Federal Register Vol. 80, No.247,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 247 (December 24, 2015)

Page Range80207-80633
FR Document

80_FR_247
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 80615 - To Take Certain Actions Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act and for Other PurposesPDF
80 FR 80403 - Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
80 FR 80424 - Bravo Resource Partners, Ltd., First Potash Corp., HIP Energy Corporation, Musgrove Minerals Corp., and Starcore International Ventures Ltd. (a/k/a Starcore International Mines Ltd.); Order of Suspension of TradingPDF
80 FR 80440 - Bioject Medical Technologies, Inc., Black Castle Developments Holdings, Inc. (n/k/a ingXabo Corporation), Catalyst Resource Group, Inc., SSI International, Ltd., Strike Axe, Inc., and Viper Powersports, Inc.; Order of Suspension of TradingPDF
80 FR 80383 - Notice of Intention To Relinquish Lands Withdrawn for Military Purposes; CaliforniaPDF
80 FR 80382 - Public Land Order No. 7846; Transfer of Administrative Jurisdiction, Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range; CaliforniaPDF
80 FR 80382 - Notice of Temporary Closure on Public Lands in Riverside County, CAPDF
80 FR 80363 - Sunshine Act NoticePDF
80 FR 80386 - Government in the Sunshine Act Meeting NoticePDF
80 FR 80329 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 80360 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Renewal of Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 80357 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Renewal of Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 80400 - Spent Fuel Transportation Package Response to the MacArthur Maze Fire ScenarioPDF
80 FR 80402 - Spent Fuel Transportation Package Response to the Newhall Pass Fire ScenarioPDF
80 FR 80398 - Bell Bend, LLC; Combined License Application for Bell Bend Nuclear Power PlantPDF
80 FR 80359 - Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Sulfur Oxides-Health CriteriaPDF
80 FR 80359 - Notice of Availability of Electronic Reporting; Federal Air Rules for Reservations Online Reporting SystemPDF
80 FR 80339 - Applications for New Awards; Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals With Disabilities-Captioned and Described Educational MediaPDF
80 FR 80381 - Amendment to the Notice of Availability of the Osage County Oil and Gas Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Management of Osage Nation Oil and Gas Resources, Osage County, OklahomaPDF
80 FR 80442 - Re-Delegation of Immunity From Judicial Seizure AuthoritiesPDF
80 FR 80331 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
80 FR 80258 - Regulations Governing United States Savings BondsPDF
80 FR 80457 - Pipeline Safety: Request for Special PermitPDF
80 FR 80442 - Re-Delegation of Authority Section 102 of the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, As AmendedPDF
80 FR 80461 - Surety Companies Acceptable on Federal Bonds: National Fire & Marine Insurance Company Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Insurance CompanyPDF
80 FR 80320 - Certain Pasta From Italy: Notice of Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative ReviewPDF
80 FR 80257 - Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards: Conforming Amendments; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 80325 - Extension of the Extended Missing Parts Pilot ProgramPDF
80 FR 80380 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Holders or Containers Which Enter the United States Duty FreePDF
80 FR 80266 - International Trademark Classification ChangesPDF
80 FR 80441 - Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements Under OMB ReviewPDF
80 FR 80441 - Notice of Surrender of License of Small Business Investment CompanyPDF
80 FR 80441 - Interest RatesPDF
80 FR 80228 - 2013 Integrated Mortgage Disclosures Rule Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z); CorrectionPDF
80 FR 80319 - Polyester Staple Fiber From the People's Republic of China: Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015PDF
80 FR 80361 - Deletion of Agenda Items From December 17, 2015 Open MeetingPDF
80 FR 80442 - Notice of Intent To Rule on Request To Release Lake Murray State Park Airport at Ardmore, OklahomaPDF
80 FR 80330 - Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Upper Llagas Creek Project Flood Protection Project in Santa Clara County, CaliforniaPDF
80 FR 80312 - Domestic Sugar Program: Overall Allotment Quantity and Marketing AllotmentsPDF
80 FR 80451 - Petition for Waiver of CompliancePDF
80 FR 80449 - Petition for Waiver of CompliancePDF
80 FR 80450 - Petition for Waiver of CompliancePDF
80 FR 80453 - Petition for Waiver of CompliancePDF
80 FR 80452 - Petition for Waiver of CompliancePDF
80 FR 80207 - Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Promotion, Research and Information Order; Late Payment and Interest Charges on Past Due AssessmentsPDF
80 FR 80265 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Arthur Kill, Staten Island, New YorkPDF
80 FR 80266 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Annisquam River and Blynman Canal, Gloucester, MAPDF
80 FR 80310 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Red Snapper Management Measures; Amendment 28PDF
80 FR 80290 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management AreaPDF
80 FR 80316 - Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 80315 - Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 80347 - President's Council of Advisors on Science and TechnologyPDF
80 FR 80348 - Preferred Alternative for Certain Quantities of Plutonium Evaluated in the Final Surplus Plutonium Disposition Supplemental Environmental Impact StatementPDF
80 FR 80394 - Notice of Permit Applications Received Under the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978PDF
80 FR 80363 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
80 FR 80363 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
80 FR 80347 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program General Forbearance RequestPDF
80 FR 80394 - Notice of Proposed Revisions to the Compliance Supplement for Audits of LSC Recipients for Fiscal Years Ending 12/31/15 and ThereafterPDF
80 FR 80324 - New England Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 80323 - 2016 Annual Determination To Implement the Sea Turtle Observer RequirementPDF
80 FR 80378 - Advisory Committee on Commercial Operations to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (COAC)PDF
80 FR 80385 - Notice of Proposed Information Collection; Request for Comments for 1029-0120PDF
80 FR 80442 - Meeting of the Regional Energy Resource CouncilPDF
80 FR 80384 - Proposed Information Collection: National Park Service Centennial National Household SurveyPDF
80 FR 80357 - Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 80327 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection Revision, Comment Request: Final Rule for Records of Commodity Interest and Related Cash or Forward TransactionsPDF
80 FR 80247 - Records of Commodity Interest and Related Cash or Forward TransactionsPDF
80 FR 80376 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 80395 - Operating Philosophy for Maintaining Occupational Radiation Exposures as Low as is Reasonably AchievablePDF
80 FR 80396 - Guidance on Making Changes to Emergency Plans for Nuclear Power ReactorsPDF
80 FR 80380 - Notice of Availability for Best Practices for Protecting Privacy, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in Unmanned Aircraft Systems ProgramsPDF
80 FR 80321 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Seabird Research Activities in Central California, 2015-2016PDF
80 FR 80390 - Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Through FY 2017 Stand Down Grant RequestsPDF
80 FR 80349 - Swan Lake North Hydro LLCProject No. 13318-003; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Motions To Intervene and ProtestsPDF
80 FR 80351 - Notice of Commission Half-Day ClosingPDF
80 FR 80354 - Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C.; Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Broad Run Expansion ProjectPDF
80 FR 80354 - Florida Southeast Connection, LLC; Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC; Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC; Notice of Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Southeast Market Pipelines ProjectPDF
80 FR 80350 - Combined Notice of Filings #2PDF
80 FR 80351 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 80353 - Notice of Availability of the Draft Guidance Manual for Environmental Report Preparation and Request for CommentsPDF
80 FR 80386 - Melamine From China and Trinidad and TobagoPDF
80 FR 80376 - Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 80375 - National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 80423 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 80416 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Regarding Trading HaltsPDF
80 FR 80414 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; ICE Clear Europe Limited; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to ICC End-of-Day Price Discovery PolicyPDF
80 FR 80408 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Establish Fees and Rebates Related to BX Price Improvement Auction (PRISM)PDF
80 FR 80432 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Regarding Fees and Rebates and Tiers Related to BX OptionsPDF
80 FR 80425 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Establish the Securities Trader and Securities Trader Principal Registration Categories and To Establish the Series 57 Examination as the Appropriate Qualification Examination for Securities TradersPDF
80 FR 80430 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 1.1(s) To Provide for Price Collar Thresholds for Trading Halt AuctionsPDF
80 FR 80420 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Y-Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to ALLB Routing and Other Fees for Use of BATS Y-Exchange, Inc.PDF
80 FR 80428 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to ALLB Routing and Other Fees for Use of BATS Exchange, Inc.PDF
80 FR 80403 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Delete Sections (e) Through (h) of Exchange Rule 1020, Registration and Functions of Options SpecialistsPDF
80 FR 80422 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Options Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change Concerning the Adoption of a Charter of a New Committee of The Options Clearing Corporation's Board of Directors, the Technology CommitteePDF
80 FR 80387 - Comment Request for Information Collection for Form ETA-9142A, H-2A Application for Temporary Employment Certification, and Appendix A (OMB Control Number 1205-0466), RevisionPDF
80 FR 80462 - Sanctions Actions Pursuant to Executive Orders 13667 and 13712PDF
80 FR 80308 - Notice of Availability of Regulatory Impact Assessment and Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Regarding the Customer Due Diligence Requirements for Financial InstitutionsPDF
80 FR 80389 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Placement Verification and Follow Up of Job Corps ParticipantsPDF
80 FR 80458 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Draft Bulletin: Risk Management Guidance for Higher Loan-to-Value Lending in Communities Targeted for RevitalizationPDF
80 FR 80383 - National Register of Historic Places; Notification of Pending Nominations and Related ActionsPDF
80 FR 80317 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 80362 - Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau; Federal Advisory Committee Act; Task Force on Optimal Public Safety Answering Point ArchitecturePDF
80 FR 80381 - Federal Property Suitable as Facilities To Assist the HomelessPDF
80 FR 80366 - National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program; List of Petitions ReceivedPDF
80 FR 80386 - Importer of Controlled Substances Registration: Alltech Associates, Inc.PDF
80 FR 80387 - Importer of Controlled Substances Application: Almac Clinical Services Incorp (ACSI)PDF
80 FR 80446 - Annual Random Controlled Substances Testing Percentage Rate for Calendar Year 2016PDF
80 FR 80443 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; VisionPDF
80 FR 80456 - Pipeline Safety: Random Drug Testing Rate; Contractor Management Information System Reporting; and Obtaining Drug and Alcohol Management Information System Sign-In InformationPDF
80 FR 80447 - Potential Benefits and Feasibility of Voluntary Compliance; Public Listening SessionsPDF
80 FR 80462 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Form 8844PDF
80 FR 80365 - Health Center ProgramPDF
80 FR 80368 - Loan Repayment Program for Repayment of Health Professions Educational Loans; Announcement Type: Initial.PDF
80 FR 80370 - Indian Health Professions Preparatory, Indian Health Professions Pre-Graduate and Indian Health Professions Scholarship Programs; Announcement Type: InitialPDF
80 FR 80363 - Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 80330 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 80455 - Deepwater Port License Application: Delfin LNG LLC, Delfin LNG Deepwater PortPDF
80 FR 80454 - Deepwater Port License Application: Liberty Natural Gas LLC, Port Ambrose Deepwater Port; Withdrawal of Application and Termination of Federal Application Review ProcessPDF
80 FR 80401 - Containment Shell or Liner Moisture Barrier InspectionPDF
80 FR 80346 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Annual Performance Report for the Gaining Early Awareness for Undergraduate ProgramsPDF
80 FR 80388 - Agency Information Collection Activities, Comment Request; Solicitation of Nominations for the Iqbal Masih Award for the Elimination of Child LaborPDF
80 FR 80275 - Spinetoram; Pesticide TolerancesPDF
80 FR 80269 - Propiconazole on Tea; Pesticide TolerancePDF
80 FR 80364 - Deviation Reporting for Human Cells, Tissues, and Cellular and Tissue-Based Products; Draft Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 80362 - Notice of Agreements FiledPDF
80 FR 80283 - Modernizing the E-rate Program for Schools and LibrariesPDF
80 FR 80307 - Apprenticeship Programs; Equal Employment Opportunity; Extension of Comment PeriodPDF
80 FR 80583 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Review of Native Species That Are Candidates for Listing as Endangered or Threatened; Annual Notice of Findings on Resubmitted Petitions; Annual Description of Progress on Listing ActionsPDF
80 FR 80209 - Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedures for Ceiling Fan Light KitsPDF
80 FR 80302 - Ownership Information in Market-Based Rate FilingsPDF
80 FR 80284 - Rules of Practice in Transportation: Investigative Hearings, Meetings, Reports, and Petitions for ReconsiderationPDF
80 FR 80232 - Technical Amendments: FHFA Address and Zip Code ChangePDF
80 FR 80301 - Proposed Establishment of Class E Airspace; Danville, ARPDF
80 FR 80355 - Commission Information Collection Activities; Consolidated Comment Request; ExtensionPDF
80 FR 80299 - Airworthiness Directives; Fokker Services B.V. AirplanesPDF
80 FR 80293 - Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. AirplanesPDF
80 FR 80465 - Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) ProgramPDF
80 FR 80291 - Airworthiness Directives; B-N Group Ltd. AirplanesPDF
80 FR 80234 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
80 FR 80239 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
80 FR 80236 - Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. AirplanesPDF
80 FR 80242 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
80 FR 80295 - Airworthiness Directives; Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation AirplanesPDF

Issue

80 247 Thursday, December 24, 2015 Contents Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service RULES Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Promotion, Research and Information Order; Late Payment and Interest Charges on Past Due Assessments, 80207-80209 2015-32448 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

See

Commodity Credit Corporation

See

Rural Utilities Service

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection RULES 2013 Integrated Mortgage Disclosures Rule Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z); Correction, 80228-80232 2015-32463 Census Bureau Census Bureau NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 80317-80319 2015-32374 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: ANA Project Outcomes Assessment Survey, 80363-80364 2015-32351 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Annisquam River and Blynman Canal, Gloucester, MA, 80266 2015-32446 Arthur Kill, Staten Island, NY, 80265-80266 2015-32447 Commerce Commerce Department See

Census Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

Patent and Trademark Office

Commodity Credit Commodity Credit Corporation NOTICES Domestic Sugar Program: Overall Allotment Quantity and Marketing Allotments, 80312-80315 2015-32456 Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission RULES Records of Commodity Interest and Related Cash or Forward Transactions, 80247-80257 2015-32416 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Records of Commodity Interest and Related Cash or Forward Transactions, 80327-80329 2015-32417 Comptroller Comptroller of the Currency NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Risk Management Guidance for Higher Loan-to-Value Lending in Communities Targeted for Revitalization, 80458-80461 2015-32376 Defense Department Defense Department See

Engineers Corps

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 80329-80330 2015-32350 2015-32518
Drug Drug Enforcement Administration NOTICES Importers of Controlled Substances; Applications: Almac Clinical Services Incorp, 80387 2015-32367 Importers of Controlled Substances; Registrations: Alltech Associates, Inc., 80386-80387 2015-32370 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Annual Performance Report for the Gaining Early Awareness for Undergraduate Programs, 80346-80347 2015-32337 William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program General Forbearance Request, 80347 2015-32434 Applications for New Awards: Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals with Disabilities--Captioned and Described Educational Media, 80339-80346 2015-32508 Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 80331-80339 2015-32501 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration PROPOSED RULES Apprenticeship Programs: Equal Employment Opportunity; Extension of Comment Period, 80307-80308 2015-32310 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Form ETA-9142A, H-2A Application for Temporary Employment Certification, and Appendix A, Revision, 80387-80388 2015-32380 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

RULES Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedures for Ceiling Fan Light Kits, 80209-80228 2015-32283 NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Preferred Alternative for Certain Quantities of Plutonium Evaluated in the Final Surplus Plutonium Disposition Supplemental, 80348-80349 2015-32440 Meetings: President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, 80347-80348 2015-32441
Engineers Engineers Corps NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Proposed Upper Llagas Creek Project Flood Protection Project in Santa Clara County, CA, 80330-80331 2015-32458 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Pesticide Tolerances: Propiconazole on Tea, 80269-80275 2015-32328 Spinetoram, 80275-80283 2015-32329 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 80357-80361 2015-32515 2015-32516 Draft Integrated Science Assessments: Sulfur Oxides, Health Criteria, 80359 2015-32511 Electronic Reporting; Availability: Federal Air Rules for Reservations Online Reporting System, 80359-80360 2015-32510 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc., 80357 2015-32418 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Airplanes, 80239-80242 2015-31714 Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes, 80236-80239 2015-31604 The Boeing Company Airplanes, 80234-80236, 80242-80247 2015-30881 2015-31715 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: B-N Group Ltd. Airplanes, 80291-80293 2015-31850 Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes, 80293-80295 2015-32085 Fokker Services B.V. Airplanes, 80299-80301 2015-32086 Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Airplanes, 80295-80299 2015-30810 Establishment of Class E Airspace: Danville, AR, 80301-80302 2015-32157 NOTICES Release of Airport Property: Lake Murray State Park Airport, Ardmore, OK, 80442-80443 2015-32459 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Modernizing the E-rate Program for Schools and Libraries, 80283 2015-32321 NOTICES Deletion of Items from Open Meeting Agenda, 80361-80362 2015-32461 Meetings: Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Task Force on Optimal Public Safety Answering Point Architecture, 80362 2015-32373 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission PROPOSED RULES Ownership Information in Market-Based Rate Filings, 80302-80307 2015-32273 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 80355-80357 2015-32131 Applications: Swan Lake North Hydro LLC, 80349-80350 2015-32405 Combined Filings, 80350-80353 2015-32399 2015-32400 Commission Half-Day Closing, 80351 2015-32404 Draft Guidance Manual for Environmental Report Preparation, 80353-80354 2015-32398 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, LLC; Broad Run Expansion Project, 80354 2015-32403 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Southeast Market Pipelines Project, Florida Southeast Connection, Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co.;and Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC, 80354-80355 2015-32402 Federal Housing Finance Agency Federal Housing Finance Agency RULES Technical Amendments: FHFA Address and Zip Code Change, 80232-80234 2015-32199 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission NOTICES Agreements Files, 80362-80363 2015-32322 Federal Mine Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 80363 2015-32556 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Annual Random Controlled Substances Testing Percentage Rate for Calendar Year 2016, 80446-80447 2015-32364 Meetings: Potential Benefits and Feasibility of Voluntary Compliance, 80447-80449 2015-32358 Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications: Vision, 80443-80446 2015-32362 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration NOTICES Petitions for Waivers of Compliance, 80449-80453 2015-32449 2015-32450 2015-32451 2015-32452 2015-32453 2015-32454 2015-32455 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Changes in Bank Control: Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company, 80363 2015-32437 Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 80363 2015-32436 Financial Crimes Financial Crimes Enforcement Network PROPOSED RULES Regulatory Impact Assessment and Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Regarding the Customer Due Diligence Requirements for Financial Institutions, 80308-80310 2015-32378 Fiscal Fiscal Service RULES Regulations Governing United States Savings Bonds, 80258-80265 2015-32488 NOTICES Surety Companies Acceptable on Federal Bonds: National Fire and Marine Insurance Company, Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Insurance Company, 80461-80462 2015-32474 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service PROPOSED RULES Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Native Species That Are Candidates for Listing as Endangered or Threatened; Annual Notice of Findings on Resubmitted Petitions; Annual Description of Progress on Listing Actions, 80584-80614 2015-32284 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Guidance: Deviation Reporting for Human Cells, Tissues, and Cellular and Tissue-Based Products, 80364-80365 2015-32323 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 80462 2015-32379 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Children and Families Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

Indian Health Service

See

National Institutes of Health

See

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

PROPOSED RULES Child Care and Development Fund Program, 80466-80582 2015-31883
Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Health Center Program, 80365-80366 2015-32355 Petitions Received: National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, 80366-80368 2015-32371 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

NOTICES Best Practices for Protecting Privacy, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in Unmanned Aircraft Systems Programs, 80380-80381 2015-32410
Housing Housing and Urban Development Department RULES Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards: Conforming Amendments; Correction, 80257-80258 2015-32470 NOTICES Federal Property Suitable as Facilities to Assist the Homeless, 80381 2015-32372 Indian Affairs Indian Affairs Bureau NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Osage County Oil and Gas; Management of Osage Nation Oil and Gas Resources, Osage County, OK, 80381 2015-32505 Indian Health Indian Health Service NOTICES Funding Availability: Indian Health Professions Preparatory, Indian Health Professions Pre-Graduate and Indian Health Professions Scholarship Programs, 80370-80375 2015-32352 Loan Repayment Program for Repayment of Health Professions Educational Loans, 80368-80370 2015-32354 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Indian Affairs Bureau

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

See

Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 80462-80463 2015-32357 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Pasta from Italy, 80320 2015-32472 Polyester Staple Fiber from the People's Republic of China, 80319 2015-32462 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Melamine from China and Trinidad and Tobago, 80386 2015-32397 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 80386 2015-32554 Justice Department Justice Department See

Drug Enforcement Administration

Labor Department Labor Department See

Employment and Training Administration

See

Veterans Employment and Training Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Placement Verification and Follow Up of Job Corps Participants, 80389-80390 2015-32377 Solicitation of Nominations for the Iqbal Masih Award for the Elimination of Child Labor, 80388-80389 2015-32336
Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Intention to Relinquish Lands Withdrawn for Military Purposes: California, 80383 2015-32563 Temporary Closure on Public Lands: Riverside County, CA, 80382 2015-32560 Transfer of Administrative Jurisdiction: Public Land Order No. 7846; Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range; California, 80382-80383 2015-32561 Legal Legal Services Corporation NOTICES Compliance Supplement for Audits of LSC Recipients, 80394 2015-32433 Maritime Maritime Administration NOTICES Deepwater Port License Application: Delfin LNG LLC, Delfin LNG Deepwater Port, 80455-80456 2015-32349 Liberty Natural Gas LLC, Port Ambrose Deepwater Port; Withdrawal of Application and Termination of Federal Application Review Process, 80454-80455 2015-32348 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, 80375-80376 2015-32395 Office of the Director, 80376 2015-32396 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area, 80290 2015-32444 PROPOSED RULES Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic: Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Red Snapper Management Measures; Amendment 28, 80310-80311 2015-32445 NOTICES 2016 Annual Determination to Implement the Sea Turtle Observer Requirement, 80323-80324 2015-32425 Meetings: New England Fishery Management Council, 80324-80325 2015-32432 Takes of Marine Mammals: Seabird Research Activities in Central California, 2015-2016, 80321-80323 2015-32409 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Centennial National Household Survey, 80384-80385 2015-32420 National Register of Historic Places: Pending Nominations and Related Action, 80383-80384 2015-32375 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Permit Applications under the Antarctic Conservation Act, 80394-80395 2015-32438 2015-32439 National Transportation National Transportation Safety Board RULES Rules of Practice in Transportation: Investigative Hearings; Meetings; Reports; and Petitions for Reconsideration, 80284-80290 2015-32264 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Combined License Applications: Bell Bend, LLC; Bell Bend Nuclear Power Plant, 80398-80400 2015-32512 Containment Shell or Liner Moisture Barrier Inspection, 80401-80402 2015-32338 Draft Regulatory Guides: Making Changes to Emergency Plans for Nuclear Power Reactors, 80396-80398 2015-32413 Operating Philosophy for Maintaining Occupational Radiation Exposures as Low as is Reasonably Achievable, 80395-80396 2015-32414 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 80403 2015-32635 Spent Fuel Transportation Package Response to the MacArthur Maze Fire Scenario, 80400-80401 2015-32514 Spent Fuel Transportation Package Response to the Newhall Pass Fire Scenario, 80402-80403 2015-32513 Patent Patent and Trademark Office RULES International Trademark Classification Changes, 80266-80269 2015-32467 NOTICES Extension of the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program, 80325-80327 2015-32469 Pipeline Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration NOTICES Random Drug Testing Rate: Contractor Management Information System Reporting; and Obtaining Drug and Alcohol Management Information System Sign-In Information, 80456-80457 2015-32359 Requests for Special Permits, 80457-80458 2015-32487 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Trade: African Growth and Opportunity Act; Beneficiary Country Designations (Proc. 9383), 80615-80633 2015-32679 Rural Utilities Rural Utilities Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 80315-80316 2015-32442 2015-32443 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 80423-80424 2015-32392 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: BATS Exchange, Inc., 80428-80430 2015-32384 BATS Y-Exchange, Inc., 80420-80422 2015-32385 ICE Clear Europe, Ltd., 80414-80416 2015-32390 Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC, 80425-80428 2015-32387 NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc., 80408-80414, 80432-80440 2015-32388 2015-32389 NASDAQ OMX PHLX, LLC, 80403-80408, 80416-80419 2015-32383 2015-32391 NYSE Arca, Inc., 80430-80432 2015-32386 The Options Clearing Corp., 80422-80423 2015-32382 Suspension of Trading Orders: Bioject Medical Technologies, Inc., Black Castle Developments Holdings, Inc. (n/k/a ingXabo Corporation), 80440-80441 2015-32575 Bravo Resource Partners, Ltd., First Potash Corp., HIP Energy Corp., et al., 80424-80425 2015-32576 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 80441 2015-32466 Interest Rates, 80441 2015-32464 Surrender of License, 80441 2015-32465 State Department State Department NOTICES Re-Delegations of Authority: Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, 80442 2015-32486 Re-Delegations of Immunity: Judicial Seizure Authorities, 80442 2015-32502 Substance Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 80376-80378 2015-32415 Surface Mining Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 80385-80386 2015-32423 Tennessee Tennessee Valley Authority NOTICES Meetings: Regional Energy Resource Council, 80442 2015-32421 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

See

Maritime Administration

See

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

Comptroller of the Currency

See

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network

See

Fiscal Service

See

Foreign Assets Control Office

See

Internal Revenue Service

Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Holders or Containers, Which Enter the United States Duty Free, 80380 2015-32468 Meetings: Advisory Committee on Commercial Operations to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 80378-80379 2015-32424 Veterans Employment Veterans Employment and Training Service NOTICES Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 through FY 2017 Stand Down Grant Requests, 80390-80394 2015-32406 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Health and Human Services Department, 80466-80582 2015-31883 Part III Interior Department, Fish and Wildlife Service, 80584-80614 2015-32284 Part IV Presidential Documents, 80615-80633 2015-32679 Reader Aids

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80 247 Thursday, December 24, 2015 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 1222 [Document Number AMS-FV-14-0082] Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Promotion, Research and Information Order; Late Payment and Interest Charges on Past Due Assessments AGENCY:

Agricultural Marketing Service.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This rule prescribes late payment and interest charges on past due assessments under the Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Promotion, Research and Information Order (Order). The Order is administered by the Paper and Packaging Board (Board) with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Under the Order, assessments are collected from manufacturers and importers and used for projects to promote paper and paper-based packaging. This rule implements the authority contained in the Order that allows the Board to collect late payment and interest charges on past due assessments. Two additional changes are being made to reflect current practices and update the Order and regulations. This action contributes to effective administration of the program and was unanimously recommended by the Board.

DATES:

Effective Date: January 25, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Marlene Betts, Marketing Specialist, Promotion and Economics Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 1406-S, Stop 0244, Washington, DC 20250-0244; telephone: (202) 720-9915; or electronic mail: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This rule is issued under the Order (7 CFR part 1222). The Order is authorized under the Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act of 1996 (1996 Act) (7 U.S.C. 7411-7425).

Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 13563

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules and promoting flexibility. This action has been designated as a “non-significant regulatory action” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has waived the review process.

Executive Order 13175

This action has been reviewed in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments. The review reveals that this regulation will not have substantial and direct effects on Tribal governments and would not have significant Tribal implications.

Executive Order 12988

This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. It is not intended to have a retroactive effect. Section 524 of the 1996 Act (7 U.S.C. 7423) provides that it shall not affect or preempt any other Federal or State law authorizing promotion or research relating to an agricultural commodity.

Under section 519 of the 1996 Act (7 U.S.C. 7418), a person subject to an order may file a written petition with USDA stating that an order, any provision of an order, or any obligation imposed in connection with an order, is not established in accordance with the law, and request a modification of an order or an exemption from an order. Any petition filed challenging an order, any provision of an order, or any obligation imposed in connection with an order, shall be filed within two years after the effective date of an order, provision, or obligation subject to challenge in the petition. The petitioner will have the opportunity for a hearing on the petition. Thereafter, the USDA will issue a ruling on the petition. The 1996 Act provides that the district court of the United States for any district in which the petitioner resides or conducts business shall have the jurisdiction to review a final ruling on the petition, if the petitioner files a complaint for that purpose not later than 20 days after the date of the entry of USDA's final ruling.

Background

This rule prescribes late payment and interest charges on past due assessments under the Order. The Order is administered by the Board with oversight by USDA. Under the Order, assessments are collected from manufacturers and importers and used for projects to promote paper and paper-based packaging. This rule implements authority contained in the Order and the 1996 Act that allows the Board to collect late payment and interest charges on past due assessments. This action was unanimously recommended by the Board and will contribute to the effective administration of the program.

Section 1222.52(a) of the Order specifies that the Board's programs and expenses shall be paid by assessments on manufacturers and importers and other income or funds available to the Board. Paragraph (g) of that section specifies further that when a manufacturer or importer fails to pay the assessment within 60 calendar days of the date it is due, the Board may impose a late payment charge and interest. The late payment charge and rate of interest must be prescribed in regulations issued by the Secretary. All late assessments will be subject to the specified late payment charge and interest.

The Order became effective on January 23, 2014. Assessment collection began on March 1, 2014. Manufacturers and importers must pay their assessments owed to the Board by the 30th calendar day of the month following the end of the quarter in which the paper and paper-based packaging was manufactured or imported. For example, assessments for paper manufactured or imported during the months of January, February and March are due to the Board by April 30.

Entities that domestically manufacture or import to the United States less than 100,000 short tons of paper and paper-based packaging in a year are exempt from paying assessments. If an entity is both a manufacturer and an importer, the entity's combined quantity of paper and paper-based packaging manufactured and imported during a marketing year counts toward the 100,000 short ton exemption.

Assessment funds are used for promotion activities that are intended to benefit all industry members. Entities who fail to pay their assessments on time could reap the benefits of Board programs at the expense of others. In addition, they could utilize funds for their own use that should otherwise be paid to the Board to finance Board programs. Thus, it is important that all assessed entities pay their assessments in a timely manner.

Board Recommendation

At a meeting held September 25, 2014, the Board unanimously recommended implementing the Order authority regarding late payment and interest charges. Specifically, the Board recommended that a late payment charge be imposed on any manufacturer or importer who fails to make timely remittance to the Board of the total assessments for which such manufacturer or importer is liable. The late payment charge will be imposed on any assessments not received within 60 calendar days of the date they are due. This one-time late payment charge will be equal to 10 percent of the assessments due before interest charges have accrued.

The Board also recommended that an interest rate of 11/2 percent per month be added to the outstanding balance, including any late payment charge and accrued interest, of any accounts for which payment has not been received within 60 calendar days after the assessments are due. Interest will continue to accrue monthly until the outstanding balance is paid to the Board.

This action is expected to help facilitate program administration by providing an incentive for entities to remit their assessments in a timely manner, with the intent of creating a fair and equitable process among all assessed entities. Accordingly, a new Subpart C is added to the Order for provisions implementing the paper and paper-based packaging Order, and a new § 1222.520 is added to Subpart C.

This rule also makes two additional changes to the Order. This rule will revise the term “Board” as defined in § 1222.2 from the Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Board to the Paper and Packaging Board. This change will simplify the term and bring the Order in line with current industry use. Conforming changes will also be made to § 1222.40(a) and the heading immediately prior to this section where the term is also referenced. In addition, in § 1222.108, the OMB control number will be changed from 0581-NEW to 0581-0281, the control number assigned by the OMB.

Final Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis

In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601-612), AMS is required to examine the impact of the rule on small entities. Accordingly, AMS has considered the economic impact of this action on such entities.

The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of businesses subject to such actions so that small businesses will not be disproportionately burdened. The Small Business Administration defines, in 13 CFR part 121, small agricultural producers as those having annual receipts of no more than $750,000 and small agricultural service firms (manufacturers and importers) as those having annual receipts of no more than $7.0 million.

According to the Board, there are 69 manufacturers in the United States that produce the types of paper and paper-based packaging covered under the Order. Using an average price of $806 per short ton,1 a manufacturer who produces less than about 8,680 short tons of paper and paper-based packaging per year would be considered a small entity. It is estimated that no more than four manufacturers produced less than 8,680 short tons per year. Thus, the majority of manufacturers would not be considered small businesses.

1 Industry sources do not publish information on average price for paper and paper-based packaging. A reasonable estimate for average price of paper and paper-based packaging is the value per ton of paper and paper-based packaging exports. According to U.S. Census data, the average value of paper and paper-based packaging exports in 2014 was approximately $806 per short ton.

Based on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Customs) data, it is estimated that in 2014 there were 2,800 importers of paper and paper-based packaging. Ninety importers, or about 3 percent, imported more than $7.0 million worth of paper and paper-based packaging. Thus, the majority of importers would be considered small entities. However, all of the 20 entities that imported 100,000 short tons or more (the Order's exemption threshold) also imported more than $7.0 million worth of paper and paper-based packaging. Therefore, none of the 20 importers covered under the Order would be considered small businesses.

Based on domestic production of approximately 66.1 million short tons in 2014 and an average price of $806 per short ton, the domestic paper and paper-based packaging industry is valued at approximately $53.3 billion. According to Customs data, the value of paper and paper-based packaging imports in 2014 was about $5.9 billion.

This rule prescribes late payment and interest charges on past due assessments under the Order. The Order is administered by the Board with oversight by USDA. Under the Order, assessments are collected from manufacturers and importers and used for projects to promote paper and paper-based packaging. This rule will add a new § 1222.520 that will specify a late payment charge of 10 percent of the assessments due and interest at a rate of 11/2 percent per month on the outstanding balance, including any late payment charge and accrued interest. This section will be included in a new Subpart C—Provisions for Implementing the Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Promotion, Research and Information Order. This action was unanimously recommended by the Board and is authorized under § 1222.52(g) of the Order and section 517(e) of the 1996 Act. In addition, two additional changes are being made to reflect current practices and update the Order and regulations. These changes are: (1) Revising the name of the Board from the Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Board to the Paper and Packaging Board; and (2) the OMB control number will be changed from 0581-NEW to 0581-0281, the control number assigned by the OMB.

Regarding the economic impact of this rule on affected entities, this action imposes no costs on manufacturers and importers who pay their assessments on time. It merely provides an incentive for entities to remit their assessments in a timely manner. For all entities who are delinquent in paying assessments, both large and small, the charges will be applied the same. As for the impact on the industry as a whole, this action will help facilitate program administration by providing an incentive for entities to remit their assessments in a timely manner, with the intent of creating a fair and equitable process among all assessed entities.

Additionally, as previously mentioned, the Order provides for an exemption for entities that domestically manufacture or import less than 100,000 short tons annually. It is estimated that 24 out of the 69 domestic manufacturers, or 35 percent, produce less than 100,000 short tons per year and are thus exempt from paying assessments under the Order. Of the 2,800 importers of paper and paper packaging, it is estimated that 2,780, or 99 percent, import less than 100,000 short tons per year and are also exempt from paying assessments. Thus, about 45 domestic manufacturers and 20 importers pay assessments under the Order.

The alternative to this action would be to maintain the status quo and not impose late payment and interest charges on past due assessments. However, the Board determined that implementing these charges will help facilitate program administration by encouraging entities to pay their assessments in a timely manner. The Board reviewed the late payment and interest charges applied by other research and promotion programs and concluded that a 10 percent late payment charge and interest at a rate of 11/2 percent per month on the outstanding balance would be appropriate.

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), the information collection and recordkeeping requirements that are imposed by the Order have been approved previously under OMB control number 0581-0281. This rule will not result in a change to the information collection and recordkeeping requirements previously approved and will impose no additional reporting and recordkeeping burden on manufacturers and importers of paper and paper-based packaging.

As with all Federal promotion programs, reports and forms are periodically reviewed to reduce information requirements and duplication by industry and public sector agencies. USDA has not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this rule.

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.

Regarding outreach efforts, the Board met on September 25, 2014, and unanimously made its recommendation. The Board's meetings, including meetings held via teleconference, are open to the public and interested persons are invited to participate and express their views.

A proposed rule concerning this action was published in the Federal Register on August 19, 2015 (80 FR 50225). The proposal was made available through the Internet by USDA and the Office of the Federal Register. A 60-day comment period ending October 19, 2015, was provided to allow interested persons to submit comments. One comment was received in favor of implementing the late payment and interest charges.

After consideration of all relevant matters presented, including the information and recommendation submitted by the Board and other available information, it is hereby found that this rule, as hereinafter set forth, is consistent with and will effectuate the purposes of the 1996 Act.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 1222

Administrative practice and procedure, Advertising, Consumer information, Marketing agreements, Paper and paper-based packaging promotion, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 1222 is amended as follows:

PART 1222—PAPER AND PAPER-BASED PACKAGING PROMOTION, RESEARCH AND INFORMATION ORDER 1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 1222 continues to read as follows: Authority:

7 U.S.C. 7411-7425; 7 U.S.C. 7401.

2. Section 1222.2 is revised to read as follows:
§ 1222.2 Board.

Board means the Paper and Packaging Board established pursuant to § 1222.40, or such other name as recommended by the Board and approved by the Department.

3. Revise the undesignated center heading preceding § 1222.40 to read as follows: Paper and Packaging Board 4. Amend § 1222.40 by revising the first sentence of paragraph (a) to read as follows:
§ 1222.40 Establishment and membership.

(a) Establishment of the Board. There is hereby established a Paper and Packaging Board to administer the terms and provisions of this Order. * * *

5. Section 1222.108 is revised to read as follows:
§ 1222.108 OMB control number.

The control number assigned to the information collection requirement in this subpart by the Office of Management and Budget pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35 is OMB control number 0581-0281 and 0505-0001.

6. Add Subpart C, consisting of § 1222.520, to read as follows: Subpart C—Provisions Implementing the Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Promotion, Research and Information Order Sec. 1222.520 Late payment and interest charges for past due assessments.
§ 1222.520 Late payment and interest charges for past due assessments.

(a) A late payment charge shall be imposed on any manufacturer or importer who fails to make timely remittance to the Board of the total assessments for which such manufacturer or importer is liable. The late payment shall be imposed on any assessments not received within 60 calendar days of the date they are due. This one-time late payment charge shall be 10 percent of the assessments due before interest charges have accrued.

(b) In addition to the late payment charge, 11/2 percent per month interest on the outstanding balance, including any late payment charge and accrued interest, will be added to any accounts for which payment has not been received by the Board within 60 calendar days after the assessments are due. Such interest will continue to accrue monthly until the outstanding balance is paid to the Board.

Dated: December 21, 2015. Rex A. Barnes, Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-32448 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Parts 429 and 430 [Docket No. EERE-2014-BT-TP-0007] RIN 1904-AD17 Energy Conservation Program: Test Procedures for Ceiling Fan Light Kits AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

On October 31, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) to amend the test procedures for ceiling fan light kits (CFLKs). That proposed rulemaking serves as the basis for this final rule. In this final rule, DOE updates the current test procedures by replacing references to ENERGY STAR test procedures with references to DOE lamps test procedures for medium screw base lamps and to industry test procedures for pin-based fluorescent lamps. DOE is also adding test procedures to establish an efficacy-based metric for all lamps packaged with CFLKs and for CFLKs with integrated solid-state lighting circuitry. These additional test procedures also specify that DOE lamp test procedures be used to test lamps packaged with CFLKs, and where such test procedures do not exist, lamps packaged with CFLKs be tested according to current industry test procedures for those lamps. This final rule also replaces references to superseded ENERGY STAR Program requirements with tables that contain the specific performance requirements from the ENERGY STAR documents. This final rule addresses standby and off mode energy usage for CFLKs. DOE also provides updated guidance related to accent lighting in CFLKs and the applicability of the existing energy conservation standards to accent lighting. In this final rule, DOE also reinterprets the definition of a ceiling fan to include hugger fans and clarifies that ceiling fans that produce large volumes of airflow also meet the definition. DOE is also issuing a reinterpretation as it relates to compliance with the 190 W limit requirement for CFLKs with sockets other than medium screw base and pin-based for fluorescent lamps.

DATES:

The effective date of this rule is January 25, 2016. The final rule changes to appendix V will be mandatory for product testing starting June 21, 2016. The final rule test procedures specified by appendix V1 will be mandatory for product testing starting on the compliance date of any amended energy conservation standards (ECS) for CFLKs. Any final rule establishing amended CFLK ECS will provide notice of the required compliance date and corresponding required use of appendix V1.

The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this rule was approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of January 25, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

The docket, which includes Federal Register notices, public meeting attendee lists and transcripts, comments, and other supporting documents/materials, is available for review at regulations.gov. All documents in the docket are listed in the regulations.gov index. However, some documents listed in the index, such as those containing information that is exempt from public disclosure, may not be publicly available.

A link to the docket Web page can be found at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=EERE-2014-BT-TP-0007. This Web page will contain a link to the docket for this document on the regulations.gov site. The regulations.gov Web page will contain simple instructions on how to access all documents, including public comments, in the docket.

For further information on how to review the docket, contact Ms. Brenda Edwards at (202) 586-2945 or by email: [email protected]

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Lucy deButts, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Program, EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC, 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 287-1604. Email: [email protected]

Ms. Elizabeth Kohl, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, GC-33, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC, 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-7796. Email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

In this final rule, DOE incorporates by reference into part 430 the following industry standards:

(1) IES LM-66-14 (“IES LM-66-14”), IES Approved Method for the Electrical and Photometric Measurements of Single-Based Fluorescent Lamps, approved December 30, 2014.

(2) IES LM-79-08 (“IES LM-79-08”), IES Approved Method for Electrical and Photometric Measurements of Solid-State Lighting Products, approved December 31, 2007.

Interested persons can obtain copies of IES standards from the Illuminating Engineering Society, 120 Wall Street, Floor 17, New York, NY 10005-4001, (212) 248-5000, or www.ies.org.

Table of Contents I. Authority and Background II. Synopsis of the Final Rule III. Discussion A. Amendments to Existing Test Procedures 1. Test Procedures for CFLKs Packaged With Medium Screw Bases 2. Test Procedures for CFLKs Packaged With Pin-Based Fluorescent Lamps 3. Clarifications to Energy Conservation Standard Text at 10 CFR 430.32(s) 4. Clarifications for Accent Lighting 5. Clarification of the Statutory Definition of a Ceiling Fan. 6. Clarifications on 190 W Limit Requirement B. Amendments to Implement an Efficacy Metric for All CFLKs 1. Metric 2. Test Procedure C. Standby Mode and Off Mode D. Effective Date and Compliance Date for Amended Test Procedure IV. Procedural Issues and Regulatory Review A. Review Under Executive Order 12866 B. Review under the Regulatory Flexibility Act 1. Need for and objectives of the rule. 2. Significant issues raised by public comment and any changes made in the proposed rule. 3. Response to any comments filed by the SBA. 4. Estimate of small entities to which the rule will apply. 5. Description and estimate of compliance costs. 6. Description of the steps taken to minimize significant economic impact on small entities. C. Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 D. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 E. Review Under Executive Order 13132 F. Review Under Executive Order 12988 G. Review Under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 H. Review Under the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999 I. Review Under Executive Order 12630 J. Review Under Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001 K. Review Under Executive Order 13211 L. Review Under Section 32 of the Federal Energy Administration Act of 1974 M. Description of Materials Incorporated by Reference N. Congressional Notification V. Approval of the Office of the Secretary I. Authority and Background

Title III, Part B 1 of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA), Public Law 94-163 (42 U.S.C. 6291 et seq.), established the Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles, a program covering the ceiling fan light kits (CFLKs) that are the focus of this document.2 (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(16)(A)(ii), 6295(ff)(2)-(5))

1 For editorial reasons, upon codification in the U.S. Code, Part B was re-designated Part A.

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

Under EPCA, the energy conservation program consists essentially of four parts: (1) Testing, (2) labeling, (3) energy conservation standards, and (4) certification and enforcement procedures. The testing requirements consist of test procedures that manufacturers of covered products must follow in order to produce data that is used for (1) certifying to DOE that their products comply with the applicable energy conservation standards adopted under EPCA, and (2) making other representations about the efficiency of those products. (42 U.S.C. 6293(c); 42 U.S.C. 6295(s)) Similarly, DOE must use these test requirements to determine whether products comply with any relevant standards established under EPCA. (42 U.S.C. 6295(s))

EPCA requires that test procedures for ceiling fan light kits be based on the “ENERGY STAR® Program Requirements for CFLs” and the “ENERGY STAR Program Requirements for Residential Light Fixtures” in effect as of August 8, 2005. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(16)(A)(ii)) DOE published a final rule in December 2006 (December 2006 final rule) and established DOE's current test procedures for ceiling fan light kits under 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix V. 71 FR 71340 (Dec. 8, 2006) EPCA also provides, however, that DOE “may review and revise” the ceiling fan light kit test procedures. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(16)(B)). Accordingly, as discussed in section III.A, DOE is replacing the existing references to ENERGY STAR program requirements with direct references to the latest versions of the appropriate industry test methods.

General Test Procedure Rulemaking Process

Under 42 U.S.C. 6293, EPCA sets forth the criteria and procedures that DOE must follow when prescribing or amending test procedures for covered products. EPCA provides, in relevant part, that any test procedures prescribed or amended under this section must be reasonably designed to produce test results which measure energy efficiency, energy use or estimated annual operating cost of a covered product during a representative average use cycle or period of use and must not be unduly burdensome to conduct. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(3))

In addition, if DOE determines that a test procedure amendment is warranted, it must publish proposed test procedures and offer the public an opportunity to present oral and written comments on them. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(2)) In any rulemaking to amend a test procedure, DOE must also determine to what extent, if any, the proposed test procedure would alter the product's measured energy efficiency as determined under the existing test procedure. (42 U.S.C. 6293(e))

EPCA requires DOE, at least once every 7 years, to evaluate all covered products and either amend the test procedures (if the Secretary determines that amended test procedures would more accurately or fully comply with the requirements of 42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(3)) or publish a determination in the Federal Register not to amend them. (42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(1)(A)) DOE published a NOPR to propose amendments for its test procedures for CFLKs (October 2014 NOPR). 79 FR 64688 (October 31, 2014).

For test procedures of covered products that do not fully account for standby mode and off mode energy consumption, EPCA directs DOE to amend its test procedures to account for standby mode and off mode energy consumption, if technically feasible. (42 U.S.C. 6295(gg)(2)(A)) If integrated test procedures are technically infeasible, DOE must prescribe separate standby mode and off mode test procedures for the covered product, if technically feasible. Id.

In the October 2014 NOPR, DOE proposed amendments to the current test procedures and new test procedures that would support amendments to the CFLK energy conservation standards currently being considered by DOE. The October 2014 NOPR also proposed to replace references to ENERGY STAR performance requirements with tables that contain the specific performance requirements from the ENERGY STAR documents and proposed updated guidance related to accent lighting in CFLKs. DOE conducted a public meeting to discuss and receive comments on the October 2014 NOPR on November 18, 2014.

Background on Related CFLK Standards Rulemaking

EPCA, as amended, established separate energy conservation standards for three groups of CFLKs: (1) Those with medium screw base sockets, (2) those with pin-based sockets for fluorescent lamps, and (3) all other CFLKs. (42 U.S.C. 6295(ff)(2)-(4)) In a technical amendment published on October 18, 2005, DOE codified the statute's requirements for CFLKs with medium screw base sockets and CFLKs with pin-based sockets for fluorescent lamps. 70 FR 60413. For all other CFLKs, EPCA specified that the prescribed standard for these CFLKs would become effective only if DOE failed to issue a final rule on energy conservation standards for CFLKs by January 1, 2007. (42 U.S.C. 6295(ff)(4)(C)) Because DOE did not issue a final rule on standards for CFLKs by January 1, 2007, DOE published a technical amendment that codified the statute's requirements for all CFLKs other than those with medium screw base and pin-based sockets for fluorescent lamps. 72 FR 1270 (Jan. 11, 2007). DOE subsequently published another technical amendment to codify the EPCA requirement that CFLKs with sockets for pin-based fluorescent lamps be packaged with lamps to fill all sockets. 74 FR 12058 (Mar. 3, 2009).

EPCA allows DOE to amend energy conservation standards for CFLKs any time after January 1, 2010. (42 U.S.C. 6295(ff)(5)) In a separate rulemaking proceeding, DOE is proposing amending energy conservation standards for CFLKs.3 DOE initiated that rulemaking by publishing a Federal Register notice announcing a public meeting and availability of the framework document. 78 FR 16443 (Mar. 15, 2013). DOE held a public meeting to discuss the framework document for the CFLK standards rulemaking on March 22, 2013. DOE issued the preliminary analysis for the CFLK energy conservation standards rulemaking on October 31, 2014. 79 FR 64712 (Oct. 31, 2014). DOE held a public meeting to discuss the preliminary analysis for the CFLK standards rulemaking on November 18, 2014. DOE subsequently issued a NOPR for the CFLK energy conservation standards rulemaking (hereafter “CFLK ECS NOPR”) and held a public meeting on August 18, 2015. 80 FR 48624 (August 13, 2015).

3 DOE has published a framework document, preliminary analysis, and NOPR for amending energy conservation standards for CFLKs. Further information is available at www.regulations.gov under Docket ID: EERE-2012-BT-STD-0045.

II. Synopsis of the Final Rule

This final rule amends DOE's current test procedures for CFLKs contained in 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, appendix V; 10 CFR 429.33; and 10 CFR 430.23(x). This final rule: (1) Requires that representations of efficacy, including certifications of compliance with CFLK standards, be made according to DOE lamp test procedures, where they exist, and industry test procedures where relevant DOE test procedures do not exist; (2) replaces references to superseded ENERGY STAR 4 requirements in appendix V with references to the latest versions of industry standards; and (3) for ease of reference, replaces references to ENERGY STAR requirements in existing CFLK standards contained in 10 CFR 430.32(s) with the specific requirements.

4 ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and DOE that establishes a voluntary rating, certification, and labeling program for highly energy efficient consumer products and commercial equipment. Information on the program is available at: http://www.energystar.gov.

To support the ongoing ECS rulemaking for CFLKs, this final rule also establishes test procedures for a single efficiency metric measured in lumens per watt (hereafter, “efficacy”), that is applicable to all CFLKs. These procedures are set forth in a new Appendix V1. Where possible, the CFLK efficiency is determined by measuring the efficacy of the lamp(s) packaged with the CFLK (hereafter, “lamp efficacy”) and requires the use of existing DOE lamp test procedures, so that lamps will be tested and rated in a uniform manner. Where it is technically infeasible to measure lamp efficacy (e.g., for CFLKs with integrated solid-state lighting 5 circuitry), CFLK efficiency is determined by measuring the efficacy of the CFLK itself (hereafter, “luminaire efficacy”). DOE also sets forth the test procedures for CFLKs packaged with inseparable light sources that require luminaire efficacy testing and for CFLKs packaged with lamps for which DOE test procedures do not exist in the new Appendix V1. Because these amendments will likely change the measured values required to comply with the existing CFLK standards for all CFLKs except CFLKs with medium screw base sockets, DOE is requiring the use of the new appendix V1 and corresponding updates to 10 CFR 429.33, 10 CFR 430.3 and 10 CFR 430.23(x) to be concurrent with the compliance date of any standards established by the ongoing ECS rulemaking for CFLKs. 79 FR 64712 (October 31, 2014).

5 Solid-state lighting or “SSL” refers to a class of lighting technologies based on semiconductor materials. Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are the most common type of SSL on the market today.

In this final rule, DOE also modifies previously issued guidance regarding accent lighting in CFLKs to specify that such light sources in CFLKs must be tested and are subject to current energy conservation standards. DOE also reinterprets the EPCA definition of ceiling fan to include hugger fans and clarifies that ceiling fans that produce large volumes of airflow also meet the EPCA definition. As a result, CFLKs attached to these fans are subject to existing CFLK energy conservation standards. DOE is also clarifying its interpretation regarding compliance with the 190 W limit requirement in 10 CFR 430.32(s)(4) for CFLKs with sockets other than medium screw base and pin-based for fluorescent lamps.

In this final rule, DOE also addresses standby mode and off-mode power consumption for CFLKs. (42 U.S.C. 6295(gg)(2)(A) and (3)) In summary, DOE accounts for standby mode energy consumption of CFLKs under the efficiency metric for ceiling fans rather than under the CFLK efficiency metric.

III. Discussion

In response to the October 2014 NOPR and in addition to comments received during the November 2014 public meeting, DOE received written comments from the American Lighting Association (ALA) and a joint comment filed on behalf of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, the Alliance to Save Energy, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, and the Northwest Power and Conservation Council (ASAP et al.). The issues on which DOE received comments, as well as DOE's responses to those comments and the resulting changes to the test procedures for CFLKs, are discussed in this section.

A. Amendments to Existing Test Procedures

This final rule amends existing test procedures to replace references to superseded ENERGY STAR requirements in appendix V with references to existing DOE lamp test procedures or the latest versions of industry standards. As discussed in the paragraphs that follow, DOE has concluded that these changes will not affect any measurements required to comply with existing standards.

1. Test Procedures for CFLKs Packaged With Medium Screw Bases

For CFLKs with medium screw base sockets, the current DOE test procedure references the “CFL Requirements for Testing” of the “ENERGY STAR Program Requirements for Compact Fluorescent Lamps,” Version 3.0, which in turn references the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) LM-66-00 test procedures for lamp efficacy testing. In the October 2014 NOPR, DOE proposed to replace the reference to the ENERGY STAR specification with a reference to the current DOE test procedure for medium screw base compact fluorescent lamps (located at 10 CFR 430, subpart B, appendix W). DOE notes that Appendix W currently references IES LM-66-11 and that DOE has proposed to update Appendix W to reference IES LM-66-14. (80 FR 45724, July 31, 2015). DOE received comments from ALA and from ASAP et al. supporting the approach to replace references to ENERGY STAR specifications with references to current DOE test procedures. (ALA, No. 6 6 at p. 1; ASAP et al., No. 5 at p. 1) Consequently, DOE is adopting the proposal without modification, which references 10 CFR 430, subpart B, appendix W for CFLKs packaged with medium screw bases.

6 A notation in this form provides a reference for information that is in the docket of DOE's rulemaking to develop test procedures for CFLKs (Docket No. EERE-2014-BT-TP-0007), which is maintained at www.regulations.gov. This notation indicates that the statement preceding the reference is document number 6 in the docket for the CFLKs test procedure rulemaking, and appears at page 1 of that document.

2. Test Procedures for CFLKs Packaged With Pin-Based Fluorescent Lamps

For CFLKs with pin-based sockets for fluorescent lamps, the current DOE test procedure at Appendix V references the “ENERGY STAR Program Requirements for Residential Light Fixtures,” Version 4.0, which in turn references IES LM-66-00 (for compact fluorescent lamps [CFLs]) and IES LM-9-99 (for all other fluorescent lamps). In the October 2014 NOPR, DOE proposed to replace the reference to the ENERGY STAR specification with direct references to the current industry test procedures. At the time of the October 2014 NOPR, the relevant industry standards for pin-based fluorescent lamps were IES LM-66-11 and IES LM-9-09. Subsequent to the October 2014 NOPR, IES LM-66-11 was replaced with IES LM-66-14 as the latest industry version. The IES LM-66-14 update makes a number of changes, including clarifying that electrodeless CFLs are within the scope of LM-66-14. DOE notes that LM-66-11 and LM-66-14 contain the same methodology for testing compact fluorescent lamps and has concluded, based on a review of the updated test method, that there are no changes between LM-66-11 and LM-66-14 that will materially impact the measurement values of pin-based fluorescent lamps, which are tested on commercially available ballasts. In keeping with DOE's proposal from the October 2014 NOPR to reference the most current industry standards, DOE references LM-66-14 in this final rule.

In the NOPR, DOE referenced sections 4-11 of IES LM-66-11 for testing CFLKs with pin-based compact fluorescent lamps. In this final rule, DOE is referencing sections 4-6 of the updated IES LM-66-14. Further, in the NOPR, DOE incorrectly referenced sections 3-7 of IES LM-9-09 for testing CFLKs with pin-based sockets for all other types of fluorescent lamps. In this final rule, DOE is appropriately referencing sections 4-7 of the IES LM-9-09.

The ENERGY STAR program requirements referenced in the current DOE test procedures for CFLKs with pin-based sockets at Appendix V also specify that the efficacy of the lamp should be measured using the ballast with which it is packaged rather than a reference ballast. DOE noted in the October 2014 NOPR that although both IES LM-66-11 and IES LM-9-09 specify that lamps with external ballasts (e.g., pin-based fluorescent lamps) be tested on a reference ballast, they also contain provisions that allow for such lamps to be tested on commercially available ballasts, rather than on a reference ballast, when it is desirable to measure the performance (e.g., system efficacy) of a specific lamp ballast platform. DOE notes that IES LM-66-14 maintains this provision. Because changing the current test procedure to require measurement of pin-based fluorescent lamps on a reference ballast would result in a change in measured values, DOE proposed to specify in appendix V that system efficacy testing of pin-based fluorescent lamps be conducted with ballasts packaged with CFLKs. DOE received comments from ALA and from ASAP et al. supporting this approach. (ALA, No. 6 at p. 1; ASAP et al., No. 5 at p. 1)

In this final rule, DOE is adopting the proposed methodology without modification by specifying in appendix V that system efficacy testing of pin-based fluorescent lamps be conducted with ballasts packaged with CFLKs.

3. Clarifications to Energy Conservation Standard Text at 10 CFR 430.32(s)

CFLK energy conservation standards are codified in 10 CFR 430.32(s). Currently the text in 10 CFR 430.32(s) refers to the superseded ENERGY STAR Program requirements for Compact Fluorescent Lamps, version 3.0, for standards applicable to CFLKs packaged with medium screw base lamps and to the superseded ENERGY STAR Program requirements for Residential Light Fixtures, version 4.0, for standards applicable to CFLKs packaged with pin-based fluorescent lamps. In the October 2014 NOPR, DOE proposed to replace the references to ENERGY STAR with tables that contain the specific performance requirements from the ENERGY STAR documents, to state more clearly the minimum requirements for these products. For CFLKs packaged with medium screw base CFLs, the requirements include efficacy, lumen maintenance at 1,000 hours, lumen maintenance at 40 percent of lifetime, rapid cycle stress, and lifetime requirements. Measurements of these parameters are as defined in 10 CFR 430, subpart B, appendix W. For CFLKs packaged with medium screw base light sources other than CFLs, the requirements include efficacy requirements. For CFLKs packaged with pin-based fluorescent lamps, the requirements include system efficacy and a requirement that electronic ballasts be utilized.

ALA, the only stakeholder to comment on this proposal, agreed with DOE's approach to clarify the text specifying existing standards for CFLKs. (ALA, No. 6 at p. 6) This final rule updates 10 CFR 430.32(s) to directly specify the requirements for CFLKs with medium screw base sockets and for CFLKs with pin-based sockets for fluorescent lamps rather than by referencing ENERGY STAR documents to eliminate confusion for stakeholders.

4. Clarifications for Accent Lighting

EPCA requires that CFLKs other than those with medium screw base sockets and pin-based sockets for fluorescent lamps not be capable of operating with lamps that total more than 190 watts. (42 U.S.C. 6295(ff)(4); 10 CFR 430.32(s)(4)) In a December 6, 2006 interpretation, DOE stated that DOE does not consider ceiling fan accent lighting that is not a significant light source to be part of the 190-Watt limitation. (71 FR 71340, Dec. 8, 2006) In the October 2014 NOPR, DOE proposed to withdraw this guidance because DOE determined that the guidance requires a subjective determination of what constitutes “a significant light source” that could result in inconsistency in the application of CFLK standards.

While ASAP et al. supported DOE's proposal, noting that the proposal would more accurately represent CFLK energy consumption, ALA opposed DOE's proposal. (ASAP et al., No. 5 at pp. 1-2; ALA, No. 6 at pp. 3-5) ALA claimed that DOE did not provide sufficient rationale for changing its position and also claimed that accent lighting falls outside the statutory definition of a CFLK. ALA claimed that DOE's proposed change would result in some previously unregulated products becoming covered products and that substantial lead time would be required to redesign, test, certify and label these products. ALA concluded that this would in effect constitute the establishment of a new standard for certain types of CFLKs. ALA noted that EPCA often provides substantial lead time before compliance when a new standard is required and that EPCA also requires that new standards not be amended for six years. ALA recommended that, to avoid a “staggering” effect, in which different types of CFLKs would have different compliance dates, DOE should make the new accent lighting guidance effective on the compliance date of the current ECS rulemaking. (ALA, No. 6 at pp. 3-5)

In response, consistent with its statements in the October 2014 NOPR, DOE has reconsidered the conclusions that led to the 2006 interpretation. DOE concluded in the 2006 rule that, because EPCA defines a ceiling fan light kit, in part, as equipment “designed to provide light” (42 U.S.C. 6291(50)), and because accent lighting is typically used for decorative purposes rather than to provide “direct” light, accent lighting is not within the EPCA definition of a CFLK. DOE also stated that it was concerned with addressing energy consumption by light sources aligned with the “primary purpose” of the ceiling fan light kit. For ceiling fan light kits, DOE stated that the general illumination provided by the light kit is its principal function, and thus should be subject to the 190-watt limitation. DOE believed that other ancillary lighting, such as accent lighting, serves primarily an aesthetic purpose and is therefore not part of the general illumination function of the ceiling fan light kit. DOE further concluded that not subjecting accent lighting to the 190 watt limitation was consistent with EPCA's treatment of ceiling fan light kits with medium-screw base sockets and those with pin-based sockets for fluorescent lamps. For these two types of ceiling fan light kits, DOE noted that section 325(ff) of EPCA regulates only lamps inserted into screw base or pin-based sockets, and not any accent lights otherwise incorporated into the fan. (42 U.S.C. 6295(ff)(2)-(3))

In reconsidering its conclusions from the 2006 interpretation, DOE notes that the purpose of accent lighting is to provide light. Because EPCA does not specify that only “direct” or “general” lighting fits within the definition at 42 U.S.C. 6291(50), DOE has determined that its previous conclusion was too narrow a reading of the definition of CFLK. The term “designed to provide light” can be interpreted to encompass accent lighting, which provides decorative light. In addition, the 190-watt limitation in 42 U.S.C. 6295(ff)(4)(C) applies to “lamps” to be used in a CFLK, and the term “lamps” does not include or refer to any language limiting its scope to direct or general lighting. Thus, the term “lamps,” in this provision, can be interpreted to encompass lamps or light sources used or intended to be used for accent lighting.

DOE emphasizes the stated purposes of EPCA include the conservation of energy supplies through energy conservation programs and the improved energy efficiency of major appliances and certain other consumer products. See generally 42 U.S.C. 6201. A reading of 6291(50) and 6295(ff)(4)(C) that treats accent lighting the same as other uses of lighting is more consistent with these statutory purposes than the more narrow interpretations adopted by DOE in 2006. DOE further notes that many products on the market today cast doubt on important assumptions that underlay DOE's 2006 interpretation. Many of the lamps marketed as “accent lighting” attached to fans currently on the market are not low wattage lamps used for aesthetic purposes, but instead high wattage lamps that consumers actually use for more general lighting purposes. Up-lighting, which in 2006 DOE did not recognize as a well-defined term, is an example of this phenomenon. Lights aimed upward from a fan do not directly illuminate a room, and they are often marketed as accent lights. But the indirect illumination from an up-light, reflected from a ceiling, can be effective as the primary light source for a room, much like a torchiere—another covered product subject to a 190-Watt limitation. In general, the ways in which lighting is marketed and in which consumers use lighting show that the distinction between “accent” and “direct” lighting is much more fluid than DOE appreciated in 2006. DOE is concerned that treating as excluded from the statutory standards a wide scope of lighting that consumers use in the same way as regulated lighting undermines the stated purposes of EPCA.7

7 For these same reasons, DOE's previous focus on consistency with EPCA regulation of only those lamps inserted into screw base or pin-based sockets, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 6295(ff)(2)-(3), and not any accent lighting otherwise incorporated into the fan, is also an overly-narrow reading of 42 US.C. 6295(ff)(4). The difference between “accent” and “direct” lighting is not as clear a distinction as DOE believed in 2006, and is not really analogous to the quite clear distinction between lights that have screw bases and those that do not.

DOE has also found that changes in technology since 2006 have made it less important to exclude those accent lighting from the 6295(ff)(4) standard. New lighting technologies that have become common in the market since 2006 make it possible to provide substantial amounts of lighting at low wattage. Thus, the small amount of energy used by lamps that are effective only for accent lighting is not likely to be large enough to cause significant difficulty in complying with the 6295(ff)(4) energy conservation standard. DOE's reconsideration of its conclusions in the 2006 technical amendment is also consistent with DOE's concerns in the 2014 NOPR regarding the subjective determination about what constitutes a “significant light source”. EPCA's provisions at 42 U.S.C. 6291(50) and 6295(ff)(4) are not limited to the significance or, relatedly, purpose of the light source.

In this final rule, after considering public comment, DOE is revising its interpretation of the CFLK definition to state that the requirement for a CFLK to be “designed to provide light” includes all light sources in a ceiling fan light kit—that is, accent lighting in addition to direct or general lighting. DOE is also revising its interpretation of 6295(ff)(4)(C) so that the 190-watt limit covers all lamps—including accent or direct—with which a CFLK is capable of operating. DOE has determined that its previous interpretations were too narrow a reading of the applicable EPCA provisions and led to subjective determinations about what constituted accent lighting that was not a “significant light source” subject to the standard. DOE's reinterpretations do not constitute an energy conservation standard for which 42 U.S.C. 6295(ff)(5) or 6295(m) would specify a compliance date some years from publication. These provisions apply to amended standards issued under DOE's authorities to amend EPCA standards. See 42 U.S.C. 6295(m)(4) (specifying compliance date for “an amendment prescribed under this subsection”); 42 U.S.C. 6295(ff)(5)(B) (prescribing compliance date for “amended standards issued under subparagraph (A)”). In this final rule, DOE is not prescribing or amending a standard using those authorities. Rather, DOE is reinterpreting the definition of “ceiling fan light kit” and the provision establishing the 190-watt limitation such that kits including only “accent” lighting will be considered CFLKs and all lamps will count toward the 190-watt limit prescribed by EPCA.

DOE recognizes that, as ALA pointed out, the change in DOE's interpretation of the statutory standard changes how the standard operates and how it affects some products. Specifically, some products currently on the market are not consistent with the 190-watt limitation because they enable use of too much energy for the light kit. DOE does not believe that consequence elevates DOE's interpretive action into an amended standard. Every interpretation of a statutory standard has an influence on how the standard operates. Administration of the appliance standards program contemplates the agency's ability to take a variety of different administrative steps that do not rise to an amendment to a standard level; to treat all interpretations as being akin to standards amendments would unnecessarily constrain DOE's ability to undertake necessary steps to implement the statutory regime effectively.

DOE further observes that the compliance date rules in 6295(ff)(5) and 6295(m) are directed specifically at standards amendments, and they address concerns specific to such amendments. EPCA gives DOE fairly wide latitude, within various constraints, to devise the standards best suited to fulfill the statutory purposes as markets and technologies evolve over time. Thus, when DOE develops a new standard, it could in principle be different in nature from the prior standards applicable to a given product. At the same time, DOE must prescribe test procedures for such a new standard. Depending on what new or amended standard DOE prescribes, working out how best to interpret and apply the standard, developing industry expertise with the test procedures, and understanding how to design products to comply with a new standard can require a substantial period of time. Not every amended standard will need the full ramp-up period, but 6295(ff)(5) and 6295(m) ensure that an extended phase-in period will be available whenever DOE prescribes a new or amended standard. By contrast, when DOE simply reinterprets an existing statutory standard, the scope of potential change is much more limited. The standard at issue is familiar and established, and the industry already has experience working with the standard. Thus, the purposes that motivate the compliance date provisions in 6295(ff)(5) and 6295(m) are much less relevant for a reinterpretation.

While DOE's reinterpretation of the CFLK definition and the 190-watt limit requirement will take effect immediately, DOE appreciates the concerns ALA has raised regarding the lead time needed for manufacturers to bring affected products into compliance with the relevant statutory standards. Specifically, ALA contends that “the process of redesigning, obtaining regulatory approval for, and manufacturing and delivering redesigned CFLKs could take eight to sixteen months under normal circumstances. However, because much of the CFLK industry will be engaged in this process at the same time, these steps could take two years or more for a typical manufacturer.” ALA further commented in its written comments that if DOE were to withdraw the accent lighting guidance, the effective date of this change should be at the compliance date for the amended CFLK efficiency standards. In its upper bound estimate, ALA factored in delays due to redesign, backlog at third-party test laboratories, and/or shipping delays for fans, light kits, or components. (ALA, No. 6 at p. 4)

In addition, at the November 2014 public meeting, a representative of Emerson Electric estimated that it would take 120 days minimum to redesign and requalify new imports for safety organizations such as UL, and requested that it be afforded about six months. Further Emerson Electric stated that 30 days lead time was enough for existing inventory of CFLKs that would be reinterpreted as accent lighting to be sold. (Emerson Electric, Public Meeting Transcript, No. 4 at p. 76) Also, noting that DOE's proposed reinterpretation of ceiling fans (see section III.A.5) affects light kits Westinghouse stated that 30 days would not be sufficient to review the CFLK product lines, to modify or build materials, and add wattage limiters in applicable products. (Westinghouse, Public Meeting Transcript, No. 4 at pp. 73-74) The Minka Group provided further information regarding timing noting that products shipped from Asia realistically require 30 days to reach the U.S. with possible additional times for customs. (The Minka Group, Public Meeting Transcript, No. 4 at p. 83)

In its consideration of these comments, DOE recognizes that re-designing, testing and rating, manufacturing, and shipping fan lighting products that comply with the 190-watt limit will take many months. DOE relied on estimates provided by manufacturers to determine an appropriate lead time to bring products that are compliant with this requirement to market. DOE used ALA's upper bound estimate for each of the processes ALA identified to get a conservative lead time estimate as well as taking the manufacturer-specific feedback into consideration. ALA estimated up to six months for redesign, up to 4 months for testing and rating, and up to 6 months for production and shipping, resulting in a total upper bound lead time of 16 months under normal conditions (ALA, No. 6 at p. 4) DOE understands that delays may occur if a large part of the industry is conducting these activities simultaneously. In response to the October 2014 ceiling fan test procedure NOPR, ALA submitted a similar comment that estimated the total upper bound lead time to be 18 months including testing and rating delays. (ALA, Docket Number EERE-2013-BT-TP-0050, No. 8 at p. 2) Based on these estimates, DOE believes 18 months is an appropriate lead time because it is consistent with ALA's upper bound lead time estimate including extra time for delays. DOE notes that other manufacturers' estimated lead times were as short as 6 months. In addition, varying manufacturer estimates for lead times indicates to DOE that not all manufacturers in the industry will be conducting the same activities and vying for the resources necessary to do so simultaneously. Accordingly, while DOE's interpretation will be effective immediately, DOE will not assert civil penalty authority for violations of the applicable standards arising as a result of this guidance before June 26, 2017. After June 26, 2017, DOE will begin enforcing the 190-watt standard in accordance with the interpretations announced here. In enforcing the standard, DOE will take into consideration a manufacturer's efforts to come into compliance during the 18-month period.

5. Clarification of the Statutory Definition of a Ceiling Fan

In a test procedure rulemaking for ceiling fans, DOE also proposed to reinterpret the definition of a ceiling fan. 79 FR 62521 (Oct. 17, 2014). EPCA defines a ceiling fan as a “nonportable device that is suspended from a ceiling for circulating air via the rotation of fan blades.” 42 U.S.C. 6291(49). DOE previously interpreted the definition of a ceiling fan such that it excluded certain types of ceiling fans commonly referred to as hugger fans. 71 FR 71343 (Dec. 8, 2006). Hugger ceiling fans are typically understood to be set flush to the ceiling (e.g., mounted without a downrod). The previous interpretation exempted hugger fans from standards on the basis that they are set flush to the ceiling. DOE has reconsidered the validity of this distinction and has determined that “suspended from the ceiling” does not depend upon whether the unit is mounted with a downrod. The concept of suspension does not require any length between the object and the point of support. This interpretation more accurately reflects the statutory definition and does not draw an artificial distinction between fans that serve the same functional purpose and are both marketed as ceiling fans. Hugger fans generally are indistinguishable from other types of ceiling fans in that they move air via rotation of fan blades, are intended to improve comfort, and are rated on their ability to move air (as measured in cubic feet per minute). Consistent with that observation, the current principal industry standard, CAN/CSA-C814-10, includes hugger fans alongside downrod fans.

DOE notes that the current market includes fans that DOE did not account for in its 2006 interpretation. The market includes a range of a multi-mount ceiling fans, i.e., fans which can be attached to the ceiling in either the hugger or the downrod configurations. The existence of these products supports DOE's equivalent treatment of hugger and downrod fans. Such multi-mount ceiling fans are also considered “ceiling fans” under the statutory definition.

DOE also proposed that fans capable of producing large volumes of airflow meet the definition of a ceiling fan. 79 FR 62521 (Oct. 17, 2014).

In response to the Framework Document for the ceiling fan energy conservation standards rulemaking, several commenters, including the ALA, the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP), the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC), the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) supported DOE's proposed reinterpretation. (ALA, No. 39 8 4 at p. 3; ASAP-NCLC-NEEA-NRDC, No. 14 8 at p. 4) DOE received no comments objecting to its proposed reinterpretation.

8 This document was submitted to the docket of DOE's rulemaking to develop energy conservation standards for ceiling fans (Docket No. EERE-2012-BT-STD-0045).

While ALA supported DOE's proposal, ALA also commented that the effective date of this change should be at the compliance date for amended ceiling fan energy conservation standards. (ALA, No. 8 9 at pp. 1-3) ALA claimed, as above for CFLKs with accent lighting, that DOE's proposed change would result in some previously unregulated products becoming covered products and that substantial lead time would be required to redesign, test, and label these products. ALA concluded that the reinterpretation would in effect constitute the establishment of a new standard for hugger ceiling fans. ALA asserted that EPCA often provides substantial lead time before compliance when a new standard is required and that EPCA requires that new standards not be amended for six years. ALA asserted that if the reinterpretation effective date was not timed to coincide with the compliance date of DOE's concurrent ECS rulemaking, the result would be a “staggering” effect in which different types of ceiling fans would have different compliance dates. (Id.)

9 This document was submitted to the docket of DOE's rulemaking to develop test procedures for ceiling fans (Docket No. EERE-2013-BT-TP-0050).

In this final rule, after considering public comment, DOE reinterprets the definition of ceiling fan to include hugger fans. In addition, under this interpretation, any ceiling fan sold with the option of being mounted in either a hugger configuration or a standard configuration is included within the “ceiling fan” definition. For the reasons stated in the October 2014 ceiling fan test procedure proposed rule, DOE also finalizes its interpretation to include fans capable of producing large volumes of airflow. Under DOE's reinterpretation, DOE considers the following fans to be covered under the definition of “ceiling fan” in 10 CFR 430.2:

1. Fans suspended from the ceiling using a downrod or other means of suspension such that the fan is not mounted directly to the ceiling;

2. Fans suspended such that they are mounted directly or close to the ceiling;

3. Fans sold with the option of being suspended with or without a downrod; and

4. Fans capable of producing large volumes of airflow.

As in the discussion on accent lighting, DOE notes that its reinterpretation does not constitute an “amended standard” for which the compliance-date provisions of 42 U.S.C. 6295(ff)(6) and 6295(m) would apply. In this final rule, DOE is not prescribing a standard; rather, DOE is reinterpreting the definition of “ceiling fan” to include hugger fans and fans capable of producing large volumes of airflow. The changes in interpretation of the ceiling fan definition discussed above result in the applicability of the design standards set forth in EPCA at 42 U.S.C. 6295(ff)(1) to these types of fans immediately. In addition, because ceiling fan light kits are defined as “equipment designed to provide light from a ceiling fan that can be integral, such that the equipment is attached to the ceiling fan prior to the time of retail sale; or attachable, such that at the time of retail sale the equipment is not physically attached to the ceiling fan, but may be included inside the ceiling fan at the time of sale or sold separately for subsequent attachment to the fan” (42 U.S.C. 6291(50)(A) and (B)), DOE further affirms that light kits attached to any of the four fan types listed above are covered ceiling fan light kits under this change in interpretation.

DOE understands the concerns raised regarding the need for additional time for redesigning, testing, certifying and labeling hugger fans and light kits attached to those fans. In the test procedure rulemaking for ceiling fans, ALA submitted comments similar to those in the present rulemaking, contending that this process could take eight to sixteen months “under normal circumstances,” and as much as two years or more due to the simultaneous activities of the ceiling fan industry. In its upper bound estimate, ALA factored in delays due to redesign, backlog at third-party test laboratories, and/or shipping delays for fans, light kits, or components. (ALA, No. 89 at pp. 1-2) At a November 2014 public meeting held in the ceiling fan test procedure rulemaking, representatives from Emerson Electric and Westinghouse Lighting stated that between 18 and 24 months would be required. (Emerson Electric, Public Meeting Transcript, No. 5 9 at p. 31; Westinghouse Lighting, Public Meeting Transcript, No. 5 9 at pp. 29-30) 10 Additionally, in response to the ceiling fan test procedure supplemental NOPR (SNOPR) published on June 3, 2015, ALA noted that the ceiling fan reinterpretation would result in compliance burdens for CFLKs sold with hugger ceiling fans, which would become subject to CFLK standards under the ceiling fan reinterpretation. 80 FR 31487. ALA specifically noted that some of these CFLKs would require redesign to include a 190 watt power limiting device that is not currently required for such CFLKs, as well as retesting and re-rating. ALA stated that this compliance process would require between eighteen and twenty-four months of lead time for the industry. (ALA, No. 14 at pp. 3-4) Additionally, in response to the ceiling fan test procedure SNOPR from June 2015, ALA commented that there may be confusion regarding the compliance date for certain ceiling fans, as a result of the ceiling fan reinterpretation. (Id.) ALA expressed concern that ceiling fans that the industry has referred to previously as hugger fans but that do not meet DOE's new definition of a hugger ceiling fan may require immediate compliance with any applicable standards.

10 This document was submitted to the docket of DOE's rulemaking to develop test procedures for ceiling fans (Docket No. EERE-2013-BT-TP-0050).

In its consideration of these comments, DOE recognizes that re-designing, testing and rating, and producing and shipping fan lighting products that comply with the 190-watt limit will take many months. DOE relied on estimates provided by manufacturers to determine an appropriate lead time to bring products that are compliant with this requirement to market (see section III.A.4). Based on these estimates, DOE has concluded that 18 months is an appropriate lead time because it is consistent with ALA's upper bound lead time estimate including extra time for delays. DOE notes that other manufacturers' estimated lead times as short as 6 months. In addition, varying manufacturer estimates for lead times indicates to DOE that not all manufacturers in the industry will be conducting the same activities and vying for the resources necessary to do so simultaneously.

While DOE's interpretation is effective immediately, DOE will not assert civil penalty authority for violations of the applicable standards arising as a result of this interpretation before June 26, 2017. DOE expects all hugger ceiling fans and any accompanying light kits to be certified compliant by June 26, 2017, and annually thereafter. DOE will take into consideration a manufacturer's efforts to come into compliance during the 18-month period.

6. Clarifications on 190 W Limit Requirement

Current standards require that CFLKs with medium screw base sockets, or pin-based sockets for fluorescent lamps, be packaged with lamps that meet certain efficiency requirements. All other CFLKs must not be capable of operating with lamps that exceed 190 W. In the final rule for energy conservation standards for certain CFLKs published on January 11, 2007, DOE interpreted this 190 W limitation as a requirement to incorporate an electrical device or measure that ensures the light kit is not capable of operating with a lamp or lamps that draw more than a total of 190 W. 72 FR 1270, 1271 (Jan. 11, 2007).

During the November 2014 public meeting, ALA and several of their members sought clarifications from DOE on the applicability of the 190 W limit for CFLKs with integrated SSL components. Specifically, these stakeholders suggested that CFLKs with only integrated SSL components are inherently power limiting and that consumers would be unable to modify these CFLKs in a manner that increases their operating power beyond their rated wattage. These stakeholders suggested that DOE consider clarifying that CFLKs that only have drivers and/or light sources that are not designed to be consumer replaceable with total rated wattages below 190 W be considered to be in compliance with the requirement that they not be capable of operating with lamps that total more than 190 W, as specified in 42 U.S.C. 6295(ff)(4)(C).

In the CFLK ECS NOPR, DOE proposed that CFLKs with SSL circuitry that (1) have SSL drivers and/or light sources that are not consumer replaceable, (2) do not have both an SSL driver and light source that are consumer replaceable, (3) do not include any other light source, and (4) include SSL drivers with a maximum operating wattage of no more than 190 W are considered to incorporate some electrical device or measure that ensures they do not exceed the 190 W limit.11 In the CFLK ECS NOPR, DOE proposed to incorporate the clarification in that rulemaking and make it effective 30 days after the publication of the final rule amending CFLK energy conservation standards. DOE discusses the stakeholder comments received regarding this proposal in the paragraphs below.

11 DOE proposed these four conditions in the preamble of the ECS NOPR. However, the proposed associated regulatory text incorrectly specified that both the SSL light source and SSL driver had to be non-consumer replaceable.

DOE received several comments regarding the consumer replaceable requirements in its proposal in the CFLK ECS NOPR. Specifically, ALA requested that these requirements be removed and that DOE adopt the interpretation that CFLKs with integrated SSL components and SSL drivers with a maximum operating wattage of no more than 190 W and no other light source comply with EPCA's power limit requirement. (ALA, No. 115 12 at p. 4)

12 This document was submitted to the docket of DOE's rulemaking to develop energy conservation standards for ceiling fan light kits (Docket No. EERE-2012-BT-STD-0045).

ALA asserted its proposed clarification was consistent with section 325(ff)(4) of EPCA13 because consumers will not modify such CFLKs as they do not have a desire to increase the wattage. ALA explained that due to the technology's efficiency, CFLKs with integrated SSL components are designed to operate at wattages less than 50 W for residential and commercial applications and 190 W would produce too much light. (ALA, No. 115 12 at p. 4) Fanimation and Lutron agreed consumers would not increase total wattage at or above 190 W as they would not need the associated substantial light output. (Fanimation, Public Meeting Transcript, No. 112 12 at pp. 18-20; Lutron, No. 113 at p. 2) Fanimation further concluded that the requirement of non-consumer replaceable was unnecessary. (Fanimation, Public Meeting Transcript, No. 112 12 at pp. 18-20)

13 Section 325(ff)(4) of EPCA specifies the requirements for CFLKs that do not have medium screw base sockets or pin base socket for fluorescent lamps, including that they not be capable of operating with lamps that total more than 190 watts.

ASAP agreed that the lumen output at a wattage limit of 190 W would be too high for residential applications. However, ASAP asked if such a high-lumen CFLK could be developed for commercial applications in which CFLKs are mounted higher and require greater levels of light output. (ASAP, Public Meeting Transcript, No. 112 12 at p. 16) Westinghouse responded that even LEDs used in high bay applications, whether integrated or replaceable, do not draw 190 W. Westinghouse stated that while unlikely, if 15,000 or 18,000 lumens were needed it would be in a commercial application and likely not attached to a ceiling fan. If it existed, such a high-lumen CFLK would more likely be attached to an industrial ceiling fan. (Westinghouse, Public Meeting Transcript, No. 112 12 at p. 17)

Fanimation pointed out that a non-consumer replaceable requirement would create maintenance difficulties for consumers as they would not be able to replace failed components, in particular the light source. (Fanimation, Public Meeting Transcript, No. 112 12 at pp. 18-20) ALA stated that because CFLKs with integrated SSL components are typically packaged and sold together with a ceiling fan, failure of a non-consumer replaceable SSL component in a CFLK would require the consumer to replace the entire ceiling fan/CFLK combination. Therefore, the use of consumer replaceable SSL components in CFLKs provides value by allowing the consumer to fix failed components instead of replacing the entire ceiling fan/CFLK. (ALA, No. 115 12 at p. 5) Westinghouse added that for products under warranty manufacturers do not want to replace the entire fan if just the light source fails. Westinghouse commented that ENERGY STAR has emphasized that non-consumer replaceable technologies are not preferred because consumers do not like discarding the whole CFLK and this is a topic of ongoing discussion for manufacturers that offer CFLKs as an accessory product or participate in the ENERGY STAR program. (Westinghouse, Public Meeting Transcript, No. 112 12 at p. 24)

Even if consumers did want to increase the wattage, ALA stated there are no commercially available components that would allow them to do so without destructive disassembly/assembly. (ALA, No. 115 12 at p. 4) Westinghouse commented that they had conducted a search and found no LED drivers that could operate at or above the required wattage threshold. (Westinghouse, Public Meeting Transcript, No. 112 12 at pp. 15-16)

ASAP stated that they interpreted consumer replaceable to refer to components not requiring tools or removal of the fan from mounting. Therefore, ASAP found that the non-consumer replaceable requirement would prevent incandescent light sources from being used in CFLKs. (ASAP, Public Meeting Transcript, No. 112 12 at pp. 20-21) Fanimation responded that an incandescent light source could not be used in a CFLK with SSL technology. (Fanimation, Public Meeting Transcript, No. 112 12 at p. 23) Westinghouse clarified that consumers would either be replacing the light source and not the driver or, more likely, the light source and the driver in the form of a plug-and-play wire/nut connection. In both scenarios there would be no ANSI socket in which a consumer could screw in an incandescent lamp. Therefore, while Westinghouse did not object to the non-consumer replaceable requirement, it was not required because the circuitry and design of such CFLKs would be self-limiting. (Westinghouse, Public Meeting Transcript, No. 112 12 at pp. 22-23)

Regarding designs of CFLKs with integrated SSL components, Fanimation stated that a non-consumer replaceable requirement would put design restrictions on CFLKs. (Fanimation, Public Meeting Transcript, No. 112 12 at pp. 18-20) Progress Lighting pointed out that the existing requirement for a wattage limit already applies to CFLKs with consumer replaceable components and if the consumer over-lamps them they destroy the limiter making them unusable. (Progress Lighting, Public Meeting Transcript, No. 112 12 at p. 32)

In a joint comment, ASAP, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, the National Resources Defense Council, and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (“Joint Comment”) and CA IOUs generally agreed that CFLKs meeting the four conditions specified in DOE's proposed interpretation would not exceed 190 W. The Joint Comment, however, did not agree with stating that all CFLKs with integrated SSL components should be determined to not exceed the 190 W limit requirement as this could exclude products such as CFLKs with integrated SSL components and another lighting technology. (Joint Comment, No. 117 12 at p. 2) Lutron stated it would be sufficient to state that the 190 W limit requirement is satisfied by CFLKs with either non-replaceable SSL lamps or light sources utilizing an LED driver rated less than 190 W. Lutron noted that substitution with less efficacious lamps is not possible in either case. (Lutron, No. 113 12 at p. 2) If DOE does not wish to adopt ALA's proposal of removing the consumer replaceable conditions, ALA preferred the interpretation of the wattage limiter requirement for CFLKs with integrated SSL components that would allow at least either the SSL driver or SSL light source to be consumer replaceable as opposed to neither. (ALA, No. 115 12 at pp. 5-6)

In consideration of these comments, DOE concludes that the high efficacies of SSL technology would produce lumen output equivalent to the lumen output of a CFLK with incandescent lamps operating at 190 W but at a much lower wattage. DOE concluded that if a consumer were to increase the operating wattage of a CFLK with SSL technology to a significantly higher wattage than that of the SSL system initially sold with the CFLK, the consumer would need to change the driver. DOE concluded this is unlikely because significant increases in the rated wattage of drivers result in significant size increases in the drivers, and the physical constraints of the CFLK designs would not allow for such modification.

In this final rule, DOE is modifying its interpretation of what meets the 190 W limit requirement. DOE has determined that CFLKs with both consumer and non-consumer replaceable SSL components meet the requirement under certain conditions. The CFLKs must use only SSL technology (such as LED technology). The CFLKs must not use an SSL lamp with an ANSI standard base (such as a medium screw base LED lamp) because the consumer could easily remove and replace the lamp with one using less efficient (and typically higher wattage) lighting technology. Thus, DOE has determined that CFLKs that (1) include only SSL technology; (2) do not include an SSL lamp with an ANSI standard base, and (3) include only SSL drivers with a combined maximum operating wattage of no more than 190 W meet the 190 W limit requirement. For example, CFLKs with integrated SSL circuitry or with other SSL products, such as LED light engines, would meet the limit requirement assuming the CFLKs do not also include other non-SSL lighting technologies, do not also include lamps with ANSI standard bases, and do not include SSL drivers that, combined, can exceed 190 W.

Fanimation asked if DOE would be defining the term “consumer replaceable” in support of the proposed clarification regarding CFLKs with integrated SSL technology. (Fanimation, Public Meeting Transcript, No. 112 12 at pp. 18-20) Further, if DOE continues to reference consumer replaceable in the proposed clarification, ALA requested that DOE clarify that a “consumer replaceable” SSL component means a component that can be obtained in the consumer marketplace, installed in an existing product by a consumer with no specialized technical knowledge or specialized tools, and installed without invalidating the product warranties of the existing CFLK or other SSL components. (ALA, No. 115 12 at pp. 5-6) In response to these comments, DOE is not specifying an interpretation of CFLKs with SSL technology that meet the 190 W limit requirement that prohibits consumer replaceable components. DOE is also not defining the term “consumer replaceable” in this final rule (see section III.B.2 for further details).

ALA requested that DOE make the clarification of the wattage limiter requirement for CFLKs with integrated SSL components effective as soon as possible, either in a separate notice or in this final rule. (ALA, No. 115 12 at p. 4, 6)

DOE is issuing this interpretation of the 190 W limit requirement for CFLKs with SSL technology meeting the conditions described in this section effective with publication of the final rule in the Federal Register.

B. Amendments To Implement an Efficacy Metric for All CFLKs

In the October 2014 NOPR, DOE proposed to amend the CFLK test procedures to expand the efficacy metric to all CFLKs in support of the amended standards being considered as part of the ongoing ECS rulemaking for CFLKs. In the ECS rulemaking, DOE proposed to require that all CFLKs meet minimum efficacy requirements, as is currently required for CFLKs with medium screw base sockets and pin-based sockets for fluorescent lamps. 80 FR 48624 (August 13, 2015).

In the October 2014 NOPR, DOE proposed to amend 10 CFR 429.33 to provide sampling requirements and amend 10 CFR 430.23 to reference lamp test procedures to measure the lamp efficacy of each basic model of a lamp type packaged with a CFLK and to measure the luminaire efficacy of each basic model of CFLK with integrated SSL circuitry.14 Appendix V currently provides test procedures in support of existing energy conservation standards, which are in terms of lamp efficacy for CFLKs packaged with medium screw base lamps, system efficacy for CFLKs packaged with pin-based fluorescent lamps, and a maximum wattage requirement for CFLKs packaged with all other lamp types. In the October 2014 NOPR, DOE proposed amendments to appendix V to provide test procedures supporting existing energy conservation standards for CFLKs packaged with pin-based fluorescent lamps and proposed amending 10 CFR 430.23 to reference DOE lamp test procedures supporting existing energy conservation standards for CFLKs packaged with medium screw base lamps. Appendix V can be used to demonstrate compliance with existing standards until the time at which compliance with amended standards would be required. Appendix V1, proposed in the October 2014 NOPR, and the proposed amendments to 10 CFR 430.23 provide test procedures in support of amended energy conservation standards, which would be in terms of lamp efficacy for CFLKs packaged with all lamp types and in terms of luminaire efficacy for those with integrated SSL circuitry.

14 In the October 2014 NOPR, DOE defined a CFLK with integrated SSL circuitry as a CFLK that has light sources, drivers, or intermediate circuitry, such as wiring between a replaceable driver and a replaceable light source, that are not consumer replaceable. For this final rule, DOE is also including heat sinks as part of the definition of CFLK with integrated SSL circuitry.

The following sections describe the change in metric for certain CFLKs and how DOE will require measuring lamp and luminaire efficacy to demonstrate compliance with any amended standards.

1. Metric

In the October 2014 NOPR, DOE proposed amendments to the CFLK test procedures that would establish a single metric (efficacy) to quantify the energy efficiency of CFLKs. To the extent technologically feasible, DOE proposed to use lamp efficacy as the measure of efficiency. DOE noted that for CFLKs with integrated solid-state lighting circuitry, it may not be technologically feasible to measure lamp efficacy and thus proposed using luminaire efficacy as the metric for these CFLKs.

ASAP et al. supported DOE's proposal to use efficacy as a metric for all CFLKs. ASAP et al. further supported DOE's proposal to use lamp efficacy for lamps packaged with CFLKs, to use luminaire efficacy for CFLKs with integrated SSL circuitry, and to use both lamp and luminaire efficacy for CFLKs that included both replaceable lamps and integrated SSL circuitry. (ASAP et al., No. 5 at p. 1)

ALA supported DOE's proposal to use efficacy as a metric for all CFLKs. ALA also supported DOE's proposal to use lamp efficacy where technically feasible, noting that this approach would minimize the testing burden for CFLK manufacturers. (ALA, No. 6 at p. 1) ALA opposed DOE's proposal to use luminaire efficacy as a metric for CFLKs with integrated SSL circuitry, however. (ALA, No. 6 at pp. 1-3) ALA claimed that using luminaire efficacy would be more burdensome than using lamp efficacy. ALA noted that a luminaire efficacy metric would require testing every variant of a luminaire cover used to make a CFLK with integrated SSL circuitry, resulting in more required testing than analogous CFLKs with replaceable lamps. ALA further claimed that using luminaire efficacy would unfairly disadvantage CFLKs with integrated SSL circuitry (particularly those with dark-colored or opaque luminaire covers) as compared to other CFLK types. This is because the luminaire efficacy testing would account for optical losses from covers included with CFLKs that have integrated SSL circuitry, while the lamp efficacy testing DOE proposed for all other CFLKs would not account for any CFLK covers.

ALA suggested alternatives to luminaire efficacy of CFLKs with integrated SSL circuitry. ALA suggested it may be possible to conduct IES LM-79-08 testing on SSL light engines after they are removed from the CFLK. ALA also proposed an alternative compliance path by which CFLKs with integrated SSL circuitry would be subject to a design standard that they not exceed 50 W rather than be subject to a luminaire efficacy-based metric and test procedure. Lastly, ALA suggested that if DOE does adopt a luminaire efficacy metric for CFLKs with integrated SSL circuitry, DOE should modify its approach so that testing is conducted without luminaire covers to eliminate the need for multiple tests associated with different covers, as well as to make test results more comparable to other CFLK types.

Regarding ALA's comments that it may be possible to make accurate and consistent light source efficacy measurements on the integrated SSL light engines in CFLKs using LM-79-08, DOE notes that the scope of LM-79-08 is limited to SSL products that do not require external circuits or heat sinks. In some CFLK designs, it may be possible for all SSL light sources, drivers, heat sinks, and intermediate circuitry to be removed as an integrated unit. This integrated unit would either meet DOE's definition of an integrated LED lamp or the definition of “Other SSL products” as defined in appendix V1. In these cases, test methods proposed in the October 2014 NOPR would allow manufactures to utilize lamp efficacy measurements rather than luminaire efficacy measures.

DOE notes that IES LM-82-12, “Characterization of LED Light Engines and LED Lamps for Electrical and Photometric Properties as a Function of Temperature,” may be applicable to situations where SSL light engines are used in combination with additional heat sinks that are not removable from the CFLK. However, test procedures based on measurements of integrated SSL light engines would present challenges for testing reproducibility. Because LED modules and drivers are highly integrated into the CFLK in some CFLK designs, it may be technically infeasible to test without destructively altering the product being tested. Because the design of integrated SSL CFLKs can vary considerably, it would also be difficult to develop uniform and reproducible procedures to ensure that all relevant components from an integrated SSL CFLK are consistently included in testing. Additionally, an approach utilizing LM-82-12 may increase testing burden. LM-82-12 requires using LM-79-08 to make photometric measurements at multiple temperatures to characterize how performance of the device varies over a range of temperatures. The stabilized temperature of an LED light engine must then be measured inside a luminaire (e.g., CFLK) and compared to the LM-82-12 results to estimate the photometric performance of the LED light engine in that luminaire. Because of the temperature control requirements specified in LM-82-12 and the multiple photometric measurements per LM-79-08, LM-82-12 testing is relatively expensive. Consequently, few LED light engines have LM-82-12 test results. Given the relatively higher testing costs of LM-82-12, the likelihood that few LED light engines considered for CFLKs would already have LM-82-12 results, and the fact that additional testing to monitor LED light engine temperatures inside the CFLKs would be required, DOE has concluded that requiring LM-82-12 testing could increase testing burden over luminaire testing with LM-79-08.

DOE has also declined to adopt ALA's suggestion to utilize a 50 W design standard for CFLKs with integrated SSL circuitry, instead of requiring use of the proposed test procedure to determine compliance of these CFLKs with a luminaire efficacy-based metric. DOE's test method meets the requirements of 42 U.S.C. 6293(b)(3), which requires DOE to establish test procedures that are “designed to produce test results which measure energy-efficiency . . . during a representative average use cycle or period of use” that “shall not be unduly burdensome to conduct.” ALA's suggestion may limit energy consumption but does not provide consumers with representative energy efficiency of the product.

As an alternative, DOE reviewed ALA's recommendation to allow CFLKs with integrated SSL circuitry to be tested without covers. The suggested approach could potentially reduce testing burden associated with certifying multiple models of CFLKs with integrated SSL circuitry that are functionally identical except for the use of different covers. DOE agrees that measurements of CFLKs with integrated SSL circuitry without covers may be more comparable to CFLKs with consumer replaceable lamps. DOE has added a definition for “covers” to this test procedure to clarify which components can be removed before testing. Specifically, covers are defined as, “materials used to diffuse or redirect light produced by an SSL light source in CFLKs with integrated SSL circuitry.” DOE allows for the removal of consumer replaceable lenses or diffusers from CFLKs with integrated SSL circuitry prior to luminaire efficacy testing. DOE does not allow for the removal of any other components of CFLKs with integrated SSL circuitry (e.g., removable housing or electronic components, hardware utilized to secure covers, etc.) nor does DOE allow for removing covers that are not consumer replaceable (e.g., require destructive disassembly) prior to luminaire efficacy testing. DOE notes that manufacturers of CFLKs with integrated SSL circuitry that have consumer replaceable covers may measure luminaire efficacy with the cover installed if they wish.

DOE notes that utilizing an efficacy metric for all CFLK types will likely increase testing burden in some cases—particularly for CFLKs that are currently subject to the wattage limiter requirement. But the wattage limiter would no longer be needed for compliance with the proposed standards,15 and the added costs associated with testing are likely to be offset by savings associated with the removal of the wattage limiter. See section IV.B for a more detailed discussion of how increased testing costs are likely to be offset by those savings.

15 Documents related to the ongoing energy conservation standards rulemaking for ceiling fan light kits can be found in docket ID EERE-2012-BT-STD-0045. The proposed standards can be found in the notice of proposed rulemaking, available at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EERE-2012-BT-STD-0045-0109.

2.Test Procedure

In the October 2014 NOPR, DOE proposed to reference existing DOE test procedures and to reference industry standard test procedures only where DOE test procedures do not exist. With the exception of ALA's comment about the use of luminaire efficacy as a metric (discussed in section III.B.1), ALA and ASAP et al. both agreed with DOE's proposal to reference existing DOE test procedures and to reference current industry standard test procedures where DOE test procedures do not currently exist. Table 1 summarizes the test procedures that will be required for CFLKs based on the lighting technology that they use. As discussed in section III.B.1, CFLKs with integrated SSL circuitry that have consumer replaceable covers may be tested without covers but must otherwise be measured according to the test method in sections 2.0-9.2 of IES LM 79-08. CFLKs that utilize multiple lighting technologies will be subject to all applicable test procedures (e.g., a CFLK with both integrated SSL circuitry and consumer replaceable CFLs would be subject to luminaire efficacy testing with the CFLs removed, measured according to IES LM-79-08, and the CFLs would be subject to lamp efficacy test procedures, measured according to appendix W).

For a CFLK that utilizes only consumer replaceable lamps, manufacturers must measure the lamp efficacy of and certify each basic model of lamp packaged with the CFLK. For any CFLK with only integrated SSL circuitry, manufacturers must measure the luminaire efficacy of and certify the CFLK. For any CFLK that includes both consumer replaceable lamps and integrated SSL circuitry, manufacturers must measure the lamp efficacy of and certify each basic model of lamp packaged with the CFLK and must measure the luminaire efficacy and certify the CFLK with all consumer replaceable lamps removed.

In the NOPR, DOE proposed a definition for the term “consumer replaceable.” However, DOE has determined this term is self-explanatory and a definition is not required. Therefore, in this final rule, DOE is not adopting a definition for “consumer replaceable.”

Table 1—Test Procedures for CFLKs Based on Lighting Technology Lighting technology Lamp or luminaire efficacy
  • measured
  • Referenced test procedure
    Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) Lamp Efficacy Appendix W to Subpart B of 10 CFR 430. General service fluorescent lamps (GSFLs) Lamp Efficacy Appendix R to Subpart B of 10 CFR 430. Incandescent lamps Lamp Efficacy Appendix R to Subpart B of 10 CFR 430. Other (non-CFL and non-GSFL) fluorescent lamps Lamp Efficacy IES LM-9-09, sections 4-7. Integrated LED lamps Lamp Efficacy To be determined.* All Other SSL products Lamp Efficacy IES LM-79-08, sections 2-9.2. CFLKs with integrated SSL circuitry Luminaire Efficacy IES LM-79-08, sections 2-9.2. * There is currently an open rulemaking to establish test procedures for integrated LED lamps. DOE is reserving certain paragraphs in the CFLK test procedure to reference any final test procedure for integrated LED lamps.
    C. Standby Mode and Off Mode

    DOE believes that CFLKs do not consume power in off mode, and that only CFLKs offering the functionality of a wireless remote control may consume power in standby mode. Because the standby sensor and controller nearly always provide functionality shared between the ceiling fan and the CFLK, DOE proposed in the October 2014 NOPR to account for the energy consumption in standby mode under the ceiling fan efficiency metric rather than under the CFLK efficiency metric. ALA, the only stakeholder to comment on the proposal, agreed with DOE's approach to account for standby power usage in the ceiling fan test procedure rather than in the CFLK test procedure. (ALA, No. 6 at p. 6) Therefore, DOE maintains this approach in this final rule.

    D. Effective Date and Compliance Date for Amended Test Procedure

    The effective date for this final rule is 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Representations of energy efficiency or consumption must be based on the amended test procedure in appendix V as of 180 days after publication of the test procedure final rule in the Federal Register. Representations of energy efficiency or consumption must be based on appendix V1 not later than the compliance date of any amended standards from the ongoing ECS rulemaking for CFLKs. Manufacturers are permitted to make representations based on testing in accordance with appendix V1 prior to the compliance date of such standards, if such representations demonstrate compliance with any amended energy conservation standards. Manufacturers must make any representations with respect to energy use or efficiency in accordance with whichever version is selected for testing.

    DOE's updated guidance for CFLKs with accent lighting and reinterpretation of the ceiling fan definition is effective immediately. However, DOE will not assert civil penalty authority for violations of the applicable standards arising as a result of the interpretive changes before June 26, 2017.

    DOE's interpretation of the 190 watt limiter requirement prescribed in the standards set forth in 10 CFR 430.32(s)(4) is also effective immediately.

    IV. Procedural Issues and Regulatory Review A. Review Under Executive Order 12866

    The Office of Management and Budget has determined that test procedure rulemakings do not constitute “significant regulatory actions” under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, 58 FR 51735 (Oct. 4, 1993). Accordingly, this action was not subject to review under the Executive Order by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    B. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996) requires preparation of an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IFRA) for any rule that by law must be proposed for public comment and a final regulatory flexibility analysis (FRFA) for any such rule that an agency adopts as a final rule, unless the agency certifies that the rule, if promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. A regulatory flexibility analysis examines the impact of the rule on small entities and considers alternative ways of reducing negative effects. Also, as required by Executive Order 13272, “Proper Consideration of Small Entities in Agency Rulemaking,” 67 FR 53461 (August 16, 2002), DOE published procedures and policies on February 19, 2003 to ensure that the potential impacts of its rules on small entities are properly considered during the DOE rulemaking process. 68 FR 7990. DOE has made its procedures and policies available on the Office of the General Counsel's Web site at: http://energy.gov/gc/office-general-counsel.

    DOE reviewed this final rule under the provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act and the policies and procedures published on February 19, 2003. The final rule prescribes the test procedure amendments that would be used to determine compliance with energy conservation standards for CFLKs.

    DOE analyzed the burden to small manufacturers in both the context of the modifications to the existing CFLK test procedures made in appendix V and associated CFRs, as well as in the context of the test procedures to implement an efficacy metric for all covered CFLKs in appendix V1 and amended associated CFRs. With respect to amendments to existing CFLK test procedures, DOE determined that these changes will not have a material impact on small U.S. manufacturers because the changes will not alter the test procedures themselves, but rather, how they are referenced. With respect to test procedures to implement an efficacy metric for all covered CFLKs, however, DOE found that because the amendments will require efficiency performance testing of certain CFLKs that had not required testing previously, all manufacturers, including a substantial number of small manufacturers, may experience a financial burden associated with new testing requirements. While most CFLK manufacturers will likely be able to utilize lamp testing already conducted by lamp manufacturers for certification of most CFLKs, based on the similar assessment DOE made at the time of the NOPR, DOE prepared an IRFA for this rulemaking, which was included in the October 2014 NOPR and a copy was also transmitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for review. DOE did not receive any comments specifically on the IRFA from stakeholders or from the SBA. Stakeholder comments received on the economic impacts of the proposed rule have been addressed elsewhere in the preamble. The FRFA set forth below, which describes the potential impacts on small businesses associated with CFLK testing requirements, incorporates the IRFA while updating the analysis for consistency with the shipments estimates in the ongoing CFLK and ceiling fan energy conservation standard rulemakings.

    1. Need for and Objectives of the Rule

    A statement of the need for and objectives of the rule is stated elsewhere in the preamble and not repeated here.

    2. Significant Issues Raised by Public Comment and any Changes Made in the Proposed Rule

    Comments on the economic impacts of the proposed rule and DOE's responses to those comments are provided elsewhere in the preamble and not repeated here. As noted above, DOE updated its analysis for this rule consistent with the shipments estimates in the ongoing CFLK and ceiling fan energy conservation standard rulemakings. DOE modified the proposed rule based on stakeholder comments related to economic impacts. Specifically, as discussed in detail in the preamble, DOE clarified that the 190 W limit requirement is met by CFLKs that (1) include only SSL technology; (2) do not include an SSL lamp with an ANSI standard base, and (3) include only SSL drivers with a combined maximum operating wattage of no more than 190 W. DOE also specified that CFLKs with integrated SSL circuitry could be tested without removable optical covers. These changes are expected to reduce the overall economic impact of the rule.

    3. Response to any Comments filed by the SBA

    The Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the SBA did not provide any comments on this rule.

    4. Estimate of Small Entities to Which the Rule Will Apply

    The Small Business Administration (SBA) has set a size threshold for manufacturers, which defines those entities classified as “small businesses” for the purposes of the statute. DOE used the SBA's small business size standards to determine whether any small entities would be subject to the requirements of the rule. See 13 CFR part 121. The size standards are listed by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code and industry description and are available at http://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/files/Size_Standards_Table.pdf. CFLK manufacturing is classified under NAICS code 335210,16 “Small Electrical Appliance Manufacturing.” SBA sets a threshold of 750 employees or less for an entity to be considered a small business for this category. This threshold includes all employees in a business' parent company and any other subsidiaries.

    16 Although NAICS 335121, “Residential Electric Lighting Fixture Manufacturing,” which has a small business threshold of 500 employees, could also apply to CFLK manufacturers, DOE chose a NAICS code that applied to both ceiling fans and light kits because CFLK manufacturers are generally also ceiling fan manufacturers. DOE notes that the use of NAICS code 335210 in this analysis results in more manufacturers being considered small businesses than an analysis based on NAICS code 335121 would have.

    To identify small CFLK manufacturers, DOE used feedback from manufacturer interviews and results from an industry characterization analysis, which consists of the market and technology assessment, manufacturer interviews, and publicly available information. DOE then reviewed these data to determine whether the entities met the SBA's definition of a “small business manufacturer” of CFLKs and screened out companies that do not offer products subject to this rulemaking, do not meet the definition of a “small business,” or are foreign-owned and operated. Based on this review, and using data on the companies for which DOE was able to obtain information on the numbers of employees, DOE identified 27 small business CFLK manufacturers 17 in the U.S.

    17 The term “manufacturers” is used in this section to include companies that act as importers or labelers of CFLKs.

    5. Description and Estimate of Compliance Costs

    DOE has determined that total CFLK testing costs for small business manufacturers of CFLKs may increase based on changes to the size of the market of covered ceiling fan light kits as a result of clarifications to the statutory definition of a ceiling fan. As a result of the reinterpretation of the definition of ceiling fans to include hugger ceiling fans, products that provide light from hugger fans meet the EPCA definition of CFLKs (42 U.S.C. 6291(50)) and, therefore, are subject to CFLK standards. This reinterpretation effectively increases the size of the CFLK market by approximately 50 percent. Manufacturers of hugger fans may use different CFLK models on their hugger fans than on their other ceiling fans, increasing the number of CFLK models that will require testing. The impact of the hugger fan reinterpretation on ceiling fan light kit testing costs is accounted for in this rule by factoring in a 50 percent increase in shipments due to the inclusion of CFLKs attached to hugger fans. Conversely, DOE's clarification that ceiling fans that produce large volumes of airflow meet the statutory definition of a ceiling fan is not expected to have an impact of the size of the CFLK market, because ceiling fan light kits are almost never sold with ceiling fans of that type. DOE's clarification on the use of accent lighting may lead to an increase in testing burden in some cases but DOE believes only a small fraction of the CFLK market will be impacted based on reviewing product offerings from manufacturer literature.

    Based on the analysis described in the remainder of this section, DOE expects the new test procedures to implement an efficacy metric for all covered CFLKs to increase direct testing costs to small CFLK manufacturers. Because compliance with the proposed standards 15 would satisfy the 190 watt limitation without the need for a wattage limiter, however, DOE expects that the savings from eliminating the wattage limiters for all CFLKs other than those with medium screw base sockets and pin-based sockets for fluorescent lamps will likely more than offset these costs. DOE's analysis shows that, in sum, typical small manufacturers are likely to benefit financially from the proposed changes to the test procedures, as detailed below.

    DOE requires testing each basic model of a product to establish compliance with energy conservation standards. Products included in a single basic model must have essentially identical electrical, physical, and functional characteristics that affect energy efficiency. Because the efficiency of CFLKs with integrated SSL circuitry is based on luminaire efficacy, variation in light kit designs will likely impact efficiency and result in a greater number of basic models for these types of CFLKs. As noted in section III.B.1, CFLK manufacturers may test CFLKs with integrated SSL circuitry without covers, in part to reduce testing burden. This allows CFLKs with integrated SSL circuitry that are identical expect for the use of different covers to be classified as the same basic model. For CFLKs with consumer replaceable lamps, efficiency is based on lamp efficacy and will likely not be impacted by the design of the light kit, and thus the number of basic models may be limited for these types of CFLKs. Because these CFLKs require lamp testing, changes in luminaire optics, like lens choice, will not affect the measured efficacy, and therefore would not require a new basic model. For these CFLKs, manufacturers will be able to limit the testing burden by using the same lamp model for many CFLK models and/or by obtaining appropriate lamp test results from their lamp supplier(s).

    In the sections below, DOE provides an assessment test burden due to the change in test procedures. To provide a framework for DOE's analysis, Table 2 summarizes the market share of different CFLK types and describes how they would be affected by the changes in testing requirements. The assessment reflects the size and composition of a CFLK market which includes CFLKs attached to hugger fans and therefore accounts for the testing costs associated with such CFLKs. The market share projections in Table 2 are for the expected compliance year of the ongoing ECS rulemaking for CFLKs (2019) as estimated in the CFLK ECS NOPR. 80 FR 48624 (August 13, 2015). These market shares reflect DOE's reinterpretation of the definition of ceiling fan to include hugger fans.

    Table 2—Projections of CFLK Market Shares in 2019 CFLK type * Percent of market in 2019 Current testing
  • requirement
  • Future testing
  • requirement
  • New testing costs? Savings from removal of wattage limiter under proposal?
    CFLKs with medium screw base sockets 89% 100% lamp efficacy 100% lamp efficacy No No. All Other CFLKs 11% None 34% lamp efficacy Potentially ** Yes. 66% luminaire efficacy Yes Yes. * CFLKs with pin-based sockets are not included in this analysis because their market share is insignificant, at less than 1 percent. ** While most lamps with sockets other than medium screw base sockets will be subject to new DOE testing requirements, many of these lamps are already being testing by lamp manufacturers. In these cases, there would be no additional testing costs as CFLK manufacturers will be able to use lamp manufacturers' test reports.

    As shown in Table 2, the new test procedures do not affect testing burden for CFLKs with medium screw base sockets, because no new testing requirements are required for these CFLKs. DOE assumes that 66 percent of CFLKs with socket types other than medium screw base will transition to CFLKs with integrated SSL circuitry (requiring luminaire efficacy measurements) by 2019, while the remaining 34 percent will transition to CFLKs requiring lamp efficacy measurements.18

    18 For the NOPR analysis, DOE used the Bass diffusion curve developed in the Energy Savings Potential of Solid-State Lighting in General Illumination Applications (2012) report for general service lamps (GSLs) to estimate the market share apportioned to LEDs. DOE assumed the adoption of LEDs in the CFLK market would trail behind adoption of LED technology in the GSL market by 3.5 years. In the NOPR analysis, DOE's LED incursion curve for CFLKs results in a market share of 14% for all LED CFLKs in 2019. DOE assumed, based on lack of available information to suggest otherwise, that half of the LED CFLKs in 2019 (i.e., 7% of the entire CFLK market, or 66% of the 11% of CFLKs that do not have medium screw base sockets) would have integrated SSL circuitry.

    The degree to which testing costs are offset by savings from the elimination of the wattage limiter depends significantly on the number of CFLKs produced per basic model. That is, testing costs are fixed per basic model, but the costs associated with the wattage limiter increase in direct proportion with the total number of CFLKs subject to the requirement. DOE estimates that small manufacturers typically produce about 5,900 CFLKs per basic model per year, and that they are likely to see a net financial benefit from the proposed changes provided that they produce more than approximately 1,000 CFLK units per basic model.

    In summary, DOE notes that the estimated savings of the new test procedures greatly exceed the estimated costs to small manufacturers. While these estimates are based on a number of projections and assumptions that have inherent uncertainties, given the degree to which projected savings exceed projected costs, DOE concludes that the new test procedures, which implement an efficacy metric for all covered CFLKs, will not increase compliance costs for small manufacturers of CFLKs.

    6. Description of the Steps Taken To Minimize Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities

    DOE considered alternatives to the test procedures for CFLKs with integrated SSL circuitry to determine if it was feasible to measure lamp efficacy rather that luminaire efficacy. Specifically, DOE explored the possibility of testing the consumer replaceable SSL light sources and drivers for CFLKs with integrated SSL circuitry rather than testing the entire CFLK. DOE explored the possibility of adopting LM-82-12 for CFLKs with integrated SSL circuitry. Such a method would potentially reduce testing costs (particularly if the same LED module and driver were used in multiple basic models of CFLKs) and would yield test procedures more analogous to the test procedures proposed for all other CFLK types. DOE has concluded that this approach is not technically feasible, however, because: (1) DOE cannot be certain that test results of the LED module and driver would accurately represent the performance of the system when it was installed in the CFLK because the CFLK could provide heat sinking to the LED module in a manner that affected performance; and (2) it is not clear that it would be possible to test for compliance without destructively altering the product being tested because in some CFLK designs, LED modules and drivers are highly integrated into the CFLK. Furthermore, DOE was not able to determine if such an approach would increase or decrease testing burden.

    DOE also considered alternatives to the new test procedures for measuring lamp efficacy. Specifically, DOE considered maintaining the current design standard that requires wattage limiters for certain types of CFLKs. As discussed previously, DOE concluded that the new test procedures would not increase compliance costs and are in fact more likely to decrease compliance cost because of the cost savings from eliminating wattage limiter costs.

    C. Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    Manufacturers of CFLKs must certify to DOE that their products comply with any applicable energy conservation standards. To certify compliance, manufacturers must first obtain test data for their products according to the DOE test procedures, including any amendments adopted for those test procedures. DOE has established regulations for the certification and recordkeeping requirements for all covered consumer products and commercial equipment, including CFLKs. See generally 10 CFR part 429. The collection-of-information requirement for certification and recordkeeping is subject to review and approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). This requirement has been approved by OMB under OMB control number 1910-1400. Public reporting burden for the certification is estimated to average 30 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information.

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

    D. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969

    In this final rule, DOE amends its test procedure for CFLKs to more accurately measure the energy consumption of these products. DOE has determined that this rule falls into a class of actions that are categorically excluded from review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and DOE's implementing regulations at 10 CFR part 1021. Specifically, this rule amends the existing test procedures without affecting the amount, quality, or distribution of energy usage, and, therefore, would not result in any environmental impacts. Thus, this rulemaking is covered by Categorical Exclusion A5 under 10 CFR part 1021, subpart D, which applies to any rulemaking that interprets or amends an existing rule without changing the environmental effect of that rule. Accordingly, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required.

    E. Review Under Executive Order 13132

    Executive Order 13132, “Federalism,” 64 FR 43255 (August 4, 1999) imposes certain requirements on agencies formulating and implementing policies or regulations that preempt State law or that have Federalism implications. The Executive Order requires agencies to examine the constitutional and statutory authority supporting any action that would limit the policymaking discretion of the States and to carefully assess the necessity for such actions. The Executive Order also requires agencies to have an accountable process to ensure meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have Federalism implications. On March 14, 2000, DOE published a statement of policy describing the intergovernmental consultation process it will follow in the development of such regulations. 65 FR 13735. DOE has examined this final rule and has determined that it would not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. EPCA governs and prescribes Federal preemption of State regulations as to energy conservation for the products that are the subject of this final rule. States can petition DOE for exemption from such preemption to the extent, and based on criteria, set forth in EPCA. (42 U.S.C. 6297(d)) No further action is required by Executive Order 13132.

    F. Review Under Executive Order 12988

    When reviewing existing regulations or promulgating new regulations, section 3(a) of Executive Order 12988, “Civil Justice Reform,” 61 FR 4729 (Feb. 7, 1996), imposes on Federal agencies the general duty to adhere to the following requirements: (1) Eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity; (2) write regulations to minimize litigation; (3) provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct rather than a general standard; and (4) promote simplification and burden reduction. Section 3(b) of Executive Order 12988 specifically requires that Executive agencies make every reasonable effort to ensure that the regulation: (1) Clearly specifies the preemptive effect, if any; (2) clearly specifies any effect on existing Federal law or regulation; (3) provides a clear legal standard for affected conduct while promoting simplification and burden reduction; (4) specifies the retroactive effect, if any; (5) adequately defines key terms; and (6) addresses other important issues affecting clarity and general draftsmanship under any guidelines issued by the Attorney General. Section 3(c) of Executive Order 12988 requires Executive agencies to review regulations in light of applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b) to determine whether they are met or it is unreasonable to meet one or more of them. DOE has completed the required review and determined that, to the extent permitted by law, the final rule meets the relevant standards of Executive Order 12988.

    G. Review Under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) requires each Federal agency to assess the effects of Federal regulatory actions on State, local, and Tribal governments and the private sector. Public Law 104-4, sec. 201 (codified at 2 U.S.C. 1531). For a regulatory action likely to result in a rule that may cause the expenditure by State, local, and Tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100 million or more in any one year (adjusted annually for inflation), section 202 of UMRA requires a Federal agency to publish a written statement that estimates the resulting costs, benefits, and other effects on the national economy. (2 U.S.C. 1532(a), (b)) The UMRA also requires a Federal agency to develop an effective process to permit timely input by elected officers of State, local, and Tribal governments on a proposed “significant intergovernmental mandate,” and requires an agency plan for giving notice and opportunity for timely input to potentially affected small governments before establishing any requirements that might significantly or uniquely affect small governments. On March 18, 1997, DOE published a statement of policy on its process for intergovernmental consultation under UMRA. 62 FR 12820; also available at http://energy.gov/gc/office-general-counsel. DOE examined this final rule according to UMRA and its statement of policy and determined these requirements do not apply because the rule contains neither an intergovernmental mandate nor a mandate that may result in the expenditure of $100 million or more in any year.

    H. Review Under the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999

    Section 654 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999 (Pub. L. 105-277) requires Federal agencies to issue a Family Policymaking Assessment for any rule that may affect family well-being. This rule would not have any impact on the autonomy or integrity of the family as an institution. Accordingly, DOE has concluded that it is not necessary to prepare a Family Policymaking Assessment.

    I. Review Under Executive Order 12630

    DOE has determined, under Executive Order 12630, “Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights” 53 FR 8859 (March 18, 1988), that this regulation would not result in any takings that might require compensation under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

    J. Review Under Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001

    Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001 (44 U.S.C. 3516 note) provides for agencies to review most disseminations of information to the public under guidelines established by each agency pursuant to general guidelines issued by OMB. OMB's guidelines were published at 67 FR 8452 (Feb. 22, 2002), and DOE's guidelines were published at 67 FR 62446 (Oct. 7, 2002). DOE has reviewed this final rule under the OMB and DOE guidelines and has concluded that it is consistent with applicable policies in those guidelines.

    K. Review Under Executive Order 13211

    Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use,” 66 FR 28355 (May 22, 2001), requires Federal agencies to prepare and submit to OMB, a Statement of Energy Effects for any significant energy action. A “significant energy action” is defined as any action by an agency that promulgated or is expected to lead to promulgation of a final rule, and that: (1) Is a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, or any successor order; and (2) is likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy; or (3) is designated by the Administrator of OIRA as a significant energy action. For any significant energy action, the agency must give a detailed statement of any adverse effects on energy supply, distribution, or use should the proposal be implemented, and of reasonable alternatives to the action and their expected benefits on energy supply, distribution, and use.

    This regulatory action to amend the test procedure for measuring the energy efficiency of CFLKs is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866. Moreover, it would not have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy, nor has it been designated as a significant energy action by the Administrator of OIRA. Therefore, it is not a significant energy action, and, accordingly, DOE has not prepared a Statement of Energy Effects.

    L. Review Under Section 32 of the Federal Energy Administration Act of 1974

    Under section 301 of the Department of Energy Organization Act (Pub. L. 95-91; 42 U.S.C. 7101), DOE must comply with section 32 of the Federal Energy Administration Act of 1974, as amended by the Federal Energy Administration Authorization Act of 1977. (15 U.S.C. 788; FEAA) Section 32 essentially provides in relevant part that, where a proposed rule authorizes or requires use of commercial standards, the notice of proposed rulemaking must inform the public of the use and background of such standards. In addition, section 32(c) requires DOE to consult with the Attorney General and the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) concerning the impact of the commercial or industry standards on competition.

    The final rule incorporates testing methods contained in the following commercial standards: IES LM-66-2014, “IES Approved Method Electrical and Photometric Measurements of Single-Ended Compact Fluorescent Lamps” and IES LM-79-2008, “IES Approved Method Electrical and Photometric Measurements of Solid-State Lighting Products.” The Department has evaluated these standards and is unable to conclude whether they fully comply with the requirements of section 32(b) of the FEAA, (i.e., that they were developed in a manner that fully provides for public participation, comment, and review). DOE has consulted with both the Attorney General and the Chairman of the FTC about the impact on competition of using the methods contained in these standards and has received no comments objecting to their use.

    M. Description of Materials Incorporated by Reference

    In this final rule, DOE is incorporating by reference the following industry standards: (1) IES LM-66-14 (“IES LM-66-14”), IES Approved Method for the Electrical and Photometric Measurements of Single-Based Fluorescent Lamps, and (2) IES LM-79-08 (“IES LM-79-08”), IES Approved Method for Electrical and Photometric Measurements of Solid-State Lighting Products. IES LM-66-14 and IES LM-79-08 are industry accepted test procedures for measuring the performance of single-based fluorescent lamps and solid-state lighting products, respectively. The test procedure in this final rule references various sections of IES LM-66-14 and IES LM-79-08, which specify the test apparatus, general instructions, and procedure for measuring system efficacy. The standards are readily available on the IES Web site at http://www.ies.org/store/.

    N. Congressional Notification

    As required by 5 U.S.C. 801, DOE will report to Congress on the promulgation of this rule before its effective date. The report will state that it has been determined that the rule is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    V. Approval of the Office of the Secretary

    The Secretary of Energy has approved publication of this final rule.

    List of Subjects 10 CFR Part 429

    Confidential business information, Energy conservation, Household appliances, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    10 CFR Part 430

    Administrative practice and procedure, Confidential business information, Energy conservation, Household appliances, Imports, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Small businesses.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on December 15, 2015. Kathleen B. Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, DOE amends parts 429 and 430 of Chapter II of Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations as set forth below:

    PART 429—CERTIFICATION, COMPLIANCE, AND ENFORCEMENT FOR CONSUMER PRODUCTS AND COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL EQUIPMENT 1. The authority citation for part 429 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 6291-6317.

    2. Section 429.33 is amended by revising paragraph (a) and adding paragraph (c) to read as follows:
    § 429.33 Ceiling fan light kits.

    (a) Determination of represented value. Manufacturers must determine represented values, which includes certified ratings, for each basic model of ceiling fan light kit in accordance with following sampling provisions.

    (1) The requirements of § 429.11 are applicable to ceiling fan light kits, and

    (2) For each basic model of ceiling fan light kit, the following sample size requirements are applicable to demonstrate compliance with the January 1, 2007 energy conservation standards:

    (i) For ceiling fan light kits with medium screw base sockets that are packaged with compact fluorescent lamps, determine the represented values of each basic model of lamp packaged with the ceiling fan light kit in accordance with § 429.35.

    (ii) [Reserved]

    (iii) For ceiling fan light kits with pin-based sockets that are packaged with fluorescent lamps, determine the represented values of each basic model of lamp packaged with the ceiling fan light kit in accordance with the sampling requirements in § 429.35.

    (iv) For ceiling fan light kits with medium screw base sockets that are packaged with incandescent lamps, determine the represented values of each basic model of lamp packaged with the ceiling fan light kit in accordance with § 429.27.

    (v) For ceiling fan light kits with sockets or packaged with lamps other than those described in paragraphs (a)(2)(i), (ii), (iii), or (iv) of this section, each unit must comply with the applicable design standard in § 430.32(s)(4) of this chapter.

    (3) For ceiling fan light kits required to comply with amended energy conservation standards, if established:

    (i) Determine the represented values of each basic model of lamp packaged with each basic model of ceiling fan light kit, in accordance with the specified section:

    (A) For compact fluorescent lamps, § 429.35;

    (B) For general service fluorescent lamps, § 429.27;

    (C) For incandescent lamps, § 429.27;

    (D) [Reserved]

    (E) For other fluorescent lamps (not compact fluorescent lamps or general service fluorescent lamps), § 429.35; and

    (F) [Reserved]

    (ii) Determine the represented value of each basic model of integrated SSL circuitry that is incorporated into each basic model of ceiling fan light kit by randomly selecting a sample of sufficient size and testing to ensure that any represented value of the energy efficiency of the integrated SSL circuitry basic model is less than or equal to the lower of:

    (A) The mean of the sample, where:

    ER24DE15.000

    and, x is the sample mean; n is the number of samples; and xi is the ith sample; Or,

    (B) The lower 95 percent confidence limit (LCL) of the true mean divided by 0.90, where:

    ER24DE15.001

    And x is the sample mean; s is the sample standard deviation; n is the number of samples; and t0.95 is the t statistic for a 95% one-tailed confidence interval with n-1 degrees of freedom (from appendix A to subpart B).

    (c) Rounding requirements. Any represented value of initial lamp efficacy of CFLKs as described in paragraph (a)(3)(i)(E); system efficacy of CFLKs as described in paragraph (a)(2)(iii); luminaire efficacy of CFLKs as described in paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of this section must be expressed in lumens per watt and rounded to the nearest tenth of a lumen per watt.

    PART 430—ENERGY CONSERVATION PROGRAM FOR CONSUMER PRODUCTS. 3. The authority citation for part 430 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 6291-6309; 28 U.S.C. 2461 note.

    4. Section 430.3 is amended by: a. Removing paragraph (m)(2); b. Redesignating paragraphs (m)(3), (m)(4) and (m)(5) as (m)(2), (m)(3) and (m)(4) respectively; c. Removing from paragraph (o)(2) “appendix R” and adding in its place, “appendices R, V, and V1”; d. Adding new paragraphs (o)(8) and (o)(9); e. Removing paragraph (v)(1); f. Redesignating paragraph (v)(2) as (v)(1) and reserving paragraph (v)(2).

    The additions read as follows:

    § 430.3 Materials incorporated by reference.

    (o) * * *

    (8) IES LM-66-14, (“IES LM-66-14”), IES Approved Method for the Electrical and Photometric Measurements of Single-Based Fluorescent Lamps, approved December 30, 2014; IBR approved for appendix V to subpart B.

    (9) IES LM-79-08, (“IES LM-79-08”), IES Approved Method for the Electrical and Photometric Measurements of Solid-State Lighting Products, approved December 31, 2007; IBR approved for appendix V1 to subpart B.

    5. Section 430.23 is amended by revising paragraph (x) to read as follows:
    § 430.23 Test procedures for the measurement of energy and water consumption.

    (x) Ceiling fan light kits. (1) For each ceiling fan light kit that is required to comply with the energy conservation standards as of January 1, 2007:

    (i) For a ceiling fan light kit with medium screw base sockets that is packaged with compact fluorescent lamps, measure lamp efficacy, lumen maintenance at 1,000 hours, lumen maintenance at 40 percent of lifetime, rapid cycle stress test, and time to failure in accordance with paragraph (y) of this section.

    (ii) [Reserved]

    (iii) For a ceiling fan light kit with pin-based sockets that is packaged with fluorescent lamps, measure system efficacy in accordance with section 4 of appendix V of this subpart.

    (iv) For a ceiling fan light kit with medium screw base sockets that is packaged with incandescent lamps, measure lamp efficacy in accordance with paragraph (r) of this section.

    (2) For each ceiling fan light kit that is required to comply with amended energy conservation standards, if established:

    (i) For a ceiling fan light kit packaged with compact fluorescent lamps, measure lamp efficacy, lumen maintenance at 1,000 hours, lumen maintenance at 40 percent of lifetime, rapid cycle stress test, and time to failure in accordance with paragraph (y) of this section for each lamp basic model.

    (ii) For a ceiling fan light kit packaged with general service fluorescent lamps, measure lamp efficacy in accordance with paragraph (r) of this section for each lamp basic model.

    (iii) For a ceiling fan light kit packaged with incandescent lamps, measure lamp efficacy in accordance with paragraph (r) of this section for each lamp basic model.

    (iv) [Reserved]

    (v) For a ceiling fan light kit packaged with other fluorescent lamps (not compact fluorescent lamps or general service fluorescent lamps), packaged with other SSL products (not integrated LED lamps) or with integrated SSL circuitry, measure efficacy in accordance with section 3 of appendix V1 of this subpart for each lamp basic model or integrated SSL basic model.

    6. Appendix V to subpart B of part 430 is revised to read as follows: Appendix V to Subpart B of Part 430—Uniform Test Method for Measuring the Energy Consumption of Ceiling Fan Light Kits With Pin-Based Sockets for Fluorescent Lamps

    Prior to June 21, 2016, manufacturers must make any representations with respect to the energy use or efficiency of ceiling fan light kits with pin-based sockets for fluorescent lamps in accordance with the results of testing pursuant to this Appendix V or the procedures in Appendix V as it appeared at 10 CFR part 430, subpart B, Appendix V, in the 10 CFR parts 200 to 499 edition revised as of January 1, 2015. On or after June 21, 2016, manufacturers must make any representations with respect to energy use or efficiency of ceiling fan light kits with pin-based sockets for fluorescent lamps in accordance with the results of testing pursuant to this appendix to demonstrate compliance with the energy conservation standards at 10 CFR 430.32(s)(3).

    Alternatively, manufacturers may make representations based on testing in accordance with appendix V1 to this subpart, provided that such representations demonstrate compliance with the amended energy conservation standards. Manufacturers must make all representations with respect to energy use or efficiency in accordance with whichever version is selected for testing.

    1. Scope: This appendix contains test requirements to measure the energy performance of ceiling fan light kits (CFLKs) with pin-based sockets that are packaged with fluorescent lamps.

    2. Definitions

    2.1. Input power means the measured total power used by all lamp(s) and ballast(s) of the CFLK during operation, expressed in watts (W) and measured using the lamp and ballast packaged with the CFLK.

    2.2. Lamp ballast platform means a pairing of one ballast with one or more lamps that can operate simultaneously on that ballast. Each unique combination of manufacturer, basic model numbers of the ballast and lamp(s), and the quantity of lamps that operate on the ballast, corresponds to a unique platform.

    2.3. Lamp lumens means a measurement of lumen output or luminous flux measured using the lamps and ballasts shipped with the CFLK, expressed in lumens.

    2.4. System efficacy means the ratio of measured lamp lumens to measured input power, expressed in lumens per watt, and is determined for each unique lamp ballast platform packaged with the CFLK.

    3. Test Apparatus and General Instructions:

    The test apparatus and instructions for testing pin-based fluorescent lamps packaged with ceiling fan light kits that have pin-based sockets must conform to the following requirements:

    Any lamp satisfying this description: must be tested on the lamp ballast platform packaged with the CFLK in accordance with the requirements of: Compact fluorescent lamp sections 4-6 of IES LM-66-14 (incorporated by reference, see § 430.3) Any other fluorescent lamp sections 4-7 of IES LM-9-09 (incorporated by reference, see § 430.3)

    4. Test Measurement and Calculations:

    Measure system efficacy as follows and express the result in lumens per watt:

    Lamp type Method Compact fluorescent lamp Measure system efficacy according to section 6 of IES LM-66-14 (incorporated by reference; see § 430.3). Use of a goniophotometer is not permitted. Any other fluorescent lamp Measure system efficacy according to section 7 of IES LM-9-09 (incorporated by reference; see § 430.3). Use of a goniophotometer is not permitted.
    7. Appendix V1 is added to subpart B of part 430 to read as follows: Appendix V1 to Subpart B of Part 430—Uniform Test Method for Measuring the Energy Consumption of Ceiling Fan Light Kits Packaged With Other Fluorescent Lamps (not Compact Fluorescent Lamps or General Service Fluorescent Lamps), Packaged With Other SSL Lamps (not Integrated LED Lamps), or With Integrated SSL Circuitry Note:

    Any representations about the energy use or efficiency of any ceiling fan light kit packaged with fluorescent lamps other than compact fluorescent lamps or general service fluorescent lamps, packaged with SSL products other than integrated LED lamps, or with integrated SSL circuitry made on or after the compliance date of any amended energy conservation standards must be based on testing pursuant to this appendix. Manufacturers may make representations based on testing in accordance with this appendix prior to the compliance date of any amended energy conservation standards, provided that such representations demonstrate compliance with the amended energy conservation standards.

    1. Scope: This appendix establishes the test requirements to measure the energy efficiency of all ceiling fan light kits (CFLKs) packaged with fluorescent lamps other than compact fluorescent lamps or general service fluorescent lamps, packaged with SSL products other than integrated LED lamps, or with integrated SSL circuitry.

    2. Definitions

    2.1. CFLK with integrated SSL circuitry means a CFLK that has SSL light sources, drivers, heat sinks, or intermediate circuitry (such as wiring between a replaceable driver and a replaceable light source) that are not consumer replaceable.

    2.2. Covers means materials used to diffuse or redirect light produced by an SSL light source in CFLKs with integrated SSL circuitry.

    2.3. Other (non-CFL and non-GSFL) fluorescent lamp means a low-pressure mercury electric-discharge lamp in which a fluorescing coating transforms some of the ultraviolet energy generated by the mercury discharge into light, including but not limited to circline fluorescent lamps, and excluding any compact fluorescent lamp and any general service fluorescent lamp.

    2.4. Other SSL products means an integrated unit consisting of a light source, driver, heat sink, and intermediate circuitry that uses SSL technology (such as light-emitting diodes or organic light-emitting diodes) and is consumer replaceable in a CFLK. The term does not include LED lamps with ANSI-standard bases. Examples of other SSL products include OLED lamps, LED lamps with non-ANSI-standard bases, such as Zhaga interfaces, and LED light engines.

    2.5. Solid-State Lighting (SSL) means technology where light is emitted from a solid object—a block of semiconductor—rather than from a filament or plasma, as in the case of incandescent and fluorescent lighting. This includes inorganic light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs).

    3. Test Conditions and Measurements

    For any CFLK that utilizes consumer replaceable lamps, measure the lamp efficacy of each basic model of lamp packaged with the CFLK. For any CFLK only with integrated SSL circuitry, measure the luminaire efficacy of the CFLK. For any CFLK that includes both consumer replaceable lamps and integrated SSL circuitry, measure both the lamp efficacy of each basic model of lamp packaged with the CFLK and the luminaire efficacy of the CFLK with all consumer replaceable lamps removed. Take measurements at full light output. Do not use a goniophotometer. For each test, use the test procedures in the table below. CFLKs with integrated SSL circuitry and consumer replaceable covers may be measured with their covers removed but must otherwise be measured according to the table below.

    Lighting technology Lamp or luminaire efficacy measured Referenced test procedure Other (non-CFL and non-GSFL) fluorescent lamps Lamp Efficacy IES LM-9-09, sections 4-7.* Other SSL products Lamp Efficacy IES LM-79-08, sections 2-9.2.* CFLKs with integrated SSL circuitry Luminaire Efficacy IES LM-79-08, sections 2-9.2. * (incorporated by reference, see § 430.3)
    8. Section 430.32 is amended by revising paragraphs (s)(2), (3), and (4) to read as follows:
    § 430.32 Energy and water conservation standards and their compliance dates.

    (s) * * *

    (2) Ceiling fan light kits manufactured on or after January 1, 2007 with medium screw base sockets must be packaged with medium screw base lamps to fill all sockets. These medium screw base lamps must—

    (i) Be compact fluorescent lamps that meet or exceed the following requirements or be as described in paragraph (s)(2)(ii) of this section:

    Factor Requirements Rated Wattage (Watts) & Configuration 1 Minimum Initial Lamp Efficacy (lumens per watt) 2 Bare Lamp: Lamp Power <15 45.0 Lamp Power ≥15 60.0 Covered Lamp (no reflector): Lamp Power <15 40.0 15≤Lamp Power <19 48.0 19≤Lamp Power <25 50.0 Lamp Power ≥25 55.0 With Reflector: Lamp Power <20 33.0 Lamp Power ≥20 40.0 Lumen Maintenance at 1,000 hours ≥ 90.0% Lumen Maintenance at 40 Percent of Lifetime ≥ 80.0% Rapid Cycle Stress Test Each lamp must be cycled once for every 2 hours of lifetime. At least 5 lamps must meet or exceed the minimum number of cycles. Lifetime ≥ 6,000 hours for the sample of lamps. 1 Use rated wattage to determine the appropriate minimum efficacy requirements in this table. 2 Calculate efficacy using measured wattage, rather than rated wattage, and measured lumens to determine product compliance. Wattage and lumen values indicated on products or packaging may not be used in calculation.

    (ii) Be light sources other than compact fluorescent lamps that have lumens per watt performance at least equivalent to comparably configured compact fluorescent lamps meeting the energy conservation standards in paragraph (s)(2)(i) of this section.

    (3) Ceiling fan light kits manufactured on or after January 1, 2007 with pin-based sockets for fluorescent lamps must use an electronic ballast and be packaged with lamps to fill all sockets. These lamp ballast platforms must meet the following requirements:

    Factor Requirement System Efficacy Per Lamp Ballast Platform in Lumens Per Watt (lm/w) ≥ 50 lm/w for all lamps below 30 total listed lamp watts. ≥ 60 lm/w for all lamps that are ≤ 24 inches and ≥ 30 total listed lamp watts. ≥ 70 lm/w for all lamps that are > 24 inches and ≥ 30 total listed lamp watts.

    (4) Ceiling fan light kits manufactured on or after January 1, 2009 with socket types other than those covered in paragraphs (s)(2) or (3) of this section, including candelabra screw base sockets, shall be packaged with lamps to fill all sockets and shall not be capable of operating with lamps that total more than 190 watts.

    [FR Doc. 2015-32283 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION 12 CFR Part 1026 RIN 3170-AA19 2013 Integrated Mortgage Disclosures Rule Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z); Correction AGENCY:

    Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; Official interpretations; Correction.

    SUMMARY:

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) is making technical corrections to Regulation Z (Truth in Lending) and the Official Interpretations of Regulation Z. These corrections republish certain provisions of Regulation Z and the Official Interpretations that were inadvertently removed from or not incorporated into the Code of Federal Regulations by the “Integrated Mortgage Disclosures Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z)” final rule (TILA-RESPA Final Rule).

    DATES:

    These corrections are effective on December 24, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Paul Ceja, Senior Counsel and Special Advisor, Office of Regulations, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 1700 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20552, at (202) 435-7700.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    In November 2013, pursuant to sections 1098 and 1100A of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act),1 the Bureau issued the TILA-RESPA Final Rule, combining certain disclosures that consumers receive in connection with applying for and closing on a mortgage loan.2 On January 20, 2015, the Bureau issued the “Amendments to the 2013 Integrated Mortgage Disclosures Rule Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) and the 2013 Loan Originator Rule Under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z)” final rule (Amendments).3 On July 21, 2015, the Bureau issued a final rule to delay the effective date of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule and Amendments to October 3, 2015, and to finalize certain technical amendments and corrections.4

    1 Public Law 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376, 2103-04, 2107-09 (2010).

    2 78 FR 79730 (Dec. 31, 2013). The TILA-RESPA Final Rule finalized a proposal the Bureau had issued on July 9, 2012, 77 FR 51116 (Aug. 23, 2012).

    3 80 FR 8767 (Feb. 19, 2015). The Amendments finalized a proposal the Bureau had issued on October 10, 2014, 79 FR 64336 (Oct. 29, 2014).

    4 80 FR 43911 (July 24, 2015). This rule finalized a proposal the Bureau had issued on June 24, 2015, 80 FR 36727 (June 26, 2015).

    The publication of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule in the Federal Register resulted in several unintended deletions of existing regulatory text from Regulation Z and the Official Interpretations (commentary) in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and, in one case, the omission of regulatory language in the TILA-RESPA Final Rule from the CFR. To correct the CFR, the Bureau is now republishing the deleted and omitted text, consistent with the Bureau's intent in the TILA-RESPA Final Rule.

    Specifically, this final rule makes the following corrections to reinsert existing regulatory text that was inadvertently deleted from Regulation Z and its commentary:

    • Amends § 1026.22(a)(5) to restore subparagraphs (i) and (ii).

    • Amends the commentary to § 1026.17 at paragraph 17(c)(1)-2 to restore subparagraphs i, ii, and iii.

    • Amends commentary paragraph 17(c)(1)-4 to restore subparagraphs i.A, and i.B.

    • Amends commentary paragraph 17(c)(1)-10 to restore introductory text and subparagraphs iii, iv, and vi.

    • Amends commentary paragraph 17(c)(1)-11 to restore subparagraphs i, ii, iii, and iv.

    • Amends commentary paragraph 17(c)(1)-12 to restore subparagraphs i, ii, and iii.

    • Amends commentary paragraph 17(c)(4)-1 to restore subparagraphs i and ii.

    • Amends commentary paragraph 17(g)-1 to restore subparagraphs i and ii.

    • Amends the commentary to § 1026.18 at paragraph 18(g)-4 to restore text to subparagraph i.

    This rule also amends the commentary to appendix D to Regulation Z to add paragraph 7 that had been included in the TILA-RESPA Final Rule published in the Federal Register but that was inadvertently omitted from the commentary to appendix D in the CFR.

    These technical corrections are non-substantive changes to the TILA-RESPA Final Rule. No changes have been made to the deleted or omitted text or any text of the TILA-RESPA Final Rule that has already been codified in the CFR. To eliminate confusion among interested persons, the Bureau is republishing all paragraphs containing the deleted and omitted text in their entirety.

    II. Basis for the Corrections

    The Bureau is issuing these technical corrections solely to correct the CFR. The Bureau finds that there is good cause to publish these corrections without seeking public comment, consistent with 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B). Public comment is unnecessary because the rule merely makes technical changes to ensure that the TILA-RESPA Final Rule appears in the CFR as the Bureau intended and because it corrects inadvertent, technical errors about which there is minimal, if any, basis for substantive disagreement. Additionally, the Bureau finds good cause to dispense with a 30-day delay of the effective date. See 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). With these corrections, the Bureau is only clarifying how the TILA-RESPA Final Rule should have been codified in the CFR, and preventing incorrect codification in the 2016 hard copy edition of the CFR, which incorporates CFR changes made prior to January 1, 2016. Therefore, the Bureau is publishing these corrections as a final rule that will be effective upon publication in the Federal Register because the need to implement the corrections immediately outweighs any need for providing additional time to comply with this rule.

    List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 1026

    Advertising, Consumer protection, Credit, Credit unions, Mortgages, National banks, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Savings associations, Truth in lending.

    Authority and Issuance

    For the reasons set forth above, the Bureau amends Regulation Z, 12 CFR part 1026, as set forth below:

    PART 1026—TRUTH IN LENDING (REGULATION Z) 1. The authority citation for part 1026 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 2601, 2603-2605, 2607, 2609, 2617, 3353, 5511, 5512, 5532, 5581; 15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.

    Subpart C—Closed End Credit 2. Section 1026.22 is amended by revising paragraph (a)(5) to read as follows:
    § 1026.22 Determination of annual percentage rate.

    (a) * * *

    (5) Additional tolerance for mortgage loans. In a transaction secured by real property or a dwelling, in addition to the tolerances applicable under paragraphs (a)(2) and (3) of this section, if the disclosed finance charge is calculated incorrectly but is considered accurate under § 1026.18(d)(1) or § 1026.38(o)(2), as applicable, or § 1026.23(g) or (h), the disclosed annual percentage rate shall be considered accurate:

    (i) If the disclosed finance charge is understated, and the disclosed annual percentage rate is also understated but it is closer to the actual annual percentage rate than the rate that would be considered accurate under paragraph (a)(4) of this section;

    (ii) If the disclosed finance charge is overstated, and the disclosed annual percentage rate is also overstated but it is closer to the actual annual percentage rate than the rate that would be considered accurate under paragraph (a)(4) of this section.

    3. In Supplement I to Part 1026—Official Interpretations, under Subpart C—Closed-End Credit: A. In Section 1026.17—General Disclosure Requirements: i. Under 17(c) Basis of Disclosures and Use of Estimates: a. Under Paragraph 17(c)(1), paragraphs 2,4,10,11, and 12 are revised. b. Under Paragraph 17(c)(4), paragraph 1 is revised. ii. Under 17(g) Mail or Telephone Orders—Delay in Disclosures, paragraph 1 is revised. B. In Section 1026.18—Content of Disclosures, under 18(g) Payment Schedule, paragraph 4 is revised. C. In Appendix D—Multiple-Advance Construction Loans, paragraph 7 is added.

    The revisions and addition read as follows:

    Supplement I to Part 1026—Official Interpretations Subpart C—Closed End Credit

    Section 1026.17—General Disclosure Requirements

    17(c) Basis of Disclosures and Use of Estimates Paragraph 17(c)(1)

    2. Modification of obligation. The legal obligation normally is presumed to be contained in the note or contract that evidences the agreement between the consumer and the creditor. But this presumption is rebutted if another agreement between the consumer and creditor legally modifies that note or contract. If the consumer and creditor informally agree to a modification of the legal obligation, the modification should not be reflected in the disclosures unless it rises to the level of a change in the terms of the legal obligation. For example:

    i. If the creditor offers a preferential rate, such as an employee preferred rate, the disclosures should reflect the terms of the legal obligation. (See the commentary to § 1026.19(b) for an example of a preferred-rate transaction that is a variable-rate transaction.)

    ii. If the contract provides for a certain monthly payment schedule but payments are made on a voluntary payroll deduction plan or an informal principal-reduction agreement, the disclosures should reflect the schedule in the contract.

    iii. If the contract provides for regular monthly payments but the creditor informally permits the consumer to defer payments from time to time, for instance, to take account of holiday seasons or seasonal employment, the disclosures should reflect the regular monthly payments.

    4. Consumer buydowns. In certain transactions, the consumer may pay an amount to the creditor to reduce the payments on the transaction. Consumer buydowns must be reflected as an amendment to the contract's interest rate provision in the disclosure of the finance charge and other disclosures affected by it given for that transaction. To illustrate, in a mortgage transaction, the creditor and consumer agree to a note specifying a 14 percent interest rate. However, in a separate document, the consumer agrees to pay an amount to the creditor at consummation in return for lower payments for a portion of the mortgage term. The amount paid by the consumer may be deposited in an escrow account or may be retained by the creditor. Depending upon the buydown plan, the consumer's prepayment of the obligation may or may not result in a portion of the amount being credited or refunded to the consumer. In the disclosure of the finance charge and other disclosures affected by it given for the mortgage, the creditor must reflect the terms of the buydown agreement.

    i. For example:

    A. The amount paid by the consumer is a prepaid finance charge (even if deposited in an escrow account).

    B. A composite annual percentage rate must be calculated, taking into account both interest rates, as well as the effect of the prepaid finance charge.

    C. The disclosures under §§ 1026.18(g) and (s), 1026.37(c), and 1026.38(c), as applicable, must reflect the multiple rate and payment levels resulting from the buydown, except as otherwise provided in those sections. Further, for example, the disclosures must reflect that the transaction is a step rate product under §§ 1026.37(a)(10)(B) and 1026.38(a)(5)(iii).

    ii. The rules regarding consumer buydowns do not apply to transactions known as “lender buydowns.” In lender buydowns, a creditor pays an amount (either into an account or to the party to whom the obligation is sold) to reduce the consumer's payments or interest rate for all or a portion of the credit term. Typically, these transactions are structured as a buydown of the interest rate during an initial period of the transaction with a higher than usual rate for the remainder of the term. The disclosure of the finance charge and other disclosures affected by it for lender buydowns should be based on the terms of the legal obligation between the consumer and the creditor. See comment 17(c)(1)-3 for the analogous rules concerning third-party buydowns.

    10. Discounted and premium variable-rate transactions. In some variable-rate transactions, creditors may set an initial interest rate that is not determined by the index or formula used to make later interest rate adjustments. Typically, this initial rate charged to consumers is lower than the rate would be if it were calculated using the index or formula. However, in some cases the initial rate may be higher. In a discounted transaction, for example, a creditor may calculate interest rates according to a formula using the six-month Treasury bill rate plus a 2 percent margin. If the Treasury bill rate at consummation is 10 percent, the creditor may forgo the 2 percent spread and charge only 10 percent for a limited time, instead of setting an initial rate of 12 percent.

    i. When creditors use an initial interest rate that is not calculated using the index or formula for later rate adjustments, the disclosures should reflect a composite annual percentage rate based on the initial rate for as long as it is charged and, for the remainder of the term, the rate that would have been applied using the index or formula at the time of consummation. The rate at consummation need not be used if a contract provides for a delay in the implementation of changes in an index value. For example, if the contract specifies that rate changes are based on the index value in effect 45 days before the change date, creditors may use any index value in effect during the 45 day period before consummation in calculating a composite annual percentage rate.

    ii. The effect of the multiple rates must also be reflected in the calculation and disclosure of the finance charge, total of payments, and the disclosures required under §§ 1026.18(g) and (s), 1026.37(c), 1026.37(l)(1) and (3), 1026.38(c), and 1026.38(o)(5), as applicable.

    iii. If a loan contains a rate or payment cap that would prevent the initial rate or payment, at the time of the first adjustment, from changing to the rate determined by the index or formula at consummation, the effect of that rate or payment cap should be reflected in the disclosures.

    iv. Because these transactions involve irregular payment amounts, an annual percentage rate tolerance of 1/4 of 1 percent applies, in accordance with § 1026.22(a)(3).

    v. Examples of discounted variable-rate transactions include:

    A. A 30-year loan for $100,000 with no prepaid finance charges and rates determined by the Treasury bill rate plus two percent. Rate and payment adjustments are made annually. Although the Treasury bill rate at the time of consummation is 10 percent, the creditor sets the interest rate for one year at 9 percent, instead of 12 percent according to the formula. The disclosures should reflect a composite annual percentage rate of 11.63 percent based on 9 percent for one year and 12 percent for 29 years. Reflecting those two rate levels, the payment schedule disclosed pursuant to § 1026.18(g) should show 12 payments of $804.62 and 348 payments of $1,025.31. Similarly, the disclosures required by §§ 1026.18(s), 1026.37(c), 1026.37(l)(1) and (3), 1026.38(c), and 1026.38(o)(5) should reflect the effect of this calculation. The finance charge should be $266,463.32 and, for transactions subject to § 1026.18, the total of payments should be $366,463.32.

    B. Same loan as above, except with a two-percent rate cap on periodic adjustments. The disclosures should reflect a composite annual percentage rate of 11.53 percent based on 9 percent for the first year, 11 percent for the second year, and 12 percent for the remaining 28 years. Reflecting those three rate levels, the payment schedule disclosed pursuant to § 1026.18(g) should show 12 payments of $804.62, 12 payments of $950.09, and 336 payments of $1,024.34. Similarly, the disclosures required by §§ 1026.18(s), 1026.37(c), 1026.37(l)(1) and (3), 1026.38(c), and 1026.38(o)(5) should reflect the effect of this calculation. The finance charge should be $265,234.76 and, for transactions subject to § 1026.18, the total of payments should be $365,234.76.

    C. Same loan as above, except with a 71/2 percent cap on payment adjustments. The disclosures should reflect a composite annual percentage rate of 11.64 percent, based on 9 percent for one year and 12 percent for 29 years. Because of the payment cap, five levels of payments should be reflected. The payment schedule disclosed pursuant to § 1026.18(g) should show 12 payments of $804.62, 12 payments of $864.97, 12 payments of $929.84, 12 payments of $999.58, and 312 payments of $1,070.04. Similarly, the disclosures required by §§ 1026.18(s), 1026.37(c), 1026.37(l)(1) and (3), 1026.38(c), and 1026.38(o)(5) should reflect the effect of this calculation. The finance charge should be $277,040.60, and, for transactions subject to § 1026.18, the total of payments should be $377,040.60.

    vi. A loan in which the initial interest rate is set according to the index or formula used for later adjustments but is not set at the value of the index or formula at consummation is not a discounted variable-rate loan. For example, if a creditor commits to an initial rate based on the formula on a date prior to consummation, but the index has moved during the period between that time and consummation, a creditor should base its disclosures on the initial rate.

    11. Examples of variable-rate transactions. Variable-rate transactions include:

    i. Renewable balloon-payment instruments where the creditor is both unconditionally obligated to renew the balloon-payment loan at the consumer's option (or is obligated to renew subject to conditions within the consumer's control) and has the option of increasing the interest rate at the time of renewal. Disclosures must be based on the payment amortization (unless the specified term of the obligation with renewals is shorter) and on the rate in effect at the time of consummation of the transaction. (Examples of conditions within a consumer's control include requirements that a consumer be current in payments or continue to reside in the mortgaged property. In contrast, setting a limit on the rate at which the creditor would be obligated to renew or reserving the right to change the credit standards at the time of renewal are examples of conditions outside a consumer's control.) If, however, a creditor is not obligated to renew as described above, disclosures must be based on the term of the balloon-payment loan. Disclosures also must be based on the term of the balloon-payment loan in balloon-payment instruments in which the legal obligation provides that the loan will be renewed by a “refinancing” of the obligation, as that term is defined by § 1026.20(a). If it cannot be determined from the legal obligation that the loan will be renewed by a “refinancing,” disclosures must be based either on the term of the balloon-payment loan or on the payment amortization, depending on whether the creditor is unconditionally obligated to renew the loan as described above. (This discussion does not apply to construction loans subject to § 1026.17(c)(6).)

    ii. “Shared-equity” or “shared-appreciation” mortgages that have a fixed rate of interest and an appreciation share based on the consumer's equity in the mortgaged property. The appreciation share is payable in a lump sum at a specified time. Disclosures must be based on the fixed interest rate. (As discussed in the commentary to § 1026.2, other types of shared-equity arrangements are not considered “credit” and are not subject to Regulation Z.)

    iii. Preferred-rate loans where the terms of the legal obligation provide that the initial underlying rate is fixed but will increase upon the occurrence of some event, such as an employee leaving the employ of the creditor, and the note reflects the preferred rate. The disclosures are to be based on the preferred rate.

    iv. Graduated-payment mortgages and step-rate transactions without a variable-rate feature are not considered variable-rate transactions.

    v. “Price level adjusted mortgages” or other indexed mortgages that have a fixed rate of interest but provide for periodic adjustments to payments and the loan balance to reflect changes in an index measuring prices or inflation. Disclosures are to be based on the fixed interest rate, except as otherwise provided in §§ 1026.18(s), 1026.37, and 1026.38, as applicable.

    12. Graduated payment adjustable rate mortgages. These mortgages involve both a variable interest rate and scheduled variations in payment amounts during the loan term. For example, under these plans, a series of graduated payments may be scheduled before rate adjustments affect payment amounts, or the initial scheduled payment may remain constant for a set period before rate adjustments affect the payment amount. In any case, the initial payment amount may be insufficient to cover the scheduled interest, causing negative amortization from the outset of the transaction. In these transactions, except as otherwise provided in §§ 1026.18(s), 1026.37(c), and 1026.38(c), the disclosures should treat these features as follows:

    i. The finance charge includes the amount of negative amortization based on the assumption that the rate in effect at consummation remains unchanged.

    ii. The amount financed does not include the amount of negative amortization.

    iii. As in any variable-rate transaction, the annual percentage rate is based on the terms in effect at consummation.

    iv. The disclosures required by § 1026.18(g) and (s) reflect the amount of any scheduled initial payments followed by an adjusted level of payments based on the initial interest rate. Since some mortgage plans contain limits on the amount of the payment adjustment, the disclosures required by § 1026.18(g) and (s) may require several different levels of payments, even with the assumption that the original interest rate does not increase. For transactions subject to § 1026.19(e) and (f), see § 1026.37(c) and its commentary for a discussion of different rules for graduated payment adjustable rate mortgages.

    Paragraph 17(c)(4)

    1. Payment schedule irregularities. When one or more payments in a transaction differ from the others because of a long or short first period, the variations may be ignored in disclosing the payment schedule pursuant to § 1026.18(g), the disclosures required pursuant to §§ 1026.18(s), 1026.37(c), or 1026.38(c), or the finance charge, annual percentage rate, and other terms. For example:

    i. A 36-month auto loan might be consummated on June 8 with payments due on July 1 and the first of each succeeding month. The creditor may base its calculations on a payment schedule that assumes 36 equal intervals and 36 equal installment payments, even though a precise computation would produce slightly different amounts because of the shorter first period.

    ii. By contrast, in the same example, if the first payment were not scheduled until August 1, the irregular first period would exceed the limits in § 1026.17(c)(4); the creditor could not use the special rule and could not ignore the extra days in the first period in calculating its disclosures.

    17(g) Mail or Telephone Orders—Delay in Disclosures.

    1. Conditions for use. Except for extensions of credit subject to § 1026.19(a) or (e) and (f), when the creditor receives a mail or telephone request for credit, the creditor may delay making the disclosures until the first payment is due if the following conditions are met:

    i. The credit request is initiated without face-to-face or direct telephone solicitation. (Creditors may, however, use the special rule when credit requests are solicited by mail.)

    ii. The creditor has supplied the specified credit information about its credit terms either to the individual consumer or to the public generally. That information may be distributed through advertisements, catalogs, brochures, special mailers, or similar means.

    Section 1026.18—Content of Disclosures 18(g) Payment Schedule

    4. Timing of payments. i. General rule. Section 1026.18(g) requires creditors to disclose the timing of payments. To meet this requirement, creditors may list all of the payment due dates. They also have the option of specifying the “period of payments” scheduled to repay the obligation. As a general rule, creditors that choose this option must disclose the payment intervals or frequency, such as “monthly” or “bi-weekly,” and the calendar date that the beginning payment is due. For example, a creditor may disclose that payments are due “monthly beginning on July 1, 1998.” This information, when combined with the number of payments, is necessary to define the repayment period and enable a consumer to determine all of the payment due dates.

    ii. Exception. In a limited number of circumstances, the beginning-payment date is unknown and difficult to determine at the time disclosures are made. For example, a consumer may become obligated on a credit contract that contemplates the delayed disbursement of funds based on a contingent event, such as the completion of repairs. Disclosures may also accompany loan checks that are sent by mail, in which case the initial disbursement and repayment dates are solely within the consumer's control. In such cases, if the beginning-payment date is unknown the creditor may use an estimated date and label the disclosure as an estimate pursuant to § 1026.17(c). Alternatively, the disclosure may refer to the occurrence of a particular event, for example, by disclosing that the beginning payment is due “30 days after the first loan disbursement.” This information also may be included with an estimated date to explain the basis for the creditor's estimate. See comment 17(a)(1)-5.iii.

    Appendix D—Multiple-Advance Construction Loans

    7. Relation to §§ 1026.37 and 1026.38. A creditor must disclose a projected payments table for certain transactions secured by real property, pursuant to §§ 1026.37(c) and 1026.38(c), instead of the general payment schedule required by § 1026.18(g) or the interest rate and payments summary table required by § 1026.18(s). Accordingly, some home construction loans that are secured by real property are subject to §§ 1026.37(c) and 1026.38(c) and not § 1026.18(g). See comment app. D-6 for a discussion of transactions that are subject to § 1026.18(s). Under § 1026.17(c)(6)(ii), when a multiple-advance construction loan may be permanently financed by the same creditor, the construction phase and the permanent phase may be treated as either one transaction or more than one transaction. Following are illustrations of the application of appendix D to transactions subject to §§ 1026.37(c) and 1026.38(c), under each of these two alternatives:

    i. If a creditor uses appendix D and elects pursuant to § 1026.17(c)(6)(ii) to disclose the construction and permanent phases as separate transactions, the construction phase must be disclosed according to the rules in §§ 1026.37(c) and 1026.38(c). Under §§ 1026.37(c) and 1026.38(c), the creditor must disclose the periodic payments during the construction phase in a projected payments table. The provision in appendix D, part I.A.3, which allows the creditor to omit the number and amounts of any interest payments “in disclosing the payment schedule under § 1026.18(g)” does not apply because the transaction is governed by §§ 1026.37(c) and 1026.38(c) rather than § 1026.18(g). The creditor determines the amount of the interest-only payment to be made during the construction phase using the assumption in appendix D, part I.A.1. Also, because the construction phase is being disclosed as a separate transaction and its terms do not repay all principal, the creditor must disclose the construction phase transaction as a product with a balloon payment feature, pursuant to §§ 1026.37(a)(10)(ii)(D) and 1026.38(a)(5)(iii), in addition to reflecting the balloon payment in the projected payments table.

    ii. If the creditor elects to disclose the construction and permanent phases as a single transaction, the repayment schedule must be disclosed pursuant to appendix D, part II.C.2. Under appendix D, part II.C.2, the projected payments table must reflect the interest-only payments during the construction phase in a first column, followed by the appropriate column(s) reflecting the amortizing payments for the permanent phase. The creditor determines the amount of the interest-only payment to be made during the construction phase using the assumption in appendix D, part II.A.1.

    Dated: December 15, 2015. Richard Cordray, Director, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2015-32463 Filed 12-21-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4810-AM-P
    FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY 12 CFR Parts 1200, 1202, 1203, 1204, 1209, 1215, 1263, and 1264 RIN 2590-AA79 Technical Amendments: FHFA Address and Zip Code Change AGENCY:

    Federal Housing Finance Agency.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is issuing this final rule as a technical change to correct regulatory references to FHFA's address and postal zip code.

    DATES:

    Effective December 24, 2015. For additional information, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Crystal Miller, [email protected], (202) 649-3079, Paralegal Specialist (not a toll-free number), Office of General Counsel, Federal Housing Finance Agency, Constitution Center, Eighth Floor (OGC), 400 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20219. The telephone number for the Telecommunications Device for the Hearing Impaired is (800) 877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background FHFA Headquarters Address Change

    In January 2012, FHFA moved to a new headquarters building in Southwest Washington, DC. As a result, the addresses for FHFA's former locations in Northwest Washington, DC, included in 12 CFR 1203.29, 1209.15(a), 1263.5(a)(2), and 1264.6(a) are now out-of-date. This final rule amends those regulations to replace the FHFA's former addresses with its current address, 400 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20219.

    FHFA Zip Code Change

    Effective November 1, 2015, all mail addressed to FHFA is being processed through a different mail processing facility. This facility change required that FHFA use a new zip code. As a result, the zip code in the addresses for the FHFA included in 12 CFR 1200.1(b), 1200.2(g), 1202.3(c), 1202.5(a), 1202.9(a), 1204.3(b), 1204.5(b)(2), 1209.102(a)(1), and 1215.7(b) are now out-of-date. This final rule amends those regulations to replace the FHFA's zip code, which changed from 20024 to 20219. The street address of 400 7th Street SW., Washington, DC remains the same.

    FHFA submitted a change-of-address request to the local United States Post Office to forward mail containing the old zip code; however, mail addressed with the zip code 20024 after November 1, 2015, may result in delayed delivery to all FHFA offices.

    II. Notice and Comment

    Pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), notice and comment are not required prior to the issuance of a final rule if an agency, for good cause, finds that “notice and public procedure thereon are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” 1 FHFA finds that public notice and comment on this final rule are unnecessary. The final rule's update of FHFA's address and postal zip code is purely a technical change to the Agency's regulations and provides FHFA's regulated entities, interested parties, and other members of the public with FHFA's current and accurate location and mailing address information. For these reasons, FHFA has good cause to conclude that advance notice and comment under the APA for this rulemaking are unnecessary.

    1 5 U.S.C. 553(b).

    III. Effective Date

    This final rule is effective on December 24, 2015. Pursuant to the APA, a final rule may be effective without 30 days advance publication in the Federal Register if an agency finds good cause and publishes its finding with the final rule.2 As described above, the updates made by this final rule to FHFA's physical addresses and zip code are technical changes and will have no substantive effect on FHFA's regulated entities, interested parties, or other members of the public. Therefore, the FHFA finds good cause to dispense with a delayed effective date.

    2 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3).

    IV. Regulatory Analysis Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA),3 an agency must prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis for all proposed and final rules that describes the impact of the rule on small entities, unless the head of an agency certifies that the rule will not have “a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.” However, the RFA applies only to rules for which an agency publishes a general notice of proposed rulemaking pursuant to the APA.4 As discussed above, the FHFA has determined for good cause that the APA does not require notice and public comment on this rule and, therefore, FHFA is not publishing a general notice of proposed rulemaking. Thus, the RFA does not apply to this final rule.

    3 5 U.S.C. 603.

    4 5 U.S.C. 603(a), 604(a).

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This final rule amends FHFA's address within two regulatory provisions (12 CFR 1263.5(a)(2) and 12 CFR 1264.6(a)) containing currently approved collections of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).5 The final rule does not substantively or materially modify the current, approved information collection.

    5 OMB Control Nos. 2590-0001 and 2590-0003.

    List of Subjects 12 CFR Part 1200

    Organization and functions (Government agencies), Seals and insignia.

    12 CFR Part 1202

    Appeals, Confidential Commercial Information, Disclosure, Exemptions, Fees, Final Action, Freedom of Information Act, Judicial review, Records, Requests.

    12 CFR Part 1203

    Administrative practice and procedure, Equal access to justice.

    12 CFR Part 1204

    Accounting, Amendment, Appeals, Correction, Disclosure, Exemptions, Fees, Records, Requests, Privacy Act, Social Security numbers.

    12 CFR Part 1209

    Administrative practice and procedure, Penalties.

    12 CFR Part 1215

    Administrative practice and procedure, Courts, Government employees, Records, Subpoenas, Testimony.

    12 CFR Part 1263

    Federal home loan banks, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    12 CFR Part 1264

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

    Accordingly, for reasons stated in the Supplementary Information and under the authority of 12 U.S.C. 4526, FHFA hereby amends subchapters A and D of chapter XII of title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    Subchapter A—Organization and Operations PART 1200—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 1200 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 552, 12 U.S.C. 4512, 12 U.S.C. 4526.

    §§ 1200.1 and 1200.2 [Amended]
    2. Part 1200 is amended by removing the zip code “20024” wherever it appears and adding “20219” in its place in §§ 1200.1(b) and 1200.2(g).
    PART 1202—[AMENDED] 3. The authority citation for part 1202 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Pub. L. 110-289, 122 Stat. 2654; 5 U.S.C. 301, 552; 12 U.S.C. 4526; E.O. 12600, 52 FR 23781, 3 CFR, 1987 Comp., p. 235; E.O. 13392, 70 FR 75373-75377, 3 CFR, 2006 Comp., p. 216-200.

    §§ 1202.3, 1202.5, and 1202.9 [Amended]
    4. Part 1202 is amended by removing the zip code “20024” wherever it appears and adding “20219” in its place in §§ 1202.3(c), 1202.5(a), and 1202.9(a).
    PART 1203—[AMENDED] 5. The authority citation for part 1203 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 4526, 5 U.S.C. 504.

    § 1203.29 [Amended]
    6. Section 1203.29 is amended by removing the phrase “1700 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20552” and adding “400 7th Street SW., Washington, DC 20219” in its place.
    PART 1204—[AMENDED] 7. The authority citation for part 1204 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 552a.

    §§ 1204.3 and 1204.5 [Amended]
    8. Part 1204 is amended by removing the zip code “20024” wherever it appears and adding “20219” in its place in §§ 1204.3(b) and 1204.5(b)(2).
    PART 1209—[AMENDED] 9. The authority citation for part 1209 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 554, 556, 557, and 701 et seq.; 12 U.S.C. 1430c(d); 12 U.S.C. 4501, 4502, 4503, 4511, 4513, 4513b, 4517, 4526, 4566(c)(1) and (c)(7), 4581-4588, 4631-4641; and 28 U.S.C. 2461 note.

    § 1209.15 [Amended]
    10. Remove the phrase “1700 G Street NW., Fourth Floor, Washington, DC 20552” and add “400 7th Street SW., Eighth Floor, Washington, DC 20219” in its place in § 1209.15(a).
    § 1209.102 [Amended]
    11. Remove the zip code “20024” and add “20219” in its place in § 1209.102(a)(1).
    PART 1215—[AMENDED] 12. The authority citation for part 1215 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 301; 12 U.S.C. 4526.

    § 1215.7 [Amended]
    13. Section 1215.7 is amended by removing the zip code “20024” and adding “20219” in its place in paragraph (b).
    Subchapter D—Federal Home Loan Banks PART 1263—[AMENDED] 14. The authority citation for part 1263 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1422, 1423, 1424, 1426, 1430, 1442, 4511, 4513.

    § 1263.5 [Amended]
    15. Section 1263.5 is amended by removing the phrase “1625 Eye Street NW., Washington, DC 20006” and adding “400 7th Street SW., Seventh Floor, Washington, DC 20219” in its place in paragraph (a)(2).
    PART 1264—[AMENDED] 16. The authority citation for part 1264 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

    § 1264.6 [Amended]
    17. Section 1264.6 is amended by removing the phrase “1625 Eye Street NW., Washington, DC 20006” and adding “400 7th Street SW., Seventh Floor, Washington, DC 20219” in its place in paragraph (a).
    Dated: December 17, 2015. Melvin L. Watt, Director, Federal Housing Finance Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2015-32199 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8070-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-1281; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-241-AD; Amendment 39-18346; AD 2015-25-08] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all The Boeing Company Model 777 airplanes. This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) indicating that the lap splices of the aft pressure bulkhead webs are subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD) on aging Model 777 airplanes that have accumulated at least 38,000 total flight cycles. This AD requires repetitive inspections for any crack in the aft webs of the radial lap splices of the aft pressure bulkhead, and, if necessary, corrective actions. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking in the aft webs of the radial lap splices of the aft pressure bulkhead; such cracking could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane, decompression of the cabin, and collapse of the floor structure.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective January 28, 2016.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of January 28, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P. O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-1281.

    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-2015-1281; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Eric Lin, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6412; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all The Boeing Company Model 777 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on May 12, 2015 (80 FR 27116). The NPRM was prompted by an evaluation by the DAH indicating that the lap splices of the aft pressure bulkhead webs are subject to WFD on aging Model 777 airplanes that have accumulated at least 38,000 total flight cycles. The NPRM proposed to require repetitive inspections for any crack in the aft webs of the radial lap splices of the aft pressure bulkhead, and, if necessary, corrective actions. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking in the aft webs of the radial lap splices of the aft pressure bulkhead; such cracking could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane, decompression of the cabin, and collapse of the floor structure.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM (80 FR 27116, May 12, 2015) and the FAA's response to each comment.

    FedEx Express stated:

    • All of its Boeing Model 777s would be affected.

    • The proposed inspection threshold and intervals would fit into its maintenance schedule.

    • The number of man-hours and elapsed time to accomplish the inspections would not impact the overall span-time of its maintenance schedule.

    • The proposed inspections do not require any special inspection techniques, training, or tooling.

    Request To Clarify Unsafe Condition

    Boeing requested that the unsafe condition statement in the NPRM (80 FR 27116, May 12, 2015) be revised to specify that the unsafe condition exists on aging airplanes, rather than new airplanes. Boeing stated that its analysis concluded that airplanes would have to accumulate at least 38,000 total flight cycles before the lap splices of the aft pressure bulkhead webs would be subject to WFD.

    We agree with Boeing's request and have revised the unsafe condition statement in the preamble and regulatory text of this final rule accordingly.

    Request To Exclude a Service Information Action

    American Airlines (AA) requested that the first action specified in step 3.B.5. of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-53A0078, dated December 5, 2014, be omitted from the requirements of the proposed AD (80 FR 27116, May 12, 2015). The action is to put the airplane back into a serviceable condition. AA stated that this action does not address the unsafe condition addressed by the proposed rule and that most operators would accomplish the proposed AD requirements during a maintenance visit. AA stated that in the context of a maintenance visit, returning the airplane to a serviceable condition immediately after completion of the inspections and any associated corrective actions would not be possible. AA indicated that an operator would wait until all of the maintenance items scheduled for that visit would have been completed before putting the airplane back into a serviceable condition.

    We agree with the commenter's statement that this action does not need to be required by this final rule; several other FAA regulations require restoring the airplane to a serviceable condition before further flight. However, the step of returning the airplane to a serviceable condition is not marked required for compliance (“RC”) in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-53A0078, dated December 5, 2014; therefore, as noted in paragraph (i)(4)(ii) of this AD, this step may be delayed using an accepted method in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an alternative method of compliance (AMOC). We have not changed this AD in this regard.

    Request for Clarification of Relationship Between the NPRM (80 FR 27116, May 12, 2015) and AD 2012-07-06, Amendment 39-17012 (77 FR 21429)

    Air New Zealand requested clarification regarding the relationship between the NPRM (80 FR 27116, May 12, 2015) and AD 2012-07-06, Amendment 39-17012 (77 FR 21429, April 10, 2012). Specifically, the commenter asked if the NPRM would supersede AD 2012-07-06; if the AMOC approval included in AD 2012-07-06 would be included in the NPRM; and if the proposed inspections in the NPRM should be done in lieu of or in addition to the existing inspections required by AD 2012-07-06.

    We agree with the commenter's request for clarification. This is a new AD applicable to all The Boeing Company Model 777 airplanes and requires repetitive inspections for cracking in the aft webs of the radial lap splices of the aft pressure bulkhead, and corrective actions if necessary. AD 2012-07-06, Amendment 39-17012 (77 FR 21429, April 10, 2012), is applicable to certain Model 777 airplanes and requires revising the maintenance program to update inspection requirements to detect fatigue cracking of principal structural elements throughout the airplane.

    An AMOC for AD 2012-07-06, Amendment 39-17012 (77 FR 21429, April 10, 2012), was issued so operators could use the corresponding compliance times and inspections specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-53A0078, dated December 5, 2014, for the inspection requirements for the corresponding locations specified in Boeing Model 777 Structural Significant Item 53-80-I13A and paragraphs (g) and (h) of AD 2012-07-06. The information regarding this AMOC is included in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-53A0078, dated December 5, 2014. Operators are required to accomplish the requirements in this new AD in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-53A0078, dated December 5, 2014. If the actions of this new AD are done, the requirements of AD 2012-07-06 are met only for areas inspected in accordance with Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-53A0078, dated December 5, 2014.

    Regarding the question about whether the AMOC approval included in AD 2012-07-06, Amendment 39-17012 (77 FR 21429, April 10, 2012), would be included in this AD, paragraph (i) of this AD contains the AMOC approval procedures for this AD. However, because the existing inspections required by AD 2012-07-06 are not sufficient to preclude WFD in this area, we have not included previous AMOCs issued for AD 2012-07-06 as AMOCs for this AD. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

    Conclusion

    We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD with the changes described previously and minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

    • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (80 FR 27116, May 12, 2015) for correcting the unsafe condition; and

    • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (80 FR 27116, May 12, 2015).

    We also determined that these changes will not increase the economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of this AD.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-53A0078, dated December 5, 2014. This service information describes procedures for inspections of the lap splices in the web of the aft pressure bulkhead for cracking, and corrective actions. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 193 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S. operators Inspection 9 work-hours × $85 per hour = $765 per inspection cycle $0 $765 per inspection cycle $147,645 per inspection cycle

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

    Authority for this Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

    (2) Is not a “significant rule” under 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.

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2015-25-08 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-18346; Docket No. FAA-2015-1281; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-241-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective January 28, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all The Boeing Company Model 777-200, -200LR, -300, -300ER, and 777F series airplanes, certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder indicating that the lap splices of the aft pressure bulkhead webs are subject to widespread fatigue damage on aging Model 777 airplanes that have accumulated at least 38,000 total flight cycles. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking in the aft webs of the radial lap splices of the aft pressure bulkhead; such cracking could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane, decompression of the cabin, and collapse of the floor structure.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspection of Lap Splice in the Web of the Aft Pressure Bulkhead

    Except as required by paragraph (h) of this AD: At the times specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-53A0078, dated December 5, 2014, do a medium frequency eddy current inspection for any cracking in the aft webs of the radial lap splices of the aft pressure bulkhead, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-53A0078, dated December 5, 2014. Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 8,400 flight cycles from the previous inspection. If any crack is found during any inspection required by this AD, do the applicable corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-53A0078, dated December 5, 2014. If a corrective action described in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-53A0078, dated December 5, 2014, specifies to contact Boeing for appropriate action: Before further flight, repair using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (i) of this AD.

    (h) Exception to Service Information Specifications

    Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-53A0078, dated December 5, 2014, specifies a compliance time “after the original issue date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after the effective date of this AD.

    (i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

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

    (4) For service information that contains steps that are labeled as Required for Compliance (RC), the provisions of paragraphs (i)(4)(i) and (1)(4)(ii) of this AD apply.

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

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

    (j) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact Eric Lin, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle ACO, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6412; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    (k) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-53A0078, dated December 5, 2014.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206 766 5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com.

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

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on December 10, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31715 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0625; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-044-AD; Amendment 39-18343; AD 2015-25-05] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2A12 (CL-601) and CL-600-2B16 (CL-601-3A, CL-601-3R, and CL-604 Variants) airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report of an aft equipment bay fire due to chafing and subsequent arcing of the integrated drive generator (IDG) power cables. Additionally, we have received several reports of broken support brackets of the hydraulic line. This AD requires a one-time inspection of the IDG power cables for chafing, and for any cracked or broken support bracket of the hydraulic line; and corrective actions if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct broken support brackets of the hydraulic lines, which could result in inadequate clearance between the IDG power cables and hydraulic lines and chafing of the IDG power cables, and consequent high energy arcing and an uncontrolled fire in the aft equipment bay.

    DATES:

    This AD becomes effective January 28, 2016.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of January 28, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2014-0625 or in person at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC.

    For service information identified in this AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; telephone 514-85-5000; fax 514-855-7401; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2014-0625.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-2A12 (CL-601) and CL-600-2B16 (CL-601-3A, CL-601-3R, and CL-604 Variants) airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on September 17, 2014 (79 FR 55673).

    Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), which is the aviation authority for Canada, has issued Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2014-05, dated January 20, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

    There has been one reported case on the CL-600-2B19 aeroplane of an aft equipment bay fire occurring due to arcing of chafed integrated drive generator (IDG) power cables. Additionally, the hydraulic line support brackets located at the fuselage station (FS) 672 and FS 682 on a CL-600-2B19 aeroplane could result in inadequate clearance between the IDG power cables and hydraulic lines, potentially resulting in chafing of the IDG power cables. Chafed IDG power cables can generate high energy arcing, which can result in an uncontrolled fire in the aft equipment bay.

    It was found that a similar configuration exists on models CL-600-2A12 and CL-600-2B16 aeroplanes. Therefore, a similar unsafe condition exists.

    This [Canadian] AD mandates the detailed visual inspection and, if required, rectification of the IDG power cables and hydraulic line support bracket.

    Required corrective actions include repair or replacement of the IDG power cable if any chafing is found, and replacement of any cracked or broken support bracket. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2014-0625-0003.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM (79 FR 55673, September 17, 2014) and the FAA's response to each comment.

    Request To Correct Typographical Error

    Bombardier asked that one of the service bulletin references identified in the “Relevant Service Information” section of the NPRM (79 FR 55673, September 17, 2014) be changed to correct a typographical error. Bombardier Service Bulletin “604-0625,” as identified in the “Relevant Service Information” section, should be identified as Bombardier Service Bulletin “601-0625.”

    We agree with the commenter for the reason provided, and we have changed this reference to correctly specify Bombardier Service Bulletin 601-0625 throughout this final rule.

    Request To Clarify Credit Provisions

    Bombardier asked that we clarify the language in paragraph (h) of the proposed AD, “Credit for Previous Actions.” Bombardier stated that the current language may cause some confusion because the content is not clear.

    We acknowledge the commenter's concern, and we provide the following clarification for the credit language used in paragraph (h) of this AD. Paragraph (h) of this AD matches the intent of the last two paragraphs in the “Corrective Actions” section of Canadian AD CF-2014-05, dated January 20, 2014. Both this FAA AD and the Canadian AD give credit for accomplishing Bombardier Service Bulletins 605-24-007, 604-24-026, and 601-0625, all dated September 18, 2012, but only if Service Request for Product Support Action (SRPSA) 27512, SRPSA 30806, SRPSA 32727, SRPSA 32864, or SRPSA 33161 has not been done.

    Clarification of Airplane Models

    We have included the airplane models identified in the service information in the “Related Service Information under 1 CFR part 51” section, and paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), and (g)(3) of this AD (79 FR 55673, September 17, 2014), for clarification.

    Conclusion

    We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD with the changes described previously and minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

    • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 55673, September 17, 2014) for correcting the unsafe condition; and

    • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 55673, September 17, 2014).

    We also determined that these changes will not increase the economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of this AD.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Bombardier has issued the following service information:

    • Bombardier Service Bulletin 605-24-007, Revision 01, dated January 13, 2014 (for Model CL-600-2B16 airplanes (CL-604 Variant));

    • Bombardier Service Bulletin 604-24-026, Revision 01, dated January 13, 2014 (for Model CL-600-2B16 airplanes (CL-604 Variant)); and

    • Bombardier Service Bulletin 601-0625, Revision 01, dated January 13, 2014 (for Model CL-600-2A12 (CL-601) and CL-600-2B16 airplanes (CL-601-3A and CL-601-3R Variants)).

    This service information describes procedures for a one-time inspection of the IDG power cables for chafing, and for any cracked or broken support bracket of the hydraulic line; and corrective actions if necessary. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 95 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We also estimate that it takes about 1 work-hour per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $8,075, or $85 per product.

    We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates for the on-condition repair of chafed power cables or cracked or broken support brackets, as specified in this AD.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2014-0625; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2015-25-05 Bombardier, Inc.: Amendment 39-18343; Docket No. FAA-2014-0625; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-044-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective January 28, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Bombardier, Inc. airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(2), and (c)(3) of this AD, certificated in any category.

    (1) Model CL-600-2A12 (CL-601) airplanes, serial numbers 3001 through 3066 inclusive.

    (2) Model CL-600-2B16 (CL-601-3A, CL-601-3R Variants) airplanes, serial numbers 5001 through 5194 inclusive.

    (3) Model CL-600-2B16 (CL-604 Variant) airplanes, serial numbers 5301 through 5665 inclusive, and 5701 through 5934 inclusive.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by a report of an aft equipment bay fire due to chafing and subsequent arcing of the integrated drive generator (IDG) power cables. Additionally, we have received several reports of broken support brackets of the hydraulic lines. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct broken support brackets of the hydraulic lines, which could result in inadequate clearance between the IDG power cables and hydraulic lines and chafing of the IDG power cables, and consequent high energy arcing and an uncontrolled fire in the aft equipment bay.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) One-Time Inspection and Corrective Actions

    Within 400 flight hours or 18 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first: Perform a one-time detailed inspection of the IDG power cables for chafing between the cables and the adjacent hydraulic and pneumatic lines, and for any cracked or broken support bracket of the hydraulic lines, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information identified in paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), and (g)(3) of this AD. If any chafing of the power cables or any cracked or broken support bracket is found, before further flight, repair or replace, as applicable, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information identified in paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), and (g)(3) of this AD.

    (1) Bombardier Service Bulletin 605-24-007, Revision 01, dated January 13, 2014 (for Model CL-600-2B16 airplanes (CL-604 Variant)).

    (2) Bombardier Service Bulletin 604-24-026, Revision 01, dated January 13, 2014 (for Model CL-600-2B16 airplanes (CL-604 Variant)).

    (3) Bombardier Service Bulletin 601-0625, Revision 01, dated January 13, 2014 (for Model Cl-600-2A12 (CL-601) and CL-600-2B16 airplanes (CL-601-3A and CL-601-3R Variants)).

    (h) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for action required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if the conditions specified in both paragraphs (h)(1) and (h)(2) of this AD are met.

    (1) The action was performed before the effective date of this AD using Bombardier Service Bulletin 605-24-007, Bombardier Service Bulletin 604-24-026, or Bombardier Service Bulletin 601-0625, all dated September 18, 2012. This service information is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (2) The action specified in Service Request for Product Support Action (SRPSA) 27512, SRPSA 30806, SRPSA 32727, SRPSA 32864, or SRPSA 33161 has not been done.

    (i) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), ANE-170, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the New York ACO, send it to ATTN: Program Manager, Continuing Operational Safety, FAA, New York ACO, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone 516-228-7300; fax 516-794-553. Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding district office. The AMOC approval letter must specifically reference this AD.

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

    (j) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Canadian Airworthiness Directive CF-2014-05, dated January 20, 2014, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2014-0625-0003.

    (2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (k)(3) and (k)(4) of this AD.

    (k) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Bombardier Service Bulletin 605-24-007, Revision 01, dated January 13, 2014.

    (ii) Bombardier Service Bulletin 604-24-026, Revision 01, dated January 13, 2014.

    (iii) Bombardier Service Bulletin 601-0625, Revision 01, dated January 13, 2014.

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

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

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington on December 8, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31604 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-0083; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-131-AD; Amendment 39-18347; AD 2015-25-09] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Model A330-200, A330-200 Freighter, and A330-300 series airplanes; and all Model A340-200 and A340-300 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports that a bracket that attaches the cockpit instrument panel to the airplane structure does not sustain the fatigue loads of the design service goal. This AD requires repetitive inspections of that bracket for cracking and to determine if both lugs are fully broken, an inspection for cracking of an adjacent bracket if necessary, and corrective actions if necessary. This AD also provides an optional modification, which terminates the repetitive inspections. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking on a bracket of the cockpit instrument panel, which, combined with failure of the horizontal beam, could lead to collapse of the cockpit panel, and reduced controllability of the airplane.

    DATES:

    This AD becomes effective January 28, 2016.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of January 28, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2015-0083; or in person at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations,M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC.

    For service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 45 80; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-0083.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Airbus Model A330-200, A330-200 Freighter, and A330-300 series airplanes; and all Model A340-200 and A340-300 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on February 13, 2015 (80 FR 7989).

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0127, dated May 15, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for certain Airbus Model A330-200, A330-200 Freighter, and A330-300 series airplanes; and all Model A340-200, and A340-300 series airplanes. The MCAI states:

    During flight tests, high stress levels have been measured on the bracket No 6 which attaches the cockpit instrument panel to the aeroplane structure, apparently introduced through the nose landing gear due to bumps on the runway. Airbus determined that the bracket does not sustain the fatigue loads during the Design Service Goal (DSG).

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, combined with failure of the horizontal beam, could lead to collapse of the cockpit panel, possibly resulting in reduced control of the aeroplane.

    To address this potential unsafe condition, Airbus developed a program to inspect the condition of the affected cockpit instrument panel bracket No 6, and designed a stronger (reinforced titanium undrilled) bracket. The new bracket can be installed in-service through Airbus Service Bulletin (SB) A330-25-3548 or SB A340-25-4354, as applicable to aeroplane type.

    For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires repetitive inspections of the cockpit instrument panel bracket No 6 and, depending on findings, the accomplishment of applicable corrective actions. This [EASA] AD also provides the installation of the stronger bracket as optional terminating action for the repetitive actions required by this [EASA] AD.

    The corrective actions include replacing bracket No. 6 and bracket No. 7 with serviceable parts, and repair, as applicable.

    You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2015-0083-0002.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We have considered the comment received. The following presents the comment received on the NPRM (80 FR 7989, February 13, 2015) and the FAA's response.

    Request To Identify Part Numbers in Paragraphs (g) and (h)

    Delta Airlines requested that paragraphs (g) and (h) of the proposed AD (80 FR 7989, February 13, 2015) be revised to specify the part numbers of the affected brackets. Delta suggested that paragraph (g) of the proposed AD be revised to include the part number after the reference to bracket No. 6 (part number (P/N) F2511012820000, pre-modification Number 55128S18242; and P/N F2511373420000, post-modification Number 55128S18242). Delta also requested that paragraph (h)(2) of the proposed AD be revised to include the part number after bracket No. 6 (P/N F2511012820000, pre-modification Number 55128S18242; and P/N F2511373420000, post-modification Number 55128S18242) and bracket No. 7 (P/N F2511012820000, pre-modification Number 55128S18242; and P/N F2511373420000, post-modification Number 55128S18242). Delta stated that Airbus Service Bulletin A330-25-3538, Revision 02, dated April 24, 2014, specifies to inspect only P/N F2511012820000, pre-modification Number 55128S18242, and P/N F2511373420000, post-modification Number 55128S18242, and identifies only those part numbers as “affected” brackets that are used on both bracket No. 6 and bracket No. 7.

    We agree to include the part numbers identified by the commenter in paragraphs (g) and (h)(2) of this AD. We have also included the part numbers in paragraphs (h)(1) and (h)(2)(i) of this AD. The “Reason/Description/Operational Consequences” section of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-25-3538, Revision 02, dated April 24, 2014, specifies to inspect P/N F2511012820000, pre-modification Number 55128S18242, and P/N F2511373420000, post-modification Number 55128S18242. Also, the Accomplishment Instructions of that service bulletin specify to replace P/N F2511012820000 or P/N F2511373420000, as applicable. We contacted Airbus for verification that only those part numbers are considered to be “affected” brackets and Airbus confirmed that only those part numbers are affected. The same affected and replacement parts are used on both Airbus Model A330-200, A330-200 Freighter, and A330-300 series airplanes; and A340-200 and A340-300 series airplanes.

    Additional Change to This AD

    A typographical error in paragraph (c)(1) of the proposed AD (80 FR 7989, February 13, 2015) has been corrected in this final rule. Paragraph (c)(1) of the proposed AD inadvertently included Model A330-313 airplanes instead of Model A330-343 airplanes. The SUMMARY section and preamble of the NPRM stated that the applicability included Model A330-300 series airplanes, which include Model A330-343 airplanes.

    Conclusion

    We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comment received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD with the changes described previously and minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

    • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (80 FR 7989, February 13, 2015) for correcting the unsafe condition; and

    • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (80 FR 7989, February 13, 2015).

    We also determined that these changes will not increase the economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of this AD.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus has issued the following service information.

    • Airbus Service Bulletin A330-25-3538, Revision 02, dated April 24, 2014, which provides procedures for inspection of cockpit instrument panel bracket 6.

    • Airbus Service Bulletin A330-25-3548, dated October 31, 2013, which provides procedures for replacement of cockpit instrument panel bracket 6 with a reinforced titanium bracket.

    • Airbus Service Bulletin A340-25-4351, Revision 01, dated January 31, 2014, which provides procedures for inspection of cockpit instrument panel bracket 6.

    • Airbus Service Bulletin A340-25-4354, dated October 31, 2013, which provides procedures for replacement of cockpit instrument panel bracket 6 with a reinforced titanium bracket.

    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.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 76 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We also estimate that it will take about 8 work-hours per product to comply with the basic requirements of this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $51,680, or $680 per product.

    We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates for the follow-on repairs specified in this AD.

    In addition, we estimate that any necessary replacements will take about 23 work-hours and require parts costing $0, for a cost of $1,955 per product. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these actions.

    We estimate that the optional modification will take about 9 work hours and require parts costing $1,770, for a cost of $2,535.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2015-0083; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2015-25-09 Airbus: Amendment 39-18347. Docket No. FAA-2015-0083; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-131-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD becomes effective January 28, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the Airbus airplanes, certificated in any category, identified in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this AD.

    (1) Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, -243, -223F, -243F, -301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes, all manufacturer serial numbers except those on which Airbus Modification 203287 has been embodied in production.

    (2) Model A340-211, -212, -213, -311, -312, and -313 airplanes, all manufacturer serial numbers.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 25, Equipment/Furnishings.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by reports that a bracket that attaches the cockpit instrument panel to the airplane structure does not sustain the fatigue loads of the design service goal. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking on a bracket of the cockpit instrument panel, which, combined with failure of the horizontal beam, could lead to collapse of the cockpit panel, and reduced controllability of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspection of Bracket No. 6 of the Cockpit Instrument Panel

    At the latest of the times specified in paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), and (g)(3) of this AD: Do a detailed inspection of bracket No. 6 (part number (P/N) F2511012820000, pre-modification Number 55128S18242; or P/N F2511373420000, post-modification Number 55128S18242) of the cockpit instrument panel for cracking and to determine if both bracket lugs are fully broken, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-25-3538, Revision 02, dated April 24, 2014; or Airbus Service Bulletin A340-25-4351, Revision 01, dated January 31, 2014; as applicable. Repeat the inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 2,600 flight cycles.

    (1) Prior to accumulating 17,200 total flight cycles since the airplane's first flight.

    (2) Prior to bracket No. 6 of the cockpit instrument panel accumulating 17,200 total flight cycles since installation on an airplane.

    (3) Within 500 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD.

    (h) Inspection and Corrective Actions

    (1) If, during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, any cracking of bracket No. 6 (P/N F2511012820000, pre-modification Number 55128S18242; or P/N F2511373420000, Post-modification Number 55128S18242) of the cockpit instrument panel is found, and both bracket lugs are not fully broken: Within 2,600 flight cycles after that inspection, replace bracket No. 6 of the cockpit instrument panel with a serviceable part, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-25-3538, Revision 02, dated April 24, 2014; or Airbus Service Bulletin A340-25-4351, Revision 01, dated January 31, 2014; as applicable. Replacement of bracket No. 6 (P/N F2511012820000, pre-modification Number 55128S18242; or P/N F2511373420000, post-modification Number 55128S18242) of the cockpit instrument panel does not constitute terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (g) of this AD.

    (2) If, during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, any cracking of bracket No. 6 (P/N F2511012820000, pre-modification Number 55128S18242; or P/N F2511373420000, Post-modification Number 55128S18242) of the cockpit instrument panel is found and both bracket lugs are fully broken: Before further flight, do a detailed inspection of bracket No. 7 (P/N F2511012820000, pre-modification Number 55128S18242; or P/N F2511373420000, Post-modification Number 55128S18242) of the cockpit instrument panel for cracking, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-25-3538, Revision 02, dated April 24, 2014; or Airbus Service Bulletin A340-25-4351, Revision 01, dated January 31, 2014; as applicable.

    (i) If, during the inspection required by paragraph (h)(2) of this AD, no cracking is found in bracket No. 7 of the cockpit instrument panel: Before further flight, replace bracket No. 6 and bracket No. 7 of the cockpit instrument panel with serviceable parts, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-25-3538, Revision 02, dated April 24, 2014; or Airbus Service Bulletin A340-25-4351, Revision 01, dated January 31, 2014; as applicable. Replacement of bracket No. 6 (P/N F2511012820000, pre-modification Number 55128S18242; or P/N F2511373420000, post-modification Number 55128S18242) of the cockpit instrument panel does not constitute terminating action for the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (g) of this AD.

    (ii) If, during the inspection required by paragraph (h)(2) of this AD, any cracking is found in bracket No. 7 of the cockpit instrument panel: Although Airbus Service Bulletin A330-25-3538, Revision 02, dated April 24, 2014; and Airbus Service Bulletin A340-25-4351, Revision 01, dated January 31, 2014; specify to contact Airbus for repair instructions, and specify that action as “RC” (Required for Compliance), repair the cracking before further flight using a repair method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Airbus's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA).

    (i) Optional Terminating Modification for Paragraph (g) of This AD

    Modifying an airplane by replacing bracket No. 6 of the cockpit instrument panel with a new, reinforced bracket, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Airbus Service Bulletin A330-25-3548, dated October 31, 2013; or Airbus Service Bulletin A340-25-4354, dated October 31, 2013; as applicable; terminates the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (g) of this AD.

    (j) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using the service information identified in paragraph (j)(1), (j)(2), or (j)(3) of this AD, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (1) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-25-3538, dated September 10, 2013.

    (2) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-25-3538, Revision 01, dated April 24, 2014.

    (3) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-25-4351, dated September 10, 2014.

    (k) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

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

    (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer, the action must be accomplished using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the EASA; or Airbus's EASA DOA. If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (3) Required for Compliance (RC): Except as required by paragraph (h)(2)(ii) of this AD, if Airbus Service Bulletin A330-25-3538, Revision 02, dated April 24, 2014; or Airbus Service Bulletin A340-25-4351, Revision 01, dated January 31, 2014; contain procedures or tests that are identified as RC, those procedures and tests must be done to comply with this AD; any procedures and tests that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those procedures and tests that are not identified as RC may be deviated from, using accepted methods in accordance with the operators maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the procedures and tests identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition. Any substitutions or changes to procedures or tests identified as RC require approval of an AMOC.

    (l) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0127, dated May 15, 2014, for related information. This MCAI may be found in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2015-0083-0002.

    (2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available at the addresses specified in paragraphs (m)(3) and (m)(4) of this AD.

    (m) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-25-3538, Revision 02, dated April 24, 2014.

    (ii) Airbus Service Bulletin A330-25-3548, dated October 31, 2013.

    (iii) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-25-4351, Revision 01, dated January 31, 2014.

    (iv) Airbus Service Bulletin A340-25-4354, dated October 31, 2013.

    (3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office—EAL, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 45 80; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.airbus.com.

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

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on December 9, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31714 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-0828; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-146-AD; Amendment 39-18341; AD 2015-25-03] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2013-23-03, which applies to certain The Boeing Company Model 747-100, 747-100B, 747-100B SUD, 747-200B, 747-200C, 747-200F, 747-300, 747-400, 747-400D, 747-400F, and 747SR series airplanes. AD 2013-23-03 required a detailed inspection of certain attach fittings for a cylindrical defect, and replacement if necessary. For certain airplanes, this new AD requires new inspections of the inboard actuator attach fittings for machining defects, and overhaul or replacement if necessary. This new AD also limits the compliance time for doing the replacement for certain other airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report that a machining defect was also found on some of the actuator assemblies inspected during manufacture. This defect could lead to fatigue cracking and subsequent fracture. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct defective inboard actuator attach fittings which, combined with loss of the outboard actuator load path, could result in uncontrolled retraction of the outboard flap, damage to flight control systems, and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane.

    DATES:

    This AD is effective January 28, 2016.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of January 28, 2016.

    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain other publication listed in this AD as of November 29, 2013 (78 FR 68345, November 14, 2013).

    ADDRESSES:

    For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-0828.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.govby searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-0828; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Nathan Weigand, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6428; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2013-23-03, Amendment 39-17658 (78 FR 68345, November 14, 2013). AD 2013-23-03 applied to certain The Boeing Company Model 747-100, 747-100B, 747-100B SUD, 747-200B, 747-200C, 747-200F, 747-300, 747-400, 747-400D, 747-400F, and 747SR series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on April 15, 2015 (80 FR 20178). The NPRM was prompted by a report that a machining defect was also found on some of the actuator assemblies inspected during manufacture. The NPRM proposed to continue to require doing a detailed inspection of certain attach fittings for a cylindrical defect and replacing if necessary. This defect could lead to fatigue cracking and subsequent fracture. For certain airplanes, the NPRM proposed to mandate new inspections of the inboard actuator attach fittings for machining defects, and overhaul or replacement, if necessary. The NPRM also proposed to limit the compliance time for doing the replacement for certain other airplanes. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct defective inboard actuator attach fittings which, combined with loss of the outboard actuator load path, could result in uncontrolled retraction of the outboard flap, damage to flight control systems, and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM (80 FR 20178, April 15, 2015) and the FAA's response to each comment.

    Request to Add Terminating Action

    Boeing asked that we revise the NPRM (80 FR 20178, April 15, 2015) to specify that no additional action is required for a wall thickness of 0.140 inch or greater with no machining defect present, as also provided in Table 1 of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, Revision 1, dated June 23, 2014.

    We agree with the commenter that no additional action is required for a wall thickness of 0.140 inch or greater with no machining defect present. However, we do not agree with the request to revise the AD because if this condition exists, no action is required by this AD. Only actions that are required to address the identified unsafe condition are specified in this AD. We have made no change to the AD in this regard.

    Request to Revise Certain Requirements

    Paragraph (k) of the proposed AD (80 FR 20178, April 15, 2015) would have affected certain inboard actuator attach fittings that were inspected using Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, dated September 12, 2013. United Airlines (UAL) requested that we remove this inspection criterion. UAL noted that there was no requirement to identify the actuators; therefore, operators would not be likely to positively identify them. UAL added that actuators are not likely to be tracked in position, and could have been moved between airplanes as a result of maintenance. UAL also stated that, in general, it would be better if the AD as a whole was worded not to depend on a record of previous inspection accomplishment, but rather on parts identification.

    We acknowledge the commenter's concerns. We realize that paragraph (k) of this AD is predicated on the fact that operators kept records from the inspection specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, dated September 12, 2013. The intent of this AD is to either replace inboard actuator attach fittings having part number (P/N) 65B08564-7, or to inspect P/N 65B08564-7 for cylindrical defects, machining defects, and wall thickness, and accomplish applicable corrective actions. For that reason we have changed the introductory text of paragraph (k) of this AD so that it applies to airplanes on which doing the detailed inspection required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD was done before the effective date of this AD and a cylindrical defect was found but a replacement was not done. We have also revised paragraph (k)(1) of this AD to require an ultrasonic inspection to determine the minimum thickness or mechanically determine the minimum thickness and to allow a records review for the inspections. This change ensures all inspections are done on airplanes with P/N 65B08564-7 that did not replace P/N 65B08564-7 after complying with AD 2013-23-03, Amendment 39-17658 (78 FR 68345, November 14, 2013).

    To address airplanes on which inboard actuator attach fittings were replaced after complying with paragraph (h)(1) of AD 2013-23-03, Amendment 39-17658 (78 FR 68345, November 14, 2013), we have added new paragraph (m) to this AD, which specifies that for airplanes on which the detailed inspection required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD is done before the effective date of this AD and the inboard actuator attach fitting has been replaced since that inspection, the inspection to determine the part number specified in paragraph (g) of this AD must be done within 90 days after the effective date of this AD, and the applicable actions specified in paragraphs (h), (i), and (j) of this AD must be done within the applicable times specified in paragraphs (h), (i), and (j) of this AD. We have also added a records review as an option if records are available that can conclusively determine the part number. We redesignated subsequent paragraphs accordingly.

    Request to Add Inspection

    UAL stated that the actions specified in paragraph (l) of the proposed AD (80 FR 20178, April 15, 2015) would also depend on the record of findings from inspections made in accordance with AD 2013-23-03, Amendment 39-17658 (78 FR 68345, November 14, 2013). UAL added that there was no AD requirement to record these findings. UAL noted that operators conducted the inspections and took actions that were required. UAL stated that it would be better to call out a new inspection in the AD to determine which condition the actuator is in, and then take action as appropriate.

    We acknowledge the commenter's concerns. We have revised paragraph (l) of this AD to specify that no actuator attach fitting having P/N 65B08564-7 may be installed on any airplane unless the inspection specified in paragraph (h)(1) of this AD is done prior to installation and the applicable actions specified in paragraphs (i) and (j) of this AD are done within the applicable times specified in paragraphs (i) and (j) of this AD. We have also added a records review as an option if records are available that can conclusively determine if the actions have been done.

    Change to Paragraph (h)(2) of the Proposed AD ((80 FR 20178, April 15, 2015)

    We have revised paragraph (h)(2) of this AD by referring to Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, Revision 1, dated June 23, 2014, as an appropriate source of service information for accomplishing the required actions.

    Conclusion

    We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD with the change described previously and minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

    • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (80 FR 20178, April 15, 2015) for correcting the unsafe condition; and

    • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (80 FR 20178, April 15, 2015).

    We also determined that this change will not increase the economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of this AD.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, dated September 12, 2013; and Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, Revision 1, dated June 23, 2014. The service information describes procedures for new inspections of the inboard actuator attach fittings for machining defects, and overhaul or replacement, if necessary. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 184 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Retained inspection for part number in AD 2013-23-03, Amendment 39-17658 (78 FR 68345, November 14, 2013) 7 work-hours × $85 per hour = $595 $0 $595 $109,480 New proposed inspections for machining defect 8 work-hours × $85 per hour = $680 0 680 $125,120 Replacement for airplanes without any defect 6 work-hours × $85 per hour = $510 13,720 14,230 $14,230 per airplane

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

    (2) Is not a “significant rule” under 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.

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2013-23-03, Amendment 39-17658 (78 FR 68345, November 14, 2013), and adding the following new AD: 2015-25-03 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-18341; Docket No. FAA-2015-0828; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-146-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective January 28, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2013-23-03, Amendment 39-17658 (78 FR 68345, November 14, 2013).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 747-100, 747-100B, 747-100B SUD, 747-200B, 747-200C, 747-200F, 747-300, 747-400, 747-400D, 747-400F, and 747SR series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, Revision 1, dated June 23, 2014.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 57, Wings.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report of the fracture of an inboard actuator attach fitting of the outboard flap. An inspection of the attach fitting revealed that it was incorrectly machined with a cylindrical profile instead of a conical profile, resulting in reduced wall thickness. A machining defect was also found on some actuator assemblies inspected during manufacture at the point where the tapered machining transitioned to the hemispherical machining at the top of the inner surface. This defect could lead to fatigue cracking and subsequent fracture. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct defective inboard actuator attach fittings which, combined with loss of the outboard actuator load path, could result in uncontrolled retraction of the outboard flap, damage to flight control systems, and consequent reduced controllability of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Retained Part Number Inspection With Revised Service Information

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (g) of AD 2013-23-03, Amendment 39-17658 (78 FR 68345, November 14, 2013), with revised service information. Within 90 days after November 29, 2013 (the effective date of AD 2013-23-03): Inspect to determine the part number of the inboard actuator attach fittings of the outboard flaps, in accordance with Part 1 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, dated September 12, 2013; or Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, Revision 1, dated June 23, 2014. As of the effective date of this AD, only Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, Revision 1, dated June 23, 2014, may be used.

    (h) Retained Actions for Certain Attach Fittings With Revised Service Information

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (h) of AD 2013-23-03, Amendment 39-17658 (78 FR 68345, November 14, 2013), with revised service information. If, during the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, any inboard actuator attach fitting having part number (P/N) 65B08564-7 is found, before further flight, do the actions specified in paragraph (h)(1) or (h)(2) of this AD.

    (1) Do a detailed inspection of the inboard actuator attach fitting for a cylindrical defect, in accordance with Part 2 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, dated September 12, 2013; or Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, Revision 1, dated June 23, 2014. As of the effective date of this AD, only Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, Revision 1, dated June 23, 2014, may be used. For airplanes on which the detailed inspection is done before the effective date of this AD: If any cylindrical defect is found, before further flight, do the actions specified in paragraph (h)(1)(i) or (h)(1)(ii) of this AD.

    (i) Do a minimum thickness inspection of the inboard actuator attach fitting to determine minimum wall thickness of the actuator fitting assembly, in accordance with Part 3 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, dated September 12, 2013; or Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, Revision 1, dated June 23, 2014. If the minimum thickness of the wall is less than 0.130 inch: Before further flight, replace the inboard actuator attach fitting of the outboard flap, in accordance with Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, dated September 12, 2013.

    (ii) Replace the inboard actuator attach fitting of the outboard flap, in accordance with Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, dated September 12, 2013.

    (2) Replace the inboard actuator attach fitting of the outboard flap, in accordance with Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, dated September 12, 2013; or Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, Revision 1, dated June 23, 2014. As of the effective date of this AD, only Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, Revision 1, dated June 23, 2014, may be used.

    (i) New Actions for Certain Airplanes on Which Any Cylindrical Defect Is Found

    For airplanes on which the detailed inspection required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD is done on or after the effective date of this AD: If any cylindrical defect is found during any inspection required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD, before further flight, do the actions specified in paragraph (i)(1) or (i)(2) of this AD.

    (1) Determine the minimum wall thickness of the actuator attach fitting either by doing an ultrasonic inspection or by mechanically measuring the thickness and do a detailed inspection of the inner conical section to determine if the machining defect is present, in accordance with Part 3 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, Revision 1, dated June 23, 2014.

    (i) If the minimum thickness of the wall is less than 0.130 inch: Before further flight, replace the inboard actuator attach fitting of the outboard flap, in accordance with Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, Revision 1, dated June 23, 2014.

    (ii) If the minimum thickness of the wall is 0.140 inch or greater and the machining defect is present, before further flight, do the actions specified in paragraph (i)(1)(ii)(A) or (i)(1)(ii)(B) of this AD.

    (A) Overhaul the inboard actuator attach fitting of the outboard flap, in accordance with Part 5 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, Revision 1, dated June 23, 2014.

    (B) Replace the inboard actuator attach fitting of the outboard flap, in accordance with Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, Revision 1, dated June 23, 2014.

    (iii) If the minimum thickness of the wall is 0.130 inch or greater and less than 0.140 inch and the machining defect is not present, within 48 months or 3,000 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, replace the inboard actuator attach fitting of the outboard flap, in accordance with Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, Revision 1, dated June 23, 2014.

    (iv) If the minimum thickness of the wall is 0.130 inch or greater and less than 0.140 inch and the machining defect is present, before further flight, replace the inboard actuator attach fitting of the outboard flap, in accordance with Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, Revision 1, dated June 23, 2014.

    (2) Replace the inboard actuator attach fitting of the outboard flap, in accordance with Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, Revision 1, dated June 23, 2014.

    (j) New Actions for Airplanes on Which No Cylindrical Defects Are Found

    If no cylindrical defect is found during any inspection required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD, within 24 months after the effective date of this AD, do the actions specified in paragraph (j)(1) or (j)(2) of this AD.

    (1) Determine the minimum wall thickness of the actuator attach fitting either by doing an ultrasonic inspection or by mechanically measuring the thickness and do a detailed inspection of the inner conical section to determine if the machining defect is present, in accordance with Part 3 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, Revision 1, dated June 23, 2014.

    (i) If the minimum thickness of the wall is less than 0.130 inch: Before further flight, replace the inboard actuator attach fitting of the outboard flap, in accordance with Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747 57A2443, Revision 1, dated June 23, 2014.

    (ii) If the minimum thickness of the wall is 0.140 inch or greater and the machining defect is present, before further flight, do the actions specified in paragraph (j)(1)(ii)(A) or (j)(1)(ii)(B) of this AD.

    (A) Overhaul the inboard actuator attach fitting of the outboard flap, in accordance with Part 5 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, Revision 1, dated June 23, 2014.

    (B) Replace the inboard actuator attach fitting of the outboard flap, in accordance with Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, Revision 1, dated June 23, 2014.

    (iii) If the minimum thickness of the wall is 0.130 inch or greater and less than 0.140 inch and the machining defect is not present, within 48 months or 3,000 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, replace the inboard actuator attach fitting of the outboard flap, in accordance with Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, Revision 1, dated June 23, 2014.

    (iv) If the minimum thickness of the wall is 0.130 inch or greater and less than 0.140 inch and the machining defect is present, before further flight, replace the inboard actuator attach fitting of the outboard flap, in accordance with Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, Revision 1, dated June 23, 2014

    (2) Replace the inboard actuator attach fitting of the outboard flap, in accordance with Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, Revision 1, dated June 23, 2014.

    (k) New Inspection or Replacement for Certain Fittings That Were Previously Inspected

    For airplanes on which the detailed inspection required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD is done before the effective date of this AD, except as required by paragraph (m) of this AD: If any cylindrical defect is found during any inspection required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD and the replacement of the inboard actuator attach fitting of the outboard flap was not done as specified in Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, within 24 months after the effective date of this AD, do the actions specified in paragraph (k)(1) or (k)(2) of this AD.

    (1) Do a detailed inspection of the inner conical section for machining defects and do an ultrasonic inspection to determine the minimum thickness or mechanically determine the minimum thickness, in accordance with Part 3 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, Revision 1, dated June 23, 2014. A review of airplane maintenance records, if available, is acceptable to determine the wall thickness and to determine if there are machining defects, provided wall thickness and machining defects can be positively determined from the records review.

    (i) If any machining defect is found and the minimum thickness of the wall is 0.140 inch or greater: Before further flight, do the actions specified in paragraph (k)(1)(i)(A) or (k)(1)(i)(B) of this AD.

    (A) Overhaul the inboard actuator attach fitting of the outboard flap, in accordance with Part 5 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, Revision 1, dated June 23, 2014.

    (B) Replace the inboard actuator attach fitting of the outboard flap, in accordance with Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, Revision 1, dated June 23, 2014.

    (ii) If any machining defect is found and the minimum thickness of the wall is 0.130 inch or greater and less than 0.140 inch: Before further flight, replace the inboard actuator attach fitting of the outboard flap, in accordance with Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, Revision 1, dated June 23, 2014.

    (iii) If no machining defect is found and the minimum thickness of the wall is 0.130 inch or greater and less than 0.140 inch: Within 48 months or 3,000 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs first, replace the inboard actuator attach fitting of the outboard flap, in accordance with Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, Revision 1, dated June 23, 2014.

    (iv) If a machining defect is or is not found and the minimum thickness of the wall is less than 0.130 inch: Before further flight, replace the inboard actuator attach fitting of the outboard flap, in accordance with Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, Revision 1, dated June 23, 2014.

    (2) Replace the inboard actuator attach fitting of the outboard flap, in accordance with Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, Revision 1, dated June 23, 2014.

    (l) Parts Installation Limitation

    As of the effective date of this AD, no actuator attach fitting having P/N 65B08564-7 may be installed on any airplane unless the inspection specified in paragraph (h)(1) of this AD is done prior to installation and the applicable actions specified in paragraphs (i) and (j) of this AD are done within the applicable times specified in paragraphs (i) and (j) of this AD. A review of airplane maintenance records, if available, is acceptable to determine if the inspection and applicable actions have been done, provided the inspection and actions can be positively determined from the records review.

    (m) Action for Parts Installed After AD 2013-23-03, Amendment 39-17658 (78 FR 68345, November 14, 2013) Was Accomplished

    For airplanes on which the detailed inspection required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD is done before the effective date of this AD and the inboard actuator attach fitting was replaced since that inspection: Within 90 days after the effective date of this AD, inspect to determine the part number of the inboard actuator attach fittings of the outboard flaps and, for inboard actuator attach fittings having P/N 65B08564-7, do the applicable actions specified in paragraphs (h), (i), and (j) of this AD within the applicable times specified in paragraphs (h), (i), and (j) of this AD. A review of airplane maintenance records, if available, is acceptable to determine the part number, provided the part number can be positively determined from the records review.

    (n) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

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

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

    (5) AMOCs approved for AD 2013-23-03, Amendment 39-17658 (78 FR 68345, November 14, 2013) are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of this AD.

    (o) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact Nathan Weigand, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6428; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    (p) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (3) The following service information was approved for IBR on January 28, 2016.

    (i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, Revision 1, dated June 23, 2014.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (4) The following service information was approved for IBR on November 29, 2013 (78 FR 68345, November 14, 2013).

    (i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-57A2443, dated September 12, 2013.

    (ii) Reserved.

    (5) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P. O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com.

    (6) 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.

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on November 24, 2015. Jeffrey E. Duven, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate,Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30881 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION 17 CFR Part 1 RIN 3038-AE23 Records of Commodity Interest and Related Cash or Forward Transactions AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “Commission” or “CFTC”) is amending Commission Regulation 1.35(a) to: Provide that all records required to be maintained under this regulation must be maintained in a form and manner which permits prompt, accurate and reliable location, access, and retrieval of any particular record, data, or information; clarify that all records, except records of oral and written communications leading to the execution of a commodity interest transaction and related cash or forward transactions, must be kept in a form and manner that allows for identification of a particular transaction; exclude members of designated contract markets (“DCMs”) and of swap execution facilities (“SEFs”) that are not registered or required to register with the Commission (“Unregistered Members”) from the requirements to keep written communications that lead to the execution of a commodity interest transaction and related cash or forward transactions, keep text messages, and keep records in a particular form and manner; and exclude commodity trading advisors (“CTAs”) from the oral recordkeeping requirement (“Final Rule”).

    DATES:

    Effective December 24, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Katherine Driscoll, Associate Chief Counsel, (202) 418-5544, [email protected]; August A. Imholtz III, Special Counsel, (202) 418-5140, [email protected]; or Lauren Bennett, Special Counsel, (202) 418-5290, [email protected], Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    The Commission amended Regulation 1.35(a) in December 2012 as part of a series of rulemakings intended to integrate certain existing Commission rules more fully with the framework created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act for swap dealers and major swap participants (the “2012 Amendment”).1

    1See Adaptation of Regulations to Incorporate Swaps—Records of Transactions, 77 FR 75523 (December 21, 2012) (“2012 Amendment Adopting Release”).

    Regulation 1.35(a) requires each futures commission merchant (“FCM”), retail foreign exchange dealer (“RFED”), introducing broker (“IB”), and member of a DCM or of a SEF to keep full, complete, and systematic records of all transactions relating to its business of dealing in commodity interest and related cash or forward transactions.2 The Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”) defines “member” as an individual, association, partnership, corporation, or trust—(i) owning or holding membership in, or admitted to membership representation on, the registered entity 3 or derivatives transaction execution facility; or (ii) having trading privileges on the registered entity or derivatives transaction execution facility.4

    2 17 CFR 1.35(a)(1).

    3 The term “registered entity” is defined in CEA section 1a(40) to include both DCMs and SEFs. See CEA sections 1a(40)(A) (DCMs) and (D) (SEFs).

    4 7 U.S.C. 1a(34).

    Regulation 1.35(a) requires FCMs, RFEDs, IBs, and members of a DCM or of a SEF to keep records of written communications that lead to the execution of a commodity interest transaction and related cash or forward transactions. Additionally, Regulation 1.35(a) includes a requirement to keep records of certain oral communications, which applies to each FCM, RFED, large IB (defined as an IB that has generated over $5 million in aggregate gross revenues over the preceding three years from its activities as an IB), and member of a DCM or of a SEF that is registered or required to register with the Commission as a floor broker (“FB”) (only with regard to acting as an agent for a non-affiliated client) or as a CTA.5 Unlike the written recordkeeping requirement that applies to both commodity interest transactions and related cash or forward transactions, the oral recordkeeping requirement is limited to commodity interest transactions.6 The scope of records covered by Regulation 1.35(a) includes communications by telephone, voicemail, facsimile, instant messaging, chat rooms, electronic mail, mobile device, or other digital or electronic media.7 These communications include text messages. Regulation 1.35(a) also mandates that all records be kept in a form and manner identifiable and searchable by transaction.

    5 As stated in the 2012 Amendment, the oral recordkeeping requirement in Regulation 1.35(a) does not apply to: (i) Oral communications that lead solely to the execution of a related cash or forward transaction; (ii) oral communications provided or received by a floor broker that do not lead to the purchase or sale for any person other than the floor broker of any commodity for future delivery, security futures product, swap, or commodity option authorized under section 4c of the Commodity Exchange Act; (iii) an introducing broker that has generated over the preceding three years $5 million or less in aggregate gross revenues from its activities as an introducing broker; (iv) a floor trader; (v) a commodity pool operator; (vi) a swap dealer; (vii) a major swap participant; or (viii) a member of a DCM or SEF that is not registered or required to be registered with the Commission in any capacity. 17 CFR 1.35(a)(1).

    6 17 CFR 1.35(a)(1).

    7Id.

    The 2012 Amendment became effective on February 19, 2013.8 Shortly thereafter, a variety of market participants began raising concerns regarding the practical impact of the rule, including its impact on non-financial commercial end-users. Commission staff hosted an End-User Roundtable Discussion on April 3, 2014 to discuss these concerns with affected parties. Commission staff subsequently issued no-action letters that addressed certain of the issues with the 2012 Amendment. CFTC Staff Letter No. 14-72 provided temporary no-action relief to Unregistered Members, relieving them from the requirements to (i) maintain text messages; and (ii) maintain records in a form and manner identifiable and searchable by transaction.9 CFTC Staff Letter No. 14-60 provided temporary no-action relief to CTAs that are members of a DCM or of a SEF, relieving them from the requirement to maintain records of oral communications in connection with the execution of swaps.10 CFTC Staff Letter No. 14-147 extended the temporary no-action relief provided to CTAs in CFTC Staff Letter No. 14-60, and expanded the scope of the relief to include oral communications that lead to the execution of a commodity interest transaction, in addition to communications that lead to the execution of a swap transaction.11

    8 2012 Amendment Adopting Release at 75524.

    9 CFTC Staff Letter No. 14-72, available at http://www.cftc.gov/ucm/groups/public/@lrlettergeneral/documents/letter/14-72.pdf.

    10 CFTC Staff Letter No. 14-60, available at http://www.cftc.gov/ucm/groups/public/@lrlettergeneral/documents/letter/14-60.pdf.

    11 CFTC Staff Letter No. 14-147, available at http://www.cftc.gov/ucm/groups/public/@lrlettergeneral/documents/letter/14-147.pdf. Commission staff recently extended the relief in CFTC Staff Letter No. 14-147 until the effective date of any final Commission action with respect to the Proposed Amendment. See CFTC Staff Letter No. 15-65, available at http://www.cftc.gov/idc/groups/public/@lrlettergeneral/documents/letter/15-65.pdf.

    II. The Proposal

    On November 14, 2014, the Commission published for comment in the Federal Register a proposal to amend Regulation 1.35(a) (the “Proposed Amendment” or “Proposal”) to: (i) Provide that all records required to be maintained under the regulation must be searchable; (ii) clarify that all records must be kept in a form and manner that allows for identification of a particular transaction, except that records of oral and written communications leading to the execution of a commodity interest transaction and related cash or forward transactions are not required to be kept in a form and manner that allows for the identification of a particular transaction; (iii) exclude Unregistered Members from the requirements to retain text messages and to maintain records in a particular form and manner; and (iv) exclude CTAs from the oral recordkeeping requirement.12

    12See Notice of proposed rulemaking: Records of Commodity Interest and Related Cash or Forward Transactions, 79 FR 68140 (November 14, 2014).

    III. Discussion

    The Commission received 18 comment letters in response to the Proposal. The commenters represented a variety of interests, including eight commercial end-user trade groups, five advisor and broker trade groups, two exchanges, one technology vendor, one mortgage lending association, and one self-regulatory organization.13 After carefully considering all of the comments received, the Commission is adopting the Final Rule largely as proposed, with two exceptions. First, the Commission is clarifying the requirements governing the form and manner in which records must be kept. Second, the Commission is excluding Unregistered Members from the requirement to keep written communications that lead to the execution of a commodity interest transaction and related cash or forward transactions (in addition to adopting the proposed exclusions of Unregistered Members from the requirements to retain text messages and to maintain records in a particular form and manner).14

    13 Comment letters were received from American Gas Association (“AGA”), Commodity Markets Council (“CMC”), Commercial Energy Working Group (“CEWG”), Coalition of Physical Energy Companies (“COPE”), Edison Electric Institute (“EEI”), Federal Home Loan Banks (“FHLB”), Investment Adviser Association (“IAA”), Intercontinental Exchange (“ICE”), Investment Company Institute (“ICI”), International Energy Credit Association (“IECA”), Managed Funds Association (“MFA”), Minneapolis Grain Exchange (“MGEX”), National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and American Public Power Association (Joint letter, “NRECA & APPA”), National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (“NCFC”), National Futures Association (“NFA”), National Introducing Brokers Association (“NIBA”), Asset Management Group of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (“SIFMA AMG”), Voitrax Corporation (“Voitrax”). Public comments may be viewed on the Commission's Web site at: http://comments.cftc.gov/PublicComments/CommentList.aspx?id=1538.

    14 NFA and NIBA both requested that the Commission consider raising the revenue threshold that exempts small introducing brokers from the requirement to record oral communications. Neither proposed a specific alternate threshold. The Commission is not revising the revenue threshold for defining “small” introducing brokers for the purposes of the rule, as such a revision is outside of the scope of this rulemaking.

    A. Proposal To Clarify the “Identifiable” and “Searchable” Requirements of the Rule Generally and To No Longer Require That Pre-Trade Communications Be Identifiable by Transaction

    Regulation 1.35(a) mandates that required records, including records of oral and written communications that lead to the execution of a transaction, be maintained in a form and manner “identifiable and searchable by transaction.” 15 Prior to the publication of the Proposed Amendment, the Commission received numerous requests for guidance regarding compliance with this form and manner requirement.16 Therefore, the Commission proposed to clarify the rule by stating that all required records must be searchable, but not “searchable by transaction.” 17 The Commission further proposed to replace the requirement in Regulation 1.35(a) that records be “identifiable” with the requirement that records be “kept in a form and manner that allows for the identification of a particular transaction.” 18

    15 17 CFR 1.35(a)(1).

    16See Proposal at 68143.

    17Id.

    18Id.

    In considering the Proposed Amendment, the Commission noted that access to searchable pre-trade communications is an important element of its oversight of the derivatives market and enforcement of Commission rules and regulations.19 The Commission recognized, however, that keeping these records in a form and manner that allows for the identification of a particular transaction could pose significant challenges to some market participants.20 Therefore, the Commission also proposed to amend Regulation 1.35(a) to state that, although they still must be searchable, records of oral and written communications that lead to the execution of a transaction are not required to be kept in a form and manner that allows for identification of a particular transaction.21 This proposed change meant that market participants would not have to link or otherwise identify a record of a communication that leads to the execution of a transaction with a particular transaction.

    19Id.

    20Id.

    21Id.

    i. Comments on Form and Manner Generally

    Many commenters generally supported the proposed changes to the form and manner requirements of the rule, although some stated that the Commission should further clarify certain terms. AGA stated that the “searchable” and “identifiable” components of the Proposed Amendment are undefined terms that could create confusion. SIFMA AMG recommended that the Commission adopt an interpretation of “searchable” that is similar to the approach of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), which does not prescribe any particular methodology. SIFMA AMG argued that this flexible application of the term would enable firms to adopt new technology and preserve records in a cost-effective manner without impeding regulatory oversight.

    Voitrax, a technology company, did not support the Proposed Amendment, stating that it was developing low-cost technology which would make the rule's existing requirement that records be “identifiable and searchable by transaction” both feasible and cost-effective. Voitrax stated that the Proposed Amendment's standalone requirement that records be searchable (rather than indexed) is not cost-effective, and that “at higher volumes searching becomes infeasible.” Voitrax also noted that it had devoted significant resources to creating software to address the requirements in the 2012 Amendment, and if the Proposed Amendment is finalized, there may be a disincentive for companies to invest in technology solutions related to regulatory requirements in the future.

    In the Commission's view, records are “searchable” when they are kept in a form and manner which permits prompt, accurate and reliable location, access, and retrieval of any particular record, data, or information.22 Therefore, with respect to the form and manner in which records are required to be kept, the Commission is replacing the term “searchable” with the phrase “maintained in a form and manner which permits prompt, accurate and reliable location, access, and retrieval of any particular record, data, or information.” Further, the Commission is clarifying that for the purpose of this rule, records “allow for identification of a particular transaction” when a market participant can identify those records that pertain to a particular transaction.

    22 The Commission observes that these requirements are substantially similar to those contained in the SEC rules for investment adviser recordkeeping. See 17 CFR 275.204-2(g)(2).

    The Commission notes that the Final Rule does not require market participants to convert their records to searchable electronic databases. Rather, the Final Rule is deliberately drafted in a way that permits market participants subject to the rule to keep their paper and electronic records in a manner which they deem prudent and appropriate for their particular business. There is no prescribed methodology under Regulation 1.35(a) by which records must be searched or retrieved, so long as those searches yield prompt, accurate and reliable location, access, and retrieval of any particular record, data, or information.

    The Commission has carefully considered Voitrax's comment opposing the Proposed Amendment, but disagrees with Voitrax's contention that the requirement that records be searchable is not cost-effective, and is also infeasible at high volumes. As explained above, the Commission notes that the Final Rule does not prescribe any particular methodology or corresponding technology with which records must be searchable; rather, the rule can be satisfied using a variety of approaches with varying costs. The Commission also acknowledges Voitrax's concern that the Commission's changes to an existing rule may create a disincentive for some firms to develop technology to address Commission rules. Any rule amendment may have some effect on market participants, as well as the vendors that support those market participants. In this case, the Commission has tailored the rule to address some concerns that market participants have presented in a manner consistent with the overall purpose of the rule. Although Voitrax disagreed with the Proposed Amendment, the Commission believes that the Final Rule preserves the core market integrity and customer protection aspects of the rule, while reducing certain elements of the recordkeeping obligations imposed by the rule.23

    23 The Commission notes that the technology described in Voitrax's Comment Letter may still be useful in helping market participants comply with the form and manner requirements prescribed in the Final Rule.

    ii. Comments Addressing Regulation 1.31

    Regulation 1.35(a) states that market participants “shall retain the records required to be kept by this section in accordance with the requirements of § 1.31.” 24 Although the Commission did not propose to amend Regulation 1.31 in connection with the Proposed Amendment, several commenters raised concerns regarding the perceived incompatibility of Regulation 1.35(a) and Regulation 1.31.25 In particular, many commenters stated that the requirement under Regulation 1.35(a) that records be “searchable” conflicts with the requirement in Regulation 1.31 that records be maintained in native file format.26 Some commenters stated that reconciling these requirements was “impossible” or “practically impossible,” while another commenter stated that it would require a substantial investment in technology to obtain such functionality.27

    24 17 CFR 1.35(a)(1).

    25See AGA, CMC, EEI, IAA, MFA, MGEX, and SIFMA AMG Comment Letters. See also 17 CFR 1.31. Regulation 1.31 sets forth the form and manner in which all books and records required to be kept by the Commodity Exchange Act or Commission Rules must be maintained. Among other things, it mandates that records “shall be kept in their original form (for paper records) or native file format (for electronic records) for a period of five years from the date thereof and shall be readily accessible during the first 2 years of the 5-year period.” The rule also requires all market participants who exclusively use electronic storage for some or all of their records to employ at least one third-party technical consultant to manage the storage of those records. Some Unregistered Members raised interpretive questions regarding Regulation 1.31, a rule which they may not otherwise be subject to absent their inclusion in Regulation 1.35.

    26See CMC, IAA, MFA, MGEX, and SIFMA AMG Comment Letters.

    27See CMC, MFA, and MGEX Comment Letters.

    Commenters proposed several solutions to address these perceived inconsistencies. AGA suggested that Regulation 1.35(a) should not contain any form and manner requirements, and that form and manner should be dictated solely by Regulation 1.31. Further, AGA proposed a safe harbor for end-users to rely on the record retention performed by a DCM, SEF, or a CFTC-registered counterparty, with respect to any of the records required under Rules 1.35(a) and 1.31. They proposed that in the absence of a safe harbor, the Commission should add language to the rule stating that it would consider “good faith compliance” with recordkeeping rules as a mitigating factor when exercising its enforcement authority. CMC proposed that members of DCMs or of SEFs that are not fiduciaries should be excluded from the requirement that records required to be maintained pursuant to Regulation 1.35(a) be kept in accordance with Regulation 1.31. MGEX proposed eliminating the “searchable” and “identifiable” requirements from Regulation 1.35(a). As an alternative, they supported keeping the searchable requirement in Regulation 1.35(a) in conjunction with a significant amendment to Regulation 1.31 regarding the storage of electronic communications.

    MFA noted that it, along with IAA and the Alternative Investment Management Association (“AIMA”), submitted to the Commission a petition for rulemaking (“1.31 Petition”) to amend Regulation 1.31 to be, among other things, “more flexible with regard to permitted formats.” 28 MFA stated that in the event the Proposed Amendment is finalized prior to any Commission action regarding the 1.31 Petition, the Commission should provide interim relief to CPOs and CTAs that are members of a DCM or of a SEF from the requirements of Regulation 1.31. They also suggested that the Commission grant substituted compliance with the SEC's electronic recordkeeping requirements for those CFTC-registered CTAs and CPOs that are also SEC-registered investment advisers. Absent this relief, MFA asserted that these entities “will have to institute recordkeeping requirements that are obsolete or unworkable.” Similarly, SIFMA AMG requested that the Commission grant temporary no-action relief to all asset managers that are members of a DCM or of a SEF, including all CPOS and CTAs, from compliance with Rule 1.31 pending the Commission's consideration of the 1.31 Petition.

    28See Petition for Rulemaking to Amend CFTC Regulations 1.31, 4.7(b), and (c), 4.23 and 4.33, attached to MFA Comment Letter.

    The Commission is aware that some commenters are concerned with the relationship between the requirements of Regulations 1.35(a) and 1.31. The Commission notes that most of the comments in this area centered on perceived inconsistencies with the requirement in Regulation 1.35(a) that records be searchable. The Commission believes that the clarification of the form and manner requirements of Regulation 1.35(a), as stated above, should allay some commenters' concerns regarding compliance with both rules. Searchable records are indispensable to the Commission's ability to conduct surveillance inquiries and investigations in an efficient and effective manner for the protection of customers and ensuring market integrity. For example, searchable records facilitate the timely pursuit of potential violations, which can be important in seeking to freeze and recover any customer funds received from illegal activity or address market disruptions. As noted above, the Commission reiterates that the Final Rule does not require market participants to convert their records to searchable electronic databases. Rather, this rule was deliberately drafted in a way that permits market participants to maintain their paper and electronic records in a manner which they deem prudent and appropriate for their particular business. There is no prescribed methodology under Regulation 1.35(a) by which records must be searched or retrieved, so long as those searches yield prompt, accurate and reliable location, access, and retrieval of any particular record, data, or information.

    B. Proposal To Exclude Unregistered Members From the Requirements To Retain Text Messages and To Maintain Required Records in a Particular Form and Manner i. Text Messages and the Form and Manner Requirement

    Regulation 1.35(a) generally mandates that the market participants subject to its requirements retain records that are transmitted by, among other things, telephone, mobile device, or other digital or electronic media.29 This includes text messages.30 Prior to the publication of the Proposed Amendment, many end-users told the Commission that text messages were a primary means of communication for their commodity trading businesses. They stated, however, that it was prohibitively expensive to retain those records.31 In considering the Proposed Amendment, the Commission observed that its oversight of the derivatives market would not be unduly affected if Unregistered Members were not required to retain text messages.32 Therefore, the Commission proposed to exclude Unregistered Members from the requirements in Regulation 1.35(a) to retain text messages.

    29 17 CFR 1.35(a)(1).

    30Id.

    31See Proposal at 68143.

    32Id.

    As discussed above, Regulation 1.35(a) also requires that all records be kept in a form and manner that is “identifiable and searchable by transaction.” 33 Prior to the publication of the Proposed Amendment, many end-users stated that it was difficult to maintain their records in this particular format due to the nature of the relationship between their cash or forward transactions and their trading and hedging practices in the derivatives market.34 The Commission had previously stated that the requirements that records be “searchable” and “identifiable” do not require entities to link all of their transactions in commodity interests to related cash or forward transactions by a specific identifier.35 However, in considering the Proposed Amendment, the Commission noted that these form and manner requirements may nonetheless impose additional burdens on some Unregistered Members.36 The Commission recognized that excluding Unregistered Members from the requirement to maintain their records in a particular form and manner may impose an incremental burden on the Commission. However, the Commission observed that as long as those entities were required to retain their records, this exclusion would not unduly compromise the Commission's ability to oversee the derivatives market.37 Therefore, the Commission also proposed to exclude Unregistered Members from the requirement in Regulation 1.35(a) to maintain records in a particular form and manner.38

    33 17 CFR 1.35(a)(1).

    34See Proposal at 68143.

    35Id.

    36Id.

    37Id.

    38Id.

    In response, the Commission received comments from representatives of commercial end-users in the agriculture and energy industry, two exchanges, one advisor trade group, and a mortgage lending association.39 These commenters were supportive of these aspects of the Proposal related to Unregistered Members, but all contended that the Commission did not go far enough in its proposed relief.

    39See CMC, NCFC, AGA, CEWG, COPE, EEI, IECA, NRECA & APPA, ICE, MGEX, SIFMA AMG and FHLB Comment Letters.

    Regarding the proposal to exclude Unregistered Members from the requirement to keep text messages, several commenters asked the Commission to clarify the term “text message.” 40 AGA requested that the Commission eliminate what it characterized as the “arbitrary distinction” the rule makes between text messages and other forms of real-time communications, including instant messaging and chat rooms. EEI, IECA, NRECA, and APPA requested further guidance on what types of communications qualify as text messages. In response to commenter requests to define the “text message,” the Commission is clarifying that the term “text message,” for the purposes of this rule, means any written communication sent from one telephone number to one or more telephone numbers by short message service (“SMS”) or multimedia messaging service (“MMS”), and not those written communications exchanged by proprietary messaging services. Proprietary messaging services are internet-based, which enables users to send and store messages interchangeably on mobile devices and computers, whereas SMS and MMS messages are traditionally only sent and stored on a mobile device.

    40See AGA, EEI, IECA, and NRECA & APPA Comment Letters.

    Given that some Unregistered Members have informed the Commission that they conduct their commodity interest and related cash or forward transactions primarily via text message, it may be unduly burdensome to require them to implement the additional technology to allow these messages to be stored on computers. Registered market participants, on the other hand, tend to rely more heavily on other forms of communication to execute commodity interest transactions and related cash or forward transactions. To the extent these registered market participants choose to avail themselves of the ability to use text messages, they could more easily expand their existing communications retention infrastructure to include text message storage.

    ii. Written Communications That Lead to the Execution of a Transaction

    Commenters representing commercial end-users also raised issues regarding an element of the existing rule which the Commission had not proposed to change. Specifically, the commenters addressed the requirement that firms maintain records of communications that “lead to” the execution of a commodity interest transaction and related cash or forward transactions. Several commenters stated that market participants cannot readily identify which communications will “lead to” the execution of transactions in commodity interests and related cash or forward transactions. Market participants therefore may be forced to retain every communication related to their commodity trading business.41 AGA stated that the “cumbersome and costly” requirement to retain all communications that lead to the execution of a transaction will deter market participants from participating on exchanges. AGA and CEWG suggested that Unregistered Members should not have to retain records of pre-trade communications; rather, they should only be required to retain written records of a final agreement or those that contain the material economic terms of a transaction.

    41See AGA, MGEX, CEWG, CMC, IECA and ICI Comment Letters.

    The Commission has previously stated that records of communications that lead to the execution of a transaction can serve to protect market participants and promote the integrity of the markets.42 However, the Commission is persuaded that the nature of the activities of many Unregistered Members in the commodity interest markets—which activities predominantly involve the hedging of risks associated with their commercial businesses—does not justify the burden Unregistered Members may have in identifying and retaining records of communications that lead to the execution of commodity interest and related cash or forward transactions. The Commission therefore has determined that Unregistered Members should not be required to keep records of written communications that lead to the execution of a commodity interest transaction and related cash or forward transactions. Instead, Unregistered Members will only be required to keep records of their transactions.

    42See 2012 Amendment Adopting Release at 75538.

    In addition to the comments addressed above, nine commenters representing a variety of commercial interests requested that Unregistered Members be excluded from the rule altogether.43 Several commenters argued that the rule is simply too burdensome for Unregistered Members, particularly for Unregistered Members that are commercial end-users.44 MGEX argued that the rule places a significant burden upon those Unregistered Members that are individuals that trade only for themselves, have purchased a membership for investment purposes, and/or only engage in low-risk commercial hedging. COPE and EEI stated that the Commission's recordkeeping rules relating to swaps and to large trader reporting already impose sufficient recordkeeping obligations on Unregistered Members, making compliance with Regulation 1.35(a) unnecessary. Multiple commenters asserted that the rule should only apply to intermediaries. Several commenters stated that the rule discourages Unregistered Members from membership on DCMs and SEFs. Finally, several commenters argued that there is no statutory basis for including Unregistered Members in the rule.45

    43See CMC, CEWG, COPE, EEG, FHLB, ICE, IECA, and NRECA & APPA Comment Letters.

    44See CMC, IECA, MGEX, and NCFC Comment Letters.

    45See CMC, IECA, and MGEX Comment Letters.

    As far as Regulation 1.35(a) may present unique issues for Unregistered Members, the Commission is tailoring this Final Rule to accommodate those issues. Specifically, Unregistered Members do not have to keep records of written communications that lead to the execution of a commodity interest transaction and related cash or forward transactions. They do not have to keep text messages and they do not have to maintain records in any particular form and manner. The Commission understands that Unregistered Members may wish to be excluded from Regulation 1.35(a) entirely. The Commission has already determined, however, that Unregistered Members are properly subject to the rule.46 The policy reasons for this determination that were enunciated in 2012 continue to apply.47 The recordkeeping requirements of Regulation 1.35(a), including those imposed on Unregistered Members, are an important component of the Commission's efforts to ensure fair, orderly and efficient markets, and to detect and deter abusive, disruptive, fraudulent, and manipulative acts that can harm market integrity and customers.48

    46 2012 Amendment Adopting Release at 75525. The issues that commenters have raised regarding Unregistered Members, as summarized immediately above, are largely the same as the issues that were raised by commenters, and considered by the Commission, in 2012. Id. at 75527.

    47Id. at 75528.

    48Id.

    C. Proposal To Exclude Commodity Trading Advisors From the Requirement To Record and Maintain Oral Communications

    Regulation 1.35(a) requires CTAs that are members of a DCM or of a SEF to record all oral communications that lead to the execution of a transaction in a commodity interest.49 In considering the Proposed Amendment, the Commission noted that many CTAs who are members of a DCM or of a SEF have discretionary trading authority over customers' accounts and, therefore would not have routine telephone conversations with customers that lead to the execution of a transaction in a commodity interest.50 The Commission noted, however, that some CTAs may execute an order on behalf of a customer on a non-discretionary basis.51 The Commission stated that capturing customer orders was consistent with the regulatory goals of Regulation 1.35(a), although the costs of recording and keeping oral communications weighs against the benefit of achieving those goals.52 The Commission stated that the same was not true with respect to the costs of recording and maintaining written records, which the Commission understood to be significantly less than the costs of recording and maintaining oral communications.53 Therefore, the Commission proposed to amend Regulation 1.35(a) to exclude CTAs from the requirement to record oral communications that lead to the execution of a transaction in a commodity interest.

    49 17 CFR 1.35(a)(1).

    50See Proposal at 68143.

    51Id.

    52Id.

    53Id.

    In response to the Proposed Amendment and its effects on CTAs, the Commission received comments from representatives of five advisor and broker trade groups, one self-regulatory organization, and one exchange.54 The commenters were supportive of this aspect of the Proposed Amendment, with most noting that CTAs and CPOs trade primarily on a discretionary basis, and therefore have little to no communication with customers regarding transactions. In addition, some commenters stated that CTAs are subject to extensive “analogous” recordkeeping requirements under Regulation 4.33 and SEC rules for investment advisers, which makes compliance with the oral recordkeeping requirement of Regulation 1.35(a) unnecessary and unduly burdensome.55 No commenters suggested that the Commission refrain from excusing CTAs from the requirement to record oral communications that lead to the execution of a transaction in a commodity interest.

    54See IAA, ICI, MFA, SIFMA AMG, NIBA, NFA, and MGEX Comment Letters.

    55See IAA, ICI, MFA, and SIFMA AMG Comment Letters.

    Commenters also requested that the Commission provide CTAs with additional relief from the requirements of Regulation 1.35(a). IAA and ICI cited the reasons the Commission offered to exclude CTAs and CPOs from oral recordkeeping to argue that asset managers should be excluded from Regulation 1.35(a) entirely. For example, IAA and ICI stated that CTAs and CPOs act on a discretionary basis and have little to no communication with customers regarding orders. They also noted that any discussions CTAs and CPOs may have with market intermediaries regarding orders are captured by those intermediaries, making CTAs' and CPOs' records duplicative. Further, they noted that CTAs and CPOs are already subject to extensive recordkeeping rules under CFTC, SEC and state regulations. SIFMA AMG argued that the relief that the Commission staff provided to Unregistered Members, by excusing them from the requirements to retain text messages and to maintain other required records in a particular form and manner should be expanded to include all asset managers. SIFMA AMG stated that asset managers, including registered CTAs and CPOs, utilize text messages in a similar capacity as Unregistered Members. SIFMA AMG stated that the technology does not exist to maintain text messages pursuant to the rule. SIFMA AMG also argued that the costs associated with these recordkeeping obligations will “almost certainly” reduce the liquidity that asset managers provide to the swap markets. Further, as noted above, SIFMA AMG observed that asset managers are also subject to extensive regulation under other CFTC, SEC and state regulations.

    The Commission has carefully considered commenters' requests that, in addition to the proposed relief from oral recordkeeping requirements, the Commission grant CTAs relief from the written recordkeeping requirements of Regulation 1.35(a). The Commission has stated in the past that access to searchable written records is an important tool the Commission needs to ensure market integrity and protect customers.56 As some commenters have acknowledged, CTAs already maintain extensive written records that are analogous to those required by the rule.57 The Commission's interest in ensuring customer protection and market integrity justifies the incremental costs to maintain these and other records pursuant to Regulation 1.35(a).

    56See 2012 Amendment Adopting Release at 75528.

    57See IAA, ICI, MFA, and SIFMA AMG Comment Letters.

    In response to SIFMA AMG's request to extend the relief granted to Unregistered Members to all asset managers, the Commission notes that asset managers are uniquely situated compared to Unregistered Members, in that asset managers may act as intermediaries.58 As such, an asset manager's written records are more critical to the Commission's interest in promoting customer protection than those of Unregistered Members. The Commission nonetheless recognizes the burdens that CTAs face when complying with Regulation 1.35(a), and has alleviated some of that burden by excluding them entirely from the oral recordkeeping requirements of the rule. Therefore, the Commission is adopting the Final Rule as proposed.

    58 CFTC Staff Letter No. 14-72 granted relief to Unregistered Members from the requirements to retain text messages and to maintain records in a particular form and manner. The Proposal sought to codify that relief.

    D. Reorganization of Paragraph (a) of Commission Regulation 1.35

    The final rule text of paragraph (a) of Commission Regulation 1.35 as adopted in this release has been reorganized to provide greater clarity regarding the regulatory obligations of affected Commission registrants and Unregistered Members. To this end, the reorganized rule text defines separate categories of required records and then separately specifies for each type of Commission registrant, and for Unregistered Members, the category or categories of records each is required to keep. For the avoidance of doubt, other than as modified by the amendments to paragraph (a) of Commission Regulation 1.35 that the Commission is adopting in this release, the Commission reiterates that the text of paragraph (a) has only been reorganized; the reorganized rule text is not intended to modify the regulatory obligations of Commission registrants or Unregistered Members under Commission Regulation 1.35(a) in any other respect.

    IV. Related Matters A. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires that Federal agencies consider whether the rules they propose will have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities and, if so, they must provide a regulatory flexibility analysis respecting the impact.59 Whenever an agency publishes a general notice of proposed rulemaking for any rule, pursuant to the notice-and-comment provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act60 a regulatory flexibility analysis or certification typically is required.61 The Commission stated in the Proposal that, if adopted, the Proposal would not have a significant economic impact on affected entities because it would relieve them from certain regulatory obligations that would otherwise apply to them. Specifically, the Final Rule provides relief from certain recordkeeping requirements in Regulation 1.35(a), and the Final Rule does not impose any new regulatory obligations on affected persons. Commenters agreed that the Proposal would decrease regulatory burdens on certain market participants. No commenter stated that the Proposal would impose any new regulatory obligations on affected persons.

    59 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.

    60 5 U.S.C. 553. The Administrative Procedure Act is found at 5 U.S.C. 500 et seq.

    61See 5 U.S.C. 601(2), 603-05.

    Accordingly, the Chairman, on behalf of the Commission, hereby certifies pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that the rule amendment adopted herein will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.62

    62 The Chairman made the same certification in the Proposed Amendment.

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act

    As the Commission stated in the Proposal, this rulemaking does not impose any new recordkeeping or information collection requirements, or other collections of information that require approval of the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act (“PRA”). All recordkeeping or information collection requirements relevant to the subject of this rulemaking, or discussed herein, already exist under current law. The title for this collection of information is “Adaptation of Regulations to Incorporate Swaps—Records of Transactions,” OMB control number 3038-0090. The Commission invited public comment on the accuracy of its estimate that no additional recordkeeping or information collection requirements or changes to existing collection requirements would result from the Proposed Amendment. The Commission did not receive any comments that addressed whether additional recordkeeping or information collection requirements or changes to existing collection requirements would result from the adoption of the Proposal. Nevertheless, the Commission notes that the final rule will reduce the current burden of OMB control number 3038-0090. Accordingly, the Commission will, by separate action, publish in the Federal Register a notice and request for comment on the amended PRA burden associated with the final rule, and submit to OMB an information collection request to amend the information collection, in accordance with 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A) and 5 CFR 1320.8(d).

    C. Cost-Benefit Considerations

    Section 15(a) of the CEA requires the Commission to consider the costs and benefits of its actions before promulgating a regulation under the CEA or issuing certain orders. Section 15(a) further specifies that the costs and benefits shall be evaluated in light of five broad areas of market and public concern: (1) protection of market participants and the public; (2) efficiency, competitiveness, and financial integrity of futures markets; (3) price discovery; (4) sound risk management practices; and (5) other public interest considerations. In adopting the Final Rule, the Commission has considered the costs and benefits resulting from its discretionary determinations with respect to the Section 15(a) factors, and sought comments from interested persons regarding the nature and extent of such costs and benefits.

    In summary, as the Commission stated in the 2012 Amendment, the records (as well as the form and manner in which such records must be kept) under Regulation 1.35 are an important component of the Commission's efforts to ensure fair, orderly and efficient markets, and to detect and deter abusive, fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices that can harm market integrity and customers. In furthering the important policy and practical objectives of the rule, the Commission carefully considered the potential impact on the market and market participants. The adoption of the Final Rule reflects the agency's efforts to consider the need to promote market integrity and protect customers, while mitigating potential cost to market participants, and in particular, commercial end-users.

    1. Background

    The Commission is amending Regulation 1.35(a) to: (i) Provide that all records that are required to be maintained under this regulation must be maintained in a form and manner which permits prompt, accurate and reliable location, access, and retrieval of any particular record, data, or information; (ii) clarify that the requirement that records be kept in a form and manner identifiable by transaction means that the records must be kept in a form and manner that allows for identification of a particular transaction, except that records of oral and written communications leading to the execution of a commodity interest transaction and related cash or forward transactions are not required to be kept in a form and manner that allows for identification of a particular transaction; (iii) exclude Unregistered Members of DCMs and of SEFs from the requirements to: keep written communications that lead to the execution of a commodity interest transaction and related cash or forward transactions; keep text messages; and keep records in a particular form and manner; and (iv) exclude commodity trading advisors CTAs from the oral recordkeeping requirement. The Commission stated in the Proposal that the baseline for this cost and benefit consideration is the existing Regulation 1.35(a). While CFTC Staff Letters 14-72 and 14-147, as discussed above, currently provide no-action relief that is substantially similar to much of the relief the Final Rule provides to certain Commission registrants and Unregistered Members, the Commission believes that CFTC Staff Letters 14-72 and 14-147 should not set or affect the baseline from which the Commission considered the costs and benefits of the Final Rule. This is because, as they indicate, CFTC Staff Letters 14-72 and 14-147 do not necessarily represent the position or view of the Commission or any other office or division of the Commission.

    The Commission invited comments from the public on all aspects of its preliminary consideration of the costs and benefits associated with the Proposal, and the Cost-Benefit Considerations section of the Proposal included specific questions regarding certain aspects of potential costs or potential benefits associated with the Proposal. While those who commented on the Proposal generally did not specifically address the Cost-Benefit Considerations section of the Proposal, certain of the comments raised issues that relate to the Commission's cost-benefit considerations. Accordingly, although the Commission has addressed those comments above in connection with the specific proposed regulatory provision of the Proposal to which they referred, the Commission is also addressing those comments in the discussion that follows.

    2. Costs

    The Commission stated in the Proposal that it would not impose any new or additional costs directly upon affected market participants, but instead would reduce some of the regulatory burdens and associated costs that Regulation 1.35(a) imposes upon them. The Commission stated that it is difficult to quantify what costs, if any, the Proposed Amendment would impose upon other market participants, the markets themselves, or the general public. The Commission observed, however, that one possible cost associated with the Proposed Amendment would be that certain market participants, such as CTAs that are members of a DCM or of a SEF and Unregistered Members, would no longer be required to keep certain types of records that may be useful for the Commission in exercising its oversight of the markets, including for market surveillance, enforcement, and ensuring market integrity. The Commission invited public comments on the costs of the Proposal.

    No commenter attempted to quantify the costs, if any, associated with the Proposal. Two commenters specifically stated that the Proposal would not affect market oversight.63 Additionally, some commenters representing advisor trade groups noted that CTAs and CPOs are subject to extensive recordkeeping obligations under other CFTC, SEC and state regulations that are substantially similar to the requirements of Regulation 1.35(a). Therefore, the commenters that addressed this issue agreed that the Proposal would not significantly impact the Commission's ability to oversee the markets. The majority of commenters stated that the Proposal would reduce the regulatory burdens and costs associated with Regulation 1.35(a).

    63 CEWG and IECA Comment Letters.

    Many commenters argued, however, that the Proposal should have provided additional relief to Unregistered Members, especially those Unregistered Members that are commercial end-users. These commenters argued that this lack of additional relief would cause some end-users to avoid membership on DCMs and SEFs, resulting in increased transaction costs for those entities. These commenters also argued that such additional costs may cause market participants to conduct some swap transactions away from SEFs, which would, in turn, decrease market transparency and the Commission's ability to oversee the markets. As explained above, in adopting the Final Rule that provides additional relief to Unregistered Members, the Commission has attempted to address some of the concerns raised by end-users, which in turn should mitigate the impact of the rule on the broader market.

    Finally, Voitrax commented that the Commission's changes to an existing rule may create a disincentive for some firms to develop technology to address Commission rules. Any rule amendment may have some effect on market participants, as well as the vendors that support those market participants. In this case, the Commission has tailored the rule to address some concerns that market participants have presented in a manner consistent with the overall purpose of the rule. However, the Commission believes that the Final Rule preserves the core market integrity and customer protection aspects of the rule, while reducing the recordkeeping obligations imposed by the rule.64 The Commission therefore believes the costs associated with the Final Rule, to the extent that such costs exist, are negligible.

    64 The Commission notes that the technology described in Voitrax's Comment Letter may still be useful in helping market participants comply with the form and manner requirements prescribed in the Final Rule.

    3. Benefits

    The Commission stated in the Proposal that it would have a direct and tangible benefit for those market participants that are excused from certain aspects of the recordkeeping obligations of Regulation 1.35(a). The Commission reduced the burden of Regulation 1.35(a) by excluding CTAs and Unregistered Members from certain aspects of the rule. The Commission replaced the requirement that records be searchable by transaction with the more general requirement that records be searchable. The Commission observed that it may be difficult to quantify what other benefits the Proposal may have for other market participants, the markets themselves, or the general public. The Commission invited public comments on the benefits of the Proposal. In response to those comments, the Commission is further reducing the burden of Regulation 1.35(a) by replacing the term “searchable” that was in the Proposal with the phrase “maintained in a form and manner which permits prompt, accurate and reliable location, access, and retrieval of any particular record, data, or information.” No commenters attempted to quantify the benefits associated with the Proposal. Commenters generally agreed that the Proposal would reduce recordkeeping costs for certain market participants. The Commission believes the benefits associated with the Final Rule, which are difficult to quantify in the aggregate, will be realized in different ways by different market participants affected by the rule depending on the precise nature of their business and the attendant recordkeeping obligations that accompany that business.

    4. Section 15(a)

    Section 15(a) of the CEA requires the Commission to consider the effects of its actions in light of the following five factors:

    a. Protection of Market Participants and the Public

    The Commission stated in the Proposal that it would reduce some of the regulatory burdens on certain market participants. The Commission recognizes that there may be a trade-off between reducing regulatory burdens and ensuring that the recordkeeping obligations Rule 1.35(a) imposes upon those market participants subject to the rule are sufficient to support the effort by the Commission to fulfill its regulatory mission. As noted above, the Proposal would relieve certain market participants from the requirement under Regulation 1.35(a) to keep certain types of records that can be useful for the Commission in exercising its oversight of the markets, including for market surveillance, enforcement, and ensuring market integrity. The Commission invited public comment on these issues.

    No commenter stated that the Proposal would adversely affect the ability of the Commission to provide effective oversight of the markets. Two commenters specifically stated that the Proposal would not affect market oversight.65 Additionally, some commenters representing advisor trade groups noted that CTAs and CPOs are subject to extensive recordkeeping obligations under other CFTC, SEC and state regulations that are substantially similar to the requirements of Regulation 1.35(a). Therefore, the commenters that addressed this issue agreed that the Proposal would not significantly impact the Commission's ability to oversee the markets. The Commission agrees with commenters that its access to records will remain sufficient to protect market participants and the public.

    65 CEWG and IECA Comment Letters.

    Some commenters argued that that the Proposal did not go far enough in relieving burdens on commercial end-users, which they argue creates a disincentive to transact on DCMs and SEFs, thereby lowering market transparency. As explained above, in adopting the Final Rule that provides additional relief to Unregistered Members, the Commission has attempted to address some of the concerns raised by end-users, which in turn should mitigate the impact of the rule on the broader market.

    b. Efficiency, Competitiveness, and Integrity of Markets

    The Amendments to Rule 1.35(a) are intended, in part, to reduce some of the regulatory burdens on certain market participants and end-users. The Commission invited public comment on whether the Proposed Amendment, if adopted, would actually decrease these regulatory burdens, and whether the decreased regulatory burdens would result in increased resource-allocation efficiency and competition without compromising market integrity.

    Commenters generally stated that the Proposal would decrease the regulatory burdens on affected market participants. No commenters addressed whether the relief provided in the Proposed Amendment would result in increased efficiency and competition among market participants. No commenter stated that the Proposal would compromise market integrity. In fact, no commenters addressed whether the Proposal would affect market integrity.

    The Commission believes that the Final Rule will decrease the regulatory burdens on affected market participants. The Commission believes that this should result in increased resource-allocation efficiency for market participants overall. The Commission believes that the Final Rule should not have any effect on competition. Finally, the Commission believes that the Final Rule will not compromise market integrity. The Final Rule is narrowly tailored to provide relief to certain market participants with respect to certain types of records. This targeted relief does not unduly compromise the recordkeeping requirements of Regulation 1.35(a), the CEA, or other Commission Regulations.

    Some commenters stated that the lack of sufficient relief provided in the Proposed Amendment would cause many market participates to avoid utilizing SEFs. Further, one commenter stated that costs associated with these recordkeeping obligations will “almost certainly” reduce the liquidity that asset managers provide to the swap markets. Many commenters agreed that although the Proposal decreased the regulatory burdens on Unregistered Members, it did not go far enough, resulting in decreased resource-allocation efficiency of the markets. As explained above, in adopting the Final Rule that provides additional relief to Unregistered Members, the Commission has attempted to address some of the concerns raised by end-users, which in turn should mitigate the impact of the rule on the broader market.

    c. Price Discovery

    The Commission stated that the Proposed Amendment would not have any effect on price discovery. The Commission invited public comments regarding what effect, if any, the Proposed Amendment would have on price discovery. Only one commenter addressed price discovery, stating that the Proposal would not have any effect on price discovery.66 The Commission has no basis to believe that the Final Rule will have any effect on price discovery.

    66 IECA Comment Letter.

    d. Sound Risk Management

    The Proposal is intended, in part, to reduce some of the regulatory burdens on certain market participants. The Commission invited public comment on whether the Proposed Amendment would have any effect on the risk management practices of market participants and end-users. Commenters agreed that the Proposed Amendment would, if adopted, decrease regulatory burdens on certain market participants. Commenters did not address whether these decreased regulatory burdens would have an effect on market participants' risk management practices. One commenter stated that the Proposed Amendment did not provide sufficient relief to Unregistered Members that are commercial end-users, which they assert perpetuates a disincentive for these firms to transact on SEFs.67 The commenter argues that any disincentive to SEF utilization decreases the risk management options that are available to Unregistered Members. As explained above, in adopting the Final Rule that provides additional relief to Unregistered Members, the Commission has attempted to address some of the concerns raised by end-users, which in turn should mitigate the impact of the rule on the broader market.

    67 IECA Comment Letter.

    e. Other Public Interest Considerations

    The Commission did not identify any other public interest considerations for this rulemaking, nor were any identified by commenters.

    List of Subjects in 17 CFR Part 1

    Agricultural commodity, Agriculture, Brokers, Committees, Commodity futures, Conflicts of interest, Consumer protection, Definitions, Designated contract markets, Directors, Major swap participants, Minimum financial requirements for intermediaries, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Swap dealers, Swaps.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission amends 17 CFR part 1 as set forth below:

    PART 1—GENERAL REGULATIONS UNDER THE COMMODITY EXCHANGE ACT 1. The authority citation for part 1 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 1a, 2, 5, 6, 6a, 6b, 6c, 6d, 6e, 6f, 6g, 6h, 6i, 6k, 6l, 6m, 6n, 6o, 6p, 6r, 6s, 7, 7a-1, 7a-2, 7b, 7b-3, 8, 9, 10a, 12, 12a, 12c, 13a, 13a-1, 16, 16a, 19, 21, 23, and 24 (2012).

    2. In § 1.35, revise paragraphs (a)(1) through (4) and add paragraphs (a)(5) through (9) to read as follows:
    § 1.35 Records of commodity interest and related cash or forward transactions.

    (a) * * *

    (1) Futures commission merchants, retail foreign exchange dealers, and certain introducing brokers. Each futures commission merchant, retail foreign exchange dealer, and introducing broker that has generated over the preceding three years more than $5 million in aggregate gross revenues from its activities as an introducing broker, shall:

    (i) Keep full, complete, and systematic records (including all pertinent data and memoranda) of all transactions relating to its business of dealing in commodity interests and related cash or forward transactions, which shall include all orders (filled, unfilled, or canceled), trading cards, signature cards, street books, journals, ledgers, canceled checks, copies of confirmations, copies of statements of purchase and sale, and all other records, which have been prepared in the course of its business of dealing in commodity interests and related cash or forward transactions (for purposes of this section, all records described in this paragraph (a)(1)(i) are referred to as “commodity interest and related records”);

    (ii) If such person is a member of a designated contract market or swap execution facility, retain and produce for inspection all documents on which trade information is originally recorded, whether or not such documents must be prepared pursuant to the rules or regulations of either the Commission, the designated contract market or the swap execution facility (for purposes of this section, all records described in this paragraph (a)(1)(ii) are referred to as “original source documents,” and, together with commodity interest and related records, “transaction records”); and

    (iii) Keep all oral and written communications provided or received concerning quotes, solicitations, bids, offers, instructions, trading, and prices that lead to the execution of a transaction in a commodity interest and any related cash or forward transactions (but not oral communications that lead solely to the execution of a related cash or forward transaction), whether transmitted by telephone, voicemail, facsimile, instant messaging, chat rooms, electronic mail, mobile device, or other digital or electronic media (for purposes of this section, all communications described in this paragraph (a)(1)(iii) are referred to as “oral pre-trade communications” if transmitted orally or as “written pre-trade communications” if transmitted in writing, and all such communications are referred to collectively as “pre-trade communications”).

    (2) Registered members of designated contract markets or swap execution facilities. Each introducing broker that is not subject to paragraph (a)(1) of this section and is a member of a designated contract market or swap execution facility, and each member of a designated contract market or swap execution facility that is registered or required to be registered with the Commission as a floor trader, commodity pool operator, commodity trading advisor, swap dealer, or major swap participant, shall keep:

    (i) All transaction records; and

    (ii) All written pre-trade communications.

    (3) Other introducing brokers. Each introducing broker that is not subject to paragraph (a)(1) or (2) of this section shall keep:

    (i) All commodity interest and related records; and

    (ii) All written pre-trade communications.

    (4) Floor broker members of designated contract markets or swap execution facilities. Each member of a designated contract market or swap execution facility that is registered or required to be registered with the Commission as a floor broker shall keep:

    (i) All transaction records;

    (ii) All written pre-trade communications; and

    (iii) All oral pre-trade communications that lead to the purchase or sale of any commodity for future delivery, security futures product, swap, or commodity option authorized under section 4c of the Commodity Exchange Act for the account of any person other than such floor broker.

    (5) Form and manner. All records required to be kept pursuant to paragraphs (a)(1), (2), (3), and (4) of this section shall be kept in a form and manner that:

    (i) Permits prompt, accurate, and reliable location, access, and retrieval of any particular record, data, or information; and

    (ii) Other than pre-trade communications, allows for identification of a particular transaction.

    (6) Unregistered members of designated contract markets or swap execution facilities. Each member of a designated contract market or swap execution facility that is not registered or required to be registered with the Commission in any capacity, shall keep all transaction records; provided that such records need not include transmissions by short message service (SMS) or multimedia messaging service (MMS).

    (7) Definition of related cash or forward transaction. For purposes of this section, “related cash or forward transaction” means a purchase or sale for immediate or deferred physical shipment or delivery of an asset related to a commodity interest transaction where the commodity interest transaction and the related cash or forward transaction are used to hedge, mitigate the risk of, or offset one another.

    (8) Other requirements. Each futures commission merchant, retail foreign exchange dealer, introducing broker, and member of a designated contract market or swap execution facility shall retain the records required to be kept by this section in accordance with the requirements of § 1.31, and produce them for inspection and furnish true and correct information and reports as to the contents or the meaning thereof, when and as requested by an authorized representative of the Commission or the United States Department of Justice.

    (9) Alternative Compliance Schedule. (i) The Commission may in its discretion establish an alternative compliance schedule for the requirement to record oral communications under paragraph (a)(1) or (4) of this section that is found to be technologically or economically impracticable for an affected entity that seeks, in good faith, to comply with the requirement to record oral communications under paragraph (a)(1) or (4) of this section within a reasonable time period beyond the date on which compliance by such affected entity is otherwise required.

    (ii) A request for an alternative compliance schedule under paragraph (a)(9)(i) of this section shall be acted upon within 30 days from the time such a request is received, or it shall be deemed approved.

    (iii) The Commission hereby delegates to the Director of the Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight or such other employee or employees as the Director may designate from time to time, the authority to exercise the discretion. Notwithstanding such delegation, in any case in which a Commission employee delegated authority under this paragraph believes it appropriate, he or she may submit to the Commission for its consideration the question of whether an alternative compliance schedule should be established. The delegation of authority in this paragraph shall not prohibit the Commission, at its election, from exercising the authority set forth in paragraph (a)(9)(i) of this section.

    (iv) Relief granted under paragraph (a)(9)(i) of this section shall not cause an affected entity to be out of compliance or deemed in violation of any recordkeeping requirements.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on December 18, 2015, by the Commission. Christopher J. Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission. Note:

    The following appendices will not appear in the Code of Federal Regulations.

    Appendices to Records of Commodity Interest and Related Cash or Forward Transactions—Commission Voting Summary, Chairman's Statement, and Commissioner's Statement Appendix 1—Commission Voting Summary

    On this matter, Chairman Massad and Commissioners Bowen and Giancarlo voted in the affirmative. No Commissioner voted in the negative.

    Appendix 2—Statement of Chairman Timothy G. Massad

    Today, the Commission is adopting significant changes to a rule that will reduce recordkeeping obligations for commercial end-users. The changes ensure that the rule strikes an appropriate balance between the costs of recordkeeping and the benefits to market oversight. This will help ensure that businesses as well as farmers and ranchers that depend on the derivatives markets are able to continue using them effectively and efficiently.

    Commercial end-users were not the cause of the crisis, and should not bear the burdens of reforms designed to rein in systemic risk. Since I became Chairman, the CFTC has taken a number of actions to fine-tune our rules to ensure they do not impose unintended burdens on those who use the derivatives markets to hedge commercial risk. Today, I'm pleased to support another final rule that makes important strides towards that goal.

    This final rule amends recordkeeping requirements set forth under Commission Regulation 1.35. This regulation requires various types of market participants to keep written and oral records of their commodity interest and related cash or forward transactions. It is very important to our efforts to ensure our markets are strong, transparent, and operate free of fraud and manipulation.

    This rule was first implemented in 1948. CFTC made changes to this regulation in 2012, to ensure it accurately reflected evolution of the market and changes in the CFTC's jurisdiction. But we have been evaluating the rule since then, and we have determined that for some market participants, the costs of complying with certain aspects of the changes may exceed the potential benefits. Throughout this process, we have benefitted from the input of many commercial businesses and other market participants. We appreciate their feedback.

    Today's final rule clarifies that members of exchanges and swap execution facilities not registered with the Commission—typically, end-users—do not have to keep pre-trade communications or text messages. Further, it simplifies the requirements for keeping records of final transactions. The amended rule also states that commodity trading advisors do not have to record oral communications regarding their transactions.

    I believe this rule is an important change that will reduce recordkeeping burdens on end-users, and I applaud my fellow commissioners for their unanimous support.

    Appendix 3—Statement of Commissioner J. Christopher Giancarlo

    I am pleased to support this final rule that revises Rule 1.35. In the end, after numerous iterations, several comment periods, significant legislative interest from Congress, and months of negotiating, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC” or “Commission”) thankfully listened to the concerns of market participants. I am appreciative of the CFTC staff's diligent work over the past few months to make key revisions to this rule. Fixing this regulation was one of the first issues that I raised with my fellow Commissioners upon my arrival at the CFTC. I believe we have now produced a more workable rule that will not impose needless regulatory costs on America's agricultural producers, grain elevator operators or energy producers, to name a few.

    As background, the Commission revised long-standing Rule 1.35 in 2012 despite the fact that the Dodd-Frank Act 1 contained no mandate to change the CFTC's recordkeeping rules.2 The revised rule proved to be unworkable. Its publication was followed by requests for no-action relief and a public roundtable at which entities impacted by the rule voiced their inability to tie all communications leading to the execution of a transaction to a particular transaction or transactions. End-user exchange members pointed out that business that was once conducted by telephone had moved to text messaging, so the carve out in the rule for oral communications had little utility. They pointed out that it was simply not technologically feasible to keep pre-trade text messages in a form and manner “identifiable and searchable by transaction.” Further, bipartisan Congressional action on the rule's unworkable nature made it clear that the Commission should re-open the rule to lessen the burden on market participants not registered with the CFTC.3

    1 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Public Law 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376 (2010).

    2See Adaptation of Regulations to Incorporate Swaps-Records of Transactions, 77 FR 75523 (Dec. 21, 2012), available at https://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-12-21/pdf/2012-30691.pdf.

    3See H.R. 4413, the Customer Protection and End-User Relief Act, Sec. 353 (113th Congress) and H.R. 2289, the Commodity End-User Relief Act, Sec. 308 (114th Congress).

    In November 2014, the CFTC did propose changes to Rule 1.35.4 Unfortunately, I could not support that proposal because it did not go far enough in addressing concerns about the feasibility and cost of compliance.5 It continued to contain provisions that were overly burdensome in practice for certain covered entities. For example, the proposal kept 2012 rule revisions that required the keeping of all oral and written records that lead to the execution of a transaction in a commodity interest and related cash or forward transaction, in a form and manner “identifiable and searchable by transaction.” 6 This “searchable” requirement also conflicted with the requirements of Commission Rule 1.31, which applies to all books and records required to be kept by the Commodity Exchange Act and Commission regulations.

    4See Records of Commodity Interest and Related Cash or Forward Transactions, 79 FR 68140 (Nov. 14, 2014), available at http://www.cftc.gov/idc/groups/public/@lrfederalregister/documents/file/2014-26983a.pdf.

    5See id. at 68147-148 (Dissenting Statement of Commissioner J. Christopher Giancarlo).

    6See supra note 4.

    Appropriately, the final revisions to Rule 1.35 address many of the issues raised in my year-old dissent. End-user exchange members that are not registered or required to be registered with the Commission now must only keep transaction records, which is a logical and prudent course of regulatory policy. Text messages are also excluded from the recordkeeping requirement for end-users, but communications through internet-based messaging services must be kept on file. I anticipate that this distinction will generate interesting public commentary.7

    7 As finalized, the rule excludes text messages based on SMS and MMS technology, but includes internet-based messaging services such as iPhone messages because they are easier to store and retrieve on computers. While this outcome is puzzling and not technologically neutral, the best manner to ensure compliance with CFTC regulations is education on our rules.

    Aside from the technical points of the final rule, it is appropriate to comment on the skyrocketing compliance costs associated with trading in American commodity markets. There is an undeniable need for the CFTC to police these markets and root out fraud and abuse. Confidence and trust in our markets is essential so that farmers, manufacturers and other end-users can safely hedge their risks and costs of production. Yet, agricultural intermediaries, particularly small futures commission merchants, are being squeezed by the prolonged environment of low interest rates and increased regulatory burdens. Regulators must always balance the public's interest in collecting commercial information for use in investigations and enforcement, against costs and burdens placed on American commerce and industry and the jobs they generate. In this protracted period of weak economic growth with an enormous number of Americans out of the workforce, we must scrupulously avoid needless red tape and compliance costs that are invariably passed along through higher costs for everyday items like a loaf of bread or a gallon of gasoline, milk or winter heating oil.

    I believe the final Rule 1.35 generally gets the balance right. Yet, I must give a plain and simple warning: The elimination of unnecessary recordkeeping burdens provided in this final rule will be paradoxically tossed aside for many small market participants if Regulation Automated Trading (“Regulation AT”) is finalized as proposed.8 Under Regulation AT, many unregistered market participants would be forced to register for the first time with the CFTC as “floor traders” due to the broad definition of “algorithmic trading.” 9 As new floor traders, these market participants would then be subject to heighted recordkeeping requirements under Rule 1.35, such as keeping all “written communications provided or received concerning quotes, bids, offers, instructions, trading, and prices that lead to the execution of a transaction.”  10 As I said in my statement accompanying the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Regulation AT, I encourage market participants to carefully review and consider the compliance and cost consequences of that potential new regulatory regime and compare it to today's common-sense revisions to Rule 1.35.

    8See CFTC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (3038-AD52), Regulation Automated Trading (Dec. 14, 2015), available at http://www.cftc.gov/idc/groups/public/@newsroom/documents/file/federalregister112415.pdf.

    9See definition of “Algorithmic Trading” in proposed Commission regulation 1.3(zzzz), which is very broad and would appear to capture market participants using off-the-shelf type automated systems or simple excel spreadsheets to automate trading.

    10 Emphasis added; see Commission Rule 1.35(a)(1)(iii) (defining “written pre-trade communications”) and Rule 1.35(a)(2)(ii) (requiring all “floor traders” to keep all “written pre-trade communications”).

    As I have mentioned in the past, I have been fortunate during my time as a Commissioner to visit with agricultural and energy producers and intermediaries in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Texas, Louisiana and Kentucky. The common refrain I hear again and again is that Washington does not listen to everyday Americans. It imposes rules and regulations without regard to their obvious impact on ordinary people. Well, I believe this rule benefits from listening to those concerns and is a step in the right direction. I am hopeful that it is an indicator of future action by the CFTC that more readily takes to heart these common concerns in all of our regulatory actions.

    [FR Doc. 2015-32416 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT 24 CFR Part 578 [Docket No. FR-5783-C-03] RIN 2501-AD66 Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards: Conforming Amendments; Correction AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Housing and Urban Development is correcting a final rule that was published in the Federal Register on December 7, 2015 (80 FR 75931). The December 7, 2015, final rule contains an amendatory instruction that is inconsistent with amendments made by a final rule that was published on December 4, 2015 (80 FR 75791).

    DATES:

    Effective January 6, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Scott Moore, Financial Operations Analyst, Office of the Chief Financial Officer, Financial Policy & Procedures Division, 451 7th Street SW., Room 3210, Washington, DC 20410, telephone number 202-402-2277, or Loyd LaMois, Supervisory Program Analyst, Office of Strategic Planning and Management, 451 7th Street SW., Room 3156, Washington, DC 20410, telephone number 202-402-3964. These are not a toll-free numbers. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access these numbers through TTY by calling the Federal Relay Service, toll-free, at 800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In FR Doc 2015-29692 appearing at page 75931 in the Federal Register of Monday, December 7, 2015, the following correction is made:

    § 578.103 [Corrected]

    On page 75940, in the second column, amendatory instruction 98.a., is corrected to read as follows: “a. In paragraph (a)(17)(iii), remove `24 CFR 85.36 and 24 CFR part 84' and add in its place `2 CFR part 200, subpart D'; and”.

    Dated: December 21, 2015. Aaron Santa Anna, Assistant General Counsel for Regulations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-32470 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Fiscal Service 31 CFR Parts 315, 353, and 360 [Docket No.: FISCAL-2015-0002] RIN 1530-AA11 Regulations Governing United States Savings Bonds AGENCY:

    Bureau of the Fiscal Service, Fiscal Service, Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Department of the Treasury, Bureau of the Fiscal Service, is issuing a final rule amending regulations governing United States savings bonds to address certain state escheat claims.

    DATES:

    Effective December 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You can download this final rule at the following Internet address: http://www.regulations.gov, http://www.thefederalregister.org, or http://www.fiscal.treasury.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Theodore C. Simms II, Senior Counsel, 202-504-3710 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The United States Department of the Treasury has issued savings bonds since 1935 on the credit of the United States to raise funds for federal programs and operations. Article 8, Section 8, Clause 2 of the Constitution authorizes the federal government to “borrow money on the credit of the United States.” Under this grant of power, “the Congress authorized the Secretary of the Treasury, with the approval of the President, to issue savings bonds in such form and under such conditions as he may from time to time prescribe. . . .” Free v. Bland, 369 U.S. 663, 667 (1962) (citing the predecessor to 31 U.S.C. 3105). Congress provided that the proceeds of savings bonds may be used by the federal government for any expenditures authorized by law. See 31 U.S.C. 3105(a).

    Congress expressly authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to establish the terms and conditions that govern the savings bond program. 31 U.S.C. 3105(c). Treasury's savings bond regulations implement this authority, setting forth a contract between the United States and savings bond purchasers. This contract gives purchasers confidence that the United States will honor its debts when a purchaser surrenders a savings bond for payment. The contract also protects the public fisc by ensuring that Treasury does not face multiple claims for payment on a single savings bond.

    Under Treasury regulations, savings bonds have always been registered securities. The regulations authorize several forms of registration, including registration to individuals who are owners, co-owners, and beneficiaries, as well as to fiduciaries and institutions. See 31 CFR 315.7, 353.7, and 360.6. The regulations also provide that savings bonds are not transferrable and are payable only to the registered owner, except as described in Treasury regulations. See 31 CFR 315.15, 353.15, and 360.15. Detailed regulations describe when payment will be made to a person or entity that is not the registered owner.

    To redeem a paper savings bond, the registered owner or a successor specified in the regulations must surrender the physical bond. Although there are exceptions to the requirement that the bond be surrendered, the exceptions are carefully drawn to protect the owner's rights and to protect Treasury against competing claims. For example, if a claimant cannot surrender the bond, the claimant must provide satisfactory evidence of the loss, theft, or destruction of the bond, or a satisfactory explanation of the mutilation or defacement, as well as sufficient information to identify the bond by serial number. See, e.g., 31 CFR parts 315 and 353, subpart F. An owner's right to payment continues indefinitely. Pursuant to statutory authority, Treasury regulations allow owners to keep their bonds indefinitely and to surrender them for payment even years after the bonds mature. See 31 U.S.C. 3105(b) and 31 CFR parts 315 and 353, subpart H.

    II. State Escheat Claims for the Custody of Savings Bonds

    Many state escheat laws allow states to take custody of unclaimed or abandoned property. Treasury's savings bond regulations do not explicitly address the topic of abandoned savings bonds, or the effect of custody escheat statutes on the rights of savings bond owners. Treasury has addressed the topic in guidance and in litigation.

    In 1952, Treasury issued a bulletin to the Federal Reserve Banks providing guidance on custody escheat claims. The bulletin addressed a state claim to the custody of four savings bonds in the state's possession, which had belonged to a ward of the state who died without heirs.1 In this context, Treasury stated that it will not recognize a state claim to the custody of savings bonds, but will recognize an escheat judgment that confers title on a state because “in escheat the state is `the ultimate heir.' ” 2 The 1952 bulletin does not identify a specific regulation authorizing state escheat claims, the full criteria under which they will be considered, or a process for submitting them. Because the state did not claim title over the bonds, this kind of detail was unnecessary.

    1 Public Debt Bulletin No. 111, Subject: State Statutes Concerning Abandoned Property (Feb. 27, 1952) at 1.

    2Id. at 3.

    Treasury addressed a new, broader custody escheat claim in 2004 and 2006, when several states attempted to claim the proceeds of all matured, unredeemed bonds registered to residents in their state. Unlike the claim addressed by the 1952 bulletin, these states did not possess the bonds they sought to redeem, which presumably were still held by their owners. Treasury rejected these claims. Noting that Treasury has a contract with the savings bond owners, and is obligated to pay these owners in perpetuity when the bonds are presented for payment, Treasury informed the states that they must obtain title to the bonds and then apply to Treasury for payment under existing procedures. These procedures require claimants to surrender the physical bond or provide evidence that the bond has been lost, stolen, or destroyed. Treasury's 2004 letters specifically said that the states must possess the bonds they seek to redeem.3

    3 In 2004, Treasury sent nearly identical letters to Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Kentucky, New Hampshire, North Carolina and South Dakota rejecting their claims to a class of bonds they did not possess. In 2006, Treasury sent a similar letter to Florida. These letters are available in the docket for this rule at www.regulations.gov.

    Several of these states sued Treasury to claim the proceeds of all matured, unredeemed bonds registered to persons with addresses in their states. See New Jersey v. United States Treasury, 684 F.3d 382 (3rd Cir. 2012). In New Jersey, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit considered the validity of state statutes that deemed savings bonds to be “abandoned” if the owners did not redeem their bonds by a certain time after maturity. Relying on their own statutes, the states argued that they were entitled to take custody of the proceeds of the unredeemed bonds, and upon taking custody the states would become the entity responsible for paying the bond owners.

    The Third Circuit rejected the states' argument, explaining that the state unclaimed property statutes conflict with federal law in many ways. See New Jersey, 684 F.3d at 407-408. The court emphasized that, in advancing the goal of making the bonds “attractive to savers and investors,” Free, 369 U.S. at 669, Congress had authorized Treasury to implement regulations specifying that “owners of savings bonds may keep the bonds after maturity.” 31 U.S.C. 3105(b)(2)(A). The states' unclaimed property laws, by contrast, specified that matured bonds are abandoned and their proceeds are subject to the laws if not redeemed within a time period as short as one year after maturity. New Jersey, 684 F.3d at 407-408. Declaring the laws preempted, the Third Circuit observed that the state laws purported to alter the terms of the contracts between the United States and the bond owners, and potentially could make the United States subject to multiple obligations on a single bond. Id. at 408-409.

    III. State Escheat Claims for the Title of Savings Bonds

    Beginning in 2000, certain states enacted title escheat laws specifically for savings bonds that the states deemed to be “unclaimed” or “abandoned.” Pursuant to these title escheat laws, states have attempted to claim title to bonds in their possession, as well as to a broad class of bonds the states do not possess. Kansas enacted the first statute in 2000. Other states enacted their laws more recently. Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, and South Dakota enacted their statutes in 2014. Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Maine, New Hampshire, Ohio, and South Carolina enacted their statutes in 2015.

    These title escheat statutes raise similar concerns to the custody escheat statutes that the Third Circuit declared preempted in New Jersey. Under the title escheat statutes, states presume a savings bond to be abandoned if it has not been redeemed by a certain time. The bonds are presumed abandoned even if they have not matured and are in the owner's possession, without regard to the owner's intention to redeem them later or to pass them along to a registered beneficiary or heir. In Louisiana, for example, the state presumes that a bond is abandoned if it has not been redeemed between eight and eighteen years after issuance (depending on the bond series), long before the bond even matures.

    Under many of these laws, states may initiate an escheat proceeding to claim any bonds that are presumed abandoned; for bonds that a state does not possess, the state often publishes a statement in local newspapers of its intention to claim title to bonds of a particular description, and requires bond owners to respond to the escheat proceeding in order to protect their ownership of the bonds. Bond owners are not parties to the escheat proceeding, and may never learn that the state is attempting to claim title over their bonds, especially if they live out-of-state. To avoid escheat, savings bond owners would need to monitor state laws, newspapers, and judicial proceedings in states where they may not live in order to protect their rights.

    Despite the broad reach of these title escheat statutes, state law can only affect savings bond ownership to the extent allowed by federal regulation. Treasury's savings bond regulations determine ownership, describing in detail the rights of registered owners and their successors, including the right to hold paper bonds indefinitely. States do not have any explicit rights under these federal regulations to obtain title to savings bonds through a state escheat proceeding. To the extent that state escheat statutes purport to convey title to savings bonds in conflict with federal law, the escheat statutes would be preempted. See, e.g., Free v. Bland, 369 U.S. 663 (1962); New Jersey v. U.S. Dept. of Treasury, 684 F.3d 382, 407-408 (3rd Cir. 2012) (state unclaimed property laws preempted by federal statutes and savings bond regulations).

    The new title escheat statutes also frustrate the objectives and operations of the federal savings bond program by creating the potential for multiple claims over the same bonds. Under these state statutes, a state may attempt to claim bonds that are still in the possession of registered owners, who can submit them for payment at any time. A state may also attempt to claim bonds that are in the possession of another state, where both states have a claim to title under their own state laws. State laws may define “abandonment” in different ways, with an advantage going to the state that can claim escheat title soonest. The potential for competing claims exposes Treasury to the risk of double-payment and costly litigation, as well as threatens the vested rights of bond owners.

    Under the current savings bond regulations, Treasury has informed several states by letter that their title escheat claims will not be honored for bonds they do not possess. Given the recent increase in escheat laws specifically addressing savings bonds, the time is ripe for Treasury to clarify its prior statements on escheat and to describe more formally the criteria Treasury will use to evaluate escheat claims. Through a uniform federal rule governing title escheat claims, Treasury will provide formal notice to all states about the escheat claims it will recognize and how it will protect the rights of bond owners still in possession of their savings bonds.

    IV. Public Comments and Treasury Responses

    Treasury voluntarily sought public comment on the proposed rule for 45 days to assist the agency in giving full consideration to the matters discussed in the proposed rule. We received comments on behalf of six state officials and associations:

    1. National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators.

    2. National Association of State Treasurers.

    3. Joint comments from state officials in Kansas, Louisiana, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Kentucky, North Dakota, Iowa, South Carolina, and Maine.

    4. The Treasurer of North Carolina.

    5. The Treasurer of Missouri.

    6. The State Auditor of Arkansas.

    The commenters offered a range of observations, primarily opposing the proposed rule.

    Comment: Several commenters urged Treasury to withdraw the proposed rule because it would hinder states' efforts to “reunite” bondholders with their unredeemed, matured savings bonds. In the commenters' view, bonds that have not been redeemed for some period after maturity are forgotten, abandoned, or lost. States should have the role of locating bond owners, according to the commenters, in part because states already have effective unclaimed property programs and in part because the United States does not have an incentive to locate bond owners. Because the proposed rule does not allow states to take title to bonds they do not possess, the commenters contend that states cannot assist in locating most owners of matured, unredeemed bonds. This disadvantages bond owners and discourages the public from purchasing new savings bonds, according to the commenters.

    Response: The proposed rule is designed to protect the rights of savings bond owners, which are safeguarded by Treasury regulations and the savings bond contract. Under these regulations, bond owners have the contractual right to retain their bonds indefinitely, to pass them along to registered co-owners, beneficiaries, heirs, and other successors, and to present them for payment by the United States government. The proposed rule protects these rights by explicitly limiting states' ability to claim title and the right to payment for themselves. Contrary to the assertion of the commenters, there is no need to “reunite” the bond owners with their U.S. savings bonds, which remain in the hands of their registered owners; the regulation clarifies that Treasury will not consider a state's request to redeem a bond that the state does not possess.

    Additionally, the commenters emphasized that state unclaimed property programs will attempt to locate savings bond owners after a state claims title to their bonds. The rigor of state efforts to locate bond owners, however, would be outside federal control. Once in possession of bond proceeds, states have little incentive to locate a bond's former owner, particularly if that owner lives in another state. In addition, states may impose burdensome processes on former owners who seek payment, and may not pay former owners in full. The law in Arkansas, for example, only provides that a state “may” pay a claim from a former bond owner after deducting certain expenses from the payment. Ark. Code Ann. § 18-28-231(g)(2)(A). A person who owns a savings bond expects to be paid in full by the federal government, not by a state that has taken title to the owner's unredeemed bond.

    Treasury recognizes that savings bonds can be abandoned, with no one eligible under Treasury regulations to redeem them. States are encouraged to assist in locating the owners of bonds in the states' possession, and through advertising and other methods to persuade their citizens to redeem savings bonds that have matured. These efforts can continue without impairing a bond owner's title and rights under the savings bond contract. The commenters did not offer any evidence, however, to support their claim that matured, unredeemed bonds are necessarily lost or abandoned. Based on its contact with tens of thousands of bond owners, Treasury has learned that many bond owners choose to retain their bonds after maturity for a variety of personal and financial reasons. To protect the rights of these bond owners, Treasury has not made any changes to the proposed regulation in response to this comment.

    Comment: Several commenters asserted that the proposed rule exceeds Treasury's legal authority by preempting state property law regimes. In the commenters' view, states have the right to determine when property is unclaimed, and Treasury's proposed rule would unduly limit this right by allowing Treasury to scrutinize state escheat judgments and by preventing states from taking title to bonds that are not in the state's possession. The commenters urged that states be allowed to determine when property is abandoned, and to submit claims for bonds that are not in their possession.

    Response: The ownership of savings bonds arises from Treasury's savings bond regulations, which have been issued under an explicit grant of authority from Congress. 31 U.S.C. 3105. Under these regulations, the owner has a contract with the federal government that defines not only the registered owner's rights, but also those of successors specified in the regulations, such as a beneficiary named on the bond or the bond owner's estate. Federal courts have upheld these federal rules of succession against contrary claims founded on state law. See, e.g., Free v. Bland, 369 U.S. 663 (1962).

    Treasury has long recognized that savings bonds can be abandoned, particularly in the context of a deceased person without heirs. When no person appears able under Treasury regulations to satisfy the requirements for payment, and the state can establish that a bond has been abandoned, Treasury has allowed a state to escheat the bond and submit it for payment. This does not interfere with any rights protected by the savings bond regulations, because no one else is eligible under the Treasury regulations to receive payment. Treasury has allowed states to redeem bonds belonging to a deceased owner under 31 CFR part 315, subpart L, and bonds in a state's possession when the state can establish that they are abandoned and can satisfy the requirements for a waiver under 31 CFR 315.90.

    The definition of abandonment, however, cannot be left entirely to states because of the potential for states to impair the rights of ownership provided by federal law. As the United States General Accounting Office (GAO) explained in a 1989 report, the amounts that the United States owes to owners of matured savings bonds are not considered “unclaimed because these moneys are currently payable to the rightful owners upon presentation of a proper claim and without any time limitation.” 4 If states are allowed to define when a bond is abandoned or unclaimed, the states could impose requirements on bond owners that are outside the savings bond regulations, such as a requirement to redeem the bond within a certain time after issuance, or to maintain some active communication with the state or Treasury to prove the bond owner's continuing interest in the bond. Persons holding matured bonds with an expectation that they can be redeemed anytime—an expectation reasonably based on the savings bond regulations—should not be required to consult state law to determine if their federal property rights are protected. Because the ownership rights for savings bonds arise under federal law, they cannot be taken away by a contrary state law.

    4 General Accounting Office, Unclaimed Money: Proposals for Transferring Unclaimed Funds to States 17 (1989). GAO found that Treasury was receiving claims amounting to $7,000 to $10,000 each day for bonds that had matured many years earlier. Id. at 23.

    For this reason, Treasury has required more evidence of abandonment than is required under some state laws. While some states presume that a bond is abandoned if it has not been redeemed within a certain time after issuance, Treasury has required positive evidence that the owner has relinquished a claim over the bond. In particular cases, this evidence has included the state's physical possession of the bond and affidavits showing that the registered owner did not seek to claim it after notice. When the evidence of abandonment is sufficient, Treasury is able to recognize a state's claim to title under the waiver provisions of 31 CFR 315.90, 353.90, and 360.90 (depending on the bond series). Under these provisions, Treasury may waive a savings bond regulation if (a) the waiver would not be inconsistent with law or equity, (b) the waiver would not impair any existing rights, and (c) Treasury is satisfied that the waiver would not subject the United States to any substantial expense or liability.

    The proposed rule disallows escheat claims for “unclaimed” bonds that are not in a state's possession in part because states cannot produce sufficient evidence that these bonds are abandoned. States typically have little information about bonds that are not in their possession. In the claims reviewed by Treasury, states could not specify the original or current owner of these bonds, their physical location, or the evidence that bonds have been abandoned by their owner. Instead, states identified these bonds by general description, typically the bond series, the date range when the bonds were issued, and the state recorded in the registration. The states presumed that the bonds were abandoned based on a deadline in state law, a concept that is alien to Treasury's savings bond regulations. In contrast, a state in possession of a bond may be able to show that the bond is abandoned. Often, a state acquires possession of the bond from a bank or other entity, which made unsuccessful efforts to return the bond to its owner. The fact that a state possesses the bond is itself evidence, though not conclusive, that the bond has been abandoned. Such evidence is unavailable when a state does not possess the bonds.

    Based on Treasury's review of several claims, a state escheat proceeding produces little or no evidence of actual abandonment for bonds that are not in the state's possession. At the outset, a state will publish a general notice in local newspapers that the state is initiating an escheat proceeding for a class of bonds. These notices are a mere formality. The notice does not list the bond owners' names. Bond owners in possession of their bonds have no reason to search for their bonds in a listing of “unclaimed” property. Bond owners may not reside in the state initiating escheat proceedings or have any connection to that state. In these circumstances, few if any bond owners are likely to see the notice and come forward in time to contest the state's claim to their bonds. When a state court issues an uncontested finding that such bonds are “unclaimed” or “abandoned” under such a statute, there is an insufficient basis to conclude that owners have actually abandoned their claim to the bonds.

    Some commenters asserted that states should be allowed under 31 CFR parts 315, 353, and 360, subpart F, to submit evidence that bonds they have escheated have been lost, stolen, or destroyed. Treasury does not accept the commenters' unproven assumption that a bond is necessarily lost, stolen, or destroyed simply because it has not been redeemed by a date specified in a state escheat law. If an unforeseen instance arises in which a state escheats a bond that it cannot surrender for payment, and the state can show particularized evidence about that bond as required in subpart F, Treasury can consider that request under the waiver provisions in 31 CFR 315.90, 353.90, or 360.90. The proposed rule is consistent with the rights of bond owners safeguarded by Treasury's current savings bond regulations. Accordingly, no changes have been made to the rule in response to this comment.

    Comment: Several commenters argued that the preamble and proposed rule take a position on escheat that is at odds with past statements, where Treasury acknowledged that it would recognize state escheat claims to the title of savings bonds. The commenters specifically cited statements in 1952, 1983, and a brief filed on behalf of the United States opposing certiorari in New Jersey v. U.S. Dept. of Treasury, a case involving custody escheat claims.

    Response: State escheat claims are not explicitly recognized in the savings bond regulations. While the regulations specifically acknowledge the rights of beneficiaries, heirs, and others to succeed to ownership of savings bonds, the ability of states to claim title by escheat is not mentioned. However, Treasury has said that it will recognize state claims to title in savings bonds in particular contexts.

    Treasury's statement on escheat in 1952, the earliest cited by commenters, arose in the context of a state seeking custody of bonds in its possession. In that statement, the Secretary of the Treasury addressed a request by the Comptroller of New York to redeem four United States savings bonds that came into the state's possession after the registered owner died as a ward of the state, leaving no heirs. The Secretary informed the Comptroller that Treasury would not redeem the bonds in the state's possession unless the state obtained title to the bonds based on an escheat judgment. The Secretary's 1952 letter did not suggest that a state could demand redemption of U.S. savings bonds that the state did not possess.

    The commenters also refer to a statement first posted on Treasury's Web site in 2000, which discusses Treasury's views on escheat claims when a state seeks title to bonds in its possession, and to a 1983 letter that discusses escheat in the context of a state's claim for custody of “abandoned bonds and notes.” The 1983 letter may not concern savings bonds at all, but rather bonds and notes that Treasury has issued under different legal authority. Neither of these statements addresses claims by states to the title of savings bonds that are still in the registered owner's possession.

    The commenters also cite to a brief filed by the United States in a case involving state claims to the custody of savings bonds. This brief, opposing certiorari in the Supreme Court, does not advance a new position on escheat. Rather, it explains Treasury's longstanding view that states cannot escheat savings bonds under custody escheat statutes. In a background section, the brief summarizes the views expressed in the 1952 bulletin, the 1983 letter, and the notice on Treasury's Web site, and notes the general proposition that a state cannot receive payment without completing an escheat proceeding that satisfies due process and that awards title to the bond to the state. The litigation did not concern, and the Solicitor General did not address, the full criteria that Treasury would apply under a title escheat statute when a state seeks to redeem savings bonds that it does not possess.

    The commenters did not mention the letters that Treasury sent to states in 2004 and 2006 addressing the states' demand that Treasury pay them the proceeds of all matured, unredeemed savings held by residents of those states. Three commenters on the proposed rule, North Carolina, South Dakota and Kentucky, were recipients of these letters. As noted earlier, Treasury's 2004 and 2006 letters rejected the states' claims to bonds they did not possess. The letters specifically informed the states that they must obtain title to the bonds and then apply to Treasury for payment under existing procedures. These procedures require claimants to surrender the physical bond or provide evidence that the bond has been lost, stolen, or destroyed. The 2004 letters specifically said that the states must possess the bonds they seek to redeem.

    The proposed rule does not conflict with the statements cited by commenters or with Treasury's 2004 and 2006 letters. The proposed rule permits states to escheat savings bonds in their possession when they meet specified criteria. It also permits states to escheat the savings bonds of owners who die without successors named in the regulations, when the states meet the requirements that apply to all claimants from deceased owners, co-owners, and beneficiaries. The proposed rule does not permit states to escheat bonds that they do not possess, a position that is consistent with letters sent to states in 2004 and 2006, and more recent letters sent to Kansas and other states.

    The proposed rule is also consistent with Treasury's longstanding view that a bond owner can redeem matured bonds in the owner's possession at any time. It does not conflict with the statements cited by commenters, because those statements did not specifically address a title escheat claim for bonds that are not in a state's possession. To the extent the statements cited by commenters require interpretation, this preamble and the final rule clarify that Treasury will not recognize every state escheat judgment purporting to convey title over savings bonds. In keeping with Treasury's longstanding position, savings bond owners remain entitled to submit their paper bonds to Treasury for payment indefinitely, notwithstanding a state escheat judgment that purports to give the state title over bonds that the state does possess.

    The statements on escheat cited by commenters also did not excuse states from satisfying Treasury's payment requirements. Generally, Treasury regulations require a claimant seeking payment to surrender the bond. See, e.g., 31 CFR parts 315 and 353, subpart H, and 31 CFR 316.10. If a claimant cannot surrender the bond, the claimant must provide satisfactory evidence of the loss, theft, or destruction of the bond, or a satisfactory explanation of the mutilation or defacement, as well as sufficient information to identify the bond by serial number. See, e.g., 31 CFR parts 315 and 353, subpart F. Treasury will not consider any claim for a missing bond that is filed more than six years after a bond's final maturity, unless the claimant supplies the serial number of the bond. 31 CFR 315.29(c) and 353.29(c). When a state does not possess a bond, and does not have specific information about a bond's location, history, or serial numbers, the state cannot satisfy Treasury's requirements for payment. The proposed rule is consistent with the payment requirements in Treasury's existing savings bond regulations.

    The commenters seem to prefer that Treasury consider their escheat claims under 31 CFR parts 315, 353, or 360 subpart E (depending on the bond series), instead of the waiver provisions in sections 315.90, 353.90, or 360.90. Treasury has considered the commenters' arguments carefully. Subpart E provides in part that Treasury “will recognize a claim against an owner of a savings bond and conflicting claims of ownership of, or interest in, a bond between coowners or between the registered owner and the beneficiary, if established by valid, judicial proceedings, but only as specifically provided in this subpart.” See, e.g., 31 CFR 315.20(b). The subpart then describes the types of adverse claims covered by this subpart (payment to judgment creditors, divorce, and gifts causa mortis), and the type of evidence necessary to establish the validity of judicial proceedings. Treasury has the right to require other evidence to establish the validity of judicial proceedings under sections 315.91(a), 353.91(a), and 360.91.

    As stated in the preamble to the proposed rule and other public documents, Treasury interprets subpart E to apply only to the adverse proceedings specifically listed there. Escheat proceedings are not among the listed proceedings, and because they are in rem proceedings, they do not qualify as “a claim against an owner of a savings bond” in section 315.20(b), 353.20(b), or 360.20(b). State escheat proceedings are claims against an intangible asset, which is why state courts do not obtain jurisdiction over the bond owner in order to issue an escheat judgment. This position is not inconsistent with the 1952 letter, the 1983 letter, or the 2000 Web site entry that the commenters cite, because none of these documents cites to subpart E or any specific regulation that allows states to claim title by escheat. Treasury's letters to states in 2004 and 2006 regarding escheat also did not cite to subpart E as the basis for state escheat claims. To the extent there is any ambiguity in Treasury's prior statements on the applicability of subpart E to escheat proceedings, the final rule is intended to clarify these statements: Subpart E does not apply to escheat proceedings.

    But even when subpart E does apply, it only applies to “valid” judicial proceedings. Treasury has never maintained that it would recognize every title escheat judgment, under subpart E or any other savings bond regulation. When evaluating the validity of a proceeding under subpart E, Treasury expects more than evidence that a state judgment was entered. Treasury may require that a claimant submit any evidence pertaining to the judgment under 31 CFR 315.23, 315.91, 353.23, 353.91, 360.23, and 360.91. Treasury may require evidence, for example, that the proceeding provided due process and that the judgment does not interfere with the rights of bond owners. A state judgment is not valid under subpart E, for example, if it “gives effect to an attempted voluntary transfer inter vivos of a bond, or a judicial determination that impairs the rights of survivorship conferred by these regulations upon a coowner or beneficiary.” See, e.g., 31 CFR 315.20(a); see also Free v. Bland, 368 U.S. 663 (1962). A state judgment also will not be valid if it purports to convey custody over bonds to the state. See New Jersey v. U.S. Dept. of Treasury, 684 F.3d 382 (3rd Cir. 2012). These examples illustrate that the validity of a state judgment for purposes of subpart E depends in part on its substantive compliance with law.

    To the extent there is any ambiguity about the scope of “valid” proceedings under subpart E, the final rule has been amended to make clear that Treasury may review judicial proceedings to determine whether they provided due process, complied with the savings bond regulations, and complied with relevant state law. No other changes have been made to the proposed rule in response to this comment.

    Comment: Several commenters describe the proposed rule as a “convenient litigating position,” which they believe should not be applied in the litigation with Kansas.

    Response: The regulation addresses escheat claims from all states, and reflects Treasury's longstanding positions on the rights of bond owners. It also reflects Treasury's consideration of new title escheat statutes and new claims for bonds that a state does not possess. No changes have been made to the regulation in response to this comment.

    Comment: Several commenters questioned Treasury's authority to review state escheat judgments. According to the commenters, only the Supreme Court has jurisdiction over appeals from final state court judgments, relying on Lance v. Dennis, 546 U.S. 459 (2006), a case construing the bounds of federal jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. 1257.

    Response: Contrary to the assertions of the commenters, Lance is inapposite because Treasury's consideration of the savings bond redemption request does not constitute judicial appellate review. To be sure, the United States Supreme Court has exclusive jurisdiction to hear appeals from final state court judgments under 28 U.S.C. 1257, but that principle only applies when invoked against a losing party in the underlying state judicial action. Lance, 546 U.S. at 464. Because Treasury is not a party to state escheat proceedings, and is not in a position to request Supreme Court review of the state judgment, Lance and 28 U.S.C. 1257 do not apply here. No changes have been made to the regulation in response to this comment.

    Comment: One commenter viewed the savings bond regulations as an unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority.

    Response: Under its constitutional power to borrow money, Congress has authorized the Secretary of the Treasury, with approval of the President, to issue savings bonds in such form and under such conditions as he may prescribe. Free v. Bland, 369 U.S. 663, 666-667 (1962); 31 U.S.C. 3105. This authority allows Treasury to issue regulations prescribing restrictions on transfer and conditions governing redemption. 31 U.S.C. 3105(c). The proposed savings bond regulations fit within this authority. No changes have been made to the regulation in response to this comment.

    Comment: One commenter asserted that the proposed rule is a “major rule” subject to the Congressional Review Act (CRA), 5 U.S.C. 804. The commenter claimed that the rule would substantially decrease the likelihood that bond owners will “recover” over $16,000,000,000 in matured savings bonds, thereby surpassing the Act's $100,000,000 threshold for economic impact. The commenter also asserted that the proposed rule could substantially increase costs for states seeking to restore unclaimed property to their citizens.

    Response: The CRA defines a “major rule” as any rule that the Office of Management and Budget finds has resulted or is likely to result in “(A) an annual effect on the economy of $100,000,000 or more; (B) a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government agencies, or geographic regions; or (C) significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises in domestic and export markets.” 5 U.S.C. 804(2). The commenter asserted that the rule triggers the first two definitions of a major rule.

    The rule does not alter the United States' obligation to redeem savings bonds in accordance with the savings bond regulations. Current bond owners may continue to surrender their matured, unredeemed bonds to Treasury for payment, as many people do every year. Because the rule protects the existing rights of bond owners under the savings bond contract, its effect on the economy does not meet the threshold test for a major rule.

    The commenter did not offer evidence that the proposed rule will cause a major increase in costs or prices for state unclaimed property programs. When a state seeks to escheat bonds in a state's possession, Treasury's rule would require states to show that bonds are actually abandoned and that the state escheat proceeding provided due process and was consistent with federal and state law. Treasury does not expect that this requirement will impose major, new costs on states.

    No changes have been made in the proposed rule in response to this comment.

    V. Summary of the Final Rule

    The final rule describes when Treasury will recognize an escheat judgment vesting title in the state to abandoned savings bonds. For bonds in the state's possession, the final rule requires a state to demonstrate that it made reasonable efforts to provide actual and constructive notice of the state escheat proceeding to all persons listed on the face of the bond and all persons who may have an interest in the bond. The state must also demonstrate that those persons had an opportunity to be heard before the escheat judgment was entered. The steps normally required in a state escheat proceeding may be adequate to establish abandonment, but Treasury is not bound by these proceedings. Because state escheat rules may vary and state escheat proceedings are often uncontested, Treasury reserves the right to require additional evidence of abandonment. Existing regulations already allow Treasury to require a bond of indemnity, with or without surety, in any case for the protection of the United States' interests. See 31 CFR 315.91, 353.91, and 360.91. These regulations remain in effect.

    The final regulation also makes explicit that Treasury will not recognize escheat judgments that convey custody, but not title, to a state. This principle is well established in Federal case law and has been incorporated into the final regulation.

    Treasury's decision to recognize escheat judgments for bonds in a state's possession will be a discretionary matter, because the breadth of state escheat laws is not within Treasury's control. In exercising discretion, Treasury will consider whether a state's escheat claim impairs any existing rights under Treasury regulations and will assess the risk to Treasury of duplicative payment claims. Requiring states to possess the bonds that they seek to redeem protects these interests, and enables Treasury to locate records of the bonds for which the state seeks payment. Treasury will also assess whether the state has followed its own escheat rules, to ensure (for example) that a state judgment only covers bonds that were eligible for escheat.

    The final rule on escheat claims to unclaimed property does not apply when a state claims title to a definitive savings bond as the heir to a deceased owner. Treasury has long recognized circumstances in which a state may obtain title to a savings bond by escheat when the bond owner has died. These escheat claims will be considered under existing savings bond regulations that pertain to the estates of deceased owners, co-owners, and beneficiaries. See 31 CFR part 315, subpart L; part 353, subpart L; and part 360, subpart K.

    The final rule does reflect one change in the proposed rule. The final rule provides additional information about how Treasury will assess whether a state proceeding is “valid” under 31 CFR 315.20, 353.20, and 360.20. Under the final rule, Treasury may require any evidence to establish the validity of judicial proceedings, such as evidence that the proceeding provided due process, complied with this Part, and complied with relevant state law.

    VI. Procedural Requirements A. Administrative Procedure Act (APA)

    Because this rule relates to United States securities, which are contracts between Treasury and the owner of the security, this rulemaking falls within the contract exception to the APA at 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(2). Treasury, however, voluntarily sought public comment to assist the agency in giving full consideration to the matters discussed in the proposed rule. Treasury fully considered and responded to those comments in the preamble to this final rule.

    B. Congressional Review Act (CRA)

    This rule is not a major rule pursuant to the CRA, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq. It is not expected to lead to any of the results listed in 5 U.S.C. 804(2). This rule will take effect upon publication in the Federal Register.

    C. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    We ask for no collections of information in this final rule. Therefore, the PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. does not apply.

    D. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., does not apply to this rulemaking because, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(2), it is not required to be issued with notice and opportunity for public comment. The rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The rule primarily affects states and is not expected to have a direct impact on any small entities.

    E. Executive Order 12866

    This rule is not a significant regulatory action pursuant to Executive Order 12866.

    List of Subjects in 31 CFR Parts 315, 353, and 360

    Government securities, Savings bonds.

    Accordingly, for the reasons set out in the preamble, 31 CFR parts 315, 353, and 360 are amended to read as follows:

    PART 315—REGULATIONS GOVERNING U.S. SAVINGS BONDS, SERIES A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, AND K, AND U.S. SAVINGS NOTES 1. The authority citation for part 315 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    31 U.S.C. 3105 and 5 U.S.C. 301.

    2. Amend § 315.20 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 315.20 General.

    (b) The Department of the Treasury will recognize a claim against an owner of a savings bond and conflicting claims of ownership of, or interest in, a bond between coowners or between the registered owner and the beneficiary, if established by valid, judicial proceedings specifically listed in this subpart. Escheat proceedings will not be recognized under this subpart. Section 315.23 specifies evidence required to establish the validity of judicial proceedings. Treasury may require any other evidence to establish the validity of judicial proceedings, such as evidence that the proceeding provided due process, complied with this part, and complied with relevant state law.

    3. Redesignate subpart O as subpart P. 4. Add a new subpart O to read as follows: Subpart O—Escheat and Unclaimed Property Claims by States
    § 315.88 Payment to a State claiming title to abandoned bonds.

    (a) General. The Department of the Treasury may, in its discretion, recognize an escheat judgment that purports to vest a State with title to a definitive savings bond that has reached the final extended maturity date and is in the State's possession, when the State presents evidence satisfactory to Treasury that the bond has been abandoned by all persons entitled to payment under Treasury regulations. A State claiming title to a definitive savings bond as the heir to a deceased owner must comply with the requirements of subpart L, and not this section. Treasury will not recognize an escheat judgment that purports to vest a State with title to a bond that has not reached its final extended maturity date. Treasury also will not recognize an escheat judgment that purports to vest a State with title to a bond that the State does not possess, or a judgment that purports to grant the State custody of a bond, but not title.

    (b) Due process. At a minimum, a State requesting payment under this section must demonstrate to Treasury's satisfaction that it made reasonable efforts to provide actual and constructive notice of the escheat proceeding to all persons listed on the face of the bond and all persons who may have an interest in the bond, and that those persons had an opportunity to be heard before the escheat judgment was entered.

    (c) Fulfillment of obligation. Payment to a State claiming title under this section fulfills the United States' obligations to the same extent as if payment had been made to the registered owner.

    PART 353—REGULATIONS GOVERNING DEFINITIVE UNITED STATES SAVINGS BONDS, SERIES EE AND HH 5. The authority citation for part 353 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 301; 12 U.S.C. 391; 31 U.S.C. 3105, 3125.

    6. Amend § 353.20 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 353.20 General

    (b) The Department of the Treasury will recognize a claim against an owner of a savings bond and conflicting claims of ownership of, or interest in, a bond between coowners or between the registered owner and the beneficiary, if established by valid, judicial proceedings specifically listed in this subpart. Escheat proceedings will not be recognized under this subpart. Section 353.23 specifies evidence required to establish the validity of judicial proceedings. Treasury may require any other evidence to establish the validity of judicial proceedings, such as evidence that the proceeding provided due process, complied with this part, and complied with relevant state law.

    7. Redesignate subpart O as subpart P. 8. Add a new subpart O to read as follows: Subpart O—Escheat and Unclaimed Property Claims by States
    § 353.88 Payment to a State claiming title to abandoned bonds.

    (a) General. The Department of the Treasury may, in its discretion, recognize an escheat judgment that purports to vest a State with title to a definitive savings bond that has reached final maturity and is in the State's possession, when the State presents evidence satisfactory to Treasury that the bond has been abandoned by all persons entitled to payment under Treasury regulations. A State claiming title to a definitive savings bond as the heir to a deceased owner must comply with the requirements of subpart L, and not this section. Treasury will not recognize an escheat judgment that purports to vest a State with title to a bond that has not reached its final maturity. Treasury also will not recognize an escheat judgment that purports to vest a State with title to a bond that the State does not possess, or a judgment that purports to grant the State custody of a bond, but not title.

    (b) Due process. At a minimum, a State requesting payment under this section must demonstrate to Treasury's satisfaction that it made reasonable efforts to provide actual and constructive notice of the escheat proceeding to all persons listed on the face of the bond and all persons who may have an interest in the bond, and that those persons had an opportunity to be heard before the escheat judgment was entered.

    (c) Fulfillment of obligation. Payment to a State claiming title under this section fulfills the United States' obligations to the same extent as if payment had been made to the registered owner.

    PART 360—REGULATIONS GOVERNING DEFINITIVE UNITED STATES SAVINGS BONDS, SERIES I 9. The authority citation for part 360 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 301; 31 U.S.C. 3105 and 3125.

    10. Amend § 360.20 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 360.20 General

    (b) The Department of the Treasury will recognize a claim against an owner of a savings bond and conflicting claims of ownership of, or interest in, a bond between coowners or between the registered owner and the beneficiary, if established by valid, judicial proceedings specifically listed in this subpart. Escheat proceedings will not be recognized under this subpart. Section 360.23 specifies evidence required to establish the validity of judicial proceedings. Treasury may require any other evidence to establish the validity of judicial proceedings, such as evidence that the proceeding provided due process, complied with this part, and complied with relevant state law.

    11. Redesignate subpart M as subpart N. 12. Add a new subpart M to read as follows: Subpart M—Escheat and Unclaimed Property Claims by States
    § 360.77 Payment to a State claiming title to abandoned bonds.

    (a) General. The Department of the Treasury may, in its discretion, recognize an escheat judgment that purports to vest a State with title to a definitive savings bond that has stopped earning interest and is in the State's possession, when the State presents evidence satisfactory to Treasury that the bond has been abandoned by all persons entitled to payment under Treasury regulations. A State claiming title to a definitive savings bond as the heir to a deceased owner must comply with the requirements of subpart L of this part, and not this section. Treasury will not recognize an escheat judgment that purports to vest a State with title to a bond that is still earning interest. Treasury also will not recognize an escheat judgment that purports to vest a State with title to a bond that the State does not possess, or a judgment that purports to grant the State custody of a bond, but not title.

    (b) Due process. At a minimum, a State requesting payment under this section must demonstrate to Treasury's satisfaction that it made reasonable efforts to provide actual and constructive notice of the escheat proceeding to all persons listed on the face of the bond and all persons who may have an interest in the bond, and that those persons had an opportunity to be heard before the escheat judgment was entered.

    (c) Fulfillment of obligation. Payment to a State claiming title under this section fulfills the United States' obligations to the same extent as if payment had been made to the registered owner.

    Dated: December 18, 2015. David A. Lebryk, Fiscal Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-32488 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-AS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2015-1082] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Arthur Kill, Staten Island, New York AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Arthur Kill (AK) Railroad Bridge across Arthur Kill, mile 11.6, between Staten Island, New York and Elizabeth, New Jersey. This deviation allows the bridge to remain in the closed position to facilitate scheduled maintenance. This deviation is necessary to facilitate tie and miter rail replacement on the lift span.

    DATES:

    This deviation is effective from 8:21 a.m. on January 9, 2016 to 6:45 p.m. January 31, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2015-1082] is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH”. Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Mr. Joe Arca, Project Officer, First Coast Guard District, telephone (212) 514-4336, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The AK Railroad Bridge, across Arthur Kill, mile 11.6, between Staten Island, New York and Elizabeth, New Jersey has a vertical clearance in the closed position of 31 feet at Mean High Water and 35 feet at Mean Low Water. The existing drawbridge operation regulations are listed at 33 CFR 117.702.

    The waterway supports both commercial and recreational navigation of various vessel sizes. The operator of the bridge, Conrail, requested a temporary deviation to facilitate scheduled maintenance and to replace the tie and miter rail on the bridge. The bridge must remain in the closed position to perform this maintenance.

    Under this temporary deviation, the draw may remain in the closed position as follows:

    On January 9, 2016 from 8:21 a.m. to 1:02 p.m. and from 3:02 p.m. to 6:46 p.m. On January 10, 2016 from 8:59 a.m. to 1:46 p.m. and 3:46 p.m. to 7:26 p.m. On January 16, 2016 from 8:19 a.m. to 12:08 p.m. and from 2:08 p.m. to 6:43 p.m. On January 17, 2016 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:09 p.m. and from 3:09 p.m. to 7:47 p.m. On January 23, 2016 from 8:31 a.m. to 1:02 p.m. and from 3:02 p.m. to 6:59 p.m. On January 24, 2016 from 9:15 a.m. to 1:47 p.m. and from 3:47 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. On January 30, 2016 from 7:27 a.m. to 11:33 a.m. and from 1:33 p.m. to 5:51 p.m. On January 31, 2016 from 8:27 a.m. to 12:17 p.m. and from 2:17 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.

    Vessels able to pass through the bridge in the closed positions may do so at anytime. There are no alternate routes for vessel traffic. The bridge can be opened in an emergency. The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterway through our Local and Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge so that vessels can arrange their transits to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation.

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

    Dated: December 16, 2015. C.J. Bisignano, Supervisory Bridge Management Specialist, First Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2015-32447 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2015-1057] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Annisquam River and Blynman Canal, Gloucester, MA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Blynman (SR127) Bridge across the Annisquam River and Blynman Canal at mile 0.0 at Gloucester, MA. The deviation is necessary due to the inhabitability of the operator's house associated with a settling of the adjacent seawall resulting in a partial collapse of the house rendering the structure unsafe for occupancy. This deviation allows the bridge to be opened with a two hour advanced notice during the hours of 8 p.m. through 4 a.m. from January 1, 2016 through April 30, 2016.

    DATES:

    This deviation is effective from 8 p.m. on January 1, 2016 through 4 a.m. April 30, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, [USCG-USCG-2015-1057] is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH”. Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this temporary deviation, call or email Mr. Scott White, First Coast Guard District Bridge Branch, Coast Guard; telephone 617-223-8364, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Blynman (SR 127) Bridge across the Annisquam River and Blynman Canal, mile 0.0, at Gloucester, Massachusetts, has a vertical clearance in the closed position of 8.2 feet at mean high water and 16 feet at mean low water. The existing bridge operating regulations are found at 33 CFR 117.586.

    The owner of the bridge, Massachusetts Department of Transportation, requested a temporary deviation from the normal operating schedule to open on signal after at least a two hour advance notice is provided between the hours of 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. for the period of January 1, 2016 through April 30, 2016.

    The waterways are transited primarily by seasonal recreation vessels of various sizes. Historical records indicate infrequent requests for openings occur during this timeframe. Vessels able to pass through the bridge in the closed position may do so at anytime. The bridge will not be able to open for emergencies however the northern entrance to the Annisquam River can be used as an alternate route for vessels unable to pass through the bridge in closed positions. The Coast Guard will also inform the users of the waterways through our Local and Broadcast Notices to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge so that vessel operators can arrange their transits to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation.

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

    Dated: December 21, 2015. C.J. Bisignano, Supervisory Bridge Management Specialist, First Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2015-32446 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE United States Patent and Trademark Office 37 CFR Part 6 [Docket No. PTO-T-2015-0077] RIN 0651-AD06 International Trademark Classification Changes AGENCY:

    United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) issues a final rule to incorporate classification changes adopted by the Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks (Nice Agreement). These changes are effective January 1, 2016, and are listed in the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks (10th ed., ver. 2016), which is published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). In addition, the USPTO is making a change that appeared in an earlier revision of the Nice Agreement and minor revisions to punctuation and grammar to conform to what appears in the Nice Agreement.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on January 1, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Catherine Cain, Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Trademark Examination Policy, at (571) 272-8946 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose: As noted above, the revised rule benefits the public by providing notice regarding classification changes adopted by the Nice Agreement that will become effective on January 1, 2016.

    Summary of Major Provisions: The USPTO is revising § 6.1 in part 6 of title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations to incorporate classification changes and modifications that will become effective January 1, 2016, or that appeared in earlier revisions of the Nice Agreement, as listed in the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks (10th ed., 2016) (Nice Classification), published by WIPO. In addition, the USPTO is making minor revisions to punctuation and grammar so that § 6.1 will conform to what appears in the Nice Agreement.

    The Nice Agreement is a multilateral treaty, administered by WIPO, that establishes the international classification of goods and services for the purposes of registering trademarks and service marks. As of September 1, 1973, this international classification system is the controlling system used by the United States, and it applies to all applications filed on or after September 1, 1973, and their resulting registrations, for all statutory purposes. See 37 CFR 2.85(a). As of January 1, 2015, eighty-four states are parties to the Nice Agreement. Every signatory to the Nice Agreement must utilize the international classification system.

    Each state party to the Nice Agreement is represented in the Committee of Experts of the Nice Union (Committee of Experts), which meets annually to vote on proposed changes to the Nice Classification. Any state that is a party to the Nice Agreement may submit proposals for consideration by the other members in accordance with agreed-upon rules of procedure. Proposals are currently submitted on an annual basis to an electronic forum on the WIPO Web site, commented upon, modified, and compiled by WIPO for further discussion and voting at the annual Committee of Experts meeting.

    In 2013, the Committee of Experts began annual revisions to the Nice Classification. The annual revisions, which are published electronically and enter into force on January 1 each year, are referred to as versions and identified by edition number and year of the effective date (e.g., “Nice Classification, 10th edition, version 2013” or “NCL 10-2013”). Each annual version includes all changes adopted by the Committee of Experts since the adoption of the previous version. The changes consist of the addition of new goods and services to, and deletion of goods and services from, the Alphabetical List, and any modifications to the wording in the Alphabetical List, the class headings, and the explanatory notes that do not involve the transfer of goods or services from one class to another. New editions of the Nice Classification continue to be published electronically and include all changes adopted annually since the previous edition, as well as goods or services transferred from one class to another or new classes that are created.

    The annual revisions contained in this final rule, which consist of modifications to the class headings, have been incorporated into the Nice Agreement by the Committee of Experts. As a signatory to the Nice Agreement, the United States adopts these revisions pursuant to Article 1.

    Costs and Benefits: This rulemaking is not economically significant under Executive Order 12866 (Sept. 30, 1993).

    Discussion of Rule Changes

    The Office is revising § 6.1 as follows:

    The wording “metals in foil and powder form for painters, decorators, printers and artists” in Class 2 is amended to “metals in foil and powder form for use in painting, decorating, printing and art.”

    The wording “Pharmaceutical and veterinary preparations” in Class 5 is amended to “Pharmaceuticals, medical and veterinary preparations.”

    The wording “goods of common metal not included in other classes” in Class 6 is deleted.

    The comma after “apparatus and instruments” in Class 10 is changed to a semicolon.

    The wording “and goods in precious metals or coated therewith, not included in other classes” in Class 14 is deleted.

    The wording “Paper, cardboard and goods made from these materials, not included in other classes” in Class 16 is amended to “Paper and cardboard.” The wording “(not included in other classes)” is deleted from the phrase “plastic materials for packaging (not included in other classes).”

    The wording “Rubber, gutta-percha, gum, asbestos, mica and goods made from these materials and not included in other classes” in Class 17 is amended to “Unprocessed and semi-processed rubber, gutta-percha, gum, asbestos, mica and substitutes for all these materials.”

    The wording “and goods made of these materials and not included in other classes” is deleted from the phrase “Leather and imitations of leather, and goods made of these materials and not included in other classes” in Class 18.

    The wording “goods (not included in other classes) of wood, cork, reed, cane, wicker, horn, bone, ivory, whalebone, shell, amber, mother-of-pearl, meerschaum and substitutes for all these materials, or of plastics” in Class 20 is amended to “unworked or semi-worked bone, horn, ivory, whalebone or mother-of-pearl; shells; meerschaum; yellow amber.”

    The wording “not included in other classes” is deleted from the phrase “glassware, porcelain and earthenware not included in other classes” in Class 21.

    The wording “Ropes, string, nets, tents, awnings, tarpaulins, sails, sacks and bags (not included in other classes);” in Class 22 is amended to “Ropes and string; nets; tents, awnings and tarpaulins; sails;” and the wording “paper, cardboard,” is added before the term “rubber” in the phrase “padding and stuffing materials (except of rubber or plastics).”

    The wording “Textiles and textile goods, not included in other classes” is replaced with “Textiles and substitutes for textiles” in Class 24.

    The wording “not included in other classes” is deleted from the phrase “gymnastic and sporting articles not included in other classes” in Class 28.

    The term “pastry” is amended to “pastries” in Class 30. The term “edible” is inserted before the term “ices.”

    The wording “Grains and agricultural, horticultural and forestry products not included in other classes” and “seeds” in Class 31 is amended to “Agricultural, horticultural and forestry products; raw and unprocessed grains and seeds.”

    Rulemaking Requirements

    Administrative Procedure Act: The changes in this rulemaking involve rules of agency practice and procedure, and/or interpretive rules. See Perez v. Mortg. Bankers Ass'n, 135 S. Ct. 1199, 1204 (2015) (interpretive rules “advise the public of the agency's construction of the statutes and rules which it administers”) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted); Nat'l Org. of Veterans' Advocates v. Sec'y of Veterans Affairs, 260 F.3d 1365, 1375 (Fed. Cir. 2001) (rule that clarifies interpretation of a statute is interpretive); Bachow Commc'ns Inc. v. FCC, 237 F.3d 683, 690 (D.C. Cir. 2001) (rules governing an application process are procedural under the Administrative Procedure Act); Inova Alexandria Hosp. v. Shalala, 244 F.3d 342, 350 (4th Cir. 2001) (rules for handling appeals were procedural where they did not change the substantive standard for reviewing claims).

    Accordingly, prior notice and opportunity for public comment for the changes in this rulemaking are not required pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b) or (c), or any other law. See Perez, 135 S. Ct. at 1206 (notice-and-comment procedures are required neither when an agency “issue[s] an initial interpretive rule” nor “when it amends or repeals that interpretive rule”); Cooper Techs. Co. v. Dudas, 536 F.3d 1330, 1336-37 (Fed. Cir. 2008) (stating that 5 U.S.C. 553, and thus 35 U.S.C. 2(b)(2)(B), does not require notice and comment rulemaking for “interpretative rules, general statements of policy, or rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice,” quoting 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A)). The 30-day delay in effectiveness is not applicable because this rule is not a substantive rule as the changes in this rule have no impact on the standard for reviewing trademark applications. As discussed above, the changes in this rulemaking involve rules of agency practice and procedure, and consist of modifications to the class headings that are used to classify goods and services in the trademark-application process. These changes are administrative in nature and will have no substantive impact on the evaluation of a trademark application. The purpose of a delay in effectiveness is to allow affected parties time to modify their behaviors, businesses, or practices to come into compliance with new regulations. This rule imposes no additional requirements on the affected entities. Therefore, the requirement for a 30-day delay in effectiveness is not applicable, and the rule is made effective upon the date of publication.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act: As prior notice and an opportunity for public comment are not required pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 or any other law, neither a Regulatory Flexibility Act analysis, nor a certification under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601, et seq.), is required. See 5 U.S.C. 603.

    Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review): This rulemaking has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866 (Sept. 30, 1993).

    Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review): The USPTO has complied with Executive Order 13563 (Jan. 18, 2011). Specifically, the USPTO has, to the extent feasible and applicable: (1) Made a reasoned determination that the benefits justify the costs of the rule changes; (2) tailored the rules to impose the least burden on society consistent with obtaining the regulatory objectives; (3) selected a regulatory approach that maximizes net benefits; (4) specified performance objectives; (5) identified and assessed available alternatives; (6) provided the public with a meaningful opportunity to participate in the regulatory process, including soliciting the views of those likely affected prior to issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking, and provided on-line access to the rulemaking docket; (7) attempted to promote coordination, simplification, and harmonization across government agencies and identified goals designed to promote innovation; (8) considered approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public; and (9) ensured the objectivity of scientific and technological information and processes, to the extent applicable.

    Executive Order 13132 (Federalism): This rulemaking does not contain policies with federalism implications sufficient to warrant preparation of a Federalism Assessment under Executive Order 13132 (Aug. 4, 1999).

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995: The changes set forth in this rulemaking do not involve a Federal intergovernmental mandate that will result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, of 100 million dollars (as adjusted) or more in any one year, or a Federal private sector mandate that will result in the expenditure by the private sector of 100 million dollars (as adjusted) or more in any one year, and will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions are necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995. See 2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.

    Paperwork Reduction Act: This final rule does not involve information collection requirements which are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

    List of Subjects in 37 CFR Part 6

    Administrative practice and procedure, Classification, Trademarks.

    For the reasons given in the preamble and under the authority contained in 15 U.S.C. 1112, 1123 and 35 U.S.C. 2, as amended, the USPTO is amending part 6 of title 37 as follows:

    PART 6—CLASSIFICATION OF GOODS AND SERVICES UNDER THE TRADEMARK ACT 1. The authority citation for part 6 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Secs. 30, 41, 60 Stat. 436, 440; 15 U.S.C. 1112, 1123; 35 U.S.C. 2, unless otherwise noted.

    2. Revise § 6.1 to read as follows:
    § 6.1 International schedule of classes of goods and services. Goods

    1. Chemicals used in industry, science and photography, as well as in agriculture, horticulture and forestry; unprocessed artificial resins, unprocessed plastics; manures; fire extinguishing compositions; tempering and soldering preparations; chemical substances for preserving foodstuffs; tanning substances; adhesives used in industry.

    2. Paints, varnishes, lacquers; preservatives against rust and against deterioration of wood; colorants; mordants; raw natural resins; metals in foil and powder form for use in painting, decorating, printing and art.

    3. Bleaching preparations and other substances for laundry use; cleaning, polishing, scouring and abrasive preparations; soaps; perfumery, essential oils, cosmetics, hair lotions; dentifrices.

    4. Industrial oils and greases; lubricants; dust absorbing, wetting and binding compositions; fuels (including motor spirit) and illuminants; candles and wicks for lighting.

    5. Pharmaceuticals, medical and veterinary preparations; sanitary preparations for medical purposes; dietetic food and substances adapted for medical use or veterinary use, food for babies; dietary supplements for humans and animals; plasters, materials for dressings; material for stopping teeth, dental wax; disinfectants; preparations for destroying vermin; fungicides, herbicides.

    6. Common metals and their alloys; metal building materials; transportable buildings of metal; materials of metal for railway tracks; non-electric cables and wires of common metal; ironmongery, small items of metal hardware; pipes and tubes of metal; safes; ores.

    7. Machines and machine tools; motors and engines (except for land vehicles); machine coupling and transmission components (except for land vehicles); agricultural implements other than hand-operated; incubators for eggs; automatic vending machines.

    8. Hand tools and implements (hand-operated); cutlery; side arms; razors.

    9. Scientific, nautical, surveying, photographic, cinematographic, optical, weighing, measuring, signalling, checking (supervision), life-saving and teaching apparatus and instruments; apparatus and instruments for conducting, switching, transforming, accumulating, regulating or controlling electricity; apparatus for recording, transmission or reproduction of sound or images; magnetic data carriers, recording discs; compact discs, DVDs and other digital recording media; mechanisms for coin-operated apparatus; cash registers, calculating machines, data processing equipment, computers; computer software; fire-extinguishing apparatus.

    10. Surgical, medical, dental and veterinary apparatus and instruments; artificial limbs, eyes and teeth; orthopedic articles; suture materials.

    11. Apparatus for lighting, heating, steam generating, cooking, refrigerating, drying, ventilating, water supply and sanitary purposes.

    12. Vehicles; apparatus for locomotion by land, air or water.

    13. Firearms; ammunition and projectiles; explosives; fireworks.

    14. Precious metals and their alloys; jewellery, precious stones; horological and chronometric instruments.

    15. Musical instruments.

    16. Paper and cardboard; printed matter; bookbinding material; photographs; stationery; adhesives for stationery or household purposes; artists' materials; paintbrushes; typewriters and office requisites (except furniture); instructional and teaching material (except apparatus); plastic materials for packaging; printers' type; printing blocks.

    17. Unprocessed and semi-processed rubber, gutta-percha, gum, asbestos, mica and substitutes for all these materials; plastics in extruded form for use in manufacture; packing, stopping and insulating materials; flexible pipes, not of metal.

    18. Leather and imitations of leather; animal skins, hides; trunks and travelling bags; umbrellas and parasols; walking sticks; whips, harness and saddlery.

    19. Building materials (non-metallic); non-metallic rigid pipes for building; asphalt, pitch and bitumen; non-metallic transportable buildings; monuments, not of metal.

    20. Furniture, mirrors, picture frames; unworked or semi-worked bone, horn, ivory, whalebone or mother-of-pearl; shells; meerschaum; yellow amber.

    21. Household or kitchen utensils and containers; combs and sponges; brushes (except paintbrushes); brush-making materials; articles for cleaning purposes; steelwool; unworked or semi-worked glass (except glass used in building); glassware, porcelain and earthenware.

    22. Ropes and string; nets; tents, awnings and tarpaulins; sails; sacks; padding and stuffing materials (except of paper, cardboard, rubber or plastics); raw fibrous textile materials.

    23. Yarns and threads, for textile use.

    24. Textiles and substitutes for textiles; bed covers; table covers.

    25. Clothing, footwear, headgear.

    26. Lace and embroidery, ribbons and braid; buttons, hooks and eyes, pins and needles; artificial flowers.

    27. Carpets, rugs, mats and matting, linoleum and other materials for covering existing floors; wall hangings (non-textile).

    28. Games and playthings; gymnastic and sporting articles; decorations for Christmas trees.

    29. Meat, fish, poultry and game; meat extracts; preserved, frozen, dried and cooked fruits and vegetables; jellies, jams, compotes; eggs; milk and milk products; edible oils and fats.

    30. Coffee, tea, cocoa and artificial coffee; rice; tapioca and sago; flour and preparations made from cereals; bread, pastries and confectionery; edible ices; sugar, honey, treacle; yeast, baking-powder; salt; mustard; vinegar, sauces (condiments); spices; ice.

    31. Agricultural, horticultural and forestry products; raw and unprocessed grains and seeds; fresh fruits and vegetables; natural plants and flowers; live animals; foodstuffs for animals; malt.

    32. Beers; mineral and aerated waters and other non-alcoholic beverages; fruit beverages and fruit juices; syrups and other preparations for making beverages.

    33. Alcoholic beverages (except beers).

    34. Tobacco; smokers' articles; matches.

    Services

    35. Advertising; business management; business administration; office functions.

    36. Insurance; financial affairs; monetary affairs; real estate affairs.

    37. Building construction; repair; installation services.

    38. Telecommunications.

    39. Transport; packaging and storage of goods; travel arrangement.

    40. Treatment of materials.

    41. Education; providing of training; entertainment; sporting and cultural activities.

    42. Scientific and technological services and research and design relating thereto; industrial analysis and research services; design and development of computer hardware and software.

    43. Services for providing food and drink; temporary accommodation.

    44. Medical services; veterinary services; hygienic and beauty care for human beings or animals; agriculture, horticulture and forestry services.

    45. Legal services; security services for the protection of property and individuals; personal and social services rendered by others to meet the needs of individuals.

    Dated: December 18, 2015. Michelle K. Lee, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    [FR Doc. 2015-32467 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-16-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0685; FRL-9940-01] Propiconazole on Tea; Pesticide Tolerance AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This regulation establishes a tolerance for residues of propiconazole in or on tea. The Tea Association of the U.S.A., Inc. requested these tolerances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

    DATES:

    This regulation is effective December 24, 2015. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before February 22, 2016, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0685, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Susan Lewis, 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. How can I get electronic access to other related information?

    You may access a frequently updated electronic version of EPA's tolerance regulations at 40 CFR part 180 through the Government Printing Office's e-CFR site at http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?&c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title40/40tab_02.tpl.

    C. How can I file an objection or hearing request?

    Under FFDCA section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0685 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before February 22, 2016. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

    In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0685, 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 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. II. Summary of Petitioned-for Tolerance

    In the Federal Register of October 21, 2015 (80 FR 63731) (FRL-9935-29), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announcing the filing of a pesticide petition (PP 4E8300) by the Tea Association of the U.S.A., Inc., 362 5th Avenue, Suite 801, New York, New York, 10001. The petition requested that 40 CFR 180.434 be amended by establishing a tolerance for residues of the fungicide propiconazole in or on tea at 4.0 parts per million (ppm). That document referenced a summary of the petition prepared by the Tea Association of the U.S.A., Inc., the registrant, which is available in the docket, http://www.regulations.gov. No comments concerning this tolerance action were received.

    III. Aggregate Risk Assessment and Determination of Safety

    Section 408(b)(2)(A)(i) of FFDCA allows EPA to establish a tolerance (the legal limit for a pesticide chemical residue in or on a food) only if EPA determines that the tolerance is “safe.” Section 408(b)(2)(A)(ii) of FFDCA defines “safe” to mean that “there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue, including all anticipated dietary exposures and all other exposures for which there is reliable information.” This includes exposure through drinking water and in residential settings, but does not include occupational exposure. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA requires EPA to give special consideration to exposure of infants and children to the pesticide chemical residue in establishing a tolerance and to “ensure that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to infants and children from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue. . . .”

    Consistent with FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), and the factors specified in FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), EPA has reviewed the available scientific data and other relevant information in support of this action. EPA has sufficient data to assess the hazards of and to make a determination on aggregate exposure for propiconazole including exposure resulting from the tolerances established by this action. EPA's assessment of exposures and risks associated with propiconazole follows.

    A. Toxicological Profile

    EPA has evaluated the available toxicity data and considered its validity, completeness, and reliability as well as the relationship of the results of the studies to human risk. EPA has also considered available information concerning the variability of the sensitivities of major identifiable subgroups of consumers, including infants and children.

    The primary target organ for propiconazole toxicity in animals is the liver. Increased liver weights were seen in mice after subchronic or chronic oral exposures to propiconazole. Liver lesions such as vacuolation of hepatocytes, ballooned liver cells, foci of enlarged hepatocytes, hypertrophy, and necrosis are characteristic of propiconazole toxicity in rats and mice. Decreased body weight gain was also seen in subchronic, chronic, developmental and reproductive studies in animal studies. Dogs appeared to be more sensitive to the localized toxicity of propiconazole as manifested by stomach irritations at 6 milligram/kilogram/day (mg/kg/day) and above.

    In rabbits, developmental toxicity occurred at a higher dose than the maternally toxic dose, while in rats, developmental toxicity occurred at lower doses than maternal toxic doses. Increased incidences of rudimentary ribs occurred in rat and rabbit fetuses. Increased cleft palate malformations were noted in two studies in rats. In one published study in rats, developmental effects (malformations of the lung and kidneys, incomplete ossification of the skull, caudal vertebrae and digits, extra rib (14th rib), and missing sternbrae) were reported at doses that were not maternally toxic. In the 2-generation reproduction study in rats, offspring toxicity occurred at a higher dose than the parental toxic dose suggesting lower susceptibility of the offspring to the toxic doses of propiconazole.

    The acute neurotoxicity study produced severe clinical signs of toxicity (decreased activity, cold, pale, decreased motor activity, etc.) in rats at the high dose of 300 milligram/kilogram (mg/kg). Limited clinical signs (piloerection, diarrhea, tip toe gait) were observed in the mid-dose animals (100 mg/kg), while no treatment related signs were observed at 30 mg/kg. The current acute dietary assessment for the general population is based on the no-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) of 30 mg/kg from the acute neurotoxicity study. A subchronic neurotoxicity study in rats did not produce neurotoxic signs at the highest dose tested that was associated with decreased body weight.

    Propiconazole was negative for mutagenicity in the in vitro BALB/3T3 cell transformation assay, bacterial reverse mutation assay, Chinese hamster bone marrow chromosomal aberration assay, unscheduled DNA synthesis studies in human fibroblasts and primary rat hepatocytes, mitotic gene conversion assay, and the dominant lethal assay in mice. It caused proliferative changes in the rat liver with or without pretreatment with an initiator, like phenobarbital, a known liver tumor promoter. Liver enzyme induction studies with propiconazole in mice demonstrated that propiconazole is a strong phenobarbital type inducer of xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes. Hepatocellular proliferation studies in mice suggest that propiconazole induces cell proliferation followed by treatment-related hypertrophy in a manner similar to the known hypertrophic agent phenobarbital.

    Propiconazole was carcinogenic to male mice but was not carcinogenic to rats or to female mice. The Agency classified propiconazole as a possible human carcinogen and recommended that, for the purpose of risk characterization, the reference dose (RfD) approach be used for quantification of human risk. Propiconazole is not genotoxic and this fact, together with special mechanistic studies, indicates that propiconazole is a threshold carcinogen. Propiconazole produced liver tumors in male mice only at a high dose that was toxic to the liver. At doses below the RfD, liver toxicity is not expected; therefore, tumors are also not expected.

    Specific information on the studies received and the nature of the adverse effects caused by propiconazole as well as the NOAEL and the lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level (LOAEL) from the toxicity studies can be found at http://www.regulations.gov in document, “Propiconazole Human Health Risk Assessment for the New Use of Propiconazole on Imported Tea” at pp. 41-46 in docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0685.

    B. Toxicological Points of Departure/Levels of Concern

    Once a pesticide's toxicological profile is determined, EPA identifies toxicological points of departure (POD) and levels of concern to use in evaluating the risk posed by human exposure to the pesticide. For hazards that have a threshold below which there is no appreciable risk, the toxicological POD is used as the basis for derivation of reference values for risk assessment. PODs are developed based on a careful analysis of the doses in each toxicological study to determine the dose at which the NOAEL and the LOAEL are identified. Uncertainty/safety factors are used in conjunction with the POD to calculate a safe exposure level—generally referred to as a population-adjusted dose (PAD) or a RfD—and a safe margin of exposure (MOE). For non-threshold risks, the Agency assumes that any amount of exposure will lead to some degree of risk. Thus, the Agency estimates risk in terms of the probability of an occurrence of the adverse effect expected in a lifetime. For more information on the general principles EPA uses in risk characterization and a complete description of the risk assessment process, see http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/riskassess.htm.

    A summary of the toxicological endpoints for propiconazole used for human risk assessment is shown in Table 1.

    Table 1—Summary of Toxicological Doses and Endpoints for Propiconazole for Use in Human Health Risk Assessment Exposure/scenario Point of departure and uncertainty/
  • safety factors
  • RfD, PAD, LOC for risk assessment Study and toxicological effects
    Acute dietary (Females 13-50 years of age) NOAEL = 30 mg/kg/day
  • UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • FQPA SF = 1x
  • Acute RfD = 0.3 mg/kg/day
  • aPAD = 0.3 mg/kg/day
  • Developmental Study—Rat MRID 40425001
  • LOAEL = 90 mg/kg/day based on increased incidence of rudimentary ribs, un-ossified sternebrae, as well as increased incidence of shortened and absent renal papillae and increased cleft palate.
  • Acute dietary (General population including infants and children) NOAEL = 30 mg/kg/day
  • UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • FQPA SF = 1x
  • Acute RfD = 0.3 mg/kg/day
  • aPAD = 0.3 mg/kg/day
  • Acute neurotoxicity study Rat MRID 46604601
  • LOAEL = 100 mg/kg/day based on clinical signs of toxicity (piloerection in one male, diarrhea in one female, tip toe gait in 3 females).
  • Chronic dietary (Adult Males and Females 50+ yrs) NOAEL= 10 mg/kg/day
  • UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • FQPA SF = 1x
  • Chronic RfD = 0.1 mg/kg/day
  • cPAD = 0.1 mg/kg/day
  • 24-month carcinogenicity study on CD-1 mice. MRID 00129918
  • LOAEL = 50 mg/kg/day based on non-neoplastic liver effects (increased liver weight in males and increase in liver lesions: Masses/raised areas/swellings/nodular areas mainly).
  • Incidental oral short-term (1 to 30 days) NOAEL= 30 mg/kg/day
  • UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • FQPA SF= 1x
  • Residential LOC for MOE = 100
  • Occupational LOC for MOE = 100
  • Acute Neurotoxicity Study—Rats MRID 46604601
  • LOAEL = 100 mg/kg/day based on clinical signs of toxicity (piloerection in one male, diarrhea in one female, tip toe gait in 3 females).
  • Incidental oral intermediate-term (1 to 6 months) NOAEL= 10 mg/kg/day
  • UFA= 10x
  • UFH= 10x
  • FQPA SF= 1x
  • Residential LOC for MOE = 100
  • Occupational LOC for MOE = 100
  • 24 Month carcinogenicity Study—Mice MRID 00129918
  • LOAEL = 50 mg/kg/day based on non-neoplastic liver effects (increased liver weight in males and increase in liver lesions: Masses/raised areas/swellings/nodular areas mainly).
  • Dermal Short Term (1-30 days) NOAEL= 30 mg/kg/day
  • UFA= 10x
  • UFH= 10x
  • Residential LOC for MOE = 100
  • Occupational LOC for MOE = 100
  • Acute Neurotoxicity Study—Rats MRID 46604601
  • LOAEL = 100 mg/kg/day based on clinical signs of toxicity (piloerection in one male, diarrhea in one female, tip toe gait in 3 females).
  • Dermal Intermediate Term (1-6 months) NOAEL= 10 mg/kg/day
  • UFA= 10x
  • UFH= 10x
  • Residential LOC for MOE = 100
  • Occupational LOC for MOE = 100
  • 24 Month carcinogenicity Study—Mice MRID 00129918
  • LOAEL = 50 mg/kg/day based on non-neoplastic liver effects (increased liver weight in males and increase in liver lesions: Masses/raised areas/swellings/nodular areas mainly).
  • Inhalation Short-term (1 to 30 days) NOAEL= 30 mg/kg/day
  • UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • Occupational LOC for MOE = 100 Acute Neurotoxicity Study—Rats MRID 46604601
  • LOAEL = 100 mg/kg/day based on clinical signs of toxicity (piloerection in one male, diarrhea in one female, tip toe gait in 3 females).
  • Inhalation Intermediate-Term (1 to 6 months) NOAEL = 10 mg/kg/day
  • UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • Occupational LOC for MOE = 100 24 Month carcinogenicity Study—Mice MRID 00129918
  • LOAEL = 50 mg/kg/day based on non-neoplastic liver effects (increased liver weight in males and increase in liver lesions: Masses/raised areas/swellings/nodular areas mainly).
  • Cancer (all routes—oral, dermal, inhalation) Classification: Group C, possible human carcinogen, RfD approach for risk characterization. FQPA SF = Food Quality Protection Act Safety Factor. LOAEL = lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level. LOC = level of concern. mg/kg/day = milligram/kilogram/day. MOE = margin of exposure. NOAEL = no-observed-adverse-effect-level. PAD = population adjusted dose (a = acute, c = chronic). RfD = reference dose. UF = uncertainty factor. UFA = extrapolation from animal to human (interspecies). UFDB = to account for the absence of data or other data deficiency. UFH = potential variation in sensitivity among members of the human population (intraspecies).
    C. Exposure Assessment

    1. Dietary exposure from food and feed uses. In evaluating dietary exposure to propiconazole, EPA considered exposure under the petitioned-for tolerances as well as all existing propiconazole tolerances in 40 CFR 180.434. EPA assessed dietary exposures from propiconazole in food as follows:

    i. Acute exposure. Quantitative acute dietary exposure and risk assessments are performed for a food-use pesticide, if a toxicological study has indicated the possibility of an effect of concern occurring as a result of a 1-day or single exposure. Such effects were identified for propiconazole. In estimating acute dietary exposure, EPA used food consumption information from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, What We Eat in America, (NHANES/WWEIA). This dietary survey was conducted from 2003 to 2008. As to residue levels in food, EPA conducted an acute dietary analysis for propiconazole residues of concern using tolerance levels and 100 percent crop treated (PCT) for all existing and proposed uses.

    ii. Chronic exposure. In conducting the chronic dietary exposure assessment EPA used the food consumption data from the USDA NHANES/WWEIA. This dietary survey was conducted from 2003 to 2008. As to residue levels in food, EPA conducted a chronic dietary analysis for propiconazole residues of concern average field trial residues, tolerance levels and 100 PCT for all existing and proposed uses.

    iii. Cancer. Based on the data summarized in Unit III.A., EPA has concluded that a nonlinear RfD approach is appropriate for assessing cancer risk to propiconazole. Cancer risk was assessed using the same exposure estimates as discussed in Unit III.C.1.ii., chronic exposure.

    iv. Anticipated residue and percent crop treated (PCT) information. Section 408(b)(2)(E) of FFDCA authorizes EPA to use available data and information on the anticipated residue levels of pesticide residues in food and the actual levels of pesticide residues that have been measured in food. If EPA relies on such information, EPA must require pursuant to FFDCA section 408(f)(1) that data be provided 5 years after the tolerance is established, modified, or left in effect, demonstrating that the levels in food are not above the levels anticipated. For the present action, EPA will issue such data call-ins as are required by FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(E) and authorized under FFDCA section 408(f)(1). Data will be required to be submitted no later than 5 years from the date of issuance of these tolerances.

    2. Dietary exposure from drinking water. The Agency used screening-level water exposure models in the dietary exposure analysis and risk assessment for propiconazole in drinking water. These simulation models take into account data on the physical, chemical, and fate/transport characteristics of propiconazole. Further information regarding EPA drinking water models used in pesticide exposure assessment can be found at http://www.epa.gov/oppefed1/models/water/index.htm.

    The Agency does not expect any additional residues of propiconazole in drinking water as a result of the imported tea use. Therefore, the Agency is relying on the previous drinking water assessment for assessing propiconazole tolerances. The previously assessed turf EDWCs are approximately one order of magnitude higher and more protective than the EDWCs for the new use.

    Based on the Surface Water Concentration Calculator (SWCC) and Pesticide Root Zone Model—Ground Water (PRZM-GW) models, the estimated drinking water concentrations (EDWCs) of propiconazole for acute exposures are estimated to be 35.2 parts per billion (ppb) for surface water and 37.9 ppb for ground water, and for chronic exposures are estimated to be 18.6 ppb for surface water and 35.1 ppb for ground water.

    Modeled estimates of drinking water concentrations were directly entered into the dietary exposure model. For acute dietary risk assessment, the water concentration value of 37.9 ppb was used to assess the contribution to drinking water. For chronic dietary risk assessment, the water concentration of value 35.1 ppb was used to assess the contribution to drinking water.

    3. From non-dietary exposure. The term “residential exposure” is used in this document to refer to non-occupational, non-dietary exposure (e.g., for lawn and garden pest control, indoor pest control, termiticides, and flea and tick control on pets).

    Although there are no proposed residential uses associated with the imported tea use, propiconazole is currently registered for the following uses that could result in residential exposures: Turf, landscapes, ornamentals, and in paint. The highest incidental oral and dermal exposure scenarios are expected from residential use on turf. EPA assessed short-term risk to toddlers from incidental oral and dermal exposure as well as from post-application dermal exposure. The highest post application exposure from residential use on turf was used to assess risk to short-term aggregate exposures.

    The only residential use scenario that will result in potential intermediate-term exposure to propiconazole is wood treatment, which the Agency assumes may result in dermal and incidental oral post-application exposures to children. Further information regarding EPA standard assumptions and generic inputs for residential exposures may be found at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/trac/science/trac6a05.pdf.

    4. Cumulative effects from substances with a common mechanism of toxicity. Section 408(b)(2)(D)(v) of FFDCA requires that, when considering whether to establish, modify, or revoke a tolerance, the Agency consider “available information” concerning the cumulative effects of a particular pesticide's residues and “other substances that have a common mechanism of toxicity.”

    Propiconazole is a member of the triazole-containing class of pesticides. Although conazoles act similarly in plants (fungi) by inhibiting ergosterol biosynthesis, there is not necessarily a relationship between their pesticidal activity and their mechanism of toxicity in mammals. Structural similarities do not constitute a common mechanism of toxicity. Evidence is needed to establish chemicals operate by the same, or essentially the same, sequence of major biochemical events (EPA, 2002). In conazoles, however, a variable pattern of toxicological responses is found; some are hepatotoxic and hepatocarcinogenic in mice. Some induce thyroid tumors in rats. Some induce developmental, reproductive, and neurological effects in rodents. Furthermore, the conazoles produce a diverse rand of biochemical events including altered cholesterol levels, stress responses, and altered DNA methylation. It is not clearly understood whether these biochemical events are directly connected to their toxicological outcomes.

    Thus, there is currently no evidence to indicate that conazoles share common mechanisms of toxicity and EPA is not following a cumulative risk approach based on a common mechanism of toxicity for the conazoles. For information regarding EPA's efforts to determine which chemicals have a common mechanism of toxicity and to evaluate the cumulative effects of such chemicals, see EPA's Web site at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/cumulative.

    Propiconazole is a triazole-derived pesticide. This class of compounds can form the common metabolite 1,2,4-triazole and two triazole conjugates (triazolylalanine and triazolylacetic acid). To support existing tolerances and to establish new tolerances for triazole-derivative pesticides, including propiconazole, EPA conducted a human health risk assessment for exposure to 1,2,4-triazole, triazolylalanine, and triazolylacetic acid resulting from the use of all current and pending uses of any triazole-derived fungicide. The risk assessment is a highly conservative, screening-level evaluation in terms of hazards associated with common metabolites (e.g., use of a maximum combination of uncertainty factors) and potential dietary and non-dietary exposures (i.e., high end estimates of both dietary and non-dietary exposures). The Agency retained a 3X for the LOAEL to NOAEL safety factor when the reproduction study was used. In addition, the Agency retained a 10X for the lack of studies including a DNT. The assessment includes evaluations of risks for various subgroups, including those comprised of infants and children. The Agency's complete risk assessment is found in the propiconazole reregistration docket at http://www.regulations.gov, Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0497.

    An updated aggregate human health risk assessment for the common triazole metabolites 1,2,4-triazole (T), triazolylalanine (TA), triazolylacetic acid (TAA), and triazolylpyruvic acid (TP) was completed on April 9, 2015, in association with the registration requests for several triazole fungicides (propiconazole, difenoconazole, and flutriafol). That analysis concluded that risk estimates were below the Agency's level of concern for all population groups. This assessment may be found on http://www.regulations.gov by searching for the following title and docket ID number: “Common Triazole Metabolites: Updated Aggregate Human Health Risk Assessment to Address The New Section 3 Registrations For Use of Propiconazole on Tea, Dill, Mustard Greens, Radish, and Watercress; Use of Difenoconazole on Globe Artichoke, Ginseng and Greenhouse Grown Cucumbers and Conversion of the Established Foliar Uses/Tolerances for Stone Fruit and Tree Nut Crop Groups to Fruit, Stone, Group 12-12 and the Nut, Tree, Group 14-12.; and Use of Flutriafol on Hops” located under docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0685.

    D. Safety Factor for Infants and Children

    1. In general. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA provides that EPA shall apply an additional tenfold (10X) margin of safety for infants and children in the case of threshold effects to account for prenatal and postnatal toxicity and the completeness of the database on toxicity and exposure unless EPA determines based on reliable data that a different margin of safety will be safe for infants and children. This additional margin of safety is commonly referred to as the Food Quality Protection Act Safety Factor (FQPA SF). In applying this provision, EPA either retains the default value of 10X, or uses a different additional safety factor when reliable data available to EPA support the choice of a different factor.

    2. Prenatal and postnatal sensitivity. In the developmental toxicity study in rats, fetal effects observed in this study at a dose lower than that evoking maternal toxicity are considered to be quantitative evidence of increased susceptibility of fetuses to in utero exposure to propiconazole. Neither quantitative nor qualitative evidence of increased susceptibility was observed in utero or post-natally in either the rabbit developmental or 2-generation reproduction rat study. There is no evidence of neuropathology or abnormalities in the development of the fetal nervous system from the available toxicity studies conducted with propiconazole. In the rat acute neurotoxicity study, there was evidence of clinical toxicity at the high dose of 300 mg/kg, but no evidence of neuropathology from propiconazole administration.

    Although there was quantitative evidence of increased susceptibility of the young following exposure to propiconazole in the developmental rat study, the Agency determined there is a low degree of concern for this finding and no residual uncertainties because the increased susceptibility was based on minimal toxicity at high doses of administration, clear NOAELs and LOAELs have been identified for all effects of concern, and a clear dose-response has been well defined.

    3. Conclusion. EPA has determined that reliable data show the safety of infants and children would be adequately protected if the FQPA SF were reduced to 1x. That decision is based on the following findings:

    i. The toxicity database for propiconazole is complete.

    ii. Other than the mild effects seen at 300 mg/kg in the acute neurotoxicity study, neurotoxicity and neurobehavioral effects were not seen in the propiconazole toxicity database. The liver, not the nervous system, is the primary target organ of propiconazole toxicity.

    iii. Although an apparent increased quantitative susceptibility was observed in fetuses and offspring, for reasons noted in this Unit, residual uncertainties or concerns for prenatal and/or postnatal toxicity are minimal.

    iv. There are no residual uncertainties identified in the exposure databases. The acute dietary food exposure assessments were performed based on 100 PCT and tolerance-level residues, while the chronic used a combination of tolerance-level residues and reliable data on average field trial residues and 100 PCT. EPA made conservative (protective) assumptions in the ground and surface water modeling used to assess exposure to propiconazole in drinking water. EPA used similarly conservative assumptions to assess post-application exposure of children as well as incidental oral exposure of toddlers. A turf transferable residue study is unavailable but being requested from the registrant for registration review of propiconazole. In all probability this study will reduce exposure estimates for both the incidental oral and post-application exposure to children. These assessments will not underestimate the exposure and risks posed by propiconazole.

    E. Aggregate Risks and Determination of Safety

    EPA determines whether acute and chronic dietary pesticide exposures are safe by comparing aggregate exposure estimates to the acute PAD (aPAD) and chronic PAD (cPAD). For linear cancer risks, EPA calculates the lifetime probability of acquiring cancer given the estimated aggregate exposure. Short-, intermediate-, and chronic-term risks are evaluated by comparing the estimated aggregate food, water, and residential exposure to the appropriate PODs to ensure that an adequate MOE exists.

    1. Acute risk. Using the exposure assumptions discussed in this unit for acute exposure, the acute dietary exposure from food and water to propiconazole will occupy 85% of the aPAD for children 1-2 years old, the population group receiving the greatest exposure.

    2. Chronic risk. Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for chronic exposure, EPA has concluded that chronic exposure to propiconazole from food and water will utilize 24% of the cPAD for children 1-2 years old, the population group receiving the greatest exposure. Based on the explanation in Unit III.C.3., regarding residential use patterns, chronic residential exposure to residues of propiconazole is not expected.

    3. Short-term risk. Short-term aggregate exposure takes into account short-term residential exposure plus chronic exposure to food and water (considered to be a background exposure level). Propiconazole is currently registered for uses that could result in short-term residential exposure, and the Agency has determined that it is appropriate to aggregate chronic exposure through food and water with short-term residential exposures to propiconazole.

    Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for short-term exposures, EPA has concluded the combined short-term food, water, and residential exposures result in aggregate MOEs from post-application activities (the highest exposure scenario) of 200 for adults and 96 for children 1-2 years old. This assessment is considered conservative since the short-term endpoints are based on a conservative LOAEL that is 3x higher than the NOAEL. Therefore, the true NOAEL is likely higher and would result in MOEs greater than 100. Further, the assessment is based on a combination of tolerance-level residues and reliable data on average field-trial residues and 100 PCT, conservative assumptions in the ground and surface water modeling, and conservative assumptions to assess post-application exposure of children as well as incidental oral exposure of toddlers. Additionally, the assessment could be further refined by using PCT estimates and anticipated residues for all crops. Although dietary (food and water) is not the aggregate exposure driver, incorporating PCT would likely increase the aggregate MOE further above 100. For example, the Agency's latest PCT figures indicate that the highest average PCT reported for propiconazole residues on crops is 55%, which is much less than the 100 PCT the Agency used for all commodities in its assessment. Accordingly, even though this MOE for children 1-2 years old is slightly below the target MOE of 100, the difference is small and is more than offset by the conservative exposure assumptions and therefore not of concern.

    4. Intermediate-term risk. Intermediate-term aggregate exposure takes into account intermediate-term residential exposure plus chronic exposure to food and water (considered to be a background exposure level).

    Propiconazole is currently registered for uses that could result in intermediate-term residential exposure, and the Agency has determined that it is appropriate to aggregate chronic exposure through food and water with intermediate-term residential exposures to propiconazole.

    Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for intermediate-term exposures, EPA has concluded that the combined intermediate-term food, water, and residential exposures result in aggregate MOEs of 110 for children 1-2 years old. Because EPA's level of concern for propiconazole is a MOE of 100 or below, this MOE is not of concern.

    5. Aggregate cancer risk for U.S. population. Based on the discussion in Unit III.A., EPA considers the chronic aggregate risk assessment to be protective of any aggregate cancer risk. As there is no chronic risk of concern, EPA does not expect any cancer risk to the U.S. population from aggregate exposure to propiconazole.

    6. Determination of safety. Based on these risk assessments, EPA concludes that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to the general population, or to infants and children from aggregate exposure to propiconazole residues.

    IV. Other Considerations A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

    Adequate enforcement methodology, a high performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet detection method (HPLC/UV Method AG-671A) is available to enforce the tolerance expression.

    The method may be requested from: Chief, Analytical Chemistry Branch, Environmental Science Center, 701 Mapes Rd., Ft. Meade, MD 20755-5350; telephone number: (410) 305-2905; email address: [email protected].

    B. International Residue Limits

    In making its tolerance decisions, EPA seeks to harmonize U.S. tolerances with international standards whenever possible, consistent with U.S. food safety standards and agricultural practices. EPA considers the international maximum residue limits (MRLs) established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), as required by FFDCA section 408(b)(4). The Codex Alimentarius is a joint United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization food standards program, and it is recognized as an international food safety standards-setting organization in trade agreements to which the United States is a party. EPA may establish a tolerance that is different from a Codex MRL; however, FFDCA section 408(b)(4) requires that EPA explain the reasons for departing from the Codex level.

    The Codex has not established an MRL for propiconazole on tea.

    V. Conclusion

    Therefore, tolerances are established for residues of propiconazole, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on tea at 4.0 ppm. As there are currently no U.S. registrations for propiconazole for use on tea, EPA is adding a footnote to the regulation to clarify that fact.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    This action establishes a tolerance under FFDCA section 408(d) in response to a petition submitted to the Agency. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted these types of actions from review under Executive Order 12866, entitled “Regulatory Planning and Review” (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993). Because this action has been exempted from review under Executive Order 12866, this action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, entitled “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) or Executive Order 13045, entitled “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997). This action does not contain any information collections subject to OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), nor does it require any special considerations under Executive Order 12898, entitled “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations” (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

    Since tolerances and exemptions that are established on the basis of a petition under FFDCA section 408(d), such as the tolerance in this final rule, do not require the issuance of a proposed rule, the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), do not apply.

    This action directly regulates growers, food processors, food handlers, and food retailers, not States or tribes, nor does this action alter the relationships or distribution of power and responsibilities established by Congress in the preemption provisions of FFDCA section 408(n)(4). As such, the Agency has determined that this action will not have a substantial direct effect on States or tribal governments, on the relationship between the national government and the States or tribal governments, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government or between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. Thus, the Agency has determined that Executive Order 13132, entitled “Federalism” (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999) and Executive Order 13175, entitled “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000) do not apply to this action. In addition, this action does not impose any enforceable duty or contain any unfunded mandate as described under Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.).

    This action does not involve any technical standards that would require Agency consideration of voluntary consensus standards pursuant to section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (15 U.S.C. 272 note).

    VII. Congressional Review Act

    Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), EPA will submit a report containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Agricultural commodities, Pesticides and pests, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: December 16, 2015. Susan Lewis, Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

    PART 180—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 180 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 321(q), 346a and 371.

    2. In § 180.434: a. Redesignate paragraph (a) as paragraph (a)(1). b. Add a new paragraph (a)(2).

    The amendments read as follows:

    § 180.434 Propiconazole; tolerances for residues.

    (a) General. (1) * * *

    (2) Tolerances are established for propiconazole, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on the commodities in the table below. Compliance with the tolerance levels specified below is to be determined by measuring only propiconazole, 1-[[2-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-propyl-1,3-dioxolan-2-yl]methyl]-1H-1,2,4-triazole, in or on the commodity.

    Commodity Parts per
  • million
  • Tea 1 4.0 1 There are no United States registrations for use of propiconazole on tea as of December 24, 2015.
    [FR Doc. 2015-32328 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0730; FRL-9933-39] Spinetoram; Pesticide Tolerances AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This regulation establishes tolerances for residues of spinetoram in or on multiple commodities that are identified and discussed later in this document. In addition, this regulation removes a number of existing tolerances for residues of spinetoram that are superseded by this action. Interregional Research Project # 4 (IR-4) requested these tolerances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).

    DATES:

    This regulation is effective December 24, 2015. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before February 22, 2016, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0730, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Susan Lewis, 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. How can I get electronic access to other related information?

    You may access a frequently updated electronic version of EPA's tolerance regulations at 40 CFR part 180 through the Government Printing Office's e-CFR site at http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?&c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title40/40tab_02.tpl.

    C. How can I file an objection or hearing request?

    Under FFDCA section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0730 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before February 22, 2016. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

    In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0730, 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 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. II. Summary of Petitioned-for Tolerance

    In the Federal Register of Monday, December 30, 2013 (78 FR 79359) (FRL-9903-69) and Wednesday, November 4, 2015 (80 FR 68289) (FRL-9936-13), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408(d)(3), 21 U.S.C. 346a(d)(3), announcing the filing and subsequent filing of an amendment to pesticide petition (PP 3E8203) by IR-4, 500 College Road East, Suite 201 W, Princeton, NJ 08540. The petition requested that 40 CFR 180 be amended by establishing tolerances for the combined residues of the insecticide spinetoram, expressed as a combination of XDE-175-J: 1-;H-as-indaceno[3,2d]oxacyclododecin-7,15-dione, 2-[(6-deoxy-3-O-ethyl-2,4-di-O-methyl-a-Lmannopyranosyl)oxy]-13-[[(2R,5S,6R)-5-(dimethylamino)tetrahydro-6-methyl-2Hpyran-2-yl]oxy]-9-ethyl-2,3,3a,4,5,5a,5b,6,9,10,11,12,13,14,16a,16b-hexadecahydro 14-methyl-(2R,3aR,5aR,5bS,9S,13S,14R,16aS,16bR); XDE-175-L: 1H-as-indaceno[3,2d]oxacyclododecin-7,15-dione, 2-[(6-deoxy-3-O-ethyl-2,4-di-O-methyl-a-Lmannopyranosyl)oxy]-13-[[(2R,5S,6R)-5-(dimethylamino)tetrahydro-6-methyl-2Hpyran-2-yl]oxy]-9-ethyl-2,3,3a,5a,5b,6,9,10,11,12,13,14,16a,16b-tetradecahydro-4,14-dimethyl-(2S,3aR,5aS,-5bS,9S,13S,14R,16aS,16bS); ND-J: (2R,3aR,5aR,5bS,9S,13S,14R,16aS,16bR)-9-ethyl-14-methyl-13-[[(2S,5S,6R)-6-methyl-5-(methylamino)tetrahydro-2H-pyran-2-yl]oxy]-7,15-dioxo-2,3,3a,4,5,5a,5b,6,7,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16a,16b-octadecahydro-1H-as-indaceno[3,2-d]oxacyclododecin-2-yl 6-deoxy-3-O-ethyl-2,4-di-O-methyl-alpha-L-manno pyranoside; and NF-J: (2R,3S,6S)-6-([(2R,3aR,5aR,5bS,9S,13S,14R,16aS,16bR)-2-[(6-deoxy-3-Oethyl-2,4-di-O-methyl-alpha-L-mannopyranosyl)oxy]-9-ethyl-14-methyl-7,15-dioxo-2,3,3a,4,5,5a,5b,6,7,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16a,16b-octadecahydro-1H-as-indaceno[3,2d]oxacyclododecin-13-yl]oxy)-2-methyltetrahydro-2H-pyran-3-yl(methyl)formamide in or on the following raw agricultural commodities: Berry, low growing, subgroup 13-07G, except blueberry, lowbush, and cranberry at 1.0 parts per million (ppm); bushberry subgroup 13-07B, except lingonberry at 0.25 ppm; caneberry subgroup 13-07A at 0.7 ppm; coffee, green bean at 0.2 ppm; coffee, instant at 0.4 ppm; coffee, roasted bean at 0.4 ppm; cottonseed subgroup 20C at 0.04 ppm; fruit, citrus, group 10-10 at 0.3 ppm; fruit, pome group 11-10 at 0.2 ppm; fruit, small, vine climbing, except fuzzy kiwifruit, subgroup 13-07F at 0.5 ppm; fruit, stone, group 12-12 at 0.2 ppm; nuts, tree, group 14-12 at 0.1 ppm; onion, bulb, subgroup 3-07A at 0.1 ppm; onion, green, subgroup 3-07B at 2.0 ppm; quinoa, grain at 0.04 ppm; and vegetable, fruiting, group 8-10 at 0.4 ppm. In addition, the petitioner proposes based upon establishment of the new tolerances above, to remove the following established spinetoram tolerances that are superseded by this action: Bushberry subgroup 13B at 0.25 ppm; caneberry subgroup 13A at 0.70 ppm; cotton, undelinted seed at 0.04 ppm; fruit, citrus, group 10 at 0.30 ppm; fruit, pome, group 11 at 0.20 ppm; fruit, stone, group 12 at 0.20 ppm; grape at 0.50 ppm; juneberry at 0.25 ppm; lingonberry at 0.25 ppm; nut tree, group 14 at 0.10 ppm; okra at 0.40 ppm; onion, green at 2.0 ppm; pistachio at 0.10 ppm; salal at 0.25 ppm; strawberry at 1.0 ppm; vegetable, bulb, group 3, except green onion at 0.10 ppm; and vegetable, fruiting group 8 at 0.4 ppm. That document referenced a summary of the petition prepared by Dow AgroSciences, the registrant, which is available in the docket, http://www.regulations.gov. A single comment was received on the notice of filing, EPA's response to the comment is discussed in Unit IV.C.

    Based upon review of the data supporting the petition, EPA has made certain modifications to petitioned-for actions. The reasons for these changes are explained in Unit IV.C.

    III. Aggregate Risk Assessment and Determination of Safety

    Section 408(b)(2)(A)(i) of FFDCA allows EPA to establish a tolerance (the legal limit for a pesticide chemical residue in or on a food) only if EPA determines that the tolerance is “safe.” Section 408(b)(2)(A)(ii) of FFDCA defines “safe” to mean that “there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue, including all anticipated dietary exposures and all other exposures for which there is reliable information.” This includes exposure through drinking water and in residential settings, but does not include occupational exposure. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA requires EPA to give special consideration to exposure of infants and children to the pesticide chemical residue in establishing a tolerance and to “ensure that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to infants and children from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue. . . .”A24DE0.

    Consistent with FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), and the factors specified in FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), EPA has reviewed the available scientific data and other relevant information in support of this action. EPA has sufficient data to assess the hazards of and to make a determination on aggregate exposure for spinetoram including exposure resulting from the tolerances established by this action. EPA's assessment of exposures and risks associated with spinetoram follows.

    A. Toxicological Profile

    EPA has evaluated the available toxicity data and considered their validity, completeness, and reliability as well as the relationship of the results of the studies to human risk. EPA has also considered available information concerning the variability of the sensitivities of major identifiable subgroups of consumers, including infants and children.

    Spinetoram and spinosad are considered by EPA to be toxicologically identical for human health risk assessment based on their very similar chemical structures and similarity of the toxicological databases for currently available studies. The primary toxic effect observed from exposure to spinosad or spinetoram was histopathological changes in multiple organs (specific target organs were not identified). Vacuolization of cells and/or macrophages was the most common histopathological finding noted across both toxicological databases with the dog being the most sensitive species. In addition to the numerous organs observed with histopathological changes, anemia was noted in several studies.

    There was no evidence of increased quantitative or qualitative susceptibility from spinosad or spinetoram exposure. In developmental studies, no maternal or developmental effects were seen in rats or rabbits. In the rat reproduction toxicity studies, offspring toxicity was seen in the presence of parental toxicity at approximately the same dose for both chemicals (75-100 milligram/kilogram/day (mg/kg/day)). Parental toxicity was evidenced by increased organ weights, mortality, and histopathological findings in several organs. Offspring effects included decreased litter size, survival, and body weights with spinosad while an increased incidence of late resorptions and post-implantation loss was seen with spinetoram. Dystocia and/or other parturition abnormalities were observed with both chemicals.

    Spinosad and spinetoram are classified as having low acute toxicity via the oral, dermal, and inhalation routes of exposure. Neither chemical is an eye or dermal irritant. Spinetoram was found to be a dermal sensitizer. No hazard was identified for dermal exposure; therefore a quantitative dermal assessment is not needed. In acute and subchronic neurotoxicity studies, there was no evidence of neurotoxicity from exposure to spinosad or spinetoram. In an immunotoxicity study with spinosad, systemic effects (decreased body weights, increased liver weights, and abnormal hematology results) were seen at the highest dose tested (141 mg/kg/day); however, there was no evidence of immunotoxicity.

    Spinosad and spinetoram are classified as “not likely to be carcinogenic to humans” based on lack of evidence of carcinogenicity in mice and rats and negative findings in mutagenicity assays.

    Specific information on the studies received and the nature of the adverse effects caused by spinetoram and spinosad as well as the no-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) and the lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level (LOAEL) from the toxicity studies can be found at http://www.regulations.gov in documents including: 1) “Spinosad and Spinetoram—Human Health Risk Assessment to Support the Section 3 Registration Request for Application to Coffee and for Updates to Several Crop Group/Subgroup Commodity Definitions,” dated March 10, 2015 at pp. 31, and 2) “Spinosad/Spinetoram. Addendum to Human Health aggregate Risk assessment D415812 (T. Bloem et al., 10-Mar-2015) to Support a New Use on Quinoa”, dated November 2015 in docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0730.

    B. Toxicological Points of Departure/Levels of Concern

    Once a pesticide's toxicological profile is determined, EPA identifies toxicological points of departure (POD) and levels of concern to use in evaluating the risk posed by human exposure to the pesticide. For hazards that have a threshold below which there is no appreciable risk, the toxicological POD is used as the basis for derivation of reference values for risk assessment. PODs are developed based on a careful analysis of the doses in each toxicological study to determine the dose at which the NOAEL and the LOEAL are identified. Uncertainty/safety factors are used in conjunction with the POD to calculate a safe exposure level—generally referred to as a population-adjusted dose (PAD) or a reference dose (RfD)—and a safe margin of exposure (MOE). For non-threshold risks, the Agency assumes that any amount of exposure will lead to some degree of risk. Thus, the Agency estimates risk in terms of the probability of an occurrence of the adverse effect expected in a lifetime. For more information on the general principles EPA uses in risk characterization and a complete description of the risk assessment process, see http://www2.epa.gov/pesticide-science-and-assessing-pesticide-risks/assessing-human-health-risk-pesticides.

    Spinosad and spinetoram should be considered toxicologically identical in the same manner that metabolites are generally considered toxicologically identical to the parent. Although, as stated above, the doses and endpoints for spinosad and spinetoram are similar, they are not identical due to variations in dosing levels used in the spinetoram and spinosad toxicological studies. EPA compared the spinosad and spinetoram doses and endpoints for each exposure scenario and selected the lower of the two doses for use in human risk assessment.

    A summary of the toxicological endpoints for spinosad/spinetoram used for human risk assessment is shown in Table 1 of this unit.

    Table 1—Summary of Toxicological Doses and Endpoints for Spinosad/Spinetoram for Use in Human Health Risk Assessment Exposure/scenario Point of departure and uncertainty/safety factors RfD, PAD, LOC for risk assessment Study and toxicological effects Acute dietary (All Populations) A dose and endpoint of concern attributable to a single dose was not observed. Chronic dietary (All populations) NOAEL= 2.49 mg/kg/day
  • UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • FQPA SF = 1x
  • Chronic RfD = 0.0249 mg/kg/day
  • cPAD = 0.0249 mg/kg/day
  • Chronic Toxicity—Dog Study (with spinetoram) LOAEL = 5.36/5.83 mg/kg/day (males/females) based on arteritis and necrosis of the arterial walls of the epididymides in males and of the thymus, thyroid, larynx, and urinary bladder in females.
    Incidental oral short-term (1 to 30 days) and intermediate-term (1 to 6 months) NOAEL= 4.9 mg/kg/day
  • UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • FQPA SF = 1x
  • Residential LOC for MOE <100 Subchronic Oral Toxicity—Dog Study (with spinosad) LOAEL = 9.73 mg/kg/day based on microscopic changes in multiple organs, clinical signs of toxicity, decreases in body weights and food consumption, and biochemical evidence of anemia and liver damage.
    Inhalation short-term (1 to 30 days) and Intermediate-Term (1-6 months) Inhalation (or oral) study NOAEL= 4.9 mg/kg/day (inhalation assumed equivalent to oral)
  • UFA = 10x
  • UFH = 10x
  • FQPA SF = 1x
  • Residential LOC for MOE <100 Subchronic Oral Toxicity—Dog Study (with spinosad) LOAEL = 9.73 mg/kg/day based on microscopic changes in multiple organs, clinical signs of toxicity, decreases in body weights and food consumption, and biochemical evidence of anemia and liver damage.
    Cancer (Oral, dermal, inhalation) Classified as “not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.” LOAEL = lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level. LOC = level of concern. mg/kg/day = milligram/kilogram/day. MOE = margin of exposure. NOAEL = no-observed-adverse-effect level. PAD = population adjusted dose (a = acute, c = chronic). RfD = reference dose. UF = uncertainty factor. UFA = extrapolation from animal to human (interspecies). UFH = potential variation in sensitivity among members of the human population (intraspecies).
    C. Exposure Assessment

    1. Dietary exposure from food and feed uses. In evaluating dietary exposure to spinetoram and spinosad, EPA considered exposure under the petitioned-for tolerances as well as all existing spinetoram tolerances in 40 CFR 180.635 as well as existing spinosad tolerances. EPA assessed dietary exposures from spinetoram and spinosad in food as follows:

    i. Acute exposure. Quantitative acute dietary exposure and risk assessments are performed for a food-use pesticide, if a toxicological study has indicated the possibility of an effect of concern occurring as a result of a 1-day or single exposure.

    No such effects were identified in the toxicological studies for spinetoram or spinosad; therefore, a quantitative acute dietary exposure assessment is unnecessary.

    ii. Chronic exposure. Spinosad is registered for application to all of the same crops as spinetoram, with similar pre-harvest and retreatment intervals, and application rates greater than or equal to spinetoram. Further, both products control the same pest species. For this reason, EPA has concluded it would overstate exposure to assume that residues of both spinosad and spinetoram would appear on the same food. Rather, EPA aggregated exposure by assuming that all commodities contain spinosad residues (because side- by-side spinetoram and spinosad residue data indicated that spinetoram residues were less than or equal to spinosad residues).

    In conducting the chronic dietary exposure assessment for spinetoram, EPA used the Dietary Exposure Evaluation Model—Food Consumption Intake Database (DEEMFCID, ver. 3.16) which incorporates food consumption data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, What We Eat in America (NHANES/WWEIA; 2003-2008). The chronic analysis assumed 100 percent crop treated (PCT), average field-trial residues or tolerance-level residues for crop commodities, average residues from the livestock feeding studies, experimental processing factors when available, and modeled drinking water estimates.

    iii. Cancer. Based on the data summarized in Unit III.A., EPA has concluded that spinetoram does not pose a cancer risk to humans. Therefore, a dietary exposure assessment for the purpose of assessing cancer risk is unnecessary.

    iv. Anticipated residue and 100 percent crop treated (PCT) information were used. Section 408(b)(2)(E) of FFDCA authorizes EPA to use available data and information on the anticipated residue levels of pesticide residues in food and the actual levels of pesticide residues that have been measured in food. If EPA relies on such information, EPA must require pursuant to FFDCA section 408(f)(1) that data be provided 5 years after the tolerance is established, modified, or left in effect, demonstrating that the levels in food are not above the levels anticipated. For the present action, EPA will issue such data call-ins as are required by FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(E) and authorized under FFDCA section 408(f)(1). Data will be required to be submitted no later than 5 years from the date of issuance of these tolerances.

    2. Dietary exposure from drinking water. The Agency used screening level water exposure models in the dietary exposure analysis and risk assessment for spinetoram and spinosad in drinking water. These simulation models take into account data on the physical, chemical, and fate/transport characteristics of spinetoram and spinosad. Further information regarding EPA drinking water models used in pesticide exposure assessment can be found at http://www2.epa.gov/pesticide-science-and-assessing-pesticide-risks/about-water-exposure-models-used-pesticide.

    Based on the Surface Water Concentration Calculator (SWCC) and Screening Concentration in Ground Water (SCIGROW) models, the estimated drinking water concentrations (EDWCs) of spinetoram for acute exposures are estimated to be 8.6 parts per billion (ppb) for surface water and 0.072 ppb for ground water. For chronic exposures for non-cancer assessments are estimated to be 5.9 ppb for surface water and 0.072 ppb for ground water. EDWCs of spinosad for acute exposures are estimated to be 25.0 ppb for surface water and 1.1 ppb for ground water. For chronic exposures for noncancer assessments are estimated to be 21.7 ppb for surface water and 1.1 ppb for ground water.

    Modeled estimates of drinking water concentrations were directly entered into the dietary exposure model. For chronic dietary risk assessment, the water concentration of value 21.7 ppb was used to assess the contribution to drinking water.

    3. From non-dietary exposure. The term “residential exposure” is used in this document to refer to non-occupational, non-dietary exposure (e.g., for lawn and garden pest control, indoor pest control, termiticides, and flea and tick control on pets).

    Spinetoram and spinosad are currently registered for uses that could result in residential exposures including lawns, gardens, turfgrass, ornamentals, fire ant mounds, and spot-on pet applications. There is potential for residential handler and postapplication exposures to both spinosad and spinetoram. Since spinosad and spinetoram control the same pests, EPA concludes that these products will not be used for the same uses in combination with each other and thus combining spinosad and spinetoram residential exposures would overstate exposure. EPA assessed residential exposure for both spinosad and spinetoram using the most conservative residential exposure scenarios for either chemical.

    EPA assessed residential exposure using the following assumptions: Residential handler (short-term inhalation exposures) and post-application (short-term incidental oral) exposures are expected as a result of the following registered uses: (1) Application of spinosad to gardens, turfgrass, ornamentals and fire ant mounds; (2) application of spinetoram to lawns, gardens, and ornamentals; and (3) spot-on application of spinetoram to cats and kittens. The Agency determined the “worst-case” scenarios for handler and post-application exposures as: (1) Adult residential handler inhalation exposure from mixing/loading/applying liquid formulations to turf via backpack sprayer, and (2) child (1-<2 years) residential post-application incidental oral (hand-to-mouth) exposure from liquid formulation on turf/home gardens/ornamentals. These worst-case exposure estimates were used in the aggregate assessment of residential exposure to spinosad and spinetoram.

    Aggregating exposure resulting from the turf and pet uses was not conducted as the products control different pests and, therefore, application on the same day is unlikely. Use survey data indicate that concurrent use of separate pesticide products that contain the same active ingredient to treat the same or different pests does not typically occur. Furthermore, a number of issues are considered when combining residential exposure scenarios, including whether aggregating additional uses is appropriate in light of the already conservative assumptions inherent in the assessment. When assessing individual short-term residential postapplication exposure scenarios, EPA assumes exposure occurs to zero-day residues (i.e., day of application residues) day after day. EPA also assumes that an individual performs the same postapplication activities, intended to represent high end exposures as described in the Residential SOPS, day after day for the same amount of time every day (i.e., no day to day variation), although doing intense contact activities on the day of application subsequent to application for multiple chemicals would not be anticipated. Once calculated, these exposure estimates are then compared to points of departure that are typically based on weeks of dosing in test animals. For spinosad/spinetoram, the short-term risk assessment has the additional conservatism of basing the level of concern for short-term exposure (30-days) on a toxicity study involving continuous exposure over 90 days.

    Current EPA policy requires assessment for residential post-application exposures of short- (1 to 30 days), intermediate- (1 to 6 months), and long-term (greater than 6 months) exposures from spot-on products due to the preventative nature of these products and the potential for extended usage in more temperate parts of the country. However, for spinetoram, there is no progression of toxicity with time; therefore, the short-term assessment is protective of intermediate- and long-term exposure.

    Available turf transferable residue (TTR) data on spinosad in support of turf uses and spinetoram data on dislodgeable residues from petting after topical administration to cats were incorporated into the exposure assessment. Spinosad and spinetoram dislodgeable-foliar residue (DFR) studies are unnecessary at this time as there is no hazard via the dermal route of exposure.

    Further information regarding EPA standard assumptions and generic inputs for residential exposures may be found at http://www2.epa.gov/pesticide-science-and-assessing-pesticide-risks/standard-operating-procedures-residential-pesticide.

    4. Cumulative effects from substances with a common mechanism of toxicity. Section 408(b)(2)(D)(v) of FFDCA requires that, when considering whether to establish, modify, or revoke a tolerance, the Agency consider “available information” concerning the cumulative effects of a particular pesticide's residues and “other substances that have a common mechanism of toxicity.”

    EPA has not found spinosad or spinetoram to share a common mechanism of toxicity with any other substances, and neither spinosad nor spinetoram appear to produce a toxic metabolite produced by other substances. For the purposes of this tolerance action, therefore, EPA has assumed that spinosad and spinetoram do not have a common mechanism of toxicity with other substances. For information regarding EPA's efforts to determine which chemicals have a common mechanism of toxicity and to evaluate the cumulative effects of such chemicals, see EPA's Web site at http://www2.epa.gov/pesticide-science-and-assessing-pesticide-risks/cumulative-assessment-risk-pesticides.

    D. Safety Factor for Infants and Children

    1. In general. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA provides that EPA shall apply an additional tenfold (10X) margin of safety for infants and children in the case of threshold effects to account for prenatal and postnatal toxicity and the completeness of the database on toxicity and exposure unless EPA determines based on reliable data that a different margin of safety will be safe for infants and children. This additional margin of safety is commonly referred to as the Food Quality Protection Act Safety Factor (FQPA SF). In applying this provision, EPA either retains the default value of 10X, or uses a different additional safety factor when reliable data available to EPA support the choice of a different factor.

    2. Prenatal and postnatal sensitivity. There was no evidence of increased quantitative or qualitative susceptibility of rat and rabbit fetuses to in-utero exposure to spinetoram or spinosad. In developmental studies, no maternal or developmental effects were seen in rats or rabbits. In the rat reproduction toxicity studies, offspring toxicity was seen in association with parental toxicity at approximately the same dose for both spinetoram and spinosad. Therefore, there is no evidence of increased susceptibility and there are no concerns or residual uncertainties for pre-natal and/or post-natal toxicity.

    3. Conclusion. EPA has determined that reliable data show the safety of infants and children would be adequately protected if the FQPA SF were reduced to 1X. That decision is based on the following findings:

    i. The toxicity database for spinetoram and spinosad is complete. There is no evidence of neurotoxicity, developmental/reproductive toxicity, immunotoxicity, mutagenicity, or carcinogenicity from spinetoram or spinosad exposure. Therefore, no additional database uncertainty factor (UF) is needed.

    ii. There is no indication of spinetoram or spinosad neurotoxicity from available acute and subchronic neurotoxicity studies in rats and there is no need for a developmental neurotoxicity study.

    iii. There is no evidence that spinetoram or spinosad results in increased susceptibility in in utero rats or rabbits in the prenatal developmental studies or in young rats in the 2-generation reproduction study.

    iv. There are no residual uncertainties identified in the spinetoram and spinosad exposure databases. The dietary exposure assessment is conservative as it assumes 100 PCT and residue estimates are based on field trial data. Moreover, EPA made conservative (protective) assumptions in the ground and surface water modeling used to assess exposure to spinetoram and spinosad in drinking water. EPA used similarly conservative assumptions to assess post-application exposure of children as well as incidental oral exposure of toddlers. These assessments will not underestimate the exposure and risks posed by spinetoram and spinosad.

    E. Aggregate Risks and Determination of Safety

    EPA determines whether acute and chronic dietary pesticide exposures are safe by comparing aggregate exposure estimates to the acute PAD (aPAD) and chronic PAD (cPAD). For linear cancer risks, EPA calculates the lifetime probability of acquiring cancer given the estimated aggregate exposure. Short-, intermediate-, and chronic-term risks are evaluated by comparing the estimated aggregate food, water, and residential exposure to the appropriate PODs to ensure that an adequate MOE exists.

    1. Acute risk. An acute aggregate risk assessment takes into account acute exposure estimates from dietary consumption of food and drinking water. No adverse effect resulting from a single oral exposure was identified and no acute dietary endpoint was selected. Therefore, spinetoram and spinosad are not expected to pose an acute risk.

    2. Chronic risk. Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for chronic exposure, EPA has concluded that chronic exposure to spinetoram and spinosad from food and water will utilize 64% of the cPAD for children 1-2 years old, the population group receiving the greatest exposure. Based on the explanation in Unit III.C.3., regarding residential use patterns, chronic residential exposure to residues of spinetoram and spinosad is not expected.

    3. Short-term risk. Short-term aggregate exposure takes into account short-term residential exposure plus chronic exposure to food and water (considered to be a background exposure level). Spinetoram and spinosad is currently registered for uses that could result in short-term residential exposure, and the Agency has determined that it is appropriate to aggregate chronic exposure through food and water with short-term residential exposures to spinetoram and spinosad.

    Using the exposure assumptions described in this unit for short-term exposures, EPA has concluded the combined short-term food, water, and residential exposures result in aggregate MOEs of 220 for children and 1,000 for adults. Because EPA's level of concern for spinetoram and spinosad is a MOE of < 100, these MOEs are not of concern.

    EPA has concluded that the combined intermediate-term and long-term food, water, and residential exposures result in aggregate MOEs that will not fall below the short-term aggregate MOEs since there is no progression of spinetoram toxicity with time. Because EPA's level of concern for spinetoram and spinosad is a MOE of < 100, these MOEs are not of concern.

    4. Aggregate cancer risk for U.S. population. Based on the lack of evidence of carcinogenicity in two adequate rodent carcinogenicity studies with spinosad, spinetoram is not expected to pose a cancer risk to humans.

    5. Determination of safety. Based on these risk assessments, EPA concludes that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to the general population, or to infants and children from aggregate exposure to spinetoram residues.

    IV. Other Considerations A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

    Method GRM 05.04 is a high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)/mass spectrometry (MS)/MS method which has been determined to be adequate for enforcement of existing spinetoram plant tolerances. The method has been validated on a wide-variety of crops and EPA concluded that it is sufficient to enforce the tolerances established by this action.

    The method may be requested from: Chief, Analytical Chemistry Branch, Environmental Science Center, 701 Mapes Rd., Ft. Meade, MD 20755-5350; telephone number: (410) 305-2905; email address: [email protected]

    B. International Residue Limits

    In making its tolerance decisions, EPA seeks to harmonize U.S. tolerances with international standards whenever possible, consistent with U.S. food safety standards and agricultural practices. EPA considers the international maximum residue limits (MRLs) established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), as required by FFDCA section 408(b)(4). The Codex Alimentarius is a joint United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization food standards program, and it is recognized as an international food safety standards-setting organization in trade agreements to which the United States is a party. EPA may establish a tolerance that is different from a Codex MRL; however, FFDCA section 408(b)(4) requires that EPA explain the reasons for departing from the Codex level.

    Codex MRLs for spinetoram are currently established in or on several of the relevant crops or crop groups or subgroups affected by this action. EPA harmonizes with existing Codex MRLs whenever feasible. The recommended fruit, stone, group 12-12 tolerance and the Codex MRL are harmonized. But harmonization with the currently established Codex MRLs is inappropriate for the following crop groups and subgroups as harmonization may result in exceedances of the tolerances when the pesticide is applied using the labeled instructions: Bushberry, subgroup 13-07B; fruit, citrus, group 10-10; fruit, pome, group 11-10; fruit, small, vine climbing, except fuzzy kiwifruit, subgroup 13-07F; nut, tree, group 14-12; onion, green, subgroup 3-07B; and vegetable, fruiting, group 8-10. Also, EPA is not harmonizing the U.S. tolerance for onion, bulb, subgroup 3-07A (0.10 ppm) with the Codex MRL (0.01 ppm). The current U.S. spinetoram tolerance of 0.10 is based on components XDE-175-J, XDE-175-L, ND-J, and NF-J, with the limit of quantitation (LOQ) for each of 0.01 ppm. EPA concludes that a spinetoram tolerance <0.04 ppm is not appropriate and harmonization with a Codex MRL at 0.01 ppm is not practical.

    C. Response to Comments

    One comments was received from the Center for Biological Diversity and concerned endangered species; specifically stating that EPA cannot approve these new uses prior to completion of consultations with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (“the Services”). This comment is not relevant to the Agency's evaluation of safety of the spinetoram tolerances; section 408 of the FFDCA focuses on the potential harms to human health and does not permit consideration of effects on the environment.

    D. Revisions to Petitioned-for Tolerances

    EPA made corrections to several commodity definitions to conform to current Agency practices and revised certain proposed tolerance levels based on the available field trial data, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) tolerance calculation procedures and/or for purposes of harmonization, including the following: (1) Proposed tolerance of 0.2 ppm in/on coffee, green bean was established at 0.04 ppm; (2) proposed tolerance in/on fruit, stone, group 12-12 at 0.20 ppm, established at 0.30 ppm; (3) proposed tolerance in/on caneberry, subgroup 13-07A at 0.7 ppm, established at 0.80 ppm; (4) proposed tolerance in/on bushberry, subgroup 13-07B at 0.25 ppm, established at 0.50 ppm; (5) proposed tolerance in/on berry, low growing, subgroup 13-07G, except cranberry at 1.0 ppm, established at 0.90 ppm; and (6) a proposed tolerance of 0.04 ppm in/on both coffee, instant and coffee, roasted bean was determined to be unnecessary because the tolerance on the raw agricultural commodity covers residues on the processed commodities.

    In addition, the Agency is updating the tolerance expression for spinetoram as follows to reflect current EPA policies: “Tolerances are established for residues of the insecticide spinetoram, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on the commodities in the table below. Compliance with the tolerance levels specified below is to be determined by measuring only the sum of XDE-175-J: 1-H-as-indaceno[3,2d]oxacyclododecin-7,15-dione, 2-[(6-deoxy-3-O-ethyl-2,4-di-O-methyl-α-Lmannopyranosyl)oxy]-13-[[(2R,5S,6R)-5-(dimethylamino)tetrahydro-6-methyl-2H-pyran2-yl]oxy]-9-ethyl-2,3,3a,4,5,5a,5b,6,9,10,11,12,13,14,16a,16b-hexadecahydro-14methyl-,(2R,3aR,5aR,5bS,9S,13S,14R,16aS,16bR); XDE-175-L: 1H-as-indaceno[3,2d]oxacyclododecin-7,15-dione, 2-[(6-deoxy-3-O-ethyl-2,4-di-O-methyl-α-Lmannopyranosyl)oxy]-13-[[(2R,5S,6R)-5-S,6R)-5-(dimethylamino)tetrahydro-6-methyl-2H-pyran2-yl]oxy]-9-ethyl-2,3,3a,5a,5b,6,9,10,11,12,13,14,16a,16b-tetradecahydro-4,14-dimethyl, (2S,3aR,5aS,5bS,9S,13S,14R,16aS,16bS); ND-J: (2R,3aR,5aR,5bS,9S,13S,14R,16aS,16bR)-9-ethyl-14-methyl-13-[[(2S,5S,6R)-6-methyl-5-(methylamino)tetrahydro-2H-pyran-2-yl]oxy]-7,15-dioxo-2,3,3a,4,5,5a,5b,6,7,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16a,16b-octadecahydro-1H-as-indaceno[3,2-d]oxacyclododecin-2-yl-6-deoxy-3-O-ethyl-2,4-di-O-methyl-α-L-mannopyranoside; and NF-J: (2R,3S,6S)-6([(2R,3aR,5aR,5bS,9S,13S,14R,16aS,16bR)-2-[(6-deoxy-3-O-ethyl-2,4-di-O-methyl-α-Lmannopyranosyl)oxy]-9-ethyl-14-methyl-7,15-dioxo-2,3,3a,4,5,5a,5b,6,7,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16a,16b-octadecahydro-1H-as-indaceno[3,2-d]oxacyclododecin-13-yl]oxy)-2methyltetrahydro-2H-pyran-3-yl(methyl)formamide, calculated as the stoichiometric equivalent of spinetoram.

    V. Conclusion

    Therefore, tolerances are established for residues of the insecticide spinetoram, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on the commodities listed below. Compliance with the tolerance levels specified below is to be determined by measuring only the sum of XDE-175-J: 1-H-as-indaceno[3,2-d]oxacyclododecin-7,15-dione,2-[(6deoxy-3-O-ethyl-2,4-di-O-methyl-α-L-mannopyranosyl)oxy]-13-[[(2R,5S,6R)-5(dimethylamino)tetrahydro-6-methyl-2H-pyran-2yl]oxy]-9-ethyl-2,3,3a,4,5,5a,5b,6,9,10,11,12,13,14,16a,16b-hexadecahydro-14-methyl-,(2R,3aR,5aR,5bS,9S,13S,14R, 16aS,16bR); XDE-175-L: 1H-as-indaceno[3,2-d]oxacyclododecin-7,15-dione, 2-[(6deoxy-3-O-ethyl-2,4-di-O-methyl-α-L-mannopyranosyl)oxy]-13-[[(2R,5S,6R)-5(dimethylamino)tetrahydro-6-methyl-2H-pyran-2-yl]oxy]-9-ethyl-2,3,3a,5a,5b,6,9,10,11,12,13,14,16a,16b-tetradecahydro-4,14-dimethyl-,(2S,3aR,5aS,5bS,9S,13S,14R,16aS,16bS);ND-J: (2R,3aR,5aR,5bS,9S,13S,14R, R,16aS,16bR)-9-ethyl-14-methyl-13[[(2S,5S,6R)-6-methyl-5-(methylamino)tetrahydro-2H-pyran-2-yl]oxy]-7,15-dioxo2,3,3a,4,5,5a,5b,6,7,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16a,16b-octadecahydro-1H-as-indaceno[3,2d]oxacyclododecin-2-yl-6-deoxy-3-O-ethyl-2,4-di-O-methyl-α-L-mannopyranoside; and NF-J: (2R,3S,6S)-6-([(2R,3aR,5aR,5bS,9S,13S,14R,16aS,16bR)-2-[(6-deoxy-3-O-ethyl-2,4-di-O-methyl-α-L-mannopyranosyl)oxy]-9-ethyl-14-methyl-7,15-dioxo-2,3,3a,4,5,5a,5b,6,7,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16a,16b-octadecahydro-1H-as-indaceno[3,2d] oxacyclododecin-13-yl]oxy)-2-methyltetrahydro-2 H-pyran-3-yl(methyl)formamide, calculated as the stoichiometric equivalent of spinetoram in or on berry, low growing, subgroup 13-07G, except cranberry at 0.90 ppm; bushberry, subgroup 13-07B at 0.50 ppm; caneberry subgroup 13-07A at 0.80 ppm; coffee, green bean at 0.04 ppm; cottonseed subgroup 20C at 0.04 ppm; fruit, citrus, group 10-10 at 0.30 ppm; fruit, pome, group 11-10 at 0.20 ppm; fruit, small, vine climbing, subgroup 13-07F, except fuzzy kiwifruit at 0.50 ppm; fruit, stone 12-12 at 0.30 ppm; nut, tree, group 14-12 at 0.10 ppm; onion, bulb, subgroup 3-07A at 0.10 ppm; onion, green, subgroup 3-07B at 2.0 ppm; quinoa, grain at 0.04 ppm; and vegetable, fruiting, group 8-10 at 0.40 ppm. In addition, EPA is removing the following existing spinetoram tolerances that are superseded by this action including: Bushberry subgroup 13B at 0.25 ppm; caneberry subgroup 13A at 0.70 ppm; cotton, undelinted seed at 0.02 ppm; fruit, citrus, group 10 at 0.30 ppm; fruit, pome, group 11 at 0.20 ppm; fruit, stone, group 12 at 0.20 ppm; grape at 0.50 ppm; juneberry at 0.25 ppm; lingonberry at 0.25 ppm; nut tree, group 14 at 0.10 ppm; okra at 0.40 ppm; onion, green at 2.0 ppm; pistachio at 0.10 ppm; salal at 0.25 ppm; strawberry at 1.0 ppm; vegetable, bulb, group 3, except green onion at 0.10 ppm; and vegetable, fruiting group 8 at 0.4 ppm.

    VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    This action establishes tolerances under FFDCA section 408(d) in response to a petition submitted to the Agency. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted these types of actions from review under Executive Order 12866, entitled “Regulatory Planning and Review” (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993). Because this action has been exempted from review under Executive Order 12866, this action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, entitled “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) or Executive Order 13045, entitled “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997). This action does not contain any information collections subject to OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), nor does it require any special considerations under Executive Order 12898, entitled “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations” (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

    Since tolerances and exemptions that are established on the basis of a petition under FFDCA section 408(d), such as the tolerances in this final rule, do not require the issuance of a proposed rule, the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), do not apply.

    This action directly regulates growers, food processors, food handlers, and food retailers, not States or tribes, nor does this action alter the relationships or distribution of power and responsibilities established by Congress in the preemption provisions of FFDCA section 408(n)(4). As such, the Agency has determined that this action will not have a substantial direct effect on States or tribal governments, on the relationship between the national government and the States or tribal governments, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government or between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. Thus, the Agency has determined that Executive Order 13132, entitled “Federalism” (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999) and Executive Order 13175, entitled “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000) do not apply to this action. In addition, this action does not impose any enforceable duty or contain any unfunded mandate as described under Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.).

    This action does not involve any technical standards that would require Agency consideration of voluntary consensus standards pursuant to section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (15 U.S.C. 272 note).

    VII. Congressional Review Act

    Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), EPA will submit a report containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Agricultural commodities, Pesticides and pests, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: December 15, 2015. Susan Lewis, Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

    PART 180—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 180 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 321(q), 346a and 371.

    2. In § 180.635, in paragraph (a): a. Revise the introductory text. b. Remove from the table in paragraph (a) the entries for: Bushberry subgroup 13B at 0.25 ppm; caneberry subgroup 13A at 0.70 ppm; cotton, undelinted seed at 0.02 ppm; fruit, citrus, group 10 at 0.30 ppm; fruit, pome, group 11 at 0.20 ppm; fruit, stone, group 12 at 0.20 ppm; grape at 0.50 ppm; juneberry at 0.25 ppm; lingonberry at 0.25 ppm; nut tree, group 14 at 0.10 ppm; okra at 0.40 ppm; onion, green at 2.0 ppm; pistachio at 0.10 ppm; salal at 0.25 ppm; strawberry at 1.0 ppm; vegetable, bulb, group 3, except green onion at 0.10 ppm; and vegetable, fruiting group 8 at 0.4 ppm. c. Add alphabetically the following commodities to the table in paragraph (a).

    The revision and additions read as follows:

    § 180.635 Spinetoram; tolerance for residues.

    (a) General. Tolerances are established for residues of the insecticide spinetoram, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on the commodities in the table below. Compliance with the tolerance levels specified below is to be determined by measuring only the sum of XDE-175-J: 1-H-as-indaceno[3,2-d]oxacyclododecin-7,15-dione,2-[(6deoxy-3-O-ethyl-2,4-di-O-methyl-α-L-mannopyranosyl)oxy]-13-[[(2R,5S,6R)-5(dimethylamino)tetrahydro-6-methyl-2H-pyran-2-yl]oxy]-9-ethyl-2,3,3a,4,5,5a,5b,6,9,10,11,12,13,14,16a,16b-hexadecahydro-14-methyl-,(2R,3aR,5aR,5bS,9S,13S,14R,16aS,16bR); XDE-175-L: 1H-as-indaceno[3,2-d]oxacyclododecin-7,15-dione,2-[(6deoxy-3-O-ethyl-2,4-di-O-methyl-α-L-mannopyranosyl)oxy]-13-[[(2R,5S,6R)-5(dimethylamino)tetrahydro-6-methyl-2H-pyran-2-yl]oxy]-9-ethyl-2,3,3a,5a,5b,6,9,10,11,12,13,14,16a,16b-tetradecahydro-4,14-dimethyl-,(2S,3aR,5aS,5bS,9S,13S,14R,16aS,16bS); ND-J: (2R,3aR,5aR,5bS,9S,13S,14R,16aS,16bR)-9-ethyl-14-methyl-13[[(2S,5S,6R)-6-methyl-5-(methylamino)tetrahydro-2H-pyran-2-yl]oxy]-7,15-dioxo2,3,3a,4,5,5a,5b,6,7,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16a,16b-octadecahydro-1H-as-indaceno[3,2d]oxacyclododecin-2-yl-6-deoxy-3-O-ethyl-2,4-di-O-methyl-α-L-mannopyranoside; and NF-J: (2R,3S,6S)-6-([(2R,3aR,5aR,5bS,9S,13S,14R,16aS,16bR)-2-[(6-deoxy-3-O-ethyl-2,4-di-O-methyl-α-L-mannopyranosyl)oxy]-9-ethyl-14-methyl-7,15-dioxo-2,3,3a,4,5,5a,5b,6,7,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16a,16b-octadecahydro-1H-as-indaceno[3,2d]oxacyclododecin-13-yl]oxy)-2-methyltetrahydro-2H-pyran-3-yl(methyl)formamide, calculated as the stoichiometric equivalent of spinetoram.

    Commodity Parts per
  • million
  • *    *    *    *    * Berry, low growing, subgroup 13-07G, except cranberry 0.90 *    *    *    *    * Bushberry subgroup 13-07B 0.50 Caneberry subgroup 13-07A 0.80 *    *    *    *    * Coffee, green bean 0.04 *    *    *    *    * Cottonseed subgroup 20C 0.04 *    *    *    *    * Fruit, citrus, group 10-10 0.30 Fruit, pome, group 11-10 0.20 Fruit, small, vine climbing, subgroup 13-07F, except fuzzy kiwifruit 0.50 Fruit, stone 12-12 0.30 *    *    *    *    * Nut, tree, group 14-12 0.10 *    *    *    *    * Onion, bulb, subgroup 3-07A 0.10 Onion, green, subgroup 3-07B 2.0 *    *    *    *    * Quinoa, grain 0.04 *    *    *    *    * Vegetable, fruiting, group 8-10 0.40 *    *    *    *    *
    [FR Doc. 2015-32329 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 54 [WC Docket Nos. 13-184 and 10-90; FCC 14-189] Modernizing the E-rate Program for Schools and Libraries AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; announcement of effective date.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Commission announces that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved, for a period of three years, the information collection associated with the Commission's Second E-rate Modernization Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration (Second E-rate Modernization Order). This document is consistent with the (Second E-rate Modernization Order, which stated that the Commission would publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective date of those rules.

    DATES:

    47 CFR 54.504(a)(1)(iii), published at 80 FR 5961, February 4, 2015, is effective December 24, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    James Bachtell, Wireline Competition Bureau at (202) 418-7400 or TTY (202) 418-0484.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This document announces that, on December 2, 2015, OMB approved, for a period of three years, the new information collection requirements contained in the Commission's Second E-rate Modernization Order, FCC 14-189, published at 80 FR 5961, February 4, 2015. The OMB Control Number is 3060-0806. The Commission publishes this document as an announcement of the effective date of 47 CFR 54.504(a)(1)(iii).

    If you have any comments on the burden estimates listed below, or how the Commission can improve the collections and reduce any burdens caused thereby, please contact Nicole Ongele, Federal Communications Commission, Room 1-A620, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. Please include the OMB Control Number, 3060-0806, in your correspondence. The Commission will also accept your comments via the Internet if you send them to [email protected]

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

    Synopsis

    As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507), the FCC is notifying the public that it received OMB approval on December 2, 2015, for the information collection requirements contained in the Commission's rule at 47 CFR 54.504(a)(1)(iii).

    Under 5 CFR part 1320, an agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a current, valid OMB Control Number.

    No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act that does not display a current, valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number is 3060-0806.

    The foregoing document is required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Pub. L. 104-13, October 1, 1995, and 44 U.S.C. 3507.

    The total annual reporting burdens and costs for the respondents are as follows:

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0806.

    OMB Approval Date: December 2, 2015.

    OMB Expiration Date: December 31, 2018.

    Title: Universal Service—Schools and Libraries Universal Service Program, FCC Forms 470 and 471.

    Form Numbers: FCC Forms 470 and 471.

    Respondents: State, local or tribal government public institutions, and other not-for-profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 52,700 respondents, 82,090 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 3.5 hours for FCC Form 470 (3 hours for response; 0.5 hours for recordkeeping; 4.5 hours for FCC Form 471 (4 hours for response; 0.5 hours for recordkeeping).

    Frequency of Response: On occasion, annual reporting, and recordkeeping requirements.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. Statutory authority for this information collection is contained in 47 U.S.C. 151-154, 201-205, 218-220, 254, 303(r), 403, and 405.

    Total Annual Burden: 334,405 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: No cost.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no assurance of confidentiality provided to respondents concerning this information collection. However, respondents may request materials or information submitted to the Commission or to the Administrator be withheld from public inspection under 47 CFR 0.459 of the Commission's rules.

    Needs and Uses: The Commission seeks to revise OMB 3060-0806 to conform this information collection to the program changes set forth in the Second Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration (Second E-Rate Modernization Order) (WC Docket No. 13-184, WC Docket No. 10-90, FCC 14-189; 80 FR 5961, February 4, 2015). Collection of the information on FCC Forms 470 and 471 is necessary so that the Commission and the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) have sufficient information to determine if entities are eligible for funding pursuant to the schools and libraries support mechanism (the E-rate program), to determine if entities are complying with the Commission's rules, and to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse. In addition, the information is necessary for the Commission to evaluate the extent to which the E-rate program is meeting the statutory objectives specified in section 254(h) of the 1996 Act, and the Commission's own performance goals established in the Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (E-rate Modernization Order), 79 FR 49160, August 19, 2014 and Second E-rate Modernization Order, 80 FR 5961, February 4, 2015. This information collection is being revised to modify FCC Form 471 pursuant to program and rule changes in the Second E-rate Modernization Order and to accommodate USAC's new online portal as well as the requirement that all FCC Forms 471 be electronically filed.

    Federal Communications Commission.

    Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-32321 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD 49 CFR Part 845 RIN 3147-AA02 [Docket No. NTSB-GC-2012-0002] Rules of Practice in Transportation: Investigative Hearings, Meetings, Reports, and Petitions for Reconsideration AGENCY:

    National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB or Board).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The NTSB amends its regulations which contain the NTSB's procedures for holding investigative hearings, various types of meetings, issuing reports, and responding to petitions for reconsideration. The NTSB introduced a number of substantive and technical changes in its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). In the preamble to this final rule NTSB responds to the five comments the agency received, and explains the adopted changes, including reorganizing the regulation into different subparts to ensure the entire part is easy to follow.

    DATES:

    Effective January 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    A copy of the final rule, published in the Federal Register (FR), is available for inspection and copying in the NTSB's public reading room, located at 490 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20594-2003. Alternatively, a copy of the NPRM is available on the government-wide Web site on regulations at http://www.regulations.gov (Docket ID Number NTSB-GC-2012-0002).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Tochen, General Counsel, (202) 314-6080.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    On March 19, 2015, the NTSB published an NPRM inviting public comments concerning the NTSB's procedural rules for investigative hearings, Board meetings, agency reports, and petitions for reconsideration, codified at 49 CFR part 845. 80 FR 14339. In addition to various technical changes, the NTSB proposed reorganizing the part into subparts and including descriptions of Board products.

    The NTSB issued its NPRM in accordance with its June 25, 2012 notice indicating the agency's intent to undertake a review of all NTSB regulations to ensure they are updated. 77 FR 37865. Executive Order 13579, “Regulation and Independent Regulatory Agencies” (76 FR 41587, July 14, 2011), prompted the NTSB to conduct its review of all NTSB regulations. The purpose of Executive Order 13579 is to ensure all agencies adhere to the key principles found in Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review” (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011), which include promoting public participation in rulemaking, improving integration and innovation, promoting flexibility and freedom of choice, and ensuring scientific integrity during the rulemaking process in order to create a regulatory system that protects public health, welfare, safety, and the environment while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation. The NTSB explained in its June 25, 2012, notice that it is committed to ensuring its regulations remain updated and comply with these principles. The NTSB published an additional notice in the Federal Register on January 8, 2013, describing the NTSB's plan for updating all regulations. 78 FR 1193. In accordance with these two notices published in the Federal Register, the NTSB reviewed all sections within 49 CFR part 845, in the interest of ensuring they accomplish the objectives stated in Executive Order 13563. The NTSB published the NPRM pursuant to the agency's plan of retrospective review.

    II. Comments Received and Responses Thereto

    The NTSB received five comments in response to the March 19, 2015 NPRM. Two of the comments addressed proposed changes to 49 CFR part 845, as well as the changes and additions we proposed in our August 12, 2014 NPRM to reorganize and change 49 CFR part 831 (“Investigation Procedures”). 79 FR 47064. In this regard, Airlines for America (A4A) submitted a comment reiterating its concerns about our proposed use of the term “event” in our NPRM for part 831, and recommended we expand our protections of voluntarily submitted information in § 831.6. In addition, The Boeing Company (Boeing) included a copy of its comment in response to our part 831 NPRM. Boeing also reiterated its recommendation that we adopt a practice of sharing draft Board reports with parties.

    The Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) urged us to change the terms “probable cause” to “probable cause(s)” throughout the part. Similarly, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) submitted a comment requesting we remove the term “event” from part 845; in particular, the USCG mentioned § 845.2 (“Investigative hearings”) in this suggestion. In addition, ALPA encouraged the NTSB to continue to use the terms “accident” and “incident” for aviation-specific investigations rather than the term “event.”

    We understand commenters' concerns regarding use of the term “event” throughout this part. Several commenters expressed similar concerns in response to our part 831 NPRM. In our forthcoming final rule to finalize the changes to part 831, we will explain our responses to such comments concerning the term “event.” For this final rule to finalize changes to part 845, we simply note we understand the concerns with the term, and we have removed it from the regulatory text appearing in this final rule.

    The commenters also submitted recommendations for specific sections, to which we respond below.

    A. Section 845.9, “Prehearing Conference” 1. Comments Received

    Regarding § 845.9, in which the NTSB proposed retaining most of the text of § 845.23 describing prehearing conferences, ALPA recommends retaining the existing language in § 845.23(b) and adding the following text to § 845.9(b): “copies of all exhibits proposed for admission by the board of inquiry and the parties shall be furnished to the board and to all the parties, insofar as available at the time.” The text the NTSB proposed would require all parties be advised of the witnesses to be called, the areas in which the witnesses would be examined, and the evidence to be offered. The proposed text would also require parties to the hearing to submit, at the prehearing conference, copies of any additional documentary exhibits they desire to offer for admission at the hearing. The proposed text did not include the phrase, “insofar as available at the time.”

    2. Response to Comments

    The NTSB believes it is unnecessary to include the phrase, “insofar as available at the time [of the prehearing conference],” as ALPA suggests. As proposed, the sentence requiring submission of copies of exhibits expected to be offered at hearings is sufficient to connote the exhibits would be available when offered. As ALPA noted, this requirement already exists in the current version of § 845.23(b). In addition, paragraph (c) of § 845.9 addresses the issue of a party to a hearing holding information the party knows it intends to produce at the hearing.

    B. Section 845.13, “Proposed Findings” 1. Comments Received

    Boeing recommends we adopt the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) protocol of sharing draft reports with all parties to an NTSB investigation. Boeing contends not sharing draft reports can be detrimental to the quality of Board reports. In its submission, Boeing also attached a copy of its comment to our NPRM for part 831 regarding this issue.1

    1 While Boeing's comment is also applicable to § 845.30(a), the organization discussed sharing of draft reports only within the context of § 845.13.

    A4A generally supports all the changes we proposed in part 845. A4A does not object to our proposed text in § 845.13 (“Proposed findings”), but asks us to remain cognizant that partial releases of information could cause “unproductive speculation.” In the comment A4A submitted in response to our NPRM proposing changes to part 831, A4A stated it strongly supports the practice of sharing draft reports for parties' review prior to the Board's review of the draft, in accordance with the ICAO practice.

    2. Response to Comments

    The NTSB understands parties' interest in reviewing draft reports prior to the Board's review of them. In this regard, the agency has considered carefully the feedback we received in response to the part 831 NPRM. The agency appreciates the candor and recommendations commenters offered concerning this issue, and we are mindful that our practice differs from that of ICAO. At present, the agency believes changing its practice of the review process for draft reports is best left to internal agency procedures and need not be the subject of a rulemaking exercise. As a result, the NTSB will not change the proposed text of § 845.13 to address the sharing of draft reports.

    C. Sections 845.20 (“Meetings”) and 845.21, “Symposiums, Forums, and Conferences” 1. Comments Received

    The Association of American Railroads (AAR) stated it believes the NTSB is attempting impermissibly to expand our authority. AAR opines our description of our practice for holding forums, symposiums, and conferences in § 845.21 is improper because these proceedings are “not within the scope of the NTSB's mandate or authority.” In addition, AAR challenges our process for choosing which investigations are worthy of Board meetings. In the NPRM, the agency proposed § 845.20 to state the Board may hold a meeting whenever “the Board determines holding a meeting is in the public interest.” AAR believes “the `public interest' standard is not in the current regulation at 49 CFR 804.3, and it essentially presumes an unrestricted ability to hold public meetings about any topic.”

    ALPA supports our proposed language in § 845.21(b) stating symposiums, forums, and conferences are not intended to obtain evidence or establish facts for a particular NTSB investigation.

    Regarding § 845.21, the USCG cautions, to the extent a proceeding may have a relationship to ongoing investigation(s) and the proceeding occurs prior to the completion of an investigation, holding the proceeding could result in premature or incomplete findings and recommendations. The USCG also states our proposed language “does not consider other investigations that are conducted concurrently, such as internal agency investigations, and the facts and conclusions that may result from those efforts.” The USCG recommends we remove the term “ongoing” from the regulatory text.

    2. Response to Comments

    We disagree with AAR's contention that we lack the authority to hold forums, symposiums, and conferences. Under 49 U.S.C. 1116, we have held such proceedings for purposes of educating the agency and the public on transportation trends or aspects of transportation that could benefit from safety improvements. Section 1116(b) provides broad authority to the NTSB to accomplish this purpose.

    Given this statutory language, it is axiomatic that the NTSB's responsibility is not limited to the requirements of 49 U.S.C. 1131 and 1132 regarding investigations, or section 1133 regarding the review of aviation and mariner certificate and license appeals. The NTSB is also required to conduct special studies and investigations concerning transportation safety in general. The NTSB is best situated to exercise this mandate, given the expertise of its staff and the experiences the agency gains in investigations of accidents and incidents that safety improvements could prevent.

    In light of this responsibility, the NTSB holds forums, symposiums, and conferences concerning transportation issues the agency determines warrant further interest or research. The NTSB's proposed regulatory text for § 845.21 reflects this objective, as it includes a statement that the agency does not hold such proceedings for purposes of obtaining evidence for a specific investigation of an accident or incident.

    We also appreciate the USCG's comment regarding § 845.21(b). Specifically, our proposed text stated forums, symposiums, and conferences “may have a relationship to previous or ongoing investigative activities; however, their purpose is not to obtain evidence for a specific investigation.”

    The clear purpose of NTSB forums, symposiums, and conferences is to focus attention on and educate the public, transportation regulators, and the NTSB itself on key transportation safety issues. Taking advantage of the educational opportunities these proceedings provide helps to ensure comprehensive NTSB investigations. Our acknowledgement in the regulatory text that such proceedings are not held for obtaining evidence, but for focusing attention, raising awareness, encouraging dialogue, educating the agency, or generally advancing or developing safety recommendations, is consistent with our past practices and our statutory responsibility, pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 1116. Given the purpose of these proceedings, as described in the proposed text for § 845.21, we decline to alter the text, as we do not believe the proceedings could result in premature or incomplete findings and recommendations.

    D. Sections 845.30, “Board Products,” and 845.31, “Public Docket” 1. Comments Received

    Regarding our proposed text describing public dockets, which contain information pertinent to an investigation, the USCG recommends we include text stating we will coordinate with the USCG concerning public release of information in marine investigations.

    In its comment, AAR mentions § 845.31 in reiterating its position that the changes the NTSB proposed in part 845 are beyond the scope of the agency's authority. Regarding the text of § 845.31, AAR states the language would allow the NTSB to open a public docket “concerning a safety study or report, special investigation report, or other agency product” in addition to doing so for an actual investigation.

    AAR also mentions § 845.30(b) in the context of whether the section encompasses documents beyond the scope of the NTSB's authority. AAR states § 845.30(b) “covers `Board Products' and now includes (a) NTSB studies and reports `of more than one event that share commonalities', (b) safety studies and reports, and (c) safety recommendations `as a stand-alone Board product.' ” With regard to all the sections AAR identified as containing language that exceeds the scope of the NTSB's authorization, AAR states, “NTSB occupying itself with these types of activities will divert resources from the critical mission given to NTSB by Congress at 49 U.S.C. 1131.” AAR, however, mentions the railroads support public education and involvement, “particularly in matters related to safety,” but contends the NTSB's proposed text describes activities beyond the scope of NTSB's statutory authority.

    2. Response to Comments

    Regarding the USCG's comment recommending we include text stating for marine investigations, we will coordinate release of public dockets in advance with the USCG, although we decline to adopt this change in § 845.31. Section 845.31, which is largely duplicative of the existing version of § 845.50, describes public dockets in general terms, and provides information concerning how the public may obtain a copy of a public docket. The NTSB believes specific protocols concerning coordination with other agencies is more suitable for an interagency agreement or discussion.

    The NTSB disagrees with AAR's opinion that the NTSB should not conduct safety studies and issue reports. As discussed above, Congress specifically directed the NTSB to conduct safety studies on a variety of issues. In addition, the NTSB's responsibility to issue safety recommendations is clear, both in the agency's authorizing legislation and legislative history. 49 U.S.C. 1135; H.R. Rep. No. 103-239(I) at 1 (1993) (emphasizing the importance of the NTSB's safety recommendations and stating that such recommendations “have saved countless human lives”). As a result of this statutory direction, the NTSB will not alter its practice of conducting safety studies, issuing safety recommendations, and creating and issuing other types of documents that will improve transportation safety. The agency can only achieve its broad mandate by issuing such documents. The NTSB's choice of the term “Board products” will ensure adequate flexibility in the future, to encompass a variety of documents the agency determines will aid in achieving the ultimate goal of improving transportation safety.

    E. Section 845.32, “Petitions for Reconsideration or Modification of Report”

    Although no comments addressed the issue of whether the NTSB's disposition of a petition for reconsideration or modification should be subject to judicial review, the agency notes a recent judicial order denying a petition for review. On June 19, 2015, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held the NTSB's disposition of a petition for reconsideration was not subject to a federal court's review. Joshi v. Nat'l Transp. Safety Bd., 791 F.3d 8 (D.C. Cir. 2015), pet. for cert. filed, 2015 WL 7593160 (Nov. 17, 2015). The Joshi case arose out of an aircraft accident in which the pilot and four passengers died in Indiana in April 2006.

    The agency denied the petition for reconsideration, and the petitioner sought review of both the NTSB's reports of its investigation and the response to his petition for reconsideration. The appellate court held that, because neither the reports nor the response can be considered a final order subject to judicial review, the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case.

    In reaching its conclusion, the court cited 49 CFR 831.4 (“Nature of investigation”), which states the NTSB uses its investigations “to ascertain measures that would best tend to prevent similar accidents or incidents in the future.” 49 CFR 831.4. The court went on to quote the regulation further, which states NTSB investigations are considered “fact-finding proceedings with no formal issues and no adverse parties. They are not subject to the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act and are not conducted for the purpose of determining the rights or liabilities of any person.” Id.; Joshi, 791 F.3d at 12.

    The court stated it lacked jurisdiction to consider not only the agency's reports and conclusions, but it also could not review the NTSB's denial of the petition for reconsideration. The court based this conclusion on the fact that the reconsideration procedure the petitioner used was not created by any statute, but was a process set forth in the NTSB's regulations. The court described the process as one that allows the agency to receive new evidence after it completes an accident investigation and noted this procedure functions to ensure the NTSB “develops safety recommendations based on the most complete record possible.” 791 F.3d at 12. As a result, the court characterized petitions for reconsideration as “simply another stage of the accident investigation procedure.” Id. Therefore, the NTSB's disposition of petitions are not subject to review in federal court. The NTSB believes it is worthwhile to mention the Joshi decision in this rulemaking document, due to its relevance to the NTSB's disposition of petitions for reconsideration.

    F. Additional Edits

    In this final rule, the NTSB re-inserts the phrase “in the event of a catastrophic accident” within § 845.4 (“Determination to hold hearing”). The regulatory text of the NPRM did not include this phrase, even though the phrase currently exists in the regulatory text of § 845.10. Upon further evaluation of the regulation, the NTSB has determined it is prudent to retain the phrase.

    The NTSB's NPRM proposed two sections that both described the procedure of providing notice of the time and place of the investigative hearing. Section 845.5(c)(1) proposed text stating the “NTSB” would provide notice of the time and place of the investigative hearing to all known interested persons. Section 845.7 proposed text stating the investigative hearing officer, upon designation by the NTSB Chairman, would have the authority to give notice concerning the time and place of investigative hearing. While the text of these sections is not inconsistent, and is identical to the language that exists in the current versions of §§ 845.12 and 845.21, the NTSB nevertheless believes, as an administrative matter, it is appropriate to remove from § 845.5(c)(1) the statement that, “[t]he NTSB will provide notice of the time and place of the investigative hearing. . . .” The NTSB provides such notice by way of delegating to the hearing officer the responsibility and the authority to do so. In the interest of providing regulations that are concise and abundantly clear, the NTSB removes the aforementioned statement from § 845.5(c)(1). In addition, in § 845.7, the NTSB herein adds the phrase, “or a Board Member designated by the Chairman” to the introductory text stating the investigative hearing officer, upon designation by the NTSB Chairman or a Board Member designated by the Chairman will have the list of “powers” that follows within the section. This addition will ensure the designation of a hearing officer can occur at times the NTSB Chairman has delegated his or her authority.

    III. Regulatory Analysis

    In the NPRM, the NTSB included a regulatory analysis section concerning various Executive Orders and statutory provisions. 80 FR 14341 (Mar. 19, 2015). The NTSB did not receive any comments concerning the results of the analysis. The NTSB again notes the following concerning such Executive Orders and statutory provisions.

    This final rule is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review.” Therefore, Executive Order 12866 does not require a Regulatory Assessment, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not reviewed this proposed rule under Executive Order 12866. In addition, on July 11, 2011, the President issued Executive Order 13579, “Regulation and Independent Regulatory Agencies,” 76 FR 41587, July 14, 2011). Section 2(a) of the Executive Order states:

    Independent regulatory agencies “should consider how best to promote retrospective analysis of rules that may be outmoded, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome, and to modify, streamline, expand, or repeal them in accordance with what has been learned.”

    76 FR at 41587. Consistent with Executive Order 13579, the NTSB's amendments to 49 CFR part 845 reflect its judgment that this part should be updated and streamlined.

    This rule does not require an analysis under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act, 2 United States Code (U.S.C.) 1501-1571, or the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. 4321-4347.

    The NTSB has also analyzed these amendments in accordance with the principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 13132, “Federalism.” This final rule does not contain any regulations that would: (1) Have a substantial direct effect on the states, the relationship between the national government and the states, or the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government; (2) impose substantial direct compliance costs on state and local governments; or (3) preempt state law. Therefore, the consultation and funding requirements of Executive Order 13132 do not apply.

    The NTSB is also aware that the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires each agency to review its rulemaking to assess the potential impact on small entities, unless the agency determines a rule is not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The NTSB certifies this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    Regarding other Executive Orders and statutory provisions, this final rule also complies with all applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, “Civil Justice Reform,” to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden. In addition, the NTSB has evaluated this rule under: Executive Order 12630, “Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights”; Executive Order 13045, “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks”; Executive Order 13175, “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments”; Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use”; and the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act, 15 U.S.C. 272 note. The NTSB has concluded this rule does not contravene any of the requirements set forth in these Executive Orders or statutes, nor does this rule prompt further consideration with regard to such requirements.

    List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 845

    Administrative practice and procedure, Investigations, Organization and functions (Government agencies), Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Safety, Transportation.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the NTSB revises 49 CFR part 845 to read as follows:

    PART 845—RULES OF PRACTICE IN TRANSPORTATION: INVESTIGATIVE HEARINGS; MEETINGS, REPORTS, AND PETITIONS FOR RECONSIDERATION Sec. 845.1 Applicability. Subpart A—Investigative Hearings 845.2 Investigative hearings. 845.3 Sessions open to the public. 845.4 Determination to hold hearing. 845.5 Board of inquiry. 845.6 Designation of parties. 845.7 Hearing officer. 845.8 Technical panel. 845.9 Prehearing conference. 845.10 Right of representation. 845.11 Examination of witnesses. 845.12 Evidence. 845.13 Proposed findings. 845.14 Transcript. 845.15 Payment of witnesses. Subpart B—Meetings 845.20 Meetings. 845.21 Symposiums, forums, and conferences. Subpart C—Miscellaneous Provisions 845.30 Board products. 845.31 Public docket. 845.32 Petitions for reconsideration or modification of report. 845.33 Investigation to remain open. Authority:

    Sec. 515, Pub. L. 106-554, App. C, 114 Stat. 2763, 2763A-153 (44 U.S.C. 3516 note); 49 U.S.C. 1112, 1113(f), 1116, 1131, unless otherwise noted.

    § 845.1 Applicability.

    Unless otherwise specifically ordered by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the provisions of this part shall govern all NTSB proceedings conducted under the authority of 49 U.S.C. 1113 and 1131, and reports issued by the Board.

    Subpart A—Investigative Hearings
    § 845.2 Investigative hearings.

    Investigative hearings are convened to assist the NTSB in further developing the facts, conditions, and circumstances of the transportation accident or incident, which will ultimately assist the Board in determining the cause or probable cause of the accident or incident, and in ascertaining measures that will tend to prevent such accidents or incidents and promote transportation safety. Investigative hearings are fact-finding proceedings with no adverse parties. They are not subject to the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 554) and are not conducted for the purpose of determining the rights, liabilities, or blame of any person or entity.

    § 845.3 Sessions open to the public.

    (a) All investigative hearings shall normally be open to the public. However, no person shall be allowed at any time to interfere with the proper and orderly functioning of the hearing.

    (b) Sessions shall not be open to the public when evidence of a classified nature or which affects national security is to be received.

    § 845.4 Determination to hold hearing.

    (a) The Board may order an investigative hearing as part of an investigation whenever a hearing is deemed necessary in the public interest.

    (b) If a quorum of the Board is not immediately available in the event of a catastrophic accident, the determination to hold an investigative hearing may be made by the Chairman of the Board.

    § 845.5 Board of inquiry.

    (a) Composition of board of inquiry. The board of inquiry shall consist of a chairman of the board of inquiry, as specified in paragraph (c) of this section, and other members in accordance with Board policy.

    (b) Duties of board of inquiry. The board of inquiry shall examine witnesses and secure, in the form of a public record, facts pertaining to the accident or incident under investigation and surrounding circumstances and conditions from which the Board may determine probable cause and may formulate recommendations and/or other documents for corrective or preventative action.

    (c) Chairman of board of inquiry. The chairman of the board of inquiry, or his or her designee, shall have the following powers:

    (1) To designate parties to the investigative hearing and revoke such designations;

    (2) To open, continue, or adjourn the investigative hearing;

    (3) To determine the admissibility of and to receive evidence and to regulate the course of the investigative hearing;

    (4) To dispose of procedural requests or similar matters; and

    (5) To take any other appropriate action to ensure the orderly conduct of the investigative hearing.

    § 845.6 Designation of parties.

    (a) The chairman of the board of inquiry shall designate as parties to the investigative hearing those persons and organizations whose participation in the hearing is deemed necessary in the public interest and whose special knowledge will contribute to the development of pertinent evidence. Parties to the investigative hearing shall be represented by suitable representatives who do not occupy legal positions.

    (b) No party to the investigation and/or investigative hearing shall be represented by any person who also represents claimants or insurers. Failure to comply with this provision shall result in loss of status as a party to the investigative hearing.

    § 845.7 Hearing officer.

    The investigative hearing officer, upon designation by the NTSB Chairman or a Board Member designated by the Chairman, shall have the following powers:

    (a) To give notice concerning the time and place of investigative hearing;

    (b) To administer oaths and affirmations to witnesses; and

    (c) To issue subpoenas requiring the attendance and testimony of witnesses and production of documents. The investigative hearing officer may, in consultation with the chairman of the board of inquiry and the NTSB Managing Director, add witnesses until the time of the prehearing conference.

    § 845.8 Technical panel.

    The appropriate office director(s) and/or the hearing officer, in consultation with the NTSB Managing Director, shall determine if a technical panel is needed and, if so, shall designate members of the NTSB technical staff to participate in the investigative hearing. Members of the technical panel may conduct pre-screening of witnesses through interviews, and may take other actions to prepare for the hearing. At the hearing, the technical panel will initially examine the witnesses through questioning. The technical panel shall examine witnesses and secure, in the form of a public record, facts pertaining to the accident or incident under investigation and surrounding circumstances and conditions.

    § 845.9 Prehearing conference.

    (a) Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, the chairman of the board of inquiry, or his/her designee, shall hold a prehearing conference with the parties to the investigative hearing at a convenient time and place prior to the hearing. At the prehearing conference, the parties shall be advised of the witnesses to be called at the investigative hearing, the topics about which they will be examined, and the exhibits that will be offered in evidence.

    (b) At the prehearing conference, parties to the investigative hearing shall submit copies of any additional documentary exhibits they desire to offer for admission at the hearing.

    (c) A party to the investigative hearing who, at the time of the prehearing conference, fails to advise the chairman of the board of inquiry of additional exhibits he or she intends to submit, or additional witnesses he or she desires to examine, shall be prohibited from introducing such evidence unless the chairman of the board of inquiry determines for good cause shown that such evidence should be admitted.

    (d) The board of inquiry may hold an investigative hearing on an expedited schedule. The chairman of the board of inquiry may hold a prehearing conference for an expedited investigative hearing. When an expedited investigative hearing is held, the chairman of the board of inquiry may waive the requirements in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section concerning the identification of witnesses, exhibits or other evidence.

    § 845.10 Right of representation.

    Any person who appears to testify at an investigative hearing has the right to be accompanied, represented, or advised by counsel or by any other representative.

    § 845.11 Examination of witnesses.

    (a) Examination. In general, the technical panel shall initially examine witnesses. Following such examination, parties to the investigative hearing shall be given the opportunity to examine such witnesses. The board of inquiry shall then conclude the examination following the parties' questions.

    (b) Objections. (1) Materiality, relevancy, and competency of witness testimony, exhibits, or physical evidence shall not be the subject of objections in the legal sense by a party to the investigative hearing or any other person.

    (2) Such matters shall be controlled by rulings of the chairman of the board of inquiry on his or her own motion. If the examination of a witness by a party to the investigative hearing is interrupted by a ruling of the chairman of the board of inquiry, the party shall have the opportunity to show materiality, relevancy, or competency of the testimony or evidence sought to be elicited from the witness.

    § 845.12 Evidence.

    In accordance with § 845.2, the chairman of the board of inquiry shall receive all testimony and evidence that may be of aid in determining the probable cause of the transportation accident or incident. He or she may exclude any testimony or exhibits that are not pertinent to the investigation or are merely cumulative.

    § 845.13 Proposed findings.

    Following the investigative hearing, any party to the hearing may submit proposed findings to be drawn from the testimony and exhibits, a proposed probable cause, and proposed safety recommendations designed to prevent future accidents or incidents. The proposals shall be submitted within the time specified by the investigative hearing officer at the close of the hearing, and shall be made a part of the public docket. Parties to the investigative hearing shall serve copies of their proposals on all other parties to the hearing.

    § 845.14 Transcript.

    A verbatim report of the investigative hearing shall be taken. Any interested person may obtain copies of the transcript from the NTSB or from the court reporting firm preparing the transcript upon payment of the fees fixed therefor. (See part 801, subpart G, Fee schedule.)

    § 845.15 Payment of witnesses.

    Any witness subpoenaed to attend the investigative hearing under this part shall be paid such fees for travel and attendance for which the hearing officer shall certify.

    Subpart B—Meetings
    § 845.20 Meetings.

    The Board may hold a meeting concerning an investigation or Board product, as described in § 804.3 of this chapter or any other circumstance, when the Board determines holding a meeting is in the public interest.

    § 845.21 Symposiums, forums, and conferences.

    (a)(1) Definitions. (i) A symposium is a public proceeding focused on a specific topic, where invited participants provide presentations of their research, views or expertise on the topic and are available for questions.

    (ii) A forum is a public proceeding generally organized in a question-and-answer format with various invited participants who may make presentation and are available for questioning by the Board or designated NTSB staff as individuals in a panel format.

    (iii) A conference is a large, organized proceeding where individuals present materials, and a moderator or chairperson facilitates group discussions.

    (2) These proceedings are related to transportation safety matters and will be convened for the purpose of focusing attention, raising awareness, encouraging dialogue, educating the NTSB, or generally advancing or developing safety recommendations. The goals of the proceeding will be clearly articulated and outlined, and will be consistent with the mission of the NTSB.

    (b) A quorum of Board Members is not required to attend a forum, symposium, or conference. All three types of proceedings described in paragraph (a) of this section may have a relationship to previous or ongoing investigative activities; however, their purpose is not to obtain evidence for a specific investigation.

    (c) Symposiums, forums, and conferences are voluntary for all invited participants.

    Subpart C—Miscellaneous Provisions
    § 845.30 Board products.

    (a) Reports of investigations. (1) The Board will adopt a report on the investigation. The report will set forth the relevant facts, conditions, and circumstances relating to the accident or incident and the probable cause thereof, along with any appropriate safety recommendations and/or safety alerts formulated on the basis of the investigation. The scope and format of the report will be determined in accordance with Board procedures.

    (2) The probable cause and facts, conditions, and circumstances of other accidents or incidents will be reported in a manner and form prescribed by the Board. The NTSB allows the appropriate office director, under his or her delegated authority as described in § 800.25 of this chapter, to issue a “brief,” which includes the probable cause and relevant facts, conditions, and circumstances concerning the accident or incident. Such briefs do not include recommendations. In particular circumstances, the Board in its discretion may choose to approve a brief.

    (b) Studies and reports—(1) NTSB studies and reports. The NTSB may issue reports describing investigations of more than one accident or incident that share commonalities. Such reports are similar to accident or incident investigation reports, as described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section. Such reports often include safety recommendations and/or safety alerts, which the Board adopts.

    (2) Safety studies and reports. The NTSB issues safety studies and reports, which usually examine safety concerns that require the investigation of a number of related accidents or incidents to determine the extent and severity of the safety issues. Such studies and reports often include safety recommendations and/or safety alerts, which the Board adopts.

    (c) Safety recommendations. The Board may adopt and issue safety recommendations, either as part of a Board report or as a stand-alone Board product.

    § 845.31 Public docket.

    (a) Investigations. (1) As described in § 801.3 of this chapter, the public docket shall include factual information concerning the accident or incident. Proposed findings submitted pursuant to § 831.14 or § 845.13 and petitions for reconsideration and modification submitted pursuant to § 845.32, comments thereon by other parties, and the Board's rulings on proposed findings and petitions shall also be placed in the public docket.

    (2) The NTSB shall establish the public docket following the accident or incident, and material shall be added thereto as it becomes available. Where an investigative hearing is held, the exhibits will be introduced into the record at the hearing and will be included in the public docket.

    (b) Other Board reports and documents. The NTSB may elect to open and place materials in a public docket concerning a safety study or report, special investigation report, or other agency product. The NTSB will establish the public docket following its issuance of the study or report.

    (c) Availability. The public docket shall be made available to any person for review, as described in § 801.30 of this chapter. Records within the public docket are available at www.ntsb.gov.

    § 845.32 Petitions for reconsideration or modification of report.

    (a) Requirements. (1) The Board will only consider petitions for reconsideration or modification of findings and determination of probable cause from a party or other person having a direct interest in an investigation.

    (2) Petitions must be in writing and addressed to the NTSB Chairman. Please send your petition via email to [email protected] In the alternative, you may send your petition via postal mail to: NTSB Headquarters at 490 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20594.

    (3) Petitions must be based on the discovery of new evidence or on a showing that the Board's findings are erroneous. (i) Petitions based on the discovery of new matter shall: Identify the new matter; contain affidavits of prospective witnesses, authenticated documents, or both, or an explanation of why such substantiation is unavailable; and state why the new matter was not available prior to Board's adoption of its findings.

    (ii) Petitions based on a claim of erroneous findings shall set forth in detail the grounds upon which the claim is based.

    (b) Acceptance of petitions. The Board will not consider petitions that are repetitious of proposed findings submitted pursuant to § 845.13, or of positions previously advanced.

    (c) Proof of service. (1) When a petition for reconsideration or modification is filed with the Board, copies of the petition and any supporting documentation shall be served on all other parties to the investigation or investigative hearing and proof of service shall be attached to the petition.

    (2) Any party served with a copy of the petition may file comments no later than 90 days after service of the petition.

    (d) Oral presentation. Oral presentation normally will not form a part of proceedings under this section. However, oral presentation may be permitted where a party or interested person specifically shows the written petition for reconsideration or modification is an insufficient means by which to present the party's or person's position.

    § 845.33 Investigation to remain open.

    The Board never officially closes an investigation, but provides for the submission of new and pertinent evidence by any interested person. If the Board finds such evidence is relevant and probative, the evidence shall be made a part of the public docket and, where appropriate, the Board will provide parties an opportunity to examine such evidence and to comment thereon.

    Christopher A. Hart, Chairman.
    [FR Doc. 2015-32264 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7533-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 141021887-5172-02] RIN 0648-XE368 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pacific Cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; reallocation.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amounts of Pacific cod from catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 meters (m)) length overall (LOA) using pot gear and catcher vessels less than 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear to catcher/processors (C/Ps) using hook-and-line gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area. This action is necessary to allow the 2015 total allowable catch of Pacific cod to be harvested.

    DATES:

    Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), December 21, 2015, through 2400 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), December 31, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Josh Keaton, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management 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 2015 Pacific cod TAC specified for catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using pot gear in the BSAI is 13,641 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (80 FR 11919, March 5, 2015) and reallocations (80 FR 57105, September 22, 2015, 80 FR 65971, October 28, 2015, and 80 FR 76250, December 8, 2015). The Regional Administrator has determined that catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using pot gear in the BSAI will not be able to harvest 1,750 mt of the remaining 2015 Pacific cod TAC allocated to those vessels under § 679.20(a)(7)(ii)(A)(5).

    The 2015 Pacific cod TAC specified for catcher vessels less than 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear in the BSAI is 12,380 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (80 FR 11919, March 5, 2015) and reallocations (80 FR 51757, August 26, 2015, and 80 FR 57105, September 22, 2015). The Regional Administrator has determined that catcher vessels less than 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear in the BSAI will not be able to harvest 1,750 mt of the remaining 2015 Pacific cod TAC allocated to those vessels under § 679.20(a)(7)(ii)(A)(2).

    Therefore, in accordance with § 679.20(a)(7)(iii)(A) and § 679.20(a)(7)(iii)(C), NMFS reallocates 3,500 mt of Pacific cod to C/Ps using hook-and-line gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area.

    The harvest specifications for Pacific cod included in the final 2015 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (80 FR 11919, March 5, 2015, 80 FR 51757, August 26, 2015, 80 FR 57105, September 22, 2015 and 80 FR 65971, October 28, 2015, and 80 FR 76250, December 8, 2015) are revised as follows: 11,891 mt for catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using pot gear, 10,630 mt for catcher vessels less than 60 feet (18.3 m) LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear, and 118,871 mt for C/Ps using hook-and-line gear.

    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 the reallocation of Pacific cod specified from multiple sectors to C/Ps using hook-and-line gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area. Since these fisheries are currently open, it is important to immediately inform the industry as to the revised allocations. Immediate notification is necessary to allow for the orderly conduct and efficient operation of this fishery, to allow the industry to plan for the fishing season, and to avoid potential disruption to the fishing fleet as well as processors. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of December 15, 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 is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: December 21, 2015. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-32444 Filed 12-21-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 247 Thursday, December 24, 2015 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-7777; Directorate Identifier 2015-CE-036-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; B-N Group Ltd. Airplanes AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for B-N Group Ltd. Models BN-2, BN-2A, BN-2A-2, BN-2A-3, BN-2A-6, BN-2A-8, BN-2A-9, BN-2A-20, BN-2A-21, BN-2A-26, BN-2A-27, BN-2B-20, BN-2B-21, BN-2B-26, BN-2B-27, BN2A MK. III, BN2A MK. III-2, BN2A MK. III-3 BN2A, BN2B, and BN2A MKIII (all models on TCDS A17EU and A29EU) airplanes that would supersede AD 2007-06-06. This proposed AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as cracks in the inner shell of certain pitot/static pressure heads. We are issuing this proposed AD to require actions to address the unsafe condition on these products.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by February 8, 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 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Britten-Norman Aircraft Limited, Commodore House, Mountbatten Business Centre, Millbrook Road East, Southampton SO15 1HY, United Kingdom; telephone: +44 20 3371 4000; fax: +44 20 3371 4001; email: [email protected]; Internet: http://www.britten-norman.com/customer-support/. You may review copies of the referenced service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148.

    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-2015-7777; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone (800) 647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Raymond Johnston, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4159; fax: (816) 329-3047; email: [email protected]

    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-2015-7777; Directorate Identifier 2015-CE-036-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

    We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://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 March 6, 2007, we issued AD 2007-06-06, Amendment 39-14987 (72 FR 12557; March 16, 2007). That AD required actions intended to address an unsafe condition on B-N Group Ltd. Models BN-2, BN-2A, BN-2A-2, BN-2A-3, BN-2A-6, BN-2A-8, BN-2A-9, BN-2A-20, BN-2A-21, BN-2A-26, BN-2A-27, BN-2B-20, BN-2B-21, BN-2B-26, BN-2B-27, BN2A MK. III, BN2A MK. III-2, BN2A MK. III-3 BN2A, BN2B, and BN2A MKIII (all models on TCDS A17EU and A29EU) airplanes and was based on mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another country.

    Since we issued AD 2007-06-06, there are reports of premature failures of the affected part number (P/N) DU130-24 pitot-static probes.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued EASA AD No.: 2015-0199, dated October 7, 2015 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct the above-referenced unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

    In 2005, occurrences were reported of finding cracks in the inner shell of certain pitot/static pressure heads, Part Number (P/N) DU130-24.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to incorrect readings on the pressure instrumentation, e.g. altimeters, vertical speed indicators (rate-of-climb) and airspeed indicators, possibly resulting in reduced control of the aeroplane.

    To address this potential unsafe condition, B-N Group issued Service Bulletin (SB) 310 to provide inspection and test instructions. Consequently, CAA UK issued AD G-2005-0034 (EASA approval 2005-6447) to require repetitive inspections and leak tests and, depending on findings, accomplishment of applicable corrective action(s).

    Subsequently, B-N Group published SB 310 issue 2, prompting EASA to issue AD 2006-0143 making reference to SB 310 at issue 2, while the publication of BNA SB 310 issue 3 prompted EASA AD 2006-0143R1, introducing BNA modification (mod) NB-M-1728 (new pitot/static pressure head not affected by the AD requirements) as optional terminating action for the repetitive inspections and leak tests.

    Since that AD was issued, operators have reported a number of premature failures of the affected P/N DU130-24 pitot-static probes.

    Prompted by these reports, BNA issued SB 310 issue 4 to reduce the interval for the inspections and leak tests.

    For the reason described above, this AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2006-0143R1, which is superseded, but requires those actions at reduced intervals.

    You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-7777. Related Service Information Under 1 CFR part 51

    B-N Group Ltd. has issued Britten-Norman Service Bulletin Number SB 310, Issue 4, dated September 25, 2015. The service information describes procedures for inspections, and if necessary, replacement of the pitot/static pressure head. 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 the 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 this State of Design Authority, they have notified us of the unsafe condition described in the MCAI and service information referenced above. We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all information and determined the unsafe condition exists and is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same type design.

    Differences Between the Proposed AD and the MCAI

    The FAA has reviewed the MCAI and related service information and, in general, agree with their substance. The proposed AD does differ from the MCAI in that it does not reference BNA Mod NB-M-1728 as an optional terminating action for the repetitive inspections and leak tests. The FAA is unable to make these instructions reasonably available to interested parties so therefore we are unable to include this in the AD. After issuance of the final AD, the FAA will consider this modification as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) to the AD provided it is submitted following the instructions in the AD and 14 CFR 39.19.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD will affect 93 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 1 work-hour per product to comply with the basic requirements of this proposed AD. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour.

    Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of the proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $7,905, or $85 per product.

    In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions would take about 2 work-hours and require parts costing $10,000, for a cost of $10,170 per product. We have no way of determining the number of products that may need these actions.

    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 Amendment 39-14987 (72 FR 12557; March 16, 2007) and adding the following new AD: B-N Group Ltd.: Docket No. FAA-2015-7777; Directorate Identifier 2015-CE-036-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by February 8, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD supersedes AD 2007-06-06 (72 FR 12557; March 16, 2007).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to B-N Group Ltd. BN-2, BN-2A, BN-2A-2, BN-2A-3, BN-2A-6, BN-2A-8, BN-2A-9, BN-2A-20, BN-2A-21, BN-2A-26, BN-2A-27, BN-2B-20, BN-2B-21, BN-2B-26, BN-2B-27, BN2A MK. III, BN2A MK. III-2, BN2A MK. III-3 BN2A, BN2B, and BN2A MKIII, BN2A, BN2B, and BN2A MKIII (all models on TCDS A17EU and A29EU) airplanes, all serial numbers, certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association of America (ATA) Code 34: Navigation.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by cracks in the inner shell of certain pitot/static pressure heads. We are issuing this proposed AD to inspect the inner shell of certain pitot/static pressure heads for cracks, and replace if necessary.

    (f) Actions and Compliance

    Unless already done, do the following actions in paragraphs (f)(1) through (f)(4) of this AD:

    (1) For airplanes equipped with pitot/static pressure head part number (P/N) DU130-24: Within 50 hours time-in-service (TIS) after the effective date of this AD and repetitively thereafter at intervals not to exceed 50 hours TIS, inspect the pitot/static pressure head for cracks and/or separation and perform a leak test following the procedures in the action section of Britten-Norman Service Bulleting SB 310, Issue 4, dated September 25, 2015.

    (2) For airplanes equipped with pitot/static pressure head part number (P/N) DU130-24: If, during an inspection or test required in paragraph (f)(1) of this AD discrepancies are found, before further flight, replace the pitot/static pressure head with an airworthy part.

    (3) For airplanes equipped with pitot/static pressure head part number (P/N) DU130-24: Corrections performed on airplanes as required in paragraph (f)(2) of this AD do not constitute terminating action for the repetitive actions required in paragraph (f)(1) of this AD.

    (4) For airplanes not equipped with a pitot/static pressure head P/N DU130-24 on the effective date of this AD: After the effective date of this AD, do not install a pitot/static pressure head P/N DU130-24.

    (g) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, Standards Office, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. Send information to ATTN: Raymond Johnston, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4159; fax: (816) 329-3047; email: [email protected] Before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify your appropriate principal inspector (PI) in the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or lacking a PI, your local FSDO.

    (2) Airworthy Product: For any requirement in this AD to obtain corrective actions from a manufacturer or other source, use these actions if they are FAA-approved. Corrective actions are considered FAA-approved if they are approved by the State of Design Authority (or their delegated agent). You are required to assure the product is airworthy before it is returned to service.

    (h) Related Information

    Refer to MCAI European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD No.: 2015-0199, dated October 7, 2015, for related information. You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-7777. For service information related to this AD, contact Britten-Norman Aircraft Limited, Commodore House, Mountbatten Business Centre, Millbrook Road East, Southampton SO15 1HY, United Kingdom; telephone: +44 20 3371 4000; fax: +44 20 3371 4001; email: [email protected]; Internet: http://www.britten-norman.com/customer-support/. You may review copies of the referenced service information at the FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148.

    Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on December 11, 2015. Pat Mullen, Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-31850 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-7529; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-207-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bombardier, Inc. Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2014-16-02, for certain Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-1A11 (CL-600) airplanes. AD 2014-16-02 currently requires revising the airplane flight manual to prohibit thrust reverser operation, doing repetitive detailed inspections of both engine thrust reversers for cracks, and modifying the thrust reversers if necessary. The modification of the thrust reversers is also an optional terminating action for the repetitive inspections. Since we issued AD 2014-16-02, we have determined that it is necessary to add a requirement to repair or modify the thrust reversers, which would terminate the requirements of AD 2014-16-02. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct cracks of the translating sleeve at the thrust reverser actuator attachment points, which could result in deployment or dislodgement of an engine thrust reverser in flight and subsequent reduced control of the airplane.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by February 8, 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 Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte-Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; telephone: 514-855-5000; fax: 514-855-7401; email: [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-7529; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Cesar Gomez, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe and Mechanical Systems Branch, ANE-171, FAA, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; telephone: 516-228-7318; fax: 516-794-5531.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-7529; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-207-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD based on those comments.

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

    Discussion

    On August 4, 2014, we issued AD 2014-16-02, Amendment 39-17926 (79 FR 46968, August 12, 2014). AD 2014-16-02 requires actions intended to address an unsafe condition on certain Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-1A11 (CL-600) airplanes. AD 2014-16-02 is parallel to Canadian AD CF-2014-19, dated June 20, 2014, which additionally mandated repair or modification of the thrust reversers. At that time, we had determined that the compliance time for that action would allow enough time to provide notice and opportunity for prior public comment on the merits of the actions. The preamble to AD 2014-16-02 indicated we were considering further rulemaking to require repair or modification of the thrust reversers. We now have determined that further rulemaking is necessary.

    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 Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (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 18 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    The actions required by AD 2014-16-02, Amendment 39-17926 (79 FR 46968, August 12, 2014), and retained in this proposed AD, take about 29 work-hours per product, at an average labor rate of $85 per work-hour. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the actions that are required by AD 2014-16-02 is $2,465 per product.

    We also estimate that it would take about 100 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 $509 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $162,162, or $9,009 per product.

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2014-16-02, Amendment 39-17926 (79 FR 46968, August 12, 2014), and adding the following new AD: Bombardier, Inc.: Docket No. FAA-2015-7529; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-207-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by February 8, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2014-16-02, Amendment 39-17926 (79 FR 46968, August 12, 2014).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Bombardier, Inc. Model CL-600-1A11 (CL-600) airplanes, certificated in any category, serial numbers 1004 through 1085.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 78, Engine Exhaust.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by reports of partial deployment of an engine thrust reverser in flight caused by a failure of the translating sleeve at the thrust reverser attachment points. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracks of the translating sleeve at the thrust reverser actuator attachment points, which could result in deployment or dislodgement of an engine thrust reverser in flight and subsequent reduced control of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Retained Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) Revision With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (g) of AD 2014-16-02, Amendment 39-17926 (79 FR 46968, August 12, 2014), with no changes. Within 1 calendar day after August 12, 2014 (the effective date of AD 2014-16-02): Revise the applicable sections of the AFM to include the information specified in the temporary revisions (TRs) identified in paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), (g)(3), and (g)(4) of this AD, as applicable. These TRs introduce procedures to prohibit thrust reverser operation. Operate the airplane according to the limitations and procedures in the TRs identified in paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), (g)(3), and (g)(4) of this AD, as applicable. The revision required by paragraph (g) of this AD may be done by inserting copies of the applicable TRs identified in paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), (g)(3), and (g)(4) of this AD into the AFM. When these TRs have been included in general revisions of the AFM, the general revisions may be inserted in the AFM, provided the relevant information in the general revision is identical to that in the applicable TRs, and the TRs may be removed.

    (1) Canadair TR 600/29, dated June 20, 2014, to the Canadair CL-600-1A11 AFM.

    (2) Canadair TR 600/30, dated June 6, 2014, to the Canadair CL-600-1A11 AFM.

    (3) Canadair TR 600-1/24, dated June 20, 2014, to the Canadair CL-600-1A11 AFM (Winglets) including Erratum, Publication No. PSP 600-1AFM (US), TR No. 600-1/24, June 20, 2014.

    (4) Canadair TR 600-1/26, dated June 6, 2014, to the Canadair CL-600-1A11 AFM (Winglets).

    (h) Retained Repetitive Inspections With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (h) of AD 2014-16-02, Amendment 39-17926 (79 FR 46968, August 12, 2014), with no changes. Within 25 flight cycles or 90 days, whichever occurs first, after August 12, 2014 (the effective date of AD 2014-16-02), do detailed inspections (including a borescope inspection) of both engine thrust reversers for cracks, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A600-0769, Revision 01, dated June 26, 2014.

    (1) If no cracking is found during any inspection required by paragraph (h) of this AD, repeat the inspection required by paragraph (h) of this AD thereafter at intervals not to exceed 100 flight cycles until the repair or modification specified in paragraph (i) or (k) of this AD is done.

    (2) If any cracking is found during any inspection required by paragraph (h) of this AD, before further flight, modify the thrust reversers on both engines, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A600-0769, Revision 01, dated June 26, 2014.

    (i) Retained Optional Terminating Modification With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (i) of AD 2014-16-02, Amendment 39-17926 (79 FR 46968, August 12, 2014), with no changes. Modifying the thrust reversers on both engines, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A600-0769, Revision 01, dated June 26, 2014, terminates the inspections required by paragraph (h) of this AD.

    (j) Retained Credit for Previous Actions With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (j) of AD 2014-16-02, Amendment 39-17926 (79 FR 46968, August 12, 2014), with no changes. This paragraph provides credit for actions required by paragraphs (h) and (i) of this AD, if those actions were performed before August 12, 2014 (the effective date of AD 2014-16-02) using Bombardier Alert Service Bulletin A600-0769, dated June 19, 2014, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (k) New Requirement of This AD: Repair/Modify

    Within 24 months after the effective date of this AD, repair or modify the thrust reversers on both engines, using a method approved by the Manager, New York Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), ANE-170, FAA; or Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA); or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA Design Approval Organization (DAO). Accomplishment of the repair or modification of all thrust reversers terminates the requirements of paragraphs (h) and (i) of this AD.

    (l) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

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

    (2) Contacting the Manufacturer: 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, New York ACO, ANE-170, FAA; or TCCA; or Bombardier, Inc.'s TCCA DAO. If approved by the DAO, the approval must include the DAO-authorized signature.

    (m) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) Canadian AD CF-2014-19, dated June 20, 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-2015-7529.

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Bombardier, Inc., 400 Côte-Vertu Road West, Dorval, Québec H4S 1Y9, Canada; telephone: 514-955-5000; fax: 514-855-7401; email: [email protected]; Internet http://www.bombardier.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on December 11, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service,
    [FR Doc. 2015-32085 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0651; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-043-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM); reopening of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    We are revising an earlier proposed airworthiness directive (AD) for all Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Model GV and GV-SP airplanes. The NPRM proposed to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2013-22-19, which requires inspecting to determine if fuel boost pumps having a certain part number are installed, replacing the fuel boost pumps having a certain part number, and revising the airplane maintenance or inspection program to include revised instructions for continued airworthiness. The NPRM also proposed to require revising the airplane maintenance program to include a fuel leak check of the fuel boost pumps, using new service information. The NPRM was prompted by reports of two independent types of failure of the fuel boost pump: overheat damage on the internal components and external housing, and fuel leakage. This action revises the NPRM by reducing the compliance time for revising the airplane maintenance program. We are proposing this supplemental NPRM (SNPRM) to prevent fuel leakage in combination with a capacitor clearance issue, which could result in an uncontrolled fire in the wheel well. Since these actions impose an additional burden over that proposed in the NPRM, we are reopening the comment period to allow the public the chance to comment on these proposed changes.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this SNPRM by February 8, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    • Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

    • Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, Technical Publications Dept., P.O. Box 2206, Savannah, GA 31402-2206; telephone 800-810-4853; fax 912-965-3520; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.gulfstream.com/product_support/technical_pubs/pubs/index.htm. 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-2014-0651; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sanjana Murthy, Aersopace Engineer, ACE-118A, FAA, Atlanta Aircraft Certification Office, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, GA 30337; telephone: 404-474-5573; fax: 404-474-5567; email: [email protected]

    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-2014-0651; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-043-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    We issued an NPRM to amend 14 CFR part 39 to supersede AD 2013-22-19, Amendment 39-17651 (78 FR 72554, December 3, 2013), which applies to all Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Model GV and GV-SP airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on October 1, 2014 (79 FR 59162). The NPRM proposed to continue to require inspecting to determine if fuel boost pumps having a certain part number are installed, replacing the fuel boost pumps having a certain part number, and revising the airplane maintenance or inspection program to include revised instructions for continued airworthiness. The NPRM also proposed to require revising the airplane maintenance program to include a fuel leak check of the fuel boost pumps, using new service information.

    Actions Since Previous NPRM (79 FR 59162, October 1, 2014) Was Issued

    Since we issued the NPRM (79 FR 59162, October 1, 2014), we have determined it is necessary to reduce the compliance time for revising the airplane maintenance or inspection program in order to address the identified unsafe condition in a timely manner. Paragraph (i) of the proposed AD specifies a compliance time of “within 500 flight hours after the effective date of this AD” to accomplish the revision, which incorporates the fuel leak check inspection of the fuel boost pumps. The leak check is intended to be performed at 500-hour increments after the installation of the part number (P/N) 1159SCP500-7 boost pump. However, operators that have already installed the P/N 1159SCP500-7 boost pump would not be required to perform the leak check until after the maintenance or inspection program is revised, i.e., within 500 flight hours after the effective date of the AD instead of within 500 flight hours after installation. We have determined a compliance time of “within 30 days after the effective date of this AD” represents an appropriate interval of time to revise the airplane maintenance or inspection program. We have revised paragraph (i) of this proposed AD accordingly.

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this proposed AD. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM (79 FR 59162, October 1, 2014) and the FAA's response to each comment.

    Request To Use Later Revision of the Service Information

    Gulfstream requested that the FAA reference the upcoming revision to the airworthiness limitations section of the GV, G500, and G550 maintenance manuals. Gulfstream stated that the maintenance manuals will include a revised fuel leak check interval of 500 hours ±50 hours. Gulfstream stated that drafts of the maintenance manuals were scheduled to be submitted to the FAA by December 2014, with FAA approval expected. Gulfstream also stated that the revisions to the airplane maintenance program include revised instructions for continued airworthiness to avoid future AD revisions on this subject. Gulfstream stated that AD 2013-22-19, Amendment 39-17651 (78 FR 72554, December 3, 2013), references the 05-20-00, Table 20 Fuel Boost Pump fuel leak check interval of 500 hours, which would prohibit the ±50-hour provision that the Gulfstream safety assessment allows, limiting the flexibility of Gulfstream's operators to perform this fuel leak check concurrently with other scheduled maintenance.

    We have reviewed the supporting data for this request and we agree with the request to change the compliance time. We have revised paragraph (i) of this proposed AD to accommodate this request. In order to decrease the burden on operators, we are adding 50 hours to the compliance time, which will enable operators to complete the requirements of this proposed AD as well as their mandatory inspection requirement during the same overhaul.

    Operators may request approval to use a later revision of the referenced service information, when it is approved, as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) under the provisions of paragraph (m) of this proposed AD.

    Request To Revise the Compliance Time

    Gulfstream requested that a compliance time specified in paragraph (i)(2) of the proposed AD (79 FR 59162, October 1, 2014) be revised. Gulfstream requested that the following language be included in paragraph (i)(2) of the proposed AD, which is for airplanes on which the inspection required by paragraph (g) of the proposed AD reveals that a fuel boost pump with Gulfstream P/N 1159SCP500-7 has been installed:

    The initial compliance time . . . is within 500 flight hours after installation of the P/N 11 59SCP500-7 pump, or within 50 flight hours after doing the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD if 500 flight hours have accumulated since installation of the P/N 1159SCP500-7 pump and an initial leak check of the pump has not been accomplished.

    We agree to revise the compliance time. The leak check is intended to be performed at 500-hour increments ± 50 flight hours after the installation of the P/N 1159SCP500-7 boost pump. We have added new paragraph (i)(2)(i) to this proposed AD to specify compliances times relative to installation of the P/N 1159SCP500-7 pump.

    FAA's Determination

    We are proposing this SNPRM because we evaluated all the relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design. Certain changes described above expand the scope of the proposed AD (79 FR 59162, October 1, 2014). As a result, we have determined that it is necessary to reopen the comment period to provide additional opportunity for the public to comment on this SNPRM.

    Proposed Requirements of This SNPRM

    This SNPRM would require inspecting to determine if fuel boost pumps having a certain part number are installed, replacing the fuel boost pumps having a certain part number, and revising the airplane maintenance or inspection program to include revised instructions for continued airworthiness.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We have reviewed Gulfstream G500 Customer Bulletin 122, dated April 11, 2012 (for Model GV-SP airplanes designated as G500), which describes procedures for inspecting and replacing the fuel boost pumps.

    We have also reviewed the following service information, as applicable, which describes, among other actions, a fuel leak check of the fuel boost pumps and inspection intervals:

    • Table 18, 500 Flight Hours Scheduled Inspection Table, in Section 05-20-00, of Chapter 5, Time Limits/Maintenance Checks, of the Gulfstream V Maintenance Manual, Revision 42, dated June 20, 2013;

    • Task 28-26-01, Fuel Boost Pumps—Fuel Leak Check, of Chapter 28, Fuel, of the Gulfstream V Maintenance Manual, Revision 42, dated June 20, 2013;

    • Task 28-26-01, Fuel Boost Pumps—Fuel Leak Checks, in Table 20, 500 Flight Hours Scheduled Inspection Table, in Section 05-20-00, of Chapter 5, Time Limits/Maintenance Checks, of the Gulfstream G500 Maintenance Manual, Revision 23, dated June 20, 2013;

    • Task 28-26-01, Fuel Boost Pumps—Fuel Leak Check, of Section 26, Fuel Boost Pumps, of Chapter 28, Fuel, of the Gulfstream G550 Maintenance Manual, Revision 23, dated June 20, 2013;

    • Task 28-26-01, Fuel Boost Pumps—Fuel Leak Check, in Table 20, 500 Flight Hours Scheduled Inspection Table, in Section 05-20-00, of Chapter 5, Time Limits/Maintenance Checks, of the Gulfstream G550 Maintenance Manual, Revision 23, dated June 20, 2013; and

    • Task 28-26-01, Fuel Boost Pumps—Fuel Leak Check, of Section 26, Fuel Boost Pumps, of Chapter 28, Fuel, of the Gulfstream G550 Maintenance Manual, Revision 23, dated June 20, 2013.

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD would affect 357 airplanes of U.S. registry.

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

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Inspection to determine if a certain part number is installed [retained actions from AD 2013-22-19, Amendment 39-17651 (78 FR 72554, December 3, 2013)] 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 $0 $85 $30,345 Maintenance program revision [new proposed action] 1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85 0 85 30,345

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

    On-Condition Cost Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Replacement 24 work-hours × $85 per hour = $2,040 $7,600 $9,640
    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) 2013-22-19, Amendment 39-17651 (78 FR 72554, December 3, 2013), and adding the following new AD: Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation: FAA-2014-0651; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-043-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by February 8, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2013-22-19, Amendment 39-17651 (78 FR 72554, December 3, 2013).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Model GV and GV-SP airplanes, certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 28, Fuel.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of two independent types of failure of the fuel boost pump: overheat damage on the internal components and external housing, and fuel leakage. We are issuing this AD to prevent fuel leakage in combination with a capacitor clearance issue, which could result in an uncontrolled fire in the wheel well.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Retained Inspection To Determine the Part Number, With Revised Service Information

    This paragraph restates the actions required by paragraph (g) of AD 2013-22-19, Amendment 39-17651 (78 FR 72554, December 3, 2013), with revised service information. Within 36 months after January 7, 2014 (the effective date of AD 2013-22-19), inspect the fuel boost pumps to determine whether Gulfstream part number (P/N) 1159SCP500-5 is installed, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of the applicable service information identified in paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), and (g)(3) of this AD; including Triumph Aerostructures Service Bulletin SB-TAGV/GVSP-28-JG0162, dated August 30, 2011; and GE Service Bulletin 31760-28-100, dated February 15, 2011. A review of airplane maintenance records is acceptable in lieu of this inspection if the part number of the fuel boost pumps can be conclusively determined from that review.

    (1) For Model GV airplanes: Gulfstream V Customer Bulletin 197, dated April 11, 2012.

    (2) For Model GV-SP airplanes designated as G500: Gulfstream G500 Customer Bulletin 122, dated April 11, 2012; or Gulfstream G550 Customer Bulletin 122, dated April 11, 2012.

    (3) For Model GV-SP airplanes designated as G550: Gulfstream G550 Customer Bulletin 122, dated April 11, 2012.

    (h) Retained Replacement With Revised Service Information

    This paragraph restates the actions required by paragraph (h) of AD 2013-22-19, Amendment 39-17651 (78 FR 72554, December 3, 2013), with revised service information. If the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD reveals a fuel boost pump with Gulfstream P/N 1159SCP500-5: Within 36 months after January 7, 2014 (the effective date of AD 2013-22-19), replace the fuel boost pump with a serviceable pump having Gulfstream P/N 1159SCP500-7, in accordance with the applicable service information identified in paragraphs (h)(1), (h)(2), and (h)(3) of this AD; including Triumph Aerostructures Service Bulletin SB-TAGV/GVSP-28-JG0162, dated August 30, 2011; and GE Service Bulletin 31760-28-100, dated February 15, 2011.

    (1) For Model GV airplanes: Gulfstream V Customer Bulletin 197, dated April 11, 2012.

    (2) For Model GV-SP airplanes designated as G500: Gulfstream G500 Customer Bulletin 122, dated April 11, 2012; or Gulfstream G550 Customer Bulletin 122, dated April 11, 2012.

    (3) For Model GV-SP airplanes designated as G550: Gulfstream G550 Customer Bulletin 122, dated April 11, 2012.

    (i) New Revision of the Maintenance or Inspection Program

    Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, revise the airplane maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to include the fuel leak check inspection of the fuel boost pumps specified in the applicable task identified in paragraph (j) of this AD.

    (1) For airplanes on which fuel boost pump Gulfstream P/N 1159SCP500-5 has been replaced in accordance with paragraph (h) of this AD: The initial compliance time for the leak check inspection specified in the applicable task identified in paragraph (j) of this AD is within 550 flight hours after doing the replacement specified in paragraph (h) of this AD, or within 30 days after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later.

    (2) For airplanes on which the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD reveals that a fuel boost pump with Gulfstream P/N 1159SCP500-7 has been installed: The initial compliance time for the leak check inspection specified in the applicable task identified in paragraph (j) of this AD, is at the later of the times specified in paragraphs (i)(2)(i) and (i)(2)(ii) of this AD.

    (i) Within 550 flight hours after the installation of the P/N 1159SCP500-7 pump; except if 550 flight hours have accumulated since installation of the P/N 1159SCP500-7 pump and an initial leak check of the pump has not been accomplished, the compliance time is within 50 flight hours after doing the inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD.

    (ii) Within 30 days after the effective date of this AD.

    (j) Service Information for Maintenance Program Revision

    Use the applicable service information specified in paragraph (j)(1), (j)(2), or (j)(3) of this AD to revise the airplane maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, as required by paragraph (i) of this AD.

    (1) For Model GV airplanes: Use table 18, “500 Flight Hours Scheduled Inspection Table,” in section 05-20-00, of chapter 5, Time Limits/Maintenance Checks; and task 28-26-01, Fuel Boost Pumps—Fuel Leak Check, of chapter 28, Fuel; of the Gulfstream V Maintenance Manual, Revision 42, dated June 20, 2013.

    (2) For Model GV-SP airplanes designated as G500: Use task 28-26-01, Fuel Boost Pumps—Fuel Leak Checks, in table 20, “500 Flight Hours Scheduled Inspection Table,” in section 05-20-00, of chapter 5, Time Limits/Maintenance Checks; and task 28-26-01, Fuel Boost Pumps—Fuel Leak Check, of section 26, Fuel Boost Pumps, of chapter 28, Fuel; of the Gulfstream G500 Maintenance Manual, Revision 23, dated June 20, 2013.

    (3) For Model GV-SP airplanes designated as G550: Use task 28-26-01, Fuel Boost Pumps—Fuel Leak Check, in table 20, “500 Flight Hours Scheduled Inspection Table,” in section 05-20-00, of chapter 5, Time Limits/Maintenance Checks; and task 28-26-01, Fuel Boost Pumps—Fuel Leak Check, of section 26, Fuel Boost Pumps, of chapter 28, Fuel; of the Gulfstream G550 Maintenance Manual, Revision 23, dated June 20, 2013.

    (k) No Alternative Actions or Intervals

    After accomplishing the revision required by paragraph (i) of this AD, no alternative actions (e.g., inspections) or intervals may be used unless the actions or intervals are approved as an alternative method of compliance in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (m) of this AD.

    (l) Parts Installation Prohibition

    As of January 7, 2014 (the effective date of AD 2013-22-19, Amendment 39-17651 (78 FR 72554, December 3, 2013)), no person may install a fuel boost pump having Gulfstream P/N 1159SCP500-5 on any airplane.

    (m) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

    (3) AMOCs approved for AD 2013-22-19, Amendment 39-17651 (78 FR 72554, December 3, 2013), are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of this AD.

    (4) For service information that contains steps that are labeled as Required for Compliance (RC), the provisions of paragraphs (m)(4)(i) and (m)(4)(ii) apply.

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

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

    (n) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Sanjana Murthy, Aersopace Engineer, ACE-118A, FAA, Atlanta Aircraft Certification Office, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, GA 30337; telephone: 404-474-5573; fax: 404-474-5567; email: [email protected]

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, Technical Publications Dept., P.O. Box 2206, Savannah, GA 31402-2206; telephone 800-810-4853; fax 912 965-3520; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.gulfstream.com/product_support/technical_pubs/pubs/index.htm. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on November 24, 2015. Jeffrey E. Duven, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-30810 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-7530; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-257-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Fokker Services B.V. Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Fokker Services B.V. Model F.28 Mark 0070 and 0100 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a report of cracking in a certain section of the secondary structure of the wing. This proposed AD would require a one-time inspection of the trailing edge rib, and corrective action if necessary. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct cracking that could lead to failure of the affected rib and consequent reduced control of the airplane.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by February 8, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Fokker Services B.V., Technical Services Dept., P.O. Box 1357, 2130 EL Hoofddorp, the Netherlands; telephone +31 (0)88-6280-350; fax +31 (0)88-6280-111; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.myfokkerfleet.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-2015-7530; 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:

    Tom Rodriguez, Aerospace Engineer, ANM 116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1137; fax 425-227-1139.

    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-2015-7530; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-257-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD based on those comments.

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

    Discussion

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2014-0271, dated December 12, 2014 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for all Fokker Services B.V. Model F.28 Mark 0070 and 0100 airplanes. The MCAI states:

    Service experience with the Fokker 100 type design has shown that cracking can occur in the secondary structure of the wing at station 8700, rib Part Number (P/N) D15445-013/-014 (or lower dash number) in the trailing edge section. The hydraulic actuator assembly, hydraulic lines, the cable pulleys, the anti-upfloat quadrant and the associated mechanical linkages including flutter dampers are all positioned in the affected area, between wing stations 8200 and 9270.

    This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to failure of the affected rib, possibly resulting in reduced control of the aeroplane.

    To address this potential unsafe condition, Fokker Services published Service Bulletin (SB) SBF100-57-048, which provides inspection instructions to detect any cracks in the affected area.

    For the reasons described above, this AD requires a one-time [detailed] inspection of the trailing edge rib at wing station 8700 and, depending on findings, accomplishment of applicable corrective action(s).

    This AD is considered to be an interim action and further AD action may follow, possibly to introduce new ALS [Airworthiness Limitations Section] tasks, if justified by the inspection results.

    Corrective actions include repair of cracking in the secondary structure of the wing at station 8700, rib Part Number (P/N) D15445-013/-014 (or lower dash number), in the trailing edge section.

    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-2015-7530.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-57-048, dated October 27, 2014. This service information describes procedures for inspecting the trailing edge section at the rib of wing station 8700 for cracking. 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 designs.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 8 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We also estimate that it would take about 1 work-hour 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 $0 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this proposed AD on U.S. operators to be $680, or $85 per product.

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

    1. Is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; 2. Is not a “significant rule” under the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979); 3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and 4. Will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 3

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): Fokker Services B.V. Airplanes: Docket No. FAA-2015-7530; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-257-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by February 8, 2016.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to all Fokker Services B.V. Model F.28 Mark 0070 and 0100 airplanes, certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 57, Wings.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by report of cracking in the secondary structure of the wing at station 8700. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking that could lead to failure of the affected rib and consequent reduced control of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspection

    Within 12 months after the effective date of this AD, do a detailed inspection for cracking of the trailing edge rib at wing station 8700, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Fokker Service Bulletin SBF100-57-048, dated October 27, 2014. If any crack is found: Before further flight, repair using a method approved by the Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA; or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA); or Fokker Services B.V.'s EASA Design Organizational Authority (DOA).

    (h) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

    (1) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs): The Manager, International Branch, ANM-116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the International Branch, send it to ATTN: Tom Rodriguez, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM 116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; telephone 425-227-1405; fax 425-227-1149. Information may be emailed to: 9[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 Fokker B.V. Service's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.

    (i) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) European Airworthiness Directive 2014-0271, dated December 12, 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-2015-7530.

    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Fokker Services B.V., Technical Services Dept., P.O. Box 1357, 2130 EL Hoofddorp, the Netherlands; telephone +31 (0)88-6280-350; fax +31 (0)88-6280-111; email [email protected]; Internet http://www.myfokkerfleet.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 11, 2015. Michael Kaszycki, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-32086 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE ????-??-?
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2015-4836; Airspace Docket No. 15-ASW-16] Proposed Establishment of Class E Airspace; Danville, AR AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to establish Class E airspace at Danville, AR. Controlled airspace is necessary to accommodate new Standard Instrument Approach Procedures developed at Danville Municipal Airport, for the safety and management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations at the airport.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before February 8, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590; telephone (202) 366-9826. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2015-4836; Docket No. 15-ASW-16, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Office (telephone 1-800-647-5527), is on the ground floor of the building at the above address.

    FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed online at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy and ATC Regulations Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 29591; telephone: 202-267-8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of FAA order 7400.9Z at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal-regulations/ibr_locations.html.

    FAA Order 7400.9, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rebecca Shelby, Central Service Center, Operations Support Group, Federal Aviation Administration, Southwest Region, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177; telephone: 817-222-5857.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. 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. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part, A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it would establish Class E airspace at Danville Municipal Airport, Danville, AR.

    Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal. Communications should identify both docket numbers and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this notice must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2015-4836/Airspace Docket No. 15-ASW-16.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    Availability of NPRMs

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Recently published rulemaking documents can also be accessed through the FAA's Web page at http://www.faa.gov/airports_airtraffic/air_traffic/publications/airspace_amendments/.

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see ADDRESSES section for address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the Central Service Center, Operation Support Group, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177.

    Persons interested in being placed on a mailing list for future NPRMs should contact the FAA's Office of Rulemaking (202) 267-9677, to request a copy of Advisory Circular No. 11-2A, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Distribution System, which describes the application procedure.

    Availability and Summary of Documents Proposed for Incorporation by Reference

    This document would amend FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015. FAA Order 7400.9Z is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.9Z lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

    The Proposal

    The FAA is proposing an amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR), Part 71 by establishing Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within an 11.0-mile radius of Danville Municipal Airport, Danville, AR, to accommodate new standard instrument approach procedures. Controlled airspace is needed for the safety and management of IFR operations at the airport.

    Class E airspace designations are published in Paragraph 6005 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designation listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Regulatory Notices and Analyses

    The FAA has determined that this regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current, is non-controversial and unlikely to result in adverse or negative comments. It, therefore: (1) is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a regulatory evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that will only affect air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when promulgated, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    Environmental Review

    This proposal will be subject to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures” prior to any FAA final regulatory action.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (Air).

    The Proposed Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

    PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for 14 CFR part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g), 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959-1963 Comp., p. 389.

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Z, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2015, and effective September 15, 2015, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward from 700 feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ASW AR E5 Danville, AR [New] Danville Municipal Airport, AR

    (Lat. 35°05′13″ N., long. 093°25′39″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 11.0-mile radius of Danville Municipal Airport.

    Issued in Fort Worth, TX, on December 15, 2015. Robert W. Beck, Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center.
    [FR Doc. 2015-32157 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 18 CFR Part 35 [Docket No. RM16-3-000] Ownership Information in Market-Based Rate Filings AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) proposes to amend its regulations to clarify the scope of ownership information that sellers seeking to obtain or retain market-based rate authority must provide. The Commission proposes to find that the current policy that requires sellers to provide comprehensive ownership information is not necessary for the Commission's assessment of horizontal or vertical market power. The Commission further proposes to amend its regulations to clarify the types of ownership changes that must be reported to the Commission via a notice of change in status.

    DATES:

    Comments are due February 22, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments, identified by docket number, may be filed in the following ways:

    Electronic Filing through http://www.ferc.gov. Documents created electronically using word processing software should be filed in native applications or print-to-PDF format and not in a scanned format.

    Mail/Hand Delivery: Those unable to file electronically may mail or hand-deliver comments to: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Instructions: For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the Comment Procedures Section of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ashley Dougherty (Technical Information), Office of Energy Market Regulation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8851, [email protected] Laura Chipkin (Legal Information), Office of General Counsel, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8615, [email protected] SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents Paragraph Numbers I. Background 2 II. Proposed Reform 6 A. Ownership Information Required in Initial Applications and Triennial Updated Market Power Analyses 6 B. Ownership Information Required in Change in Status Filings 15 III. Information Collection Statement 18 IV. Environmental Analysis 22 V. Regulatory Flexibility Act 24 VI. Comment Procedures 25 VII. Document Availability 29 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (December 17, 2015)

    1. In this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR), the Commission proposes to amend its regulations to clarify the scope of ownership information that sellers seeking to obtain or retain market-based rate authority must provide.1 The Commission proposes to find that the current policy that requires sellers to provide comprehensive ownership information is not necessary for the Commission's assessment of horizontal or vertical market power. The Commission further proposes to amend its regulations to clarify the types of ownership changes that must be reported to the Commission via a notice of change in status.

    1 All references in this NOPR to “seller” (or “sellers”) refer to both applicants seeking to obtain market-based rate authority and to sellers seeking to retain market-based rate authority.

    I. Background

    2. The Commission allows power sales at market-based rates if the seller and its affiliates do not have, or have adequately mitigated, horizontal and vertical market power. In Order No. 697, the Commission stated that “[t]he first step for a seller seeking market-based rate authority is to file an application to show that it and its affiliates do not have, or have adequately mitigated, market power.” 2 In Order No. 697, the Commission adopted two indicative screens for assessing horizontal market power: The pivotal supplier screen and the wholesale market share screen, each of which serves as a cross check on the other to determine whether sellers may have market power and should be further examined.3 With respect to the vertical market power analysis, in cases where a public utility or any of its affiliates owns, operates, or controls transmission facilities, the Commission requires that there be a Commission-approved Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT) on file or that the seller or its applicable affiliate has received waiver of the OATT requirement or qualifies for the blanket OATT waiver provided by Order No. 807,4 before granting a seller market-based rate authorization.5 The Commission also considers a seller's ability to erect other barriers to entry as part of the vertical market power analysis.6 As such, the Commission requires a seller to provide a description of its ownership or control of, or affiliation with an entity that owns or controls, intrastate natural gas transportation, storage or distribution facilities; and physical coal supply sources and ownership of or control over who may access transportation of coal supplies.7 In addition, a seller is required to make an affirmative statement that it and its affiliates have not erected barriers to entry into the relevant market and will not erect barriers to entry into the relevant market.8

    2Market-Based Rates for Wholesale Sales of Electric Energy, Capacity and Ancillary Services by Public Utilities, Order No. 697, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,252, at P 290, clarified, 121 FERC ¶ 61,260 (2007) (Clarifying Order), order on reh'g, Order No. 697-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,268, clarified, 124 FERC ¶ 61,055, order on reh'g, Order No. 697-B, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,285 (2008), order on reh'g, Order No. 697-C, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,291 (2009), order on reh'g, Order No. 697-D, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,305 (2010), aff'd sub nom. Mont. Consumer Counsel v. FERC, 659 F.3d 910 (9th Cir. 2011), cert. denied, 133 S. Ct. 26 (2012).

    3Id., FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,252 at PP 62-63.

    4Open Access and Priority Rights on Interconnection Customer's Interconnection Facilities, Order No. 807, 80 FR 17,654 (Apr. 1, 2015), FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,367 (2015).

    5 Order No. 697, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,252 at P 408. See also Kingfisher Wind, LLC, 151 FERC ¶ 61,276, at PP 26-27 (2015) (providing guidance on how qualified sellers can claim blanket OATT waiver under Order No. 807 and demonstrate lack of vertical market power).

    6 Order No. 697, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,252 at PP 440-451.

    7 Order No. 697, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,252 at 447; 18 CFR 35.37(e) (2015). The Commission previously had also required sellers to describe sites for generation capacity, but eliminated this requirement in Order No. 816. See Refinements to Policies and Procedures for Market-Based Rates for Wholesale Sales of Electric Energy, Capacity and Ancillary Services by Public Utilities, Order No. 816, 80 FR 67,056 (Oct. 30, 2015), 153 FERC ¶ 61,065, at PP 212, 368 (2015) (Order No. 816).

    8 Order No. 697, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,252 at PP 447-448.

    3. On rehearing, in Order No. 697-A, the Commission set forth a requirement that a seller seeking to obtain or retain market-based rate authority must identify all of its upstream owners as well as describe the business activity of its owners and whether they are involved in the energy industry. Specifically, footnote 258 of Order No. 697-A states:

    A seller seeking market-based rate authority must provide information regarding its affiliates and its corporate structure or upstream ownership. To the extent that a seller's owners are themselves owned by others, the seller seeking to obtain or retain market-based rate authority must identify those upstream owners. Sellers must trace upstream ownership until all upstream owners are identified. Sellers must also identify all affiliates. Finally, an entity seeking market-based rate authority must describe the business activities of its owners, stating whether they are in any way involved in the energy industry.9

    9 Order No. 697-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,268 at n.258.

    4. However, as discussed below, after seven years of experience in implementing the requirements of footnote 258, we believe that the associated burdens on the industry of providing this information may outweigh the benefits of this information for purposes of assessing whether a seller should be granted market-based rate authorization.10 As part of that assessment, the Commission requires the submission of an asset appendix containing the generation and transmission assets of the seller and its affiliates.11 Further, in Order No. 816, the Commission instituted a requirement for the submission of a corporate organizational chart depicting all affiliates, as defined in section 35.36(a)(9) of the Commission's regulations.12

    10 Market-based rate filings include initial market-based rate applications, notices of change in status and triennial updated market power analyses.

    11 Order No. 697, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,252 at P 895; 18 CFR 35.37(a)(2) (2015).

    12 Order No. 816, 153 FERC ¶ 61,065 at P 333 (to be codified at 18 CFR 35.37(a)(2) (2015)).

    5. In conjunction with the new organizational chart requirement in Order No. 816, we propose in this NOPR to provide a new complementary framework under which sellers can describe their ownership structure, as described more fully below. Consistent with this new framework, we also propose to clarify when a change in ownership would trigger the requirement in section 35.42 to file a notice of change in status.

    II. Proposed Reform A. Ownership Information Required in Initial Applications and Triennial Updated Market Power Analyses

    6. Following the issuance of Order No. 697-A in 2008, corporate families, structures, and ownership in the energy industry have become increasingly complex. Through the Commission's implementation of the requirements of footnote 258, it has become clear that the upstream ownership structure of sellers is often layered with numerous levels and types of ownership interests (e.g., full and partial, passive and controlling, etc.). In many instances, sellers initially do not fully comply with the requirements of footnote 258 in their market-based rate filings. Many sellers have difficulty obtaining the names of all owners, particularly those that own a small percentage of the seller or are a partial owner of a partial indirect owner. As a result, in response to requests by Commission staff for the information required by footnote 258, some sellers submit multiple amendments to their filings, resulting in extra expenditures for the seller and significant processing delays for information that does not directly affect the analysis of the seller's market power.

    7. Sellers have frequently alleged that it is very difficult to identify and describe individual shareholders, particularly those with less than ten percent voting interests, because they do not know and cannot obtain this information themselves.13 In such circumstances, strict adherence to the requirements of footnote 258 could require rejection of filings on procedural grounds irrespective of any market power concerns.14

    13See, e.g., 2014 ESA Project Company, LLC, Amended Filing at 2, Docket No. ER15-1496-001 (filed June 4, 2015) (“Shareholders are not required to notify, or obtain consent from, [Applicant's managing organization] when shareholders transfer their shares or the associate beneficial interests or voting rights”).

    14See 18 CFR 35.5 (2015) (providing for rejection of rate filing for failure to comply with the applicable requirements).

    8. As noted above, a seller seeking market-based rate authority must show that it and its affiliates do not have, or have adequately mitigated, horizontal market power. Further, the Commission's review of a seller's ability to exercise vertical market power, whether through ownership of transmission facilities or other barriers to entry, involves examining the seller and its affiliates.15 However, because information about owners that are not considered affiliates under section 35.36(a)(9) is not necessary to evaluate horizontal and/or vertical market power (and is not required to be identified in the asset appendix or the corporate organizational chart), continuing to require information on unaffiliated owners may create a burden that is unrelated to the Commission's approach to determining whether a seller should have market-based-rate authority.16

    15See 18 CFR 35.37 (2015).

    16 We note that the Commission recently issued a NOPR seeking comment on a proposal to require each regional transmission organization and independent system operator to electronically deliver to the Commission data from market participants that lists market participants' “connected entities,” including entities that have certain ownership, employment, debt or contractual relationships to the market participant, and describes the nature of such relationships. See Collection of Connected Entity Data from Regional Transmission Organizations and Independent System Operators, Docket No. RM15-23-000, 80 FR 58,382 (Sept. 29, 2015), FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 32,711 (2015) (cross-referenced at 152 FERC ¶ 61,219 (2015)). We recognize that some of the ownership information that is proposed herein to be no longer necessary for determining whether to grant market-based rate authority would be required under the connected entities NOPR for the purposes described in that proceeding.

    9. Accordingly, we propose to amend section 35.37(a)(2) of the Commission's regulations to provide a new framework under which sellers would be required to describe their ownership structure that is both less burdensome for the industry and more useful to the Commission for purposes of whether a seller should have market-based-rate authority. Under this new framework, we propose to revise section 35.37(a)(2) of the Commission's regulations to define an affiliate owner as an owner that meets the definition of affiliate provided in 18 CFR 35.36(a)(9).17 We propose to require that a seller seeking to obtain or retain market-based rate authority identify and describe two categories of upstream owners. First, a seller must identify and describe the furthest upstream affiliate owner(s) in its ownership chain, which we propose to define as the seller's “ultimate affiliate owner(s).” 18 Second, a seller must identify and describe all affiliate owners that have a franchised service area or market-based rate authority, or that directly own or control: Generation; transmission; intrastate natural gas transportation, storage or distribution facilities; physical coal supply sources or ownership of or control over who may access transportation of coal supplies.19 To the extent that an affiliate owner does not fall into either of the two categories described above, the seller will not need to identify it when describing its ownership structure.

    17 As specified in the Commission's current regulations, “affiliate” of a specified company means: (i) Any person that directly or indirectly owns, controls, or holds with power to vote, 10 percent or more of the outstanding voting securities of the specified company; (ii) Any company 10 percent or more of whose outstanding voting securities are owned, controlled, or held with power to vote, directly or indirectly, by the specified company; (iii) Any person or class of persons that the Commission determines, after appropriate notice and opportunity for hearing, to stand in such relation to the specified company that there is liable to be an absence of arm's-length bargaining in transactions between them as to make it necessary or appropriate in the public interest or for the protection of investors or consumers that the person be treated as an affiliate; and (iv) Any person that is under common control with the specified company. For purposes of paragraph (a)(9)of the Commission's regulations, owning, controlling or holding with power to vote, less than 10 percent of the outstanding voting securities of a specified company creates a rebuttable presumption of lack of control. 18 CFR 35.36(a)(9) (2015).

    18 A seller may have more than one ultimate affiliate owner. For example, if a seller is owned 50 percent by affiliate A and 50 percent by affiliate B, there are two ownership “chains” or “branches.” The seller must identify and describe the ultimate affiliate owner at the top of each chain/branch, i.e., the last affiliate owner in that chain/branch.

    19 To the extent sellers will be describing such affiliate owners in the horizontal and vertical market power sections of the filing, that description will fulfill this requirement.

    10. Identifying the ultimate affiliate owner is necessary for the Commission to form a meaningful picture of a seller's ownership structure and to understand what affiliates ultimately have the power to influence a seller's operations. The seller should also describe each ultimate affiliate owner's connection to the seller, and this description should be sufficient to allow the Commission to understand the relation between the seller and the ultimate affiliate owner(s), and could include references to the required corporate organizational chart. Identifying affiliate owners that have a franchised service area or market-based rate authority, or that directly own or control: Generation; transmission; intrastate natural gas transportation, storage or distribution facilities; physical coal supply sources or ownership of or control over who may access transportation of coal supplies assists the Commission in its analysis of a seller's horizontal and vertical market power.

    11. In addition, where sellers are directly or indirectly owned or controlled by a foreign government or any political subdivision of a foreign government or any corporation which is owned in whole or in part by such entity, we propose to require that the seller identify such foreign government, political subdivision, or corporation.

    12. We caution sellers to examine all ownership information to ensure that the required affiliate owners are identified. Sellers should not assume that owners are not affiliates of the seller without looking to the top of the ownership chain. For example, suppose seller (Company A) has four owners (Companies B, C, D, and E) each of which directly owns eight percent of the voting securities of A. If Company F owns 100 percent of the voting securities of Companies B, C, D, and E, under the Commission's affiliate definition, Company F indirectly owns 32 percent of the voting securities of Company A and is an affiliate of Company A. Under our proposed new framework, sellers must identify Company F only if Company F is an ultimate affiliate owner or if it is an affiliate owner that has a franchised service area or market-based rate authority, or that directly owns or controls: Generation; transmission; intrastate natural gas transportation, storage or distribution facilities; physical coal supply sources or ownership of or control over who may access transportation of coal supplies.20

    20 We further caution sellers to be mindful that the Commission does not allow for a derivative share method to calculate ownership interests in downstream, partially-owned entities for purposes of identifying affiliates. See Tonopah Solar Energy, LLC, 151 FERC ¶ 61,203, at PP 11-12 (2015).

    13. With respect to owners that a seller represents to be passive, we propose to require that the seller affirm that its passive owners own a separate class of securities, have limited consent rights, do not exercise day-to-day control over the company, and cannot remove the manager without cause.21

    21See, e.g., AES Creative Resources, L.P., 129 FERC ¶ 61,239 (2009) (AES Creative) (distinguishing between controlling interests and passive investment interests). See also EquiPower Resources Management, LLC, Docket No. ER10-1089-000 (June 16, 2010) (deficiency letter asking seller to demonstrate that certain interests were passive by providing answers to clarifying questions).

    14. We seek comments on these proposals.

    B. Ownership Information Required in Change in Status Filings

    15. The Commission requires market-based rate sellers to timely report any change in status that would “reflect a departure from the characteristics that the Commission relied upon in granting market-based rate authority.” Section 35.42 of the Commission's regulations, 18 CFR 35.42, which provides a non-exhaustive list of events that could trigger the change in status reporting requirement, is silent as to generic ownership changes, but requires that a seller must report certain new affiliations with any entity not disclosed in the application for market-based rate authority that has a franchised service area, or that directly owns or controls: generation facilities; transmission facilities; intrastate natural gas transportation, storage or distribution facilities; physical coal supply sources or ownership of or control over who may access transportation of coal supplies. However, a literal reading of footnote 258 requires sellers to report changes in upstream ownership via notices of change in status filings.22

    22 Footnote 258 provides: “To the extent that a seller's owners are themselves owned by others, the seller seeking to obtain or retain market-based rate authority must identify those upstream owners.” See Order No. 687-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,628 at n.258 (emphasis added).

    16. We believe that uncertainty as to the interpretation of footnote 258 has led to inconsistent reporting of changes in ownership. In our experience, some sellers report any change in ownership, other sellers only report changes in ownership when the new owner would be considered an affiliate pursuant to section 35.36(a)(9), and yet other sellers only report changes in ownership when the change in ownership causes a change in one of the triggering events explicitly listed in section 35.42. Accordingly, we propose to resolve the uncertainty and create a consistent reporting standard by amending section 35.42 of the Commission's regulations 23 to specify the types of ownership changes that would require a change in status filing.

    23 In Order No. 816, the Commission amended, among other things, sections 35.37 and 35.42 of its regulations. The further proposed regulatory text changes in this NOPR are keyed off of the new regulatory text as promulgated in Order No. 816.

    17. In light of our proposal to require sellers to identify and describe in their initial applications and triennial updated market power analyses their ultimate affiliate owners, and all affiliate owners that have franchised service areas or market-based rate authority or that directly own or control: generation; transmission; intrastate natural gas transportation, storage or distribution facilities; physical coal supply sources or ownership of or control over who may access transportation of coal supplies it follows that the identity of such affiliate owners are characteristics that the Commission relies upon in granting the seller market-based rate authority. However, we are also mindful of Order No. 816, in which the Commission amended section 35.42 to provide a 100 MW threshold for reporting new affiliations, and thus we propose that these two concepts be combined, as described below. In addition, we propose in the instant rulemaking to specify the following scenario as an additional departure from the characteristics the Commission relied upon in granting market-based rate authority and which should be reported to the Commission: when the seller acquires a new ultimate affiliate owner(s). Accordingly, we propose to require sellers to submit a notice of change in status in this scenario as well. In summary, combining all three of the above concepts, we propose that a change in status reporting requirement will be triggered by: (a) Any change in the seller's ultimate affiliate owner(s); or (b) the introduction of any new affiliate owner of the seller that has a franchised service area or that: directly owns or controls generation (if it represents a 100 MW or more net increase in seller and affiliate generation); owns, operates or controls transmission; or that directly owns or controls: generation; transmission; intrastate natural gas transportation, storage or distribution facilities; physical coal supply sources or ownership of or control over who may access transportation of coal supplies.24 We remind sellers that the provisions in section 35.42(a)(1) apply to the seller and its affiliates because the Commission considers affiliates' assets when assessing a seller's horizontal and vertical market power.25

    24 We note that some of these requirements exist in the current regulation or the regulation as revised by Order No. 816.

    25See Order No. 697, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,252 at P 1017 (“the Commission's change in status requirements are intended to track the requirements embedded in the horizontal and vertical analysis as well as the affiliate abuse representations.”). See also id. P 3 n.2 (major aspects of the Commission's market-based rate regulatory regime include “whether a market-based rate seller or any of its affiliates has market power in generation or transmission and, if so, whether such market power has been mitigated” and “whether the seller or its affiliates can erect other barriers to entry.”)

    III. Information Collection Statement

    18. The Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) 26 requires each federal agency to seek and obtain Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval before undertaking a collection of information directed to ten or more persons or contained in a rule of general applicability. OMB's regulations,27 in turn, require approval of certain information collection requirements imposed by agency rules. Upon approval of a collection(s) of information, OMB will assign an OMB control number and an expiration date. Respondents subject to the filing requirements of a rule will not be penalized for failing to respond to these collection(s) of information unless the collection(s) of information display a valid OMB control number.

    26 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.

    27 5 CFR 1320 (2015).

    19. The Commission is submitting the proposed modifications to its information collection to OMB for review and approval in accordance with section 3507(d) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    20. The following table provides the estimated burden reduction proposed in RM16-3: 28

    28 In Order No. 697-A, the Commission required that sellers seeking to obtain or retain market-based rate authority identify all upstream owners and affiliates. Order No. 697-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,268 at P 181 n.258. The Commission most recently updated the burden estimates associated with the market-based rate program in Order No. 816, which will become effective on January 28, 2016. The PRA package and burden estimates for the Order No. 816 are pending OMB review.

    FERC-919, Estimated Changes, Due to Proposed Rule in RM16-3 Type of requirement Number of
  • respondents
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total number of responses Average burden hours & cost per
  • response 29
  • Annual burden hours & total annual cost
    (1) (2) (1) * (2) = (3) (4) (3) * (4) = (5) Reduction of requirement for sellers to describe entire ownership structure in Initial Applications and Triennial Updated Market Power Analyses, & Change of Status —[Decrease in burden and cost] 509 1 509 −40 hrs.; −$3,858 −20,360 hrs.; −$1,963,722

    Title: FERC-919, Market Based Rates for Wholesale Sales of Electric Energy, Capacity and Ancillary Services by Public Utilities.

    29 The Commission estimates this figure based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics data (for the Utilities sector, at http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics2_22.htm, plus benefits information at http://www.bls.gov/news.release/ecec.nr0.htm). The average hourly cost (salary plus benefits) of $96.45 is based on the following occupational categories:

    • Lawyer (Code 23-0000), $129.87/hour.

    • Management Analyst (Code 13-1111), $63.03/hour.

    Action: Proposed revision to existing collection.

    OMB Control No: 1902-0234.

    Respondents: Business or other for profit, and not for profit institutions.

    Frequency of Responses: As needed.

    Necessity of the Information: This NOPR reduces the amount and scope of ownership information that sellers must provide in their market-based rate filings. Interested persons may obtain information on the reporting requirements by contacting the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Office of the Executive Director, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426 [Attention: Ellen Brown, email: [email protected], phone: (202) 502-8663, fax: (202) 273-0873].

    21. Comments concerning the information collection proposed in this NOPR and the associated burden estimates, should be sent to the Commission in this docket and may also be sent to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs [Attention: Desk Officer for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission]. For security reasons, comments should be sent by email to OMB at the following email address: [email protected] Please refer to OMB Control Number 1902-0234 in your submission to OMB.

    IV. Environmental Analysis

    22. The Commission is required to prepare an Environmental Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement for any action that may have a significant adverse effect on the human environment.30

    30Regulations Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Order No. 486, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 30,783 (1987).

    23. The Commission has categorically excluded certain actions from this requirement as not having a significant effect on the human environment. Included in the exclusion are rules that are clarifying, corrective, or procedural, or that do not substantially change the effect of the regulations being amended.31 The actions here fall within this categorical exclusion in the Commission's regulations.

    31 18 CFR 380.4(a)(2)(ii) (2015).

    V. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    24. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA) 32 generally requires a description and analysis of proposed rules that will have significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The Small Business Administration (SBA) revised its size standard (effective January 22, 2014) for electric utilities from a standard based on megawatt hours to a standard based on the number of employees including affiliates.33 This NOPR, if adopted, reduces (for small and large entities) the burden and expense associated with filing market-based rate applications and triennial market power updates by clarifying the current regulations and by requiring identification of only the ultimate affiliate owner(s) and affiliate owners that directly own or control generation, transmission, or inputs to electric power production, have a franchised service area, or have market-based rate authority, rather than the comprehensive ownership information currently required. In addition, the Commission clarifies and limits the types of ownership changes that must be reported to the Commission via a notice of change in status. Accordingly, the Commission certifies that this NOPR, if adopted, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. An analysis under the RFA is not required.

    32 5 U.S.C. 601-612 (2012).

    33 SBA Final Rule on “Small Business Size Standards: Utilities,” 78 FR 77,343 (Dec. 23, 2013).

    VI. Comment Procedures

    25. The Commission invites interested persons to submit comments on the matters and issues proposed in this notice to be adopted, including any related matters or alternative proposals that commenters may wish to discuss. Comments are due February 22, 2016. Comments must refer to Docket No. RM16-3-000, and must include the commenter's name, the organization they represent, if applicable, and their address in their comments.

    26. The Commission encourages comments to be filed electronically via the eFiling link on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov. The Commission accepts most standard word processing formats. Documents created electronically using word processing software should be filed in native applications or print-to-PDF format and not in a scanned format. Commenters filing electronically do not need to make a paper filing.

    27. Commenters that are not able to file comments electronically must send an original of their comments to: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    28. All comments will be placed in the Commission's public files and may be viewed, printed, or downloaded remotely as described in the Document Availability section below. Commenters on this proposal are not required to serve copies of their comments on other commenters.

    VII. Document Availability

    29. In addition to publishing the full text of this document in the Federal Register, the Commission provides all interested persons an opportunity to view and/or print the contents of this document via the Internet through the Commission's Home Page (http://www.ferc.gov) and in the Commission's Public Reference Room during normal business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time) at 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426.

    30. From the Commission's Home Page on the Internet, this information is available on eLibrary. The full text of this document is available on eLibrary in PDF and Microsoft Word format for viewing, printing, and/or downloading. To access this document in eLibrary, type the docket number excluding the last three digits of this document in the docket number field.

    31. User assistance is available for eLibrary and the Commission's Web site during normal business hours from the Commission's Online Support at 202-502-6652 (toll free at 1-866-208-3676) or email at [email protected], or the Public Reference Room at (202) 502-8371, TTY (202) 502-8659. Email the Public Reference Room at [email protected]

    List of Subjects in 18 CFR Part 35

    Electric power rates; Electric utilities; Reporting and record-keeping requirements.

    By direction of the Commission.

    Issued: December 17, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Commission proposes to amend Chapter I, Title 18, Code of Federal Regulations, to read as follows:

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

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

    2. Amend § 35.37 by revising paragraph (a)(2) to read as follows:
    § 35.37 Market power analysis required.

    (a)(1) * * *

    (2) When submitting a market power analysis, whether as part of an initial application or an update, a Seller must include a description of its ownership structure that identifies all ultimate affiliate owner(s), i.e., the furthest upstream affiliate(s) in the ownership chain. A Seller must also identify all affiliate owners that have a franchised service area or market-based rate authority, and all affiliate owners that directly own or control: Generation; transmission; intrastate natural gas transportation, storage or distribution facilities; physical coal supply sources or ownership of or control over who may access transportation of coal supplies. The term “affiliate owner” means any owner of the Seller that is an affiliate of the Seller as defined in § 35.36(a)(9) of this chapter. The Seller must also provide an appendix of assets in the form provided in Appendix B of this subpart and an organizational chart. The organizational chart must depict the Seller's current corporate structure indicating all affiliates.

    3. Amend § 35.42 by revising paragraph (a)(2)(iv) and adding paragraph (a)(2)(v) to read as follows:
    § 35.42 Change in status reporting requirement.

    (a) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (iv) Has a franchised service area; or

    (v) Is an ultimate affiliate owner, defined as the furthest upstream affiliate(s) in the ownership chain.

    [FR Doc. 2015-32273 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR 29 CFR Parts 29 and 30 RIN 1205-AB59 Apprenticeship Programs; Equal Employment Opportunity; Extension of Comment Period AGENCY:

    Employment and Training Administration, Labor.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; extension of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Labor (Department) issued a proposed rule in the Federal Register of November 6, 2015 [80 FR 68907], concerning proposed updates to the equal opportunity regulations that implement the National Apprenticeship Act of 1937. This document extends the comment period an additional 15 days, from January 5, 2016, to January 20, 2016. The Department received a request for additional time to develop comments on the proposed rulemaking. The Department is therefore extending the comment period in order to give all interested persons the opportunity to comment fully.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on the proposed rule on or before January 20, 2016. The comment period for the proposed rule published on November 6, 2015 (80 FR 68907) is extended. Comments, identified by RIN 1205-AB59, must be received on or before January 20, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Regulatory Information Number (RIN) 1205-AB59, by any one of the following methods:

    Federal e-Rulemaking Portal www.regulations.gov. Follow the Web site instructions for submitting comments.

    Mail or Hand Delivery/Courier: Please submit all written comments (including disk and CD-ROM submissions) to Adele Gagliardi, Administrator, Office of Policy Development and Research, Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N-5641, Washington, DC 20210.

    Please submit your comments by only one method and within the designated comment period. Comments received by means other than those listed above or received after the comment period has closed will not be reviewed. The Department will post all comments received on http://www.regulations.gov without making any change to the comments, including any personal information provided. The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is the Federal e-rulemaking portal and all comments posted there are available and accessible to the public. The Department cautions commenters against including personal information such as Social Security Numbers, personal addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses in their comments as such information will become viewable by the public on the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. It is the commenter's responsibility to safeguard his or her information. Comments submitted through http://www.regulations.gov will not include the commenter's email address unless the commenter chooses to include that information as part of his or her comment. Postal delivery in Washington, DC, may be delayed due to security concerns. Therefore, the Department encourages the public to submit comments through the http://www.regulations.gov Web site.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to the Federal eRulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov. The Department will also make all the comments it receives available for public inspection during normal business hours at the Employment and Training Administration's (ETA) Office of Policy Development and Research at the above address. If you need assistance to review the comments, the Department will provide you with appropriate aids such as readers or print magnifiers. The Department will make copies of the rule available, upon request, in large print and as an electronic file on computer disk. The Department will consider providing the proposed rule in other formats upon request. To schedule an appointment to review the comments and/or obtain the rule in an alternate format, contact the ETA Office of Policy Development and Research at (202) 693-3700 (VOICE) (this is not a toll-free number) or 1-877-889-5627 (TTY/TDD).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Adele Gagliardi, Office of Policy Development and Research, ETA, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N-5641, Washington, DC 20210; Telephone (202) 693-3700 (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 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This document extends the public comment period established in the Federal Register proposed rule of November 6, 2015. In that document, the Department proposed amendments to its regulations governing equal opportunity regulations that implement the National Apprenticeship Act of 1937. These regulations prohibit discrimination in registered apprenticeship on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, and sex, and require that sponsors of registered apprenticeship programs take affirmative action to provide equal opportunity in such programs. The Department is hereby extending the comment period, which was set to end on January 5, 2016 to January 20, 2016.

    List of Subjects in 20 CFR Parts 29 and 30

    Administrative practice and procedure, Apprenticeship, Employment, Equal employment opportunity, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Training.

    Portia Wu, Assistant Secretary, Employment and Training Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2015-32310 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-FP-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Financial Crimes Enforcement Network 31 CFR Parts 1010, 1020, 1023, 1024, and 1026 [Docket Number: FinCEN-2014-0001] Notice of Availability of Regulatory Impact Assessment and Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Regarding the Customer Due Diligence Requirements for Financial Institutions AGENCY:

    Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), Department of the Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability; Regulatory Impact Assessment and Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis.

    SUMMARY:

    By this notice, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) announces the availability of two related documents that are part of the Customer Due Diligence Requirements for Financial Institutions Proposed Rulemaking: A Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) and an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA).

    DATES:

    Written comments on the RIA and IRFA must be received on or before January 25, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The RIA and IRFA are available on FinCEN's Web site at http://www.fincen.gov and at http://www.regulations.gov. Comments on the RIA and IRFA may be submitted, identified by Regulatory Identification Number (RIN) 1506-AB25, by any of the following methods:

    Federal E-rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Include RIN 1506-AB25 in the submission. Refer to Docket Number FINCEN-2014-0001.

    Mail: FinCEN, P.O. Box 39, Vienna, VA 22183. Include 1506-AB25 in the body of the text. Please submit comments by one method only. All comments submitted in response to this Notice of Availability will become a matter of public record. Therefore, you should submit only information that you wish to make publicly available.

    • Inspection of comments: The public dockets for FinCEN can be found at Regulations.gov. Federal Register notices published by FinCEN are searchable by docket number, RIN, or document title, among other things, and the docket number, RIN, and title may be found at the beginning of the notice. FinCEN uses the electronic, Internet-accessible dockets at Regulations.gov as their complete, official-record docket; all hard copies of materials that should be in the docket, including public comments, are electronically scanned and placed in the docket. In general, FinCEN will make all comments publicly available by posting them on http://www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    FinCEN's Resource Center, (800) 767-2825.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The Secretary has delegated to the Director of FinCEN the authority to implement, administer and enforce compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and associated regulations.1 FinCEN is authorized to impose anti-money laundering (AML) program requirements on financial institutions, 2 as well as to require financial institutions to maintain procedures to ensure compliance with the BSA and the regulations promulgated thereunder or to guard against money laundering.3

    1 Treasury Order 180-01 (Jul. 1, 2014).

    2 31 U.S.C. 5318(h)(2).

    3 31 U.S.C. 5318(a)(2).

    II. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    On August 4, 2014, FinCEN published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register entitled “Customer Due Diligence Requirements for Financial Institutions,” that would amend existing BSA regulations to clarify and strengthen customer due diligence (CDD) requirements for banks, brokers or dealers in securities, mutual funds, and futures commission merchants and introducing brokers in commodities (collectively covered financial institutions). It also proposed to impose a new requirement under the BSA to identify the beneficial owners of legal entity customers, subject to certain exemptions.

    III. Comments

    The comment period for the proposed rule closed on October 3, 2014. FinCEN received a total of 135 comments representing a wide range of views covering most aspects of the NPRM. A large number of commenters asserted that the NPRM lacked sufficient data to support its estimate of costs and substantially underestimated implementation and compliance-related costs.

    A. Regulatory Impact Assessment

    The primary purpose of the proposed CDD requirements is to assist financial investigations by law enforcement in order to severely impair criminals' ability to exploit the anonymity provided by the of use legal entities to engage in financial crimes including fraud, money laundering, terrorist financing, corruption, and sanctions evasion.

    Based on comments and information received during further outreach to some financial institutions that provided comments on the proposal, FinCEN determined that the implementation and compliance-related costs may exceed $100 million annually, making this rulemaking an “economically significant regulatory action.” In such cases, Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 require agencies to conduct an RIA, which the agencies must publish for comment. At FinCEN's request, Treasury's Office of Economic Policy conducted an RIA of the proposed rule, developed in accordance with these Executive Orders, which evaluates the economic costs and benefits of the CDD rule and its alternatives. According to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance, an RIA must contain the following three basic elements: (1) A statement of the need for the regulatory action; (2) a clear identification of a range of regulatory approaches; and (3) an estimate of the benefits and costs—both quantitative and qualitative—of the proposed regulatory action and its alternatives.

    The 2015 National Money Laundering Risk Assessment estimated the annual volume of money laundering or illicit proceeds generated in the United States due to financial crimes at $300 billion. The RIA for the proposed CDD rule provides an economic rationale for the rulemaking, and outlines the anticipated costs and benefits of the proposal. Because some of the important benefits and costs generated by the proposed rule cannot be fully quantified, the RIA employs a “threshold” or “breakeven” analysis to evaluate how minimally effective the proposed rule would have to be such that its benefits would just justify its costs. Such analysis is utilized to evaluate how likely it is that a proposed policy change would create a net benefit to society in instances where the costs or benefits are not fully quantifiable.4

    4See Custom and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, “Importer Security Filings and Additional Carrier Requirements,” 73 FR 71730 (November 25, 2008). See also Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, “Advance Electronic Transmission of Passenger and Crew Member Manifests for Commercial Aircraft and Vessels,” 72 FR 48320 (August 23, 2007).

    To disrupt the flow of illicit proceeds more effectively, the proposed CDD rule would provide Federal and state regulators and law enforcement with easier access to beneficial ownership information of legal entities—i.e., the natural persons who own or control these entities—to support law enforcement and counter-terrorism investigations. FinCEN believes that the proposed CDD rule would lead to a meaningful reduction in the flow of illicit proceeds in the United States. For example, shell and front companies are often used to launder proceeds of drug trafficking and fraud. The imposition of a beneficial ownership requirement, through the proposed CDD rule, would provide increased transparency into shell or front companies, thereby assisting law enforcement and regulators to identify the bad actors behind such companies and providing a greater deterrent to their use with respect to illicit gains. Furthermore, FinCEN believes that the proposed CDD rule would lead to a reduction in other illicit activities, the costs of which can run into the billions of dollars in terms of property destruction, foregone tax revenues, and even loss of life when considering the violent actions undertaken by terrorist and other criminal organizations that are facilitated by the movement of funds through legal entities.

    Although the potential benefits of the rule are difficult to quantify, the breakeven analysis utilized in the RIA indicates that the proposed CDD rule would only need to generate a very modest relative decrease in illicit activity to justify the costs it would impose. Taking into account only the estimated annual flow of illicit funds in the United States of $300 billion, the breakeven analysis allows FinCEN to conservatively conclude that the CDD rule would need to reduce the estimated annual flow of illicit proceeds by only 0.45 percent (in each year of 2016-2025, the years covered by the RIA) in order to justify the costs the rule would impose over a ten-year period. FinCEN expects more benefits given that greater transparency would reduce illicit activity in other ways, as referenced above.

    B. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    The IRFA evaluates the economic impact of the CDD rule on small entities, and was developed in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612. The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires agencies to assess the impact of regulatory action on small entities, and is a requirement independent from the RIA (although the IRFA relies in part on the analysis conducted in the RIA). As a result of this analysis, Treasury and FinCEN continue to believe that, while the proposed rule would apply to a substantial number of small entities, it would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    Jamal El-Hindi, Deputy Director, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
    [FR Doc. 2015-32378 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 RIN 0648-BD68 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Red Snapper Management Measures; Amendment 28 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) has submitted Amendment 28 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP) for review, approval, and implementation by NMFS. Amendment 28 would revise the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) red snapper commercial and recreational sector allocations of the stock annual catch limit (ACL). If Amendment 28 is approved and implemented, it would result in changes to the red snapper commercial and recreational quotas and the recreational annual catch target (ACT). Additionally, the Federal charter vessel/headboat and private angling component ACLs and ACTs, which are based on the recreational sector's ACL and ACT, would also be revised. The intent of Amendment 28 is to reallocate the Gulf red snapper harvest consistent with the 2014 red snapper update assessment while ensuring the allowable catch and recovery benefits from the rebuilding red snapper stock are fairly and equitably allocated between the commercial and recreational sectors to achieve optimum yield (OY).

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before February 22, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on Amendment 28, identified by “NOAA-NMFS-2013-0146” by either of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2013-0146, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to Peter Hood, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.

    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).

    Electronic copies of Amendment 28, which includes an environmental impact statement, a fishery impact statement, 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.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Peter Hood, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, telephone: 727-824-5305; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) requires each regional fishery management council to submit any FMP or amendment to NMFS for review and approval, partial approval, or disapproval. The Magnuson-Stevens Act also requires that NMFS, upon receiving a plan or amendment, publish an announcement in the Federal Register notifying the public that the plan or amendment is available for review and comment.

    The FMP being revised by Amendment 28 was prepared by the Council and implemented through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

    Background

    The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires NMFS and regional fishery management councils to prevent overfishing and achieve, on a continuing basis, OY from federally managed fish stocks. The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires that in allocating fishing privileges among fishermen, such allocation shall be fair and equitable to all such fishermen, reasonably calculated to promote conservation, and carried out in such a manner that no particular individual, corporation, or other entity acquires an excessive share of such privileges. For stocks like red snapper, which are subject to a rebuilding plan, the Magnuson-Stevens Act also requires that harvest restrictions and recovery benefits are fairly and equitably allocated among the commercial, recreational, and charter fishing sectors. These mandates are intended to ensure fishery resources are managed for the greatest overall benefit to the nation, particularly with respect to providing food production and recreational opportunities, and protecting marine ecosystems. Amendment 28 would reallocate red snapper harvest from the commercial sector to the recreational sector. The reallocation would reduce the current commercial allocation from 51 percent to 48.5 percent of the stock ACL and the recreational allocation would increase from 49 percent to 51.5 percent of the stock ACL. All weights described in this notice are in round (whole) weight.

    Management Measures Contained in Amendment 28

    The initial Gulf red snapper allocation was set in Reef Fish Amendment 1 to the FMP and was based on the percentage of total landings during the base period of 1979-1987 (55 FR 2078, January 22, 1990). In Amendment 28, the Council evaluated several different Gulf red snapper allocation alternatives. These alternatives included straightforward allocation percentage changes, changes based on the red snapper stock ACL increases, and changes in the recreational catch information used in the 2014 update assessment to the 2013 Gulf red snapper Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR) 31 benchmark assessment. The Council initially considered alternatives that would increase the commercial sector's red snapper allocation. At that time, analyses from the NMFS Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC) suggested that shifting red snapper allocation from the commercial to the recreational sector would increase net economic benefits. Thus, the Council determined that reallocating red snapper to the commercial sector would not achieve the purpose of the amendment at that time, which was to increase the net benefits from red snapper fishing and increase the stability of the red snapper component of the reef fish fishery, particularly for the recreational sector. Therefore, the Council removed these alternatives from the amendment. After the 2014 update assessment, the purpose and need statement of the amendment was revised to reallocating the red snapper harvest consistent with the assessment update to ensure the allowable catch and recovery benefits are fairly and equitably allocated between the commercial and recreational sectors. When the draft environmental impact statement (EIS) was published for comment, it included this revised purpose and need statement and two new alternatives added by the Council to address the new information and the revised purpose and need. The draft EIS did not include alternatives that would increase the commercial sector's allocation because the new scientific information did not change any previous understanding of commercial landings. More information about the Council's decision not to include these alternatives and an analysis of the environmental consequences of increasing the commercial allocation are provided in the response to comments section (Appendix D) of Amendment 28 and integrated final EIS.

    The preferred alternative in Amendment 28 would revise the Gulf red snapper allocation to 48.5 percent of the stock ACL to the commercial sector and 51.5 percent of the stock ACL to the recreational sector. This results in proposed commercial quotas (48.5 percent of the stock ACL) of 6.768 million lb (3.070 million kg) and 6.664 million lb (3.023 million kg) for the 2016 and 2017 fishing years, respectively. The recreational quota (51.5 percent of the stock ACL) would be 7.192 million lb (3.262 million kg) and 7.076 million lb (3.210 million kg) for the 2016 and 2017 fishing years, respectively. For the recreational sector, the ACT would be set 20 percent less than the recreational quotas and, as described in Amendment 40 to the FMP, the recreational quota and ACT would be further divided into Federal charter vessel/headboat and private angling component quotas and ACTs (80 FR 22422, April 22, 2015).

    A proposed rule that would implement Amendment 28 has been drafted. In accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Act, NMFS is evaluating Amendment 28 to determine whether it is consistent with the FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law. If the preliminary determination is affirmative, NMFS will publish the proposed rule in the Federal Register for public review and comment.

    Consideration of Public Comments

    The Council submitted Amendment 28 for Secretarial review, approval, and implementation. Comments received by February 22, 2016, whether specifically directed to the amendment or the proposed rule, will be considered by NMFS in its decision to approve, partially approve, or disapprove Amendment 28. Comments received after that date will not be considered by NMFS in this decision. All comments received by NMFS on the amendment or the proposed rule during their respective comment periods will be addressed in the final rule.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: December 21, 2015. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-32445 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 247 Thursday, December 24, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Commodity Credit Corporation Domestic Sugar Program: Overall Allotment Quantity and Marketing Allotments AGENCY:

    Commodity Credit Corporation and Farm Service Agency, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Farm Service Agency (FSA) on behalf of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) is issuing this notice to publish the sugar Overall Allotment Quantity (OAQ), beet and cane sugar marketing allotments, and processor allocations for fiscal year (FY) 2016 (October 1, 2015-September 30, 2016), as well as a summary of the OAQ's, sugar marketing allotments, and allocations for FY 2015 and FY 2014. Although the actions in this notice have already been announced through United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) news releases, each determination establishing, adjusting, or suspending sugar marketing allotments issued by the Secretary is required by the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, as amended, to be published in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Effective: December 24, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Barb Fecso, telephone: (202) 720-4146. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication should contact the USDA Target Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Initial FY 2016 OAQ, State Allotments, and Processor Allocations

    Section 359c of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 (Pub. L. 75-430), as amended, (7 U.S.C. 1359cc) requires that the OAQ be established at not less than 85 percent of the estimated quantity of sugar for domestic human consumption for the crop year, and that fixed percentages of the OAQ be assigned to the beet sector and cane sector, and further allocated to the States in the cane sector. In a September 29, 2015 news release, CCC established the FY 2016 (2015-crop year) OAQ at the minimum quantity of 10,093,750 short tons, raw value (STRV). CCC distributed the FY 2016 beet sugar allotment of 5,485,953 STRV (54.35 percent of the OAQ) to the beet sugar processors and the cane sugar allotment of 4,607,797 STRV (45.65 percent of the OAQ) to the sugarcane states and processors.

    The FY 2016 (2015-crop year) beet sugar and cane sugar marketing allotments and allocations to date are listed in the following table:

    FY 2016 Overall Beet/Cane Allotments and Allocations Distribution Date of Announcement Initial FY16 allocations September 29, 2016 Beet Sugar 5,485,953 Cane Sugar 4,607,797 TOTAL OAQ 10,093,750 BEET PROCESSORS' MARKETING ALLOCATIONS: Amalgamated Sugar Co. 1,174,584 American Crystal Sugar Co. 2,017,406 Michigan Sugar Co. 566,565 Minn-Dak Farmers Co-op 380,994 So. Minn Beet Sugar Co-op 740,429 Western Sugar Co. 560,041 Wyoming Sugar Growers, LLC 45,935 TOTAL BEET SUGAR 5,485,953 STATE CANE SUGAR ALLOTMENTS: Florida 2,344,636 Louisiana 1,813,839 Texas 203,823 Hawaii 245,499 TOTAL CANE SUGAR 4,607,797 CANE PROCESSORS' MARKETING ALLOCATIONS: Florida: Florida Crystals 965,348 Growers Co-op of FL 421,765 U.S. Sugar Corp. 957,522 TOTAL 2,344,636 Louisiana: Louisiana Sugar Cane Products, Inc. 1,259,225 M.A. Patout & Sons 554,615 TOTAL 1,813,839 Texas: Rio Grande Valley 203,823 Hawaii: Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company 245,499 FY 2015 OAQ, State Allotments, and Processor Allocations

    On September 26, 2014, CCC announced the initial FY 2015 OAQ of 9,987,500 STRV, the distribution of the FY 2015 beet sugar allotment of 5,428,206 STRV (54.35 percent of the OAQ) to sugar beet processors, and the distribution of the 4,559,294 STRV cane sugar allotment (45.65 percent of the OAQ) to sugarcane states and processors.

    In mid-year, CCC reviewed current inventories, estimated production, expected marketings, and other factors affecting each sugar beet or sugarcane processor's ability to market its full allocation. On May 4, 2015 CCC announced an increase in the FY 2015 OAQ to 10,080,150 STRV, which was 85 percent of the estimate for domestic human consumption published in the April 2015 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates Report (WASDE). CCC also announced the reassignment of projected surplus beet sugar and cane sugar marketing allotments and allocations under the FY 2015 Sugar Marketing Allotment Program. The reassignment, which transferred allocations from processors with surplus allocation to processors with deficit allocation, was expected to increase the available supply of domestically-produced refined beet sugar.

    As part of the domestic Sugar Program, CCC is required to reassign allocation to raw cane sugar imports if it is determined that processors will be unable to market their allocations and there is no CCC inventory. Data supplied by the processors in April 2015 indicated that the beet sugar sector would be unable to market 400,000 STRV of its current sugar marketing allotment, while the raw cane sugar sector would be unable to market 600,000 STRV of its sugar marketing allotment. Therefore, the allotments were reduced to 5,078,562 STRV for beet sugar and 4,001,588 STRV for cane sugar, while 1,000,000 STRV was reassigned to raw cane sugar imports already displayed in the WASDE report. This reassignment to imports was merely an accounting effort to comply with Sugar Program requirements as specified in 7 U.S.C. 1359ee and was not an increase in the raw sugar tariff-rate quota.

    On August 28, 2015, CCC announced a second reassignment of projected FY 2015 surplus beet sugar marketing allocation among beet processors and a reassignment of projected surplus cane sugar marketing allocation among cane processors. CCC transferred beet sugar marketing allocations from beet sugar processors with surplus allocation to another beet processor requiring more allocation to market its record high crop. Similarly, CCC transferred cane sugar marketing allocation from two sugar processors in Florida with surplus allocation to another processor requiring more allocation to market its larger-than-expected crop.

    The FY 2015 (2014-crop) beet sugar and cane sugar marketing allotments and allocations are listed in the following table:

    FY 2015 OVERALL BEET/CANE ALLOTMENTS AND ALLOCATIONS Distribution Initial FY15
  • allocations
  • Change in OAQ due to change in food use Reassignment
  • among
  • processors
  • Reassignment to imports Adjusted
  • allocations
  • Reassignment
  • within states
  • Reassignment
  • among
  • processors
  • Adjusted
  • allocations
  • Date of Announcement September 26, 2014 May 4, 2015 August 28, 2015; Beet Sugar 5,428,206 50,355 0 (400,000) 5,078,562 5,078,562 Cane Sugar 4,559,294 42,295 0 (600,000) 4,001,588 4,001,588 Reassignment to Raw Cane Sugar Imports 0 0 0 1,000,000 1,000,000 1,000,000 TOTAL OAQ 9,987,500 92,650 0 0 10,080,150 10,080,150 BEET PROCESSORS' MARKETING ALLOCATIONS: Amalgamated Sugar Co. 1,162,220 10,781 −29,979 −71,320 1,071,703 (2,770) 1,068,933 American Crystal Sugar Co. 1,996,116 18,565 −75,752 −180,217 1,758,711 (11,701) 1,747,010 Michigan Sugar Co. 560,601 5,200 121,322 0 687,124 31,896 719,020 Minn-Dak Farmers Co-op. 376,983 3,497 44,520 0 425,000 (4,025) 420,975 So. Minn Beet Sugar Co-op. 732,635 6,796 −58,187 −138,428 542,816 (5,319) 537,497 Western Sugar Co. 554,200 5,093 −4,218 −10,034 545,042 (7,555) 537,487 Wyoming Sugar Growers, LLC 45,451 422 2,294 0 48,167 (527) 47,640 TOTAL BEET SUGAR 5,428,206 50,355 0 −400,000 5,078,562 5,078,562 STATE CANE SUGAR ALLOTMENTS: Florida 2,318,566 22,732 0 −332,253 2,009,046 2,009,046 Louisiana 1,793,672 17,586 0 −201,973 1,609,285 1,609,285 Texas 201,557 1,976 0 −57,275 146,258 146,258 Hawaii 245,499 0 0 −8,499 237,000 237,000 TOTAL CANE SUGAR 4,559,294 42,295 0 −600,000 4,001,588 4,001.588 CANE PROCESSORS' MARKETING ALLOCATIONS: Florida Florida Crystals 954,615 9,360 0 −210,252 753,723 (17,376) 736,347 Growers Co-op. of FL 417,076, 4,089 0 −25,825 395,341 (2,134) 393,206 U.S. Sugar Corp. 946,876 9,284 0 −96,177 859,983 19,510 879,493 TOTAL 2,318,566 22,732 0 −332,253 2,009,046 2,009,046 Louisiana Louisiana Sugar Cane Products, Inc. 1,245,224 12,209 0 −168,664 1,088,768 1,088,768 M.A. Patout & Sons 548,448 5,377 0 −33,308 520,517 520,517 TOTAL 1,793,672 17,586 0 −201,973 1,609,285 1,609,285 Texas Rio Grande Valley 201,557 1,976 0 −57,275 146,258 146,258 Hawaii Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company 245,499 0 0 −8,499 237,000 237,000
    FY 2014 OAQ, State Allotments, and Processor Allocations

    On August 30, 2013, CCC announced the initial FY 2014 OAQ of 9,843,000 STRV, the distribution of the FY 2014 beet sugar allotment of 5,349,671 STRV (54.35 percent of the OAQ) to sugar beet processors, and the distribution of the 4,493,330 STRV cane sugar allotment (45.65 percent of the OAQ) to sugarcane states and processors.

    In a May 30, 2014 news release, CCC announced the reassignment of projected surplus beet sugar and cane sugar marketing allotments and allocations under the FY 2014 Sugar Marketing Allotment Program. The reassignment, which transferred allocations from processors with surplus allocation to processors with deficit allocation, was expected to increase the supply of domestically-produced sugar.

    Data supplied by the processors indicated that the beet sugar sector would be unable to market 100,000 STRV of its sugar marketing allotment, while the raw cane sugar sector would be unable to market 550,000 STRV of its sugar marketing allotment. Hence, the allotments were reduced to 5,249,671 STRV for beet sugar and 3,943,330 STRV for cane sugar, while 650,000 STRV was reassigned to raw cane sugar imports already expected in the WASDE report. This reassignment to imports was merely an accounting effort to comply with the Sugar Program requirements as specified in 7 U.S.C. 1359ee and was not an increase in the raw sugar tariff-rate quota.

    The FY 2014 (2013-crop) beet sugar and cane sugar marketing allotments and allocations are listed in the following table:

    FY 2014 OVERALL BEET/CANE ALLOTMENTS AND ALLOCATIONS Distribution Date of Announcement Initial FY14
  • allocations
  • August 30, 2013 Reassignments
  • among
  • processors
  • May 29, 2014 Reassignment to imports Adjusted
  • allocations
  • Beet Sugar 5,349,671 (100,000) 5,249,671 Cane Sugar 4,493,330 (550,000) 3,943,330 Reassignment to Imports of Raw Cane Sugar 650,000 650,000 TOTAL OAQ 9,843,000 9,843,000 BEET PROCESSORS' MARKETING ALLOCATIONS: Amalgamated Sugar Co. 1,145,405 (68,408) (37,305) 1,039,693 American Crystal Sugar Co 1,967,161 (34,459) (18,791) 1,913,912 Michigan Sugar Co. 552,490 107,128 659,618 Minn-Dak Farmers Co-op 371,529 76,249 447,778 So. Minn Beet Sugar Co-op 722,035 (75,606) (41,230) 605,200 Western Sugar Co. 546,256 (345) (73) 546,050 Wyoming Sugar Growers, LLC 44,794 (4,771) (2,602) 37,421 TOTAL BEET SUGAR 5,349,671 (100,000) 5,249,671 STATE CANE SUGAR ALLOTMENTS: Florida 2,283,112 (22,051) (411,110) 1,849,951 Louisiana 1,766,244 (6,044) (112,681) 1,647,519 Texas 198,475 (1,406) (26,209) 170,860 Hawaii 245,499 29,501 275,000 TOTAL CANE SUGAR 4,493,330 (550,00) 3,943,330 CANE PROCESSORS' MARKETING ALLOCATIONS: Florida Florida Crystals 940,017 (12,711) (236,976) 690,330 Growers Co-op of FL 410,698 (3,543) (66,055) 341,100 U.S. Sugar Corp. 932,397 (5,797) (108,079) 818,521 TOTAL 2,283,112 (22,051) (411,110) 1,849,951 Louisiana Louisiana Sugar Cane Products, Inc. 1,226,182 (4,826) (89,968) 1,131,388 M.A. Patout & Sons 540,061 (1,218) (22,712) 516,131 TOTAL 1,766,244 (6,044) (112,681) 1,647,519 Texas: Rio Grande Valley 198,475 (1,406) (26,209) 170,860 Hawaii: Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company 245,499 29,501 275,000
    Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 714b and 7 U.S.C. 1359hh(c).

    Val Dolcini, Administrator, Farm Service Agency, and Executive Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation.
    [FR Doc. 2015-32456 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service Information Collection Activity; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended), the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) invites comments on this information collection for which the Agency intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by February 22, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas P. Dickson, Acting Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, USDA Rural Development, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., STOP 1522, Room 5164, South Building, Washington, DC 20250-1522. Telephone: (202) 690-4492. Fax: (202) 720-8435.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) regulation (5 CFR part 1320) implementing provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13) requires that interested members of the public and affected agencies have an opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping activities (see 5 CFR 1320.8(d)). This notice identifies an information collection that RUS is submitting to OMB as a revision to an existing collection. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to: Thomas P. Dickson, Acting Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, Rural Utilities Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, STOP 1522, Room 5164, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-1522. Fax: (202) 720-8435.

    Title: 7 CFR part 1728, Electric Standards and Specifications for Materials and Construction.

    OMB Control Number: 0572-0131.

    Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Abstract: RUS provides loans and loan guarantees in accordance with the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, 7 U.S.C. 901 et seq., as amended, (RE Act). Section 4 of the RE Act requires that the Agency make or guarantee a loan only if there is reasonable assurance that the loan, together with all outstanding loans and obligations of the Borrower, will be repaid in full within the time agreed. In order to facilitate the programmatic interests of the RE Act and, in order to assure that loans made or guaranteed by the Agency are adequately secure, RUS, as a secured lender, has established certain standards and specifications for materials, equipment, and the construction of electric systems. The use of standards and specifications for materials, equipment and construction units helps assure the Agency that: (1) Appropriate standards and specifications are maintained; (2) RUS loan security is not adversely affected, and; (3) Loan and loan guarantee funds are used effectively and for the intended purposes. The regulation, 7 CFR part 1728, establishes Agency policy that materials and equipment purchased by RUS Electric Borrowers or accepted as contractor-furnished material must conform to Agency standards and specifications where established and, if included in RUS Publication IP 202-1, “List of Materials Acceptable for Use on Systems of Agency Electrification Borrowers” (List of Materials), must be selected from that list or must have received technical acceptance from RUS.

    Estimate of Burden: This collection of information is estimated to average 20 hours per response.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profits.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 38.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 2.63.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 2,000 hours.

    Copies of this information collection can be obtained from Rebecca Hunt, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, at (202) 205-3660, Fax: (202) 720-8435.

    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

    Dated: December 18, 2015. Brandon McBride, Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-32442 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service Information Collection Activity; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended), the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) invites comments on this information collection for which the Agency intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by February 22, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas P. Dickson, Acting Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, USDA Rural Development, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., STOP 1522, Room 5164, South Building, Washington, DC 20250-1522. Telephone: (202) 690-4492. Fax: (202) 720-8435.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) regulation (5 CFR part 1320) implementing provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13) requires that interested members of the public and affected agencies have an opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping activities (see 5 CFR 1320.8(d)). This notice identifies an information collection that RUS is submitting to OMB as a revision to an existing collection. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to: Thomas P. Dickson, Acting Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, Rural Utilities Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, STOP 1522, Room 5164, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-1522. Fax: (202) 720-8435.

    Title: Operating Reports for Telecommunications and Broadband Borrowers.

    OMB Control Number: 0572-0031.

    Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Abstract: Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency delivering the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) utilities programs, is a credit agency. RUS makes mortgage loans and loan guarantees to finance electric, broadband, telecommunications, and water and waste facilities in rural areas. In addition to providing loans and loan guarantees, one of the Agency's main objectives is to safeguard loan security until the loan is repaid.

    This collection of information covers the Telecommunications Operating Report, the Broadband Operating Report, and RUS Form 674, “Certificate of Authority to Submit or Grant Access to Data.” The data collected via the Telecommunications Operating Report is collected through the USDA Data Collection System. The data collected via the Broadband Operating Report is collected through the USDA Broadband Collection and Analysis System. The data collected via the Telecommunication and Broadband Operating reports is required by the loan contract and provides Rural Development with vital financial information necessary to ensure the maintenance of the security for the Government's loans, and statistical data to enable the Agency to ensure the provision of quality telecommunications and broadband services as mandated by the Rural Electrification Act (RE Act) of 1936. The data collected through the operating reports provides financial information to ensure loan security consistent with due diligence and is essential to protect loan security.

    The data collected via RUS Form 674 provides information to the Agency to allow Rural Development Electric, Telecommunications and Broadband program Borrowers to file electronic Operating Reports with the Agency using the USDA Data Collection System. RUS Form 674, accompanied by a Board Resolution, identifies the name and USDA eAuthentication ID for a certifier and security administrator who will have access to the USDA Data Collection System for purposes of filing electronic Operating Reports. The information collected on the RUS Form 674 is submitted in hard copy by Borrowers only when revisions are required or, in the case of a first time Borrower, when initially submitting the data.

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to average 3.67 hours per response.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profits and not-for-profit Institutions.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 730.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.86.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 4,990 hours.

    Copies of this information collection can be obtained from Rebecca Hunt, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, at (202) 205-3660, Fax: (202) 720-8435. All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

    Dated: December 18, 2015. Brandon McBride, Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-32443 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

    Agency: U.S. Census Bureau.

    Title: Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS).

    OMB Control Number: 0607-0151.

    Form Number(s): BAS 1, BAS 2, BAS 3, BAS 5, BAS 6. BASSC.

    Type of Request: Regular Submission.

    Number of Respondents: 86,555.

    Annual Response Notification: 39,400.

    No Change Response: 25,000.

    Telephone Follow-up: 14,000.

    Packages with Changes: 5,000.

    State Certification Review: 49.

    State Certification Local Review: 1,000.

    Boundary Quality Assessment Reconciliation Project (BQARP): 16.

    Redistricting Data Program (RDP) Reconciliation State Review: 50.

    RDP Reconciliation Local Review: 2,000.

    Research Projects: 40.

    Average Hours per Response: Varies.

    Annual Response Notification: 30 minutes.

    No Change Response: 4 hours.

    Telephone Follow-up: 30 minutes.

    Packages with Changes: 8 hours.

    State Certification Review: 10 hours.

    State Certification Local Review: 2 hours.

    BQARP: 25 hours.

    RDP Reconciliation State Review: 20 hours.

    RDP Reconciliation Local Review: 2 hours.

    Research Projects: 3 hours.

    Burden Hours: 174,710.

    Annual Response Notification: 19,700.

    No Change Response: 100,000.

    Telephone Follow-up: 7,000.

    Packages with Changes: 40,000.

    State Certification Review: 490.

    State Certification Local Review: 2,000.

    BQARP: 400.

    RDP Reconciliation State Review: 1,000.

    RDP Reconciliation Local Review: 4,000.

    Research Projects: 120.

    Needs and Uses: The Census Bureau conducts the BAS to collect and maintain information about the inventory of legal boundaries and legal actions affecting the boundaries of counties and equivalent entities, incorporated places, minor civil divisions (MCDs), and federally recognized legal American Indian and Alaska Native areas. This information provides an accurate identification of geographic areas for the Census Bureau to use in conducting the Decennial and Economic Censuses and ongoing surveys, preparing population estimates, and supporting other statistical programs of the Census Bureau and the legislative programs of the Federal government.

    Through the BAS, the Census Bureau asks each government to review materials for its jurisdiction to verify the correctness of the information portrayed. The Census Bureau requests that each government update their boundaries, supply information documenting each legal boundary change, and provide changes in the inventory of governments. The Census Bureau has a national implementation of the BAS, but each state's laws are reviewed for inclusion in the processing procedures. In addition, if it comes to the Census Bureau's attention that an area of non-tribal land is in dispute between two or more jurisdictions, the Census Bureau will not make annexations or boundary corrections until the parties come to a written agreement, or there is a documented final court decision regarding the matter and/or dispute. If there is a dispute over an area of tribal land, the Census Bureau will not make additions or boundary corrections until supporting documents are provided, or the U.S. Department of the Interior issues a comment. If necessary, the Census Bureau will request clarification regarding current boundaries, particularly if supporting documentation pre-dates 1990, from the U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of the Solicitor.

    The BAS universe and mailing materials vary depending both upon the needs of the Census Bureau in fulfilling its censuses and household surveys and upon budget constraints.

    Counties or equivalent entities, federally recognized American Indian reservations (AIRs), Off-Reservation Trust Lands (ORTLs), and Tribal Subdivisions are included in every survey.

    In the years ending in 8, 9 and 0, the BAS includes all governmentally active counties and equivalent entities, incorporated places, legally defined MCDs, and legally defined federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native areas (including the Alaska Native Regional Corporations). Each governmental entity surveyed will receive materials covering its jurisdiction and one or more forms. These three years coincide with the Census Bureau's preparation for the Decennial Census. There are fewer than 40,000 governments in the universe each year.

    In all other years, the BAS reporting universe includes all legally defined federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native areas, all governmental counties and equivalent entities, MCDs in the six New England States (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont), and those incorporated places that have a population of 2,500 or greater. The reporting universe is approximately 14,000 governments due to budget constraints at the Census Bureau. The Census Bureau only follows up on a subset of governments designated as the reporting universe.

    In the years ending in 1 through 7, the Census Bureau may enter into agreements with individual states to modify the universe of MCDs and/or incorporated places to include additional entities that are known by that state to have had boundary changes, without regard to population size. Each year, the BAS will also include a single respondent request for municipio, barrio, barrio-pueblo, and subbarrio boundary and status information in Puerto Rico and Hawaiian Homeland boundary and status information in Hawaii.

    In the years ending in 6 through 9, state participants in the RDP may request coordination between the BAS and RDP submissions for the Block Boundary Suggestion Project (BBSP) and Voting District Project (VTDP). The alignment of the BAS with the BBSP and VTDP will facilitate increased cooperation between state and local governments and provide the opportunity to align their effort with updates from state and local government officials participating in the BAS.

    No other Federal agency collects these data, nor is there a standard collection of this information at the state level. BAS is a unique survey providing a standard result for use by federal, state, local, and tribal governments and by commercial, private, and public organizations.

    The Census Bureau has developed and continues to use several methods to collect information on status and updates for legal boundaries. These methods are:

    • State Certification • Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) • Consolidation Agreements • Annual Response • Paper BAS • Digital BAS • BQARP • Research Projects State Certification

    Through the BAS State Certification program, the Census Bureau invites the Governor-appointed State Certifying Official (SCO) from each state to review the boundary and governmental unit information collected during the previous BAS cycle. The purpose of the State Certification program is to verify the accuracy and validate the BAS information with state governments for incorporated places received from the previous BAS cycle. The Census Bureau requests the SCOs review data files, including the attribute data, legal boundary changes, as well as the legal names and functional statuses of incorporated places and MCDs, and any new incorporations or disincorporations reported through the BAS. A SCO may request that the Census Bureau edit the attribute data, add missing records, or remove invalid records if their state government maintains an official record of all effective changes to legal boundaries and governmental units as mandated by state law. State Certification packages contain a letter to the Governor, a State Certifying Official Letter, a Discrepancy Letter, and a State Certification Respondent Guide.

    MOU

    In states with legislation requiring local governments to report all legal boundary updates to a state agency, state officials may enter into a MOU with the Census Bureau. States have the option to report to the Census Bureau the list of governments with known legal boundary changes and the Census Bureau will include in the BAS only those governments with known boundary changes or the state may report the legal boundary changes directly to the Census Bureau on behalf of the governments. The Census Bureau will not survey the local governments if the state reports for them. The Census Bureau will send a reminder email notification to the governments requesting them to report to the state contact, per MOU. The MOU, as agreed upon by the state and the Census Bureau, will outline the terms of the survey and reporting for governments.

    Consolidation Agreements

    Consolidation agreements allow state and county government officials, in states where there are no legislative requirements for local governments to report their legal updates to the state or county, the opportunity to reduce the response burden for their local governments. Under a consolidation agreement, a state or county responds to the BAS for the local governments that agree to allow the state or county to respond on their behalf. The Census Bureau sends the BAS materials to the state or county, as appropriate, and sends a reminder notification to the local government to report their updates to their BAS consolidator.

    Annual Response

    Annual Response involves an announcement email letter and a one-page form for the state and county governments that do not have a consolidation agreement. Through Annual Response, county, tribal, and local governments indicate whether they have boundary changes to report and provide a current contact person. The Census Bureau requests governments to reply online or through email. The Annual Response method reduces cost and respondent burden through savings on materials and effort. All governments receive this notification regardless of population size. The Census Bureau will conduct telephone follow-up only to governments in the reporting universe due to budget constraints.

    If a government requests materials through Annual Response, they may choose to download digital materials or have the materials shipped as a traditional paper package or digital media types.

    Paper BAS

    For the traditional paper package, the respondent completes the BAS form and draws the boundary updates on the maps using pencils provided in the package. The package contains large format maps, printed forms and supplies to complete the survey.

    The typical BAS package contains:

    1. Introductory letter from the Director of the Census Bureau;

    2. Appropriate BAS Form(s) that contains entity-specific identification information;

    a. BAS-1: Incorporated places and consolidated cities;

    b. BAS-2: Counties, parishes, and boroughs;

    c. BAS-3: MCDs;

    d. BAS-5: American Indian and Alaska Native Areas; and

    e. BAS-6: Consolidated BAS

    3. BAS Respondent Guide;

    4. Set of maps;

    5. Return postage-paid envelope to submit boundary changes;

    6. Postcard to notify the Census Bureau of no changes to the boundary; and

    7. Supplies for updating paper maps.

    Digital BAS

    Digital BAS includes options to receive software and spatial data to make boundary updates or to make boundary updates electronically by submitting a digital file. A local contact from each government verifies the legal boundary, and then provides boundary changes and updated contact information. An official signs the materials, verifies the forms, and returns the information to the Census Bureau.

    The typical Digital BAS package contains:

    1. Introductory letter from the Director of the Census Bureau;

    2. Appropriate BAS Form(s) that contains entity-specific identification information;

    a. BAS-1: Incorporated places and consolidated cities;

    b. BAS-2: Counties, parishes, and boroughs;

    c. BAS-3: MCDs;

    d. BAS-5: American Indian and Alaska Native Areas; and

    e. BAS-6: Consolidated BAS

    3. CD or DVD and software CD for Geographic Update Partnership Software (GUPS); and

    4. Postcard to notify the Census Bureau of no changes to the boundary.

    The key dates for governments are as follows:

    1. Annual Response emailed or mailed to the local contact in December of each year.

    2. BAS package/materials shipped during the months of December, January, February, March, and April of each year.

    3. Requests to change the method of participation (i.e., paper to digital submission and vice versa) are due by April 15th of each year.

    4. Responses for inclusion in the American Community Survey (ACS) and Population Estimates Program (PEP) are due by March 1st of each year, with an effective date of January 1st of the year in question or earlier.

    5. Responses for inclusion in the following year's BAS materials are due by May 31st of each year and will include any annexation received from the previous or current year.

    6. In year 2020, all legal documentation for inclusion in the 2020 Census must be effective as of January 1, 2020 or earlier. All legal boundary changes will be placed on hold and updated during the 2021 BAS if effective January 2, 2020 or later.

    BQARP

    To improve boundary quality in the Census Bureau's Master Address File/Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing (MAF/TIGER) System, the Census Bureau is introducing BQARP to support the BAS program. BQARP is a project to assess, analyze, and improve the spatial quality of legal and administrative boundaries within MAF/TIGER. Ensuring quality boundaries is a critical component of the geographic preparations for the 2020 Census and the Census Bureau's ongoing Geographic Partnership Programs (GPPs) and surveys. In addition, the improvement of boundary quality is an essential element of the Census Bureau's commitment as the responsible agency for legal boundaries under the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-16. The goal of BQARP is to establish a new, accurate baseline for boundaries within an entire state or county, which the BAS would then continue with the collection of annexations and deannexations on a transaction basis as they occur over time. The estimated work burden for participation is 25 hours per participant.

    Research Projects

    BAS continues to work to improve the survey based on feedback received from local governments. The Census Bureau plans to conduct two research projects during 2016. The first research project is for BAS form redesign for potential use for the 2017 BAS Forms. The second research project is to test an option for local governments to provide a list of addresses associated with an annexation to continue to improve data quality in MAF/TIGER. Participation is voluntary for these research projects. The estimated work burden for participation is 3 hours per participant.

    Frequency: Annually.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    Legal Authority: Title 13, U.S.C., Section 6.

    This information collection request may be viewed at www.reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

    Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Dated: December 18, 2015. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-32374 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-905] Polyester Staple Fiber From the People's Republic of China: Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2014-2015 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the “Department”) is rescinding the administrative review of the antidumping duty order on polyester staple fiber (“PSF”) from the People's Republic of China (the “PRC”) for the period of review June 1, 2014, through May 31, 2015.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: December 24, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Javier Barrientos, AD/CVD Operations, Office V, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-2243.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On June 30, 2015, DAK Americas, LLC (“Petitioner”) submitted a request for administrative review of the antidumping duty order on PSF from the PRC for five companies.1 No other party requested an administrative review. On August 3, 2015, the Department published the notice of initiation of an administrative review of the order for the period of review June 1, 2014, through May 31, 2015.2 On September 8, 2015, Petitioner withdrew its requests for review for all five companies.3

    1See Petitioner's June 30, 2015 submission.

    2See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 80 FR 45947 (August 3, 2015) (“Initiation Notice”).

    3See Petitioner's September 8, 2015 submission.

    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, Petitioner withdrew its requests for administrative reviews 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 antidumping duties on all appropriate entries of PSF from the PRC. 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 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 importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of doubled antidumping duties.

    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 9, 2015. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-32462 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-475-818] Certain Pasta From Italy: Notice of Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Effective: December 24, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    George McMahon or Samuel Brummitt, AD/CVD Operations, Office III, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-1167 or (202) 482-7851, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On July 1, 2015, the Department of Commerce (the Department) published a notice of opportunity to request an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on certain pasta from Italy.1 Pursuant to requests from interested parties, the Department published in the Federal Register the notice of initiation of this antidumping duty administrative review with respect to the following companies for the period July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015: Agritalia S.r.L. (Agritalia), Atar S.r.L. (Atar), Azienda Agricola Casina Rossa di De Laurentiis Nicola (Azienda), Corticella Molini e Pastifici S.p.A. (Corticella), Delverde Industrie Alimentari S.p.A. (Delverde), Domenico Paone fu Erasmo S.p.A. (Domenico), F. Divella S.p.A. (F. Divella), I Sapori dell'Arca S.r.l. (I Sapori), Industria Alimentare Colavita S.p.A. (Colavita), La Fabbrica della Pasta di Gragnano S.a.s. di Antonio Moccia (La Fabbrica), La Molisana SpA. (La Molisana), La Romagna S.r.l. (La Romagna), Ligouri Pastificio Dal 1820 (Ligouri), Molino e Pastificio Tomasello S.r.L. (Molino), P.A.P SNC DI Pazienza G.B. & C. (P.A.P), PAM S.p.A. (PAM), Pasta Lensi S.r.L. (Pasta Lensi), Pasta Zara S.p.A. (Pasta Zara), Pastificio Andalini S.p.A. (Andalini), Pastificio Bolognese of Angelo R. Dicuonzo (Bolognese), Pastificio Carmine Russo S.p.A. (Carmine), Pastificio DiMartino Gaetano & F. Ili S.r.L. (DiMartino), Pastificio Fabianelli S.p.A. (Fabianelli), Pastificio Felicetti S.r. L. (Felicetti), Pastificio Labor S.r.L. (Labor), Pastificio Riscossa F. Ili Mastromauro S.p.A. (AKA Pastificio Riscossa F. Ili. Mastromauro S.r.L.) (Riscossa), Poiatti S.p.A. (Poiatti), Premiato Pastificio Afreltra S.r.L. (Premiato), Rustichella d'Abruzzo S.p.A. (Rustichella), Ser.com.snc, and Vero Lucano S.r.l. (Vero Lucano).2 On October 27, 2015, La Molisana timely withdrew its request for a review.3 On October 30, 2015, Pasta Lensi timely withdrew its request for review.4 On November 12, 2015, Andalini timely withdrew its request for review.5 On December 1, 2015, Ritrovo, LLC (Ritrovo), an interested party in this review, timely withdrew its request for an administrative review of Azienda, Bolognese, I Sapori, La Romagna, Ser.com.snc, and Vero Lucano.6

    1See Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity To Request Administrative Review, 80 FR 37583 (July 1, 2015).

    2See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 80 FR 53106 (September 2, 2015) (Initiation Notice).

    3See Letter from La Molisana to the Department, “Certain Pasta From Italy: A-475-818; Withdrawal of Request for Review,” dated October 27, 2015.

    4See Letter from Pasta Lensi to the Department, “Pasta from Italy: Withdrawal of Request for Administrative Review,” dated October 30, 2015.

    5See Letter from Andalini to the Department, “Certain Pasta From Italy: Withdrawal of Request for Administrative Review,” dated November 12, 2015.

    6See Letter from Ritrovo to the Department, “Withdrawal of Request for Administrative Review: Certain Pasta from Italy,” dated December 1, 2015.

    Partial Rescission of the 2014-2015 Administrative Review

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), the Secretary will rescind an administrative review, in whole or in part, if the parties that requested a review withdraw the request within 90 days of the date of publication of the notice of initiation of the requested review. Given that all the withdrawal requests cited above were timely, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), we are rescinding this review of the antidumping duty order on certain pasta from Italy, in part, with respect to Andalini, Azienda, Bolognese, I Sapori, La Molisana, La Romagna, Pasta Lensi, Ser.com.snc, and Vero Lucano. The instant review will continue with respect to Agritalia, Atar, Corticella, Delverde, Domenico, F. Divella, Colavita, La Fabbrica, Ligouri, Molino, P.A.P, PAM, Pasta Zara, Carmine, DiMartino, Fabianelli, Felicetti, Labor, Riscossa, Poiatti, Premiato, and Rustichella.

    Assessment

    The Department will instruct CBP to assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries. For the companies for which this review is rescinded, Andalini, Azienda, Bolognese, I Sapori, La Molisana, La Romagna, Pasta Lensi, Ser.com.snc, and Vero Lucano, 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, during the period July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(c)(1)(i).

    The Department intends to issue appropriate assessment instructions directly to CBP 15 days after publication of this notice.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice serves as a reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping and/or countervailing duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Department's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping and/or countervailing duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of doubled antidumping duties.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Order

    This notice serves as a final reminder to parties subject to administrative protective orders (APOs) of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under an APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3), which continues to govern business proprietary information in this segment of the proceeding. Timely written notification of the return/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 violation which is subject to sanction.

    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 16, 2015. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-32472 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD66 Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Seabird Research Activities in Central California, 2015-2016 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; issuance of a revised incidental harassment authorization.

    SUMMARY:

    We, NMFS, give notice that we have revised an Incidental Harassment Authorization (Authorization) issued to Point Blue Conservation Science (Point Blue) to take marine mammals, by harassment, incidental to conducting seabird research activities on Southeast Farallon Island, Año Nuevo Island, and Point Reyes National Seashore in central California. Point Blue's current Authorization is effective until January 30, 2016, and authorizes the incidental harassment, by Level B harassment only, of approximately 9,871 California sea lions (Zalophus californianus). Current environmental conditions in the Pacific Ocean offshore California—which researchers have attributed to an impending El Nino event—have contributed to unprecedented numbers of California sea lions hauled out in areas where Point Blue conducts seabird surveys. As such, Point Blue requested a modification to their current Authorization to increase the number of authorized take for California sea lions to continue their research. Per the Marine Mammal Protection Act, we are revising the Authorization to Point Blue for the incidental harassment, by Level B harassment only, a total of 41,889 California sea lions.

    DATES:

    The authorization is still effective January 31, 2015, through January 30, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    To obtain an electronic copy of the revised Authorization, write to Jolie Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910, telephone the contact listed here (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT), or visit the internet at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/research.htm.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeannine Cody, NMFS, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Summary of Request

    On December 23, 2014, NMFS published a Federal Register notice of a proposed Authorization to Point Blue (79 FR 76975) and subsequently published a Federal Register notice of issuance of the Authorization on February 25, 2015 (80 FR 10066), effective from January 31, 2015, through January 30, 2016. To date, we have issued six one-year Authorizations to Point Blue, along with partners Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge and Point Reyes National Seashore, for the conduct of the same activities from 2007 to 2015 (72 FR 71121, December 14, 2007; 73 FR 77011, December 18, 2008; 75 FR 8677, February 19, 2010; 77 FR 73989, December 7, 2012; 78 FR 66686, November 6, 2013; and 80 FR 10066, February 25, 2015).

    On September 22, 2015, NMFS received a request from Point Blue seeking to revise the Authorization issued on January 31, 2015 (80 FR 10066, February 25, 2015) to increase the number of authorized take of small numbers of California sea lions from approximately 9,871 to a total of 44,871 for the duration of the current Authorization which expires on January 30, 2016. Current environmental conditions in the Pacific Ocean offshore California—which researchers have attributed to an impending El Nino event—have contributed to unprecedented numbers of California sea lions hauled out in areas where Point Blue conducts seabird surveys. As such, Point Blue requested a modification to their current Authorization to increase the number of authorized take for California sea lions to continue their seabird research activities. This was the only requested change to the current Authorization.

    On October 13, 2015, NMFS published a notice (80 FR 61376) requesting comments on the proposed revision. The Federal Register notice set forth only a proposed change in the numbers of take for California sea lions. There were no other changes to the current Authorization as described in the February 25, 2015, Federal Register notice of an issued Authorization (80 FR 10066): The specified activity; description of marine mammals in the area of the specified activity; potential effects on marine mammals and their habitat; mitigation and related monitoring used to implement mitigation; reporting; estimated take by incidental harassment for Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina), northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris), or Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus); negligible impact and small numbers analyses and determinations; impact on availability of affected species or stocks for subsistence uses and the period of effectiveness remain unchanged and are herein incorporated by reference.

    Description of the Specified Activity Overview

    Point Blue will continue to monitor and census seabird colonies; observe seabird nesting habitat; restore nesting burrows; and resupply a field station annually in central California (i.e., Southeast Farallon Island, West End Island, Año Nuevo Island, Point Reyes National Seashore, San Francisco Bay, and the Russian River in Sonoma County). The purpose of the seabird research is to continue a 30-year monitoring program of the region's seabird populations.

    NMFS outlined the purpose of Point Blue's activities in a previous notice for the proposed authorization (79 FR 76975, December 23, 2014). Point Blue's activities and level of survey effort have not changed since the publication of the Federal Register notice announcing the issuance of the Authorization (80 FR 10066, February 25, 2015). For a more detailed description of the authorized action, we refer the reader to that notice of Authorization (80 FR 10066, February 25, 2015).

    Need for Modification to the Authorization

    The Authorization requires Point Blue to monitor for marine mammals in order to implement mitigation measures to effect the least practicable adverse impact on marine mammals. Monitoring activities consist of conducting and recording observations on pinnipeds within the vicinity of the research areas. The monitoring reports provide dates, location, species, and the researcher's activities. The reports will also include the behavioral state of marine mammals present, numbers of animals that moved greater than one meter, and numbers of pinnipeds that flushed into the water. Between January 31 through November 6, 2015, Point Blue recorded the following instances of Level B harassment for the following research areas: Southeast Farallon Island/West End Island (20,052); Ano Nuevo (723); and Point Reyes (30).

    Point Blue reports that between January and March, 2015, California sea lion incidental take patterns were relatively normal at the South Farallon Islands/West End Island survey locations. However, during the summer of 2015, warm water conditions along the California coast in summer resulted in more California sea lions hauling out in areas where Point Blue conducts its seabird research activities. Point Blue reported that throughout the summer months, sea lion numbers continued to grow, with greater numbers hauled out in areas where researchers have not normally recorded sea lion attendance. For example, since August 15, 2015 at the South Farallon Islands, Point Blue reported that thousands of sea lions hauled out in unusual locations high on the islands. During this period, Point Blue has restricted their activities as much as possible to still perform their monitoring duties while trying to minimize pinniped disturbance. Thus, NMFS has modified the current Authorization to increase the number of take by Level B harassment only for California sea lions to a total of 41,889 for the duration of the current Authorization which expires on January 30, 2016.

    Comments and Responses

    We published a notice of receipt of the proposed revised Authorization in the Federal Register on October 13, 2015 (80 FR 61376). During the 30-day comment period, we received one comment from the Marine Mammal Commission (Commission) which recommended that we issue the revised Authorization, provided that the proposed modification includes only the increase in the number of authorized takes based on the number of sea lions that would be harassed incidental to the seabird research and resupply activities and not include takes associated with removing sea lions from critical infrastructure (including docks, landings, and piers) and access paths or human safety concerns which is included in the authorities available under sections 101(a)(4) or 109(h) of the MMPA.

    NMFS agrees with the Commission's recommendation and the revised Authorization includes only those takes for California sea lions related to seabird research and resupply activities. Point Blue requested an increase of 35,000 takes based on rough preliminary observations. However, during the MMPA consultation process, Point Blue provided us with draft monitoring reports with more accurate estimates of California sea lions harassed incidental to seabird research activities from September 23, 2015 through November 6, 2015 (approximately 20,805 animals). We further analyzed those preliminary reports and projected that Point Blue could harass an additional 21,084 California sea lions for the remainder of the current authorization. Thus, the revised Authorization for a total of 41,899 takes for California sea lions accounts for an additional 32,018 takes versus the Point Blue's requested increase of 35,000 takes.

    We base these estimates on the largest estimated number of California sea lions taken by day within four reporting periods between January 31, 2015 and November 6, 2015 multiplied by 84 days remaining within the current Authorization. The resulting take estimates are 20,664 California sea lions for Southeast Farallon Island (9,334 animals divided by 38 days then multiplied by 84 days); 336 California sea lions for Ano Nuevo Island (554 animals divided by 156 days then multiplied by 84 days); and 84 California sea lion for (10 animals divided by 38 days then multiplied by 84 days). Based on our final analyses, NMFS would authorize an total 41,889 takes for California sea lions which accounts for take already incurred and the potential for increased take continuing through January 2016.

    The revised Authorization also directs Point Blue and its partners to conduct other activities related to preventing damage to critical infrastructure and private property and ensuring personal human safety from hauled out pinnipeds in accordance with sections 101(a)(4) or 109(h) of the MMPA.

    Findings

    Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA)—As required by the MMPA, for the original Authorization, NMFS determined that: (1) The required mitigation measures are sufficient to reduce the effects of the specified activities to the level of least practicable impact; (2) the authorized takes will have a negligible impact on the affected marine mammal species; (3) the authorized takes represent small numbers relative to the affected stock abundances; and (4) Point Blue's activities will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on taking for subsistence purposes as no relevant subsistence uses of marine mammals are implicated by this action.

    Negligible Impact: For reasons stated previously in the Federal Register notices for the proposed authorization (79 FR 76975, December 23, 2014) and the issued Authorization (80 FR 10066, February 25, 2015), NMFS anticipates that impacts to hauled-out California sea lions during Point Blue's activities would be behavioral harassment of limited duration (i.e., less than one day) and limited intensity (i.e., temporary flushing at most). NMFS does not expect Point Blue's specified activities to cause long-term behavioral disturbance, permanent abandonment of the haul out area, or stampeding, and therefore injury or mortality to occur.

    With the exception of a proposed increase in the number of authorized takes for California sea lions, no other substantive changes have occurred in the interim. Based on the analysis contained herein of the likely effects of the specified activity on marine mammals and their habitat, and taking into consideration the implementation of the required monitoring and mitigation measures, NMFS finds that the total marine mammal take from Point Blue's survey activities will have a negligible impact on the affected marine mammal species or stocks.

    Small Numbers: For reasons stated previously in the Federal Register notices for the proposed authorization (79 FR 76975, December 23, 2014) and the issued Authorization (80 FR 10066, February 25, 2015) NMFS estimates that four species of marine mammals could be potentially affected by Level B harassment over the course of the proposed Authorization. With the exception of an increase in authorized take for California sea lions, no other substantive changes have occurred in the interim. For California sea lions, the proposed increase in take is small relative to the population size. The revised incidental harassment number represents approximately 14 percent of the U.S. stock of California sea lion.

    National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)—In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), NMFS prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) analyzing the potential effects to the human environment from the issuance of a proposed Authorization to Point Blue for their seabird research activities. In January 2014, NMFS issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) on the issuance of an Authorization for Point Blue's research activities in accordance with section 6.01 of the NOAA Administrative Order 216-6 (Environmental Review Procedures for Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act, May 20, 1999). No substantive changes have occurred in the interim.

    Endangered Species Act (ESA)—No marine mammal species listed under the ESA occur in the action area. Therefore, NMFS has determined that a section 7 consultation under the ESA is not required. No substantive changes have occurred in the interim.

    Revised Authorization

    As a result of these determinations, we have revised the Authorization issued to Point Blue and its designees for the take of marine mammals incidental to their seabird research activities, provided they incorporate the previously mentioned mitigation, monitoring, and reporting requirements.

    Dated: December 18, 2015. Perry F. Gayaldo, Deputy Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-32409 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE191 2016 Annual Determination To Implement the Sea Turtle Observer Requirement AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is providing notification that the agency will not identify additional fisheries to observe on the Annual Determination (AD) for 2016, pursuant to its authority under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Through the AD, NMFS identifies U.S. fisheries operating in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Pacific Ocean that will be required to take observers upon NMFS' request. The purpose of observing identified fisheries is to learn more about sea turtle interactions in a given fishery, evaluate measures to prevent or reduce sea turtle takes, and implement the prohibition against sea turtle takes. Fisheries identified on the 2015 AD (see Table 1) remain on the AD for a 5-year period and are required to carry observers upon NMFS' request until December 31, 2019.

    ADDRESSES:

    See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for a listing of all Regional Offices.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sara McNulty, Office of Protected Resources, 301-427-8402; Ellen Keane, Greater Atlantic Region, 978-282-8476; Dennis Klemm, Southeast Region, 727-824-5312; Dan Lawson, West Coast Region, 562-980-3209; Irene Kelly, Pacific Islands Region, 808-725-5141. Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the hearing impaired may call the Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Availability of Published Materials

    Information regarding the Sea Turtle Observer Requirement for Fisheries (72 FR 43176, August 3, 2007) may be obtained at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/turtles/regulations.htm or from any NMFS Regional Office at the addresses listed below:

    • NMFS, Greater Atlantic Region, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930;

    • NMFS, Southeast Region, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701;

    • NMFS, West Coast Region, 501 W. Ocean Blvd., Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802;

    • NMFS, Pacific Islands Region, Protected Resources, 1845 Wasp Blvd., Building 176, Honolulu, HI 96818.

    Purpose of the Sea Turtle Observer Requirement

    Under the ESA, 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq., NMFS has the responsibility to implement programs to conserve marine species listed as endangered or threatened. All sea turtles found in U.S. waters are listed as either endangered or threatened under the ESA. Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), loggerhead (Caretta caretta; North Pacific distinct population segment), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles are listed as endangered. Loggerhead (Caretta caretta; Northwest Atlantic distinct population segment), green (Chelonia mydas), and olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) sea turtles are listed as threatened, except for breeding colony populations of green sea turtles in Florida and on the Pacific coast of Mexico, and breeding colony populations of olive ridley sea turtles on the Pacific coast of Mexico, which are listed as endangered. Due to the inability to distinguish between populations of green and olive ridley turtles away from the nesting beach, NMFS considers these turtles endangered wherever they occur in U.S. waters. While some sea turtle populations have shown signs of recovery, many populations continue to decline. On March 23, 2015, NMFS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) found that the green sea turtle is composed of 11 distinct population segments (DPSs) that qualify as “species” for listing under the ESA. NMFS and USFWS proposed to remove the current range-wide listing and, in its place, list eight DPSs as threatened and three as endangered.

    Incidental take, or bycatch, in fishing gear is the primary anthropogenic source of sea turtle injury and mortality in U.S. waters. Section 9 of the ESA prohibits the take (including harassing, harming, pursuing, hunting, shooting, wounding, killing, trapping, capturing, collecting or attempting to engage in any such conduct), including incidental take, of endangered sea turtles. Pursuant to section 4(d) of the ESA, NMFS has issued regulations extending the prohibition of take, with exceptions, to threatened sea turtles (50 CFR 223.205 and 223.206). The purpose of the sea turtle observer requirement and the AD is ultimately to implement ESA sections 9 and 4(d), which prohibit the incidental take of endangered and threatened sea turtles, respectively, and to conserve sea turtles. Section 11 of the ESA provides for civil and criminal penalties for anyone who violates a regulation issued pursuant to the ESA, including regulations that implement the take prohibition, as well as for the issuance of regulations to enforce the take prohibitions. NMFS may grant exceptions to the take prohibitions for activities that are covered by an incidental take statement or an incidental take permit issued pursuant to ESA section 7 or 10, respectively. To do so, NMFS must determine the activity that will result in incidental take is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of the affected listed species. For some Federal fisheries and most state fisheries, NMFS has not granted an exception for incidental takes of sea turtles primarily because we lack information about fishery-sea turtle interactions.

    The most effective way for NMFS to learn about sea turtle-fishery interactions, in order to implement management measures and prevent or minimize take, is to place observers aboard fishing vessels. In 2007, NMFS issued a regulation (50 CFR 222.402) establishing procedures to annually identify, pursuant to specified criteria and after notice and opportunity for comment, those fisheries in which the agency intends to place observers (72 FR 43176, August 3, 2007). These regulations specify that NMFS may place observers on U.S. fishing vessels, commercial or recreational, operating in U.S. territorial waters, the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ), or on the high seas, or on vessels that are otherwise subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. Failure to comply with the requirements under this rule may result in civil or criminal penalties under the ESA.

    Where observers are required, NMFS will pay the direct costs for vessels to carry observers. These include observer salary and insurance costs. NMFS may also evaluate other potential direct costs, should they arise. Once selected, a fishery will be eligible to be observed for a period of 5 years without further action by NMFS. This will enable NMFS to develop an appropriate sampling protocol to investigate whether, how, when, where, and under what conditions incidental takes are occurring; evaluate whether existing measures are minimizing or preventing takes; and develop ESA management measures that implement the prohibitions against take and that conserve sea turtles.

    2016 Annual Determination

    Pursuant to 50 CFR 222.402, NOAA's Assistant Administrator for Fisheries (AA), in consultation with Regional Administrators and Fisheries Science Center Directors, annually identifies fisheries for inclusion on the AD based on the extent to which:

    (1) The fishery operates in the same waters and at the same time as sea turtles are present;

    (2) The fishery operates at the same time or prior to elevated sea turtle strandings; or

    (3) The fishery uses a gear or technique that is known or likely to result in incidental take of sea turtles based on documented or reported takes in the same or similar fisheries; and

    (4) NMFS intends to monitor the fishery and anticipates that it will have the funds to do so.

    NMFS is providing notification that the agency is not identifying additional fisheries to observe on the 2016 AD, pursuant to its authority under the ESA. NMFS is not identifying additional fisheries at this time given lack of dedicated resources to implement new observer programs or expand existing observer programs to focus on sea turtles (50 CFR 222.402(a)(4)). The 14 fisheries identified on the 2015 AD (see Table 1) remain on the AD for a 5-year period and are therefore required to carry observers upon NMFS' request until December 31, 2019.

    Table 1—State and Federal Commercial Fisheries Included on the 2015 Annual Determination. Fishery Years eligible to carry observers Trawl Fisheries Southeastern U.S. Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico shrimp trawl 2015-2019 Gulf of Mexico mixed species fish trawl 2015-2019 Gillnet Fisheries California halibut, white seabass and other species set gillnet (>3.5 in mesh) 2015-2019 California yellowtail, barracuda, and white seabass drift gillnet (mesh size >3.5 in. and <14 in.) 2015-2019 Chesapeake Bay inshore gillnet 2015-2019 Long Island inshore gillnet 2015-2019 North Carolina inshore gillnet 2015-2019 Gulf of Mexico gillnet 2015-2019 Trap/pot Fisheries Atlantic blue crab trap/pot 2015-2019 Atlantic mixed species trap/pot 2015-2019 Northeast/Mid-Atlantic American lobster trap/pot 2015-2019 Pound Net/Weir/Seine Fisheries Mid-Atlantic haul/beach seine 2015-2019 Mid-Atlantic menhaden purse seine 2015-2019 Rhode Island floating trap 2015-2019 Dated: December 21, 2015. Perry F. Gayaldo, Deputy Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-32425 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE362 New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Herring Advisory Panel to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.

    DATES:

    This meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 12, 2016, at 10 a.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Meeting address: The meeting will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 50 Ferncroft Road, Danvers, MA 01950; phone: (978) 777-2500; fax: (978) 750-7911.

    Council address: New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council; telephone: (978) 465-0492.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Agenda

    The Advisory Panel (AP) plans to review Amendment 8 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan related to the Acceptable Biological Catch control rule, and the localized depletion in inshore waters. The panel will also discuss the potential for using state port-side monitoring data to monitor the River herring/Shad catch caps. They will review options for the Atlantic herring fishery in the Omnibus Industry-Funded Monitoring Amendment. They will also discuss 5-year research priorities for Atlantic herring (2017-2022). The panel will also review a future action to consider revising the haddock catch cap accountability measure. They will also discuss other business as necessary.

    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 listed in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, at (978) 465-0492, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: December 21, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-32432 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE United States Patent and Trademark Office [Docket No.: PTO-P-2015-0079] Extension of the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program AGENCY:

    United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) implemented a pilot program (Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program) in which an applicant, under certain conditions, can request a 12-month time period to pay the search fee, the examination fee, any excess claim fees, and the surcharge (for the late submission of the search fee and the examination fee) in a nonprovisional application. The Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program benefits applicants by permitting additional time to determine if patent protection should be sought—at a relatively low cost—and by permitting applicants to focus efforts on commercialization during this period. The Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program benefits the USPTO and the public by adding publications to the body of prior art, and by removing from the USPTO's workload those nonprovisional applications for which applicants later decide not to pursue examination. The USPTO is extending the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program until December 31, 2016, to allow for the USPTO to seek public comment, via a subsequent notice to be published in the middle of 2016, on whether the Extended Missing Parts Program offers sufficient benefits to the patent community for it to be made permanent. The requirements of the program have not changed.

    DATES:

    Duration: The Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program will run through December 31, 2016. Therefore, any certification and request to participate in the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program must be filed on or before December 31, 2016. The USPTO may further extend the pilot program (with or without modifications) depending on the feedback received and the continued effectiveness of the pilot program.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Eugenia A. Jones, Senior Legal Advisor, Office of Patent Legal Administration, Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, by telephone at (571) 272-7727, or by mail addressed to: Mail Stop Comments—Patents, Commissioner for Patents, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450, marked to the attention of Eugenia A. Jones.

    Inquiries regarding this notice may be directed to the Office of Patent Legal Administration, by telephone at (571) 272-7701, or by electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On December 8, 2010, after considering written comments from the public, the USPTO changed the missing parts examination procedures in certain nonprovisional applications by implementing a pilot program (i.e., Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program). See Pilot Program for Extended Time Period To Reply to a Notice to File Missing Parts of Nonprovisional Application, 75 FR 76401 (Dec. 8, 2010), 1362 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 44 (Jan. 4, 2011). The USPTO has previously announced extensions of the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program through notices published in the Federal Register. See Extension of the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program, 76 FR 78246 (Dec. 16, 2011), 1374 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 113 (Jan. 10, 2012); Extension of the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program, 78 FR 2256 (Jan. 10, 2013), 1387 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 46 (Feb. 5, 2013); Extension of Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program, 79 FR 642 (Jan. 6, 2014), 1398 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 197 (Jan. 28, 2014); Extension of Extended Missing Parts Pilot Progam, 80 FR 1624 (Jan. 13, 2015), 1412 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 211 (Mar. 24, 2015). The program is currently set to expire on December 31, 2015.

    Through this notice, the USPTO is further extending the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program until December 31, 2016. The USPTO may further extend the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program, or may discontinue the pilot program after December 31, 2016, depending on the results of the program. The requirements of the program, which have not been modified, are reiterated below. Applicants are strongly cautioned to review the pilot program requirements before making a request to participate in the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program.

    The USPTO cautions all applicants that, in order to claim the benefit of a prior provisional application, the statute requires a nonprovisional application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) to be filed within 12 months after the date on which the corresponding provisional application was filed. See 35 U.S.C. 119(e). It is essential that applicants understand that the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program cannot and does not change this statutory requirement. Title II of the Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act of 2012 (PLTIA) amended the provisions of title 35, United States Code, including 35 U.S.C. 119(e), to implement the Patent Law Treaty (PLT). See Public Law 112-211, §§ 20-203, 126 Stat. 1527, 1533-37 (2012). In the rulemaking to implement the PLT and title II of the PLTIA, the Office provided that an applicant may file a petition under 37 CFR 1.78(b) to restore the benefit of a provisional application filed up to fourteen months earlier. See Changes To Implement the Patent Law Treaty, 78 FR 62367, 62368-69 (Oct. 21, 2013) (final rule). Any petition to restore the benefit of a provisional application must include the benefit claim, the petition fee, and a statement that the delay in filing the subsequent application was unintentional. This change was effective on December 18, 2013, and applies to any application filed before, on, or after December 18, 2013. However, if a nonprovisional application is filed outside the 12 month period from the date on which the corresponding provisional application was filed, the nonprovisional application is not eligible for participation in the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program, even though the applicant may be able to restore the benefit of the provisional application by submitting a petition under 37 CFR 1.78(b).

    I. Requirements: In order for an applicant to be provided a 12-month (non-extendable) time period to pay the search and examination fees and any required excess claims fees in response to a Notice to File Missing Parts of Nonprovisional Application under the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program, the applicant must satisfy the following conditions: (1) The applicant must submit a certification and request to participate in the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program with the nonprovisional application on filing, preferably by using Form PTO/AIA/421, titled “Certification and Request for Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program”; (2) the application must be an original (i.e., not a Reissue) nonprovisional utility or plant application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a) within the duration of the pilot program; (3) the nonprovisional application must directly claim the benefit under 35 U.S.C. 119(e) and 37 CFR 1.78 of a prior provisional application filed within the previous 12 months, and the specific reference to the provisional application must be in an application data sheet under 37 CFR 1.76 (see 37 CFR 1.78(a)(3)); and (4) the applicant must not have filed a nonpublication request.

    As required for all nonprovisional applications, the applicant will need to satisfy filing date requirements and publication requirements. In the rulemaking to implement the PLT and title II of the PLTIA, the Office provided that an application (other than an application for a design patent) filed on or after December 18, 2013, is not required to include a claim to be entitled to a filing date. See Changes To Implement the Patent Law Treaty, 78 FR 62367, 62638 (Oct. 21, 2013) (final rule). This change was effective on December 18, 2013, and applies to any application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111 on or after December 18, 2013. However, if an application is filed without any claims, the Office of Patent Application Processing will issue a notice giving the applicant a two-month (extendable) time period within which to submit at least one claim in order to avoid abandonment (see 37 CFR 1.53(f)). The Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program does not change this time period. In accordance with 35 U.S.C. 122(b), the USPTO will publish the application promptly after the expiration of 18 months from the earliest filing date for which benefit is sought. Therefore, the nonprovisional application should also be in condition for publication as provided in 37 CFR 1.211(c). The following are required in order for the nonprovisional application to be in condition for publication: (1) The basic filing fee; (2) the executed inventor's oath or declaration in compliance with 37 CFR 1.63 or an application data sheet containing the information specified in 37 CFR 1.63(b); (3) a specification in compliance with 37 CFR 1.52; (4) an abstract in compliance with 37 CFR 1.72(b); (5) drawings in compliance with 37 CFR 1.84 (if applicable); (6) any application size fee required under 37 CFR 1.16(s); (7) any English translation required by 37 CFR 1.52(d); and (8) a sequence listing in compliance with 37 CFR 1.821-1.825 (if applicable). The USPTO also requires any compact disc requirements to be satisfied and an English translation of the provisional application to be filed in the provisional application if the provisional application was filed in a non-English language and a translation has not yet been filed. If the requirements for publication are not met, the applicant will need to satisfy the publication requirements within a two-month extendable time period.

    As noted above, applicants should request participation in the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program by using Form PTO/AIA/421. For utility patent applications, the applicant may file the application and the certification and request electronically using the USPTO electronic filing system, EFS-Web, and selecting the document description of “Certification and Request for Missing Parts Pilot” for the certification and request on the EFS-Web screen. Form PTO/AIA/421 is available on the USPTO Web site at http://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/forms/aia0421.pdf. Information regarding EFS-Web is available on the USPTO Web site at http://www.uspto.gov/patents-application-process/applying-online/about-efs-web.

    The utility application including the certification and request to participate in the pilot program may also be hand-carried to the USPTO or filed by mail, for example, by Priority Mail Express® in accordance with 37 CFR 1.10. However, applicants are advised that, effective November 15, 2011, as provided in the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, a new additional fee of $400.00 for a non-small entity ($200.00 for a small entity) is due for any nonprovisional utility patent application that is not filed by EFS-Web. See Public Law 112-29, § 10(h), 125 Stat. 283, 319 (2011). This non-electronic filing fee is due on filing of the utility application or within the two-month (extendable) time period to reply to the Notice to File Missing Parts of Nonprovisional Application. Applicants will not be given the 12-month time period to pay the non-electronic filing fee. Therefore, utility applicants are strongly encouraged to file their utility applications via EFS-Web to avoid this additional fee.

    For plant patent applications, the applicant must file the application including the certification and request to participate in the pilot program by mail or hand-carried to the USPTO since plant patent applications cannot be filed electronically using EFS-Web. See Legal Framework for Electronic Filing System—Web (EFS-Web), 74 FR 55200 (Oct. 27, 2009), 1348 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 394 (Nov. 24, 2009).

    II. Processing of Requests: If the applicant satisfies the requirements (discussed above) on filing of the nonprovisional application and the application is in condition for publication, the USPTO will send the applicant a Notice to File Missing Parts of Nonprovisional Application that sets a 12-month (non-extendable) time period to submit the search fee, the examination fee, any excess claims fees (under 37 CFR 1.16(h)-(j)), and the surcharge under 37 CFR 1.16(f) (for the late submission of the search fee and examination fee). The 12-month time period will run from the mailing date, or notification date for e-Office Action participants, of the Notice to File Missing Parts. For information on the e-Office Action program, see Electronic Office Action, 1343 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 45 (June 2, 2009), and http://www.uspto.gov/patents-application-process/checking-application-status/e-office-action-program. After an applicant files a timely reply to the Notice to File Missing Parts within the 12-month time period and the nonprovisional application is completed, the nonprovisional application will be placed in the examination queue based on the actual filing date of the nonprovisional application.

    For a detailed discussion regarding treatment of applications that are not in condition for publication, processing of improper requests to participate in the program, and treatment of authorizations to charge fees, see Pilot Program for Extended Time Period To Reply to a Notice to File Missing Parts of Nonprovisional Application, 75 FR 76401, 76403-04 (Dec. 8, 2010), 1362 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 44, 47-49 (Jan. 4, 2011).

    III. Important Reminders: Applicants are reminded that the disclosure of an invention in a provisional application should be as complete as possible because the claimed subject matter in the later-filed nonprovisional application must have support in the provisional application in order for the applicant to obtain the benefit of the filing date of the provisional application.

    Furthermore, the nonprovisional application as originally filed must have a complete disclosure that complies with 35 U.S.C. 112(a) and is sufficient to support the claims submitted on filing and any claims submitted later during prosecution. New matter cannot be added to an application after the filing date of the application. See 35 U.S.C. 132(a). In the rulemaking to implement the PLT and title II of the PLTIA, the Office provided that, in order to be accorded a filing date, a nonprovisional application (other than an application for a design patent) must include a specification with or without claims. See Changes To Implement the Patent Law Treaty, 78 FR 62367, 62369 (Oct. 21, 2013) (final rule). This change was effective on December 18, 2013, and applies to any application filed under 35 U.S.C. 111 on or after December 18, 2013. Although a claim is not required in a nonprovisional application (other than an application for a design patent) for filing date purposes and the applicant may file an amendment adding additional claims as prescribed by 35 U.S.C. 112 and drawings as prescribed by 35 U.S.C. 113 later during prosecution, the applicant should consider the benefits of submitting a complete set of claims and any necessary drawings on filing of the nonprovisional application. This would reduce the likelihood that any claims and/or drawings added later during prosecution might be found to contain new matter. Also, if a patent is granted and the patentee is successful in litigation against an infringer, provisional rights to a reasonable royalty under 35 U.S.C. 154(d) may be available only if the claims that are published in the patent application publication are substantially identical to the patented claims that are infringed, assuming timely actual notice is provided. Thus, the importance of the claims that are included in the patent application publication should not be overlooked.

    Applicants are also advised that the extended missing parts period does not affect the 12-month priority period provided by the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (Paris Convention). Accordingly, any foreign filings must, in most cases, still be made within 12 months of the filing date of the provisional application if the applicant wishes to rely on the provisional application in the foreign-filed application or if protection is desired in a country requiring filing within 12 months of the earliest application for which rights are left outstanding in order to be entitled to priority.

    For additional reminders, see Pilot Program for Extended Time Period To Reply to a Notice to File Missing Parts of Nonprovisional Application, 75 FR 76401, 76405 (Dec. 8, 2010), 1362 Off. Gaz. Pat. Office 44, 50 (Jan. 4, 2011).

    Dated: December 18, 2015. Michelle K. Lee, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    [FR Doc. 2015-32469 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-16-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection Revision, Comment Request: Final Rule for Records of Commodity Interest and Related Cash or Forward Transactions AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC” or the “Commission”) is announcing an opportunity for public comment on the proposed revision to the collection of certain information by the Commission. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act (“PRA”), Federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information and to allow 60 days for public comment. The Commission recently adopted a final rule that amends the Commission Regulation dealing with records of commodity interest and related cash or forward transactions (the “Final Rule”). The Final Rule modifies some of the recordkeeping requirements that apply to certain participants in the markets regulated by the Commission. This notice solicits additional comments on the PRA implications of the amended recordkeeping requirements that are set forth in the Final Rule, including comments that address the burdens associated with the modified information collection requirements of the Final Rule.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before February 22, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by “OMB Control No. 3038-0090; Records of Commodity Interest and Related Cash or Forward Transactions Collection,” by any of the following methods:

    • The Commission's Web site, via its Comments Online process at http://comments.cftc.gov/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments through the Web site.

    Mail: Christopher Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Same as Mail above.

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

    Please submit your comments using only one method.

    All comments must be submitted in English, or if not, accompanied by an English translation. Comments will be posted as received to http://www.cftc.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Katherine Driscoll, Associate Chief Counsel, (202) 418-5544, [email protected]; August A. Imholtz III, Special Counsel, (202) 418-5140, [email protected]; or Lauren Bennett, Special Counsel, (202) 418-5290, [email protected], Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Final Rule amends Regulation 1.35(a). The collections of information related to Regulation 1.35(a) have been previously reviewed and approved by OMB in accordance with the PRA 1 and assigned OMB Control Number 3038-0090. 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 concerning each proposed collection of information before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, the CFTC is publishing notice of the proposed revision to the collection of information listed below.

    1 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    Title: Adaption of Regulations to Incorporate Swaps—Records of Transactions (OMB Control No. 3038-0090). This is a request for an extension and revision of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: The Commission amended Regulation 1.35(a) to: (1) Exclude members of designated contract markets (“DCMs”) and members of swap execution facilities (“SEFs”) that are not registered or required to register with the Commission (“Unregistered Members”) from the requirement to keep written communications that lead to the execution of a commodity interest transaction and related cash or forward transactions; (2) exclude Unregistered Members from the requirement to maintain records in a particular form and manner; (3) exclude Unregistered Members from the requirement to retain text messages; (4) exclude commodity trading advisors (“CTAs”) from the oral recordkeeping requirement; and (5) provide that all records required to be kept under the regulation must be kept in a form and manner which permits prompt, accurate and reliable location, access, and retrieval of any particular record, data, or information; and clarify that all records, except records of oral and written communications leading to the execution of a transaction in a commodity interest and related cash or forward transactions, must be kept in a form and manner that allows for identification of a particular transaction.

    With respect to the collection of information, the CFTC invites comments on:

    • Whether the proposed revision to the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information will have a practical use;

    • The accuracy of the Commission's estimate of the burden of the proposed revision to the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    • Ways to enhance the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Ways to minimize the burden of 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.

    All comments must be submitted in English, or if not, accompanied by an English translation. Comments will be posted as received to http://www.cftc.gov. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. If you wish the Commission to consider information that you believe is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, a petition for confidential treatment of the exempt information may be submitted according to the procedures established in Regulation 145.9.2

    2 17 CFR 145.9.

    The Commission reserves the right, but shall have no obligation, to review, pre-screen, filter, redact, refuse or remove any or all of your submission from http://www.cftc.gov that it may deem to be inappropriate for publication, such as obscene language. All submissions that have been redacted or removed that contain comments on the merits of the information collection request will be retained in the public comment file and will be considered as required under the Administrative Procedure Act and other applicable laws, and may be accessible under the Freedom of Information Act.

    Burden Statement: In the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Commission's preliminary estimate stated that no additional recordkeeping or information collection requirements or changes to existing collection requirements would result from the proposed amendments to Regulation 1.35(a).3 The Commission subsequently determined, however, that the amendments to Regulation 1.35(a) likely will reduce the current information collection burdens on affected market participants under OMB control number 3038-0090.

    3See Records of Commodity Interest and Related Cash or Forward Transactions, 79 FR 68140, 68144 (Nov. 4, 2014).

    1. Exclusion of Unregistered Members From Requirement To Maintain Records of Pre-Trade Written Communications

    Pursuant to the prior version of Regulation 1.35(a), which was published in 2012, Unregistered Members were required to keep written communications that lead to the execution of a commodity interest transaction and related cash or forward transactions.4 The Final Rule states that Unregistered Members are not required to keep written communications that lead to the execution of a commodity interest transaction and related cash or forward transactions. Therefore, their compliance costs, and the associated information collection burden, with respect to this particular aspect of the rule will be eliminated. The Commission estimates that this change to Regulation 1.35(a) will decrease the information collection burden under the rule by approximately one-half hour per week per entity. The Commission estimates based on select market data that there are approximately 3,200 Unregistered Members that will have their recordkeeping obligations reduced as a result of this element of the Final Rule.

    4See Adaptation of Regulations to Incorporate Swaps—Records of Transactions, 77 FR 75523 (Dec. 21, 2012) (the “2012 Rule”).

    2. Exclusion of Unregistered Members From Requirement To Maintain Records in a Particular Form and Manner

    Pursuant to the prior version of Regulation 1.35(a), which was published in 2012, Unregistered Members were required to comply with the form and manner requirements of the rule.5 The Final Rule states that Unregistered Members are not required to keep their required records in a prescribed form and manner. Therefore, their compliance costs, and the associated information collection burden, with respect to this particular aspect of the rule will be eliminated. The Commission estimates that this change to Regulation 1.35(a) will decrease the information collection burden under the rule by approximately one-half hour per month per entity. The Commission estimates based on select market data that there are approximately 3,200 Unregistered Members that will have their recordkeeping obligations reduced as a result of this element of the Final Rule.

    5Id.

    3. Exclusion of Unregistered Members From Requirement To Retain Text Messages

    The records that must be kept under Regulation 1.35 include text messages, as well as other forms of electronic records. The Final Rule amends Regulation 1.35(a) to provide that Unregistered Members are not required to maintain records of text messages.6 The Final Rule defines “text messages” as written communications sent from one telephone number to one or more telephone numbers by short message service (“SMS”) or multimedia messaging service (“MMS”). It can be difficult or cumbersome to transfer SMS and MMS messages to computers, storage devices, or storage media, and to maintain and access the messages on an ongoing basis. Therefore, the Commission believes that eliminating this requirement for Unregistered Members will reduce their recordkeeping burden by eliminating the time required to periodically transfer these messages to computers, storage devices, or storage media, as well as the time required to periodically confirm the transfer and retention of the messages. The Commission estimates that Unregistered Members would spend approximately one-half hour per month preserving and maintaining text messages in the manner described above. The Commission estimates based upon select market data that there are approximately 3,200 Unregistered Members that will have their recordkeeping obligations reduced as a result of this element of the Final Rule.

    6 Although the 2012 Rule required Unregistered Members to keep text messages, Commission staff granted Unregistered Members no-action relief from this requirement in May 2014 (see CFTC Staff Letter No. 14-72).

    4. Exclusion of CTAs From Requirement To Record Oral Communications

    Pursuant to the Final Rule, CTAs will no longer be required to record oral communications.7 In the 2012 Rule, the Commission added the requirement that certain types of firms, including CTAs that are members of a DCM or of a SEF, record all oral communications that lead to the execution of a transaction. Under the Final Rule, CTAs that are members of a DCM or of a SEF no longer have to comply with this requirement, and they therefore no longer have to administer a recording program and maintain a recording infrastructure. The Commission estimates that these CTAs would spend approximately one-half hour per week administering a recording program and maintaining recording infrastructure. The Commission estimates that there are approximately 1,175 CTAs that will have their recordkeeping obligations reduced as a result of this element of the Final Rule.8

    7 Pursuant to CFTC Staff Letter Nos. 14-60, 14-147 and 15-65, Commission staff granted no-action relief to CTAs from the requirement to record oral communications.

    8 As of November 2015, there were approximately 2,350 CTAs registered with the Commission. For the purposes of this analysis, the Commission is conservatively estimating that half of registered CTAs are members of a DCM or of a SEF.

    5. Form and Manner Requirements, in General

    Pursuant to the Final Rule, all records required to be kept under Regulation 1.35(a) must be kept in a form and manner which permit prompt, accurate and reliable location, access, and retrieval of any particular record, data, or information. In addition, the Final Rule also states that all records, except records of oral and written communications leading to the execution of a transaction in a commodity interest and related cash or forward transactions, must be kept in a form and manner that allows for identification of a particular transaction. These new requirements replace the former requirement in the previous version of the rule that required records be “identifiable and searchable by transaction.” The Commission views these revised form and manner requirements as a clarification of the prior requirements. Accordingly, the revised form and manner requirements do not increase or decrease the information collection burden for market participants that are subject to Regulation 1.35(a).

    The Commission estimates the burden of this collection of information as follows:

    Respondents/Affected Entities: Futures Commission Merchants, Retail Foreign Exchange Dealers, Introducing Brokers, and Members of a DCM or of a SEF.

    Estimated number of respondents: 6,000.

    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 319,707 hours.

    Frequency of collection: Ongoing.

    Authority:

    44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.)

    Dated: December 18, 2015. Christopher J. Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-32417 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DoD-2014-OS-0063] Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense has submitted to OMB for clearance, the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by January 25, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fred Licari, 571-372-0493.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title, Associated Form and OMB Number: Pentagon Facilities Parking Program; DD Form 1199; OMB Control Number 0704-0395.

    Type of Request: Reinstatement, with change, of a previous approved collection for which approval has expired.

    Number of Respondents: 4,200.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 4,200.

    Average Burden per Response: 5 minutes.

    Annual Burden Hours: 350.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to administer the Pentagon, Mark Center, and Suffolk Building Vehicle Parking Program where individuals are allocated parking spaces, and to ensure that unless authorized to do so, parking permit applicants do not also receive the DoD National Capital Region Public Transportation fare subsidy benefit.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Requires to obtain or retain benefits.

    OMB Desk Officer: Ms. Jasmeet Seehra.

    Comments and recommendations on the proposed information collection should be emailed to Ms. Jasmeet Seehra, DoD Desk Officer, at [email protected] Please identify the proposed information collection by DoD Desk Officer and the Docket ID number and title of the information collection.

    You may also submit comments and recommendations, identified by Docket ID number and title, by the following method:

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

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

    DoD Clearance Officer: Mr. Frederick Licari.

    Written requests for copies of the information collection proposal should be sent to Mr. Licari at WHS/ESD Directives Division, 4800 Mark Center Drive, East Tower, Suite 02G09, Alexandria, VA 22350-3100.

    Dated: December 21, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-32518 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DoD-2015-OS-0139] Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense has submitted to OMB for clearance, the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by January 25, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fred Licari, 571-372-0493.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title, Associated Form and OMB Number: Report on Voluntary Military Education Programs Advertising and Marketing; OMB Control Number 0704-XXXX.

    Type of Request: Emergency.

    Number of Respondents: 10.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 10.

    Average Burden per Response: 24.

    Annual Burden Hours: 240.

    Needs and Uses: The report on Voluntary Military Education Programs—Advertising and Marketing was requested in the FY14 Consolidated Appropriations Joint Explanatory Statement for the FY14 National Defense Authorization Act, page 31. Specifically, the report requested an assessment of the Department's oversight, evaluation, and enforcement of the DoD MOU referencing the provisions enacted to eliminate aggressive marketing targeting of Service members and their spouses to include a voluntary reporting of institutional data on advertising and marketing budgets. The data collected will be used to respond to the Congressional request.

    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.

    Frequency: One time.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    OMB Desk Officer: Ms. Jasmeet Seehra.

    Comments and recommendations on the proposed information collection should be emailed to Ms. Jasmeet Seehra, DoD Desk Officer, at [email protected] Please identify the proposed information collection by DoD Desk Officer and the Docket ID number and title of the information collection.

    You may also submit comments and recommendations, identified by Docket ID number and title, by the following method:

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

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

    DoD Clearance Officer: Mr. Frederick Licari.

    Written requests for copies of the information collection proposal should be sent to Mr. Licari at WHS/ESD Directives Division, 4800 Mark Center Drive, East Tower, Suite 02G09, Alexandria, VA 22350-3100.

    Dated: December 18, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-32350 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers Notice of Availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Upper Llagas Creek Project Flood Protection Project in Santa Clara County, California AGENCY:

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is issuing this notice to advise the public that a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS) has been completed and is available for review and comment.

    DATES:

    In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), we have filed the Draft EIS with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for publication of their notice of availability in the Federal Register. The EPA notice officially starts the 45-day review period for this document. It is the goal of the USACE to have this notice published on the same date as the EPA notice. However, if that does not occur, the date of the EPA notice will determine the closing date for comments on the Draft EIS. Comments on the Draft EIS must be submitted to the address below under Further Contact Information and must be received no later than 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, Monday, February 8, 2016.

    Scoping: A Scoping Meeting was held in Morgan Hill, California on October 25th, 2012, to gather information for the preparation of the Draft EIS. Public notices will be posted in Santa Clara County libraries, and emailed and air-mailed to current stakeholder lists with notification of the public meetings and requesting input and comments on issues that should be addressed in the Draft EIS.

    A public meeting for this Draft EIS will be held on Wednesday, January 20, 2016 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Morgan Hill Community and Cultural Center, El Toro Room, 17000 Monterey Street, Morgan Hill, California 95037. The purpose of this public meeting is to provide the public the opportunity to comment, either orally or in writing, on the Draft EIS. Notification of the meeting will be announced following same format as the Scoping Meetings announcements.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Draft EIS can be viewed online at: http://www.spn.usace.army.mil/missions/regulatory/regulatoryoverview.aspx

    Copies of the Draft EIS are also available for review at the following libraries:

    Santa Clara Valley Library District, Morgan Hill Library, 660 West Main Ave., Morgan Hill, CA 95037 Santa Clara Valley Library District, Gilroy Library, 350 W. Sixth Street, Gilroy, CA 95020 San Jose Public Library, King Library, 150 E. San Fernando St., San Jose, CA 95112
    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Tori White, Acting Chief, Regulatory Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, San Francisco District, 1455 Market Street, 16th Floor, San Francisco, California 94103-1398, Telephone: 415-503-6768, Fax: 415-503-6795.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD) proposes to construct flood conveyance features and to deepen and widen Upper Llagas Creek in Santa Clara County, California. The action area identified in the Draft EIS includes 6.1 miles of the mainstem of Llagas, 2.8 miles along West Little Llagas Creek; and, 3.4 miles along a tributary of Llagas Creek, known as East Little Llagas Creek. An additional 1.6 miles of new channel would also be constructed along West Little Llagas Creek to Llagas Creek. Additionally, wetland creation and stream restoration also requires construction in waters of the US and includes filling an abandoned quarry pit, Lake Silveira to create wetlands and reestablishing flows in 2000 linear of feet of Llagas Creek. Construction activities would include channel modifications (e.g. widening and deepening), installation/replacement grade control structures, constructing or replacing culverts, installing maintenance roads and access ramps, upgrading bridge crossings and construction of a diversion channel. As proposed, the project would result in approximately 44.82 acres of temporary and 3.81 acres of permanent impacts to waters of the United States. The SCVWD would need to obtain a Department of the Army permit pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act from the USACE. This Draft Environmental Impact Statement evaluates the environmental effects of 5 alternatives including the, the Applicant's Proposed Action (Tunnel Alternative), NRCS Alternative, Culvert/Channel Alternative, Reach 6 Bypass Alternative, and the no action alternative.

    Dated: December 18, 2015. Tori White, Acting Chief, Regulatory Division.
    [FR Doc. 2015-32458 Filed 12-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3720-58-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records AGENCY:

    Office of the Chief Information Officer, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice of altered and deleted systems of records under the Privacy Act of 1974.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (Privacy Act), the Department of Education (Department) publishes this notice to amend the systems of records entitled “Debarment and Suspension Proceedings under Executive Order (EO) 12549, the Drug-Free Workplace Act, and the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)” (18-03-01)(Debarment and Suspension Proceedings system) and “Education's Central Automated Processing System (EDCAPS)” (18-03-02). The Department deletes two systems of records entitled “Receivables Management System” (18-03-03) and the “Travel Manager System” (18-03-05) from its existing inventory of systems of records subject to the Privacy Act.

    For the Debarment and Suspension Proceedings system, this notice updates the system location; the authority for maintenance of the system; the routine uses of records maintained in the system; the policies and practices for storing, retrieving, accessing, retaining, and disposing of records in the system (specifically the retention and disposal of system records); the safeguards that protect the records in the system; and the system managers and addresses.

    For the EDCAPS system, this notice updates the system location; the categories of individuals covered by the system; the categories of records in the system; the authority for maintenance of the system; purposes of the system; the routine uses of records maintained in the system; the policies and practices for storing, retrieving, accessing, retaining, and disposing of records in the system; and the system managers and addresses.

    The Department identifies the system of records “Receivables Management System” (18-03-03), as published in the Federal Register on June 4, 1999 (64 FR 30106, 30116-18) to be deleted because the records on individuals who are covered by this system of records are maintained in the Department's EDCAPS system of records (18-04-04). The Department also identifies the system of records “Travel Manager System” (18-03-05), as published in the Federal Register on February 7, 2002 (67 FR 5908-10), to be deleted because the Department migrated to the General Services Administration's (GSA's) Contracted Travel Services Program on October 2, 2006, and consequently the Department's system has been replaced by the GSA's Government wide system of records notice entitled “Contracted Travel Services Program” (GSA/GOVT-4), as published in the Federal Register on June 3, 2009 (74 FR 26700-702).

    DATES:

    Submit your comments on this notice of altered and deleted systems of records on or before January 25, 2016.

    The Department filed a report describing the alterations to the Debarment and Suspension Proceedings and the EDCAPS systems of records with the Chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the Chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on [DRS/OGC WILL INSERT DATE TRANSMITTAL LETTERS ARE SENT]. The alterations to the Debarment and Suspension Proceedings and EDCAPS systems of records will become effective at the later date of (1) The expiration of the 40-day period for OMB review on [DRS WILL INSERT DATE 40 DAYS AFTER THE DATE TRANSMITTAL LETTERS ARE SENT], unless OMB waives 10 days of the 40-day review period for compelling reasons shown by the Department; or (2) January 25, 2016, unless the altered Debarment and Suspension Proceedings or EDCAPS systems of records needs to be changed as a result of public comment or OMB review.

    ADDRESSES:

    Address all comments about the Debarment and Suspension Proceedings system to Philip A. Maestri, Director, Risk Management Service, Office of the Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20202-5970. If you prefer to send comments by email, use the following address: [email protected]

    You must include the term “Debarment and Suspension Proceedings” in the subject line of your email.

    Address all comments about the EDCAPS system to Greg Robison, Director, Financial Systems Services, Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), U.S. Department of Education, 550 12th St. SW., PCP, Room 9150, Washington, DC 20202-1100. If you prefer to send comments by email, use the following address: [email protected]

    You must include the term “EDCAPS” in the subject line of your email.

    During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public comments about this notice at the U.S. Department of Education between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Eastern time, Monday through Friday of each week except Federal holidays. To inspect the public comments, contact the appropriate persons listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Assistance to Individuals With Disabilities in Reviewing the Rulemaking Record

    On request we will provide an appropriate accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability who needs assistance to review the comments or other documents in the public rulemaking record for this notice. To schedule an appointment for this type of aid, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For Debarment and Suspension Proceedings, Philip A. Maestri, Director, Risk Management Service, Office of the Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20202-5970. Telephone: (202) 245-8278.

    For EDCAPS, Greg Robison, Director, Financial Systems Services, OCIO, U.S. Department of Education, 550 12th St. SW., PCP, room 9150, Washington, DC 20202-1100. Telephone: (202) 245-7187.

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or text telephone (TTY), you may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Introduction

    The Privacy Act requires the Department to publish in the Federal Register this notice of altered and deleted systems of records (5 U.S.C. 552a(e)(4). The Department's regulations implementing the Privacy Act are contained in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) in 34 CFR part 5b.

    The Privacy Act applies to a record about an individual that contains individually identifying information that is retrieved by a unique identifier associated with each individual, such as a name or Social Security number (SSN). The information about each individual is called a “record,” and the system, whether manual or computer based, is called a “system of records.”

    Whenever the Department makes a significant change to an established system of records, the Privacy Act requires the Department to publish a notice of an altered system of records in the Federal Register and to prepare and send a report to the Chair of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives, the Chair of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate, and the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB. These reports are intended to permit an evaluation of the probable effect of the proposal on the privacy rights of individuals.

    A change to a system of records is considered to be a significant change that must be reported whenever an agency expands the types or categories of information maintained, significantly expands the number, types, or categories of individuals about whom records are maintained, changes the purpose for which the information is used, changes the equipment configuration in a way that creates substantially greater access to the records, or adds a routine use disclosure to the system.

    DEBARMENT AND SUSPENSION PROCEEDINGS SYSTEM (18-03-01)

    Since the last publication of the Debarment and Suspension Proceedings system of records in the Federal Register on June 4, 1999 (64 FR 30106, 30112-114), we have identified a number of technical changes that are needed to update and accurately describe the current system of records. Under EO 12549, Debarment and Suspension, executive departments and agencies participate in a system for debarment and suspension from programs and activities involving Federal financial or non-financial assistance and benefits. Debarment or suspension of a participant in a program by one agency has a Governmentwide effect. This system of records facilitates the performance by the Department of this statutory duty because it contains documents relating to debarment and suspension proceedings, including: Written referrals; notices of suspensions and proposed debarments; respondents' responses to notices and other communications between the Department and respondents; court documents, including indictments, information, judgments of conviction, plea agreements, prosecutorial offers of evidence to be produced at trial, pre-sentencing reports and civil judgments; intra-agency and inter-agency communications regarding proposed or completed debarments or suspensions; and records of an