Federal Register Vol. 80, No.242,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 242 (December 17, 2015)

Page Range78649-78956
FR Document

80_FR_242
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 78721 - Sunshine Act MeetingsPDF
80 FR 78776 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
80 FR 78732 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
80 FR 78657 - Schedules of Controlled Substances: Placement of Eluxadoline Into Schedule IV; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 78812 - Privacy Act; System of Records: Office of Foreign Missions Records, State-81PDF
80 FR 78790 - Product Change-First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
80 FR 78776 - Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc.; Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power StationPDF
80 FR 78789 - New Postal ProductPDF
80 FR 78710 - Certain Pasta From Italy: Rescission of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2014PDF
80 FR 78723 - Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 78724 - State Energy Advisory Board (STEAB)PDF
80 FR 78722 - Nuclear Energy Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 78723 - Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, PortsmouthPDF
80 FR 78723 - Biological and Environmental Research Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 78677 - Tart Cherries Grown in the States of Michigan, et al.; Free and Restricted Percentages for the 2015-16 Crop Year for Tart CherriesPDF
80 FR 78709 - Drawn Stainless Steel Sinks From the People's Republic of China: Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015PDF
80 FR 78749 - Statutorily Mandated Designation of Difficult Development Areas and Qualified Census Tracts: Revision of Effective Date for 2015 DesignationsPDF
80 FR 78733 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
80 FR 78705 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Observer Coverage Requirements for Small Catcher/Processor in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Groundfish FisheriesPDF
80 FR 78950 - Migratory Bird Subsistence Harvest in Alaska; Harvest Regulations for Migratory Birds in Alaska During the 2016 SeasonPDF
80 FR 78675 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Other Hook-and-Line Fishery by Catcher Vessels in the Gulf of AlaskaPDF
80 FR 78730 - Pesticide Product Registration; Receipt of Application for a New Active IngredientPDF
80 FR 78729 - Pesticide Product Registration; Receipt of Applications for New UsesPDF
80 FR 78708 - Reorganization of Foreign-Trade Zone 147, (Expansion of Service Area) Under Alternative Site Framework, Berks County, PennsylvaniaPDF
80 FR 78773 - The Standard on 4, 4′-Methylenedianiline (MDA) in Construction; Extension of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Information Collection (Paperwork) RequirementsPDF
80 FR 78775 - Hexavalent Chromium Standards; Extension of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Information Collection (Paperwork) RequirementsPDF
80 FR 78816 - Notice of Intent To Release Certain Properties From All Terms, Conditions, Reservations and Restrictions of a Quitclaim Deed Agreement Between the City of Orlando and the Federal Aviation Administration for the Orlando Executive Airport, Orlando, FLPDF
80 FR 78719 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery PlansPDF
80 FR 78814 - Projects Approved for Consumptive Uses of WaterPDF
80 FR 78753 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Request for Comments on the Doug D. Nebert NSDI Champion of the Year AwardPDF
80 FR 78767 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; New Collection: Body Worn Camera Supplement (BWCS) to the Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) SurveyPDF
80 FR 78811 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Request and Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 78738 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
80 FR 78736 - Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
80 FR 78651 - Definitions of TermsPDF
80 FR 78718 - Fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 78717 - Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 78764 - Probable Economic Effects of Certain Modifications to the CAFTA-DR Rules of OriginPDF
80 FR 78651 - RecordkeepingPDF
80 FR 78650 - Administrative Actions, Adjudicative Hearings, Rules of Practice and Procedure, and InvestigationsPDF
80 FR 78649 - Privacy Act RegulationsPDF
80 FR 78650 - Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation Funding and Fiscal AffairsPDF
80 FR 78708 - Notice of Petitions by Firms for Determination of Eligibility To Apply for Trade Adjustment AssistancePDF
80 FR 78718 - Indirect Cost Rates for the Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration Program for Fiscal Year 2014PDF
80 FR 78763 - Certain Computer Cables, Chargers, Adapters, Peripheral Devices and Packaging Containing the Same; Institution of InvestigationPDF
80 FR 78819 - BNSF Railway Company-Temporary Trackage Rights Exemption-Union Pacific Railroad CompanyPDF
80 FR 78751 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Initiation of 5-Year Status Reviews of One Listed Animal and Five Listed Plant SpeciesPDF
80 FR 78752 - Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership CouncilPDF
80 FR 78651 - Toys: Determination Regarding Heavy Elements Limits for Unfinished and Untreated WoodPDF
80 FR 78726 - David O. Harde; Notice of Termination of License (Minor Project) by Implied Surrender and Soliciting Comments, Protests and Motions To IntervenePDF
80 FR 78726 - Paulsboro Natural Gas Pipeline Company, LLC; Notice of ApplicationPDF
80 FR 78727 - Dominion Carolina Gas Transmission; Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Columbia to Eastover ProjectPDF
80 FR 78724 - Combined Notice of Filings #2PDF
80 FR 78725 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 78763 - Change in Discount Rate for Water Resources PlanningPDF
80 FR 78770 - Guam Military Base Realignment Contractor Recruitment Standards-RevisedPDF
80 FR 78772 - Comment Request for Information Collection for Equal Employment Opportunity in Apprenticeship Programs, Extension Without RevisionsPDF
80 FR 78722 - Defense Acquisition University Board of Visitors; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
80 FR 78769 - Comment Request for Information Collection for Occupational Code Assignment (OMB 1205-0137), Extension With RevisionsPDF
80 FR 78817 - Columbia Body Manufacturing Co.; Receipt of Petition for Temporary Exemption From FMVSS No. 224PDF
80 FR 78670 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region; Framework Amendment 3PDF
80 FR 78756 - Information Collection: Renewable Energy and Alternate Uses of Existing Facilities on the Outer Continental Shelf; Proposed Collection for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 78737 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
80 FR 78767 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Voluntary Magazine Questionnaire for Agencies/Entities Who Store Explosive MaterialsPDF
80 FR 78721 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 78816 - Environmental Impact Statement; Pennington County, SD; Pennington County, MainePDF
80 FR 78740 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Guidance for Industry on Safety Labeling Changes-Implementation of Section 505(o)(4) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic ActPDF
80 FR 78745 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Guidance for Industry on Oversight of Clinical Investigations: A Risk-Based Approach to MonitoringPDF
80 FR 78820 - Proposed Information Collection (Application for VA Education Benefits, Application for Family Member To Use Transferred Benefits, Application for VA Education Benefits Under the National Call to Service (NCS) Program and Application for Veterans Retraining Assistance Program)PDF
80 FR 78711 - Taking of Threatened or Endangered Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Proposed PermitPDF
80 FR 78741 - Medical Device ISO 13485:2003 Voluntary Audit Report Pilot Program; Termination of Pilot Program; Announcement of the Medical Device Single Audit Program Operational PhasePDF
80 FR 78742 - The Twentieth Food and Drug Administration International Separation Science Society Symposium on the Interface of Regulatory and Analytical Sciences for Biotechnology Health Products-WCBP 2016PDF
80 FR 78743 - Safety Assessment for Investigational New Drug Application Safety Reporting; Draft Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 78747 - Determination That Vancomycin Hydrochloride Injection Drug Products, Were Not Withdrawn From Sale for Reasons of Safety or EffectivenessPDF
80 FR 78809 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending the NYSE Arca Equities Schedule of Fees and Charges for Exchange ServicesPDF
80 FR 78797 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Exchange's Pricing Schedule Under Section VIII With Respect to Execution and Routing of Orders in Securities Priced at $1 or More Per SharePDF
80 FR 78806 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending the NYSE Arca Options Fee SchedulePDF
80 FR 78794 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Order Granting Approval of a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, To List and Trade Options That Overlie a Reduced Value of the FTSE 100 IndexPDF
80 FR 78804 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Y-Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Rule 11.13(b)(4)(A), Amending Aggressive Re-Route InstructionPDF
80 FR 78800 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Rules 11.13(b)(4)(A) and 21.9(a)(3)(A), Amending Aggressive Re-Route InstructionPDF
80 FR 78803 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Order Granting Approval of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Complex Orders as Modified by Amendment No. 1PDF
80 FR 78793 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; C2 Options Exchange, Incorporated; Order Granting Approval of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Complex Orders as Modified by Amendment No. 1PDF
80 FR 78791 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Order Instituting Proceedings To Determine Whether To Approve or Disapprove Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, To List and Trade Shares of the Global Currency Gold Fund Under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.201PDF
80 FR 78810 - Submission for OMB Review Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 78799 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Order Granting Accelerated Approval of a Proposed Rule Change To Trade Expiring MSCI EAFE Index Options Until 3:00 p.m.PDF
80 FR 78802 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 78754 - Notice of Senior Executive Service Performance Review Board AppointmentsPDF
80 FR 78657 - Missouri Regulatory ProgramPDF
80 FR 78766 - Importer of Controlled Substances Application: Fisher Clinical Services, Inc.PDF
80 FR 78730 - FCC To Hold Open Commission Meeting, Thursday, December 17, 2015PDF
80 FR 78733 - Granting of Request for Early Termination of the Waiting Period Under the Premerger Notification RulesPDF
80 FR 78766 - Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Application: National Center for Natural Products Research (NIDA MPROJECT)PDF
80 FR 78765 - Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Registration: Austin Pharma LLCPDF
80 FR 78765 - Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Application: Johnson Matthey, Inc.PDF
80 FR 78728 - Notice of an Extension To Provide Information on Existing Programs That Protect Water Quality From Forest Road DischargesPDF
80 FR 78705 - Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Update to the Refrigerant Management Requirements Under the Clean Air Act; Extension of Comment PeriodPDF
80 FR 78689 - Acquired Member AssetsPDF
80 FR 78819 - Bank Secrecy Act Advisory Group; Solicitation of Application for MembershipPDF
80 FR 78681 - Guidelines Establishing Standards for Recovery Planning by Certain Large Insured National Banks, Insured Federal Savings Associations, and Insured Federal BranchesPDF
80 FR 78820 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Form 8586PDF
80 FR 78768 - Comment Request for the Extension With No Revisions of the Information Collection for Petition and Investigative Data Collection Requirements for the Trade Act of 1974, as Amended (OMB Control Number 1205-0342)PDF
80 FR 78732 - Notice of Agreements FiledPDF
80 FR 78790 - New Postal ProductPDF
80 FR 78788 - New Postal ProductPDF
80 FR 78748 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 78815 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; AeroCine, LLCPDF
80 FR 78650 - Changes to Production Certificates and Approvals; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 78704 - Privacy Act; STATE-81, Office of Foreign Missions RecordsPDF
80 FR 78702 - Airworthiness Directives; Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics (Formerly Known as Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems)PDF
80 FR 78664 - Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated EquipmentPDF
80 FR 78649 - Department of Transportation Regulatory Implementation of Office of Management and Budget's Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal AwardsPDF
80 FR 78699 - Airworthiness Directives; Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics (Formerly Known as Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems) AirplanesPDF
80 FR 78824 - Regulation Automated TradingPDF

Issue

80 242 Thursday, December 17, 2015 Contents Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service PROPOSED RULES Tart Cherries Grown in the States of Michigan, et al.: Free and Restricted Percentages for the 2015-16 Crop Year for Tart Cherries, 78677-78681 2015-31777 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

Army Army Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 78721-78722 2015-31699 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 78736-78740 2015-31706 2015-31741 2015-31742 Commerce Commerce Department See

Economic Development Administration

See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

Industry and Security Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission PROPOSED RULES Regulation Automated Trading, 78824-78948 2015-30533 NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 78721 2015-31877 Comptroller Comptroller of the Currency PROPOSED RULES Proposed Guidelines: Standards for Recovery Planning by Certain Large Insured National Banks, Insured Federal Savings Associations, and Insured Federal Branches, 78681-78689 2015-31658 Consumer Product Consumer Product Safety Commission RULES Toys: Determination Regarding Heavy Elements Limits for Unfinished and Untreated Wood, 78651-78657 2015-31723 Defense Department Defense Department See

Army Department

NOTICES Meetings: Defense Acquisition University Board of Visitors, 78722 2015-31711
Drug Drug Enforcement Administration RULES Schedules of Controlled Substances: Placement of Eluxadoline into Schedule IV; Correction, 78657 2015-31843 NOTICES Importers of Controlled Substances; Applications: Fisher Clinical Services, Inc., 78766 2015-31672 Manufacturers of Controlled Substances; Applications: Johnson Matthey, Inc., 78765-78766 2015-31665 National Center for Natural Products Research, 78766-78767 2015-31669 Manufacturers of Controlled Substances; Registrations: Austin Pharma, LLC, 78765 2015-31667 Economic Development Economic Development Administration NOTICES Trade Adjustment Assistance Eligibility; Petitions, 78708 2015-31729 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 78768-78769 2015-31656 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Equal Employment Opportunity in Apprenticeship Programs, 78772-78773 2015-31712 Occupational Code Assignment, 78769-78770 2015-31710 Guam Military Base Realignment Contractor Recruitment Standards, 78770-78772 2015-31713 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

NOTICES Charter Renewals: Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee, 78723 2015-31783 Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee, 78722-78723 2015-31785 Meetings: Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Portsmouth, 78723-78724 2015-31784 Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee, 78723 2015-31792 State Energy Advisory Board; Open Teleconference, 78724 2015-31791
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency PROPOSED RULES Protection of Stratospheric Ozone; Update to the Refrigerant Management Requirements Under the Clean Air Act: Extension of Comment Period, 78705 2015-31661 NOTICES Pesticide Product Registrations: Application for a New Active Ingredient, 78730 2015-31758 Applications for New Uses, 78729-78730 2015-31757 Protection of Water Quality from Forest Road Discharges, 78728-78729 2015-31664 Farm Credit Farm Credit Administration RULES Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation Funding and Fiscal Affairs; CFR Correction, 78650 2015-31730 Privacy Act Regulations; CFR Correction, 78649-78650 2015-31731 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Changes to Production Certificates and Approvals; Correction, 78650-78651 2015-31639 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics (formerly known as Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems), 78702-78704 2015-31537 Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics (formerly known as Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems) Airplanes, 78699-78701 2015-30560 NOTICES Petitions for Exemptions; Summaries: AeroCine, LLC, 78815-78816 2015-31640 Release of Airport Property: Orlando Executive Airport, Orlando, FL, 78816 2015-31751 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission NOTICES Meetings: Open Commission Meeting, 78730-78732 2015-31671 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 78732 2015-31853 2015-31854 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Applications: Paulsboro Natural Gas Pipeline Co., LLC, 78726 2015-31721 Combined Filings, 78724-78726 2015-31718 2015-31719 Environmental Reviews: Dominion Carolina Gas Transmission; Columbia to Eastover Project, 78727-78728 2015-31720 License Terminations: David O. Harde, 78726-78727 2015-31722 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Pennington County, SD; Pennington County, ME, 78816-78817 2015-31698 Federal Housing Finance Agency Federal Housing Finance Agency PROPOSED RULES Acquired Member Assets, 78689-78699 2015-31660 Federal Housing Finance Board Federal Housing Finance Board PROPOSED RULES Acquired Member Assets, 78689-78699 2015-31660 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission NOTICES Agreements Filed, 78732-78733 2015-31651 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 78733 2015-31763 Federal Trade Federal Trade Commission NOTICES Requests for Early Terminations of the Waiting Period under the Premerger Notification Rules, 78733-78736 2015-31670 Financial Crimes Financial Crimes Enforcement Network NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Bank Secrecy Act Advisory Group, 78819-78820 2015-31659 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service PROPOSED RULES Migratory Bird Subsistence Harvest in Alaska; Harvest Regulations for Migratory Birds in Alaska during the 2016 Season, 78950-78956 2015-31760 NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Initiation of 5-Year Status Reviews of One Listed Animal and Five Listed Plant Species, 78751-78752 2015-31725 Meetings: Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council; Teleconference, 78752-78753 2015-31724 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Guidance for Industry on Oversight of Clinical Investigations, A Risk-Based Approach to Monitoring, 78745-78746 2015-31695 Guidance for Industry on Safety Labeling Changes, 78740-78741 2015-31696 Determination That Drug Products, Were Not Withdrawn From Sale for Reasons of Safety or Effectiveness: Vancomycin Hydrochloride Injection, 78747-78748 2015-31689 Guidance for Industry: Safety Assessment for Investigational New Drug Application Safety Reporting; Availability, 78743-78745 2015-31690 Medical Device Single Audit Program Operational Phase; Announcements: Medical Device ISO 13485:2003 Voluntary Audit Report Pilot Program; Termination of Pilot Program, 78741-78742 2015-31692 Meetings: Twentieth Food and Drug Administration International Separation Science Society Symposium on the Interface of Regulatory and Analytical Sciences for Biotechnology Health Products, 78742-78743 2015-31691 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Reorganizations under Alternative Site Framework: Foreign-Trade Zone 147, Berks County, PA, 78708-78709 2015-31755 Geological Geological Survey NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 78753-78754 2015-31746 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 78748-78749 2015-31641 Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Statutorily Mandated Designations of Difficult Development Areas and Qualified Census Tracts: Revision of Effective Date for 2015 Designations, 78749-78751 2015-31766 Industry Industry and Security Bureau RULES Definitions of Terms; CFR Correction, 78651 2015-31737 Recordkeeping; CFR Correction, 78651 2015-31733 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Geological Survey

See

Ocean Energy Management Bureau

See

Reclamation Bureau

See

Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office

NOTICES Senior Executive Service Performance Review Board Appointments, 78754-78755 2015-31676
Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 78820 2015-31657 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Pasta from Italy, 78710 2015-31799 Drawn Stainless Steel Sinks from the People's Republic of China: Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015, 78709-78710 2015-31775 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Computer Cables, Chargers, Adapters, Peripheral Devices and Packaging Containing the Same, 78763-78764 2015-31727 Probable Economic Effects of Certain Modifications to the CAFTA-DR Rules of Origin, 78764-78765 2015-31734 Justice Department Justice Department See

Drug Enforcement Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Body Worn Camera Supplement to the Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics Survey, 78767-78768 2015-31744 Voluntary Magazine Questionnaire For Agencies/Entities Who Store Explosive Materials, 78767 2015-31705
Labor Department Labor Department See

Employment and Training Administration

See

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

National Credit National Credit Union Administration RULES Administrative Actions, Adjudicative Hearings, Rules of Practice and Procedure, and Investigations; CFR Correction, 78650 2015-31732 NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 78776 2015-31871 National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration RULES Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard; Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment, 78664-78670 2015-31353 NOTICES Petitions for Temporary Exemption: Columbia Body Manufacturing Co., 78817-78819 2015-31709 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic: Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region; Framework Amendment 3, 78670-78675 2015-31708 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Other Hook-and-Line Fishery by Catcher Vessels in the Gulf of Alaska, 78675-78676 2015-31759 PROPOSED RULES Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Observer Coverage Requirements for Small Catcher/Processor in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Groundfish Fisheries, 78705-78707 2015-31761 NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Species: Recovery Plans, 78719-78721 2015-31748 Indirect Cost Rates for the Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration Program for Fiscal Year 2014, 78718-78719 2015-31728 Meetings: Fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review, 78718 2015-31736 Pacific Fishery Management Council, 78717-78718 2015-31735 Permits: Taking of Threatened or Endangered Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations, 78711-78717 2015-31693 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Exemptions: Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc., Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station, 78776-78788 2015-31808 Occupational Safety Health Adm Occupational Safety and Health Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Hexavalent Chromium Standards, 78775-78776 2015-31752 Standard on 4, 4′- Methylenedianiline (MDA) in Construction, 78773-78775 2015-31753 Ocean Energy Management Ocean Energy Management Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Renewable Energy and Alternate Uses of Existing Facilities on the Outer Continental Shelf, 78756-78763 2015-31707 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products, 78788-78790 2015-31648 2015-31649 2015-31650 2015-31802 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Product Changes: First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement, 78790 2015-31819 Reclamation Reclamation Bureau NOTICES Change in Discount Rate for Water Resources Planning, 78763 2015-31717 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 78802-78803, 78810-78811 2015-31677 2015-31679 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: BATS Exchange, Inc., 78800-78802 2015-31683 BATS Y-Exchange, Inc., 78804-78806 2015-31684 C2 Options Exchange, Inc., 78793-78794 2015-31681 Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc., 78794-78797, 78799-78800, 78803-78804 2015-31678 2015-31682 2015-31685 NASDAQ OMX PHLX, LLC, 78797-78799 2015-31687 NYSE Arca, Inc., 78791-78793, 78806-78810 2015-31680 2015-31686 2015-31688 Social Social Security Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 78811-78812 2015-31743 State Department State Department PROPOSED RULES Privacy Act; Exemptions, 78704-78705 2015-31551 NOTICES Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 78812-78814 2015-31840 Surface Mining Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office RULES Regulatory Program: Missouri, 78657-78664 2015-31674 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Temporary Trackage Rights Exemptions: BNSF Railway Co.; Union Pacific Railroad Co., 78819 2015-31726 Susquehanna Susquehanna River Basin Commission NOTICES Projects Approved for Consumptive Uses of Water, 78814-78815 2015-31747 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

See

Surface Transportation Board

RULES Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, 78649 2015-31076
Treasury Treasury Department See

Comptroller of the Currency

See

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network

See

Internal Revenue Service

Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for VA Education Benefits, Application for Family Member to Use Transferred Benefits, etc., 78820-78821 2015-31694 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 78824-78948 2015-30533 Part III Interior Department, Fish and Wildlife Service, 78950-78956 2015-31760 Reader Aids

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

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

80 242 Thursday, December 17, 2015 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Office of the Secretary 2 CFR Part 1201 49 CFR Parts 18 and 19 [Docket No. OMB-2014-0006] RIN 2105-AE33 Department of Transportation Regulatory Implementation of Office of Management and Budget's Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards AGENCY:

Office of the Secretary (OST), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

On December 19, 2014, the U.S. Department of Transportation, with other Federal agencies, published a joint interim final rule implementing the guidance titled “Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards” that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published on December 26, 2013. While the Department received two comments on related implementation guidance, to which we respond, the Department did not receive any comments on the final rule implementing the OMB guidance. Therefore, this rule confirms that the changes that the Department published in the interim final rule on December 19, 2014, are final.

DATES:

Effective December 17, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Michael A. Smith, Office of the General Counsel (C-10), U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, (202) 366-2917, [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published guidance titled “Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards” in 2 CFR part 200 on December 26, 2013 (78 FR 78589), to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Federal financial assistance. That guidance followed an advance notice of proposed guidance (77 FR 11778) and a notice of proposed guidance (78 FR 7282). The guidance required that Federal agencies promulgate a regulation implementing its policies and procedures. On December 19, 2014, the Department and other agencies published a joint interim final rule to implement the guidance (79 FR 75871).

In the joint interim final rule, the Department implemented the guidance through regulations at 2 CFR part 1201 and removed its previous regulations on Federal awards at 49 CFR parts 18 and 19. The OMB and the Department received comments in response to the joint interim final rule, but none of those comments were about the final rule itself, 2 CFR part 1201, or 49 CFR part 18 or 19. Thus, the Department confirms that the changes to 2 CFR part 1201 and 49 CFR parts 18 and 19 that it published in the joint interim final rule are final.

Although the Department did not receive any comments regarding the substance of the joint interim final rule, there were two comments submitted related to implementation guidance that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued on December 4, 2014. First, we received a comment from the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) seeking clarification of how FHWA expected State departments of transportation, as “pass-through entities,” to monitor and negotiate subrecipients' indirect costs. Section D.1.b of Appendix VII to part 200 states that “[w]here a non-Federal entity only receives funds as a subrecipient, the pass-through entity will be responsible for negotiating and/or monitoring the subrecipient's indirect costs.” The FHWA's implementation guidance supports this requirement and does not add any additional oversight responsibilities for the SHA in negotiating or monitoring the subrecipient's indirect costs.

Second, we received a comment from the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT). The FHWA implementation guidance had stated that 2 CFR 200.309 was “a significant change to the Federal-aid highway program because it will impose a period when project costs can be incurred, which includes a project agreement start and end date. . . . The new provision will require an end date to be included in the agreement after which no additional costs may be incurred and are not eligible for reimbursement.” The MoDOT commented that the “requirement to monitor and track project end dates duplicates the efforts being performed to monitor and track inactive projects.” The FHWA does not view the requirement in 2 CFR 200.210(a)(5) and 200.309 that Federal awards have end dates as duplicative of other requirements on MoDOT. Instead, the requirement is an additional internal control that complements existing stewardship and oversight responsibilities held by State departments of transportation. The FHWA anticipates issuing additional guidance about using project agreement end dates to improve funds management.

Regulatory analyses and notices for this final rule were published with the joint interim final rule.

For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Department of Transportation adopts without change the addition of 2 CFR part 1201 and the removal and reservation of 49 CFR parts 18 and 19 that were published in the joint interim final rule at 79 FR 75871 on December 19, 2014.

Issued in Washington, DC, on November 30, 2015. Anthony R. Foxx, Secretary of Transportation.
[FR Doc. 2015-31076 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-9X-P
FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION 12 CFR Part 603 Privacy Act Regulations CFR Correction

In Title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 600 to 899, revised as of January 1, 2015, on page 17, in § 603.350, remove the term “Section 552a (l)(3)” and add “Section 552a (i)(3)” in its place.

[FR Doc. 2015-31731 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1505-01-D
FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION 12 CFR Part 652 Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation Funding and Fiscal Affairs CFR Correction

In Title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 600 to 899, revised as of January 1, 2015, on page 344, in appendix A to subpart B to part 652, in the table of contents, add “1.0 Introduction.”.

[FR Doc. 2015-31730 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1505-01-D
NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION 12 CFR Part 747 Administrative Actions, Adjudicative Hearings, Rules of Practice and Procedure, and Investigations CFR Correction

In Title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 600 to 899, revised as of January 1, 2015, on page 918, in § 747.616, remove the term “Office of the Controller” and add the term “Office of Chief Financial Officer” in its place.

[FR Doc. 2015-31732 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1505-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Parts 21 and 45 [Docket No. FAA-2013-0933; Amdt. Nos. 21-98A, 45-29A] RIN 2120-AK20 Changes to Production Certificates and Approvals; Correction AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule; correction.

SUMMARY:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is correcting a final rule published on October 1, 2015. In that rule, the FAA amended its certification procedures and marking requirements for aeronautical products and articles. This action corrects the effective date of the final rule to permit an earlier implementation of the rule's provisions that allow production approval holders to issue authorized release documents for aircraft engines, propellers, and articles. It also permits an earlier implementation date for production certificate holders to manufacture and install interface components, and provides earlier relief from the current requirement that fixed-pitch wooden propellers be marked using an approved fireproof method.

DATES:

The final rule published October 1, 2015 (80 FR 59021), is effective March 29, 2016, except for §§ 21.1(b)(1), 21.1(b)(5) through (9), 21.137(o), 21.142, 21.147, and 45.11(c), which are effective January 4, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For technical questions concerning this action, contact Priscilla Steward or Robert Cook, Aircraft Certification Service, Production Certification Section, AIR-112, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-1656; email: [email protected] or telephone: (202) 267-1590; email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

On October 1, 2015, the final rule, “Changes to Production Certificates and Approvals,” 80 FR 59021, was published in the Federal Register. In that final rule the FAA revised the regulations pertaining to certification requirements for products and articles in part 21 of title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) and removed certain marking requirements in 14 CFR part 45 applicable to fixed-pitch wooden propellers. The final rule afforded production approval holders (PAHs) a number of privileges not currently permitted under current regulations.

To provide PAHs privileges similar to those afforded European and Canadian approved manufacturers, § 21.137(o) of the final rule permits a PAH to issue authorized release documents for new aircraft engines, propellers, and articles that it produces, and also for used aircraft engines, propellers, and articles it rebuilds or alters in accordance with § 43.3(j), provided it establishes an FAA-approved process in its quality system for issuing those documents. Authorized release documents would typically be issued using FAA Form 8130-3, Airworthiness Release Certificate, Airworthiness Approval Tag.

The final rule also allows a PAH that meets the requirements of § 21.147(c) to apply for an amendment to its production certificate for the purpose of manufacturing and installing interface components. The term “interface component” is also specifically defined in § 21.1(a)(5).

Additionally, the final rule amends part 45 to exclude fixed-pitch wooden propellers from the requirement that a propeller, propeller blade, or propeller hub be marked using an approved fireproof method. This exclusion allows manufacturers to mark their products in a practical manner that takes into account the inherent nature of wooden propellers.

Finally, the rule revises the definition of “airworthiness approval,” in § 21.1(b)(1), by expanding it to account for the issuance of an airworthiness approval in instances where an aircraft, aircraft engine, propeller, or article does not conform to its approved design or may not be in a condition for safe operation at the time the airworthiness approval is generated and that nonconformity or condition is specified on the airworthiness approval document.

The FAA issued the final rule with an effective date of 180 days after its publication in the Federal Register to allow sufficient time for industry compliance with new requirements contained in the rule. This effective date, however, also delayed the implementation date of certain provisions that removed regulatory burdens that were no longer necessary or appropriate in the current global manufacturing environment. Accordingly, the FAA is amending the effective date of the final rule to January 4, 2016 for the following sections:

• § 21.1(b)(1) which revises the definition of airworthiness approval

• § 21.1(b)(5), which defines interface component

• § 21.137(o), which establishes provisions for the issuance of authorized release documents by PAHs

• § 21.142, which codifies provisions for the inclusion of interface components in a production limitation record

• § 21.147, which specifies the requirements that must be met to amend a production certificate to include interface components

• § 45.11(c), which excludes fixed-pitch wooden propellers from the requirement that they be marked using an approved fireproof method.

The FAA also notes that Change 5 to the Maintenance Annex Guidance (MAG), which implements certain provisions of the Aviation Safety Agreement between the United States and the European Union requires that FAA Form 8130-3 be issued by a U.S. PAH for new parts that will be installed in articles for which a dual airworthiness release is to be issued. In order to serve European customers many U.S. repair stations will be required to possess parts documentation that U.S. PAHs cannot currently issue and which can only be obtained from the FAA or its designees.

Although the FAA and EASA have agreed to delay the implementation of Change 5 to the MAG until March 29, 2016, correcting the effective date of § 21.137(o) will provide PAHs with the ability to establish a system for the issuance of authorized release documents to meet EASA requirements without increasing staff in the form of Organization Designation Authority (ODA) unit members or Designated Manufacturing Inspection Representatives (DMIRs), or incurring the cost of hiring additional Designated Airworthiness Representatives (DARs).

Additionally, correcting the effective date of §§ 21.142, 21.147, and 45.11(c) will alleviate the current need for PAHs to request new exemptions or renew current exemptions to manufacture and install interface components and appropriately mark wooden propellers.

The remaining sections of the final rule become effective on March 29, 2016, its originally published effective date.

Correction

In FR Doc. 2015-24950, beginning on page 59021 in the Federal Register of October 1, 2015, in the second column, correct the DATES section to read as follows:

DATES: This final rule is effective March 29, 2016, except for §§ 21.1(b)(1), 21.1(b)(5) through (9), 21.137(o), 21.142, 21.147 and 45.11(c), which are effective on January 4, 2016.

Issued under authority provided by 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 44701(a), and 44703 in Washington, DC, on December 11, 2015. Lirio Liu, Director, Office of Rulemaking.
[FR Doc. 2015-31639 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security 15 CFR Part 762 Recordkeeping CFR Correction

In Title 15 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 300 to 799, revised as of January 1, 2015, on pages 657 and 658, in § 762.1, in paragraph (b), remove “§ 762.7” and add “§ 762.2” in its place, and remove “§ 762.6” and add “§ 762.7” in its place.

[FR Doc. 2015-31733 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1505-01-D
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security 15 CFR Part 772 Definitions of Terms CFR Correction

In Title 15 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 300 to 799, revised as of January 1, 2015, on pages 723, 727, and 733, in § 772.1, remove the definitions of “fault tolerance”, “laser duration” and “positioning accuracy”.

[FR Doc. 2015-31737 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1505-01-D
CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 1251 [Docket No. CPSC-2011-0081] Toys: Determination Regarding Heavy Elements Limits for Unfinished and Untreated Wood AGENCY:

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (“Commission,” or “CPSC”) is issuing a final rule determining that unfinished and untreated trunk wood does not contain heavy elements that would exceed the limits specified in the Commission's toy standard, ASTM F963-11. Based on this determination, unfinished and untreated trunk wood in toys does not require third party testing for the heavy element limits in ASTM F963.

DATES:

The rule is effective on January 19, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

John W. Boja, Lead Compliance Officer, Office of Compliance, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 4330 East West Hwy., Room 610M, Bethesda, MD 20814; 301-504-7300: email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Background 1. Third Party Testing and Burden Reduction

Section 14(a) of the Consumer Product Safety Act, (“CPSA”), as amended by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (“CPSIA”), requires that manufacturers of products subject to a consumer product safety rule or similar rule, ban, standard or regulation enforced by the CPSC, must certify that the product complies with all applicable CPSC-enforced requirements. 15 U.S.C. 2063(a). For children's products, certification must be based on testing conducted by a CPSC-accepted third party conformity assessment body. Id. Public Law 112-28 (August 12, 2011) directed the CPSC to seek comment on “opportunities to reduce the cost of third party testing requirements consistent with assuring compliance with any applicable consumer product safety rule, ban, standard, or regulation.” Public Law 112-28 also authorized the Commission to issue new or revised third party testing regulations if the Commission determines “that such regulations will reduce third party testing costs consistent with assuring compliance with the applicable consumer product safety rules, bans, standards, and regulations.” Id. 2063(d)(3)(B).

2. CPSC's Toy Standard

Section 106 of the CPSIA states that the provisions of ASTM International (“ASTM”), Consumer Safety Specifications for Toy Safety (“ASTM F963,” or “toy standard”), “shall be considered to be consumer product safety standards issued by the Commission under section 9 of the CPSA (15 U.S.C. 2058).” 1 Thus, toys subject to ASTM F963-11, the current mandatory version of the standard, must be tested by a CPSC-accepted third party conformity assessment body and demonstrate compliance with all applicable CPSC requirements for the manufacturer to issue a Children's Product Certificate (“CPC”) before the toys can be entered into commerce.

1 ASTM F963-11 is a consumer product safety standard, except for section 4.2 and Annex 4, or any provision that restates or incorporates an existing mandatory standard or ban promulgated by the Commission or by statute.

The toy standard has numerous requirements. Among them, section 4.3.5 requires that surface coating materials and accessible substrates of toys 2 that can be sucked, mouthed, or ingested, comply with the solubility limits on eight heavy elements. (We refer to these elements as the “ASTM heavy elements.”) One of the eight ASTM heavy elements is lead. The Commission previously determined that certain materials do not exceed the lead content limit, and therefore, those materials do not require third party testing when used in children's products (including toys). 16 CFR 1500.91. Thus, CPSC staff focused its work on the remaining seven ASTM heavy elements. The eight ASTM heavy elements and their solubility limits are shown below.

2 ASTM F963-11 contains the following note regarding the scope of the solubility requirement:

NOTE 3—For the purposes of this requirement, the following criteria are considered reasonably appropriate for the classification of toys or parts likely to be sucked, mouthed or ingested: (1) All toy parts intended to be mouthed or contact food or drink, components of toys which are cosmetics, and components of writing instruments categorized as toys; (2) Toys intended for children less than 6 years of age, that is, all accessible parts and components where there is a probability that those parts and components may come into contact with the mouth.

3 The method to assess the solubility of a listed element is detailed in section 8.3.2, Method to Dissolve Soluble Matter for Surface Coatings, of ASTM F963-11. Modeling clays included as part of a toy have different solubility limits for several of the elements.

Table 1—Maximum Soluble Migrated Element in Parts-per-Million for Surface Coatings and Substrates Included as Part of a Toy Element Solubility limit, parts per
  • million,
  • (“ppm”) 3
  • Antimony, (“Sb”) 60 Arsenic, (“As”) 25 Barium, (“Ba”) 1000 Cadmium, (“Cd”) 75 Chromium, (“Cr”) 60 Lead, (“Pb”) 90 Mercury, (“Hg”) 60 Selenium, (“Se”) 500
    3. Possible Determinations Regarding the ASTM Heavy Elements

    For some materials, the concentrations of all the listed heavy elements might always be below their respective solubility limits due to biological, manufacturing, or other constraints. For example, one of the specified elements may be sequestered in a portion of a plant, such as the roots, that is not used in subsequent manufacturing. Additionally, a manufacturing process step may remove a specified element, if the element is present, from the material being processed. For these materials, compliance with the limits stated in section 4.3.5 of ASTM F963-11 is assured without requiring third party testing because the material is intrinsically compliant.

    The third party testing burden could only be reduced if all heavy elements listed in section 4.3.5 have concentrations below their solubility limits. Because third party conformity assessment bodies typically run one test for all of the ASTM heavy elements, no testing burden reduction would be achieved if any one of the heavy elements requires testing.

    As discussed further in this preamble, if the Commission determines that, due to the nature of a particular material, children's products made of that material will comply with CPSC's requirements with a high degree of assurance, manufacturers do not need to have those materials tested by a third party conformity assessment body.

    4. Direct Final Rule and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    On July 17, 2015, the Commission published a direct final rule (“DFR”) and a companion notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPR”) for the ASTM wood determination that is the subject of this final rule in the same issue of the Federal Register. (DFR, 80 FR 42376; NPR, 80 FR 42438). Because the Commission received significant adverse comment to the DFR, the Commission withdrew the DFR and is proceeding with the rulemaking under the NPR that was published simultaneously with the DFR. 80 FR 54417 (Sept. 10, 2015). The comments to the DFR/NPR are addressed in section C of this preamble.

    B. Contractor's Research 1. Overview

    CPSC hired a contractor to conduct a literature search to assess whether the Commission potentially could determine that wood and other natural materials do not contain any of the seven specified heavy elements in concentrations above the ASTM F963-11 maximum solubility limits (excluding the eighth element, lead which is already subject to a determination). The contractor researched the following materials:

    • Unfinished and untreated wood (ash, beech, birch, cherry, maple, oak, pine, poplar, and walnut);

    • Bamboo;

    • Beeswax;

    • Undyed and untreated fibers and textiles (cotton, wool, linen, and silk); and

    • Uncoated or coated paper (wood or other cellulosic fiber). Staff chose these materials for research because they met two criteria:

    • Materials the Commission previously determined not to contain lead in concentrations above 100 ppm; and

    • Materials more likely to be used in toys subject to the ASTM F963-11 solubility limits.

    The contractor's report is available on the Commission's Web site at: http://www.cpsc.gov//Global/Research-and-Statistics/Technical-Reports/Toys/TERAReportASTMElements.pdf. CPSC staff reviewed the contractor's report and prepared a briefing package providing recommendations to the Commission. The staff's briefing package is also available on the Commission's Web site: http://www.cpsc.gov//Global/Newsroom/FOIA/CommissionBriefingPackages/2015/DFRandNPRDeterminationsontheASTMElementsUnfinishedWoods%20June302015.pdf.

    In conducting this research, the contractor considered the following factors:

    • The concentrations of the seven heavy elements in the material under study;

    • The presence and concentrations of the elements in the environmental media (e.g., soil, water, air), and in the base materials for the textiles and paper;

    • Whether processing has the potential to introduce any of the seven heavy elements into the material under study; and

    • The potential for contamination after production, such as through packaging.

    The contractor examined secondary sources and reviewed articles to identify the available data regarding the elements' concentrations in the materials listed above. The contractor summarized the relevant data on bioavailability and presence/concentrations in environmental media (i.e., soil, air, and water) from the most recent Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (“ATSDR”) 4 toxicological profile, supplemented with more recent authoritative reviews. The contractor conducted a literature search for data on concentrations of the chemical elements in each of the specific materials. Potentially relevant papers for information on concentrations of chemical elements in each product were identified and reviewed. The contractor used the references from reviewed articles to identify other articles to examine and used the references in those articles to find other sources recursively, to uncover relevant cited references.5 The literature screening was to examine whether there is a potential for an ASTM heavy element to be present in the natural material at levels above its solubility limit. When the contractor determined there was sufficient information to indicate the potential for an ASTM heavy element to be present, the contractor stopped that particular line of inquiry and reported the results.

    4 The congressionally mandated Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry produces toxicological profiles for hazardous substances found at National Priorities List sites.

    5 `This method is often referred to as “tree searching.”

    As discussed in the staff's briefing package, the contractor's report does not support a Commission determination for any material other than unfinished and untreated trunk wood. The literature reviewed by the contractor did not provide sufficient information to determine that any of the reviewed materials, other than unfinished and untreated trunk wood, do not contain the heavy elements in concentrations above the limits stated in the toy standard.

    2. Findings Regarding Wood

    Of the materials reviewed, the contractor identified the most studies for wood. Although the contractor could not examine every study concerning wood, the contractor reported that the studies examined constitute a representative sample of the population studies. The contractor studied measurements taken from trees in natural settings, samples from trees grown on contaminated soils, hydroponically grown 6 seedlings, experimental studies with seedlings grown in pots in which the soil had some of the elements intentionally added, and seedlings soaked in solutions containing one or more of the ASTM heavy elements.

    6 Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture and is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil.

    The contractor examined measurements on roots, shoots, bark, trunks, branches, and leaves (or needles, for evergreens). Not every study conducted measurements on each part of the tree. Many studies showed concentrations of the ASTM heavy elements at levels below their solubility limits.

    Antimony. For antimony, the studies examined showed that roots, shoots, branches, and leaves contained antimony in concentrations greater than the ASTM solubility limit of 60 ppm. No tree trunks showed antimony concentrations above the ASTM solubility limit. One study's measurements of tree trunks showed that the trunks were nearly free of antimony.

    Arsenic. For arsenic, trunks, roots shoots, leaves, stems, bark, and branches of trees were characterized. An experimental study showed roots with more than 25 ppm arsenic. A study at a contaminated mining site showed roots, branches, leaves/needles, and shoots with arsenic concentrations above the ASTM solubility limit. However, no tree trunk measurement showed arsenic in concentrations above 25 ppm. In the two tested cases, tree trunks contained only trace levels of arsenic (levels well below the solubility limit).

    One study measured levels of arsenic in sawdust sampled from 15 sawmill locations in the Sapele metropolis (a port city in Nigeria). The highest arsenic concentration measured was 93.0 ppm. The study's authors did not specify what types of trees or wood were processed at the sawmills. However, the authors noted that a major industry in the study area is Africa Timber Plywood Industry and mentioned that arsenic and chromium are used as wood preservatives. Plywood is a manufactured wood and could contain materials not found in natural wood. The authors did not report what woods these sawmills were processing. Therefore, we cannot draw any conclusions from this study.

    Barium. For barium, measurements of leaves, leaf litter, wood, and sawdust all showed barium concentrations below the ASTM solubility limit of 1,000 ppm.

    Cadmium. For cadmium, the studies examined showed cadmium in tree core samples and wood at levels below the ASTM solubility limit of 75 ppm. Studies that measured cadmium in hydroponic samples showed cadmium levels in root, stem bark, stem wood, and leaf parts above 75 ppm. In a similar manner, shoots grown in pots containing varying amounts of cadmium added, showed cadmium concentrations above the ASTM solubility limit in leaves, stems, and roots.

    Chromium. For chromium, one study at a chromate-contaminated site found chromium concentrations above the ASTM solubility limit of 60 ppm in roots, but measurements were below the detection limit for leaves, wood, and bark. Hydroponic studies by the same researcher showed that tree roots can concentrate chromium, but translocation (the movement of a material from one place to another) of chromium from the roots to other parts of the tree, is very low.

    Mercury. For mercury, the contractor reviewed studies that measured mercury uptake in the roots, shoots, leaves, bark, trunks, limbs, fruits, branches, stems, and nuts of trees. The studies included both experimental tests and trees sampled from natural areas. Only an experimental study with seedlings grown in pots, to which either mercuric nitrate, methyl mercury chloride, or both, had been added, showed mercury in concentrations above the ASTM solubility limit in shoots and leaves of sycamore seedlings. The other studies did not show mercury levels above the ASTM solubility limit of 60 ppm in samples, even at contaminated sites.

    Selenium. For selenium, one study showed measured concentrations of 1.4 ppm selenium in tree rings growing in contaminated soil. Other studies showed selenium at concentrations of 10 ppm or less, well below the ASTM solubility limit of 500 ppm. Only an experimental study with tree cuttings grown hydroponically in either sodium selenate or sodium selenite for 6 days, showed root concentrations above the ASTM solubility limit. All other parts of the cuttings had selenium levels below the ASTM solubility limit.

    Conclusions. The contractor's report provides sufficient information for the Commission to determine that unfinished and untreated wood from tree trunks does not contain the ASTM heavy elements in concentrations above their respective solubility limits, and are, therefore, not required to be third party tested to assure compliance with the ASTM F963-11 solubility requirements. The studies examined multiple species of trees grown on several continents. No study examined by the contractor found any of the ASTM heavy elements in tree trunks at concentrations beyond the element's solubility limit.

    The contractor's report indicates that heavy elements could be present in wood from other portions of the tree: The roots, bark, leaves, or fruit. The studies examined by the contractor showed high levels of one or more of the ASTM heavy elements in portions of trees other than trunks. However, commercial timber harvesting involves the process of “delimbing” the tree to create logs that can be transported and cut at a sawmill or lumberyard.7 Often, the sawmill creates uniform-length planks from the delivered logs. These planks are sold to wood wholesalers or retailers, and are bought by wooden toy and other manufacturers. Because commercial practice creates logs from only the trunks of harvested trees, the wood available for use in toys and other wooden objects is sourced from these logs, or trunks of trees, and not the other parts of trees that could contain the ASTM elements above the limits in the toy standard.8

    7 A succinct description of timber logging can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Logging&redirect=no. A more comprehensive review of timber harvesting can be found at http://www.amazon.com/Tree-Harvesting-Techniques-Forestry-Sciences/dp/9048182824/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1433193105&sr=1-1&keywords=tree+harvesting+techniques%2C+wiksten.

    8 Often, the sawmill creates uniform-length planks from the delivered logs. These planks are sold to wood wholesalers or retailers, and are bought by wooden toy and other manufacturers. Two references to the woods used in toys are: http://www.ehow.com/list_6896897_kinds-wood-toys-made-from_.html, and http://www.woodtoyz.com/WTCat/LearnMaterials.html.

    C. Discussion of Comments to the DFR/NPR

    The CPSC received six comments in response to the DFR and NPR published in the Federal Register on July 17, 2015 (80 FR 42376). Summaries of each comment and our responses are provided below.

    Three comments express support for the proposed determination that unfinished and untreated wood from tree trunks does not require testing for the ASTM elements. Two comments raise questions and requested clarification about the rule. One comment expresses opposition to exempting wood toys from testing.

    Comment 1: One commenter asks what safety measures would be implemented to prevent manufactures from using treated wood instead of untreated wood in toys, and asks what would be classified as untreated wood. For example, the commenter asks if a clear sealant could be used to protect the wood from water and saliva and still be considered untreated wood.

    The commenter also asks what penalties would be incurred if treated wood was used in children's toys.

    Response 1: The proposed rule does not prohibit the use of wood finishes or treatments in children's products. There is no penalty for using treated woods in children's toys as long as the treatment does not violate an applicable children's product safety rule. The purpose of the rule is for the Commission to determine that unfinished and untreated wood does not contain the chemical elements that are restricted in toys under the mandatory toy standard, and thus unfinished and untreated wood does not require third party testing to ensure compliance to the toy standard's chemical solubility requirement. The effect of the rule would be to relieve manufacturers and importers of the third party testing requirement for children's products for unfinished and untreated wood toys or wood component parts of toys.

    A surface coating, such as a clear sealant applied to unfinished wood, is subject to the requirements of 16 CFR part 1303 and the toy standard's chemical solubility requirement. The manufacturer would need to third party test the finished product or could use component part testing to test only the surface coating pursuant to 16 CFR part 1109.

    Comment 2: A commenter asserts that testing still should be required for untreated wood because “so many toys are filled with other chemicals which will be inserted into the mouths of millions of children.” The commenter asserts that much of the wood from outside the United States could be contaminated by heavy metals during processing or before shipping. This commenter also states that the required testing is a simple step to ensure the safety of toys.

    Response 2: The commenter does not provide any data or specific information about toys “filled with other chemicals” that would support a testing requirement for unfinished and untreated wood subject to the ASTM elements restrictions. Nor does the commenter dispute the data and information relied upon by the Commission. The determination for unfinished and untreated wood is based on data and information about the chemical content of wood from all over the world that demonstrated that unfinished and untreated wood does not contain the chemical elements that are restricted in toys under the toy standard. We note that the only chemicals specifically prohibited in toys by ASTM F963 are lead and the seven other ASTM elements; in addition, the CPSIA prohibited specified phthalates.

    Although the commenter refers to the “simple step” of testing, mandatory third party testing can be costly, especially for small or low-volume suppliers. The determination responds to the statutory requirement to consider new or revised third party testing requirements that will reduce third party testing costs consistent with assuring compliance with the applicable consumer product safety rules, bans, standards, and regulations.

    Comment 3: A commenter states that his or her understanding of the proposed rule is that “any untreated wooden toy [could] be tested at any 3rd party lab, not [only those] accredited by the CPSC.” Based on this commenter's understanding of the rule, the commenter asks whether other required ASTM F963 tests on natural wood toys, such as for accessible edges and small parts, could be performed at any third party laboratory, not just laboratories accredited by the CPSC.

    Response 3: The rule affects only the testing requirement for compliance to the ASTM F963 chemical solubility limits. If a toy is subject to other ASTM F963 requirements, such as the mechanical requirements, compliance with those requirements still must be demonstrated through testing by a CPSC-accepted conformity assessment body for the manufacturer to issue a children's product certificate.

    Comment 4: A commenter asserts that the testing requirements are “overwhelming,” and are a factor in reducing the number of specialty “single store, independent `mom and pop' stores.”

    The commenter urges passing a law that would establish that federal requirements would preempt state requirements that add to the burden for small companies, and further asserts that only the largest companies are able to meet the requirements.

    Response 4: The comment is beyond the scope of the current rulemaking. The proposed rule does not address state requirements or testing issues other than the determination for unfinished and untreated wood.

    Comment 5: One commenter, representing several consumer organizations, expresses support for the CPSC's detailed research and study on this issue and agrees that unfinished and untreated trunk wood can be exempted from compliance testing for the heavy elements of the toy standard without any impact on safety. This commenter also expresses support for the Commission's decision not to include in the proposed rule bamboo, beeswax, cotton, wool, linen, and silk, and states that not enough evidence has been presented for a determination on these materials.

    Response 5: The rule is based on data and information on the presence of the ASTM elements in unfinished and untreated wood and other natural materials. The information on bamboo, beeswax, linen, and silk was insufficient to make a Commission determination on these materials.

    Comment 6: A commenter states that the rule would provide limited relief to toy manufacturers because very few toy manufacturers are making products using wood, and wood toys constitute only a small percentage of the toys in the marketplace.

    The commenter urges the Commission to continue to find ways to provide meaningful third party testing burden reduction for companies and for products most impacted by the testing requirements. The commenter suggests that one way for the Commission to do this is by reconsidering the parameters used to exclude materials from testing. The commenter states that the Commission's current standard for finding materials that could be exempt from testing is “unreasonably high.” In addition, the commenter claims Congress's intent was not for the CPSC to apply a “near zero-risk-tolerance approach.” The commenter references other Commission actions that “allow for some level of risk tolerance,” such as the component part testing rule at 16 CFR 1109.5(b), which the commenter claims addresses the exercise of due care, and does not require certainty. Additionally, the commenter mentions the lead determination rule at 16 CFR 1500.91(b), pointing to text indicating that the rule is based on a finding that the material or product “does not exceed” the lead limits, not on a more onerous standard of “will never exceed.”

    The commenter also points to the test procedures of the toy standard (i.e., testing is not conducted if only a small amount of material is present on the product), and urges the Commission to consider this de minimus approach, and approaches like it, to provide meaningful third party testing burden relief.

    Response 6: Public Law 112-28 requires that actions to reduce the costs associated with third party testing must be consistent with assuring compliance with any applicable consumer product safety rule, ban, standard, or regulation. This requirement establishes the standard for Commission decisions for implementing any actions to reduce the cost associated with third party testing.

    The rule on determinations for the ASTM elements in wood for products subject to the toy safety standard represents only one of several completed and ongoing Commission activities to implement, research, and pursue opportunities to reduce the cost of third party testing requirements.

    The commenter's recommendation to consider de minimus and other approaches to reduce third party testing costs are beyond the scope of this rulemaking.

    D. Determination for Unfinished and Untreated Wood for ASTM F963 Limits for Heavy Elements 1. Legal Requirements for a Determination

    As noted above, section 14(a)(2) of the CPSA requires third party testing for children's products that are subject to a children's product safety rule. 15 U.S.C. 2063(a)(2). Toys must comply with the toy standard, including the specified limits on heavy elements. 15 U.S.C. 2056b. In response to statutory direction, the Commission has investigated approaches that would reduce the burden of third party testing while also assuring compliance with CPSC requirements. As part of that endeavor, the Commission has considered whether certain materials used in toys would not require third party testing.

    To issue a determination that a material does not require third party testing, the Commission must have sufficient evidence to conclude that the material would consistently comply with the CPSC requirement that the material is subject to so that third party testing is unnecessary to provide a high degree of assurance of compliance. 16 CFR part 1107. Section 1107.2, defines “a high degree of assurance” as “an evidence-based demonstration of consistent performance of a product regarding compliance based on knowledge of a product and its manufacture.”

    For a material determination, a high degree of assurance of compliance means that the material will comply with the specified chemical limits due to the nature of the material, or due to a processing technique (e.g., harvesting, smelting, cleaning, filtering, sorting) that reduces the chemical concentration below its limit. For materials determined to comply with a chemical limit, the material must continue to comply with that limit if it is used in a children's product subject to that requirement. A material on which a determination has been made cannot be altered or adulterated to render it noncompliant and then used in a children's product.

    Based on the information discussed in section B of this preamble, the Commission determines that unfinished and untreated trunk wood complies with the solubility requirements for the heavy elements in section 4.3.5 of ASTM F963-11 with a high degree of assurance. This determination means that third party testing for compliance to the solubility requirements is not required for certification purposes for unfinished and untreated trunk wood. The Commission makes this determination to reduce the third party testing burden on children's product certifiers while continuing to ensure compliance.

    2. Potential for Third Party Testing Burden Reduction

    CPSC staff assessed the burden reduction that could result from a determination that unfinished and untreated trunk wood does not require third party testing for compliance with the limits on heavy elements in the toy standards. Testing the soluble concentration of the ASTM heavy elements requires placing the toy (or component part of the toy) in a solution of hydrochloric acid for 2 hours. After 2 hours, the solids are separated from the solution, and the solution is analyzed for the presence of any of the ASTM F963-11 heavy elements using atomic spectroscopy. The cost of this testing can vary by factors such as geography and the volume of testing that a manufacturer obtains from a conformity assessment body. Based on published invoices and price lists, the cost of a third party test for the ASTM heavy elements ranges from around $60 in China, up to around $190 in the United States.

    Staff cannot estimate with any certainty what the total potential burden reduction would be from a determination that unfinished and untreated wood will not contain concentrations of antimony, arsenic, barium, cadmium, mercury, and selenium in excess of the limits in ASTM F963-11. Most of the approximately 80,000 kinds of toys on the market 9 probably do not contain any wood components. If we assume that 10 percent of the approximately 80,000 different kinds of toys on the market have at least one wood component that requires third party testing, and we also assume that the average cost of a third party test is about $125 (representing the approximate midpoint of the range for the test's cost), then the potential total burden reduction from a determination for unfinished and untreated wood from tree trunks would be about $1 million annually. This estimate assumes that only one type of wood was used in a product so that the manufacturer would not have to test each individual unfinished and untreated wood component part in a product, as allowed by the component part testing rule (16 CFR part 1109). The estimated benefits could be lower if some manufacturers certify that their wood components comply with the ASTM F963-11 heavy elements requirements, based on third party tests of their raw materials instead of the finished product, as allowed by the component part testing rule. Moreover, the assumption that 10 percent of the toys have wood components is intended only to illustrate the potential benefits; the assumption is not based on any formal study of the toy market.

    9 The estimate that there are 80,000 different kinds of toys is based on the number of toys listed on the Amazon.com Web site on June 2, 2015, for which Amazon.com was listed as the seller and recommended for children 13 years old or younger. Examples of toys that might include wood components include building blocks, various wood pull toys, some toy cars and trucks, train sets, some games and puzzles, some toy figures, and some toys for toddlers and infants.

    3. Statutory Authority

    Section 3 of the CPSIA grants the Commission general rulemaking authority to issue regulations, as necessary, to implement the CPSIA. Public Law 110-314, sec. 3, Aug. 14, 2008. As noted previously, section 14 of the CPSA, which was amended by the CPSIA, requires third party testing for children's products that are subject to a children's product safety rule. 15 U.S.C. 2063(a)(2). Section 14(d)(3)(B) of the CPSA, as amended by Public Law 112-28, gives the Commission the authority to “prescribe new or revised third party testing regulations if it determines that such regulations will reduce third party testing costs consistent with assuring compliance with the applicable consumer product safety rules, bans, standards, and regulations.” Id. 2063(d)(3)(B). These statutory provisions authorize the Commission to issue this rule determining that unfinished and untreated trunk wood will not exceed the limits for heavy elements stated in the toy standard, and therefore, unfinished and untreated trunk wood does not require third party conformity assessment body testing to assure compliance with the heavy elements limits stated in the toy standard.

    This determination relieves unfinished and untreated trunk wood from the third party testing requirement of section 14 of the CPSA for purposes of supporting the required certification. However, if the unfinished and untreated wood is altered so that the material could exceed the heavy elements limits of ASTM F963, the determination is not applicable to that material. The changed or altered material or product must then be tested and meet the heavy element requirements of ASTM F963.

    The determination only lifts the obligation to have unfinished and untreated trunk wood tested by a third party conformity assessment body. The underlying requirement that products subject to the toy standard must comply with the toy standard's limits on heavy elements remains in place.

    4. Description of the Rule

    This rule creates a new Part 1251 for “Toys: Determination Regarding Heavy Elements Limits for Unfinished and Untreated Wood.” Section 1251.1 of the rule explains the statutorily-created requirements for toys under ASTM F963 and the third party testing requirements for children's products.

    Section 1251.2(a) of the rule establishes the Commission's determination that unfinished and untreated trunk wood does not exceed the limits for the heavy elements established in section 4.3.5 of the toy standard with a high degree of assurance as that term is defined in 16 CFR part 1107. The determination only applies if the material has not been treated or adulterated with the addition of any materials that could result in the addition of any of the heavy elements listed in the toy standard at levels above their respective solubility limits. In § 1251.2(b) of the rule, unfinished and untreated trunk wood means wood harvested from trees with no added surface coatings (e.g., varnish, paint, shellac, polyurethane) and no materials added to the wood substrate (e.g., stains, dyes, preservatives, antifungals, insecticides). Because commercial practice creates wood from only the trunks of harvested trees, unfinished and untreated wood as used in the rule means wood that is generally commercially available. Unfinished and untreated wood does not include manufactured or engineered woods such as pressed wood, plywood, particle board, or fiberboard.

    E. Effective Date

    The APA generally requires that a substantive rule must be published not less than 30 days before its effective date. 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1). Because the final rule provides relief from existing testing requirements under the CPSIA, the effective date is January 19, 2016.

    F. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (“RFA”) generally requires that agencies review proposed and final rules for the rules' potential economic impact on small entities, including small businesses, and prepare regulatory flexibility analyses. 5 U.S.C. 603 and 604. The Commission certified that this rule will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities pursuant to section 605(b) of the RFA, 5 U.S.C. 605(b) in the DFR. 80 FR 42376, 42380. The Commission did not receive any comments that questioned or challenged this certification, nor has CPSC staff received any other information that would require a change or revision to the Commission's previous analysis of the impact of the rule on small entities. Therefore, the certification of no significant impact on a substantial number of small entities is still appropriate.

    G. Environmental Considerations

    The Commission's regulations provide a categorical exclusion for Commission rules from any requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement because they “have little or no potential for affecting the human environment.” 16 CFR 1021.5(c)(2). This rule falls within the categorical exclusion, so no environmental assessment or environmental impact statement is required. The Commission's regulations state that safety standards for products normally have little or no potential for affecting the human environment. 16 CFR 1021.5(c)(1). Nothing in this rule alters that expectation.

    List of Subjects in 16 CFR Part 1251

    Business and industry, Consumer protection, Imports, Infants and children, Product testing and certification, Toys.

    Accordingly, 16 CFR part 1251 is added to read as follows:

    PART 1251—TOYS: DETERMINATIONS REGARDING HEAVY ELEMENTS LIMITS FOR CERTAIN MATERIALS Sec. 1251.1 The toy standard and testing requirements. 1251.2 Wood. Authority:

    Sec. 3, Pub. L. 110-314, 122 Stat. 3016; 15 U.S.C. 2063(d)(3)(B).

    § 1251.1 The toy standard and testing requirements.

    The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (“CPSIA”) made provisions of ASTM F963, Consumer Product Safety Specifications for Toy Safety (“toy standard”), a mandatory consumer product safety standard. 15 U.S.C. 2056b. The toy standard requires that surface coating materials and accessible substrates of toys that can be sucked, mouthed, or ingested, must comply with solubility limits that the toy standard establishes for eight heavy elements. Materials used in toys subject to the heavy elements limits in the toy standard must comply with the third party testing requirements of section 14(a)(2) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (“CPSA”), unless listed in § 1251.2.

    § 1251.2 Wood.

    (a) Unfinished and untreated wood does not exceed the limits for the heavy elements established in the toy standard with a high degree of assurance as that term is defined in 16 CFR part 1107, provided that the material has been neither treated nor adulterated with materials that could result in the addition of any of the heavy elements listed in the toy standard at levels above their respective solubility limits.

    (b) For purposes of this section, unfinished and untreated wood means wood harvested from the trunks of trees with no added surface coatings (such as, varnish, paint, shellac, or polyurethane) and no materials added to the wood substrate (such as, stains, dyes, preservatives, antifungals, or insecticides). Unfinished and untreated wood does not include manufactured or engineered woods (such as pressed wood, plywood, particle board, or fiberboard).

    Dated: December 9, 2015. Todd A. Stevenson, Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31723 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6355-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration 21 CFR Part 1308 [Docket No. DEA-419F] Schedules of Controlled Substances: Placement of Eluxadoline Into Schedule IV; Correction AGENCY:

    Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Justice.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is correcting a final rule that appeared in the Federal Register of November 12, 2015 (80 FR 69861). The document issued an action placing the substance 5-[[[(2S)-2-amino-3-[4-aminocarbonyl)-2,6-dimethylphenyl]-1-oxopropyl][(1S)-1-(4-phenyl-1H-imidazol-2-yl)ethyl]amino]methyl]-2-methoxybenzoic acid (eluxadoline), including its salts, isomers, and salts of isomers, into schedule IV of the Controlled Substances Act. This document inadvertently included a paragraph in the regulatory text that was not intended for publication, and was unable to be removed before being placed on public inspection. This document corrects the final rule by removing this paragraph.

    DATES:

    Effective December 17, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John R. Scherbenske, Office of Diversion Control, Drug Enforcement Administration; Mailing Address: 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152, Telephone: (202) 598-6812.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In FR Doc. 2015-28718 appearing on page 69864 in the Federal Register of Thursday, November 12, 2015, the following correction is made:

    Administrative Procedure Act [Corrected]

    1. On page 69864, in the preamble, at the bottom of the first and top of the second columns, the section titled Administrative Procedure Act is removed entirely.

    Dated: December 11, 2015. Chuck Rosenberg, Acting Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31843 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement 30 CFR Part 925 [SATS No. MO-041-FOR; Docket ID: OSM-2013-0008; S1D1S SS08011000 SX064A000 167S180110; S2D2S SS08011000 SX064A000 16XS501520] Missouri Regulatory Program AGENCY:

    Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; approval of amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), are approving an amendment to the Missouri regulatory program (Missouri program) under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act). Missouri proposed revisions to its regulations concerning several topics regarding: Valid Existing Rights; Protection of Hydrologic Balance; Post-mining Land Use; Permit Applications; and Air Resource Protection. Missouri intends to revise its program to be no less effective than the Federal regulations, to clarify ambiguities, and to improve operational efficiency.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: December 17, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Len Meier, Director Alton Field Division, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 501 Belle Street, Suite 216, Alton, IL 62002, Telephone: (618) 463-6460, Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background on the Missouri Program II. Submission of the Amendment III. OSMRE's Findings IV. Summary and Disposition of Comments V. OSMRE's Decision VI. Procedural Determinations I. Background on the Missouri Program

    Section 503(a) of the Act permits a State to assume primacy for the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations on non-Federal and non-Indian lands within its borders by demonstrating that its State program includes, among other things, “a State law which provides for the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations in accordance with the requirements of this Act . . .; and rules and regulations consistent with regulations issued by the Secretary pursuant to this Act.” See 30 U.S.C. 1253(a)(1) and (7). On the basis of these criteria, the Secretary of the Interior conditionally approved the Missouri program on November 21, 1980. You can find background information on the Missouri program, including the Secretary's findings, the disposition of comments, and conditions of approval, in the November 21, 1980, Federal Register (45 FR 77017). You can find later actions concerning the Missouri program and program amendments at 30 CFR 925.10, 925.12, 925.15, and 925.16.

    II. Submission of the Amendment

    By letter dated August 12, 2013 (Administrative Record No. MO-678), Missouri sent us an amendment to its Program under SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.). Missouri sent the amendment in response to a January 31, 2008, letter (Administrative Record No. MO-669) we sent to Missouri in accordance with 30 CFR 732.17(c) concerning changes to valid existing rights requirements. Missouri also made changes to eliminate required program amendments recorded at 30 CFR 925.16(p)(4), (p)(20) and (v); and program disapprovals at 30 CFR 925.12(d). Missouri revised other sections of its regulations at its own initiative. Missouri proposed revisions to title 10 of its Code of State Regulations (CSR) under Division 40 Land Reclamation Commission. The specific sections of 10 CSR 40 in Missouri's amendment are discussed in Part III OSMRE's Findings. Missouri intends to revise its program to be no less effective than the Federal regulations, to clarify ambiguities, and improve operational efficiency.

    We announced receipt of the proposed amendment in the October 25, 2013, Federal Register (78 FR 63909). In the same document, we opened the public comment period and provided an opportunity for a public hearing or meeting on the adequacy of the amendment. We did not hold a public hearing or meeting because no one requested one. The public comment period ended November 24, 2013. We did not receive any public comments.

    III. OSMRE's Findings

    We are approving the amendment as described below. The following are the findings we made concerning Missouri's amendment under SMCRA and the Federal regulations at 30 CFR 732.15 and 732.17. Any revisions that we do not specifically discuss below concerning non-substantive wording or editorial changes can be found in the full text of the program amendment available at www.regulations.gov.

    1. Missouri proposed to revise the sections listed below to make numerous non-substantive edits for clarity and update its rules to current editions of the Missouri Statutes:

    Minor Reference Change Table 10 CSR Title 40-3.040 Requirements for Protection of the Hydrologic Balance. 40-3.060 Requirements for the Disposal of Excess Spoil. 40-3.170 Signs and Markers for Underground Operations. 40-3.180 Casing and Sealing of Exposed Underground Openings. 40-3.200 Requirements for the Protection of the Hydrologic Balance for Underground Operations. 40-3.210 Requirements for the Use of Explosives for Underground Operations. 40-3.220 Disposal of Underground Development Waste and Excess Spoil. 40-3.230 Requirements for the Disposal of Coal Processing Waste for Underground Operations. 40-3.240 Air Resource Protection. 40-3.260 Requirements for Backfilling and Grading for Underground Operations. 40-3.300 Postmining Land Use Requirements for Underground Operations. 40-5.010 Prohibitions and Limitations on Mining in Certain Areas. 40-5.020 State Designation of Areas as Unsuitable for Mining. 40-6.020 General Requirement for Coal Exploration, Permits. 40-6.030 Surface Mining Permit Applications—Minimum Requirements for Legal, Financial, Compliance, and Related Information. 40-6.040 Surface Mining Permit Applications—Minimum Requirements for Information on Environmental Resources. 40-6.050 Surface Mining Permit Applications—Minimum Requirements for Reclamation and Operations Plan. 40-6.060 Requirements for Permits for Special Categories of Surface Coal Mining and Reclamation Operations. 40-6.070 Review, Public Participation and Approval of Permit Applications and Permit Terms and Conditions. 40-6.100 Underground Mining Permit Applications—Minimum Requirements for Legal, Financial, Compliance, and Related Information. 40-6.110 Underground Mining Permit Applications—Minimum Requirements for Information on Environmental Resources. 40-6.120 Underground Mining Permit Applications—Minimum Requirements for Reclamation and Operations Plan. 40-7.050 Requirements, Conditions and Terms of Liability Insurance. 40-8.010 Definitions. 40-8.020 Exemption for Coal Extraction Incident to Government-Financed Highway or Other Construction. 40-8.070 Applicability and General Requirements.

    We find that Missouri's proposed revisions will make its regulations no less effective than the Federal regulations. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revisions.

    2. 10 CSR 40-3.040 Requirements for Protection of the Hydrologic Balance (6)(A)1., (6)(R), and (6)(U) Siltation Structures and 10 CSR 40-3.200 Underground Mining (6)(A)1., (6)(R), and (6)(U) Siltation Structures

    Missouri proposed to replace the word “pond” with “structure” at 10 CSR 40-3.040 (6)(A)1., (6)(R), and (6)(U) Siltation Structures and at 10 CSR 40-3.200 (6)(A)1., (6)(R), and (6)(U) Siltation Structures. The corresponding Federal Regulations at 30 CFR 816.46 and 817.46 uses the same term. We find that Missouri's proposed revision will make its regulations no less effective than the Federal regulations. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision.

    3. 10 CSR 40-3.040 Requirements for Protection of the Hydrologic Balance (10)(B)5. and 10 CSR 40-3.200 Requirements for Protection of the Hydrologic Balance for Underground Operations (6)(T) and (10)(B)5. Permanent and Temporary Impoundments

    Missouri proposed to revise these sections to clarify that requirements for impoundments that meet the size or other criteria of the MSHA, 30 CFR 77.216(a) are contained in United States Soil Conservation Service Technical Release No. 60, Earth Dams and Reservoirs, July 2005, incorporated by reference. Requirements for impoundments that do not meet the size or other criteria contained in 30 CFR 77.216(a) are contained in United States Natural Resources Conservation Service, Conservation Practice Standard, POND, No. CODE 378, January 2004, by reference. The corresponding Federal Regulation at 30 CFR 780.25(a)(2)(i) provides similar requirements. We find that Missouri's proposed revision will make its regulations no less effective than the Federal regulations. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision.

    4. 10 CSR 40-3.040 Requirements for Protection of the Hydrologic Balance (10)(O)3.C. and 10 CSR 40-3.200 Requirements for Protection of the Hydrologic Balance for Underground Operations (10)(O)3.C. Permanent and Temporary Impoundments and Spillways

    Missouri removes these design requirements in response to the disapproval recorded at 30 CFR 925.12(d) in order to be no less effective than the counterpart Federal regulations for surface mining at 30 CFR 780.25(c) and for underground mining at 30 CFR 784.16(c). Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision and removing the disapproval at 30 CFR 925.12(d).

    5. 10 CSR 40-3.060 Requirements for the Disposal of Excess Spoil (1)(K)2. Fill Inspection and 10 CSR 40-3.220 Disposal of Underground Development Waste and Excess Spoil (1)(L) Certified Report

    Missouri proposed to revise these sections to require a registered professional engineer or other qualified professional specialist under the direction of a registered professional engineer to provide the director with a certified report stating that the fill has been constructed as specified in the design approved in the permit and plan. The corresponding Federal Regulation at 30 CFR 816.71(i)(2) contains a similar requirement. We find that Missouri's proposed revision will make its regulations no less effective than the Federal regulations. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision.

    6. 10 CSR 40-3.180 Casing and Sealing of Exposed Underground Openings (3) Permanent Casing and Sealing of Underground Openings

    Missouri proposed to revise this section to correct various regulatory citations and to include a reference to the Wellhead Protection Section, Division of Geology and Land Survey at 10 CSR 23 Chapter 6 for approval of water well transfers. We find that Missouri's proposed revision will make its regulations no less effective than the Federal regulations.

    However, OSMRE received a letter from the Mining Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) on October 25, 2013 (Missouri Administrative Record No. 678.09), which noted that the MSHA citation referenced (30 CFR 75.1771) was incorrect. The correct MSHA regulation is 30 CFR 75.1711. We are approving the amendment with the condition that Missouri correct this typographical error through their State administrative process.

    7. 10 CSR 40-3.200 Requirements for Protection of the Hydrologic Balance for Underground Operations (12)(A)1.(A) Groundwater Monitoring

    Missouri proposed to revise this section to correct the references for remedial measures taken by the operator when analysis of any groundwater sample indicates noncompliance with the permit conditions to 10 CSR 40-6.070(14) and 10 CSR 40-6.120(5). The corresponding Federal Regulation at 30 CFR 816.41 provides similar requirements. We find that Missouri's proposed revision will make its regulations no less effective than the Federal regulations. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision.

    8. 10 CSR 40-3.200 Requirements for Protection of the Hydrologic Balance for Underground Operations (17)(B) Stream Buffer Zones

    Missouri proposed to revise this section to correct the references for the marking of stream buffer zones that are not to be disturbed to meet the regulatory requirements at 10 CSR 40-3.170(6). The corresponding Federal Regulation at 30 CFR 817.11 provides similar requirements. We find that Missouri's proposed revision will make its regulations no less effective than the Federal regulations. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision.

    9. 10 CSR 40-3.220 Disposal of Underground Development Waste and Excess Spoil (1)(K) and (L) General Requirements

    Missouri proposed to revise these sections to clarify at (K) that fill be inspected by or under the direction of a professional engineer and at (L) only the registered engineer shall provide the certified report by removing the “. . . or other qualified professional specialist . . .” verbiage from their rule. The corresponding Federal Regulation at 30 CFR 817.71(h)(2) provides similar requirements. We find that Missouri's proposed revision will make its regulations no less effective than the Federal regulations. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision.

    10. 10 CSR 40-3.230 Requirements for the Disposal of Coal Processing Waste for Underground Operations (1)(A) General Requirements

    Missouri proposed to revise this section to state that all coal processing waste disposed of in an area other than the mine workings or excavations shall be hauled or conveyed and placed for final placement in new or existing disposal areas approved in the permit and plan for this purpose. The corresponding Federal Regulation at 30 CFR 817.81(a) provides similar requirements. We find that Missouri's proposed revision will make its regulations no less effective than the Federal regulations. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision.

    11. 10 CSR 40-3.230 Requirements for the Disposal of Coal Processing Waste for Underground Operations (3)(D) Water Control Measures

    Missouri proposed to revise this section to correct the references to regulatory requirements that discharges of all water from a coal processing waste bank shall comply with 10 CSR 40-3.200(15). The corresponding Federal Regulation at 30 CFR 817.41(h) provides similar requirements. We find that Missouri's proposed revision will make its regulations no less effective than the Federal regulations. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision.

    12. 10 CSR 40-3.240 Air Resource Protection (1)

    On May 8, 1984, OSMRE notified Missouri in the Federal Register (49 FR 19476 as amended at 64 FR 57981) and recorded at 30 CFR 925.16(p)(4) that this requirement must be revised to provide performance standards that address air quality in a manner no less effective than the Federal regulations at 30 CFR 817.95(a). Missouri proposed to revise this section to require that all exposed surface areas be protected and stabilized to effectively control erosion and air pollution attendant to erosion according to 10 CSR 40-3.200(5)(A). The corresponding Federal Regulation at 30 CFR 817.95(a) provides similar requirements. We find that Missouri's proposed revision will make its regulations no less effective than the Federal regulations. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision and removing the required program amendment at 30 CFR 925.16(p)(4).

    13. 10 CSR 40-3.260 Requirements for Backfilling and Grading for Underground Operations (4) Regrading or Stabilizing Rills and Gullies

    Missouri proposed to revise this section to replace the existing requirements with more specific guidelines, including time frames, for regrading or stabilizing rills and gullies. Missouri proposed to add a section on regrading or stabilizing rills and gullies on areas that have been previously mined. The corresponding Federal Regulation at 30 CFR 816.95(b) provides similar, but less specific requirements. We find that Missouri's proposed revision will make its regulations no less effective than the Federal regulations. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision.

    14. 10 CSR 40-3.300 Postmining Land Use Requirements for Underground Operations

    Missouri proposed to revise subsection (3) of this section to correct the references to regulatory requirements at this section to require that prior to the release of lands from the permit area in accordance with 10 CSR 40-7.021(2)(C), the permit area shall be restored, in a timely manner, either to conditions capable of supporting the uses they were capable of supporting before any mining or to conditions capable of supporting approved alternative land uses. Although there is no Federal Equivalent under the requirements for postmining land use, the corresponding Federal regulation for bond release at 30 CFR 800.40(c) provides similar requirements to the Missouri citation. We find that Missouri's proposed revision will make its regulations no less effective than the Federal regulations. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision.

    15. 10 CSR 40-5.010 Prohibitions and Limitations on Mining in Certain Areas (1)(A) Definition of Valid Existing Rights

    Missouri proposed to revise this section to replace the definition of Valid Existing Rights with language that is consistent with the corresponding Federal regulation at 30 CFR 761.5. We find that Missouri's proposed revision will make its regulations substantively the same as the Federal regulations. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision.

    16. 10 CSR 40-5.010 Prohibitions and Limitations on Mining in Certain Areas (2) Areas Where Mining is Prohibited or Limited

    Missouri proposed to revise this section to require that surface coal mining operations may not be conducted on the following lands, unless the permit applicant either has valid existing rights as determined under section (7) or qualifies for the exception for existing operations under section (3). Missouri also revises this section at 10 CSR 40-5.010 (2)(E)2. to state that concerning the prohibition within 300 feet measured horizontally from an occupied dwelling, the prohibition does not apply when the part of the operation to be located closer than 300 feet to the dwelling is an access or haul road that connects with an existing public road on the side of the public road opposite the dwelling.

    The corresponding Federal regulation at 30 CFR 761.11 provides similar requirements. We find that Missouri's proposed revision will make its regulations no less effective than the Federal regulations. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision.

    17. 10 CSR 40-5.010 Prohibitions and Limitations on Mining in Certain Areas (3) Exception for Existing Operations

    Missouri proposed to revise this section to require that the prohibitions and limitations of section (2) do not apply to surface coal mining operations for which a valid permit, issued under 10 CSR 40-6, exists when the land within the permit area comes under the protection of section 444.890.4, Revised Statute of Missouri (RSMo), or this rule. The corresponding Federal regulation at 30 CFR 761.12 provides similar requirements. We find that Missouri's proposed revision will make its regulations no less effective than the Federal regulations. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision.

    18. 10 CSR 40-5.010 Prohibitions and Limitations on Mining in Certain Areas (4) Procedures for Compatibility Findings for Surface Coal Mining Operations on Federal Lands in National Forests

    Missouri proposed to revise this section at (4)(A) to correct references to the Federal regulations at 30 CFR 761.13 concerning Federal lands in a national forest. Missouri added language at (4)(B) that the applicant may submit a request to the regional director of OSMRE for a determination before preparing and submitting an application for a permit or boundary revision. Additionally, the applicant must explain how the proposed operation would not damage the values listed in the definition of “significant recreational, timber, economic, or other values incompatible with surface coal mining operations” in subsection (1)(B) and must include a map and sufficient information about the nature of the proposed operation for the Secretary of the Interior to make adequately documented findings. Missouri proposed to revise section (4)(C) to require that when a proposed surface coal mining operation or proposed boundary revision for an existing surface coal mining operation includes Federal lands within a national forest, the commission or director may not issue the permit or approve the boundary revision before the Secretary of the Interior makes the findings required by subsection (2)(B).

    The corresponding Federal regulation at 30 CFR 761.13, provides similar requirements. We find that Missouri's proposed revision will make its regulations no less effective than the Federal regulations. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision.

    19. 10 CSR 40-5.010 Prohibitions and Limitations on Mining in Certain Areas (5) Procedures for Relocating or Closing a Public Road or Waiving the Prohibition on Surface Coal Mining Operations Within the Buffer Zone of a Public Road

    Missouri proposed to revise this section at (5)(A) to emphasize that the requirements of this section do not apply to lands for which a person has valid existing rights, that are within the scope of existing operations as defined in Section (3), or roads that join an existing public road.

    Missouri proposed to revise the section at (5)(B)(3) to provide a public comment period if a mining operation may affect a right-of-way or public road.

    The corresponding Federal regulation at 30 CFR 761.14 provides similar requirements. We find that Missouri's proposed revision will make its regulations no less effective than the Federal regulations. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision.

    20. 10 CSR 40-5.010 Prohibitions and Limitations on Mining in Certain Areas (6) Procedures for Waiving the Prohibition on Surface Coal Mining Operations within the Buffer Zone of an Occupied Dwelling

    Missouri proposed to revise this section to identify three situations where this section does not apply, and to require waivers to clarify who has a legal right to deny mining and knowingly waived that right. The waiver will act as consent for the mining. Missouri adds language similar to the requirements in the corresponding Federal regulation at 30 CFR 761.15. We find that Missouri's proposed revision will make its regulations no less effective than the Federal regulations. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision.

    21. 10 CSR 40-5.010 Prohibitions and Limitations on Mining in Certain Areas (7) Submission and Processing of Requests for Valid Existing Rights Determinations

    Missouri proposed to revise this section to require that an applicant must request a valid existing rights determination from OSMRE for Federal lands and for those features on Federal lands protected under subsections (2)(C) through (G). An applicant must request a valid existing rights determination for non-Federal lands and for those features on non-Federal lands protected under subsections (2)(C) through (G) from the regulatory authority. The regulatory authority must use the Federal definition of valid existing rights at 30 CFR 761.5 when making a determination for non-Federal lands and the definition of valid existing rights at subsection (1)(A) when making a determination for those features protected under subsections (2)(C) through (G).

    At (7)(B), Missouri requires that an applicant must request a valid existing rights determination from the appropriate agency under subsection (7)(A) if the applicant intends to conduct surface coal mining operations on the basis of valid existing rights under section (2) or wishes to confirm the right to do so. The applicant may submit this request before preparing and submitting an application for a permit or boundary revision for the land. If OSMRE is the appropriate agency, the applicant must request the determination in accordance with the requirements of the Federal regulations at 30 CFR 761.16. If the regulatory authority is the appropriate agency, the applicant must request the determination in accordance with the requirements of 10 CSR 40-5.010.

    The corresponding Federal regulation at 30 CFR 761.16, provides similar requirements. We find that Missouri's proposed revision will make its regulations no less effective than the Federal regulations. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision.

    22. 10 CSR 40-5.010 Prohibitions and Limitations on Mining in Certain Areas (8) Regulatory Authority Obligations at Time of Permit Application Review

    Missouri proposed to revise this section at (8)(A) to require that the commission or director review the application to determine whether the proposed surface coal mining operation would be located on any lands protected under section 444.890.4, RSMo., or Missouri regulations.

    At (8)(B), Missouri requires that the commission or director reject any portion of the application that would locate surface coal mining operations on land protected under section 444.890.4, RSMo., or Missouri regulation, unless: the site qualifies for the exception for existing operations under section (3); a person has valid existing rights; the applicant obtains a waiver or exception from the prohibitions of section 444.890.4, RSMo., or Missouri regulation; and for lands protected by subsection (2)(C), both the commission or director and the agency with jurisdiction over the park or place jointly approve the proposed operation in accordance with subsection (8)(D).

    At (8)(C), Missouri added language to this section that if the commission or director has difficulty determining whether an application includes land within an area specified in subsection (2)(A), the commission or director shall request that the Federal, state, or local governmental agency verify the location.

    At (8)(D), if the commission or director determines that the proposed surface coal mining operation will adversely affect any publicly-owned park or any place included in the National Register of Historic Places, the director shall request that the Federal, state, or local agency with jurisdiction over the park or place either approve or object to the proposed operation. The regulations contain requirements on how this request will be submitted and processed.

    The corresponding Federal regulation at 30 CFR 761.17 provides similar requirements. We find that Missouri's proposed revision will make its regulations no less effective than the Federal regulations. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision.

    23. 10 CSR 40-5.020 State Designation of Areas as Unsuitable for Mining (3) Applicability to Lands Designated as Unsuitable by Congress; and (4) Exploration on Land Designated as Unsuitable for Surface Coal Mining Operations

    Missouri proposed new language at section (3) Applicability to Lands Designated as Unsuitable by Congress; pursuant to appropriate petitions, lands listed under 10 CSR 40-5.010(2) are subject to designation as unsuitable for all or certain types of surface coal mining operations under this rule. Missouri's proposed new language is consistent with the corresponding Federal regulation at 30 CFR 762.14. Therefore, we find that Missouri's new language is no less effective than the Federal regulation. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's new language.

    Additionally, Missouri proposed to revise section (4) by adding a new title: Exploration on Land Designated as Unsuitable for Surface Coal Mining Operations and added the word “unsuitable” in this section. Missouri's proposed revisions are consistent with corresponding Federal regulation at 30 CFR 762.15. We find that Missouri's revisions are no less effective than the corresponding the Federal regulation. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revisions.

    24. 10 CSR 40-6.020 General Requirements for Coal Exploration Permits (3)(B)14. Permit requirements for explorations removing more than two hundred fifty tons of coal or where explorations will substantially disturb the natural land surface

    Missouri proposed to revise this section to require that for any lands listed in 10 CSR 40-5.010(2), a demonstration that the proposed exploration activities have been designed to minimize interference with the values for which those lands were designated as unsuitable for surface coal mining operations. The corresponding Federal regulation at 30 CFR 772.12(b)(14) provides similar requirements. We find that Missouri's proposed revision will make its regulations no less effective than the Federal regulations. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision.

    25. 10 CSR 40-6.020 General Requirements for Coal Exploration Permits (3)(D) Decisions on Applications for Exploration Removing More Than Two Hundred Fifty Tons of Coal

    Missouri proposed to add paragraph 2.D. to this section requiring minimal interference, to the extent possible, with the values for which those lands were designated as unsuitable for surface coal mining with exploration activities. This section also requires reasonable opportunity for comment by the owner or agency with primary jurisdiction over the feature causing the land to come under the protection of 10 CSR 40-5.010(2) on whether the finding by the commission under (3)(D)1 and 2 is appropriate.

    The corresponding Federal regulation at 30 CFR 772.12(d)(2)(iv), provides similar requirements. We find that Missouri's proposed revision will make its regulations no less effective than the Federal regulations. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision.

    26. 10 CSR 40-6.030 Surface Mining Permit Applications—Minimum Requirements for Legal, Financial, Compliance, and Related Information (4)(C) Relationship to Areas Designated Unsuitable for Mining

    Missouri proposed to revise this subsection to require that if an applicant proposed to conduct surface mining activities within one hundred feet (100′) of the outside right-of-way of a public road or within three hundred feet (300′) of an occupied dwelling, the application shall meet the requirements of 10 CSR 40-5.010(5) or (6), respectively. The corresponding Federal regulation at 30 CFR 778.16(c), provides similar requirements. We find that Missouri's proposed revision will make its regulations no less effective than the Federal regulations. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision.

    27. 10 CSR 40-6.050 Surface Mining Permit Applications—Minimum Requirements for Reclamation and Operations Plan (14)(B) Protection of Public Parks and Historic Places

    Missouri proposed to revise this section to correct the references to regulatory requirements to make it similar to the provisions of the corresponding Federal regulation at 30 CFR 780.31(a). We find that Missouri's proposed revision will make its regulations no less effective than the Federal regulations. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision.

    28. 10 CSR 40-6.050 Surface Mining Permit Applications—Minimum Requirements for Reclamation and Operations Plan (15) Relocation or Use of Public Roads

    Missouri proposed to revise this section to correct the references to regulatory requirements to make it similar to the provisions of the corresponding Federal regulation at 30 CFR 780.33. We find that Missouri's proposed revision will make its regulations no less effective than the Federal regulations. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision.

    29. 10 CSR 40-6.060 Requirements for Permits for Special Categories of Surface Coal Mining and Reclamation Operations

    Missouri proposed to revise this section to correct the address of the Land Reclamation Program at (4)(C)1.A. and references to regulatory requirements to make it similar to the provisions of the corresponding Federal regulation at 30 CFR 785.17(e)(2). We find that Missouri's proposed revision will make its regulations no less effective than the Federal regulations. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision.

    30. 10 CSR 40-6.070 Review, Public Participation and Approval of Permit Applications and Permit Terms and Conditions (2)(A)5. Public Notices of Filing of Permit Applications

    Missouri proposed to revise this subsection to require that if an applicant seeks a permit to mine within one hundred feet (100′) of the outside right-of-way of a public road or to relocate a public road, a concise statement describing the mine-related activities must be submitted. The corresponding Federal regulation at 30 CFR 773.6(a)(1)(v) provides similar requirements. We find that Missouri's proposed revision will make its regulations no less effective than the Federal regulations. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision.

    Additionally, Missouri proposed to revise this section to add “mine-related activities” to the concise statement requirement if an applicant seeks a permit under this section of the rule. The corresponding Federal regulation at 30 CFR 773.15(c)(2), provides similar requirements. We find that Missouri's proposed revision will make its regulations no less effective than the Federal regulations. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision.

    31. 10 CSR 40-6.100 Underground Mining Permit Applications—Minimum Requirements for Legal, Financial, Compliance, and Related Information (1)(C) and (D) Identification of Interests

    Missouri proposed to revise this section to clarify that required information concerning an applicant's ownership or control as defined in 10 CSR 40-6.010(2)(C) must be contained in each application. The corresponding Federal regulations at 30 CFR 778.11 and 778.12 provide similar requirements. We find that Missouri's proposed revision will make its regulations no less effective than the Federal regulations. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision.

    32. 10 CSR 40-6.120 Underground Mining Permit Applications—Minimum Requirements for Reclamation and Operations Plan (5)(C) Reclamation Plan—Protection of Hydrologic Balance

    Missouri proposed to revise subparagraph (C) to clarify that the supplemental information required by this section shall include the plans listed at (C)1. through (C)3. The corresponding Federal regulation at 30 CFR 784.14(g), provides similar requirements. We find that Missouri's proposed revision will make its regulations no less effective than the Federal regulations. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision.

    33. 10 CSR 40-6.120 Underground Mining Permit Applications—Minimum Requirements for Reclamation and Operations Plan (7)(A)1.A. Reclamation Plan-Ponds, Impoundments, Banks, Dams, and Embankments

    Missouri proposed to revise this section to clarify that the general plan shall be prepared by or under the direction of and certified by only a qualified registered professional engineer by removing the “ . . . or by a professional geologist. . .” verbiage from their rule. The corresponding Federal regulation at 30 CFR 784.16(a) provides similar requirements. We find that Missouri's proposed revision will make its regulations no less effective than the Federal regulations. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision.

    34. 10 CSR 40-6.120 Underground Mining Permit Applications—Minimum Requirements for Reclamation and Operations Plan (9)(A) Relocation or Use of Public Roads

    Missouri proposed to revise this section to change from “underground mining activities” to “surface coal mining operations.” The corresponding Federal regulation at 30 CFR 784.18(a) provides similar requirements. We find that Missouri's proposed revision will make its regulations no less effective than the Federal regulations. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision.

    35. 10 CSR 40-8.010 Definitions

    Missouri proposed to revise the definition of several terms to provide similar definitions to the corresponding Federal regulation at 30 CFR 701.5, including adding a definition for “Replacement of water supply.” We find that Missouri's proposed revisions will make its regulations substantively the same as the corresponding Federal regulations.

    However, we noted in the definition at 89 Significant, imminent environmental harm to land, air or water resources, the reference needs to be changed from 444.855.2, RSMo to the valid reference 444.885.2, RSMo. Missouri needs to correct this citation in a future program amendment. We are approving the amendment with the condition that Missouri prepare a required program amendment at 30 CFR 925.16 to correct the regulation citation.

    36. 10 CSR 40-8.020 Exemption for Coal Extraction Incident to Government-Financed Highway or Other Construction (2)(C) Definitions

    Missouri proposed to revise this definition to be substantively the same as the corresponding Federal regulation at 30 CFR 707.5. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision.

    37. 10 CSR 40-8.070 Applicability and General Requirements (2)(C)1.A.(II)

    Missouri proposed to correct the reporting dates at (a) and (b) of this subparagraph. These dates were corrected to clearly require separate cumulative coal production and revenue data from mining prior to October 1, 1992, and after October 1, 1992. This action corrects the disapproval of the Missouri regulations recorded at 30 CFR 925.12(f). The corresponding Federal regulation at 30 CFR 702.5(a)(2) provides a similar requirement. We find that Missouri's proposed revision will make its regulations no less effective than the Federal regulations. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision and removing the disapproval at 30 CFR 925.12(f) and the required program amendment at 30 CFR 925.16(p)(20).

    38. 10 CSR 40-8.070 Applicability and General Requirements (2)(C)8.B

    Missouri removes this subparagraph as redundant to the previously approved subparagraph at (2)(C)8.A. Since this action merely removes redundant language from a previously approved requirement, we find that Missouri's proposed revision will make its regulations no less effective than the Federal regulations. Therefore, we are approving Missouri's revision.

    IV. Summary and Disposition of Comments Public Comments

    We asked for public comments on the amendment, but did not receive any.

    Federal Agency Comments

    On August 23, 2013, under 30 CFR 732.17(h)(11)(i) and section 503(b) of SMCRA, we requested comments on the amendment from various Federal agencies with an actual or potential interest in the Missouri program (Administrative Record Nos. MO-678.03 through MO-678.08). We received one comment from MSHA (Administrative Record No. MO-678.09). MSHA pointed out that at 10 CSR 40-3.180(3), Missouri had incorrectly cited the MSHA regulation as 30 CFR 75.1771, when the correct MSHA regulation is 30 CFR 75.1711. Missouri was notified of this typographical error and will make this correction through its State administrative process.

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Concurrence and Comments

    Under 30 CFR 732.17(h)(11)(ii), we are required to get a written concurrence from EPA for those provisions of the program amendment that relate to air or water quality standards issued under the authority of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.) or the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.). None of the revisions that Missouri proposed to make in this amendment pertain to air or water quality standards. Therefore, we did not ask EPA to concur on the amendment. However, on August 23, 2013, under 30 CFR 732.17(h)(11)(i), we requested comments on the amendment from EPA (Administrative Record No. MO-678.04). The EPA did not respond to our request.

    State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP)

    Under 30 CFR 732.17(h)(4), we are required to request comments from the SHPO and ACHP on amendments that may have an effect on historic properties. On August 23, 2013, we requested comments on Missouri's amendment (Administrative Record No. MO-678.06 and MO-678.07), but neither the SHPO nor ACHP responded to our request.

    V. OSMRE's Decision

    Based on the above findings, we approve the amendment Missouri sent us on August 12, 2013.

    To implement this decision, we are amending the Federal regulations at 30 CFR part 925, which codify decisions concerning the Missouri program to include the original amendment submission date and the date of final publication for this rulemaking.

    VI. Procedural Determinations Executive Order 12630—Takings

    This rule does not have takings implications. This determination is based on the analysis performed for the counterpart Federal regulation.

    Executive Order 12866—Regulatory Planning and Review

    This rule is exempted from review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under Executive Order 12866.

    Executive Order 12988—Civil Justice Reform

    The Department of the Interior has conducted the reviews required by Section 3 of Executive Order 12988 and has determined that this rule meets the applicable standards of subsections (a) and (b) of that section. Because each program is drafted and promulgated by a specific State, not by OSMRE, these standards are not applicable to the actual language of State regulatory programs and program amendments. Under sections 503 and 505 of SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1253 and 1255) and the Federal regulations at 30 CFR 730.11, 732.15 and 732.17(h)(10), decisions on proposed State regulatory programs and program amendments submitted by the States must be based solely on a determination of whether the submittal is consistent with SMCRA and its implementing Federal regulations and whether the other requirements of 30 CFR parts 730, 731 and 732 have been met.

    Executive Order 13132—Federalism

    This rule does not have Federalism implications. SMCRA delineates the roles of the Federal and State governments with regard to the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations. One of the purposes of SMCRA is to “establish a nationwide program to protect society and the environment from the adverse effects of surface coal mining operations.” Section 503(a)(1) of SMCRA requires State laws regulating surface coal mining and reclamation operations be” in accordance with” the requirements of SMCRA. Section 503(a)(7) requires that State programs contain rules and regulations “consistent with” regulations issued by the Secretary pursuant to SMCRA.

    Executive Order 13175—Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

    In accordance with Executive Order 13175, we have evaluated the potential effects of this rule on federally recognized Indian tribes. We have determined that the rule does not have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. This determination was reached because the Missouri program does not regulate coal exploration and surface coal mining or reclamation operations on Indian lands. Therefore, the Missouri program has no effect on federally recognized Indian tribes.

    Executive Order 13211—Regulations That Significantly Affect the Supply, Distribution, or Use of Energy

    On May 18, 200,1 the President issued Executive Order 13211, which requires agencies to prepare a Statement of Energy Effects for a rule that is, (1) considered significant under Executive Order 12866 and (2) likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution or use of energy. A Statement of Energy Effects is not required because this rule is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866 and is not expected to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution or use of energy.

    National Environmental Policy Act

    This rule does not require an environmental impact statement because Section 702(d) of SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1292(d)) states that agency decisions on proposed State regulatory program provisions do not constitute major Federal actions within the meaning of Section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C)).

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not contain information collection requirements that require approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3507 et seq.).

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Department of the Interior certifies that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). The State submittal, which is the subject of this rule, is based upon counterpart Federal regulations for which an economic analysis was prepared and certification made that such regulations would not have a significant economic effect upon a substantial number of small entities. In making the determination as to whether this rule would have a significant economic impact, the Department relied upon the data and assumptions for the counterpart Federal regulations.

    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This rule (a) does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million; (b) will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government agencies, or geographic regions; and (c) does not have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises. This determination is founded upon the State submittal, which is the subject of this rule. The State submittal is based upon counterpart Federal regulations, for which an analysis was prepared, and a determination made that the Federal regulation was not considered a major rule.

    Unfunded Mandates

    This rule will not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, tribal governments or the private sector of $100 million or more in any given year. This determination is based upon the fact that the State submittal, which is the subject of this rule, is based upon counterpart Federal regulations, for which an analysis was prepared, and a determination made that the Federal regulation did not impose an unfunded mandate.

    List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 925

    Intergovernmental relations, Surface mining, Underground mining.

    Dated: July 16, 2015. Len Meier, Acting Regional Director, Mid-Continent Region. Editorial Note:

    This document was received for publication by the Office of the Federal Register on December 11, 2015.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 30 CFR part 925 is amended as set forth below:

    PART 925—MISSOURI 1. The authority citation for part 925 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.

    2. Section 925.15 is amended in the table by adding an entry in chronological order by “Date of final publication” to read as follows:
    § 925.15 Approval of Missouri regulatory program amendments. Original amendment
  • submission date
  • Date of final
  • publication
  • Citation/description
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * August 12, 2013 December 17, 2015 10 CSR 40-3.040(6)(A)1., (6)(R), (6)(U), (10)(B)5., and (10)(O)3.C.; 10 CSR 40-3.060(1)(K)2.; 10 CSR 40-3.180(3); 10 CSR 40-3.200(6)(A)1., (6)(R), (6)(U), (6)(T), (10)(B)5., (10)(O)3.C., (12)(A)1.(A), and (17)(B); 10 CSR 40-3.220(1)(K) and (L);10 CSR 40-3.230(1)(A) and (3)(D); 10 CSR 40-3.240(1); 10 CSR 40-3.260(4); 10 CSR 40-3.300; 10 CSR 40-5.010(1)(A), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), and (8); 10 CSR 40-5.020(3) and (4); 10 CSR 40-6.020(3)(B)14., and (3)(D); 10 CSR 40-6.030(4)(C); 10 CSR 40-6.050(14)(B) and (15); 10 CSR 40-6.060; 10 CSR 40-6.070(2)(A)5.; 10 CSR 40-6.100(1)(C) and (D); 10 CSR 40-6.120(5)(C), (7)(A)1.A., and (9)(A); 10 CSR 40-8.010; 10 CSR 40 8.020(2)(C); 10 CSR 40-8.070(2)(C)1.A.(II) and (2)(C)8.B.
    § 925.16 [Amended]
    3. Section 925.16 is amended by removing and reserving paragraphs (p)(4) and (20) and removing paragraph (v).
    [FR Doc. 2015-31674 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 49 CFR PART 571 [Docket No. NHTSA-2015-0057] RIN 2127-AL41 Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment AGENCY:

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This final rule amends the rear license plate holder requirements contained in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 108; “Lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment.” The final rule expands upon the proposal in the NPRM and allows license plates on all motor vehicles to be mounted on a plane up to 30 degrees upward from vertical if the upper edge of the license plate is not more than 1.2 meters (47.25 inches) from the ground. Previously, the maximum allowable upward mounting angle was 15 degrees beyond vertical. This final rule increases harmonization with existing requirements in European regulations. Additionally, this final rule increases a manufacturer's design flexibility while providing opportunity to decrease cost without compromising safety.

    DATES:

    Effective June 14, 2016, with optional early compliance as discussed below.

    Petitions for Reconsideration: Petitions for reconsideration of this final rule must be received not later than February 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Petitions for reconsideration of this final rule must refer to the docket and notice number set forth above and be submitted to the Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For technical issues: Mr. David Beck, Office of Crash Avoidance Standards, Telephone: 202-366-6813, Facsimile: 202-366-7002.

    For legal issues: Mr. John Piazza, Office of the Chief Counsel, Telephone: 202-366-2992, Facsimile: 202-366-3820.

    The mailing address for these officials is: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Background II. Summary of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) III. Summary of Public Comments and NHTSA's Response IV. Final Rule V. Effective Date VI. Regulatory Analyses and Notices I. Background

    The agency reorganized FMVSS No. 108, “Lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment,” in a 2007 final rule by streamlining the regulatory text and clarifying the standard's requirements.1 The final rule, among other things, incorporated important agency interpretations and reduced reliance on third-party documents incorporated by reference. Regulated parties provided feedback to the agency that documents, incorporated by reference before the 2007 reorganization, made it difficult to determine all of the applicable requirements. For example, the standard incorporated some older versions of SAE standards, not the most current versions; not only were the older SAE standards sometimes difficult to obtain, but some regulated parties may have mistakenly believed that FMVSS No. 108 incorporated the most recent SAE standards. The reorganization was intended to fix these problems. The agency stated in the final rule that the reorganization of FMVSS No. 108 was administrative and not intended to change the standard's substantive requirements.

    1 72 FR 68234, Dec. 4, 2007.

    SAE 2 International Recommended Practice, SAE J587 OCT81, License Plate Lamps (Rear Registration Plate Lamps) was one of the third-party documents whose requirements were transferred to the regulatory text of the standard. Among other requirements derived from SAE J587 OCT81, S6.6.3 of the final rule required that the rear license plate holder be mounted within an angle ± 15 degrees of a plane perpendicular to that on which the vehicle stands. This requirement was not expressly stated in the text of the standard previously. Instead, FMVSS No. 108 contained two tables indicating the lighting requirements for different types of vehicles, and these tables indicated that “SAE J587, October 1981” was an “Applicable SAE standard” for a “license plate lamp.” 3 Even though the 2007 final rule explicitly stated the SAE J587 requirements for the first time, these requirements were not new, since FMVSS No. 108 had previously incorporated them by reference.

    2 Previously named Society of Automotive Engineers.

    3See 49 CFR 571.108, Table I (Required Motor Vehicle Lighting Equipment Other Than Headlamps, Multipurpose Passenger Vehicles, Trucks, Trailers, and Buses, of 80 or More Inches in Overall Width) (2006); see also Table III (Required Motor Vehicle Lighting Equipment, Passenger Cars and Motorcycles, and Multipurpose Passenger Vehicles, Trucks, Buses and Trailers of Less than 80 Inches in Overall Width).

    In response to the December 2007 final rule, the agency received petitions for reconsideration from Harley-Davidson Motor Company 4 (Harley-Davidson) and Ford Motor Company (Ford).5 Ford requested that the agency delete S6.6.3 because, Ford concluded, NHTSA had stated that not all requirements of referenced SAE standards were intended to be incorporated into FMVSS No. 108. Harley-Davidson petitioned NHTSA to either withdraw or amend the license plate mounting angle requirements because, Harley-Davidson stated, FMVSS No. 108 regulated license plate lamps, not holders. After the 2007 final rule was published, the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) submitted a petition for reconsideration requesting that the agency amend the license plate angle mounting requirement for motorcycles.6 Because the petition for reconsideration was received on March 19, 2009, well after the allowed time for such petitions, NHTSA treated it as a petition for rulemaking.7

    4 Docket No. NHTSA 2011-0052.

    5 Docket No. NHTSA 2007-28322.

    6 MIC had also submitted a petition for rulemaking before the 2007 final rule (on March 14, 2005) requesting that the agency modify the license mounting angle requirement to allow license plates to be mounted between 30 degrees upward and 15 degrees downward of a plane perpendicular to that on which the vehicle stands. NHTSA did not grant this request before or during the administrative re-write of FMVSS No. 108 because the agency's intent was to streamline and clarify the standard, not to make substantive changes.

    7See 49 CFR 553.35.

    In two separate notices, both issued on April 26, 2011, NHTSA granted MIC's petition for rulemaking 8 and denied, in part, the petitions for reconsideration of the 2007 final rule on the same issue.9 Because of confusion among regulated entities over whether the license plate mounting angle requirements in SAE J587 OCT81 were incorporated into FMVSS No. 108, the agency announced that it would not enforce the 15 degree mounting angle requirement while it is completing the rulemaking that was the subject of the petition.10 That enforcement policy will end as of the effective date of this final rule.

    8See 76 FR 23254, Apr. 26, 2011 (granting petition for rulemaking).

    9See 76 FR 23255, Apr. 26, 2011 (denying, in part, petitions for reconsideration).

    10See id. at 23256.

    II. Summary of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)

    On September 3, 2013, the agency published an NPRM proposing to amend FMVSS No. 108 to allow manufacturers greater flexibility in the design of the license plate mounting surface on motorcycles.11 The proposal stated that the maximum downward angle at which a motorcycle license plate could be mounted (i.e., the plate faces below the horizon) would remain 15 degrees, as would the maximum upward angle for license plates on motorcycles on which the upper edge of the license plate is more than 1.2 m (47.25 inches) from the ground. If the upper edge of the license plate is not more than 1.2 m (47.25 inches) above the ground, however, NHTSA proposed to amend the motorcycle license plate mounting angle requirements to allow mounting angles of up to 30 degrees upward from the vertical (i.e., the plate faces above the horizon).

    11 78 FR 54210, Sept. 3, 2013.

    NHTSA anticipated that this change would reduce costs for manufacturers by allowing them to use the same mounting hardware for the license plate in both the U.S. and Europe. The agency also stated that it did not believe that the proposal would compromise safety because the proposed changes to the license plate mounting angle requirement would not affect the ability of law enforcement personnel or the general public to view the license plate. The NPRM also requested comment on the following issues: Amending the license plate mounting angle requirements to allow the license plate to be mounted at an angle of 30 degrees upward of vertical on all vehicles, or, alternatively, on vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds and less; adopting the maximum height requirement of 1.5 m specified in the analogous European Economic Community (EEC) regulations; and whether the proposed amendments would negatively affect the ability of license plate recognition technology to read license plate characters.12

    12Id.

    III. Summary of Public Comments and NHTSA's Response

    In response to the NPRM, the agency received comments from trade associations, a non-profit association, manufacturers, and an individual. The trade associations that submitted comments were the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (the Alliance) and MIC. The voluntary non-profit association of state and provincial motor vehicle administrations—the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA)—submitted a comment. Volkswagen Group of America (Volkswagen) and Harley-Davidson Motor Company (Harley-Davidson) also submitted comments. The agency also received a comment from an individual commenter. Comments are summarized below by topic, along with the agency's responses.

    Harmonization and Cost Saving Benefits of the Proposal Comments

    MIC and Harley-Davidson supported the proposal to increase the maximum mounting angle to 30 degrees beyond vertical if the upper edge of the license plate is not more than 1.2 m (47.25 inches) above the ground. (MIC and Harley-Davidson also suggested, as discussed below, adopting the EEC height requirement.) Each commented that the proposal would align FMVSS No. 108 more closely with the EEC mounting angle requirements.13 Each also stated that this change would increase manufacturer design flexibility and decrease manufacturers' costs without decreasing safety.

    13See EEC Council Directive 2009/62/EC, 1990 O.J. (L 198/20).

    Agency Response

    The agency agrees with MIC's and Harley-Davidson's comments supporting the agency's proposal. Regarding MIC's comment that the proposal would align FMVSS No. 108 more closely with the EEC license plate mounting angle requirement, the agency verified that today's final rule is generally consistent with the inclination provisions of EEC Council Directive 2009/62/EC.14

    14 3. INCLINATION

    3.1. The rear registration plate:

    3.1.1. must be at right angles to the median longitudinal plane of the vehicle;

    3.1.2. may be inclined from the vertical by not more than 30°, with the vehicle unladen, when the backing plate for the registration number faces upwards;

    3.1.3. may be inclined by not more than 15° from the vertical, with the vehicle unladen, when the backing plate for the registration number faces downwards.

    Legibility Comments

    MIC agreed with the agency's tentative conclusion that the proposed maximum mounting angle would not adversely affect the ability of license plate recognition technology to read license plates. MIC also stated that optics and software could be readily modified, and that the technology is more sensitive to downward than upward angles. A former law enforcement officer stated that license plates mounted at an angle are often more difficult to read in low light. He stated that the proposed rule would interfere with the ability of witnesses, police officers, and the public to identify vehicles.

    Agency Response

    In response to the commenter that expressed concern that the proposed rule would decrease the legibility of the license plate in low light conditions, the agency considered the potential impact of increasing the allowable mounting plate angle in the context of the totality of factors that influence the legibility of the plate in low light conditions. FMVSS No. 108 contains various photometric and geometric requirements aimed at assuring legibility of the license plate. While this final rule expands the allowable license plate mounting plane angle, other lamp photometric requirements and geometric requirements remain unchanged. The plate illumination restriction continues to require that the test station targets be illuminated at a value of no less than 8 lux by the license plate lamp. Additionally, the highest to lowest illumination ratio requirements, which protect against shadowing across the plate, remain unchanged. Also unchanged is a requirement that the incident light from the license plate lamp never be less than 8 degrees. These factors all influence the legibility of the license plate in low light conditions more than the mounting angle within the range of allowable angles and heights of this final rule.

    Finally, the final rule's adoption of the proposed maximum plate height for which this expanded angle range applies of 1.2 m (measured from the top of the plate) limits the range of likely vertical viewing angles. Considering the sales-weighted average driver's eye height for a car is 1.1 m and 1.42 m for light trucks and vans, the agency anticipates that occurrences of an observer reading plate at large vertical visual angles will remain rare.15 A driver, whose eye height is at the sales-weighted average height in a sedan, will view the center of a license plate (approximately 1.15 m to 1.125 m from the ground), if mounted at the maximum height of 1.2 m (at the top of the plate), nearly parallel to the horizon. This means that the maximum vertical viewing angle for a license plate mounted at the maximum height and at the maximum angle, when viewed by the average driver's eye height (worst-case situation) will be no greater than 30° from perpendicular to the plate. Considering all these factors, the agency concludes that the legibility of a license plate in low light situations for drivers will not be negatively impacted by today's final rule.

    15 UMTRI-2002-8, “The Location of Headlamps and Driver Eye Positions In Vehicles Sold in The U.S.A.” (2002) Schoettle, B., Sivak, M., and Nakata, Y.

    For automated license plate readers, the agency estimates that they are often mounted similar to, or higher than a driver's eye height. As such, the agency believes that the geometric and photometric factors outlined above apply similarly to machine license plate readers as they do to human viewers. As such, the agency agrees with MIC that today's final rule will not have a negative impact on automated plate readers.

    License Plate Height Comments

    Harley-Davidson and MIC commented that the agency should adopt the EEC maximum height allowance of 1.5 m above the ground, as measured from the upper edge of the license plate when the vehicle is unladen. Harley-Davidson stated that this more liberal height requirement would provide greater design flexibility and potential harmonization-related cost savings. MIC stated that, in addition to benefits from harmonization, the 1.2 m and 1.5 m values are arbitrary and there is no material advantage or disadvantage to either.

    Agency Response

    The agency has decided not to adopt the EEC maximum height allowance. Neither MIC nor Harley-Davidson submitted data or specific information to support their comments. The agency disagrees with MIC that the 1.2 m maximum plate height for which the expanded angle applies is arbitrary. As outlined above, this restriction limits the vertical visual angle for which a driver is likely to view a license plate. While a 1.2 m maximum plate height, for which the plate may be angled at 30° upward, produces a maximum vertical viewing angle of 30° beyond perpendicular, a value of 1.5 m will not provide such an assurance. If the agency chose the value of 1.5 m as suggested by MIC and Harley-Davidson, and as allowed in the EEC regulation, a viewer located at the average, sales-weighted eye height would need to look up beyond horizontal for a plate mounted at the upper height limit. Such an arrangement would cause the vertical viewing angle to increase beyond 30° depending on the viewing distance. As such, we have chosen to adapt the proposed limit of 1.2 m as the maximum mounting height for a plate mounted on a plane more than 15 degrees (but less than 30 degrees) upward from vertical. The agency has chosen, however, not to adopt the ECE maximum height of 1.5 m because we are concerned that higher mounting locations could create a situation where the legibility of the plate becomes compromised.

    Vehicles to Which the Proposed Changes Should Apply Comments

    In the NPRM, the agency solicited comment on amending the mounting angle requirement not just for motorcycles but for other types of vehicles as well. We stated that after receiving public comment the agency may decide to allow license plates to be mounted at an angle of up to 30 degrees upward of vertical on all vehicles, or on all vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds and less.

    The agency received two comments regarding the issue of what vehicles to which the proposed rule should apply. Both Volkswagen and the Alliance stated that the proposed change in mounting angle should apply not just to motorcycles but to all classes of vehicles. Volkswagen and the Alliance stated that making the rule generally applicable would harmonize the FMVSS No. 108 provision with the comparable ECE regulations and, (as Volkswagen stated) with SAEJ587, both of which apply the maximum 30 degree upward mounting angle to all classes of vehicles.16 The Alliance also indicated that the permissible upward mounting angle should not depend on vehicle weight because license plate visibility and legibility do not depend on vehicle weight.

    16 SAE J587 SEP2003, 6.5.2. “The design shall be such that, when the plate is mounted on a vehicle as intended and the upper edge of the license plate is more than 1.2 m from the ground, the angle between the plane of the license plate and a vertical plane perpendicular to the plane of the ground on which the vehicle stands shall be ±15 degrees. If the upper edge of the license plate is not more than 1.2 m from the ground, the plate surface bearing the license numbers shall face between 30 degrees upward and 15 degrees downward from the vertical plane.”

    Agency Response

    The agency anticipates that this final rule can yield design and manufacturing benefits to all motor vehicles, not just motorcycles, without compromising safety. As such, the agency has applied this final rule to all motor vehicles regardless of vehicle type or weight. In the NPRM, the agency considered applying the relaxed requirement to vehicles that are rated at 10,000 pound or less vehicles. After considering the Alliance's comment, the agency agrees that there is no logical connection between the weight rating of the vehicle and the legibility of the plate based on the mounting angle considering the size of the plate and other photometric and geometric requirement are the same for heavy and light vehicles. Applying this final rule to all motor vehicles will allow manufacturers of these additional vehicle types the flexibility to use an expanded mounting angle without compromising safety.

    Orientation of the License Plate as Either Vertical or Horizontal Comments

    The AAMVA commented that the proposed rule would continue to allow license plates to be mounted vertically (i.e., displayed so that the characters on the plate are read from top to bottom rather than left to right). AAMVA stated that vertically-mounted plates are difficult to read and that it “supports the horizontal display of a front and rear plate and the uniform manufacture and design of plates, to increase the effective and efficient identification of license plates. The use of common characteristics and predictable designs on license plates will enhance readability, usability, and a connection to vehicle registration records.”

    Agency Response

    While the agency appreciates AAMVA's comment, this rulemaking is limited to the mounting angle of the plate and does not address whether the license plate is horizontally or vertically displayed. Accordingly, the AAMVA's proposed requirement is outside the scope of this rulemaking.

    IV. Final Rule

    The agency is amending FMVSS No. 108 to allow license plate mounting angles of up to 30 degrees upward from vertical (an installed plate will face above the horizon) if the upper edge of the license plate is not more than 1.2 m (47.25 inches) from the ground. The agency is also expanding the application of this change beyond that proposed in the NPRM (motorcycles) to include all motor vehicles. The maximum downward angle (an installed plate will face below the horizon) at which a license plate can be mounted remains 15 degrees, as does the maximum upward angle on vehicles for which the upper edge of the license plate is more than 1.2 m (47.25 inches) above the ground. The agency believes that these changes to the license plate mounting angle requirements will reduce costs for manufacturers by allowing them to use the same mounting hardware for the license plate in both the United States and Europe without compromising safety because, as described above, we do not believe that plate legibility will be compromised.

    As of the effective date of the final rule we are terminating the policy, in effect since our denial of the petitions for reconsideration of the 2007 final rule, of not enforcing the license plate holder mounting requirement.

    V. Effective Date

    In the NPRM we proposed an effective date of 60 days after publication of the final rule. Under the Safety Act, a FMVSS typically is not effective before the 180th day after the standard is published.17 We did not receive any comments concerning the proposed effective date. In keeping with typical practice, this final rule will be effective June 14, 2016, with optional early compliance. We believe that specifying a later effective date for this final rule will not have any adverse effects or prejudice any regulated parties. This final rule expands the range of compliance options available to manufacturers; it does not enact any new duties or restrictions. Moreover, providing for optional early compliance will allow manufacturers to immediately benefit from the flexibility afforded by the expanded mounting angle requirements the same as if the effective date were earlier.

    17See 49 U.S.C. 30111(d).

    VI. Regulatory Notices and Analyses A. Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review), E.O. 13563, and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    NHTSA has considered the impact of this rulemaking action under Executive Order 12866, Executive Order 13563, and the Department of Transportation's regulatory policies and procedures. This final rule does not result in any increased costs or significant benefits. Therefore, it is not considered to be significant under E.O. 12866 or the Department's regulatory policies and procedures. The Office of Management and Budget has designated this rule as non-significant.

    B. Executive Order 13609: Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation

    The policy statement in section 1 of Executive Order 13609 provides, in part:

    The regulatory approaches taken by foreign governments may differ from those taken by U.S. regulatory agencies to address similar issues. In some cases, the differences between the regulatory approaches of U.S. agencies and those of their foreign counterparts might not be necessary and might impair the ability of American businesses to export and compete internationally. In meeting shared challenges involving health, safety, labor, security, environmental, and other issues, international regulatory cooperation can identify approaches that are at least as protective as those that are or would be adopted in the absence of such cooperation. International regulatory cooperation can also reduce, eliminate, or prevent unnecessary differences in regulatory requirements.

    This rule more closely aligns the U.S. regulatory requirements for mounting motor vehicle license plates with those of European countries. Permitting an upward mounting angle of up to 30 degrees for all vehicles harmonizes with the ECE Council Directive 2009/62/EC, 1990 O.J. (L 198/20). These changes will increase manufacturer design flexibility without decreasing safety. The agency has chosen, however, not to adopt the ECE maximum height of 1.5 m because we are concerned that the higher mounting locations could create a situation where the legibility of the plate becomes compromised. C. National Environmental Policy Act

    We have reviewed this final rule for the purposes of the National Environmental Policy Act and determined that it would not have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment.

    D. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) of 1996), whenever an agency is required to publish a notice of rulemaking for any proposed or final rule, it must prepare and make available for public comment a regulatory flexibility analysis that describes the effect of the rule on small entities (i.e., small businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions). The Small Business Administration's regulations at 13 CFR part 121 define a small business, in part, as a business entity “which operates primarily within the United States.” 18 No regulatory flexibility analysis is required if the head of an agency certifies the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    18 13 CFR 121.105(a).

    NHTSA has considered the effects of this rule under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. I certify that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule expands the range of permissible mounting angles for license plates on motor vehicles. We do not anticipate that there will be any increased costs as a result of this rulemaking action. Accordingly, we do not anticipate that this rule will have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    E. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    NHTSA has examined today's final rule pursuant to Executive Order 13132 19 and concluded that no additional consultation with States, local governments or their representatives is mandated beyond the rulemaking process. The agency has concluded that the rule will not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant consultation with State and local officials or the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement. The rule 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.”

    19 64 FR 43255, Aug. 10, 1999.

    NHTSA rules can preempt in two ways. First, the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act contains an express preemption provision: When a motor vehicle safety standard is in effect under this chapter, a State or a political subdivision of a State may prescribe or continue in effect a standard applicable to the same aspect of performance of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment only if the standard is identical to the standard prescribed under this chapter.20 It is this statutory command by Congress that preempts any non-identical State legislative and administrative law addressing the same aspect of performance.

    20 49 U.S.C. 30103(b)(1).

    The express preemption provision described above is subject to a savings clause under which “[c]ompliance with a motor vehicle safety standard prescribed under this chapter does not exempt a person from liability at common law.” 21 Pursuant to this provision, State common law tort causes of action against motor vehicle manufacturers that might otherwise be preempted by the express preemption provision are generally preserved. However, the Supreme Court has recognized the possibility, in some instances, of implied preemption of such State common law tort causes of action by virtue of NHTSA's rules, even if not expressly preempted. This second way that NHTSA rules can preempt is dependent upon there being an actual conflict between an FMVSS and the higher standard that would effectively be imposed on motor vehicle manufacturers if someone obtained a State common law tort judgment against the manufacturer, notwithstanding the manufacturer's compliance with the NHTSA standard. Because most NHTSA standards established by an FMVSS are minimum standards, a State common law tort cause of action that seeks to impose a higher standard on motor vehicle manufacturers will generally not be preempted. However, if and when such a conflict does exist—for example, when the standard at issue is both a minimum and a maximum standard—the State common law tort cause of action is impliedly preempted.22

    21 49 U.S.C. 30103(e).

    22See Geier v. American Honda Motor Co., 529 U.S. 861 (2000).

    Pursuant to Executive Order 13132, NHTSA has considered whether this rule could or should preempt State common law causes of action. The agency's ability to announce its conclusion regarding the preemptive effect of one of its rules reduces the likelihood that preemption will be an issue in any subsequent tort litigation.

    To this end, the agency has examined the nature (e.g., the language and structure of the regulatory text) and objectives of today's rule and finds that the rule, like many NHTSA rules, would prescribe only a minimum safety standard. As such, NHTSA does not intend that this final rule would preempt state tort law that would effectively impose a higher standard on motor vehicle manufacturers than that established by today's proposed rule. Establishment of a higher standard by means of State tort law would not conflict with the minimum standard established here. Without any conflict, there could not be any implied preemption of a State common law tort cause of action.

    F. Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)

    Pursuant to Executive Order 12988, “Civil Justice Reform,” 23 NHTSA has considered whether this rule would have any retroactive effect. This rule does not have any retroactive effect.

    23 61 FR 4729, Feb. 7, 1996.

    G. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) requires Federal agencies to prepare a written assessment of the costs, benefits, and other effects of a proposed or final rule that includes a Federal mandate likely to result in the expenditure by State, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of more than $100 million in any one year (adjusted for inflation with a base year of 1995).

    Before promulgating a rule for which a written statement is needed, section 205 of the UMRA generally requires NHTSA to identify and consider a reasonable number of regulatory alternatives and adopts the least costly, most cost-effective, or least burdensome alternative that achieves the objectives of the rule. The provisions of section 205 do not apply when they are inconsistent with applicable law. Moreover, section 205 allows NHTSA to adopt an alternative other than the least costly, most cost-effective, or least burdensome alternative if the agency publishes with the final rule an explanation why that alternative was not adopted.

    This rule, by harmonizing this provision of FMVSS No. 108 with the comparable EEC standard will likely reduce the manufacturing and design costs of manufacturers by allowing a greater degree of commonality between vehicles manufactured for sale in the United States and for sale in Europe, and possibly other markets. The rule is not anticipated to result in the expenditure by state, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector in excess, of $100 million annually. Therefore, the agency has not prepared an economic assessment pursuant to the Unfunded Mandate Reform Act.

    H. Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the procedures established by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), a person is not required to respond to a collection of information by a Federal agency unless the collection displays a valid OMB control number. This rule does not contain any collection of information requirements requiring review under the PRA.

    I. Executive Order 13045

    Executive Order 13045 24 applies to any rule that: (1) Is determined to be economically significant as defined under E.O. 12866, and (2) concerns an environmental, health or safety risk that NHTSA has reason to believe may have a disproportionate effect on children. If the regulatory action meets both criteria, we must evaluate the environmental health or safety effects of the proposed rule on children, and explain why the proposed regulation is preferable to other potentially effective and reasonably feasible alternatives considered by us.

    24 62 FR 19885, Apr. 23, 1997.

    Today's rule does not pose such a risk for children. The primary effect of this rule is to amend the license plate mounting angle for motor vehicles.

    J. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) requires NHTSA to evaluate and use existing voluntary consensus standards in its regulatory activities unless doing so would be inconsistent with applicable law (e.g., the statutory provisions regarding NHTSA's vehicle safety authority) or otherwise impractical.

    Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies. Technical standards are defined by the NTTAA as “performance-based or design-specific technical specification and related management systems practices.” They pertain to “products and processes, such as size, strength, or technical performance of a product, process or material.”

    Examples of organizations generally regarded as voluntary consensus standards bodies include the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). If NHTSA does not use available and potentially applicable voluntary consensus standards, we are required by the Act to provide Congress, through OMB, an explanation of the reasons for not using such standards.

    While SAE J587 SEP 2003, License Plate Lamps (Rear Registration Plate Lamps) contains a mounting angle requirement for motor vehicles similar to the agency's proposal, the agency did not believe that it would be appropriate to adopt J587 SEP 2003 in its entirety. FMVSS No. 108 currently requires that when a single lamp is used to illuminate the plate, the lamp and license plate holder must bear such relation to each other that at no point on the plate must the incident light make an angle of less than 8 degrees to the plane of the plate.25 SAE J587 SEP 2003 does not contain this requirement. While the agency considered incorporating SAE J587 SEP 2003 in its entirety, we concluded that the deletion of the test requirement to maintain an 8 degree relationship between the lamp and the license plate holder might negatively impact the direction toward which the plate reflects the light provided by the license plate lamp. For this reason the agency has decided not to use a voluntary consensus standard in its entirety in this regulatory activity.

    25 FMVSS 108, S7.7.15.4.

    K. Executive Order 13211

    Executive Order 13211 26 applies to any rule that: (1) Is determined to be economically significant as defined under E.O. 12866, and is likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy; or (2) that is designated by the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs as a significant energy action. If the regulatory action meets either criterion, we must evaluate the adverse energy effects of the rule and explain why it is preferable to other potentially effective and reasonably feasible alternatives considered by NHTSA.

    26 66 FR 28355, May 18, 2001.

    This rule amends the license plate mounting angle for motor vehicles. Therefore, this rule will not have any adverse energy effects. Accordingly, this rulemaking action is not designated as a significant energy action.

    L. Regulation Identifier Number (RIN)

    The Department of Transportation assigns a regulation identifier number (RIN) to each regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulations. The Regulatory Information Service Center publishes the Unified Agenda in April and October of each year. You may use the RIN contained in the heading at the beginning of this document to find this action in the Unified Agenda.

    Regulatory Text List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 571

    Motor vehicle safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA is amending 49 CFR part 571 as set forth below.

    PART 571—FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARDS 1. The authority citation for Part 571 of Title 49 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 322, 30111, 30115, 30117, 30166; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.95.

    2. Amend § 571.108 by revising paragraph S6.6.3 to read as follows:
    § 571.108 Standard No. 108; Lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment.

    S6.6.3 License plate holder. Each rear license plate holder must be designed and constructed to provide a substantial plane surface on which to mount the plate.

    S6.6.3.1 For motor vehicles on which the license plate is designed to be mounted on the vehicle such that the upper edge of the license plate is 1.2 m or less from the ground, the plane of the license plate mounting surface and the plane on which the vehicle stands must be perpendicular within 30° upward (an installed plate will face above the horizon) and 15° downward (an installed plate will face below the horizon).

    S6.6.3.2 For motor vehicles on which the license plate is designed to be mounted on the vehicle such that the upper edge of the license plate is more than 1.2m from the ground, the plane of the license plate mounting surface and the plane on which the vehicle stands must be perpendicular within ± 15°.

    Issued on: December 8, 2015. Mark R. Rosekind, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31353 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-59-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 150603502-5999-02] RIN 0648-BF14 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region; Framework Amendment 3 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this final rule, NMFS implements management measures described in Framework Amendment 3 to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources (CMP) in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Region (Framework Amendment 3), as prepared and submitted by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). This final rule modifies the trip limit, accountability measures (AMs), dealer reporting requirements, and gillnet permit requirements for commercial king mackerel landed by run-around gillnet fishing gear in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf). The purpose of this final rule is to increase the efficiency, stability, and accountability, and to reduce the potential for regulatory discards of king mackerel in the commercial gillnet component of the CMP fishery in the Gulf.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective January 19, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Electronic copies of Framework Amendment 3, which includes an environmental assessment, a Regulatory Flexibility Act analysis, and a regulatory impact review, may be obtained from the Southeast Regional Office Web site at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_sa/cmp/2015/framework_am3/index.html.

    Comments regarding the burden-hour estimates, clarity of the instructions, or other aspects of the collection-of-information requirements contained in this final rule (see the Classification section of the preamble) may be submitted in writing to Adam Bailey, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701; or the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), by email at [email protected], or by fax to 202-395-5806.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Susan Gerhart, NMFS Southeast Regional Office, telephone: 727-824-5305, or email: s[email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The CMP fishery in the Gulf and Atlantic is managed under the FMP. The FMP was prepared by the Gulf and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils and implemented through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).

    On October 7, 2015, NMFS published a proposed rule for Framework Amendment 3 and requested public comment (80 FR 60605). The proposed rule and Framework Amendment 3 outline the rationale for the actions contained in this final rule. A summary of the actions implemented by this final rule is provided below.

    Current Federal regulations allow for run-around gillnets to be used to commercially harvest king mackerel only in the Florida west coast southern subzone of the Gulf. This subzone includes the Federal waters off Collier County, Florida, year-round, and off Monroe County, Florida, from November 1 to March 30. To use gillnets to commercially harvest king mackerel, vessels must have on board a Federal commercial king mackerel permit and a Federal king mackerel gillnet permit. A vessel with a gillnet permit is prohibited from fishing for king mackerel with hook-and-line gear. This rule modifies management of the king mackerel gillnet component of the commercial sector of the CMP fishery by increasing the commercial trip limit, revising AMs, modifying dealer reporting requirements, and requiring a documented landing history for a king mackerel gillnet permit to be renewed.

    Management Measures Contained in This Final Rule Commercial Trip Limit

    This final rule increases the commercial trip limit for vessels harvesting king mackerel by gillnets from 25,000 lb (11,340 kg) to 45,000 lb (20,411 kg). The size of a school of king mackerel can be difficult to estimate precisely and king mackerel landed in gillnets experience very high discard mortality, which makes releasing fish in excess of the trip limit wasteful and impractical. Fishermen can cut the net and leave the section with fish in excess of the trip limit in the water and another vessel may be able to retrieve the partial net, but this process damages gear, which takes time and money to repair. Fishermen have indicated that more than 90 percent of successful gillnet gear deployments yield less than 45,000 lb (20,411 kg) of fish. Therefore, increasing the current trip limit should reduce the number of trips that result in king mackerel landings in excess of the commercial trip limit and the associated discard mortality.

    Accountability Measures

    The commercial AM for the king mackerel gillnet component of the fishery is an in-season closure when the annual catch limit for the commercial sector's gillnet component (gillnet ACL), which is equivalent to the commercial gillnet quota, is reached or is projected to be reached. This final rule adds a provision by which any gillnet ACL overage in one fishing year will be deducted from the gillnet ACL in the following fishing year. If the gillnet ACL is not exceeded in that following fishing year, then in the subsequent fishing year the gillnet ACL will return to the original gillnet ACL level as specified in § 622.388(a)(1)(ii). However, if the adjusted gillnet ACL is exceeded in the following fishing year, then the adjusted gillnet ACL will be reduced again in the subsequent fishing year by the amount of the most recent gillnet ACL overage. Because the trip limit increase in this final rule could increase the chance of exceeding the gillnet ACL, a payback provision will help ensure that any ACL overage is mitigated in the following year.

    Dealer Reporting Requirements

    This final rule modifies the reporting requirements for federally permitted dealers purchasing commercial king mackerel harvested by gillnets. Previously, such dealers were required to submit an electronic form daily to NMFS by 6 a.m. during the gillnet fishing season for purposes of monitoring the gillnet ACL. However, because some vessels land their catch after midnight and may have long offloading times, some gillnet landings were not reported until the following day. Further, the electronic monitoring system involves processing and quality control time before the data can be passed to NMFS fishery managers. This resulted in some landings information not reaching NMFS until nearly 2 days after the fish were harvested.

    This final rule changes the daily electronic reporting requirement to daily reporting by some other means determined by NMFS, such as using port agent reports or some more direct method of reporting to NMFS fishery managers (e.g., by telephone or internet). NMFS will work with dealers to establish a landings reporting system that minimizes the burden to the dealers as well as the time for landings to reach NMFS fishery managers. NMFS will provide written notice to the king mackerel gillnet dealers of the requirements of the reporting system, and will also post this information on the NMFS Southeast Regional Office Web site. Prior to the beginning of each subsequent commercial king mackerel gillnet season, NMFS will provide written notice to king mackerel gillnet dealers if the reporting methods and deadline change from the previous year, and will also post this information on the NMFS Southeast Regional Office Web site. Dealers must also report gillnet-caught king mackerel in their regular weekly electronic report of all species purchased to ensure king mackerel landings are included in the Commercial Landings Monitoring database maintained by the Southeast Fisheries Science Center.

    Renewal Requirements for King Mackerel Gillnet Permits

    This final rule changes the renewal requirements for a king mackerel gillnet permit. A king mackerel gillnet permit is renewable only if the vessel associated with the permit landed greater than 1 lb (0.45 kg) of king mackerel during any one year between 2006 and 2015. Currently, there are 21 vessels with valid or renewable Federal gillnet permits; 4 of these vessels have had no landings since 2001 and the permits associated with those vessels will no longer be renewable. Some active gillnet fishermen are concerned that permit holders who have not been fishing may begin participating in the gillnet component of the fishery, which could result in increased effort in a component of the commercial sector that already has a limited season. For example, the 2014/2015 gillnet season, which closed on February 20, 2015, was 32 days long and included 5 days of active fishing. Requiring a landings history of king mackerel in any one of the last 10 years to renew a gillnet permit will help ensure the continued participation of only those permit holders who actively fish or have done so in the more recent past.

    NMFS will notify each king mackerel gillnet permittee to advise them whether their gillnet permit is eligible for renewal based upon NMFS' initial determination of eligibility. The proposed rule provided NMFS 7 days after the date of publication of the final rule to notify permitees, and provided permittees who do not receive a notice the concurrent time period to contact NMFS to clarify their gillnet permit renewal status. However, this could create an undue burden on permittees who might not know if they need to contact NMFS for clarification until the end of the NMFS time period, or the seventh day after the date of publication of the final rule. Therefore, this final rule includes a change to the regulatory text of the proposed rule clarifying that permittees have 14 days after the date of publication of the final rule to contact NMFS. The change ensures that permittees will have 7 days beyond the NMFS deadline to seek clarification of their gillnet permit renewal status. This clarifying change will not result in any impact on regulated parties. If NMFS advises a permittee that the permit is not renewable and they do not agree, a permittee may appeal that initial determination.

    NMFS has an appeals process to provide a procedure for resolving disputes regarding eligibility to renew the king mackerel gillnet permit. The NMFS National Appeals Office will process any appeals, which will be governed by the regulations and policy of the National Appeals Office at 15 CFR part 906. Appeals must be submitted to the National Appeals Office no later than 90 days after the date the initial determination by NMFS is issued. Determinations of appeals will be based on NMFS' logbook records, submitted on or before February 16, 2015. If NMFS' logbooks are not available, state landings records that were submitted in compliance with applicable Federal and state regulations on or before February 16, 2016 may be used.

    Other Changes to the Codified Text

    In addition to the measures described for Framework Amendment 3, this final rule corrects an error in the recreational regulations for king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, and cobia. The regulatory text in § 622.388(a)(2), (c)(1), and (e)(1)(i) included the statement that “the bag and possession limit would also apply in the Gulf on board a vessel for which a valid Federal charter vessel/headboat permit for coastal migratory pelagic fish has been issued, without regard to where such species were harvested, i.e., in state or Federal waters.” This was included in the final rule for Amendment 18 to the FMP (76 FR 82058, December 29, 2011), but the Council did not approve this provision for CMP species. This final rule removes that text.

    Comments and Responses

    No comments were received on either Framework Amendment 3 or the proposed rule.

    Classification

    The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS has determined that this final rule is consistent with Framework Amendment 3, the FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable laws.

    This final rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866.

    The Magnuson-Stevens Act provides the statutory basis for this final rule. No duplicative, overlapping, or conflicting Federal rules have been identified.

    The description of the action, why it is being considered, and the legal basis for the rule are contained in the Framework Amendment and in the preamble of this final rule.

    In compliance with section 604 of the RFA, NMFS prepared a Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) for this final rule. The FRFA incorporates the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA), a summary of the significant economic issues raised by public comment, NMFS' responses to those comments, and a summary of the analyses completed to support the action. The FRFA follows.

    No public comments specific to the IRFA were received, and therefore, no public comments are addressed in this FRFA. No changes in the final rule were made in response to public comments.

    In general, this final rule is not expected to change current reporting, recordkeeping, and other compliance requirements on vessel owners. However, this final rule will replace the dealer daily electronic reporting requirement with daily reporting by some other means as determined by NMFS. This will involve reporting to a port agent, as used in the past, or some more direct method of reporting to managers (e.g., by telephone or internet). NMFS will work with dealers to establish a system that will minimize the burden to the dealers as well as the time for landings to reach the managers. Dealers will still have to report king mackerel gillnet landings through the electronic monitoring system weekly, when they report all species purchased. The weekly reporting will ensure any king mackerel landings are included in the Commercial Landings Monitoring database maintained by the Southeast Fisheries Science Center.

    This final rule is expected to directly affect commercial fishermen with valid or renewable Federal Gulf king mackerel gillnet permits and dealers purchasing king mackerel from vessels with king mackerel gillnet permits. The Small Business Administration established size criteria for all major industry sectors in the U.S. including commercial finfish harvesters (NAICS code 114111), seafood dealers/wholesalers (NAICS code 424460), and seafood processors (NAICS code 311710). A business primarily involved in finfish harvesting is classified as a small business if it is independently owned and operated, is not dominant in its field of operation (including its affiliates), and has combined annual receipts not in excess of $20.5 million for all its affiliated operations worldwide. A business involved in seafood purchasing and processing is classified as a small business based on either employment standards or revenue thresholds. A business primarily involved in seafood processing is classified as a small business if it is independently owned and operated, is not dominant in its field of operation (including its affiliates), and has combined annual employment not in excess of 500 employees for all its affiliated operations worldwide. For seafood dealers/wholesalers, the other qualifiers apply and the employment threshold is 100 employees. The revenue threshold for seafood dealers/wholesalers/processors is $7.5 million.

    The Federal commercial king mackerel permit is a limited access permit, which can be transferred or sold, subject to certain conditions. From 2008 through 2014, the number of commercial king mackerel permits decreased from 1,619 in 2008 to 1,478 in 2014, with an average of 1,534 during this period. As of April 30, 2015, there were 1,342 valid or renewable commercial king mackerel permits. The king mackerel gillnet permit, which acts as an endorsement to a commercial king mackerel permit, is also a limited access permit. Its transferability is more restrictive than that for the commercial king mackerel permit. Specifically, it may be transferred only to another vessel owned by the same entity or to an immediate family member. From 2008 through 2014, there were an average of 23 king mackerel gillnet permits. As of November 6, 2015, there were 21 valid or renewable king mackerel gillnet permits. Beginning in 2014, a Federal dealer permit has been required to purchase king mackerel (among other species) harvested in the Gulf or South Atlantic. This dealer permit is an open access permit, and as of May 4, 2015, there were 325 such dealer permits.

    Of the 21 vessels with king mackerel gillnet permits, 11 to 15 vessels landed king mackerel each year from 2006-2014, or an average of 13 vessels landed king mackerel. These vessels generated a combined average of $544,981 in total ex-vessel revenues. These vessels, together with those that did not catch king mackerel, generated average revenues of $427,258 from other species during 2006-2014. Averaging total revenues across all 21 vessels, the average total revenue per vessel was $46,297 annually.

    From 2008 through 2015, the number of dealers that purchased king mackerel from gillnet fishermen ranged from 4 to 6, with an average of 5. On average (2008-2015), these dealers purchased approximately $570,105 (2014 dollars) worth of king mackerel from gillnet fishermen, or an average of $114,021 per dealer. These dealers also purchased other species from Gulf and South Atlantic commercial fishermen, but the total amount cannot be estimated due to the absence of adequate information. The estimated average annual revenue from seafood purchases for dealers with a Gulf and South Atlantic Federal dealer permit is approximately $546,000.

    Based on the revenue figures above and for the purpose of this analysis, all federally permitted vessels and dealers expected to be directly affected by this final rule are assumed to be small business entities.

    Because all entities expected to be affected by this rule are assumed to be small entities, NMFS has determined that this final rule will affect a substantial number of small entities. However, the issue of disproportionate effects on small versus large entities does not arise in the present case.

    Increasing the commercial trip limit is expected to result in greater king mackerel harvests per vessel per trip. This will directly translate into increased ex-vessel revenues from king mackerel per trip and possibly profits, assuming relatively stable operating costs per trip. However, trip limit increases will be expected to decrease the already limited number of fishing days currently needed to harvest the gillnet ACL. Relative to status quo, fewer fishing days will concentrate the same amount of king mackerel over a smaller time interval, possibly depressing the ex-vessel price for king mackerel and canceling out some of the revenue increases expected to result from higher trip limits. Whether the reduction in revenues due to price depression will offset revenue increases from a higher trip limit cannot be determined with available information.

    In the last nine fishing years (2006/2007-2014/2015), the king mackerel gillnet ACL was exceeded four times although this has not occurred in the last three fishing years. Under the new commercial trip limit, however, there is some possibility that the commercial gillnet ACL will be exceeded, and thus the overage provision (payback) will apply with the following year's gillnet ACL being reduced by the full amount of the overage. The amount of the gillnet ACL overage will partly depend on how effectively the landings could be monitored. Regardless of the amount of overage and reduction in the following year's commercial gillnet ACL, the net economic effects of the overage provision could be negative, neutral, or positive, at least over a 2-year period. Revenues and profits could be relatively higher in the year an ACL overage occurred but the following year's revenues and profits could be lower with a reduced gillnet ACL. It cannot be ascertained which of the three net economic effects will occur.

    Replacing the requirement for daily electronic reporting by dealers purchasing gillnet-caught king mackerel with an alternative form of daily reporting will not impose an additional reporting burden on dealers. The replacement reporting requirement will be similar to what had been done in previous years or it will be more efficient in monitoring the amount of landings without changing the burden compared with the daily electronic reporting requirement. NMFS will work with the dealers in developing such a reporting system to ensure timely reporting of landings at no greater burden to the dealers.

    Establishing new renewal requirements for commercial king mackerel gillnet permits based on a landings threshold of 1 lb (0.45 kg) is not expected to result in economic effects other than the potential loss of opportunities to excluded permit holders, should they want to re-enter the gillnet component of the fishery to harvest king mackerel in the future. Of the 21 vessels with valid or renewable gillnet permits, 4 vessels will not meet the renewal requirement. These 4 vessels have not landed any king mackerel using gillnets from 2001 through 2015, and thus have not generated any revenues from such activity. Not allowing these 4 vessels to renew their gillnet permits will have no short-term effects on their revenues and profits. It may also be expected that the remaining vessels in the gillnet component of the fishery will not experience revenue increases as a result of eliminating 4 vessels. Despite not having used gillnets to harvest king mackerel, those 4 permit owners have continued to renew their gillnet permits. To an extent, their decision not to exercise their option to re-enter the gillnet component of the fishery in the last 15 years may indicate that they have not undertaken substantial investments, e.g., in boats and gear, in preparation for harvesting king mackerel. The gillnet permit cost they have spent, which is currently $10 annually per gillnet permit, is relatively small. There is a good possibility that if they are not able to renew their permits to re-enter the king mackerel gillnet component of the CMP fishery they will not lose any significant investments. They still will stand to forgo future revenues from using gillnets in fishing for king mackerel. Those remaining in the fishery will not face the possibility of additional competition from those ineligible vessels.

    The following discussion describes the alternatives that were not selected as preferred by the Council.

    Four alternatives, including the preferred alternative, were considered for modifying the commercial trip limit for gillnet-caught king mackerel. The first alternative, the no action alternative, would retain the 25,000 lb (11,340 kg) trip limit. This alternative would maintain the same economic benefits per trip but at levels lower than those afforded by the preferred alternative. The second alternative, which would increase the trip limit to 35,000 lb (15,876 kg), would yield lower economic benefits per trip than the preferred alternative. The third alternative would remove the trip limit, and thus would be expected to yield higher economic benefits per trip than the preferred alternative. However, it cannot be determined whether the benefits per trip would translate into total benefits because prices, and thus revenues, would tend to be affected by the amount of landings over a certain time period. This price effect would tend to offset any revenue effects from trip limit changes. That is, larger landings over a shorter period, as in the preferred or no trip limit alternatives, would tend to be associated with lower prices, just as smaller landings over a longer period, as in the no action alternative, would tend to be associated with higher prices. The net economic effects of all these alternatives for increasing the trip limit cannot be determined.

    Three alternatives, including the preferred alternative, were considered for modifying the AM for the gillnet component of the king mackerel fishery. The first alternative, the no action alternative, would retain the in-season AM, which would close king mackerel gillnet fishing in the Florida west coast southern subzone when the gillnet ACL is met or is projected to be met. This alternative would not alter the level of economic benefits from the harvest of king mackerel by commercial gillnet fishermen. The second alternative would establish an annual catch target (ACT), which would be a quota set at a level below the commercial ACL, with various options. The first three options would establish a gillnet ACT equal to 95 percent, 90 percent, or 80 percent of the gillnet ACL; the fourth option would set the ACT according to the Gulf Council's ACL/ACT control rule (currently equal to 95 percent of the ACL); and the fifth option, which applies only if an ACT is established, would allow the amount of landings under the gillnet quota to be added to the following year's quota but the total gillnet quota could not exceed the gillnet ACL. The first four options would result in lower short-term revenues and profits than the preferred alternative by restricting the amount of harvest to less than the gillnet ACL. The fifth option has the potential to yield higher revenues than the preferred alternative, because any unused gillnet quota would generate additional revenues in the following year. The absence of a gillnet ACL overage provision, however, could have adverse consequences on the status of the king mackerel stock and eventually on vessel revenues and profits. The third alternative, with two options, would establish a payback provision. The first option is the preferred alternative, which would establish a payback provision regardless of the stock status, while the second option would establish a payback provision only if the Gulf migratory group king mackerel stock is overfished. Because the Gulf migratory group king mackerel stock is not overfished, the second option would yield the same economic results as the no action alternative but possibly lower adverse economic impacts than the preferred alternative in the short term should an overage occur. However, the second option would provide less protection to the king mackerel stock before the stock becomes overfished.

    Three alternatives, including the preferred alternative, were considered for modifying the electronic reporting requirements for dealers first receiving king mackerel harvested by gillnets. The first alternative, the no action alternative, would retain the daily electronic reporting requirements. This alternative would not provide timely reporting of landings because some landings reports could not be processed until the next day. The second alternative would remove the daily electronic reporting requirement but would require a weekly electronic reporting instead. While this would be less burdensome to dealers, it would not allow timely reporting of landings, which is necessary to monitor a season that generally lasts for only a few days.

    Five alternatives, including the preferred alternative, were considered for renewal requirements for Federal king mackerel gillnet permits. The first alternative, the no action alternative, would maintain all current requirements for renewing king mackerel gillnet permits. This alternative would allow all 21 gillnet permit holders to renew their gillnet permits. The second alternative, with three options, would allow renewal of king mackerel gillnet permits if average landings during 2006-2015 exceed 1 lb (0.45 kg), 10,000 lb (4,536 kg), or 25,000 lb (11,340 kg). The third alternative, with three options, would allow renewal of king mackerel gillnet permits if landings for a single year during 2006-2015 exceed 1 lb (0.45 kg), 10,000 lb (4,536 kg), or 25,000 lb (11,340 kg). This alternative with a landings threshold of greater than 1 lb (0.45 kg) for a single year is the preferred alternative. The fourth alternative, with three options, would allow renewal of king mackerel gillnet permits if average landings during 2011-2015 exceed 1 lb (0.45 kg), 10,000 lb (4,536 kg), or 25,000 lb (11,340 kg). The fifth alternative, with three options, would allow renewal of king mackerel gillnet permits if landings for a single year during 2011-2015 exceed 1 lb (0.45 kg), 10,000 lb (4,536 kg), or 25,000 lb (11,340 kg). All these other alternatives, except the no action alternative, would eliminate the same or greater number of vessels than the preferred alternative.

    This final rule contains collection-of-information requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), which have been approved by OMB under control number 0648-0013. NMFS estimates that no change to the overall reporting burden will result from modifying the previously required daily reporting method for dealers that purchase king mackerel caught by gillnets during the fishing season. Instead of submitting an electronic form daily, NMFS will require daily reporting by some other means as developed by NMFS. Other means could involve reporting to the NMFS port agents or some other more direct method of reporting to managers, such as by email or phone. Dealers will report any purchase of king mackerel landed by the gillnet component of the fishery with the current and approved requirement for dealers to report fish purchases on a weekly basis, as specified in 50 CFR 622.5(c). NMFS estimates that this requirement will not change the reporting burden of 10 minutes per response for dealers purchasing king mackerel caught by gillnets. This estimate of the public reporting burden includes the time for reviewing instructions, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection-of-information.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection-of-information subject to the requirements of the PRA, unless that collection-of-information displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 states that, for each rule or group of related rules for which an agency is required to prepare a FRFA, the agency shall publish one or more guides to assist small entities in complying with the rule, and shall designate such publications as small entity compliance guides. As part of the rulemaking process, NMFS prepared a fishery bulletin, which also serves as a small entity compliance guide. The fishery bulletin will be sent to all interested parties.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622

    Accountability measure, Annual catch limit, Fisheries, Fishing, Gulf of Mexico, King mackerel, Permits, Run-around gillnet.

    Dated: December 10, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 622 is amended as follows:

    PART 622—FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF OF MEXICO, AND SOUTH ATLANTIC 1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    2. In § 622.5, revise paragraph (c)(1)(i) to read as follows:
    § 622.5 Recordkeeping and reporting—general.

    (c) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (i) A person issued a Gulf and South Atlantic dealer permit must submit a detailed electronic report of all fish first received for a commercial purpose within the time period specified in this paragraph via the dealer electronic trip ticket reporting system. These electronic reports must be submitted at weekly intervals via the dealer electronic trip ticket reporting system by 11:59 p.m., local time, the Tuesday following a reporting week. If no fish were received during a reporting week, an electronic report so stating must be submitted for that reporting week. In addition, during the open season, dealers must submit daily reports for Gulf migratory group king mackerel harvested by the run-around gillnet component in the Florida west coast southern subzone via the port agents, telephone, internet, or other similar means determined by NMFS. From the beginning of the open season until the commercial ACL (commercial quota) for the run-around gillnet sector for Gulf migratory group king mackerel is reached, dealers must submit a daily report if no king mackerel were received during the previous day. NMFS will provide written notice to dealers that first receive Gulf king mackerel harvested by the run-around gillnet component prior to the beginning of each fishing year if the reporting methods or deadline change from the previous year.

    3. In § 622.371, revise paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 622.371 Limited access system for commercial vessel permits for king mackerel.

    (a) No applications for additional commercial vessel permits for king mackerel will be accepted. Existing vessel permits may be renewed, are subject to the restrictions on transfer or change in paragraph (b) of this section, and are subject to the requirement for timely renewal in paragraph (c) of this section.

    4. In § 622.372, add paragraph (d) to read as follows:
    § 622.372 Limited access system for king mackerel gillnet permits applicable in the southern Florida west coast subzone.

    (d) Renewal criteria for a king mackerel gillnet permit. A king mackerel gillnet permit may be renewed only if NMFS determines at least 1 year of landings from 2006 to 2015 associated with that permit was greater than 1 lb (0.45 kg), round or gutted weight.

    (1) Initial determination. On or about December 24, 2015, the RA will mail each king mackerel gillnet permittee a letter via certified mail, return receipt requested, to the permittee's address of record as listed in NMFS' permit files, advising the permittee whether the permit is eligible for renewal. A permittee who does not receive a letter from the RA, must contact the RA no later than December 31, 2015, to clarify the renewal status of the permit. A permittee who is advised that the permit is not renewable based on the RA's determination of eligibility and who disagrees with that determination may appeal that determination.

    (2) Procedure for appealing landings information. The only item subject to appeal is the landings used to determine whether the permit is eligible for renewal. Appeals based on hardship factors will not be considered. Any appeal under this regulation will be processed by the NMFS National Appeals Office. Appeals will be governed by the regulations and policy of the National Appeals Office at 15 CFR part 906. Appeals must be submitted to the National Appeals Office no later than 90 days after the date the initial determination in issued. Determinations of appeals regarding landings data for 2006 to 2015 will be based on NMFS' logbook records, submitted on or before February 16, 2016. If NMFS' logbooks are not available, state landings records or data for 2006 to 2015 that were submitted in compliance with applicable Federal and state regulations on or before February 16, 2015, may be used.

    5. In § 622.385, revise paragraph (a)(2)(ii)(A)(1) to read as follows:
    § 622.385 Commercial trip limits.

    (a) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (ii) * * *

    (A) * * *

    (1) In the Florida west coast southern subzone, king mackerel in or from the EEZ may be possessed on board or landed from a vessel for which a commercial vessel permit for king mackerel and a king mackerel gillnet permit have been issued, as required under § 622.370(a)(2), in amounts not exceeding 45,000 lb (20,411 kg) per day, provided the gillnet component for Gulf migratory group king mackerel is not closed under § 622.378(a) or § 622.8(b).

    6. In § 622.388: a. Add paragraph (a)(1)(iii); and b. Revise paragraphs (a)(2), (c)(1), and (e)(1)(i) to read as follows:
    § 622.388 Annual catch limits (ACLs), annual catch targets (ACTs), and accountability measures (AMs).

    (a) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (iii) If commercial landings for Gulf migratory group king mackerel caught by run-around gillnet in the Florida west coast southern subzone, as estimated by the SRD, exceed the commercial ACL, the AA will file a notification with the Office of the Federal Register to reduce the commercial ACL for king mackerel harvested by run-around gillnet in the Florida west coast southern subzone in the following fishing year by the amount of the commercial ACL overage in the prior fishing year.

    (2) Recreational sector. If recreational landings, as estimated by the SRD, reach or are projected to reach the recreational ACL of 8.092 million lb (3.670 million kg), the AA will file a notification with the Office of the Federal Register to implement a bag and possession limit for Gulf migratory group king mackerel of zero, unless the best scientific information available determines that a bag limit reduction is unnecessary.

    (c) * * *

    (1) If the sum of the commercial and recreational landings, as estimated by the SRD, reaches or is projected to reach the stock ACL, as specified in paragraph (c)(3) of this section, the AA will file a notification with the Office of the Federal Register to close the commercial and recreational sectors for the remainder of the fishing year. On and after the effective date of such a notification, all sale and purchase of Gulf migratory group Spanish mackerel is prohibited and the harvest and possession limit of this species in or from the Gulf EEZ is zero.

    (e) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (i) If the sum of all cobia landings, as estimated by the SRD, reaches or is projected to reach the stock quota (stock ACT), specified in § 622.384(d)(1), the AA will file a notification with the Office of the Federal Register to prohibit the harvest of Gulf migratory group cobia in the Gulf zone for the remainder of the fishing year. On and after the effective date of such a notification, all sale and purchase of Gulf migratory group cobia in the Gulf zone is prohibited and the possession limit of this species in or from the Gulf EEZ is zero.

    [FR Doc. 2015-31708 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 140918791-4999-02] RIN 0648-XE358 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Other Hook-and-Line Fishery by Catcher Vessels in the Gulf of Alaska AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; closure.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for groundfish, other than demersal shelf rockfish, by catcher vessels (C/Vs) using hook-and-line gear in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary because the Pacific halibut bycatch allowance specified for the other hook-and-line fishery by C/Vs in the GOA has been reached.

    DATES:

    Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), December 15, 2015, until 2400 hours A.l.t., December 31, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Josh Keaton, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the GOA exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679.

    The Pacific halibut bycatch allowance specified for the other hook-and-line fishery by C/Vs in the GOA is 145 metric tons as established by the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (80 FR 10250, February 25, 2015).

    In accordance with § 679.21(d)(6)(ii), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, has determined that the Pacific halibut bycatch allowance specified for the other hook-and-line fishery by C/Vs in the GOA has been reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for groundfish, other than demersal shelf rockfish, by C/Vs using hook-and-line gear in the GOA.

    After the effective date of this closure the maximum retainable amounts at § 679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a trip.

    Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay closure of other hook-and-line fishery by C/Vs in the GOA. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of December 11, 2015.

    The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effective date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of prior notice and opportunity for public comment.

    This action is required by § 679.20 and § 679.21 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: December 14, 2015. Galen R. Tromble, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31759 Filed 12-14-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 242 Thursday, December 17, 2015 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 930 [Doc. No. AMS-FV-15-0063; FV16-930-1 PR] Tart Cherries Grown in the States of Michigan, et al.; Free and Restricted Percentages for the 2015-16 Crop Year for Tart Cherries AGENCY:

    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This proposed rule would implement a recommendation from the Cherry Industry Administrative Board (Board) to establish free and restricted percentages for the 2015-16 crop year under the marketing order for tart cherries grown in the states of Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin (order). The Board locally administers the marketing order and is comprised of producers and handlers of tart cherries operating within the production area. This action would establish the proportion of tart cherries from the 2015 crop which may be handled in commercial outlets at 80 percent free and 20 percent restricted. In addition, this proposal would increase the carry-out volume of fruit to 55 million pounds for this season. These percentages should stabilize marketing conditions by adjusting supply to meet market demand and help improve grower returns.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by January 19, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit written comments concerning this proposal. Comments must be sent to the Docket Clerk, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; Fax: (202) 720-8938; or Internet: http://www.regulations.gov. All comments should reference the document number and the date and page number of this issue of the Federal Register and will be made available for public inspection in the Office of the Docket Clerk during regular business hours, or can be viewed at: http://www.regulations.gov. All comments submitted in response to this proposal will be included in the record and will be made available to the public. Please be advised that the identity of the individuals or entities submitting the comments will be made public on the internet at the address provided above.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jennie M. Varela, Marketing Specialist, or Christian D. Nissen, Regional Director, Southeast Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA; Telephone: (863) 324-3375, Fax: (863) 291-8614, or Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

    Small businesses may request information on complying with this regulation by contacting Jeffrey Smutny, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; Telephone: (202) 720-2491, Fax: (202) 720-8938, or Email: Jeffre[email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This proposal is issued under Marketing Agreement and Order No. 930, both as amended (7 CFR part 930), regulating the handling of tart cherries produced in the States of Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin, hereinafter referred to as the “order.” The order is effective under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674), hereinafter referred to as the “Act.”

    The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is issuing this proposed rule in conformance with Executive Orders 12866, 13563, and 13175.

    This proposal has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. Under the order provisions now in effect, free and restricted percentages may be established for tart cherries handled during the crop year. This proposed rule would establish free and restricted percentages for tart cherries for the 2015-16 crop year, beginning July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016.

    The Act provides that administrative proceedings must be exhausted before parties may file suit in court. Under section 608c(15)(A) of the Act, any handler subject to an order may file with USDA a petition stating that the order, any provision of the order, or any obligation imposed in connection with the order is not in accordance with law and request a modification of the order or to be exempted therefrom. A handler is afforded the opportunity for a hearing on the petition. After the hearing, USDA would rule on the petition. The Act provides that the district court of the United States in any district in which the handler is an inhabitant, or has his or her principal place of business, has jurisdiction to review USDA's ruling on the petition, provided an action is filed not later than 20 days after the date of the entry of the ruling.

    This proposed rule invites comments on the establishment of free and restricted percentages for the 2015-16 crop year. This proposal would establish the proportion of tart cherries from the 2015 crop which may be handled in commercial outlets at 80 percent free and 20 percent restricted. In addition, this proposal would increase the carry-out volume of fruit to 55 million pounds for calculation purposes for this season. This proposal should stabilize marketing conditions by adjusting supply to meet market demand and help improve grower returns. The proposed carry-out and the final percentages were recommended by the Board at a meeting on September 10, 2015.

    Section 930.51(a) of the order provides authority to regulate volume by designating free and restricted percentages for any tart cherries acquired by handlers in a given crop year. Section 930.50 prescribes procedures for computing an optimum supply based on sales history and for calculating these free and restricted percentages. Free percentage volume may be shipped to any market, while restricted percentage volume must be held by handlers in a primary or secondary reserve, or be diverted or used for exempt purposes as prescribed in §§ 930.159 and 930.162 of the regulations. Exempt purposes include, in part, the development of new products, sales into new markets, the development of export markets, and charitable contributions. For cherries held in reserve, handlers would be responsible for storage and would retain title of the tart cherries.

    Under § 930.52, only those districts with an annual average production of at least six million pounds are subject to regulation and any district producing a crop which is less than 50 percent of its annual average is exempt. The regulated districts for the 2015-2016 crop year would be: District 1—Northern Michigan; District 2—Central Michigan; District 3—Southern Michigan; District 4—New York; District 7—Utah; District 8—Washington; and District 9—Wisconsin. Districts 5 and 6 (Oregon and Pennsylvania, respectively) would not be regulated for the 2015-16 season.

    Demand for tart cherries and tart cherry products tend to be relatively stable from year to year. Conversely, annual tart cherry production can vary greatly. In addition, tart cherries are processed and can be stored and carried over from crop year to crop year, further impacting supply. As a result, supply and demand for tart cherries are rarely in balance.

    Because demand for tart cherries is inelastic, total sales volume is not very responsive to changes in price. However, prices are very sensitive to changes in supply. As such, an oversupply of cherries would have a sharp negative effect on prices, driving down grower returns. The Board, aware of this economic relationship, focuses on using the volume control provisions in the order to balance supply and demand to stabilize industry returns.

    Pursuant to § 930.50 of the order, the Board meets on or about July 1 to review sales data, inventory data, current crop forecasts and market conditions for the upcoming season and, if necessary, to recommend preliminary free and restricted percentages if anticipated supply would exceed demand. After harvest is complete, but no later than September 15, the Board meets again to update their calculations using actual production data, consider any necessary adjustments to the preliminary percentages, and determine if final free and restricted percentages should be recommended to the Secretary.

    The Board uses sales history, inventory, and production data to determine whether there is a surplus, and if so, how much volume should be restricted to maintain optimum supply. The optimum supply represents the desirable volume of tart cherries that should be available for sale in the coming crop year. Optimum supply is defined as the average free sales of the prior three years plus desirable carry-out inventory. Desirable carry-out is the amount of fruit needed by the industry to be carried into the succeeding crop year to meet market demand until the new crop is available. Desirable carry-out is set by the Board after considering market circumstances and needs. Section 930.50(a) specifies that desirable carry-out can range from zero to a maximum of 20 million pounds, but also authorizes the Board to establish an alternative carry-out figure with the approval of the Secretary.

    In addition, USDA's “Guidelines for Fruit, Vegetable, and Specialty Crop Marketing Orders” (http://www.ams.usda.gov/publications/content/1982-guidelines-fruit-vegetable-marketing-orders) specify that 110 percent of recent years' sales should be made available to primary markets each season before recommendations for volume regulation are approved. This requirement is codified in § 930.50(g) of the order, which specifies that in years when restricted percentages are established, the Board shall make available tonnage equivalent to an additional 10 percent of the average sales of the prior three years for market expansion (market growth factor).

    After the Board determines optimum supply, desirable carry-out, and market growth factor, it must examine the current year's available volume to determine whether there is an oversupply situation. Available volume includes carry-in inventory (any inventory available at the beginning of the season) along with that season's production. If production is greater than the optimum supply minus carry-in, the difference is considered surplus. This surplus tonnage is divided by the sum of production in the regulated districts to reach a restricted percentage. This percentage must be held in reserve or used for approved diversion activities, such as exports.

    The Board met on June 25, 2015, and computed an optimum supply of 208 million pounds for the 2015-16 crop year using the average of free sales for the three previous seasons and a desirable carry-out of 20 million pounds. The Board then subtracted the estimated carry-in of 104 million pounds from the optimum supply to calculate the production needed from the 2015-16 crop to meet optimum supply. This number, 104 million pounds, was subtracted from the Board's estimated 2015-16 production of 233 million pounds to calculate a surplus of 129 million pounds of tart cherries. The surplus minus the market growth factor was then divided by the expected production in the regulated districts (228 million pounds) to reach a preliminary restricted percentage of 48 percent for the 2015-16 crop year.

    In discussing the calculations, industry participants commented that a carry-out of 20 million pounds would not meet their needs at the end of the season before the new crop is available. To address that concern, the Board recommended increasing the desirable carry-out to 55 million pounds for the 2015-2016 season. This change increased the optimum supply to 243 million pounds, reducing the surplus to 94 million pounds.

    The Board also discussed whether the substantial reduction of supply in 2012 due to weather was still a factor that needed to be considered in determining optimum supply. Because of the crop loss, sales in 2012-13 reached only 123 million pounds, nearly 100 million pounds less than 2013-14 sales. In the previous two seasons when considering volume regulation, the Board recommended economic adjustments to account for the substantial decline in 2012. The Board again determined that the market required additional tonnage to continue recovering sales and voted to make an economic adjustment of 43 million pounds to increase the available supply of tart cherries. The Board also complied with the market growth factor requirement by adding 19 million pounds (188 million times 10 percent, rounded) to the free supply.

    The economic adjustment and market growth factor further reduced the preliminary surplus to 32 million pounds. After these adjustments, the preliminary restricted percentage was recalculated as 14 percent (32 million pounds divided by 228 million pounds).

    The Board met again on September 10, 2015, to consider establishing final volume regulation percentages for the 2015-16 season. The final percentages are based on the Board's reported production figures and the supply and demand information available in September. The total production for the 2015-16 season was 249 million pounds, 25 million pounds above the Board's June estimate. In addition, growers diverted 1 million pounds in the orchard, leaving 248 million pounds available to market. Using the actual production numbers, and accounting for the recommended increase in desirable carry-out and economic adjustment, as well as the market growth factor, the restricted percentage was recalculated.

    The Board subtracted the carry-in figure used in June of 104 million pounds from the optimum supply of 243 million pounds to determine 139 million pounds of 2015-16 production would be necessary to reach optimum supply. The Board subtracted the 139 million pounds from the actual production of 248 million pounds, resulting in a surplus of 109 million pounds of tart cherries. The surplus was then reduced by subtracting the economic adjustment of 43 million pounds and the market growth factor of 19 million pounds, resulting in an adjusted surplus of 47 million pounds. The Board then divided this final surplus by the actual production in the regulated districts (240 million pounds) to calculate a restricted percentage of 20 percent with a corresponding free percentage of 80 percent for the 2015-16 crop year, as outlined in the following table:

    Millions of pounds Final Calculations: (1) Average sales of the prior three years 188 (2) Plus desirable carry-out 55 (3) Optimum supply calculated by the Board 243 (4) Carry-in as of July 1, 2015 104 (5) Adjusted optimum supply (item 3 minus item 4) 139 (6) Board reported production 248 (7) Surplus (item 6 minus item 5) 109 (8) Total economic adjustments 43 (9) Market growth factor 19 (10) Adjusted Surplus (item 7 minus items 8 and 9) 47 (11) Production from regulated districts 240 Final Percentages: Percent Restricted (item 10 divided by item 11 × 100) 20 Free (100 minus restricted percentage) 80

    The primary purpose of setting restricted percentages is an attempt to bring supply and demand into balance. If the primary market is oversupplied with cherries, grower prices decline substantially. Restricted percentages have benefited grower returns and helped stabilize the market as compared to those seasons prior to the implementation of the order. The Board believes the available information indicates that a restricted percentage should be established for the 2015-16 crop year to avoid oversupplying the market with tart cherries. Consequently, based on its discussion of this issue and the result of the above calculations, the Board recommended final percentages of 80 percent free and 20 percent restricted by a vote of 16 in favor and 1 against.

    During the discussion of the proposed restriction, some members expressed concern regarding competition from imported tart cherry juice concentrate. In particular, some were concerned that the additional volume from imports is not accounted for in the Optimum Supply Formula, thus not capturing overall supply and demand. An economist from Michigan State University is working with the Board to assemble information on tart cherry imports. The Board also voted to establish an import committee to review the data on imports once it is available. Another member asserted that any restriction would adversely impact growers' ability to sell all of their fruit. One member also said that a 20 percent restriction seemed high given the moderate production in 2015.

    One member noted setting the restriction at 20 percent would aid in maintaining price stability, with another member reminding the Board of the importance of the order and volume control in avoiding oversupplying the market with tart cherries. One other member said it was also important to maintain a reserve in case of another crop disaster. Other members stated the demand adjustment and the recommended increased carry-out would put sufficient fruit on the market in the coming year.

    After reviewing the available data, and considering the concerns expressed, the Board determined that a 20 percent restriction with a carry-out volume of 55 million pounds would meet sales needs and establish some reserves without oversupplying the market. Thus, the Board recommended establishing final percentages of 80 percent free and 20 percent restricted. The Board could meet and recommend the release of additional volume during the crop year if conditions so warranted.

    Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    Pursuant to requirements set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601-612), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has considered the economic impact of this proposed rule on small entities. Accordingly, AMS has prepared this initial regulatory flexibility analysis.

    The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of businesses subject to such actions in order that small businesses will not be unduly or disproportionately burdened. Marketing orders issued pursuant to the Act, and rules issued thereunder, are unique in that they are brought about through group action of essentially small entities acting on their own behalf.

    There are approximately 600 producers of tart cherries in the regulated area and approximately 40 handlers of tart cherries who are subject to regulation under the order. Small agricultural producers are defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as those having annual receipts of less than $750,000 and small agricultural service firms have been defined as those whose annual receipts are less than $7,000,000 (13 CFR 121.201).

    According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and Board data, the average annual grower price for tart cherries during the 2014-15 season was $0.35 per pound, and total utilization was around 300 million pounds. Therefore, average receipts for tart cherry producers were around $175,800, well below the SBA threshold for small producers. In 2014, The Food Institute estimated an f.o.b. price of $0.96 per pound for frozen tart cherries, which make up the majority of processed tart cherries. Using this data, average annual handler receipts were about $6.9 million, which is also below the SBA threshold for small agricultural service firms. Assuming a normal distribution, the majority of producers and handlers of tart cherries may be classified as small entities.

    The tart cherry industry in the United States is characterized by wide annual fluctuations in production. According to NASS, tart cherry production in 2012 was 85 million pounds, 294 million pounds in 2013, and in 2014, production was 304 million pounds. Because of these fluctuations, the supply and demand for tart cherries are rarely equal.

    Demand for tart cherries is inelastic, meaning changes in price have a minimal effect on total sales volume. However, prices are very sensitive to changes in supply, and grower prices vary widely in response to the large swings in annual supply, with prices ranging from a low of 7.3 cents per pound in 1987 to a high of 59.4 cents per pound in 2012.

    Because of this relationship between supply and price, oversupplying the market with tart cherries would have a sharp negative effect on prices, driving down grower returns. The Board, aware of this economic relationship, focuses on using the volume control authority in the order in an effort to balance supply and demand in order to stabilize industry returns. This authority allows the industry to set free and restricted percentages as a way to bring supply and demand into balance. Free percentage cherries can be marketed by handlers to any outlet, while restricted percentage volume must be held by handlers in reserve, diverted or used for exempted purposes.

    This proposal would establish free and restricted percentages using an increased carry-out volume of 55 million pounds for the 2015-16 crop year under the order for tart cherries. This proposal would control the supply of tart cherries by establishing percentages of 80 percent free and 20 percent restricted for the 2015-16 crop year. These percentages should stabilize marketing conditions by adjusting supply to meet market demand and help improve grower returns. The proposal would regulate tart cherries handled in Michigan, New York, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. The authority for this action is provided for in §§ 930.51(a) and 930.52 of the order. The Board recommended this action at a meeting on September 10, 2015.

    This proposal would result in some fruit being diverted from the primary domestic markets. However, as mentioned earlier, the USDA's “Guidelines for Fruit, Vegetable, and Specialty Crop Marketing Orders” (http://www.ams.usda.gov/publications/content/1982-guidelines-fruit-vegetable-marketing-orders) specify that 110 percent of recent years' sales should be made available to primary markets each season before recommendations for volume regulation are approved. The quantity that would be available under this proposal is greater than 110 percent of the average quantity shipped in the prior three years.

    In addition, there are secondary uses available for restricted fruit, including the development of new products, sales into new markets, the development of export markets, and being placed in reserve. While these alternatives may provide different levels of return than the sales to primary markets, they play an important role for the industry. The areas of new products, new markets, and the development of export markets utilize restricted fruit to develop and expand the markets for tart cherries. In 2014-15, these activities accounted for 21 million pounds in sales, nearly 14 million of which were exports.

    Placing tart cherries into reserves is also a key part of balancing supply and demand. Although the industry must bear the handling and storage costs for fruit in reserve, reserves stored in large crop years are used to supplement supplies in short crop years. The reserves allow the industry to mitigate the impact of oversupply in large crop years, while allowing the industry to maintain and supply markets in years where production falls below demand. Further, storage and handling costs are more than offset by the increase in price when moving from a large crop to a short crop year.

    In addition, the Board recommended an increased carry-out of 55 million pounds and made a demand adjustment of 43 million pounds in order to make the regulation less restrictive. Even with the recommended restriction, over 300 million pounds of fruit would be available to the domestic market. Consequently, it is not anticipated that this proposal would unduly burden growers or handlers.

    While this proposal could result in some additional costs to the industry, these costs are more than outweighed by the benefits. The purpose of setting restricted percentages is to attempt to bring supply and demand into balance. If the primary market (domestic) is oversupplied with cherries, grower prices decline substantially. Without volume control, the primary market would likely be oversupplied, resulting in lower grower prices.

    The three districts in Michigan, along with the districts in New York, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin are the restricted areas for this crop year with a combined total production of 240 million pounds. A 20 percent restriction means 192 million pounds would be available to be shipped to primary markets from these five states. The 192 million pounds from the restricted districts, nearly 9 million pounds from the unrestricted districts (Oregon and Pennsylvania), and the 104 million pound carry-in inventory would make a total of 305 million pounds available as free tonnage for the primary markets. This is similar to the 300 million pounds of total utilization in 2014-2015 and less restrictive than the 12 percent restriction in 2011-2012 which made just under 262 million pounds available. Further, the Board could meet and recommend the release of additional volume during the crop year if conditions so warranted.

    Prior to the implementation of the order, grower prices often did not come close to covering the cost of production. The most recent costs of production determined by representatives of Michigan State University are an estimated $0.33 per pound. To assess the impact that volume control has on the prices growers receive for their product, an econometric model has been developed. Based on the model, the use of volume control would have a positive impact on grower returns for this crop year. With volume control, grower prices are estimated to be approximately $0.03 per pound higher than without restrictions.

    In addition, absent volume control, the industry could start to build large amounts of unwanted inventories. These inventories would have a depressing effect on grower prices. The econometric model shows for every 1 million-pound increase in carry-in inventories, a decrease in grower prices of $0.0042 per pound occurs.

    Retail demand is assumed to be highly inelastic, which indicates that changes in price do not result in significant changes in the quantity demanded. Consumer prices largely do not reflect fluctuations in cherry supplies. Therefore, this proposal should have little or no effect on consumer prices and should not result in a reduction in retail sales.

    The free and restricted percentages established by this proposal would provide the market with optimum supply and apply uniformly to all regulated handlers in the industry, regardless of size. As the restriction represents a percentage of a handler's volume, the costs, when applicable, are proportionate and should not place an extra burden on small entities as compared to large entities.

    The stabilizing effects of this proposal would benefit all handlers by helping them maintain and expand markets, despite seasonal supply fluctuations. Likewise, price stability positively impacts all growers and handlers by allowing them to better anticipate the revenues their tart cherries would generate. Growers and handlers, regardless of size, would benefit from the stabilizing effects of this restriction. In addition, the increased carry-out should provide processors enough supply to meet market needs going into the next season.

    The Board considered some alternatives in its preliminary restriction discussions that affected this recommended action. The first alternative concerned the average sales in estimating demand for the coming season, and the second alternative regarded the recommended carry-out figure.

    Regarding demand, the Board began with the actual sales average of 188 million pounds. There was concern, however that this value, which incorporated the weather-related crop failure of 2012, would result in an over-restrictive calculation. After considering options in the range of 40 to 62 million pounds, the Board determined that an adjustment of 43 million pounds, would best meet the industry's sales needs. Thus the other alternatives were rejected and the Board recommended the 43 million pound economic adjustment.

    Regarding the carry-out value, the Board previously considered a one-year increase above the 20 million pounds specified in the order to 50 million pounds. However, this season, Board members indicated the carry-out should be even higher to facilitate processing at the end of the crop year. Board members suggested a series of options from 35 million to 60 million pounds of carry-out. Some feel the additional fruit is necessary while others were more cautious about having additional fruit on the market at the time of harvest, which may put downward pressure on prices. In conjunction with the demand adjustment, the Board reached a consensus and recommended the Secretary increase the maximum carry-out to 55 million pounds for the 2015-2016 season.

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), the order's information collection requirements have been previously approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and assigned OMB No. 0581-0177, Tart Cherries Grown in the States of MI, NY, PA, OR, UT, WA, and WI. No changes in those requirements as a result of this action are necessary. Should any changes become necessary, they would be submitted to OMB for approval.

    This proposal would not impose any additional reporting or recordkeeping requirements on either small or large tart cherry handlers. As with all Federal marketing order programs, reports and forms are periodically reviewed to reduce information requirements and duplication by industry and public sector agencies.

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

    USDA has not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap or conflict with this proposed rule.

    In addition, the Board's meeting was widely publicized throughout the tart cherry industry and all interested persons were invited to attend the meeting and participate in Board deliberations on all issues. Like all Board meetings, the June 25, 2015, and September 10, 2015, meetings were public meetings and all entities, both large and small, were able to express views on this issue. Finally, interested persons are invited to submit comments on this proposed rule, including the regulatory and informational impacts of this proposal on small businesses.

    A small business guide on complying with fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop marketing agreements and orders may be viewed at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/moa/small-businesses. Any questions about the compliance guide should be sent to Jeffrey Smutny at the previously mentioned address in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    A 30-day comment period is provided to allow interested persons to respond to this proposal. Thirty days is deemed appropriate because this proposed rule would need to be in place as soon as possible since handlers are already shipping tart cherries from the 2015-16 crop. All written comments timely received will be considered before a final determination is made on this matter.

    List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 930

    Marketing agreements, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Tart cherries.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 930 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 930—TART CHERRIES GROWN IN THE STATES OF MICHIGAN, NEW YORK, PENNSYLVANIA, OREGON, UTAH, WASHINGTON, AND WISCONSIN 1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 930 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 601-674.

    2. Revise § 930.151 to read as follows:
    § 930.151 Desirable carry-out inventory.

    For the crop year beginning on July 1, 2015, the desirable carry-out inventory, for the purposes of determining an optimum supply volume, will be 55 million pounds.

    3. Revise § 930.256 to read as follows:
    § 930.256 Free and restricted percentages for the 2015-16 crop year.

    The percentages for tart cherries handled by handlers during the crop year beginning on July 1, 2015, which shall be free and restricted, respectively, are designated as follows: Free percentage, 80 percent and restricted percentage, 20 percent.

    Dated: December 14, 2015. Rex A. Barnes, Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31777 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Office of the Comptroller of the Currency 12 CFR Part 30 [Docket ID OCC-2015-0017] RIN 1557-AD96 Guidelines Establishing Standards for Recovery Planning by Certain Large Insured National Banks, Insured Federal Savings Associations, and Insured Federal Branches AGENCY:

    Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Proposed guidelines.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is requesting comment on proposed enforceable guidelines establishing standards for recovery planning by insured national banks, insured Federal savings associations, and insured Federal branches of foreign banks with average total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more (Guidelines). The OCC would issue the Guidelines as an appendix to its safety and soundness standards regulations, and the Guidelines would be enforceable by the terms of the Federal statute that authorizes the OCC to prescribe operational and managerial standards for national banks and Federal savings associations.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted by February 16, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Because paper mail in the Washington, DC area and at the OCC is subject to delay, commenters are encouraged to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal or email, if possible. Please use the title “Guidelines Establishing Standards for Recovery Planning by Certain Large Insured National Banks, Insured Federal Savings Associations, and Insured Federal Branches” to facilitate the organization and distribution of the comments. You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal—“Regulations.gov”: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Enter “Docket ID OCC-2015-0017” in the Search Box and click “Search”. Results can be filtered using the filtering tools on the left side of the screen. Click on “Comment Now” to submit public comments.

    • Click on the “Help” tab on the Regulations.gov home page to get information on using Regulations.gov, including instructions for submitting public comments.

    Email: [email protected]

    Mail: Legislative and Regulatory Activities Division, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, 400 7th Street SW., Suite 3E-218, Mail Stop 9W-11, Washington, DC 20219.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: 400 7th Street SW., Suite 3E-218, Mail Stop 9W-11, Washington, DC 20219.

    Fax: (571) 465-4326.

    Instructions: You must include “OCC” as the agency name and “Docket ID OCC-2015-0017” in your comment. In general, the OCC will enter all comments received into the docket and publish them on the Regulations.gov Web site without change, including any business or personal information that you provide such as name and address, email addresses, or phone numbers. Comments received, including attachments and other supporting materials, are part of the public record and subject to public disclosure. Do not enclose any information in your comment or supporting materials that you consider confidential or inappropriate for public disclosure.

    You may review comments and other related materials that pertain to this rulemaking action by any of the following methods:

    Viewing Comments Electronically: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Enter “Docket ID OCC-2015-0017” in the Search box and click “Search”. Comments can be filtered by agency name using the filtering tools on the left side of the screen.

    • Click on the “Help” tab on the Regulations.gov home page to get information on using Regulations.gov, including instructions for viewing public comments, viewing other supporting and related materials, and viewing the docket after the close of the comment period.

    Viewing Comments Personally: You may personally inspect and photocopy comments at the OCC, 400 7th Street SW., Washington, DC. For security reasons, the OCC requires that visitors make an appointment to inspect comments. You may do so by calling (202) 649-6700 or, for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, TTY, (202) 649-5597. Upon arrival, visitors will be required to present valid government-issued photo identification and to submit to a security screening in order to inspect and photocopy comments.

    Docket: You may also view or request available background documents and project summaries using the methods described above.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For questions concerning the Guidelines, contact Lori Bittner, Large Bank Supervision—Resolution and Recovery, (202) 649-6093; Stuart Feldstein, Director, Andra Shuster, Senior Counsel, or Karen McSweeney, Counsel, Legislative & Regulatory Activities Division, (202) 649-5490 or, for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, TTY, (202) 649-5597; or Valerie Song, Assistant Director, Bank Activities and Structure Division, (202) 649-5500, 400 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20219.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    The recent financial crisis demonstrated the destabilizing effect that severe stress at large, complex, interconnected financial companies can have on the national economy, capital markets, and the overall financial stability of the banking system. Following the crisis, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act); among other purposes, the Dodd-Frank Act was intended to strengthen the framework for the supervision and regulation of large U.S. financial companies in order to address the significant impact that these institutions can have on capital markets and the economy.

    One lesson learned from the crisis is the importance—especially in large or complex financial institutions—of strong risk management and corporate governance practices. In 2014, the OCC adopted heightened standards guidelines that address the risk management and corporate governance of large or complex banks.1 These guidelines establish minimum standards for the design and implementation of a corporate governance framework and for a bank's board of directors in overseeing the framework's design and implementation. The OCC believes that these heightened standards further the goals of the Dodd-Frank Act by clarifying the OCC's expectation that banks have robust practices in areas where the crisis revealed substantial weaknesses.

    1 79 FR 54518 (Sept. 11, 2014) (OCC Guidelines Establishing Heightened Standards for Certain Large Insured National Banks, Insured Federal Savings Associations, and Insured Federal Branches; Integration of Regulations).

    Another important component of an institution's risk management and corporate governance practices is how an institution plans to respond to severe stress in a manner that preserves its financial and operational strength and viability. In the aftermath of the crisis, it became clear that many financial institutions had insufficient plans for identifying and responding rapidly to significant stress events. As a result, many institutions were forced to take significant actions quickly without the benefit of a well-developed plan. In addition, recent large-scale operational events, such as destructive cyber attacks, demonstrate the need for institutions to plan how to respond to such occurrences.

    The OCC believes that large, complex institutions should have a recovery plan that describes options for responding to stress events. Accordingly, the OCC is proposing to establish standards for recovery planning that would apply to insured national banks, insured Federal savings associations, and insured Federal branches of foreign banks (together, banks and each, a bank) with average total consolidated assets of $50 billion or more (together, covered banks and each, a covered bank).2 An institution's recovery planning should be a dynamic, ongoing process. This process should complement the institution's risk management and corporate governance functions and support its safe and sound operation. The process of developing and maintaining a recovery plan also should cause covered banks' management and boards of directors to enhance their focus on risk management and corporate governance with a view toward lessening the financial or operational impact of future unforeseen events.

    2 While the Dodd-Frank Act addresses resolution planning, it does not specifically address recovery planning.

    The OCC recognizes that many covered banks already engage in significant planning to respond to events such as cyber attacks, business interruptions, and leadership vacancies. They undertake strategic, operational, contingency, capital (including stress testing), liquidity, and resolution planning. We do not intend for the recovery planning required by these Guidelines to duplicate these efforts, and we encourage covered banks to leverage their existing planning. Rather, the purpose of the Guidelines is to provide a comprehensive framework for evaluating how severe stress may affect the covered bank as a whole and the options that will allow it to remain viable even under severe stress.

    As described below, a covered bank should develop and maintain a recovery plan that identifies triggers based on severe stress scenarios. These scenarios should range from those that cause significant financial and operational hardship to those that bring the covered bank close to default, but no further; scenarios should not go so far as to push the covered bank into resolution. The plan should identify the credible options a covered bank could take to restore financial and operational strength and viability in a timely manner, while maintaining market confidence. Neither the plan nor the options may assume or rely on any extraordinary government support.

    As part of the OCC's regular supervisory activities, OCC examiners will assess the appropriateness and adequacy of the covered bank's recovery planning process and the integration of that process into the covered bank's overall risk management and corporate governance functions. Examiners will also assess the quality and reasonableness of a covered bank's recovery plan, including its triggers and the stress scenarios upon which the triggers are based, recovery options, impact assessments, and execution strategies, as well as the covered bank's management and board responsibilities.

    Enforcement of the Guidelines

    The OCC is proposing these Guidelines pursuant to section 39 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (FDIA).3 Section 39 authorizes the OCC to prescribe safety and soundness standards in the form of a regulation or guidelines. The OCC currently has four sets of these guidelines, issued as appendices to part 30 of the OCC's regulations. Appendix A contains operational and managerial standards that relate to internal controls, information systems, internal audit systems, loan documentation, credit underwriting, interest rate exposure, asset growth, asset quality, earnings, compensation, fees, and benefits. Appendix B contains standards on information security, and Appendix C contains standards that address residential mortgage lending practices. Appendix D contains standards for the design and implementation of a risk governance framework.

    3 12 U.S.C. 1831p-1. Section 39 was enacted as part of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Improvement Act of 1991, Public Law 102-242, section 132(a), 105 Stat. 2236, 2267-70 (Dec. 19, 1991).

    Section 39 prescribes different consequences depending on whether the standards are issued by regulation or guidelines. Pursuant to section 39, if a national bank or Federal savings association 4 fails to meet a standard prescribed by regulation, the OCC must require it to submit a plan specifying the steps it will take to comply with the standard. If a national bank or Federal savings association fails to meet a standard prescribed by a guideline, the OCC has the discretion to decide whether to require the submission of a plan.5 Issuing these standards as guidelines rather than as a regulation provides the OCC with the flexibility to pursue the course of action that is most appropriate given the specific circumstances of a covered bank's noncompliance with one or more standards and the covered bank's self-corrective and remedial responses.

    4 Section 39 of the FDIA applies to “insured depository institutions,” which includes insured Federal branches of foreign banks. While we do not specifically refer to these entities in this discussion, it should be read to include them. However, section 39 does not apply to uninsured depository institutions.

    5See 12 U.S.C. 1831p-1(e)(1)(A)(i) and (ii).

    The procedural rules implementing the supervisory and enforcement remedies prescribed by section 39 are contained in part 30 of the OCC's rules. Under these provisions, the OCC may initiate a supervisory or enforcement process when it determines, by examination or otherwise, that a national bank or Federal savings association has failed to meet the standards set forth in the Guidelines.6 Upon making that determination, the OCC may request, in writing, that the national bank or Federal savings association submit a compliance plan to the OCC detailing the steps the institution will take to correct the deficiencies and the time within which it will take those steps. This request is termed a Notice of Deficiency. Upon receiving a Notice of Deficiency from the OCC, the national bank or Federal savings association must submit a compliance plan to the OCC for approval within 30 days.

    6 The procedures governing the determination and notification of failure to satisfy a standard prescribed pursuant to section 39, the filing and review of compliance plans, and the issuance, if necessary, of orders currently are set forth in the OCC's regulations at 12 CFR 30.3, 30.4, and 30.5.

    If a national bank or Federal savings association fails to submit an acceptable compliance plan or fails in any material respect to implement a compliance plan approved by the OCC, the OCC may issue a Notice of Intent to Issue an Order pursuant to section 39 (Notice of Intent). The bank or savings association then has 14 days to respond to the Notice of Intent. After considering the bank's or savings association's response, the OCC may issue the order, decide not to issue the order, or seek additional information from the bank or savings association before making a final decision. Alternatively, the OCC may issue an order without providing the bank or savings association with a Notice of Intent. In such a case, the bank or savings association may appeal after-the-fact to the OCC, and the OCC has 60 days to consider the appeal. Upon the issuance of an order, a bank or savings association is deemed to be in noncompliance with part 30. Orders are formal, public documents, and they may be enforced by the OCC in district court. The OCC may also assess a civil money penalty, pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 1818, against any bank or savings association that violates or otherwise fails to comply with any final order and against any institution-affiliated party who participates in such violation or noncompliance.

    Description of the OCC's Guidelines for Recovery Planning

    The proposed Guidelines consist of three sections. Section I provides an introduction to the Guidelines, explains the scope of the Guidelines, and defines key terms. Section II sets forth the standards for the design and execution of a covered bank's recovery plan. Section III provides the standards for management's and the board of directors' responsibilities in connection with the recovery plan.

    Section I: Introduction

    Scope. The Guidelines would apply to a bank with average total consolidated assets equal to or greater than $50 billion as of the effective date of the Guidelines (calculated by averaging the covered bank's total consolidated assets, as reported on the bank's Consolidated Reports of Condition and Income (Call Reports), for the four most recent consecutive quarters). This threshold is consistent with the scope of the regulations of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) that require certain entities to prepare resolution plans.7 For those banks that have average total consolidated assets less than $50 billion as of the effective date of the Guidelines, but subsequently have average total consolidated assets of $50 billion or greater, the date on which the Guidelines would apply is the as-of date of the most recent Call Report used in the calculation of the average.8 Once a bank becomes subject to the Guidelines because its average total consolidated assets reach or exceed the $50 billion threshold, it would be required to continue to comply with the Guidelines, unless the OCC specifically determines that compliance is not required.

    7See 12 CFR 381.2(f) and 243.2(f), respectively. See also 12 CFR 360.10.

    8 While the Guidelines would apply as of the date of the most recent Call Report used in the calculation of the average total consolidated assets of the covered bank, we understand that a newly covered bank will need time to formulate a recovery plan and expect the bank to work with its OCC examiners during this period.

    In order to maintain supervisory flexibility, the proposed Guidelines would reserve the OCC's authority to apply the Guidelines to a bank whose average total consolidated assets are less than $50 billion if the OCC determines such entity's operations are highly complex or otherwise present a heightened risk that warrants application of the Guidelines. The OCC expects to use this authority infrequently; it does not intend to apply the Guidelines to community banks.

    In determining whether a bank's operations are highly complex or present a heightened risk, the OCC will consider the bank's risk profile, size, activities, and complexity, including the complexity of its organizational and legal entity structure. Additionally, as noted above, the OCC may determine that a covered bank is no longer required to comply with the Guidelines. The OCC would generally make this determination if a covered bank's operations are no longer highly complex or no longer present a heightened risk.

    When exercising any of these reservations of authority, the OCC would apply notice and response procedures consistent with those set out in 12 CFR 3.404. In accordance with these procedures, the OCC would provide a bank or covered bank, as appropriate, with written notice of its proposed determination under this paragraph of the Guidelines, and the bank or covered bank would have 30 days to respond in writing. The OCC would consider failure to respond within this time frame a waiver of any objections. At the conclusion of the 30 days, the OCC would issue a written notice of its final determination.

    As discussed above, the Guidelines would be enforceable pursuant to section 39 of the FDIA and part 30 of the OCC's rules. Section I of the Guidelines provides that nothing in section 39 or the Guidelines in any way limits the authority of the OCC to address unsafe or unsound practices or conditions or other violations of law.9

    9 Section 39 preserves all authority otherwise available to the OCC, stating, “The authority granted by this section is in addition to any other authority of the Federal banking agencies.” See 12 U.S.C. 1831p-1(g).

    Definitions. Paragraph D of Section I defines certain terms used throughout the Guidelines, including “average total consolidated assets,” “bank,” “covered bank,” “recovery,” “recovery plan,” and “trigger.” The term “recovery” means timely and appropriate action that a covered bank takes to remain a going concern when it is experiencing or is likely to experience considerable financial or operational distress. A covered bank in recovery has not yet deteriorated to the point where liquidation or resolution is imminent. A “recovery plan” is a plan that identifies triggers and options for responding to a wide range of severe internal and external stress scenarios and for restoring a covered bank to financial and operational strength and viability in a timely manner, while maintaining the confidence of market participants. Neither the plan nor the options may assume or rely on any extraordinary government support. “Trigger” means a quantitative or qualitative indicator of the risk or existence of severe stress that should always be escalated to management or the board of directors, as appropriate, for purposes of initiating a response. The breach of any trigger should result in timely notice accompanied by sufficient information to enable management of the covered bank to take corrective action.

    Section II: Recovery Plan

    Each covered bank should develop and maintain a recovery plan appropriate for its individual risk profile, size, activities, and complexity, including the complexity of its organizational and legal entity structure. Section II sets forth the elements that the covered bank should include in a recovery plan.10

    10 A covered bank can use information included in its resolution plan to prepare its recovery plan.

    1. Overview of covered bank. It is important that a recovery plan provide a detailed description of the covered bank's overall organizational and legal structure, including its material entities, critical operations, core business lines, and core management information systems. The description should explain interconnections and interdependencies 11 (i) across business lines within the covered bank, (ii) with affiliates in a bank holding company structure, (iii) between a covered bank and its foreign subsidiaries, and (iv) with critical third parties. The description should address whether a disruption of these interconnections or interdependencies would materially affect the funding or operations of the covered bank and, if so, how. Examples include relationships with respect to credit exposures, investments, or funding commitments; guarantees including an acceptance, endorsement, or letter of credit issued for the benefit of an affiliate during normal periods, as opposed to during a crisis; and payment services, treasury operations, collateral management, information technology (IT), human resources (HR), or other operational functions. This overview is an essential part of the recovery plan.

    11 We are using the terms “interconnections” and “interdependencies” in a manner consistent with FDIC and Board resolution plan regulations. See supra note 7.

    2. Triggers. As defined above, a trigger is a quantitative or qualitative indicator of the risk or existence of severe stress that should always be escalated to management or the board of directors, as appropriate, for purposes of initiating a response. In order to identify triggers that appropriately reflect the particular vulnerabilities of each covered bank, the bank should begin by designing severe stress scenarios that would threaten the covered bank's critical operations or cause it to fail if one or more recovery options were not implemented in a timely manner. Because a recovery plan should demonstrate the ability of the covered bank to restore its financial and operational strength and viability, these scenarios should range from those that cause significant financial and operational hardship to those that bring the covered bank close to default, but not into resolution.12

    12 Separate from these Guidelines, covered banks are required to conduct supervisory stress tests. While the scenarios used to conduct those tests may be appropriate for purposes of identifying triggers under these Guidelines, a covered bank should evaluate the appropriateness of those scenarios on a case-by-case basis.

    The covered bank should consider a range of bank-specific and market-wide stress scenarios, individually and in the aggregate, that are immediate and prolonged. The stress scenarios should be designed to result in capital shortfalls, liquidity pressures, or other significant financial losses. Examples of bank-specific stress scenarios include fraud; portfolio shocks; a significant cyber attack 13 or other wide-scale operational event; accounting and tax issues; events that cause a reputational crisis that degrades customer or market confidence; and other key stresses that management identifies. Examples of market-wide stress scenarios include the disruption of domestic or global financial markets; the failure or impairment of systemically important financial industry participants, critical financial market infrastructure firms, and critical third-party relationships; significant changes in debt or equity valuations, currency rates, or interest rates; the widespread interruption of critical infrastructure that may degrade operational capability; 14 and general economic conditions.

    13 An example of a significant cyber attack includes an event that has an impact on a bank's computer network(s) or the computer network(s) of one of its third-party providers and that undermines the covered bank's data or processes.

    14 An example of this type of interruption includes a disruption to a payment, clearing, or settlement system that affects the covered bank's ability to access that system.

    As provided in the definition of “trigger,” the breach of a trigger should always be escalated to management or the board of directors, as appropriate, for its consideration of an appropriate response. The breach of any trigger should result in timely notice accompanied by sufficient information to enable management of the covered bank to take corrective action. A covered bank should select triggers that address a continuum of increasingly severe stress, ranging from those that provide a warning of the likely occurrence of severe stress to those that indicate the actual existence of severe stress. The number and nature of triggers should be appropriate for the covered bank's business and risk profile.

    The nature of the trigger informs the nature of the response. For example, in some situations, the appropriate response to the breach of a trigger may be enhanced monitoring; in other situations, the breach of a trigger should result in activating a specific recovery option set forth in the plan or taking other corrective action. It should be noted, however, that the breach of a particular trigger does not necessarily correspond to a single recovery option; instead, more than one option may be appropriate when a particular trigger is breached.

    A recovery plan should include both quantitative and qualitative triggers. Quantitative triggers include changes in covered bank-specific indicators that reflect the covered bank's capital or liquidity position. While capital or liquidity triggers may be the most critical, a covered bank should also consider other quantitative triggers that may have an impact on its condition, such as a rating downgrade; access to credit and borrowing lines; equity ratios; profitability; asset quality; or other macroeconomic indicators. Of course, a covered bank should be prepared to act to preserve the financial and operational strength and viability of the bank if it is at risk, regardless of whether a trigger has been breached or the recovery plan includes options to specifically address the problems the bank faces.

    Qualitative triggers include the unexpected departure of senior leadership; the erosion of reputation or market standing; the impact of an adverse legal ruling; and a material operational event that affects the covered bank's ability to access critical services or to deliver products or services to its customers for a material period of time. It is important to note that the covered bank should review and update both qualitative and quantitative triggers, as necessary, to take into account changes in laws and regulations and other material events. In addition, a covered bank should consider the regulatory or legal consequences that may be associated with the breach of a particular trigger.

    3. Options for recovery. The recovery plan should identify a wide range of credible options that a covered bank could undertake to restore financial and operational strength and viability, thereby allowing the bank to continue to operate as a going concern and to avoid liquidation or resolution. A covered bank should be able to execute the identified options within time frames that allow those options to be effective during periods of stress. Neither the plan nor the options may assume or rely on any extraordinary government support.

    A recovery plan should explain how the covered bank would carry out each option. It should include a description of the decision-making process for implementing each option, including the steps to be followed and any timing considerations. It should also identify the critical parties needed to carry out each option. Options may include the conservation or restoration of liquidity and capital; the sale, transfer, or disposal of significant assets, portfolios, or business lines; the reduction of risk profile; the restructuring of liabilities; the activation of emergency protocols; and succession planning. Options may also include organizational restructuring, including divesting legal entities in order to simplify the covered bank's structure. The recovery plan should also identify obstacles that could impede the execution of an option and set out mitigation strategies for addressing these obstacles. The recovery plan should specifically identify recovery options that require regulatory or legal approval.

    Set forth below are examples of how stress scenarios, triggers, and options relate to each other:

    Example of a severe stress scenario Possible triggers Possible options in
  • response to triggers
  • Idiosyncratic stress: Trading losses caused by a rogue trader • Tier 1 capital falls below 6%
  • • Liquidity falls below internal bank policy requirements
  • • Issue new capital.
  • • Sell nonstrategic assets or businesses.
  • • Reduce loan originations or commitments.
  • Systemic stress: Significant decline in U.S. gross domestic product, coupled with an increase in the U.S. unemployment rate and a deterioration in U.S. residential housing market • Short-term credit rating falls below A-3
  • • Nonperforming loans rise above a specified percentage
  • • Market capitalization falls below a specific limit for a certain period of time
  • • Sell strategic assets or businesses.
  • • Reduce expenses (e.g., business contractions).
  • • Access the Board's Discount Window.
  • 4. Impact assessments. For each recovery option, a covered bank should assess and describe how the option would affect the covered bank. This impact assessment and description should specify the procedures the covered bank would use to maintain the financial and operational strength and viability of its material entities, critical operations, and core business lines for each recovery option. This assessment should include an analysis of both its internal operations (e.g., IT systems, suppliers, HR operations) and its access to market infrastructure (e.g., clearing and settlement facilities, payment systems, additional collateral requirements). A recovery plan should also specify actions a firm can take to sell entities, assets, or business lines to restore the financial condition of the covered bank. For each recovery option, a covered bank should identify any impediments or regulatory requirements that must be addressed to execute the option, including how to overcome those impediments or satisfy those requirements. Each recovery option also should address potential consequences, including the benefits and risks of that particular option. The assessment should address the impact on the covered bank's capital, liquidity, funding and profitability; and the effect on the covered bank's material entities, critical operations, and core business lines, including reputational impact.

    5. Escalation procedures. A recovery plan should clearly outline the process for escalating decision-making to senior management or the board of directors, as appropriate, in response to the breach of a trigger. The recovery plan should also identify the departments and persons responsible for making and executing these decisions, including the process for informing necessary stakeholders (e.g., shareholders, counsel, accountants, regulators) to effect the action. At a minimum, the escalation procedures should result in the covered bank taking action before remedial supervisory action is necessary.

    6. Management reports. A recovery plan should require reports that provide management or the board of directors with sufficient data and information to make timely decisions regarding the appropriate actions necessary to respond to the breach of a trigger. A recovery plan should identify the types of reports that the covered bank will provide to allow management or the board to monitor progress with respect to the actions taken under the recovery plan.

    7. Communication procedures. A recovery plan should provide that the covered bank notify the OCC of any significant breach of a trigger and any action taken or to be taken in response to such breach and should explain the process for deciding when a breach of a trigger is significant. A covered bank should work closely with the OCC when executing a recovery plan.

    A recovery plan also should address when and how the covered bank will notify persons within the organization and other external parties of its actions under the recovery plan. These elements will ensure that all stakeholders are informed in a timely manner of how the covered bank responds to a breach of a trigger. In addition, the recovery plan should specifically identify how the covered bank will obtain required regulatory or legal approvals in order to ensure that the covered bank receives such approval in a timely manner.

    8. Other information. A recovery plan should include any other information that the OCC communicates in writing directly to the covered bank regarding the covered bank's recovery plan. A well-developed recovery plan should also consider relevant information included in other written OCC or Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council material.

    C. Relationship to other processes; coordination with other plans. The covered bank should integrate its recovery plan into its corporate governance and risk management functions. The covered bank also should coordinate its recovery plan with its strategic; operational (including business continuity); contingency; capital (including stress testing); liquidity; and resolution planning. In many cases, these plans may be interconnected and would require the covered bank to coordinate among them. In addition, to the extent possible, a covered bank should align its recovery plan with any recovery and resolution planning efforts by the covered bank's holding company so that the plans are consistent with and do not contradict each other. We recognize that some inconsistency may be unavoidable because recovery planning and resolution planning differ in that recovery planning addresses a bank's ongoing financial and operational strength and viability while resolution planning starts from the point of non-viability.

    The OCC notes that covered banks are an integral part of bank holding company recovery and resolution plans. As a result, a covered bank may be able to leverage certain elements in these other plans. For example, resolution plans typically require a bank to map its critical operations. A covered bank may find this resolution planning mapping exercise to be useful in describing its interconnections and interdependencies as set out in its recovery plan overview.

    Section III: Management's and Board of Directors' Responsibilities

    Section III of the proposed Guidelines addresses the responsibilities of both management and the board of directors with respect to the recovery plan.

    Management of the covered bank should review the recovery plan at least annually and in response to a material event. It should revise the plan as necessary to reflect material changes in the covered bank's risk profile, complexity, size, and activities, as well as changes in external threats. During this review, management should consider the ongoing relevance and applicability of the stress scenarios and triggers and revise the recovery plan as needed. This review should evaluate the covered bank's organizational structure and its effectiveness in facilitating a recovery. The assessment should consider the legal structures, number of entities, geographical footprint, booking practices (e.g., guarantees, exposures), and servicing arrangements necessary to enable flexible operations. The board and management should provide justification for the covered bank's organizational and legal structures and outline changes that would enhance the board's and management's ability to oversee the covered bank in times of stress. A more rational legal structure can provide a clearer path to recovery and the operational flexibility to implement the recovery plan.

    The board is responsible for overseeing the covered bank's recovery planning process. As part of the board's oversight of a covered bank's safe and sound operations, the board also should work closely with the bank's senior management in developing and executing the recovery plan. Accordingly, the Guidelines provide that a covered bank's board of directors, or an appropriate committee of the board, should review and approve the recovery plan at least annually and as needed to address any changes made by management.

    Request for Comments

    The OCC requests comment on all aspects of the proposed Guidelines.

    Regulatory Analysis Paperwork Reduction Act

    The OCC has determined that this proposal involves collections of information pursuant to the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). The OCC may not conduct or sponsor, and an organization is not required to respond to, these information collection requirements unless the information collection displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. The OCC is seeking a control number for this collection from OMB and has submitted this collection to OMB.

    The collections of information that are subject to the PRA in this proposal are found in 12 CFR part 30, appendix E, sections II.B., II.C., and III. Section II.B. specifies the elements of the recovery plan, including an overview of the covered bank; triggers; options for recovery; impact assessments; escalation procedures; management reports; and communication procedures. Section II.C. addresses the relationship of the plan to other covered bank processes and plans, as well as those of its bank holding company. Section III outlines management's and board of directors' responsibilities.

    Title: OCC Guidelines Establishing Standards for Recovery Planning by Certain Large Insured National Banks, Insured Federal Savings Associations, and Insured Federal Branches.

    OMB Control No.: To be assigned by OMB.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion.

    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profit organizations.

    Burden Estimates:

    Total Number of Respondents: 23.

    Total Burden per Respondent: 7,543 hours.

    Total Burden for Collection: 173,489 hours.

    Comments should be submitted as provided in the ADDRESSES section and are invited on: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the OCC's functions; including whether the information has practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the OCC's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection, including the cost of compliance; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of IT.

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    Pursuant to section 605(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 605(b) (RFA), the regulatory flexibility analysis otherwise required under section 603 of the RFA is not required if the agency certifies that the proposal will not, if promulgated, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities (defined for purposes of the RFA to include commercial banks and savings institutions with assets less than or equal to $550 million and trust companies with assets less than or equal to $38.5 million) and publishes its certification and a short, explanatory statement in the Federal Register along with its proposal.

    The proposed Guidelines would have no impact on any small entities. The proposed Guidelines would apply only to insured national banks, insured Federal savings associations, and insured Federal branches of foreign banks with $50 billion or more in average total consolidated assets. The proposed Guidelines reserve the OCC's authority to apply them to an insured national bank, insured Federal savings association, or insured Federal branch of a foreign bank with less than $50 billion in average total consolidated assets if the OCC determines such entity's operations are highly complex or otherwise present a heightened risk. We do not expect any small entities will be determined to have highly complex operations or present heightened risk by the OCC. Therefore, the OCC certifies that the proposed Guidelines would not, if issued, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act Analysis

    Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1532), requires the OCC to prepare a budgetary impact statement before promulgating a rule that includes a Federal mandate that may result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more in any one year (adjusted annually for inflation). The OCC has determined that this proposal will not result in expenditures by State, local, and tribal governments, or the private sector, of $100 million or more in any one year. Accordingly, the OCC has not prepared a budgetary impact statement.

    List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 30

    Banks, Banking, Consumer protection, National banks, Privacy, Safety and soundness, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, and under the authority of 12 U.S.C. 93a, chapter I of title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 30—SAFETY AND SOUNDNESS STANDARDS 1. The authority citation for part 30 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1, 93a, 371, 1462a, 1463, 1464, 1467a, 1818, 1828, 1831p-1, 1881-1884. 3102(b) and 5412(b)(2)(B); 15 U.S.C. 1681s, 1681w, 6801, and 6805(b)(1).

    2. Add Appendix E to part 30 to read as follows: Appendix E to Part 30—OCC Guidelines Establishing Standards for Recovery Planning by Certain Large Insured National Banks, Insured Federal Savings Associations, and Insured Federal Branches Table of Contents I. Introduction A. Scope B. Reservation of Authority C. Preservation of Existing Authority D. Definitions II. Recovery Plan A. Recovery Plan B. Elements of Recovery Plan 1. Overview of Covered Bank 2. Triggers 3. Options for Recovery 4. Impact Assessments 5. Escalation Procedures 6. Management Reports 7. Communication Procedures 8. Other Information C. Relationship to Other Processes; Coordination With Other Plans III. Management's and Board of Directors' Responsibilities A. Management B. Board of Directors I. Introduction

    A. Scope. This appendix applies to a covered bank, as defined in paragraph I.D.3.

    B. Reservation of authority.

    1. The OCC reserves the authority:

    a. To apply this appendix, in whole or in part, to a bank that has average total consolidated assets of less than $50 billion, if the OCC determines such bank is highly complex or otherwise presents a heightened risk that warrants the application of this appendix; or

    b. To determine that compliance with this appendix should not be required for a covered bank. The OCC will generally make the determination under this paragraph I.B.1.b. if a covered bank's operations are no longer highly complex or no longer present a heightened risk.

    2. In determining whether a covered bank is highly complex or presents a heightened risk, the OCC will consider the bank's risk profile, size, activities, and complexity, including the complexity of its organizational and legal entity structure. Before exercising the authority reserved by this paragraph I.B, the OCC will apply notice and response procedures in the same manner and to the same extent as the notice and response procedures in 12 CFR 3.404.

    C. Preservation of existing authority. Neither section 39 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1831p-1) nor this appendix in any way limits the authority of the OCC to address unsafe or unsound practices or conditions or other violations of law. The OCC may take action under section 39 and this appendix independently of, in conjunction with, or in addition to any other enforcement action available to the OCC.

    D. Definitions.

    1. Average total consolidated assets means the average total consolidated assets of the bank or the covered bank, as reported on the bank's or covered bank's Call Reports for the four most recent consecutive quarters.

    2. Bank means any insured national bank, insured Federal savings association, or insured Federal branch of a foreign bank.

    3. Covered bank means any bank—

    (a) With average total consolidated assets equal to or greater than $50 billion; or

    (b) With average total consolidated assets less than $50 billion, if the OCC determines that such bank is highly complex or otherwise presents a heightened risk as to warrant the application of this appendix pursuant to paragraph I.B.1.a.

    4. Recovery means timely and appropriate action that a covered bank takes to remain a going concern when it is experiencing or is likely to experience considerable financial or operational distress. A covered bank in recovery has not yet deteriorated to the point where liquidation or resolution is imminent.

    5. Recovery plan means a plan that identifies triggers and options for responding to a wide range of severe internal and external stress scenarios and to restore a covered bank that is in recovery to financial and operational strength and viability in a timely manner. The options should maintain the confidence of market participants, and neither the plan nor the options may assume or rely on any extraordinary government support.

    6. Trigger means a quantitative or qualitative indicator of the risk or existence of severe stress that should always be escalated to management or the board of directors, as appropriate, for purposes of initiating a response. The breach of any trigger should result in timely notice accompanied by sufficient information to enable management of the covered bank to take corrective action.

    II. Recovery Plan

    A. Recovery plan. Each covered bank should develop and maintain a recovery plan that is appropriate for its individual risk profile, size, activities, and complexity, including the complexity of its organizational and legal entity structure.

    B. Elements of recovery plan. A recovery plan under paragraph II.A. should include the following elements:

    1. Overview of covered bank. A recovery plan should describe the covered bank's overall organizational and legal structure, including its material entities, critical operations, core business lines, and core management informational systems. The plan should describe interconnections and interdependencies (i) across business lines within the covered bank, (ii) with affiliates in a bank holding company structure, (iii) between a covered bank and its foreign subsidiaries, and (iv) with critical third parties.

    2. Triggers. A recovery plan should identify triggers that appropriately reflect the covered bank's particular vulnerabilities.

    3. Options for recovery. A recovery plan should identify a wide range of credible options that a covered bank could undertake to restore financial and operational strength and viability, thereby allowing the bank to continue to operate as a going concern and to avoid liquidation or resolution. A recovery plan should explain how the covered bank would carry out each option and describe the timing required for carrying out each option. The recovery plan should specifically identify the recovery options that require regulatory or legal approval.

    4. Impact assessments. For each recovery option, a covered bank should assess and describe how the option would affect the covered bank. This impact assessment and description should specify the procedures the covered bank would use to maintain the financial and operational strength and viability of its material entities, critical operations, and core business lines for each recovery option. For each option, the recovery plan should address the following:

    a. The effect on the covered bank's capital, liquidity, funding and profitability;

    b. The effect on the covered bank's material entities, critical operations and core business lines, including reputational impact; and

    c. Any legal or market impediment or regulatory requirement that must be addressed or satisfied in order to implement the option.

    5. Escalation procedures. A recovery plan should clearly outline the process for escalating decision-making to senior management or the board of directors, as appropriate, in response to the breach of a trigger. The recovery plan should also identify the departments and persons responsible for making and executing these decisions.

    6. Management reports. A recovery plan should require reports that provide management or the board of directors with sufficient data and information to make timely decisions regarding the appropriate actions necessary to respond to the breach of a trigger.

    7. Communication procedures. A recovery plan should provide that the covered bank notify the OCC of any significant breach of a trigger and any action taken or to be taken in response to such breach and should explain the process for deciding when a breach of a trigger is significant. A recovery plan also should address when and how the covered bank will notify persons within the organization and other external parties of its action under the recovery plan. The recovery plan should specifically identify how the covered bank will obtain required regulatory or legal approvals.

    8. Other information. A recovery plan should include any other information that the OCC communicates in writing directly to the covered bank regarding the covered bank's recovery plan.

    C. Relationship to other processes; coordination with other plans. The covered bank should integrate its recovery plan into its risk management and corporate governance functions. The covered bank also should coordinate its recovery plan with its strategic; operational (including business continuity); contingency; capital (including stress testing); liquidity; and resolution planning. To the extent possible, the covered bank also should align its recovery plan with any recovery and resolution planning efforts by the covered bank's holding company, so that the plans are consistent with and do not contradict each other.

    III. Management's and Board of Directors' Responsibilities

    The recovery plan should address the following management and board responsibilities:

    A. Management. Management should review the recovery plan at least annually and in response to a material event. It should revise the plan as necessary to reflect material changes in the covered bank's risk profile, complexity, size, and activities, as well as changes in external threats. This review should evaluate the organizational structure and its effectiveness in facilitating a recovery.

    B. Board of directors. The board is responsible for overseeing the covered bank's recovery planning process. The board of directors or an appropriate committee of the board of directors of a covered bank should review and approve the recovery plan at least annually and as needed to address any changes made by management.

    Dated: December 10, 2015. Thomas J. Curry, Comptroller of the Currency.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31658 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-33-P
    FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE BOARD 12 CFR Part 955 FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY 12 CFR Parts 1201 and 1268 RIN 2590-AA69 Acquired Member Assets AGENCY:

    Federal Housing Finance Board; Federal Housing Finance Agency.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is proposing amendments to the existing Acquired Member Assets (AMA) regulation, which applies to the Federal Home Loan Banks (Banks). In particular, FHFA proposes to remove from the regulation requirements based on ratings issued by a Nationally Recognized Statistical Ratings Organization (NRSRO), as required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act). Additionally, FHFA proposes to transfer the AMA regulation from the former Federal Housing Finance Board (Finance Board) regulations to FHFA's regulations. FHFA also proposes to reorganize the current regulation and to modify and clarify a number of provisions in the regulation.

    DATES:

    FHFA must receive written comments on or before April 15, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit your comments, identified by Regulatory Information Number (RIN) 2590-AA69, by any of the following methods:

    Agency Web site: www.fhfa.gov/open-for-comment-or-input.

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. If you submit your comment to the Federal eRulemaking Portal, please also send it by email to FHFA at [email protected] to ensure timely receipt by the agency. Please include Comments/RIN 2590-AA69 in the subject line of the message.

    Courier/Hand Delivery: The hand delivery address is: Alfred M. Pollard, General Counsel, Attention: Comments/RIN 2590-AA69, Federal Housing Finance Agency, 400 Seventh Street SW., Eighth Floor, Washington, DC 20219. Deliver the package to the Seventh Street entrance Guard Desk, First Floor, on business days between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

    U.S. Mail, United Parcel Service, Federal Express or Other Mail Service: The mailing address for comments is: Alfred M. Pollard, General Counsel, Attention: Comments/RIN 2590-AA69, Federal Housing Finance Agency, 400 Seventh Street SW., Eighth Floor, Washington, DC 20219.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christina Muradian, Principal Financial Analyst, [email protected], 202-649-3323, Division of Bank Regulation; or Thomas E. Joseph, Associate General Counsel, [email protected], 202-649-3076 (these are not toll-free numbers), Office of General Counsel, Federal Housing Finance Agency, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, DC 20219. The telephone number for the Telecommunications Device for the Hearing Impaired is 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Comments

    FHFA invites comments on all aspects of the proposed regulation. After considering all comments, FHFA will develop a final regulation. FHFA will post without change copies of all comments received on the FHFA Web site at http://www.fhfa.gov, and will include any personal information you provide, such as your name, address, email address, and telephone number. FHFA will make copies of all comments timely received available for examination by the public on business days between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., at the Federal Housing Finance Agency, 400 Seventh Street SW., Eighth Floor, Washington, DC 20219. To make an appointment to inspect comments, please call the Office of General Counsel at 202-649-3804.

    II. Background A. Creation of the Federal Housing Finance Agency

    Effective July 30, 2008, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) 1 created FHFA as a new independent agency of the federal government. HERA transferred to FHFA the supervisory and oversight responsibilities of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) over the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) (collectively, Enterprises), and of the Finance Board over the Banks and the Bank System's Office of Finance. Under the legislation, the Enterprises, the Banks, and the Office of Finance continue to operate under regulations promulgated by OFHEO and the Finance Board until such regulations are superseded by regulations issued by FHFA.2

    1 Public Law 110-289, 122 Stat. 2654

    2See 12 U.S.C. 4511, note.

    B. Dodd-Frank Act Provisions

    Section 939A of the Dodd-Frank Act requires federal agencies to: (i) Review regulations that require the use of an assessment of the creditworthiness of a security or money market instrument; and (ii) to the extent those regulations contain any references to, or requirements regarding credit ratings, remove such references or requirements.3 In place of such credit-rating based requirements, the Dodd-Frank Act instructs agencies to substitute appropriate standards for determining creditworthiness. The new law further provides that, to the extent feasible, an agency should adopt a uniform standard of creditworthiness for use in its regulations, taking into account the entities regulated by it and the purposes for which such regulated entities would rely on the creditworthiness standard.

    3See 15 U.S.C. 78o-7 note.

    On November 8, 2013, FHFA promulgated a final rule removing references to credit ratings in certain regulations governing the Banks; this rule became effective on May 7, 2014.4 That rulemaking removed references to credit ratings in FHFA regulations related to Bank investments, standby letters of credit, and liabilities.5 When those rule amendments were proposed, FHFA stated that it would undertake separate rulemakings to remove NRSRO references and requirements contained in the Banks' capital regulations and in the regulations governing the Banks' AMA programs.6 In this rulemaking, FHFA is proposing to remove the references to NRSRO credit ratings in the current AMA regulation. FHFA will separately address removal of credit ratings from the capital regulation in a future rulemaking.

    4See Final Rule, Removal of References to Credit Ratings in Certain Regulations Governing the Federal Home Loan Banks, 78 FR 67004 (Nov. 8, 2013).

    5See 12 CFR parts 1267, 1269, and 1270.

    6See Proposed Rule, Removal of References to Credit Ratings in Certain Regulations Governing the Federal Home Loan Banks, 78 FR 30784, 30786 (May 23, 2013).

    C. The Bank System

    The eleven Banks are wholesale financial institutions organized under the Federal Home Loan Bank Act (Bank Act).7 The Banks are cooperatives; only members of a Bank may purchase the capital stock of a Bank, and only members or certain eligible housing associates (such as state housing finance agencies) may obtain access to secured loans, known as advances, or other products provided by a Bank.8 Each Bank is managed by its own board of directors and serves the public interest by enhancing the availability of residential credit through its member institutions.9 Any eligible institution (generally a federally insured depository institution or state-regulated insurance company) may become a member of a Bank if it satisfies certain criteria and purchases a specified amount of the Bank's capital stock.10 As government-sponsored enterprises, federal law grants the Banks certain privileges. In light of those privileges, the Banks typically can borrow funds at spreads over the rates on U.S. Treasury securities of comparable maturity that are narrower than those available to most other entities. The Banks pass along a portion of their funding advantage to their members and housing associates—and ultimately to consumers—by providing advances and other financial services at rates that would not otherwise be available to their members. Among those financial services are the Banks' AMA programs, under which the Banks provide financing for members' housing activities by purchasing mortgage loans that meet the requirements of the AMA regulation.

    7See 12 U.S.C. 1423, 1432(a).

    8See 12 U.S.C. 1426(a)(4), 1430(a), 1430b.

    9See 12 U.S.C. 1427.

    10See 12 U.S.C. 1424; 12 CFR part 1263.

    D. Acquired Member Assets

    On July 17, 2000, the Finance Board adopted a final AMA regulation, which remains in effect.11 Neither the Finance Board nor FHFA has amended the regulation since its adoption. The current rule authorizes the Banks to acquire certain loans (principally conforming residential mortgage loans) from their members and housing associates as a means of advancing their housing finance mission, and prescribes the parameters within which the Banks may do so. In adopting the rule, the Finance Board noted that AMA was functionally equivalent to the business of making advances. It allowed members and housing associates to use eligible assets to access liquidity for further mission-related lending, while the member or housing associate maintained its exposure to all or a material portion of the credit risk associated with the AMA loans sold to a Bank.12 The members or housing associates of a Bank, or members or housing associates of another Bank (pursuant to an arrangement between the Bank acquiring the AMA and the Bank in which the participating financial institution is a member), that are authorized to sell mortgage loans to the Bank through its AMA program generally are referred to as participating financial institutions.

    11See Final Rule, Federal Home Loan Bank Acquired Member Assets, Core Mission Activities, Investment and Advances, 65 FR 43969 (July 17, 2000) (hereinafter “Final AMA Rule”).

    12Id. at 43974.

    The core of the current AMA rule, which remains unchanged in the proposed rule, establishes a three-part test for a loan to qualify as AMA. First, the asset requirement establishes that assets must be conforming whole mortgage loans, certain interests in such loans, whole loans secured by manufactured housing, certain state or federal housing finance agency (HFA) bonds, and certain other assets enumerated in the rule. Second, assets must meet a member-nexus requirement whereby a Bank must acquire the AMA assets from a participating financial institution or another Bank. In either case, the assets acquired by a Bank must be originated or held for a valid business purpose by a participating financial institution (or an affiliate thereof). Finally, to meet the credit risk-sharing requirement, a Bank must structure its AMA products such that a substantial portion of the associated credit risk is borne by a participating financial institution. Specifically, participating financial institutions must provide sufficient credit enhancement on the assets sold so that the AMA purchased by a Bank is equivalent to an asset rated at least investment grade by an NRSRO or such higher rating as required by the Bank.

    Banks currently offer two AMA programs—Mortgage Partnership Finance (MPF) and Mortgage Purchase Program (MPP). FHFA has authorized other mortgage products outside of the AMA rule that are not subject to the requirements of the rule. These products, as structured by the Bank, generally are conduit programs that allow eligible members to access the secondary mortgage markets but do not result in a Bank holding the mortgages on its balance sheet. Non-AMA products currently offered by some Banks are MPF Xtra and MPF Direct.

    III. The Proposed Rule A. Highlights of the Proposed Rule

    The proposed rule would re-organize current 12 CFR part 955 and re-adopt it as part 1268 of FHFA's regulations. More significantly, as required by the Dodd-Frank Act, it would remove and replace references to, or requirements based on, ratings issued by an NRSRO. It would provide Banks greater flexibility in choosing the models they can use to estimate the credit enhancement required for AMA loans. Additionally, the proposed rule would add a provision allowing a Bank to authorize the transfer of mortgage servicing rights to any institution, including a non-member of the Bank System. The proposal would remove provisions allowing the use of private supplemental mortgage insurance (SMI) in the required member credit enhancement structure. Finally, the proposal would delete some obsolete provisions from the current rule, and clarify certain other provisions.

    B. Proposed Changes

    As already noted, Section 939A of the Dodd-Frank Act requires federal agencies to review regulations that require an NRSRO assessment of the creditworthiness of a security or money market instrument, or that includes any references to or requirements related to credit ratings issued by NRSROs. The Dodd-Frank Act further requires the removal of such references or requirements. The AMA rule currently establishes a number of requirements based on NRSRO ratings, which the proposed rule would remove or amend consistent with the Dodd-Frank Act mandate. In addition to the proposed changes related to credit ratings, FHFA is proposing other changes that would re-organize, modify, and clarify certain provisions of the current regulation.

    1. Definitions Section Proposed § 1268.1

    In the definitions section (current § 955.1 and proposed § 1268.1), FHFA proposes to modify the definition of “expected losses” to remove a reference to NRSROs. As discussed more fully below, FHFA would also make other changes to the definition of “expected losses” to account for the fact that a Bank would have more modelling options under the proposed rule for calculating the required credit enhancement. Also, as discussed more fully below, FHFA would add to the rule a definition for “investment quality” to implement changes needed to remove references in the current rule to specific NRSRO credit ratings.

    FHFA proposes to add to new § 1268.1 definitions for the terms “AMA product,” “AMA program,” “participating financial institution,” and “pool.” FHFA intends for these newly defined terms to help simplify and clarify other provisions in the rule and avoid use of repetitive, descriptive language in those provisions. It also proposes to amend slightly the definition of “AMA” in § 1201.1 to mean “assets acquired in accordance with, and satisfying the applicable requirements of, part 1268 of this chapter [XII], or any successor thereto.”

    2. Authorization for Acquired Member Assets Section Proposed § 1268.2

    FHFA is proposing to amend the language in the current authorization provision (current 12 CFR 955.2) and to reorganize it into separate sections as proposed §§ 1268.2 through 1268.5.

    Under the proposed rule, § 1268.2 generally would authorize a Bank to invest in AMA subject to the requirements of parts 1268 and 1272 of FHFA's regulations. FHFA is also proposing to include in this new authorization section a “grandfather” provision that would allow a Bank to continue to hold any AMA loans that the Finance Board or FHFA previously authorized for purchase, even if the loan would not meet the requirements of the proposed rule. This proposed provision, set forth at § 1268.2(b), would cover loans that were authorized for purchase by rule, order, or other agency action such as waiver of particular requirements so a Bank to purchase the loan.13 It would assure that a Bank could continue to hold any legacy loans, including those that no longer meet the credit enhancement or other requirements in the proposed rule. It would replace the current provision that allows a Bank to continue to purchase and hold loans that had been authorized under the Finance Board's and FHFA's former Financial Management Policy even if the credit enhancement structure did not meet the current AMA rule.14 While the proposed grandfather provision would not authorize continued purchase of AMA that do not comply with the proposed rule, FHFA believes that all currently active AMA products would meet the requirements in proposed part 1268.

    13 For example, on August 5, 2011, FHFA waived the ratings requirement for SMI providers in the current regulation to allow Banks to continue to buy loans that used SMI as part of the credit enhancement structure, even though no SMI provider met the ratings requirement. This grandfather provision would allow the Banks that bought loans pursuant to that waiver to continue to hold those loans even if FHFA changes the credit enhancement provision to no longer allow SMI, as it proposed to do in this rulemaking.

    14 FHFA terminated the Financial Management Policy on June 20, 2012, when its revised investment rule (12 CFR part 1267) took effect. See Final Rule: Federal Home Loan Bank Investments, 76 FR 29147, 29151 (May 20, 2011).

    FHFA proposes to move the loan type, member nexus, and credit enhancement requirements found in current 12 CFR 955.2 to §§ 1268.3, 1268.4, and 1268.5. As discussed below, FHFA is also proposing to make other changes to these provisions.

    3. Asset Requirement Section Proposed § 1268.3 a. Renaming Section

    FHFA is proposing to rename this section from the current “loan type requirement” to “asset requirement” because not all of the interests this section authorizes for purchase are technically loans. Specifically, HFA bonds and certificates representing interests in whole loans, which the current rule authorizes, are better classified as securities.

    b. Asset Types

    Current 12 CFR 955.2(a) sets forth the types of assets that are permissible as AMA. Proposed § 1268.3(a)(1) and (2) are substantively unchanged from the existing rule and set forth the asset types that are eligible for purchase as AMA. The proposed rule, as does the current regulation, allows the acquisition of whole loans that are eligible to secure advances to members under FHFA's advances regulation (part 1266). These assets include: (1) Fully disbursed, whole first mortgage loans on improved residential real property not more than 90 days delinquent; (2) mortgages or other loans, regardless of delinquency status, to the extent that the mortgage or loan is insured or guaranteed by the United States or any agency thereof, or otherwise is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, and such insurance, guarantee, or other backing is for the direct benefit of the holder of the mortgage or loan; (3) other real estate-related collateral provided that such collateral has a readily ascertainable value, can be reliably discounted to account for liquidation and other risks, can be liquidated in due course, and that the Bank can perfect a security interest in such collateral; and (4) when acquired from community financial institution (CFI) members or their affiliates, small business loans, small farm loans, small agri-business loans, or community development loans, in each case fully secured by collateral other than real estate, or securities representing a whole interest in such secured loans, provided that such collateral has a readily ascertainable value, can be reliably discounted to account for liquidation and other risks, and can be liquidated in due course.

    c. Restrictions on Certain Loans

    FHFA is proposing to adopt as § 1268.3(a)(1) the current regulation provision that excludes from AMA those single-family mortgages where the loan amount exceeds the conforming loan limits established pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 1717(b)(2). This limit is consistent with the limits imposed on the Enterprises. As noted when the Finance Board first adopted the AMA rule, it intended this provision to prohibit purchase of jumbo loans and to create a level playing field with the Enterprises concerning the types of loans that a Bank can purchase.15

    15See Final AMA Rule, 65 FR at 43974.

    As a point of clarification, FHFA confirms that under the amended rule, loans on properties located in designated “high-cost areas,” where the conforming loan limit is adjusted in accordance with the criteria established in 12 U.S.C. 1717(b)(2), would remain eligible for purchase as AMA as long as the loan value is within the adjusted conforming loan limit. The criteria in 12 U.S.C. 1717(b)(2), as currently enacted, allows that the conforming loan limits:

    may be increased by not to exceed 50 per centum with respect to properties located in Alaska, Guam, Hawaii, and the Virgin Islands. Such foregoing limitations shall also be increased, with respect to properties of a particular size located in any area for which 115 percent of the median house price for such size residence exceeds the foregoing limitation for such size residence, to the lesser of 150 percent of such limitation for such size residence or the amount that is equal to 115 percent of the median house price in such area for such size residence.

    FHFA specifically requests comments as to any issues regarding a Bank's purchase of loans as AMA in designated high-cost areas as well as any issues related to whether the rule should continue to limit AMA loans to those that meet the conforming loan limits more generally.

    FHFA is proposing to add language to § 1268.3(a)(3) and (b) to restrict a Bank from purchasing as AMA any home mortgage loans made to any directors, officers, employees, attorneys, or agents of a Bank or of the selling institution unless the board of directors of the Bank has specifically approved such purchase by resolution.16 This restriction is statutory with regard to home mortgages used as collateral for advances.17 The proposed change would extend the restriction to AMA purchases. Loans made to such persons pose the same or greater risk when purchased by a Bank as when taken as collateral for advances. The restriction would be implemented by citing to 12 CFR 1266.7(f) of the FHFA regulations, which is the provision that implements the statutory restriction with regard to advances.18 FHFA does not propose to apply the restriction to HFA bonds, given that FHFA does not apply the restriction to securities allowed as collateral for advances under part 1266 of this chapter.

    16 This restriction would also apply with regard to an interest in whole loans under proposed § 1263.3(d), given that such interest must be in loans that otherwise meet the requirements of proposed § 1263.3(a) or (b) for the interest to qualify as AMA.

    17 12 U.S.C. 1430(b).

    18 12 CFR 1266.7(f)

    d. Manufactured Housing Loans

    The current AMA regulation allows the purchase of manufactured housing loans regardless of whether such housing constitutes real property under state law, and FHFA is not proposing changes to this provision (proposed as § 1268.3(b)). FHFA recognizes that the Enterprises also may purchase manufactured housing loans that are chattel loans under the Federal National Mortgage Association Charter Act and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation Act. In addition, under its advances regulation, FHFA considers chattel loans on manufactured housing to be residential housing finance assets for purposes of the long-term advances proxy test, and allows Banks to extend long-term advances to members for the purchase or funding of such loans.19

    19See 12 CFR 1266.1 and 1266.3.

    Other FHFA regulations, however, treat chattel loans on manufactured housing differently from loans on real property. For example, in 2010, FHFA adopted a change to the definition of “mortgage” as used in the Enterprise housing goals regulations with the result that purchases of chattel loans on manufactured housing would not qualify for credit under the housing goals.20 FHFA adopted the same definition of “mortgage” in the Bank housing goals regulations so chattel loans on manufactured housing also do not qualify for credit under Bank housing goals.21 In its proposed Enterprise duty to serve regulations, FHFA similarly proposed that it would consider only manufactured housing loans titled as real property toward the Enterprises' duty to serve underserved markets.22

    20See Final Rule: Enterprise Housing Goals; Enterprise Book-entry Procedures, 75 FR 55892, 55896-895 (Sept. 14, 2010). FHFA continued this exclusion in its most recently adopted Enterprise housing goals rule. See 12 CFR 1282.1 (definition of “mortgage”).

    21See Final Rule: Federal Home Loan Bank Housing Goals, 75 FR 81096, 81100 (Dec. 27, 2010).

    22See Proposed Rule: Enterprise Duty to Serve Underserved Markets, 75 FR 32099, 32101-105 (June 7, 2010). FHFA has not yet adopted this proposed rule as a final rule.

    FHFA is also concerned that chattel loans display a higher level of default risk, and present greater credit and operational risks, than other mortgage loans authorized for purchase under the AMA regulation. Given these concerns and the differences in how some current FHFA regulations treat chattel loans, FHFA specifically requests comment as to whether it should continue to authorize the purchase of manufactured housing loans as AMA if relevant state law considers the loans as chattel loans.

    e. Certificates Representing Interests in Whole Loans

    Proposed § 1268.3(d) is a new provision. It would bring into the rule text the authority for Banks to acquire as AMA certain certificates representing interests in whole loans. When the Finance Board adopted the current AMA rule, it noted, in response to comments, that the rule allowed the Banks to buy structured products as AMA, provided the products met certain identified conditions. The proposed language would adopt in the rule text the conditions that were set forth in this discussion. Currently, this authority is set forth in a discussion in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION of the Federal Register release adopting the current regulation.23 The Finance Board approved one AMA product under this authority (in December 2002), which is now inactive. By moving the preamble language to the rule text, FHFA would clarify that such programs are possible under the amended regulation and bring all relevant authority into the rule text. FHFA continues to believe that under the circumstances in proposed § 1268.3(d), the use of a third party to securitize the whole loans would merely represent a vehicle to invest in certain types of AMA under more favorable terms and should, therefore, be permitted under the rule. However, if the certificates have been created as a security initially available to investors generally, they will not be considered to qualify as AMA under § 1268.3(d).24

    23 Final AMA Rule, 65 FR at 43974, 43977.

    24Id.

    4. Member or Housing Associate Nexus Requirement Section Proposed § 1268.4

    FHFA is proposing to reorganize as § 1268.4(a) and (b) the member nexus requirements currently found at 12 CFR 955.2(b). The proposed rule would continue to impose the requirement that for a loan to be eligible for purchase as AMA, the participating financial institution would have either to originate or issue the assets or have held them for a valid business purpose. The “valid business purpose requirement” in the current regulation accounts for the fact that a member may acquire loans from a non-member during the normal course of business and then sell those loans to the Bank. It excludes any loans that merely pass from a non-member through a member to a Bank, with the intent of extending the benefits of membership to the non-member.25

    25See Proposed Rule: Federal Home Loan Bank Acquired Member Assets, Core Mission Activities, Investments and Advances, 65 FR 25676, 25681 (May 3, 2000) (hereinafter 2000 Proposed AMA Rule).

    The reference in the proposed rule to assets issued “through, or on behalf of the participating financial institution” also carries over from the current regulation. As under the current regulation, the provision would allow HFA bonds issued by an underwriter for the participating financial institution to qualify as AMA.26

    26Id.

    Proposed § 1268.4(b) would adopt without substantive change current special requirements in 12 CFR 955.2(b)(2)(ii) that apply when a Bank purchases HFA bonds as AMA from a housing associate of another Bank. Under this provision, a Bank may acquire initial-offering taxable HFA bonds from out-of-district associates, provided the Bank in whose district the HFA is located (local Bank) has a right of first refusal to purchase, or negotiate the terms of, a particular bond issue. If the local Bank refuses, or does not respond within three days, the HFA may then offer the bonds to an out-of-district Bank. The Finance Board adopted this approach to preserve the integrity of the Bank Districts, while at the same time preventing any one Bank from denying an HFA in its District from financing that another Bank is willing to provide.27

    27See Final AMA Rule, 65 FR at 43975.

    5. Credit Risk-Sharing Requirement Section Proposed § 1268.5 a. General Requirement

    FHFA is proposing to reorganize as § 1268.5 the credit risk-sharing requirements currently found at 12 CFR 955.2(c) and 955.3. FHFA proposes to re-adopt several of the credit risk-sharing provisions without substantive changes, including the requirement that all AMA loans carry a credit enhancement. Proposed § 1268.5(c) also generally would maintain the design requirement for the credit enhancement structure that helps ensure that the participating financial institution retains an economic incentive to reduce actual losses that is both material in amount and early enough in the structure to be meaningful.28 Thus, the proposed rule would continue to prohibit any AMA product that removes the participating financial institution's incentive to reduce actual credit losses.

    28Id. at 43967- 98.

    As discussed below, the proposed rule also would change some of the credit risk-sharing provisions to remove references to NRSRO ratings, as required by the Dodd-Frank Act. Proposed § 1268.5(e) would set forth the requirements for the Bank's use of a methodology and model for calculating the credit enhancement obligation that is not necessarily tied to one used by an NRSRO. Additionally, FHFA is not proposing to re-adopt current provisions that allow the use of private SMI or pool insurance as part of the credit enhancement structure. Consequently, FHFA is proposing to remove provisions from the current regulation requiring eligible SMI providers to maintain specific NRSRO ratings.

    b. Determining Credit Enhancements on AMA Pools

    The proposed rule would modify 12 CFR 955.3(a) of the current regulation, and re-adopt it as proposed § 1268.5(b)(1). FHFA's proposed modification to this provision would remove current requirements based on NRSRO ratings and methodologies in accordance with the Dodd-Frank Act. Otherwise, FHFA continues to believe the credit risk-sharing approach in the current regulation is valid. The principles underlying the AMA regulation establish that risks are borne by those entities best suited to manage them. Therefore, the credit risk-sharing requirements provide that participating financial institutions selling mortgages must retain a substantial portion of the credit risk, given their expertise in underwriting mortgages. In requiring the participating financial institution to have “skin in the game,” the rule provides them an incentive to sell high-quality loans to the Banks and the opportunity to benefit financially from good underwriting practices.

    To ensure that participating financial institutions bear a material portion of the credit risk, existing § 955.3(a) currently requires a participating financial institution that sells AMA loans to a Bank to enhance the pool to be equivalent to an asset rated at least the fourth highest credit grade rating from an NRSRO (i.e., to be at least investment grade) or to a higher rating required by the Bank. The provision also requires the Bank to make a determination of the amount of the required credit enhancement using a methodology that is confirmed in writing by an NRSRO to be equivalent to one used by the NRSRO in rating a comparable pool of assets.

    Proposed § 1268.5(a)(1) would amend the current provision to remove the requirement that AMA loans be enhanced to a specific rating that is equivalent to one issued by an NRSRO. Under the proposed amendment, a participating financial institution must credit enhance AMA loans to at least “investment quality.”

    FHFA proposes to define the term “investment quality” in the AMA regulation by reference to the definition of that term adopted by FHFA in the Bank investment regulation (12 CFR part 1267). That definition reads:

    Investment quality means a determination made by the Bank with respect to a security or obligation that, based on documented analysis, including consideration of the sources for repayment on the security or obligation: (1) There is adequate financial backing so that full and timely payment of principal and interest on such security or obligation is expected; and (2) There is minimal risk that the timely payment of principal or interest would not occur because of adverse changes in economic and financial conditions during the projected life of the security or obligation.29

    29 12 CFR 1267.1 (defining “investment quality”).

    Under proposed § 1268.5(b)(1), the Bank could specify as part of the terms and conditions for a particular AMA product that a participating financial institution provide a credit enhancement greater than that needed to enhance the loan or pool to investment quality. The enhancement would need to be defined in relation to a model and methodology of the Bank's choosing, subject to conditions established in § 1268.5(e) of the proposed rule. If a Bank chooses to continue to use the same NRSRO model it currently uses, it would not necessarily need to alter the credit enhancement levels it currently requires, unless FHFA directs it to do so or its estimated enhancement levels otherwise would not comply with the rule. For example, a Bank would need to increase credit enhancement levels if it determined that the credit enhancement currently estimated by its NRSRO model was not sufficient for an asset or pool of assets to be “investment quality” under the proposed definition of that term.

    In addition, the proposed rule carries over requirements in the current regulation that a Bank's authority to hold AMA assets is specifically contingent on the Bank complying with FHFA's New business activity (NBA) regulation (12 CFR part 1272).30 If the terms and conditions for a Bank's new AMA product or a modification to an existing AMA product triggered the requirements of the NBA rule, the Bank would need to file an NBA notice. FHFA would expect the Bank to provide a clear explanation in the notice of how the new or modified product's credit risk-sharing structure meets the AMA credit enhancement requirements, and how the Bank would calculate that obligation.

    30See Proposed § 1268.2.

    As now is the case under the current regulation, proposed § 1268.5(c), at least with respect to loans that would not be insured or guaranteed by the U.S. government, would continue to require the participating financial institution providing the credit enhancement to bear the direct economic consequences of actual credit losses on the assets from the first dollar of loss up to expected losses or immediately following expected losses but in an amount equal to or exceeding expected losses.31 Consistent with previous Finance Board statements, the participating financial institution itself would be required to bear the economic responsibility of the expected credit losses, as required by proposed § 1268.5(c), to ensure participating financial institution involvement and to ensure that the participating financial institution bears the consequences of the credit quality of the asset or pool. The participating financial institution could not transfer this responsibility to an affiliate or non-member entity.32

    31 As is discussed below, FHFA is proposing to change requirements in the current regulation for government insured or guaranteed loans so that members or housing associates would no longer have to bear responsibility for unreimbursed servicing expenses up to the amount of expected losses for the loan to qualify as AMA.

    32See 2000 Proposed AMA Rule, 65 FR at 25683; see also, Final AMA Rule, 65 FR 43976.

    While the current regulation defines “expected losses” as the base loss scenario in the methodology of an NRSRO applicable to a particular AMA asset, the proposed definition would refer to the loss given the expected future economic and market conditions in the model or methodology used by the Bank to calculate the credit enhancement for an AMA product under proposed § 1268.5. This change accounts for the fact that the proposed rule would no longer require a Bank to use an NRSRO model and would accommodate the potential for a Bank to adopt a model that applies a methodology that differs from that used in the Banks' current models. Otherwise, FHFA believes that this proposed change would not alter what is currently required by the AMA rule; nor is this change intended to alter how a Bank would calculate “expected losses” if it continued to use its current model. Therefore, as under the current regulation, the proposed rule would require a member to provide a credit enhancement against losses for all non-government insured or guaranteed loans at least equal to the expected losses calculated by the credit enhancement model used by the Bank whether this enhancement is positioned in the first loss position or immediately following the first loss.

    The proposed rule at § 1268.5(c)(1)(ii) would also continue to require the participating financial institution to secure fully its credit enhancement obligation in parallel with the requirement for advances to members under part 1266 of this chapter. This provision addresses the concern that a Bank might be exposed to credit risk if the member were not able to comply with its contractual credit enhancement obligation.

    The proposed rule would not change the requirement that a Bank determine the necessary credit enhancement on a pool at the earlier of 270 days from the date of the Bank's acquisition of the first loan in a pool or the date at which the pool reaches $100 million in assets. This provision continues to be relevant in that it addresses safety and soundness concerns that could arise if a Bank did not timely perform the credit enhancement determination on large pools formed over extended periods. This provision ensures the Bank uses its model early enough in the process to determine that the contracted amount of the credit enhancement is sufficient to credit enhance the pool to the level consistent with the terms and conditions of the specific AMA product.33

    33See Final AMA Rule, 65 FR at 43975.

    The proposed rule would also continue to require that the credit enhancement must be for the life of the asset or pool. This requirement would exclude, for example, structures that would comply with the credit rating requirement in the first year, but would then scale back the amount of the member's credit enhancement in future years so the pool is no longer credit enhanced to the level consistent with the terms and conditions of the AMA product.34

    34See id. at 43976.

    The current regulation at 12 CFR 955.3(b) and (c) set forth specific requirements for a Bank to obtain the NRSRO verifications with regard to the adequacy of the credit enhancement structure and Bank's use of the NRSRO model for estimating the required enhancement in each AMA product. Given that under the proposed rule FHFA would no longer require a Bank to use NRSRO models, these requirements would become obsolete, and FHFA is proposing to remove them.

    In their place, FHFA is proposing § 1268.5(b)(2), which would require a Bank to document the basis for its conclusion that the contractual credit enhancement required for a particular pool is sufficient to meet the required credit enhancement obligation for a particular AMA product, given the Bank's chosen model's relevant stress scenarios. This information will help FHFA monitor the Banks' use of their models and the adequacy of the specific credit enhancement structures used in each AMA product.

    c. Transfer of Credit Enhancement Obligation

    The proposed rule would modify current 12 CFR 955.3(b)(1) and re-adopt it as § 1268.5(c)(2). This section would establish the acceptable forms a member may use to provide the credit enhancement for AMA loans, subject to certain limitations. The proposed rule would clarify that a participating financial institution, “with the approval of the Bank,” may choose to transfer its credit enhancement obligation to its insurance affiliate (but only where the insurance is positioned after the participating financial institution bears losses in an amount at least equal to expected losses) or to another participating financial institution. The Bank could give this permission either by establishing the required form of credit enhancement in the terms of a particular AMA product, or by providing specific approval for the transfer. The proposed change is consistent with how the AMA regulations are currently applied, and with current Bank practice with regard to AMA product structures and permissible transfers of the credit enhancement obligations.

    d. Credit Quality of Mortgage Insurers—Supplementary Mortgage Insurance

    Current 12 CFR 955.3(b) of the AMA regulation allows a member to meet part of its credit enhancement obligation through the purchase of SMI, provided that the insurer is rated not lower than the second highest credit rating category. The proposed rule would remove the option to use SMI as part of the credit enhancement structure. While the current AMA regulation addresses use of SMI as part of the credit enhancement structure and minimum criteria for providers of such insurance, it does not address borrower-funded primary mortgage insurance (PMI) or set minimum criteria for providers of PMI. Instead, the rule allows a Bank to set the minimum criteria for PMI providers. Nothing in the proposed rule alters this approach with respect to PMI. FHFA will continue to review the Banks' assessments of PMI providers through the annual examination process.

    The main reason for proposing to remove the option to use SMI in the credit enhancement structure is the fact that during the recent financial crisis, no private insurance company maintained the second highest credit rating as required by the current AMA regulation. FHFA had to waive the rule requirement for the products that relied on SMI for existing business and required the Banks with only products that relied on SMI to develop alternate structures for new business in their programs. Given that the Banks have alternate AMA structures and products that do not rely on SMI and that private mono-line insurers could face similar problems if another financial crisis were to arise, FHFA is proposing to remove these provisions. FHFA also believes that eliminating the use of SMI from authorized credit enhancement structures remains consistent with the intent of the AMA regulation to require participating financial institutions to bear the direct economic consequences of the credit risk associated with AMA loans and not transfer such risk to third parties.

    For similar reasons, FHFA also proposes to eliminate the provision in 12 CFR 955.3(b) that authorizes the use of pool level insurance as part of the credit enhancement structure where such insurance covers that portion of the credit enhancement obligation related to geographic concentration or pool size. As discussed in more detail below, however, the proposed rule would still allow a participating financial institution to use U.S. government insurance or guarantees to meet credit enhancement requirements.

    FHFA specifically requests comments regarding the use and importance of SMI or private pool insurance as part of an allowable credit enhancement structure. In particular, FHFA solicits comments on what type of requirement could replace the specific credit rating requirement for private insurance providers if it were to retain these insurance options as part of the credit enhancement structure. Additionally, FHFA requests comments on how a Bank might evaluate the claims-paying ability of an insurer in the absence of a specific credit rating requirement. Finally, FHFA requests comment on whether, if it were to adopt in the AMA regulation specific minimum requirements for providers of SMI and pool insurance, such requirements also should apply to PMI providers.

    e. U.S. Government Insurance or Guarantee

    The proposed rule would modify current 12 CFR 955.3(b)(1)(ii)(A) and (B) with regard to the use of U.S. government insurance or guarantees as part of the credit enhancement and re-adopt the provision as § 1268.5(d). The proposed provision would clarify that a participating financial institution may provide all or a portion of the required credit enhancement by having the loan insured or guaranteed by an agency or department of the U.S. government. Unlike the current regulation, however, the new, proposed language would not require government insured or guaranteed loans to meet the specific credit enhancement structure requirements (wherein the member bears the first dollar of losses for a loan or pool up to the amount of expected losses or bears losses immediately following expected losses in an amount that equals or exceeds expected losses).35

    35See 12 CFR 955.3(b)(1)(ii) and (b)(2).

    As already noted, the purpose of the credit enhancement structure requirement was to ensure that participating financial institutions, “when responsible for such losses, [had] incentive to seek ways to achieve better than expected performance [for the loans sold as AMA].” 36 As the Finance Board explained, in order for a participating financial institution to meet this structure requirement with respect to government insured or guaranteed loans, given that losses eventually would be covered by the government insurance or guarantee, the participating financial institution would have to bear the economic responsibility of all unreimbursed servicing expenses, up to the amount of expected losses.37 As a result, the member's credit enhancement obligation for AMA government loans is tied closely to its servicing obligations. This link limits a participating financial institution's ability to transfer mortgage-servicing rights for the AMA government loans to non-participating financial institutions.

    36 Final AMA Rule, 65 FR at 43977.

    37Id. (explaining how government insured loans meet the credit enhancement requirements of the AMA rule).

    In addition, FHFA does not believe that requiring a member to retain an obligation to cover unreimbursed servicing rights for AMA government loans provides an additional incentive to improve underwriting in order to achieve better than expected loan performance. To qualify for government insurance or guarantee, members will already be underwriting loans to standards imposed by the relevant government agency or department. Further, government insurance and guarantee will usually cover any losses experienced on the loan. Therefore, this requirement does not necessarily provide additional protection to the Bank beyond that provided by the government insurance or guarantee.

    Thus, FHFA is proposing in § 1268.5(d) to remove the requirement that U.S. government insured or guaranteed loans meet the specific structure requirement now set forth in proposed § 1268.5(c). Proposed § 1268.5(d) would continue to require the credit enhancement provided by government insurance or guarantee be maintained for the entire period a Bank owns the AMA government loan. The proposed rule would not necessarily require that a Bank member maintain the insurance or guarantee. Instead, the Bank would have to ensure that the participating financial institution or another entity maintains the insurance or guarantee for as long as the Bank owns the loan. For example, a Bank might require any entity that acquires the mortgage servicing rights to a loan to maintain the insurance. FHFA believes increasing the flexibility allowed in transferring mortgage-servicing rights under this proposed change would prove beneficial for many smaller or medium sized members. These members, in particular, might wish to sell their AMA government loans into AMA government products but may lack the ability to perform the servicing obligations now required by the AMA regulation. In addition, given changes in the mortgage industry, Banks may find it increasingly difficult to find member institutions to meet the servicing obligations for AMA government loans. Banks may need the flexibility to transfer such obligations to non-member institutions in order to continue to offer the product to a wide cross section of its members. The current regulation does not allow such flexibility with respect to government insured or guaranteed loans.

    f. Model and Methodology Validation

    Proposed § 1268.5(e) would set forth the specific requirements applicable to a Bank's use of a model and methodology for estimating the required member credit enhancements for AMA loans that a participating financial institution sells to a Bank. Specifically, it would require a Bank to: (1) Validate its model and methodology at least annually and make the results available upon request by FHFA (proposed § 1268.5(e)(1)); (2) institute and maintain a process for monitoring model performance that would include tracking, back-testing, benchmarking, and stress testing a model and its results (proposed § 1268.5(e)(2)) and be otherwise consistent with applicable FHFA model guidance; (3) inform FHFA prior to making any material changes to the model and methodology (proposed § 1268.5(e)(3)); and (4) promptly change its model and methodology as directed by FHFA (proposed § 1268.5(e)(4)).

    The requirements of proposed § 1268.5(e) are generally consistent with the requirements governing the Bank's market risk capital models (12 CFR 932.5(c)) and have been added here for safety and soundness reasons. FHFA also expects a Bank to have policies and procedures commensurate with the complexity of the model and methodology, including, but not limited to, a governance structure, oversight by its board of directors, as well as formal controls. Effective model risk management should entail a comprehensive approach in identifying risk throughout the model lifecycle and should be consistent with any applicable FHFA guidance.

    As proposed, the rule would allow a Bank to institute changes in its model immediately upon notifying FHFA. FHFA, however, would review a Bank's model and methodology for estimating credit enhancements as part of the annual examination process, as well as through its on-going off-site monitoring program. If FHFA found that the model or the Bank's use of the model were inadequate or did not result in a credit enhancement that would reasonably protect a Bank against risk of loss as required under the proposed rule, FHFA would use authority in the proposed rule to direct the Bank to make changes to the model. FHFA could also use other authorities, such as its authority to issue cease-and-desist orders, to require the Bank to make necessary changes to its model, or AMA products, to address any violations of the regulation or unsafe or unsound practices. FHFA believes that this proposed approach would allow a Bank sufficient flexibility to make timely changes to its credit enhancement model in response to technological or market developments while still allowing FHFA adequate oversight of the Bank's use of its credit enhancement model.

    While the proposed new provisions would no longer require a Bank to use an NRSRO model for estimating the required credit enhancement, nothing in the proposed rule would prohibit a Bank from continuing to use its existing NRSRO model. However, use of all models, including a currently used model, would be subject to the requirements of proposed § 1268.5(e).

    6. Servicing Section Proposed § 1268.6

    FHFA proposes to add new § 1268.6 to address the servicing of AMA loans. This provision incorporates current FHFA positions, as set forth in a recent regulatory interpretation, on the rights of the Banks to allow for transfer of mortgage servicing rights from the participating financial institution that originally sold the AMA loans at issue.38 Thus, proposed § 1268.6 would clarify that a Bank can allow for a transfer of servicing rights to any institution, including a non-Bank System member. However, any transfer of mortgage servicing rights may only occur as long as it does not result in the AMA loan failing to meet any requirements of the rule, including the credit enhancement requirement. In particular, because proposed § 1268.5(c) would require that the credit enhancement on an AMA loan not insured or guaranteed by the U.S. government continue to be held by a participating financial institution for the life of the loan, the transfer of servicing cannot result in the transfer of any portion of the credit enhancement obligation to a non-Bank System member. However, as already discussed, changes proposed in § 1268.5(d) would, if adopted, allow the Banks to transfer servicing of government insured or guaranteed AMA loans to non-member institutions, an action that is not necessarily allowed under current regulations.

    38See Regulatory Interpretation, 2015-RI-01 (June 23, 2015).

    Proposed § 1268.6 also would require the approval of the Banks that have any ownership interest in the loans prior to the transfer of the servicing obligation. Finally, the proposed provision would provide that the Banks have in place policies and procedures that ensure the transfer of servicing would not negatively affect the credit enhancement on the loans in question or substantially increase the Bank's exposure to risk. FHFA would expect such policies and procedures specifically to address transfers to non-Bank System member servicers given that in the case of default on an obligation to the Bank, a Bank may enjoy more rights against a member than it would against a non-member. For example, the Bank Act provides enhanced status with regard to a Bank's lien on member assets, and the Bank's membership agreement may allow the Bank to take certain actions against a member in the case of a breach of an obligation that would not be available against a non-member.39 In addition, FHFA would expect policies and procedures to include contingency plans to address a case in which a large servicer fails or is otherwise unable to continue to service a Bank's AMA portfolio.

    39See, e.g., 12 U.S.C. 1430(c) and (e).

    7. Risk-Based Capital Requirements

    The current regulation at 12 CFR 955.6 established the risk-based capital requirements for AMA, based on NRSRO ratings. These risk-based capital requirements, however, applied only so long as a Bank had not converted to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act capital structure and was not yet subject to the risk-based capital requirements in 12 CFR part 932.40 Given that all Banks have converted their capital structures and are now subject to the AMA credit and market risk charges established by 12 CFR part 932 of the current capital regulations, this section has no continuing applicability, and FHFA proposes to remove it.

    40 In adopting the current AMA regulations, the Finance Board noted that the AMA capital requirements in § 955.6 were “interim risk based capital requirements” and when the Finance Board's new Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act capital requirements became effective with respect to a Bank, the Bank would need to hold capital for AMA based on those new requirements. Final AMA Rule, 65 FR at 43979 (July 17, 2000).

    8. Other Sections—§§ 1268.7 and 1268.8

    Proposed §§ 1268.7 and 1268.8 would adopt without substantive change 12 CFR 955.4 and 955.5 of the current regulation. These provisions address, respectively, reporting requirements for AMA and administrative transactions and agreements between Banks involving AMA.

    IV. Consideration of Differences Between the Banks and the Enterprises

    When promulgating regulations relating to the Banks, section 1313(f) of the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992 (Safety and Soundness Act) requires the Director of FHFA (Director) to consider the differences between the Banks and the Enterprises with respect to the Banks' cooperative ownership structure, mission of providing liquidity to members, affordable housing and community development mission, capital structure, and joint and several liability.41 The Director also may consider any other differences that FHFA deems appropriate. The changes proposed in this rulemaking apply only to the Banks. Many of the proposed amendments are necessary to implement requirements under the Dodd-Frank Act; a number of others are technical or conforming in nature. FHFA, in preparing this proposed rule, considered the differences between the Banks and the Enterprises as they relate to the above factors and requests comments from the public about whether these differences should result in any revisions to the proposed rule.

    41See 12 U.S.C. 4513.

    V. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The information collection, entitled “Federal Home Loan Bank Acquired Member Assets, Core Mission Activities, Investments and Advances” contained in current 12 CFR part 955 of the regulations that would be transferred to 12 CFR part 1268 by this proposed rule has been assigned control number 2590-0008 by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The proposed rule if adopted as a final rule would not substantively or materially modify the current, approved information collection.

    VI. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires that a regulation that has a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, small businesses, or small organizations must include an initial regulatory flexibility analysis describing the regulation's impact on small entities. FHFA need not undertake such an analysis if the agency has certified the regulation will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 5 U.S.C. 605(b). FHFA has considered the impact of the proposed rule under the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    FHFA certifies that the proposed rule, if adopted as a final rule, is not likely to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because the regulation is applicable only to the Banks, which are not small entities for purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    List of Subjects 12 CFR Part 955

    Community development, Credit, Federal home loan banks, Housing, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    12 CFR Part 1201

    Administrative practice and procedure, Federal home loan banks, Government-sponsored enterprises, Office of Finance, Regulated entities.

    12 CFR Part 1268

    Acquired member assets, Credit, Federal home loan bank, Housing, Nationally recognized statistical rating agency.

    Authority and Issuance

    For reasons stated in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION, and under the authority of 12 U.S.C. 1430, 1430b, 1431, 4511, 4513, 4526, FHFA proposes to amend subchapter G of chapter IX and subchapters A and D of chapter XII of title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    CHAPTER IX—FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE BOARD Subchapter G—[Removed and Reserved] 1. Subchapter G, consisting of part 955 is removed and reserved. CHAPTER XII—FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY Subchapter A—Organization and Operations PART 1201—GENERAL DEFINITIONS APPYING TO ALL FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY REGULATIONS 2. The authority citation for part 1201 continues to read: Authority:

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

    3. Amend § 1201.1 by revising the definition of “Acquired member assets or AMA” to read as follows:
    § 1201.1 Definitions.

    Acquired member assets or AMA means assets acquired in accordance with, and satisfying the applicable requirements of, part 1268 of this chapter, or any successor thereto.

    Subchapter D—Federal Home Loan Banks 4. Part 1268 is added to subchapter D to read as follows: PART 1268—ACQUIRED MEMBER ASSETS Sec. 1268.1 Definitions. 1268.2 Authorization for acquired member assets. 1268.3 Asset requirement. 1268.4 Member or housing associate nexus requirement. 1268.5 Credit risk-sharing requirement. 1268.6 Servicing. 1268.7 Reporting requirements for acquired member assets. 1268.8 Administrative transactions and agreements between Banks. Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1430, 1430b, 1431, 4511, 4513, 4526.

    § 1268.1 Definitions.

    As used in this part:

    Affiliate means any business entity that controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with, a member.

    AMA product means an AMA structure defined by a specific set of terms and conditions that comply with this part.

    AMA program means a Bank-established program to buy mortgage loans that meet the requirements of this part, which may comprise multiple AMA products.

    Expected losses means the loss given the expected future economic and market conditions in the model or methodology used by the Bank under § 1268.5 and applicable to an AMA product.

    Investment quality has the meaning set forth in § 1267.1 of this chapter.

    Participating financial institution means a member or housing associate of a Bank that is authorized to sell mortgage loans to its own Bank through an AMA program, or a member or housing associate of another Bank that has been authorized to sell mortgage loans to the Bank pursuant to an agreement between the Bank acquiring the AMA product and the Bank of which the selling institution is a member or housing associate.

    Pool means a group of assets acquired under a given master commitment or similar agreement.

    Residential real property has the meaning set forth in § 1266.1 of this chapter.

    § 1268.2 Authorization for acquired member assets.

    (a) General. Each Bank is authorized to invest in assets that qualify as AMA, subject to the requirements of this part and part 1272 of this chapter.

    (b) Grandfathered transactions. Notwithstanding paragraph (a) of this section, a Bank may continue to hold as AMA assets that were previously authorized by the Federal Housing Finance Board or FHFA for purchase as AMA, provided that the assets were purchased, and continue to be held, in compliance with that authorization.

    § 1268.3 Asset requirement.

    Assets that qualify as AMA shall be limited to the following:

    (a) Whole loans that are eligible to secure advances under § 1266.7(a)(1)(i), (a)(2)(ii), (a)(4), or (b)(1) of this chapter, excluding:

    (1) Single-family mortgage loans where the loan amount exceeds the limits established pursuant to 12 U.S.C. 1717(b)(2);

    (2) Loans made to an entity, or secured by property, not located in a state; and

    (3) Loans that would not be eligible to serve as collateral for an advance under § 1266.7(f) of this chapter;

    (b) Whole loans secured by manufactured housing, regardless of whether such housing qualifies as residential real property, unless such loan would not be eligible to serve as collateral for an advance under § 1266.7(f) of this chapter;

    (c) State and local housing finance agency bonds; or

    (d) Certificates representing interests in whole loans if:

    (1) The loans qualify as AMA under paragraphs (a) or (b) of this section and meet the nexus requirements of § 1268.4; and

    (2) The certificates:

    (i) Meet the credit enhancement requirements of § 1268.5;

    (ii) Are issued pursuant to an agreement between the Bank and a participating financial institution to share risks consistent with the requirements of this part; and

    (iii) Are acquired substantially by the initiating Bank or Banks.

    § 1268.4 Member or housing associate nexus requirement.

    (a) General provision. To qualify as AMA, any assets described in § 1268.3 must be acquired in a purchase or funding transaction only from:

    (1) A participating financial institution, provided that the asset was:

    (i) Originated or issued by, through, or on behalf of the participating financial institution, or an affiliate thereof; or

    (ii) Held for a valid business purpose by the participating financial institution, or an affiliate thereof, prior to acquisition by the Bank; or

    (2) Another Bank, provided that the asset was originally acquired by the selling Bank consistent with this section.

    (b) Special provision for housing finance agency bonds. In the case of housing finance agency bonds acquired by a Bank from a housing associate located in the district of another Bank (local Bank), the arrangement required by the definition of “participating financial institution” in § 1268.1 between the acquiring Bank and the local Bank may be reached in accordance with the following process:

    (1) The housing finance agency shall first offer the local Bank right of first refusal to purchase, or negotiate the terms of, its proposed bond offering;

    (2) If the local Bank indicates, within a three-day period, it will negotiate in good faith to purchase the bonds, the housing finance agency may not offer to sell or negotiate the terms of a purchase with another Bank; and

    (3) If the local Bank declines the offer, or has failed to respond within the three-day period, the acquiring Bank will be considered to have an arrangement with the local Bank for purposes of this section and may offer to buy or negotiate the terms of a bond sale with the housing finance agency.

    § 1268.5 Credit risk-sharing requirement.

    (a) General credit risk-sharing requirement. For each AMA product, the Bank shall implement and have in place at all times, a credit risk-sharing structure that:

    (1) Requires a participating financial institution to provide the credit enhancement necessary to enhance an eligible asset or pool to the credit quality specified by the terms and conditions of the AMA product, provided, however, that such credit enhancement results in the eligible asset or pool being at least investment quality, as defined in § 1268.1; and

    (2) Meets the requirements of this section.

    (b) Determination of necessary credit enhancement. (1) At the earlier of 270 days from the date of the Bank's acquisition of the first loan in a pool, or the date at which the pool reaches $100 million in assets, the Bank shall determine the total credit enhancement necessary to enhance the asset or pool to at least investment quality and to be consistent with the terms and conditions of a specific AMA product. The enhancement shall be for the life of the asset or pool. The Bank shall make this determination for each AMA product using a model and methodology that the Bank deems appropriate, provided, however, that the Bank's use of the model and methodology complies with to the requirements and conditions of paragraph (e) of this section.

    (2) A Bank shall document its basis for concluding that the contractual credit enhancement required from each participating financial institution with regard to a particular asset or pool will equal or exceed the credit enhancement level specified in the terms and conditions of the AMA product and determined in accordance with paragraph (b)(1) of this section.

    (c) Credit risk-sharing structure. Under any credit risk-sharing structure, the credit enhancement provided by the participating financial institution shall meet the following requirements:

    (1) The participating financial institution that is providing the credit enhancement required under this this paragraph (c) shall in all cases:

    (i) Bear the direct economic consequences of actual credit losses on the asset or pool:

    (A) From the first dollar of loss up to the amount of expected losses; or

    (B) Immediately following expected losses, but in an amount equal to or exceeding the amount of expected losses; and

    (ii) Fully secure its credit enhancement obligation subject to § 1266.7 of this chapter; and

    (2) The participating financial institution also may provide all or a portion of the credit enhancement, with the approval of the Bank, by:

    (i) Contracting with an insurance affiliate of that participating financial institution to provide an enhancement, but only where such insurance is positioned in the credit risk-sharing structure so as to cover only losses remaining after the participating financial institution has borne losses as required under paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section;

    (ii) Contracting with another participating financial institution in the Bank's district to provide a credit enhancement consistent with this section, in return for compensation; or

    (iii) Contracting with a participating financial institution in another Bank's district, pursuant to an arrangement between the two Banks, to provide a credit enhancement consistent with this section, in return for compensation.

    (d) U.S. government insured or guaranteed loans. Instead of the structure set forth in paragraph (c) of this section, a participating financial institution also may provide the required credit enhancement by purchasing loan-level insurance that is issued by an agency or department of the U.S. government or is a guarantee from an agency or department of the U.S. government, provided that the government insurance or guarantee remains in place for as long as the Bank owns the loan.

    (e) Appropriate methodology for calculating credit enhancement. A Bank shall use a model and methodology for estimating the amount of credit enhancement for a pool of AMA subject to the following requirements and conditions:

    (1) The Bank shall validate its model and methodology for calculating the credit enhancement for AMA pools at least annually, or more often if necessary, and make the results of such validation available to FHFA upon request;

    (2) The Bank shall institute and maintain a process to monitor the performance of its model to include tracking, back-testing, bench-marking, and stress testing the model and the results it produces, and the Bank shall make information gathered from monitoring the model available to FHFA upon request;

    (3) The Bank shall inform FHFA prior to making any material changes to an approved model and methodology, providing a description of the changes that the Bank intends to make and its reasons for doing so; and

    (4) The Bank promptly shall make any FHFA-directed changes to its model and methodology.

    § 1268.6 Servicing.

    (a) Servicing of AMA loans may be transferred to and performed by any institution, including an institution that is not a member of the Bank System, provided that the loans, after such transfer, continue to meet all requirements to qualify as AMA under §§ 1268.3, 1268.4 and 1268.5.

    (b) The transfer of mortgage servicing rights and responsibilities must be approved by the Bank or Banks that own the loan or a participation interest in the loan.

    (c) A Bank shall have in place policies and procedures to ensure that the transfer of mortgage servicing rights does not negatively affect the credit enhancement on the loans in question or substantially increase the Bank's exposure to risk.

    § 1268.7 Reporting requirements for acquired member assets.

    Each Bank shall report information related to AMA in accordance with the instructions provided in the Data Reporting Manual issued by FHFA, as amended from time to time.

    § 1268.8 Administrative transactions and agreements between Banks.

    (a) Delegation of administrative duties. A Bank may delegate the administration of an AMA program to another Bank whose administrative office has been examined and approved by FHFA, or previously examined and approved by the Federal Housing Finance Board, to process AMA transactions. The existence of such a delegation, or the possibility that such a delegation may be made, must be disclosed to any potential participating financial institution as part of any AMA-related agreements signed with that participating financial institution.

    (b) Termination of Agreements. Any agreement made between two or more Banks in connection with any AMA program may be terminated by any party after a reasonable notice period.

    (c) Delegation of Pricing Authority. A Bank that has delegated its AMA pricing function to another Bank shall retain a right to refuse to acquire AMA at prices it does not consider appropriate.

    Dated: December 10, 2015. Melvin L. Watt, Director, Federal Housing Finance Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31660 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8070-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-6544; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-198-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics (Formerly Known as Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems) Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2012-24-06 for certain Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics (formerly known as Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems) Model 340A (SAAB/SF340A) and SAAB 340B airplanes. AD 2012-24-06 requires replacing the stall warning computer (SWC) with a new SWC, which provides an artificial stall warning in icing conditions, and modifying the airplane for the replacement of the SWC. Since we issued AD 2012-24-06, a determination was made that airplanes with certain modifications were excluded from the AD applicability and are affected by the identified unsafe condition and the SWC required by AD 2012-24-06 contained erroneous logic. This proposed AD would add airplanes to the applicability, and would add requirements to replace the existing SWCs with new, improved SWCs and modify the airplane for the new replacement of the SWC. We are proposing this AD to prevent natural stall events during operation in icing conditions, which could result in loss of control of the airplane.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by February 1, 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 rule, contact Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics, SE-581 88, Linköping, Sweden; telephone +46 13 18 5591; fax +46 13 18 4874; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.saabgroup.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-2015-6544; 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:

    Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1112; 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-2015-6544; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-198-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 November 21, 2012, we issued AD 2012-24-06, Amendment 39-17276 (77 FR 73279, December 10, 2012). AD 2012-24-06 applies to certain Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems Model 340A (SAAB/SF340A) and SAAB 340B airplanes. AD 2012-24-06 was prompted by reports of stall events during icing conditions where the natural stall warning (buffet) was not identified. AD 2012-24-06 requires replacing the stall warning computer (SWC) with a new SWC, which provides an artificial stall warning in icing conditions, and modifying the airplane for the replacement of the SWC. We issued AD 2012-24-06 to prevent natural stall events during operation in icing conditions, which, if not corrected, could result in loss of control of the airplane.

    Airplanes with certain modifications were excluded from the applicability of AD 2012-24-06, Amendment 39-17276 (77 FR 73279, December 10, 2012). Since we issued AD 2012-24-06, we have determined that those modifications for airplanes identified in the applicability of AD 2012-24-06 are now subject to the identified unsafe condition. In addition, a new, improved SWC has been designed to replace the existing SWC, as well as the SWC required by AD 2012-24-06. The installation of the new SWC includes modifying the airplane.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0218, dated September 29, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics Model 340A (SAAB/SF340A) and SAAB 340B airplanes. The MCAI states:

    A few natural stall events, specifically when operating in icing conditions, have been experienced on SAAB 340 series aeroplanes, without receiving a prior stall warning.

    This condition, if not corrected, could result in loss of control of the aeroplane.

    To address this potential unsafe condition, SAAB developed a modified stall warning system, incorporating improved stall warning logic, and issued Service Bulletin (SB) 340-27-098 and SB 340-27-099, providing instructions to replace the Stall Warning Computer (SWC) with a new SWC, and instructions to activate the new SWC. The new system included stall warning curves optimized for operation in icing conditions, which are activated by selection of Engine Anti-Ice.

    Consequently, EASA issued AD 2011-0219 [http://ad.easa.europa.eu/ad/2011-0219, which corresponds to FAA AD 2012-24-06, Amendment 39-17276 (77 FR 73279, December 10, 2012)] to require installation of the improved SWC.

    After that [EASA] AD was issued, in-service experience with the improved stall warning system revealed cases of premature stall warning activation during the take-off phase. In numerous recorded cases, the onset of stall warning occurred without the 6 minute delay after weight off wheels.

    This condition, if not corrected, could lead to premature stick shaker activation and consequent increase in pilot workload during the take-off phase, possibly resulting in reduced control of the aeroplane.

    To correct this unsafe condition, EASA issued AD 2013-0254 [http://ad.easa.europa.eu/ad/2013-0254] retaining the requirements of EASA AD 2011-0219, which was superseded, to require deactivation of the ice speed curves in the improved SWC on SAAB 340 aeroplanes, in accordance with SAAB SB 340-27-116.

    Since EASA AD 2013-0254 was issued, SAAB developed a technical solution to eliminate the premature activation of the stall warning ice curves and issued SB 340-27-120 (modification of the existing Stall Warning System installation), SB 340-27-121 (activation of improved SWC for aeroplanes with a basic wing tip) and SB 340-27-122 (activation of improved SWC for aeroplanes with an extended wing tip). SAAB SB 340-27-120 provides modification and installation instructions valid for pre- and post-SB 340-27-097, 340-27-098, SB 340-27-099 and SB 340-27-116 aeroplanes. For aeroplanes modified in accordance with SAAB AB mod. No. 2650 and/or mod. No. 2859 which are no longer registered in Canada, SAAB AB issued SAAB AB SB 340-27-109 to provide modification and installation instructions to remove the ice speed curve function.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2013-0254, which is superseded, and requires modification of the Stall Warning and Identification System and replacement of the SWC with an improved unit.

    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-2015-6544.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics has issued the following service information:

    • Saab Service Bulletin 340-27-109, dated April 14, 2014.

    • Saab Service Bulletin 340-27-116, dated October 18, 2013.

    • Saab Service Bulletin 340-27-120, dated July 11, 2014.

    • Saab Service Bulletin 340-27-121, dated July 11, 2014.

    • Saab Service Bulletin 340-27-122, dated July 11, 2014.

    The service information describes procedures for deactivating the stall warning speed curves in the SWCs for certain airplanes; replacing the existing SWCs with new, improved SWCs, and modifying the airplane for the new replacement of the SWC. 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.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

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

    Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI or Service Information

    The applicability in the MCAI excludes airplanes which have been modified by Saab AB mod No. 2650 or mod No. 2859; however, this proposed AD does not exclude those airplanes because this proposed AD requires corrective actions for U.S. N-registered airplanes that have either modification installed.

    Paragraph (2) of the MCAI requires replacement of the existing SWCs within 18 months after the effective date of the MCAI. However, due to the urgency of the identified unsafe condition, we have determined that this replacement must be done within 12 months after the effective date of this AD, as specified in paragraph (h) of this proposed AD.

    These differences have been coordinated with the EASA and Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD will affect 105 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We also estimate that it would take about 78 work-hours per product to comply with the actions required by this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts would cost about $33,000 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $4,161,150, or $39,630 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 (AD) 2012-24-06, Amendment 39-17276 (77 FR 73279, December 10, 2012), and adding the following new AD: Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics: Docket No. FAA-2015-6544; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-198-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by February 1, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2012-24-06, Amendment 39-17276 (77 FR 73279, December 10, 2012).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics (formerly known as Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems) Model 340A (SAAB/SF340A) and SAAB 340B airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this AD.

    (1) Model 340A (SAAB/SF340A) airplanes, serial numbers 004 through 159 inclusive.

    (2) Model SAAB 340B airplanes, serial numbers 160 through 459 inclusive, except serial numbers 170, 342, 362, 363, 367, 372, 379, 385, 395, 405, 409, 431, 441, and 455.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 27: Flight Controls.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a determination that airplanes with certain modifications were excluded from AD 2012-24-06, Amendment 39-17276 (77 FR 73279, December 10, 2012), and are affected by the identified unsafe condition and the stall warning computer (SWC) required by AD 2012-24-06 contained erroneous logic. We are issuing this AD to prevent natural stall events during operation in icing conditions, which could result in loss of control of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Deactivation of Stall Speed Curves

    For airplanes identified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD: Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, do the deactivation specified in paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD, as applicable to airplane configuration, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Saab Service Bulletin 340-27-116, dated October 18, 2013.

    (1) For airplanes with a basic wing tip that has been modified in accordance with Saab Service Bulletin 340-27-098: Deactivate the stall speed curves in the SWC having part number (P/N) 0020AK6.

    (2) For airplanes with an extended wing tip that has been modified in accordance with Saab Service Bulletin 340-27-099: Deactivate the stall speed curves in the SWC having part number (P/N) 0020AK7.

    (h) Replacement of SWCs

    Within 12 months after the effective date of this AD: Do the replacement specified in paragraph (h)(1) or (h)(2) of this AD, as applicable.

    (1) For airplanes with basic wing tips: Replace all SWCs with new, improved SWCs having P/N 0020AK6-1, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Saab Service Bulletin 340-27-121, dated July 11, 2014.

    (2) For airplanes with extended wing tips: Replace all SWCs with new, improved SWCs having P/N 0020AK7-1, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Saab Service Bulletin 340-27-122, dated July 11, 2014.

    (i) Concurrent Modification

    Before or concurrently with the accomplishment of the applicable requirements of paragraph (h) of this AD, do the actions specified in paragraph (i)(1) or (i)(2) of this AD, as applicable to airplane configuration.

    (1) For airplanes on which either Saab AB mod No. 2650 or mod No. 2859 is not installed: Modify the stall warning and identification system, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Saab Service Bulletin 340-27-120, dated July 11, 2014.

    (2) For airplanes on which either Saab AB mod No. 2650 or mod No. 2859 is installed, or on which both mods are installed: Modify the stall warning and identification system, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Saab Service Bulletin 340-27-109, dated April 14, 2014.

    (j) Parts Installation Prohibitions

    After doing the replacement required by paragraph (h) of this AD, no person may install any SWC having P/N 0020AK, 0020AK1, 0020AK2, 0020AK4, 0020AK6, 0020AK7, or 0020AK3 MOD 1, on any airplane.

    (k) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, ANM-116, International Branch, 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: Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1112; fax 425-227-1149. Information may be emailed to: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

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

    Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0218, dated September 29, 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-2015-6544.

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics, SE-581 88, Linköping, Sweden; telephone +46 13 18 5591; fax +46 13 18 4874; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.saabgroup.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on November 23, 2015. Jeffrey E. Duven, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30560 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-7524; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-231-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics (Formerly Known as Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems) AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2014-15-04 for certain Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics Model SAAB 2000 airplanes. AD 2014-15-04 currently requires deactivating the potable water system, or alternatively filling and activating the potable water system. Since we issued AD 2014-15-04, the manufacturer developed a modification that would address the unsafe condition. This proposed AD would also require inspecting the in-line heater for correct brazing and corrective action if needed, and installing a shrinkable tube on the water line and a spray shield on the in-line heater. We are proposing this AD to prevent rudder pedal restriction due to the pitch control mechanism becoming frozen as the result of water spray, which could prevent disconnection and normal pitch control, and consequently result in reduced controllability of the airplane.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by February 1, 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 Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics, SE-581 88, Linköping, Sweden; telephone +46 13 18 5591; fax +46 13 18 4874; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.saabgroup.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-2015-7524; 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:

    Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1112; 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-2015-7524; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-231-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD based on those comments.

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

    Discussion

    On July 13, 2014, we issued AD 2014-15-04, Amendment 39-17906 (79 FR 45337, August 5, 2014). AD 2014-15-04 requires actions intended to address an unsafe condition on Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics Model SAAB 2000 airplanes.

    Since we issued AD 2014-15-04, Amendment 39-17906 (79 FR 45337, August 5, 2014), a modification has been developed that would address the unsafe condition and allow reactivation of the potable water system.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0255, dated November 25, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition on certain Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics Model SAAB 2000 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    One occurrence of rudder pedal restriction was reported on a SAAB 2000 aeroplane. Subsequent investigation showed that this was the result of water leakage at the inlet tubing for the in-line heater (25HY) in the lower part of the forward fuselage (Zone 116). The in-line heater attachment was found ruptured, which resulted in water spraying in the area. Frozen water on the rudder control mechanism in Zone 116 then led to the rudder pedal restriction.

    Analysis after the reported event indicated that the pitch control mechanism (including pitch disconnect/spring unit) may also be frozen as a result of water spray, which would prevent disconnection and normal pitch control.

    This condition, if not corrected, could result in further occurrences of reduced control of an aeroplane. To address this potential unsafe condition, SAAB issued Service Bulletin (SB) 2000-38-10 to provide instructions to deactivate the Potable Water System. Consequently, EASA issued [EASA] [an] Emergency AD * * * to require that action. That [EASA] Emergency AD was revised and republished as EASA AD 2013-0172R1 [(http://ad.easa.europa.eu/ad/2013-0172R1), which corresponds to FAA AD 2014-15-041, Amendment 39-17906 (79 FR 45337, August 5, 2014)], introducing a temporary alternative procedure for filling, which would allow reactivation and operation of the Potable Water System.

    Since that [EASA] AD was issued, SAAB developed an in-line heater spray shield and a water line shrink tube to eliminate the consequences of a water spray leak in case of rupture of the in-line heater. SAAB also issued a SB 2000-38-011, providing instructions for inspection of the in-line heater and installation of a shrink tube and a spray shield.

    For reasons described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2013-0172R1, which is superseded, and requires inspection [for correct brazing] of the in-line heater [and corrective action if needed] and installation of shrink tube [on water line] and spray shield [on in-line heater].

    Corrective actions include repairing or replacing the in-line heater. 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-2015-7524.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Saab issued Service Bulletin 2000-38-011, dated October 22, 2014. The service information describes procedures for inspecting for correct brazing of the in-line heater, repairing or replacing the in-line heater, and installing a shrinkable tube on the water line and a spray shield on the in-line heater. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section of this NPRM.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This Proposed AD

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 1 airplane of U.S. registry.

    The actions required by AD 2014-15-04, Amendment 39-17906 (79 FR 45337, August 5, 2014), and retained in this proposed AD take about 1 work-hour per product, at an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour. Required parts cost $0 per product. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the actions that are required by AD 2014-15-04 is $85 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 $3,650 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $4,160.

    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) 2014-15-04, Amendment 39-17906 (79 FR 45337, August 5, 2014), and adding the following new AD: Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics (Formerly Known as Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems): Docket No. FAA-2015-7524; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-231-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by February 1, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2014-15-04, Amendment 39-17906 (79 FR 45337, August 5, 2014).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics (formerly known as Saab AB, Saab Aerosystems) Model SAAB 2000 airplanes, certificated in any category, serial numbers 004 through 016 inclusive, 018, 022, 023, 024, 026, 029, 031, 032, 033, 035 through 039 inclusive, 041 through 044 inclusive, 046, 047, 048, 051, and 053 through 063 inclusive.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 38, Water/Waste.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report of rudder pedal restriction which was the result of water leakage at the inlet tubing of an in-line heater in the lower part of the forward fuselage. This AD was also prompted by the development of a modification that would address the unsafe condition. We are issuing this AD to prevent rudder pedal restriction due to the pitch control mechanism becoming frozen as the result of water spray, which could prevent disconnection and normal pitch control, and consequently result in reduced controllability of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Retained Deactivation of Potable Water System With New Exception

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (g) of AD 2014-15-04, Amendment 39-17906 (79 FR 45337, August 5, 2014), with a new exception. Except as provided by paragraph (l) of this AD, within 30 days after September 9, 2014 (the effective date of AD 2014-15-04), deactivate the potable water system, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Saab Service Bulletin 2000-38-010, dated July 12, 2013, which is incorporated by reference in AD 2014-15-04.

    (h) Retained Alternative To Deactivation of Potable Water System With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (h) of AD 2014-15-04, Amendment 39-17906 (79 FR 45337, August 5, 2014), with no changes. As an alternative, or subsequent, to the action required by paragraph (g) of this AD, during each filling of the potable water system after September 9, 2014, (the effective date of AD 2014-15-04), accomplish the temporary filling procedure, in accordance with the instructions in Saab Service Newsletter SN 2000-1304, Revision 01, dated September 10, 2013, including Attachment 1 Engineering Statement to Operator 2000PBS034334, Issue A, dated September 9, 2013, which is incorporated by reference in AD 2014-15-04.

    (i) New Inspection and Installation

    At the applicable compliance times specified in paragraphs (j)(1) and (j)(2) of this AD, concurrently accomplish the actions specified in paragraphs (i)(1) and (i)(2) of this AD, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Saab Service Bulletin 2000-38-011, dated October 22, 2014.

    (1) Do a detailed inspection for correct brazing of the in-line heater, and if any discrepancy is found, before further flight, and before accomplishment of the modification required by paragraph (i)(2) of this AD, accomplish all applicable corrective actions.

    (2) Install a shrink tube on the water line and a spray shield on the in-line heater.

    (j) Compliance Times for Inspection and Installation

    Do the actions specified in paragraph (i) of this AD at the applicable times specified in paragraphs (j)(1) and (j)(2) of this AD.

    (1) For airplanes having had the potable water system reactivated and operated using the alternative filling procedure specified in Saab Service Newsletter SN 2000-1304, Revision 01, dated September 10, 2013, including Attachment 1 Engineering Statement to Operator 2000PBS034334, Issue A, dated September 9, 2013, which is incorporated by reference in AD 2014-15-04, within 6 months after the effective date of this AD.

    (2) For airplanes having the potable water system deactivated using procedures specified in the Accomplishment Instructions of Saab Service Bulletin 2000-38-010, dated July 12, 2013: Before further flight after the reactivation of the potable water system.

    (k) Terminating Actions for the Deactivation of the Potable Water System

    Accomplishing the actions required by paragraph (i) of this AD terminates the requirements of paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD.

    (l) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, ANM-116, International Branch, 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: Shahram Daneshmandi, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1112; 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 in accordance with AD 2014-15-04, Amendment 39-17906 (79 FR 45337, August 5, 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 Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics' EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (m) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) European Aviation Safety Agency Airworthiness Directive 2014-0255, dated November 25, 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-2015-7524.

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Saab AB, Saab Aeronautics, SE-581 88, Linköping, Sweden; telephone +46 13 18 5591; fax +46 13 18 4874; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.saabgroup.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 8, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31537 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF STATE 22 CFR Part 171 [Public Notice: 9379] RIN 1400-AD88 Privacy Act; STATE-81, Office of Foreign Missions Records AGENCY:

    Department of State.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of State is giving concurrent notice of a newly established system of records pursuant to the Privacy Act of 1974 for the Office of Foreign Missions Records, State-81 system of records and this proposed rulemaking. In this proposed rulemaking, the Department proposes to exempt portions of the system of records from one or more provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974.

    DATES:

    Comments on this proposed rule are due by January 26, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Hackett, Director; Office of Information Programs and Services, A/GIS/IPS; Department of State, SA-2; 515 22nd Street NW., Washington, DC 20522-8001, or at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of State maintains the Office of Foreign Missions Records system of records. The primary purpose of this system of records relates to the implementation of the Foreign Missions Act, the operation of foreign missions, and the United States' extension of privileges, exemptions, immunities, benefits, and courtesies to foreign government officials, members/employees and officers of foreign missions and certain international organizations in the United States, their immediate family members, and domestic workers who are in the United States in nonimmigrant A-3 or G-5 visa status.

    The Department of State is issuing this document as a notice to amend 22 CFR part 171 to exempt portions of the Office of Foreign Missions Records system of records from the Privacy Act subsections (c)(3); (d); (e)(1); (e)(4)(G), (H), and (I); and (f) of the Privacy Act pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2). STATE-81 is exempted under (k)(2) to the extent that records within that system are comprised of investigatory material compiled for law enforcement purposes, subject to the limitations set forth in that section.

    List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 171

    Administrative practice and procedure; Classified information; Confidential business information; Freedom of information; Privacy.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, 22 CFR part 171 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 171—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 552, 552a; 22 U.S.C. 2651a; Pub. L. 95-521, 92 Stat. 1824, as amended; E.O. 13526, 75 FR 707; E.O. 12600, 52 FR 23781, 3 CFR, 1987 Comp., p. 235.

    2. Amend § 171.36 by adding an entry, in alphabetical order, for “The Office of Foreign Missions Records, State-81” to the lists in paragraph (b)(2) Joyce A. Barr, Assistant Secretary for Administration, U.S. Department of State.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31551 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710-43-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 82 [EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0453; FRL-9940-31-OAR] RIN 2060-AS51 Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Update to the Refrigerant Management Requirements Under the Clean Air Act; Extension of Comment Period AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; extension of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA issued a proposed rule in the Federal Register on November 9, 2015, proposing to update service practices that reduce emissions of ozone-depleting refrigerants as well as extend them, as appropriate, to non-ozone-depleting substitute refrigerants. The November 9, 2015, proposal provided for a 60-day public comment period ending January 8, 2016. EPA received requests from the public to extend this comment period. This document extends the comment period for 17 days, from January 8, 2016, to January 25, 2016.

    DATES:

    Comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0453, must be received on or before January 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Follow the detailed instructions as provided under ADDRESSES in the Federal Register document of November 9, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Luke Hall-Jordan, Stratospheric Protection Division, Office of Atmospheric Programs, Mail Code 6205T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number (202) 343-9591; email address [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This document extends the public comment period established in the proposed rule published in the Federal Register on November 9, 2015 (80 FR 69457) (FRL-9933-48-OAR). In that document, EPA solicited comments and information on its proposed rule titled “Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Update to the Refrigerant Management Requirements under the Clean Air Act.” EPA received requests from members of the public to extend the comment period. EPA is hereby extending the comment period, which was previously set to end on January 8, 2016, to January 25, 2016. Accordingly, any comments on this proposed rule must be received on or before January 25, 2016.

    To submit comments, or access the public docket, please follow the detailed instructions as provided under ADDRESSES in the November 9, 2015, Federal Register document. If you have questions, consult the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 82

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Chemicals, Incorporation by reference, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: December 10, 2015. Sarah Dunham, Director, Office of Atmospheric Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31661 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 RIN 0648-BF36 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Observer Coverage Requirements for Small Catcher/Processor in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Groundfish Fisheries AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability of fishery management plan amendments; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) has submitted Amendment 112 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (BSAI FMP) and Amendment 102 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA FMP). If approved, Amendments 112 and 102 would modify the criteria for NMFS to place small catcher/processors in the partial observer coverage category under the North Pacific Groundfish and Halibut Observer Program (Observer Program). Under Amendments 112 and 102, the GOA and BSAI FMPs would each be amended to allow certain catcher/processors with relatively small levels of groundfish production to be placed in the partial observer coverage category. Amendments 112 and 102 are intended to promote the goals of the BSAI and GOA FMPs and to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) and other applicable laws.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before February 16, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2015-0114, by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2015-0114, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to Glenn Merrill, Assistant Regional Administrator, Sustainable Fisheries Division, Alaska Region NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian. Mail comments to P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802-1668.

    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), 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 Amendment 112 to the BSAI FMP and Amendment 102 to the GOA FMP and the Regulatory Impact Review/Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (RIR/IRFA) prepared for this action (collectively the “Analysis”) are available from http://www.regulations.gov or from the NMFS Alaska Region Web site at http://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Anne Marie Eich, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NMFS manages the groundfish fisheries of the GOA under the GOA FMP. NMFS manages the groundfish fisheries of Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands under the BSAI FMP. The Council prepared the GOA FMP pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Act (16 U.S.C. 1801, et seq.). Regulations implementing the GOA FMP appear at 50 CFR 679.

    The Magnuson-Stevens Act in section 304(a) requires that each regional fishery management council submit an amendment to a fishery management plan for review and approval, disapproval, or partial approval by the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary). The Magnuson-Stevens Act in section 304(a) also requires that the Secretary, upon receiving an amendment to a fishery management plan, immediately publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing that the amendment is available for public review and comment. The Council has submitted Amendment 112 to the BSAI FMP and Amendment 102 to the GOA FMP to the Secretary for review. This notice announces that proposed Amendment 112 to the BSAI FMP and Amendment 102 to the GOA FMP are available for public review and comment.

    Amendments 112 and 102 to the FMPs were adopted by the Council in June 2015. If approved by the Secretary, Amendments 112 and 102 would amend Section 3.2.4.1 of the BSAI and GOA FMPs to state that catcher/processors would be subject to full observer coverage requirement with some exceptions specified in regulations. To be consistent with current terminology, Amendments 112 and 102 would replace references to “less than 100 percent” and “greater than or equal to 100 percent” with “partial” and “full,” respectively, in Section 3.2.4.1 of both the GOA and BSAI FMPs. Additionally, the Amendments would make minor technical edits and modifications in terminology in Section 3.2.4.1 of the GOA and BSAI FMPs to conform to current NMFS style guidelines. These minor technical edits and modifications in terminology are not substantive. Amendments 112 and 102 would also amend Appendix A to the GOA and BSAI FMPs to list the date that the Amendments are implemented, if approved, in chronological order.

    The objectives of Amendments 112 and 102 are to (1) refine the balance between observer data quality from the fishery and the cost of observer coverage to catcher/processors with limited groundfish production relative to the rest of the catcher/processor fleet by allowing those catcher/processors with limited production to be placed in the partial observer coverage category based on contemporary groundfish production amounts; and (2) implement this exception without altering the full observer coverage requirements for all trawl catcher/processors and catcher/processors in a catch share program.

    Background on the Observer Program

    Regulations implementing the Observer Program allow NMFS-certified observers (observers) to obtain information necessary for the conservation and management of the BSAI and GOA groundfish and halibut fisheries. The Observer Program was implemented in 1990 (55 FR 4839, February 12, 1990). In 2012, NMFS restructured the funding and deployment systems of the Observer Program (77 FR 70062, November 21, 2012). Since implementation of the restructured Observer Program in 2013, vessels, shoreside processors and stationary floating processors participating in the groundfish and halibut fisheries off Alaska are placed in one of two observer coverage categories: (1) Partial observer coverage category or (2) full observer coverage category.

    In the full observer coverage category, vessel operators obtain observers by contracting directly with observer providers. Operators of vessels in the full observer coverage category pay the observer provider for each day the observer is on board the vessel, including days that the vessel is travelling to or from the fishing grounds but not fishing.

    NMFS deploys observers on vessels in the partial observer coverage category according to a statistical sample design based on an annual deployment plan developed in consultation with the Council. Vessels in the partial observer coverage category are required to carry observers only on fishing trips selected at random pursuant to the statistical sample design. Instead of paying for each day an observer is on board, NMFS assesses a fee equal to 1.25 percent of the ex-vessel value of the retained groundfish and halibut landed by vessels in the partial observer coverage category. NMFS uses these fees to establish a Federal contract with an observer service provider to deploy observers in the partial observer coverage category. Under this structure, observer coverage funding is based on the number of days a vessel operates (full observer coverage category) or on the ex-vessel value of a vessel's retained catch regardless of the amount of time the vessel is covered by an observer (partial observer coverage category).

    Under the restructured Observer Program, almost all catcher/processors were assigned to the full observer coverage category to obtain independent estimates of catch, at-sea discards, and prohibited species catch (PSC) to reduce the potential for introducing error into NMFS' catch accounting system (as described in the proposed rule: 77 FR 23326, April 18, 2012).

    The restructured Observer Program provided for three limited exceptions for catcher/processors to be placed in the partial observer coverage category in recognition that the cost of full observer coverage would be disproportionate to total revenues for some small catcher/processors. First, the restructured Observer Program provided an exception (specified at the current § 679.51(a)(2)(v)) that applies to “hybrid” vessels less than 60 feet length overall (LOA) that acted as both a catcher vessel and a catcher/processor in the same year in any year from 2003 through 2009. Second, the restructured Observer Program provided an exception from full coverage (specified at the current § 679.5(a)(2)(v)) if a catcher/processor had an average daily production of less than 5,000 lb (2.3 mt) round weight equivalent in its most recent full calendar year of operation from 2003 through 2009. Third, the restructured Observer Program provided an exception from full coverage (specified at § 679.5(a)(2)(iv)(B)) if a catcher/processor did not process more than one metric ton round weight of groundfish on any day in the immediately preceding year.

    The first two exceptions are based on a vessel's activity between 2003 and 2009. A vessel that started processing after 2009 could never qualify to be placed in the partial observer coverage category under either of these exceptions. The first two exceptions permanently placed a vessel in the partial observer coverage category. These exceptions have no provision to review the production of a catcher/processor placed in the partial observer coverage category on an ongoing basis and remove them from the partial observer coverage category if their production increases. Out of approximately seventy catcher/processors in the Observer Program, three catcher/processors have qualified for, and elected to be assigned permanently to the partial observer coverage category under these two exceptions (Section 2.1.1 and Table 2 of the Analysis).

    The third exception, the one metric ton exception, is theoretically open to any catcher/processor that began production after 2009. However, in reviewing production data from 2008 through 2014 for this action, NMFS found no active catcher/processor (i.e., a catcher/processor which did any processing in a year) that processed one metric ton or less on every day during a year (Section 2.1.1 of the Analysis). One catcher/processor qualified for placement in the partial observer coverage category in 2015 under the one metric ton exception, but that catcher/processor processed nothing in 2014 and therefore processed one metric ton or less on every day in 2014 (Section 2.1.1 of the Analysis).

    Need for Amendments 112 and 102 to the BSAI and GOA FMPs

    Beginning with comments on the proposed rule for the restructured Observer Program, industry participants asked that the final rule for the restructured Observer Program allow NMFS to place catcher/processors with limited production in the partial observer coverage category. In response to these comments, NMFS stated in the final rule for the restructured Observer Program (77 FR 70062, November 21, 2012) that neither the Council nor NMFS had analyzed the situation of small catcher/processors that began production after 2009. NMFS explained that if these industry participants wished to be considered for placement in the partial observer coverage category, the Council and NMFS would need to make these changes through a separate rulemaking process.

    Industry participants subsequently sought to change in the rules for placement of catcher/processors in the partial observer coverage category. The Council and NMFS reviewed and developed a series of analyses that resulted in this proposed action. The history of this action is described in detail in Section 1.2 of the Analysis.

    Data on past production identified a small number of catcher/processors that processed a small amount of groundfish relative to the rest of the fleet. The Council and NMFS concluded that these vessels were paying, or would pay, a disproportionate amount for full observer coverage relative to the amount these vessels had processed, or would be likely to process. The Council and NMFS concluded that the cost of full observer coverage might be discouraging beneficial activity, such as processing sablefish in remote fishing grounds in the Aleutian Islands or processing by small jig gear vessels.

    As noted earlier, Amendments 112 and 102 would amend Section 3.2.4.1 of the BSAI and GOA FMPs to state that catcher/processors would be subject to full observer coverage requirements with some exceptions, as specified in regulations. The proposed rule describes the regulations that would assign catcher/processors to either the full or partial coverage categories. Those regulatory provisions are not repeated here.

    Public Comments

    NMFS is soliciting public comments on proposed Amendments 112 and 102 to the FMPs through the end of the comment period (see DATES). A proposed rule that would implement Amendment 112 to the BSAI FMP and Amendment 102 to the GOA FMP is intended to be published in the Federal Register for public comment, following NMFS' evaluation of the proposed rule pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Public comments on the proposed rule must be received by the end of the comment period on Amendments 112 and 102 to the BSAI and GOA FMP in order to be considered in the approval/disapproval decision on the amendment. NMFS will consider all comments on the Amendments received by the end of the comment period, whether specifically directed to the FMP amendments or the proposed rule, in the approval/disapproval decision.

    Comments received after the end of the comment period may not be considered in the approval/disapproval decision on Amendments 112 and 102. To be certain of consideration, comments must be received, not just postmarked or otherwise transmitted, by the last day of the comment period.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: December 14, 2015. Galen R. Tromble, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31761 Filed 12-15-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 242 Thursday, December 17, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Economic Development Administration Notice of Petitions by Firms for Determination of Eligibility To Apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance AGENCY:

    Economic Development Administration, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice and opportunity for public comment.

    Pursuant to Section 251 of the Trade Act 1974, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2341 et seq.), the Economic Development Administration (EDA) has received petitions for certification of eligibility to apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance from the firms listed below. Accordingly, EDA has initiated investigations to determine whether increased imports into the United States of articles like or directly competitive with those produced by each of these firms contributed importantly to the total or partial separation of the firm's workers, or threat thereof, and to a decrease in sales or production of each petitioning firm.

    List of Petitions Received by EDA for Certification Eligibility To Apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance [12/1/2015 through 12/10/2015] Firm name Firm address Date accepted for
  • investigation
  • Product(s)
    Badgett Corporation 1150 Pagni Drive, Chickasha, OK 73023 12/10/2015 The firm maufacturers fabricated and machine equipment, products, and tools for industries. Implast Interior Technologies, LLC d/b/a Trims Unlimited 332 Industrial Park Drive, Imlay City, MI 48444 12/10/2015 The firm maufacturers sewn articles of cloth, vinyl and leather for furniture, automotive interiors and medical equipment. Meramec Instrument Transformer Co 1 Andrews Way, Cuba, MO 64553 12/10/2015 The firm maufacturers various types of current transformers including board mounted, encapsulated, internally mounted and outdoor mounted. Poulsen Cascade Tackle, LLC 15875 SE 114th Avenue #N, Clackamas, OR 97015 12/10/2015 The firm maufacturers fishing tackle and accessories. Southern Machine Works, Inc 907 E. Bois D'Arc Avenue, Duncan, OK 73534 12/10/2015 The firm maufacturers precision machines, milling, tubing, and welding services.

    Any party having a substantial interest in these proceedings may request a public hearing on the matter. A written request for a hearing must be submitted to the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms Division, Room 71030, Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230, no later than ten (10) calendar days following publication of this notice.

    Please follow the requirements set forth in EDA's regulations at 13 CFR 315.9 for procedures to request a public hearing. The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance official number and title for the program under which these petitions are submitted is 11.313, Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms.

    Dated: December 10, 2015. Miriam Kearse, Lead Program Analyst.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31729 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-WH-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [Order No. 1992] Reorganization of Foreign-Trade Zone 147, (Expansion of Service Area) Under Alternative Site Framework, Berks County, Pennsylvania

    Pursuant to its authority under the Foreign-Trade Zones Act of June 18, 1934, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a-81u), the Foreign-Trade Zones Board (the Board) adopts the following Order:

    Whereas, the Board adopted the alternative site framework (ASF) (15 CFR 400.2(c)) as an option for the establishment or reorganization of zones;

    Whereas, the FTZ Corporation of Southern Pennsylvania, grantee of Foreign-Trade Zone 147, submitted an application to the Board (FTZ Docket B-46-2015, docketed July 20, 2015) for authority to expand the service area of the zone to include Adams, Fulton, Juniata, Lebanon and Perry Counties, Pennsylvania, as described in the application, adjacent to the Harrisburg Customs and Border Protection port of entry;

    Whereas, notice inviting public comment was given in the Federal Register (80 FR 44326, July 27, 2015) and the application has been processed pursuant to the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations; and,

    Whereas, the Board adopts the findings and recommendations of the examiner's report, and finds that the requirements of the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations are satisfied;

    Now, therefore, the Board hereby orders:

    The application to reorganize FTZ 147 to expand the service area under the ASF is approved, subject to the FTZ Act and the Board's regulations, including Section 400.13, and to the Board's standard 2,000-acre activation limit for the zone.

    Signed at Washington, DC, this 10 day of December 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Enforcement and Compliance, Alternate Chairman, Foreign-Trade Zones Board.

    Attest:

    Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31755 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-983] Drawn Stainless Steel Sinks From the People's Republic of China: Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) is partially rescinding its administrative review of the antidumping duty order on drawn stainless steel sinks from the People's Republic of China (PRC) for the period of review (POR) April 1, 2014, through March 31, 2015.

    DATES:

    Effective December 17, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brian Smith or Ross Belliveau, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-1766 or (202) 482-4952, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On April 1, 2015, the Department published in the Federal Register a notice of “Opportunity to Request Administrative Review” of the antidumping duty order on drawn stainless steel sinks from the PRC for the POR (AD order).1

    1See Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity to Request Administrative Review, 80 FR 17392 (April 1, 2015).

    In April 2015, the Department received multiple timely requests to conduct an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on drawn stainless steel sinks from the PRC.

    On May 26, 2015, in accordance with section 751(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the Department published in the Federal Register a notice of initiation of an administrative review of the AD order.2 The administrative review was initiated with respect to 26 companies, and covers the period April 1, 2014, through March 31, 2015. Subsequent to the initiation of the administrative review, the requesting parties timely withdrew their review requests for 10 of these companies, as discussed below.

    2See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 80 FR 30041 (May 26, 2015) (Initiation Notice).

    Partial Rescission of Review

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), the Department will rescind an administrative review, in whole or in part, if a party that requested a review withdraws its request within 90 days of the date of publication of notice of initiation of the requested review. All requesting parties withdrew their respective requests for an administrative review of the following companies within 90 days of the date of publication of the Initiation Notice:  3 Elkay (China) Kitchen Solutions, Co., Ltd.; Guangdong G-Top Import & Export Co., Ltd.; Guangdong New Shichu Import & Export Co., Ltd.; Guangdong Yingao Kitchen Utensils Co., Ltd.; Jiangmen New Star Hi-Tech Enterprise Ltd.; Jiangmen Pioneer Import & Export Co., Ltd.; Primy Cooperation Limited; Tianjin ZNJ Industries Co., Ltd.; Xinhe Stainless Steel Products Co., Ltd.; and Zhuhai Kohler Kitchen & Bathroom Products Co., Ltd. Accordingly, the Department is rescinding this review, in part, with respect to these companies, in accordance with 19 CFR 353.213(d)(1).4

    3See Letter from Tianjin ZNJ Industries Co., Ltd. to the Department, dated June 26, 2015; Letter from Hajoca Corporation to the Department, dated July 31, 2015; Letters from Elkay Manufacturing Company (the Petitioner) to the Department dated July 14, August 7, and August 24, 2015; Letter from Guangdong Yingao Kitchen Utensils Co., Ltd. to the Department, dated August 11, 2015; and Letter from Guangdong New Shichu Import & Export Co., Ltd. to the Department, dated August 24, 2015.

    4 As stated in Change in Practice in NME Reviews, the Department will no longer consider the non-market entity as an exporter conditionally subject to administrative reviews. See Antidumping Proceedings; Announcement of Change in Department Practice for Respondent Selection in Antidumping Duty Proceedings and Conditional Review of the Nonmarket Economy Entity in NME Antidumping Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 65963 (November 3, 2013).

    The instant review will continue with respect to the following companies: B&R Industries Limited; Feidong Import and Export Co., Ltd.; Foshan Shunde Minghao Kitchen Utensils Co., Ltd.; Franke Asia Sourcing Ltd.; Grand Hill Work Company; Guangdong Dongyuan Kitchenware Industrial Co., Ltd.; Hangzhou Heng's Industries Co., Ltd.; J&C Industries Enterprise Limited; Jiangmen Hongmao Trading Co., Ltd.; Jiangxi Zoje Kitchen Utensils Co., Ltd.; Ningbo Oulin Kitchen Utensils Co., Ltd.; Shenzhen Kehuaxing Industrial Ltd.; Shunde Foodstuffs Import & Export Company Limited of Guangdong; Yuyao Afa Kitchenware Co., Ltd.; Zhongshan Newecan Enterprise Development Corporation Limited; and Zhongshan Superte Kitchenware Co., Ltd./Zhongshan Superte Kitchenware Co., Ltd. invoiced as Foshan Zhaoshun Trade Co., Ltd.

    Assessment

    The Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries. For the companies for which this review is rescinded, antidumping duties shall be assessed at rates equal to the cash deposit of estimated antidumping duties required at the time of entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(c)(1)(i). The Department intends to issue appropriate assessment instructions directly to CBP 15 days after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice serves as the only reminder to importers whose entries will be liquidated as a result of this rescission notice, of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties and/or countervailing duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in the presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties and/or countervailing duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Order

    This notice serves as the only reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely written notification of return/destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and the terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation.

    This notice is published in accordance with section 751 of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(d)(4).

    Dated: December 11, 2015. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31775 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-475-819] Certain Pasta From Italy: Rescission of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2014 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) is rescinding the administrative review of the countervailing duty (CVD) order on pasta from Italy for the period of review (POR) January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014, based on the timely withdrawal of requests for review.

    DATES:

    Effective date: December 17, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mark Kennedy, AD/CVD Operations, Office I, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-7883.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On July 1, 2015, the Department published the notice of opportunity to request an administrative review of the CVD order on pasta from Italy for the POR January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2014.1 On July 29, 2015, Ritrovo, LLC (Ritrovo) requested that the Department conduct an administrative review of La Romagna S.r.l., I Sapori dell'Arca S.r.l., Vero Lucano S.r.I., Azienda Agricola Casina Rossa di De Laurentiis Nicola, Pastificio Bolognese of Angelo R. Dicuonzo, and Ser.com.snc. On the same date, La Fabbrica della Pasta do Gragnano S.a.s. di Antonino Moccia (La Fabbrica) requested an administrative review of its POR sales and of its affiliated producer, Pastificio C.A.M.S. srl. On the same date, La Molisana, SpA (La Molisana) requested an administrative review of itself for this POR.2 On July 30, 2015, Gruppo PTGC Oleificio USA Corp. (Gruppo Fooding) requested an administrative review of Poiatti, S.p.A.3 Pursuant to the requests and in accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(b), the Department published a notice initiating an administrative review of Azienda Agricola Casina Rossa di De Laurentiis Nicola, I Sapori dell'Arca S.r.l., La Fabbrica, La Molisana, La Romagna S.r.l., Pastificio Bolognese of Angelo R. Dicuonzo, Ser.com.snc, Vero Lucano S. r. I., Pastificio C.A.M.S. srl, and Poiatti, S.p.A.4 On November 30, 2015, La Molisana and Gruppo Fooding timely withdrew their requests for administrative review.5 On December 1, 2015, La Fabbrica and Ritrovo timely withdrew their requests for an administrative review.6

    1See Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity to Request Administrative Review, 80 FR 37583 (July 1, 2015).

    2See Letter from Ritrovo, “Request for Administrative Review Certain Pasta from Italy,” dated July 29, 2015; Letter from La Molisana, “Certain Pasta From Italy: Request for Review by La Molisana, S.p.A.,” dated July 29, 2015; Letter from La Fabbrica, “Certain Pasta From Italy: Request for Review by La Fabbrica della Pasta do Gragnano S.a.s. di Antonino Moccia and Pastificio C.A.M.S. srl,” dated July 29, 2015.

    3See Letter from Gruppo Fooding, “Certain Pasta From Italy: Request for Administrative Review by Gruppo PTGC Oleificio USA Corp., Importer of Pasta Produced by Poiatti, S.p.A.,” dated July 30, 2015.

    4See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 80 FR 53106 (September 2, 2015).

    5See Letter from La Molisana, “Certain Pasta From Italy: Withdraw Request for Review,” dated November 30, 2015; Letter from Gruppo Fooding, “Certain Pasta From Italy: Withdraw Request for Review,” dated November 30, 2015.

    6See Letter from La Fabbrica, “Certain Pasta From Italy: Withdraw Request for Review,” dated December 1, 2015; Letter from Ritrovo, “Withdrawal of Request for Administrative Review Certain Pasta from Italy,” dated December 1, 2015.

    Rescission of Review

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), the Department will rescind an administrative review, in whole or in part, if the party or parties that requested a review withdraws the request within 90 days of the publication date of the notice of initiation of the requested review. As noted above, all requests for review were withdrawn, and all parties withdrew their requests within 90 days of the publication date of the notice of initiation. No other parties requested an administrative review of the order. Therefore, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), we are rescinding this review in its entirety.

    Assessment

    The Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assess CVDs on all appropriate entries of certain pasta from Italy. CYDs shall be assessed at rates equal to the cash deposit of estimated CYDs required at the time of entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(c)(1)(i). The Department intends to issue appropriate assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the date of publication of this notice of rescission of administrative review.

    Notifications

    This notice also serves as a final reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the return or destruction of proprietary information disclosed under an APO in accordance with .19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely written notification of the return or destruction of APO materials, or conversion to judicial protective order, is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation.

    This notice is issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, and 19 CFR 351.213(d)(4).

    Dated: December 11, 2015. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31799 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD283 Taking of Threatened or Endangered Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations; Proposed Permit AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS proposes to issue a permit for a period of three years to authorize the incidental, but not intentional, taking of individuals from five marine mammal stocks listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) flatfish trawl, the BSAI pollock trawl, and the BSAI Pacific cod longline fisheries. In accordance with the MMPA, NMFS must issue this permit provided it can make the determinations that: The incidental take will have a negligible impact on the affected stocks; a recovery plan for all affected stocks of threatened or endangered marine mammals has been developed or is being developed; and a take reduction plan and monitoring program have been implemented, and vessels in these fisheries are registered. NMFS has made a preliminary determination that incidental taking from commercial fishing will have a negligible impact on the endangered Western North Pacific (WNP) stock of humpback whales, endangered Central North Pacific (CNP) stock of humpback whales, endangered Western U.S. stock of Steller sea lions, threatened Alaska stock of ringed seals, and Alaska stock of bearded seals. Accordingly, NMFS solicits public comments on the draft negligible impact determination (NID) and on the proposal to issue a permit to vessels that operate in these fisheries for the taking of affected endangered or threatened stocks of marine mammals.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by January 19, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by FDMS docket Number NOAA-NMFS-2014-0057, by either of the following methods:

    Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2014-0057, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to Jon Kurland, Assistant Regional Administrator for Protected Resources, Alaska Region NMFS, Attn: Ellen Sebastian, P.O. Box 21668, Juneau, AK 99802-1668.

    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). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

    Electronic copies of the draft NID for the affected stocks and copies of the recovery plans for humpback whales and Steller sea lions are available at http://www.alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/cm/analyses/default.aspx and http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/recovery/plans.htm#mammals.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kristin R. Mabry, NMFS Alaska Region, 907-586-7490, [email protected]; or Shannon Betridge, NMFS Office of Protected Resources, 301-427-8402, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    NMFS proposes to issue a three-year permit under MMPA section 101(a)(5)(E) to participants registered in the Alaska BSAI flatfish trawl and BSAI pollock trawl fisheries to incidentally take individuals from the following marine mammal stocks listed under the ESA: The endangered WNP and CNP stocks of humpback whales, endangered Western U.S. stock of Steller sea lions, threatened Alaska stock ringed seals; and the Alaska stock of bearded seals; and to participants registered in the BSAI Pacific cod longline fishery to incidentally take individuals from the Alaska stock of ringed seals. The bearded seal does not currently have status under the ESA because its ESA listing was vacated by the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska on July 25, 2014. NMFS is appealing that decision. In the interim, NMFS will continue to consider the effects of fisheries on bearded seals under MMPA section 101(a)(5)(E), even though the ESA listing of the species is currently not in effect.

    Pursuant to section 101(a)(5)(E) of the MMPA, 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq., NMFS shall for a period of up to three consecutive years allow the incidental, but not the intentional, taking of marine mammal species listed under the ESA, 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq., by persons using vessels of the United States and those vessels which have valid fishing permits issued by the Secretary in accordance with section 204(b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, 16 U.S.C. 1824(b), while engaging in commercial fishing operations, if NMFS makes certain determinations. NMFS must determine, after notice and opportunity for public comment, that: (1) Incidental mortality and serious injury will have a negligible impact on the affected species or stocks; (2) a recovery plan has been developed or is being developed for such species or stock under the ESA; and (3) where required under section 118 of the MMPA, a monitoring program has been established, vessels engaged in such fisheries are registered in accordance with section 118 of the MMPA, and a take reduction plan has been developed or is being developed for such species or stock.

    NMFS proposes to issue a permit under MMPA section 101(a)(5)(E) to vessels registered in the BSAI pollock trawl, BSAI flatfish trawl, and BSAI Pacific cod longline fisheries to incidentally take individuals from the WNP and CNP stocks of humpback whales, the Western U.S. stock of Steller sea lions, and Alaska stocks of ringed and bearded seals. Because other stocks of threatened or endangered marine mammals are not taken in Category I or Category II groundfish fisheries (as listed in the 2016 List of Fisheries (LOF)), effects to no other species or stocks are evaluated for this proposed permit. The data for considering these authorizations were reviewed coincident with the preparation of the 2016 MMPA List of Fisheries (80 FR 58427, September 29, 2015), the 2014 marine mammal stock assessment reports (SARs), and recovery plans for humpback whales and Steller sea lions.

    Based on observer data and marine mammal reporting forms, the BSAI pollock trawl, BSAI flatfish trawl, and BSAI Pacific cod longline fisheries are Category II fisheries that operate in the ranges of affected stocks. A description of these fisheries can be found in the draft NID (see ADDRESSES). These federally-managed fisheries take place inside both state waters (from the coastline out to three nautical miles) and federal waters (three to two hundred nautical miles from shore). The federally-managed fisheries inside Alaska state waters are often referred to as state “parallel” fisheries and are included in this authorization. All other Category II fisheries that interact with these marine mammal stocks observed off the coasts of Alaska are state-managed fisheries (as opposed to state parallel fisheries). Participants in Category III fisheries are not required to obtain incidental take permits under MMPA section 101(a)(5)(E) but are required to report injuries or mortality of marine mammals incidental to their operations.

    In accordance with the MMPA, NMFS has determined that incidental taking from the BSAI pollock and flatfish trawl and BSAI Pacific cod longline fisheries will have a negligible impact on WNP and CNP stocks of humpback whales, the Western U.S. stock of Steller sea lions, and Alaska stocks of ringed and bearded seals. This proposed authorization is based on a determination that the incidental take of these fisheries will have a negligible impact on the affected marine mammal stocks; recovery plans have been completed for humpback whales and Steller sea lions, and NMFS is developing recovery plans for ringed and bearded seals; a monitoring program is established, vessels in the fisheries are registered, and the necessary take reduction plan (TRP) has been developed or is being developed.

    A previous three-year MMPA permit was issued on December 13, 2010, for BSAI flatfish trawl, BSAI pollock trawl, BSAI Pacific cod longline, and BSAI sablefish pot, all Category II fisheries that were determined to have negligible impacts on ESA-listed marine mammal stocks, including: Humpback whale (WNP and CNP stocks), Steller sea lion (Western and Eastern U.S. stocks), fin whale (northeastern Pacific stock), and sperm whale (North Pacific stock) (75 FR 32689, December 29, 2010). Because that permit has expired, NMFS proposes to issue this new three-year permit.

    Basis for Determining Negligible Impact

    Prior to issuing a permit to take ESA-listed marine mammals incidental to commercial fishing, NMFS must determine if mortality and serious injury (M/SI) incidental to commercial fisheries will have a negligible impact on the affected species or stocks of marine mammals. NMFS satisfied this requirement through completion of a draft NID (see ADDRESSES).

    Although the MMPA does not define “negligible impact,” NMFS has issued regulations providing a qualitative definition of “negligible impact” as defined in 50 CFR 216.103, and through scientific analysis, peer review, and public notice developed a quantitative approach. As it applies here, the definition of “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.” The development of the approach is outlined in detail in the draft NID made available through this notice and was described in previous notices for other permits to take threatened or endangered marine mammals incidental to commercial fishing (e.g., 72 FR 60814, October 26, 2007; 78 FR 54553, September 4, 2013).

    The negligible impact criteria are described below and use the Potential Biological Removal (PBR) in their application. The MMPA defines PBR as “the maximum number of animals, not including natural mortalities that may be removed from a marine mammal stock while allowing that stock to reach or maintain its optimum sustainable population and was developed to assess the level of incidental take in commercial fisheries.” The PBR level is the product of the minimum population estimate of the stock, one-half the maximum theoretical or estimated net productivity rate of the stock at a small population size, and a recovery factor of between .1 and 1.0.

    Criteria for Determining Negligible Impact

    In 1999, NMFS proposed criteria to determine whether M/SI incidental to commercial fisheries will have a negligible impact on a listed marine mammal stock for MMPA 101(a)(5)(E) permits (64 FR 28800, May 27, 1999). In applying the 1999 criteria, Criterion 1 is whether total known, assumed, or extrapolated human-caused M/SI is less than 10% of the potential biological removal level (PBR) for the stock. If total known, assumed, or extrapolated human-caused M/SI is less than 10% of PBR, the analysis would be concluded, and the impact would be determined to be negligible. If Criterion 1 is not satisfied, NMFS may use one of the other criteria as appropriate. Criterion 2 is satisfied if the total known, assumed, or extrapolated human-caused M/SI is greater than PBR, but fisheries-related M/SI is less than 10% of PBR. If Criterion 2 is satisfied, vessels operating in individual fisheries may be permitted if management measures are being taken to address non-fisheries-related mortality and serious injury. Criterion 3 is satisfied if total fisheries-related M/SI is greater than 10% of PBR and less than PBR, and the population is stable or increasing. Fisheries may then be permitted subject to individual review and certainty of data. Criterion 4 stipulates that if the population abundance of a stock is declining, the threshold level of 10% of PBR will continue to be used. Criterion 5 states that if total fisheries-related M/SI are greater than PBR, permits may not be issued for that species or stock.

    For its analysis NMFS used the 2014 SARs, which estimate mean or minimum annual mortality from observed commercial fisheries. For the ice seals, NMFS also reviewed previous incidental take statements (ITS) associated with ESA section 7 consultations as indicators of the levels of M/SI to these species from groundfish fisheries. ITS included in biological opinions on federal fisheries actions estimate take over a three-year period. In the case of ringed and bearded seals, NMFS used the maximum observed mortality in a given year as the starting point in generating the three-year average, as opposed to the annual average mortality. Since PBRs for the two ice seals are not currently available, NMFS considered both sources of data in the NID analysis for making a negligible impact determination of the effects of M/SI from groundfish fisheries on those species. The specific ITS comparison analysis is available for review in the draft NID that accompanies this notice.

    The time frame for the data used in this analysis includes the most recent five-year period for which data are available and have been analyzed (2008-2012). The NMFS Guidelines for Assessing Marine Mammal Stocks (GAMMS) and the subsequent GAMMS II provide guidance that, when available, the most recent five-year time frame of commercial fishery incidental serious injury and mortality data is an appropriate measure of effects of fishing operations on marine mammals (Wade and Angliss 1997). A five-year time frame provides enough data to adequately capture year-to-year variations in take levels, while reflecting current environmental and fishing conditions as they may change over time. In cases where available observer data are only available outside that time frame, as is the case for state-managed fisheries, the most recent observer data are used. Where entanglement data from the NMFS Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Network are considered, the five-year time frame from 2008-2012 is used. The draft NID made available through this notice provides a complete analysis of the criteria for determining whether commercial fisheries off Alaska are having a negligible impact on the WNP and CNP stocks of humpback whales, Western U.S. stock of Steller sea lions, and Alaska stocks of ringed and bearded seals. A summary of the analysis and subsequent determination follows.

    Description of the Fisheries

    A brief description follows of three Category II federally-managed fisheries in the 2016 List of Fisheries (80 FR 58427, September 29, 2015) with documented M/SI of ESA-listed species during 2008-2012 and considered in this NID analysis.

    BSAI Flatfish Trawl Fishery

    In 2008, Amendment 80 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands allocated most of the BSAI flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole to the trawl catcher processor sectors using bottom trawl gear. American Fisheries Act catcher processors and trawl catcher vessels target yellowfin sole allocated to the BSAI trawl limited access sector. Other vessel categories and gear types catch some flatfish incidentally in other directed fisheries. In 2013, 32 vessels targeted flatfish in the BSAI. Rock sole is generally targeted during the roe season, January to March. Then these vessels shift to several different targets; notably Atka mackerel, arrowtooth flounder, flathead sole, yellowfin sole, Pacific cod, and Pacific ocean perch. Vessels also can fish in the Gulf of Alaska to fish for arrowtooth, Pacific cod, flathead sole, rex sole, and rockfish. In the BSAI, most of the flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole fisheries occur on the continental shelf in the eastern Bering Sea in water shallower than 200 meters. Some effort follows the contour of the shelf to the northwest and extends as far north as Zhemchug Canyon. Very few flathead sole, rock sole, and yellowfin sole are taken in the Aleutian Islands due to the limited shallow water areas.

    The SARs have documented incidental takes of marine mammals in this fishery since 1988. Observer coverage during 2008-2012 was 100%. Species taken include bearded seal, harbor porpoise and harbor seal (Bering Sea), killer whale (Alaska resident), killer whale (GOA, AI, and BS transient), northern fur seal (Eastern Pacific stock), spotted seal (Alaska stock), ringed seal (Alaska stock), ribbon seal (Alaska stock), Steller sea lion (Western U.S. stock), and Pacific walrus. Tables 3-7 in the draft NID report the observed and mean annual mortality of WNP and CNP stocks of humpback whales, Western U.S. stock of Steller sea lions, and the Alaska stocks of bearded and ringed seals.

    BSAI Pollock Trawl Fishery

    In 2013, 121 vessels targeted pollock in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area. The pattern of the recent pollock fishery in the BSAI is to focus on a winter, spawning-aggregation fishery. The A season fishery is January 20 through June 10. Fishing in this season lasts about 8-10 weeks depending on the catch rates. The B season is June 10 through November 1. Fishing in the B season is typically July through October and has been conducted to a greater extent west of 170/W longitude compared to the A season fishing location in the southern Bering Sea. Directed fishing is closed for pollock in all areas from November 1 to January 20. Fishing is also closed around designated rookeries and haulouts out to 20 nm and closed within Steller sea lion foraging areas in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands. The BSAI pollock total allowable catch (TAC) is allocated 40% to the A season and 60% to the B season. No more than 28% of the annual directed fishing allowance for pollock can be taken inside the Sea Lion Conservation Area in the southern Bering Sea before April 1.

    The SARs have recorded incidental takes of marine mammals in this fishery since 1988. Observer coverage ranged from 85-98% during 2008-2012. Species taken include Dall's porpoise (Alaska stock), harbor seal, humpback whale (CNP stock), humpback whale (WNP stock), fin whale (Northeast Pacific stock), killer whale (GOA, Aleutian Islands, and Bering Sea Transient stocks), minke whale (Alaska stock), ribbon seal (Alaska stock), spotted seal (Alaska stock), ringed seal (Alaska stock), bearded seal (Alaska stock), northern fur seal (Eastern Pacific stock), Steller sea lion (Western U.S. stock). Tables 3-7 in the draft NID report the observed and mean annual mortality of WNP and CNP stocks of humpback whales, Western U.S. stock of Steller sea lions, and the threatened Alaska stocks of bearded and ringed seals.

    BSAI Pacific Cod Longline Fishery

    This fishery targets Pacific cod with hook and line gear in the Bering Sea with 45 permits issued or fished. Fishing effort in this fishery occurs within the U.S. EEZ of the Eastern Bering Sea and the portion of the North Pacific Ocean adjacent to the Aleutian Islands, which is west of 170 ° W. longitude up to the U.S.-Russian Convention Line of 1867. Management measures for the BSAI groundfish fisheries constrain fishing both temporally and spatially. The authorized gear, fishing season, criteria for determining fishing seasons, and area restrictions by gear type are defined in the regulations implementing the BSAI fishery management plan (50 CFR part 679).

    The SARs have recorded incidental takes of marine mammals in this fishery since 1988. Observer coverage ranged 51-64% from 2008-2012. Species taken include Dall's porpoise (Alaska stock), killer whale (GOA, AI, and BS Transient stocks), northern fur seal (Eastern Pacific stock), and ringed seal (Alaska stock). Table 7 in the draft NID reports the observed and mean annual mortality of the Alaska stock ringed seals.

    Negligible Impact Determinations

    The draft NID made available through this notice provides a complete analysis of the criteria for determining whether commercial fisheries off Alaska are having a negligible impact on WNP and CNP stocks of humpback whales, Western U.S. stock of Steller sea lions, and the Alaska stocks of bearded and ringed seals. A summary of the analysis and subsequent determination follows.

    Humpback Whale, WNP Stock

    Criterion 1 was not satisfied because the total human-related mortalities and serious injuries are not less than 10% PBR. The PBR calculated for this stock is 3.0 animals (Allen and Angliss 2015). The annual average M/SI to the WNP stock of humpback whales from all human-caused sources is 2.16 animals, which is 71.87% of this stock's PBR (above the 10% PBR (0.3 animals) threshold). As a result, NMFS cannot make a negligible impact determination based on Criterion 1 and the other criteria must be examined.

    Criterion 2 was also not satisfied, because fisheries-related mortality alone exceeds 10% of PBR. The estimate of fisheries-related mortality is 0.9, which is 30% of the PBR.

    NMFS used NID Criterion 3 to evaluate impacts of commercial fisheries on the WNP stock of humpback whales because the total fisheries related M/SI is greater than 10% of the stock's PBR but less than PBR, and the stock is stable or increasing. The total of 0.9 fisheries-related M/SI per year is above 10% of PBR (0.3), and it is below the stock's PBR of 3.0 animals. The 2014 SAR reports a 6.7% annual rate of increase over the 1991-1993 estimate using the best available information, but acknowledges that number is biased high to an unknown degree with no confidence limits. Further, there are only minor fluctuations in expected fisheries-related M/SI. Using Criterion 3 and the best available information on the population growth of the WNP stock of humpback whales and on fisheries-related M/SI as reported in the 2014 SAR, NMFS determines that M/SI incidental to commercial fishing will have a negligible impact on the stock.

    Humpback Whale, CNP Stock

    Criterion 1 was not satisfied because the total human-related mortalities and serious injuries are not less than 10% PBR. The PBR calculated for this stock is 82.8 animals. The annual average M/SI to the CNP stock of humpback whales from all human-caused sources is 15.89 animals, which is 19.19% of this stock's PBR (above the 10% PBR (8.28 animals) threshold). As a result, NMFS cannot make a negligible impact determination based on Criterion 1 and the other criteria must be examined.

    CNP humpback whales do not precisely fit the criteria as written for Criterion 2 or 3. Criterion 2 is satisfied if the total known, assumed, or extrapolated human-caused M/SI is greater than PBR, but fisheries-related M/SI is less than 10% of PBR. Criterion 2 was not satisfied because total human-caused mortality (15.89) does not exceed PBR (82.8).

    Criterion 3 is satisfied if total fishery-related M/SI is greater than 10% PBR, less than PBR, and the population is stable or increasing. The fisheries-related M/SI (3.95) for this stock is 4.77% of PBR. The fisheries-related M/SI is less than 10% of PBR and therefore less than PBR.

    Although CNP humpback whales do not precisely meet the criteria for Criterion 1, 2, or 3, data support a negligible impact determination for this stock. The stock's population growth rate is increasing, increases in fisheries-related M/SI are limited, and human-caused M/SI is below PBR. The 2014 SAR reports a range of annual rates of population increase from 4.9-10%, depending on the study and specific area. These data suggest that the stock is increasing. The level of total human-caused M/SI (15.89 animals) is 19.19% of the PBR and is expected to remain below PBR for the foreseeable future. Thus, the expected total human-caused M/SI is well below the Criterion 2 M/SI threshold supporting a negligible impact determination. Further, there are only minor fluctuations in fisheries-related M/SI. The expected total fisheries-related M/SI is well below the Criterion 3 M/SI threshold supporting a negligible impact determination. NMFS determines that, based on the best available information, M/SI incidental to commercial fishing will have a negligible impact on the stock.

    Steller Sea Lion, Western U.S. Stock

    Criterion 1 was not satisfied for Steller sea lion, Western U.S. stock, because the total human-related mortalities and serious injuries are not less than 10% PBR. The PBR calculated for this stock is 292 animals. The annual average M/SI to the Western U.S. stock of Steller sea lion from all human-caused sources is 244.9 animals, which is 83.87% of this stock's PBR (above the 10% PBR (29.2 animals) threshold). As a result, NMFS cannot make a negligible impact determination based on Criterion 1 and the other criteria must be examined.

    Criterion 2 was also not satisfied. The total fishery-related M/SI per year is 32.7 animals per year and is 11.2% of the stock's PBR of 292 animals. Total human-caused M/SI is 83.87% of the stock's PBR of 292 animals. Because total human-caused M/SI are not greater than PBR, and fisheries-related mortality is not less than 10% PBR, NMFS cannot make a negligible impact determination based on Criterion 2.

    NMFS used NID Criterion 3 to evaluate impacts of commercial fisheries on the Steller sea lion, Western U.S. stock because the total fisheries related M/SI is greater than 10% of the stock's PBR but less than PBR and the stock is stable or increasing. The total M/SI from commercial fisheries of 32.7 animals per year is 11.2% of PBR (above 10% PBR), and is below the stock's PBR of 292; there are only minor fluctuations in expected fisheries-related M/SI. The level of total human-caused M/SI is estimated to be below PBR and is expected to remain below PBR for the foreseeable future. Survey data collected since 2000 indicate that Steller sea lion decline continues in the central and western Aleutian Islands but regional populations east of Samalga Pass have increased or are stable. Overall, the stock is increasing at an annual rate of 1.67 (non-pups) and 1.45 (pups). Using the best available information on this stock of Steller sea lions and on the fisheries-related M/SI, NMFS determines that M/SI incidental to commercial fishing will have a negligible impact on this stock based on Criterion 3.

    Bearded Seal, Alaska Stock

    The best available information on total fisheries-related M/SI for the bearded seal stock is not consistent with thresholds required for NMFS to make a negligible impact determination for this stock based on Criterion 1. NMFS estimates that total human-caused M/SI is likely greater than 10% PBR based on the best available information on minimum stock abundance and total human-caused M/SI. Although NMFS cannot calculate PBR for this stock with the available information, NMFS examined whether total human-caused M/SI for this stock is less than a proxy for PBR based on the formula established in the MMPA for calculating PBR. Section 3(20) of the MMPA defines PBR as “the product of the following factors: (A) The minimum population estimate of the stock (NMIN); (B) one-half the maximum theoretical or estimated net productivity rate of the stock at a small population size (0.5RMAX); and (C) a recovery factor of between 0.1 and 1.0 (FR)” (16 U.S.C. 1362(20)). PBR = NMIN × 0.5RMAX × FR.

    NMFS evaluated the current human-caused M/SI under the assumption that it represents a percentage of the stock's unknown PBR. When considering Criterion 1, NMFS rearranged the PBR equation to estimate whether total human-caused M/SI for this stock is likely less than 10% of a proxy PBR for the stock, NMIN = PBR/(0.5RMAX × FR).

    The total human-caused M/SI is 6,790.22 animals. If this total human related M/SI of 6,790.22 animals were equal to 10% of the stock's PBR, NMIN would need to be 2,263,406 bearded seals (given a FR of 0.5 and a recommended pinniped RMAX of 12%). An NMIN of 2,263,406 is far greater than the crude estimate of 155,000 animals based on regional surveys throughout the seal's Alaska range provided in the 2010 Status Review and even greater than the more recent core area estimate of 61,800. Because this population level is highly unlikely, NMFS determines that the annual average total human-caused M/SI of 6,790.22 animals is likely greater than 10% of PBR for this stock. Therefore, NMFS cannot make a negligible impact determination for this stock based on Criterion 1, and the other criteria must be examined.

    NMFS used the equation in a similar manner to the process above in Criterion 1 to evaluate whether Criterion 2 was satisfied (i.e., if total human-caused M/SI is greater than PBR, but fisheries-related M/SI is less than 10% of PBR). NMFS first evaluated whether the total human-caused mortality estimate of 6,790.22 animals is likely greater than the stock's proxy PBR. Based on the PBR equation, if the total human-caused M/SI of 6,790.22 were equal to PBR, the NMIN for this stock would need to be 226,340.7. However, core area estimate for the central and eastern Bering Sea of 61,800 bearded seals and the 2010 Status Review estimate of 155,000 are both considerably less than 226,340.7. If NMIN is less than 226,340.7 animals, solving for the proxy PBR level based on the PBR equation would result in a proxy PBR level smaller than 6,790.22 animals. Therefore, NMFS estimates that total human-caused mortality is greater than a proxy PBR.

    NMFS then rearranged the PBR equation to evaluate whether fisheries-related M/SI for this stock is likely equal to 10% of the stock's proxy PBR, NMIN = PBR/(0.5RMAX × FR). The annual average fisheries-related M/SI is 2.22 animals. If the annual average fisheries-related M/SI of 2.22 were equal to 10% of the stock's proxy PBR, the proxy PBR level would be 22.2 animals. Based on the rearranged PBR equation above, an NMIN of 740 animals would be required to calculate the proxy PBR level of 22.2 animals.

    As indicted above, NMFS reviewed other analyses in which M/SI to bearded seals from groundfish fisheries has been evaluated. NMFS issued an ITS authorizing take of bearded seals in the 2014 ESA section 7 consultation on the North Pacific groundfish fisheries. NMFS estimated that 18.0 seals would be taken in a three-year period. Using an annual average of 6.0 seals as a second estimate for annual fisheries-related M/SI, if 6.0 bearded seals were equal to 10% of the stock's proxy PBR, the proxy PBR level would be 60 animals. Based on the rearranged PBR equation above, an NMIN of 2,000 animals would be required to calculate the proxy PBR level of 60 animals.

    Using the best information currently available, the core area population estimate for the central and eastern Bering Sea of approximately 61,800 bearded seals and the 2010 Status Review estimate of 155,000 are both orders of magnitude greater than an NMIN of 740 or 2,000 animals. Because these very low population levels are highly unlikely, NMFS determines that fisheries-related M/SI is less than 10% of a proxy PBR.

    NMFS used NID Criterion 2 to evaluate impacts of commercial fisheries on the bearded seal because the total human-caused M/SI are likely greater than the stock's PBR, the total fisheries-related M/SI are likely less than 10% of the PBR, and management measures are being taken to address non-fisheries-related M/SI. Non-fisheries-related M/SI as reported in the SARs include subsistence and research. The ESA provides take exemption for subsistence harvest of listed species by Alaska Natives (16 U.S.C. 1539(e)). Likewise, the MMPA provides take exemption for subsistence harvest of marine mammals by Alaska Natives (16 U.S.C. 1371(b)). Bearded seals, ringed seals, and other ice seal species are co-managed by the Ice Seal Committee and NMFS by monitoring subsistence harvest and cooperating on needed research and education programs pertaining to ice seals. Currently, the subsistence harvest of ice seals by Alaska Natives appears to be sustainable and does not pose a threat to the populations.

    Based on NID Criterion 2 and the best available information on bearded seal population, fisheries-related M/SI, and total human-caused M/SI, NMFS determines that M/SI incidental to commercial fishing will have a negligible impact on the stock. This determination is supported by review of M/SI incidental to U.S. commercial fishing, revealing total commercial fishery M/SI is low, and the fisheries where bycatch does occur are monitored extensively. If bycatch rates change, NMFS would have that information relatively quickly and could reevaluate the NID as necessary. Also, the non-fishery M/SI due to subsistence hunting is monitored and although the current subsistence harvest is substantial in some areas, there is little to no evidence that subsistence harvests have or are likely to pose serious risks to the Alaska stock of bearded seals.

    Ringed Seal, Alaska Stock

    The best available information on total fisheries-related M/SI for the ringed seal stock is not consistent with thresholds required for NMFS to make a NID for this stock based on Criterion 1. NMFS estimates that total human-caused M/SI is likely greater than PBR based on the best available information on minimum stock abundance and total human-caused M/SI. Although NMFS cannot calculate PBR for this stock with the available information, NMFS examined whether total human-caused M/SI for this stock is less than a proxy for PBR based on the formula established in the MMPA for calculating PBR. As described in the Criterion 1 analysis for the bearded seal, NMFS rearranged the PBR equation to estimate whether total human-caused M/SI for this stock is likely less than 10% of the stock's PBR.

    NMFS estimates that total human-caused M/SI for ringed seals is 9,571.32 animals. If the total human related M/SI of 9,571.32 animals were equal to 10% of the stock's proxy PBR, the proxy PBR would have to be 95,713.2 and NMIN for this population would need to be 3,190,440 ringed seals (given a FR of 0.5 and a recommended pinniped RMAX of 12%). Because an NMIN of 3,190,440 ringed seals is far greater than the best available estimate of 170,000 ringed seals in the U.S. EEZ of the Bering Sea in late April (Conn et al. 2013), NMFS determines that the annual average M/SI to the Alaska stock of ringed seal from all human-caused sources of mortality (9,571.32) is likely greater than 10% of a proxy PBR for this stock. Therefore, NMFS cannot make a negligible impact determination for this stock based on Criterion 1, and the other criteria must be examined.

    NMFS used the equation in a similar manner to the process above in Criterion 1 to evaluate whether Criterion 2 was satisfied (i.e., if total human-caused M/SI is greater than PBR, but fisheries-related M/SI is less than 10% of PBR). NMFS first evaluated whether the total human-caused mortality estimate of animals is likely greater than the stock's proxy PBR. Based on the PBR equation, if the total human-caused M/SI of 9,571.32 were equal to a proxy PBR, the NMIN for this stock would need to be 319,044. However, the best available population estimate of 170,000 ringed seals is considerably less than 319,044 animals. If NMIN is less than 319,044, solving for a proxy PBR based on the PBR equation would result in a proxy PBR smaller than 9,571.32 animals. Therefore, NMFS estimates that total human-caused M/SI is greater than a proxy PBR.

    NMFS then rearranged the PBR equation to examine whether fisheries-related M/SI for this stock is likely equal to 10% of the stock's proxy PBR, NMIN = PBR/(0.5RMAX × FR). The annual average fisheries-related M/SI is 4.12 animals. If the annual average fisheries-related M/SI of 4.12 were equal to 10% of the stock's proxy PBR, the proxy PBR level would be 41.2 animals. Based on the rearranged PBR equation above, an NMIN of 1,373 animals would be required to calculate the proxy PBR level of 41.2 animals.

    As with the bearded seals, NMFS also reviewed other analyses in which M/SI to ringed seals from groundfish fisheries has been evaluated. NMFS issued an incidental take statement authorizing take of ringed seals in the 2014 ESA section 7 consultation on the North Pacific groundfish fisheries. NMFS estimated that 36.0 seals would be taken in a three-year period. Using an annual average of 12.0 seals as a second estimate for annual fisheries-related M/SI, if 12.0 seals were equal to 10% of the stock's proxy PBR, the proxy PBR level would be 120 animals. Based on the PBR equation above, an NMIN of 4,000 animals would be required to calculate the proxy PBR level of 120 animals.

    Preliminary analysis of the U.S. surveys, which included only a small subset of the 2012 data, produced an estimate of 170,000 ringed seals in the U.S. EEZ of the Bering Sea in late April. This estimate is orders of magnitude greater than an NMIN of 1,373 animals or 4,000 animals. Because these very low population levels are highly unlikely, NMFS determined that fisheries-related M/SI is less than 10% of PBR.

    Criterion 2 states that if the total human-caused M/SI are greater than PBR and fisheries related mortality is less than 10% of PBR, “individual fisheries may be permitted if management measures are being taken to address non-fisheries-related M/SI.” Non-fisheries-related M/SI as reported in the SARs include subsistence and gunshots. The ESA provides take exemption for subsistence harvest of listed species by Alaska Natives (16 U.S.C. 1539(e)). Likewise, the MMPA provides take exemption for subsistence harvest of marine mammals by Alaska Natives (16 U.S.C. 1371(b)). Bearded seals, ringed seals, and other ice seal species are co-managed by the Ice Seal Committee and NMFS by monitoring subsistence harvest and cooperating on needed research and education programs pertaining to ice seals. Currently, the subsistence harvest of ice seals by Alaska Natives appears to be sustainable and does not pose a threat to the populations.

    Based on NID Criterion 2 and the best available information on ringed seal population, fisheries-related M/SI, and total human-caused M/SI, NMFS determines that M/SI incidental to commercial fishing will have a negligible impact on the stock. This determination is supported by review of M/SI incidental to U.S. commercial fishing, revealing total commercial fishery M/SI is low, and the fisheries where bycatch does occur are monitored extensively. If bycatch rates change, NMFS would have that information relatively quickly and could reevaluate the NID as necessary. Also, the non-fishery M/SI due to subsistence hunting is monitored and although the current subsistence harvest is substantial in some areas, there is little to no evidence that subsistence harvests have or are likely to pose serious risks to the Alaska stock of ringed seals.

    Conclusions for Proposed Permit

    In conclusion, based on the negligible impact criteria outlined in 1999 (64 FR 28800), the 2014 Alaska SARs, the best scientific information and data available, NMFS has determined that for a period of up to three years, M/SI incidental to the BSAI pollock trawl and BSAI flatfish trawl fisheries will have a negligible impact on WNP and CNP stocks of humpback whales, Western U.S. stock of Steller sea lions, and Alaska stocks of bearded and ringed seals. Additionally, NMFS has determined that for a period of up to three years, M/SI incidental to the BSAI Pacific cod longline fishery will have a negligible impact on the Alaska stock of ringed seals.

    The impacts on the human environment of continuing and modifying the Bering sea trawl fisheries, including the taking of threatened and endangered species of marine mammals, were analyzed in the Biological Opinion for Authorization of Groundfish Fisheries under the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Island Management Area; in the Alaska Groundfish Harvest Specifications Supplemental Information Report; the ESA section 7 Biological Opinion that considered effects from the groundfish fisheries on bearded seals; in the ESA section 7 Biological Opinion on Oil and Gas Leasing and Exploration Activities in the U.S. Beaufort and Chukchi Seas; and in the Biological Opinion on the Authorization of the Alaska Groundfish Fisheries Under the Proposed Revised Steller Sea Lion Protection Measures.

    Because this permit would not modify any fishery operation and the effects of the fishery operations have been evaluated fully in accordance with NEPA, no additional NEPA analysis is required for this permit. Issuing the proposed permit would have no additional impact to the human environment or effects on threatened or endangered species beyond those analyzed in these documents.

    Recovery Plans

    Section 4(f) of the ESA requires that NMFS develop recovery plans for ESA-listed species, unless such a plan will not promote the conservation of the species. Recovery Plans for humpback whales and Steller sea lions have been completed (see ADDRESSES). NMFS is developing recovery plans for the Alaska stocks of both bearded and ringed seals.

    Vessel Registration

    MMPA section 118(c) requires that vessels participating in Category I and II fisheries register to obtain an authorization to take marine mammals incidental to fishing activities. Further, section 118(c)(5)(A) provides that registration of vessels in fisheries should, after appropriate consultations, be integrated and coordinated to the maximum extent feasible with existing fisher licenses, registrations, and related programs. MMPA registration for participants in the BSAI trawl and longline fisheries has been integrated with the Federal groundfish limited entry permit process of the Federal Vessel Monitoring System.

    Monitoring Program

    BSAI trawl and longline fisheries considered for authorization under this permit are monitored by NMFS-certified observers in the North Pacific Groundfish Observer Program. The rate of observer coverage is high (ranging from 50-100%) and is recorded by fishery and by year in the draft NID analysis. Accordingly, as required by MMPA section 118, a monitoring program is in place for the BSAI Pollock trawl, flatfish trawl, and Pacific cod longline fisheries.

    Take Reduction Plans

    MMPA section 118 requires the development and implementation of a Take Reduction Plan (TRP) in cases where a strategic stock interacts with a Category I or II fishery. With the exception of the bearded seal, the stocks considered for this permit are designated as strategic stocks under the MMPA because they are listed as threatened or endangered under the ESA (MMPA section 3(19)(C)). The three fisheries considered for this permit are Category II fisheries. Therefore, the four listed stocks and three fisheries meet the triggers for convening a take reduction team (TRT) and developing a TRP.

    The obligations to develop and implement a TRP are further subject to the availability of funding. MMPA section 118(f)(3) contains specific priorities for developing TRPs. At this time, NMFS has insufficient funding available to simultaneously develop and implement TRPs for all strategic stocks that interact with Category I or Category II fisheries. As provided in MMPA sections 118(f)(6)(A) and (f)(7), NMFS used the most recent SARs and LOF as the basis to determine its priorities for establishing TRTs and developing TRPs. Through this process, NMFS evaluated the WNP and CNP stocks of humpback whale, the Western U.S. stock of Steller sea lions, the Alaska stock of bearded seals, and the Alaska stock of ringed seals as lower priorities compared to other marine mammal stocks and fisheries for establishing TRTs, based on M/SI levels incidental to those fisheries and population levels and trends. Accordingly, given these factors and NMFS' priorities, developing TRPs for these five stocks in these three fisheries will be deferred under section 118 as other stocks/fisheries are a higher priority for any available funding for establishing new TRTs.

    Solicitation for Public Comments

    NMFS solicits public comments on the proposed permit and the preliminary determinations supporting the permit. As noted in the summary above, all of the requirements to issue a permit to the following Federally-authorized fisheries have been satisfied: BSAI pollock trawl, BSAI flatfish trawl, and BSAI Pacific cod longline. Accordingly, NMFS proposes to issue a permit to participants in the BSAI pollock and flatfish trawl Category II fisheries for the taking of individuals from the WNP and CNP stocks of humpback whales, Western U.S. stock of Steller sea lions, Alaska stock of bearded seals, and the Alaska stock of ringed seals (the that occurs within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Beaufort, Chukchi, and Bering Seas) incidental to the fisheries' operations, and proposes to issue a permit to participants in the BSAI Pacific cod longline Category II fisheries for the taking of individuals from the Alaska stock of ringed seals incidental to the fisheries' operations (Table 1). As noted under MMPA section 101(a)(5)(E)(ii), no permit is required for vessels in Category III fisheries. For incidental taking of marine mammals to be authorized in Category III fisheries, any mortality or serious injury must be reported to NMFS.

    Table 1—List of Fisheries Authorized To Take Specific Threatened and Endangered Marine Mammals Incidental to Commercial Fishing Operations Fishery Category Marine mammal stock HI deep-set (tuna target) longline I False killer whale, MHI IFKW stock Humpback whale, CNP stock Sperm whale, Hawaii stock CA thresher shark/swordfish drift gillnet (>14 in mesh) I Humpback whale, CA/OR/WA stock Sperm whale, CA/OR/WA stock HI shallow-set (swordfish target) longline/set line II Humpback whale, CNP stock AK Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands flatfish trawl II Humpback whale, CNP stock Humpback whale, WNP stock Steller sea lion, Western U.S. stock Bearded seal, Alaska stock Ringed seal, Alaska stock AK Bering Sea/Aleutian Island pollock trawl II Humpback whale, CNP stock Humpback whale, WNP stock Steller sea lion, Western U.S. stock Bearded seal, Alaska stock Ringed seal, Alaska stock AK Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands Pacific cod longline II Ringed seal, Alaska stock WA/OR/CA sablefish pot II Humpback whale, CA/OR/WA stock Dated: December 11, 2015. Donna S. Wieting, Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31693 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE309 Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Council) Ecosystem Workgroup (EWG) will host a series of five webinars in January and February 2016, which are open to the public. Each webinar will begin at 1:30 p.m.

    DATES:

    The webinars will be held January 12, January 14, January 26, January 28, and February 2, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The following login instructions will work for any of the webinars in this series.

    1. Join the meeting by visiting this link: http://www.gotomeeting.com/online/webinar/join-webinar.

    2. Enter the Webinar ID: 121-225-731.

    3. Please enter your name and email address (required).

    Once you have joined the webinar, choose either your computer's audio or select “Use Telephone.” If you do not select “Use Telephone” you will be connected to audio using your computer's microphone and speakers (VolP).

    If you do not have a headset and speakers, you may use your telephone for the audio portion of the meeting by dialing this TOLL number 1-(702) 489-0007 (not a toll-free number), then enter your phone audio access code 471-159-571, then enter your audio phone pin (shown after joining the webinar).

    A public listening station will also be provided at the Council office.

    Council address: Pacific Council, 7700 NE Ambassador Place, Suite 101, Portland, OR 97220-1384.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Kit Dahl, Pacific Council; phone: (503) 820-2422.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The webinars will cover the following topics:

    • Tuesday, January 12: Contents of the Annual California Current Ecosystem Status Report; physical oceanography indicators

    • Thursday, January 14: Biological indicators

    • Tuesday, January 26: Human dimensions indicators

    • Thursday, January 28: Habitat indicators

    • Tuesday, February 2: Risk assessments and application of indicators to decision making

    Each webinar will begin with a short presentation by members of NOAA's California Current Integrated Ecosystem Assessment Team, followed by a discussion facilitated by the EWG. This webinar series is part of the Coordinated Ecosystem Indicator Review Initiative intended to address goals and objectives from the Council's Fishery Ecosystem Plan. Through these webinars, the EWG seeks input from Council advisory bodies and the public on the indicators presented in the Annual Report and how they can effectively support the Council's goal of integrating ecosystem considerations into fishery management decisions.

    Although non-emergency issues not contained in the meeting agenda may be discussed, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during these meetings. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this document and any issues arising after publication of this document that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    The meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Mr. Kris Kleinschmidt at (503) 820-2425 at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: December 14, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31735 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE350 Fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of the second SEDAR 45 post-workshop webinar for Gulf of Mexico Vermilion Snapper.

    SUMMARY:

    The SEDAR 45 assessment of the Gulf of Mexico Vermilion Snapper will consist of one in-person workshop and a series of webinars. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    DATES:

    The second SEDAR 45 post-workshop webinar will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. January 12, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Meeting address: The meeting will be held via webinar. The webinar is open to members of the public. Those interested in participating should contact Julie A. Neer at SEDAR (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) to request an invitation providing webinar access information. Please request webinar invitations at least 24 hours in advance of each webinar.

    SEDAR address: 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, North Charleston, SC 29405.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Julie A. Neer, SEDAR Coordinator; (843) 571-4366; email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils, in conjunction with NOAA Fisheries and the Atlantic and Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commissions have implemented the Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) process, a multi-step method for determining the status of fish stocks in the Southeast Region. SEDAR is a multi-step process including: (1) Data/Assessment Workshop, and (2) a series of webinars. The product of the Data/Assessment Workshop is a report which compiles and evaluates potential datasets and recommends which datasets are appropriate for assessment analyses, and describes the fisheries, evaluates the status of the stock, estimates biological benchmarks, projects future population conditions, and recommends research and monitoring needs. Participants for SEDAR Workshops are appointed by the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils and NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office, HMS Management Division, and Southeast Fisheries Science Center. Participants include data collectors and database managers; stock assessment scientists, biologists, and researchers; constituency representatives including fishermen, environmentalists, and NGO's; International experts; and staff of Councils, Commissions, and state and federal agencies.

    The items of discussion in the Assessment Process webinars are as follows:

    1. Using datasets and initial assessment analysis recommended from the In-person Workshop, panelists will employ assessment models to evaluate stock status, estimate population benchmarks and management criteria, and project future conditions.

    2. Participants will recommend the most appropriate methods and configurations for determining stock status and estimating population parameters.

    Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to the Council office (see ADDRESSES) at least 10 business days prior to each workshop.

    Note:

    The times and sequence specified in this agenda are subject to change.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: December 14, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31736 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Indirect Cost Rates for the Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration Program for Fiscal Year 2014 AGENCY:

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration Program (DARRP) is announcing new indirect cost rates on the recovery of indirect costs for its component organizations involved in natural resource damage assessment and restoration activities for fiscal year (FY) 2014. The indirect cost rates for this fiscal year and date of implementation are provided in this notice. More information on these rates and the DARRP policy can be found at the DARRP Web site at www.darrp.noaa.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For further information, contact LaTonya Burgess at 301-713-4248, ext. 211, by fax at 301-713-4389, or email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The mission of the DARRP is to restore natural resource injuries caused by releases of hazardous substances or oil under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) (42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq.) and the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) (33 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.), and to support restoration of physical injuries to National Marine Sanctuary resources under the National Marine Sanctuaries Act (NMSA) (16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.). The DARRP consists of three component organizations: the Office of Response and Restoration (ORR) within the National Ocean Service; the Restoration Center within the National Marine Fisheries Service; and the Office of the General Counsel Natural Resources Section (GCNRS). The DARRP conducts Natural Resource Damage Assessments (NRDAs) as a basis for recovering damages from responsible parties, and uses the funds recovered to restore injured natural resources.

    Consistent with federal accounting requirements, the DARRP is required to account for and report the full costs of its programs and activities. Further, the DARRP is authorized by law to recover reasonable costs of damage assessment and restoration activities under CERCLA, OPA, and the NMSA. Within the constraints of these legal provisions and their regulatory applications, the DARRP has the discretion to develop indirect cost rates for its component organizations and formulate policies on the recovery of indirect cost rates subject to its requirements.

    The DARRP's Indirect Cost Effort

    In December 1998, the DARRP hired the public accounting firm Rubino & McGeehin, Chartered (R&M) to: Evaluate the DARRP cost accounting system and allocation practices; recommend the appropriate indirect cost allocation methodology; and determine the indirect cost rates for the three organizations that comprise the DARRP. A Federal Register notice on R&M's effort, their assessment of the DARRP's cost accounting system and practice, and their determination regarding the most appropriate indirect cost methodology and rates for FYs 1993 through 1999 was published on December 7, 2000 (65 FR 76611).

    R&M continued its assessment of DARRP's indirect cost rate system and structure for FYs 2000 and 2001. A second federal notice specifying the DARRP indirect rates for FYs 2000 and 2001 was published on December 2, 2002 (67 FR 71537).

    In October 2002, DARRP hired the accounting firm of Cotton and Company LLP (Cotton) to review and certify DARRP costs incurred on cases for purposes of cost recovery and to develop indirect rates for FY 2002 and subsequent years. As in the prior years, Cotton concluded that the cost accounting system and allocation practices of the DARRP component organizations are consistent with federal accounting requirements. Consistent with R&M's previous analyses, Cotton also determined that the most appropriate indirect allocation method continues to be the Direct Labor Cost Base for all three DARRP component organizations. The Direct Labor Cost Base is computed by allocating total indirect cost over the sum of direct labor dollars, plus the application of NOAA's leave surcharge and benefits rates to direct labor. Direct labor costs for contractors from ERT, Inc. (ERT), Freestone Environmental Services, Inc. (Freestone), and Genwest Systems, Inc. (Genwest) were included in the direct labor base because Cotton determined that these costs have the same relationship to the indirect cost pool as NOAA direct labor costs. ERT, Freestone, and Genwest provided on-site support to the DARRP in the areas of injury assessment, natural resource economics, restoration planning and implementation, and policy analysis. Subsequent federal notices have been published in the Federal Register as follows:

    • FY 2002, published on October 6, 2003 (68 FR 57672) • FY 2003, published on May 20, 2005 (70 FR 29280) • FY 2004, published on March 16, 2006 (71 Fed Reg. 13356) • FY 2005, published on February 9, 2007 (72 FR 6221) • FY 2006, published on June 3, 2008 (73 FR 31679) • FY 2007 and FY 2008, published on November 16, 2009 (74 FR 58948) • FY 2009 and FY 2010, published on October 20, 2011 (76 FR 65182) • FY 2011, published on September 17, 2012 (77 FR 57074) • FY 2012, published on August 29, 2013 (78 FR 53425) • FY 2013, published on October 14, 2014 (79 FR 61617) Cotton's recent reports on these indirect rates can be found on the DARRP Web site at www.darrp.noaa.gov.

    Cotton reaffirmed that the Direct Labor Cost Base is the most appropriate indirect allocation method for the development of the FY 2014 indirect cost rates.

    The DARRP's Indirect Cost Rates and Policies

    The DARRP will apply the indirect cost rates for FY 2014 as recommended by Cotton for each of the DARRP component organizations as provided in the following table:

    DARRP
  • component organization
  • FY 2014 indirect
  • rate
  • (%)
  • Office of Response and Restoration (ORR) 113.54 Restoration Center (RC) 67.50 General Counsel Natural Resources Section (GCNRS) 29.37
    These rates are based on the Direct Labor Cost Base allocation methodology.

    The FY 2014 rates will be applied to all damage assessment and restoration case costs incurred between October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014. DARRP will use the FY 2014 indirect cost rates for future fiscal years, beginning with FY 2015, until subsequent year-specific rates can be developed.

    For cases that have settled and for cost claims paid prior to the effective date of the fiscal year in question, the DARRP will not re-open any resolved matters for the purpose of applying the revised rates in this policy for these fiscal years. For cases not settled and cost claims not paid prior to the effective date of the fiscal year in question, costs will be recalculated using the revised rates in this policy for these fiscal years. Where a responsible party has agreed to pay costs using previous year's indirect rates, but has not yet made the payment because the settlement documents are not finalized, the costs will not be recalculated.

    David Westerholm, Director, Office of Response and Restoration.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31728 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-JE-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE232 Endangered and Threatened Species; Recovery Plans AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability; extension of public comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    We, NMFS, announce the extension of the comment period for the Proposed Endangered Species Act (ESA) Recovery Plan for Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon (Proposed Plan) published on November 2, 2015. The Proposed Plan addresses the Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) evolutionarily significant unit (ESU), which is listed as threatened under the ESA. The geographic area covered by the Proposed Plan is the lower and middle mainstem Snake River and tributaries as well as the mainstem Columbia River below its confluence with the Snake River. As required under the ESA, the Proposed Plan contains objective, measurable delisting criteria, site-specific management actions necessary to achieve the Proposed Plan's goals, and estimates of the time and costs required to implement recovery actions. We are soliciting review and comment from the public and all interested parties on the Proposed Plan. The close of the comment period is being extended—from January 4, 2016, to February 5, 2016—to provide additional opportunity for public comment.

    DATES:

    The deadline for receipt of comments on the Proposed Recovery Plan published on November 2, 2015 (80 FR 67386), is extended to close of business on February 5, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on the Proposed Recovery Plan by the following methods:

    Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via: [email protected]. Please include “Comments on Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon Recovery Plan” in the subject line of the email.

    Facsimile: (503) 230-5441.

    Mail: Patricia Dornbusch, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1201 NE. Lloyd Boulevard, Suite 1100, Portland, OR 97232.

    Instructions: Comments must be submitted by one of the above methods to ensure that they are received, documented, and considered by NMFS. Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

    Electronic copies of the Proposed Plan are available at http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/protected_species/salmon_steelhead/recovery_planning_and_implementation/snake_river/current_snake_river_recovery_plan_documents.html.

    Persons wishing to obtain an electronic copy on CD ROM of the Proposed Plan may do so by calling Bonnie Hossack at (503) 736-4741 or by emailing a request to [email protected] with the subject line “CD ROM Request for Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon Recovery Plan.”

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Patricia Dornbusch, NMFS Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon Recovery Coordinator, at (503) 230-5430, or [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Extension of Comment Period

    On November 2, 2015 (80 FR 67386) we (NMFS) published in the Federal Register a request for public comment on the Proposed Endangered Species Act Recovery Plan for Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon. The public comment period for this action is set to end on January 4, 2016. The comment period is being extended through February 5, 2016, to provide additional opportunity for public comment.

    Background

    We are responsible for developing and implementing recovery plans for Pacific salmon and steelhead listed under the ESA of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). The ESA requires the development of recovery plans for each listed species unless such a plan would not promote its recovery.

    We believe it is essential to have local support of recovery plans by those whose activities directly affect the listed species and whose continued commitment and leadership will be needed to implement the necessary recovery actions. We therefore support and participate in collaborative efforts to develop recovery plans that involve state, tribal, and federal entities, local communities, and other stakeholders. For this Proposed Plan for threatened Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon, we worked collaboratively with state, tribal, and federal partners to produce a recovery plan that satisfies the ESA requirements. We have determined that this Proposed ESA Recovery Plan for Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon meets the statutory requirements for a recovery plan and we are proposing to adopt it as the ESA recovery plan for this threatened species. Section 4(f) of the ESA, as amended in 1988, requires that public notice and an opportunity for public review and comment be provided prior to final approval of a recovery plan. This notice solicits comments on this Proposed Plan.

    Development of the Proposed Plan

    For the purpose of recovery planning for the ESA-listed species of Pacific salmon and steelhead in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, NMFS designated five geographically based “recovery domains.” The Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon ESU spawning range is in the Interior Columbia domain. For each domain, NMFS appointed a team of scientists, nominated for their geographic and species expertise, to provide a solid scientific foundation for recovery plans. The Interior Columbia Technical Recovery Team included biologists from NMFS, other federal agencies, states, tribes, and academic institutions.

    A primary task for the Interior Columbia Technical Recovery Team was to recommend criteria for determining when each component population within an ESU or distinct population segment (DPS) should be considered viable (i.e., when they are have a low risk of extinction over a 100-year period) and when ESUs or DPSs have a risk of extinction consistent with no longer needing the protections of the ESA. All Technical Recovery Teams used the same biological principles for developing their recommendations; these principles are described in the NOAA technical memorandum Viable Salmonid Populations and the Recovery of Evolutionarily Significant Units (McElhany et al., 2000). Viable salmonid populations (VSP) are defined in terms of four parameters: abundance, productivity or growth rate, spatial structure, and diversity.

    We also collaborated with state, tribal, and federal biologists and resource managers to provide technical information used to develop the Proposed Plan. In addition, NMFS established a multi-state (Idaho, Oregon, and Washington), tribal, and federal partners' regional forum called the Snake River Coordination Group that addresses the four ESA-listed Snake River salmon and steelhead species. They met twice a year to be briefed and provide technical and policy information to NMFS. We presented regular updates on the status of this Proposed Plan to the Snake River Coordination Group and posted draft chapters on NMFS' West Coast Region Snake River recovery planning Web page. We also made full drafts of the Proposed Plan available for review to the state, tribal, and Federal entities with which we collaborated to develop the plan.

    In addition to the Proposed Plan, we developed and incorporated the Module for the Ocean Environment (Fresh et al. 2014) as Appendix D to address Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon recovery needs in the Columbia River estuary, plume, and Pacific Ocean. To address recovery needs related to the Columbia River Hydropower System, we developed and incorporated the Supplemental Recovery Plan Module for Snake River Salmon and Steelhead Mainstem Columbia River Hydropower Projects (NMFS 2014b) as Appendix E of this Proposed Plan. To address recovery needs related to the Lower Columbia River mainstem and estuary, we incorporated the Columbia River Estuary ESA Recovery Plan Module for Salmon and Steelhead (NMFS 2011a) as Appendix F. To address recovery needs for fishery harvest management in the mainstem Snake and Columbia Rivers, Columbia River estuary, and ocean, we developed and incorporated the Snake River Harvest Module (NMFS 2014a) as Appendix G.

    The Public Draft Recovery Plan

    The Proposed Plan contains biological background and contextual information that includes description of the ESU, the planning area, and the context of the plan's development. It presents relevant information on ESU structure, guidelines for assessing salmonid population and ESU status, and a brief summary of Interior Columbia Technical Recovery Team products on population structure and species status. It also presents NMFS' proposed biological viability criteria and threats criteria for delisting.

    As described in Chapter 2 of the Proposed Plan, the historical Snake River fall Chinook salmon ESU consisted of two populations. The population above the Hells Canyon Dam Complex is extirpated, leaving only one extant population—the Lower Mainstem Snake River population. An ESU with a single population would be at greater extinction risk than an ESU with multiple populations. This is a key consideration in the proposed Snake River fall Chinook salmon biological viability criteria, since there is more than one possible scenario for achieving the criteria. The proposed viability criteria include two possible scenarios and a placeholder for developing additional scenarios that would be consistent with delisting. Scenario A focuses on achieving ESA delisting with two populations (i.e., the extant Lower Mainstem Snake River population and a recovered Middle Snake population above the Hells Canyon Complex). Scenario B illustrates a single-population pathway to delisting. The placeholder scenario describes a framework under which additional single-population scenarios could be developed that would involve developing natural production emphasis areas that would have a low percentage of hatchery-origin spawners. NMFS is interested in comments on how such additional scenarios might be developed, potentially for inclusion in the final recovery plan.

    The Proposed Plan also describes specific information on the following: current status of Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon; limiting factors and threats throughout the life cycle that have contributed to the species decline; recovery strategies and actions addressing these limiting factors and threats; and a proposed research, monitoring, and evaluation program for adaptive management. For recovery actions, the Proposed Plan includes a table summarizing each proposed action, life stage affected, estimated costs, timing, and potential implementing entities. It also describes how implementation, prioritization of actions, and adaptive management will proceed. The Proposed Plan also summarizes time and costs (Chapter 9) required to implement recovery actions. In some cases, costs of implementing actions could not be determined at this time and NMFS is interested in additional information regarding scale, scope, and costs of these actions. We are also particularly interested in comments on establishing appropriate forums to coordinate implementation of the recovery plan.

    Public Comments Solicited

    We are soliciting written comments on the Proposed Plan. All substantive comments received by the date specified above will be considered and incorporated, as appropriate, prior to our decision whether to approve the plan. While we invite comments on all aspects of the Proposed Plan, we are particularly interested in comments on developing specific scenarios to address the placeholder recovery scenario, comments on the cost of recovery actions for which we have not yet determined implementation costs, and comments on establishing an appropriate implementation forum for the plan. We will issue a news release announcing the adoption and availability of the final plan. We will post on the NMFS West Coast Region Web site (www.wcr.noaa.gov) a summary of, and responses to, the comments received, along with electronic copies of the final plan and its appendices.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.

    Dated: December 14, 2015. Angela Somma, Chief, Endangered Species Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31748 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meetings Federal Register citation of previous announcement:

    80 FR 76948, Dec. 11, 2015.

    Previously announced time and date of the meeting:

    10:00 a.m., Friday, December 18, 2015.

    Changes in the meeting:

    The time of the meeting has changed. This meeting will now be held at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, December 18, 2015.

    Contact person for more information:

    Christopher Kirkpatrick, 202-418-5964.

    Natise Allen, Executive Assistant.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31877 Filed 12-15-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army [Docket ID USA-2015-HQ-0049] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army, (OAA-AAHS), DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army announces a proposed public information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by February 16, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

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

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, docket number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information. Any associated form(s) for this collection may be located within this same electronic docket and downloaded for review/testing. Follow the instructions at http://www.regulations.gov for submitting comments. Please submit comments on any given form identified by docket number, form number, and title.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please write to the Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Institute for Water Resources, Corps of Engineers Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center, 7400 Leake Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118, ATTN: CEIWR-NDC-C (Mickey LaMaca), or call Department of the Army Reports Clearance Officer at (703) 428-6440.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Description of Vessels, Description of Operations; ENG Forms 3931 and 3932; OMB Control Number 0710-0009.

    Needs and Uses: The Corps of Engineers uses ENG Forms 3931 and 3932 as the basic instruments to collect vessel and operating descriptions for use in waterborne commerce statistics. These data constitute the sole source for domestic vessel characteristics and operating descriptions for domestic vessels operating on U.S. navigable waterways. These data are also critical to the enforcement of the “Harbor Maintenance Tax” authorized under section 1402 of Public Law 99-662.

    Affected Public: Business or other for profit.

    Annual Burden Hours: 2,039.

    Number of Respondents: 3,058.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 3,058.

    Average Burden per Response: 40 minutes.

    Frequency: Annually.

    The information collection is the basic data from which the Corps of Engineers compiles and publishes waterborne commerce statistics. The data is used not only to report to Congress, but also to perform cost benefit studies for new projects, rehabilitation projects, and O&M of existing projects. It is also used by other federal agencies involved in transportation and security. This data collection program is the sole source for domestic navigation statistics.

    Dated: December 14, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register, Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31699 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Defense Acquisition University Board of Visitors; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    Defense Acquisition University, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Meeting notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is publishing this notice to announce a Federal Advisory Committee meeting of the Defense Acquisition University Board of Visitors. This meeting will be open to the public.

    DATES:

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    DAU West, Bldg 82, Classroom 1, 32444 Echo Lane, San Diego, CA 92147.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Caren Hergenroeder, Protocol Director, DAU. Phone: 703-805-5134. Fax: 703-805-5940. Email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This meeting is being held under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended), the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended), and 41 CFR 102-3.150.

    Purpose of the Meeting: The purpose of this meeting is to report back to the Board of Visitors on continuing items of interest.

    Agenda 9:00 a.m. Welcome and Announcements 9:10 a.m. DAU Update 9:30 a.m. West Region Overview 10:00 a.m. Discussion with West Region Customers 12:00 p.m. Lunch—Discussion of “Becoming a Chaosmeister” 1:30 p.m. ACQ 315 Understanding Industry 3:00 p.m. Faculty Performance Development Program 4:30 p.m. Adjourn

    Public's Accessibility to the Meeting: Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b and 41 CFR 102-3.140 through 102-3.165, and the availability of space, this meeting is open to the public. However, because of space limitations, allocation of seating will be made on a first-come, first served basis. Persons desiring to attend the meeting should call Ms. Caren Hergenroeder at 703-805-5134. Written Statements: Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.140, and section 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972, the public or interested organizations may submit written statements to the Defense Acquisition University Board of Visitors about its mission and functions. Written statements may be submitted at any time or in response to the stated agenda of a planned meeting of the Defense Acquisition University Board of Visitors.

    All written statements shall be submitted to the Designated Federal Officer for the Defense Acquisition University Board of Visitors, and this individual will ensure that the written statements are provided to the membership for their consideration.

    Statements being submitted in response to the agenda mentioned in this notice must be received by the Designated Federal Officer at least five calendar days prior to the meeting which is the subject of this notice. Written statements received after this date may not be provided to or considered by the Defense Acquisition University Board of Visitors until its next meeting. Committee's Designated Federal Officer or Point of Contact: Ms. Christen Goulding, 703-805-5412, [email protected].

    Dated: December 14, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31711 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Office of Nuclear Energy, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Renewal.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to Section 14(a)(2)(A) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, (Pub. L. 92-463), and in accordance with Title 41 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 102-3.65(a), and following consultation with the Committee Management Secretariat, General Services Administration, notice is hereby given that the Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee (NEAC) will be renewed for a two-year period beginning on December 11, 2015.

    The Committee will provide advice to the Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Energy on complex science and technical issues that arise in the planning, managing, and implementation of DOE's nuclear energy program.

    Additionally, the renewal of the NEAC has been determined to be essential to conduct business of the Department of Energy and to be the in the public interest in connection with the performance of duties imposed upon the Department of Energy, by law and agreement. The Committee will continue to operate in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, adhering to the rules and regulations in implementation of that Act.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Rova, Designated Federal Officer at (301) 903-9096.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on December 11, 2015. Amy Bodette, Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31785 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Office of Science, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Renewal.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to section 14(a)(2)(A) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, (Pub. L. 92-463) and in accordance with title 41 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 102-3.65, and following consultation with the Committee Management Secretariat, General Services Administration, notice is hereby given that the Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee's (BERAC) charter will be renewed for a two-year period.

    The Committee provides advice and recommendations to the Director, Office of Science on the biological and environmental research programs.

    Additionally, the renewal of the BERAC has been determined to be essential to conduct business of the Department of Energy's mission and to be in the public interest in connection with the performance of duties imposed upon the Department of Energy by law and agreement. The Committee will operate in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and rules and regulations issued in implementation of that Act.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Sharlene C. Weatherwax at (301) 903-3251.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on December 11, 2015. Amy Bodette, Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31783 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Office of Science, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Open Meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a meeting of the Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (FESAC). The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of these meetings be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    January 13, 2016, 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., January 14, 2016, 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon.

    ADDRESSES:

    Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, 5701 Marinelli Road, North Bethesda, MD 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Edmund J. Synakowski, Designated Federal Officer, Office of Fusion Energy Sciences; U.S. Department of Energy; 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-1290; Telephone: (301) 903-4941.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Meeting: To discuss the series of technical workshops held in 2015. These workshops were initiated by the Office of Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) to seek community engagement and input for future program planning activities.

    Tentative Agenda Items

    • Discussion of the workshops on Integrated Simulations for Magnetic Fusion Energy Sciences, Plasma Transients, Plasma-Materials Interactions, and Plasma Science Frontiers.

    • Perspective on Science and Energy at DOE.

    • Current Status and Future Plans for ITER.

    • FES Perspective.

    • Public Comment.

    • Adjourn.

    Note:

    Remote attendance of the FESAC meeting will be possible via Zoom. Instructions can be found on FESAC Web site at http://science.energy.gov/fes/fesac/meetings/ or by contacting Dr. Samuel J. Barish by email at [email protected] or by phone (301) 903-2917.

    Public Participation: The meeting is open to the public. If you would like to file a written statement with the Committee, you may do so either before or after the meeting. If you would like to make an oral statement regarding any of the items on the agenda, you should contact Dr. Ed Synakowski at (301) 903-8584 (fax) or [email protected] (email). Reasonable provision will be made to include the scheduled oral statements during the Public Comments time on the agenda. The Chairperson of the Committee will conduct the meeting to facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Public comment will follow the 10-minute rule.

    Minutes: The minutes of the meeting will be available for public review and copying within 30 days at the Freedom of Information Public Reading Room; 1G-033, Forrestal Building; 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585; between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays; and on the Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee Web site at http://science.energy.gov/fes/fesac/.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on December 11, 2015. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31792 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Portsmouth AGENCY:

    Department of Energy (DOE).

    ACTION:

    Notice of Open Meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a meeting of the Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board (EM SSAB), Portsmouth. The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of this meeting be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Thursday, January 7, 2016 6:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Ohio State University, Endeavor Center, 1862 Shyville Road, Piketon, Ohio 45661.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Greg Simonton, Alternate Deputy Designated Federal Officer, Department of Energy Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office, Post Office Box 700, Piketon, Ohio 45661, (740) 897-3737, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Board: The purpose of the Board is to make recommendations to DOE-EM and site management in the areas of environmental restoration, waste management and related activities.

    Tentative Agenda • Call to Order, Introductions, Review of Agenda • Approval of November Minutes • Deputy Designated Federal Officer's Comments • Federal Coordinator's Comments • Liaison's Comments • Presentation • Administrative Issues • Subcommittee Updates • Public Comments • Final Comments From the Board • Adjourn

    Public Participation: The meeting is open to the public. The EM SSAB, Portsmouth, welcomes the attendance of the public at its advisory committee meetings and will make every effort to accommodate persons with physical disabilities or special needs. If you require special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Greg Simonton at least seven days in advance of the meeting at the phone number listed above. Written statements may be filed with the Board either before or after the meeting. Individuals who wish to make oral statements pertaining to agenda items should contact Greg Simonton at the address or telephone number listed above. Requests must be received five days prior to the meeting and reasonable provision will be made to include the presentation in the agenda. The Deputy Designated Federal Officer is empowered to conduct the meeting in a fashion that will facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Individuals wishing to make public comments will be provided a maximum of five minutes to present their comments.

    Minutes: Minutes will be available by writing or calling Greg Simonton at the address and phone number listed above. Minutes will also be available at the following Web site: http://www.ports-ssab.energy.gov/.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on December 9, 2015. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31784 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY State Energy Advisory Board (STEAB) AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of Open Teleconference.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces an open teleconference of the State Energy Advisory Board (STEAB). The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463; 86 Stat.770) requires that public notice of these meetings be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Thursday, January 21, 2016 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (EDT). To receive the call-in number and passcode, please contact the Board's Designated Federal Officer at the address or phone number listed below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael Li, Policy Advisor, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, US Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20585. Phone number 202-287-5718, and email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Board: To make recommendations to the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy regarding goals and objectives, programmatic and administrative policies, and to otherwise carry out the Board's responsibilities as designated in the State Energy Efficiency Programs Improvement Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-440).

    Tentative Agenda: Receive STEAB Task Force updates on action items and revised objectives for FY 2016; discuss follow-up opportunities and engagement with EERE and other DOE staff as needed to keep Task Force work moving forward; continue engagement with DOE, EERE and EPSA staff regarding energy efficiency and renewable energy projects and initiatives; and receive updates on member activities within their states. Discuss plans for next live STEAB meeting.

    Public Participation: The meeting is open to the public. Written statements may be filed with the Board either before or after the meeting. Members of the public who wish to make oral statements pertaining to agenda items should contact Michael Li at the address or telephone number listed above. Requests to make oral comments must be received five days prior to the meeting; reasonable provision will be made to include requested topic(s) on the agenda. The Chair of the Board is empowered to conduct the meeting in a fashion that will facilitate the orderly conduct of business.

    Minutes: The minutes of the meeting will be available for public review and copying within 60 days on the STEAB Web site at: http://www.energy.gov/eere/steab/state-energy-advisory-board.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on December 11, 2015. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31791 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-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: EC16-50-000.

    Applicants: The Narragansett Electric Company.

    Description: Application for Authorization Pursuant to Section 203 of the Federal Power Act to Acquire Interconnection Facilities, Requests for Confidential Treatment and Certain Waivers of The Narragansett Electric Company.

    Filed Date: 12/11/15.

    Accession Number: 20151211-5179.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/4/16.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1524-001.

    Applicants: PacifiCorp.

    Description: Compliance filing: OATT Formula Rate Schedule 10 Loss Factor Compliance Filing to be effective 12/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 12/11/15.

    Accession Number: 20151211-5151.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/4/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-182-001.

    Applicants: Cameron Ridge II, LLC.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Amendment to 1 to be effective 12/31/2015.

    Filed Date: 12/11/15.

    Accession Number: 20151211-5150.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/4/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-507-000.

    Applicants: PacifiCorp.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: Idaho Power JOOA Concurrence to be effective 10/30/2015.

    Filed Date: 12/11/15.

    Accession Number: 20151211-5152.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/4/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-508-000.

    Applicants: California Independent System Operator Corporation.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Termination of IID APSA to be effective 2/22/2016.

    Filed Date: 12/11/15.

    Accession Number: 20151211-5156.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/4/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-509-000.

    Applicants: NSTAR Electric Company.

    Description: Initial rate filing: Exelon West Medway Design and Engineering Agreement to be effective 12/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 12/11/15.

    Accession Number: 20151211-5157.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/4/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-510-000.

    Applicants: NSTAR Electric Company.

    Description: Initial rate filing: NRG Canal Design and Engineering Agreement to be effective 12/11/2015.

    Filed Date: 12/11/15.

    Accession Number: 20151211-5160.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/4/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-511-000.

    Applicants: Southwestern Public Service Company.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: 2015-12-11_SPS-CapRkSlr-E&P-686-0.0.0—Filing to be effective 12/12/2015.

    Filed Date: 12/11/15.

    Accession Number: 20151211-5197.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/4/16.

    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 11, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31719 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC16-49-000.

    Applicants: TerraForm Private LLC, Meadow Creek Project Company LLC, Goshen Phase II LLC, Wolverine Creek Goshen Interconnection LLC, Canadian Hills Wind, LLC, Rockland Wind Farm LLC, Burley Butte Wind Park, LLC, Golden Valley Wind Park, LLC, Milner Dam Wind Park, LLC, Oregon Trail Wind Park, LLC, Pilgrim Stage Station Wind Park, LLC, Thousand Springs Wind Park, LLC, Tuana Gulch Wind Park, LLC, Camp Reed Wind Park, LLC, Payne's Ferry Wind Park, LLC, Salmon Falls Wind Park, LLC, Yahoo Creek Wind Park, LLC.

    Description: Application for Authorization Under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act, Requests for Expedited Action, Waivers of Filing Requirements and Confidential Treatment of Transaction Document of TerraForm Private LLC, et al.

    Filed Date: 12/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20151210-5189.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/31/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER16-86-001.

    Applicants: Arizona Public Service Company.

    Description: Compliance filing: Rate Schedule No. 217 Exhibit D, Weed Control to be effective 12/15/2015.

    Filed Date: 12/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20151210-5158.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-505-000.

    Applicants: South Central MCN LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: South Central MCN LLC Wholesale Distribuition Agreements to be effective 1/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 12/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20151210-5179.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-506-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., West Penn Power Company, The Potomac Edison Company, Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line Company, Monongahela Power Company.

    Description: Section 205(d) Rate Filing: West Penn et al submit two IA Nos. 4160 & 4313 and ECSA No. 4314 to be effective 2/12/2016.

    Filed Date: 12/11/15.

    Accession Number: 20151211-5113.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/4/16.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric securities filings:

    Docket Numbers: ES16-10-000.

    Applicants: Rochester Gas & Electric Corporation.

    Description: Application for Authorization to Issue Short Term Debt of Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation.

    Filed Date: 12/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20151210-5185.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 12/31/15.

    Docket Numbers: ES16-11-000.

    Applicants: Westar Energy, Inc.

    Description: Application for Authority To Issue and Pledge Securities of Westar Energy, Inc.

    Filed Date: 12/11/15.

    Accession Number: 20151211-5063.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/4/16.

    Docket Numbers: ES16-12-000.

    Applicants: Kansas Gas and Electric Company.

    Description: Application under Section 204 of Kansas Gas and Electric Company.

    Filed Date: 12/11/15.

    Accession Number: 20151211-5073.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/4/16.

    Docket Numbers: ES16-13-000.

    Applicants: Kansas Gas and Electric Company.

    Description: Application under Section 204 of Kansas Gas and Electric Company.

    Filed Date: 12/11/15.

    Accession Number: 20151211-5074.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/4/16.

    Docket Numbers: ES16-14-000.

    Applicants: Prairie Wind Transmission, LLC.

    Description: Application of Prairie Wind Transmission, LLC for Authorization under Section 204 of the Federal Power Act.

    Filed Date: 12/11/15.

    Accession Number: 20151211-5093.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 1/4/16.

    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 11, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31718 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP16-27-000] Paulsboro Natural Gas Pipeline Company, LLC; Notice of Application

    Take notice that on December 1, 2015, Paulsboro Natural Gas Pipeline Company, LLC (PNGPC), 800 Billingsport Road, Paulsboro, New Jersey 08066, filed an application in Docket No. CP16-27-000 under sections 7(b) and 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA), and part 157 of the Commission's regulations requesting authorization to relocate, replace, remove, in part, and abandon in place, in part, an approximately 2.4-mile, 6- and 8-inch diameter existing natural gas pipeline between Delaware County, Pennsylvania, and Gloucester County, New Jersey. PNGPC also requests a blanket certificate pursuant to part 157, subpart F, of the Commission's regulations, authorizing PNGPC to engage in certain self-implementing routine construction, operation and abandonment activities, as well as waivers of certain regulatory requirements, including the Commission's interstate pipeline open access, tariff, accounting, posting, and reporting requirements, all as more fully set forth in the application which is on file with the Commission and open to public inspection.

    Any questions regarding this application should be directed to Mark Wilgus, Senior Community Relations Specialist, Paulsboro Natural Gas Pipeline Company LLC, 800 Billingsport Road, Paulsboro, New Jersey 08066, or by calling (856) 224-4354 (telephone) or by email at [email protected].

    Pursuant to section 157.9 of the Commission's rules, 18 CFR 157.9, within 90 days of this Notice the Commission staff will either: complete its environmental assessment (EA) and place it into the Commission's public record (eLibrary) for this proceeding; or issue a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review. If a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review is issued, it will indicate, among other milestones, the anticipated date for the Commission staff's issuance of the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) or EA for this proposal. The filing of the EA in the Commission's public record for this proceeding or the issuance of a Notice of Schedule 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 or EA.

    There are two ways to become involved in the Commission's review of this project. First, any person wishing to obtain legal status by becoming a party to the proceedings for this project should, on or before the comment date stated below, file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.214 or 385.211) and the Regulations under the NGA (18 CFR 157.10). A person obtaining party status will be placed on the service list maintained by the Secretary of the Commission and will receive copies of all documents filed by the applicant and by all other parties. A party must submit 5 copies of filings made with the Commission and must mail a copy to the applicant and to every other party in the proceeding. Only parties to the proceeding can ask for court review of Commission orders in the proceeding.

    However, a person does not have to intervene in order to have comments considered. The second way to participate is by filing with the Secretary of the Commission, as soon as possible, an original and two copies of comments in support of or in opposition to this project. The Commission will consider these comments in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but the filing of a comment alone will not serve to make the filer a party to the proceeding. The Commission's rules require that persons filing comments in opposition to the project provide copies of their protests only to the party or parties directly involved in the protest.

    Persons who wish to comment only on the environmental review of this project should submit an original and two copies of their comments to the Secretary of the Commission. Environmental 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.

    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 January 4, 2016.

    Dated: December 11, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31721 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 8722-018] David O. Harde; Notice of Termination of License (Minor Project) by Implied Surrender and Soliciting Comments, Protests and Motions To Intervene

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric proceeding has been initiated by the Commission:

    a. Type of Proceeding: Termination of License by Implied Surrender.

    b. Project No.: 8722-018.

    c. Date Initiated: December 11, 2015.

    d. Licensee: David O. Harde.

    e. Name and Location of Project: Landis-Harde Hydroelectric Project located on Perry Creek, in El Dorado County, California.

    f. Filed Pursuant to: Standard Article 16.

    g. Licensee Contact Information: Mr. David O. Harde, 6540 Perry Creek Road, Somerset, California 95684, Phone: (530) 620-5629.

    h. FERC Contact: Mr. Ashish Desai, (202) 502-8370, [email protected]

    i. Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene and protests, is 30 days from the issuance date of this notice. The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file motions to intervene, protests, comments, and recommendations, using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-8722-018.

    j. Description of Project Facilities: (1) A 4-foot-high, 42-foot-long reinforced concrete dam; (2) a 24-inch-diameter, 1,000-foot-long penstock; (3) a powerhouse containing a single generating unit with a rated capacity of 100 kW; and (4) a 500-foot-long tap connecting the project with an existing Pacific Gas and Electric Company 21-kv transmission line west of the powerhouse.

    k. Description of Proceeding: The licensee is in violation of standard Article 16 of its license, issued on April 27, 1990 (51 FERC ¶ 61,088). Article 16 states in part: If the Licensee shall abandon or discontinue good faith operation of the project or refuse or neglect to comply with the terms of the license and the lawful orders of the Commission mailed to the record address of the Licensee or its agent, the Commission will deem it to be the intent of the Licensee to surrender the license.

    Commission records indicate that the project has not been operational since 2006 when the licensee determined, that the project was no longer financially viable due to low water flows and high insurance rates. After several years of correspondence regarding transferring the license to a third party and resuming project operation, the licensee has become non-responsive. Most recently, by letter dated September 1, 2015, the licensee informed the Commission of its intent to file a license transfer application shortly thereafter. The licensee did not file a transfer application. By letter dated September 4, 2015, Commission staff requested the licensee file documentation regarding the non-operational status of the project within 30 days. The licensee did not file the requested information. By letter dated October 27, 2015, the Commission ordered the licensee to file a plan and schedule to resume project operations or a transfer application within 30 days, and failure to do so would result in termination of the project license by implied surrender. The licensee has not filed a response.

    l. This notice is available for review and reproduction at the Commission in the Public Reference Room, Room 2A, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The filing may also be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the Docket number (P-8722-018) excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the notice. You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, call toll-free 1-866-208-3676 or email [email protected] For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    m. Individuals desiring to be included on the Commission's mailing list should so indicate by writing to the Secretary of the Commission.

    n. Comments, Protests, or Motions to Intervene: Anyone may submit comments, a protest, or a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210, .211, .214. In determining the appropriate action to take, the Commission will consider all protests or other comments filed, but only those who file a motion to intervene in accordance with the Commission's Rules may become a party to the proceeding. Any comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be received on or before the specified comment date for the particular application.

    o. Filing and Service of Responsive Documents: Any filing must (1) bear in all capital letters the title “COMMENTS”, “PROTEST”, or “MOTION TO INTERVENE” as applicable; (2) set forth in the heading the name of the applicant and the project number of the application to which the filing responds; (3) furnish the name, address, and telephone number of the person protesting or intervening; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 385.2001 through 385.2005. All comments, motions to intervene, or protests must set forth their evidentiary basis and otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 4.34(b). All comments, motions to intervene, or protests should relate to project works which are the subject of the license surrender. Agencies may obtain copies of the application directly from the applicant. A copy of any protest or motion to intervene must be served upon each representative of the applicant specified in the particular application. If an intervener files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency. A copy of all other filings in reference to this application must be accompanied by proof of service on all persons listed in the service list prepared by the Commission in this proceeding, in accordance with 18 CFR 4.34(b) and 385.2010.

    Dated: December 11, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31722 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP15-504-000] Dominion Carolina Gas Transmission; Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Columbia to Eastover Project

    On May 29, 2015, Dominion Carolina Gas Transmission (Dominion) filed an application in Docket No. CP15-504-000 requesting a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity pursuant to Section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act to construct and operate certain natural gas pipeline facilities. The proposed project is known as the Columbia to Eastover Project (Project), and would provide 18,000 dekatherms per day of firm transportation service to the existing International Paper Plant in Eastover, South Carolina.

    On June 12, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) issued its Notice of Application for the Project. The notice informed agencies issuing federal authorizations of the requirement under EPAct 2005 section 313 to complete all necessary reviews and to reach a final decision on a request for a federal authorization within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Project. This Notice of Schedule identifies the Commission staff's planned schedule for the completion of the EA for the Project.

    Schedule for Environmental Review Issuance of EA—February 19, 2016 90-day Federal Authorization Decision Deadline—May 19, 2016

    If a schedule change becomes necessary, additional notice will be provided so that the relevant agencies are kept informed of the Project's progress.

    Project Description

    For the Columbia to Eastover Project, Dominion would construct and operate approximately 28 miles of new 8-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline and new appurtenant facilities in Calhoun and Richland Counties, South Carolina.

    Background

    On July 16, 2015, the Commission issued a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Columbia to Eastover Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues (NOI). The NOI was sent to affected landowners; federal, state, and local government agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes; other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. The Commission received comments from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Friends of the Congaree Swamp, McEntire Joint National Guard Base, Richland County Conservation Commission, Congaree Riverkeeper, and several landowners including Beckham Swamp LLC, Belle Grove LLC, and St. Matthews Church. In addition to general opposition to the Project, we received requests for minor and major reroutes of the pipeline to utilize more existing utility rights-of-way and a reduction in number and length of access roads. The primary environmental issues raised by the commentors are potential impacts on the following resources: sensitive fish species, the Cowasee Basin, specific archaeological sites, local tree farms, and recreation areas.

    Additional Information

    In order to receive notification of the issuance of the EA and to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Additional information about the Project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs at (866) 208-FERC or on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov). Using the “eLibrary” link, select “General Search” from the eLibrary menu, enter the selected date range and “Docket Number” excluding the last three digits (i.e., CP15-504), and follow the instructions. For assistance with access to eLibrary, the helpline can be reached at (866) 208-3676, TTY (202) 502-8659, or at [email protected]. The eLibrary link on the FERC Web site also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rule makings.

    Dated: December 11, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31720 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OW-2015-0668; 9940-23-OW] Notice of an Extension To Provide Information on Existing Programs That Protect Water Quality From Forest Road Discharges AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice; extension of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is extending the comment period for the notice, “Opportunity to Provide Information on Existing Programs that Protect Water Quality from Forest Road Discharges.” In response to stakeholder requests, EPA is extending the comment period for an additional 32 days, from January 11, 2016, to February 12, 2016.

    DATES:

    The comment period for the notice, that was published on November 10, 2015 (80 FR 69653), is extended. Comments must be received on or before February 12, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2015-0668, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. 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. 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:

    Prasad Chumble, EPA Headquarters, Office of Water, Office of Wastewater Management via email at [email protected] or telephone at 202-564-0021.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On November 10, 2015 EPA published in the Federal Register (80 FR 69653) a request for information and comments on existing public and private sector programs that address stormwater discharges from forest roads. This information will assist EPA in responding to the remand in Environmental Defense Center, Inc. v. U.S. EPA, 344 F.2d 832 (9th Cir. 2003) that requires EPA to consider whether the Clean Water Act requires the Agency to regulate stormwater discharges from forest roads. EPA is considering the implementation, effectiveness, and scope of existing programs in addressing water quality impacts attributable to stormwater discharges from forest roads to assist in responding to the court's question. The Agency plans to assess a variety of existing programs, including federal, state, local, tribal, third party certifications, and combinations of these approaches, including voluntary best management practices (BMP)-based approaches. In preparing its response to the remand, EPA is coordinating with other federal agencies, and will assess whether any additional stormwater controls are called for, consistent with federal law, including the 2014 amendments to the Clean Water Act. As initially published in the Federal Register, written comments were to be submitted to EPA on or before January 11, 2016 (a 60-day public comment period). Since publication, EPA has received several requests for additional time to submit comments. EPA is extending the public comment period for 32 days until February 12, 2016.

    Dated: December 8, 2015. Joel Beauvais, Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Water.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31664 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0022; FRL-9939-19] Pesticide Product Registration; Receipt of Applications for New Uses AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA has received applications to register new uses for pesticide products containing currently registered active ingredients. Pursuant to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), EPA is hereby providing notice of receipt and opportunity to comment on these applications.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before January 19, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0022 and the File Symbol of interest as shown in the body of this document, by one of the following methods:

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

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

    Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the instructions at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.html.

    Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

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

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

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

    B. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

    1. Submitting CBI. Do not submit this information to EPA through regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information in a disk or CD-ROM that you mail to EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD-ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD-ROM the specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.

    2. Tips for preparing your comments. When preparing and submitting your comments, see the commenting tips at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html.

    II. Registration Applications

    EPA has received applications to register new uses for pesticide products containing currently registered active ingredients. Pursuant to the provisions of FIFRA section 3(c)(4) (7 U.S.C. 136a(c)(4)), EPA is hereby providing notice of receipt and opportunity to comment on these applications. Notice of receipt of these applications does not imply a decision by the Agency on these applications.

    1. EPA Registration Numbers: 264-776 and 264-1093. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0745. Applicant: Bayer CropScience LP, 2 TW Alexander Drive, P.O. Box 12014, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709. Active ingredient: Trifloxystrobin. Product type: Fungicide. Proposed use: Cotton. Contact: RD.

    2. EPA Registration Numbers: 264-824; 264-825. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0722. Applicant: Bayer CropScience LP, 2 T.W. Alexander Drive, P.O. Box 12014, RTP, NC 27709. Active ingredient: Prothioconazole. Product type: Fungicide. Proposed use: Cotton. Contact: RD.

    3. EPA Registration Numbers: 279-3460, 279-3052, 279-3158. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0763. Applicant: FMC, 1735 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103. Active ingredient: Clomazone. Product type: Herbicide. Proposed uses: Asparagus and edamame. Contact: RD.

    4. EPA Registration Number: 432-RLGL; 432-RLGA; 432-RLGT; 432-RLGI; and 432-RLUG. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0707. Applicant: Bayer Environmental Science LLC, P.O. Box 12014, 2 T.W. Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709. Active ingredient: Fluopyram. Product type: Fungicide. Proposed uses: Turf and Ornamentals. Contact: RD.

    5. EPA Registration Number or File Symbol: 11678-73; 66222-243; 66222-EAE. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0478. Applicant: Makhteshim Agan of North America, 3120 Highwoods Blvd., Suite 100, Raleigh, NC 27604. Active ingredient: Fluensulfone. Product type: Insecticide. Proposed uses: Root vegetables (crop subgroup 1B except sugar beet), leaves of root and tuber vegetables (crop group 2); leafy vegetables (crop group 4 except brassica vegetables), head and stem brassica (crop subgroup 5A), brassica leafy vegetables (crop subgroup 5B), low growing berry (crop subgroup 13-07G), and tobacco. Contact: RD.

    6. File Symbol: 71512-1 and 71512-8. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0703. Applicant: ISK Biosciences Corporation, 7470 Auburn Road, Suite A, Concord, OH, 44077. Active ingredient: Fluazinam. Product type: Fungicide. Proposed uses: Mayhaw, cabbage, squash/cucumber subgroup 9B, brassica leafy group 5 (except cabbage), and tuberous and corm subgroup 1C. Contact: RD.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

    Dated: December 10, 2015. Susan Lewis, Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31757 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0021; FRL-9939-25] Pesticide Product Registration; Receipt of Application for a New Active Ingredient AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA has received an application to register a pesticide product containing an active ingredient not included in any currently registered pesticide products. Pursuant to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), EPA is hereby providing notice of receipt and opportunity to comment on this application.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before January 19, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by the docket identification (ID) number and the File Symbol of interest as shown in the body of this document, by one of the following methods:

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

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert McNally, Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division (7511P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; main telephone number: (703) 305-7090; email address: [email protected]

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

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

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

    B. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

    1. Submitting CBI. Do not submit this information to EPA through regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information in a disk or CD-ROM that you mail to EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD-ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD-ROM the specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.

    2. Tips for preparing your comments. When preparing and submitting your comments, see the commenting tips at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html.

    II. Registration Application

    EPA has received an application to register a pesticide product containing an active ingredient not included in any currently registered pesticide products. Pursuant to the provisions of FIFRA section 3(c)(4) (7 U.S.C. 136a(c)(4)), EPA is hereby providing notice of receipt and opportunity to comment on this application. Notice of receipt of this application does not imply a decision by the Agency on this application.

    File Symbol: 70051-REN. Docket ID number: EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0748. Applicant: Certis USA, LLC, 9145 Guilford Rd., Suite 175, Columbia, MD 21046. Product name: Trident Biological Insecticide. Active ingredient: Insecticide—Bacillus thuringiensis variety tenebrionis strain SA-10 at 14.32%. Proposed uses: Agricultural and residential. Contact: BPPD.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

    Dated: December 7, 2015. R. McNally, Director, Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31758 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION FCC To Hold Open Commission Meeting, Thursday, December 17, 2015 December 10, 2015.

    The Federal Communications Commission will hold an Open Meeting on the subjects listed below on Thursday, December 17, 2015, which is scheduled to commence at 10:30 a.m. in Room TW-C305, at 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC.

    Item No. Bureau Subject 1 WIRELINE COMPETITION TITLE: Petition of US Telecom for Forbearance Pursuant to 47 U.S.C. 160 (c) from Enforcement of Obsolete ILEC Legacy Regulations That Inhibit Deployment of Next-Generation Networks. (WC Docket No. 14-192); Lifeline and Link Up Reform and Modernization (WC Docket No. 11-42); Connect America Fund (WC Docket No. 10-90) SUMMARY: The Commission will consider a Memorandum Opinion and Order and Report and Order addressing a petition from US Telecom that seeks forbearance from various categories of statutory and Commission requirements applicable to incumbent local exchange carriers. 2 MEDIA TITLE: Amendment of Parts 73 and 74 of the Commission's Rules to Establish Rules for Digital Low Power Television and Television Translator Stations (MB Docket No. 03-185); Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive Auctions (GN Docket No. 12-268); Amendment of Part 15 of the Commission's Rules to Eliminate the Analog Turner Requirement (ET Docket No. 14-175) SUMMARY: The Commission will consider a Third Report and Order that extends the deadline for LPTV and TV Translator Stations to Transition to Digital and adopts measures to mitigate the impact of incentive auction displacement. The Fourth Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks comment on channel sharing issues between certain stations. 3 INTERNATIONAL TITLE: Comprehensive Review of Licensing and Operating Rules for Satellite Services (IB Docket No. 12-267) SUMMARY: The Commission will consider a Second Report and Order that streamlines, eliminates or updates numerous provisions of Part 25 of the Commission's rules governing licensing and operation of space stations and earth stations for the provision of satellite communication services. 4 INTERNATIONAL SUMMARY: The Commission will hear a presentation on the outcomes of the International Telecommunication Union's World Radio Conference that took place in November 2015. Consent Agenda

    The Commission will consider the following subjects listed below as a consent agenda and these items will not be presented individually:

    1 MEDIA TITLE: Application of Hampton Roads Educational Telecommunications Association for a New Noncommercial Educational FM Station at Gloucester Point SUMMARY: The Commission will consider a Memorandum Opinion and Order concerning a joint Application for Review challenging the grant of an application filed by Hampton Roads Educational Telecommunications Association for a new NCE FM station. 2 MEDIA TITLE: Public Media of New England, Inc. Application for a New LPFM Station at Haverhill, Massachusetts SUMMARY: The Commission will consider a Memorandum Opinion and Order concerning an Application for Review filed by Boston Radio Association seeking review of the grant of a construction permit for a new LPFM station to Public Media of New England, Inc. 3 MEDIA TITLE: Cocoa Minority Educational Media Association, Application for a New LPFM Station at Cocoa, Florida SUMMARY: The Commission will consider a Memorandum Opinion and Order concerning an Application for Review filed by Cocoa Minority Educational Media Association seeking review of CMEMA's dismissed application for a new LPFM station. 4 MEDIA TITLE: California Association for Research and Education, Inc., Application for a New Noncommercial Educational FM Broadcast Station at Upton, KY, and Bethel Fellowship, Inc., Application for a New Noncommercial Educational FM Broadcast Station at Cecilia, Kentucky SUMMARY: The Commission will consider an Order on Reconsideration in which Bethel seeks reconsideration of a denial of its Application for Review seeking denial of CARE's noncommercial educational FM application. 5 MEDIA TITLE: Calvary Chapel of Honolulu, Inc., Application to Construct New Noncommercial Educational FM Stations at Honolulu, Hawaii, and Maka'ainana Broadcasting Company, Ltd., Application to Construct New Noncommercial Educational FM Stations at Kaneohe, Hawaii SUMMARY: The Commission will consider a Memorandum Opinion and Order concerning Applications for Review filed by Maka'ainana Broadcasting Company, Ltd. regarding mutually exclusive applications to construct new noncommercial educational FM stations in Hawaii. 6 MEDIA TITLE: John Edward Ostlund, Application for a Permit to Construct a new AM Station at Easton, California, and Hilo Broadcasting, LLC, Application for a Permit to Construct a New AM Station at Captain Cook, Hawaii SUMMARY: The Commission will consider a Memorandum Opinion and Order concerning an Application for Review filed by Hilo Broadcasting, LLC regarding mutually exclusive AM station applications.

    The meeting site is fully accessible to people using wheelchairs or other mobility aids. Sign language interpreters, open captioning, and assistive listening devices will be provided on site. Other reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. In your request, include a description of the accommodation you will need and a way we can contact you if we need more information. Last minute requests will be accepted, but may be impossible to fill. Send an email to: [email protected] or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY).

    Additional information concerning this meeting may be obtained from the Office of Media Relations, (202) 418-0500; TTY 1-888-835-5322. Audio/Video coverage of the meeting will be broadcast live with open captioning over the Internet from the FCC Live Web page at www.fcc.gov/live.

    For a fee this meeting can be viewed live over George Mason University's Capitol Connection. The Capitol Connection also will carry the meeting live via the Internet. To purchase these services, call (703) 993-3100 or go to www.capitolconnection.gmu.edu.

    FCC

    The meeting site is fully accessible to people using wheelchairs or other mobility aids. Sign language interpreters, open captioning, and assistive listening devices will be provided on site. Other reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. In your request, include a description of the accommodation you will need and a way we can contact you if we need more information. Last minute requests will be accepted, but may be impossible to fill. Send an email to: [email protected] or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY).

    Additional information concerning this meeting may be obtained from the Office of Media Relations, (202) 418-0500; TTY 1-888-835-5322. Audio/Video coverage of the meeting will be broadcast live with open captioning over the Internet from the FCC Live Web page at www.fcc.gov/live.

    For a fee this meeting can be viewed live over George Mason University's Capitol Connection. The Capitol Connection also will carry the meeting live via the Internet. To purchase these services, call (703) 993-3100 or go to www.capitolconnection.gmu.edu.

    Federal Communications Commission. Gloria Miles, Information Specialist.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31671 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Sunshine Act Meeting

    Pursuant to the provisions of the “Government in the Sunshine Act” (5 U.S.C. 552b), notice is hereby given that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's Board of Directors met in open session at 10:06 a.m. on Tuesday, December 15, 2015, to consider the following matters:

    Summary Agenda:

    Disposition of minutes of previous Board of Directors' Meetings.

    Memorandum and resolution: Review of Regulations Transferred from the Former Office of Thrift Supervision: Part 390, Subpart V—Management Official Interlocks.

    Memorandum and resolution re: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Regarding Proposed Revisions to Part 341 of the FDIC's Rules and Regulations Requiring the Registration of Securities Transfer Agents.

    Memorandum and resolution re: Fourth Joint Federal Register Notice Addressing FDIC Regulations in Accordance with the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act (“EGRPRA”).

    Summary reports, status reports, and reports of actions taken pursuant to authority delegated by the Board of Directors.

    Discussion Agenda:

    Memorandum and resolution re: Proposed 2016 FDIC Operating Budget.

    In calling the meeting, the Board determined, on motion of Vice Chairman Thomas M. Hoenig, seconded by Director Thomas J. Curry (Comptroller of the Currency), concurred in by Director Richard Cordray (Director, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), and Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg, that Corporation business required its consideration of the matters on less than seven days' notice to the public; and that no earlier notice of the meeting than that previously provided on December 9, 2015, was practicable.

    The meeting was held in the Board Room located on the sixth floor of the FDIC Building located at 550 17th Street NW., Washington, DC.

    Dated: December 15, 2015. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31853 Filed 12-15-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Sunshine Act Meeting

    Pursuant to the provisions of the “Government in the Sunshine Act” (5 U.S.C. 552b), notice is hereby given that at 10:23 a.m. on Tuesday, December 15, 2015, the Board of Directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation met in closed session to consider matters related to the Corporation's supervision, corporate, and resolution activities.

    In calling the meeting, the Board determined, on motion of Vice Chairman Thomas M. Hoenig, seconded by Director Thomas J. Curry (Comptroller of the Currency), concurred in by Director Richard Cordray (Director, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), and Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg, that Corporation business required its consideration of the matters which were to be the subject of this meeting on less than seven days' notice to the public; that no earlier notice of the meeting was practicable; that the public interest did not require consideration of the matters in a meeting open to public observation; and that the matters could be considered in a closed meeting by authority of subsections (c)(2), (c)(4), (c)(6), (c)(8), (c)(9)(A)(ii), (c)(9)(B), and (c)(10) of the “Government in the Sunshine Act” (5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(2), (c)(4), (c)(6), (c)(8), (c)(9)(A)(ii), (c)(9)(B), and (c)(10).

    Dated: December 15, 2015. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Robert E. Feldman, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31854 Filed 12-15-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE P
    FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION Notice of Agreements Filed

    The Commission hereby gives notice of the filing of the following agreements under the Shipping Act of 1984. Interested parties may submit comments on the agreements to the Secretary, Federal Maritime Commission, Washington, DC 20573, within twelve days of the date this notice appears in the Federal Register. Copies of the agreements are available through the Commission's Web site (www.fmc.gov) or by contacting the Office of Agreements at (202)-523-5793 or [email protected]

    Agreement No.: 201143-013.

    Title: West Coast MTO Agreement.

    Parties: APM Terminals Pacific, Ltd.; California United Terminals, Inc.; Eagle Marine Services, Ltd.; Everport Terminal Services, Inc; International Transportation Service, Inc.; Long Beach Container Terminal, Inc.; Trapac, Inc.; Total Terminals LLC; West Basin Container Terminal LLC; Yusen Terminals, Inc.; Pacific Maritime Services, L.L.C.; SSA Terminals, LLC; and SSA Terminal (Long Beach), LLC.

    Filing Party: Wayne R. Rohde, Esq.; Cozen O'Connor; 1200 19th Street NW.; Washington, DC 20036.

    Synopsis: The amendment deletes Seaside Transportation Service LLC as a party to the Agreement.

    Agreement No.: 201202-008.

    Title: Oakland MTO Agreement.

    Parties: Everport Terminal Services, Inc.; Ports America Outer Harbor Terminal, LLC; SSA Terminals, LLC; SSA Terminals (Oakland), LLC; and Trapac, Inc.

    Filing Party: Wayne R. Rohde, Esq.; Cozen O'Connor; 1200 19th Street NW.; Washington, DC 20036.

    Synopsis: The amendment deletes Seaside Transportation Service, LLC as a party to the Agreement.

    By Order of the Federal Maritime Commission.

    Dated: December 11, 2015. Rachel E. Dickon, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31651 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6731-AA-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies

    The companies listed in this notice have applied to the Board for approval, pursuant to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq.) (BHC Act), Regulation Y (12 CFR part 225), and all other applicable statutes and regulations to become a bank holding company and/or to acquire the assets or the ownership of, control of, or the power to vote shares of a bank or bank holding company and all of the banks and nonbanking companies owned by the bank holding company, including the companies listed below.

    The applications listed below, as well as other related filings required by the Board, are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The applications will also be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing on the standards enumerated in the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1842(c)). If the proposal also involves the acquisition of a nonbanking company, the review also includes whether the acquisition of the nonbanking company complies with the standards in section 4 of the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1843). Unless otherwise noted, nonbanking activities will be conducted throughout the United States.

    Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding each of these applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than January 11, 2016.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (Colette A. Fried, Assistant Vice President) 230 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60690-1414:

    1. First Farmers Financial Corporation, Converse, Indiana; to merge with Century Bank Corp., Fairmount, Indiana, and thereby indirectly acquire The Citizens Exchange Bank, Fairmount, Indiana.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, December 14, 2015. Michael J. Lewandowski, Associate Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31763 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION Granting of Request for Early Termination of the Waiting Period Under the Premerger Notification Rules

    Section 7A of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. 18a, as added by Title II of the Hart-Scott- Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, requires persons contemplating certain mergers or acquisitions to give the Federal Trade Commission and the Assistant Attorney General advance notice and to wait designated periods before consummation of such plans. Section 7A(b)(2) of the Act permits the agencies, in individual cases, to terminate this waiting period prior to its expiration and requires that notice of this action be published in the Federal Register.

    The following transactions were granted early termination—on the dates indicated—of the waiting period provided by law and the premerger notification rules. The listing for each transaction includes the transaction number and the parties to the transaction. The grants were made by the Federal Trade Commission and the Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice. Neither agency intends to take any action with respect to these proposed acquisitions during the applicable waiting period.

    Early Terminations Granted November 1, 2015 thru November 30, 2015 11/02/2015 20160056 G Suncor Energy Inc.; Canadian Oil Sands Limited; Suncor Energy Inc. 20160094 G Leeds Equity Partners V, L.P.; Higher One Holdings, Inc.; Leeds Equity Partners V, L.P. 20160114 G Allergan plc; Mimetogen Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Allergan plc. 11/03/2015 20150863 G Mylan N.V.; Perrigo Company plc; Mylan N.V. 20160070 G Carl C. Icahn; American International Group, Inc.; Carl C. Icahn. 20160124 G DSV A/S; UTi Worldwide Inc.; DSV A/S. 20160132 G Calpine Corporation; Granite Ridge Holdings LLC; Calpine Corporation. 11/04/2015 20160019 G SS&C Technologies, Inc.; Carlyle U.S. Growth Fund III, L.P.; SS&C Technologies, Inc. 20160027 G Mr. Patrick Drahi; Cablevision Systems Corporation; Mr. Patrick Drahi. 20160029 G Mr. Patrick Drahi; Comcast Corporation; Mr. Patrick Drahi. 20160080 G H&F EFS AIV I, L.P.; Lee Equity Partners Fund Summer AIV LP; H&F EFS AIV I, L.P. 20160123 G Benchmark Electronics, Inc.; Vance Street Capital LLC; Benchmark Electronics, Inc. 20160127 G Brentwood Associates Private Equity V, L.P.; Sea Island Clothiers Holdings, LLC; Brentwood Associates Private Equity V, L.P. 20160129 G ServiceMaster Global Holdings, LLC; David Royce; ServiceMaster Global Holdings, LLC. 11/05/2015 20160035 G AqGen Island Holdings, Inc.; C.G. JCF, L.P.; AqGen Island Holdings, Inc. 11/06/2015 20160028 G Tyler Technologies, Inc.; Larry D. Leinweber; Tyler Technologies, Inc. 20160135 G Estate of Vincent Camuto; Estate of Vincent Camuto; Estate of Vincent Camuto. 20160137 G AEA Investors Small Business Fund II LP; Quad-C Partners VII, L.P.; AEA Investors Small Business Fund II LP. 20160141 G CCMP Capital Investors III (AV-9), L.P.; PQ Group Holdings Inc.; CCMP Capital Investors III (AV-9), L.P. 20160143 G PQ Group Holdings Inc.; Eco Services Group Holdings LLC; PQ Group Holdings Inc. 20160145 G CCMP Capital Investors III (AV-7), L.P.; PQ Group Holdings Inc.; CCMP Capital Investors III (AV-7), L.P. 20160156 G Thales Group; Vormetric, Inc.; Thales Group 20160157 G Lake Michigan Credit Union; United Federal Credit Union; Lake Michigan Credit Union. 20160160 G Saudi Arabian Oil Company; LANXESS AG; Saudi Arabian Oil Company. 20160163 G nexAir Holding, Inc.; Praxair, Inc.; nexAir Holding, Inc. 20160170 G Carlyle Global Financial Services Partners II, LP; Edgewood Partners Holdings, LLC; Carlyle Global Financial Services Partners II, LP. 20160177 G Intercontinental Exchange, Inc.; Interactive Data Holdings Corporation; Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. 11/09/2015 20160118 G Singapore Post Limited; Genossenschaft Constanter; Singapore Post Limited 20160149 G Capita plc; Xchanging plc; Capita plc 20160155 G PBF Energy Inc.; Exxon Mobil Corporation; PBF Energy Inc. 20160159 G TransCanada Corp.; Talen Energy Corporation; TransCanada Corp. 20160164 G Green Plains Inc.; Murphy USA Inc.; Green Plains Inc. 20160172 G Participacoes Industriais do Nordeste, S.A.; Ball Corporation ; Participacoes Industriais do Nordeste, S.A. 11/10/2015 20160061 G TRC Companies, Inc.; Willbros Group, Inc.; TRC Companies, Inc. 20160101 G Blue Mountain Credit Alternatives Fund Ltd.; Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Blue Mountain Credit Alternatives Fund Ltd. 20160111 G Mason Capital, Ltd.; Edgewell Personal Care Company; Mason Capital, Ltd. 20160152 G Bristol-Myers Squibb Company; Five Prime Therapeutics, Inc.; Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. 11/12/2015 20160088 G Dialog Semiconductor Plc; Atmel Corporation; Dialog Semiconductor Plc. 20160174 G Project Aurora Parent, Inc.; SolarWinds, Inc.; Project Aurora Parent, Inc. 11/13/2015 20160175 G EQUATE Petrochemical Company; Kuwait Petroleum Corporation ; EQUATE Petrochemical Company. 20160178 G EQUATE Petrochemical Company; The Dow Chemical Company; EQUATE Petrochemical Company. 11/16/2015 20160119 G WEX Inc.; Benaissance, LLC; WEX Inc. 20160131 G Cologix Holdings, Inc.; NAC Holdings LLC; Cologix Holdings, Inc. 20160139 G Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget SCA ; Wausau Paper Corp.; Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget SCA. 20160151 G NorthStar Asset Management Group Inc.; GTCR Fund X/B LP; NorthStar Asset Management Group Inc. 20160179 G Securitas AB ; Diebold, Incorporated; Securitas AB. 20160184 G Shaobo Li ; Nipro Corporation ; Shaobo Li. 20160185 G Blackstone Capital Partners IV L.P.; Arlington Capital Partners III, L.P.; Blackstone Capital Partners IV L.P. 20160187 G Trend Micro, Inc.; Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company; Trend Micro, Inc. 20160192 G Navitas Midstream Partners, LLC; Apache Corporation ; Navitas Midstream Partners, LLC. 20160197 G Envision Healthcare Holdings, Inc.; QRx Medical Management, LLC; Envision Healthcare Holdings, Inc. 20160202 G Trilantic Capital Partners IV L.P.; Antero Resources Investment LLC; Trilantic Capital Partners IV L.P. 11/17/2015 20151733 G Schlumberger N.V.; Cameron International Corporation ; Schlumberger N.V. 20160203 G TCP Antero I-1 Holdco, LLC; Antero Resources Investment LLC; TCP Antero I-1 Holdco, LLC. 20160205 G Paul M. Rady; Antero Resources Investment LLC; Paul M. Rady. 20160213 G Warburg Pincus Private Equity X O&G, L.P.; Antero Resources Investment LLC; Warburg Pincus Private Equity X O&G, L.P. 20160214 G Warburg Pincus Private Equity VIII, L.P.; Antero Resources Investment LLC; Warburg Pincus Private Equity VIII, L.P. 20160215 G Warburg Pincus Private Equity X L.P.; Antero Resources Investment LLC; Warburg Pincus Private Equity X L.P. 20160216 G BIF III Holtwood Holding (Delaware) LLC; Talen Energy Corporation ; BIF III Holtwood Holding (Delaware) LLC 20160217 G Glen C. Warren, Jr.; Antero Resources Investment LLC; Glen C. Warren, Jr. 20160220 G Invesco Perpetual UK Investment Series Investment Company; Biofem LLC; Invesco Perpetual UK Investment Series Investment Company. 20160221 G Invesco Perpetual UK 2 Investment Series Investment Company; Biofem LLC; Invesco Perpetual UK 2 Investment Series Investment Company. 20160224 G Gryphon Partners 3.5, L.P.; Robert W. Fisher ; Gryphon Partners 3.5, L.P. 20160229 G Endologix, Inc.; TriVascular Technologies, Inc.; Endologix, Inc. 20160231 G Brooks Automation, Inc.; BioStorage Technologies, Inc.; Brooks Automation, Inc. 20160236 G Genstar Capital Partners VII, L.P.; Lee Equity Partners Fund PDR AIV, L.P.; Genstar Capital Partners VII, L.P. 11/18/2015 20160222 G CF Woodford Investment Fund; Biofem LLC; CF Woodford Investment Fund. 11/19/2015 20160136 G CDC Holdings, L.P.; Windstream Holdings, Inc.; CDC Holdings, L.P. 20160167 G Genstar Capital Partners VII, L.P.; PSG MB Holding Company I, L.P.; Genstar Capital Partners VII, L.P. 20160180 G TPG-Axon Partners, LP; GNC Holdings, Inc.; TPG-Axon Partners, LP. 20160181 G TPG-Axon Partners (Offshore), Ltd.; GNC Holdings, Inc.; TPG-Axon Partners (Offshore), Ltd. 11/20/2015 20160209 G Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Mutual Insurance Company; DDDS Holdings, LLC; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Mutual Insurance Company. 20160232 G Kinder Morgan Inc.; BP plc; Kinder Morgan Inc. 20160235 G Expedia, Inc.; HomeAway, Inc.; Expedia, Inc. 20160248 G The Lyme Forest Fund IV LP; Hawthorne Timber Company, LLC; The Lyme Forest Fund IV LP. 20160250 G GIP II CPV Holdings Partnership, L.P.; CPV Shore Holdings, LLC; GIP II CPV Holdings Partnership, L.P. 20160251 G Yorktown Energy Partners VIII, L.P.; Antero Resources Investment LLC; Yorktown Energy Partners VIII, L.P. 20160252 G American Capital Equity III, LP; Riverside Micro-Cap, Fund II, L.P.; American Capital Equity III, LP. 20160253 G Yorktown Energy Partners VII, L.P.; Antero Resources Investment LLC; Yorktown Energy Partners VII, L.P. 20160254 G Toshiba Corporation ; Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V.; Toshiba Corporation. 20160256 G NeuStar, Inc.; MarketShare Partners, LLC; NeuStar, Inc. 20160258 G ABRY Partners VIII, L.P.; Directravel Holdings, LLC; ABRY Partners VIII, L.P. 20160259 G TPG Growth III (A), L.P.; Palladium Equity Partners III, L.P.; TPG Growth III (A), L.P. 20160263 G Brenntag AG ; Ridgemont Equity Partners I-B, L.P.; Brenntag AG. 20160264 G Cisco Systems, Inc.; Lancope, Inc.; Cisco Systems, Inc. 20160265 G Alphabet Inc.; Diane Greene ; Alphabet Inc. 20160266 G FMI Associates, L.L.C.; Maurice J. Wagener ; FMI Associates, L.L.C. 20160275 G Agnaten SE ; Douglas Zell and Emily Mange ; Agnaten SE. 20160279 G Sammer and Rawa Anabi Family Trust ; Rebel Oil Company, Inc.; Sammer and Rawa Anabi Family Trust. 20160285 G TA XI L.P.; Dan Randolph ; TA XI L.P. 20160308 G Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc.; West Virginia Media Partners, LP; Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc. 11/23/2015 20160158 G Sola Ltd, Charitable Trust ; Loral Space & Communications Inc.; Sola Ltd, Charitable Trust. 20160191 G Fairholme Funds, Inc.; Sears Holdings Corporation ; Fairholme Funds, Inc. 20160200 G Carl C. Icahn ; Chesapeake Energy Corporation ; Carl C. Icahn. 20160274 G FedEx Corporation ; TNT Express N.V.; FedEx Corporation. 20160276 G Dan T. Montgomery; A. James Clark Revocable Trust ; Dan T. Montgomery. 20160278 G Boston Scientific Corporation ; Dr. James R. Leininger ; Boston Scientific Corporation. 20160280 G Gryphon Partners IV, L.P.; The Huron Fund III, L.P.; Gryphon Partners IV, L.P. 20160284 G New Flyer Industries Inc.; Motor Coach Holdings, LP; New Flyer Industries Inc. 20160288 G Chiyoda Corporation ; Ezra Holdings Limited; Chiyoda Corporation. 20160289 G Caterpillar Inc.; Roy D. Sturgeon ; Caterpillar Inc. 20160291 G Bridgestone Corporation ; The Pep Boys—Manny, Moe & Jack ; Bridgestone Corporation. 11/24/2015 20160148 G FEI Company; DCG Systems, Inc.; FEI Company 20160165 G NeoGenomics, Inc.; General Electric Company; NeoGenomics, Inc. 20160166 G General Electric Company; NeoGenomics, Inc.; General Electric Company 20160168 G Elliott Associates, L.P.; Cabela's Incorporated; Elliott Associates, L.P. 20160169 G Elliott International Limited; Cabela's Incorporated; Elliott International Limited. 20160226 G LSF9 Cypress LP; Gypsum Supply Co. Employee Stock Ownership Plan Trust ; LSF9 Cypress LP. 20160260 G LetterOne Holdings S.A.; The Huron Fund III, L.P.; LetterOne Holdings S.A. 20160281 G AstraZeneca PLC; ZS Pharma, Inc.; AstraZeneca PLC. 11/25/2015 20150944 S NXP Semiconductors N.V.; Freescale Semiconductor, Ltd.; NXP Semiconductors N.V. 20160153 G Blucora, Inc.; HDV Holdings LLC; Blucora, Inc. 20160233 G Pamlico Capital III, L.P.; Chicago Growth Partners II, LP; Pamlico Capital III, L.P. 20160268 G Johnson & Johnson ; Novira Therapeutics, Inc.; Johnson & Johnson. 20160273 G Cathay Financial Holding Co., Ltd.; CCMP Capital Octagon Holdings, LLC; Cathay Financial Holding Co., Ltd. 20160295 G AutoNation, Inc.; MWM Real Estate, LLC; AutoNation, Inc. 20160298 G AutoNation, Inc.; Allen Samuels Enterprises, Inc.; AutoNation, Inc. 11/27/2015 20160277 G Endurance International Group, Inc.; Constant Contact, Inc.; Endurance International Group, Inc. 11/30/2015 20160206 G Sachem Head Offshore Ltd.; Autodesk, Inc.; Sachem Head Offshore Ltd. 20160207 G Sachem Head LP; Autodesk, Inc.; Sachem Head LP. 20160208 G Scott D. Ferguson ; Autodesk, Inc.; Scott D. Ferguson. 20160283 G Johnson & Johnson ; Hanmi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.; Johnson & Johnson. 20160297 G Kinross Gold Corporation ; Barrick Gold Corporation ; Kinross Gold Corporation. 20160309 G AAA Mid-Atlantic Inc.; AAA Allied Group, Inc.; AAA Mid-Atlantic Inc. 20160325 G Constellation Brands, Inc.; Jack White, Jr.; Constellation Brands, Inc. 20160328 G Targa Resources Corp.; Targa Resources Partners LP; Targa Resources Corp. 20160330 G AP VIII DSB Holdings, L.P.; Warburg Pincus Private Equity X, L.P.; AP VIII DSB Holdings, L.P. 20160334 G Arbor Investments III, L.P.; Ornua Co-operative Limited; Arbor Investments III, L.P. 20160341 G Riverstone Global Energy and Power Fund; Bonanza Creek Energy, Inc.; Riverstone Global Energy and Power Fund. 20160347 G Fossil Group, Inc.; Misfit, Inc.; Fossil Group, Inc. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Theresa Kingsberry Program Support Specialist, Federal Trade Commission Premerger Notification Office Bureau of Competition, Room CC-5301, Washington, DC 20024 (202) 326-3100.

    By direction of the Commission.

    Donald S. Clark, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31670 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [60Day-16-16GX; Docket No. CDC-2015-0113] Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice with comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as part of its continuing efforts to reduce public burden and maximize the utility of government information, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This notice invites comment on a proposed new information collection request entitled “Mining Industry Surveillance System”.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before February 16, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CDC-2015-0113 by any of the following methods: Federal eRulemaking Portal: Regulation.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Mail: Leroy A. Richardson, Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and Docket Number. All relevant comments received will be posted without change to Regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to Regulations.gov.

    Please note: All public comment should be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking portal (Regulations.gov) or by U.S. mail to the address listed above.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, contact the Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329; phone: 404-639-7570; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. In addition, the PRA also requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each new proposed collection, each proposed extension of existing collection of information, and each reinstatement of previously approved information collection before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, we are publishing this notice of a proposed data collection as described below.

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (e) estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information. Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. This includes the time needed to review instructions; to develop, acquire, install and utilize technology and systems for the purpose of collecting, validating and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; to train personnel and to be able to respond to a collection of information, to search data sources, to complete and review the collection of information; and to transmit or otherwise disclose the information.

    Proposed Project

    Mining Industry Surveillance System—New—National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    The mission of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is to promote safety & health at work for all people through research and prevention. The Federal Mine Safety & Health Act of 1977, section 501, enables NIOSH to carry out research relevant to the health and safety of workers in the mining industry. Surveillance of occupational injuries, illnesses, and exposures has been an integral part of the work of the NIOSH since its creation by the Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970. Surveillance activities at the Office of Mine Safety and Health Research (OMSHR), a Division of NIOSH, are focused on the nation's mining workforce. OMSHR is planning to develop the Mining Industry Surveillance System, a unique source of longitudinal information on U.S. mines and their employees. Its purpose will be to: (1) Track changes and emerging trends over time; (2) provide current data to guide research and training activities; (3) provide updated demographic and occupational data for the mining workforce; and (4) provide denominator data to help understand the risk of work-related injuries, disease, and fatalities in specific demographic and occupational subgroups. The goal of the proposed project is to improve its surveillance capability related to the occupational risks in mining. NIOSH is requesting a three-year approval for this data collection.

    NIOSH is planning to use the Mining Industry and Workforce Survey (MIWS) to collect data for the Mining Industry Surveillance System. Data will be collected through surveys conducted on a rotating basis in mining sectors aligned with national mining association. In Phase 1 of the project, the MIWS will be conducted in the stone/sand and gravel mining sector in year 1, the metal/nonmetal mining sector in year 2, and the coal mining sector in year 3. Data from this survey will provide denominator data so that accident, injury, and illness reports can be evaluated in relation to the population at risk.

    Additionally, NIOSH cannot separately determine the number of contractor employees working in metal, nonmetal, stone, or sand and gravel mines. The survey will collect mine-level data on contractor employees to allow NIOSH to determine the quantity of contract labor that mine operators use and the type of work these employees perform. NIOSH will also use the MIWS to collect mine-level data that will provide a valuable picture of the current working environment (work schedules and shift work practices) used in the U.S. mining industry.

    Based on the stratification and sample size allocation plan developed for this project, 34% of all sampled mines have fewer than 10 employees. Mines with 10 or fewer employees will not have to do any sampling as they will be asked to provide data for all of their employees. Small mines will require up to 45 minutes to complete the survey. Mines with 11 or more employees will need up to 1.5 hours given their need to generate an employee roster and sample 10 of their employees. Thus, NIOSH is estimating that the average annual burden to complete the survey will be 1 hour. Non-responding mines will be asked to complete the Nonresponse Survey which consists of only seven questions. NIOSH estimates that the burden for this brief survey will be 10 minutes or less.

    The total estimated burden hours are 1,397. There is no cost to the respondents other than their time.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondents Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Avg. burden per response (in hrs.) Total burden (in hrs.)
    Responding Stone/Sand & Gravel Mines (Year 1) Mining Industry & Workforce Survey 526 1 1 526 Nonresponding Stone/Sand & Gravel Mines (Year 1) Nonresponse Survey 350 1 10/60 58 Responding Metal/Nonmetal Mines (Year 2) Mining Industry & Workforce Survey 369 1 1 369 Nonresponding Metal/Nonmetal Mines (Year 2) Nonresponse Survey 246 1 10/60 41 Responding Coal Mines (Year 3) Mining Industry & Workforce Survey 363 1 1 363 Nonresponding Coal Mines (Year 3) Nonresponse Survey 242 1 10/60 40 Total 1,397
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31741 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [30Day-16-0009] Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act Review

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has submitted the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The notice for the proposed information collection is published to obtain comments from the public and affected agencies.

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address any of the following: (a) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) Evaluate the accuracy of the agencies estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses; and (e) Assess information collection costs.

    To request additional information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, call (404) 639-7570 or send an email to [email protected] Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the items contained in this notice should be directed to the Attention: CDC Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-5806. Written comments should be received within 30 days of this notice.

    Proposed Project National Disease Surveillance Program-I—Case Reports—Revision—National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Disease (NCEZID), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Background and Brief Description

    Surveillance of the incidence and distribution of disease has been an important function of the US Public Health Service (PHS) since an 1878 Act of Congress, which authorized the PHS to collect morbidity reports. After the Malaria Control in War Areas Program had fulfilled its original 1942 objective of reducing malaria transmission, its basic tenets were carried forward and broadened by the formation of the Communicable Disease Center (CDC) in 1946. CDC was conceived of as a well-equipped, broadly staffed agency used to translate facts about analysis of morbidity and mortality statistics on communicable diseases and through field investigations.

    The surveillance emphasis has shifted as certain diseases have declined in incidence, national emergencies have prompted involvement in new areas, and other diseases have taken on new aspects. Surveillance for the following diseases was approved three years ago: Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), Cyclosporiasis cayetanensis, Q Fever, Dengue, Reye Syndrome, Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), Tick-borne Rickettsial Disease, Kawasaki syndrome, Trichinosis, Legionellosis, Tularemia, Lyme Disease (LD), Typhoid Fever, Malaria, Viral Hepatitis, and Plague. Due to change requests and surveillance systems moving to and receiving information collection approval under OMB Control number 0920-0728 (National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS)) during the last three years, the following diseases/conditions are now included in this program: Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), Reye Syndrome, Kawasaki syndrome, and Acute Flaccid Myelitis. CDC needs to continue this surveillance package for another three years to maintain continuity in these surveillance systems. The data throughout the years are used to monitor the occurrence of non-notifiable conditions and to plan and conduct prevention and control programs at the state, territorial, local and national levels.

    CDC currently collects data for certain diseases in summary form under OMB Control number 0920-0004, (National Disease Surveillance Program II—Disease Summaries). These disease summaries are for important, yet different types of infections from those covered in this disease case reports request. Maintaining separate OMB Control number approvals for these two types of data collections assists CDC in managing the two surveillance activities.

    CDC works with state health departments to propose, coordinate, and evaluate nationwide surveillance systems. State epidemiologists are responsible for the collection, interpretation, and transmission of medical and epidemiological information to CDC.

    The original purpose for reporting communicable diseases was to determine the prevalence of diseases dangerous to public health. However, collecting data also provided the basis for planning and evaluating effective programs for prevention and control of infectious diseases. Current information on disease incidence is needed to study present and emerging disease problems. CDC coordination of nationwide reporting maintains uniformity so that comparisons can be made from state to state and year to year.

    In addition to development of prevention and control programs, surveillance data serves as statistical material for those engaged in research or medical practice, aid to health education officials and students, and data for manufacturers of pharmaceutical products. Annual surveillance data are published in the MMWR Surveillance Summary. The total burden requested is 190 hours, a decrease in 11,257 hours since the last submission. This is due to the other diseases reporting moving to the Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (0920-0728). There is no cost to respondents other than their time.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondents Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hrs.)
  • Epidemiologist CJD 20 2 20/60 Epidemiologist Kawasaki Syndrome 55 8 15/60 Epidemiologist Reye Syndrome 50 1 20/60 Epidemiologist Acute Flaccid Myelitis 100 1 30/60 Total
    Leroy Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31706 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [60Day-16-0821; Docket No. CDC-2015-0114] Proposed Data Collection Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations AGENCY:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    ACTION:

    Notice with comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as part of its continuing efforts to reduce public burden and maximize the utility of government information, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This notice invites comment on a proposed revision of an information collection request entitled “Quarantine Station Illness Response Forms: Airline, Maritime, and Land/Border Crossing” which will enable CDC to collect information concerning cases of illness or death that occur during or after travel to the United States in order to determine if further public health follow-up is required.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before February 16, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. CDC-2015-0114 by any of the following methods:

    • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Regulation.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    • Mail: Leroy A. Richardson, Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and Docket Number. All relevant comments received will be posted without change to Regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to Regulations.gov.

    Please note:

    All public comment should be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking portal (Regulations.gov) or by U.S. mail to the address listed above.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the information collection plan and instruments, contact the Information Collection Review Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE., MS-D74, Atlanta, Georgia 30329; phone: 404-639-7570; Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. In addition, the PRA also requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each new proposed collection, each proposed extension of existing collection of information, and each reinstatement of previously approved information collection before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, we are publishing this notice of a proposed data collection as described below. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (e) estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information. Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. This includes the time needed to review instructions; to develop, acquire, install and utilize technology and systems for the purpose of collecting, validating and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; to train personnel and to be able to respond to a collection of information, to search data sources, to complete and review the collection of information; and to transmit or otherwise disclose the information.

    Proposed Project

    Quarantine Station Illness Response Forms: Airline, Maritime, and Land/Border Crossing (0920-0821, expires 04/30/2016). Revision. Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, National Center for Emerging Zoonotic and Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Background and Brief Description

    CDC is requesting approval for a revision to this existing information collection with the intent of ensuring that CDC can continue and improve the collection of pertinent information related to communicable disease or deaths that occur aboard conveyances during travel within the United States and into the United States from a foreign country, as authorized under 42 Code of Federal Regulations part 70 and 71, respectively.

    Concerning routine operations, CDC is adjusting its estimates of respondents and burden associated with the use of the Air Travel, Maritime Conveyance, and Land Travel Illness or Death Investigation forms.

    • CDC is requesting an increase in the number of respondents to the Air Travel Illness or Death Investigation form, from 1626 respondents to 1800. This results in an additional 15 hours of burden per year.

    • CDC is requesting fewer respondents to the Maritime Conveyance Illness or Death Investigation Form, from 1873 to 750 reports. This results in a decrease of 94 hours.

    • CDC is requesting a decrease in the number of respondents to the Land Travel Illness or Death Investigation form, from 259 respondents to 100. This results in a decrease of 13 hours.

    Also included are adjustments to the number of respondents and estimated burden to the public for the use of the United States Traveler Health Declaration and Ebola Risk Assessment forms at U.S. ports of entry. These forms are currently used to collect contact information and assess travelers' risk for Ebola if they are coming to the United States from Sierra Leone and Guinea. The adjustments are as follows:

    • CDC is requesting 40,238 fewer respondents to the United States Traveler Health Declaration (English: Hard Copy, fillable PDF, electronic portal), resulting in a decrease of 10,060 burden hours.

    • CDC is requesting an additional 6,814 respondents to the United States Traveler Health Declaration (French translation guide), with an increase of 1,703 burden hours.

    • CDC is requesting 76 fewer respondents for the United States Traveler Health Declaration (Arabic translation guide), with a decrease of 19 burden hours.

    • CDC is requesting 2,637 fewer respondents to the Ebola Risk Assessment Form (English hard copy), and an associated decrease of 659 burden hours.

    • CDC is requesting an increase of 141 respondents to the Ebola Risk Assessment (French translation guide) and an increase of 35 burden hours.

    • CDC is requesting eight fewer respondents to the Ebola Risk Assessment (Arabic translation guide) and two fewer burden hours.

    CDC is also requesting an adjustment to the number of respondents and burden hours for the use of the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system surveys.

    • CDC is requesting 40,238 fewer respondents to the IVR Active Monitoring Survey (English: Recorded), with 56,333 fewer burden hours.

    • CDC is requesting an increase of 6,814 respondents to the IVR Active Monitoring Survey (French: Recorded) and an additional 9,540 burden hours.

    • CDC is requesting 76 fewer respondents to the IVR Active Monitoring: Arabic translation assistance (no script), with a decrease of 106 burden hours.

    These adjustments result in a decrease of 55,994 burden hours.

    CDC requested a total of 38,817 respondents and 29,388 burden hours annually. The respondents to these information collections are travelers and ship medical personnel. There is no cost to respondents other than the time required to provide the information requested.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Respondent Form Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in minutes)
  • Total burden hours
    Traveler Airline Travel Illness or Death Investigation Form 1,800 1 5/60 150 Ship Medical Personnel Maritime Conveyance Illness or Death Investigation Form 750 1 5/60 63 Traveler Land Travel Illness or Death Investigation Form 100 1 5/60 8 Traveler Ebola Risk Assessment Form (Ill traveler interview: English, French, Arabic, or other as needed) 100 1 15/60 25 Traveler United States Traveler Health Declaration (English: Hard Copy, fillable PDF, electronic portal) 9,000 1 15/60 2250 Traveler United States Traveler Health Declaration (French translation guide) 8,400 1 15/60 2100 Traveler United States Traveler Health Declaration (Arabic translation guide) 100 1 15/60 25 Traveler Ebola Risk Assessment Form (English hard copy) 810 1 15/60 203 Traveler Ebola Risk Assessment French translation guide 252 1 15/60 63 Traveler Ebola Risk Assessment Arabic translation guide 5 1 15/60 1 Traveler IVR Active Monitoring Survey (English: Recorded) 9,000 21 4/60 12,600 Traveler IVR Active Monitoring Survey (French: Recorded) 8,400 21 4/60 11,760 Traveler IVR Active Monitoring: Arabic translation assistance (no script) 100 21 4/60 140 Total 38,817 29,388
    Leroy A. Richardson, Chief, Information Collection Review Office, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Associate Director for Science, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31742 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4163-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2011-D-0164] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Guidance for Industry on Safety Labeling Changes—Implementation of Section 505(o)(4) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing that a proposed collection of information has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Fax written comments on the collection of information by January 19, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    To ensure that comments on the information collection are received, OMB recommends that written comments be faxed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attn: FDA Desk Officer, FAX: 202-395-7285, or emailed to [email protected] All comments should be identified with the OMB control number 0910-0734. Also include the FDA docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    FDA PRA Staff, Office of Operations, Food and Drug Administration, 8455 Colesville Rd., COLE-14526, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In compliance with 44 U.S.C. 3507, FDA has submitted the following proposed collection of information to OMB for review and clearance.

    Guidance for Industry on Safety Labeling Changes—Implementation of Section 505(o)(4) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, OMB Control Number 0910-0734—Extension

    Section 505(o)(4) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 355(o)(4)) authorizes FDA to require, and if necessary, order labeling changes if FDA becomes aware of new safety information that FDA believes should be included in the labeling of certain prescription drug and biological products approved under section 505 of the FD&C Act or section 351 of the PHS Act (42 U.S.C. 262). Section 505(o)(4) of the FD&C Act applies to prescription drug products with an approved new drug application (NDA) under section 505(b) of the FD&C Act, biological products with an approved biologics license application under section 351 of the PHS Act, or prescription drug products with an approved abbreviated new drug application under section 505(j) of the FD&C Act if the reference listed drug with an approved NDA is not currently marketed. Section 505(o)(4) imposes timeframes for application holders to submit and FDA staff to review such changes, and gives FDA new enforcement tools to bring about timely and appropriate labeling changes. The guidance provides information on the implementation of the new provisions, including a description of the types of safety labeling changes that ordinarily might be required under the new legislation, how FDA plans to determine what constitutes new safety information, the procedures involved in requiring safety labeling changes, and enforcement of the requirements for safety labeling changes.

    FDA requires safety labeling changes by sending a notification letter to the application holder. Under section 505(o)(4)(B), the application holder must respond to FDA's notification by submitting a labeling supplement or notifying FDA that the applicant does not believe the labeling change is warranted and submitting a statement detailing the reasons why the application holder does not believe a change is warranted (a rebuttal statement).

    Based on FDA's experience to date with safety labeling changes requirements under section 505(o)(4), we estimate that approximately 42 application holders will elect to submit approximately one rebuttal statement each year and that each rebuttal statement will take approximately 6 hours to prepare.

    In addition, in the guidance, FDA states that new labeling prepared in response to a safety labeling change notification should be available on the application holder's Web site within 10 calendar days of approval. FDA estimates that approximately 407 application holders will post new labeling one time each year in response to a safety labeling change notification and that the posting of the labeling will take approximately 4 hours to prepare.

    In the Federal Register of September 2, 2015 (80 FR 53161), FDA published a 60-day notice requesting public comment on the proposed collection of information. No comments were received.

    FDA estimates the burden of this collection of information as follows:

    Table 1—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden 1 Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Total annual responses Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • Total hours
    Rebuttal statement 42 1 42 6 252 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.
    Table 2—Estimated Annual Third-Party Disclosure Burden 1 Type of submission Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • disclosures per
  • respondent
  • Total annual disclosures Average
  • burden per
  • disclosure
  • Total hours
    Posting approved labeling on application holder's Web site 407 1 407 4 1,628 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collect of information.
    Dated: December 10, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31696 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2010-D-0226] Medical Device ISO 13485:2003 Voluntary Audit Report Pilot Program; Termination of Pilot Program; Announcement of the Medical Device Single Audit Program Operational Phase AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing the termination of the Medical Device ISO Voluntary Audit Report Pilot Program. This program allowed the submission of ISO audit reports performed by third parties, along with audit reports from the preceding 2 years, to determine if the owner or operator of the medical device establishment could be removed from FDA's routine inspection work plan for 1 year. FDA is also announcing its participation in the operational phase of the Medical Device Single Audit Program (MDSAP), which will allow third parties recognized by the MDSAP consortium to submit audit reports that FDA will utilize for routine inspections.

    DATES:

    This notice is effective March 31, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Ruff, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 66, Rm. 3615, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-6556.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    In the Federal Register of March 19, 2012 (77 FR 16036), FDA announced the availability of a final guidance entitled “Guidance for Industry, Third Parties and Food and Drug Administration Staff: Medical Device ISO 13485:2003 Voluntary Audit Report Submission Pilot Program” (Ref. 1). This guidance document was effective on June 5, 2012, and as stated in the guidance was an interim measure while developing a single audit program, to implement section 228 of the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 (Pub. L. 110-85), which amended section 704(g)(7) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 374(g)(7)). The pilot allowed the owner or operator of the medical device establishment to be removed from FDA's routine inspection work plan for 1 year from the last day of the ISO 13485:2003 audit. The voluntary submitted ISO 13485:2003 audit report provides FDA some information on the conformance of the manufacturer with basic and fundamental quality management system requirements for medical devices.

    In 2012, FDA started working on the MDSAP with other global regulators within the International Medical Device Regulators Forum (IMDRF) for purposes of leveraging work performed for other medical device regulators to meet its inspection obligations. On November 15, 2013 (78 FR 68853), FDA announced its participation within the MDSAP consortium's pilot program, which is effective January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2016.

    After review of the MDSAP Mid-Pilot Report, which published in August 2015 (Ref. 2), FDA announced that it will participate with the other MDSAP Consortium regulators from Australia, Brazil, Canada, and Japan in the implementation of the operational phase of the program starting January 1, 2017. The MDSAP program provides FDA better assurances than the ISO 13485:2003 Voluntary Audit Report Submission Pilot because FDA's requirements under 21 CFR 820 or other FDA regulations typically covered during FDA inspections are encompassed within the MDSAP audit model.

    On January 1, 2017, MDSAP will become fully operational to include opening applications for additional auditing organizations beyond the limited eligible auditing organizations within the pilot phase. Each regulator within the consortium has committed to continuing to utilize the MDSAP audits during the pilot as well as during the operational phase as described in the MDSAP public announcements posted on FDA's Web page (Ref. 3).

    Also, Health Canada in a recent announcement laid out the timeframe for which they will terminate their Canadian Medical Device Conformity Assessment System (CMDCAS) program and utilize MDSAP as the means by which manufacturers will obtain a medical device license for distribution of medical devices in Canada (Ref. 4). As a result of the implementation of the MDSAP program, FDA will no longer accept ISO 13485:2003 Voluntary Audit Report Submissions after March 31, 2016, to assist transitioning manufacturers over to MDSAP.

    II. References

    The following references are on display in the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852 and are available for viewing by interested persons between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday; they are also available electronically at http://www.regulations.gov. FDA has verified the Web site addresses, as of the date this document publishes in the Federal Register, but Web sites are subject to change over time.

    1. FDA Guidance, Guidance for Industry, Third Parties and Food and Drug Administration Staff: Medical Device ISO 13485:2003 Voluntary Audit Report Pilot Program, available at http://www.fda.gov/downloads/MedicalDevices/DeviceRegulationandGuidance/GuidanceDocuments/UCM212798.pdf.

    2. Medical Device Single Audit Program (MDSAP) Mid-Pilot Status Report, January 2014-December 2016, available http://www.fda.gov/downloads/MedicalDevices/InternationalPrograms/MDSAPPilot/UCM461661.pdf.

    3. Medical Device Single Audit Program (MDSAP) Pilot, available at http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/InternationalPrograms/MDSAPPilot/.

    4. Health Canada's transition strategy from CMDCAS to MDSAP, available at http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/md-im/activit/int/index-eng.php.

    Dated: December 8, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31692 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No.FDA-2015-N-0001] The Twentieth Food and Drug Administration International Separation Science Society Symposium on the Interface of Regulatory and Analytical Sciences for Biotechnology Health Products—WCBP 2016 AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, in cosponsorship with the International Separation Science Society (CASSS), is announcing a meeting entitled “The Twentieth FDA CASSS Symposium on the Interface of Regulatory and Analytical Sciences for Biotechnology Health Products—WCBP 2016.” The purpose of the meeting is to discuss development of biotechnology-derived drug products and analytic methodologies for the development of biotechnology-derived drug products.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held January 26, 2016, from 8 a.m., until January 28, 2016, at 5 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at The Mayflower Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Ave. NW., Washington, DC

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Linda Mansouria, CASSS, 5900 Hollis St., Suite R3, Emeryville, CA 94608, 510-428-0740, FAX: 510-428-0741, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    CASSS is a scientific society providing forums for the dissemination of information and discussions among industry, academic and regulatory professionals founded on the development and applications of separation science. This cosponsored meeting provides state-of-the-art presentations on the technologies used to produce and assess product quality of biotechnology-derived drug products.

    II. Registration and Accommodations A. Registration

    There is a registration fee to attend this meeting. The registration fee is charged to help defray the costs of programming and facilities. Seats are limited, and registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

    To register, please complete registration online at http://www.casss.org/?WCBP1600. (FDA has verified the Web address, but FDA is not responsible for subsequent changes to the Web site after this document publishes in the Federal Register.) The costs of registration for the different categories of attendees are as follows:

    Category Cost Industry Representatives $1995 (early bird);
  • $2395 (onsite).
  • Academic $795 (early bird);
  • $895 (onsite).
  • Government $795 (early bird);
  • $895 (onsite).
  • B. Accommodations

    Attendees are responsible for their own hotel accommodations. Attendees making reservations at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington DC are eligible for a reduced rate of $295 USD, not including applicable taxes. To receive the reduced rate, contact the Mayflower Hotel (1-877-212-5752) and identify yourself as an attendee of “CASSS—WCBP 2016.” If you need special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Linda Mansouria (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) at least 7 days in advance.

    III. Transcripts

    We expect that transcripts will be available approximately 30 days after the meeting. A transcript will be available in either hard copy or on CD-ROM, after submission of a Freedom of Information request. Send written requests to the Division of Freedom of Information (ELEM-1029), Food and Drug Administration, 12420 Parklawn Dr., Element Bldg., Rockville, MD 20857. Send faxed requests to 301-827-9267.

    Dated: December 11, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31691 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2015-D-4562] Safety Assessment for Investigational New Drug Application Safety Reporting; Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA, we, or Agency) is announcing the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled “Safety Assessment for IND Safety Reporting.” The draft guidance provides recommendations to sponsors on developing a systematic approach to investigational new drug application (IND) safety reporting for human drugs and biological products developed under an IND. This draft guidance is a follow-on to the guidance for industry and investigators entitled “Safety Reporting Requirements for INDs and BA/BE Studies” that provides recommendations for how sponsors of INDs can identify and evaluate important safety information that must be submitted to FDA and all participating investigators, including a recommendation that sponsors develop a safety assessment committee.

    DATES:

    Although you can comment on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)), to ensure that the Agency considers your comment on this draft guidance before it begins work on the final version of the guidance, submit either electronic or written comments on the draft guidance by February 16, 2016. Submit comments on the information collection issues under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 by February 16, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments as follows:

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

    • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to http://www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on http://www.regulations.gov.

    • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

    • Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    • For written/paper comments submitted to the Division of Dockets Management, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2015-D-4562 for “Safety Assessment for Investigational New Drug Application Safety Reporting; Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability.” Received comments will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    • Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on http://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Division of Dockets Management. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with 21 CFR 10.20 and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: http://www.fda.gov/regulatoryinformation/dockets/default.htm.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or the electronic and written/paper comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Division of Dockets Management, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    Submit comments on information collection issues to the Office of Management and Budget in the following ways:

    • Fax to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attn: FDA Desk Officer, FAX: 202-395-7285, or email to [email protected]. All comments should be identified with the title “Safety Assessment for IND Safety Reporting.”

    Submit written requests for single copies of the draft guidance to the Division of Drug Information, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10001 New Hampshire Ave., Hillingdale Bldg., 4th Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002; or the Office of Communication, Outreach and Development, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 71, Rm. 3128, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist that office in processing your requests. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the draft guidance document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dianne Paraoan, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Rm. 3326, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-2500; or Stephen Ripley, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 71, Rm. 7301, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 240-402-7911.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    FDA is announcing the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled “Safety Assessment for IND Safety Reporting.” The draft guidance provides recommendations to sponsors on developing a systematic approach to IND safety reporting for human drugs and biological products developed under an IND. The draft guidance is a follow-on to the guidance for industry and investigators entitled “Safety Reporting Requirements for INDs and BA/BE Studies.” 1 It provides recommendations for how sponsors of INDs can identify and evaluate important safety information that must be submitted to FDA and all participating investigators under the IND safety reporting regulations at § 312.32 (21 CFR 312.32). The draft guidance provides recommendations on the following: (1) The composition and role of a safety assessment committee, (2) aggregate analyses for comparison of adverse event rates across treatment groups, (3) planned unblinding of safety data, (4) reporting thresholds for IND safety reporting, and (5) the development of a safety surveillance plan.

    1 The guidance is available on the Internet at http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm (under Guidances [Drugs]).

    The IND safety reporting requirements for human drugs and biological products are found at § 312.32, and the guidance for industry and investigators entitled “Safety Reporting Requirements for INDs and BA/BE Studies” describes and provides recommendations for complying with these requirements. During the evaluation of comments to the draft guidance for industry and investigators entitled “Safety Reporting Requirements for INDs and BA/BE Studies” (Docket No. FDA-2010-D-0482) and at meetings with stakeholders, FDA identified the need for additional guidance on IND safety reporting topics for IND studies.

    It is critical for sponsors to detect and report, as early as possible, serious and unexpected suspected adverse reactions and clinically important increased rates of previously recognized serious adverse reactions (§ 312.32(c)(1)(i) and (iv)). Early detection of such occurrences will enable sponsors to carry out their obligation to monitor the progress of the investigation (21 CFR 312.56(a)) and, when necessary, to take steps to protect subjects to allow an investigational drug to be safely developed despite potential risks. Early detection also allows sponsors to report meaningful safety information to FDA and all participating investigators in an IND safety report as soon as possible.

    Timely reporting of meaningful safety information allows FDA to consider whether any changes in study conduct should be made beyond those initiated by the sponsor and allows investigators to make any needed changes to protect subjects. For these reasons, the draft guidance provides recommendations intended to help sponsors meet their obligations under § 312.32. We recommend that sponsors develop a safety assessment committee and a safety surveillance plan as key elements of a systematic approach to safety surveillance. A safety assessment committee would be a group of individuals chosen by the sponsor to review safety information in a development program and tasked with making a recommendation to the sponsor regarding whether the safety information must be reported in an IND safety report. A safety surveillance plan should describe processes and procedures for assessing serious adverse events and other important safety information.

    This draft guidance is being issued consistent with FDA's good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The draft guidance, when finalized, will represent the current thinking of FDA on safety assessment for IND safety reporting. It does not establish any rights for any person and is not binding on FDA or the public. You can use an alternative approach if it satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations.

    II. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal Agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information that they conduct or sponsor. “Collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes Agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)) requires Federal Agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register for each proposed collection of information before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, FDA is publishing this notice of the proposed collection of information set forth in this document.

    With respect to the collection of information associated with this draft guidance, FDA invites comments on the following topics: (1) Whether the proposed information collected is necessary for the proper performance of FDA's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of FDA's estimated burden of the proposed information collected, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of information collected on the respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques, when appropriate, and other forms of information technology.

    Title: Safety Assessment for IND Safety Reporting.

    Description of Respondents: The respondents to this collection of information are sponsors that conduct IND studies.

    Burden Estimate: The draft guidance provides recommendations to sponsors on developing a systematic approach to IND safety reporting for human drugs and biological products developed under an IND. The draft guidance also provides recommendations on the following: (1) The composition and role of a safety assessment committee, (2) aggregate analyses for comparison of adverse event rates across treatment groups, (3) planned unblinding of safety data, (4) reporting thresholds for IND safety reporting, and (5) the development of a safety surveillance plan.

    A. Proposed Reporting Burden Estimates for Developing and Submitting a Safety Surveillance Plan

    This draft guidance proposes the following new collections of information for reporting:

    Developing and Submitting a Safety Surveillance Plan: The draft guidance recommends that a sponsor develop a safety surveillance plan that describes processes and procedures for assessing serious adverse events and other safety information. The draft guidance describes seven elements that should be included in a safety surveillance plan and recommends that the sponsor submit a portion of the safety surveillance plan to the IND. Specifically, the sponsor should submit the list of anticipated serious adverse events and previously recognized serious adverse reactions and guiding principles for periodic aggregate safety reviews.

    Based on information available to FDA, including burden estimates for collections of information approved under OMB control numbers 0910-0014 [covers § 312.23 (21 CFR 312.23) (IND content), portions of § 312.32 (IND safety reports), and § 312.66 (21 CFR 312.66) (investigator reporting to institutional review board)] and 0910-0733 (development of a comprehensive monitoring plan), we estimate that approximately 88 sponsors will develop approximately 111 safety surveillance plans in accordance with the draft guidance and that the burden for each plan will be approximately 120 to 240 hours. This burden estimate includes the time sponsors will need to prepare safety surveillance plan amendments when appropriate. The average burden per response is estimated as a range to account for respondents that will make changes to a pre-existing premarket safety system and those that will develop a new premarket safety system. The average of this range (180 hours) was used to calculate the total hours estimated in table 1 of this document (a total of 19,980 hours).

    FDA estimates the burden of this collection of information as follows:

    Table 1—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden 1 Safety assessment for IND safety reporting Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total annual
  • responses
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • Total hours
    Develop and submit a safety surveillance plan 88 1.26 111 180 19,980 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.
    B. Proposed Recordkeeping Burden Estimates for Maintaining a Safety Surveillance Plan

    This draft guidance proposes the following new collections of information for recordkeeping:

    The draft guidance recommends that a sponsor maintain the safety surveillance plan.

    Based on information available to FDA, we estimate that approximately 88 sponsors will maintain approximately 3 records in accordance with the draft guidance and that the average burden per recordkeeping is 6 hours (a total of 1,584 hours).

    FDA estimates the burden of this collection of information as follows:

    Table 2—Estimated Annual Recordkeeping Burden 1 Safety assessment for IND safety reporting Number of
  • recordkeepers
  • Number of
  • records per
  • recordkeeper
  • Total annual records Average
  • burden per
  • recordkeeping
  • Total hours
    Maintain a safety surveillance plan 88 3 264 6 1,584 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.

    The draft guidance also refers to previously approved collections of information found in FDA regulations that have been approved under the OMB control numbers that follow.

    • OMB control number 0910-0014 covers § 312.23 (IND content), portions of § 312.32 (IND safety reports), and § 312.66 (investigator reporting to institutional review board).

    • OMB control number 0910-0116 covers 21 CFR 606.170(b) (adverse reaction file).

    • OMB control number 0910-0230 covers 21 CFR 310.305 and 314.80 (postmarketing reporting of adverse drug experiences).

    • OMB control number 0910-0308 covers 21 CFR 600.80 (postmarketing reporting of adverse experiences).

    • OMB control number 0910-0672 covers more recent provisions of § 312.32 that are not already approved under OMB control number 0910-0014 (for example, reporting to FDA in an IND safety report any clinically important increase in the rate of occurrence of serious suspected adverse reactions over that listed in the protocol or the investigator brochure).

    III. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the Internet may obtain the document at http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm, http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm, or http://www. regulations.gov.

    Dated: December 11, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31690 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2011-D-0597] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Guidance for Industry on Oversight of Clinical Investigations: A Risk-Based Approach to Monitoring AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing that a proposed collection of information has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Fax written comments on the collection of information by January 19, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    To ensure that comments on the information collection are received, OMB recommends that written comments be faxed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attn: FDA Desk Officer, FAX: 202-395-7285, or emailed to [email protected] All comments should be identified with the OMB control number 0910-0733. Also include the FDA docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    FDA PRA Staff, Office of Operations, Food and Drug Administration, 8455 Colesville Rd., COLE-14526, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In compliance with 44 U.S.C. 3507, FDA has submitted the following proposed collection of information to OMB for review and clearance.

    Guidance for Industry: Oversight of Clinical Investigations: A Risk-Based Approach to Monitoring, OMB Control Number 0910-0733

    The guidance is intended to assist sponsors of clinical investigations in developing strategies for risk-based monitoring and plans for clinical investigations of human drug and biological products, medical devices, and combinations thereof. The guidance describes strategies for monitoring activities performed by sponsors, or by contract research organizations (CROs), that focus on the conduct, oversight, and reporting of findings of an investigation by clinical investigators. The guidance also recommends strategies that reflect a risk-based approach to monitoring that focuses on critical study parameters and relies on a combination of monitoring activities to oversee a study effectively. The guidance specifically encourages greater reliance on centralized monitoring methods where appropriate.

    Under parts 312 and 812 (21 CFR parts 312 and 812), sponsors are required to provide appropriate oversight of their clinical investigations to ensure adequate protection of the rights, welfare, and safety of human subjects and to ensure the quality and integrity of the resulting data submitted to FDA. As part of this oversight, sponsors of clinical investigations are required to monitor the conduct and progress of their clinical investigations. The regulations do not specify how sponsors are to conduct monitoring of clinical investigations and, therefore, are compatible with a range of approaches to monitoring. FDA currently has OMB approval for the information collection required under part 812 (OMB control number 0910-0078) and part 312, including certain provisions under subpart D (OMB control number 0910-0014).

    The collection of information associated with this guidance that is approved under OMB control number 0910-0733 is as follows:

    Development of Comprehensive Monitoring Plan: Section IV.D of the guidance recommends that sponsors develop a prospective, detailed monitoring plan that describes the monitoring methods, responsibilities, and requirements for each clinical trial. The plan should provide adequate information to those involved with monitoring to effectively carry out their duties. All sponsor and CRO personnel who may be involved with monitoring (including those who review appropriate action, determine appropriate action, or both) regarding potential issues identified through monitoring, should review the monitoring plan. The components of a monitoring plan are described in the guidance, including monitoring plan amendments (i.e., the review and revision of monitoring plans and processes for timely updates).

    FDA understands that sponsors currently develop monitoring plans; however, not all monitoring plans contain all the elements described in the guidance. Therefore, the burden estimate provides the additional time that a sponsor would expend in developing a comprehensive monitoring plan based on the recommendations in the guidance. FDA estimates that approximately 88 sponsors will develop approximately 132 comprehensive monitoring plans in accordance with the guidance, and that the added burden for each plan will be approximately 4 hours to develop, including the time needed to prepare monitoring plan amendments when appropriate (a total of 528 hours).

    In the Federal Register of July 14, 2015 (80 FR 41044), FDA published a 60-day notice requesting public comment on the proposed collection of information. FDA received one comment; however, it did not pertain to the information collection.

    FDA estimates the burden of this collection of information as follows:

    Table 1—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden 1 Activity Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Total annual responses Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • Total hours
    Development of Comprehensive Monitoring Plan 88 1.5 132 4 528 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.
    Dated: December 10, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31695 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2015-N-4667] Determination That Vancomycin Hydrochloride Injection Drug Products, Were Not Withdrawn From Sale for Reasons of Safety or Effectiveness AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) has determined that VANCOCIN (vancomycin hydrochloride (HCl)) injection, 500 milligrams (mg)/vial, 1 gram (g)/vial, 10 g/vial (“the VANCOCIN drug products”); VANCOLED (vancomycin HCl) injection, 500 mg/vial, 1 g/vial, 2 g/vial, 5 g/vial, and 10 g/vial (“the VANCOLED drug products”); and VANCOCIN HYDROCHLORIDE (vancomycin HCl) injection, 500 mg/vial and 1 g/vial (“the VANCOCIN HCl drug products”) (hereinafter collectively “these Vancomycin HCl drug products”), were not withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness. This determination will allow FDA to approve abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) for these Vancomycin HCl drug products if all other legal and regulatory requirements are met.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robin Fastenau, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Rm. 6236, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 240-402-4510, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In 1984, Congress enacted the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984 (Pub. L. 98-417) (the 1984 amendments), which authorized the approval of duplicate versions of drug products under an ANDA procedure. ANDA applicants must, with certain exceptions, show that the drug for which they are seeking approval contains the same active ingredient in the same strength and dosage form as the “listed drug,” which is a version of the drug that was previously approved. ANDA applicants do not have to repeat the extensive clinical testing otherwise necessary to gain approval of a new drug application (NDA).

    The 1984 amendments include what is now section 505(j)(7) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 355(j)(7)), which requires FDA to publish a list of all approved drugs. FDA publishes this list as part of the “Approved Drug Products With Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations,” which is known generally as the “Orange Book.” Under FDA regulations, drugs are removed from the list if the Agency withdraws or suspends approval of the drug's NDA or ANDA for reasons of safety or effectiveness or if FDA determines that the listed drug was withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness (21 CFR 314.162).

    A person may petition the Agency to determine, or the Agency may determine on its own initiative, whether a listed drug was withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness. This determination may be made at any time after the drug has been withdrawn from sale, but must be made prior to approving an ANDA that refers to the listed drug (§ 314.161 (21 CFR 314.161)). FDA may not approve an ANDA that does not refer to a listed drug.

    The VANCOCIN drug products are the subject of ANDA 62-812 held by ANI Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and were initially approved on November 17, 1987. The VANCOLED drug products are the subject of ANDA 62-682 held by Eurohealth International Sàrl and were initially approved on July 22, 1986. The VANCOCIN HCl drug products are the subject of ANDA 60-180 held by ANI Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and were initially approved on November 6, 1964. These Vancomycin HCl drug products are indicated for the treatment of serious or severe infections caused by susceptible strains of methicillin-resistant (beta-lactam-resistant) staphylococci. They are indicated for penicillin-allergic patients; for patients who cannot receive or who have failed to respond to other drugs, including the penicillins or cephalosporins; and for infections caused by vancomycin-susceptible organisms that are resistant to other antimicrobial drugs. They are indicated for initial therapy when methicillin-resistant staphylococci are suspected, but after susceptibility data are available, therapy should be adjusted accordingly.

    These Vancomycin HCl drug products are currently listed in the “Discontinued Drug Product List” section of the Orange Book.

    Strides Arcolab Limited submitted a citizen petition dated May 18, 2009 (Docket No. FDA-2009-P-0242), under § 10.30 (21 CFR 10.30), requesting that the Agency determine whether VANCOCIN (Vancomycin HCl) injection, 10 g/vial, was withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness. Although the citizen petition did not address the 500 mg/vial and 1 g/vial strengths, these strengths have also been discontinued. On our own initiative, we have also determined whether these strengths were withdrawn for safety or effectiveness reasons. Hospira submitted a citizen petition dated October 5, 2015 (Docket No. FDA-2015-P-3621), under § 10.30, requesting that the Agency determine whether VANCOLED (vancomycin HCl) injection, 10 g bulk packaging, was withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness. Although the citizen petition did not address the 500 mg/vial, 1 g/vial, 2 g/vial, and 5 g/vial strengths, these strengths have also been discontinued. On our own initiative, we have also determined whether these strengths were withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness. In addition, the VANCOCIN HCl (Vancomycin HCl), injection, 500 mg/vial, and 1 g/vial drug products have been discontinued from sale and FDA has determined whether these drug products were withdrawn from the market for safety or effectiveness reasons.

    After considering the citizen petitions and reviewing Agency records and based on the information we have at this time, FDA has determined under § 314.161 that these Vancomycin HCl drug products were not withdrawn for reasons of safety or effectiveness. The petitioners have identified no data or other information suggesting that these Vancomycin HCl drug products were withdrawn for reasons of safety or effectiveness. We have carefully reviewed our files for records concerning the withdrawal of these Vancomycin HCl drug products from sale. We have also independently evaluated relevant literature and data for possible postmarketing adverse events. We have reviewed the available evidence and determined that these drug products were not withdrawn from sale for reasons of safety or effectiveness.

    Accordingly, the Agency will continue to list these Vancomycin HCl drug products in the “Discontinued Drug Product List” section of the Orange Book. The “Discontinued Drug Product List” delineates, among other items, drug products that have been discontinued from marketing for reasons other than safety or effectiveness. ANDAs that refer to these Vancomycin HCl drug products may be approved by the Agency as long as they meet all other legal and regulatory requirements for the approval of ANDAs. If FDA determines that labeling for these drug products should be revised to meet current standards, the Agency will advise ANDA applicants to submit such labeling.

    Dated: December 11, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31689 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Health Resources and Services Administration Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment Request AGENCY:

    Health Resources and Services Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the requirement for opportunity for public comment on proposed data collection projects (Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announces plans to submit an Information Collection Request (ICR), described below, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Prior to submitting the ICR to OMB, HRSA seeks comments from the public regarding the burden estimate, below, or any other aspect of the ICR.

    DATES:

    Comments on this Information Collection Request must be received no later than February 16, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments to [email protected] or mail the HRSA Information Collection Clearance Officer, Room 10-105, Parklawn Building, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the data collection plans and draft instruments, email [email protected] or call the HRSA Information Collection Clearance Officer at (301) 443-1984.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    When submitting comments or requesting information, please include the information request collection title for reference.

    Information Collection Request Title: Bureau of Health Workforce Performance Data Collection OMB No. 0915-0061—Revision

    Abstract: Over 40 Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW) programs award grants to health professions schools and training programs across the United States to develop, expand, and enhance training, and to strengthen the distribution of the health workforce. These programs are authorized by the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 201 et seq.), specifically Titles III, VII, and VIII. Performance information regarding these programs is collected in the HRSA Performance Report for Grants and Cooperative Agreements (PRGCA). Data collection activities consisting of an annual progress and annual performance report satisfy statutory and programmatic requirements for performance measurement and evaluation (including specific Title III, VII and VIII requirements), as well as Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) requirements. The performance measures were last revised in 2013 to ensure they addressed programmatic changes, met evolving program management needs, and responded to emerging workforce concerns—especially as a result of the changes in the Affordable Care Act (Pub. L. 111-148). As these revisions were successful, BHW will continue with its current performance management strategy and measures and require annual progress and performance reporting.

    Need and Proposed Use of the Information: The purpose of the proposed data collection is to analyze and report grantee training activities and education, identify intended practice locations and report outcomes of funded initiatives. Data collected from these grant programs will also provide a description of the program activities of approximately 1,700 reporting grantees to better inform policymakers on the barriers, opportunities, and outcomes involved in health care workforce development. The proposed measures focus on five key outcomes: (1) Increasing the workforce supply of diverse well-educated practitioners, (2) increasing the number of practitioners that practice in underserved and rural areas, (3) enhancing the quality of education, (4) increasing the recruitment, training, and placement of under-represented groups in the health workforce, and (5) supporting educational infrastructure to increase the capacity to train more health professionals.

    Likely Respondents: Respondents are awardees of BHW health professions grant programs.

    Burden Statement: Burden in this context means the time expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose or provide the information requested. This includes the time needed to review instructions; to develop, acquire, install and utilize technology and systems for the purpose of collecting, validating and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; to train personnel and to be able to respond to a collection of information; to search data sources; to complete and review the collection of information; and to transmit or otherwise disclose the information. The total annual burden hours estimated for this Information Collection Request are summarized in the table below.

    Total Estimated Annualized burden hours:

    Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Total
  • responses
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total burden hours
    Program Aggregate Data Collection* 600 1 600 6 3,600 Individual-level Data Collection 1,100 1 1,100 2 2,200 Total 1,700 1,700 5,800 * Program aggregate data collection will only be required for programs that do not provide direct financial support to all trainees.

    HRSA specifically requests comments on (1) the necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions, (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden, (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected, and (4) the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.

    Jackie Painter, Director, Division of the Executive Secretariat.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31641 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-5815-N-02] Statutorily Mandated Designation of Difficult Development Areas and Qualified Census Tracts: Revision of Effective Date for 2015 Designations AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This document revises the effective date for designations of “Difficult Development Areas” (DDAs) and “Qualified Census Tracts” (QCTs) for purposes of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 42 (26 U.S.C. 42) published on October 3, 2014 (79 FR 59855). This Notice extends from 365 days to 730 days the period for which the 2015 lists of QCTs and DDAs are effective for projects located in areas not on the 2016 list of DDAs or QCTs, published November 24, 2015, at 80 FR 73201, but having submitted applications while the area was a 2015 QCT or DDA.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For questions on how areas are designated and on geographic definitions, contact Michael K. Hollar, Senior Economist, Economic Development and Public Finance Division, Office of Policy Development and Research, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 Seventh Street SW., Room 8234, Washington, DC 20410-6000; telephone number (202) 402-5878, or send an email to [email protected] For specific legal questions pertaining to Section 42, contact Branch 5, Office of the Associate Chief Counsel, Passthroughs and Special Industries, Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20224; telephone number (202) 317-4137, fax number (202) 317-6731. For questions about the “HUB Zone” program, contact Mariana Pardo, Director, HUBZone Program, Office of Government Contracting and Business Development, U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 Third Street SW., Suite 8800, Washington, DC 20416; telephone number (202) 205-2985, fax number (202) 481-6443, or send an email to [email protected] A text telephone is available for persons with hearing or speech impairments at 800-877-8339. (These are not toll-free telephone numbers.) Additional copies of this notice are available through HUD User at 800-245-2691 for a small fee to cover duplication and mailing costs.

    Copies Available Electronically: This notice and additional information about DDAs and QCTs are available electronically on the Internet at http://www.huduser.org/datasets/qct.html.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This Document

    This notice extends from 365 days to 730 days the period for which the 2015 lists of QCTs and DDAs are effective for projects located in areas not on the 2016 list of DDAs or QCTs, published November 24, 2015, at 80 FR 73201, but having submitted applications while the area was a 2015 QCT or DDA for each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The actual designations of 2015 QCTs and DDAs are not affected by this notice. HUD is revising the effective date of the 2015 QCTs and DDAs at this time to aid the transition to Small Difficult Development Areas as announced in a notice designating 2016 QCTs and DDAs published at 80 FR 73201 and otherwise ensure that LIHTC and bond-financed projects relying on 2015 QCT or DDA designations and not in areas designated as 2016 QCTs and DDAs, but unable to meet the 365-day requirement of the original effective date of the 2015 QCT and DDA designations, may still be completed within 730 days.

    The sections entitled “Effective Date” and “Interpretive Examples of Effective Date” of the 2015 DDA and QCT designations as published October 3, 2014 at 79 FR 59855 are hereby revised to read as follows:

    Effective Date

    The 2015 lists of QCTs and DDAs are effective:

    (1) For allocations of credit after December 31, 2014; or

    (2) for purposes of IRC Section 42(h)(4), if the bonds are issued and the building is placed in service after December 31, 2014.

    If an area is not on a subsequent list of DDAs, the 2015 lists are effective for the area if:

    (1) The allocation of credit to an applicant is made no later than the end of the 730-day period after the applicant submits a complete application to the LIHTC-allocating agency, and the submission is made before the effective date of the subsequent lists; or

    (2) for purposes of IRC Section 42(h)(4), if:

    (a) The bonds are issued or the building is placed in service no later than the end of the 730-day period after the applicant submits a complete application to the bond-issuing agency, and

    (b) the submission is made before the effective date of the subsequent lists, provided that both the issuance of the bonds and the placement in service of the building occur after the application is submitted.

    An application is deemed to be submitted on the date it is filed if the application is determined to be complete by the credit-allocating or bond-issuing agency. A “complete application” means that no more than de minimis clarification of the application is required for the agency to make a decision about the allocation of tax credits or issuance of bonds requested in the application.

    In the case of a “multiphase project,” the DDA or QCT status of the site of the project that applies for all phases of the project is that which applied when the project received its first allocation of LIHTC. For purposes of IRC Section 42(h)(4), the DDA or QCT status of the site of the project that applies for all phases of the project is that which applied when the first of the following occurred: (a) The building(s) in the first phase were placed in service, or (b) the bonds were issued.

    For purposes of this notice, a “multiphase project” is defined as a set of buildings to be constructed or rehabilitated under the rules of the LIHTC and meeting the following criteria:

    (1) The multiphase composition of the project (i.e., total number of buildings and phases in project, with a description of how many buildings are to be built in each phase and when each phase is to be completed, and any other information required by the agency) is made known by the applicant in the first application of credit for any building in the project, and that applicant identifies the buildings in the project for which credit is (or will be) sought;

    (2) The aggregate amount of LIHTC applied for on behalf of, or that would eventually be allocated to, the buildings on the site exceeds the one-year limitation on credits per applicant, as defined in the Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) of the LIHTC-allocating agency, or the annual per-capita credit authority of the LIHTC allocating agency, and is the reason the applicant must request multiple allocations over 2 or more years; and

    (3) All applications for LIHTC for buildings on the site are made in immediately consecutive years.

    Members of the public are hereby reminded that the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, or the Secretary's designee, has legal authority to designate DDAs and QCTs, by publishing lists of geographic entities as defined by, in the case of DDAs, the Census Bureau, the several states and the governments of the insular areas of the United States and, in the case of QCTs, by the Census Bureau; and to establish the effective dates of such lists. The Secretary of the Treasury, through the IRS thereof, has sole legal authority to interpret, and to determine and enforce compliance with the IRC and associated regulations, including Federal Register notices published by HUD for purposes of designating DDAs and QCTs. Representations made by any other entity as to the content of HUD notices designating DDAs and QCTs that do not precisely match the language published by HUD should not be relied upon by taxpayers in determining what actions are necessary to comply with HUD notices.

    Interpretive Examples of Effective Date

    For the convenience of readers of this notice, interpretive examples are provided below to illustrate the consequences of the effective date in areas that gain or lose DDA status. The examples covering DDAs are equally applicable to QCT designations.

    (Case A) Project A is located in a 2015 DDA that is NOT a designated DDA in 2016 or 2017. A complete application for tax credits for Project A is filed with the allocating agency on November 15, 2015. Credits are allocated to Project A on October 30, 2017. Project A is eligible for the increase in basis accorded a project in a 2015 DDA because the application was filed BEFORE January 1, 2016 (the effective date for the 2016 DDA lists), and because tax credits were allocated no later than the end of the 730-day period after the filing of the complete application for an allocation of tax credits.

    (Case B) Project B is located in a 2015 DDA that is NOT a designated DDA in 2016, 2017, or 2018. A complete application for tax credits for Project B is filed with the allocating agency on December 1, 2015. Credits are allocated to Project B on March 30, 2018. Project B is NOT eligible for the increase in basis accorded a project in a 2015 DDA because, although the application for an allocation of tax credits was filed BEFORE January 1, 2016 (the effective date of the 2016 DDA lists), the tax credits were allocated later than the end of the 730-day period after the filing of the complete application.

    (Case C) Project C is located in a 2015 DDA that was not a DDA in 2014. Project C was placed in service on November 15, 2014. A complete application for tax-exempt bond financing for Project C is filed with the bond-issuing agency on January 15, 2015. The bonds that will support the permanent financing of Project C are issued on September 30, 2015. Project C is NOT eligible for the increase in basis otherwise accorded a project in a 2015 DDA, because the project was placed in service BEFORE January 1, 2015.

    (Case D) Project D is located in an area that is a DDA in 2015, but is NOT a DDA in 2016, 2017, or 2018. A complete application for tax-exempt bond financing for Project D is filed with the bond-issuing agency on October 30, 2015. Bonds are issued for Project D on April 30, 2017, but Project D is not placed in service until January 30, 2018. Project D is eligible for the increase in basis available to projects located in 2015 DDAs because: (1) One of the two events necessary for triggering the effective date for buildings described in Section 42(h)(4)(B) of the IRC (the two events being bonds issued and buildings placed in service) took place on April 30, 2017, within the 730-day period after a complete application for tax-exempt bond financing was filed, (2) the application was filed during a time when the location of Project D was in a DDA, and (3) both the issuance of the bonds and placement in service of Project D occurred after the application was submitted.

    (Case E) Project E is a multiphase project located in a 2015 DDA that is NOT a designated DDA in 2016. The first phase of Project E received an allocation of credits in 2015, pursuant to an application filed March 15, 2015, which describes the multiphase composition of the project. An application for tax credits for the second phase Project E is filed with the allocating agency by the same entity on March 15, 2016. The second phase of Project E is located on a contiguous site. Credits are allocated to the second phase of Project E on October 30, 2016. The aggregate amount of credits allocated to the two phases of Project E exceeds the amount of credits that may be allocated to an applicant in one year under the allocating agency's QAP and is the reason that applications were made in multiple phases. The second phase of Project E is, therefore, eligible for the increase in basis accorded a project in a 2015 DDA, because it meets all of the conditions to be a part of a multiphase project.

    (Case F) Project F is a multiphase project located in a 2015 DDA that is NOT a designated DDA in 2016. The first phase of Project F received an allocation of credits in 2015, pursuant to an application filed March 15, 2015, which does not describe the multiphase composition of the project. An application for tax credits for the second phase of Project F is filed with the allocating agency by the same entity on March 15, 2017. Credits are allocated to the second phase of Project F on October 30, 2017. The aggregate amount of credits allocated to the two phases of Project F exceeds the amount of credits that may be allocated to an applicant in one year under the allocating agency's QAP. The second phase of Project F is, therefore, NOT eligible for the increase in basis accorded a project in a 2015 DDA, since it does not meet all of the conditions for a multiphase project, as defined in this notice. The original application for credits for the first phase did not describe the multiphase composition of the project. Also, the application for credits for the second phase of Project F was not made in the year immediately following the first phase application year.

    Findings and Certifications Environmental Impact

    This notice involves the establishment of fiscal requirements or procedures that are related to rate and cost determinations and do not constitute a development decision affecting the physical condition of specific project areas or building sites. Accordingly, under 40 CFR 1508.4 of the regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality and 24 CFR 50.19(c)(6) of HUD's regulations, this notice is categorically excluded from environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321).

    Federalism Impact

    Executive Order 13132 (entitled “Federalism”) prohibits an agency from publishing any policy document that has federalism implications if the document either imposes substantial direct compliance costs on state and local governments and is not required by statute, or the document preempts state law, unless the agency meets the consultation and funding requirements of section 6 of the executive order. This notice merely designates DDAs as required under IRC Section 42, as amended, for the use by political subdivisions of the states in allocating the LIHTC. This notice also details the technical method used in making such designations. As a result, this notice is not subject to review under the order.

    Dated: December 10, 2015. Katherine M. O'Regan, Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31766 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS-R3-ES-2015-N201; FX3ES11130300000-167-FF03E00000] Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Initiation of 5-Year Status Reviews of One Listed Animal and Five Listed Plant Species AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of initiation of reviews; request for information.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, are initiating 5-year status reviews under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), for one animal and five plant species. A 5-year status review is based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time of the review; therefore, we are requesting submission of any such information that has become available since the last review for the species.

    DATES:

    To ensure consideration, please send your written information by February 16, 2016. However, we will continue to accept new information about any listed species at any time.

    ADDRESSES:

    For how to send comments or information for each species, see the table in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request information, contact the appropriate person in the table in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section. Individuals who are hearing impaired or speech impaired may call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339 for TTY assistance.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    We are initiating 5-year status reviews under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), for one animal and five plant species: Illinois cave amphipod (Gammarus acherondytes), Michigan monkey flower (Mimulus michiganensis), Running buffalo clover (Trifolium stoloniferum), Minnesota dwarf trout lily (Erythronium propullans), Western prairie fringed orchid (Platanthera praeclara), and Prairie bush clover (Lespedeza leptostachya).

    Why do we conduct 5-year reviews?

    Under the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), we maintain Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants (which we collectively refer to as the List) in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 17.11 (for animals) and 17.12 (for plants). Section 4(c)(2)(A) of the Act requires us to review each listed species' status at least once every 5 years. Our regulations at 50 CFR 424.21 require that we publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing those species under active review. For additional information about 5-year reviews, go to http://www.fws.gov/endangered/what-we-do/recovery-overview.html, scroll down to “Learn More about 5-Year Reviews,” and click on our factsheet.

    What information do we consider in our review?

    A 5-year review considers all new information available at the time of the review. In conducting these reviews, we consider the best scientific and commercial data that have become available since the listing determination or most recent status review, such as:

    (A) Species biology, including but not limited to population trends, distribution, abundance, demographics, and genetics;

    (B) Habitat conditions, including but not limited to amount, distribution, and suitability;

    (C) Conservation measures that have been implemented that benefit the species;

    (D) Threat status and trends in relation to the five listing factors (as defined in section 4(a)(1) of the Act); and

    (E) Other new information, data, or corrections, including but not limited to taxonomic or nomenclatural changes, identification of erroneous information contained in the List, and improved analytical methods.

    Any new information will be considered during the 5-year review and will also be useful in evaluating the ongoing recovery programs for the species.

    What species are under review?

    This notice announces our active 5-year status reviews of the species in the following table.

    Animals Common name Scientific name Listing status Where listed Final listing rule (Federal Register
  • citation and
  • publication date)
  • Contact person, phone, email Contact person's U.S. mail address
    Illinois cave amphipod Gammarus acherondytes E Illinois 63 FR 46900; September 3, 1988 Kristin Lundh; [email protected]; 309-757-5800, x215 USFWS; 1511 47th Avenue; Moline, IL 61265.
    Plants Scientific name Common name Listing status Where listed Final listing rule (Federal Register citation and publication date) Contact person, phone, email Contact person's U.S. mail address Mimulus michiganensis Michigan monkey flower E Michigan 55 FR 25596; June 21, 1990 Barb Hosler; [email protected]; 517-351-6326 USFWS; 2651 Coolidge Road, Suite 101; East Lansing, MI 48823. Trifolium stoloniferum Running buffalo clover E Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, West Virginia 52 FR 21481; June 5, 1987 Jennifer Finfera; 614-416-8993, x13; [email protected] USFWS; 4625 Morse Road, Suite 104; Columbus, OH 43230. Erythronium propullans Minnesota dwarf trout lily E Minnesota 73 FR 21643; March 26, 1986 Phil Delphey; [email protected]; 612-725-3548, x2206 USFWS; 4101 American Boulevard East; Bloomington, MN 55425. Platanthera praeclara Western prairie fringed orchid T Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota 54 FR 39875; September 28, 1989 Phil Delphey; [email protected]; 612-725-3548, x2206 USFWS; 4101 American Boulevard East; Bloomington, MN 55425. Lespedeza leptostachya. * Prairie bush clover T Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin 52 FR 781; June 9, 1987 Phil Delphey; [email protected]; 612-725-3548, x2206 USFWS; 4101 American Boulevard East; Bloomington, MN 55425. * Species' 5-year review was previously initiated, but that review was never completed. We are reinitiating here to ensure that we have the most up-to-date information to complete the review. Request for Information

    To ensure that a 5-year review is complete and based on the best available scientific and commercial information, we request new information from all sources. See “What Information Do We Consider in Our Review?” for specific topics. If you submit information, please support it with documentation such as maps, bibliographic references, methods used to gather and analyze the data, and/or copies of any pertinent publications, reports, or letters by knowledgeable sources.

    How do I ask questions or provide information?

    If you wish to provide information for any species listed above, please submit your comments and materials to the appropriate contact in the table above. You may also direct questions to those contacts. Individuals who are hearing impaired or speech impaired may call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339 for TTY assistance.

    Public Availability of Submissions

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Comments and materials received will be available for public inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours at the offices where the comments are submitted.

    Completed and Active Reviews

    A list of all completed 5-year reviews addressing species for which the Midwest Region of the Service has lead responsibility is available at http://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/recovery/5yr_rev/completed5yrs.hml.

    Authority

    We publish this notice under the authority of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: November 23, 2015. Lynn M. Lewis, Assistant Regional Director, Ecological Services, Midwest Region.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31725 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS-HQ-FAC-2015-N233; FF09F42300-FVWF97920900000-XXX] Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of teleconference.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a public teleconference of the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council (Council). A Federal advisory committee, the Council was created in part to foster partnerships to enhance public awareness of the importance of aquatic resources and the social and economic benefits of recreational fishing and boating in the United States. This teleconference is open to the public, and interested persons may make oral statements to the Council or may file written statements for consideration.

    DATES:

    Teleconference: Friday, January 8, 2016, 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (Eastern daylight time). For deadlines and directions on registering to listen to the teleconference, submitting written material, and giving an oral presentation, please see “Public Input” under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brian Bohnsack, Council Coordinator, via U.S. mail at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Mailstop FAC, Falls Church, VA 22041; via telephone at (703) 358-2435; via fax at (703) 358-2487; or via email at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In accordance with the requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App., we announce that the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council will hold a teleconference.

    Background

    The Council was formed in January 1993 to advise the Secretary of the Interior, through the Director of the Service, on nationally significant recreational fishing, boating, and aquatic resource conservation issues. The Council represents the interests of the public and private sectors of the sport fishing, boating, and conservation communities and is organized to enhance partnerships among industry, constituency groups, and government. The 18-member Council, appointed by the Secretary of the Interior, includes the Service Director and the president of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, who both serve in ex officio capacities. Other Council members are directors from State agencies responsible for managing recreational fish and wildlife resources and individuals who represent the interests of saltwater and freshwater recreational fishing, recreational boating, the recreational fishing and boating industries, recreational fisheries resource conservation, Native American tribes, aquatic resource outreach and education, and tourism. Background information on the Council is available at http://www.fws.gov/sfbpc.

    Meeting Agenda

    The Council will hold a teleconference to:

    • Consider and approve the Council's Boating Infrastructure Grant Program Review Committee's funding recommendations for fiscal year 2015 proposal;

    • Discuss a proposed pilot project associated with permitting recreational projects;

    • Schedule an upcoming spring meeting; and

    • Consider other Council business.

    The final agenda will be posted on the Internet at http://www.fws.gov/sfbpc.

    Public Input If you wish to: You must contact the Council Coordinator (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) no later than: Listen to the teleconference Monday, January 4, 2016. Submit written information or questions before the teleconference for the council to consider during the teleconference Monday, January 4, 2016. Give an oral presentation during the teleconference Monday, January 4, 2016. Submitting Written Information or Questions

    Interested members of the public may submit relevant information or questions for the Council to consider during the teleconference. Written statements must be received by the date listed in “Public Input” under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION, so that the information may be made available to the Council for their consideration prior to this teleconference. Written statements must be supplied to the Council Coordinator in one of the following formats: One hard copy with original signature, and one electronic copy via email (acceptable file formats are Adobe Acrobat PDF, MS Word, MS PowerPoint, or rich text file).

    Giving an Oral Presentation

    Individuals or groups requesting to make an oral presentation during the teleconference will be limited to 2 minutes per speaker, with no more than a total of 15 minutes for all speakers. Interested parties should contact the Council Coordinator, in writing (preferably via email; see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT), to be placed on the public speaker list for this teleconference. To ensure an opportunity to speak during the public comment period of the teleconference, members of the public must register with the Council Coordinator. Registered speakers who wish to expand upon their oral statements, or those who had wished to speak but could not be accommodated on the agenda, may submit written statements to the Council Coordinator up to 30 days subsequent to the teleconference.

    Meeting Minutes

    Summary minutes of the teleconference will be maintained by the Council Coordinator (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) and will be available for public inspection within 90 days of the meeting and will be posted on the Council's Web site at http://www.fws.gov/sfbpc.

    Stephen Guertin, Acting Director.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31724 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Geological Survey [GX16EE000101000] Agency Information Collection Activities: Request for Comments on the Doug D. Nebert NSDI Champion of the Year Award AGENCY:

    U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of a new information collection, Doug D. Nebert NSDI Champion of the Year Award.

    SUMMARY:

    We (the U.S. Geological Survey) are notifying the public that we have submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) the information collection request (ICR) described below. To comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) and as part of our continuing efforts to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, we invite the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on this ICR.

    DATES:

    To ensure that your comments on this ICR are considered, OMB must receive them on or before January 19, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please submit written comments on this information collection directly to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attention: Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior, via email: ([email protected]); or by fax (202) 395-5806; and identify your submission with `OMB Control Number 1028—NEW Doug D. Nebert NSDI Champion of the Year Award'. Please also forward a copy of your comments and suggestions on this information collection to the Information Collection Clearance Officer, U.S. Geological Survey, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive MS 807, Reston, VA 20192 (mail); (703) 648-7195 (fax); or [email protected] (email). Please reference `OMB Information Collection 1028—NEW: Doug D. Nebert NSDI Champion of the Year Award in all correspondence.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brigitta Urban-Mathieux, Federal Geographic Data Committee Office of the Secretariat, U.S. Geological Survey, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, Mail Stop 590, Reston, VA 20192 (mail); 703-648-5175 (phone); or [email protected] (email). You may also find information about this ICR at www.reginfo.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Abstract

    Nominations for Doug D. Nebert NSDI Champion of the Year Award are accepted from the public and private sector individuals, teams, organizations, and professional societies that are from the United States of America. Nomination packages include three sections: (A) Cover Sheet, (B) Summary Statement, and (C) Supplemental Materials. The cover sheet includes professional contact information. The Summary Statement is limited to two pages and describes the nominee's achievements in the development of an outstanding, innovative, and operational tool, application, or service capability that directly supports the spatial data infrastructures. Nominations may include up to 10 pages of supplemental information such as resume, publications list, and/or letters of endorsement. The award consists of a citation and plaque, which are presented to the recipient at an appropriate public forum by the FGDC Chair. The name of the recipient is also inscribed on a permanent plaque, which are displayed by the FGDC.

    The Doug D. Nebert NSDI Champion of the Year Award honors a respected colleague, technical visionary, and recognized U.S. national leader in the establishment of spatial data infrastructures that significantly enhance the understanding of our physical and cultural world. The award is sponsored by the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) and its purpose is to recognize an individual or a team representing Federal, State, Tribal, regional, and (or) local government, academia, or non-profit and professional organization that has developed an outstanding, innovative, and operational tool, application, or service capability used by multiple organizations that furthers the vision of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI).

    II. Data

    OMB Control Number: 1028—NEW.

    Title: Doug D. Nebert NSDI Champion of the Year Award.

    Type of Request: Approval of new information collection.

    Respondent Obligation: Required to obtain benefit.

    Frequency of Collection: This is an annual offer.

    Description of Respondents: State, local, and tribal governments; academia, and non-profit organizations.

    Estimated Total Number of Annual Responses: 10.

    Estimated Time per Response: We estimate that it will take 10 hour(s) per nomination to complete the award nomination process.

    Estimated Annual Burden Hours: 100 hours.

    Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping “Non-Hour Cost” Burden: There are no “non-hour cost” burdens associated with this collection of information.

    Public Disclosure Statement: The PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.) provides that an agency may not conduct or sponsor and you are not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Comments: On September 9, 2015, we published a Federal Register notice (80 FR 54309) announcing that we would submit this ICR to OMB for approval and soliciting comments. The comment period closed on November 9, 2015. We did receive one comment from the public; however, the comment was not directly related to this project but rather a rejection of all government data collection.

    III. Request for Comments

    We again invite comments concerning this ICR as to: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the agency to perform its duties, including whether the information is useful; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) how to enhance the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) how to minimize the burden on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Please note that comments submitted in response to this notice are a matter of public record. Before including your personal mailing address, phone number, email address, or other personally identifiable information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment, including your personally identifiable information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us and the OMB in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that it will be done.

    Ivan DeLoatch, Executive Director, Federal Geographic Data Committee, Core Science Systems.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31746 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4338-11-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of the Secretary [167D0102DM/DS64600000/DLSN00000.000000/DX.64601] Notice of Senior Executive Service Performance Review Board Appointments AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice provides the names of individuals who have been appointed to serve as members of the Department of the Interior Senior Executive Service (SES) Performance Review Board.

    DATES:

    These appointments are effective upon publication in the Federal Register.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Raymond Limon, Director, Office of Human Resources, Office of the Secretary, Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW., Washington, DC 20240, Telephone Number: (202) 208-5310.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The members of the Department of the Interior SES Performance Review Board are as follows:

    ANDERSON, ALLYSON K. ANDREW, JONATHAN M. ANDROFF, BLAKE J. APPLEGATE, JAMES D. R. ARAGON, JOSE RAMON ARROYO, BRYAN AUSTIN, STANLEY J. BAIL, KRISTIN MARA BALES, JERAD D. BARCHENGER, ERVIN J. BATHRICK, MARK L. BEALL, JAMES W. BEAN, MICHAEL J. BEARPAW, GEORGE WATIE BEAUDREAU, TOMMY P. BECK, RICHARD T. BELIN, ALLETTA D. BERRIGAN, MICHAEL J. BERRY, DAVID A. BIRDSONG, BRET CREECH BLACK, MICHAEL S. BLAIR, JOHN WATSON BLANCHARD, MARY JOSIE BLEDSOE DOWNES, ANN MARIE BOLING, EDWARD A. BOLTON, HANNIBAL BOWKER, BRYAN L. BRANUM, LISA A. BROWN, LAURA B. BROWN, WILLIAM Y BRZEZINSKI, MARK F. BUFFA, NICOLE BURCH, MELVIN E. BURCKMAN, JAMES N. BURDEN, JOHN W. BURKETT, VIRGINIA BURNS, SYLVIA W. CALDWELL, MICHAEL A. CARDINALE, RICHARD T. CARL, LEON M. CARTER-PFISTERER, CAROLE CASH, CASSIUS M. CLARK, HORACE G. CLEMENT, JOEL P. COLANDER, BRANDI ADELE CONNELL, JAMIE E. CORDOVA-HARRISON, ELIZABETH CRAFF, ROBERT C. CRIBLEY, BUD C. CRUICKSHANK, WALTER D. CRUZAN, DARREN A. CUMMINGS, JODY ALLEN DARNELL, JOSEPH D. DAVIS, MARK H. DEARMAN, TONY L. DEERINWATER, DANIEL J. DOHNER, CYNTHIA DOUGLAS, JAMES C. DREHER, ROBERT GEOFFREY DUMONTIER, DEBRA L. DUNTON, RONALD L. DUTSCHKE, AMY L. EDSALL, DONNA LYNN ELLIS, STEVEN A ESTENOZ, SHANNON A. ETHRIDGE, MAX M. FAETH, LORRAINE V. FARBER, MICHAEL D. FERRERO, RICHARD C. FERRITER, OLIVIA B. FLANAGAN, DENISE A. FORD, JEROME E. FORREST, VICKI L. FRAZER, GARY D. FREEMAN, SHAREE M. FREIHAGE, JASON E. FROST, HERBERT C. FULP, TERRANCE J. GALLAGHER, KEVIN T. GIDNER, JEROLD L. GIMBEL, JENNIFER L. GLENN, DOUGLAS A. GLOMB, STEPHEN J. GOKLANY, INDUR M. GONZALES-SCHREINER, ROSEANN GOULD, GREGORY J. GREENBERGER, SARAH D. GUERTIN, STEPHEN D. HAMLEY, JEFFREY L. HANNA, JEANETTE D. HART, PAULA L. HARTLEY, DEBORAH J. HAUGRUD, KEVIN JACK HAWBECKER, KAREN S. HERBST, LARS T. HILDEBRANDT, BETSY J. HOPPER, ABIGAIL ROSS HOSKINS, DAVID WILLIAM HUMBERT, HARRY L. HYUN, KAREN H. ISEMAN, THOMAS M. JAMES JR., JAMES D. JOHNSTON, MICHAEL J. JOSEPHSON, CLEMENTINE KEABLE, EDWARD T. KELLY, FRANCIS P. KELLY, KATHERINE P. KENDALL JR., JAMES J. KIMBALL, SUZETTE M. KINSINGER, ANNE E. KLEIN, ELIZABETH A. KNOX, VICTOR W. KROPF, RAMSEY LAURSOO KURTH, JAMES W. LA COUNTE II, DARRYL D. LAIRD, JOSHUA RADBILL LANCE, LINDA L. LAPOINTE, TIMOTHY L. LAROCHE, DARRELL WILLIAM LAURO, SALVATORE R. LEE, LORRI J. LEHNERTZ, CHRISTINE S. LEITER, AMANDA C. LIMON, RAYMOND A. LODGE, CYNTHIA LOUISE LOFTIN, MELINDA J. LOHOEFENER, RENNE R. LORDS, DOUGLAS A. LOUDERMILK, WELDON B. LUEBKE, THOMAS A. LUEDERS, AMY L. LYONS, JAMES R. MABRY, SCOTT L. MARTINEZ, CYNTHIA T. MASICA, SUE E. MAYTUBBY, BRUCE W. MCCAFFERY, JAMES G. MCDOWALL, LENA E. MCKEOWN, MATTHEW J. MEHLHOFF, JOHN J. MELIUS, THOMAS O. MILAKOFSKY, BENJAMIN E. MONACO, JENNIFER ROMERO MORRIS, DOUGLAS W. MOSS, ADRIANNE L. MULLER JR., BRUCE C . MURILLO, DAVID G. MURPHY, TIMOTHY M. MUSSENDEN, PAUL A. NEDD, MICHAEL D. NEIMEYER, SARAH C. NEUBACHER, DONALD L. OBERNESSER, RICHARD O'DELL, MARGARET G. OLSEN, MEGAN C. ONEILL, KEITH JAMES ORR, L. RENEE ORTIZ, HANKIE P. OWENS, GLENDA HUDSON PALUMBO, DAVID M. PAYNE, GRAYFORD F. PEREZ, JEROME E PETERSON, PENNY LYNN PFEIFFER, TAMARAH PIERRE-LOUIS, ALESIA J. PINTO, SHARON ANN PLETCHER, MARY F. PULA, NIKOLAO IULI QUINLAN, MARTIN J. QUINT, ROBERT J. RAMOS, PEDRO M. RAUCH, PAUL A. REYNOLDS, MICHAEL T. REYNOLDS, THOMAS G. RHEES, BRENT B. RICHARDSON, LIZETTE RIDEOUT JR., STERLING J. RIGGS, HELEN ROBERSON, EDWIN L. ROBERTS, LAWRENCE SCOTT ROESSEL, CHARLES M. ROSEN, DIANE K. ROSS, JOHN W. RUGEN, CATHERINE E. RUHS, JOHN F. RYAN, DENISE E. RYAN, MICHAEL J. SALERNO, BRIAN M. SALOTTI, CHRISTOPHER P. SARRI, KRISTEN JOAN SAUVAJOT, RAYMOND MARC SCHNEIDER, MARGARET N. SCHOCK, JAMES H. SHEEHAN, DENISE E. SHEPARD, ERIC N. SHOLLY, CAMERON H. SHOPE, THOMAS D. SIMMONS, SHAYLA F. SINGER, MICHELE F. SLACK, JAMES J. SMILEY, KARLA J. SMITH, MICHAEL R. SOGGE, MARK K. SONDERMAN, DEBRA E. SOUZA, PAUL SPEAKS, STANLEY M. STEWARD, JAMES D. STREATER, EDDIE R. SUAZO, RAYMOND TABER, TERESA RENEE TAYLOR, WILLIE R. TEITZ, ALEXANDRA ELIZABETH THOMPSON, DIONNE E. THOMPSON, THOMAS D. THORNHILL, ALAN D. THORSON, ROBYN TOOTHMAN, STEPHANIE S. TUGGLE, BENJAMIN N. UBERUAGA, DAVID V. VELA, RAYMOND DAVID VELASCO, JANINE M. VIETZKE, GAY E. VOGEL, ROBERT A. WAINMAN, BARBARA W. WALKER, WILLIAM T. WALSH, NOREEN E. WASHBURN, ELIZABETH R WASHBURN, JULIA L. WAYSON, THOMAS C. WEAVER, JESS D. WEBER, WENDI WELCH, RUTH L. WENK, DANIEL N. WERKHEISER, WILLIAM H. WHITE, JOHN ETHAN Authority:

    5 CFR 430.311(a)(4).

    Raymond Limon, Director, Office of Human Resources.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31676 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4334-12-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Ocean Energy Management [OMB Control Number 1010-0176] Information Collection: Renewable Energy and Alternate Uses of Existing Facilities on the Outer Continental Shelf; Proposed Collection for OMB Review; Comment Request ACTION:

    60-day notice.

    SUMMARY:

    To comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is inviting comments on a collection of information that we will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. The information collection request (ICR) concerns the paperwork requirements in the regulations under “Renewable Energy and Alternate Uses of Existing Facilities on the Outer Continental Shelf.”

    DATES:

    Submit written comments by February 16, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please send your comments on this ICR to the BOEM Information Collection Clearance Officer, Kye Mason, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, 45600 Woodland Road, Sterling, VA 20166 (mail); or [email protected] (email); or (703) 787-1209 (fax). Please reference ICR 1010-0176 in your comment and include your name and return address.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kye Mason, Office of Policy, Regulations, and Analysis at (703) 787-1025 to request additional information about this ICR or copies of the referenced forms.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 1010-0176.

    Title: 30 CFR 585, Renewable Energy and Alternate Uses of Existing Facilities on the Outer Continental Shelf.

    Forms: BOEM-0002, BOEM-0003, BOEM-0004, BOEM-0005, BOEM-0006.

    Abstract: The Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Lands Act, as amended (43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq. and 43 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.), authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to issue leases, easements, or rights-of-way on the OCS for activities that produce or support production, transportation, or transmission of energy from sources other than oil and gas (renewable energy). Specifically, subsection 8(p) of the OCS Lands Act, as amended (43 U.S.C. 1337(p)), directs the Secretary of the Interior to issue any necessary regulations to carry out the OCS renewable energy program. The Secretary delegated this authority to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). The BOEM has issued regulations for OCS renewable energy activities at 30 CFR part 585; this notice concerns the reporting and recordkeeping elements required by these regulations.

    Respondents operate commercial and noncommercial technology projects that include installation, construction, operation and maintenance, and decommissioning of offshore facilities, as well as possible onshore support facilities. The BOEM must ensure that these activities and operations on the OCS are performed in a safe and pollution-free manner, do not interfere with the rights of other users on the OCS, and balance the protection and development of OCS resources. Therefore, BOEM needs information concerning the proposed activities, facilities, safety equipment, inspections and tests, and natural and manmade hazards near the site, as well as assurance of fiscal responsibility.

    The BOEM uses forms to collect some information to ensure proper and efficient administration of OCS renewable energy leases and grants and to document the financial responsibility of lessees and grantees. Forms BOEM-0002, BOEM-0003, BOEM-0004, and BOEM-0006 are used by renewable energy entities on the OCS to assign a lease interest, designate an operator, and to assign or relinquish a lease or grant. Form BOEM-0005 was designed to guarantee the performance of sureties with respect to bonds issued on behalf of OCS renewable energy lessees, grantees, and operators. The BOEM maintains the submitted forms as official lease and grant records pertaining to operating responsibilities, ownership, and financial responsibility.

    We will protect information considered proprietary under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) and its implementing regulations (43 CFR part 2) and under regulations at 30 CFR 585.113, addressing disclosure of data and information to be made available to the public and others. No items of a sensitive nature are collected. Responses are mandatory or required to obtain a benefit.

    Frequency: On occasion or annually.

    Description of Respondents: Companies interested in renewable energy-related uses on the OCS and holders of leases and grants under 30 CFR part 585.

    Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Hour Burden: We estimate the burden for this information collection to be 25,688 hours. The following table details the individual components and estimated hour burdens. In calculating the burdens, we assumed that respondents perform certain requirements in the normal course of their activities. We consider these to be usual and customary and took that into account in estimating the burden.

    Burden Table Section(s) in 30 CFR 585 Reporting and recordkeeping requirement 1 Hour burden Non-hour cost burdens Average number of annual responses Annual burden hours Subpart A—General Provisions 102; 105; 110 These sections contain general references to submitting comments, requests, applications, plans, notices, reports, and/or supplemental information for BOEM approval—burdens covered under specific requirements 0 102(e) State and local governments enter into task force or joint planning or coordination agreement with BOEM 1 2 agreements 2 103; 904; Request general departures not specifically covered elsewhere in part 585 2 6 requests 12 105(c) Make oral requests or notifications and submit written follow up within 3 business days not specifically covered elsewhere in part 585 1 5 requests 5 106; 107; 213(e); 230(f); 302(a); 408(b)(7); 409(c); 1005(d); 1007(c); 1013(b)(7) Submit evidence of qualifications to hold a lease or grant; submit required supporting information (electronically if required) 2 20 submissions 40 106(b)(1) Request exception from exclusion or disqualification from participating in transactions covered by Federal non-procurement debarment and suspension system 1 1 exception 1 106(b)(2), 118(c), 225(b); 436; 437; 527(c); 705(c)(2); 1016 Request reconsideration and/or hearing Requirement not considered IC under 5 CFR 1320.3(h)(9). 0 108; 530(b) Notify BOEM within 3 business days after learning of any action filed alleging respondent is insolvent or bankrupt 1 1 notice 1 109 Notify BOEM in writing of merger, name change, or change of business form no later than 120 days after earliest of either the effective date or filing date Requirement not considered IC under 5 CFR 1320.3(h)(1). 0 111 Within 30 days of receiving bill, submit processing fee payments for BOEM document or study preparation to process applications and other requests .5 4 submissions 2 4 payments × $4,000 = $16,000 111(b)(2), (3) Submit comments on proposed processing fee or request approval to perform or directly pay contractor for all or part of any document, study, or other activity, to reduce BOEM processing costs 2 4 requests 8 111(b)(3) Perform, conduct, develop, etc., all or part of any document, study, or other activity; and provide results to BOEM to reduce BOEM processing fee 19,000 1 submission 19,000 111(b)(3) Pay contractor for all or part of any document, study, or other activity, and provide results to BOEM to reduce BOEM processing costs 3 contractor payments × $950,000 = $2,850,000 111(b)(7); 118(a); 436(c) Appeal BOEM estimated processing costs, decisions, or orders pursuant to 30 CFR 590 Exempt under 5 CFR 1320.4(a)(2), (c). 0 113(b) Respond to the Freedom of Information Act release schedule 4 1 agreement 4 115(c) Request approval to use later edition of a document incorporated by reference or alternative compliance 1 1 request 1 116 The Director may occasionally request information to administer and carry out the offshore renewable energy program via Federal Register Notices 4 25 submissions 100 118(c); 225(b) Within 15 days of bid rejection, request reconsideration of bid decision or rejection Requirement not considered IC under 5 CFR 1320.3(h)(9). 0 Subtotal 71 responses 19,176 $2,866,000 non-hour costs Subpart B—Issuance of OCS Renewable Energy Leases 200; 224; 231; 235; 236; 238 These sections contain references to information submissions, approvals, requests, applications, plans, payments, etc., the burdens for which are covered elsewhere in part 585 0 210; 211(a-c); 212 thru 216 Submit nominations and general comments in response to Federal Register notices on Request for Interest in OCS Leasing, Call for Information and Nominations (Call), Area Identification, and Notices of Sale. Includes industry, State & local governments Not considered IC as defined in 5 CFR 1320.3(h)(4) 0 210; 211(a-c); 212 thru 216 Submit comments and required information in response to Federal Register notices on Request for Interest in OCS Leasing, Call for Information and Nominations (Call), Area Identification, and Notices of Sale. Includes industry, State & local governments 4 30 comments 120 211(d); 216; 220 thru 223; 231(c)(2) Submit bid, payments, and required information in response to Federal Register Final Sale Notice 5 12 bids 60 224 Within 10 business days, execute 3 copies of lease form and return to BOEM with required payments, including evidence that agent is authorized to act for bidder; if applicable, submit information to support delay in execution—competitive leases 1 2 lease executions 2 230; 231(a) Submit unsolicited request and acquisition fee for a commercial or limited lease 5 2 requests 10 231(b) Submit comments in response to Federal Register notice re interest of unsolicited request for a lease 4 4 comments 16 231(g) Within 10 business days of receiving lease documents, execute lease; file financial assurance and supporting documentation—noncompetitive leases 2 2 leases 4 231(g) Within 45 days of receiving lease copies, submit rent and rent information Burdens covered by information collections approved for ONRR 30 CFR Chapter XII. 0 235(b); 236(b) Request additional time to extend preliminary or site assessment term of commercial or limited lease, including revised schedule for SAP, COP, or GAP submission 1 3 requests 3 237(b) Request lease be dated and effective 1st day of month in which signed 1 1 request 1 238 Submit other renewable energy research activities Burden covered under SAPs & GAPs § 585.600(a), (c). 0 Subtotal 56 responses 216 Subpart C—ROW Grants and RUE Grants for Renewable Energy Activities 306; 309; 315; 316 These sections contain references to information submissions, approvals, requests, applications, plans, payments, etc., the burdens for which are covered elsewhere in part 585 0 302(a); 305; 306 Submit copies of a request for a new or modified ROW or RUE and required information, including qualifications to hold a grant, in format specified 5 1 request 5 307; 308(a)(1) Submit information in response to Federal Register notice of proposed ROW or RUE grant area or comments on notice of grant auction 4 2 comments 8 308(a)(2), (b); 315; 316 Submit bid and payments in response to Federal Register notice of auction for a ROW or RUE grant 5 1 bid 5 309 Submit decision to accept or reject terms and conditions of noncompetitive ROW or RUE grant 2 1 submission 2 Subtotal 5 responses 20 Subpart D—Lease and Grant Administration 400; 401; 402; 405; 409; 416, 433 These sections contain references to information submissions, approvals, requests, applications, plans, payments, etc., the burdens for which are covered elsewhere in part 585 0 401(b) Take measures directed by BOEM in cessation order and submit reports in order to resume activities 100 1 report 100 405(d) Submit written notice of change of address Requirement not considered IC under 5 CFR 1320.3(h)(1) 0 405(e); Form BOEM-0006 If designated operator (DO) changes, notify BOEM and identify new DO for BOEM approval 1 1 notice 1 408 thru 411; Forms BOEM-0002 and BOEM-0003 Within 90 days after last party executes a transfer agreement, submit copies of a lease or grant assignment application, including originals of each instrument creating or transferring ownership of record title, eligibility and other qualifications; and evidence that agent is authorized to execute assignment, in format specified 1 (30 minutes per form × 2 forms = 1 hour) 2 requests/submissions 2 415(a)(1); 416; 420(a), (b); 428(b) Submit request for suspension and required information/payment no later than 90 days prior to lease or grant expiration 10 1 request 10 417(b) Conduct, and if required pay for, site-specific study to evaluate cause of harm or damage; and submit copies of study and results, in format specified 100 1 study/submission 100 1 study × $950,000 = $950,000 425 thru 428; 652(a); 235(a), (b) Request lease or grant renewal no later than 180 days before termination date of your limited lease or grant, or no later than 2 years before termination date of operations term of commercial lease. Submit required information 6 1 requests 6 435; 658(c)(2); Form BOEM-0004 Submit copies of application to relinquish lease or grant, in format specified 1 1 submission 1 436; 437 Provide information for reconsideration of BOEM decision to contract or cancel lease or grant area Requirement not considered IC under 5 CFR 1320.3(h)(9). 0 Subtotal 8 responses 220 $950,000 non-hour costs Subpart E—Payments and Financial Assurance Requirements An * indicates the primary cites for providing bonds or other financial assurance, and the burdens include any previous or subsequent references throughout part 585 to furnish, replace, or provide additional bonds, securities, or financial assurance (including riders, cancellations, replacements). This subpart contains references to other information submissions, approvals, requests, applications, plans, etc., the burdens for which are covered elsewhere in part 585. In the future BOEM may require electronic filings of certain submissions. 0 500 thru 509; 1011 Submit payor information, payments and payment information, and maintain auditable records according to ONRR regulations or guidance Burdens covered by information collections approved for ONRR 30 CFR Chapter XII. 0 506(c)(4) Submit documentation of the gross annual generation of electricity produced by the generating facility on the lease—use same form as authorized by the EIA. (Burden covered under DOE/EIA OMB Control Number 1905-0129 to gather info and fill out form. BOEM's burden is for submitting a copy) 15 min 2 submissions .5 510; 506(c)(3) Submit application and required information for waiver or reduction of rental or other payment 1 1 submission 1 * 515; 516; 525(a) thru (f) Execute and provide $100,000 minimum lease-specific bond or other approved security; or increase bond level if required 1 2 bonds 2 * 516(a)(2), (3), (b), (c); 517; 525(a) thru (f) Execute and provide commercial lease supplemental bonds in amounts determined by BOEM 1 2 bonds 2 516(a)(4); 521(c) Execute and provide decommissioning bond or other financial assurance; schedule for providing the appropriate amount 1 1 bond 1 517(c)(1) Submit comments on proposed adjustment to bond amounts 1 1 submission 1 517(c)(2) Request bond reduction and submit evidence to justify 5 1 request 5 * 520; 521; 525(a) thru (f); Form BOEM-0005 Execute and provide $300,000 minimum limited lease or grant-specific bond or increase financial assurance and required information 1 1 bond 1 525(g) Surety notice to lessee or ROW/RUE grant holder and BOEM within 5 business days after initiating surety insolvency or bankruptcy proceeding, or Treasury decertifies surety 1 1 surety notice 1 * 526 Form BOEM-0005 In lieu of surety bond, pledge other types of securities, including authority for BOEM to sell and use proceeds and submit required information (1 hour for form) 2 1 pledge 2 526(c) Provide annual certified statements describing the nature and market value, including brokerage firm statements/reports 1 1 statement 1 * 527; 531 Demonstrate financial worth/ability to carry out present and future financial obligations, annual updates, and related or subsequent actions/records/reports, etc 10 1 demonstration 10 528 Provide third-party indemnity; financial information/statements; additional bond info; executed guarantor agreement and supporting information/documentation/agreements 10 1 submission 10 528(c)(6); 532(b) Guarantor/Surety requests BOEM terminate period of liability and notifies lessee or ROW/RUE grant holder, etc 1 1 request 1 * 529 In lieu of surety bond, request authorization to establish decommissioning account, including written authorizations and approvals associated with account 2 1 request 2 530 Notify BOEM promptly of lapse in bond or other security/action filed alleging lessee, surety or guarantor et al is insolvent or bankrupt 1 1 notice 1 533(a)(2) (ii), (iii) Provide agreement from surety issuing new bond to assume all or portion of outstanding liabilities 3 1 submission 3 536(b) Within 10 business days following BOEM notice, lessee, grant holder, or surety agrees to and demonstrates to BOEM that lease will be brought into compliance 16 1 demonstration every 2 years 8 Subtotal 21 responses 52.5 Subpart F—Plans and Information Requirements Two ** indicate the primary cites for Site Assessment Plans (SAPs), Construction and Operations Plans (COPs), and General Activities Plans (GAPs); and the burdens include any previous or subsequent references throughout part 585 to submission and approval. This subpart contains references to other information submissions, approvals, requests, applications, plans, etc., the burdens for which are covered elsewhere in part 585 0 ** 600(a); 601(a), (b); 605 thru 614; 238; 810 Within time specified after issuance of a competitive lease or grant, or within time specified after determination of no competitive interest, submit copies of SAP, including required information to assist BOEM to comply with NEPA/CZMA such as hazard info, air quality, SEMS, and all required information, certifications, requests, etc., in format specified 240 2 SAPs 480 ** 600(b); 601(c), (d)(1); 606(b); 618; 620 thru 629; 632; 633; 810 If requesting an operations term for commercial lease, within time specified before the end of site assessment term, submit copies of COP, or FERC license application, including required information to assist BOEM to comply with NEPA/CZMA such as hazard info, air quality, SEMS, and all required information, surveys and/or their results, reports, certifications, project easements, supporting data and information, requests, etc., in format specified 1,000 2 COPs 2,000 ** 600(c); 601(a), (b); 640 thru 648; 651; 238; 810 Within time specified after issuance of a competitive lease or grant, or within time specified after determination of no competitive interest, submit copies of GAP, including required information to assist BOEM to comply with NEPA/CZMA such as hazard info, air quality, SEMS, and all required information, surveys and reports, certifications, project easements, requests, etc., in format specified 240 2 GAP 480 ** 601(d) (2); 622; 628(f); 632; 634; 658(c)(3); 907 Submit revised or modified COPs, including project easements, and all required additional information 50 1 revised or modified COP 50 602 2 Until BOEM releases financial assurance, respondents must maintain, and provide to BOEM if requested, all data and information related to compliance with required terms and conditions of SAP, COP, or GAP 2 9 records/submissions 18 ** 613(a), (d), (e); 617 Submit revised or modified SAPs and required additional information 50 1 revised or modified SAP 50 612; 647 Submit copy of SAP or GAP consistency certification and supporting documentation, including noncompetitive leases 1 2 leases 2 615(a) Notify BOEM in writing within 30 days of completion of construction and installation activities under SAP 1 2 notices 2 615(b) Submit annual report summarizing findings from site assessment activities 30 4 reports 120 615(c) Submit annual, or at other time periods as BOEM determines, SAP compliance certification, effectiveness statement, recommendations, reports, supporting documentation, etc 40 4 certifications 160 617(a) Notify BOEM in writing before conducting any activities not approved, or provided for, in SAP; provide additional information if requested 10 1 notice 10 627(c) Submit oil spill response plan as required by BSEE 30 CFR part 254 Burden covered under BSEE 1014-0007. 0 631 Request deviation from approved COP schedule 2 1 request 2 633(b) Submit annual, or at other time periods as BOEM determines, COP compliance certification, effectiveness statement, recommendations, reports, supporting documentation, etc 50 9 certifications 450 634(a) Notify BOEM in writing before conducting any activities not approved or provided for in COP, and provide additional information if requested 10 1 notice 10 635 Notify BOEM any time commercial operations cease without an approved suspension 1 1 notice 1 636(a) Notify BOEM in writing no later than 30 days after commencing activities associated with placement of facilities on lease area 1 2 notices 2 636(b) Notify BOEM in writing no later than 30 days after completion of construction and installation activities 1 2 notices 2 636(c) Notify BOEM in writing at least 7 days before commencing commercial operations 1 1 notices 1 ** 642(b); 648; 655; 658(c)(3) Submit revised or modified GAPs and required additional information 50 1 revised or modified GAP 50 651 Before beginning construction of OCS facility described in GAP, complete survey activities identified in GAP and submit initial findings. [This only includes the time involved in submitting the findings; it does not include the survey time as these surveys would be conducted as good business practice.] 30 2 surveys/reports 60 653(a) Notify BOEM in writing within 30 days of completing installation activities under the GAP 1 2 notices 2 653(b) Submit annual report summarizing findings from activities conducted under approved GAP 30 4 reports 120 653(c) Submit annual, or at other time periods as BOEM determines, GAP compliance certification, recommendations, reports, etc 40 4 certifications 160 655(a) Notify BOEM in writing before conducting any activities not approved or provided for in GAP, and provide additional information if requested 10 1 notice 10 656 Notify BOEM any time approved GAP activities cease without an approved suspension 1 1 notice 1 658(c)(1) If after construction, cable or pipeline deviate from approved COP or GAP, notify affected lease operators and ROW/RUE grant holders of deviation and provide BOEM evidence of such notices 3 1 notice/evidence 3 659 Determine appropriate air quality modeling protocol, conduct air quality modeling, and submit 3 copies of air quality modeling report and 3 sets of digital files as supporting information to plans 70 5 reports/information 350 Subtotal 68 responses 4,596 Subpart G—Facility Design, Fabrication, and Installation Three *** indicate the primary cites for the reports discussed in this subpart, and the burdens include any previous or subsequent references throughout part 585 to submitting and obtaining approval. This subpart contains references to other information submissions, approvals, requests, applications, plans, etc., the burdens for which are covered elsewhere in part 585. 0 *** 700(a)(1), (b), (c); 701 Submit Facility Design Report, including copies of the cover letter, certification statement, and all required information (1-3 paper or electronic copies as specified) 200 1 report 200 *** 700(a)(2); (b), (c); 702 Submit copies of a Fabrication and Installation Report, certification statement and all required information, in format specified 160 1 report 160 705(a)(3); 707; 712 Certified Verification Agent (CVA) conducts independent assessment of the facility design and submits copies of all reports/certifications to lessee or grant holder and BOEM—interim reports if required, in format specified 100 1 interim report 100 100 1 final report 100 705(a)(3); 708; 709; 710; 712 CVA conducts independent assessments/inspections on the fabrication and installation activities, informs lessee or grant holder if procedures are changed or design specifications are modified; and submits copies of all reports/certifications to lessee or grant holder and BOEM—interim reports if required, in format specified 100 1 interim report 100 100 1 final report 100 *** 703; 705(a)(3); 712; 815 CVA/project engineer monitors major project modifications and repairs and submits copies of all reports/certifications to lessee or grant holder and BOEM—interim reports if required, in format specified 20 1 interim report 20 15 1 final report 15 705(c) Request waiver of CVA requirement in writing; lessee must demonstrate standard design and best practices 40 1 waiver 40 706 Submit for approval with SAP, COP, or GAP, initial nominations for a CVA or new replacement CVA nomination, and required information 16 2 nominations 32 708(b)(2) Lessee or grant holder notify BOEM if modifications identified by CVA/project engineer are accepted 1 1 notice 1 709(a) (14); 710(a)(2), (e) 2 Make fabrication quality control, installation towing, and other records available to CVA/project engineer for review (retention required by § 585.714) 1 3 records retention 3 713 Notify BOEM within 10 business days after commencing commercial operations 1 1 notice 1 714 2 Until BOEM releases financial assurance, compile, retain, and make available to BOEM and/or CVA the as-built drawings, design assumptions/analyses, summary of fabrication and installation examination records, inspection results, and records of repairs not covered in inspection report. Record original and relevant material test results of all primary structural materials; retain records during all stages of construction 100 1 lessee 100 Subtotal 17 responses 972 Subpart H—Environmental and Safety Management, Inspections, and Facility Assessments for Activities Conducted Under SAPs, COPs, and GAPs 801(c), (d) Notify BOEM if endangered or threatened species, or their designated critical habitat, may be in the vicinity of the lease or grant or may be affected by lease or grant activities 1 2 notices 2 801(e), (f) Submit information to ensure proposed activities will be conducted in compliance with the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA); including agreements and mitigating measures designed to avoid or minimize adverse effects and incidental take of endangered species or critical habitat 6 2 submissions 12 802; 902(e) Notify BOEM of archaeological resource within 72 hours of discovery 3 1 notice 3 802(b), (c) If requested, conduct further archaeological investigations and submit report/information 10 1 report 10 802(d) If applicable, submit payment for BOEM costs in carrying out National Historic Preservation Act responsibilities .5 1 payment .5 803 If required, conduct additional surveys to define boundaries and avoidance distances and submit report 15 2 survey/report 30 *** 810; 614; 627; 632(b); 651 Submit safety management system description with the SAP, COP, or GAP 35 2 submissions 70 813(b)(1) Report within 24 hours when any required equipment taken out of service for more than 12 hours; provide written confirmation if reported orally .5 2 reports 1 1 1 written confirmation 1 813(b)(3) Notify BOEM when equipment returned to service; provide written confirmation if reported orally .5 2 notices 1 815(c) When required, analyze cable, P/L, or facility damage or failures to determine cause and as soon as available submit comprehensive written report 2 1 report 2 816 Submit plan of corrective action report on observed detrimental effects on cable, P/L, or facility within 30 days of discovery; take remedial action and submit report of remedial action within 30 days after completion 2 1 plan/report 2 822(a)(2)(iii), (b) Maintain records of design, construction, operation, maintenance, repairs, and investigation on or related to lease or ROW/RUE area; make available to BOEM for inspection 1 4 records retention 4 823 Request reimbursement within 90 days for food, quarters, and transportation provided to BOEM reps during inspection 2 1 request 2 824(a) 2 Develop annual self-inspection plan covering all facilities; retain with records, and make available to BOEM upon request 24 2 plans 48 824(b) Conduct annual self-inspection and submit report by November 1 36 2 reports 72 825 Based on API RP 2A-WSD, perform assessment of structures, initiate mitigation actions for structures that do not pass assessment process, retain information, and make available to BOEM upon request 60 2 assessments/actions 120 830(a), (c); 831 thru 833 Immediately report incidents to BOEM via oral communications, submit written follow-up report within 15 business days after the incident, and submit any required additional information Oral .5 2 incidents 1 Written 4 1 incident 4 830(d) Report oil spills as required by BSEE 30 CFR 254 Burden covered under BSEE 1014-0007 0 Subtotal 32 responses 385.5 Subpart I—Decommissioning Four **** indicate the primary cites for the reports discussed in this subpart, and the burdens include any previous or subsequent references throughout part 585 to submitting and obtaining approval. This subpart contains references to other information submissions, approvals, requests, applications, plans, etc., the burdens for which are covered elsewhere in part 585. **** 902; 905, 906; 907; 908(c); 909 Submit for approval, in format specified, copies of the SAP, COP, or GAP decommissioning application and site clearance plan at least 2 years before decommissioning activities begin, 90 days after completion of activities, or 90 days after cancellation, relinquishment, or other termination of lease or grant. Include documentation of coordination efforts w/States/CZMA agencies, local or tribal governments, requests that certain facilities remain in place for other activities, be converted to an artificial reef, or be toppled in place. Submit additional information/evidence requested or modify and resubmit application 20 1 application 20 902(d); 908; Notify BOEM at least 60 days before commencing decommissioning activities 1 1 notice 1 910 Within 60 days after removing a facility, verify to BOEM that site is cleared 1 1 verification 1 912 Within 60 days after removing a facility, cable, or pipeline, submit a written report 8 1 report 8 BOEM does not anticipate decommissioning activities for at least 5 years so the requirements have been given a minimal burden. Subtotal 4 responses 30 Subpart J—RUEs for Energy- and Marine-Related Activities Using Existing OCS Facilities 1004, 1005, 1006 Contact owner of existing facility and/or lessee of the area to reach preliminary agreement to use facility and obtain concurring signatures; submit request to BOEM for an alternative use RUE, including all required information/modifications 1 1 request 1 1007(a), (b), (c) Submit indication of competitive interest in response to Federal Register notice 4 1 submission 4 1007(c) Submit description of proposed activities and required information in response to Federal Register notice of competitive offering 5 1 submission 5 1007(f) Lessee or owner of facility submits decision to accept or reject proposals deemed acceptable by BOEM 1 1 submission 1 1010(c) Request renewal of Alternate Use RUE 6 1 request 6 1012; 1016(b) Provide financial assurance as BOEM determines in approving RUE for an existing facility, including additional security if required 1 1 submission 1 1013 Submit request for assignment of an alternative use RUE for an existing facility, including all required information 1 1 request 1 1015 Request relinquishment of RUE for an existing facility 1 1 request 1 Subtotal 8 responses 20 Total Burden 290 responses 25,688 $3,816,000 Non-Hour Cost Burdens 1 In the future, BOEM may require electronic filing of certain submissions. 2 Retention of these records is usual and customary business practice; the burden is primarily to make them available to BOEM and CVAs.

    Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Non-Hour Cost Burden: We have identified three non-hour cost burdens for this collection totaling $3,816,000 (refer to the table above). These non-hour cost burdens consist of service fees for BOEM document/study preparation, costs for paying a contractor instead of BOEM, and costs for a site-specific study and report to evaluate the cause of harm to natural resources.

    Public Disclosure Statement: The PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.) provides that an agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. Until OMB approves a collection of information, you are not obligated to respond.

    Comments: We invite comments concerning this information collection on:

    • Whether or not the collection of information is necessary, including whether or not the information will have practical utility;

    • The accuracy of our burden estimates;

    • Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Ways to minimize the burden on respondents.

    If you have costs to generate, maintain, and disclose this information, you should comment and provide your total capital and startup costs or annual operation, maintenance, and purchase of service costs. You should describe the methods you use to estimate major cost factors, including system and technology acquisition, expected useful life of capital equipment, discount rate(s), and the period over which you incur costs. Capital and startup costs include, among other items, computers and software you purchase to prepare for collecting information, monitoring, and record storage facilities. You should not include estimates for equipment or services purchased: (a) Before October 1, 1995; (b) to comply with requirements not associated with the information collection; (c) for reasons other than to provide information or keep records for the Government; or (d) as part of customary and usual business or private practices.

    We will summarize written responses to this notice and address them in our submission for OMB approval. As a result of your comments, we will make any necessary adjustments to the burden in our submission to OMB.

    Public Availability of Comments: Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Dated: December 10, 2015. Deanna Meyer-Pietruszka, Chief, Office of Policy, Regulations, and Analysis.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31707 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-MR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Reclamation [RR83550000, 167R5065C6, RX.59389832.1009676] Change in Discount Rate for Water Resources Planning AGENCY:

    Bureau of Reclamation, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of change.

    SUMMARY:

    The Water Resources Planning Act of 1965 and the Water Resources Development Act of 1974 require an annual determination of a discount rate for Federal water resources planning. The discount rate for Federal water resources planning for fiscal year 2016 is 3.125 percent. Discounting is to be used to convert future monetary values to present values.

    DATES:

    This discount rate is to be used for the period October 1, 2015, through and including September 30, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Max Millstein, Bureau of Reclamation, Reclamation Law Administration Division, Denver, Colorado 80225; telephone: 303-445-2853.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that the interest rate to be used by Federal agencies in the formulation and evaluation of plans for water and related land resources is 3.125 percent for fiscal year 2016.

    This rate has been computed in accordance with Section 80(a), Public Law 93-251 (88 Stat. 34), and 18 CFR 704.39, which: (1) Specify that the rate will be based upon the average yield during the preceding fiscal year on interest-bearing marketable securities of the United States which, at the time the computation is made, have terms of 15 years or more remaining to maturity (average yield is rounded to nearest one-eighth percent); and (2) provide that the rate will not be raised or lowered more than one-quarter of 1 percent for any year. The U.S. Department of the Treasury calculated the specified average to be 2.6511 percent. This rate, rounded to the nearest one-eighth percent, is 2.625 percent, which is a change of more than the allowable one-quarter of 1 percent. Therefore, the fiscal year 2016 rate is 3.125 percent.

    The rate of 3.125 percent will be used by all Federal agencies in the formulation and evaluation of water and related land resources plans for the purpose of discounting future benefits and computing costs or otherwise converting benefits and costs to a common-time basis.

    Dated: October 16, 2015. Roseann Gonzales, Director, Policy and Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31717 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4332-90-P-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. 337-TA-975] Certain Computer Cables, Chargers, Adapters, Peripheral Devices and Packaging Containing the Same; Institution of Investigation AGENCY:

    U.S. International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that a complaint was filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission on November 12, 2015, under section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, 19 U.S.C. 1337, on behalf of Belkin International, Inc. of Playa Vista, California. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 based upon the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain computer cables, chargers, adapters, peripheral devices and packaging containing the same by reason of infringement of U.S. Trademark Registration No. 2,339,459 (“the '459 mark”); U.S. Trademark Registration No. 2,339,460 (“the '460 mark”); U.S. Trademark Registration No. 4,168,379 (“the '379 mark”); and U.S. Trademark Registration No. 4,538,212 (“the '212 mark”). The complaint further alleges that an industry in the United States exists as required by subsection (a)(2) of section 337.

    The complainant requests that the Commission institute an investigation and, after the investigation, issue a general exclusion order and cease and desist orders.

    ADDRESSES:

    The complaint, except for any confidential information contained therein, is available for inspection during official business hours (8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.) in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Room 112, Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2000. Hearing impaired individuals are advised that information on this matter can be obtained by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on (202) 205-1810. Persons with mobility impairments who will need special assistance in gaining access to the Commission should contact the Office of the Secretary at (202) 205-2000. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its internet server athttp://www.usitc.gov. The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at http://edis.usitc.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    The Office of Unfair Import Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission, telephone (202) 205-2560.

    Authority:

    The authority for institution of this investigation is contained in section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, and in section 210.10 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, 19 CFR 210.10 (2015).

    Scope of Investigation: Having considered the complaint, the U.S. International Trade Commission, on December 11, 2015, ordered that

    (1) Pursuant to subsection (b) of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, an investigation be instituted to determine whether there is a violation of subsection (a)(1)(C) of section 337 in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, or the sale within the United States after importation of certain computer cables, chargers, adapters, peripheral devices and packaging containing the same by reason of infringement of one or more of the '459 mark; the '460 mark; the '379 mark; and the '212 mark, and whether an industry in the United States exists as required by subsection (a)(2) of section 337;

    (2) For the purpose of the investigation so instituted, the following are hereby named as parties upon which this notice of investigation shall be served:

    (a) The complainant is: Belkin International, Inc., 12045 E. Waterfront Drive, Playa Vista, CA 90094.

    (b) The respondents are the following entities alleged to be in violation of section 337, and are the parties upon which the complaint is to be served:

    Dongguan Pinte Electronic Co., Ltd., No. 2, Xingguang Road, Shijie Town, Dongguan City, Guangdong, China; Dongguan Shijie Fresh Electronic Products Factory, 1st Industrial Zone, Xi'nan, Shijie Town, Dongguan City, Guangdong, China.

    (c) The Office of Unfair Import Investigations, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Suite 401, Washington, DC 20436; and

    (3) For the investigation so instituted, the Chief Administrative Law Judge, U.S. International Trade Commission, shall designate the presiding Administrative Law Judge.

    Responses to the complaint and the notice of investigation must be submitted by the named respondents in accordance with section 210.13 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, 19 CFR 210.13. Pursuant to 19 CFR 201.16(e) and 210.13(a), such responses will be considered by the Commission if received not later than 20 days after the date of service by the Commission of the complaint and the notice of investigation. Extensions of time for submitting responses to the complaint and the notice of investigation will not be granted unless good cause therefor is shown.

    Failure of a respondent to file a timely response to each allegation in the complaint and in this notice may be deemed to constitute a waiver of the right to appear and contest the allegations of the complaint and this notice, and to authorize the administrative law judge and the Commission, without further notice to the respondent, to find the facts to be as alleged in the complaint and this notice and to enter an initial determination and a final determination containing such findings, and may result in the issuance of an exclusion order or a cease and desist order or both directed against the respondent.

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: December 14, 2015. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31727 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. CAFTA-DR-103-028] Probable Economic Effects of Certain Modifications to the CAFTA-DR Rules of Origin AGENCY:

    United States International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Institution of investigation and notice of opportunity to provide written comments.

    SUMMARY:

    Following receipt on November 24, 2015, of a request from the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), under authority delegated by the President and pursuant to section 104 of the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (19 U.S.C. 4014), the Commission instituted investigation No. CAFTA-DR-103-028, Probable Economic Effects of Certain Modifications to the CAFTA-DR Rules of Origin.

    DATES:

    January 25, 2016: Deadline for filing written submissions. May 24, 2016: Transmittal of Commission report to USTR.

    ADDRESSES:

    All Commission offices, including the Commission's hearing rooms, are located in the United States International Trade Commission Building, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC. All written submissions should be addressed to the Secretary, United States International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436. The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at http://www.usitc.gov/secretary/edis.htm.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Project leader Philip Stone (202-205-3424 or [email protected]) or deputy project leader Brian Allen (202-205-3034 or [email protected]) for information specific to this investigation. For information on the legal aspects of this investigation, contact William Gearhart of the Commission's Office of the General Counsel (202-205-3091 or [email protected]). The media should contact Margaret O'Laughlin, Office of External Relations (202-205-1819 or [email protected]). Hearing-impaired individuals may obtain information on this matter by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal at 202-205-1810. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its Internet server (http://www.usitc.gov). Persons with mobility impairments who will need special assistance in gaining access to the Commission should contact the Office of the Secretary at 202-205-2000.

    Background: In his request letter (received November 24, 2015), the USTR stated that U.S. negotiators have recently reached agreement in principle with representatives of the CAFTA-DR governments on certain modifications to the rules of origin in Annex 4.1 of the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement. The USTR noted that section 203(o)(3)(A) of the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act authorizes the President, subject to the consultation and layover requirements of section 104 of the Act, to proclaim such modifications to rules of origin provisions included in Annex 4.1 of the Agreement in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), other than with respect to goods of HTS chapters 50 through 63. He noted that one of the requirements set out in section 104 is that the President obtain advice regarding the proposed action from the U.S. International Trade Commission. In the request letter, the USTR asked that the Commission provide advice on the probable economic effects of the proposed modifications in rules of origin on U.S. trade under the Agreement, on total U.S. trade, and on domestic producers of the affected articles. The products identified in the proposal are fishing lures, gaming machines, polyvinyl chloride, and certain products of the chemical or allied industries. The request letter and the complete list of proposed modifications are available on the Commission's Web site at http://www.usitc.gov/research_and_analysis/what_we_are_working_on.htm. As requested, the Commission will provide its advice to USTR by May 24, 2016.

    Written Submissions: No public hearing is planned. However, interested parties are invited to file written submissions concerning this investigation. All written submissions should be addressed to the Secretary, and all such submissions should be received not later than 5:15 p.m., January 25, 2016. All written submissions must conform with the provisions of section 201.8 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 201.8). Section 201.8 and the Commission's Handbook on Filing Procedures require that interested parties file documents electronically on or before the filing deadline and submit eight (8) true paper copies by 12:00 p.m. eastern time on the next business day. In the event that confidential treatment of a document is requested, interested parties must file, at the same time as the eight paper copies, at least four (4) additional true paper copies in which the confidential information must be deleted (see the following paragraph for further information regarding confidential business information). Persons with questions regarding electronic filing should contact the Secretary (202-205-2000).

    Any submissions that contain confidential business information must also conform with the requirements of section 201.6 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 201.6). Section 201.6 of the rules requires that the cover of the document and the individual pages be clearly marked as to whether they are the “confidential” or “non-confidential” version, and that the confidential business information be clearly identified by means of brackets. All written submissions, except for confidential business information, will be made available for inspection by interested parties. The Commission may include some or all of the confidential business information submitted in the course of this investigation in the report it sends to the USTR and the President. As requested, the Commission will issue a public version of its report, with any confidential business information deleted, shortly after it transmits its report.

    Summaries of Written Submissions: The Commission intends to publish summaries of the positions of interested persons in an appendix to its report. Persons wishing to have a summary of their position included in the appendix should include a summary with their written submission. The summary may not exceed 500 words, should be in MSWord format or a format that can be easily converted to MSWord, and should not include any confidential business information. The summary will be published as provided if it meets these requirements and is germane to the subject matter of the investigation. In the appendix the Commission will identify the name of the organization furnishing the summary, and will include a link to the Commission's Electronic Document Information System (EDIS) where the full written submission can be found.

    By order of the Commission.

    Dated: December 14, 2015. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31734 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. DEA-392] Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Registration: Austin Pharma LLC ACTION:

    Notice of registration.

    SUMMARY:

    Austin Pharma LLC applied to be registered as a manufacturer of certain basic classes of controlled substances. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) grants Austin Pharma LLC registration as a manufacturer of those controlled substances.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    By notice dated August 10, 2015, and published in the Federal Register on August 18, 2015, 80 FR 50043, Austin Pharma LLC, 811 Paloma Drive, Suite C, Round Rock, Texas 78665-2402 applied to be registered as a manufacturer of certain basic classes of controlled substances. No comments or objections were submitted for this notice.

    The DEA has considered the factors in 21 U.S.C. 823(a) and determined that the registration of Austin Pharma LLC to manufacture the basic classes of controlled substances is consistent with the public interest and with United States obligations under international treaties, conventions, or protocols in effect on May 1, 1971. The DEA investigated the company's maintenance of effective controls against diversion by inspecting and testing the company's physical security systems, verifying the company's compliance with state and local laws, and reviewing the company's background and history.

    Therefore, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 823(a), and in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.33, the above-named company is granted registration as a bulk manufacturer of the following basic classes of controlled substances:

    Controlled substance Schedule Marihuana (7360) I Tetrahydrocannabinols (7370) I

    The company plans to manufacture bulk synthetic active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for product development and distribution to its customers. No other activity for these drug codes are authorized for this registration.

    Dated: December 9, 2015. Louis J. Milione, Deputy Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31667 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. DEA-392] Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Application: Johnson Matthey, Inc. ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    DATES:

    Registered bulk manufacturers of the affected basic classes, and applicants therefore, may file written comments on or objections to the issuance of the proposed registration in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.33(a) on or before February 16, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments should be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: DEA Federal Register Representative/ODW, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152. Request for hearings should be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: Hearing Clerk/LJ, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Attorney General has delegated her authority under the Controlled Substances Act to the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), 28 CFR 0.100(b). Authority to exercise all necessary functions with respect to the promulgation and implementation of 21 CFR part 1301, incident to the registration of manufacturers, distributors, dispensers, importers, and exporters of controlled substances (other than final orders in connection with suspension, denial, or revocation of registration) has been redelegated to the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the DEA Office of Diversion Control (“Deputy Assistant Administrator”) pursuant to section 7 of 28 CFR part 0, appendix to subpart R.

    In accordance with 21 CFR 1301.33(a), this is notice that on September 3, 2015, Johnson Matthey, Inc., Custom Pharmaceuticals Department, 2003 Nolte Drive, West Deptford, New Jersey 08066-1742 applied to be registered as a bulk manufacturer of the following basic classes of controlled substances:

    Controlled substance Schedule Gamma Hydroxybutyric Acid (2010) I Marihuana (7360) I Tetrahydrocannabinols (7370) I Dihydromorphine (9145) I Difenoxin (9168) I Propiram (9649) I Amphetamine (1100) II Methamphetamine (1105) II Lisdexamfetamine (1205) II Methylphenidate (1724) II Nabilone (7379) II Cocaine (9041) II Codeine (9050) II Dihydrocodeine (9120) II Oxycodone (9143) II Hydromorphone (9150) II Diphenoxylate (9170) II Ecgonine (9180) II Hydrocodone (9193) II Meperidine (9230) II Methadone (9250) II Methadone intermediate (9254) II Morphine (9300) II Thebaine (9333) II Oxymorphone (9652) II Noroxymorphone (9668) II Alfentanil (9737) II Remifentanil (9739) II Sufentanil (9740) II Tapentadol (9780) II Fentanyl (9801) II

    The company plans to manufacture the listed controlled substances in bulk for sale to its customers.

    In reference to drug codes 7360 (marihuana) and 7370 (THC), the company plans to bulk manufacture these drugs as synthetic. No other activities for these drug codes are authorized for this registration.

    Dated: December 9, 2015. Louis J. Milione, Deputy Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31665 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. DEA-392] Importer of Controlled Substances Application: Fisher Clinical Services, Inc. ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    DATES:

    Registered bulk manufacturers of the affected basic classes, and applicants therefore, may file written comments on or objections to the issuance of the proposed registration in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.34(a) on or before January 19, 2016. Such persons may also file a written request for a hearing on the application pursuant to 21 CFR 1301.43 on or before January 19, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments should be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: DEA Federal Register Representative/ODW, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152. Request for hearings should be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: Hearing Clerk/LJ, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Attorney General has delegated her authority under the Controlled Substances Act to the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), 28 CFR 0.100(b). Authority to exercise all necessary functions with respect to the promulgation and implementation of 21 CFR part 1301, incident to the registration of manufacturers, distributors, dispensers, importers, and exporters of controlled substances (other than final orders in connection with suspension, denial, or revocation of registration) has been redelegated to the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the DEA Office of Diversion Control (“Deputy Assistant Administrator”) pursuant to section 7 of 28 CFR part 0, appendix to subpart R.

    In accordance with 21 CFR 1301.34(a), this is notice that on August 26, 2015, Fisher Clinical Services, Inc. 7554 Schantz Road, Allentown, Pennsylvania 18106 applied to be registered as an importer of the following basic classes of controlled substances:

    Controlled substance Schedule Methylphenidate (1724) II Levorphanol (9220) II Noroxymorphone (9668) II Tapentadol (9780) II

    The company plans to import the listed substances for analytical research, testing, and clinical trials. This authorization does not extend to the import of a finished FDA approved or non-approved dosage form for commercial distribution in the United States.

    The company plans to import an intermediate form of tapentadol (9780) to bulk manufacture tapentadol for distribution to its customers. Placement of these (this) drug code (s) onto the company's registration does not translate into automatic approval of subsequent permit applications to import controlled substances. Approval of permit applications will occur only when the registrant's business activity is consistent with what is authorized under to 21 U.S.C. 952(a)(2). Authorization will not extend to the import of FDA approved or non-approved finished dosage forms for commercial sale.

    Dated: December 9, 2015. Louis J. Milione, Deputy Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31672 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. DEA-392] Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Application: National Center for Natural Products Research (NIDA MPROJECT) ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    DATES:

    Registered bulk manufacturers of the affected basic classes, and applicants therefore, may file written comments on or objections to the issuance of the proposed registration in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.33(a) on or before February 16, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments should be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: DEA Federal Register Representative/ODW, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152. Request for hearing should be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: Hearing Clerk/LJ, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Attorney General has delegated her authority under the Controlled Substances Act to the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), 28 CFR 0.100(b). Authority to exercise all necessary functions with respect to the promulgation and implementation of 21 CFR part 1301, incident to the registration of manufacturers, distributors, dispensers, importers, and exporters of controlled substances (other than final orders in connection with suspension, denial, or revocation of registration) has been redelegated to the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the DEA Office of Diversion Control (“Deputy Assistant Administrator”) pursuant to section 7 of 28 CFR part 0, appendix to subpart R.

    In accordance with 21 CFR 1301.33(a), this is notice that on October 27, 2015, National Center for Natural Products Research (NIDA MPROJECT), University of Mississippi, 135 Coy Waller Complex, P.O. Box 1848, University, Mississippi 38677-1848 applied to be registered as a bulk manufacturer of the following basic classes controlled substances:

    Controlled substance Schedule Marihuana (7360) I Tetrahydrocannabinols (7370) I

    The company plans to cultivate marihuana in support of the National Institute on Drug Abuse for research approved by the Department of Health and Human Services.

    Dated: December 9, 2015. Louis J. Milione, Deputy Assistant Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31669 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE [OMB Number 1140-0092] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Voluntary Magazine Questionnaire for Agencies/Entities Who Store Explosive Materials AGENCY:

    Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Department of Justice

    ACTION:

    60-Day notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Justice (DOJ), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), will submit the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Comments are encouraged and will be accepted for 60 days until February 16, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have additional comments especially on the estimated public burden or associated response time, suggestions, or need a copy of the proposed information collection instrument with instructions or additional information, please contact Anita Scheddel, Program Analyst, Explosives Industry Programs Branch, 99 New York Ave. NE., Washington, DC 20226 at email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address one or more of the following four points:

    • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    • 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;

    • Evaluate whether and if so how the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected can be enhanced; and

    • Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other

    • Technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Overview of this information collection 1140-0092:

    1. Type of Information Collection (check justification or form 83): Extension of a currently approved collection.

    2. The Title of the Form/Collection: Voluntary Magazine Questionnaire for Agencies/Entities Who Store Explosive Materials.

    3. The agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the Department sponsoring the collection:

    Form number (if applicable): Not Applicable. Component: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Department of Justice.

    4. Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract:

    Primary: Agencies/Entities Who Store Explosive Materials. Other (if applicable): None. Abstract: Primary: Agencies/Entities Who Store Explosive Materials. Other: None. The purpose of the form is to identify the number and locations of public explosives storage facilities (magazines), including those facilities used by State and local law enforcement.

    5. An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: An estimated 1,000 respondents will take 30 minutes to complete the survey.

    6. An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: The estimated annual public burden associated with this collection is 500 hours.

    If additional information is required contact: Jerri Murray, Department Clearance Officer, United States Department of Justice, Justice Management Division, Policy and Planning Staff, Two Constitution Square, 145 N Street NE., Room 3E-405B, Washington, DC 20530.

    Dated: December 14, 2015. Jerri Murray, Department Clearance Officer for PRA, U.S. Department of Justice.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31705 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-FY-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE [OMB Number 1121-NEW] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; New Collection: Body Worn Camera Supplement (BWCS) to the Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) Survey AGENCY:

    Bureau of Justice Statistics, Department of Justice.

    ACTION:

    30-day notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This proposed information collection was previously published in the Federal Register at 80 FR 52512, on August 31, 2015, allowing for a 60 day comment period.

    DATES:

    Comments are encouraged and will be accepted for an additional 30 days until January 19, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have additional comments especially on the estimated public burden or associated response time, suggestions, or need a copy of the proposed information collection instrument with instructions or additional information, please contact please contact Alexia Cooper, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 810 Seventh Street NW., Washington, DC 20531 (email: [email protected]; telephone: 202-307-0582). Written comments and/or suggestions can also be directed to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attention Department of Justice Desk Officer, Washington, DC 20503 or sent to [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address one or more of the following four points:

    —Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 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; —Evaluate whether and if so how the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected can be enhanced; and —Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. Overview of This Information Collection

    (1) Type of Information Collection: New collection.

    (2) The Title of the Form/Collection: Body Worn Camera Supplement (BWCS) to the Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) Survey

    (3) The agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the Department sponsoring the collection: No agency form number at this time. The applicable component within the Department of Justice is the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in the Office of Justice Programs.

    (4) Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract: Respondents will be general purpose state and local law enforcement agencies (LEAs), including police departments, sheriff's offices, and state law enforcement agencies. Abstract: Since 1987, BJS has collected information about the personnel, policies, and practices of law enforcement agencies via the Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) survey. This core survey, which has been administered every 4 to 6 years, has been used to produce nationally representative estimates of the functions and responsibilities of law enforcement agencies and the staff serving in those organizations. In addition to core management and administrative information, BJS will also begin using the LEMAS platform for topical supplemental surveys, fielded periodically, to collect data on key issues in contemporary policing. The body worn camera supplement (BWC) is the first of these topical supplements. Specifically, the BWCS survey will focus on LEAs use of body-worn media and will ask agencies about their experiences with body-worn cameras, factors that influence the choice to acquire the technology, and considerations that guide policies for the use of these technologies. This survey will build on the existing LEMAS program and provide key information on an issue that is of particular interest to the law enforcement community and the communities they serve.

    (5) An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: An agency-level survey will be sent to approximately 5,063 LEA respondents with the goal of obtaining 3,122 completed surveys. The expected burden placed on these respondents is about 23 minutes per respondent.

    (6) An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: The total respondent burden is approximately 1,884 burden hours.

    If additional information is required contact: Jerri Murray, Department Clearance Officer, United States Department of Justice, Justice Management Division, Policy and Planning Staff, Two Constitution Square, 145 N Street NE., 3E.405B, Washington, DC 20530.

    Dated: December 14, 2015. Jerri Murray, Department Clearance Officer for PRA, U.S. Department of Justice.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31744 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employment and Training Administration Comment Request for the Extension With No Revisions of the Information Collection for Petition and Investigative Data Collection Requirements for the Trade Act of 1974, as Amended (OMB Control Number 1205-0342) AGENCY:

    Employment and Training Administration (ETA), Department of Labor.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Labor (Department), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a preclearance consultation program to provide the 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 [44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)]. This program helps 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 requirements on respondents can be properly assessed.

    Currently, the Employment and Training Administration is soliciting comments concerning the proposed extension, with no revisions, of data collections using the ETA 9042A, Petition for Trade Adjustment Assistance (1205-0342), its Spanish translation ETA 9042a (1205-0342), and its On-Line version ETA 9042A-1 (1205-0342); ETA 9043a, Business Data Request—Article (1205-0342); ETA 9043b, Business Data Request—Service (1205-0342); ETA 8562a, Business Customer Survey (1205-0342); ETA 8562a, Business Customer Survey (1205-0342); ETA 85622a-1, Business Second Tier Customer Survey (1205-0342); ETA-8562b, Business Bid Survey (1205-0342); and ETA 9118, Business Information Request (1205-0342). The current expiration date is March 31, 2016.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted to the office listed in the addresses section below on or before February 16, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit written comments to Susan Worden, Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance, Room N-5428, Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210. Telephone number: 202-963-3560 (this is not a toll-free number). Individuals with hearing or speech impairments may access the telephone number above via TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Information Relay Service at 1-877-889-5627 (TTY/TDD). Fax: 202-693-3584. Email: [email protected] A copy of the proposed information collection request (ICR) can be obtained by contacting the office listed above.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    Section 221(a) of Title II, Chapter 2 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended by the Trade Act of 2002, authorizes the Secretary of Labor and the Governor of each state to accept petitions for certification of eligibility to apply for adjustment assistance. The petitions may be filed by a group of workers, their certified or recognized union or duly authorized representative, employers of such workers, one-stop operators or one-stop partners. ETA Form 9042A, Petition for Trade Adjustment Assistance and Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance, its Spanish translation, ETA Form 9042A, Solicitud De Asistencia Para Ajuste, and the On-Line Petiton for Trade Adjustment Assistance, ETA Form 9042A-1, establish a format that may be used for filing such petitions.

    Sections 222, 223 and 249 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended, require the Secretary of Labor to issue a determination for groups of workers as to their eligibility to apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA). After reviewing all of the information obtained for each petition for Trade Adjustment Assistance filed with the Department, a determination is issued as to whether the statutory criteria for certification are met. The information collected in ETA Form 9043a, Business Data Request—Article, ETA Form 9043b, Business Data Request—Service, ETA Form 9118, Business Information Request, ETA Form 8562a, Business Customer Survey, ETA form 85622a-1, Business Second Tier Customer Survey, ETA form 8562b, Business Bid Survey, will be used by the Secretary to determine to what extent, if any, increased imports or shifts in either service or production have impacted the petitioning worker group.

    II. Review Focus

    The Department is particularly interested in comments which:

    • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    • 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 to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses.

    III. Current Actions

    Type of Review: Extension with no revisions.

    Title: Investigative Data Collections for the Trade Act of 1974, as amended.

    OMB Number: 1205-0342.

    Affected Public: Individuals or Households, Businesses, State, Local or Tribal Governments.

    Form(s): ETA 9042A, Petition for Trade Adjustment Assistance (1205-0342), its Spanish translation ETA 9042a (1205-0342), and its On-Line version ETA 9042A-1 (1205-0342); ETA 9043a, Business Data Request—Article (1205-0342); ETA 9043b, Business Data Request—Service (1205-0342); ETA 8562a, Business Customer Survey (1205-0342); ETA 85622a-1, Business Second Tier Customer Survey (1205-0342); ETA-8562b, Business Bid Survey (1205-0342); and ETA 9118, Business Information Request (1205-0342).

    Total Annual Respondents: 6,916.

    Annual Frequency: Once.

    Total Annual Responses: 85,675.

    Average Time per Response: 2.22 Hours.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 18,642.

    Total Annual Burden Cost for Respondents: $0.

    Comments submitted in response to this comment request will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of the ICR; they will also become a matter of public record.

    Portia Wu, Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training, Labor.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31656 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-FN-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employment and Training Administration Comment Request for Information Collection for Occupational Code Assignment (OMB 1205-0137), Extension With Revisions AGENCY:

    Employment and Training Administration (ETA), Labor.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Labor (Department), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a preclearance consultation program to provide the 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 [44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)]. This program helps 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 requirements on respondents can be properly assessed.

    Currently, ETA is soliciting comments concerning the collection of data using the Occupational Code Assignment Form (ETA 741), which expires on May 31, 2016. A copy of the proposed information collection request (ICR) can be obtained by contacting the office listed below in the addressee section of this notice or by accessing: http://www.onetcenter.org/ombclearance.html.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted to the office listed in the addresses section below, on or before February 16, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit written comments to Alexander Nallin, Office of Workforce Investment, Employment and Training Administration, Mail Stop C-4526, Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210. Telephone number: 202-693-3938. Individuals with hearing or speech impairments may access the telephone number above via TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Information Relay Service at 1-877-889-5627 (TTY/TDD). Fax: 202-693-3015. Email: [email protected]. A copy of the proposed information collection request (ICR) can be obtained by contacting the office listed above.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The Occupational Code Assignment form (ETA 741) was developed as a public service to the users of the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), in an effort to help them in obtaining occupational codes and titles for jobs that they are unable to locate in O*NET. The O*NET system classifies nearly all jobs in the United States economy. However, new occupational specialties are continually evolving and emerging. The use of the OCA is voluntary and is provided: (1) As a uniform format to the public and private sector to submit information in order to receive assistance in identifying an occupational code; (2) to assist the O*NET system in identifying potential occupations that may need to be included in future O*NET data collection efforts; and (3) to provide input to a database of alternative (lay) titles to facilitate searches for occupational information on the O*NET Web sites including O*NET OnLine (http://online.onetcenter.org), My Next Move (www.MyNextMove.gov), My Next Move for Veterans (www.MyNextMove.org/vets), O*NET Code Connector (www.onetcodeconnector.org), as well as CareerOneStop (www.careeronestop.org). Minor changes were made to the previous form to remove two questions that were not needed and minor wording changes to clarify existing questions. The OCA process is designed to help the occupational information user relate an occupational specialty or a job title to an occupational code and title within the framework of the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) based O*NET system. The O*NET-SOC system consists of a database that organizes the work done by individuals into approximately 1,000 occupational categories. Additionally, O*NET occupations have associated data on the importance and level of a range of occupational characteristics and requirements, including knowledge, skills, abilities, tasks and work activities. Since the O*NET-SOC system is based on the SOC system, identifying an O*NET-SOC code and title also facilitates linkage to national, state, and local occupational employment and wage estimates.

    II. Review Focus

    The Department is particularly interested in comments which:

    • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    • 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 to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques, or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses.

    III. Current Actions

    Type of Review: extension with changes.

    Title: Occupational Code Assignment.

    OMB Number: 1205-0137.

    Affected Public: Federal government, state, and local government, business or other for-profit/non-profit institutions, and individuals.

    Form(s): ETA-741.

    Total Annual Respondents: 14.

    Annual Frequency: On occasion.

    Summary of Annual Burden for the Occupational Code Assignment Form Requests per year 1 Hours/request 2 Hours burden used Salary
  • expenditure used 3
  • (hours ×
  • hourly income)
  • OCA—Part A 14 .5 7.0 $384.16 1 Estimate based on average for January 2013 through October 2015 2 Estimates on OCA form—Part A = 30 minutes 3 Salary based on Occupational Employment Statistics data for Human Resource Manager, median wage as of May 2014 = $54.88/hour

    Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): 0.

    Total Burden Cost (operating/maintaining): 0.

    Average Time per Response: 30 minutes for the OCA Part A; 40 minutes for the OCA Part A and OCA Request for Additional Information combined.

    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 7.0.

    Comments submitted in response to this comment request will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of the ICR; they will also become a matter of public record.

    Portia Wu, Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training, U.S. Department of Labor.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31710 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-FN-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employment and Training Administration Guam Military Base Realignment Contractor Recruitment Standards—Revised AGENCY:

    Employment and Training Administration, Labor.

    ACTION:

    Final notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Department of Labor (Department), Employment and Training Administration (ETA), is issuing this notice to revise recruitment standards that construction contractors are required to follow when recruiting United States (U.S.) workers for Guam military base realignment projects authorized by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2010.

    DATES:

    This notice is effective upon publication in the Federal Register.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Donald Haughton, Office of Workforce Investment, Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room C-4526, Washington, DC 20210. Telephone (202) 693-2784 (this is not a toll-free number). Individuals with hearing or speech impairments may access the telephone number above via TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Information Relay Service at 1-877-889-5627 (TTY/TDD), fax: (202) 693-3015, email: [email protected] .

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Section 2834(a) of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2010 (Pub. L. 111-84, enacted October 28, 2009) amended Section 2824(c) of the Military Construction Authorization Act (division B of Public Law 110-417; 10 U.S.C. 2687 note) by adding a new subsection (6). This provision prohibits contractors engaged in construction projects related to the realignment of U.S. military forces from Okinawa to Guam from hiring workers holding H-2B visas under the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b), unless the Governor of Guam (Governor), in consultation with the Secretary of Labor (Secretary), certifies that:

    (1) There is an insufficient number of U.S. workers that are able, willing, qualified, and available to perform the work; and

    (2) the employment of workers holding H-2B visas will not have an adverse effect on either the wages or the working conditions of workers in Guam.

    In order to allow the Governor to make this certification, NDAA requires contractors to recruit workers in the U.S., including in Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, according to the terms of a recruitment plan developed and approved by the Secretary. That recruitment plan is reproduced in full in Section I below (“Contractor Recruitment Instructions”).

    The Department developed the Contractor Recruitment Instructions in full consultation with, and with the approval of, the Guam Department of Labor (GDOL). Although the Department developed the recruitment standards, it has assigned oversight of the Contractor Recruitment Standards and the NDAA-required consultation with the Governor to GDOL through a Memorandum of Understanding between the Department and GDOL, effective November 22, 2011, (the MOU can be found on the www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain Web site).

    Under NDAA, no Guam base realignment construction project work may be performed by a person holding an H-2B visa under the Immigration and Nationality Act until the contractor complies with the Department's Contractor Recruitment Standards, and the Governor of Guam issues the certification noted above.

    I. Guam Military Base Realignment Contractor Recruitment Instructions

    Guam military base realignment contractors must take the following actions to recruit U.S. workers.

    1. At least 60 days before the start date of workers under a base realignment contract, contractors must:

    a. Submit a job posting via a completed Job Order (Guam Form GES 514) in person at the Guam Employment Service office, which is open Monday through Friday (except holidays) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 710 Marine Corps Drive, Suite 301, Bell Tower Plaza, Hagatna (for assistance please call (671)-475-7000).

    The job posting must be posted on the GDOL Job Bank for at least 21 consecutive days;

    b. Submit a job posting with the state workforce agency's Internet job boards, for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands at https://marianaslabor.net/employer.asp, and in the following states:

    i. Alaska (www.jobs.state.ak.us);

    ii. California (www.caljobs.ca.gov);

    iii. Hawaii (www.hirenethawaii.com);

    iv. Oregon (www.emp.state.or.us/jobs); and

    v. Washington (https://fortress.wa.gov/esd/worksource/Employment.aspx).

    c. Post a help wanted ad in the local newspaper for American Samoa and have a notice posted in the American Samoa Human Resources agency office. For assistance with these tasks, please see the American Samoa Human Resource agency contacts listed at www.jobbankinfo.org.

    For contractors needing assistance with job postings, additional contact information and a link to the required Guam form GES 514 are listed at www.jobbankinfo.org.

    Each job posting must be posted for at least 21 consecutive days.

    d. Submit a job posting with an Internet-based job bank that:

    i. Is national in scope, including the entire U.S., Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico;

    ii. allows job postings for all occupations; and

    iii. is free of charge for job seekers and their intermediaries in American Job Centers (also known as One-Stop Career Centers) and the U.S. workforce investment system nationwide.

    e. Where the occupation or industry is customarily unionized, contact the local union in Guam in writing to seek U.S. workers who are qualified and who will be available for the job opportunity.

    2. Each job posting in (A)(1) through (5) must include, at a minimum, the following information:

    a. The contractor's name and appropriate contact information for applicants to inquire about the job opportunity, or to send applications and/or resumes directly to the employer;

    b. The geographic area of employment, with enough specificity to apprise applicants of any travel requirements and where applicants will likely have to reside to perform the services or labor;

    c. A statement indicating whether or not the employer will pay for the worker's transportation to Guam;

    d. If the employer provides transportation, include a statement that daily transportation to and from the worksite(s) will be provided by the employer;

    e. A description of the job opportunity with sufficient information to apprise U.S. workers of the services or labor to be performed, including the duties, the minimum education and experience requirements, the work hours and days, and the anticipated start and end dates of the job opportunity;

    f. If the employer makes On-the-Job Training (OJT) available, a statement that it will be provided to the worker;

    g. If required by law, a statement that overtime will be available to the worker and the wage offer for working any overtime hours;

    h. The wage offer, and the benefits, if any, offered;

    i. A statement that the position is temporary;

    j. The total number of job openings the employer intends to fill; and

    k. If the employer provides the worker with the option of board, lodging, or other facilities, including fringe benefits, or intends to assist workers to secure such lodging, a statement disclosing the provision and cost of the board, lodging, or other facilities, including fringe benefits or assistance to be provided.

    3. During the 28-day recruitment period, which begins on the earliest job posting date, contractors must interview all qualified and available Guam and U.S. construction workers who have applied for the employment opportunity.

    4. After the close of the recruitment period, and no later than 30 days before the start date of workers under a contract, the contractor must provide a report including the following information via email to GDOL at [email protected], documenting its efforts to recruit U.S. workers from the U.S. and all U.S. territories.

    a. Indicate all the recruitment approaches used to recruit workers, including an identification of the Internet job banks where the postings occurred, the occupation or trade, a description of wages and other terms and conditions of employment, the dates of each posting, and the job order or requisition number;

    b. A copy of each job posting;

    c. How each job posting and response was handled, including:

    i. The number of job applications received;

    ii. the name of each applicant;

    iii. the position applied for;

    iv. the final employment determination for each applicant or job candidate; and

    v. for each U.S. job applicant not hired, a description of the specific, lawful, job-related reason for rejecting the applicant for employment, which includes a comparison of the job applicant's skills and experience against the terms listed in the original job posting.

    Contractors may provide much of this information in the form of a table or spreadsheet, so that instead of a narrative style the contractor need only check an appropriate box or provide a phrase, number or date (e.g., to indicate whether an individual reported for an interview or not, or lacked specific qualifications).

    II. Public Burden Statement

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the Department's request to extend the information collection (OMB Control Number 1205-0484) for three years, expiring October 31, 2018.

    Persons are not required to respond to this collection of information unless it displays a valid OMB control number (1205-0484). The public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated at three hours per job order, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. Further information on this ICR can be accessed using control number 1205-0484 at www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain. To do this, use the following instructions:

    1. Go to the first “Select Agency” box and click on the drop-down arrow, and then select “Department of Labor.” Then, click on the “Submit” button to the right of the box.

    2. Each entry lists the OMB Control Number at the top of the entry. Scroll down the screen until 1205-0484 appears (the entries are in numerical order).

    3. Once you reach 1205-0484, click on the number immediately below that, the ICR Reference Number (not the Control Number itself).

    4. To see the Information Collection notices themselves, click on “View Information Collection (IC) List” near the top of the page on the left. To see the Report to Congress, the MOU, the ICR Supporting Statement and other relevant documents, click on “View Supporting Statement and Other Documents” near the top of the page on the right.

    Portia Wu, Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31713 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-FN-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employment and Training Administration Comment Request for Information Collection for Equal Employment Opportunity in Apprenticeship Programs, Extension Without Revisions AGENCY:

    Employment and Training Administration (ETA), Labor.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Labor (Department), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a preclearance consultation program to provide the 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 [44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)] (PRA). The PRA helps ensure that respondents can provide requested data in the desired format with minimal reporting burden (time and financial resources), collection instruments are clearly understood and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed.

    Currently, ETA is soliciting comments concerning the information collection request (ICR) to collect data about title 29 CFR 30, Equal Employment Opportunity in Apprenticeship Programs, Complaint Form—Equal Employment Opportunity in Apprenticeship Programs, ETA—9030, which expires on May 31, 2016.

    Interested parties are encouraged to provide comments to the contact shown in the ADDRESSES section. Comments must be written to receive consideration, and they will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval of the final ICR. In order to help ensure appropriate consideration, comments should mention OMB Control Number 1205-0224.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted to the office listed in the addresses section below on or before February 16, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit written comments to Greg Wilson, Office of Apprenticeship, Room C-5317, Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210. Telephone number: 202-693-2954 (this is not a toll-free number). Individuals with hearing or speech impairments may access the telephone number above via TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Information Relay Service at 1-877-889-5627 (TTY/TDD). Fax: 202-693-3799. Email: [email protected] To obtain a free copy of this ICR with applicable supporting documentation; including a description of the likely respondents, proposed frequency of response, and estimated total burden, please contact the person listed above.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The National Apprenticeship Act of 1937 (Act), section 50 (29 U.S.C. 50), authorizes and directs the Secretary of Labor (Secretary) “to formulate and promote the furtherance of labor standards necessary to safeguard the welfare of apprentices, to extend the application of such standards by encouraging the inclusion thereof in contracts of apprenticeship, to bring together employers and labor for the formulation of programs of apprenticeship, to cooperate with state agencies engaged in the formulation and promotion of standards of apprenticeship, and to cooperate with the Secretary of Education in accordance with Section 17 of Title 20.” Section 50a of the Act authorizes the Secretary to “publish information relating to existing and proposed labor standards of apprenticeship,” and to “appoint national advisory committees * * *” (29. U.S.C. 50a).

    Title 29 CFR part 30 sets forth policies and procedures to promote the equality of opportunity in apprenticeship programs registered with the Department and recognized State Apprenticeship Agencies. These policies and procedures apply to recruitment and selection of apprentices, and to all conditions of employment and training during apprenticeship. The procedures provide for registering apprenticeship programs, for reviewing apprenticeship programs, for processing complaints, and for deregistering non-complying apprenticeship programs. This part also provides policies and procedures for continuation or withdrawal of recognition of state agencies which registered apprenticeship programs for Federal purposes.

    The Complaint Form—Equal Employment Opportunity in Apprenticeship Programs, ETA Form 9039, is used by applicants and/or apprentices to file a complaint of discrimination with the Department. Since this form expires on May 31, 2016, ETA is seeking an extension of this form without revisions.

    II. Review Focus

    The Department is particularly interested in comments which:

    • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    • 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 to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses.

    III. Current Actions

    Agency: DOL-ETA.

    Type of Review: Extension without changes of currently approved collection.

    Title of Collection: Title 29 CFR part 30, Equal Employment Opportunity in Apprenticeship Programs.

    Form: Complaint Form—Equal Employment Opportunity in Apprenticeship Programs, ETA Form 9039.

    OMB Control Number: 1205-0224.

    Affected Public: Applicants, Apprentices, Sponsors, State Apprenticeship Agencies, and Tribal Governments.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 19,277 (19,200 program sponsors + 27 State Apprenticeship Agencies + 50 Applicants/Apprentices).

    Frequency: 1-time basis.

    Total Estimated Annual Responses: 34,490.

    Estimated Average Time per Response: 30 minutes for applicants/apprentices to complete and submit the complaint form.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 3,219 hours.

    Total Estimated Annual Other Cost Burden: $0.00.

    We will summarize and/or include in the request for OMB approval of the ICR, the comments received in response to this comment request; they will also become a matter of public record.

    Portia Wu, Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training, Labor.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31712 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-FR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Occupational Safety and Health Administration [Docket No. OSHA-2012-0031] The Standard on 4, 4′—Methylenedianiline (MDA) in Construction; Extension of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Information Collection (Paperwork) Requirements AGENCY:

    Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

    ACTION:

    Request for public comments.

    SUMMARY:

    OSHA solicits public comments concerning its proposal to extend the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) approval of the information collection requirements specified in the Standard on 4,4'—Methylenedianiline (MDA) in Construction (29 CFR 1926.60).

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted (postmarked, sent, or received) by February 16, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Electronically: You may submit comments and attachments electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Follow the instructions online for submitting comments.

    Facsimile: If your comments, including attachments, are not longer than 10 pages you may fax them to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-1648.

    Mail, hand delivery, express mail, messenger, or courier service: When using this method, you must submit a copy of your comments and attachments to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. OSHA-2012-0031, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-2625, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210. Deliveries (hand, express mail, messenger, and courier service) are accepted during the Department of Labor's and Docket Office's normal business hours, 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., e.t.

    Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and the OSHA docket number (OSHA-2012-0031) for this Information Collection Request (ICR). All comments, including any personal information you provide, are placed in the public docket without change, and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov. For further information on submitting comments see the “Public Participation” heading in the section of this notice titled SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    Docket: To read or download comments or other material in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov or the OSHA Docket Office at the address above. All documents in the docket (including this Federal Register notice) are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index; however, some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available to read or download from the Web site. All submissions, including copyrighted material, are available for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office. You may also contact Theda Kenney at the address below to obtain a copy of the ICR.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Theda Kenney or Todd Owen, Directorate of Standards and Guidance, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-3609, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-2222.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent (i.e., employer) burden, conducts a preclearance consultation program to provide the public with an opportunity to comment on proposed and continuing information collection requirements in accord with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA)(44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)). This program ensures that information is in the desired format, reporting burden (time and costs) is minimal, collection instruments are clearly understood, and OSHA's estimate of the information collection burden is accurate. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (the OSH Act) (29 U.S.C. 651 et seq.) authorizes information collection by employers as necessary or appropriate for enforcement of the OSH Act or for developing information regarding the causes and prevention of occupational injuries, illnesses, and accidents (29 U.S.C. 657). The OSH Act also requires that OSHA obtain such information with minimum burden upon employers, especially those operating small businesses, and to reduce to the maximum extent feasible unnecessary duplication of efforts in obtaining information (29 U.S.C. 657).

    The information collection requirements specified in the 4′,4′—Methylenedianiline Standard for Construction (the “MDA Standard”) (29 CFR 1926.60) protect employees from the adverse health effects that may result from their exposure to MDA, including cancer, liver and skin disease. The major paperwork requirements specify that employers must perform initial, periodic, and additional exposure monitoring; notify each worker in writing of their results as soon as possible but no longer than 5 days after receiving exposure monitoring results; and routinely inspect the hands, face, and forearms of each worker potentially exposed to MDA for signs of dermal exposure to MDA. Employers must also: establish a written compliance program; institute a respiratory protection program in accord with 29 CFR 1910.134 (OSHA's Respiratory Protection Standard); and develop a written emergency plan for any construction operation that could have an MDA emergency (i.e., an unexpected and potentially hazardous release of MDA).

    Employers must label any material or products containing MDA, including containers used to store MDA-contaminated protective clothing and equipment. They also must inform personnel who launder MDA-contaminated clothing of the requirement to prevent release of MDA, and personnel who launder or clean MDA-contaminated protective clothing or equipment must receive information about the potentially harmful effects of MDA. In addition, employers must post warning signs at entrances or access ways to regulated areas, as well as train workers exposed to MDA at the time of their initial assignment, and at least annually thereafter.

    Other paperwork provisions of the MDA Standard require employers to provide workers with medical examinations, including initial, periodic, emergency and follow-up examinations. As part of the medical-surveillance program, employers must ensure that the examining physician receives specific written information, and that they obtain from the physician a written opinion regarding the worker's medical results and exposure limitations.

    The MDA Standard also specifies that employers are to establish and maintain exposure-monitoring and medical-surveillance records for each worker who is subject to these requirements, make any required record available to OSHA compliance officers and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for examination and copying, and provide exposure-monitoring and medical-surveillance records to workers and their designated representatives.

    II. Special Issues for Comment

    OSHA has a particular interest in comments on the following issues:

    • Whether the proposed information collection requirements are necessary for the proper performance of the Agency's functions, including whether the information is useful;

    • The accuracy of OSHA's estimate of the burden (time and costs) of the information collection requirements, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    • The quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and

    • Ways to minimize the burden on employers who must comply; for example, by using automated or other technological information collection and transmission techniques.

    III. Proposed Actions

    The Agency is requesting an adjustment decrease of 43 burden hours to 986 burden hours. The decrease is a result of removing burden hours for training because the Agency, upon further consideration, does not believe that training is covered by the PRA.

    The Agency will summarize the comments submitted in response to this notice and will include this summary in the request to OMB to extend the approval of the information collection requirements contained in the MDA Standard.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Title: 4, 4′—Methylenedialine in Construction Standard (29 CFR 1926.60).

    OMB Control Number: 1218-0183.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profits; Not-for-profit organizations; Federal Government; State, Local, or Tribal Government.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Average Time per Response: Varies from 5 minutes (.08 hour) for employers to provide information to the physician to 2 hours for initial monitoring.

    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 986.

    Number of Respondents: 2,469.

    Total Number of Responses: 2,558.

    Estimated Cost (Operation and Maintenance): $0.

    IV. Public Participation—Submission of Comments on This Notice and Internet Access to Comments and Submissions

    You may submit comments in response to this document as follows: (1) Electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal; (2) by facsimile (fax); or (3) by hard copy. All comments, attachments, and other material must identify the Agency name and the OSHA docket number (Docket No. OSHA-2012-0031) for the ICR. You may supplement electronic submissions by uploading document files electronically. If you wish to mail additional materials in reference to an electronic or facsimile submission, you must submit them to the OSHA Docket Office (see the section of this notice titled ADDRESSES). The additional materials must clearly identify your electronic comments by your name, date, and the docket number so the Agency can attach them to your comments.

    Because of security procedures, the use of regular mail may cause a significant delay in the receipt of comments. For information about security procedures concerning the delivery of materials by hand, express delivery, messenger, or courier service, please contact the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-2350, (TTY (877) 889-5627).

    Comments and submissions are posted without change at http://www.regulations.gov. Therefore, OSHA cautions commenters about submitting personal information such as social security numbers and date of birth. Although all submissions are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index, some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available to read or download from this Web site.

    All submissions, including copyrighted material, are available for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office. Information on using the http://www.regulations.gov Web site to submit comments and access the docket is available at the Web site's “User Tips” link. Contact the OSHA Docket Office for information about materials not available from the Web site, and for assistance in using the Internet to locate docket submissions.

    V. Authority and Signature

    David Michaels, Ph.D., MPH, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, directed the preparation of this notice. The authority for this notice is the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3506 et seq.) and Secretary of Labor's Order No. 1-2012 (77 FR 3912).

    Signed at Washington, DC, on December 14, 2015. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31753 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-26-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Occupational Safety and Health Administration [Docket No. OSHA-2012-0034] Hexavalent Chromium Standards; Extension of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Approval of Information Collection (Paperwork) Requirements AGENCY:

    Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

    ACTION:

    Request for public comments.

    SUMMARY:

    OSHA solicits public comments concerning its proposal to extend the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) approval of the information collection requirements contained in the Hexavalent Chromium Standards for General Industry (29 CFR 1910.1026), Shipyard Employment (29 CFR 1915.1026), and Construction (29 CFR 1926.1126).

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted (postmarked, sent, or received) by February 16, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Electronically: You may submit comments and attachments electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Follow the instructions online for submitting comments.

    Facsimile: If your comments, including attachments, are not longer than 10 pages you may fax them to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-1648.

    Mail, hand delivery, express mail, messenger, or courier service: When using this method, you must submit your comments and attachments to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. OSHA-2012-0034, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-2625, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210. Deliveries (hand, express mail, messenger, and courier service) are accepted during the Department of Labor's and Docket Office's normal business hours, 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., e.t.

    Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and the OSHA docket number (OSHA-2012-0034) for the Information Collection Request (ICR). All comments, including any personal information you provide, are placed in the public docket without change, and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov. For further information on submitting comments see the “Public Participation” heading in the section of this notice titled SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    Docket: To read or download comments or other material in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov or the OSHA Docket Office at the address above. All documents in the docket (including this Federal Register notice) are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index; however, some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available to read or download from the Web site. All submissions, including copyrighted material, are available for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office. You may also contact Theda Kenney at the address below to obtain a copy of the ICR.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Theda Kenney or Todd Owen, Directorate of Standards and Guidance, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-3609, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-2222.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent (i.e., employer) burden, conducts a preclearance consultation program to provide the public with an opportunity to comment on proposed and continuing collection of information requirements in accord with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA-95) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)). This program ensures that information is in the desired format, reporting burden (time and costs) is minimal, collection instruments are clearly understood, and OSHA's estimate of the information collection burden is accurate. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (the OSH Act) (29 U.S.C. 651 et seq.) authorizes information collection by employers as necessary or appropriate for enforcement of the OSH Act or for developing information regarding the causes and prevention of occupational injuries, illnesses, and accidents (29 U.S.C. 657). The OSH Act also requires that OSHA obtain such information with minimum burden upon employers, especially those operating small businesses, and to reduce to the maximum extent feasible unnecessary duplication of efforts in obtaining information (29 U.S.C. 657).

    The collections of information in the Hexavalent Chromium (Cr(VI)) Standards for General Industry (29 CFR 1910.1026), Shipyard Employment (29 CFR 1915.1026), and Construction (29 CFR 1926.1126) (the “Standards”) protect workers from the adverse health effects that may result from occupational exposure to hexavalent chromium. The major collections of information in these Standards include conducting worker exposure monitoring, notifying workers of their chromium exposures, implementing medical surveillance of workers, providing examining physicians with specific information, implementing a respiratory protection program, notifying laundry personnel of chromium hazards and maintaining workers' exposure monitoring and medical surveillance records for specific periods.

    II. Special Issues for Comment

    OSHA has a particular interest in comments on the following issues:

    • Whether the proposed collection of information requirements are necessary for the proper performance of the Agency's functions, including whether the information is useful;

    • The accuracy of OSHA's estimate of the burden (time and costs) of the collection of information requirements, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    • The quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and

    • Ways to minimize the burden on employers who must comply; for example, by using automated or other technological information collection and transmission techniques.

    III. Proposed Actions

    The Agency is requesting an adjustment decrease of 47,615 burden hours (from 541,582 to 493,967 burden hours). The decrease in burden hours is due to an estimated decrease of exposed workers and a reduction in the number of plants in specific industry sectors. There is also an estimated increase in operation and maintenance costs of $123,015, from $46,589,912 to $46,712,927. The increase in operation and maintenance costs is due to the increase in exposure monitoring air sampling costs, medical exam and testing costs, and costs of materials for qualitative fit testing.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Title: Hexavalent Chromium (Cr(VI)) Standards for General Industry (29 CFR 1910.1026), Shipyard Employment (29 CFR 1915.1026), and Construction (29 CFR 1926.1126).

    OMB Control Number: 1218-0252.

    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profits.

    Number of Respondents: 75,684.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion; Quarterly; Semi-annually; Annually.

    Total Responses: 994,834.

    Average Time per Response: Time per response ranges from 5 minutes (.08 hour) to provide a copy of a written medical opinion to a worker to 4 hours for a worker to receive a comprehensive medical examination.

    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 493,967.

    Estimated Cost (Operation and Maintenance): $46,712,927.

    IV. Public Participation—Submission of Comments on this Notice and Internet Access to Comments and Submissions

    You may submit comments in response to this document as follows: (1) Electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal; (2) by facsimile; or (3) by hard copy. All comments, attachments, and other material must identify the Agency name and the OSHA docket number (Docket No. OSHA-2012-0034) for this ICR. You may supplement electronic submissions by uploading document files electronically. If you wish to mail additional materials in reference to an electronic or facsimile submission, you must submit them to the OSHA Docket Office (see the section of this notice titled ADDRESSES). The additional materials must clearly identify your electronic comments by your name, date, and the docket number so the Agency can attach them to your comments.

    Because of security procedures, the use of regular mail may cause a significant delay in the receipt of comments. For information about security procedures concerning the delivery of materials by hand, express delivery, messenger, or courier service, please contact the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-2350, (TTY (877) 889-5627).

    Comments and submissions are posted without change at http://www.regulations.gov. Therefore, OSHA cautions commenters about submitting personal information such as their social security number and date of birth. Although all submissions are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index, some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available to read or download from this Web site. All submissions, including copyrighted material, are available for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office. Information on using the http://www.regulations.gov Web site to submit comments and access the docket is available at the Web site's “User Tips” link. Contact the OSHA Docket Office for information about materials not available from the Web site, and for assistance in using the Internet to locate docket submissions.

    V. Authority and Signature

    David Michaels, Ph.D., MPH, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, directed the preparation of this notice. The authority for this notice is the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3506 et seq.) and Secretary of Labor's Order No. 1-2012 (77 FR 3912).

    Signed at Washington, DC, on December 14, 2015. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31752 Filed 12-16-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-26-P
    NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION Sunshine Act Meeting

    Matter to be added to the agenda of an agency meeting. Federal Register citation of previous announcement: December 14, 2015 (80 FR 77379)

    Time and Date:

    11:00 a.m., Thursday, December 17, 2015.

    Place:

    Board Room, 7th Floor, Room 7047, 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-3428.

    Status:

    Closed.

    Additional Matter to be Considered:

    3. Briefing on Supervisory Matter. Closed pursuant to Exemptions (8), (9)(i)(B) and (9)(ii).

    For Further Information Contact:

    Gerard Poliquin, Secretary of the Board, Telephone: 703-518-6304

    Gerard Poliquin, Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31871 Filed 12-15-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 7535-01-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. 50-271; NRC-2015-0111] Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc.; Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Exemption; issuance.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is granting exemptions in response to a request from Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (ENO or the licensee) regarding certain emergency planning (EP) requirements. The exemptions will eliminate the requirements to maintain formal offsite radiological emergency plans and reduce the scope of the onsite EP activities at the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station (VY), based on the reduced risks of accidents that could result in an offsite radiological release at the decommissioning nuclear power reactor. Provisions would still exist for offsite agencies to take protective actions, using a comprehensive emergency management plan (CEMP) to protect public health and safety, if protective actions were needed in the event of a very unlikely accident that could challenge the safe storage of spent fuel.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2015-0111 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this document using any of the following methods:

    • Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2015-0111. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected]. For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    James Kim, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-4125; email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The VY facility is a decommissioning power reactor located in the town of Vernon, Windham County, Vermont. The licensee, ENO, is the holder of Renewed Facility Operating License No. DPR-28 for VY. The license provides, among other things, that the facility is subject to all rules, regulations, and orders of the NRC now or hereafter in effect.

    By letter dated January 12, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15013A426), ENO submitted, to the NRC, a certification in accordance with sections 50.82(a)(1)(i) and 50.82(a)(1)(ii) of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), indicating that it had permanently ceased power operations at VY and had permanently defueled the VY reactor vessel, respectively. The licensee has not operated the VY plant since December 29, 2014. As a permanently shutdown and defueled facility, and pursuant to 10 CFR 50.82(a)(2), ENO is no longer authorized to operate the VY reactor or emplace fuel into the VY reactor vessel, but is still authorized to possess and store irradiated nuclear fuel at the site. Irradiated fuel is currently stored onsite at VY in a spent fuel pool (SFP) and in an independent spent fuel storage installation.

    During normal power reactor operations, the forced flow of water through the reactor coolant system (RCS) removes heat generated by the reactor by generating steam. The steam system, operating at high temperatures and pressures, transfers this heat to the main turbine generator to produce electricity. Many of the accident scenarios postulated in the updated safety analysis reports for operating power reactors involve failures or malfunctions of systems, which could affect the fuel in the reactor core, which in the most severe postulated accidents, would involve the release of large quantities of fission products. With the permanent cessation of reactor operations at VY and the permanent removal of the fuel from the reactor vessel, such accidents are no longer possible. The reactor, RCS, steam system, turbine generator, and supporting systems are no longer in operation and have no function related to the storage of the spent fuel. Therefore, EP provisions for postulated accidents involving failure or malfunction of the reactor, RCS, steam system, turbine generator, or supporting systems are no longer applicable.

    Since VY is permanently shutdown and defueled, the only design basis accident that could potentially result in an offsite radiological release at VY is the fuel handling accident (FHA). Analysis performed by ENO showed that 17 days after shutdown, the radiological consequence of the FHA would not exceed the limits established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Protective Action Guidelines (PAGs) at the exclusion area boundary. Based on the time that VY has been permanently shutdown (approximately 11 months), there is no longer any possibility of an offsite radiological release from a design basis accident that could exceed the EPA PAGs.

    The EP requirements of 10 CFR 50.47, “Emergency plans,” and appendix E to 10 CFR part 50, “Emergency Planning and Preparedness for Production and Utilization Facilities,” continue to apply to nuclear power reactors that have permanently ceased operation and have removed all fuel from the reactor vessel. There are no explicit regulatory provisions distinguishing EP requirements for a power reactor that is permanently shut down and defueled from those for a reactor that is authorized to operate. To reduce or eliminate EP requirements that are no longer necessary due to the decommissioning status of the facility, ENO must obtain exemptions from those EP regulations. Only then can ENO modify the VY emergency plan to reflect the reduced risk associated with the permanently shutdown and defueled condition of VY.

    II. Request/Action

    By letter dated March 14, 2014 (ADAMS Accession No. ML14080A141), “Request for Exemptions from Portions of 10 CFR 50.47 and 10 CFR part 50, appendix E,” ENO requested exemptions from certain EP requirements of 10 CFR part 50 for VY. More specifically, ENO requested exemptions from certain planning standards in 10 CFR 50.47(b) regarding onsite and offsite radiological emergency plans for nuclear power reactors; from certain requirements in 10 CFR 50.47(c)(2) that require establishment of plume exposure and ingestion pathway emergency planning zones for nuclear power reactors; and from certain requirements in 10 CFR part 50, appendix E, section IV, which establish the elements that make up the content of emergency plans. In letters dated August 29, 2014 and October 21, 2014 (ADAMS Accession Nos. ML14246A176, and ML14297A159, respectively), ENO provided responses to the NRC staff's requests for additional information concerning the proposed exemptions.

    The information provided by ENO included justifications for each exemption requested. The exemptions requested by ENO would eliminate the requirements to maintain formal offsite radiological emergency plans, reviewed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under the requirements of 44 CFR part 350, and reduce the scope of onsite EP activities. The licensee stated that the application of all of the standards and requirements in 10 CFR 50.47(b), 10 CFR 50.47(c), and 10 CFR part 50, appendix E is not needed for adequate emergency response capability, based on the substantially lower onsite and offsite radiological consequences of accidents still possible at the permanently shutdown and defueled facility, as compared to an operating facility. If offsite protective actions were needed for a very unlikely accident that could challenge the safe storage of spent fuel at VY, provisions exist for offsite agencies to take protective actions using a CEMP under the National Preparedness System to protect the health and safety of the public. A CEMP in this context, also referred to as an emergency operations plan (EOP), is addressed in FEMA's Comprehensive Preparedness Guide 101, “Developing and Maintaining Emergency Operations Plans.” Comprehensive Preparedness Guide 101 is the foundation for State, territorial, Tribal, and local EP in the United States. It promotes a common understanding of the fundamentals of risk-informed planning and decision-making and helps planners at all levels of government in their efforts to develop and maintain viable, all-hazards, all-threats emergency plans. An EOP is flexible enough for use in all emergencies. It describes how people and property will be protected; details who is responsible for carrying out specific actions; identifies the personnel, equipment, facilities, supplies and other resources available; and outlines how all actions will be coordinated. A CEMP is often referred to as a synonym for “all-hazards planning.”

    III. Discussion

    In accordance with 10 CFR 50.12, “Specific exemptions,” the Commission may, upon application by any interested person or upon its own initiative, grant exemptions from the requirements of 10 CFR part 50 when: (1) The exemptions are authorized by law, will not present an undue risk to public health or safety, and are consistent with the common defense and security; and (2) any of the special circumstances listed in 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2) are present. These special circumstances include, among other things, that the application of the regulation in the particular circumstances would not serve the underlying purpose of the rule or is not necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the rule.

    As noted previously, the current EP regulations contained in 10 CFR 50.47(b) and appendix E to 10 CFR part 50 apply to both operating and shutdown power reactors. The NRC has consistently acknowledged that the risk of an offsite radiological release at a power reactor that has permanently ceased operations and removed fuel from the reactor vessel is significantly lower, and the types of possible accidents are significantly fewer, than at an operating power reactor. However, current EP regulations do not recognize that once a power reactor permanently ceases operation, the risk of a large radiological release from a credible emergency accident scenario is reduced. The reduced risk is largely the result of the low frequency of credible events that could challenge the SFP structure, and the reduced decay heat and reduced short-lived radionuclide inventory due to decay. The NRC's NUREG/CR-6451, “A Safety and Regulatory Assessment of Generic BWR [Boiling Water Reactor] and PWR [Pressurized Water Reactor] Permanently Shutdown Nuclear Power Plants,” dated August 31, 1997 (ADAMS Accession No. ML082260098) and NUREG-1738, “Technical Study of Spent Fuel Pool Accident Risk at Decommissioning Nuclear Power Plants,” dated February 28, 2001 (ADAMS Accession No. ML010430066), confirmed that for permanently shutdown and defueled power reactors that are bounded by the assumptions and conditions in the reports, the risk of offsite radiological release is significantly less than that for an operating power reactor.

    In the past, EP exemptions similar to those requested by ENO, have been granted to licensees of permanently shutdown and defueled power reactors. However, the exemptions did not relieve the licensees of all EP requirements. Rather, the exemptions allowed the licensees to modify their emergency plans commensurate with the credible site-specific risks that were consistent with a permanently shutdown and defueled status. Specifically, for previous permanently shutdown and defueled power reactors, the basis for the NRC staff's approval of the exemptions from certain EP requirements was based on the licensee's demonstration that: (1) The radiological consequences of design-basis accidents would not exceed the limits of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) PAGs at the exclusion area boundary, and (2) in the unlikely event of a beyond-design-basis accident resulting in a loss of all modes of heat transfer from the fuel stored in the SFP, there is sufficient time to initiate appropriate mitigating actions, and if needed, for offsite authorities to implement offsite protective actions using a CEMP approach to protect the health and safety of the public.

    With respect to design-basis accidents at VY, the licensee provided analysis demonstrating that 17 days following permanent shutdown, the radiological consequences of the only remaining design-basis accident with potential for offsite radiological release (the FHA) will not exceed the limits of the EPA PAGs at the exclusion area boundary. Therefore, because VY has been permanently shutdown for approximately 11 months, there is no longer any design-basis accident that would warrant an offsite radiological emergency plan meeting the requirements of 10 CFR Part 50.

    With respect to beyond design-basis accidents at VY, the licensee analyzed a drain down of the spent fuel pool water that would effectively impede any decay heat removal. The analysis demonstrates that at 15.4 months after shutdown, there would be at least 10 hours after the assemblies have been uncovered until the limiting fuel assembly (for decay heat and adiabatic heatup analysis) reaches 900 degrees Celsius, the temperature used to assess the potential onset of fission product release. The analysis conservatively assumed the heat up time starts when the spent fuel pool has been completely drained, although it is likely that site personnel will start to respond to an incident when drain down starts. The analysis also does not consider the period of time from the initiating event causing loss of SFP water inventory until cooling is lost.

    Based on precedent exemptions, the site-specific analysis should show that there is sufficient time following a loss of SFP coolant inventory until the onset of fuel damage to implement onsite mitigation of the loss of SFP coolant inventory and if necessary, to implement offsite protective actions. To meet this criterion, the staff accepted, in precedent exemptions, that the time should exceed 10 hours from the loss of coolant until the fuel temperature reaches 900 degrees Celsius (°C), assuming no air cooling.

    The NRC staff reviewed the licensee's justification for the requested exemptions against the criteria in 10 CFR 50.12(a) and determined, as described below, that the criteria in 10 CFR 50.12(a) are met, and that the exemptions should be granted. An assessment of the ENO EP exemptions is described in SECY-14-0125, “Request by Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. for Exemptions from Certain Emergency Planning Requirements,” dated November 14, 2014 (ADAMS Accession No. ML14227A711). The Commission approved the NRC staff's recommendation to grant the exemptions in the staff requirements memorandum to SECY-14-0125, dated March 2, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15061A516). Descriptions of the specific exemptions requested by ENO and the NRC staff's basis for granting each exemption are provided in SECY-14-0125 and summarized in a table at the end of this document. The staff's detailed review and technical basis for the approval of the specific EP exemptions, requested by ENO, are provided in the NRC staff's safety evaluation, which is enclosed in an NRC letter dated December 10, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15180A054).

    A. Authorized by Law

    The licensee has proposed exemptions from certain EP requirements in 10 CFR 50.47(b), 10 CFR 50.47(c)(2), and 10 CFR part 50, appendix E, section IV, which would allow ENO to revise the VY Emergency Plan to reflect the permanently shutdown and defueled condition of the station. As stated above, in accordance with 10 CFR 50.12, the Commission may, upon application by any interested person or upon its own initiative, grant exemptions from the requirements of 10 CFR part 50. The NRC staff has determined that granting of the licensee's proposed exemptions will not result in a violation of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, or the NRC's regulations. Therefore, the exemptions are authorized by law.

    B. No Undue Risk to Public Health and Safety

    ENO provided analyses that show the radiological consequences of design-basis accidents will not exceed the limits of the EPA PAGs at the exclusion area boundary. Therefore, formal offsite radiological emergency plans required under 10 CFR part 50 are no longer needed for protection of the public beyond the exclusion area boundary, based on the radiological consequences of design-basis accidents that are still possible at VY.

    Although very unlikely, there is one postulated beyond-design-basis accident that might result in significant offsite radiological releases. However, NUREG-1738 confirms that the risk of beyond-design-basis accidents is greatly reduced at permanently shutdown and defueled reactors. The NRC staff's analyses in NUREG-1738 conclude that the event sequences important to risk, at permanently shutdown and defueled power reactors, are limited to large earthquakes and cask drop events. For EP assessments, this is an important difference relative to operating power reactors, where typically a large number of different sequences make significant contributions to risk. Per NUREG-1738, relaxation of offsite EP requirements, under 10 CFR part 50, a few months after shutdown resulted in only a small change in risk. The report further concludes that the change in risk, due to relaxation of offsite EP requirements, is small because the overall risk is low, and because even under current EP requirements for operating power reactors, EP was judged to have marginal impact on evacuation effectiveness in the severe earthquakes that dominate SFP risk. All other sequences including cask drops (for which offsite radiological emergency plans are expected to be more effective) are too low in likelihood to have a significant impact on risk.

    Therefore, granting exemptions to eliminate the requirements of 10 CFR part 50 to maintain offsite radiological emergency plans and to reduce the scope of onsite EP activities will not present an undue risk to the public health and safety.

    C. Consistent With the Common Defense and Security

    The requested exemptions by ENO only involve EP requirements under 10 CFR part 50 and will allow ENO to revise the VY Emergency Plan to reflect the permanently shutdown and defueled condition of the facility. Physical security measures at VY are not affected by the requested EP exemptions. The discontinuation of formal offsite radiological emergency plans and the reduction in scope of the onsite EP activities at VY will not adversely affect ENO's ability to physically secure the site or protect special nuclear material. Therefore, the proposed exemptions are consistent with the common defense and security.

    D. Special Circumstances

    Special circumstances, in accordance with 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(ii), are present whenever application of the regulation in the particular circumstances is not necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the rule. The underlying purposes of 10 CFR 50.47(b), 10 CFR 50.47(c)(2), and 10 CFR part 50, appendix E, section IV, are to provide reasonable assurance that adequate protective measures can and will be taken in the event of a radiological emergency, to establish plume exposure and ingestion pathway emergency planning zones for nuclear power plants, and to ensure that licensees maintain effective offsite and onsite radiological emergency plans. The standards and requirements in these regulations were developed by considering the risks associated with the operation of a power reactor at its licensed full-power level. These risks include the potential for a reactor accident with offsite radiological dose consequences.

    As discussed previously in Section III of this document, because VY is permanently shutdown and defueled, there is no longer a risk of offsite radiological release from a design-basis accident; and the risk of a significan