Federal Register Vol. 80, No.238,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 238 (December 11, 2015)

Page Range76855-77229
FR Document

80_FR_238
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 77032 - Temporary Emergency Committee of the Board of Governors; Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
80 FR 76948 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
80 FR 76988 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
80 FR 77010 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Montezuma Castle National Monument, Camp Verde, AZ; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 77007 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Hudson Museum, University of Maine, Orono, MEPDF
80 FR 77124 - Final Fair Market Rents for the Housing Choice Voucher Program and Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy Program and Other Programs Fiscal Year 2016PDF
80 FR 77008 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Northwest Museum, Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 77004 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, DCPDF
80 FR 77001 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Page, AZPDF
80 FR 76980 - Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 77003 - Notice of Intent To Repatriate a Cultural Item: Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, Los Angeles, CAPDF
80 FR 77005 - Notice of Intent To Repatriate Cultural Items: San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CAPDF
80 FR 77011 - Notice of Intent To Repatriate Cultural Items: New York State Museum, Albany, NYPDF
80 FR 77009 - Notice of Inventory Completion: Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, ILPDF
80 FR 76994 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 76999 - Statement of Findings: Bill Williams River Water Rights Settlement Act of 2014PDF
80 FR 77029 - National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations MeetingPDF
80 FR 76926 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 76860 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Des Allemands Bayou, Des Allemands, LAPDF
80 FR 76985 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission Under Delegated AuthorityPDF
80 FR 76983 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
80 FR 76984 - Information Collections Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission Under Delegated AuthorityPDF
80 FR 76986 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission Under Delegated AuthorityPDF
80 FR 76982 - Information Collection Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and BudgetPDF
80 FR 76981 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
80 FR 76957 - Application for New Awards; National Professional Development ProgramPDF
80 FR 77012 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Royalty and Production Reporting--OMB Control Number 1012-0004; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 76988 - Notice To All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10494 Syringa Bank, Boise, IdahoPDF
80 FR 76987 - Notice of Termination; 10479 Central Arizona Bank; Scottsdale, ArizonaPDF
80 FR 76987 - Notice of Termination; 10420 BankEast; Knoxville, TennesseePDF
80 FR 76987 - Notice of Termination, 10357 Rosemount National Bank, Rosemount, MinnesotaPDF
80 FR 76987 - Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10169 St. Stephen State Bank, St. Stephen, MinnesotaPDF
80 FR 77065 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Exchange Rules To Prescribe the Securities Traders Examination as the Qualifying Examination for Persons Associated With a Member Organization Engaged Solely in Proprietary Trading, and Amend Continuing Education Requirement Applicable to Such MembersPDF
80 FR 77057 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to Amend Nasdaq Rule 7018PDF
80 FR 77038 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1 Thereto, Relating to Price Protection MechanismsPDF
80 FR 77047 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; C2 Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1 Thereto, Relating to Price Protection MechanismsPDF
80 FR 77035 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Exchange Rules To Prescribe the Securities Traders Examination as the Qualifying Examination for Persons Associated With a Member Organization Engaged Solely in Proprietary Trading, and Amend Continuing Education Requirement Applicable to Such MembersPDF
80 FR 77058 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Exchange Rules To Establish the Securities Trader and Securities Trader Principal Registration CategoriesPDF
80 FR 77068 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Exchange Rules To Prescribe the Securities Traders Examination as the Qualifying Examination for Employees of ETP Holders Engaged Solely in Proprietary Trading, and Amend Continuing Education Requirement Applicable to Such MembersPDF
80 FR 77063 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending NYSE Arca Rule 2.23 To Establish the Securities Trader and Securities Trader Principal Registration CategoriesPDF
80 FR 77072 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; EDGX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Delete Rule 22.10, Limitation on Dealings, Related to the EDGX Options MarketPDF
80 FR 76951 - 36(b)(1) Arms Sales NotificationPDF
80 FR 76988 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
80 FR 76988 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 77075 - Notice of Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 76860 - Special Local Regulation; Southern California Annual Marine Events for the San Diego Captain of the Port ZonePDF
80 FR 77079 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes MellitusPDF
80 FR 76923 - Petition for Reconsideration of Action in a Rulemaking ProceedingPDF
80 FR 76954 - 36(b)(1) Arms Sales NotificationPDF
80 FR 76946 - Procurement List; DeletionsPDF
80 FR 76948 - Procurement List, Proposed AdditionsPDF
80 FR 77019 - Certain Aquarium Fittings and Parts Thereof Notice of Institution of InvestigationPDF
80 FR 76948 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 76967 - Proposed Agency Information CollectionPDF
80 FR 77082 - Reading Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad Company-Trackage Rights Exemption-Norfolk Southern Railway CompanyPDF
80 FR 76966 - Proposed Agency Information CollectionPDF
80 FR 76868 - 2015 Edition Health Information Technology (Health IT) Certification Criteria, 2015 Edition Base Electronic Health Record (EHR) Definition, and ONC Health IT Certification Program Modifications; Corrections and ClarificationsPDF
80 FR 77028 - Assessment of Radioactive Discharges in Ground Water to the Unrestricted Area at Nuclear Power Plant SitesPDF
80 FR 77020 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection, eComments Requested; Extension Without Change of a Previously Approved Collection, Application for Registration, Application for Registration Renewal; DEA Forms 224, 224APDF
80 FR 77022 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Extension of a Currently Approved Collection; Comments Requested: Generic Clearance for Cognitive, Pilot and Field Studies for Bureau of Justice Statistics Data Collection ActivitiesPDF
80 FR 77022 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Manufacturers of Ammunition, Records and Supporting Data of Ammunition Manufactured and Disposed ofPDF
80 FR 77021 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; ATF Distribution Center SurveyPDF
80 FR 76932 - Notice of Intent To Request To Conduct a New Information CollectionPDF
80 FR 76949 - 36(b)(1) Arms Sales NotificationPDF
80 FR 77020 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Federal Firearms License (FFL) RENEWAL ApplicationPDF
80 FR 76931 - Notice of Intent To Request Revision and Extension of a Currently Approved Information CollectionPDF
80 FR 77000 - Notice of Public Meeting; Central Montana Resource Advisory CouncilPDF
80 FR 76996 - National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 76995 - Office of the Director; Notice of Charter RenewalPDF
80 FR 76995 - Office of the Director, Office of Science Policy, Office of Biotechnology Activities; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 76924 - Fisheries Off West Coast States; Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 1; Amendments to the Fishery Management Plans for Coastal Pelagic Species, Pacific Coast Groundfish, U.S. West Coast Highly Migratory Species, and Pacific Coast SalmonPDF
80 FR 77083 - Agency Information Collection (Foreign Medical Program Application and Claim Cover Sheet)PDF
80 FR 77001 - Notice of Correction to Filing of Plats, ColoradoPDF
80 FR 76859 - Listing of Color Additives Exempt From Certification; Mica-Based Pearlescent Pigments; Confirmation of Effective DatePDF
80 FR 76998 - San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex, CO; Availability of Record of Decision for the Final Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Final Environmental Impact StatementPDF
80 FR 77016 - Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Statement, Upper Truckee River and Marsh Restoration Project, El Dorado County, CaliforniaPDF
80 FR 77082 - Proposed Information Collection (Student Verification of Enrollment) Activity: Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 76881 - Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP)PDF
80 FR 76992 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
80 FR 77080 - Limitation on Claims Against a Proposed Public Transportation ProjectPDF
80 FR 77084 - Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review-Student Verification of EnrollmentPDF
80 FR 77085 - Commission on CarePDF
80 FR 77023 - Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety StandardsPDF
80 FR 77026 - Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety StandardsPDF
80 FR 76878 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
80 FR 76934 - Views on the Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure CybersecurityPDF
80 FR 76855 - Open Access and Priority Rights on Interconnection Customer's Interconnection FacilitiesPDF
80 FR 76967 - San Diego Gas & Electric Company v. Sellers of Energy and Ancillary Services Into Markets Operated by the California Independent System Operator Corporation and the California Power Exchanges; Notice of Compliance FilingPDF
80 FR 76970 - NEXUS Gas Transmission, LLC; Texas Eastern Transmission, LP; DTE Gas Company; Notice of ApplicationsPDF
80 FR 76969 - Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C; Notice of ApplicationPDF
80 FR 76968 - Combined Notice of Filings #2PDF
80 FR 76971 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 76875 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
80 FR 76936 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Murray Street Bridge Seismic Retrofit Project by the California State Department of TransportationPDF
80 FR 76861 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Maryland; Maryland's Negative Declaration for the Automobile and Light-Duty Truck Assembly Coatings Control Techniques GuidelinesPDF
80 FR 76927 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Family Day Care Home Meal Claim Feasibility StudyPDF
80 FR 76933 - Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness: Notice of Public MeetingsPDF
80 FR 76889 - Carrying of Firearms and Use of Force for Law Enforcement, Security, Counterintelligence, and Protective ServicesPDF
80 FR 77076 - Determination of Trade Surplus in Certain Sugar and Syrup Goods and Sugar-Containing Products of Chile, Morocco, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, Colombia, and PanamaPDF
80 FR 76957 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Student Assistance General Provisions-Readmission for ServicemembersPDF
80 FR 76971 - California State Nonroad Engine Pollution Control Standards; Small Off-Road Engines Regulations; Tier 4 Off-Road Compression-Ignition Regulations; Exhaust Emission Certification Test Fuel for Off-Road Spark-Ignition Engines, Equipment, and Vehicles Regulations; Notice of DecisionPDF
80 FR 77030 - New Postal ProductPDF
80 FR 76979 - Request for Nominations to the National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT)PDF
80 FR 76931 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 76894 - Approval and Promulgation of State Plans for Designated Facilities; Commonwealth of Puerto RicoPDF
80 FR 77031 - Product Change-Priority Mail Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
80 FR 77037 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Withdrawal of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Fees SchedulePDF
80 FR 77070 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Fees SchedulePDF
80 FR 77061 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 6.54PDF
80 FR 77032 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; ICE Clear Europe Limited; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Gross Margining for Certain Categories of Customer AccountsPDF
80 FR 76981 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 76855 - Review and Approval of ProjectsPDF
80 FR 77032 - Product Change-Priority Mail Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
80 FR 77031 - Product Change-Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
80 FR 76980 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Final Collection; Comment Request; Form Title: EIB 09-01 Payment Default Report OMB 3048-0028PDF
80 FR 77088 - Migratory Bird Hunting; Proposed Frameworks for Migratory Bird Hunting RegulationsPDF
80 FR 77081 - Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential NoncompliancePDF
80 FR 77029 - New Postal ProductPDF
80 FR 76936 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Permit and Reporting Requirements for Non-Commercial Fishing in the Rose Atoll, Marianas Trench, and Pacific Remote Islands Marine National MonumentsPDF
80 FR 76996 - Office of The Director, National Institutes of Health; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 77083 - Proposed Information Collection (Learner's Perceptions Survey (LPS)); Activity: Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 76990 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 76989 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 76873 - Cotton Board Rules and Regulations: Amending Importer Line-Item De MinimisPDF
80 FR 76863 - Air Plan Approval; Minnesota; Transportation Conformity ProceduresPDF
80 FR 76893 - Air Plan Approval; Minnesota; Transportation Conformity ProceduresPDF
80 FR 77018 - North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area, Tennessee Lands Unsuitable for Mining Draft Petition Evaluation Document and Environmental Impact Statement OSM-EIS-37PDF
80 FR 77200 - Management of Non-Federal Oil and Gas RightsPDF
80 FR 76865 - Air Plan Approval and Air Quality Designation; SC; Redesignation of the Charlotte-Rock Hill, 2008 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area to AttainmentPDF
80 FR 76997 - Federal Property Suitable as Facilities To Assist the HomelessPDF
80 FR 76897 - Revisions to the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 4) for Public Water Systems and Announcement of a Public MeetingPDF

Issue

80 238 Friday, December 11, 2015 Contents Agency Health Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 76989-76992 2015-31158 2015-31159 Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service PROPOSED RULES Amending Importer Line-Item De Minimis: Cotton Board Rules and Regulations, 76873-76875 2015-31116 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 76926 2015-31298 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

See

Food and Nutrition Service

See

National Agricultural Statistics Service

Army Army Department PROPOSED RULES Carrying of Firearms and Use of Force for Law Enforcement, Security, Counterintelligence, and Protective Services, 76889-76893 2015-31194 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 76992-76994 2015-31226 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 76994-76995 2015-31302 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Des Allemands Bayou, Des Allemands, LA, 76860-76861 2015-31297 Special Local Regulations: Southern California Annual Marine Events for the San Diego Captain of the Port Zone, 76860 2015-31267 Commerce Commerce Department See

International Trade Administration

See

National Institute of Standards and Technology

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Committee for Purchase Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled NOTICES Procurement List; Additions and Deletions, 2015-31262 76946-76948 2015-31263 Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 76948 2015-31417 Corporation Corporation for National and Community Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 76948-76949 2015-31260 Defense Department Defense Department See

Army Department

PROPOSED RULES Exceptional Family Member Program, 76881-76889 2015-31227 NOTICES Arms Sales, 76949-76957 2015-31245 2015-31264 2015-31272
Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Student Assistance General Provisions—Readmission for Servicemembers, 76957 2015-31190 Application for New Awards: National Professional Development Program, 76957-76966 2015-31290 Energy Department Energy Department See

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office

See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Energy Efficiency Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 76966-76967 2015-31257 2015-31259 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Maryland; Maryland's Negative Declaration for the Automobile and Light-Duty Truck Assembly Coatings Control Techniques Guidelines, 76861-76863 2015-31203 Minnesota; Air Plan Approval; Transportation Conformity Procedures, 76863-76865 2015-31075 SC; Redesignation of the Charlotte-Rock Hill, 2008 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area to Attainment, 76865-76868 2015-30920 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Minnesota; Air Plan Approval; Transportation Conformity Procedures, 76893-76894 2015-31063 Revisions to the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule for Public Water Systems, 76897-76923 2015-30824 State Plans for Designated Facilities; Approvals and Promulgations: Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, 76894-76897 2015-31182 NOTICES Decision: California State Nonroad Engine Pollution Control Standards; Small Off-Road Engines Regulations; Tier 4 Off-Road Compression-Ignition Regulations; etc., 76971-76979 2015-31189 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.; Weekly Receipts, 76980 2015-31312 Request for Nominations: National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology, 76979-76980 2015-31184 Export Import Export-Import Bank NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals Payment Default Report, 76980-76981 2015-31170 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Marketing Fax Back Response Form, 76981 2015-31175 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Airplanes, 76875-76878 2015-31210 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 76878-76881 2015-31218 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission PROPOSED RULES Petition for Reconsideration, 76923-76924 2015-31265 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 76981-76987 2015-31291 2015-31292 2015-31293 2015-31294 2015-31295 2015-31296 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Terminations of Receivership: BankEast, Knoxville, TN, 76987 2015-31286 Central Arizona Bank, Scottsdale, AZ, 76987-76988 2015-31287 Rosemount National Bank, Rosemount, MN, 76987 2015-31285 St. Stephen State Bank, St. Stephen, MN, 76987 2015-31284 Syringa Bank, Boise, ID, 76988 2015-31288 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission RULES Open Access and Priority Rights on Interconnection Customer's Interconnection Facilities, 76855 2015-31216 NOTICES Applications: NEXUS Gas Transmission; Texas Eastern Transmission, LP; DTE Gas Company, 76970-76971 2015-31214 Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C, 76969-76970 2015-31213 Combined Filings, 2015-31211 76968-76969, 76971 2015-31212 Compliance Filings: San Diego Gas and Electric Co. v. Sellers of Energy and Ancillary Services Into Markets Operated by the California Independent System Operator Corp. and the California Power Exchanges, 76967-76968 2015-31215 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 76988 2015-31414 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications: Diabetes Mellitus, 77079-77080 2015-31266 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Change in Bank Controls: Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company, 76988 2015-31271 Changes in Bank Control: Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies; Correction, 76988 2015-31270 Federal Transit Federal Transit Administration NOTICES Limitation on Claims Against a Proposed Public Transportation Project, 77080 2015-31225 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service PROPOSED RULES Management of Non-Federal Oil and Gas Rights, 77200-77229 2015-30977 Migratory Bird Hunting; Proposed Frameworks for Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations, 77088-77122 2015-31169 NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex, CO, 76998-76999 2015-31231 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration RULES Listing of Color Additives Exempt from Certification; Mica-Based Pearlescent Pigments; Confirmation of Effective Date, 76859-76860 2015-31232 Food and Nutrition Food and Nutrition Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 76931 2015-31183 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Child and Adult Care Food Program Family Day Care Home Meal Claim Feasibility Study, 76927-76931 2015-31199 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

RULES 2015 Edition Health Information Technology Certification Criteria, 2015 Edition Base Electronic Health Record Definition, and ONC Health IT Certification Program Modifications; Corrections and Clarifications, 76868-76872 2015-31255
Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Federal Property Suitable as Facilities to Assist the Homeless, 76997-76998 2015-30911 Final Fair Market Rents for the Housing Choice Voucher Program and Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy Program and Other Programs, 77124-77197 2015-31319 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

See

Office of Natural Resources Revenue

See

Reclamation Bureau

See

Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office

NOTICES Statement of Findings: Bill Williams River Water Rights Settlement Act of 2014, 76999-77000 2015-31301
International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness, 76933-76934 2015-31195 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Aquarium Fittings and Parts Thereof, 77019-77020 2015-31261 Justice Department Justice Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for Registration, Application for Registration Renewal DEA Forms 224, 224A, 77020-77021 2015-31251 ATF Distribution Center Survey, 77021-77022 2015-31248 Federal Firearms License RENEWAL Application, 77020 2015-31244 Generic Clearance for Cognitive, Pilot and Field Studies for Bureau of Justice Statistics Data Collection Activities, 77022-77023 2015-31250 Manufacturers of Ammunition, Records and Supporting Data of Ammunition Manufactured and Disposed Of, 77022 2015-31249 Labor Department Labor Department See

Mine Safety and Health Administration

Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Filing of Plats: Colorado; Correction, 77001 2015-31233 Meetings: Central Montana Resource Advisory Council, 77000-77001 2015-31241 Mine Mine Safety and Health Administration NOTICES Application of Existing Mandatory Safety Standards; Petitions for Modification, 77026-77028 2015-31219 Petitions for Modification; Applications: Existing Mandatory Safety Standards, 77023-77026 2015-31220 National Agricultural National Agricultural Statistics Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 2015-31243 76931-76933 2015-31246 National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NOTICES Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance: Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC, 77081 2015-31167 National Institute National Institute of Standards and Technology NOTICES Views on the Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity, 76934-76936 2015-31217 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Charter Renewals: Office of the Director, 76995 2015-31239 Meetings: Big Data to Knowledge Multi-Council Working Group, 76996 2015-31162 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 76996-76997 2015-31240 Office of the Director, Office of Science Policy, Office of Biotechnology Activities, 76995-76996 2015-31238 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration PROPOSED RULES Fisheries Off West Coast States: Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 1; Amendments to the Fishery Management Plans for Coastal Pelagic Species, Pacific Coast Groundfish, U.S. West Coast Highly Migratory Species, and Pacific Coast Salmon, 76924-76925 2015-31236 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Permit and Reporting Requirements for Non-commercial Fishing in the Rose Atoll, Marianas Trench, and Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monuments, 76936 2015-31164 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities: Murray Street Bridge Seismic Retrofit Project by the California State Department of Transportation, 76936-76946 2015-31205 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Inventory Completions: Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, IL, 77009-77010 2015-31303 Hudson Museum, University of Maine, Orono, ME, 77007-77008 2015-31320 Northwest Museum, Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA; Correction, 77008 2015-31317 U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, DC, 77004-77005 2015-31316 U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Montezuma Castle National Monument, Camp Verde, AZ; Correction, 77010-77011 2015-31321 Repatriation of Cultural Items: Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, Los Angeles, CA, 77003-77004 2015-31308 New York State Museum, Albany, NY, 77011-77012 2015-31304 San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA, 77005-77007 2015-31305 U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Page, AZ, 77001-77003 2015-31315 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Guidance: Assessment of Radioactive Discharges in Ground Water to the Unrestricted Area at Nuclear Power Plant Sites, 77028-77029 2015-31254 Natural Resources Office of Natural Resources Revenue NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 77012-77016 2015-31289 Personnel Personnel Management Office NOTICES Meetings: National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations, 77029 2015-31299 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Product, 77030 2015-31166 New Postal Products, 77029-77031 2015-31165 2015-31187 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 77032 2015-31432 Product Changes: Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreement, 77031 2015-31171 Priority Mail Negotiated Service Agreement, 2015-31172 2015-31173 77031-77032 2015-31180 2015-31181 Reclamation Reclamation Bureau NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Upper Truckee River and Marsh Restoration Project, El Dorado County, CA, 77016-77018 2015-31230 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: C2 Options Exchange, Inc., 77047-77056 2015-31280 Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc., 77038-77047, 77061-77063, 77070-77072 2015-31177 2015-31178 2015-31281 Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc.; Withdrawal, 77037-77038 2015-31179 EDGX Exchange, Inc., 77072-77075 2015-31275 ICE Clear Europe Ltd., 77032-77035 2015-31176 New York Stock Exchange, LLC, 77065-77068 2015-31283 NYSE Arca, Inc., 77063-77065, 77068-77070 2015-31276 2015-31277 NYSE MKT, LLC, 77035-77037, 77058-77061 2015-31278 2015-31279 The NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC, 77057-77058 2015-31282 State Department State Department NOTICES Meetings: International Maritime Organization's Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction, 77075-77076 2015-31269 Surface Mining Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area; Tennessee Lands Unsuitable for Mining Draft Petition Evaluation Document, 77018-77019 2015-30981 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Trackage Rights Exemptions: Reading Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad Co., Norfolk Southern Railway Co., 77082 2015-31258 Susquehanna Susquehanna River Basin Commission RULES Review and Approval of Projects, 76855-76859 2015-31174 Trade Representative Trade Representative, Office of United States NOTICES Determination of Trade Surplus: Certain Sugar and Syrup Goods and Sugar-Containing Products of Chile, Morocco, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, Colombia, and Panama, 77076-77079 2015-31192 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Federal Transit Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

See

Surface Transportation Board

Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Foreign Medical Program Application and Claim Cover Sheet; Correction, 77083-77084 2015-31235 Learner's Perceptions Survey, 77083 2015-31160 Student Verification of Enrollment, 77082-77085 2015-31224 2015-31229 Commission on Care, 77085 2015-31223 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Interior Department, Fish and Wildlife Service, 77088-77122 2015-31169 Part III Housing and Urban Development Department, 77124-77197 2015-31319 Part IV Interior Department, Fish and Wildlife Service, 77200-77229 2015-30977 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.

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80 238 Friday, December 11, 2015 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 18 CFR Part 35 [Docket No. RM14-11-000] Open Access and Priority Rights on Interconnection Customer's Interconnection Facilities AGENCY:

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Department of Energy.

ACTION:

Correcting amendment.

SUMMARY:

This document contains corrections to the final regulations that became effective June 30, 2015, as published in the 2015 edition of the Code of Federal Regulations.

DATES:

Effective date: December 11, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Brian R. Gish (Legal Information), Office of the General Counsel, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, Telephone: 202-502-8998, Email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Commission amended 18 CFR 35.28(d), addressing waivers of the Open Access Transmission Tariff requirements for public utilities that own, operate, or control Interconnection Customer's Interconnection Facilities.

As published in the 2015 edition of the Code of Federal Regulations, the final regulations effective June 30, 2015, contained an error; they incorrectly removed certain language from 18 CFR 35.28(d) that should have been retained. The Commission did not intend to remove this language. This correcting amendment reinserts the incorrectly-removed language.

List of Subjects in 18 CFR Part 35

Electric power rates, Electric utilities, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Accordingly, 18 CFR part 35 is corrected by making the following correcting amendment:

PART 35—FILING OF RATE SCHEDULES AND TARIFFS 1. The authority citation for part 35 continues to read as follows: Authority:

16 U.S.C. 791a-825r, 2601-2645; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 42 U.S.C. 7101-7352.

2. Section 35.28 is corrected by revising paragraph (d) to read as follows:
§ 35.28 Non-discriminatory open access transmission tariff.

(d) Waivers. (1) A public utility subject to the requirements of this section and 18 CFR parts 37 (Open Access Same-Time Information System) and 358 (Standards of Conduct for Transmission Providers) may file a request for waiver of all or part of such requirements for good cause shown. Except as provided in paragraph (f) of this section, an application for waiver must be filed no later than 60 days prior to the time the public utility would have to comply with the requirement.

(2) The requirements of this section, 18 CFR parts 37 (Open Access Same-Time Information System) and 358 (Standards of Conduct for Transmission Providers) are waived for any public utility that is or becomes subject to such requirements solely because it owns, controls, or operates Interconnection Customer's Interconnection Facilities, in whole or in part, as that term is defined in the standard generator interconnection procedures and agreements referenced in paragraph (f) of this section, or comparable jurisdictional interconnection facilities that are the subject of interconnection agreements other than the standard generator interconnection procedures and agreements referenced in paragraph (f) of this section, if the entity that owns, operates, or controls such facilities either sells electric energy, or files a statement with the Commission that it commits to comply with and be bound by the obligations and procedures applicable to electric utilities under section 210 of the Federal Power Act.

(i) The waivers referenced in this paragraph (d)(2) shall be deemed to be revoked as of the date the public utility ceases to satisfy the qualifications of this paragraph (d)(2), and may be revoked by the Commission if the Commission determines that it is in the public interest to do so. After revocation of its waivers, the public utility must comply with the requirements that had been waived within 60 days of revocation.

(ii) Any eligible entity that seeks interconnection or transmission services with respect to the interconnection facilities for which a waiver is in effect pursuant to this paragraph (d)(2) may follow the procedures in sections 210, 211, and 212 of the Federal Power Act, 18 CFR 2.20, and 18 CFR part 36. In any proceeding pursuant to this paragraph (d)(2)(ii):

(A) The Commission will consider it to be in the public interest to grant priority rights to the owner and/or operator of interconnection facilities specified in this paragraph (d)(2) to use capacity thereon when such owner and/or operator can demonstrate that it has specific plans with milestones to use such capacity to interconnect its or its affiliate's future generation projects.

(B) For the first five years after the commercial operation date of the interconnection facilities specified in this paragraph (d)(2), the Commission will apply the rebuttable presumption that the owner and/or operator of such facilities has definitive plans to use the capacity thereon, and it is thus in the public interest to grant priority rights to the owner and/or operator of such facilities to use capacity thereon.

Dated: December 7, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2015-31216 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
SUSQUEHANNA RIVER BASIN COMMISSION 18 CFR Part 806 Review and Approval of Projects AGENCY:

Susquehanna River Basin Commission.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This document contains final rules that would amend the regulations of the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (Commission) to simplify and clarify the process for transferring approvals and to add sections dealing with general permits and modifications to approvals. These amendments are to be made effective upon publication of this rulemaking.

DATES:

Effective December 11, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Susquehanna River Basin Commission, 4423 N. Front Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110-1788.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jason E. Oyler, Esq., General Counsel, telephone: 717-238-0423, ext. 1312; fax: 717-238-2436; email: [email protected] Also, for further information on the final rulemaking, visit the Commission's Web site at www.srbc.net.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking was published in the Federal Register on September 21, 2015 (80 FR 56936); the New York Register on October 7, 2015; the Maryland Register on October 16, 2015; and the Pennsylvania Bulletin on October 17, 2015. The Commission convened a public hearing on October 29, 2015, in Grantville, Pennsylvania and a written comment period was held open through November 9, 2015.

General Comments

Comment: The rule will simplify the approval process for certain modifications and will be less burdensome on permittees and the Commission while still protecting the Susquehanna River Basin resources.

Comment: The proposed rule will assist in streamlining the administrative and permitting process and are positive changes.

Comment: The proposed rule should serve to provide great potential improvements for both the Commission and the regulated community.

Response: The Commission appreciates the comments.

Comments by Section, Part 806

Section 806.6—Transfer of approvals.

Comment: We appreciate § 806.6(b) addressing previously unpermitted withdrawals and uses of water, which should address actions that affect local water resources.

Response: The Commission appreciates the comment. This section is largely unchanged from the prior regulatory text.

Comment: The Commission should require approvals being transferred that are greater than 10 years old to perform a new or updated aquatic resource survey (ARS).

Response: The Commission disagrees with the comment. The transfer rule does not allow new project sponsors to increase the withdrawal or consumptive use of the project above what was previously approved. The Commission will be able to require an ARS, if appropriate and necessary, when these approvals expire and need to be renewed pursuant to 18 CFR 806.14.

Comment: The proposed rule will allow approvals where there is a change in ownership but no change in the project or the use of water to occur without the submittal of an entirely new application, and the Commission is to be commended for proposing this change.

Response: The Commission appreciates the comment.

Section 806.14—Contents of Application.

Comment: The Commission proposed to add § 806.14(d) to set forth the application requirements for minor modifications. Section 806.14(a) should be correspondingly revised to include an exception for applications for minor modifications.

Response: The Commission agrees and will add the phrase “applications for minor modifications” in the first sentence of § 806.14(a) to clarify that the requirements of that paragraph do not apply to applications for minor modifications.

Section 806.15—Notice of application.

Comment: The next to last sentence of § 806.15(a) appears to contain grammatically incorrect language (which appears in the existing regulatory text). This should be corrected.

Response: The Commission agrees with the comment. The next to last sentence will be corrected to delete the word “for” and place two commas to make the sentence grammatically correct.

Comment: The intent of proposed rulemaking is that new paragraph (i) is meant to be the exclusive source of notice requirements for minor modification; however, no changes were proposed to paragraph (a) that make it clear that paragraph (a) does not apply to minor modifications. Paragraph (a) should be clarified.

Response: The Commission agrees with the comment and also finds it applicable to new paragraph (h). In the final rule, paragraph (a) will now begin with “Except with respect to paragraphs (h) and (i), . . .”.

Comment: The extension of time allotted for notices to be published from 10 to 20 days allows ample time for all interested parties and the public to comment.

Response: The Commission appreciates with the comment.

806.17—General permits.

Comment: Section 806.17(d)(3) provides that a Notice of Intent (NOI) must be denied if the project does not meet the requirements of § 806.21(a) or (b). However, § 806.21(b) does not provide any requirements, but rather gives the Commission discretion to modify or deny a project if the Commission determines that the project is not in the best interest of the conversation, development, management or control of the basin's water resources or is in conflict with the Comprehensive Plan. The reference to § 806.21(b) should be removed or the standard placed verbatim into § 806.17(d)(3).

Response: The Commission does not agree with the proposed revisions of the commenter. However, the Commission agrees that the paragraph could be clarified in light of the comment. As a part of the final rule, the Commission will revise paragraph (d)(3) to read as set out in the regulatory text at the end of this document.

Comment: The Commission does not define “minimal adverse impacts” in § 806.17(a)(4).

Comment: The Commission should tier a determination of minimal adverse impacts, looking at the existing standards in 18 CFR 806.23 or adopting a “significance” inquiry as provided in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

Comment: The Commission should add a paragraph that provides that it shall not issue a general permit that creates or incites significant direct, indirect or cumulative impacts to water resources.

Response: The Commission agrees that § 806.17(a)(4) would be strengthened by a reference to the Commission's existing regulatory review standards. These standards are known and defined with respect to Commission reviews of consumptive uses, withdrawals and diversions. Conversely, the Commission does not agree that the inquiries under NEPA would provide clarity in a substantive review in establishing a general permit. In addition, adopting a new set of standards for general permits would add complexity and confusion to the process that is avoided by referencing the Commission's existing review standards. The Commission will revise the final rule so that § 806.17(a)(4) reads as set out in the regulatory text at the end of this document.

Comment: The proposed regulations seem to presume NOI issuance.

Response: The Commission disagrees with the comment. Part of the proposed rule includes § 806.17(d) entitled, “Denial of Coverage.”

Comment: Public notice under the general permit procedure is inadequate. Specifically, the public is not afforded notice via the Federal Register of receipt of an NOI.

Response: The Commission agrees that the procedures do not set forth any requirement that the Commission publish receipt of NOIs. Accordingly, the Commission will amend the final rule to include a new paragraph (c)(9) to read as set out in the regulatory text at the end of this document.

Comment: Section 806.17(b)(3) should be revised to require the Commission to take into account the level of public interest and likelihood for controversy for any proposed general permit in determining whether to hold a public hearing.

Response: The Commission agrees with the comment. The Commission will amend § 806.17(b)(3) to read as set out in the regulatory text at the end of this document.

Comment: Section 806.17(c)(4) should be amended to provide for full Commission review and approval of general permits.

Response: No such revision is necessary. Section 806.17(b)(4) currently provides that the Commission will adopt and issue general permits. Paragraph (c)(4) provides that the approval of coverage under a general permit, shall be determined by the Executive Director unless the Commission establishes a different mechanism for approval when issuing the general permit. This process is similar to the existing process for approving projects under the Commission's Approvals By Rule in 18 CFR 806.22(e)(7) and (f)(10), where the Executive Director issues the approvals to project sponsors.

Comment: Section 806.17(c)(8) should be amended to require the project to conduct an aquatic resource survey (ARS) before any General Permit is renewed or amended.

Response: The Commission disagrees with the comment. The Commission currently requires projects to conduct an ARS on a case-by-case basis for individual applications for surface water withdrawals. The Commission does not believe that it would be appropriate to require ARSs to be conducted as a rule for every general permit NOI holder for renewal or amendment. The general permit procedures as proposed, however, are sufficiently broad to allow the Commission, as a part of the scope or application of a general permit developed by the Commission, to require an ARS from NOI applicants, if the Commission finds it appropriate for the type of activity being permitted.

Comment: The Commission is urged to specifically mandate adequate fees for general permit applications.

Response: The Commission appreciates the comment. The proposed rule provides that the Commission may set a fee for NOIs to any general permit. This allows the Commission to set a specific fee for NOIs under each particular general permit and tailor the fees to what is required of the NOI applicants and the Commission for each activity permitted.

806.18—Approval modifications.

Comment: Section 806.18(c)(8) should be revised to be grammatically consistent with paragraphs (c)(1) through (7).

Response: The Commission agrees with the comment. Paragraph (c)(8) is revised to read as set out in the regulatory text at the end of this document.

Comment: The word “flows” in § 806.18(d)(4) should be revised to “flow.”

Response: The Commission agrees with the comment and has made this revision to the final rule.

Comment: Aside from the correction of typographical errors, every suggested minor modification category includes changes in permit terms that can result in significant adverse impacts to local water resources and should not be allowed as minor modifications.

Response: The Commission disagrees with the comment. In developing the list of minor modifications, the Commission examined the range of modification requests that it receives and carefully vetted those categories and developed them specifically because they do not pose significant adverse impacts to local water resources. Review of these types of modifications is largely administrative in nature and poses little to no risk to human health, safety or the environment.

Transition Issues

As a part of the Resolution adopting this final rule, the Commission also has set a reduced fee for applications for minor modifications at $750. Future adjustments may be made to this application fee during the regular annual adjustments to the Commission fee schedule.

List of Subjects in 18 CFR Part 806

Administrative practice and procedure, Water resources.

Accordingly, for the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission amends 18 CFR part 806 as follows:

PART 806—REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF PROJECTS 1. The authority citation for part 806 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Secs. 3.4, 3.5(5), 3.8, 3.10, and 15.2, Pub. L. 91-575, 84 Stat. 1509 et seq.

Subpart A—General Provisions 2. Amend § 806.4 by adding paragraph (a)(9) and revising paragraph (c) to read as follows:
§ 806.4 Projects requiring review and approval.

(a) * * *

(9) Any project subject to coverage under a general permit issued under § 806.17.

(c) Any project that did not require Commission approval prior to January 1, 2007, and not otherwise exempt from the requirements of paragraph (a)(1)(iv), (a)(2)(v), or (a)(3)(iv) of this section, pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, may be undertaken by a new project sponsor upon a change of ownership pending action on a transfer application under § 806.6.

3. Revise § 806.6 to read as follows:
§ 806.6 Transfer of approvals.

(a) An existing Commission approval may be transferred to a new project sponsor by the Executive Director provided:

(1) The application for transfer is submitted within 90 days of a transfer or change in ownership of a project.

(2) The new project sponsor operates the project subject to the same terms and conditions of the existing approval pending approval of the transfer application.

(3) Any noncompliance by the existing project sponsor associated with the project or by the new project sponsor associated with other projects is resolved to the Commission's satisfaction.

(4) If the existing approval is greater than 10 years old, the transfer shall be conditioned to require the submission of an updated metering and monitoring plan consistent with the requirements of § 806.30.

(5) If the existing project has an unapproved withdrawal, consumptive use and/or diversion listed in paragraph (b) of this section, the transfer shall be conditioned to require the submission of a new application for review and approval of the unapproved withdrawal, consumptive use and/or diversion consistent with §§ 806.4 and 806.14.

(6) Any modifications proposed by the new project sponsor shall be subject to a separate application and review process under §§ 806.14 and 806.18.

(b) Previously unapproved activities associated with a project subject to transfer under paragraph (a) of this section include:

(1) The project has an associated pre-compact consumptive water use that has not been subject to approval or had mitigation approved by the Commission.

(2) The project has an associated diversion that was initiated prior to January 23, 1971.

(3) The project has an associated groundwater withdrawal that was initiated prior to July 13, 1978, and that has not been approved by the Commission.

(4) The project has an associated surface water withdrawal that was initiated prior to November 11, 1995, and that has not been approved by the Commission.

(5) The project has a consumptive water use approval and has an associated withdrawal that has not been approved by the Commission.

(c) Upon undergoing a change of name that does not affect ownership or control of the project, the project sponsor must request a reissuance of the project's approval by the Executive Director within 90 days from the date of the change.

Subpart B—Application Procedure 4. Amend § 806.14 by revising paragraph (a) introductory text and adding paragraph (d) to read as follows:
§ 806.14 Contents of applications.

(a) Except with respect to applications to renew an existing Commission approval, applications for minor modifications, and Notices of Intent for approvals by rule and general permits, applications shall include, but not be limited to, the following information and, where applicable, shall be submitted on forms and in the manner prescribed by the Commission. Renewal applications shall include such information that the Commission determines to be necessary for the review of same, shall be subject to the standards set forth in subpart C of this part, and shall likewise be submitted on forms and in the manner prescribed by the Commission.

(d) Applications for minor modifications must be complete and will be on a form and in a manner prescribed by the Commission. Applications for minor modifications must contain the following:

(1) Description of the project;

(2) Description of all sources, consumptive uses and diversions related to the project;

(3) Description of the requested modification;

(4) Statement of the need for the requested modification;

(5) Demonstration that the anticipated impact of the requested modification will not adversely impact the water resources of the basin; and

(6) Any other information that the Commission or Executive Director deems necessary.

5. Amend § 806.15 by revising paragraph (a) and adding paragraphs (h) and (i) to read as follows:
§ 806.15 Notice of application.

(a) Except with respect to paragraphs (h) and (i) of this section, any project sponsor submitting an application to the Commission shall provide notice thereof to the appropriate agency of the member State, each municipality in which the project is located, and the county planning agency of each county in which the project is located. The project sponsor shall also publish notice of submission of the application at least once in a newspaper of general circulation serving the area in which the project is located. The project sponsor shall also meet any of the notice requirements set forth in paragraphs (b) through (f) of this section, if applicable. All notices required under this section shall be provided or published no later than 20 days after submission of the application to the Commission and shall contain a description of the project, its purpose, the requested quantity of water to be withdrawn, obtained from sources other than withdrawals, or consumptively used, and the address, electronic mail address, and phone number of the project sponsor and the Commission. All such notices shall be in a form and manner as prescribed by the Commission.

(h) For Notices of Intent (NOI) seeking coverage under a general permit, the project sponsor shall provide the NOI to the appropriate agency of the member State and each municipality and county planning agency in which the project is located and any additional notice identified in the general permit.

(i) For applications for minor modifications, the project sponsor shall provide notice of the application to the appropriate agency of the member State and each municipality and county planning agency in which the project is located.

6. Add § 806.17 to read as follows:
§ 806.17 General permits.

(a) Coverage and purpose. The Commission may issue a general permit, in lieu of issuing individual approvals, for a specifically described category of diversions, water withdrawals and consumptive uses that:

(1) Involve the same or substantially similar types of operations or activities;

(2) Require the same limitations or operating conditions, or both;

(3) Require the same or similar monitoring and reporting; and

(4) Will result in minimal adverse impacts consistent with §§ 806.21 through 806.24.

(b) Procedure for issuance. (1) At least 30 days prior to the issuance of a general permit, the Commission shall publish notice in the Federal Register and the member jurisdiction administrative bulletins of the intent to issue a general permit.

(2) At least 30 days shall be provided for interested members of the public and Federal, State and local agencies to provide written comments on a proposed general permit.

(3) The Commission or Executive Director may, in its discretion, hold a public hearing on a proposed general permit, taking into account the level of public interest and likelihood of controversy.

(4) The issuance of a general permit adopted by the Commission will be published in the Federal Register and the member jurisdiction administrative bulletins. This notice shall set forth the effective date of the general permit.

(c) Administration of general permits. General permits may be issued, amended, suspended, revoked, reissued or terminated under this section.

(1) Any general permit issued under this section shall set forth the applicability of the permit and the conditions that apply to any diversion, withdrawal or consumptive use authorized by such general permit.

(2) The Commission may fix a term to any general permit issued.

(3) A project sponsor shall obtain permission to divert, withdraw or consumptively use water in accordance with a general permit by filing a Notice of Intent (NOI) with the Commission, in a form and manner determined by the Commission.

(4) Approval of coverage under a general permit shall be determined by the Executive Director or by any other manner that the Commission shall establish for any general permit.

(5) The Commission may set a fee for NOIs to any general permit.

(6) A project sponsor shall provide notice for NOIs in accordance with § 806.15(h) and any additional notice requirements that the Commission may adopt for any general permit.

(7) The requirements of § 806.16 apply to the review of NOIs to any general permit.

(8) Upon reissuance or amendment of a general permit, all project sponsors permitted to divert, withdraw or consumptively use water in accordance with the previous general permit shall be permitted to continue to operate with the renewed or modified general permit unless otherwise notified by the Commission.

(9) Notice of receipt of NOIs shall be published on the Commission's Web site and in any other manner that the Commission shall establish for any general permit.

(d) Denial of coverage. The Executive Director will deny or revoke coverage under a general permit when one or more of the following conditions exist:

(1) The project or project sponsor does not or can no longer meet the criteria for coverage under a general permit.

(2) The diversion, withdrawal or consumptive use, individually or in combination with other similar Commission regulated activities, is causing or has the potential to cause adverse impacts to water resources or competing water users.

(3) The project does not comport with § 806.21(a) or (b).

(4) The project includes other diversions, withdrawals or consumptive uses that require an individual approval and the issuance of both an individual approval and a general permit for the project would constitute an undue administrative burden on the Commission.

(5) The Executive Director determines that a project cannot be effectively regulated under a general permit and is more effectively regulated under an individual approval.

(e) Requiring an individual approval. If coverage is denied or revoked under paragraph (d) of this section, the project sponsor shall be notified in writing. The notice will include a brief statement for the reasons for the decision. If coverage under a general permit was previously granted, the notice will also include a deadline for submission of an application for an individual approval. Timely submission of a complete application will result in continuation of coverage of the applicable withdrawal, consumptive use or diversion under the general permit, until the Commission takes final action on the pending individual approval application.

(f) Action of the Commission. Action by the Executive Director denying or revoking coverage under a general permit under paragraph (d) of this section, or requiring an individual approval under paragraph (e) of this section, is not a final action of the Commission until the project sponsor submits and the Commission takes final action on an individual approval application.

7. Add § 806.18 to read as follows:
§ 806.18 Approval modifications.

(a) General. A project sponsor shall submit an application for modification of a current approval prior to making a change in the design, operational plans, or use as presented in the application upon which the approval was originally issued, and that will affect the terms and conditions of the current approval.

(b) Applications for modification. A project sponsor may apply for a modification of a current approval by submitting an application for modification to the Commission.

(c) Minor modifications. The following are minor modifications:

(1) Correction of typographical errors;

(2) Changes to monitoring or metering conditions;

(3) Addition of sources of water for consumptive use;

(4) Changes to the authorized water uses;

(5) Changes to conditions setting a schedule for developing, implementing, and/or reporting on monitoring, data collection and analyses;

(6) Changes to the design of intakes;

(7) Increases to total system limits that were established based on the projected demand of the project; and

(8) Modifications of extraction well network used for groundwater remediation systems.

(d) Major modifications. Major modifications are changes not considered to be minor modifications. Major modifications may include, but are not limited to:

(1) Increases in the quantity of water withdrawals, consumptive uses or diversions;

(2) Increases to peak day consumptive water use;

(3) Increases to the instantaneous withdrawal rate or changes from a single withdrawal rate to a varied withdrawal rate;

(4) Changes affecting passby flow requirements; and

(5) Changes that have the potential for adverse impacts to water resources or competing water users.

(e) Notice and approval. (1) Applications for modifications are subject to the notice requirements of § 806.15.

(2) The Commission or Executive Director may approve, approve with conditions or deny an application for minor modification, or direct that an application for major modification be made.

(3) The Commission may approve, approve with conditions or deny an application for major modification.

Dated: December 7, 2015. Stephanie L. Richardson, Secretary to the Commission.
[FR Doc. 2015-31174 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7040-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 73 [Docket No. FDA-2015-C-1154] Listing of Color Additives Exempt From Certification; Mica-Based Pearlescent Pigments; Confirmation of Effective Date AGENCY:

Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION:

Final rule; confirmation of effective date.

SUMMARY:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is confirming the effective date of November 2, 2015, for the final rule that appeared in the Federal Register of September 30, 2015, and that amended the color additive regulations to provide for the safe use of mica-based pearlescent pigments prepared from titanium dioxide and mica as a color additive in certain distilled spirits.

DATES:

Effective date of final rule published in the Federal Register of September 30, 2015 (80 FR 58600), confirmed: November 2, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Salome Bhagan, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (HFS-265), Food and Drug Administration, 5100 Paint Branch Pkwy., College Park, MD 20740-3835, 240-402-3041.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

In the Federal Register of September 30, 2015 (80 FR 58600), we amended the color additive regulations in § 73.350 Mica-based pearlescent pigments (21 CFR 73.350) to increase the maximum permitted alcohol content of distilled spirits to which mica-based pearlescent pigments may be added from 23 percent to 25 percent alcohol by volume, and to remove the current limitation for distilled spirits mixtures containing more than 5 percent wine on a proof gallon basis.

We gave interested persons until October 30, 2015, to file objections or requests for a hearing. We received no objections or requests for a hearing on the final rule. Therefore, we find that the effective date of the final rule that published in the Federal Register of September 30, 2015, should be confirmed.

List of Subjects in 21 CFR Part 73

Color additives, Cosmetics, Drugs, Foods, Medical devices.

Therefore, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 321, 341, 342, 343, 348, 351, 352, 355, 361, 362, 371, 379e) and under authority delegated to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, and redelegated to the Director, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, we are giving notice that no objections or requests for a hearing were filed in response to the September 30, 2015, final rule. Accordingly, the amendments issued thereby became effective November 2, 2015.

Dated: December 4, 2015. Susan Bernard, Director, Office of Regulations, Policy and Social Sciences, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
[FR Doc. 2015-31232 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket No. USCG-2015-1016] Special Local Regulation; Southern California Annual Marine Events for the San Diego Captain of the Port Zone AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of enforcement of regulation.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard will enforce the San Diego Parade of Lights special local regulations on Sunday, December 13, 2015 and Sunday, December 20, 2015. This event occurs in north San Diego Bay in San Diego, CA. These special local regulations are necessary to provide for the safety of the participants, crew, spectators, sponsor safety vessels, and general users of the waterway. During the enforcement period, persons and vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or anchoring within this regulated area unless authorized by the Captain of the Port, or his designated representative.

DATES:

The regulations for the marine event listed in 33 CFR 100.1101, Table 1, Item 5, will be enforced from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 13, 2015 and Sunday, December 20, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this document, call or email Petty Officer Randolph Pahilanga, Waterways Management, U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Diego, CA; telephone (619) 278-7656, email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Coast Guard will enforce the special local regulations in 33 CFR 100.1101 in support of the San Diego Parade of Lights (Item 5 on Table 1 of 33 CFR 100.1101). The Coast Guard will enforce the special local regulations in the San Diego Bay in San Diego, CA from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 13, 2015 and Sunday, December 20, 2015.

Under the provisions of 33 CFR 100.1101, persons and vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, or anchoring within this regulated area unless authorized by the Captain of the Port, or his designated representative. The Coast Guard may be assisted by other Federal, State, or local law enforcement agencies in patrol and notification of this regulation.

This document is issued under authority of 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 33 CFR 100.1101. In addition to this document in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide the maritime community with advance notification of this enforcement period via the Local Notice to Mariners and local advertising by the event sponsor.

If the Captain of the Port Sector San Diego or his designated representative determines that the regulated area need not be enforced for the full duration stated on this document, he or she may use a Broadcast Notice to Mariners or other communications coordinated with the event sponsor to grant general permission to enter the regulated area.

Dated: November 24, 2015. J.S. Spaner, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port San Diego.
[FR Doc. 2015-31267 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0974] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Des Allemands Bayou, Des Allemands, LA AGENCY:

Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION:

Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

SUMMARY:

The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad swing span drawbridge across Des Allemands Bayou, mile 14.0, at Des Allemands, St. Charles and Lafourche Parishes, Louisiana. This deviation is necessary to perform two extensive rest pier rehabilitations to the bridge. This deviation allows the bridge to remain in its closed-to-navigation position for three eight-hour periods during three consecutive days on two separate occasions.

DATES:

This deviation is effective from 7 a.m. on January 13, 2016 through 3 p.m. on January 22, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2015-0974] is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH”. Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Donna Gagliano, Bridge Specialist, Coast Guard; telephone 504-671-2128, email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad swing span drawbridge across Des Allemands Bayou, mile 14.0, at Des Allemands, St. Charles and Lafourche Parishes, Louisiana, has a vertical clearance of three feet above mean high water in the closed-to-navigation position and unlimited in the open-to-navigation position.

The draw currently operates under 33 CFR 117.440(b). For purposes of this deviation, the bridge will not be required to open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily for two three-day periods, occurring January 13 through 15, and daily January 20 through 22, 2016. At all other times, the bridge will operate in accordance with 33 CFR 117.440(b).

The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad requested a temporary deviation for the operation of the drawbridge to accommodate rehabilitation work involving rest pivot piers and swing span change out, an extensive but necessary maintenance operation. Navigation on the waterway consists of tugs with tows, fishing vessels and recreational crafts.

The Coast Guard has coordinated the closure with waterway users, industry, and other Coast Guard units and determined that this closure will not have a significant effect on vessel traffic.

During this deviation for bridge rehabilitation, vessels will not be allowed to pass through the bridge during the eight-hour closures each day as stated above. Many of the vessels that currently require an opening of the draw will be able to pass using the opposite channel from 3 p.m. to 7 a.m. when the deviations are not in effect. The bridge will not be able to open for emergencies and there is no immediate alternate route for vessels to pass. The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterways through our Local and Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge so that vessels can arrange their transits to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation.

In accordance with 33 CFR 117.35(e), the drawbridge must return to its regular operating schedule immediately at the end of the effective period of this temporary deviation. This deviation from the operating regulations is authorized under 33 CFR 117.35.

Dated: December 7, 2015. David M. Frank, Bridge Administrator, Eighth Coast Guard District.
[FR Doc. 2015-31297 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2015-0530; FRL-9939-99-Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Maryland; Maryland's Negative Declaration for the Automobile and Light-Duty Truck Assembly Coatings Control Techniques Guidelines AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Maryland. This revision pertains to a negative declaration for the Automobile and Light-Duty Truck Assembly Coatings Control Techniques Guidelines (CTG). EPA is approving this revision in accordance with the requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA).

DATES:

This final rule is effective on January 11, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID Number EPA-R03-OAR-2015-0530. All documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the electronic docket, some information is not publicly available, i.e., confidential business information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available through www.regulations.gov or may be viewed during normal business hours at the Air Protection Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103. Copies of the State submittal are available at the Maryland Department of the Environment, 1800 Washington Boulevard, Suite 705, Baltimore, Maryland 21230.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Irene Shandruk, (215) 814-2166, or by email at [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

Section 172(c)(1) of the CAA provides that SIPs for nonattainment areas must include reasonably available control measures (RACM), including reasonably available control technology (RACT), for sources of emissions. Section 182(b)(2)(A) provides that for certain ozone nonattainment areas, states must revise their SIP to include RACT for sources of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions covered by a CTG document issued after November 15, 1990 and prior to the area's date of attainment. EPA defines RACT as “the lowest emission limitation that a particular source is capable of meeting by the application of control technology that is reasonably available considering technological and economic feasibility.” 44 FR 53761 (September 17, 1979).

CTGs are documents issued by EPA intended to provide state and local air pollution control authorities information to assist them in determining RACT for VOCs from various sources. Section 183(e)(3)(c) provides that EPA may issue a CTG in lieu of a national regulation as RACT for a product category where EPA determines that the CTG will be substantially as effective as regulations in reducing emissions of VOCs, which contribute to ozone levels, in ozone nonattainment areas. The recommendations in the CTG are based upon available data and information and may not apply to a particular situation based upon the circumstances.

In 1977, EPA published a CTG for automobile and light-duty truck assembly coatings. After reviewing the 1977 CTG for this industry, conducting a review of currently existing state and local VOC emission reduction approaches for this industry, and taking into account any information that has become available since then, EPA developed a new CTG entitled Control Techniques Guidelines for Automobile and Light-duty Assembly Coatings (Publication No. EPA 453/R-08-006; September 2008).

States can follow the CTG and adopt state regulations to implement the recommendations contained therein. Alternatively, states can adopt a negative declaration documenting that there are no sources or emitting facilities within the state to which the CTG is applicable. The negative declaration must go through the same public review process as any other SIP submittal.

II. Summary of SIP Revision

On July 15, 2015, EPA received from the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) a SIP revision (#15-03), dated June 25, 2015, concerning a negative declaration for the Automobile and Light-Duty Truck Assembly Coatings CTG. MDE stated that the state previously had one source to which this CTG was applicable; however, the source had permanently shut down and dismantled all their equipment as of September 2005. EPA reviewed an inspection report provided by MDE indicating that the sole source to which this CTG would have been applicable did indeed permanently shut down in 2005. Additionally, EPA conducted an internet search of key terms relevant to the Automobile and Light-Duty Truck Assembly Coatings CTG and confirmed that there are no sources or emitting facilities in the State of Maryland to which this CTG is applicable. On October 6, 2015 (80 FR 60318), EPA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) for the State of Maryland proposing approval of the negative declaration for the Automobile and Light-Duty Truck Assembly Coatings CTG. No public comments were received on the NPR.

III. Final Action

EPA is approving the Maryland SIP revision concerning the negative declaration for the Automobile and Light-Duty Truck Assembly Coatings CTG, which was submitted on June 25, 2015, as a revision to the Maryland SIP in accordance with sections 172 (c), 182 (b), and 183 (e) of the CAA.

IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. General Requirements

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In addition, this rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because the SIP is not approved to apply in Indian country located in the state, and EPA notes that it will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

B. Submission to Congress and the Comptroller General

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

C. Petitions for Judicial Review

Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by February 9, 2016. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action.

This action concerning Maryland's negative declaration for the Automobile and Light-Duty Truck Assembly Coatings CTG may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Volatile organic compounds.

Dated: November 25, 2015. Shawn M. Garvin, Regional Administrator, Region III.

40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

Subpart V—Maryland

In § 52.1070, the table in paragraph (e) is amended by adding the entry, “Negative Declaration for the Automobile and Light-Duty Truck Assembly Coatings CTG,” at the end of the table to read as follows:

§ 52.1070 Identification of plan.

(e)* * *

Name of
  • non-regulatory
  • SIP revision
  • Applicable geographic area State
  • submittal
  • date
  • EPA Approval date Additional explanation
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * Negative Declaration for the Automobile and Light-Duty Truck Assembly Coatings CTG Statewide 6/25/15 12/11/15 [Insert Federal Register citation]
    [FR Doc. 2015-31203 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0563; FRL-9939-80-Region 5] Air Plan Approval; Minnesota; Transportation Conformity Procedures AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision for carbon monoxide (CO), submitted by the State of Minnesota on July 16, 2015. The purpose of this revision is to establish transportation conformity criteria and procedures related to interagency consultation, and enforceability of certain transportation related control and mitigation measures.

    DATES:

    This direct final rule will be effective February 9, 2016, unless EPA receives adverse comments by January 11, 2016. If adverse comments are received, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0563, by one of the following methods:

    1. www.regulations.gov: Follow the on line instructions for submitting comments.

    2. Email: [email protected]

    3. Fax: (312) 692-2450.

    4. Mail: Pamela Blakley, Chief, Control Strategies Section, Air Programs Branch (AR 18J), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604.

    5. Hand Delivery: Pamela Blakley, Chief, Control Strategies Section, Air Programs Branch (AR 18J), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Regional Office normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information. The Regional Office official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0563. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or email. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, Air and Radiation Division, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604. This facility is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays. We recommend that you telephone Michael Leslie, Environmental Engineer, at (312) 353-6680 before visiting the Region 5 office.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael Leslie, Environmental Engineer, Control Strategies Section, Air Programs Branch (AR 18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 353-6680, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean EPA. This SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section is arranged as follows:

    I. What is the background for this action? II. What is EPA's analysis of Minnesota's SIP revision? III. What action is EPA taking? IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What is the background for this action?

    Transportation conformity is required under section 176(c) of the Clean Air Act (Act) to ensure that transportation planning activities are consistent with (“conform to”) air quality planning goals in nonattainment/maintenance areas. The transportation conformity regulation is found in 40 CFR 93 and provisions related to transportation conformity SIPs are found in 40 CFR 51.390. Transportation conformity applies to areas that are designated nonattainment or maintenance for the following transportation related criteria pollutants: Ozone, particulate matter, CO, and nitrogen dioxide. The Minneapolis-St. Paul area is currently maintenance for CO.

    EPA originally promulgated the Federal transportation conformity criteria and procedures (“Transportation Conformity Rule”) on November 24, 1993 (58 FR 62188). On August 10, 2005, the “Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users” (SAFETEA-LU) was signed into law. SAFETEA-LU revised section 176(c) of the Act transportation conformity provisions. SAFETEA-LU streamlined the requirements for conformity SIPs. Under SAFETEA-LU, States are required to address and tailor only three sections of the rules in their conformity SIPs: 40 CFR 93.105, 40 CFR 93.122(a)(4)(ii), and, 40 CFR 93.125(c). 40 CFR 93.105 addresses consultation procedures for conformity. 40 CFR 93.122(a)(4)(ii) and 40 CFR 93.125(c), addresses written commitments from project implementers of transportation control measures. In general, states are no longer required to submit conformity SIP revisions that address the other sections of the conformity rule.

    II. What is EPA's analysis of Minnesota's SIP revision?

    A conformity SIP can be adopted as a state rule, as a memorandum of understanding, or a memorandum of agreement (MOA). The appropriate form of the state conformity procedures depends upon the requirements of local or State law, as long as the selected form complies with all requirements used by the ACT for adoption, submission to EPA, and implementation of SIPs. EPA will accept state conformity SIPs in any form provided the state can demonstrate to EPA's satisfaction that, as a matter of state law, the state has adequate authority to compel compliance with the requirements of the conformity SIP.

    Minnesota concluded that this SIP revision in the form of a MOA will be enforceable through a number of Minnesota statutes. These statutes authorize state agencies to enter into legally binding cooperative contracts for the receipt or furnishing of services. In this case, these services relate to the transportation/air quality planning process in Minnesota. Minnesota collaborated with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT), the EPA, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the Metropolitan Council, and the Metropolitan Interstate Council, to develop the Transportation Conformity MOA. This MOA was agreed upon and signed by all of the above consultation parties.

    EPA has evaluated this SIP submission and finds that the state has addressed the requirements of the Federal transportation conformity rule as described in 40 CFR 51.390 and 40 CFR part 93, subpart A. The transportation conformity rule requires the states to develop their own processes and procedures for interagency consultation and resolution of conflicts meeting the criteria in 40 CFR 93.105. The SIP revision includes processes and procedures to be followed by the Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT), the FHWA and the FTA, in consultation with the state and local air quality agencies and EPA before making transportation conformity determinations. Minnesota's transportation conformity SIP also included processes and procedures for the state and local air quality agencies and EPA to coordinate the development of applicable SIPs with the MPOs, the state Department of Transportation (DOT), and the U.S. DOT, and requires written commitments to control measures and mitigation measures (40 CFR 93.122(a)(4)(ii) and 93.125(c)).

    EPA's review of the Minnesota SIP revision indicates that it is consistent with the Act as amended by SAFETEA-LU and EPA regulations (40 CFR part 93 subpart A and 40 CFR 51.390) governing state procedures for transportation conformity and interagency consultation and therefore EPA has concluded that the submittal is approvable.

    III. What action is EPA taking?

    EPA is approving a SIP revision submitted by the State of Minnesota, for the purpose of establishing transportation conformity criteria and procedures related to interagency consultation, and enforceable commitments to implement transportation related control and mitigation measures.

    We are publishing this action without prior proposal because we view this as a noncontroversial amendment and anticipate no adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register publication, we are publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the state plan if relevant adverse written comments are filed. This rule will be effective February 9, 2016 without further notice unless we receive relevant adverse written comments by January 11, 2016. If we receive such comments, we will withdraw this action before the effective date by publishing a subsequent document that will withdraw the final action. All public comments received will then be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed action. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment. If we do not receive any comments, this action will be effective February 9, 2016.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by February 9, 2016. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of today's Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Carbon monoxide, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations.

    Dated: November 23, 2015. Susan Hedman, Regional Administrator, Region 5.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    2. Section 52.1237 is amended by adding paragraph (f) to read as follows:
    § 52.1237 Control strategy: Carbon monoxide.

    (f) Approval—On July 16, 2015, the State of Minnesota submitted a revision to their Particulate Matter State Implementation Plan. The submittal establishes transportation conformity criteria and procedures related to interagency consultation, and the enforceability of certain transportation related control and mitigation measures.

    [FR Doc. 2015-31075 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 52 and 81 [EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0298; FRL-9939-66-Region 4] Air Plan Approval and Air Quality Designation; SC; Redesignation of the Charlotte-Rock Hill, 2008 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area to Attainment AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking three separate final actions related to a state implementation plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of South Carolina, through the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC), on April 17, 2015. These final actions are for the York County, South Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte-Rock Hill, North Carolina-South Carolina 2008 8-hour ozone national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) nonattainment area (the entire area is hereinafter referred to as the “bi-State Charlotte Area” or “Area” and the South Carolina portion is hereinafter referred to as the “York County Area”). In these three final actions, EPA determines that the bi-state Charlotte Area is continuing to attain the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS; approves and incorporates South Carolina's plan for maintaining attainment of the 2008 8-hour ozone standard in the York County Area, including the 2014 and 2026 motor vehicle emission budgets (MVEBs) for nitrogen oxides (NOX) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) for the York County Area, into the SIP; and redesignates the York County Area to attainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. Additionally, EPA finds the 2014 and 2026 MVEBs for the York County Area adequate for the purposes of transportation conformity.

    DATES:

    This rule will be effective January 11, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket Identification No. EPA-R04-OAR-2015-0298. All documents in the docket are listed on the www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information may not be publicly available, i.e., Confidential Business Information or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kelly Sheckler of the Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Mrs. Sheckler may be reached by phone at (404) 562-9992 or via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background for Final Actions

    On May 21, 2012 (77 FR 30088), EPA designated areas as unclassifiable/attainment or nonattainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS that was promulgated on March 27, 2008 (73 FR 16436). The bi-state Charlotte Area was designated as nonattainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS and classified as a marginal nonattainment area. The bi-state Charlotte Area consists of York County, South Carolina, within the Rock Hill Fort Hill Area Transportation Study (RFATS) Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO); Mecklenburg County, North Carolina; and portions of Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Rowan and Union Counties in North Carolina. EPA previously addressed North Carolina's request to redesignate the North Carolina portion of the Area and its maintenance plan for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS in a separate rulemaking. See 80 FR 44873 (July 28, 2015).

    On April 17, 2015, SC DHEC requested that EPA redesignate the South Carolina portion of the Area to attainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS and submitted a SIP revision containing the State's plan for maintaining attainment of the 2008 8-hour ozone standard in the Area, including the 2014 and 2026 MVEBs for NOX and VOC for the York County Area. In a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) published on October 14, 2015, EPA proposed to determine that the bi-state Charlotte Area is continuing to attain the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS; to approve and incorporate into the South Carolina SIP the State's plan for maintaining attainment of the 2008 8-hour ozone standard in the Area, including the 2014 and 2026 MVEBs for NOX and VOC for the South Carolina potion of the bi-state Charlotte Area; and to redesignate the South Carolina portion of the Area to attainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. See 80 FR 61775. In that notice, EPA also notified the public of the status of the Agency's adequacy determination for the NOX and VOC MVEBs for the South Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area. No comments were received. The details of South Carolina's submittal and the rationale for EPA's actions are further explained in the NPR. See 80 FR 61775 (October 14, 2015).

    II. What are the effects of these actions?

    Approval of South Carolina's redesignation request changes the legal designation of York County in the South Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area, found at 40 CFR 81.341, from nonattainment to attainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. Approval of South Carolina's associated SIP revision also incorporates a plan into the SIP for maintaining the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS in the York County Area through 2026. The maintenance plan establishes NOX and VOC MVEBs for 2014 and 2026 for the York County Area and includes contingency measures to remedy any future violations of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS and procedures for evaluation of potential violations. The MVEBs, in kilograms per day (kg/day) for the South Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area along with the allocations from the safety margin, are provided in the table below.1

    1 South Carolina has chosen to allocate a portion of the available safety margin to the NOX and VOC MVEBs for 2026. SC DEHC has allocated 7.63 tons per day (tpd) (6,922 kg/day) to the 2026 NOX MVEB and 1.52 tpd (1,379 kg/day) to the 2026 VOC MVEB.

    York County Area MVEBs [kg/day] 2014 NOX VOC 2026 NOX VOC Base Emissions 9,112 3,566 3,076 1,576 Safety Margin Allocated to MVEB 6,922 1,379 Conformity MVEB 9,112 3,566 9,998 2,955 III. Final Actions

    EPA is taking three separate final actions regarding the York County Area's redesignation to attainment and maintenance of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. First, EPA is determining that the bi-state Charlotte Area is continuing to attain the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.

    Second, EPA is approving and incorporating the maintenance plan for the York County Area, including the NOX and VOC MVEBs for 2014 and 2026, into the South Carolina SIP. The maintenance plan demonstrates that the Area will continue to maintain the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS, and the budgets meet all of the adequacy criteria contained in 40 CFR 93.118(e)(4) and (5).

    Third, EPA is determining that South Carolina has met the criteria under CAA section 107(d)(3)(E) for the York County Area for redesignation from nonattainment to attainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. On this basis, EPA is approving South Carolina's redesignation request for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the York County Area. As mentioned above, approval of the redesignation request changes the official designation of York County in the South Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS from nonattainment to attainment, as found at 40 CFR part 81.

    EPA is also notifying the public that EPA finds the newly-established NOX and VOC MVEBs for the York County Area adequate for the purpose of transportation conformity. Within 24 months from this final rule, the transportation partners will need to demonstrate conformity to the new NOX and VOC MVEBs pursuant to 40 CFR 93.104(e)(3).

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act), redesignation of an area to attainment and the accompanying approval of the maintenance plan under CAA section 107(d)(3)(E) are actions that affect the status of geographical area and do not impose any additional regulatory requirements on sources beyond those required by state law. A redesignation to attainment does not in and of itself impose any new requirements, but rather results in the application of requirements contained in the CAA for areas that have been redesignated to attainment. Moreover, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable Federal regulations. See 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, these actions merely approve state law as meeting Federal requirements and do not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state or Federal law. For these reasons, these actions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • are not significant regulatory actions subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001);

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

    • will not have disproportionate human health or environmental effects under Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

    In addition, this action for the state of South Carolina does not have Tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). The Catawba Indian Nation Reservation is located within the State of South Carolina. Pursuant to the Catawba Indian Claims Settlement Act, S.C. Code Ann. 27-16-120, “all state and local environmental laws and regulations apply to the [Catawba Indian Nation] and Reservation and are fully enforceable by all relevant state and local agencies and authorities.” However, because no tribal lands are located within the South Carolina portion of the Area, this action is not approving any specific state requirement into the SIP that would apply to Tribal lands. Therefore, EPA has determined that this rule does not have substantial direct effects on an Indian Tribe. EPA notes today's action will not impose substantial direct costs on Tribal governments or preempt Tribal law.

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by February 9, 2016. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. See section 307(b)(2).

    List of Subjects 40 CFR Part 52

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

    40 CFR Part 81

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control.

    Dated: November 25, 2015. Heather McTeer Toney, Regional Administrator, Region 4.

    40 CFR parts 52 and 81 are amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart PP—South Carolina 2. Section 52.2120(e) is amended by adding a new entry for “2008 8-hour ozone Maintenance Plan for the York County, South Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area” at the end of the table to read as follows:
    § 52.2120 Identification of plan.

    (e) * * *

    EPA-Approved South Carolina Non-Regulatory Provisions Provision State effective date EPA Approval date Explanation *         *         *         *         *         *         * 2008 8-hour ozone Maintenance Plan for the York County, South Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area 4/17/2015 12/11/2015 [Insert citation of publication]
    PART 81—DESIGNATION OF AREAS FOR AIR QUALITY PLANNING PURPOSES 3. The authority citation for part 81 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    4. In § 81.341, the table entitled “South Carolina-2008 8-Hour Ozone NAAQS (Primary and secondary)” is amended by revising the entries for “Charlotte-Rock Hill, NC-SC”, “York County (part)” and “Portion along MPO lines” to read as follows:
    § 81.341 South Carolina. South Carolina—2008 8-Hour Ozone NAAQS [Primary and secondary] Designated area Designation Date 1 Type Classification Date 1 Type Charlotte-Rock Hill, NC-SC: 2 This action is effective 12/11/2015 Attainment York County (part) Portion along MPO lines *         *         *         *         *         *         * 1 This date is July 20, 2012, unless otherwise noted. 2 Excludes Indian country located in each area, unless otherwise noted. 3 Includes Indian country of the tribe listed in this table located in the identified area. Information pertaining to areas of Indian country in this table is intended for CAA planning purposes only and is not an EPA determination of Indian country status or any Indian country boundary. EPA lacks the authority to establish Indian country land status, and is making no determination of Indian country boundaries, in this table. 4 Includes any Indian country in each county or area, unless otherwise specified.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30920 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Office of the Secretary 45 CFR Part 170 RIN 0991-AB93 2015 Edition Health Information Technology (Health IT) Certification Criteria, 2015 Edition Base Electronic Health Record (EHR) Definition, and ONC Health IT Certification Program Modifications; Corrections and Clarifications AGENCY:

    Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Final rule; corrections and clarifications.

    SUMMARY:

    This document corrects errors and clarifies provisions of the final rule entitled “2015 Edition Health Information Technology (Health IT) Certification Criteria, 2015 Edition Base Electronic Health Record (EHR) Definition, and ONC Health IT Certification Program Modifications.”

    DATES:

    This correction is effective January 14, 2016. The final rule appeared in the Federal Register on October 16, 2015 (80 FR 62602), and is effective on January 14, 2016, except for § 170.523(m) and (n), which are effective on April 1, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael Lipinski, Office of Policy, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, 202-690-7151.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    Following the publication of Federal Register document 2015-25597 of October 16, 2015 (80 FR 62602), final rule entitled “2015 Edition Health Information Technology (Health IT) Certification Criteria, 2015 Edition Base Electronic Health Record (EHR) Definition, and ONC Health IT Certification Program Modifications” (hereinafter referred to as the 2015 Edition final rule), we identified a number of errors in the final rule. We summarize and correct these errors in the “Summary of Errors” and “Corrections of Errors” sections below.

    We also clarify requirements of the Common Clinical Data Set (CCDS), the privacy and security certification framework, and the mandatory disclosures for health IT developers in the “Clarifications” section below.

    II. Summary of Errors A. Preamble Errors 1. “Audit Report(s)” Certification Criterion

    We incorrectly identified the adopted 2015 Edition “audit report(s)” certification criterion throughout the preamble as “unchanged” and eligible for gap certification. More specifically, we identified it incorrectly:

    a. On page 62609, under Table 2 (“2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria”), as an unchanged criterion compared to the 2014 Edition and gap certification eligible.

    b. On page 62656, second column, in the “Response” under “Audit Report(s),” as adopted as proposed (i.e., “unchanged”).

    c. On page 62681, under Table 6 (“Gap Certification Eligibility for 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria”), as eligible for gap certification.

    We adopted the standard at § 170.210(e) as revised to include the auditing of changes to user privileges in paragraph (e)(1)(i). The adopted 2015 Edition “audit report(s)” certification criterion references this standard. Therefore, it is a “revised” certification criterion as compared to the 2014 Edition “audit report(s)” certification criterion and ineligible for gap certification.

    2. “Integrity” Certification Criterion

    On page 62657, third column, third paragraph, the last sentence incorrectly references SHA-1. The commenters' statements were specific to SHA-2.

    3. “Accounting of Disclosures” Certification Criterion

    On page 62658, first column, mid-page, within the 2015 Edition “accounting of disclosures” certification criterion table, we inadvertently referenced the criterion as codified in 45 CFR 170.315(d)(10), when in fact it was codified in 45 CFR 170.315(d)(11). We note that the 2015 Edition “auditing actions on health information” certification criterion was codified in 45 CFR 170.315(d)(10).

    4. “Transmission to Public Health Agencies—Antimicrobial Use and Resistance Reporting” Certification Criterion

    On page 62668, third column, lines 2 and 3, there was a parenthetical error stating that we adopted the “transmission to public health agencies—antimicrobial use and resistance reporting” certification criterion as proposed (with both Volumes 1 and 2 of the HAI IG). The parenthetical is corrected to not reference volumes of the HL 7 Implementation Guide for CDA® Release 2—Level 3: Healthcare Associated Infection Reports, Release 1 (U.S. Realm), August 9, 2013 (HAI IG). This adopted version of the HAI IG does not contain multiple volumes. Further, the adopted version of the implementation guide was incorporated by reference in § 170.299(f)(26).

    5. Common Clinical Data Set—Assessment and Plan of Treatment, Goals, and Health Concerns

    On page 62696, second column, lines 8-14, we did not clearly indicate that only the narrative parts of the “Goals Section” and “Health Concerns Section” needed to be met in order to meet the CCDS definition. We refer readers to section III.A (“Common Clinical Data Set”) below for further clarification of these CCDS requirements.

    B. Regulation Text Errors 1. 2015 Edition Base EHR Definition

    On page 62742, first column, line 16 (§ 170.102), we inadvertently made an error in the 2015 Edition Base EHR definition by citing to § 170.315(a)(15) instead of § 170.315(a)(14). As discussed on pages 62625, 62630, 62691 and identified on page 62692 (Table 7), we included the “implantable device list” certification criterion (§ 170.315(a)(14)) in the 2015 Edition Base EHR definition as we proposed (80 FR 16806, 16825, 16870-16871). We did not propose to include nor intend to include the “social, psychological, and behavioral data” certification criterion (§ 170.315(a)(15)) in the 2015 Edition Base EHR definition.

    2. Sexual Orientation Code

    On page 62744, third column, line 24 (§ 170.207(o)(1)(ii)), the code (20730005) attributed to “straight or heterosexual” was inaccurate. The correct code is 20430005 (emphasis added).

    3. “Implantable Device List” Certification Criterion

    On page 62748, third column, line 1 (§ 170.315(a)(14)), we inadvertently omitted the word “and” at the end of the line. On the same page and column, line 42, we inadvertently added the word “and” when the “and” should have been at the end of line 47. On the same page and column, line 59, we inadvertently omitted the word “and” at the end of the line.

    4. “Data Export” Certification Criterion

    On page 62750, third column, line 63, we inaccurately cross-referenced paragraphs (ii) through (v) of the “data export” certification criterion (§ 170.315(b)(6)), when the cross-reference should have only been to paragraphs (iii) and (iv). Paragraph (v) should not have been referenced because there are only four paragraphs, ending with paragraph (iv). Paragraph (ii) should not have been cross-referenced because paragraph (ii) no longer includes a configuration capability that could be enabled. The configuration capability included in paragraph (ii) was intended to support user selection among the multiple document templates we proposed for inclusion in paragraph (ii) of this certification criterion. In the final rule, however, we only included the Continuity of Care Document (CCD) document template in paragraph (ii). Therefore, a configuration capability for selecting among document templates is no longer applicable and both the cross-reference to paragraph (ii) and the inclusion of configuration language in paragraph (ii) on page 62751, first column, lines 10-11, are incorrect. In terms of the configuration language in paragraph (ii), more specifically the inclusion of “configuration” in the paragraph title is an error as is the inclusion of the capability to “configure the technology” in the first sentence.

    5. “Clinical Quality Measures—Filter” Certification Criterion a. Patient Insurance Standard

    On page 62751, third column, line 22, we inadvertently included “at a minimum” language for the required patient insurance standard. The standard (Source of Payment Typology Code Set Version 5.0 (October 2011)) was adopted at § 170.207(s)(1), but we did not adopt this standard as a “minimum standards” code set (see 80 FR 62612).

    b. Patient Sex Standard

    On page 62751, third column, lines 25-26, we inadvertently included “at a minimum” language for the required patient sex standard. The standard for representing sex is the use of specific HL7 Version 3 codes and was adopted at § 170.207(n)(1). We did not adopt this standard as a “minimum standards” code set (see 80 FR 62612).

    6. “View, Download, and Transmit to 3rd Party” (VDT) Certification Criterion

    On page 62753, first column, lines 37 and 55 (§ 170.315(e)(1)(ii)), we inadvertently omitted references for a patient's authorized representative to have access to the specified capabilities related to the activity history log under the VDT certification criterion. As discussed on page 62658 and consistent with references throughout the VDT criterion, a patient's authorized representative access to these capabilities is the same as the patient for the purposes of testing and certification.

    7. “Consolidated CDA Creation Performance” Certification Criterion

    On page 62754, second column, lines 42-46 (§ 170.315(g)(6)(ii)), we inadvertently included a sentence stating that the scope of this certification criterion will not exceed the evaluation of the CCD, Referral Note, and Discharge Summary document templates. This statement is inconsistent with the preamble guidance of the final rule on page 62674, which states that we have required that Consolidated CDA (C-CDA) creation performance be demonstrated for the C-CDA Release 2.1 document templates required by the 2015 Edition certification criteria presented for certification. Certification to some criteria (e.g., the “transitions of care” criterion) requires three C-CDA document templates whereas other criteria (e.g., the “care plan” criterion) only requires one C-CDA document template. To further illustrate, if a Health IT Module only included the “view, download, and transmit to 3rd party” certification criterion (§ 170.315(e)(1)) within its certificate's scope, then only the Continuity of Care Document (CCD) document template would be applicable within the “C-CDA creation performance” criterion. Conversely, if a Health IT Module designed for the inpatient setting included the “transitions of care” certification criterion (§ 170.315(b)(1)) within its certificate's scope, then all three document templates referenced by that criterion (CCD, Referral Note, and Discharge Summary) would need to be evaluated as part of the “C-CDA creation performance” criterion, with the Discharge Summary only applicable to the inpatient setting.

    8. “Direct Project” Certification Criterion

    On page 62755, first column, lines 53 through 55 (§ 170.315(h)(1)(ii)), we inadvertently referenced the “Applicability Statement for Secure Health Transport” in the title for paragraph (ii) when it should have only been “Delivery Notification in Direct.”

    9. “Direct Project, Edge Protocol, and XDR/XDM” Certification Criterion

    On page 62755, second column, lines 4 through 6 (§ 170.315(h)(2)(ii)), we again inadvertently referenced the “Applicability Statement for Secure Health Transport” in the title for paragraph (ii) when it should have only been “Delivery Notification in Direct.”

    10. Principles of Proper Conduct for ONC-ACBs—Certified Health IT Mandatory Disclosures a. 2015 Edition Certified Health IT

    On page 62756, third column, lines 35-36 (§ 170.523(k)(1)(ii)(A)), we inadvertently cross-referenced the wrong data from § 170.523(f)(1). We did not intend to cross-reference § 170.523(f)(1)(xvii) (certification to standards used to meet a certification criterion). The required data elements for disclosure were intended to be consistent across the editions. This data is not a required data element for the mandatory disclosures for health IT certified to the 2014 Edition. We did, however, intend to require the disclosure of § 170.523(f)(1)(xv) (certification to clinical quality measures), which was inadvertently omitted but consistent with the new and previous 2014 Edition disclosure requirements. We also refer readers to section III.C (“Mandatory Disclosures for 2015 Edition Certified Health IT”) below for a clarification related to the disclosure on information specified in § 170.523(f)(1)(viii).

    b. 2014 Edition Certified Health IT

    On page 62756, third column, lines 42-43 (§ 170.523(k)(1)(ii)(B)), we inadvertently omitted cross-references to paragraphs (f)(2)(iii) (product version) and (vi) (any additional relied upon software used to demonstrate compliance with a certification criterion or criteria) of § 170.523. The parallel requirements were included in the required disclosures for health IT certified to the 2015 Edition and were previously required to be disclosed as part of certification to the 2014 Edition.

    10. In-the-Field Surveillance and Maintenance of Certification for Health IT a. Exclusion and Exhaustion

    On page 62758, third column, lines 4 and 10 (§ 170.556(c)(5)), we twice inadvertently cross-referenced paragraph (c)(3) of § 170.556 instead of paragraph (c)(4) of § 170.556. Paragraph (c)(4) includes the requirements for locations as they would apply to the “exclusion and exhaustion” requirements of paragraph (c)(5).

    b. Termination

    On page 62759, second column, lines 23-24 (§ 170.556(d)(6)), we inadvertently included language suggesting that termination was limited to suspensions in the context of randomized surveillance. Consistent with the preamble discussion on pages 62716-62718, termination can follow any suspension if the health IT developer has not completed the actions necessary to reinstate the suspended certification.

    III. Clarifications A. Common Clinical Data Set

    In the final rule (§ 170.102), we define the CCDS to mean data expressed, where indicated, according to specified standards. For four data specified in the CCDS (Unique Device Identifier(s) for a Patient's Implantable Device(s); Assessment and Plan of Treatment; Goals; and Health Concerns), we reference specific Consolidated Clinical Document Architecture (C-CDA) sections. Based on subsequent examination of this regulatory text and early interactions with stakeholders, we have determined that additional explanation of these references is necessary in order to ensure health IT developers accurately and consistently interpret and implement health IT functionality to our expressed regulatory requirements. In this regard, we seek to clarify two points.

    First, we clarify that the references to these four specific C-CDA section templates is not meant to be strictly interpreted to mean that a health IT developer must use the C-CDA's syntax for each referenced section. Such a strict interpretation would directly contradict the flexibility we have intentionally offered to health IT developers who seek to certify to the “application access—data category request” certification criterion adopted at 45 CFR 170.315(g)(8), which references the CCDS but does not bind health IT presented for certification to solely use the C-CDA to meet the criterion. To avoid stakeholders inadvertently following this overly strict interpretation, we clarify that the references to these C-CDA section templates was meant (like all of the other data listed in the CCDS) to emphasize that these data need to be consistently and independently represented as discrete data that are clearly distinguishable.

    Second, we clarify for the Assessment and Plan of Treatment, Goals, and Health Concerns data that only the narrative part of the referenced C-CDA section templates is necessary and required in order to satisfy the CCDS. Further and in support of this clarification, testing and certification will focus on the presence of data represented consistent with just the narrative part of the referenced section templates. Similar to our points above, given that these section templates in the C-CDA have two parts (a narrative part and coded requirements part for C-CDA), we believe that it is necessary to make this interpretation explicit so as to prevent health IT developers from over-interpreting this definition's data requirements to include more data than we had intended.

    B. Privacy and Security Certification Framework—Approach 2

    Under § 170.550(h)(4)(ii), a Health IT Module can meet applicable 2015 Edition privacy and security certification criterion by demonstrating, through system documentation that is sufficiently detailed to enable integration, that the Health IT Module has implemented service interfaces for each applicable privacy and security certification criterion that enable the Health IT Module to access external services necessary to meet the privacy and security certification criterion (also known as “Approach 2”). We clarify three points about Approach 2. First, we clarify that the term “access” includes, as applicable, bi-directional interfaces with external services. For example, system documentation could detail how integration establishes a bi-directional interface that meets the requirements of the 2015 Edition “audit report(s)” certification criterion. Second, external services simply mean services outside the scope of the Health IT Module being presented for certification. External services could be, but are not limited to, those provided by another certified Health IT Module, another software program such as Microsoft Active Directory, or a hospital enterprise-wide infrastructure. Third, a Health IT Module is not required to be paired with the other services for the purposes of certification (e.g., certified with another certified Health IT Module that performs the privacy and security capability or specifying the external services as “relied upon software”).

    C. Mandatory Disclosures for 2015 Edition Certified Health IT

    We clarify that for compliance with § 170.523(k)(1)(ii)(A), the only information that must be disclosed to meet the data requirement specified in § 170.523(f)(1)(viii) is the certification criterion or criteria to which the Health IT Module has been certified. This is consistent with the disclosure requirements for certification to the 2014 Edition.

    IV. Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking

    We ordinarily publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register to provide a period for public comment before the provisions of a rule take effect in accordance with section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). However, we can waive this notice and comment procedure if the Secretary finds, for good cause, that the notice and comment process is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest, and incorporates a statement of the finding and the reasons therefore in the notice.

    In our view, this correcting and clarifying document does not constitute a rulemaking that would be subject to the APA notice and comment requirements. This document corrects errors and clarifies provisions of the 2015 Edition final rule published on October 16, 2015. It does not make substantive changes to the policies that were adopted. As a result, this correcting document is intended to ensure that the final rule accurately reflects the policies adopted in that final rule.

    In addition, even if this were a rulemaking to which the notice and comment requirements applied, we find that there is good cause to waive such requirements. Undertaking further notice and comment procedures to incorporate the corrections in this document into the final rule would be contrary to the public interest. Furthermore, such procedures would be unnecessary, as we are not altering the policies that were already subject to comment and finalized in our final rule. Therefore, we believe we have good cause to waive the notice and comment requirements.

    V. Corrections of Errors A. Preamble Corrections

    1. On page 62609, correct Table 2 as follows:

    a. Remove “Audit Report(s)” from the “Unchanged Criteria as Compared to the 2014 Edition (Gap Certification Eligible)” category and insert it with an in asterisk (i.e., Audit Report(s)*) in the “Revised Criteria as Compared to the 2014 Edition” category after “Auditable Events and Tamper-Resistance.”

    b. Revise the “Unchanged Criteria as Compared to the 2014 Edition (Gap Certification Eligible) (16)” title to “Unchanged Criteria as Compared to the 2014 Edition (Gap Certification Eligible) (15)”.

    c. Revise the “Revised Criteria as Compared to the 2014 Edition (25)” title to “Revised Criteria as Compared to the 2014 Edition (26)”.

    2. On page 62656, second column, in the “Response” under “Audit Report(s),” correct the first sentence to read “We have adopted this certification criterion as revised to support the audit reporting of changes in user privileges consistent with the adopted 2015 Edition “auditable events and tamper resistance” certification criterion.”

    3. On page 62657, third column, third paragraph, correct the last sentence to read “A few commenters requested that we wait until 2017 or 2018 to increase the standard to SHA-2.”

    4. On page 62658, first column, mid-page, within the 2015 Edition “accounting of disclosures” certification criterion table, the citation is corrected to read “45 CFR 170.315(d)(11).”

    5. On page 62668, third column, lines 2 and 3, correct the parenthetical to read “(with the HAI IG).”

    6. On page 62681, Table 6, remove “(d)(3) Audit report(s)” from the “2015 Edition” column and “(d)(3) Audit report(s)” from the “2014 Edition” column.

    7. On page 62696, second column, lines 8-14, correct the sentence to read “Thus, other C-CDA document templates such as CCD, Referral Note, and Discharge Summary would need to be able to exchange the narrative information from the “Goals Section” and “Health Concerns Section” in order to meet the Common Clinical Data Set definition.”

    B. Regulation Text Corrections 1. On page 62742, first column, in § 170.102, in the definition of “2015 Edition Base EHR”, paragraph (3) is corrected to read as follows:
    § 170.102 Definitions.

    2015 Edition Base EHR * * *

    (3) Has been certified to the certification criteria adopted by the Secretary in § 170.315(a)(1), (2), or (3); (a)(5) through (9); (a)(11); (a)(14); (b)(1) and (6); (c)(1); (g)(7) through (9); and (h)(1) or (2);

    2. On page 62744, third column, in § 170.207, paragraph (o)(1)(ii) is corrected to read as follows:
    § 170.207 Vocabulary standards for representing electronic health information.

    (o) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (ii) Straight or heterosexual. 20430005.

    3. On pages 62748 through 62755, in § 170.315, paragraphs (a)(14)(ii)(A), (a)(14)(iv)(A) and (B), (a)(14)(v)(C), (b)(6)(i)(A), (b)(6)(ii) introductory text, (c)(4)(iii)(E) and (G), (e)(1)(ii)(A) introductory text, (e)(1)(ii)(B), (g)(6)(ii), (h)(1)(ii), and (h)(2)(ii) are corrected to read as follows:
    § 170.315 2015 Edition health IT certification criteria.

    (a) * * *

    (14) * * *

    (ii) * * *

    (A) Device Identifier; and

    (iv) * * *

    (A) The active Unique Device Identifiers recorded for the patient;

    (B) For each active Unique Device Identifier recorded for a patient, the description of the implantable device specified by paragraph (a)(14)(iii)(A) of this section; and

    (v) * * *

    (C) The identifiers associated with the Unique Device Identifier, as specified by paragraph (a)(14)(ii) of this section; and

    (b) * * *

    (6) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (A) Enable a user to set the configuration options specified in paragraphs (b)(6)(iii) and (iv) of this section when creating an export summary as well as a set of export summaries for patients whose information is stored in the technology. A user must be able to execute these capabilities at any time the user chooses and without subsequent developer assistance to operate.

    (ii) Creation. Enable a user to create export summaries formatted in accordance with the standard specified in § 170.205(a)(4) using the Continuity of Care Document document template that includes, at a minimum:

    (c) * * *

    (4) * * *

    (iii) * * *

    (E) Patient insurance in accordance with the standard specified in § 170.207(s)(1).

    * * *

    (G) Patient sex in accordance with the version of the standard specified in § 170.207(n)(1).

    (e) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (ii) * * *

    (A) When any of the capabilities included in paragraphs (e)(1)(i)(A) through (C) of this section are used, the following information must be recorded and made accessible to the patient (or his/her authorized representative):

    (B) Technology presented for certification may demonstrate compliance with paragraph (e)(1)(ii)(A) of this section if it is also certified to the certification criterion specified in § 170.315(d)(2) and the information required to be recorded in paragraph (e)(1)(ii)(A) of this section is accessible by the patient (or his/her authorized representative).

    (g) * * *

    (6) * * *

    (ii) Document-template conformance. Create a data file formatted in accordance with the standard adopted in § 170.205(a)(4) that demonstrates a valid implementation of each document template applicable to the certification criterion or criteria within the scope of the certificate sought.

    (h) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (ii) Delivery Notification in Direct. Able to send and receive health information in accordance with the standard specified in § 170.202(e)(1).

    (2) * * *

    (ii) Delivery Notification in Direct. Able to send and receive health information in accordance with the standard specified in § 170.202(e)(1).

    § 170.523 [Corrected]
    4. In § 170.523— a. On page 62756, third column, lines 35-36, paragraph (k)(1)(ii)(A), the reference “paragraphs (f)(1)(i), (vi), (vii), (viii), (xvi), and (xvii) of this section” is corrected to read “paragraphs (f)(1)(i), (vi), (vii), (viii), (xv), and (xvi) of this section”. b. On page 62756, third column, lines 42-43, paragraph (k)(1)(ii)(B), the reference “paragraphs (f)(2)(i), (ii), (iv)-(v), and (vii) of this section” is corrected to read “paragraphs (f)(2)(i) through (vii) of this section”. 5. In § 170.556— a. On page 62758, third column, lines 4 and 10, paragraph (c)(5), correct the reference “paragraph (c)(3)” each time it appears to read “paragraph (c)(4)”. b. On page 62759, second column, correct paragraph (d)(6) to read as follows:
    § 170.556 In-the-field surveillance and maintenance of certification for Health IT.

    (d) * * *

    (6) If a certified Complete EHR or certified Health IT Module's certification has been suspended, an ONC-ACB is permitted to initiate certification termination procedures for the Complete EHR or Health IT Module (consistent with its accreditation to ISO/IEC 17065 and procedures for terminating a certification) when the developer has not completed the actions necessary to reinstate the suspended certification.

    Dated: December 7, 2015. Madhura Valverde, Executive Secretary to the Department, Department of Health and Human Services.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31255 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4150-45-P
    80 238 Friday, December 11, 2015 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 1205 [Doc. No. AMS-CN-14-0037] Cotton Board Rules and Regulations: Amending Importer Line-Item De Minimis AGENCY:

    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) proposes to amend the Cotton Board Rules and Regulations to remove the cotton import de minimis provision. The Cotton Research and Promotion (R&P) Program assesses U.S. cotton producers and importers of cotton and cotton-containing products. Importers are exempt from paying the cotton import assessment (known commonly among importers as the “cotton fee”) if a line item on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) documentation is $2.00 or less. The exemption was initially established to lessen the administrative burden of collecting an import assessment, which was originally estimated to be $2.00 per line item, in instances in which the transactions costs of the collection would exceed the actual value of the assessment. However, technological advances in the CBP documentation process significantly reduced the transactions costs associated with collecting import assessments, and CBP has since stopped charging USDA for the processing and collecting of assessments. Given that transactions costs no longer exceed assessment rates of $2.00 or less, AMS proposes to remove this de minimis provision from the regulations. In addition, the definition of cotton with respect to procedures for conducting the sign-up period would also be modified.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before January 11, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments may be submitted to the addresses specified below. All comments will be made available to the public. Please do not include any personally identifiable information (such as name, address, or other contact information) or confidential business information that you do not want publically disclosed. All comments may be posted on the Internet and can be retrieved by most Internet search engines. Comments may be submitted anonymously.

    Comments, identified by AMS-CN-14-0037, may be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Please follow the instructions for submitting comments. In addition, comments may be submitted by mail or hand delivery to Cotton Research and Promotion Staff, Cotton and Tobacco Program, AMS, USDA, 100 Riverside Parkway, Suite 101, Fredericksburg, Virginia, 22406. Written comments should be submitted in triplicate. All comments received will be made available for public inspection at Cotton and Tobacco Program, AMS, USDA, 100 Riverside Parkway, Suite 101, Fredericksburg, Virginia, 22406. A copy of this notice may be found at: www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Shethir M. Riva, Chief, Research and Promotion Staff, Cotton and Tobacco Program, AMS, USDA, 100 Riverside Parkway, Suite 101, Fredericksburg, Virginia, 22406, telephone (540) 361-2726, facsimile (540) 361-1199, or email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Background

    Amendments to the Cotton Research and Promotion Act (7 U.S.C. 2101-2118) (Act) were enacted by Congress under Subtitle G of Title XIX of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-624, 104 stat. 3909, November 28, 1990). These amendments contained two provisions that authorize changes in the funding procedures for the Cotton Research and Promotion Program. These provisions provide for: (1) The assessment of imported cotton and cotton products; and (2) termination of refunds to cotton producers. (Prior to the 1990 amendments to the Act, producers could request assessment refunds.)

    As amended, the Cotton Research and Promotion Order (7 CFR part 1205) (Order) was approved by producers and importers voting in a referendum held July 17-26, 1991, and the amended Order was published in the Federal Register on December 10, 1991, (56 FR 64470). A proposed rule implementing the amended Order was published in the Federal Register on December 17, 1991, (56 FR 65450). Implementing rules were published on July 1 and 2, 1992, (57 FR 29181 and 57 FR 29431, respectively).

    The total value of assessment levied on cotton imports is the sum of two parts. The first part of the assessment is based on the weight of cotton imported—levied at a rate of $1 per bale of cotton, which is equivalent to 500 pounds, or $1 per 226.8 kilograms of cotton. The second part of the import assessment (referred to as the supplemental assessment) is based on the value of imported cotton lint or the cotton contained in imported cotton products—levied at a rate of five-tenths of one percent of the value of domestically produced cotton. The current assessment on imported cotton is $0.012013 per kilogram of imported cotton.

    The Cotton Research and Promotion Act provides that “Any de minimis figure as established under this paragraph shall be such as to minimize the burden in administering the assessment provision but still provide for the maximum participation of imports of cotton in the assessment provisions of this chapter.” 7 U.S.C. 2116(c)(2). The Import Assessment Table in paragraph (b)(3) of § 1205.510 of the Cotton Research and Promotion Rules and Regulations indicates the total assessment rate ($ per kilogram) due for each Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) number that is subject to assessment. Subparagraph (i) of this same paragraph provides for an exemption from assessment for any line item entry of cotton appearing on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) entry documentation whose calculated assessment is two dollars ($2.00) or less. This de minimis exemption was established to minimize the administrative burden of collecting import assessments, which was originally estimated to be $2.00 per line item, where administrative costs would exceed the actual value of the assessment.

    The de minimis figure is an estimate of administrative burden, which is equivalent to the transactions costs of collecting the cotton fee. The de minimis provision was necessary to avoid instances where the transactions costs of collecting the cotton fee exceeded the cotton fee being collected.

    In January 2014, AMS became aware of CBP's automation processes in connection with documenting and collecting assessments. CBP indicated that the documentation and collection process is automated and costs have been significantly decreased. Taking into account technological advancements in the fee collection process, CBP no longer charges USDA for the collection of assessments on agricultural commodities. This has eliminated the administrative burden associated with the collection of assessments.

    AMS proposes to strike subparagraph (i) under paragraph § 1205.510(b)(3) of the Cotton Research and Promotion Rules and Regulations and append to the paragraph section the language currently in subparagraph (ii). This proposed action reflects the technological efficiencies of the CBP import documentation process by eliminating the de minimis provisions in the regulations, and, therefore, helps to ensure that the assessments collected on imported cotton and the cotton content of imported products would be the same as those paid on domestically produced cotton. In addition, AMS proposes to modify the definition of cotton in § 1205.12 to include imported cotton that previously was exempted due to the de minimis exemption. With this action, importers who previously imported de minimis amounts of cotton may now be eligible to participate in the sign-up period for a continuance referendum that would determine whether a continuance referendum is favored.

    B. Regulatory Impact Analysis Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to access 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, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility. This action has been designated as a “non-significant regulatory action” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 and therefore has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

    Executive Order 12988

    This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. It is not intended to have retroactive effect. The Cotton Research and Promotion Act (7 U.S.C. 2101-2118) (Act) provides that administrative proceedings must be exhausted before parties may file suit in court. Under section 12 of the Act, any person subject to an order may file with the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) a petition stating that the order, any provision of the plan, or any obligation imposed in connection with the order is not in accordance with law and requesting a modification of the order or to be exempted therefrom. Such person is afforded the opportunity for a hearing on the petition. After the hearing, the Secretary would rule on the petition. The Act provides that the District Court of the United States in any district in which the person is an inhabitant, or has his principal place of business, has jurisdiction to review the Secretary's ruling, provided a complaint is filed within 20 days from the date of the entry of ruling.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act and Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601-612), AMS has examined the economic impact of this rule on small entities. The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of businesses subject to such action so that small businesses will not be unduly or disproportionately burdened. The Small Business Administration defines, in 13 CFR part 121, small agricultural producers as those having annual receipts of no more than $750,000 and small agricultural service firms (importers) as having receipts of no more than $7,000,000. In 2013, an estimated 17,000 importers are subject to the rules and regulations issued pursuant to the Cotton Research and Promotion Order. Most are considered small entities as defined by the Small Business Administration.

    This rule would only affect importers of cotton and cotton-containing products whose calculated assessment for any line item entry of cotton appearing on a CBP entry document whose calculated assessment is two dollars ($2.00) or less. While data allowing for estimates of the number of importers that would be impacted does not exist, it is estimated that a very small portion of the estimated 17,000 importers would be affected by eliminating the de minimis exemption. The additional burden placed on those importers would be limited to two dollars ($2.00) per line item entry that would otherwise have qualified for the exemption. Importers are currently required to self-report on all line items being imported, therefore no additional transactions costs or administrative burden would be borne by these importers. Such importers may now be eligible to participate in a sign-up period to determine whether they and eligible producers favor the conduct of referendum on the continuance of the 1991 amendments to the Order.

    There are no Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this proposed rule.

    In compliance with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations (5 CFR part 1320) which implement the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. chapter 35) the information collection requirements contained in the regulation to be amended have been previously approved by OMB and were assigned control number 0581-0093, National Research, Promotion, and Consumer Information Programs. This proposed rule does not result in a change to the information collection and recordkeeping requirements previously approved.

    A 30-day comment period is provided to comment on the changes to the Cotton Board Rules and Regulations proposed herein. This period is deemed appropriate because this rule would help ensure that the assessments collected on imported cotton and the cotton content of imported products would be the same as those paid on domestically produced cotton. Accordingly, the change in this rulemaking, if adopted, should be implemented as soon as possible.

    List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 1205

    Advertising, Agricultural research, Cotton, Marketing agreements, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, AMS proposes to amend 7 CFR part 1205 as follows:

    PART 1205—COTTON RESEARCH AND PROMOTION 1. The authority citation for part 1205 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 2101-2118.

    2. Revise § 1205.12 to read as follows:
    § 1205.12 Cotton.

    The term cotton means all Upland cotton harvested in the United States and all imports of Upland cotton, including the Upland cotton content of products derived thereof.

    3. In § 1205.510, revise paragraph (b)(3) introductory text and remove paragraphs (b)(3)(i) and (ii).

    The revision reads as follows:

    § 1205.510 Levy of assessments.

    (b) * * *

    (3) The following table contains Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) classification numbers and corresponding conversion factors and assessments. The left column of the following table indicates the HTS classifications of imported cotton and cotton-containing products subject to assessment. The center column indicates the conversion factor for determining the raw fiber content for each kilogram of the HTS. HTS numbers for raw cotton have no conversion factor in the table. The right column indicates the total assessment per kilogram of the article assessed. In the event that any HTS number subject to assessment is changed and such change is merely a replacement of a previous number and has no impact on the physical properties, description, or cotton content of the product involved, assessments will continue to be collected based on the new number.

    Dated: December 7, 2015. Rex A. Barnes, Associate Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31116 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-6547; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-129-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2014-03-14, for all Airbus Model A330-200 and -300 series airplanes, and Model A340-200, -300, -500, and -600 series airplanes. AD 2014-03-14 currently requires removing bulb-type maintenance lights; installing a drain mast on certain airplanes; and installing muffs on connecting bleed elements on certain airplanes. Since we issued AD 2014-03-14, we have determined that additional actions are necessary to address the identified unsafe condition for certain airplanes on which muffs are installed. For certain Model A340-200 and -300 series airplanes, this proposed AD would also require replacing certain insulation sleeves with new insulation sleeves. We are proposing this AD to prevent ignition sources inside fuel tanks, which, in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result in fuel tank explosions and consequent loss of the airplane.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by January 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments by any of the following methods:

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

    Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 45 80; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-6547; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1138; fax 425-227-1149.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-6547; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-129-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD based on those comments.

    We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this proposed AD.

    Discussion

    On January 31, 2014, we issued AD 2014-03-14, Amendment 39-17752 (79 FR 9382, February 19, 2014). AD 2014-03-14 requires actions intended to address an unsafe condition on all Airbus Model A330-200 and -300 series airplanes, and Model A340-200, -300, -500, and -600 series airplanes.

    Since we issued AD 2014-03-14, Amendment 39-17752 (79 FR 9382, February 19, 2014), the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0148, dated June 13, 2014 (referred to after this the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

    [Subsequent to accidents involving Fuel Tank Systems in flight and on ground] * * *, the FAA published Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) 88, and the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) published Interim Policy INT/POL/25/12.

    In response to these regulations, a global design review conducted by Airbus on the A330 and A340 type design Section 19, which is a flammable fluid leakage zone and a zone adjacent to a fuel tank, highlighted potential deviations. The specific identified cases were that in-flight fuel drainage is insufficient on A340-500/-600 aeroplanes, maintenance lights are not qualified explosion-proof, and hot surfaces may exist on bleed systems during normal/failure operations.

    This condition, if not corrected, in combination with a fuel leak generating flammable vapours in the area, could result in a fuel tank explosion and consequent loss of the aeroplane.

    To address this unsafe condition, Airbus developed various modifications of the aeroplane, to be embodied in service.

    Consequently, EASA issued AD 2013-0033 [http://ad.easa.europa.eu/blob/easa_ad_2013_0033_superseded.pdf/AD_2013-0033_1] [which corresponds to FAA AD 2014-03-14, Amendment 39-17752 (79 FR 9382, February 19, 2014)] to require removal of bulb type maintenance lights for all aeroplanes, installation of a drain mast between Frame (FR) 80 and FR83 for A340-500/-600 aeroplanes, and installation of muffs on connecting bleed elements to minimize hot surfaces on A330 and A340-200/-300 aeroplanes.

    Since that [EASA] AD was issued, it was reported that, for A340-200/-300 aeroplanes, accomplishment instructions in the applicable Airbus Service Bulletins (SB) for aeroplanes in Configurations 002 and 005 were detailed in Configuration 003 and, conversely, accomplishment instructions for aeroplane[s] in Configuration 003 were detailed in Configurations 002 and 005. This can lead to incorrect installation of some insulation sleeves on the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) Air Bleed Ducts between Frame 83 and 84 for configurations 002, 003 and 005 as per Airbus SB A340-36-4035 at original issue. Prompted by this finding, Airbus revised the affected SB with additional work required for aeroplanes included in configurations 002, 003 and 005 that were modified using the original issue of the SB.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2013-0033, which is superseded, incorporates reference to the corrected Airbus SB A340-36-4035 Revision 01 and requires the additional work as specified in Airbus SB A340-36-4035 Revision 01 for aeroplanes already modified per the original SB A340-36-4035.

    The additional work is replacing the insulation sleeves between frames 83 and 84 with new insulation sleeves. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-6547.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued the following service bulletins.

    • Airbus Service Bulletin A330-33-3041, Revision 02, dated November 7, 2013, which describes procedures for removing bulb-type maintenance lights.

    • Airbus Service Bulletin A330-36-3037, Revision 02, dated April 7, 2014, which describes procedures for bleed leak detection loop modification of the auxiliary power unit (APU).

    • Airbus Service Bulletin A340-33-4026, Revision 02, dated November 7, 2013, which describes procedures for removing bulb-type maintenance lights.

    • Airbus Service Bulletin A340-36-4033, Revision 02, dated May 19, 2014, which describes procedures for bleed leak detection loop modification of the APU.

    • Airbus Service Bulletin A340-36-4035, Revision 01, dated September 24, 2013, which describes procedures for installing muffs on connecting bleed elements on certain airplanes.

    This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this NPRM.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

    This product has been approved by the aviation authority of another country, and is approved for operation in the United States. Pursuant to our bilateral agreement with the State of Design Authority, we have been notified of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all pertinent information and determined an unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

    Explanation of New Service Information for Optional Actions

    In paragraph (i) of AD 2014-03-14, Amendment 39-17752 (79 FR 9382, February 19, 2014), an optional method of compliance is permitted using Airbus Service Bulletin A330-36-3037, Revision 01, dated January 24, 2013; or Airbus Service Bulletin A340-36-4033, Revision 01, dated January 28, 2013; as applicable. In addition, credit is given in paragraph (k)(3) of AD 2014-03-14 for using Airbus Service Bulletin A340-36-4033, dated September 23, 2011.

    However, the MCAI only allows the use of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-36-3037, Revision 02, dated April 7, 2014; and Airbus Service Bulletin A340-36-4033, Revision 02, dated May 19, 2014; as applicable. Additional work is necessary for airplanes on which earlier revisions of this service information was done.

    Therefore, in paragraph (i) of this proposed AD, we refer to only Airbus Service Bulletin A330-36-3037, Revision 02, dated April 7, 2014; and Airbus Service Bulletin A340-36-4033, Revision 02, dated May 19, 2014; as applicable.

    Explanation of “RC” Procedures and Tests in Service Information

    The FAA worked in conjunction with industry, under the Airworthiness Directive Implementation Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC), to enhance the AD system. One enhancement was a new process for annotating which procedures and tests in the service information are required for compliance with an AD. Differentiating these procedures and tests from other tasks in the service information is expected to improve an owner's/operator's understanding of crucial AD requirements and help provide consistent judgment in AD compliance. The procedures and tests identified as RC (required for compliance) in any service information have a direct effect on detecting, preventing, resolving, or eliminating an identified unsafe condition.

    As specified in a Note under the Accomplishment Instructions of certain specified service information, procedures and tests that are identified as RC in any service information must be done to comply with the proposed AD. However, procedures and tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an alternative method of compliance (AMOC), provided the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in a serviceable condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC will require approval of an AMOC.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 43 Model A330 series airplanes of U.S. registry. There are no Model A340 airplanes registered in the U.S.

    The actions that are required by AD 2014-03-14, Amendment 39-17752 (79 FR 9382, February 19, 2014), and retained in this proposed AD take about 21 work-hours per product, at an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour. Required parts cost about $5,219 per product. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the actions that are required by AD 2014-03-14 is $7,004 per product.

    We also estimate that it would take about 6 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts would cost about $279 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $33,927, or $789 per product.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2014-03-14, Amendment 39-17752 (79 FR 9382, February 19, 2014), and adding the following new AD: Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2015-6547; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-129-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by January 25, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2014-03-14, Amendment 39-17752 (79 FR 9382, February 19, 2014).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the Airbus airplanes, certificated in any category, specified in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this AD, all manufacturer serial numbers.

    (1) Airbus Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, -243, -301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes.

    (2) Airbus Model A340-211, -212, -213, -311, -312, -313, -541, and -642 airplanes.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 26, Fire protection; 33, Lights; 36, Pneumatic; 53, Fuselage.

    (e) Reason

    This AD results from fuel system reviews conducted by the airplane manufacturer. We are issuing this AD to prevent ignition sources inside fuel tanks, which, in combination with flammable fuel vapors, could result in fuel tank explosions and consequent loss of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Retained Maintenance Light Removal, With New Service Information

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (g) of AD 2014-03-14, Amendment 39-17752 (79 FR 9382, February 19, 2014), with new service information. Except for airplanes on which Airbus Modification 56739 has been incorporated in production: Within 26 months after March 26, 2014 (the effective date of AD 2014-03-14), remove the maintenance lights, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable Airbus service information specified in paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), and (g)(3) of this AD.

    (1) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-33-3041, Revision 01, dated July 10, 2012; or Airbus Service Bulletin A330-33-3041, Revision 02, dated November 7, 2013 (for Model A330 series airplanes). As of the effective date of this AD, use only Airbus Service Bulletin A330-33-3041, Revision 02, dated November 7, 2013, for the actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD (for Model A330 series airplanes).

    (2) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-33-4026, Revision 01, dated July 10, 2012; or Airbus Service Bulletin A340-33-4026, Revision 02, dated November 7, 2013 (for Model A340-200 and -300 series airplanes). As of the effective date of this AD, use only Airbus Service Bulletin A340-33-4026, Revision 02, dated November 7, 2013, for the actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD (for Model A340-200 and -300 series airplanes).

    (3) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-33-5006, dated January 3, 2012 (for Model A340-500 and -600 series airplanes).

    Note 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD:

    For Model A340-500 and -600 series airplanes, Airbus has issued Airbus Service Bulletin A340-33-5007 to introduce halogen-type lights which are qualified as explosion proof and that can be installed (at operators' discretion) after removal of the non-explosion-proof lights required by paragraph (g) of this AD. For Model A330 series airplanes and Model A340-200/-300 series airplanes, Airbus has issued Airbus Service Bulletins A330-33-3042 and A340-33-4027 for the installation of similar lights.

    (h) Retained Insulation Muff Installation, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (h) of AD 2014-03-14, Amendment 39-17752 (79 FR 9382, February 19, 2014), with no changes. For Model A330-200 and -300 series airplanes, and Model A340-200 and -300 series airplanes, except those airplanes on which Airbus Modification 52260 has been incorporated in production: Within 26 months after March 26, 2014 (the effective date of AD 2014-03-14), install insulation muffs on the connecting auxiliary power unit (APU) bleed air duct, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable Airbus service information specified in paragraphs (h)(1), (h)(2), and (h)(3) of this AD.

    (1) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-36-3038, dated January 16, 2012, for Model A330 series airplanes on which Airbus Service Bulletin A330-36-3032 has been incorporated.

    (2) Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A330-36-3040, Revision 01, dated November 26, 2012, for Model A330 series airplanes on which Airbus Service Bulletin A330-36-3032 has not been incorporated.

    (3) Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A340-36-4035, Revision 01, dated September 24, 2013, for Model A340 series airplanes.

    (i) Retained Alternative Action to Paragraph (h) of This AD

    This paragraph restates the alternative action specified in paragraph (i) of AD 2014-03-14, Amendment 39-17752 (79 FR 9382, February 19, 2014), with new service information. For Model A330 series airplanes on which the modification described in Airbus Service Bulletin A330-36-3032 has not been incorporated, and for Model A340 series airplanes: Doing the bleed leak detection loop modification of the APU, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable Airbus service bulletin specified in paragraphs (i)(1) and (i)(2) of this AD, is an acceptable alternative to the actions required by paragraph (h) of this AD, provided the modification is accomplished within 26 months after March 26, 2014 (the effective date of AD 2014-03-14).

    (1) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-36-3037, Revision 02, dated April 7, 2014.

    (2) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-36-4033, Revision 02, dated May 19, 2014.

    (j) Retained Drain Mast Installation, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (j) of AD 2014-03-14, Amendment 39-17752 (79 FR 9382, February 19, 2014), with no changes. For Model A340-500 and -600 series airplanes, except those on which Airbus Modification 54636 or 54637 has been incorporated in production: Within 26 months after March 26, 2014 (the effective date of AD 2014-03-14), install a drain mast between frame (FR) 80 and FR 83, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Mandatory Service Bulletin A340-53-5031, Revision 02, dated August 3, 2011.

    (k) New Requirement of This AD: Replacement of Certain Insulation Sleeves

    For Model A340 series airplanes in configurations 002, 003, and 005, as described in Airbus Service Bulletin A340-36-4035, dated September 18, 2012, that have been modified before the effective date of this AD in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A340-36-4035, dated September 18, 2012: Within 14 months after the effective date of this AD, replace the insulation sleeves between frames 83 and 84 with new insulation sleeves, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A340-36-4035, Revision 01, dated September 24, 2013.

    (l) Credit for Previous Actions

    (1) This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before March 26, 2014 (the effective date of AD 2014-03-14, Amendment 39-17752 (79 FR 9382, February 19, 2014)), using Airbus Service Bulletin A330-33-3041, dated January 3, 2012; or Airbus Service Bulletin A340-33-4026, dated January 3, 2012; as applicable; which are not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (2) This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (h) of this AD, if those actions were performed before March 26, 2014 (the effective date of AD 2014-03-14, Amendment 39-17752 (79 FR 9382, February 19, 2014)), using Airbus Service Bulletin A330-36-3040, dated September 18, 2012, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (3) For Model A340 series airplanes in configurations 001 and 004, as described in Airbus Service Bulletin A340-36-4035, dated September 18, 2012: This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (h) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Airbus Service Bulletin A340-36-4035, dated September 18, 2012, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (4) This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraph (j) of this AD, if those actions were performed before March 26, 2014 (the effective date of AD 2014-03-14, Amendment 39-17752 (79 FR 9382, February 19, 2014)), using Airbus Service Bulletin A340-53-5031, dated July 31, 2006; or Airbus Service Bulletin A340-53-5031, Revision 01, dated January 10, 2008; as applicable; which are not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (m) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Vladimir Ulyanov, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1138; fax 425-227-1149. Information may be emailed to: [email protected]

    (i) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

    (ii) AMOCs approved previously for paragraphs (g) and (h) of AD 2014-03-14, Amendment 39-17752 (79 FR 9382, February 19, 2014), are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD.

    (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: As of the effective date of this AD, for any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (3) Required for Compliance (RC): If any service information contains procedures or tests that are identified as RC, those procedures and tests must be done to comply with this AD; any procedures or tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC require approval of an AMOC.

    (n) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0148, dated June 13, 2014, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-6547.

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 45 80; email airwor[email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on December 4, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31210 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-6548; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-114-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 787-8 and 787-9 airplanes equipped with General Electric engines. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of cracking in barrel nuts on a forward engine mount of Model 747-8 airplanes, which shares a similar design to the forward engine mount of Model 787-8 and 787-9 airplanes. This proposed AD would require, for certain airplanes, replacement of the four barrel nuts of the forward engine mount on each engine. For certain other airplanes, this proposed AD would require an inspection to determine if any forward engine mount barrel nut having a certain part number is installed, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct cracking of the forward engine mount barrel nuts; such cracking could result in reduced load capacity of the forward engine mount and could result in separation of an engine from the airplane, and consequent loss of control of the airplane.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by January 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone: 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax: 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-6548.

    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-2015-6548; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Allen Rauschendorfer, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6487; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-6548; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-114-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

    We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this proposed AD.

    Discussion

    We received a report indicating that during the replacement of the No. 2 engine on a Model 747-8 airplane, an operator conducted a non-destructive test (NDT) inspection of the barrel nuts on the forward engine mount and found cracks on two of the four barrel nuts. The same operator also discovered one cracked barrel nut on the No. 1 engine of the same Model 747-8 airplane. Boeing did an NDT inspection on the barrel nuts of the No. 2 engine of a Model 747-8 flight test airplane and discovered two barrel nuts with cracks. Since these initial findings, two additional barrel nuts were found cracked on two additional Model 747-8 airplanes.

    The barrel nuts are located at the forward end of the strut box and are used to fasten the forward engine mount to the strut. A barrel nut with a crack on one side is still able to carry ultimate load. A crack on both sides of a barrel nut will cause complete failure of the barrel nut. Complete failure of two or more barrel nuts on the same forward engine mount reduces the load capacity of the forward engine mount and could result in separation of an engine from the airplane, and consequent loss of control of the airplane.

    Model 787-8 and 787-9 airplanes with General Electric engines have a similar forward engine mount bolt and barrel nut configuration to that on Model 747-8 series airplanes. Therefore, Model 787-8 and 787-9 airplanes are subject to the same unsafe condition revealed on Model 747-8 series airplanes. We issued AD 2013-24-12, Amendment 39-17686 (78 FR 71989, December 2, 2013), to address this unsafe condition on Model 747-8 series airplanes.

    Relevant Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB710026-00, Issue 001, dated June 10, 2015. The service information describes procedures for replacing the forward engine mount barrel nuts with new, improved barrel nuts; doing an inspection to determine if barrel nuts having a certain part number are installed on the forward engine mount; and doing related investigative and corrective actions. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this NPRM.

    FAA's Determination

    We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all the relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design.

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously, except as discussed under “Differences Between this Proposed AD and the Service Information.” For information on the procedures and compliance times, see this service information at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for Docket No. FAA-2015-6548.

    The phrase “related investigative actions” is used in this proposed AD. “Related investigative actions” are follow-on actions that (1) are related to the primary actions, and (2) further investigate the nature of any condition found. Related investigative actions in an AD could include, for example, inspections.

    The phrase “corrective actions” is used in this proposed AD. “Corrective actions” are actions that correct or address any condition found. Corrective actions in an AD could include, for example, repairs.

    Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information

    The service specifies to contact the manufacturer for instructions on how to repair certain conditions, but this proposed AD would require repairing those conditions in one of the following ways:

    • In accordance with a method that we approve; or

    • Using data that meet the certification basis of the airplane, and that have been approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) whom we have authorized to make those findings.

    Explanation of “RC” Steps in Service Information

    The FAA worked in conjunction with industry, under the Airworthiness Directive Implementation Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC), to enhance the AD system. One enhancement was a new process for annotating which steps in the service information are required for compliance with an AD. Differentiating these steps from other tasks in the service information is expected to improve an owner's/operator's understanding of crucial AD requirements and help provide consistent judgment in AD compliance. The steps identified as Required for Compliance (RC) in any service information identified previously have a direct effect on detecting, preventing, resolving, or eliminating an identified unsafe condition.

    For service information that contains steps that are labeled as RC, the following provisions apply: (1) The steps labeled as RC, including substeps under an RC step and any figures identified in an RC step, must be done to comply with the AD, and an AMOC is required for any deviations to RC steps, including substeps and identified figures; and (2) steps not labeled as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the RC steps, including substeps and identified figures, can still be done as specified, and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 36 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on
  • U.S. operators
  • Replacement (2 engines) 29 work-hours × $85 per hour = $2,465 for 2 engines $1,988 per engine × 2 engines = $3,976 $6,441 $64,410 (10 airplanes). Inspection for part number using maintenance records (2 engines) 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 for 2 engines $0 85 $2,210 (26 airplanes).

    We estimate the following costs to do any related investigative actions that would be required based on the results of the proposed inspection. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these actions:

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Inspection (2 engines) 9 work-hours × $85 per hour = $765 for 2 engines $0 $765

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

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

    For the reasons discussed above, I certify this proposed regulation:

    (1) Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866,

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): No. FAA-2015-6548; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-114-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by January 25, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 787-8 and 787-9 airplanes, certificated in any category, equipped with General Electric GEnx-1B engines, as identified in Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB710026-00, Issue 001, dated June 10, 2015.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 71, Powerplant.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of cracking in barrel nuts on a forward engine mount of Model 747-8 airplanes, which shares a similar design to the forward engine mount of Model 787-8 and 787-9 airplanes. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking of the forward engine mount barrel nuts; such cracking could result in reduced load capacity of the forward engine mount, and could result in separation of an engine from the airplane, and consequent loss of control of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Replacement Barrel Nuts

    For Group 1 airplanes as identified in Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB710026-00, Issue 001, dated June 10, 2015: Except as provided by paragraph (i)(1) of this AD, at the time specified in paragraph 5., “Compliance,” of Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB710026-00, Issue 001, dated June 10, 2015, replace the existing forward engine mount barrel nuts on each engine, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB710026-00, Issue 001, dated June 10, 2015.

    (h) Part Number Inspection for Installed Barrel Nuts

    For Group 2 airplanes as identified in Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB710026-00, Issue 001, dated June 10, 2015: Except as provided by paragraph (i)(1) of this AD, at the time specified in paragraph 5. “Compliance,” of Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB710026-00, Issue 001, dated June 10, 2015, review the aircraft maintenance records to determine if the airplane engine has been removed, installed, or replaced, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB710026-00, Issue 001, dated June 10, 2015. If the maintenance records indicate that a barrel nut having part number SL4081C14SP1 is installed, or if the part number of an installed barrel nut cannot be determined, before further flight, do the related investigative and applicable corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB710026-00, Issue 001, dated June 10, 2015.

    (i) Exception to Service information

    (1) Where Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB710026-00, Issue 001, dated June 10, 2015, specifies a compliance time “after the Issue 001 date on this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after the effective date of this AD.

    (2) Where Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB710026-00, Issue 001, dated June 10, 2015, specifies to contact Boeing for repair instructions: Before further flight, repair using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j) of this AD.

    (j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (k)(1) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: [email protected]

    (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office.

    (3) An AMOC that provides an acceptable level of safety may be used for any repair, modification, or alteration required by this AD if it is approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) that has been authorized by the Manager, Seattle ACO, to make those findings. To be approved, the repair method, modification deviation, or alteration deviation must meet the certification basis of the airplane and the approval must specifically refer to this AD.

    (4) Except as required by paragraph (i)(2) of this AD: For service information that contains steps that are labeled as Required for Compliance (RC), the provisions of paragraphs (j)(4)(i) and (j)(4)(ii) apply.

    (i) The steps labeled as RC, including substeps under an RC step and any figures identified in an RC step, must be done to comply with the AD. An AMOC is required for any deviations to RC steps, including substeps and identified figures.

    (ii) Steps not labeled as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the RC steps, including substeps and identified figures, can still be done as specified, and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition.

    (k) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Allen Rauschendorfer, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6487; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone: 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax: 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on December 4, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31218 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary 32 CFR Part 75 RIN 0790-AI82 [Docket ID: DOD-2011-OS-0127] Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) AGENCY:

    Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This proposed rule establishes the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) and provides guidance, assigns responsibilities, and prescribes procedures for identifying a family member with special needs, and coordinating travel at government expense for family members of active duty Service members who meet the Department of Defense (DoD) criteria for identifying a family member with special needs. This proposed rule also prescribes procedures for processing DoD civilian employees who have family members with special needs for an overseas assignment and providing family support services.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by February 9, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

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

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number 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:

    Rebecca Lombardi, 571-372-0862.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Executive Summary

    This proposed rule would implement 10 U.S.C. 1781c, which established the Office of Community Support for Military Families with Special Needs (OSN). Under this proposed rule, the OSN would be housed within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. The purpose of the Office is to enhance and improve Department of Defense support around the world for military families with special needs (whether medical or educational needs) through the development of appropriate policies, enhancement and dissemination of appropriate information throughout the Department of Defense, support for such families in obtaining referrals for services and in obtaining services and oversight of the activities of the military departments in support of families. The OSN would be responsible for developing an EFMP policy that addresses the development and implementation of a community support program across the Services, and expand coordination of assignments for military families with special needs within and outside the United States.

    The rule would provide guidance for identifying family members with special needs and requires the Military Services to establish a system to identify, document and consider a military family member's special medical and educational needs when approving travel at government expense. It would also provide guidance for the processing of overseas assignments for DoD civilian employees who have family members with special needs. The rule also would establish a system of monitoring and assigning oversight responsibilities for the EFMP as well as authorizing the development of implementing guidance and forms necessary for the operation of the EFMP.

    III. Costs and Benefits

    The Department of Defense and the Military Departments, which are responsible for providing services to Military families with special needs, receive their funding from the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) defense-wide budget. The approximate cost for the Exceptional Family Member Program for FY2011 was $30,509,878.93.

    Retrospective Review

    This proposed rule is part of DoD's retrospective plan, completed in August 2011, under Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review.” DoD's full plan and updates can be accessed at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;dct=FR+PR+N+O+SR;rpp=10;po=0;D=DOD-2011-OS-0036.

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

    Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 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. This proposed rule has been designated a “significant regulatory action,” although not economically significant, under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    Sec. 202, Pub. L. 104-4, “Unfunded Mandates Reform Act”

    Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) (Pub. L. 104-4) requires agencies assess anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule whose mandates require spending in any 1 year of $100 million in 1995 dollars, updated annually for inflation. In 2014, that threshold is approximately $141 million. This proposed rule will not mandate any requirements for State, local, or tribal governments, nor will it affect private sector costs.

    Public Law 96-354, “Regulatory Flexibility Act” (5 U.S.C. 601)

    The Department of Defense certifies that this proposed rule is not subject to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601) because it would not, if promulgated, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Therefore, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended, does not require us to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis.

    Public Law 96-511, “Paperwork Reduction Act” (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35)

    It has been certified that 32 CFR part 75 does impose reporting or recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. These reporting requirements have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget and assigned OMB Control Number 0704-0411, titled Exceptional Family Member Program.

    Executive Order 13132, “Federalism”

    Executive Order 13132 establishes certain requirements that an agency must meet when it promulgates a proposed rule (and subsequent final rule) that imposes substantial direct requirement costs on State and local governments, preempts State law, or otherwise has Federalism implications. This proposed rule will not have a substantial effect on State and local governments.

    System of Record Notices (SORN) and Privacy Impact Assessments (PIA)

    The applicable SORN for the Exceptional Family Member program is: DHA 16 DoD. The system name is the Special Needs Program Management Information System (SNPMIS) Records (available at http://dpcld.defense.gov/Privacy/SORNsIndex/DODwideSORNArticleView/tabid/6797/Article/570679/edha-16-dod.aspx).

    The Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) for this program is available at http://health.mil/Reference-Center/Forms/2014/07/29/PIA-Summary-Special-Needs-Program-Management-Information-System-SNPMIS.

    The Special Needs Program Management Information System (SNPMIS) provides access to a comprehensive program of therapy, medical support, and social services for young Department of Defense (DoD) Military Health System (MHS) beneficiaries with special needs. SNPMIS is the Military Health System (MHS) automated information system designed to ensure the DoD meets the unique information requirements associated with implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). SNPMIS captures records referral, evaluation, eligibility, and service plan data for children with special needs who are eligible for MHS services under IDEA. This system is a distributed data collection application with database servers distributed at various Medical Treatment Facilities (MTFs) located within the Continental United States (CONUS) and Outside the Continental United States (OCONUS). SNPMIS is currently used in 45 EDIS clinics at Army, Navy, and Air Force installations worldwide.

    List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 75

    Children, Family health, Special needs.

    Accordingly 32 CFR part 75 is proposed to be added to read as follows:

    PART 75—EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY MEMBER PROGRAM (EFMP) Subpart A—General Sec. 75.1 Purpose. 75.2 Applicability. 75.3 Definitions. Subpart B—Policy 75.4 Policy. 75.5 Responsibilities. Subpart C—Procedures 75.6 DoD criteria for identifying family members with special needs. 75.7 Coordinating assignments of active duty Service members who have a family member with special needs. 75.8 Civilian employees on overseas assignment. 75.9 Provision of family support services. 75.10 Office of Community Support for Military Families with Special Needs (OSN). Authority:

    10 U.S.C. 1781c

    Subpart A—General
    § 75.1 Purpose.

    This part:

    (a) Establishes the EFMP and establishes policy, provides guidance, assigns responsibilities and prescribes procedures for:

    (1) Identifying a family member with special needs who is eligible for services as defined in this part.

    (2) Coordinating travel at government expense for family members of active duty Service members who meet the DoD criteria for special medical or educational needs.

    (3) Processing DoD civilian employees who have family members with special needs for an overseas assignment.

    (4) Providing family support services to military families with special needs.

    (b) Establishes a system of monitoring and assigns oversight responsibilities for the EFMP.

    (c) Authorizes the development of implementing guidance and forms necessary for the operation of the EFMP in accordance with this part.

    (d) Does not create any rights or remedies in addition to those already otherwise existing in law or regulation, and may not be relied upon by any person, organization, or other entity to allege a denial of such rights or remedies.

    § 75.2 Applicability.

    This part applies to:

    (a) The Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Military Departments, the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Joint Staff, the Combatant Commands, the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Defense, the Defense Agencies, the DoD Field Activities, and all other organizational entities within the DoD (referred to collectively in this part as the “DoD Components”).

    (b) Service members who have family members with special needs as described in this part.

    (c) All DoD civilian employees in overseas locations and selectees for overseas positions who have family members with special needs as described in this part.

    § 75.3 Definitions.

    Unless otherwise noted, these terms and their definitions are for the purpose of this part.

    Assistive technology device. Any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially or off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. This term does not include a medical device that is surgically implanted or the replacement of that device.

    Assistive technology service. Any service that directly assists an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device.

    CONUS. The 48 contiguous states of the United States, excluding Alaska, Hawaii, and U.S. territories.

    Early Intervention Services (EIS). Developmental services for infants and toddlers with disabilities that are provided under the supervision of a Military Department, including evaluation, IFSP development and revision, and service coordination provided at no cost to the child's parents.

    Evaluations. Medical, psychological, and educational assessments required to define a medical or educational condition suspected after a screening procedure.

    Family member. A dependent (a spouse and certain children, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 8901(5) of a Service member) who is eligible to receive a DoD identification card, medical care in a DoD medical treatment facility, and command sponsorship or DoD-sponsored travel. To the extent authorized by law and in accordance with Service implementing guidance, the term may also include other nondependent family members of a Service member.

    For the purposes of § 75.8 of this part only, this definition also includes civilian employees on an overseas assignment, or being considered for an overseas assignment, and their dependents who are, or will be, eligible to receive a DoD identification card during that overseas assignment. To the extent authorized by law and in accordance with Service implementing guidance, the term may also include other nondependent family members of a civilian employee on an overseas assignment.

    Family member travel. Refers exclusively to permanent change of station actions. Same as a “dependent” as defined by 37 U.S.C. 401.

    Family support services. Encompasses the non-clinical case management delivery of information and referral for families with special needs, including the development and maintenance of an individualized SP.

    Individualized Education Program (IEP). A written document identifying the special education and related services for a child with a disability.

    Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). A written document identifying the specially designed services for an infant or toddler with a disability and the family of such infant or toddler.

    Medical case management. A collaborative process of assessment, planning, facilitation, and advocacy for options and services to meet an individual's health needs through communication and available resources to promote quality cost-effective outcomes. See Department of Defense TRICARE Medical Management Guide, 2009, Version 3 (available at http://www.tricare.mil/tma/ocmo/download/MMG_v3_2009.pdf).

    Non-clinical case management. The provision of information and referral to families and individuals that assist them in making informed decisions and navigating resources to improve their quality of life such as medical, educational, social, community, housing, legal, and financial services. This does not involve coordination and follow-up of medical treatments.

    Overseas. Defined in 20 U.S.C. 932(3) and (4).

    Pinpoint location. A specific geographic location recommended for an active duty Service member's assignment because it has:

    (1) A valid requirement for the active duty Service member's grade and military occupational specialty.

    (2) Availability of required medical services.

    (3) Availability of required educational staff necessary to provide EIS and special education to the active duty Service member's child with special educational needs.

    Related services. Transportation and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services, as required, to assist a child, age 3 through 21 years, inclusive, with a disability to benefit from special education under the child's IEP. The term includes speech-language pathology and audiology, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, recreation including therapeutic recreation, early identification and assessment of disabilities in children, counseling services including rehabilitation counseling, orientation and mobility services, and medical services for diagnostic or evaluative purposes. That term also includes school health services, social work services in schools, and parent counseling and training. The sources for those services are school, community, and medical treatment facilities.

    Related services assigned to the military medical departments overseas. Services provided by Educational and Developmental Intervention Services to Department of Defense Dependent School students, under the development or implementation of an IEP, necessary for the student to benefit from special education. Those services may include medical services for diagnostic or evaluative purpose, social work, community health nursing, dietary, occupational therapy, physical therapy, audiology, ophthalmology, and psychological testing and therapy.

    Respite Care Services. The provision of temporary relief to military family members who are responsible for the regular care of dependent family members with special needs.

    Responsible military department. The Military Department responsible for providing EIS or related services in the geographic areas assigned under 32 CFR part 57.

    Services plan (SP). An individualized plan written in collaboration with the family or the family member with special needs that documents current needs and steps to achieve their desired outcome.

    Special education. Specially designed instruction, including physical education, which is provided at no cost to the parent or guardians to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability, including instruction conducted in the classroom, in the home, in hospitals and institutions, and in other settings.

    Special needs. Includes special medical and educational needs of family members who meet the DoD criteria as found in § 75.6 of this part.

    Specialty care. Specialized health care provided by a physician whose training focused primarily in a specific field, such as neurology, cardiology, rheumatology, dermatology, oncology, orthopedics, or ophthalmology and is required for health maintenance.

    Subpart B—Policy
    § 75.4 Policy.

    It is DoD policy that:

    (a) The EFMP identifies family members with special needs, enrolls sponsors in the program, and participates in the coordination of assignments for active duty Service members in order for the special needs of family members to be considered during the assignment process.

    (b) Active duty Service members whose families include a member with special needs must enroll in the EFMP to ensure their family members' special needs are considered during the assignment coordination.

    (c) The EFMP provides family support services, including non-clinical case management, to military families with special needs regardless of the sponsor's Service affiliation or enrollment status in the EFMP, as described in § 75.9 of this part. Family support service to the Reserve Component is dependent upon each Service's eligibility requirements.

    (d) Active duty Service members whose families include a member with special needs may be stabilized in Alaska, Hawaii, or a continental United States (CONUS) assignment location for a minimum of 4 years when:

    (1) The arrangement is initiated by the Service member.

    (2) The family member has a documented need for stabilization, as determined by Service-specific guidance.

    (3) Stabilization does not have an adverse effect on the mission requirements of the Military Department.

    (4) The career development of the Service member has been considered and is not affected adversely.

    (e) The special needs of a civilian family member will not be considered in the selection of a civilian for an overseas position.

    § 75.5 Responsibilities.

    (a) The Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (USD (P&R)):

    (1) Provides for an OSN, pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 1781c.

    (2) Submits an annual report to Congress pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 1781c on the activities of the OSN, including identification of gaps in services for military families with special needs and actions being taken or planned to address such gaps.

    (b) Under the authority, direction, and control of the USD(P&R), the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs (ASD(M&RA)):

    (1) Consults with the Secretaries of the Military Departments, as appropriate, to ensure the development, implementation, and monitoring of an effective EFMP across DoD, in accordance with this part.

    (2) Resolves disputes among the DoD Components regarding the implementation of procedures in § 75.6 through § 75.10 of this part.

    (3) Requires the Military Services and DoD Education Activity (DoDEA) to notify OSN of additions, deletions, or substitutions to the locations of EIS and special education in overseas military communities.

    (4) Convenes a meeting at least once a year to review the implementation of this part. Representatives from the ASD(M&RA); the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs (ASD(HA)); the General Counsel of the Department of Defense; the Secretaries of the Military Departments; must attend. A representative of the Commandant of the Coast Guard shall be invited to attend. Participants will:

    (i) Represent functional areas including: military medical; military and civilian personnel; housing; dependents' education; legal; child and youth services; morale, welfare, and recreation; and community support activities.

    (ii) Review Service and DoDEA reports on family support services, assignment coordination, the pinpoint locations of EIS and special education overseas, and data requirements of this part.

    (c) Under the authority, direction, and control of the USD(P&R), the ASD(HA):

    (1) Advises the USD(P&R) regarding the availability of specialized medical services to family members with special needs.

    (2) Collaborates with the OSN on medical issues related to this part.

    (3) Participates in the development and deployment of a data management system, including appropriate interfaces that support the EFMP mission.

    (4) Ensures that policies and procedures are in place within the Military Health System (MHS) to safeguard personally identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI) gathered during the medical processes required by this part in accordance with 32 CFR part 310, DoD Instruction 6025.18, “Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information in DoD Health Care Programs” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/602518p.pdf) and DoD 8580.02-R, “DoD Health Information Security Regulation” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/858002rp.pdf).

    (5) Ensures procedures are established to make purchased care providers aware of the mandatory enrollment requirements when a family member of an active duty Service member is identified within the purchased care system with a medical condition that meets the criteria in § 75.6.

    (6) Ensures that there is a medical case management program to support military families with special medical needs following Defense Health Program eligibility guidelines. The case managers will collaborate with the EFMP non-clinical family support services personnel in assisting the eligible population consistent with 32 CFR part 310, DoD Instruction 6025.18, and DoD 8580.02-R.

    (d) Under the authority, direction, and control of the ASD(M&RA), the Director, DoDEA:

    (1) Designates and updates as necessary a point of contact in each DoDEA overseas area to review the DD Form 2792-1 (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/infomgt/forms/forminfo/forminfopage2581.html), “Special Education/Early Intervention Summary,” for all school-aged children (ages 3-21) with disabilities.

    (2) Makes recommendations to the Military Services and Defense Agencies on the availability of special education services.

    (3) Ensures that policies and procedures are in place to inform families of the requirement to enroll in the EFMP when their child is enrolled in a DoDEA school and is covered by an IEP.

    (4) Requests reimbursement from the sending Military Department when there is a failure to coordinate an overseas assignment with DoDEA that results in the assignment of the Service member to an overseas location when one or more of the following conditions are met:

    (i) DoDEA personnel are not available to provide special education pursuant to the child's IEP.

    (ii) There is no DoD school, but DoDEA has the responsibility to provide special education pursuant to the child's IEP.

    (iii) The DoDEA incurs expenses (e.g., hiring additional staff) beyond normal operations to provide special education pursuant to the child's IEP.

    (5) Submit an annual memorandum to the ASD(M&RA), reflecting the prior school year's data (e.g., August of one calendar year through June of the following calendar year) not later than October 15, including the number of:

    (i) Assignments coordinated by the DoDEA to include locations, travel recommendations and the associated military department.

    (ii) Problematic assignments, including the reasons (e.g., the assignment was not coordinated with DoDEA or the information that was supplied was incorrect or incomplete by Military Department or Defense Agencies and location) and the estimated cost to provide the required special services.

    (iii) Problematic assignments for which reimbursement was considered.

    (e) The Secretaries of the Military Departments:

    (1) Establish guidance consistent with this part and ensure leadership oversight at all levels of military command for implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of this part.

    (2) Program, budget, and allocate sufficient funds and other resources, including staffing, to meet the policy objectives of this part.

    (3) Establish an EFMP within their Department that includes identification and enrollment, assignment coordination, and family support services components; and promote collaboration between the three components.

    (4) Ensure that when a family member of an active duty Service member is identified within a military treatment facility with a medical condition that meets the criteria in § 75.6, that the Service member is referred to the Service-specific EFMP point of contact. Confirm that the EFMP point of contact will enroll the Service member and follow-up to complete the DD Form 2792, “Family Member Medical Summary.”

    (5) Require military treatment facility personnel to be trained on the policies and procedures in this part.

    (6) Participate in the development and deployment of a data management system, including appropriate interfaces that support the EFMP mission.

    (7) Publish the guidelines that define the EFMP on the appropriate Headquarters Service Web site and ensure that all installation Web sites link to this official information.

    (8) Ensure the establishment of generic email addresses for installation EFMP family support services personnel as well as the medical offices supporting the EFMP so that Service members and their family members have easy access to support capabilities.

    (9) Establish policies and procedures to safeguard PII and PHI.

    (10) Ensure the establishment of screening and evaluation procedures for the purpose of identifying family members of active duty Service members with special needs. The guidelines should be commensurate with established TRICARE access to care standards, and include those family members whose primary provider is in the TRICARE network.

    (11) Ensure annual education and training to key personnel is conducted on the policies and procedures in this part and on topics appropriate to providing family support services. These topics may include EIS, special education, Medicaid, supplemental security income, and TRICARE benefits, including the extended health care option and any other programs that benefit military families with special needs.

    (12) Require that information on this part be provided to all active duty Service members and their families, regardless of location, and to civilian employees or selectees who have applied for government employment in overseas locations.

    (13) Ensure military personnel activities coordinate all assignments with the responsible Military Department or other DoD Component when the sponsor requests accompanied family member travel overseas. Refer to the Joint Travel Regulations “Uniformed Service Members and Civilian Employees” (available at https://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/Docs/perdiem/JTR.pdf) for PCS travel and transportation allowances for eligible Service members and family members.

    (14) Ensure military personnel activities coordinate all CONUS assignments of Service members enrolled in the EFMP with the responsible Military Department or other DoD Component. Refer to the Joint Travel Regulations for PCS travel and transportation allowances for eligible Service members and family members.

    (15) Establish procedures to reimburse DoDEA when there is a failure to coordinate such assignments that result in the conditions described in paragraph (d)(3) of this section.

    (16) Require the military personnel activities to coordinate with the appropriate Military Department when considering Service member assignment(s) to an overseas area where the provision of EIS and related services is the responsibility of another Military Department, in accordance with § 75.8 of this part.

    (17) Require human resources representatives to advise civilian employees or selectees for an overseas position of the availability of services to meet the family member's special needs in the specific assignment location.

    (18) Submit an annual report (not later than January 15) to the ASD(M&RA) identifying:

    (i) EFMP enrollment and assignment function:

    (A) Total number of Service members enrolled in the EFMP.

    (B) Total number of family members enrolled in EFMP.

    (C) Total number of assignments of Service members enrolled in the EFMP that were coordinated in the last year.

    (D) Assignment problems, including early return of family members or reassignment of the Service member resulting from failure to enroll in the EFMP or inaccuracies in the enrollment information.

    (E) Total number of requested stabilizations, those approved and the location.

    (ii) EFMP family support services program, by installation:

    (A) Type and number of EFMP family support services personnel.

    (B) Number of families supported through the EFMP, including number of individualized SPs.

    (C) Identified obstacles to the effective delivery of EFMP family support services, including military and non-military service providers.

    Subpart C—Procedures
    § 75.6 DoD criteria for identifying family members with special needs.

    (a) Special Medical Needs. Individuals who meet one or more of the criteria in this section will be identified as a family member with special medical needs:

    (1) Potentially life-threatening conditions or chronic (duration of 6 months or longer) medical or physical conditions requiring follow-up care from a primary care manager (to include pediatricians) more than once a year or specialty care.

    (2) Current and chronic (duration of 6 months or longer) mental health condition (such as bi-polar, conduct, major affective, or thought or personality disorders); inpatient or intensive (greater than one visit monthly for more than 6 months) outpatient mental health service within the last 5 years; or intensive mental health services required at the present time. This includes medical care from any provider, including a primary care manager.

    (3) A diagnosis of asthma or other respiratory-related diagnosis with chronic recurring symptoms that involves one or more of the following:

    (i) Scheduled use of inhaled or oral anti-inflammatory agents or bronchodilators.

    (ii) History of emergency room use or clinic visits for acute asthma exacerbations or other respiratory-related diagnosis within the last year.

    (iii) History of one or more hospitalizations for asthma, or other respiratory-related diagnosis within the past 5 years.

    (4) A diagnosis of attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder that involves one or more of the following:

    (i) Includes a co-morbid psychological diagnosis.

    (ii) Requires multiple medications, psycho-pharmaceuticals (other than stimulants) or does not respond to normal doses of medication.

    (iii) Requires management and treatment by mental health provider (e.g., psychiatrist, psychologist, or social worker).

    (iv) Requires the involvement of a specialty consultant, other than a primary care manager, more than twice a year on a chronic basis.

    (v) Requires modifications of the educational curriculum or the use of behavioral management staff.

    (5) A chronic condition that requires:

    (i) Adaptive equipment (such as an apnea home monitor, home nebulizer, wheelchair, custom-fit splints/braces/orthotics (not over-the-counter), hearing aids, home oxygen therapy, home ventilator, etc.).

    (ii) Assistive technology devices (such as communication devices) or services.

    (iii) Environmental or architectural considerations (such as medically required limited numbers of steps, wheelchair accessibility, or housing modifications and air conditioning).

    (b) Special Educational Needs. Family members of active duty Service members (regardless of location) and civilian employees appointed to an overseas location eligible for enrollment in a DoDEA school on a space-required basis will be identified as having special educational needs if they have or are found eligible for, either an IFSP or an IEP under 32 CFR part 57.

    § 75.7 Coordinating assignments of active duty Service members who have a family member with special needs

    (a) Standards for authorizing overseas travel for family members with special needs of active duty Service members.

    (1) Family member travel at government expense overseas may be denied when an active duty Service member has a family member with special medical needs and the services to meet those needs are unavailable in a duty location, as determined by the MHS based on acceptable U.S. healthcare standards. The Military Department will follow the procedures in this part regardless of the sponsor's location when processing a Service member with a family member with special needs.

    (2) Active duty Service members may not be denied consideration for an essential (as defined by the military personnel assignment system) duty assignment overseas solely because they have children who are or may be eligible for EIS or special education services in accordance with 32 CFR part 57. They will receive the same consideration for travel at government expense to any duty location as families without such members.

    (3) The failure to assign an active duty Service member to a pinpoint location overseas, as defined in § 75.3, is never a basis to deny EIS or special education to the active duty Service member's eligible infant, toddler, or child pursuant to 32 CFR part 57.

    (4) The responsible Military Department may request reimbursement from the sending Military Department if failure to coordinate an assignment with the responsible Military Department results in one of the following situations:

    (i) The assignment of the Service member to an overseas location where responsible Military Department personnel are not available to provide EIS pursuant to the child's IFSP or related services pursuant to the child's IEP.

    (ii) The assignment causing the responsible Military Department to incur extraordinary expenses (e.g., hiring additional staffing) to provide EIS pursuant to the child's IFSP or related services pursuant to the IEP.

    (5) The receiving Military Department may also require the sending Military Department to provide those services that are pursuant to the child's IFSP or IEP when there is failure to coordinate an assignment.

    (b) Military Service Procedures. Each Military Service will establish procedures to:

    (1) Identify active duty Service members who have family members with special medical needs through completion of DD Form 2792, and with educational needs through DD Form 2792-1. The procedures require use of the information when considering family member travel.

    (2) Update the status of family member(s) with special needs when conditions occur, change, or no longer exist, and when Service-specific policy requires.

    (3) Coordinate the availability of medical and educational services.

    (4) Maintain records on the effectiveness of the assignment process involving sponsors who have family members with special needs and on-assignment problems resulting from the inadequacy of the Military Services' procedures or failure to follow their procedures.

    (c) Military Personnel Activities. Military personnel activities will coordinate with appropriate sources to verify that required special medical and educational services are available.

    (1) Assignments Overseas.

    (i) Coordinate with medical activities to verify that required medical services are available, if the member has a dependent eligible for such services, before authorizing family member travel at government expense.

    (ii) Coordinate with DoDEA and the medical activity responsible for supporting DoDEA to ensure that assignments are made to locations where EIS or special education services are available. DoDEA will determine whether the needs can be met in any location or whether an established pinpoint location is required.

    (iii) Remove active duty Service members who have family members with special medical and educational needs from overseas orders if no suitable overseas assignment location can be found and there is no adverse impact on the military mission or on the active duty Service member's career.

    (2) Assignments within the United States and its Territories.

    (i) Coordinate and verify the availability of medical services essential to meet the needs of family members with special medical needs.

    (ii) Coordinate with the MHS, school districts or EIS providers, EFMP family support services personnel, the school liaison officer and others, as appropriate, to determine the availability of EIS and special education services essential to meet the family member's special education needs.

    (d) Military Medical Activities. Military medical activities will respond to requests from personnel activities to determine the availability of required medical services. Medical treatment facilities will identify or confirm family members who meet the criteria for special needs, as specified in § 75.6 of this part, following Service-specific guidance.

    (e) Active Duty Service Members.

    (1) When the active duty Service member becomes aware that a family member may meet the criteria for special needs, as specified in § 75.6 of this part, the active duty Service member must:

    (i) Notify the cognizant military medical authority using Service-specific guidance.

    (ii) Have the DD Form 2792 completed by the appropriate medical provider.

    (iii) Have the DD Form 2792-1 completed by the current EIS provider or current school providing special education to determine whether the family member (birth through 21 years of age, inclusive) is eligible for, or receiving, EIS or special education and related services.

    (2) The active duty Service member must provide the cognizant military authority the completed DD Form 2792 and DD Form 2792-1, when appropriate.

    (3) The active duty Service member must provide the information required to complete the DD Form 2792 and, when appropriate, the DD Form 2792-1. An active duty Service member who fails or refuses to provide the required information for a family member for whom the Service member is a personal representative for health information in accordance with Public Law 104-191, “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA)”, or who knowingly provides false information about any dependent, may be subject to disciplinary actions for such offense.

    (i) Such disciplinary actions would be in accordance with Article 92 (failure to obey a lawful order or regulation or dereliction of duty) or Article 107 (false official statement), in violation of 10 U.S.C. chapter 47 (also known and referred to in this part as “The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)”).

    (ii) In addition to UCMJ disciplinary action, the active duty Service member may also be subject to administrative sanctions, including denial of command sponsorship.

    § 75.8 Civilian employees on overseas assignment.

    (a) Vocabulary. Section 75.3 provides definitions of “family member” that apply only to this section.

    (b) Employee rights. (1) The DoD Components must select civilian employees for specific positions based on job requirement and merit factors in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 2302, and 29 U.S.C. 791 through 794d. The selection for an overseas position must not be influenced by the special needs of a civilian employee's family member(s), or any other prohibited factor.

    (2) The civilian employee or selectee will be given comprehensive medical, dental, and educational information about the overseas community where the position is located to help the employee make an informed choice about accepting the position.

    (3) Refer to the Joint Travel Regulations (available at https://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/Docs/perdiem/JTR.pdf) for PCS travel and transportation allowances for eligible civilian employees and their family members.

    (4) Civilian employees or selectees assigned to positions overseas are generally responsible for obtaining medical and dental services and paying for such services, except services provided pursuant to 32 CFR part 57. Their family members may have access to the MHS on a space-available, reimbursable basis only, except for services pursuant to 32 CFR part 57.

    (i) The DoDEA and the Military Medical Department responsible for the provision of related services to support DoDEA at the duty station are required to evaluate school-aged children (ages 3 through 21 years, inclusive) eligible for enrollment in a DoDEA school on a space required basis and provide them with the special education and related services stipulated in their IEPs expeditiously and regardless of cost.

    (ii) The Military Departments are required to provide infants and toddlers (from birth up to 3 years of age, inclusive) eligible for enrollment in a DoDEA school on a space required basis with the EIS stipulated in the IFSPs expeditiously and regardless of cost.

    (c) Processing a Civilian Employee for an Overseas Position. (1) When recruiting for an overseas position, DoD human resources representatives will:

    (i) Provide information on the requirements of this part related to civilian employees or applicants for employment, including employee rights provided in § 75.8(a) of this part.

    (ii) Provide information on the availability of medical and educational services, including a point of contact for the applicant to ask about specific special needs. This information must be contained in any document used for recruitment for overseas positions.

    (iii) Include the following statements in recruitment information:

    (A) If an employee brings a child to an overseas location and that child is entitled to attend a DoD school on a space-required basis in accordance with DoDEA Regulation 1342.13 (available at http://www.dodea.edu/aboutDoDEA/upload/1342_13.pdf), the DoDEA and the Military Department responsible for providing related services will ensure that the child, if eligible for special education, receives a free appropriate public education, including related services pursuant to 32 CFR part 57.

    (B) If an employee brings an infant or toddler (up to 3 years of age) to an overseas location, and that infant or toddler, but for the child's age, is entitled to attend the DoDEA on a space-required basis in accordance with DoDEA Regulation 1342.13, then the Military Department responsible for EIS will provide the infant or toddler with the required EIS in accordance with the eligibility criteria consistent with 32 CFR part 57.

    (C) If an employee brings a family member to an overseas location who requires medical or dental care, then the employee will be responsible for obtaining and paying for such care. Access for civilian employees and their families to military medical and dental treatment facilities is on a space-available and reimbursable basis only.

    (2) When the gaining human resources representatives process a civilian for an overseas position where family member travel is authorized at government expense, then they must ask the selectee to determine whether a family member has special needs, using the criteria provided in § 75.6 of this part. All selectees must be asked only after they have been notified of their selection in accordance with 29 U.S.C. 791 through 794d, and 29 CFR 1630.14. If the selectee indicates that a family member has special needs:

    (i) The DoD civilian human resources representatives may not coerce or pressure the selectee to decline the job offer in light of that information.

    (ii) The selectee may voluntarily forward to the civilian human resources representative completed DD Forms 2792 or 2792-1 for each family member with special needs to provide information on the availability of medical and educational services. DD Form 2792-1 must be submitted if the selectee intends to enroll his or her child in a school funded by the DoD or a school in which DoD is responsible for paying the tuition for a space-required family member.

    (3) The gaining human resources activity will coordinate with the appropriate military medical and educational personnel on availability of services and inform the selectee in writing of the availability of medical, educational, and early intervention resources and services to allow the civilian employee to make an informed choice whether to accept the position. The notice will include:

    (i) Comprehensive medical, dental, and educational information on the overseas community where the position is located.

    (ii) A description of the local DoDEA facility and programs, specifying the programs for children with special education needs.

    (iii) A description of the local EIS available for infants and toddlers with disabilities.

    (iv) A statement indicating that the lack of EIS or special education resources (including related services assigned to the military medical departments) cannot serve as a basis for the denial of family travel at government expense and required services will be provided even if a local program is not currently established in accordance with 32 CFR part 57.

    (d) Use of EFMP Family Support Services.

    (1) Civilian employees may utilize EFMP family support services on a space available basis.

    § 75.9 Provision of family support services.

    (a) EFMP Family Support. EFMP family support services and their personnel:

    (1) Provide information and referral to military families with special needs.

    (2) Provide assistance, including non-clinical case management to families of active duty Service members (such as the development and maintenance of an individualized SP). The SP will include:

    (i) Identification of the family's current needs, the services they receive, and the support they require.

    (ii) Documentation of the support provided to the family and follow-on contacts, including case notes.

    (3) Refer families who have serious or complicated medical issues to the MHS to request medical case management.

    (4) Conduct ongoing outreach with military units, individuals and their families, other service providers, and military and community organizations to promote an understanding of the EFMP and to encourage families with special needs to seek support services when needed.

    (5) Serve as the point of contact with leadership in identifying and addressing the community support requirements of military families with special needs.

    (6) Collaborate with military, federal, State, and local agencies to share and exchange information in developing a comprehensive program.

    (7) Provide assistance before, during and after relocation, including coordination of services with the gaining installation's EFMP family support services program.

    (8) Educate and provide assistance to Service members and their families about EFMP family support services, the enrollment and assignment coordination process, resources, and other topics as appropriate.

    (b) Respite care. Family support services may include respite care services for family members regardless of the age of the family member

    § 75.10 Office of Community Support for Military Families with Special Needs (OSN).

    The OSN:

    (a) Develops and implements policies on the:

    (1) Provision of support for military families with special needs.

    (2) Identification and documentation of family members' special medical or educational needs.

    (3) Coordination of military assignments when the Service member has a family member with special needs.

    (4) Provision of EIS and special education services to eligible DoD family members in accordance with 32 CFR part 57.

    (b) Develops implementing guidance and forms necessary for the operation of the EFMP in accordance with this part.

    (c) Provides oversight for the:

    (1) Implementation of this part.

    (2) Availability and accessibility of programs provided by the Military Services and federal, State and local non-governmental agencies and identifies any gaps in DoD services available to military family members with special needs.

    (3) Provision of EIS and special education services to eligible DoD family members in accordance with 32 CFR part 57.

    (d) Collaborates with the Office of the ASD(HA) on medical services regarding family members with special medical needs.

    (e) Develops and implements a Web-based data management system to support the EFMP with the Military Departments.

    Dated: December 7, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31227 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army 32 CFR Part 632 [Docket No. USA-2015-0013] RIN 0702-AA68 Carrying of Firearms and Use of Force for Law Enforcement, Security, Counterintelligence, and Protective Services AGENCY:

    Department of the Army (DA), Department of Defense (DoD).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The DA proposes to revise its regulation concerning the carrying of firearms and use of force for law enforcement, security, counterintelligence, and protective services on DoD installations worldwide. It establishes uniform policy for the use of force by law enforcement and security personnel.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by: February 9, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by 32 CFR part 632, Docket No. USA-2015-0013 and or RIN 0702-AA68, by any of the following methods:

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

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

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number or Regulatory Information Number (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:

    Mr. John Hargitt, (703) 424-3309.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This rulemaking proposes to revise a current Army regulation which was published in the Federal Register on April 21, 1983 (48 FR 17074). The proposed revisions cover carrying firearms and the use of force by DoD personnel law enforcement, security (DoD and contractor), counterintelligence, and protective services. This proposed rule also fully implements applicable portions of Department of Defense Directive (DoDD) 5210.56, http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/521056p.pdf, which authorizes civilian officers and employees of the Department of Defense to carry firearms or other appropriate weapons while assigned investigative duties or such other duties as the Secretary of Defense may prescribe, under regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary.

    I. Legal Authorities Discussed in the Rule

    The proposed revisions add to the CFR the following authorities.

    10 U.S.C. 807—Article 7, Apprehension. This article specifically covers the authority for apprehension or taking of a person into custody.

    50 U.S.C. Section 797, Penalty for violation of security regulations and orders. This section covers fines and penalties that a person is subject to if they willfully violate a defense property security regulation that has been promulgated or approved by the Secretary of Defense or by a military commander designated by the Secretary of Defense or by a military officer, or a civilian officer or employee of the Department of Defense, holding a senior Department of Defense director position designated by the Secretary of Defense for the protection or security of Department of Defense property.

    18 U.S.C. Section 3261, Criminal offenses committed by certain members of the Armed Forces and by persons employed by or accompanying the Armed Forces outside the United States. Whoever engages in conduct outside the United States that would constitute an offense punishable by imprisonment if the conduct had been engaged in within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States while employed by or accompanying the Armed Forces outside the United States; or while a member of the Armed Forces subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

    II. Summary of Changes Since the Last Revisions to This Rule

    These revisions do not propose significant changes to the policy and applicability sections of the current rule. The use of force section has been updated to ensure that the level of force is reasonable in intensity, duration and magnitude and, based upon the level of effort required to counter a threat. There is no requirement to delay force or sequentially increase the level of force to resolve a situation or threat. DoD personnel will warn persons and give the opportunity to withdraw or cease threatening actions when the situation or circumstances permit. Additionally, this proposed rule updates the levels of force to include less-lethal force and presentation of deadly force.

    The revisions to the deadly force section state that personnel will not be permitted to perform law enforcement or security duties requiring the use of weapons until they have received instruction on applicable regulations for the use of deadly force. Additionally, it requires personnel receive annual refresher training to maintain familiarity with restrictions on the use of deadly force. Deadly force is justified only under conditions of extreme necessity and as a last resort when all lesser means have failed or cannot reasonably be employed.

    The revisions also propose a new less-lethal force section and updates additional options available to law enforcement and correctional or security guards. The current rule only defines the chemical aerosol irritant projectors and MP clubs. The updated section includes the launched electrode stun device (LESD), oleoresin capsicum spray (M39 Individual Riot Control Agent Dispenser (IRCAD)) and the expandable or straight baton. Department of the Army personnel may employ less-lethal force with the reasonable amount of force necessary to detain or effect a lawful arrest or apprehension of a resisting subject, or to otherwise accomplish the lawful performance of assigned duties. This section also discusses required training and performance measures to subdue a subject.

    III. Cost and Benefits

    This proposed rule will not have a monetary effect upon the public since it only facilitates information sharing between authorized law enforcement agencies to enhance protection of personnel and resources critical to DoD mission assurance. These efforts allow the efficient deployment of police and security forces proactively to deter, prevent and mitigate losses due to criminal behaviors.

    B. Retrospective Review

    This proposed rule is part of DoD's retrospective plan, completed in August 2011, under Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review,” DoD's full plan and updates can be accessed at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;dct=FR+PR+N+O+SR;rpp=10;po=0;D=DOD-2011-OS-0036.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Department of the Army has determined that the Regulatory Flexibility Act does not apply because the proposed rule does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The Department of the Army has determined that the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act does not apply because the rule does not include a mandate that may result in estimated costs to State, local or tribal governments in the aggregate, or the private sector, of $100 million or more.

    E. National Environmental Policy Act

    The Department of the Army has determined that the National Environmental Policy Act does not apply because the proposed rule does not have an adverse impact on the environment.

    F. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Department of the Army has determined that the Paperwork Reduction Act doesn't apply. There is no additional burden for collection of information from the public or the addition of additional government forms associated with this rulemaking. Information collected to support this proposed rule is that information normally collected in the performance of law and order across the United States. Procedures and business processes outlined in this rule provide uniform policy concerning firearms, procedures for use of force, deadly force and less-lethal force, reporting efforts including the reduction of information collection burdens on the public and the improvement of law enforcement service delivery while maintaining privacy, confidentiality and information systems protections.

    G. Executive Order 12630 (Government Actions and Interference With Constitutionally Protected Property Rights)

    The Department of the Army has determined that Executive Order 12630 does not apply because the proposed rule does not impair private property rights.

    H. Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) and Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review)

    Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 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. This proposed rule has been designated a “significant regulatory action,” although not economically significant, under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the proposed rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    I. Executive Order 13045 (Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risk and Safety Risks)

    The Department of the Army has determined that according to the criteria defined in Executive Order 13045. This proposed rule does not apply since it does not implement or require actions impacting environmental health or safety risks to children.

    J. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    The Department of the Army has determined that according to the criteria defined in Executive Order 13132 this proposed rule does not apply because it will not have a substantial effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among various levels of government.

    Thomas S. Blair, Chief, Law Enforcement Policy Branch, Office of the Provost Marshal General. List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 632

    Deadly force, Expandable or straight baton, Firearms policy, Jurisdiction and authority, Launched electrode stun device, Less-lethal force, Oleoresin capsicum (OC) spray, Procedures for use of force.

    For reasons stated in the preamble the Department of the Army proposes to revise 32 CFR part 632 to read as follows:

    PART 632—CARRYING OF FIREARMS AND USE OF FORCE FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT, SECURITY, COUNTERINTELLIGENCE, AND PROTECTIVE SERVICES Subpart A—Introduction Sec. 632.1 Purpose. 632.2 Applicability. 632.3 Firearms policy. Subpart B—Use of Force 632.4 Procedures for use of force. 632.5 Deadly force. Subpart C—Less-Lethal Force 632.6 Less-lethal force. 632.7 Launched electrode stun device. 632.8 Oleoresin capsicum (OC) spray. 632.9 Expandable or straight baton. 632.10 Jurisdiction and authority. Authority:

    10 U.S.C. 807; 50 U.S.C. 797; 18 U.S.C. 3261.

    Subpart A—Introduction
    § 632.1 Purpose.

    This part prescribes policies and procedures for authorizing, carrying, and using firearms in connection with law enforcement, security, counterintelligence, and protective service duties. It establishes uniform policy for the use of force by law enforcement and security personnel.

    § 632.2 Applicability.

    This part applies to the active Army, the U.S. Army Reserve, the Department of the Army civilian police and security guard activities, contracted or contractor security force operations and activities, and the Army National Guard only when called or ordered to active duty in a Federal status under the provisions of the title 10, United States Code. It applies to contracted or contractor security force operations and activities when those forces operate under Federal jurisdiction and are not subject to State or host nation law. The provisions of this part do not apply to military personnel engaged in military operations subject to rules of engagement or to Department of Defense personnel in an overseas location not under the authority of, or subject to, the control of a U.S. military commander. Portions of this regulation that proscribe specific conduct are punitive, and violations of these provisions may subject offenders to nonjudical or judicial action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

    § 632.3 Firearms policy.

    (a) DA personnel engaged in law enforcement, law and order, security, or counterintelligence investigations, including Army civilian police and security guards, both DA employee and contractor, who are authorized to be armed under this part will be appropriately armed and have the inherent right to self-defense.

    (b) Authorization to carry a firearm includes the authority for the firearm to be loaded with ammunition. A firearm will be considered loaded when a magazine containing ammunition is placed in the firearm and a round of ammunition is placed in the chamber of the firearm.

    (c) Arming of DA personnel will be limited and controlled. Qualified personnel engaged in the activities described in § 632.3(a) will be armed when required for assigned duties and there is a reasonable expectation that installations, property, or lives will be jeopardized if those personnel are not armed. The decision to arm DA personnel will be made after considering the possible consequences of accidental or indiscriminate use of the arms. The overriding factors to be considered in determining whether to arm DA personnel are the mission and threat. Arming those not regularly engaged in or directly supervising security or law enforcement activities will be limited to missions or threats and the immediate need to protect lives and DA assets.

    (d) Screening pursuant to the Gun Control Act, to include the Lautenberg Amendment, will be accomplished without fail prior to authorizing any person to carry a firearm.

    (e) DA personnel will only use the amount of force, including less-lethal force and deadly force, reasonably necessary to carry out their duties.

    Subpart B—Use of Force
    § 632.4 Procedures for use of force.

    (a) DA military and civilian personnel engaged in law enforcement or security duties will be highly trained and proficient in both the understanding and the application of the use of force. In such cases where the use of force is warranted, DA personnel will use the necessary and reasonable amount of force needed to reach their objective. Only as a last resort will deadly force be used and only as described in this part.

    (b) When the use of force is required, less-lethal force may be used to control a situation, provide defense of DoD forces, provide defense of non-DoD persons in the vicinity if directly related to the assigned mission, or in defense of the protected property, when doing so is reasonable under the circumstances. The use of force must be reasonable in intensity, duration, and magnitude, based upon the totality of the circumstances to counter a threat. There is no requirement to delay force or sequentially increase force to resolve a situation or threat. DoD personnel will warn persons and give the opportunity to withdraw or cease threatening actions when the situation or circumstances permit. After consultation with the servicing judge advocate or legal advisor, conduct the appropriate level of inquiry in accordance with AR 15-6 for all incidents involving law enforcement personnel's application of physical force in the line of duty. The completed inquiry will be filed as an enclosure within the Law Enforcement Report (LER).

    (c) Commanders are mandated to augment firearms with DoD- or DA-approved nonlethal weapons and devices for performing law enforcement and security duties. For the purpose of this part (in accordance with DoDD 5210.56), and in the context of use of force, the term less-lethal force is used as there is no guarantee that non-lethal weapons (NLWs) will not cause severe injury or death. Less-lethal force can cause severe injury or death. DA personnel using NLW, as well as the party against which the tactic is used, will receive appropriate medical care if injured as a result of the use of less-lethal force.

    (d) In evaluating the degree of force required for a specific situation, the following options will be considered. There is no need to proceed sequentially to increase force to resolve a situation or threat. Suggested methods of de-escalation of force to try should the circumstances permit (subject to host nation or local restrictions) are:

    (1) Verbal persuasion.

    (2) Unarmed defense techniques.

    (3) Less-lethal weapons and/or devices (for example, oleoresin capsicum spray, launched electrode stun device, and baton).

    (4) Military working dog (if available).

    (5) Presentation of deadly force capability.

    (6) Deadly force.

    § 632.5 Deadly force.

    (a) Principles defined in this part on the use of deadly force with firearms will be applied equally to personnel using a weapon or equipment which, when properly employed in their intended use, would produce deadly force.

    (b) The Secretary of the Army, Army commanders, or their designees may impose further restrictions on the use of deadly force if deemed necessary in their judgment and if such restrictions would not unduly compromise the national security interests of the United States.

    (c) Personnel will not be permitted to perform law enforcement or security duties requiring the use of weapons until they have received instruction on applicable regulations for the use of deadly force in the performance of such duties. Additionally, annual refresher training will be given to all personnel assigned to those duties to ensure that they continue to be thoroughly familiar with all restrictions on the use of deadly force.

    (d) Personnel carrying weapons for personal protection will have the necessary training on deadly force commensurate with that prescribed by this part.

    (e) For contract security forces, the applicable contract will specify that the use of deadly force criteria will be established consistent with this part and local law.

    (f) Deadly force is justified only under conditions of extreme necessity and as a last resort when all lesser means have failed or cannot reasonably be employed. Deadly force is justified under one or more of the following circumstances:

    (1) Self-defense and defense of others. When deadly force reasonably appears to be necessary to protect any person who is reasonably believed to be in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm.

    (2) Assets involving national security. When deadly force reasonably appears necessary to prevent the actual theft or sabotage of assets vital to national security. DoD assets will be specifically designated as “vital to national security” only when their loss, damage, or compromise would seriously jeopardize the fulfillment of a national defense mission. Examples include nuclear weapons; nuclear command, control, and communications facilities; and designated restricted areas containing strategic operational assets, sensitive codes, or special access programs.

    (3) Assets not involving national security but inherently dangerous to others. When deadly force reasonably appears to be necessary to prevent the actual theft or sabotage of resources, such as operable weapons or ammunition, that are inherently dangerous to others; such as assets that, in the hands of an unauthorized individual, present a substantial potential danger of death or serious bodily harm to others. Examples include high risk portable and lethal missiles, rockets, arms, ammunition, explosives, chemical agents, and special nuclear material.

    (4) Serious offenses against persons. When deadly force reasonably appears necessary to prevent the commission of kidnapping, sexual assault, or any offense involving or threatening death or serious bodily harm.

    (5) Arrest or apprehension. When deadly force reasonably appears to be necessary to arrest, apprehend, or prevent the escape of a person who, there is probable cause to believe, has committed an offense of the nature specified in paragraphs § 632.5(f)(2) through (4).

    (6) Escapes. When deadly force has been specifically authorized by the Secretary of the Army and reasonably appears to be necessary to prevent the escape of a prisoner, provided law enforcement or security personnel have probable cause to believe that the escaping prisoner poses a threat of serious bodily harm either to security personnel or others.

    (g) Additional requirements for the use of firearms.

    (1) When the situation permits, an order of “halt” will be given.

    (2) Warning shots are prohibited.

    (3) When a firearm is discharged, it will be fired with the intent of rendering the person(s) at whom it is discharged incapable of continuing the activity or course of behavior prompting the individual to shoot.

    (4) Shots will be fired only with due regard for the safety of innocent bystanders.

    (5) In case of holstered weapons, a weapon should only be removed from the holster when a potential need to use deadly force is reasonably anticipated or display of the weapon may avoid the need to use deadly force.

    (h) Commanders of ACOMs, ASCCs, and DRUs may establish additional considerations in implementing procedures over the use of firearms.

    Subpart C—Less-Lethal Force
    § 632.6 Less-lethal force.

    (a) DoDD 3000.03E establishes DoD policy for the development and employment of NLWs. DA personnel (Army Law Enforcement Officer (ALEO), correctional or security guards) may employ less-lethal force with the reasonable amount of force necessary under the circumstances to detain or effect a lawful arrest or apprehension of a resisting subject, or to otherwise accomplish the lawful performance of assigned duties as described in § 632.6(c)(1) through (9). In the context of use of force, this part uses the term “less-lethal” force in lieu of “nonlethal” because there is no guarantee that properly employed “less-lethal” force will not inadvertently cause severe injury or death. Employment of less-lethal force may include the use of NLW.

    (b) DA personnel using NLW during the employment of less-lethal force, as well as the party against which the tactic is used, will receive appropriate medical care if injured as a result of the NLW.

    (c) Less-lethal force may be used under the following circumstances:

    (1) Against persons assaulting other persons or themselves in order to prevent injury and/or continuation of the assault when lesser means of force have failed or are not considered a viable option by the ALEO.

    (2) Against persons offering physical resistance to lawful arrest or apprehension when alternatives to the use of force have failed or are not considered a viable option by the ALEO.

    (3) Against persons passively resisting a lawful, full-custody arrest or apprehension when alternatives to the use of force have failed or are not considered a viable option by the ALEO.

    (4) To prevent the escape of a prisoner.

    (5) To prevent the destruction of DoD property.

    (6) Against animals menacing or attacking a person or themselves.

    (7) To quell a major or minor disturbance within a correctional facility.

    (8) To quell a riot or civil disobedience.

    (9) To move or incapacitate an unruly prisoner.

    § 632.7 Launched electrode stun device.

    (a) A launched electrode stun device (LESD) is an Electronic Control Device (ECD) that is used to temporarily incapacitate a non-compliant subject with an electrical stimulus delivered by direct contact or propelled probes. This electrical stimulus affects the sensory and motor functions of the central nervous system interrupting voluntary control of skeletal muscles and causing immediate, involuntary muscle contractions. The intended effect is neuromuscular incapacitation to ensure compliance by the non-compliant subject. An LESD is intended to minimize injury to law enforcement or security personnel, non-compliant subjects, and innocent bystanders. The timely and appropriate use of an LESD can de-escalate situations quickly and before conditions lead to increased escalation of force. Special Text (ST) 19-LESM, task 191-389-0057, outlines performance measures to subdue a subject using an LESD.

    (b) An LESD is employed as a NLW capability and is not intended to replace firearms or lesser means of force. An LESD may be used when all of the following conditions are met:

    (1) When one of the circumstances in § 632.6(c)(1) through (9) is present; and

    (2) When lesser means of force options have been, or likely will be, ineffective; and

    (3) When there is a reasonable expectation that it will be unsafe for law enforcement personnel to approach within physical contact range of the subject; and

    (4) When law enforcement or security personnel determine that deadly force is not justified or not necessary.

    (c) Before employing an LESD, law enforcement or security personnel must assess how effective it will be in their given situation. The decision to use an LESD will depend upon the totality of the circumstances, including but not limited to the level of resistance of the subject, the nature of the threat to the officer or others, the severity of the subject's suspected crime, and the overall hostility of the situation. After employing an LESD, law enforcement or security personnel must determine whether further employment is warranted based on the continuing presence of the conditions in paragraph § 632.7(b) and based on the totality of the circumstances described in this paragraph.

    (d) An LESD is not a substitute for deadly force and should not be used in situations where deadly force is necessary.

    (e) Prior to employing an LESD, law enforcement, correctional or security personnel will give a verbal warning and verbal commands to a resisting subject, when and if the situation permits. Verbal warnings and commands are not necessary if the threat to law enforcement personnel or to the safety of others dictates immediate action.

    (f) The use of an LESD may eliminate the need for hands-on active countermeasures. Law enforcement, correctional or security personnel may utilize empty hand tactics prior to employing an LESD as the situation dictates. However, law enforcement, correctional, or security personnel are not required to attempt empty hand control tactics if they believe those tactics would be dangerous or ineffective.

    (g) Notwithstanding § 632.7(b), an LESD will not be used:

    (1) When it is known that the subject has come into contact with flammable liquids or is in a flammable environment; or

    (2) When the subject is in a position where falling may cause significant injury or death; or

    (3) As a punitive measure to coerce an uncooperative subject; or

    (4) To awaken an unconscious subject (e.g., due to intoxication).

    (h) Notwithstanding § 632.7(b), an LESD should not be used in the following circumstances unless absolutely necessary:

    (1) On a subject operating a motor vehicle; or

    (2) On a subject gripping a firearm; or

    (3) On women known or suspected to be pregnant; or

    (4) On persons perceived to be 60 years of age or older, or disabled; or

    (5) On persons perceived to be children 14 years of age or younger.

    (i) Post-employment responsibilities. (1) Law enforcement, correctional or security personnel must seek medical treatment or clearance from medical personnel prior to further law enforcement processing after employing an LESD on a non-compliant subject.

    (2) If requested by the subject, law enforcement, correctional or security personnel must ensure that medical treatment is provided after an LESD has been employed, regardless of the subject's apparent medical condition.

    (3) If an LESD probes are lodged in the soft tissue areas near the eye, throat, ear, groin, or genitals, law enforcement, correctional or security personnel will summon medical personnel to the scene, or will transport the subject to the nearest medical facility to have the probes removed by medical personnel.

    (4) During processing, the apprehending law enforcement personnel will inform the detention personnel that they employed an LESD against the subject. Law enforcement personnel will not transfer a subject to a detention center after employment of an LESD if the probes have not been removed, or if the subject has not received, requested or required medical care.

    § 632.8 Oleoresin capsicum (OC) spray.

    (a) The Army M39 Individual Riot Control Agent Dispenser (IRCAD) contains OC and is intended for law enforcement use in self-defense and for controlling rioters, prisoners, and/or non-compliant subjects. It is designed to provide a safe and effective way to subdue a subject without causing permanent injury. The M39 IRCAD contains enough OC or “pepper spray” for 15 one-second bursts. It has an operational range of 10 to 30 feet. ST 19-LESM, task 191-376-5108 and task 191-389-0037, outlines performance measures to subdue a subject with OC spray while in performance of law enforcement duties. Soldier Training Publication (STP) 19-31E1-SM, task 191-31E-0042 and 191-31E-1369, outline performance measures for use of OC spray while in a correctional facility.

    (b) Medical considerations. (1) Once the subject has been taken into custody, begin the decontamination process.

    (2) During transport, reassure the subject and monitor them for medical distress, coherence, and respiration.

    (3) Seek immediate medical assistance upon any sign of medical distress.

    (4) Seek medical assistance if the direct effects of the OC spray does not dissipate within an hour.

    § 632.9 Expandable or straight baton.

    (a) The baton is used for law enforcement self-defense and for keeping rioters and/or non-compliant subjects out of arms reach. The baton may be employed in situations where the use of a firearm is not authorized or necessary, and when law enforcement, correctional or security personnel reasonably believe that a lower level of force will be ineffective or jeopardize the safety of the law enforcement personnel.

    (b) Authorized use. The baton may be used as a defensive impact instrument to block or strike an assailant. The subjects' actions and levels of resistance will determine how the baton is employed. STP 19-LESM, task 191-376-5210, outlines performance measures (e.g. appropriate and inappropriate strike areas) to subdue a subject with a straight baton while in performance of law enforcement duties. STP 19-31E-SM, task 191-376-4140, outlines performance measures when using a riot baton as a member of a riot control formation.

    (c) Location of use. Consideration must be used when employing the baton on vital areas of the body such as the head, neck or spine. Baton blows to the head can cripple or kill. Batons will not be used to apply pressure to the head, neck or throat.

    § 632.10 Jurisdiction and authority.

    (a) The DES, Correctional Facility Commander or PM for each installation, in coordination with the senior/garrison commander and the staff judge advocate (SJA), may place further limitations on the use of an LESD, OC, and/or baton beyond what is provided in this part. The servicing SJA is critical in analyzing the particular installation's jurisdictional arrangement, and determining whether state law (for U.S. installations) or host nation law (for non-U.S. installations) impacts the use of LESD, OC and/or baton on the installation.

    (b) After consultation with the servicing judge advocate or legal advisor, conduct the appropriate level of inquiry in accordance with AR 15-6 for all incidents involving law enforcement personnel's application of physical force in the line of duty. The completed inquiry will be filed as an enclosure within the Law Enforcement Report.

    [FR Doc. 2015-31194 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3710-08-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0563; FRL-9939-79-Region 5] Air Plan Approval; Minnesota; Transportation Conformity Procedures AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a revision submitted by the State of Minnesota on July 16, 2015. The purpose of this revision is to establish transportation conformity criteria and procedures related to interagency consultation, and enforceability of certain transportation related control and mitigation measures.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before January 11, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0563, by one of the following methods:

    1. www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.

    2. Email: [email protected]

    3. Fax: (312) 692-2450.

    4. Mail: Pamela Blakley, Chief, Control Strategies Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604.

    5. Hand Delivery: Pamela Blakley, Chief, Control Strategies Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Regional Office normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information. The Regional Office official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

    Please see the direct final rule which is located in the Rules section of this Federal Register for detailed instructions on how to submit comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael Leslie, Environmental Engineer, Control Strategies Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 353-6680, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the Rules section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving Minnesota's state implementation plan submittal as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no adverse comments are received in response to this rule, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment. For additional information, see the direct final rule which is located in the Rules section of this Federal Register.

    Dated: November 23, 2015. Susan Hedman, Regional Administrator, Region 5.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31063 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 62 [EPA-R02-OAR-2015-0755, FRL-9940-00-Region 2] Approval and Promulgation of State Plans for Designated Facilities; Commonwealth of Puerto Rico AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve the State plan submitted by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to implement and enforce the Emission Guidelines (EG) for existing sewage sludge incineration (SSI) units. Puerto Rico's plan is consistent with the EG promulgated by the EPA on March 21, 2011. Puerto Rico's plan establishes emission limits and other requirements for the purpose of reducing toxic air emissions and other air pollutants from existing SSI units throughout the Commonwealth. At the request of Puerto Rico, the EPA is proposing not to take action on a provision of its SSI plan allowing for affirmative defenses of Clean Air Act violations in the case of malfunctions. Puerto Rico submitted its plan to fulfill the requirements of sections 111(d) and 129 of the Clean Air Act.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before January 11, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-R02-OAR-2015-0755 by one of the following methods:

    www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.

    • Email: [email protected].

    Mail: EPA-R02-OAR-2015-0755, Richard Ruvo, Chief, Air Programs Branch, Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2 Office, 290 Broadway, 25th Floor, New York, New York 10007-1866.

    Hand Delivery: Richard Ruvo, Chief, Air Programs Branch, Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2 Office, 290 Broadway, 25th Floor, New York, New York 10007-1866. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Regional Office's normal hours of operation. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. excluding federal holidays.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R02-OAR-2015-0755. The EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change, and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or email. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means 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 EPA without going through www.regulations.gov your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, 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. For additional information about the EPA's public docket visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at ­http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.

    Docket: All documents in the electronic docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available at www.regulations.gov or at the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2 Office, Air Programs Branch, 290 Broadway, 25th Floor, New York, New York 10007-1866. The EPA requests, if at all possible, that you contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to view the hard copy of the docket. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., excluding federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Anthony (Ted) Gardella ([email protected]), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2 Office, Air Programs Branch, 290 Broadway, 25th Floor, New York, New York 10007-1866, (212) 637-3892.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The following table of contents describes the format for the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section:

    I. EPA Action A. What action is the EPA proposing today? B. Which provision of the Puerto Rico State sewage sludge incineration (SSI) plan is the EPA not taking action on? C. What is the background for Puerto Rico's request that EPA not take action on the affirmative defense provision? D. Why is the EPA taking this action? E. Who is affected by Puerto Rico's State SSI plan? II. Background A. What is a State plan? B. What is a State SSI plan? C. Why is the EPA requiring Puerto Rico to submit a State SSI plan? D. What are the requirements for a State SSI plan? III. Puerto Rico's State SSI Plan A. What is contained in the Puerto Rico State SSI plan? B. What approval criteria did the EPA use to evaluate Puerto Rico's State SSI plan? IV. What is the EPA's conclusion? V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. EPA Action A. What action is the EPA proposing today?

    The EPA is proposing to approve Puerto Rico's State plan, submitted on July 30, 2014, for the control of air emissions from existing SSI units throughout the Commonwealth. Puerto Rico submitted its SSI plan to fulfill the requirements of sections 111(d) and 129 of the Clean Air Act (CAA). The Puerto Rico State SSI plan adopts and implements the Emission Guidelines (EG) applicable to existing SSI units, and establishes emission limits and other requirements for SSI units constructed on or before October 14, 2010.

    As explained below, Puerto Rico requested in its July 30, 2014 submittal, that the EPA not take any action on a provision of the Puerto Rico State SSI plan allowing for affirmative defenses of CAA violations in the case of malfunctions. Therefore, the EPA is not taking any proposed action on the affirmative defense provision portion of Puerto Rico's State SSI plan.

    B. Which provision of the Puerto Rico State sewage sludge incineration (SSI) plan is the EPA not taking action on?

    Puerto Rico is requesting that the EPA not take any action on a provision in Puerto Rico's State SSI plan that allows for an affirmative defense by an owner/operator of an SSI unit for violations of air emissions or other requirements of Puerto Rico's plan in the event of malfunction(s) of a covered SSI unit. With the exception of the affirmative defense provision in Puerto Rico's State SSI plan, the EPA's proposed approval, once finalized and effective, will make Puerto Rico's rules included in Puerto Rico's State SSI plan federally enforceable.

    C. What is the background for Puerto Rico's request that EPA not take action on the affirmative defense provision?

    In an April 18, 2014 opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit Court) vacated an affirmative defense in one of the EPA's Section 112 regulations. Natural Resources Defense Council v. Environmental Protection Agency, 749 F.3d 1055 (D.C. Cir., 2014) (vacating affirmative defense provisions in Section 112 rule establishing emission standards for Portland cement kilns). The court found that the EPA lacked authority to establish an affirmative defense for private civil suits and held that under the CAA, the authority to determine civil penalty amounts in such cases lies exclusively with the courts, not the EPA. The Office of General Counsel determined that EPA policy should reflect the court's decision. The vacated affirmative defense provision in the EPA's Portland cement MACT rule is identical to the affirmative defense provision in the EPA's SSI EG, promulgated on March 21, 2011, under sections 111(d) and 129 of the CAA, at § 60.5181 (“How do I establish an affirmative defense for exceedance of an emission limit or standard during a malfunction?”). Puerto Rico's State SSI plan adopted all the applicable requirements of the EPA's SSI EG, including the affirmative defense provisions at § 60.5181, into its State plan at Rule 405(d) of the Regulation for the Control of Atmospheric Pollution (RCAP). Specifically, Puerto Rico requests that the EPA not include the following affirmative defense provisions in Puerto Rico's Rule 405(d): (d)(2)(E), (d)(2)(E)(i) and (d)(2)(E)(ii) in Puerto Rico's State plan.

    Because of the April 2014 D.C. Circuit Court's vacatur referred to above, Puerto Rico, in its July 30, 2014 submittal letter to the EPA, requested that the EPA not take action on the affirmative defense provision included in Puerto Rico's State SSI plan submitted to the EPA for approval on July 30, 2014.1 Consequently, the EPA is proposing to not take any action on that particular provisions of Puerto Rico's State SSI plan as discussed herein.

    1 EPA has proposed a Federal SSI plan which would apply to SSI units that are not covered by an approved and effective state plan. The proposed federal plan does not include an affirmative defense to violations that result from malfunctions. 80 FR 23402, 23407 (Apr. 27, 2015).

    D. Why is the EPA taking this action?

    EPA has evaluated Puerto Rico's State SSI plan for consistency with the CAA, EPA guidelines and policy. The EPA has determined that Puerto Rico's State SSI plan meets all applicable requirements and therefore, the EPA is proposing to approve Puerto Rico's State plan to implement and enforce the EG applicable to existing SSI units, except that, as requested by Puerto Rico, the EPA is proposing not to take action on the affirmative defense provisions of Puerto Rico's SSI State plan for the reasons discussed above.

    E. Who is affected by Puerto Rico's State SSI plan?

    Puerto Rico's State plan regulates all the units designated by the EG for existing SSI units which commenced construction on or before October 14, 2010 and which are located at a wastewater treatment facility designed to treat domestic sewage sludge. If the owner or operator of an SSI unit made changes after September 21, 2011, that meet the definition of modification (see Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations, section 60.5250 (40 CFR 60.5250)), the SSI unit becomes subject to subpart LLLL (New Source Performance Standards for New Sewage Sludge Incineration Units) of 40 CFR part 60, and the State plan no longer applies to that unit.

    II. Background A. What is a State plan?

    Section 111 of the CAA, “Standards of Performance for New Stationary Sources,” authorizes EPA to set air emissions standards for certain categories of sources. These standards are called New Source Performance Standards (NSPS). When a NSPS is promulgated for new sources, section 111(d) also requires that EPA publish an EG applicable to control the same pollutants from existing (or designated) facilities. States 2 with designated facilities must then develop a State plan to adopt the EG into the State's body of regulations. States must also include in their State plan other requirements, such as inventories, legal authority, reporting and recordkeeping, and public participation documentation, to demonstrate their ability to enforce the State plans.

    2 Section 302(d) of the CAA includes the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in the definition of the term “State.”

    Section 129 of the CAA requires EPA to establish performance standards and emission guidelines for various types of new and existing solid waste incineration units. Section 129(b)(2) requires States to submit to EPA for approval section 111(d)/129 plans that implement and enforce the promulgated EG. Section 129(b)(3) requires EPA to promulgate a Federal plan (FP) within two years from the date on which the EG, or when revision to the EG, is promulgated. The FP is applicable to affected facilities when the state has failed to receive EPA approval of the section 111(d)/129 plan. The FP remains in effect until the state submits and receives EPA approval of its section 111(d)/129 plan.

    State plan submittals under CAA sections 111(d) and 129 must be consistent with the relevant EG, in this instance 40 CFR part 60, subpart MMMM, and the requirements of 40 CFR part 60, subpart B and part 62, subpart A. Section 129 of the CAA regulates air pollutants that include organics (dioxins/furans), carbon monoxide, metals (cadmium, lead, and mercury), acid gases (hydrogen chloride, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides), particulate matter, and opacity (as appropriate).

    B. What is a State SSI plan?

    A State SSI plan is a State plan, as described above, that controls air pollutant emissions from existing sewage sludge incinerators located at a wastewater treatment facility designed to treat domestic sewage sludge and that commenced construction on or before October 14, 2010. The applicable types of SSI units include fluidized bed and multiple hearth incinerators.

    C. Why is the EPA requiring Puerto Rico to submit a State SSI plan?

    When the EPA developed the NSPS for SSI units, we simultaneously developed the EG to control air emissions from existing SSI units (see 76 FR 15371, March 21, 2011). Under section 129 of the CAA, the EG is not federally enforceable; therefore, section 129 of the CAA also requires states to submit to EPA for approval State plans that implement and enforce the EG. Under section 129 of the CAA, these State plans must be at least as protective as the EG, and they become federally enforceable upon approval by EPA.

    The procedures for adopting and submitting State plans are located in 40 CFR part 60, subpart B. If a state fails to have an approvable plan in place by March 21, 2013, the EPA is required to promulgate a federal plan to establish requirements for those sources not under an EPA-approved State plan. The procedures for EPA's approval and disapproval of State plans are located in 40 CFR part 62, subpart A. The EPA is proposing to approve Puerto Rico's State SSI plan, except, as discussed above, for the affirmative defense provisions, since its SSI plan is deemed at least as protective as the standards set in the EG. Puerto Rico has developed and submitted a State plan, as required by sections 111(d)/129 of the CAA, to gain federal approval to implement and enforce the EG for existing SSI units.

    D. What are the requirements for a State SSI plan?

    A section 111(d) State plan submittal must meet the requirements of 40 CFR part 60, subpart B, sections 60.23 through 60.26, and the EG found at 40 CFR part 60, subpart MMMM (see 76 FR 15371, March 21, 2011). Subpart B contains the procedures for the adoption and submittal of State plans. This subpart addresses public participation, legal authority, emission standards and other emission limitations, compliance schedules, emission inventories, source surveillance, and compliance assurance and enforcement requirements.

    EPA promulgated the EG at 40 CFR part 60, subpart MMMM on March 21, 2011. Subpart MMMM contains guidelines to the states for submittal of plans that address existing SSI units. In addition, subpart MMMM contains the technical requirements for existing SSI units located at a wastewater treatment plant designed to treat domestic sewage sludge and applies to SSI units that commenced construction on or before October 14, 2010. A state can address the SSI technical requirements by adopting its own regulation that includes all the applicable requirements of subpart MMMM or by adopting by reference subpart MMMM. The section 111(d) State plan is required to be submitted within one year of the EG promulgation date, i.e., by March 21, 2012. Prior to submittal to EPA, the State must make available to the public the State plan and provide opportunity for public comment, including a public hearing.

    III. Puerto Rico's State SSI Plan A. What is contained in the Puerto Rico State SSI plan?

    On July 30, 2014 3 , the Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board submitted its section 111(d) State plan for implementing EPA's EG for existing SSI units located in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

    3 In emails dated 6/04/2015, 8/10/2015 and 11/10/2015, Puerto Rico responded to EPA's requests to provide clarifying information concerning Puerto Rico's State SSI plan. This clarifying information also is available in EPA's docket at www.regulations.gov.

    Puerto Rico amended Rule 102, entitled “Definitions of the Regulation for the Control of Atmospheric Pollution (RCAP),” and incorporated Rule 405(d), entitled “Emission Guidelines and Compliance Times for Existing Sewage Sludge Incineration Units (SSI),” to include the requirements for implementing the SSI EG covered under Sections 111(d) and 129 of the CAA, and codified in 40 CFR part 60, subpart MMMM. Revisions to Puerto Rico's Rules became effective on July 13, 2014.

    Section 60.5015 of the EG describes all of the required elements that must be included in a state's plan for SSI units. Puerto Rico's State SSI plan includes all of the required elements described in section 60.5015 of the EG, as summarized herein:

    (1) A demonstration by the Attorney General of the Puerto Rico Department of Justice of the Commonwealth's legal authority to implement the sections 111(d) and 129 State SSI plan;

    (2) State Rules 102 and 405(d) adopted into RCAP as the mechanism for implementing and enforcing the State SSI plan;

    (3) An inventory of one known SSI facility, including one SSI unit, along with an inventory of estimated air pollutant emissions (see sections VI of Puerto Rico's State plan as well as the clarifying information submitted by Puerto Rico 4 ). The affected SSI unit is a fluidized bed combustor, identified in the inventory as `Sludge Incinerator,' and is located at the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) facility in Puerto Nuevo;

    4 In an email dated 11/10/2015, Puerto Rico provided additional emissions inventory data for the one known SSI unit in the Commonwealth. This information is available in the EPA's docket at www.regulations.gov.

    (4) Emission limits, emission standards, operator training and qualification requirements, and operating limits that are as protective as the EG;

    (5) Enforceable compliance schedules incorporated into Rule 405(d), as follows: if an owner of an affected SSI unit plans to achieve compliance more than one year following the effective date of state plan approval the owner must (1) submit a final control plan to Puerto Rico by September 21, 2014, and (2) achieve final compliance by March 21, 2016 (see section (d)(7) of Puerto Rico's State plan);

    (6) Testing, monitoring, reporting and recordkeeping requirements for the designated facilities;

    (7) Records of the public hearing on the State SSI plan; and,

    (8) Provisions for annual state progress reports to EPA on implementation of the State plan.

    The EPA proposes to determine that Puerto Rico's State SSI plan for existing SSI units includes all the required State plan elements described in section 60.5015 of the EG.

    B. What approval criteria did the EPA use to evaluate Puerto Rico's State SSI plan?

    The EPA reviewed Puerto Rico's State SSI plan for approval against the following criteria: 40 CFR 60.23 through 60.26, “Subpart B—Adoption and Submittal of State Plans for Designated Facilities;” and 40 CFR 60.5000 through 60.5250, “Subpart MMMM—Emission Guidelines and Compliance Times for Existing Sewage Sludge Incineration Units;” and 40 CFR 62, subpart A, “General Provisions” for “Approval and Promulgation of State Plans for Designated Facilities and Pollutants.”

    IV. What is the EPA's Conclusion?

    The EPA has determined that Puerto Rico's State SSI plan meets all the applicable approval criteria as discussed above and, therefore, the EPA is proposing to approve Puerto Rico's sections 111(d) and 129 State plan for existing sewage sludge incineration units. As explained above, at the request of Puerto Rico, the EPA is proposing to not take any action on the affirmative defense provisions in Puerto Rico's State SSI plan.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a 111(d)/129 plan submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable Federal regulations. 40 CFR 62.04. Thus, in reviewing 111(d)/129 plan submissions, EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this action merely approves state law as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this action:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The 111(d)/129 plan is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian Nation Land, the rule does not have tribal implications and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 62

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Air pollution control, Aluminum, Fertilizers, Fluoride, Intergovernmental relations, Paper and paper products industry, Phosphate, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides, Sulfur acid plants, waste treatment and disposal.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: November 30, 2015. Judith A. Enck, Regional Administrator, Region 2.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31182 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 141 [EPA-HQ-OW-2015-0218; FRL-9935-74-OW] RIN 2040-AF10 Revisions to the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 4) for Public Water Systems and Announcement of a Public Meeting AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule and notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing a Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) rule that requires public water systems to collect occurrence data for contaminants that may be present in tap water but are not yet subject to EPA's drinking water standards set under SDWA. This rule, revised every five years as required by SDWA, benefits public health by providing EPA and other interested parties with scientifically valid data on the national occurrence of selected contaminants in drinking water, such as cyanotoxins associated with harmful algal blooms. This data set is one of the primary sources of information on occurrence, levels of exposure and population exposure the Agency uses to develop regulatory decisions for emerging contaminants in the public drinking water supply. This proposal identifies eleven analytical methods to support water system monitoring for a total of 30 chemical contaminants/groups, consisting of ten cyanotoxins/groups; two metals; eight pesticides plus one pesticide manufacturing byproduct (hereinafter collectively referred to as “pesticides”); three brominated haloacetic acid groups of disinfection byproducts; three alcohols; and three semivolatile organic chemicals. EPA is also announcing a public webinar to discuss this proposal of the fourth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before February 9, 2016. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), comments on the information collection provisions are best assured of consideration if the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) receives a copy of your comments on or before January 11, 2016. The public webinar will be held on January 13, 2016, from 1:00 p.m.. to 4:30 p.m., eastern time. Persons wishing to participate in the webinar must register by January 10, 2016, as described in section II.M.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2015-0218, 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.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brenda D. Parris, Standards and Risk Management Division (SRMD), Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water (OGWDW) (MS 140), Environmental Protection Agency, 26 West Martin Luther King Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45268; telephone number: (513) 569-7961; or email address: [email protected]; or Melissa Simic, SRMD, OGWDW (MS 140), Environmental Protection Agency, 26 West Martin Luther King Drive, Cincinnati, Ohio 45268; telephone number: (513) 569-7864; or email address: [email protected] For general information, contact the Safe Drinking Water Hotline. Callers within the United States can reach the Hotline at (800) 426-4791. The Hotline is open Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., eastern time. The Safe Drinking Water Hotline can also be found on the Internet at: http://water.epa.gov/drink/hotline/.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me? B. What action is the Agency taking and why? C. What is the Agency's authority for taking this action? D. What is the estimated cost of this proposed action? II. Background A. How has EPA implemented the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Program? B. How are the Contaminant Candidate List (CCL), the UCMR program, the Regulatory Determination process and the NCOD interrelated? C. What notable changes are being proposed for UCMR 4? D. How did EPA prioritize candidate contaminants and what contaminants are proposed for UCMR 4? E. What is the proposed applicability date? F. What are the proposed UCMR 4 sampling design and timeline of activities? 1. Sampling Frequency, Timing 2. Sampling Locations 3. Phased Sample Analysis for Microcystins 4. Representative Sampling 5. Summary G. What are reporting requirements for UCMR 4? 1. Data Elements 2. Duplicate Samples H. What are Minimum Reporting Levels (MRLs) and how were they determined? I. How do laboratories become approved to conduct UCMR 4 analyses? 1. Request to Participate 2. Registration 3. Application Package 4. EPA's Review of Application Package 5. Proficiency Testing 6. Written EPA Approval J. What documents are being incorporated by reference? 1. Methods From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2. Methods From “ASTM International” 3. Methods From “Standard Methods for the Examination of Water & Wastewater” 4. Methods From “Standard Methods Online” 5. Method From “Ohio EPA” K. What is the states' role in the UCMR program? L. What stakeholder meetings have been held in preparation for UCMR 4? M. How do I participate in the upcoming stakeholder meeting? 1. Webinar Participation 2. Webinar Materials N. How did EPA consider Children's Environmental Health? O. How did EPA address Environmental Justice? III. 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 and 1 CFR Part 51 J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations IV. References Abbreviations and Acronyms μg/L Microgram per liter ADDA (2S, 3S, 8S, 9S, 4E, 6E)-3-amino-9-methoxy-2,6,8-trimethyl-10-phenyl-4, 6-decadienoic acid ASDWA Association of State Drinking Water Administrators ASTM ASTM International CAS Chemical Abstract Service CBI Confidential Business Information CCC Continuing Calibration Check CCL Contaminant Candidate List CFR Code of Federal Regulations CLDA Chlorine Dioxide Applied After SR Sample Location CLDB Chlorine Dioxide Applied Before SR Sample Location CWS Community Water System DBPR Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule DSMRT Distribution System Maximum Residence Time ELISA Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay EPA United States Environmental Protection Agency EPTDS Entry Point to the Distribution System FR Federal Register GC Gas Chromatography GC/ECD Gas Chromatography/Electron Capture Detection GC/MS Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry GW Ground Water GWUDI Ground Water Under the Direct Influence of Surface Water HAAs Haloacetic Acids HAA5 Dibromoacetic Acid, Dichloroacetic Acid, Monobromoacetic Acid, Monochloroacetic Acid, Trichloroacetic Acid HAA6Br Bromochloroacetic Acid, Bromodichloroacetic Acid, Dibromoacetic Acid, Dibromochloroacetic Acid, Monobromoacetic Acid, Tribromoacetic Acid HAA9 Bromochloroacetic Acid, Bromodichloroacetic Acid, Chlorodibromoacetic Acid, Dibromoacetic Acid, Dichloroacetic Acid, Monobromoacetic Acid, Monochloroacetic Acid, Tribromoacetic Acid, Trichloroacetic Acid HPXA Hydrogen Peroxide Applied After Source Water Sample Location HPXB Hydrogen Peroxide Applied Before Source Water Sample Location IC-MS/MS Ion Chromatography/Tandem Mass Spectrometry ICP-MS Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry ICR Information Collection Request IDC Initial Demonstration of Capability IS Internal Standard LFB Laboratory Fortified Blank LRB Laboratory Reagent Blank LCMRL Lowest Concentration Minimum Reporting Level LC/ECI-MS/MS Liquid Chromatography/Electrospray Ionization/Tandem Mass Spectrometry LC/MS/MS Liquid Chromatography/Tandem Mass Spectrometry LT2 Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule M Million MRL Minimum Reporting Level NAICS North American Industry Classification System NCOD National Drinking Water Contaminant Occurrence Database NPDWRs National Primary Drinking Water Regulations NTNCWS Non-transient Non-community Water System OGWDW Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water OMB Office of Management and Budget PA Partnership Agreement PEMA Permanganate Applied After Source Water Sample Location PEMB Permanganate Applied Before Source Water Sample Location PRA Paperwork Reduction Act PT Proficiency Testing PWS Public Water System QCS Quality Control Sample QH Quality HAA Sample RFA Regulatory Flexibility Act SDWA Safe Drinking Water Act SDWARS Safe Drinking Water Accession and Review System SDWIS/Fed Federal Safe Drinking Water Information System SM Standard Methods SMP State Monitoring Plan SOP Standard Operating Procedure SPE Solid Phase Extraction SR Source Water SRF Drinking Water State Revolving Fund SRMD Standards and Risk Management Division SUR Surrogate Standard SVOCs Semivolatile Organic Chemicals SW Surface Water TNCWS Transient Non-Community Water System TOC Total Organic Carbon UCMR Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule UMRA Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 USEPA United States Environmental Protection Agency I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me?

    Public water systems (PWSs) would be regulated by this proposed, fourth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 4). PWSs are systems that provide water for human consumption through pipes, or other constructed conveyances, to at least 15 service connections or that regularly serve an average of at least 25 individuals daily at least 60 days out of the year. Under this proposal, all large community and non-transient non-community water systems (NTNCWSs) serving more than 10,000 people would be required to monitor. A community water system (CWS) means a PWS that has at least 15 service connections used by year-round residents or regularly serves at least 25 year-round residents. A NTNCWS means a PWS that is not a CWS and that regularly serves at least 25 of the same people over six months per year. A nationally representative sample of CWSs and NTNCWSs serving 10,000 or fewer people would also be required to monitor (see “Statistical Design and Sample Selection for the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Regulation” (USEPA, 2001b) for a description of the statistical approach for the nationally representative sample). As is generally the case for UCMR monitoring, transient non-community water systems (TNCWSs) (i.e., non-community water systems that do not regularly serve at least 25 of the same people over six months per year) would not be required to monitor under UCMR 4. States, territories and tribes, with primary enforcement responsibility (primacy) to administer the regulatory program for PWSs under SDWA, can participate in the implementation of UCMR 4 through Partnership Agreements (PAs) (see discussion of PAs in section II.K). Primacy agencies with PAs can choose to be involved in various aspects of the UCMR 4 monitoring for PWSs they oversee; however, the PWS remains responsible for compliance. Potentially regulated categories and entities are identified in the following table.

    Category Examples of potentially regulated entities NAICS a State, local, & tribal governments States, local and tribal governments that analyze water samples on behalf of PWSs required to conduct such analysis; states, local and tribal governments that directly operate CWSs and NTNCWSs required to monitor 924110 Industry Private operators of CWSs and NTNCWSs required to monitor 221310 Municipalities Municipal operators of CWSs and NTNCWSs required to monitor 924110 a NAICS = North American Industry Classification System.

    This table is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide for readers regarding entities likely to be regulated by this action. This table summarizes the types of entities that EPA is aware could potentially be regulated by this action. If you are uncertain whether your entity is regulated by this action after carefully examining the definition of PWS found in §§ 141.2 and 141.3, and the applicability criteria found in § 141.40(a)(1) and (2) of Title 40 in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), please consult the contacts listed in the preceding FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    B. What action is the Agency taking and why?

    EPA is proposing a rule to require PWSs to analyze drinking water samples for unregulated contaminants that do not have health based standards set under SDWA and to report their results to EPA. This will be the fourth national monitoring effort under the UCMR program (see section II.D). The monitoring provides data to inform future regulatory actions to protect public health.

    The public will benefit from information about whether or not unregulated contaminants are present in their drinking water. If contaminants are not found, consumer confidence in their drinking water will improve. If contaminants are found, illnesses may be avoided when subsequent actions, such as regulations, reduce or eliminate those contaminants.

    C. What is the Agency's authority for taking this action?

    As part of its responsibilities under SDWA, EPA implements section 1445(a)(2), Monitoring Program for Unregulated Contaminants. This section, as amended in 1996, requires that once every five years, beginning in August 1999, EPA issue a list of no more than 30 unregulated contaminants to be monitored by PWSs. SDWA requires that EPA enter the monitoring data into the Agency's publically available National Contaminant Occurrence Database (NCOD). EPA's UCMR program must ensure that systems serving a population larger than 10,000 people, as well as a nationally representative sample of PWSs serving 10,000 or fewer people, are required to monitor. EPA must vary the frequency and schedule for monitoring based on the number of persons served, the source of supply and the contaminants likely to be found. EPA is using this authority as the basis for monitoring 29 of the 30 contaminants/groups proposed under this rule.

    Section 1445(a)(1)(A) of SDWA, as amended in 1996, requires that every person who is subject to any SDWA requirement establish and maintain such records, make such reports, conduct such monitoring and provide such information as the Administrator may reasonably require by regulation to assist the Administrator in establishing SDWA regulations. Pursuant to this provision, EPA can also require the monitoring of contaminants already subject to EPA's drinking water standards. EPA is using this authority as the basis for monitoring one of the chemical groups (Haloacetic Acids 5 (HAA5)) proposed under this rule. Sample collection and analysis for HAA5 can be done concurrent with the unregulated HAA monitoring described in section II.F (resulting in no substantive additional burden) and would allow EPA to better understand co-occurrence between regulated and unregulated disinfection byproducts.

    Hereinafter, all 30 proposed contaminants/groups are collectively referred to as “contaminants.”

    D. What is the estimated cost of this proposed action?

    EPA estimates the total average national cost of this proposed action will be $25.3 million per year from 2017-2021. EPA has documented the assumptions and data sources used in the preparation of this estimate in the Information Collection Request (ICR) (USEPA, 2015a). EPA proposes using eleven analytical methods (eight EPA-developed analytical methods, one state-developed methodology and two alternate equivalent consensus organization-developed methods) to analyze samples for 30 UCMR 4 chemical contaminants. EPA's estimate of the analytical cost for the UCMR 4 contaminants and related indicators is $2,562 per sample set. EPA calculated these costs by summing the laboratory unit cost of each method. Exhibit 1 presents a breakdown of EPA estimated annual average national costs. Estimated PWS (i.e., large and very large) and EPA costs reflect the analytical cost (i.e., non-labor) for all UCMR 4 methods. EPA pays for the analytical costs for all systems serving a population of 10,000 or fewer people. Laboratory analysis and sample shipping account for approximately 80% of the total national cost for UCMR 4 implementation. EPA estimated laboratory unit costs based on consultations with multiple commercial drinking water laboratories and, in the case of new methods, a review of the costs of analytical methods similar to those proposed in this action. The cost of the laboratory methods includes shipping as part of the cost for the analysis.

    EPA expects that states would incur labor costs associated with voluntary assistance with UCMR 4 implementation. EPA estimated state costs using the relevant assumptions from the State Resource Model that was developed by the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA) (ASDWA, 2013) to help states forecast resource needs. Model estimates were adjusted to account for actual levels of state participation under UCMR 3. State participation is voluntary; thus, the level of effort is expected to vary among states and would depend on their individual agreements with EPA.

    EPA assumes that one-third of the systems would monitor during each of the three monitoring years from January 2018 through December 2020. The total estimated annual costs (labor and non-labor) would be incurred as follows:

    Exhibit 1—Estimated Average Annual Costs of UCMR 4 Respondent Avg. annual cost all respondents (2017-2021)  1 Small Systems (25-10,000), including labor 2 only (non-labor costs 3 paid for by EPA) $0.16 m Large Systems (10,001-100,000), including labor and non-labor costs $15.7 m Very Large Systems (100,001 and greater), including labor and non-labor costs $4.3 m States, including labor costs related to implementation coordination $0.50 m EPA, including labor for implementation, non-labor for small system testing $4.7 m AVERAGE ANNUAL NATIONAL TOTAL $25.3 m 1 Totals may not equal the sum of components due to rounding. 2 Labor costs pertain to systems, states and EPA. Costs include activities such as reading the rule, notifying systems selected to participate, sample collection, data review, reporting and record keeping. 3 Non-labor costs would be incurred primarily by EPA and by very large and large PWSs. They include the cost of shipping samples to laboratories for testing and the cost of the laboratory analyses.

    Additional details regarding EPA's cost assumptions and estimates can be found in the “DRAFT Information Collection Request for the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 4)” (USEPA, 2015a) ICR Number 2192.07, which presents estimated cost and burden for the 2017-2019 period, consistent with the 3-year time frame for ICRs. Estimates of costs over the entire 5-year UCMR 4 sequence of 2017-2021 are attached as an appendix to the ICR. Copies of the ICR and its appendix may be obtained from the EPA public docket for this proposed rule, under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2015-0218.

    II. Background A. How has EPA implemented the unregulated contaminant monitoring program?

    EPA published the list of contaminants for the first UCMR (UCMR 1) in the Federal Register (FR) on September 17, 1999 (64 FR 50556, (USEPA, 1999)), the second UCMR (UCMR 2) on January 4, 2007 (72 FR 368, (USEPA, 2007)) and the third UCMR (UCMR 3) on May 2, 2012 (77 FR 26072, (USEPA, 2012c)). EPA established a three-tiered approach for monitoring contaminants under the UCMR program that takes into account the availability of analytical methods, the source of water supply and the contaminants likely to be found. Assessment Monitoring for “List 1” contaminants typically relies on analytical methods, techniques or technologies that are in common use by drinking water laboratories. Screening Survey monitoring for “List 2” contaminants typically relies on newer analytical methods that are not as commonly used, such that laboratory capacity to perform List 2 analyses may be limited. Finally, Pre-Screen Testing for “List 3” contaminants is often associated with analytical methods that are very recently developed and/or are particularly complex. In addition to method complexity and laboratory capacity, EPA considers sampling frequency and/or the relevant universe of PWSs when deciding which of the three tiers is appropriate for a contaminant.

    EPA designed the Assessment Monitoring sampling approach (USEPA, 2001b) to ensure that sample results would yield a high level of confidence and a low margin of error. The design for a nationally representative sample of small systems called for the sample to be stratified by water source type (ground water (GW) or surface water (SW)), service size category and state (where each state is allocated a minimum of two systems in its state monitoring plan (SMP)).

    This action proposes 30 contaminants for List 1, Assessment Monitoring from 2018-2020, with pre-monitoring activity in 2017 and post-monitoring activity in 2021. EPA developed this proposal after considering input from an EPA-state workgroup as well as other stakeholders.

    B. How are the Contaminant Candidate List (CCL), the UCMR program, the Regulatory Determination process and the NCOD interrelated?

    Under the 1996 amendments to SDWA, Congress established a stepwise, risk-based approach for determining which contaminants would become subject to drinking water standards. Under the first step, EPA is required to publish, every five years, a list of contaminants that are not yet regulated but which are known or anticipated to occur in PWSs; this is the Contaminant Candidate List (CCL). Under the second step, EPA must require, every five years, monitoring of up to 30 unregulated contaminants to determine their occurrence in drinking water systems; this is the UCMR program. Under the third step, EPA is required to determine, every five years, whether or not at least five contaminants from the CCL warrant regulation, based in part on the UCMR occurrence information; this is known as a Regulatory Determination where the following questions are evaluated:

    (1) Which contaminants may have an adverse effect on human health?

    (2) Which contaminants are known to occur or are likely to occur in drinking water with a frequency and at levels of public health concern?

    (3) Does regulation of such contaminants present a meaningful opportunity for risk reduction? Finally, SDWA requires EPA to issue national primary drinking water regulations (NPDWRs) for contaminants the Agency determines should be regulated.

    The CCL process identifies contaminants that may require regulation, while the UCMR program helps provide the data necessary for the Regulatory Determination process outlined above. The data collected through the UCMR program are stored in the NCOD to facilitate analysis and review of contaminant occurrence, and support the Administrator's determination on whether regulation of a contaminant is in the public health interest, as required under SDWA section 1412(b)(1). UCMR results can be viewed by the public at: http://www2.epa.gov/dwucmr.

    C. What notable changes are being proposed for UCMR 4?

    This proposed action refines the existing UCMR, as reflected in the Code of Federal Regulations, to address the contaminants proposed for UCMR 4 monitoring and to reflect lessons learned through prior experience implementing UCMRs. EPA's proposed approach and rationale for changes are described in the following sections. Key aspects of the UCMR program that would remain the same, and are outside the scope of today's proposal, include direct implementation of the rule by EPA; the number and types of systems included in Assessment Monitoring for the majority of the proposed contaminants; and EPA funding for the small system testing. Proposed changes include the list of UCMR 4 contaminants, the analytical methods, monitoring time frame, sampling locations, the revised data elements outlined in Exhibit 2 and conforming and editorial changes, such as those necessary to remove requirements solely related to UCMR 3. A track-changes version of the rule language comparing UCMR 3 to the proposed changes for UCMR 4 is included in the public docket (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW 2015-0218) for this proposed rule (USEPA, 2015h).

    Exhibit 2—Notable Changes Proposed for UCMR 4 CFR Rule section Number Title/Description Description of rule change Corresponding preamble section § 141.40(a)(3) Analytes to be monitored and related specifications Revises Table 1 to include a new list of contaminants and associated analytical methods II.D §§ 141.35(a) and 141.40(a) Applicability Revises the Federal Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS/Fed) applicability date (i.e., the date used to determine which systems are subject to monitoring) to December 31, 2015
  • Revises the monitoring dates to January 2018 through December 2020
  • II.E
  • II.F
  • § 141.40(a)(4) Sampling design requirements—Frequency Updates Table 2 to change the sample collection time frame to March—November, and excludes December—February. Additionally, updates the frequency such that, with the exception of cyanotoxins, monitoring would occur every two months (bi-monthly) for SW or ground water under the direct influence of surface water (GWUDI) systems and every six months for GW systems
  • Updates Table 2 to include monitoring requirements for cyanotoxins for PWSs with SW and GWUDI sources at a frequency of twice a month for four consecutive months (for a total of eight cyanotoxin sampling events)
  • II.F
    § 141.40(a)(4) Sampling design requirements—Location Specifies revised sampling locations for Assessment Monitoring, including HAA5 Stage 2 compliance and/or distribution system maximum residence time (DSMRT) locations for the brominated haloacetic acids (HAAs), and source water intake locations for total organic carbon (TOC), total microcystins (i.e. the sum of congeners as measured by ADDA-ELISA), pH and temperature II.F § 141.35(e) Reporting requirements—Data elements Updates, revises, adds and removes data elements to account for the contaminants being proposed, and requires the reporting of quality control data by all laboratories II.G.1 § 141.40(a)(4)(ii)(F) Small systems sampling requirements—Duplicate samples Removes the requirement for small system duplicate quality control samples, although EPA may in the future select a subset of systems to collect duplicate samples if the Agency becomes aware of a need to include this type of quality control II.G.2
    D. How did EPA prioritize candidate contaminants and what contaminants are proposed for UCMR 4?

    In establishing the proposed list of contaminants for UCMR 4, EPA started with a priority set of contaminants from the draft fourth Contaminant Candidate List (CCL 4), which includes 100 chemicals or chemical groups and 12 microbes (80 FR 6076, February 4, 2015 (USEPA, 2015b)). The evaluation and selection process that led to the draft CCL 4 carried forward the final list of CCL 3 contaminants (except for those with regulatory determinations), requested and evaluated contaminant nominations from the public and evaluated any new data from previous negative regulatory determinations for potential inclusion on CCL 4 (77 FR 27057, May 8, 2012 (USEPA, 2012b)).

    EPA selected the proposed UCMR 4 contaminants using a stepwise prioritization process. The first step included identifying contaminants that: (1) Were not monitored under UCMR 2 or UCMR 3; (2) are anticipated to have significant occurrence nationally; and (3) are expected to have a completed, validated drinking water method in time for rule proposal. This resulted in a set of 45 draft CCL 4 contaminants and another set of related non-CCL analytes with potential health effects of concern that can be measured concurrently using the analytical methods for the CCL contaminants. Including related non-CCL analytes creates a more cost-effective design and reduces the likelihood of needing to include them in a subsequent UCMR.

    The next step was to select contaminants associated with one or more of the following considerations: an available health assessment to facilitate regulatory determinations; high public concern; critical health endpoints (e.g., likely or suggestive carcinogen); active use (e.g., pesticides); and an occurrence data gap. This step identified 31 CCL contaminants, and 18 related non-CCL analytes that can be measured using the analytical methods for the CCL contaminants.

    During the final step, EPA considered workgroup and stakeholder input; looked at cost-effectiveness of the method/contaminant groups; considered implementation factors (e.g., laboratory capacity); and further evaluated health, occurrence, and persistence/mobility data to identify a proposed list of 30 UCMR 4 contaminants.

    Further information on this prioritization process, as well as contaminant-specific information (source, use, production, release, persistence, mobility, health effects and occurrence), that EPA used to select the proposed analyte list, is contained in “UCMR 4 Candidate Contaminants—Information Compendium” (USEPA, 2015i). Copies of the Compendium may be obtained from the EPA public docket for this proposed rule, under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2015-0218.

    EPA invites comment on the proposed UCMR 4 contaminants and their associated analytical methods identified in Exhibit 3, as well as any other priority contaminants commenters wish to recommend. In particular, the Agency welcomes comments on the following contaminants that were considered by the workgroup, but not included in the proposed list because they were deemed a lower UCMR 4 priority than the contaminants identified in Exhibit 3: Legionella pneumophila and Mycobacterium avium (both are part of the draft CCL 4); ammonia (considered as an indicator of distribution system nitrification potential); and the pesticides vinclozolin, hexazinone and disulfoton (additional analytes in EPA Method 525.3). More specific information on why these contaminants were not included on the proposed list can be found in the Information Compendium (USEPA, 2015i) cited above. In your comments, please identify the following: Any new contaminant(s) that you think the Agency should include in UCMR 4 monitoring; any contaminant(s) in Exhibit 3 that you think represent a lower priority than your new recommendation(s) or that should otherwise be removed from the list; the recommended analytical method(s) for any new contaminant(s) that you propose; and other relevant details (e.g., reporting level, sampling location and sampling frequency). Comments that provide supporting data or rationale are especially helpful to the Agency.

    Exhibit 3—30 Proposed UCMR 4 Analytes List 1 Analytes One Cyanotoxin Group Using ELISA 1 total microcystins Seven Cyanotoxins Using EPA Method 544 (SPE LC/MS/MS) 2 microcystin-LA microcystin-RR microcystin-LF microcystin-YR microcystin-LR Nodularin microcystin-LY Two Cyanotoxins Using EPA Method 545 (LC/ECI-MS/MS) 3 anatoxin-a Cylindrospermopsin Two Metals Using EPA Method 200.8 (ICP-MS) 4 or Alternate SM 5 or ASTM 6 Germanium Manganese Nine Pesticides Using EPA Method 525.3 (SPE GC/MS) 7 alpha-hexachlorocyclohexane Profenofos chlorpyrifos Tebuconazole Dimethipin total permethrin (cis- & trans-) Ethoprop Tribufos Oxyfluorfen Three Brominated HAA Groups Using EPA Method 552.3 (GC/ECD) or 557 (IC/ECI-MS/MS) 8910 HAA5 HAA9 HAA6Br Three Alcohols Using EPA Method 541 (GC/MS) 11 1-butanol 2-propen-1-ol 2-methoxyethanol Three Semivolatile Organic Chemicals (SVOCs) Using EPA Method 530 (GC/MS) 12 butylated hydroxyanisole quinolone o-toluidine 1 ELISA Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) (Ohio EPA, 2015). EPA anticipates having an EPA ELISA method available by the publication of the final rule and anticipates that this method will be similar to the Ohio EPA methodology. Monitoring includes measuring for pH using one of the following methods: EPA Method 150.1 and 150.2 (USEPA, 1983a and 1983b), ASTM D1293-12 (ASTM, 2012a), SM 4500-H+ B (SM, 2005c), SM 4500-H+ B-00 (SM Online, 2000a). Monitoring also includes measuring for water temperature using one of the following methods: SM 2550 (SM, 2005a) or SM 2550-10 (SM Online, 2010). 2 EPA Method 544 (Solid Phase Extraction (SPE) Liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS)) (USEPA, 2015f). This method would only be used if analyses by ELISA (for “total microcystins”) yielded results above reporting limits. 3 EPA Method 545 (Liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/ESI-MS/MS)) (USEPA, 2015g). 4 EPA Method 200.8 (Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS)) (USEPA, 1994). 5 Standard Methods (SM) 3125 (SM, 2005b) or SM 3125-09 (SM Online, 2009). 6 ASTM International (ASTM) D5673-10 (ASTM, 2010). 7 EPA Method 525.3 (SPE Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS)) (USEPA, 2012a). 8 EPA Method 552.3 (GC/Electron capture detection (ECD)) (USEPA, 2003) and EPA Method 557 (Ion chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry (IC-ESI-MS/MS)) (USEPA, 2009b). HAA5 includes: dibromoacetic acid, dichloroacetic acid, monobromoacetic acid, monochloroacetic acid, trichloroacetic acid. HAA6Br includes: bromochloroacetic acid, bromodichloroacetic acid, dibromoacetic acid, dibromochloroacetic acid, monobromoacetic acid, tribromoacetic acid. HAA9 includes: bromochloroacetic acid, bromodichloroacetic acid, chlorodibromoacetic acid, dibromoacetic acid, dichloroacetic acid, monobromoacetic acid, monochloroacetic acid, tribromoacetic acid, trichloroacetic acid. 9 Regulated HAAs (HAA5) are included in the proposed monitoring program to gain a better understanding of co-occurrence with currently unregulated disinfection byproducts. 10 Brominated HAA monitoring also includes sampling for indicators TOC and bromide using methods approved for compliance monitoring. TOC methods include: SM 5310B, SM 5310C, SM 5310D (SM, 2005d, 2005e, 2005f), or SM 5310B-00, SM 5310C-00, SM 5310D-00 (SM Online, 2000b, 2000c, 2000d), EPA Method 415.3 (Rev. 1.1 or 1.2) (USEPA, 2005, 2009a). Bromide methods include: EPA Methods 300.0 (Rev. 2.1), 300.1 (Rev. 1.0), 317.0 (Rev. 2.0), 326.0 (Rev. 1.0) (USEPA, 1993, 1997, 2001a, 2002) or ASTM D 6581-12 (ASTM, 2012b). 11 EPA Method 541 (GC/MS) (USEPA, 2015e). 12 EPA Method 530 (GC/MS) (USEPA, 2015d). E. What is the proposed applicability date?

    EPA proposes (in § 141.40(a)) a new applicability date of December 31, 2015. That is, the determination of whether a PWS is required to monitor under UCMR 4 is based on the type of system (e.g., CWS, NTNCWS, etc.) and its retail population served, as indicated by the SDWIS/Fed inventory on December 31, 2015. If a PWS believes its retail population served in SDWIS/Fed is inaccurate, the system should contact its state to verify its population as of the applicability date and request a correction if necessary. The 5-year UCMR 4 program would take place from January 2017 through December 2021.

    F. What are the proposed UCMR 4 sampling design and timeline of activities?

    The proposed rule identifies sampling and analysis for List 1 contaminants within the 2018 to 2020 time frame. Preparations prior to 2018 are expected to include coordination of laboratory approval, selection of representative small systems, development of SMPs and establishment of monitoring schedules. EPA anticipates that there is enough laboratory capacity to meet the needs of Assessment Monitoring. Exhibit 4 illustrates the major activities that we expect will take place in preparation for and during the implementation of UCMR 4.

    Exhibit 4—Proposed Timeline of UCMR 4 Activities 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 After proposed rule publication: EPA ← Assessment Monitoring → Complete reporting and analysis of  laboratory approval program begins. List 1 Contaminants  data. After final rule publication: EPA/state All large systems serving more than 10,000 people;  primacy authorities (1) develop SMPs 800 small systems serving 10,000 or fewer people  (including the nationally representa- for cyanotoxins;  tive sample); and (2) inform PWSs/ 800 small systems serving 10,000 or fewer people  establish monitoring plans. for the 20 additional chemicals.

    To minimize the impact of the rule on small systems (those serving 10,000 or fewer people), EPA pays for the sample kit preparation, sample shipping fees and analysis costs for these systems. In addition, no small system would be required to monitor for both cyanotoxins and the 20 additional UCMR chemicals. Consistent with prior UCMRs, large systems (those serving more than 10,000 people) pay for all costs associated with their monitoring. A summary of the estimated number of systems subject to monitoring is shown in Exhibit 5.

    Exhibit 5—Systems To Participate in UCMR 4 Monitoring System size
  • (number of people served)
  • National sample assessment monitoring 10 List 1 cyanotoxins 20 Additional List 1 chemicals Total number of systems per
  • size category
  • Small Systems:1 25-10,000 800 randomly selected SW or GWUDI systems 800 randomly selected SW, GWUDI and GW systems 1,600 Large Systems:2 10,001 and over All SW or GWUDI systems (1,987) All SW, GWUDI and GW systems (4,292) 4,292 Total 2,787 5,092 5,892 1 Total for small systems is additive because these systems would only be selected for one component of UCMR 4 sampling (10 cyanotoxins or 20 additional chemicals). EPA would pay for all analytical costs associated with monitoring at small systems. 2 Large system counts are approximate. The number of large systems is not additive. All SW and GWUDI systems would monitor for cyanotoxins; those same systems would also monitor for the 20 additional List 1 chemicals, as would the large GW systems.
    1. Sampling Frequency, Timing

    The number of samples for SW, GWUDI and GW systems would generally be consistent with those during prior UCMR cycles, with the exceptions noted for the monitoring of cyanotoxins. Water systems would be required to collect samples during the monitoring time frame of March through November (excluding December, January and February). With the exception of cyanotoxin monitoring, sampling would take place every two months for SW and GWUDI systems (a total of four sampling events), and at 6-month intervals for GW systems (a total of two sampling events). For cyanotoxin monitoring, SW and GWUDI systems would collect samples twice a month for four consecutive months (total of eight sampling events). GW systems would be excluded from cyanotoxin monitoring.

    The Assessment Monitoring sampling time frame would take place during the compressed period of March through November to better reflect the times of year when contaminants are more likely to occur in drinking water. Populations of cyanobacteria generally peak when water temperature is highest (Graham et al., 2008). Seasonality of pesticide occurrence in surface waters has been well documented, and generally relates to the timing of pesticide applications in the watershed, rainfall or irrigation patterns and watershed size (USGS, 2014; Ryberg and Gilliom, 2015). Based on this information, EPA anticipates that sampling in the December through February time period would not accurately reflect occurrence for some of the contaminants, particularly cyanotoxins and pesticides. Industry and laboratory stakeholders have also observed that the traditional UCMR approach has the potential to underestimate exposure for some contaminants because of seasonal occurrence (Roberson and Eaton, 2014). Therefore, EPA is proposing that no sampling take place during those winter months, except for resampling purposes. EPA welcomes comments on this approach.

    Large system schedules (year and months of monitoring) would initially be determined by EPA in conjunction with the states (as described in section II.K) and these PWSs would have an opportunity to modify this schedule for planning purposes or other reasons (e.g., to conduct monitoring during the months the system or the state believes are most vulnerable, spread costs over multiple years, a sampling location will be closed during the scheduled month of monitoring, etc.). PWSs would not be permitted to reschedule monitoring specifically to avoid sample collection during a suspected vulnerable period. EPA proposes to schedule and coordinate small system monitoring by working closely with partnering states. SMPs provide an opportunity for states to review and revise the initial sampling schedules that EPA proposes (see discussion of SMPs in section II.K).

    2. Sampling Locations

    Sample collection for the UCMR 4 contaminants would take place at the entry point to the distribution system (EPTDS), with the following exceptions/additions. Sampling for “total microcystins” (i.e., the sum of congeners as measured by ADDA-ELISA) would also take place at the source water intake (concurrent with the collection of cyanotoxin samples at the EPTDS) unless the PWS purchases 100 percent of their water. “Consecutive systems” would only sample for cyanotoxins at their EPTDS. Measurements for temperature and pH would take place at the source water intake (concurrent with total microcystin sampling). HAA sampling would take place in the distribution system. Sampling for TOC and bromide would take place at a single source water intake (concurrent with HAA sampling in the distribution system). The indicator data, along with the disinfectant type and water treatment information, would aid in the understanding of brominated HAA and cyanotoxin occurrence and treatment efficacy.

    For purposes of total microcystin sampling, temperature and pH measurement, and TOC and bromide sampling, EPA defines source water under UCMR as untreated water entering the water treatment plant (i.e., at a location prior to any treatment). Systems that are subject to the Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (LT2) would use their source water sampling site(s) that have been identified under that rule (71 FR 654, January 5, 2006 (USEPA, 2006a)). Systems subject to the Stage 1 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule (DBPR) would use their TOC source water sampling site(s) (63 FR 69390, December 16, 1998 (USEPA, 1998c)). TOC source water sampling site(s) were set under Stage 1 DBPR and remain unchanged under Stage 2 DBPR. If a system has two different source water sampling locations for LT2 and Stage 1 DBPR, the system would be permitted to select the sample point that best represents the definition of source water sample location(s) for UCMR.

    EPA proposes that PWSs monitor for HAAs only in the distribution system. If the system's treatment plant/water source is subject to sampling requirements under § 141.622 (monitoring requirements for Stage 2 DBPR), the water systems must collect samples for the HAAs at the sampling locations identified under that rule (71 FR 388, January 4, 2006 (USEPA, 2006b)). If a treatment plant/water source is not subject to Stage 2 DBPR monitoring, then the water system must collect HAA distribution system samples at a location that represents the DSMRT. UCMR 4 HAA samples and HAA5 Stage 2 DBPR compliance monitoring samples may be collected by the PWS at the same time. However, in such cases, PWSs would be required to arrange for UCMR 4 HAA samples to be analyzed by a UCMR 4 approved laboratory using EPA Method 552.3 or 557 (compliance methods used for analysis of Stage 2 DBPR samples).

    3. Phased Sample Analysis for Microcystins

    EPA is proposing a phased sample analysis approach for microcystins to reduce analytical costs (i.e., PWSs must collect all required samples for each sampling event but not all samples may need to be analyzed). Two samples would be collected for ADDA ELISA (one source water intake sample and one EPTDS), and one sample would be collected for EPA Method 544 at the EPTDS. Initially, source water intake samples (collected by “non-consecutive” SW and GWUDI PWSs) would be analyzed for total microcystins as defined by an ADDA specific ELISA methodology. ADDA ELISA is a widely used screening assay that allows for the aggregate detection of numerous microcystin congeners; it does not allow for measurement of the individual congeners (USEPA, 2015c; Fischer et al., 2001; McElhiney and Lawton, 2005; Zeck et al., 2001). If the source water intake ELISA result is less than 0.3 micrograms per liter (μg/L) (i.e., the reporting limit for total microcystins), then the other collected samples (from the EPTDS) would not be analyzed for that sample event and only the source water result would be reported to EPA. If the ELISA result from the source water intake is greater than or equal to 0.3 μg/L, the result would be reported to EPA and the sample from the EPTDS would then also be analyzed for total microcystins by ELISA. ELISA analysis of the EPTDS sample would be the first step for consecutive systems. If the EPTDS ELISA result is less than 0.3 μg/L, then no additional analyses would be required for that particular sample event and the result would be reported to EPA. If the EPTDS ELISA result is greater than or equal to 0.3 μg/L, then that result would be reported to EPA and the other microcystin sample collected at the EPTDS would be analyzed using EPA Method 544 to identify and quantify six particular microcystin congeners and a related toxin, nodularin. Method 544 uses liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) to quantify and speciate microcystin congeners at low concentrations. Using Method 544 to analyze EPTDS samples that tested positive for microcystins by ELISA is expected to help EPA and the states to establish the degree to which particular congener occurrence compares with total microcystin occurrence as measured by ADDA ELISA (USEPA, 2015c).

    This phased sample analysis approach for microcystins has the potential to achieve significant cost savings. A similar approach is not practical for cylindrospermopsin and anatoxin-a samples. Therefore, EPA proposes that cylindrospermopsin and anatoxin-a sampling be conducted simultaneously with the microcystins, twice a month for four consecutive months only at the EPTDS, and that the samples be analyzed using EPA Method 545.

    4. Representative Sampling

    As during past UCMRs and as described in § 141.35(c)(3), the proposed rule would allow large GW systems that have multiple EPTDSs, with prior approval, to sample at representative sampling locations rather than at each EPTDS. Representative sampling plans approved under prior UCMRs will be recognized as valid for UCMR 4 and these systems must submit a copy of documentation from their state or EPA that approves their alternative sampling plan. Any new GW representative monitoring plans must be submitted to be reviewed by the state or EPA within 120 days from publication of the final rule. Once approved, these representative EPTDS locations, along with previously approved EPTDS locations from prior UCMRs, must be loaded into the Safe Drinking Water Accession and Review System (SDWARS) by December 31, 2017.

    5. Summary

    With the exception of the increased sample frequency, phased sample analysis for microcystins, revised sampling locations and the compressed monitoring schedule, the approach to UCMR 4 Assessment Monitoring remains consistent with that established for UCMR 3.

    EPA invites comments regarding the cyanotoxin monitoring approach and the usefulness of collecting temperature and pH data (concurrently with the ELISA sample) at the source water intake, as well as designating source water type (e.g., lakes/reservoirs or flowing streams), as potential indicators of cyanotoxin occurrence. EPA also invites comments on the appropriateness of other potential cyanotoxin indicators, recognizing that the cost of any additional indicator monitoring would need to be weighed with consideration given to the likelihood of any other parameters serving as effective indicators.

    Finally, EPA recognizes the trade-off between PWS burden and occurrence-data representativeness, and has attempted to strike a reasonable balance in selecting the affected PWSs and establishing the monitoring frequency. The Agency welcomes comment on this particular point, including input regarding the appropriateness of collecting occurrence data from fewer PWSs. This could include employing the Screening Survey approach used in UCMR 3 or an alternative design. EPA requests that commenters suggesting alternatives describe how their proposed approach would be nationally representative of the frequency and level of contaminant occurrence.

    G. What are reporting requirements for UCMR 4? 1. Data Elements

    EPA proposes the following changes to the reporting requirements listed in Table 1 of § 141.35(e) to account for the UCMR 4 contaminants being proposed and the associated indicators. Additionally, EPA proposes to collect quality control information related to sample analysis. This information would further ensure that methods are followed as written, and would provide continuous quality assurance of data reported. EPA collected this information for small systems in previous UCMRs and found that doing so helps ensure that laboratories consistently follow the methods.

    • Add Public Water System Name. New data element to be assigned once by the PWS.

    • Add Public Water System Facility Name. New data element to be assigned once by the PWS for every facility identification code.

    • Add Public Water System Facility Type. New data element to be assigned once by the PWS for every facility.

    • Update Sampling Point Identification Code. Added “source water” as an example of applicable sampling locations.

    • Add Sampling Point Name. New data element to be assigned once by the PWS for every sampling point identification code.

    • Update Sample Point Type Code. Add source water (SR) to account for brominated HAA indicators and microcystin monitoring at the intake to the treatment plant.

    • Update Disinfectant Type. Adding the following primary disinfectant/oxidation practices: Permanganate applied before SR sample location (PEMB) and after (PEMA), hydrogen peroxide applied before SR sample location (HPXB) and after (HPXA), and chlorine dioxide applied before SR sample location (CLDB) and after (CLDA).

    • Add Treatment Information. New data element to capture treatment associated with the water being sampled.

    • Add Disinfectant Residual Type. New data element to capture disinfectant residual type information associated with the water being sampled.

    • Add Extraction Batch Identification Code. New data element to allow evaluation of quality control elements associated with extraction of samples in methods where extraction is required.

    • Add Extraction Date. New data element identifying the date of sample extraction.

    • Add Analysis Batch Identification Code. New data element to allow evaluation of quality control elements associated with analyzing samples.

    • Add Analysis Date. New data element identifying the start date of sample analysis.

    • Update Sample Analysis Type. The following elements are proposed as quality assurance measures:

    ○ Continuing calibration check (CCC), an element that verifies the accuracy of method calibration;

    ○ Internal standard (IS), an element that measures the relative response of contaminants;

    ○ Laboratory fortified blank (LFB), an element that verifies method performance in the absence of a sample matrix;

    ○ Laboratory reagent blank (LRB), an element that verifies the absence of interferences in the reagents and equipment;

    ○ Quality control sample (QCS), an element that verifies the accuracy of the calibration standards;

    ○ Quality HAA (QH), HAA sample collected and submitted for quality control; and,

    ○ Surrogate standard (SUR), an element that assesses method performance for each extraction.

    • Update Analytical Result—Value. Update to “Analytical Result—Measured Value.” The measured value is the analytical result for the contaminant.

    • Add Additional Value. This element is used for quality control samples and is the amount of contaminant added to a QCS.

    • Update Sample Event Code. Revise sample event codes to uniquely identify sampling events with specific codes for cyanotoxin and additional chemical monitoring.

    2. Duplicate Samples

    Currently, § 141.40(a)(4)(ii)(F), requires EPA to randomly select a small percentage of small water systems to collect duplicate water samples for quality control purposes. Based on experience from previous UCMRs, this requirement did not provide significant useful information and EPA proposes to remove the requirement for the collection of duplicate samples from UCMR 4.

    H. What are Minimum Reporting Levels (MRLs) and how were they determined?

    The analyte minimum reporting level (MRL) is a quantitation level designed to be an estimate of the reporting level that is achievable, with 95% confidence, by a capable analyst/laboratory at least 75% of the time, using the prescribed method. Demonstration of the ability to reliably make quality measurements at or below the MRL is intended to ensure that high quality results are being reported by participating laboratories. MRLs are generally established as low as is reasonable (and are typically lower than the current health reference levels and health advisories), so that the occurrence data reported to EPA will support sound decision making, including those cases where new information might lead to lower health reference levels. EPA established the proposed MRL for each analyte/method by obtaining data from several laboratories performing “lowest concentration minimum reporting level” (LCMRL) studies. For further information on the LCMRL and MRL process, see “Technical Basis for the Lowest Concentration Minimum Reporting Level (LCMRL) Calculator” (USEPA, 2010), available on the Internet at (http://www2.epa.gov/dwanalyticalmethods/approved-drinking-water-analytical-methods). EPA will consider raising MRLs if the Agency becomes aware of evidence that a proposed MRL is unattainable or impractical.

    I. How do laboratories become approved to conduct UCMR 4 analyses?

    The proposed rule would require EPA approval for all laboratories conducting analyses for UCMR 4. EPA anticipates following the traditional Agency approach to approving UCMR laboratories, which would require laboratories seeking approval to: (1) Provide EPA with data that demonstrate a successful completion of an initial demonstration of capability (IDC) as outlined in each method; (2) verify successful performance at or below the MRLs as specified in this action; (3) provide information about laboratory operating procedures; and (4) successfully participate in an EPA proficiency testing (PT) program for the analytes of interest. Audits of laboratories may be conducted by EPA prior to and/or following approval. The “UCMR 4 Laboratory Approval Requirements and Information Document” (USEPA, 2015j) will provide guidance on the EPA laboratory approval program and the specific method acceptance criteria.

    EPA may supply analytical reference standards for select analytes to participating/approved laboratories when reliable standards are not readily available through commercial sources.

    The structure of the proposed UCMR 4 laboratory approval program is the same as that employed in previous UCMRs, and would provide an assessment of the ability of laboratories to perform analyses using the methods listed in § 141.40(a)(3), Table 1. The UCMR 4 laboratory approval process is designed to assess whether laboratories possess the required equipment and can meet laboratory-performance and data-reporting criteria described in this action. Laboratory participation in the UCMR laboratory approval program is voluntary. However, as in previous UCMRs and as proposed for UCMR 4, EPA would require PWSs to exclusively use laboratories that have been approved under the program. EPA expects to post a list of approved UCMR 4 laboratories to: http://www2.epa.gov/dwucmr. Laboratories are encouraged to apply for UCMR 4 approval as early as possible, as EPA anticipates that large PWSs scheduled for monitoring in the first year will be making arrangements for sample analyses soon after the final rule is published. The anticipated steps and requirements for the laboratory approval process are listed in the following paragraphs, steps 1 through 6.

    1. Request To Participate

    Laboratories interested in the UCMR 4 laboratory approval program would first email EPA at: [email protected] to request registration materials. EPA expects to accept such requests beginning December 11, 2015. EPA anticipates that the final opportunity for a laboratory to complete and submit the necessary registration information will be 60 days after final rule publication.

    2. Registration

    Laboratory applicants provide registration information that includes: laboratory name, mailing address, shipping address, contact name, phone number, email address and a list of the UCMR 4 methods for which the laboratory is seeking approval. This registration step provides EPA with the necessary contact information, and ensures that each laboratory receives a customized application package.

    3. Application Package

    Laboratories that wish to participate complete and return a customized application package that includes the following: IDC data, including precision, accuracy and results of MRL studies; information regarding analytical equipment and other materials; proof of current drinking water laboratory certification (for select compliance monitoring methods); and example chromatograms for each method under review.

    As a condition of receiving and maintaining approval, the laboratory is expected to confirm that it will post UCMR 4 monitoring results and quality control data that meet method criteria (on behalf of its PWS clients) to EPA's UCMR electronic data reporting system, SDWARS.

    4. EPA's Review of Application Package

    EPA will review the application packages and, if necessary, request follow-up information. Laboratories that successfully complete the application process become eligible to participate in the UCMR 4 PT program.

    5. Proficiency Testing

    A PT sample is a synthetic sample containing a concentration of an analyte or mixture of analytes that is known to EPA, but unknown to the laboratory. To be approved, a laboratory is expected to meet specific acceptance criteria for the analysis of a UCMR 4 PT sample(s) for each analyte in each method, for which the laboratory is seeking approval. EPA intends to offer up to four opportunities for a laboratory to successfully analyze UCMR 4 PT samples. Up to three of these studies will be conducted prior to the publication of the final rule, and at least one study will be conducted after publication of the final rule. This allows laboratories to complete their portion of the laboratory approval process prior to publication of the final rule and receive their approval immediately following the publication of the final rule. A laboratory is expected to pass one of the PT studies for each analytical method for which it is requesting approval, and will not be required to pass a PT study for a method it already passed in a previous UCMR 4 PT study. EPA does not expect to conduct additional PT studies after the start of system monitoring; however, laboratory audits will likely be ongoing throughout UCMR 4 implementation. Initial laboratory approval is expected to be contingent on successful completion of a PT study. Continued laboratory approval is contingent on successful completion of the audit process and satisfactorily meeting all the other stated conditions.

    6. Written EPA Approval

    After successfully completing the preceding steps 1 through 5, EPA expects to send each laboratory a letter listing the methods for which approval is pending (i.e., pending promulgation of the final rule if the PT studies have been conducted prior to that time), or for which approval is granted (if after promulgation of the final rule). Laboratories receiving pending approval are expected to be granted approval without further action following promulgation of the final rule if no changes have been made to the rule that impact the laboratory approval program. EPA expects to contact the laboratory if changes are made between the proposed and final rules that warrant additional action by the laboratory.

    J. What documents are being incorporated by reference?

    The following methods are being incorporated by reference into this section for UCMR 4 monitoring. All approved material except for the Standard Method Online, is available for inspection electronically at http://www.regulations.gov (Docket ID No. OW-2015-0218), or from the sources listed for each method. EPA has worked to make these methods and documents reasonably available to interested parties. The versions of the EPA and non-EPA methods that may be used to support monitoring under this rule are as follows:

    1. Methods From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

    The following methods are from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Water Docket, EPA/DC, EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20004.

    (i) EPA Method 150.1 “pH Electrometric, in Methods for Chemical Analysis of Water and Wastes,” 1983, EPA/600/4-79/020. Available on the Internet at http://www.nemi.gov. This is an EPA method for measuring pH in water samples using a meter with a glass electrode and reference electrode or a combination electrode. The proposal includes measurement of pH as a potential indicator for cyanotoxins.

    (ii) EPA Method 150.2 “pH, Continuous Monitoring (Electrometric), in Methods for Chemical Analysis of Water and Wastes,” 1983, EPA/600/4-79/020. Available on the Internet at http://www.nemi.gov. This is an EPA method for measuring pH of in-line water samples using a continuous flow meter with a glass electrode and reference electrode or a combination electrode.

    (iii) EPA Method 200.8 “Determination of Trace Elements in Waters and Wastes by Inductively Coupled Plasma—Mass Spectrometry,” Revision 5.4, 1994. Available on the Internet at https://www.nemi.gov. This is an EPA method for the analysis of elements in water by ICP-MS and is proposed to measure germanium and manganese.

    (iv) EPA Method 300.0 “Determination of Inorganic Anions by Ion Chromatography Samples,” Revision 2.1, 1993. Available on the Internet at http://www.nemi.gov. This is an EPA method for the analysis of inorganic anions in water samples using ion chromatography (IC) with conductivity detection. The proposal includes measurement of bromide as a potential indicator for HAAs.

    (v) EPA Method 300.1 “Determination of Inorganic Anions in Drinking Water by Ion Chromatography,” Revision 1.0, 1997. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/dwanalyticalmethods/approved-drinking-water-analytical-methods. This is an EPA method for the analysis of inorganic anions in water samples using IC with conductivity detection.

    (vi) EPA Method 317.0 “Determination of Inorganic Oxyhalide Disinfection By-Products in Drinking Water Using Ion Chromatography with the Addition of a Postcolumn Reagent for Trace Bromate Analysis,” Revision 2.0, 2001, EPA 815-B-01-001. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/dwanalyticalmethods/approved-drinking-water-analytical-methods. This is an EPA method for the analysis of inorganic anions in water samples using IC with conductivity detection.

    (vii) EPA Method 326.0 “Determination of Inorganic Oxyhalide Disinfection By-Products in Drinking Water Using Ion Chromatography Incorporating the Addition of a Suppressor Acidified Postcolumn Reagent for Trace Bromate Analysis,” Revision 1.0, 2002, EPA 815-R-03-007. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/dwanalyticalmethods/approved-drinking-water-analytical-methods. This is an EPA method for the analysis of inorganic anions in water samples using IC with conductivity detection.

    (viii) EPA Method 415.3 “Determination of Total Organic Carbon and Specific UV Absorbance at 254 nm in Source Water and Drinking Water,” Revision 1.1, 2005, EPA/600/R-05/055. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/water-research/epa-drinking-water-research-methods. This is an EPA method for the analysis of TOC in water samples using a conductivity detector or a nondispersive infrared detector.

    (ix) EPA Method 415.3 “Determination of Total Organic Carbon and Specific UV Absorbance at 254 nm in Source Water and Drinking Water,” Revision 1.2, 2009, EPA/600/R-09/122.Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/water-research/epa-drinking-water-research-methods. This is an EPA method for the analysis of TOC in water samples using a conductivity detector or a nondispersive infrared detector.

    (x) EPA Method 525.3 “Determination of Semivolatile Organic Chemicals in Drinking Water by Solid Phase Extraction and Capillary Column Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS),” Version 1.0, February 2012, EPA/600/R-12/010. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/water-research/epa-drinking-water-research-methods. This is an EPA method for the analysis of semivolatile organic chemicals in drinking water using SPE and GC/MS and is proposed to measure nine pesticides (alpha-hexachlorocyclohexane, chlorpyrifos, dimethipin, ethoprop, oxyfluorfen, profenofos, tebuconazole, total cis- and trans- permethrin, and tribufos).

    (xi) EPA Method 530 “Determination of Select Semivolatile Organic Chemicals in Drinking Water by Solid Phase Extraction and Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS),” Version 1.0, January 2015, EPA/600/R-14/442. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/water-research/epa-drinking-water-research-methods. This is an EPA method for the analysis of semivolatile organic chemicals in drinking water using SPE and GC/MS and is proposed to measure butylated hydroxyanisole, o-toluidine, and quinoline.

    (xii) EPA Method 541 “Determination of 1-Butanol, 1,4-Dioxane, 2-Methoxyethanol and 2-Propen-1-ol in Drinking Water by Solid Phase Extraction and Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry,” November 2015, EPA 815-R-15-011. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/dwanalyticalmethods/approved-drinking-water-analytical-methods. This is an EPA method for the analysis of selected alcohols and 1,4-dioxane in drinking water using SPE and GC/MS and is proposed to measure 1-butanol, 2-methoxyethanol and 2-propen-1-ol.

    (xiii) EPA Method 544 “Determination of Microcystins and Nodularin in Drinking Water by Solid Phase Extraction and Liquid Chromatography/Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS/MS),” Version 1.0, February 2015, EPA/600/R-14/474. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/water-research/epa-drinking-water-research-methods. This is an EPA method for the analysis of selected cyanotoxins in drinking water using SPE and LC-MS/MS with electrospray ionization (ESI) and is proposed to measure six microcystins (microcystin-LA, microcystin-LF, microcystin-LR, microcystin-LY, microcystin-RR, and microcystin-YR) and nodularin.

    (xiv) EPA Method 545 “Determination of Cylindrospermopsin and Anatoxin-a in Drinking Water by Liquid Chromatography Electrospray Ionization Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC/ESI-MS/MS),” April 2015, EPA 815-R-15-009. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/dwanalyticalmethods/approved-drinking-water-analytical-methods. This is an EPA method for the analysis of selected cyanotoxins in drinking water using LC-MS/MS with electrospray ionization (ESI) and is proposed to measure cylindrospermopsin and anatoxin-a.

    (xv) EPA Method 552.3 “Determination of Haloacetic Acids and Dalapon in Drinking Water by Liquid-Liquid Microextraction, Derivatization, and Gas Chromatography with Electron Capture Detection,” Revision 1.0, July 2003, EPA 815-B-03-002. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/dwanalyticalmethods/approved-drinking-water-analytical-methods. This is an EPA method for the analysis of haloacetic acids and dalapon in drinking water using liquid-liquid microextraction, derivatization, and GC with electron capture detection (ECD) and is proposed to measure three HAA groups (HAA5, HAA6Br and HAA9).

    (xvi) EPA Method 557 “Determination of Haloacetic Acids, Bromate, and Dalapon in Drinking Water by Ion Chromatography Electrospray Ionization Tandem Mass Spectrometry (IC-ESI-MS/MS),” Version 1.0, September 2009, EPA 815-B-09-012. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/dwanalyticalmethods/approved-drinking-water-analytical-methods. This is an EPA method for the analysis of haloacetic acids, bromate, and dalapon in drinking water using IC-MS/MS with electrospray ionization (ESI) and is proposed to measure three HAA groups (HAA5, HAA6Br and HAA9).

    2. Methods From “ASTM International”

    The following methods are from “ASTM International”, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959.

    (i) ASTM D1293-12 “Standard Test Methods for pH of Water.” Available for purchase on the Internet at http://www.astm.org/Standards/D1293.htm. This is an ASTM method for measuring pH in water samples using a meter and associated electrodes.

    (ii) ASTM D5673-10 “Standard Test Method for Elements in Water by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry,” approved August 1, 2010. Available for purchase on the Internet at http://www.astm.org/Standards/D5673.htm. This is an ASTM method for the analysis of elements in water by ICP-MS and is proposed to measure germanium and manganese.

    (iii) ASTM D6581-12 “Standard Test Methods for Bromate, Bromide, Chlorate, and Chlorite in Drinking Water by Suppressed Ion Chromatography.” Available for purchase on the Internet at http://www.astm.org/Standards/D6581.htm. This is an ASTM method for the analysis of inorganic anions in water samples using IC with conductivity detection. The proposal includes measurement of bromide as a potential indicator for HAAs.

    3. Methods From “Standard Methods for the Examination of Water & Wastewater”

    The following methods are from “Standard Methods for the Examination of Water & Wastewater”, 21st edition (2005), American Public Health Association, 800 I Street NW., Washington, DC 20001-3710.

    (i) SM 2550 “Temperature.” This is a Standard Method for temperature measurements using a thermometer (mercury). The proposal includes measurement of temperature as a potential indicator for cyanotoxins.

    (ii) SM 3125 “Metals by Inductively Coupled Plasma/Mass Spectrometry.” This is a Standard Method for the analysis of metals and metalloids in water by ICP-MS and is proposed for the analysis of germanium and manganese.

    (iii) SM 4500-H+ B “pH Value in Water by Potentiometry Using a Standard Hydrogen Electrode.” This is a Standard Method for measuring pH of water samples using a meter, standard hydrogen electrode, and reference electrode.

    (iv) SM 5310B “The Determination of Total Organic Carbon by High-Temperature Combustion Method.” This is a Standard Method for the analysis of TOC in water samples using a a conductivity detector or a nondispersive infrared detector.

    (v) SM 5310C “Total organic carbon by Persulfate-UV or Heated-Persulfate Oxidation Method.” This is a Standard Method for the analysis of TOC in water samples using conductivity detector or a nondispersive infrared detector.

    (vi) SM 5310D “Total organic carbon by Wet-Oxidation Method.” This is a Standard Method for the analysis of TOC in water samples using a conductivity detector or a nondispersive infrared detector.

    4. Methods From “Standard Methods Online”

    The following methods are from “Standard Methods Online,” available for purchase on the Internet at http://www.standardmethods.org.

    (i) SM 2550-10 “Temperature.” This is a Standard Method for temperature measurements using a thermometer (fluid filled or electronic).

    (ii) SM 3125-09 “Metals by Inductively Coupled Plasma/Mass Spectrometry (Editorial revisions, 2011).” This is a Standard Method for the analysis of metals and metalloids in water by ICP-MS and is proposed to measure germanium and manganese.

    (iii) SM 4500-H+ B-00 “pH Value in Water by Potentiometry Using a Standard Hydrogen Electrode.” This is a Standard Method for measuring pH in water samples using a meter, standard hydrogen electrode, and reference electrode.

    (iv) SM 5310B-00 “The Determination of Total Organic Carbon by High-Temperature Combustion Method.” This is a Standard Method for the analysis of TOC in water samples using a conductivity detector or a nondispersive infrared detector.

    (v) SM 5310C-00 “Total organic carbon by Persulfate-UV or Heated-Persulfate Oxidation Method.” This is a Standard Method for the analysis of TOC in water samples using a conductivity detector or a nondispersive infrared detector.

    (vi) SM 5310D-00 “Total organic carbon by Wet-Oxidation Method.” This is a Standard Method for the analysis of TOC in water samples using a conductivity detector or a nondispersive infrared detector.

    5. Method From “Ohio EPA”

    The following methodology is from Ohio EPA, Columbus, OH.

    (i) ELISA SOP “Ohio EPA Total (Extracellular and Intracellular) Microcystins—ADDA by ELISA Analytical Methodology,” Version 2.0. January 2015, available on the Internet at http://www.epa.ohio.gov/Portals/28/documents/habs/HAB_Analytical_Methodology.pdf. This is an Ohio EPA method for the analysis of cyanotoxins (microcystins and nodularin) in drinking water using an ELISA technique. The proposal includes measurement of “total microcystins” using this technique.

    K. What is the states' role in the UCMR program?

    UCMR is a direct implementation rule (i.e., EPA has primary responsibility for its implementation) and state participation is voluntary. Under previous UCMRs, specific activities that individual states, tribes and territories agreed to carry out or assist with were identified and established exclusively through Partnership Agreements (PAs). Through PAs, states, tribes and territories can help EPA implement the UCMR program and help ensure that the UCMR data are of the highest quality possible to best support Agency decision making. Under UCMR 4, EPA expects to continue to use the PA process to determine and document the following: The process for review and revision of the SMPs; replacing and updating system information; review and approval of proposed ground water representative monitoring plans; notification and instructions for systems; and compliance assistance. EPA recognizes that states/primacy agencies often have the best information about PWSs in their state and encourages states to partner.

    SMPs include tabular listings of the systems that EPA selected and the proposed schedule for their monitoring. Initial SMPs also typically include instructions to states for revising and/or correcting system information in the SMPs, including modifying the sampling schedules for small systems. EPA expects to incorporate revisions from states, resolve any outstanding questions and return the final SMPs to each state.

    L. What stakeholder meetings have been held in preparation for UCMR 4?

    EPA incorporates stakeholder involvement into each UCMR cycle. Specific to the development of UCMR 4, EPA held two public stakeholder meetings and is announcing a third in this proposal (see sections II.L and II.M). EPA held a meeting focused on drinking water methods for CCL contaminants on May 15, 2013, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Participants included representatives of state agencies, laboratories, PWSs, environmental organizations and drinking water associations. Meeting topics included an overview of the regulatory process (CCL, UCMR and Regulatory Determination) and drinking water methods under development, primarily for CCL contaminants (see USEPA, 2013 for presentation materials). EPA held a second stakeholder meeting on June 25, 2014, in Washington, DC. Attendees representing state agencies, tribes, laboratories, PWSs, environmental organizations and drinking water associations participated in the meeting via webinar and in person. Meeting topics included a status update on UCMR 3; UCMR 4 potential sampling design changes relative to UCMR 3; UCMR 4 candidate analytes and rationale; and the laboratory approval process (see USEPA, 2014 for meeting materials).

    M. How do I participate in the upcoming stakeholder meeting?

    EPA will hold the third public stakeholder meeting (via webinar) on January 13, 2016. Topics will include the proposed UCMR 4 monitoring requirements, analyte selection and rationale, analytical methods, the laboratory approval process and ground water representative monitoring plans.

    1. Webinar Participation

    Those who wish to participate in the public webinar must register in advance no later than 5:00 p.m., eastern time on January 10, 2016, https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7326881974233959170. To ensure adequate time for public statements, individuals or organizations interested in making a statement should identify their interest when they register. We ask that only one person present on behalf of a group or organization, and that the presentation be limited to ten minutes. Any additional statements from attendees will be taken during the webinar if time permits; alternatively, official comments can be submitted to the docket. The number of webinar connections available for the meeting is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Further details about registration and participation in the webinar can be found on EPA's Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Program Meetings and Materials Web page at http://www2.epa.gov/dwucmr/unregulated-contaminant-monitoring-rule-ucmr-meetings-and-materials.

    2. Webinar Materials

    Meeting materials are expected to be sent by email to all registered attendees prior to the public webinar. EPA will post the materials on the Agency's Web site for persons who are unable to attend the webinar. Please note, these materials could be posted after the webinar.

    N. How did EPA consider Children's Environmental Health?

    Executive Order 13045 does not apply to UCMR 4, however, EPA's Policy on Evaluating Health Risks to Children is applicable (See III.G. Executive Order 13045). By monitoring for unregulated contaminants that may pose health risks via drinking water, UCMR furthers the protection of public health for all citizens, including children. EPA considered children's health risks during the proposed rule development process for UCMR 4, including the decision-making process for prioritizing candidate contaminants, and included a representative from EPA's Office of Children's Health Protection as a participant on the UCMR 4 workgroup.

    The objective of UCMR 4 is to collect nationally representative drinking water data on a set of unregulated contaminants. Wherever feasible, EPA collects occurrence data for contaminants at levels below current “reference concentrations” (e.g., health advisories and health reference levels). By setting reporting levels as low as we reasonably can, the Agency positions itself to better address updated risk information in the future, including that associated with unique risks to children. EPA requests comments regarding any further steps that may be taken to evaluate and address health risks to children within the scope of UCMR 4.

    O. How did EPA address Environmental Justice?

    EPA did not identify any disproportionately high or adverse human health or environmental effects on minority, low-income or indigenous populations in the process of developing the proposed rule for UCMR 4 (See III.J. Executive Order 12898). By seeking to identify unregulated contaminants that may pose health risks via drinking water from all PWSs, UCMR furthers the protection of public health for all citizens. EPA recognizes that unregulated contaminants in drinking water are of interest to all populations and structured the rulemaking process and implementation of the proposed UCMR 4 rule to allow for meaningful involvement and transparency. EPA organized public meetings/webinars to share information regarding the development of UCMR 4; coordinated with tribal governments; and convened a workgroup with representatives from the EPA Regions, EPA Program Offices, EPA's Office of Research and Development and several states.

    EPA proposes to continue to collect U.S. Postal Service Zip Codes for each PWS's service area, as collected under UCMR 3, to support an assessment of whether or not minority, low-income and/or indigenous-population communities are uniquely impacted by particular drinking water contaminants. EPA solicits comment on additional actions the Agency could take to further address environmental justice within the UCMR program. EPA welcomes, for example, comments regarding sampling and/or modeling approaches, and the feasibility and utility of applying these approaches to determine disproportionate impacts.

    III. 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 not a significant regulatory action and was therefore not submitted to OMB.

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    The information collection activities in this proposed rule have been submitted for approval to OMB under the PRA. The ICR document that the EPA prepared has been assigned EPA ICR number 2192.07. You can find a copy of the ICR in the docket for this rule, and it is briefly summarized here.

    The information that EPA proposes to collect under this rule fulfills the statutory requirements of section 1445(a)(2) of SDWA, as amended in 1996. The data will describe the source of the water, location and test results for samples taken from PWSs. The information collected will support Agency decisions as to whether or not to regulate particular contaminants under SDWA. Reporting is mandatory. The data are not subject to confidentiality protection.

    The annual burden and cost estimates described in this section are based on the implementation assumptions described in section II.F. Respondents to UCMR 4 include 1,600 small PWSs (800 for cyanotoxin monitoring and a different set of 800 for monitoring the additional 20 chemicals), the ~4,292 large PWSs and the 56 states and primacy agencies (~5,948 total respondents). The frequency of response varies across respondents and years. System costs (particularly laboratory analytical costs) vary depending on the number of sampling locations. For cost estimates, EPA assumed that systems would conduct sampling evenly across March 2018 through November 2020, excluding December, January or February of each year, except for resampling purposes (i.e., one-third of the systems in each year of monitoring). Because the applicable ICR period is 2017-2019, one year of monitoring activity (i.e., 2020) is not captured in the ICR estimates; this will be addressed in a subsequent ICR renewal for UCMR 4.

    Small PWSs that are selected for UCMR 4 monitoring would sample an average of 6.7 times per PWS (i.e., number of responses per PWS) across the 3-year ICR period. The average burden per response for small PWSs is estimated to be 2.8 hours. Large PWSs (those serving 10,001 to 100,000 people) and very large PWSs (those serving more than 100,000 people) would sample and report an average of 11.4 and 14.1 times per PWS, respectively, across the 3-year ICR period. The average burden per response for large and very large PWSs is estimated at 6.1 and 9.9 hours, respectively. States are assumed to have an annual average burden of 366.5 hours related to coordination with EPA and PWSs. In aggregate, during the ICR period, the average response (e.g., responses from PWSs and states) is associated with a burden of 6.9 hours, with a labor plus non-labor cost of $1,705 per response.

    The annual average per-respondent burden hours and costs for the ICR period are: Small PWSs—6.2 hours, or $171, for labor; large PWSs—23.3 hours, or $682, for labor, and $6,047 for analytical costs; very large PWSs—46.5 hours, or $1,248, for labor, and $16,298 for analytical costs; and states—244.3 hours, or $11,598, for labor. Annual average burden and cost per respondent (including both systems and states) is estimated to be 23.4 hours, with a labor plus non-labor cost of $3,470 per respondent. Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.3(b).

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for EPA's rules in 40 CFR are listed in 40 CFR part 9.

    To comment on the Agency's need for this information, accuracy of the burden estimates or to provide suggested methods for minimizing respondent burden, reference the public docket for this rule, which includes the ICR. Submit any comments related to the ICR to EPA and OMB. See the ADDRESSES section at the beginning of this notice for where to submit comments to EPA and OMB. OMB is required to make a decision concerning the ICR between 30 and 60 days after December 11, 2015. Comments should be sent to OMB by January 11, 2016 for the comment to be appropriately considered. The final rule will contain responses to any OMB or public comments on the information collection requirements contained in this proposal.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    For purposes of assessing the impacts of this proposed rule on small entities, EPA considered small entities to be PWSs serving 10,000 or fewer people, because this is the system size specified in SDWA as requiring special consideration with respect to small system flexibility. As required by the RFA, EPA proposed using this alternative definition in the FR, (63 FR 7606, February 13, 1998 (USEPA, 1998b)), requested public comment, consulted with the Small Business Administration and finalized the alternative definition in the Consumer Confidence Reports rulemaking, (63 FR 44512, August 19, 1998 (USEPA, 1998a)). As stated in that Final Rule, the alternative definition would be applied to future drinking water rules, including this rule.

    The evaluation of the overall impact on small systems, summarized in the preceding discussion, is further described as follows. EPA analyzed the impacts for privately-owned and publicly-owned water systems separately, due to the different economic characteristics of these ownership types, such as different rate structures and profit goals. However, for both publicly- and privately-owned systems, EPA used the “revenue test,” which compares annual system costs attributed to the rule to the system's annual revenues. EPA used median revenue data from the 2006 CWS Survey for public and private water systems. The revenue figures were updated to 2014 dollars, and to account for 3 percent inflation. EPA assumes that the distribution of the sample of participating small systems will reflect the proportions of publicly- and privately-owned systems in the national inventory. The estimated distribution of the representative sample, categorized by ownership type, source water and system size, is presented in Exhibit 6.

    Exhibit 6—Number of Publicly- and Privately-Owned Small Systems Subject to UCMR 4 System size
  • (number of people served)
  • Publicly-owned Privately-owned Total 1
    Ground Water 500 and under 21 64 85 501 to 3,300 161 62 223 3,301 to 10,000 179 41 220 Subtotal GW 361 167 528 Surface Water (and GWUDI) 500 and under 18 21 39 501 to 3,300 241 86 327 3,301 to 10,000 548 158 706 Subtotal SW 807 265 1,072 Total of Small Water Systems 1,168 432 1,600 1 PWS counts were adjusted to display as whole numbers in each size category.

    The basis for the proposed UCMR 4 RFA certification is as follows: For the 1,600 small water systems that would be affected, the average annual cost for complying with this rule represents no more than 0.8% of system revenues (the highest estimated percentage is for GW systems serving 500 or fewer people, at 0.8% of its median revenue). Exhibit 7 presents the yearly cost to small systems and to EPA for the small system sampling program, along with an illustration of system participation for each year of UCMR 4.

    Exhibit 7—Implementation of UCMR 4 at Small Systems Cost description 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 Total 1 Costs to EPA for Small System Program (Assessment Monitoring) $0 $5,971,948 $5,971,948 $5,971,948 $0 $17,915,845 Costs to Small Systems (Assessment Monitoring) 0 $273,210 $273,210 $273,210 0 $819,631 Total Costs to EPA and Small Systems for UCMR 4 0 $6,245,159 $6,245,159 $6,245,159 0 $18,735,476 System Monitoring Activity Timeline 2 Assessment Monitoring: Cyanotoxins 1/3 PWSs Sample 1/3 PWSs Sample 1/3 PWSs Sample 800 Assessment Monitoring: 20 Additional Chemicals 1/3 PWSs Sample 1/3 PWSs Sample 1/3 PWSs Sample 800 1 Totals may not equal the sum of components due to rounding. 2 Total number of systems is 1,600. No small system conducts Assessment Monitoring for both cyanotoxins and the 20 additional chemicals.

    PWS costs are attributed to the labor required for reading about UCMR 4 requirements, monitoring, reporting and record keeping. The estimated average annual burden across the 5-year UCMR 4 implementation period of 2017-2021 is 2.8 hours at $103 per small system. Average annual cost, in all cases, is less than 0.8% of system revenues. By assuming all costs for laboratory analyses, shipping and quality control for small entities, EPA incurs the entirety of the non-labor costs associated with UCMR 4 small system monitoring, or 96% of total small system testing costs. Exhibit 8 and Exhibit 9 present the estimated economic impacts in the form of a revenue test for publicly- and privately-owned systems.

    Exhibit 8—UCMR 4 Relative Cost Analysis for Small Publicly-Owned Systems [2017-2021] System size
  • (number of people served)
  • Annual
  • number of
  • systems
  • impacted 1
  • Average
  • annual hours
  • per system
  • (2017-2021)
  • Average
  • annual cost
  • per system
  • (2017-2021)
  • Revenue test 2
  • (%)
  • Ground Water Systems 500 and under 4 1.6 $59 0.16 501 to 3,300 32 1.7 63 0.04 3,301 to 10,000 36 1.9 67 0.01 Surface Water (and GWUDI) Systems 500 and under 4 3.3 118 0.17 501 to 3,300 48 3.3 118 0.04 3,301 to 10,000 109 3.4 123 0.01 1 PWS counts were adjusted to display as whole numbers in each size category. 2 The Revenue Test was used to evaluate the economic impact of an information collection on small government entities (e.g., publicly-owned systems); costs are presented as a percentage of median annual revenue in each size category.
    Exhibit 9—UCMR 4 Relative Cost Analysis for Small Privately-Owned Systems [2017-2021] System size
  • (number of people served)
  • Annual
  • number of
  • systems
  • impacted 1
  • Average
  • annual hours
  • per system
  • (2017-2021)
  • Average
  • annual cost
  • per system
  • (2017-2021)
  • Revenue test 2
  • (%)
  • Ground Water Systems 500 and under 13 1.6 $59 0.81 501 to 3,300 12 1.7 63 0.05 3,301 to 10,000 8 1.9 67 0.01 Surface Water (and GWUDI) Systems 500 and under 4 3.3 118 0.29 501 to 3,300 17 3.3 118 0.04 3,301 to 10,000 32 3.4 123 0.01 1 PWS counts were adjusted to display as whole numbers in each size category. 2 The Revenue Test was used to evaluate the economic impact of an information collection on small government entities (e.g., privately-owned systems); costs are presented as a percentage of median annual revenue in each size category.

    The Agency has determined that 1,600 small PWSs (for Assessment Monitoring), or approximately 4.2% of all small systems, would experience an impact of no more than 0.8% of revenues; the remainder of small systems would not be impacted.

    Although this proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, EPA has attempted to reduce this impact by assuming all costs for analyses of the samples and for shipping the samples from small systems to laboratories contracted by EPA to analyze UCMR 4 samples (the cost of shipping is now included in the cost of each analytical method). EPA has set aside $2.0 million each year from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) with its authority to use SRF monies for the purposes of implementing this provision of SDWA. Thus, the costs to these small systems will be limited to the labor associated with collecting a sample and preparing it for shipping.

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. In making this determination, the impact of concern is any significant adverse economic impact on small entities. Although EPA has concluded that this action will have no significant net regulatory burden for directly regulated small entities, the Agency continues to be interested in the potential impacts of the proposed rule on small entities and welcomes comments on issues related to such impacts.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action does not contain an annual unfunded mandate of $100 million or more as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments.

    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.

    Consistent with EPA policy to promote communications between EPA and state and local governments, EPA specifically solicits comment on the proposed rule from state and local officials.

    F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

    This action will neither impose substantial direct compliance costs on federally recognized tribal governments, nor preempt tribal law. As described previously, this proposed rule requires monitoring by all large PWSs. Information in the SDWIS/Fed water system inventory indicates there are approximately 17 large tribal PWSs (ranging in size from 10,001 to 40,000 customers). EPA estimates the average annual cost to each of these large PWSs, over the 5-year rule period, to be $4,037. This cost is based on a labor component (associated with the collection of samples), and a non-labor component (associated with shipping and laboratory fees), and represents less than 1.2% of average revenue/sales for large PWSs. UCMR also requires monitoring by a nationally representative sample of small PWSs. EPA estimates that less than 2% of small tribal systems will be selected as a nationally representative sample for Assessment Monitoring. EPA estimates the average annual cost to small tribal systems over the 5-year rule period to be $103. Such cost is based on the labor associated with collecting a sample and preparing it for shipping and represents less than 0.8% of average revenue/sales for small PWSs. All other small-PWS expenses (associated with shipping and laboratory fees) are paid by EPA.

    EPA consulted with tribal officials under the EPA Policy on Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribes early in the process of developing this proposed rule to permit them to have meaningful and timely input into its development. A summary of that consultation is provided in the electronic docket listed in the ADDRESSES section at the beginning of this notice. EPA specifically solicits additional comment on this proposed rule from tribal officials.

    G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it is not economically significant as defined in Executive Order 12866, and because EPA does not think the environmental health or safety risks addressed by this action present a disproportionate risk to children. This action's health and risk assessments are addressed in section II.N of the preamble.

    H. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution or Use

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act and 1 CFR Part 51

    This action involves technical standards. EPA proposes to use methods developed by the Agency, three major voluntary consensus method organizations and the Ohio EPA to support UCMR 4 monitoring. The voluntary consensus method organizations are Standard Methods, Association of Analytical Communities International and ASTM International. EPA identified acceptable consensus method organization standards for the analysis of manganese and germanium. Additionally, EPA identified an Ohio EPA method for the analysis of total microcystins using ADDA by ELISA. EPA therefore proposes using a collection of analytical methods published by these parties for the UCMR 4 analytes. In addition, there are several consensus standards that are approved for compliance monitoring that will be available for use in the analysis of TOC and bromide, and for the measurement of temperature and pH. A summary of each method along with how the method specifically applies to UCMR 4 can be found in section II.J of the preamble.

    All of these standards are reasonably available for public use. The Agency methods are free for download on EPA's Web site. The methods in the Standard Method 21st edition are consensus standards, available for purchase from the publisher, and are commonly used by the drinking water community. The methods in the Standard Method Online are consensus standards, available for purchase from the publisher's Web site, and are commonly used by the drinking water community. The methods from ASTM International are consensus standards, are free for download from the publisher's Web site, and are commonly used by the drinking water community. The Ohio EPA method is free for download on their Web site and is increasingly being used by the drinking water community.

    EPA welcomes comments on this aspect of the proposed rulemaking; the Agency specifically invites the public to identify potentially-applicable voluntary consensus standards and explain why such standards should be used in this rule.

    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. The results of this evaluation are contained in section II.O of this preamble and an additional supporting document has been placed in the docket.

    IV. References ASDWA. 2013. Insufficient Resources for State Drinking Water Programs Threaten Public Health: An Analysis of State Drinking Water Programs' Resources and Needs. December 2013. ASTM. 2010. ASTM D5673-10—Standard Test Method for Elements in Water by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry. Approved August 1, 2010. Available for purchase on the Internet at http://www.astm.org/Standards/D5673.htm. ASTM. 2012a. ASTM D1293-12—Standard Test Methods for pH of Water. Available for purchase on the Internet at http://www.astm.org/Standards/D1293.htm. ASTM. 2012b. ASTM D6581-12—Standard Test Methods for Bromate, Bromide, Chlorate, and Chlorite in Drinking Water by Suppressed Ion Chromatography. Available for purchase on the Internet at http://www.astm.org/Standards/D6581.htm. Fischer, W.J., Garthwaite, I., Miles, C.O., Ross, K.M., Aggen, J.B., Chamberlin, A.R., Towers, N.R., Dietrich, D.R. 2001. Congener-Independent Immunoassay for Microcystins and Nodularins. Environmental Science & Technology, 35 (24), pp 4849-4856. Available for purchase on the Internet at http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es011182f. Graham, J.L., Loftin, K.A., Ziegler, A.C., and Meyer, M.T. 2008. Guidelines for Design and Sampling for Cyanobacterial Toxin and Taste-and-Odor Studies in Lakes and Reservoirs: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2008-5038. Available on the Internet at http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2008/5038/. McElhiney, J., and Lawton, L.A. 2005. Detection of the Cyanobacterial Hepatotoxins Microcystins. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, 203 (3): 219-230. Available for purchase on the Internet at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.taap.2004.06.002. Ohio EPA. 2015. Ohio EPA Total (Extracellular and Intracellular) Microcystins—ADDA by ELISA Analytical Methodology. Version 2.0. January 2015. Available on the Internet at http://www.epa.ohio.gov/Portals/28/documents/habs/HAB_Analytical_Methodology.pdf. Roberson, J.A., and Eaton, A. 2014. Retrospective Analysis of Mandated National Occurrence Monitoring and Regulatory Decisions. Journal of the American Water Works Association, 106 (3): E116-E128. Available on the Internet at http://dx.doi.org/10.5942/jawwa.2014.106.0040. Ryberg, K.R., and Gilliom, R.J. 2015. Trends in Pesticide Concentrations and Use for Major Rivers of the United States. Science of the Total Environment, 538: 431-444. Available for purchase on the Internet at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.06.095. SM Online. 2000a. SM 4500-H+ B-00—pH Value in Water by Potentiometry Using a Standard Hydrogen Electrode. Standard Methods Online. Available for purchase on the Internet at http://www.standardmethods.org. SM Online. 2000b. SM 5310B-00—The Determination of Total Organic Carbon by High-Temperature Combustion Method. Standard Methods Online. Available for purchase on the Internet at http://www.standardmethods.org. SM Online. 2000c. SM 5310C-00—Total organic carbon by Persulfate-UV or Heated-Persulfate Oxidation Method. Standard Methods Online. Available for purchase on the Internet at http://www.standardmethods.org. SM Online. 2000d. SM 5310D-00—Total organic carbon by Wet-Oxidation Method. Standard Methods Online. Available for purchase on the Internet at http://www.standardmethods.org. SM Online. 2009. SM 3125-09—Metals by Inductively Coupled Plasma/Mass Spectrometry (Editorial revisions, 2011). Standard Methods Online. Available for purchase on the Internet at http://www.standardmethods.org. SM Online. 2010. SM 2550-10—Temperature. Standard Methods Online. Available for purchase on the Internet at http://www.standardmethods.org. SM. 2005a. SM 2550—Temperature. Standard Methods for the Examination of Water & Wastewater, 21st edition. American Public Health Association, 800 I Street NW., Washington, DC 20001-3710. SM. 2005b. SM 3125—Metals by Inductively Coupled Plasma/Mass Spectrometry. Standard Methods for the Examination of Water & Wastewater, 21st edition. American Public Health Association, 800 I Street NW., Washington, DC 20001-3710. SM. 2005c. SM 4500-H+ B—pH Value in Water by Potentiometry Using a Standard Hydrogen Electrode. Standard Methods for the Examination of Water & Wastewater, 21st edition. American Public Health Association, 800 I Street NW., Washington, DC 20001-3710. SM. 2005d. SM 5310B—The Determination of Total Organic Carbon by High-Temperature Combustion Method. Standard Methods for the Examination of Water & Wastewater, 21st edition. American Public Health Association, 800 I Street NW., Washington, DC 20001-3710. SM. 2005e. SM 5310C-00—Total Organic Carbon by Persulfate-UV or Heated-Persulfate Oxidation Method. Standard Methods for the Examination of Water & Wastewater, 21st edition. American Public Health Association, 800 I Street NW., Washington, DC 20001-3710. SM. 2005f. SM 5310D—Total Organic Carbon by Wet-Oxidation Method. Standard Methods for the Examination of Water & Wastewater, 21st edition. American Public Health Association, 800 I Street NW., Washington, DC 20001-3710. USEPA. 1983a. EPA Method 150.1—pH Electrometric, in Methods for Chemical Analysis of Water and Wastes. EPA/600/4-79/020. Available on the Internet at http://www.nemi.gov. USEPA. 1983b. EPA Method 150.2—pH, Continuous Monitoring (Electrometric), in Methods for Chemical Analysis of Water and Wastes. EPA/600/4-79/020. Available on the Internet at http://www.nemi.gov. USEPA. 1993. EPA Method 300.0—Determination of Inorganic Anions by Ion Chromatography Samples. Revision 2.1. Available on the Internet at http://www.nemi.gov. USEPA. 1994. EPA Method 200.8—Determination of Trace Elements in Waters and Wastes by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry. Revision 5.4. Available on the Internet at https://www.nemi.gov/. USEPA. 1997. EPA Method 300.1—Determination of Inorganic Anions in Drinking Water by Ion Chromatography. Revision 1.0. 1997. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/dwanalyticalmethods/approved-drinking-water-analytical-methods. USEPA. 1998a. National Primary Drinking Water Regulation: Consumer Confidence Reports; Final Rule. Federal Register. Vol. 63, No. 160, p. 44512, August 19, 1998. USEPA. 1998b. National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Consumer Confidence Reports; Proposed Rule. Federal Register. Vol. 63, No. 30, p. 7606, February 13, 1998. USEPA. 1998c. National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts; Final Rule. Federal Register. Vol. 63, No. 241, p. 69390, December 16, 1998. USEPA. 1999. Revisions to the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Regulation for Public Water Systems; Final Rule. Federal Register. Vol. 64, No. 180, p. 50556, September 17, 1999. USEPA. 2001a. EPA Method 317.0—Determination of Inorganic Oxyhalide Disinfection By-Products in Drinking Water Using Ion Chromatography with the Addition of a Postcolumn Reagent for Trace Bromate Analysis. Revision 2.0. EPA 815-B-01-001. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/dwanalyticalmethods/approved-drinking-water-analytical-methods. USEPA. 2001b. Statistical Design and Sample Selection for the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Regulation (1999). EPA 815-R-01-004, August 2001. USEPA. 2002. EPA Method 326.0—Determination of Inorganic Oxyhalide Disinfection By-Products in Drinking Water Using Ion Chromatography Incorporating the Addition of a Suppressor Acidified Postcolumn Reagent for Trace Bromate Analysis. Revision 1.0. EPA 815-R-03-007. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/dwanalyticalmethods/approved-drinking-water-analytical-methods. USEPA. 2003. EPA Method 552.3—Determination of Haloacetic Acids and Dalapon in Drinking Water by Liquid-Liquid Microextraction, Derivatization, and Gas Chromatography with Electron Capture Detection. Revision 1.0. EPA 815-B-03-002, July 2003. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/dwanalyticalmethods/approved-drinking-water-analytical-methods. USEPA. 2005. EPA Method 415.3—Determination of Total Organic Carbon and Specific UV Absorbance at 254 nm in Source Water and Drinking Water. Revision 1.1. EPA/600/R-05/055, February 2005. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/water-research/epa-drinking-water-research-methods. USEPA. 2006a. National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule; Final Rule. Federal Register. Vol. 71, No. 3, p. 654, January 5, 2006. USEPA. 2006b. National Primary Drinking Water Regulations: Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule; Final Rule. Federal Register. Vol. 71, No. 3, p. 388, January 4, 2006. USEPA. 2007. Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Regulation (UCMR) for Public Water Systems Revisions. Federal Register. Vol. 72, No. 2, p. 368, January 4, 2007. USEPA. 2009a. EPA Method 415.3—Determination of Total Organic Carbon and Specific UV Absorbance at 254 nm in Source Water and Drinking Water. Revision 1.2. EPA/600/R-09/122, September 2009. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/water-research/epa-drinking-water-research-methods. USEPA. 2009b. EPA Method 557—Determination of Haloacetic Acids, Bromate, and Dalapon in Drinking Water by Ion Chromatography Electrospray Ionization Tandem Mass Spectrometry (IC-ESI-MS/MS). Version 1.0. EPA 815-B-09-012, September 2009. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/dwanalyticalmethods/approved-drinking-water-analytical-methods. USEPA. 2010. Technical Basis for the Lowest Concentration Minimum Reporting Level (LCMRL) Calculator. EPA 815-R-11-001, December 2010. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/dwanalyticalmethods/approved-drinking-water-analytical-methods. USEPA. 2012a. EPA Method 525.3—Determination of Semivolatile Organic Chemicals in Drinking Water by Solid Phase Extraction and Capillary Column Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS). Version 1.0. EPA/600/R-12/010, February 2012. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/water-research/epa-drinking-water-research-methods. USEPA. 2012b. Request for Nominations of Drinking Water Contaminants for the Fourth Contaminant Candidate List. Federal Register. Vol. 77, No. 89, p. 27057, May 8, 2012. USEPA. 2012c. Revisions to the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Regulation (UCMR 3) for Public Water Systems; Final Rule. Federal Register. Vol. 77, No. 85, p. 26071, May 2, 2012. USEPA. 2013. Meetings and Materials for the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Program. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/dwucmr/unregulated-contaminant-monitoring-rule-ucmr-meetings-and-materials. USEPA. 2014. Stakeholder Meeting Slides Regarding Revisions to the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Regulation. USEPA. 2015a. DRAFT Information Collection Request for the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 4). October 2015. EPA 815-B-15-003. USEPA. 2015b. Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List 4—Draft. Federal Register, Vol. 80, No. 23, p. 6076, February 4, 2015. USEPA. 2015c. Drinking Water Health Advisory for the Cyanobacterial Microcystin Toxins. EPA 820-R-15-100, June 2015. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-06/documents/microcystins-report-2015.pdf. USEPA. 2015d. EPA Method 530—Determination of Select Semivolatile Organic Chemicals in Drinking Water by Solid Phase Extraction and Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS). Version 1.0. EPA/600/R-14/442, January 2015. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/water-research/epa-drinking-water-research-methods. USEPA. 2015e. EPA Method 541—Determination of 1-Butanol, 1,4-Dioxane, 2-Methoxyethanol and 2-Propen-1-ol in Drinking Water by Solid Phase Extraction and Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry. EPA 815-R-15-011, November 2015. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/dwanalyticalmethods/approved-drinking-water-analytical-methods. USEPA. 2015f. EPA Method 544—Determination of Microcystins and Nodularin in Drinking Water by Solid Phase Extraction and Liquid Chromatography/Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS/MS). Version 1.0. EPA-600-R-14/474, February 2015. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/water-research/epa-drinking-water-research-methods. USEPA. 2015g. EPA Method 545—Determination of Cylindrospermopsin and Anatoxin-a in Drinking Water by Liquid Chromatography Electrospray Ionization Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC/ESI-MS/MS). EPA 815-R-15-009, April 2015. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/dwanalyticalmethods/approved-drinking-water-analytical-methods. USEPA. 2015h. Proposed Revisions to CFR parts 141.35 and 141.40. EPA 815-B-15-006, November 2015. Available in EPA public docket (under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2015-0218) on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. USEPA. 2015i. UCMR 4 Candidate Contaminants—Information Compendium. EPA 815-B-15-005, November 2015. USEPA. 2015j. UCMR 4 Laboratory Approval Requirements and Information Document. EPA 815-B-15-004, November 2015. USGS. 2014. Pesticides in Surface Waters: Seasonality of Pesticides in Surface Waters. U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet FS-039-97. Available on the Internet at http://water.usgs.gov/nawqa/pnsp/pubs/fs97039/sw5.html. Zeck, A., Weller, M.G., Bursill, D., Niessner, R. 2001. Generic Microcystin Immunoassay Based on Monoclonal Antibodies Against Adda. Analyst, 126: 2002-2007. Available for purchase on the Internet at http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/B105064H. List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 141

    Environmental protection, Chemicals, Incorporation by reference, Indian-lands, Intergovernmental relations, Radiation protection, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Water supply.

    Dated: November 30, 2015. Gina McCarthy, Administrator.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, EPA proposes to amend 40 CFR part 141 as follows:

    PART 141—NATIONAL PRIMARY DRINKING WATER REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 141 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 300f, 300g-1, 300g-2, 300g-3, 300g-4, 300g-5, 300g-6, 300j-4, 300j-9, and 300j-11.

    Subpart D—Reporting and Recordkeeping 2. In § 141.35: a. Revise the third sentence in paragraph (b)(1). b. Revise the second and third sentences in paragraph (b)(2). c. Remove “October 1, 2012,” and add in its place “December 31, 2017,” in paragraph (c)(1). d. Revise the second and third sentences in paragraph (c)(2). e. Revise the last sentence in paragraph (c)(3)(i). f. Revise the fifth sentence in paragraph (c)(3)(ii). g. Remove “October 1, 2012,” and add in its place “[WITHIN 120 DAYS FROM PUBLICATION OF THE FINAL RULE],” in paragraph (c)(4). h. Revise paragraphs (c)(5)(i), (c)(6) introductory text, (d)(2), and (e).

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 141.35 Reporting for unregulated contaminant monitoring results.

    (b) * * *

    (1) * * * Information that must be submitted using EPA's electronic data reporting system must be submitted through: http://www2.epa.gov/dwucmr. * * *

    (2) * * * If you have received a letter from EPA or your State concerning your required monitoring and your system does not meet the applicability criteria for UCMR established in § 141.40(a)(1) or (2), or if a change occurs at your system that may affect your requirements under UCMR as defined in § 141.40(a)(3) through (5), you must mail or email a letter to EPA, as specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section. The letter must be from your PWS Official and must include your PWS Identification (PWSID) Code along with an explanation as to why the UCMR requirements are not applicable to your PWS, or have changed for your PWS, along with the appropriate contact information. * * *

    (c) * * *

    (2) * * * You must provide your sampling location(s) and associate each source water location with its entry point location(s) by December 31, 2017, using EPA's electronic data reporting system. You must submit, verify or update the following information for each sampling location, or for each approved representative sampling location (as specified in paragraph (c)(3) of this section regarding representative sampling locations): PWSID Code; PWS Name; PWS Facility Identification Code; PWS Facility Name; PWS Facility Type; Water Source Type; Sampling Point Identification Code; Sampling Point Name; and Sampling Point Type Code; (as defined in Table 1 of paragraph (e) of this section).

    (3) * * *

    (i) * * * You must submit a copy of the existing alternate EPTDS sampling plan or your representative well proposal, as appropriate, [DATE 120 DAYS AFTER PUBLICATION OF THE FINAL RULE], as specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section.

    (ii) * * * You must submit the following information for each proposed representative sampling location: PWSID Code; PWS Name; PWS Facility Identification Code; PWS Facility Name; PWS Facility Type; Sampling Point Identification Code; and Sampling Point Name (as defined in Table 1, paragraph (e) of this section). * * *

    (5) * * *

    (i) General rescheduling notification requirements. Large systems may change their monitoring schedules up to December 31, 2017, using EPA's electronic data reporting system, as specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section. After this date has passed, if your PWS cannot sample according to your assigned sampling schedule (e.g., because of budget constraints, or if a sampling location will be closed during the scheduled month of monitoring), you must mail or email a letter to EPA, as specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, prior to the scheduled sampling date. You must include an explanation of why the samples cannot be taken according to the assigned schedule, and you must provide the alternative schedule you are requesting. You must not reschedule monitoring specifically to avoid sample collection during a suspected vulnerable period. You are subject to your assigned UCMR sampling schedule or the schedule that you revised on or before December 31, 2017, unless and until you receive a letter from EPA specifying a new schedule.

    (6) Reporting monitoring results. For UCMR samples, you must report all data elements specified in Table 1 of paragraph (e) of this section, using EPA's electronic data reporting system. You also must report any changes, relative to what is currently posted, made to data elements 1 through 9 to EPA, in writing, explaining the nature and purpose of the proposed change, as specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section.

    (d) * * *

    (2) Reporting sampling information. You must provide your sampling location(s) and associate each source water location with its entry point location(s) by December 31, 2017, using EPA's electronic data reporting system, as specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section. If this information changes, you must report updates, including new sources and sampling locations that are put in use before or during the PWS' UCMR sampling period, to EPA's electronic data reporting system within 30 days of the change, as specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section. You must record all data elements listed in Table 1 of paragraph (e) of this section on each sample form and sample bottle, as appropriate, provided to you by the UCMR Sampling Coordinator. You must send this information as specified in the instructions of your sampling kit, which will include the due date and return address. You must report any changes made in data elements 1 through 9 by mailing or emailing an explanation of the nature and purpose of the proposed change to EPA, as specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section.

    (e) Data elements. Table 1 defines the data elements that must be provided for UCMR monitoring.

    Table 1—Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Reporting Requirements Data element Definition 1. Public Water System Identification (PWSID) Code The code used to identify each PWS. The code begins with the standard 2-character postal State abbreviation or Region code; the remaining 7 numbers are unique to each PWS in the State. The same identification code must be used to represent the PWS identification for all current and future UCMR monitoring. 2. Public Water System Name Unique name, assigned once by the PWS. 3. Public Water System Facility Identification Code An identification code established by the State or, at the State's discretion, by the PWS, following the format of a 5-digit number unique within each PWS for each applicable facility (i.e., for each source of water, treatment plant, distribution system, or any other facility associated with water treatment or delivery). The same identification code must be used to represent the facility for all current and future UCMR monitoring. 4. Public Water System Facility Name Unique name, assigned once by the PWS, for every facility ID (e.g., Treatment Plant). 5. Public Water System Facility Type That code that identifies that type of facility as either:
  • CC = consecutive connection
  • DS = distribution system IN = source water intake SS = sampling station TP = treatment plant OT = other 6. Water Source Type The type of source water that supplies a water system facility. Systems must report one of the following codes for each sampling location: SW = surface water (to be reported for water facilities that are served all or in part by a surface water source at any time during the twelve-month period). GW = ground water (to be reported for water facilities that are served entirely by a ground water source). GU = ground water under the direct influence of surface water (to be reported for water facilities that are served all or in part by ground water under the direct influence of surface water at any time during the twelve-month sampling period), and are not served at all by surface water during this period. 7. Sampling Point Identification Code An identification code established by the State, or at the State's discretion, by the PWS, that uniquely identifies each sampling point. Each sampling code must be unique within each applicable facility, for each applicable sampling location (i.e., entry point to the distribution system, source water intake or distribution system sample at maximum residence time). The same identification code must be used to represent the sampling location for all current and future UCMR monitoring. 8. Sampling Point Name Unique sample point name, assigned once by the PWS, for every sample point ID (e.g., Entry Point). 9. Sampling Point Type Code A code that identifies the location of the sampling point as either:
  • SR = source water taken from plant intake; untreated water entering the water treatment plant (i.e., a location prior to any treatment).
  • EP = entry point to the distribution system. MR = distribution system sample at maximum residence time. 10. Disinfectant Type All of the primary disinfectants/oxidants that have been added in the treatment plant to the water being sampled. To be reported by systems for each sampling point. PEMB = Permanganate (applied before SR sample location) PEMA = Permanganate (applied after SR sample location) HPXB = Hydrogen peroxide (applied before SR sample location) HPXA = Hydrogen peroxide (applied after SR sample location) CLGA = Gaseous chlorine CLOF = Offsite Generated Hypochlorite (stored as a liquid form) CLON = Onsite Generated Hypochlorite CAGC = Chloramine (formed from gaseous chlorine) CAOF = Chloramine (formed from offsite hypochlorite) CAON = Chloramine (formed from onsite hypochlorite) CLDB = Chlorine dioxide (applied before SR sample location) CLDA = Chlorine dioxide (applied after SR sample location) OZON = Ozone ULVL = Ultraviolet light OTHD = All other types of disinfectant/oxidant NODU = No disinfectant/oxidant used 11. Treatment Information Treatment information associated with the water being sampled. CON = Conventional (non-softening) SCO = Softening conventional RBF = River bank filtration PSD = Pre-sedimentation INF = In-line filtration DFL = Direct filtration PCF = Precoat filtration SSF = Slow sand filtration BIO = Biological filtration REC = Reactor clarification (e.g. solids contact clarification, slurry recirculation clarification, Aciflo®) SBC = Sludge blanket clarification (e.g. Pulsator®, Super Pulsator®, contact adsorption clarifiers, floc-blanket clarifiers) ADC = Adsorption clarification (contact adsorption clarification) UTR = Unfiltered treatment PAC = Application of powder activated carbon GAC = Granular activated carbon (not part of filters in CON, SCO, INF, DFL, or SSF) AIR = Air stripping (packed towers, diffused gas contactors) POB = Pre-oxidation/disinfection with chlorine (applied before SR sample location) POA = Pre-oxidation/disinfection with chlorine (applied after SR sample location) MFL = Membrane filtration IEX = Ionic exchange UVT = Ultraviolet light AOX = Advanced oxidation (ultraviolet light with hydrogen peroxide and/or ozone) DAF = Dissolved air floatation CWL = Clear well/finished water storage without aeration CWA = Clear well/finished water storage with aeration ADS = Aeration in distribution system (localized treatment) OTH = All other types of treatment NTU = No treatment used 12. Disinfectant Residual Type Secondary disinfectant type added in the distribution system for each finished water sample.
  • CL2 = Chlorine (i.e., originating from addition of free chlorine only)
  • CLM = Chloramines (originating from with addition of chlorine and ammonia or pre-formed chloramines) CAC = Chlorine and chloramines (if being mixed from chlorinated and chloraminated water) NOD = No disinfectant residual 13. Sample Collection Date The date the sample is collected, reported as 4-digit year, 2-digit month, and 2-digit day (YYYY/MM/DD). 14. Sample Identification Code An alphanumeric value up to 30 characters assigned by the laboratory to uniquely identify containers, or groups of containers, containing water samples collected at the same sampling location for the same sampling date. 15. Contaminant The unregulated contaminant for which the sample is being analyzed. 16. Analytical Method Code The identification code of the analytical method used. 17. Extraction Batch Identification Code Laboratory assigned extraction batch ID. Must be unique for each extraction batch within the laboratory for each method. For CCC samples report the Analysis Batch Identification Code as the value for this field. For methods without an extraction batch, leave this field null. 18. Extraction Date Date for the start of the extraction batch (YYYY/MM/DD). For methods without an extraction batch, leave this field null. 19. Analysis Batch Identification Code Laboratory assigned analysis batch ID. Must be unique for each analysis batch within the laboratory for each method. 20. Analysis Date Date for the start of the analysis batch (YYYY/MM/DD). 21. Sample Analysis Type The type of sample collected and/or prepared, as well as the fortification level. Permitted values include: CF = concentration fortified; the concentration of a known contaminant added to a field sample reported with sample analysis types LFSM, LFSMD, LFB, CCC and QCS. CCC = continuing calibration check; a calibration standard containing the contaminant, the internal standard, and surrogate analyzed to verify the existing calibration for those contaminants. FS = field sample; sample collected and submitted for analysis under this rule. IS = internal standard; a standard that measures the relative response of contaminants. LFB = laboratory fortified blank; an aliquot of reagent water fortified with known quantities of the contaminants and all preservation compounds. LRB = laboratory reagent blank; an aliquot of reagent water treated exactly as a field sample, including the addition of preservatives, internal standards, and surrogates to determine if interferences are present in the laboratory, reagents, or other equipment. LFSM = laboratory fortified sample matrix; a UCMR field sample with a known amount of the contaminant of interest and all preservation compounds added. LFSMD = laboratory fortified sample matrix duplicate; duplicate of the laboratory fortified sample matrix. QCS = quality control sample; a sample prepared with a source external to the one used for initial calibration and CCC. The QCS is used to check calibration standard integrity. QH = quality HAA; HAA sample collected and submitted for quality control purposes. SUR = surrogate standard; a standard that assesses method performance for each extraction. 22. Analytical Results—Sign A value indicating whether the sample analysis result was: (<) “less than” means the contaminant was not detected, or was detected at a level below the Minimum Reporting Level. (=) “equal to” means the contaminant was detected at the level reported in “Analytical Result— Measured Value.” 23. Analytical Result—Measured Value The actual numeric value of the analytical results for: field samples; laboratory fortified matrix samples; laboratory fortified sample matrix duplicates; and concentration fortified. 24. Additional Value Represents the true value or the fortified concentration for spiked samples for QC Sample Analysis Types (CCC, EQC, LFB, LFSM and LFSMD). For Sample Analysis Type FS and LRB and for IS and surrogate QC Contaminants, leave this field null. 25. Laboratory Identification Code The code, assigned by EPA, used to identify each laboratory. The code begins with the standard two-character State postal abbreviation; the remaining five numbers are unique to each laboratory in the State. 26. Sample Event Code A code assigned by the PWS for each sample event. This will associate samples with the PWS monitoring plan to allow EPA to track compliance and completeness. Systems must assign the following codes: SEC1, SEC2, SEC3, SEC4, SEC5, SEC6, SEC7 and SEC8—represent samples collected to meet UCMR Assessment Monitoring requirements for cyanotoxins; where “SEC1” represents the first sampling period, “SEC2” the second period and so forth, for all eight sampling events. SEA1, SEA2, SEA3 and SEA4—represent samples collected to meet UCMR Assessment Monitoring requirements for the additional chemicals; where “SEA1” and “SEA2” represent the first and second sampling period for all water types; and “SEA3” and “SEA4” represent the third and fourth sampling period for SW and GU sources only.
    Subpart E—Special Regulations, Including Monitoring Regulations and Prohibition on Lead Use 3. In § 141.40: a. Remove “December 31, 2010” and add in its place “December 31, 2015” in paragraph (a) introductory text. b. Revise paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(2)(i)(A), (a)(2)(ii)(A) and (C), (a)(3), and (a)(4)(i)(B) and (C). c. Remove “October 1, 2012.” and add in its place “December 31, 2017.” in paragraph (a)(4)(i). d. Revise paragraph (a)(4)(ii) introductory text. e. Remove and reserve paragraph (a)(4)(ii)(F). f. Add paragraph (a)(4)(iii). g. Remove “August 1, 2012.” and add in its place “[DATE 60 DAYS AFTER PUBLICATION OF THE FINAL RULE], and necessary application material [DATE 120 DAYS AFTER PUBLICATION OF THE FINAL RULE].” in paragraph (a)(5)(ii). h. Revise paragraph (a)(5)(v), the second sentence in paragraph (a)(5)(vi), and paragraph (c).

    The revisions and addition read as follows:

    § 141.40 Monitoring requirements for unregulated contaminants.

    (a) * * *

    (1) Applicability to transient non-community systems. If you own or operate a transient non-community water system, you are not subject to monitoring requirements in this section.

    (2) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (A) Assessment monitoring. You must monitor for the contaminants on List 1, per Table 1, UCMR Contaminant List, in paragraph (a)(3) of this section. If you serve a retail population of more than 10,000 people, you are required to perform this monitoring regardless of whether you have been notified by the State or EPA.

    (ii) * * *

    (A) Assessment monitoring. You must monitor for the contaminants on List 1: Assessment Monitoring Cyanotoxin Chemical Contaminants, or List 1: Assessment Monitoring Additional Chemical Contaminants, per Table 1, in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, if you are notified by your State or EPA that you are part of the State Monitoring Plan for Assessment Monitoring.

    (C) Pre-screen testing. You must monitor for the unregulated contaminants on List 3 of Table 1, in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, if you are notified by your State or EPA that you are part of the State Monitoring Plan for Pre-Screen Testing.

    (3) Analytes to be monitored. Lists 1, 2, and 3 contaminants are provided in the following table:

    Table 1—UCMR Contaminant List 1—Contaminant 2—CAS registry
  • number
  • 3—Analytical
  • methods a
  • 4—Minimum reporting level b 5—Sampling
  • location c
  • 6—Period during which monitoring to be completed
    List 1: Assessment Monitoring Cyanotoxin Chemical Contaminants e total microcystin N/A ELISA 0.3 µg/L EPTDS and SR 3/1/2018-11/30/2020 anatoxin-a 64285-06-9 EPA 545 0.03 µg/L EPTDS 3/1/2018-11/30/2020 cylindrospermopsin 143545-90-8 EPA 545 0.09 µg/L EPTDS 3/1/2018-11/30/2020 microcystin-LA 96180-79-9 EPA 544 0.008 µg/L EPTDS 3/1/2018-11/30/2020 microcystin-LF 154037-70-4 EPA 544 0.006 µg/L EPTDS 3/1/2018-11/30/2020 microcystin-LR 101043-37-2 EPA 544 0.02 µg/L EPTDS 3/1/2018-11/30/2020 microcystin-LY 123304-10-9 EPA 544 0.009 µg/L EPTDS 3/1/2018-11/30/2020 microcystin-RR 111755-37-4 EPA 544 0.006 µg/L EPTDS 3/1/2018-11/30/2020 microcystin-YR 101064-48-6 EPA 544 0.02 µg/L EPTDS 3/1/2018-11/30/2020 nodularin 118399-22-7 EPA 544 0.005 µg/L EPTDS 3/1/2018-11/30/2020 List 1: Assessment Monitoring Additional Chemical Contaminants Metals germanium 7440-56-4 EPA 200.8,
  • ASTM D5673-10, SM 3125
  • 0.3 µg/L EPTDS 3/1/2018-11/30/2020
    manganese 7439-96-5 EPA 200.8,
  • ASTM D5673-10, SM 3125
  • 0.4 µg/L EPTDS 3/1/2018-11/30/2020
    Pesticides and a Pesticide Manufacturing Byproduct alpha-hexachloro- cyclohexane 319-84-6 EPA 525.3 0.01 µg/L EPTDS 3/1/2018-11/30/2020 chlorpyrifos 2921-88-2 EPA 525.3 0.03 µg/L EPTDS 3/1/2018-11/30/2020 dimethipin 55290-64-7 EPA 525.3 0.2 µg/L EPTDS 3/1/2018-11/30/2020 ethoprop 13194-48-4 EPA 525.3 0.03 µg/L EPTDS 3/1/2018-11/30/2020 oxyfluorfen 42874-03-3 EPA 525.3 0.05 µg/L EPTDS 3/1/2018-11/30/2020 profenofos 41198-08-7 EPA 525.3 0.3 µg/L EPTDS 3/1/2018-11/30/2020 tebuconazole 107534-96-3 EPA 525.3 0.2 µg/L EPTDS 3/1/2018-11/30/2020 total permethrin (cis- & trans-) 52645-53-1 EPA 525.3 0.04 µg/L EPTDS 3/1/2018-11/30/2020 tribufos 78-48-8 EPA 525.3 0.07 µg/L EPTDS 3/1/2018-11/30/2020 Brominated Haloacetic Acid (HAA) Groups d HAA5 N/A EPA 552.3 or EPA 557 N/A Stage 2 DBPR and/or DSMRT 3/1/2018-11/30/2020 HAA6Br N/A EPA 552.3 or EPA 557 N/A Stage 2 DBPR and/or DSMRT 3/1/2018-11/30/2020 HAA9 N/A EPA 552.3 or EPA 557 N/A Stage 2 DBPR and/or DSMRT 3/1/2018-11/30/2020 Alcohols 1-butanol 71-36-3 EPA 541 2.0 µg/L EPTDS 3/1/2018-11/30/2020 2-methoxyethanol 109-86-4 EPA 541 0.4 µg/L EPTDS 3/1/2018-11/30/2020 2-propen-1-ol 107-18-6 EPA 541 0.5 µg/L EPTDS 3/1/2018-11/30/2020 Other Semivolatile Chemicals butylated hydroxanisole 25013-16-5 EPA 530 0.03 µg/L EPTDS 3/1/2018-11/30/2020 o-toluidine 95-53-4 EPA 530 0.007 µg/L EPTDS 3/1/2018-11/30/2020 quinoline 91-22-5 EPA 530 0.02 µg/L EPTDS 3/1/2018-11/30/2020 List 2: Screening Survey Reserved Reserved Reserved Reserved Reserved Reserved List 3: Pre-Screen Testing Reserved Reserved Reserved Reserved Reserved Reserved Column headings are: 1—Contaminant: The name of the contaminant to be analyzed. 2—CAS (Chemical Abstract Service) Registry Number or Identification Number: A unique number identifying the chemical contaminants. 3—Analytical Methods: Method numbers identifying the methods that must be used to test the contaminants. 4—Minimum Reporting Level (MRL): The value and unit of measure at or above which the concentration of the contaminant must be measured using the approved analytical methods. If EPA determines, after the first six months of monitoring that the specified MRLs result in excessive resampling, EPA will establish alternate MRLs and will notify affected PWSs and laboratories of the new MRLs. N/A is defined as non-applicable. 5—Sampling Location: The locations within a PWS at which samples must be collected. 6—Period During Which Monitoring to be Completed: The time period during which the sampling and testing will occur for the indicated contaminant. a The analytical procedures shall be performed in accordance with the documents associated with each method, see paragraph (c) of this section. b The MRL is the minimum concentration of each analyte that must be reported to EPA. c Sampling must occur at entry points to the distribution system (EPTDSs), after treatment is applied, that represent each non-emergency water source in routine use over the 12-month period of monitoring. Systems that purchase water with multiple connections from the same wholesaler may select one representative connection from that wholesaler. This EPTDS sampling location must be representative of the highest annual volume connections. If the connection selected as the representative EPTDS is not available for sampling, an alternate highest volume representative connection must be sampled. See 40 CFR 141.35(c)(3) for an explanation of the requirements related to the use of representative ground water EPTDSs. Sampling for brominated HAA groups must be conducted at the Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproduct Rule (DBPR) sampling locations (40 CFR 141.622). If these locations are not defined, the PWS is required to collect samples at locations that best represent the distribution system maximum residence time (DSMRT). DSMRT is defined as an active point (i.e., a location that currently provides water to customers) in the distribution system where the water has been in the system the longest relative to the EPTDS. Sampling must occur at source water (SR) intake locations defined by EPA under the UCMR as untreated water entering the water treatment plant (i.e., a location prior to any treatment). Systems subject to the Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (LT2) should use their source water sampling site(s) from 40 CFR 141.703. Systems subject to the Stage 1 DBPR should use their TOC source water sampling site(s) from 40 CFR 141.132. TOC source water sampling site(s) were set under Stage 1 DBPR and remain unchanged under Stage 2 DBPR. If a system has two different sampling locations for LT2 and Stage 1 DBPR, the system should select the sample point the best represents the definition of source water sample location(s) for UCMR. For each EPTDS there should be one source water sample point associated with that EPTDS. It is possible that different EPTDSs share the same source water. PWSs that purchase 100 percent of their water; “consecutive systems” are not required to collect source water samples. d TOC and bromide must be collected at the same time as HAA samples. These indicator samples must be collected at a single source water intake (as defined in footnote c, above) using methods already approved for compliance monitoring. TOC methods include: SM 5310 B, SM 5310 C, SM 5310 D (21st edition), or SM 5310 B-00, SM 5310 C-00, SM 5310 D-00 (SM Online), EPA Method 415.3 (Rev. 1.1 or 1.2). Bromide methods include: EPA Methods 300.0 (Rev. 2.1), 300.1 (Rev. 1.0), 317.0 (Rev. 2.0), 326.0 (Rev. 1.0) or ASTM D 6581-12. The MRLs for the individual HAAs are discussed in paragraph (a)(5)(v) of this section. e Temperature and pH must be measured at the same time as cyanotoxin samples at the source water intake as described in footnote c, above. pH methods include: EPA Method 150.1 and 150.2, ASTM D1293-12, SM 4500-H+ B (21st edition) or SM 4500-H+ B-00 (SM Online). Temperature methods include: SM 2550 (21st edition), or SM 2550-10 (SM Online).

    (4) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (B) Frequency. You must collect the samples within the time frame and according to the frequency specified by contaminant type and water source type for each sampling location, as specified in Table 2, in this paragraph. For the second or subsequent round of sampling, if a sample location is non-operational for more than one month before and one month after the scheduled sampling month (i.e., it is not possible for you to sample within the window specified in Table 2, in this paragraph), you must notify EPA as specified in § 141.35(c)(5) to reschedule your sampling.

    Table 2—Monitoring Frequency by Contaminant and Water Source Types Contaminant type Water source type Time frame 1 Frequency 2 List 1 Cyanotoxins Chemicals Surface water or Ground water under the direct influence of surface water (GWUDI) March-November You must monitor twice a month for four consecutive months (total of eight sampling events). Sample events must occur two week apart. List 1 Contaminants—Additional Chemicals Surface water or GWUDI March-November You must monitor four times during your 12-month monitoring period. Sample events must occur two months apart. (Example: If your first sampling event is in March, the second monitoring must occur during May, the third during July, and the fourth during September). Ground water March-November You must monitor two times during your 12-month monitoring period. Sample events must occur six months apart. (Example: If your first monitoring is in March, the second monitoring must occur during September. If your first monitoring is in November, the second monitoring must occur in May). 1 No sampling will take place during the months of December, January or February, except for resampling purposes. 2 Systems must assign a sample event code for each contaminant listed in Table 1. Sample event codes must be assigned by the PWS for each sample event. For more information on sample event codes see § 141.35(e) Table 1.

    (C) Location. You must collect samples for each List 1 Assessment Monitoring contaminant, and, if applicable, for each List 2 Screening Survey, or List 3 Pre-Screen Testing contaminant, as specified in Table 1, in paragraph (a)(3) of this section. Samples must be collected at each sample point that is specified in column 5 and footnote c of Table 1, in paragraph (a)(3) of this section. PWSs conducting List 1 monitoring for the brominated HAA groups must collect TOC and bromide samples as specified in footnote d of Table 1, in paragraph (a)(3) of this section. PWSs conducting List 1 monitoring for cyanotoxins must measure temperature and pH as specified in footnote e of Table 1, in paragraph (a)(3) of this section. If you are a ground water system with multiple EPTDSs, and you request and receive approval from EPA or the State for sampling at representative EPTDS(s), as specified in § 141.35(c)(3), you must collect your samples from the approved representative sampling location(s).

    (ii) Small systems. If you serve 10,000 or fewer people and are notified that you are part of the State Monitoring Plan for Assessment Monitoring, Screening Survey or Pre-Screen monitoring, you must comply with the requirements specified in paragraphs (a)(4)(ii)(A) through (H) of this section. If EPA or the State informs you that they will be collecting your UCMR samples, you must assist them in identifying the appropriate sampling locations and in collecting the samples.

    (iii) Phased sample analysis for microcystins. You must collect the three required samples (one at the source water intake and two at the EPTDS) for each sampling event, but not all samples may need to be analyzed. PWSs that purchase 100 percent of their water; “consecutive systems” only sample at their EPTDS. If the ELISA result from the source water intake is less than 0.3 µg/L, report that result and do not analyze the additional EPTDS samples for that sample event. If the ELISA result from the source water intake is greater than or equal to 0.3 µg/L, report that value and analyze the EPTDS ELISA sample. If the EPTDS ELISA result is less than 0.3 µg/L, report that result and do not analyze the additional EPTDS samples for that sample event. If the EPTDS ELISA result is greater than or equal to 0.3 µg/L, report the value and analyze the other microcystin samples collected at the EPTDS using EPA Method 544.

    (5) * * *

    (v) Method defined quality control. You must ensure that your laboratory analyzes Laboratory Fortified Blanks and conducts Laboratory Performance Checks, as appropriate to the method's requirements, for those methods listed in Table 1, column 3, in paragraph (a)(3) of this section. Each method specifies acceptance criteria for these QC checks. The following HAA results must be reported using EPA's electronic data reporting system for quality control purposes.

    Table 4—HAA QC Results 1—Contaminant 2—CAS
  • Registry No.
  • 3—Analytical methods a 4—Minimum reporting level b 5—HAA6Br group 6—HAA9 group 7—HAA5 group
    Brominated Haloacetic Acid (HAA) Groups Bromochloroacetic acid (BCAA) 5589-96-8 EPA 552.3 or EPA 557 0.3 µg/L HAA6Br HAA9 Bromodichloroacetic acid (BDCAA) 71133-14-7 EPA 552.3 or EPA 557 0.5 µg/L Chlorodibromoacetic acid (CDBAA) 5278-95-5 EPA 552.3 or EPA 557 0.3 µg/L Tribromoacetic acid (TBAA) 75-96-7 EPA 552.3 or EPA 557 2.0 µg/L Monobromoacetic acid (MBAA) 79-08-3 EPA 552.3 or EPA 557 0.3 µg/L HAA5. Dibromoacetic acid (DBAA) 631-64-1 EPA 552.3 or EPA 557 0.3 µg/L Dichloroacetic acid (DCAA) 79-43-6 EPA 552.3 or EPA 557 0.2 µg/L Monochloroacetic acid (MCAA) 79-11-8 EPA 552.3 or EPA 557 2.0 µg/L Trichloroacetic acid (TCAA) 76-03-9 EPA 552.3 or EPA 557 0.5 µg/L Column headings are: 1—Contaminant: The name of the contaminant to be analyzed. 2—CAS (Chemical Abstract Service) Registry Number or Identification Number: A unique number identifying the chemical contaminants. 3—Analytical Methods: Method numbers identifying the methods that must be used to test the contaminants. 4—Minimum Reporting Level (MRL): The value and unit of measure at or above which the concentration of the contaminant must be measured using the approved analytical methods. If EPA determines, after the first six months of monitoring that the specified MRLs result in excessive resampling, EPA will establish alternate MRLs and will notify affected PWSs and laboratories of the new MRLs. 5-7—HAA groups identified in paragraph (a)(3) of this section to be monitored as UCMR contaminants. a The analytical procedures shall be performed in accordance with the documents associated with each method, see paragraph (c) of this section, and must meet all quality control requirements outlined paragraph (a)(5) of this section. b The MRL is the minimum concentration of each analyte that must be reported to EPA.

    (vi) * * * You must require your laboratory to submit these data electronically to the State and EPA using EPA's electronic data reporting system, accessible at http://www2.epa.gov/dwucmr, within 120 days from the sample collection date. * * *

    (c) Incorporation by reference. These standards are incorporated by reference into this section with the approval of the Director of the Federal Register under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. All approved material is available for inspection either electronically at ­http://www.regulations.gov, in hard copy at the Water Docket, EPA/DC, and from the sources as follows. The Public Reading Room (EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC) is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for this Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the Water Docket is (202) 566-2426. The material is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call (202) 741-6030 or go to http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/about.html.

    (1) The following methods are from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Water Docket, EPA/DC, EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20004.

    (i) EPA Method 150.1 “pH Electrometric, in Methods for Chemical Analysis of Water and Wastes,” 1983, EPA/600/4-79/020. Available on the Internet at http://www.nemi.gov.

    (ii) EPA Method 150.2 “pH, Continuous Monitoring (Electrometric), in Methods for Chemical Analysis of Water and Wastes,” 1983, EPA/600/4-79/020. Available on the Internet at http://www.nemi.gov.

    (iii) EPA Method 200.8 “Determination of Trace Elements in Waters and Wastes by Inductively Coupled Plasma—Mass Spectrometry,” Revision 5.4, 1994. Available on the Internet at https://www.nemi.gov.

    (iv) EPA Method 300.0 “Determination of Inorganic Anions by Ion Chromatography Samples,” Revision 2.1, 1993. Available on the Internet at http://www.nemi.gov.

    (v) EPA Method 300.1 “Determination of Inorganic Anions in Drinking Water by Ion Chromatography,” Revision 1.0, 1997. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/dwanalyticalmethods/approved-drinking-water-analytical-methods.

    (vi) EPA Method 317.0 “Determination of Inorganic Oxyhalide Disinfection By-Products in Drinking Water Using Ion Chromatography with the Addition of a Postcolumn Reagent for Trace Bromate Analysis,” Revision 2.0, 2001, EPA 815-B-01-001. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/dwanalyticalmethods/approved-drinking-water-analytical-methods.

    (vii) EPA Method 326.0 “Determination of Inorganic Oxyhalide Disinfection By-Products in Drinking Water Using Ion Chromatography Incorporating the Addition of a Suppressor Acidified Postcolumn Reagent for Trace Bromate Analysis,” Revision 1.0, 2002, EPA 815-R-03-007. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/dwanalyticalmethods/approved-drinking-water-analytical-methods.

    (viii) EPA Method 415.3 “Determination of Total Organic Carbon and Specific UV Absorbance at 254 nm in Source Water and Drinking Water,” Revision 1.1, 2005, EPA/600/R-05/055. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/water-research/epa-drinking-water-research-methods.

    (ix) EPA Method 415.3 “Determination of Total Organic Carbon and Specific UV Absorbance at 254 nm in Source Water and Drinking Water,” Revision 1.2, 2009, EPA/600/R-09/122. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/water-research/epa-drinking-water-research-methods.

    (x) EPA Method 525.3 “Determination of Semivolatile Organic Chemicals in Drinking Water by Solid Phase Extraction and Capillary Column Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS),” Version 1.0, February 2012, EPA/600/R-12/010. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/water-research/epa-drinking-water-research-methods.

    (xi) EPA Method 530 “Determination of Select Semivolatile Organic Chemicals in Drinking Water by Solid Phase Extraction and Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS),” Version 1.0, January 2015, EPA/600/R-14/442. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/water-research/epa-drinking-water-research-methods.

    (xii) EPA Method 541 “Determination of 1-Butanol, 1,4-Dioxane, 2-Methoxyethanol and 2-Propen-1-ol in Drinking Water by Solid Phase Extraction and Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry,” November 2015, EPA 815-R-15-011. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/water-research/epa-drinking-water-research-methods.

    (xiii) EPA Method 544 “Determination of Microcystins and Nodularin in Drinking Water by Solid Phase Extraction and Liquid Chromatography/Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS/MS),” Version 1.0, February 2015, EPA 600-R-14/474. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/water-research/epa-drinking-water-research-methods.

    (xiv) EPA Method 545 “Determination of Cylindrospermopsin and Anatoxin-a in Drinking Water by Liquid Chromatography Electrospray Ionization Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC/ESI-MS/MS),” April 2015, EPA 815-R-15-009. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/dwanalyticalmethods/approved-drinking-water-analytical-methods.

    (xv) EPA Method 552.3 “Determination of Haloacetic Acids and Dalapon in Drinking Water by Liquid-Liquid Microextraction, Derivatization, and Gas Chromatography with Electron Capture Detection,” Revision 1.0, July 2003, EPA 815-B-03-002. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/dwanalyticalmethods/approved-drinking-water-analytical-methods.

    (xvi) EPA Method 557 “Determination of Haloacetic Acids, Bromate, and Dalapon in Drinking Water by Ion Chromatography Electrospray Ionization Tandem Mass Spectrometry (IC-ESI-MS/MS),” Version 1.0, September 2009, EPA 815-B-09-012. Available on the Internet at http://www2.epa.gov/dwanalyticalmethods/approved-drinking-water-analytical-methods.

    (2) The following methods are from “ASTM International,” 100 Barr Harbor Drive, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959.

    (i) ASTM D1293-12 “Standard Test Methods for pH of Water.” Available for purchase on the Internet at http://www.astm.org/Standards/D1293.htm.

    (ii) ASTM D5673-10 “Standard Test Method for Elements in Water by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry,” approved August 1, 2010. Available for purchase on the Internet at http://www.astm.org/Standards/D5673.htm.

    (iii) ASTM D6581-12 “Standard Test Methods for Bromate, Bromide, Chlorate, and Chlorite in Drinking Water by Suppressed Ion Chromatography.” Available for purchase on the Internet at http://www.astm.org/Standards/D6581.htm.

    (3) The following methods are from “Standard Methods for the Examination of Water & Wastewater,” 21st edition (2005), American Public Health Association, 800 I Street NW., Washington, DC 20001-3710.

    (i) SM 2550. “Temperature.”

    (ii) SM 3125 “Metals by Inductively Coupled Plasma/Mass Spectrometry.”

    (iii) SM 4500-H+ B “pH Value in Water by Potentiometry Using a Standard Hydrogen Electrode.”

    (iv) SM 5310B “The Determination of Total Organic Carbon by High-Temperature Combustion Method.”

    (v) SM 5310C “Total Organic Carbon by Persulfate-UV or Heated-Persulfate Oxidation Method.”

    (vi) SM 5310D “Total Organic Carbon by Wet-Oxidation Method.”

    (4) The following methods are from “Standard Methods Online.” Available for purchase on the Internet at http://www.standardmethods.org.

    (i) SM 2550-10 “Temperature.”

    (ii) SM 3125-09 “Metals by Inductively Coupled Plasma/Mass Spectrometry (Editorial revisions, 2011).”

    (iii) SM 4500-H+ B-00 “pH Value in Water by Potentiometry Using a Standard Hydrogen Electrode.”

    (iv) SM 5310B-00 “The Determination of Total Organic Carbon by High-Temperature Combustion Method.”

    (v) SM 5310C-00 “Total Organic Carbon by Persulfate-UV or Heated-Persulfate Oxidation Method.”

    (vi) SM 5310D-00 “Total Organic Carbon by Wet-Oxidation Method.”

    (5) The following methodology is from Ohio EPA, Columbus, OH.

    (i) ELISA SOP. “Ohio EPA Total (Extracellular and Intracellular) Microcystins—ADDA by ELISA Analytical Methodology,” Version 2.0, January 2015. Available on the Internet at http://www.epa.ohio.gov/Portals/28/documents/habs/HAB_Analytical_Methodology.pdf.

    (ii) [Reserved]

    [FR Doc. 2015-30824 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 63 [GN Docket No. 13-5, WC Docket No. 05-25; Report No. 3035] Petition for Reconsideration of Action in a Rulemaking Proceeding AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Petition for reconsideration.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, a Petition for Reconsideration (Petition) has been filed in the Commission's Rulemaking Proceeding by Tamar E. Finn, on behalf of U.S. TelePacific Corp.

    DATES:

    Oppositions to the Petition must be filed on or before December 28, 2015. Replies to an opposition must be filed on or before January 5, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michele Levy Berlove, Wireline Competition Bureau, 202-418-1477, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's document, Report No. 3035, released December 4, 2015. The full text of the Petition 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 Notice pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A) because this notice does not have an impact on any rules of particular applicability.

    While the petition is styled a petition for clarification, at least one of the forms of relief it seeks may require a modification to the Commission's rules. As a result, the Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau has determined that the petition is more properly treated as a petition for reconsideration, for the purpose of seeking public input.

    Subject: Technology Transitions; Policies and Rules Governing Retirement of Copper Loops by Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers; Special Access for Price Cap Local Exchange Carriers; AT&T Corporation Petition for Rulemaking to Reform Regulation of Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier Rates for Interstate Special Access Services, published at 80 FR 63322, October 19, 2015, in GN Docket No. 13-5, WC Docket No. 05-25, FCC 15-97. This Notice is published pursuant to 47 CFR 1.429(e). See also 47 CFR 1.4(b)(1).

    Number of Petitions Filed: 1.

    Federal Communications Commission. Gloria J. Miles, Federal Register Liaison Officer, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31265 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 RIN 0648-BF15 Fisheries Off West Coast States; Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 1; Amendments to the Fishery Management Plans for Coastal Pelagic Species, Pacific Coast Groundfish, U.S. West Coast Highly Migratory Species, and Pacific Coast Salmon AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS announces that the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) has submitted Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 1 (CEBA 1) for Secretarial review. CEBA 1 would bring new ecosystem component species (collectively, “Shared EC Species”) into each of the Council's four fishery management plans (FMPs) through amendments to those FMPs, and would prohibit the future development of new directed commercial fisheries for Shared EC Species within the U.S. West Coast Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

    DATES:

    Comments on CEBA 1 must be received on or before February 9, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on CEBA 1, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2015-0123, by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2015-0123, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to William W. Stelle, Jr., Regional Administrator, West Coast Region, NMFS, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, WA 98115-0070; Attn: Yvonne deReynier.

    Instructions: 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 by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter“N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).

    Electronic copies of CEBA 1 may be obtained from the Council Web site at http://www.pcouncil.org.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Yvonne deReynier, 206-526-6129, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Ocean fisheries in the EEZ off Washington, Oregon, and California are managed under the CPS, Groundfish, HMS, and Salmon FMPs. CEBA 1 includes the following amendments to the Council's FMPs: Amendment 15 to the CPS FMP, Amendment 25 to the Pacific Coast Groundfish FMP, Amendment 3 to the FMP for U.S. West Coast HMS, and Amendment 19 to the Pacific Coast Salmon FMP. All FMPs are implemented under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., by regulations at 50 CFR part 660. The MSA requires that each regional fishery management council submit any FMP or amendment to NMFS for review and approval, partial approval, or disapproval. The MSA also requires that NMFS, upon receiving a plan or amendment, publish an announcement in the Federal Register notifying the public that the plan or amendment is available for review and comment. NMFS will consider the public comments received during the comment period described above in determining whether to approve the FMP amendments that would implement CEBA 1.

    Background

    The Council maintains a Fishery Ecosystem Plan, which includes an ecosystem initiative process for reviewing fisheries management issues that may affect multiple FMPs and for developing policies and regulations to address those issues under the authority of its FMPs. Under the ecosystem initiative process, the Council has reviewed trophic connections between the West Coast EEZ's unfished forage fish species and the EEZ's predator species managed under the MSA, the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Through that review, the Council determined that it wanted to bring a suite of unfished and unmanaged forage fish species into its FMPs as ecosystem component (EC) species, and to prohibit directed commercial fisheries for those species.

    The Council has recommended including the following species as Shared EC Species in all four of its FMPs: Round herring (Etrumeus teres) and thread herring (Opisthonema libertate and O. medirastre); mesopelagic fishes of the families Myctophidae, Bathylagidae, Paralepididae, and Gonostomatidae; Pacific sand lance (Ammodytes hexapterus); Pacific saury (Cololabis saira); silversides (family Atherinopsidae); smelts of the family Osmeridae; and pelagic squids (families: Cranchiidae, Gonatidae, Histioteuthidae, Octopoteuthidae, Ommastrephidae except Humboldt squid (Dosidicus gigas), Onychoteuthidae, and Thysanoteuthidae). Under Federal regulations at 50 CFR 600.310(d)(5)(iii), a species may be included in an FMP as an EC species: For data collection purposes; to inform the understanding of ecosystem considerations related to specification of OY for the associated fishery; to assist in the development of conservation and management measures for the associated fishery; or to address other ecosystem issues. The Council recommended including the suite of Shared EC Species in its FMPs as EC species to address “other ecosystem issues,” because these species are broadly used as prey by marine mammals, seabird, and fish of the U.S. West Coast EEZ. The Council also noted that Shared EC Species are among the known prey of fishery management unit species of all four of the Council's FMPs; therefore, Shared EC Species support predator species' growth and development and may also be identified as EC species “for ecosystem considerations related to specification of optimum yield for the associated fishery.”

    CEBA 1, through its implementing FMP amendments and regulations, would prohibit the future development of fisheries for Shared EC Species within the U.S. West Coast EEZ until the Council has had an adequate opportunity to assess the scientific information relating to any proposed directed fishery and to consider potential impacts to existing fisheries, fishing communities, and the greater marine ecosystem. The Council deemed this action necessary to proactively protect unmanaged, unfished forage fish of the U.S. West Coast EEZ, in recognition of the importance of these forage fish to the species managed under the Council's FMPs and to the larger California Current Ecosystem. This action would not supersede tribal or state fishery management for these species.

    Consideration of Public Comments

    NMFS welcomes comments on CEBA 1 and the proposed FMP amendments through the end of the comment period. CEBA 1 is available on the Council's Web site (www.pcouncil.org). The Council also transmitted a proposed rule to implement CEBA 1 for Secretarial review and approval. NMFS expects to publish and request public review and comment on that rule in the near future. Public comments on the proposed rule must be received by the end of the comment period for CEBA 1 in order to be considered in the approval/disapproval decision on the FMP amendments. All comments received by the end of the CEBA 1 comment period, whether specifically directed to the FMP amendments or the proposed rule, will be considered in the approval/disapproval decision.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: December 8, 2015. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31236 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 238 Friday, December 11, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request December 8, 2015.

    The Department of Agriculture will submit the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 on or after the date of publication of this notice. Comments regarding (a) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC; New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602.

    Comments regarding these information collections are best assured of having their full effect if received by January 11, 2016. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8681.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Agricultural Marketing Service

    Title: Specialty Crops Inspection Division Order Forms.

    OMB Control Number: 0581-NEW.

    Summary of Collection: The Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 as amended, (7 U.S.C. 1621-1627) et seq. authorizes the Secretary to inspect, certify, and identify the class, quantity, quality, and condition of agricultural products when shipped or received in interstate commerce, and collect such fees as reasonable to cover the cost of services rendered. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is authorized to perform inspections, on a user fee basis and does so through the Specialty Crops Inspection Division (SCI). SCI provides a nationwide inspection, grading, and auditing service for fresh and processed fruits, vegetables and other products to shippers, importers, processors, sellers, buyers, and other financially interested parties.

    Need and Use of the Information: AMS will use forms FV-380 “Order Form for SCI Division Inspection Equipment and Miscellaneous Items;” FV-357 “Notification of Entry” and FV-387 “SCI Alternate Payment Application” to collect necessary information. Such information includes; the name and location of the person or company requesting services, the type and location of the product to be inspected, the type of inspection being requested, information that will identify the product or type and scope of audit requested. This information is needed to carry out the inspection, grading, or auditing services.

    Description of Respondents: Business or other for-profit; Federal, State, Local and Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents: 49,842.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: Other—As needed.

    Total Burden Hours: 4,156.

    Agricultural Marketing Service

    Title: Export Certificate Request Forms.

    OMB Control Number: 0581-0283.

    Summary of Collection: The Agricultural Marketing Service, Dairy Grading Branch, dairy grading program is a voluntary user fee program authorized under the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C. 1621). The regulations governing inspection and grading services of manufactured or processed dairy products are contained in 7 CFR part 58. International markets are increasing for U.S. dairy products. Forms will provide a format for exporters to provide information to the Dairy Grading Branch on consignments they wish to export so that the Dairy Grading Branch can issue the proper health certificate with the information required by the importing country.

    Need and Use of the Information: Importing countries are requiring certification as to production methods and sources of raw ingredients for dairy products. Information will be gathered using DA-228 “Request for Applicant Number,” DA-253 European Union Health Certificate Request,” and the Sanitary Certificate Request. The information required on the sanitary certificates varies from country to country requiring specific forms for each country. Such information includes, but not limited to, identity of the importer and exporter; consignment specifics and border entry point at the country of destination. Information gathered from the applicants is transferred to the proper health certificate, certified by the proper authority and returned to the exporter. The collection of the information on the forms is necessary for the Dairy Grading Branch to be able to properly complete the required export certificate.

    Description of Respondents: Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 250.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: Each time a product is exported.

    Total Burden Hours: 8,522.

    Charlene Parker, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31298 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request—Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Family Day Care Home Meal Claim Feasibility Study AGENCY:

    Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    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 collection is a new collection for estimating erroneous payments due to meals claimed improperly by family day care home providers participating in the CACFP.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before February 9, 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 shall 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 that were 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, including use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments may be sent to: Veronica Uzoebo, 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 Veronica Uzoebo 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 responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval. All comments will be a matter of public record.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information should be directed to Veronica Uzoebo at 703-305-2105.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Family Day Care Homes Meal Claim Feasibility Study

    Form Number: N/A

    OMB Number: Not Yet Assigned.

    Expiration Date: Not Yet Determined.

    Type of Request: New collection.

    Abstract: The objective of this feasibility study is to design and test a data collection method that enables FNS to estimate erroneous payments due to meals claimed improperly by family day care home providers participating in the CACFP. Specifically, the study focuses on accurately estimating meals that are claimed but not served.

    The study relies on data from four sources: (1) State agencies that administer the program for FNS, (2) sponsors who manage CACFP on behalf of State agencies, (3) providers that operate family day care homes, and (4) parents with children enrolled in a participating provider's facility. State agencies will provide lists of sponsors including administrative information about them. Sponsors will prepare extant administrative records of participating providers. Providers and parents will provide primary data on meal services and child attendance. Providers will report meal service information via a smart phone application (app) or a reporting Web site; parents will report child attendance via text messaging or a reporting Web site. These data, in combination with extant administrative records collected from sponsors, will be used to estimate improper payments.

    The study activities subject to this notice include collecting administrative records and meal serving information from 300 providers associated with 15 sponsors in two States.

    For a period of one month, providers selected and assigned to the study group will report meal serving times in addition to their regular meal claims for reimbursement purposes; parents whose children are attending these providers' facilities will report the drop-off and pick-up times of their children on a daily basis. Providers selected and assigned to the control group will take part under the business-as-usual condition and will have no direct involvement in the study as their meal claims will be obtained directly from the sponsors.

    Providers and parents in the study group will receive study materials with full details of what they will be asked to do. They will also receive contact information to contact the study team for additional questions.

    Affected Public: This study includes three respondent groups: State and local government (state agencies), for-profit or non-profit businesses (CACFP sponsors and family day care home providers), and individuals/households (parents of children enrolled in selected family day care homes).

    Estimated Number of Respondents: The total estimated respondents is 917 (2 State agencies, 15 sponsors, 150 family day care providers, and 750 parents).

    Selected States agencies, sponsors and providers are required to support this federally funded study. Upon FNS's approval of the two States selected for this study, a purposive sample of 15 sponsors will be selected to represent sponsors of varying sizes in urban, suburban, and rural areas.

    With each selected sponsor, 20 providers will be randomly selected and evenly assigned to a study or control group, i.e., 10 providers to the study group and the other 10 to the control group. Therefore, there will be a total of 300 providers in the study, i.e., 20 providers per sponsor × 15 sponsors. Since the providers assigned to the control group will not be contacted for this study, the respondents will only include the 150 providers in the study group.

    Parents can voluntarily participate in the study if their children attend participating providers' day care homes. Assuming an average of five families per provider, the study group will include an initial sample of 750 parents, i.e., 5 families × 10 providers in the study group × 15 sponsors. Assuming that 20% of these parents refuse to participate in the study or fail to report attendance data on the daily basis during the study month, the final analytic sample include approximately 600 parents, i.e., 750 parents × 20%.

    Estimated Frequency of Responses per Respondent: FNS estimates that the frequency of responses per respondent will average an estimated 24 responses per respondent across the entire collection. Each State agency will provide two responses for the study: (1) Attend an orientation conference call, including reading an advance letter and study materials in preparation for the call and any follow-up communication with the study team after the call; and (2) provide requested information about sponsors, including communication regarding the data request and transfer.

    Each sponsor will provide four types of responses: (1) Attend a study orientation conference call including reading an advance letter and study materials before the call and any follow-up communication with the study team after the call; (2) provide monthly meal claim data for November 2016, January 2017, and March 2017 (3 times), including communication about the data transfer; (3) provide administrative records for CACFP day care providers including communication about the data transfer; and (4) facilitate study recruitment as needed.

    Each day care home provider selected for the study will provide three types of responses: (1) Review an advance letter and study materials to provide requested child enrollment information, including communication about the study and the requested enrollment information; (2) report meal service information via the smart phone app or the reporting Web site (22 times); and (3) facilitate parent recruitment as needed.

    Participating parents will provide two types of responses: (1) Review an advanced letter and study materials to decide whether to participate in the study, including communication with the study team about the study; and (2) if they agree to participate, report child attendance via text messages on their personal mobile phone or a reporting Web site (22 times).

    Estimated Total Annual Responses: 17,644 (see table below)

    Estimated Time per Response: The estimated time of response varies from three minutes to two hours depending on respondent group, as shown in the table below, with an average estimated time of 0.11 hours for respondents and 0.05 hours for non-respondents.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: The total public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated at 1,875.50 hours. The estimated burden for each type of participant is detailed in the table below.

    BILLING CODE 3410-30-P EN11DE15.000 EN11DE15.001 Dated: December 3, 2015. Audrey Rowe, Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31199 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-C
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request December 7, 2015.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments regarding (a) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Comments regarding these information collections are best assured of having their full effect if received within 30 days of this notification. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Food and Nutrition Service

    Title: Annual State Report on Verification of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Participation.

    OMB Control Number: 0584—NEW.

    Summary of Collection: The purpose of the Annual State Report of Verification of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Participants is to ensure that no person who is deceased, or has been permanently disqualified from SNAP, improperly received SNAP benefits. Section 4032 of the Agriculture Act of 2014 mandates that States will “submit to the Secretary a report containing sufficient information for the Secretary to determine whether the State agency has, for the most recently concluded fiscal year preceding that annual date, verified that the State agency in that fiscal year—(1) did not issue benefits to a deceased individual; and (2) did not issue benefits to an individual who had been permanently disqualified from receiving benefits.”

    Need and Use of the Information: To ensure that benefits are not issued to deceased individuals or those permanently disqualified from SNAP.

    Description of Respondents: State, Local, or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents: 53.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting and Recordkeeping: Annually.

    Total Burden Hours: 57.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31183 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-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 of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to request revision and extension of a currently approved information collection for the Residue and Biomass Field Survey.

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by February 9, 2016 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number 0535-0251, Residue and Biomass Field Survey by any of the following methods:

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

    Efax: (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) 720-4333. Copies of this information collection and related instructions can be obtained without charge from David Hancock, NASS Clearance Officer, at (202) 690-2388 or at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Residue and Biomass Field Survey.

    OMB Control Number: 0535—0251.

    Type of Request: Intent to Seek Approval to Revise and Extend an Information Collection for 3 years.

    Abstract: 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 and its follow-on surveys. This project is conducted as a cooperative effort with USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

    The Residue and Biomass Field Survey will use as a sampling universe, fields in the South Fork watershed in central Iowa (Buckeye, IA). This study will investigate the effect crop residue removal has on soil and water quality. Measurements of crop residues will be compared with remotely sensed data to measure crop residue cover and soil tillage intensity for the entire watershed. The survey will be conducted in several phases. The farm operators will only be involved in three parts of the complete survey process. After obtaining the operators' permission, field enumerators will return several times during the growing season to measure and collect samples from the target areas. The farm operators will be contacted two other times to collect some additional data relating to cropping practices performed during the growing season.

    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 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 (60 FR 44978, August 29, 1995).

    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, 72 FR 33376, June 15, 2007.

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average a total of 70 minutes per respondent for the complete survey cycle.

    Annual Estimated Sample Size and Respondent Burden for 2016-2018 Survey Sample size Freq. Responses Resp. count Freq. × count Min./
  • resp.
  • Burden hours Non-response Nonresp. count Freq. × count Min./
  • nonr.
  • Burden hours Total
  • burden
  • hours
  • Screening Phase in May 100 1 80 80 20 27 20 20 2 1 27 Field Measurements in May/June 1 80 1 25 25 0 0 55 55 0 0 0 Screening Phase in September 80 1 42 42 20 14 38 38 2 1 15 Harvest Sample crops 1 80 2 42 42 0 0 38 38 0 0 0 Cropping Practices survey 80 1 42 42 30 21 38 38 2 1 22 Total 100 146 230 62 3 65 1 The operator does not need to be present for the field visits (measurement and harvesting), so no respondent burden is associaed with these phases of the survey.

    Respondents: Farmers, ranchers, and farm managers in the South Fork Watershed in Central Iowa.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 100

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 65 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, December 3, 2015. R. Renee Picanso, Associate Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31243 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-20-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE National Agricultural Statistics Service Notice of Intent To Request To Conduct a New 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 seek approval to conduct a new information collection to gather data related to agricultural activity in two urbanized areas (Seattle, WA and Austin, TX). The data will be used to develop and refine procedures to be used to collect agricultural data in urbanized areas for the 2017 Census of Agriculture.

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by February 9, 2016 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number 0535-NEW, 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: Urban Agriculture Pilot Surveys.

    OMB Control Number: 0535-NEW.

    Type of Request: Intent to seek approval to conduct a new information collection for a period of three years.

    Abstract: The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has traditionally been focused on production agriculture. This focus has omitted some urban agriculture, which is attracting increased interest from individuals and local governments. In contrast with traditional agriculture, agriculture in urbanized areas tends to be conducted in smaller areas and have less potential for sales. Yet, urban agriculture contributes to the Nation's food security by providing local sources. NASS intends to integrate urban agriculture in future Censuses of Agriculture. In 2015, NASS conducted a small scale urban agriculture study in Baltimore, Maryland. This new data collection will build on the Baltimore project by refining methodology and procedures for: (1) Building the list of potential urban agricultural locations, (2) developing the questionnaire used to collect urban agricultural data, (3) data collection, and (4) summarizing data on urban agriculture. The intent is that the resulting methodology and procedures will be integrated into the 2017 Census of Agriculture to collect data on urban agriculture, in addition to traditional agriculture. This data collection includes surveys to be conducted in two urbanized areas: Seattle, Washington and Austin, Texas. The first survey will be conducted in Seattle. The second survey will be conducted in Austin to address methodological issues that remain after analyzing results from the Baltimore and Seattle projects. All results from these surveys will be used for internal purposes only; no publications will be generated. These surveys will be voluntary.

    Authority:

    The 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 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, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.), 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: This collection of information contains two components. The first component consists of up to 50 cognitive interviews (conducted through personal enumeration) and is intended to develop the questionnaire used to gather data on agricultural activity in urbanized areas. Public reporting burden for this component is estimated to average 60 minutes per response. The second component is a survey conducted in two urbanized areas (Seattle, WA and Austin, TX). The sample sizes for the Seattle and Austin surveys will be 390 and 545, respectively. Public reporting burden for this component is estimated to average 50 minutes per response. For this component, NASS plans to use a combination of mailed pre-survey letters, mailed questionnaires, telephone enumeration, and personal enumeration.

    Respondents: Individuals and households.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 985.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 700 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, December 1, 2015. R. Renee Picanso, Associate Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31246 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-20-P.
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness: Notice of Public Meetings AGENCY:

    International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice sets forth the schedule and proposed topics of discussion for public meetings of the Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness (Committee).

    DATES:

    The meetings will be held on January 20, 2016 from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., and January 21, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time (EST).

    ADDRESSES:

    The meetings on January 20 and 21 will be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Research Library (Room 1894), Washington, DC 20230.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Richard Boll, Office of Supply Chain, Professional & Business Services, International Trade Administration. (Phone: (202) 482-1135 or Email: [email protected])

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The Committee was established under the discretionary authority of the Secretary of Commerce and in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App. 2). It provides advice to the Secretary of Commerce on the necessary elements of a comprehensive policy approach to supply chain competitiveness designed to support U.S. export growth and national economic competitiveness, encourage innovation, facilitate the movement of goods, and improve the competitiveness of U.S. supply chains for goods and services in the domestic and global economy; and provides advice to the Secretary on regulatory policies and programs and investment priorities that affect the competitiveness of U.S. supply chains. For more information about the Committee visit: http://trade.gov/td/services/oscpb/supplychain/acscc/.

    Matters To Be Considered: Committee members are expected to continue to discuss the major competitiveness-related topics raised at the previous Committee meetings, including trade and competitiveness; freight movement and policy; information technology and data requirements; regulatory issues; finance and infrastructure; and workforce development. The Committee's subcommittees will report on the status of their work regarding these topics. The agenda's may change to accommodate Committee business. The Office of Supply Chain, Professional & Business Services will post the final detailed agenda's on its Web site, http://trade.gov/td/services/oscpb/supplychain/acscc/, at least one week prior to the meeting. The meetings will be open to the public and press on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited. The public meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Individuals requiring accommodations, such as sign language interpretation or other ancillary aids, are asked to notify Mr. Richard Boll, at (202) 482-1135 or [email protected] five (5) business days before the meeting.

    Interested parties are invited to submit written comments to the Committee at any time before and after the meeting. Parties wishing to submit written comments for consideration by the Committee in advance of this meeting must send them to the Office of Supply Chain, Professional & Business Services, 1401 Constitution Ave, NW., Room 11014, Washington, DC, 20230, or email to [email protected]

    For consideration during the meetings, and to ensure transmission to the Committee prior to the meetings, comments must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. EST on January 12, 2016. Comments received after January 12, 2016, will be distributed to the Committee, but may not be considered at the meetings. The minutes of the meetings will be posted on the Committee Web site within 60 days of the meeting.

    Dated: December 7, 2015. David Long, Director, Office of Supply Chain and Professional & Business Services.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31195 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology [Docket Number: 151103999-5999-01] Views on the Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity ACTION:

    Notice; Request for Information (RFI).

    SUMMARY:

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is seeking information on the “Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity” (the “Framework”).

    As directed by Executive Order 13636, “Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity” (the “Executive Order”), the Framework consists of standards, methodologies, procedures, and processes that align policy, business, and technological approaches to address cyber risks. The Framework was released on February 12, 2014, after a year-long open process involving private and public sector organizations, including extensive industry input and public comments. In order to fulfill its responsibilities under the Cyber Security Enhancement Act of 2014, NIST is committed to maintaining an inclusive approach, informed by the views of a wide array of individuals, organizations, and sectors.

    In this RFI, NIST requests information about the variety of ways in which the Framework is being used to improve cybersecurity risk management, how best practices for using the Framework are being shared, the relative value of different parts of the Framework, the possible need for an update of the Framework, and options for the long-term governance of the Framework. This information is needed in order to carry out NIST's responsibilities under the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014 and the Executive Order.

    Responses to this RFI—which will be posted at http://www.nist.gov/cyberframework/cybersecurity-framework-rfi.cfm—will inform NIST's planning and decision-making about how to further advance the Framework so that the Nation's critical infrastructure is more secure by enhancing its cybersecurity and risk management.

    All information provided will also assist in developing the agenda for a workshop on the Framework being planned by NIST for April 6 and 7, 2016, in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Specifics about the workshop will be announced at a later date.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on February 9, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments may be submitted by mail to Diane Honeycutt, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8930, Gaithersburg, MD 20899. Online submissions in electronic form may be sent to [email protected] in any of the following formats: HTML; ASCII; Word; RTF; or PDF. Please include your name and your organization's name (if any), and cite “Views on the Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity” in all correspondence. Comments containing references, studies, research, and other empirical data that are not widely published should include copies of the referenced materials. Please do not submit additional materials.

    All comments received in response to this RFI will be posted at http://www.nist.gov/cyberframework/cybersecurity-framework-rfi.cfm without change or redaction, so commenters should not include information they do not wish to be posted (e.g., personal or confidential business information).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For questions about this RFI contact: Diane Honeycutt, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8930, Gaithersburg, MD 20899 or [email protected] Please direct media inquiries to NIST's Office of Public Affairs at (301) 975-2762.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NIST is authorized by the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014 1 to “facilitate and support the development of a voluntary, consensus-based, industry-led set of standards, guidelines, best practices, methodologies, procedures, and processes to cost-effectively reduce cyber risks to critical infrastructure.” 2 In carrying out this function, NIST is directed to “coordinate closely and regularly with relevant private sector personnel and entities, critical infrastructure owners and operators, and other relevant industry organizations.” 3 NIST has taken this approach since February 2013 when Executive Order 13636, “Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity” 4 tasked the Secretary of Commerce to direct the Director of NIST to lead the development of the Framework.

    1 Public Law 113-274 (2014): http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-113publ274/pdf/PLAW-113publ274.pdf.

    2Id., codified in relevant part at 15 U.S.C. 272(c)(15). Congress's intent was to codify NIST's role in Executive Order No. 13636: “Title I would codify certain elements of Executive Order 13636 by directing the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop a framework of voluntary standards designed to reduce risks arising from cyberattacks on critical infrastructure that is privately owned and operated.” S. Rep. No. 113-270, at 9 (2014).

    3Id., codified in relevant part at 15 U.S.C. 272(e)(A)(i).

    4 Exec. Order No. 13636, Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity, 78 FR 11739 (Feb. 19, 2013).

    NIST developed the Framework by using information collected through a Request for Information (RFI) that was published in the Federal Register (78 FR 13024) on February 26, 2013; a series of five open public workshops; 5 and a 45-day public comment period in response to a draft version of the Framework announced in the Federal Register (78 FR 64478) on October 29, 2013. A final version of Framework 1.0 was published on February 12, 2014, after a year-long, open process involving private and public sector organizations, including extensive industry input and public comments, and announced in the Federal Register (79 FR 9167) on February 18, 2014. NIST subsequently solicited information on Framework users' experiences through an RFI published in the Federal Register (79 FR 50891) on August 26, 2014 as well as another workshop held on October 29 and 30, 2014, at the University of South Florida.

    5 NIST, Gaithersburg April 3, 2013; Carnegie Mellon University May 29-31, 2013; University of California San Diego July 10-12, 2013; University of Texas Dallas September 11-13, 2013; North Carolina State November 14-15, 2013.

    In addition to extensive outreach and providing responses to inquiries, NIST has made information about the Cybersecurity Framework available on its Web site at http://www.nist.gov/cyberframework/ to assist organizations in learning more about using the Framework. This includes an Industry Resources page (available at http://www.nist.gov/cyberframework/cybersecurity-framework-industry-resources.cfm), listing publicly available materials developed by organizations other than NIST that support use of the Framework. NIST does not necessarily endorse, approve, or recommend any of the commercial entities, equipment, or materials listed on the Industry Resources page, nor does it imply that the entities, materials, or equipment are necessarily the best available for the purpose.

    Since the Framework's release as version 1.0, NIST has continued to work on topics raised during the Framework's development but not integrated into version 1.0 of the Framework. These are listed in the NIST Roadmap for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity. Significant progress has been made in several of these areas, through programs like the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education and the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace.

    Request for Information

    Continuing its inclusive approach, in advance of any decision regarding possible updates of the Framework and Framework stewardship, NIST is interested in hearing from all stakeholders.6

    6 The Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014, Public Law 113-274 (2014), codified in relevant part at 15 U.S.C. 272(e)(A)(i) and 272(e)(A)(ii) specifically calls for NIST to “coordinate closely and regularly with relevant private sector personnel and entities, critical infrastructure owners and operators, and other relevant industry organizations, including Sector Coordinating Councils and Information Sharing and Analysis Centers, and incorporate industry expertise” and to “consult with the heads of agencies with national security responsibilities, sector-specific agencies and other appropriate agencies, State and local governments, the governments of other nations, and international organizations.”

    In this RFI, NIST seeks specific information about the variety of ways in which the Framework is being used and the relative value of different parts of the Framework, the possible need for an update of the Framework, how best practices for using the Framework are being shared and might be enhanced, and the long-term governance of Framework. This information is needed to carry out NIST's statutory responsibilities with the ultimate goal of assisting organizations as they seek to improve their cybersecurity risk management practices.

    Comments containing references, studies, research, and other empirical data that are not widely published should include copies of the referenced materials. Do not include in comments or otherwise submit proprietary or confidential information, as all comments received in response to this RFI will be made available publicly at http://www.nist.gov/cyberframework/cybersecurity-framework-rfi.cfm.

    Respondents may organize their submissions in response to this RFI using the template available at http://www.nist.gov/cyberframework/cybersecurity-framework-rfi.cfm. Use of this template is not required and all responses that comply with the requirements listed in the ADDRESSES and DATES section of this notice will be considered whether or not the template is used.

    While the Framework and associated outreach activities by NIST have focused on critical infrastructure, this RFI generally uses the broader term “organizations” in seeking information.

    The following questions cover the major areas about which NIST seeks comment. They are not intended to limit the topics that may be addressed. Responses may include any topic believed to have implications for the voluntary use and subsequent improvement of the Framework, regardless of whether the topic is included in this document.

    Use of the Framework

    1. Describe your organization and its interest in the Framework.

    2. Indicate whether you are responding as a Framework user/non-user, subject matter expert, or whether you represent multiple organizations that are or are not using the Framework.

    3. If your organization uses the Framework, how do you use it? (e.g., internal management and communications, vendor management, C-suite communication).

    4. What has been your organization's experience utilizing specific portions of the Framework (e.g., Core, Profile, Implementation Tiers, Privacy Methodology)?

    5. What portions of the Framework are most useful?

    6. What portions of the Framework are least useful?

    7. Has your organization's use of the Framework been limited in any way? If so, what is limiting your use of the Framework (e.g., sector circumstance, organizational factors, Framework features, lack of awareness)?

    8. To what extent do you believe the Framework has helped reduce your cybersecurity risk? Please cite the metrics you use to track such reductions, if any.

    9. What steps should be taken to “prevent duplication of regulatory processes and prevent conflict with or superseding of regulatory requirements, mandatory standards, and related processes” as required by the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014? 7

    7Id., codified in relevant part at 15 U.S.C. 272(e)(1)(A)(vii).

    Possible Framework Updates

    10. Should the Framework be updated? Why or why not?

    11. What portions of the Framework (if any) should be changed or removed? What elements (if any) should be added to the Framework? Please be as specific as possible.

    12. Are there additions, updates or changes to the Framework's references to cybersecurity standards, guidelines, and practices that should be considered for the update to the Framework?

    13. Are there approaches undertaken by organizations—including those documented in sector-wide implementation guides—that could help other sectors or organizations if they were incorporated into the Framework?

    14. Should developments made in the nine areas identified by NIST in its Framework-related “Roadmap” 8 be used to inform any updates to the Framework? If so, how?

    8 NIST Roadmap for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity (February 12, 2014), Roadmap areas for Development, Alignment, and Collaboration include: Authentication; automated indicator sharing; conformity assessment; cybersecurity workforce; data analytics; federal agency cybersecurity alignment; international aspects, impacts, and alignment; supply chain risk management; and technical privacy standards. http://www.nist.gov/cyberframework/upload/roadmap-021214.pdf.

    15. What is the best way to update the Framework while minimizing disruption for those currently using the Framework?

    Sharing Information on Using the Framework

    16. Has information that has been shared by NIST or others affected your use the Framework? If so, please describe briefly what those resources are and what the effect has been on your use of the Framework. What resources, if any, have been most useful?

    17. What, if anything, is inhibiting the sharing of best practices?

    18. What steps could the U.S. government take to increase sharing of best practices?

    19. What kind of program would help increase the likelihood that organizations would share information about their experiences, or the depth and breadth of information sharing (e.g., peer-recognition, trade association, consortia, federal agency)?

    Private Sector Involvement in the Future Governance of the Framework

    20. What should be the private sector's involvement in the future governance of the Framework?

    21. Should NIST consider transitioning some or even all of the Framework's coordination to another organization?

    22. If so, what might be transitioned (e.g., all, Core, Profile, Implementation Tiers, Informative References, methodologies)?

    23. If so, to what kind of organization (e.g., not-for-profit, for-profit; U.S. organization, multinational organization) could it be transitioned, and could it be self-sustaining?

    24. How might any potential transition affect those currently using the Framework? In the event of a transition, what steps might be taken to minimize or prevent disruption for those currently using the Framework?

    25. What factors should be used to evaluate whether the transition partner (or partners) has the capacity to work closely and effectively with domestic and international organizations and governments, in light of the importance of aligning cybersecurity standards, guidelines, and practices within the United States and globally?

    Richard Cavanagh, Acting Associate Director for Laboratory Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31217 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Permit and Reporting Requirements for Non-Commercial Fishing in the Rose Atoll, Marianas Trench, and Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monuments AGENCY:

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before February 9, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at [email protected]).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Direct requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions to Walter Ikehara, (808) 725-5175 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    This request is for extension of a current information collection.

    The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) manages fishing activities in the Rose Atoll Marine, Marianas Trench, and Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monuments. Regulations at 50 CFR part 665 require the owner and operator of a vessel used to non-commercially fish for, take, retain, or possess any management unit species in these monuments to hold a valid permit.

    Regulations also require the owner and operator of a vessel that is chartered to fish recreationally for, take, retain, or possess, any management unit species in these monuments to hold a valid permit. The fishing vessel must be registered to the permit. The charter business must be established legally in the permit area where it will operate. Charter vessel clients are not required to have a permit.

    The permit application collects basic information about the permit applicant, type of operation, vessel, and permit area. NMFS uses this information to determine permit eligibility. The information is important for understanding the nature of the fishery and provides a link to participants. It also aids in the enforcement of Fishery Ecosystem Plan measures.

    Regulations also require the vessel operator to report a complete record of catch, effort, and other data on a NMFS logsheet. The vessel operator must record all requested information on the logsheet within 24 hours of the completion of each fishing day. The vessel operator also must sign, date, and submit the form to NMFS within 30 days of the end of each fishing trip.

    II. Method of Collection

    NMFS collects information on paper permit applications and logsheets.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0664.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Review: Regular (extension of a currently approved information collection).

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit organizations, individuals or households.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 25.

    Estimated Time per Response: 15 minutes per permit application; 20 minutes per logsheet form.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 40.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $100 in recordkeeping/reporting costs.

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Dated: December 7, 2015. Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31164 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD065 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Murray Street Bridge Seismic Retrofit Project by the California State Department of Transportation AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; proposed incidental harassment authorization; request for comments and information.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS has received an application from California State Department of Transportation (Caltrans) for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to Murray Street Bridge seismic retrofit project in Santa Cruz, California. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an IHA to Caltrans to incidentally take, by Level B Harassment only, marine mammals during the specified activity.

    DATES:

    Comments and information must be received no later than January 11, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments on the application should be addressed to Jolie Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. The mailbox address for providing email comments is [email protected] NMFS is not responsible for email comments sent to addresses other than the one provided here. Comments sent via email, including all attachments, must not exceed a 25-megabyte file size.

    Instructions: All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted to http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental.htm without change. All Personal Identifying Information (for example, name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information.

    A copy of the application may be obtained by writing to the address specified above or visiting the internet at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental.htm. Documents cited in this notice may also be viewed, by appointment, during regular business hours, at the aforementioned address.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Shane Guan, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Sections 101(a)(5)(A) and (D) of the MMPA (16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.) direct the Secretary of Commerce to allow, upon request, the incidental, but not intentional, taking of small numbers of marine mammals by U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial fishing) within a specified geographical region if certain findings are made and either regulations are issued or, if the taking is limited to harassment, a notice of a proposed authorization is provided to the public for review.

    An authorization for incidental takings shall be granted if NMFS finds that the taking will have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s), will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for subsistence uses (where relevant), and if the permissible methods of taking and requirements pertaining to the mitigation, monitoring and reporting of such takings are set forth. NMFS has defined “negligible impact” in 50 CFR 216.103 as “. . . an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival.”

    Section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA established an expedited process by which citizens of the U.S. can apply for a one-year authorization to incidentally take small numbers of marine mammals by harassment, provided that there is no potential for serious injury or mortality to result from the activity. Section 101(a)(5)(D) establishes a 45-day time limit for NMFS review of an application followed by a 30-day public notice and comment period on any proposed authorizations for the incidental harassment of marine mammals. Within 45 days of the close of the comment period, NMFS must either issue or deny the authorization.

    Summary of Request

    On October 22, 2013, CALTRANS submitted a request to NMFS requesting an IHA for the possible harassment of small numbers of Pacific harbor seal (Phoca vitulina richardii) and California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) incidental to construction associated with the Murray Street Bridge seismic retrofit project in the city of Santa Cruz, California, for a period of one year starting March 2016. After receiving NMFS comments and questions, CALTRANS submitted a revised IHA application on February 17, 2015. NMFS determined the IHA application was complete on May 29, 2015, and proposes to issue an IHA that would be valid between March 1, 2016, and February 28, 2016. NMFS is proposing to authorize the Level B harassment of Pacific harbor seal and California sea lion.

    Description of the Specified Activity Overview

    The proposed project consists of a seismic retrofit of the existing Murray Street Bridge, which spans the Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor and additional minor modifications to replace deficient bridge barriers (widening shoulders to standard widths and replacement and improvement of sidewalks and railings). The seismic retrofit project will provide the bridge with additional vertical support and resistance to lateral seismic forces by installing additional pilings and supplemental structural elements. In order to provide sufficient area for construction operations, some boats, Harbor facilities, and commercial businesses will require temporary relocation. Pile installation would include both impact and vibratory pile driving methods.

    The nine-span bridge is supported by two abutments (identified as Abutments 1 and 10, located at the western and eastern ends of the bridge, respectively) and 8 “bents” (identified as Bents 2 through 9, located at 60-foot intervals between the abutments). The seismic retrofit project consists of the following basic in-water elements:

    • Installation of concrete infill walls at Bents 2, 3, 4, and 9 to span the voids between the existing concrete support columns. The infill walls will also span the void between the existing and new columns at Bent 9.

    • Installation of shear keys and seat extenders at Bents 2 through 9.

    • Retrofit of foundations with 16-inch diameter CISS (cast-in-steel-shell) piles at Bent 9. These piles will extend to depths of approximately −55 feet to −90 feet at Bent 9.

    • Retrofit of both outriggers and bents with 30-inch diameter CISS piles at Bents 6, 7, and 8 and 30-inch diameter CIDH piles at Bents 2, 3, 4, and 5. These piles will extend to depths of approximately −55 feet to −85 feet at Bent 5 and at approximately −85 feet to −120 feet at Bents 6-8.

    • Installation of fenders to protect boats passing by the pier foundations, new pile caps at Bents, 5, 6, 7, and 8, and replacement of existing fender.

    A summary of in-water piles to be removed and installed is listed in Table 1.

    Table 1—Summary of In-Water Piles To Be Removed and Installed for CALTRANS' Murray Street Bridge Seismic Retrofit Project Location Number Pile type Removal-Bridge Bridge Bent 6 4 14-inch P/C concrete. Total in-water removal 4 Install new permanent bridge piles Bridge Bent 5 4 30-inch CIDH. Bridge Bent 6-8 12 30-inch CISS. Bridge Bent 9 8 16-inch CISS. Total in-water bridge pile installation 24 Dates and Duration

    The Murray Street Bridge Retrofit project is currently planned to commence in the spring of 2016. Overall, the seismic retrofit work will be executed over a period of approximately 18 months, with in-water construction lasting for an approximate total 10-month period over two years with 5 months during the first year and 5 months during the second year. The in-water pile driving for the bridge piles would occur over a total of 30 days within the 10-month period. Due to in-water work timing restrictions to protect federally-listed salmonids, all in-water construction activities including pile removal/installation would occur between the period from July 1 to mid-November. This IHA would cover activities conducted March 1, 2016-February 28, 2017.

    Specified Geographic Region

    The project area includes waters within the Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor and adjacent lands managed by the Santa Cruz Port District (see Figure 2 of the IHA application). The study area consists of the open waters, docks, and other potential haul-out features of the Harbor from the Harbor Launch Ramp area (including the fuel dock and Vessel Assist dock) to 500 feet upstream of the boundary of the Area of Impact (see Figure 2 of the IHA application).

    The Murray Street Bridge Retrofit project is tentatively proposed for construction in five partially overlapping interchangeable phases. Generally, work will begin on the eastern side of the Harbor and progress to the western side.

    Detailed Description of Murray Street Bridge Seismic Retrofit

    Details of each activity for the Murray Street Bridge seismic retrofit project are provided below.

    (1) Installation of Bridge Piles: The most intense activity would be the installation of new bridge support piles, which will also involve the demolition of the existing piles at Bent 6. CISS piles at Bents 5 through 8 will be installed within the waterway by impact driving 30-inch steel casings either to refusal at rock or into a shaft drilled within rock (depending on the location). The installation of new piles at Bents 5 through 8 will include two piles on each side for a total of 16 piles in the water. The work activity will be focused within the area of the bridge. Overall the installation of piles is expected to take a total of approximately 1 day for each 30-inch pile and 4 days for 8 16-inch piles for a total of 30 days. The installation of these piles requires the use of a crane(s), a drilling rig, a pile driver, excavation and earthmoving equipment, concrete trucks and pumps, concrete vibrators, supply trucks, welding equipment, and other machinery.

    (2) Installation of In-Water Barge or Temporary Bridge Trestle: Installation of an in-water barge or temporary bridge trestle is planned to accommodate equipment for pile installation. The installation would be done using impact and vibratory hammers. Work within the waterway will require either the use of barges or construction of trestles to provide work platforms. If barges are utilized, prefabricated modular units may be brought to the site and locked together. This type of platform can be installed, reconfigured, and removed relatively quickly, but the system is not suitable for areas that are too narrow to accommodate the modules. For example, footings from the Union Pacific Railroad Bridge to the north and footings from the Murray Street Bridge appear too close together to allow use of a modular barge between footings. In these areas, a trestle likely will need to be constructed.

    (3) Removal and Replacement of Boat Berths: The temporary use of portions of the eastern harbor boat yard and the western parking lot for contractor staging, in combination with provision of construction access to the bridge from the waterway, will result in temporary disruptions of harbor activities including temporary removal of existing boat berths and replacement upon completion of the project. To accommodate construction staging and in-water construction, the project calls for the temporary relocation of berths at Dock FF and Dock BY (Boat Yard on east side) to existing visitor berths with reconstruction of Dock FF and Dock BY upon completion of the bridge seismic retrofit construction. Dock FF accommodates University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) boats that are used for university classes. A walking dock (gangway) would be constructed to connect the existing parking lot area to the portion of Dock FF that will remain during construction. Six temporary berths may be constructed adjacent to the gangway to minimize relocation of some of the existing boats. Upon completion of construction, no additional new boat berths will be constructed as was originally proposed. Although design plans have not yet been completed for the reinstalled berths, it is expected that the berth docks would be plastic, wood or concrete over polyethylene floats and would be anchored with pilings. Piles would be driven into the harbor floor by impact hammer. There would be no dredging or placement of fill in harbor waters with reinstallation of docks and both berths.

    Description of Marine Mammals in the Area of the Specified Activity

    The marine mammal species under NMFS jurisdiction most likely to occur in the proposed construction area include Pacific harbor seal (Phoca vitulina richardsi) and California sea lion (Zalophus californianus).

    Table 2—Marine Mammal Species Potentially Present in Region of Activity Species ESA status MMPA status Occurrence Harbor Seal Not listed Non-depleted Frequent. California Sea Lion Not listed Non-depleted Frequent.

    General information on the marine mammal species found in Oregon coastal waters can be found in Caretta et al. (2015), which is available at the following URL: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars/pdf/pacific_sars_2014_final_noaa_swfsc_tm_549.pdf. Refer to that document for information on these species. A list of marine mammals in the vicinity of the action and their status are provided in Table 2. Specific information concerning these species in the vicinity of the proposed action area is provided in detail in the CALTRANS' IHA application (CALTRANS, 2015).

    Potential Effects of the Specified Activity on Marine Mammals

    This section includes a summary and discussion of the ways that the types of stressors associated with the specified activity (e.g., pile removal and pile driving) have been observed to impact marine mammals. This discussion may include reactions that we consider to rise to the level of a take and those that we do not consider to rise to the level of a take (for example, with acoustics, we may include a discussion of studies that showed animals not reacting at all to sound or exhibiting barely measurable avoidance). This section is intended as a background of potential effects and does not consider either the specific manner in which this activity will be carried out or the mitigation that will be implemented, and how either of those will shape the anticipated impacts from this specific activity. The “Estimated Take by Incidental Harassment” section later in this document will include a quantitative analysis of the number of individuals that are expected to be taken by this activity. The “Negligible Impact Analysis” section will include the analysis of how this specific activity will impact marine mammals and will consider the content of this section, the “Estimated Take by Incidental Harassment” section, the “Proposed Mitigation” section, and the “Anticipated Effects on Marine Mammal Habitat” section to draw conclusions regarding the likely impacts of this activity on the reproductive success or survivorship of individuals and from that on the affected marine mammal populations or stocks.

    When considering the influence of various kinds of sound on the marine environment, it is necessary to understand that different kinds of marine life are sensitive to different frequencies of sound. Based on available behavioral data, audiograms have been derived using auditory evoked potentials, anatomical modeling, and other data, Southall et al. (2007) designate “functional hearing groups” for marine mammals and estimate the lower and upper frequencies of functional hearing of the groups. The functional groups and the associated frequencies are indicated below (though animals are less sensitive to sounds at the outer edge of their functional range and most sensitive to sounds of frequencies within a smaller range somewhere in the middle of their functional hearing range):

    • Low frequency cetaceans (13 species of mysticetes): Functional hearing is estimated to occur between approximately 7 Hz and 25 kHz;

    • Mid-frequency cetaceans (32 species of dolphins, six species of larger toothed whales, and 19 species of beaked and bottlenose whales): Functional hearing is estimated to occur between approximately 150 Hz and 160 kHz;

    • High frequency cetaceans (eight species of true porpoises, six species of river dolphins, Kogia, the franciscana, and four species of cephalorhynchids): Functional hearing is estimated to occur between approximately 200 Hz and 180 kHz; and

    • Pinnipeds in Water: Functional hearing is estimated to occur between approximately 75 Hz and 75 kHz, with the greatest sensitivity between approximately 700 Hz and 20 kHz.

    As mentioned previously in this document, two marine mammal species (both are pinniped species) are likely to occur in the proposed seismic survey area.

    Marine mammals exposed to high-intensity sound repeatedly or for prolonged periods can experience hearing threshold shift (TS), which is the loss of hearing sensitivity at certain frequency ranges (Kastak et al. 1999; Schlundt et al. 2000; Finneran et al. 2002; 2005). TS can be permanent (PTS), in which case the loss of hearing sensitivity is unrecoverable, or temporary (TTS), in which case the animal's hearing threshold will recover over time (Southall et al. 2007). Since marine mammals depend on acoustic cues for vital biological functions, such as orientation, communication, finding prey, and avoiding predators, hearing impairment could result in the reduced ability of marine mammals to detect or interpret important sounds. Repeated noise exposure that causes TTS could lead to PTS.

    Experiments on a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncates) and beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) showed that exposure to a single watergun impulse at a received level of 207 kPa (or 30 psi) peak-to-peak (p-p), which is equivalent to 228 dB (p-p) re 1 μPa, resulted in a 7 and 6 dB TTS in the beluga whale at 0.4 and 30 kHz, respectively. Thresholds returned to within 2 dB of the pre-exposure level within 4 minutes of the exposure (Finneran et al. 2002). No TTS was observed in the bottlenose dolphin. Although the source level of one hammer strike for pile driving is expected to be much lower than the single watergun impulse cited here, animals being exposed for a prolonged period to repeated hammer strikes could receive more noise exposure in terms of sound exposure level (SEL) than from the single watergun impulse (estimated at 188 dB re 1 μPa2-s) in the aforementioned experiment (Finneran et al. 2002).

    Chronic exposure to excessive, though not high-intensity, noise could cause masking at particular frequencies for marine mammals that utilize sound for vital biological functions (Clark et al. 2009). Masking is the obscuring of sounds of interest by other sounds, often at similar frequencies. Masking generally occurs when sounds in the environment are louder than, and of a similar frequency as, auditory signals an animal is trying to receive. Masking can interfere with detection of acoustic signals, such as communication calls, echolocation sounds, and environmental sounds important to marine mammals. Therefore, under certain circumstances, marine mammals whose acoustical sensors or environment are being severely masked could also be impaired.

    Masking occurs at the frequency band which the animals utilize. Since noise generated from in-water vibratory pile removal and driving is mostly concentrated at low frequency ranges, it may have little effect on high-frequency echolocation sounds by odontocetes (toothed whales), which may hunt California sea lion and harbor seal. However, the lower frequency man-made noises are more likely to affect the detection of communication calls and other potentially important natural sounds, such as surf and prey noise. The noises may also affect communication signals when those signals occur near the noise band, and thus reduce the communication space of animals (e.g., Clark et al. 2009) and cause increased stress levels (e.g., Foote et al. 2004; Holt et al. 2009).

    Unlike TS, masking can potentially impact the species at community, population, or even ecosystem levels, as well as individual levels. Masking affects both senders and receivers of the signals and could, in certain circumstances, have long-term chronic effects on marine mammal species and populations. Recent science suggests that low frequency ambient sound levels in the world's oceans have increased by as much as 20 dB (more than 3 times, in terms of SPL) from pre-industrial periods, and most of these increases are from distant shipping (Hildebrand 2009). All anthropogenic noise sources, such as those from vessel traffic and pile removal and driving, contribute to the elevated ambient noise levels, thus intensifying masking.

    Finally, in addition to TS and masking, exposure of marine mammals to certain sounds could lead to behavioral disturbance (Richardson et al. 1995), such as: Changing durations of surfacing and dives, number of blows per surfacing, or moving direction and/or speed; reduced/increased vocal activities; changing/cessation of certain behavioral activities, such as socializing or feeding; visible startle response or aggressive behavior, such as tail/fluke slapping or jaw clapping; avoidance of areas where noise sources are located; and/or flight responses (e.g., pinnipeds flushing into water from haulouts or rookeries). The onset of behavioral disturbance from anthropogenic noise depends on both external factors (characteristics of noise sources and their paths) and the receiving animals (hearing, motivation, experience, demography), and is therefore difficult to predict (Southall et al. 2007). The activities of workers in the project area may also cause behavioral reactions by marine mammals, such as pinnipeds flushing from the jetty or pier or moving farther from the disturbance to forage. However, observations of the area show that it is unlikely that more than 10 to 20 individuals of pinnipeds would be present in the project vicinity at any one time. Therefore, even if pinnipeds were flushed from the haul-out, a stampede is very unlikely, due to the relatively low number of animals onsite. In addition, proposed mitigation and monitoring measures would minimize the startle behavior of pinnipeds and prevent the animals from flushing into the water.

    The biological significance of many of these behavioral disturbances is difficult to predict, especially if the detected disturbances appear minor. However, the consequences of behavioral modification could be expected to be biologically significant if the change affects growth, survival, or reproduction. Some of these types of significant behavioral modifications include: Drastic change in diving/surfacing patterns (such as those thought to be causing beaked whale strandings due to exposure to military mid-frequency tactical sonar); habitat abandonment due to loss of desirable acoustic environment; and cessation of feeding or social interaction.

    Potential Effects on Marine Mammal Habitat

    The primary potential impacts to marine mammal habitat are associated with elevated sound levels produced by vibratory pile removal and pile driving in the area. However, other potential impacts to the surrounding habitat from physical disturbance are also possible.

    Potential Impacts on Prey Species

    With regard to fish as a prey source for cetaceans and pinnipeds, fish are known to hear and react to sounds and to use sound to communicate (Tavolga et al. 1981) and possibly avoid predators (Wilson and Dill 2002). Experiments have shown that fish can sense both the strength and direction of sound (Hawkins 1981). Primary factors determining whether a fish can sense a sound signal, and potentially react to it, are the frequency of the signal and the strength of the signal in relation to the natural background noise level.

    The level of sound at which a fish will react or alter its behavior is usually well above the detection level. Fish have been found to react to sounds when the sound level increased to about 20 dB above the detection level of 120 dB (Ona 1988); however, the response threshold can depend on the time of year and the fish's physiological condition (Engas et al. 1993). In general, fish react more strongly to pulses of sound rather than non-pulse signals (such as noise from pile driving) (Blaxter et al. 1981), and a quicker alarm response is elicited when the sound signal intensity rises rapidly compared to sound rising more slowly to the same level.

    During the coastal construction only a small fraction of the available habitat would be ensonified at any given time. Disturbance to fish species would be short-term and fish would return to their pre-disturbance behavior once the pile driving activity ceases. Thus, the proposed construction would have little, if any, impact on the abilities of marine mammals to feed in the area where construction work is planned.

    Finally, the time of the proposed construction activity would avoid the spawning season of the ESA-listed salmonid species.

    Proposed Mitigation Measures

    In order to issue an incidental take authorization under section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA, NMFS must set forth the permissible methods of taking pursuant to such activity, and other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on such species or stock and its habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar significance, and on the availability of such species or stock for taking for certain subsistence uses.

    For CALTRANS' proposed Murray Street Bridge seismic retrofit project, CALTRANS worked with NMFS and proposed the following mitigation measures to minimize the potential impacts to marine mammals in the project vicinity. The primary purposes of these mitigation measures are to minimize sound levels from the activities, to monitor marine mammals within designated zones of influence (ZOI) corresponding to NMFS' current Level B harassment thresholds and, if marine mammals are detected within or approaching the exclusion zone, to initiate immediate shutdown or power down of the impact piling hammer, making it very unlikely potential injury or TTS to marine mammals would occur and ensuring that Level B behavioral harassment of marine mammals would be reduced to the lowest level practicable.

    Time Restriction

    Work would occur only during daylight hours, when visual monitoring of marine mammals can be conducted.

    Pre-Construction Removal of Artificial Haul-Out Sites

    All known and potential artificial structures could be used by pinnipeds for haul‐out that occur in the construction work area would be removed, preferably to a near‐by location outside of the work area prior to construction. These structures could include floating docks (i.e. Dock FF), rubber docks, or boats, such as those used by UCSC.

    Pre-Construction Workers Training

    Prior to in‐water construction, the approved monitor would conduct a workers training to instruct construction crews regarding the status and sensitivity of the target species in the area and the actions to be taken to avoid or minimize impacts in the event of a target species entering the in‐water work area.

    Establish Exclusion Zones

    A 10-m (33 ft) radius around the piling site should be established as an exclusion zone. The commencement of pile driving activities should be delayed if marine mammals are present within the exclusion zone. This exclusion zone is based on measured source level at 10 m by CALTRANS (2012) where the noise level reached 190 dB re 1 μPa from impact pile driving of a 30-in diameter steel pile in similar environment. There would be no exclusion zone for vibratory pile driving. Each day prior to the start of pile‐driving, the PSO would survey the exclusion zone for marine mammals. If a pinniped is detected, impact pile driving would be delayed until the marine pinniped(s) has moved beyond the exclusion zone, verified by visual confirmation or lack of visual sighting within the next 15 minutes of the last sighting, to assume that the animal has moved beyond the exclusion zone.

    Establishment of Level B Harassment Zones of Influence

    A 1,000-m (0.62-mi) radius around the piling site should be established as a preliminary zone of influence (ZOI) for impact pile driving. This distances is calculated based on practical spreading model where the edge of the ZOI correspond to received level falls to 160 dB re 1 μPa from impact pile driving. The preliminary ZOI would be adjusted based on a measurement of the distance to the 160 dB isopleth. CALTRANS stated that it would not be able to monitor beyond several km for marine mammal takes. Therefore, if underwater acoustic monitoring shows that the 120 dB isopleth for vibratory pile driving is beyond 1,000 m, CALTRANS would not use vibratory pile driving for this project. A summary of modeled exclusion zone and ZOI radii based on CALTRANS (2012) is listed in Table 3.

    Table 3—Modeled Exclusion Zone and ZOI Distances to From Pile Driving Activities for CALTRANS' Murray Street Bridge Seismic Retrofit Project Pile type/method Source level (dBrms re 1 μPa at 10m) Exclusion zone (m) for pinnipeds (190 dB re 1 μPa) ZOI (m) for
  • impact hammer (160 dB re 1 μPa)
  • ZOI (m) for
  • vibratory hammer (120 dB re 1 μPa)
  • 14-inch P/C concrete vibratory removal (use 12-inch steel H pile as proxy) 150 NA NA 1,000 16-inch CISS impact pile driving 187 10 631 NA 16-inch CISS vibratory pile driving (using 24-inch steel pile as proxy) 160 NA NA 4,642 30-inch CISS or CIDH impact pile driving 190 10 1,000 NA 30-inch CISS or CIDH vibratory pile driving (use 36-inch steel pile as proxy) 170 NA NA 21,544
    Soft Start

    CALTRANS would implement “soft start” (or ramp up) to reduce potential startling behavioral responses from marine mammals. Soft start requires contractors to initiate noise from the vibratory hammer for 15 seconds at reduced energy followed by a 1-minute waiting period. The procedure would be repeated two additional times. Soft start for impact hammers requires contractors to provide an initial set of three strikes from the impact hammer at 40 percent energy, followed by a 1-minute waiting period, then two subsequent three-strike sets. Each day, CALTRANS would use the soft-start technique at the beginning of pile driving, or if pile driving has ceased for more than one hour.

    Shutdown Measures

    CALTRANS shall implement shutdown measures if a marine mammal is sighted approaching the Level A exclusion zone. In-water construction activities shall be suspended until the marine mammal is sighted moving away from the exclusion zone, or if the animal is not sighted for 30 minutes after the shutdown.

    In addition, CALTRANS shall implement shutdown measures if the number of any allotted marine mammal takes reaches the limit under the IHA (if issued), if such marine mammals are sighted within the vicinity of the project area and are approaching the Level B ZOI during in-water pile driving.

    Furthermore, CALTRANS shall implant shutdown measures if any marine mammals not authorized under the IHA (if issued) are sighted within the vicinity of the project area and are approaching the Level B ZOI during in-water pile driving.

    Mitigation Conclusions

    NMFS has carefully evaluated the applicant's proposed mitigation measures and considered a range of other measures in the context of ensuring that NMFS prescribes the means of effecting the least practicable impact on the affected marine mammal species and stocks and their habitat. Our evaluation of potential measures included consideration of the following factors in relation to one another:

    • The manner in which, and the degree to which, the successful implementation of the measure is expected to minimize adverse impacts to marine mammals

    • The proven or likely efficacy of the specific measure to minimize adverse impacts as planned

    • The practicability of the measure for applicant implementation.

    Any mitigation measure(s) prescribed by NMFS should be able to accomplish, have a reasonable likelihood of accomplishing (based on current science), or contribute to the accomplishment of one or more of the general goals listed below:

    (1) Avoidance or minimization of injury or death of marine mammals wherever possible (goals 2, 3, and 4 may contribute to this goal).

    (2) A reduction in the numbers of marine mammals (total number or number at biologically important time or location) exposed to received levels of pile driving and pile removal or other activities expected to result in the take of marine mammals (this goal may contribute to 1, above, or to reducing harassment takes only).

    (3) A reduction in the number of times (total number or number at biologically important time or location) individuals would be exposed to received levels of pile driving and pile removal, or other activities expected to result in the take of marine mammals (this goal may contribute to 1, above, or to reducing harassment takes only).

    (4) A reduction in the intensity of exposures (either total number or number at biologically important time or location) to received levels of pile driving, or other activities expected to result in the take of marine mammals (this goal may contribute to a, above, or to reducing the severity of harassment takes only).

    (5) Avoidance or minimization of adverse effects to marine mammal habitat, paying special attention to the food base, activities that block or limit passage to or from biologically important areas, permanent destruction of habitat, or temporary destruction/disturbance of habitat during a biologically important time.

    (6) For monitoring directly related to mitigation—an increase in the probability of detecting marine mammals, thus allowing for more effective implementation of the mitigation.

    Based on our evaluation of the applicant's proposed measures, as well as other measures considered by NMFS, NMFS has preliminarily determined that the proposed mitigation measures provide the means of effecting the least practicable impact on marine mammals species or stocks and their habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar significance.

    Proposed Monitoring and Reporting

    In order to issue an incidental take authorization (ITA) for an activity, section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA states that NMFS must set forth, “requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such taking.” The MMPA implementing regulations at 50 CFR 216.104 (a)(13) indicate that requests for ITAs must include the suggested means of accomplishing the necessary monitoring and reporting that will result in increased knowledge of the species and of the level of taking or impacts on populations of marine mammals that are expected to be present in the proposed action area. CALTRANS submitted a marine mammal monitoring plan as part of the IHA application. It can be found at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental.htm. The plan may be modified or supplemented based on comments or new information received from the public during the public comment period.

    Monitoring measures prescribed by NMFS should accomplish one or more of the following general goals:

    (1) An increase in the probability of detecting marine mammals, both within the mitigation zone (thus allowing for more effective implementation of the mitigation) and in general to generate more data to contribute to the analyses mentioned below;

    (2) An increase in our understanding of how many marine mammals are likely to be exposed to levels of pile driving that we associate with specific adverse effects, such as behavioral harassment, TTS, or PTS;

    (3) An increase in our understanding of how marine mammals respond to stimuli expected to result in take and how anticipated adverse effects on individuals (in different ways and to varying degrees) may impact the population, species, or stock (specifically through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival) through any of the following methods:

    Behavioral observations in the presence of stimuli compared to observations in the absence of stimuli (need to be able to accurately predict received level, distance from source, and other pertinent information);

    Physiological measurements in the presence of stimuli compared to observations in the absence of stimuli (need to be able to accurately predict received level, distance from source, and other pertinent information);

    Distribution and/or abundance comparisons in times or areas with concentrated stimuli versus times or areas without stimuli;

    (4) An increased knowledge of the affected species; and

    (5) An increase in our understanding of the effectiveness of certain mitigation and monitoring measures.

    Proposed Monitoring Measures

    During in-water pile driving, CALTRANS would employ NMFS-approved protected species observers (PSOs) to conduct marine mammal monitoring for its Murray Street Bridge seismic retrofit project. The PSOs would observe and collect data on marine mammals in and around the project area for 30 minutes before, during, and after all pile removal and pile installation work. If a PSO observes a marine mammal approaching the exclusion zone, in-water impact pile driving would be ceased immediately. In addition, if a PSO observes a marine mammal within a ZOI that appears to be disturbed by the work activity, the PSO would notify the work crew to initiate shutdown measures.

    Monitoring of marine mammals around the construction site shall be conducted using high-quality binoculars (e.g., Zeiss, 10 x 42 power). The PSO(s) should be deployed in locations with the best vantage point where the entire ZOI can be monitored.

    CALTRANS would also conduct hydroacoustic monitoring of its initial pile driving to establish exclusion zones and ZOIs based on acoustic measurements. CALTRANS would also submit the hydroacoustic monitoring plan for NMFS approval before the measurements are conducted. The size of these zones listed in Table 3 may be adjusted based on in situ acoustic measurements.

    Data collection during marine mammal monitoring would consist of a count of all marine mammals by species, a description of behavior (if possible), location, direction of movement, type of construction that is occurring, time that pile replacement work begins and ends, any acoustic or visual disturbance, and time of the observation. Environmental conditions such as weather, visibility, temperature, tide level, current, and sea state would also be recorded.

    Proposed Reporting Measures

    CALTRANS would be required to submit a final monitoring report within 90 days after completion of the construction work or the expiration of the IHA (if issued), whichever comes earlier. This report would detail the monitoring protocol, summarize the data recorded during monitoring, and estimate the number of marine mammals that may have been harassed. NMFS would have an opportunity to provide comments on the report, and if NMFS has comments, CALTRANS would address the comments and submit a final report to NMFS within 30 days.

    In addition, NMFS would require CALTRANS to notify NMFS' Office of Protected Resources and NMFS' Stranding Network within 48 hours of sighting an injured or dead marine mammal in the vicinity of the construction site. CALTRANS shall provide NMFS with the species or description of the animal(s), the condition of the animal(s) (including carcass condition, if the animal is dead), location, time of first discovery, observed behaviors (if alive), and photo or video (if available).

    In the event that CALTRANS finds an injured or dead marine mammal that is not in the vicinity of the construction area, CALTRANS would report the same information as listed above to NMFS as soon as operationally feasible.

    Estimated Take by Incidental Harassment

    Except with respect to certain activities not pertinent here, the MMPA defines “harassment” as: Any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance which (i) has the potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild [Level A harassment]; or (ii) has the potential to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering [Level B harassment].

    As discussed above, in-water pile removal and pile driving (vibratory and impact) generate loud noises that could potentially harass marine mammals in the vicinity of CALTRANS's proposed Murray Street Bridge seismic retrofit project.

    As mentioned earlier in this document, currently NMFS uses 120 dB re 1 μPa and 160 dB re 1 μPa at the received levels for the onset of Level B harassment from non-impulse (vibratory pile driving and removal) and impulse sources (impact pile driving) underwater, respectively. Table 4 summarizes the current NMFS marine mammal take criteria.

    Table 4—Current Acoustic Exposure Criteria for Non-Explosive Sound Underwater Criterion Criterion definition Threshold Level A Harassment (Injury) Permanent Threshold Shift (PTS) (Any level above that which is known to cause TTS) 180 dB re 1 μPa (cetaceans).
  • 190 dB re 1 μPa (pinnipeds) root mean square (rms).
  • Level B Harassment Behavioral Disruption (for impulse noises) 160 dB re 1 μPa (rms). Level B Harassment Behavioral Disruption (for non-impulse noise) 120 dB re 1 μPa (rms).

    Numbers of marine mammals that could be incidentally harassed are calculated by estimating the maximum number of marine mammal being present within a ZOI during active pile driving based on estimates of numbers of animals identified during the marine mammal surveys. Numbers of residential harbor seals are expected to be at a maximum during the season in which surveys were conducted (outside of breeding and molting seasons).

    Pile driving (in‐water and on‐land) estimates are based on the maximum number of days that pile driving could potentially occur (installation of 42 permanent bridge; installation and removal of 120 temporary piles to support a construction trestle, if used; removal and reinstallation 35 boat berth piles, and removal of 4 existing bridge piles. In total, up to 49 days of pile driving and 15.5 days of pile removal are anticipated.

    For the exposure estimate, it is conservatively assumed that the highest count of sea lions, harbor seals, and sea otters observed will be foraging within the ZOI and be exposed multiple times during the Project.

    The calculation for estimated marine mammal takes is:

    Instances of estimated take = N (number of animals in the area) * Number of days of pile removal/driving activity

    Numbers of animals in the proposed project area are based on CALTRANS marine mammal counts conducted in September and October, 2009. Estimates include the number of anticipated instances of Level B acoustical harassment during impact pile driving and vibratory pile removal. All estimates are conservative, as pile removal/driving would not be continuous during the work day. Additionally, the number of individual marine mammals taken is anticipated to be lower than the number of estimated instances, because we expect some individuals to be taken on multiple days. Using this approach, a summary of estimated instances of takes of marine mammals incidental to CALTRANS's Murray Street Bridge seismic retrofit project are provided in Table 5.

    Table 5—Estimated Numbers of Marine Mammals That May Be Exposed to Level B Behavioral Harassment Species Estimated
  • instances of
  • marine mammal
  • take
  • Abundance Percentage
    Pacific harbor seal 710 30,968 2.29% California sea lion 968 296,750 0.32
    Analysis and Preliminary Determinations Negligible Impact

    Negligible impact is “an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival” (50 CFR 216.103). A negligible impact finding is based on the lack of likely adverse effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival (i.e., population-level effects). An estimate of the number of Level B harassment takes, alone, is not enough information on which to base an impact determination. In addition to considering estimates of the number of marine mammals that might be “taken” through behavioral harassment, NMFS must consider other factors, such as the likely nature of any responses (their intensity, duration, etc.), the context of any responses (critical reproductive time or location, migration, etc.), as well as the number and nature of estimated Level A harassment takes, the number of estimated mortalities, and effects on habitat.

    To avoid repetition, this introductory discussion of our analyses applies to both species listed in Table 5, given that the anticipated effects of CALTRANS's Murray Street Bridge seismic retrofit project on marine mammals are expected to be relatively similar in nature. There is no information about the nature or severity of the impacts, or the size, status, or structure of any species or stock that would lead to a different analysis for this activity, else species-specific factors would be identified and analyzed.

    CALTRANS's proposed Murray Street Bridge seismic retrofit project would involve vibratory pile removal and impact pile driving activities. Elevated underwater noises are expected to be generated as a result of these activities. The exclusion zone for Level A harassment is extremely small (10 m from the source), and with the implementation of the proposed monitoring and mitigation measures described above, there would be no Level A take of marine mammals. For vibratory pile removal and pile driving, noise levels are not expected to reach the level that may cause TTS, injury (including PTS), or mortality to marine mammals.

    Additionally, the sum of noise from CALTRANS's proposed Murray Street Bridge seismic retrofit activities is confined to a limited area within the Santa Cruz Harbor; therefore, the noise generated is not expected to contribute to increased ocean ambient noise outside the Harbor. In addition, due to shallow water depths in the project area, underwater sound propagation of low-frequency sound (which is the major noise source from pile driving) is expected to be poor.

    In addition, CALTRANS's proposed activities are localized and of short duration. The entire project area is limited to CALTRANS's Murray Street Bridge seismic retrofit work. The entire project would involve the removal of 4 existing piles and installation of 24 in-water piles. The duration for pile removal and pile driving would be 30 days within the 10-month period. These low-intensity, localized, and short-term noise exposures may cause brief startle reactions or short-term behavioral modification by the animals. These reactions and behavioral changes are expected to subside quickly when the exposures cease. Moreover, the proposed mitigation and monitoring measures are expected to reduce potential exposures and behavioral modifications even further. Additionally, no important feeding and/or reproductive areas for marine mammals are known to be near the proposed action area. Therefore, the take resulting from the proposed Murray Street Bridge seismic retrofit work is not reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the marine mammal species or stocks through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival.

    The proposed project area is not a prime habitat for marine mammals, nor is it considered an area frequented by marine mammals. Behavioral disturbances that could result from anthropogenic noise associated with CALTRANS's construction activities are expected to affect only a small number of marine mammals on an infrequent and limited basis.

    The project also is not expected to have significant adverse effects on affected marine mammals' habitat, as analyzed in detail in the “Anticipated Effects on Marine Mammal Habitat” section. The project activities would not modify existing marine mammal habitat. The activities may cause some fish to leave the area of disturbance, thus temporarily impacting marine mammals' foraging opportunities in a limited portion of the foraging range; but, because of the short duration of the activities and the relatively small area of the habitat that may be affected, the impacts to marine mammal habitat are not expected to cause significant or long-term negative consequences.

    Based on the analysis contained herein of the likely effects of the specified activity on marine mammals and their habitat, and taking into consideration the implementation of the proposed monitoring and mitigation measures, NMFS preliminarily finds that the total marine mammal take from CALTRANS's Murray Street Bridge seismic retrofit project will have a negligible impact on the affected marine mammal species or stocks.

    Small Number

    Based on analyses provided above, it is estimated that approximately 710 harbor seals and 968 California sea lions could be exposed to received noise levels that could cause Level B behavioral harassment from the proposed construction work at the Murray Street Bridge in Santa Cruz, California. These numbers represent approximately 2.29% and 0.32% of the populations of harbor seal and California sea lion, respectively, that could be affected by Level B behavioral harassment, respectively (see Table 5 above), which are small percentages relative to the total populations of the affected species or stocks. Accordingly, NMFS preliminarily finds that small numbers of marine mammals will be taken relative to the populations of the affected species or stocks.

    Impact on Availability of Affected Species for Taking for Subsistence Uses

    There are no subsistence uses of marine mammals in the proposed project area; and, thus, no subsistence uses impacted by this action. Therefore, NMFS has determined that the total taking of affected species or stocks would not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of such species or stocks for taking for subsistence purposes.

    Endangered Species Act (ESA)

    NMFS has determined that issuance of the IHA will have no effect on listed marine mammals, as none are known to occur in the action area.

    National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

    NMFS prepared a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the proposed issuance of an IHA, pursuant to NEPA, to determine whether or not this proposed activity may have a significant effect on the human environment. This analysis will be completed prior to the issuance or denial of this proposed IHA.

    Proposed Authorization

    As a result of these preliminary determinations, NMFS proposes to issue an IHA to CALTRANS for conducting the Murray Street Bridge seismic retrofit project, provided the previously mentioned mitigation, monitoring, and reporting requirements are incorporated. The proposed IHA language is provided next.

    1. This Authorization is valid from March 1, 2016, through February 28, 2017.

    2. This Authorization is valid only for activities associated in-water construction work at the Murray Street Bridge seismic retrofit project in Santa Cruz, California.

    3. (a) The species authorized for incidental harassment takings, Level B harassment only, are: Pacific harbor seal (Phoca vitulina richardsi) and California sea lion (Zalophus californianus).

    (b) The authorization for taking by harassment is limited to the following acoustic sources and from the following activities:

    • Impact pile driving;

    • Vibratory pile removal; and

    • Work associated with above piling activities.

    (c) The taking of any marine mammal in a manner prohibited under this Authorization must be reported within 24 hours of the taking to the West Coast Administrator (206-526-6150), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the Chief of the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, at (301) 427-8401, or her designee (301-427-8401).

    4. The holder of this Authorization must notify the Chief of the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, at least 48 hours prior to the start of activities identified in 3(b) (unless constrained by the date of issuance of this Authorization in which case notification shall be made as soon as possible).

    5. Prohibitions

    (a) The taking, by incidental harassment only, is limited to the species listed under condition 3(a) above and by the numbers listed in Table 5. The taking by Level A harassment, injury or death of these species or the taking by harassment, injury or death of any other species of marine mammal is prohibited and may result in the modification, suspension, or revocation of this Authorization.

    (b) The taking of any marine mammal is prohibited whenever the required protected species observers (PSOs), required by condition 7(a), are not present in conformance with condition 7(a) of this Authorization.

    6. Mitigation

    (a) Time Restriction

    In-water construction work shall occur only during daylight hours, when visual monitoring of marine mammals can be conducted.

    (b) Pre-Construction Removal of Artificial Haul-out Sites.

    All known and potential artificial structures could be used by pinnipeds for haul‐out that occur in the construction work area shall be removed. These structures include floating docks (i.e. Dock FF), rubber docks, or boats.

    (c) Pre-Construction Workers Training

    Prior to in‐water construction, construction crews should be trained regarding the status and sensitivity of the target species in the area and the actions to be taken to avoid or minimize impacts in the event of a target species entering the in‐water work area.

    (d) Establish Exclusion Zones

    A 10-m (33 ft) radius around the piling site should be established as an exclusion zone. This exclusion zone is based on received sound levels exceed 190 dB re 1 μPa from impact pile driving.

    (e) Establishment of Level B Harassment Zones of Influence

    A 1,000-m (0.62-mi) radius around the piling site should be established as a preliminary zone of influence (ZOI) for impact pile driving and for vibratory pile removal. The distance to the edge of the ZOI correspond to received level falls to 160 dB re 1 μPa from impact pile driving and 120 dB re 1 μPa from vibratory pile removal.

    (f) Soft Start

    (i) CALTRANS shall implement “soft start” (or ramp up) to reduce potential startling behavioral responses from marine mammals.

    (ii) Soft start requires contractors to initiate noise from the vibratory hammer for 15 seconds at reduced energy followed by a 1-minute waiting period. The procedure would be repeated two additional times.

    (iii) Soft start for impact hammers requires contractors to provide an initial set of three strikes from the impact hammer at 40 percent energy, followed by a 1-minute waiting period, then two subsequent three-strike sets.

    (iv) Each day, CALTRANS would use the soft-start technique at the beginning of pile driving, or if pile driving has ceased for more than one hour.

    (g) Shutdown Measures

    (i) CALTRANS shall implement shutdown measures if a marine mammal is sighted approaching the Level A exclusion zone. In-water construction activities shall be suspended until the marine mammal is sighted moving away from the exclusion zone, or if the animal is not sighted for 30 minutes after the shutdown.

    (ii) CALTRANS shall implement shutdown measures if the number of any allotted marine mammal takes reaches the limit under the IHA (if issued), if such marine mammals are sighted within the vicinity of the project area and are approaching the Level B ZOI during in-water pile driving.

    (iii) CALTRANS shall implant shutdown measures if any marine mammals not authorized under the IHA (if issued) are sighted within the vicinity of the project area and are approaching the Level B ZOI during in-water pile driving.

    7. Monitoring:

    (a) Visual Monitoring

    (i) CALTRANS shall employ NMFS-approved PSO(s) to conduct marine mammal monitoring for its construction project.

    (ii) Monitoring of marine mammals around the construction site shall be conducted using high-quality binoculars (e.g., Zeiss, 10 x 42 power).

    (iii) The PSO(s) should be deployed in locations with the best vantage point where the entire ZOI can be monitored.

    (iv) The PSO(s) shall observe and collect data on marine mammals in and around the project area for 30 minutes before, during, and for 30 minutes after all pile removal and pile installation work.

    (v) Data collection during marine mammal monitoring would consist of a count of all marine mammals by species, a description of behavior (if possible), location, direction of movement, type of construction that is occurring, time that pile replacement work begins and ends, any acoustic or visual disturbance, and time of the observation. Environmental conditions: Weather, visibility, temperature, tide level, current, and sea state shall also be recorded.

    (b) Hydroacoustic Monitoring

    (i) CALTRANS shall conduct hydroacoustic monitoring of its initial pile driving to establish exclusion zones and ZOIs based on acoustic measurements.

    (ii) CALTRANS shall submit the hydroacoustic monitoring plan for NMFS approval before the measurements are conducted.

    (iii) The size of modeled exclusion zones and ZOIs may be adjusted based on in situ acoustic measurements.

    8. Reporting:

    (a) CALTRANS shall provide NMFS with a draft monitoring report within 90 days of the conclusion of the construction work or within 90 days of the expiration of the IHA, whichever comes first. This report shall detail the monitoring protocol, summarize the data recorded during monitoring, and estimate the number of marine mammals that may have been harassed.

    (b) If comments are received from the NMFS West Coast Regional Administrator or NMFS Office of Protected Resources on the draft report, a final report shall be submitted to NMFS within 30 days thereafter. If no comments are received from NMFS, the draft report will be considered to be the final report.

    (c) In the unanticipated event that the construction activities clearly cause the take of a marine mammal in a manner prohibited by this Authorization (if issued), such as an injury, serious injury, or mortality, CALTRANS shall immediately cease all operations and immediately report the incident to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, and the West Coast Regional Stranding Coordinators. The report must include the following information:

    (i) Time, date, and location (latitude/longitude) of the incident;

    (ii) Description of the incident;

    (iii) Status of all sound source use in the 24 hours preceding the incident;

    (iv) Environmental conditions (including wind speed and direction, sea state, cloud cover, visibility, and water depth);

    (v) Description of marine mammal observations in the 24 hours preceding the incident;

    (vi) Species identification or description of the animal(s) involved;

    (vii) The fate of the animal(s); and

    (viii) Photographs or video footage of the animal (if equipment is available).

    Activities shall not resume until NMFS is able to review the circumstances of the prohibited take. NMFS shall work with CALTRANS to determine what is necessary to minimize the likelihood of further prohibited take and ensure MMPA compliance. CALTRANS may not resume their activities until notified by NMFS via letter, email, or telephone.

    (E) In the event that CALTRANS discovers an injured or dead marine mammal, and the lead PSO determines that the cause of the injury or death is unknown and the death is relatively recent (i.e., in less than a moderate state of decomposition as described in the next paragraph), CALTRANS will immediately report the incident to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, and the West Coast Regional Stranding Coordinators. The report must include the same information identified above. Activities may continue while NMFS reviews the circumstances of the incident. NMFS will work with CALTRANS to determine whether modifications in the activities are appropriate.

    (F) In the event that CALTRANS discovers an injured or dead marine mammal, and the lead PSO determines that the injury or death is not associated with or related to the activities authorized in the IHA (e.g., previously wounded animal, carcass with moderate to advanced decomposition, or scavenger damage), CALTRANS shall report the incident to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, and the West Coast Regional Stranding Coordinators, within 24 hours of the discovery. CALTRANS shall provide photographs or video footage (if available) or other documentation of the stranded animal sighting to NMFS and the Marine Mammal Stranding Network. CALTRANS can continue its operations under such a case.

    9. This Authorization may be modified, suspended or withdrawn if the holder fails to abide by the conditions prescribed herein or if the authorized taking is having more than a negligible impact on the species or stock of affected marine mammals, or if there is an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of such species or stocks for subsistence uses.

    10. A copy of this Authorization must be in the possession of each contractor who performs the construction work at the Murray Street Bridge seismic retrofits project.

    Dated: December 7, 2015. Donna S. Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31205 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List; Deletions AGENCY:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

    ACTION:

    Deletions from the Procurement List.

    SUMMARY:

    This action deletes products from the Procurement List previously furnished by nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: 1/10/2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1401 S. Clark Street, Suite 715, Arlington, Virginia, 22202-4149.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Patricia Briscoe, Telephone: (703) 603-7740, Fax: (703) 603-0655, or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Deletions

    On 10/30/2015 (80 FR 66880) and 11/6/2015 (80 FR 68860-68862), the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled published notices of proposed deletions from the Procurement List.

    After consideration of the relevant matter presented, the Committee has determined that the products listed below are no longer suitable for procurement by the Federal Government under 41 U.S.C. 8501-8506 and 41 CFR 51-2.4.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    I certify that the following action will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. The major factors considered for this certification were:

    1. The action will not result in additional reporting, recordkeeping or other compliance requirements for small entities.

    2. The action may result in authorizing small entities to furnish the products to the Government.

    3. There are no known regulatory alternatives which would accomplish the objectives of the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act (41 U.S.C. 8501-8506) in connection with the products deleted from the Procurement List.

    End of Certification

    Accordingly, the following products are deleted from the Procurement List:

    Products NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 7125-00-449-6862—Cabinet, Storage Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: UNKNOWN Contracting Activity: Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Richmond, VA NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 7510-01-429-6946—DAYMAX System, Scratch Pad Refill, Lined, 6-hole 7510-01-429-7418—DAYMAX System, Replacement Binder, LE, Zipper Closure, 3-hole, Burgundy 7510-01-429-7414—DAYMAX System, Replacement Binder, LE, Zipper Closure, 3-hole, Black 7510-01-429-7413—DAYMAX System, Replacement Binder, GLE, 7-hole, Black 7510-01-429-7034—DAYMAX System, Tabbed Sections, 3-hole 7510-01-429-7035—DAYMAX System, Itinerary Refill, 7-hole 7510-01-429-7038—DAYMAX System, ‘Things to Do’ Refill, 3-hole 7510-01-429-7040—DAYMAX System, Account Ledger Refill, 3-hole 7510-01-429-7041—DAYMAX System, Assignment List Refill, DOD, 3-hole. 7510-01-429-7046—DAYMAX System, Account Ledger Refill, 7-hole 7510-01-429-7050—DAYMAX System, Task Plan Refill, DOD, 3-hole. 7510-01-429-7051—DAYMAX System, Tabbed Alpha Directory, 3-hole 7510-01-429-7052—DAYMAX System, DIA ‘Log’ Refill, DOD, 3-hole 7510-01-429-7053—DAYMAX System, Address Directory Refill, 3-hole 7510-01-429-7059—DAYMAX System, Tabbed Alpha Directory, 7-hole 7510-01-429-7063—DAYMAX System, Priority Tabs, DOD, 3-hole. 7510-01-429-7065—DAYMAX System, Agenda Refill, 3-hole 7510-01-429-7066—DAYMAX System, Address Directory Refill, 7-hole 7510-01-429-7068—DAYMAX System, Project Coordinator Refill, 3-hole 7510-01-429-7069—DAYMAX System, Daily Coordinator Refill, DOD, 3-hole. 7510-01-429-7072—DAYMAX System, Project Coordinator Refill, 7-hole 7510-01-429-7074—DAYMAX System, Agenda Refill, 7-hole 7510-01-429-7076—DAYMAX System, Itinerary Refill, 3-hole 7510-01-429-7081—DAYMAX System, Journal Refill, 3-hole 7510-01-429-7412—DAYMAX System, Replacement Binder, IE, Velcro Closure, 3-hole, Burgundy 7510-01-429-7415—DAYMAX System, Replacement Binder, IE, Velcro Closure, 3-hole, Black 7510-01-429-7416—DAYMAX System, Replacement Binder, IE, Velcro Closure, 3-hole, Navy 7510-01-429-7417—DAYMAX System, Replacement Binder, LE, Zipper Closure, 3-hole, Navy 7510-01-429-7472—DAYMAX System, Replacement Binder, GLE, 7-hole, Burgundy 7510-01-429-7474—DAYMAX System, Replacement Binder, GLE, 7-hole, Navy 7510-01-429-7475—DAYMAX System, Replacement Binder, DOD Logo, 3-hole, Zipper Closure, Burgundy 7510-01-429-7477—DAYMAX System, Replacement Binder, 7-hole, Zipper Closure, Woodland Camouflage 7510-01-429-7835—DAYMAX System, Vinyl Zipper Pouch, 3-hole 7510-01-429-7838—DAYMAX System, Tabbed Alpha Directory, 6-hole 7510-01-429-7841—DAYMAX System, ‘Things to Do Refill’, 7-hole 7510-01-429-9609—DAYMAX System, Journal Refill, 7-hole 7510-01-429-7843—DAYMAX System, Sheet Lifter, 3-hole 7510-01-429-9985—DAYMAX System, Business/Credit Card Holder, 3-hole 7510-01-429-9986—DAYMAX System, Ruler/Pagemark, 3-hole 7510-01-463-0794—DAYMAX System, Sheet Lifter, 6-hole 7510-01-463-0802—Logo, Customized, Silkscreen 7510-01-485-6563—DAYMAX System, Sheet Lifter, 7-hole 7510-01-485-6564—DAYMAX System, Vinyl Zipper Pouch, 7-hole 7510-01-485-6565—DAYMAX System, Ruler/Pagemark, 7-hole 7510-01-485-8334—DAYMAX System, Business/Credit Card Holder, 7-hole 7510-01-463-0796—DAYMAX System, ‘Things-To-Do’ Refill, 6-hole 7530-01-429-6938—DAYMAX System, Scratch Pad Refill, Lined, 3-hole 7530-01-429-6940—DAYMAX System, Scratch Pad Refill, Lined, 7-hole 7530-01-429-6948—DAYMAX System, Scratch Pad Refill, Graph, 3-hole 7530-01-429-9505—DAYMAX System, Scratch Pad Refill, Graph, 7-hole 7510-01-429-7043—DAYMAX System, Tabbed Sections, 7-hole 7510-01-545-3775—DAYMAX System, 2014, Calendar Pad, Type II 7510-01-545-3792—DAYMAX System, 2014, Calendar Pad, Type I 7510-01-588-0116—DAYMAX System, 2014, Tabbed Monthly, JR, 6-hole 7510-01-588-0120—DAYMAX System, 2015, Tabbed Monthly, JR, 6-hole 7510-01-588-0132—DAYMAX System, 2014, Week at a View, GLE, 7-hole 7510-01-588-0137—DAYMAX System, 2015, Week at a View, GLE, 7-hole 7530-01-545-3737—DAYMAX System, 2014, Appointment Refill 7530-01-545-3743—DAYMAX System, 2015, Appointment Refill 7530-01-587- 9717—DAYMAX System, 2014, JR Deluxe Planner, 6-hole, Digital Camouflage 7530-01-587- 9717L—DAYMAX System, 2014, JR Deluxe Planner, 6-hole, Digital Camouflage w/logo 7510-01-588-0144—DAYMAX System, 2014, Month at a View, IE/LE, 3-hole 7510-01-588-0149—DAYMAX System, 2014, Tabbed Monthly, IE/LE, 3-hole 7510-01-588-0150—DAYMAX System, 2015, Month at a View, IE/LE, 3-hole 7510-01-588-0153—DAYMAX System, 2015, Tabbed Monthly, IE/LE, 3-hole 7510-01-588-0161—DAYMAX System, 2014, Day at a View, GLE, 7-hole 7510-01-588-0163—DAYMAX System, 2015, Day at a View, GLE, 7-hole 7510-01-588-0165—DAYMAX System, 2015, Month at a View, GLE, 7-hole 7510-01-588-0167—DAYMAX System, 2015, Day at a View, IE/LE, 3-hole 7510-01-588-0192—DAYMAX System, 2014, Week at a View, IE/LE, 3-hole 7510-01-588-0182—DAYMAX System, 2014, Tabbed Monthly, GLE, 7-hole 7510-01-588-0184—DAYMAX System, 2015, Tabbed Monthly, GLE, 7-hole 7510-01-588-0190—DAYMAX System, 2014, Month at a View, GLE, 7-hole 7510-01-588-0194—DAYMAX System, 2015, Week at a View, IE/LE, 3-hole 7510-01-588-0200—DAYMAX System, 2014, Day at a View, IE/LE, 3-hole 7530-01-587-9593—DAYMAX System, 2014, LE Planner, 3-hole, Burgundy 7530-01-587-9593L—DAYMAX System, 2014, LE Planner, 3-hole, Burgundy w/logo 7530-01-587-9594—DAYMAX System, 2014, JR Planner, 6-hole, Burgundy 7530-01-587-9594L—DAYMAX System, 2014, JR Planner, 6-hole, Burgundy w/logo 7530-01-587-9597—DAYMAX System, 2015, JR Planner, 6-hole, Burgundy 7530-01-587-9597L—DAYMAX System, 2015, JR Planner, 6-hole, Burgundy w/logo 7530-01-587-9599—DAYMAX System, 2015, LE Planner, 3-hole, Burgundy 7530-01-587-9599L—DAYMAX System, 2015, LE Planner, 3-hole, Burgundy w/logo 7530-01-587-9613—DAYMAX System, 2014, IE Planner, 3-hole, Burgundy 7530-01-587-9613L—DAYMAX System, 2014, IE Planner, 3-hole, Burgundy w/logo 7530-01-587-9615—DAYMAX System, 2015, IE Planner, 3-hole, Navy 7530-01-587-9615L—DAYMAX System, 2015, IE Planner, 3-hole, Navy w/logo 7530-01-587-9618—DAYMAX System, 2015, IE Planner, 3-hole, Burgundy 7530-01-587-9618L—DAYMAX System, 2015, IE Planner, 3-hole, Burgundy w/logo 7530-01-587-9708—DAYMAX System, 2014, LE Planner, 3-hole, Black 7530-01-587-9708L—DAYMAX System, 2014, LE Planner, 3-hole, Black w/logo 7530-01-587-9621—DAYMAX System, 2014, IE Planner, 3-hole, Black 7530-01-587-9621L—DAYMAX System, 2014, IE Planner, 3-hole, Black w/logo 7530-01-587-9622—DAYMAX System, 2015, IE Planner, 3-hole, Black 7530-01-587-9622L—DAYMAX System, 2015, IE Planner, 3-hole, Black w/logo 7530-01-587-9634—DAYMAX System, 2014, IE Planner, 3-hole, Navy 7530-01-587-9634L—DAYMAX System, 2014, IE Planner, 3-hole, Navy w/logo 7530-01-587-9643—DAYMAX System, 2014, GLE Planner, 7-hole, Burgundy 7530-01-587-9643L—DAYMAX System, 2014, GLE Planner, 7-hole, Burgundy 7530-01-587-9647—DAYMAX System, 2015, GLE Planner, 7-hole, Burgundy 7530-01-587-9647L—DAYMAX System, 2015, GLE Planner, 7-hole, Burgundy w/logo 7530-01-587-9661—DAYMAX System, 2015, GLE Planner, 7-hole, Navy 7530-01-587-9661L—DAYMAX System, 2015, GLE Planner, 7-hole, Navy w/logo 7530-01-587-9678—DAYMAX System, 2014, GLE Planner, 7-hole, Black 7530-01-587-9678L—DAYMAX System, 2014, GLE Planner, 7-hole, Black w/logo 7530-01-587-9684—DAYMAX System, 2014, JR Deluxe Planner, 6-hole, Black 7530-01-587-9684L—DAYMAX System, 2014, JR Deluxe Planner, 6-hole, Black w/logo 7530-01-587-9685—DAYMAX System, 2015, GLE Planner, 7-hole, Black 7530-01-587-9685L—DAYMAX System, 2015, GLE Planner, 7-hole, Black w/logo 7530-01-587-9687—DAYMAX System, 2015, JR Deluxe Planner, 6-hole, Black 7530-01-587-9687L—DAYMAX System, 2015, JR Deluxe Planner, 6-hole, Black w/logo 7530-01-587-9705—DAYMAX System, 2014, JR Planner, 6-hole, Navy 7530-01-587-9705L—DAYMAX System, 2014, JR Planner, 6-hole, Navy w/logo 7530-01-587-9704—DAYMAX System, 2014, JR Planner, 6-hole, Black 7530-01-587-9704L—DAYMAX System, 2014, JR Planner, 6-hole, Black w/logo 7530-01-587-9706—DAYMAX System, 2015, JR Planner, 6-hole, Black 7530-01-587-9706L—DAYMAX System, 2015, JR Planner, 6-hole, Black w/logo 7530-01-587-9707—DAYMAX System, 2014, LE Planner, 3-hole, Navy 7530-01-587-9707L—DAYMAX System, 2014, LE Planner, 3-hole, Navy w/logo 7530-01-587-9709—DAYMAX System, 2015, JR Planner, 6-hole, Navy 7530-01-587-9709L—DAYMAX System, 2015, JR Planner, 6-hole, Navy w/logo 7530-01-587-9711—DAYMAX System, 2015, LE Planner, 3-hole, Black 7530-01-587-9711L—DAYMAX System, 2015, LE Planner, 3-hole, Black w/logo 7530-01-587-9712—DAYMAX System, 2015, LE Planner, 3-hole, Navy 7530-01-587-9712L—DAYMAX System, 2015, LE Planner, 3-hole, Navy w/logo 7530-01-587-9719—DAYMAX System, 2014, GLE Planner, 7-hole, Navy 7530-01-587-9719L—DAYMAX System, 2014, GLE Planner, 7-hole, Navy w/logo 7530-01-587-9720—DAYMAX System, 2015, JR Deluxe Planner, 6-hole, Digital Camouflage 7530-01-587-9720L—DAYMAX System, 2015, JR Deluxe Planner, 6-hole, Digital Camouflage w/logo 7530-01-587-9722—DAYMAX System, 2015, Planner, 7-hole, Desert Camouflage 7530-01-587-9722L—DAYMAX System, 2015, Planner, 7-hole, Desert Camouflage w/logo 7530-01-587-9731—DAYMAX System, 2014, Planner, 7-hole, Desert Camouflage 7530-01-587-9731L—DAYMAX System, 2014, Planner, 7-hole, Desert Camouflage w/logo 7530-01-588-0039—DAYMAX System, 2015, DOD Planner, 3-hole, Burgundy 7530-01-588-0039L—DAYMAX System, 2015, DOD Planner, 3-hole, Burgundy w/logo 7530-01-588-0108—DAYMAX System, 2014, DOD Planner, 3-hole, Burgundy 7530-01-588-0108L—DAYMAX System, 2014, DOD Planner, 3-hole, Burgundy w/logo 7530-01-588-0128—DAYMAX System, 2015, Planner, 7-hole, Woodland Camouflage 7530-01-588-0128L—DAYMAX System, 2015, Planner, 7-hole, Woodland Camouflage w/logo 7530-01-588-0122—DAYMAX System, 2014, Planner, 7-hole, Woodland Cam 7530-01-588-0122L—DAYMAX System, 2014, Planner, 7-hole, Woodland Camouflage w/logo 7510-01-565-8330—DAYMAX System, Replacement Binder, JR, Velcro Closure, 6-hole, Burgundy 7510-01-565-8331—DAYMAX System, Replacement Binder, JR Deluxe, Zipper Closure, 6-hole, Digital Camouflage 7510-01-565-8334—DAYMAX System, Business/Credit Card Holder, 6-hole 7510-01-566-3925—DAYMAX System, Address Directory Refill, 6-hole 7530-00-NSH-0099—DAYMAX System, Polyethylene Black Binder, 6 Ring 7510-01-565-8332—DAYMAX System, Replacement Binder, JR Deluxe, Zipper Closure, 6-hole, Black Denier 7510-01-565-8333—DAYMAX System, Replacement Binder, Zipper Closure, 7-hole, Desert Camouflage 7510-01-565-8335—DAYMAX System, Replacement Binder, JR, Velcro Closure, 6-hole, Black 7510-01-565-8336—DAYMAX System, Replacement Binder, JR, Velcro Closure, 6-hole, Navy Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Easter Seals Western and Central Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, PA Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, New York, NY Patricia Briscoe, Deputy Director, Business Operations (Pricing and Information Management).
    [FR Doc. 2015-31263 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353-01-P
    COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List, Proposed Additions AGENCY:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled.

    ACTION:

    Proposed Additions to the Procurement List.

    SUMMARY:

    The Committee is proposing to add products to the Procurement List that will be furnished by nonprofit agency employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities.

    DATES:

    Comments Must Be Received on or Before: 1/10/2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1401 S. Clark Street, Suite 715, Arlington, Virginia, 22202-4149.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION OR TO SUBMIT COMMENTS CONTACT:

    Patricia Briscoe, Telephone: (703) 603-7740, Fax: (703) 603-0655, or email [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice is published pursuant to 41 U.S.C. 8503(a)(2) and 41 CFR 51-2.3. Its purpose is to provide interested persons an opportunity to submit comments on the proposed actions.

    Additions

    If the Committee approves the proposed additions, the entity of the Federal Government identified in this notice will be required to procure the products listed below from the nonprofit agency employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities.

    The following products are proposed for addition to the Procurement List for production by the nonprofit agency listed:

    Products NSN(s)—Product Name(s): 8415-01-492-0176—Gloves, Disposable, Nitrile, Industrial-Grade, Small 8415-01-492-0178—Gloves, Disposable, Nitrile, Industrial-Grade, Large 8415-01-492-0179—Gloves, Disposable, Nitrile, Industrial-Grade, Medium 8415-01-492-0180—Gloves, Disposable, Nitrile, Industrial-Grade, XLarge Mandatory Source(s) of Supply: Central Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired, Utica, NY Mandatory For: Total Government Requirement Contracting Activity: General Services Administration, Fort Worth, TX Distribution: A-List Patricia Briscoe, Deputy Director, Business Operations (Pricing and Information Management).
    [FR Doc. 2015-31262 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6353-01-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meetings TIME AND DATE:

    10:00 a.m., Friday, December 18, 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.

    Natise Allen, Executive Assistant.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31417 Filed 12-9-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Corporation for National and Community Service.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a pre-clearance consultation program to provide the general public and federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA95) (44 U.S.C. Sec. 3506(c)(2)(A)). This program helps to ensure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirement on respondents can be properly assessed.

    Currently, CNCS is soliciting comments concerning its proposed surveys to be conducted for its Process Evaluation of the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) Pay for Success (PFS) Grant Program. The study involves two major survey data collection activities: (1) Grantee Survey, and (2) Subgrantee/Subrecipient Survey. CNCS funded eight grantees in 2014 to provide technical assistance to community organizations and state or local government agencies (referred to as subgrantees/subrecipients) to assist them to determine feasibility of implementing PFS projects in a particular state or locality and to negotiate the terms and structure of the PFS deals (for PFS projects determined feasible). CNCS expects to fund approximately four additional grantees in 2015 and potentially an additional six grantees in 2016 (pending continuation of the grant program). Each grantee is expected to receive three years of funding. Responses will be collected from all current and future SIF PFS grantees and their subgrantees/subrecipients annually for the duration of their SIF PFS funding. The completion of this information collection is not required to be considered for or to obtain grant funding support from the SIF PFS program.

    Copies of the information collection request can be obtained by contacting the office listed in the Addresses section of this Notice.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted to the individual and office listed in the ADDRESSES section by February 9, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by the title of the information collection activity, by any of the following methods:

    (1) By mail sent to: Corporation for National and Community Service, Office of Research and Evaluation; Attention Lily Zandniapour, Ph.D., Evaluation Program Manager, Room 10911, 1201 New York Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20525.

    (2) By hand delivery or by courier to the CNCS mailroom at Room 8100 at the mail address given in paragraph (1) above, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    (3) Electronically through www.regulations.gov or through the Corporation's email system to [email protected]

    Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TTY-TDD) may call 1-800-833-3722 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lily Zandniapour, 202-606-6939 or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    CNCS is particularly interested in comments that:

    • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of CNCS, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    • Evaluate 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;

    • Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are expected to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology (e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses).

    Background

    CNCS has contracted with Abt Associates to support CNCS's Office of Research and Evaluation to implement a process evaluation of the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) Pay for Success (PFS) Grant Program. The major data collection activities to be undertaken subject to this notice will include two surveys: (1) Grantee Survey, and (2) Subgrantee/Subrecipient Survey. Survey information will be collected from current and future SIF PFS grantees and their subgrantees/subrecipients through an online survey program. The purpose of the Grantee Survey is to better understand grantees' program structure, practices in providing technical assistance and deal structuring activities. The Subgrantee/Subrecipient Survey will collect data on activities, capacity, and perspectives and experiences of subgrantees/subrecipients receiving technical assistance from the grantees.

    Current Action

    Type of Review: New.

    Agency: Corporation for National and Community Service.

    Title: Process Evaluation of the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) Pay for Success (PFS) Grant Program.

    OMB Number: None.

    Agency Number: 3045.

    Affected Public: Current and future CNCS-funded SIF PFS grantees (mostly nonprofit organizations) and current and future community organizations and state or local government agencies (referred to as subgrantees/subrecipients).

    Total Respondents: Approximately 260. This includes approximately 18 respondents to the Grantee Survey and approximately 242 respondents to the Subgrantee/Subrecipient Survey. The exact number of respondents will depend on the number of new grantees funded by the SIF PFS program in 2015 and 2016 and the number of subrecipients/subgrantees that each grantee selects to work with each year of their grant.

    Frequency: Once per year. Each respondent will complete the survey annually for one to three years depending upon the timing and duration of their funding.

    Average Time per Response: 20 minutes per year.

    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 151 hours.

    Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): None.

    Total Burden Cost (operating/maintenance): None.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval of the information collection request; they will also become a matter of public record.

    Dated: December 7, 2015. Mary Hyde, Director, Research and Evaluation.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31260 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6050-28-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Transmittal No. 15-77] 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 15-77 with attached Policy Justification and Sensitivity of Technology.

    Dated: December 8, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. BILLING CODE 5001-06-P EN11DE15.002 Transmittal No. 15-77 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act

    (i) Prospective Purchaser: Republic of Korea

    (ii) Total Estimated Value:

    Major Defense Equipment * $ 100 million Other $ 10 million TOTAL $ 110 million

    (iii) Description and Quantity or Quantities of Articles or Services under Consideration for Purchase:

    Major Defense Equipment (MDE): Nineteen (19) UGM-84L Harpoon Block II All-Up-Round Missiles Thirteen (13) Block II upgrade kits

    Also included are containers; Guidance Control Units (GCU) spares; recertification and reconfiguration support; spare and repair parts; tools and tool sets; support equipment; personnel training and training equipment; publication and technical data; U.S. Government and contractor engineering and logistical support services; and other related elements of logistics support.

    (iv) Military Department: Navy (ALQ)

    (v) Prior Related Cases, if any: FMS case AKV—$75M—01 Nov 12

    (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: 17 NOV 2015

    * as defined in Section 47(6) of the Arms Export Control Act.

    POLICY JUSTIFICATION Republic of Korea—UGM-84L Block II Harpoon Missiles

    The Republic of Korea (ROK) has requested a possible sale of:

    Major Defense Equipment (MDE): Nineteen (19) UGM-84L Harpoon Block II All-Up-Round Missiles Thirteen (13) Block II upgrade kits

    Also included are containers; Guidance Control Units (GCU) spares; recertification and reconfiguration support; spare and repair parts; tools and tool sets; support equipment; personnel training and training equipment; publication and technical data; U.S. Government and contractor engineering and logistical support services; and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated value of MDE is $100 million. The total estimated value is $110 million.

    This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by meeting the legitimate security and defense needs of an ally and partner nation. The ROK is one of the major political and economic powers in East Asia and the Western Pacific and a key partner of the United States in ensuring peace and stability in that region. It is vital to the U.S. interest to assist our South Korean ally in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense capability.

    The ROK intends to use the Harpoon Block II missiles to supplement its existing Harpoon missile capability. The acquisition of the Harpoon Block II missiles and support will supplement current weapon inventories and bring the ROK Navy's Anti-Surface Warfare performance up to existing regional baselines. The proposed sale will provide a defensive capability while enhancing interoperability with the United States and other allied forces. Sub-launched Harpoon missiles have been used by the ROK since the 1990s. The ROK will have no difficulty absorbing these additional missiles 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 the Boeing Company in St. Louis, Missouri. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

    Implementation of this proposal sale will not require any additional U.S. government or U.S. contractor personnel in Korea. However, U.S. Government or contractor personnel in-country visits will be required on a temporary basis in conjunction with program technical oversight and support requirements.

    There will be no adverse impact on United States defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

    Transmittal No. 15-77 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. The UGM-84L Block II Harpoon missile is a submarine launched Anti-Surface Warfare (ASUW) missile that provides naval forces with a capability to engage targets in both the “blue water” regions and the littorals of the world. The Harpoon Block II missile, including publications, documentation, operations, supply, maintenance, and training to be conveyed with this proposed sale have the highest classification level of SECRET. The Harpoon Block II missile components being conveyed by the proposed sale that are considered sensitive and are classified include:

    a. The Radar seeker

    b. The GPS/INS System

    c. Operational Flight Program (OFP) Software

    d. Missile operational characteristics and performance data

    2. These elements are essential to the ability of the Harpoon Block II missile to selectively engage hostile targets under a wide range of operational, tactical and environmental conditions.

    3. If a technologically advanced adversary were to obtain knowledge of the specific hardware and software elements, the information could be used to develop countermeasures which might reduce system effectiveness or be used in the development of a system with similar or advanced capabilities.

    4. 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. This sale is necessary in furtherance of the U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives outlined in the Policy Justification.

    5. All defense articles and services listed in this transmittal have been authorized for release and export to the Republic of Korea.

    [FR Doc. 2015-31245 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-C
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Transmittal No. 15-57] 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 15-57 with attached Policy Justification and Sensitivity of Technology.

    Dated: December 8, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. BILLING CODE 5001-06-P EN11DE15.004 BILLING CODE 5001-06-C Transmittal No. 15-57 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: Government of Saudi Arabia

    (ii) Total Estimated Value:

    Major Defense Equipment* $1.10 billiion Other $.19 billion Total $1.29 billion

    (iii) Description and Quantity or Quantities of Articles or Services under Consideration for Purchase:

    Major Defense Equipment (MDE) includes:

    One thousand (1000) GBU-10 Paveway II Laser Guided Bombs (LGBs) Two thousand, three hundred (2,300) BLU-117/MK-84 2000lb General Purpose (GP) Bombs Four thousand twenty (4,020) GBU-12 Paveway II LGBs Eight thousand twenty (8,020) BLU-111/MK-82 500lb GP Bombs One thousand, one hundred (1,100) GBU-24 Paveway III LGBs One thousand, five hundred (1,500) BLU-109 2000lb Penetrator Warheads Four hundred (400) GBU-31(V1) KMU-556 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) tail kits One thousand (1,000) GBU-31(V3) KMU-557 JDAM tail kits Three thousand (3,000) GBU-38 KMU-572 JDAM tail kits Two thousand (2,000) GBU-48 Enhanced Paveway II, dual mode Global Positioning System (GPS)/LGB with the MXU-667 Airfoil and the MAU-169L/B Computer Control Group (CCG) Dual mode Two thousand (2,000) BLU-110/MK-83 1000lb GP Bombs Five hundred (500) GBU-54 KMU-572 Laser JDAM tail kits, dual mode GPS/LGB with the MXU-667 Airfoil and the MAU-169L/B CCG Dual mode Three hundred (300) GBU-56 KMU 556 Laser JDAM tail kits, dual mode GPS/LGB with the MXU-667 Airfoil and the MAU-169L/B CCG Dual mode Ten thousand two hundred (10,200) FMU-152 Fuzes

    This request also includes the following Non-MDE items and services: procurement of bomb equipment components such as adaptors, nose plugs, fusing mechanisms, swivels, support links and connections; associated support equipment; publications, such as technical orders, and system manuals; training; engineering and technical support; transportation (to include special airlift support); program management; and other administrative support and related services.

    (iv) Military Department: USAF (X7-D-ACI, X7-D-ACJ, X7-D-ACQ)

    (v) Prior Related Cases, if any:

    FMS Case AAI FMS Case AAM FMS Case AJX FMS Case AAP FMS Case AJO FMS Case SAO $3.85-billion, CN 10-43 FMS Case SAP $8.31-billion, CN 10-43 FMS Case SRC $8.05-billion, CN 92-42, 98-36, 00-63 FMS Case YPW $ $57.2-million, CN 84-23, 92-42

    (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: 13 NOV 2015

    *As defined in Section 47(6) of the Arms Export Control Act.

    POLICY JUSTIFICATION The Government of Saudi Arabia—Air-to-Ground Munitions

    The Government of Saudi Arabia requested approval to procure the following:

    Major Defense Equipment (MDE) includes:

    One thousand (1000) GBU-10 Paveway II Laser Guided Bombs (LGBs) Two thousand, three hundred (2,300) BLU-117/MK-84 2000lb General Purpose (GP) Bombs Four thousand twenty (4,020) GBU-12 Paveway II LGBs Eight thousand twenty (8,020) BLU-111/MK-82 500lb GP Bombs One thousand, one hundred (1,100) GBU-24 Paveway III LGBs One thousand, five hundred (1,500) BLU-109 2000lb Penetrator Warheads Four hundred (400) GBU-31(V1) KMU-556 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) tail kits One thousand (1,000) GBU-31(V3) KMU-557 JDAM tail kits Three thousand (3,000) GBU-38 KMU-572 JDAM tail kits Two thousand (2,000) GBU-48 Enhanced Paveway II, dual mode Global Positioning System (GPS)/LGB with the MXU-667 Airfoil and the MAU-169L/B Computer Control Group (CCG) Dual mode Two thousand (2,000) BLU-110/MK-83 1000lb GP Bombs Five hundred (500) GBU-54 KMU-572 Laser JDAM tail kits, dual mode GPS/LGB with the MXU-667 Airfoil and the MAU-169L/B CCG Dual mode Three hundred (300) GBU-56 KMU 556 Laser JDAM tail kits, dual mode GPS/LGB with the MXU-667 Airfoil and the MAU-169L/B CCG Dual mode Ten thousand two hundred (10,200) FMU-152 Fuzes

    This request also includes the following Non-MDE items and services: procurement of bomb equipment components such as adaptors, nose plugs, fusing mechanisms, swivels, support links and connections; associated support equipment; publications, such as technical orders, and system manuals; training; engineering and technical support; transportation (to include special airlift support); program management; and other administrative support and related services. The total estimated MDE value is $1.10 billion, and the estimated total overall value is $1.29 billion.

    The purchase replenishes the Royal Saudi Air Force's (RSAF) current weapons supplies, which are becoming depleted due to the high operational tempo in multiple counter-terrorism operations. The purchase of these munitions rebuilds war reserves and provides options for future contingencies.

    The RSAF will have no issues fielding, supporting, and employing these munitions.

    The proposed sale augments Saudi Arabia's capability to meet current and future threats from potential adversaries during combat operations. Providing these defense articles supports Saudi Arabian defense missions and promotes stability in the region.

    This acquisition will help sustain strong military-to-military relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia, improve operational interoperability with the United States, and enable Saudi Arabia to meet regional threats and safeguard the world's largest oil reserves.

    This acquisition contributes to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by increasing the security of an important partner that continues to be a significant force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East. Sustaining Saudi military capabilities deters hostile actors, increases U.S.-Saudi military interoperability, and has a positive impact on the stability of the global economy. This acquisition also directly conveys U.S. commitment to the RSAF's current and future ability to sustain combat operations.

    The prime contractor will be determined by competition. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

    There is no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

    Transmittal No. 15-57 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. GBU-10 Paveway II Laser Guided 2000-lb bombs and Paveway II Laser Guided GBU-12 500-lb munitions use general purpose (GP) bombs bodies that are fitted with the MXU-651/650 airfoil and the MAU-169 L/B Computer Control Group (CCG) to convert them to Laser Guided Bombs (LGBs). The LGB is a maneuverable, free-fall weapon that guides to a spot of laser energy reflected off of the target. The LGB is delivered like a normal GP warhead and the semi-active guidance corrects for many of the normal errors inherent in any delivery system. The hardware is UNCLASSIFIED. Information revealing the probability of destroying common/unspecified targets, the number of simultaneous lasers the laser seeker head can discriminate, and data on the radar/infra-red frequency is classified CONFIDENTIAL.

    2. GBU-31(VI) 2000-lb/GBU-38 500-lb Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs) are general purpose bombs fitted with an FMU-152A/B fuze and a KMU-556B/B (KMU-572B/B) guidance tail kit that converts unguided free-fall bombs into accurate, all weather, Global Positioning System (GPS) guided “smart” munitions. Information revealing target designation tactics and associated aircraft maneuvers, the probability of destroying specific/peculiar targets, vulnerabilities regarding countermeasures and the electromagnetic environment is classified SECRET. Information revealing the probability of destroying common/unspecified targets is classified CONFIDENTIAL.

    3. GBU-31(V3) Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs) are 2000-lb JDAM equipped with the BLU-109 C/B forged steel penetrator warhead. The bomb body is approximately twice as thick as a typical 2000-lb warhead. This hardened case, along with a solid nose, allows it to penetrate hardened targets. All other technical details and risks are identical to the GBU-31(V1) above.

    4. The GBU-24 Paveway III (PWIII) is a 2000-lb laser-guided munition that can be employed at high, medium and low altitudes. It utilizes the FMU-139A/B Fuze, BSU-84 airfoil and WGU-43C/B guidance control unit (GCU). Both the MK-84 conventional warhead and the BLU-109 penetrating warhead can be utilized, similar to GBU-31(V1) and GBU-31(V3). Design improvements over versions include proportional navigation, increased terminal accuracy, off-axis release envelopes, trajectory shaping, and target reacquisition capability. Information revealing target designation tactics and associated aircraft maneuvers, the probability of destroying specific/peculiar targets, vulnerabilities regarding countermeasures and the electromagnetic environment is classified SECRET. Information revealing test boundaries, operational envelop and release points, the probability of destroying common/unspecified targets, the number of simultaneous lasers the laser seeker head can discriminate, the terminal impact conditions, the operational flight programming, laser seeker sensitivity and range, laser seeker field of view and field of regard, laser seeker tracking gate widths, laser pulse stability requirements, laser pulse width discrimination details, and data on the radar/infra-red frequency is classified CONFIDENTIAL.

    5. The GBU-48 is a 1000-lb (MK-83 or BLU-110) Enhanced Paveway II, dual mode GPS/LGB with the MXU-667 Airfoil and the MAU-169L/B CCG. The laser sensor enhances standard GPS guidance by allowing rapid prosecution of moving targets or fixed targets with large initial target location errors (TLE). Information revealing target designation tactics and associated aircraft maneuvers, the probability of destroying specific/peculiar targets, vulnerabilities regarding countermeasures and the electromagnetic environment is classified SECRET. Information revealing the probability of destroying common/unspecified targets, the number of simultaneous lasers the laser seeker head can discriminate, and data on the radar/infra-red frequency is classified CONFIDENTIAL.

    6. The GBU-54/56s are the dual-mode laser JDAM variants of the GBU-38/GBU-31 JDAM. The nose fuzes are replaced with DSU-38/DSU-40s, which give the weapons both GPS and laser guidance capability. The laser sensor enhances the standard JDAM's reactive target capability by allowing rapid prosecution of fixed targets with large initial target location errors (TLE). The addition of the laser sensor combined with additional cabling and mounting hardware turns a standard JDAM into a Laser JDAM. Information revealing target designation tactics and associated aircraft maneuvers, the probability of destroying specific/peculiar targets, vulnerabilities regarding countermeasures and the electromagnetic environment is classified SECRET. Information revealing the probability of destroying common/unspecified targets, the number of simultaneous lasers the laser seeker head can discriminate, and data on the radar/infra-red frequency is classified CONFIDENTIAL.

    7. If a technologically advanced adversary were to obtain knowledge of the specific hardware and software elements, the information could be used to develop countermeasures which might reduce weapon system effectiveness or be used in the development of a system with similar or advanced capabilities.

    8. A determination has been made that the Government of Saudi Arabia can provide substantially the same degree of protection for the sensitive technology being released as the U.S. Government. This sale is necessary in furtherance of the U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives outlined in the Policy Justification. All defense articles and services listed in this transmittal have been authorized for release and export to Saudi Arabia.

    9. This sale is necessary in furtherance of the U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives outlined in the Policy Justification. Moreover, the benefits to be derived from this sale, as outlined in the Policy Justification, outweigh the potential damage that could result if the sensitive technology were revealed to unauthorized persons.

    [FR Doc. 2015-31272 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Transmittal No. 15-62] 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 15-62 with attached Policy Justification and Sensitivity of Technology.

    Dated: December 8, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. BILLING CODE 5001-06-P EN11DE15.003 Transmittal No. 15-62 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: Government of Japan

    (ii) Total Estimated Value:

    Major Defense Equipment * $.689 billion Other $.511 billion TOTAL $1.20 billion

    (iii) Description and Quantity or Quantities of Articles or Services under Consideration for Purchase:

    Major Defense Equipment (MDE): Three (3) RQ-4 Block 30 (I) Global Hawk Remotely Piloted Aircraft with Enhanced Integrated Sensor Suite (EISS) Eight (8) Kearfott Inertial Navigation System/Global Positioning System (INS/GPS) units (2 per aircraft with 2 spares) Eight (8) LN-251 INS/GPS units (2 per aircraft with 2 spares)

    Also included with this request are operational-level sensor and aircraft test equipment, ground support equipment, operational flight test support, communications equipment, spare and repair parts, personnel training, publications and technical data, U.S. Government and contractor technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support.

    (iv) Military Department: Air Force (X7-D-SAI)

    (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: 19 NOV 2015

    * As defined in Section 47(6) of the Arms Export Control Act

    POLICY JUSTIFICATION Government of Japan-RQ-4 Block 30 (I) Global Hawk Remotely Piloted Aircraft

    The Government of Japan has requested a possible sale of:

    Major Defense Equipment (MDE): Three (3) RQ-4 Block 30 (I) Global Hawk Remotely Piloted Aircraft with Enhanced Integrated Sensor Suite (EISS) Eight (8) Kearfott Inertial Navigation System/Global Positioning System (INS/GPS) units (2 per aircraft with 2 spares) Eight (8) LN-251 INS/GPS units (2 per aircraft with 2 spares)

    Also included with this request are operational-level sensor and aircraft test equipment, ground support equipment, operational flight test support, communications equipment, spare and repair parts, personnel training, publications and technical data, U.S. Government and contractor technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated value of MDE is $.689 billion. The total estimated value is $1.2 billion.

    This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States. Japan is one of the major political and economic powers in East Asia and the Western Pacific and a key partner of the United States in ensuring regional peace and stability. This transaction is consistent with U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives and the 1960 Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security.

    The proposed sale of the RQ-4 will significantly enhance Japan's intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities and help ensure that Japan is able to continue to monitor and deter regional threats. The Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) will have no difficulty absorbing these systems 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 will be Northrop Grumman Corporation in Rancho Bernardo, California. The purchaser requested offsets but at this time agreements are undetermined and will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and contractor.

    Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of contractor representatives to Japan to perform contractor logistics support and to support establishment of required security infrastructure.

    There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

    Transmittal No. 15-62 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 RQ-4 Block 30 Global Hawk hardware and software are UNCLASSIFIED. The highest level of classified information required for operation may be SECRET depending on the classification of the imagery or Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) utilized on a specific operation. The RQ-4 is optimized for long range and prolonged flight endurance. It is used for military intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. Aircraft system, sensor, and navigational status are provided continuously to the ground operators through a health and status downlink for mission monitoring. Navigation is via inertial navigation with integrated global positioning system (GPS) updates. The vehicle is capable of operating from a standard paved runway. Real time missions are flown under the control of a pilot in a Ground Control Element (GCE). It is designed to carry a non-weapons internal payload of 3,000 lbs consisting primarily of sensors and avionics. The following payloads are integrated into the RQ-4: Enhanced Imagery Sensor Suite that includes multi-use infrared, electro-optical, ground moving target indicator, and synthetic aperture radar and a space to accommodate other sensors such as SIGINT. The RQ-4 will include the GCE, which consists of the following components:

    a. The Mission Control Element (MCE) is the RQ-4 Global Hawk ground control station for mission planning, communication management, aircraft and mission control, and image processing and dissemination. It can be either fixed or mobile. In addition to the shelter housing the operator workstations, the MCE includes an optional 6.25 meter Ku-Band antenna assembly, a Tactical Modular Interoperable Surface Terminal, a 12-ton Environmental Control Unit (heating and air conditioning), and two 100 kilowatt electrical generators. The MCE, technical data, and documentation are UNCLASSIFIED. The MCE may operate at the classified level depending on the classification of the data feeds.

    b. The Launch and Recovery Element (LRE) is a subset of the MCE and can be either fixed or mobile. It provides identical functionality for mission planning and air vehicle command and control (C2). The launch element contains a mission planning workstation and a C2 workstation. The primary difference between the LRE and MCE is the lack of any wide-band data links or image processing capability within the LRE and navigation equipment at the LRE to provide the precision required for ground operations, take-off, and landing. The LRE, technical data, and documentation are UNCLASSIFIED. The EISS includes infrared/electro-optical, synthetic aperture radar imagery, ground moving target indicator and space to accommodate optional SIGINT, Maritime, datalink, and automatic identification system capabilities. The ground control element includes a mission control function and a launch and recovery capability.

    c. The RQ-4 employs a quad-redundant Inertial Navigation System/Global Positioning System (INS/GPS) configuration. The system utilizes two different INS/GPS systems for greater redundancy. The system consists of two LN-251 units and two Kearfott KN-4074E INS/GPS Units. The LN-251 is a fully integrated, non-dithered navigation system with an embedded Selective Availability/Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM), P(Y) code or Standard Positioning Service (SPS) GPS. It utilizes a Fiber-Optic Gyro (FOG) and includes three independent navigation solutions: blended INS/GPS, INS-only, and GPS-only. The Kearfott KN-4074E features a Monolithic Ring Laser Gyro (MRLG) and accelerometer. The inertial sensors are tightly coupled with an embedded SAASM P(Y) code GPS. Both systems employ cryptographic technology that can be classified up to SECRET.

    2. If a technology advanced adversary were to obtain knowledge of the specific hardware and software elements, the information could be used to develop countermeasures that might reduce weapon system effectiveness or be used in the development of a system with similar or advanced capabilities.

    3. All defense articles and services listed in this transmittal have been authorized for release and export to the Government of Japan.

    [FR Doc. 2015-31264 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-C
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No. ED-2015-ICCD-0117] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Student Assistance General Provisions—Readmission for Servicemembers 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 January 11, 2016.

    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-0117. 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: Student Assistance General Provisions—Readmission for Servicemembers.

    OMB Control Number: 1845-0095.

    Type of Review: An extension of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals or Households, Private Sector, State, Local and Tribal Governments.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 5,460.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 1,829.

    Abstract: The Department of Education is requesting an extension of the current information collection. These regulations identify the requirements under which an institution must readmit servicemembers with the same academic status they held at the institutions when they last attended or where accepted for attendance. The regulations require institutions to charge readmitted servicemembers, for the first academic year of their return, the same institutions charges they were charged for the academic year during which they left the institution to fulfill a service requirement in the uniformed services.

    Dated: December 7, 2015. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31190 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Application for New Awards; National Professional Development Program AGENCY:

    Office of English Language Acquisition, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    Overview Information:

    National Professional Development Program.

    Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2016.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.365Z.

    DATES:

    Applications Available: December 11, 2015.

    Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: December 31, 2015.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: February 19, 2016.

    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: April 19, 2016.

    Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The National Professional Development (NPD) program, authorized by section 3131 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA), awards grants on a competitive basis, for a period of not more than five years, to institutions of higher education (IHEs), in consortia with State educational agencies (SEAs) or local educational agencies (LEAs). The purpose of these grants is to support professional development activities that will improve classroom instruction for English Learners (ELs) and assist educational personnel working with such children to meet high professional standards, including standards for certification and licensure for teachers who work in language instruction educational programs to serve ELs.

    Grants awarded under this program may be used for one or more of the following—

    (1) Pre-service professional development programs that will assist schools and IHEs to upgrade the qualifications and skills of educational personnel who are not certified or licensed, especially educational paraprofessionals;

    (2) The development of program curricula appropriate to the needs of the consortia participants involved; and

    (3) In conjunction with other Federal need-based student financial assistance programs, for financial assistance, and costs related to tuition, fees, and books for enrolling in courses required to complete the degree involved, to meet certification or licensing requirements for teachers who work in language instruction educational programs or serve ELs.

    Background:

    Educator effectiveness is the most important in-school factor affecting student achievement and success.1 The NPD program is a Federal grant program that offers professional development specifically for educators of ELs. Through its competitions, the NPD program intends to improve the academic achievement of ELs by supporting pre-service and in-service practices for teachers and other staff, including school leaders working with ELs.

    1 Calderón, M., Slavin, R., and Sánchez, M. (2011). Effective instruction for English learners. Future of Children, 21(1), 103-127.

    Through previous competitions, the NPD program has funded a range of grantees that are currently implementing 115 projects across the country. As the EL population continues to grow, it has become increasingly important to identify and support practices implemented by educators of ELs that effectively improve student learning outcomes.

    However, there are limited studies that provide evidence about how to best prepare and support educators of ELs in ways that will ultimately improve student learning and outcomes. The existing studies that the Department has identified typically do not meet the highest standards for rigor, and largely focus on professional development for in-service teachers; few focused on preparation for pre-service teachers.

    Nonetheless, the body of evidence on effective language, literacy, and content instruction for ELs, including specific instructional practices for English language acquisition, is growing steadily, as documented by the 2014 What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) Practice Guide for teaching ELs, available at: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/PracticeGuide.aspx?sid=19. To encourage the use of evidence to increase the effectiveness of projects funded by NPD, the Department has included a competitive preference priority for projects designed to improve academic outcomes for ELs using strategies supported by moderate evidence of effectiveness (as defined in this notice).

    In addition, in order to grow the evidence available to inform the future activities of IHEs, SEAs, and LEAs to support ELs, NPD-funded projects are encouraged to use a portion of their budgets to conduct a rigorous evaluation of their projects that meets the WWC Standards with reservations. Such evaluations would help ensure that projects funded under the NPD program are part of a learning agenda that expands the knowledge base on effective EL practices to ultimately enable all ELs to achieve postsecondary and career success.

    For the FY 2016 NPD competition, the Department is particularly interested in supporting projects that improve parental, family, and community engagement. Literature suggests that educators who involve families in their children's education can strengthen their instructional effectiveness with ELs.2 3 Providing professional development that enhances educators' abilities to build meaningful relationships with students' families may also support students' learning at home. Accordingly, this notice includes a competitive preference priority related to improving parent, family, and community engagement.

    2 Chen, C., Kyle, D.W., and McIntyre, M. (2008). Helping teachers work effectively with English language learners and their families. The School Community Journal, 18 (1), 7-20.

    3 Waterman, R. and Harry, B. (2008). Building Collaboration Between Schools and Parents of English Language Learners: Transcending Barriers, Creating Opportunities. Tempe, AZ: National Center for Culturally Responsive Educational Systems.

    The Department is also interested in supporting dual language acquisition approaches that are effective in developing biliteracy skills. Evidence suggests that students who are biliterate have certain cognitive and social benefits compared to their monolingual peers. Further, recent research 4 suggests that despite initial lags, students in well-implemented dual language programs eventually perform equal to or better than their counterparts in English-only programs.

    4 Valentino, R.A., and Reardon, S.F. (2015). Effectiveness of four instructional programs designed to serve English language learners: Variation by ethnicity and initial English proficiency. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, doi: 10.3102/0162373715573310.

    In addition, we recognize that linguistic and cultural diversity is an asset, and that dual language approaches may also enhance the preservation of heritage language and culture. These approaches may be particularly impactful for diverse populations of ELs, such as immigrant children and youth and Native American students.

    Finally, we are interested in the development of the early learning workforce. In this competition, we encourage pre-service preparation for early learning educators so that they can successfully support ELs. And, because the foundational knowledge of developmental learning and language acquisition skills applies across all levels of teaching ELs, including at the secondary level, we also encourage projects that will include this knowledge building for educators at all levels.

    Priorities: This notice includes one absolute priority, two competitive preference priorities, and two invitational priorities. The absolute priority is from section 3131 of ESEA (20 U.S.C. 7801). Competitive Preference Priority 1 is from section 75.226 of EDGAR. Competitive Preference Priority 2 is from the Department's notice of final supplemental priorities and definitions (Supplemental Priorities), published in the Federal Register on December 10, 2014 (79 FR 73425).

    Absolute Priority: For FY 2016 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet this priority.

    This priority is:

    Providing Professional Development to Improve Instruction for English Learners.

    Under this priority we provide funding to projects that provide professional development activities that will improve classroom instruction for ELs and assist educational personnel working with ELs to meet high professional standards, including standards for certification and licensure as teachers who work in language instruction educational programs or serve ELs.

    Competitive Preference Priorities: For FY 2016 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, these priorities are competitive preference priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) we award five additional points to applications that meet Competitive Preference Priority 1. We award up to an additional five points to applications that meet Competitive Preference Priority 2, depending on how well the application meets this priority. Applicants may address none, one, or both of the competitive preference priorities. An applicant must clearly identify in the project abstract and the project narrative section of its application the competitive preference priority or priorities it wishes the Department to consider for purposes of earning competitive preference priority points.

    These priorities are:

    Competitive Preference Priority 1—Moderate Evidence of Effectiveness (0 or 5 points).

    Projects that are supported by moderate evidence of effectiveness.

    Competitive Preference Priority 2—Improving Parent, Family, and Community Engagement (up to 5 points).

    Projects that are designed to improve student outcomes through one or more of the following:

    (a) Developing and implementing Systemic Initiatives to improve Parent and Family Engagement by expanding and enhancing the skills, strategies, and knowledge (including techniques or use of technological tools needed to effectively communicate, advocate, support, and make informed decisions about the student's education) of parents and families.

    (b) Providing professional development that enhances the skills and competencies of school or program leaders, principals, teachers, practitioners, or other administrative and support staff to build meaningful relationships with students' parents or families through Systemic Initiatives that may also support students' learning at home.

    (c) Implementing initiatives that improve Community Engagement, the relationships between parents or families and school or program staff by cultivating Sustained Partnerships.

    Invitational Priorities: For FY 2016 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, these priorities are invitational priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1) we do not give an application that meets these invitational priorities a competitive or absolute preference over other applications.

    Invitational Priority 1—Dual Language Approaches.

    We encourage applicants to propose projects to improve educator preparation and professional learning for dual language implementation models to support effective instruction for ELs. In particular, we encourage such approaches to take into account the unique needs of recently arrived limited English proficient students, immigrant children and youth, and Native American students, who are members of federally recognized Indian tribes.

    Invitational Priority 2—Supporting the Early Learning Workforce To Serve ELs.

    We encourage applicants to propose projects that improve the quality and effectiveness of the early learning workforce, including administrators, so that they have the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to improve ELs' cognitive, health, social-emotional, and dual language development. Early learning programs are designed to improve early learning and development outcomes across one or more of the Essential Domains of School Readiness for children from birth through third grade (or for any age group within this range). Further, we encourage applicants to include in such projects these foundational professional learning domains for educators at all levels of teaching including secondary preparation.

    Definitions: The following definitions are from 34 CFR 77.1, 34 CFR 200.6, the Supplemental Priorities, and sections 3301 and 9101 of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. 7801), and apply to the priorities and selection criteria in this notice. The source of each definition is noted in parentheses following the text of the definition.

    Ambitious means promoting continued, meaningful improvement for program participants or for other individuals or entities affected by the grant, or representing a significant advancement in the field of education research, practices, or methodologies. When used to describe a performance target, whether a performance target is ambitious depends upon the context of the relevant performance measure and the baseline for that measure. (34 CFR 77.1)

    Baseline means the starting point from which performance is measured and targets are set. (34 CFR 77.1)

    Community engagement means the systematic inclusion of community organizations as partners with State educational agencies, local educational agencies, or other educational institutions, or their school or program staff to accomplish activities that may include developing a shared community vision, establishing a shared accountability agreement, participating in shared data-collection and analysis, or establishing community networks that are focused on shared community-level outcomes. These organizations may include faith- and community-based organizations, institutions of higher education (including minority-serving institutions eligible to receive aid under Title III or Title V of the Higher Education Act of 1965), businesses and industries, labor organizations, State and local government entities, or Federal entities other than the Department. (Supplemental Priorities)

    English learner means an individual who is limited English proficient (LEP), which, by statute, means an individual—

    (A) Who is aged 3 through 21;

    (B) Who is enrolled or preparing to enroll in an elementary school or secondary school;

    (C)(i) Who was not born in the United States or whose native language is a language other than English;

    (ii)(I) Who is a Native American or Alaska Native, or a Native resident of the outlying areas; and

    (II) Who comes from an environment where a language other than English has had a significant impact on the individual's level of English language proficiency; or

    (iii) Who is migratory, whose native language is a language other than English, and who comes from an environment where a language other than English is dominant; and

    (D) Whose difficulties in speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language may be sufficient to deny the individual—

    (i) The ability to meet the State's proficient level of achievement on State assessments described in section 111 (b)(3);

    (ii) The ability to successfully achieve in classrooms where the language of instruction is English; or

    (iii) The opportunity to participate fully in society. (Section 9101 of the ESEA)

    Essential Domains of School Readiness means the domains of language and literacy development, cognition and general knowledge (including early mathematics and early scientific development), approaches toward learning (including the utilization of the arts), physical well-being and motor development (including adaptive skills), and social and emotional development. (Supplemental Priorities)

    Immigrant children and youth means individuals who

    (A) Are aged 3 through 21;

    (B) Were not born in any State; and

    (C) Have not been attending one or more schools in any one or more States for more than 3 full academic years. (Section 3301 of the ESEA)

    Language instruction educational program means an instruction course—

    (A) In which a limited English proficient child is placed for the purpose of developing and attaining English proficiency, while meeting challenging State academic content and student academic achievement standards, as required by section 1111(b)(1); and

    (B) That may make instructional use of both English and a child's native language to enable the child to develop and attain English proficiency, and may include the participation of English proficient children if such course is designed to enable all participating children to become proficient in English and a second language. (Section 3301 of the ESEA)

    Large sample means an analytic sample of 350 or more students (or other single analysis units), or 50 or more groups (such as classrooms or schools) that contain 10 or more students (or other single analysis units). (34 CFR 77.1)

    Logic model (also referred to as theory of action) means a well-specified conceptual framework that identifies key components of the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice (i.e., the active “ingredients” that are hypothesized to be critical to achieving the relevant outcomes) and describes the relationships among the key components and outcomes, theoretically and operationally. (34 CFR 77.1.)

    Moderate evidence of effectiveness means one of the following conditions is met:

    (A) There is at least one study of the effectiveness of the process, product, strategy, or practice being proposed that meets the What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards without reservations, found a statistically significant favorable impact on a relevant outcome (with no statistically significant and overriding unfavorable impacts on that outcome for relevant populations in the study or in other studies of the intervention reviewed by and reported on by the What Works Clearinghouse), and includes a sample that overlaps with the populations or settings proposed to receive the process, product, strategy, or practice.

    (B) There is at least one study of the effectiveness of the process, product, strategy, or practice being proposed that meets the What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards with reservations, found a statistically significant favorable impact on a relevant outcome (with no statistically significant and overriding unfavorable impacts on that outcome for relevant populations in the study or in other studies of the intervention reviewed by and reported on by the What Works Clearinghouse), includes a sample that overlaps with the populations or settings proposed to receive the process, product, strategy, or practice, and includes a large sample and a multi-site sample. (34 CFR 77.1)

    Multi-site sample means more than one site, where site can be defined as an LEA, locality, or State. (34 CFR 77.1)

    Parent and family engagement means the systematic inclusion of parents and families, working in partnership with SEAs, State lead agencies (under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or the State's Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant), LEAs, or other educational institutions, or their staff, in their child's education, which may include strengthening the ability of (A) parents and families to support their child's education; and (B) school or program staff to work with parents and families. (Supplemental Priorities)

    Recently arrived limited English proficient student is a student with limited English proficiency who has attended schools in the United States for less than twelve months. The phrase “schools in the United States” includes only schools in the 50 States and the District of Columbia. (34 CFR 200.6(b)(4)(iv))

    Relevant outcome means the student outcome(s) (or the ultimate outcome if not related to students) the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice is designed to improve; consistent with the specific goals of a program. (34 CFR 77.1)

    Strong theory means a rationale for the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice that includes a logic model (as defined in this notice). (34 CFR 77.1)

    Note: Applicants may use resources such as the Pacific Education Laboratory's Education Logic Model Application (http://relpacific.mcrel.org/resources/elm-app) to help design their logic models.

    Student achievement means—

    For grades and subjects in which assessments are required under section 1111(b)(3) of the ESEA: (1) A student's score on such assessments; and, as appropriate (2) other measures of student learning, such as those described in the subsequent paragraph, provided that they are rigorous and comparable across schools within an LEA.

    For grades and subjects in which assessments are not required under section 1111(b)(3) of the ESEA: (1) Alternative measures of student learning and performance, such as student results on pre-tests, end-of-course tests, and objective performance-based assessments; (2) student learning objectives; (3) student performance on English language proficiency assessments; and (4) other measures of student achievement that are rigorous and comparable across schools within an LEA. (Supplemental Priorities).

    Sustained partnership means a relationship that has demonstrably adequate resources and other support to continue beyond the funding period and that consist of community organizations as partners with an LEA and one or more of its schools. These organizations may include faith- and community-based organizations, IHEs (including minority-serving institutions eligible to receive aid under title III or title V of the Higher Education Act of 1965), businesses and industries, labor organizations, State and local government entities, or Federal entities other than the Department. (Supplemental Priorities)

    Systemic initiative means a policy, program, or activity that includes Parent and Family Engagement as a core component and is designed to meet critical educational goals, such as school readiness, Student Achievement, and school turnaround. (Supplemental Priorities)

    What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards means the standards set forth in the What Works Clearinghouse Procedures and Standards Handbook (Version 3.0, March 2014), which can be found at the following link: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/DocumentSum.aspx?sid=19. (34 CFR 77.1)

    Applicable Regulations: (a) EDGAR in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The Office of Management and Budget Guidelines to Agencies on Government-wide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and amended in 2 CFR part 3474. (d) The Supplemental Priorities.

    Note:

    The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to IHEs only.

    II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

    Estimated Available Funds: $23,850,000.

    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2017 or later years from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition.

    Estimated Range of Awards: $350,000-550,000.

    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $450,000.

    Estimated Number of Awards: 53.

    Note:

    The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.

    Project Period: 60 months.

    III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: Entities eligible to apply for NPD grants are IHEs in consortia with LEAs or SEAs.

    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost sharing or matching.

    IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an application package via the Internet or from the Education Publications Center (ED Pubs). To obtain a copy via the Internet, use the following address: www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/grantapps/index.html. To obtain a copy from ED Pubs, write, fax, or call: ED Pubs, U.S. Department of Education, P.O. Box 22207, Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone, toll free: 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (703) 605-6794. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.

    You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: www.EDPubs.gov or at its email address: [email protected]

    If you request an application package from ED Pubs, be sure to identify this program or competition as follows: CFDA 84.365Z.

    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) by contacting the person listed under Accessible Format in section VIII of this notice.

    2. a. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this competition.

    Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: December 31, 2015.

    We will be able to develop a more efficient process for reviewing grant applications if we know the approximate number of applicants that intend to apply for funding under this competition. Therefore, the Secretary strongly encourages each potential applicant to notify us of the applicant's intent to submit an application by emailing [email protected] with the subject line “Intent to Apply” and include in the content of the email the following information: (1) The applicant organization's name and address, and (2) any competitive preference priority or priorities and invitational priority or priorities the applicant is addressing in the application. Applicants that do not provide notice of their intent to apply may still submit an application.

    Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. Applicants must limit the application narrative to no more than 35 pages. Applicants are also strongly encouraged not to include lengthy appendices that contain information that they were unable to include within the page limits for the narrative.

    Applicants must use the following standards:

    • A “page” is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1” margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.

    • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions.

    • Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch).

    • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial.

    The page limit for the application does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-page abstract, the bibliography, or the letters of support of the application. However, the page limit does apply to all of the application narrative section [Part III] of the application.

    We will reject your application if you exceed the page limit or if you apply other standards and exceed the equivalent of the page limit.

    b. Submission of Proprietary Information:

    Given the types of projects that may be proposed in applications for the NPD program, your application may include business information that you consider proprietary. In 34 CFR 5.11 we define “business information” and describe the process we use in determining whether any of that information is proprietary and, thus, protected from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552, as amended).

    Consistent with the process followed in the prior NPD competitions, we may post the project narrative section of funded NPD applications on the Department's Web site so you may wish to request confidentiality of business information. Identifying proprietary information in the submitted application will help facilitate this public disclosure process.

    Consistent with Executive Order 12600, please designate in your application any information that you believe is exempt from disclosure under Exemption 4. In the appropriate Appendix section of your application, under “Other Attachments Form,” please list the page number or numbers on which we can find this information. For additional information please see 34 CFR 5.11(c).

    3. Submission Dates and Times:

    Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: December 31, 2015. Informational Meetings: The NPD program intends to hold Webinars designed to provide technical assistance to interested applicants. Detailed information regarding these meetings will be provided on the NPD Web site at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/nfdp/applicant.html. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: February 19, 2016.

    Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov application site. For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to Other Submission Requirements in section IV of this notice.

    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements.

    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the application process, the individual's application remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this notice.

    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: April 19, 2016.

    4. Intergovernmental Review: This competition is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this competition.

    5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, and System for Award Management: To do business with the Department of Education, you must—

    a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);

    b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly the Central Contractor Registry), the Government's primary registrant database;

    c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and

    d. Maintain an active SAM registration with current information while your application is under review by the Department and, if you are awarded a grant, during the project period.

    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet at the following Web site: http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform. A DUNS number can be created within one to two business days.

    If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a new TIN, please allow two to five weeks for your TIN to become active.

    The SAM registration process can take approximately seven business days, but may take upwards of several weeks, depending on the completeness and accuracy of the data you entered into the SAM database. Thus, if you think you might want to apply for Federal financial assistance under a program administered by the Department, please allow sufficient time to obtain and register your DUNS number and TIN. We strongly recommend that you register early.

    Note:

    Once your SAM registration is active, it may be 24 to 48 hours before you can access the information in, and submit an application through, Grants.gov.

    If you are currently registered with SAM, you may not need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to update your registration annually. This may take three or more business days.

    Information about SAM is available at www.SAM.gov. To further assist you with obtaining and registering your DUNS number and TIN in SAM or updating your existing SAM account, we have prepared a SAM.gov Tip Sheet, which you can find at: www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/sam-faqs.html.

    In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined at the following Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/web/grants/register.html.

    7. Other Submission Requirements:

    Applications for grants for the NPD program must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in this section.

    a. Electronic Submission of Applications.

    Applications for grants under the NPD program, CFDA number 84.365Z, must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). Through this site, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit your application. You may not email an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

    We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.

    You may access the electronic grant application for the NPD program at www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this competition by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.365, not 84.365Z).

    Please note the following:

    • When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation.

    • Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if it is received—that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system—after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.

    • The amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.

    • You should review and follow the Education Submission Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are included in the application package for this competition to ensure that you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 system home page at www.G5.gov. In addition, for specific guidance and procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov, please refer to the Grants.gov Web site at: www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/apply-for-grants.html.

    • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your application in paper format.

    • You must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: the Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications.

    • You must upload any narrative sections and all other attachments to your application as files in a read-only, non-modifiable Portable Document Format (PDF). Do not upload an interactive or fillable PDF file (e.g., Word, Excel, WordPerfect, etc.). If you upload a file type other than a read-only, non-modifiable PDF or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material. Please note that this could result in your application not being considered for funding because the material in question—for example, the project narrative—is critical to a meaningful review of your proposal. For that reason it is important to allow yourself adequate time to upload all material as PDF files. The Department will not convert material from other formats to PDF.

    • Your electronic application must comply with any page-limit requirements described in this notice.

    • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. This notification indicates receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department. Grants.gov will also notify you automatically by email if your application met all the Grants.gov validation requirements or if there were any errors (such as submission of your application by someone other than a registered Authorized Organization Representative, or inclusion of an attachment with a file name that contains special characters). You will be given an opportunity to correct any errors and resubmit, but you must still meet the deadline for submission of applications.

    Once your application is successfully validated by Grants.gov, the Department will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send you an email with a unique PR/Award number for your application.

    These emails do not mean that your application is without any disqualifying errors. While your application may have been successfully validated by Grants.gov, it must also meet the Department's application requirements as specified in this notice and in the application instructions. Disqualifying errors could include, for instance, failure to upload attachments in a read-only, non-modifiable PDF; failure to submit a required part of the application; or failure to meet applicant eligibility requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure that your submitted application has met all of the Department's requirements.

    • We may request that you provide us original signatures on forms at a later date.

    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.

    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because of technical problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing instructions described elsewhere in this notice.

    If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that the problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We will contact you after we determine whether your application will be accepted.

    Note: The extensions to which we refer in this section apply only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application through the Grants.gov system because--

    • You do not have access to the Internet; or

    • You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to the Grants.gov system;

    and

    • No later than two weeks before the application deadline date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevents you from using the Internet to submit your application.

    If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the application deadline date.

    Address and mail or fax your statement to: Patrice Swann, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5C144, Washington, DC 20202-6510. FAX: (202) 260-5496.

    Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.

    b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address:

    U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.365Z) LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260.

    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.

    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service.

    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier.

    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:

    (1) A private metered postmark.

    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

    Note:

    he U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office.

    We will not consider applications postmarked after the application deadline date.

    c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address:

    U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.365Z) 550 12th Street SW., Room 7039, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

    Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications:

    If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department—

    (1) You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your application; and

    (2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this notification within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

    V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are from section 75.210 of EDGAR. The maximum score for all of these criteria is 100 points (not including competitive preference priority points). The maximum score for each criterion is indicated in parentheses.

    (a) Quality of the project design. (up to 45 points)

    The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the design of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

    (1) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified and measurable.

    (2) The extent to which the design for implementing and evaluating the proposed project will result in information to guide possible replications of project activities or strategies including information about the effectiveness of the approach or strategies employed by the project.

    (3) The extent to which the proposed project is supported by strong theory (as defined in this notice).

    (b) Quality of project personnel. (up to 10 points)

    The Secretary considers the quality of the personnel who will carry out the proposed project. In determining the quality of project personnel, the Secretary considers the following factors:

    (1) The extent to which the applicant encourages applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability.

    The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of the project director or principal investigator.

    (c) Quality of the management plan. (up to 25 points)

    The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan for the proposed project. In determining the quality of the management plan for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

    (1) The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing project tasks.

    (2) The extent to which the time commitment of the project director and principal investigator and other key project personnel are appropriate and adequate to meet the objectives of the proposed project.

    (d) Quality of the project evaluation. (up to 20 points)

    The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be conducted of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the evaluation, the Secretary considers the following factors:

    (1) The extent to which the methods of evaluation are thorough, feasible, and appropriate to the goals, objectives, and outcomes of the proposed project.

    (2) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will, if well implemented, produce evidence about the project's effectiveness that would meet the What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards with reservations.

    (3) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide performance feedback and permit periodic assessment of progress toward achieving intended outcomes.

    Note:

    The following are technical assistance resources on evaluation: (1) WWC Procedures and Standards Handbook: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/references/idocviewer/doc.aspx?docid=19&tocid=1; and (2) IES/NCEE Technical Methods papers: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/tech_methods.

    In addition, we invite applicants to view two Webinar recordings that were hosted by the Institute of Education Sciences. The first Webinar addresses strategies for designing and executing well-designed quasi-experimental design studies. This Webinar is available at: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/Multimedia.aspx?sid=23. The second Webinar focuses on more rigorous evaluation designees, including strategies for designing and executing randomized controlled trials. This Webinar is available at: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/Multimedia.aspx?sid=18.

    2. Review and Selection Process: The Department will screen applications that are submitted for NPD grants in accordance with the requirements in this notice and determine which applications meet the eligibility and other requirements. Peer reviewers will review all eligible applications for NPD grants that are submitted by the established deadline.

    Applicants should note, however, that we may screen for eligibility at multiple points during the competition process, including before and after peer review; applicants that are determined to be ineligible will not receive a grant award regardless of peer reviewer scores or comments. If we determine that an NPD grant application does not meet an NPD requirement, the application will not be considered for funding.

    For NPD grant applications, the Department intends to conduct a two-part review process to review and score all eligible applications. Content reviewers will review and score all eligible applications on the following three selection criteria: (a) Quality of the project design; (b) Quality of project personnel; and (c) Quality of the management plan. These reviewers will also review and score the second competitive preference priority. Peer reviewers with evaluation expertise will review and score the selection criteria under (d) Quality of the project evaluation.

    We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality.

    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    3. Risk Assessment and Special Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 200.205, before awarding grants under this program the Department conducts a review of the risks posed by applicants. Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose special conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

    VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN). We may notify you informally, also.

    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.

    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

    3. Transparency and Open Government Policy: After awards are made under this competition, all of the submitted successful applications, together with reviewer scores and comments, will be posted on the Department's Web site.

    4. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).

    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multiyear award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to http://www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms.html.

    (c) The Secretary may provide a grantee with additional funding for data collection analysis and reporting. In this case the Secretary establishes a data collection period.

    5. Performance Measures: Under the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), Federal departments and agencies must clearly describe the goals and objectives of programs, identify resources and actions needed to accomplish goals and objectives, develop a means of measuring progress made, and regularly report on achievement. One important source of program information on successes and lessons learned is the project evaluation conducted under individual grants.

    (a) Measures. The Department has developed the following GPRA performance measures for evaluating the overall effectiveness of the NPD program:

    Measure 1: The number and percentage of program participants who complete the preservice program. Completion is defined by the applicant in the submitted application.

    Measure 2: The number and percentage of program participants who complete the inservice program. Completion is defined by the applicant in the submitted application.

    Measure 3: The number and percentage of program completers, as defined by the applicant under measures 1 and 2, who are State certified, licensed, or endorsed in EL instruction.

    Measure 4: The percentage of program completers who rate the program as effective in preparing them to serve EL students.

    Measure 5: The percentage of school leaders, other educators, and employers of program completers who rated the program as effective in preparing their teachers, or other educators, to serve ELs or improve their abilities to serve ELs effectively.

    Measure 6: For projects that received competitive preference points for Competitive Priority 2, the percentage of program completers who rated the program as effective, as defined by the grantees, in increasing their knowledge and skills related to parent, family, and community engagement.

    (b) Baseline data. Applicants must provide baseline data (as defined in this notice) for each of the project performance measures listed in (a) and explain how each proposed baseline data is related to program outcomes; or, if the applicant has determined that there are no established baseline data for a particular performance measure, explain why there is no established baseline and explain how and when, during the project period, the applicant will establish a baseline for the performance measure.

    (c) Performance measure targets. In addition, the applicant must propose in its application annual targets for the measures listed in paragraph (a). Applications must also include the following information as directed under 34 CFR 75.110(b):

    (1) Why each proposed performance target is ambitious (as defined in this notice) yet achievable compared to the baseline for the performance measure.

    (2) The data collection and reporting methods the applicant would use and why those methods are likely to yield reliable, valid, and meaningful performance data; and

    (3) The applicant's capacity to collect and report reliable, valid, and meaningful performance data, as evidenced by high-quality data collection, analysis, and reporting in other projects or research.

    Note:

    If the applicant does not have experience with collection and reporting of performance data through other projects or research, the applicant should provide other evidence of capacity to successfully carry out data collection and reporting for its proposed project.

    (d) Performance Reports. All grantees must submit an annual performance report and final performance report with information that is responsive to these performance measures. The Department will consider this data in making annual continuation awards.

    (e) Department Evaluations. Consistent with 34 CFR 75.591, grantees funded under this program shall comply with the requirements of any evaluation of the program conducted by the Department or an evaluator selected by the Department.

    5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: whether a grantee has made substantial progress in achieving the goals and objectives of the project; whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget; and, if the Secretary has established performance measurement requirements, the performance targets in the grantee's approved application.

    In making a continuation award, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    VII. Agency Contact FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Samuel Lopez, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5C152, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 401-4300. FAX: (202) 205-1229 or by email at [email protected]

    If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the Federal Relay Service, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    VIII. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under For Further Information Contact in section VII of this notice.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or PDF. To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Dated: December 8, 2015. Libia S. Gil, Assistant Deputy Secretary and Director for the Office of English Language Acquisition.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31290 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Proposed Agency Information Collection AGENCY:

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Office of Vehicle Technologies, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

    ACTION:

    Submission for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) review; comment request.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Energy has submitted to the OMB for clearance, a proposal to extend for three years a collection of information pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The approved collection is being used for two Clean Cities programmatic efforts. The first is related to a scorecard that assists DOE's Clean Cities coalitions and stakeholders in assessing the level of readiness of their communities for plug-in electric vehicles (PEV). The second effort is intended to develop information that enables DOE to measure the impact and progress of DOE's National Clean Fleets Partnership (Partnership). DOE is not proposing to expand the scope of these information collection efforts.

    DATES:

    Comments regarding this proposed information collection must be received on or before January 11, 2016. If you anticipate difficulty in submitting comments within that period, contact the person listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments should be sent to:

    Desk Officer for the Department of Energy, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Room 10102, 735 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503. And to Mr. Dennis Smith, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EE-3V), U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121, or by fax at 202-586-1600, or by email at [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Dennis Smith at the address listed above in ADDRESSES.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The approved collection is being used for two Clean Cities programmatic efforts. The first is related to a scorecard that assists DOE's Clean Cities coalitions and stakeholders in assessing the level of readiness of their communities for plug-in electric vehicles (PEV). The second effort is intended to develop information that enables DOE to measure the impact and progress of DOE's National Clean Fleets Partnership (Partnership). DOE is not proposing to expand the scope of these information collection efforts.

    This information collection request contains: (1) OMB No.: 1910-5171; (2) Information Collection Request Title: Clean Cities Vehicle Programs; (3) Type of Review: renewal; (4) Purpose: DOE's Clean Cities initiative has developed two voluntary mechanisms by which communities and certain fleets can get a better understanding of their readiness to deploy alternative fuel vehicles and their progress in doing so. The voluntary PEV Scorecard is intended to assist its coalitions and stakeholders in assessing the level of readiness of their communities for plug-in electric vehicles. The principal objective of the scorecard is to provide respondents with an objective assessment and estimate of their respective community's readiness for PEV deployment as well as understand the respective community's commitment to deploying these vehicles successfully. DOE intends the scorecard to be completed by a city/county/regional sustainability or energy coordinator. As the intended respondent may not be aware of every aspect of local or regional PEV readiness, coordination among local stakeholders to gather appropriate information may be necessary.

    DOE expects a total respondent population of approximately 1,250 respondents. Selecting the multiple choice answers in completing a scorecard questionnaire is expected to take under 30 minutes, although additional time of no more than 20 hours may be needed to assemble information necessary to be able to answer the questions, leading to a total burden of approximately 25,625 hours. Assembling information to update questionnaire answers in the future on a voluntary basis would be expected to take less time, on the order of 10 hours, as much of any necessary time and effort needed to research information would have been completed previously.

    For the Clean Fleets Partnership information collection, the Partnership is targeted at large, private-sector fleets that own or have contractual control over at least 50 percent of their vehicles and have vehicles operating in multiple States. DOE expects approximately 50 fleets to participate in the Partnership and, as a result, DOE expects a total respondent population of approximately 50 respondents. Providing initial baseline information for each participating fleet, which occurs only once, is expected to take 60 minutes. Follow-up questions and clarifications for the purpose of ensuring accurate analyses are expected to take up to 90 minutes. The total burden is expected to be 125 hours.

    The combined burden for the two information collections is 25,750 hours.

    (5) Type of Respondents: Public; (6) Annual Estimated Number of Respondents for both information collections: 1,300; (7) Annual Estimated Number of Total Responses: 1,300; (7) Annual Estimated Number of Burden Hours: 25,750 (25,625 for PEV Scorecard, and 125 for Clean Fleets Partnership); and (8) Annual Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Cost Burden: There is no cost associated with reporting and recordkeeping.

    Statutory Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 13233; 42 U.S.C. 13252 (a)-(b); 42 U.S.C. 13255.

    Issued in Washington, DC on: December 4, 2015. David Howell, Acting Director, Vehicle Technologies Office, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31257 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Proposed Agency Information Collection AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Energy (DOE) invites public comment on a proposed collection of information that DOE is developing for submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The proposed collection in support of the DOE's Small Business Vouchers (SBV) pilot will gather quantitative estimates of the pilot's impacts as well as capture implementation lessons learned. The information is needed to assess the impacts of the SBV Pilot, documenting that the investment is producing the expected results, and to determine ways to improve the pilot should it be expanded in scope.

    The SBV Pilot is a funding mechanism structured to allow small businesses engaged in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors to collaborate with researchers at the DOE National Laboratories and to take advantage of the resources at the Labs that assist small businesses in proceeding through commercialization challenges. Respondents will include small businesses participating in the pilot as well a comparison group of businesses with Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA) outside of the SBV Pilot.

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, 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 respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Comments regarding this proposed information collection must be received on or before February 9, 2016. If you anticipate difficulty in submitting comments within that period, contact the person listed in ADDRESSES as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments may be emailed to: [email protected] or mailed to Jeff Dowd, U.S. Department of Energy, EE-61P, 1000 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20585.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be emailed to: [email protected] Requests may also be mailed to Jeff Dowd, U.S. Department of Energy, EE-61P, 1000 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20585. Calls may be directed to Jeff Dowd at (202) 586-7258.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This information collection request contains: (1) OMB No. “New”; (2) Information Collection Request Title: Web-survey of Participating and Nonparticipating Small Businesses for DOE's Small Business Vouchers Pilot (3) Type of Request: New; (4) Purpose: To evaluate the effectiveness and impacts of DOE's Small Business Vouchers (SBV) pilot program, to capture lessons learned, and make recommendations; the information collection will be through a web based survey, allowing participating SBV firms and the comparison firms to answer questions at a time most convenient for them. The web survey will consist of two full-length surveys, conducted once after the first year of vouchers has been completed and once five years after the pilot began, and three abbreviated surveys in the interim years (years two, three and four). The first full-length survey (30 minutes in length for about 70 SBV participants and about 70 comparison firms) will stress questions about the application, selection, work agreement and completion processes and also ask about commercialization progress and other outcomes. The survey in year five (30 minutes in length) will ask about 300 firms participating in SBV from Years 1-4 and about 100 comparison firms about interest in continuing to engage with the national Laboratories, but concentrate on commercialization and other outcomes and how much the DOE program contributed to the outcomes. The abbreviated, interim-year surveys will be 15 minutes in length and will provide status updates on SBV pilot impacts such as commercialization and other outcomes. The purpose of also surveying small business firms that have completed similar work through the existing CRADA process is to investigate similarities and differences in the two small business engagement programs. The data collected in the year five survey will also be used to perform a benefit-cost calculation and benchmark comparison of voucher firms to firms in the DOE Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, based on existing SBIR data. (5) Annual Estimated Number of Respondents Year 1 Survey: 140; Year 5 Survey: 400; Year 2, 3 and 4 Survey: 300. (6) Annual Estimated Number of Total Responses: Year 1 Survey: 140; Year 5 Survey: 400; Year 2, 3 and 4 Survey: 300 (7) Annual Estimated Number of Burden Hours (Total): Year 1 Survey: 70; Year 5 Survey: 200; Year 2, 3 and 4 Survey: 75 (8) Annual Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Cost Burden: Year 1 Survey: $0; Year 5 Survey: $0; Year 2, 3 and 4 Survey: $0.

    Statutory Authority:

    DOE Org Act (42 U.S.C. 7101, et seq.) and 42 U.S.C. 16191 (AMO authority).

    Issued in Washington, DC.

    Joyce Yang, EERE National Laboratory Impact Director, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31259 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL00-95-288] San Diego Gas & Electric Company v. Sellers of Energy and Ancillary Services Into Markets Operated by the California Independent System Operator Corporation and the California Power Exchanges; Notice of Compliance Filing

    Take notice that on December 4, 2015, Exelon Generation Company, LLC. submitted its Opinion No. 536 Fuel Cost Allowance Compliance Filing.1

    1See San Diego Gas & Electric Company v. Sellers of Energy and Ancillary Services into Markets Operated by the California Independent System Operator Corporation and the California Power Exchange, Docket No. EL00-95-280 et al., 153 FERC ¶ 61,144 (2015).

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. On or before the comment date, it is not necessary to serve motions to intervene or protests on persons other than the Applicant.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for 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 28, 2015.

    Dated: December 7, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31215 Filed 12-10-15; 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 corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC16-31-000.

    Applicants: Slate Creek Wind Project, LLC.

    Description: Clarification to November 9, 2015 Application for Authorization under Section 203 of the FPA of Slate Creek Wind Project, LLC.

    Filed Date: 12/4/15.

    Accession Number: 20151204-5287.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/14/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following exempt wholesale generator filings:

    Docket Numbers: EG16-28-000.

    Applicants: Javelina Interconnection, LLC.

    Description: Notice of Self-Certification of Exempt Wholesale Generator Status of Javelina Interconnection, LLC.

    Filed Date: 12/7/15.

    Accession Number: 20151207-5121.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/28/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2423-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: Report Filing: 1890R4 Westar Energy, Inc. Refund Report to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/7/15.

    Accession Number: 20151207-5095.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/28/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2433-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: Report Filing: 1897R4 Westar Energy, Inc. Refund Report to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/7/15.

    Accession Number: 20151207-5101.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/28/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2498-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: Report Filing: 2491R3 Westar Energy, Inc. Refund Report to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/7/15.

    Accession Number: 20151207-5093.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/28/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2507-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: Report Filing: 1976R4 Kaw Valley Electric Cooperative Inc. Refund Report to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/7/15.

    Accession Number: 20151207-5099.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/28/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2520-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: Report Filing: 2041R4 Kansas City Board of Public Utilities Refund Report to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 12/7/15.

    Accession Number: 20151207-5097.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/28/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-2679-000.

    Applicants: Latigo Wind Park, LLC.

    Description: Amendment to September 21, 2015 and October 22, 2015 Latigo Wind Park, LLC tariff filings.

    Filed Date: 12/4/15.

    Accession Number: 20151204-5301.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/14/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-81-001.

    Applicants: Huntley Power LLC.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Amendment to the Application for Reliability Must Run Service to be effective 3/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 12/7/15.

    Accession Number: 20151207-5183.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/28/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-454-000.

    Applicants: Seward Generation, LLC.

    Description: Errata to December 3, 2015 Seward Generation, LLC tariff filing.

    Filed Date: 12/3/15.

    Accession Number: 20151203-5220.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/24/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-472-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2015-12-07_SA 2866 Northern States Power Company-NWEC T-TIA to be effective 1/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 12/7/15.

    Accession Number: 20151207-5098.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/28/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-473-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., Great River Energy.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2015-12-07_GRE-Amended JPZ RS 28 to be effective 1/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 12/7/15.

    Accession Number: 20151207-5132.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/28/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-474-000.

    Applicants: Central Antelope Dry Ranch C LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Central Antelope Dry Ranch C LLC MBR Tariff to be effective 2/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 12/7/15.

    Accession Number: 20151207-5167.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/28/15.

    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: December 7, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31212 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP16-21-000; Docket No. PF14-22-000] Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C; Notice of Application

    Take notice that on November 20, 2015, Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C. (Tennessee), 1001 Louisiana Street, Houston, Texas 77002, filed an application pursuant to sections 7(b) and 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) seeking authority to (i) construct, install, modify, and operate certain pipeline and compression facilities to be located in Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut, and (ii) to abandon certain facilities, as part of the Northeast Energy Direct Project (NED Project), as described in more detail below. Tennessee proposes to provide up to 1.3 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of firm capacity at a cost of approximately $5.2 billion dollars, all as more fully set forth in the application. The filing is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. 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, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659.

    Specifically, the NED Project includes two components: (1) The Supply Path Component, which is comprised of facilities from Troy, Pennsylvania, to Wright, New York (Supply Path Component), and (2) the Market Path Component, which is comprised of facilities from Wright, New York, to Dracut, Massachusetts (Market Path Component). The Supply Path Component facilities include: (i) Approximately 174 miles of pipeline facilities in Pennsylvania and New York of which approximately 41 miles will be looped, (ii) three new compressor stations totaling 153,500 horsepower (hp), (iii) modifications to one existing compressor station, (iv) two new meter stations, and (v) various appurtenant facilities. The Market Path Component facilities include: (i) Approximately 188 miles of mainline pipeline facilities in New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, (ii) approximately 58 miles of lateral and pipeline looping, including a total of five delivery laterals in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, one pipeline loop in Connecticut, (iii) six new compressor stations totaling 207,600 hp, (iv) construction of 13 new meter stations, (v) modification of 14 existing meter stations, and (vi) various appurtenant facilities.

    Any questions regarding the proposed project should be directed to Jacquelyne M. Rocan, Assistant General Counsel, at Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C., 1001 Louisiana Street, Houston, Texas 77002 or at (713) 420-4544 (phone), or (713) 420-1601 (facsimile), or email: [email protected], or Shannon M. Miller, Regulatory Affairs, Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C., 1001 Louisiana Street, Houston, Texas 77002, or at (713) 420-4038 (phone), or (713) 420-1605 (facsimile), or email: [email protected]

    On October 2, 2014, Commission staff granted Tennessee's request to utilize the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Pre-Filing Process and assigned Docket No. PF14-22-000 to staff activities involving the project. Now, as of the filing of this application on November 20, 2015, the NEPA Pre-Filing Process for this project has ended. From this time forward, this proceeding will be conducted in Docket No. CP16-21-000 as noted in the caption of this Notice.

    Pursuant to section 157.9 of the Commission's rules, 18 CFR 157.9, within 90 days of this Notice, the Commission staff will 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) for this proposal. The issuance of a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review will serve to notify federal and state agencies of the timing for the completion of all necessary reviews, and the subsequent need to complete all federal authorizations within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's FEIS.

    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 7 copies of filings made in the proceeding with the Commission and must mail a copy to the applicant and to every other party. 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 commentors 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 commentors will not be required to serve copies of filed documents on all other parties. However, the non-party commentors will not receive copies of all documents filed by other parties or issued by the Commission (except for the mailing of environmental documents issued by the Commission) and will not have the right to seek court review of the Commission's final order.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filings of comments, protests and interventions 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.

    Comment Date: January 6, 2016.

    Dated: December 7, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31213 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket Nos. CP16-22-000; PF15-10-000; CP16-23-000; PF15-11-000; CP16-24-000] NEXUS Gas Transmission, LLC; Texas Eastern Transmission, LP; DTE Gas Company; Notice of Applications

    Take notice that on November 20, 2015, NEXUS Gas Transmission, LLC (NEXUS), 5400 Westheimer Court, Houston, Texas 77056, filed in Docket No. CP16-22-000 an application pursuant to section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) for authorization: (i) To construct approximately 255.9 miles of new, 36-inch-diameter interstate pipeline in Ohio and Michigan; (ii) to construct four compressor stations, totaling 130,000 horsepower (HP); (iii) to construct various appurtenances (collectively, the NEXUS Project); (iv) of its proposed pro forma tariff; (v) for a Part 157, Subpart F construction certificate; (vi) for a Part 284, Subpart G blanket certificate; and (vii) for any waivers the Commission deems necessary for the NEXUS Project. NEXUS states that the proposed pipeline will have a capacity of 1.5 million dekatherms per day (Dth/d) and estimates the cost of the NEXUS Project to be approximately $2,095,267,444.

    Additionally, on November 20, 2015, Texas Eastern Transmission, LP (Texas Eastern), 5400 Westheimer Court, Houston, Texas 77056, filed in Docket No. CP16-23-000 an application pursuant to sections 7(b) and 7(c) of the NGA for authorization: (i) To construct approximately 4.4 miles of 36-inch-diameter pipeline loop in Monroe County, Ohio; (ii) to construct 1,790 feet of connecting pipeline to the NEXUS Project in Columbiana County, Ohio; (iii) to construct a new 18,800 HP compressor station in Columbiana County, Ohio; (iv) to construct a new 9,400 HP compressor unit at its existing Colerain Compressor Station in Belmont County, Ohio; (v) to modify Line 73 to allow for bi-directional flow; (vi) to construct various appurtenances (collectively, the TEAL Project); (vii) to abandon by lease to NEXUS 950,155 Dth/d; and (vii) for any waivers the Commission deems necessary for the TEAL Project. Texas Eastern estimates the cost of the TEAL Project to be approximately $183,519,668.

    These applications will be reviewed contemporaneously with the application for an operating lease filed by DTE Gas Company in Docket No. CP16-24-000 on November 24, 2015.

    All of the applications are on file with the Commission and open to public inspection. The filing is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site 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 the application in Docket No. CP16-22-000 may be directed to Berk Donaldson or Leanne Sidorkewicz, NEXUS Gas Transmission LLC, 5400 Westheimer Court, Houston, Texas 77056, by telephone at (713) 627-4488, or by email at [email protected] or [email protected]

    Any questions concerning the application in Docket No. CP16-23-000 may be directed to Berk Donaldson, General Manger, Rates and Certificates, Texas Eastern Transmission, LP, PO Box 1642, Houston, Texas 77251-1642, by telephone at (713) 624-4488, or by facsimile at (713) 627-5947.

    On December 30, 2014, the Commission staff granted NEXUS' request to utilize the Pre-Filing Process and assigned Docket No. PF15-10-000 to staff's activities involved in the NEXUS Project. Now, as of the November 20, 2015 application, the Pre-Filing Process for the NEXUS Project has ended. From this time forward, this proceeding will be conducted in Docket No. CP16-22-000, as noted in the caption of this Notice.

    On January 16, 2015, the Commission staff granted Texas Eastern's request to utilize the Pre-Filing Process and assigned Docket No. PF15-11-000 to staff's activities involved in the TEAL Project. Now, as of the November 20, 2015 application, the Pre-Filing Process for the TEAL Project has ended. From this time forward, this proceeding will be conducted in Docket No. CP16-23-000, as noted in the caption of this Notice.

    Pursuant to section 157.9 of the Commission's rules, 18 CFR 157.9, within 90 days of this Notice, the Commission staff will 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) for this proposal. The issuance of a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review will serve to notify federal and state agencies of the timing for the completion of all necessary reviews, and the subsequent need to complete all federal authorizations within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's FEIS.

    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 seven copies of filings made in the proceeding with the Commission and must mail a copy to the applicant and to every other party. 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 commentors 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 commentors will not be required to serve copies of filed documents on all other parties. However, the non-party commentors will not receive copies of all documents filed by other parties or issued by the Commission (except for the mailing of environmental documents issued by the Commission) and will not have the right to seek court review of the Commission's final order.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filings of comments, protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 7 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on December 28, 2015.

    Dated: December 7, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31214 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC15-210-000.

    Applicants: Dominion Solar Projects A, Inc., Dominion Solar Projects I, Inc.

    Description: Second Clarification to September 24, 2015 Application for Authorization Under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act of Dominion Solar Projects A, Inc., et al.

    Filed Date: 12/4/15.

    Accession Number: 20151204-5299.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/14/15.

    Docket Numbers: EC16-21-000.

    Applicants: Sandstone Solar LLC.

    Description: Clarification to October 29, 2015 Application for Authorization Under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act, Request for Expedited Consideration and Confidential Treatment of Sandstone Solar LLC.

    Filed Date: 12/3/15.

    Accession Number: 20151203-5147.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/14/15.

    Docket Numbers: EC16-46-000.

    Applicants: Bicent (California) Malburg LLC.

    Description: Application for Authorization for Disposition of Jurisdictional Facilities and Request for Expedited Action of Bicent (California) Malburg LLC.

    Filed Date: 12/4/15.

    Accession Number: 20151204-5293.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/28/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER16-468-000.

    Applicants: FTS Master Tenant 1, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: FTS Master Tenant 1 LLC MBR Tariff to be effective 2/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 12/4/15.

    Accession Number: 20151204-5249.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/28/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-469-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2015-12-04_Order 1000 CTDS Variance Analysis Filing to be effective 2/2/2016.

    Filed Date: 12/4/15.

    Accession Number: 20151204-5257.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/28/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-470-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2015-12-04_Order 1000 (TOA) CTDS Variance Analysis Filing to be effective 2/2/2016.

    Filed Date: 12/4/15.

    Accession Number: 20151204-5259.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/28/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-471-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Notice of Termination of the Generator Interconnection Agreement designated as Project No. G359 of Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Filed Date: 12/4/15.

    Accession Number: 20151204-5286.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/28/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following open access transmission tariff filings:

    Docket Numbers: OA08-14-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Compliance Filing of Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Filed Date: 12/4/15.

    Accession Number: 20151204-5292.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/28/15.

    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: December 7, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31211 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0535; FRL 9939-94-OAR] California State Nonroad Engine Pollution Control Standards; Small Off-Road Engines Regulations; Tier 4 Off-Road Compression-Ignition Regulations; Exhaust Emission Certification Test Fuel for Off-Road Spark-Ignition Engines, Equipment, and Vehicles Regulations; Notice of Decision AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Decision.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is confirming that the California Air Resources Board's (CARB's) 2011 amendments to its Small Off-Road Engines (SORE) regulations (2011 SORE amendments), Tier 4 Off-Road Compression-Ignition (CI) regulations (2011 Tier 4 amendments), and Exhaust Emission Certification Test Fuel for Off-Road Spark-Ignition (SI) Engines, Equipment, and Vehicles regulations (2011 Certification Test Fuel amendments) are within the scope of previous EPA authorizations. The 2011 SORE amendments modify California's existing SORE test procedures by aligning California procedures to be consistent with recent amendments by EPA to the federal certification and exhaust emission testing requirements. The 2011 Tier 4 amendments enhance the harmonization of CARB's exhaust emission requirements for new off-road CI engines with the corresponding federal emissions requirements for nonroad CI engines. The 2011 Certification Test Fuel amendments modify the certification test fuel requirements for off-road spark ignition, gasoline-fueled engines to allow the use of 10-percent ethanol-blend gasoline (E10) as a certification fuel. This decision is issued under the authority of the Clean Air Act (“CAA” or “Act”).

    DATES:

    Petitions for review must be filed by February 9, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0535. All documents relied upon in making this decision, including those submitted to EPA by CARB, are contained in the public docket. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air and Radiation Docket in the EPA Headquarters Library, EPA West Building, Room 3334, located at 1301 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open to the public on all federal government working days from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; generally, it is open Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. The telephone number for the Reading Room is (202) 566-1744. The Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center's Web site is http://www.epa.gov/oar/docket.html. The electronic mail (email) address for the Air and Radiation Docket is: [email protected], the telephone number is (202) 566-1742, and the fax number is (202) 566-9744. An electronic version of the public docket is available through the federal government's electronic public docket and comment system. You may access EPA dockets at http://www.regulations.gov. After opening the www.regulations.gov Web site, enter EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0535 in the “Enter Keyword or ID” fill-in box to view documents in the record. Although a part of the official docket, the public docket does not include Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality (OTAQ) maintains a Web page that contains general information on its review of California waiver and authorization requests. Included on that page are links to prior waiver Federal Register notices, some of which are cited in today's notice; the page can be accessed at http://www.epa.gov/otaq/cafr.htm.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brenton Williams, Attorney-Advisor, Compliance Division, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2000 Traverwood Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48105. Telephone: (734) 214-4341. Fax: (734) 214-4053. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background A. 2011 SORE Amendments

    CARB includes within its SORE regulations small off-road engines and equipment 1 rated at or below 19 kilowatts (kW) (25 horsepower (hp)). The vast majority of engines covered by the SORE regulations are SI engines that are used to power a broad range of equipment, including lawn mowers, leaf blowers, generators, and small industrial equipment. Exhaust and evaporative emissions from these engines are a significant source of hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen, pollutants that contribute to smog problems in California.

    1 The federal term “nonroad” and the California term “off-road” are used interchangeably.

    CARB first adopted standards and test procedures applicable to SORE in 1992. In 1993, CARB amended these regulations to delay their implementation until 1995. EPA authorized these initial SORE regulations in 1995.2 California subsequently amended its regulations in 1994, 1995, and 1996 to clarify certification and implementation procedures, exempt military tactical equipment, and relax emissions standards for certain engines. EPA confirmed these three amendment packages as within the scope of previous authorizations in 2000.3

    2 60 FR 37440 (July 20, 1995).

    3 65 FR 69763 (November 20, 2000).

    In 1998, CARB amended the SORE regulation to apply to all engines rated less than 19 kW used in off-road applications. The 1998 amendments also revised the regulations to be based on engine displacement instead of whether the engine is used in a handheld or non-handheld application, delayed implementation of certain portions of the standards, and adopted new emission standards for new engines under 19 kW. EPA confirmed these amendments to be within the scope of previous authorizations in 2000.4

    4Id. at 69767.

    In 2004, CARB amended its off-road CI regulations to match federal standards and exhaust emissions standards, and adopted evaporative emissions standards for small off-road SI engines rated at or below 19 kW. EPA granted a full authorization for these amendments in 2006.5 CARB adopted additional SORE amendments in 2008 which modified the emission credits program to provide manufacturers with additional flexibility and permitted the use of certification fuels with up to ten volume percent ethanol content, provided that the same fuel is used for certification with the EPA. EPA found these amendments to be within the scope of previous authorizations in 2015.6

    5 71 FR 75536 (December 15, 2006).

    6 80 FR 26041 (May 6, 2015).

    B. 2011 Tier 4 Amendments

    The second element of CARB's request is amendments to its nonroad regulations that include CI engines used in tractors, excavators, dozers, scrapers, portable generators, transport refrigeration units, irrigation pumps, welders, compressors, scrubbers, and sweepers.7 In 1992, CARB approved a regulation to control exhaust emissions from heavy-duty off-road CI engines 175 hp and above.8 EPA granted authorization in 1995.9 In 2000 CARB harmonized California's emission standards and test procedures to federal standards that EPA promulgated in 1998 for the same nonroad CI engine categories (Tier 1 through Tier 3).10 In 2004-2005 CARB generally harmonized California's Tier 4 standards to the federal Tier 4 standards for these same off-road CI engines that EPA adopted in 2004.11 EPA confirmed that the 2000 amendments to the smallest category of engines (less than 19 kW) were within the scope of previous authorizations.12 EPA granted full authorizations for the 2004-2005 amendments as they affected new off-road CI engines less than 19 kW, and for the 2000 and 2004-2005 amendments as they affected new off-road CI engines for the other two power categories (19 kW-130 kW and greater than 130 kW).13

    7See EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0535-0003, “2013-13-14 Auth Support Document SORE 2011” at 4.

    8Id.

    9 60 FR 37440 (July 5, 1995).

    10See EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0535-0003, “2013-13-14 Auth Support Document SORE 2011” at 5.

    11Id.

    12 75 FR 8056 (February 23, 2010).

    13Id.

    C. 2011 Certification Test Fuel Amendments

    The third element of CARB's request is amendments to its Exhaust Emission Certification Test Fuel for Off-Road SI Engines, Equipment, and Vehicles regulations. Prior to these amendments, California's SORE and Large Spark Ignition (LSI) test procedures allowed gasoline-fueled, SI engines to be tested for compliance with certification exhaust standards using either Indolene or Phase 2 California Reformulated Gasoline (CaRFG2) 14 as an option to federally specified test fuels. Recreational Marine engines were permitted to use CaRFG2, federal Indolene, or the fuel specified in Table 3 of Appendix A to 40 CFR part 91, subpart D. Off Highway Recreational Vehicles (OHRV) that were categorized as off-road motorcycles were required to certify using Indolene. OHRVs that were categorized as go-karts and specialty vehicles were allowed to certify using either Indolene or CaRFG2, and OHRVs that were categorized as all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) were primarily required to use Indolene, but under certain circumstances were allowed to certify using CaRFG2.15

    14 Phase 1 CaRFG, which was implemented in 1992, eliminated lead from gasoline and set regulations for deposit control additives and reid vapor pressure (RVP). Phase 2 CaRFG (CaRFG2), which was implemented in 1996, set specifications for sulfur, aromatics, oxygen, benzene, T50, T90, Olefins, and RVP and established a Predictive Model. Phase 3 CaRFG (CaRFG3), which was implemented in 1999, eliminated methyl-tertiary-butyl-ether from California gasoline.

    15See EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0535-0003, “2013-13-14 Auth Support Document SORE 2011” at 9.

    The initial SORE regulation and the 1993 amendments to the SORE regulation allowed manufacturers to utilize either Indolene or California Phase 1 fuel as test fuel for certification.16 EPA granted California a full authorization for the initial SORE regulation and the 1993 amendments.17 In 1994 CARB amended the SORE regulation to provide manufacturers the option to certify SORE engines using CaRFG2 that was consistent with the certification test fuel specified for on-road motor vehicles. EPA confirmed that the 1994 amendment was within the scope of the previous authorizations.18 In 2008, EPA confirmed that allowing the use of 10-percent ethanol-blend of gasoline (E10) as a certification fuel for SORE was within the scope of previous authorizations.19

    16Id. at 8.

    17 60 FR 37440 (July 20, 1995).

    18 65 FR 69763 (November 20, 2000).

    19 80 FR 26041 (May 6, 2015).

    The initial LSI regulation specified that the certified gasoline test fuels for LSI engines were either Indolene or CaRFG2. EPA granted California a new authorization for the initial LSI regulation on May 15, 2006.20

    20 71 FR 29623 (May 23, 2006).

    The initial CARB Marine SI Engine regulation applicable to 2001 and later model year outboard SI marine engines and personal watercraft engines established test procedures that were virtually identical to those in the federal SI Marine Engine regulations. In 2002 CARB adopted regulations establishing exhaust emission standards and related certification and test procedures for 2003 and later model year SI inboard and sterndrive marine engines that specified the same certification test fuels as those applicable to outboard engines and personal water craft.21 EPA granted California an authorization for these regulations in 2007.22

    21See EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0535-0003, “2013-13-14 Auth Support Document SORE 2011” at 9.

    22 72 FR 14546 (March 28, 2007).

    EPA granted California a new authorization for the initial OHRV regulation, which included initial test fuel certification requirements, in 1996,23 and confirmed that 1996 amendments to the OHRV regulation were within the scope of the initial authorization in 2000.24

    23 61 FR 69093 (December 31, 1996).

    24 65 FR 69763 (November 20, 2000).

    D. California's Authorization Request

    By letter dated June 13, 2014, CARB submitted a request to EPA pursuant to section 209(e) of the Act for authorization of its 2011 SORE amendments, 2011 Tier 4 amendments, and 2011 Certification Test Fuel amendments (with all three sets of amendments collectively known as the “2011 Amendments”). CARB sought EPA's confirmation that the 2011 Amendments fell within the scope of EPA's previous authorizations, or, in the alternate, a full authorization for those amendments.

    1. 2011 SORE Amendments

    CARB approved the 2011 SORE amendments at issue on December 16, 2011, and adopted them on October 25, 2012.25 The 2011 SORE amendments became operative on January 10, 2013.26 The 2011 SORE amendments modify California's existing SORE test procedures by aligning California procedures to be consistent with recent amendments by EPA to the federal certification and exhaust emission testing requirements at 40 CFR parts 1054 and 1065.27 Part 1054 contains certification protocols, production-line testing requirements, credit-generation allowances, and other related provisions applicable to federally certified engines. Since CARB had previously promulgated California-specific versions of these provisions for SORE engines, the 2011 SORE amendments adopted the language of CFR part 1054, but with modifications that substitute California's specific emission standards, production-line testing requirements and credit-allowances for the corresponding federal provisions.28 Part 1065 specifies the “state-of-the-art” testing equipment, systems, and processes that must be utilized in conducting emissions testing of applicable engines. The 2011 SORE amendments align California test procedures for 2013 and later model year engines with the requirements specified in Part 1065.29

    25See EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0535-0008, “Enclosure 5 CARB Resolution 11-41”, and EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0535-0009, “Enclosure 6 Executive Order R-12-005”.

    26Id.

    27See EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0535-0003, “2013-13-14 Auth Support Document SORE 2011”.

    28Id.at 11.

    29Id.at 11.

    2. 2011 Tier 4 Amendments

    CARB approved the Tier 4 amendments at issue on December 16, 2011, and adopted them on October 25, 2012.30 The 2011 Tier 4 amendments became operative on January 10, 2013.31 The 2011 Tier 4 amendments enhance the harmonization of CARB's exhaust emission requirements for new off-road CI engines with the corresponding federal emissions requirements for nonroad CI engines set forth in CFR parts 1039, 1065, and 1068.32 EPA most recently amended these Parts in 2011.33 The 2011 Tier 4 amendments correct clerical errors, standardize measurement specifications, calibrations, and instrumentation, remove unnecessarily burdensome reporting requirements, and provide additional compliance flexibility options.34 The 2011 Tier 4 amendments also incorporate EPA's anti-stockpiling provisions, which help ensure the realization of projected emission benefits, and also establish a new interim Tier 4 combined hydrocarbon plus oxides of nitrogen emission standard that has the potential to provide additional emission benefits.35

    30See EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0535-0008, “Enclosure 5 CARB Resolution 11-41”, and EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0535-0009, “Enclosure 6 Executive Order R-12-005”.

    31Id.

    32See EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0535-0003, “2013-13-14 Auth Support Document SORE 2011” at 12.

    33 76 FR 37977 (June 28, 2011).

    34See EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0535-0003, “2013-13-14 Auth Support Document SORE 2011” at 13-18.

    35Id. at 2.

    3. 2011 Certification Test Fuel Amendments

    The 2011 Certification Test Fuel amendments modify the certification test fuel requirements for off-road spark ignition, gasoline-fueled engines to allow the use of 10-percent ethanol-blend of gasoline (E10) as a certification fuel. The use of the E10 certification fuel is allowed as an option for certification exhaust emission testing of new gasoline-fueled SORE, LSI, Recreational Marine, and OHRV off-road categories from the 2013 through 2019 model years, and is mandatory for certification exhaust emission testing of these categories beginning with the 2020 model year.36

    36See EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0535-0003, “2013-13-14 Auth Support Document SORE 2011” at 18.

    E. Clean Air Act Nonroad Engine and Vehicle Authorizations

    Section 209(e)(1) of the Act permanently preempts any state, or political subdivision thereof, from adopting or attempting to enforce any standard or other requirement relating to the control of emissions for certain new nonroad engines or vehicles.37 For all other nonroad engines (including “non-new” engines), states generally are preempted from adopting and enforcing standards and other requirements relating to the control of emissions, except that section 209(e)(2)(A) of the Act requires EPA, after notice and opportunity for public hearing, to authorize California to adopt and enforce such regulations unless EPA makes one of three enumerated findings. Specifically, EPA must deny authorization if the Administrator finds that (1) California's protectiveness determination (i.e., that California standards will be, in the aggregate, as protective of public health and welfare as applicable federal standards) is arbitrary and capricious, (2) California does not need such standards to meet compelling and extraordinary conditions, or (3) the California standards and accompanying enforcement procedures are not consistent with section 209 of the Act.

    37 States are expressly preempted from adopting or attempting to enforce any standard or other requirement relating to the control of emissions from new nonroad engines which are used in construction equipment or vehicles or used in farm equipment or vehicles and which are smaller than 175 horsepower. Such express preemption under section 209(e)(1) of the Act also applies to new locomotives or new engines used in locomotives.

    On July 20, 1994, EPA promulgated a rule interpreting the three criteria set forth in section 209(e)(2)(A) that EPA must consider before granting any California authorization request for nonroad engine or vehicle emission standards.38 EPA revised these regulations in 1997.39 As stated in the preamble to the 1994 rule, EPA historically has interpreted the consistency inquiry under the third criterion, outlined above and set forth in section 209(e)(2)(A)(iii), to require, at minimum, that California standards and enforcement procedures be consistent with section 209(a), section 209(e)(1), and section 209(b)(1)(C) of the Act.40

    38See “Air Pollution Control; Preemption of State Regulation for Nonroad Engine and Vehicle Standards,” 59 FR 36969 (July 20, 1994).

    39See “Control of Air Pollution: Emission Standards for New Nonroad Compression-Ignition Engines at or Above 37 Kilowatts; Preemption of State Regulation for Nonroad Engine and Vehicle Standards; Amendments to Rules,” 62 FR 67733 (December 30, 1997). The applicable regulations are now found in 40 CFR part 1074, subpart B, section 1074.105.

    40See supra note 12. EPA has interpreted 209(b)(1)(C) in the context of section 209(b) motor vehicle waivers.

    In order to be consistent with section 209(a), California's nonroad standards and enforcement procedures must not apply to new motor vehicles or new motor vehicle engines. To be consistent with section 209(e)(1), California's nonroad standards and enforcement procedures must not attempt to regulate engine categories that are permanently preempted from state regulation. To determine consistency with section 209(b)(1)(C), EPA typically reviews nonroad authorization requests under the same “consistency” criteria that are applied to motor vehicle waiver requests under section 209(b)(1)(C). That provision provides that the Administrator shall not grant California a motor vehicle waiver if she finds that California “standards and accompanying enforcement procedures are not consistent with section 202(a)” of the Act. Previous decisions granting waivers and authorizations have noted that state standards and enforcement procedures will be found to be inconsistent with section 202(a) if (1) there is inadequate lead time to permit the development of the necessary technology, giving appropriate consideration to the cost of compliance within that time, or (2) the federal and state testing procedures impose inconsistent certification requirements.

    In light of the similar language of sections 209(b) and 209(e)(2)(A), EPA has reviewed California's requests for authorization of nonroad vehicle or engine standards under section 209(e)(2)(A) using the same principles that it has historically applied in reviewing requests for waivers of preemption for new motor vehicle or new motor vehicle engine standards under section 209(b).41 These principles include, among other things, that EPA should limit its inquiry to the three specific authorization criteria identified in section 209(e)(2)(A),42 and that EPA should give substantial deference to the policy judgments California has made in adopting its regulations. In previous waiver decisions, EPA has stated that Congress intended EPA's review of California's decision-making be narrow. EPA has rejected arguments that are not specified in the statute as grounds for denying a waiver:

    41See Engine Manufacturers Association v. EPA, 88 F.3d 1075, 1087 (D.C. Cir. 1996): “. . . EPA was within the bounds of permissible construction in analogizing § 209(e) on nonroad sources to § 209(a) on motor vehicles.”

    42See supra note 12, at 36983.

    The law makes it clear that the waiver requests cannot be denied unless the specific findings designated in the statute can properly be made. The issue of whether a proposed California requirement is likely to result in only marginal improvement in California air quality not commensurate with its costs or is otherwise an arguably unwise exercise of regulatory power is not legally pertinent to my decision under section 209, so long as the California requirement is consistent with section 202(a) and is more stringent than applicable Federal requirements in the sense that it may result in some further reduction in air pollution in California.43

    43 “Waiver of Application of Clean Air Act to California State Standards,” 36 FR 17458 (August 31, 1971). Note that the more stringent standard expressed here, in 1971, was superseded by the 1977 amendments to section 209, which established that California must determine that its standards are, in the aggregate, at least as protective of public health and welfare as applicable Federal standards. In the 1990 amendments to section 209, Congress established section 209(e) and similar language in section 209(e)(1)(i) pertaining to California's nonroad emission standards which California must determine to be, in the aggregate, at least as protective of public health and welfare as applicable federal standards.

    This principle of narrow EPA review has been upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.44 Thus, EPA's consideration of all the evidence submitted concerning an authorization decision is circumscribed by its relevance to those questions that may be considered under section 209(e)(2)(A).

    44See, e.g., Motor and Equip. Mfrs Assoc. v. EPA, 627 F.2d 1095 (D.C. Cir. 1979) (“MEMA I”).

    F. Within-the-Scope Determinations

    If California amends regulations that were previously authorized by EPA, California may ask EPA to determine that the amendments are within the scope of the earlier authorization. A within-the-scope determination for such amendments is permissible without a full authorization review if three conditions are met. First, the amended regulations must not undermine California's previous determination that its standards, in the aggregate, are as protective of public health and welfare as applicable federal standards. Second, the amended regulations must not affect consistency with section 209 of the Act, following the same criteria discussed above in the context of full authorizations. Third, the amended regulations must not raise any “new issues” affecting EPA's prior authorizations.45

    45See “California State Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Standards; Amendments Within the Scope of Previous Waiver of Federal Preemption,” 46 FR 36742 (July 15, 1981).

    G. Deference to California

    In previous waiver decisions, EPA has recognized that the intent of Congress in creating a limited review based on the section 209(b)(1) criteria was to ensure that the federal government did not second-guess state policy choices. This has led EPA to state:

    It is worth noting . . . I would feel constrained to approve a California approach to the problem which I might also feel unable to adopt at the federal level in my own capacity as a regulator. The whole approach of the Clean Air Act is to force the development of new types of emission control technology where that is needed by compelling the industry to “catch up” to some degree with newly promulgated standards. Such an approach . . . may be attended with costs, in the shape of reduced product offering, or price or fuel economy penalties, and by risks that a wider number of vehicle classes may not be able to complete their development work in time. Since a balancing of these risks and costs against the potential benefits from reduced emissions is a central policy decision for any regulatory agency under the statutory scheme outlined above, I believe I am required to give very substantial deference to California's judgments on this score.46

    46 40 FR 23103-23104 (May 28, 1975); see also LEV I Decision Document at 64 (58 FR 4166 (January 13, 1993)).

    EPA has stated that the text, structure, and history of the California waiver provision clearly indicate both a congressional intent and appropriate EPA practice of leaving the decision on “ambiguous and controversial matters of public policy” to California's judgment.47

    47 40 FR 23104; 58 FR 4166.

    The House Committee Report explained as part of the 1977 amendments to the Clean Air Act, where Congress had the opportunity to restrict the waiver provision, it elected instead to explain California's flexibility to adopt a complete program of motor vehicle emission controls. The amendment is intended to ratify and strengthen the California waiver provision and to affirm the underlying intent of that provision, i.e., to afford California the broadest possible discretion in selecting the best means to protect the health of its citizens and the public welfare.48

    48MEMA I, 627 F.2d at 1110 (citing H.R.Rep. No. 294, 95 Cong., 1st Sess. 301-02 (1977).

    H. Burden and Standard of Proof

    As the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has made clear in MEMA I, opponents of a waiver request by California bear the burden of showing that the statutory criteria for a denial of the request have been met:

    [T]he language of the statute and its legislative history indicate that California's regulations, and California's determinations that they must comply with the statute, when presented to the Administrator are presumed to satisfy the waiver requirements and that the burden of proving otherwise is on whoever attacks them. California must present its regulations and findings at the hearing and thereafter the parties opposing the waiver request bear the burden of persuading the Administrator that the waiver request should be denied.49

    49MEMA I, supra note 19, at 1121.

    The Administrator's burden, on the other hand, is to make a reasonable evaluation of the information in the record in coming to the waiver decision. As the court in MEMA I stated: “here, too, if the Administrator ignores evidence demonstrating that the waiver should not be granted, or if he seeks to overcome that evidence with unsupported assumptions of his own, he runs the risk of having his waiver decision set aside as `arbitrary and capricious.' ” 50 Therefore, the Administrator's burden is to act “reasonably.” 51

    50Id. at 1126.

    51Id. at 1126.

    With regard to the standard of proof, the court in MEMA I explained that the Administrator's role in a section 209 proceeding is to:

    [. . .] consider all evidence that passes the threshold test of materiality and * * * thereafter assess such material evidence against a standard of proof to determine whether the parties favoring a denial of the waiver have shown that the factual circumstances exist in which Congress intended a denial of the waiver.52

    52Id. at 1122.

    In that decision, the court considered the standards of proof under section 209 for the two findings related to granting a waiver for an “accompanying enforcement procedure.” Those findings involve: (1) Whether the enforcement procedures impact California's prior protectiveness determination for the associated standards, and (2) whether the procedures are consistent with section 202(a). The principles set forth by the court, however, are similarly applicable to an EPA review of a request for a waiver of preemption for a standard. The court instructed that “the standard of proof must take account of the nature of the risk of error involved in any given decision, and it therefore varies with the finding involved. We need not decide how this standard operates in every waiver decision.” 53

    53Id.

    With regard to the protectiveness finding, the court upheld the Administrator's position that, to deny a waiver, there must be “clear and compelling evidence” to show that proposed enforcement procedures undermine the protectiveness of California's standards.54 The court noted that this standard of proof also accords with the congressional intent to provide California with the broadest possible discretion in setting regulations it finds protective of the public health and welfare.55

    54Id.

    55Id.

    With respect to the consistency finding, the court did not articulate a standard of proof applicable to all proceedings, but found that the opponents of the waiver were unable to meet their burden of proof even if the standard were a mere preponderance of the evidence. Although MEMA I did not explicitly consider the standards of proof under section 209 concerning a waiver request for “standards,” as compared to a waiver request for accompanying enforcement procedures, there is nothing in the opinion to suggest that the court's analysis would not apply with equal force to such determinations. EPA's past waiver decisions have consistently made clear that: “[E]ven in the two areas concededly reserved for Federal judgment by this legislation—the existence of `compelling and extraordinary' conditions and whether the standards are technologically feasible—Congress intended that the standards of EPA review of the State decision to be a narrow one.” 56

    56See, e.g., “California State Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Standards; Waiver of Federal Preemption,” 40 FR 23102 (May 28, 1975), at 23103.

    I. EPA's Administrative Process in Consideration of California's Amendment Requests for Authorization

    On November 21, 2014, EPA published a Federal Register notice announcing its receipt of California's authorization request. In that notice, EPA invited public comment on the 2011 SORE amendments, the 2011 Tier 4 amendments, and 2011 Certification Test Fuel amendments (collectively known as the 2011 Amendments) and an opportunity to request a public hearing.57

    57See “California State Nonroad Engine Pollution Control Standards; Small Off-Road Engines Regulations; Tier 4 Off-Road Compression-Ignition Regulations; Exhaust Emission Certification Test Fuel for Off-Road Spark-Ignition Engines, Equipment, and Vehicles Regulations; Request for Within-the-Scope and Full Authorization; Opportunity for Public Hearing and Comment,” 79 FR 69465 (November 21, 2014).

    EPA requested comment on the 2011 Amendments, as follows: (1) Should California's amendments be considered under the within-the-scope analysis, or should they be considered under the full authorization criteria?; (2) If those amendments should be considered as a within-the-scope request, do they meet the criteria for EPA to grant a within-the-scope confirmation?; and (3) If the amendments should not be considered under the within-the-scope analysis, or in the event that EPA determines they are not within the scope of the previous authorization, do they meet the criteria for making a full authorization determination?

    EPA received no written comments. Additionally, EPA received no requests for a public hearing. Consequently, EPA did not hold a public hearing.

    II. Discussion A. California's 2011 SORE Amendments

    The 2011 SORE amendments incorporate provisions of 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Parts 1054 and 1065 into the test procedures applicable to 2013 and later model year engines, and incorporate citations to the newly modified test procedures. The 2011 SORE amendments dealt with three specific topics: (1) Improved alignment with 40 CFR part 1054; (2) improved alignment with 40 CFR part 1065; and (3) amendments to CA-Part 1065 that maintain differences between California and EPA test procedures. CARB asserts that the 2011 SORE amendments do not affect the stringency of the exhaust emission standards and associated test procedures for SORE engines.

    1. Improved Alignment With Part 1054

    Part 1054 contains certification protocols, production-line testing requirements, credit-generation allowances, and other related provisions applicable to federally certified engines. Since CARB had already promulgated California-specific versions of these provisions for SORE engines, the 2011 SORE amendments adopted language similar to Part 1054, but with modifications that substitute California's specific emission standards, production-line testing requirements and credit-generations allowances for the corresponding federal provisions.58

    58See EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0535-0003, “2013-13-14 Auth Support Document SORE 2011” at 11.

    2. Improved Alignment With Part 1065

    Part 1065 specifies the “state-of-the-art” testing equipment, systems, and processes that must be utilized in conducting emissions testing of applicable engines. The 2011 SORE amendments largely align the test procedures applicable to 2013 and later model year engines with the requirements specified in Part 1065, and will therefore prevent the need for manufacturers to conduct separate emissions tests for certifying engines with EPA and CARB.59 Additionally, CARB states that a majority of engine manufacturers had already upgraded their test equipment in order to be compliant with Part 1065, and not aligning California and federal test procedures would mean that the use of the existing California test procedures would become increasingly impractical for manufacturers, independent testing facilities, and CARB.60 CARB adopted Part 1065 into the SORE test procedures except for the modifications discussed below.

    59Id. at 11.

    60Id.

    3. Amendments to CA-Part 1065 that Maintain Differences between California and EPA Test Procedures

    The 2011 SORE amendments maintain California-specific requirements applicable to new 2013 and later model year SORE engines in the following areas: Allowance for supplemental engine cooling, measurement of particulate matter (PM) emissions from two-stroke engines, and exhaust emission certification test fuel requirements (discussed later in the decision).61 CARB believes that the existing California provisions in the SORE test procedures regarding supplemental cooling are more representative of in-use conditions than the corresponding federal provision, and are needed to maintain the stringency of California's existing test procedures. The California provisions require that manufacturers justify the need for and the use of any auxiliary fans used to provide supplemental cooling, and further require that manufacturers demonstrate that the supplemental cooling is representative of in-use engine operation. CARB's SORE emission standards include a PM emissions standard for two-stroke engines while EPA's small nonroad engine standards do not.62 California's existing regulations provide manufacturers the option of demonstrating compliance with the PM standard for two-stroke engines by using measured hydrocarbon emissions as a surrogate in lieu of determining actual PM emission levels.63 CARB determined that extending this option was warranted as it provides manufacturers flexibility in conducting the testing required for demonstrating emissions compliance, without affecting the stringency of the current PM emission standards.

    61Id. at 12.

    62Id.

    63Id.

    B. California's 2011 Tier 4 Amendments

    The 2011 Tier 4 amendments enhance the harmonization of CARB's exhaust emission requirements for new off-road CI engines with the corresponding federal emissions requirements for nonroad CI engines in 40 CFR parts 1039, 1065, and 1068, as most recently amended by EPA in 2011.64 CARB states that the amendments correct clerical errors, standardize measurement specifications, calibrations, and instrumentation, remove unnecessarily burdensome reporting requirements, and provide additional compliance flexibility options without sacrificing air quality benefits.65 The 2011 Tier 4 amendments dealt with three specific areas: (1) Modifications to Tier 4 off-road CI exhaust emission standards; (2) updated test procedures; and (3) amendments that maintain needed differences between California and EPA Nonroad CI programs.

    64Id. at 13.

    65Id.

    1. Modifications to Tier 4 Off-Road CI Exhaust Emission Standards

    The 2011 Tier 4 amendments aligned with the federal alternate combined oxides of nitrogen and non-methane hydrocarbons (ALT NOX + NMHC) standards and the corresponding family emission limit (FEL) caps for Tier 4 engines ranging from 56 kW through 560 kW.66 The amendments corrected clerical errors that unintentionally limited the years of applicability for several alternative FEL caps erroneously identified in the regulations and test procedures. The California Tier 4 Off-Road CI regulation and the federal Tier 4 nonroad CI regulation allowed engine manufacturers to continue producing a small number of Tier 3 off-road CI engines using emission credits after the Tier 4 standards began.67 However, both the original EPA and California regulations inadvertently hindered manufacturers from using these certification allowances because the Tier 4 averaging programs did not allow manufacturers to show compliance with the existing 0.19 g/kW-hr NMHC standard using credits. To correct this, the 2011 Tier 4 amendments establish new Tier 4 alternative combined NOX + NMHC standards for off-road CI engines that align with the amendments to EPA's nonroad CI regulation in 2007, which similarly provides manufacturers the option to use credits to show compliance with the new alternative NOX + NMHC standards for engines ranging from 56 kW through 560 kW.68 The 2011 Tier 4 amendments also revise the start dates for the ALT 20% NOX FEL caps to correct an inconsistency in a regulatory table regarding the period of applicability for certifying engines to the ALT 20% NOX FEL caps that stated the period was only one or two years to the correct four-year period.69

    66Id.

    67Id.

    68Id.

    69Id. at 14.

    2. Updated Test Procedures

    The 2011 Tier 4 amendments primarily revise California's Tier 4 off-road CI engine test procedures to align them with the modifications to the corresponding federal nonroad CI engine test procedures that have been enacted by EPA since 2005 to improve the accuracy and precision of the measurement and reporting of emissions data. The new California off-road CI engine test procedures are comprised of three separate documents that largely incorporate provisions of the federal test procedures contained in 40 CFR parts 1039, 1065, and 1068, but that also incorporate several California-specific modifications.70

    70Id.

    The 2011 Tier 4 amendments incorporate EPA's June 28, 2011 modifications to Part 1039 into the new test procedure entitled “California Exhaust Emission Standards and Test Procedures for New 2011 and Later Tier 4 Off-Road Compression Ignition Engines, Part I-D”. Included among the alignments are modification of the criterion for selecting engine families regarding engine cylinder arrangement (§ 1039.230(b)(7)), removal of unnecessary and/or redundant labeling and notification instructions regarding the equipment manufacturer flexibility program (§ 1039.625), correction of clerical errors that inadvertently elevated the minimum standard for equipment flexibility engines beyond that originally intended (§ 1039.625(e)(3)), and clarification regarding the rounding of Averaging, Banking, and Trading credits (§ 1039.705(b)).71

    71Id. at 15.

    The 2011 Tier 4 amendments deleted CARB's existing CA-Part 1065-based test procedures and created a brand-new version in Part I-E based solely on CARB's modifications to EPA's 40 CFR 1065 as it existed on June 28, 2011.72 The California alignments with 40 CFR 1065 included in the 2011 Tier 4 amendments are provisions for using and calculating an optional declared speed value (§ 1065.510(f)(3)(i)), and provisions regarding the standardization of calculating exhaust restriction set points (§ 1065.130(h)).73

    72Id.

    73Id.

    The 2011 Tier 4 amendments incorporate EPA's modifications to 40 CFR part 1068 into the new test procedure entitled “California Exhaust Emission Standards and Test Procedures for New 2011 and Later Tier 4 Off-Road Compression Ignition Engines, Part I-F”. The 2011 Tier 4 amendments included alignments regarding allowance for distributors to replace incorrect labels prior to sale of the engine to an ultimate purchaser (§ 1068.101(b)(7)(i)(D)), incorporation of provisions related to the duration and applicability of Executive Orders (§ 1068.103(c)), incorporation and clarification of anti-stockpiling provisions (§ 1068.103 and 105), revisions to the label content for replacement engines (§ 1068.240), clarification of the provisions for shipping engines independently of required after treatment and for delegated final assembly (§ 1068.260 and 261), clarification that defect reporting applies only to regulated pollutants and revision of thresholds for filing reports (§ 1068.501), and incorporation of the federal definition for “Date of Manufacture” (§ 1068.801).74

    74Id. at 16.

    The 2011 Tier 4 amendments also included a new section that establishes an anti-stockpiling provision that is consistent with recently added federal provisions in 40 CFR 1068.103 and 1068.105 which address intentional over-production of engines prior to a year in which a change in the emissions standards occur.75 The new section makes clear that manufacturers cannot deviate from normal production and inventory practices to circumvent the regulations.76

    75Id.

    76Id.

    3. Amendments That Maintain Needed Differences Between California and EPA Nonroad CI Programs

    The 2011 Tier 4 amendments also maintain differences from the federal provisions that are needed to support California's unique air quality programs. These differences primarily consist of documentation requirements. CARB states that none of the differences present any technical obstacles for off-road engine manufacturers.77 The differences include: enhanced emissions control labeling beyond that required on federal labels to include information such as the certification power category or an explicit designation of the emissions tier to which the engine conforms; removing the prior assurance to manufacturers that preliminary approvals of certification will not usually be reversed absent the discovery of new information contrary to the findings that resulted in the preliminary approval; not exempting a small number of replacement engines from engine labeling requirements; and not incorporating EPA's amended definitions of “engine,” which define an engine to be an engine block with an installed crankshaft and “partially complete engine” as defined in 40 CFR 1068.30 and 1068.240.78

    77Id. at 17.

    78Id. at 17, 18.

    C. California's 2011 Certification Test Fuel Amendments

    The 2011 Certification Test Fuel amendments modify the certification test fuel requirements for off-road SI, gasoline-fueled engines to allow the use of 10-percent ethanol-blend of gasoline (E10) as a certification fuel.79 The use of the E10 certification test fuel is allowed as an option for certification exhaust emission testing of new gasoline-fueled LSI, SORE, OHRV, and Recreational Marine off-road categories from the 2013 through the 2019 model years, and is mandatory for certification exhaust emission testing of these categories beginning with the 2020 model year.80 The 2011 Certification Test Fuel amendments also provide manufacturers the option of using other renewable fuel blends that have been certified by CARB as yielding test results equivalent to, or more stringent than those resulting from E10, and which are appropriate for the certification of small off-road engines beginning with the 2013 model year.81 The amendments maintain test fuel consistency between on-road motor vehicles and most of the off-road categories and establish complete consistency between the off-road categories' certification test fuels and commercially available fuels.82

    79Id. at 18.

    80Id.

    81Id.

    82Id.

    D. Within-the-Scope Analysis

    California requested that the Administrator confirm that the 2011 Amendments detailed above are within the scope of previously granted authorizations.83 California asserted that all three sets of 2011 amendments met all three within-the-scope criteria, i.e. that the amendments: (1) Do not undermine the original protectiveness determination underlying California's regulations; (2) do not affect the consistency of the regulations with section 202(a); and (3) do not raise any new issues affecting the prior authorizations.84 We received no adverse comments or evidence suggesting a within-the-scope analysis is inappropriate, or that any of the three sets of 2011 amendments fail to meet any of the three criteria for within-the-scope confirmation.

    83 This request excluded the amendment that establishes the Tier 4 alternative NOx + NMHC standards for off-road CI engines because this amendment will only be utilized by manufacturers that have accumulated emission credits. Such standards do not constitute mandatory compliance requirements, but instead provide a compliance alternative and do not require authorization. See Motor and Equipment Mfrs. Ass'n, Inc. v. Environmental Protection Agency (MEMA II), 627 F.2d 1128, 1132 (D.C. Cir. 1979)(a regulatory compliance option is only a mandate that can result in a denial of a waiver if the regulation does not specify another technically feasible compliance option.)

    84Id. at 21.

    In regard to the first within-the-scope criterion, CARB found that the 2011 Amendments did not cause the California emissions standards, in the aggregate, to be less protective of public health and welfare than applicable federal standards. California asserts their protectiveness determination is not arbitrary or capricious, and that the elements of the 2011 Amendments do not affect the stringency of the previously authorized SORE or Tier 4 Off-Road CI emission standards and associated test procedures, or the other regulations and test procedures affected by these amendments (LSI, Recreational Marine, and OHRV).85 CARB asserts that, therefore, the subject regulations and test procedures continue to be at least as protective of public health and welfare as the federal nonroad emissions standards and test procedures.

    85Id.

    Based on the record before us and in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, we cannot find that California's protectiveness determination regarding the implementation of 2011 Amendments is arbitrary or capricious.

    In regard to the second within-the-scope criterion, the 2011 Amendments do not attempt to regulate new motor vehicles or motor vehicles engines and so are consistent with section 209(a). They likewise did not attempt to regulate any of the permanently preempted engines or vehicles, and so are consistent with section 209(e)(1). Finally, they did not cause any technological feasibility issues for manufacturers or cause inconsistency between state and federal test procedures, per section 209(b)(1)(C). No manufacturer raised technical feasibility or lead time concerns regarding the 2011 Amendments.86 Additionally, the 2011 Amendments are later than EPA's corresponding amendments to the federal nonroad regulations and associated test procedures. Given these facts, EPA cannot find that the 2011 Amendments are not technically feasible or do not provide sufficient lead time.87 CARB enacted the 2011 Amendments at the behest of manufacturers who had already implemented modifications to their emissions facilities that are required by EPA's corresponding amendments to the federal nonroad regulations. No technical feasibility or lead time concerns were raised regarding the elements of the 2011 Certification Test Fuel amendments either.88 These amendments establish complete consistency between the certification and the commercially available fuels for off-road engines subject to California's SORE, LSI, Recreational Marine, and OHRV regulations.89 Manufacturers of off-road spark-ignition, gasoline-fueled engines have needed to account for the usage of E10 in their engines since December 31, 2009, and those engines have been capable of being emissions tested using E10 by that date, which precedes the 2020 model-year requirement to use E10 by ten years.90

    86Id. at 22.

    87Id.

    88Id.

    89Id. at 23.

    90Id.

    The 2011 Amendments present no issue of incompatibility between California and federal test procedures, as they essentially harmonize California's test procedures associated with the SORE, Off-Road CI Engine, LSI, Recreational Marine, and OHRV regulations with the corresponding federal test procedures. The corresponding federal regulations for such engines have already designated E10 as a test fuel for exhaust emissions testing, so the amendments do not impose inconsistent certification requirements so as to make manufacturers unable to meet both California and federal requirements with one test vehicle or engine.91

    91Id.

    In regard to the third within-the-scope criterion, California stated that it is not aware of any new issues presented by the 2011 Amendments that affect the previously granted authorizations for the SORE, Off-Road CI Engine, LSI, Recreational Marine, or OHRV regulations, and EPA has received no evidence to the contrary.92 We therefore do not find any new issues raised by the amendments.

    92Id.

    Having received no contrary evidence regarding these amendments, we find that California has met the three criteria for a within-the-scope authorization approval, and the 2011 Amendments are confirmed as within the scope of previous EPA authorizations of California's SORE, Off-Road CI Engine, LSI, Recreational Marine, or OHRV regulations.

    III. Decision

    The Administrator has delegated the authority to grant California section 209(e) authorizations to the Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation. After evaluating the 2011 amendments to CARB's SORE regulations, Tier 4 Off-Road CI regulations, and Exhaust Emission Certification Test Fuel for Off-Road Spark-Ignition Engines, Equipment, and Vehicles regulations described above and CARB's submissions for EPA review, EPA is taking the following actions.

    First, EPA confirms that California's 2011 amendments modifying its SORE regulations is within the scope of prior authorizations. Second, EPA confirms that California's amendment modifying its Tier 4 Off-Road CI regulations is within the scope of prior authorizations. Third, EPA confirms that California's amendment modifying its Exhaust Emission Certification Test Fuel for Off-Road Spark-Ignition Engines, Equipment, and Vehicles regulations is within the scope of prior authorizations.

    This decision will affect persons in California and those manufacturers and/or owners/operators nationwide who must comply with California's requirements. In addition, because other states may adopt California's standards for which a section 209(e)(2)(A) authorization has been granted if certain criteria are met, this decision would also affect those states and those persons in such states. See CAA section 209(e)(2)(B). For these reasons, EPA determines and finds that this is a final action of national applicability, and also a final action of nationwide scope or effect for purposes of section 307(b)(1) of the Act. Pursuant to section 307(b)(1) of the Act, judicial review of this final action may be sought only in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Petitions for review must be filed by February 9, 2016. Judicial review of this final action may not be obtained in subsequent enforcement proceedings, pursuant to section 307(b)(2) of the Act.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    As with past authorization and waiver decisions, this action is not a rule as defined by Executive Order 12866. Therefore, it is exempt from review by the Office of Management and Budget as required for rules and regulations by Executive Order 12866.

    In addition, this action is not a rule as defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601(2). Therefore, EPA has not prepared a supporting regulatory flexibility analysis addressing the impact of this action on small business entities.

    Further, the Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801, et seq., as added by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, does not apply because this action is not a rule for purposes of 5 U.S.C. 804(3).

    Dated: December 1, 2015. Janet G. McCabe, Acting Assistant Administrator, Office of Air and Radiation.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31189 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9939-86-OARM] Request for Nominations to the National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT) AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for nominations.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) invites nominations to fill vacancies on its National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT). The Agency seeks nominees from a diverse range of qualified candidates representing the following sectors: Academia; state, local, and tribal governments; business and industry; and, non-governmental organizations. Potential vacancies are anticipated to be filled in April, 2016. Sources in addition to this Federal Register notice may be utilized in the solicitation of nominees.

    DATES:

    Nomination packages must be emailed or postmarked no later than January 15, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Nomination packages may be mailed to: Eugene Green, Designated Federal Officer, Office of Diversity, Advisory Committee Management, and Outreach, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1601M), 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Eugene Green, Designated Federal Officer, U.S. EPA; telephone (202) 564-2432; fax (202) 564-8129; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT) is a federal advisory committee chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), Public Law 92-463. EPA established NACEPT in 1988 to provide advice to the EPA Administrator on a broad range of environmental policy, management and technology issues. Members serve as representatives from academia, industry, non-governmental organizations, and state, local, and tribal governments. Members are appointed by the EPA Administrator for two year terms. The Council usually meets 2-3 times annually face-to-face or via video/teleconference and the average workload for the members is approximately 10 to 15 hours per month. Members serve on the Council in a voluntary capacity. However, EPA provides reimbursement for travel and incidental expenses associated with official government business. EPA is seeking nominations from candidates representing all sectors noted above. Within these sectors, EPA is seeking nominees with a strong background in citizen science, crowd source monitoring and technologies, community sustainability, environmental justice and economic initiatives, ecology and biodiversity, public health, social science, and environmental policy and management.

    Nominees will be considered according to the mandates of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), which requires committees to maintain diversity across a broad range of constituencies, sectors, groups, and geographical locations. EPA values and welcomes diversity. In an effort to obtain nominations of diverse candidates, EPA encourages nominations from women and men of all racial and ethnic groups, as well as persons with disabilities. Please note that interested candidates may self-nominate.

    The following criteria will be used to evaluate nominees:

    —Professional knowledge of environmental policy, management, and technology issues, particularly issues dealing with all facets of citizen science. —Demonstrated ability to assess and analyze environmental challenges with objectivity and integrity. —Middle/Senior-level leadership experience that fills a current need on the Council. —Excellent interpersonal, oral and written communication skills, and consensus-building skills. —Ability to volunteer approximately 10 to 15 hours per month to the Council's activities, including participation in face-to-face meetings, video/teleconference meetings and preparation of documents for the Council's reports and advice letters.

    EPA's policy is that, unless otherwise prescribed by statute, members generally are appointed to two year terms.

    Prospective candidates interested in being considered for an appointment to serve on the Council, should submit the following items to process your nomination package: Nomination packages must include a brief statement of interest, resume, or curriculum vitae, and a short biography (no more than two paragraphs) describing your professional and educational qualifications, including a list of relevant activities and any current or previous service on advisory committees. The statement of interest, resume, curriculum vitae, and short biography should include the candidate's full name, name and address of current organization, position title, email address, and daytime telephone number(s).

    In preparing your statement of interest, please describe how your background, knowledge, and experience will bring value to the work of the committee, and how these qualifications would contribute to the overall diversity of the Council. Also, be sure to describe any previous involvement with the Agency through employment, grant funding and/or contracting sources.

    To help the Agency in evaluating the effectiveness of its outreach efforts, also tell us how you learned of this opportunity in your statement of interest (cover letter). Please be aware that EPA's policy is that candidates representing academia and tribal governments/communities must also provide a letter from the entity, authorizing the nominee to represent the points of view as demonstrated by that specific entity or group (such as a college/university or tribal government/community) that has an interest in the subject matter under the committee's charge.

    Anyone interested in being considered for nomination is encouraged to submit a nomination (application) package by the submission deadline on January 15, 2016. Nomination packages may be mailed to: Eugene Green, Designated Federal Officer, Office of Diversity, Advisory Committee Management, and Outreach, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1601M), 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460.

    To expedite the process, it is preferable to submit the nomination package with the required information/documents electronically to [email protected] Please reference: “NACEPT 2016 Membership Nomination Package for (candidate's name)” in the subject line.

    Dated: December 1, 2015. Eugene Green, Designated Federal Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31184 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [ER-FRL-9024-4] Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of Availability

    Responsible Agency: Office of Federal Activities, General Information (202) 564-7146 or http://www2.epa.gov/nepa

    Weekly receipt of Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) Filed 11/30/2015 Through 12/04/2015 Pursuant to 40 CFR 1506.9. Notice

    Section 309(a) of the Clean Air Act requires that EPA make public its comments on EISs issued by other Federal agencies. EPA's comment letters on EISs are available at: http://cdxnodengn.epa.gov/cdx-nepa-public/action/eis/search.

    EIS No. 20150343, Draft, NPS, AZ, Backcountry Management Plan Grand Canyon National Park, Comment Period Ends: 02/29/2016, Contact: Rachel Bennett 928-638-7326. EIS No. 20150344, Final, USFS, CA, Green-Horse Habitat Restoration and Maintenance Project, Review Period Ends: 01/25/2016, Contact: Jason Fallon 530-275-1587. EIS No. 20150345, Final, FHWA, NC, US 70 Havelock Bypass, Review Period Ends: 01/11/2016, Contact: Clarence Coleman 919-747-7014. EIS No. 20150346, Draft, OSM, TN, North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area, Tennessee Lands Unsuitable for Mining, Comment Period Ends: 01/25/2016, Contact: Earl Bandy 865-545-4103 ext. 130. EIS No. 20150347, Final, FERC, CA, Merced River and Merced Falls Hydroelectric Projects, Review Period Ends: 01/11/2016, Contact: Matt Buhyoff 202-502-6824. EIS No. 20150348, Final, Caltrans, CA, Centennial Corridor Project, Review Period Ends: 01/11/2016, Contact: Jennifer Taylor 888-404-6375. EIS No. 20150349, Draft, USFWS, REG, National Wildlife Refuge System Revision of Regulations Governing Non-Federal Oil and Gas Activities, Comment Period Ends: 02/09/2016, Contact: Scott Covington 703-358-2427. Amended Notices EIS No. 20150207, Draft, DOE, NH, Northern Pass Transmission Line Project, Comment Period Ends: 04/04/2016, Contact: Brian Mills 202-586-8267; Revision to FR Notice Published 10/09/2015; Extending Comment Period from 12/31/2015 to 04/04/2016; Revision to the FR Notice published 11/27/2015; EIS No. 20150327 is hereby attached as an addendum to this Draft EIS. EIS No. 20150277, Draft, USFS, WA, LeClerc Creek Grazing Allotment Management Planning, Comment Period Ends: 11/16/2015, Contact: Gayne Sears 509-447-7300; Revision to the FR Notice Published 10/30/2015; Extending Comment Period from 11/16/2015 to 12/16/2015. EIS No. 20150302, Draft, NPS, WY, Moose-Wilson Corridor Draft Comprehensive Management Plan, Comment Period Ends: 01/30/2016, Contact: Chris Church 303-969-2276; Revision to the FR Notice Published 11/27/2015; Extending Comment Period from 01/15/2016 to 01/30/2016. EIS No. 20150327, Draft Supplement, DOE, NH, Northern Pass Transmission Line Project, Contact: Brian Mills 202-586-8267; Revision to FR Notice Published 11/27/2015; This document was erroneously filed as a supplement and should be an addendum to the Draft EIS. Therefore, this addendum will be combined with Draft EIS No. 20150207 to become one document. Dated: December 8, 2015. Dawn Roberts, Management Analyst, NEPA Compliance Division, Office of Federal Activities.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31312 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    EXPORT-IMPORT BANK OF THE UNITED STATES [Public Notice 2015-3012] Agency Information Collection Activities: Final Collection; Comment Request; Form Title: EIB 09-01 Payment Default Report OMB 3048-0028 AGENCY:

    Export-Import Bank of the U.S.

    ACTION:

    Submission for OMB review and comments request.

    SUMMARY:

    The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), as a part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal Agencies to comment on the proposed information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This collection allows insured/guaranteed parties and insurance brokers to report overdue payments from the borrower and/or guarantor. Ex-Im Bank customers will submit this form electronically through Ex-Im Online, replacing paper reporting. Ex-Im Bank has simplified reporting of payment defaults in this form by including checkboxes and providing for many fields to be self-populated. Ex-Im Bank provides insurance, loans, and guarantees for the financing of exports of goods and services.

    The form can be viewed at: http://www.exim.gov/sites/default/files/tools/credit_admin/EIB-09-01.pdf.

    DATES:

    Comments should be received on or before January 11, 2016 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSESES:

    Comments may be submitted electronically on WWW.REGULATIONS.GOV or by mail to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20038, Attn: OMB 3048-0028.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Stacy Lee, Export Import Bank, 811 Vermont Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20571.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Titles and Form Number: EIB 09-01, Payment Default Report.

    OMB Number: 3048-0028.

    Type of Review: Regular.

    Need and Use: The information requested enables insured/guaranteed parties and insurance brokers to report overdue payments from the borrower and/or guarantor.

    Affected Public: Insured/guaranteed parties and brokers.

    Annual Number of Respondents: 200.

    Estimated Time per Respondent: 15 minutes.

    Government Review Time: 50 hours.

    Cost to the Government: $2,000.

    Bonita Jones-McNeil, Program Analyst, Agency Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31170 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6690-01-P
    EXPORT-IMPORT BANK OF THE UNITED STATES [Public Notice: 2015-3011] Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request AGENCY:

    Export-Import Bank of the United States.

    ACTION:

    Submission for OMB review and comments request.

    Form Title: EIB 05-01 Marketing Fax Back Response Form.

    SUMMARY:

    The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), as a part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal Agencies to comment on the proposed information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    The Marketing Fax Back Response Form is used to collect basic information on United States companies. This information will be provided the Export Import Bank's financial consultants nationwide and will be used to provide assistance to exporters.

    The form may be viewed at www.exim.gov/pub/pending/eib05-01.pdf Marketing Fax Back Response Forms.

    DATES:

    Comments should be received on or before January 11, 2016 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted electronically on WWW.REGULATIONS.GOV or by mail to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20038, Attn: OMB 3048-0029.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title and Form Number: EIB 05-01 Marketing Fax Back Response Form.

    OMB Number: 3048-0029.

    Type of Review: Regular.

    Need and Use: The Marketing Fax Back Response Form is used to collect basic information on United States companies. This information will be provided to the Export-Import Bank's financial consultants nationwide to assist in providing counsel to exporters.

    Affected Public:

    This form affects entities involved in the export of U.S. goods and services.

    Annual Number of Respondents: 500.

    Estimated Time per Respondent: 5 minutes.

    Annual Burden Hours: 42 hours.

    Frequency of Reporting of Use: Once per year.

    Government Expenses:

    Reviewing time per year: 25 hours.

    Average Wages per Hour: $42.50.

    Average Cost per Year: $1,062.5. (time*wages)

    Benefits and Overhead: 20%.

    Total Government Cost: $ 1,275.

    Bonita Jones-McNeil, Program Analyst, Agency Clearance Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31175 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6690-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-1042] Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection. Comments are requested concerning: whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before February 9, 2016. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control No.: 3060-1042.

    Title: Request for Technical Support—Help Request Form.

    Form No.: N/A—Electronic only.

    Type of Review: Extension of currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Individuals or household; business or other for-profit; not-for-profit institutions; and state, local or tribal government.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 36,300 respondents and 36,300 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 8 minutes (0.14 hours).

    Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirement and recordkeeping requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits.

    Total Annual Burden: 5,082 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: $609,840.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: Possible Impacts.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: In general there is no need for confidentiality. On a case by case basis, the Commission may be required to withhold from disclosure certain information about the location, character, or ownership of a historic property, including traditional religious sites.

    Needs and Uses: The Commission will submit this collection as an extension (no change in frequency of recordkeeping or reporting requirements) to the OMB after this 60 day comment period to obtain the full three-year clearance from them.

    The FCC's maintains Internet software used by the public to apply for licenses, participate in auctions for spectrum, and maintain license information. In this mission, FCC has a `help desk' that answers questions related to these systems as well as resetting and/or issuing user passwords for access to these systems. The form currently is available on the Web site https://esupport.fcc.gov/request.htm under OMB Control Number 3060-1042. This form will continue to substantially decrease public and staff burden since all the information needed to facilitate a support request will be submitted in a standard format but be available to a wider audience. This eliminates or at least minimizes the need to follow-up with the customers to obtain all the information necessary to respond to their request. This form also helps presort requests into previously defined categories to all staff to respond more quickly.

    Federal Communications Commission. Gloria J. Miles, Federal Register Liaison Officer. Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31291 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-1209] Information Collection Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and Budget AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be submitted on or before January 11, 2016. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contacts below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Nicholas A. Fraser, OMB, via email [email protected]; and to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected] Include in the comments the OMB control number as shown in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information or copies of the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918. To view a copy of this information collection request (ICR) submitted to OMB: (1) Go to the Web page http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain, (2) look for the section of the Web page called “Currently Under Review,” (3) click on the downward-pointing arrow in the “Select Agency” box below the “Currently Under Review” heading, (4) select “Federal Communications Commission” from the list of agencies presented in the “Select Agency” box, (5) click the “Submit” button to the right of the “Select Agency” box, (6) when the list of FCC ICRs currently under review appears, look for the OMB control number of this ICR and then click on the ICR Reference Number. A copy of the FCC submission to OMB will be displayed.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 3060-1209.

    Title: Section 73.1216, Licensee-Conducted Contests.

    Form Number: None. (Complaints alleging violations of the Contest Rule generally are filed on via the Commission's Consumer Complaint Portal entitled General Complaints, Obscenity or Indecency Complaints, Complaints under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, Slamming Complaints, Requests for Dispute Assistance and Communications Accessibility Complaints which is approved under OMB control number 3060-0874).

    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities; Not-for-profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 20,732 respondents; 20,732 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.1-9 hours.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirement: Third party disclosure requirement and recordkeeping requirement.

    Total Annual Burden: 122,854 hours.

    Total Annual Costs: $6,219,300.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this collection of information is contained in Sections 1, 4 and 303 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Privacy Impact Assessment(s): No impact(s).

    Needs and Uses: The Commission adopted the Contest Rule in 1976 to address concerns about the manner in which broadcast stations were conducting contests over the air. The Contest Rule generally requires stations to broadcast material contest terms fully and accurately the first time the audience is told how to participate in a contest, and periodically thereafter. In addition, stations must conduct contests substantially as announced. These information collection requirements are necessary to ensure that broadcast licensees conduct contests with due regard for the public interest.

    On September 17, 2015, by Report and Order, FCC 15-118, the Commission amended the Contest Rule to permit broadcasters to meet their obligation to disclose contest material terms on an Internet Web site in lieu of making broadcast announcements. Under the amended Contest Rule, broadcasters are required to (i) announce the relevant Internet Web site address on air the first time the audience is told about the contest and periodically thereafter; (ii) disclose the material contest terms fully and accurately on a publicly accessible Internet Web site, establishing a link or tab to such terms through a link or tab on the announced Web site's home page, and ensure that any material terms disclosed on such a Web site conform in all substantive respects to those mentioned over the air; (iii) maintain contest material terms online for at least thirty days after the contest has ended; and (v) announce on air that the material terms of a contest have changed (where that is the case) within 24 hours of the change in terms on a Web site, and periodically thereafter, and to direct consumers to the Web site to review the changes.

    Federal Communications Commission. Gloria J. Miles, Federal Register Liaison Officer. Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31292 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0010] Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before February 9, 2016. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0010.

    Title: Ownership Report for Commercial Broadcast Stations, FCC Form 323.

    Form Number: FCC Form 323.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for profit entities; not-for-profit institutions; State, Local or Tribal Governments.

    Number of Respondents/Responses: 9,250 respondents; 9,250 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 2.5 hours to 4.5 hours.

    Frequency of Response: Recordkeeping requirement; on occasion reporting requirement; biennially reporting requirement.

    Total Annual Burden: 38,125 hours.

    Total Annual Costs: $26,940,000.

    Nature of Response: Required to obtain or retain benefits. Statutory authority for this collection of information is contained in Sections 154(i), 303, 310 and 533 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: Form 323 collects two types of information from respondents: Personal information in the form of names, addresses, job titles and demographic information; and FCC Registration Numbers (FRNs).

    The system of records notice (SORN), FCC/MB-1, “Ownership Report for Commercial Broadcast Stations,” which was approved on December 21, 2009 (74 FR 59978) covers the collection, purposes(s), storage, safeguards, and disposal of the PII that individual respondents may submit on FCC Form 323. FCC Form 323 is drafting a privacy statement to inform applicants (respondents) of the Commission's need to obtain the information and the protections that the FCC has in place to protect the PII.

    FRNs are assigned to applicants who complete FCC Form 160 (OMB Control No. 3060-0917). Form 160 requires applicants for FRNs to provide their Taxpayer Information Number (TIN) and/or Social Security Number (SSN). The FCC's electronic CORES Registration System then provides each registrant with a FCC Registration Number (FRN), which identifies the registrant in his/her subsequent dealings with the FCC. This is done to protect the individual's privacy. The Commission maintains a SORN, FCC/OMD-9, “Commission Registration System (CORES)” to cover the collection, purpose(s), storage, safeguards, and disposal of the PII that individual respondents may submit on FCC Form 160. FCC Form 160 includes a privacy statement to inform applicants (respondents) of the Commission's need to obtain the information and the protections that the FCC has in place to protect the PII.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: The Commission is drafting a Privacy Impact Assessment for the PII that is covered by FCC/MB-1 SORN. Upon completion of the PIA, it will be posted on the FCC Web page, as required by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memorandum, M-03-22 (September 22, 2003).

    Needs and Uses: Licensees of commercial AM, FM, and full power television broadcast stations, as well as licensees of Class A and Low Power Television stations must file FCC Form 323 every two years. Ownership Reports shall provide information accurate as of October 1 of the year in which the Report is filed. Thereafter, the Form shall be filed biennially beginning November 1, 2011, and every two years thereafter.

    Also, Licensees and Permittees of commercial AM, FM, or full power television stations must file Form 323 following the consummation of a transfer of control or an assignment of a commercial AM, FM, or full power television station license or construction permit; a Permittee of a new commercial AM, FM or full power television broadcast station must file Form 323 within 30 days after the grant of the construction permit; and a Permittee of a new commercial AM, FM, or full power television broadcast station must file Form 323 to update the initial report or to certify the continuing accuracy and completeness of the previously filed report on the date that the Permittee applies for a license to cover the construction permit.

    In the case of organizational structures that include holding companies or other forms of indirect ownership, a separate FCC Form 323 must be filed for each entity in the organizational structure that has an attributable interest in the Licensee if the filing is a nonbiennial filing or a reportable interest in the Licensee if the filing is a biennial filing.

    We are requesting the three year extension of this information collection.

    Federal Communications Commission. Gloria J. Miles, Federal Register Liaison Officer. Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31295 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0170, 3060-0171 and 3060-0688] Information Collections Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission Under Delegated Authority AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection. Comments are requested concerning: whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before February 9, 2016. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0170.

    Title: Section 73.1030, Notifications Concerning Interference to Radio Astronomy, Research and Receiving Installations.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Businesses or other for-profit entities.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 57 respondents; 57 responses.

    Estimated Hours per Response: 0.5 hours.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirement; Third party disclosure requirement.

    Total Annual Cost: $14,250.

    Total Annual Burden: 29 hours.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this collection is contained in Section 154(i) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is need for confidentiality required with this collection of information.

    Privacy Impact Assessment(s): No impact(s).

    Needs and Uses: 47 CFR 73.1030 states in order to minimize harmful interference at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory site located at Green, Pocahontas County, West Virginia, and at the Naval Radio Research Observatory at Sugar Grove, Pendleton County, West Virginia, a licensee proposing to operate a short-term broadcast auxiliary station pursuant to § 74.24, and any applicant for authority to construct a new broadcast station, or for authority to make changes in the frequency, power, antenna height, or antenna directivity of an existing station within the area bounded by 39°15′ N. on the north, 78°30′ W. on the east, 37°30′ N. on the south, and 80°30′ W. on the west, shall notify the Interference Office, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, P.O. Box 2, Green Bank, West Virginia 24944. Telephone: (304) 456-2011. The notification shall be in writing and set forth the particulars of the proposed station, including the geographical coordinates of the antenna, antenna height, antenna directivity if any, proposed frequency, type of emission and power. The notification shall be made prior to, or simultaneously with, the filing of the application with the Commission. After receipt of such applications, the FCC will allow a period of 20 days for comments or objections in response to the notifications indicated. If an objection to the proposed operation is received during the 20-day period from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory for itself, or on behalf of the Naval Radio Research Observatory, the FCC will consider all aspects of the problem and take whatever action is deemed appropriate.

    (2) Any applicant for a new permanent base or fixed station authorization to be located on the islands of Puerto Rico, Desecheo, Mona, Vieques, and Culebra, or for a modification of an existing authorization which would change the frequency, power, antenna height, directivity, or location of a station on these islands and would increase the likelihood of the authorized facility causing interference, shall notify the Interference Office, Arecibo Observatory, HC3 Box 53995, Arecibo, Puerto Rico 00612, in writing or electronically, of the technical parameters of the proposal. Applicants may wish to consult interference guidelines, which will be provided by Cornell University. Applicants who choose to transmit information electronically should email to: [email protected]

    (i) The notification to the Interference Office, Arecibo Observatory shall be made prior to, or simultaneously with, the filing of the application with the Commission. The notification shall state the geographical coordinates of the antenna (NAD-83 datum), antenna height above ground, ground elevation at the antenna, antenna directivity and gain, proposed frequency and FCC Rule Part, type of emission, and effective radiated power.

    (ii) After receipt of such applications, the Commission will allow the Arecibo Observatory a period of 20 days for comments or objections in response to the notification indicated. The applicant will be required to make reasonable efforts to resolve or mitigate any potential interference problem with the Arecibo Observatory and to file either an amendment to the application or a modification application, as appropriate. The Commission shall determine whether an applicant has satisfied its responsibility to make reasonable efforts to protect the Observatory from interference.

    OMB Number: 3060-0171.

    Title: Section 73.1125, Station Main Studio Location.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 72 respondents; 72 responses.

    Estimated Hours per Response: 0.5 to 2 hours.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirement.

    Total Annual Burden: 135 hours.

    Annual Burden Cost: $111,870.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this collection of information 154(i) and 307(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Needs and Uses: 47 CFR 73.1125(d)(1) requires AM, FM or TV licensees to notify the Commission when the main studio is relocated and from a point outside the locations specified in Section 73.1125(a) or (c) to one within those locations.

    47 CFR 73.1125(d)(2) requires licensees to receive written authority to locate a main studio outside the locations specified in paragraph (a) or (c) of this section for the first time must be obtained from the Audio Division, Media Bureau for AM and FM stations, or the Video Division for TV and Class A television stations before the studio may be moved to that location. Where the main studio is already authorized at a location outside those specified in paragraph (a) or (c) of this section, and the licensee or permittee desires to specify a new location also located outside those locations, written authority must also be received from the Commission prior to the relocation of the main studio. Authority for these changes may be requested by filing a letter with an explanation of the proposed changes with the appropriate division. Licensees or permittees should also be aware that the filing of such a letter request does not imply approval of the relocation request, because each request is addressed on a case-by-case basis. A filing fee is required for commercial AM, FM, TV or Class A TV licensees or permittees filing a letter request under the section (see Sec. 1.1104 of this chapter).

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0688.

    Title: Abbreviated Cost-of-Service Filing for Cable Network Upgrades, FCC Form 1235.

    Form Number: FCC Form 1235.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business and other for-profit entities; State, local or tribal governments.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 50 respondents; 25 responses.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirement; Third party disclosure requirement.

    Estimated Hours per Response: 10-20 hours.

    Total Annual Burden: 750 hours.

    Total Annual Costs: None.

    Obligation To Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this information collection is contained in Section 154(i) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Privacy Assessment: No impact(s).

    Needs and Uses: FCC Form 1235 is an abbreviated cost of service filing for significant network upgrades that allows cable operators to justify rate increases related to capital expenditures used to improve rate-regulated cable services. FCC Form 1235 is filed following the end of the month in which upgraded cable services become available and are providing benefits to subscribers. In addition, FCC Form 1235 can be filed for pre-approval any time prior to the upgrade services becoming available to subscribers using projected upgrade costs. If the pre-approval option is exercised, the operator must file the form again following the end of the month in which upgraded cable services become available and are providing benefits to customers of regulated services, using actual costs where applicable.

    Federal Communications Commission. Gloria J. Miles, Federal Register Liaison Officer,Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31294 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0188] Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission Under Delegated Authority AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before February 9, 2016. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0188.

    Title: Call Sign Reservation and Authorization System, FCC Form 380.

    Form Number: FCC Form 380.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit, Not-for-profit institutions; and State, local, or tribal government.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 1,600 respondents; 1,600 responses.

    Estimated Hours per Response: 0.166-0.25 hours.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirements.

    Total Annual Burden: 333 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: $162,000.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this collection is contained in Sections 154(i) and 303 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Nature and Extend of Confidentiality: There is need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Needs and Uses: 47 CFR 73.3550 provides that all requests for new or modified call signs be made via the on-line call sign reservation and authorization. The Commission uses an on-line system, FCC Form 380, for the electronic preparation and submission of requests for the reservation and authorization of new and modified call signs. Access to the call sign reservation and authorization system is made by broadcast licensees and permittees, or by persons acting on their behalf, via the Internet's World Wide Web. This on-line, electronic call sign system enables users to determine the availability and licensing status of call signs; to request an initial, or change an existing, call sign; and to determine and submit more easily the appropriate fee, if any. Because all elements necessary to make a valid call sign reservation are encompassed within the on-line system, this system prevents users from filing defective or incomplete call sign requests. The electronic system also provides greater certitude, as a selected call sign is effectively reserved as soon as the user has submitted its call sign request. This electronic call sign reservation and authorization system has significantly improved service to all radio and television broadcast station licensees and permittees.

    Federal Communications Commission. Gloria J. Miles, Federal Register Liaison Officer. Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31296 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0625] Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission Under Delegated Authority AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection. Comments are requested concerning: whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before February 9, 2016. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control No.: 3060-0625.

    Title: Section 24.103, Construction requirements.

    Form No.: N/A.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently-approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit, individuals or household, not-for-profit institutions, and state, local or tribal government.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 9 respondents and 17 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 3 hours.

    Frequency of Response: Recordkeeping requirement, On occasion reporting requirement, 5 and 10 year reporting requirements.

    Obligation to Respond: To ensure that licensees timely construct systems that either provide coverage to minimum geographic portions of their licensed areas, that provide service to minimum percentages of the population of those areas, or that, in the alternative, provide service that is sound, favorable, and substantially above a level of mediocre service that would barely warrant renewal.

    Total Annual Burden: 19 hours.

    Annual Cost Burden: $10,725.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: Yes.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There are no requests of a sensitive nature considered, or those considered a private matter, being sought from the applicants on this collection.

    Needs and Uses: Section 24.103 requires that certain narrowband PCS licensees notify Commission at specific benchmarks that they are in compliance with applicable construction requirements in order to ensure that these licensees quickly construct their systems and that, with those systems, they provide, within their respective licensed areas: coverage to minimum geographic areas, service to minimum percentages of the population, or “substantial service” within ten years after license grant. The Commission is not currently collecting information from narrowband PCS licensees under Section 24.103 and does not expect to do so during the three year period for which it seeks extension of its current collection authority under that section. However, following the future auction of new narrowband PCS licenses, the reporting and recordkeeping requirements under this section will be used to satisfy the Commission's rule that such licensees demonstrate compliance with these construction requirements by the 5 and 10 year benchmarks established upon the grant date of each license. Without this information, the Commission would not be able to carry out its statutory responsibilities.

    Federal Communications Commission. Gloria J. Miles, Federal Register Liaison Officer, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31293 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice of Termination; 10420 BankEast; Knoxville, Tennessee

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), as Receiver for 10420 BankEast, Knoxville, Tennessee (Receiver) has been authorized to take all actions necessary to terminate the receivership estate of BankEast (Receivership Estate); The Receiver has made all dividend distributions required by law.

    The Receiver has further irrevocably authorized and appointed FDIC-Corporate as its attorney-in-fact to execute and file any and all documents that may be required to be executed by the Receiver which FDIC-Corporate, in its sole discretion, deems necessary; including but not limited to releases, discharges, satisfactions, endorsements, assignments and deeds.

    Effective December 1, 2015 the Receivership Estate has been terminated, the Receiver discharged, and the Receivership Estate has ceased to exist as a legal entity.

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31286 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice of Termination, 10357 Rosemount National Bank, Rosemount, Minnesota

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), as Receiver for 10357 Rosemount National Bank, Rosemount, Minnesota (Receiver) has been authorized to take all actions necessary to terminate the receivership estate of Rosemount National Bank (Receivership Estate); The Receiver has made all dividend distributions required by law.

    The Receiver has further irrevocably authorized and appointed FDIC-Corporate as its attorney-in-fact to execute and file any and all documents that may be required to be executed by the Receiver which FDIC-Corporate, in its sole discretion, deems necessary; including but not limited to releases, discharges, satisfactions, endorsements, assignments and deeds.

    Effective December 1, 2015 the Receivership Estate has been terminated, the Receiver discharged, and the Receivership Estate has ceased to exist as a legal entity.

    Dated: December 8, 2015. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31285 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10169 St. Stephen State Bank, St. Stephen, Minnesota

    Notice is hereby given that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) as Receiver for St. Stephen State Bank, St. Stephen, Minnesota (“the Receiver”) intends to terminate its receivership for said institution. The FDIC was appointed receiver of St. Stephen State Bank on January 15, 2010. The liquidation of the receivership assets has been completed. To the extent permitted by available funds and in accordance with law, the Receiver will be making a final dividend payment to proven creditors.

    Based upon the foregoing, the Receiver has determined that the continued existence of the receivership will serve no useful purpose. Consequently, notice is given that the receivership shall be terminated, to be effective no sooner than thirty days after the date of this Notice. If any person wishes to comment concerning the termination of the receivership, such comment must be made in writing and sent within thirty days of the date of this Notice to: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Division of Resolutions and Receiverships, Attention: Receivership Oversight Department 34.6, 1601 Bryan Street, Dallas, TX 75201.

    No comments concerning the termination of this receivership will be considered which are not sent within this time frame.

    Dated: December 8, 2015. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31284 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice of Termination; 10479 Central Arizona Bank; Scottsdale, Arizona

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), as Receiver for 10479 Central Arizona Bank, Scottsdale, Arizona (Receiver) has been authorized to take all actions necessary to terminate the receivership estate of Central Arizona Bank (Receivership Estate); The Receiver has made all dividend distributions required by law.

    The Receiver has further irrevocably authorized and appointed FDIC-Corporate as its attorney-in-fact to execute and file any and all documents that may be required to be executed by the Receiver which FDIC-Corporate, in its sole discretion, deems necessary; including but not limited to releases, discharges, satisfactions, endorsements, assignments and deeds.

    Effective December 1, 2015 the Receivership Estate has been terminated, the Receiver discharged, and the Receivership Estate has ceased to exist as a legal entity.

    Dated: December 8, 2015. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31287 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice To All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10494 Syringa Bank, Boise, Idaho

    Notice is hereby given that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) as Receiver for Syringa Bank, Boise, Idaho (“the Receiver”) intends to terminate its receivership for said institution. The FDIC was appointed receiver of Syringa Bank on January 31, 2014. The liquidation of the receivership assets has been completed. To the extent permitted by available funds and in accordance with law, the Receiver will be making a final dividend payment to proven creditors.

    Based upon the foregoing, the Receiver has determined that the continued existence of the receivership will serve no useful purpose. Consequently, notice is given that the receivership shall be terminated, to be effective no sooner than thirty days after the date of this Notice. If any person wishes to comment concerning the termination of the receivership, such comment must be made in writing and sent within thirty days of the date of this Notice to: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Division of Resolutions and Receiverships, Attention: Receivership Oversight Department 34.6, 1601 Bryan Street, Dallas, TX 75201.

    No comments concerning the termination of this receivership will be considered which are not sent within this time frame.

    Dated: December 8, 2015. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31288 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meeting AGENCY HOLDING THE MEETING:

    Federal Maritime Commission.

    TIME AND DATE:

    December 16, 2015; 10:00 a.m.

    PLACE:

    800 N. Capitol Street NW., First Floor Hearing Room, Washington, DC.

    STATUS:

    The first portion of the meeting will be held in Open Session; the second in Closed Session.

    MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED:

    Open Session 1. Briefing by the Port of New York and New Jersey on the Port's Terminal Information Portal System (TIPS) 2. Briefing on U.S.-China Bilateral Discussions 3. Briefing on 2015 World Shipping Summit, Guangzhou, China 4. Alternative Dispute Resolution, Arbitration—Regulatory Review 5. Staff Briefing on the West Coast Marine Terminal Operator Agreement, FMC Agreement No. 201143 Closed Session 1. Staff Briefing on the West Coast Marine Terminal Operator Agreement, FMC Agreement No. 201143 CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION:

    Karen V. Gregory, Secretary, (202) 523-5725.

    Karen V. Gregory, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31414 Filed 12-9-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6731-AA-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company

    The notificants listed below have applied under the Change in Bank Control Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)) and § 225.41 of the Board's Regulation Y (12 CFR 225.41) to acquire shares of a bank or bank holding company. The factors that are considered in acting on the notices are set forth in paragraph 7 of the Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(7)).

    The notices are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The notices also will be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing to the Reserve Bank indicated for that notice or to the offices of the Board of Governors. Comments must be received not later than December 28, 2015.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis (Jacquelyn K. Brunmeier, Assistant Vice President) 90 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55480-0291:

    1. Brooks F. Burgum, Fargo, North Dakota, individually, and as a trustee of the Frederick W. Burgum-Katherine J. Burgum 2008 FFC GRAT, Fargo, North Dakota, and with Frederick W. Burgum, Arthur, North Dakota; and Katherine B. Itterman, Fargo, North Dakota, as members of the Burgum family control group; to retain voting shares of First Financial Corporation, and thereby indirectly retain voting shares of First State Bank of North Dakota, both in Arthur, North Dakota.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, December 8, 2015. Michael J. Lewandowski, Associate Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31271 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies; Correction

    This notice corrects a notice (FR Doc. 2015-30856) published on page 76287 of the issue for Tuesday, December 8, 2015.

    Under the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta heading, the entry for Seacoast Banking Corporation of Florida, Stuart, Florida, is revised to read as follows:

    1. CapGen Capital Group III LP, CapGen Capital Group III LLC, both in New York, New York, and Seacoast Banking Corporation of Florida, Stuart, Florida; to merge with Floridian Financial Group, Inc., Lake Mary, Florida, and thereby indirectly acquire Floridian Bank, Daytona Beach, Florida.

    Comments on this application must be received by January 4, 2016.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, December 8, 2015. Michael J. Lewandowski, Associate Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31270 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces the intention of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to request that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approve the proposed information collection project: “Developing a Registry of Registries.” In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3521, AHRQ invites the public to comment on this proposed information collection.

    This proposed information collection was previously published in the Federal Register on September 21st, 2015 and allowed 60 days for public comment. AHRQ received no substantive comments from the public. The purpose of this notice is to allow an additional 30 days for public comment.

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by January 11, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments should be submitted to: AHRQ's OMB Desk Officer by fax at (202) 395-6974 (attention: AHRQ's desk officer) or by email at [email protected] (attention: AHRQ's desk officer).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Doris Lefkowitz, AHRQ Reports Clearance Officer, (301) 427-1477, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Proposed Renewal of an Existing Project: OMB Control Number 0935-0203.

    The Registry of Patient Registries (RoPR) is a web-based application, and does not require users to submit any type of paper form.

    The RoPR collects patient registry data in two (2) ways: Users are able to enter information into the web-based system manually, or use an automated upload feature.

    Information being collected in the RoPR Record is visible to the public and patient registries visiting the RoPR Web site, and is available for public use in this capacity.

    The RoPR system provides email notification to registry holders informing them on an annual basis of the need to update basic statistics and contact information, but it is the responsibility of the registry holder to update the information.

    If a Registry Profile has not been reviewed and updated to the RoPR search site within four (4) years, it is archived.

    As of August 8, 2015, the RoPR has 138 patient registries listed.

    “Developing a Registry of Registries”

    Patient registries have received significant attention and funding in recent years. Similar to controlled studies, patient registries represent some burden to patients (e.g., time to complete patient reported outcome measures, risk of loss of privacy), who often participate voluntarily in hopes of improving knowledge about a disease or condition. Patient registries also represent a substantial investment of health research resources. Despite these factors, patient registries are not required to be registered in ClinicalTrials.gov, presenting the potential for duplication of efforts and insufficient dissemination of findings that are not published in the peer-reviewed literature. To fulfill the obligation of advancing the quality and specificity of patient health care, and to ensure that resources are used in the most efficient manner, patient registries need to be listed in a manner similar to that of trials in ClinicalTrials.gov.

    By creating a central point of collection for information about all patient registries in the United States, the RoPR furthers AHRQ's goals by making information regarding quality, appropriateness, and effectiveness of health services (and patient registries in particular) more readily available in a central location.

    This research has the following goals:

    (1) Maintaining and updating the RoPR database system to be compatible with ClinicalTrials.gov; meeting the following objectives:

    a. Providing a searchable database of patient registries in the United States (to promote collaboration, reduce redundancy, and improve transparency);

    b. Facilitating the use of common data fields and definitions in similar health conditions (to improve opportunities for sharing, comparing, and linkage) and free-text search field for highlighting information specific to an individual registry;

    c. Providing a public repository of searchable summary results (including results from registries that have not yet been published in the peer-reviewed literature);

    d. Offering a search tool to locate existing data that researchers can request for use in new studies; and

    e. Serving as a recruitment tool for researchers and patients interested in participating in patient registries.

    This study is being conducted by AHRQ through its contractor L&M Policy Research and Quintiles, a sub-contractor to L&M, pursuant to AHRQ's statutory authority to conduct and support research and disseminate information on health care and on systems for the delivery of such care, including activities with respect to the quality, effectiveness, efficiency, appropriateness and value of health care services and with respect to database development. 42 U.S.C. 299a(a)(1) and (8).

    Method of Collection

    To achieve the goals of this project, the following data collections will be implemented:

    (1) Collect information from users who populate the RoPR database system, which will achieve all of the above goals.

    (2) There are tentative plans for a user satisfaction survey to be enabled within the RoPR system, in the second quarter of 2016. The purpose of this survey is to obtain user/stakeholder feedback to evaluate priorities for future enhancements. Its full nature and design is in the concept stage still and so is not part of the Estimated Annual Respondent Burden. However, for the purpose of full disclosure, plans for the survey are being disclosed in this notice.

    The purpose and the use of the RoPR is to provide a readily available public resource strictly for patient registries, following the model of ClinicalTrials.gov, allowing for the increased availability and efficacy of patient registries. The information being collected in the RoPR Record is visible to the public visiting the RoPR Web site, and is readily available for public use. The RoPR is an ongoing data collection initiative.

    Estimated Annual Respondent Burden

    Exhibit 1 shows the estimated annualized burden hours for the respondent's time to participate in the RoPR. Between July 2014 and June 2015, 59 new respondents had entered their RoPR record, utilizing either a manual or electronic upload data entry method.