Federal Register Vol. 80, No.33,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 33 (February 19, 2015)

Page Range8767-9187
FR Document

80_FR_33
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 8947 - Open Meeting of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Joint CommitteePDF
80 FR 8948 - Open Meeting of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Notices and Correspondence Project CommitteePDF
80 FR 8949 - Open Meeting of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Toll-Free Phone Line Project CommitteePDF
80 FR 8948 - Open Meeting of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Taxpayer Assistance Center Improvements Project CommitteePDF
80 FR 8870 - Notice of Agreements FiledPDF
80 FR 8898 - Notice of Termination of the Environmental Impact Statement for a Chronic Wasting Disease Management Plan for Shenandoah National Park, VirginiaPDF
80 FR 8894 - North Cascades Ecosystem Grizzly Bear Restoration Plan/Environmental Impact Statement, WashingtonPDF
80 FR 8946 - Railroad Cost Recovery Procedures-Productivity AdjustmentPDF
80 FR 8921 - Culturally Significant Object Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “International Pop” ExhibitionPDF
80 FR 8921 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Ships, Clocks & Stars: The Quest for Longitude”PDF
80 FR 8921 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Sultans of Deccan India, 1500-1700: Opulence and Fantasy”PDF
80 FR 8902 - Importer of Controlled Substances Application: Mylan Technologies, Inc.PDF
80 FR 8901 - Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Application: Johnson Matthey, Inc.PDF
80 FR 8902 - Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Application: Johnson Matthey, Inc.PDF
80 FR 8901 - Bulk Manufacturer of Controlled Substances Application: Navinta LLCPDF
80 FR 8903 - Importer of Controlled Substances Registration: Research Triangle InstitutePDF
80 FR 8778 - Gulf of the Farallones and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuaries Regulations on Introduced SpeciesPDF
80 FR 8922 - Public Notice for Waiver of Aeronautical Land-Use AssurancePDF
80 FR 8838 - National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants; Delegation of Authority to Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control BoardPDF
80 FR 8799 - New Source Performance Standards and National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants; Delegation of Authority to Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control BoardPDF
80 FR 8902 - Importer of Controlled Substances Registration: United States Pharmacopeial ConventionPDF
80 FR 8849 - Tapered Roller Bearings and Parts Thereof, Finished and Unfinished, From the People's Republic of China: Rescission, in Part, of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014PDF
80 FR 8868 - Tentative Approval and Solicitation of Request for a Public Hearing for Public Water System Supervision Program Revision for Puerto RicoPDF
80 FR 8907 - SGS North America, Inc.: Grant of Expansion of RecognitionPDF
80 FR 8948 - Open Meeting of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Taxpayer Communications Project CommitteePDF
80 FR 8947 - Open Meeting of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Special Projects CommitteePDF
80 FR 8850 - Agency Information Collection Activities Under OMB ReviewPDF
80 FR 8948 - Open Meeting of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Tax Forms and Publications Project CommitteePDF
80 FR 8925 - Crash Weighting Research FindingsPDF
80 FR 8787 - Revisions to the Air Emissions Reporting Requirements: Revisions to Lead (Pb) Reporting Threshold and Clarifications to Technical Reporting DetailsPDF
80 FR 8845 - San Juan National Forest; Colorado; Weminuche Landscape Grazing AnalysisPDF
80 FR 8897 - Filing of Plats of Survey: CaliforniaPDF
80 FR 8846 - Lewis and Clark National Forest, Montana, Castle Mountains Restoration ProjectPDF
80 FR 8922 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Request for Comments for Periodic Information CollectionPDF
80 FR 8927 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; VisionPDF
80 FR 8926 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes MellitusPDF
80 FR 8951 - Proposed Information Collection (Applications and Appraisals for Employment for Title 38 Positions and Trainees); Activity: Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 8860 - Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 8855 - Applications for New Awards; Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program-Short-Term ProjectsPDF
80 FR 8867 - Notification of a Face-to-Face Meeting and a Teleconference of the Science Advisory Board Biogenic Carbon Emissions PanelPDF
80 FR 8816 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Vessels Using Pot Gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of AlaskaPDF
80 FR 8950 - Proposed Information Collection (IL Assessment) Activity: Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 8863 - Utah Red Hills Renewable Park, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 8864 - Northern Indiana Public Service Company; Notice of Application for Amendment of License, Modifying Abnormal River Conditions Under Article 405, and Reservoir Surface Elevations Under Article 403 and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene and ProtestsPDF
80 FR 8867 - Notice of Commission Staff AttendancePDF
80 FR 8861 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 8866 - Panola Pipeline Company, LLC; Notice of Petition for Declaratory OrderPDF
80 FR 8864 - Zone One Energy, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 8864 - Chubu TT Energy Management Inc.; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 8866 - Northern Indiana Public Service Company v. Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. and PJM Interconnection, LLC; Notice of Request for CommentsPDF
80 FR 8860 - Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company; Notice of ApplicationPDF
80 FR 8861 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
80 FR 8862 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
80 FR 8838 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; North and South Atlantic 2015 Commercial Swordfish QuotasPDF
80 FR 8946 - Railroad Cost of Capital-2014PDF
80 FR 8929 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes MellitusPDF
80 FR 8871 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
80 FR 8871 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
80 FR 8952 - Agency Information Collection (Appeal to Board of Veterans' Appeals) Activity Under OMB ReviewPDF
80 FR 8897 - Filing of Plats of Survey: Oregon/WashingtonPDF
80 FR 8908 - Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation; Proposed Renewal of Existing Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 8874 - Memorandum of Understanding Addressing Certain Distributions of Compounded Human Drug Products Between the States and the Food and Drug Administration; New Proposed Draft; AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 8872 - Adverse Event Reporting for Outsourcing Facilities Under Section 503B of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; Draft Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 8881 - Mixing, Diluting, or Repackaging Biological Products Outside the Scope of an Approved Biologics License Application; Draft Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 8884 - Repackaging of Certain Human Drug Products by Pharmacies and Outsourcing Facilities; Draft Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 8871 - Guidance for Entities Considering Whether To Register as Outsourcing Facilities Under Section 503B of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; Draft Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 8946 - Departmental Offices; Submission for OMB Review, Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 8943 - Reports, Forms, and Recordkeeping RequirementsPDF
80 FR 8940 - Reports, Forms, and Recordkeeping RequirementsPDF
80 FR 8942 - Reports, Forms and Record Keeping Requirements; Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB ReviewPDF
80 FR 8849 - MeetingsPDF
80 FR 8900 - Notice of Lodging Proposed Consent DecreePDF
80 FR 8898 - Notice of Proposed Information Collection; Request for Comments for 1029-0129PDF
80 FR 8817 - Tart Cherries Grown in the States of Michigan, et al.; Free and Restricted Percentages for the 2014-15 Crop Year for Tart CherriesPDF
80 FR 8913 - Investment Company Act of 1940PDF
80 FR 8917 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Options Clearing Corporation; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change Concerning Extended and Overnight Trading SessionsPDF
80 FR 8913 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BOX Options Exchange, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Regarding the Acceptance of the Transfer, by Citadel Securities, LLC (“Citadel Securities”) to Its Affiliate, Citadel Securities Principal Investments, LLC, of Citadel Securities' Ownership Interest in BOX Options Exchange, LLC and BOX Holdings Group, LLC, an Affiliate of the ExchangePDF
80 FR 8916 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Y-Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to Fees for Use of BATS Y-Exchange, Inc.PDF
80 FR 8843 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 8870 - Information Collections Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission Under Delegated AuthorityPDF
80 FR 8869 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
80 FR 8909 - Hispanic Council on Federal EmploymentPDF
80 FR 8899 - Notice of Proposed Information Collection; Request for Comments for 1029-0059PDF
80 FR 8909 - Submission for Review: Assignment, Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Program, RI 76-10, 3206-XXXXPDF
80 FR 8844 - Sorghum Promotion, Research, and Information Program: ReferendumPDF
80 FR 8910 - Excepted ServicePDF
80 FR 8807 - International Fisheries; Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; Fishing Restrictions Regarding the Oceanic Whitetip Shark, the Whale Shark, and the Silky SharkPDF
80 FR 8852 - 36(b)(1) Arms Sales NotificationPDF
80 FR 8848 - Basin Electric Power Cooperative: Notice of Extension of Public Comment Period for an Environmental AssessmentPDF
80 FR 8900 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Extension of a Currently Approved Collection; Claim for Damage, Injury, or DeathPDF
80 FR 8886 - Submission for OMB Review; 30-Day Comment Request; Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) (NCI)PDF
80 FR 8896 - Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for PermitPDF
80 FR 8940 - Request for Comments of a Previously Approved Information CollectionPDF
80 FR 8949 - Proposed Information Collection (Application for Fee or Roster Personnel Designation) Activity: Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 8944 - Pipeline Safety: Information Collection Activities, Renewal of Annual Report for Hazardous Liquid Pipeline SystemsPDF
80 FR 8852 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 8950 - Proposed Information Collection (Expanded Access to Non-VA Care Through the Veterans Choice Program) Activity: Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 8847 - Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 8851 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 8849 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 8889 - National Cancer Institute; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 8887 - National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 8887 - National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 8888 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 8897 - Notice of Intent To Grant an Exclusive LicensePDF
80 FR 8941 - Notice and Request for CommentsPDF
80 FR 8787 - Safety Zone, Sag Harbor COC Winter Harbor Frost Fireworks, Sag Harbor, NYPDF
80 FR 8892 - Port Access Route Study: In the Chukchi Sea, Bering Strait and Bering SeaPDF
80 FR 8891 - Cooperative Research and Development Agreement: Western Rivers e-AtoN Technology DemonstrationPDF
80 FR 8889 - Cooperative Research and Development Agreement-Robotic Aircraft for Maritime Public SafetyPDF
80 FR 8952 - Advisory Committee: National Academic Affiliations Council Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 8821 - Airworthiness Directives; SOCATA AirplanesPDF
80 FR 8824 - Special Local Regulation; Charleston Race Week, Charleston Harbor, Charleston, SCPDF
80 FR 8945 - Delayed ApplicationsPDF
80 FR 9126 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Removing the Oregon Chub From the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened WildlifePDF
80 FR 9078 - Amendments Related to: Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards, Nonroad Engine and Equipment Programs, and MARPOL Annex VI ImplementationPDF
80 FR 8826 - Amendments Related to: Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards, Nonroad Engine and Equipment Programs, and MARPOL Annex VI ImplementationPDF
80 FR 8956 - Clean Water Act Methods Update Rule for the Analysis of EffluentPDF
80 FR 9152 - Commercial Diving OperationsPDF
80 FR 8767 - 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)PDF

Issue

80 33 Thursday, February 19, 2015 Contents Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service PROPOSED RULES Tart Cherries Grown in the States of Michigan, et al.: Free and Restricted Percentages for the 2014-15 Crop Year for Tart Cherries, 8817-8821 2015-03406 NOTICES Sorghum Promotion, Research, and Information Programs: Referendum, 8844-8845 2015-03392 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

See

Forest Service

See

Rural Utilities Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 8843-8844 2015-03394 2015-03399
Architectural Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board NOTICES Meetings: Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, 8849 2015-03410 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection RULES Integrated Mortgage Disclosures and Loan Originator Rules: Official Interpretations, 8767-8778 2015-01321 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Safety Zones: Sag Harbor COC Winter Harbor Frost Fireworks, Sag Harbor, NY, 8787 2015-03333 PROPOSED RULES Commercial Diving Operations, 9152-9187 2015-02714 Special Local Regulations: Charleston Race Week, Charleston Harbor, Charleston, SC, 8824-8826 2015-03075 NOTICES Cooperative Research and Development Agreements: Robotic Aircraft for Maritime Public Safety, 8889-8891 2015-03327 Western Rivers e-AtoN Technology Demonstration, 8891-8892 2015-03328 Port Access Route Study: Chukchi Sea, Bering Strait and Bering Sea, 8892-8894 2015-03332 Commerce Commerce Department See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 8849 2015-03347
Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 8850-8851 2015-03473 Defense Department Defense Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 8851, 8852 2015-03348 2015-03357 Arms Sales, 8852-8855 2015-03387 Department of Transportation See

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

Drug Drug Enforcement Administration NOTICES Bulk Manufacturers of Controlled Substances; Applications: Johnson Matthey, Inc., Conshohocken, PA, 8902 2015-03491 Johnson Matthey, Inc., West Deptford, NJ, 8901 2015-03492 Navinta LLC, Ewing, NJ, 8901-8902 2015-03489 Importers of Controlled Substances; Applications: Mylan Technologies, Inc., Saint Albans, VT, 8902 2015-03493 Importers of Controlled Substances; Registrations: Research Triangle Institute, Research Triangle Park, NC, 8903-8907 2015-03487 United States Pharmacopeial Convention, Rockville, MD, 8902-8903 2015-03481 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Applications for New Awards: Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program; Short-Term Projects, 8855-8860 2015-03453 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

NOTICES Meetings: Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee, 8860 2015-03454
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES New Source Performance Standards and National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board; Delegation of Authority, 8799-8807 2015-03482 Revisions to Air Emissions Reporting Requirements: Revisions to Lead (Pb) Reporting Threshold and Clarifications to Technical Reporting Details, 8787-8799 2015-03470 Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards, Nonroad Engine and Equipment Programs, and MARPOL Annex VI Implementation, 9078-9124 2015-02846 PROPOSED RULES National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants: Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board; Delegation of Authority, 8838 2015-03483 Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards, Nonroad Engine and Equipment Programs, and MARPOL Annex VI Implementation, 8826-8838 2015-02845 Updated Methods for the Analysis of Effluent under The Clean Water Act, 8956-9075 2015-02841 NOTICES Meetings: Science Advisory Board Biogenic Carbon Emissions Panel, 8867-8868 2015-03452 Tentative Approval and Solicitation of Request for a Public Hearing: Public Water System Supervision Program Revision for Puerto Rico, 8868-8869 2015-03477 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: SOCATA Airplanes, 8821-8824 2015-03163 NOTICES Waivers of Aeronautical Land-Use Assurance, 8922 2015-03485 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 8869, 8870 2015-03397 2015-03398 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Applications: Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co., 8860-8861 2015-03437 Combined Filings, 8861-8863 2015-03435 2015-03436 2015-03442 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: Chubu TT Energy Management, Inc., 8864 2015-03439 Utah Red Hills Renewable Park, LLC, 8863-8864 2015-03445 Zone One Energy, LLC, 8864 2015-03440 License Amendment Applications: Northern Indiana Public Service Co., 8864-8866 2015-03444 Petitions for Declaratory Orders: Panola Pipeline Co., LLC, 8866 2015-03441 Requests for Comments: Northern Indiana Public Service Co. v. Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., and PJM Interconnection, LLC, 8866-8867 2015-03438 Staff Attendances, 8867 2015-03443 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 8922-8925 2015-03462 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission NOTICES Agreements Filed, 8870-8871 2015-03506 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Crash Weighting Research Findings, 8925-8926 2015-03471 Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications: Diabetes Mellitus, 8926-8927, 8929-8940 2015-03428 2015-03459 Vision, 8927-8929 2015-03461 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Changes in Bank Control: Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company, 8871 2015-03426 Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 8871 2015-03427 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service RULES Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Oregon Chub; Removal From the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife, 9126-9150 2015-02951 NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: North Cascades Ecosystem Grizzly Bear, Washington; Restoration Plan, 8894-8895 2015-03504 Permits: Endangered Species, 8896-8897 2015-03381 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Guidance: Adverse Event Reporting for Outsourcing Facilities; Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, 8872-8874 2015-03419 Entities Considering Whether To Register as Outsourcing Facilities, 8871-8872 2015-03416 Memorandum of Understanding Addressing Certain Distributions of Compounded Human Drug Products Between the States and the Food and Drug Administration, 8874-8881 2015-03420 Mixing, Diluting, or Repackaging Biological Products Outside the Scope of an Approved Biologics License Application, 8881-8884 2015-03418 Repackaging of Certain Human Drug Products by Pharmacies and Outsourcing Facilities, 8884-8886 2015-03417 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Castle Mountains Restoration Project, Lewis and Clark National Forest, MT, 8846-8847 2015-03466 San Juan National Forest, CO; Weminuche Landscape Grazing Analysis, 8845-8846 2015-03469 Geological Geological Survey NOTICES Exclusive Licenses, 8897 2015-03339 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Geological Survey

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

See

Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service NOTICES Meetings: Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Joint Committee, 8947 2015-03512 Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Notices and Correspondence Project Committee, 8948 2015-03511 Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Tax Forms and Publications Project Committee, 8948 2015-03472 Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Taxpayer Assistance Center Improvements Project Committee, 8948-8949 2015-03507 Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Taxpayer Communications Project Committee, 8947-8948 2015-03474 2015-03475 Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Toll-Free Phone Line Project Committee, 8949 2015-03510 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Tapered Roller Bearings and Parts Thereof, Finished and Unfinished, From the People's Republic of China, 8849-8850 2015-03480 Justice Department Justice Department See

Drug Enforcement Administration

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Claim for Damage, Injury, or Death, 8900 2015-03383 Proposed Consent Decrees, 8900-8901 2015-03409
Labor Department Labor Department See

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

See

Workers Compensation Programs Office

Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Plats of Surveys: California, 8897 2015-03468 Oregon/Washington, 8897-8898 2015-03423 Maritime Maritime Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 8940 2015-03369 National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 8940-8944 2015-03335 2015-03411 2015-03412 2015-03413 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Health Information National Trends Survey, 8886-8887 2015-03382 Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 8888-8889 2015-03343 National Cancer Institute, 8889 2015-03346 National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 8887-8888 2015-03344 2015-03345 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Pacific Cod by Vessels Using Pot Gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska, 8816 2015-03447 International Fisheries: Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; Fishing Restrictions Regarding the Oceanic Whitetip Shark, the Whale Shark, and the Silky Shark, 8807-8816 2015-03388 Introduced Species: Gulf of the Farallones and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuaries, 8778-8787 2015-03486 PROPOSED RULES Atlantic Highly Migratory Species: North and South Atlantic 2015 Commercial Swordfish Quotas, 8838-8842 2015-03432 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Chronic Wasting Disease Management Plan for Shenandoah National Park, VA; Termination, 8898 2015-03505 North Cascades Ecosystem Grizzly Bear, Washington; Restoration Plan, 8894-8895 2015-03504 Occupational Safety Health Adm Occupational Safety and Health Administration NOTICES Expansions of Recognition: SGS North America, Inc., 8907-8908 2015-03476 Personnel Personnel Management Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Assignment, Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance Program, 8909 2015-03393 Charter Renewals: Hispanic Council on Federal Employment, 8909-8910 2015-03396 Excepted Service, 8910-8913 2015-03390 Pipeline Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Pipeline Safety: Renewal of Annual Report for Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Systems, 8944-8945 2015-03360 Delayed Applications, 8945-8946 2015-02986 Rural Utilities Rural Utilities Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 8847-8848 2015-03349 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Basin Electric Power Cooperative, 8848 2015-03385 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Exemptions under the Investment Company Act, 8913 2015-03404 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: BATS Y-Exchange, Inc., 8916-8917 2015-03401 BOX Options Exchange, LLC, 8913-8916 2015-03402 Options Clearing Corp., 8917-8921 2015-03403 State Department State Department NOTICES Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition: International Pop, 8921 2015-03498 Ships, Clocks and Stars: The Quest for Longitude, 8921 2015-03497 Sultans of Deccan India, 1500-1700: Opulence and Fantasy, 8921-8922 2015-03496 Surface Mining Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 8898-8900 2015-03395 2015-03408 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Productivity Adjustments: Railroad Cost Recovery Procedures, 8946 2015-03501 Railroad Cost of Capital, 8946 2015-03430 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Maritime Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

See

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

See

Surface Transportation Board

Treasury Treasury Department See

Internal Revenue Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 8946-8947 2015-03415
Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Appeal to Board of Veterans' Appeals, 8952 2015-03425 Application for Fee or Roster Personnel Designation, 8949 2015-03367 Applications and Appraisals for Employment for Title 38 Positions and Trainees, 8951-8952 2015-03455 Expanded Access to Non-VA Care Through the Veterans Choice Program, 8950 2015-03354 IL Assessment, 8950-8951 2015-03446 Meetings: National Academic Affiliations Council, 8952-8953 2015-03324 Workers' Workers Compensation Programs Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation, 8908-8909 2015-03422 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Environmental Protection Agency, 8956-9075 2015-02841 Part III Environmental Protection Agency, 9078-9124 2015-02846 Part IV Interior Department, Fish and Wildlife Service, 9126-9150 2015-02951 Part V Homeland Security Department, Coast Guard, 9152-9187 2015-02714 Reader Aids

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80 33 Thursday, February 19, 2015 Rules and Regulations BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION 12 CFR Parts 1024 and 1026 [Docket No. CFPB-2014-0028] RIN 3170-AA48 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) AGENCY:

Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

ACTION:

Final rule; Official Interpretations.

SUMMARY:

This final rule modifies the 2013 TILA-RESPA Final Rule. This rule extends the timing requirement for revised disclosures when consumers lock a rate or extend a rate lock after the Loan Estimate is provided and permits certain language related to construction loans for transactions involving new construction on the Loan Estimate. This rule also amends the 2013 Loan Originator Final Rule to provide for placement of the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry ID (NMLSR ID) on the integrated disclosures. Additionally, the Bureau is making non-substantive corrections, including citation and cross-reference updates and wording changes for clarification purposes, to various provisions of Regulations X and Z as amended or adopted by the 2013 TILA-RESPA Final Rule.

DATES:

The rule is effective August 1, 2015. The final rule applies to transactions for which the creditor or mortgage broker receives an application on or after August 1, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jaydee DiGiovanni, Policy and Procedure Analyst; Richard Arculin and David Friend, Counsels; Office of Regulations at (202) 435-7700.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Summary of Final Rule

In November 2013, pursuant to sections 1098 and 1100A of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act), the Bureau issued the Integrated Mortgage Disclosures under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) (2013 TILA-RESPA Final Rule),1 combining certain disclosures that consumers receive in connection with applying for and closing on a mortgage loan.

1 78 FR 79730 (Dec. 31, 2013).

On October 10, 2014, the Bureau proposed several amendments to Regulation Z provisions adopted by the 2013 TILA-RESPA Final Rule 2 (the proposal):

2 79 FR 64336 (Oct. 29, 2014).

• To extend the timing requirement for creditors to provide a revised Loan Estimate to consumers when consumers lock a rate or extend a rate lock after the Loan Estimate is provided. The 2013 TILA-RESPA Final Rule requires creditors to provide a revised Loan Estimate with the revised interest rate, the points disclosed pursuant to § 1026.37(f)(1), lender credits, and any other interest rate dependent charges and terms on the date the interest rate is locked. The Bureau proposed to extend the timing requirement to the next business day after the rate is locked.

• To provide for the placement on the Loan Estimate form of language relating to construction loans in transactions involving new construction that is required in order for creditors to redisclose estimated charges.

• To make non-substantive corrections, including minor wording changes, corrected or updated citations and cross-references, in the regulation and commentary adopted by the 2013 TILA-RESPA Final Rule.

• The Bureau also proposed to amend the 2013 Loan Originator Final Rule 3 to provide for placement of the NMLSR ID on the integrated disclosures.

3 78 FR 11280 (Feb. 15, 2013).

With respect to the proposal to allow creditors to redisclose the Loan Estimate one business day after the interest rate is locked, the Bureau is extending the timing requirement to three business days after the rate is locked. With respect to all other aspects of the proposal, the Bureau is adopting the amendments as proposed. The Bureau also is adopting additional, non-substantive corrections identified since the proposal was issued.

II. Background A. The Integrated Disclosures Rulemaking

In July 2010, the Dodd-Frank Act was enacted. The Dodd-Frank Act transferred rulemaking authority under both TILA and RESPA to the Bureau. In addition, Dodd-Frank Act sections 1032(f), 1098, and 1100A mandated that the Bureau establish a single disclosure scheme for use by lenders or creditors in complying with the disclosure requirements of both RESPA and TILA. Section 1098(2) of the Dodd-Frank Act amended RESPA section 4(a) to require that the Bureau publish a single, integrated disclosure for mortgage loan transactions, including “the disclosure requirements of this section and section 5, in conjunction with the disclosure requirements of [TILA]. . . .” 4 Similarly, section 1100A(5) of the Dodd-Frank Act amended TILA section 105(b) to require that the Bureau publish a single, integrated disclosure for mortgage loan transactions, including “the disclosure requirements of this title in conjunction with the disclosure requirements of [RESPA]. . . .” 5 The Dodd-Frank Act required the Bureau to issue for public comment rules and model disclosures that integrated the TILA and RESPA disclosures by July 21, 2012.6

4 12 U.S.C. 2603(a).

5 15 U.S.C. 1604(b). The amendments to RESPA and TILA mandating a “single, integrated disclosure” are among numerous conforming amendments to existing Federal laws found in subtitle H of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010. Subtitle C of the Consumer Financial Protection Act, “Specific Bureau Authorities,” codified at 12 U.S.C. chapter 53, subchapter V, part C, contains a similar provision. Specifically, section 1032(f) of the Dodd-Frank Act provides that, by July 21, 2012, the Bureau “shall propose for public comment rules and model disclosures that combine the disclosures required under [TILA] and sections 4 and 5 of [RESPA] into a single, integrated disclosure for mortgage loan transactions covered by those laws, unless the Bureau determines that any proposal issued by the [Board] and [HUD] carries out the same purpose.” 12 U.S.C. 5532(f). The Bureau issued the 2012 TILA-RESPA Proposal pursuant to that mandate and the parallel mandates established by the conforming amendments to RESPA and TILA, discussed above.

6 12 U.S.C. 5532(f).

The Bureau issued proposed integrated disclosure forms and rules for public comment on July 9, 2012 (the 2012 TILA-RESPA Proposal).7 On December 31, 2013, more than 17 years after Congress first directed the Federal Reserve Board and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to integrate the disclosures under TILA and RESPA, the Bureau published the 2013 TILA-RESPA Final Rule.8

7See Press Release, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, CFPB proposes “Know Before You Owe” Mortgage Forms (July 9, 2012), available at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/pressreleases/consumer-financial-protection-bureau-proposes-know-before-you-owe-mortgage-forms/; CFPB Mortgage Disclosure Team, CFPB Blog, Know Before You Owe: Introducing our proposed mortgage disclosure forms (July 9, 2012), available at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/blog/know-before-you-owe-introducing-our-proposed-mortgage-disclosure-forms/.

8 78 FR 79730 (Dec. 31, 2013).

B. Implementation Support

In early 2014, the Bureau initiated efforts to support industry implementation of the 2013 TILA-RESPA Final Rule. These on-going efforts include: (1) The publication of a plain-language compliance guide and guide to forms to help industry understand the new rules, including updates to the guides, as needed; (2) the publication of a readiness guide for institutions to evaluate their readiness and facilitate compliance with the new rules; (3) the publication of a disclosure timeline that illustrates the process and timing requirements of the new disclosure rules; (4) an ongoing series of webinars to address common interpretive questions; (5) roundtable meetings with industry, including creditors, settlement service providers, and technology vendors, to discuss implementation; (6) participation in conferences and forums; and (7) close collaboration with State and Federal regulators on implementation of the 2013 TILA-RESPA Final Rule, including coordination on consistent examination procedures. More information regarding the Bureau's TILA-RESPA implementation initiative can be found on the Bureau's regulatory implementation Web site at www.consumerfinance.gov/regulatory-implementation.

III. Comments

The Bureau received 31 comments from creditors, trade associations, technology vendors, and others in response to the October 10, 2014 proposal to amend the 2013 TILA-RESPA Final Rule. Many of the comments discussed issues beyond the scope of the proposal. The Bureau discusses those comments that were responsive to the proposal in the section-by-section analysis below. This final rule does not make any changes outside the scope of the proposal, other than additional, non-substantive corrections identified since the proposal was issued.

IV. Legal Authority

The Bureau is issuing this final rule pursuant to its authority under TILA, RESPA, and the Dodd-Frank Act. Section 1061 of the Dodd-Frank Act transferred to the Bureau the “consumer financial protection functions” previously vested in certain other Federal agencies, including the Board's consumer protection functions relating to TILA mortgage disclosures and the HUD Secretary's consumer protection functions relating to RESPA.9 The term “consumer financial protection function” is defined to include “all authority to prescribe rules or issue orders or guidelines pursuant to any Federal consumer financial law, including performing appropriate functions to promulgate and review such rules, orders, and guidelines.” 10 Title X of the Dodd-Frank Act, including section 1061 of the Dodd-Frank Act, along with TILA, RESPA, and certain subtitles and provisions of title XIV of the Dodd-Frank Act, are Federal consumer financial laws.11 Accordingly, the Bureau has authority to issue regulations pursuant to TILA and RESPA, including the disclosure requirements added to those statutes by title XIV of the Dodd-Frank Act, as well as title X of the Dodd-Frank Act.

9 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Public Law 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376, section 1061(b)(7) (2010); 12 U.S.C. 5581(b)(7).

10 12 U.S.C. 5581(a)(1).

11 Dodd-Frank Act section 1002(14), 12 U.S.C. 5481(14) (defining “Federal consumer financial law” to include the “enumerated consumer laws” and the provisions of title X of the Dodd-Frank Act); Dodd-Frank Act section 1002(12), 12 U.S.C. 5481(12) (defining “enumerated consumer laws” to include TILA and RESPA); Dodd-Frank Act section 1400(b), 15 U.S.C. 1601 note (defining “enumerated consumer laws” to include certain subtitles and provisions of Title XIV).

A. The Integrated Disclosure Mandate

Section 1032(f) of the Dodd-Frank Act requires that, “[n]ot later than one year after the designated transfer date [of July 21, 2011], the Bureau shall propose for public comment rules and model disclosures that combine the disclosures required under [TILA] and sections 4 and 5 of [RESPA], into a single, integrated disclosure for mortgage loan transactions covered by those laws, unless the Bureau determines that any proposal issued by the [Board] and [HUD] carries out the same purpose.” 12 In addition, the Dodd-Frank Act amended section 105(b) of TILA and section 4(a) of RESPA to require the integration of the TILA disclosures and the disclosures required by sections 4 and 5 of RESPA.13 The purpose of the integrated disclosure is to facilitate compliance with the disclosure requirements of TILA and RESPA and to help the consumer understand the transaction by using readily understandable language to simplify the technical nature of the disclosures.14

12 12 U.S.C. 5532(f).

13 Section 1100A of the Dodd-Frank Act amended TILA section 105(b) to provide that the “Bureau shall publish a single, integrated disclosure for mortgage loan transactions (including real estate settlement cost statements) which includes the disclosure requirements of this title in conjunction with the disclosure requirements of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974 that, taken together, may apply to a transaction that is subject to both or either provisions of law.” 15 U.S.C. 1604(b). Section 1098 of the Dodd-Frank Act amended RESPA section 4(a) to require the Bureau to publish a “single, integrated disclosure for mortgage loan transactions (including real estate settlement cost statements) which includes the disclosure requirements of this section and section 5, in conjunction with the disclosure requirements of the Truth in Lending Act that, taken together, may apply to a transaction that is subject to both or either provisions of law.” 12 U.S.C. 2603(a).

14See Dodd-Frank Act sections 1098, 1100A.

Although Congress imposed this integrated disclosure requirement, it did not harmonize the underlying statutes. In particular, TILA and RESPA establish different timing requirements for disclosing mortgage credit terms and costs to consumers and require that those disclosures be provided by different parties. TILA generally requires that, within three business days of receiving the consumer's application and at least seven business days before consummation of certain mortgage transactions, creditors must provide consumers a good faith estimate of the costs of credit.15 If the annual percentage rate that was initially disclosed becomes inaccurate, TILA requires creditors to redisclose the information at least three business days before consummation.16 These disclosures must be provided in final form at consummation.17 RESPA also requires that the creditor or broker provide consumers with a good faith estimate of settlement charges no later than three business days after receiving the consumer's application. However, unlike TILA, RESPA requires that, at or before settlement, “the person conducting the settlement” (which may or may not be the creditor) provide the consumer with a statement that records all charges imposed upon the consumer in connection with the settlement.18

15 TILA section 128(b)(2)(A); 15 U.S.C. 1638(b)(2)(A). This requirement applies to extensions of credit that are both secured by a dwelling and subject to RESPA.

16 TILA section 128(b)(2)(D); 15 U.S.C. 1638(b)(2)(D).

17 TILA section 128(b)(2)(B)(ii); 15 U.S.C. 1638(b)(2)(B)(ii).

18 RESPA sections 4(b), 5(c); 12 U.S.C. 2603(b), 2604(c).

The Dodd-Frank Act did not reconcile these and other statutory differences. Therefore, to meet the Dodd-Frank Act's mandate to integrate the disclosures required by TILA and RESPA, the Bureau was required to do so. Dodd-Frank Act section 1032(f), TILA section 105(b), and RESPA section 4(a) provide the Bureau with authority to issue regulations that reconcile certain provisions of TILA and RESPA to carry out Congress' mandate to integrate the statutory disclosure requirements.

B. Other Rulemaking and Exception Authorities

This rule also relies on the rulemaking and exception authorities specifically granted to the Bureau by TILA, RESPA, and the Dodd-Frank Act, including the authorities discussed below.

Truth in Lending Act

TILA section 105(a). As amended by the Dodd-Frank Act, TILA section 105(a), 15 U.S.C. 1604(a), directs the Bureau to prescribe regulations to carry out the purposes of TILA and provides that such regulations may contain additional requirements, classifications, differentiations, or other provisions and may further provide for such adjustments and exceptions for all or any class of transactions that the Bureau judges are necessary or proper to effectuate the purposes of TILA, to prevent circumvention or evasion thereof, or to facilitate compliance therewith. A purpose of TILA is “to assure a meaningful disclosure of credit terms so that the consumer will be able to compare more readily the various credit terms available to him and avoid the uninformed use of credit.” 19 This stated purpose is informed by Congress' finding that “economic stabilization would be enhanced and the competition among the various financial institutions and other firms engaged in the extension of consumer credit would be strengthened by the informed use of credit[.]” 20 Thus, strengthened competition among financial institutions is a goal of TILA.

19 TILA section 102(a); 15 U.S.C. 1601(a).

20 TILA section 102(a).

Historically, TILA section 105(a) has served as a broad source of authority for rules that promote the informed use of credit through required disclosures and substantive regulation of certain practices. Dodd-Frank Act section 1100A clarified the Bureau's section 105(a) authority by amending that section to provide express authority to prescribe regulations that contain “additional requirements” that the Bureau finds are necessary or proper to effectuate the purposes of TILA, to prevent circumvention or evasion thereof, or to facilitate compliance. This amendment clarified the Bureau's authority to prescribe requirements beyond those specifically listed in the statute that meet the standards outlined in TILA section 105(a). The Dodd-Frank Act also clarified the Bureau's rulemaking authority over certain high-cost mortgages pursuant to section 105(a). As amended by the Dodd-Frank Act, TILA section 105(a) authority to make adjustments and exceptions to the requirements of TILA applies to all transactions subject to TILA, except with respect to the provisions of TILA section 129 that apply to the high-cost mortgages referred to in TILA section 103(bb), 15 U.S.C. 1602(bb).21

21 15 U.S.C. 1639. TILA section 129 contains requirements for certain high-cost mortgages, established by the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA), which are commonly called HOEPA loans.

TILA section 129B(e). Dodd-Frank Act section 1405(a) amended TILA to add new section 129B(e), 15 U.S.C. 1639B(e). That section authorizes the Bureau to “prohibit or condition terms, acts, or practices relating to residential mortgage loans that the Bureau finds to be abusive, unfair, deceptive, predatory, necessary or proper to ensure that responsible, affordable mortgage credit remains available to consumers in a manner consistent with the purposes of this section and section 129C [of TILA], necessary or proper to effectuate the purposes of this section and section 129C [of TILA], to prevent circumvention or evasion thereof, or to facilitate compliance with such sections, or are not in the interest of the borrower.” In developing rules under TILA section 129B(e), the Bureau has considered the broad mandate of section 129B.

Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act

Section 19(a) of RESPA, 12 U.S.C. 2617(a), authorizes the Bureau to prescribe such rules and regulations and to make such interpretations and grant such reasonable exemptions for classes of transactions as may be necessary to achieve the purposes of RESPA. In enacting RESPA, Congress sought “to insure that consumers . . . are provided with greater and more timely information on the nature and costs of the settlement process and protected from unnecessarily high settlement charges caused by certain abusive practices in some areas of the country.” 22 RESPA section 19(a) has served as a broad source of authority to prescribe disclosures and substantive requirements to carry out the purposes of RESPA.

22 RESPA section 2(a); 12 U.S.C. 2601(a).

In developing rules under RESPA section 19(a), the Bureau has considered the purposes of RESPA. One purpose of RESPA is “to effect certain changes in the settlement process for residential real estate that will result in more effective advance disclosure to home buyers and sellers of settlement costs.” 23

23 RESPA section 2(b); 12 U.S.C. 2601(b).

Dodd-Frank Act

Dodd-Frank Act section 1021. Section 1021(a) of the Dodd-Frank Act provides that the Bureau shall seek to implement and, where applicable, enforce Federal consumer financial law consistently for the purpose of ensuring that all consumers have access to markets for consumer financial services and that markets for consumer financial products and services are fair, transparent, and competitive.24 In addition, section 1021(b) of the Dodd-Frank Act provides that the Bureau is authorized to exercise its authorities under Federal consumer financial law for the purposes of ensuring, with respect to consumer financial products and services, that, among other things: (1) Consumers are provided with timely and understandable information to make responsible decisions about financial transactions; (2) consumers are protected from unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts and practices and from discrimination; (3) outdated, unnecessary, or unduly burdensome regulations are regularly identified and addressed in order to reduce unwarranted regulatory burdens; (4) Federal consumer financial law is enforced consistently, without regard to the status of a person as a depository institution, in order to promote fair competition; and (5) markets for consumer financial products and services operate transparently and efficiently to facilitate access and innovation.25 In developing this rulemaking, the Bureau has sought to ensure that it is consistent with the purposes of Dodd-Frank Act section 1021(a) and with the objectives of Dodd-Frank Act section 1021(b), specifically including Dodd-Frank Act section 1021(b)(1) and (3).

24 12 U.S.C. 5511(a).

25 12 U.S.C. 5511(b).

Dodd-Frank Act section 1022(b). Section 1022(b)(1) of the Dodd-Frank Act authorizes the Bureau to prescribe rules “as may be necessary or appropriate to enable the Bureau to administer and carry out the purposes and objectives of the Federal consumer financial laws, and to prevent evasions thereof.” 26 Section 1022(b)(2) of the Dodd-Frank Act prescribes certain standards for rulemaking that the Bureau must follow in exercising its authority under section 1022(b)(1).27 As discussed above, TILA and RESPA are Federal consumer financial laws. Accordingly, in finalizing this rule, the Bureau is exercising its authority under Dodd-Frank Act section 1022(b) to prescribe rules under TILA, RESPA, and title X of the Dodd-Frank Act that carry out the purposes and objectives and prevent evasion of those laws. See part VI for a discussion of the Bureau's standards for rulemaking under Dodd-Frank Act section 1022(b)(2).

26 12 U.S.C. 5512(b)(1).

27 12 U.S.C. 5512(b)(2).

Dodd-Frank Act section 1032. Section 1032(a) of the Dodd-Frank Act provides that the Bureau “may prescribe rules to ensure that the features of any consumer financial product or service, both initially and over the term of the product or service, are fully, accurately, and effectively disclosed to consumers in a manner that permits consumers to understand the costs, benefits, and risks associated with the product or service, in light of the facts and circumstances.” 28 The authority granted to the Bureau in section 1032(a) is broad and empowers the Bureau to prescribe rules regarding the disclosure of the “features” of consumer financial products and services generally. Accordingly, the Bureau may prescribe rules containing disclosure requirements even if other Federal consumer financial laws do not specifically require disclosure of such features.

28 12 U.S.C. 5532(a).

Dodd-Frank Act section 1032(c) provides that, in prescribing rules pursuant to section 1032, the Bureau “shall consider available evidence about consumer awareness, understanding of, and responses to disclosures or communications about the risks, costs, and benefits of consumer financial products or services.” 29 Accordingly, in developing the 2013 TILA-RESPA Final Rule and amendments thereto under Dodd-Frank Act section 1032(a), the Bureau considered available studies, reports, and other evidence about consumer awareness, understanding of, and responses to disclosures or communications about the risks, costs, and benefits of consumer financial products or services. Moreover, the Bureau has considered the evidence developed through its consumer testing of the integrated disclosures as well as prior testing done by the Board and HUD regarding TILA and RESPA disclosures. See part III of the 2013 TILA-RESPA Final Rule for a discussion of the Bureau's consumer testing.30

29 12 U.S.C. 5532(c).

30 78 FR 79730, 79741 (Dec. 31, 2013).

Dodd-Frank Act section 1405(b). Section 1405(b) of the Dodd-Frank Act provides that, “[n]otwithstanding any other provision of [title XIV of the Dodd-Frank Act], in order to improve consumer awareness and understanding of transactions involving residential mortgage loans through the use of disclosures, the Bureau may, by rule, exempt from or modify disclosure requirements, in whole or in part, for any class of residential mortgage loans if the Bureau determines that such exemption or modification is in the interest of consumers and in the public interest.” 31 Section 1401 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which amends TILA section 103(cc)(5), 15 U.S.C. 1602(cc)(5), generally defines a residential mortgage loan as any consumer credit transaction that is secured by a mortgage on a dwelling or on residential real property that includes a dwelling other than an open-end credit plan or an extension of credit secured by a consumer's interest in a timeshare plan. Notably, the authority granted by section 1405(b) applies to “disclosure requirements” generally and is not limited to a specific statute or statutes. Accordingly, Dodd-Frank Act section 1405(b) is a broad source of authority to exempt from or modify the disclosure requirements of TILA and RESPA.

31 15 U.S.C. 1601 note.

In developing rules for residential mortgage loans under Dodd-Frank Act section 1405(b), the Bureau has considered the purposes of improving consumer awareness and understanding of transactions involving residential mortgage loans through the use of disclosures and the interests of consumers and the public.

V. Section-by-Section Analysis A. General—Non-Substantive Corrections

The Bureau proposed non-substantive corrections, including citation and cross-reference updates and wording changes for clarification purposes, in Regulation X and Regulation Z. The Bureau received comments that supported these proposed changes. The Bureau is adopting as proposed the non-substantive corrections to regulatory text in §§ 1024.5(d), 1026.37(o), and 1026.38(e); commentary to §§ 1026.37(b), (c), and (h) and 1026.38(a) and (e); and appendix H. The Bureau also is making non-substantive clarifications to the commentary to § 1026.38(g) for the reasons discussed in the section-by-section analysis below, as well as other, non-substantive corrections and wording clarifications to regulatory text in § 1026.38(j) and (t).

B. Regulation Z Section 1026.19—Certain Mortgage and Variable-Rate Transactions 19(e) Mortgage Loans Secured By Real Property—Early Disclosures 19(e)(3) Good Faith Determination For Estimates of Closing Costs 19(e)(3)(iv) Revised Estimates 19(e)(3)(iv)(D) Interest Rate Dependent Charges Proposed Rule

Pursuant to the Bureau's authority as described in the 2012 TILA-RESPA Proposal 32 and the 2013 TILA-RESPA Final Rule 33 , the Bureau proposed to amend § 1026.19(e)(3)(iv)(D) to modify the timing requirement for creditors to provide a revised Loan Estimate to consumers when the interest rate is locked after the provision of the Loan Estimate. Section § 1026.19(e)(3)(iv)(D), as adopted by the 2013 TILA-RESPA Final Rule, requires creditors to provide the revised disclosure with the revised interest rate, the points disclosed pursuant to § 1026.37(f)(1), lender credits, and any other interest rate dependent charges and terms on the date the interest rate is locked. The Bureau proposed to change the timing requirement to the next business day after the rate is locked. As discussed in detail below, this final rule amends § 1026.19(e)(3)(iv)(D) to provide creditors with three business days, rather than one business day, to provide the revised Loan Estimate. This amendment harmonizes the timing requirement in § 1026.19(e)(3)(iv)(D) with other timing requirements for redisclosure adopted in the 2013 TILA-RESPA Final Rule and is consistent with current law and practice pursuant to § 1024.7(f)(5), under which creditors have three business days from rate lock to provide a revised Good Faith Estimate.

32 77 FR 51116, 51165-51169 (Aug. 23, 2012).

33 78 FR 79730, 79816-79822 (Dec. 31, 2013).

As discussed in the proposal, the Bureau proposed to allow creditors an additional business day to provide the revised Loan Estimate because it received information suggesting that creditors may not control when a rate is locked to the same extent the Bureau believed when it issued the 2013 TILA-RESPA Final Rule. The Bureau also learned that operational challenges due to the same-day redisclosure requirement in § 1026.19(e)(3)(iv)(D) could restrict the flexibility many creditors currently provide consumers to lock their interest rates and could result in creditors imposing time restrictions on when consumers may lock their rates (e.g., “cut-off” times). Given the potential consequences of losing the ability to reset the applicable tolerances for interest rate dependent charges pursuant to § 1026.19(e)(3), the Bureau believes creditors could respond to the same-day timing requirement adopted by the 2013 TILA-RESPA Final Rule by limiting consumers' ability to lock rates at the time of their choice and imposing cut-off times that only allow consumers to lock interest rates on business days during preset hours. Accordingly, the Bureau reconsidered the same-day redisclosure requirement and proposed to amend § 1026.19(e)(3)(iv)(D) and its commentary to adjust this timing requirement.

Currently, some creditors permit the consumer, or loan originator working on behalf of the consumer, to lock the interest rate unilaterally at any point during a business day or even after normal business hours. The Bureau believes this flexibility is beneficial to consumers because it allows them to lock interest rates on a date and time of their choosing, without time restrictions imposed by the creditor. The same-day redisclosure requirement could reduce consumers' ability to determine when their rates are locked, if creditors respond by either imposing cut-off times after which consumers are unable to lock their interest rates until the next business day or refusing to lock the rate contractually until the business day after the consumer requests a rate lock.

As explained in the proposal, the Bureau believes that, if creditors impose cut-off times, consumers would be limited to certain times of day that they or their representatives could lock interest rates. This could result in consumers, particularly those who are in different time zones than their creditors, missing the applicable time window to lock on a day of their choice and having to wait until the next business day to do so. Alternatively, the Bureau believes some creditors may be able to provide a revised Loan Estimate on the date that a rate lock agreement is formed if those creditors allow consumers to request the rate only at a time of the creditors' choosing and then later execute or form a binding agreement with the consumers. However, the Bureau believes this result could present other challenges to consumers. For example, consumers may be confused if they believe they are locking an interest rate at a certain time but in fact are merely requesting rates that are not contractually binding until the creditor accepts the request at some later time. Accordingly, the Bureau stated in the proposal that it believed the same-day redisclosure requirement warranted reconsideration because it could create implementation challenges to industry that may result in reduced consumer flexibility in locking or resetting floating interest rates.

The Bureau maintained, however, that the same-day redisclosure requirement could benefit consumers by allowing them to have more time to evaluate the revised Loan Estimate. The Bureau also noted that creditors should be able to provide a revised Loan Estimate based on interest rate dependent charges more quickly in comparison to other types of redisclosures because creditors may not need to obtain information from other parties, such as third-party vendors. Accordingly, the Bureau proposed a next-business-day timing requirement, on the ground that providing for redisclosure on the next business day after the rate is locked could provide consumer benefits without the operational challenges to creditors presented by a same-day redisclosure requirement.

The Bureau sought comment on whether consumers could be harmed if creditors were given until the next business day to provide a revised Loan Estimate or if consumers would benefit from the same-day requirement. Additionally, the Bureau sought comment on whether a single business day is sufficient for creditors to deliver or place in the mail a revised Loan Estimate while preventing any unintended consequences, such as restricting the timing flexibility of consumers to lock the interest rate, and whether consumers would be harmed if redisclosures were permitted more than one business day after the interest rate was locked.

Comments

The Bureau received comments from industry trade associations, creditors, technology vendors, and other industry representatives addressing these proposed changes. All comments supported the proposal to relax the timing requirement, but most advocated for extending it to three business days. The Bureau received no comments that opposed the proposal or that raised concerns about extending the timing requirement beyond the next business day.

Most commenters argued that a next-business-day requirement presents many of the same operational challenges to industry as a same-day redisclosure requirement. For example, a credit union stated that one business day does not allow creditors sufficient time to address potential software issues or conduct quality control review of a revised Loan Estimate. Another industry commenter stated that it takes time to update fees and verify that the correct information is printed on the disclosures generated by older loan operating systems. A national banking trade association noted that consumers with “self-lock” capability commonly make mistakes in locking rates or attempt to lock through an incorrect channel, which requires creditors to verify the consumer's intent to lock the rate. Consumers also may leave an ambiguous voicemail or email that the creditor needs to verify is a rate lock request. This commenter explained that a single business day is not always enough time for a creditor both to verify the consumer's intent and also to issue a revised disclosure. Consequently, a next-business-day deadline could still result in creditors imposing cut-off times for consumers to lock interest rates.

Additionally, trade associations, banks, and an individual industry commenter working for a creditor stated that smaller institutions in particular may have difficulty redisclosing on the next business day after the rate lock due to staffing level constraints. Commenters noted that, in some cases, a single individual may be responsible for creating the disclosures, and staffing levels may also be affected by inclement weather, Saturday business hours, and employee training. A credit union commenter noted that the next-business-day requirement could burden small lending operations that do not have a full-time employee to prepare disclosures on Saturdays and around the holidays. Accordingly, these small creditors may require additional staff to meet the next-business-day delivery requirement.

Commenters argued that expanding the timing requirement to three business days would facilitate compliance for industry and consumer understanding because it would provide consistent timing rules for redisclosures. A bank stated that the three-business-day timeframe is the standard in operating procedures and systems and is also well-established among industry professionals. Commenters noted that a next-business-day requirement for rate locks would result in different timing requirements for rate-lock-based redisclosure as opposed to other events that permit redisclosure, such as “changed circumstances” described in § 1026.19(e)(3)(iv)(A). These other triggering events for redisclosure may occur around the time of a rate lock. Commenters noted that consumer confusion could result if a changed circumstance occurs on the same date that the rate is locked and the creditor needs to produce two different revised disclosures on two different dates. These commenters stated that the provision of two revised Loan Estimates to a consumer within the same week could cause confusion as to which Loan Estimate reflects the most recent and accurate information.

Finally, commenters questioned the benefit to consumers of receiving a revised Loan Estimate for rate-lock-related changes two business days earlier than is required for other redisclosure events, such as “changed circumstances” described in § 1026.19(e)(3)(iv)(A). Commenters argued that allowing creditors two extra business days to provide a revised Loan Estimate does not pose risks or harms to consumers. A national banking trade association stated that consumers get little benefit from receiving the revised Loan Estimate earlier because a consumer has most likely completed the shopping process by the time the consumer requests a rate lock. These commenters generally asserted that the benefit to consumers, if any, of receiving the revised disclosure earlier does not outweigh the costs associated with the requirement to provide redisclosures by the next business day.

Final Rule

The Bureau is adopting proposed § 1026.19(e)(3)(iv)(D), modified to extend the timing requirement to no later than three business days after the date the interest rate is locked. The Bureau also is making conforming modifications to proposed comments 19(e)(3)(iv)(D)-1 and 19(e)(4)(i)-2, which provide illustrations of the timing requirement.

The Bureau considered the comments received and determined that extending the timing requirement to no later than three business days after the interest rate is locked will reduce the burden on industry and facilitate compliance without harming consumers, and also may provide benefits to consumers. The Bureau believes that creditors would experience operational challenges in providing redisclosures by the next business day that could be alleviated by extending the timing requirement for redisclosure to three business days. Moreover, extending the redisclosure deadline to three business days after the rate is locked harmonizes the timing requirement in § 1026.19(e)(3)(iv)(D) with the other timing requirements for redisclosure. Harmonizing the redisclosure requirements could facilitate compliance and compliance monitoring and could reduce consumer confusion. Furthermore, allowing creditors to have three business days from the date the rate is locked to issue a revised disclosure would enable small creditors with limited staffing levels to prepare and review revised disclosures without the difficulties and challenges that may have arisen under the proposed rule.

The Bureau does not believe a risk of potential consumer harm arises in extending the period for redisclosure to three business days. While the Bureau expressed, in the preambles to the 2012 TILA-RESPA Proposal and the 2013 TILA-RESPA Final Rule, a concern about potential rent-seeking behavior through rate arbitrage (e.g., delaying the rate lock in order to increase the interest rate offered to the consumer or otherwise increase the spread between market interest rates and the rate offered the consumer), the Bureau also acknowledged that it had seen no evidence nor received any data or reports suggesting such a practice under the existing Regulation X disclosure practice, which employs a three-business-day deadline. The Bureau has not identified any risks to consumers—nor were any raised by commenters in response to the Bureau's request for comment on potential risks to consumers.

Accordingly, the Bureau is adopting § 1026.19(e)(3)(iv)(D) to state that, no later than three business days after the date the interest rate is locked, the creditor shall provide a revised version of the disclosures required under § 1026.19(e)(1)(i) to the consumer with the revised interest rate, the points disclosed pursuant to § 1026.37(f)(1), lender credits, and any other interest rate dependent charges and terms. The Bureau also is adopting modified versions of proposed comments 19(e)(3)(iv)(D)-1 and 19(e)(4)(i)-2 to reflect this change.

Section 1026.36—Prohibited Acts or Practices and Certain Requirements for Credit Secured by a Dwelling 36(g) Name and NMLSR ID on Loan Documents 36(g)(2) 36(g)(2)(ii)

The Bureau proposed to amend § 1026.36(g)(2)(ii) to conform to the requirements adopted by the 2013 Loan Originator Final Rule. Section 1026.36(g)(2) lists the specific loan documents that must contain the loan originator's name and NMLSR ID. When the Bureau issued the 2013 Loan Originator Final Rule in January 2013, it reserved § 1026.36(g)(2)(ii) for references to the integrated disclosures the Bureau was expecting to adopt in the final rule implementing the 2012 TILA-RESPA Proposal. The disclosures referenced are those required by § 1026.19(e) and (f) as adopted by the 2013 TILA-RESPA Final Rule.

The Bureau proposed amending § 1026.36(g)(2)(ii) to include the disclosures described in § 1026.19(e) and (f), as adopted by the 2013 TILA-RESPA Final Rule. The Bureau received comments from industry and trade associations in support of this proposed change and none that opposed it or suggested further modifications. Accordingly, the Bureau is adopting § 1026.36(g)(2)(ii) as proposed.

Section 1026.37—Content of Disclosure for Certain Mortgage Transactions (Loan Estimate) 37(m) Other Considerations Proposed Rule

The Bureau proposed adding § 1026.37(m)(8) to provide for a statement notifying the consumer that a revised disclosure may be provided for a construction loan in a transaction involving new construction where the creditor reasonably expects settlement to occur more than 60 days after the provision of the initial Loan Estimate.34 As explained in the proposal, § 1026.19(e)(3)(iv)(F) provides that a creditor may issue revised disclosures at any time prior to 60 days before consummation if the original disclosure clearly and conspicuously states that a revised disclosure may be provided. Except as provided by § 1026.19(f), the creditor may not issue a revised disclosure if the original disclosure did not contain such a statement.

34 Transactions covered by this provision are described in § 1026.19(e)(3)(iv)(F) and comment 19(e)(3)(iv)(F)-1.

The Bureau proposed to add new § 1026.37(m)(8), under the master heading “Additional Information About This Loan” and the heading “Other Considerations,” and new comment 37(m)(8)-1 to state that placement of the language in this section of the form satisfies the “clear and conspicuous” standard set forth in § 1026.19(e)(3)(iv)(F). The Bureau stated that it believes the § 1026.19(e)(3)(iv)(F) language is appropriately placed in this part of the disclosure mandated by § 1026.37, but sought comment on whether the language would be more appropriately placed elsewhere on the form.

Comments

The Bureau received comments from trade associations, creditors, and a technology vendor. All commenters supported the proposal. Commenters generally stated that including the language concerning construction loans in transactions that involve a new construction on the Loan Estimate should facilitate construction lending. Most agreed with the proposed content and placement of the language. A few commenters made minor suggestions for additional clarity or suggested alternative placement on the form. For example, two trade associations recommended that the Bureau provide additional clarifying language on the nature of the disclosure, as well as additional clarification regarding placement on the form or provision of a sample disclosure illustrating this language on the form.

Final Rule

The Bureau has considered the comments and is adopting § 1026.37(m)(8) and comment 37(m)(8)-1 as proposed, with minor wording changes for clarification. The Bureau believes that the proposed language and its placement is appropriate and allows creditors to preserve their ability to redisclose estimates for construction loans in transactions that involve a new construction, as provided in § 1026.19(e)(3)(iv)(F). With respect to the requests for additional clarifying language or a sample disclosure illustrating the language on the form, the Bureau does not believe that additional language or a new sample disclosure is necessary. The Bureau notes that proposed § 1026.37(m)(8) and comment 37(m)(8)-1 contain language already promulgated under § 1026.19(e)(3)(iv)(F) and would not require any additional consumer testing. Further, comment 37(m)(8)-1 provides that placement of the new construction language in this section of the Loan Estimate satisfies the clear and conspicuous standard set forth in § 1026.19(e)(3)(iv)(F).

Section 1026.38—Content of Disclosure for Certain Mortgage Transactions (Closing Disclosure) 38(g) Closing Cost Details; Other Costs 38(g)(2) Prepaids

Section 1026.38(g)(2) requires creditors to disclose certain prepaid items disclosed on the Loan Estimate pursuant to § 1026.37(g)(2), including prepaid interest. Neither the regulation nor the model Closing Disclosure forms in appendix H provide for disclosure of the interest rate for prepaid interest. Rather, the model forms provide that prepaid interest is to be disclosed on the Closing Disclosure as a per diem sum amount along with a range of dates, without disclosing the applicable interest rate, prescribed as: “Prepaid Interest (___per day from _____to _____).”

One industry commenter noted that comment 38(g)(2)-4, which describes the interest rate that should be used to calculate per diem interest, implies that the interest rate must be disclosed pursuant to § 1026.38(g)(2). This commenter recommended that the Bureau clarify that creditors are not required to disclose an interest rate for purposes of this disclosure.

The Bureau agrees that the interest rate should not be disclosed in the prepaid interest disclosure pursuant to § 1026.38(g)(2). Rather, creditors should disclose amounts of prepaid interest as per diem sum amounts based on the interest rate disclosed under § 1026.38(b), which is determined by § 1026.37(b). Accordingly, the Bureau is amending comment 38(g)(2)-4 to clarify that the comment addresses the interest rate that is used to determine amounts of prepaid interest, but does not require disclosure of the interest rate itself.

VI. Dodd-Frank Act Section 1022(b)(2) A. Overview

In developing this rule, the Bureau has considered potential benefits, costs, and impacts.35 The Bureau has consulted, or offered to consult with, the prudential regulators, the Securities and Exchange Commission, HUD, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Department of the Treasury, including regarding consistency with any prudential, market, or systemic objectives administered by such agencies.

35 Specifically, section 1022(b)(2)(A) of the Dodd-Frank Act calls for the Bureau to consider the potential benefits and costs of a regulation to consumers and covered persons, including the potential reduction of access by consumers to consumer financial products or services; the impact on depository institutions and credit unions with $10 billion or less in total assets as described in section 1026 of the Dodd-Frank Act; and the impact on consumers in rural areas.

The Bureau is adding or amending two main provisions in this rule. First, the Bureau is amending § 1026.19(e)(3)(iv)(D) which, as adopted by the 2013 TILA-RESPA Final Rule, requires creditors to provide a revised version of the disclosures required under paragraph § 1026.19(e)(1)(i) to the consumer with the revised interest rate, the points disclosed pursuant to § 1026.37(f)(1), lender credits, and any other interest rate dependent charges and terms, on the date the rate is locked. As discussed in the section-by-section analysis above, the Bureau believes that this requirement, if unchanged, is likely to result in at least some creditors imposing cut-off times that only allow consumers to lock their interest rates only on business days and during preset hours due to the costs associated with providing the disclosure to the consumer on the date when the interest rate is locked. The Bureau believes that consumers are unlikely to choose creditors based on the creditors' policies regarding interest rate locks and, moreover, that consumers would be unlikely to know whether their creditors will allow interest rate locks at flexible times until the consumer actually attempts to lock the rate. Thus, consumers of creditors who will not allow locks at flexible times will experience inconvenience. Given that consumers are unlikely to know of this practice until they attempt to lock the rate, this practice is unlikely to be corrected or influenced by market competition.

Given these concerns, the Bureau proposed to relax the same-day timing requirement and give creditors until the next business day after the rate is locked to provide a revised version of the disclosures to consumers. As described in the section-by-section analysis above, in light of the comments received, the Bureau is instead finalizing an amendment to the provision that affords creditors three business days after the rate is locked to provide a revised version of the disclosures.

In response to the proposal, several commenters noted that the proposed next-business-day requirement presents many of the same operational challenges to industry as a same-day redisclosure requirement. These commenters suggested that three business days would provide adequate time for creditors to issue revised disclosures, but that one business day would not. No commenters suggested that extending the timing requirement beyond the next business day would impact consumers adversely.

The Bureau is adopting proposed § 1026.19(e)(3)(iv)(D), modified to extend the timing requirement to no later than three business days after the date the interest rate is locked. The change will harmonize the timing requirement in § 1026.19(e)(3)(iv)(D) with the other timing requirements for redisclosure and thus may facilitate compliance and compliance monitoring and also may reduce consumer confusion. Small creditors, in particular, may find it easier to comply with a three-day redisclosure timing requirement. Finally, the Bureau believes that the next-business-day requirement might not give creditors adequate time to confirm the consumer's intentions where the consumer's attempts to lock the rate through an incorrect channel, or the communication requesting a rate lock (e.g., a voicemail or email left with the creditor) is ambiguous. The Bureau does not possess the data necessary to estimate the impact of the change to three full business days quantitatively.

Second, the Bureau is adding a new provision that allows for a specific statement related to construction loans in transactions involving new construction to be placed on the Loan Estimate. For these loans, the 2013 TILA-RESPA Final Rule requires that creditors include a statement on the Loan Estimate in order to preserve their ability to redisclose estimates prior to settlement. However, this language is found only in § 1026.19(e)(3)(iv)(F), which governs timing and procedure, and no corresponding provision exists in the section that governs the content of the disclosures. Without this new provision, creditors will have lower incentives to originate these construction loans, especially if they believe that the Loan Estimate might need to be revised. Consumers either will not be able to get a commitment to fund construction loans until most of the uncertainty about the terms is resolved or creditors will price in a premium, to account for the creditor's inability to redisclose estimates after the initial 60 days.

The Bureau believes that both amendments, extending the time for rate lock redisclosure and adding language on new construction loans, provide options that a financial institution is free to undertake or not to undertake, and thus present no cost to creditors. The Bureau believes that both provisions present some benefits to creditors. The Bureau believes that the first provision could present both benefits and costs to consumers, while the second provision presents benefits to consumers.

B. Potential Benefits and Costs to Consumers and Covered Persons Relaxing the Same-day Redisclosure Requirement for Interest Rate Locks

This amendment provides an option to creditors: creditors may continue to provide revised disclosures on the date the rate is locked if they so choose. Therefore, some creditors will benefit from this amendment by not having to redisclose on the date the rate is locked, while other creditors may continue to redisclose on the date the rate is locked if they so choose, and are as well off as they would have been without this amendment. All creditors will enjoy increased flexibility. No creditors will face increased costs.

Under the current rule, the Bureau believes that some creditors could continue offering flexible time periods for interest rate locks, but others, for example, might choose to impose cut-off times that only permit consumers to lock interest rates on business days and at times early in the day in order to ease their compliance costs. Other creditors might change their existing practices and allow consumers to request a rate lock at any time, but only contractually lock the interest rate on the business day after the consumer requests a rate lock, instead of on the date the rate lock is requested. Consumers of these creditors could benefit from this amendment through the increased convenience of being able to lock the interest rate at more flexible times.

Consumers of creditors that would continue to allow flexibility in locking interest rates might experience a cost from the amendment: their revised Loan Estimate may not be provided until up to three business days later. However, some of these creditors may still provide a revised Loan Estimate on the date that the interest rate is locked, for example, because they have already put in place the system to provide the redisclosures on the date the rate is locked and do not want to change their systems. If the creditor does not provide the revised Loan Estimate until up to three business days later, then the potential consumer harm is the time difference between when the consumer would receive the revised disclosures.

While the Bureau does not possess any data, and is not aware of a source to obtain data, that would enable it to report the quantitative effects of this amendment, it believes any harm to consumers from the extension of the rate-lock-redisclosure timing requirement is minor. Under current law and practice pursuant to § 1024.7(f)(5), creditors have three business days from rate lock to redisclose, and the Bureau has not received any data or reports of consumer harm resulting from a three business day turnaround time for redisclosure.36

36 See 77 FR 51116, 51173 (Aug. 23, 2012).

Specific Language on Construction Loans' Loan Estimates

The Bureau believes that without this new provision, creditors that ordinarily originate construction loans in transactions involving a new construction would be forced either to originate only those construction loans for which the creditor is certain that no redisclosure prior to settlement will be necessary, or to price in the risk of having to cure any amounts charged over the estimates initially provided more than 60 days before settlement, absent some other type of a redisclosure triggering event. Creditors that choose the second option, including the estimated cost of cure in their pricing, risk miscalibrating the pricing and losing consumers to less risk-averse competitors or facing unanticipated costs if they are required to cure any amounts that the consumer is charged for settlement charges that exceed the initial estimated amounts. In all events, creditors risk losing consumers to other options. Accordingly, this new provision presents benefits to the creditors that decide to originate these construction loans and presents no costs.

As noted above, under the current rule, a consumer who needs a construction loan may only be able to obtain a construction loan where the creditor has priced in the risk of having to cure any amounts charged over the estimates initially provided over 60 days before settlement, which would be a cost to consumers. On the other hand, without this new provision, the Loan Estimate would have provided consumers more certainty concerning loan terms and settlement costs because creditors would be limited in their ability to redisclose and change the terms or costs of the loan. Where creditors misgauged the initial Loan Estimate, consumers might be entitled to receive a cure. However, the Bureau believes that these benefits to consumers are marginal, given that construction loans are inherently volatile and subject to events beyond the creditor's control. As a result, the Bureau believes that creditors barred from redisclosing a Loan Estimate provided more than 60 days prior to consummation would be less likely to originate such loans and that any increased certainty, where creditors were willing to commit to new construction loans well in advance of consummation, would come at the price of increased costs to consumers.

The Bureau does not possess any data, and is not aware of a source to obtain data, that would enable it to report the number of transactions affected or to quantify the extent of creditor and consumer benefits.

C. Impact on Covered Persons With No More Than $10 Billion in Assets

The amendment regarding interest rate locks could have two particular effects on covered persons with no more than $10 billion in assets. First, covered persons with no more than $10 billion in assets are more likely to benefit from this provision to the extent that redisclosure of the Loan Estimate on the date the interest rate is locked may require software and business processes upgrade costs. Larger covered persons are more likely to originate a sufficient number of transactions to make it worth implementing these changes, as opposed to choosing to offer interest rate locks to consumers only at set times during business hours.

In addition, creditors located in more than one time zone might have to offer a shorter preset adjustment time to some customers (for example, if the location of the rate lock operation is in the Eastern Time zone), but covered persons with no more than $10 billion in assets are more likely to be located in a single time zone. From this perspective, covered persons with no more than $10 billion in assets are less likely to benefit from this amendment. The Bureau does not possess data to quantify either of the two possible aforementioned effects of the provision on covered persons with no more than $10 billion in assets.

The Bureau believes that covered persons with no more than $10 billion in assets will not be differentially affected by the new provision regarding construction loans.

D. Impact on Access to Credit

The Bureau does not believe that there will be an adverse impact on access to credit resulting from either of the changes adopted by this final rule. There may be an expansion of access to credit, if the second provision facilitates the making of construction loans as the Bureau anticipates.

E. Impact on Rural Areas

The Bureau believes that rural areas might benefit more than urban areas from the provision for construction loans and the amendment to the existing provision for rate lock redisclosure. Competition may drive creditors to originate construction loans despite the possible redisclosure issues and to provide interest rate locks throughout the day despite the same-day redisclosure requirement. Thus, rural areas are more likely to benefit from these two provisions, to the extent that there are fewer creditors operating in rural areas than in urban areas and to the extent that competition would affect these issues.

VII. Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (the RFA), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, requires each agency to consider the potential impact of its regulations on small entities, including small businesses, small governmental units, and small nonprofit organizations. The RFA defines a “small business” as a business that meets the size standard developed by the Small Business Administration pursuant to the Small Business Act. The RFA generally requires an agency to conduct an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) and a final regulatory flexibility analysis (FRFA) of any rule subject to notice-and-comment rulemaking requirements, unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The Bureau also is subject to certain additional procedures under the RFA involving the convening of a panel to consult with small business representatives prior to proposing a rule for which an IRFA is required.

An IRFA is not required for this rule because it will not have a significant economic impact on any small entities. The Bureau does not expect the rule to impose costs on covered persons. All methods of compliance under current law will remain available to small entities when these provisions become effective. Thus, a small entity that is in compliance with current law need not take any additional action.

Accordingly, the undersigned certifies that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

VIII. Paperwork Reduction Act

Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), Federal agencies are generally required to seek the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for information collection requirements prior to implementation. The collections of information related to Regulations Z and X have been previously reviewed and approved by OMB in accordance with the PRA and assigned OMB Control Numbers 3170-0015 (Regulation Z) and 3170-0016 (Regulation X). Under the PRA, the Bureau may not conduct or sponsor and, notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person is not required to respond to an information collection unless the information collection displays a valid control number assigned by OMB.

The Bureau has determined that this final rule would not impose any new or revised information collection (recordkeeping, reporting, or disclosure) requirements on covered entities or members of the public that would constitute collections of information requiring OMB approval under the PRA.

List of Subjects 12 CFR Part 1024

Condominiums, Consumer protection, Housing, Mortgage servicing, Mortgages, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

12 CFR Part 1026

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

Authority and Issuance

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Bureau amends Regulation X, 12 CFR part 1024, and Regulation Z, 12 CFR part 1026, as set forth below:

PART 1024—REAL ESTATE SETTLEMENT PROCEDURES ACT (REGULATION X) 1. The authority citation for part 1024 continues to read as follows: Authority:

12 U.S.C. 2603-2605, 2607, 2609, 2617, 5512, 5532, 5581.

Subpart A—General Provisions 2. Section 1024.5 is amended by revising paragraph (d) introductory text to read as follows:
§ 1024.5 Coverage of RESPA.

(d) Partial exemptions for certain mortgage loans. Sections 1024.6, 1024.7, 1024.8, 1024.10, and 1024.33(a) do not apply to a federally related mortgage loan:

PART 1026—TRUTH IN LENDING (REGULATION Z) 3. The authority citation for part 1026 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

Subpart C—Closed-End Credit 4. Section 1026.19 is amended by revising paragraph (e)(3)(iv)(D) to read as follows:
§ 1026.19 Certain mortgage and variable-rate transactions.

(e) * * *

(3) * * *

(iv) * * *

(D) Interest rate dependent charges. The points or lender credits change because the interest rate was not locked when the disclosures required under paragraph (e)(1)(i) of this section were provided. No later than three business days after the date the interest rate is locked, the creditor shall provide a revised version of the disclosures required under paragraph (e)(1)(i) of this section to the consumer with the revised interest rate, the points disclosed pursuant to § 1026.37(f)(1), lender credits, and any other interest rate dependent charges and terms.

Subpart E—Special Rules for Certain Home Mortgage Transactions 5. Section 1026.36 is amended by adding paragraph (g)(2)(ii) to read as follows:
§ 1026.36 Prohibited acts or practices and certain requirements for credit secured by a dwelling.

(g) * * *

(2) * * *

(ii) The disclosures required by § 1026.19 (e) and (f);

6. Section 1026.37 is amended by adding paragraph (m)(8) and revising paragraph (o)(4)(i)(A) to read as follows:
§ 1026.37 Content of disclosures for certain mortgage transactions (Loan Estimate).

(m) * * *

(8) Construction loans. In transactions involving new construction, where the creditor reasonably expects that settlement will occur more than 60 days after the provision of the loan estimate, at the creditor's option, a clear and conspicuous statement that the creditor may issue a revised disclosure any time prior to 60 days before consummation, pursuant to § 1026.19(e)(3)(iv)(F).

(o) * * *

(4) * * *

(i) * * *

(A) The dollar amounts required to be disclosed by paragraphs (b)(6) and (7), (c)(1)(iii), (c)(2)(ii) and (iii), (c)(4)(ii), (f), (g), (h), (i), and (l) of this section shall be rounded to the nearest whole dollar, except that the per diem amount required to be disclosed by paragraph (g)(2)(iii) of this section and the monthly amounts required to be disclosed by paragraphs (g)(3)(i) through (iii) and (g)(3)(v) of this section shall not be rounded.

7. Section 1026.38 is amended by revising paragraphs (e)(3)(iii)(A), (e)(4)(ii), (j)(2)(iv), (k)(2)(v), (k)(2)(vi), and (t)(4)(ii) to read as follows:
§ 1026.38 Content of disclosures for certain mortgage transactions (Closing Disclosure).

(e) * * *

(3) * * *

(iii) * * *

(A) If the amount disclosed under paragraph (e)(3)(ii) of this section is different than the amount disclosed under paragraph (e)(3)(i) of this section (unless the difference is due to rounding), a statement of that fact, along with a statement that the consumer paid such amounts prior to consummation of the transaction; or

(4) * * *

(ii) Under the subheading “Final,” the total amount of payoffs and payments made to third parties disclosed pursuant to paragraph (t)(5)(vii)(B) of this section, to the extent known, disclosed as a negative number;

(j) * * *

(2) * * *

(iv) The amount of any existing loans that the consumer is assuming, or any loans subject to which the consumer is taking title to the property, labeled “Existing Loan(s) Assumed or Taken Subject to”;

(k) * * *

(2) * * *

(v) The amount of any loan secured by a first lien on the property that will be paid off as part of the real estate closing, labeled “Payoff of First Mortgage Loan”;

(vi) The amount of any loan secured by a second lien on the property that will be paid off as part of the real estate closing, labeled “Payoff of Second Mortgage Loan”;

(t) * * *

(4) * * *

(ii) Percentages. The percentage amounts required to be disclosed under paragraphs (b), (f)(1), (n), and (o)(5) of this section shall not be rounded and shall be disclosed up to two or three decimal places. The percentage amount required to be disclosed under paragraph (o)(4) of this section shall not be rounded and shall be disclosed up to three decimal places. If the amount is a whole number then the amount disclosed shall be truncated at the decimal point.

8. Appendix H to part 1026 is amended by revising the Description in H-24(G) to read as follows. Appendix H to Part 1026—Closed-End Forms and Clauses

H-24(G) Mortgage Loan Transaction Loan Estimate—Modification to Loan Estimate for Transaction Not Involving Seller—Model Form

Description: This is a blank model Loan Estimate that illustrates the application of the content requirements in § 1026.37, with the optional alternative tables permitted by § 1026.37(d)(2) and (h)(2) for transactions without a seller. This form provides one variation of page one, four variations of page two, and four variations of page three, reflecting the variable content requirements in § 1026.37.

9. In Supplement I to part 1026: a. Under Section 1026.19—Certain Mortgage and Variable-Rate Transactions: i. Under paragraph 19(e)(3)(iv)(D), paragraph 1 is revised. ii. Under paragraph 19(e)(4)(i), paragraph 2 is revised. b. Under Section 1026.37—Content of Disclosures for Certain Mortgage Transactions (Loan Estimate): i. Under paragraph 37(b)(6), paragraph 1 is revised. ii. Under paragraph 37(c)(2)(ii), paragraph 2 is revised. ii. Under paragraph 37(c)(2)(iii), paragraph 1 is revised. iii. Under paragraph 37(c)(4)(iv), paragraph 2 is revised. iv. Under paragraph 37(h)(1)(ii), paragraph 1 is revised. v. Under paragraph 37(m), the subheading 37(m)(8) Construction loans and paragraph 1 are added. vi. Under paragraph 37(n), paragraph 2 is revised. c. Under Section 1026.38—Content of Disclosures for Certain Mortgage Transactions (Closing Disclosure): i. Under paragraph 38(a)(3)(vi), paragraph 2 is added. ii. Under paragraph 38(e)(1)(iii)(A), paragraph 1 is revised. iii. Under paragraph 38(e)(2)(iii)(A), paragraph 3 is added. iv. Under paragraph 38(g)(2), paragraph 4 is revised.

The revisions and additions read as follows:

Supplement I to Part 1026—Official Interpretations Subpart C—Closed-End Credit Section 1026.19—Certain Mortgage and Variable-Rate Transactions 19(e)(3)(iv)(D) Interest Rate Dependent Charges

1. Requirements. If the interest rate is not locked when the disclosures required by § 1026.19(e)(1)(i) are provided, a valid reason for revision exists when the interest rate is subsequently locked. No later than three business days after the date the interest rate is locked, § 1026.19(e)(3)(iv)(D) requires the creditor to provide a revised version of the disclosures required under § 1026.19(e)(1)(i) reflecting the revised interest rate, the points disclosed pursuant to § 1026.37(f)(1), lender credits, and any other interest rate dependent charges and terms. The following examples illustrate this requirement:

i. Assume a creditor sets the interest rate by executing a rate lock agreement with the consumer. If such an agreement exists when the original disclosures required under § 1026.19(e)(1)(i) are provided, then the actual points and lender credits are compared to the estimated points disclosed pursuant to § 1026.37(f)(1) and lender credits included in the original disclosures provided under § 1026.19(e)(1)(i) for the purpose of determining good faith pursuant to § 1026.19(e)(3)(i). If the consumer enters into a rate lock agreement with the creditor after the disclosures required under § 1026.19(e)(1)(i) were provided, then § 1026.19(e)(3)(iv)(D) requires the creditor to provide, no later than three business days after the date that the consumer and the creditor enter into a rate lock agreement, a revised version of the disclosures required under § 1026.19(e)(1)(i) reflecting the revised interest rate, the points disclosed pursuant to § 1026.37(f)(1), lender credits, and any other interest rate dependent charges and terms. Provided that the revised version of the disclosures required under § 1026.19(e)(1)(i) reflect any revised points disclosed pursuant to § 1026.37(f)(1) and lender credits, the actual points and lender credits are compared to the revised points and lender credits for the purpose of determining good faith pursuant to § 1026.19(e)(3)(i).

19(e)(4)(i) General Rule

2. Relationship to § 1026.19(e)(3)(iv)(D). If the reason for the revision is provided under § 1026.19(e)(3)(iv)(D), notwithstanding the three-business-day rule set forth in § 1026.19(e)(4)(i), § 1026.19(e)(3)(iv)(D) requires the creditor to provide a revised version of the disclosures required under § 1026.19(e)(1)(i) no later than three business days after the date the interest rate is locked. See comment 19(e)(3)(iv)(D)-1.

Subpart E—Special Rules for Certain Home Mortgage Transactions Section 1026.37—Content of Disclosures for Certain Mortgage Transactions (Loan Estimate) 37(b)(6) Adjustments After Consummation

1. Periods not in whole years. For guidance on how to disclose increases after consummation that occur after a number of months less than 24 but that do not equate to a number of whole years or within a number of days less than a week, see the guidance provided in comment 37(a)(10)-3. For increases that occur after more than 24 months, see the guidance provided in comment 37(b)(8)-1.

Paragraph 37(c)(2)(ii)

2. Relationship to principal and interest disclosure. The creditor discloses mortgage insurance premiums pursuant to § 1026.37(c)(2)(ii) on the same periodic basis that payments for principal and interest are disclosed pursuant to § 1026.37(c)(2)(i), even if mortgage insurance premiums are actually paid on some other periodic basis.

Paragraph 37(c)(2)(iii)

1. Escrow disclosure. The disclosure described in § 1026.37(c)(2)(iii) is required only if the creditor will establish an escrow account for the payment of some or all of the charges described in § 1026.37(c)(4)(ii). If no escrow account for the payment of some or all such charges will be established, the creditor discloses the escrow amount as “0.” If an escrow account is established for the payment of amounts described in § 1026.37(c)(4)(ii), but no escrow payment is required with a particular periodic payment (such as with a final balloon payment) or range of payments, the escrow payment should be disclosed as “—.”

Paragraph 37(c)(4)(iv)

2. Amounts paid by the creditor using escrow account funds. Section 1026.37(c)(4)(iv) requires the creditor to disclose an indication of whether the amounts disclosed pursuant to § 1026.37(c)(4)(ii) will be paid by the creditor using escrow account funds. If the amount disclosed pursuant to § 1026.37(c)(4)(ii) requires the creditor to disclose a description of more than one amount and only some of those amounts will be paid by the creditor using escrow account funds, the creditor may indicate that only some of those amounts will be paid using escrow account funds, such as by using the word “some.”

37(h)(1)(ii) Closing Costs Financed

1. Calculating amount. The amount of closing costs financed disclosed under § 1026.37(h)(1)(ii) is determined by subtracting the estimated total amount of payments to third parties not otherwise disclosed pursuant to § 1026.37(f) and (g) from the total loan amount disclosed pursuant to § 1026.37(b)(1). If the result of the calculation is a positive number, that amount is disclosed as a negative number under § 1026.37(h)(1)(ii), but only to the extent that it does not exceed the total amount of closing costs disclosed under § 1026.37(g)(6). If the result of the calculation is zero or negative, the amount of $0 is disclosed under § 1026.37(h)(1)(ii).

37(m)(8) Construction Loans

1. Clear and conspicuous statement regarding redisclosure for construction loans. For construction loans in transactions involving new construction, where the creditor reasonably expects the settlement date to be 60 days or more after the provision of the disclosures required under § 1026.19(e)(1)(i), providing the statement, “You may receive a revised Loan Estimate at any time prior to 60 days before consummation” under the master heading “Additional Information About This Loan” and the heading “Other Considerations” pursuant to § 1026.37(m)(8) satisfies the requirements set forth in § 1026.19(e)(3)(iv)(F) that the statement be made clearly and conspicuously on the disclosure.

37(n) Signature Statement

2. Multiple consumers. If there is more than one consumer who will be obligated in the transaction, the first consumer signs as the applicant and each additional consumer signs as a co-applicant. If there is not enough space under the heading “Confirm Receipt” to provide signature lines for every consumer in the transaction, the creditor may add additional signature pages, as needed, at the end of the form for the remaining consumers' signatures. However, the creditor is required to disclose the heading and statement required by § 1026.37(n)(1) on such additional pages.

Section 1026.38—Content of Disclosures for Certain Mortgage Transactions (Closing Disclosure) 38(a)(3)(vi) Property

2. Multiple properties. Where more than one property secures the credit transaction, § 1026.38(a)(3)(vi) requires disclosure of all property addresses. If the addresses of all properties securing the transaction do not fit in the space allocated on the Closing Disclosure, an additional page with the addresses of all such properties may be appended to the end of the form.

Paragraph 38(e)(1)(iii)(A)

1. Statements of increases or decreases. Section 1026.38(e)(1)(iii)(A) requires a statement of whether the amount increased or decreased from the estimated amount. The statement, “This amount increased,” in which the word “increased” is in boldface font and is replaced with the word “decreased” as applicable, complies with this requirement.

Paragraph 38(e)(2)(iii)(A)

3. Statements regarding excess amount and any credit to the consumer. Section 1026.38(e)(2)(iii)(A) requires a statement that an increase in closing costs exceeds legal limits by the dollar amount of the excess and a statement directing the consumer to the disclosure of lender credits under § 1026.38(h)(3) if a credit is provided under § 1026.19(f)(2)(v). See form H-25(F) in appendix H to this part for examples of such statements.

38(g)(2) Prepaids

4. Interest rate for prepaid interest. The dollar amounts disclosed pursuant to § 1026.38(g)(2) must be based on the interest rate disclosed under § 1026.38(b), as required by § 1026.37(b)(2).

Dated: January 18, 2015. Richard Cordray, Director, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
[FR Doc. 2015-01321 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-AM-P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 15 CFR Part 922 [Docket No. 120809321-4999-03] RIN 0648-BC26 Gulf of the Farallones and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuaries Regulations on Introduced Species AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

On March 18, 2013, NOAA proposed to prohibit the introduction of introduced species into the state waters of Gulf of the Farallones and Monterey Bay national marine sanctuaries (GFNMS and MBNMS, respectively). The proposed prohibition included exceptions for the catch and release of striped bass and for introduced species of shellfish as part of commercial aquaculture activities in the Tomales Bay region of GFNMS (the only geographic area within sanctuaries offshore of California where aquaculture occurs). On March 27, 2014, NOAA amended the proposal to allow GFNMS and MBNMS to consider authorizing the introduction of certain introduced species of shellfish, those considered to be non-invasive, from commercial aquaculture culture projects in all state waters of the sanctuaries. NOAA's final action allows MBNMS to authorize state of California permits or leases for commercial aquaculture projects in state waters involving introduced species of shellfish that a) the state management agencies and NOAA have determined to be non-invasive, and b) will not have significant adverse impacts to sanctuary resources or qualities. For GFNMS, NOAA will not adopt authorization authority for similar projects in state waters at this time and will revert to the proposal from March 2013, which prohibits introduction of introduced species, exempts state permitted commercial shellfish aquaculture activities within Tomales Bay only, and provides an exception for the catch and release of striped bass.

DATES:

Effective Date: Pursuant to section 304(b) of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act (NMSA) (16 U.S.C. 1434(b)), the revised designation and regulations shall take effect and become final after the close of a review period of forty-five days of continuous session of Congress beginning on February 19, 2015. NOAA will publish an announcement of the effective date of the final regulations in the Federal Register.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dave Lott, Regional Operations Coordinator, West Coast Region, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, 99 Pacific Street, STE 100F, Monterey, CA 93940. (831) 647-1920.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

On November 20, 2008, NOAA issued a final rule associated with the Joint Management Plan Review (JMPR) of GFNMS, MBNMS, and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary (73 FR 70488). Among other things, the rule prohibited the introduction of introduced species within or into both the federal and state waters of GFNMS and MBNMS, except for the catch and release of striped bass in both sanctuaries and from existing commercial aquaculture activities within the Tomales Bay region of GFNMS. In December 2008, the Governor of California, acting pursuant to the National Marine Sanctuaries Act (16 U.S.C. 1434(b)(1)), certified that certain changes to each sanctuary's terms of designation for regulating the introduction of introduced species were unacceptable for the state waters portions of GFNMS and MBNMS. As a result of that determination, NOAA's prohibitions on introduced species currently apply only in the federal waters of MBNMS and GFNMS.

On March 18, 2013, following discussions with the state of California, NOAA re-proposed the prohibition on the introduction of introduced species within or into the state waters of GFNMS and MBNMS to provide regulatory consistency in all waters of those two sanctuaries and across the four national marine sanctuaries along the California coast (78 FR 16622). The proposal would have expanded into state waters the exception for the catch and release of striped bass and would have exempted state-permitted mariculture activities in Tomales Bay. A 60-day comment period on the proposed rule closed on May 17, 2013. (Note: MBNMS regulations use the term “aquaculture” and GFNMS regulations use the term “mariculture” to refer to the same activity; accordingly, both of these terms are used in this final rulemaking.)

NOAA received approximately 14 comments from the public and the MBNMS and GFNMS Sanctuary Advisory Councils in support of the March 2013 draft proposal. NOAA also received comments from both the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and aquaculture industry raising concerns that ONMS's broad definition of “introduced species” did not recognize that a number of introduced species of shellfish have been cultivated for over 100 years in Tomales Bay, within GFNMS, without significant adverse impacts to native resources. The Final Environmental Impact Statement for the 2008 Joint Management Plan Review recognized that non-native oyster species cultivated in Tomales Bay had not spread outside the aquaculture areas. Both the CDFW and aquaculture industry also commented that the proposed regulation did not allow NOAA to consider potential future permit requests from the industry for cultivation of such species. The state believed that if NOAA exercised the authority to permit such operations, in close cooperation and collaboration with state resource management entities—CDFW, California Fish and Game Commission (CFGC), and California Coastal Commission (CCC)—this would offer an opportunity for aquaculture operators and the state to demonstrate that expanding existing or developing new shellfish aquaculture operations involving introduced species of shellfish that are non-invasive would not harm sanctuary resources. Both CDFW and the aquaculture industry also expressed the view that this approach would be more consistent with Executive Order 13112 on the management of introduced species.

In response to these concerns, on March 27, 2014, NOAA amended its proposal to provide MBNMS and GFNMS the regulatory authority to authorize state permits or leases for commercial aquaculture projects in state waters involving introduced species of shellfish that the state management agencies and NOAA have determined to be non-invasive and thus would not have significant adverse impacts to sanctuary resources or qualities (79 FR 17073). Representatives from state agencies agreed with NOAA that introduced species should be managed uniformly throughout all state waters of the two sanctuaries.

NOAA received 16 comments on this revised proposal, virtually all in opposition to granting GFNMS the regulatory authority to authorize state permits for such aquaculture projects. There were no comments received objecting to this authority for MBNMS.

NOAA and the state of California have both expressed interest in entering into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to define the roles of various state agencies (CDFW, CFGC, and CCC) and ONMS in a prescribed, collaborative process to determine whether an introduced species of shellfish could be considered non-invasive and potentially approved for cultivation within the state waters of either national marine sanctuary. The MOA would not supersede the legal authority of any participating agency; rather it would guide the collaborative interagency process and decision making timelines. The MOA would be necessary in response to the process outlined in NOAA's proposed rule published on March 2013 (78 FR 16622) regarding consultations for aquaculture projects in Tomales Bay, or for the process described in the March 2014 proposed rule (79 FR 17073) regarding the permit authorization process for the two national marine sanctuaries.

II. Summary of the Revisions to GFNMS Terms of Designation and Regulations

NOAA received few comments on the March 2013 proposed rulemaking regarding the introduced species regulation related to GFNMS. Both the GFNMS Advisory Council and several members of the public commented in strong support of the proposed rule and complimented the state agencies for recognizing the value in collaborating with NOAA to ensure state waters had additional protection from introduced species. However, the subsequent March 2014 proposed rule received considerable criticism from the public due to the proposal to allow GFNMS to authorize other agency permits, leases or licenses for new or expanded commercial shellfish aquaculture projects involving non-invasive introduced species. GFNMS does not presently have this permit authority and many commenters objected to providing that authority and increasing the risk of an invasion by an introduced shellfish species in state waters of GFNMS. In a separate rulemaking to expand GFNMS boundaries (79 FR 20981), the state of California also requested that NOAA not provide GFNMS authorization authority at this time and that NOAA conduct a separate process to allow time for local input and education regarding such a regulatory change.

As a result, NOAA will move forward with the regulatory proposals for GFNMS that were described in the March 2013 proposed rule. Specifically for GFNMS, this final rule extends the introduced species prohibition to all of GFNMS state waters, but exempts catch and release of striped bass and any existing or future commercial aquaculture project involving introduced species approved by the state of California in sanctuary waters of Tomales Bay after consulting GFNMS. NOAA's final rule is responsive to public support; eliminates the authorization authority for GFNMS that had generated considerable public concern; is consistent with the state of California's request to consider authorization authority for GFNMS in a separate process; and allows existing aquaculture projects to continue in Tomales Bay, the only area of either sanctuary where such activity presently occurs.

Presently 23.6 percent of GFNMS—all of the state waters in sanctuary (301.5 square statute miles)—is at risk from the introduction of introduced species. With this action, the vast majority of the sanctuary would be protected from such introductions of introduced species, except for less than 1 percent (10.3 square statute miles) in sanctuary waters of Tomales Bay, where commercial aquaculture of introduced species of shellfish approved by the state after consulting with NOAA, would be allowed. All other vectors of introduction of introduced species are prohibited in Tomales Bay.

Accordingly, NOAA is amending the GFNMS terms of designation to ensure that the introduction or release of an introduced species applies to the state waters of the sanctuary regardless of the means of introduction. The revised terms of designation under Article IV Scope of Regulations, Section 1 Activities Subject to Regulation, Activity (e) will read as follows (new text in quotes and deleted text in brackets and italics):

Article IV. Scope of Regulations Section 1. Activities Subject to Regulation

* * *

(e) Introducing or otherwise releasing from within or into [the federal waters of] the Sanctuary an introduced species

NOAA is also changing the second sentence of Article V in the terms of designation to ensure that the intent NOAA has consistently described—to regulate introduced species consistently across all four national marine sanctuaries along the coast California, in both state and federal waters—is achieved. Additionally, NOAA's final rule removes the time limitation needed to grandfather existing state-approved mariculture projects in Tomales Bay. Therefore, Article V. Relation to Other Regulatory Programs, Section 1, will read as follows (new text in quotes and deleted text in brackets and italics):

Article V. Relation to Other Regulatory Programs Section 1. Fishing and Waterfowl Hunting

The regulation of fishing, including fishing for shellfish and invertebrates, and waterfowl hunting, is not authorized under Article IV. However, fishing vessels may be regulated with respect to vessel operations in accordance with Article IV, section 1, paragraphs (b) and (h), and mariculture activities involving alterations of or construction on the seabed, or “introduction or” release of introduced species by mariculture activities [not covered by a valid lease from the State of California and in effect on the effective date of the final regulation], can be regulated in accordance with Article IV, section 1, paragraph (c) and (e). All regulatory programs pertaining to fishing, and to waterfowl hunting, including regulations promulgated under the California Fish and Game Code and Fishery Management Plans promulgated under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., will remain in effect, and all permits, licenses, and other authorizations issued pursuant thereto will be valid within the Sanctuary unless authorizing any activity prohibited by any regulation implementing Article IV. The term “fishing” as used in this Article includes mariculture.

In addition, for the purpose of this regulation NOAA is codifying the northern geographical extent of Tomales Bay via the same demarcation line that is already used in the International Regulations for Preventing Collision at Sea 1972 (COLREGS): the line runs from Avalis Beach east to Sand Point. These geographic coordinates have been added as Appendix D to Subpart H of Part 922. Parts of the western and southern shoreline of Tomales Bay solely within Point Reyes National Seashore are not subject to this regulation.

Last, as described in new § 922.85, NOAA intends to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the state of California to implement the Department of Fish and Wildlife's commitment to consult with NOAA whenever a future commercial shellfish aquaculture project permit application within Tomales Bay is received and being considered by the state.

III. Summary of the Revisions to MBNMS Terms of Designation and Regulations

NOAA received few comments on the March 2013 proposed rulemaking regarding the introduced species regulation related to MBNMS. The MBNMS Advisory Council and several members of the public commented in strong support of the proposed rule. The comments received for the March 2014 proposed rule generally focused on the GFNMS regulations, however the aquaculture industry commented in support of allowing MBNMS (as well as GFNMS) to consider a permit authorization for future commercial shellfish aquaculture projects involving non-invasive introduced species.

NOAA is implementing the regulatory proposals for MBNMS that were described in the March 2014 proposed rule. As with GFNMS, NOAA believes there is urgency and need to extend from federal waters into state waters the full protection of sanctuary regulations prohibiting the introduction or release of introduced species. Accordingly, NOAA is modifying the MBNMS terms of designation and regulations to prohibit the introduction or other release of introduced species from within or into the state waters of the sanctuary. The revised terms of designation under Article IV Scope of Regulations, Section 1 Activities Subject to Regulation, Activity (l) will read as follows (deleted text in brackets and italics):

Article IV. Scope of Regulations Section l. Activities Subject to Regulation

* * *

(l) Introducing or otherwise releasing from within or into [the federal waters of] the Sanctuary an introduced species.

This final rule also provides MBNMS with the authority to authorize a valid permit, license or other authorization issued by the state of California for commercial shellfish aquaculture activities conducted in state waters of MBNMS involving introduced species of shellfish that NOAA and the state have determined are non-invasive and that will not cause significant adverse effects to sanctuary resources or qualities. MBNMS regulations already allow the ONMS Director the ability to authorize state of California (or other agency) permits for certain activities that are otherwise prohibited in the sanctuary. This authority is delegated from the ONMS Director to the sanctuary Superintendent.

NOAA intends to enter into an MOA with the state of California to describe how NOAA and the state agencies—CFGC, CDFW and CCC—will coordinate on any future proposal to develop any commercial shellfish aquaculture project in state waters of MBNMS involving a non-invasive introduced species. Similar to other MOAs with state agencies, this MOA requirement will be reflected in MBNMS regulations (see § 922.134(a)).

IV. Response to Comments

NOAA conducted two comment periods on separate proposed rules between March 2013 and March 2014 and received a total of 29 comments from 33 groups, agencies or individuals. The comments and responses have been segregated below to reflect the two different proposed rules.

Comments and Responses Submitted on the March 2013 Proposed Rule General Support for the Proposed Rule

1. Comment: Commenters generally supported the 2013 proposal, noting the cooperation of NOAA and the state agencies in coming to terms that would protect the national marine sanctuaries from the threat of introduced species.

Response: NOAA agrees there was ongoing need to address the unresolved issue of leaving the state waters portions of the two national marine sanctuaries vulnerable to introduction of introduced species. This final rule incorporates aspects of both the 2013 and 2014 proposed rules, and relies on increased collaboration among the state of California agencies and NOAA. The final rule specifically includes the ability for aquaculture operators to seek a permit from the state (within Tomales Bay in GFNMS) and from the state and NOAA (within MBNMS).

The Proposed Rule Does Not Recognize That Some Introduced Species Are Non-Invasive

2. Comment: NOAA should revise the proposed rule to recognize that some introduced species are not a threat to sanctuary resources because they do not reproduce or otherwise affect the natural ecosystem of the sanctuary if released. NOAA should consider provisions for allowing culturing of introduced shellfish species approved by the state of California and proven to pose no significant threat to native ecological processes within the sanctuaries.

Response: National marine sanctuaries are designated, in part, to maintain “natural biological communities . . . and to protect, and where appropriate, restore and enhance natural habitats, populations, and ecological processes” (16 U.S.C. 1431(b)(3)). In short, national marine sanctuaries are mandated by law to preserve the natural character of national marine sanctuary ecosystems, similar to the manner that terrestrial ecosystems have been preserved and protected by the national parks system. Any proposed alteration of the natural biological community (e.g. introduction of a foreign species) is contrary to the purpose of sanctuary designation. Therefore, the proposed introduction of species not native to a national marine sanctuary places the burden of proof on the project sponsor to demonstrate to NOAA and state management agencies that no significant harm will result from any such proposal. NOAA acknowledges that there have been some introduced species of shellfish cultivated in GFNMS which have not, to date, had significant adverse effects on sanctuary resources. In discussions with the three state management entities with regulatory control over aquaculture projects in state waters—the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Fish and Game Commission and the California Coastal Commission—it is clear to NOAA that state management entities are also concerned about the impact invasive, introduced species can have on an ecosystem. These agencies have taken steps to eliminate, or at least greatly reduce the risk of an invasion from such species grown in aquaculture projects.

Based on these comments and further analysis, NOAA issued a revised proposed rule in March 2014 which proposed to allow the ONMS Director to consider authorization of state permits or leases for a very limited scope of aquaculture projects—state-approved aquaculture in state waters of GFNMS (including Tomales Bay) or MBNMS involving an introduced species of shellfish that the state and NOAA determined would not be invasive or otherwise damage sanctuary resources (authority to issue an authorization is delegated from the ONMS director to a sanctuary superintendent). NOAA proposed to develop an MOA with the state agencies to lay out how such joint review would take place for any future aquaculture project. MBNMS already has authorization authority, but cannot issue a permit for an introduced species projects. GFNMS does not have authorization authority, so this would have been new authority for GFNMS.

The final rule expands MBNMS's existing authorization authority to include this limited scope of regulatory action—the potential authorization of state permits or leases that would allow development of new aquaculture projects in state waters involving introduced shellfish species the state and NOAA have determined are non-invasive and will not harm sanctuary resources or qualities. For GFNMS, NOAA has adjusted the final rule to conform to a request from the state of California as part of a separate rulemaking on boundary expansion of that sanctuary to not include authorization authority in GFNMS at this time. NOAA intends to begin implementing a separate public process, including consultation with affected agencies, on the topic of authorization after the finalization of the sanctuary expansion action.

Future Growth of Shellfish Industry

3. Comment: The proposed rule eliminates sites for future growth of the shellfish industry in California, conflicts with other federal policies and goals, and should be withdrawn for further consideration and revision.

Response: NOAA disagrees. The final rule does not prohibit aquaculture. It prohibits the introduction of introduced species within or into nationally protected marine ecosystems. The final rule now allows the consideration of non-invasive introduced species as part of a commercial shellfish aquaculture operation in state waters of MBNMS, provided that both the state and NOAA determine cultivation of the species would have no significant adverse effects to sanctuary resources or qualities. Furthermore, the final rule includes no regulatory restrictions by GFNMS for any new or expanded aquaculture project cultivating introduced species in Tomales Bay, the only area of either sanctuary where such activity is currently conducted. Expansion would be possible in Tomales Bay, provided applicants received appropriate state permits or leases. The final rule specifically includes the ability for aquaculture operators to seek a permit from the state (within Tomales Bay in GFNMS) and from the state and NOAA (within MBNMS).

Exempting Tomales Bay Increases Permitting Burden

4. Comment: The proposed exemption of Tomales Bay from ONMS regulations would cause undue and additional regulatory burden on aquaculture operators seeking new permits from the state. The proposed Memorandum of Agreement between NOAA and the state agencies would cause undue delay.

Response: NOAA disagrees. The exemption to the introduced species regulation for mariculture in Tomales Bay will not cause a burden on an operator proposing a new or expanded aquaculture project. The MOA will outline and clarify agency roles and anticipated timelines in the consultation process that state agencies would normally conduct with other agencies, in this case GFNMS.

Proposed Rule Eliminates Jobs

5. Comment: The proposed rule will result in elimination of green jobs and sustainable small businesses associated with shellfish aquaculture, and create a greater seafood trade imbalance.

Response: The final rule will not eliminate any existing aquaculture operation or associated green jobs in GFNMS, and exempts from sanctuary regulation the only area in that sanctuary where aquaculture presently occurs. For MBNMS, the final rule allows the sanctuary superintendent to consider authorization of a state permit or lease for a future commercial shellfish aquaculture project in state waters cultivating an introduced species that NOAA and the state determine is non-invasive and will not adversely affect sanctuary resources or qualities. Presently there are no such introduced species aquaculture projects in MBNMS and hence no jobs that could be lost due to the final rule.

Proposed Action Is More Consistent With Coastal Act

6. Comment: The proposed rule is more consistent with the past decision by the California Coastal Commission regarding the final rule NOAA submitted to the state in 2008. (The current status is inconsistent with that decision, with the state waters completely unprotected from introduction of introduced species.)

Response: NOAA agrees.

Effect of Regulation on Research on Introduced Species

7. Comment: Clarify how the proposed regulation affects research on introduced species.

Response: The final rule applies to state waters of both GFNMS and MBNMS and would make the restrictions on introduction of introduced species consistent within state and federal waters of those sanctuaries. Specifically, sanctuary regulations will prohibit introducing or otherwise releasing an introduced species into the sanctuary, and thus any research that includes or results in the release or other introduction of an introduced species would not be allowed. Regulations for both sites would not allow a superintendent to issue a permit for such research. Research on introduced species already existing within the sanctuary would not generally be prohibited unless such research involved relocation, moving, or otherwise distributing individuals or propagules of the existing introduced species.

Memorandum of Agreement

8. Comment: The MOA between NOAA and the state of California regarding introduced species aquaculture should be circulated for public comment so the public can be assured that the MOA's design adequately satisfies the intent of the proposed rule.

Response: Interagency MOA are not generally circulated for public review before they are signed. The MOA will establish procedures for the agencies to work collaboratively pursuant to and consistent with the respective legal authorities of each participating agency. In no case will the MOA supersede NOAA's regulatory authority. The final, signed agreement will be available to the public.

Comments and Responses Submitted for Second Proposed Rule, March 2014 No Introduced Species Should Be Allowed

9. Comment: Introduced species pose a threat to native species diversity and endangered species, ecosystem integrity, and the composition and resilience of natural biological communities as well as the commercial and recreational uses that depend on these resources. GFNMS and MBNMS should revise sanctuary regulations to consistently protect all sanctuary and associated state marine waters and habitats from negative ecological and socio-economic impacts caused by the introduction of introduced species.

Response: NOAA agrees. The introduction of introduced species to marine waters can disrupt native ecological processes, resulting in altered trophic relationships and habitat modification. Introduced species can spread unabated in areas where no natural predators exist, and eradication of these species may become impossible once they disperse. Propagation of invasive introduced species can lead to socio-economic impacts, such as changes in fisheries, fouling of infrastructure and seawater intakes, and aesthetic changes that impact tourism. The final rule prohibits all forms of introducing or releasing an introduced species into state waters of both sanctuaries, with three exceptions: (1) Within both sanctuaries, catch and release of an introduced species, striped bass, already established in marine waters and part of an active recreational fishery. State-imposed size limits could result in striped bass being caught and released while fishing in either sanctuary; (2) within GFNMS, existing commercial shellfish aquaculture operations in Tomales Bay permitted by the state that cultivate introduced species which have not, to date, invaded native ecosystems and caused significant adverse harm to sanctuary resources and qualities; and, (3) within MBNMS, introduction of introduced species from commercial shellfish aquaculture projects in state waters that NOAA and the state have determined are non-invasive and will not cause adverse harm to sanctuary resources and qualities. NOAA will work very closely with the state resource management entities to ensure any new, expanded or future aquaculture project will not result in a release of an invasive species that will cause harm to sanctuary, and state, resources. All other forms of introduction or release of an introduced species will be strictly prohibited.

Catch and Release of State Approved Non-Native Species

10. Comment: Regulation of introduced species by MBNMS and GFNMS should include provisions for continued catch and release of striped bass (Marone saxatilis), a fish stock historically managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).

Response: As in the original final rule issued on November 20, 2008, catch and release of striped bass (Marone saxatilis) in both state and federal waters of GFNMS and MBNMS is exempt from this regulation (73 FR 70488).

General Opposition to the Amended Rule

11. Comment: The proposal to allow authorization of state-permitted commercial shellfish aquaculture operations in GFNMS would give deference to the aquaculture industry over the national marine sanctuaries' resource protection mandate.

Response: As a result of the Governor's objection in 2008, there are currently no sanctuary regulations protecting state waters of these two national marine sanctuaries from the introduction of introduced species. This final rule closes that regulatory gap and prohibits the introduction of introduced species in the state waters of the sanctuaries from all other pathways of introductions except for the three exceptions described in response to comment 9 above. For GFNMS, the final rule does not add authorization authority to that sanctuary's regulations. However, any expanded or new aquaculture operation within Tomales Bay in GFNMS would have to be permitted by several state resource management agencies, who would consult with GFNMS before issuing any permit. In addition, the authority to authorize another agency's permit, which MBNMS could exercise through this final rule, gives complete discretion to the MBNMS superintendent to approve with conditions or deny a potential future aquaculture project in state waters of MBNMS cultivating introduced shellfish species that NOAA and the state have found to be non-invasive and to not adversely affect sanctuary resources and qualities.

Authorization Authorities

12. Comment: NOAA should not adopt the proposed authorization authority because it provides essentially a rubber stamp approval to future activities involving introduced species.

Response: NOAA disagrees. The final regulation allows MBNMS to consider the authorization of aquaculture operations within very narrow parameters (to approve, condition, or deny state issued permits for commercial shellfish aquaculture in state waters of MBNMS determined by NOAA and state management agencies to be not invasive and not cause significant adverse effects to sanctuary resources or qualities). Authorization authority has existed in MBNMS and five other national marine sanctuaries for many years and has been used successfully and consistent with the purposes and policies of the NMSA.

13. Comment: The authority to authorize other agencies' permits found in 15 CFR 922.49 is deficient in that it lacks administrative procedure for public oversight and comment, and for public appeals, and it is not directly connected to the conditions for sanctuary permits found in 15 CFR 922.83 and 15 CFR 922.133

Response: The final rule does not add permit authorization authority to GFNMS regulations at this time. For MBNMS, which has had authorization authority since 1992, the issues of public review have not arisen in large part because projects MBNMS has considered for authorization have had extensive public review by another local, state or federal agencies.

14. Comment: NOAA should not adopt authorization authority because this adds another layer of bureaucracy to an already-complicated, multi-state agency review process, impeding future growth of the industry.

Response: NOAA disagrees that the authorization process adds another layer of bureaucracy. The authorization process is intended to improve administrative efficiency by allowing NOAA to review and approve, deny or condition other agencies' permits. This simplifies the application process for a permit applicant and promotes cooperative efforts among NOAA and other regulatory agencies.

Grandfathering Existing State Leases

15. Comment: NOAA should not “grandfather” existing or heretofore undisclosed leases, permits, and pending modifications of existing activities within Tomales Bay. NOAA should obtain full and complete copies of those leases before the effective date of the regulation, and they should be identified in the Federal Register announcement at the time the final rule is published.

Response: The grandfathering of existing aquaculture leases has been removed from the final rule and will not occur within GFNMS. Instead, NOAA is exempting from regulation the sanctuary waters of Tomales Bay, where existing aquaculture projects occur, as described in the 2013 proposed rule. In MBNMS there are no existing aquaculture operations, thus there are no undisclosed leases or permits and no projects will be grandfathered. The existing state review process continues in these areas and any major state action on an aquaculture operation in Tomales Bay will proceed consistent with existing public review processes, including public hearings before the California Fish and Game Commission or the California Coastal Commission.

Memorandum of Agreement

16. Comment: The MOA between NOAA and the state of California, and NOAA's authorization authority regarding introduced species aquaculture, should in no way expand from bivalve mariculture to finfish aquaculture.

Response: NOAA agrees. The authorization authority for MBNMS is narrowly defined to only allow MBNMS to consider authorizing state of California permits or leases for commercial shellfish aquaculture projects in state waters involving introduced species of shellfish that the state management agencies and NOAA have determined will not have significant adverse impacts to sanctuary resources or qualities. For Tomales Bay, the state will continue to have primary jurisdictional authority for aquaculture, consulting with GFNMS before issuing any new permits or leases. All other introductions of introduced species in state and federal waters of GFNMS and MBNMS, except for the catch and release of striped bass, are prohibited. Furthermore, the state of California has a current legislative prohibition on non-native finfish aquaculture in state waters.

Collaboration Between State and Federal Agencies

17. Comment: Too much of the proposal is predicated on promises of future collaborations and agreements. Recent history suggests that the state is incapable of shared jurisdictional authority when managing aquaculture.

Response: NOAA believes the collaborative process developed for both GFNMS and MBNMS will allow the state and NOAA to work cooperatively to prevent the introduction of introduced species into state waters of the sanctuaries. The state will consult with GFNMS prior to issuing any new permits in Tomales Bay. However, in all other state waters of GFNMS, introduced species aquaculture will not be allowed. In MBNMS, the state and NOAA will each have jurisdiction over commercial aquaculture projects in state waters involving introduced species of shellfish.

Scientific Data

18. Comment: NOAA should not adopt the proposed rule (March 2014) to consider permitting aquaculture projects in GFNMS with non-invasive, introduced species because lack of scientific data on the significant impacts of invasive species, a lack of data on native and non-native species abundance and condition, and on cross-vector influences.

Response: NOAA agrees that impacts from introduced species can pose a major threat to sanctuary resources and qualities. However, in Tomales Bay, the only location in sanctuaries offshore of California where commercial cultivation of introduced species currently occurs, state management agencies have regulated these types of aquaculture operations for many years. In this final rule, NOAA is not expanding the ability to develop new introduced species aquaculture projects in GFNMS beyond Tomales Bay and will defer to state management agencies for aquaculture projects within Tomales Bay.

NEPA Compliance

19. Comment: NOAA has not adequately complied with the National Environmental Policy Act for proposed rule because it relied on analysis from 2008, and did not conduct a new environmental review.

Response: NOAA is relying on the FEIS as prepared for the 2008 JMPR because the baseline conditions have not changed. That is, there has been no change in the number of mariculture operations or leases in Tomales Bay and NOAA is unaware of any change in the environmental effects of those species in Tomales Bay. With this rule, the introduction of introduced species, including the use of non-native shellfish in commercial aquaculture operations, is being prohibited in state waters of both sanctuaries, with the exception of Tomales Bay. The 2008 FEIS specifically identified that the prohibition of the introduction of introduced species would lead to beneficial impacts to Biological Resources and Water Quality Resources and would not cause any adverse impacts to existing shellfish aquaculture operations.

The final rule adopts a regulatory regime slightly different from that reviewed in 2008 because it will allow commercial shellfish aquaculture to continue using introduced species in Tomales Bay that have been shown to be non-invasive and will allow the State of California to demonstrate on a case-by-case basis with NOAA concurrence that commercial shellfish operations using certain non-invasive shellfish species may be safely established in state waters of MBNMS. NOAA believes this action is within the range of alternatives considered in 2008 and will result in nearly the same level of beneficial impacts that were identified in 2008. Further, NOAA is adopting final regulations that would not affect existing aquaculture projects in Tomales Bay that are conducted pursuant to a valid lease, permit, license or other authorization issued by the state of California.

NOAA has added authorization authority for MBNMS to consider authorizing state of California permits or leases for commercial aquaculture projects in state waters involving introduced species of shellfish that the state management agencies and NOAA have determined will not have significant adverse impacts to sanctuary resources or qualities. This process will require additional NEPA and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review to be triggered on a case by case basis if new aquaculture projects were to be proposed in the state waters of MBNMS. NOAA has complied with NEPA for this action.

Species May Become Invasive Over Time Due to Climate Change

20. Comment: Some commenters expressed concerns that cultivated species currently not considered by the state of California to be invasive, such as Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas), have the potential to be invasive in other environments and situations, and may become invasive in California under global climate change scenarios where warmer waters allow unassisted reproduction.

Response: NOAA is also concerned about how climate change will impact introduced species aquaculture. In this action, NOAA is implementing a final rule which does not allow introduced species aquaculture in state waters of GFNMS except in Tomales Bay and only with a state lease or permit. Aquaculture operators will be required to follow the state's public process through the CA Fish and Game Commission and the CA Coastal Commission. The results of studies in the United States and elsewhere as to how species may become invasive will be considered by the state and NOAA in making any future determinations.

Parasites and Other Impacts

21. Comment: NOAA's final action needs to account for the likelihood that these shellfish species would themselves attract or carry other exotic species, thereby causing environmentally detrimental impacts.

Response: In GFNMS, only those aquaculture operations in Tomales Bay with a valid lease or permit from the state of California would be exempt. If a commercial shellfish aquaculture project involving introduced species is proposed in MBNMS, as part of the permit authorization state management agencies and NOAA must determine the project will not have significant adverse impacts to sanctuary resources or qualities. In this review process, NOAA and state management agencies will consider not only the proposed introduced species themselves, but also the threats from parasites, project siting, the financial capability of the applicant, among other factors.

Monitoring and Management

22. Comment: NOAA should clarify how it or the state will monitor and prevent accidental introductions of diseases, parasites and hitch-hikers on aquaculture species within sanctuary waters. No protocol for monitoring or management of new or expanded aquaculture operations is referenced in the proposed regulation amendment.

Response: For Tomales Bay in GFNMS, commercial shellfish aquaculture will remain under the primary management authority of state management agencies and their public processes at this time. The MOA will outline how GFNMS can raise concerns to the state and seek their inclusion of permit conditions that ensure adequate enforcement and monitoring. For state waters of MBNMS, ONMS may condition or deny a potential permit authorization request if NOAA finds the applicant and the state management agencies do not adequately monitor and manage a proposed commercial shellfish aquaculture project involving introduced species. Monitoring and enforcement protocols could be added to permit conditions as part of an authorization, and would ideally be discussed, reviewed, and planned for on a case by case basis, and considered during the NEPA and CEQA process.

Other Federal Jurisdictions

23. Comment: NOAA's proposed rule does not recognize the regulatory role of the National Park Service (NPS). NPS national policy prohibits introductions of non-native species in NPS waters, including waters which overlap with national marine sanctuaries, the introduction of non-native species within national parks is inconsistent with the NPS Organic Act of 1916 (as amended and supplemented).

Response: NOAA and NPS have some jurisdictional overlap in GFNMS. Where there is jurisdictional overlap, NOAA's final regulations in this action do not usurp other federal regulations, including those of the National Park Service. As discussed in the preamble to this rule above, due to the previous Governor's objection in December 2008, there are currently no sanctuary regulations regarding introduced species in state waters of GFNMS and MBNMS (including waters adjacent to national parks). NOAA believes this final action will close that regulatory gap by prohibiting virtually all of the mechanisms that could result in the introduction of an introduced species. The final rule will only allow introduced species shellfish aquaculture within sanctuary waters of Tomales Bay operating with a valid permit of lease from the state. This final action will support the goals of the National Park Service to prevent the introduction of introduced species.

Weakens ONMS Authority

24. Comment: NOAA's proposed action weakens the authority of the national marine sanctuaries to control invasive non-native species that potentially may be introduced by new aquaculture operations. In so doing, NOAA delegates to the state the authority to define invasive species and bypasses a process for environmental review and compliance, including the participation of other potentially impacted federal agencies, such as national parks as well as the public.

Response: NOAA disagrees. Currently, there are no introduced species regulations in state waters of GFNMS or MBNMS and this final rule provides that regulatory protection by prohibiting the introduction of introduced species in all state waters of MBNMS and nearly all state waters of GFNMS. Any state review of an existing, expanded or new aquaculture project in Tomales Bay in GFNMS will include compliance with CEQA, consultation with affected agencies, and public review, including hearings, as prescribed by agency procedures when issuing leases and permits. Any new project in MBNMS will also require compliance with NEPA. While the final rule exempts the need for a permit authorization from GFNMS in Tomales Bay it includes extensive consultation with GFNMS prior to the state's issuing permits or leases as outlined in the MOA. Therefore, additional public review consistent with state and federal law and procedures will be provided and comments considered on any such action in either sanctuary, if proposed in the future.

Existing Operations

25. Comment: NOAA should require ONMS review for any change to an existing lease where the grower proposes to cultivate new non-native shellfish species on their farm.

Response: The grandfathering option for GFNMS discussed in the March 2013 proposal was adopted by NOAA and will exempt existing and future commercial shellfish aquaculture operations in Tomales Bay with a valid state of California permit or lease. The MOA will outline how the state will consult with GFNMS on expansion of existing leases or future proposals to cultivate new species.

Extending the Public Comment Period

26. Comment: NOAA should extend the short comment period of the amended proposed rule. The release of the Federal Register notice reopening this issue, and the subsequent comment deadline for this reversal by the agency was conducted in such manner as to preclude the public from having timely access to the necessary information and supporting documents, and the necessary time for review.

Response: The comment period for the March 2013 proposed rule was 60 days and generated very few public comments. The comments received in 2013 were mostly in support—including those received from the GFNMS and MBNMS Sanctuary Advisory Councils—of NOAA's proposed action which is being implemented for GFNMS in this final rule. Based on this information, NOAA did not anticipate receiving many public comments for the March 27, 2014 amended proposed rule, and therefore NOAA established a 15 day comment period. Upon receiving a request for an extension, NOAA re-opened the comment period for an additional 24 days until May 5, 2017. Based on the comments received during these two comment periods, NOAA believes this final rule-making has provided the public with timely involvement and the opportunity to review and comment on this action.

Programmatic Environmental Impact Report (pEIR)

27. Comment: The rule is premature because this current NOAA comment period predates a pending state of California Programmatic Environmental Impact Report (pEIR) on aquaculture issues expected to be inclusive of many of the same types of invasive species questions brought forward by expanded aquaculture proposals in state waters.

Response: This comment is beyond the scope of this rulemaking. The state's programmatic environmental impact report being prepared pursuant to CEQA is unrelated to this final action promulgated by NOAA. This regulation has a long history, and is designed to extend existing sanctuary introduced species prohibitions from federal waters into state waters of GFNMS and MBNMS. Future state action may further assist the state and federal regulatory agencies in protecting coastal waters from the invasive impacts of introduced species.

GFNMS Boundary Expansion

28. Comment: NOAA should not take any action on the introduced species rule until the public hearings and written comments on the draft environmental impact Statement (DEIS) and accompanying regulations for boundary expansion for GFNMS has been subjected to sufficient public review.

Response: This comment is beyond the scope of this rulemaking. However, we note the proposed rule for GFNMS expansion recognizes that there is a separate rulemaking process the introduced species. The rules will be codified accordingly, in the order they are finalized.

Oil Drilling

29. Comment: NOAA should specifically exclude oil drilling from the list of otherwise prohibited activities that could be authorized by NOAA (922.132(1)) within GFNMS.

Response: This comment is beyond the scope of this rulemaking. Nevertheless, as noted previously, the Final Rule does not add authorization authority to GFNMS regulations.

V. Miscellaneous Rulemaking Requirements A. National Marine Sanctuaries Act

Section 301 of the NMSA (16 U.S.C. 1434) provides authority for comprehensive and coordinated conservation and management of national marine sanctuaries in coordination with other resource management authorities. When changing a term of designation of a National Marine Sanctuary, section 304 of the NMSA requires the preparation of a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS), as provided by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and that the DEIS be made available to the public. NOAA prepared a draft and final management plan and a draft and final EIS on the initial proposal and final rule for the Joint Management Plan Review (JMPR). Copies are available at the address and Web site listed in the Addresses section of this proposed rule. Responses to comments received on March 18, 2013 proposed rule and on the March 27, 2014 proposed revision to the regulations have been analyzed and published in the preamble to this final rule and discussed in the record of decision. NOAA has made available the 2008 final environmental impact statement (FEIS) for the JMPR that was previously available to the public, and which analyzes the environmental effects of the introduced species regulations as they are now finalized by this action. (For a copy of the FEIS, please visit www.sanctuaries.noaa.gov/jointplan.)

B. National Environmental Policy Act

In the 2008 FEIS for the JMPR, NOAA identified a preferred action which was to modify the terms of designation and regulations for GFNMS and MBNMS to, among other things, prohibit the introduction of introduced species (with limited exceptions) throughout the sanctuaries, and NOAA endorses that action as re-proposed and as amended in the notices of proposed rulemaking associated with this final rule. The 2008 FEIS specifically identified that the prohibition of the introduction of introduced species would lead to beneficial impacts to Biological Resources and Water Quality Resources and would not cause any adverse impacts to existing shellfish aquaculture operations. The final rule adopts a regulatory regime slightly different from that reviewed in 2008, however, this action is within the range of alternatives considered in 2008 and will result in nearly the same level of beneficial impacts that were identified in 2008. Further, NOAA is adopting final regulations that would not affect existing aquaculture projects in Tomales Bay that are conducted pursuant to a valid lease, permit, license or other authorization issued by the state of California. NOAA further believes there has not been a significant change to the environmental conditions or the potential environmental effects of the preferred alternative. NOAA has determined that a supplement to the FEIS is not required for this final action.

Pursuant to a MOA that would be executed, the state would consult with NOAA prior to any new or amended state-issued lease and permits. In addition, through this action NOAA would exercise limited authorization authority with respect to commercial shellfish aquaculture activities in state waters of MBNMS involving cultivation of introduced species of shellfish that NOAA and the State have determined are non-invasive and would not cause significant adverse effects. Any future proposal or amendments to existing state leases for an aquaculture project involving cultivation of introduced shellfish species would undergo environmental review pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and NEPA for MBNMS and CEQA for GFNMS on a case-by-case basis to consider project-specific effects of that action. NOAA may refuse to authorize a project in MBNMS that would not comply with terms or conditions required by NOAA. 15 CFR 922.49(a).

Copies of the FEIS, the record of decision and other related materials that are specific to this action are available at http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/jointplan/feis/feis.html, or by contacting NOAA at the address listed in the For Further Information section of this final rule. Comments regarding the introduction of introduced species portion of the original FEIS are analyzed and responded to above, in the Response to Comments section.

C. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Impact

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

D. Executive Order 13132: Federalism Assessment

NOAA has concluded that this regulatory action falls within the definition of “policies that have federalism implications” within the meaning of Executive Order 13132. NOAA's previous proposed rule and subsequent amended proposed rule were conducted in cooperation with the State of California, and pursuant to Section 304(b) of the NMSA. Since the proposed rule was issued on March 18, 2013, further consultations have occurred with the State of California, and the proposed changes contained in the March 27, 2014 notice reflect cooperative negotiations reached in those consultations. It is NOAA's view that, due to these negotiations, the state will not object to the amended regulations finalized in this action. In keeping with the intent of the Executive Order, NOAA consulted with a number of entities within the state which participated in development of the initial rule, including but not limited to, the California Coastal Commission, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the California Natural Resources Agency.

E. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration at the proposed rule stage that this rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for this certification was discussed in the proposed rule issued on March 18, 2013, and the March 27, 2014 amended proposal, where the conclusion remained the same. No comments were received on that certification. No other law requires a regulatory flexibility analysis so none is required and none has been prepared.

F. Paperwork Reduction Act

This final rule does not contain information collections that are subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act. 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.

List of Subjects in 15 CFR Part 922

Administrative practice and procedure, Aquaculture, Catch and release, Environmental protection, Fish, Harbors, Introduced species, Mariculture, Marine pollution, Marine resources, Natural resources, Non-invasive, Penalties, Recreation and recreation areas, Research, Water pollution control, Water resources, Wildlife.

W. Russell Callender, Acting Assistant Administrator, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Accordingly, for the reasons set forth above, 15 CFR part 922 is amended as follows:

PART 922—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for Part 922 continues to read as follows: Authority:

16 U.S.C. 1431 et seq.

2. In § 922.82, revise paragraph (a)(10) to read as follows:
§ 922.82 Prohibited or otherwise regulated activities.

(a) * * *

(10) Introducing or otherwise releasing from within or into the Sanctuary an introduced species, except:

(i) Striped bass (Morone saxatilis) released during catch and release fishing activity; or

(ii) Species cultivated by commercial shellfish mariculture activities in Tomales Bay pursuant to a valid lease, permit, license or other authorization issued by the state of California. Tomales Bay is defined in § 922.80. The coordinates for the northern terminus of Tomales Bay are listed in appendix D to this subpart.

3. Add new § 922.85 to read as follows:
§ 922.85 Review of State permits and leases for certain mariculture projects.

NOAA has described in a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the State of California how the State will consult and coordinate with NOAA to review any new, amended or expanded lease or permit application for mariculture projects in Tomales Bay involving introduced species.

4. Add Appendix D to subpart H of part 922, to read as follows: Appendix D to Subpart H of Part 922—Northern Extent of Tomales Bay

For the purpose of § 922.82(a)(10)(ii), NOAA is codifying the northern geographical extent of Tomales Bay via a line running from Avalis Beach (Point 1) east to Sand Point (Point 2). Coordinates listed in this Appendix are unprojected (geographic) and based on the North American Datum of 1983.

Point ID No.
  • Tomales Bay
  • boundary
  • Latitude Longitude
    1 38.23165 −122.98148 2 38.23165 −122.96955
    5. Revise § 922.132, paragraph (e) to read as follows:
    § 922.132 Prohibited or otherwise regulated activities.

    (e) The prohibitions in paragraphs (a)(2) through (a)(8) of this section, and (a)(12) of this section regarding any introduced species of shellfish that NOAA and the State of California have determined is non-invasive and will not cause significant adverse effects to sanctuary resources or qualities, and that is cultivated in state waters as part of commercial shellfish aquaculture activities, do not apply to any activity authorized by any lease, permit, license, approval, or other authorization issued after the effective date of Sanctuary designation (January 1, 1993) and issued by any Federal, State, or local authority of competent jurisdiction, provided that the applicant complies with 15 CFR 922.49, the Director notifies the applicant and authorizing agency that he or she does not object to issuance of the authorization, and the applicant complies with any terms and conditions the Director deems necessary to protect Sanctuary resources and qualities. Amendments, renewals, and extensions of authorizations in existence on the effective date of designation constitute authorizations issued after the effective date of Sanctuary designation.

    6. In § 922.134, revise the section heading and add new paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 922.134 Review of certain State permits and leases.

    (a)(1) NOAA has described in a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the State of California how NOAA will coordinate review of any introduction of non-invasive introduced species from a proposed shellfish aquaculture project when considering an authorization under § 922.132(e).

    (2) The MOA specifies how the process of 15 CFR 922.49 will be administered within State waters within the sanctuary in coordination with State permit and lease programs as administered by the California Fish and Game Commission, the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the California Coastal Commission.

    [FR Doc. 2015-03486 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-NK-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0025] Safety Zone, Sag Harbor COC Winter Harbor Frost Fireworks, Sag Harbor, NY AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of enforcement of regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard will enforce one safety zone for a fireworks display in the Sector Long Island Sound area of responsibility on the dates and times listed in the table below. This action is necessary to provide for the safety of life on navigable waterways during the event. During the enforcement period, no person or vessel may enter the safety zone without permission of the Captain of the Port (COTP) Sector Long Island Sound or designated representative.

    DATES:

    The regulations in 33 CFR 165.151 will be enforced on February 28 (rain date March 1), 2015 from 6:15 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this notice, call or email Petty Officer Ian Fallon, Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound; telephone 203-468-4565, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Coast Guard will enforce the safety zone listed in 33 CFR 165.151 on the specified date and time as indicated in the following Table. If the event is delayed by inclement weather, the regulation will be enforced on the rain date indicated in the Table.

    Table Sag Harbor COC Winter Harbor Frost Fireworks • Date: February 28, 2015.
  • • Rain Date: March 1, 2015.
  • • Time: 6:15 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.
  • • Location: Waters of Sag Harbor off Long Wharf St. Pier in Sag Harbor, NY in approximate position 41°00′16.82″ N, 072°17′43.78″ W (NAD 83).
  • Under the provisions of 33 CFR 165.151, the fireworks display listed above in DATES is established as a safety zone. During the enforcement period, persons and vessels are prohibited from entering into, transiting through, mooring, or anchoring within the safety zone unless they receive permission from the COTP or designated representative.

    This document is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165 and 5 U.S.C. 552 (a). In addition to this notification in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide the maritime community with advance notification of this enforcement period via the Local Notice to Mariners or marine information broadcasts. If the COTP determines that the safety zone need not be enforced for the full duration stated in this document, a Broadcast Notice to Mariners may be used to grant general permission to enter the regulated area.

    Dated: February 3, 2015. E.J. Cubanski, III, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Sector Long Island Sound.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03333 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 51 [EPA-HQ-OAR-2004-0489; FRL-9922-27-OAR] RIN 2060-AR29 Revisions to the Air Emissions Reporting Requirements: Revisions to Lead (Pb) Reporting Threshold and Clarifications to Technical Reporting Details AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action finalizes changes to the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) emissions inventory reporting requirements. This action lowers the threshold for reporting lead (Pb) emissions sources as point sources, eliminates the requirement for reporting emissions from wildfires and prescribed fires, and replaces a requirement for reporting mobile source emissions with a requirement for reporting the input parameters that can be used to run the EPA models that generate emissions estimates. This action also reduces the reporting burden on state, local, and tribal agencies by removing the requirements to report daily and seasonal emissions in their submissions under this rule, while clarifying the requirement to report these emissions under pollutant-specific regulations. Lastly, this action modifies some emissions reporting requirements which we believe are not necessary for inclusion in the Air Emissions Reporting Requirements (AERR) rule or are not clearly aligned with current inventory terminology and practices.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective on February 19, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2004-0489. All documents in the docket are listed on the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Emissions Reporting Requirements Docket, EPA/DC, WJC West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the Air Docket is (202) 566-1742.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Ron Ryan, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, Air Quality Assessment Division, Emissions Inventory and Analysis Group (C339-02), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711; telephone number: (919) 541-4330; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me? B. Where can I get a copy of this document and other related information? C. Judicial Review II. Background III. Summary of Revisions A. Lower Point Source Threshold for Pb Emitters B. Elimination of Reporting for Wildfires and Prescribed Fires and Clarification for Reporting Agricultural Fires C. Reporting Emission Model Inputs for Onroad and Nonroad Sources D. Removal of Requirements To Report Daily and Seasonal Emissions E. Revisions To Simplify Reporting and Provide Consistency With EIS IV. Response to Comments A. Lower Point Source Threshold for Pb Emitters B. Elimination of Reporting for Wildfires and Prescribed Fires and Clarification for Reporting Agricultural Fires C. Reporting Emission Model Inputs for Onroad Sources D. Reporting Emission Model Inputs for Nonroad Sources E. Removal of Requirements To Report Daily and Seasonal Emissions F. Revisions To Simplify Reporting and Provide Consistency With EIS V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulations and Regulatory Review B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health and Safety Risks H. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations K. Congressional Review Act I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me?

    Categories and entities potentially regulated by this action include:

    Category CAICS code a Examples of regulated entities State/local/tribal government 92411 State, territorial, and local government air quality management programs. Tribal governments are not affected, unless they have sought and obtained treatment as state status under the Tribal Authority Rule and, on that basis, are authorized to implement and enforce the Air Emissions Reporting Requirements rule. a North American Industry Classification System.

    This table is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide for readers regarding entities likely to be regulated by this action.1 This action requires states to report their emissions to us. It is possible that some states will require facilities within their jurisdictions to report emissions to the states. To determine whether your facility would be regulated by this action, you should examine the applicability criteria in 40 CFR 51.1. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the person listed in the preceding FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    1 As prescribed by the Tribal Authority Rule (63 FR 7253, February 12, 1998), codified at 40 CFR part 49, subpart A, tribes may elect to seek Treatment as State (TAS) status and obtain approval to implement rules such as the AERR through a Tribal Implementation Plan (TIP), but tribes are under no obligation to do so. However, those tribes that have obtained TAS status are subject to the AERR to the extent allowed in their TIP. Accordingly, to the extent a tribal government has applied for and received TAS status for air quality control purposes and is subject to the AERR under its TIP, the use of the term state(s) in the AERR shall include that tribal government and use of the term State Implementation Plan(s) or SIP(s) shall include that TIP.

    Likewise, to the extent that air quality requirements are addressed by a local air agency instead of a state air agency and that local air agency is subject to the AERR under its SIP, the use of the term state(s) in the AERR shall include that local air agency.

    B. Where can I get a copy of this document and other related information?

    In addition to being available in the docket, an electronic copy of this final rule will also be available on the Worldwide Web (WWW) through the Technology Transfer Network (TTN). Following the Administrator's signature, a copy of this final rule will be posted on the TTN's policy and guidance page for promulgated rules at the following address: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/chief/. The TTN provides information and technology exchange in various areas of air pollution control. If more information regarding the TTN is needed, call the TTN HELP Line at (919) 541-4814.

    C. Judicial Review

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act (CAA), judicial review of this final rule is available by filing a petition for review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit by April 20, 2015. Under section 307(d)(7)(B) of the CAA, only an objection to this final rule that was raised with reasonable specificity during the period for public comment can be raised during judicial review. Moreover, under section 307(b)(2) of the CAA, the requirements established by this action may not be challenged separately in any civil or criminal proceedings brought by the EPA to enforce these requirements.

    II. Background

    The EPA proposed amendments to the AERR on June 20, 2013 (78 FR 37164). In today's action, the EPA is amending the emissions inventory reporting requirements in 40 CFR part 51, subpart A, and in 40 CFR 51.122. This action aligns the point source reporting threshold for Pb emissions sources in the AERR with the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for Lead (73 FR 66964, November 12, 2008) and the associated Revisions to Lead Ambient Air Monitoring Requirements (75 FR 81126, December 27, 2010). These amendments further improve the rule to both reduce burden on air agencies as well as make minor technical corrections that reflect what has been put into practice through existing electronic reporting implementation.

    Emissions inventories are critical for the efforts of state and federal agencies to attain and maintain the NAAQS for criteria pollutants, such as ozone, particulate matter (PM) and carbon monoxide (CO). To assist these efforts, the EPA initiated an effort in the early 1990's to develop a central repository of inventory data for all states that is now known as the National Emissions Inventory (NEI). Emissions inventory data reported electronically under this rule are stored in the Emissions Inventory System (EIS) database and are used by the EPA and by states for air quality modeling, tracking progress in meeting CAA requirements, setting policy, and answering questions from the public. States often use the NEI as a starting point in developing emission inventories for support of state implementation plans (SIPs).

    Pursuant to its authority under sections 110 and 172 of the CAA, the EPA has required SIPs to include inventories containing information regarding criteria pollutant emissions and their precursors (e.g., volatile organic compounds (VOC)). The EPA codified these inventory requirements in subpart Q of 40 CFR part 51 in 1979 and amended them in 1987.

    The 1990 Amendments to the CAA revised many of the CAA provisions related to the attainment of the NAAQS and the protection of visibility in Class I areas. These revisions established new periodic emission inventory requirements applicable to certain areas that were designated nonattainment for certain pollutants. For example, section 182(a)(3)(A) required states to submit an emission inventory every 3 years for Moderate ozone nonattainment areas beginning in 1993. Similarly, section 187(a)(5) required states to submit an inventory every 3 years for Moderate CO nonattainment areas.

    Prior regulations supporting the annual reporting needed for the NEI included the Consolidated Emissions Reporting Rule (CERR), which was promulgated by EPA in 2002, and codified in 40 CFR part 51, subpart A. These requirements replaced the requirements previously contained in subpart Q of 40 CFR part 51, expanding their geographic and pollutant coverages, while simplifying them in other ways. The CERR was the precursor to the AERR. The original AERR was promulgated in 2008 with the intent of streamlining various reporting requirements including those of section 182(a)(3)(A) for ozone nonattainment areas and section 187(a)(5) for CO nonattainment areas, those under the NOX SIP Call (40 CFR 51.122), and the annual reporting requirements of the CERR.

    III. Summary of Revisions

    This action lowers the threshold for reporting Pb emissions sources as point sources, eliminates the requirement for reporting emissions from wildfires and prescribed fires, and replaces a requirement for reporting mobile source emissions with a requirement for reporting the input parameters that can be used to run the EPA models that generate mobile source emissions estimates. This action also reduces the reporting burden on state, local, and tribal agencies by removing the requirements to report daily and seasonal emissions as part of their AERR submissions, while clarifying the requirement to report these emissions under pollutant-specific regulations (i.e., the NOX SIP Call, the Ozone Implementation Rule, and relevant CO maintenance plans). This action also modifies some emissions reporting requirements which we believe are not necessary or are not clearly aligned with current inventory terminology and practices.

    A. Lower Point Source Threshold for Pb Emitters

    With this action, the EPA is lowering the point source threshold for Pb emissions to 0.5 tons per year (tpy) of actual emissions. The purpose of this change is to match requirements of the Pb Ambient Air Monitoring Requirements rule (75 FR 81126), which required monitoring agencies to install and operate source-oriented ambient monitors near Pb sources emitting 0.50 tpy or more by December 27, 2011. The EPA considers that the ambient monitoring rule threshold is 0.5 tons of actual emissions, therefore, this criterion is based on actual emissions rather than the potential-to-emit approach taken for other criteria pollutant and precursor thresholds. All criteria pollutants and precursors will continue to be required to be reported for any source meeting this new threshold for Pb.

    B. Elimination of Reporting for Wildfires and Prescribed Fires and Clarification for Reporting Agricultural Fires

    With this action, the EPA is removing the requirement for reporting emissions for wildfire and prescribed fires. States may report these emissions voluntarily as event sources in the EIS, but states no longer have the option of reporting these emissions as nonpoint (countywide) sources. The EPA already provides nationwide estimates for wildfires and prescribed fires using information it has, so requiring states to also report these data is not necessary. States are encouraged to review and comment on the EPA's estimates, or to report their own estimates if they so choose.

    This action also clarifies that agricultural fires continue to be required to be reported, and that these sources must be reported as nonpoint sources. Agricultural fires cannot be reported as point sources or as event sources.

    C. Reporting Emission Model Inputs for Onroad and Nonroad Sources

    With this action, the EPA is finalizing its proposal that states will no longer be required to submit mobile source emission estimates, but instead will submit the inputs for emissions models of onroad and nonroad mobile sources. This change applies to all states except California. Because California uses other models to reflect their additional regulatory requirements not reflected by the EPA models, California is required to report emissions values. The EPA models in use at the time of this action are the Motor Vehicle Emissions Simulator (MOVES) and the nonroad equipment model called NONROAD. The change to require model inputs from all states except California allows the EPA to use these data to run the latest version of the applicable models, even if those versions have been finalized after the model input data were collected. It also allows the EPA to generate consistent base year and future year emissions estimates, which the EPA needs to accurately assess benefits for new regulations and to make other regulatory decisions that use air quality modeling. In addition, this action makes voluntary the reporting of emissions values for onroad and nonroad mobile sources for all states except California.

    D. Removal of Requirements To Report Daily and Seasonal Emissions

    With this action, the EPA is removing the requirements from the AERR that states report daily and seasonal emissions, while still permitting states to submit such data voluntarily to the EIS. States may still elect to meet the emissions reporting requirements of the NOX SIP Call (40 CFR 51.122), the Ozone Implementation Rule (40 CFR part 51, subpart X), or the CO reporting required by the relevant CO maintenance plans through the AERR, but they are no longer required to do so. Each of these three underlying provisions already requires states to show and track consistency with the emissions projections contained in the approved SIP submissions, which can include daily or seasonal data, and also contains requirements for public review of SIP revisions. The EPA has eliminated a requirement in the AERR that, given specific public review and documentation requirements of those rules, made compliance with those rules through AERR submissions difficult. Thus, in implementing this change, the EPA is reducing burden for states that were having difficulty meeting both those SIP requirements and the previous additional AERR requirements, which were intended to meet the SIP requirements, but did not do so in all cases. States may continue to meet these SIP requirements separately or use the AERR submission to do so, as long as the AERR submission can meet these SIP requirements.

    However, as explained more fully below, in light of comments received, we have determined that additional changes to some of the underlying SIP implementation provisions are necessary to ensure that the requirement to report the necessary daily and seasonal emissions is included in those underlying rules. Specifically, while the final AERR revision rule removes ozone season emissions and summer day emissions definitions and associated reporting requirements from the AERR provisions in 40 CFR Subpart A, we are also finalizing changes that will move the relevant definitions and reporting requirement for summer day emissions to the ozone reporting requirements in the Ozone Implementation Rule (40 CFR 51.900 (definitions) and 51.915 (inventory requirements)) and for ozone season emissions and summer day emissions to the NOX SIP Call reporting requirements in 40 CFR 51.122.

    E. Revisions To Simplify Reporting and Provide Consistency With EIS

    The previous version of the AERR was finalized prior to the EPA finalizing the design details of the EIS data system that is used to collect and store the required data. With this action, the EPA is changing the tables of pollutants and data elements included in Appendix A to be consistent with the EIS through removals, name changes, and additions. Overall, these changes reduce burden for states, though, as noted below in the summary of EPA's responses to comments on the proposed rule (which is based on the comprehensive Response to Comments document that is available in the docket for this rule), some changes may add a small amount of additional burden for some states.

    1. Revised Formats for Appendix A Tables

    The EIS data system was designed such that data elements that had not changed from one reporting period to the next did not need to be re-submitted, and only data elements that changed needed to be reported. This streamlined reporting structure, along with the terminology changes, requirements deletions, and other consistency revisions described above, created a need for the EPA to revise Tables 1, 2a, 2b and 2c in Appendix A of the AERR. Table 1 still defines the emissions thresholds that determine the Type A point source emissions required to be reported each year. In addition, Table 1 now includes the thresholds used to determine the Type B sources required to be reported as point sources every third year. These Type B point source thresholds had previously been included as part of the definition of the term “point source.” In the revised Table 1, we have clarified the name of the two PM pollutants by including “primary.” This is consistent with the existing list of required pollutants described in 40 CFR 51.15.

    Table 2a has been revised to include only the point source facility inventory data elements that are required to be in EIS, without regard to either the every-year or every third year reporting cycles, since these elements need only be reported for any new point source or when any change occurs at an existing point source. The emissions data element requirements for point sources from Table 2a have been combined with the emissions requirements for the other three emissions source types in Table 2b. These changes have allowed the information previously contained in Table 2c to move to Table 2b and for Table 2c to be eliminated. We have also eliminated the separate columns for “Every-year reporting” and “Three-year reporting” from Tables 2a and 2b. Those reporting cycle distinctions were only applicable to Type A point sources, and with the revisions, Table 1 now describes all of the necessary distinctions.

    2. Addition of New Facility Inventory Elements

    This action adds Facility Site Status, Release Point Status, and Unit Status data elements to the Facility Inventory data elements listed in Table 2a, along with the year in which any of these three data elements change from one status to another. The operating status is used by the states to indicate whether emissions reports should continue to be expected for a facility, emissions unit, or a release point, or the reason why emissions will not be reported after the year indicated.

    We are also adding Aircraft Engine Type, Unit Type, and Release Point Apportionment Percent to Table 2a. The addition of Aircraft Engine Type is to support the EPA's interest in the EPA's calculating and using point source emissions from aircraft at airports. This change does not imply a requirement for states to submit aircraft as point sources. The EPA provides landing and takeoff data for state review and encourages the states to review and update those data in support of EPA's calculation of aircraft emissions. Such review would meet the states' reporting obligation for aircraft emissions. However, the states' requirement can also be met by submitting aircraft emissions as nonpoint sources. If states choose to submit their own point source estimates, this change means they would have to provide the Aircraft Engine Type code and the source classification code (SCC) to completely specify the emitting process.

    Unit Type is being added to more easily and explicitly identify the type of emission unit producing the emissions than can be inferred from the SCC alone. To reduce burden associated with this new field, we have also limited the existing requirement for reporting the Unit Design Capacity for all units to only reporting capacities for a limited number of key unit types (e.g., boilers). The Unit Type data element is necessary for the EIS data system to be able to confirm the presence of a value for the Unit Design Capacity element, since the Unit Design Capacity element is required only for certain Unit Types (e.g., boilers).

    The Release Point Apportionment Percent is being added to officially implement a feature added to the EIS at the request of some state data reporters. This data element allows states to split the emissions from a single emission process to multiple release points by reporting the percentage of emissions going to each release point.

    3. Addition of New Emissions Elements

    This action adds five new data elements to Table 2b, of which four are minor extensions or clarifications of existing requirements necessary to avoid ambiguity in the EIS data system. The EPA believes that these new items will not add a significant new information collection burden. As described in the response to comments summary below and the comprehensive Response to Comments document that is available in the docket for this rule, the EPA provides options to states to greatly reduce any burden for these additional data elements. The four data elements are: Shape Identifiers, Emission Type, Reporting Period Type, and Emission Operating Type.

    Shape Identifiers are a more detailed method of identifying the geographic area for which emissions are being reported for nonpoint sources, instead of using the entire county. The EPA believes that they are needed for a small number of nonpoint source types, such as rail lines, ports, and underway vessels, which occur only in a small and identifiable portion of a full county. Although states are still required to report emissions for these sources, this action also adds an option for states to meet the reporting requirement by accepting the EPA's estimates for the sources for which the EPA makes calculations. For the nonpoint sources needing the more geographically-detailed emissions with Shape Identifiers, the EPA provides tables describing the geographic entities and their Shape Identifiers and has emissions estimates for each of the entities. If states choose to submit their own estimates, they must now provide the extra geographic detail described by the Shape Identifiers.

    Emission Type is a code that is a further level of detail of the existing required element SCC, which describes the emitting processes. We have also revised the definition of this term in 40 CFR 51.50, since the previous definition erroneously described the Reporting Period Type and not the Emission Type.

    Reporting Period Type is a code that identifies whether the emissions being reported are an annual total or one of the seasonal or daily type emissions that we are proposing to make optional, although reporting of such emissions may still be required as part of the state's implementation of a NAAQS. This addition replaces the erroneous use of the name “Emission Type” to describe this data element in the previous version of the AERR, as described above. The Reporting Period Type is necessary for states to distinguish the required annual emissions from the optional sub-annual emissions.

    Emission Operating Type is a data element for point sources that indicates whether the emissions are associated with routine operations, or a shutdown, startup, or upset. It is necessary for the data system to distinguish between the minimally required routine emissions and the other optional operating types that the EIS can also accept.

    This action also adds the Emissions Calculation Method as an additional fifth data element to the Table 2b emissions requirements. This element is required for point and nonpoint sources. It is a code that indicates how each emissions value was estimated or determined (e.g., by continuous emissions monitor, by a stack test, or by an average emission factor). The EPA has determined that this element is needed to evaluate the adequacy of any emissions value for the stated purposes of the NEI and to allow the EPA to select the most reliable emissions value where more than one is available. State reporters should have this value easily available to them because they are selecting the calculation method, so adding it to their electronic submittals should cause only a minimal amount of added burden.

    4. Clarification of Element Names and Usage for Controls

    This action revises the data element names and clarifies the usage conventions for four data elements related to emissions control devices for the point source facility inventory elements. The single Percent Control Approach Capture Efficiency and a Percent Control Measures Reduction Efficiency for each pollutant are now required, where controls exist. These elements replace the previously required Primary Capture and Control Efficiency and Total Capture and Control Efficiency elements. The Percent Control Approach Capture Efficiency is now reported once as a stand-alone element, rather than being combined with each pollutant's Reduction Efficiency. This change reflects how the EIS data system addresses the situation and we believe it is a more practical and reasonable approach, since it allows states to report the individual reduction efficiencies as separate data elements rather than reporting only combined values that are computed from the separate reduction efficiencies.

    In addition, this action adds a new Control Pollutant data element, which allows states to indicate the pollutant for which the Control Measure Reduction Efficiency is provided. This action also revises the names of previously required point source elements. Control Device Type and Rule Effectiveness have been renamed to Control Measure and Percent Control Approach Effectiveness, respectively.

    This action also finalizes similar terminology and usage conventions for the nonpoint sources emission control data elements. Consistent with point sources, Control Measure and Control Pollutant are now also required for nonpoint sources. Finally, the former nonpoint data element Total Capture and Control Efficiency is now renamed to Percent Control Measures Reduction Efficiency, and Rule Effectiveness is renamed Percent Control Approach Effectiveness, consistent with the point source names.

    5. Revisions to Other Facility Inventory Element Names

    This action finalizes revisions to some of the terms in the point source facility inventory Table 2a to clarify their meaning and promote consistency with the EIS data system names. We are renaming the element FIPs Code to State and County FIPs Code and are permitting a Tribal Code element to be reported rather than the State and County FIPs Code when applicable. For each of the five existing stack and exit gas data elements, we are adding “Release Point” to the names to be consistent with EIS names. We are adding five Unit of Measure data elements, one for each of the existing numerical stack and exit gas data elements, in order to formalize the only reasonable interpretation of the prior rule requirements. The rule now requires reporting of the units of measure along with the numerical values. In addition, the Emission Type data element in the prior rule's Table 2a is now renamed Emission Operating Type and is now moved to Table 2b since it describes the emissions reported, not the facility. This action also clarifies that the requirement for Physical Address is implemented in the EIS data system through the use of four separate data elements: Location Address, Locality Name, State Code, and Postal Code.

    6. Revisions To Simplify Reporting and Reduce Burden

    This action revises some data elements in the point source facility inventory in Table 2a to simplify reporting and reduce burden. Either the Exit Gas Velocity or Exit Gas Flow Rate is now required, but not both. Because the Release Point Stack Diameter is also required, it is possible for users to derive the velocity or the flow rate from the other value, and so it is not necessary for states to report both. This action now requires the X Facility Coordinate (longitude) and the Y Facility Coordinate (latitude) rather than the previous requirement for X Stack Coordinate (longitude) and Y Stack Coordinate (latitude). Burden is reduced by requiring only a single facility location rather than locations for each stack or release point. It has been the EPA's experience that most states do not have accurate location values for each individual release point within a facility; instead they frequently report the same locations for all stacks within a facility. Furthermore, the vast majority of facilities are geographically small enough that such a simplification does not reduce the usefulness of the data for most inventory purposes. Although we are finalizing the requirement that only facility locations need to be reported, we encourage states voluntarily to report stack locations where those data are available. The EPA may also add individual stack locations where the agency believes it has accurate data (e.g., when provided in Information Collection Requests).

    Lastly, to reduce burden, this action eliminates the requirement to report several data elements: Inventory Start Date and End Date; Contact Name and Phone Number; and the four seasonal throughput percents. States may optionally report this information. In addition, for the point, nonpoint, and nonroad source types, we have removed the requirement to report three operating schedule elements: Hours per Day, Days per Week, and Weeks per Year. Also for the point source type, we have removed the requirement to report the following data elements: Heat Content, Ash Content, Sulfur Content, Method Accuracy Description Codes, and Maximum Generator Nameplate Capacity. The EPA believes that the usefulness of the remaining data is not significantly impacted by not collecting these data from the states, but we note that states still have the option to report them if those data are available.

    Three additional data elements are now voluntary rather than required under the AERR for all four emissions source types, for the reasons described in section D above: Summer Day Emissions, Ozone Season Emissions, and Winter Work Weekday Emissions. However, all of the data elements that are no longer required to be reported under the AERR may still be voluntarily reported to the EIS data system.

    IV. Response to Comments

    In response to our notice of proposed rulemaking, we received comments from 11 commenters: 10 state agencies and one corporation. The EPA carefully considered all comments in developing the final amendments. The EPA has provided a comprehensive Response to Comments document that is available in the docket for this rule. This section provides a high-level summary of significant comments and the EPA's responses to those comments.

    A. Lower Point Source Threshold for Pb Emitters

    We proposed to change the reporting threshold for point sources of Pb from 5 tpy to 0.5 tpy of Pb potential emissions. The EPA received comments supporting the proposal, as well as comments recommending alternative approaches. Some comments requested that the EPA consider that the ambient monitoring rule threshold is 0.5 tons of actual emissions, and thus the goal of aligning with that rule would be better met using a 0.5 tpy threshold for actual emissions rather than potential emissions. After considering all comments, the EPA is finalizing a 0.5 tpy of actual emissions threshold for reporting Pb emissions as point sources to better reflect available state emissions inventories.

    B. Elimination of Reporting for Wildfires and Prescribed Fires and Clarification for Reporting Agricultural Fires

    The EPA proposed to eliminate the requirement for reporting emissions from wildfires and prescribed fires, to eliminate the reporting of these sources as nonpoint sources, and to clarify that agricultural fires must be reported as nonpoint sources. These proposed changes would reduce the reporting burden for states, because the EPA already calculates emissions from these sources, using national, satellite-based methods. Seven commenters supported the proposed elimination of the requirement to report emissions from wildfires and prescribed fires. One of these commenters further requested that the EPA retain the option for states to submit their fire emissions. Another commenter recommended that prescribed fires be allowed to be reported to the nonpoint data category. The EPA agrees that states should have the option of reporting fire emissions and the proposal allowed for that possibility. We do not believe that allowing both event-based and nonpoint reporting for prescribed fires is a viable approach, because such an approach would increase complexity of the inventory process by requiring the EPA to prevent double-counting across event-based and nonpoint-based submissions. After consideration of the comments, the EPA is finalizing this section of the rule as proposed.

    C. Reporting Emission Model Inputs for Onroad Sources

    We proposed to require model inputs from all states (except California) for the onroad mobile sources model MOVES, rather than require emissions values, and to permit the optional additional reporting of emissions values. Six commenters supported this approach. One state objected to the requirement for inputs for MOVES, noting that its approaches to modeling onroad emissions exceed the detail that the EPA would be able to replicate using the MOVES inputs alone, and recommended that EPA should allow either model inputs or emissions values for states to fulfill their reporting requirements.

    The EPA believes that allowing emissions values instead of model inputs does not sufficiently address the EPA's needs for such onroad model input data. The MOVES model provides a large degree of flexibility regarding how to run the model, and while different run approaches can result in different estimates of emissions values, no one approach is superior to the others. The commenting state's use of finely resolved modeling approaches is no different from that of many states with nonattainment areas, for which detailed approaches are being used for state implementation plans. As we noted in the proposal, and also explain in the comprehensive Response to Comments document that is available in the docket for this rule, providing model inputs will meet a number of the EPA's needs that are essential to overall air quality responsibilities, including improving the accuracy and timeliness of the EPA's air quality planning efforts, allowing the EPA to use the latest versions of the applicable models to generate the most accurate emissions values, which are used in a variety of required implementation and planning activities, and allowing the EPA to generate consistent base year and future year emissions estimates, which are necessary for performing accurate benefits estimates for new rules (see 78 FR 37167). Thus, this final rule includes a requirement for all states, except California, to report their onroad model input data, requires California to report emissions values (because California's EPA-approved model uniquely supports California onroad mobile regulations), and allows emissions values data to be reported optionally in addition for all other states.

    D. Reporting Emission Model Inputs for Nonroad Sources

    We additionally proposed to require all states (except California) to provide inputs for the EPA-developed nonroad mobile sources model such as the National Mobile Inventory Model (NMIM), rather than require emissions values, and to permit the optional additional reporting of emissions values. Six commenters supported this approach. One state objected to the requirement for inputs for NONROAD, noting that they developed an improved nonroad emissions approach. They further commented that states should be able to meet their nonroad reporting requirement by reporting emissions values or model inputs.

    The EPA disagrees with the comment that emissions values should be allowed in place of model inputs for several reasons. First, ongoing changes to the EPA-approved nonroad modeling to use MOVES means that all states will have to adapt to new formats in upcoming AERR every third year cycles. Second, the EPA's approved nonroad approaches are considered valid for all states except California, where state-specific nonroad source regulations cannot be modeled by the EPA model(s). Thus, even if states voluntarily develop their own approaches, the EPA's nonroad approach is still a valid approach in those states and inputs can be prepared. Third, the suggestion to submit only emissions values does not address the EPA need to have inputs for estimating consistent base and future-year emissions. Finally, for states that believe their emissions values from their own approaches are better than values that might be created by the EPA by using the inputs, those states may optionally submit those emissions values as well for use by the EPA. Thus, this final rule (1) requires all states, except California, to provide nonroad model inputs in the formats supported by the latest EPA nonroad models in accordance with guidance provided for a given every third year NEI cycle, (2) requires California to report nonroad emissions values (because state-specific nonroad source regulations cannot be modeled by the EPA models), and (3) allows additional emissions values data to be reported optionally for all other states.

    E. Removal of Requirements To Report Daily and Seasonal Emissions

    The EPA proposed to remove requirements to submit daily and seasonal emissions from the AERR because those requirements are duplicative in light of similar requirements of the underlying pollutant-specific implementation rules (including CO maintenance plans). These underlying rules already require states to show and track consistency with the emissions projections contained in the approved SIP submissions, and also contain requirements for public review of SIP revisions. Two commenters stated support for the proposed changes, with one of those noting inconsistencies with proposed changes to the ozone implementation rule. Four commenters disagreed with the EPA's proposed change to remove the summer day emissions requirement, with some of those commenters also noting that the definition of summer day emissions in the AERR was referenced by the proposed ozone implementation rule. One commenter stated that AERR submissions can be used as a way to demonstrate milestone year compliance for ozone or CO nonattainment areas. Another commenter indicated that since the NOX SIP Call does not contain specific data reporting requirements and instead refers to the AERR for those requirements (see 40 CFR 51.122(f)), deleting the summer day emissions reporting in the AERR would not allow for proper implementation of the NOX SIP Call. In addition, a commenter noted that the proposed AERR did not explicitly list the NOX SIP call as an optional source of submitted data intended to meet compliance with that rule.

    As a result of these comments, the EPA intends to ensure that the requirements for the ozone implementation rule and NOX SIP Call are clear and that terms for mandatory emissions fields are defined in a pollutant-specific regulation, or in the relevant maintenance plan for CO. The EPA believes that the appropriate place for addressing pollutant-specific daily and seasonal reporting requirements is not the general AERR, but rather the underlying pollutant-specific implementation rules. Thus, we are not including those definitions or requirements in the final AERR. In addition, the EPA notes that while summer and winter daily emissions and seasonal emissions are no longer required by the AERR, air agencies may voluntarily report such data to EPA. Allowing such voluntary submissions will continue to support areas that would like to use those submissions to meet the requirements of other rules or plans.

    When we proposed this revision, we assumed that the requirement to report specific daily and seasonal emissions was also addressed in the underlying pollutant-specific implementation rules, as well as the AERR. However, in light of these comments, we realize that the requirement to report these daily and seasonal emissions is not also contained in some of the underlying SIP implementation rules. The EPA continues to believe it is not necessary to require reporting of these emissions as part of the AERR and that it makes more sense to define and require reporting of the emissions required for compliance with specific SIP implementation rules within those rules themselves, or within the relevant maintenance plan. As a logical outgrowth of these comments and the fact that we did not propose to remove completely these pollutant-specific requirements—only to remove unnecessary duplication in the AERR—we are making additional changes to the underlying ozone implementation and NOX SIP Call rules. Accordingly, this final rule removes the ozone season emissions and summer day emissions definitions and reporting requirements from the AERR provisions in 40 CFR Subpart A, while also finalizing changes that will move the relevant definitions and reporting requirement to address summer day emissions to the ozone reporting requirements in 40 CFR 51.900 and 51.915 and to address ozone season emissions and summer day emissions in the NOX SIP Call reporting requirements in 40 CFR 51.122. As for CO winter work weekday emissions, since all CO areas have been redesignated to maintenance areas as of September 27, 2010, any requirements to report those emissions will exist in the relevant CO maintenance plans. As no comments identified specific CO-related deficiencies, especially as related to CO regulations or maintenance plans that would be impacted by these revisions, there is no indication that similar changes to underlying regulations are needed to address winter work day emissions.

    F. Revisions To Simplify Reporting and Provide Consistency With EIS

    The EPA proposed to remove required data elements from Tables 2a, 2b, and 2c. One commenter stated support for these changes. Another commenter stated support but also suggested the EPA maintain the requirements for parameters related to state end dates and other operating schedule parameters to reduce the assumptions that reported emissions occurred over the entire year. The EPA acknowledges that the operating parameters can be useful information for certain non-annual sources. However, the vast majority of sources operate on a fairly predictable pattern for the entire year, with only a small portion operating a partial year or with an unusual schedule. While the operating parameter information can be voluntarily reported for such sources, the EPA disagrees that requiring such fields for all sources makes sense in light of the low prevalence of non-annual sources.

    The EPA also proposed to add new emissions elements. One commenter supported the addition of Aircraft Engine Type, Unit Type, and Release Point Apportionment Percent to the Facility Inventory data element tables. One commenter expressed concern over these additions, noting additional burden associated with reporting details about airport emissions. Two commenters did not support the requirement for using Shape Identifiers for some nonpoint categories because of the additional resource burden. Other commenters had various minor comments related to these changes. The EPA clarifies that the addition of fields that support the reporting of airport emissions as point sources does not change the sources that will need to be reported as point sources. Most airports still do not need to be reported as point sources because their stationary source emissions will not exceed the potential-to-emit thresholds in this rule. Furthermore, the EPA notes that we provide air agencies with all of the information about aircraft engine types to use in considering their airport emissions estimates, which should reduce any burdens associated with this change.

    Regarding the change to require Shape Identifiers, we acknowledge there is some increased level of detail associated with reporting shapes rather than county totals. However, the EPA has minimized the resource burden overall by providing agencies with a table of factors to easily allocate from county emissions to shapes, based on the EPA's estimated geographic allocations. The EPA also provides assistance to air agencies that might prefer to submit county estimates, by helping to prepare allocations and data files for states to submit. Thus, the EPA is finalizing the changes as proposed.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulations and Regulatory Review

    This action is not a “significant regulatory action” under the terms of Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and is, therefore, not subject to review under Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011).

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the information collection requirements contained in this rule under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. and has assigned OMB control number 2170.05. You can find a copy of the ICR in the docket for this rule, and it is briefly summarized here.

    The ICR collects air emissions and related information from state and local agencies for emissions sources of oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, volatile organic compounds, particulate matter less than or equal to 10 micrometers in diameter, particulate matter less than or equal to 2.5 micrometers in diameter, and ammonia.

    Every 3 years, state and local air agencies are required to submit a point source inventory, as well as a statewide stationary nonpoint, onroad mobile, and nonroad mobile source inventory for all criteria pollutants and their precursors. The emissions data submitted for the annual and 3-year cycle inventories are used by EPA's Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards to assist in developing the NEI, performing regional modeling for various regulatory purposes, and preparing national trends assessments and other special analyses and reports. Additionally, states are required to report larger point sources annually, using emissions thresholds set in the reporting rule.

    Respondents/affected entities: State and local air agencies.

    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory as per 40 CFR part 51.

    Estimated number of respondents: 104.

    Frequency of response: Annual, with additional requirements triennially.

    Total estimated burden: 69,140 hours (per year in triennial years). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.3(b).

    Total estimated cost: $5,567,043 (per year), includes $1,166,480 annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for the EPA's regulations in 40 CFR are listed in 40 CFR part 9.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. This action will not impose any new requirements on small entities. This action corrects and clarifies emissions reporting requirements and provide states with additional flexibility in how they collect and report their emissions data, thereby reducing overall collection and reporting burdens and their associated costs.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action does not contain any unfunded mandate as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. The action imposes no enforceable duty on any state, local or tribal governments or the private sector.

    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action does not have federalism implications. It will not have substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

    F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

    This action does not have tribal implications as specified in Executive Order 13175. This action imposes no requirements on tribal governments. The amendments correct and clarify emissions reporting requirements and provide states with additional flexibility in how they collect and report their emissions data. Under the Tribal Authority Rule, tribes are not required to report their emissions to us, except in cases in which a tribal government voluntarily elected to apply for and received “Treatment as State” status for air quality control purposes and is subject to the AERR under its Tribal Implementation Plan. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

    G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health and Safety Risks

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it does not concern an environmental health risk or safety risk. The amendments correct and clarify emissions reporting requirements and provide states with additional flexibility in how they collect and report their emissions data.

    H. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

    This action is not a “significant energy action” because it is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. This action corrects and clarifies emissions reporting requirements and provides states with additional flexibility in how they collect and report their emissions data.

    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    This action does not involve technical standards.

    J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

    The EPA believes that this action will not have disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority or low-income populations because it does not affect the level of protection provided to human health or the environment. This action establishes information reporting procedures for emissions of criteria air pollutants from stationary and mobile sources.

    K. Congressional Review Act

    This action is subject to the CRA, and the EPA will submit a rule report to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 51

    Environmental protection, Administrative practices and procedure, Air pollution control, Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen oxides, Ozone, Particulate matter, Regional haze, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur dioxide.

    Dated: February 6, 2015. Gina McCarthy, Administrator.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, title 40, chapter I, part 51 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

    PART 51—REQUIREMENTS FOR PREPARATION, ADOPTION, AND SUBMITTAL OF IMPLEMENTATION PLANS 1. The authority citation for part 51 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    23 U.S.C. 101; 42 U.S.C. 7401-7671q.

    Subpart A—Air Emissions Reporting Requirements
    § 51.10 [Removed and reserved]
    2. Remove and reserve § 51.10. 3. In § 51.15:
    a. Revise paragraphs (a)(2), (a)(3), (a)(4), (b)(2), (b)(3), (b)(4), and the first sentence in paragraphs (c) and (d). b. Remove paragraphs (a)(5) and (e).

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 51.15 What data does my state need to report to EPA?

    (a) * * *

    (2) A state may, at its option, choose to report NOX and VOC summer day emissions (or any other emissions) as required under the Ozone Implementation Rule or report CO winter work weekday emissions for CO nonattainment areas or CO attainment areas with maintenance plans to the Emission Inventory System (EIS) using the data elements described in this subpart.

    (3) A state may, at its option, choose to report ozone season day emissions of NOX as required under the NOX SIP Call and summer day emissions of NOX that may be required under the NOX SIP Call for controlled sources to the EIS using the data elements described in this subpart.

    (4) A state may, at its option, include estimates of emissions for additional pollutants (such as hazardous air pollutants) in its emission inventory reports.

    (b) * * *

    (2) Nonpoint. States may choose to meet the requirements for some of their nonpoint sources by accepting the EPA's estimates for the sources for which the EPA makes calculations. In such instances, states are encouraged to review and update the activity values or other calculational inputs used by the EPA for these sources.

    (3) Onroad and Nonroad mobile. (i) Emissions for onroad and nonroad mobile sources must be reported as inputs to the latest EPA-developed mobile emissions models, such as the Motor Vehicle Emissions Simulator (MOVES) for onroad sources or the NMIM for nonroad sources. States using these models may report, at their discretion, emissions values computed from these models in addition to the model inputs.

    (ii) In lieu of submitting model inputs for onroad and nonroad mobile sources, California must submit emissions values.

    (iii) In lieu of submitting any data, states may accept existing EPA emission estimates.

    (4) Emissions for wild and prescribed fires are not required to be reported by states. If states wish to optionally report these sources, they must be reported to the events data category. The events data category is a day-specific accounting of these large-scale but usually short duration emissions. Submissions must include both daily emissions estimates as well as daily acres burned values. In lieu of submitting this information, states may accept the EPA estimates or they may submit inputs (e.g., acres burned, fuel loads) for us to use in the EPA's estimation approach.

    (c) Supporting information. You must report the data elements in Tables 2a and 2b in Appendix A of this subpart. * * *

    (d) Confidential data. We do not consider the data in Tables 2a and 2b in Appendix A of this subpart confidential, but some states limit release of these types of data. * * *

    4. In § 51.20, revise paragraphs (b) and (d) to read as follows:
    § 51.20 What are the emission thresholds that separate point and nonpoint sources?

    (b) Sources that meet the definition of point source in this subpart must be reported as point sources. All pollutants specified in § 51.15(a) must be reported for point sources, not just the pollutant(s) that qualify the source as a point source.

    (d) All stationary source emissions that are not reported as point sources must be reported as nonpoint sources. Episodic wind-generated particulate matter (PM) emissions from sources that are not major sources may be excluded, for example dust lifted by high winds from natural or tilled soil. Emissions of nonpoint sources should be aggregated to the resolution required by the EIS as described in the current National Emission Inventory (NEI) inventory year plan posted at http://www.epa.gov/ttn/chief/eiinformation.html. In most cases, this is county level and must be separated and identified by source classification code (SCC). Nonpoint source categories or emission events reasonably estimated by the state to represent a de minimis percentage of total county and state emissions of a given pollutant may be omitted.

    (1) The reporting of wild and prescribed fires is encouraged but not required and should be done via only the “Events” data category.

    (2) Agricultural fires (also referred to as crop residue burning) must be reported to the nonpoint data category.

    5. Revise § 51.30 to read as follows:
    § 51.30 When does my state report which emissions data to EPA?

    All states are required to report two basic types of emission inventories to the EPA: An every-year inventory; and a triennial inventory.

    (a) Every-year inventory. See Tables 2a and 2b of Appendix A of this subpart for the specific data elements to report every year.

    (1) All states are required to report every year the annual (12-month) emissions data described in § 51.15 from Type A (large) point sources, as defined in Table 1 of Appendix A of this subpart. The first every-year cycle inventory will be for the 2009 inventory year and must be submitted to the EPA within 12 months, i.e., by December 31, 2010.

    (2) In inventory years that fall under the triennial inventory requirements, the reporting required by the triennial inventory satisfies the every-year reporting requirements of paragraph (a) of this section.

    (b) Triennial inventory. See Tables 2a and 2b to Appendix A of subpart A for the specific data elements that must be reported for the triennial inventories.

    (1) All states are required to report for every third inventory year the annual (12-month) emissions data as described in § 51.15. The first triennial inventory will be for the 2011 inventory and must be submitted to the EPA within 12 months, i.e., by December 31, 2012. Subsequent triennial inventories (2014, 2017, etc.) will be due 12 months after the end of the inventory year, i.e., by December 31 of the following year.

    (2) [Reserved]

    6. Revise § 51.35 to read as follows:
    § 51.35 How can my state equalize the emission inventory effort from year to year?

    (a) Compiling a triennial inventory means more effort every 3 years. As an option, your state may ease this workload spike by using the following approach:

    (1) Each year, collect and report data for all Type A (large) point sources (this is required for all Type A point sources).

    (2) Each year, collect data for one-third of your sources that are not Type A point sources. Collect data for a different third of these sources each year so that data has been collected for all of the sources that are not Type A point sources by the end of each 3-year cycle. You must save 3 years of data and then report all emissions from the sources that are not Type A point sources on the triennial inventory due date.

    (3) Each year, collect data for one-third of the nonpoint, nonroad mobile, and onroad mobile sources. You must save 3 years of data for each such source and then report all of these data on the triennial inventory due date.

    (b) For the sources described in paragraph (a) of this section, your state will have data from 3 successive years at any given time, rather than from the single year in which it is compiled.

    (c) If your state chooses the method of inventorying one-third of your sources that are not Type A point sources and triennial inventory nonpoint, nonroad mobile, and onroad mobile sources each year, your state must compile each year of the 3-year period identically. For example, if a process has not changed for a source category or individual plant, your state must use the same emission factors to calculate emissions for each year of the 3-year period. If your state has revised emission factors during the 3 years for a process that has not changed, you must compute previous years' data using the revised factor. If your state uses models to estimate emissions, you must make sure that the model is the same for all 3 years.

    7. Revise § 51.40 to read as follows:
    § 51.40 In what form and format should my state report the data to EPA?

    You must report your emission inventory data to us in electronic form. We support specific electronic data reporting formats, and you are required to report your data in a format consistent with these. The term “format” encompasses the definition of one or more specific data fields for each of the data elements listed in Tables 2a and 2b in Appendix A of this subpart; allowed code values for certain data fields; transmittal information; and data table relational structure. Because electronic reporting technology may change, contact the EPA Emission Inventory and Analysis Group (EIAG) for the latest specific formats. You can find information on the current formats at the following Internet address: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/chief/eis/2011nei/xml_data_eis.pdf. You may also call the air emissions contact in your EPA Regional Office or our Info CHIEF help desk at (919) 541-1000 or send email to [email protected]

    8. Revise § 51.50 to read as follows:
    § 51.50 What definitions apply to this subpart?

    Aircraft engine type means a code defining a unique combination of aircraft and engine used as an input parameter for calculating emissions from aircraft.

    Annual emissions means actual emissions for a plant, point, or process that are measured or calculated to represent a calendar year.

    Control measure means a unique code for the type of control device or operational measure (e.g., wet scrubber, flaring, process change, ban) used to reduce emissions.

    Emission calculation method means the code describing how the emissions for a pollutant were calculated, e.g., by stack test, continuous emissions monitor, EPA emission factor, etc.

    Emission factor means the ratio relating emissions of a specific pollutant to an activity throughput level.

    Emission operating type means the operational status of an emissions unit for the time period for which emissions are being reported, i.e., Routine, Startup, Shutdown, or Upset.

    Emission process identifier means a unique code for the process generating the emissions.

    Emission type means the type of emissions produced for onroad and nonroad sources or the mode of operation for marine vessels.

    Emissions year means the calendar year for which the emissions estimates are reported.

    Facility site identifier means the unique code for a plant or facility treated as a point source, containing one or more pollutant-emitting units. The EPA's reporting format allows for state submittals to use either the state's data system identifiers or the EPA's Emission Inventory System identifiers.

    Facility site name means the name of the facility.

    Lead (Pb) means lead as defined in 40 CFR 50.12. Emissions of Pb which occur either as elemental Pb or as a chemical compound containing Pb should be reported as the mass of the Pb atoms only.

    Mobile source means a motor vehicle, nonroad engine or nonroad vehicle, where:

    (1) A motor vehicle is any self-propelled vehicle used to carry people or property on a street or highway;

    (2) A nonroad engine is an internal combustion engine (including fuel system) that is not used in a motor vehicle or a vehicle used solely for competition, or that is not affected by sections 111 or 202 of the CAA; and

    (3) A nonroad vehicle is a vehicle that is run by a nonroad engine and that is not a motor vehicle or a vehicle used solely for competition.

    NAICS means North American Industry Classification System code. The NAICS codes are U.S. Department of Commerce's codes for categorizing businesses by products or services and have replaced Standard Industrial Classification codes.

    Nitrogen oxides (NO X ) means nitrogen oxides (NOX) as defined in 40 CFR 60.2 as all oxides of nitrogen except N2O. Nitrogen oxides should be reported on an equivalent molecular weight basis as nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

    Nonpoint sources collectively represent individual sources that have not been inventoried as specific point or mobile sources. These individual sources treated collectively as nonpoint sources are typically too small, numerous, or difficult to inventory using the methods for the other classes of sources.

    Particulate matter (PM) is a criteria air pollutant. For the purpose of this subpart, the following definitions apply:

    (1) Filterable PM 2.5 or Filterable PM 10 : Particles that are directly emitted by a source as a solid or liquid at stack or release conditions and captured on the filter of a stack test train. Filterable PM2.5 is particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter equal to or less than 2.5 micrometers. Filterable PM10 is particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter equal to or less than 10 micrometers.

    (2) Condensable PM: Material that is vapor phase at stack conditions, but which condenses and/or reacts upon cooling and dilution in the ambient air to form solid or liquid PM immediately after discharge from the stack. Note that all condensable PM, if present from a source, is typically in the PM2.5 size fraction and, therefore, all of it is a component of both primary PM2.5 and primary PM10.

    (3) Primary PM 2.5 : The sum of filterable PM2.5 and condensable PM.

    (4) Primary PM 10 : The sum of filterable PM10 and condensable PM.

    (5) Secondary PM: Particles that form or grow in mass through chemical reactions in the ambient air well after dilution and condensation have occurred. Secondary PM is usually formed at some distance downwind from the source. Secondary PM should not be reported in the emission inventory and is not covered by this subpart.

    Percent control approach capture efficiency means the percentage of an exhaust gas stream actually collected for routing to a set of control devices.

    Percent control approach effectiveness means the percentage of time or activity throughput that a control approach is operating as designed, including the capture and reduction devices. This percentage accounts for the fact that controls typically are not 100 percent effective because of equipment downtime, upsets and decreases in control efficiencies.

    Percent control approach penetration means the percentage of a nonpoint source category activity that is covered by the reported control measures.

    Percent control measures reduction efficiency means the net emission reduction efficiency across all emissions control devices. It does not account for capture device efficiencies.

    Physical address means the location address (street address or other physical location description), locality name, state, and postal zip code of a facility. This is the physical location where the emissions occur; not the corporate headquarters or a mailing address.

    Point source means large, stationary (non-mobile), identifiable sources of emissions that release pollutants into the atmosphere. A point source is a facility that is a major source under 40 CFR part 70 for one or more of the pollutants for which reporting is required by § 51.15 (a)(1). This does not include the emissions of hazardous air pollutants, which are not considered in determining whether a source is a point source under this subpart. The minimum point source reporting thresholds are shown in Table 1 of Appendix A.

    Pollutant code means a unique code for each reported pollutant assigned by the reporting format specified by the EPA for each inventory year.

    Release point apportionment percent means the average percentage(s) of an emissions exhaust stream directed to a given release point.

    Release point exit gas flow rate means the numeric value of the flow rate of a stack gas.

    Release point exit gas temperature means the numeric value of the temperature of an exit gas stream in degrees Fahrenheit.

    Release point exit gas velocity means the numeric value of the velocity of an exit gas stream.

    Release point identifier means a unique code for the point where emissions from one or more processes release into the atmosphere.

    Release point stack diameter means the inner physical diameter of a stack.

    Release point stack height means physical height of a stack above the surrounding terrain.

    Release point type code means the code for physical configuration of the release point.

    Reporting period type means the code describing the time period covered by the emissions reported, i.e., Annual, 5-month ozone season, summer day, or winter.

    Source classification code (SCC) means a process-level code that describes the equipment and/or operation which is emitting pollutants.

    State and county FIPS code means the system of unique identifiers in the Federal Information Placement System (FIPS) used to identify states, counties and parishes for the entire United States, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

    Throughput means a measurable factor or parameter that relates directly or indirectly to the emissions of an air pollution source during the period for which emissions are reported. Depending on the type of source category, activity information may refer to the amount of fuel combusted, raw material processed, product manufactured, or material handled or processed. It may also refer to population, employment, or number of units. Activity throughput is typically the value that is multiplied against an emission factor to generate an emissions estimate.

    Type A source means large point sources with a potential to emit greater than or equal to any of the thresholds listed in Table 1 of Appendix A of this subpart. If a source is a Type A source for any pollutant listed in Table 1, then the emissions for all pollutants required by § 51.15 must be reported for that source.

    Unit design capacity means a measure of the size of a point source, based on the reported maximum continuous throughput or output capacity of the unit.

    Unit identifier means a unique code for the unit that generates emissions, typically a physical piece of equipment or a closely related set of equipment.

    VOC means volatile organic compounds. The EPA's regulatory definition of VOC is in 40 CFR 51.100.

    9. In Appendix A to subpart A of part 51: a. Revise tables 1, 2a, and 2b. b. Remove table 2c.

    The revisions read as follows:

    Appendix A to Subpart A of Part 51—Tables Table 1 to Appendix A of Subpart A—Emission Thresholds 1 by Pollutant for Treatment as Point Source Under 40 CFR 51.30 Pollutant Every-year (Type A sources) 2 Triennial Type B sources NAA sources 3 (1) SO2 ≥2500 ≥100 ≥100. (2) VOC ≥250 ≥100 O3 (moderate) ≥100. O3 (serious)≥50. O3 (severe) ≥25. O3 (extreme) ≥10. (3) NOX ≥2500 ≥100 ≥100. (4) CO ≥2500 ≥1000 O3 (all areas) ≥100. CO (all areas) ≥100. (5) Lead ≥0.5 (actual) ≥0.5 (actual). (6) Primary PM10 ≥250 ≥100 PM10 (moderate) ≥100. PM10 (serious) ≥70. (7) Primary PM2.5 ≥250 ≥100 ≥100. (8) NH3 4 ≥250 ≥100 ≥100. 1 Thresholds for point source determination shown in tons per year of potential to emit as defined in 40 CFR part 70, with the exception of lead. Reported emissions should be in actual tons emitted for the required time period. 2 Type A sources are a subset of the Type B sources and are the larger emitting sources by pollutant. 3 NAA = Nonattainment Area. The point source reporting thresholds vary by attainment status for VOC, CO, and PM10. 4 NH3 threshold applies only in areas where ammonia emissions are a factor in determining whether a source is a major source, i.e., where ammonia is considered a significant precursor of PM2.5. Table 2a to Appendix A of Subpart A—Facility Inventory 1 Data Elements for Reporting Emissions From Point Sources, Where Required by 40 CFR 51.30 Data elements (1) Emissions Year. (2) State and County FIPS Code or Tribal Code. (3) Facility Site Identifier. (4) Unit Identifier. (5) Emission Process Identifier. (6) Release Point Identifier. (7) Facility Site Name. (8) Physical Address (Location Address, Locality Name, State and Postal Code). (9) Latitude and Longitude at facility level. (10) Source Classification Code. (11) Aircraft Engine Type (where applicable). (12) Facility Site Status and Year. (13) Release Point Stack Height and Unit of Measure. (14) Release Point Stack Diameter and Unit of Measure. (15) Release Point Exit Gas Temperature and Unit of Measure. (16) Release Point Exit Gas Velocity or Release Point Exit Gas Flow Rate and Unit of Measure. (17) Release Point Status and Year. (18) NAICS at facility level. (19) Unit Design Capacity and Unit of Measure (for some unit types). (20) Unit Type. (21) Unit Status and Year. (22) Release Point Apportionment Percent. (23) Release Point Type. (24) Control Measure and Control Pollutant (where applicable). (25) Percent Control Approach Capture Efficiency (where applicable). (26) Percent Control Measures Reduction Efficiency (where applicable). (27) Percent Control Approach Effectiveness (where applicable). 1 Facility Inventory data elements need only be reported once to the EIS and then revised if needed. They do not need to be reported for each triennial or every-year emissions inventory. Table 2b to Appendix A of Subpart A—Data Elements for Reporting Emissions From Point, Nonpoint, Onroad Mobile and Nonroad Mobile Sources, Where Required by 40 CFR 51.30 Data elements Point Nonpoint Onroad Nonroad (1) Emissions Year Y Y Y Y (2) FIPS code Y Y Y Y (3) Shape Identifiers (where applicable) Y (4) Source Classification Code Y Y Y (5) Emission Type (where applicable) Y Y Y (8) Emission Factor Y Y (9) Throughput (Value, Material, Unit of Measure, and Type) Y Y Y (10) Pollutant Code Y Y Y Y (11) Annual Emissions and Unit of Measure Y Y Y Y (12) Reporting Period Type (Annual) Y Y Y Y (13) Emission Operating Type (Routine) Y (14) Emission Calculation Method Y Y (15) Control Measure and Control Pollutant (where applicable) Y (16) Percent Control Measures Reduction Efficiency (where applicable) Y (17) Percent Control Approach Effectiveness (where applicable) Y (18) Percent Control Approach Penetration (where applicable) Y
    Subpart G—Control Strategy 10. In § 51.122: a. Revise paragraphs (a), (c)(1)(i), (c)(2), (c)(3), (f), and (g). b. Remove and reserve paragraph (d).

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 51.122 Emissions reporting requirements for SIP revisions relating to budgets for NOX emissions.

    (a) As used in this section, words and terms shall have the meanings set forth in § 51.50. In addition, the following terms shall apply to this section:

    (1) Ozone season emissions means emissions during the period from May 1 through September 30 of a year.

    (2) Summer day emissions means an average day's emissions for a typical summer work weekday. The state will select the particular month(s) in summer and the day(s) in the work week to be represented.

    (c) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (i) The state must report to EPA emissions data from all NOX sources within the state for which the state specified control measures in its SIP submission under § 51.121(g), including all sources for which the state has adopted measures that differ from the measures incorporated into the baseline inventory for the year 2007 that the state developed in accordance with § 51.121(g).The state must also report to EPA ozone season emissions of NOX and summer day emissions of NOX from any point, nonpoint, onroad mobile, or nonroad mobile source for which the state specified control measures in its SIP submission under § 51.121(g).

    (2) For the 3-year cycle reporting, each plan must provide for triennial (i.e., every third year) reporting of NOX emissions data from all sources within the state. The state must also report to EPA ozone season emissions of NOX and summer day emissions of NOX from all point sources, nonpoint sources, onroad mobile sources, and nonroad mobile sources.

    (3) The data availability requirements in § 51.116 must be followed for all data submitted to meet the requirements of paragraphs (c)(1) and (2) of this section.

    (d) [Reserved]

    (f) Reporting schedules. Data collection is to begin during the ozone season 1 year prior to the state's NOX SIP Call compliance date.

    (g) The state shall report emissions as point sources according to the point source emissions thresholds of the Air Emissions Reporting Rule (AERR), 40 CFR part 51, subpart A. The detail of the emissions inventory shall be consistent with the data elements required by 40 CFR part 51, subpart A. When submitting a formal NOX Budget Emissions Report and associated data, states shall notify the appropriate EPA Regional Office.

    Subpart X—Provisions for Implementation of 8-hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard 11. In § 51.900, add paragraph (v) to read as follows:
    § 51.900 Definitions.

    (v) Summer day emissions means an average day's emissions for a typical summer work weekday. The state will select the particular month(s) in summer and the day(s) in the work week to be represented. The selection of conditions should be coordinated with the conditions assumed in the development of RFP plans, ROP plans and demonstrations, and/or emissions budgets for transportation conformity, to allow comparability of daily emission estimates.

    12. Revise § 51.915 to read as follows:
    § 51.915 What emissions inventory requirements apply under the 8-hour NAAQS?

    For each nonattainment area subject to subpart 2 in accordance with § 51.903, the emissions inventory requirements in sections 182(a)(1) and 182(a)(3) of the Act shall apply, and such SIP shall be due no later 2 years after designation. For each nonattainment area subject only to title I, part D, subpart 1 of the Act in accordance with § 51.902(b), the emissions inventory requirement in section 172(c)(3) of the Act shall apply, and an emission inventory SIP shall be due no later 3 years after designation. The state must report to the EPA summer day emissions of NOX and VOC from all point sources, nonpoint sources, onroad mobile sources, and nonroad mobile sources. The state shall report emissions as point sources according to the point source emissions thresholds of the Air Emissions Reporting Rule (AERR), 40 CFR part 51, subpart A. The detail of the emissions inventory shall be consistent with the data elements required by 40 CFR part 51, subpart A.

    [FR Doc. 2015-03470 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 60, 61, and 63 [EPA-R06-OAR-2007-1205; FRL9923-05-Region 6] New Source Performance Standards and National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants; Delegation of Authority to Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule; delegation of authority.

    SUMMARY:

    The Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board (ABCAQCB) has submitted updated regulations for receiving delegation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) authority for implementation and enforcement of New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) and National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs) for all sources (both part 70 and non-part 70 sources). The delegation of authority under this action applies only to sources located in Bernalillo County, New Mexico, and does not extend to sources located in Indian Country. EPA is providing notice that it is updating the delegation of certain NSPS to ABCAQCB, and taking direct final action to approve the delegation of certain NESHAPs to ABCAQCB.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on April 20, 2015 without further notice, unless EPA receives relevant adverse comment by March 23, 2015. If EPA receives such comment, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that the updated NESHAPs delegation will not take effect; however, the NSPS delegation will not be affected by such action.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R06-OAR-2007-1205, by one of the following methods:

    www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions.

    • Email: Mr. Rick Barrett at barrett.richard@epa.gov. Please also send a copy by email to the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section below.

    • Mail or delivery: Mr. Rick Barrett, Air Permits Section (6PD-R), Environmental Protection Agency, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket No. EPA-R06-OAR-2007-1205. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information through http://www.regulations.gov or email, if you believe that it is CBI or otherwise protected from disclosure. The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through http://www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment along with any disk or CD-ROM submitted. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters and any form of encryption and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional information about EPA's public docket, visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.

    Docket: The index to the docket for this action is available electronically at www.regulations.gov and in hard copy at EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 700, Dallas, Texas. While all documents in the docket are listed in the index, some information may be publicly available only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material), and some may not be publicly available at either location (e.g., CBI).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Rick Barrett, (214) 665-7227, [email protected] To inspect the hard copy materials, please schedule an appointment with Mr. Barrett or Mr. Bill Deese at (214) 665-7253.

    Table of Contents I. What does this action do? II. What is the authority for delegation? III. What criteria must ABCAQCB's programs meet to be approved? IV. How did ABCAQCB Meet the approval criteria? V. What is being delegated? VI. What is not being delegated? VII. How will applicability determinations be made? VIII. What authority does EPA have? IX. What information must ABCAQCB provide to EPA? X. What is EPA's oversight role? XI. Should sources submit notices to EPA or ABCAQCB? XII. How will unchanged authorities be delegated to ABCAQCB in the future? XIII. Final Action XIV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What does this action do?

    EPA is providing notice that it is delegating authority for implementation and enforcement of certain NSPS to ABCAQCB. EPA is also taking direct final action to approve the delegation of certain NESHAPs to ABCAQCB. With this delegation, ABCAQCB has the primary responsibility to implement and enforce the delegated standards.

    II. What is the authority for delegation?

    Section 111(c)(1) of the Clean Air Act (CAA) authorizes EPA to delegate authority to any state agency which submits adequate regulatory procedures for implementation and enforcement of the NSPS program. In addition, a state may authorize a local agency to carry out a plan (program) within the local agency's jurisdiction under certain conditions. See 40 CFR 60.26(e). The NSPS standards are codified at 40 CFR part 60.

    Section 112(l) of the CAA and 40 CFR part 63, subpart E, authorizes EPA to delegate authority to any state or local agency which submits an adequate regulatory program for implementation and enforcement of emission standards for hazardous air pollutants. The hazardous air pollutant standards are codified at 40 CFR parts 61 and 63.

    III. What criteria must ABCAQCB's programs meet to be approved?

    In order to receive delegation of NSPS a state must develop and submit to the EPA a procedure for implementing and enforcing the NSPS in the state, or in the local agency's jurisdiction as discussed above, and their regulations and resources must be adequate for the implementation and enforcement of the NSPS. EPA initially approved the ABCAQCB program for the delegation of NSPS on December 20, 1989 (54 FR 52031). EPA reviewed the rules and regulations of the ABCAQCB and determined the ABCAQCB's procedures, regulations and resources adequate for the implementation and enforcement of the Federal standards. The NSPS delegation was most recently updated on December 9, 2005 (70 FR 73138). This action notifies the public that EPA is updating ABCAQCB's delegation to implement and enforce certain additional NSPS.

    As to the NESHAP standards in 40 CFR parts 61 and 63, section 112(l)(5) of the CAA enables EPA to approve state air toxics programs or rules to operate in place of the Federal air toxics program or rules. 40 CFR part 63, subpart E governs EPA's approval of State programs or rules under section 112(l).

    EPA will approve the State's submittal of a program for implementation and enforcement of the NESHAPs if we find that:

    (1) The State program is “no less stringent” than the corresponding Federal program or rule;

    (2) The State has adequate authority and resources to implement the program;

    (3) The schedule for implementation and compliance is sufficiently expeditious; and

    (4) The program otherwise complies with Federal guidance.

    In order to obtain approval of its program to implement and enforce Federal section 112 rules as promulgated without changes (straight delegation), a State must demonstrate that it meets the approval criteria of 40 CFR 63.91(d). 40 CFR 63.91(d)(3) provides that interim or final Title V program approval will satisfy the criteria of 40 CFR 63.91(d) for part 70 sources (sources required to obtain Title V operating permits pursuant to the Clean Air Act).

    IV. How did ABCAQCB meet the approval criteria?

    As to the NSPS standards in 40 CFR part 60, ABCAQCB adopted the Federal standards via incorporation by reference. The ABCAQCB regulations are, therefore, at least as stringent as EPA's rules. See 40 CFR 60.10(a). Also, in the EPA initial approval of NSPS delegation, we determined that ABCAQCB developed procedures for implementing and enforcing the NSPS in Bernalillo County, and that ABCAQCB's regulations and resources are adequate for the implementation and enforcement of the Federal standards. See 54 FR 52031 (December 20, 1989).

    As to the NESHAP standards in 40 CFR parts 61 and 63, as part of its Title V submission ABCAQCB stated that it intended to use the mechanism of incorporation by reference to adopt unchanged Federal section 112 standards into its regulations. This commitment applied to both existing and future standards as they applied to part 70 sources. EPA's final interim approval of ABCAQCB's Title V operating permits program delegated the authority to implement certain NESHAPs on March 10, 1995 (60 FR 13046). On November 26, 1996, EPA promulgated final full approval of the ABCAQCB's operating permits program. (61 FR 60032). These interim and final title V program approvals satisfy the upfront approval criteria of 40 CFR 63.91(d). Under 40 CFR 63.91(d)(2), once a state has satisfied the up-front approval criteria, it needs only to reference the previous demonstration and reaffirm that it still meets the criteria for any subsequent submittals for delegation of the section 112 standards. ABCAQCB has affirmed that it still meets the up-front approval criteria.

    V. What is being delegated?

    By letter dated December 14, 2006, EPA received a request from ABCAQCB to update their NSPS delegation and NESHAPs delegation. With certain exceptions noted in section VI below, ABCAQCB's request included NSPS in 40 CFR part 60, and NESHAPs in 40 CFR parts 61 and 63, as amended between July 2, 2004 and October 28, 2006.

    By letter dated January 16, 2009, EPA received a second request from ABCAQCB to update their NSPS delegation and NESHAPs delegation. With certain exceptions noted in section VI below, ABCAQCB's request included NSPS in 40 CFR part 60, and NESHAPs in 40 CFR parts 61 and 63, as amended between October 29, 2006 and August 1, 2008.

    By letter dated November 18, 2011, EPA received a third request from ABCAQCB to update their NSPS delegation and NESHAPs delegation. With certain exceptions noted in section VI below, ABCAQCB's request included NSPS in 40 CFR part 60, and NESHAPs in 40 CFR parts 61 and 63, as amended between August 2, 2008, and August 29, 2011.

    By letter dated January 15, 2014, EPA received a fourth request from ABCAQCB to update ABCAQCB's NSPS delegation and NESHAPs delegation. With certain exceptions noted in section VI below, ABCAQCB's request included NSPS in 40 CFR part 60, and NESHAPs in 40 CFR parts 61 and 63, as amended between August 30, 2011, and September 13, 2013.

    VI. What is not being delegated?

    The following part 60, 61 and 63 authorities listed below are not delegated. All of the inquiries and requests concerning implementation and enforcement of the excluded standards for the ABCAQCB should be directed to the EPA Region 6 Office.

    • 40 CFR Part 60, Subpart AAA (Standards of Performance for New Residential Wood Heaters);

    • 40 CFR Part 61, Subpart B (National Emission Standards for Radon Emissions from Underground Uranium Mines);

    • 40 CFR Part 61, Subpart H (National Emission Standards for Emissions of Radionuclides Other Than Radon From Department of Energy Facilities);

    • 40 CFR Part 61, Subpart I (National Emission Standards for Radionuclide Emissions from Federal Facilities Other Than Nuclear Regulatory Commission Licensees and Not Covered by Subpart H);

    • 40 CFR Part 61, Subpart K (National Emission Standards for Radionuclide Emissions from Elemental Phosphorus Plants);

    • 40 CFR Part 61, Subpart Q (National Emission Standards for Radon Emissions from Department of Energy facilities);

    • 40 CFR Part 61, Subpart R (National Emission Standards for Radon Emissions from Phosphogypsum Stacks);

    • 40 CFR Part 61, Subpart T (National Emission Standards for Radon Emissions from the Disposal of Uranium Mill Tailings); and

    • 40 CFR Part 61, Subpart W (National Emission Standards for Radon Emissions from Operating Mill Tailings).

    In addition, EPA cannot delegate to a State or local authority any of the Category II Subpart A authorities set forth in 40 CFR 63.91(g)(2). These include the following provisions: § 63.6(g), Approval of Alternative Non-Opacity Standards; § 63.6(h)(9), Approval of Alternative Opacity Standards; § 63.7(e)(2)(ii) and (f), Approval of Major Alternatives to Test Methods; § 63.8(f), Approval of Major Alternatives to Monitoring; and § 63.10(f), Approval of Major Alternatives to Recordkeeping and Reporting. Also, some Part 63 standards have certain provisions that cannot be delegated to the States. Therefore, any Part 63 standard that EPA is delegating to ABCAQCB that provides that certain authorities cannot be delegated are retained by EPA and not delegated. Furthermore, no authorities are delegated that require rulemaking in the Federal Register to implement, or where Federal overview is the only way to ensure national consistency in the application of the standards or requirements of CAA section 112. Finally, section 112(r), the accidental release program authority, is not being delegated by this approval.

    In addition, this delegation to ABCAQCB to implement and enforce certain NSPS and NESHAPs does not extend to sources or activities located in Indian country, as defined in 18 U.S.C. 1151. Under this definition, EPA treats as reservations, trust lands validly set aside for the use of a Tribe even if the trust lands have not been formally designated as a reservation. Consistent with previous federal program approvals or delegations, EPA will continue to implement the NSPS and NESHAPs in Indian country because ABCAQCB has not submitted information to demonstrate authority over sources and activities located within the exterior boundaries of Indian reservations and other areas in Indian country.

    VII. How will applicability determinations be made?

    In approving the NSPS delegation, ABCAQCB will obtain concurrence from EPA on any matter involving the interpretation of section 111 of the CAA or 40 CFR part 60 to the extent that application, implementation, administration, or enforcement of these provisions have not been covered by prior EPA determinations or guidance. See 54 FR 52031 (December 20, 1989).

    In approving the NESHAPs delegation, ABCAQCB will obtain concurrence from EPA on any matter involving the interpretation of section 112 of the CAA or 40 CFR parts 61 and 63 to the extent that application, implementation, administration, or enforcement of these provisions have not been covered by prior EPA determinations or guidance.

    VIII. What authority does EPA have?

    We retain the right, as provided by CAA section 111(c)(2), to enforce any applicable emission standard or requirement under section 111.

    We retain the right, as provided by CAA section 112(l)(7), to enforce any applicable emission standard or requirement under section 112. EPA also has the authority to make certain decisions under the General Provisions (subpart A) of part 63. We are granting ABCAQCB some of these authorities, and retaining others, as explained in sections V and VI above. In addition, EPA may review and disapprove determinations by State and local authorities and subsequently require corrections. (See 40 CFR 63.91(g) and 65 FR 55810, 55823, September 14, 2000, as amended at 70 FR 59887, October 13, 2005; 72 FR 27443, May 16, 2007.)

    Furthermore, we retain any authority in an individual emission standard that may not be delegated according to provisions of the standard. Also, listed in the footnotes of the part 63 delegation table at the end of this rule are the authorities that cannot be delegated to any State or local agency which we therefore retain.

    Finally, we retain the authorities stated in the initial notice of delegation of authority. See 54 FR 52031 (December 20, 1989).

    IX. What information must ABCAQCB provide to EPA?

    Under 40 CFR 60.4(b), all notifications under NSPS must be sent to both EPA and to ABCAQCB. Please send notifications and reports to Chief, Air/Toxics Inspection and Coordination Branch at the EPA Region 6 office.

    ABCAQCB must provide any additional compliance related information to EPA, Region 6, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, within 45 days of a request under 40 CFR 63.96(a). In receiving delegation for specific General Provisions authorities, ABCAQCB must submit to EPA Region 6, on a semi-annual basis, copies of determinations issued under these authorities. For 40 CFR parts 61 and 63 standards, these determinations include: Section 63.1, Applicability Determinations; Section 63.6(e), Operation and Maintenance Requirements—Responsibility for Determining Compliance; Section 63.6(f), Compliance with Non-Opacity Standards—Responsibility for Determining Compliance; Section 63.6(h), Compliance with Opacity and Visible Emissions Standards—Responsibility for Determining Compliance; Sections 63.7(c)(2)(i) and (d), Approval of Site-Specific Test Plans; Section 63.7(e)(2)(i), Approval of Minor Alternatives to Test Methods; Section 63.7(e)(2)(ii) and (f), Approval of Intermediate Alternatives to Test Methods; Section 63.7(e)(iii), Approval of Shorter Sampling Times and Volumes When Necessitated by Process Variables or Other Factors; Sections 63.7(e)(2)(iv), (h)(2), and (h)(3), Waiver of Performance Testing; Sections 63.8(c)(1) and (e)(1), Approval of Site-Specific Performance Evaluation (Monitoring) Test Plans; Section 63.8(f), Approval of Minor Alternatives to Monitoring; Section 63.8(f), Approval of Intermediate Alternatives to Monitoring; Section 63.9 and 63.10, Approval of Adjustments to Time Periods for Submitting Reports; Section 63.10(f), Approval of Minor Alternatives to Recordkeeping and Reporting; Section 63.7(a)(4), Extension of Performance Test Deadline.

    X. What is EPA's oversight role?

    EPA must oversee ABCAQCB's decisions to ensure the delegated authorities are being adequately implemented and enforced. We will integrate oversight of the delegated authorities into the existing mechanisms and resources for oversight currently in place. If, during oversight, we determine that ABCAQCB made decisions that decreased the stringency of the delegated standards, then ABCAQCB shall be required to take corrective actions and the source(s) affected by the decisions will be notified, as required by 40 CFR 63.91(g)(1)(ii). We will initiate withdrawal of the program or rule if the corrective actions taken are insufficient.

    XI. Should sources submit notices to EPA or ABCAQCB?

    All of the information required pursuant to the Federal NSPS and NESHAPs (40 CFR parts 60, 61 and 63) should be submitted by sources located inside the boundaries of Bernalillo County and areas outside of Indian country, directly to the ABCAQCB at the following address: City of Albuquerque, Albuquerque Environmental Health Department, P.O. Box 1293, Albuquerque, NM 87103. The ABCAQCB is the primary point of contact with respect to delegated NSPS and NESHAPs. Sources do not need to send a copy to EPA. EPA Region 6 waives the requirement that notifications and reports for delegated standards be submitted to EPA in addition to ABCAQCB, in accordance with 40 CFR 63.9(a)(4)(ii) and 63.10(a)(4)(ii). Also, see 51 FR 20648 (June 6, 1986). For those standards that are not delegated, sources must continue to submit all appropriate information to EPA.

    XII. How will unchanged authorities be delegated to ABCAQCB in the future?

    In the future, ABCAQCB will only need to send a letter of request to update their delegation to EPA, Region 6, for those NSPS which they have adopted by reference. EPA will amend the relevant portions of the Code of Federal Regulations showing which NSPS standards have been delegated to ABCAQCB. Also, in the future, ABCAQCB will only need to send a letter of request for approval to EPA, Region 6, for those NESHAPs regulations that ABCAQCB has adopted by reference. The letter must reference the previous up-front approval demonstration and reaffirm that it still meets the up-front approval criteria. We will respond in writing to the request stating that the request for delegation is either granted or denied. A Federal Register action will be published to inform the public and affected sources of the delegation, indicate where source notifications and reports should be sent, and to amend the relevant portions of the Code of Federal Regulations showing which NESHAP standards have been delegated to ABCAQCB.

    XIII. Final Action

    The public was provided the opportunity to comment on the proposed interim approval (60 FR 2570) and direct final interim approval (60 FR 2527) of ABCAQCB's Title V operating permit program, and mechanism for delegation of section 112 standards as they apply to part 70 sources, on January 10, 1995. On March 10, 1995, EPA published an informational notice in the Federal Register informing the public that the direct final interim approval would remain final. (60 FR 13046). In today's action, the public is given the opportunity to comment on the approval of ABCAQCB's request for delegation of authority to implement and enforce certain section 112 standards for all sources (both part 70 and non-part 70 sources) which have been adopted by reference into ABCAQCB's regulations. However, the Agency views the approval of these requests as a noncontroversial action and anticipates no adverse comments. Therefore, EPA is publishing this rule without prior proposal. However, in the “Proposed Rules” section of today's Federal Register publication, EPA is publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the program and NESHAPs delegation of authority described in this action if adverse comments are received. This action will be effective April 20, 2015 without further notice unless the Agency receives relevant adverse comments by March 23, 2015.

    If EPA receives relevant adverse comments, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public the rule will not take effect with respect to the updated NESHAPs delegation. We will address all public comments in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. The EPA will not institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so at this time. Please note that if we receive relevant adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, we may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of a relevant adverse comment.

    XIV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993), this action is not a “significant regulatory action” and therefore is not subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget. For this reason, this action is also not subject to Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001). This action merely approves state law as meeting Federal requirements and imposes no additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. Accordingly, the Administrator certifies that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). Because this rule approves pre-existing requirements under state law and does not impose any additional enforceable duty beyond that required by state law, it does not contain any unfunded mandate or significantly or uniquely affect small governments, as described in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4).

    In addition, this rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because the delegation is not approved to apply in Indian country located in the State, and the EPA notes that it will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law. This action also does not have Federalism implications because it does not have substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999). This action merely approves a state request to receive delegation of certain Federal standards, and does not alter the relationship or the distribution of power and responsibilities established in the Clean Air Act. This rule also is not subject to Executive Order 13045 “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997), because it is not economically significant.

    In reviewing delegation submissions, EPA's role is to approve submissions, provided that they meet the criteria of the Clean Air Act. In this context, in the absence of a prior existing requirement for the state to use voluntary consensus standards (VCS), EPA has no authority to disapprove a delegation submission for failure to use VCS. It would thus be inconsistent with applicable law for EPA to use VCS in place of a delegation submission that otherwise satisfies the provisions of the Clean Air Act. Thus, the requirements of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) do not apply. This rule does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by April 20, 2015. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this rule for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2)).

    List of Subjects 40 CFR Part 60

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Air pollution control, Intergovernmental relations, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    40 CFR Part 61

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Air pollution control, Arsenic, Benzene, Beryllium, Hazardous substances, Mercury, Intergovernmental relations, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Vinyl chloride.

    40 CFR Part 63

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Air pollution control, Hazardous substances, Intergovernmental relations, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: January 28, 2015. Samuel Coleman, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 6.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, 40 CFR parts 60, 61, and 63 are amended as follows:

    PART 60—STANDARDS OF PERFORMANCE FOR NEW STATIONARY SOURCES 1. The authority citation for part 60 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart A—General Provisions 2. Section 60.4 is amended by revising paragraph (e)(3) to read as follows:
    § 60.4 Address.

    (e) * * *

    (3) Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board. The Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board has been delegated all part 60 standards promulgated by EPA, except subpart AAA—Standards of Performance for New Residential Wood Heaters, as amended in the Federal Register through September 13, 2013.

    PART 61—NATIONAL EMISSION STANDARDS FOR HAZARDOUS AIR POLLUTANTS 3. The authority citation for part 61 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart A—General Provisions 4. Section 61.04 is amended by revising paragraph (c)(6)(vi) to read as follows:
    § 61.04 Address.

    (c) * * *

    (6) * * *

    (vi) Albuquerque-Bernalillo County, New Mexico. The Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board (ABCAQCB) has been delegated the following part 61 standards promulgated by EPA, as amended in the Federal Register through September 13, 2013. The (X) symbol is used to indicate each subpart that has been delegated.

    Delegation Status for National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (Part 61 Standards) for Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board [Excluding Indian Country] 1 Subpart Source category ABCAQCB A General Provisions X B Radon Emissions From Underground Uranium Mines C Beryllium X D Beryllium Rocket Motor Firing X E Mercury X F Vinyl Chloride X G (Reserved) H Emissions of Radionuclides Other Than Radon From Department of Energy Facilities I Radionuclide Emissions From Federal Facilities Other Than Nuclear Regulatory Commission Licensees and Not Covered by Subpart H J Equipment Leaks (Fugitive Emission Sources) of Benzene X K Radionuclide Emissions From Elemental Phosphorus Plants L Benzene Emissions From Coke By-Product Recovery Plants X M Asbestos X N Inorganic Arsenic Emissions From Glass Manufacturing Plants X O Inorganic Arsenic Emissions From Primary Copper Smelters X P Inorganic Arsenic Emissions From Arsenic Trioxide and Metallic Arsenic Production Facilities X Q Radon Emissions From Department of Energy Facilities R Radon Emissions From Phosphogypsum Stacks S (Reserved) T Radon Emissions From the Disposal of Uranium Mill Tailings U (Reserved) V Equipment Leaks (Fugitives Emission Sources) X W Radon Emissions From Operating Mill Tailings X (Reserved) Y Benzene Emissions From Benzene Storage Vessels X Z-AA (Reserved) BB Benzene Emissions From Benzene Transfer Operations X CC-EE (Reserved) FF Benzene Waste Operations X 1 Program delegated to Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board (ABCAQCB).
    PART 63—NATIONAL EMISSION STANDARDS FOR HAZARDOUS AIR POLLUTANTS FOR SOURCE CATEGORIES 5. The authority citation for part 63 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart E—Approval of State Programs and Delegation of Federal Authorities 6. Section 63.99 is amended by revising paragraph (a)(32)(i) to read as follows:
    § 63.99 Delegated Federal authorities.

    (a) * * *

    (32) * * *

    (i) The following table lists the specific part 63 standards that have been delegated unchanged to state and local air pollution agencies in New Mexico. The “X” symbol is used to indicate each subpart that has been delegated. The delegations are subject to all of the conditions and limitations set forth in Federal law, regulations, policy, guidance, and determinations. Some authorities cannot be delegated and are retained by EPA. These include certain General Provisions authorities and specific parts of some standards. Any amendments made to these rules after September 13, 2013, are not delegated.

    Delegation Status for Part 63 Standards—State of New Mexico [Excluding Indian Country] Subpart Source category NMED 1 2 ABCAQCB 1 3 A General Provisions X X D Early Reductions X X F Hazardous Organic NESHAP (HON)—Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturing Industry (SOCMI) X X G HON—SOCMI Process Vents, Storage Vessels, Transfer Operations and Wastewater X X H HON—Equipment Leaks X X I HON—Certain Processes Negotiated Equipment Leak Regulation X X J Polyvinyl Chloride and Copolymers Production (4) (4) K (Reserved) L Coke Oven Batteries X X M Perchloroethylene Dry Cleaning X X N Chromium Electroplating and Chromium Anodizing Tanks X X O Ethylene Oxide Sterilizers X X P (Reserved) Q Industrial Process Cooling Towers X X R Gasoline Distribution X X S Pulp and Paper Industry X X T Halogenated Solvent Cleaning X X U Group I Polymers and Resins X X V (Reserved) W Epoxy Resins Production and Non-Nylon Polyamides Production X X X Secondary Lead Smelting X X Y Marine Tank Vessel Loading X X Z (Reserved) AA Phosphoric Acid Manufacturing Plants X X BB Phosphate Fertilizers Production Plants X X CC Petroleum Refineries X X DD Off-Site Waste and Recovery Operations X X EE Magnetic Tape Manufacturing X X FF (Reserved) GG Aerospace Manufacturing and Rework Facilities X X HH Oil and Natural Gas Production Facilities X X II Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Facilities X X JJ Wood Furniture Manufacturing Operations X X KK Printing and Publishing Industry X X LL Primary Aluminum Reduction Plants X X MM Chemical Recovery Combustion Sources at Kraft, Soda, Sulfide, and Stand-Alone Semichemical Pulp Mills X X NN (Reserved) OO Tanks-Level 1 X X PP Containers X X QQ Surface Impoundments X X RR Individual Drain Systems X X SS Closed Vent Systems, Control Devices, Recovery Devices and Routing to a Fuel Gas System or a Process X X TT Equipment Leaks—Control Level 1 X X UU Equipment Leaks—Control Level 2 Standards X X VV Oil—Water Separators and Organic—Water Separators X X WW Storage Vessels (Tanks)—Control Level 2 X X XX Ethylene Manufacturing Process Units Heat Exchange Systems and Waste Operations X X YY Generic Maximum Achievable Control Technology Standards X X ZZ-BBB (Reserved) CCC Steel Pickling—HCI Process Facilities and Hydrochloric Acid Regeneration X X DDD Mineral Wool Production X X EEE Hazardous Waste Combustors X X FFF (Reserved) GGG Pharmaceuticals Production X X HHH Natural Gas Transmission and Storage Facilities X X III Flexible Polyurethane Foam Production X X JJJ Group IV Polymers and Resins X X KKK (Reserved) LLL Portland Cement Manufacturing X X MMM Pesticide Active Ingredient Production X X NNN Wool Fiberglass Manufacturing X X OOO Amino/Phenolic Resins X X PPP Polyether Polyols Production X X QQQ Primary Copper Smelting X X RRR Secondary Aluminum Production X X SSS (Reserved) TTT Primary Lead Smelting X X UUU Petroleum Refineries—Catalytic Cracking Units, Catalytic Reforming Units and Sulfur Recovery Plants X X VVV Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) X X WWW (Reserved) XXX Ferroalloys Production: Ferromanganese and Silicomanganese X X AAAA Municipal Solid Waste Landfills X X CCCC Nutritional Yeast Manufacturing X X DDDD Plywood and Composite Wood Products 5 X 5 X EEEE Organic Liquids Distribution X X FFFF Misc. Organic Chemical Production and Processes (MON) X X GGGG Solvent Extraction for Vegetable Oil Production X X HHHH Wet Formed Fiberglass Mat Production X X IIII Auto & Light Duty Truck (Surface Coating) X X JJJJ Paper and other Web (Surface Coating) X X KKKK Metal Can (Surface Coating) X X MMMM Misc. Metal Parts and Products (Surface Coating) X X NNNN Surface Coating of Large Appliances X X OOOO Fabric Printing Coating and Dyeing X X PPPP Plastic Parts (Surface Coating) X X QQQQ Surface Coating of Wood Building Products X X RRRR Surface Coating of Metal Furniture X X SSSS Surface Coating for Metal Coil X X TTTT Leather Finishing Operations X X UUUU Cellulose Production Manufacture X X VVVV Boat Manufacturing X X WWWW Reinforced Plastic Composites Production X X XXXX Rubber Tire Manufacturing X X YYYY Combustion Turbines X X ZZZZ Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines (RICE) X X AAAAA Lime Manufacturing Plants X X BBBBB Semiconductor Manufacturing X X CCCCC Coke Ovens: Pushing, Quenching and Battery Stacks X X DDDDD Industrial/Commercial/Institutional Boilers and Process Heaters 6 X 6 X EEEEE Iron and Steel Foundries X X FFFFF Integrated Iron and Steel X X GGGGG Site Remediation X X HHHHH Miscellaneous Coating Manufacturing X X IIIII Mercury Cell Chlor-Alkali Plants X X JJJJJ Brick and Structural Clay Products Manufacturing (7) (7) KKKKK Clay Ceramics Manufacturing (7) (7) LLLLL Asphalt Roofing and Processing X X MMMMM Flexible Polyurethane Foam Fabrication Operation X X NNNNN Hydrochloric Acid Production, Fumed Silica Production X X OOOOO (Reserved) PPPPP Engine Test Facilities X X QQQQQ Friction Products Manufacturing X X RRRRR Taconite Iron Ore Processing X X SSSSS Refractory Products Manufacture X X TTTTT Primary Magnesium Refining X X UUUUU Coal and Oil-Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units 8 X 8 X VVVVV (Reserved) WWWWW Hospital Ethylene Oxide Sterilizers X X XXXXX (Reserved) YYYYY Electric Arc Furnace Steelmaking Area Sources X X ZZZZZ Iron and Steel Foundries Area Sources X X AAAAAA (Reserved) BBBBBB Gasoline Distribution Bulk Terminals, Bulk Plants, and Pipeline Facilities X X CCCCCC Gasoline Dispensing Facilities X X DDDDDD Polyvinyl Chloride and Copolymers Production Area Sources X X EEEEEE Primary Copper Smelting Area Sources X X FFFFFF Secondary Copper Smelting Area Sources X X GGGGGG Primary Nonferrous Metals Area Source: Zinc, Cadmium, and Beryllium X X HHHHHH Paint Stripping and Miscellaneous Surface Coating Operations at Area Sources X X IIIIII (Reserved) JJJJJJ Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers Area Sources X X KKKKKK (Reserved) LLLLLL Acrylic and Modacrylic Fibers Production Area Sources X X MMMMMM Carbon Black Production Area Sources X X NNNNNN Chemical Manufacturing Area Sources: Chromium Compounds X X OOOOOO Flexible Polyurethane Foam Production and Fabrication Area Sources X X PPPPPP Lead Acid Battery Manufacturing Area Sources X X QQQQQQ Wood Preserving Area Sources X X RRRRRR Clay Ceramics Manufacturing Area Sources X X SSSSSS Glass Manufacturing Area Sources X X TTTTTT Secondary Nonferrous Metals Processing Area Sources X X UUUUUU (Reserved) VVVVVV Chemical Manufacturing Area Sources X X WWWWWW Plating and Polishing Operations Area Sources X X XXXXXX Metal Fabrication and Finishing Area Sources X X YYYYYY Ferroalloys Production Facilities Area Sources X X ZZZZZZ Aluminum, Copper, and Other Nonferrous Foundries Area Sources X X AAAAAAA Asphalt Processing and Asphalt Roofing Manufacturing Area Sources X X BBBBBBB Chemical Preparation Industry Area Sources X X CCCCCCC Paints and Allied Products Manufacturing Area Sources X X DDDDDDD Prepared Feeds Areas Sources X X EEEEEEE Gold Mine Ore Processing and Production Area Sources X X FFFFFFF-GGGGGGG (Reserved) HHHHHHH Polyvinyl Chloride and Copolymers Production Major Sources X X 1 Authorities which may not be delegated include: § 63.6(g), Approval of Alternative Non-Opacity Emission Standards; § 63.6(h)(9), Approval of Alternative Opacity Standards; § 63.7(e)(2)(ii) and (f), Approval of Major Alternatives to Test Methods; § 63.8(f), Approval of Major Alternatives to Monitoring; § 63.10(f), Approval of Major Alternatives to Recordkeeping and Reporting; and all authorities identified in the subparts (e.g., under “Delegation of Authority”) that cannot be delegated. 2 Program delegated to New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) for standards promulgated by EPA, as amended in the Federal Register through August 29, 2013. 3 Program delegated to Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board (ABCAQCB) for standards promulgated by EPA, as amended in the Federal Register through September 13, 2013. 4 The NMED was previously delegated this subpart on February 9, 2004 (68 FR 69036). The ABCAQCB has adopted the subpart unchanged and applied for delegation of the standard. The subpart was vacated and remanded to EPA by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. See, Mossville Environmental Action Network v. EPA, 370 F. 3d 1232 (D.C. Cir. 2004). Because of the DC Court's holding this subpart is not delegated to NMED or ABCAQCB at this time. 5 This subpart was issued a partial vacatur on October 29, 2007 (72 FR 61060) by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. 6 Final rule. See 78 FR 7138 (January 31, 2013). 7 This subpart was vacated and remanded to EPA by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on March 13, 2007. See, Sierra Club v. EPA, 479 F. 3d 875 (D.C. Cir. 2007). Because of the DC Court's holding this subpart is not delegated to NMED or ABCAQCB at this time. 8 Initial Final Rule on February 16, 2012 (77 FR 9304). Final on reconsideration of certain new source issues on April 24, 2013 (78 FR 24073). Portions of this subpart are in proposed reconsideration pending final action on June 25, 2013 (78 FR 38001).
    [FR Doc. 2015-03482 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 300 [Docket No. 130703588-5112-02] RIN 0648-BD44 International Fisheries; Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species; Fishing Restrictions Regarding the Oceanic Whitetip Shark, the Whale Shark, and the Silky Shark AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS issues regulations under authority of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention Implementation Act (WCPFC Implementation Act) to implement decisions of the Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (Commission or WCPFC) on fishing restrictions related to the oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus), the whale shark (Rhincodon typus), and the silky shark (Carcharhinus falciformis). The regulations apply to owners and operators of U.S. fishing vessels used for commercial fishing for highly migratory species (HMS) in the area of application of the Convention on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (Convention). The regulations for oceanic whitetip sharks and silky sharks prohibit the retention, transshipment, storage, or landing of oceanic whitetip sharks or silky sharks, and require the release of any oceanic whitetip shark or silky shark as soon as possible after it is caught, with as little harm to the shark as possible. The regulations for whale sharks prohibit setting a purse seine on a whale shark and specify certain measures to be taken and reporting requirements in the event a whale shark is encircled in a purse seine net. This action is necessary for the United States to satisfy its obligations under the Convention, to which it is a Contracting Party.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective March 23, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Copies of supporting documents prepared for this final rule, including the regulatory impact review (RIR) and the Environmental Assessment (EA), as well as the proposed rule, are available via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal, at www.regulations.gov (search for Docket ID NOAA-NMFS-2014-0086). Those documents, and the small entity compliance guide prepared for this final rule, are also available from NMFS at the following address: Michael D. Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NMFS, Pacific Islands Regional Office (PIRO), 1845 Wasp Blvd., Building 176, Honolulu, HI 96818. The initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) and final regulatory flexibility analysis (FRFA) prepared under the authority of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) are included in the proposed rule and this final rule, respectively.

    Written comments regarding the burden-hour estimates or other aspects of the collection-of-information requirements contained in this final rule may be submitted to Michael D. Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NMFS PIRO (see ADDRESSES) and by email to [email protected] or fax to 202-395-7285.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rini Ghosh, NMFS PIRO, 808-725-5033.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On August 22, 2014, NMFS published a proposed rule in the Federal Register (79 FR 49745) to implement decisions of the Commission on the oceanic whitetip shark, the whale shark, and the silky shark. The proposed rule was open for public comment through October 6, 2014.

    This final rule is issued under the authority of the WCPFC Implementation Act (16 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.), which authorizes the Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Department in which the United States Coast Guard is operating (currently the Department of Homeland Security), to promulgate such regulations as may be necessary to carry out the obligations of the United States under the Convention, including the decisions of the Commission. The authority to promulgate regulations has been delegated to NMFS.

    This final rule implements the WCPFC's “Conservation and Management Measure for Oceanic Whitetip Shark” (CMM 2011-04), “Conservation and Management Measure for Protection of Whale Sharks from Purse Seine Fishing Operations” (CMM 2012-04), and “Conservation and Management Measure for Silky Sharks” (CMM 2013-08). The preamble to the proposed rule provides background information on a number of matters, including the Convention and the Commission, the provisions of the WCPFC decisions being implemented in this rule, and the bases for the proposed regulations, which is not repeated here.

    New Requirements

    The final rule includes six elements—three regarding the oceanic whitetip shark and silky shark and three regarding the whale shark.

    Oceanic Whitetip Shark and Silky Shark Elements

    For the oceanic whitetip shark and silky shark, the first element prohibits the crew, operator, and owner of a fishing vessel of the United States used for commercial fishing for HMS from retaining on board, transshipping, storing, or landing any part or whole carcass of an oceanic whitetip shark or silky shark that is caught in the Convention Area. The second element requires the crew, operator, and owner to release any oceanic whitetip shark or silky shark caught in the Convention Area as soon as possible after the shark is caught and brought alongside the vessel and take reasonable steps for its safe release, without compromising the safety of any persons. The third element takes into consideration that, notwithstanding the other two oceanic whitetip and silky shark elements of the rule, WCPFC observers may collect samples of oceanic whitetip sharks or silky sharks that are dead when brought alongside the vessel and the crew, operator, or owner of the vessel must allow and assist them to collect samples in the Convention Area, if requested to do so. Observers deployed by NMFS or the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency are currently considered WCPFC observers, as those programs have completed the required authorization process to become part of the WCPFC Regional Observer Programme.

    CMM 2011-04 and CMM 2013-08, for the oceanic whitetip shark and the silky shark, respectively, apply to the entire Convention Area, including, for the United States, state and territorial waters. The WCPFC Implementation Act states that regulations promulgated under the act shall apply within the boundaries of any of the States of the United States and any commonwealth, territory or possession of the United States (hereafter “State”) bordering on the Convention Area if the Secretary of Commerce has provided notice to the State, the State does not request an agency hearing, and the Secretary of Commerce has determined that the State has not, within a reasonable period of time after the promulgation of regulations, enacted laws or promulgated regulations that implement the recommendations of the WCPFC within the boundaries of the State; or has enacted laws or promulgated regulations that implement the recommendations of the WCPFC that are less restrictive than the regulations promulgated under the WCPFC Implementation Act or are not effectively enforced (16 U.S.C. 6907(e)). Some of the fisheries affected by the oceanic whitetip shark and silky shark elements of the rule operate within the waters of American Samoa, Guam, Hawaii, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). NMFS furnished copies of the proposed rule to these States at the time of publication in the Federal Register and will furnish copies of the final rule as well. NMFS is available to discuss ways to ensure that the conservation and management measures implemented in this rulemaking can be consistently applied to Federal, state, and territorial managed fisheries.

    Whale Shark Elements

    For the whale shark, the first element of the final rule prohibits owners, operators, and crew of fishing vessels from setting or attempting to set a purse seine in the Convention Area on or around a whale shark if the animal is sighted prior to the commencement of the set or the attempted set. CMM 2012-04 includes language making the prohibition specific to “a school of tuna associated with a whale shark.” However, it is unclear exactly what this phrase means. Thus, NMFS believes it is appropriate to apply this prohibition to any purse seine set or attempted set on or around a whale shark that has been sighted prior to commencement of the set or attempted set. This prohibition would not apply to sets made in the territorial seas or archipelagic waters of any nation or in the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA). The final rule includes a definition of the PNA as the Pacific Island countries that are parties to the Nauru Agreement Concerning Cooperation in the Management of Fisheries of Common Interest, as specified on the Web site of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement at www.pnatuna.com. The PNA currently includes the following countries: Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu. Vessel owners and operators may be subject to similar prohibitions regarding the whale shark in the EEZs of the PNA, if implemented by one or more PNA countries.

    The second element for the whale shark in the final rule requires the crew, operator, and owner of a fishing vessel to release any whale shark that is encircled in a purse seine net in the Convention Area, and to take reasonable steps to ensure its safe release, without compromising the safety of any persons. This element does not apply in the territorial seas or archipelagic waters of any nation, but does apply in all EEZs, including the EEZs of the PNA.

    The third and final element for the whale shark in the final rule requires the owner and operator of a fishing vessel that encircles a whale shark with a purse seine in the Convention Area to ensure that the incident is recorded by the end of the day on the catch report form, or Regional Purse Seine Logsheet (RPL), maintained pursuant to 50 CFR 300.34(c)(1), in the format specified by the NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Administrator. The NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Administrator would provide vessel owners and operators with specific instructions for how to record whale shark encirclements on the RPL.

    Comments and Responses

    NMFS received comments from 38 individuals on the proposed rule, as well as three comment letters from groups or organizations. The comments have been grouped together, where appropriate, in the summaries below.

    Comment 1: Four commenters provided general statements of support for the rule and five additional commenters expressed support for the rule stating that oceanic whitetip sharks, whale sharks, and silky sharks need to be protected from the fishing industry as they are at risk of extinction.

    Response: NMFS acknowledges these comments.

    Comment 2: One commenter stated that there is no sustainable way to fish for these sharks. Their lengthy gestation and low reproduction rate make them vulnerable to environmental changes.

    Response: NMFS notes that U.S. vessel owners and operators subject to this final rule are generally not fishing for these sharks, as there is no directed commercial shark fishery in the U.S. Pacific Islands region.

    Comment 3: Six commenters discussed how they view sharks as important parts of a healthy ocean and that loss of sharks would be detrimental to the environment. Two of these commenters suggested that preserving sharks could help the shark diving industry, and one of them provided a photo they had taken of an oceanic whitetip shark.

    Response: NMFS acknowledges these comments and the photo.

    Comment 4: Ten commenters called for protections from fishing for all shark species; half of these commenters asked for broad protections for other species, including cetaceans. Most discussed the importance of sharks to the ecosystem and some discussed their vulnerability to fishing and environmental changes.

    Response: The final rule establishes regulations that prohibit the retention, transshipment, storage, and landing of oceanic whitetip sharks and silky sharks, and require the release of any oceanic whitetip shark or silky shark as soon as possible after it is caught, with as little harm to the shark as possible. The final rule also establishes regulations that prohibit setting a purse seine on a whale shark and specify certain measures to be taken in the event a whale shark is encircled in a purse seine net, as well as a requirement to report the incident to NMFS. As described in the EA, other domestic and international management measures, such as the U.S. Shark Conservation Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-348), are in place to mitigate the impacts of fishing on shark species. NMFS, as well as international organizations and other countries are actively considering additional management for sharks. For example, the WCPFC's CMM 2010-07 provides management measures for sharks, and the WCPFC is considering additional shark management measures.

    Comment 5: One commenter recommended that the proposed regulations be adopted. The commenter stated that these shark species face many man-made perils and need any beneficial regulations that can keep them from becoming endangered. According to the commenter, the proposed regulations would provide a legal framework for the agency to take action against any offenses. The commenter stated that enforcement will likely be challenging but that it is good to have something for which to strive. It is in a fisherman's best interest to help protect the fragile ecosystem he or she relies upon.

    Response: NMFS acknowledges the comment.

    Comment 6: One commenter stated that oceanic whitetip sharks scour the open ocean which is devoid of most life, so when they encounter potential food, they may test it to see if it is edible. According to the commenter, the bad reputation of sharks comes from being opportunistic. However, thousands of people have swum with these sharks without injury. The sharks need to survive in a harsh, barren environment and they excel at it, so we should let them live.

    Response: NMFS acknowledges the comment.

    Comment 7: One commenter stated that it is unconscionable to not implement stronger protections for these sharks. According to the commenter, studies have shown declines in oceanic whitetip shark populations in the Gulf of Mexico. Silky shark populations are estimated to have also declined dramatically. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the oceanic whitetip shark as vulnerable, the silky shark as near threatened, and the whale shark as vulnerable. Many countries have recognized the fragility of whale shark populations and have legislated full protection for them. None of these species can sustain ongoing depletion.

    Response: Please see the response to Comment 4.

    Comment 8: One commenter asked NMFS to reconsider implementing the proposed rule, so that abuse of the ocean's beautiful creatures would stop.

    Response: We understand this comment to mean that the commenter believes the rule would lead to increased abuse of living marine resources. However, please see the response to Comment 4, above, for a summary of the regulations being implemented in this rule.

    Comment 9: One commenter requested NMFS to provide better protection for sharks.

    Response: As stated above in the response to Comment 4, the final rule implements WCPFC decisions for the conservation and management of three shark species.

    Comment 10: One commenter asked why everyone wants to kill these shark species, since they are simply fantastic and keep the ocean healthy.

    Response: As described above in the response to Comment 4, the final rule implements WCPFC decisions for the conservation and management of three shark species.

    Comment 11: Three commenters stated that they fully support the regulation of shark finning and more responsible fishing, as specified in the proposed rule. They also stated that these animals are critical members of the ecosystem and should be protected and that these regulations should be strictly enforced.

    Response: Please see the response to Comment 4, above, for a description of the elements of the final rule. The final rule does not regulate the practice of finning sharks, but other existing laws and regulations do so (e.g., the Shark Conservation Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-348)).

    Comment 12: One commenter supported the proposed rule and hopes that the United States will set an example for other countries. The commenter also provided background information on the status and importance of these sharks. However, the commenter asked NMFS to review the whale shark provisions of the proposed rule, recommending that nets should not be allowed in the water if a whale shark is seen and the regulations should clarify what would happen if a purse seine net is already in the water when a whale shark is sighted. The commenter also expressed concern over the lack of clarity in the definition of a “school of tuna associated with a whale shark” and suggested that it be rewritten.

    Response: The regulations in this final rule prohibit setting or attempting to set a purse seine in the Convention Area on or around a whale shark if the animal is sighted prior to the commencement of the set or the attempted set. Should a whale shark be sighted after commencement of the set when the net is already in the water, it is not certain that the whale shark would become encircled in the net or that retrieving the net immediately would avoid encircling the whale shark. However, the regulations also require the crew, operator, and owner of a fishing vessel to release any whale shark that is encircled in a purse seine net and take reasonable steps for its safe release without compromising the safety of any persons. CMM 2012-04 includes language prohibiting vessels from setting a purse seine on a “school of tuna associated with a whale shark” if the animal is sighted prior to the commencement of the set or the attempted set. As stated in the proposed rule, it is unclear exactly what the phrase “school of tuna associated with a whale shark,” as used in the CMM, means. Thus, NMFS is implementing broad regulations to prohibit any purse seine set or attempted set on or around a whale shark that has been sighted prior to the commencement of the set or the attempted set. NMFS believes that this interpretation of the CMM is practical for the crew, operators, and owners of fishing vessels to implement and for enforcement officials to enforce.

    Comment 13: One commenter stated that as an officer in the U.S. distant water purse seine fleet one of his responsibilities is to act as a medical officer. The commenter strongly encourages the word “safely” to be added to the language requiring the release of oceanic whitetip sharks and silky sharks as soon as possible. Captured sharks can cause serious injuries to the crewmen trying to release them alive. Risking crew injury is unacceptable.

    Response: NMFS agrees that the safety of crew members is of paramount importance. The regulations in this final rule for oceanic whitetip sharks and silky sharks require the crew, operator, and owner: “to release any oceanic whitetip shark or silky shark caught in the Convention Area as soon as possible after the shark is caught and brought alongside the vessel and take reasonable steps for its safe release, without compromising the safety of any persons.”

    Comment 14: One commenter who has managed a U.S. built and owned purse seine vessel that has operated out of Pago Pago, American Samoa, since 1981 expressed concerns over the proposal and stated that U.S. vessels already practice the regulations being implemented. The commenter believes that piecemeal protections for various species are inefficient and generate excess paperwork. The commenter suggested that the United States instead propose a full purse seine closure period for all Commission Members, Cooperating Non-Members, and Participating Territories (WCPFC members), similar to what is in effect in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

    Response: The final rule implements specific WCPFC decisions on oceanic whitetip sharks, whale sharks, and silky sharks. The United States, as a member of the WCPFC, regularly considers conservation and management measures that could be adopted by the WCPFC for purse seine fisheries, but such measures are outside the scope of this rulemaking.

    Comment 15: One group of commenters who submitted their comments jointly supported the regulations, especially in regard to silky sharks, and provided background information on silky sharks. The commenters proposed that NMFS modify the regulations to include a reporting requirement for silky shark bycatch to monitor the effectiveness of the regulations and for collecting additional data. The commenters also suggested that NMFS provide a better definition for the phrase “as little harm as possible,” which is part of the provisions of CMM 2013-08 regarding the release of any silky sharks caught in the Convention Area, to ensure the safety of silky sharks and provide fair enforcement. According to the commenters, allowing the operators of individual fishing vessels to determine what level of harm is acceptable would increase the risk of the regulations being applied arbitrarily. The commenters requested NMFS to consult with experts to develop a more thorough definition or establish guidelines for allowable and prohibited conduct when releasing silky sharks.

    Response: WCPFC CMM 2010-07 identifies the silky shark as a key shark species and requires retained and discarded catches to be reported by each WCPFC member in its annual report to the Commission. NMFS believes that additional reporting for silky shark catches, including discards, is not needed at this time. The final regulations specify that crew, operators, and owners must release silky sharks caught in the Convention Area as soon as possible after the shark is caught and brought alongside the vessel, taking reasonable steps for its safe release, without compromising the safety of any persons. NMFS believes that this is a reasonable interpretation of CMM 2013-08's phrase “as little harm as possible” that can be implemented and enforced. The WCPFC Scientific Committee has considered appropriate guidelines for the safe release of encircled animals, such as whale sharks in purse seine nets, but the WCPFC has not yet adopted uniform guidelines. NMFS will establish additional shark handling requirements if and when needed should the WCPFC adopt further measures in this regard. NMFS does not believe issuance of these regulations should be postponed in order to develop such handling guidelines or requirements.

    Comment 16: One organization provided comments expressing support for the proposed regulations and noting that the implementation deadlines in CMM 2011-04, CMM 2012-04, and CMM 2013-08 have already passed. The commenter indicated the need for rapid completion of the implementation of the measures to ensure that the United States is in full compliance with its WCPFC obligations for shark conservation and management. The commenter also provided background information on the stock status and importance of the three shark species. The commenter urged NMFS to extend the applicability of the oceanic whitetip shark and silky shark regulations to all fisheries, including non-commercial fisheries, that the United States manages in the western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) to enhance conservation and enforcement ability. The commenter expressed agreement with NMFS' interpretation of CMM 2012-04's phrase “school of tuna associated with a whale shark.”

    Response: The final regulations for oceanic whitetip sharks and silky sharks apply to all U.S. commercial HMS fisheries operating in the Convention Area. NMFS interprets the WCPFC decisions for the oceanic whitetip shark and the silky shark as being applicable only to commercial HMS fisheries, and therefore believes that the inclusion of other fisheries in the rule, as requested by the commenter, would not be appropriate. Should NMFS determine that oceanic whitetip shark and silky shark conservation measures are needed in other fisheries, NMFS would be able to implement such measures through other processes, such as those under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

    Comment 17: One organization provided comments expressing its strong support for the proposed rule. The letter approved of NMFS's interpretation of the WCPFC measures to protect whale sharks, and noted the complementary nature of these regulations to similar regulations that recently went into effect in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

    Response: NMFS acknowledges these comments.

    Changes From the Proposed Rule

    The phrase “areas under the national jurisdiction of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement” is used in the regulatory text to refer to the EEZs of the PNA. For clarification purposes, a definition of areas under the national jurisdiction of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement has been added to the regulatory text.

    The new paragraph under 50 CFR 300.218 has been relabeled as (h) to accommodate another addition to 50 CFR 300.218 under a separate rulemaking. The new paragraphs under 50 CFR 300.222 have been relabeled as (ss), (tt), (uu), (vv), and (ww) to accommodate another addition to 50 CFR 300.222 under a separate rulemaking.

    Classification

    The Administrator, Pacific Islands Region, NMFS, has determined that this final rule is consistent with the WCPFC Implementation Act and other applicable laws.

    Executive Order 12866

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

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    A FRFA was prepared. The FRFA incorporates the IRFA prepared for the proposed rule. The analysis in the IRFA is not repeated here in its entirety.

    A description of the action, why it is being considered, and the legal basis for this action are contained in the preamble of the proposed rule and in the SUMMARY and SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION sections of this final rule, above. The analysis follows.

    Significant Issues Raised by Public Comments in Response to the IRFA

    NMFS did not receive any comments specifically on the IRFA. Two of the public comments received on the proposed rule touched on the economic impacts of the proposed action; see Comments #5 and #14, and NMFS' responses to those comments, above.

    Description of Small Entities to Which the Rule Will Apply

    Small entities include “small businesses,” “small organizations,” and “small governmental jurisdictions.” The Small Business Administration (SBA) has established size standards for all major industry sectors in the United States, including commercial finfish harvesters (NAICS code 114111). A business primarily involved in finfish harvesting is classified as a small business if it is independently owned and operated, is not dominant in its field of operation (including its affiliates), and has combined annual receipts not in excess of $20.5 million for all its affiliated operations worldwide.

    The final rule will apply to owners and operators of U.S. fishing vessels used to fish for HMS for commercial purposes in the Convention Area. This includes vessels in the purse seine, longline, tropical troll (including those in American Samoa, the CNMI, Guam, and Hawaii), Hawaii handline, Hawaii pole-and-line, and west coast-based albacore troll fleets. The estimated number of affected fishing vessels is as follows, broken down by fleet: 40 purse seine vessels (based on the number of purse seine vessels licensed under the South Pacific Tuna Treaty as of March 2014); 165 longline vessels (based on the number of longline vessels permitted to fish as of July 2014 under the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for Pacific Pelagic Fisheries of the Western Pacific Region, which includes vessels based in Hawaii (a total of 164 Hawaii Longline Limited Entry permits are available), American Samoa (a total of 60 American Samoa Longline Limited Entry permits are available), and the Mariana Islands); 2,089 tropical troll and 572 Hawaii handline vessels (based on the number of active troll and handline vessels in American Samoa, Guam, the CNMI, and Hawaii in 2012, the latest year for which complete data are available); 1 tropical pole-and-line vessel (based on the number of active vessels in 2012), and 13 albacore troll vessels (based on the number of albacore troll vessels authorized to fish on the high seas in the Convention Area as of July 2014). Thus, the total estimated number of vessels that would be subject to the rule is approximately 2,880.

    Based on (limited) available financial information about the affected fishing fleets and the SBA's definition of a small finfish harvester (i.e., gross annual receipts of less than $20.5 million, independently owned and operated, and not dominant in its field of operation), and using individual vessels as proxies for individual businesses, NMFS believes that all of the affected fish harvesting businesses are small entities. As stated above, there are currently 40 purse seine vessels in the affected purse seine fishery. Neither gross receipts nor ex-vessel price information specific to the 40 vessels are available to NMFS. Average annual receipts for each of the 40 vessels during the last 3 years for which reasonably complete data are available (2010-2012) were estimated as follows. The vessel's reported retained catches of skipjack tuna, yellowfin tuna, and bigeye tuna in each year were each multiplied by an indicative Asia-Pacific regional cannery price for that species and year (developed by the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency and available at https://www.ffa.int/node/425#attachments); the products were summed across species for each year; and the sums were averaged across the 3 years. The estimated average annual receipts for each of the 40 vessels were less than the $20.5 million threshold used to classify businesses as small entities under the SBA size standard for finfish harvesting businesses.

    Recordkeeping, Reporting, and Other Compliance Requirements

    The final rule will establish one new reporting requirement within the meaning of the Paperwork Reduction Act, as well as additional requirements, as described in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this final rule, above. The classes of small entities subject to the requirements and the costs of complying with the requirements are described below for each of the six elements of the final rule—three elements regarding the oceanic whitetip shark and silky shark, and three elements regarding the whale shark.

    Oceanic Whitetip Shark and Silky Shark Element (1): Prohibit the crew, operator, and owner of a fishing vessel from retaining on board, transshipping, storing, or landing any oceanic whitetip shark or silky shark. This element prohibits the crew, operator, and owner of a fishing vessel of the United States used for commercial fishing for HMS from retaining on board, transshipping, storing, or landing any part or whole carcass of an oceanic whitetip shark or silky shark that is caught in the Convention Area. This requirement would not impose any new reporting or recordkeeping requirements. It is not expected to require any professional skills that the affected vessel owners, operators and crew do not already possess. This requirement would apply to owners, operators and crew of any vessel used to fish for HMS for commercial purposes in the Convention Area. Accordingly, it would apply to all vessels identified above. Based on the best available data, oceanic whitetip shark and silky shark are not caught in the Hawaii handline fishery, the Hawaii pole-and-line fishery, or the albacore troll fishery. Thus, compliance costs are expected only in the purse seine, longline, and tropical troll fleets. This requirement forecloses harvesting businesses' opportunity to retain and sell or otherwise make use of the two species. The compliance cost for each entity can be approximated by the ex-vessel value of the amount of the two species that would be expected to be retained if it were allowed (under no action). Price data for specific shark species and in specific fisheries is lacking, so this analysis assumes that the ex-vessel value of both species in all affected fisheries is $1.50/kg, which is the 2011 ex-vessel price (converted to 2013 dollars) for sharks generally in Hawaii's commercial pelagic fisheries (which do not include the purse seine fishery, in which the fate and value of retained sharks are not known). Expected retained amounts of each of the two species in each fishery (under no action) are based on the recent level of fishing effort multiplied by the recent retention rate per unit of fishing effort. For all fisheries except the purse seine fishery, the average of the last 5 years for which complete data are available, 2008-2012, is used. The analysis of impacts for the purse seine fishery uses fishing effort and the retention rate averaged over 2010 and 2011 because the fleet was substantially smaller than the current 40-vessel size in years previous to 2010, 100% observer coverage started in 2010, and 2011 is the last year for which near-complete data are available. Fishing effort estimates are based on vessel logbook data, except in the case of the American Samoa, CNMI, and Guam troll fisheries, for which creel survey data are used. Recent retention rates in the purse seine and longline fisheries are estimated from vessel observer data. In the Hawaii troll fishery, vessel logbook data are used, and in the American Samoa, CNMI, and Guam troll fisheries, creel survey data are used. Fish numbers are converted to weights based on vessel observer data for each fishery, except for the troll fisheries, for which weight data are lacking and the average weights in the Hawaii deep-set longline fishery are used. The average weights used are, for oceanic whitetip shark and silky shark, respectively: purse seine—23 kg and 32 kg; Hawaii deep-set longline—27 kg and 28 kg; Hawaii shallow-set longline—27 kg and 28 kg; American Samoa longline—26 kg and 18 kg; and tropical troll—27 kg (the two species cannot be accurately distinguished in the data and are combined for the purpose of this analysis).

    In the purse seine fishery, in which about 40 vessels are expected to participate in the near future, it is estimated that 0.1 oceanic whitetip shark and 2.9 silky shark would be retained (under no action) per vessel per year, on average. Applying the average weights and price given above, these amounts equate to estimated lost annual revenue of about $140 per vessel, on average.

    As indicated above, about 165 vessels are expected to participate in the affected longline fisheries in the near future. The longline fisheries operating in the Convention Area include the Hawaii-based fisheries, which include a tuna-targeting deep-set fishery and swordfish-targeting shallow set fishery, and the American Samoa-based fishery. Occasionally there is also longline fishing by vessels based in the Mariana Islands, where participation is typically fewer than three vessels in any given year. No vessel observer data are available specifically for the Mariana Islands longline fishery, making it difficult to analyze shark catch rates, but shark catch rates in the other longline fisheries might be reasonable proxies for catch rates in the Mariana Islands fishery. In that case, to the extent either oceanic whitetip shark or silky shark is caught and retained in the Mariana Islands longline fishery in the future, the effects of the final rule can be expected to be about the same—on a per-unit of fishing effort basis—as those in the other longline fisheries, as described here. In the Hawaii and American Samoa longline fisheries, it is estimated that 0.2 oceanic whitetip shark and 0.1 silky shark would be retained (under no action) per vessel per year, on average. These amounts equate to estimated lost annual revenue of about $12 per vessel, on average.

    Catch and retention rates of the two shark species in the tropical troll fisheries are difficult to estimate for several reasons. For example, in the Hawaii troll fishery, there is no species code for silky shark, so any catches of that species are recorded as unidentified sharks. In the troll fisheries of the three territories, because the two carcharhinid species are retained only infrequently, it is difficult to generate estimates of total catches of the two species with much certainty using the creel surveys that sample only a subset of all fishing trips. Because of these and other limitations, only very approximate estimates can be made. For this analysis, all unidentified sharks in the data are assumed to be oceanic whitetip shark or silky shark, so the resulting estimates are upper-bound estimates. In the Hawaii troll fishery, it is estimated that 9 sharks would be retained (under no action) per year, on average, for the fishery as a whole. With approximately 1,694 vessels expected to participate in the fishery (based on the number active in 2012), this equates to about 0.01 sharks per vessel per year, and an estimated lost annual revenue of less than one dollar per vessel. The Guam troll fishery, with about 351 vessels expected to participate in the near future, is expected to retain about 2 sharks per year (under no action), on average, for the fleet as a whole. This equates to about 0.01 sharks per vessel per year, and an estimated annual compliance cost of less than one dollar per vessel. In the American Samoa troll fishery, it is estimated that about 0.3 sharks would be retained, on average, per year (under no action). With about 9 vessels expected to participate in the fishery, this equates to about 0.03 sharks per vessel per year, and an estimated annual compliance cost of less than one dollar per vessel. The creel survey encountered no retained sharks in the CNMI troll fishery in 2008-2012, so the best estimate of lost annual revenue for each of the approximately 35 vessels expected to participate in this fishery is zero.

    Oceanic Whitetip Shark and Silky Shark Element (2): Require the crew, operators, and owners of U.S. fishing vessels used for commercial fishing for HMS in the Convention Area to release any oceanic whitetip shark or silky shark caught in the Convention Area. This element requires the vessel crew, operator, and owner to release any oceanic whitetip shark or silky shark caught in the Convention Area as soon as possible after the shark is caught and brought alongside the vessel and take reasonable steps to ensure its safe release, without compromising the safety of any persons. This requirement would not impose any new reporting or recordkeeping requirements. It is not expected to require any professional skills that the affected vessel owners, operators and crew do not already possess. This requirement could bring costs in the form of reduced efficiency of fishing operations, but it is difficult to assess the costs because it is not possible to predict whether or how vessel operators and crew would change their release/discard practices relative to what they do currently. For purse seine vessels, it is expected that in most cases, the fish would be released after it is brailed from the purse seine and brought on deck. In these cases, the labor involved would probably be little different than current practice for discarded sharks. If the vessel operator and crew determine that it is possible to release the fish before it is brought on deck, this would likely involve greater intervention and time on the part of crew members, with associated labor costs. For longline and troll vessels, it is expected that the fish would be quickly released as it is brought to the side of the vessel, such as by cutting the line or removing the hook. In these cases, no costs would be incurred. In some cases, the vessel operator and crew might determine that it is necessary to bring the fish on board the vessel before releasing it. This would involve greater labor than releasing the fish from alongside the vessel, but the release methods used in these cases might be the same as those used under the status quo, in which case no new costs would be incurred.

    Oceanic Whitetip Shark and Silky Shark Element (3): Require the crew, operators, and owners of U.S. fishing vessels used for commercial fishing for HMS in the Convention Area to allow and assist observers in the collection of oceanic whitetip shark or silky shark samples. This element requires the vessel crew, operator, and owner to allow and assist a WCPFC observer to collect samples of dead oceanic whitetip sharks or silky sharks when requested to do so by the observer. In such cases, and in any case in which the observer collects a sample of an oceanic whitetip shark or silky shark, the crew, operator, and owner would be relieved of the two requirements listed above. Under existing regulations, operators and crew of vessels with WCPFC Area Endorsements (i.e., vessels authorized to be used for commercial fishing for HMS on the high seas in the Convention Area) are already required to assist observers in the collection of samples. This would effectively expand that requirement—for just these two shark species—to vessels not required to have WCPFC Area Endorsements. This requirement would not impose any new reporting or recordkeeping requirements. It is not expected to require any professional skills that the affected vessel owners, operators and crew do not already possess. Although this element would relieve vessel owners, operators and crew from the requirements of the first two elements described above in those cases where the vessel observer collects a sample of an oceanic whitetip shark or silky shark, it would not be expected to relieve fishing businesses of the costs identified above for the no-retention requirement, since the samples would be kept by the observer and would not be available for sale or other use by the fishing business. This element could also bring additional costs to fishing businesses because it would require the owner, operator, and crew to assist the observer in the collection of samples if requested to do so by the observer. Observers would be under instructions to collect samples only if they do so as part of a program that has been specifically authorized by the WCPFC Scientific Committee, and only from sharks that are dead when brought alongside the vessel. It is not possible to project how often observers would request assistance in collecting samples. When it does occur, it is not expected that sample collection would be so disruptive as to substantially delay or otherwise impact fishing operations, but the fishing business could bear small costs in terms of crew labor, and possibly the loss of storage space that could be used for other purposes.

    Whale Shark Element (1): Prohibit owners, operators, and crew of U.S. fishing vessels used for commercial fishing for HMS in the Convention Area from setting or attempting to set a purse seine on or around a whale shark. This requirement prohibits owners, operators and crew of fishing vessels from setting or attempting to set a purse seine in the Convention Area on or around a whale shark if the animal is sighted prior to the commencement of the set or the attempted set. This requirement applies to all U.S. purse seine vessels fishing on the high seas and in the EEZs in the Convention Area, except the EEZs of the PNA. This requirement does not impose any new reporting or recordkeeping requirements. It is not expected to require any professional skills that the affected vessel owners, operators and crew do not already possess.

    In the event that a whale shark is sighted in the vicinity of a purse seine vessel prior to a desired set, complying with the final rule could cause forgone fishing opportunities and result in economic losses. It is difficult to project the frequency of pre-set whale shark-sighting events because such events are not recorded. Historical data on whale shark catches are available, but catches are not equivalent to pre-set whale shark sightings, for two reasons. On the one hand, presumably not all whale sharks within “sightable” distance of a set are actually caught (thus, in this respect, whale shark catch data under-represent pre-set whale shark sighting events). On the other hand, according to anecdotal information from purse seine vessel operators, not all captured whale sharks are seen before the set commences (thus, in this respect, the whale shark catch data over-represent pre-set whale shark-sighting events). Nonetheless, historical whale shark catch rates can provide a rough indicator of the frequency of pre-set whale shark sighting events in the future.

    Based on unpublished vessel observer data from the FFA observer program, the average whale shark catch rate in 2010-2011 for the U.S. purse seine fishery in the Convention Area, excluding the EEZs of the PNA, was approximately 2 fish per thousand fishing days. The average catch rate during that period in the Convention Area as a whole (including the waters of the PNA EEZs) was about 5 fish per thousand fishing days. For this analysis, this range of 2-5 events per thousand fishing days is used as an estimate of pre-set whale shark-sighting events in the future. Based on the average levels of U.S. purse seine fishing effort in the Convention Area outside the EEZs of the PNA in 2010 and 2011 (462 and 842 fishing days, respectively; NMFS unpublished data), it can be expected that approximately 652 fishing days per year will be spent by the fleet in that area in the future. At that level of fishing effort, if pre-set whale shark-sighting events occurred in 2 to 5 per thousand fishing days, as described above, they would occur 1.3 to 3.3 times per year, on average, for the fleet as a whole, or 0.03 to 0.08 times per year for each of the 40 vessels in the fleet, on average.

    In those instances that a whale shark is sighted prior to an intended set, the vessel operator would have to wait and/or move the vessel to find the next opportunity to make a set. The consequences in terms of time lost and distance travelled and associated costs cannot be projected with any certainty. At best, the operator would find an opportunity to make a set soon after the event, and only trivial costs would be incurred. At worst, the vessel operator would lose the opportunity to make a set for the remainder of the day. Under this worst-case assumption, a vessel could lose the net benefits associated with 0.03 to 0.08 fishing days per year, on average. Those lost net benefits cannot be estimated because of a lack of fishing cost data, but information on gross receipts can provide an upper-bound estimate. Using regional cannery prices in 2012 for each of the three marketable tuna species, and the U.S. fleet's average catches and fishing days in 2011-2012, the expected gross receipts per fishing day would be about $60,000. Thus, an upper-bound estimate of the loss in gross revenue that could occur to a vessel as a result of losing 0.03 to 0.08 fishing days is approximately $1,800 to $4,800 per year.

    Whale Shark Element (2): Require the crew, operator, and owner of U.S. fishing vessels used for commercial fishing for HMS in the Convention Area to release any whale shark that is encircled in a purse seine net. This element would require the crew, operator, and owner of a fishing vessel to release any whale shark that is encircled in a purse seine net in the Convention Area, and to do so in a manner that results in as little harm to the shark as possible, without compromising the safety of any persons. This requirement would apply to all U.S. purse seine vessels fishing on the high seas and in the EEZs of the Convention Area, including the EEZs of the PNA. This requirement would not impose any new reporting or recordkeeping requirements. It is not expected to require any professional skills that the affected vessel owners, operators and crew do not already possess. Unpublished historical vessel observer data from the FFA observer program indicates that all whale sharks captured in the U.S. WCPO purse seine fishery are released; that is, they are not retained or marketed. The release requirement, therefore, is not expected to have any effect on fishing operations or to bring any compliance costs. The requirement to release the sharks in a manner that results in as little harm to the shark as possible without compromising the safety of any persons would be a new and potentially burdensome requirement, but it is not possible to quantitatively assess the cost for two reasons. First, it is not clear how often whale sharks would be encircled. As indicated above, the average annual rate by U.S. purse seine vessels in the Convention Area in 2010 and 2011 was about 5 encirclements per thousand fishing days. But the rate in the future is expected to be reduced as a result of the setting prohibition described in the first whale shark element, above. Nonetheless, if 5 encirclements per thousand fishing days is considered an upper-bound projection, then at a future fishing effort rate of 7,991 fishing days per year in the Convention Area (based on the average spent in 2010 and 2011) and 40 vessels in the fleet, an upper-bound projection of the rate of encirclements per vessel is one per year, on average. The second reason for the difficulty in assessing the compliance costs of this requirement is that current vessel practices regarding whale shark releases are not known in detail. Although data on the condition of each captured whale shark is available (e.g., based on unpublished FFA observer data for 2010 and 2011, 68 percent of captured whale sharks were released alive, 2 percent were released dead, and the condition of the remainder was unknown), these data do not reveal anything about whether the condition of the released whale sharks could have been better, or what the vessel crew would have had to have done to improve the sharks' condition. In conclusion, this requirement might bring some costs to purse seine vessel operations, in the form of the crew potentially having to spend more time handling encircled whale sharks (at most, one per year per vessel, on average) in order to release them with as little harm as possible.

    Whale Shark Element (3): Require the owner and operator of a fishing vessel that encircles a whale shark to record the incident on a catch report form. This requirement would require the owner and operator of a fishing vessel that encircles a whale shark with a purse seine net in the Convention Area to ensure that the incident is recorded by the end of the day on the catch report form, or Regional Purse Seine Logsheet (RPL) maintained pursuant to 50 CFR 300.34(c)(1), in the format specified by the NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Administrator. This requirement would apply to all U.S. purse seine vessels fishing on the high seas and in the EEZs of the Convention Area, including the EEZs of the PNA. Because catch and effort logbooks are already required to be maintained and submitted in the purse seine fishery, there would be no additional cost associated with submitting the logbook, but vessels would be required to record additional information associated with whale shark encirclements. The required information for each incident would include a description of the steps taken to minimize harm and an assessment of its condition upon its release. This additional information requirement would be added to the information required to be reported under a current information collection (OMB control number 0648-0218; see the section on the Paperwork Reduction Act below for more information). As indicated for the previous element, it is not possible to project the rate of encirclements with certainty, but one encirclement per vessel per year, on average, is an upper-bound projection. NMFS estimates that it would take about 10 minutes to record the required information for each encirclement. At an estimated labor cost of $25 per hour, the annual cost per vessel would be about $4.

    Disproportionate Impacts

    There would be no disproportionate economic impacts between small and large vessel-operating entities resulting from this final rule. Furthermore, there would be no disproportionate economic impacts based on vessel size, gear, or home port, as all the vessels in the fleets would be subject to the same requirements and NMFS has not identified any factors related to vessel size, gear, or home port that would lead to disproportionate impacts.

    Steps Taken To Minimize the Significant Economic Impacts on Small Entities

    For the oceanic whitetip shark and silky shark elements of the final rule, NMFS did not identify any alternatives—other than the no-action alternative—that would minimize economic impacts on affected entities.

    For the whale shark elements of the final rule, NMFS considered several alternatives. As discussed above, the first element of the final rule for the whale shark prohibits owners, operators, and crew of fishing vessels from setting or attempting to set a purse seine in the Convention Area on or around a whale shark if the animal is sighted prior to the commencement of the set or the attempted set. This element applies on the high seas and in the EEZs of the Convention Area, except for the EEZs of the PNA. CMM 2012-04 states that WCPFC members “shall prohibit their flagged vessels from setting a purse seine on a school of tuna associated with a whale shark if the animal is sighted prior to the commencement of the set”. NMFS considered developing alternative means of implementing the prohibition on setting on a school of tuna, such as specifying a minimum distance for the prohibition (e.g., no setting within half a mile of a whale shark sighting) or a minimum time period for the prohibition (e.g., no setting within 10 minutes of sighting a whale shark). However, NMFS did not identify any such alternative for this element that would be reasonable and feasible. After a whale shark is sighted, it is unclear where and when it will be sighted next, since sharks do not have to return to the surface regularly to breathe. Therefore, NMFS determined that there is only one reasonable and feasible manner of implementing this element of the final rule.

    CMM 2012-04 states that for fishing activities in the EEZs of WCPFC members north of 30° N. latitude, WCPFC members shall implement either the provisions of CMM 2012-04 or compatible measures consistent with the obligations under CMM 2012-04. The U.S. purse seine fleet does not fish north of 30° N. latitude in the WCPO. Thus, rather than attempting to develop a separate set of “compatible measures” for EEZs of WCPFC members north of 30 °N. latitude that may or may not be triggered by any actual U.S. purse seine operations, NMFS decided to implement the provisions of CMM 2012-04 for all EEZs in the Convention Area (with the exception of the first element not being applicable to the EEZs of the PNA, as described above).

    NMFS did not identify any other alternatives for any of the elements of the final rule.

    Taking no action could result in lesser adverse economic impacts than the final action for many affected entities. The economic impacts that would be avoided by taking no action are described above, including quantitative estimates—to the extent possible—for the first oceanic whitetip shark element and the first and third whale shark elements of the final rule. However, NMFS has determined that the no-action alternative would fail to accomplish the objectives of the WCPFC Implementation Act, including satisfying the obligations of the United States as a Contracting Party to the Convention. The no-action alternative is rejected for this reason.

    Small Entity Compliance Guide

    Section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 states that, for each rule or group of related rules for which an agency is required to prepare a FRFA, the agency shall publish one or more guides to assist small entities in complying with the rule, and shall designate such publications as “small entity compliance guides.” The agency shall explain the actions a small entity is required to take to comply with a rule or group of rules. As part of this rulemaking process, a small entity compliance guide has been prepared. The guide will be sent to permit and license holders in the affected fishery. The guide and this final rule will also be available at www.fpir.noaa.gov and by request from NMFS PIRO (see ADDRESSES).

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This final rule contains a collection-of-information requirement subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) that has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under control number 0648-0218, “South Pacific Tuna Act”. The public reporting burden for the catch report form (also known as the RPL) under that collection-of-information was estimated to average one hour per response (i.e., per fishing trip), including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. The whale shark encirclement reporting requirement under this final rule changes the catch report element of the collection-of-information. Under this final rule, in the event that a whale shark is encircled in a purse seine net, information about that event would be required to be included in the catch report form. Providing this additional information will increase the reporting burden by approximately 10 minutes per encirclement, which, given an estimated one encirclement per year and five fishing trips per year, on average, equates to approximately 2 minutes per fishing trip or per response. Therefore, the new estimated burden per response (i.e., per fishing trip) for the catch report form is 62 minutes. No comments were received on this collection-of-information requirement in response to the proposed rule. Send comments regarding this burden estimate, or any other aspect of this data collection, including suggestions for reducing the burden, to Michael D. Tosatto, Regional Administrator, NMFS PIRO (see ADDRESSES) and by email to [email protected] or fax to 202-395-7285.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, and no person shall be subject to 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.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 300

    Administrative practice and procedure, Fish, Fisheries, Fishing, Marine resources, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Treaties.

    Dated: February 12, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 300 is amended as follows:

    PART 300—INTERNATIONAL FISHERIES REGULATIONS Subpart O—Western and Central Pacific Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species 1. The authority citation for 50 CFR part 300, subpart O, continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.

    2. In § 300.211, the definitions of “Areas under the national jurisdiction of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement” and “Parties to the Nauru Agreement” are added, in alphabetical order, to read as follows:
    § 300.211 Definitions.

    Areas under the national jurisdiction of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement means the exclusive economic zones of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement.

    Parties to the Nauru Agreement means the parties to the Nauru Agreement Concerning Cooperation in the Management of Fisheries of Common Interest, as specified on the Web site of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement at www.pnatuna.com.

    3. In § 300.218, paragraph (h) is added to read as follows:
    § 300.218 Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    (h) Whale shark encirclement reports. The owner and operator of a fishing vessel of the United States used for commercial fishing in the Convention Area that encircles a whale shark (Rhincodon typus) with a purse seine in the Convention Area shall ensure that the incident is recorded by the end of the day on the catch report forms maintained pursuant to § 300.34(c)(1), in the format specified by the Pacific Islands Regional Administrator. This paragraph does not apply to the territorial seas or archipelagic waters of any nation, as defined by the domestic laws and regulations of that nation and recognized by the United States.

    4. In § 300.222, paragraphs (ss), (tt), (uu), (vv), and (ww) are added to read as follows:
    § 300.222 Prohibitions.

    (ss) Fail to submit, or ensure submission of, a whale shark encirclement report as required in § 300.218(h).

    (tt) Set or attempt to set a purse seine on or around a whale shark (Rhincodon typus) in contravention of § 300.223(g).

    (uu) Fail to release a whale shark encircled in a purse seine net of a fishing vessel as required in § 300.223(h).

    (vv) Use a fishing vessel to retain on board, transship, store, or land any part or whole carcass of an oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus) or silky shark (Carcharhinus falciformis) in contravention of § 300.226(a).

    (ww) Fail to release an oceanic whitetip shark or silky shark as required in § 300.226(b).

    5. In § 300.223, paragraphs (g) and (h) are added to read as follows:
    § 300.223 Purse seine fishing restrictions.

    (g) Owners, operators, and crew of fishing vessels of the United States used for commercial fishing for HMS in the Convention Area shall not set or attempt to set a purse seine in the Convention Area on or around a whale shark (Rhincodon typus) if the animal is sighted at any time prior to the commencement of the set or the attempted set. This paragraph does not apply to the territorial seas or archipelagic waters of any nation, as defined by the domestic laws and regulations of that nation and recognized by the United States, or to areas under the national jurisdiction of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement.

    (h) The crew, operator, and owner of a fishing vessel of the United States used for commercial fishing for HMS in the Convention Area must release any whale shark that is encircled in a purse seine net in the Convention Area, and take reasonable steps for its safe release, without compromising the safety of any persons. This paragraph does not apply to the territorial seas or archipelagic waters of any nation, as defined by the domestic laws and regulations of that nation and recognized by the United States.

    6. Section 300.226 is added to read as follows:
    § 300.226 Oceanic whitetip shark and silky shark.

    (a) The crew, operator, and owner of a fishing vessel of the United States used for commercial fishing for HMS cannot retain on board, transship, store, or land any part or whole carcass of an oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus) or silky shark (Carcharhinus falciformis) that is caught in the Convention Area, unless subject to the provisions of paragraph (c) of this section.

    (b) The crew, operator, and owner of a fishing vessel of the United States used for commercial fishing for HMS must release any oceanic whitetip shark or silky shark caught in the Convention Area as soon as possible after the shark is caught and brought alongside the vessel, and take reasonable steps for its safe release, without compromising the safety of any persons, unless subject to the provisions of paragraph (c) of this section.

    (c) Paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section do not apply in the event that a WCPFC observer collects, or requests the assistance of the vessel crew, operator, or owner in the observer's collection of, samples of oceanic whitetip shark or silky shark in the Convention Area.

    (d) The crew, operator, and owner of a fishing vessel of the United States used for commercial fishing for HMS in the Convention Area must allow and assist a WCPFC observer to collect samples of oceanic whitetip shark or silky shark in the Convention Area, if requested to do so by the WCPFC observer.

    [FR Doc. 2015-03388 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 130925836-4174-02] RIN 0648-XD714 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Pacific Cod by Vessels Using Pot Gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; closure.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by vessels using pot gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to prevent exceeding the A season allowance of the 2015 Pacific cod total allowable catch apportioned to vessels using pot gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA.

    DATES:

    Effective 1200 hours, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), February 16, 2015, through 1200 hours, A.l.t., June 10, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Obren Davis, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the GOA exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council 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. Regulations governing sideboard protections for GOA groundfish fisheries appear at subpart B of 50 CFR part 680.

    The A season allowance of the 2015 Pacific cod total allowable catch (TAC) apportioned to vessels using pot gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA is 8,036 metric tons (mt), as established by the final 2014 and 2015 harvest specifications for groundfish of the GOA (79 FR 12890, March 6, 2014) and inseason adjustment (80 FR 192, January 5, 2015).

    In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(i), the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS (Regional Administrator) has determined that the A season allowance of the 2015 Pacific cod TAC apportioned to vessels using pot gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA will soon be reached. Therefore, the Regional Administrator is establishing a directed fishing allowance of 8,026 mt and is setting aside the remaining 10 mt as bycatch to support other anticipated groundfish fisheries. In accordance with § 679.20(d)(1)(iii), the Regional Administrator finds that this directed fishing allowance has been reached. Consequently, NMFS is prohibiting directed fishing for Pacific cod by vessels using pot gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA. After the effective date of this closure the maximum retainable amounts at § 679.20(e) and (f) apply at any time during a trip.

    Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the directed fishing closure of Pacific cod for vessels using pot gear in the Central Regulatory Area of the GOA. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as of February 12, 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: February 13, 2015. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03447 Filed 2-13-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 33 Thursday, February 19, 2015 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 930 [Doc. No. AMS-FV-14-0077; FV14-930-2 PR] Tart Cherries Grown in the States of Michigan, et al.; Free and Restricted Percentages for the 2014-15 Crop Year for Tart Cherries AGENCY:

    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This proposed rule would implement a recommendation from the Cherry Industry Administrative Board (Board) to establish free and restricted percentages for the 2014-15 crop year under the marketing order for tart cherries grown in the states of Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin (order). The Board locally administers the marketing order and is comprised of producers and handlers of tart cherries operating within the production area. This action would establish the proportion of tart cherries from the 2014 crop which may be handled in commercial outlets at 80 percent free and 20 percent restricted. In addition, this action would increase the carry-out volume of fruit to 50 million pounds for this season. These percentages should stabilize marketing conditions by adjusting supply to meet market demand and help improve grower returns.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by March 23, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

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

    This proposal has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. Under the order provisions now in effect, free and restricted percentages may be established for tart cherries handled during the crop year. This proposed rule would establish free and restricted percentages for tart cherries for the 2014-15 crop year, beginning July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015.

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

    This proposed rule invites comments on the establishment of free and restricted percentages for the 2014-15 crop year. This action would establish the proportion of tart cherries from the 2014 crop which may be handled in commercial outlets at 80 percent free and 20 percent restricted. In addition, this action would increase the carry-out volume of fruit to 50 million pounds for calculation purposes for this season. This action should stabilize marketing conditions by adjusting supply to meet market demand and help improve grower returns. The change in carry-out was recommended by the Board at a meeting on June 26, 2014, and the final percentages were recommended by the Board at a meeting on September 11, 2014.

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

    Under § 930.52, only those districts with an annual average production of at least six million pounds are subject to regulation and any district producing a crop which is less than 50 percent of its annual average is exempt. The regulated districts for the 2014-2015 crop year would be: District 1—Northern Michigan; District 2—Central Michigan; District 3—Southern Michigan; District 4—New York; District 7—Utah; District 8—Washington; and District 9—Wisconsin. Districts 5 and 6 (Oregon and Pennsylvania, respectively) would not be regulated for the 2014-15 season.

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

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

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

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

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

    The Board met on June 26, 2014, and computed an optimum supply of 218 million pounds for the 2014-15 crop year using the average of free sales for the three previous seasons and a desirable carry-out of 20 million pounds. The Board then subtracted the estimated carry-in of 81 million pounds from the optimum supply to calculate the production needed from the 2014-15 crop to meet optimum supply. This number, 137 million pounds, was subtracted from USDA's estimated 2014-15 production of 264 million pounds to calculate a surplus of 127 million pounds of tart cherries. The surplus minus the market growth factor was then divided by the expected production in the regulated districts (261 million pounds) to reach a preliminary restricted percentage of 41 percent for the 2014-15 crop year.

    In discussing the calculations, industry participants commented that a carry-out of 20 million pounds would not meet their needs at the end of the season before the new crop is available. To address that concern, the Board recommended increasing the desirable carry-out to 50 million pounds for the 2014-2015 season. This change increased the optimum supply to 248 million pounds, reducing the surplus to 97 million pounds.

    The Board also discussed whether the three-year average was an accurate estimate of supply needed for the coming season considering the substantial loss of supply in 2012 due to weather. Including the use of reserves, sales in 2012-13 reached only 123 million pounds, nearly 100 million pounds less than 2013-14 sales. Using data from earlier seasons, the Board agreed that 250 million pounds of free supply is needed in a typical season and voted to make an economic adjustment of 52 million pounds to reach that level.

    In addition, USDA's “Guidelines for Fruit, Vegetable, and Specialty Crop Marketing Orders” specify that 110 percent of recent years' sales should be made available to primary markets each season before recommendations for volume regulation are approved. This requirement is codified in § 930.50(g) of the order, which specifies that in years when restricted percentages are established, the Board shall make available tonnage equivalent to an additional 10 percent of the average sales of the prior three years for market expansion (market growth factor). The Board complied with this requirement by adding 20 million pounds (198 million times 10 percent, rounded) to the free supply.

    The economic adjustment and market growth factor further reduced the preliminary surplus to 25 million pounds. After these adjustments, the preliminary restricted percentage was recalculated as 10 percent (25 million pounds divided by 261 million pounds).

    The Board met again on September 11, 2014, to consider establishing final volume regulation percentages for the 2014-15 season. The final percentages are based on the Board's reported production figures and the supply and demand information available in September. The total production for the 2014-15 season was 297.7 million pounds, 34 million pounds above USDA's June estimate. In addition, growers diverted 0.2 million pounds in the orchard, leaving 297.5 million pounds available to market. Using the actual production numbers, and accounting for the recommended increase in desirable carry-out and economic adjustment, as well as the market growth factor, the restricted percentage was recalculated.

    The Board subtracted the carry-in figure used in June of 81 million pounds from the optimum supply of 248 million pounds to determine 167 million pounds of 2014-15 production would be necessary to reach optimum supply. The Board subtracted the 167 million pounds from the actual production of 298 million pounds, resulting in a surplus of 131 million pounds of tart cherries. The surplus was then reduced by subtracting the economic adjustment of 52 million pounds and the market growth factor of 20 million pounds, resulting in an adjusted surplus of 59 million pounds. The Board then divided this final surplus by the actual production in the regulated districts (295 million pounds) to calculate a restricted percentage of 20 percent with a corresponding free percentage of 80 percent for the 2014-15 crop year, as outlined in the following table:

    Millions of pounds Final Calculations: (1) Average sales of the prior three years 198 (2) Plus desirable carry-out 50 (3) Optimum supply calculated by the Board 248 (4) Carry-in as of July 1, 2014 81 (5) Adjusted optimum supply (item 3 minus item 4) 167 (6) Board reported production 298 (7) Surplus (item 6 minus item 5) 131 (8) Total economic adjustments 52 (9) Market growth factor 20 (10) Adjusted Surplus (item 7 minus items 8 and 9) 59 (11) Crop estimate for regulated districts 295 Final Percentages: Percent Restricted (item 10 divided by item 11 × 100) 20 Free (100 minus restricted percentage) 80

    The primary purpose of setting restricted percentages is an attempt to bring supply and demand into balance. If the primary market is oversupplied with cherries, grower prices decline substantially. Restricted percentages have benefited grower returns and helped stabilize the market as compared to those seasons prior to the implementation of the order. The Board believes the available information indicates that a restricted percentage should be established for the 2014-15 crop year to avoid oversupplying the market with tart cherries. Consequently, based on its discussion of this issue and the result of the above calculations, the Board recommended final percentages of 80 percent free and 20 percent restricted by a vote of 16 in favor and 2 against.

    Of the two Board members who opposed the recommendation, one stated that the industry should focus on sales rather than restriction and the other expressed concerns that some segments would be more impacted by the restriction than others.

    Regarding maximizing sales, one member noted that even storm-damaged fruit had been bought for processing, signaling that the processors still needed fruit toward the end of harvest. Other members, however, noted the extra sales some farmers experienced may have simply been due to gaps left by the areas that had damage, which reduced the amount of fruit available to fully supply their processors. Additionally, the economic adjustment and market growth factor included in the recommended restriction would make additional fruit available for sales.

    A member also noted that some processors, such as those making pie filling, are not likely to purchase excess fruit and would have to restrict their sales. Another believed this level of restriction would signal to the ingredient market that processed fruit may be hard to obtain. However, others stated that a preliminary restriction was announced before harvest and all processors, regardless of product segment, are familiar with the process. Also, though the restricted percentage has increased since the preliminary announcement in June, the total volume of fruit available to the market remains unchanged.

    Finally, there were also some comments regarding incorporating sales of imported fruit into the demand considerations and that rigid interpretation of the supply formula does not allow the Board to react to the current market conditions. As the order does not provide for reporting processing of imported fruit or regulating such fruit, there are no reliable data on the issue. Others noted that with the increased recommended carry-out, the market growth factor, and adjustment to the demand calculations, the Board has taken steps toward making enough fruit available to continue current growth and have fruit in reserve in case of another crop disaster.

    After reviewing the available data, and considering the concerns expressed, the Board determined that a 20 percent restriction with a carry-out volume of 50 million pounds would meet sales needs and establish some reserves without oversupplying the market. Thus, the Board recommended establishing final percentages of 80 percent free and 20 percent restricted.

    Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

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

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

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

    According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and Board data, the average annual grower price for tart cherries during the 2013-14 season was $0.35 per pound, and total shipments were around 289 million pounds. Therefore, average receipts for tart cherry producers were around $168,800, well below the SBA threshold for small producers. In 2014, The Food Institute estimated an f.o.b. price of $0.96 per pound for frozen tart cherries, which make up the majority of processed tart cherries. Using this data, average annual handler receipts were about $6.9 million, which is also below the SBA threshold for small agricultural service firms. Assuming a normal distribution, the majority of producers and handlers of tart cherries may be classified as small entities.

    The tart cherry industry in the United States is characterized by wide annual fluctuations in production. According to NASS, tart cherry production in 2011 was 232 million pounds, 85 million pounds in 2012, and in 2013, production was 294 million pounds. Because of these fluctuations, the supply and demand for tart cherries are rarely equal.

    Demand for tart cherries is inelastic, meaning changes in price have a minimal effect on total sales volume. However, prices are very sensitive to changes in supply, and grower prices vary widely in response to the large swings in annual supply, with prices ranging from a low of 7.3 cents in 1987 to a high of 46.4 cents in 1991.

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

    This proposal would establish free and restricted percentages using an increased carry-out volume of 50 million pounds for the 2014-15 crop year under the order for tart cherries. This action would control the supply of tart cherries by establishing percentages of 80 percent free and 20 percent restricted for the 2014-15 crop year. These percentages should stabilize marketing conditions by adjusting supply to meet market demand and help improve grower returns. The action would regulate tart cherries handled in Michigan, New York, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. The authority for this action is provided for in §§ 930.51(a) and 930.52 of the order. The Board recommended this action at a meeting on September 11, 2014.

    This action would result in some fruit being diverted from the primary domestic markets. However, as mentioned earlier, the USDA's “Guidelines for Fruit, Vegetable, and Specialty Crop Marketing Orders” specify that 110 percent of recent years' sales should be made available to primary markets each season before recommendations for volume regulation are approved. The quantity that would be available under this rule is greater than 110 percent of the quantity shipped in the prior three years.

    In addition, there are secondary uses available for restricted fruit, including the development of new products, sales into new markets, the development of export markets, and being placed in reserve. While these alternatives may provide different levels of return than the sales to primary markets, they play an important role for the industry. The areas of new products, new markets, and the development of export markets utilize restricted fruit to develop and expand the markets for tart cherries. In 2011-12, the last season there was a restriction, these activities accounted for more 39 million pounds in sales, 14 million of which were exports.

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

    In addition, the Board recommended an increased carry-out of 50 million pounds and made a demand adjustment of 52 million pounds in order to make the regulation less restrictive. Even with the recommended restriction, over 300 million pounds of fruit would be available to the domestic market. Consequently, it is not anticipated that this action would unduly burden growers or handlers.

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

    The three districts in Michigan, along with the districts in New York, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin are the restricted areas for this crop year with a combined total production of 295 million pounds. A 20 percent restriction means 236 million pounds would be available to be shipped to primary markets from these five states. The 236 million pounds from the restricted districts, nearly 3 million pounds from the unrestricted districts (Oregon and Pennsylvania), and the 81 million pound carry-in inventory would make a total of 320 million pounds available as free tonnage for the primary markets. In comparison, the 12 percent restriction in 2011-2012 made just under 262 million pounds available.

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

    In addition, absent volume control, the industry could start to build large amounts of unwanted inventories. These inventories would have a depressing effect on grower prices. The econometric model shows for every 1 million-pound increase in carry-in inventories, a decrease in grower prices of $0.0037 per pound occurs.

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

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

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

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

    Regarding demand, the Board began with the actual sales average of 198 million pounds. There was concern, however that this value, which incorporated the weather-related crop failure of 2012, would result in an over-restrictive calculation. After considering options in the range of 24 to 52 million pounds, the Board determined that an adjustment of 52 million pounds, to reach an average demand of 250 million pounds, was most appropriate for the industry. Thus the other alternatives were rejected and the Board recommended the 52 million pound economic adjustment.

    Regarding the carry-out value, the Board considered keeping this value at the order's 20 million pound maximum. However, many noted that the industry now regularly carries over more volume than in the past to keep its expanded product lines supplied at the end of the season. One member noted that even at the end of the disaster season, there were 17 million pounds carried out. Another noted that the 81 million pound carry-in this season was seen as burdensome. Others were concerned that in addition to the previous adjustment, too high of a carry-out figure might discourage using reserves to protect the industry from another disaster. The Board considered 60 million pounds and 30 million pounds, but these were considered respectively too large and too restrictive and thus were rejected. The Board then reached a consensus and recommended the Secretary increase the maximum carry-out to 50 million pounds for the 2014-2015 season alone.

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

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

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

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

    In addition, the Board's meeting was widely publicized throughout the tart cherry industry and all interested persons were invited to attend the meeting and participate in Board deliberations on all issues. Like all Board meetings, the June 26, 2014, and September 11, 2014, meetings were public meetings and all entities, both large and small, were able to express views on this issue. Finally, interested persons are invited to submit comments on this proposed rule, including the regulatory and informational impacts of this action on small businesses.

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

    A 30-day comment period is provided to allow interested persons to respond to this proposal. Thirty days is deemed appropriate because this proposed rule would need to be in place as soon as possible since handlers are already shipping tart cherries from the 2014-15 crop. All written comments timely received will be considered before a final determination is made on this matter.

    List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 930

    Marketing agreements, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Tart cherries.

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

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

    7 U.S.C. 601-674.

    2. Section 930.151 is added to read as follows:
    § 930.151 Desirable carry-out inventory

    For the crop year beginning on July 1, 2014, the desirable carry-out inventory, for the purposes of determining an optimum supply volume, will be 50 million pounds.

    3. Section 930.256 is added to read as follows:
    § 930.256 Free and restricted percentages for the 2014-15 crop year.

    The percentages for tart cherries handled by handlers during the crop year beginning on July 1, 2014, which shall be free and restricted, respectively, are designated as follows: Free percentage, 80 percent and restricted percentage, 20 percent.

    Dated: February 11, 2015. Rex A. Barnes, Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03406 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2006-26235; Directorate Identifier 2006-CE-065-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; SOCATA 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 SOCATA Model TBM 700 airplanes (type certificate previously held by EADS SOCATA) that would revise AD 2007-04-13. 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 found on the main landing gear cylinders. 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 April 6, 2015.

    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 SOCATA, Direction des Services, 65921 Tarbes Cedex 9, France; telephone: 33 (0)5 62.41.73.00; fax: 33 (0)5 62.41.76.54; or SOCATA North America, North Perry Airport, 7501 S Airport Rd., Pembroke Pines, Florida 33023, telephone: (954) 893-1400; fax: (954) 964-4141; Internet: http://www.socata.com. You may view this 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-2006-26235; 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:

    Albert J. Mercado, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4119; fax: (816) 329-4090; 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-2006-26235; Directorate Identifier 2006-CE-065-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 February 8, 2007, we issued AD 2007-04-13, Amendment 39-14945 (72 FR 7576, February 16, 2007). That AD requires actions intended to address an unsafe condition on SOCATA Model TBM 700 airplanes (type certificate previously held by EADS SOCATA) and was based on mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) originated by an aviation authority of another country.

    Since we issued AD 2007-04-13, Amendment 39-14945 (72 FR 7576, February 16, 2007), it has been determined that the time between repetitive inspections should be extended and an optional terminating action for the repetitive inspections is now available.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Community, has issued AD No. 2006-0085R2, dated January 16, 2015 (referred to after this as “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition for the specified products. The MCAI states:

    Cracks on several main landing gear (MLG) cylinders have been reported in service.

    This condition, if not to detected and corrected, could lead to fatigue cracks in the shock strut cylinder of the MLG, which could result in a collapsed MLG during take-off or landing runs, and possibly reduce the structural integrity of the aeroplane.

    To address this unsafe condition, EASA issued AD 2006-0085 to require repetitive special detailed inspections (SDI) for cracks of the MLG shock strut cylinder and, depending on findings, relevant investigative and corrective actions.

    After that AD was issued, SOCATA performed an analysis to demonstrate that the inspection interval could be extended, and developed a reinforced MLG less prone to fatigue, which is embodied in production through SOCATA modification (MOD) 70-0190-32 and can be introduced in service through SOCATA Service Bulletin (SB) 70-130-32 at Revision 03.

    Prompted by these developments, EASA issued AD 2006-0085R1 to increase the inspection interval and to introduce the installation of a reinforced MLG on the right hand (RH) side and left hand (LH) side as an optional terminating action for the repetitive SDI required by this AD.

    Since that AD was issued, it was found that aeroplanes MSN 639 to 683 (inclusive) are not affected by this AD. The applicability has therefore been revised to remove those MSN.

    You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2006-26235.

    Relevant Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    SOCATA has issued DAHER-SOCATA TBM Aircraft Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 70-130, Revision 3, dated December 2014. The actions described in this service information are intended to correct the unsafe condition identified in the MCAI. The DAHER-SOCATA TBM Aircraft Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 70-130, Revision 3, dated December 2014, describes procedures for repetitively inspecting the main landing gear (MLG) for cracks and replacing cracked MLG with a reinforced MLG as a terminating action for the repetitive inspections. This service information is reasonably available; see ADDRESSES for ways to access this service information.

    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.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD will affect 431 products of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 3 work-hours 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 $109,905, or $255 per product.

    In addition, we estimate that any necessary follow-on actions would take about 4 work-hours and require parts costing $6,000, for a cost of $6,340 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 39-14945 (72 FR 75776, February 16, 2007), and adding the following new AD: SOCATA (type certificate previously held by EADS SOCATA): Docket No. FAA-2006-26235; Directorate Identifier 2006-CE-065-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by April 6, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD revises AD 2007-04-13, Amendment 39-14945, (72 FR 75776, February 16, 2007) (“AD 2007-04-13”).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to SOCATA Model TBM 700 airplanes, serial numbers 1 through 638 and 687, that:

    (1) Are not equipped with a left-hand main landing gear (MLG) body part number (P/N) D68161 or D68161-1 and a right-hand MLG body P/N D68162 or D68162-1; and

    (2) are certificated in any category.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association of America (ATA) Code 32: Landing gear.

    (e) Reason

    This AD was prompted by reports of cracks found on several main landing gear (MLG) cylinders. We are issuing this proposed AD to detect and correct cracks in the shock strut cylinder of the MLG, which could cause the MLG to fail. This failure could result in a collapsed MLG during takeoff or landing and possible reduced structural integrity of the airplane. We are revising AD 2007-04-13 to increase the time between the repetitive inspections and to incorporate an optional modification to terminate the required repetitive inspections.

    (f) Actions and Compliance

    Unless already done, do the following actions in paragraphs (f)(1) through (f)(4) of this AD:

    (1) As of March 23, 2007 (the effective date retained from AD 2007-04-13), for MLG with forging body totaling more than 1,750 landings but less than 3,501 landings since new:

    (i) Inspect the forging body for cracks within 100 landings after March 23, 2007 (the effective date retained from AD 2007-04-13), following the Accomplishment Instructions of EADS SOCATA TBM Aircraft Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 70-130, dated January 2006, or DAHER-SOCATA TBM Aircraft Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 70-130, Revision 3, dated December 2014.

    (ii) If no cracks are detected during the inspection required in paragraph (f)(1)(i) of this AD, repetitively thereafter inspect at intervals not to exceed 240 landings until a reinforced landing gear specified in paragraph E. Terminating Solution of the Accomplishment Instructions in DAHER-SOCATA TBM Aircraft Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 70-130, Revision 3, dated December 2014, is installed.

    (2) As of March 23, 2007 (the effective date retained from AD 2007-04-13), for MLG with forging body totaling more than 3,500 landings since new:

    (i) Inspect the forging body for cracks within 25 landings after March 23, 2007 (the effective date retained from AD 2007-04-13), following the Accomplishment Instructions of EADS SOCATA TBM Aircraft Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 70-130, dated January 2006, or DAHER-SOCATA TBM Aircraft Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 70-130, Revision 3, dated December 2014.

    (ii) If no cracks are detected during the inspection required in paragraph (f)(2)(i) of this AD, repetitively thereafter inspect at intervals not to exceed 240 landings until a reinforced landing gear specified in paragraph E. Terminating Solution of the Accomplishment Instructions in DAHER-SOCATA TBM Aircraft Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 70-130, Revision 3, dated December 2014, is installed.

    (3) If any cracks are detected during any inspection required in paragraphs (f)(1) through (f)(2) of this AD, including all subparagraphs:

    (i) Before further flight, remove the affected landing gear leg and confirm the presence of the crack with dye penetrant inspection or fluorescent penetrant inspection.

    (ii) If the crack is confirmed, before further flight, contact SOCATA at the address in paragraph (h) of this AD to coordinate the FAA-approved landing gear repair/replacement and implement any FAA-approved repair/replacement instructions obtained from SOCATA, or replace the cracked landing gear with a reinforced landing gear specified in paragraph E. Terminating Solution of the Accomplishment Instructions in DAHER-SOCATA TBM Aircraft Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 70-130, Revision 3, dated December 2014. This replacement terminates the repetitive inspections required by this AD.

    (4) If you do not know the number of landings, follow the instructions in the Compliance section of EADS SOCATA TBM Aircraft Mandatory Service Bulletin SB 70-130, dated January 2006.

    (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: Albert J. Mercado, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Room 301, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; telephone: (816) 329-4119; fax: (816) 329-4090; 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. 2006-0085R2, dated January 16, 2015. You may examine the MCAI on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2006-26235. For service information related to this AD, contact SOCATA, Direction des Services, 65921 Tarbes Cedex 9, France; telephone: 33 (0)5 62.41.73.00; fax: 33 (0)5 62.41.76.54; or SOCATA North America, North Perry Airport, 7501 S Airport Rd., Pembroke Pines, Florida 33023, telephone: (954) 893-1400; fax: (954) 964-4141; Internet: http://www.socat.com. You may view this 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 February 6, 2015. Robert Busto, Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03163 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 100 [Docket Number USCG-2015-0018] RIN 1625-AA08 Special Local Regulation; Charleston Race Week, Charleston Harbor, Charleston, SC AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes to issue a special local regulation on the waters of Charleston Harbor in Charleston, SC during the Charleston Race Week on April 17, 2015 through April 19, 2015. This special local regulation is necessary to ensure the safety of participants, spectators, and the general public during the event. The special local regulation would temporarily restrict vessel traffic in a portion of Charleston Harbor, preventing non-participant vessels from entering, transiting through, anchoring in, or remaining within the regulated area unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Charleston or a designated representative.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before March 23, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number using any one of the following methods:

    (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.

    (2) Fax: 202-493-2251.

    (3) Mail or Delivery: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001. Deliveries accepted between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. The telephone number is 202-366-9329.

    See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for further instructions on submitting comments. To avoid duplication, please use only one of these three methods.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email Chief Warrant Officer Christopher Ruleman, Sector Charleston Office of Waterways Management, Coast Guard; telephone (843) 740-3184, email [email protected] If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Barbara Hairston, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone (202) 366-9826.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Acronyms DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking A. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We encourage you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting comments and related materials. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided.

    1. Submitting Comments

    If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking, indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. You may submit your comments and material online at http://www.regulations.gov, or by fax, mail, or hand delivery, but please use only one of these means. If you submit a comment online, it will be considered received by the Coast Guard when you successfully transmit the comment. If you fax, hand deliver, or mail your comment, it will be considered as having been received by the Coast Guard when it is received at the Docket Management Facility. We recommend that you include your name and a mailing address, an email address, or a telephone number in the body of your document so that we can contact you if we have questions regarding your submission.

    To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number USCG-2015-0018 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on “Submit a Comment” on the line associated with this rulemaking.

    If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 81/2 by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit comments by mail and would like to know that they reached the Facility, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope. We will consider all comments and material received during the comment period and may change the rule based on your comments.

    2. Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number USCG-2015-0018 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    3. Privacy Act

    Anyone can search the electronic form of comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review a Privacy Act notice regarding our public dockets in the January 17, 2008, issue of the Federal Register (73 FR 3316).

    4. Public Meeting

    We do not now plan to hold a public meeting. But you may submit a request for one on or before March 15, 2015, using one of the methods specified under ADDRESSES. Please explain why you believe a public meeting would be beneficial. If we determine that one would aid this rulemaking, we will hold one at a time and place announced by a later notice in the Federal Register.

    B. Basis and Purpose

    The legal basis for the proposed rule is the Coast Guard's Authority to establish special local regulations: 33 U.S.C 1233. The purpose of the proposed rule is to ensure safety of life on the navigable water of the United States during the Charleston Race Week.

    C. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    The Coast Guard is proposing to establish special local regulations on the waters of Charleston Harbor in Charleston, South Carolina during Charleston Race Week, a series of sailboat races. The races are scheduled to take place on Friday, April 17, 2015 through Sunday, April 19, 2015. Approximately 300 sailboats are anticipated to participate in the races, and approximately 15 spectator vessels are expected to attend the event. Persons and vessels desiring to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the regulated area may contact the Captain of the Port Charleston by telephone at (843) 740-7050, or a designated representative via VHF radio on channel 16, to request authorization. If authorization to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the regulated area is granted by the Captain of the Port Charleston or a designated representative, all persons and vessels receiving such authorization must comply with the instructions of the Captain of the Port Charleston or a designated representative. The Coast Guard will provide notice of the special local regulation by Local Notice to Mariners, Broadcast Notice to Mariners, and on-scene designated representatives.

    D. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this proposed rule after considering numerous statutes and executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on a number of these statutes or executive orders.

    1. Regulatory Planning and Review

    This proposed rule is not a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review, and does not require an assessment of potential costs and benefits under section 6(a)(3) of Executive Order 12866 or under section 1 of Executive Order 13563. The Office of Management and Budget has not reviewed it under those Orders.

    The economic impact of this proposed rule is not significant for the following reasons: (1) Non-participant persons and vessels may enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the regulated area during the enforcement periods if authorized by the Captain of the Port Charleston or a designated representative; (2) vessels not able to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the regulated area without authorization from the Captain of the Port Charleston or a designated representative may operate in the surrounding areas during the enforcement period; and (3) the Coast Guard will provide advance notification of the special local regulation to the local maritime community by Local Notice to Mariners and Broadcast Notice to Mariners.

    2. Impact on Small Entities

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we have considered the impact of this proposed rule on small entities. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule may affect the following entities, some of which may be small entities: the owner or operators of vessels intending to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the regulated area during the enforcement period. For the reasons discussed in Regulatory Planning and Review section above, this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this rule would have a significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment (see ADDRESSES) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically affect it.

    3. Assistance for Small Entities

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this proposed rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, above. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this proposed rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

    4. Collection of Information

    This proposed rule will not call for a new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.).

    5. Federalism

    A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has 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. We have analyzed this proposed rule under that Order and determined that this rule does not have implications for federalism.

    6. Protest Activities

    The Coast Guard respects the First Amendment rights of protesters. Protesters are asked to contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to coordinate protest activities so that your message can be received without jeopardizing the safety or security of people, places or vessels.

    7. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    8. Taking of Private Property

    This proposed rule would not cause a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications under Executive Order 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights.

    9. Civil Justice Reform

    This proposed rule meets 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.

    10. Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under Executive Order 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. This rule is not an economically significant rule and would not create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that might disproportionately affect children.

    11. Indian Tribal Governments

    This proposed rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it would not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

    12. Energy Effects

    This proposed rule is not a “significant energy action” under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use.

    13. Technical Standards

    This proposed rule does not use technical standards. Therefore, we did not consider the use of voluntary consensus standards.

    14. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have concluded this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves a special local regulation issued in conjunction with a regatta or marine parade. This rule is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(h) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this rule.

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 100

    Marine Safety, Navigation (water), Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Waterways.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR part 100 as follows:

    PART 100—SAFETY OF LIFE ON NAVIGABLE WATERS 1. The authority citation for part 100 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 1233

    2. Add a temporary § 100.35T07-0018 to read as follows:
    § 100.35T07-0018 Special Local Regulation; Charleston Race Week, Charleston Harbor, Charleston, SC.

    (a) Regulated Area. The rule establishes special local regulations on certain waters of Charleston Harbor in Charleston, South Carolina. The special local regulations will be enforced daily from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on April 17, 2015 through April 19, 2015. The special local regulations consist of the following three race areas.

    (1) Race Area #1. All waters encompassed within an 800 yard radius of position 32°46′39″ N, 79°55′10″ W.

    (2) Race Area #2. All waters encompassed within a 900 yard radius of position 32°45′48″ N, 79°54′46″ W.

    (3) Race Area #3. All waters encompassed within a 900 yard radius of position 32°45′44″ N, 79°53′32″ W.

    (b) Definition. The term “designated representative” means Coast Guard Patrol Commanders, including Coast Guard coxswains, petty officers, and other officers operating Coast Guard vessels, and Federal, state, and local officers designated by or assisting the Captain of the Port Charleston in the enforcement of the regulated areas.

    (c) Regulations. (1) All persons and vessels, except those participating in Charleston Race Week or serving as safety vessels are prohibited from entering, transiting through, anchoring in, or remaining within the regulated area. Persons and vessels desiring to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the regulated area may contact the Captain of the Port Charleston by telephone at (843) 740-7050, or a designated representative via VHF radio on channel 16, to request authorization. If authorization to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the regulated area is granted by the Captain of the Port Charleston or a designated representative, all persons and vessels receiving such authorization must comply with the instructions of the Captain of the Port Charleston or a designated representative.

    (2) The Coast Guard will provide notice of the regulated area by Marine Safety Information Bulletins, Local Notice to Mariners, Broadcast Notice to Mariners, and on-scene designated representatives.

    (d) Effective Date. This rule is effective and will be enforced from 8:30 a.m. April 17, 2015 through 5:00 p.m. April 19, 2015.

    Dated: January 28, 2015. B.D. Falk, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard. Acting Captain of the Port Charleston.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03075 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 59, 80, 85, 86, 600, 1037, 1043, 1051, 1054, 1060, 1065, and 1066 [EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0135; FRL 9922-32-OAR] RIN 2060-AS36 Amendments Related to: Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards, Nonroad Engine and Equipment Programs, and MARPOL Annex VI Implementation AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing this action on several amendments involving technical clarifications for different mobile source regulations. First, we are making a variety of corrections to the Tier 3 motor vehicle emission and fuel standards. These changes generally correct or clarify various provisions from the Tier 3 rule without expanding the Tier 3 program or otherwise making substantive changes. Second, we are revising the test procedures and compliance provisions for nonroad spark-ignition engines at or below 19 kW (and for the corresponding nonroad equipment) to conform to current practices. The changes to evaporative emission test procedures also apply to some degree to other types of nonroad equipment powered by volatile liquid fuels. Third, we are addressing an ambiguity regarding permissible design approaches for portable fuel containers meeting evaporative emission standards. Fourth, we are revising the regulations to more carefully align with current requirements that apply to marine vessels with diesel engines as specified under MARPOL Annex VI. Fifth, we are correcting typographical errors in regulatory changes finalized in the Voluntary Quality Assurance Program rulemaking.

    In the “Rules and Regulations” section of this Federal Register, we are taking direct final action without a prior proposed rule. If we receive no adverse comment, we will not take further action on this proposed rule.

    DATES:

    Comments: Written comments must be received by April 6, 2015.

    Public Hearing: If anyone contacts EPA requesting to speak at a public hearing by February 24, 2015, a public hearing will be held in Ann Arbor, Michigan on March 6, 2015. Inquire about arrangements for a public hearing as described in “FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT”.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0135, by one of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected]

    Fax: (202) 566-9744

    Mail: Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460.

    Hand Delivery: EPA Docket Center, EPA WJC West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0135. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or email. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional information about EPA's public docket visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm. For additional instructions on submitting comments, see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center, EPA/DC, EPA WJC West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the Air Docket is (202) 566-1742.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Alan Stout, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, Assessment and Standards Division (ASD), Environmental Protection Agency, 2000 Traverwood Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48105; Telephone number: (734) 214-4805; [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Why is EPA issuing this proposed rule?

    This document proposes to take action on: (1) General corrections and clarifications to various provisions from the Tier 3 motor vehicle emission and fuel standards rule, (2) revisions to the test procedures and compliance provisions for nonroad spark-ignition engines and equipment at or below 19 kW, (3) addressing an ambiguity regarding permissible design approaches for portable fuel containers meeting evaporative emission standards, and (4) revisions to the regulations to more carefully align with MARPOL Annex VI requirements.

    We have published a direct final rule in the “Rules and Regulations” section of this Federal Register because we view this as a noncontroversial action and anticipate no adverse comment. We have explained our reasons for this action in the preamble to the direct final rule; that document also includes draft regulations detailing all the amendments under consideration. The regulatory text from the direct final rule applies equally to this proposed rule and is not reproduced as part of this document.

    If we receive no adverse comment, we will not take further action on this proposed rule. If we receive adverse comment, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that this rule, or the relevant provisions of this rule, will not take effect. We would address all public comments in any subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule.

    We do not intend to institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so at this time. For further information, please see the information provided in the ADDRESSES section of this document.

    Does this action apply to me?

    Entities potentially affected by this proposal include gasoline refiners and importers, ethanol producers, ethanol denaturant producers, butane and pentane producers, gasoline additive manufacturers, transmix processors, terminals and fuel distributors, light-duty vehicle manufacturers, manufacturers of nonroad engines and equipment, manufacturers of marine compression-ignition engines, and owners and operators of ocean-going vessels and other commercial ships, and manufacturers of portable fuel containers.

    Potentially regulated categories include:

    Category NAICS a Code Examples of potentially affected entities Industry 324110 Petroleum refineries (including importers) Industry 325110 Butane and pentane manufacturers Industry 325193 Ethyl alcohol manufacturing Industry 324110, 211112 Ethanol denaturant manufacturers Industry 211112 Natural gas liquids extraction and fractionation Industry 325199 Other basic organic chemical manufacturing Industry 486910 Natural gas liquids pipelines, refined petroleum products pipelines Industry 424690 Chemical and allied products merchant wholesalers Industry 325199 Manufacturers of gasoline additives Industry 424710 Petroleum bulk stations and terminals Industry 493190 Other warehousing and storage—bulk petroleum storage Industry 336111, 336112 Light-duty vehicle and light-duty truck manufacturers Industry 335312, 336312, 336322, 336399, 811198 Alternative fuel converters Industry 333618, 336120, 336211, 336312 On-highway heavy-duty engine & vehicle (>8,500 lbs GVWR) manufacturers Industry 336611 Manufacturers of marine vessels Industry 336612 Manufacturers of marine vessels Industry 811310 Engine repair and maintenance Industry 483 Water transportation, freight and passenger Industry 424710, 424720 Petroleum Bulk Stations and Terminals; Petroleum and Petroleum Products Wholesalers Industry 483113 Coastal and Great Lakes Freight Transportation Industry 483114 Coastal and Great Lakes Passenger Transportation Industry 333618 Manufacturers of new engines Industry 333112 Manufacturers of lawn and garden tractors (home) Industry 811112, 811198 Commercial importers of vehicles and vehicle components Industry 326199, 332431 Portable fuel container manufacturers a North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

    This table is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide for readers regarding entities likely to be regulated by this proposed action. This table lists the types of entities that EPA is now aware could potentially be regulated by this action. Other types of entities not listed in the table could also be regulated. To determine whether your activities are regulated by this action, you should carefully examine the applicability criteria in the referenced regulations. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the person listed in the preceding FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

    A. Submitting CBI. Do not submit this information to EPA through www.regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information in a disk or CD ROM that you mail to EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD ROM the specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.

    B. Tips for Preparing Your Comments. When submitting comments, remember to:

    • Identify the rulemaking by docket number and other identifying information (subject heading, Federal Register date and page number).

    • Follow directions—The agency may ask you to respond to specific questions or organize comments by referencing a Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part or section number.

    • Explain why you agree or disagree, suggest alternatives, and substitute language for your requested changes.

    • Describe any assumptions and provide any technical information and/or data that you used.

    • If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how you arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow for it to be reproduced.

    • Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns, and suggest alternatives.

    • Explain your views as clearly as possible, avoiding the use of profanity or personal threats.

    • Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period deadline identified.

    Table of Contents I. Introduction II. Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emission Standards III. 40 CFR part 80 Fuel Standards IV. Small SI Test Fuel and Bonding Provisions V. Evaporative Test Procedures for Nonroad Equipment VI. Portable Fuel Containers VII. MARPOL Annex VI Implementation VIII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews IX. Statutory Provisions and Legal Authority I. Introduction

    In this action we are proposing several amendments that would make technical clarifications to different mobile source regulations. This section provides an overview of the organization of this preamble.

    Section II describes proposed amendments to the Tier 3 motor vehicle emission standards. Section III describes proposed amendments to the 40 CFR part 80 fuel standards: including the Tier 3 gasoline sulfur standards, other part 80 fuels regulations that were amended in the Tier 3 final rule, and amendments made in the Quality Assurance Program rulemaking. Section IV describes the proposed changes to the testing and compliance provisions for nonroad spark-ignition engines, and Section V describes how we are proposing to change the evaporative test procedures for nonroad equipment. Section VI describes proposed amendments to the requirements that apply for portable fuel containers. Section VII summarizes the proposed amendments related to our implementation of requirements for marine diesel engines and vessels under MARPOL Annex VI.

    II. Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emission Standards

    On April 28, 2014, we published a final rule adopting new emission standards and fuel requirements for motor vehicles and for motor vehicle fuels (79 FR 23414). The final rule included Tier 3 emission standards to reduce exhaust and evaporative emissions from light-duty vehicles, light-duty trucks, and heavy-duty vehicles up to 14,000 pounds GVWR. In addition, the final rule specified corresponding changes to in-use fuel requirements.

    The Tier 3 motor vehicle program included extensive changes to emission standards and the regulatory requirements related to certification. This included several provisions to harmonize requirements with a similar set of standards adopted by the California Air Resources Board (California ARB). It also included a wide range of alternative measures intended to facilitate each manufacturer's efforts to make an orderly transition to meeting the Tier 3 standards nationwide. The resulting Tier 3 regulations accordingly included several variations, alternatives, and ancillary provisions. We have learned since concluding the Tier 3 rulemaking that there are several instances where the regulatory text implementing the Tier 3 program requires correction or clarification to achieve the intended result. None of the proposed amendments are intended to expand the Tier 3 program or otherwise make substantive changes. We are therefore proposing to make the following amendments to the Tier 3 vehicle program regulations:

    Regulatory citation Description § 85.2108 Remove section to reflect a recent change to Clean Air Act section 207. § 86.101, § 1066.301, and § 1066.305 Adjust the procedures for determining road-load parameters to more carefully align with current practice, including the option for manufacturers to use alternate methodologies that are consistent with the reference procedure, subject to good engineering judgment and EPA confirmatory testing. We are also restoring provisions describing how to develop road-load parameters for cold testing; the provisions from § 86.229 were inadvertently replaced with a default instruction to use the same values for both FTP testing and cold testing. We are also changing terminology from “coastdown” to “road-load determination” for consistency. §§ 86.095-35 and 1037.135 Revise the labeling requirement for incomplete heavy-duty vehicles to require designation of maximum fuel tank capacity only in cases where the certifying manufacturer relies on a downstream manufacturer to design and install the vehicle's fuel tanks. If the certifying manufacturer designs or installs the fuel tank, there is no need for the emission control information label to identify the appropriate fuel tank capacity. §§ 86.101 and 86.1844-01 Clarify that reporting drive-cycle metrics to confirm driver accuracy continue to be optional until vehicles are subject to Tier 3 emission standards, and revise terminology for consistency with 40 CFR 1066.425. § 86.101 Clarify that manufacturers may continue to certify in 2022 and later model years based on carryover of emission data generated using the procedures from 40 CFR part 86, subpart B, even though we require new testing in that time frame to use the procedures in 40 CFR part 1066. § 86.113 Revise the format of the volatility specification to rely primarily on psi units and secondarily on kPa units. The kPa figures for non-evaporative testing also need to be corrected to align with the specified psi units. These changes align with the test fuel specifications that were in place before the Tier 3 rule. We are also revising the table format for octane specifications to clarify that the both ASTM D2699 and ASTM D2700 apply for determining octane values and octane sensitivity values. § 86.201 Clarify how the migration to testing under 40 CFR part 1066 works for cold temperature testing. This is analogous to the migration provisions for general testing in § 86.101. § 86.213 Revise the specified tolerance for olefin concentration in the test fuel from ±0.5 percent to ±5.0 percent. This reverses an inadvertent change made in the Tier 3 final rule. We are also revising the table format for octane specifications to clarify that both ASTM D2699 and ASTM D2700 apply for determining octane values and octane sensitivity values. § 86.513 Correct a typographical error for the 90% point in the distillation curve for gasoline test fuel. This was erroneously published as part of the Tier 3 rule with an extra “1” before the specified temperature of 148.9 °C. This change restores the temperature specification to what applied before we adopted the Tier 3 rule. § 86.513-2004 Remove obsolete section. Fuel specifications for motorcycles are now addressed in § 86.513 (with no model year designation), so the 2004 section is removed to avoid confusion. § 86.1801-12 Clarify how the requirements of subpart S relate to the engine and vehicle provisions in 40 CFR part 1036 and part 1037. § 86.1803-01 Revise the definition of “averaging set” to apply to all vehicles, not only heavy-duty vehicles. §§ 86.1805-17 and 86.1811-17 Address provisions for LDV above 6,000 pounds GVWR. A new paragraph describes how these vehicles are subject to the same transitional provisions that apply for LDV at or below 6,000 pounds GVWR. We are also clarifying useful life provisions for LDV above 6,000 pounds GVWR. We described the useful life provisions based on a simple cutpoint of 6,000 pounds GVWR, which doesn't address a small number of LDV models that have higher GVWR values. Instead of changing the useful life values adopted for cold temperature emission standards, we are using the terms LDV and LLDT to characterize the vehicles that are subject to a useful life of 10 years or 120,000 miles. We are also clarifying that MDPVs are the only HDVs subject to standards under § 86.1818. § 86.1806-17 Correct the citation to California ARB's OBD regulations to refer to the entire range of relevant OBD standards. § 86.1810-01 Clarify that the provisions for determining NMOG from measured NMHC values also apply for Tier 2 vehicles, as specified in § 1066.635, except that manufacturers may continue to use a fixed adjustment factor of 1.04. § 86.1810-17 Clarify that the provisions for testing flexible fuel vehicles on more than just gasoline or diesel fuel do not apply for greenhouse gas standards. § 86.1811-17(b)(8) Clarify how to calculate and use credits for manufacturers that certify some vehicles to a useful life of 120,000 miles and other vehicles to a useful life of 150,000 miles. The main point of clarification is that vehicles certified to the shorter useful life on an interim basis may exchange emission credits with vehicles certified to either useful life, but the fleet-average standard for a given set of vehicles must correspond to the averaging set. We are also listing the emission standards that correspond to a 120,000 mile useful life rather than describing how to calculate those standards. § 86.1811-17(b)(8) Add a provision that Interim Tier 3 vehicles must continue to meet the 4000-mile SFTP standards for NMHC+NOx and CO from Tier 2. This requirement was included in the preamble text for the proposed rule and the final rule, but was inadvertently omitted from the regulatory text. § 86.1811-17(b)(10) Clarify provisions related to early credits: (1) Early credits may be used interchangeably (without adjustment) for vehicles certified to a useful life of either 120,000 miles or 150,000 miles. (2) Accumulated early credits should be used for demonstrating compliance with model year 2017 standards before doing the calculations to address proportionality relative to California emission credits. (3) Negative credits are subtracted from credit totals during the three-year period for calculating credit caps (rather than ignoring them). (4) The calculation for applying the cap/threshold relative to California credits must be corrected to use the proper baseline quantity. § 86.1811-17(b)(11) Clarify provisions related to early certification to Tier 3 standards: (1) Bin 70 and cleaner vehicles are considered Tier 3 vehicles on a voluntary basis and are therefore subject to the 150,000 mile useful life. (2) The transitional aspects of the Tier 3 program apply equally to vehicles certified early to the Tier 3 standards. § 86.1811-17(g) Revise the cold temperature testing specifications to clarify that CO and NMHC standards apply equally for certification and in-use testing, for low and high altitude, and for testing gasoline-only configurations of flexible-fuel vehicles. § 86.1813-17 Clarify that no separate fleet-average calculation is required for demonstrating compliance with high-altitude evaporative emission standards. These standards are determined as bin values relative to the standard that applies for testing at low-altitude conditions. § 86.1829-15 Adjust the refueling test waiver to state that it applies only for incomplete heavy-duty vehicles above 10,000 pounds GVWR, and for complete heavy-duty vehicles above 10,000 pounds GVWR with fuel tanks greater than 35 gallons, consistent with the preamble discussion in the final rule. These vehicles are the only ones that are newly subject to refueling emission standards. All smaller vehicles have already been subject to testing and certification requirements. § 86.1829-15 Add a paragraph to preserve the provisions related to measurement of N2O emissions as originally adopted at § 86.1829-01(b)(2)(iii)(G). § 86.1829-15 Revise terminology to refer to “durability groups” rather than “durability data groups” for PM testing. § 86.1844-01 Specify that a manufacturer's application for certification must include a description of leak families in addition to evaporative/refueling families. Since leak families are defined broadly, many manufacturers may have only a single leak family even if they have multiple evaporative/refueling families. § 86.1845-01 Clarify that the PM measurement instructions are limited to vehicles subject to Tier 3 PM standards, as discussed in the final rule. § 86.1846-01 Adjust the exclusion of high-mileage vehicles to the terminology changes to § 86.1845-05. This change aligns with the current practice of not including the results from testing the designated high-mileage vehicle at low altitude for making an IUVP determination for the test group. § 86.1861-17 Clarify that the separate averaging set corresponding to 120,000 mile useful life applies only for NMOG+NOx emission standards. §§ 600.116-12 and 1066.501 Clarify that certain portions of SAE J1711 apply separately for charge-depleting and charge-sustaining operation for hybrid-electric vehicles. § 600.117 Adjust the description to more clearly apply the interim allowance for using Tier 2 fuel to determine whether vehicles pass the “litmus test” for using derived 5-cycle testing for fuel economy, as described further below. § 600.117 Revise the description for test fuels to clarify that cold testing may be done with the higher-volatility fuel specified in § 86.213, and that the requirement for using a common test fuel related to 5-cycle testing refers to the ethanol content of the fuel, not the whole range of test fuel specifications. § 1037.103 Refer to § 86.1805 for useful life values as they apply for evaporative emission standards, rather than referring more broadly to useful life values in 40 CFR part 86 for “criteria pollutants”. § 1037.104 Refer to the useful life values specified in § 86.1805 for model year 2014 vehicles for the HD GHG standards. This sets the useful life values for the HD GHG standards to a fixed value, rather than specifying a cross reference to a section of the regulations that describes changing useful life values. §§ 1065.10 and 1066.10 Allow for a one-year lead time for upgrading to test procedure changes in 40 CFR part 86 where those changes would otherwise be required immediately with the effective date of the final rule. This is consistent with existing provisions for changes to 40 CFR part 1065 and part 1066. Note that this does not delay implementation of procedures corresponding to new emission standards. § 1065.610 Correct a sample calculation. § 1065.710 Correct the units for specifying hydrocarbon composition. These units were inadvertently changed in the Tier 3 rule from fractional to percent values. We are specifying these values in volume % to align with the associated ASTM procedure. § 1065.710 Revise the format of the volatility specification to include reference values in psi units. § 1066.125 Correct the description of calculating 1 Hz mean values. § 1066.125 Add a parenthetical reference to torque in pound-foot units corresponding to the primary value in Newtons. § 1066.420 Clarify that it is permissible to push the test vehicle onto the dynamometer to prepare for a hot-start or hot-stabilized test, as opposed to driving the vehicle onto the dynamometer. § 1066.605 Revise the sequence of calculations to determine a NOx result. The proper sequence is to first correct for background concentration, then to correct for intake air humidity. § 1066.615 Correct the equations to properly apply the NOx humidity correction factor to account for humidity in the background measurement. § 1066.635 Clarify that the appropriate NMOG calculation for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles is based on operation over one full UDDS. § 1066.701 Correct a temperature that was inadvertently identified as 20 °C instead of 20 °F. § 1066.710 Clarify the instructions for heat settings during cold testing to more carefully differentiate between automatic systems that operate either in manual mode or in automatic mode. Automatic systems operating in manual mode should be set to a temperature of 72 °F “or higher” to align with current practice. § 1066.801 Correct an error in the testing flowchart so that the flowchart matches the procedure described in the regulations. § 1066.815 Reorganize the instructions for testing with and without bag 4 to improve the clarity of the test sequence. § 1066.831 Revise the description for testing heavy-duty vehicles at adjusted loaded vehicle weight to exclude MDPVs, which are tested like light-duty trucks. § 1066.835 Add a provision allowing for keeping the vehicle-cooling fan running while the vehicle is stopped if that is necessary for keeping ambient conditions within specified parameters. § 1066.845 Adjust the description of air conditioning settings during the AC17 test to describe how to account for systems with separate rear controls, and for systems that change default settings at key-off. § 1066.1005 Move the prefix “n” to be in the proper order. Various Change from “LA-92” to “Hot-LA-92” to allow us to specify that the referenced test procedure is only the first 1435 seconds of what is known as the LA-92 driving schedule. The full cycle is 1735 seconds. This change is necessary to accomplish the intended alignment with the California ARB standards.

    We are also proposing various corrections for typographical errors and regulatory cross references. Note that one of these corrections is in the regulations for recreational vehicles at 40 CFR 1051.501 to maintain a proper cross reference to the driving schedules in Appendix I of 40 CFR part 86. We are also correcting a typographical error from § 86.529-98 that was published several years ago. The specified range of loaded vehicle masses corresponding to certain road-load force coefficients and inertia weights has an entry that should be listed as applying from 656 to 665 kg; the published entry mistakenly identifies the range as 565 to 665 kg.

    One additional issue relates to test fuel for fuel economy testing. In the Tier 3 final rule, EPA changed the certification test fuel for the Tier 3 exhaust emission standards from a 9 psi RVP fuel with no ethanol (E0) (commonly referred to as Tier 2 fuel) to a 9 psi RVP fuel with 10 percent ethanol (E10). As an interim provision, EPA permitted vehicles certifying at levels above Bin 70 to use E0 fuel for Tier 3 certification through model year 2019. The rule also permits early certification to Tier 3 requirements using 7 psi RVP E10 test fuel, commonly referred to as LEV III fuel since the California LEV III program phase-in begins with model year 2015. The rule also provides manufacturers the option to use EPA 9RVP E0 fuel or 9RVP E10 fuel for certification for cold temperature testing since California does not specify a test fuel for that testing.

    Under the fuel economy regulations, manufacturers use the results of their exhaust emission tests as the basis for calculating litmus test evaluations (see 40 CFR 600.115-11). However, in the Tier 3 rule EPA did not change the fuel economy test fuel specifications from E0 to E10 as was done for Tier 3 exhaust emissions. The preamble to the final rule recognized that the difference in the emission and fuel economy test fuels has the potential to require extra emission testing for the fuel economy evaluations. To minimize this burden, EPA included several provisions in the regulations to minimize this potential burden (see 40 CFR 600.117) and indicated a commitment to make any appropriate adjustments to the fuel economy regulations to accommodate the change to an E10 test fuel when the needed emission data become available.

    As is discussed in the final rule (79 FR 23531-23533, April 28, 2014), central to the litmus test evaluation is the requirement that data be available for all five emission test cycles and that the data be generated using the same test fuel on each cycle. Some confusion has arisen as to what cold FTP test fuel should be used in the litmus evaluations for early Tier 3 certifications using LEV III test fuel and for Tier 3 certification above Bin 70 before model year 2020. This occurs because California ARB does not specify a cold FTP test fuel and, as a transitional measure, EPA permits certification to Tier 3 Bin 125 and Bin 160 using Tier 2 fuel. This proposed amendment clarifies that the fuel economy test fuel requirements govern for the litmus test evaluations. As indicated in the preamble to the final rule at 79 FR 23533, manufacturers may use LEV III fuel (California Phase 3) in lieu of Tier 3 fuel, but any cold FTP testing must be done using the Tier 3 cold FTP fuel. Thus, for purposes of the litmus test cold temperature testing, manufacturers must use the same test fuel (E10) as used for the other four cycles. For early Tier 3 certifications using LEV III test fuel, the cold FTP test data must be generated using Tier 3 cold FTP test fuel and in the case of the higher bins in the Tier 3 program as discussed above, the cold FTP must be based on the same fuel as used for the other four test cycles. The flexibility afforded for exhaust emission certification does not carry over to the litmus test evaluations.

    III. 40 CFR Part 80 Fuel Standards

    After promulgation of the Tier 3 final rulemaking (79 FR 23414, April 28, 2014), we discovered some typographical errors and other areas in the part 80 regulations that we believe would benefit from some additional clarity. The following sections discuss proposed amendments to remedy these concerns.

    A. Performance-Based Measurement Systems (PBMS) Section Description of proposed change § 80.8(e)(1)(iii) Amended to update IBR to most recent ASTM standard practice D5842-14 (Standard Practice for Sampling and Handling for Fuels for Volatility Measurement, approved January 15, 2014). § 80.46(d) Amended to clarify that distillation precision criterion is based on the reproducibility of Table 10 Groups 2, 3 and 4 (Automated Method) contained in ASTM D86-07—clarifying note added to state that precision estimates in ASTM D86-12 do not apply. § 80.46(b)(1), (c)(2), (d), (e), (f)(1), and (g)(1) Amended to clarify beginning January 1, 2016 a test method approved under § 80.47 “must” be used, rather than “may” be used, by the regulated community for demonstrating compliance measurements to EPA fuels standards. § 80.47(a)(7) Amended to correct typographical error (“referee” to “reference”). § 80.47(b)(1), (c)(1), (d)(1), (e)(1), (f)(1), (g)(1), (h)(1), (i)(1), (j)(1) Amended to correct typographical error (“emissions” to “omissions”); and to add the statement “tests may be arranged into no fewer than five batches of four or fewer tests each, with only one such batch allowed per day over the minimum of 20 days”. § 80.47(c)(1), (c)(2)(i), (c)(2)(ii) Amended to correct the examples listed for precision and accuracy demonstration for sulfur in butane to be consistent with the sulfur in gasoline 10 ppm average. § 80.47(h)(1) Amended to: correct typographical errors; clarify that distillation precision criterion is based on the reproducibility of Table 10 Groups 2, 3 and 4 (Automated Method) contained in ASTM D86-07 (clarifying note added stating that precision estimates in D86-12 do not apply); and revise IBR of D86 to the 2007 version. § 80.47(i)(1) Revised benzene precision criteria to 0.15 times R, rather than 0.3 times R to be consistent with preamble discussion. § 80.47(l) Amended to revise section heading and add paragraphs (l)(1)(ii) and (l)(2)(ii) to allow for Non-Voluntary Consensus Standard Based (non-VCSB) absolute fuel parameter of sulfur in gasoline and butane. Also clarifying that either a “test facility or VCSB” must meet the requirements of § 80.47(l). § 80.47(m)(6) Amended to correct reference for the use of the term “cross-method reproducibility” in ASTM D6708 from “as required” to “as recommended” and replaced the term “cross-method reproducibility” with “between methods reproducibility” to be consistent with D6708-13. § 80.47(n)(2)(i), (o)(2)(i), (p)(3)(i) Amended to correct references to D6299-13 with regards to use of a quality control material (paragraph 3.2.3 changed to 3.2.8), I Chart (section 7 changed to section 8) and MR charts (section A1.5.2 changed to A1.5.4). § 80.47(n)(2)(ii), (o)(2)(ii), (p)(3)(ii) Amended to correct references to D6299-13 with regards to use of an I Chart (changed section 7 to section 8.7). § 80.47(n)(2)(iv), (o)(2)(iv), (p)(2)(iv); and (n)(1)(ii), (o)(1)(ii), (p)(1)(ii) Amended to move the phrase “The expanded uncertainty of the accepted reference value of consensus named fuels shall have the following accuracy qualification criterion: Accuracy qualification criterion = square root [(0.75R)^2+(0.75R)^2/L], where L = the number of single results obtained from different labs used to calculate the consensus ARV.” from paragraphs (n)(2)(iv), (o)(2)(iv), (p)(2)(iv) to paragraphs (n)(1)(ii), (o)(1)(ii), (p)(1)(ii), respectively. § 80.47(o)(1) Amended to clarify value of ARV when not provided in an Inter Laboratory Crosscheck Program, by adding the following: “Facilities using a VCSB alternative method defined test method must use the Accepted Reference Value of the check standard as determined in a VCSB Inter Laboratory Crosscheck Program (ILCP) or a commercially available ILCP following the guidelines of ASTM D6299. If the Accepted Reference Value is not provided in the ILCP, accuracy must be assessed based upon the respective EPA designated test method using appropriate production samples.” § 80.47(o)(1) Amended to clarify that ILCPs are acceptable, by adding the following: “(Examples of ILCP: ASTM Reformulated Gasoline ILCP or ASTM motor gasoline ILCP)”. § 80.47(p)(1) Amended to clarify value of ARV when not provided in ILCP, by adding the following: “Facilities using a Non-VCSB alternative method defined test method must use the Accepted Reference Value of the check standard as determined in either a VCSB Inter Laboratory Crosscheck Program (ILCP) or a commercially available ILCP following the guidelines of ASTM D6299. If the Accepted Reference Value is not provided in the ILCP, accuracy must be assessed based upon the respective EPA designated test method using appropriate production samples.” § 80.47(p)(1) Amended to address concern that reproducibility is not established with Non-VCSB test methods, by adding the following: “The facility must construct “MR” and “I” charts with control lines as described in section 8.4 and appropriate Annex sections of this standard practice. In circumstances where the absolute difference between the mean of multiple back-to-back tests of the standard reference material and the accepted reference value of the standard reference material is greater than 0.75 times the published reproducibility of the fuel parameter's respective designated test method must be investigated by the facility.” § 80.47(r)(1)(i) Amended to revise IBR of ASTM D86 to the 2007 version. § 80.330(b)(1)(i), (b)(1)(ii), (b)(2) Amended to update IBR to most recent ASTM standard practice D5842-14 (Standard Practice for Sampling and Handling for Fuels for Volatility Measurement, approved January 15, 2014), and for consistency with IBR language throughout subpart O. § 80.584(a)(1) through (a)(3) Amended to correct inconsistencies with PBMS in § 80.47 regarding requirements for PBMS for sulfur in diesel fuel and ECA Marine Fuel at § 80.584 with regards to frequency of testing for the precision demonstration and VCSB self-qualification starting January 1, 2016. § 80.584(a)(1) through (a)(3) Amended to insert phrase “(tests may be arranged into no fewer than five batches of four or fewer tests each, with only one such batch allowed per day over the minimum of 20 days)” in applicable areas for diesel and ECA marine fuel to be consistent with frequency of testing for precision demonstration at § 80.47. § 80.585(a) Amended to revise diesel and ECA marine fuel sulfur qualification regulations to be consistent with PBMS (i.e., starting January 1, 2016), VCSB test methods self-qualify and need not be reported to the Agency for approval. § 80.585(a), (e)(1), (e)(4), (f) Amended to correct inconsistencies with PBMS in § 80.47 regarding requirements for PBMS for sulfur in diesel fuel and ECA marine fuel at § 80.584 with regards to frequency of testing for the precision demonstration and VCSB self-qualification starting January 1, 2016; and to add a new paragraph (f) for IBR. § 80.585(e)(1), (e)(2), (e)(4), (f) Amended to update IBR and reference for use on ASTM D6299-13 in applicable diesel and ECA marine fuel sulfur regulations to be consistent with reference of use of ASTM D6299-13 in PBMS regulations at § 80.47, and to make minor formatting changes for IBR consistency throughout part 80. B. Quality Assurance Program Amendments

    This action also proposes minor technical amendments to regulatory changes finalized in the Voluntary Quality Assurance Program Rulemaking (“QAP Rule”, 79 FR 42078, July 18, 2014). We are proposing to revise § 80.1471(d)(1) to reflect a change that industry widely requested and the public supported. In the final rulemaking we agreed to extend the notification period by an auditor for potentially invalid RINs from “within the next business day” to “within five business days.” We inadvertently neglected to change this reference in § 80.1471(d)(1) to the new “within five business days” language.

    In the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the QAP Rule, we proposed a new section at § 80.1433 that would have changed the way parties that redesignated renewable fuels for non-qualifying uses would have to retire RINs, and we proposed new product transfer document (PTD) language at § 80.1453(a)(12) to help convey the requirement to separate and/or retire RINs for parties that wished to redesignate renewable fuel for a non-qualifying use. After careful consideration of the public comments received, we chose not to finalize the proposed § 80.1433 requirements. This action proposes to remove the extraneous reference to § 80.1433 in § 80.1453.

    Additionally, we are proposing to amend the PTD requirements at § 80.1453(a) to make the scope of these requirements consistent with similar requirements in other fuels programs. When we altered the scope of the PTD requirements at § 80.1453 to include both neat and blended renewable fuels, we did not intend to expand the scope of these PTD requirements to convey the information at § 80.1453 to the consumer of such fuels, in most cases. In the preamble to the final QAP Rule, we noted that these requirements were meant to apply to regulated parties (79 FR 42105, July 18, 2014).

    Historically, EPA has required applicable information on PTDs accompanying fuels to be conveyed through to retail stations and wholesale purchaser-consumers. The EPA has, in most cases, included language that exempts parties that are transferring title or custody of fuel to the ultimate consumer (e.g., the PTD requirements for detergents at § 80.158 and for E15 at § 80.1503) or dispensing the fuel from a retail station or wholesale purchaser-consumer's tank to a motor vehicle or nonroad engine (e.g., the PTD requirements for diesel and gasoline sulfur at §§ 80.590 and 80.1651, respectively). Requiring PTD language to convey information all the way down to consumers fueling at a retail station or homes receiving heating oil has little benefit to the effectiveness of EPA's fuels programs and could be quite costly for retail stations and home heating oil distributors. Therefore, we are proposing to add an exemption to the PTD requirements for renewable fuels dispensed into motor vehicles and nonroad vehicles, engines, and equipment (to include jet engines and home heating units) to clarify the scope of § 80.1453.

    Section Description 80.1426(c)(7) Amended to correct typographical error (“§ 80.1451(b)(1)(ii)(T)(3)” to “§ 80.1451(b)(1)(ii)(T)(2)”). 80.1453(a) introductory text Amended for clarity in scope of requirements. 80.1453(a)(12) introductory text Amended to remove extraneous reference to 80.1433. 80.1471(d) Amended to add to “within five business days”, consistent with the intent stated in the QAP rule preamble. C. Tier 3 Rulemaking Provisions Minor Technical Amendments

    As mentioned above, this rule proposes to correct minor typographical errors that were discovered following the promulgation of the Tier 3 final rule (both within 40 CFR part 80, subpart O, as well as additional 40 CFR part 80 provisions that were finalized as part of our regulatory streamlining efforts in the Tier 3 rulemaking). The following table contains a list of these proposed amendments and a description of the proposed change:

    Section Description of proposed change § 80.2(cccc) Removed new definition of natural gas, as this definition already exists at § 80.2(tt). § 80.75(a)(2)(xi)(G) Amended to correct reference from “§ 80.82(c) or (d)” to “§ 80.86(a)(3) or (a)(4)”. § 80.82(e)(1) Amended to clarify that the provisions of an EPA-approved State Implementation Plan (SIP) apply to butane blenders. § 80.85(a) Amended introductory text to correct typographical errors (“refinery” to “refiner”). § 80.85(i) Amended to correct typographical errors (“they” to “it”, “comply” to complies”). § 80.86(b)(2)(iv) and (b)(3)(iii) Amended to correct typographical errors (“complaint” to “compliant”). § 80.86(c) Amended to clarify that the PTD for pentane used by pentane blenders must contain the pentane producer or importer company name and facility registration number issued by EPA and the name and address of the transferor and transferee consistent with other part 80 PTD requirements. §§ 80.315(b)(1)(iii), 80.1295(b)(1)(ii) The Tier 3 rulemaking changed the due date for annual reports and credits from the end of February to March 31 for all 40 CFR part 80 fuels programs; these paragraphs are being amended because the February date was inadvertently left in §§ 80.315(b)(1)(iii) and 80.1295(b)(1)(ii). § 80.330(c)(1), (d)(2) Amended to correct year (“December 31, 20” to “December 31, 2015”). § 80.597(d)(3) Amended to correct reference from paragraph (d) to paragraph (d)(3). § 80.1270(b)(2) Amended to clarify that butane blenders using the provisions of § 80.82 and pentane blenders using the provisions of § 80.85 may not generate benzene credits. § 80.1609(a) Amended to correct typographical error and to correct a regulatory cite. § 80.1611(a)(1) Amended to improve the clarity in cases where producers of certified ethanol denaturants produce product to a lower sulfur maximum than the required 300 ppm maximum. § 80.1611(c) introductory text, (c)(1), and (c)(2) Amended for improved clarity and to correct typographical errors. § 80.1611(d) Amended to correct typographical error (“denaturant” instead of “oxygenate”). § 80.1613(a) Amended to correct typographical error (“less than 1.0” replaces “1.0 or less”). § 80.1613(b)(3) Added to clarify that it is a violation to exceed an additive manufacturer's recommended treatment level when doing so would contribute more than 3 ppm to the sulfur content of the resulting finished gasoline. § 80.1615(d)(1), (d)(2) Revised for clarity by moving the phrase “From January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2019” to the beginning of each paragraph. § 80.1616(a)(4) Amended to add a “Reserved” paragraph (a)(4) to fix numbering error. § 80.1616(b)(2) Amended language to clarify that credits expire on December 31 and are reported the following March 31. § 80.1620(d) Revised to correct year to 2012. § 80.1620(e)(1), (e)(2), (f)(1) Revised to correct dates to 2013. § 80.1621(c), (d) Reserved paragraph (c); added paragraph (d), which was inadvertently deleted from the regulations, but is referred to in the preamble and in § 80.1622(e). § 80.1640(a)(2) Amended to correct reference from paragraph (a)(5) to paragraph (a)(1). § 80.1642(c)(3) Amended paragraph to correct typographical errors. § 80.1650 Amended to remove phrase “whichever is earlier” from paragraphs specifying the dates by which reports must be submitted, as this would contradict the ability of parties to register after the initial date that parties involved in a given activity must be registered. § 80.1652(c) Amended to correct word error (“producer” instead of “refiner”). § 80.1667(c)(1) Removed paragraph (c)(1) to match the intentions of § 80.1615(a) that refiners—including gasoline blenders (excluding those specified in § 80.1615(a)(3))—may generate Tier 3 credits beginning in 2014. IV. Small SI Test Fuel and Bonding Provisions

    On June 17, 2013, EPA modified the test procedures for measuring exhaust emissions from land-based nonroad small spark-ignition engines (small SI engines) to allow for exhaust emission certification testing with a test fuel that has 10 percent ethanol as specified by California ARB (78 FR 36370). We adopted that provision on an interim basis, through model year 2019, with the expectation that we would further evaluate the appropriate test fuel for onroad and nonroad applications. The Tier 3 motor vehicle emission standards include a new certification test fuel specification that is much like California ARB's Phase 3 test fuel in that it includes 10 percent ethanol (E10).

    Small SI manufacturers have requested that we address the test fuel questions in a way that does not leave them uncertain about certification test fuel options starting in model year 2020. While the effort to adopt the new EPA nonroad test fuel specification lies ahead, we agree with the manufacturers that the new ethanol-based test fuel associated with the Tier 3 motor vehicle emission standards allows us to take the step of removing the expiration of the provision allowing for the use of the similar California ARB Phase 3 test fuel for small SI engines. In the future, we expect to go through a rulemaking to incorporate EPA's Tier 3 test fuel into the emission programs for small spark-ignition engines, including an assessment of how the changing test fuel relates to the stringency of the emission standards.

    When we adopted Phase 3 exhaust emission standards for Small SI engines in 2008, we included a new set of requirements for manufacturers to post a bond as a means of ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements (73 FR 59034, October 8, 2008). Manufacturers have been complying with the bond requirements since 2010. The bond provisions are generally working as expected, but we have found several items that we are proposing to adjust or clarify to help with ongoing implementation, as follows:

    • Clarify that bonds are intended to cover any improperly funded compliance obligations relative only to engines that must comply with 40 CFR part 1054. The bond provisions are not intended to extend to engines that a manufacturer certifies under other EPA programs.

    • Specify that small-volume engine manufacturers and small-volume equipment manufacturers (collectively small-volume manufacturers, as defined in 40 CFR 1054.801) are subject to an alternate minimum bond value of $25,000, rather than the $500,000 minimum that applies for other manufacturers. This arrangement has been the working policy under the broader allowance specified in § 1054.635(d). Codifying these terms allows us to streamline the process and remove uncertainty for small-volume manufacturers.

    • Adopt a cap on the bond value that corresponds to the applicable bond-waiver threshold. Since U.S.-based assets are roughly analogous to bond values as a measure of our ability to compel compliance (or remedy deficiencies) for the different kinds of companies, this approach provides a measure of parity or fairness between those that must post bond and those that qualify for a bond waiver based on their assets in the United States. This is consistent with the approach we took on an interim basis to specify a maximum bond value of $10 million. The new provision replaces the $10 million cap in § 1054.145(o).

    • Clarify how bond values may change within a given year, and in future years: (1) Bond values may be adjusted for a given year any time before the first importation or sale for that year; (2) once a bond value is fixed for a given year, that value may not be decreased during the year, even if sales volumes are less than anticipated; and (3) bond values may be reset with each new year, but these values must reflect actual sales volumes for the preceding three years. This arrangement allows a manufacturer to take a deliberate approach to resetting bond values if sales volumes change substantially over time.

    • Change the protocol for adjusting thresholds and bond values for inflation. Small, annual changes create confusion and an implementation burden, with very small incremental benefit. To streamline that process and still account for the cumulative effects of inflation, we are specifying that we will adjust the thresholds and bond values in 2020, and every ten years after that, using a less precise rounding protocol. These changes will not require rulemaking to take effect, but we will likely modify the regulation to reflect these periodic adjustments.

    V. Evaporative Test Procedures for Nonroad Equipment

    We specify evaporative emission standards, test procedures, and certification requirements in 40 CFR part 1060. This includes measurement procedures for fuel permeation through fuel lines and fuel tanks, and for diurnal emissions from fuel tanks. We are proposing the following changes to these regulations:

    • Clarify that boat builders and other equipment manufacturers that install uncertified components are required to certify those fuel-system components as if they were component manufacturers. The original regulatory language described a requirement for equipment manufacturers to certify as equipment manufacturers if they were installing uncertified components, but we have found that the certification process is most straightforward if we treat them as component manufacturers.

    • The test procedures originally allowed for manufacturers to use good engineering judgment to address technical concerns related to measuring emissions from narrow-diameter fuel lines. In 2013, SAE published a voluntary consensus standard (SAE J2996) specifying measurement procedures for these narrow-diameter fuel lines. We agree that the SAE standard reflects good engineering judgment in the effort to measure emissions and are therefore incorporating this standard by reference in § 1060.515. This alternative SAE standard was designed for Small SI products, but it may be used in other applications as well; note, however, that U.S. Coast Guard requires measurements based on SAE J1527 in some cases. We are including the following clarifications and adjustments related to the specified SAE standards for all fuel-line permeation testing: (1) The test requires emission sampling over a 14-day period; (2) Two days of non-testing per week are allowed to accommodate weekend work schedules; (3) To remove any ambiguity from the published SAE standards, we are stating in our regulations that testing must occur at 23 ± 2 °C; and (4) The final test result is based on a simple arithmetic average of measured emission values over the 14-day sampling period. These changes allow for internal consistency, and generally align with the procedures adopted by California ARB. To the extent that there are remaining differences, manufacturers may ask for approval to use different procedures under § 1060.505(c)(2) or (c)(3).

    • Correct a typographical error in the kPa pressure value for preconditioning fuel tanks for a permeation measurement. The psi value in the regulation is correct.

    • Correct the sample calculation for determining an emission result from a diurnal emission test.

    • Adjust the procedure to account for buoyancy effects in tank permeation measurements by replacing the requirement to use two identical tanks with a requirement to use a second tank that has a total volume that is within 5 percent of the test tank's total volume. This will allow manufacturers and test labs to rely on a smaller number of stock fuel tanks to make the necessary but minor corrections that result from fluctuating atmospheric pressure.

    • Adjust and clarify diurnal test procedures: (1) Add a specification for in-tank thermocouples for tracking fuel temperature for testing marine fuel tanks; (2) Replace the hourly profile of fuel temperatures with clearer specification about tracking test fuel temperature from a specified starting point to a specified (calculated) endpoint. The vapor generation should be nearly constant between test runs as long as fuel temperature continues to increase from the low temperature to the high temperature; (3) Standardize the procedure for purging the evaporative canister to prepare for testing based on a simulation of the in-use experience; this is based on engine purge for land-based applications, and on passive (ambient) purge for marine applications. This canister preconditioning is a necessary step to establish a known starting point for designing a system that meets the diurnal emission standard; and (4) Include temperature tolerance bands for the diurnal temperature cycle. Note that we are not proposing or requesting comment on changing the test procedure for marine fuel tanks to base the temperature profile on ambient temperatures instead of fuel temperatures.

    • Establish a gravimetric test method for determining mass of emissions for tanks with a diurnal emission standard of at least 2.0 grams of hydrocarbon. Emission test procedures involving an emission standard of less than 2.0 grams of hydrocarbon need the more accurate measurements available from using a flame ionization detector (FID) within a sealed enclosure.

    VI. Portable Fuel Containers

    On February 26, 2007, EPA adopted a set of requirements to reduce emissions from portable fuel containers (PFC) at 40 CFR part 59, subpart F (72 FR 8533). EPA review of PFC designs and discussions with PFC manufacturers suggest that the manufacturers may have read the provisions of 40 CFR 59, subpart F, too narrowly and that their interpretations may have unnecessarily constrained some design approaches that may have otherwise allowed for improved in-use performance and consumer satisfaction. EPA did not intend to impact manufacturer design approaches beyond those deemed by the manufacturer as necessary to meet the emission control requirements as otherwise specified in 40 CFR part 59, and is including language in this rule to clarify regulatory requirements that apply to PFCs. Specifically, the revised regulation states that it is allowable for manufacturers to design PFCs with vents to relieve pressure, provided that the venting device is in place during emission testing, and provided that the venting device closes automatically when not in use.

    The proposed modifications to 40 CFR 59, subpart F, do not change the regulatory requirements with regard to emission standards and test procedures, but better define some elements of design and clarify how various approaches would be considered in testing. Upon seeing these modifications to the regulations, PFC manufacturers may elect to pursue design approaches they deem appropriate, which they may have thought were not available to them previously.

    VII. MARPOL Annex VI Implementation

    The Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) implements the provisions of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) Annex VI for the United States (33 U.S.C. 1901-1912). EPA adopted regulations in 2010 to summarize these requirements and to describe engine certification procedures and other relevant provisions as specified in APPS (75 FR 22896, April 30, 2010). MARPOL Annex VI has been amended since issuance of that Federal Register notice to include designation of the North American ECA and the U.S. Caribbean Sea ECA and various other changes. We are proposing to amend 40 CFR part 1043 in this rulemaking to align the regulations with the amendments of MARPOL Annex VI to facilitate stakeholder compliance, and to correct certain technical errors.

    First, the most fundamental step in the proposed updates to 40 CFR part 1043 is to cite the 2013 publication of MARPOL Annex VI and the further amendments concluded at MEPC 66 in April 2014 (see 40 CFR 1043.100). Likewise, MARPOL Annex VI was recently amended to waive the fuel-sulfur requirements for certain steamships until January 1, 2020. Part 1043 already includes such a waiver for steamships operating in the Great Lakes. We are proposing to codify the additional temporary steamship exemption in § 1043.97. Note that covered steamships would be required to comply with the relevant sulfur limits when the exemption expires on January 1, 2020.

    Second, we inadvertently adopted regulatory language in 40 CFR part 1043 that differs from the language of Annex VI. For example, we originally adopted the provisions in 40 CFR part 1043 with an erroneous date, stating that the 0.10% fuel-sulfur standard applies starting January 1, 2016, which should be January 1, 2015. The Annex VI specification is enforceable with or without this correction in 40 CFR part 1043, but we are proposing this change to avoid any possible confusion. We also identified the NOX standards based on an engine's model year; this should identify the applicability of NOX standards based on the build date of new vessels, or on the date of major modifications in other circumstances. We are proposing to correct these errors in part 1043.

    Third, we are proposing the addition of clarifying language relating to public vessels. MARPOL Annex VI exempts public vessels from engine standards and fuel requirements. Public vessels are defined as “warships, naval auxiliary vessels, and other vessels owned or operated by a sovereign country when engaged in noncommercial service.” We want to clarify that any vessel that has a national security exemption (for engines or fuel) is automatically considered a public vessel.

    Fourth, we are proposing to clarify regulatory provisions to address whether or how emission credits apply for EPA certificates and EIAPP certificates. Engine manufacturers are interested in getting an EPA certificate under 40 CFR part 1042 and an EIAPP certificate under 40 CFR part 1043 for the same engine. This would allow them maximum flexibility in selling engines to boat builders for installation in vessels used in domestic or international service. Certification to EPA standards under 40 CFR part 1042 allows manufacturers to use emission credits to make some engines with emission levels that are above the specified standard. MARPOL Annex VI and 40 CFR part 1043 do not have such an allowance. We are proposing to modify the regulation to clarify that an engine may not be covered by both an EPA certificate and an EIAPP certificate if its certification under 40 CFR part 1042 depends on using emission credits to allow for an emission level above the specified standard. If an engine has emission levels below the specified standard and it is used to generate emission credits under 40 CFR part 1042, this would not disqualify an engine from also getting an EIAPP certificate under 40 CFR part 1043.

    Lastly, we are making clarifying edits to the fuels regulations under 40 CFR part 80 for MARPOL Annex VI implementation; the table below lists these edits. While some of these edits are purely corrections to typographical errors, we are also making edits to clarify the treatment of fuels under MARPOL Annex VI, Regulation 3 and Regulation 4. Regulation 3 authorizes trial programs that involve a permit allowing a ship operator to use fuel that exceeds the fuel-sulfur standards that would otherwise apply. Regulation 4 allows for flag states to approve the use of high-sulfur fuel for vessels that are equipped with technology that allows for an equivalent level of control. Specifically, we are amending the definition of “ECA marine fuel” at 40 CFR 80.2(ttt) to clarify that vessels with Regulation 3 permits or Regulation 4 equivalencies can in fact use fuel that exceeds the ECA marine fuel sulfur standard. Further, to provide producers, distributors, and marketers of fuel for use under a Regulation 3 permit or a Regulation 4 equivalency the ability to denote such fuel on their PTDs, we are amending 40 CFR 80.590 to provide these parties with express PTD statements that may be used in lieu of the statements that are currently in the regulations.

    MARPOL Annex VI—Related Amendments to 40 CFR Part 80, Subpart I Section Description of change § 80.2(ttt) Amended the definition of ECA marine fuel to clarify that fuel allowed by MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 3 permits or Regulation 4 equivalencies under 40 CFR part 1043 is not required to meet the ECA marine fuel requirements. 80.510 section heading Amending to clarify that this section applies to refiners and importers. 80.510(k) and 80.511(b)(9) Amending to clarify that fuel allowed by Regulation 3 permits or Regulation 4 equivalencies is not required to meet the ECA marine fuel requirements. § 80.574(b) Amended to update the address for submitting ECA marine fuel alternative label requests. § 80.590(b) Amended to allow for PTD statements for use with fuel permitted for use under MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 3, Regulation 4, or both. § 80.607 (a), (c), (d), (f) Amended to remove references to ECA marine fuel, as research and development permits are separate from Regulation 3 permits under 40 CFR part 1043. § 80.608(d) Amended to correct minor typographical errors. VIII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Additional information about these statutes and Executive Orders can be found at http://www2.epa.gov/laws-regulations/laws-and-executive-orders.

    A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    This action is not a significant regulatory action and was therefore not submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review.

    B. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This action does not impose any new information collection burden under the PRA, since it merely clarifies and corrects existing regulatory language. OMB has previously approved the information collection activities contained in the existing regulations and has assigned OMB control numbers as noted in the table below.

    Regulatory citation Item OMB Control No. 40 CFR part 86 Light-duty vehicle standards 2060-0104 40 CFR part 86 Heavy-duty vehicle standards 2060-0287 40 CFR part 86 In-use verification program 2060-0086 40 CFR part 80 In-use fuel standards 2060-0437 40 CFR part 1043 MARPOL Annex VI 2060-0641 40 CFR part 1054 Small SI exhaust emission standards 2060-0338 40 CFR part 1060 Nonroad SI evaporative emission standards 2060-0321, 2060-0338 C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. In making this determination, the impact of concern is any significant adverse economic impact on small entities. An agency may certify that a rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities if the rule relieves regulatory burden, has no net burden or otherwise has a positive economic effect on the small entities subject to the rule. This rule merely clarifies and corrects existing regulatory language. We therefore anticipate no costs and therefore no regulatory burden associated with this rule. We have therefore concluded that this action will have no net regulatory burden for all directly regulated small entities.

    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    This action does not contain any unfunded mandate as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. The action imposes no enforceable duty on any state, local or tribal governments. Requirements for the private sector do not exceed $100 million in any one year.

    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action does not have federalism implications. It will not have substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

    F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

    This action does not have tribal implications as specified in Executive Order 13175. This rule merely corrects and clarifies regulatory provisions. Tribal governments would be affected only to the extent they purchase and use regulated vehicles or engines. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

    G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks

    EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 as applying only to those regulatory actions that concern environmental health or safety risks that the EPA has reason to believe may disproportionately affect children, per the definition of “covered regulatory action” in section 2-202 of the Executive Order. This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it does not concern an environmental health risk or safety risk.

    H. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

    I. National Technology Transfer Advancement Act

    This action involves technical standards. EPA has decided to use the following voluntary consensus standards:

    Organization Standard Available from SAE International SAE J2996, Small Diameter Fuel Line Permeation Test Procedure, Issued January 2013 www.sae.org ASTM International ASTM D86-07, Standard Test Method for Distillation of Petroleum Products at Atmospheric Pressure, approved January 15, 2007 www.astm.org ASTM International ASTM standard practice D4057-12, Standard Practice for Manual Sampling of Petroleum and Petroleum Products, approved December 1, 2012 www.astm.org ASTM International ASTM standard practice D4177-95 (Reapproved 2010), Standard Practice for Automatic Sampling of Petroleum and Petroleum Products, approved May 1, 2010. www.astm.org ASTM International ASTM standard practice D5842-14, Standard Practice for Sampling and Handling for Fuels for Volatility Measurement, approved January 15, 2014 www.astm.org ASTM International ASTM standard practice D6299-13, Standard Practice for Applying Statistical Quality Assurance and Control Charting Techniques to Evaluate Analytical Measurement System Performance, approved October 1, 2013 www.astm.org

    This action also involves technical standards for marine diesel engines. There are no voluntary consensus documents that address these technical standards. EPA has therefore decided to use the following standards from the International Maritime Organization:

    Organization Standard Available from International Maritime Organization MARPOL Annex VI, Regulations for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, Third Edition, 2013 www.imo.org International Maritime Organization NOx Technical Code 2008, 2013 Edition www.imo.org International Maritime Organization Annex 12, Resolution MEPC.251(66) from the Report of the Marine Environment Protection Committee on its Sixty-Sixth Session, April 25, 2014 www.imo.org J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

    This action is not expected to have any adverse human health or environmental impacts; as a result, the human health or environmental risk addressed by this action will not have potential disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority, low-income or indigenous populations.

    IX. Statutory Provisions and Legal Authority

    Statutory authority for this action comes from 42 U.S.C. 7401-7671q and 33 U.S.C. 1901-1912.

    List of Subjects 40 CFR Part 59

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Confidential business information, Labeling, Ozone, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Volatile organic compounds.

    40 CFR Part 80

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Air pollution control, Confidential Business Information, Diesel fuel, Fuel additives, Gasoline, Imports, Incorporation by reference, Labeling, Motor vehicle pollution, Penalties, Petroleum, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    40 CFR Part 85

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Air pollution control, Confidential Business Information, Imports, Labeling, Motor vehicle pollution, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Research, Warranties.

    40 CFR Part 86

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Air pollution control, Confidential Business Information, Imports, Labeling, Motor vehicle pollution, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Warranties.

    40 CFR Part 600

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Electric power, Fuel economy, Labeling, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    40 CFR Part 1037

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Air pollution control, Confidential business information, Labeling, Motor vehicle pollution, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Warranties.

    40 CFR Part 1043

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Air pollution control, Imports, Incorporation by reference, Vessels, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    40 CFR Parts 1051 and 1054

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Air pollution control, Confidential business information, Imports, Labeling, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Warranties.

    40 CFR Part 1060

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Air pollution control, Confidential business information, Imports, Incorporation by reference, Labeling, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Warranties.

    40 CFR Parts 1065 and 1066

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Research.

    Dated: February 2, 2015. Gina McCarthy, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-02845 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 63 [EPA-R06-OAR-2007-1205; FRL 9923-04-Region 6] National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants; Delegation of Authority to Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board (ABCAQCB) submitted updated regulations for receiving delegation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) authority for implementation and enforcement of New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) and National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for all sources (both part 70 and non-part 70 sources). The delegation of authority under this action applies only to sources located in Bernalillo County, New Mexico, and does not extend to sources located in Indian Country. EPA is providing notice that it is updating the delegation of certain NSPS to ABCAQCB, and is taking direct final action to approve the delegation of certain NESHAPs to ABCAQCB.

    DATES:

    Written comments on this proposed rule must be received on or before March 23, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be mailed to Mr. Rick Barrett, Air Permits Section (6PD-R), Environmental Protection Agency, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733. Comments may also be submitted electronically or through hand delivery/courier by following the detailed instructions in the Addresses section of the direct final rule located in the rules section of this Federal Register.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Rick Barrett, (214) 665-7227; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the final rules section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving ABCAQCB's request for delegation of authority to implement and enforce certain NSPS and NESHAP for all sources (both part 70 and non-part 70 sources). ABCAQCB has adopted certain NSPS and NESHAP by reference into ABCAQCB's regulations. In addition, EPA is waiving its notification requirements so sources will only need to send notifications and reports to ABCAQCB.

    The EPA is taking direct final action without prior proposal because EPA views this as a noncontroversial action and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for this approval is set forth in the preamble to the direct final rule. If no relevant adverse comments are received in response to this action, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives relevant adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn, and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting must do so at this time. If EPA receives relevant adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of the rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    For additional information, see the direct final rule which is located in the Rules section of this Federal Register.

    Dated: January 28, 2015. Samuel Coleman, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 6.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03483 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 635 [Docket No. 150116050-5123-01] RIN 0648-XD726 Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; North and South Atlantic 2015 Commercial Swordfish Quotas AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    This proposed rule would adjust the 2015 fishing season quotas for North and South Atlantic swordfish based upon 2014 commercial quota underharvests and international quota transfers consistent with International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) Recommendations 13-02 and 13-03. This proposed rule would apply to commercial and recreational fishing for swordfish in the Atlantic Ocean, including the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. This action would implement ICCAT recommendations, consistent with the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act (ATCA), and would further domestic management objectives under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received by March 23, 2015. An operator-assisted, public conference call and webinar will be held on March 3, 2015, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., EST.

    ADDRESSES:

    The conference call-in phone number is 1-888-972-6893; participant pass code is 2759824. Participants are strongly encouraged to log/dial in 15 minutes prior to the meeting. NMFS will show a brief presentation via webinar followed by public comment. To join the webinar go to: https://noaaevents2.webex.com/noaaevents2/onstage/g.php?d=995250567&t=a, enter your name and email address, and click the “JOIN” button. Participants who have not used WebEx before will be prompted to download and run a plug-in program that will enable them to view the webinar.

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2015-0023, by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2015-0023, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to Margo Schulze-Haugen, NMFS/SF1, 1315 East-West Highway, National Marine Fisheries Service, SSMC3, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

    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).

    The call-in information for the public hearing is phone number 1-888-972-6893; participant pass code is 2759824. We will also provide a brief presentation via webinar. Participants can join the webinar at https://noaaevents2.webex.com/noaaevents2/onstage/g.php?d=995250567&t=a. Enter your name and email address, and click the “JOIN” button. Participants that have not used WebEx before will be prompted to download and run a plug-in program that will enable them to view the webinar. Presentation materials and other supporting information will be posted on the HMS Web site at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms.

    Copies of the supporting documents—including the 2012 Environmental Assessment (EA), Regulatory Impact Review (RIR), and Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) for North Atlantic swordfish; the 2007 EA, RIR, and FRFA for South Atlantic swordfish; and the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan and associated documents—are available from the HMS Management Division Web site at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/ or by contacting Steve Durkee by phone at 202-670-6637.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Steve Durkee by phone at 202-670-6637.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The U.S. Atlantic swordfish fishery is managed under the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP). Implementing regulations at 50 CFR part 635 are issued under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq., and ATCA, 16 U.S.C. 971 et seq. ATCA authorizes the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) to promulgate regulations as may be necessary and appropriate to implement ICCAT recommendations.

    North Atlantic Swordfish Quota

    At the 2013 ICCAT annual meeting, Recommendation 13-02 was adopted, maintaining the North Atlantic swordfish total allowable catch (TAC) of 10,301 metric tons (mt) dressed weight (dw) (13,700 mt whole weight (ww)) through 2016. Of this TAC, the United States' baseline quota is 2,937.6 mt dw (3,907 mt ww) per year. ICCAT Recommendation 13-02 also includes an 18.8 mt dw (25 mt ww) annual quota transfer from the United States to Mauritania and limits allowable 2014 underharvest carryover to 15 percent of a contracting party's baseline quota. ICCAT capped the allowable underharvest at 25 percent of a contracting party's baseline quota allocation until the 2013 recommendation reduced it to 15 percent. Therefore, the United States may carry over a maximum of 440.6 mt dw (586.0 mt ww) of underharvest from 2014 to 2015. This proposed rule would adjust the U.S. baseline quota for the 2015 fishing year to account for the annual quota transfer to Mauritania and the 2014 underharvest.

    The preliminary estimate of North Atlantic swordfish underharvest for 2014 was 2,469.3 mt dw as of December 31, 2014; therefore, NMFS is proposing to carry forward 440.6 mt dw, the maximum carryover allowed per Recommendation 13-02. The 2,937.6 mt dw baseline quota would be reduced by the 18.8 mt dw annual quota transfer to Mauritania and increased by the underharvest carryover of 440.6 mt dw, resulting in a proposed adjusted North Atlantic swordfish quota for the 2015 fishing year of 3,359.4 mt dw (2,937.6−18.8 + 440.6 = 3,359.4 mt dw). From that proposed adjusted quota, 50 mt dw would be allocated to the reserve category for inseason adjustments and research, and 300 mt dw would be allocated to the incidental category, which includes recreational landings and landings by incidental swordfish permit holders, per § 635.27(c)(1)(i). This would result in an allocation of 3,009.4 mt dw (3,359.4−50−300 = 3,009.4 mt dw) for the directed category, which would be split equally between two seasons in 2015 (January through June, and July through December) (Table 1).

    The preliminary landings used to calculate the proposed adjusted quota for North Atlantic swordfish are based on commercial dealer reports and reports by anglers in the HMS Non-Tournament Recreational Swordfish and Billfish Landings Database and the Recreational Billfish Survey received as of December 31, 2014, and do not include dead discards or late landings reports. The estimates are preliminary and have not yet undergone quality control and assurance procedures. NMFS will adjust the quotas in the final rule based on updated data, including dead discard data, if available. Note that the United States has carried over the full amount of underharvest allowed under ICCAT recommendations for the past several years, and NMFS does not expect fishing activity to vary significantly from these past years. For the final adjusted quota to deviate from the proposed quota, the sum of updated landings data (from late reports) and dead discard estimates would need to reach or exceed 2,028.7 mt dw, which is the difference between the current estimate of the 2014 underharvest (2,469.3 mt dw) and the maximum carryover cap of 440.6 mt dw (2,469.3−440.6 = 2,028.7 mt dw). In 2013, dead discards were estimated to equal 90.2 mt dw and late reports equaled 143.0 mt dw. Consequently, NMFS does not believe updated data and dead discard estimates would alter the proposed adjusted quota. Thus, while the 2015 proposed North Atlantic swordfish quota is subject to further adjustments and this rule notifies the public of that potential change, NMFS does not expect the final quota to change from the proposed quota.

    South Atlantic Swordfish Quota

    In 2013, ICCAT Recommendation 13-03 established the South Atlantic swordfish TAC at 11,278.2 mt dw (15,000 mt ww) for 2014, 2015, and 2016. Of this, the United States receives 75.2 mt dw (100 mt ww). Recommendation 13-03 limits the amount of South Atlantic swordfish underharvest that can be carried forward, and the United States may carry forward up to 100 percent of its baseline quota (75.2 mt dw). Recommendation 13-03 also included a total of 75.2 mt dw (100 mt ww) of quota transfers from the United States to other countries. These transfers were 37.6 mt dw (50 mt ww) to Namibia, 18.8 mt dw (25 mt ww) to Côte d'Ivoire, and 18.8 mt dw (25 mt ww) to Belize.

    In 2014, U.S. fishermen landed no South Atlantic swordfish according to data available as of December 31, 2014. The adjusted 2014 South Atlantic swordfish quota was 75.1 mt dw due to nominal landings the previous year. Therefore, 75.1 mt dw of underharvest is available to carry over to 2015. NMFS is proposing to carry forward 75.1 mt dw to be added to the 75.2 mt dw baseline quota. The quota would then be reduced by the 75.2 mt dw of annual international quota transfers outlined above, resulting in an adjusted South Atlantic swordfish quota of 75.1 mt dw for the 2015 fishing year.

    As with the landings and proposed quota for North Atlantic swordfish, the South Atlantic swordfish landings and proposed quota are based on dealer reports received as of December 31, 2014, do not include dead discards or late landings reports, and are preliminary landings estimates that have not yet undergone quality control and assurance procedures. NMFS will adjust the quotas in the final rule based on any updated data, including dead discard data, if available. Thus, the 2015 proposed South Atlantic swordfish quota is subject to further adjustments. However, the United States has only landed South Atlantic swordfish twice in the past several years (0.2 mt dw in April 2010 and 0.1 mt dw in April 2013) and therefore does not anticipate additional landings or discard data that would change the final quota from the proposed quota.

    Table 1—2015 North and South Atlantic Swordfish Quotas North Atlantic swordfish quota (mt dw) 2014 2015 Baseline Quota 2,937.6 2,937.6 International Quota Transfer (−)18.8 (to Mauritania) (−)18.8 (to Mauritania) Total Underharvest from Previous Year.+ 1,337.4 2,469.3 Underharvest Carryover from Previous Year.+ (+)734.4 (+)440.6 Adjusted Quota 3,653.2 3,359.4 Quota Allocation: Directed Category 3,303.2 3,009.4 Incidental Category 300 300 Reserve Category 50 50 South Atlantic swordfish quota (mt dw) 2014 2015 Baseline Quota 75.2 75.2 International Quota Transfers * (−)75.2 (−)75.2 Total Underharvest from Previous Year.+ 75.1 75.1 Underharvest Carryover from Previous Year.+ 75.1 75.1 Adjusted quota 75.1 75.1 + Allowable underharvest carryover is now capped at 15 percent of the baseline quota allocation for the North Atlantic (carryover was previously capped at 25 percent) and 75.2 dw (100 mt ww) for the South Atlantic. The available 2014 underharvest is based on data current as of December 31, 2014; it does not include dead discards, late reports, or changes to the data as a result of quality control adjustments. * Under Recommendation 13-03, the U.S. transfers 75.2 mt dw (100 mt ww) annually to Namibia (37.6 mt dw, 50 mt ww), Côte d'Ivoire (18.8 mt dw, 25 mt ww), and Belize (18.8 mt dw, 25 mt ww). Ecological and Socioeconomic Impacts

    In the EA, RIR, and FRFA prepared for the 2012 North Atlantic swordfish quota specifications final rule (July 31, 2012; 77 FR 45273), NMFS analyzed the ecological and socioeconomic impacts of harvesting substantially the same amount of annual adjusted quota being proposed here in the 2015 North Atlantic swordfish specifications). Similarly, the impacts of harvesting the amount of annual baseline quota proposed in the 2015 South Atlantic swordfish specifications were analyzed in the EA, RIR, and FRFA that were prepared for the 2007 Swordfish Quota Specification Final Rule (October 5, 2007; 72 FR 56929).

    The proposed North Atlantic swordfish quota adjustments would result in an adjusted quota for 2015 substantially similar to that analyzed in the 2012 EA, RIR, and FRFA and implemented in 2013 and 2014. The quota analyzed in the 2012 EA, RIR, and FRFA was 3,559.2 mt dw and the proposed 2015 adjusted quota is 3,359.4 mt dw; a decrease of 199.8 mt dw. The 2015 North Atlantic swordfish proposed quota is not expected to increase fishing effort, protected species interactions, or environmental effects in a manner not considered in the 2012 EA and would, in fact, cap all three at a level slightly lower than that analyzed in the 2012 EA. The difference between the quota analyzed in the 2012 EA and the 2015 proposed quota is due to two reasons. First, Recommendation 13-02 reduces the underharvest carryover limit beginning in 2015 from 25 percent of the base quota to 15 percent. In the 2012 EA, the analysis took into account North Atlantic Swordfish underharvest carryovers of up to 25 percent. Since the proposed change in the underharvest carryover limit is within this range (i.e., it is less than 25 percent), the quota that would be implemented consistent with the reduced carryover provision has been previously analyzed. Furthermore, once effective, the reduced underharvest carryover limit would result in a lower overall North Atlantic swordfish adjusted quota. For these reasons, the quota that would be analyzed is within the range of the previously-analyzed actions under the existing NEPA analyses, and additional National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis regarding the underharvest carryover limit is not necessary.

    The second reason the 2012 quota is different than the 2015 proposed adjusted quota is Recommendation 13-02's elimination of the 112.8 mt dw quota transfer to Morocco and the introduction of a lower 18.8 mt dw quota transfer to Mauritania. No additional NEPA analysis is needed for the change in international quota transfers because in concert with the reduction in the underharvest carryover limit, these changes are not expected to increase fishing effort, affect protected species interactions, or environmental effects beyond those considered in the existing NEPA analyses. Thus, NMFS has determined that the North Atlantic swordfish quota portion of the specifications and impacts to the human environment as a result of the proposed quota adjustments do not require additional NEPA analysis beyond that discussed in the 2012 EA.

    Similarly, NMFS analyzed in the EA, RIR, and FRFA that were prepared for the 2007 Swordfish Quota Specification Final Rule (October 5, 2007; 72 FR 56929) the impacts of harvesting the same amount of annual baseline quota being proposed here in the 2015 South Atlantic swordfish specifications. The proposed South Atlantic swordfish quota adjustments would not change overall quotas and are not expected to increase fishing effort, protected species interactions, or environmental effects beyond those analyzed in the 2007 EA. While ICCAT SCRS conducted a stock assessment for South Atlantic swordfish in 2013, that assessment did not alter the stock status or TAC from when 2007 EA analyses were conducted and no additional information about the environment has become available that would alter the analyses. Therefore, because there would be no changes to the South Atlantic swordfish management measures in this proposed rule, and no changes to the affected environment or any environmental effects that have not been previously analyzed, NMFS has determined that the South Atlantic swordfish quota portion of the specifications and impacts to the human environment as a result of the proposed quota adjustments do not require additional NEPA analysis beyond that analyzed in the 2007 EA.

    Request for Comments

    NMFS is requesting comments on any of the measures or analyses described in this proposed rule. During the comment period, NMFS will hold one conference call and webinar for this proposed rule. The conference call and webinar will be held on March 3, 2015, from 1:00-4:00 p.m. EST. Please see the DATES and ADDRESSES headings for more information.

    The public is reminded that NMFS expects participants on phone conferences to conduct themselves appropriately. At the beginning of the conference call, a representative of NMFS will explain the ground rules (e.g., all comments are to be directed to the agency on the proposed action; attendees will be called to give their comments in the order in which they registered to speak; each attendee will have an equal amount of time to speak; attendees may not interrupt one another; etc.). NMFS representative(s) will structure the meeting so that all attending members of the public will be able to comment, if they so choose, regardless of the controversial nature of the subject(s). Attendees are expected to respect the ground rules, and those that do not may be removed from the conference call.

    Classification

    Pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that the proposed rule is consistent with the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and its amendments, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act, and other applicable law, subject to further consideration after public comment.

    This action is exempt from review under E.O. 12866.

    Previously, NMFS determined that proposed rules to implement the North Atlantic swordfish quota framework (77 FR 25669, May 1, 2012) and South Atlantic swordfish quota framework (75 FR 35432, June 22, 2010) were consistent to the maximum extent practicable with the enforceable policies of the approved coastal management program of coastal states on the Atlantic, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Pursuant to 15 CFR 930.41(a), NMFS provided the Coastal Zone Management Program of each coastal state a 60-day period to review the consistency determination and to advise the Agency of their concurrence. NMFS received concurrence with the consistency determinations from several states and inferred consistency from those states that did not respond within the 60-day time period. This proposed action to establish the 2015 North and South Atlantic swordfish quotas does not change the framework previously consulted upon; therefore, no additional consultation is required.

    The Chief Council for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Council for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because the proposed quota adjustments are the largely the same as in previous years and the United States is not expected to catch its entire quota in 2015.

    As described above, this proposed rule would adjust the 2015 baseline quota for North Atlantic swordfish (January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015) to account for 2014 underharvests, as allowable, and international quota transfers per § 635.27(c)(1)(i) and (c)(3)(ii) based on ICCAT Recommendation 13-02. The United States can carry over 2014 underharvest at a level not to exceed 15 percent of its baseline quota. Additionally, ICCAT Recommendation 13-02 stipulates that the United States transfer 18.8 mt dw (25 mt ww) of quota to Mauritania.

    In 2014, U.S. fishermen landed 1,183.9 mt dw of North Atlantic swordfish as of December 31, 2014, leaving 2,469.3 mt dw of quota underharvest. This underharvest amount exceeds the maximum underharvest carryover of 440.6 mt dw; therefore, only the maximum amount of 440.6 mt dw of 2014 underharvest would be carried over and added to the 2015 baseline quota. The quota transfer of 18.8 mt dw to Mauritania would be deducted, leaving a proposed 2015 North Atlantic swordfish adjusted quota of 3,359.4 mt dw (Table 1).

    This proposed rule would also adjust the 2015 baseline quota for South Atlantic swordfish (January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015) to account for 2014 underharvests and international quota transfers per § 635.27(c)(1)(ii) and (c)(3)(ii) based on ICCAT Recommendation 13-03. The United States can carry over 2014 underharvest at a level not to exceed 100 percent of the baseline quota. Additionally, ICCAT Recommendation 13-03 stipulates that the United States transfer the following quota amounts to other countries: 37.6 mt dw (50 mt ww) to Namibia; 18.8 mt dw (25 mt ww) to Côte d'Ivoire; and 18.8 mt dw (25 mt ww) to Belize.

    In 2014, U.S. fishermen landed no South Atlantic swordfish according to data available as of December 31, 2014. The adjusted 2014 South Atlantic swordfish quota was 75.1 mt dw due to nominal landings the previous year. Therefore, 75.1 mt dw of underharvest is available to carry over to 2015. NMFS is proposing to carry forward 75.1 mt dw to be added to the 75.2 mt dw baseline quota. The quota would then be reduced by the 75.2 mt dw of annual international quota transfers outlined above, resulting in an adjusted South Atlantic swordfish quota of 75.1 mt dw for the 2015 fishing year. (Table 1).

    The commercial swordfish fishery is comprised of fishermen who hold one of three swordfish limited access permits (LAPs) (i.e., directed, incidental, or handgear), fishermen who hold a swordfish general commercial permit, fishermen who hold an HMS incidental squid trawl permit, fishermen who hold a commercial Caribbean small boat permit, and the related industries, including processors, bait houses, and equipment suppliers. As of October 2014, there were approximately 183 vessels with a directed swordfish LAP, 66 vessels with an incidental swordfish LAP, 77 vessels with a handgear LAP for swordfish, and 651 vessels that held a swordfish general commercial permit. Additionally, there were approximately 73 HMS incidental squid trawl permit holders, which allow vessels in the Illex squid fishery to retain up to 15 incidentally-caught swordfish while trawling for squid. NMFS considers all participants in the commercial swordfish fishery to be small entities, based on the relevant North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes and size standards set by the Small Business Administration (SBA).

    The Small Business Administration (SBA) recently established new size criteria for all major industry sectors in the United States, including fish harvesters. On June 12, 2014, the SBA issued an interim final rule revising the small business size standards for several industries effective July 14, 2014 (79 FR 33467; June 12, 2014). The rule increased the size standard from $19.0 to $20.5 million for finfish fishing, from $5 to $5.5 million for shellfish fishing, and from $7.0 million to $7.5 million for other marine fishing, for-hire businesses, and marinas. NMFS has reviewed the analyses prepared for this action in light of the new size standards. Under the former, lower size standards, all entities subject to this action were considered small entities based on fishing revenues, thus they all would continue to be considered small under the new standards. The new size standards do not affect analyses prepared for this action.

    This action is not expected to result in a significant economic impact on the small entities subject to the quota limits. Based on the 2014 average price for swordfish of $4.65/lb (based on 2014 electronic dealer data), the 2015 North and South Atlantic swordfish baseline quotas could result in gross revenues of $30,114,483 (2,937.6 mt dw (6,476,233 lbs dw) * $4.65/lb) and $770,905 (75.2 mt dw (165,786 lbs dw) * $4.65/lb), respectively, if the quotas were fully utilized. Under the adjusted quotas of 3,359.4 mt dw (7,406,133 lbs dw) for North Atlantic swordfish and 75.1 mt dw (165,565 lbs dw) for South Atlantic swordfish, the gross revenues could be $34,438,518 and $769,877, respectively, for fully utilized quotas.

    Potential revenues per vessel resulting from full utilization of the adjusted quotas could be $32,799 for the North Atlantic swordfish fishery and $4,207 for the South Atlantic swordfish fishery, considering a total of 1,050 swordfish permit holders in the North Atlantic and 183 directed permit holders in the South Atlantic. The North Atlantic estimate, however, represents an average across all permit types, despite permit differences in retention limits, target species, and geographical range. For North Atlantic swordfish, directed swordfish permit holders would likely experience higher than average per-vessel ex-vessel revenues due to the use of pelagic longline gear and the lack of a per-trip retention limit, although trip expenses are likely to be relatively high. HMS incidental squid trawl permit holders would likely experience per vessel ex-vessel revenues well below those received by pelagic longline vessels due to the low retention limit per trip (15 swordfish) and because these vessels do not target swordfish and only catch them incidentally. Swordfish general commercial permit holders would likely experience lower than average per-vessel ex-vessel revenues, despite higher ex-vessel prices and lower fishing expenses. Although the proposed 2015 North Atlantic swordfish adjusted quoted is 199.8 mt dw lower than the quota analyzed in the 2012 EA, U.S. fishermen in recent years have not harvested the full North Atlantic swordfish quota. Thus, the 199.8 mt dw change in the total adjusted quota is unlikely to cause any economic impacts since that portion of the quota will likely go unutilized. In the future, if the North Atlantic swordfish fishery achieves full quota utilization, economic impacts will need to be reanalyzed. For South Atlantic swordfish, only directed swordfish permit holders can land these fish; therefore, potential revenue per vessel is higher than the average for these directed swordfish permit holders since the other permit types may not land swordfish. However, U.S. fishermen rarely catch South Atlantic swordfish. Over the past 5 years, 0.3 mt dw of South Atlantic swordfish catch has been reported. The proposed 2015 South Atlantic swordfish adjusted quota is unchanged from that analyzed in the 2007 EA, thus, no new economic impacts are expected.

    Because the United States' commercial swordfish fishery is not expected to catch its entire quota in 2015, the adjustments to the quota and management measures proposed in this rule will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. As a result, no initial regulatory flexibility analysis is required, and none has been prepared.

    Authority:

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

    Dated: February 13, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03432 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 33 Thursday, February 19, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request February 11, 2015.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments regarding (a) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by March 23, 2015 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725-17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20502. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Farm Service Agency

    Title: United States Warehouse Act (USWA)

    OMB Control Number: 0560-0120

    Summary of Collection: The Secretary of Agriculture authorizes the Farm Service Agency (FSA) as specified in the USWA to license public warehouse operators that are in the business of storing agricultural products; to examine such federally-licensed warehouses and to license qualified persons to sample, inspect, weight, and classify agricultural products. The FSA licenses under the USWA cover approximately half of all commercial grain and cotton warehouse capacities in the United States. The regulations that implement the USWA governs the establishment and maintenance of systems under which documents including title documents on shipment, payment and financing, may be issued or transferred for agricultural products.

    Need and Use of the Information: FSA will collect information as a basis to (1) determine whether or not the warehouse and the warehouse operator making application for licensing and/or approval meets applicable standards; (2) issue such license or approvals; and (3) determine, once licensed or approved, that the licensee or warehouse operator continues to meet such standards and is conforming to regulatory or contractual obligations. The information collected allows FSA to effectively administer the regulations, licensing, and electronic provider agreements and related reporting and recordkeeping requirements as specified in the USWA.

    Description of Respondents: Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 3,000.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion; Annually; Other (daily record).

    Total Burden Hours: 8,163.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03394 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-05-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request February 11, 2015.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments regarding (a) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602.

    Comments regarding these information collections are best assured of having their full affect if received within March 23, 2015. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8681.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Risk Management Agency

    Title: Acreage/Crop Reporting Streamlining Initiative.

    OMB Control Number: 0563-0084.

    Summary of Collection: Section 508(f)(3) of the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1515); 7 U.S.C. 7333(b)(3); 7 CFR 457.8 and 7 CFR 1437.7(d) mandates the collection of acreage and production information from producers who wish to participate in certain USDA programs. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) and the Risk Management Agency (RMA) are implementing the Acreage/Crop Reporting Streamlining Initiative (ACRSI), a web-based single source reporting system to establish a single reporting and data collection.

    Need and Use of the Information: This initiative is being conducted in phases by geographical area and additional commodities. Counties are selected based on their commonality of historical crop reporting, high percentage of producers participating in both RMA and FSA programs and the high level of interest of the private agricultural service industry (precision-ag and farm management) in the pilot phases. It will reengineer the procedures, processes, and standards to simplify commodity, acreage and production reporting by producers, eliminate or minimize duplication of information collection by multiple agencies and reduce the burden on producers, insurance agents and AIPs. Information being collected will consist of, but not be limited to: Producer name, location state, commodity name, commodity type or variety, location county, date planted, land location (legal description, FSA farm number, FSA track number, FSA field number), intended use, prevented planting acres, acres planted but failed, planted acres, and production of commodity produced. Failure to collect the applicable information could result in unearned Federal benefits being issued or producers being denied eligibility to program benefits.

    Description of Respondents: Individuals and households.

    Number of Respondents: 293,000.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: One time.

    Total Burden Hours: 358,925.

    Charlene Parker, Departmental Information Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03399 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-08-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service [Doc. No. AMS-LPS-14-0044] Sorghum Promotion, Research, and Information Program: Referendum AGENCY:

    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Opportunity to Participate in the Sorghum Promotion, Research, and Information Referendum.

    SUMMARY:

    The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing that a referendum will be conducted among eligible sorghum producers and importers regarding the Sorghum Promotion, Research, and Information Order (Order), as authorized under the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996 (Act).

    DATES:

    Sorghum producers and importers will vote in the referendum during a 4-week period beginning on March 23, 2015, and ending April 21, 2015. To be eligible to participate in the referendum, producers and importers must certify that they or the entity they are authorized to represent are subject to the assessment and were engaged in the production or importation of sorghum between January 1, 2011, and December 31, 2014. An eligible person shall be entitled to cast only one vote in the referendum.

    Form LS-379, Sorghum Promotion and Research Order Referendum Ballot, may be obtained by mail, fax, or in person from the Farm Service Agency (FSA) county offices from March 23, 2015, to April 21, 2015. Form LS-379 may also be obtained via the Internet at http://www.ams.usda.gov/lsmarketingprograms during the same time period. Sorghum producers should return completed forms and supporting documentation to the appropriate county FSA office by fax or in person no later than close of business April 21, 2015; or if returned by mail, must be postmarked by midnight April 21, 2015, and received in the county FSA office by close of business on April 28, 2015. Sorghum importers should return completed forms and supporting documentation to: Craig Shackelford, Research and Promotion Division, Livestock, Poultry, and Seed Program, AMS, USDA, 22 Jamesport Lane, White, GA 30184; Telephone: (470) 315-4246; [email protected] no later than close of business April 21, 2015; or if returned by mail, must be postmarked by midnight April 21, 2015, and received in the AMS office by close of business on April 28, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kenneth R. Payne, Director, Research and Promotion Division, Livestock, Poultry, and Seed Program, AMS, USDA, Room 2608-S, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-0251; Telephone 202/720-5705; Fax 202/720-1125; or email to [email protected], or Craig Shackelford, Marketing Specialist, Research and Promotion Division, Livestock, Poultry, and Seed Program, AMS, USDA, 22 Jamesport Lane, White, GA 30184; Telephone: (470) 315-4246; [email protected], or Rick Pinkston, Field Operations Staff, FSA, USDA, at Telephone (202) 720-1857, Fax (202) 720-1096, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Pursuant to the Act (7 U.S.C. 7411-7425), it is hereby directed that a referendum be conducted to ascertain whether continuance of the Order (7 CFR part 1221) is favored by those persons who have been engaged in the production or importation of sorghum from January 1, 2011, through December 31, 2014.

    The representative period for establishing voter eligibility for the referendum shall be the period from January 1, 2011, through December 31, 2014. Persons who were subject to the assessment, and engaged in the production or importation of sorghum, who provide documentation, such as a sales receipt or remittance form, showing that they were engaged in the production or importation of sorghum from January 1, 2011, through December 31, 2014, are eligible to vote. Importers who were subject to the assessment may provide U.S. Customs and Border Protection form 7501.

    On March 3, 2014, the Chairman of the United Sorghum Checkoff Program Board signed a letter requesting that AMS complete the voting of the referendum by April 15, 2015. He noted that this completion date would help ensure that as many producers as possible have a chance to vote in the referendum.

    Eligible voters will be provided the opportunity to vote at the county FSA office where FSA maintains and processes the eligible voter's administrative farm records. For the eligible voter not participating in FSA programs, the opportunity to vote will be provided at the FSA office serving the county where the person owns or rents land. Eligible importers will be provided the opportunity to vote through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) AMS office located in Washington, DC. Participation in the referendum is not mandatory.

    On November 18, 2010, USDA published in the Federal Register (75 FR 70573) a final rule that sets forth procedures that will be used in conducting the referendum. The final rule includes definitions, provisions for supervising the referendum process, eligibility, procedures for obtaining and completing the form LS-379, required documentation showing that the person was engaged in the production or importation of sorghum from January 1, 2011, through December 31, 2014, where the referendum will be conducted, counting and reporting results, and disposition of the forms and records. Since the referendum will be conducted primarily at the county FSA offices, FSA employees will assist AMS by determining eligibility, counting requests, and reporting results.

    Pursuant to the Act, USDA is conducting the required referendum from March 23, 2015 through April 21, 2015. Form LS-379 may be requested in person, by mail, or by facsimile from March 23, 2015 through April 21, 2015.

    Form LS-379 may also be obtained via the Internet at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/lsmarketingprograms during the same 4-week period. Eligible voters would vote at the FSA office where FSA maintains and processes the person's, corporation's, or other entity's administrative farm records. For the person, corporation, or other entity eligible to vote that does not participate in FSA programs, the opportunity to vote would be provided at the FSA office serving the county where the person, corporation, or other entity owns or rents land.

    Voters can determine the location of county FSA offices by contacting (1) the nearest FSA office, (2) the State FSA office, or (3) through an online search of FSA's Web site at: http://www.fsa.usda.gov/pas/default.asp. From the options available on this Web site select “State Offices,” click on your State, select “County Offices,” and click on the map to select a county.

    Form LS-379 and supporting documentation may be returned in person, by mail, or facsimile to the appropriate county FSA office. Form LS-379 and accompanying documentation returned in person or by facsimile, must be received in the appropriate FSA office prior to the close of business on April 21, 2015. Form LS-379 and accompanying documentation returned by mail must be postmarked no later than midnight of April 21, 2015, and received in the county FSA office by close of business on April 28, 2015.

    In accordance with Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), the information collection requirements have been approved under OMB number 0581-0093.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 7411-7425.

    Dated: February 11, 2015. Rex A. Barnes, Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03392 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service San Juan National Forest; Colorado; Weminuche Landscape Grazing Analysis AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement.

    SUMMARY:

    The Forest Service intends to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement to analyze the impacts of the proposal to continue to authorize term livestock grazing permit(s) on all or portions of the Weminuche Landscape in a manner that moves resource conditions toward desired on-the-ground conditions and is consistent with Forest Plan standards and guidelines. The Environmental Impact Statement will be prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act and agency policy. The analysis area encompasses approximately 167,000 acres on six active allotments and seven vacant allotments. The project area is located northeast of Durango, Colorado; from northern Missionary Ridge east through the Weminuche Wilderness to the Pine River; in Townships 36-40 North, Ranges 4-9 West, N.M.P.M., and is within the Columbine Ranger District, San Juan National Forest, Colorado.

    The proposed action is designed to increase the flexibility of livestock grazing systems through adaptive management, which will allow quicker and more effective response to problem areas when they are revealed. Problems will be revealed through the use of short and long term monitoring. Application of adaptive management practices should result in improved soil, watershed, and vegetative conditions, and healthier wildlife populations.

    DATES:

    If you have supplementary comments which meet the description in Scoping Process, below, they must be received by March 23, 2015. The draft Environmental Impact Statement is expected about April 2015, and the final Environmental Impact Statement is expected about July 2015. A decision is expected about November 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    If you have supplementary comments which meet the description in Scoping Process, below, send them in written form to Matt Janowiak, Columbine District Ranger, P.O. Box 439, Bayfield, CO 81122. Comments may also be sent via email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 970-884-2428.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jared Whitmer, Interdisciplinary Team Leader at 970-884-1416.

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Preceding EA Process

    A previous National Environmental Policy Act process, including public input and impacts analysis, has been conducted for this project under an Environmental Assessment. Due to scientific uncertainty regarding disease transmission between livestock and wildlife, and due to uncertainty of degree of impacts to wildlife population viability, a Finding of No Significant Impact could not be reached for the Environmental Assessment. This resulted in the initiation of this Environmental Impact Statement.

    Purpose and Need for Action

    The purpose of this action is administer term livestock grazing permits on all or portions of the Weminuche Landscape in a manner that moves resource conditions toward desired on-the-ground conditions and is consistent with Forest Plan standards and guidelines.

    Proposed Action and Alternatives

    Alternatives to be included in the Environmental Impact Statement are: 1. No Grazing, 2. Current Management, 3. Adaptive Management with Forage Reserves, and 4. Proposed Action, Adaptive Management with Vacant Allotment Closures.

    Responsible Official

    Columbine District Ranger.

    Nature of Decision To Be Made

    The Responsible Official will decide whether or not to authorize term grazing permit(s) on all or portions of the Weminuche Landscape, and if grazing is authorized, what design criteria and monitoring will be required. The Responsible Official will also document the decision and reasons for the decision in a Record of Decision. This decision will be subject to Forest Service predecisional objection procedures (36 CFR part 218, Subparts A and B).

    Scope of Issues

    Extensive prior public involvement has resulted in the following key issues to be analyzed in the Environmental Impact Statement: 1. Impacts of grazing on soil and water, 2. Impacts of grazing on vegetation, including riparian areas and wildflowers, 3. Impacts of grazing on recreational experiences, including grazing in a Wilderness, and hiker interactions with guard dogs, 4. Impacts of grazing on wildlife, including habitat damage and potential disease transmission, 5. Impacts of grazing on socio-economics of the local communities, and 6. Impacts of grazing on cultural resources.

    Scoping Process

    Written comments that were submitted during scoping and comment periods for the development of the preceding Environmental Assessment will still be considered and are still part of the project record. The Forest Service requests that you do not resubmit the same comments. Because of extensive public input during the Environmental Assessment process, the scope of issues and alternatives to be analyzed in the Environmental Impact Statement have already been well examined and the Forest Service is considering this prior public input as meeting the primary requirement for scoping for the Environmental Impact Statement.

    This notice of intent initiates a supplementary scoping process, which is intended to provide the opportunity for the public to comment on the scope of issues and alternatives to be analyzed in the Environmental Impact Statement only if there is new or different information that has not been previously considered. To determine whether your comment or concern has previously been submitted, please read the Scoping Summary and Response to Comments documents found on the project Web page at www.fs.usda.gov/projects/sanjuan/landmanagement/projects, or call Jared Whitmer.

    It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times and in such manner that they are useful to the agency's preparation of the Environmental Impact Statement. Therefore, comments should be provided prior to the close of the comment period and should clearly articulate the reviewer's concerns.

    Information regarding this project is available at the Columbine Ranger District office in Bayfield, Colorado, and on the San Juan National Forest Web site noted above. Public meetings may be scheduled at a later date to provide further information as needed. The dates of any public meetings will be announced by press releases in local papers, direct mailings, emails, and will be posted on the San Juan National Forest Web site.

    Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the public record for this proposed action. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered; however, anonymous comments will not provide the Agency with the ability to provide the respondent with subsequent environmental documents.

    Dated: February 3, 2015. Kara L. Chadwick, Forest Supervisor.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03469 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-11-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Lewis and Clark National Forest, Montana, Castle Mountains Restoration Project AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement.

    SUMMARY:

    The Lewis and Clark National Forest (LCNF) is going to prepare an environmental impact statement for vegetation management actions in the Castle Mountains located in Central Montana. The project is designed to meet the desired condition of restoring forest and grasslands ecosystems to promote landscape resiliency over time for multiple resource values while minimizing the threat of high intensity wildfire within the Willow Creek municipal watershed and areas of other valued resources and infrastructure in the 69,610 acre Castle Mountains landscape.

    DATES:

    Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received by March 23, 2015. The draft environmental impact statement is expected September 2015 and the final environmental impact statement is expected March 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send written comments to Carol Hatfield White Sulphur Springs District Ranger, Lewis & Clark National Forest, 204 W. Folsom, P.O. Box A, White Sulphur Springs, MT 59645. Comments may also be sent via email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 406-547-6023.

    It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times and in such a way that they are useful to the Agency's preparation of the EIS. Therefore, comments should be provided prior to the close of the comment period and should clearly articulate the reviewer's concerns and contentions.

    Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the public record for this proposed action. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered, however.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Casselli Project Team Lead, at 406-791-7723. Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Purpose and Need for Action

    The purpose of the project is to move toward a resilient forest and grassland ecosystem that will mimic a more historic natural fire regime to reduce the future threat of high intensity wildfire and the associated hazards to life, valued resources and infrastructure. In order to achieve this, there is a need to create a mosaic of vegetation and fuel structure more resilient to disturbance over time that includes improving the overall diversity in age classes, species, and meadow openings across the landscape. The action will provide for safer, more effective fire suppression actions when needed, reduce threats to forest users, to private residences, power corridors, agency infrastructure, water quality of Willow Creek and to valued wildlife habitat. These actions will reduce the probability of post-wildfire watershed impacts to the Willow Creek municipal watershed and associated costs.

    Proposed Action

    Approximately 22,124 acres are proposed for treatment which includes a combination of fuels reduction thinning, commercial harvest of trees, non-commercial thinning, and prescribed fire. Mechanical and/or hand treatment methods would be used to accomplish the treatment objectives. Proposed treatment activities include: roughly 1,911 acres of Improvement Thinning; 7,329 acres of Prescribed Fire; 313 acres of Aspen Restoration; 277 acres of Precommercial Thinning; 856 acres of White Bark Pine Restoration; 8,681 acres of meadow Restoration; 1,519 acres of Douglas-fir Thinning; and 1,236 acres of Lodgepole Pine regeneration harvest. There would be up to 57 miles of temporary road utilized for the project with approximately 20 miles of this occurring over existing road prisms. Road maintenance or reconstruction of existing system roads to meet forestry best management practices would be necessary to implement the proposed action. No new permanent roads will be constructed. Temporary roads not on the forest road system that are utilized will be obliterated (stabilized and or restored to natural contours) upon completion of treatment operations. Roads identified in the 2007 Travel Management Record of Decision that were removed from the road system (decommissioned) would be physically stabilized or re-contoured as needed to meet the resource objectives of travel management. Site-specific amendments to the Lewis and Clark National Forest Plan standards pertaining to elk hiding cover, elk winter range, and elk thermal cover may be necessary in order to meet the project's purpose and need. To address potential impacts of proposed management activities on cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) in meeting the project objectives, the proposal includes an integrated management approach to control the establishment and spread of this invasive grass species. The use of applicable EPA approved selective herbicides and or biological controls would be utilized in units having prescribed burning as the treatment action. Approximately 42 percent (29,498 acres) of the total project area is located within the Castles Mountains Inventoried Roadless Area (IRA). Proposed treatment activities on approximately 6,262 acres are planned within the IRA. A combination of non-commercial vegetation treatments and prescribed fire techniques are proposed. Under the proposal, road maintenance may occur but no road construction, reconstruction of system or temporary roads are planned within the IRA. The location of this project area is those sections of the Castle Mountains within the National Forest Boundary; Township 8 and 9 N, Range 8, 9 and 10 E. Principle Meridian, Meagher County, Montana.

    Responsible Official

    Helena and Lewis & Clark National Forests Forest Supervisor.

    Nature of Decision To Be Made

    The decisions to be made include: Whether to implement the proposed action or an alternative to the proposed action, what monitoring requirements would be appropriate to evaluate the implementation of this project, the timing of the project and whether a forest plan site specific amendment (exemption) would be necessary as a result of the decision for this project.

    Scoping Process

    This notice of intent initiates the scoping process, which guides the development of the environmental impact statement. In February 2015, a scoping notice (flyer) will be mailed to interested and affected parties directing them to the project's information which will be posted to the Lewis and Clark National Forest's projects Web page (http://www.fs.usda.gov/lcnf/). The Web page will contain detailed project information, including when public meetings will be scheduled, project proposal maps, and other pertinent project information.

    It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times and in such manner that they are useful to the agency's preparation of the environmental impact statement. Therefore, comments should be provided prior to the close of the comment period and should clearly articulate the reviewer's concerns and contentions. The submission of timely and specific comments can affect a reviewer's ability to participate in the administrative objection process or any judicial review.

    Dated: February 11, 2015. Robin Strathy, Deputy Forest Supervisor.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03466 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-15-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 Rural Utilities Service (RUS) invites comments on this information collection for which RUS intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    DATES:

    Comments on this notice must be received by April 20, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas P. Dickson, Acting Director & Funds Control Officer, 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. Email: [email protected]

    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 for extension.

    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, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., STOP 1522, Room 5164 South Building, Washington, DC 20250-1522. Telephone: (202) 690-4492, FAX: (202) 720-8435. Email: [email protected]

    Title: Substantially Underserved Trust Areas.

    OMB Control Number: 0572-0147.

    Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: The RUS provides loan, loan guarantee and grant programs for rural electric, water and waste, and telecommunications and broadband infrastructure. The SUTA initiative gives the Secretary of Agriculture certain discretionary authorities relating to financial assistance terms and conditions that can enhance the financing possibilities in areas that are underserved by certain RUS electric, water and waste, and telecommunications and broadband programs. The data covered by this collection of information are those materials necessary to allow the agency to determine applicant and community eligibility and an explanation and documentation of the high need for the benefits of the SUTA provisions. Program specific application materials, which funds are being applied for, are covered by the information collection package for the specific RUS program.

    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 2 hours per response.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 2.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 4.

    Copies of this information collection can be obtained from MaryPat Daskal, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, at (202) 720-7853, FAX: (202) 720-8435. Email: [email protected]

    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: February 10, 2015. Jasper Schneider, Acting Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03349 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service Basin Electric Power Cooperative: Notice of Extension of Public Comment Period for an Environmental Assessment AGENCY:

    Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Extension of Public Comment Period for an Environmental Assessment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is extending the public comment period for an Environmental Assessment (EA) related to a proposed project by Basin Electric Power Cooperative (Basin Electric). The Western Area Power Administration (Western) and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) are cooperating agencies in preparation of the EA. The proposed Big Bend to Witten Transmission Line Project (proposed action) consists of an approximately 70-mile long 230-kV single-circuit transmission line, a new Western switchyard called Lower Brule Switchyard, an addition to the existing Witten Substation, and approximately two miles of 230-kV double-circuit transmission line between Big Bend Dam and the new Lower Brule Switchyard. Communications facilities including a microwave relay tower and associated building will also be constructed at the Lower Brule Switchyard and Witten Substation. A portion of the proposed transmission line crosses Indian trust lands of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, and the agencies have closely cooperated with the Tribe in preparation of the EA. Basin Electric is requesting RUS financial assistance for the proposed action. To ensure that parties interested in the proposed action are provided adequate opportunity for comment, notices are being reissued and the public comment period is being extended for 30 days.

    DATES:

    A Notice of Availability of the Environmental Assessment was published in the Federal Register on January 28, 2015. Written comments on this notice must now be received on or before March 30, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To obtain copies of the EA or for further information, contact Richard Fristik, Senior Environmental Protection Specialist, USDA, Rural Utilities Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Stop 1571, Washington, DC 20250-1571, telephone: (202) 720-5093, or email: [email protected]da.gov; or, or Kevin L. Solie, Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Inc., 1717 East Interstate Avenue, Bismarck, ND 58503-0564, telephone: (701) 355-5495, or email: [email protected] A copy of the EA may be viewed on line at the Agency's Web site: http://www.rd.usda.gov/files/UWPBigBendtoWitten_EA_Nov_2014_Final.pdf and at the following locations:

    Rural Utilities Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 2240, Washington, DC 20250 Basin Electric Power Cooperative, 1717 East Interstate Ave., Bismarck, ND 58503-0564
    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The network transmission system in South Dakota is not able to accommodate projected load growth in the next several years. This transmission line is proposed to strengthen the transmission network, improve transmission system reliability, and to help meet future demand for electricity and economic development in the region. In addition to increasing load serving ability for both Rosebud and West Central Electric Cooperatives, the Project would provide additional access to the regional high voltage transmission system. The proposed Big Bend to Witten line would enhance system reliability by providing an additional connection to the “grid” roughly midpoint along this east-west line. If a portion of the Fort Randall to Martin 115-kV line would be damaged by a storm, the Big Bend to Witten line could provide power to the undamaged segments of the line. The proposed line also would provide a tap point for West Central near Reliance, which would enhance the reliability and stability of the West Central system. The tap point near Reliance would provide an additional power line to the Lower Brule Sioux Indian Reservation, which currently has only one older line, and would provide reliability and stability to power on the Reservation. In addition, future wind generation facilities may be able to interconnect to the proposed line to convey power to West Central's markets. Lastly, the Project lends itself to additional build-out in support of Western's long-range plan for a 230-kV system in southern South Dakota, and it would provide an increase in the load serving capacity such that the delivery needs of the projected network load can be met in a reliable manner.

    Basin Electric is seeking financing from RUS for its ownership of the proposed project. Before making a decision to provide financing, RUS is required to conduct an environmental review under NEPA in accordance with RUS's Environmental Policies and Procedures (7 CFR part 1794). AECOM, an environmental consultant, prepared an EA for RUS that describes the project and assesses the proposed project's environmental impacts. RUS has conducted an independent evaluation of the EA and believes that it accurately assesses the impacts of the proposed project. No significant impacts are expected as a result of the construction of the project.

    Any final action by RUS related to the proposed action will be subject to, and contingent upon, compliance with all relevant Federal, State, and local environmental laws and regulations and completion of the environmental review requirements as prescribed in RUS's Environmental Policies and Procedures at 7 CFR part 1794.

    Richard Fristik, Acting Director, Engineering and Environmental Staff, Rural Utilities Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03385 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    ARCHITECTURAL AND TRANSPORTATION BARRIERS COMPLIANCE BOARD Meetings AGENCY:

    Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) plans to hold its regular committee and Board meetings in Washington, DC, Monday through Wednesday, March 9-11, 2015 at the times and location listed below.

    DATES:

    The schedule of events is as follows:

    Monday, March 9, 2015 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Ad Hoc Committee Meetings; Closed to Public. Tuesday, March 10, 2015 9:30-10:00 a.m. Budget Committee. 10:30—11:00 Technical Programs Committee. 11:00—Noon Planning and Evaluation Committee. 1:30—3:30 p.m. Ad Hoc Committee on Frontier Issues. Wednesday, March 11, 2015 1:30—3:00 p.m. Board Meeting. ADDRESSES:

    Meetings will be held at the Access Board Conference Room, 1331 F Street NW., Suite 800, Washington, DC 20004.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For further information regarding the meetings, please contact David Capozzi, Executive Director, (202) 272-0010 (voice); (202) 272-0054 (TTY).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    At the Board meeting scheduled on the afternoon of Wednesday, March 11, 2015, the Access Board will consider the following agenda items:

    • Approval of the draft January 14, 2015 meeting minutes (vote);

    • Ad Hoc Committee Reports: Self-Service Transaction Machines; Information and Communications Technologies; Design Guidance; Public Rights-of-Way and Shared Use Paths; Passenger Vessels; Frontier Issues; Transportation Vehicles (vote); and Medical Diagnostic Equipment;

    • Budget Committee;

    • Planning and Evaluation Committee;

    • Technical Programs Committee;

    • Election Assistance Commission Report;

    • Election of Officers (vote);

    • Executive Director's Report.

    All meetings are accessible to persons with disabilities. An assistive listening system, Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), and sign language interpreters will be available at the Board meeting and committee meetings. Persons attending Board meetings are requested to refrain from using perfume, cologne, and other fragrances for the comfort of other participants (see www.access-board.gov/the-board/policies/fragrance-free-environment for more information).

    David M. Capozzi, Executive Director.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03410 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8150-01-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: Minority Business Development Agency.

    Title: Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week Awards Program.

    OMB Control Number: 0640-0025.

    Form Number(s): None.

    Type of Request: Regular submission.

    Number of Respondents: 100.

    Average Hours per Response: 2 hours.

    Burden Hours: 200.

    Needs and Uses: This request is for an extension of a current information collection. MBDA is soliciting public comments to permit the agency to receive nominations from the public for the following awards to minority businesses: Minority Construction Firm of the Year, Minority Manufacturer of the Year, Minority Export Firm of the Year, Minority Energy Firm of the Year, Minority Health Products and Services Firm of the Year, Minority Technology Firm of the Year, Minority Marketing and Communication Firm of the Year, Minority Professional Services Firm of the Year and the MBDA Minority Business Enterprise of the Year award. In addition, MBDA may recognize trailblazers and champions through the Access to Capital Award, Advocate of the Year Award, Distinguished Supplier Diversity Award, Ronald H. Brown Leadership Award, and Abe Venable Legacy Award for Lifetime Achievement.

    MBDA must collect two kinds of information to make award nominations: (a) Information identifying the nominee and nominator; and (b) information explaining why the nominee should be given the award. The information will be used to determine those applicants that best meet the preannounced selection criteria. Participation in the MED Week Awards program is voluntary and the awards are strictly honorary.

    Affected Public: Individuals, businesses and other for-profit organizations, not-for-profit organizations, and federal, state, local, or tribal governments.

    Frequency: Annually.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    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 OIRA [email protected] or fax to (202) 395-5806.

    Dated: February 12, 2015. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03347 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-21-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-601] Tapered Roller Bearings and Parts Thereof, Finished and Unfinished, From the People's Republic of China: Rescission, in Part, of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: February 19, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Blaine Wiltse or Steve Bailey, AD/CVD Operations, Office II, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-6345 and (202) 482-0193, respectively.

    Background

    On June 2, 2014, the Department published a notice of opportunity to request an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on tapered roller bearings and parts thereof, finished and unfinished, from the People's Republic of China covering the period June 1, 2013, through May 31, 2014.1 The Department received a number of timely requests for an antidumping duty administrative review, including one from GGB Bearing Technology (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. (GGB). On July 31, 2014, in accordance with section 751(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), the Department published in the Federal Register a notice of initiation of administrative review.2 On October 29, 2014, GGB withdrew its request for an administrative review.

    1See Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity To Request Administrative Review, 79 FR 31303, 31304 (June 2, 2014).

    2See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 79 FR 44390, 44392 (July 31, 2014).

    Rescission of Review, in Part

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), the Secretary will rescind an administrative review, in whole or in part, if a party that requested the review withdraws the request within 90 days of the date of publication of the notice of initiation of the requested review. GGB's withdrawal of its request was submitted within the 90-day period and, thus, is timely. Because GGB's withdrawal of its request for an antidumping duty administrative review is timely and because no other party requested a review of GGB, we are rescinding this administrative review, in part, with respect to this company, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1).

    Assessment

    The Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries. For GGB, the company for which this review is rescinded, antidumping duties shall be assessed at rates equal to the cash deposit of estimated antidumping duties required at the time of entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(c)(1)(i). The Department intends to issue appropriate assessment instructions 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 duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of doubled antidumping duties.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders

    This notice also serves as a reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the return or destruction of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305, 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 and 777(i)(1) of the Act, and 19 CFR 351.213(d)(4).

    Dated: February 12, 2015. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03480 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Agency Information Collection Activities Under OMB Review AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), this notice announces that the Information Collection Request (ICR) abstracted below has been forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and comment. The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected costs and burden.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before March 23, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted directly to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in OMB, within 30 days of the notice's publication, by email at [email protected] Please identify the comments by OMB Control No. 3038-0023. Please provide the Commission with a copy of all submitted comments at the address listed below. Please refer to OMB Reference No. 3038-0023, found on http://reginfo.gov. Comments may also be mailed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attention: Desk Officer for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503, and Amanda Olear, Associate Director, Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581.

    Comments may also be submitted, regarding the burden estimated or any other aspect of the information collection, including suggestions for reducing the burden, identified by “Commodity Pool Operators and Commodity Trading Advisors: Amendments to Compliance Obligations” (OMB Control No. 3038-0023), by any of the following methods:

    • Agency Web site, via its Comments Online process: http://comments.cftc.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments through the Web site.

    Mail: Send to 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.

    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 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 set forth in § 145.9 of the Commission's regulations.1

    1 Commission regulations referred to herein are found at 17 CFR Ch. 1 et seq. (2014).

    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 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 this matter will be retained in the public comment file and will be considered as required under applicable laws, and may be accessible under the Freedom of Information Act.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amanda Olear, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581; (202) 418-5283; email: [email protected], and refer to OMB Control No. 3038-0023. This contact can also provide a copy of the ICR.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: “Commodity Pool Operators and Commodity Trading Advisors: Amendments to Compliance Obligations,” OMB Control No. 3038-0023—Extension. This is a request for extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: Pursuant to the Commodity Exchange Act, as amended by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”), Pub. L. 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376 (2010), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission promulgated rules and forms relating to registration with the Commission applicable to intermediaries, and employees and principals thereof, operating in the futures, options, swaps, and retail forex markets. There were no new requirements imposed; however, due to amendments to the Commodity Exchange Act made by the Dodd-Frank Act, there was an increase in registrants in certain registration categories. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for the CFTC's regulations were published on December 30, 1981. See 46 FR 63035 (Dec. 30, 1981). The Federal Register notice with a 60-day comment period soliciting comments on this collection of information was published on December 16, 2014 (79 FR 241). No comments have been received.

    Burden Statement: The respondent burden for this collection is estimated to average 0.09 hours per response.

    Respondents/Affected Entities: 77,857.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 78,109.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 7,029.8 hours.

    Frequency of collection: Periodically.

    Authority:

    44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    Dated: February 13, 2015. Christopher J. Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03473 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DoD-2014-OS-0135] 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 March 23, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Fred Licari, 571-372-0493.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title, Associated Form and Omb Number: 2015 Survey of Registered Voters Living Overseas; OMB Control Number 0704-TBD.

    Type of Request: New

    Number of Respondents: 18,000

    Responses per Respondent: 1

    Annual Responses: 18,000

    Average Burden per Response: 10 minutes

    Annual Burden Hours: 3,000

    Needs and Uses: The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) requires the States to allow Uniformed Services personnel, their family members, and overseas citizens to use absentee registration procedures and to vote by absentee ballot in general, special, primary, and runoff elections for Federal offices. The Act covers members of the Uniformed Services and the merchant marine to include the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Public Health Service and their eligible dependents, Federal civilian employees overseas, and overseas U.S. citizens not affiliated with the Federal Government. Subsequent to each Presidential election year, FVAP must report voter registration and participation rates for uniformed service voters and overseas citizens to Congress; while FVAP collects data for this report through regular surveys of uniformed service voters and other relevant UOCAVA populations, it does not currently collect data from non-military, non-government overseas civilians. The 2015 Survey of Registered Voters Living Overseas research project will serve as a pilot, examining the feasibility of collecting data from this population by surveying a sample of registered voters living overseas during the 2014 election. Collecting information from this population will also support FVAP in its purpose of ensuring that Service members, their eligible family members and overseas citizens are aware of their right to vote and have the tools and resources to successfully do so from anywhere in the world. In addition to determining the feasibility of conducting a survey of overseas civilians, the information collected will be used for overall program evaluation, management and improvement, and to compile the congressionally-mandated report to the President and Congress.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

    Omb Desk Officer: Ms. Jasmeet Seehra.

    Written comments and recommendations on the proposed information collection should be sent to Ms. Jasmeet Seehra at the Office of Management and Budget, Desk Officer for DoD, Room 10236, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503.

    You may also submit comments, identified by docket 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 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: February 12, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03348 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DoD-2013-OS-0176] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the DFAS announces a proposed public information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by April 20, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

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

    Mail: Federal Docket Management System Office, 4800 Mark Center Drive, East Tower, Suite 02G09, Alexandria, VA 22350-3100.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please write to the Defense Finance and Accounting Services—Cleveland, 1240 East 9th Street, Cleveland, OH 44199, ATTN: JFBDA—Mr. Charles Moss, [email protected], 216-204-4426.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Trustee Report, DD 2826, OMB 0730-0012.

    Needs and Uses: This form is used to report on the administration of the funds received on behalf of a mentally incompetent member of the uniformed services pursuant to 37 U.S.C. 602-604.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households.

    Annual Burden Hours: 300 hours.

    Number of Respondents: 300.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Average Burden per Response: 1 hour.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    When a member of the uniformed services is declared mentally incompetent, the need arises to have a trustee appointed to act on their behalf with regard to military pay matters. Trustees will complete this form to report the administration of the funds received on behalf of the member. The requirement to complete this form helps alleviate the opportunity for fraud, waste and abuse of Government funds and member's benefits.

    Dated: February 12, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03357 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Transmittal Nos. 14-55] 36(b)(1) Arms Sales Notification AGENCY:

    Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Department of Defense.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is publishing the unclassified text of a section 36(b)(1) arms sales notification. This is published to fulfill the requirements of section 155 of Public Law 104-164 dated July 21, 1996.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. B. English, DSCA/DBO/CFM, (703) 601-3740.

    The following is a copy of a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Transmittals 14-55 with attached transmittal, policy justification, and Sensitivity of Technology.

    Dated: February 12, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. EN19FE15.021 Transmittal No. 14-55 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act, as amended

    (i) Prospective Purchaser: The Netherlands

    (ii) Total Estimated Value:

    Major Defense Equipment* $108 million Other $231 million TOTAL $339 million * as defined in Section 47(6) of the Arms Export Control Act.

    (iii) Description and Quantity or Quantities of Articles or Services under Consideration for Purchase:

    4 MQ-9 Block 5 Reaper Remotely Piloted Aircraft 4 Mobile Ground Control Stations Block 30 (option Block 50) 6 Honeywell TPE331-10T Turboprop Engines (4 installed and 2 spares) 2 SATCOM Earth Terminal Sub-System 6 AN/DAS-1 Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems (MTS)-B 4 General Atomics Lynx (exportable) Synthetic Aperture Radar/Ground Moving Target Indicator (SAR/GMTI) Systems, w/Maritime Wide Area Search capability 2 Ruggedized Aircraft Maintenance Test Stations 20 ARC-210 RT-1939 Radio Systems 8 KY-1006 Common Crypto Modules 8 Ku-band Link-Airborne Communications Systems 4 KIV-77 Mode 4/5 Identification Friend or Foe 4 AN/APX-119 Mode 4/5 Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) Transponder (515 Model) 14 Honeywell H-764 Adaptive Configurable Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Guidance Units (EGI) with Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) (12 installed and 2 spares)

    Also provided are an Initial Spares Package (ISP) and Readiness Spares Package (RSP) to support 3400 Flight Hours for a three (3) year period, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistical and program support.

    (iv) Military Department: Air Force (SMQ).

    (v) Prior Related Cases, if any: None.

    (vi) Sales Commission, Fee, etc., Paid, Offered, or Agreed to be Paid: None.

    (vii) Sensitivity of Technology Contained in the Defense Article or Defense Services Proposed to be Sold: See Attached Annex.

    (viii) Date Report Delivered to Congress: 06 Feb 2015.

    Policy Justification The Netherlands—MQ-9 Reapers

    The Government of the Netherlands has requested a possible sale of:

    4 MQ-9 Block 5 Reaper Remotely Piloted Aircraft 4 Mobile Ground Control Stations Block 30 (option Block 50) 6 Honeywell TPE331-10T Turboprop Engines (4 installed and 2 spares) 2 SATCOM Earth Terminal Sub-System 6 AN/DAS-1 Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems (MTS)-B 4 General Atomics Lynx (exportable) Synthetic Aperture Radar/Ground Moving Target Indicator (SAR/GMTI) Systems, w/Maritime Wide Area Search capability 2 Ruggedized Aircraft Maintenance Test Stations 20 ARC-210 RT-1939 Radio Systems 8 KY-1006 Common Crypto Modules 8 Ku-band Link-Airborne Communications Systems 4 KIV-77 Mode 4/5 Identification Friend or Foe 4 AN/APX-119 Mode 4/5 Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) Transponder (515 Model) 14 Honeywell H-764 Adaptive Configurable Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Guidance Units (EGI) with Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) (12 installed and 2 spares)

    Also provided are an Initial Spares Package (ISP) and Readiness Spares Package (RSP) to support 3400 Flight Hours for a three (3) year period, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistical and program support. The estimated cost is $339 million.

    The Netherlands is one of the major political and economic powers in Europe and NATO and an ally of the United States in the pursuit of peace and stability. It is vital to the U.S. national interest to assist the Netherlands to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability. This potential sale will enhance the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capability of the Dutch military in support of national, NATO, UN-mandated, and other coalition operations. Commonality of ISR capabilities will greatly increase interoperability between U.S and Dutch military and peacekeeping forces.

    The Netherlands requests this capability to provide for the defense of its deployed troops, regional security, and interoperability with the U.S. The proposed sale will improve the Netherland's capability to meet current and future threats by providing improved ISR coverage that promotes increased battlefield situational awareness, anticipates enemy intent, augments combat search and rescue, and provides ground troop support. The Netherlands will have no difficulty absorbing this additional capability into its armed forces.

    The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

    The principal contractor will be General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. in San Diego, California. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

    Implementation of this proposed sale may require U.S. contractor representatives to make multiple trips to the Netherlands and potentially to deployed locations to provide initial launch, recovery, and maintenance support.

    There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

    Transmittal No. 14-55 Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act Annex—Item No. vii

    (vii) Sensitivity of Technology:

    1. The MQ-9 Block 5 Reaper is a long-endurance, high-altitude, Remotely Piloted Aircraft that can be used for surveillance, military reconnaissance, and targeting missions. Real-time missions are flown under the control of a pilot in a Ground Control Station (GCS). A data link is maintained that uplinks control commands and downlinks video with telemetry data. The data link can be a C-Band Line-of-Sight (LOS) communication or Ku-Band Over-the-Horizon Satellite Communication (SATCOM). Payload imagery and data are downlinked to a GCS. Pilots can change mission parameters as often as required. The aircraft can also be handed off to other strategically placed ground- or sea-based GCSs. The MQ-9 air vehicle is a Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) Category 1 system, designed to carry 800 pounds of internal payload with maximum fuel and 3000 pounds of external payload. It can carry multiple mission payloads aloft with a range of 1800km. The MQ-9 will be configured for the following payloads: Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR), Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), and laser designators. The MQ-9 systems will include the following components:

    a. The GCS can be either fixed or mobile. The fixed GCS is enclosed in a customer-specified shelter. It incorporates workstations that allow operators to control and monitor the aircraft, as well as record and exploit downlinked payload data. The mobile GCS allows operators to perform the same functions and is installed on a mobile trailer. Workstations in either GCS can be tailored to meet customer requirements. The GCS, technical data, and documents are Unclassified.

    b. The Lynx IIe family includes the AN/APY-8 Block 20 and AN/DPY-1 Block 30 Synthetic Aperture Radar and Ground Moving Target Radar systems, which provide all-weather surveillance, tracking and targeting for military and commercial customers from manned and unmanned vehicles. The AN/DPY-1's three- meter resolution can image up to a 10-km wide swath for wide-area surveillance. The Lynx IIe-9 (exportable) SAR/GMTI radar system and technical data/documents are Unclassified.

    c. The Raytheon AN/DAS-1 Multi-Spectral Targeting System (MTS-B) is a multi-use infrared (IR), electro-optical (EO), and laser detecting ranging-tracking set, developed and produced for use by the U.S. Air Force on the MQ-9 Reaper. This advanced EO and IR system provides long-range surveillance, high altitude, target acquisition, tracking, range finding, and laser designation for all tri-service and NATO laser-guided munitions.

    d. The Honeywell H-764 Adaptive Configurable Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Guidance Unit (EGI) contains the Force 524D GPS Receiver card with Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM). The Force 524D is a 24-channel SAASM based GPS receiver with precise positioning service capability built upon Trimble's next generation GPS technology. The Force 524D retains backward compatibility with the proven Force 5GS while adding new functionality to interface with the digital antenna electronics to significantly improve anti-jam performance. The host platform can select the radio frequency of digital antenna electronics interface. In the digital mode, the Force 524D is capable of controlling up to 16 independent beams.

    2. The MQ-9 Reaper Remotely Piloted Aircraft is Unclassified. The highest level of classified information required for training, operation, and maintenance is Secret.

    3. If a technologically advanced adversary were to obtain knowledge of the specific hardware or software in this proposed sale, the information could be used to develop countermeasures which might reduce weapon system effectiveness or be used in the development of a system with similar or advanced capabilities.

    4. A determination has been made that the recipient country can provide the same degree of protection for the sensitive technology being released as the U.S. Government. This sale is necessary in furtherance of the U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives outlined in the Policy Justification.

    5. All defense articles and services listed in this transmittal have been authorized for release and export to the Government of the Netherlands.

    [FR Doc. 2015-03387 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Applications for New Awards; Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program—Short-Term Projects AGENCY:

    Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    Overview Information:

    Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program—Short-Term Projects Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.021A.

    DATES:

    Applications Available: February 19, 2015.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: March 23, 2015.

    Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad (Fulbright-Hays GPA) Program supports overseas projects in training, research, and curriculum development in modern foreign languages and area studies for groups of teachers, students, and faculty engaged in a common endeavor. Short-term projects may include seminars, curriculum development, or group research or study.

    Priorities: This notice contains one absolute priority, three competitive preference priorities, and one invitational priority. In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(ii), the absolute priority is from the regulations for this program (34 CFR 664.32). Competitive Preference Priorities 1 and 2 are from the regulations for this program (34 CFR 664.32), and Competitive Preference Priority 3 is from the notice of final priorities published in the Federal Register on September 24, 2010 (75 FR 59050).

    Absolute Priority: For FY 2015 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that meet this priority.

    This priority is:

    Specific Geographic Regions of the World.

    A group project that focuses on one or more of the following geographic regions of the world: Africa, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific, the Western Hemisphere (Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean), East Central Europe and Eurasia, and the Near East.

    Competitive Preference Priorities: Within this absolute priority, we give competitive preference to applications that address one or more of the following three priorities.

    Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), for FY 2015, we award an additional two points to an application that meets Competitive Preference Priority 1; up to an additional three points to an application that meets Competitive Preference Priority 2; and up to an additional five points to an application that meets Competitive Preference Priority 3. An applicant can address one, two, or all three of the competitive preference priorities. We can therefore award up to an additional 10 total points to an application, depending on how well the application meets competitive preference priorities 1, 2, and 3.

    Note:

    In order to receive preference under these competitive preference priorities, the applicant must identify the priority or priorities that it believes it meets and provide documentation supporting its claims.

    These priorities are:

    Competitive Preference Priority 1: Specific Geographic Regions of the World (2 Points).

    Applications that focus on one or more of the following geographic regions of the world: sub-Saharan Africa (Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Réunion, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe); South Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka); and Southeast Asia (Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Vietnam).

    Competitive Preference Priority 2: Substantive Training and Thematic Focus on Priority Languages (Up to 3 Points).

    Applications that propose short-term projects abroad that provide substantive training and thematic focus on any of the 78 priority languages selected from the U.S. Department of Education's list of Less Commonly Taught Languages: Akan (Twi-Fante), Albanian, Amharic, Arabic (all dialects), Armenian, Azeri (Azerbaijani), Balochi, Bamanakan (Bamana, Bambara, Mandikan, Mandingo, Maninka, Dyula), Belarusian, Bengali (Bangla), Berber (all languages), Bosnian, Bulgarian, Burmese, Cebuano (Visayan), Chechen, Chinese (Cantonese), Chinese (Gan), Chinese (Mandarin), Chinese (Min), Chinese (Wu), Croatian, Dari, Dinka, Georgian, Gujarati, Hausa, Hebrew (Modern), Hindi, Igbo, Indonesian, Japanese, Javanese, Kannada, Kashmiri, Kazakh, Khmer (Cambodian), Kirghiz, Korean, Kurdish (Kurmanji), Kurdish (Sorani), Lao, Malay (Bahasa Melayu or Malaysian), Malayalam, Marathi, Mongolian, Nepali, Oromo, Panjabi, Pashto, Persian (Farsi), Polish, Portuguese (all varieties), Quechua, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Sinhala (Sinhalese), Somali, Swahili, Tagalog, Tajik, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Tibetan, Tigrigna, Turkish, Turkmen, Ukrainian, Urdu, Uyghur/Uigur, Uzbek, Vietnamese, Wolof, Xhosa, Yoruba, and Zulu.

    Competitive Preference Priority 3: Inclusion of K-12 Educators (Up to 5 Points).

    Applications that propose short-term projects abroad that develop and improve foreign language studies, area studies, or both at elementary and secondary schools by including K-12 teachers or K-12 administrators as at least 50 percent of the project participants.

    Invitational Priority: For FY 2015 and any subsequent year in which we make awards based on the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, this priority is an invitational priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1), we do not give an application that meets this invitational priority a competitive or absolute preference over other applications.

    This priority is:

    Applications from any one of the following:

    (a) Minority-Serving Institutions (as defined in this notice).

    (b) Community colleges (as defined in this notice).

    (c) New applicants (as defined in this notice).

    Definitions:

    Minority-Serving Institution means an institution that is eligible to receive assistance under sections 316 through 320 of part A of title III, under part B of title III, or under title V of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA).

    Community college means an institution that meets the definition in section 312(f) of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1058(f)); or an institution of higher education (as defined in section 101 of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1001)) that awards degrees and certificates, more than 50 percent of which are not bachelor's degrees (or an equivalent).

    New applicant means any applicant who has not received a discretionary grant from the Department of Education under a program authorized by title VI of the HEA or the Fulbright-Hays Act for five years prior to the deadline date for applications under this program.

    Program Authority: 22 U.S.C. 2452(b)(6).

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and amended in 2 CFR part 3474. (d) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR part 664. (e) The notice of final priorities for this program, published in the Federal Register on September 24, 2010 (75 FR 59050).

    Note:

    The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions of higher education (IHEs) only.

    II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

    Estimated Available Funds: $1,361,000.

    Estimated Range of Awards: $50,000—$125,000.

    Estimated Average Size of Awards: 80,059.

    Maximum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding $125,000 for a single budget period of 18 months. The Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education may change the maximum award through a notice published in the Federal Register.

    Estimated Number of Awards: 17.

    Note:

    The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.

    Project Period: Up to 18 months.

    III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: (1) IHEs, (2) State departments of education, (3) Private nonprofit educational organizations, and (4) Consortia of these entities.

    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost sharing or matching.

    IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an application package via the Internet or from the Education Publications Center (ED Pubs). To obtain a copy via the Internet, use the following address: www.Grants.gov. To obtain a copy from ED Pubs, write, fax, or call the following: ED Pubs, U.S. Department of Education, P.O. Box 22207, Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone, toll free: 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (703) 605-6794. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.

    You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: www.EDPubs.gov or at its email address: [email protected]

    If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify this program as follows: CFDA number 84.021A.

    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice.

    2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this program.

    Page Limit: The application narrative is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. You must limit the application narrative (Part III) to no more than 40 pages, using the following standards:

    • A “page” is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1” margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.

    • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, except titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions. Charts, tables, figures, and graphs in the application narrative may be single spaced and will count toward the page limit.

    • Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch). However, you may use a 10-point font in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.

    • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial. An application submitted in any other font (including Times Roman and Arial Narrow) will not be accepted.

    • The 40-page limit does not apply to Part I, the Application for Federal Assistance face sheet (SF 424); the supplemental information form required by the Department of Education; Part II, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524); Part IV, assurances, certifications, and the response to section 427 of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA); the table of contents; the one-page project abstract; the appendices; or the line-item budget. However, the page limit does apply to all of the application narrative (Part III). If you include any attachments or appendices not specifically requested, these items will be counted as part of the application narrative for purposes of the page-limit requirement.

    We will reject your application if you exceed the page limit.

    3. Submission Dates and Times:

    Applications Available: February 19, 2015.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: March 23, 2015.

    Applications for grants under this program must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to section IV. 7. Other Submission Requirements of this notice.

    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements.

    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the application process, the individual's application remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this notice.

    4. Intergovernmental Review: This program is not subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79.

    5. Funding Restrictions: We specify unallowable costs in 34 CFR 664.33. We reference additional regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, and System for Award Management: To do business with the Department of Education, you must—

    a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);

    b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly the Central Contractor Registry (CCR)), the Government's primary registrant database;

    c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and

    d. Maintain an active SAM registration with current information while your application is under review by the Department and, if you are awarded a grant, during the project period.

    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number can be created within one to two business days.

    If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a new TIN, please allow 2-5 weeks for your TIN to become active.

    The SAM registration process can take approximately seven business days, but may take upwards of several weeks, depending on the completeness and accuracy of the data entered into the SAM database by an entity. Thus, if you think you might want to apply for Federal financial assistance under a program administered by the Department, please allow sufficient time to obtain and register your DUNS number and TIN. We strongly recommend that you register early.

    Note:

    Once your SAM registration is active, you will need to allow 24 to 48 hours for the information to be available in Grants.gov and before you can submit an application through Grants.gov.

    If you are currently registered with SAM, you may not need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to update your registration annually. This may take three or more business days.

    Information about SAM is available at www.SAM.gov. To further assist you with obtaining and registering your DUNS number and TIN in SAM or updating your existing SAM account, we have prepared a SAM.gov Tip Sheet, which you can find at: http://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/sam-faqs.html.

    In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined at the following Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/web/grants/register.html.

    7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under this program must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in this section.

    a. Electronic Submission of Applications.

    Applications for grants under the Fulbright-Hays GPA Program, CFDA number 84.021A, must be submitted electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at www.Grants.gov. Through this site, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit your application. You may not email an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

    We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.

    You may access the electronic grant application for the Fulbright-Hays GPA Program at www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this program by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.021, not 84.021A).

    Please note the following:

    • When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation.

    • Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if it is received—that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system—after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.

    • The amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.

    • You should review and follow the Education Submission Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are included in the application package for this program to ensure that you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 system home page at www.G5.gov.

    • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your application in paper format.

    • You must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: The Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications.

    • You must upload any narrative sections and all other attachments to your application as files in a PDF (Portable Document) read-only, non-modifiable format. Do not upload an interactive or fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, non-modifiable PDF or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material.

    • Your electronic application must comply with any page-limit requirements described in this notice.

    • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send a second notification to you by email. This second notification indicates that the Department has received your application and has assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified identifying number unique to your application).

    • We may request that you provide us original signatures on forms at a later date.

    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.

    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because of technical problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing instructions described elsewhere in this notice.

    If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that that problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The Department will contact you after a determination is made on whether your application will be accepted.

    Note:

    The extensions to which we refer in this section apply only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application through the Grants.gov system because—

    • You do not have access to the Internet; or

    • You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to the Grants.gov system; and

    • No later than two weeks before the application deadline date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevents you from using the Internet to submit your application.

    If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the application deadline date.

    Address and mail or fax your statement for Fulbright-Hays GPA Short-Term Projects (CFDA 84.021A) to: Reha Mallory, Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., room 6100, Washington, DC 20006-8521. FAX: (202) 502-7675.

    Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.

    b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center,Attention: (CFDA Number 84.021A), LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260.

    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.

    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service.

    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier.

    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:

    (1) A private metered postmark.

    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

    If your application is postmarked after the application deadline date, we will not consider your application.

    Note:

    The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office.

    c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.021A), 550 12th Street SW., Room 7039, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

    Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications:

    If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department—

    (1) You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your application; and

    (2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this notification within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

    V. Application Review Information

    1. General Information: For FY 2015, short-term project applications will be reviewed by separate panels according to world area. Each panel reviews, scores, and ranks its applications separately from the applications assigned to the other world area panels. However, all applications will be ranked against each other from the highest to the lowest score for funding purposes. A rank order from highest to lowest score will be developed and will be used for funding purposes.

    2. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this program are from 34 CFR 664.31 and are as follows: (a) Plan of operation (20 points); (b) Quality of key personnel (10 points); (c) Budget and cost effectiveness (10 points); (d) Evaluation plan (20 points); (e) Adequacy of resources (5 points); (f) Potential impact of the project on the development of the study of modern foreign languages and area studies in American education (15 points); (g) The project's relevance to the applicant's educational goals and its relationship to its program development in modern foreign languages and area studies (5 points); and (h) The extent to which direct experience abroad is necessary to achieve the project's objectives and the effectiveness with which relevant host country resources will be utilized (10 points). Additional information about these criteria is in the application package for this program.

    3. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality.

    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    4. Special Conditions: Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose special conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

    VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, also.

    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.

    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

    3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).

    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. Grantees are required to use the electronic data instrument International Resource Information System (IRIS) to complete the final report. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.

    4. Performance Measures: Under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993, the following measures will be used by the Department to evaluate the success of the GPA short-term program: percentage of GPA participants who disseminated information about or materials from their group project abroad through more than one outreach activity within six months of returning to their home institution.

    The information provided by grantees in their performance reports submitted via IRIS will be the source of data for this measure. Reporting screens for institutions can be viewed at: http://iris.ed.gov/iris/pdfs/gpa_director.pdf and http://iris.ed.gov/iris/pdfs/gpa_participant.pdf.

    VII. Agency Contact FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Reha Mallory, Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program, U.S. Department of Education, 1990 K Street NW., Room 6100, Washington, DC 20006-8521. Telephone: (202) 502-7605 or by email: [email protected]

    If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    VIII. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site, you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Dated: February 13, 2015. Ted Mitchell, Under Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03453 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Office of Science, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a meeting of the Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee. The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of these meetings be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Thursday, March 12, 2015—8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Friday, March 13, 2015—8:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon.

    ADDRESSES:

    Hilton Gaithersburg, 620 Perry Parkway, Gaithersburg, MD 20877.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Edmund J. Synakowski, Designated Federal Officer, Office of Fusion Energy Sciences (FES); U.S. Department of Energy; SC-24/Germantown Building, 1000 Independence Avenue SW.; Washington, DC 20585-1290; Telephone: (301) 903-4941.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Committee: To provide advice on a continuing basis to the Director, Office of Science of the Department of Energy, on the many complexes scientific and technical issues that arises in the development and implementation of the fusion energy sciences program.

    Tentative Agenda Items:

    • DOE/SC Perspective and FY 2016 President's Budget Request for SC • FES Perspective and FY 2016 President's Budget Request for FES • Report of the 2014 Committee of Visitors for FES • New Charge for a Report about FES Science Contributions and Technology Discoveries Beyond Fusion Energy • Update on Community Engagement Technical Workshops • Public Comment • Adjourn Note:

    Remote attendance of the FESAC meeting will be possible via ReadyTalk. Instructions can be found on the FESAC Web site: (http://science.energy.gov/fes/fesac/meetings/) or by contacting Dr. Samuel J. Barish by email: [email protected] or by phone (301) 903-2917.

    Public Participation: The meeting is open to the public. If you would like to file a written statement with the Committee, you may do so either before or after the meeting. If you would like to make an oral statement regarding any of the items on the agenda, you should contact Dr. Samuel J. Barish at (301) 903-8584 (fax) or [email protected] (email). Reasonable provision will be made to include the scheduled oral statements during the Public Comments time on the agenda. The Chairperson of the Committee will conduct the meeting to facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Public comment will follow the 10-minute rule.

    Minutes: The minutes of the meeting will be available for public review and copying within 30 days on the Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee Web site at: http://science.energy.gov/fes/fesac/.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on February 12, 2015. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03454 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP15-77-000] Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company; Notice of Application

    Take notice that on January 30, 2015, Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company (Tennessee) filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission pursuant to sections 7(b) and 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) requesting authority to construct and operate the Broad Run Expansion Project (Project) in Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia. Specifically, Tennessee requests authorization to: (i) Construct a new 10,771 hp Compressor Station 118A in Kanawha County, West Virginia; (ii) construct a new 20,500 hp Compressor Station 119A in Kanawha County, West Virginia; (iii) construct a new 16,000 hp Compressor Station 875 in Madison County Kentucky; (iv) construct a new 30,000 hp Compressor Station 563 in Davidson County, Tennessee; (v) install 32,000 hp of new compression at the existing Compressor Station 106 in Powell County, Kentucky; and (vi) install 20,500 hp of additional compression at the existing Compressor Station 114 in Boyd County, Kentucky. The project is designed to provide an additional 200,000 dekatherms per day of firm incremental transportation service for Antero Resources Corporation. A total of 29,750 hp of added compression at the two existing compressor stations in Kentucky would replace old equipment and would be referred to as the Replacement Component of the Project. The remaining balance of the added hp at the existing stations and all of the hp proposed at the new stations are referred to as the Market Component of the Project. The estimated costs for the Market and Replacement components are $337.8 million and $68.5 million respectively.

    This filing is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site web at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC at [email protected] or call toll-free, (886) 208-3676 or TYY, (202) 502-8659.

    Any questions regarding the application should be directed to Shannon M. Miller, Senior Regulatory Analyst, Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, LLC, 1001 Louisiana Street, Houston, TX 77002, by phone at (713) 420-4038 or by email at [email protected]

    Pursuant to section 157.9 of the Commission's rules, 18 CFR 157.9, within 90 days of this Notice the Commission staff will either: complete its environmental assessment (EA) and place it into the Commission's public record (eLibrary) for this proceeding; or issue a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review. If a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review is issued, it will indicate, among other milestones, the anticipated date for the Commission staff's issuance of the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) or EA for this proposal. The filing of the EA in the Commission's public record for this proceeding or the issuance of a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review will serve to notify federal and state agencies of the timing for the completion of all necessary reviews, and the subsequent need to complete all federal authorizations within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's FEIS or EA.

    There are two ways to become involved in the Commission's review of this project. First, any person wishing to obtain legal status by becoming a party to the proceedings for this project should, on or before the comment date stated below file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426, a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.214 or 385.211) and the Regulations under the NGA (18 CFR 157.10). A person obtaining party status will be placed on the service list maintained by the Secretary of the Commission and will receive copies of all documents filed by the applicant and by all other parties. A party must submit seven copies of filings made in the proceeding with the Commission and must mail a copy to the applicant and to every other party. Only parties to the proceeding can ask for court review of Commission orders in the proceeding.

    However, a person does not have to intervene in order to have comments considered. The second way to participate is by filing with the Secretary of the Commission, as soon as possible, an original and two copies of comments in support of or in opposition to this project. The Commission will consider these comments in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but the filing of a comment alone will not serve to make the filer a party to the proceeding. The Commission's rules require that persons filing comments in opposition to the project provide copies of their protests only to the party or parties directly involved in the protest.

    Persons who wish to comment only on the environmental review of this project should submit an original and two copies of their comments to the Secretary of the Commission. Environmental commentors will be placed on the Commission's environmental mailing list, will receive copies of the environmental documents, and will be notified of meetings associated with the Commission's environmental review process. Environmental commentors will not be required to serve copies of filed documents on all other parties. However, the non-party commentors will not receive copies of all documents filed by other parties or issued by the Commission (except for the mailing of environmental documents issued by the Commission) and will not have the right to seek court review of the Commission's final order.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filings of comments, protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and seven copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Comment Date: March 5, 2015.

    Dated: February 12, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03437 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP15-452-000.

    Applicants: Northern Natural Gas Company.

    Description: Section 4(d) rate filing per 154.204: 20150211 Negotiated Rate to be effective 2/12/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/11/15.

    Accession Number: 20150211-5255.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/23/15.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    Filings in Existing Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP15-274-001,

    Applicants: ANR Pipeline Company,

    Description: Compliance filing per 154.203: Compliance to RP15-274-000 to be effective 2/1/2015,

    Filed Date: 2/12/15,

    Accession Number: 20150212-5035,

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/24/15,

    Any person desiring to protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rule 211 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: February 12, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03436 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC15-73-000.

    Applicants: Bayonne Energy Center, LLC, Zone J Tolling Co., LLC.

    Description: Application for Authorization for Disposition of Jurisdictional Facilities and Request for Expedited Action of Bayonne Energy Center, LLC, et. al.

    Filed Date: 2/12/15.

    Accession Number: 20150212-5127.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/5/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER10-1908-009; ER10-1909-009; ER10-1910-009;ER10-1911-009.

    Applicants: Duquesne Keystone, LLC, Duquesne Light Company, Duquesne Power, LLC, Duquesne Conemaugh, LLC.

    Description: Notice of Non-Material Change in Status of the Duquesne MBR Sellers.

    Filed Date: 2/12/15.

    Accession Number: 20150212-5078.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/5/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER10-2808-002.

    Applicants: Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Energy Services, LLC.

    Description: Notice of Non-Material Change in Status of Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Energy Services, LLC.

    Filed Date: 2/11/15.

    Accession Number: 20150211-5270.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER10-2964-005; ER11-2041-005; ER11-2042-005; ER10-3193-004.

    Applicants: Innovative Energy Systems, LLC, Seneca Energy II, LLC, Selkirk Cogen Partners, L.P., Brooklyn Navy Yard Cogeneration Partners, L.P.

    Description: Second Supplement to June 30, 2014 Order No. 697 Triennial Compliance Filing of Selkirk Cogen Partners, L.P., et. al.

    Filed Date: 2/11/15.

    Accession Number: 20150211-5271.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/23/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER12-673-006; ER12-672-006; ER12-674-007; ER12-670-007; ER10-2374-008; ER10-1533-010.

    Applicants: Brea Generation LLC, Brea Power II, LLC, Macquarie Energy LLC, Puget Sound Energy, Inc., Rhode Island Engine Genco, LLC, Rhode Island LFG Genco, LLC.

    Description: Notice of Non-Material Change in Status of Brea Generation LLC, et. al.

    Filed Date: 2/12/15.

    Accession Number: 20150212-5081.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/5/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER14-2657-001.

    Applicants: El Paso Electric Company.

    Description: Compliance filing per 35: Compliance Filing with Jan 12, 2015 Order in ER14-2657-000 to be effective 10/13/2014.

    Filed Date: 2/11/15.

    Accession Number: 20150211-5232.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER14-2711-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Report Filing: 2015-02-12_Order 719 Supplement the Record to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 2/12/15.

    Accession Number: 20150212-5149.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/5/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-743-001.

    Applicants: Appalachian Power Company.

    Description: Tariff Amendment per 35.17(b): OATT—Revise Attachments K & L, TCC & TNC Rate Update Amendment to be effective 12/29/2014.

    Filed Date: 2/11/15.

    Accession Number: 20150211-5237.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1026-000.

    Applicants: Utah Red Hills Renewable Park, LLC.

    Description: Initial rate filing per 35.12 Application for Market-Based Rate Authorization to be effective 5/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/11/15.

    Accession Number: 20150211-5266.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/4/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1027-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): 2965 SWEPCO/Rayburn Country Elec Coop/ETEC Interconnect Agr. to be effective 4/13/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/12/15.

    Accession Number: 20150212-5055.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/5/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1028-000.

    Applicants: California Independent System Operator Corporation.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): 2015-02-12_AguaCalienteLGIAConcurrence to be effective 10/21/2014.

    Filed Date: 2/12/15.

    Accession Number: 20150212-5062.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/5/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1029-000.

    Applicants: Chubu TT Energy Management Inc.

    Description: Initial rate filing per 35.12 Chubu TT MBRA Application to be effective 4/15/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/12/15.

    Accession Number: 20150212-5086.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/5/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1030-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Service Agreement No. 3058; Queue Nos. U2-073/Z2-013 to be effective 1/13/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/12/15.

    Accession Number: 20150212-5120.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/5/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1031-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Original Service Agreement No. 4086; Queue Position Y3-037 to be effective 1/13/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/12/15.

    Accession Number: 20150212-5130.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/5/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1032-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): 2015-02-12_SA 1519 MDU-Tatanka 5th Rev. GIA (G132/J249) to be effective 2/13/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/12/15.

    Accession Number: 20150212-5147.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/5/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following PURPA 210(m)(3) filings:

    Docket Numbers: QM15-1-000.

    Applicants: Virginia Electric and Power Company.

    Description: Motion for Leave to Answer and Answer to Community Energy Solar, LLC, LLC, Community Energy Renewables, LLC and Nine Affiliated Entities January 14, 2015 Answer, of Virginia Electric and Power Company.

    Filed Date: 2/11/15.

    Accession Number: 20150211-5272.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/11/15.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: February 12, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03442 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP15-441-000.

    Applicants: Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P.

    Description: Section 4(d) rate filing per 154.204: 02/09/15 Negotiated Rates—United Energy Trading, LLC (HUB) to be effective 2/6/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/9/15.

    Accession Number: 20150209-5096.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/23/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-442-000.

    Applicants: Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P.

    Description: Section 4(d) rate filing per 154.204: 02/09/15 Negotiated Rates—Sequent Energy Management (HUB) 3075-89 to be effective 2/6/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/9/15.

    Accession Number: 20150209-5102.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/23/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-443-000.

    Applicants: Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P.

    Description: Section 4(d) rate filing per 154.204: 02/09/15 Negotiated Rates—Mercuria Energy Trading Gas LLC (HUB) 7540-89 to be effective 2/6/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/9/15.

    Accession Number: 20150209-5105.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/23/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-444-000.

    Applicants: American Midstream (Midla), LLC.

    Description: Section 4(d) rate filing per 154.204: Midla Imbalance Resolution to be effective 4/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/9/15.

    Accession Number: 20150209-5163.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/23/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-445-000.

    Applicants: Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P.

    Description: Section 4(d) rate filing per 154.204: 02/09/15 Negotiated Rates—NJR Energy Services Company to be effective 2/9/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/9/15.

    Accession Number: 20150209-5165.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/23/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-446-000.

    Applicants: Rockies Express Pipeline LLC.

    Description: Section 4(d) rate filing per 154.204: Neg Rate 2015-02-09 ConocoPhillips to be effective 2/9/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/9/15.

    Accession Number: 20150209-5210.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/23/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-447-000.

    Applicants: Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP.

    Description: Section 4(d) rate filing per 154.204: Amendment to Neg Rate Agmt (Sequent 34693-27) to be effective 2/10/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150210-5040.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/23/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-448-000.

    Applicants: Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P.

    Description: Section 4(d) rate filing per 154.204: 02/10/15 Negotiated Rates—ConEdison Energy Inc. (HUB) 2275-89 to be effective 2/9/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150210-5060.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/23/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-449-000.

    Applicants: Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P.

    Description: Section 4(d) rate filing per 154.204: 02/10/15 Negotiated Rates—Mercuria Energy Trading Gas LLC (HUB) 7540-89 to be effective 2/9/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150210-5141.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/23/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-450-000.

    Applicants: Enable Gas Transmission, LLC.

    Description: Section 4(d) rate filing per 154.204: Negotiated Rate Filing—February 2015—LER 0222 Att A to be effective 2/10/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150210-5152.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/23/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-451-000.

    Applicants: Enable Mississippi River Transmission, L.

    Description: Section 4(d) rate filing per 154.204: Negotiated Rate Filing to Amend LER 5680's Attachment A_2-10-15 to be effective 2/10/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/10/15.

    Accession Number: 20150210-5220.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/23/15.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: February 11, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03435 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER15-1026-000] Utah Red Hills Renewable Park, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding, of Utah Red Hills Renewable Park, LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate schedule, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability is March 4, 2015.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding(s) are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: February 12, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03445 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER15-1029-000] Chubu TT Energy Management Inc.; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding, of Chubu TT Energy Management Inc.'s application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate schedule, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability is March 4, 2015.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding(s) are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: February 12, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03439 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER15-1024-000] Zone One Energy, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding, of Zone One Energy, LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate schedule, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability is March 4, 2015.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding(s) are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: February 12, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03440 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 12514-074] Northern Indiana Public Service Company; Notice of Application for Amendment of License, Modifying Abnormal River Conditions Under Article 405, and Reservoir Surface Elevations Under Article 403 and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene and Protests

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection:

    a. Application Type: Amendment of License and Modifying Abnormal River Conditions Definition.

    b. Project No: 12514-074.

    c. Date Filed: October 2, 2014.

    d. Applicant: Northern Indiana Public Service Company (licensee).

    e. Name of Project: Norway-Oakdale Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: The Norway-Oakdale Project is located on the Tippecanoe River near the town of Monticello, in Carroll and White counties, Indiana. The project consists of the upper Norway development and the lower Oakdale development each of which has a dam and powerhouse.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791a-825r.

    h. Applicant Contact: Mr. Justin Darling, Hydro Supervisor—Chemical and Environmental Compliance, Northern Indiana Public Service Company, 1414 W. Broadway, Monticello, IN 47960, 574-583-1154.

    i. FERC Contact: Mr. Mark Pawlowski 202-502-6052, [email protected].

    j. Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, and protests: March 16, 2015.

    All documents may be filed electronically via the Internet. See, 18 CFR 385.2001(a)(1)(iii) and the instructions on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. If unable to be filed electronically, documents may be paper-filed. To paper-file, an original and seven copies should be mailed to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments.

    Please include the project number (P-12514) on any comments, motions, or recommendations filed.

    k. Description of Request: Northern Indiana Public Service Company, licensee for the Norway-Oakdale Hydroelectric Project, requests the Commission amend the definition of abnormal river conditions pursuant to article 405 of the project license. Under the proposed definition the licensee requests to amend article 405 to include a low flow trigger under which the licensee could deviate from the reservoir elevation requirements of article 403 of the license. Low flow conditions, also referred to herein as abnormal low flow (ALF), would be defined as a daily average river flow of ≤ 300 cubic feet per second (cfs) as measured at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Winamac gage no. 03331753; or in the event of an equipment or operation issue at Oakdale dam unrelated to upstream flow conditions upstream, a 24-hour daily average of river flow of ≤ 570 cfs at the USGS Oakdale gage no. 03332605. In order to implement the requirements of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (FWS) August 13, 2014, Technical Assistance Letter (TAL), the licensee also requests to amend the elevation requirements of article 403 to be within 0.75 feet above and 0.25 feet below elevation 647.47 feet National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD) at Lake Shafer and 0.75 feet above elevation 612.45 feet NGVD at Lake Freeman.

    The TAL calls for the licensee to operate the Norway and Oakdale developments according to the following protocols under the ALF as defined above: (1) cease electric power generation at the Oakdale dam when the 24-hour daily average flow at the USGS Winamac gage no. 03331753 is ≤ 300 cfs or the 24-hour daily average flow at the USGS Oakdale gage no. 03332605 is ≤600 cfs; (2) discharge 1.9 times the flow of the previous 24-hour daily average flow measured at the USGS Winamac gage out of the Oakdale dam as measured at the USGS Oakdale gage (considered to be the run-of-river flow during the ALF); (3) continue ALF plan protocols until the 24-hour average at the USGS Winamac gage is >300 cfs; and (4) meet all monitoring and reporting requirements. Providing the required downstream flow could require the licensee to increase the release flow from Lake Freeman through drawdown of one or both lakes outside of the proposed limits (within 0.75 feet above and 0.25 feet below elevation 647.47 feet NGVD for Lake Shafer and 0.75 feet above elevation 612.45 feet NGVD for Lake Freeman). Deviations outside of these ranges would result from efforts by the licensee to maintain a minimum flow of 500 cfs downstream of the Oakdale dam to protect federally endangered mussel species and their habitat. Such reservoir level deviations could include partial or complete drawdown of the Lake Shafer and/or Lake Freeman. Operating in accordance with these requirements under abnormal river flow conditions is intended to satisfy FWS' objectives to protect downstream mussel populations against the unlawful take of an endangered species. Reservoir drawdowns would have the potential to affect aquatic, terrestrial, recreation, and cultural resources associated with the lakes, as well as potential stability issues related to seawalls, docks, and piers.

    l. Locations of the Application: A copy of the application is available for inspection and reproduction at the Commission's Public Reference Room, located at 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, or by calling 202-502-8371. This filing may also be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, call 866-208-3676 or email [email protected], for TTY, call 202-502-8659. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item (h) above.

    m. Individuals desiring to be included on the Commission's mailing list should so indicate by writing to the Secretary of the Commission.

    n. Comments, Protests, or Motions to Intervene: Anyone may submit comments, a protest, or a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210, .211, .214. In determining the appropriate action to take, the Commission will consider all protests or other comments filed, but only those who file a motion to intervene in accordance with the Commission's Rules may become a party to the proceeding. Any comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be received on or before the specified comment date for the particular application.

    o. Filing and Service of Responsive Documents: Any filing must (1) bear in all capital letters the title “COMMENTS”; “PROTESTS”, or “MOTION TO INTERVENE” as applicable; (2) set forth in the heading the name of the applicant and the project number of the application to which the filing responds; (3) furnish the name, address, and telephone number of the person protesting or intervening; and (4) otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 385.2001 through 385.2005. All comments, motions to intervene, or protests must set forth their evidentiary basis and otherwise comply with the requirements of 18 CFR 4.34(b). Agencies may obtain copies of the application directly from the applicant. A copy of any protest or motion to intervene must be served upon each representative of the applicant specified in the particular application. If an intervener files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency. A copy of all other filings in reference to this application must be accompanied by proof of service on all persons listed in the service list prepared by the Commission in this proceeding, in accordance with 18 CFR 4.34(b) and 385.2010.

    Dated: February 12, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03444 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. OR15-14-000] Panola Pipeline Company, LLC; Notice of Petition for Declaratory Order

    Take notice that on February 10, 2015, pursuant to Rule 207(a)(2) of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.207(a)(2) (2014), Panola Pipeline Company, LLC (Panola or Petitioner), filed a petition for declaratory order seeking approval of priority service and the proposed tariff rate structure and terms of service for a planned expansion of Panola's pipeline system, as more fully explained in the petition.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Petitioner.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an “eSubscription” link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on March 10, 2015.

    Dated: February 12, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03441 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL13-88-000] Northern Indiana Public Service Company v. Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. and PJM Interconnection, LLC; Notice of Request for Comments February 12, 2015.

    On September 11, 2013, Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) filed a complaint against Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (MISO) and PJM Interconnection, LLC (PJM). NIPSCO requested that the Commission order MISO and PJM to reform the interregional planning process of the Joint Operating Agreement between MISO and PJM (MISO-PJM JOA).1 On December 18, 2014, the Commission issued an order directing Commission staff to convene a technical conference to explore issues raised in the Complaint related to the MISO-PJM JOA and the MISO-PJM seam. The Commission also directed Commission staff to issue a request for comments on these issues prior to the technical conference to inform the technical conference discussion.2

    1 NIPSCO Complaint, Docket No. EL13-88-000 (filed Sept. 11, 2013).

    2Northern Indiana Public Service Co. v. Midcontinent Indep. Sys. Operator, Inc. and PJM Interconnection, LLC, 149 FERC ¶ 61,248, at P 35 (2014).

    Shown below is the list of questions for which Commission staff seeks comment. The questions cover the six reforms that NIPSCO recommends to the cross-border transmission planning process that occurs under the MISO-PJM JOA, as well as certain additional issues. Commenters should discuss the potential benefits and/or drawbacks, cost concerns, and technical feasibility of implementing the following reforms and how long the reforms would take to implement if adopted.

    1. Require the MISO-PJM cross-border transmission planning process to run concurrently with the MISO and PJM regional transmission planning cycles, rather than after those regional planning cycles.

    2. Require MISO and PJM to develop and use a single model that uses the same assumptions in the cross-border transmission planning process. Until the joint model is developed, require that there is consistency between the PJM and MISO planning analysis and that both entities are consistent in their application of reliability criteria and modeling assumptions.

    3. Require MISO and PJM to use a single common set of criteria to evaluate cross-border market efficiency projects.

    4. Require MISO and PJM to amend the criteria to evaluate cross-border market efficiency projects to address all known benefits, including avoidance of future market-to-market (M2M) payments made to reallocate short-term transmission capacity in the real-time operation of the system.

    5. Require MISO and PJM to have a process for joint planning and cost allocation of lower voltage and lower cost cross-border upgrades.

    6. Require MISO and PJM to improve the processes within the MISO-PJM JOA with respect to new generator interconnections and generation retirements.

    7. Explain the relationship between the cross-border transmission planning process (and approval of new transmission projects) and persistent M2M payments being made between the RTOs. Are persistent M2M payments a good indicator of the need for new transmission?

    8. NIPSCO provides an estimate of M2M payments on pages 23-24 of its Complaint. Please comment on these estimates and provide information on other estimates of M2M payments, including whether PJM, MISO and the market monitors have identified trends in M2M payments.

    9. Please provide examples of transmission projects that have been considered under the cross-border transmission planning process for the purpose of mitigating congestion and/or constraints that lead to persistent M2M payments, but that have not been developed. Provide the reason the project was not developed.

    Interested parties should submit comments on or before March 16, 2015. Reply comments must be filed on or before March 31, 2015. Comments should be provided by question as enumerated above.

    ADDRESSES:

    Parties may submit comments, identified by Docket No. EL13-88-000, by one of the following methods.

    Agency Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments via the eFiling link found under the “Documents and Filing” tab.

    Mail: Those unable to file comments electronically may mail or hand-deliver comments to: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jason Strong (Technical Information), Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Office of Energy Market Regulation, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-6124, [email protected] Ben Foster (Technical Information) Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Office of Energy Policy and Innovation, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-6149, [email protected] Lina Naik (Legal Information), Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Office of the General Counsel, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426 (202) 502-8882, [email protected] Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03438 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Notice of Commission Staff Attendance

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) hereby gives notice that members of the Commission's staff may attend the following meeting related to the transmission planning activities of Public Service Company of Colorado, Tucson Electric Power Company, UNS Electric, Inc., Public Service Company of New Mexico, Arizona Public Service Company, El Paso Electric Company, Black Hills Power, Inc., Black Hills Colorado Electric Utility Company, LP, Cheyenne Light, Fuel, & Power Company, Nevada Power Company, and Sierra Pacific Power Company:

    WestConnect Regional Planning Process Stakeholder Meeting February 19, 2015, 12:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m. (PST)

    The above-referenced meeting will be held at: NV Energy, 7155 Lindell Road, Las Vegas, NV 89118.

    The above-referenced meeting will be via web conference and teleconference.

    The above-referenced meeting is open to stakeholders.

    Further information may be found at http://www.westconnect.com/filestorage/02-19-15_WestConnect_Stakeholder_Meeting_Agenda.pdf.

    The discussions at the meeting described above may address matters at issue in the following proceedings: Docket No. ER13-75, Public Service Company of Colorado Docket No. ER13-1469 Docket No. ER15-416 Docket No. ER13-77, Tucson Electric Power Company Docket No. ER13-1461 Docket No. ER15-433 Docket No. ER13-78, UNS Electric, Inc. Docket No. ER13-1462 Docket No. ER15-434 Docket No. ER13-79, Public Service Company of New Mexico Docket No. ER13-1447 Docket No. ER15-413 Docket No. ER13-82, Arizona Public Service Company Docket No. ER13-1450 Docket No. ER15-411 Docket No. ER13-91, El Paso Electric Company Docket No. ER13-1465 Docket No. ER15-426 Docket No. ER13-96, Black Hills Power, Inc. Docket No. ER13-1472 Docket No. ER15-431 Docket No. ER13-97, Black Hills Colorado Electric Utility Company, LP Docket No. ER13-1474 Docket No. ER15-430 Docket No. ER13-120, Cheyenne Light, Fuel, & Power Company Docket No. ER13-1471 Docket No. ER15-432 Docket No. ER15-428, Nevada Power Company and Sierra Pacific Power Company Docket No. ER13-1466 Docket No. ER15-423 Docket No. ER15-424

    For more information, contact Gabe Aguilera, Office of Energy Market Regulation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at (202) 502-8489 or [email protected]

    Dated: February 12, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03443 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9923-21-OA] Notification of a Face-to-Face Meeting and a Teleconference of the Science Advisory Board Biogenic Carbon Emissions Panel AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or Agency) Science Advisory Board (SAB) Staff Office announces a public face-to-face meeting of the SAB Biogenic Carbon Emissions Panel to review EPA's Framework for Assessing Biogenic CO 2 Emissions from Stationary Sources (November 2014). The SAB Staff Office also announces a public teleconference of the SAB Biogenic Carbon Emissions Panel to review its draft report on EPA's document.

    DATES:

    The public face-to-face meeting will be held on March 25, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) and March 26, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). The teleconference will be held on May 29, 2015 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).

    ADDRESSES:

    The face-to-face meeting will take place at the George Washington University, Milken Institute School of Public Health, Convening Center A and B, 950 New Hampshire Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20052. The teleconference will be held by telephone only.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Any member of the public wishing further information regarding the public meeting or public teleconference may contact Dr. Holly Stallworth, Designated Federal Officer (DFO), SAB Staff Office, by telephone/voice mail at (202) 564-2073 or via email at [email protected] General information concerning the EPA Science Advisory Board can be found at the EPA SAB Web site at http://www.epa.gov/sab.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The SAB was established pursuant to the Environmental Research, Development, and Demonstration Authorization Act (ERDAA) codified at 42 U.S.C. 4365, to provide independent scientific and technical peer review, advice, consultation, and recommendations to the EPA Administrator on the technical basis for EPA actions. As a Federal Advisory Committee, the SAB conducts business in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) (5 U.S.C. App. 2) and related regulations. Pursuant to FACA and EPA policy, notice is hereby given that the SAB Biogenic Carbon Emissions Panel will hold a public meeting to review EPA's Framework for Assessing Biogenic CO 2 Emissions from Stationary Sources (November 2014) and a public teleconference to review its draft report on EPA's document. The SAB will comply with the provisions of FACA and all appropriate SAB Staff Office procedural policies.

    In 2011, EPA's Office of Atmospheric Programs (OAP) in EPA's Office of Air and Radiation requested SAB review of EPA's first draft accounting framework. A final report from the Science Advisory Board was transmitted to the EPA Administrator on September 28, 2012 and may be found posted at http://yosemite.epa.gov/sab/sabproduct.nsf/c91996cd39a82f648525742400690127/57B7A4F1987D7F7385257A87007977F6/$File/EPA-SAB-12-011-unsigned.pdf. The upcoming face-to-face meeting on March 25 and 26, 2015 and teleconference on May 29, 2015 are planned for a review of EPA's revised framework (November 2014) cited above. Background on the current advisory activity can be found on the SAB Web site at http://yosemite.epa.gov/sab/sabproduct.nsf/fedrgstr_activites/Biogenic%20CO2%20Framework?OpenDocument.

    Availability of the meeting materials: Agendas will be posted on the SAB Web site prior to the March 25 and 26, 2015 face-to-face meeting and the May 29, 2015 teleconference. To locate these materials, go to epa.gov/sab and click on the calendar and then the respective meeting dates. EPA's review document, charge to the Panel and other background materials are also available at the URL above. For questions concerning EPA's Framework for Assessing Biogenic CO 2 Emissions from Stationary Sources (November 2014), please contact Sara Ohrel, Climate Change Division, at [email protected] or (202) 343-9712.

    Procedures for Providing Public Input: Public comment for consideration by EPA's federal advisory committees and panels has a different purpose from public comment provided to EPA program offices. Therefore, the process for submitting comments to a federal advisory committee is different from the process used to submit comments to an EPA program office. Federal advisory committees and panels, including scientific advisory committees, provide independent advice to EPA. Members of the public can submit relevant comments on the topic of this advisory activity, including the charge to the panel and the EPA review documents, and/or the group conducting the activity, for the SAB to consider during the advisory process. Input from the public to the SAB will have the most impact if it consists of comments that provide specific scientific or technical information or analysis for the SAB panel to consider or if it relates to the clarity or accuracy of the technical information.

    Oral Statements: In general, individuals or groups requesting an oral presentation will be limited to five minutes per speaker for the face-to-face meeting and three minutes per speaker for the teleconference. Interested parties should contact Dr. Holly Stallworth, DFO, in writing (preferably via email), at the contact information noted above, by March 16, 2015 to be placed on the list of public speakers for the face-to-face meeting and by May 21, 2015 to be placed on the list of speakers for the teleconference.

    Written Statements: Written statements should be received in the SAB Staff Office by March 16, 2015 to be considered for the face-to-face meeting and by May 21, 2015 to be considered for the teleconference. Written statements should be supplied to the DFO, preferably in electronic format via email. It is the SAB Staff Office general policy to post written comments on the Web page for the advisory meeting or teleconference. Submitters are requested to provide an unsigned version of each document because the SAB Staff Office does not publish documents with signatures on its Web sites. Members of the public should be aware that their personal contact information, if included in any written comments, may be posted to the SAB Web site. Copyrighted material will not be posted without explicit permission of the copyright holder.

    Accessibility: The public can view the March 25 and 26, 2015 meeting via a non-interactive webcast that will be broadcast on the Internet. The connection information to view the webcast will be provided on the meeting Web page at the time of the meeting. The meeting Web page may be found by going to http://epa.gov/sab and clicking on the calendar then the meeting date. For information on access or services for individuals with disabilities, please contact Dr. Stallworth at the phone number or email address noted above, preferably at least ten days prior to the meeting, to give EPA as much time as possible to process your request.

    Dated: February 10, 2015. Thomas H. Brennan, Deputy Director, EPA Science Advisory Board Staff Office.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03452 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL 9921-30-Region 2] Tentative Approval and Solicitation of Request for a Public Hearing for Public Water System Supervision Program Revision for Puerto Rico AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is revising its approved Public Water System Supervision Program to adopt the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA)'s National Primary Drinking Water Regulations for one major rule. The EPA has determined that this revision is no less stringent than the corresponding Federal regulations. Therefore, the EPA intends to approve this program revision. All interested parties may request a public hearing.

    DATES:

    A request for a public hearing must be submitted to the Regional Administrator at the address shown below March 23, 2015. If no timely and appropriate request for a hearing is received and the Regional Administrator does not elect to hold a hearing on her own motion, this determination shall become final and effective March 23, 2015. More information on requesting a public hearing can be found in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    ADDRESSES:

    Requests for Public Hearing shall be addressed to: Regional Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency—Region 2, 290 Broadway, New York, New York 10007-1866.

    All documents relating to this determination are available for inspection between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays, at the following offices:

    Puerto Rico Department of Health, PO Box 70184, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936-8184 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency—Region 2, 24th Floor Drinking Water Ground Water Protection Section, 290 Broadway, New York, New York 10007-1866
    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael J. Lowy, Drinking Water Ground Water Protection Section, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency—Region 2, (212) 637-3830.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined to approve an application by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Department of Health to revise its Public Water Supply Supervision Primacy Program to incorporate a regulation no less stringent than the EPA's National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWR) for National Primary Drinking Water Regulation: Revisions to the Total Coliform Rule, Final Rule, promulgated by EPA February 13, 2013 (78 FR 10269).

    The application demonstrates that Puerto Rico has adopted drinking water regulations which satisfy the NPDWRs for the above. The USEPA has determined that Puerto Rico's regulations are no less stringent than the corresponding Federal Regulations and that Puerto Rico continues to meet all requirements for primary enforcement responsibility as specified in 40 CFR 142.10.

    Authority:

    (Section 1413 of the Safe Drinking Water Act, as amended, 40 U.S.C. 300g-2, and 40 CFR 142.10, 142.12(d) and 142.13).

    This determination to approve Puerto Rico's primacy program revision application is made pursuant to 40 CFR 142.12(d)(3). It shall become final and effective unless (1) a timely and appropriate request for a public hearing is received or (2) the Regional Administrator elects to hold a public hearing on her own motion. Any interested person, other than Federal Agencies, may request a public hearing.

    If a substantial request for a public hearing is made within the requested thirty day time frame, a public hearing will be held and a notice will be given in the Federal Register and a newspaper of general circulation. Frivolous or insubstantial requests for a hearing may be denied by the Regional Administrator.

    Any request for a public hearing shall include the following information: (1) Name, address and telephone number of the individual, organization or other entity requesting a hearing; (2) a brief statement of the requesting person's interest in the Regional Administrator's determination and a brief statement on information that the requesting person intends to submit at such hearing; and (3) the signature of the individual making the requests or, if the request is made on behalf of an organization or other entity, the signature of a responsible official of the organization or other entity.

    Dated: January 28, 2015. Judith A. Enck, Regional Administrator, Region 2.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03477 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-1171] Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection. Comments are requested concerning: whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before April 20, 2015. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 3060-1171.

    Title: Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (“CALM”) Act; 73.682(e) and 76.607(a).

    Form Number: Not applicable.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 2,937 respondents and 4,868 responses.

    Frequency of Response: Recordkeeping requirement; Third party disclosure requirement; On occasion reporting requirement.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.25-80 hours.

    Total Annual Burden: 6,036 hours.

    Total Annual Cost to Respondents: No cost.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this collection of information is contained in 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i) and (j), 303(r) and 621.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no assurance of confidentiality provided to respondents with this collection of information.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Needs and Uses: The Commission will use this information to determine compliance with the CALM Act. The CALM Act mandates that the Commission make the Advanced Television Systems Committee (“ATSC”) A/85 Recommended Practice mandatory for all commercial TV stations and cable/MVPDs.

    Federal Communications Commission.

    Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Office of the Managing Director.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03397 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0190 and 3060-0340] Information Collections Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission Under Delegated Authority AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before April 20, 2015. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0190.

    Title: Section 73.3544, Application To Obtain a Modified Station License.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities; Not-for-profit institutions.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 325 respondents and 325 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.25-1 hour.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. Statutory authority for this information collection is contained in 47 Section 154(i) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Total Annual Burden: 306 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: $75,000.

    Privacy Impact Assessment(s): No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality and respondents are not being asked to submit confidential information to the Commission.

    Needs and Uses: 47 CFR 73.3544(b) requires an informal application, see Sec. 73.3511(b), may be filed with the FCC in Washington, DC, Attention: Audio Division (radio) or Video Division (television), Media Bureau, to cover the following changes:

    (1) A correction of the routing instructions and description of an AM station directional antenna system field monitoring point, when the point itself is not changed.

    (2) A change in the type of AM station directional antenna monitor. See Sec. 73.69.

    (3) A change in the location of the station main studio when prior authority to move the main studio location is not required.

    (4) The location of a remote control point of an AM or FM station when prior authority to operate by remote control is not required.

    47 CFR 73.3544(c) requires a change in the name of the licensee where no change in ownership or control is involved may be accomplished by written notification by the licensee to the Commission.

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0340.

    Title: Section 73.51, Determining Operating Power.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 750 respondents; 834 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.25 to 3.0 hours.

    Frequency of Response: Recordkeeping requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this collection of information is contained in Section 154(i) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Total Annual Burden: 440 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: None.

    Privacy Impact Assessment(s): No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality and respondents are not being asked to submit confidential information to the Commission.

    Needs and Uses: When it is not possible to use the direct method of power determination due to technical reasons, the indirect method of determining antenna input power might be used on a temporary basis. 47 CFR Section 73.51(d) requires that a notation be made in the station log indicating the dates of commencement and termination of measurement using the indirect method of power determination. 47 CFR Section 73.51(e) requires that AM stations determining the antenna input power by the indirect method must determine the value F (efficiency factor) applicable to each mode of operation and must maintain a record thereof with a notation of its derivation. FCC staff use this information in field investigations to monitor licensees' compliance with the FCC's technical rules and to ensure that licensee is operating in accordance with its station authorization. Station personnel use the value F (efficiency factor) in the event that measurement by the indirect method of power is necessary.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary. Office of the Secretary, Office of the Managing Director.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03398 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION Notice of Agreements Filed

    The Commission hereby gives notice of the filing of the following agreements under the Shipping Act of 1984. Interested parties may submit comments on the agreements to the Secretary, Federal Maritime Commission, Washington, DC 20573, within twelve days of the date this notice appears in the Federal Register. Copies of the agreements are available through the Commission's Web site (www.fmc.gov) or by contacting the Office of Agreements at (202)-523-5793 or [email protected]

    Agreement No.: 011488-005.

    Title: CSVV/Cool Carriers Space Charter Agreement.

    Parties: Cool Carriers AB and CSAV Sud Americana De Vapores S.A.

    Filing Party: David F. Smith, Esq.; Cozen O'Connor; 1627 I Street NW., Suite 1100; Washington, DC 20006.

    Synopsis: The Amendment changes the name of Agreement party NYKCool AB to Cool Carriers AB and makes related conforming changes.

    Agreement No.: 012287-001.

    Title: Siem Car Carriers AS/Mitsui O.S.K Lines Ltd. Space Charter Agreement.

    Parties: Siem Car Carriers AS and Mitsui O.S.K Lines, Ltd.

    Filing Party: Ashley W. Craig, Esq. and Elizabeth K. Lowe, Esq.; Venable LLP; 575 Seventh Street NW., Washington, DC 20004.

    Synopsis: The Amendment adds Germany and the U.S. Gulf Coast to the geographic scope of the Agreement.

    Agreement No.: 012317.

    Title: MOL/“K” Line U.S. Atlantic and China Sailing Agreement.

    Parties: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd.

    Filing Party: Eric. C. Jeffrey, Esq.; Nixon Peabody LLP; 401 9th Street NW., Suite 900; Washington, DC 20004.

    Synopsis: The Agreement authorizes the Parties to coordinate their sailings and space requirements in the trade, and to discuss and agree upon the volumes, cargo characteristics, shipping requirements, and other transportation features of service for a specific shipper, when such shipper has given written authorization for such discussion and agreement.

    By Order of the Federal Maritime Commission.

    Dated: February 13, 2015. Rachel E. Dickon, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03506 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6730-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company

    The notificants listed below have applied under the Change in Bank Control Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)) and § 225.41 of the Board's Regulation Y (12 CFR 225.41) to acquire shares of a bank or bank holding company. The factors that are considered in acting on the notices are set forth in paragraph 7 of the Act (12 U.S.C. 1817(j)(7)).

    The notices are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The notices also will be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing to the Reserve Bank indicated for that notice or to the offices of the Board of Governors. Comments must be received not later than March 5, 2015.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (Gerald C. Tsai, Director, Applications and Enforcement) 101 Market Street, San Francisco, California 94105-1579:

    1. Bruce M. Williams and Joyce L. Williams, Anaheim, California; Brian Edward Williams, Yorba Linda, California; Ashley Maureen Williams, Orange, California; Brooke Ann Williams, Anaheim, California; Michael Robert Williams, Las Vegas, Nevada; Rebecca Kristy Williams, Fullerton, California; the Gladys M. Bryant Living Trust, Anaheim, California; and Bruce M. Williams as Trustee of the Gladys M. Bryant Living Trust, Anaheim, California; to acquire and retain 10 percent or more of the shares of CalWest Bancorp and thereby indirectly South County Bank National Association, both of Rancho Santa Margarita, California.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, February 13, 2015. Michael J. Lewandowski, Assistant Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03426 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies

    The companies listed in this notice have applied to the Board for approval, pursuant to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq.) (BHC Act), Regulation Y (12 CFR part 225), and all other applicable statutes and regulations to become a bank holding company and/or to acquire the assets or the ownership of, control of, or the power to vote shares of a bank or bank holding company and all of the banks and nonbanking companies owned by the bank holding company, including the companies listed below.

    The applications listed below, as well as other related filings required by the Board, are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The applications will also be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing on the standards enumerated in the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1842(c)). If the proposal also involves the acquisition of a nonbanking company, the review also includes whether the acquisition of the nonbanking company complies with the standards in section 4 of the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1843). Unless otherwise noted, nonbanking activities will be conducted throughout the United States.

    Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding each of these applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than March 16, 2015.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta (Chapelle Davis, Assistant Vice President) 1000 Peachtree Street NE., Atlanta, Georgia 30309:

    1. First Mercantile Financial Corporation, to become a bank holding company by acquiring 100 percent of the outstanding shares of Putnam 1st Mercantile Bank, both of Cookeville, Tennessee.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, February 13, 2015. Michael J. Lewandowski, Associate Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03427 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2014-D-1399] Guidance for Entities Considering Whether To Register as Outsourcing Facilities Under Section 503B of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing the availability of a draft guidance entitled “Guidance for Entities Considering Whether to Register as Outsourcing Facilities Under Section 503B of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.” This draft guidance is intended to inform entities that are considering registering as outsourcing facilities under section 503B of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act), as added by the Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA), of the regulatory implications of registration as an outsourcing facility.

    DATES:

    Although you can comment on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)), to ensure that the Agency considers your comment on this draft guidance before it begins work on the final version of the guidance, submit either electronic or written comments on the draft guidance by May 20, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit written requests for single copies of this guidance to the Division of Drug Information, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10001 New Hampshire Ave., Hillandale Building, 4th Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20993. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist that office in processing your requests. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the guidance document.

    Submit electronic comments on the guidance to http://www.regulations.gov. Submit written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sara Rothman, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20993, 301-796-3110.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    FDA is announcing the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled “Guidance for Entities Considering Whether to Register as Outsourcing Facilities Under Section 503B of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.” On November 27, 2013, President Obama signed the DQSA (Pub. L. 113-54) into law. The DQSA added a new section 503B to the FD&C Act that created a category of entities called “outsourcing facilities.” Section 503B(d)(4) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 353b(d)(4)) defines an outsourcing facility, in part, as a facility that complies with all of the requirements of section 503B, including registering with FDA as an outsourcing facility and paying associated fees. If the conditions outlined in section 503B(a) of the FD&C Act are satisfied, a drug compounded by or under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist in an outsourcing facility is exempt from certain sections of the FD&C Act, including section 502(f)(1) (21 U.S.C. 352(f)(1)) (concerning the labeling of drugs with adequate directions for use) and section 505 (21 U.S.C. 355) (concerning the approval of human drug products under new drug applications (NDAs) or abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs)). Drugs compounded in outsourcing facilities are not exempt from the requirements of section 501(a)(2)(B) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 351(a)(2)(B)) (concerning current good manufacturing practice for drugs).

    FDA has received questions about whether entities engaged in various types of activities (e.g., a facility that is compounding only non-sterile drugs or only repackaging biological products) should register as an outsourcing facility. Because entities that register as outsourcing facilities in fiscal year 2015 (beginning October 1, 2014) must pay a registration fee and FDA has determined that fees paid pursuant to sections 503B and 744K of the FD&C Act will not be refunded, FDA is issuing this guidance to answer some of these questions and to provide potential registrants additional information about the regulatory impact of registering as an outsourcing facility.

    Elsewhere in this volume of the Federal Register, FDA is announcing the availability of separate FDA guidance documents on (1) mixing, diluting, or repackaging biological products outside the scope of an approved biologics license application, and (2) repackaging certain human drug products by pharmacies and outsourcing facilities. These guidance documents describe FDA's compliance policies with respect to biological products that are mixed, diluted, or repackaged outside the scope of an approved biologics license application and repackaged human drugs.

    This draft guidance is being issued consistent with FDA's good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The draft guidance, when finalized, will represent the Agency's current thinking on registering as an outsourcing facility under section 503B of the FD&C Act. It does not create or confer any rights for or on any person and does not operate to bind FDA or the public. An alternative approach may be used if such approach satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations.

    II. Comments

    Interested persons may submit either electronic comments regarding this document to http://www.regulations.gov or written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES). It is only necessary to send one set of comments. Identify comments with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document. Received comments may be seen in the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and will be posted to the docket at http://www.regulations.gov.

    III. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the Internet may obtain the document at either http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm or http://www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: February 11, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03416 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2014-D-2138] Adverse Event Reporting for Outsourcing Facilities Under Section 503B of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or the Agency) is announcing the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled “Adverse Event Reporting for Outsourcing Facilities Under Section 503B of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.” Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act), an outsourcing facility must submit adverse event reports to FDA. This guidance explains FDA's current thinking on adverse event reporting for outsourcing facilities.

    DATES:

    Although you can comment on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)), to ensure that the Agency considers your comment on this draft guidance before it begins work to finalize the guidance, submit either electronic or written comments on this draft guidance by May 20, 2015. Submit either electronic or written comments concerning the collection of information proposed in the draft guidance by May 20, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit written requests for single copies of the draft guidance to the Division of Drug Information, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10001 New Hampshire Ave., Hillandale Building, 4th Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20993. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist that office in processing your requests. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the draft guidance document.

    Submit electronic comments on the draft guidance to http://www.regulations.gov. Submit written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    H. Joy Sharp, Office of Compliance, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-3100.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    FDA is announcing the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled “Adverse Event Reporting for Outsourcing Facilities Under Section 503B of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.” On November 27, 2013, President Obama signed the Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA) into law (Pub. L. 113-54). The DQSA added a new section 503B to the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 353b). Under section 503B(b), a compounder can register as an outsourcing facility with FDA. Section 503B(d)(4) of the FD&C Act defines an outsourcing facility, in part, as a facility that complies with all of the requirements of section 503B, including registering with FDA as an outsourcing facility and paying associated fees. If the conditions outlined in section 503B(a) of the FD&C Act are satisfied, a drug compounded by or under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist in an outsourcing facility is exempt from certain sections of the FD&C Act, including section 502(f)(1) (21 U.S.C. 352(f)(1)) (concerning the labeling of drugs with adequate directions for use) and section 505 (21 U.S.C. 355) (concerning the approval of human drug products under new drug applications (NDAs) or abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs)). Drugs compounded in outsourcing facilities are not exempt from the requirements of section 501(a)(2)(B) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 351(a)(2)(B)) (concerning current good manufacturing practice for drugs).

    Under section 503B(b)(5), an outsourcing facility must submit adverse event reports to FDA in accordance with the content and format requirements established through guidance or regulation under section 310.305 of title 21, Code of Federal Regulations (or any successor regulations). This draft guidance explains how FDA intends to implement § 310.305 with respect to outsourcing facilities.

    This draft guidance is being issued consistent with FDA's good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The draft guidance, when finalized, will represent the Agency's current thinking on this topic. It does not create or confer any rights for or on any person and does not operate to bind FDA or the public. An alternative approach may be used if such approach satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations.

    II. Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal Agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information that they conduct or sponsor. “Collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes Agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)) requires Federal Agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register for each proposed collection of information before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, FDA is publishing notice of the proposed collection of information set forth in this document.

    With respect to the collection of information associated with this document, FDA invites comments on the following topics: (1) Whether the proposed information collected is necessary for the proper performance of FDA's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of FDA's estimated burden of the proposed information collected, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of information collected on the respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques, when appropriate, and other forms of information technology.

    Under the draft guidance, registered outsourcing facilities must submit to FDA adverse event reports within 15 calendar days of receiving the information and must submit a followup report within 15 calendar days of receipt of new information about the adverse event, or as requested by FDA. Outsourcing facilities must submit the adverse event report using the existing Form FDA 3500A (which is approved by OMB control number 0910-0291) or an alternate method in accordance with § 310.305(d). A copy of the current labeling of the compounded drug product must be included. Each form should be submitted with a cover letter that includes the following heading: “Adverse event report submitted by human drug compounding outsourcing facility (503B).”

    Under § 310.305, entities subject to the regulation must maintain for 10 years the records of all adverse events required to be reported under § 310.305, including raw data and any correspondence relating to the adverse event. The outsourcing facility should also maintain records of its efforts to obtain the data elements described in the draft guidance for each adverse event report.

    The total estimated reporting and recordkeeping burdens for the draft guidance are as follows:

    Table 1—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden 1 Type of reporting Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total annual
  • responses
  • Average burden per response
  • (hours)
  • Total hours
    Submission of adverse event reports including cover letter, copy of labeling, and other information as described in the draft guidance 50 2 100 1.1 110 Total 110 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.
    Table 2—Estimated Annual Recordkeeping Burden 1 Type of recordkeeping Number of
  • recordkeepers
  • Number of records per recordkeeper Total annual records Average burden per recordkeeping
  • (hours)
  • Total hours
    Records of adverse events, including records of efforts to obtain the data elements for each adverse event report 50 1 50 16 800 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.
    III. Comments

    Interested persons may submit either electronic comments regarding this document to http://www.regulations.gov or written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES). It is only necessary to send one set of comments. Identify comments with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document. Received comments can be seen in the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and will be posted to the docket at http://www.regulations.gov.

    IV. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the Internet may obtain the document at either http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm or http://www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: February 11, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03419 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2014-N-1459] Memorandum of Understanding Addressing Certain Distributions of Compounded Human Drug Products Between the States and the Food and Drug Administration; New Proposed Draft; Availability AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability; withdrawal.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or the Agency) is announcing the availability for public comment of a draft standard memorandum of understanding (MOU) entitled “Memorandum of Understanding Addressing Certain Distributions of Compounded Human Drug Products Between the State of [insert State] and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.” The draft standard MOU describes the responsibilities of the State that chooses to sign the MOU in investigating and responding to complaints related to compounded human drug products distributed outside the State and in addressing the interstate distribution of inordinate amounts of compounded human drug products.

    FDA is also announcing the withdrawal of an earlier draft standard MOU entitled “Memorandum of Understanding on Interstate Distribution of Compounded Drug Products,” which was issued in January 1999. The January 1999 draft standard MOU is superseded by the new draft standard MOU.

    DATES:

    FDA is withdrawing its draft standard MOU that published on January 21, 1999 (64 FR 3301), as of February 19, 2015. Submit either electronic or written comments on the new draft standard MOU by June 19, 2015. Submit comments on information collection issues under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 by June 19, 2015 (see the “Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995” section of this document).

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit written requests for single copies of the MOU to Edisa Gozun, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Suite 5100, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. Send one self-addressed label to assist that office in processing your request. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the new draft standard MOU.

    Submit electronic comments on the new draft standard MOU or on the collection of information to http://www.regulations.gov. Submit written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Edisa Gozun, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Suite 5100, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-3110.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    Section 503A of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 353a) describes the conditions that must be satisfied for drug products compounded by a licensed pharmacist or licensed physician to be exempt from the following sections of the FD&C Act: (1) Section 501(a)(2)(B) (21 U.S.C. 351(a)(2)(B)) (concerning current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) requirements), (2) section 502(f)(1) (21 U.S.C. 352(f)(1)) (concerning the labeling of drugs with adequate directions for use), and (3) section 505 (21 U.S.C. 355) (concerning the approval of drugs under new drug applications or abbreviated new drug applications).

    One of the conditions to qualify for the exemptions listed in section 503A of the FD&C Act is that (1) the drug product is compounded in a State that has entered into an MOU with FDA that addresses the distribution of inordinate amounts of compounded drug products interstate and provides for appropriate investigation by a State agency of complaints relating to compounded drug products distributed outside such State; or (2) if the drug product is compounded in a State that has not entered into such an MOU, the licensed pharmacist, pharmacy, or physician does not distribute, or cause to be distributed, compounded drug products out of the State in which they are compounded in quantities that exceed 5 percent of the total prescription orders dispensed or distributed by such pharmacy or physician (see section 503A(b)(3)(B)(i) and (b)(3)(B)(ii) of the FD&C Act).

    Section 503A(b)(3)(B) of the FD&C Act directs FDA to develop, in consultation with the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), a standard MOU for use by the States in complying with section 503A(b)(3)(B)(i).

    II. Previous Efforts To Develop a Standard MOU

    In the Federal Register of January 21, 1999 (64 FR 3301), FDA announced the availability for public comment of a draft standard MOU, developed in consultation with NABP (1999 draft standard MOU). Over 6,000 commenters submitted comments on the 1999 draft standard MOU. Because of litigation over the constitutionality of the advertising, promotion, and solicitation provisions in section 503A,1 the draft standard MOU was never completed. In 2013, section 503A of the FD&C Act was amended by the Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA) (Pub. L. 113-54) to remove the advertising, promotion, and solicitation provisions that were held unconstitutional, and FDA is implementing section 503A, including the provisions on the MOU. By this notice, FDA is withdrawing the 1999 draft standard MOU, and the new draft standard MOU made available today supersedes that draft standard MOU.

    1 The conditions of section 503A of the FD&C Act originally included restrictions on the advertising or promotion of the compounding of any particular drug, class of drug, or type of drug and the solicitation of prescriptions for compounded drugs. These provisions were challenged in court and held unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2002. See Thompson v. Western States Med. Ctr., 535 U.S. 357 (2002).

    III. New 503A Guidance

    Immediately after the enactment of the DQSA, in December 2013, the Agency published a draft guidance on section 503A of the FD&C Act entitled “Pharmacy Compounding of Human Drug Products Under Section 503A of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act” (2013 draft 503A guidance) (see 78 FR 72901 (December 4, 2013) announcing the availability of the draft guidance). That draft guidance described FDA's proposed policy with regard to specific provisions of section 503A of the FD&C Act that require rulemaking or other action by FDA, such as the MOU provisions. Thirty-one commenters on the 2013 draft 503A guidance offered FDA their views on the MOU provisions of section 503A. FDA considered these comments in developing the new draft standard MOU. The final 503A guidance, published July 2, 2014 (see 79 FR 37742 announcing the availability of the final 503A guidance), states that FDA does not intend to enforce the 5 percent limit on distribution of compounded drug products out of the State in which they are compounded until after FDA has finalized an MOU and made it available to the States for their consideration and signature. After considering any comments on the new draft standard MOU submitted to this docket, FDA intends to finalize the standard MOU and make it available for signature by individual States. FDA will determine at the time of publication of the final MOU how long it will allow States to consider whether to sign the MOU before FDA begins to enforce the 5 percent limit in those States that have not signed an MOU.

    IV. New Draft Standard MOU

    FDA has now developed a new draft standard MOU on which it is soliciting public comment. FDA has consulted with NABP in developing this new draft standard MOU. FDA also considered the comments submitted in 1999 on the previous draft standard MOU, as well as comments on the MOU provisions it received in connection with the published 2013 draft 503A guidance. Key provisions of the new draft standard MOU are summarized and discussed in this section of the document and, where appropriate, compared to the provisions in the 1999 draft standard MOU.

    A. Investigation of Complaints

    The new draft standard MOU provides that States that enter into the MOU will agree to:

    • Investigate complaints relating to human drug products compounded in the State and distributed outside the State, including complaints about adverse drug experiences or certain product quality issues to, among other things, determine whether there is a potential public health risk or safety concern, and confirm that any risk or safety concern is adequately contained;

    • As appropriate, take action to ensure that the relevant compounding pharmacy, pharmacist, or physician determines the root cause of the problem and eliminates any public health risk identified in relation to the complaint;

    • Notify FDA within 72 hours of any complaints relating to a compounded human drug product distributed outside the State involving a potential public health risk or immediate safety concern, such as a report of a serious adverse drug experience or serious product quality issue, the State's initial assessment of the validity of the complaint, and any actions the State has taken or plans to take to address such complaints;

    • Provide FDA with certain information about the complaint, including the following:

    ○ Name and contact information of the complainant;

    ○ name and address of the pharmacist/pharmacy/physician that is the subject of the complaint;

    ○ a description of the complaint, including a description of any compounded drug product that is the subject of the complaint;

    ○ the State's initial assessment of the validity of the complaint relating to a compounded human drug product distributed outside the State; and

    ○ a description and date of any actions the State has taken to address the complaint; and

    • Maintain records of the complaints it receives, the investigation of each complaint, and any response to or action taken as a result of a complaint, beginning when the State receives notice of the complaint. The draft standard MOU says that the State agrees to maintain these records for at least 3 years, beginning on the date of final action or the date of a decision that the complaint requires no action.

    The new draft standard MOU, as compared to the 1999 draft standard MOU, clarifies that the types of complaints of compounded human drug products that should be investigated include any adverse drug experience (not just serious adverse drug experiences, which were identified as an example of the types of complaints to be investigated in the 1999 draft standard MOU) and product quality issues that, if left uncorrected, could lead to potential public health risks or safety concerns. Even nonserious adverse drug experiences and product quality issues can be indicative of problems at a compounding facility that could result in product quality defects leading to serious adverse drug experiences if not corrected. For example, inflammation around the site of an injection can indicate product contamination from inadequate sterile practices at the compounding pharmacy. If the pharmacy has inadequate sterile practices, other more serious contamination could result in serious adverse events.

    FDA is clarifying that the complaints that States agree to investigate under the MOU are only those complaints that are made about compounded human drug products distributed outside the State. In contrast to the 1999 draft standard MOU, the new draft standard MOU does not contain a provision that would require the States entering into the MOU with FDA to agree to investigate alleged violations of the FD&C Act. Upon further reflection, FDA has tentatively concluded that it would be more appropriate for FDA to determine whether a particular action is a violation of Federal law. Of course, if any State identifies a potential violation of Federal law, it is encouraged to report it to FDA.

    Furthermore, the new draft standard MOU does not include specific directions to the States relating to how to conduct their investigation of complaints. Rather, as recommended by comments previously submitted on the 1999 draft standard MOU, the details of such investigations are left to the States' discretion.

    States signing the new standard MOU would agree to notify FDA about certain complaints and provide FDA with certain information about the complaint so FDA could investigate the complaint itself, or take other appropriate action.2

    2 FDA is currently considering whether to propose regulations or issue guidance documents to further its implementation of section 503A(b)(3)(B) of the FD&C Act. Notice of any such action will be provided in the Federal Register.

    B. Inordinate Amounts

    The new draft standard MOU provides that States that enter into the MOU will agree to:

    • Review compounding records during inspections of compounding pharmacies to identify whether the compounding pharmacy, or the compounding pharmacist or physician, is distributing inordinate amounts of compounded human drug products interstate;

    • Notify FDA if the State identifies any pharmacy, pharmacist, or physician within its jurisdiction that has distributed inordinate amounts of compounded human drug products interstate;

    • Take action regarding any pharmacy, pharmacist, or physician that distributes inordinate amounts of compounded human drug products interstate; and

    • Provide FDA with certain information, including the following:

    ○ The name and address of the pharmacy/pharmacist/physician;

    ○ a description of the evidence indicating that the pharmacy/pharmacist/physician has distributed inordinate amounts of compounded human drug products interstate, including a description of any compounded drug product that was distributed in inordinate amounts; and

    ○ a description and date of any actions the State has taken to address the distribution of inordinate amounts of compounded human drug product interstate.

    In the new draft standard MOU, a pharmacist, pharmacy, or physician is considered to have distributed an inordinate amount of compounded human drug products interstate if the number of units of compounded human drug products distributed interstate during any calendar month is equal to or greater than 30 percent of the number of units of compounded and non-compounded drug products distributed or dispensed both intrastate and interstate by such pharmacist, pharmacy, or physician during that calendar month. FDA does not intend to include in the consideration of inordinate amounts those prescriptions dispensed to a patient (or patient's agent), where the patient (or patient's agent) to whom the drug is dispensed carries the drug across State lines after it has been dispensed to the patient (or the patient's agent) at the facility in which the drug was compounded.3 This concept would be called the 30 percent limit.

    3 Drugs that a patient takes across state lines in this manner are distributed interstate. However, for reasons explained in this notice, FDA's draft standard MOU does not count them toward the limit on distributing inordinate amounts of compounded drug products interstate.

    The 1999 draft standard MOU defined “inordinate amounts” as the number of compounded prescriptions dispensed or distributed interstate annually by a pharmacy or physician that is equal to or greater than 20 percent of the total number of prescriptions dispensed or distributed (including both intrastate and interstate) by such pharmacy or physician; or the number of compounded prescriptions dispensed or distributed interstate annually by a pharmacy or physician that is less than 20 percent of the total number of prescriptions dispensed or distributed (including both intrastate and interstate) by such pharmacy or physician, but prescriptions for one or more individual compounded drug products (including various strengths of the same active ingredient) dispensed or distributed interstate constitute more than 5 percent of the total number of prescriptions dispensed or distributed. The 1999 draft standard MOU also included an exclusion from calculations to determine inordinate amounts for “local” interstate distribution to patients within 50 miles of the compounding pharmacy, and for interstate distribution in response to a public health emergency or catastrophic event.

    Many comments on the 1999 draft standard MOU opposed the percentage limits it contained, and some comments on the 2013 draft 503A guidance opposed any definition of inordinate amounts that would significantly restrict interstate distributions under section 503A of the FD&C Act. Other comments suggested not defining “inordinate amounts,” leaving the definition up to the States, or defining the term as “the amount that would be considered conventional manufacturing.” FDA is proposing the 30 percent limit as the definition of “inordinate amounts” for the following reasons.

    Section 503A of the FD&C Act reflects Congress' recognition that human drug compounding may be appropriate when it is based on receiving a valid prescription or notation for an identified individual patient. However, drug products compounded under this section of the FD&C Act are not required to demonstrate that they are safe or effective, bear adequate directions for use, or conform to CGMP. Congress, therefore, imposed strict limits on the distribution of drug products compounded under this section to protect the public health and the integrity of the drug approval process.

    In particular, Congress did not intend for compounders operating under these statutory provisions to grow into conventional manufacturing operations making unapproved drugs, operating a substantial proportion of their business interstate. Although other provisions of the FD&C Act apply to state-licensed pharmacies and physicians that may qualify for the exemptions under section 503A of the FD&C Act (e.g., the adulteration provisions for making drugs under insanitary conditions), and although FDA may take action in appropriate cases against compounders that violate these provisions or that operate outside of the conditions in section 503A, Congress recognized that these compounders are primarily overseen by the States. If a substantial proportion of a compounder's drugs are distributed outside a State's borders, adequate regulation of those drugs poses significant challenges to State regulators. States face logistical, regulatory, and financial challenges inspecting compounders located outside of their jurisdiction. In addition, particularly if a compounder distributes drugs to multiple States, it can be very difficult to gather the scattered information about possible adverse events associated with those drugs, connect them to the compounder, and undertake coordinated action to address a potentially serious public health problem.

    Therefore, as a baseline measure, section 503A(b)(3)(B) of the FD&C Act limits the distribution of compounded human drug products outside of the State in which they are compounded under section 503A(a) to 5 percent of the total prescription orders dispensed or distributed by a licensed pharmacist, pharmacy, or physician. It then directs FDA, in consultation with NABP, to develop a standard MOU that addresses the distribution of inordinate amounts of compounded human drug products interstate and provides for appropriate investigation by a State agency of complaints relating to compounded human drug products distributed outside such State. Implementation of this provision requires FDA to determine whether a limit higher than 5 percent would be appropriate, provided the States make certain agreements: A State agrees to appropriately investigate complaints relating to compounded human drug products distributed out of the State and agrees to address the distribution of amounts that would be inordinate.

    FDA tentatively concludes that if a State agrees to meet the conditions set forth in this MOU, distribution interstate up to the 30 percent limit would not be inordinate. This conclusion is based on FDA's expectation that States signing the MOU would appropriately investigate complaints about compounded human drug products distributed out of State, and address compounders distributing an inordinate amount of compounded drug products out of the state in which they are compounded. FDA's current view is that its proposed limit would appropriately balance the benefits of access to compounded human drug products with the need to protect the public health and the drug approval system. We do not believe that an additional limit is necessary for the distribution of an individual compounded drug product such as that contained in the 1999 draft standard MOU.

    In developing the new draft standard MOU, we considered that patients can now obtain compounded human drug products from outsourcing facilities,4 which are not subject to volume restrictions on interstate distribution. This could mitigate the access concerns noted in some comments FDA received on the definition of “inordinate amounts” in the 1999 draft standard MOU, and in more recent comments expressing concerns about access if “inordinate amounts” is defined restrictively or the 5 percent limit is enforced.

    4 The DQSA adds new section 503B to the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 353b). Under section 503B(b) of the FD&C Act, a compounder may elect to become an outsourcing facility by registering with FDA. Products compounded in a registered outsourcing facility can qualify for exemptions from the FDA approval requirements in section 505 of the FD&C Act and the requirement to label products with adequate directions for use under section 502(f)(1) of the FD&C Act if the requirements in section 503B are met. Outsourcing facilities will be inspected by FDA and must comply with other provisions of the FD&C Act, such as CGMP requirements.

    It is appropriate to provide a bright line test for when compounding pharmacies located in States that sign the MOU cross the line to conventional manufacturing that should be subject to all of the requirements of the FD&C Act, including the new drug approval and CGMP requirements. Congress provided such a bright line test, the 5 percent limit, for compounders located in States that do not sign the MOU.

    Some commenters in response to the 1999 draft MOU and the 2013 draft 503A guidance were concerned with limitations on interstate distribution of compounded human drug products to contiguous States. In the 1999 draft MOU, the calculation of “inordinate amounts” excluded compounded human drug products that were distributed interstate but within 50 miles of the pharmacy or physician's office. After considering the provision in the 1999 draft MOU and the comments, FDA believes that the 30 percent limit on inordinate amounts provided in this new draft standard MOU is high enough that special calculations to address interstate distribution between contiguous States or over short distances are not needed. Moreover, the new draft standard MOU includes consideration of inordinate amounts of prescriptions dispensed to a patient (or patient's agent), if the patient (or patient's agent) to whom the drug is dispensed carries the drug across State lines after it has been dispensed to the patient (or patient's agent) at the facility in which the drug was compounded. We also do not intend to count as part of the 5 percent limit on distribution out of the State prescriptions dispensed to a patient (or patient's agent), if the patient (or patient's agent) to whom the drug is dispensed carries the drug across State lines after it has been dispensed to the patient (or patient's agent) at the facility in which the drug was compounded. We believe this treatment of these transactions where there are direct relationships among the patient, the prescriber, and the pharmacist or physician compounding the drug is consistent with section 503A of the FD&C Act.

    Finally, the new draft standard MOU does not exclude from the calculation of “inordinate amounts” interstate distributions in response to a public health emergency or catastrophic event. We believe the 30 percent limit affords adequate opportunity for interstate distributions and note that outsourcing facilities may be able to compound drugs in an emergency and drugs on FDA's drug shortage list, further mitigating access concerns.

    C. Definitions

    The Appendix to the new draft standard MOU defines key terms used in the MOU, including “adverse drug experience,” “serious adverse drug experience,” “product quality issue,” “serious product quality issue,” and “distribution.” The definitions of “adverse drug experience,” “serious adverse drug experience,” “product quality issue,” and “serious product quality issue” are taken from relevant sections of FDA's regulations (see 21 CFR 310.305 and 314.81). For purposes of the new draft standard MOU, a “distribution” occurs when a compounded human drug product leaves the facility in which the drug was compounded. Distribution includes delivery or shipment to a physician's office, hospital, or other health care setting for administration and dispensing to an agent of a patient or to a patient for his or her own use. However, the definition notes that, to qualify for the exemptions under section 503A of the FD&C Act, a compounder must obtain a prescription for an individually identified patient (section 503A(a)), and the draft standard MOU would not alter this condition. Interstate distributions of compounded drug products would count toward the 30 percent limit whether or not the compounded drug products satisfied the prescription condition, or other conditions, in section 503A of the FD&C Act.

    Some comments on the 2013 draft 503A guidance state that provisions in the standard MOU relating to drug distribution should not apply to dispensed drugs. Although the comments do not share a single definition of dispensing, or offer a detailed definition, they generally take the position that a drug is dispensed when it is provided pursuant to a prescription or doctor's order, and that dispensing is not a form of distribution. We have not adopted this approach, and propose a definition of distribution that we believe is consistent with the text and purpose of section 503A of the FD&C Act. Under our draft standard MOU, a distribution occurs when a compounded drug leaves the facility where it was made, regardless of whether the drug is also deemed to be dispensed.

    Section 503A(b)(3)(B) of the FD&C Act directs FDA to include provisions in the MOU regarding the distribution of compounded drugs. The section does not define distribution to exclude dispensing, which Congress has done elsewhere when that was its intention.5 Our proposed definition implements the purpose of section 503A(b)(3)(B) of the FD&C Act, which is to limit and regulate compounded drugs that are sent out of the state in which they are made.6 Our definition is also consistent with the ordinary meaning of distribute; it is natural to say that an entity compounding under section 503A of the FD&C Act distributes the drugs it makes to patients and health care providers, just as the manufacturers of other regulated articles are said to distribute their products to their customers. The definition proposed by comments, on the other hand, would write an exclusion for dispensing into the statute where Congress did not. It would also mean that drug products compounded under section 503A of the FD&C Act are excluded from the MOU and the 5 percent limit, because, in order to qualify for the exemptions under section 503A, a compounder must obtain a valid prescription order for an individually identified patient. For the reasons stated previously in section IV.B of this document, we believe this would achieve the opposite of what Congress intended.

    5 In different contexts, where it would further a regulatory purpose, Congress and the Agency have specifically defined distribute to exclude dispensing. See, for example, section 581(5) of the FD&C Act, which applies to Title II of the DQSA, and 21 CFR 208.3, which applies to 21 CFR part 208 of our regulations. Section 503A of the FD&C Act does not contain a similar definition, or specific direction to exclude dispensing from the meaning of distribution. We also note that these definitions were adopted for provisions that focus on conventionally manufactured drug products, which assign different obligations to dispensers than to wholesalers, packagers, or other intermediaries in light of the different role that dispensers play with respect to product labeling and the drug distribution chain. In contrast, section 503A of the FD&C Act focuses on compounded drugs, and the reasons for defining distribution to exclude dispensing in Title II of the DQSA or part 208 do not apply.

    6 See discussion of the purposes of section 503A of the FD&C Act in section IV.B, supra.

    In support of their alternative approach, commenters note that in section 503A(b)(3)(B)(ii) of the FD&C Act, Congress directed FDA to calculate the quantity of “prescription orders dispensed and distributed” when the Agency applies the 5 percent limit to compounders in states that do not sign the MOU. This language, however, supports FDA's proposed approach, because it makes clear that Congress understood the word distribute in this section to refer to filling prescription orders; otherwise it would not have directed the Agency to count the number of prescription orders that pharmacists and prescribers “distributed.” Nor is there anything to suggest that Congress understood distributed and dispensed to be mutually exclusive categories rather than overlapping categories. Given the statutory text and purpose, we believe that Congress referred to drugs dispensed or distributed in section 503A(b)(3)(B) of the FD&C Act to make clear that the Agency must not limit its calculation of total prescription orders to compounded drugs that the pharmacy or prescriber makes, but also include any other prescription orders, such as conventionally manufactured drugs, for which the pharmacist or prescriber serves solely as the dispenser.

    V. Other Issues A. Development of a Standard MOU

    A number of commenters on both the 1999 draft MOU and on the 2013 draft 503A guidance suggested that FDA specifically negotiate MOUs with individual States, rather than develop a standard MOU. Section 503A of the FD&C Act requires the Agency to develop a standard MOU for use by the States. Furthermore, it would be impractical to develop an individualized MOU with every State, and creating individualized MOUs would create a patchwork of regulation of interstate distribution from compounders seeking to qualify for the exemptions under section 503A of the FD&C Act. This would be confusing to the health care community, as well as regulators.

    B. Exemptions From the Interstate Distribution Provisions

    Some comments on the 2013 draft 503A guidance requested that we consider exempting certain drug products or types of compounding entities from the limits in the MOU and the 5 percent limit. For example, some comments recommended that we exempt nonsterile products or home infusion pharmacies.

    Congress did not exempt any particular drug products or compounding entities from the 5 percent limit. Furthermore, FDA believes that the 5 percent limit and the MOU limit on inordinate amount provisions are important to distinguish pharmacy compounding from conventional manufacturing in the guise of compounding, and to protect consumers and the integrity of the drug approval process. American consumers rely on the FDA drug approval process to ensure that medications have been evaluated for safety and effectiveness before they are marketed in the United States. Drugs made by compounders, including those made at human drug compounding outsourcing facilities, are not FDA-approved. This means that they have not undergone premarket review of safety, effectiveness, or manufacturing quality. Therefore, when an FDA-approved drug is commercially available, FDA recommends that practitioners prescribe the FDA-approved drug rather than a compounded drug unless the prescribing practitioner has determined that a compounded product is necessary for the particular patient and would provide a significant difference for the patient as compared to the FDA-approved commercially available drug product.

    In section 503A of the FD&C Act, Congress enacted several conditions to differentiate compounders from manufacturers and provided that only if they meet those conditions can they qualify for the exemptions from the drug approval requirements in section 505 of the FD&C Act. One of those conditions relates to limitations on the interstate distribution of compounded human drug products, and FDA intends to enforce those provisions to differentiate compounding that qualifies for the exemptions from conventional manufacturing in the guise of compounding that does not, and will apply the conditions to all types of drugs and all categories of compounding.

    C. Information Sharing Between States and FDA

    Several commenters on the 1999 draft MOU proposed that signatories to the MOU would agree to share information on a variety of subjects. The new draft standard MOU provides that States will agree to notify FDA of any complaint relating to a compounded human drug product distributed outside the State involving a potential public health risk or immediate safety concern, such as a report of a serious adverse drug experience or serious product quality issue, and provide information about those events and issues. The new draft standard MOU also provides that States will notify FDA if they identify a pharmacist, pharmacy, or physician within their jurisdiction that has distributed inordinate amounts of compounded human drug products interstate. In addition, FDA regularly posts on its compounding Web site information about enforcement and other actions related to compounders that violate the FD&C Act, and it is obligated to share certain information with States under section 105 of the DQSA.

    D. Enforcement of the 5 Percent Limit on Distribution of Compounded Drug Products Out of the State in Which They Are Compounded

    In the 2013 draft 503A guidance, FDA stated that it does not intend to enforce the 5 percent limit on distribution of compounded drug products outside of the State in which they are compounded until 90 days after FDA has finalized a standard MOU and made it available to the States for their consideration and signature. Most commenters on the 2013 draft 503A guidance said this period was too short, but did not recommend a specific alternative. A few commenters recommended a different timeframe, one recommending 120 days and another recommending 365 days. The 1997 Senate Committee Report for the Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act suggests that a 180-day period for States to decide whether to sign might be appropriate.7 The Agency proposes a 180-day period after the final standard MOU is made available for signature before FDA will enforce the 5 percent limit in States that have not signed the MOU, and invites public comment on whether this is the appropriate timeframe. FDA will announce at the time it publishes the final standard MOU and makes it available for signature when it intends to begin enforcing the 5 percent limit in States that do not sign.

    7 “[U]ntil the State . . . enters into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Secretary or 180 days after the development of the standard MOU, whichever comes first, the [section 503A] exemption shall not apply if inordinate quantities of compounded products are distributed outside of the State in which the compounding pharmacy or physician is located.” (U.S. Senate Committee Report, see note 2.)

    VI. Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal Agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. “Collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes Agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), requires Federal Agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register for each proposed collection of information before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, FDA is publishing notice of the proposed collection of information set forth in this document.

    With respect to the following collection of information, FDA invites comments on these topics: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FDA's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of FDA's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques, when appropriate, and other forms of information technology.

    Section 503A of the FD&C Act describes, among other things, the circumstances under which certain human drug products compounded by a licensed pharmacist or licensed physician are exempt from certain sections of the FD&C Act. One of the conditions to qualify for the exemptions listed in section 503A of the FD&C Act is that: (1) The human drug product is compounded in a State that has entered into an MOU with FDA that addresses the distribution of inordinate amounts of compounded human drug products interstate and provides for appropriate investigation by a State agency of complaints relating to compounded human drug products distributed outside such a State; or (2) if the human drug product is compounded in a State that has not entered into such an MOU, the licensed pharmacist, pharmacy, or physician does not distribute, or cause to be distributed, compounded human drug products out of the State in which they are compounded, more than 5 percent of the total prescription orders dispensed or distributed by such pharmacy or physician (see section 503A(b)(3)(B)(i) and (b)(3)(B)(ii).

    Section 503A(b)(3) directs FDA, in consultation with the NABP, to develop a standard MOU for use by states in complying with the provisions concerning the interstate distribution of inordinate amounts of compounded human drug products interstate and appropriate investigation by a State agency of complaints relating to compounded human drug products distributed outside such State.

    The new draft standard MOU contains the information collections that must be approved by OMB under the PRA. These information collections are described in this section of the document. For purposes of this analysis, FDA assumes that 25 States will sign the standard MOU with FDA.

    Under section III.a. of the new draft standard MOU, the State will notify FDA by email at [email protected] within 72 hours of receiving any complaint relating to a compounded human drug product distributed outside the State involving a potential public health risk or immediate safety concern, such as a report of a serious adverse drug experience or serious product quality issue. The notification will include the following information: (1) The name and contact information of the complainant, in the case of a complaint; (2) the name and address of the pharmacist, pharmacy, and/or physician that is the subject of the complaint; (3) a description of the complaint, including a description of any compounded drug product that is the subject of the complaint; (4) the State's initial assessment of the validity of the complaint relating to a compounded human drug product distributed outside the State; and (5) a description and date of any actions the State has taken to address the complaint. In addition, the States will maintain records of the complaints they receive, the investigation of each complaint, and any response to or action taken as a result of a complaint, beginning when the State receives notice of the complaint. The States will maintain these records for at least 3 years, beginning on the date of final action or the date of a decision that the complaint requires no action.

    Based on our knowledge of State regulation of compounding practices and related complaints, we estimate that annually a total of approximately 25 States (“no. of respondents” in table 1, row 1) will notify FDA within 72 hours of receiving any complaint relating to a compounded human drug product distributed outside the State involving a potential public health risk or immediate safety concern. We estimate that each State will notify FDA annually of approximately 3 complaints it receives (“no. of responses per respondent” in table 1, row 1), for a total of 75 notifications of complaints sent to FDA (“total annual responses” in table 1, row 1). We estimate that preparing and submitting this information to us as described in the MOU will take approximately 0.5 hours per response (“average burden per response” in table 1, row 1), for a total of 37.5 hours (“total hours” in table 1, row 1).

    We also estimate that a total of approximately 25 States (“no. of recordkeepers” in table 2) will prepare and maintain records for 3 years of the complaints they receive, investigations of complaints, and on any State action taken or replies to complaints. We estimate that each State will receive approximately 3 complaints annually and will prepare and maintain approximately 5 records per each complaint the State receives, for a total of 15 records per State (“no. of records per recordkeeper” in table 2), and a total of 375 records annually across all States (“total annual records” in table 2). We further estimate that preparing and maintaining these records will take approximately 1 hour per record (“average burden per recordkeeping (in hours)” in table 2), for a total of 375 hours (“total hours” in table 2).

    Under section III.a. of the new draft standard MOU, investigations performed by the State under this MOU will ensure that (1) the root cause of the problem that is the subject of the complaint is determined, (2) any risk or safety concern associated with the compounded human drug product is adequately contained (i.e., there is no ongoing risk to the public), and (3) sufficient corrective action has been taken to eliminate any future public health risk.

    Under section III.b of the new draft standard MOU, the States will notify FDA by email at [email protected] within 7 days of determining that a pharmacist, pharmacy, or physician within their jurisdiction has distributed inordinate amounts of compounded human drug products interstate, as described in the MOU. The notification should include the following information: (1) The name and address of the pharmacist/pharmacy/physician; (2) a description of the evidence indicating that the pharmacist/pharmacy/physician has distributed inordinate amounts of compounded human drug products interstate, including a description of any compounded drug product that was distributed in inordinate amounts; and (3) a description and date of any actions the State has taken to address the distribution of inordinate amounts of compounded human drug products interstate.

    We estimate that annually a total of approximately 25 States (“no. of respondents” in table 1, row 2) will notify FDA of their determination that a pharmacist, pharmacy, or physician has distributed inordinate amounts of compounded human drug products interstate. We estimate that each State will notify FDA annually of approximately 2 determinations it makes (“no. of responses per respondent” in table 1, row 2), for a total of 50 determinations (“total annual responses” in table 1, row 2). We estimate that preparing and submitting this information to FDA as described in the MOU will take approximately 0.5 hours per response (“average burden per response” in table 1, row 2), for a total of 25 hours (“total hours” in table 1, row 2).

    Under section V of the current draft standard MOU, a State may designate a new liaison to the MOU by notifying FDA's administrative liaison in writing. If a State's liaison becomes unavailable to fulfill its functions under the MOU, the State will name a new liaison within 2 weeks and notify FDA.

    We estimate that annually a total of approximately 13 States (“no. of respondents” in table 1, row 3) will notify FDA of a new liaison to the MOU. We estimate that each State will submit to FDA annually approximately 1 notification of a new liaison (“no. of responses per respondent” in table 1, row 3), for a total of 13 notifications of a new liaison (“total annual responses” in table 1, row 3). We estimate that preparing and submitting each notification as described in the MOU will take approximately 0.2 hours per response (“average burden per response” in table 1, row 3), for a total of 2.6 hours (“total hours” in table 1, row 3).

    Under section VI of the new draft standard MOU, a State may terminate its participation in the MOU by submitting to FDA a 30-day notice of termination.

    We estimate that annually a total of approximately 1 State (“no. of respondents” in table 1, row 4) will notify FDA that it intends to terminate its participation in the MOU. We estimate that this State will submit to FDA annually approximately 1 notification of termination (“no. of responses per respondent” in table 1, row 4), for a total of 1 notification (“total annual responses” in table 1, row 4). We estimate that preparing and submitting the notification as described in the MOU will take approximately 0.2 hours per notification (“average burden per response” in table 1, row 4), for a total of 0.2 hours (“total hours” in table 1, row 4).

    Under section VI of the new draft standard MOU, if a State does not adhere to the provisions of the MOU, FDA may post a 30-day notice of termination on its Web site. As a result of this action by FDA, the State will notify all pharmacists, pharmacies, and physicians within the State of the termination and advise them that compounded human drug products may be distributed (or caused to be distributed) out of the State only in quantities that do not exceed 5 percent of the total prescription orders dispensed or distributed by the pharmacist, pharmacy, or physician.

    We estimate that annually a total of approximately 1 State (“no. of respondents” in table 3) will submit 1 notification of termination as described in the MOU (“no. of disclosures per respondent” in table 3) to the pharmacists, pharmacies, and physicians in its State for a total of 1 notification of termination (“total annual disclosures” in table 3). We estimate that preparing and submitting each notification will take approximately 1 hour per notification (“average burden per disclosure (in hours)” in table 3), for a total of 1 hour (“total hours” in table 3).

    FDA estimates the burden of this collection of information as follows:

    Table 1—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden 1 Compounding MOU between FDA and States Number of
  • respondents
  • Number o
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total annual
  • responses
  • Average burden per response Total hours
    State notifies FDA of compounding complaints it receives 25 3 75 0.5 37.5 State notifies FDA of the distribution of inordinate amounts of compounded drug products 25 2 50 0.5 25 State notifies FDA of a new liaison to the MOU 13 1 13 0.2 2.6 State notifies FDA of its intent to terminate participation in the MOU 1 1 1 0.2 0.2 Total 64 7 139 N/A 65.3 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.
    Table 2—Estimated Annual Recordkeeping Burden 1 Compounding MOU between FDA and States Number of recordkeepers Number of records per recordkeeper Total annual records Average burden per recordkeeping
  • (in Hours)
  • Total Hours
    State recordkeeping for 3 years of compounding complaints 25 15 375 1 375 Total 25 15 375 1 375 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.
    Table 3—Estimated Annual Third-Party Disclosure Burden 1 Compounding MOU between FDA and States Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • disclosures per
  • respondent
  • Total annual
  • disclosures
  • Average burden per disclosure
  • (in Hours)
  • Total hours
    State notification to pharmacists, pharmacies, and physicians that its participation in the MOU has been terminated by FDA 1 1 1 1 1 Total 1 1 1 1 1 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.
    VII. Request for Comments

    FDA invites comments from interested persons on the new draft standard MOU that would establish an agreement between the signatory States and FDA regarding the appropriate investigation by such States of complaints relating to compounded human drug products distributed outside the State, and the distribution of inordinate amounts of compounded human drug products interstate. The Agency is providing a 120-day comment period.

    After considering any comments on the new draft standard MOU submitted to this docket, FDA intends to finalize the standard MOU and make it available for signature by individual States. FDA will determine at the time of publication of the final MOU how long it will allow States to consider whether to sign the MOU before FDA begins to enforce the 5 percent limit in those States that have not signed an MOU.

    Interested persons may submit either electronic comments regarding this document to http://www.regulations.gov or written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES). It is only necessary to send one set comments. Identify comments with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document. Received comments may be seen in the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and will be posted to the docket at http://www.regulations.gov.

    VIII. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the Internet may obtain the draft standard MOU at http://www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: February 12, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03420 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2014-D-1525] Mixing, Diluting, or Repackaging Biological Products Outside the Scope of an Approved Biologics License Application; Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or the Agency) is announcing the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled “Mixing, Diluting, or Repackaging Biological Products Outside the Scope of an Approved Biologics License Application.” This draft guidance describes the conditions under which FDA does not intend to take action against a state-licensed pharmacy, a Federal facility, or outsourcing facility that mixes, dilutes, or repackages certain biological products without obtaining an approved biologics license application (BLA).

    DATES:

    Although you can comment on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)), to ensure that the Agency considers your comment on this draft guidance before it begins work on the final version of the guidance, submit either electronic or written comments on the draft guidance by May 20, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit written requests for single copies of this guidance to the Division of Drug Information, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Rm. 2201, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002; or the Office of Communication, Outreach and Development, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Avenue, Bldg. 71, Rm. 3128, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist that office in processing your requests. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the guidance document.

    Submit electronic comments on the guidance to http://www.regulations.gov. Submit written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Leah Christl, Center for Drugs Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 22, Rm. 6426, Silver Spring, MD 20903, 301-796-0869; or Stephen Ripley, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 71, Rm. 7301, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 240-402-7911.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    FDA is announcing the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled “Mixing, Diluting, or Repackaging of Biological Products Outside the Scope of an Approved Biologics License Application.” Certain licensed biological products may need to be mixed, diluted, or repackaged in a way not described in the approved labeling for the product to meet the needs of a specific patient. For example, for some biological products there is no licensed pediatric strength and/or dosage form. In addition, there may be certain circumstances when a person would remove a licensed biological product from its original container and place it into a different container(s) (repackage it), in a manner that is not within the scope of the approved labeling for the product. As described in the draft guidance, mixed, diluted, or repackaged biological products are not eligible for the statutory exemptions available to certain compounded drugs under sections 503A and 503B of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 353A and 353B). In addition, a biological product that is mixed, diluted, or repackaged outside the scope of an approved BLA is considered an unlicensed biological product under section 351 of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act (21 U.S.C. 262).

    This draft guidance describes the conditions under which FDA does not intend to take action for violations of section 351 of the PHS Act and section 502(f)(1) (21 U.S.C. 352(f)(1) and where specified, section 501(a)(2)(B) (21 U.S.C. 351(a)(2)(B) of the FD&C Act, when a state-licensed pharmacy, a Federal facility, or an outsourcing facility dilutes, mixes, or repackages certain biological products without obtaining an approved BLA.

    Elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, the Agency is making available for comment a draft guidance entitled “Repackaging of Certain Human Drug Products by Pharmacies and Outsourcing Facilities.” When these two guidances become final, they will address and clarify the Agency's policy regarding hospital pharmacies repackaging and safely transferring repackaged drug, including biological products, to other hospitals within the same health system during a drug shortage. Therefore, under section 506F(d) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 356f(d), when FDA issues these as final guidances, section 506F will no longer apply.

    This draft guidance is being issued consistent with FDA's good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). This guidance, when finalized, will represent FDA's current thinking on mixing, diluting, and repackaging of biological products not within the scope of the product's approved BLA as described in the approved labeling for the product. It does not create or confer any rights for or on any person and does not operate to bind FDA or the public. An alternative approach may be used if such approach satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations.

    II. Comments

    Interested persons may submit either electronic comments regarding this document to http://www.regulations.gov or written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES). It is only necessary to send one set of comments. Identify comments with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document. Received comments may be seen in the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and will be posted to the docket at http://www.regulations.gov.

    III. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This draft guidance contains information collection provisions that are subject to review by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). The title, description, and respondent description of the information collection are given under this section with an estimate of the annual reporting and recordkeeping burdens. Included in the estimate is the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information.

    We invite comments on these topics: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FDA's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of FDA's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques, when appropriate, and other forms of information technology.

    Title: Draft Guidance for Industry: Mixing, Diluting, or Repackaging of Biological Products Outside the Scope of an Approved Biologics License Application.

    Description: The draft guidance describes FDA's policy with respect to the mixing, diluting, and repackaging of certain types of biological products that have been licensed under section 351 of the PHS Act when such activities are not within the scope of the product's approved BLA as described in the approved labeling for the product. The draft guidance describes the conditions under which FDA does not intend to take action for violations of section 351 of the PHS Act and section 502(f)(1) and where specified, section 501(a)(2)(B) of the FD&C Act, when a state-licensed pharmacy, a Federal facility, or an outsourcing facility mixes, dilutes, or repackages certain biological products without obtaining an approved BLA.

    The draft guidance includes the following collection of information under the PRA.

    One condition described in the draft guidance is that, if the biological product is mixed, diluted, or repackaged by an outsourcing facility, the label on the immediate container (primary packaging, e.g., the syringe) of the mixed, diluted, or repackaged product includes the following information:

    • The statement “This product was mixed or diluted by [name of outsourcing facility],” or “This product was repackaged by [name of outsourcing facility]” whichever statement is appropriate;

    • the address and phone number of the outsourcing facility that mixed, diluted, or repackaged the biological product;

    • the proper name of the original biological product that was mixed, diluted, or repackaged;

    • the lot or batch number of the mixed, diluted, or repackaged biological product;

    • the dosage form and strength;

    • a statement of either the quantity or the volume of the mixed, diluted, or repackaged biological product, whichever is appropriate;

    • the date the biological product was mixed, diluted, or repackaged;

    • the beyond-use-date (BUD) of the mixed, diluted, or repackaged biological product;

    • storage and handling instructions for the mixed, diluted, or repackaged biological product;

    • the National Drug Code (NDC) number of the mixed, diluted, or repackaged biological product, if available; 1

    1 The NDC number of the original licensed biological product should not be placed on the mixed, diluted, or repackaged biological product.

    • The statement “Not for resale,” and, if the biological product is distributed by an outsourcing facility other than pursuant to a prescription for an individual identified patient, the statement “Office Use Only”; and

    • If included on the label of the FDA-licensed product from which the biological product is being mixed, diluted, or repackaged, a list of the active and inactive ingredients; and if the ingredients are listed because they were listed on the original product, the label of the mixed, diluted, or repackaged product should include any additional ingredients that appear in the mixed, diluted, or repackaged product.

    Another condition in the draft guidance is that, if the immediate product label is too small or the mixed, diluted, or repackaged product is otherwise unable to accommodate a label with sufficient space to bear the active and inactive ingredients, such information should be included on the label of the container from which the individual units are removed for administration (secondary packaging, e.g., the bag, box, or other package in which the mixed, diluted, or repackaged biological products are distributed).

    In addition, the draft guidance describes the conditions that the container label include directions for use, including, as appropriate, dosage and administration, and the following information to facilitate adverse event reporting: http://www.fda.gov/medwatch and 1-800-FDA-1088. Another condition in the draft guidance is that each mixed, diluted, or repackaged biological product is also accompanied by a copy of the prescribing information that accompanied the original licensed biological product that was mixed, diluted, or repackaged.

    We estimate that annually a total of approximately five registered outsourcing facilities that mix, dilute, or repackage biological products (“Number of Respondents” in table 1, row 1) will each design, test, and produce approximately five different labels (“Frequency per Disclosure” in table 1, row 1), for a total of 25 labels that include the information set forth in section III.B of the draft guidance (including directions for use) (“Total Disclosures” in table 1, row 1). We also estimate that designing, testing, and producing each label will take approximately 0.5 hours (“Hours per Disclosure” in table 1, row 1). The provision to add http://www.fda.gov/medwatch and 1-800-FDA-1088 is not included in this burden estimate because it is not considered a collection of information under the PRA because the information is “originally supplied by the Federal Government to the recipient for the purpose of disclosure to the public” (5 CFR 1320.3(c)(2)).

    Section III.C of the draft guidance discusses the preparation of prescription sets (i.e., licensed allergenic extracts that are combined to provide subcutaneous immunotherapy to an individual patient) by a physician, state-licensed pharmacy, a Federal facility, or outsourcing facility. Under the draft guidance, if the prescription set is mixed or diluted by an outsourcing facility, the label on the immediate container of the prescription set (primary packaging) includes:

    • The patient's name as identified on the prescription;

    • the statement “This prescription set was prepared by [name of outsourcing facility]”;

    • the address and phone number of the outsourcing facility that prepared the prescription set;

    • the identity of each allergenic extract in the prescription set and the quantity of each;

    • the dilution of each dilution vial;

    • the lot or batch number of the prescription set;

    • the date the prescription set was prepared;

    • the BUD of the prescription set;

    • storage and handling instructions for the prescription set; and

    • the statement “Not for resale”.

    In addition, under the draft guidance, the label of the container from which the individual units of the prescription set are removed for administration (secondary packaging) includes the following information to facilitate adverse event reporting: http://www.fda.gov/medwatch and 1-800-FDA-1088. Each prescription set prepared is also accompanied by instructions for use and the FDA approved package insert for each allergenic extract.

    We estimate that annually a total of approximately five outsourcing facilities that prepare prescription sets (“Number of Respondents” in table 2, row 1) will each include the information set forth in section III.C of the draft guidance (including directions for use) on the labels, packages, and/or containers of approximately 300 prescription sets (“Frequency per Disclosure” in table 2, row 1) for a total of 1500 disclosures (“Total Disclosures” in table 2, row 1). We also estimate that the initial process of designing, testing, and producing, and attaching each label, package, and/or container to each prescription set will take approximately 0.5 hours (“Hours per Disclosure” in table 2, row 1). The provision to add the statement http://www.fda.gov/medwatch and 1-800-FDA-1088 is not included in this burden estimate because it is not considered a collection of information under the PRA because the information is “originally supplied by the Federal Government to the recipient for the purpose of disclosure to the public” (5 CFR 1320.3(c)(2)).

    We also estimate that a total of approximately five outsourcing facilities (“Number of Respondents” in table 2, row 2) will each design, test, and produce the instructions for use and a copy of prescribing information, as set forth in section III.C of the draft guidance, for approximately 300 prescription sets (“Frequency per Disclosure” in table 2, row 2) for a total of 1500 disclosures (total disclosures” in table 2, row 2), which we estimate will take approximately 1 hour for each prescription set (“Hours per Disclosure” in table 2, row 2). The provision to include http://www.fda.gov/medwatch and 1-800-FDA-1088 is not included in this burden estimate because they are not considered a collection of information under the PRA because the information is “originally supplied by the Federal Government to the recipient for the purpose of disclosure to the public” (5 CFR 1320.3(c)(2)).

    The total estimated third-party disclosure burden resulting from the draft guidance is as follows:

    Table 1—Estimated Annual Third-Party Disclosure Burden 1 Biological product mixing, diluting, and repackaging Number of
  • respondents
  • Frequency per disclosure Total
  • disclosures
  • Hours per
  • disclosure
  • Total hours
    Designing, testing, and producing the label, container, packages, and/or outer containers for each mixed, diluted, or repackaged biological product 5 5 25 0.5 12.5 Prescribing information labeling accompanying each mixed, diluted, or repackaged drug product 5 5 25 1 25 Total 37.5 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information. *(30 minutes)
    Table 2—Estimated Annual Third-Party Disclosure Burden 1 Preparation of prescription sets Number of
  • respondents
  • Frequency per disclosure Total
  • disclosures
  • Hours per
  • disclosure
  • Total hours
    Designing, testing, and producing each label on immediate containers, packages, and/or outer containers 5 300 1500 0.5 750 Including instructions for use labeling and the original package insert(s) for each prescription set 5 300 1500 1 1500 Total 2250 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information. *(30 minutes)

    The draft guidance also references registration, product reporting, current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) requirements, and the payment of certain fees by human drug compounding outsourcing facilities. In the Federal Register of December 4, 2013 (78 FR 72899), FDA estimated the burden resulting from outsourcing facility registration. In the Federal Register of December 4, 2013 (78 FR 72897), FDA estimated the burden resulting from outsourcing facility interim product reporting. In the Federal Register of April 1, 2014 (79 FR 18297), FDA estimated the burden resulting from the payment of certain fees by outsourcing facilities. In the Federal Register of July 2, 2014 (79 FR 37743), FDA estimated the burden resulting from outsourcing facility compliance with CGMP requirements.

    IV. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the Internet can obtain the document at either http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm, http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/default.htm or http://www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: February 11, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03418 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2014-D-1524] Repackaging of Certain Human Drug Products by Pharmacies and Outsourcing Facilities; Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or the Agency) is announcing the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled “Repackaging of Certain Human Drug Products by Pharmacies and Outsourcing Facilities.” This guidance describes the conditions under which FDA does not intend to take action for violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act), when a state-licensed pharmacy, a Federal facility, or an outsourcing facility repackages human drug products.

    When this guidance becomes final, the Agency may also consider withdrawing or revising other guidance documents that address human drug repackaging, including section 446.100 of the Compliance Program Guidance (CPG) Manual, entitled “Regulatory Action Regarding Approved New Drugs and Antibiotic Drug Products Subjected to Additional Processing or other Manipulations,” which was issued in January 1991, and section 460.100 of the CPG Manual, entitled “Hospital Pharmacies—Status as Drug Manufacturer,” which was issued in October 1980.

    DATES:

    Although you can comment on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)), to ensure that the Agency considers your comment on this draft guidance before it begins work on the final version of the guidance, submit either electronic or written comments on the draft guidance by May 20, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit written requests for single copies of this guidance to the Division of Drug Information, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Rm. 2201, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist that office in processing your requests. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the guidance document.

    Submit electronic comments on the guidance to http://www.regulations.gov. Submit written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gail Bormel, Food and Drug Administration, 10001 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20903, 301-796-3110.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Announcement of Draft Guidance

    FDA is announcing the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled “Repackaging of Certain Human Drug Products by Pharmacies and Outsourcing Facilities.” FDA regards repackaging as the act of taking a finished drug product from the container in which it was distributed by the original manufacturer and placing it into a different container without further manipulation of the drug. If a drug is manipulated in any other way, including if the drug is reconstituted, diluted, mixed, or combined with another ingredient, that act is not considered repackaging.

    Repackaged drugs are generally not exempt from any of the provisions of the FD&C Act related to the production of drugs. For example, repackaged drugs are generally subject to the premarket approval, misbranding, and adulteration provisions of the FD&C Act, including section 505 (concerning new drug applications), section 502(f)(1) (concerning labeling with adequate directions for use), and section 501(a)(2)(B) (concerning current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) (21 U.S.C. 355, 352(f)(1), and 351(a)(2)(B) of the FD&C Act).

    Further, drugs that are repackaged are not subject to sections 503A and 503B of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 353a and 353b). Therefore, drugs repackaged by state-licensed pharmacies, Federal facilities, or outsourcing facilities are not eligible for the exemptions provided under those sections.

    This draft guidance describes the conditions under which FDA does not intend to take action for violations of sections 505, 502(f)(1), and, where specified in the guidance, section 501(a)(2)(B) of the FD&C Act, when a state-licensed pharmacy, Federal facility, or registered outsourcing facility repackages drug products. The guidance does not address repackaging of nonprescription drugs; drugs that are intended for use in animals; biological products subject to licensure under section 351 of the Public Health Services Act (42 U.S.C. 262); repackaging by entities that are not state-licensed pharmacies, Federal facilities, or registered outsourcing facilities; removing a drug product from the original container at the point of care for immediate administration to a single patient after receipt of a patient-specific prescription or order for that patient; or repackaging a solid oral dosage form drug product by a state-licensed pharmacy for purposes of dispensing the drug to a patient upon receipt of an individual patient-specific prescription.

    Elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, the Agency is making available for comment a draft guidance entitled “Mixing, Diluting, or Repackaging of Biological Products Outside the Scope of an Approved Biologics License Application.” When these two guidances become final, they will address and clarify the Agency's policy regarding hospital pharmacies repackaging and safely transferring repackaged drugs to other hospitals within the same health system during a drug shortage. Therefore, under section 506F(d) of the FD&C Act, when FDA issues these as final guidances, section 506F will no longer apply.

    This draft guidance is being issued consistent with FDA's good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). This guidance, when finalized, will represent FDA's current thinking on repackaging human drug products by pharmacies, Federal facilities, and outsourcing facilities. It does not create or confer any rights for or on any person and does not operate to bind FDA or the public. An alternative approach may be used if such approach satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations.

    II. Amendment or Withdrawal of Repackaging Guidance Documents

    When this guidance becomes final, the Agency may also consider withdrawing or revising other guidance documents that address human drug repackaging. These may include section 446.100 of the CPG Manual, entitled “Regulatory Action Regarding Approved New Drugs and Antibiotic Drug Products Subjected to Additional Processing or other Manipulations,” which was issued in January 1991, and section 460.100 of the CPG Manual, entitled “Hospital Pharmacies—Status as Drug Manufacturer,” which was issued in October 1980.

    III. Comments

    Interested persons may submit either electronic comments regarding this document to http://www.regulations.gov or written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES). It is only necessary to send one set of comments. Identify comments with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document. Received comments may be seen in the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and will be posted to the docket at http://www.regulations.gov.

    IV. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This draft guidance contains information collection provisions that are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). The title, description, and respondent description of the information collection are given under this section with an estimate of the annual reporting and recordkeeping burdens. Included in the estimate is the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information.

    We invite comments on these topics: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FDA's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of FDA's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques, when appropriate, and other forms of information technology.

    Title: Repackaging of Certain Human Drug Products by Pharmacies and Outsourcing Facilities; Guidance for Industry.

    Description: The draft guidance describes repackaging by state-licensed pharmacies, Federal facilities, and outsourcing facilities under section 503B of the FD&C Act, and it describes the conditions under which FDA does not intend to take action for violations of sections 505, 502(f)(1), and where specified, section 501(a)(2)(B) of the FD&C Act, when a state-licensed pharmacy, or Federal facility, or an outsourcing facility repackages drug products. The draft guidance includes the following collection of information under the PRA:

    One condition in the draft guidance is that if a drug is repackaged by an outsourcing facility, the label on the immediate container (primary packaging, e.g., the syringe) of the repackaged product includes the following information:

    • The statement “This drug product was repackaged by [name of outsourcing facility].”

    • The address and phone number of the outsourcing facility that repackaged the drug product.

    • The established name of the original, approved drug product that was repackaged.

    • The lot or batch number of the repackaged drug product.

    • The dosage form and strength of the repackaged drug product.

    • A statement of either the quantity or volume of the repackaged drug product, whichever is appropriate.

    • The date the drug product was repackaged.

    • The beyond-use-date of the repackaged drug product.

    • Storage and handling instructions for the repackaged drug product.

    • The National Drug Code (NDC) number of the repackaged drug product, if available.1

    1 The NDC number of the original approved drug product should not be placed on the repackaged drug product.

    • The statement “Not for resale,” and, if the drug is distributed by an outsourcing facility other than pursuant to a prescription for an individual identified patient, the statement “Office Use Only.”

    • If included on the label of the FDA-approved drug product from which the drug product is being repackaged, a list of the active and inactive ingredients, unless such information is included on the label for the container from which the individual units are removed, as described in this document.

    In addition, a condition in the draft guidance is that the label on the container from which the individual units are removed for administration (secondary packaging, e.g., the bag, box, or other package in which the repackaged products are distributed) includes the active and inactive ingredients, if the immediate product label is too small to include this information, and directions for use, including, as appropriate, dosage and administration, and the following information to facilitate adverse event reporting: http://www.fda.gov/medwatch and 1-800-FDA-1088.

    Another condition in the draft guidance is that each repackaged drug product is accompanied by a copy of the prescribing information that accompanied the original drug product that was repackaged.

    We estimate that annually a total of approximately 10 outsourcing facilities (“Number of Respondents” in table 1, row 1) will each design, test, and produce approximately 10 different labels (“Frequency per Disclosure” in table 1, row 1) for a total of 100 labels that include the information set forth in section III.A.11 of the draft guidance (including directions for use) (“Total Disclosures” in table 1, row 1). We also estimate that designing, testing, and producing each label will take approximately 0.5 hours for each repackaged drug product (“Hours per Disclosure” in table 1, row 1). The provision to add the statement http://www.fda.gov/medwatch and 1-800-FDA-1088 is not included in this burden estimate because it is not considered a collection of information under the PRA because the information is “originally supplied by the Federal Government to the recipient for the purpose of disclosure to the public” (5 CFR 1320.3(c)(2)).

    We also estimate that annually a total of approximately 10 outsourcing facilities (“Number of Respondents” in table 1, row 2) will each produce a copy of prescribing information as set forth in section III.A.11 of the draft guidance for approximately 10 repackaged drug products (“Frequency per Disclosure” in table 1, row 1) for a total of 100 disclosures (“total disclosures” in table 1, row 2). We also estimate that providing prescribing information labeling will take approximately 1 hour for each repackaged drug product (“Hours per Disclosure” in table 1, row 2). The provision to add http://www.fda.gov/medwatch and 1-800-FDA-1088 is not included in this burden estimate because it is not considered a collection of information under the PRA because the information is “originally supplied by the Federal Government to the recipient for the purpose of disclosure to the public” (5 CFR 1320.3(c)(2)).

    The total estimated third-party disclosure burden resulting from the draft guidance is as follows:

    Table 1—Estimated Annual Third-Party Disclosure Burden Repackaging by outsourcing facilities Number of
  • respondents
  • Frequency per disclosure Total
  • disclosures
  • Hours per
  • disclosure
  • Total hours
    Designing, testing, and producing each label on immediate containers, packages and/or outer containers 10 10 100 .5 50 Prescribing information labeling produced for each repackaged drug product 10 10 100 1 100 Total 150 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information. *(30 minutes)

    The draft guidance also references registration, product reporting, and CGMP requirements for outsourcing facilities. In the Federal Register of December 4, 2013 (78 FR 72899), FDA estimated the burden resulting from outsourcing facility registration. In the Federal Register of December 4, 2013 (78 FR 72897), FDA estimated the burden resulting from outsourcing facility interim product reporting. In the Federal Register of July 2, 2014 (79 FR 37743), FDA estimated the burden resulting from outsourcing facility compliance with CGMP requirements.

    V. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the Internet can obtain the document at either http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm or http://www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: February 11, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03417 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Submission for OMB Review; 30-Day Comment Request; Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) (NCI) SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of Section 3507(a)(1)(D) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request for review and approval of the information collection listed below. This proposed information collection was previously published in the Federal Register on December 4, 2014 (Vol. 79, No. 233, pages 72003—4) and allowed 60 days for public comment. A total of five public comments were received. The purpose of this notice is to allow an additional 30 days for public comment. The National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health, may not conduct or sponsor, and the respondent is not required to respond to, an information collection that has been extended, revised, or implemented on or after October 1, 1995, unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Direct Comments To OMB: Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the item(s) contained in this notice, especially regarding the estimated public burden and associated response time, should be directed to the: Office of Management and Budget, Office of Regulatory Affairs, [email protected] or by fax to 202-395-6974, Attention: NIH Desk Officer.

    DATES:

    Comment Due Date: Comments regarding this information collection are best assured of having their full effect if received within 30-days of the date of this publication.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To obtain a copy of the data collection plans and instruments or request more information on the proposed project contact: Bradford W. Hesse, Ph.D., Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch, 9609 Medical Center Drive, MSC 9761, Room 3E610, Rockville, MD 20850 or call non-toll free number 240-276-6721 or Email your request, including your address, to [email protected] Formal requests for additional plans and instruments must be requested in writing.

    Proposed Collection: Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) 0925-0538, Reinstatement with Change, National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH).

    Need and Use of Information Collection: This partnership between NCI and FDA will include assessing the public's knowledge of medical devices, communications related to product recalls, nutritional supplement labeling, and topics to inform FDA's regulatory authority over tobacco, such as risk perceptions about new tobacco products, product pack color gradations, perceptions of product harm, and tobacco product claims and labels. This HINTS survey will couple knowledge-related questions with inquiries into the communication channels through which understanding is being obtained, and assessment of FDA-regulated material. This survey will extend the information collected and priorities from HINTS which have been to provide a comprehensive assessment of the American public's current access to, and use of, information about cancer across the cancer care continuum from cancer prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship.

    OMB approval is requested for 1 year. There are no costs to respondents other than their time. The total estimated annualized burden hours are 2,159.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondents Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses
  • per respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total annual burden hour
    Individuals 4,318 1 30/60 2,159
    Dated: February 9, 2015. Karla Bailey, NCI Project Clearance Liaison, National Institutes of Health.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03382 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Special Emphasis Panel; Short-term Educational Experiences in Hematology.

    Date: March 11, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Hyatt Regency Bethesda; One Bethesda Metro Center; 7400 Wisconsin Avenue; Bethesda, MD 20814.

    Contact Person: Melissa E Nagelin, Ph.D.; Scientific Review Officer; Office of Scientific Review/DERA; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; 6701 Rockledge Drive; Room 7202; Bethesda, MD 20892; 301-435-0297; [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Special Emphasis Panel; International Strategic Timing of Antiretroviral Therapy.

    Date: March 13, 2015.

    Time: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health; 6705 Rockledge Drive, Room 7188; Bethesda, MD 20817; (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Chang Sook Kim, Ph.D.; Scientific Review Officer; Office of Scientific Review/DERA; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; 6701 Rockledge Drive; Room 7188; Bethesda, MD 20892-7924; 301-435-0287; [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.233, National Center for Sleep Disorders Research; 93.837, Heart and Vascular Diseases Research; 93.838, Lung Diseases Research; 93.839, Blood Diseases and Resources Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS).
    Dated: February 12, 2015. Michelle Trout, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03344 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Special Emphasis Panel; Pediatric Cardiac Genomics Consortium.

    Date: March 11, 2015.

    Time: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Hilton Garden Inn Washington DC/Bethesda, 7301 Waverly Street, Bethesda, MD 20814.

    Contact Person: YingYing Li-Smerin, MD, Ph.D, Scientific Review Officer, Office of Scientific Review/DERA, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 7184, Bethesda, MD 20892-7924, 301-435-0277, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.233, National Center for Sleep Disorders Research; 93.837, Heart and Vascular Diseases Research; 93.838, Lung Diseases Research; 93.839, Blood Diseases and Resources Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: February 12, 2015. Michelle Trout, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03345 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S. C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S. C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel, Member Conflict: Sensorimotor Integration.

    Date: March 10-11, 2015.

    Time: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Kirk Thompson, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5184, MSC 7844, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-1242, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel, Member Conflict: Adult Psychopathology and Disorders of Aging.

    Date: March 17, 2015.

    Time: 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Andrea B Kelly, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3182, MSC 7770, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 455-1761, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel, Member Conflict: Pain.

    Date: March 19-20, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: John Bishop, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5182, MSC 7844, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 408-9664, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel, RFA Panel: Molecular and Cellular Substrates of Complex Brain Disorders.

    Date: March 23, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Crystal Gateway Marriott, 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA 22202.

    Contact Person: Deborah L Lewis, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 4183, MSC 7850, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-408-9129, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel, PAR-13-231: Phenotyping Embryonic Lethal Knockout Mice.

    Date: March 24, 2015.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Maqsood A Wani, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 2114, MSC 7814, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-2270, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel, PAR-13-231: Phenotyping Embryonic Lethal Knockout Mice.

    Date: March 24, 2015.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Arnold Revzin, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 4146, MSC 7824, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 435-1153, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel, Member Conflict: Molecular Genetics.

    Date: March 24, 2015.

    Time: 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20817, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Ronald Adkins, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 2206, MSC 7890, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-4511, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel, RFA-RM-14-012: Common Fund Glycoscience Data Integration and Analysis, Tools (R34).

    Date: March 25, 2015.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Kee Hyang Pyon, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5148, MSC 7806, Bethesda, MD 20892, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel, Member Conflict: Auditory Neuroscience.

    Date: March 26-27, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: John Bishop, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5182, MSC 7844, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 408-9664, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel, RFA-RM-14-013: Development of Glycoscience Tools (U01).

    Date: March 26, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate cooperative agreement applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: James J Li, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5148, MSC 7849, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-806-8065, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel, Member Conflict: Metabolism, Nutrition and Molecular Endocrinology.

    Date: March 26, 2015.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Dianne Hardy, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 6175, MSC 7892, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-1154, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel, SBIR/STTR Informatics.

    Date: March 26, 2015.

    Time: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: JW Marriott New Orleans, 614 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70130.

    Contact Person: Melinda Jenkins, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3156, MSC 7770, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-437-7872, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.306, Comparative Medicine; 93.333, Clinical Research, 93.306, 93.333, 93.337, 93.393-93.396, 93.837-93.844, 93.846-93.878, 93.892, 93.893, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: February 12, 2015. Carolyn Baum, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03343 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute; Notice of Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(a) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of a meeting of the National Cancer Institute Board of Scientific Advisors.

    The meeting will be open to the public, with attendance limited to space available. Individuals who plan to attend and need special assistance, such as sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodations, should notify the Contact Person listed below in advance of the meeting. The meeting will also be videocast and can be accessed from the NIH Videocasting and Podcasting Web site (http://videocast.nih.gov/).

    Name of Committee: National Cancer Institute Board of Scientific Advisors.

    Date: March 11, 2015.

    Time: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: Director's Report: Ongoing and New Business; Reports of Program Review Group(s); Budget Presentations; Reports of Special Initiatives; RFA and RFP Concept Reviews; and Scientific Presentations.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 31 Center Drive, Building 31; C-Wing, 6th Floor, Room 10, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Contact Person: Paulette S. Gray, Ph.D., Director, Division of Extramural Activities, National Cancer Institute—Shady Grove, National Institutes of Health, 9609 Medical Center Drive, 7th Floor, Rm. 7w444 Bethesda, MD 20892, 240-276-6340, [email protected]

    Any interested person may file written comments with the committee by forwarding the statement to the Contact Person listed on this notice. The statement should include the name, address, telephone number and when applicable, the business or professional affiliation of the interested person.

    In the interest of security, NIH has instituted stringent procedures for entrance onto the NIH campus. All visitor vehicles, including taxicabs, hotel, and airport shuttles will be inspected before being allowed on campus. Visitors will be asked to show one form of identification (for example, a government-issued photo ID, driver's license, or passport) and to state the purpose of their visit.

    Information is also available on the Institute's/Center's home page: http://deainfo.nci.nih.gov/advisory/bsa/bsa.htm, where an agenda and any additional information for the meeting will be posted when available.

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.392, Cancer Construction; 93.393, Cancer Cause and Prevention Research; 93.394, Cancer Detection and Diagnosis Research; 93.395, Cancer Treatment Research; 93.396, Cancer Biology Research; 93.397, Cancer Centers Support; 93.398, Cancer Research Manpower; 93.399, Cancer Control, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: February 12, 2015. Melanie J. Gray, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03346 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard [Docket No. USCG-2015-0007] Cooperative Research and Development Agreement—Robotic Aircraft for Maritime Public Safety AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard announces its intent to enter into a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with several companies to evaluate small unmanned aircraft systems (SUAS) and their airborne sensors, to determine their potential for use in a maritime environment by a first responder and DHS operational components. The Coast Guard will conduct flight testing and evaluation of SUAS under a wide variety of simulated but realistic and relevant real-world maritime operational scenarios, such as law enforcement, search and rescue, and maritime environmental response. While the Coast Guard is currently considering partnering with Aerovel Corporation, Aerovironment Inc., Aurora Flight Sciences, Lockheed Martin Corporation, and Mission Technology Systems LLC, it solicits public comment on the possible participation of other parties in the proposed CRADA, and the nature of that participation. The Coast Guard also invites other potential non-Federal participants, who have the interest and capability to bring similar contributions to this type of research, to consider submitting proposals for consideration in similar CRADAs.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted to the online docket via http://www.regulations.gov, or reach the Docket Management Facility, on or before March 23, 2015.

    Synopses of proposals regarding future CRADAs must reach the Coast Guard (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) on or before March 23, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments using one of the listed methods, and see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for more information on public comments.

    Onlinehttp://www.regulations.gov following Web site instructions.

    Fax—202-493-2251.

    Mail or hand deliver—Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001. Hours for hand delivery are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays (telephone 202-366-9329).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this notice or wish to submit proposals for future CRADAs, contact Dr. Andrew Niccolai, Project Official, Aviation Branch, U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center, 1 Chelsea Street, New London, CT 06320, telephone 860-271-2670, email [email protected] If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826, toll free 1-800-647-5527.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We encourage you to submit comments and related material on this notice. All comments received will be posted, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided.

    Do not submit detailed proposals for future CRADAs to the Docket Management Facility. Instead, submit them directly to the Coast Guard (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) .

    Comments should be marked with docket number USCG-2015-0007 and should provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. You should provide personal contact information so that we can contact you if we have questions regarding your comments; but please note that all comments will be posted to the online docket without change and that any personal information you include can be searchable online (see the Federal Register Privacy Act notice regarding our public dockets, 73 FR 3316, Jan. 17, 2008).

    Mailed or hand-delivered comments should be in an unbound 81/2 x 11 inch format suitable for reproduction. The Docket Management Facility will acknowledge receipt of mailed comments if you enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope with your submission.

    Documents mentioned in this notice, and all public comments, are in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following the Web site's instructions. You can also view the docket at the Docket Management Facility (see the mailing address under ADDRESSES) between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Discussion

    CRADAs are authorized under 15 U.S.C. 3710(a).1 A CRADA promotes the transfer of technology to the private sector for commercial use, as well as specified research or development efforts that are consistent with the mission of the Federal parties to the CRADA. The Federal party or parties agree with one or more non-Federal parties to share research resources, but the Federal party does not contribute funding.

    1 The statute confers this authority on the head of each Federal agency. The Secretary of DHS's authority is delegated to the Coast Guard and other DHS organizational elements by DHS Delegation No. 0160.1, para. II.B.34.

    CRADAs are not procurement contracts. Care is taken to ensure that CRADAs are not used to circumvent the contracting process. CRADAs have a specific purpose and should not be confused with other types of agreements such as procurement contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements.

    Under the proposed CRADA, the Coast Guard's Research and Development Center (R&DC) will collaborate with one or more non-Federal participants. Together, the R&DC and the non-Federal participants will evaluate SUAS and their airborne sensors to determine their potential for use in a maritime environment by a first responder and DHS operational components.

    We anticipate that the Coast Guard's contributions under the proposed CRADA will include the following:

    (1) Develop the demonstration test plan to be executed under the CRADA;

    (2) Provide the SUAS test range, test range support, facilities, and all approvals required for a 5 day demonstration under the CRADA;

    (3) Conduct the privacy threshold analysis required for the demonstration;

    (4) Conduct the privacy impact assessment required for the demonstration;

    (5) Coordinate any required spectrum approval for the SUAS;

    (6) Coordinate and receive any required interim flight clearance for the demonstration;

    (7) Provide any required airspace coordination and de-confliction for the demonstration test plan;

    (8) Collect and analyze demonstration test plan data; and

    (9) Develop a demonstration final report documenting the methodologies, findings, conclusions, and recommendations of this CRADA work.

    We anticipate that the non-Federal participants' contributions under the proposed CRADA will include the following:

    (1) Provide SUAS all other equipment to conduct the demonstration described in the demonstration test plan;

    (2) Provide all required operators and technicians to conduct the demonstration;

    (3) Provide technical data for the SUAS to be utilized;

    (4) Provide shipment and delivery of all SUAS equipment required for the demonstration; and

    (5) Provide travel and associated personnel and other expenses as required.

    The Coast Guard reserves the right to select for CRADA participants all, some, or no proposals submitted for this CRADA. The Coast Guard will provide no funding for reimbursement of proposal development costs. Proposals and any other material submitted in response to this notice will not be returned. Proposals submitted are expected to be unclassified and have no more than five single-sided pages (excluding cover page, DD 1494, JF-12, etc.). The Coast Guard will select proposals at its sole discretion on the basis of:

    (1) How well they communicate an understanding of, and ability to meet, the proposed CRADA's goal; and

    (2) How well they address the following criteria:

    (a) Technical capability to support the non-Federal party contributions described; and

    (b) Resources available for supporting the non-Federal party contributions described.

    Currently, the Coast Guard is considering Aerovel Corporation, Aerovironment Inc., Aurora Flight Sciences, Lockheed Martin Corporation, and Mission Technology Systems LLC for participation in this CRADA, because each has demonstrated the ability to operate SUAS in a maritime environment. However, we do not wish to exclude other viable participants from this or future similar CRADAs.

    This is a technology demonstration effort. The goal of this CRADA is to identify and investigate the potential of the SUAS and their airborne sensors to determine their potential use in a maritime environment by the first responder and the DHS operational components. Special consideration will be given to small business firms/consortia, and preference will be given to business units located in the U.S.

    This notice is issued under the authority of 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 15 U.S.C. 3710(a).

    Dated: January 26, 2015. Dennis C. Evans, Captain, USCG, Commanding Officer, U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03327 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard [Docket No. USCG-2015-0016] Cooperative Research and Development Agreement: Western Rivers e-AtoN Technology Demonstration AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard announces its intent to enter into a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) to prepare for a demonstration, the “Ohio River eNav Technology Demonstration” of electronic navigation (eNav) technology to be conducted by the Coast Guard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. The eNav demonstration will involve the transmission of navigation safety and environmental information via automatic identification system (AIS) technology to the electronic charting system (ECS) displays on bridges of commercial vessels that are operating in the test area. The purpose of the demonstration is to identify the extent to which mariners would benefit from the distribution of e-AtoN information; and the policy changes, the infrastructure, and level of effort needed by the Coast Guard and its partner agencies to operate and maintain this technology.

    The geographic area to be covered by the Ohio River eNav Technology Demonstration includes the Ohio River from Markland Lock (north of Louisville, KY) to the mouth of the Ohio River, and reaches of the Mississippi River within 45 statute miles of its confluence with the Ohio River. The Coast Guard needs end user participants, who are commercial operators that regularly operate in the Ohio River eNav Technology Demonstration test area, to receive the information via AIS. While the Coast Guard is currently considering partnering with Rose Point Navigation Systems (Rose Point), and CNS, Inc. (CNS), it solicits public comment on the possible participation of other parties in the proposed CRADA, and the nature of that participation.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted to the online docket via http://www.regulations.gov, or reach the Docket Management Facility, on or before 30 days after date of publication in the Federal Register.

    Synopses of proposals regarding future CRADAs must reach the Coast Guard (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) on or before March 23, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments using one of the listed methods, and see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for more information on public comments.

    Onlinehttp://www.regulations.gov following Web site instructions.

    Fax—202-493-2251.

    Mail or hand deliver—Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001. Hours for hand delivery are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays (telephone 202-366-9329).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this notice or wish to submit proposals for future CRADAs, contact Arden C. Turner, Project Official, E&W Branch, U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center, 1 Chelsea Street, New London, CT 06320, telephone 860-271-2623, email [email protected] . If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826, toll free 1-800-647-5527.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We encourage you to submit comments and related material on this notice. All comments received will be posted, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided.

    Do not submit detailed proposals for future CRADAs to the Docket Management Facility. Instead, submit them directly to the Coast Guard (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) .

    Comments should be marked with docket number USCG-2015-0016 and should provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. You should provide personal contact information so that we can contact you if we have questions regarding your comments; but please note that all comments will be posted to the online docket without change and that any personal information you include can be searchable online (see the Federal Register Privacy Act notice regarding our public dockets, 73 FR 3316, Jan. 17, 2008).

    Mailed or hand-delivered comments should be in an unbound 81/2 x 11 inch format suitable for reproduction. The Docket Management Facility will acknowledge receipt of mailed comments if you enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope with your submission.

    Documents mentioned in this notice, and all public comments, are in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following the Web site's instructions. You can also view the docket at the Docket Management Facility (see the mailing address under ADDRESSES) between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Discussion

    CRADAs are authorized under 15 U.S.C. 3710(a).1 A CRADA promotes the transfer of technology to the private sector for commercial use, as well as specified research or development efforts that are consistent with the mission of the Federal parties to the CRADA. The Federal party or parties agree with one or more non-Federal parties to share research resources, but the Federal party does not contribute funding.

    1 The statute confers this authority on the head of each Federal agency. The Secretary of DHS's authority is delegated to the Coast Guard and other DHS organizational elements by DHS Delegation No. 0160.1, para. II.B.34.

    CRADAs are not procurement contracts. Care is taken to ensure that CRADAs are not used to circumvent the contracting process. CRADAs have a specific purpose and should not be confused with other types of agreements such as procurement contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements.

    Under the proposed CRADA, the Coast Guard's Research and Development Center (R&DC) will collaborate with one or more non-Federal participants to ensure that commercial vessel pilots who operate in the Ohio River Technology Demonstration Test Area are equipped with an ECS capability that accept AIS inputs to navigate; and to ensure that parties who have indicated their willingness to participate in the Technology Demonstration can receive and display the eNav information distributed by the Coast Guard during the eNav Technology Demonstration.

    We anticipate that the Coast Guard's contributions under the proposed CRADA will include the following:

    (1) Provide the ECS manufacturers with summaries and formats of the information that will be distributed in the Ohio River eNav Technology Demonstration.

    (2) Test the ECS equipment with the format upgrades in the RDC Test Laboratory prior to the Demonstration and provide feedback to manufacturers. Also, provide non-Federal participants with access to the RDC Test Laboratory data output stream to evaluate the data displays on their equipment.

    (3) Deploy an eNav system that distributes navigation and safety information to marine users in the Technology Demonstration Test Area on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.

    (4) Conduct the Ohio River eNav Technology Demonstration. During the Demonstration, record the information distributed through the AIS and the information received by participating mariners' AIS receivers. Collate and analyze the information collected by participating vessels to quantify system performance. Collect anecdotal information on mariners' responses to the technology and its benefits.

    We anticipate that the non-Federal participants' contributions under the proposed CRADA will include the following:

    (1) Configure their software to enable the receipt and display of eNav information on ECS devices located on vessel bridges of customers who are participating in the Ohio River eNav Technology Demonstration.

    (2) Provide the Coast Guard with the latest version of its ECS software to support the RDC Test Laboratory evaluation.

    (3) The RDC and its federal partners may finalize some AIS message types after the Ohio River Technology Demonstration has started. As their resources permit, the non-Federal participants will update their software and distribute them to their customers and the RDC after the Demonstration has started.

    (4) At the conclusion of the Demonstration, the RDC and the non-Federal participants will jointly document the CRADA effort in a white paper format, to document the features developed by the ECS manufacturers, their installation on the test vessels, and the results of the Ohio River eNav Technology Demonstration.

    The Coast Guard reserves the right to select for CRADA participants all, some, or no proposals submitted for this CRADA. The Coast Guard will provide no funding for reimbursement of proposal development costs. Proposals and any other material submitted in response to this notice will not be returned. Proposals submitted are expected to be unclassified and have no more than five single-sided pages (excluding cover page, DD 1494, JF-12, etc.). The Coast Guard will select proposals at its sole discretion on the basis of:

    (1) Existence of commercial customers who routinely operate in the Ohio River eNav Technology Demonstration study area, who are equipped with an ECS capability that accept AIS inputs to navigate, and who are willing to participate in the Demonstration.

    (2) How well respondents address the following criteria:

    (a) Technical capability to support the non-Federal party contributions described; and

    (b) Resources available for supporting the non-Federal party contributions described.

    Currently, the Coast Guard is considering CNS and Rose Point for participation in this CRADA. This consideration is based on the fact that the Coast Guard has identified CNS and Rose Point as customers in the Demonstration area that use ECS with AIS input capability. However, the Coast Guard does not wish to exclude other viable participants from this CRADA.

    This is a technology transfer/development effort. Presently, the Coast Guard has no plan to procure an ECS capability. Since the goal of this CRADA is to identify and investigate the advantages, disadvantages, required technology enhancements, performance, costs, and other issues associated with using ECS capabilities, non-Federal CRADA participants will not be excluded from any future Coast Guard procurements based solely on their participation in this CRADA. Special consideration will be given to small business firms/consortia, and preference will be given to business units located in the U.S.

    This notice is issued under the authority of 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 15 U.S.C. 3710(a).

    Dated: January 26, 2015. Dennis C. Evans, Captain, USCG, Commanding Officer, U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03328 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard [USCG-2014-0941] Port Access Route Study: In the Chukchi Sea, Bering Strait and Bering Sea AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of study; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    This study is a continuation of and an expansion of scope to the Port Access Route Study (PARS) the Coast Guard announced in 2010. Based on comments received from the 2010 notice the Coast Guard has developed a potential vessel routing system for the area. The Coast Guard requests comments on how consolidating vessel traffic into a defined vessel routing system may impact or benefit the region. The goal of the study is to help reduce the risk of marine casualties and increase the efficiency of vessel traffic in the region. The recommendations of the study may lead to future rulemaking action or appropriate international agreements.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before August 18, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this notice of study, call or email LT Kody Stitz, Seventeenth Coast Guard District (dpw); telephone (907) 463-2270; email [email protected] or Mr. David Seris, Seventeenth Coast Guard District (dpw); telephone (907)463-2267; email [email protected] If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Cheryl F. Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We encourage you to participate in this study by submitting comments and related materials. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided.

    Comment submission: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2014-0941 using any one of the following methods:

    (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.

    (2) Fax: 202-493-2251.

    (3) Mail: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.

    (4) Hand delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone number is 202-366-9329.

    To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on submitting comments.

    Privacy Act

    Anyone can search the electronic form of comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review a Privacy Act notice regarding our public dockets in the January 17, 2008, issue of the Federal Register (73 FR 3316).

    Public Meeting

    The Coast Guard will hold public meeting(s) if there is sufficient demand to warrant holding a meeting. You must submit a request for one on or before Month Day, Year (30 days from publish date) using one of the four methods specified under ADDRESSES. Please explain why you believe a public meeting would be beneficial. If we determine that a public meeting would aid in the study, we will hold a meeting at a time and place announced by a later notice in the Federal Register.

    Definitions

    The following definitions (except “Regulated Navigation Area”) are from the International Maritime Organization's (IMO's) publication “Ships' Routeing” Tenth Edition 2010 and should help you review this notice:

    Area to be avoided (ATBA) means a routing measure comprising an area within defined limits in which either navigation is particularly hazardous or it is exceptionally important to avoid casualties and which should be avoided by all ships, or certain classes of ships.

    Deep-water route means a route within defined limits, which has been accurately surveyed for clearance of sea bottom and submerged obstacles as indicated on the chart.

    Inshore traffic zone means a routing measure comprising a designated area between the landward boundary of a traffic separation scheme and the adjacent coast, to be used in accordance with the provisions of Rule 10(d), as amended, of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 (COLREGS).

    Precautionary area means a routing measure comprising an area within defined limits where ships must navigate with particular caution and within which the direction of traffic flow may be recommended.

    Recommended route means a route of undefined width, for the convenience of ships in transit, which is often marked by centerline buoys.

    Recommended track is a route which has been specially examined to ensure so far as possible that it is free of dangers and along which vessels are advised to navigate.

    Regulated Navigation Area (RNA) means a water area within a defined boundary for which regulations for vessels navigating within the area have been established under 33 CFR part 165.

    Roundabout means a routing measure comprising a separation point or circular separation zone and a circular traffic lane within defined limits. Traffic within the roundabout is separated by moving in a counterclockwise direction around the separation point or zone.

    Separation zone or separation line means a zone or line separating the traffic lanes in which ships are proceeding in opposite or nearly opposite directions; or separating a traffic lane from the adjacent sea area; or separating traffic lanes designated for particular classes of ship proceeding in the same direction.

    Traffic lane means an area within defined limits in which one-way traffic is established. Natural obstacles, including those forming separation zones, may constitute a boundary.

    Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) means a routing measure aimed at the separation of opposing streams of traffic by appropriate means and by the establishment of traffic lanes.

    Two-way route means a route within defined limits inside which two-way traffic is established, aimed at providing safe passage of ships through waters where navigation is difficult or dangerous.

    Vessel routing system means any system of one or more routes or routing measures aimed at reducing the risk of casualties; it includes traffic separation schemes, two-way routes, recommended tracks, areas to be avoided, no anchoring areas, inshore traffic zones, roundabouts, precautionary areas, and deep-water routes.

    Background and Purpose Requirement for Port Access Route Studies

    Under the Ports and Waterways Safety Act (PWSA) (33 U.S.C. 1223(c)), the Commandant of the Coast Guard may designate necessary fairways and traffic separation schemes (TSSs) to provide safe access routes for vessels proceeding to and from U.S. ports.

    Port Access Route Study to Date

    The Coast Guard announced a port access route study in the Federal Register on November 8, 2010 (75 FR 68568). The purpose of the PARS was to solicit public comments on whether a vessel routing system such as a fairway or TSS was needed and if it could increase vessel safety in the area. The 2010 PARS was limited geographically in scope to a section of water extending approximately 100 nautical miles north of the Bering Strait into the Chukchi Sea to approximately 30 nautical miles south of St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea. At that time the Coast Guard did not propose a specific vessel routing system, but instead sought more general comments about whether a vessel routing system was needed or advisable in the study area. The Coast Guard received twenty five comments, and after reviewing them, determined that a vessel route needed to be proposed so more specific comments and concerns could be gathered and evaluated before determining if a routing system would be beneficial. The Coast Guard further determined that the study area should include a larger geographic area than was initially studied before finalizing the study and publishing the results.

    Vessel Routing Comments to Date

    The Coast Guard received twenty five public comments during the open comment period associated with the 2010 announcement. Nearly all of the comments that addressed vessel routing were supportive of the Coast Guard creating and implementing some form of vessel routing measure in the area. Since no specific routing measure was proposed in 2010, the comments received did note that precise concerns and impacts could only be identified after a specific route or measure was proposed.

    Reopening of the Comment Period

    This Federal Register notice announces the Coast Guard's intent to continue the PARS started in 2010, expand the study area and release the Coast Guard's proposed vessel routing system for comment. The Coast Guard's goal of the study remains the same in that the study is focused on gathering factual and relevant information to aid the Coast Guard in reducing the risk of marine casualties and increasing the efficiency of vessel traffic in the region.

    The study will assess whether the creation of a vessel routing system is advisable to increase the predictability of vessel movements, which may decrease the potential for collisions, oil spills, and other events that could threaten the marine environment.

    Based on comments received to date there is a general sense that a designated traffic route could improve traffic predictability thereby reducing marine casualties and oil spills; however, a few comments received did note that a designated traffic route (depending on location) could adversely impact subsistence hunting, marine mammals and other wildlife more so than widely dispersed vessel traffic. Therefore, the Coast Guard puts forth a potential two-way route as a starting point for analyzing where to put a vessel traffic route should one be deemed needed and beneficial to the region.

    The Coast Guard will analyze vessel traffic density, agency and stakeholder experience in vessel traffic management, navigation, ship handling, the effects of weather, impacts to subsistence hunting, impacts to marine mammals and other wildlife concerns into the decision making process of the study. We encourage you to participate in the study process by submitting comments in response to this notice.

    The expanded study area is described as an area bounded by a line connecting the following geographic positions:

    • 67°30′ N, 168°58′37″ W;

    • 67°30′ N, 167°30′ W;

    • 54°50′ N, 164°40′ W;

    • 54°03′ N, 166°25′ W;

    • 63°20′ N, 173°43′ W; thence following the Russian Federation/United States maritime boundary line to the first geographical position.

    The proposed ship routing measures are described as follows:

    (1) A four nautical mile wide, two-way route extending from Unimak Pass in the Aleutian Islands that proceeds Northward through the Bering Sea and Bering Strait before terminating in the Chukchi Sea.

    (2) A four nautical mile wide, two-way route extending from a location North of the Western side of St. Lawrence Island and near the US/Russian Federation maritime border, then proceeding Northeast to a junction with the first two way route located to the West of King Island.

    (3) A total of four precautionary areas, each circular and 8 nautical miles wide in diameter. Three of these precautionary areas will be located at the starting/ending points of the two-way routes, and the fourth will be located at the junction of the recommended two-way routes.

    See the ADDRESSES section for where to obtain a copy of the chart showing the exact location of the proposed route.

    Timeline, Study Area, and Process of this PARS: The Seventeenth Coast Guard District will conduct this PARS. The study will continue upon publication of this notice and may take 24 months to complete.

    We will publish the results of the PARS in the Federal Register. It is possible that the study may validate the status quo (no routing measures) and conclude that no changes are necessary. It is also possible that the study may recommend one or more changes to enhance navigational safety and the efficiency of vessel traffic management. The recommendations may lead to future rulemakings or appropriate international agreements.

    Schematic of proposed vessel routing system: A chart showing the Coast Guard's proposed two-way route can be downloaded from http://www.regulations.gov, type “USCG-2014-0941” into the search bar and click search, next to the displayed search results click “Open Docket Folder”, which will display all comments and documents associated with this docket.

    Dated: February 3, 2015. D.B. Abel, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Seventeenth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03332 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service National Park Service [NPS-ANRSS-17182; PPWONRADE2, PMP00EI05.YP0000] North Cascades Ecosystem Grizzly Bear Restoration Plan/Environmental Impact Statement, Washington AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Park Service (NPS) and the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) are jointly preparing a North Cascades Ecosystem Grizzly Bear Restoration Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (Plan/EIS) to determine how to restore the grizzly bear to the North Cascades ecosystem (NCE), a portion of its historical range.

    DATES:

    The FWS and NPS request that comments be submitted by March 23, 2015, or 15 days after the last public open house, whichever is later. Open houses will be announced in local media. For more information on submitting public comments, see How To Provide Comments, under Public Comment in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section.

    ADDRESSES:

    Information will be available for public review online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/NCEG; in the Office of the Superintendent, 810 State Route 20, Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284 (360-854-7200, telephone); and in the Washington Fish and Wildlife Office, 510 Desmond Dr. SE., Suite 102, Lacey, WA 98503 (360-753-9440).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Denise Shultz, Public Information Officer, North Cascades National Park Service Complex, 810 State Route 20, Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284 (360-854-7302, telephone), or Brent Lawrence, Public Affairs Specialist, FWS Pacific Regional Office, 911 NE 11th Ave., Portland, OR 97232 (503-231-6211).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, 42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C) (NEPA), the National Park Service (NPS) and the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) are jointly preparing a North Cascades Ecosystem Grizzly Bear Restoration Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (Plan/EIS) to determine how to restore the grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) to the North Cascades ecosystem (NCE), a portion of its historical range.

    Background

    Situated in the core of the North Cascades Ecosystem (NCE), the North Cascades National Park Complex is surrounded by more than 2.6 million contiguous acres of federally designated wilderness, including protected lands and de facto wilderness in British Columbia, Canada. The United States portion of the NCE is contiguous with habitat north of the international border in British Columbia, Canada, but isolated from other grizzly bear populations in both the United States and Canada.

    Research indicates that this wilderness landscape is capable of supporting a self-sustaining grizzly bear population. However, there has only been one observation of a solitary bear during the past 10 years. Given the low number of grizzly bears, very slow reproductive rate, and other recovery constraints, grizzly bears in the NCE are the most at-risk grizzly bear population in the United States today.

    The FWS recently reaffirmed (78 FR 70104, November 22, 2013) that the NCE grizzly bear warrants uplisting from threatened to endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA, 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). However, a change in listing status remains precluded by lack of funding and the Service's need to make listing determinations for other species not yet protected under the ESA. The main threat to grizzly bears in this recovery zone is a small population size, with resulting demographic and genetic risks. Natural recovery in the NCE is challenged by the absence of verified reproduction, as well as isolation from any contiguous population in British Columbia, Canada, and the United States.

    A nationwide Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan was finalized by the FWS in 1982, and updated in 1993. The NCE recovery plan chapter was finalized in 1997. Current recovery efforts in the United States are focused on limiting human-caused mortality, protecting habitat by emphasizing no net loss of core habitat, providing information and education efforts regarding grizzly bears and their habitat, and enhancing sanitation by enforcing proper garbage and food storage in bear habitat. Education programs continue to inform people about grizzly bear biology and techniques to avoid conflicts when living or recreating in bear habitat.

    Restoration Plan and Environmental Impact Statement Draft Purpose, Need, and Objectives

    The NCE recovery plan chapter identifies four priority actions: (1) Develop a strategy for implementation of the NCE chapter; (2) develop an intensive ongoing educational program to provide information about grizzly bears and grizzly bear recovery to the public; (3) initiate the NEPA process; and (4) conduct an intensive research and monitoring effort to determine grizzly bear population size and distribution, habitat use, and home ranges in the NCE. In accordance with the NCE recovery plan chapter, the NPS and the FWS are initiating a NEPA planning process as joint lead agencies for grizzly bear restoration in the U.S. portion of the NCE. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Forest Service will serve as cooperating agencies. The following are the draft purpose, need, and objectives for the NCE Grizzly Bear Restoration Plan/EIS:

    Purpose

    The purpose of this Plan/EIS is to determine how to restore the grizzly bear to the North Cascades ecosystem (NCE), a portion of its historical range.

    Need

    Since the NCE grizzly bears are at risk of local extinction, action is needed at this time to:

    • Avoid the permanent loss of grizzly bears in the NCE;

    • Contribute to the restoration of biodiversity of the ecosystem for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations of people;

    • Enhance the probability of long-term survival and conservation of grizzly bears within the lower 48 States and thereby contribute to overall grizzly bear recovery; and

    • Support the eventual removal of the grizzly bear from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.

    Objectives

    The objectives of this Plan/EIS are to:

    • Restore a grizzly bear population as part of the natural and cultural heritage of the North Cascades.

    • Provide Pacific Northwest residents and visitors with the opportunity to again experience grizzly bears in their native habitat.

    • Seek to support Tribal cultural and spiritual values, as well as environmental and natural resource objectives related to the grizzly bear.

    • Expand outreach efforts to inform and involve the public and build understanding about grizzly bear recovery.

    Environmental Impact Statement Alternatives and Their Impacts

    As part of the planning and EIS process, the NPS and FWS will evaluate various approaches for the restoration of a grizzly bear population to the NCE. Preliminary alternatives to be considered in the Plan/EIS include the no action alternative (passive restoration) as well as active restoration alternatives, including moving grizzly bears from other U.S. and/or Canadian populations into the NCE as either threatened or experimental 10(j) populations under the ESA.

    The Plan/EIS will evaluate the effects of a range of alternatives, including potential impacts to: Rare or unusual vegetation, wildlife and habitat, soundscapes, wilderness (including a minimum requirements analysis), visitor use and experience, socioeconomics, human safety, and other resources.

    Public Comment How To Provide Comments

    During the scoping period, public open houses will be held on both the east and west sides of the North Cascades Ecosystem to provide an opportunity for the public to share their comments and learn more about grizzly bear restoration. Details regarding the exact times and locations of these meetings will be announced on the project Web site (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/NCEG) and through local and regional media. The meetings will also be announced through email notification to individuals and organizations on the initial distribution list. Those wishing to be added to the project information distribution list should send an email request to [email protected]

    If you wish to comment on the purpose, need, objectives, potential alternatives, or on any other issues associated with development of the draft Plan/EIS, you may submit your comments by any one of several methods. You may comment online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/NCEG. You may also mail or hand deliver comments to the Superintendent, North Cascades National Park Service Complex, 810 State Route 20, Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284. Written comments will also be accepted at the public open houses. Comments will not be accepted by fax, email, or by any method other than those specified above. Bulk comments in any format (hard copy or electronic) submitted on behalf of others will not be accepted.

    Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Dated: February 6, 2015. Robyn Thorson, Regional Director, Pacific Region, Fish and Wildlife Service. Dated: February 5, 2015. Christine S. Lehnertz, Regional Director, Pacific West Region, National Park Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03504 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4312-52-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS-HQ-IA-2015-N040; FXIA16710900000-156-FF09A30000] Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for Permit AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of receipt of applications for permit.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, invite the public to comment on the following applications to conduct certain activities with endangered species. With some exceptions, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) prohibits activities with listed species unless Federal authorization is acquired that allows such activities.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments or requests for documents on or before March 23, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Brenda Tapia, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Management Authority, Branch of Permits, MS: IA, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041; fax (703) 358-2281; or email [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brenda Tapia, (703) 358-2104 (telephone); (703) 358-2281 (fax); [email protected] (email).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Public Comment Procedures A. How do I request copies of applications or comment on submitted applications?

    Send your request for copies of applications or comments and materials concerning any of the applications to the contact listed under ADDRESSES. Please include the Federal Register notice publication date, the PRT-number, and the name of the applicant in your request or submission. We will not consider requests or comments sent to an email or address not listed under ADDRESSES. If you provide an email address in your request for copies of applications, we will attempt to respond to your request electronically.

    Please make your requests or comments as specific as possible. Please confine your comments to issues for which we seek comments in this notice, and explain the basis for your comments. Include sufficient information with your comments to allow us to authenticate any scientific or commercial data you include.

    The comments and recommendations that will be most useful and likely to influence agency decisions are: (1) Those supported by quantitative information or studies; and (2) Those that include citations to, and analyses of, the applicable laws and regulations. We will not consider or include in our administrative record comments we receive after the close of the comment period (see DATES) or comments delivered to an address other than those listed above (see ADDRESSES).

    B. May I review comments submitted by others?

    Comments, including names and street addresses of respondents, will be available for public review at the street address listed under ADDRESSES. The public may review documents and other information applicants have sent in support of the application unless our allowing viewing would violate the Privacy Act or Freedom of Information Act. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    II. Background

    To help us carry out our conservation responsibilities for affected species, and in consideration of section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), along with Executive Order 13576, “Delivering an Efficient, Effective, and Accountable Government,” and the President's Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies of January 21, 2009—Transparency and Open Government (74 FR 4685; January 26, 2009), which call on all Federal agencies to promote openness and transparency in Government by disclosing information to the public, we invite public comment on these permit applications before final action is taken.

    III. Permit Applications A. Endangered Species Applicant: GTWT, LLC, dba Bang 57 Ranch, Okeechobee, FL; PRT-48053A

    The applicant requests a permit to authorize interstate and foreign commerce, export, and cull of excess barasingha (Rucervus duvaucelii) from the captive herd maintained at their facility for the purpose of enhancement of the survival of the species. This notification covers activities to be conducted by the applicant over a 5-year period.

    Applicant: Blank Park Zoo, Des Moines, IA; PRT-45381B

    The applicant requests a permit to export three males and one female captive-bred Mauritius Pink Pigeons (Columba mayeri) from Blank Park Zoo, Des Moines, Iowa to Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Channel Islands for the purpose of enhancement of the survival of the species. This notification covers activities to be conducted by the applicant over a 5-year period.

    Applicant: Turtle Conservancy, Ojai, CA; PRT-45549B

    The applicant requests a permit to import ten wild individuals of the species angulated tortoise (Astrochelys yniphora) for the purpose of enhancement of the survival of the species. This notification covers activities to be conducted by the applicant over a 1-year period.

    Applicant: Garden State Tortoise LLC, Freehold, NJ; PRT-233243

    The applicant requests an amendment of his captive-bred wildlife registration under 50 CFR 17.21(g) for the species listed below to enhance the species' propagation or survival. This notification covers activities to be conducted by the applicant over a 5-year period.

    Species Radiated tortoise (Astrochelys radiata) Aquatic box turtle (Terrapene coahuila) Galapagos giant tortoise (Chelonoidis nigra) Bolson tortoise (Gopherus flavomarginatus) Yellow-spotted river turtle (Podocnemis unifilis) Tartaruga (Podocnemis expansa) Spotted pond turtle (Geoclemys hamiltonii) River terrapin (Batagur baska) Applicant: Joan Embery-Pillsbury, Lakeside, CA; PRT-45981B

    The applicant requests a captive-bred wildlife registration under 50 CFR 17.21(g) for Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) and black & white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegate) to enhance the species propagation or survival. This notification covers activities to be conducted by the applicant over a 5-year period.

    Multiple Applicants

    The following applicants each request a permit to import the sport-hunted trophy of one male bontebok (Damaliscus pygargus pygargus) culled from a captive herd maintained under the management program of the Republic of South Africa, for the purpose of enhancement of the survival of the species.

    Applicant: Terry Arnold, Fellows, CA; PRT-57131B Applicant: Leo Wright, Mead, WA; PRT-49585B Applicant: Robert Bonar, Minneapolis, MN; PRT-55925B Applicant: Bernard Richburg, Little Rock, AR; PRT-56820B Applicant: Nicolas Pittman, Whiteville, TN; PRT-56826B Brenda Tapia, Program Analyst/Data Administrator, Branch of Permits, Division of Management Authority.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03381 Filed 2-18-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-55-P