltimore Gas and Electric Company.

    Description: Supplement to October 30, 2015 Application of Baltimore Gas and Electric Company Under Section 204 of the Federal Power Act for Authorization of the Issuance Securities.

    Filed Date: 11/24/15.

    Accession Number: 20151124-5224.

    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 24, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30396 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER16-328-000] Cogentrix Virginia Financing Holding Company, 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 Cogentrix Virginia Financing Holding Company, 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 8, 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 18, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30391 Filed 11-30-15; 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: ER15-762-003; ER15-760-003.

    Applicants: Sierra Solar Greenworks LLC, Western Antelope Blue Sky Ranch A LLC.

    Description: Notice of Non-Material Change in Status of Sierra Solar Greenworks LLC, et. al.

    Filed Date: 11/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20151118-5102.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1579-002.

    Applicants: 67RK 8me LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: 67RK 8me LLC MBR Tariff to be effective 6/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20151118-5076.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1582-003.

    Applicants: 65HK 8me LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: 65HK 8me LLC MBR Tariff to be effective 6/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20151118-5077.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1896-002.

    Applicants: Eden Solar LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Eden Solar LLC MBR Tariff to be effective 8/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20151118-5078.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2613-001.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: PJM Response to Deficiency Letter dated 11/2/15 in Docket No. ER15-2613-000 to be effective 9/30/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20151117-5146.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/8/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2616-001.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: 2015-11-17 MISO-PJM JOA M2M FFE Deficiency Response to be effective 9/30/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20151117-5152.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/8/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-289-001.

    Applicants: Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Errata to COTP CIRS Appendix F Filing to be effective 1/6/2016.

    Filed Date: 11/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20151118-5004.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-343-000.

    Applicants: RE Astoria 2 LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Application for MBR to be effective 1/19/2016.

    Filed Date: 11/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20151118-5055.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-344-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2015-11-18_Attachment J Revisions to be effective 1/17/2016.

    Filed Date: 11/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20151118-5085.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-345-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2050 OMPA PTP Notice of Cancellation to be effective 9/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20151118-5118.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-346-000.

    Applicants: New York Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Market participant resubmission of risk management policies to be effective 1/17/2016.

    Filed Date: 11/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20151118-5120.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-347-000.

    Applicants: Public Service Company of Colorado.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2015-11-18_PSCo-TSGT-Ft Lupton E&P-420-0.0.0-Filing to be effective 11/19/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20151118-5139.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/9/15.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: November 18, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30388 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER16-355-000] Colonial Eagle Solar, 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 Colonial Eagle Solar, 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 14, 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 23, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30428 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket Nos. CP15-115-001; CP15-115-000] National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation Empire Pipeline, Inc.; Supplemental Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Northern Access 2016 Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues

    On October 22, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) issued in Docket No. PF14-18-000 a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Planned Northern Access 2016 Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, and Notice of Public Scoping Meetings (October 22, 2014 NOI). In their application in Docket No. CP15-115-000, National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation (Supply) and Empire Pipeline, Inc. (Empire) (collectively referred to as National Fuel) filed proposed locations for one new compressor station and one natural gas dehydration facility in Niagara County, New York. To solicit comments on the new proposed aboveground facilities, on April 29, 2015, the Commission issued a Supplemental Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Northern Access 2016 Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues, Notice of Environmental Site Review, and Notice of Public Scoping Meeting (April 29, 2015 NOI). Based on public input received throughout the scoping process, National Fuel now proposes a new location for its new compressor station and has made other modifications to its proposed facilities in an amendment application in Docket No. CP15-115-001. This Supplemental Notice is being issued to seek comments on these changes, and opens a new 30-day scoping period for interested parties to file comments on environmental issues specific to these facilities.

    The October 22, 2014 NOI announced that the FERC will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) to address the environmental impacts of the Northern Access 2016 Project (Project). Please refer to the NOI for more information about the facilities proposed by National Fuel in Pennsylvania and New York. The Commission will use the EA in its decision-making process to determine whether to authorize the Project.

    You can make a difference by providing us with your specific comments or concerns about the project. Your comments should focus on the potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. Your input will help Commission staff determine what issues they need to evaluate in the EA. To ensure your comments are timely and properly recorded, please send your comments so that the Commission receives them in Washington, DC on or before December 19, 2015.

    The Commission previously solicited input on the pipeline portion of the project in Pennsylvania and New York in the fall of 2014. In addition, the Commission solicited input on the aboveground facilities in Niagara County in the spring of 2015. If you have previously submitted comments during the pre-filing review in docket no. PF14-18-000 or since the application filing in docket no. CP15-115-000, you do not need to resubmit your comments at this time. We 1 are specifically seeking comments on the new proposed location of the Pendleton Compressor Station and additional modifications associated with National Fuel's amended application for the Project.

    1 “We,” “us,” and “our” refer to the environmental staff of the Commission's Office of Energy Projects.

    This notice is being sent to the Commission's current environmental mailing list for this project. State and local government representatives should notify their constituents of this proposed project and encourage them to comment on their areas of concern.

    If you are a landowner receiving this notice, a pipeline company representative may contact you about the acquisition of an easement to construct, operate, and maintain the proposed facilities. The company would seek to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement. However, if the Commission approves the project, that approval conveys with it the right of eminent domain. Therefore, if easement negotiations fail to produce an agreement, the pipeline company could initiate condemnation proceedings where compensation would be determined in accordance with state law.

    National Fuel provided landowners with a fact sheet prepared by the FERC entitled “An Interstate Natural Gas Facility On My Land? What Do I Need To Know?” This fact sheet addresses a number of typically asked questions, including the use of eminent domain and how to participate in the Commission's proceedings. It is also available for viewing on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov).

    Public Participation

    For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or [email protected] Please carefully follow these instructions so that your comments are properly recorded.

    (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for submitting brief, text-only comments on a project;

    (2) You can file your comments electronically by using the eFiling feature on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. With eFiling, you can provide comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on “eRegister.” If you are filing a comment on a particular project, please select “Comment on a Filing” as the filing type; or

    (3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to the following address. Be sure to reference the project docket number (CP15-115-000) with your submission: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.

    Please note this is not your only public input opportunity; please refer to the review process flow chart in appendix 1.2

    2 The appendices referenced in this notice will not appear in the Federal Register. Copies of the appendices were sent to all those receiving this notice in the mail and are available at www.ferc.gov using the link called “eLibrary” or from the Commission's Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, or call (202) 502-8371. For instructions on connecting to eLibrary, refer to the last page of this notice.

    Summary of the Newly Proposed Facilities

    The facilities that are the focus of this notice are the new Pendleton Compressor Station (Killian Road Site) and an additional 2.07 miles of 16- and 14-inch diameter pipeline in the town of Pendleton, New York to connect the new Pendleton Compressor Station to the northward to the existing XM-10 pipeline and southward to the existing X-North Pipeline.

    The tie-in between the southern end of Line XM-10 and National Fuel's X-North pipeline in Wheatfield, New York is no longer necessary due to the newly proposed Pendleton Compressor Station site. National Fuel previously proposed to abandon all 3.09 miles of the XM-10 Pipeline system in Wheatfield, New York and Pendleton, New York via sale to Empire. Based on the new location of the Pendleton Compressor Station, Empire would only acquire 1.08 miles of the XM-10 Pipeline system and associated facilities from National Fuel.

    The general location of the project facilities is shown in appendix 2.

    The EA Process

    The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires the Commission to take into account the environmental impacts that could result from an action whenever it considers the issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. NEPA also requires us to discover and address concerns the public may have about proposals. This process is referred to as “scoping.” The main goal of the scoping process is to focus the analysis in the EA on the important environmental issues. By this notice, the Commission requests public comments on the scope of the issues to address in the EA. We will consider all filed comments during the preparation of the EA.

    In the EA we will discuss impacts that could occur as a result of the construction and operation of the proposed project under these general headings:

    • Geology and soils;

    • Water resources and wetlands;

    • Vegetation and wildlife, including migratory birds;

    • Fisheries and aquatic resources;

    • Threatened, endangered, and other special-status species;

    • Land use, recreation, special interest areas, and visual resources;

    • Socioeconomics;

    • Cultural resources;

    • Air quality and noise;

    • Reliability and safety; and

    • Cumulative environmental impacts.

    We will also evaluate reasonable alternatives to the proposed project or portions of the project, and make recommendations on how to lessen or avoid impacts on the various resource areas.

    Please note that since the amended application has been filed, an additional docket number has been assigned (CP15-115-001) for the amended Project facilities. As part of our pre-filing review, we participated in public Open House meetings sponsored by National Fuel in the project area in August 2014 to explain the environmental review process to interested stakeholders. We also conducted public scoping meetings of along the proposed pipeline route in November 2014 and in Pendleton, New York in May 2015. We have also contacted federal and state agencies to discuss their involvement in the scoping process and the preparation of the EA.

    The EA will present our independent analysis of the issues. We will publish and distribute the EA for public comment. We will consider all comments on the EA before making our recommendations to the Commission. To ensure we have the opportunity to consider and address your comments, please carefully follow the instructions in the Public Participation section, beginning on page 2 of this notice.

    With this notice, we are asking agencies with jurisdiction by law and/or special expertise with respect to the environmental issues of this project to formally cooperate with us in the preparation of the EA.3 Agencies that would like to request cooperating agency status should follow the instructions for filing comments provided under the Public Participation section of this notice. Currently, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and New York Department of Agriculture and Markets have expressed their intention to participate as cooperating agencies in the preparation of the EA to satisfy their NEPA responsibilities related to this project.

    3 The Council on Environmental Quality regulations addressing cooperating agency responsibilities are at Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1501.6.

    Consultations Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act

    In accordance with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's implementing regulations for section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, we are using this notice to initiate consultation with the applicable State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPO), and to solicit their views and those of other government agencies, interested Indian tribes, and the public on the project's potential effects on historic properties.4 We will define the project-specific Area of Potential Effects (APE) in consultation with the SHPO as the project develops. On natural gas facility projects, the APE at a minimum encompasses all areas subject to ground disturbance (examples include construction right-of-way, contractor/pipe storage yards, compressor stations, and access roads). Our EA for this project will document our findings on the impacts on historic properties and summarize the status of consultations under section 106.

    4 The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's regulations are at Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 800. Those regulations define historic properties as any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, or object included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.

    Environmental Mailing List

    The environmental mailing list includes federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American Tribes; other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. This list also includes all affected landowners (as defined in the Commission's regulations) who are potential right-of-way grantors, whose property may be used temporarily for project purposes, or who own homes within certain distances of aboveground facilities, and anyone who submits comments on the project. We will update the environmental mailing list as the analysis proceeds to ensure that we send the information related to this environmental review to all individuals, organizations, and government entities interested in and/or potentially affected by the proposed project.

    Copies of the EA will be sent to the environmental mailing list for public review and comment. If you would prefer to receive a paper copy of the document instead of the CD version or would like to remove your name from the mailing list, please return the attached Information Request (appendix 3).

    Becoming an Intervenor

    In addition to involvement in the EA scoping process, you may want to become an “intervenor” which is an official party to the Commission's proceeding. Intervenors play a more formal role in the process and are able to file briefs, appear at hearings, and be heard by the courts if they choose to appeal the Commission's final ruling. An intervenor formally participates in the proceeding by filing a request to intervene. Instructions for becoming an intervenor are in the “Document-less Intervention Guide” under the “e-filing” link on the Commission's Web site. Motions to intervene are more fully described at http://www.ferc.gov/resources/guides/how-to/intervene.asp.

    Additional Information

    Additional information about the project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the FERC Web site at www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on “General Search” and enter the docket number, excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., CP15-115). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings.

    In addition, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription which 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.

    Finally, public meetings or site visits will be posted on the Commission's calendar located at www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/EventsList.aspx along with other related information.

    Dated: November 19, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30472 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL16-16-000; Docket No. QF06-17-004 ] PáTu Wind Farm, LLC v. Portland General Electric Company, PáTu Wind Farm, LLC; Notice of Complaint

    Take notice that on November 18, 2015, pursuant to sections 206 and 306 of the Federal Power Act (FPA),1 section 210(h)(1) of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA),2 and Rule 206 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure,3 PáTu Wind Farm, LLC (PáTu or Complainant) filed a formal complaint against Portland General Electric Company (Respondent) alleging that Respondent violated the Commission's orders 4 by refusing to permit Complainant to establish a dynamic scheduling arrangement for delivery of power from the PáTu wind farm to Respondent's Balancing Authority Area, all as more fully explained in the complaint.

    1 16 U.S.C. 824e & 825e.

    2 16 U.S.C. 824a-3(h)(1).

    3 18 CFR 385.206 (2014).

    4PáTu Wind Farm, LLC v. Portland General Electric Co., 150 FERC ¶ 61,032, reh'g denied, 151 FERC ¶ 61,223 (2015), petitions for review pending sub nom., Portland General Electric Co. v. FERC, D.C. Cir. Nos. 15-1237 et al.

    The Complainant certifies that a copy of the complaint has been served on the Respondents.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. The Respondent's answer and all interventions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. The Respondent's answer, motions to intervene, and protests must be served on the Complainants.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC There is an “eSubscription” link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on December 8, 2015.

    Dated: November 18, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30389 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER16-371-000] BioUrja Power, 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 BioUrja Power, 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 14, 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 23, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30430 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP15-148-000] Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C; Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Susquehanna West Project

    On April 2, 2015, Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C. (TGP) filed an application in Docket No. CP15-148-000 requesting authorization pursuant to section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act to construct and operate certain natural gas pipeline facilities. The proposed project is known as the Susquehanna West Project (Project), and would deliver an additional 145,000 dekatherms per day of natural gas. According to TGP, its project would meet market needs in the northeast U.S., which have been capacity constrained.

    On April 13, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) issued its Notice of Application for the Project. Among other things, that notice alerted agencies issuing federal authorizations of the requirement to complete all necessary reviews and to reach a final decision on a request for a federal authorization within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Project. This instant notice identifies the FERC staff's planned schedule for the completion of the EA for the Project.

    Schedule for Environmental Review Issuance of EA, February 23, 2016 90-day Federal Authorization Decision Deadline, May 23, 2016

    If a schedule change becomes necessary, additional notice will be provided so that the relevant agencies are kept informed of the Project's progress.

    Project Description

    TGP is proposing to construct 8.1 miles of new 36-inch-diameter looping 1 pipeline in two segments in Tioga County, Pennsylvania; relocation of an existing 16,000 horsepower compressor unit from Compressor Station 319 to Compressor Station 317, both located in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, resulting in an increase of 16,000 horsepower at Compressor Station 317; replacement of an existing compressor unit at Compressor Station 319 with a new 20,500 horsepower compressor unit, resulting in an increase of 4,500 horsepower at Compressor Station 319; and certain piping and equipment modifications associated with the pipeline loops at Compressor Stations 315, 317, and 319.

    1 A pipeline loop is a segment of pipe constructed parallel to an existing pipeline to increase capacity.

    Background

    On June 10, 2015, the Commission issued a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Susquehanna West Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues (NOI). The NOI was sent to affected landowners; federal, state, and local government agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes; other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. In response to the NOI, the Commission received comments from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection; Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; Pennsylvania Department of Transportation; Stockbridge-Munsee Tribal Historic Preservation Office; and the Allegheny Defense Project. The primary environmental issues raised during scoping relate to impacts on wetlands and waterbodies, fish, wildlife, cultural resources, air quality, and impacts associated with road crossings.

    Additional Information

    In order to receive notification of the issuance of the EA and to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription. 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.

    Additional information about the Project 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, select “General Search” from the eLibrary menu, enter the selected date range and “Docket Number” excluding the last three digits (i.e., CP15-148), and follow the instructions. For assistance with access to eLibrary, the helpline can be reached at (866) 208-3676, TTY (202) 502-8659, or at [email protected] The eLibrary link on the FERC Web site also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rule makings.

    Dated: November 24, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30398 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice Of Filings #3

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER13-94-006.

    Applicants: Avista Corporation.

    Description: Compliance filing: Avista Corp OATT Order 1000 Compliance Filing to be effective 11/24/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/23/15.

    Accession Number: 20151123-5202.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/14/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER13-99-007.

    Applicants: Puget Sound Energy, Inc.

    Description: Compliance filing: OATT Order No. 1000 Compliance Filing to be effective 11/24/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/23/15.

    Accession Number: 20151123-5287.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/14/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER13-836-006.

    Applicants: MATL LLP.

    Description: Compliance filing: Compliance Filing Schedule K to be effective 11/24/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/23/15.

    Accession Number: 20151123-5290.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/14/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-422-002.

    Applicants: Avista Corporation.

    Description: Compliance filing: Avista Corp Order 1000 FERC Rate Schedule No. CG2 Compliance Filing to be effective 11/24/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/23/15.

    Accession Number: 20151123-5201.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/14/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-429-003.

    Applicants: Puget Sound Energy, Inc.

    Description: Compliance filing: Columbia Grid Functional Agreement Second Amendment to be effective 11/24/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/23/15.

    Accession Number: 20151123-5288.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/14/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2533-001.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Compliance filing: 2015-11-23_SA 2831 ITC-Geronimo GIA Compliance (J340) to be effective 10/25/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/23/15.

    Accession Number: 20151123-5203.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/14/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-381-000.

    Applicants: New York State Electric & Gas Corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Executed Services Agreement with FirstEnergy Service Company to be effective 10/23/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/23/15.

    Accession Number: 20151123-5226.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/14/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-382-000.

    Applicants: Dominion Retail, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Cancellation of Tariff and Tariff I.D. to be effective 11/24/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/23/15.

    Accession Number: 20151123-5284.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/14/15.

    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 23, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30425 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 14673-000] Lock Hydro Friends Fund III; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing Applications

    On March 30, 2015, Lock Hydro Friends Fund III, filed an application for a preliminary permit, pursuant to section 4(f) of the Federal Power Act (FPA), proposing to study the feasibility of a hydropower project to be located at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' (Corps) Coffeeville Lock and Dam on the Tombigbee River near the town of Coffeeville in Clark and Choctaw Counties, Alabama. The sole purpose of a preliminary permit, if issued, is to grant the permit holder priority to file a license application during the permit term. A preliminary permit does not authorize the permit holder to perform any land-disturbing activities or otherwise enter upon lands or waters owned by others without the owners' express permission.

    The proposed project would consist of the following: (1) A 150-foot-long, 25-foot-wide lock frame module containing twelve generating units with a total capacity of 27 megawatts; (2) a 150-foot-long; 65-foot-wide tailrace; (3) a 50-foot-long, 25-foot-wide switchyard; and (4) a 1-mile-long, 34.5kV transmission line. The proposed project would have an estimated average annual generation of 153,738 megawatt-hours, and operate as directed by the Corps.

    Applicant Contact: Mr. Wayne F. Krouse, Hydro Green Energy, LLC, P.O. Box 43796, Birmingham, AL 35243; Phone: (877) 556-6566; Email: [email protected]

    FERC Contact: Christiane Casey, [email protected], (202) 502-8577.

    Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, competing applications (without notices of intent), or notices of intent to file competing applications: 60 days from the issuance of this notice. Competing applications and notices of intent must meet the requirements of 18 CFR 4.36. Comments, motions to intervene, notices of intent, and competing applications may be filed electronically via the Internet. See 18 CFR 385.2001(a)(1)(iii) and the instructions on the Commission's Web site 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] or toll free at 1-866-208-3676, or for TTY, (202) 502-8659. Although the Commission strongly encourages electronic filing, documents may also be paper-filed. To paper-file, mail an original and five copies to: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-14673-000.

    More information about this project, including a copy of the application, can be viewed or printed on the “eLibrary” link of Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the docket number (P-14673) in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    Dated: November 24, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30401 Filed 11-30-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice Of Filings #2

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER15-527-003.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Compliance filing: Compliance Filing per 9/24/15 Order in Docket No. ER15-527 to be effective 5/15/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/23/15.

    Accession Number: 20151123-5190.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/14/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-95-001.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: 2015-11-23_SA 2834 Amended ATC-NSPW Design and Construction Agreement to be effective 12/15/2015.

    Filed Date: 11/23/15.

    Accession Number: 20151123-5151.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/14/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-128-001.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: 2015-11-23_SA 2855 Amended ATC-Manitowoc Relocation Agreement to be effective 12/20/2015.