Federal Register Vol. 80, No.36,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 36 (February 24, 2015)

Page Range9591-9983
FR Document

80_FR_36
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 9981 - Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to LibyaPDF
80 FR 9973 - Establishment of the Browns Canyon National MonumentPDF
80 FR 9755 - Audit Committee Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
80 FR 9744 - Central Gulf of Mexico Planning Area (CPA) Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Lease Sale 235 (CPA Sale 235); CorrectionPDF
80 FR 9697 - National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Smart Grid Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
80 FR 9803 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; C2 Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Exchange Rule 6.15PDF
80 FR 9622 - National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants; Delegation of Authority to OklahomaPDF
80 FR 9678 - National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants; Delegation of Authority to OklahomaPDF
80 FR 9846 - FAA Approval of Noise Compatibility Program; Westover Metropolitan Airport, Chicopee, MassachusettsPDF
80 FR 9847 - Permanent Closure of Diego Jimenez Torres Airport, Fajardo, Puerto RicoPDF
80 FR 9758 - Hispanic Council on Federal EmploymentPDF
80 FR 9693 - Foreign-Trade Zone 119-Minneapolis, Minnesota; Authorization of Production Activity; MAT Industries, LLC (Air Compressors and Pressure Washers); Springfield, MinnesotaPDF
80 FR 9756 - PPL Susquehanna, LLC; Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, Units 1 and 2PDF
80 FR 9693 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 134-Chattanooga, Tennessee; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations, LLC; (Motor Vehicles); Chattanooga, TennesseePDF
80 FR 9693 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 245-Decatur, Illinois; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Thyssenkrupp Presta Danville, LLC; (Camshafts); Danville, IllinoisPDF
80 FR 9694 - Ball Bearings and Parts Thereof From the United Kingdom: Amended Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2010-2011PDF
80 FR 9757 - PPL Susquehanna, LLC; Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, Units 1 and 2PDF
80 FR 9695 - Certain New Pneumatic Off-the-Road Tires From the People's Republic of China: Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014PDF
80 FR 9755 - Natural Phenomena Hazards in Fuel Cycle FacilitiesPDF
80 FR 9754 - Meetings of Humanities PanelPDF
80 FR 9629 - Medicare and Medicaid Programs: Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Systems and Quality Reporting Programs; Physician-Owned Hospitals: Data Sources for Expansion Exception; Physician Certification of Inpatient Hospital Services; Medicare Advantage Organizations and Part D Sponsors: CMS-Identified Overpayments Associated With Submitted Payment Data; CorrectionsPDF
80 FR 9756 - FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company; Beaver Valley Power Station, Unit 1PDF
80 FR 9846 - Waiver of Chemical and Biological Weapons (CBW) Proliferation Sanctions Against Certain Chinese EntitiesPDF
80 FR 9697 - Renewable Energy And Energy Efficiency Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 9696 - Export Trade Certificate of ReviewPDF
80 FR 9693 - Foreign-Trade Zone 283-Jackson, Tennessee; Authorization of Production Activity MAT Industries, LLC (Air Compressors), Jackson, TennesseePDF
80 FR 9604 - Supportive Services for Veteran Families ProgramPDF
80 FR 9746 - Earned Import Allowance Program: Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Program for Certain Apparel From the Dominican Republic, Sixth Annual ReviewPDF
80 FR 9723 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Public Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 9723 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 9713 - Prairie Breeze Wind Energy II LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 9716 - Records Governing Off-the-Record Communications; Public NoticePDF
80 FR 9717 - Minneapolis Leased Housing Associates IV, Limited Partnership A-Mill Artists Loft Hydroelectric Project; Notice of Proposed Restricted Service List for a Programmatic Agreement For Managing Properties Included in or Eligible for Inclusion in the National Register of Historic PlacesPDF
80 FR 9712 - Notice of Transfer of ExemptionPDF
80 FR 9712 - Pilot Hill Wind, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 9706 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 9596 - Demand and Energy Data Reliability StandardPDF
80 FR 9705 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
80 FR 9665 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; 2015 Commercial Run-Around Gillnet ClosurePDF
80 FR 9848 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; AIG PC Global Services, Inc.PDF
80 FR 9847 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; Elevated Perspective MediaPDF
80 FR 9718 - Update to Notice of Financial Institutions for Which the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has been Appointed Either Receiver, Liquidator, or ManagerPDF
80 FR 9689 - Codex Alimentarius Commission: Meeting of the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR)PDF
80 FR 9678 - New Source Performance Standards and National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants; Delegation of Authority to LouisianaPDF
80 FR 9613 - New Source Performance Standards and National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants; Delegation of Authority to LouisianaPDF
80 FR 9718 - Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2013PDF
80 FR 9743 - Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource SciencePDF
80 FR 9748 - Meeting of the Judicial Conference Committee on Rules of Practice and ProcedurePDF
80 FR 9854 - Pricing for the 2015 March of Dimes Special Silver SetPDF
80 FR 9720 - Notice of Proposals To Engage in or To Acquire Companies Engaged in Permissible Nonbanking ActivitiesPDF
80 FR 9719 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
80 FR 9720 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
80 FR 9702 - North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 9701 - Western Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingsPDF
80 FR 9778 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1 Thereto, To Adopt New Rule 5713 and List Paired Class Shares Issued by AccuShares® Commodities Trust IPDF
80 FR 9702 - Reserve Forces Policy Board; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee MeetingPDF
80 FR 9848 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Notice of Request for Renewal of Two Previously Approved Information CollectionPDF
80 FR 9703 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and approval; Comment Request; Teacher Cancellation Low Income DirectoryPDF
80 FR 9749 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Proposed Collection: Reinstatement With Changes of Previously Approved Collection for Which Approval Has Expired; Survey: Survey of Prison Inmates (Formerly Named the Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities)PDF
80 FR 9750 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Employee Possessor QuestionnairePDF
80 FR 9751 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Certification on Agency Letterhead Authorizing Purchase of Firearm for Official Duties of Law Enforcement OfficerPDF
80 FR 9752 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Extension with Change, of a Previously Approved Collection; FD-1000 Customer Satisfaction AssessmentPDF
80 FR 9753 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; Approval of a New Collection; Rap Back Services Form (1-796)PDF
80 FR 9750 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection eComments Requested; New Collection; Perceptions of Safety and Police-Community RelationsPDF
80 FR 9699 - Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingsPDF
80 FR 9700 - Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 9845 - Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; Computer Matching Program (SSA/Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE))-Match Number 1306PDF
80 FR 9698 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Documentation of Fish HarvestPDF
80 FR 9852 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request; TIGTA Generic Survey RequestPDF
80 FR 9851 - Notice of Buy America WaiverPDF
80 FR 9849 - Notice of Buy America WaiverPDF
80 FR 9731 - Evaluating the Effectiveness of New Animal Drugs for the Reduction of Pathogenic Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli in Cattle; Draft Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 9748 - Certain Footwear Products; Notice of a Commission Determination Not to Review Granting New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc.'s Motion To Intervene as a RespondentPDF
80 FR 9600 - Medical Devices; Physical Medicine Devices; Classification of the Powered ExoskeletonPDF
80 FR 9732 - Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration Advice About Eating Fish; Closure of the Public Comment PeriodPDF
80 FR 9734 - Partnership To Develop the Branded Food Products Database for Public Health (R01)PDF
80 FR 9763 - Realty Capital Income Funds Trust, et al.; Notice of ApplicationPDF
80 FR 9733 - Anesthetic and Analgesic Drug Products Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 9733 - Neurological Devices Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 9688 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 9719 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Announcement of Board Approval Under Delegated Authority and Submission to OMBPDF
80 FR 9728 - National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Classifications and Public Health Data Standards Staff, Announces the Following MeetingPDF
80 FR 9729 - Request for Nominations of Candidates To Serve on the World Trade Center Health Program Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee (the STAC or the Committee), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human ServicesPDF
80 FR 9604 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Umpqua River, Reedsport, ORPDF
80 FR 9744 - Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires From China; Scheduling of the Final Phase of Countervailing Duty and Antidumping Duty InvestigationsPDF
80 FR 9747 - Prestressed Concrete Steel Wire Strand From Brazil, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico and Thailand; Scheduling of Expedited Five-Year ReviewsPDF
80 FR 9770 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Order Instituting Proceedings to Determine Whether to Approve or Disapprove a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Partial Amendment No. 1 and Partial Amendment No. 2, Amending Rule 13-Equities and Related Rules Governing Order Types and ModifiersPDF
80 FR 9667 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF
80 FR 9753 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Settlement Agreement Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability ActPDF
80 FR 9740 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Biographic Information, Forms G-325, G-325A, G-325B, and G-325C; Extension, Without Change, of a Currently Approved CollectionPDF
80 FR 9741 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Petition To Remove the Conditions on Residence, Form Number I-751; Revision of a Currently Approved CollectionPDF
80 FR 9742 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document, Form N-565; Revision of a Currently Approved CollectionPDF
80 FR 9720 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 9700 - Peer Review Meeting To Review Sea Scallop Survey MethodsPDF
80 FR 9758 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 9768 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Y-Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 8.15 Entitled “Imposition of Fines for Minor Violation(s) of Rules”PDF
80 FR 9801 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; EDGA Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 8.15 Entitled “Imposition of Fines for Minor Violation(s) of Rules”PDF
80 FR 9839 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; EDGX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 8.15 Entitled “Imposition of Fines for Minor Violation(s) of Rules”PDF
80 FR 9788 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Exchange, Inc.; Order Granting Approval of a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1 Thereto, To List and Trade Shares of the iShares U.S. Fixed Income Balanced Risk ETF of the iShares U.S. ETF Trust Under Rule 14.11(i)PDF
80 FR 9841 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Miami International Securities Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Its Fee SchedulePDF
80 FR 9805 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 8.15 Entitled “Imposition of Fines for Minor Violation(s) of Rules”PDF
80 FR 9807 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Exchange's Pricing Schedule Under Section VIII With Respect to Execution and Routing of Orders in Securities Priced at $1 or More per SharePDF
80 FR 9636 - Basic Health Program; Federal Funding Methodology for Program Year 2016PDF
80 FR 9818 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change Relating to Listing and Trading of Shares of WisdomTree Put Write Strategy Fund Under Commentary .01 to NYSE Arca Equities Rule 5.2(j)(3)PDF
80 FR 9773 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Codes of Arbitration Procedure To Increase the Late Cancellation FeePDF
80 FR 9837 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Miami International Securities Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Its Fee SchedulePDF
80 FR 9776 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Section 402.05 of the NYSE Listed Company Manual To Clarify That Listed Companies Soliciting Proxy Material Through Brokers or Other Entities Must Comply With SEC Rule 14a-13PDF
80 FR 9843 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; International Securities Exchange, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Schedule of FeesPDF
80 FR 9828 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; BATS Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Establish Fees for the BATS One Feed, and Amend Fees for BZX Top and BZX Last SalePDF
80 FR 9792 - Regulatory Organizations; BATS Y-Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Establish Fees for the BATS One Feed, and Amend Fees for BYX Top and BYX Last SalePDF
80 FR 9809 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; EDGA Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change To Establish Fees for EDGA Top, EDGA Last Sale, and the BATS One FeedPDF
80 FR 9759 - Eagle Point Credit Company Inc., et al.; Notice of ApplicationPDF
80 FR 9690 - Information Collection; Airplane Pilot Qualifications and Approval Record, Helicopter Pilot Qualifications and Approval Record, Airplane Data Record, and Helicopter Data RecordPDF
80 FR 9730 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 9691 - Information Collection; Forest Products Removal Permits and ContractsPDF
80 FR 9710 - Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC; Supplemental Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Planned Dalton Expansion Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues Related to a New Route Variation Under Consideration, and Notice of Public Scoping MeetingPDF
80 FR 9704 - Appalachian Mountain Club; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing, Intent To Waive Scoping, Soliciting Motions To Intervene and Protests, Ready for Environmental Analysis, and Soliciting Comments, Terms and Conditions, Recommendations, Prescriptions, and Establishing an Expedited Schedule for ProcessingPDF
80 FR 9713 - Notice of Application For Transfer of Licenses and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and ProtestsPDF
80 FR 9709 - Notice of ComplaintPDF
80 FR 9708 - Combined Notice of Filings #2PDF
80 FR 9715 - Technical Conference on Environmental Regulations and Electric Reliability, Wholesale Electricity Markets, and Energy Infrastructure; Supplemental Notice of Technical ConferencePDF
80 FR 9716 - Technical Conference on Environmental Regulations and Electric Reliability, Wholesale Electricity Markets, and Energy Infrastructure; Supplemental Notice of Technical ConferencesPDF
80 FR 9853 - Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended; System of Records NoticePDF
80 FR 9738 - National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 9740 - National Institute of General Medical Sciences; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 9735 - National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 9737 - Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 9736 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 9736 - National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 9738 - National Institute on Aging; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 9735 - National Cancer Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 9739 - National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 9736 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 9737 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 9738 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 9735 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 9731 - Uniform Project Description (UPD) Project Narrative Format for Discretionary Grant Application Forms; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 9724 - Proposed Data Collections Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
80 FR 9727 - Proposed Data Collections Submitted for Public Comment and RecommendationsPDF
80 FR 9725 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
80 FR 9915 - Oil and Gas and Sulphur Operations on the Outer Continental Shelf-Requirements for Exploratory Drilling on the Arctic Outer Continental ShelfPDF
80 FR 9673 - Safety Zones; Fireworks Displays in the Sector Columbia River Captain of the Port ZonePDF
80 FR 9742 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Section 3 Business Self-Certification ApplicationPDF
80 FR 9594 - Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. HelicoptersPDF
80 FR 9591 - Airworthiness Directives; CFM International S.A. Turbofan EnginesPDF
80 FR 9669 - National Language Service Corps (NLSC)PDF
80 FR 9591 - Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for Walk-in Coolers and FreezersPDF
80 FR 9844 - Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small Business Development; Federal Register Meeting NoticePDF
80 FR 9679 - Federal Property Management Regulations/Federal Management Regulation; Supply and ProcurementPDF
80 FR 9704 - Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute on Smart Manufacturing Industry Day WorkshopPDF
80 FR 9649 - Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Establishment of the Multi-State Plan Program for the Affordable Insurance ExchangesPDF
80 FR 9682 - Listing Endangered or Threatened Species; 12-Month Finding on a Petition To Revise the Critical Habitat Designation for the Southern Resident Killer Whale Distinct Population SegmentPDF
80 FR 9855 - Rural Development Regulations-Update to FmHA References and to Census ReferencesPDF

Issue

80 36 Tuesday, February 24, 2015 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Farm Service Agency

See

Food Safety and Inspection Service

See

Forest Service

See

Rural Business-Cooperative Service

See

Rural Housing Service

See

Rural Utilities Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9688-9689 2015-03685 2015-03686
Arts and Humanities, National Foundation See

National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities

Safety Enviromental Enforcement Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement PROPOSED RULES Oil and Gas and Sulphur Operations: Exploratory Drilling on the Arctic Outer Continental Shelf, 9916-9971 2015-03609 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9724-9728 2015-03616 2015-03617 2015-03618 Meetings: ICD-10 Coordination and Maintenance Committee, 9728-9729 2015-03683 Requests for Nominations: World Trade Center Health Program Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee, 9729-9730 2015-03682 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services RULES Basic Health Program: Federal Funding Methodology for Program Year 2016, 9636-9648 2015-03662 Medicare and Medicaid Programs: Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Systems, etc.; Correction, 9629-9636 2015-03760 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9730-9731 2015-03650 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Uniform Project Description Project Narrative Format for Discretionary Grant Application Forms; Corrections, 9731 2015-03627 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Umpqua River, Reedsport, OR, 9604 2015-03681 PROPOSED RULES Safety Zones: Fireworks Displays in the Sector Columbia River Captain of the Port Zone, 9673-9678 2015-03607 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Institute of Standards and Technology

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Defense Department Defense Department PROPOSED RULES National Language Service Corps, 9669-9673 2015-03567 NOTICES Meetings: Reserve Forces Policy Board, 9702-9703 2015-03712 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Teacher Cancellation Low Income Directory, 9703-9704 2015-03709 Energy Department Energy Department See

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office

See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

RULES Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for Walk-in Coolers and Freezers, 9591 2015-03557
Energy Efficiency Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office NOTICES Meetings: Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute on Smart Manufacturing Industry Day Workshop, 9704 2015-03456 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Delegations of Authority: National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants; OK, 9622-9628 2015-03803 National Emission Standards: Louisiana; Delegation of Authority; Hazardous Air Pollutants and New Source Performance Standards, 9613-9622 2015-03730 PROPOSED RULES Delegations of Authority: National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants; OK, 9678-9679 2015-03801 National Emission Standards: Louisiana; Delegation of Authority; Hazardous Air Pollutants and New Source Performance Standards, 9678 2015-03731 NOTICES Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks, 1990-2013, 9718 2015-03729 Executive Office of the President See

Presidential Documents

Farm Service Farm Service Agency RULES Rural Development: FmHA and Census References, 9856-9914 2015-01571 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. Helicopters, 9594-9596 2015-03585 CFM International S.A. Turbofan Engines, 9591-9594 2015-03582 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: The Boeing Company Airplanes, 9667-9669 2015-03677 NOTICES Noise Compatibility Program: Westover Metropolitan Airport, Chicopee, MA, 9846-9847 2015-03777 Permanent Closure of Diego Jimenez Torres Airport, Fajardo, PR, 9847 2015-03776 Petitions for Exemptions; Summaries: AIG PC Global Services, Inc., 9848 2015-03737 Elevated Perspective Media, 9847-9848 2015-03736 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Updated Listing of Financial Institutions in Liquidation, 9718-9719 2015-03735 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission RULES Demand and Energy Data Reliability Standard, 9596-9600 2015-03740 NOTICES Applications: Appalachian Mountain Club, 9704-9705 2015-03647 Combined Filings, 9705-9709 2015-03644 2015-03739 2015-03743 Complaints: Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp., et al., v. ALLETE, Inc., et al., 9709-9710 2015-03645 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Dalton Expansion Project, Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co., LLC, 9710-9712 2015-03648 Exemption Transfers: Apple, Inc., 9712 2015-03745 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: Pilot Hill Wind, LLC, 9712-9713 2015-03744 Prairie Breeze Wind Energy II, LLC, 9713 2015-03748 License Transfer Applications: Ada County, ID, Aquenergy Systems, Inc., et al., 9713-9715 2015-03646 Meetings: Environmental Regulations and Electric Reliability, Wholesale Electricity Markets, and Energy Infrastructure; Technical Conference, 9715-9716 2015-03643 Environmental Regulations and Electric Reliability, Wholesale Electricity Markets, and Energy Infrastructure; Technical Conferences, 9716 2015-03642 Records Governing Off-the-Record Communications, 9716-9717 2015-03747 Restricted Service List: Minneapolis Leased Housing Associates IV, L.P.; A-Mill Artists Loft Hydroelectric Project, 9717-9718 2015-03746 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9848-9849 2015-03710 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9719 2015-03684 Changes in Bank Control: Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company, 9719-9720 2015-03719 Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 9720 2015-03718 Proposals to Engage in or to Acquire Companies Engaged in Permissible Nonbanking Activities, 9720 2015-03720 Federal Trade Federal Trade Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9720-9723 2015-03672 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration RULES Medical Devices: Physical Medicine Devices; Powered Exoskeleton; Classification, 9600-9603 2015-03692 NOTICES Guidance: Advice about Eating Fish; Comment Period Closure, 9732 2015-03691 Effectiveness of New Animal Drugs for the Reduction of Pathogenic Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli in Cattle; Availability, 9731-9732 2015-03694 Meetings: Anesthetic and Analgesic Drug Products Advisory Committee; Corrections, 9733 2015-03688 Neurological Devices Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee, 9733-9734 2015-03687 Partnership to Develop the Branded Food Products Database for Public Health (R01), 9734-9735 2015-03690 Food Safety Food Safety and Inspection Service NOTICES Meetings: Codex Alimentarius Commission Committee on Pesticide Residues, 9689-9690 2015-03732 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Production Activity Authorizations: MAT Industries, LLC, Foreign-Trade Zone 119, Minneapolis, MN, 9693 2015-03774 MAT Industries, LLC, Foreign-Trade Zone 283, Jackson, TN, 9693 2015-03754 Proposed Production Activities: Thyssenkrupp Presta Danville, LLC, Foreign-Trade Zone 245, Decatur, IL, 9693 2015-03771 Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations, LLC, Foreign-Trade Zone 134, Chattanooga, TN, 9693-9694 2015-03772 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Airplane Pilot Qualifications and Approval Record, Helicopter Pilot Qualifications and Approval Record, Airplane Data Record, and Helicopter Data Record, 9690-9691 2015-03652 Forest Products Removal Permits and Contracts, 9691-9693 2015-03649 General Services General Services Administration PROPOSED RULES Federal Property Management/Federal Management Regulations: Supply and Procurement, 9679-9682 2015-03484 Geological Geological Survey NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science, 9743-9744 2015-03728 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9723-9724 2015-03749 2015-03750
Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Section 3 Business Self-Certification Application, 9742-9743 2015-03593 Interior Interior Department See

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

See

Geological Survey

See

Ocean Energy Management Bureau

International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Ball Bearings and Parts Thereof from the United Kingdom, 9694-9695 2015-03770 Certain New Pneumatic Off-the-Road Tires from the People's Republic of China, 9695-9696 2015-03765 Export Trade Certificates of Review: JDE USA LLC, 9696-9697 2015-03755 Meetings: Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee, 9697 2015-03756 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires from China, 9744-9746 2015-03680 Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Footwear Products; New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc.'s Motion to Intervene as a Respondent, 9748 2015-03693 Earned Import Allowance Program: Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Program for Certain Apparel from the Dominican Republic, Sixth Annual Review, 9746-9747 2015-03752 Prestressed Concrete Steel Wire Strand from Brazil, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico and Thailand, 9747-9748 2015-03679 Judicial Conference Judicial Conference of the United States NOTICES Meetings: Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure, 9748 2015-03724 Justice Department Justice Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Certification on Agency Letterhead Authorizing Purchase of Firearm for Official Duties of Law Enforcement Officer, 9751-9752 2015-03706 Customer Satisfaction Assessment, 9752-9753 2015-03705 Employee Possessor Questionnaire, 9750 2015-03707 Perceptions of Safety and Police-Community Relations, 9750-9751 2015-03702 Rap Back Services Form, 9753 2015-03704 Survey of Prison Inmates, 9749 2015-03708 Proposed Settlement Agreements under CERCLA, 9753-9754 2015-03676 National Foundation National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities NOTICES Meetings: Humanities Panel, 9754-9755 2015-03761 National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NOTICES Buy American Waivers, 9849-9852 2015-03695 2015-03696 National Institute National Institute of Standards and Technology NOTICES Meetings: Smart Grid Advisory Committee, 9697-9698 2015-03831 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 9735-9739 2015-03628 2015-03629 2015-03630 2015-03631 Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 9737 2015-03637 National Cancer Institute, 9735 2015-03633 National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, 9739-9740 2015-03632 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 9736 2015-03636 National Institute of General Medical Sciences, 9740 2015-03639 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 9735 2015-03638 National Institute on Aging, 9738 2015-03634 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 9736 2015-03635 National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 9738 2015-03640 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic: Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources; 2015 Commercial Run-Around Gillnet Closure, 9665-9666 2015-03738 PROPOSED RULES Listing Endangered or Threatened Species: 12-Month Finding on a Petition To Revise the Critical Habitat Designation for the Southern Resident Killer Whale Distinct Population Segment, 9682-9687 2015-03378 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Documentation of Fish Harvest, 9698-9699 2015-03698 Meetings: Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, 2015-03700 9699-9700 2015-03701 North Pacific Fishery Management Council, 9702 2015-03716 Peer Review of Sea Scallop Survey Methods, 9700-9701 2015-03671 Western Pacific Fishery Management Council, 9701-9702 2015-03715 Neighborhood Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 9755 2015-03876 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Guidance: Natural Phenomena Hazards in Fuel Cycle Facilities, 9755-9756 2015-03764 License Amendments: FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co., Beaver Valley Power Station, Unit 1; Withdrawals, 9756-9757 2015-03758 PPL Susquehanna, LLC, Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, Units 1 and 2; Withdrawals, 9756-9758 2015-03766 2015-03773 Ocean Energy Management Ocean Energy Management Bureau PROPOSED RULES Oil and Gas and Sulphur Operations: Exploratory Drilling on the Arctic Outer Continental Shelf, 9916-9971 2015-03609 NOTICES Oil and Gas Lease Sales: Central Gulf of Mexico Planning Area, Outer Continental Shelf, CPA Sale 235; Correction, 9744 2015-03832 Personnel Personnel Management Office RULES Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Establishment of the Multi-State Plan Program for the Affordable Insurance Exchanges, 9649-9665 2015-03421 NOTICES Meetings: Hispanic Council on Federal Employment, 9758 2015-03775 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Browns Canyon National Monument; Establishment (Proc. 9232), 9973-9980 2015-03972 Rural Business Rural Business-Cooperative Service RULES Rural Development: FmHA and Census References, 9856-9914 2015-01571 Rural Housing Service Rural Housing Service RULES Rural Development: FmHA and Census References, 9856-9914 2015-01571 Rural Utilities Rural Utilities Service RULES Rural Development: FmHA and Census References, 9856-9914 2015-01571 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 9758-9759 2015-03670 Applications: Eagle Point Credit Co. Inc., et al., 9759-9763 2015-03653 Realty Capital Income Funds Trust, et al., 9763-9768 2015-03689 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: BATS Exchange, Inc., 9788-9792, 9805-9807, 9828-9837 2015-03656 2015-03664 2015-03666 BATS Y-Exchange, Inc., 9768-9770, 9792-9801 2015-03655 2015-03669 C2 Options Exchange, Inc., 9803-9805 2015-03821 EDGA Exchange, Inc., 9801-9803, 9809-9818 2015-03654 2015-03668 EDGX Exchange, Inc., 9839-9841 2015-03667 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., 9773-9776 2015-03660 International Securities Exchange, LLC, 9843-9844 2015-03657 Miami International Securities Exchange LLC, 9841-9843 2015-03665 Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC, 9837-9839 2015-03659 NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC, 9807-9809 2015-03663 NASDAQ Stock Market, LLC, 9778-9788 2015-03713 New York Stock Exchange, LLC, 9776-9778 2015-03658 NYSE Arca, Inc., 9818-9828 2015-03661 NYSE MKT LLC, 9770-9773 2015-03678 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Meetings: Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small Business Development, 9844-9845 2015-03514 Social Social Security Administration NOTICES Privacy Act; Computer Matching Program, 9845-9846 2015-03699 State Department State Department NOTICES Waiver of Chemical and Biological Weapons Proliferation Sanctions Against Certain Chinese Entities, 9846 2015-03757 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Treasury Treasury Department See

United States Mint

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration Generic Survey Request, 9852-9853 2015-03697 Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 9853 2015-03641
U.S. Citizenship U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document; Revisions, 9742 2015-03673 Biographic Information; Extensions, 9740-9741 2015-03675 Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence, 9741-9742 2015-03674 U.S. Mint United States Mint NOTICES Pricing for the 2015 March of Dimes Special Silver Set, 9854 2015-03722 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department RULES Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program, 9604-9613 2015-03753 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Agriculture Department, Farm Service Agency, 9856-9914 2015-01571 Agriculture Department, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, 9856-9914 2015-01571 Agriculture Department, Rural Housing Service, 9856-9914 2015-01571 Agriculture Department, Rural Utilities Service, 9856-9914 2015-01571 Part III Interior Department, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, 9916-9971 2015-03609 Interior Department, Ocean Energy Management Bureau, 9916-9971 2015-03609 Part IV Presidential Documents, 9973-9980 2015-03972 Reader Aids

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

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

80 36 Tuesday, February 24, 2015 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Part 431 [Docket Number EERE-2008-BT-STD-0015] RIN 1904-AB86 Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for Walk-in Coolers and Freezers AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Publication of determination.

SUMMARY:

The Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA), as amended, prescribes that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) make a determination on the impact, if any, on the lessening of competition likely to result from a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) proposed rule for energy conservation standards and that DOE publish the determination in the Federal Register. DOE published its final rule for energy conservation standards for walk-in coolers and freezers on June 3, 2014, and is today publishing DOJ's determination on such proposed rule.

DATES:

February 24, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. John Cymbalsky, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Building Technologies Program, EE-5B, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 287-1692. Email: [email protected].

Mr. Michael Kido, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, GC-71, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC, 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 586-8145. Email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On June 3, 2014, DOE published a final rule for walk-in coolers and walk-in freezers in which DOE amended the energy conservation standards for certain walk-in cooler and walk-in freezer components. Those standards were determined by DOE to be technologically feasible and economically justified and would result in the significant conservation of energy. The Energy Conservation and Policy Act of 1975 (42 U.S.C.6291, et seq; “EPCA”), Public Law 94-163, requires that the Attorney General make a determination and analysis of the impact, if any, of any lessening of competition likely to result from a proposed standard, within 60 days of publication. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(B)(ii)) EPCA also requires that DOE publish the determination and analysis in the Federal Register. Id.

DOE received the determination in response to the September 11, 2013 NOPR from the Attorney General and the U.S. Department of Justice on November 13, 2013. Accordingly, DOE is publishing that determination in today's notice.

Issued in Washington, DC, on February 12, 2015. Kathleen B. Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Antitrust Division WILLIAM J. BAER Assistant Attorney General Main Justice Building 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20530-0001 (202) 514-2401 I (202) 616-2645 (Fax) November 12, 2013 Eric J. Fygi Deputy General Counsel Department of Energy Washington, D.C. 20585 Re: Walk In Coolers & Freezers Energy Conservation Standards Dear Deputy General Counsel Fygi:

I am responding to your September 10, 2013 letter seeking the views of the Attorney General about the potential impact on competition of proposed energy conservation standards for walk-in coolers and refrigerators. Your request was submitted under Section 325(o)(2)(B)(i)(V) of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, as amended (ECPA), 42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(B)(i)(V), which requires the Attorney General to make a determination of the impact of any lessening of competition that is likely to result from the imposition of proposed energy conservation standards. The Attorney General's responsibility for responding to requests from other departments about the effect of a program on competition has been delegated to the Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division in 28 CFR § 0.40(g).

In conducting its analysis the Antitrust Division examines whether a proposed standard may lessen competition, for example, by substantially limiting consumer choice, by placing certain manufacturers at an unjustified competitive disadvantage, or by inducing avoidable inefficiencies in production or distribution of particular products. A lessening of competition could result in higher prices to manufacturers and consumers, and perhaps thwart the intent of the revised standards by inducing substitution to less efficient products.

We have reviewed the proposed standards contained in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (78 FR 55781, September 11, 2013) (NOPR). We have also reviewed supplementary information submitted to the Attorney General by the Department of Energy, including a transcript of the public meeting held on the proposed standards on October 9, 2013. Based on this review, our conclusion is that the proposed energy conservation standards for walk-in coolers and freezers are unlikely to have a significant adverse impact on competition.

Sincerely, William J. Baer Enclosure
[FR Doc. 2015-03557 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0521; Directorate Identifier 2014-NE-11-AD; Amendment 39-18104; AD 2015-04-02] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; CFM International S.A. Turbofan Engines AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all CFM International S.A. (CFM) CFM56-7B series turbofan engines. This AD was prompted by a dual engine thrust instability event that resulted in the overspeed and in-flight shutdown (IFSD) of one engine. This AD requires modification of the engine by removing full authority digital engine control (FADEC) software, version 7.B.V4 or earlier, installed in the electronic engine controls (EECs) on CFM56-7B engines. We are issuing this AD to prevent a thrust instability event, which could lead to overspeed and IFSD of one or more engines, loss of thrust control, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane.

DATES:

This AD is effective March 31, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this AD, contact CFM International Inc., Aviation Operations Center, 1 Neumann Way, M/D Room 285, Cincinnati, OH 45125; phone: 877-432-3272; fax: 877-432-3329; email: [email protected]. You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 781-238-7125. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2014-0521.

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2014-0521; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Document Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Kyle Gustafson, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7183; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all CFM CFM56-7B series turbofan engines. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on October 2, 2014 (79 FR 59467). The NPRM was prompted by reports of dual-engine thrust instability events on CFM56-7B turbofan engines that resulted in overspeed and IFSD of one engine. These resulted from water-borne contamination of the fuel being supplied to the engine which had an adverse effect on the response of the fuel metering valve (FMV) in the hydro-mechanical unit (HMU). CFM has modified its FADEC software to compensate for compromised fuel within the HMU and improved the response of the FMV, thereby mitigating these thrust instability events. The NPRM proposed to require modification of the engine by removing FADEC software, version 7.B.V4 or earlier, installed in the EECs on CFM56-7B engines. We are issuing this AD to prevent a thrust instability event, which could lead to overspeed and IFSD of one or more engines, loss of thrust control, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM (79 FR 59467, October 2, 2014) and the FAA's response to each comment.

Request To Change Emphasis From Software Removal to Software Installation

Delta Air Lines (DAL) and American Air Lines (AAL) requested that we change wording in the AD to emphasize installation of an eligible software standard rather than removal of the ineligible software standard. They suggested that we add this sentence to compliance paragraph (e): “Within 6 months of the effective date of this AD, modify the engine by installing FADEC software version 7.B.W, released by CFM Service Bulletins 73-0203 and 73-0204, or later approved software versions.” DAL and AAL state that the Boeing 737NG Aircraft Maintenance Manual does not contain a removal step but rather guides how to overwrite previous software with eligible software.

We disagree. The purpose of this AD is to require removal of software standard 7.B.V4, or earlier, to correct the unsafe condition. Overwriting a previously installed software standard with a software standard eligible for installation is an acceptable method for removing an affected software standard. We did not change this AD.

Request To Require Use of Software EEC Software Standard 7.B.W or Later

DAL and AAL requested that we revise paragraph (h)(2) of FAA AD 2012-05-02 (77 FR 20511, April 5, 2012) (“AD 2012-05-02”) to state that EEC software standard 7.B.W or later is required. AD 2012-05-02 requires inspection and modification to the Boeing 737NG thrust reversers, and also requires, in paragraph (h)(2), installation of software standard 7.B.R3 on affected engines. Since AD 2012-05-02 was issued, new versions of software have been released, requiring alternative methods of compliance (AMOCs) to allow installation of versions later than software standard 7.B.R3. The requested change to AD 2012-05-02 would bring AD 2012-05-02 and this AD into agreement on the required airplane configuration.

We disagree. The current version of the software standard, 7.B.W, also addresses the thrust reverser unsafe condition and is approved as an AMOC for AD 2012-05-02. We did not change this AD.

Request To Change Description of the Unsafe Condition

The Boeing Company (Boeing) and CFM requested that we change the wording of the unsafe condition to “We are proposing this AD to mitigate characteristics of a thrust instability event; without mitigation, thrust instability events could potentially lead to engine overspeed and IFSD of one or more engines, loss of thrust control, and damage to the airplane.” The commenters state that the EEC cannot prevent the occurrence of the events, but it can effectively mitigate the characteristics of the events.

We disagree. While the work to prevent the root cause of fuel contamination continues, the purpose of the FADEC software and this AD is to prevent the events described in the unsafe condition. We did not change this AD.

Request To Change Wording in the Description Paragraph

CFM and Boeing requested that we change the wording of two sentences in the Description paragraph to “These resulted from water-borne contamination of the fuel being supplied to the engine which had an adverse effect on the response of the FMV in the HMU. CFM has modified its FADEC software to compensate for compromised fuel within the HMU and improve the response of the fuel control valve, thereby mitigating these thrust instability events.”

We agree. We changed the wording of the two sentences in the Description paragraph to be more correct and accurate.

Request To Clarify a Sentence in the Relevant Service Information Paragraph

Boeing requested, for clarity, that in the Relevant Service Information paragraph of the preamble we add the words “post 7.B.V4” to describe the FADEC software. Boeing requested that the changed sentence read: “The SBs describe the procedures for the introduction of new FADEC software, post 7.B.V4, for the EECs.”

We disagree. The information in this AD provides the necessary information for compliance. No additional clarification is required. Furthermore, the Relevant Service Information paragraph, which appeared in the preamble of the NPRM (79 FR 59467, October 2, 2014), does not appear in this AD. We did not change this AD.

Request That We Correct Our References to the FADEC Software Standard

CFM requested that we change all references to the software standard throughout this AD from “7BV4” to “7.B.V4” because that is the correct way to reference the software standard.

We agree. We changed all references to the software standard throughout this AD to the correct nomenclature.

Request To Add a Table Specifying the Software Versions To Remove

Boeing requested that for clarity we include in this AD a table that would show the software versions, by part number, that should be removed as a result of this AD.

We disagree. The information in this AD provides the necessary information for compliance. No additional clarification is required. We did not change this AD.

Additional Changes

In our review of the NPRM, we found that we failed to include the prohibition against operating any aircraft configured with one engine with FADEC software version 7.B.V4 or earlier, installed, and the other engine with an eligible FADEC software version installed. This prohibition is in SB CFM Service Bulletin (SB) No. CFM56-7B S/B 73-0203, dated June 9, 2014 and CFM No. SB CFM56-7B S/B 73-0204, dated June 9, 2014. We added the prohibition to this AD.

Agreement With the Proposed AD

One anonymous commenter expressed agreement with this AD.

Conclusion

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

• Αre consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 59467, October 2, 2014) for correcting the unsafe condition; and

• Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 59467, October 2, 2014).

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

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD would affect about 2,921 engines installed on airplanes of U.S. registry. We also estimate that it would take about 1 hour per engine to comply with this AD. The average labor rate is $85 per hour. Parts cost is zero. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this AD on U.S. operators to be $248,285.

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

(3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska to the extent that it justifies making a regulatory distinction, and

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2015-04-02 CFM International S.A.: Amendment 39-18104; Docket No. FAA-2014-0521; Directorate Identifier 2014-NE-11-AD. (a) Effective Date

This AD is effective March 31, 2015.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to all CFM International S.A. (CFM) CFM56-7B series turbofan engines.

(d) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by a dual engine thrust instability event that resulted in the overspeed and in-flight shutdown (IFSD) of one engine. We are issuing this AD to prevent a thrust instability event, which could lead to overspeed and IFSD of one or more engines, loss of thrust control, damage to the engine, and damage to the airplane.

(e) Compliance

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

(2) Within 6 months after the effective date of this AD, modify the engine by removing full authority digital engine control (FADEC) software, version 7.B.V4 or earlier, installed in the electronic engine control (EEC).

(3) Do not return to service any aircraft configured with one engine with FADEC software, version 7.B.V4 or earlier, installed, and the other engine with an eligible FADEC software version, installed.

(f) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

The Manager, Engine Certification Office, FAA, may approve AMOCs to this AD. Use the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19 to make your request. You may email your request to: [email protected].

(g) Related Information

(1) For more information about this AD, contact Kyle Gustafson, Aerospace Engineer, Engine Certification Office, FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA 01803; phone: 781-238-7183; fax: 781-238-7199; email: [email protected].

(2) CFM Service Bulletin (SB) No. CFM56-7B S/B 73-0203, dated June 9, 2014, and CFM No. SB CFM56-7B S/B 73-0204, dated June 9, 2014, which are not incorporated by reference in this AD, can be obtained from CFM using the contact information in paragraph (g)(3) of this AD.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact CFM International Inc., Aviation Operations Center, 1 Neumann Way, M/D Room 285, Cincinnati, OH 45125; phone: 877-432-3272; fax: 877-432-3329; email: [email protected].

(4) You may view this service information at the FAA, Engine & Propeller Directorate, 12 New England Executive Park, Burlington, MA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (781) 238-7125.

(h) Material Incorporated by Reference

None.

Issued in Burlington, Massachusetts, on February 10, 2015. Ann C. Mollica, Acting Directorate Manager, Engine & Propeller Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-03582 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-0365; Directorate Identifier 2014-SW-049-AD; Amendment 39-18106; AD 2015-04-04] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. Helicopters AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. (Bell) Model 412 and 412EP helicopters with certain static inverters (inverters) installed. This AD requires revising the Rotorcraft Flight Manual (RFM) and installing a placard in full view of the pilot to limit flight to visual flight rules (VFR) only and prohibit night operations. This AD is prompted by failures of certain inverters, most of which resulted in smoke in the cockpit. The actions specified by this AD are intended to restrict flight to VFR only and prohibit night operations to allow safe operation in the event of failure of an affected inverter. This failure would increase pilot workload during instrument flight rules (IFR) and could result in loss of certain pilot information displays and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective March 11, 2015.

We must receive comments on this AD by April 27, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments by any of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Docket: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

Fax: 202-493-2251.

Mail: Send comments to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.

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

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov or in person at the Docket Operations Office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the economic evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

For service information identified in this AD, contact Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., P.O. Box 482, Fort Worth, TX 76101; telephone (817) 280-3391; fax (817) 280-6466; or at http://www.bellcustomer.com/files/. You may review the referenced service information at the FAA, Office of the Regional Counsel, Southwest Region, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Room 663, Fort Worth, Texas 76137.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ife Ogunleye, Aviation Safety Engineer, Rotorcraft Certification Office, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; telephone (817) 222-5927; email [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

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

Discussion

We are adopting a new AD for Bell Model 412 and 412EP helicopters with an inverter part number (P/N) 412-375-079-101 or P/N 412-375-079-103 with a serial number 29145 or larger. This AD limits operations to VFR and prohibits night operations by adding a restriction to the RFM and installing a placard in full view of the pilots. This AD is prompted by at least 30 failures of certain inverters; most have resulted in smoke in the cockpit. The root cause of the failures is still under investigation by Bell and Avionics Instruments LLC, the manufacturer of the inverters. The consequence of one failed inverter has the potential of allowing smoke in the cockpit, making it difficult to find a safe landing site at night or in instrument meteorological conditions. If both inverters fail, the pilot will lose primary flight and navigation displays, alternating current powered engine and transmission indicators, and autopilot. The RFM emergency procedure for dual inverter failure is to land as soon as practicable or fly VFR. The RFM emergency procedure for smoke in the cabin is to land as soon as possible. Until a new design is available, restricting flight operations to VFR and daytime increases the likelihood of a prompt safe landing.

FAA's Determination

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

Related Service Information

Bell issued Alert Service Bulletin 412-13-156, dated April 25, 2013 (ASB), which specifies inspecting part-numbered 412-375-079-101 inverters and either repairing each inverter or replacing it with inverter P/N 412-375-079-103 to prevent failure. This ASB does not correct the unsafe condition identified in this AD. The specific cause of the inverter failures has not been verified, and since Bell issued the ASB, the failures have continued.

AD Requirements

This AD requires, within 5 hours time-in-service, limiting operations to VFR and prohibiting night operations by revising the Limitations section of the RFM and by installing a placard in the cockpit in full view of the pilots.

Interim Action

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

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD will affect 88 helicopters of U.S. Registry.

We estimate that operators may incur the following costs in order to comply with this AD. Labor costs are $85 per work hour. We estimate a minimal amount of time to revise the RFM and to install a placard. The required parts are $10 for a placard. Based on these requirements, the cost will be $10 per helicopter and $880 for the U.S. fleet.

FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date

Providing an opportunity for public comments before adopting these AD requirements would delay implementing the safety actions needed to correct this known unsafe condition. Therefore, we find that the risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment before adopting this rule because the required corrective actions must be done within 5 hours time-in-service.

Since an unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this AD, we determined that notice and opportunity for public comment before issuing this AD are impracticable and contrary to the public interest and that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

Regulatory Findings

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

For the reasons discussed, I certify that this AD:

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

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

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

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

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

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

§ 39.13 [Amended]
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2015-04-04 Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.: Amendment 39-18106; Docket No. FAA-2015-0365; Directorate Identifier 2014-SW-049-AD. (a) Applicability

This AD applies to Model 412 and 412EP helicopters with a static inverter (inverter) part number (P/N) 412-375-079-101 or 412-375-079-103 with a serial number 29145 or larger installed, certificated in any category.

(b) Unsafe Condition

This AD defines the unsafe condition as failure of an inverter(s) under instrument meteorological conditions or night flight. This condition could result in smoke in the cockpit, increased pilot workload due to the loss of primary flight and navigation displays, alternating current powered engine and transmission indicators, and autopilot, and subsequent loss of control of the helicopter.

(c) Effective Date

This AD becomes effective March 11, 2015.

(d) Compliance

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

(e) Required Actions

Within 5 hours time-in-service:

(1) Add the statement “Flight is restricted to VFR, and night operations are prohibited” to the Limitations section of the Rotorcraft Flight Manual by making pen and ink changes or by inserting a copy of this AD.

(2) Install a placard stating “LIMITED TO VFR ONLY; NIGHT OPERATIONS PROHIBITED” on the instrument panel in full view of the pilots.

(f) Special Flight Permits

Special flight permits are prohibited.

(g) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(1) The Manager, Rotorcraft Certification Office, FAA, may approve AMOCs for this AD. Send your proposal to: Ife Ogunleye, Aviation Safety Engineer, Rotorcraft Certification Office, Rotorcraft Directorate, FAA, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas 76137; telephone (817) 222-5927; email [email protected]

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

(h) Additional Information

Bell Helicopter Alert Service Bulletin 412-13-156, dated April 25, 2013, which is not incorporated by reference, contains additional information about the subject of this AD. For service information identified in this AD, contact Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., P.O. Box 482, Fort Worth, TX 76101; telephone (817) 280-3391; fax (817) 280-6466; or at http://www.bellcustomer.com/files/.

(i) Subject

Joint Aircraft Service Component (JASC) Code: 2422 AC Inverter.

Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, onFebruary 10, 2015. Lance T. Gant, Acting Directorate Manager, Rotorcraft Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-03585 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 18 CFR Part 40 [Docket No. RM14-12-000; Order No. 804] Demand and Energy Data Reliability Standard AGENCY:

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, DOE.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Commission approves Demand and Energy Data Reliability Standard MOD-031-1 developed by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), which the Commission has certified as the Electric Reliability Organization responsible for developing and enforcing mandatory Reliability Standards. In addition, the Commission directs NERC to develop a clarifying modification to the Reliability Standard.

DATES:

This rule will become effective April 27, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susan Morris (Technical Information), Office of Electric Reliability, Division of Reliability Standards and Security, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, Telephone: (202) 502-6803, [email protected] Robert T. Stroh (Legal Information), Office of the General Counsel, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, Telephone: (202) 502-8473, [email protected]
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

1. Pursuant to section 215(d) of the Federal Power Act (FPA),1 the Commission approves Reliability Standard MOD-031-1 (Demand and Energy Data) developed by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), the Commission-certified Electric Reliability Organization (ERO). Reliability Standard MOD-031-1 provides authority for planners and operators to collect demand, energy and related data to support reliability studies and assessments. In addition, the Commission approves NERC's proposed definitions for the terms Demand Side Management and Total Internal Demand. The Commission also approves the associated implementation plan, violation risk factors and violation severity levels, and NERC's proposed retirement of the currently-effective Reliability Standards MOD-016-1.1, MOD-017-0.1, MOD-018-0, MOD-019-0.1, and MOD-021-1 (Existing MOD C Standards).

1 16 U.S.C. 824o(d) (2012).

2. Further, pursuant to section 215(d)(5) of the FPA, the Commission directs NERC to (1) develop a modification to Reliability Standard MOD-031-1 to clarify certain obligations to provide data to the Regional Entity and (2) consider the compliance obligations of an applicable entity upon receipt of a data request that seeks confidential information.

I. Background

3. Section 215 of the FPA requires a Commission-certified ERO to develop mandatory and enforceable Reliability Standards, which are subject to Commission review and approval. Once approved, the Reliability Standards are enforced by the ERO, subject to Commission oversight, or by the Commission independently. In 2006, NERC submitted the initial version of Reliability Standards MOD-016-1.1, MOD-017-0.1, MOD-018-0, MOD-019-0.1, MOD-020-0, and MOD-021-1. The Existing MOD C Standards were designed to help ensure that historical and forecasted demand and energy data are available for past event validation and future system assessment. In particular, the Existing MOD C Standards, along with Reliability Standard MOD-020-0, require the collection of actual and forecast demand data necessary to analyze the resource needs to serve peak demand while maintaining a sufficient margin to address operating events. In Order No. 693, the Commission approved the Existing MOD C Standards and Reliability Standard MOD-020-0.2 In addition, the Commission directed NERC to develop certain modifications to the standards.

2Mandatory Reliability Standards for the Bulk-Power System, Order No. 693, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,242, at PP 1223, 1235, order on reh'g, Order No. 693-A, 120 FERC ¶ 61,053 (2007).

II. NERC Petition and NOPR

4. In its petition, NERC stated that Reliability Standard MOD-031-1 will provide planners and operators access to actual and forecast demand and energy data, as well as other related information, needed to perform resource adequacy studies.3 NERC explained that the proposed Reliability Standard also supports the continued development of the reliability assessments prepared by NERC. NERC stated that the proposed Reliability Standard improves the Existing MOD C Standards by: (1) Streamlining them to clarify data collection requirements; (2) including transmission planners as applicable entities that must report demand and energy data; (3) requiring applicable entities to report weather normalized annual peak hour actual demand data from the previous year to allow for meaningful comparison with forecasted values; and (4) requiring applicable entities to provide an explanation of how their forecasts compare to actual prior year data.4

3 NERC Petition at 3. The proposed MOD Reliability Standard is not attached to the Final Rule. The complete text of the Reliability Standard is available on the Commission's eLibrary document retrieval system in Docket No. RM14-12 and is posted on the ERO's Web site, available at: http://www.nerc.com.

4 NERC Petition at 4.

5. Reliability Standard MOD-031-1 contains four requirements. Requirement R1 provides that each planning coordinator or balancing authority that identifies a need for the collection of demand and energy data must develop and issue a data request for such data to the relevant entities in its area. The requirement mandates that the data request identify: (i) The entities responsible for providing the data; (ii) the data to be provided by each entity; and (iii) the schedule for providing the data. Requirement R2 obligates the entities identified in a Requirement R1 data request to provide the requested data to their planning coordinator or balancing authority. Requirement R3 requires that the planning coordinator or the balancing authority provide the data collected under Requirement R2 to their Regional Entity, if requested, to facilitate NERC's development of reliability assessments. Requirement R4 requires entities to share their demand and energy data with any applicable entity that demonstrates a reliability need for such data.5

5Id. at 5.

6. On September 18, 2014, the Commission issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) proposing to approve Reliability Standard MOD-031-1 as just, reasonable, not unduly discriminatory or preferential, and in the public interest. The Commission also requested comments on the collection of demand and energy data. Specifically, the Commission sought comments on: (1) The Commission's understanding that while a planning coordinator or balancing authority may collect demand and energy forecast data under a tariff or other arrangement, the planning coordinator or balancing authority always retains the option to seek the necessary data through a Requirement R1 data request if, for example, the data are not forthcoming through other means; and (2) whether a planning coordinator or balancing authority that receives data through alternative mechanisms remains obligated to provide such data (i.e., within the scope of Requirement R1) to a Regional Entity upon request, as set forth in Requirement R3.

Comments

7. Comments on the NOPR were submitted by NERC, Edison Electric Institute (EEI), ISO New England, Inc. (ISO New England), International Transmission Company d/b/a ITCTransmission, Michigan Electric Transmission Company, LLC, ITC Midwest LLC, and ITC Great Plains, LLC (collectively, “ITC Companies”), PacifiCorp, and Idaho Power Company (Idaho Power).

8. NERC, EEI, ISO New England support the Commission's proposed approval of MOD-031-1, and ITC Companies “does not object” to the standard. NERC and other commenters provide responses to the Commission's questions regarding the collection of demand and energy data, as discussed below.

9. NERC, EEI, Idaho Power, and ISO New England confirm the Commission's understanding that the planning coordinator or balancing authority retains the option to seek the necessary data through a Requirement R1 data request. NERC states that the Reliability Standard provides planning coordinators and balancing authorities the authority to issue data requests to compel applicable entities to provide the demand and energy data necessary to conduct reliability assessments. According to NERC, the Reliability Standard does not require planning coordinators and balancing authorities to issue such data requests if they have alternative means of obtaining or developing that data but planning coordinators and balancing authorities may always use the authority provided by the Reliability Standard as a backstop to ensure they obtain complete and accurate data.

10. With respect to the issue of whether a planning coordinator or balancing authority that receives data through alternative mechanisms remains obligated to provide such data to a Regional Entity upon request, NERC states that the intent of Requirement R3 was to require all planning coordinators and balancing authorities to provide the necessary demand and energy data to their respective Regional Entities to support the ERO development of seasonal and long-term reliability assessments. NERC commits to modifying the language of Requirement R3 in its standard development process to clarify that planning coordinators and balancing authorities must provide their demand and energy data to their Regional Entity, upon request, whether that data is collected pursuant to the proposed Reliability Standard or through alternative arrangements.

11. With regard to the Commission's question about the obligations of a planning coordinator or balancing authority to share data gathered or obtained through alternative mechanisms, EEI comments that there is no obligation to require a planning coordinator or balancing authority to share such data in a similar manner as required by Requirement R3. EEI adds that it is not aware of any reason that might motivate independent system operators (ISOs) or regional transmission organizations (RTOs) (in their role as planning coordinators or balancing authorities) to withhold such information from the Regional Entity. PacifiCorp agrees with EEI on this issue and favors a finding that Requirement R3 should not apply if the planning coordinator or balancing authority receives data through alternative means.

12. In contrast, Idaho Power and ISO New England assert that a planning coordinator or balancing authority that receives data within the scope of Requirement R1 through alternative mechanisms (as opposed to a data request) remains obligated to provide the data to a Regional Entity upon request pursuant to Requirement R3.

13. EEI also requests that the Commission clarify potential conflicts between a transmission provider's obligation to provide data under Reliability Standard MOD-031-1 and its confidentiality obligations under the Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT) or other confidentiality or nondisclosure restrictions. ITC Companies raises a concern with the inclusion of transmission planners as entities from whom the types of data specified may be requested because, according to ITC Companies, many transmission planners have delegated the collection of data to the ISO or RTO in which they are located.

III. Discussion

14. Pursuant to section 215(d)(2) of the FPA, the Commission approves Reliability Standard MOD-031-1 as just, reasonable, not unduly discriminatory or preferential, and in the public interest. We also approve the new and modified glossary definitions, implementation plan, associated violation risk factors and violation severity levels as well as the retirement of the Existing MOD C Standards. Reliability Standard MOD-031-1 should continue to provide planners and operators access to complete and accurate demand and energy data to allow such entities to conduct their own resource adequacy analyses to serve peak demand. As noted above, NERC, EEI, and ISO New England support approval of MOD-031-1, and no commenters oppose approval. ITC Companies “does not object” to the standard and “concurs with the Commission that MOD-031-1 will meaningfully enhance the ability of transmission planners and operators to conduct resource adequacy analyses and plan for peak load conditions.” 6

6 ITC Comments at 2.

15. We also find that the Reliability Standard should provide for consistent documentation and information sharing practices for demand and energy data, and promotes efficient planning practices across the industry and supports the identification of needed system reinforcements. Further, the Commission finds that Reliability Standard MOD-031-1 improves the Existing MOD C Standards by providing applicable entities the authority to collect demand and energy data, and related information, to support reliability assessments and also includes transmission planners as applicable entities that must report demand and energy data.

16. Further, as discussed below, we direct NERC to (1) develop a modification to Reliability Standard MOD-031-1 to clarify certain obligations to provide data to the Regional Entity and (2) consider the compliance obligations of an applicable entity upon receipt of a data request that seeks confidential information.

A. Demand and Energy Data Issues Raised in the NOPR

17. As discussed above, the Commission sought comment in the NOPR on several questions in connection with the collection of demand and energy data. With regard to the responsive comments on the NOPR question regarding the collection of data through mechanisms other than data requests, the Commission accepts the explanation provided by NERC and other commenters that, while a planning coordinator or balancing authority may collect demand and energy forecast data under a tariff or other arrangement, the planning coordinator or balancing authority always retains the option to seek the necessary data through a Requirement R1 data request if, for example, the data are not forthcoming through other means.

18. Further, the Commission raised a concern in the NOPR regarding whether a planning coordinator or balancing authority that receives data “through alternative mechanisms” remains obligated to provide such data (i.e., within the scope of Requirement R1) to a Regional Entity upon request, as set forth in Requirement R3. We accept NERC's explanation that the “intent of Requirement R3 was to require all planning coordinators and balancing authorities to provide the necessary demand and energy data to their respective Regional Entities to support the [ERO]'s development of seasonal and long-term reliability assessments,” although “a strict reading” of Requirement R3 “indicates that it applies only to data collected pursuant to a data request issued under this Reliability Standard.” 7 NERC has the statutory responsibility to conduct periodic assessments of the reliability and adequacy of the Bulk-Power System, and we believe that it is incumbent on users, owners and operators subject to compliance with section 215 of the FPA to provide the necessary data to support such assessments.8 Accordingly, pursuant to section 215(d)(5) of the FPA and consistent with NERC's comments,9 we direct NERC to develop a modification to MOD-031-1 through the standards development process to clarify that planning coordinators and balancing authorities must provide demand and energy data upon request of a Regional Entity, as necessary to support NERC's development of seasonal and long-term reliability assessments.

7 NERC Comments at 2-3. See also EEI Comments at 3.

8 16 U.S.C. 824o(g).

9See NERC Comments at 3.

B. Other Issues

19. EEI seeks Commission clarification of a “potential conflict” between a transmission provider's obligation to provide data under MOD-031-1 and the transmission provider's confidentiality obligations under an OATT or other confidentiality restrictions.10 Under MOD-031-1, Requirement R2, an applicable entity must provide data requested by its planning coordinator or balancing authority in accordance with the Requirement R1 data request provision. EEI notes that, under Requirement R4, an entity has 45 days to respond to a written request for data. Further, under Requirement 4.1, if an entity does not provide requested data because, inter alia, “providing the data would conflict with the Applicable Entity's confidentiality, regulatory or security requirements, the Applicable Entity shall, within 30 calendar days of the written request, provide a written response to the requesting entity specifying the data that is not being provided and on what basis.” According to EEI, it is unclear “at what point a transmission provider's obligation to `cooperate' with the other Party in the formation of a confidentiality agreement or protective order ends, and its obligation as an Applicable Entity to disclose the requested information under either Requirements R1 or R4 begins.” 11

10See EEI Comments at 3-4 (citing Article 22.1.10 of the pro forma large generation interconnection agreement).

11 EEI Comments at 5.

20. Requirement R1 specifies the planning coordinator or balancing authority shall issue a “data request to applicable entities in its area.” Applicable entities that are subject to providing data pursuant to Requirement R2 are transmission planners, balancing authorities, load-serving entities, and distribution providers. The transmission providers discussed by EEI may, in fact, be registered as one or more of the NERC functional entities that make up the applicable entities list in MOD-031-1. Requirement R4 includes provisions for an applicable entity to follow if a conflict arises. On this basis, the Reliability Standard appears to be clear. However, EEI's concern that MOD-031-1 is not clear regarding the compliance obligations of an applicable entity when required to provide data to a balancing authority or planning coordinator pursuant to a data request under the standard may have merit. Further, it may be possible in some circumstances, depending on the terms of the confidentiality provision at play, to provide data pursuant to a non-disclosure agreement. Therefore, rather than attempting to provide the clarification requested by EEI, the Commission directs NERC to consider EEI's concern regarding the compliance obligations of an applicable entity upon receipt of a data request that seeks confidential information in the standard development process when it addresses the directive to clarify that planning coordinators and balancing authorities must provide demand and energy data upon request of a Regional Entity.12

12See Order No. 693 FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,242, at P 188.

21. ITC Companies raises a concern with the inclusion of transmission planners as listed entities from whom the types of data specified may be requested because, according to ITC Companies, many transmission planners have delegated the collection of data to the ISO or RTO in which they are located. ITC Companies requests that the Commission recognize that agreements governing the reporting of demand and energy data such as those existing between ITC's operating subsidiaries and the ISOs/RTOs in which each operates are common, and thus provide that a transmission planner having such an arrangement with an ISO/RTO will be in compliance with data requests it receives under the Requirements R1 and R4. While the language of particular agreements is beyond the scope of the immediate proceeding, we agree with ITC Companies that Requirement R1 provides the flexibility to collect energy data through alternative mechanisms.13

13See NERC Petition at 22, 23.

IV. Information Collection Statement

22. The Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) 14 requires each federal agency to seek and obtain Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval before undertaking a collection of information directed to ten or more persons or contained in a rule of general applicability. OMB regulations require approval of certain information collection requirements imposed by agency rules.15 Upon approval of a collection(s) of information, OMB will assign an OMB control number and an expiration date. Respondents subject to the filing requirements of an agency rule will not be penalized for failing to respond to these collections of information unless the collections of information display a valid OMB control number.

14 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.

15See 5 CFR 1320.10.

23. Through issuance of this Final Rule, the Commission approves Reliability Standard MOD-031-1. As stated above, the Existing MOD C Standards were approved by the Commission in Order No. 693. All information collection estimates associated with the collection of demand and energy data and subsequent retention were assessed in Order No. 693 and will not be repeated here. The Reliability Standard expands the actual data to be submitted in two areas: (1) Weather normalized annual peak hour actual demand for the prior calendar year if this demand varies due to weather-related conditions (e.g., temperature, humidity or wind speed); and (2) summaries detailed in Requirement R1, Subparts 1.5.4 and 1.5.5. The additional data and summaries will increase reporting and preparation time for some applicable entities. Most entities already normalize their actual demand data based on weather. However, some entities may have a one-time cost of determining the method to “weather normalize” the actual demand data. Accordingly, the information collection costs will consist of an annual cost for all applicable entities and, for a small percentage, additional costs will occur during the first year of implementation.

Public Reporting Burden: Reliability Standard MOD-031-1 requires each “Applicable Entity” to provide the data requested by its planning coordinator or balancing authority in accordance with the data request issued pursuant to Requirement R1.16 Our estimate below regarding the number of respondents is based on the NERC Compliance Registry as of July 31, 2014. According to the NERC Compliance Registry, NERC has registered 478 distribution providers, 469 load-serving entities, 179 transmission planners and 107 balancing authorities. However, under NERC's compliance registration program, entities may be registered for multiple functions, so these numbers incorporate some double counting. The total number of unique entities that may be identified as a data provider (e.g. applicable entity) in accordance with Reliability Standard MOD-031-1 will be approximately 561 entities registered in the United States as a distribution provider, load-serving entity, transmission planner and/or balancing authority.17 The Commission estimates the annual reporting burden and cost as follows:

16 Requirement R1, Subpart 1.1 refers to “Applicable Entities” as the list of transmission planners, balancing authorities, load-serving entities and distribution providers that are required to provide the data.

17 This estimate assumes all of the unique entities will be identified to provide demand and energy data.

18 The estimated hourly costs (salary plus benefits) are based on Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) information (available at http://bls.gov/oes/current/naics3_221000.htm#17-0000) for an electrical engineer ($59.62/hour).

19 This value represents the number of entities that have not already determined a method to weather normalize annual peak actual demand data. We estimate approximately 5 percent of the applicable entities fall into this category.

20 DP = distribution provider, LSE = load-serving entity, TP = transmission planner and BA = balancing authority, are functions the applicable entities perform in conjunction or individually. We estimate the total number of unique entities performing one or more of these functions to be 561.

RM14-12-000 Final Rule Number and type of
  • respondents
  • Annual
  • number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Total number of responses Average burden & cost per response Total annual burden hours & total annual cost Cost per
  • respondent 18
  • (1) (2) (1)*(2)=(3) (4) (3)*(4)=(5) (5)÷(1) (One-time) Determine method to weather normalize annual peak hour actual demand 28 19 (DP, LSE, TP and/or BA) 20 1 28 240 hrs. & $14,309 6,720 hours & $400,646 $14,309 (On-going) Develop summary in accordance w/Requirement R1, Subparts 1.5.4 and 1.5.5 561 (DP, LSE, TP and/or BA) 1 561 8 hrs. & $477 4,488 hours & $267,575 477 Total 589 11,208 hours & $668,221

    Title: FERC-725L, Mandatory Reliability Standards for the Bulk-Power System: MOD Reliability Standards.

    Action: Final rule.

    OMB Control No: 1902-0261.

    Respondents: Businesses or other for-profit institutions; not-for-profit institutions.

    Frequency of Responses: One-time and ongoing.

    Necessity of the Information: Reliability Standard MOD-031-1 implements the Congressional mandate of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to develop mandatory and enforceable Reliability Standards to better ensure the reliability of the nation's Bulk-Power System. Specifically, the purpose of the Reliability Standard is to provide authority for applicable entities to collect demand, energy and related data to support reliability studies and assessments and to enumerate the responsibilities and obligations of requestors and respondents of that data.

    Internal Review: The Commission has reviewed the requirements pertaining to the Reliability Standard for the Bulk-Power System and determined that the approved requirements are necessary to meet the statutory provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. These requirements conform to the Commission's plan for efficient information collection, communication and management within the energy industry. The Commission has assured itself, by means of internal review, that there is specific, objective support for the burden estimates associated with the information requirements.

    Interested persons may obtain information on the reporting requirements by contacting: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426 [Attention: Ellen Brown, Office of the Executive Director, email: [email protected], Phone: (202) 502-8663, fax: (202) 273-0873]. Comments on the requirements of this rule may also be sent to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503 [Attention: Desk Officer for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission]. For security reasons, comments should be sent by email to OMB at [email protected] Comments submitted to OMB should refer to FERC-725L and OMB Control No. 1902-0261.

    V. Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    24. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA) 21 generally requires a description and analysis of final rules that will have significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    21 5 U.S.C. 601-612.

    25. The Small Business Administration (SBA) revised its size standard (effective January 22, 2014) for electric utilities from a standard based on megawatt hours to a standard based on the number of employees, including affiliates.22 Under SBA's new size standards, transmission owners and transmission operators likely come under the following category and associated size threshold: Electric bulk power transmission and control, at 500 employees.23 The Reliability Standard applies to 561 entities. Comparison of the applicable entities with the Commission's small business data indicates that approximately 249 are small entities.24 Of these, the Commission estimates that approximately five percent, or twelve of these small entities expect to be affected by the new requirements of the proposed Reliability Standard. The Commission estimates that the small entities that will be affected by Reliability Standard MOD-031-1 will incur one-time compliance costs ranging up to $14,309 (i.e. the cost of determining the method of weather normalizing annual peak hour actual demand), plus the annual development of summary narratives in accordance with Requirement R1, Subparts 1.5.4 and 1.5.5, resulting in costs of $477.

    22 SBA Final Rule on “Small Business Size Standards: Utilities,” 78 FR 77,343 (Dec. 23, 2013).

    23 13 CFR 121.201, Sector 22, Utilities.

    24 The Small Business Administration sets the threshold for what constitutes a small business. Public utilities may fall under one of several different categories, each with a size threshold based on the company's number of employees, including affiliates, the parent company, and subsidiaries. The possible categories for the applicable entities have a size threshold ranging from 250 employees to 1,000 employees. For the analysis in this proposed rule, we are using the 1,000 employee threshold for each applicable entity type.

    26. Accordingly, the Commission certifies that the Reliability Standard will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    VI. Environmental Analysis

    27. The Commission is required to prepare an Environmental Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement for any action that may have a significant adverse effect on the human environment.25 The Commission has categorically excluded certain actions from this requirement as not having a significant effect on the human environment. Included in the exclusion are rules that are clarifying, corrective, or procedural or that do not substantially change the effect of the regulations being amended.26 The actions proposed herein fall within this categorical exclusion in the Commission's regulations.

    25Regulations Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Order No. 486, 52 FR 47897 (Dec. 17, 1987), FERC Stats. & Regs., Regulations Preambles 1986-1990 ¶ 30,783 (1987).

    26 18 CFR 380.4(a)(2)(ii).

    VII. Document Availability

    28. In addition to publishing the full text of this document in the Federal Register, the Commission provides all interested persons an opportunity to view and/or print the contents of this document via the Internet through the Commission's Home Page (http://www.ferc.gov) and in the Commission's Public Reference Room during normal business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time) at 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426.

    29. From the Commission's Home Page on the Internet, this information is available on eLibrary. The full text of this document is available on eLibrary in PDF and Microsoft Word format for viewing, printing, and/or downloading. To access this document in eLibrary, type the docket number excluding the last three digits of this document in the docket number field.

    30. User assistance is available for eLibrary and the Commission's Web site during normal business hours from the Commission's Online Support at 202-502-6652 (toll free at 1-866-208-3676) or email at [email protected], or the Public Reference Room at (202) 502-8371, TTY (202) 502-8659. Email the Public Reference Room at [email protected]

    VIII. Effective Date and Congressional Notification

    31. These regulations are effective April 27, 2015. The Commission has determined, with the concurrence of the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB, that this rule is not “major rule” as defined in section 351 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996.

    By the Commission.

    Issued: February 19, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03740 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 890 [Docket No. FDA-2014-N-1903] Medical Devices; Physical Medicine Devices; Classification of the Powered Exoskeleton AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Final order.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is classifying the powered exoskeleton into class II (special controls). The special controls that will apply to the device are identified in this order and will be part of the codified language for the powered exoskeleton's classification. The Agency is classifying the device into class II (special controls) in order to provide a reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness of the device.

    DATES:

    This order is effective March 26, 2015. The classification was applicable on June 26, 2014.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael Hoffmann, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 66, Rm. 1434, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-6476, [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    In accordance with section 513(f)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 360c(f)(1)), devices that were not in commercial distribution before May 28, 1976 (the date of enactment of the Medical Device Amendments of 1976), generally referred to as postamendments devices, are classified automatically by statute into class III without any FDA rulemaking process. These devices remain in class III and require premarket approval, unless and until the device is classified or reclassified into class I or II, or FDA issues an order finding the device to be substantially equivalent, in accordance with section 513(i) of the FD&C Act, to a predicate device that does not require premarket approval. The Agency determines whether new devices are substantially equivalent to predicate devices by means of premarket notification procedures in section 510(k) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 360(k)) and part 807 (21 CFR part 807) of the regulations.

    Section 513(f)(2) of the FD&C Act, as amended by section 607 of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (Public Law 112-144), provides two procedures by which a person may request FDA to classify a device under the criteria set forth in section 513(a)(1). Under the first procedure, the person submits a premarket notification under section 510(k) of the FD&C Act for a device that has not previously been classified and, within 30 days of receiving an order classifying the device into class III under section 513(f)(1) of the FD&C Act, the person requests a classification under section 513(f)(2). Under the second procedure, rather than first submitting a premarket notification under section 510(k) of the FD&C Act and then a request for classification under the first procedure, the person determines that there is no legally marketed device upon which to base a determination of substantial equivalence and requests a classification under section 513(f)(2) of the FD&C Act. If the person submits a request to classify the device under this second procedure, FDA may decline to undertake the classification request if FDA identifies a legally marketed device that could provide a reasonable basis for review of substantial equivalence with the device or if FDA determines that the device submitted is not of “low-moderate risk” or that general controls would be inadequate to control the risks and special controls to mitigate the risks cannot be developed.

    In response to a request to classify a device under either procedure provided by section 513(f)(2) of the FD&C Act, FDA will classify the device by written order within 120 days. This classification will be the initial classification of the device.

    On June 22, 2013, Argo Medical Technologies, Inc., submitted a request for classification of the ReWalk under section 513(f)(2) of the FD&C Act. The manufacturer recommended that the device be classified into class II (Ref. 1).

    In accordance with section 513(f)(2) of the FD&C Act, FDA reviewed the request in order to classify the device under the criteria for classification set forth in section 513(a)(1). FDA classifies devices into class II if general controls by themselves are insufficient to provide reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness, but there is sufficient information to establish special controls to provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the device for its intended use. After review of the information submitted in the request, FDA determined that the device can be classified into class II with the establishment of special controls. FDA believes these special controls, in addition to general controls, will provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the device.

    Therefore, on June 26, 2014, FDA issued an order to the requestor classifying the device into class II. FDA is codifying the classification of the device by adding 21 CFR 890.3480.

    Following the effective date of this final classification order, any firm submitting a premarket notification (510(k)) for a powered exoskeleton will need to comply with the special controls named in this final order. The device is assigned the generic name powered exoskeleton, and it is identified as a prescription device that is composed of an external, powered, motorized orthosis used for medical purposes that is placed over a person's paralyzed or weakened limbs for the purpose of providing ambulation.

    FDA has identified the following risks to health associated specifically with this type of device, as well as the measures required to mitigate these risks in table 1.

    Table 1—Powered Exoskeleton Risks and Mitigation Measures Identified risk Mitigation measure Instability, falls, and associated injuries Clinical testing. Training. Software verification, validation, and hazard analysis. Wireless testing. Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and electromagnetic interference (EMI) testing. Electrical safety testing. Design characteristics. Non-clinical performance testing. Water/particle ingress testing. Durability testing. Battery testing. Labeling. Bruising, skin abrasion, pressure sores, soft tissue injury Clinical testing. Training. Labeling. Diastolic hypertension and changes in blood pressure, and heart rate Clinical testing. Training. Labeling. Adverse tissue reaction Biocompatibility assessment. Premature battery failure Battery testing. Labeling. Interference with other electrical equipment/devices EMC/EMI testing. Labeling. Burns, electrical shock Electrical safety testing. Thermal testing. Labeling. Device malfunction resulting in unanticipated operation (e.g., device stoppage, unintended movement) Clinical testing. Non-clinical performance testing. Training. Software verification, validation, and hazard analysis. Electrical safety testing. Battery testing. Water/particle ingress testing. Wireless testing. EMC/EMI testing. Flammability testing. Labeling. Use error Clinical testing. Training. Labeling.

    FDA believes that the following special controls, in combination with the general controls, address these risks to health and provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness:

    • Elements of the device materials that may contact the patient must be demonstrated to be biocompatible.

    • Appropriate analysis/testing must validate electronic compatibility/interference (EMC/EMI), electrical safety, thermal safety, mechanical safety, battery performance and safety, and wireless performance, if applicable.

    • Appropriate software verification, validation, and hazard analysis must be performed.

    • Design characteristics must ensure geometry and materials composition are consistent with intended use.

    • Non-clinical performance testing must demonstrate that the device performs as intended under anticipated conditions of use. Performance testing must include:

    ○ Mechanical bench testing (including durability testing) to demonstrate that the device will withstand forces, conditions, and environments encountered during use;

    ○ simulated use testing (i.e., cyclic loading testing) to demonstrate performance of device commands and safeguard under worst case conditions and after durability testing;

    ○ verification and validation of manual override controls are necessary, if present;

    ○ the accuracy of device features and safeguards; and

    ○ device functionality in terms of flame retardant materials, liquid/particle ingress prevention, sensor and actuator performance, and motor performance.

    • Clinical testing must demonstrate safe and effective use and capture any adverse events observed during clinical use when used under the proposed conditions of use, which must include considerations for:

    ○ Level of supervision necessary and

    ○ environment of use (e.g., indoors and/or outdoors), including obstacles and terrain representative of the intended use environment.

    • A training program must be included with sufficient educational elements so that upon completion of training program, the clinician, user, and companion can:

    ○ Identify the safe environments for device use,

    ○ use all safety features of device, and

    ○ operate the device in simulated or actual use environments representative of indicated environments and use.

    • Labeling for the Physician and User must include the following:

    ○ Appropriate instructions, warning, cautions, limitations, and information related to the necessary safeguards of the device, including warning against activities and environments that may put the user at greater risk;

    ○ specific instructions and the clinical training needed for the safe use of the device, which includes:

    Instructions on assembling the device in all available configurations;

    instructions on fitting the patient;

    instructions and explanations of all available programs and how to program the device;

    instructions and explanation of all controls, input, and outputs;

    instructions on all available modes or states of the device;

    instructions on all safety features of the device; and

    instructions for properly maintaining the device;

    ○ Information on the patient population for which the device has been demonstrated to have a reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness;

    ○ pertinent non-clinical testing information (e.g., EMC, battery longevity); and

    ○ a detailed summary of the clinical testing including:

    Adverse events encountered under use conditions,

    summary of study outcomes and endpoints, and

    information pertinent to use of the device including the conditions under which the device was studied (e.g., level of supervision or assistance, and environment of use (e.g., indoors and/or outdoors) including obstacles and terrain).

    Powered exoskeleton devices are restricted to patient use only upon the authorization of a practitioner licensed by law to administer or use the device; see section 520(e) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 360j(e)) and 21 CFR 801.109 (Prescription devices). Prescription-use restrictions are a type of general controls as defined in section 513(a)(1)(A)(i) of the FD&C Act.

    Section 510(m) of the FD&C Act provides that FDA may exempt a class II device from the premarket notification requirements under section 510(k) of the FD&C Act if FDA determines that premarket notification is not necessary to provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the device. For this type of device, FDA has determined that premarket notification is necessary to provide reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness of the device. Therefore, this device type is not exempt from premarket notification requirements. Persons who intend to market this type of device must submit to FDA a premarket notification, prior to marketing the device, which contains information about the powered exoskeleton they intend to market.

    II. Environmental Impact

    The Agency has determined under 21 CFR 25.34(b) that this action is of a type that does not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. Therefore, neither an environmental assessment nor an environmental impact statement is required.

    III. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This final order establishes special controls that refer to previously approved collections of information found in other FDA regulations. These collections of information are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). The collections of information in part 807, subpart E, regarding premarket notification submissions have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0120, and the collections of information in 21 CFR part 801, regarding labeling have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0485.

    IV. Reference

    The following reference has been placed on display in the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852, and may be seen by interested persons between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and is available electronically at http://www.regulations.gov.

    1. K131798: De Novo Request per 513(f)(2) from Argo Medical Technologies, Inc., dated June 22, 2013.

    List of Subjects in 21 CFR Part 890

    Medical devices, Physical medicine devices.

    Therefore, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and under authority delegated to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, 21 CFR part 890 is amended as follows:

    PART 890—PHYSICAL MEDICINE DEVICES 1. The authority citation for 21 CFR part 890 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 351, 360, 360c, 360e, 360j, 371.

    2. Add § 890.3480 to subpart D to read as follows:
    § 890.3480 Powered exoskeleton.

    (a) Identification. A powered exoskeleton is a prescription device that is composed of an external, powered, motorized orthosis used for medical purposes that is placed over a person's paralyzed or weakened limbs for the purpose of providing ambulation.

    (b) Classification. Class II (special controls). The special controls for this device are:

    (1) Elements of the device materials that may contact the patient must be demonstrated to be biocompatible.

    (2) Appropriate analysis/testing must validate electromagnetic compatibility/interference (EMC/EMI), electrical safety, thermal safety, mechanical safety, battery performance and safety, and wireless performance, if applicable.

    (3) Appropriate software verification, validation, and hazard analysis must be performed.

    (4) Design characteristics must ensure geometry and materials composition are consistent with intended use.

    (5) Non-clinical performance testing must demonstrate that the device performs as intended under anticipated conditions of use. Performance testing must include:

    (i) Mechanical bench testing (including durability testing) to demonstrate that the device will withstand forces, conditions, and environments encountered during use;

    (ii) Simulated use testing (i.e., cyclic loading testing) to demonstrate performance of device commands and safeguard under worst case conditions and after durability testing;

    (iii) Verification and validation of manual override controls are necessary, if present;

    (iv) The accuracy of device features and safeguards; and

    (v) Device functionality in terms of flame retardant materials, liquid/particle ingress prevention, sensor and actuator performance, and motor performance.

    (6) Clinical testing must demonstrate safe and effective use and capture any adverse events observed during clinical use when used under the proposed conditions of use, which must include considerations for:

    (i) Level of supervision necessary, and

    (ii) Environment of use (e.g., indoors and/or outdoors) including obstacles and terrain representative of the intended use environment.

    (7) A training program must be included with sufficient educational elements so that upon completion of training program, the clinician, user, and companion can:

    (i) Identify the safe environments for device use,

    (ii) Use all safety features of device, and

    (iii) Operate the device in simulated or actual use environments representative of indicated environments and use.

    (8) Labeling for the Physician and User must include the following:

    (i) Appropriate instructions, warning, cautions, limitations, and information related to the necessary safeguards of the device, including warning against activities and environments that may put the user at greater risk.

    (ii) Specific instructions and the clinical training needed for the safe use of the device, which includes:

    (A) Instructions on assembling the device in all available configurations;

    (B) Instructions on fitting the patient;

    (C) Instructions and explanations of all available programs and how to program the device;

    (D) Instructions and explanation of all controls, input, and outputs;

    (E) Instructions on all available modes or states of the device;

    (F) Instructions on all safety features of the device; and

    (G) Instructions for properly maintaining the device.

    (iii) Information on the patient population for which the device has been demonstrated to have a reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness.

    (iv) Pertinent non-clinical testing information (e.g., EMC, battery longevity).

    (v) A detailed summary of the clinical testing including:

    (A) Adverse events encountered under use conditions,

    (B) Summary of study outcomes and endpoints, and

    (C) Information pertinent to use of the device including the conditions under which the device was studied (e.g., level of supervision or assistance, and environment of use (e.g., indoors and/or outdoors) including obstacles and terrain).

    Dated: February 18, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03692 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0096] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Umpqua River, Reedsport, OR AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulations.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the U.S. 101 Highway Bridge across the Umpqua River, mile 11.1, at Reedsport, OR. The deviation is necessary to accommodate steel bracing repair and electrical station repair on the bridge. This deviation allows the U.S. 101 Umpqua River Bridge to remain in the closed position during repairs.

    DATES:

    This deviation is effective from 6 a.m. on February 23, 2015 to 11 p.m. on March 6, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2015-0096] is available at http://www.regulations.gov. Type the docket number in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this deviation. 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.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email the Bridge Administrator, Coast Guard Thirteenth District; telephone 206-220-7282, email [email protected] If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Oregon Department of Transportation requested that the U.S. 101 Umpqua River drawbridge, near Reedsport Oregon, remain in the closed-to-navigation position to facilitate steel bracing and stanchion repair. The U.S. 101 Bridge crosses the Umpqua River at mile 11.1 and provides 36 feet of vertical clearance above mean high water when in the closed position. Currently, the U.S. 101 Umpqua River Bridge is operating under a Temporary Final Rule (TFR), 33 CFR 117.898(d), 78 FR 70222, that allows the bridge to open once at 7 a.m. and once at 6 p.m., if an opening is requested at least six hours in advance. This TFR is effective from December 1, 2013 to September 30, 2015.

    This deviation period is from 6 a.m. on February 23, 2015 to 11 p.m. March 6, 2015. The deviation allows the U.S. 101 Umpqua River Bridge, mile 11.1, to remain in the closed-to-navigation position and need not open for maritime traffic from 6 a.m. on February 23, 2015 to 11 p.m. March 06, 2015, except that, in approximately the second week of the project, the bridge will open at 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. on one day only if a minimum of 6 hours advanced notice is given. Mariners needing an opening, approximately half way through this project, are requested to coordinate with the bridge repair Project Inspector, Don Hyatt, at 541-297-8804, with as much advanced notice as possible.

    Waterway usage on this stretch of the Umpqua River includes vessels ranging from occasional commercial tug and barge to small pleasure craft. Mariners will be notified and kept informed of the bridge's operational status via the Coast Guard Notice to Mariners publication and Broadcast Notice to Mariners as appropriate. The draw span will not be able to open for emergencies and there is no immediate alternate route for vessels to pass. Vessels which do not require an opening of the bridge may continue to transit beneath the bridge during this repair period.

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

    Dated: February 13, 2015. Steven M. Fischer, Bridge Administrator, Thirteenth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03681 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 62 RIN 2900-AO50 Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program AGENCY:

    Department of Veterans Affairs.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This rule adopts as final, with changes, a proposed rule of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to amend its regulations concerning the Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program (SSVF). In the proposed rule published on May 9, 2014, VA proposed to make a number of changes to the SSVF program to emphasize the intended goals of SSVF. VA is making minor changes to the proposed rule based on comments we received.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: This rule is effective on March 26, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Kuhn, National Center for Homelessness Among Veterans, Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program Office (10NC1), 4100 Chester Avenue, Suite 200, Philadelphia, PA 19104, (877) 737-0111. (This is a toll-free number.)

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On May 9, 2014, VA published a proposed rule in the Federal Register, at 79 FR 26669, to amend its regulations concerning the Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF) program. Under authority provided by 38 U.S.C. 2044, VA has offered grants to eligible entities, identified in the regulations, that provide supportive services to very low-income veterans and families who are at risk for becoming homeless or who, in some cases, have recently become homeless. The program has been a tremendous success, providing services to over 62,000 participants in fiscal year (FY) 2013, 20,000 more than projected. To date, over 80 percent of those discharged from SSVF have been placed in or saved their permanent housing. VA received 27 comments on the rule, and many of them supported the proposed changes in whole or in part. This final rule adopts the proposed rule with changes as discussed below.

    Definitions

    Several commenters offered suggestions regarding the definition of various terms. The most common recommendation was to amend the definition of the term “homeless.” Several of these comments recommended that VA establish different standards for homelessness in urban and rural areas. However, “homeless” is a term defined in statute. In 38 U.S.C. 2044(f)(3), the term “homeless” is defined as having the same meaning given that term in section 103 of the McKinney-Vento Homelessness Assistance Act, codified at 42 U.S.C. 11302, which does not differentiate between urban and rural areas. Consequently, VA lacks the authority to vary the definition of “homeless” between urban and rural areas. Even if VA did have authority to apply different definitions for different areas, one of the aims for the proposed rule was to adopt a common definition that would be used by both VA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which similarly does not contemplate a difference between urban and rural areas in its regulatory definition of “homeless.” See 24 CFR 576.2. Use of a common definition simplifies operations for community providers and ensures access to a range of services from both Departments. This goal was supported by several commenters, who endorsed the adoption of a common definition. VA agrees with these commenters and is not making a change to the definition of homeless in this final rule.

    The SSVF program does allow for some variation between urban and rural areas, and to the extent permitted by statute at 38 U.S.C. 2044(a)(5) and 2044(f)(6)(C), VA encourages community providers to consider the local conditions and needs of veterans in their community when developing programs and delivering services. VA can also use Notices of Funding Availability (NOFA) to emphasize areas where SSVF recipients should concentrate resources or support, and VA believes the NOFA process provides sufficient flexibility to address the needs of urban and rural veterans alike.

    One commenter suggested the definition of homeless be revised to match that used in the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act, Public Law 111-22. The changes to the definition of homeless enacted with the HEARTH Act are codified at 42 U.S.C. 11302, which is the same definition VA uses based on 38 U.S.C. 2044(f)(3). VA believes HUD's implementing regulations, at 24 CFR 576.2, take into account the recent changes in law and provide the best source for a reference to homelessness because it will ensure a common Federal definition for homeless benefits. Another commenter suggested that HUD's definition at 24 CFR 576.2 was out of date and antiquated, and suggested that VA should emphasize that veterans who are at-risk for homelessness should be eligible. VA's definition of “homeless” includes those who are at-risk for homelessness, and in each NOFA, VA identifies the prevention of homelessness among those who are at risk as the first category of eligible persons. Additionally, HUD's regulations are used to implement the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Rehousing Program and the Emergency Solutions Grants Program, which are designed to assist beneficiaries who are homeless or at risk for homelessness by coordinating the provision of services and short-term housing. VA is therefore not making a change based on these comments.

    Another commenter noted that while HUD's definition of “homeless” does not take into account the length of time between homeless episodes when defining chronically homeless, VA should develop a clearer definition for chronically homeless as it relates to other VA homeless assistance programs. However, and as the commenter notes, the SSVF program is not designed to address the problems of the chronically homeless. Additionally, VA believes maintaining a common definition with HUD is important to ensure that providers are using a term with a common meaning when providing services to homeless veterans. VA is not making a change based on this comment.

    One issue also concerning the definition of “homeless” was whether persons temporarily residing with others (“couch surfing”) are included in the definition. This issue was raised by several commenters, some of whom came to opposite conclusions on the matter. To clarify, so-called couch surfers are not literally “homeless,” as the term is used by HUD and VA, but they are at risk of homelessness, and hence could still be eligible for benefits through the SSVF program. VA annually produces a NOFA to advise interested parties to apply for SSVF funding, and in the NOFA, VA describes different categories for funding and support. Category 1 refers to prevention, and entities providing services to “couch surfers” would be assisting persons at risk for homelessness, and hence would qualify.

    VA also received a comment recommending a revised definition for the term “permanent housing” to refer to housing without a designated length of stay. VA agrees with this comment and is revising the definition of permanent housing accordingly to clarify that an undesignated length of stay is one where an individual or family has a lease that is renewable and terminable only for cause. This change will ensure that homeless veterans with permanent housing will have full tenancy rights under the law and would ensure that they cannot be placed into settings that SSVF is not intended to support, such as transitional housing or institutional care facilities.

    We also received two recommendations to add a definition of “rapid rehousing.” Both commenters believed that adding this definition would assist grantees by providing a better understanding of the principal mission of SSVF. We agree, and are adopting the definition of “rapid re-housing” recommended by one of the commenters. Both commenters offered recommendations, and VA is selecting the proposal with a more robust and well-developed definition. That definition will provide that “rapid re-housing” is an intervention designed to help individuals and families quickly exit homelessness and return to permanent housing. It will emphasize that rapid re-housing is provided without preconditions (such as employment, income, absence of criminal record, or sobriety), and that resources and services should be tailored to the unique needs of the household. It will clarify that there are three goals associated with rapid re-housing: Identifying housing, providing rent and move-in financial assistance, and case management and services. We also state that while a rapid re-housing program must have all three core components available, it is not required that a single entity provide all three services nor that a household utilize them all. Although this term is not used in these regulations, it is a term that is commonly used in NOFAs and administration of the SSVF program.

    Finally, we received one comment recommending we amend the definition for the term “veteran.” While 38 U.S.C. 2044 does not include a definition for the word “veteran,” this term is defined in statute at 38 U.S.C. 101(2). VA is not making a change based on this comment.

    Eligibility for SSVF Services

    Another related issue raised by several commenters dealt with eligibility for SSVF services. One commenter recommended that children and former spouses of veterans be eligible for benefits through the SSVF program. VA does not have authority to provide assistance to such persons unless they are part of a “veteran family,” which is defined in 38 U.S.C. 2044(f)(7) to include “a veteran who is a single person and a family in which the head of the household or the spouse of the head of the household is a veteran.” The term spouse is defined at 38 U.S.C. 101(31), and does not include divorcees. VA is not making a change based on these comments.

    One commenter expressed support for the “but for” test used to determine a veteran's eligibility for assistance from SSVF, but encouraged VA to adopt a mandatory assessment for application in VA's screening requirements to ensure consistent and intelligent application of this standard. Another commenter suggested that such guidance could be provided through a guidebook or through SSVF University. The “but for” test determines eligibility by asking if a veteran would be homeless if SSVF services were not being provided. This standard is used in HUD's programs, and ensures that recipients are not determined to be ineligible for a program's benefits upon receiving such benefits. VA does not believe it should articulate additional requirements in regulations. VA has published an SSVF Program Guide (updated March 31, 2014, available online at: http://www.va.gov/HOMELESS/ssvf/docs/SSVFUniversity/SSVF_Program_Guide_March31_2014.pdf) that provides guidance to SSVF recipients to consider when applying the “but for” test, and VA's NOFAs provide further guidance as well. Indeed, another commenter supported adoption of the “but for” test and specifically noted that the next SSVF NOFA would offer necessary guidance in this area. As this commenter assumed, VA will update its guidance in the next NOFA we issue to reflect the changes made by this regulation. VA staff is also available to assist recipients in making these determinations when appropriate. VA is concerned that if it provided further guidance in regulation, it could produce a national standard that cannot be adjusted to account for local variations, and that hence would be inadequate for serving homeless veterans and their families in at least some communities. VA is not making a change from the proposed rule based on this comment.

    Another commenter suggested that grantees should focus their resources on the lowest-income veterans, and that programs with such a focus tend to have the greatest results in terms of reducing homelessness. VA agrees and believes that the new requirement for grantees to identify extremely low-income veterans and target resources to this population will have a positive effect. Another commenter recommended that VA pilot this approach, rather than establish a common requirement across the country, to ensure that local variables are taken into account. VA's definition of extremely low-income veteran family focuses on the area median income (AMI) specifically so that differences in income and cost of living can be taken into account. Additionally, grantees are located in the communities they serve and are uniquely equipped to address the needs of the local homeless population. VA is not making any changes based on these comments.

    VA received several comments concerning VA's proposed standard in § 62.34(f), which would have limited SSVF emergency housing assistance to situations where permanent housing has been identified. In the supplemental information of the proposed rule, VA stated that permanent housing must be both identified and secured. These commenters expressed concern that the requirement that such housing be “secured” could result in homeless veterans having no short-term assistance, and would be inconsistent with the “housing first” model of the program. VA agrees with these concerns and is eliminating the requirement that such housing be secured. Under the revised provision, it will be sufficient to generally identify a housing unit to provide emergency housing assistance, as long as the other requirements of § 62.34 are satisfied.

    VA also proposed that homeless veterans could receive up to 72 hours of emergency housing assistance if no identified housing is available. In recognition of a comment that 72 hours may not always be enough time to secure housing for a single veteran, VA is including a new provision that will allow for continued provision of emergency housing assistance when the grantee can certify that no other housing is available. For example, if a grantee can certify that no beds are available in a Grant and Per Diem (GPD) residence or a Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) residential program, the grantee can continue to provide emergency assistance to a homeless veteran through the SSVF program to ensure the veteran has a place to stay. VA is also extending the period of time in which a veteran and his or her spouse with dependent(s) can receive emergency housing assistance from 30 days to 45 days. We believe that by including this flexibility, more homeless veterans and their families will avoid a relapse into homelessness while waiting for permanent housing.

    One commenter suggested that extremely low-income veteran families may need extended assistance, but that such extensions should be determined for each individual family through routine reassessments. VA notes that SSVF grantees decide the type and amount of assistance to offer participants, and that they can provide sustained support when appropriate. VA believes that the latitude provided for extremely low income families in the proposed rule is appropriate, and that no further changes are needed as a result of this comment.

    Another commenter suggested that veterans who are in a GPD program for more than 30 days should be able to receive assistance through the SSVF program. VA notes that such veterans, if they otherwise meet the eligibility criteria for the SSVF program, may receive services from both programs. SSVF is intended to provide rapid re-housing assistance through a short-term, focused intervention. As long as the assistance that GPD participants require is consistent with this mission and the veteran meets established eligibility criteria, SSVF grantees should not hesitate to provide services to them. VA is not making a change based on this comment.

    Another commenter suggested that the proposed rule would mean that service-connected disabled women veterans would not be eligible for services from the SSVF program if they did not have a spouse or minor dependents. This is not a correct reading of the rule. A veteran family, as defined in § 62.2, includes a veteran who is a single person. Nothing in the proposed rule would change this standard, and as a result, VA is not making a change based on this comment.

    Finally, one commenter recommended that VA only include two categories of eligible veterans under § 62.11: Those needing prevention and those seeking rapid re-housing. While these are the two primary forms of assistance, VA believes the three criteria identified in § 62.11 represent the best description of eligible veterans, and therefore, VA is making no changes based on this comment.

    Types of Covered Services

    Several commenters provided recommendations concerning the types of services that SSVF assistance should be able to provide. One commenter recommended that emergency housing assistance be available for up to 9 months during any 12 month period to ensure that families are able to resolve crises that could otherwise result in them becoming homeless. The proposed rule would allow for this extension, so we are not making any changes based on this comment.

    Commenters recommended that VA create a separate category of assistance to cover a reasonable broker's fee for finding and arranging permanent housing. The commenters explained that broker's fees are often necessary in high population density areas, such as New York City or Los Angeles, and that fees can sometimes use the entire available amount of housing stability assistance. VA agrees with these comments and is including a new paragraph (e)(3) under § 62.34 to cover the category of assistance that would specifically allow for provision of a reasonable broker's fee when appropriate.

    Another commenter urged VA to allow SSVF funds to pay for emergent medical or dental needs and medication. We do not believe we have authority to allow grant recipients to provide financial assistance for such purposes, and as a result, are not making a change based on this comment. The supportive services VA can provide are identified at 38 U.S.C. 2044(b), and paragraph (b)(1)(D) of section 2044 only permits VA to offer “assistance in obtaining and coordinating the provision of other public benefits . . . including—(i) health care services (including obtaining health insurance).” In this context, VA interprets the statute to only authorize making funds available for coordinating and obtaining health care services from other providers, not to pay for or furnish such care or services. Eligible veterans may receive health care through VA medical facilities to address their medical needs.

    One commenter suggested VA allow increased flexibility for child care services. The commenter noted that veteran families can have a multitude of compositions, and that there may not be adequate community resources to support a child after school. VA understands that different families and children have different needs, but we believe it is necessary that we establish some standards to ensure that services are not provided for children who do not require child care. We believe that 13 is an appropriate age to draw that line, as children over that age are generally considered capable of taking care of themselves for short periods of time that would otherwise require supervision or care. Removing the age limit could allow misuse of these benefits, which would result in fewer resources being available to assist homeless veterans and their families.

    Another commenter recommended that VA ensure that basic air conditioning and heating should be an allowable expense in certain situations. VA believes that the proposed revisions would allow this when appropriate. In § 62.36(f), which cites to HUD's regulations at 24 CFR 583.300(b), we establish standards of habitability. HUD's regulations provide in 24 CFR 583.300(b)(7) that “[t]he housing must have adequate heating and/or cooling facilities in proper operating condition.” If the residence requires but lacks heating or cooling based on the local climate, it would not be eligible for housing. As a result, VA is not making a change based on this comment.

    One commenter stated that women veterans look for, but are not finding, additional assistance from other VA, Federal, state, or local programs. VA currently requires SSVF grantees to coordinate access for other public benefits, and our reviews of these programs indicate that such coordination is taking place. As a result, we are not making any changes from this comment.

    Another commenter suggested that the proposed changes to general housing stability assistance are acceptable if the limits identified in the rule are followed. VA intends to ensure that SSVF grantees adhere to the requirements of the program, and is not making a change based on this comment.

    Several commenters recommended that SSVF funding should be available to assist homeowners. One commenter provided several scenarios in which a homeowner should qualify for financial assistance, including when the home's value is below the local average, when the home is uneconomical based on the potential sale price versus the demolition cost, when the home's tax value is less than 100% of the area median income, or when relocating the veteran would increase the risk for homelessness. This commenter argued that because poverty is often inter-generational, VA should provide greater flexibility to assist homeowners.

    VA agrees that poverty and homelessness can impact multiple generations of a family, and that is why it has supported the SSVF program, which provides assistance to a veteran's family to help prevent and escape from homelessness. VA also notes that homeowners are eligible under § 62.11(a) if they would be lacking a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence but for the grantee's assistance. Under the proposed rule at § 62.38(a), SSVF grant recipients could assist homeowners in a number of ways, but could not provide mortgage assistance. Homeowners often require substantial assistance to cover costs or fees associated with a mortgage, and hence would require a greater share of resources than renters or leasers of property, resulting in an uneven distribution of assistance. Additionally, there are many programs at the Federal, state, and local levels to assist homeowners with their mortgages. Also, there is little evidence that homeowners become homeless upon losing a property. VA can ensure more persons receive support through the SSVF program by excluding mortgage costs from eligible financial assistance. Consequently, VA is not making a change to allow for financial assistance to cover costs associated with a mortgage.

    One commenter asked VA to clarify what “other costs associated with home ownership” includes. This was a phrase we used in the supplemental information of the proposed rule to describe § 62.38(a). That paragraph says that SSVF funds may not be used to pay for “mortgage costs or costs needed by homeowners to assist with any fees, taxes, or other costs of refinancing.” We believe this language is clear and refers to costs associated with paying a security interest or tax assessment for real property, and we are not making a change based on this comment.

    One commenter suggested that SSVF funds be made available to cover the cost of home repairs or alterations. VA does not believe this would be an appropriate use of SSVF funds for the same reason that mortgage costs are not included. SSVF is not a capital grant program, and other programs, such as Adapted Housing grants overseen by the Veterans Benefits Administration, already provide this service. VA is not making a change based on this comment.

    One commenter suggested that VA should specifically state that legal assistance can be made available to resolve transportation issues. We agree that difficulty securing transportation resulting from the lack of a driver's license can be an obstacle to escaping homelessness. While we believe the proposed rule would have allowed for this, VA is making a minor revision to § 62.33(g) to specifically note that authorized legal assistance also includes assistance such as the lack of a driver's license.

    One commenter expressed concern with extending the period of Temporary Financial Assistance (TFA) because it could foster more reliance on the program. As explained in the proposed rule, VA received feedback from grantees suggesting that veteran families at lower levels of income are more difficult to reach and require more resources for interventions to succeed. Based on this feedback, we believe that the increased benefit amounts will help ensure that grantees can be successful in supporting extremely low-income veteran families while minimizing the risk that veteran families become dependent on such assistance over the long term. As a result, VA is making no changes based on this comment.

    Another commenter recommended that providers be authorized to make emergency housing assistance available once every 2 years instead of once every 3 years, as it is not unusual for a person who is homeless, formerly homeless, or at risk of homelessness to face another crisis that would require emergency assistance within a 2 year period of initially receiving support. VA agrees with this comment, and is changing the 3 year standard proposed in § 62.33 and 34 to now permit such assistance no more than once every 2 years. These revisions include changes to § 62.34(c)(1)-(2), which were not previously identified in the proposed rule but which would be inconsistent given these changes.

    Another commenter noted that limitations on the use of general housing stability assistance funds is appropriate, so long as the limits in the rule are followed, and VA intends to do so. We are not making a change based on this comment.

    Finally, one commenter suggested that caps on TFA for otherwise eligible families fleeing domestic violence should be lifted in the event that a new episode of domestic violence occurs. The commenter noted that this change would allow SSVF grantees to serve the immediate needs of households fleeing domestic violence. VA agrees with this recommendation and is including a provision in a new paragraph (e) of § 62.35 that would allow families experiencing domestic violence to receive additional TFA resources. This would apply even if the veteran was the aggressor in the situation. Under the law, a veteran family is defined to include a veteran who is a single person, and a family in which the head of household or the spouse of the head of household is a veteran. 38 U.S.C. 2044(f)(7). Through regulation, VA has interpreted this to authorize support if a veteran becomes absent from a household or dies while other members of the veteran family are receiving supportive services for a grace period, not to exceed 1 year, following the absence or death of the veteran. 38 CFR 62.35(c). In the event a participant becomes ineligible to receive supportive services under this Program, the grantee must provide the participant with information on other available programs or resources. 38 CFR 62.35(d). VA would apply these same principles and practices to cases of domestic violence. Families experiencing domestic violence should not be forced to remain in a volatile situation that can contribute to continued homelessness. VA is additionally revising the provisions concerning TFA to specifically authorize additional allocations in the event of a subsequent episode of domestic violence. Receipt of such support would reset the time period during which a family could not receive services under § 62.34; for example, under § 62.34(b)(1), a participant may receive payments for utilities for a maximum of 10 months during a 2-year period, and the 2-year period would be re-started after providing additional assistance under § 62.35(e) for a family fleeing domestic violence. It is important to understand that these benefits will be provided on a temporary basis and grantees should work to connect the family with other resources within the Continuum of Care. In addition, these benefits will only be available for families who are already receiving supportive services through this Program. If a family has previously left the household of an eligible veteran and seeks services from this Program, VA would not be able to provide support.

    In developing the final rule, VA identified an area of potential confusion or conflict. In proposed § 62.34(a)(1), VA proposed allowing for rental assistance to be used to pay for penalties or fees incurred and required to be paid by the participant under an existing lease or court order. In proposed § 62.38(g), VA proposed prohibiting grantees from using supportive services grant funds to pay for court-ordered judgments or fines. These provisions could be read in conflict, but were not intended to be. To remove any confusion, VA is modifying § 62.38(g) to prohibit the use of funds to pay for court-ordered judgments, except when such payments are authorized under § 62.34(a)(1). This revision is purely technical and will clarify VA's original intent.

    Logistical and Operational Issues

    Several commenters raised questions or offered recommendations on the logistics and operations of the SSVF program. One asked if the proposed revisions would prohibit a participating organization from reviewing the classification of participants to determine in which category they should be placed. The rule only requires that a reclassification occur once every 3 years, but it does not prohibit a review more often than that, so if a provider wanted to review these classifications more frequently, they would be free to do so. VA is not making a change based on this comment.

    One commenter, in noting the proposed changes, suggested that the percentage of funds allocated for homelessness prevention should be increased to support extremely low-income veteran families, case management services, and other supportive services. Determinations regarding the allocation of funds are outside the scope of this rule, as they are announced in each year's NOFA. Future NOFAs will consider the changes made by this rule when allocating resources. The same commenter suggested that grant recipients in the same geographic area will coordinate outreach efforts to identify appropriate veteran families. This is a stated expectation for the program already, and VA agrees with this approach wholeheartedly. Such a strategy will ensure that assistance is available for more veterans in a given area. VA is not making a change based on this comment.

    One commenter also recommended that VA provide more HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) vouchers to assist veterans in securing housing. This comment is outside the scope of this rulemaking, and the number of the HUD-VASH vouchers issued each year is determined based on the availability of appropriations. As a result, VA is not making a change based on this comment.

    Two commenters suggested that participation in a Continuum of Care's (CoC) coordinated assessment system should be required for participating grantees. VA agrees with this recommendation, and adopts the specific language provided by one commenter in this area as a new paragraph (g) in § 62.36. Specifically, VA will require grantees to participate in the “development, implementation, and ongoing operations of their local Continuum of Care's coordinated assessment system, or equivalent, as described in the McKinney-Vento Act as amended by the HEARTH Act.” Many providers under the SSVF program are already familiar with participating in these efforts, and VA agrees with the commenters that this will compel greater collaboration among VA, HUD, and CoC partners and strengthen VA's oversight of coordination activities among all grantees and their communities.

    Another commenter recommended that VA allow SSVF administrators to exceed identified limits on the amount of assistance that can be provided in a limited number of cases. While VA understands the point that some special cases may require assistance in excess of the limits, allowing exceptions to these limits would be counterproductive by encouraging high resource use to a small number of veterans at the expense of providing assistance to a larger number of veterans. Moreover, these exceptions could ultimately render the rule meaningless, and the administrative burden for tracking or approving such exceptions would divert resources from assisting homeless veterans. As a result, VA is not making changes based on this comment.

    Another commenter offered a similar recommendation by suggesting that rather than establishing maximum amounts of financial assistance that can be offered over a set period of time (e.g., no more than $1,500 per 2-year period for general housing stability under § 62.34(e)(2)), VA should allow smaller amounts of assistance over a longer period of time. We believe that such a system would be extremely difficult to administer and would provide limited benefits for veterans. SSVF grantees would have to track every allocation made to every veteran family for every purpose to determine if such allocations were in excess of the authorized amount over an extended period of time. This would require greater overhead expenses, which would detract from the amount made available to homeless veterans.

    One commenter expressed concern that funds distributed through the SSVF program were being provided to grantees in the Atlanta metro area who were not using these resources to provide assistance to homeless veterans. The commenter asked that no funding be provided to these entities until after there has been a formal investigation by the Office of Inspector General (OIG). VA takes seriously any concerns about the allocation of available resources. OIG recently completed an audit of the SSVF program (“Audit of the Supportive Services for Veterans Families Program,” OIG Report 13-01959-109, published March 31, 2014) and found that it has “adequate financial controls in place that are working as intended to provide reasonable assurance that funds are appropriately expended by grantees.” VA forwarded this comment to the OIG, which has authority to determine whether it will conduct a review. If OIG investigates and finds there are or were issues, we will take appropriate corrective action to ensure that resources are used for authorized purposes only.

    Based on the rationale set forth in the preamble to the proposed rule and in this preamble, VA is adopting the proposed rule as a final rule, with the above stated changes.

    Effect of Rulemaking

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

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    Although this action contains provisions constituting collections of information, at 38 CFR 62.20, 62.36, and 62.60, under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3521), no new or proposed revised collections of information are associated with this final rule. The information collection requirements for §§ 62.20, 62.36, and 62.60 are currently approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and have been assigned OMB control number 2900-0757.

    In § 62.20(a), we state that the collection of information must include a description of how the applicant will ensure that the program is targeted to very-low income families. Under the current OMB-approved application, VA Form 10-10072, VA requires the applicant to “[d]escribe the proposed outreach and referral plan to identify and assist eligible very low-income Veteran families who are most in need of supportive services.” The current application specifies that the response should include an explanation of the “[i]dentification of target population(s) to be served.” Because this specific question on the application correlates directly with the requirement that we are adding in § 62.20(a), the information collection and corresponding burden hours remain unchanged.

    In a final rule published on November 10, 2010, we stated that OMB had approved collections of information contained in, inter alia, § 62.36(c). 75 FR 68975, 68979-80, Nov. 10, 2010. In both the proposed and final regulation, a collection also appeared in § 62.36(a). That collection required grantees to classify all participants and verify and document participant eligibility at least once every 3 months. The verification of eligibility is reflected on VA Form 10-0508b, one of the forms approved by OMB and assigned OMB control number 2900-0757, which requires quarterly reports of detailed information and data on participant screenings and compliance with all SSVF requirements. However, the requirement to reclassify participants every 3 months was not contained on that form. In § 62.36(a), we remove the requirement that grantees reclassify participant eligibility every 3 months; however, we retain the requirement that the grantee certify participant eligibility. Therefore, although we are amending the collection that appears at § 62.36(a), the amendment will not result in a change to the form. Moreover, although we omitted specific reference to § 62.36(a) in the final rulemaking published on November 10, 2010, we did in fact seek approval for the collection requirements in VA Form 10-0508b, which appear in this rule. Therefore, we do not believe that this rulemaking contains amendments to collections approved under OMB control number 2900-0757.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Secretary hereby certifies that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612. This final rule will only impact those entities that choose to participate in SSVF. Small entity applicants will not be affected to a greater extent than large entity applicants. Small entities must elect to participate, and it is considered a benefit to those who choose to apply. To the extent this final rule will have any impact on small entities, it will not have an impact on a substantial number of small entities. In FY 2013, 151 organizations successfully submitted applications for SSVF funding and would be effected by this rule. The changes described in this rule should have a positive impact compared to the existing rule, as changes will generally aid grantees in providing service and thereby reduce time demands. On this basis, the Secretary certifies that the adoption of this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612. Therefore, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b), this rulemaking is exempt from the initial and final regulatory flexibility analysis requirements of 5 U.S.C. 603 and 604.

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

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

    The economic, interagency, budgetary, legal, and policy implications of this regulatory action have been examined, and it has been determined not to be a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866. VA's impact analysis can be found as a supporting document at http://www.regulations.gov, usually within 48 hours after the rulemaking document is published. Additionally, a copy of the rulemaking and its impact analysis are available on VA's Web site at http://www.va.gov/orpm/, by following the link for VA Regulations Published from FY 2004 to FYTD.

    Unfunded Mandates

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

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

    The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance numbers and titles for the programs affected by this document are 64.009, Veterans Medical Care Benefits, and 64.033, VA Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program.

    Signing Authority

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or designee, approved this document and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the document to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Jose D. Riojas, Chief of Staff, approved this document on February 12, 2015, for publication.

    List of Subjects in 38 CFR Part 62

    Administrative practice and procedure, Day care, Disability benefits, Government contracts, Grant programs-health, Grant programs-social services, Grant programs-transportation, Grant programs-veterans, Grants-housing and community development, Heath care, Homeless, Housing, Housing assistance payments, Indian-lands, Individuals with disabilities, Low and moderate income housing, Manpower training program, Medicare, Medicaid, Public assistance programs, Public housing, Relocation assistance, Rent subsidies, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Rural areas, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Travel and transportation expenses, Unemployment compensation, Veterans.

    Dated: February 19, 2015. William F. Russo, Acting Director, Office of Regulation Policy & Management, Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, the Department of Veterans Affairs amends 38 CFR part 62 as follows:

    PART 62—SUPPORTIVE SERVICES FOR VETERAN FAMILIES PROGRAMS 1. The authority citation for part 62 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    38 U.S.C. 501, 2044, and as noted in specific sections.

    2. Amend § 62.2 by: a. Removing the definition of “Emergency supplies”. b. Adding the definitions of “Emergency housing”, “Extremely low-income veteran family”, “General housing stability assistance”, and “Rapid re-housing”, in alphabetical order. c. Revising the definitions of “Homeless”, “Occupying permanent housing”, and “Permanent housing”.

    The additions and revisions read as follows:

    § 62.2 Definitions.

    Emergency housing means temporary housing provided under § 62.34(f) that does not require the participant to sign a lease or occupancy agreement.

    Extremely low-income veteran family means a veteran family whose annual income, as determined in accordance with 24 CFR 5.609, does not exceed 30 percent of the median income for an area or community.

    General housing stability assistance means the provision of goods or payment of expenses that are directly related to supporting a participant's housing stability and are authorized under § 62.34(e).

    Homeless has the meaning given that term in 24 CFR 576.2.

    Occupying permanent housing means meeting any of the conditions set forth in § 62.11.

    Permanent housing means community-based housing without a designated length of stay where an individual or family has a lease in accord with state and Federal law that is renewable and terminable only for cause. Examples of permanent housing include, but are not limited to, a house or apartment with a month-to-month or annual lease term or home ownership.

    Rapid re-housing means an intervention designed to help individuals and families quickly exit homelessness and return to permanent housing. Rapid re-housing assistance is offered without preconditions (such as employment, income, absence of criminal record, or sobriety) and the resources and services provided are typically tailored to the unique needs of the household. The three core components of rapid re-housing include housing identification, rent and move-in financial assistance, and rapid re-housing case management and services. While a rapid re-housing program must have all three core components available, it is not required that a single entity provide all three services nor that a household utilize them all.

    3. Revise § 62.11 to read as follows:
    § 62.11 Participants—occupying permanent housing.

    A very low-income veteran family will be considered to be occupying permanent housing if the very low-income veteran family:

    (a) Is residing in permanent housing and at risk of becoming homeless, per conditions in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, but for the grantee's assistance;

    (b)(1) Is lacking a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, meaning:

    (i) That the veteran family's primary nighttime residence is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings, including a car, park, abandoned bus or train station, airport, or camping ground;

    (ii) That the veteran family is living in a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designated to provide temporary living arrangements (including congregate shelters, transitional housing, and hotels and motels paid for by charitable organizations or by federal, State, or local government programs for low-income individuals); or

    (iii) That the veteran family is exiting an institution where the veteran family resided for 90 days or less and who resided in an emergency shelter or place not meant for human habitation immediately before entering that institution;

    (2) Are at risk to remain in the situation described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section but for the grantee's assistance; and

    (3) Scheduled to become a resident of permanent housing within 90 days pending the location or development of housing suitable for permanent housing; or

    (c) Has met any of the conditions described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section after exiting permanent housing within the previous 90 days to seek other housing that is responsive to the very low-income veteran family's needs and preferences.

    Note to paragraph (c):

    For limitations on the provision of supportive services to participants classified under paragraph (c) of this section, see § 62.35.

    (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2044)
    4. Amend § 62.20 by: a. Redesignating paragraphs (a)(2) through (7) as paragraphs (a)(3) through (8) respectively. b. Adding a new paragraph (a)(2). c. Adding a parenthetical at the end of the section.

    The additions to read as follows:

    § 62.20 Applications for supportive services grants.

    (a) * * *

    (2) A description of how the applicant will ensure that services are provided to very low-income veteran families for whom:

    (i) No appropriate housing options have been identified for the veteran family; and

    (ii) The veteran family lacks the financial resources and/or support networks to obtain or remain in permanent housing;

    (The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information collection provisions in this section under control number 2900-0757.)
    5. Amend § 62.22 by revising paragraph (b)(2)(i) to read as follows:
    § 62.22 Scoring criteria for supporting services grant applicants.

    (b) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (i) Applicant has a feasible outreach and referral plan to identify and assist very low-income veteran families occupying permanent housing that may be eligible for supportive services and are most in need of supportive services. The plan ensures that the applicant's program will assist very low-income families who also meet the requirements of § 62.20(a)(2).

    6. Amend § 62.31 by: a. Revising the introductory text. b. In paragraph (d), removing the word “and”. c. In paragraph (e), removing the period at the end of the paragraph and adding in its place “; and”. d. Adding paragraph (f).

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 62.31 Supportive service: Case management services.

    Grantees must provide case management services that prioritize housing stability as the primary goal of SSVF services and include, at a minimum:

    (f) Assisting participants in locating, obtaining, and retaining suitable permanent housing. Such activities may include: Identifying appropriate permanent housing and landlords willing to work with homeless veteran families; tenant counseling; mediation with landlords; and outreach to landlords.

    7. Amend § 62.33 by: a. Revising paragraph (c). b. In paragraph (d)(3)(i), removing “$1,000” and adding in its place “$1,200”. c. Revising paragraph (g). d. Revising paragraph (h) introductory text. e. Revising paragraph (h)(2)(i).

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 62.33 Supportive service: Assistance in obtaining and coordinating other public benefits.

    (c) Personal financial planning services, which include, at a minimum, providing recommendations regarding day-to-day finances and achieving long-term budgeting and financial goals. SSVF funds may pay for credit counseling and other services necessary to assist participants with critical skills related to household budgeting, managing money, accessing a free personal credit report, and resolving credit problems.

    (g) Legal services, including court filing fees, to assist a participant with issues that interfere with the participant's ability to obtain or retain permanent housing or supportive services, including issues that affect the participant's employability and financial security (such as the lack of a driver's license). However, SSVF funds may not be used to pay for court-ordered judgments or fines, pursuant to § 62.38.

    (h) Child care for children under the age of 13, unless disabled. Disabled children must be under the age of 18. Child care includes the:

    (2) * * *

    (i) Payments for child care services must be paid by the grantee directly to an eligible child care provider and cannot exceed a maximum of 6 months in a 12-month period, and 10 months during a 2-year period, such period beginning on the date that the grantee first pays for child care services on behalf of the participant. For extremely low-income veteran families, payments for child care services on behalf of that participant cannot exceed 9 months in a 12-month period and 12 months during a 2-year period, such period beginning on the date that the grantee first pays for child care services on behalf of the participant.

    8. Amend § 62.34 by: a. Revising paragraphs (a)(1), (b)(1), (c)(1) and (2), and (e). b. Redesignating paragraph (f) as paragraph (g). c. Adding a new paragraph (f).

    The revisions and addition read as follows:

    § 62.34 Other supportive services.

    (a) * * *

    (1) A participant may receive rental assistance for a maximum of 10 months during a 2-year period (consecutive or nonconsecutive), such period beginning on the date that the grantee first pays rent on behalf of the participant; however, a participant cannot receive rental assistance for more than 6 months in any 12-month period beginning on the date that the grantee first pays rent on behalf of the participant. For extremely low-income veteran families, payments for rent cannot exceed 9 months in any 12-month period and 12 months during a 2-year period, such period beginning on the date that the grantee first pays rent on behalf of the participant. The rental assistance may be for rental payments that are currently due or are in arrears, and for the payment of penalties or fees incurred by a participant and required to be paid by the participant under an existing lease or court order. In all instances, rental assistance may only be provided if the payment of such rental assistance will directly allow the participant to remain in permanent housing or obtain permanent housing.

    (b) * * *

    (1) A participant may receive payments for utilities for a maximum of 10 months during a 2-year period, such period beginning on the date that the grantee first pays utility fees on behalf of the participant; provided, however, that a participant cannot receive payments for utilities for more than 6 months in any 12-month period beginning on the date that the grantee first pays a utility payment on behalf of the participant. For extremely low-income veteran families, payments for utilities cannot exceed 9 months in any 12-month period and 12 months during a 2-year period, such periods beginning on the date that the grantee first pays a utility payment on behalf of the participant. The payment for utilities may be for utility payments that are currently due or are in arrears, provided that the payment of such utilities will allow the participant to remain in permanent housing or obtain permanent housing.

    (c) * * *

    (1) A participant may receive assistance with the payment of a security deposit a maximum of one time in every 2-year period, such period beginning on the date the grantee pays a security deposit on behalf of a participant.

    (2) A participant may receive assistance with the payment of a utility deposit a maximum of one time in every 2-year period, such period beginning on the date the grantee pays a utility deposit on behalf of a participant.

    (e) General housing stability assistance. (1) A grantee may provide to a participant items necessary for a participant's life or safety on a temporary basis, in order to address a participant's emergency situation.

    (2) A grantee may pay directly to a third party (and not to a participant), in an amount not to exceed $1,500 per participant during any 2-year period, beginning on the date that the grantee first submits a payment to a third party, the following types of expenses:

    (i) Expenses associated with gaining or keeping employment, such as obtaining uniforms, tools, certifications, and licenses.

    (ii) Expenses associated with moving into permanent housing, such as obtaining basic kitchen utensils, bedding, and other supplies.

    (iii) Expenses necessary for securing appropriate permanent housing, such as fees for housing applications, housing inspections, or background checks.

    (3) A grantee may pay directly to a third party (and not to a participant) a reasonable amount for a broker's fee when such a third party has assisted in identifying permanent housing. The reasonableness of a fee will be determined based on conditions in the local housing market.

    (f) Emergency housing assistance. If permanent housing, appropriate shelter beds and transitional housing are not available and subsequent rental housing has been identified generally but is not immediately available for move-in by the participant, then a grantee may place a participant in emergency housing, subject to the following limitations:

    (1) Placement for a single veteran may not exceed 72 hours, unless the grantee can certify that appropriate shelter beds and transitional housing are still unavailable at the end of the 72 hour period.

    (2) Placement for a veteran and his or her spouse with dependent(s) may not exceed 45 days.

    (3) A participant may be placed in emergency housing only once during any 2-year period, beginning on the date that the grantee first pays for emergency housing on behalf of the participant.

    (4) Permanent housing will be available before the end of the period during which the participant is placed in emergency housing.

    (5) The cost of the emergency housing must be reasonable in relation to the costs charged for other available emergency housing considering the location, quality, size, and type of the emergency housing.

    9. Amend § 62.35 by: a. Revising paragraph (a). b. In paragraph (b), remove “§ 62.11(a)(3)” and add in its place “§ 62.11(c)” in all places it occurs. c. Adding a new paragraph (e).

    The revision and additions read as follows:

    § 62.35 Limitations on and continuations of the provision of supportive services to certain participants.

    (a) Extremely low-income veteran families. A participant classified as an extremely low-income veteran family will retain that designation as long as the participant continues to meet all other eligibility requirements.

    (e) Families fleeing domestic violence. Notwithstanding the limitations in § 62.34 concerning the maximum amount of assistance a family can receive during defined periods of time, a household may receive additional assistance if it otherwise qualifies for assistance under this Part and is fleeing from a domestic violence situation. A family may qualify for assistance even if the veteran is the aggressor or perpetrator of the domestic violence. Receipt of assistance under this provision resets the tolling period for the limitations on the maximum amount of support that can be provided in a given amount of time under § 62.34.

    10. Amend § 62.36 by: a. Revising paragraph (a). b. Adding new paragraphs (f) and (g). c. Adding a parenthetical at the end of the section.

    The revision and additions read as follows:

    § 62.36 General operation requirements.

    (a) Eligibility documentation. Prior to providing supportive services, grantees must verify and document each participant's eligibility for supportive services and classify the participant under one of the categories set forth in § 62.11. Grantees must recertify the participant's eligibility as a very low-income veteran family at least once every 3 months.

    (f) Habitability standards. (1) Grantees using supportive services grant funds to provide rental assistance, payments of utilities fees, security deposits, or utilities deposits, as set forth under § 62.34, on behalf of a participant moving into a new (different) housing unit will be required to conduct initial and any appropriate follow-up inspections of the housing unit into which the participant will be moving. Such inspections shall ensure that the housing unit meets the conditions set forth in 24 CFR 583.300(b) and do not require the use of a certified inspector. Inspections should occur no later than three (3) working days after the housing unit has been identified to the SSVF grantee, unless the Alternative Inspection Method is used to meet the requirements of this paragraph.

    (2) Alternative inspection method. An inspection of a property will be valid for purposes of this paragraph if:

    (i) The inspection was conducted pursuant to the requirements of a Federal, State, or local housing program (including, but not limited to, the Home investment partnership program under title II of the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act or the low-income housing tax credit program under section 42 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986);

    (ii) If the inspection was not conducted pursuant to the requirements of a Federal housing program, the public housing agency has certified to the Secretary that such standard or requirement provides the same (or greater) protection to occupants of inspected dwelling units;

    (iii) Pursuant to the inspection, the property was determined to meet the requirements regarding housing quality or safety applicable to properties assisted under such program; and

    (iv) The inspection was conducted within the past 2 years.

    (g) Continuum of Care coordinated assessment. Grantees must participate in the development, implementation, and ongoing operations of their local Continuum of Care's coordinated assessment system, or equivalent, as described in the McKinney-Vento Act, as amended by the HEARTH Act (42 U.S.C. 11302).

    (The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information collection provisions in this section under control number 2900-0757.)
    11. Add § 62.38 to read as follows:
    § 62.38 Ineligible activities.

    Notwithstanding any other section in this part, grantees are not authorized to use supportive services grant funds to pay for the following:

    (a) Mortgage costs or costs needed by homeowners to assist with any fees, taxes, or other costs of refinancing.

    (b) Construction or rehabilitation of buildings.

    (c) Home care and home health aides typically used to provide care in support of daily living activities. This includes care that is focused on treatment for an injury or illness, rehabilitation, or other assistance generally required to assist those with handicaps or other physical limitations.

    (d) Credit card bills or other consumer debt.

    (e) Medical or dental care and medicines.

    (f) Direct cash assistance to participants.

    (g) Court-ordered judgments or fines, except for those supported under § 62.34(a)(1).

    (h) Pet care.

    (i) Entertainment activities.

    (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501, 2044)
    12. Amend § 62.60 by adding a parenthetical at the end of the section to read as follows:
    § 62.60 Program or budget changes and corrective action plans. (The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information collection provisions in this section under control number 2900-0757.)
    [FR Doc. 2015-03753 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 60, 61, and 63 [EPA-R06-OAR-2010-1054; FRL-9923-11-Region 6] New Source Performance Standards and National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants; Delegation of Authority to Louisiana AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule; delegation of authority.

    SUMMARY:

    The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) has submitted updated regulations for receiving delegation of 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 does not apply to sources located in Indian Country. EPA is providing notice that it is updating the delegation of certain NSPS to LDEQ, and taking direct final action to approve the delegation of certain NESHAPs to LDEQ.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on April 27, 2015 without further notice, unless EPA receives relevant adverse comment by March 26, 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-2007-0488, by one of the following methods:

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

    Email: Mr. Rick Barrett at [email protected] 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-2007-0488. 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.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document “we,” “us,” or “our” refers to EPA.

    Table of Contents I. What does this action do? II. What is the authority for delegation? III. What criteria must Louisiana's programs meet to be approved? IV. How did LDEQ 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 LDEQ provide to EPA? X. What is EPA's oversight role? XI. Should sources submit notices to EPA or LDEQ? XII. How will unchanged authorities be delegated to LDEQ 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 LDEQ. EPA is also taking direct final action to approve the delegation of certain NESHAPs to LDEQ. With this delegation, LDEQ 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. 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 Louisiana'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, and their regulations and resources must be adequate for the implementation and enforcement of the NSPS. EPA initially approved Louisiana's program for the delegation of NSPS on February 22, 1982 (47 FR 07665). EPA reviewed the laws of the State and the rules and regulations of the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (now the LDEQ) and determined the State's procedures, regulations and resources adequate for the implementation and enforcement of the NSPS program. This action notifies the public that EPA is updating LDEQ'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 operating permits pursuant to Title V of the Clean Air Act).

    IV. How did LDEQ meet the approval criteria?

    As to the NSPS standards in 40 CFR part 60, LDEQ adopted the Federal standards via incorporation by reference. The LDEQ 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 the State developed procedures for implementing and enforcing the NSPS in the State, and that the State's regulations and resources are adequate for the implementation and enforcement of the NSPS program. See 47 FR 07665 (February 22, 1982).

    As to the NESHAP standards in 40 CFR parts 61 and 63, as part of its Title V submission LDEQ 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 Louisiana's Title V operating permits program delegated the authority to implement certain NESHAPs to the State. See 60 FR 17750 (April 7, 1995). EPA promulgated final full approval of the State's operating permits program on September 12, 1995. See 60 FR 42296. 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. LDEQ has affirmed that it still meets the up-front approval criteria.

    V. What is being delegated?

    By letter dated November 30, 2010, EPA received a request from Louisiana to update LDEQ's NSPS delegation and NESHAPs delegation. With certain exceptions noted in section VI below, LDEQ's request included NSPS in 40 CFR part 60, and NESHAPs in 40 CFR part 61 and 63, as amended between July 2, 2008 and July 1, 2009.

    By letter dated May 28, 2013, EPA received a second request from Louisiana to update LDEQ's NSPS delegation. Louisiana's request only included NSPS in 40 CFR part 60, subpart OOOO, Standards of Performance for Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production, Transmission and Distribution, as promulgated by EPA on August 16, 2012 (77 FR 49490).

    By letter dated June 21, 2013, EPA received a third request from Louisiana to update LDEQ's NSPS delegation and NESHAPs delegation. With certain exceptions noted in section VI below, Louisiana's request included NSPS in 40 CFR part 60, and NESHAPs in 40 CFR parts 61 and 63, as amended between July 2, 2009 and July 1, 2012.

    By letter dated August 28, 2014, EPA received a fourth request from Louisiana to update LDEQ's NSPS delegation and NESHAPs delegation. With certain exceptions noted in section VI below, Louisiana's request included NSPS in 40 CFR part 60, and NESHAPs in 40 CFR part 61 and 63, as amended between July 2, 2012 and July 1, 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 in the State of Louisiana 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 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 LDEQ 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 LDEQ 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 LDEQ 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, LDEQ 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 47 FR 07665 (February 22, 1982).

    In approving the NESHAPs delegation, LDEQ 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 LDEQ some of these authorities, and retaining others, as explained in sections V and VI above. In addition, EPA may review and disapprove State determinations 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 original delegation agreement. See 47 FR 07665 (February 22, 1982).

    IX. What information must LDEQ provide to EPA?

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

    LDEQ 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, LDEQ 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 LDEQ'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 LDEQ made decisions that decreased the stringency of the delegated standards, then LDEQ 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. Also see 47 FR 07665 (February 22, 1982).

    XI. Should sources submit notices to EPA or LDEQ?

    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 outside of Indian country directly to the LDEQ at the following address: Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, PO Box 4301, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70821-4301. The LDEQ 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 LDEQ, 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 LDEQ in the future?

    In the future, LDEQ 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 LDEQ. Also, in the future, LDEQ will only need to send a letter of request for approval to EPA, Region 6, for those NESHAPs regulations that LDEQ 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 LDEQ.

    XIII. Final Action

    The public was provided the opportunity to comment on the proposed approval of the program and mechanism for delegation of section 112 standards, as they apply to part 70 sources, on August 24, 1994, for the proposed interim approval of LDEQ's Title V operating permits program; and on April 7, 1995, for the proposed final approval of LDEQ's Title V operating permits program. In EPA's final full approval of Louisiana's Operating Permits Program (60 FR 47296), the EPA discussed the public comments on the proposed final delegation of the Title V operating permits program. In today's action, the public is given the opportunity to comment on the approval of LDEQ'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 Louisiana's state 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 27, 2015 without further notice unless the Agency receives relevant adverse comments by March 26, 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 27, 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 paragraphs (b)(T) and (e)(2) to read as follows:
    § 60.4 Address.

    (b) * * *

    (T) State of Louisiana: Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 4301, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70821-4301.

    Note:

    For a list of delegated standards for Louisiana (excluding Indian country), see paragraph (e)(2) of this section.

    (e) * * *

    (2) Louisiana. The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality 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 July 1, 2013.

    Delegation Status for Part 60 Standards—State of Louisiana [Excluding Indian Country] Subpart Source category LDEQ 1 A General Provisions Yes Ce Emission Guidelines and Compliance Times for Hospital/Medical/Infectious Waste Incinerators Yes D Fossil Fueled Steam Generators (>250 MM BTU/hr) Yes Da Electric Utility Steam Generating Units (>250 MM BTU/hr) Yes Db Industrial-Commercial-Institutional Steam Generating Units (100 to 250 MM BTU/hr) Yes Dc Industrial-Commercial-Institutional Small Steam Generating Units (10 to 100 MM BTU/hr) Yes E Incinerators (>50 tons per day) Yes Ea Municipal Waste Combustors Yes Eb Large Municipal Waste Combustors Yes Ec Hospital/Medical/Infectious Waste Incinerators Yes F Portland Cement Plants Yes G Nitric Acid Plants Yes Ga Nitric Acid Plants (after October 14, 2011) Yes H Sulfuric Acid Plants Yes I Hot Mix Asphalt Facilities Yes J Petroleum Refineries Yes Ja Petroleum Refineries (After May 14, 2007) Yes K Storage Vessels for Petroleum Liquids (After 6/11/73 & Before 5/19/78) Yes Ka Storage Vessels for Petroleum Liquids (After 6/11/73 & Before 5/19/78) Yes Kb Volatile Organic Liquid Storage Vessels (Including Petroleum Liquid Stg/Vessels) After 7/23/84 Yes L Secondary Lead Smelters Yes Yes M Secondary Brass and Bronze Production Plants Yes N Primary Emissions from Basic Oxygen Process Furnaces (Construction Commenced After June 11, 1973) Yes Na Secondary Emissions from Basic Oxygen Process Steelmaking Facilities Construction is Commenced After January 20, 1983 Yes O Sewage Treatment Plants Yes P Primary Copper Smelters Yes Q Primary Zinc Smelters Yes R Primary Lead Smelters Yes S Primary Aluminum Reduction Plants Yes T Phosphate Fertilizer Industry: Wet Process Phosphoric Plants Yes U Phosphate Fertilizer Industry: Superphosphoric Acid Plants Yes V Phosphate Fertilizer Industry: Diammonium Phosphate Plants Yes W Phosphate Fertilizer Industry: Triple Superphosphate Plants Yes X Phosphate Fertilizer Industry: Granular Triple Superphosphate Storage Facilities Yes Y Coal Preparation Plants Yes Z Ferroalloy Production Facilities Yes AA Steel Plants: Electric Arc Furnaces After 10/21/74 & On or Before 8/17/83 Yes AAa Steel Plants: Electric Arc Furnaces & Argon-Oxygen Decarburization Vessels After 8/07/83 Yes BB Kraft Pulp Mills Yes CC Glass Manufacturing Plants Yes DD Grain Elevators Yes EE Surface Coating of Metal Furniture Yes GG Stationary Gas Turbines Yes HH Lime Manufacturing Plants Yes KK Lead-Acid Battery Manufacturing Plants Yes LL Metallic Mineral Processing Plants Yes MM Automobile & Light Duty Truck Surface Coating Operations Yes NN Phosphate Manufacturing Plants Yes PP Ammonium Sulfate Manufacture Yes QQ Graphic Arts Industry: Publication Rotogravure Printing Yes RR Pressure Sensitive Tape and Label Surface Coating Operations Yes SS Industrial Surface Coating: Large Appliances Yes TT Metal Coil Surface Coating Yes UU Asphalt Processing and Asphalt Roofing Manufacture Yes VV VOC Equipment Leaks in the SOCMI Industry Yes VVa VOC Equipment Leaks in the SOCMI Industry (After November 7, 2006) Yes XX Bulk Gasoline Terminals Yes AAA New Residential Wood Heaters No BBB Rubber Tire Manufacturing Industry Yes DDD Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Emissions from the Polymer Manufacturing Industry Yes FFF Flexible Vinyl and Urethane Coating and Printing Yes GGG VOC Equipment Leaks in Petroleum Refineries Yes HHH Synthetic Fiber Production Yes III VOC Emissions from the SOCMI Air Oxidation Unit Processes Yes JJJ Petroleum Dry Cleaners Yes KKK VOC Equipment Leaks From Onshore Natural Gas Processing Plants Yes LLL Onshore Natural Gas Processing: SO2 Emissions Yes NNN VOC Emissions from SOCMI Distillation Operations Yes OOO Nonmetallic Mineral Processing Plants Yes PPP Wool Fiberglass Insulation Manufacturing Plants Yes QQQ VOC Emissions From Petroleum Refinery Wastewater Systems Yes RRR VOC Emissions from SOCMI Reactor Processes Yes SSS Magnetic Tape Coating Operations Yes TTT Industrial Surface Coating: Plastic Parts for Business Machines Yes UUU Calciners and Dryers in Mineral Industries Yes VVV Polymeric Coating of Supporting Substrates Facilities Yes WWW Municipal Solid Waste Landfills Yes AAAA Small Municipal Waste Combustion Units (Construction is Commenced After 8/30/99 or Modification/Reconstruction is Commenced After 6/06/2001) Yes CCCC Commercial & Industrial Solid Waste Incineration Units (Construction is Commenced After 11/30/1999 or Modification/Reconstruction is Commenced on or After 6/01/2001) Yes DDDD Emission Guidelines & Compliance Times for Commercial & Industrial Solid Waste Incineration Units (Commenced Construction On or Before 11/30/1999) Yes EEEE Other Solid Waste Incineration Units (Constructed after 12/09/2004 or Modification/Reconstruction is commenced on or after 06/16/2004) Yes IIII Stationary Compression Ignition Internal Combustion Engines Yes JJJJ Stationary Spark Ignition Internal Combustion Engines Yes KKKK Stationary Combustion Turbines (Construction Commenced After 02/18/2005) Yes LLLL New Sewage Sludge Incineration Units Yes MMMM Emission Guidelines and Compliance Times for Existing Sewage Sludge Incineration Units Yes OOOO Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production, Transmission and Distribution Yes 1 The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) 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 July 1, 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)(ii) to read as follows:
    § 61.04 Address.

    (c) * * *

    (6) * * *

    (ii) Louisiana. The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) has been delegated the following part 61 standards promulgated by EPA, as amended in the Federal Register through July 1, 2013. The (X) symbol is used to indicate each subpart that has been delegated.

    Delegation Status for Part 61 Standards—State of Louisiana [Excluding Indian Country] Subpart Source category LDEQ 1 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 Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ).
    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)(19)(i) to read as follows:
    § 63.99 Delegated Federal authorities.

    (a) * * *

    (19) * * *

    (i) The following table lists the specific part 63 standards that have been delegated unchanged to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality for all sources. 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 July 1, 2013, are not delegated.

    Delegation Status for Part 63 Standards—State of Louisiana [Excluding Indian Country] Subpart Source category LDEQ 1 2 A General Provisions X D Early Reductions X F Hazardous Organic NESHAP (HON)—Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturing Industry (SOCMI) X G HON—SOCMI Process Vents, Storage Vessels, Transfer Operations and Wastewater X H HON—Equipment Leaks X I HON—Certain Processes Negotiated Equipment Leak Regulation X J Polyvinyl Chloride and Copolymers Production  (3) K (Reserved) L Coke Oven Batteries X M Perchloroethylene Dry Cleaning X N Chromium Electroplating and Chromium Anodizing Tanks X O Ethylene Oxide Sterilizers X P (Reserved) Q Industrial Process Cooling Towers X R Gasoline Distribution X S Pulp and Paper Industry X T Halogenated Solvent Cleaning X U Group I Polymers and Resins X V (Reserved) W Epoxy Resins Production and Non-Nylon Polyamides Production X X Secondary Lead Smelting X Y Marine Tank Vessel Loading X Z (Reserved) AA Phosphoric Acid Manufacturing Plants X BB Phosphate Fertilizers Production Plants X CC Petroleum Refineries X DD Off-Site Waste and Recovery Operations X EE Magnetic Tape Manufacturing X FF (Reserved) GG Aerospace Manufacturing and Rework Facilities X HH Oil and Natural Gas Production Facilities X II Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Facilities X JJ Wood Furniture Manufacturing Operations X KK Printing and Publishing Industry X LL Primary Aluminum Reduction Plants X MM Chemical Recovery Combustion Sources at Kraft, Soda, Sulfide, and Stand-Alone Semichemical Pulp Mills X NN (Reserved) OO Tanks-Level 1 X PP Containers X QQ Surface Impoundments X RR Individual Drain Systems X SS Closed Vent Systems, Control Devices, Recovery Devices and Routing to a Fuel Gas System or a Process X TT Equipment Leaks—Control Level 1 X UU Equipment Leaks—Control Level 2 Standards X VV Oil—Water Separators and Organic—Water Separators X WW Storage Vessels (Tanks)—Control Level 2 X XX Ethylene Manufacturing Process Units Heat Exchange Systems and Waste Operations X YY Generic Maximum Achievable Control Technology Standards X ZZ-BBB (Reserved) CCC Steel Pickling—HCI Process Facilities and Hydrochloric Acid Regeneration X DDD Mineral Wool Production X EEE Hazardous Waste Combustors X FFF (Reserved) GGG Pharmaceuticals Production X HHH Natural Gas Transmission and Storage Facilities X III Flexible Polyurethane Foam Production X JJJ Group IV Polymers and Resins X KKK (Reserved) LLL Portland Cement Manufacturing X MMM Pesticide Active Ingredient Production X NNN Wool Fiberglass Manufacturing X OOO Amino/Phenolic Resins X PPP Polyether Polyols Production X QQQ Primary Copper Smelting X RRR Secondary Aluminum Production X SSS (Reserved) TTT Primary Lead Smelting X UUU Petroleum Refineries—Catalytic Cracking Units, Catalytic Reforming Units and Sulfur Recovery Plants X VVV Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) X WWW (Reserved) XXX Ferroalloys Production: Ferromanganese and Silicomanganese X AAAA Municipal Solid Waste Landfills X CCCC Nutritional Yeast Manufacturing X DDDD Plywood and Composite Wood Products 4 X EEEE °Organic Liquids Distribution X FFFF Misc. Organic Chemical Production and Processes (MON) X GGGG Solvent Extraction for Vegetable Oil Production X HHHH Wet Formed Fiberglass Mat Production X IIII Auto & Light Duty Truck (Surface Coating) X JJJJ Paper and other Web (Surface Coating) X KKKK Metal Can (Surface Coating) X MMMM Misc. Metal Parts and Products (Surface Coating) X NNNN Surface Coating of Large Appliances X OOOO Fabric Printing Coating and Dyeing X PPPP Plastic Parts (Surface Coating) X QQQQ Surface Coating of Wood Building Products X RRRR Surface Coating of Metal Furniture X SSSS Surface Coating for Metal Coil X TTTT Leather Finishing Operations X UUUU Cellulose Production Manufacture X VVVV Boat Manufacturing X WWWW Reinforced Plastic Composites Production X XXXX Rubber Tire Manufacturing X YYYY Combustion Turbines X ZZZZ Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines (RICE) X AAAAA Lime Manufacturing Plants X BBBBB Semiconductor Manufacturing X CCCCC Coke Ovens: Pushing, Quenching and Battery Stacks X DDDDD Industrial/Commercial/Institutional Boilers and Process Heaters 5 X EEEEE Iron Foundries X FFFFF Integrated Iron and Steel X GGGGG Site Remediation X HHHHH Miscellaneous Coating Manufacturing X IIIII Mercury Cell Chlor-Alkali Plants X JJJJJ Brick and Structural Clay Products Manufacturing (6) KKKKK Clay Ceramics Manufacturing (6) LLLLL Asphalt Roofing and Processing X MMMMM Flexible Polyurethane Foam Fabrication Operation X NNNNN Hydrochloric Acid Production, Fumed Silica Production X OOOOO (Reserved) PPPPP Engine Test Facilities X QQQQQ Friction Products Manufacturing X RRRRR Taconite Iron Ore Processing X SSSSS Refractory Products Manufacture X TTTTT Primary Magnesium Refining X UUUUU Coal and Oil-Fired Electric Utility Steam Generating Units 7 X VVVVV (Reserved) WWWWW Hospital Ethylene Oxide Sterilizers X XXXXX (Reserved) YYYYY Electric Arc Furnace Steelmaking Area Sources X ZZZZZ Iron and Steel Foundries Area Sources X AAAAAA (Reserved) BBBBBB Gasoline Distribution Bulk Terminals, Bulk Plants, and Pipeline Facilities X CCCCCC Gasoline Dispensing Facilities X DDDDDD Polyvinyl Chloride and Copolymers Production Area Sources X EEEEEE Primary Copper Smelting Area Sources X FFFFFF Secondary Copper Smelting Area Sources X GGGGGG Primary Nonferrous Metals Area Source: Zinc, Cadmium, and Beryllium X HHHHHH Paint Stripping and Miscellaneous Surface Coating Operations at Area Sources X IIIIII (Reserved) JJJJJJ Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers Area Sources X KKKKKK (Reserved) LLLLLL Acrylic and Modacrylic Fibers Production Area Sources X MMMMMM Carbon Black Production Area Sources X NNNNNN Chemical Manufacturing Area Sources: Chromium Compounds X OOOOOO Flexible Polyurethane Foam Production and Fabrication Area Sources X PPPPPP Lead Acid Battery Manufacturing Area Sources X QQQQQQ Wood Preserving Area Sources X RRRRRR Clay Ceramics Manufacturing Area Sources X SSSSSS Glass Manufacturing Area Sources X TTTTTT Secondary Nonferrous Metals Processing Area Sources X UUUUUU (Reserved) VVVVVV Chemical Manufacturing Area Sources X WWWWWW Plating and Polishing Operations Area Sources X XXXXXX Metal Fabrication and Finishing Area Sources X YYYYYY Ferroalloys Production Facilities Area Sources X ZZZZZZ Aluminum, Copper, and Other Nonferrous Foundries Area Sources X AAAAAAA Asphalt Processing and Asphalt Roofing Manufacturing Area Sources X BBBBBBB Chemical Preparation Industry Area Sources X CCCCCCC Paints and Allied Products Manufacturing Area Sources X DDDDDDD Prepared Feeds Areas Sources X EEEEEEE Gold Mine Ore Processing and Production Area Sources X FFFFFFF-GGGGGGG (Reserved) HHHHHHH Polyvinyl Chloride and Copolymers Production Major Sources 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 Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) for standards promulgated by EPA, as amended in the Federal Register through July 1, 2013. 3 The LDEQ was previously delegated this subpart on March 26, 2004 (69 FR 15687). The LDEQ 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 D.C. Court's holding this subpart is not delegated to LDEQ at this time. 4 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. 5 Final rule. See 78 FR 7138 (January 31, 2013). 6 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 D.C. Court's holding this subpart is not delegated to LDEQ at this time. 7 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. 2015-03730 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 61 and 63 [EPA-R06-OAR-2008-0063; FRL-9923-22-Region 6] National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants; Delegation of Authority to Oklahoma AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule; delegation of authority.

    SUMMARY:

    The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) has submitted updated regulations for receiving delegation of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) authority for implementation and enforcement of 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 does not apply to sources located in Indian Country. EPA is taking direct final action to approve the delegation of certain NESHAPs to ODEQ.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on April 27, 2015 without further notice, unless EPA receives relevant adverse comment by March 26, 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.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R06-OAR-2008-0063, by one of the following methods:

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

    • Email: Mr. Rick Barrett at [email protected] 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-2008-0063. 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 (6PD-R), (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.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document “we,” “us,” and “our” refers to EPA.

    Table of Contents I. What does this action do? II. What is the authority for delegation? III. What criteria must Oklahoma's programs meet to be approved? IV. How did ODEQ 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 ODEQ provide to EPA? X. What is EPA's oversight role? XI. Should sources submit notices to EPA or ODEQ? XII. How will unchanged authorities be delegated to ODEQ in the future? XIII. Final Action XIV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What does this action do?

    EPA is taking direct final action to approve the delegation of certain NESHAPs to ODEQ. With this delegation, ODEQ has the primary responsibility to implement and enforce the delegated standards.

    II. What is the authority for delegation?

    Section 112(l) of the CAA, and 40 CFR part 63, subpart E, authorize EPA to delegate authority to any State or local agency which submits adequate regulatory procedures 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 Oklahoma's program meet to be approved?

    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 rules or programs under section 112(l).

    EPA will approve an air toxics program 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 operating permits pursuant to Title V of the Clean Air Act).

    IV. How did ODEQ meet the NESHAPs program approval criteria?

    As to the NESHAPs standards in 40 CFR parts 61 and 63, as part of its Title V submission ODEQ stated that it intended to use the mechanism of incorporation by reference to adopt unchanged Federal section 112 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 Oklahoma's Title V operating permits program delegated the authority to implement certain NESHAPs on February 5, 1996 (61 FR 4220). On December 5, 2001, EPA granted final full approval of the State's operating permits program (66 FR 63170). 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 up-front approval criteria, it needs only to reference the previous demonstration and reaffirm that it still meets the criteria for any subsequent submittals of the section 112 standards. ODEQ has affirmed that it still meets the up-front approval criteria.

    V. What is being delegated?

    By letter dated January 11, 2008, ODEQ requested EPA to update its existing NESHAP delegation. With certain exceptions noted in section VI below, Oklahoma's request included NESHAPs in 40 CFR part 61 and 40 CFR part 63. ODEQ's request included newly incorporated NESHAPs promulgated by EPA and amendments to existing standards currently delegated, as amended between September 2, 2004 and September 1, 2006. These NESHAPs were adopted by the ODEQ on March 27, 2007, and became effective on June 15, 2007.

    VI. What is not being delegated?

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

    • 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 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. In addition, some Part 63 standards have certain provisions that cannot be delegated to the States. Therefore, any Part 63 standard that provides that certain authorities cannot be delegated are retained by EPA and not delegated to ODEQ. 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 ODEQ to implement and enforce certain 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 NESHAPs in Indian country because ODEQ 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.1

    1 The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2005 includes a provision relating to Oklahoma and EPA programs, providing:

    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (referred to in this section as the “Administrator”) determines that a regulatory program submitted by the State of Oklahoma for approval by the Administrator under a law administered by the Administrator meets applicable requirements of the law, and the Administrator approves the State to administer the State program under the law with respect to areas in the State that are not Indian country, on request of the State, the Administrator shall approve the State to administer the State program in the areas of the State that are in Indian country, without any further demonstration of authority by the State.

    H.R. 3, Section 10211(a). Oklahoma has not applied to administer the NESHAPS program in Indian country in accordance with this statute.

    VII. How will applicability determinations under section 112 be made?

    In approving this delegation, ODEQ 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 implementation, administration, or enforcement of these sections have not been covered by EPA determinations or guidance.

    VIII. What authority does EPA have?

    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 ODEQ some of these authorities, and retaining others, as explained in sections V and VI above. In addition, EPA may review and disapprove of State determinations 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.

    IX. What information must ODEQ provide to EPA?

    ODEQ 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, ODEQ must submit to EPA Region 6 on a semi-annual basis, copies of determinations issued under these authorities. For 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 ODEQ'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 ODEQ made decisions that decreased the stringency of the delegated standards, then ODEQ 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 ODEQ?

    All of the information required pursuant to the general provisions and the relevant subpart of the Federal NESHAPs (40 CFR parts 61 and 63) should be submitted by sources located outside of Indian country, directly to the ODEQ at the following address: Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, 707 North Robinson, P.O. Box 1677, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73101-1677. The ODEQ is the primary point of contact with respect to delegated 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 ODEQ in accordance with 40 CFR 63.9(a)(4)(ii) and 63.10(a)(4)(ii). 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 ODEQ in the future?

    In the future, ODEQ will only need to send a letter of request for approval to EPA, Region 6, for NESHAP regulations that ODEQ 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 NESHAPs standards have been delegated to ODEQ.

    XIII. Final Action

    The public was provided the opportunity to comment on the proposed approval of the program and mechanism for delegation of section 112 standards, as they apply to part 70 sources, on March 10, 1995, for the proposed interim approval of ODEQ's operating permits program. (60 FR 13088). In EPA's final full approval of ODEQ's operating permits program on February 5, 1996 (61 FR 4220), EPA discussed that no adverse comments were received from the public on the proposed final delegation of the operating permits program. In today's action, the public is given the opportunity to comment on the approval of ODEQ'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 Oklahoma's state regulations. However, the Agency views the approval of this request 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 delegation of authority described in this action if adverse comments are received. This action will be effective April 27, 2015 without further notice unless the Agency receives relevant adverse comments by March 26, 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. 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 the 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 27, 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 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: February 6, 2015. Wren Stenger, Director, Multimedia Planning and Permitting Division, Region 6.

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

    PART 61—NATIONAL EMISSION STANDARDS FOR HAZARDOUS AIR POLLUTANTS 1. The authority citation for part 61 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart A—General Provisions 2. Section 61.04 is amended by revising paragraph (c)(6)(iv) to read as follows:
    § 61.04 Address.

    (c) * * *

    (6) * * *

    (iv) Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODED) has been delegated the following part 61 standards promulgated by EPA, as amended in the Federal Register through September 1, 2006. 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 Oklahoma [Excluding Indian country] Subpart Source category ODEQ 1 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 Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ).
    PART 63—NATIONAL EMISSION STANDARDS FOR HAZARDOUS AIR POLLUTANTS FOR SOURCE CATEGORIES 3. 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
    4. Section 63.99 is amended by revising paragraph (a)(37)(i) to read as follows:
    § 63.99 Delegated Federal authorities.

    (a) * * *

    (37) * * *

    (i) The following table lists the specific part 63 standards that have been delegated unchanged to the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality for all sources. 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 1, 2006 are not delegated.

    Delegation Status for Part 63 Standards—State of Oklahoma [Excluding Indian country] Subpart Source category ODEQ 1 2 A General Provisions X F Hazardous Organic NESHAP (HON)—Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturing Industry (SOCMI) X G HON—SOCMI Process Vents, Storage Vessels, Transfer Operations and Wastewater X H HON—Equipment Leaks X I HON—Certain Processes Negotiated Equipment Leak Regulation X J Polyvinyl Chloride and Copolymers Production (3) K (Reserved) L Coke Oven Batteries X M Perchloroethylene Dry Cleaning X N Chromium Electroplating and Chromium Anodizing Tanks X O Ethylene Oxide Sterilizers X P (Reserved) Q Industrial Process Cooling Towers X R Gasoline Distribution X S Pulp and Paper Industry X T Halogenated Solvent Cleaning X U Group I Polymers and Resins X V (Reserved) W Epoxy Resins Production and Non-Nylon Polyamides Production X X Secondary Lead Smelting X Y Marine Tank Vessel Loading X Z (Reserved) AA Phosphoric Acid Manufacturing Plants X BB Phosphate Fertilizers Production Plants X CC Petroleum Refineries X DD Off-Site Waste and Recovery Operations X EE Magnetic Tape Manufacturing X FF (Reserved) GG Aerospace Manufacturing and Rework Facilities X HH Oil and Natural Gas Production Facilities X II Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Facilities X JJ Wood Furniture Manufacturing Operations X KK Printing and Publishing Industry X LL Primary Aluminum Reduction Plants X MM Chemical Recovery Combustion Sources at Kraft, Soda, Sulfide, and Stand-Alone Semichemical Pulp Mills X NN (Reserved) OO Tanks—Level 1 X PP Containers X QQ Surface Impoundments X RR Individual Drain Systems X SS Closed Vent Systems, Control Devices, Recovery Devices and Routing to a Fuel Gas System or a Process X TT Equipment Leaks—Control Level 1 X UU Equipment Leaks—Control Level 2 Standards X VV Oil—Water Separators and Organic—Water Separators X WW Storage Vessels (Tanks)—Control Level 2 X XX Ethylene Manufacturing Process Units Heat Exchange Systems and Waste Operations X YY Generic Maximum Achievable Control Technology Standards X ZZ-BBB (Reserved) CCC Steel Pickling—HCI Process Facilities and Hydrochloric Acid Regeneration X DDD Mineral Wool Production X EEE Hazardous Waste Combustors X FFF (Reserved) GGG Pharmaceuticals Production X HHH Natural Gas Transmission and Storage Facilities X III Flexible Polyurethane Foam Production X JJJ Group IV Polymers and Resins X KKK (Reserved) LLL Portland Cement Manufacturing X MMM Pesticide Active Ingredient Production X NNN Wool Fiberglass Manufacturing X OOO Amino/Phenolic Resins X PPP Polyether Polyols Production X QQQ Primary Copper Smelting X RRR Secondary Aluminum Production X SSS (Reserved) TTT Primary Lead Smelting X UUU Petroleum Refineries—Catalytic Cracking Units, Catalytic Reforming Units and Sulfur Recovery Plants X VVV Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) X WWW (Reserved) XXX Ferroalloys Production: Ferromanganese and Silicomanganese X AAAA Municipal Solid Waste Landfills X CCCC Nutritional Yeast Manufacturing X DDDD Plywood and Composite Wood Products X EEEE Organic Liquids Distribution X FFFF Misc. Organic Chemical Production and Processes (MON) X GGGG Solvent Extraction for Vegetable Oil Production X HHHH Wet Formed Fiberglass Mat Production X IIII Auto & Light Duty Truck (Surface Coating) X JJJJ Paper and other Web (Surface Coating) X KKKK Metal Can (Surface Coating) X MMMM Misc. Metal Parts and Products (Surface Coating) X NNNN Surface Coating of Large Appliances X OOOO Fabric Printing Coating and Dyeing X PPPP Plastic Parts (Surface Coating) X QQQQ Surface Coating of Wood Building Products X RRRR Surface Coating of Metal Furniture X SSSS Surface Coating for Metal Coil X TTTT Leather Finishing Operations X UUUU Cellulose Production Manufacture X VVVV Boat Manufacturing X WWWW Reinforced Plastic Composites Production X XXXX Tire Manufacturing X YYYY Combustion Turbines X ZZZZ Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines (RICE) X AAAAA Lime Manufacturing Plants X BBBBB Semiconductor Manufacturing X CCCCC Coke Ovens: Pushing, Quenching and Battery Stacks X DDDDD Industrial/Commercial/Institutional Boilers and Process Heaters Major Sources X EEEEE Iron Foundries X FFFFF Integrated Iron and Steel X GGGGG Site Remediation X HHHHH Miscellaneous Coating Manufacturing X IIIII Mercury Cell Chlor-Alkali Plants X JJJJJ Brick and Structural Clay Products Manufacturing X KKKKK Clay Ceramics Manufacturing X LLLLL Asphalt Roofing and Processing X MMMMM Flexible Polyurethane Foam Fabrication Operation X NNNNN Hydrochloric Acid Production, Fumed Silica Production X OOOOO (Reserved) PPPPP Engine Test Facilities X QQQQQ Friction Products Manufacturing X RRRRR Taconite Iron Ore Processing X SSSSS Refractory Products Manufacture X TTTTT Primary Magnesium Refining X 1 Program delegated to Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ). 2 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. 3 The ODEQ has adopted this 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 D.C. Court's holding, this subpart is not delegated to ODEQ at this time.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03803 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 42 CFR Parts 411, 412, 416, 419, 422, 423, and 424 [CMS-1613-CN] RIN 0938-AS15 Medicare and Medicaid Programs: Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Systems and Quality Reporting Programs; Physician-Owned Hospitals: Data Sources for Expansion Exception; Physician Certification of Inpatient Hospital Services; Medicare Advantage Organizations and Part D Sponsors: CMS-Identified Overpayments Associated With Submitted Payment Data; Corrections AGENCY:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS.

    ACTION:

    Correction of final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This document corrects technical errors that appeared in the final rule with comment period published in the Federal Register on November 10, 2014, entitled “Medicare and Medicaid Programs: Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Systems and Quality Reporting Programs; Physician-Owned Hospitals: Data Sources for Expansion Exception; Physician Certification of Inpatient Hospital Services; Medicare Advantage Organizations and Part D Sponsors: CMS-Identified Overpayments Associated with Submitted Payment Data.”

    DATES:

    Effective Date: This document is effective February 24, 2015.

    Applicability Date: The corrections noted in this document and posted on the CMS Web site are applicable to payments for services furnished on or after January 1, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Rice, (410) 786-6004, hospital outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) issues.

    Esther Markowitz, (410) 786-4595, ambulatory surgical center (ASC) payment issues.

    Marjorie Baldo, (410) 786-4617, OPPS issues related to status indicators (SI) and ambulatory payment classification (APC) changes.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    In FR Doc. 2014-26146 of November 10, 2014 (79 FR 66770) (hereinafter referred to as the CY 2015 OPPS/ASC final rule with comment period), there were a number of technical errors that are discussed in the Summary of Errors, and further identified and corrected in the Correction of Errors section below. The provisions in this correction notice are applicable to payments for services furnished on or after January 1, 2015, and, therefore, are treated as if they had been included in the CY 2015 OPPS/ASC final rule with comment period (79 FR 66770) appearing in the November 10, 2014 Federal Register.

    II. Summary of Errors and Corrections Posted on the CMS Web site A. Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) Corrections

    In the CY 2015 OPPS/ASC final rule with comment period, for the OPPS cancer hospital payment adjustment (79 FR 66831 through 66832), we finalized a target payment-to-cost ratio (PCR) of 0.89. This target PCR is equal to the weighted average PCR for the other OPPS hospitals included in this dataset (see 79 FR 66832 for more details on the hospitals included in this dataset). Under our longstanding policy, outlier payments are included in the calculation of the weighted average PCR (or “target PCR”) for these hospitals. We have since determined that some outlier payments were not included in the cost report data we used to calculate the target PCR. We have corrected this error and included these outlier payments in the target PCR calculation, which results in a target PCR equal to 0.90 for each cancer hospital.

    In addition to identifying the error in calculating the target PCR because of missing outlier payments, we determined that certain outlier payments were similarly not included in our calculations for estimated cancer hospital PCRs. We have now corrected this error and included these outlier payments in determining the estimated cancer hospital PCRs. As a result of correcting these two technical errors, the estimated total cancer hospital payment adjustments, which are based on the difference between estimated cancer hospital PCRs and the target PCR is also being corrected in this notice. The revisions to the target PCR and estimated cancer hospital PCRs have decreased our estimate of total cancer hospital payment adjustments by $18.6 million.

    OPPS cancer hospital payment adjustment payments are budget neutral; therefore, we are updating the budget neutrality adjustment to the OPPS conversion factor for the differential in estimated total cancer hospital payment adjustments of $18.6 million. This additional $18.6 million increases the conversion factor from $74.144 to $74.173, which will slightly increase payment rates for most ambulatory payment classifications (APCs). These revised APC payment rates are reflected in the attached Addenda.

    We are also making technical corrections to certain healthcare common procedure coding system (HCPCS) codes that appeared in Table 36—HCPCS Codes to Which the CY 2015 Drug-Specific Packaging Determination Methodology Applies (79 FR 66889). Specifically, we are correcting the CY 2015 OPPS status indicators (SI) for HCPCS codes J1070, J1080, J2271, J3120, and J3130 from “N” to “D” to accurately indicate that these codes were deleted on December 31, 2014, and should not have appeared in Table 36. These codes were correctly assigned to OPPS SI “D” in the OPPS Addendum B that was released with the CY 2015 OPPS/ASC final rule. In addition, HCPCS codes J1440 and J1441 were deleted on December 31, 2013, and should not have appeared in Table 36. HCPCS codes J1440 and J1441 were not listed in the OPPS Addendum B that was released with the CY 2015 OPPS/ASC final rule.

    Also, in Addendum B of the CY 2015 OPPS/ASC final rule with comment period, HCPCS code J7180 (Factor xiii anti-hem factor) was incorrectly assigned a status indicator “N”. Because HCPCS code J7180 is a separately payable drug, we have corrected this error and assigned status indicator “K” and APC 1416. This correction is included in the revised OPPS Addendum B which is posted to the CMS Web site at http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/HospitalOutpatientPPS/Hospital-Outpatient-Regulations-and-Notices.html.

    B. Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System Corrections

    ASC payment rates are based on the OPPS relative payment weights for the majority of covered surgical procedures and covered ancillary services. For some items, such as device-intensive procedures, the ASC payment rates also take into account the OPPS conversion factor and payment rates. Therefore, corrections to the CY 2015 OPPS conversion factor and payment rates affect the CY 2015 ASC payment rates.

    To account for geographic wage variation, individual ASC payments are adjusted by applying the pre-floor and pre-reclassified inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) hospital wage indexes to the labor-related share, which is 50 percent of the ASC payment amount. In other words, the wage index for an ASC is the pre-floor and pre-reclassified IPPS hospital wage index of the CBSA that maps to the CBSA where the ASC is located. The FY 2015 IPPS hospital wage indexes reflect new Office of Management and Budget (OMB) labor market area delineations; therefore, the CY 2015 final ASC wage indexes reflect the new OMB delineations. However, as described in the CY 2015 OPPS/ASC final rule (79 FR 66935 through 66937), we finalized a policy to apply a one-year blended wage index for all ASCs that will experience any decrease in their actual wage index exclusively due to the implementation of the new OMB delineations. Specifically, for ASCs where the CY 2015 ASC wage index with the CY 2015 Core-Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs) is lower than with the CY 2014 CBSAs, the CY 2015 ASC wage index is 50 percent of the ASC wage index based on the CY 2014 CBSA and 50 percent of the ASC wage index based on the new CY 2015 CBSA. We have since determined that the transitional wage index for CY 2015 was calculated incorrectly. We have now recalculated the CY 2015 ASC wage index per the policy finalized in the CY 2015 OPPS/ASC final rule with comment period.

    Due to these corrections, the final CY 2015 ASC wage index budget neutrality adjustment changes from 0.9998, as originally published (79 FR 66939 and 67023), to 0.9995. Using the final corrected wage index budget neutrality adjustment, the final CY 2015 ASC conversion factor changes from $44.071, as originally published (79 FR 66939, 66940, and 67023), to $44.058. The final CY 2015 ASC conversion factor for ASCs that do not meet the requirements of the ASC Quality Reporting Program changes from $43.202, as originally published (79 FR 66939), to $43.189.

    The final CY 2015 ASC rates and indicators for certain office-based covered surgical procedures and certain covered ancillary services were impacted due to corrections to the final CY 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) rates. We note that we expect to issue the CY 2015 MPFS corrections in a separate Federal Register document in the near future. For covered office-based surgical procedures, covered ancillary radiology services (except certain nuclear medicine procedures and radiology procedures that use contrast agents), and certain covered ancillary diagnostic tests, the payment rate is the lower of the amount calculated using the ASC standard ratesetting methodology and the MPFS nonfacility practice expense relative value unit-based amount effective January 1, 2015. The corrections discussed in the MPFS correcting document affected some of the final payment indicators and rates for these covered surgical procedures and covered ancillary services. As such, we have corrected these payment indicators and rates based upon the MPFS corrections discussed in the MPFS correcting document. As stated in the preamble and addenda to the CY 2015 OPPS/ASC final rule with comment period (79 FR 66922, 66923, 66931, 66934, and 66939), the ASC payment indicators and rates do not include the effect of the negative update to the MPFS payment rates effective April 1, 2015 under current law. Updates to the ASC rates and payment indicators effective April 1, 2015 will be included in the April 2015 quarterly ASC addenda posted on the CMS Web site.

    C. Summary of Errors and Corrections to the OPPS and ASC Addenda Posted on the CMS Web site 1. OPPS Addenda Posted on the CMS Web site

    We are making several minor technical corrections to the OPPS addenda. First, as a result of the cancer hospital payment adjustment correction and subsequent budget neutrality adjustment corrections, we have updated Addenda A, B, and C to reflect corrected APC payment rates.

    Secondly, CPT codes 88342, 88344, and 88366, were incorrectly assigned to OPPS SI “E” and “N”. Because these services may be separately payable in certain instances, we have corrected this error. Specifically, we are correcting the OPPS SI and APC assignments for CPT code 88342 to “Q1” and APC 0433; for CPT code 88344 to “Q1” and APC 0433; and for CPT code 88366 to “Q1” and APC 0342. We have updated OPPS Addendum B to reflect these corrected SIs.

    Further, the 24 codes listed below were assigned to incorrect OPPS SIs. The correct OPPS SIs are listed in the table below. Because these changes were too late to include in the January 2015 Integrated Outpatient Code Editor (IOCE), they will be included in the April 2015 IOCE update retroactive to January 1, 2015.

    HCPCS code Short descriptor CY 2015
  • OPPS SI
  • CY 2015
  • OPPS APC
  • 0356T Insrt drug device for iop Q1 0698 86592 Syphilis test non-trep qual A 86593 Syphilis test non-trep quant A 86631 Chlamydia antibody A 86632 Chlamydia igm antibody A 86780 Treponema pallidum A 87110 Chlamydia culture A 87270 Chlamydia trachomatis ag if A 87320 Chylmd trach ag eia A 87341 Hepatitis b surface ag eia A 87490 Chylmd trach dna dir probe A 87491 Chylmd trach dna amp probe A 87590 N.gonorrhoeae dna dir prob A 87591 N.gonorrhoeae dna amp prob A 87800 Detect agnt mult dna direc A 87810 Chylmd trach assay w/optic A 87850 N. gonorrhoeae assay w/optic A 88380 Microdissection laser N 88381 Microdissection manual N 88387 Tiss exam molecular study N 93895 Carotid intima atheroma eval E G0461 Immunohisto/cyto chem 1st st D G0462 Immunohisto/cyto chem add D V2760 Scratch resistant coating E V2762 Polarization, any lens E V2786 Occupational multifocal lens E V2797 Vis item/svc in other code E

    We are correcting the OPPS SI for CPT code 0356T to “Q1” since this is the SI assigned to APC 0698. In addition, we are correcting the OPPS SI for CPT codes 86592 through 87850 to “A” to indicate that these preventive services are paid separately in another Medicare payment system other than the OPPS. Further, we are correcting the OPPS SI for CPT codes 88380, 88381, and 88387 to “N” to indicate that these services are packaged. We are also correcting the OPPS SI for CPT code 93895 to “E” to indicate that this service is non-covered. We are correcting the OPPS SI for HCPCS codes G0461 and G0462 to “D” to indicate that these codes were deleted on December 31, 2014. Also, we are correcting the OPPS SI for HCPCS codes V2760, V2762, V2786, and V2797 to “E” to indicate that these items are non-covered under the OPPS.

    To view the corrected CY 2015 OPPS payment rates that result from these technical corrections, we refer readers to the Addenda and supporting files that are posted on the CMS Web site at: http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/HospitalOutpatientPPS/index.html. Select “CMS-1613-CN” from the list of regulations. All corrected Addenda for this correcting document are contained in the zipped folder titled “2015 OPPS Final Rule Addenda” at the bottom of the page for CMS-1613-CN.

    2. Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System Addenda Posted on the CMS Web site

    As a result of the technical corrections described in Section II.B. and IV. of this correction notice, we have updated Addenda AA and BB to reflect the final corrected payment rates and indicators for CY 2015 for ASC covered surgical procedures and covered ancillary services. To view the corrected final CY 2015 ASC payment rates and indicators that result from these technical corrections, we refer readers to the Addenda and supporting files that are posted on the CMS Web site at: http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/ASCPayment/ASC-Regulations-and-Notices.html. Select “CMS-1613-CN” from the list of regulations. All corrected ASC addenda for this correcting document are contained in the zipped folder entitled “Addendum AA, BB, DD1, DD2, and EE” at the bottom of the page for CMS-1613-CN. The corrected final CY 2015 ASC wage index file and updated public use files are also posted on this Web page.

    III. Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking, 60-Day Comment Period, and Delay of Effective Date

    Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), the agency is required to publish a notice of the proposed rule in the Federal Register before the provisions of a rule take effect. Similarly, section 1871(b)(1) of the Act requires the Secretary to provide for notice of the proposed rule in the Federal Register and provide a period of not less than 60 days for public comment. In addition, section 553(d) of the APA, and section 1871(e)(1)(B)(i) of the Act mandate a 30-day delay in effective date after issuance or publication of a rule. Sections 553(b)(B) and 553(d)(3) of the APA provide for exceptions from the notice and comment and delay in effective date APA requirements; in cases in which these exceptions apply, sections 1871(b)(2)(C) and 1871(e)(1)(B)(ii) of the Act provide exceptions from the notice and 60-day comment period and delay in effective date requirements of the Act as well. Section 553(b)(B) of the APA and section 1871(b)(2)(C) of the Act authorize an agency to dispense with normal rulemaking requirements for good cause if the agency makes a finding that the notice and comment process are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest. In addition, both section 553(d)(3) of the APA and section 1871(e)(1)(B)(ii) of the Act allow the agency to avoid the 30-day delay in effective date where such delay is contrary to the public interest and an agency includes a statement of support.

    In our view, this correcting document does not constitute a rulemaking that would be subject to these requirements. This correcting document corrects technical errors in the preamble, addenda, payment rates, and tables included or referenced in the CY 2015 OPPS/ASC final rule with comment period. The corrections contained in this document are consistent with, and do not make substantive changes to, the policies and payment methodologies that were adopted subjected to notice and comment procedures in the CY 2015 OPPS/ASC final rule with comment period. As a result, the corrections made through this correcting document are intended to ensure that the CY 2015 OPPS/ASC final rule with comment period accurately reflects the policies adopted in that rule.

    Even if this were a rulemaking to which the notice and comment and delayed effective date requirements applied, we find that there is good cause to waive such requirements. Undertaking further notice and comment procedures to incorporate the corrections in this document into the CY 2015 OPPS/ASC final rule with comment period or delaying the effective date would be contrary to the public interest because it is in the public's interest for providers and suppliers to receive appropriate payments in as timely a manner as possible, and to ensure that the CY 2015 OPPS/ASC final rule with comment period accurately reflects our policies as of the date they take effect and are applicable. Further, such procedures would be unnecessary, because we are not altering the payment methodologies or policies, but rather, we are simply correctly implementing the policies that we previously proposed, received comment on, and subsequently finalized. This correcting document is intended solely to ensure that the CY 2015 OPPS/ASC final rule with comment period accurately reflects these payment methodologies and policies. For these reasons, we believe we have good cause to waive the notice and comment and effective date requirements.

    IV. Correction of Errors

    In FR Doc. 2014-26146 of November 10, 2014 (79 FR 66770), make the following corrections:

    Correction of Errors in the Preamble

    1. On page 66776, second column, second bullet, lines 11 and 17, the figure “0.89” is corrected to read “0.90”.

    2. On page 66777, third column, first paragraph under column heading (4), line 11, the figure “2.3” is corrected to read “2.4”.

    3. On page 66825,

    a. Second column,

    (1) First partial paragraph, lines 6 through 14, remove the last two sentences of the paragraph and add the following sentence in its place: “The CY 2015 estimated cancer hospital payment adjustments result in a budget neutral adjustment factor of 1.0004 to the conversion factor for the cancer hospital payment adjustment.”

    (2) Second full paragraph,

    (a) Line 17, the figure “$72.692” is corrected to read “$72.690”.

    (b) Line 19, the figure “−$1.484” is corrected to read “−$1.483”.

    b. Third column,

    (1) First full paragraph, line 13, the figure “$72.661” is corrected to read “$72.690”.

    (2) Last paragraph, line 10, the figure “$74.144” is corrected to read “$74.173”.

    4. On page 66826, first column, first partial paragraph,

    (a) Line 2, the figure “1.0000” is corrected to read “1.0004”.

    (b) Line 7, the figure “$74.144” is corrected to read “$74.173”.

    5. On page 66832,

    a. First column, first partial paragraph,

    (1) Line 3, the figure “89” is corrected to read “90”.

    (2) Lines 5 and 11, the figure “0.89” is corrected to read “0.90”.

    b. Second column,

    (1) First partial paragraph, line 4, the figure “0.89” is corrected to read “0.90”.

    (2) First full paragraph, lines 4 and 9, the figure “0.89 is corrected to read “0.90”.

    c. Third column, first partial paragraph,

    (1) Line 3, the figure “89” is corrected to read “90”.

    (2) Lines 5 and 11, the figure “0.89” is corrected to read “0.90”.

    d. Table 14—Estimated CY 2015 Hospital-Specific Payment Adjustment For Cancer Hospitals To Be Provided At Cost Report Settlement, the table is corrected to read as follows:

    Table 14—Estimated CY 2015 Hospital-Specific Payment Adjustment for Cancer Hospitals To Be Provided at Cost Report Settlement Provider No. Hospital name Estimated
  • percentage
  • increase in
  • OPPS Payments
  • for CY 2015
  • 050146 City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center 16.1 050660 USC Norris Cancer Hospital 23.2 100079 Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center 12.7 100271 H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute 20.5 220162 Dana-Farber Cancer Institute 47.3 330154 Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center 42.4 330354 Roswell Park Cancer Institute 19.2 360242 James Cancer Hospital & Solove Research Institute 32.7 390196 Fox Chase Cancer Center 19.7 450076 M.D. Anderson Cancer Center 49.4 500138 Seattle Cancer Care Alliance 43.6

    6. On page 66889, Table 36—HCPCS Codes To Which The CY 2015 Drug-Specific Packaging Determination Methodology Applies, the table is corrected to read as follows:

    Table 36—HCPCS Codes to Which the CY 2015 Drug-Specific Packaging Determination Methodology Applies CY 2015 HCPCS code CY 2015 long descriptor CY 2015 SI C9257 Injection, bevacizumab, 0.25 mg K J9035 Injection, bevacizumab, 10 mg K J1020 Injection, methylprednisolone acetate, 20 mg N J1030 Injection, methylprednisolone acetate, 40 mg N J1040 Injection, methylprednisolone acetate, 80 mg N J1460 Injection, gamma globulin, intramuscular, 1 cc N J1560 Injection, gamma globulin, intramuscular over 10 cc N J1642 Injection, heparin sodium, (heparin lock flush), per 10 units N J1644 Injection, heparin sodium, per 1000 units N J1840 Injection, kanamycin sulfate, up to 500 mg N J1850 Injection, kanamycin sulfate, up to 75 mg N J2270 Injection, morphine sulfate, up to 10 mg N J2788 Injection, rho d immune globulin, human, minidose, 50 micrograms (250 i.u.) N J2790 Injection, rho d immune globulin, human, full dose, 300 micrograms (1500 i.u.) N J2920 Injection, methylprednisolone sodium succinate, up to 40 mg N J2930 Injection, methylprednisolone sodium succinate, up to 125 mg N J3471 Injection, hyaluronidase, ovine, preservative free, per 1 usp unit (up to 999 usp units) N J3472 Injection, hyaluronidase, ovine, preservative free, per 1000 usp units N J7030 Infusion, normal saline solution , 1000 cc N J7040 Infusion, normal saline solution, sterile (500 ml = 1 unit) N J7050 Infusion, normal saline solution , 250 cc N J7502 Cyclosporine, oral, 100 mg N J7515 Cyclosporine, oral, 25 mg N J8520 Capecitabine, oral, 150 mg K J8521 Capecitabine, oral, 500 mg K J9250 Methotrexate sodium, 5 mg N J9260 Methotrexate sodium, 50 mg N

    7. On page 66917, third column, remove the first full paragraph and add the following paragraph in its place: “For the new Category III CPT codes implemented in July 2014 through the quarterly update CR, as shown below in Table 43, we are not finalizing the “Z2” payment indicator that we proposed for CPT codes 0348T, 0349T, and 0350T or the “R2” payment indicator that we proposed for CPT code 0356T. For CY 2015, these codes will be conditionally packaged under the OPPS when provided with a significant procedure (status indicator “Q1”). With the exception of device removal procedures (as discussed in section XII.D.1.b. of this final rule with comment period), HCPCS codes that are conditionally packaged under the OPPS are always packaged (payment indicator “N1”) under the ASC payment system. Therefore, the final CY 2015 ASC payment indicator for CPT codes 0348T, 0349T, 0350T, and 0356T is “N1” for CY 2015.

    8. On page 66918, Table 43—New Category III CPT Codes for Covered Surgical Procedures or Covered Ancillary Services Implemented in July 2014, the table is corrected to read as follows:

    Table 43—New Category III CPT Codes for Covered Surgical Procedures or Covered Ancillary Services Implemented in July 2014 CY 2014
  • CPT code
  • CY 2015
  • CPT code
  • CY 2015 long descriptor Final CY 2015
  • ASC payment indicator
  • 0348T 0348T Radiologic examination, radiostereometric analysis (RSA); spine, (includes, cervical, thoracic and lumbosacral, when performed) N1 0349T 0349T Radiologic examination, radiostereometric analysis (RSA); upper extremity(ies), (includes shoulder, elbow and wrist, when performed) N1 0350T 0350T Radiologic examination, radiostereometric analysis (RSA); lower extremity(ies), (includes hip, proximal femur, knee and ankle, when performed) N1 0356T 0356T Insertion of drug-eluting implant (including punctal dilation and implant removal when performed) into lacrimal canaliculus, each N1 N1 = Packaged service/item; no separate payment made.

    9. On page 66939,

    a. Second column, last paragraph, line 10, the figure “0.9998” is corrected to read “0.9995”.

    b. Third column, first partial paragraph,

    (1) Line 6, the figure “$44.071” is corrected to read “$44.058”.

    (2) Line 11, the figure “0.9998” is corrected to read “0.9995”.

    (3) Line 21, the figure “$43.202” is corrected to read “$43.189”.

    (4) Line 26, the figure “0.9998” is corrected to read “0.9995”.

    10. On page 66940, first column, second full paragraph, line 6, the figure “$44.071” is corrected to read “$44.058”.

    11. On page 66962, second column, first full paragraph,

    a. Line 12, the figure “$72.661” is corrected to read “$72.690”.

    b. Line 14, the figure “$74.144” is corrected to read “$74.173”.

    12. On page 67019,

    a. Second column, first paragraph,

    (1) Line 3, the figure “(4,006)” is corrected to read “(4,007)”.

    (2) Line 31, the figure “(3,871)” is corrected to read “(3,782)”.

    b. Third column, remove the entire fourth paragraph, which begins with “There is no difference in impact” and add the following paragraph in its place: “The impacts reflect slightly smaller total cancer hospital payment adjustments as a result of the updated target PCR and updated estimated cancer hospital PCRs for 2015.”

    13. On page 67020,

    a. First column, first full paragraph under column 5 heading,

    (1) Line 10, the figures “3.4 and 4.2” are corrected to read “3.5 and 4.3” respectively. (2) Line 14, the figure “3.2” is corrected to read “3.3”.

    b. Second column, first partial paragraph, line 9, the figure “$74.144” is corrected to read “$74.173”.

    c. Third column,

    (1) First partial paragraph, last line, the figure “2.3” is corrected to read “2.4”.

    (2) First full paragraph, line 11, the figures “0.9 to 2.1” are corrected to read “1.0 to 2.2” respectively.

    (3) Second full paragraph, line 4, the figure “3.1” is corrected to read “3.2”.

    (4) Last paragraph,

    (a) Line 7, the figure “1.7” is corrected to read “1.8”.

    (b) Line 9, the figure “2.1” is corrected to read “2.2”.

    14. On pages 67020 through 67022, Table 49—Estimated Impact of the CY 2015 Changes for the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System, the table is corrected to read as follows:

    Table 49—Estimated Impact of the Proposed CY 2015 Changes for the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System Number of hospitals APC
  • recalibration
  • (all changes)
  • New wage index and
  • provider
  • adjustments
  • All budget neutral changes
  • (combined cols 2, 3) with market basket update
  • All budget neutral changes and update
  • (column 4) with frontier wage index adjustment
  • All changes
    (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) ALL FACILITIES * 4,007 0.0 0.0 2.2 2.3 2.3 ALL HOSPITALS 3,872 0.0 0.0 2.3 2.4 2.3 (excludes hospitals permanently held harmless and CMHCs) URBAN HOSPITALS 3,008 0.0 0.0 2.3 2.4 2.4 LARGE URBAN (GT 1 MILL.) 1,646 0.1 0.2 2.5 2.5 2.6 OTHER URBAN (LE 1 MILL.) 1,362 0.0 −0.1 2.1 2.3 2.1 RURAL HOSPITALS 863 0.0 −0.3 1.9 2.2 1.9 SOLE COMMUNITY 376 0.1 −0.2 2.2 2.6 2.2 OTHER RURAL 487 −0.2 −0.3 1.7 1.7 1.6 BEDS (URBAN): 0-99 BEDS 1,067 0.0 0.0 2.3 2.5 2.3 100-199 BEDS 856 0.0 0.0 2.2 2.3 2.3 200-299 BEDS 458 −0.1 0.1 2.3 2.4 2.3 300-499 BEDS 410 −0.1 0.1 2.3 2.4 2.3 500 + BEDS 217 0.3 −0.1 2.5 2.4 2.5 BEDS (RURAL): 0-49 BEDS 345 0.1 −0.2 2.2 2.4 2.2 50-100 BEDS 315 0.3 −0.3 2.3 2.5 2.2 101-149 BEDS 116 −0.3 −0.1 1.9 2.1 1.8 150-199 BEDS 46 −0.4 −0.4 1.4 2.2 1.5 200 + BEDS 41 −0.3 −0.4 1.6 1.5 1.5 VOLUME (URBAN): LT 5,000 Lines 544 −1.7 −0.3 0.3 0.5 0.5 5,000-10,999 Lines 135 −0.8 −0.2 1.3 1.4 1.4 11,000-20,999 Lines 117 −1.5 0.0 0.7 1.2 0.9 21,000-42,999 Lines 228 −0.7 0.0 1.6 1.5 1.6 42,999-89,999 Lines 526 −0.3 0.0 1.9 2.0 2.0 GT 89,999 Lines 1,458 0.1 0.0 2.4 2.5 2.4 VOLUME (RURAL): LT 5,000 Lines 34 −3.8 −0.3 −1.8 1.1 −2.0 5,000-10,999 Lines 27 −1.8 −0.5 −0.1 1.1 0.0 11,000-20,999 Lines 42 −1.1 −0.3 0.9 0.9 1.0 21,000-42,999 Lines 161 0.2 −0.3 2.2 2.8 2.2 GT 42,999 Lines 599 0.0 −0.3 2.0 2.2 1.9 REGION (URBAN): NEW ENGLAND 152 1.1 0.2 3.5 3.5 3.5 MIDDLE ATLANTIC 361 0.5 0.5 3.2 3.2 3.3 SOUTH ATLANTIC 482 −0.2 −0.3 1.8 1.7 1.8 EAST NORTH CENT. 473 0.1 −0.1 2.2 2.2 2.2 EAST SOUTH CENT. 179 −0.9 −0.5 0.9 0.9 0.9 WEST NORTH CENT. 194 0.0 −0.2 2.0 3.3 2.1 WEST SOUTH CENT. 527 −0.7 −0.5 1.1 1.0 1.1 MOUNTAIN 203 0.0 −0.1 2.2 2.5 2.2 PACIFIC 389 0.3 1.1 3.7 3.6 3.7 PUERTO RICO 48 −0.4 0.3 2.1 2.1 2.0 REGION (RURAL): NEW ENGLAND 23 1.6 −0.1 3.7 3.6 3.7 MIDDLE ATLANTIC 58 0.8 0.2 3.3 3.3 3.2 SOUTH ATLANTIC 130 −0.6 −0.5 1.1 1.1 1.0 EAST NORTH CENT 120 0.0 0.0 2.2 2.2 2.2 EAST SOUTH CENT 165 −0.8 −0.5 1.0 1.0 0.9 WEST NORTH CENT 101 0.2 −0.2 2.2 3.5 2.2 WEST SOUTH CENT 181 −0.7 −0.8 0.8 0.7 0.7 MOUNTAIN 61 0.7 −0.4 2.5 4.3 2.7 PACIFIC 24 0.8 0.9 4.0 4.0 3.9 TEACHING STATUS: NON-TEACHING 2,839 −0.2 0.0 2.0 2.1 2.0 MINOR 706 −0.2 −0.1 2.0 2.2 2.0 MAJOR 326 0.7 0.1 3.1 3.1 3.2 DSH PATIENT PERCENT: 0 21 0.0 0.3 2.6 2.6 2.6 GT 0-0.10 328 0.3 0.2 2.7 2.8 2.7 0.10-0.16 334 0.1 0.0 2.4 2.5 2.4 0.16-0.23 680 0.1 0.0 2.3 2.4 2.3 0.23-0.35 1,076 0.0 0.0 2.2 2.4 2.2 GE 0.35 824 0.1 0.1 2.3 2.3 2.5 DSH NOT AVAILABLE ** 608 −3.6 0.0 −1.4 −1.3 −1.4 URBAN TEACHING/DSH: TEACHING & DSH 938 0.2 0.0 2.5 2.6 2.5 NO TEACHING/DSH 1,477 −0.2 0.1 2.1 2.2 2.1 NO TEACHING/NO DSH 18 −0.1 0.4 2.5 2.5 2.5 DSH NOT AVAILABLE ** 575 −3.3 0.1 −0.9 −0.9 −1.0 TYPE OF OWNERSHIP: VOLUNTARY 2,006 0.1 0.0 2.4 2.5 2.4 PROPRIETARY 1,322 −0.4 −0.1 1.7 1.9 1.8 GOVERNMENT 543 −0.1 −0.1 2.1 2.1 2.2 CMHCs 72 0.0 −0.5 1.8 1.8 1.3 Column (1) shows the total number of hospitals and/or CMHCs. Column (2) shows the impact of all final CY 2015 OPPS APC policies and compares those to the CY 2014 OPPS. Column (3) shows the budget neutral impact of updating the wage index by applying the final FY 2015 hospital inpatient wage index, including all hold harmless policies and transitional wages. The final rural adjustment continues our current policy of 7.1 percent so the budget neutrality factor is 1. The budget neutrality adjustment for the cancer hospital adjustment is 1.004. Column (4) shows the impact of all budget neutrality adjustments and the addition of the proposed 2.2 percent OPD fee schedule update factor (2.9 percent reduced by 0.5 percentage points for the final productivity adjustment and further reduced by 0.2 percentage point in order to satisfy statutory requirements set forth in the Affordable Care Act). Column (5) shows the impact of all budget neutral changes and the non-budget neutral impact of applying the frontier State wage adjustment in CY 2015. Column (6) shows the additional adjustments to the conversion factor resulting from a change in the pass-through estimate, adding estimated outlier payments, and applying payment wage indexes. * These 4,007 providers include children and cancer hospitals, which are held harmless to pre-BBA amounts, and CMHCs. ** Complete DSH numbers are not available for providers that are not paid under IPPS, including rehabilitation, psychiatric, and long-term care hospitals.

    15. On page 67022, second column, first full paragraph,

    a. Line 13, the figure “1.7” is corrected to read “1.8”.

    b. Line 16, the figure “1.7” is corrected to read “1.8”.

    c. Line 19, the figure “−0.4” is corrected to read “−0.5”.

    16. On page 67023, second column, first partial paragraph,

    a. Line 12, the figure “0.9998” is corrected to read “0.9995”.

    b. Last line, the figure “$44.071” is corrected to read “$44.058”.

    17. On page 67024, third column (top third of the page above Table 50), first partial paragraph, line 1, replace “9” with “11”.

    18. On pages 67024 through 67025, Table 51—Estimated Impact of the CY 2015 Update to the ASC Payment System on Aggregate Payments for Selected Procedures, the table is corrected to read as follows:

    Table 51—Estimated Impact of the CY 2015 Update to the ASC Payment System on Aggregate Payments for Selected Procedures CPT/HCPCS code Short descriptor Estimated CY 2014 ASC payments (in millions) Estimated CY 2015 percent change (1) (2) (3) (4) 66984 Cataract surg w/iol, 1 stage $1,131 −1 43239 Upper GI endoscopy, biopsy 170 11 45380 Colonoscopy and biopsy 167 7 45385 Lesion removal colonoscopy 107 7 66982 Cataract surgery, complex 93 −1 64483 Inj foramen epidural l/s 90 0 62311 Inject spine l/s (cd) 79 0 45378 Diagnostic colonoscopy 72 7 66821 After cataract laser surgery 63 3 64493 Inj paravert f jnt l/s 1 lev 47 0 G0105 Colorectal scrn; hi risk ind 45 1 64635 Destroy lumb/sac facet jnt 45 −5 63650 Implant neuroelectrodes 41 4 G0121 Colon ca scrn not hi rsk ind 41 1 64590 Insrt/redo pn/gastr stimul 38 −1 15823 Revision of upper eyelid 35 2 63685 Insrt/redo spine n generator 34 29 29827 Arthroscop rotator cuff repr 34 1 64721 Carpal tunnel surgery 32 −1 29881 Knee arthroscopy/surgery 30 −1 29824 Shoulder arthroscopy/surgery 27 1 29880 Knee arthroscopy/surgery 25 −1 43235 Uppr gi endoscopy diagnosis 23 10 62310 Inject spine c/t 23 0 29823 Shoulder arthroscopy/surgery 22 1 52000 Cystoscopy 22 1 G0260 Inj for sacroiliac jt anesth 21 0 45384 Lesion remove colonoscopy 21 7 67042 Vit for macular hole 21 1 26055 Incise finger tendon sheath 19 −2 Dated: February 18, 2015. C'Reda Weeden, Executive Secretary to the Department, Department of Health and Human Services.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03760 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 42 CFR Part 600 [CMS-2391-FN] RIN 0938-ZB18 Basic Health Program; Federal Funding Methodology for Program Year 2016 AGENCY:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS.

    ACTION:

    Final methodology.

    SUMMARY:

    This document provides the methodology and data sources necessary to determine federal payment amounts made in program year 2016 to states that elect to establish a Basic Health Program under the Affordable Care Act to offer health benefits coverage to low-income individuals otherwise eligible to purchase coverage through Affordable Insurance Exchanges.

    DATES:

    These regulations are effective on January 1, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher Truffer, (410) 786-1264; Stephanie Kaminsky (410) 786-4653.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Background II. Summary of Proposed Provisions and Analysis of and Responses to Public Comments on the Proposed Methodology A. Background B. Overview of the Funding Methodology and Calculation of the Payment Amount C. Required Rate Cells D. Sources and State Data Considerations E. Discussion of Specific Variables Used in Payment Equations F. Adjustments for American Indians and Alaska Natives G. State Option to Use 2015 QHP Premiums for BHP Payments H. State Option To Include Retrospective State-Specific Health Risk Adjustment in Certified Methodology III. Provisions of the Final Methodology A. Overview of the Funding Methodology and Calculation of the Payment Amount B. Federal BHP Payment Rate Cells C. Sources and State Data Considerations D. Discussion of Specific Variables Used in Payment Equations E. Adjustments for American Indians and Alaska Natives F. State Option To Use 2015 QHP Premiums for BHP Payments G. State Option To Include Retrospective State-Specific Health Risk Adjustment in Certified Methodology IV. Collection of Information Requirements V. Regulatory Impact Statement A. Overall Impact B. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act C. Regulatory Flexibility Act D. Federalism Acronyms

    To assist the reader, the following acronyms are used in this document.

    ΔAV Change in Actuarial Value APTC Advance payment of the premium tax credit ARP Adjusted reference premium AV Actuarial value BHP Basic Health Program CCIIO CMS' Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CHIP Children's Health Insurance Program CPI-U Consumer price index for all urban consumers CSR Cost-sharing reduction EHB Essential Health Benefit FPL Federal poverty line FRAC Factor for removing administrative costs IRF Income reconciliation factor IRS Internal Revenue Service IUF Induced utilization factor QHP Qualified health plan OTA Office of Tax Analysis [of the U.S. Department of Treasury] PHF Population health factor PTC Premium tax credit PTCF Premium tax credit formula PTF Premium trend factor RP Reference premium SBM State Based Marketplace TRAF Tobacco rating adjustment factor I. Background

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Pub. L. 111-148, enacted on March 23, 2010), together with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-152, enacted on March 30, 2010) (collectively referred as the Affordable Care Act) provides for the establishment of Affordable Insurance Exchanges (Exchanges, also called the Health Insurance Marketplace) that provide access to affordable health insurance coverage offered by qualified health plans (QHPs). Individuals who enroll, or whose family member enrolls, in a QHP cannot be eligible for health coverage under other federally supported health benefits programs or through affordable employer-sponsored insurance coverage and have incomes above 100 percent but no more than 400 percent of the federal poverty line (FPL), or have income below that level but be lawfully present non-citizens ineligible for Medicaid because of immigration status. Individuals enrolled through Marketplaces in coverage offered by QHPs may qualify for the federal premium tax credit (PTC) or federally-funded cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) based on their household income, to make coverage affordable.

    In the states that elect to operate a Basic Health Program (BHP), BHP will make affordable health benefits coverage available for individuals under age 65 with household incomes between 133 percent and 200 percent of the FPL who are not otherwise eligible for Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or affordable employer-sponsored coverage. (For those states that have expanded Medicaid coverage under section 1902(a)(10)(A)(i)(VIII) of the Social Security Act (the Act), the lower income threshold for BHP eligibility is effectively 138 percent due to the application of a required 5 percent income disregard in determining the upper limits of Medicaid income eligibility (section 1902(e)(14)(I) of the Act).) Federal funding will be available for BHP based on the amount of PTC and CSRs that BHP enrollees would have received had they been enrolled in QHPs through Marketplaces.

    In the March 12, 2014 Federal Register (79 FR 14112), we published a final rule entitled the “Basic Health Program; State Administration of Basic Health Programs; Eligibility and Enrollment in Standard Health Plans; Essential Health Benefits in Standard Health Plans; Performance Standards for Basic Health Programs; Premium and Cost Sharing for Basic Health Programs; Federal Funding Process; Trust Fund and Financial Integrity” (hereinafter referred to as the BHP final rule) implementing section 1331 of the Affordable Care Act), which directs the establishment of BHP. The BHP final rule establishes the standards for state and federal administration of BHP, including provisions regarding eligibility and enrollment, benefits, cost-sharing requirements and oversight activities. While the BHP final rule codifies the overall statutory requirements and basic procedural framework for the funding methodology, it does not contain the specific information necessary to determine federal payments. We anticipated that the methodology would be based on data and assumptions that would reflect ongoing operations and experience of BHP programs, as well as the operation of the Marketplaces. For this reason, the BHP final rule indicated that the development and publication of the funding methodology, including any data sources, would be addressed in a separate annual BHP Payment Notice.

    In the BHP final rule, we specified that the BHP Payment Notice process would include the annual publication of both a proposed and final BHP Payment Notice. The proposed BHP Payment Notice would be published in the Federal Register each October, and would describe the proposed methodology for the upcoming BHP program year, including how the Secretary considered the factors specified in section 1331(d)(3) of the Affordable Care Act, along with the proposed data sources used to determine the federal BHP payment rates. The final BHP Payment Notice would be published in the Federal Register in February, and would include the final BHP funding methodology, as well as the federal BHP payment rates for the next BHP program year. For example, payment rates published in February 2015 would apply to BHP program year 2016, beginning in January 2016. As discussed in section III.C of this methodology, state data needed to calculate the federal BHP payment rates for the final BHP Payment Notice must be submitted to CMS.

    As described in the BHP final rule, once the final methodology has been published, we will only make modifications to the BHP funding methodology on a prospective basis with limited exceptions. The BHP final rule provided that retrospective adjustments to the state's BHP payment amount may occur to the extent that the prevailing BHP funding methodology for a given program year permits adjustments to a state's federal BHP payment amount due to insufficient data for prospective determination of the relevant factors specified in the payment notice. Additional adjustments could be made to the payment rates to correct errors in applying the methodology (such as mathematical errors).

    Under section 1331(d)(3)(ii) of the Affordable Care Act, the funding methodology and payment rates are expressed as an amount per BHP enrollee for each month of enrollment. These payment rates may vary based on categories or classes of enrollees. Actual payment to a state would depend on the actual enrollment in coverage through the state BHP. A state that is approved to implement BHP must provide data showing quarterly enrollment in the various federal BHP payment rate cells. The data submission requirements associated with this will be published subsequent to the proposed methodology.

    II. Summary of Proposed Provisions and Analysis of and Responses to Public Comments on the Proposed Methodology

    The following sections, arranged by subject area, include a summary of the public comments that we received, and our responses. For a complete and full description of the BHP proposed funding methodology, see the “Basic Health Program; Federal Funding Methodology for Program Year 2016” proposed methodology published in the October 23, 2014 Federal Register (79 FR 63363).

    We received a total of 3 timely comments from individuals and groups advocating on behalf of consumers and health care providers. The public comments received ranged from general support or opposition to the proposed methodology and BHP to specific comments regarding the proposed methodological factors.

    A. Background

    In the October 23, 2014 (79 FR 63363) proposed methodology, we specified the methodology of how the federal BHP payments would be calculated. For specific discussions, please refer to the October 23, 2014 proposed methodology (79 FR 63363).

    We received the following comments on the background information included in the proposed methodology:

    Comment: Some commenters expressed general opposition to BHP and the payment methodology.

    Response: The comments were outside the scope of the BHP program and payment methodology.

    Final Decision: After careful consideration of the public comments, we are finalizing our proposed methodology for how the federal BHP payments will be calculated.

    B. Overview of the Funding Methodology and Calculation of the Payment Amount

    We proposed in the overview of the funding methodology to calculate the PTC and CSR as consistently as possible and in general alignment with the methodology used by Marketplaces to calculate the advance payments of the PTC and CSR, and by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to calculate the final PTC. We proposed in this section four equations that comprise the overall BHP funding methodology. For specific discussions, please refer to the October 23, 2014 proposed methodology (79 FR 63363).

    We received no comments regarding the overview of the funding methodology and calculation of the payment amount. We are finalizing the BHP overview of the funding methodology and the payment amount for FY 2016.

    C. Required Rate Cells

    In this section, we proposed that a state implementing BHP provide us with an estimate of the number of BHP enrollees it will enroll in the upcoming BHP program, by applicable rate cell, to determine the federal BHP payment amounts. For each state, we proposed using rate cells that separate the BHP population into separate cells based on the following five factors: age; geographic rating area; coverage status; household size; and income. For specific discussions, please refer to the October 23, 2014 proposed methodology (79 FR 63363).

    We received the following comment on the proposed rate cells:

    Comment: One commenter expressed concern that defining geographic rating areas as counties would not capture potential differences in health care costs and qualified health plan premiums in different parts of the county, and recommended defining the rating area by zip code instead.

    Response: We believe that this is unlikely to have a significant impact on the federal BHP payment. In addition, we believe that it would make state operation of the program substantially more challenging.

    Final Decision: After careful consideration of the comments, we are finalizing the criteria and definitions of the rate cells to determine the federal BHP payment amounts for FY 2016.

    D. Sources and State Data Considerations

    We proposed in this section to use, to the extent possible, data submitted to the federal government by QHP issuers seeking to offer coverage through a Marketplace to determine the federal BHP payment cell rates. However, in states operating a State Based Marketplace (SBM), we proposed that such states submit required data for CMS to calculate the federal BHP payment rates in those states. For specific discussions, please refer to the October 23, 2014 proposed methodology (79 FR 63363).

    We did not receive any comments on the “Sources and State Data Considerations” section and are finalizing the BHP methodology as proposed.

    E. Discussion of Specific Variables Used in Payment Equations

    In this section, we proposed 11 specific variables to use in the payment equations that comprise the overall BHP funding methodology. (10 variables are described in section III.D of this document, and the premium trend factor is described in section III.F.) For each proposed variable, we included a discussion on the assumptions and data sources used in developing the variables. For specific discussions, please refer to the October 23, 2014 proposed methodology (79 FR 63363).

    We did not receive any comments on the “Specific Variables Used in Payment Equations” section and are finalizing the BHP methodology as proposed.

    F. Adjustments for American Indians and Alaska Natives

    We proposed to make several adjustments for American Indians and Alaska Natives when calculating the CSR portion of the federal BHP payment rate to be consistent with the Marketplace rules. For specific discussions, please refer to the October 23, 2014 proposed methodology (79 FR 63363).

    We did not receive any comments on the “Adjustments for American Indians and Alaska Natives” section and are finalizing the BHP methodology as proposed.

    G. State Option to Use 2015 QHP Premiums for BHP Payments

    In this section, we proposed to provide states implementing BHP with the option to use the 2015 QHP premiums multiplied by a premium trend factor to calculate the federal BHP payment rates instead of using the 2016 QHP premiums. For specific discussions, please refer to the October 23, 2014 proposed methodology (79 FR 63363).

    We did not receive any comments on the “State Option to Use 2015 QHP Premiums for BHP Payments” section and are finalizing the BHP methodology as proposed.

    H. State Option To Include Retrospective State-Specific Health Risk Adjustment in Certified Methodology

    In this section, we proposed to provide states implementing BHP the option to develop a methodology to account for the impact that including the BHP population in the Marketplace would have had on QHP premiums based on any differences in health status between the BHP population and persons enrolled through the Marketplace. For specific discussions, please refer to the October 23, 2014 proposed methodology (79 FR 63363).

    We did not receive any comments on the “State Option to Include Retrospective State-specific Health Risk Adjustment in Certified Methodology” section and are finalizing the BHP methodology as proposed.

    III. Provisions of the Final Methodology A. Overview of the Funding Methodology and Calculation of the Payment Amount

    Section 1331(d)(3) of the Affordable Care Act directs the Secretary to consider several factors when determining the federal BHP payment amount, which, as specified in the statute, must equal 95 percent of the value of the PTC and CSRs that BHP enrollees would have been provided had they enrolled in a QHP through a Marketplace. Thus, the BHP funding methodology is designed to calculate the PTC and CSRs as consistently as possible and in general alignment with the methodology used by Marketplaces to calculate the advance payments of the PTC and CSRs, and by the IRS to calculate final PTCs. In general, we rely on values for factors in the payment methodology specified in statute or other regulations as available, and we have developed values for other factors not otherwise specified in statute, or previously calculated in other regulations, to simulate the values of the PTC and CSRs that BHP enrollees would have received if they had enrolled in QHPs offered through a Marketplace. In accordance with section 1331(d)(3)(A)(iii) of the Affordable Care Act, the final funding methodology must be certified by CMS' Chief Actuary, in consultation with the Office of Tax Analysis (OTA) of the Department of the Treasury, as having met the requirements of section 1331(d)(3)(A)(ii) of the Affordable Care Act.

    Section 1331(d)(3)(A)(ii) of the Affordable Care Act specifies that the payment determination “shall take into account all relevant factors necessary to determine the value of the premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions that would have been provided to eligible individuals . . . including the age and income of the enrollee, whether the enrollment is for self-only or family coverage, geographic differences in average spending for health care across rating areas, the health status of the enrollee for purposes of determining risk adjustment payments and reinsurance payments that would have been made if the enrollee had enrolled in a qualified health plan through a Marketplace, and whether any reconciliation of the credit or cost-sharing reductions would have occurred if the enrollee had been so enrolled.” The payment methodology takes each of these factors into account. This methodology is the same as the 2015 payment methodology, with updated values but no changes in methods.

    We have developed a methodology that the total federal BHP payment amount would be based on multiple “rate cells” in each state. Each “rate cell” represents a unique combination of age range, geographic area, coverage category (for example, self-only or two-adult coverage through BHP), household size, and income range as a percentage of FPL. Thus, there are distinct rate cells for individuals in each coverage category within a particular age range who reside in a specific geographic area and are in households of the same size and income range. We note that the development of the BHP payment rates will be consistent with each state's rules on age rating. Thus, in the case of a state that does not use age as a rating factor on the Marketplace, the BHP payment rates would not vary by age.

    The rate for each rate cell will be calculated in two parts. The first part (as described in Equation (1)) will equal 95 percent of the estimated PTC that would have been paid if a BHP enrollee in that rate cell had instead enrolled in a QHP in the Marketplace. The second part (as described in Equation (2)) will equal 95 percent of the estimated CSR payment that would have been made if a BHP enrollee in that rate cell had instead enrolled in a QHP in the Marketplace. These 2 parts will be added together and the total rate for that rate cell will be equal to the sum of the PTC and CSR rates.

    To calculate the total federal BHP payment, Equation (1) will be used to calculate the estimated PTC for individuals in each rate cell and Equation (2) will be used to calculate the estimated CSR payments for individuals in each rate cell. By applying the equations separately to rate cells based on age, income and other factors, we effectively take those factors into account in the calculation. In addition, the equations take into account additional relevant variables that are needed to determine the estimated PTC and CSR payments for individuals in each rate cell. Each of the variables in the equations is defined below, and further detail is provided later in this section of the payment notice.

    In addition, we describe how we will calculate the adjusted reference premium (described later in this section of the payment methodology) that is used in Equations (1) and (2). This is defined in Equation (3a) and Equation (3b).

    Equation 1: Estimated PTC by Rate Cell

    The estimated PTC, on a per enrollee basis, will be calculated for each rate cell for each state based on age range, geographic area, coverage category, household size, and income range. The PTC portion of the rate will be calculated in a manner consistent with the methodology used to calculate the PTC for persons enrolled in a QHP, with 3 adjustments. First, the PTC portion of the rate for each rate cell will represent the mean, or average, expected PTC that all persons in the rate cell would receive, rather than being calculated for each individual enrollee. Second, the reference premium used to calculate the PTC (described in more detail later in the section) will be adjusted for BHP population health status, and in the case of a state that elects to use 2015 premiums for the basis of the BHP federal payment, for the projected change in the premium from the 2015 to 2016, to which the rates announced in the final payment methodology would apply. These adjustments are described in Equation (3a) and Equation (3b). Third, the PTC will be adjusted prospectively to reflect the mean, or average, net expected impact of income reconciliation on the combination of all persons enrolled in BHP; this adjustment, as described in section III.D.5 of this methodology, will account for the impact on the PTC that would have occurred had such reconciliation been performed. Finally, the rate is multiplied by 95 percent, consistent with section 1331(d)(3)(A)(i) of the Affordable Care Act. We note that in the situation where the average income contribution of an enrollee would exceed the adjusted reference premium, we will calculate the PTC to be equal to 0 and would not allow the value of the PTC to be negative.

    Consistent with this description, equation (1) is defined as:

    ER24FE15.000 PTC a,g,c,h,i = Premium tax credit portion of BHP payment rate a = Age range g = Geographic area c = Coverage status (self-only or applicable category of family coverage) obtained through BHP h = Household size i = Income range (as percentage of FPL) ARP a,g,c = Adjusted reference premium I h,i,j = Income (in dollars per month) at each 1 percentage-point increment of FPL j = j th percentage-point increment FPL n = Number of income increments used to calculate the mean PTC PTCF h,i,j = Premium Tax Credit Formula percentage IRF = Income reconciliation factor Equation 2: Estimated CSR Payment by Rate Cell

    The CSR portion of the rate will be calculated for each rate cell for each state based on age range, geographic area, coverage category, household size, and income range defined as a percentage of FPL. The CSR portion of the rate will be calculated in a manner consistent with the methodology used to calculate the CSR advance payments for persons enrolled in a QHP, as described in the final rule we published in the Federal Register on March 11, 2014 entitled “HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2015” final rule (79 FR 13744), with 3 principal adjustments. (We will make a separate calculation that includes different adjustments for American Indian/Alaska Native BHP enrollees, as described in section III.D.1 of this methodology.) For the first adjustment, the CSR rate, like the PTC rate, will represent the mean expected CSR subsidy that would be paid on behalf of all persons in the rate cell, rather than being calculated for each individual enrollee. Second, this calculation will be based on the adjusted reference premium, as described in section III.A.3 of this methodology. Third, this equation uses an adjusted reference premium that reflects premiums charged to non-tobacco users, rather than the actual premium that is charged to tobacco users to calculate CSR advance payments for tobacco users enrolled in a QHP. Accordingly, the equation includes a tobacco rating adjustment factor that would account for BHP enrollees' estimated tobacco-related health costs that are outside the premium charged to non-tobacco-users. Finally, the rate will be multiplied by 95 percent, as provided in section 1331(d)(3)(A)(i) of the Affordable Care Act.

    Consistent with the methodology described above, equation (2) is defined as:

    ER24FE15.001 CSR a,g,c,h,i = Cost-sharing reduction subsidy portion of BHP payment rate a = Age range g = Geographic area c = Coverage status (self-only or applicable category of family coverage) obtained through BHP h = Household size i = Income range (as percentage of FPL) ARP a,g,c = Adjusted reference premium TRAF = Tobacco rating adjustment factor FRAC = Factor removing administrative costs AV = Actuarial value of plan (as percentage of allowed benefits covered by the applicable QHP without a cost-sharing reduction subsidy) IUF h,i = Induced utilization factor ΔAV h,i = Change in actuarial value (as percentage of allowed benefits) Equation 3a and Equation 3b: Adjusted Reference Premium Variable (Used in Equations 1 and 2)

    As part of these calculations for both the PTC and CSR components, the value of the adjusted reference premium as described below. Consistent with the approach last year, we will allow states to choose between using the actual 2016 QHP premiums or the 2015 QHP premiums multiplied by the premium trend factor (as described in section III.F of this methodology). Therefore, we describe below how we would calculate the adjusted reference premium under each option.

    In the case of a state that elects to use the reference premium based on the 2016 premiums, we will calculate the value of the adjusted reference premium as specified in Equation (3a). The adjusted reference premium will be equal to the reference premium, which will be based on the second lowest cost silver plan premium in 2016, multiplied by the BHP population health factor (described in section III.D of this methodology), which will reflect the projected impact that enrolling BHP-eligible individuals in QHPs on a Marketplace would have had on the average QHP premium.

    ER24FE15.002 ARP a,g,c = Adjusted reference premium a = Age range g = Geographic area c = Coverage status (self-only or applicable category of family coverage) obtained through BHP RP a,g,c = Reference premium PHF = Population health factor

    In the case of a state that elects to use the reference premium based on the 2015 premiums (as described in section III.F of this methodology), we will calculate the value of the adjusted reference premium as specified in Equation (3b). The adjusted reference premium will be equal to the reference premium, which will be based on the second lowest cost silver plan premium in 2015, multiplied by the BHP population health factor (described in section III.D of this methodology), which will reflect the projected impact that enrolling BHP-eligible individuals in QHPs on a Marketplace would have had on the average QHP premium, and by the premium trend factor, which will reflect the projected change in the premium level between 2015 and 2016 (including the estimated impact of changes resulting from the transitional reinsurance program established in section 1341 of the Affordable Care Act).

    ER24FE15.003 ARP a,g,c = Adjusted reference premium a = Age range g = Geographic area c = Coverage status (self-only or applicable category of family coverage) obtained through BHP RP a,g,c = Reference premium PHF = Population health factor PTF = Premium trend factor Equation 4: Determination of Total Monthly Payment for BHP Enrollees in Each Rate Cell

    In general, the rate for each rate cell will be multiplied by the number of BHP enrollees in that cell (that is, the number of enrollees that meet the criteria for each rate cell) to calculate the total monthly BHP payment. This calculation is shown in Equation 4 below.

    ER24FE15.004 PMT = Total monthly BHP payment PTC a,g,c,h,i = Premium tax credit portion of BHP payment rate CSR a,g,c,h,i = Cost-sharing reduction subsidy portion of BHP payment rate E a,g,c,h,i = Number of BHP enrollees a = Age range g = Geographic area c = Coverage status (self-only or applicable category of family coverage) obtained through BHP h = Household size i = Income range (as percentage of FPL) B. Federal BHP Payment Rate Cells

    We will require that a state implementing BHP provide us an estimate of the number of BHP enrollees it projects will enroll in the upcoming BHP program year, by applicable rate cell, prior to the first quarter of program operations. Upon our approval of such estimates as reasonable, they will be used to calculate the prospective payment for the first and subsequent quarters of program operation until the state has provided us actual enrollment data. These data will be required to calculate the final BHP payment amount, and make any necessary reconciliation adjustments to the prior quarters' prospective payment amounts due to differences between projected and actual enrollment. In subsequent quarters, quarterly deposits to the state's trust fund will be based on the most recent actual enrollment data submitted to us. Procedures will ensure that federal payments to a state reflect actual BHP enrollment during a year, within each applicable category, and prospectively determined federal payment rates for each category of BHP enrollment, with such categories defined in terms of age range, geographic area, coverage status, household size, and income range, as explained above.

    We will require the use of certain rate cells as part of the methodology. For each state, we will use rate cells that separate the BHP population into separate cells based on the five factors described below.

    Factor 1—Age: We will separate enrollees into rate cells by age, using the following age ranges that capture the widest variations in premiums under HHS's Default Age Curve: 1

    1 This curve is used to implement the Affordable Care Act's 3:1 limit on age-rating in states that do not create an alternative rate structure to comply with that limit. The curve applies to all individual market plans, both within and outside the Exchange. The age bands capture the principal allowed age-based variations in premiums as permitted by this curve. More information can be found at http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Files/Downloads/market-reforms-guidance-2-25-2013.pdf. Both children and adults under age 21 are charged the same premium. For adults age 21-64, the age bands in this methodology divide the total age-based premium variation into the three most equally-sized ranges (defining size by the ratio between the highest and lowest premiums within the band) that are consistent with the age-bands used for risk-adjustment purposes in the HHS-Developed Risk Adjustment Model. For such age bands, see Table 5, “Age-Sex Variables,” in HHS-Developed Risk Adjustment Model Algorithm Software, June 2, 2014, http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Regulations-and-Guidance/Downloads/ra-tables-03-27-2014.xlsx.

    • Ages 0-20.

    • Ages 21-34.

    • Ages 35-44.

    • Ages 45-54.

    • Ages 55-64.

    Factor 2—Geographic area: For each state, we will separate enrollees into rate cells by geographic areas within which a single reference premium is charged by QHPs offered through the state's Marketplace. Multiple, non-contiguous geographic areas will be incorporated within a single cell, so long as those areas share a common reference premium.2

    2 For example, a cell within a particular state might refer to “County Group 1,” “County Group 2,” etc., and a table for the state would list all the counties included in each such group. These geographic areas are consistent with the geographic areas established under the 2014 Market Reform Rules. They also reflect the service area requirements applicable to qualified health plans, as described in 45 CFR 155.1055, except that service areas smaller than counties are addressed as explained below.

    Factor 3—Coverage status: We will separate enrollees into rate cells by coverage status, reflecting whether an individual is enrolled in self-only coverage or persons are enrolled in family coverage through BHP, as provided in section 1331(d)(3)(A)(ii) of the Affordable Care Act. Among recipients of family coverage through BHP, separate rate cells, as explained below, will apply based on whether such coverage involves two adults alone or whether it involves children.

    Factor 4—Household size: We will separate enrollees into rate cells by household size that states use to determine BHP enrollees' income as a percentage of the FPL under 42 CFR 600.320. We will require separate rate cells for several specific household sizes. For each additional member above the largest specified size, we will publish instructions for how we will develop additional rate cells and calculate an appropriate payment rate based on data for the rate cell with the closest specified household size. We will publish separate rate cells for household sizes of 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, as unpublished analyses of American Community Survey data conducted by the Urban Institute, which take into account unaccepted offers of employer-sponsored insurance, as well as income, Medicaid and CHIP eligibility, citizenship and immigration status, and current health coverage status, find that less than 1 percent of all BHP-eligible persons live in households of size 5 or greater.

    Factor 5—Income: For households of each applicable size, we will create separate rate cells by income range, as a percentage of FPL. The PTC that a person would receive if enrolled in a QHP varies by income, both in level and as a ratio to the FPL, and the CSR varies by income as a percentage of FPL. Thus, separate rate cells will be used to calculate federal BHP payment rates to reflect different bands of income measured as a percentage of FPL. We will use the following income ranges, measured as a ratio to the FPL:

    • 0 to 50 percent of the FPL.

    • 51 to 100 percent of the FPL.

    • 101 to 138 percent of the FPL.3

    3 The three lowest income ranges would be limited to lawfully present immigrants who are ineligible for Medicaid because of immigration status.

    • 139 to 150 percent of the FPL.

    • 151 to 175 percent of the FPL.

    • 176 to 200 percent of the FPL.

    These rate cells will only be used to calculate the federal BHP payment amount. A state implementing BHP will not be required to use these rate cells or any of the factors in these rate cells as part of the state payment to the standard health plans participating in BHP or to help define BHP enrollees' covered benefits, premium costs, or out-of-pocket cost-sharing levels.

    We will use averages to define federal payment rates, both for income ranges and age ranges, rather than varying such rates to correspond to each individual BHP enrollee's age and income level. We believe that this approach will increase the administrative feasibility of making federal BHP payments and reduce the likelihood of inadvertently erroneous payments resulting from highly complex methodologies. We believe that this approach will not significantly change federal payment amounts, since within applicable ranges; the BHP-eligible population is distributed relatively evenly.

    C. Sources and State Data Considerations

    To the extent possible, we will use data submitted to the federal government by QHP issuers seeking to offer coverage through a Marketplace to perform the calculations that determine federal BHP payment cell rates.

    States operating a State Based Marketplace in the individual market, however, must provide certain data, including premiums for second lowest cost silver plans, by geographic area, in order for CMS to calculate the federal BHP payment rates in those states. We will require that a state operating a State Based Marketplace and interested in obtaining the applicable federal BHP payment rates for its state must submit such data accurately, completely, and as specified by CMS, by no later than October 15, 2015, for CMS to calculate the applicable rates for 2016. If additional state data (that is, in addition to the second lowest cost silver plan premium data) are needed to determine the federal BHP payment rate, such data must be submitted in a timely manner, and in a format specified by CMS to support the development and timely release of annual BHP payment notices. The specifications for data collection to support the development of BHP payment rates for 2016 were published in CMS guidance and are available at http://www.medicaid.gov/Federal-Policy-Guidance/Federal-Policy-Guidance.html.

    If a state operating a SBM provides the necessary data accurately, completely, and as specified by CMS, but after the date specified above, we anticipate publishing federal payment rates for such a state in a subsequent Payment Notice. As noted in the BHP final rule, a state may elect to implement its BHP after a program year has begun. In such an instance, we require that the state, if operating a SBM, submit its data no later than 30 days after the Blueprint submission for CMS to calculate the applicable federal payment rates. We further require that the BHP Blueprint itself must be submitted for Secretarial certification with an effective date of no sooner than 120 days after submission of the BHP Blueprint. In addition, the state must ensure that its Blueprint includes a detailed description of how the state will coordinate with other insurance affordability programs to transition and transfer BHP-eligible individuals out of their existing QHP coverage, consistent with the requirements set forth in 42 CFR 600.330 and 600.425. We believe that this 120-day period is necessary to establish the requisite administrative structures and ensure that all statutory and regulatory requirements are satisfied.

    D. Discussion of Specific Variables Used in Payment Equations 1. Reference Premium (RP)

    To calculate the estimated PTC that would be paid if individuals enrolled in QHPs through the Marketplace, we must calculate a reference premium (RP) because the PTC is based, in part, on the premiums for the applicable second lowest cost silver plan as explained in section III.C.4 of this methodology, regarding the Premium Tax Credit Formula (PTCF). Accordingly, for the purposes of calculating the BHP payment rates, the reference premium, in accordance with 26 U.S.C. 36B(b)(3)(C), is defined as the adjusted monthly premium for an applicable second lowest cost silver plan. The applicable second lowest cost silver plan is defined in 26 U.S.C. 36B(b)(3)(B) as the second lowest cost silver plan of the individual market in the rating area in which the taxpayer resides, which is offered through the same Marketplace. We will use the adjusted monthly premium for an applicable second lowest cost silver plan in 2016 as the reference premium (except in the case of a state that elects to use the 2015 premium as the basis for the federal BHP payment, as described in section III.F of this methodology).

    The reference premium will be the premium applicable to non-tobacco users. This is consistent with the provision in 26 U.S.C. 36B(b)(3)(C) that bases the PTC on premiums that are adjusted for age alone, without regard to tobacco use, even for states that allow insurers to vary premiums based on tobacco use pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 300gg(a)(1)(A)(iv).

    Consistent with the policy set forth in 26 CFR 1.36B-3(f)(6) to calculate the PTC for those enrolled in a QHP through a Marketplace, we will not update the payment methodology, and subsequently the federal BHP payment rates, in the event that the second lowest cost silver plan used as the reference premium, or the lowest cost silver plan, changes (that is, terminates or closes enrollment during the year).

    The applicable second lowest cost silver plan premium will be included in the BHP payment methodology by age range, geographic area, and self-only or applicable category of family coverage obtained through BHP.

    American Indians and Alaska Natives in households with incomes below 300 percent of the FPL are eligible for a full cost sharing subsidy regardless of the plan they select (as described in sections 1402(d) and 2901(a) of the Affordable Care Act). We assume that American Indians and Alaska Natives would be more likely to enroll in bronze plans as a result; thus, for American Indian/Alaska Native BHP enrollees, we will use the lowest cost bronze plan as the basis for the reference premium for the purposes of calculating the CSR portion (but not the PTC portion) of the federal BHP payment as described further in section III.E of this methodology.

    The applicable age bracket will be one dimension of each rate cell. We will assume a uniform distribution of ages and estimate the average premium amount within each rate cell. We believe that assuming a uniform distribution of ages within these ranges is a reasonable approach and would produce a reliable determination of the PTC and CSR components. We also believe this approach would avoid potential inaccuracies that could otherwise occur in relatively small payment cells if age distribution were measured by the number of persons eligible or enrolled.

    We will use geographic areas based on the rating areas used in the Marketplaces. We will define each geographic area so that the reference premium is the same throughout the geographic area. When the reference premium varies within a rating area, we will define geographic areas as aggregations of counties with the same reference premium. Although plans are allowed to serve geographic areas smaller than counties after obtaining our approval, no geographic area, for purposes of defining BHP payment rate cells, will be smaller than a county. We do not believe that this assumption will have a significant impact on federal payment levels and it would likely simplify both the calculation of BHP payment rates and the operation of BHP.

    Finally, in terms of the coverage category, federal payment rates will only recognize self-only and two-adult coverage, with exceptions that account for children who are potentially eligible for BHP. First, in states that set the upper income threshold for children's Medicaid and CHIP eligibility below 200 percent of FPL (based on modified adjusted gross income), children in households with incomes between that threshold and 200 percent of FPL would be potentially eligible for BHP. Currently, the only states in this category are Arizona, Idaho, and North Dakota.4 Second, BHP would include lawfully present immigrant children with incomes at or below 200 percent of FPL in states that have not exercised the option under the sections 1903(v)(4)(A)(ii) and 2107(e)(1)(E) of the Act to qualify all otherwise eligible, lawfully present immigrant children for Medicaid and CHIP. States that fall within these exceptions would be identified based on their Medicaid and CHIP State Plans, and the rate cells would include appropriate categories of BHP family coverage for children. In other states, BHP eligibility will generally be restricted to adults, since children who are citizens or lawfully present immigrants and who live in households with incomes at or below 200 percent of FPL will qualify for Medicaid or CHIP and thus be ineligible for BHP under section 1331(e)(1)(C) of the Affordable Care Act, which limits BHP to individuals who are ineligible for minimum essential coverage (as defined in section 5000A(f) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986).

    4 CMCS. “State Medicaid and CHIP Income Eligibility Standards Effective January 1, 2014.”

    2. Population Health Factor (PHF)

    We include the population health factor in the methodology to account for the potential differences in the average health status between BHP enrollees and persons enrolled in the Marketplace. To the extent that BHP enrollees would have been enrolled in the Marketplace in the absence of BHP in a state, the inclusion of those BHP enrollees in the Marketplace may affect the average health status of the overall population and the expected QHP premiums.

    We currently do not believe that there is evidence that the BHP population would have better or poorer health status than the Marketplace population. At this time, there is a lack of experience available in the Marketplace that limits the ability to analyze the health differences between these groups of enrollees. In addition, differences in population health may vary across states. Thus, at this time, we believe that it is not feasible to develop a methodology to make a prospective adjustment to the population health factor that is reliably accurate.

    Given these analytic challenges and the limited data about Marketplace coverage and the characteristics of BHP-eligible consumers that will be available by the time we establish federal payment rates for 2016, we believe that the most appropriate adjustment for 2016 would be 1.00.

    In the 2015 payment methodology, we included an option for states to include a retrospective population health status adjustment. Similarly, we will provide the states with the same option for the 2016 payment methodology, as described further in section III.G of this methodology, to include a retrospective population health status adjustment in the certified methodology, which is subject to CMS review and approval.

    While the statute requires consideration of risk adjustment payments and reinsurance payments insofar as they would have affected the PTC and CSRs that would have been provided to BHP-eligible individuals had they enrolled in QHPs, we will not require that a BHP program's standard health plans receive such payments. As explained in the BHP final rule, BHP standard health plans are not included in the risk adjustment program operated by HHS on behalf of states. Further, standard health plans do not qualify for payments from the transitional reinsurance program established under section 1341 of the Affordable Care Act.5 To the extent that a state operating a BHP determines that, because of the distinctive risk profile of BHP-eligible consumers, BHP standard health plans should be included in mechanisms that share risk with other plans in the state's individual market, the state would need to use other methods for achieving this goal.

    5 See 45 CFR 153.400(a)(2)(iv) (BHP standard health plans are not required to submit reinsurance contributions), 153.20 (definition of “Reinsurance-eligible plan” as not including “health insurance coverage not required to submit reinsurance contributions”), § 153.230(a) (reinsurance payments under the national reinsurance parameters are available only for “Reinsurance-eligible plans”).

    3. Income (I)

    Household income is a significant determinant of the amount of the PTC and CSRs that are provided for persons enrolled in a QHP through the Marketplace. Accordingly, the BHP payment methodology incorporates income into the calculations of the payment rates through the use of income-based rate cells. We define income in accordance with the definition of modified adjusted gross income in 26 U.S.C. 36B(d)(2)(B) and consistent with the definition in 45 CFR 155.300. Income would be measured relative to the FPL, which is updated periodically in the Federal Register by the Secretary under the authority of 42 U.S.C. 9902(2), based on annual changes in the consumer price index for all urban consumers (CPI-U). In this methodology, household size and income as a percentage of FPL would be used as factors in developing the rate cells. We will use the following income ranges measured as a percentage of FPL: 6

    6 These income ranges and this analysis of income apply to the calculation of the PTC. Many fewer income ranges and a much simpler analysis apply in determining the value of CSRs, as specified below.

    • 0-50 percent.

    • 51-100 percent.

    • 101-138 percent.

    • 139-150 percent.

    • 151-175 percent.

    • 176-200 percent.

    We will assume a uniform income distribution for each federal BHP payment cell. We believe that assuming a uniform income distribution for the income ranges would be reasonably accurate for the purposes of calculating the PTC and CSR components of the BHP payment and would avoid potential errors that could result if other sources of data were used to estimate the specific income distribution of persons who are eligible for or enrolled in BHP within rate cells that may be relatively small. Thus, when calculating the mean, or average, PTC for a rate cell, we will calculate the value of the PTC at each one percentage point interval of the income range for each federal BHP payment cell and then calculate the average of the PTC across all intervals. This calculation will rely on the PTC formula described below in section III.4 of this methodology.

    As the PTC for persons enrolled in QHPs will be calculated based on their income during the open enrollment period, and that income will be measured against the FPL at that time, we will adjust the FPL by multiplying the FPL by a projected increase in the CPI-U between the time that the BHP payment rates are published and the QHP open enrollment period, if the FPL is expected to be updated during that time. The projected increase in the CPI-U would be based on the intermediate inflation forecasts from the most recent OASDI and Medicare Trustees Reports.7

    7 See Table IV A1 from the 2014 reports in http://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/ReportsTrustFunds/Downloads/TR2014.pdf.

    4. Premium Tax Credit Formula (PTCF)

    The PTC amount for a person enrolled in a QHP through a Marketplace is calculated in accordance with the methodology described in 26 U.S.C. 36B(b)(2). The amount is equal to the lesser of the premium for the plan in which the person or household enrolls (the enrollment premiums) or adjusted premium for the applicable second lowest cost silver plan minus the contribution amount.

    In Equation 1 described in section III.A.1 of this methodology, we will use the formula described in 26 U.S.C. 36B(b) to calculate the contribution amount, which is needed to estimate the PTC for a person enrolled in a QHP on a Marketplace. This formula determines the contribution amount as a percentage of household income. The percentage is based on the FPL for the household income and family size, and is shown in the schedule specified in 26 U.S.C. 36B(b)(3)(A) and shown below. The difference between the contribution amount and the adjusted monthly premium for the applicable second lowest cost silver plan is the estimated amount of the PTC that would be provided for the enrollee (assuming that this amount is less than the enrollment premiums).

    The applicable percentage is defined in 26 U.S.C. 36B(b)(3)(A) and 26 CFR 1.36B-3(g) as the percentage that applies to a taxpayer's household income that is within an income tier specified in the table, increasing on a sliding scale in a linear manner from an initial premium percentage to a final premium percentage specified in the table (see Table 1):

    Table 1—Household Income [Expressed as a percent of poverty line] In the case of household income (expressed as a percent of poverty line) within the following income tier: The initial
  • premium
  • percentage is—
  • The final premium percentage is—
    Up to 133% 2.01 2.01 133% but less than 150% 3.02 4.02 150% but less than 200% 4.02 6.34 200% but less than 250% 6.34 8.10 250% but less than 300% 8.10 9.56 300% but not more than 400% 9.56 9.56

    These are the applicable percentages for CY 2015. The applicable percentages will be updated in future years in accordance with 26 U.S.C. 36B(b)(3)(A)(ii).

    5. Income Reconciliation Factor (IRF)

    For persons enrolled in a QHP through a Marketplace who receive an advance payment of the premium tax credit (APTC), there will be an annual reconciliation following the end of the year to compare the advance payments to the correct amount of PTC based on household circumstances shown on the federal income tax return. Any difference between the latter amounts and the advance payments made during the year would either be paid to the taxpayer (if too little APTC was paid) or charged to the taxpayer as additional tax (if too much APTC was made, subject to any limitations in statute or regulation), as provided in 26 U.S.C. 36B(f).

    Section 1331(e)(2) of the Affordable Care Act specifies that an individual eligible for BHP may not be treated as a qualified individual under section 1312 eligible for enrollment in a QHP offered through a Marketplace. We are defining “eligible” to mean anyone for whom the state agency or the Exchange assesses or determines, based on the single streamlined application or renewal form, as eligible for enrollment in the BHP. Because enrollment in a QHP is a requirement for PTC for the enrolled individual's coverage, individuals determined or assessed as eligible for a BHP are not eligible to receive APTC assistance for coverage in the Marketplace. Because they do not receive APTC assistance, BHP enrollees, on whom the 2016 payment methodology is based, are not subject to the same income reconciliation as Marketplace consumers. Nonetheless, there may still be differences between a BHP enrollee's household income reported at the beginning of the year and the actual income over the year. These may include small changes (reflecting changes in hourly wage rates, hours worked per week, and other fluctuations in income during the year) and large changes (reflecting significant changes in employment status, hourly wage rates, or substantial fluctuations in income). There may also be changes in household composition. Thus, we believe that using unadjusted income as reported prior to the BHP program year may result in calculations of estimated PTC that are inconsistent with the actual incomes of BHP enrollees during the year. Even if the BHP program adjusts household income determinations and corresponding claims of federal payment amounts based on household reports during the year or data from third-party sources, such adjustments may not fully capture the effects of tax reconciliation that BHP enrollees would have experienced had they been enrolled in a QHP through a Marketplace and received APTC assistance.

    Therefore, we are including in Equation 1 an income adjustment factor that would account for the difference between calculating estimated PTC using: (a) Income relative to FPL as determined at initial application and potentially revised mid-year, under 600.320, for purposes of determining BHP eligibility and claiming federal BHP payments; and (b) actual income relative to FPL received during the plan year, as it would be reflected on individual federal income tax returns. This adjustment will prospectively estimate the average effect of income reconciliation aggregated across the BHP population had those BHP enrollees been subject to tax reconciliation after receiving APTC assistance for coverage provided through QHPs. For 2016, we will estimate reconciliation effects based on tax data for 2 years, reflecting income and tax unit composition changes over time among BHP-eligible individuals.

    The OTA maintains a model that combines detailed tax and other data, including Marketplace enrollment and PTC claimed, to project Marketplace premiums, enrollment, and tax credits. For each enrollee, this model compares the APTC based on household income and family size estimated at the point of enrollment with the PTC based on household income and family size reported at the end of the tax year. The former reflects the determination using enrollee information furnished by the applicant and tax data furnished by the IRS. The latter would reflect the PTC eligibility based on information on the tax return, which would have been determined if the individual had not enrolled in BHP. The ratio of the reconciled PTC to the initial estimation of PTC will be used as the income reconciliation factor in Equation (1) for estimating the PTC portion of the BHP payment rate.

    For 2016, OTA has estimated that the income reconciliation factor for states that have implemented the Medicaid eligibility expansion to cover adults up to 133 percent of the FPL will be 100.25 percent, and for states that have not implemented the Medicaid eligibility expansion and do not cover adults up to 133 percent of the FPL will be 100.24 percent. For 2015, we used the average of the factors for the two groups of states. For 2016, the values of the factors for the two groups of states are within 0.01 percentage point of each other. Because the values are within 0.01 percentage point, we will use the greater of two factors (100.25 percent) rather than the average.

    6. Tobacco Rating Adjustment Factor (TRAF)

    As previously described, the reference premium is estimated, for purposes of determining both the PTC and related federal BHP payments, based on premiums charged for non-tobacco users, including in states that allow premium variations based on tobacco use, as provided in 42 U.S.C. 300gg (a)(1)(A)(iv). In contrast, as described in 45 CFR 156.430, the CSR advance payments are based on the total premium for a policy, including any adjustment for tobacco use. Accordingly, we will incorporate a tobacco rating adjustment factor into Equation 2 that reflects the average percentage increase in health care costs that results from tobacco use among the BHP-eligible population and that would not be reflected in the premium charged to non-users. This factor will also take into account the estimated proportion of tobacco users among BHP-eligible consumers.

    To estimate the average effect of tobacco use on health care costs (not reflected in the premium charged to non-users), we will calculate the ratio between premiums that silver level QHPs charge for tobacco users to the premiums they charge for non-tobacco users at selected ages. To calculate estimated proportions of tobacco users, we will use data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to estimate tobacco utilization rates by state and relevant population characteristic.8 For each state, we will calculate the tobacco usage rate based on the percentage of persons by age who use cigarettes and the percentage of persons by age that use smokeless tobacco, and calculate the utilization rate by adding the two rates together. The data is available for 3 age intervals: 18-24; 25-44; and 45-64. For the BHP payment rate cell for persons ages 21-34, we will calculate the factor as (4/14 * the utilization rate of 18-24 year olds) plus (10/14 * the utilization rate of 25-44 year olds), which would be the weighted average of tobacco usage for persons 21-34 assuming a uniform distribution of ages; for all other age ranges used for the rate cells, we will use the age range in the CDC data in which the BHP payment rate cell age range is contained.

    8 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tobacco Control State Highlights 2012: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/state_data/state_highlights/2012/index.htm.

    We will provide tobacco rating factors that may vary by age and by geographic area within each state. To the extent that the second lowest cost silver plans have a different ratio of tobacco user rates to non-tobacco user rates in different geographic areas, the tobacco rating adjustment factor may differ across geographic areas within a state. In addition, to the extent that the second lowest cost silver plan has a different ratio of tobacco user rates to non-tobacco user rates by age, or that there is a different prevalence of tobacco use by age, the tobacco rating adjustment factor may differ by age.

    7. Factor for Removing Administrative Costs (FRAC)

    The Factor for Removing Administrative Costs represents the average proportion of the total premium that covers allowed health benefits, and we include this factor in our calculation of estimated CSRs in Equation 2. The product of the reference premium and the Factor for Removing Administrative Costs would approximate the estimated amount of Essential Health Benefit (EHB) claims that would be expected to be paid by the plan. This step is needed because the premium also covers such costs as taxes, fees, and QHP administrative expenses. We are setting this factor equal to 0.80, which is the same percentage for the factor to remove administrative costs for calculating CSR advance payments for established in the 2015 HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters.

    8. Actuarial Value (AV)

    The actuarial value is defined as the percentage paid by a health plan of the total allowed costs of benefits, as defined under 45 CFR 156.20. (For example, if the average health care costs for enrollees in a health insurance plan were $1,000 and that plan has an actuarial value of 70 percent, the plan would be expected to pay on average $700 ($1,000 × 0.70) for health care costs per enrollee, on average.) By dividing such estimated costs by the actuarial value in the methodology, we will calculate the estimated amount of total EHB-allowed claims, including both the portion of such claims paid by the plan and the portion paid by the consumer for in-network care. (To continue with that same example, we would divide the plan's expected $700 payment of the person's EHB-allowed claims by the plan's 70 percent actuarial value to ascertain that the total amount of EHB-allowed claims, including amounts paid by the consumer, is $1,000.)

    For the purposes of calculating the CSR rate in Equation 2, we will use the standard actuarial value of the silver level plans in the individual market, which is equal to 70 percent.

    9. Induced Utilization Factor (IUF)

    The induced utilization factor will be used as a factor in calculating estimated CSRs in Equation 2 to account for the increase in health care service utilization associated with a reduction in the level of cost sharing a QHP enrollee would have to pay, based on the cost-sharing reduction subsidies provided to enrollees.

    The 2015 HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters provided induced utilization factors for the purposes of calculating cost-sharing reduction advance payments for 2015. In that rule, the induced utilization factors for silver plan variations ranged from 1.00 to 1.12, depending on income. Using those utilization factors, the induced utilization factor for all persons who would qualify for BHP based on their household income as a percentage of FPL is 1.12; this would include persons with household income between 100 percent and 200 percent of FPL, lawfully present non-citizens below 100 percent of FPL who are ineligible for Medicaid because of immigration status, and persons with household income under 300 percent of FPL, not subject to any cost-sharing. Thus, consistent with last year, we will set the induced utilization factor equal to 1.12 for the BHP payment methodology.

    10. Change in Actuarial Value (ΔAV)

    The increase in actuarial value would account for the impact of the cost-sharing reduction subsidies on the relative amount of EHB claims that would be covered for or paid by eligible persons, and we include it as a factor in calculating estimated CSRs inEquation 2.

    The actuarial values of QHPs for persons eligible for cost-sharing reduction subsidies are defined in 45 CFR 156.420(a), and eligibility for such subsidies is defined in 45 CFR 155.305(g)(2)(i) through (iii). For QHP enrollees with household incomes between 100 percent and 150 percent of FPL, and those below 100 percent of FPL who are ineligible for Medicaid because of their immigration status, CSRs increase the actuarial value of a QHP silver plan from 70 percent to 94 percent. For QHP enrollees with household incomes between 150 percent and 200 percent of FPL, CSRs increase the actuarial value of a QHP silver plan from 70 percent to 87 percent.

    We will apply this factor by subtracting the standard AV from the higher AV allowed by the applicable cost-sharing reduction. For BHP enrollees with household incomes at or below 150 percent of FPL, this factor will be 0.24 (94 percent minus 70 percent); for BHP enrollees with household incomes more than 150 percent but not more than 200 percent of FPL, this factor will be 0.17 (87 percent minus 70 percent).

    E. Adjustments for American Indians and Alaska Natives

    There are several exceptions made for American Indians and Alaska Natives enrolled in QHPs through a Marketplace to calculate the PTC and CSRs. Thus, we will make adjustments to the payment methodology described above to be consistent with the Marketplace rules.

    We will make the following adjustments:

    1. The adjusted reference premium for use in the CSR portion of the rate will be the lowest cost bronze plan instead of the second lowest cost silver plan, with the same adjustment for the population health factor (and in the case of a state that elects to use the 2015 premiums as the basis of the federal BHP payment, the same adjustment for the premium trend factor). American Indians and Alaska Natives are eligible for CSRs with any metal level plan, and thus we believe that eligible persons would be more likely to select a bronze level plan instead of a silver level plan. (It is important to note that the assumption that American Indians and Alaska Natives would enroll in a bronze plan would not necessarily change the PTC, as the PTC amount calculated as part of the BHP payment methodology is the maximum possible PTC payment, which is always based on the applicable second lowest cost silver plan. In actuality, the PTC payment that would be made in for an individual enrolled in a QHP cannot exceed the total premium. It is possible that some bronze plan premiums would be less than the maximum PTC payment, but we have not made any adjustment in the methodology for this. We believe that this assumption would have a negligible impact on the BHP payment.)

    2. The actuarial value for use in the CSR portion of the rate will be 0.60 instead of 0.70, which is consistent with the actuarial value of a bronze level plan.

    3. The induced utilization factor for use in the CSR portion of the rate will be 1.15, which is consistent with the 2015 HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters induced utilization factor for calculating advance CSR payments for persons enrolled in bronze level plans and eligible for CSRs up to 100 percent of actuarial value.

    4. The change in the actuarial value for use in the CSR portion of the rate will be 0.40. This reflects the increase from 60 percent actuarial value of the bronze plan to 100 percent actuarial value, as American Indians and Alaska Natives are eligible to receive CSRs up to 100 percent of actuarial value.

    F. State Option To Use 2015 QHP Premiums for BHP Payments

    In the interest of allowing states greater certainty in the total BHP federal payments for 2016, we will provide states the option to have their final 2016 federal BHP payment rates calculated using the projected 2016 adjusted reference premium (that is, using 2015 premium data multiplied by the premium trend factor defined below), as described in Equation (3b).

    For a state that elects to use the 2015 premium as the basis for the 2016 BHP federal payment, the state must inform CMS no later than May 15, 2015.

    For Equation (3b), we define the premium trend factor as follows:

    Premium Trend Factor (PTF): In Equation (3b), we calculate an adjusted reference premium (ARP) based on the application of certain relevant variables to the RP, including a PTF. In the case of a state that would elect to use the 2015 premiums as the basis for determining the BHP payment, it would be appropriate to apply a factor that would account for the change in health care costs between the year of the premium data and the BHP plan year. We define this as the premium trend factor in the BHP payment methodology. This factor will approximate the change in health care costs per enrollee, which would include, but not be limited to, changes in the price of health care services and changes in the utilization of health care services. This provides an estimate of the adjusted monthly premium for the applicable second lowest cost silver plan that would be more accurate and reflective of health care costs in the BHP program year, which will be the year following issuance of the final federal payment notice. In addition, we believe that it would be appropriate to adjust the trend factor for the estimated impact of changes to the transitional reinsurance program on the average QHP premium.

    We will use the annual growth rate in private health insurance expenditures per enrollee from the National Health Expenditure projections, developed by CMS' Office of the Actuary (http://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/NationalHealthExpendData/NationalHealthAccountsProjected.html, Table 17—Health Insurance Enrollment and Enrollment Growth Rates). For 2016, the projected increase in private health insurance premiums per enrollee is 3.9 percent.

    The adjustment for changes in the transitional reinsurance program is developed from analysis by CMS' Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO). In unpublished analysis, CCIIO estimated that the transitional reinsurance program would reduce QHP premiums in 2015 on average by 7.9 percent and in 2016 by 4.4 percent, as the amount of funding in the reinsurance program decreases. Based on these analyses, we estimate that the changes in the transitional reinsurance program would lead to an increase of 3.8 percent in average QHP premiums between 2015 and 2016: (1−0.044)/(1−0.079)−1 = 3.8 percent.

    Combining these two factors together, we calculate that the premium trend factor for 2016 would be 7.8 percent (1 + 0.039) × (1 + 0.038)−1 = 7.8 percent.

    States may want to consider that the increase in premiums for QHPs from 2015 to 2016 may differ from the premium trend factor developed for the BHP funding methodology for several reasons. In particular, states may want to consider that the second lowest cost silver plan for 2015 may not be the same as the second lowest cost silver plan in 2016. This may lead to the premium trend factor being greater than or less than the actual change in the premium of the second lowest cost silver plan in 2015 compared to the premium of the second lowest cost silver plan in 2016.

    G. State Option To Include Retrospective State-Specific Health Risk Adjustment in Certified Methodology

    To determine whether the potential difference in health status between BHP enrollees and consumers in the Marketplace would affect the PTC, CSRs, risk adjustment and reinsurance payments that would have otherwise been made had BHP enrollees been enrolled in coverage on the Marketplace, we will provide states implementing the BHP the option to propose and to implement, as part of the certified methodology, a retrospective adjustment to the federal BHP payments to reflect the actual value that would be assigned to the population health factor (or risk adjustment) based on data accumulated during program year 2016 for each rate cell.

    We acknowledge that there is uncertainty with respect to this factor due to the lack of experience of QHPs on the Marketplace and other payments related to the Marketplace, which is why, absent a state election, we will use a value for the population health factor to determine a prospective payment rate which assumes no difference in the health status of BHP enrollees and QHP enrollees. There is considerable uncertainty regarding whether the BHP enrollees will pose a greater risk or a lesser risk compared to the QHP enrollees, how to best measure such risk, and the potential effect such risk would have had on PTC, CSRs, risk adjustment and reinsurance payments that would have otherwise been made had BHP enrollees been enrolled in coverage on the Marketplace. To the extent, however, that a state would develop an approved protocol to collect data and effectively measure the relative risk and the effect on federal payments, we will permit a retrospective adjustment that would measure the actual difference in risk between the two populations to be incorporated into the certified BHP payment methodology and used to adjust payments in the previous year.

    For a state electing the option to implement a retrospective population health status adjustment, we require that the state submit a proposed protocol to CMS, which will be subject to approval by CMS and would be required to be certified by CMS' Chief Actuary, in consultation with the OTA, as part of the BHP payment methodology. We described the protocol for the population health status adjustment in guidance in Considerations for Health Risk Adjustment in the Basic Health Program in Program Year 2015 (http://www.medicaid.gov/Basic-Health-Program/Downloads/Risk-Adjustment-and-BHP-White-Paper.pdf). We require a state to submit its proposed protocol by August 1, 2015 for CMS approval. This submission must include descriptions of how the state would collect the necessary data to determine the adjustment, including any contracting contingences that may be in place with participating standard health plan issuers. We will provide technical assistance to states as they develop their protocols. In order to implement the population health status, we must approve the state's protocol no later than December 31, 2015. Finally, the state will be required to complete the population health status adjustment at the end of 2016 based on the approved protocol. After the end of the 2016 program year, and once data is made available, we will review the state's findings, consistent with the approved protocol, and make any necessary adjustments to the state's federal BHP payment amount. If we determine that the federal BHP payments were less than they would have been using the final adjustment factor, we would apply the difference to the state's quarterly BHP trust fund deposit. If we determine that the federal BHP payments were more than they would have been using the final reconciled factor, we would subtract the difference from the next quarterly BHP payment to the state.

    IV. Collection of Information Requirements

    The 2016 funding methodology is unchanged from the 2015 final methodology that published on March 12, 2014 (79 FR 13887). The 2016 methodology does not impose any new or revised reporting, recordkeeping, or third-party disclosure requirements, and therefore, does not require additional OMB review under the authority of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). The methodology's information collection requirements and burden estimates are approved by OMB under control number 0938-1218 (CMS-10510).

    Consistent with the Basic Health Program's proposed and final rules (September 25, 2013 at 78 FR 59122 and March 12, 2014 at 79 FR 14112, respectively) we continue to estimate less than 10 annual respondents for completing the Blueprint. Consequently, the Blueprint is exempt from formal OMB review and approval under 5 CFR 1320.3(c).

    Finally, this action does not impose any additional reporting, recordkeeping, or third-party disclosure requirements on qualified health plans or on states operating State Based Marketplaces.

    V. Regulatory Impact Statement A. Overall Impact

    We have examined the impacts of this rule as required by Executive Order 12866 on Regulatory Planning and Review (September 30, 1993), Executive Order 13563 on Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review (January 18, 2011), the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (September 19, 1980, Pub. L. 96-354), section 1102(b) of the Act, section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4, March 22, 1995) (UMRA), Executive Order 13132 on Federalism (August 4, 1999) and the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 804(2)).

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 defines a “significant regulatory action” as an action that is likely to result in a rule: (1) Having an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more in any 1 year, or adversely and materially affecting a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or state, local or tribal governments or communities (also referred to as “economically significant”); (2) creating a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfering with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) materially altering the budgetary impacts of entitlement grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) raising novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in the Executive Order.

    A regulatory impact analysis (RIA) must be prepared for major rules with economically significant effects ($100 million or more in any 1 year). As noted in the BHP final rule, BHP provides states the flexibility to establish an alternative coverage program for low-income individuals who would otherwise be eligible to purchase coverage through the Marketplace. We are uncertain as to whether the effects of the final rulemaking, and subsequently, this methodology, will be “economically significant” as measured by the $100 million threshold, and hence not a major rule under the Congressional Review Act. The impact may depend on several factors, including the number of and which particular states choose to implement or continue BHP in 2016, the level of QHP premiums in 2015 and 2016, the number of enrollees in BHP, and the other coverage options for persons who would be eligible for BHP. In particular, while we generally expect that many enrollees would have otherwise been enrolled in a QHP through the Marketplace, some persons may have been eligible for Medicaid under a waiver or a state health coverage program. For those who would have enrolled in a QHP and thus would have received PTCs or CSRs, the federal expenditures for BHP would be expected to be more than offset by a reduction in federal expenditures for PTCs and CSRs. For those who would have been enrolled in Medicaid, there would likely be a smaller offset in federal expenditures (to account for the federal share of Medicaid expenditures), and for those who would have been covered in non-federal programs or would have been uninsured, there likely would be an increase in federal expenditures. In accordance with the provisions of Executive Order 12866, this methodology was reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

    1. Need for the Methodology

    Section 1331 of the Affordable Care Act (codified at 42 U.S.C. 18051) requires the Secretary to establish a BHP, and section (d)(1) specifically provides that if the Secretary finds that a state “meets the requirements of the program established under section (a) [of section 1331 of the Affordable Care Act], the Secretary shall transfer to the State” federal BHP payments described in section (d)(3). This methodology provides for the funding methodology to determine the federal BHP payment amounts required to implement these provisions in program year 2016.

    2. Alternative Approaches

    Many of the factors in this methodology are specified in statute; therefore, we are limited in the alternative approaches we could consider. One area in which we had a choice was in selecting the data sources used to determine the factors included in the methodology. Except for state-specific reference premiums and enrollment data, we are using national rather than state-specific data. This is due to the lack of currently available state-specific data needed to develop the majority of the factors included in the methodology. We believe the national data will produce sufficiently accurate determinations of payment rates. In addition, we believe that this approach will be less burdensome on states. To reference premiums and enrollment data, we are using state-specific data rather than national data as we believe state-specific data will produce more accurate determinations than national averages.

    In addition, we considered whether or not to provide states the option to develop a protocol for a retrospective adjustment to the population health factor in 2016 as we did in the 2015 payment methodology. We believe that providing this option again in 2016 is appropriate and likely to improve the accuracy of the final payments.

    We also considered whether or not to require the use of 2015 or 2016 QHP premiums to develop the 2016 federal BHP payment rates. We believe that the payment rates can still be developed accurately using either the 2015 or 2016 QHP premiums and that it is appropriate to provide the states the option, given the interests and specific considerations each state may have in operating the BHP.

    3. Transfers

    The provisions of this methodology are designed to determine the amount of funds that will be transferred to states offering coverage through a BHP rather than to individuals eligible for premium and cost-sharing reductions for coverage purchased on the Marketplace. We are uncertain what the total federal BHP payment amounts to states will be as these amounts will vary from state to state due to the varying nature of state composition. For example, total federal BHP payment amounts may be greater in more populous states simply by virtue of the fact that they have a larger BHP-eligible population and total payment amounts are based on actual enrollment. Alternatively, total federal BHP payment amounts may be lower in states with a younger BHP-eligible population as the reference premium used to calculate the federal BHP payment will be lower relative to older BHP enrollees. While state composition will cause total federal BHP payment amounts to vary from state to state, we believe that the methodology accounts for these variations to ensure accurate BHP payment transfers are made to each state.

    B. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    Section 202 of the UMRA requires that agencies assess anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule whose mandates require spending in any 1 year of $100 million in 1995 dollars, updated annually for inflation, by state, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector. In 2014, that threshold is approximately $141 million. States have the option, but are not required, to establish a BHP. Further, the methodology would establish federal payment rates without requiring states to provide the Secretary with any data not already required by other provisions of the Affordable Care Act or its implementing regulations. Thus, this payment methodology does not mandate expenditures by state governments, local governments, or tribal governments.

    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) (RFA) requires agencies to prepare an initial regulatory flexibility analysis to describe the impact of the proposed rule on small entities, unless the head of the agency can certify that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The Act generally defines a “small entity” as (1) a proprietary firm meeting the size standards of the Small Business Administration (SBA); (2) a not-for-profit organization that is not dominant in its field; or (3) a small government jurisdiction with a population of less than 50,000. Individuals and states are not included in the definition of a small entity. Few of the entities that meet the definition of a small entity as that term is used in the RFA would be impacted directly by this methodology.

    Because this methodology is focused on the funding methodology that will be used to determine federal BHP payment rates, it does not contain provisions that would have a significant direct impact on hospitals, and other health care providers that are designated as small entities under the RFA. We cannot determine whether this methodology would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    Section 1102(b) of the Act requires us to prepare a regulatory impact analysis if a may have a significant economic impact on the operations of a substantial number of small rural hospitals. For purposes of section 1102(b) of the Act, we define a small rural hospital as a hospital that is located outside of a metropolitan statistical area and has fewer than 100 beds. As indicated in the preceding discussion, there may be indirect positive effects from reductions in uncompensated care. Again, we cannot determine whether this methodology would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small rural hospitals, and we request public comment on this issue.

    D. Federalism

    Executive Order 13132 establishes certain requirements that an agency must meet when it promulgates a proposed rule (and subsequent final rule) that imposes substantial direct effects on states, preempts state law, or otherwise has federalism implications. The BHP is entirely optional for states, and if implemented in a state, provides access to a pool of funding that would not otherwise be available to the state.

    Dated: February 4, 2015. Marilyn Tavenner, Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Dated: February 13, 2015. Sylvia M. Burwell, Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03662 Filed 2-19-15; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT 45 CFR Part 800 RIN 3206-AN12 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Establishment of the Multi-State Plan Program for the Affordable Insurance Exchanges AGENCY:

    Office of Personnel Management.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is issuing a final rule implementing modifications to the Multi-State Plan (MSP) Program based on the experience of the Program to date. OPM established the MSP Program pursuant to the Affordable Care Act. This rule clarifies the approach used to enforce the applicable standards of the Affordable Care Act with respect to health insurance issuers that contract with OPM to offer MSP options; amends MSP standards related to coverage area, benefits, and certain contracting provisions under section 1334 of the Affordable Care Act; and makes non-substantive technical changes.

    DATES:

    Effective March 26, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Cameron Stokes by telephone at (202) 606-2128, by FAX at (202) 606-4430, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Pub. L. 111-148), as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111- 152), together known as the Affordable Care Act, provides for the establishment of Affordable Insurance Exchanges, or “Exchanges” (also called Health Insurance Marketplaces, or “Marketplaces”), where individuals and small businesses can purchase qualified coverage. The Exchanges provide competitive marketplaces for individuals and small employers to compare available private health insurance options based on price, quality, and other factors. The Exchanges enhance competition in the health insurance market, improve choice of affordable health insurance, and give individuals and small businesses purchasing power comparable to that of large businesses. The Multi-State Plan (MSP) Program was created pursuant to section 1334 of the Affordable Care Act to increase competition by offering high-quality health insurance coverage sold in multiple States on the Exchanges. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is issuing this final rule to modify the standards set forth for the MSP Program under 45 CFR Part 800 that was published as a final rule on March 11, 2013 (78 FR 15560). This rule clarifies OPM's intent in administering the Program, as well as makes regulatory changes in order to expand issuer participation and offerings in the Program to meet the goal of increasing competition.

    Abbreviations EHB—Essential Health Benefits FEHB Program—Federal Employees Health Benefits Program HHS—U.S. Department of Health and Human Services MSP—Multi-State Plan NAIC—National Association of Insurance Commissioners OPM—U.S. Office of Personnel Management PHS Act—Public Health Service Act QHP—Qualified Health Plan SHOP—Small Business Health Options Program

    Section 1334 of the Affordable Care Act created the Multi-State Plan (MSP) Program to foster competition in the health insurance markets on the Exchanges (also called Health Insurance Exchanges or Marketplaces) based on price, quality, and benefit delivery. The Affordable Care Act directs the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to contract with private health insurance issuers to offer at least two MSP options on each of the Exchanges in the States and the District of Columbia.1 The law allows MSP issuers to phase in coverage.2

    1 Multi-State Plan option or MSP option means a discrete pairing of a package of benefits with particular cost sharing (which does not include premium rates or premium rate quotes) that is offered under a contract with OPM.

    2 Multi-State Plan issuer or MSP issuer means a health insurance issuer or group of issuers that has a contract with OPM to offer MSP options pursuant to section 1334 of the Affordable Care Act.

    In the 2014 plan year, OPM contracted with one group of issuers to offer more than 150 MSP options in 31 States, including the District of Columbia. Approximately 371,000 individuals enrolled in an MSP option in 2014. For plan year 2015, OPM entered into contract with a second group of issuers, and MSP coverage expanded to 36 States. The Program currently offers more than 200 MSP options through the Exchanges to further competition and expand choices available to individuals, families, and small businesses.

    This rule builds on the MSP Program final rule published March 11, 2013.3 Changes to the regulations include clarifications to the process by which OPM administers the MSP Program, pursuant to section 1334 of the Affordable Care Act, and revisions to the standards and requirements applicable to MSP options and MSP issuers.

    3 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Establishment of the Multi-State Plan Program for the Affordable Insurance Exchanges, 78 FR 15560 (Mar. 11, 2013).

    Summary of Comments

    OPM published a proposed rule on November 24, 2014 (79 FR 69802), to modify standards related to the implementation of the MSP Program at part 800 of title 45, Code of Federal Regulations. The comment period for the proposed rule closed December 24, 2014. OPM received 43 comments from a broad range of stakeholders, including States, health insurance issuers, health care provider associations, pharmaceutical companies, and consumer groups.

    While most of the comments were related to the proposed modifications addressed in the rule, a small number of the comments were on areas of the regulations for which we did not propose changes or request comment.

    A summary of the comments we received follows, along with our responses and changes to the proposed regulations in light of the comments. In addition, we are making some minor technical and editorial changes to the proposed regulations to correct errors and improve clarity and readability. Comments submitted on sections of the regulations that we did not propose to change are outside the scope of this rulemaking and are not addressed here.

    Length of the Comment Period

    Comments: Some commenters contended that the 30-day comment period did not provide sufficient time to provide feedback.

    Response: OPM values the participation of a broad array of diverse stakeholders. In addition to the proposed rule, we continue to seek input and guidance from numerous stakeholders, including the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), States, tribal governments, consumer advocates, health insurance issuers, labor organizations, health care provider associations, and trade groups.

    Responses to Comments on the Proposed Regulations Subpart A—General Provisions and Definitions Definitions (§ 800.20)

    We sought comments on two proposed definitions for the MSP Program. Specifically, we proposed to add the definition for “Multi-State Plan option,” which may also be referred to as “MSP option.” We also proposed to remove the definition of “Multi-State Plan” because the term “Multi-State Plan option” is more precise and avoids the confusion of the varying definitions of the word “plan” in the context of health insurance. We also proposed to add a definition for “State-level issuer” as a health insurance issuer designated by the MSP issuer to offer an MSP option or MSP options. OPM invited comments on the proposed changes to the definitions under 45 CFR 800.20 as well as any comments on the current definition for “group of issuers.” OPM received no comments on the definition of “State-level issuer,” and we will adopt the definition as proposed.

    Comments: OPM received comments that were generally supportive of adding the proposed definition of “MSP option.” One of these commenters asked that we replace “package of benefits” with the term “product” as it is defined in 45 CFR 144.103. We did not receive comments on removing the definition “Multi-State Plan.”

    Response: OPM will finalize the definition of “MSP option” as proposed and will remove “Multi-State Plan.” The definition of “MSP option” will ensure consistency within the MSP Program and avoid confusion with definitions from programs outside of OPM.

    Comments: Commenters responded to our call for feedback on the definition of “Group of Issuers” in § 800.20. The commenters were generally opposed to expanding “Group of Issuers” to include alternative structures and requested further clarification from OPM. Some commenters were supportive of interpreting the definition of “Group of Issuers” to attract additional issuers to the MSP Program.

    Response: OPM did not propose any changes to the “group of issuers” definition, and we appreciate the comments received. It was OPM's intention in the proposed rule to clarify that a group of issuers may come together in the MSP Program either by common control and ownership or by using a nationally licensed service mark. OPM recognizes there are a number of ways to organize using a nationally licensed service mark, and looks forward to working with current and potential MSP issuers who decide to come together under either one of these two options in the MSP Program.

    Subpart B—Multi-State Plan Issuer Requirements Phased Expansion, etc. (§ 800.104)

    Section 1334(e) of the Affordable Care Act provides for OPM to allow issuers to phase in their participation in the MSP Program. Under § 800.104(a), OPM requested comment on how we may expand participation in the Program to meet the goal of increasing competition while balancing consumers' needs. Specifically, we asked for comment on the timeframes and other appropriate parameters within which an MSP issuer could reasonably expand participation in the Program. We did not propose any changes to the regulatory text for § 800.104(a). In clarifying the status of the Program and how we are implementing the standards set under § 800.104, we proposed to delete the standard for an MSP issuer to submit a plan to become statewide in § 800.104(b), and add a requirement that the MSP issuer service area for MSP coverage shall be greater than or equal to any service area proposed by the issuer for QHP coverage. Under § 800.104(c), we solicited comment on when MSP issuers should be required to participate on a Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). Based on the comments received, the changes to § 800.104(b) will be accepted as proposed.

    Comments: Some commenters commended OPM for clarifying § 800.104(a) of the rule and promoting increased flexibility on standards for coverage areas and geographic requirements, as it will attract issuers to the Program and promote competition. Other commenters urged OPM to encourage new and existing MSP issuers to offer plans that are national in scope and coverage.

    Response: Through our continued engagement with current and potential MSP issuers, OPM has heard significant concerns about the challenges of rapidly expanding MSP coverage both within and across State lines. OPM agrees that increased flexibility around the schedule to expand to each Exchange in every State will help the MSP Program meet its goal of increasing competition while balancing consumers' needs for coverage. OPM intends to ensure that MSP coverage is available as expansively and as soon as practicable. We work closely with current and potential MSP issuers to address any operational challenges they may face in order to expand MSP coverage nationally or establish reciprocity.

    Comments: Some commenters expressed that any potential MSP issuers should be held to the same standards as an MSP issuer who participated in the Program during the first year of operations. These commenters requested OPM set minimum threshold standards for participation, such as timeframes for expanding coverage and minimum standards for coverage areas.

    Response: Since the first year of operations for the MSP Program, OPM consistently has applied the same standards to all current and potential MSP issuers, and we will continue to do so going forward. We are not making any changes to the text at this time.

    Comment: Commenters disagreed with OPM's interpretation of 1334(b) and (e) stating that neither of the MSP issuers currently under contract with OPM meets the statutory requirements to participate in the Program.

    Response: We respectfully disagree with the commenter. Section 1334 sets forth standards to guide the exercise of OPM's contracting authority, noting that section 1334(b)(1) contemplates offering coverage in every State and the District of Columbia, and outlines a framework within which participation in the MSP Program is a feasible and attractive business activity. Such standards include the provisions under subsections (b) and (e) on offering coverage in every State.

    Comments: Many commenters supported OPM's proposal to delete the standard for an MSP issuer to submit a plan to become statewide and instead negotiate directly with MSP issuers to expand coverage based on business factors and consumers' needs. Commenters suggested that requiring a specific plan to become statewide may discourage participation in the Program, and flexibility on meeting geographic coverage standards would encourage competition. These commenters also commended OPM on efforts to evaluate MSP issuers' proposed service areas to ensure they are established without discrimination. Other commenters opposed the proposal and sought additional standards.

    Response: OPM is committed to statewide coverage, but is sensitive to requirements that may discourage participation in the Program or does not serve the goal of promoting competition on the Exchanges. OPM will assess consumers' needs for coverage, including ensuring that MSP issuers' proposed service areas have been established without regard to racial, ethnic, language, or health status-related factors listed in section 2705(a) of the PHS Act, or other factors that exclude specific high-utilizing, high-cost, or medically underserved populations.

    Comments: Commenters opposed the proposed change to the regulatory text to delete a plan for reaching statewide MSP coverage, stating that OPM should establish minimum thresholds for expected MSP coverage areas within a State. The commenter suggested OPM set a standard to require coverage as broadly as the area in which the issuer is licensed to sell coverage in a State, equal to any coverage offered as a Qualified Health Plan (QHP), or alternatively, a percent of population or geographic area. Similarly, other commenters recommended OPM require coverage of 75% of the State's counties or other geographic area.

    Response: OPM is committed to a goal of statewide coverage in the MSP Program, and intends to continue working with current and potential MSP issuers to develop productive and ambitious approaches to achieving statewide coverage. OPM believes that our standard for an MSP issuer who offers both MSP options and QHPs to provide an MSP service area that is equal to or greater than the issuer's QHP service area is adequate and reasonable to ensure broad MSP coverage. We appreciate the specific examples of other minimum MSP standards for coverage areas. At this time, we will finalize § 800.104(b) as proposed maintaining the standard of an MSP coverage area to be equal to or greater than the coverage area proposed by the same issuer for their QHP service area.

    Some commenters recommended OPM continue to implement SHOP participation standards consistent with standards set by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for a Federally-facilitated SHOP or, where applicable, standards set by State-based Exchanges for SHOP participation requirements that apply to QHP issuers. Other comments suggested that the MSP Program is not mature enough to require MSP issuers to participate in a SHOP at this time.

    Response: In light of these comments, OPM intends to continue its flexibility in SHOP participation for MSP issuers in § 800.104(c). MSP issuers must meet the same standards for SHOP participation set for QHP issuers, including the requirements of 45 CFR 156.200(g) and any standards for issuers participating on a State-based SHOP. An MSP issuer may meet the requirements of 45 CFR 156.200(g)(3) if a State-level issuer or any other issuer in the same issuer group affiliated with an MSP issuer provides coverage on a Federally-facilitated SHOP. We discussed this policy in-depth in the March 2013 final rule.4

    4 March 11, 2013 Federal Register (78 FR 15560, 15565).

    Benefits (§ 800.105)

    In § 800.105(b), OPM proposed a change that would allow an MSP issuer to make essential health benefits (EHB)-benchmark selections on a State-by-State basis. The issuer would also be able to offer two or more MSP options in each State. For example, one option could use the State-selected EHB-benchmark, and one could use the OPM-selected EHB-benchmark. OPM proposed this change to allow for more flexibility to attract issuers to the MSP Program with the expectation of expanding competition on the Exchanges. This flexibility could facilitate coalition building across issuers in different States, so that issuers can work together toward MSP options that meet the MSP Program standards.

    In § 800.105(c)(3), OPM proposed to clarify the policy on formularies with an OPM-selected EHB-benchmark plan. Under the proposed rule, OPM would allow the MSP issuer to manage formularies around the needs of actual or anticipated enrollees. As part of this proposal, OPM pointed to the current practice in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program of negotiating formularies and also considered the option of substituting the formulary from the State-selected EHB-benchmark plan. OPM noted that, even with this change, OPM would still ensure compliance with any HHS standards related to drug formularies for QHPs and assurance that the formularies are not discriminatory. OPM also noted that this would allow MSP issuers to propose plans built around the needs of enrollees, subject to approval by OPM.

    In the renumbered § 800.105(c)(4), OPM proposed a change to apply a Federal definition of habilitative services and devices, should HHS choose to define the term. In response to comments, in this final rule OPM will revert back to the term we used in our final rule published March 2013, “habilitative services and devices,” to ensure consistency with the recently published HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2016.5

    5 45 CFR 156.115(a)(5).

    In § 800.105(d), OPM did not propose any change to the regulation. However, the preamble noted that OPM also plans to review an MSP issuer's package of benefits for discriminatory benefit design and intends to work closely with States and HHS to identify and investigate any potentially discriminatory or otherwise noncompliant benefit designs in MSP options.

    In § 800.105(e), OPM proposed to change “assume” to “defray” to align with the language in section 1334(c)(2) of the Affordable Care Act.

    Comments: We received comments on the proposed changes to § 800.105(b), which describes the EHB-benchmark policy, from a broad range of stakeholders. Some comments opposing the change cited consumer confusion while others raised concerns about an unlevel playing field between MSP issuers and QHP issuers or administrative efficiency. In contrast, other commenters supported the proposed changes, and highlighted the opportunity to increase competition in the MSP Program as well as additional choices for consumers. Commenters also highlighted that the change would allow issuers the flexibility needed to fulfill the goals of the Affordable Care Act.

    Response: While we understand the concerns about adverse selection and consumer confusion, we have not seen nor are we aware of any compelling evidence that multiple EHB-benchmarks would cause these issues.

    With the opportunity to use substitutions as well as expand benefits beyond the EHB-benchmark or EHB categories, there is already variation among plans available to consumers.

    Additionally, under the framework that applied in the first two years of the Program, we were already reviewing MSP options using each State's EHB-benchmark. Even if the OPM-selected EHB-benchmark plan was not used in every State, there may be some administrative efficiency gained in the overlap.

    We note that these changes only allow an MSP issuer to propose these types of packages. OPM still retains the authority to approve the package of benefits in § 800.105(d). OPM will scrutinize all proposals for evidence of discriminatory benefit designs and other issues of noncompliance. Keeping potential issues in mind, we are finalizing the changes as proposed in order to increase opportunities for competition in the MSP Program and create the potential for more choices for consumers.

    Comments: We also received comments that focused on the need to maintain benefit standards and protections under any approach. These comments highlighted potential issues or vulnerabilities in need of consumer protection and identified key strategies for addressing them.

    Response: We appreciate the feedback provided by these stakeholders and will take this information under consideration as it relates to our review process. We are not making any further changes to § 800.105(b), but may use the comments to inform MSP Program operations or in drafting Program guidance in the future.

    Comments: We received comments on the proposed changes to § 800.105(c)(3) to the formulary requirements with an OPM-selected EHB-benchmark plan from a variety of stakeholders. Commenters were generally supportive, interpreting the changes as OPM prioritizing the review of formularies proposed by MSP issuers.

    Other commenters raised concerns about consumer confusion and potential misalignment of medical and drug benefits

    Response: We appreciate the broad support from commenters on our proposal as well as their acknowledgement that OPM is prioritizing formulary review. While we understand concerns about the changes to the formulary requirements, including negotiating a formulary or using the formulary from the State-selected EHB-benchmark plan, we do not have any compelling evidence that this would cause consumer confusion or gaps in coverage between medical and drug benefits. OPM intends to use any tools, including the USP category and class count framework, created by HHS to analyze the formulary and inform our negotiations or evaluation of the formulary from the State-selected EHB-benchmark plan. Additionally, we intend to use our discretion in approval of a package of benefits and during any negotiations to identify and remedy gaps between medical and drug benefits. We appreciate the concerns that were raised, but believe we can use the review process to mitigate them, offering more flexibility and consumer choice.

    Comments: Commenters asked to ensure that proposed formularies meet the requirements of section 2713 of the PHS Act and are compliant with other applicable standards. Other commenters that was supportive of the change asked for a similar change to be applied to State-selected EHB-benchmark plans.

    Response: OPM has already identified in § 800.102 the requirement to comply with part A of title XXVII of the PHS Act and has also identified in § 800.105(d) that OPM approval of a proposed package of benefits, including the formulary, will include a review against standards set by HHS and OPM. For example, this would include the USP category and class count framework and the use of a pharmacy and therapeutics committee for formulary development as it applies to QHP issuers. Based on the comments we received and our analysis, we are finalizing § 800.105(c)(3) with no changes.

    Comments: We received comments on the proposed changes to apply a Federal definition of habilitative services from a variety of stakeholders. Some commenters supported the change. Others recommended OPM modify and expand the definition proposed by HHS and requested OPM address habilitative devices or make provisions for specific types of services or devices. Commenters also asked for illustrative lists of habilitative services. Finally, the comments requested that the Federal definition be treated as a Federal floor.

    Response: OPM is deferring to HHS on the substance and role of the Federal definition. In keeping with the HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2016, we are now using the term “habilitative services and devices” in order to remain consistent and address the concerns raised by several commenters. We defer to HHS in determining the standards applicable under its definition of habilitative services and devices. It is not OPM's intention to allow the MSP issuer to choose between State and Federal definitions if both exist for a given State. In the finalized version of § 800.105(c)(4), OPM is taking the opportunity to add clarity to the paragraph in explaining when a State definition of habilitative services and devices applies and when a Federal definition applies. In the final § 800.105(c)(4), the Federal definition is set as the floor, consistent with the HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2016. The State retains the flexibility to apply standards or a definition that does not conflict with the Federal definition. Finally, we continue to reserve authority for OPM to define habilitative services and devices for an OPM-selected EHB-benchmark plan absent a State or Federal definition.

    Comments: We received comments on the issue of non-discrimination and OPM's review of MSP options as it relates to § 800.105(d). Commenters generally supported the proposal and asked for OPM to identify examples of discriminatory benefit designs, and one asked OPM to set specific standards for review in the regulation.

    Response: OPM identified the requirement to comply with Federal law in § 800.102 and also identified related HHS standards against which MSP issuers and MSP options will be evaluated in § 800.105(d). At this time, we believe we have the authority necessary to apply and modify standards for non-discrimination, updating and adapting our review as we continue to learn about discriminatory benefit designs. In practice, we will align our review for non-discriminatory benefit designs with HHS.

    We did not receive any comments on the proposed change to § 800.105(e). Therefore, we are adopting the proposed § 800.105(e) as final.

    In § 800.105(c)(1), we are removing the reference to (c)(4) and replacing it with a reference to (c)(5) in § 800.105(c)(1) to correct an internal cross reference.

    Assessments and User Fees (§ 800.108)

    OPM has authority to collect MSP Program user fees, and continues to preserve its discretion to collect an MSP Program user fee. In the proposed rule, we clarified that OPM may begin collecting the fee as early as plan year 2015. OPM intends to use the MSP assessment or user fee to fund OPM's functions for administration of the Program, including but not limited to entering into contracts with, certifying, recertifying, decertifying, overseeing MSP options and MSP issuers for that plan year, and audits and investigations performed by OPM's Office of Inspector General related to the MSP Program. In the Federally-facilitated Exchanges, OPM is coordinating with HHS regarding the collection of user fees, so that issuers would not be affected operationally. We proposed to revise the regulatory text to allow for flexibility in the process for collecting MSP Program assessments or user fees. We also solicited comments on the process for collecting user fees in the State-based Exchanges and the general use of any fees collected by OPM.

    Comments: Some commenters were opposed to the imposition of user fees in State-based Exchanges citing operational challenges in collecting fees.

    Response: We have considered the comments received and agree that operational complexities for collecting any user fee from MSP issuers on State-based Exchanges exist. We will not be collecting or imposing user fees on MSP issuers operating on State-based Exchanges in plan year 2016. Therefore, the changes to § 800.108 will be accepted as proposed.

    Network Adequacy (§ 800.109)

    In § 800.109(b), OPM proposed to codify the requirement that MSP issuers must comply with any additional provider directory standards that may be set by HHS.

    Comments: Commenters generally supported the proposed change, noting that incorporating HHS standards for provider directories would improve the quality of information consumers receive. Some commenters suggested OPM defer to State requirements where they exist.

    Response: It has been OPM's intention that an MSP issuer comply with appropriate Federal, and where applicable, State requirements for provider directories. OPM did not intend for the proposed changes to § 800.109(b) to alter that framework. After further consideration of the proposed change to subsection (b), we decided that the proposed language is unnecessary. We are, therefore, removing the proposed addition to subsection (b) from the regulatory text. Again, we intend for MSP issuers to comply with any additional regulations promulgated by HHS for QHP issuers, and where applicable, State requirements for provider directories.

    Accreditation (§ 800.111)

    In the proposed rule, we proposed to revise the reference to the specific section in the Code of Federal Regulations to 45 CFR 156.275(a)(1) to be more precise. We received no comments on this proposed change, and are finalizing the text as proposed.

    Level Playing Field (§ 800.115)

    In § 800.115, we proposed to revise the regulatory text to clarify that all areas listed under section 1324(b) of the Affordable Care Act are subject to § 800.114. In addition, we made a technical correction to § 800.115(l) to change a reference to 45 CFR part 162 to 45 CFR part 164. We received no comments on these changes and are finalizing as proposed.

    Subpart D—Application and Contracting Procedures

    In subpart D of 45 CFR part 800, OPM set forth procedures for processing and evaluating applications from issuers seeking participation in the MSP Program. Subpart D also establishes processes pertaining to executing contracts to offer MSP coverage. In particular, this subpart includes sections that address an application process, review of applications, MSP Program contracting, term of a contract, contract renewal process, and nonrenewal. OPM did not receive any comments pertaining to this subpart, except for § 800.301. We are finalizing Subpart D as proposed.

    Application Process (§ 800.301)

    In § 800.301, OPM proposed a technical correction that it would consider annual applications from health insurance issuers to participate in the MSP Program. We also specified that an existing MSP issuer could submit a renewal application to OPM annually. This correction is intended to clarify the distinction between new and renewal applications.

    Comment: Commenters recommended that renewal applicants should be required to complete a full (not streamlined) application.

    Response: Renewal applications require comprehensive and detailed responses to adequately inform OPM about whether to renew its contract with the issuer. OPM has, and will continue to use its experience in the FEHB Program to inform and guide its contracting process with MSP issuers to the extent such experience is applicable to the individual and small group markets within which the MSP Program operates. We are finalizing our proposal.

    Subpart E—Compliance

    In subpart E of 45 CFR part 800, OPM set forth standards and requirements with which MSP issuers must comply. This subpart also contains a non-exhaustive list of actions OPM may utilize in instances of non-compliance and the process by which OPM may reconsider any compliance actions we decide to take. In particular, this subpart includes sections regarding contract performance, contract quality assurance, fraud and abuse, compliance actions, and reconsideration of compliance actions. OPM did not receive any comments pertaining to this subpart, except for § 800.404. We are finalizing Subpart E as proposed.

    Compliance Actions (§ 800.404)

    In § 800.404(a)(4), OPM proposed to clarify that we may initiate a compliance action against an MSP issuer for violations of applicable law or the terms of its contract pursuant to OPM's authority under §§ 800.102 and 800.114. In § 800.404(b)(2), OPM clarified that compliance actions may include withdrawal of certification of an MSP option or options. We also added nonrenewal of participation as a compliance action in order to be consistent with the new paragraph under § 800.306(a)(2). In § 800.404(d), OPM clarified that requirements pertaining to notices to enrollees are triggered when one of the following occurs: The MSP Program contract is terminated, OPM withdraws certification of an MSP option, or if a State-level issuer's participation is not renewed.

    Comment: Commenters suggested that OPM should establish a Federal standard to ensure a seamless transition for enrollees when a plan is terminated or an enrollee is transferred to another issuer and enrolled in a new plan.

    Response: To the extent that the MSP issuer is providing health insurance coverage in a Federally-facilitated Exchange, Federal requirements regarding notice to enrollees must be followed. MSP coverage offered in a State-based Exchange must meet the requirements of that specific State or Exchange to the extent there is no conflict with Federal law. This delineation is consistent with the approach for applicable requirements across the MSP Program. Therefore, we are adopting this section as final, with no changes.

    Subpart G—Miscellaneous

    In subpart G of 45 CFR part 800, OPM set forth requirements pertaining to coverage and disclosure of non-excepted abortion services and data-sharing with State entities.

    Consumer Choice With Respect to Certain Services (§ 800.602)

    We proposed adding a new paragraph (c) to § 800.602 that would require an MSP issuer to provide notice of coverage or exclusion of non-excepted abortion services in an MSP option. Under our proposal, an MSP issuer must disclose to consumers prior to enrollment the exclusion of non-excepted abortion services in a State where coverage of such abortion services is permitted by State law. We also proposed that if an MSP issuer provides an MSP option that covers non-excepted abortion services, in addition to an MSP option that excludes coverage, notice of coverage would also need to be provided to consumers prior to enrollment. Finally, OPM reserved the authority to review and approve these MSP notices and materials. OPM requested comments on the form and manner of these disclosures.

    Comments: In general, commenters supported the proposed notice requirements. However, commenters expressed concern that consumers would receive notice that an MSP option excludes coverage of non-excepted abortion services only if the MSP option is offered in a State that permits coverage of non-excepted abortion services. Commenters argued that consumers may not know if their State permits coverage of non-excepted abortion services.

    Response: We agree that it is in the best interests of consumers for an MSP issuer to provide notice if an MSP option excludes non-excepted abortion services from coverage in every State, not just the States that would permit coverage of such services. We have amended the regulatory text to reflect this change.

    Comments: Commenters also generally supported our proposal that an MSP issuer who offers an MSP option with coverage of non-excepted abortion services must provide notice of coverage of such services to consumers. We proposed that MSP issuers must provide this notice of coverage in a manner consistent with 45 CFR 147.200(a)(3) to meet the requirements of 45 CFR 156.280(f). Commenters offered a variety of suggestions on the form and manner of notices of coverage of non-excepted abortion services.

    Response: We believe adding the disclosure and notice requirements will assist consumers in making informed decisions about their coverage options. Consumers should have accurate information on an MSP option's covered benefits, exclusions, and limitations. Therefore, we are finalizing this section as proposed, with changes to improve readability and clarity.

    Disclosure of Information (§ 800.603)

    OPM proposed this new section to clarify that OPM may use its discretion and authority to disclose information to State entities, including State Departments of Insurance and Exchanges, in order to keep such entities informed about the MSP Program and its issuers.

    Comments: Commenters expressed concern that the language in the new section gives OPM but not States discretion to withhold information. Others supported the language in the new section, indicating that it will assist States in being better primary regulators.

    Response: This section has been added to the rule to make it easier for States to obtain information from OPM on the MSP Program. This provision does not address disclosure of information from States to OPM, and therefore, this provision does not dictate information that a State may or may not withhold from OPM. We are finalizing this section as proposed.

    Executive Orders 13563 and 12866; Regulatory Review

    OPM has examined the impact of this proposed rule as required by Executive Order 12866 on Regulatory Planning and Review (September 30, 1993) and Executive Order 13563 on Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review (January 18, 2011). Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). A regulatory impact analysis must be prepared for major rules with economically significant effects ($100 million or more in any 1 year adjusted for inflation). Section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 defines a “significant regulatory action” as an action that is likely to result in a rule that may:

    (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more in any one year or adversely affect in a material way a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal government or communities;

    (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency;

    (3) Materially alter the budgetary impacts of entitlement grants, user fees, or loan programs, or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or

    (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in Executive Order 12866.

    OPM will continue to generally operate the MSP Program as it previously had in plan year 2014. The regulatory changes in this final rule are for purposes of policy clarification, and any changes will have minimal impact on the administration of the Program. Administrative costs of the rule are generated both within OPM and by issuers offering MSP options. The costs that MSP issuers may incur are the same as those of QHPs, and as stated in 45 CFR part 156, will include: Accreditation, network adequacy standards, and quality reporting. The costs associated with MSP certification offset the costs that issuers would face were they to be certified by the State, or HHS on behalf of the State, to offer QHPs through the Exchange. For the 2014 plan year, there are approximately 371,000 consumers enrolled in MSP options and with an estimated average monthly premium of $350, premiums collected by MSP issuers for consumers enrolled in MSP options are approximately $1.4 billion this year. While the overall regulation and Program have a significant economic impact, this final rule provides for no substantial changes to the Program and is not economically significant.

    We received one comment suggesting that the proposed rule could potentially have an economic impact of $100 million or more per year. The commenter recommended OPM perform a full regulatory impact analysis.

    Based on the analysis presented in our proposed rule and acknowledged above, the economic impact of this rule is not expected to exceed the $100 million threshold.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 6 requires that the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approve all collections of information by a Federal agency from the public before they can be implemented. Respondents are not required to respond to any collection of information unless it displays a current valid OMB control number. OPM is not requiring any additional collections from MSP issuers or applicants seeking to become MSP issuers in this final rule. OPM continues to expect fewer than ten responsible entities to respond to all of the collections noted above. For that reason alone, the existing collections are exempt from the Paperwork Reduction Act.7

    6 44 U.S.C. chapter 35; see 5 CFR part 1320.

    7 44 U.S.C. 3502(3)(A)(i).

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) 8 requires agencies to prepare an initial regulatory flexibility analysis to describe the impact of a rule on small entities, unless the head of the agency can certify that the rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The RFA generally defines a “small entity” as—(1) A proprietary firm meeting the size standards of the Small Business Administration (SBA); (2) a not-for-profit organization that is not dominant in its field; or (3) a small government jurisdiction with a population of less than 50,000. States and individuals are not included in the definition of “small entity.”

    8 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.

    The RFA requires agencies to analyze options for regulatory relief of small businesses, if a proposed rule has a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. For purposes of the RFA, small entities include small businesses, small non-profit organizations, and small government jurisdictions. Small businesses are those with sizes below thresholds established by the SBA. With respect to most health insurers, the SBA size standard is $38.5 million in annual receipts.9 Issuers could possibly be classified in 621491 (HMO Medical Centers) and, if this is the case, the SBA size standard would be $32.5 million or less.

    9 According to the SBA size standards, entities with average annual receipts of $38.5 million or less would be considered small entities for North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code 524114 (Direct Health and Medical Insurance Carriers) (for more information, see “Table of Size Standards Matched To North American Industry Classification System Codes,” effective July 14, 2014, U.S. Small Business Administration, available at http://www.sba.gov).

    OPM does not think that small businesses with annual receipts less than $38.5 million would likely have sufficient economies of scale to become MSP issuers or be part of a group of MSP issuers. Similarly, while the Director must enter into an MSP Program contract with at least one non-profit entity, OPM does not think that small non-profit organizations would likely have sufficient economies of scale to become MSP issuers or be part of a group of MSP issuers. OPM does not think that this final rule would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small businesses with annual receipts less than $38.5 million, because there are only a few health insurance issuers that could be considered small businesses. Moreover, while the Director must enter into an MSP contract with at least one non-profit entity, OPM does not think that this final rule would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small non-profit organizations, because few health insurance issuers are small non-profit organizations.

    OPM incorporates by reference previous analysis by HHS, which provides some insight into the number of health insurance issuers that could be small entities. Based on HHS data from Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) annual report submissions for the 2013 MLR reporting year, approximately 141 out of 500 issuers of health insurance coverage nationwide had total premium revenues of $38.5 million or less.10 HHS estimates this data may overstate the actual number of small health insurance companies, since 77 percent of these small companies belong to larger holding groups, and many if not all of these small companies are likely to have non-health lines of business that would result in their revenues exceeding $38.5 million. OPM concurs with this HHS analysis, and, thus, does not think that this final rule would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    10 79 FR 70747.

    Based on the foregoing, OPM is not preparing an analysis for the RFA because OPM has determined, and the Director certifies, that this final rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    Unfunded Mandates

    Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) 11 requires that agencies assess anticipated costs and benefits, and take certain other actions before issuing a final rule that includes any Federal mandate that may result in expenditures in any one year by a State, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million in 1995 dollars, updated annually for inflation. In 2015, that threshold is approximately $154 million. UMRA does not address the total cost of a rule. Rather, it focuses on certain categories of costs, mainly those “Federal mandate” costs resulting from: (1) Imposing enforceable duties on State, local, or tribal governments, or on the private sector; or (2) increasing the stringency of conditions in, or decreasing the funding of, State, local, or tribal governments under entitlement programs.

    11 Public Law 104-4.

    This final rule does not place any Federal mandates on State, local, or Tribal governments, or on the private sector. This final rule would modify the MSP Program, a voluntary Federal program that provides health insurance issuers the opportunity to contract with OPM to offer MSP options on the Exchanges. Section 3 of UMRA excludes from the definition of “Federal mandate” duties that arise from participation in a voluntary Federal program. Accordingly, no analysis under UMRA is required.

    Federalism

    Executive Order 13132 outlines fundamental principles of federalism, and requires the adherence to specific criteria by Federal agencies in the process of their formulation and implementation of policies that have “substantial direct effects” on the States, the relationship between the national government and States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Federal agencies promulgating regulations that have these federalism implications must consult with State and local officials, and describe the extent of their consultation and the nature of the concerns of State and local officials in the preamble to the regulation.

    This final rule has federalism implications because it has direct effects on the States, the relationship between the national government and States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among various levels of government. However, these sections of the regulation were not modified.

    In compliance with the requirement of Executive Order 13132 that agencies examine closely any policies that may have federalism implications or limit the policy making discretion of the States, OPM has engaged in efforts to consult with and work cooperatively with affected State and local officials, including attending meetings of the NAIC and consulting with State insurance officials on an individual basis. It is expected OPM will continue to act in a similar fashion in enforcing the Affordable Care Act requirements. Throughout the process of administering the MSP Program and developing this final regulation, OPM has attempted to balance the States' interests in regulating health insurance issuers, and the statutory requirement to provide two MSP options in all Exchanges in the each States and the District of Columbia. By doing so, it is OPM's view that it has complied with the requirements of Executive Order 13132.

    Pursuant to the requirements set forth in section 8(a) of Executive Order 13132, and by the signature affixed to this final regulation, OPM certifies that it has complied with the requirements of Executive Order 13132 for the attached regulation in a meaningful and timely manner.

    Congressional Review Act

    This final rule is subject to the Congressional Review Act provisions of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), which specifies that before a rule can take effect, the Federal agency promulgating the rule must submit to each House of Congress and to the Comptroller General a report containing a copy of the rule along with other specified information. In accordance with this requirement, OPM has transmitted this rule to Congress and the Comptroller General for review.

    List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 800

    Administrative practice and procedure, Health care, Health insurance, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Office of Personnel Management. Katherine Archuleta, Director.

    Accordingly, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is republishing part 800 to title 45, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

    PART 800—MULTI-STATE PLAN PROGRAM Subpart A—General Provisions and Definitions Sec. 800.10 Basis and scope. 800.20 Definitions. Subpart B—Multi-State Plan Program Issuer Requirements 800.101 General requirements. 800.102 Compliance with Federal law. 800.103 Authority to contract with issuers. 800.104 Phased expansion, etc. 800.105 Benefits. 800.106 Cost-sharing limits, advance payments of premium tax credits, and cost-sharing reductions. 800.107 Levels of coverage. 800.108 Assessments and user fees. 800.109 Network adequacy. 800.110 Service area. 800.111 Accreditation requirement. 800.112 Reporting requirements. 800.113 Benefit plan material or information. 800.114 Compliance with applicable State law. 800.115 Level playing field. 800.116 Process for dispute resolution. Subpart C—Premiums Rating Factors, Medical Loss Ratios, and Risk Adjustment 800.201 General requirements. 800.202 Rating factors. 800.203 Medical loss ratio. 800.204 Reinsurance, risk corridors, and risk adjustment. Subpart D—Application and Contracting Procedures 800.301 Application process. 800.302 Review of applications. 800.303 MSP Program contracting. 800.304 Term of the contract. 800.305 Contract renewal process. 800.306 Nonrenewal. Subpart E—Compliance 800.401 Contract performance. 800.402 Contract quality assurance. 800.403 Fraud and abuse. 800.404 Compliance actions. 800.405 Reconsideration of compliance actions. Subpart F—Appeals by Enrollees of Denials of Claims for Payment or Service 800.501 General requirements. 800.502 MSP issuer internal claims and appeals. 800.503 External review. 800.504 Judicial review. Subpart G—Miscellaneous 800.601 Reservation of authority. 800.602 Consumer choice with respect to certain services. 800.603 Disclosure of information. Authority:

    Sec. 1334 of Pub. L. 111-148, 124 Stat. 119; Pub. L. 111-152, 124 Stat. 1029 (42 U.S.C. 18054).

    Subpart A—General Provisions and Definitions
    § 800.10 Basis and scope.

    (a) Basis. This part is based on the following sections of title I of the Affordable Care Act:

    (1) 1001. Amendments to the Public Health Service Act.

    (2) 1302. Essential Health Benefits Requirements.

    (3) 1311. Affordable Choices of Health Benefit Plans.

    (4) 1324. Level Playing Field.

    (5) 1334. Multi-State Plans.

    (6) 1341. Transitional Reinsurance Program for Individual Market in Each State.

    (7) 1342. Establishment of Risk Corridors for Plans in Individual and Small Group Markets.

    (8) 1343. Risk Adjustment.

    (b) Scope. This part establishes standards for health insurance issuers to contract with the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to offer Multi-State Plan (MSP) options to provide health insurance coverage on Exchanges for each State. It also establishes standards for appeal of a decision by OPM affecting the issuer's participation in the MSP Program and standards for an enrollee in an MSP option to appeal denials of payment or services by an MSP issuer.

    § 800.20 Definitions.

    For purposes of this part:

    Actuarial value (AV) has the meaning given that term in 45 CFR 156.20.

    Affordable Care Act means the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Pub. L. 111-148), as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-152).

    Applicant means an issuer or group of issuers that has submitted an application to OPM to be considered for participation in the Multi-State Plan Program.

    Benefit plan material or information means explanations or descriptions, whether printed or electronic, that describe a health insurance issuer's products. The term does not include a policy or contract for health insurance coverage.

    Cost sharing has the meaning given that term in 45 CFR 155.20.

    Director means the Director of the United States Office of Personnel Management.

    EHB-benchmark plan has the meaning given that term in 45 CFR 156.20.

    Exchange means a governmental agency or non-profit entity that meets the applicable requirements of 45 CFR part 155 and makes qualified health plans (QHPs) and MSP options available to qualified individuals and qualified employers. Unless otherwise identified, this term refers to State Exchanges, regional Exchanges, subsidiary Exchanges, and a Federally-facilitated Exchange.

    Federal Employees Health Benefits Program or FEHB Program means the health benefits program administered by the United States Office of Personnel Management pursuant to chapter 89 of title 5, United States Code.

    Group of issuers means:

    (1) A group of health insurance issuers that are affiliated either by common ownership and control or by common use of a nationally licensed service mark (as defined in this section); or

    (2) An affiliation of health insurance issuers and an entity that is not an issuer but that owns a nationally licensed service mark (as defined in this section).

    Health insurance coverage means benefits consisting of medical care (provided directly, through insurance or reimbursement, or otherwise) under any hospital or medical service policy or certificate, hospital or medical service plan contract, or health maintenance organization contract offered by a health insurance issuer. Health insurance coverage includes group health insurance coverage, individual health insurance coverage, and short-term, limited duration insurance.

    Health insurance issuer or issuer means an insurance company, insurance service, or insurance organization (including a health maintenance organization) that is required to be licensed to engage in the business of insurance in a State and that is subject to State law that regulates insurance (within the meaning of section 514(b)(2) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)). This term does not include a group health plan as defined in 45 CFR 146.145(a).

    HHS means the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

    Level of coverage means one of four standardized actuarial values of plan coverage as defined by section 1302(d)(1) of the Affordable Care Act.

    Licensure means the authorization obtained from the appropriate State official or regulatory authority to offer health insurance coverage in the State.

    Multi-State Plan Program issuer or MSP issuer means a health insurance issuer or group of issuers (as defined in this section) that has a contract with OPM to offer health plans pursuant to section 1334 of the Affordable Care Act and meets the requirements of this part.

    Multi-State Plan option or MSP option means a discrete pairing of a package of benefits with particular cost sharing (which does not include premium rates or premium rate quotes) that is offered pursuant to a contract with OPM pursuant to section 1334 of the Affordable Care Act and meets the requirements of 45 CFR part 800.

    Multi-State Plan Program or MSP Program means the program administered by OPM pursuant to section 1334 of the Affordable Care Act.

    Nationally licensed service mark means a word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof, that an issuer or group of issuers uses consistently nationwide to identify itself.

    Non-profit entity means:

    (1) An organization that is incorporated under State law as a non-profit entity and licensed under State law as a health insurance issuer; or

    (2) A group of health insurance issuers licensed under State law, a substantial portion of which are incorporated under State law as non-profit entities.

    OPM means the United States Office of Personnel Management.

    Percentage of total allowed cost of benefits has the meaning given that term in 45 CFR 156.20.

    Plan year means a consecutive 12-month period during which a health plan provides coverage for health benefits. A plan year may be a calendar year or otherwise.

    Prompt payment means a requirement imposed on a health insurance issuer to pay a provider or enrollee for a claimed benefit or service within a defined time period, including the penalty or consequence imposed on the issuer for failure to meet the requirement.

    Qualified Health Plan or QHP means a health plan that has in effect a certification that it meets the standards described in subpart C of 45 CFR part 156 issued or recognized by each Exchange through which such plan is offered pursuant to the process described in subpart K of 45 CFR part 155.

    Rating means the process, including rating factors, numbers, formulas, methodologies, and actuarial assumptions, used to set premiums for a health plan.

    Secretary means the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

    SHOP means a Small Business Health Options Program operated by an Exchange through which a qualified employer can provide its employees and their dependents with access to one or more qualified health plans (QHPs).

    Silver plan variation has the meaning given that term in 45 CFR 156.400.

    Small employer means, in connection with a group health plan with respect to a calendar year and a plan year, an employer who employed an average of at least one but not more than 100 employees on business days during the preceding calendar year and who employs at least one employee on the first day of the plan year. In the case of plan years beginning before January 1, 2016, a State may elect to define small employer by substituting “50 employees” for “100 employees.”

    Standard plan has the meaning given that term in 45 CFR 156.400.

    State Insurance Commissioner means the commissioner or other chief insurance regulatory official of a State.

    State means each of the 50 States or the District of Columbia.

    State-level issuer means a health insurance issuer designated by the Multi-State Plan (MSP) issuer to offer an MSP option or MSP options. The State-level issuer may offer health insurance coverage through an MSP option in all or part of one or more States.

    Subpart B—Multi-State Plan Program Issuer Requirements
    § 800.101 General requirements.

    An MSP issuer must:

    (a) Licensed. Be licensed as a health insurance issuer in each State where it offers health insurance coverage;

    (b) Contract with OPM. Have a contract with OPM pursuant to this part;

    (c) Required levels of coverage. Offer levels of coverage as required by § 800.107 of this part;

    (d) Eligibility and enrollment. MSP options and MSP issuers must meet the same requirements for eligibility, enrollment, and termination of coverage as those that apply to QHPs and QHP issuers pursuant to 45 CFR part 155, subparts D, E, and H, and 45 CFR 156.250, 156.260, 156.265, 156.270, and 156.285;

    (e) Applicable to each MSP issuer. Ensure that each of its MSP options meets the requirements of this part;

    (f) Compliance. Comply with all standards set forth in this part;

    (g) OPM direction and other legal requirements. Timely comply with OPM instructions and directions and with other applicable law; and

    (h) Other requirements. Meet such other requirements as determined appropriate by OPM, in consultation with HHS, pursuant to section 1334(b)(4) of the Affordable Care Act.

    (i) Non-discrimination. MSP options and MSP issuers must comply with applicable Federal and State non-discrimination laws, including the standards set forth in 45 CFR 156.125 and 156.200(e).

    § 800.102 Compliance with Federal law.

    (a) Public Health Service Act. As a condition of participation in the MSP Program, an MSP issuer must comply with applicable provisions of part A of title XXVII of the PHS Act. Compliance shall be determined by the Director.

    (b) Affordable Care Act. As a condition of participation in the MSP Program, an MSP issuer must comply with applicable provisions of title I of the Affordable Care Act. Compliance shall be determined by the Director.

    § 800.103 Authority to contract with issuers.

    (a) General. OPM may enter into contracts with health insurance issuers to offer at least two MSP options on Exchanges and SHOPs in each State, without regard to any statutes that would otherwise require competitive bidding.

    (b) Non-profit entity. In entering into contracts with health insurance issuers to offer MSP options, OPM will enter into a contract with at least one non-profit entity as defined in § 800.20 of this part.

    (c) Group of issuers. Any contract to offer MSP options may be with a group of issuers as defined in § 800.20 of this part.

    (d) Individual and group coverage. The contracts will provide for individual health insurance coverage and for group health insurance coverage for small employers.

    § 800.104 Phased expansion, etc.

    (a) Phase-in. OPM may enter into a contract with a health insurance issuer to offer MSP options if the health insurance issuer agrees that:

    (1) With respect to the first year for which the health insurance issuer offers MSP options, the health insurance issuer will offer MSP options in at least 60 percent of the States;

    (2) With respect to the second such year, the health insurance issuer will offer the MSP options in at least 70 percent of the States;

    (3) With respect to the third such year, the health insurance issuer will offer the MSP options in at least 85 percent of the States; and

    (4) With respect to each subsequent year, the health insurance issuer will offer the MSP options in all States.

    (b) Partial coverage within a State. (1) OPM may enter into a contract with an MSP issuer even if the MSP issuer's MSP options for a State cover fewer than all the service areas specified for that State pursuant to § 800.110 of this part.

    (2) If an issuer offers both an MSP option and QHP on the same Exchange, an MSP issuer must offer MSP coverage in a service area or areas that is equal to the greater of:

    (i) The QHP service area defined by the issuer or,

    (ii) The service area specified for that State pursuant to § 800.110 of this part covered by the issuer's QHP.

    (c) Participation in SHOPs. (1) An MSP issuer's participation in a Federally-facilitated SHOP must be consistent with the requirements for QHP issuers specified in 45 CFR 156.200(g).

    (2) An MSP issuer must comply with State standards governing participation in a State-based SHOP, consistent with § 800.114. For these State-based SHOP standards, OPM retains discretion to allow an MSP issuer to phase-in SHOP participation in States pursuant to section 1334(e) of the Affordable Care Act.

    (d) Licensed where offered. OPM may enter into a contract with an MSP issuer who is not licensed in every State, provided that the issuer is licensed in every State where it offers MSP coverage through any Exchanges in that State and demonstrates to OPM that it is making a good faith effort to become licensed in every State consistent with the timeframe in paragraph (a) of this section.

    § 800.105 Benefits.

    (a) Package of benefits. (1) An MSP issuer must offer a package of benefits that includes the essential health benefits (EHB) described in section 1302 of the Affordable Care Act for each MSP option within a State.

    (2) The package of benefits referred to in paragraph (a)(1) of this section must comply with section 1302 of the Affordable Care Act, as well as any applicable standards set by OPM and any applicable standards set by HHS.

    (b) Package of benefits options. (1) An MSP issuer must offer at least one uniform package of benefits in each State that is substantially equal to:

    (i) The EHB-benchmark plan in each State in which it operates; or

    (ii) Any EHB-benchmark plan selected by OPM under paragraph (c) of this section.

    (2) An issuer applying to participate in the MSP Program may select either or both of the package of benefits options described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section in its application. In each State, the issuer may choose one EHB-benchmark for each product it offers.

    (3) An MSP issuer must comply with any State standards relating to substitution of benchmark benefits or standard benefit designs.

    (c) OPM selection of benchmark plans. (1) The OPM-selected EHB-benchmark plans are the three largest Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program plan options, as identified by HHS pursuant to section 1302(b) of the Affordable Care Act, and as supplemented pursuant to paragraphs (c)(2) through (5) of this section.

    (2) Any EHB-benchmark plan selected by OPM under paragraph (c)(1) lacking coverage of pediatric oral services or pediatric vision services must be supplemented by the addition of the entire category of benefits from the largest Federal Employee Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) dental or vision plan options, respectively, pursuant to 45 CFR 156.110(b) and section 1302(b) of the Affordable Care Act.

    (3) In all States where an MSP issuer uses the OPM-selected EHB-benchmark plan, the MSP issuer may manage formularies around the needs of anticipated or actual users, subject to approval by OPM.

    (4) An MSP issuer must follow the definition of habilitative services and devices as follows:

    (i) An MSP issuer must follow the Federal definitions where HHS specifically defines habilitative services and devices if the State does not define the term, if the State defines the term in a conflicting way, or if the State definition is less stringent than the Federal definition.

    (ii) An MSP issuer must follow State definitions where the State specifically defines the habilitative services and devices category pursuant to 45 CFR 156.110(f) and the State definition is not in conflict with the Federal definition or goes above the standards set in the Federal definition.

    (iii) In the case of any State that does not define this category and absent a clearly applicable Federal definition, if any OPM-selected EHB-benchmark plan lacks coverage of habilitative services and devices, OPM may determine what habilitative services and devices are to be included in that EHB-benchmark plan.

    (5) Any EHB-benchmark plan selected by OPM under paragraph (c)(1) of this section must include, for each State, any State-required benefits enacted before December 31, 2011, that are included in the State's EHB-benchmark plan as described in paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section, or specific to the market in which the plan is offered.

    (d) OPM approval. An MSP issuer's package of benefits, including its formulary, must be submitted for approval by OPM, which will review a package of benefits proposed by an MSP issuer and determine if it is substantially equal to an EHB-benchmark plan described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, pursuant to standards set forth by OPM and any applicable standards set forth by HHS, including 45 CFR 156.115, 156.122, and 156.125.

    (e) State payments for additional State-required benefits. If a State requires that benefits in addition to the benchmark package be offered to MSP enrollees in that State, then pursuant to section 1334(c)(2) of the Affordable Care Act, the State must defray the cost of such additional benefits by making payments either to the enrollee or to the MSP issuer on behalf of the enrollee.

    § 800.106 Cost-sharing limits, advance payments of premium tax credits, and cost-sharing reductions.

    (a) Cost-sharing limits. For each MSP option it offers, an MSP issuer must ensure that the cost-sharing provisions of the MSP option comply with section 1302(c) of the Affordable Care Act, as well as any applicable standards set by OPM or HHS.

    (b) Advance payments of premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions. For each MSP option it offers, an MSP issuer must ensure that an eligible individual receives the benefit of advance payments of premium tax credits under section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code and the cost-sharing reductions under section 1402 of the Affordable Care Act. An MSP issuer must also comply with any applicable standards set by OPM or HHS.

    § 800.107 Levels of coverage.

    (a) Silver and gold levels of coverage required. An MSP issuer must offer at least one MSP option at the silver level of coverage and at least one MSP option at the gold level of coverage on each Exchange in which the issuer is certified to offer an MSP option pursuant to a contract with OPM.

    (b) Bronze or platinum metal levels of coverage permitted. Pursuant to a contract with OPM, an MSP issuer may offer one or more MSP options at the bronze level of coverage or the platinum level of coverage, or both, on any Exchange or SHOP in any State.

    (c) Child-only plans. For each level of coverage, the MSP issuer must offer a child-only MSP option at the same level of coverage as any health insurance coverage offered to individuals who, as of the beginning of the plan year, have not attained the age of 21.

    (d) Plan variations for the reduction or elimination of cost-sharing. An MSP issuer must comply with section 1402 of the Affordable Care Act, as well as any applicable standards set by OPM or HHS.

    (e) OPM approval. An MSP issuer must submit the levels of coverage plans and plan variations to OPM for review and approval by OPM.

    § 800.108 Assessments and user fees.

    (a) Discretion to charge assessment and user fees. Beginning in plan year 2015, OPM may require an MSP issuer to pay an assessment or user fee as a condition of participating in the MSP Program.

    (b) Determination of amount. The amount of the assessment or user fee charged by OPM for a plan year is the amount determined necessary by OPM to meet the costs of OPM's functions under the Affordable Care Act for a plan year, including but not limited to such functions as entering into contracts with, certifying, recertifying, decertifying, and overseeing MSP options and MSP issuers for that plan year. The amount of the assessment or user fee charged by OPM will be offset against the assessment or user fee amount required by any State-based Exchange or federally-facilitated Exchange such that the total of all assessments and user fees paid by the MSP issuer for the year for the MSP option shall be no greater than nor less than the amount of the assessment or user fee paid by QHP issuers in that State-based Exchange or federally-facilitated Exchange for that year.

    (c) Process for collecting MSP assessment or user fees. OPM may require an MSP issuer to make payment of the MSP Program assessment or user fee amount directly to OPM, or may establish other mechanisms for the collection process.

    § 800.109 Network adequacy.

    (a) General requirement. An MSP issuer must ensure that the provider network of each of its MSP options, as available to all enrollees, meets the following standards:

    (1) Maintains a network that is sufficient in number and types of providers to assure that all services will be accessible without unreasonable delay;

    (2) Is consistent with the network adequacy provisions of section 2702(c) of the Public Health Service Act; and

    (3) Includes essential community providers in compliance with 45 CFR 156.235.

    (b) Provider directory. An MSP issuer must make its provider directory for an MSP option available to the Exchange for publication online pursuant to guidance from the Exchange and to potential enrollees in hard copy, upon request. In the provider directory, an MSP issuer must identify providers that are not accepting new patients.

    (c) OPM guidance. OPM will issue guidance containing the criteria and standards that it will use to determine the adequacy of a provider network.

    § 800.110 Service area.

    An MSP issuer must offer an MSP option within one or more service areas in a State defined by each Exchange pursuant to 45 CFR 155.1055. If an Exchange permits issuers to define their service areas, an MSP issuer must obtain OPM's approval for its proposed service areas. Pursuant to § 800.104 of this part, OPM may enter into a contract with an MSP issuer even if the MSP issuer's MSP options for a State cover fewer than all the service areas specified for that State. MSP options will follow the same standards for service areas for QHPs pursuant to 45 CFR 155.1055.

    § 800.111 Accreditation requirement.

    (a) General requirement. An MSP issuer must be or become accredited consistent with the requirements for QHP issuers specified in section 1311 of the Affordable Care Act and 45 CFR 156.275(a)(1).

    (b) Release of survey. An MSP issuer must authorize the accrediting entity that accredits the MSP issuer to release to OPM and to the Exchange a copy of its most recent accreditation survey, together with any survey-related information that OPM or an Exchange may require, such as corrective action plans and summaries of findings.

    (c) Timeframe for accreditation. An MSP issuer that is not accredited as of the date that it enters into a contract with OPM must become accredited within the timeframe established by OPM as authorized by 45 CFR 155.1045.

    § 800.112 Reporting requirements.

    (a) OPM specification of reporting requirements. OPM will specify the data and information that must be reported by an MSP issuer, including data permitted or required by the Affordable Care Act and such other data as OPM may determine necessary for the oversight and administration of the MSP Program. OPM will also specify the form, manner, processes, and frequency for the reporting of data and information. The Director may require that MSP issuers submit claims payment and enrollment data to facilitate OPM's oversight and administration of the MSP Program in a manner similar to the FEHB Program.

    (b) Quality and quality improvement standards. An MSP issuer must comply with any standards required by OPM for reporting quality and quality improvement activities, including but not limited to implementation of a quality improvement strategy, disclosure of quality measures to enrollees and prospective enrollees, reporting of pediatric quality measures, and implementation of rating and enrollee satisfaction surveys, which will be similar to standards under section 1311(c)(1)(E), (H), and (I), (c)(3), and (c)(4) of the Affordable Care Act.

    § 800.113 Benefit plan material or information.

    (a) Compliance with Federal and State law. An MSP issuer must comply with Federal and State laws relating to benefit plan material or information, including the provisions of this section and guidance issued by OPM specifying its standards, process, and timeline for approval of benefit plan material or information.

    (b) General standards for MSP applications and notices. An MSP issuer must provide all applications and notices to enrollees in accordance with the standards described in 45 CFR 155.205(c). OPM may establish additional standards to meet the needs of MSP enrollees.

    (1) Accuracy. An MSP issuer is responsible for the accuracy of its benefit plan material or information.

    (2) Truthful, not misleading, no material omissions, and plain language. All benefit plan material or information must be:

    (i) Truthful, not misleading, and without material omissions; and

    (ii) Written in plain language, as defined in section 1311(e)(3)(B) of the Affordable Care Act.

    (3) Uniform explanation of coverage documents and standardized definitions. An MSP issuer must comply with the provisions of section 2715 of the PHS Act and regulations issued to implement that section.

    (4) OPM review and approval of benefit plan material or information. OPM may request an MSP issuer to submit to OPM benefit plan material or information, as defined in § 800.20. OPM reserves the right to review and approve benefit plan material or information to ensure that an MSP issuer complies with Federal and State laws, and the standards prescribed by OPM with respect to benefit plan material or information.

    (5) Statement on certification by OPM. An MSP issuer may include a statement in its benefit plan material or information that:

    (i) OPM has certified the MSP option as eligible to be offered on the Exchange; and

    (ii) OPM monitors the MSP option for compliance with all applicable law.

    § 800.114 Compliance with applicable State law.

    (a) Compliance with State law. An MSP issuer must, with respect to each of its MSP options, generally comply with State law pursuant to section 1334(b)(2) of the Affordable Care Act. However, the MSP options and MSP issuers are not subject to State laws that:

    (1) Are inconsistent with section 1334 of the Affordable Care Act or this part;

    (2) Prevent the application of a requirement of part A of title XXVII of the PHS Act; or

    (3) Prevent the application of a requirement of title I of the Affordable Care Act.

    (b) Determination of inconsistency. After consultation with the State and HHS, OPM reserves the right to determine, in its judgment, as effectuated through an MSP Program contract, these regulations, or OPM guidance, whether the standards set forth in paragraph (a) of this section are satisfied with respect to particular State laws.

    § 800.115 Level playing field.

    An MSP issuer must, with respect to each of its MSP options, meet the following requirements in order to ensure a level playing field, subject to § 800.114:

    (a) Guaranteed renewal. Guarantee that an enrollee can renew enrollment in an MSP option in compliance with sections 2703 and 2742 of the PHS Act;

    (b) Rating. In proposing premiums for OPM approval, use only the rating factors permitted under section 2701 of the PHS Act and State law;

    (c) Preexisting conditions. Not impose any preexisting condition exclusion and comply with section 2704 of the PHS Act;

    (d) Non-discrimination. Comply with section 2705 of the PHS Act;

    (e) Quality improvement and reporting. Comply with all Federal and State quality improvement and reporting requirements. Quality improvement and reporting means quality improvement as defined in section 1311(h) of the Affordable Care Act and quality improvement plans or strategies required under State law, and quality reporting as defined in section 2717 of the PHS Act and section 1311(g) of the Affordable Care Act. Quality improvement also includes activities such as, but not limited to, implementation of a quality improvement strategy, disclosure of quality measures to enrollees and prospective enrollees, and reporting of pediatric quality measures, which will be similar to standards under section 1311(c)(1)(E), (H), and (I) of the Affordable Care Act;

    (f) Fraud and abuse. Comply with all Federal and State fraud and abuse laws;

    (g) Licensure. Be licensed in every State in which it offers an MSP option;

    (h) Solvency and financial requirements. Comply with the solvency standards set by each State in which it offers an MSP option;

    (i) Market conduct. Comply with the market conduct standards of each State in which it offers an MSP option;

    (j) Prompt payment. Comply with applicable State law in negotiating the terms of payment in contracts with its providers and in making payments to claimants and providers;

    (k) Appeals and grievances. Comply with Federal standards under section 2719 of the PHS Act for appeals and grievances relating to adverse benefit determinations, as described in subpart F of this part;

    (l) Privacy and confidentiality. Comply with all Federal and State privacy and security laws and requirements, including any standards required by OPM in guidance or contract, which will be similar to the standards contained in 45 CFR part 164 and applicable State law; and

    (m) Benefit plan material or information. Comply with Federal and State law, including § 800.113 of this part.

    § 800.116 Process for dispute resolution.

    (a) Determinations about applicability of State law under section 1334(b)(2) of the Affordable Care Act. In the event of a dispute about the applicability to an MSP option or MSP issuer of a State law, the State may request that OPM reconsider a determination that an MSP option or MSP issuer is not subject to such State law.

    (b) Required demonstration. A State making a request under paragraph (a) of this section must demonstrate that the State law at issue:

    (1) Is not inconsistent with section 1334 of the Affordable Care Act or this part;

    (2) Does not prevent the application of a requirement of part A of title XXVII of the PHS Act; and

    (3) Does not prevent the application of a requirement of title I of the Affordable Care Act.

    (c) Request for review. The request must be in writing and include contact information, including the name, telephone number, email address, and mailing address of the person or persons whom OPM may contact regarding the request for review. The request must be in such form, contain such information, and be submitted in such manner and within such timeframe as OPM may prescribe.

    (1) The requester may submit to OPM any relevant information to support its request.

    (2) OPM may obtain additional information relevant to the request from any source as it may, in its judgment, deem necessary. OPM will provide the requester with a copy of any additional information it obtains and provide an opportunity for the requester to respond (including by submission of additional information or explanation).

    (3) OPM will issue a written decision within 60 calendar days after receiving the written request, or after the due date for a response under paragraph (c)(2) of this section, whichever is later, unless a different timeframe is agreed upon.

    (4) OPM's written decision will constitute final agency action that is subject to review under the Administrative Procedure Act in the appropriate U.S. district court. Such review is limited to the record that was before OPM when OPM made its decision.

    Subpart C—Premiums, Rating Factors, Medical Loss Ratios, and Risk Adjustment
    § 800.201 General requirements.

    (a) Premium negotiation. OPM will negotiate annually with an MSP issuer, on a State by State basis, the premiums for each MSP option offered by that issuer in that State. Such negotiations may include negotiations about the cost-sharing provisions of an MSP option.

    (b) Duration. Premiums will remain in effect for the plan year.

    (c) Guidance on rate development. OPM will issue guidance addressing methods for the development of premiums for the MSP Program. That guidance will follow State rating standards generally applicable in a State, to the greatest extent practicable.

    (d) Calculation of actuarial value. An MSP issuer must calculate actuarial value in the same manner as QHP issuers under section 1302(d) of the Affordable Care Act, as well as any applicable standards set by OPM or HHS.

    (e) OPM rate review process. An MSP issuer must participate in the rate review process established by OPM to negotiate rates for MSP options. The rate review process established by OPM will be similar to the process established by HHS pursuant to section 2794 of the PHS Act and disclosure and review standards established under 45 CFR part 154.

    (f) State effective rate review. With respect to its MSP options, an MSP issuer is subject to a State's rate review process, including a State's Effective Rate Review Program established by HHS pursuant to section 2794 of the PHS Act and 45 CFR part 154. In the event HHS is reviewing rates for a State pursuant to section 2794 of the PHS Act, HHS will defer to OPM's judgment regarding the MSP options' proposed rate increase. If a State withholds approval of an MSP option and OPM determines, in its discretion, that the State's action would prevent OPM from administrating the MSP Program, OPM retains authority to make the final decision to approve rates for participation in the MSP Program, notwithstanding the absence of State approval.

    (g) Single risk pool. An MSP issuer must consider all enrollees in an MSP option to be in the same risk pool as all enrollees in all other health plans in the individual market or the small group market, respectively, in compliance with section 1312(c) of the Affordable Care Act, 45 CFR 156.80, and any applicable Federal or State laws and regulations implementing that section.

    § 800.202 Rating factors.

    (a) Permissible rating factors. In proposing premiums for each MSP option, an MSP issuer must use only the rating factors permitted under section 2701 of the PHS Act.

    (b) Application of variations based on age or tobacco use. Rating variations permitted under section 2701 of the PHS Act must be applied by an MSP issuer based on the portion of the premium attributable to each family member covered under the coverage in accordance with any applicable Federal or State laws and regulations implementing section 2701(a) of the PHS Act.

    (c) Age rating. For age rating, an MSP issuer must use the ratio established by the State in which the MSP option is offered, if it is less than 3:1.

    (1) Age bands. An MSP issuer must use the uniform age bands established under HHS regulations implementing section 2701(a) of the PHS Act.

    (2) Age curves. An MSP issuer must use the age curves established under HHS regulations implementing section 2701(a) of the PHS Act, or age curves established by a State pursuant to HHS regulations.

    (d) Rating areas. An MSP issuer must use the rating areas appropriate to the State in which the MSP option is offered and established under HHS regulations implementing section 2701(a) of the PHS Act.

    (e) Tobacco rating. An MSP issuer must apply tobacco use as a rating factor in accordance with any applicable Federal or State laws and regulations implementing section 2701(a) of the PHS Act.

    (f) Wellness programs. An MSP issuer must comply with any applicable Federal or State laws and regulations implementing section 2705 of the PHS Act.

    § 800.203 Medical loss ratio.

    (a) Required medical loss ratio. An MSP issuer must attain:

    (1) The medical loss ratio (MLR) required under section 2718 of the PHS Act and regulations promulgated by HHS; and

    (2) Any MSP-specific MLR that OPM may set in the best interests of MSP enrollees or that is necessary to be consistent with a State's requirements with respect to MLR.

    (b) Consequences of not attaining required medical loss ratio. If an MSP issuer fails to attain an MLR set forth in paragraph (a) of this section, OPM may take any appropriate action, including but not limited to intermediate sanctions, such as suspension of marketing, decertifying an MSP option in one or more States, or terminating an MSP issuer's contract pursuant to § 800.404 of this part.

    § 800.204 Reinsurance, risk corridors, and risk adjustment.

    (a) Transitional reinsurance program. An MSP issuer must comply with section 1341 of the Affordable Care Act, 45 CFR part 153, and any applicable Federal or State regulations under section 1341 that set forth requirements to implement the transitional reinsurance program for the individual market.

    (b) Temporary risk corridors program. An MSP issuer must comply with section 1342 of the Affordable Care Act, 45 CFR part 153, and any applicable Federal regulations under section 1342 that set forth requirements to implement the risk corridor program.

    (c) Risk adjustment program. An MSP issuer must comply with section 1343 of the Affordable Care Act, 45 CFR part 153, and any applicable Federal or State regulations under section 1343 that set forth requirements to implement the risk adjustment program.

    Subpart D—Application and Contracting Procedures
    § 800.301 Application process.

    (a) Acceptance of applications. Without regard to 41 U.S.C. 6101(b)-(d), or any other statute requiring competitive bidding, OPM may consider annual applications from health insurance issuers, including groups of health insurance issuers as defined in § 800.20, to participate in the MSP Program. If OPM determines that it is not beneficial for the MSP Program to consider new issuer applications for an upcoming year, OPM will issue a notice to that effect. Each existing MSP issuer may complete a renewal application annually.

    (b) Form and manner of applications. An applicant must submit to OPM, in the form and manner and in accordance with the timeline specified by OPM, the information requested by OPM for determining whether an applicant meets the requirements of this part.

    § 800.302 Review of applications.

    (a) Determinations. OPM will determine if an applicant meets the requirements of this part. If OPM determines that an applicant meets the requirements of this part, OPM may accept the applicant to enter into contract negotiations with OPM to participate in the MSP Program.

    (b) Requests for additional information. OPM may request additional information from an applicant before making a decision about whether to enter into contract negotiations with that applicant to participate in the MSP Program.

    (c) Declination of application. If, after reviewing an application to participate in the MSP Program, OPM declines to enter into contract negotiations with the applicant, OPM will inform the applicant in writing of the reasons for that decision.

    (d) Discretion. The decision whether to enter into contract negotiations with a health insurance issuer who has applied to participate in the MSP Program is committed to OPM's discretion.

    (e) Impact on future applications. OPM's declination of an application to participate in the MSP Program will not preclude the applicant from submitting an application for a subsequent year to participate in the MSP Program.

    § 800.303 MSP Program contracting.

    (a) Participation in MSP Program. To become an MSP issuer, the applicant and the Director or the Director's designee must sign a contract that meets the requirements of this part.

    (b) Standard contract. OPM will establish a standard contract for the MSP Program.

    (c) Premiums. OPM and the applicant will negotiate the premiums for an MSP option for each plan year in accordance with the provisions of subpart C of this part.

    (d) Package of benefits. OPM must approve the applicant's package of benefits for its MSP option.

    (e) Additional terms and conditions. OPM may elect to negotiate with an applicant such additional terms, conditions, and requirements that:

    (1) Are in the interests of MSP enrollees; or

    (2) OPM determines to be appropriate.

    (f) Certification to offer health insurance coverage.

    (1) For each plan year, an MSP Program contract will specify MSP options that OPM has certified, the specific package(s) of benefits authorized to be offered on each Exchange, and the premiums to be charged for each package of benefits on each Exchange.

    (2) An MSP issuer may not offer an MSP option on an Exchange unless its MSP Program contract with OPM includes a certification authorizing the MSP issuer to offer the MSP option on that Exchange in accordance with paragraph (f)(1) of this section.

    § 800.304 Term of the contract.

    (a) Term of a contract. The term of the contract will be specified in the MSP Program contract and must be for a period of at least the 12 consecutive months defined as the plan year.

    (b) Plan year. The plan year is a consecutive 12-month period during which an MSP option provides coverage for health benefits. A plan year may be a calendar year or otherwise.

    § 800.305 Contract renewal process.

    (a) Renewal. To continue participating in the MSP Program, an MSP issuer must provide to OPM, in the form and manner and in accordance with the timeline prescribed by OPM, the information requested by OPM for determining whether the MSP issuer continues to meet the requirements of this part.

    (b) OPM decision. Subject to paragraph (c) of this section, OPM will renew the MSP Program contract of an MSP issuer who timely submits the information described in paragraph (a).

    (c) OPM discretion not to renew. OPM may decline to renew the contract of an MSP issuer if:

    (1) OPM and the MSP issuer fail to agree on premiums and benefits for an MSP option for the subsequent plan year;

    (2) The MSP issuer has engaged in conduct described in § 800.404(a) of this part; or

    (3) OPM determines that the MSP issuer will be unable to comply with a material provision of section 1334 of the Affordable Care Act or this part.

    (d) Failure to agree on premiums and benefits. Except as otherwise provided in this part, if an MSP issuer has complied with paragraph (a) of this section and OPM and the MSP issuer fail to agree on premiums and benefits for an MSP option on one or more Exchanges for the subsequent plan year by the date required by OPM, either party may provide notice of nonrenewal pursuant to § 800.306 of this part, or OPM may in its discretion withdraw the certification of that MSP option on the Exchange or Exchanges for that plan year. In addition, if OPM and the MSP issuer fail to agree on benefits and premiums for an MSP option on one or more Exchanges by the date set by OPM and in the event of no action (no notice of nonrenewal or renewal) by either party, the MSP Program contract will be renewed and the existing premiums and benefits for that MSP option on that Exchange or Exchanges will remain in effect for the subsequent plan year.

    § 800.306 Nonrenewal.

    (a) Nonrenewal. Nonrenewal may pertain to the MSP issuer or the State-level issuer. The circumstances under which nonrenewal may occur are:

    (1) Nonrenewal of contract. As used in this subpart and subpart E of this part, “nonrenewal of contract” means a decision by either OPM or an MSP issuer not to renew an MSP Program contract.

    (2) Nonrenewal of participation. As used in this subpart and subpart E of this part, “nonrenewal of participation” means a decision by OPM, an MSP issuer, or a State-level issuer not to renew a State-level issuer's participation in a MSP Program contract.

    (b) Notice required. Either OPM or an MSP issuer may decline to renew an MSP Program contract by providing a written notice of nonrenewal to the other party.

    (c) MSP issuer responsibilities. The MSP issuer's written notice of nonrenewal must be made in accordance with its MSP Program contract with OPM. The MSP issuer also must comply with any requirements regarding the termination of a plan that are applicable to a QHP offered on an Exchange on which the MSP option was offered, including a requirement to provide advance written notice of termination to enrollees. MSP issuers shall provide written notice to enrollees in accordance with § 800.404(d).

    Subpart E—Compliance
    § 800.401 Contract performance.

    (a) General. An MSP issuer must perform an MSP Program contract with OPM in accordance with the requirements of section 1334 of the Affordable Care Act and this part. The MSP issuer must continue to meet such requirements while under an MSP Program contract with OPM.

    (b) Specific requirements for issuers. In addition to the requirements described in paragraph (a) of this section, each MSP issuer must:

    (1) Have, in the judgment of OPM, the financial resources to carry out its obligations under the MSP Program;

    (2) Keep such reasonable financial and statistical records, and furnish to OPM such reasonable financial and statistical reports with respect to the MSP option or the MSP issuer, as may be requested by OPM;

    (3) Permit representatives of OPM (including the OPM Office of Inspector General), the U.S. Government Accountability Office, and any other applicable Federal Government auditing entities to audit and examine its records and accounts that pertain, directly or indirectly, to the MSP option at such reasonable times and places as may be designated by OPM or the U.S. Government Accountability Office;

    (4) Timely submit to OPM a properly completed and signed novation or change-of-name agreement in accordance with subpart 42.12 of 48 CFR part 42;

    (5) Perform the MSP Program contract in accordance with prudent business practices, as described in paragraph (c) of this section; and

    (6) Not perform the MSP Program contract in accordance with poor business practices, as described in paragraph (d) of this section.

    (c) Prudent business practices. OPM will consider an MSP issuer's specific circumstances and facts in using its discretion to determine compliance with paragraph (b)(5) of this section. For purposes of paragraph (b)(5) of this section, prudent business practices include, but are not limited to, the following:

    (1) Timely compliance with OPM instructions and directives;

    (2) Legal and ethical business and health care practices;

    (3) Compliance with the terms of the MSP Program contract, regulations, and statutes;

    (4) Timely and accurate adjudication of claims or rendering of medical services;

    (5) Operating a system for accounting for costs incurred under the MSP Program contract, which includes segregating and pricing MSP option medical utilization and allocating indirect and administrative costs in a reasonable and equitable manner;

    (6) Maintaining accurate accounting reports of costs incurred in the administration of the MSP Program contract;

    (7) Applying performance standards for assuring contract quality as outlined at § 800.402; and

    (8) Establishing and maintaining a system of internal controls that provides reasonable assurance that:

    (i) The provision and payments of benefits and other expenses comply with legal, regulatory, and contractual guidelines;

    (ii) MSP funds, property, and other assets are safeguarded against waste, loss, unauthorized use, or misappropriation; and

    (iii) Data is accurately and fairly disclosed in all reports required by OPM.

    (d) Poor business practices. OPM will consider an MSP issuer's specific circumstances and facts in using its discretion to determine compliance with paragraph (b)(6) of this section. For purposes of paragraph (b)(6) of this section, poor business practices include, but are not limited to, the following:

    (1) Using fraudulent or unethical business or health care practices or otherwise displaying a lack of business integrity or honesty;

    (2) Repeatedly or knowingly providing false or misleading information in the rate setting process;

    (3) Failing to comply with OPM instructions and directives;

    (4) Having an accounting system that is incapable of separately accounting for costs incurred under the contract and/or that lacks the internal controls necessary to fulfill the terms of the contract;

    (5) Failing to ensure that the MSP issuer properly pays or denies claims, or, if applicable, provides medical services that are inconsistent with standards of good medical practice; and

    (6) Entering into contracts or employment agreements with providers, provider groups, or health care workers that include provisions or financial incentives that directly or indirectly create an inducement to limit or restrict communication about medically necessary services to any individual covered under the MSP Program. Financial incentives are defined as bonuses, withholds, commissions, profit sharing or other similar adjustments to basic compensation (e.g., service fee, capitation, salary) which have the effect of limiting or reducing communication about appropriate medically necessary services.

    (e) Performance escrow account. OPM may require MSP issuers to pay an assessment into an escrow account to ensure contract compliance and benefit MSP enrollees.

    § 800.402 Contract quality assurance.

    (a) General. This section prescribes general policies and procedures to ensure that services acquired under MSP Program contracts conform to the contract's quality requirements.

    (b) Internal controls. OPM may periodically evaluate the contractor's system of internal controls under the quality assurance program required by the contract and will acknowledge in writing if the system is inconsistent with the requirements set forth in the contract. OPM's reviews do not diminish the contractor's obligation to implement and maintain an effective and efficient system to apply the internal controls.

    (c) Performance standards. (1) OPM will issue specific performance standards for MSP Program contracts and will inform MSP issuers of the applicable performance standards prior to negotiations for the contract year. OPM may benchmark its standards against standards generally accepted in the insurance industry. OPM may authorize nationally recognized standards to be used to fulfill this requirement.

    (2) MSP issuers must comply with the performance standards issued pursuant to this section.

    § 800.403 Fraud and abuse.

    (a) Program required. An MSP issuer must conduct a program to assess its vulnerability to fraud and abuse as well as to address such vulnerabilities.

    (b) Fraud detection system. An MSP issuer must operate a system designed to detect and eliminate fraud and abuse by employees and subcontractors of the MSP issuer, by providers furnishing goods or services to MSP enrollees, and by MSP enrollees.

    (c) Submission of information. An MSP issuer must provide to OPM such information or assistance as may be necessary for the agency to carry out the duties and responsibilities, including those of the Office of Inspector General as specified in sections 4 and 6 of the Inspector General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.). An MSP issuer must provide any requested information in the form, manner, and timeline prescribed by OPM.

    § 800.404 Compliance actions.

    (a) Causes for OPM compliance actions. The following constitute cause for OPM to impose a compliance action described in paragraph (b) of this section against an MSP issuer:

    (1) Failure by the MSP issuer to meet the requirements set forth in § 800.401(a) and (b);

    (2) An MSP issuer's sustained failure to perform the MSP Program contract in accordance with prudent business practices, as described in § 800.401(c);

    (3) A pattern of poor conduct or evidence of poor business practices such as those described in § 800.401(d); or

    (4) Such other violations of law or regulation as OPM may determine, including pursuant to its authority under §§ 800.102 and 800.114.

    (b) Compliance actions. (1) OPM may impose a compliance action against an MSP issuer at any time during the contract term if it determines that the MSP issuer is not in compliance with applicable law, this part, or the terms of its contract with OPM.

    (2) Compliance actions may include, but are not limited to:

    (i) Establishment and implementation of a corrective action plan;

    (ii) Imposition of intermediate sanctions, such as suspension of marketing;

    (iii) Performance incentives;

    (iv) Reduction of service area or areas;

    (v) Withdrawal of the certification of the MSP option or options offered on one or more Exchanges;

    (vi) Nonrenewal of participation

    (vii) Nonrenewal of contract; and

    (viii) Withdrawal of approval or termination of the MSP Program contract.

    (c) Notice of compliance action. (1) OPM must notify an MSP issuer in writing of a compliance action under this section. Such notice must indicate the specific compliance action undertaken and the reason for the compliance action.

    (2) For compliance actions listed in § 800.404(b)(2)(v) through (viii), such notice must include a statement that the MSP issuer is entitled to request a reconsideration of OPM's determination to impose a compliance action pursuant to § 800.405.

    (3) Upon imposition of a compliance action listed in paragraphs (b)(2)(iv) through (vii) of this section, OPM must notify the State Insurance Commissioner(s) and Exchange officials in the State or States in which the compliance action is effective.

    (d) Notice to enrollees. If the contract is terminated, if OPM withdraws certification of an MSP option, or if a State-level issuer's participation in the MSP Program contract is not renewed, as described in §§ 800.306 and 800.404(b)(2), or in any situation in which an MSP option is no longer available to enrollees, the MSP issuer must comply with any State or Exchange requirements regarding discontinuing a particular type of coverage that are applicable to a QHP offered on the Exchange on which the MSP option was offered, including a requirement to provide advance written notice before the coverage will be discontinued. If a State or Exchange does not have requirements about advance notice to enrollees, the MSP issuer must inform current MSP enrollees in writing of the discontinuance of the MSP option no later than 90 days prior to discontinuing the MSP option, unless OPM determines that there is good cause for less than 90 days' notice.

    (e) Definition. As used in this subpart, “termination” means a decision by OPM to cancel an MSP Program contract prior to the end of its contract term. The term includes OPM's withdrawal of approval of an MSP Program contract.

    § 800.405 Reconsideration of compliance actions.

    (a) Right to request reconsideration. An MSP issuer may request that OPM reconsider a determination to impose one of the following compliance actions:

    (1) Withdrawal of the certification of the MSP option or options offered on one or more Exchanges;

    (2) Nonrenewal of participation

    (3) Nonrenewal of contract; or

    (4) Termination of the MSP Program contract.

    (b) Request for reconsideration and/or hearing. (1) An MSP issuer with a right to request reconsideration specified in paragraph (a) of this section may request a hearing in which OPM will reconsider its determination to impose a compliance action.

    (2) A request under this section must be in writing and contain contact information, including the name, telephone number, email address, and mailing address of the person or persons whom OPM may contact regarding a request for a hearing with respect to the reconsideration. The request must be in such form, contain such information, and be submitted in such manner as OPM may prescribe.

    (3) The request must be received by OPM within 15 calendar days after the date of the MSP issuer's receipt of the notice of compliance action. The MSP issuer may request that OPM's reconsideration allow a representative of the MSP issuer to appear personally before OPM.

    (4) A request under this section must include a detailed statement of the reasons that the MSP issuer disagrees with OPM's imposition of the compliance action, and may include any additional information that will assist OPM in rendering a final decision under this section.

    (5) OPM may obtain additional information relevant to the request from any source as it may, in its judgment, deem necessary. OPM will provide the MSP issuer with a copy of any additional information it obtains and provide an opportunity for the MSP issuer to respond (including by submitting additional information or explanation).

    (6) OPM's reconsideration and hearing, if requested, may be conducted by the Director or a representative designated by the Director who did not participate in the initial decision that is the subject of the request for review.

    (c) Notice of final decision. OPM will notify the MSP issuer, in writing, of OPM's final decision on the MSP issuer's request for reconsideration and the specific reasons for that final decision. OPM's written decision will constitute final agency action that is subject to review under the Administrative Procedure Act in the appropriate U.S. district court. Such review is limited to the record that was before OPM when it made its decision.

    Subpart F—Appeals by Enrollees of Denials of Claims for Payment or Service
    § 800.501 General requirements.

    (a) Definitions. For purposes of this subpart:

    (1) Adverse benefit determination has the meaning given that term in 45 CFR 147.136(a)(2)(i).

    (2) Claim means a request for:

    (i) Payment of a health-related bill; or

    (ii) Provision of a health-related service or supply.

    (b) Applicability. This subpart applies to enrollees and to other individuals or entities who are acting on behalf of an enrollee and who have the enrollee's specific written consent to pursue a remedy of an adverse benefit determination.

    § 800.502 MSP issuer internal claims and appeals.

    (a) Processes. MSP issuers must comply with the internal claims and appeals processes applicable to group health plans and health insurance issuers under 45 CFR 147.136(b).

    (b) Timeframes and notice of determination. An MSP issuer must provide written notice to an enrollee of its determination on a claim brought under paragraph (a) of this section according to the timeframes and notification rules under 45 CFR 147.136(b) and (e), including the timeframes for urgent claims. If the MSP issuer denies a claim (or a portion of the claim), the enrollee may appeal the adverse benefit determination to the MSP issuer in accordance with 45 CFR 147.136(b).

    § 800.503 External review.

    (a) External review by OPM. OPM will conduct external review of adverse benefit determinations using a process similar to OPM review of disputed claims under 5 CFR 890.105(e), subject to the standards and timeframes set forth in 45 CFR 147.136(d).

    (b) Notice. Notices to MSP enrollees regarding external review under paragraph (a) of this section must comply with 45 CFR 147.136(e), and are subject to review and approval by OPM.

    (c) Issuer obligation. An MSP issuer must pay a claim or provide a health-related service or supply pursuant to OPM's final decision or the final decision of an independent review organization without delay, regardless of whether the plan or issuer intends to seek judicial review of the external review decision and unless or until there is a judicial decision otherwise.

    § 800.504 Judicial review.

    (a) OPM's written decision under the external review process established under § 800.503(a) of this part will constitute final agency action that is subject to review under the Administrative Procedure Act in the appropriate U.S. district court. A decision made by an independent review organization under the process established under § 800.503(a) is not within OPM's discretion and therefore is not final agency action.

    (b) Judicial review under paragraph (a) of this section is limited to the record that was before OPM when OPM made its decision.

    Subpart G—Miscellaneous
    § 800.601 Reservation of authority.

    OPM reserves the right to implement and supplement these regulations with written operational guidelines.

    § 800.602 Consumer choice with respect to certain services.

    (a) Assured availability of varied coverage. Consistent with § 800.104 of this part, OPM will ensure that at least one of the MSP issuers on each Exchange in each State offers at least one MSP option that does not provide coverage of services described in section 1303(b)(1)(B)(i) of the Affordable Care Act.

    (b) State opt-out. An MSP issuer may not offer abortion coverage in any State where such coverage of abortion services is prohibited by State law.

    (c) Notice to Enrollees—(1) Notice of exclusion. The MSP issuer must provide notice to consumers prior to enrollment that non-excepted abortion services are not a covered benefit in the form, manner, and timeline prescribed by OPM.

    (2) Notice of coverage. If an MSP issuer chooses to offer an MSP option that covers non-excepted abortion services, in addition to an MSP option that does not cover non-excepted abortion services, the MSP issuer must provide notice to consumers prior to enrollment that non-excepted abortion services are a covered benefit. An MSP issuer must provide notice in a manner consistent with 45 CFR 147.200(a)(3), to meet the requirements of 45 CFR 156.280(f). OPM may provide guidance on the form, manner, and timeline for this notice.

    (3) OPM review and approval of notices. OPM may require an MSP issuer to submit to OPM such notices. OPM reserves the right to review and approve these consumer notices to ensure that an MSP issuer complies with Federal and State laws, and the standards prescribed by OPM with respect to § 800.602.

    § 800.603 Disclosure of information

    (a) Disclosure to certain entities. OPM may provide information relating to the activities of MSP issuers or State-level issuers to a State Insurance Commissioner or Director of a State-based Exchange.

    (b) Conditions of when to disclose. OPM shall only make a disclosure described in this section to the extent that such disclosure is:

    (1) Necessary or appropriate to permit OPM's Director, a State Insurance Commissioner, or Director of a State-based Exchange to administer and enforce laws applicable to an MSP issuer or State-level issuer over which it has jurisdiction, or

    (2) Otherwise in the best interests of enrollees or potential enrollees in MSP options.

    (c) Confidentiality of information. OPM will take appropriate steps to cause the recipient of this information to preserve the information as confidential.

    [FR Doc. 2015-03421 Filed 2-20-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6325-63-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 101206604-1758-02] RIN 0648-XD731 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic; 2015 Commercial Run-Around Gillnet Closure AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule; closure.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS implements an accountability measure (AM) through this temporary rule for commercial harvest of king mackerel in the Florida west coast southern subzone of the eastern zone of the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) exclusive economic zone (EEZ) using run-around gillnet gear. NMFS has determined that the commercial annual catch limit (ACL; commercial quota) for king mackerel using run-around gillnet gear in the Florida west coast southern subzone of the Gulf EEZ will be reached on February 20, 2015. Therefore, NMFS closes the Florida west coast southern subzone to commercial king mackerel fishing using run-around gillnet gear in the Gulf EEZ. This closure is necessary to protect the Gulf king mackerel resource.

    DATES:

    The closure is effective 12:01 p.m., eastern standard time, February 20, 2015, until 6 a.m., eastern standard time, January 19, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The fishery for coastal migratory pelagic fish (king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, and cobia) is managed under the Fishery Management Plan for the Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic (FMP). The FMP was prepared by the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils and is implemented by NMFS under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) by regulations at 50 CFR part 622.

    Gulf migratory group king mackerel's Florida west coast subzone of the Gulf eastern zone is divided into northern and southern subzones, each with separate commercial quotas. From November 1 through March 31, the southern subzone encompasses an area of the EEZ south of a line extending due west of the Lee and Collier County, FL, boundary on the Florida west coast, and south of a line extending due east of the Monroe and Miami-Dade County, FL, boundary on the Florida east coast, which includes the EEZ off Collier and Monroe Counties, FL. From April 1 through October 31, the southern subzone is reduced to the EEZ off Collier County, and the EEZ off Monroe County becomes part of the Atlantic migratory group area (50 CFR 622.384(b)(1)(i)(C)).

    On January 30, 2012 (76 FR 82058, December 29, 2011), NMFS implemented a commercial quota for the Gulf migratory group king mackerel in the Florida west coast southern subzone of 551,448 lb (250,133 kg) for vessels using run-around gillnet gear (50 CFR 622.384(b)(1)(i)(B)(1)), for the current fishing year, July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015.

    Regulations at 50 CFR 622.8(b) require NMFS to close any segment of the king mackerel commercial sector when its quota has been reached, or is projected to be reached, by filing a notification with the Office of the Federal Register. NMFS has determined that the commercial quota of 551,448 lb (250,133 kg) for Gulf group king mackerel for vessels using run-around gillnet gear in the Florida west coast southern subzone will be reached on February 20, 2015. Accordingly, commercial fishing using such gear in the Florida west coast southern subzone is closed at 12:01 p.m., eastern standard time, February 20, 2015, until 6 a.m., eastern standard time, January 19, 2016, the beginning of the next fishing season, i.e., the day after the 2016 Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal holiday. Accordingly, the operator of a vessel that has been issued a Federal commercial permit to harvest Gulf migratory group king mackerel using run-around gillnet gear in the Florida west coast southern subzone must have landed ashore and bartered, traded, or sold such king mackerel prior to 12:01 p.m., eastern standard time, February 20, 2015.

    Persons aboard a vessel for which a commercial permit for king mackerel has been issued, except persons who also possess a king mackerel gillnet permit, may fish for or retain Gulf group king mackerel harvested using hook-and-line gear in the Florida west coast southern subzone unless the commercial quota for hook-and-line gear has been met and the hook-and-line segment of the commercial sector has been closed. A person aboard a vessel that has a valid charter vessel/headboat permit for coastal migratory pelagic fish may continue to retain king mackerel in or from closed zones or subzones under the bag and possession limits set forth in 50 CFR 622.382(a)(1)(ii) and (a)(2), provided the vessel is operating as a charter vessel or headboat. A charter vessel or headboat that also has a commercial king mackerel permit is considered to be operating as a charter vessel or headboat when it carries a passenger who pays a fee or when there are more than three persons aboard, including operator and crew.

    During the closure, king mackerel harvested using run-around gillnet gear in the Florida west coast southern subzone may not be purchased or sold. This prohibition does not apply to king mackerel harvested using run-around gillnet gear in the Florida west coast southern subzone that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to the closure and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor.

    Classification

    The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS, has determined this temporary rule is necessary for the conservation and management of Gulf migratory group king mackerel and is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable laws.

    This action is taken under 50 CFR 622.8(b) and 622.388(a)(1) and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    These measures are exempt from the procedures of the Regulatory Flexibility Act because the temporary rule is issued without opportunity for prior notice and comment.

    This action responds to the best scientific information available. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds that the need to immediately implement this action to close the fishery constitutes good cause to waive the requirements to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth in 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), because prior notice and opportunity for public comment on this temporary rule is unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Such procedures are unnecessary, because the rule implementing the ACL (quota) and the associated requirement for closure of the commercial harvest when the ACL (quota) is reached or projected to be reached has already been subject to notice and comment, and all that remains is to notify the public of the closure. They are contrary to the public interest, because any delay in the closure of the commercial harvest could result in the commercial quota being exceeded. There is a need to immediately implement this action to protect the king mackerel resource, because the capacity of the fishing fleet allows for rapid harvest of the quota. Prior notice and opportunity for public comment on this action would require time and would potentially result in a harvest well in excess of the established quota.

    For the aforementioned reasons, the AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3).

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: February 19, 2015. Jennifer M. Wallace, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03738 Filed 2-19-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 36 Tuesday, February 24, 2015 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2015-0246; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-187-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 737-300, -400, and -500 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of fatigue cracking found at the left-side and right-side upper frame, at a certain area. This proposed AD would require repetitive medium frequency eddy current (MFEC) inspections for cracking of the left-side and right-side upper frame, and repair (including open hole high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections for cracking of fastener holes) if necessary. This proposed AD also provides an optional preventative modification which would terminate the repetitive inspections at the modified location. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking, which if not corrected, can grow in size and result in a severed frame, which could lead to rapid decompression and reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this proposed AD by April 10, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    For service information identified in this proposed AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P. O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-0246.

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2015-0246; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Wayne Lockett, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6447; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2015-0246; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-187-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

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

    Discussion

    We received reports of fatigue cracking found at frame station 360 between stringer 13 and stringer 14. At the time of crack detection, the airplanes had accumulated between 37,826 to 42,986 total flight cycles. The reported cracks ranged from 0.35 inches to 1.5 inches in length. Cracking of the left-side or right-side upper frame at station 360 between stringer 13 and stringer 14, if not corrected, can grow in size and result in a severed frame, which could lead to rapid decompression and reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1339, dated August 12, 2014. This service information describes procedures for inspections for cracking of the left-side and right-side upper frame, at station 360 between stringer 13 and stringer 14; repair, and optional preventative modification. For information on the procedures and compliance times, see this service information. This service information is reasonably available; see ADDRESSES for ways to access this service information.

    FAA's Determination

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

    Proposed AD Requirements

    This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously, except as discussed under “Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information.”

    Explanation of “RC” Steps in Service Information

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

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

    Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information

    Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1339, dated August 12, 2014, specifies to contact the manufacturer for instructions on how to repair certain conditions, but this proposed AD would require repairing those conditions in one of the following ways:

    • In accordance with a method that we approve; or

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

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this proposed AD affects 109 airplanes of U.S. registry.

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

    Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per product Cost on U.S.
  • operators
  • Inspections 14 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,190 per inspection cycle $0 $1,190 per inspection cycle $129,710 per inspection cycle. Preventative modification (optional) 15 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,275 per inspection cycle $0 $1,275 per inspection cycle $138,975 per inspection cycle.

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

    On-Condition Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Repair and open hole HFEC inspection 36 work-hours × $85 per hour = $3,060 $0 $3,060
    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 proposed regulation is within the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this rulemaking action.

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2015-0246; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-187-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by April 10, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 737-300, -400, and -500 series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1339, dated August 12, 2014.

    (d) Subject

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

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of fatigue cracking found at the left-side and right-side upper frame, at station 360 between stringer 13 and stringer 14. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of the left-side and right-side upper frame at station 360 between stringer 13 and stringer 14, which if not corrected, can grow in size and result in a severed frame, which could lead to rapid decompression and reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Repetitive Inspections for Cracking

    At the applicable times specified in table 1 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1339, dated August 12, 2014, except as required by paragraph (i)(2) of this AD: Do a medium frequency eddy current (MFEC) inspection for cracking on the left-side and right-side of the upper frame at Station 360 between stringer 13 and stringer 14, in accordance with Part 2 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1339, dated August 12, 2014. If no cracking is found, repeat the inspections at the applicable times specified in Table 1 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1339, dated August 12, 2014. Accomplishment of the actions specified in paragraph (j) of this AD terminates the repetitive inspections required by this paragraph at the modified area only.

    (h) Repair

    If any cracking is found during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD: Before further flight, repair the cracking including doing an open hole high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspection for cracking of the holes, in accordance with Part 3 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1339, dated August 12, 2014, except as required by paragraph (i)(1) of this AD. Repair of any crack terminates the repetitive inspection requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD for the repaired area only. If any cracking is found during any inspection required by this paragraph, repair using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (l) of this AD.

    (i) Exceptions to the Service Information

    (1) Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1339, dated August 12, 2014, specifies contacting Boeing for repair instructions: Before further flight, repair using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (l) of this AD.

    (2) Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1339, dated August 12, 2014, specifies a compliance time “after the original issue date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified time after the effective date of this AD.

    (j) Optional Preventative Modification

    Modification of an inspection area specified in paragraph (g) of this AD, including doing open hole and surface HFEC inspections for cracking of the area to be modified, in accordance with Part 4 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1339, dated August 12, 2014, except as required by paragraph (i)(1) of this AD, terminates the repetitive inspections required by paragraph (g) of this AD at the modified location only.

    (k) Post-Repair and Post-Modification Inspections

    The post-repair and post-modification inspections specified in Tables 4 and 5 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1339, dated August 12, 2014, are not required by this AD.

    Note 1 to paragraph (k) of this AD: The post-repair and post-modification inspections specified in Tables 4 and 5 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1339, dated August 12, 2014, may be used in support of compliance with section 121.1109(c)(2) or 129.109(b)(2) of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 121.1109(c)(2) or 14 CFR 129.109(b)(2)).

    (l) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

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

    (4) Except as required by paragraph (i)(1) of this AD: If any service information contains steps that are identified as RC (Required for Compliance), those steps must be done to comply with this AD; any steps that are not identified as RC are recommended. Those steps that are not identified as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the steps identified as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in a serviceable condition. Any substitutions or changes to steps identified as RC require approval of an AMOC.

    (m) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Wayne Lockett, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6447; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected]

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on February 11, 2015. Jeffrey E. Duven, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03677 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary 32 CFR Part 251 [Docket ID: DOD-2014-OS-0058] RIN 0790-AJ28 National Language Service Corps (NLSC) AGENCY:

    Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This rule establishes in the Code of Federal Regulations the National Language Services Corps (NLSC) by describing the program and its responsibilities per the January 2013 National Defense Authorization Act which authorized the Secretary of Defense to establish the NLSC as a permanent organization. The NLSC responds to federal agencies' needs for language skills in emergencies or surge requirements. Once a federal agency identifies a need, NLSC members are advised of the potential assignment. If an individual is interested and available, they go through a screening and selection process as discussed in the rule. The decision to use NLSC rests with the requesting agency and support agreements must be established before work can begin.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by April 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Demboski, 571-256-0654.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Executive Summary I. Purpose of the Regulatory Action

    a. Purpose. NLSC may support DoD or other U.S. departments or agencies, in need of foreign language services, with requirements of less than 1 year. The NLSC will provide capable, federally-hired individuals to rapidly respond to critical national needs and assist DoD and other U.S. departments and agencies with surge or emergency requirements.

    b. Succinct statement of legal authority for the regulatory action.

    Authority: Applicable authorities include: 5 U.S.C. 3109 which authorizes the employment of experts and consultants on a temporary or intermittent basis; 18 U.S.C. 202 which defines “special Government employee;” 31 U.S.C. 1535 which authorizes the head of an agency or major organizational unit within an agency to place an order with a major organizational unit within the same agency or another agency for services; 50 U.S.C. 1913 which authorized the Secretary of Defense to establish and maintain the National Language Service Corps.

    II. Summary of the Major Provisions of the Regulatory Action in Question

    The major provisions of this regulatory action include:

    a. Outlining NLSC membership criteria, member recruitment, appointment, and activation.

    b. Describing eligibility requirements for federal employees to participate in NLSC.

    III. Costs and Benefits

    The Department of Defense and other federal departments and agencies have benefited from NLSC support utilizing high-level language skills of members not otherwise available to meet their organizations' short-term, immediate needs. The NLSC has established a means to access and maintain contact with citizens who are highly skilled in foreign languages. Since initial efforts in fiscal year 2007, the average annual cost to build, pilot and fully operationalize the NLSC has been $6.3 million. Current membership includes more than 5,000 members with skills in 315 foreign languages and dialects ready to serve national needs when called upon. Members hired to support missions have included the self-employed, retirees or students just entering the workforce, who proudly want to serve their nation. NLSC provides an opportunity to earn wages using their high-level language skills. As of June 2014, NLSC members have provided more than 28,000 hours of highly skilled foreign language support to 34 federal agencies and departments and their components.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    In 2003, Congress tasked the Defense Language and National Security Education Office (DLNSEO), then known as the National Security Education Program (NSEP), with exploring the feasibility of establishing an organization of Americans with skills in critical languages that would serve in times of emergency or national need. NSEP prepared a feasibility study and follow-up planning that led to Congressional action in 2006. In the 2007 National Defense Authorization Act, the U.S. Congress included language directing the Secretary of Defense to initiate a pilot program that established a Civilian Linguist Reserve Corps. The government has since renamed that organization as the NLSC.

    In January 2013, President Barack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act which authorized the Secretary of Defense to establish the NLSC as a permanent organization. The NLSC operates under this authority with DLNSEO as its parent agency. DLNSEO provides strategic direction and programmatic oversight to the Military Departments, Defense field activities and the Combatant Commands on present and future requirements related to language, regional expertise, and culture.

    The NLSC does not offer permanent full-time or part-time jobs. The NLSC responds to federal agencies' needs for language skills in emergencies or surge requirements. For this reason, the NLSC does not maintain any postings or offer any job location services. Once a federal agency identifies a need, NLSC members are advised of the potential assignment. If an individual is interested and available, they go through a screening and selection process as discussed in this rule. The decision to use NLSC rests with the requesting agency and support agreements must be established before support can begin.

    The NLSC's charter is to provide short-term surge capability or to fill short term recurrent support that other existing capabilities cannot reasonably fill. Members have filled requirements that range from 15 minutes on the phone to 60 days in the field. If needed/desired, it is possible for members to provide recurrent, short term support, such as for periodic exercises for up to approximately six months (130 work days or 1,040 hours, whichever comes first) in the member's service year.

    The NLSC uses the Federal Interagency Language Roundtable Proficiency Guidelines (http://govtilr.org/Skills/ILRscale1.htm) (the “ILR Scale”) in speaking, reading, and listening as a basis for determining eligibility for Membership. The NLSC's goal is 3/3/3 proficiency (speaking/reading/listening) in at least one foreign language and in English.

    Initial non-English language proficiency is assessed by asking all NLSC applicants to complete a series of self-assessments to provide an indication of where they fall on the ILR scale. Members of the NLSC will normally undergo formal proficiency testing to verify the self-assessments prior to participating in an assignment. Several factors may require formal proficiency testing, including the need for the NLSC and requesting agencies to have formally-tested members available for assignments.

    Initial English language assessment will not normally be conducted for applicants who graduated from an accredited high school and spent at least three years in the US while attending high school. If an individual did not do so, he or she may be asked to undergo the same self-assessment process as for non-English language skills. Finally, a number of members may be asked to undergo formal proficiency testing in English.

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

    Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distribute impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule has been designated a “significant regulatory action,” although not economically significant, under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

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

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

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

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

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

    Section 251.6(c)(1)-(c)(3) of this proposed rule contain information collection requirements. DoD has submitted the following proposal to OMB under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35). Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of DoD, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the 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 the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Type of Request: Reinstatement.

    Existing OMB Control Number: 0704-0449, “National Language Service Corps.”

    Title: DD Form 2932, “National Language Service Corps Application”

    Number of Respondents: 1,500.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 1,500.

    Average Burden per Response: 18 minutes.

    Annual Burden Hours: 450 hours.

    Needs and Uses: Verification and mission-related use.

    Title: DD Form 2933, “National Language Service Corps (NLSC) Detailed Skills Self-Assessment”

    Number of Respondents: 1,000.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 1,000.

    Average Burden per Response: 18 minutes.

    Annual Burden Hours: 300 hours.

    Needs and Uses: Verification and mission-related use.

    Title: DD Form 2934, “National Language Service Corps (NLSC) Global Skills Self-Assessment”

    Number of Respondents: 1,000.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 1,000.

    Average Burden per Response: 18 minutes.

    Annual Burden Hours: 300 hours.

    Needs and Uses: Verification and mission-related use.

    Title: Phone call to review responses on forms

    Total annual respondents: 1,000.

    Frequency of response: 1.

    Total annual responses: 1,000.

    Burden per response: 10 minutes.

    Total burden hours: 167 hours.

    Needs and Uses: Verification and mission-related use.

    OMB Desk Officer: 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, with a copy to the National Language Service Corps, P.O. Box 12221, Arlington, VA 22219. Comments can be received from 30 to 60 days after the date of this notice, but comments to OMB will be most useful if received by OMB within 30 days after the date of this notice.

    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.

    To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please write to John Demboski, National Language Service Corps, P.O. Box 12221, Arlington, VA 22219; phone number (703) 588-0868.

    Executive Order 13132, “Federalism”

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

    List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 251

    Foreign languages, Manpower training programs.

    Accordingly 32 CFR part 251 is proposed to be added to read as follows:

    PART 251—NATIONAL LANGUAGE SERVICE CORPS (NLSC) Sec. 251.1 Purpose. 251.2 Applicability. 251.3 Definitions. 251.4 Policy. 251.5 Responsibilities. 251.6 Procedures. Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 3109, 18 U.S.C. 202, 31 U.S.C. 1535, 50 U.S.C. 1913.

    § 251.1 Purpose.

    This part:

    (a) Implements the responsibilities of the Secretary of Defense in 50 U.S.C. 1913 by establishing the NLSC program.

    (b) Establishes policy, assigns responsibilities, and provides procedures for the management of the NLSC program.

    (c) Assigns responsibility to the National Security Education Board (NSEB) to oversee and coordinate the activities of the NLSC (as provided and determined by the Secretary of Defense pursuant to 50 U.S.C. 1903 and 1913 with policy and funding oversight provided by the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (USD(P&R)) in accordance with DoD Directive 5124.02, “Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (USD(P&R))” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/512402p.pdf).

    § 251.2 Applicability.

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

    § 251.3 Definitions.

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

    Consultant. Defined in 5 CFR part 304.

    Excepted service. Appointments in the excepted service are civil service appointments within the Federal Government that do not confer competitive status and are excepted from competitive service by or pursuant to statute, by the President, or by the Office of Personnel Management, and which are not in Senior Executive Service.

    Foreign language. Any language other than English.

    Language proficiency. The U.S. Government relies on the Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) scale to determine language proficiency. According to the ILR scale:

    (1) 0 is No Proficiency.

    (2) 0+ is Memorized Proficiency.

    (3) 1 is Elementary Proficiency.

    (4) 1+ is Elementary Proficiency, Plus.

    (5) 2 is Limited Working Proficiency.

    (6) 2+ is Limited Working Proficiency, Plus.

    (7) 3 is General Professional Proficiency.

    (8) 3+ is General Professional Proficiency, Plus.

    (9) 4 is Advanced Professional Proficiency.

    (10) 4+ is Advanced Professional Proficiency, Plus.

    (11) 5 is Functional Native Proficiency.

    Special government employee (SGE). Defined in 18 U.S.C. 202.

    § 251.4 Policy.

    It is DoD policy that:

    (a) The NLSC provides DoD, or other U.S. departments or agencies, with U.S. citizens with high levels of foreign language proficiency for short-term temporary assignments providing foreign language services.

    (b) The NLSC is authorized to employ U.S. citizens as language consultants pursuant to 50 U.S.C. 1913, 5 U.S.C. 3109, and 5 CFR part 304.

    (c) The NLSC is exempt from DoD Instruction 5160.71, “DoD Language Testing Program” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/516071_2009_ch1.pdf), such that the NLSC may use tests of the Defense Language Proficiency Testing System or may use and develop other tests to assess language proficiency for the purpose of employing NLSC members as language consultants.

    (d) The NLSC will be available to support DoD or other U.S. departments or agencies pursuant to 50 U.S.C. 1913.

    (e) The NLSC will:

    (1) Collect personally identifiable information pursuant to 50 U.S.C. 1913 from individuals interested in applying for NLSC membership.

    (2) Comply with DoD Instruction 8910.01, “Information Collection and Reporting” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/891001p.pdf), Volume 2 of DoD Manual 8910.01, “DoD Information Collections Manual: Procedures for DoD Public Information Collections” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/891001m_vol2.pdf), and 32 CFR part 310.

    (f) Qualified and available members with requested language skills hired in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 3109 and 5 CFR part 304 and Administrative Instruction 2, “Employment of Experts and Consultants” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/ai002p.pdf) will be temporarily assigned to government agencies pursuant to reimbursable agreements described in 31 U.S.C. 1535.

    § 251.5 Responsibilities.

    (a) The USD(P&R):

    (1) Provides overall policy guidance for carrying out the responsibilities and duties of the Secretary of Defense in accordance with DoD Directive 5124.02 and 50 U.S.C. 1913.

    (2) Ensures appropriate resources are programmed for the administration and operation of the NLSC.

    (b) Under the authority, direction, and control of the USD(P&R), the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness and Force Management (ASD(R&FM)):

    (1) Through the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness:

    (i) Develops processes and polices regarding the NLSC oversight and coordination by the NSEB in accordance with 50 U.S.C. 1903 and 1913.

    (ii) Recommends and oversees the establishment and execution of policies, programs, and goals to ensure the NLSC supports the readiness of the Military Services.

    (iii) Oversees, and monitors compliance with the NLSC programs and processes on behalf of the Secretary of Defense to include the procedures in § 251.6 of this part.

    (iv) Ensures that functions needed to support the accomplishment of the NLSC mission are executed including engagement with DoD Components, federal agencies, and State and local governments, to identify language needs, assessment of language proficiency of its members, and skill sustainment training.

    (v) Determines eligibility for NLSC membership.

    (2) Hosts the annual program review identified in 50 U.S.C. 1913.

    (3) Designates a program manager responsible for overseeing implementation of NLSC programs and processes.

    (c) Under the authority, direction, and control of the USD (P&R), the Director, Department of Defense Human Resources Activity (DoDHRA):

    (1) Implements procedures and instructions for the appointment of NLSC members in support of DoD or other U.S. departments or agencies.

    (2) Authorizes and signs interagency agreements between the NLSC and organizations outside of the DoD, and delegates authority to sign such agreements as needed.

    (3) Provides administrative support to the NLSC, including actions related to intra- and inter-agency agreements, the intra- and inter-agency transfer of funds, personnel actions, and travel requirements.

    (4) Provides fiscal management and oversight to ensure all funds provided for the NLSC are separately and visibly accounted for in the DoD budget.

    (d) DoD Components heads ensure that the use of NLSC members is considered during exercise and operational planning.

    § 251.6 Procedures.

    (a) NLSC purpose. (1) The purpose of the NLSC is to identify and provide U.S. citizens with foreign language skills to support DoD or other U.S. departments or agencies, in need of foreign language services, for requirements of less than 1 year.

    (2) The NLSC will provide capable, federally-hired individuals to rapidly respond to critical national needs and assist DoD and other U.S. departments and agencies with surge or emergency requirements.

    (b) NLSC membership criteria. NLSC members must:

    (1) Be a U.S. citizen.

    (2) Be at least 18 years of age.

    (3) Have satisfied Selective Service requirements.

    (4) Be proficient in English and any other language.

    (c) NLSC member recruitment. The NLSC program manager will oversee recruitment of members. NLSC maintains a registry of individuals who have applied or been accepted for membership and responds to requests for foreign language services by searching the registry to identify individuals who can provide support. NLSC collects applicant information through electronically available DD forms (located at the DoD Forms Management Program Web site at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/infomgt/forms/formsprogram.htm.) or comparable web-based applications:

    (1) DD Form 2932. Contains a brief set of screening questions and is used to determine basic eligibility for NLSC membership.

    (2) DD Form 2933. A language screening tool to evaluate the applicant's skills with respect to specific tasks. DD Form 2933 is used in conjunction with the screening of language skills for entry into the NLSC.

    (3) DD Form 2934. Provides an overall assessment of the applicant's foreign language ability. DD Form 2934 is also used in conjunction with the screening of detailed skills for entry into the NLSC.

    (d) NLSC member appointment as Federal employees. Where applicants meet NLSC membership criteria and are matched to foreign language services requirements, the NLSC program manager ensures actions are initiated to temporarily hire applicants and members for forecasted and actual support requests.

    (1) For Federal hiring, members follow excepted service hiring policies in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 3109, 5 CFR part 304, and 32 CFR part 310, and are appointed as language consultants in advance of participating in a support request, in accordance with AI 2.

    (2) An NLSC member who is already employed by a U.S. Government agency or is under contract full-time to one agency must receive a release from the head of that agency or individual empowered to release the employee or contractor before being employed for service within the NLSC pursuant to 50 U.S.C. 1913 and must comply with applicable laws and regulations regarding compensation. Such requests will be coordinated by the NLSC with the department or agency head concerned.

    (3) NLSC members will be appointed on an annual basis pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 3109, 5 CFR part 304, and 32 CFR part 310 to perform duties as language consultants. If serving less than 130 days in a consecutive 365 day period, they will be considered SGEs as defined in 18 U.S.C. 202. Concurrent appointments as an SGE may be held with other DoD Components or in another federal agency.

    (4) The NLSC program manager will track the number of days each NLSC member performed services and the total amount paid to each NLSC member within the 365 day period after the NLSC member's appointment.

    (e) NLSC member activation. Activation encompasses all aspects of matching and hiring NLSC members to perform short-term temporary assignments to provide foreign language services. Under NLSC program manager oversight:

    (1) Customer requirements are matched with skills of NLSC members and support is requested from DoDHRA to process necessary agreements, funding documents, and personnel actions to provide foreign language services. In accordance with paragraph (d)(3) of this section, NLSC members are temporarily hired as DoD employees.

    (2) NLSC members are prepared for activation. If members are to be mobilized out of their home area, travel order requests are initiated. During the assignment, action will be taken to coordinate with members and clients, and assess success with the requesting agency upon completion.

    (3) If duty requires issuance of DoD identification (e.g., Common Access Card), such identification will be issued to and maintained by activated NSLC members in accordance with Volume 1 of DoD Manual 1000.13, “DoD Identification (ID) Cards: ID Card Life-Cycle” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/100013_vol1.pdf). Upon completion of the assignment, the identification will be retrieved in accordance with Volume 1 of DoD Manual 1000.13.

    (4) Upon completion of assignments, DoDHRA will provide post-assignment support to members and reconcile funding to close project orders.

    Dated: February 18, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03567 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2014-0300] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zones; Fireworks Displays in the Sector Columbia River Captain of the Port Zone AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes to establish twenty three new fireworks display safety zones at various locations in the Sector Columbia River Captain of the Port zone. The Coast Guard previously published a notice of proposed rulemaking with respect to this proposed rule on June 18, 2014. This supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking changes the proposed regulation in the following respects. First, the Coast Guard proposes to amend the regulatory text to clarify that the coordinates for all safety zones addressed by the proposed rule are approximate. Second, the Coast Guard proposes to make corrections to the location of nine existing and ten new fireworks events in the Sector Columbia River Captain of the Port zone. Third, the Coast Guard will be removing a duplicate entry of the Hood River 4th of July event.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before March 26, 2015.

    Requests for public meetings must be received by the Coast Guard on or before March 3, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2014-0300 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 LT Sean Morrison, Waterways Management Division, Marine Safety Unit Portland, Coast Guard; telephone 503-240-9319, 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.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Acronyms DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking SNPRM Supplemental 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-2014-0300] 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-2014-0300] 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 plan on holding a public meeting. But you may submit a request for one on or before March 3, 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. Regulatory History and Information

    A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) entitled “Safety Zones; Fireworks Displays in the Sector Columbia River Captain of the Port Zone” was published in the Federal Register on June 18, 2014 with the comment period ending on July 18, 2014 (see 79 FR 34669). We did not receive any comments on the proposed rule and did not receive any requests for a public meeting. A public meeting was not held. While creating the final rule, we determined that additional language should be added to the regulation in order to clarify that the coordinates for the locations of the fireworks display safety zones are approximate. Additionally, we found inconsistencies in the coordinates provided in the published NPRM for nineteen of the fireworks displays. With this SNPRM we are proposing to amend these coordinates. The inconsistencies found were in relation to the location of the safety zones for the following fireworks events: Cinco de Mayo, Tri-City Chamber of Commerce, Cedco Inc., Florence Independence Day Celebration, Ilwaco July 4th Independence Day at the Port, East County 4th of July, City of St. Helens 4th of July, Hood River 4th of July, Rufus 4th of July, Maritime Heritage Festival, Lynch Picnic, July 4th Party at the Port of Gold Beach, Roseburg Hometown 4th of July, Newport 4th of July, The Mill Casino Independence Day, Westport 100th Anniversary, Westport 4th of July, The 4th of July at Pekin Ferry, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Light the Night. Additionally, we found a duplicate entry for the Hood River 4th of July event.

    C. Basis and Purpose

    The legal basis for this proposed rule is: 33 U.S.C. 1231; 46 U.S.C. Chapter 701, 3306, 3703; 50 U.S.C. 191, 195; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, and 160.5; Public Law 107-295, 116 Stat. 2064; and Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1., which collectively authorize the Coast Guard to establish regulatory safety zones for safety and environmental purposes.

    The proposed safety zones are being implemented to help ensure the safe navigation of maritime traffic in the Sector Columbia River Area of Responsibility during fireworks displays. Fireworks displays create hazardous conditions for the maritime public because of the large number of vessels that congregate near the displays, as well as the noise, falling debris, and explosions that occur during the event. Because firework discharge sites can pose a hazard to the maritime public, these safety zones are necessary in order to restrict vessel movement and reduce vessel congregation in the proximity of the firework discharge sites.

    D. Discussion of the Proposed Rule

    This SNPRM amends the regulatory language of the proposed rule to clarify that the coordinates contained in the published table are approximate locations. The language will specify that the proposed safety zones will encompass waters within a 450 yard radius of the launch site at the approximate locations listed in the tables.

    This SNPRM will also remove a duplicate entry of the Hood River 4th of July event.

    Additionally, this SNPRM amends the positions of the following fireworks displays in the proposed rule in order to accurately reflect the approximate locations of the fireworks displays:

    Event name (typically) Event location Date of event Latitude Longitude Cinco de Mayo Fireworks Display Portland, OR One day in May 45°30′58″ N 122°40′12″ W. Tri-City Chamber of Commerce Fireworks Display, Columbia Park Kennewick, WA One day in July 46°13′37″ N 119°08′47″ W. Cedco Inc. Fireworks Display North Bend, OR One day in July 43°23′42″ N 124°12′55″ W. Florence Independence Day Celebration Florence, OR One day in July 43°58′09″ N 124°05′50″ W. Ilwaco July 4th Committee Fireworks/Independence Day at the Port Ilwaco, OR One day in July 46°18′17″ N 124°02′00″ W. East County 4th of July Fireworks Gresham, OR One day in July 45°33′32″ N 122°27′10″ W. City of St. Helens 4th of July Fireworks Display St. Helens, OR One day in July 45°51′54″ N 122°47′26″ W. Hood River 4th of July Hood River, OR One day in July 45°42′58″ N 121°30′32″ W. Rufus 4th of July Fireworks Rufus, OR One day in July 45°41′39″ N 120°45′16″ W. Maritime Heritage Festival St. Helens, OR One day in July 45°51′54″ N 122°47′26″ W. Lynch Picnic West Linn, OR One day in July 45°23′37″ N 122°37′52″ W. July 4th Party at the Port of Gold Beach Gold Beach, OR One day in July 42°25′30″ N 124°25′03″ W. Roseburg Hometown 4th of July Roseburg, OR One day in July 43°12′58″ N 123°22′10″ W. Newport 4th of July Newport, OR One day in July 44°37′40″ N 124°02′45″ W. The Mill Casino Independence Day North Bend, OR One day in July 43°23′42″ N 124°12′55″ W. Westport 100th Anniversary Westport, WA One day in June 46°54′17″ N 124°05′59″ W. Westport 4th of July Westport, WA One day in July 46°54′17″ N 124°05′59″ W. The 4th of July at Pekin Ferry Ridgefield, WA One day in July 45°52′07″ N 122°43′53″ W. Leukemia and Lymphoma Light the Night Fireworks Display Portland, OR One day in October 45°31′14″ N 122°40′06″ W. 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 Coast Guard bases this finding on the fact that the safety zones listed will be in place for a limited period of time and are minimal in duration.

    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.

    (1) This proposed rule may affect the following entities, some of which may be small entities: the owners and operators of vessels intending to operate in the area covered by the safety zone. The proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because the safety zones will only be in effect for a limited period of time. Additionally, vessels can still transit through the zone with the permission of the Captain of the Port. Before the effective period, we will publish advisories in the Local Notice to Mariners available to users of the river. Maritime traffic will be able to schedule their transits around the safety zone.

    If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this proposed 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 proposed 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 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

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under Executive Order 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. This proposed 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 proposed 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 made a preliminary determination that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This proposed rule involves the amendment and addition of safety zones in 33 CFR 165.1315. This proposed rule is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. A preliminary environmental analysis checklist supporting this determination and a Categorical Exclusion Determination are available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule.

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

    Harbors, Marine safety, Navigation (water), Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Security measures, Waterways.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR part 165 as follows:

    PART 165—REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS 1. The authority citation for part 165 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 1231; 46 U.S.C. Chapter 701, 3306, 3703; 50 U.S.C. 191, 195; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, and 160.5; Pub. L. 107-295, 116 Stat. 2064; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. Amend § 165.1315 to read as follows:
    § 165.1315 Safety Zone; Annual Fireworks Displays Within the Sector Columbia River Captain of the Port Zone.

    (a) Safety Zones. The following areas are designated safety zones: Waters of the Columbia River and its tributaries, waters of the Siuslaw River, Yaquina River, and Umpqua River, and waters of the Washington and Oregon coasts, within a 450 yard radius of the launch site at the approximate locations listed in the following table:

    Event name (typically) Event location Date of event Latitude Longitude Cinco de Mayo Fireworks Display Portland, OR One day in May 45° 30′58″ N 122° 40′12″ W Portland Rose Festival Fireworks Display Portland, OR One day in May or June 45° 30′58″ N 122° 40′12″ W Tri-City Chamber of Commerce Fireworks Display, Columbia Park Kennewick, WA One day in July 46° 13′37″ N 119° 08′47″ W Cedco Inc. Fireworks Display North Bend, OR One day in July 43° 23′42″ N 124° 12′55″ W Astoria-Warrenton 4th of July Fireworks Astoria, OR One day in July 46° 11′34″ N 123° 49′28″ W Waterfront Blues Festival Fireworks Portland, OR One day in July 45° 30′42″ N 122° 40′14″ W Oregon Symphony Concert Fireworks Display Portland, OR One day in August or September 45° 30′42″ N 122° 40′14″ W Florence Independence Day Celebration Florence, OR One day in July 43° 58′09″ N 124° 05′50″ W Oaks Park Association Portland, OR One day in July 45° 28′22″ N 122° 39′59″ W City of Rainier/Rainier Days Rainier, OR One day in July 46° 05′46″ N 122° 56′18″ W Ilwaco July 4th Committee Fireworks/Independence Day at the Port Ilwaco, OR One day in July 46° 18′17″ N 124° 02′00″ W Celebrate Milwaukie Milwaukie, OR One day in July 45° 26′33″ N 122° 38′44″ W Splash Aberdeen Waterfront Festival Aberdeen, WA One day in July 46° 58′40″ N 123° 47′45″ W City of Coos Bay July 4th Celebration/Fireworks Over the Bay Coos Bay, OR One day in July 43° 22′06″ N 124° 12′24″ W Arlington 4th of July Arlington, OR One day in July 45° 43′23″ N 120° 12′11 W East County 4th of July Fireworks Gresham, OR One day in July 45° 33′32″ N 122° 27′10″ W Port of Cascade Locks 4th of July Fireworks Display Cascade Locks, OR One day in July 45° 40′15″ N 121° 53′43″ W Astoria Regatta Astoria, OR One day in August 46° 11′34″ N 123° 49′28″ W Washougal 4th of July Washougal, WA One day in July 45° 34′32″ N 122° 22′53″ W City of St. Helens 4th of July Fireworks Display St. Helens, OR One day in July 45° 51′54″ N 122° 47′26″ W Waverly Country Club 4th of July Fireworks Display Milwaukie, OR One day in July 45° 27′03″ N 122° 39′18″ W Booming Bay Fireworks Westport, WA One day in July 46° 54′14″ N 124° 06′08″ W Hood River 4th of July Hood River, OR One day in July 45° 42′58″ N 121° 30′32″ W Rufus 4th of July Fireworks Rufus, OR One day in July 45° 41′39″ N 120° 45′16″ W Newport High School Graduation Fireworks Display Newport, OR One day in June 44° 36′48″ N 124° 04′10″ W Willamette Falls Heritage Festival Oregon City, OR One day in October 45° 21′44″ N 122° 36′21″ W Winchester Bay 4th of July Fireworks Display Winchester Bay, OR One day in July 43° 40′56″ N 124° 11′13″ W Brookings, OR July 4th Fireworks Display Brookings, OR One day in July 42° 02′39″ N 124° 16′14″ W Maritime Heritage Festival St. Helens, OR One day in July 45° 51′54″ N 122° 47′26″ W Lynch Picnic West Linn, OR One day in July 45° 23′37″ N 122° 37′52″ W Yachats 4th of July Yachats, OR One day in July 44° 18′38″ N 124° 06′27″ W Lincoln City 4th of July Lincoln City, OR One day in July 44° 55′28″ N 124° 01′31″ W July 4th Party at the Port of Gold Beach Gold Beach, OR One day in July 42° 25′30″ N 124° 25′03″ W Gardiner 4th of July Gardiner, OR One day in July 43° 43′55″ N 124° 06′48″ W Huntington 4th of July Huntington, OR One day in July 44° 18′02″ N 117° 13′33″ W Toledo Summer Festival Toledo, OR One day in July 44° 37′08″ N 123° 56′24″ W Port Orford 4th of July Port Orford, OR One day in July 42° 44′31″ N 124° 29′30″ W The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce Fourth of July The Dalles, OR One day in July 45° 36′18″ N 121° 10′23″ W Roseburg Hometown 4th of July Roseburg, OR One day in July 43° 12′58″ N 123° 22′10″ W Newport 4th of July Newport, OR One day in July 44° 37′40″ N 124° 02′45″ W First Friday Milwaukie Milwaukie, OR One day in September 45° 26′33″ N 122° 38′44″ W The Mill Casino Independence Day North Bend, OR One day in July 43° 23′42″ N 124° 12′55″ W Waldport 4th of July Waldport, OR One day in July 44° 25′31″ N 124° 04′44″ W Westport 100th Anniversary Westport, WA One day in June 46° 54′17″ N 124° 05′59″ W Westport 4th of July Westport, WA One day in July 46° 54′17″ N 124° 05′59″ W The 4th of July at Pekin Ferry Ridgefield, WA One day in July 45° 52′07″ N 122° 43′53″ W Leukemia and Lymphoma Light the Night Fireworks Display Portland, OR One day in October 45° 31′14″ N 122° 40′06″ W

    (b) Special requirements. Fireworks barges or launch sites on land used in locations stated in this rule shall display a sign. The sign will be affixed to the port and starboard side of the barge or mounted on a post 3 feet above ground level when on land and in close proximity to the shoreline facing the water labeled “FIREWORKS-DANGER-STAY AWAY.” This will provide on-scene notice that the safety zone is, or will, be enforced on that day. This notice will consist of a diamond shaped sign, 4 foot by 4 foot, with a 3 inch orange retro-reflective border. The word “DANGER” shall be 10 inch black block letters centered on the sign with the words “FIREWORKS” and “STAY AWAY” in 6 inch black block letters placed above and below the word “DANGER” respectively on a white background. An on-scene patrol vessel may enforce these safety zones at least 1 hour prior to the start and 1 hour after the conclusion of the fireworks display.

    (c) Notice of enforcement. These safety zones will be activated, and thus subject to enforcement, under the following conditions: The Coast Guard must receive and approve a marine event permit for each fireworks display and then the Captain of the Port will cause notice of the enforcement of these safety zones to be made by all appropriate means to provide notice to the affected segments of the public as practicable, in accordance with 33 CFR 165.7(a). The Captain of the Port will issue a Local Notice to Mariners notifying the public of activation and suspension of enforcement of these safety zones. Additionally, an on-scene Patrol Commander may be appointed to enforce the safety zones by limiting the transit of non-participating vessels in the designated areas described above.

    (d) Enforcement period. This rule will be enforced at least one hour before and one hour after the duration of the event each day a barge or launch site with a “FIREWORKS-DANGER-STAY AWAY” sign is located within any of the above designated safety zone locations and meets the criteria established in paragraphs (a), (b), and (c).

    (e) Regulations. In accordance with the general regulations in 33 CFR part 165, subpart C, no person may enter or remain in the safety zone created in this section or bring, cause to be brought, or allow to remain in the safety zone created in this section any vehicle, vessel, or object unless authorized by the Captain of the Port or his designated representative. The Captain of the Port may be assisted by other Federal, State, or local agencies with the enforcement of the safety zone.

    (f) Authorization. All vessel operators who desire to enter the safety zone must obtain permission from the Captain of the Port or Designated Representative by contacting either the on-scene patrol craft on VHF Ch 13 or Ch 16 or the Coast Guard Sector Columbia River Command Center via telephone at (503) 861-6211.

    Dated: January 30, 2015. D.J. Travers, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Sector Columbia River.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03607 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 60, 61, and 63 [EPA-R06-OAR-2010-1054; FRL-9923-10-Region 6] New Source Performance Standards and National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants; Delegation of Authority to Louisiana AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) has submitted updated regulations for receiving delegation of 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 does not apply to sources located in Indian Country. EPA is providing notice that it is updating the delegation of certain NSPS to LDEQ and taking direct final action to approve the delegation of certain NESHAPs to LDEQ.

    DATES:

    Written comments on this proposed rule must be received on or before March 26, 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 LDEQ'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). LDEQ has adopted certain NSPS and NESHAP by reference into Louisiana's state regulations. In addition, EPA is waiving its notification requirements so sources will only need to send notifications and reports to LDEQ.

    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. 2015-03731 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 61 and 63 [EPA-R06-OAR-2008-0063; FRL-9923-20-Region 6] National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants; Delegation of Authority to Oklahoma AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) has submitted updated regulations for receiving delegation of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) authority for implementation and enforcement of 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 does not apply to sources located in Indian Country. EPA is providing notice that it is taking direct final action to approve the delegation of certain NESHAPs to ODEQ.

    DATES:

    Written comments on this proposed rule must be received on or before March 26, 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 ODEQ's request for delegation of authority to implement and enforce certain NESHAP for all sources (both part 70 and non-part 70 sources). ODEQ has adopted certain NESHAPs by reference into Oklahoma's state regulations. In addition, EPA is waiving its notification requirements so sources will only need to send notifications and reports to ODEQ. 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: February 6, 2015. Wren Stenger, Director, Multimedia Planning and Permitting Division, Region 6.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03801 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION 41 CFR Parts 101-25 and 102-32 [FPMR Case 2014-101-1; FMR Case 2014-102-2; Docket No. 2014-0016; Sequence No. 1] RIN 3090-AJ50 Federal Property Management Regulations/Federal Management Regulation; Supply and Procurement AGENCY:

    Office of Government-wide Policy (OGP), General Services Administration (GSA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    GSA is proposing to amend the Federal Property Management Regulations (FPMR) and the Federal Management Regulation (FMR) by migrating regulations regarding the supply and procurement of Government personal property management from the FPMR to the FMR. The FPMR will contain a cross-reference to direct readers to the coverage in the FMR. This proposed rule also eliminates material that is not regulatory in nature, is overly prescriptive, outdated, addressed in other policy, or no longer appropriate for today's Government business environment. This case is included in GSA's retrospective review of existing regulations under Executive Order 13563. Additional information is available at www.gsa.gov/improvingregulations.

    DATES:

    Interested parties should submit written comments to the Regulatory Secretariat at one of the addresses shown below on or before April 27, 2015 to be considered in the formation of a final rule.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments in response to FPMR Case 2014-101-1/FMR Case 2014-102-2 by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal by searching for “FPMR Case 2014-101-1/FMR Case 2014-102-2,” and selecting the link that corresponds with “FPMR Case 2014-101-1/FMR Case 2014-102-2.” Follow the instructions provided at the “Comment Now” screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “FPMR Case 2014-101-1/FMR Case 2014-102-2” on your attached document.

    Fax: 202-501-4067.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), ATTN: Hada Flowers, 1800 F Street NW., 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20405.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite FPMR Case 2014-101-1/FMR Case 2014-102-2, on all correspondence related to this case. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For clarification of content, contact Mr. Robert Holcombe, Office of Government-wide Policy, Office of Asset and Transportation Management (MA), at 202-501-3828. For information pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the Regulatory Secretariat (MVCB) at 202-501-4755. Please cite FPMR Case 2014-101-1/FMR Case 2014-102-2.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Background

    GSA is proposing to amend the FPMR by revising regulations regarding Government personal property management policies in FPMR 101-25 (41 CFR part 101-25), and by moving these policies to part 102-32 of the FMR (41 CFR part 102-32). GSA anticipates migrating the remaining parts of FPMR, Subchapter E, to succeeding subparts of FMR part 102-32. This revision is part of GSA's effort to improve its external directives system by reducing the number of regulations and rewriting them in plain language. This proposed rule removes material that is not regulatory in nature (such as internal GSA operating procedures), is overly prescriptive, outdated, addressed in other policy, or no longer appropriate for today's Government business environment.

    B. Substantive Changes

    The following table provides a crosswalk from FPMR part 101-25 (left column) to FMR part 102-32 (right column). This table identifies where the policy provisions of FPMR part 101-25 will be migrated to in the FMR, and explains significant changes or deletions.

    Title 41: Public contracts and property management part 101-25—
  • general
  • FMR part 102-32—supply and procurement
    § 101-25.000 Scope of subchapter Revised and added to section 102-32.5. § 101-25.001 Scope of part Deleted as not necessary. § 101-25.100 Use of Government personal property and nonpersonal services Revised in sections 102-32.20 and 102-32.25. § 101-25.101 Criteria for determining method of supply Revised in section 102-32.35. Definition of “use point” removed and replaced with general terminology. § 101-25.102 Exchange or sale of personal property for replacement purposes Deleted because this topic is addressed in FMR part 102-39. § 101-25.103 Promotional materials, trading stamps, or bonus goods Deleted. Items addressed in this Subpart are treated the same as other personal property and disposed of accordingly. § 101-25.104 Acquisition of office furniture and office machines Deleted as being too prescriptive; refer to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) for general policies on acquisition. The prohibition against acquiring unnecessary items is retained in section 102-32.30. § 101-25.105 [Reserved] Deleted. § 101-25.106 Servicing of office machines Deleted as being too prescriptive. § 101-25.107 Guidelines for requisitioning and proper use of consumable or low cost items Policy summarized in section 102-32.45. § 101-25.108 Multiyear subscriptions for publications Deleted, refer to the FAR for requirements determination and structuring a procurement. § 101-25.109 Laboratory and research equipment Policy summarized in section 102-32.40 and generalized to include all types of facilities and activities, not just laboratories and research facilities. § 101-25.110 Tire identification/registration program Deleted. Federal motor vehicle policy is found in FMR part 102-34. § 101-25.111 Environmental impact policy Deleted because this section simply explains that environmental policies and practices are part of GSA's policies. § 101-25.112 Energy conservation policy Deleted because conservation and efficiency is contained in other Federal law and policy addressing the procurement, management, and disposal of personal property and nonpersonal services. For example, see the Energy Policy Act (EPACT) laws and related Executive Orders (E.O.) (e.g., E.O. 13423 and E.O. 13514). § 101-25.113 [Reserved] Deleted. § 101-25.114 Supply management surveys and assistance Necessary policy summarized in section 102-32.50. Subpart 101-25.2 Interagency Purchase Assignments Deleted. This policy is provided in FAR Subpart 17.5; Interagency Acquisitions. Subpart 101-25.3 Use Standards Necessary policy summarized in section 102-32.55; overly-prescriptive policy is deleted. Subpart 101-25.4 Replacement Standards Necessary policy summarized in section 102-32.55; overly-prescriptive policy is deleted. Subpart 101-25.5 Purchase or Lease Determinations Deleted as unnecessary. Subparts 101-25.6 through 101-25.49 [Reserved] Deleted “reserved” sections.
    C. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders (E.O.s) 12866 of September 30, 1993 (“Regulatory Planning and Review”), and 13563 of January 18, 2011 (“Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review”), direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity. E.O. 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This proposed rule is not a significant regulatory action, and therefore, is not subject to review under Section 6(b) of E.O. 12866. This proposed rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804.

    D. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq. This proposed rule is also exempt from the Administrative Procedure Act per 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(2) because it applies to agency management or personnel or to public property.

    E. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act does not apply because this proposed rule does not impose recordkeeping or information collection requirements, or the collection of information from offerors, contractors, or members of the public which require the approval of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under 44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.

    F. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This proposed rule is exempt from Congressional review under 5 U.S.C. 801 since it relates solely to agency management or personnel and does not substantially affect the rights or obligations of non-agency parties.

    List of Subjects in Parts 101-25 and 102-32

    Public contracts, Management of property.

    Dated: February 6, 2015. Christine J. Harada, Associate Administrator, Office of Government-wide Policy.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, GSA proposes to amend 41 CFR chapters 101 and 102 as follows:

    CHAPTER 101—FEDERAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT REGULATIONS PART 101-25—GENERAL 1. Revise the authority citation for part 101-25 to read as follows: Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c) and 40 U.S.C. 506(a).

    2. Revise § 101-25 to read as follows:
    § 101-25 Cross-reference to the Federal Management Regulation (FMR) (41 CFR parts 102-1 through 102-220).

    For information on the supply and procurement of personal property previously contained in this part, see FMR part 102-32 (41 CFR part 102-32).

    CHAPTER 102—FEDERAL MANAGEMENT REGULATION SUBCHAPTER B—PERSONAL PROPERTY 3. Add part 102-32 to subchapter B of chapter 102 to read as follows: PART 102-32—SUPPLY AND PROCUREMENT Sec. 102-32.5 What is the purpose of this part? 102-32.10 How does this part use “I,” “me,” and “you”? 102-32.15 How does this part apply to my agency? 102-32.20 What definitions apply to this part? 102-32.25 How may I use Government personal property and services? 102-32.30 How must I acquire personal property? 102-32.35 How do I determine the best method of supply? 102-32.40 What processes are available to effectively manage agency personal property assets? 102-32.45 How do I manage low-value Federal personal property? 102-32.50 What are supply management surveys? 102-32.55 What are Use and Replacement Standards? Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 121(c) and 40 U.S.C. 506(a).

    § 102-32.5 What is the purpose of this part?

    This part provides policy for the effective and efficient supply and procurement of personal property items necessary to support the programs of the Federal Government, as well as the use of Federal personal property assets to preserve agency funds and contribute to the accomplishment of agency missions.

    § 102-32.10 How does this part use “I,” “me,” and “you”?

    This part uses “I,” “me,” and “you” to refer to executive agency personnel. When referring to the organization, the term “agency” is used.

    § 102-32.15 How does this part apply to my agency?

    All executive agencies and personnel, including the Department of Defense, must follow the policies in this part unless specifically exempted by separate statute or regulation.

    § 102-32.20 What definitions apply to this part?

    The following definitions apply to this part:

    Equipment Pool means the collection, at a central point, of equipment under control for short term issue to individuals or organizations.

    Method of supply means the process for an agency to obtain those items of personal property needed to fulfill the agency's mission.

    Nonpersonal services, as defined at 40 U.S.C. 472 means such contractual services, other than personal and professional services, under which the personnel rendering the services are not subject, either by the contract's terms or by the manner of its administration, to the supervision and control usually prevailing in relationships between the Government and its employees.

    Voluntary Consensus Standards means standards developed or adopted by bodies (which are domestic or international organizations which plan, develop, establish, or coordinate standards using agreed-upon procedures), and which include provisions requiring that owners of relevant intellectual property agree to make intellectual property available on a non-discriminatory, royalty-free or reasonable royalty basis to all interested parties (see OMB Circular A-119 at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars_a119/).

    § 102-32.25 How may I use Government personal property and services?

    Except in emergencies, Government personal property and nonpersonal services shall be used only for those purposes for which they were obtained or for other officially designated agency purposes. Emergency conditions are those threatening loss of life and property. This includes property and services on interagency loan as well as property leased by agencies.

    § 102-32.30 How must I acquire personal property?

    Personal property (as defined in FMR 102-36.40), must be acquired only to fulfill an official purpose, and be acquired so as to minimize the cost and maximize the utility to the Federal Government, reasonably considering alternative items and acquisition methods in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), 48 CFR 1.000, et seq., or other applicable law. Each executive agency shall determine whether using currently owned items can meet the requirements of the agency prior to the acquisition of new items. Each executive agency shall also, to the extent practicable, use excess personal property from other agencies before acquiring new items.

    § 102-32.35 How do I determine the best method of supply?

    When acquiring supplies, you must determine and utilize the method of supply that is most advantageous to the Federal Government. You must consider the costs and benefits of the various supply methods and all orders must be within the planned requirements for use. General supply methods include, but are not limited to supply through:

    (a) Storage and issue—where an item can be most advantageously supplied through storage and issued accordingly;

    (b) Consolidated purchase for direct delivery to storage or redistribution locations—where an item can be most advantageously supplied through consolidated purchase for direct delivery;

    (c) Indefinite quantity requirement contracts—where an item can be most advantageously supplied through indefinite quantity requirement contracts covering specific periods and providing for delivery (see FAR Subpart 16.5)); and

    (d) Local purchase—where the local purchase is within applicable limitation established by the agency head and will produce the greatest economy to the Government.

    § 102-32.40 What processes are available to effectively manage agency personal property assets?

    You should establish any necessary policies, procedures, and controls to effectively manage your agency's personal property, so that you can determine whether your agency's requirements can be met by using existing personal property, instead of procuring similar equipment. Agencies should consider:

    (a) Identifying idle and unnecessary assets. You should conduct inspection tours of agency facilities on a scheduled basis, annually, if feasible, but no less than every 3 years, for the purpose of identifying idle and unnecessary assets; and

    (b) Establishing equipment pools. You should establish equipment pools to minimize the investment in commonly-used assets typically used by many employees within a geographic area.

    § 102-32.45 How do I manage low-value Federal personal property?

    Your agency must determine the threshold for which property is considered accountable. Low-value personal property is any asset valued at less than this accountability threshold. Low-value personal property is “expendable” and may be handled by:

    (a) Restricting approval of requisitions for replenishment of storeroom stocks to officials at a responsible supervisory level to ensure that supply requirements are justified based on need and quantity;

    (b) Establishing adequate safeguards and controls to ensure that expendable supplies are used for official use only; and

    (c) Giving special attention and care to those consumable or low cost items when issues are excessive compared to normal program needs.

    § 102-32.50 What are supply management surveys?

    Under the provisions of 40 U.S.C. 506, GSA may perform surveys of Government property and property management practices of executive agencies. These surveys will be conducted in connection with regular studies of agency supply management practices or when providing assistance in the development of agency property accounting systems. As appropriate, GSA will provide written reports of findings and recommendations to agency heads.

    § 102-32.55 What are Use and Replacement Standards?

    Use and Replacement Standards are procedures designed to maximize the effectiveness of asset inventories and to reduce costs. Agencies are encouraged to implement agency-specific procedures for personal property assets when appropriate.

    (a) Use Standards limit the amount and type of property held by the organization to the minimum requirements necessary for the efficient functioning of the organization. An example of a Government-wide Use Standard methodology is described in FMR Bulletin B-30, relating to the management of motor vehicle assets. (Bulletins may be found at www.gsa.gov/bulletins). Considering the methodology in this Bulletin for the management of other assets will guide the agency to a more cost-effective operation.

    (b) Replacement Standards guide agencies to consider an effective replacement strategy for Government personal property items. For example, an agency may designate a type of item to be replaced every three years, based upon the expected trends of reliability, maintenance costs, and usefulness as the item ages. However, actual replacement decisions should also consider the condition of the item.

    (c) Agencies should consider voluntary consensus standards, industry standards, and Federal best-practices in developing Use and Replacement Standards. Factors to consider when choosing standards to use are outlined in OMB Circular A-119, “Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities.” Voluntary consensus standards must be used in lieu of Government-unique standards unless such use would be inconsistent with applicable law or regulation, or be otherwise impractical.

    [FR Doc. 2015-03484 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-14-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 226 [Docket No. 140407321-5096-02] RIN 0648-XD233 Listing Endangered or Threatened Species; 12-Month Finding on a Petition To Revise the Critical Habitat Designation for the Southern Resident Killer Whale Distinct Population Segment AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of 12-month finding.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), announce a 12-month finding on a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity to revise the critical habitat designation for the Southern Resident killer whale (Orcinus orca) Distinct Population Segment (DPS) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). In November 2006 we issued a final rule designating approximately 2,560 square miles (6,630 square km) of inland waters of Washington State as critical habitat for the Southern Resident killer whale DPS. The January 2014 petition requests we revise this critical habitat to include Pacific Ocean marine waters along the West Coast of the United States that constitute essential foraging and wintering areas for Southern Resident killer whales. Additionally, the petition requests that we adopt as a primary constituent element (PCE), for both currently designated critical habitat and the proposed revised critical habitat, protective in-water sound levels. The ESA defines a process for responding to petitions to revise critical habitat. We have reviewed the public comments and best available information on Southern Resident killer whale habitat use and as the next step in the response to the petition process defined in the ESA, this 12-month determination describes how we intend to proceed with the requested revision.

    DATES:

    The finding announced in this document was made on February 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Copies of the petition, 90-day finding, and the list of references are available online at: http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/protected_species/marine_mammals/killer_whale/esa_status.html

    Requests for copies of this determination should be addressed to:

    NMFS, West Coast Region, Protected Resources Division, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, WA 98115. Attention—Lynne Barre, Seattle Branch Chief.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lynne Barre, NMFS West Coast Region, (206) 526-4745; or Dwayne Meadows, NMFS Office of Protected Resources, (301) 427-8403.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On January 21, 2014, we received a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity requesting revisions to the critical habitat designation for the Southern Resident killer whale DPS. That requested revision sets in motion a process for agency response defined in the ESA and explained below.

    The ESA defines critical habitat under section 3(5)(A) as: “(i) the specific areas within the geographical area currently occupied by the species, at the time it is listed . . . on which are found those physical or biological features (I) essential to the conservation of the species and (II) which may require special management considerations or protection; and (ii) specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by the species at the time it is listed upon a determination by the Secretary that such areas are essential for the conservation of the species.”

    Joint NMFS-Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) regulations for designating critical habitat at 50 CFR 424.12(b) state that the agencies “shall consider those physical and biological features that are essential to the conservation of a given species and that may require special management considerations or protection (hereafter also referred to as `Essential Features' or `Primary Constituent Elements'/PCEs').” Pursuant to these regulations, such features include, but are not limited to space for individual and population growth, and normal behavior; food, water, air, light, minerals, or other nutritional or physiological requirements; cover or shelter; sites for breeding, reproduction, rearing of offspring; and habitats that are protected from disturbance or are representative of the historic geographical and ecological distribution of a species. When considering the designation of critical habitat, we focus on the principal biological or physical constituent elements, known as primary constituent elements (PCEs). PCEs may include, but are not limited to: nesting grounds, feeding sites, water quality, tide, and geological formation. Our implementing regulations (50 CFR 424.02) define “special management considerations or protection” as any method or procedure useful in protecting physical and biological features of the environment for the conservation of the species.

    Section 4(b)(2) of the ESA requires us to designate and make revisions to critical habitat for listed species based on the best scientific data available and after taking into consideration the economic impact, the impact on national security, and any other relevant impact, of specifying any particular area as critical habitat. The Secretary of Commerce may exclude any particular area from critical habitat if he determines that the benefits of such exclusion outweigh the benefits of specifying such area as part of the critical habitat, unless she determines that the failure to designate such area as critical habitat will result in the extinction of the species concerned.

    NMFS and FWS have recently published proposed rules to implement changes to the regulations for designating critical habitat. The proposed amendments would make minor edits to the scope and purpose, add and remove some definitions (e.g., geographic area and essential features), and clarify the criteria for designating critical habitat (79 FR 27066; May 12, 2014). We will incorporate any relevant final regulations and guidance into our process for revising critical habitat.

    The ESA provides that NMFS may, from time-to-time, revise critical habitat as appropriate (section 4(a)(3)(B)). In accordance with section 4(b)(3)(D)(i) of the ESA, to the maximum extent practicable, within 90 days of receipt of a petition to revise critical habitat, the Secretary of Commerce is required to make a finding as to whether that petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted, and to promptly publish such finding in the Federal Register. On April 25, 2014 (79 FR 22933), we published our 90-day finding that the petition, viewed in the context of the information readily available in our files, presented substantial information indicating that revising critical habitat may be warranted and initiated a review of the current critical habitat designation. To ensure a comprehensive review of the current critical habitat designation and new information that is now available, we solicited scientific and commercial information regarding the petitioned action.

    When we find that a petition presents substantial information indicating that a revision may be warranted, we are required to determine how we intend to proceed with the requested revision within 12 months after receiving the petition, and promptly publish notice of our intention in the Federal Register. The statute says nothing more about options or considerations regarding the 12-month determination or timelines associated with issuance of a proposed rule, (see section 4(b)(3)(D)(ii)). This notice reviews the current critical habitat designation, the petition for revision, summarizes comments on the 90-day finding, and describes how we intend to proceed with the requested revisions to critical habitat for the Southern Resident killer whale DPS.

    Current Critical Habitat Designation

    Following the ESA listing of the Southern Resident killer whale DPS (70 FR 69903; November 18, 2005), we finalized a designation of critical habitat in 2006 (71 FR 69054; November 29, 2006). We summarized available information on natural history, habitat use, and habitat features in a Biological Report accompanying the designation (NMFS, 2006). Based on the natural history of the Southern Resident killer whales and their habitat needs, the physical or biological features necessary for conservation were identified as: (1) Water quality to support growth and development; (2) prey species of sufficient quantity, quality and availability to support individual growth, reproduction and development, as well as overall population growth; and (3) passage conditions to allow for migration, resting, and foraging.

    The final critical habitat designation identified three specific areas, within the area occupied, which contained the essential features listed above. The three specific areas designated as critical habitat were (1) the Summer Core Area in Haro Strait and waters around the San Juan Islands; (2) Puget Sound; and (3) the Strait of Juan de Fuca, which in total comprise approximately 2,560 square miles (6,630 sq km) of marine habitat. We determined that the economic benefits of exclusion of any of the areas did not outweigh the benefits of designation, and we therefore did not exclude any areas based on economic impacts. We considered the impacts to national security, and concluded the benefits of exclusion of 18 military sites, comprising approximately 112 square miles (291 sq km), outweighed the benefits of inclusion, because of national security impacts, and therefore, the sites were not included in the designation. The critical habitat designation included waters deeper than 20 feet (6.1 m) relative to the extreme high water tidal datum.

    At the time of the designation, we noted that there were few data on Southern Resident killer whale distribution and habitat use of the coastal and offshore areas in the Pacific Ocean. Although we recognized that the whales occupy these waters for a portion of the year and considered them part of the geographical area occupied by the species, we declined to designate these areas as critical habitat because the data informing whale distribution, behavior and habitat use were insufficient to define “specific areas” (see Coastal and Offshore Areas section; 71 FR 69054; November 29, 2006).

    Petition To Revise Critical Habitat

    On January 21, 2014, we received a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity requesting revision to the critical habitat designation for the Southern Resident killer whale DPS. The petition lists recent sources of information on the whales' habitat use along the West Coast of the U.S., particularly from NMFS' Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC) programs, such as satellite tagging conducted in 2012 and 2013. The petition also reviews natural history and threats to the whales. The Center for Biological Diversity proposes that the critical habitat designation be revised and expanded to include the addition of the Pacific Ocean region between Cape Flattery, WA, and Point Reyes, CA, extending approximately 47 miles (76 km) offshore. The petition identifies that each of the three PCEs identified in the 2006 critical habitat designation (see Current Critical Habitat Designation Section above) are also essential features in the whales' Pacific Ocean habitat. In addition, the petition asks us to adopt a fourth PCE for both existing and proposed critical habitat areas providing for in-water sound levels that: “(1) do not exceed thresholds that inhibit communication or foraging activities, (2) do not result in temporary or permanent hearing loss to whales, and (3) do not result in abandonment of critical habitat areas.”

    The standard for determination of whether a petition includes substantial information is whether the amount of information presented provides a basis for us to find that it would lead a reasonable person to believe that the measure proposed in the petition may be warranted. Based on the information presented and referenced in the petition, as well as all other information readily available in our files, we found that the recent information on the whales' movements through their offshore habitat and discussion of sound as a feature of habitat met this standard and published a 90-day finding accepting the petition and requesting information to inform a review of the current critical habitat designation (79 FR 22933; April 25, 2014).

    Summary of Public Comments

    In the 90-day finding we solicited new information from the public, governmental agencies, tribes, the scientific community, industry, environmental entities, and any other interested parties concerning (1) the essential habitat needs and use of the whales, (2) the West Coast area proposed for inclusion, (3) the physical and biological features essential to the conservation of Southern Residents and that may require special management considerations or protection, (4) information regarding potential benefits or impacts of designating any particular area, including information on the types of Federal actions that may affect the area's physical and biological features, and (5) current or planned activities in the areas proposed as critical habitat and costs of potential modifications to those activities due to critical habitat designation. We requested that all data and information be accompanied by supporting documentation such as maps, bibliographic references, or reprints of pertinent publications.

    The public comment period on the 90-day finding closed on June 24, 2014, and all of the comments received can be viewed at www.regulations.gov by searching for FDMS docket number “NOAA-NMFS-2014-0041”. We received 275 comments from a variety of individuals and organizations including researchers, concerned citizens, private, government and nonprofit organizations. The majority of comments (over 250) were brief expressions of support for expanding the Southern Resident killer whale's critical habitat to offshore and coastal areas; two commenters were opposed to the petition's proposed revision of critical habitat. In addition, many commenters noted sound was important to killer whales and six specifically supported including sound as a PCE for critical habitat. There were fifteen commenters that provided substantive information or comments. Thirteen of these commenters supported the petitioned action, and many referenced the data presented in the petition, which largely comes from recent NWFSC studies conducted from 2006-2013. Some commenters offered additional information, including data on ocean and Puget Sound fisheries, salmon populations along the Washington coast, and whale sightings in inland waters and off the Washington, Oregon, and California coasts. Below we provide a summary of the substantive comments and information so the public is aware of the information submitted. Where appropriate, we have combined similar comments. We will take into account the comments and information provided in our consideration of a revision to critical habitat.

    Geographical Area Occupied by the Species

    Comment 1: Several commenters noted that the data from satellite tracking and tagging, visual sightings, acoustic recorders, and strandings all provide evidence that the Southern Resident killer whales regularly use the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California during part of the year. One commenter suggested that more research be conducted to help decide if the proposed southern boundary be extended even farther south. Several commenters provided evidence that suggests the whales are spending less time in inland waters, specifically in spring months, and have likely increased their use of offshore waters. They noted the coast is important to the whales, which makes the need of an expanded protected area essential.

    Comment 2: Two commenters urged that we should reconsider the protection of the Hood Canal and include it in the revised critical habitat designation and one suggested expanding critical habitat into shallower waters. These commenters stressed the historical importance of Hood Canal to the whales and noted that it was used on a regular basis until the early 1980s. The last confirmed use of Hood Canal by the Southern Residents occurred in 1995, which one commenter noted was less than 4 years prior to the formal listing process. Based on the extensive use of Hood Canal by transient killer whales, they noted Hood Canal possesses the physical and biological features necessary to support the whales. Due to its proximity to the core use area in the San Juan Islands, prey resources in Hood Canal could be used, and Hood Canal would provide a safe refuge in the event of an oil spill. In addition to expanding inland critical habitat to include Hood Canal, one commenter suggested expanding critical habitat to shallower water for the pursuit of prey, socializing, grooming, and playing. The commenter argued that including the whale's active space in critical habitat (or the space around an individual that is perceived visually or auditorily) is more appropriate than creating an arbitrary border at 20 feet (6.1m) of water.

    Military Exclusions

    Comment 3: One commenter noted that NMFS should only exclude a subset of the military exclusion requests or completely revoke all of the exclusions. This comment was based on the large size and Southern Resident killer whale use of some military areas and suggestions that military activities could be moved to reduce overall area or mitigation for military areas could be considered elsewhere.

    Sound as an Essential Feature of Critical Habitat

    Comment 4: Many commenters expressed concern that underwater noise can affect Southern Resident killer whales in numerous ways, including disrupting communication, reducing the distance of detecting prey or other whales, masking echolocation, temporarily or permanently impairing hearing, causing strandings or mortality, causing other stress-related harm, and leading to habitat abandonment. Several of these commenters were concerned that ambient underwater noise levels are rapidly increasing in the whales' habitat. For example, one commenter was concerned that a proposed expansion of naval structures in the Puget Sound will add more noise to the current levels that may cause behavioral disturbance. Another commenter was concerned about an increase in Navy training and testing activities in the Pacific Ocean that could put the killer whales in more danger. One commenter was concerned that the issuance of incidental take permits does not occur for all noise sources (e.g., there is no regulation of shipping noise, recreational vessel and commercial whale watch vessel traffic noise or noise from fisheries). Another commenter argued that noise pollution is hurting the gene pool by unintentionally selecting against acute hearing, which they argue is likely to reduce the fitness of individuals in the population.

    These commenters urged us to identify a sound-based PCE and identify sound levels that do not (1) exceed thresholds that inhibit communication or foraging activities, (2) result in temporary or permanent hearing loss to the whales, or (3) result in the abandonment of critical habitat areas. One commenter added that the sound-based PCE should be established so as not to cause chronic stress, including stress that is potentially sufficient to impair reproduction, or increase morbidity or the risk of mortality. They suggested that we evaluate whether a numeric standard for the sound PCE may be appropriate to determine when adverse modification of critical habitat occurs. However, if numerical standards are not supported by available data, they suggested we adopt proxies from other species. Lastly, several commenters noted that the Canadian government has identified acoustic degradation as one of the main threats to killer whales and the acoustic quality of the Southern and Northern Resident killer whales' critical habitat in Canada is legally protected by the Critical Habitat Protection Order (see http://www.registrelep-sararegistry.gc.ca/document/default_e.cfm?documentID=1756.)

    One commenter supports the petition, but cautioned that the establishment of in-water sound levels based on results from the work primarily from one researcher (Williams et al., 2009; 2013; 2014), which they still considered to be a work-in-progress and, based on another population of killer whales, could result in a disproportionate and distractive regulatory action against the boat-based whale watch industry.

    Another commenter asked us to reject the petition and believes revising critical habitat to include the coastal waters of Washington, Oregon, and California and/or adopting a sound PCE would compromise military readiness and national security by substantially limiting training, testing, and construction activities. Furthermore, the commenter stated the PCE criteria described in the petition are too vague for a complete assessment of potential impacts to Navy activities, and they requested we clarify the details on the sound PCE (e.g., the frequency of sounds of concern, the duration and type of sounds and sound producing activity that would likely create an adverse effect, the sound level threshold, timing, the certainty to which an animal would need to be present to trigger restrictions, and implementation and enforcement techniques), in order to adequately assess the impacts to national security.

    Another commenter asked us to reject the petition and argued that sound is not a tangible feature contemplated by the ESA, but rather is an element that can be introduced into the aquatic environment that has the potential to have a direct effect on a species. They also argued the effects to a species from an action should be addressed in the section 7 jeopardy analysis, whereas the adverse modification analysis needs to address the potential impacts of the action on the habitat. With the exception of Cook Inlet beluga whales designated critical habitat that includes in-water noise below levels resulting in the abandonment of critical habitat areas (50 CFR 226.220), they note that designating sound as a PCE would be a departure from NMFS' prior practice of not including sound, even for species that can be affected by in-water sound (i.e., right whales). Lastly, they claim there is no factual basis to designate sound as a PCE and the petition does not narrowly define designated critical habitat. For example, they argue that no information in the petition shows where the specific areas containing the elements of the noise PCE are found, and the biological needs of the whales are not well known enough to determine specific marine areas with sound levels essential to their conservation.

    Essential Features and Special Management Considerations

    Comment 5: Several commenters argued that Southern Resident killer whales are susceptible to threats outside their current protected habitat and the proposed area for critical habitat is in need of protection. The commenters noted that the whales feed on salmon, breed, and calve while in coastal waters. They highlighted that current Southern Resident killer whale critical habitat only protects summer and fall Chinook salmon stocks. One commenter stressed that the winter and spring runs of Chinook salmon along the outer coast represent a major food source for the whales and that these runs should also be protected. Because the whales appear to be spending less time in inland waters, specifically in spring months, commenters noted that the whales have likely increased their reliance on coastal salmon. Several of the commenters also highlighted that the whales are likely giving birth in these coastal waters in the autumn/winter months and may require more food for lactating mothers. Another commenter argued that the declining coast-wide availability of Chinook salmon reinforces the need to include this area as designated critical habitat to ensure the survival of the salmon on which the Southern Residents depend. In general, these commenters supported expanding critical habitat to encompass the whale's year-round range, which includes coastal waters of Washington, Oregon, and California, to ensure the conservation of all current foraging grounds and that expanding critical habitat will support sufficient prey to help the whales recover.

    In addition to the concern over prey availability, several commenters were concerned that the Southern Residents have acquired high levels of pollutants linked to California that may affect reproduction and the population decline. They also highlighted that because the whales occupy a highly industrialized area, foraging near outflow of large rivers that carry pollutants can directly affect the whale's health and prey. Additionally, they strongly urged us to ensure that the use and disposal of chemicals do not conflict with the whale's habitat. Improving water quality in the whales' coastal winter range requires special management and protection, which they argue is provided by designating the area as critical habitat.

    Nineteen commenters mentioned the general threats to Southern Resident killer whales from ships, and several of those commenters argued that special management is needed in offshore waters to address the threats from increasing ship traffic within the coastal range of the whales because traffic likely impacts killer whale foraging habits. In addition, they note an increase in port size or vessel traffic could also have a significant risk because it will increase the risk of collision. They urge us to revise critical habitat to ensure that decisions regarding the expansion of fossil fuel transportation and other maritime activities do not impact the killer whale's coastal range. Several commenters highlighted that the increase in development of alternative energy sources may also pose a possible passage risk to the killer whales, thereby requiring special management and oversight. Lastly, one commenter was concerned that migration of prey species due to ocean acidification and climate change could impose additional challenges for the whales.

    12-Month Determination on Revision of Critical Habitat

    Since critical habitat for Southern Resident killer whales was designated in 2006, new information on habitat use has become available. As described in the critical habitat designation in 2006, we have been directly engaged in research activities to fill data gaps about coastal habitat use. Collecting information to better understand coastal distribution was also identified as a top priority in developing the Research Plan and Recovery Plan for Southern Resident killer whales (NMFS, 2008). In 2011, NMFS completed a 5-year review of the status Southern Resident DPS under the ESA (NMFS, 2011). In the 5-year review, one of the recommendations for future actions was to increase knowledge of coastal distribution, habitat use and prey consumption to inform critical habitat determination. As identified in the petition and the public comments, the NWFSC and our partners have employed several techniques to collect information on coastal distribution and behavior, some of which include land-based sightings, passive acoustic monitoring, coastal research cruises, and satellite tag studies. In 2014, we released a 10-year report on research and conservation for Southern Resident killer whales, which summarized some of the major findings of this ongoing research on coastal habitat use and listed almost a dozen papers and reports that have become available since 2006. The report and a full list of publications are available on our Web page at: http://www.nwfsc.noaa.gov/news/features/killer_whale_report/index.cfm.

    Additional information since the 2006 critical habitat designation regarding effects of anthropogenic sound on marine mammals was also provided in the petition. The petition references new information on killer whale responses to vessel noise (Erbe et al., 2012; Holt, 2008; Holt et al. 2009, Williams et al., 2009, Williams et al., 2014), as well as a review of the acoustic quality of habitats for whale populations, including killer whales (Williams et al., 2013). Many of these publications are also listed in the recent 10-year report along with several other articles and reports from NWFSC projects and partnerships investigating vessel interactions and noise effects.

    How We Intend To Proceed

    Based on the new information above, we intend to proceed with the petitioned action to revise critical habitat for Southern Resident killer whales. Below we identify the steps we will take to ensure that we use the best available scientific and commercial data to inform any revision and meet the statutory requirements for designating or revising critical habitat.

    Step 1: Complete Data Collection and Analysis

    While data from new studies are available in our files and have begun to address data gaps identified in the 2006 critical habitat designation, considerable data collection and analysis needs to be conducted to refine our understanding of the whales' habitat use and needs. Additional time will increase sample sizes and provide the opportunity to conduct robust analyses. While we have been actively working on gathering and analyzing data on coastal habitat use, these data and analyses are not yet sufficiently developed to inform and propose revisions to critical habitat as requested in the petition. Additional data and analyses will contribute to identification of biological and physical features—as well as areas in the Pacific Ocean that contain these features—to inform the identification of specific areas. In the petition, the Center for Biological Diversity recognized that we are continuing to gather and analyze data describing the Southern Residents' use of coastal and offshore waters and requested we refine the proposed revisions, as necessary, to include additional inhabited zones or to focus specifically on areas of concentrated use.

    There are several ongoing studies that will inform any revisions to critical habitat. The NWFSC and our partners are currently engaged in the following projects and we anticipate new data, analyses, reports and papers regarding coastal habitat use available over the next 2 years. Below are descriptions of several ongoing data analysis projects, plans for collecting additional data, and projects that bring together and analyze data from a number of sources.

    Sighting networks: For many years, NMFS, the Center for Whale Research, and other partners have solicited sightings of killer whales, including the Southern Residents, along the coast. Prior to 2003, data on the whales' winter distribution and movement patterns were limited to a handful of sightings reported by a diverse group of ocean users. We will continue to solicit coastal sightings from the public and ocean users, and will also follow up on sighting information presented in the public comments on the 90-day finding. Although this work continues, in recent years we have used a variety of new technologies described below to supplement and expand the sighting network information.

    Acoustic recorders: The NWFSC has been deploying passive acoustic recorders in coastal waters to capture acoustic calls of marine mammals, and Southern Resident killer whales in particular, to better understand distribution and habitat use. Hanson et al. (2013) analyzed and reported results on coastal occurrence of Southern Residents using these recorders deployed in 2006 through 2011; however, there are additional years of data from 2012-2014 now available and undergoing analysis. In addition, this project will be expanded with new recorder deployments in 2015 to expand sample sizes with new data and a comprehensive analysis is expected in 2016.

    Satellite tagging: Since 2012, the NWFSC has deployed satellite tags on five Southern Resident killer whales, including one extended deployment on K25 that lasted for 93 days. The information gathered from satellite tagging will address the data gap in winter distribution identified in the Recovery Plan, as well as provide further information on habitat use. This technique has been identified as an important approach for obtaining information on habitat use by an independent science panel that assessed the impact of salmon fisheries on Southern Resident killer whales (Hilborn et al., 2012). Analysis of the existing data is currently underway and the program will continue with additional tag deployments planned for 2015-2016.

    Research cruises: NMFS' NWFSC has located Southern Resident killer whales off the Washington and Oregon coasts on six of seven NOAA cruises to study the whales since 2004. In 2013, researchers used satellite tagging information to follow the whales along the coast for eight days, allowing nearly continuous investigations of behavior and habitat use. Scientists also collected numerous prey and fecal samples to learn more about winter diet as well as oceanographic data to improve our understanding of important features of the whales' environment along the coast. The NWFSC has a research cruise planned for February 2015 and also plans to request ship time for a cruise in 2016. In addition to further analysis of existing cruise data, cruise reports and additional analysis from 2015 and 2016 will be available in the next 2 years.

    Prey mapping: The NWFSC and Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) are working together to investigate salmon distributions along the West Coast. This project will analyze coded wire tag data and other available data sources to build prey maps of spring, summer and fall distribution of salmon. Results from this analysis are anticipated in summer of 2015 and will inform consideration of prey as a potential essential feature of the whales' coastal habitat. In addition, results from this study will inform other projects, such as the individual based bioenergetics model described below.

    Individual based model: The SWFSC, NWFSC and other partners are in the process of developing a spatially-explicit individual based model (IBM) to explore the effects of variation in the abundance and distribution of salmon stocks and other coastal fishes on the net energy gain of Southern Resident killer whales during the non-summer months. The initial purpose of the IBM is to integrate available data within a single analytical framework, and support development of a research strategy for identifying critical habitat for Southern Resident killer whales off the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California. Ultimately, the IBM will be used to investigate whether and how modeling critical habitat and prey resource management could be effective at minimizing the risk of energy balances falling below critical thresholds. Phase I of the project will include a literature review and a model framework vetted by the project partners. Completion of this phase is anticipated in July 2015. Pending continued funding, a second phase of the project will include a second generation model to investigate one or more specific hypotheses on the relationship between habitat/prey attributes and whale vital rates, which would be available in 2016.

    Step 2: Identify Areas Meeting the Definition of Critical Habitat

    Pursuant to ESA section 3(5)(A), we must determine “the geographical area occupied by the species at the time of listing.” Next we identify physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the species. Agency regulations at 50 CFR 424.12(b) interpret the statutory phrase “physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the species.” The regulations state that these features include, but are not limited to, space for individual and population growth and for normal behavior; food, water, air, light, minerals, or other nutritional or physiological requirements; cover or shelter; sites for breeding, reproduction, and rearing of offspring; and habitats that are protected from disturbance or are representative of the historical geographical and ecological distribution of a species. After determining the geographical area occupied by the Southern Residents, and the physical and biological features essential to their conservation, we would next identify the specific areas within the geographical area occupied by the species that contain the essential features. Specific areas meet the definition of critical habitat if they contain physical or biological features that “may require special management considerations or protection.” Joint NMFS and USFWS regulations at 50 CFR 424.02(j) define “special management considerations or protection” to mean “any methods or procedures useful in protecting physical and biological features of the environment for the conservation of listed species.”

    For the 2006 designation we reviewed the natural history, habitat use and habitat features in a Biological Report to assist with identifying areas that meet the definition of critical habitat. We will consider the previous designation and new information that has become available to evaluate areas eligible for critical habitat designation. An additional part of this evaluation is considering military areas that are precluded from designation because they are subject to Integrated Natural Resource Management Plans under the Sikes Act and provide benefits to the listed species.

    Step 3: Section 4(b)(2) Analysis

    Section 4(b)(2) of the ESA requires us to use the best available data in designating critical habitat. It also requires that before we designate any particular area, we must consider the economic impact, impact on national security, and any other relevant impact. To determine the impact of designation, we can examine what the state of things would be with and without a critical habitat designation. For the 2006 designation we conducted an Economic Analysis to identify economic impacts and also coordinated with the Department of Defence to evaluate impacts of designation on national security.

    Under section 4(b)(2) we also identify the conservation benefits to the species of designating particular areas. The principal benefit of designating critical habitat is that ESA section 7 requires every Federal agency to ensure that any action it authorizes, funds, or carries out is not likely to result in the destruction or adverse modification of designated critical habitat. This complements the section 7 provision that Federal agencies ensure their actions are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of a listed species. Another possible benefit is that the designation of critical habitat can serve to educate the public regarding the potential conservation value of an area.

    The next step in the 4(b)(2) analysis is to balance the benefits of designation against the benefits of exclusion and recommend any exclusions, if appropriate. We must also determine whether any exclusion will result in extinction of the species. For the 2006 designation we completed a 4(b)(2) report that considered the benefits of designation and benefits of exclusions and we did exclude military areas based on national security impacts.

    Step 4: Develop Proposed Rule for Public Comment

    Steps 1-3 will inform any proposal for revision of critical habitat. The underlying science of the decision would be required to undergo peer review according to the Office of Management and Budget Bulletin for Peer Review, implemented under the Information Quality Act (Public Law 106-554). Any proposed rule we develop will be published in the Federal Register and we will seek public comment. To allow for sufficient time to incorporate anticipated research results and new analysis and to conduct economic and 4(b)(2) analyses, we anticipate developing a proposed rule for publication in the Federal Register in 2017.

    References Cited

    The complete citations for the references used in this document can be obtained by contacting NMFS (See ADDRESSES and FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT) or on our Web page at: http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/protected_species/marine_mammals/killer_whale/esa_status.html

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.

    Dated: February 11, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch, III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03378 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 36 Tuesday, February 24, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request February 18, 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), 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. Comments regarding these information collections are best assured of having their full effect if received by March 26, 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.

    Rural Housing Service

    Title: 7 CFR 1901-E, Civil Rights Compliance Requirements.

    OMB Control Number: 0575-0018.

    Summary Of Collection: Rural Development (RD) is required to provide Federal financial assistance through its farmer, housing, and community and business programs on an equal opportunity basis. The laws implemented in 7 CFR 1901-E, require the recipients of Rural Development`s Federal financial assistance to collect various types of information by race, color, and national origin.

    Need and Use of the Information: RD will use the information to monitor a recipient's compliance with the civil rights laws, and to determine whether or not service and benefits are being provided to beneficiaries on an equal opportunity basis. This information is made available to USDA officials, officials of other Federal agencies and to Congress for reporting purposes. Without the required information, RD and its recipient will lack the necessary documentation to demonstrate that their programs are being administered in a nondiscriminatory manner and in full compliance with the civil rights laws.

    Description of Respondents: Individuals or households; Not-for-profit institutions; Business or other for-profit; Farms; State, Local or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents: 27,000.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 560,276.

    Charlene Parker, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03686 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-XV-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request February 18, 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 and other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by March 26, 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 20503. Commentors 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) 720-8681.

    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.

    Forest Service

    Title: Qualified Product List for Wild Land Fire Chemicals.

    Omb Control Number: 0596-0182.

    Summary of Collection: In the Forest Service (FS) Manual 5162, its objective is, “To have available and utilize adequate types and quantities of qualified fire chemical products to accomplish fire management activities safely, efficiently, and effectively.” To accomplish their objective, FS evaluates chemical products that may be used in direct wildland fire suppression operations prior to their use on lands managed by the FS. Safe products do not include ingredients that create an enhanced risk, in typical use, to either the firefighters involved or the public in general. Safety to the environment in terms of aquatic (fish, clean water) and terrestrial environments (wildlife, plants) is also considered.

    Need and Use of the Information: FS will collect the listing of individual ingredients and quantity of these ingredients in the formulation of a product being submitted for evaluation in order to test the products using various Technical Data Sheets and other forms. The entity submitting the information provides the FS with the specific ingredients used in its product and identifies the specific source of supply for each ingredient. The information collected is specific mixing requirements and hydration requirements of gum-thickened retardants. The information provided will allow the FS to search the List of Known and Suspected Carcinogens, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency's List of Highly Hazardous Materials, to determine if any of the ingredients appear on any of these lists. Without the information FS would not be able to assess the safety of the wildland fire chemicals utilized on FS managed land, since the specific ingredients and the quantity of each ingredients used in a formulation would not be known.

    Description of Respondents: Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 7.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: Other (once).

    Total Burden Hours: 11.

    Charlene Parker, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03685 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food Safety and Inspection Service [Docket No. FSIS-2015-0008] Codex Alimentarius Commission: Meeting of the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR) AGENCY:

    Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are sponsoring a public meeting on March 16, 2015. The objective of the public meeting is to provide information and receive public comments on agenda items and draft United States (U.S.) positions to be discussed at the 47th Session of the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR) of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), taking place in Beijing, China, April 13-18, 2015. The Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety and the EPA recognize the importance of providing interested parties the opportunity to obtain background information on the 47th Session of CCPR and to address items on the agenda.

    DATES:

    The public meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 16, 2015, from 2:00-4:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The public meeting will take place at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Room S-7100, One Potomac Yard South, 2777 South Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202.

    Documents related to the 47th Session of CCPR will be accessible on-line at the following address: http://www.codexalimentarius.org/meetings-reports/en/.

    Barbara Madden, U.S. Delegate to the 47th Session of the CCPR, the EPA, and the USDA, invite interested parties to submit their comments electronically to the following email address: [email protected]

    Call-In Number:

    If you wish to participate in the public meeting for the 47th Session of the CCPR by conference call on March 16, 2015, please use the call-in numbers and participant codes listed below:

    United States Call-in Number: 1-866-299-3188 International Call-in Number: 1-706-758-1822 Participant Code: 7033056463#

    Registration:

    Attendees may register by emailing [email protected] by March 13, 2015. Early registration is encouraged because it will expedite entry into the building. The meeting will be held in a Federal building, you should also bring photo identification and plan for adequate time to pass through security screening systems. Attendees that are not able to attend the meeting in-person but wish to participate may do so by phone.

    For Further Information About the 47th Session of the CCPR Contact: Barbara Madden, Office of Pesticide Programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Ariel Rios Building, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460, Phone: (703) 305-6463, Fax: (703) 305-6920, Email: [email protected]

    For Further Information About the Public Meeting Contact: Marie Maratos, U.S. Codex Office, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 4861, Washington, DC 20250, Phone: (202) 205-7760, Fax: (202) 720-3157, Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Codex was established in 1963 by two United Nations organizations, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Through adoption of food standards, codes of practice, and other guidelines developed by its committees, and by promoting their adoption and implementation by governments, Codex seeks to protect the health of consumers and ensure that fair practices are used in the food trade.

    The CCPR is responsible for establishing maximum limits for pesticide residues in specific food items or in groups of food, establishing maximum limits for pesticide residues in certain animal feeding stuffs moving in international trade where this is justified for reasons of protection of human health, preparing priority lists of pesticides for evaluation by the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR), considering methods of sampling and analysis for the determination of pesticide residues in food and feed, considering other matters in relation to the safety of food and feed containing pesticide residues, and establishing maximum limits for environmental and industrial contaminants showing chemical or other similarity to pesticides in specific food items or groups of food.

    The Committee is hosted by China.

    Issues To Be Discussed at the Public Meeting

    The following items on the agenda for the 47th Session of CCPR will be discussed during the public meeting:

    • Matters referred to the committee by Codex and other subsidiary bodies • Matters of interest arising from FAO and WHO • Matters of interest arising from other international organizations • Draft Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) for pesticides • Draft Revision to the Classification of Food and Feed (CFF) (vegetable commodity groups: Group 016—Roots and Tubers) • Proposed draft revision to the CFF (vegetable commodity groups: Group 015—Pulses) • Proposed draft MRL's for Pesticides • Proposed draft Guidance on Performance criteria for methods of analysis for the determination of Pesticide residues • Proposed draft revision to the CFF (vegetable commodity groups: Groups 011 Fruiting vegetables, cucurbits and Group 014 Legume vegetables) • Proposed draft revision to the CFF—other commodity groups • Proposed draft Table 2: Examples of Selection of Representative Commodities—Vegetable commodity groups and other commodity groups • Establishment of Codex schedules and priority list of Pesticides for evaluation by JMPR

    Each issue listed will be fully described in documents distributed, or to be distributed, by the Secretariat prior to the Committee meeting. Members of the public may access or request copies of these documents (see ADDRESSES).

    Public Meeting

    At the March 16, 2015, public meeting, draft U.S. positions on the agenda items will be described and discussed, and attendees will have the opportunity to pose questions and offer comments. Written comments may be offered at the meeting or sent to Barbara Madden, U.S. Delegate for the 47th Session of the CCPR (see ADDRESSES). Written comments should state that they relate to activities of the 47th Session of the CCPR.

    Additional Public Notification

    Public awareness of all segments of rulemaking and policy development is important. Consequently, FSIS will announce this Federal Register publication on-line through the FSIS Web page located at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/federal-register.

    FSIS also will make copies of this publication available through the FSIS Constituent Update, which is used to provide information regarding FSIS policies, procedures, regulations, Federal Register notices, FSIS public meetings, and other types of information that could affect or would be of interest to our constituents and stakeholders. The Update is available on the FSIS Web page. Through the Web page, FSIS is able to provide information to a much broader, more diverse audience. In addition, FSIS offers an email subscription service which provides automatic and customized access to selected food safety news and information. This service is available at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/subscribe. Options range from recalls to export information, regulations, directives, and notices. Customers can add or delete subscriptions themselves, and have the option to password protect their accounts.

    USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

    No agency, officer, or employee of the USDA shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, or political beliefs, exclude from participation in, deny the benefits of, or subject to discrimination any person in the United States under any program or activity conducted by the USDA.

    How To File a Complaint of Discrimination

    To file a complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, which may be accessed on-line at http://www.ocio.usda.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2012/Complain_combined_6_8_12.pdf, or write a letter signed by you or your authorized representative.

    Send your completed complaint form or letter to USDA by mail, fax, or email:

    Mail

    U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410.

    Fax

    (202) 690-7442.

    Email

    [email protected]

    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.), should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

    Done at Washington, DC on: February 19, 2015. Marie Maratos, Acting U.S. Manager for Codex Alimentarius.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03732 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Information Collection; Airplane Pilot Qualifications and Approval Record, Helicopter Pilot Qualifications and Approval Record, Airplane Data Record, and Helicopter Data Record AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Forest Service is seeking comments from all interested individuals and organizations on the revision of a currently approved information collection, Airplane Pilot Qualifications and Approval Record, Helicopter Pilot Qualifications and Approval Record, Airplane Data Record, and Helicopter Data Record.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received in writing on or before April 27, 2015 to be assured of consideration. Comments received after that date will be considered to the extent practicable.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments concerning this notice should be addressed to: USDA Forest Service, Assistant Director Aviation, Fire and Aviation Management, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Mailstop 1107, Washington DC 20250-1107.

    Comments also may be submitted via facsimile to 202-205-1401, phone 202-205-1483 or by email to: [email protected]

    The public may inspect comments received at USDA Forest Service, Fire and Aviation Management, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington DC 20250, during normal business hours. Visitors are encouraged to call ahead to 202-205-1483 to facilitate entry to the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Art Hinaman, Assistant Director Aviation, 202-205-1483. Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 twenty-four hours a day, every day of the year, including holidays.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Airplane Pilot Qualifications and Approval Record, Helicopter Pilot Qualifications and Approval Record, Airplane Data Record and Helicopter Data Record OMB Number: 0596-0015.

    Expiration Date of Approval: 5/31/2015.

    Type of Request: Renewal with Revision.

    Abstract: The Forest Service contracts with approximately 400 vendors a year for commercial aviation services utilized in resource protection and project management. In recent years, the total annual use of contract aircraft and pilots has exceeded 80,000 hours. In order to maintain an acceptable level of safety, preparedness, and cost-effectiveness in aviation operations, Forest Service contracts include rigorous qualifications for pilots and specific condition, equipment, and performance requirements for aircraft as aviation operations are conducted under extremely adverse conditions of weather, terrain, turbulence, smoke reduced visibility, minimally improved landing areas, and congested airspace around wildfires. To ensure agency contracting officers that pilots and aircraft used for aviation operations meet specific Forest Service qualifications and requirements for aviation operations, prospective contract pilots fill out one of the following Forest Service forms:

    • FS-5700-20—Airplane Pilot Qualifications and Approval Record

    • FS-5700-20a—Helicopter Pilot Qualifications and Approval Record

    Contract Officers' Technical Representatives use forms:

    • FS-5700-21—Airplane Data Record

    • FS-5700-21a—Helicopter Data Record

    When inspecting the aircraft for contract compliance. Based upon the approval(s) documented on the form(s), each contractor pilot and aircraft receives an approval card. The Forest Service personnel verify possession of properly approved cards before using contracted pilots and aircraft.

    Information collected on these forms includes:

    • Name.

    • Address.

    • Certification numbers.

    • Employment history.

    • Medical Certification.

    • Airplane/helicopter certifications and specifications.

    • Accident/violation history.

    Without the collected information, Forest Service Contracting Officers, as well as Forest Service pilot and aircraft inspections, cannot determine if contracted pilots and aircraft meet the detailed qualification, equipment, and condition requirements essential to safe and effective accomplishment of Forest Service specified flying missions. Without a reasonable basis to determine pilot qualifications and aircraft capability, Forest Service employees would be exposed to hazardous conditions. The data collected documents the approval of contract pilots and aircraft for specific Forest Service aviation missions. Information will be collected and reviewed by Contracting Officers or their designated representatives, including aircraft inspectors, to determine whether the aircraft and/or pilot(s) meet all contract specifications in accordance with Forest Service Handbook (FSH) 5709.16, chapter 10, sections 15 and 16. Forest Service pilot and aircraft inspectors maintain the collected information in Forest Service regional offices. The Forest Service, at times, shares the information with the Department of the Interior, Aviation Management Directorate, as each organization accepts contract inspections conducted by the other.

    Estimate of Annual Burden: 60 minutes.

    Type of Respondents: Vendors/Contractors.

    Estimated Annual Number of Respondents: 2100.

    Estimated Annual Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 2100 hours.

    Comment is Invited: Comment is invited on: (1) Whether this collection of information is necessary for the stated purposes and the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical or scientific utility; (2) the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden of the 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 the use of automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    All comments received in response to this notice, including names and addresses when provided, will be a matter of public record. Comments will be summarized and included in the submission request toward Office of Management and Budget approval.

    Dated: February 13, 2015. Patti Hirami, Associate Deputy Chief, State and Private Forestry.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03652 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Information Collection; Forest Products Removal Permits and Contracts AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Forest Service is seeking comments from all interested parties on the extension with revision of a currently approved information collection, Forest Products Free use Permit; Forest Products Removal permit and Cash Receipt; and Forest Products Contract and Cash Receipt (also referred to as Forest Products Removal Permits and Contracts).

    DATES:

    Comments must be received in writing on or before April 27, 2015 to be assured of consideration. Comments received after that date will be considered to the extent practicable.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments concerning this notice should be addressed to Sharon Nygaard-Scott, Forest Management Staff, Forest Service, USDA, Mail Stop 1103, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250.

    Comments also may be submitted via facsimile to (703) 605-1575. In addition, comments may be submitted via the world wide web/Internet at: http://www.regulations.gov.

    The public may inspect comments received at the Forest Service, Forest Management Staff Office, Third Floor SW., 201 14th Street SW., Washington, DC 20250 during normal business hours. Visitors are encouraged to call ahead to (202) 205-1766 to facilitate entry to the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sharon Nygaard-Scott, Forest Management Staff, at (202) 205-1766, or J. Reddan, Forest Management Staff, at (202) 205-1667. Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 twenty-four hours a day, every day of the year, including holidays.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Forest Products Free Use Permit; Forest Products Removal Permit and Cash Receipt; and Forest Products Contract and Cash Receipt.

    OMB Number: 0596-0085.

    Expiration Date of Approval: 04/30/2015.

    Type of Request: Extension with revision of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: This information collection is being revised to accommodate requests by federally recognized Indian tribes for use of trees, portions of trees, or forest products, free of charge, from National Forest System lands for noncommercial traditional and cultural purposes under the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-246, 122 Stat. 1651) section 8105 Forest Products for Traditional and Cultural Purposes [hereinafter referred to as “section 8105”], and per the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) and implementing regulations at 5 CFR part 1320. Additionally, section 8105 has been codified in 25 U.S.C. Chapter 32A Cultural and Heritage Cooperation Authority; section 3055 Forest Products for Traditional and Cultural Purposes. Pending rulemaking regarding section 8105, the Forest Service issued policy via an Interim Directive (ID) providing short-term direction for federally recognized Indian tribe requests for trees, portions of trees, or forest products for noncommercial traditional and cultural purposes. The ID has since been reissued as Forest Service ID 2409.18-2013-2.

    Under 16 U.S.C. 551, individuals and businesses wishing to remove forest products from National Forest System lands must request a permit. Federally recognized Indian tribes seeking products under section 8105 authority must make a request for free use. To obtain a permit, applicants must meet the criteria at 36 CFR 223.1, 223.2, and 223.5-223.13, which authorizes free use or sale of timber or forest products. As noted above, section 8105 authority sets forth conditions under which federally recognized Indian tribes may obtain, free of charge, trees, portions of trees, or forest products for noncommercial traditional and cultural purposes. Should federally recognized Indian tribes seeking such use wish to obtain proof of possession, as may be required in some States, they could be issued a FS-2400-8 permit. Upon receiving a permit, the permittee must comply with the terms of the permit (36 CFR 261.6), which designates forest products that can be harvested and under what conditions, such as limiting harvest to a designated area or permitting harvest of only specifically designated material. The collected information will help the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (for form FS-2400-1) oversee the approval and use of forest products by the public.

    When applying for forest product removal permits, applicants (depending on the products requested) would provide information needed to complete one of the following:

    • FS-2400-1, Forest Products Removal Permit and Cash Receipt, is used to sell timber or forest products such as, but not limited to, fuelwood, Christmas trees, or pine cones (36 CFR 223.1, 223.2). The Bureau of Land Management identifies the FS-2400-1 as BLM-5450-24 (43 U.S.C. 1201, 43 CFR 5420). This form would not be used to issue products requested by federally recognized Indian tribes under section 8105 authority.

    • FS-2400-4/FS-2400-4ANF, Forest Products Contract and Cash Receipt, are used to sell timber products such as sawtimber or forest products such as, but not limited to, fuelwood. These forms would not be used to issue products requested by federally recognized Indian tribes under section 8105 authority.

    • FS-2400-8, Forest Products Free Use Permit, allows use of timber or forest products at no charge to the permittee (36 CFR 223.5-223.13).

    This form could be used to issue products requested by federally recognized Indian tribes under section 8105 authority.

    Each form listed above implements different regulations and has different provisions for compliance, but collects similar information from the applicant for related purposes.

    The Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management will use the information collected on form FS-2400-1 to ensure identification of permittees in the field by agency personnel. The Forest Service will use the information collected on forms FS-2400-4/FS-2400-4ANF and/or FS-2400-8 to:

    • Ensure that permittees obtaining free use of timber or forest products qualify for the free-use program.

    • Ensure that permittees obtaining free use of timber or forest products, under 36 CFR 223.8, do not receive product value in excess of that allowed by regulations. Note, however, that under section 8105 authority, there is no stated maximum free use limitation.

    • Ensure that applicants purchasing timber harvest or forest products permits non-competitively do not exceed the authorized limit in a fiscal year (16 U.S.C. 472(a)).

    • Ensure identification of permittees, in the field, by Forest Service personnel.

    Applicants may apply for more than one forest products permit or contract per year. For example, an applicant may obtain a free use permit for a timber product such as, but not limited to, pine cones (FS-2400-8) and still purchase fuelwood (FS-2400-1, and/or FS-2400-4/2400-4ANF). Additionally, there is no limitation to the number of requests that each federally recognized Indian tribe may make under section 8105 authority.

    Individuals and small business representatives usually request and apply for permits and contracts in person at the office issuing the permit. How requests are made by federally recognized Indian tribes is not specified under section 8105 authority or in the interim direction found in Forest Service ID 2409.18-2013-2. However, pending rulemaking proposes the requests be made in writing.

    Applicants provide the following information, as applicable:

    • Name,

    • Address, and

    • Personal identification number such as tax identification number, social security number, driver's license number, or other unique number identifying the applicant.

    Agency personnel enter the information into a computerized database to use for subsequent requests by applicants for a forest product permit or contract. The information is printed on paper, which the applicant signs and dates. Agency personnel discuss the terms and conditions of the permit or contract with the applicant.

    The data gathered is not available from other sources. The collected data is used to ensure:

    • Applicants for free use permits meet the criteria for free use of timber or forest products authorized by regulations at 36 CFR 223.5-223.13, and/or section 8105 of the 2008 Farm Bill;

    • Applicants seeking to purchase and remove timber or forest products from Agency lands meet the criteria under which sale of timber or forest products is authorized by regulations at 36 CFR 223.80; and

    • Permittees comply with regulations and terms of the permit at 36 CFR 261.6.

    The collection of this information is necessary to ensure that applicants meet the requirements of the forest products program; those obtaining free-use permits for forest products qualify for the program; applicants purchasing non-competitive permits to harvest forest products do not exceed authorized limits; and that Federal Agency employees can identify permittees when in the field.

    Estimate of Annual Burden: 5 minutes.

    Type of Respondents: Individuals, small businesses, and, for requests made under section 8105 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-246, 122 Stat. 1651), federally recognized Indian tribes.

    Estimated Annual Number of Respondents: 212,634.

    Estimated Annual Number of Responses per Respondent: 2.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 35,439.

    Comment is invited on: (1) Whether this collection of information is necessary for the stated purposes and the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical or scientific utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the 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 the use of automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    All comments received in response to this notice, including names and addresses when provided, will be a matter of public record. Comments will be summarized and included in the submission request toward Office of Management and Budget approval.

    Dated: February 13, 2015. Leslie A.C. Weldon, Deputy Chief, National Forest System.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03649 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-74-2014] Foreign-Trade Zone 283—Jackson, Tennessee; Authorization of Production Activity MAT Industries, LLC (Air Compressors), Jackson, Tennessee

    On October 14, 2014, MAT Industries, LLC, operator of FTZ 283—Site 11, submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board for its facility in Jackson, Tennessee.

    The notification was processed in accordance with the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR part 400), including notice in the Federal Register inviting public comment (79 FR 64167-64168, 10-28-2014). The FTZ Board has determined that no further review of the activity is warranted at this time. The production activity described in the notification is authorized, subject to the FTZ Act and the FTZ Board's regulations, including Section 400.14.

    Dated: February 18, 2015. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03754 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-75-2014] Foreign-Trade Zone 119—Minneapolis, Minnesota; Authorization of Production Activity; MAT Industries, LLC (Air Compressors and Pressure Washers); Springfield, Minnesota

    On October 14, 2014, MAT Industries, LLC, an operator of FTZ 119, submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board for its facility in Springfield, Minnesota.

    The notification was processed in accordance with the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR part 400), including notice in the Federal Register inviting public comment (79 FR 64168, 10-28-2014). The FTZ Board has determined that no further review of the activity is warranted at this time. The production activity described in the notification is authorized, subject to the FTZ Act and the FTZ Board's regulations, including Section 400.14.

    Dated: February 18, 2015. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03774 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-10-2015] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 245—Decatur, Illinois; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Thyssenkrupp Presta Danville, LLC; (Camshafts); Danville, Illinois

    The Economic Development Corporation of Decatur & Macon County, grantee of FTZ 245, submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board on behalf of Thyssenkrupp Presta Danville, LLC (Thyssenkrupp Presta), located in Danville, Illinois. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on February 18, 2015.

    A separate application for subzone designation at the Thyssenkrupp Presta facility was submitted and will be processed under Section 400.31 of the Board's regulations. The facility is used for the production of camshafts for the automotive industry. Pursuant to 15 CFR 400.14(b), FTZ activity would be limited to the specific foreign-status materials and components and specific finished products described in the submitted notification (as described below) and subsequently authorized by the FTZ Board.

    Production under FTZ procedures could exempt Thyssenkrupp Presta from customs duty payments on the foreign status components used in export production. On its domestic sales, Thyssenkrupp Presta would be able to choose the duty rates during customs entry procedures that apply to camshafts for use with spark-ignition internal combustion piston engines (duty rate 2.5%) for the foreign status inputs noted below. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign status production equipment.

    The components and materials sourced from abroad include: Welded, cold-drawn steel tubes; camlobes; nosepieces; sensor rings; sprockets; thrust rings; cap plugs; thrust washers; end plugs; and, end caps (duty rate ranges from duty-free to 2.8%).

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is April 6, 2015.

    A copy of the notification will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the Board's Web site, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Elizabeth Whiteman at [email protected] or (202) 482-0473.

    Dated: February 18, 2015. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03771 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-9-2015] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 134—Chattanooga, Tennessee; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations, LLC; (Motor Vehicles); Chattanooga, Tennessee

    The Chattanooga Chamber Foundation, grantee of FTZ 134, submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board on behalf of Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations, LLC (VGACO), located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on January 23, 2015.

    VGACO already has authority to produce passenger sedans, sport utility vehicles, and minivans within Site 3 of FTZ 134. The current request would add certain foreign-status materials and components to the scope of authority. Pursuant to 15 CFR 400.14(b), additional FTZ authority would be limited to the specific foreign-status materials and components and specific finished products described in the submitted notification (as described below) and subsequently authorized by the FTZ Board.

    Production under FTZ procedures could exempt VGACO from customs duty payments on the foreign status materials and components used in export production. On its domestic sales, VGACO would be able to choose the duty rate during customs entry procedures that applies to passenger motor vehicles (duty rate 2.5%) for the foreign status materials and components noted below and in the existing scope of authority. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign status production equipment.

    The materials and components sourced from abroad include: Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) hoses; PVC sheets; adhesive tapes; reading coils; and, interface USB hubs (duty rate ranges from free to 5.8%).

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the FTZ Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is April 6, 2015.

    A copy of the notification will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the FTZ Board's Web site, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Pierre Duy at [email protected] or (202) 482-1378.

    Dated: February 6, 2015. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03772 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-412-801] Ball Bearings and Parts Thereof From the United Kingdom: Amended Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2010-2011 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) is amending its final results in the administrative review of the antidumping duty order on ball bearings and parts thereof from the United Kingdom for the period May 1, 2010, through April 30, 2011, to correct a ministerial error.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: February 24, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas Schauer, AD/CVD Operations, Office I, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-0410.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On January 27, 2015, the Department published its final results in the administrative review of the antidumping duty order on ball bearings and parts thereof from the United Kingdom 1 On January 27, 2015, NSK Europe Ltd. and NSK Bearings Europe Ltd. (collectively, NSK), submitted a ministerial error allegation.2 On February 2, 2015, The Timken Company submitted comments.3 Based on the analysis of this allegation, we made a change to the calculation of the weighted-average dumping margin for NSK and for certain of the non-individually examined respondents.

    1See Ball Bearings and Parts Thereof From Japan and the United Kingdom: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Reviews; 2010-2011, 80 FR 4248 (January 27, 2015) (Final Results).

    2See letter from NSK, “Ball Bearings and Parts from the United Kingdom: Ministerial Error Allegation” (January 27, 2015).

    3See Letter From Timken, “Ball Bearings and Parts Thereof From the United Kingdom; The Timken Company's Reply to NSK's Ministerial Error Allegation” (February 2, 2015).

    Scope of the Order

    The products covered by the order are ball bearings and parts thereof. These products include all antifriction bearings that employ balls as the rolling element. Imports of these products are classified under the following categories: Antifriction balls, ball bearings with integral shafts, ball bearings (including radial ball bearings) and parts thereof, and housed or mounted ball bearing units and parts thereof.

    Imports of these products are classified under the following Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings: 3926.90.45, 4016.93.10, 4016.93.50, 6909.19.50.10, 8414.90.41.75, 8431.20.00, 8431.39.00.10, 8482.10.10, 8482.10.50, 8482.80.00, 8482.91.00, 8482.99.05, 8482.99.35, 8482.99.25.80, 8482.99.65.95, 8483.20.40, 8483.20.80, 8483.30.40, 8483.30.80, 8483.50.90, 8483.90.20, 8483.90.30, 8483.90.70, 8708.50.50, 8708.60.50, 8708.60.80, 8708.93.30, 8708.93.60.00, 8708.99.06, 8708.99.31.00, 8708.99.40.00, 8708.99.49.60, 8708.99.58, 8708.99.80.15, 8708.99.80.80, 8803.10.00, 8803.20.00, 8803.30.00, 8803.90.30, 8803.90.90, 8708.30.50.90, 8708.40.75.70, 8708.40.75.80, 8708.50.79.00, 8708.50.89.00, 8708.50.91.50, 8708.50.99.00, 8708.70.60.60, 8708.80.65.90, 8708.93.75.00, 8708.94.75, 8708.95.20.00, 8708.99.55.00, 8708.99.68, and 8708.99.81.80.

    Although the HTSUS item numbers above are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of the order remains dispositive.

    The size or precision grade of a bearing does not influence whether the bearing is covered by the order. The order covers all the subject bearings and parts thereof (inner race, outer race, cage, rollers, balls, seals, shields, etc.) outlined above with certain limitations. With regard to finished parts, all such parts are included in the scope of the order. For unfinished parts, such parts are included if they have been heat-treated or if heat treatment is not required to be performed on the part. Thus, the only unfinished parts that are not covered by the order are those that will be subject to heat treatment after importation. The ultimate application of a bearing also does not influence whether the bearing is covered by the order. Bearings designed for highly specialized applications are not excluded. Any of the subject bearings, regardless of whether they may ultimately be utilized in aircraft, automobiles, or other equipment, are within the scope of the order.

    Ministerial Error

    Section 751(h) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), and 19 CFR 351.224(f) define a “ministerial error” as an error “in addition, subtraction, or other arithmetic function, clerical error resulting from inaccurate copying, duplication, or the like, and any other similar type of unintentional error which the Secretary considers ministerial.”

    On January 27, 2015, NSK submitted a ministerial error allegation. After analyzing NSK's allegation, we agree with NSK that we made a ministerial error within the meaning of 19 CFR 351.224(f) by using an incorrect database for NSK's costs, instead of a revised database for NSK's costs submitted later in the review. Timken argues that the Department should reject NSK's allegation on the grounds that NSK could have raised the allegation in its case brief and it is, therefore, now untimely. Nevertheless, we find that we made an inadvertent error in not using the revised database for NSK's costs and, therefore, are correcting and amending the final results of review in accordance with section 751(h) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.224(e). As a result, the weighted-average dumping margin for NSK changes from 1.55 percent to 1.43 percent. Furthermore, the rate for the respondents not selected for individual examination (except for Bayerische Motoren Werke AG) will be the new rate calculated for NSK, the sole respondent selected for individual examination. The weighted-average dumping margin for Bayerische Motoren Werke AG will remain unchanged from the Final Results because it was based on adverse facts available.

    Amended Final Results of the Review

    The Department determines that the following amended weighted-average dumping margins exist for the period May 1, 2010, through April 30, 2011:

    Company Weighted-average dumping margin
  • (percent)
  • Bayerische Motoren Werke AG 254.25 Bosch Rexroth Limited 1.43 Caterpillar S.A.R.L 1.43 Caterpillar Group Services S.A 1.43 Caterpillar of Australia Pty Ltd 1.43 Caterpillar Overseas S.A.R.L 1.43 Caterpillar Marine Power UK 1.43 NSK 1.43 Perkins Engines Company Ltd 1.43
    Disclosure

    We will disclose the calculation memorandum used in our analysis to parties to this proceeding within five days of the date of the publication of this notice pursuant to 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    Assessment Rates

    The Department shall determine, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries. In accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1), for NSK we calculated an importer-specific assessment rate by dividing the total amount of dumping for the reviewed sales by the total entered value of those reviewed sales for each importer.

    Consistent with the Department's refinement to its assessment practice, for entries of subject merchandise during the POR produced by NSK for which it did not know that the merchandise was destined for the United States, we will instruct CBP to liquidate un-examined entries at the all-others rate if there is no rate for the intermediate company(ies) involved in the transaction.4

    4 For a full discussion of this clarification, see Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 68 FR 23954 (May 6, 2003).

    For the companies which were not selected for individual examination, we will instruct CBP to assess antidumping duties at a rate equal to the weighted-average dumping margin listed above for all entries of subject merchandise produced and/or exported by such firms.

    We intend to issue liquidation instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of the amended final results of this administrative review.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    Because we revoked the antidumping duty order on ball bearings and parts thereof from the United Kingdom effective September 15, 2011, no cash deposits for estimated antidumping duties on future entries of subject merchandise will be required.5

    5See Ball Bearings and Parts Thereof From Japan and the United Kingdom: Final Results of Sunset Reviews and Revocation of Antidumping Duty Orders, 79 FR 16771 (March 26, 2014).

    Notification to Importers

    This notice serves as a final reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Department's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of doubled antidumping duties.

    Administrative Protective Orders

    This notice also serves as a reminder to parties subject to administrative protective order (APO) of their responsibility concerning the disposition of proprietary information disclosed under APO in accordance with 19 CFR 351.305(a)(3). Timely written notification of the return or the destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and the terms of an APO is a sanctionable violation.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    We are issuing and publishing these amended final results in accordance with section 751(h) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.224(f).

    Dated: February 18, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03770 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-912] Certain New Pneumatic Off-the-Road Tires From the People's Republic of China: Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    On October 30, 2014, the Department of Commerce (“Department”) initiated an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on new pneumatic off-the-road tires (“OTR tires”) from the People's Republic of China (“PRC”) for 12 companies.1 Based on timely withdrawal of requests for review, we are now rescinding this administrative review with respect to Double Coin Holdings Ltd., Guizhou Tyre Co., Ltd., and Guizhou Tyre Import and Export Co., Ltd.

    1See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 79 FR 64565 (October 30, 2014) at 64567.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: February 24, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Andrew Medley, AD/CVD Operations, Office III, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-4987.

    Background

    In September 2014, the Department received multiple timely requests to conduct an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on OTR tires from the PRC. Based upon these requests, on October 30, 2014, the Department published a notice of initiation of an administrative review covering the period of September 1, 2013, to August 31, 2014, with respect to 12 companies.2 On November 20, 2014, Double Coin Holdings Ltd. (“Double Coin”) and China Manufacturers Alliance withdrew their request for review of Double Coin.3 On December 17, 2014, Guizhou Tyre Co., Ltd. and Guizhou Tyre Import and Export Co., Ltd. (collectively, “GTC”) withdrew their request for review.4

    2Id.

    3See Letter from Double Coin titled “Double Coin's Withdrawal of Request for Antidumping Administrative Review: Certain New Pneumatic Off-the-Road Tires from China,” dated November 20, 2014.

    4See Letter from GTC titled “GTC Withdrawal of Request for Administrative Review: Sixth Administrative Review of Antidumping Duty Order on Certain New Pneumatic Off-the-Road Tires From The People's Republic Of China (Case No: A-570-912) (POR: September 1, 2013-August 31, 2014),” dated December 17, 2014.

    Partial Rescission

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), the Secretary will rescind an administrative review, in whole or in part, if a party who requested the review withdraws the request within 90-days of the date of publication of notice of initiation of the requested review. Double Coin and GTC timely withdrew their requests for an administrative review on themselves; no other party requested a review of these companies.5 Accordingly, we are rescinding this review, in part, with respect to these companies, pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1).

    5 The Department will no longer consider the NME entity as an exporter conditionally subject to administrative reviews. See Antidumping Proceedings: Announcement of Change in Department Practice for Respondent Selection in Antidumping Duty Proceedings and Conditional Review of the Nonmarket Economy Entity in NME Antidumping Duty Proceedings, 78 FR 65963 (November 4, 2013) at 65970.

    Assessment

    The Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) to assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries. For the companies for which this review is rescinded, antidumping duties shall be assessed at rates equal to the cash deposit of estimated antidumping duties required at the time of entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(c)(1)(i). The Department intends to issue appropriate assessment instructions directly to CBP 15 days after publication of this notice.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice serves as the only reminder to importers for whom this review is being rescinded, as of the publication date of this notice, of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping and/or countervailing duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of the antidumping and/or countervailing duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double and/or increased antidumping duties.

    Notification Regarding Administrative Protective Orders

    This notice also serves as a reminder to parties subject to administrative protective orders (“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 or destruction of APO materials or conversion to judicial protective order is hereby requested. Failure to comply with the regulations and terms of an APO is a violation which is subject to sanction.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    This notice is issued and published in accordance with sections 751 and 777(i)(l) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, and 19 CFR 351.213(d)(4).

    Dated: February 18, 2015. Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03765 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [Application No. 14-00002] Export Trade Certificate of Review ACTION:

    Notice of Issuance for an Export Trade Certificate of Review for JDE USA LLC (“JDE”), Application no. 14-00002.

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of Trade and Economic Analysis (“OTEA”) of the International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce, issued an Export Trade Certificate of Review (“Certificate”) to JDE USA LLC on January 28, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joseph Flynn, Director, Office of Trade and Economic Analysis, International Trade Administration, (202) 482-5131 (this is not a toll-free number) or email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title III of the Export Trading Company Act of 1982 (15 U.S.C. 4001-21) authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to issue Export Trade Certificates of Review. An Export Trade Certificate of Review protects the holder and the members identified in the Certificate from State and Federal government antitrust actions and from private treble damage antitrust actions for the export conduct specified in the Certificate and carried out in compliance with its terms and conditions. Section 302(b)(1) of the Export Trading Company Act of 1982 and 15 CFR 325.6(a) require the Secretary to publish a notice in the Federal Register identifying the applicant and summarizing its proposed export conduct.

    Description of Certified Conduct

    JDE USA LLC (“JDE”) is certified to engage in the Export Trade Activities and Methods of Operation described below in the following Export Trade and Export Markets.

    Export Trade

    Products: All Products.

    Services: All services related to the export of Products.

    Technology Rights: All intellectual property rights associated with Products or Services, including, but not limited to: Patents, trademarks, services marks, trade names, copyrights, neighboring (related) rights, trade secrets, know-how, and confidential databases and computer programs.

    Export Trade Facilitation Services (as They Relate to the Export of Products): Export Trade Facilitation Services, including but not limited to: Consulting and trade strategy, arranging and coordinating delivery of Products to the port of export; arranging for inland and/or ocean transportation; allocating Products to vessel; arranging for storage space at port; arranging for warehousing, stevedoring, wharfage, handling, inspection, fumigation, and freight forwarding; insurance and financing; documentation and services related to compliance with customs' requirements; sales and marketing; export brokerage; foreign marketing and analysis; foreign market development; overseas advertising and promotion; Products-related research and design based upon foreign buyer and consumer preferences; inspection and quality control; shipping and export management; export licensing; provisions of overseas sales and distribution facilities and overseas sales staff; legal, accounting and tax assistance; development and application of management information systems; trade show exhibitions; professional services in the area of government relations and assistance with federal and state export assistance programs; invoicing (billing) foreign buyers; collecting (letters of credit and other financial instruments) payment for Products; and arranging for payment of applicable commissions and fees.

    Export Markets

    The Export Markets include all parts of the world except the United States (the fifty states of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands).

    Export Trade Activities and Methods of Operations

    To engage in Export Trade in the Export Markets, JDE may:

    1. Provide and/or arrange for the provision of Export Trade Facilitation Services;

    2. Engage in promotional and marketing activities and collect information on trade opportunities in the Export Markets and distribute such information to clients;

    3. Enter into exclusive and/or non-exclusive licensing and/or sales agreements with Suppliers for the export of Products and Services, and/or Technology Rights to Export Markets;

    4. Enter into exclusive and/or non-exclusive agreements with distributors and/or sales representatives in Export Markets;

    5. Allocate export sales or divide Export Markets among Suppliers for the sale and/or licensing of Products and Services and/or Technology Rights;

    6. Allocate export orders among Suppliers;

    7. Establish the price of Products and Services and/or Technology Rights for sales and/or licensing in Export Markets; and

    8. Negotiate, enter into, and/or manage licensing agreements for the export of Technology Rights.

    9. Exchange information with individual Suppliers on a one-to-one basis regarding that Supplier's inventories and near-term production schedules in order that the availability of Products for export can be determined and effectively coordinated by JDE with its distributors in Export Markets.

    Definition

    “Supplier” means a person who produces, provides, or sells Products, Services, and/or Technology Rights.

    Dated: February 5, 2015. Joseph Flynn, Director, Office of Trade and Economic Analysis, International Trade Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03755 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Renewable Energy And Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of an Open Meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee (RE&EEAC) will hold a meeting on Wednesday, March 12, 2015 at the Department of Commerce Herbert C. Hoover Building in Washington, DC. The meeting is open to the public and interested parties are requested to contact the Department of Commerce in advance of the meeting.

    DATES:

    March 12, 2015, from approximately 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Daylight Saving Time (DST). Members of the public wishing to participate must notify Andrew Bennett at the contact information below by 5:00 p.m. DST on Monday, March 9, 2015, in order to pre-register.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Andrew Bennett, Office of Energy and Environmental Industries (OEEI), International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce at (202) 482-5235; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The Secretary of Commerce established the RE&EEAC pursuant to his discretionary authority and in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) on July 14, 2010. The RE&EEAC was re-chartered on June 12, 2014. The RE&EEAC provides the Secretary of Commerce with consensus advice from the private sector on the development and administration of programs and policies to enhance the international competitiveness of the U.S. renewable energy and energy efficiency industries.

    During the March 12th meeting of the RE&EEAC, committee members will discuss priority issues identified in advance by the Committee Chair and hear from interagency partners on issues impacting the competitiveness of the U.S. Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency industries.

    A limited amount of time before the close of the meeting will be available for pertinent oral comments from members of the public attending the meeting. To accommodate as many speakers as possible, the time for public comments will be limited to two to five minutes per person (depending on number of public participants). Individuals wishing to reserve additional speaking time during the meeting must contact Mr. Bennett and submit a brief statement of the general nature of the comments, as well as the name and address of the proposed participant by 5:00 p.m. DST on Friday, March 6, 2015. If the number of registrants requesting to make statements is greater than can be reasonably accommodated during the teleconference, the International Trade Administration may conduct a lottery to determine the speakers. Speakers are requested to submit a copy of their oral comments by email to Mr. Bennett for distribution to the participants in advance of the teleconference.

    Any member of the public may submit pertinent written comments concerning the RE&EEAC's affairs at any time before or after the meeting. Comments may be submitted to the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee, c/o: Andrew Bennett, Office of Energy and Environmental Industries, U.S. Department of Commerce, Mail Stop: 4053, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230. To be considered during the meeting, written comments must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. DST on Friday, March 6, 2015, to ensure transmission to the Committee prior to the teleconference. Comments received after that date will be distributed to the members but may not be considered on the teleconference.

    Copies of RE&EEAC meeting minutes will be available within 30 days following the meeting.

    Dated: February 12, 2015. Edward A. O'Malley, Director, Office of Energy and Environmental Industries.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03756 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Smart Grid Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Smart Grid Advisory Committee (SGAC or Committee), will meet in open session on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time and Wednesday, March 11, 2015 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Eastern time. The primary purposes of this meeting are to discuss the Grid 3.0 Strategic Planning Effort and NIST Transactive Energy, Distributed Energy Resources, Microgrid, and Smart City activities. The agenda may change to accommodate Committee business. The final agenda will be posted on the Smart Grid Web site at http://www.nist.gov/smartgrid.

    DATES:

    The SGAC will meet on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time and Wednesday, March 11, 2015 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Eastern time.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held in Conference Room B205, Building 226 (Building Research), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), 100 Bureau Drive, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899. Please note admittance instructions under the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Cuong Nguyen, Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems Program Office, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 8200, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8200; telephone 301-975-2254, fax 301-948-5668; or via email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Committee was established in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App. The Committee is composed of nine to fifteen members, appointed by the Director of NIST, who were selected on the basis of established records of distinguished service in their professional community and their knowledge of issues affecting Smart Grid deployment and operations. The Committee advises the Director of NIST in carrying out duties authorized by section 1305 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (Pub. L. 110-140). The Committee provides input to NIST on Smart Grid standards, priorities, and gaps, on the overall direction, status, and health of the Smart Grid implementation by the Smart Grid industry, and on Smart Grid Interoperability Panel activities, including the direction of research and standards activities. Background information on the Committee is available at http://www.nist.gov/smartgrid/committee.cfm.

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, 5 U.S.C. App., notice is hereby given that the NIST Smart Grid Advisory Committee (SGAC or Committee) will meet in open session on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time and Wednesday, March 11, 2015 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Eastern time. The meeting will be open to the public and held in the Conference Room B205, Building 226 (Building Research) at NIST in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The primary purposes of this meeting are to discuss the Grid 3.0 Strategic Planning Effort and NIST Transactive Energy, Distributed Energy Resources, Microgrid, and Smart City activities. The agenda may change to accommodate Committee business. The final agenda will be posted on the Smart Grid Web site at http://www.nist.gov/smartgrid.

    Individuals and representatives of organizations who would like to offer comments and suggestions related to the Committee's affairs are invited to request a place on the agenda by submitting their request to Cuong Nguyen at [email protected] or (301) 975-2254 no later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern time, Friday, February 27, 2015. On Wednesday, March 11, 2015, approximately one-half hour will be reserved at the end of the meeting for public comments, and speaking times will be assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis. The amount of time per speaker will be determined by the number of requests received, but is likely to be about three minutes each. Questions from the public will not be considered during this period. Speakers who wish to expand upon their oral statements, those who had wished to speak but could not be accommodated on the agenda, and those who were unable to attend in person are invited to submit written statements to Mr. Cuong Nguyen, Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems Program Office, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 8200, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8200; telephone 301-975-2254, fax 301-948-5668; or via email at [email protected]

    All visitors to the NIST site are required to pre-register to be admitted. Anyone wishing to attend this meeting must register by 5:00 p.m. Eastern time, Friday, February 27, 2015, in order to attend. Please submit your full name, time of arrival, email address, and phone number to Cuong Nguyen. Non-U.S. citizens must submit additional information; please contact Mr. Nguyen. Mr. Nguyen's email address is [email protected] and his phone number is (301) 975-2254. Also, please note that under the REAL ID Act of 2005 (Pub. L. 109-13), federal agencies, including NIST, can only accept a state-issued driver's license or identification card for access to federal facilities if issued by states that are REAL ID compliant or have an extension. NIST also currently accepts other forms of federal-issued identification in lieu of a state-issued driver's license. For detailed information please contact Mr. Nguyen or visit: http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/visitor/.

    Kevin Kimball, Chief of Staff.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03831 Filed 2-20-15; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 3510-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Documentation of Fish Harvest AGENCY:

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be submitted on or before April 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at [email protected]).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Anik Clemens, (727) 551-5611 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Abstract

    This request is for extension of a currently approved information collection.

    The seafood dealers who process red porgy, gag, black grouper, or greater amberjack during seasonal fishery closures must maintain documentation, as specified in 50 CFR part 300 subpart K, that such fish were harvested from areas other than the South Atlantic. The documentation includes information on the vessel that harvested the fish and on where and when the fish were offloaded. The information is required for the enforcement of fishery regulations.

    II. Method of Collection

    The information is in the form of a paper affidavit which remains with the respondent.

    III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0648-0365.

    Form Number: None.

    Type of Review: Regular submission (extension of a currently approved collection).

    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profit organizations; individuals or households.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 25.

    Estimated Time per Response: 30 minutes.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 50.

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0.

    IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

    Sarah Brabson, NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03698 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD786 Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold a meeting of its Standing, Special Reef Fish, Special Shrimp and Special Spiny Lobster Scientific and Statistical Committees (SSC).

    DATES:

    The meeting will convene at 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 10, 2015 and conclude by 12 noon on Thursday, March 12, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council office, 2203 North Lois Avenue, Suite 1100, Tampa, FL 33607.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Steven Atran, Senior Fishery Biologist, Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; telephone: (813) 348-1630; fax: (813) 348-1711; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The items of discussion in the individual meeting agenda are as follows:

    Standing, Special Shrimp and Special Spiny Lobster SSC Agenda, Tuesday, March 10, 2015, 1 p.m. Until 5:30 p.m. I. Introductions and Adoption of Agenda II. Approval of Minutes a. August 2014 Standing and Special Shrimp SSC b. January 2011 Standing, Special Spiny Lobster and Special Reef Fish SSC III. Selection of SSC representative at March, 2015 Council meeting IV. Report on the MSY ABC Control Rule Workshop for Penaeid Shrimp a. AP recommendations b. Shrimp 15 implications V. Shrimp Amendment 17 a. Working Group recommendations b. AP recommendations VI. Spiny Lobster 2013-14 Landings a. Report on Review Panel for Spiny Lobster Standing, Special Reef Fish SSC Agenda, Wednesday, March 11, 2015, 8:30 a.m. Until 5 p.m. and Thursday, March 12, 2015, 8:30 a.m. Until 12 Noon—If Needed VII. Approval of Minutes a. January 2014 Standing and Special Reef Fish SSC b. January 2011 Standing, Special Spiny Lobster and Special Reef Fish SSC VIII. Reorganization of SSCs as approved by Council IX. FWC Mutton Snapper Update Assessment X. Hogfish OFL and ABC a. OFL and ABC recommendations for Gulf stock XI. Minimum Stock Size Threshold Amendment XII. SEDAR 45 vermilion snapper Terms of Reference and Project Schedule XIII. Review of draft National Standard 1 Guideline revisions XIV. Review of NMFS Climate Change Strategy XV. National SSC Workshop V Summary XVI. Ecosystem Working Group Summary a. Ecosystem SSC recommendations XVII. Other Business —Adjourn—

    The Agenda is subject to change, and the latest version will be posted on the Council's file server. To access the file server, the URL is https://public.gulfcouncil.org:5001/webman/index.cgi, or go to the Council's Web site and click on the FTP link in the lower left of the Council Web site (http://www.gulfcouncil.org). The username and password are both “gulfguest”. Click on the “Library Folder”, then scroll down to “SSC meeting—2015-03”.

    The meeting will be webcast over the internet. A link to the webcast will be available on the Council's Web site, http://www.gulfcouncil.org.

    Although other non-emergency issues not on the agenda may come before the Scientific and Statistical Committees for discussion, in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during these meetings. Actions of the Scientific and Statistical Committees will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in the agenda and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under Section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Kathy Pereira at the Council Office (see ADDRESSES), at least 5 working days prior to the meeting.

    Note:

    The times and sequence specified in this agenda are subject to change.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: February 19, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03701 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD785 Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold scoping workshops for Reef Fish Amendment 36.

    DATES:

    The scoping meetings will be held from Tuesday, March 10 through Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at seven locations throughout the Gulf of Mexico. The scoping meetings will begin at 6 p.m. and will conclude no later than 9 p.m. For specific dates and locations see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION below.

    ADDRESSES:

    Meeting address: The public hearings will be held in the following locations: Mobile, AL; Pascagoula, MS; Panama City Beach and St. Petersburg, FL; Houma, LA; and Galveston and Port Aransas, TX.

    Council address: Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, 2203 North Lois Avenue, Suite 1100, Tampa, FL 33607.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Ava Lasseter, Anthropologist, Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; telephone: (813) 348-1630; fax: (813) 348-1711; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The items of discussion in the public hearings are as follows:

    The Council is examining a broad scope of potential modifications to the Red Snapper Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) program. These include changes to the program's eligibility requirements; redistribution of shares held in inactive accounts to address regulatory discards; consideration of a full retention commercial fishery for red snapper; exploring share, allocation, and vessel caps on quota; requirements for the use of shares and/or allocation; withholding full distribution of shares in the event of an anticipated mid-year quota change; and increasing enforcement of all commercial reef fish landings. Although this action focuses on red snapper specifically, the implication of Red Snapper IFQ program changes on the Grouper-Tilefish IFQ program, and other potential issues with in the Grouper-Tilefish IFQ program will also be discussed.

    The scoping workshops will begin at 6 p.m. and conclude at the end of public testimony or no later than 9 p.m. at the following locations:

    Tuesday, March 10, 2015, Courtyard Marriott, 142 Library Drive, Houma, LA 70360, telephone: (985) 223-8996;

    Thursday, March 12, 2015, Hilton Garden Inn, 6703 Denny Avenue, Pascagoula, MS 39567, telephone: (228) 762-7182;

    Monday, March 16, 2015, Hilton Galveston Island Hotel, 5400 Seawall Boulevard, Galveston Island, TX 77551, telephone: (409) 744-5000;

    Tuesday, March 17, 2015, Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham, 501 East Goodnight Avenue, Aransas Pass, TX 78336, telephone: (361) 758-1774; Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel, 64 South Water Street, Mobile, AL 36602, telephone: (251) 438-4000;

    Wednesday, March 18, 2015, Hilton Garden Inn, 1101 US Highway 231, Panama City, FL 32405, telephone: (850) 392-1093; and

    Tuesday, March 24, 2015, Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon Park, 950 Lake Carillon Drive, St. Petersburg, FL 33716, telephone: (727) 540-0050.

    Copies of the scoping workshop documents can be obtained by calling (813) 348-1630 or visiting www.GulfCouncil.org.

    Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during these meetings. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Kathy Pereira at the Council Office (see ADDRESSES), at least 5 working days prior to the meeting.

    Note:

    The times and sequence specified in this agenda are subject to change.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: February 19, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03700 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD783 Peer Review Meeting To Review Sea Scallop Survey Methods AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS and the Northeast Regional Science Center (NEFSC) will convene a Peer Review meeting for the purpose of a review of the survey methods for the Sea Scallop. The scope of the review is broad and includes the statistical design and data collection methods and procedures for several survey systems, including scallop dredges, video drop cameras, and HabCam. The objectives of this review will be to assess the relative merits of each sampling method, to identify complementary aspects among the survey methodologies, and to determine areas of future research and collaboration. The public is invited to attend the presentations and discussions.

    DATES:

    The public meeting will be held from March 17 through March 19, 2015. The meeting will commence on March 17, 2015 at 9 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for the daily meeting agenda.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Waypoint Event Center at the Marriott Fairfield Inn and Suites, 185 MacArthur Drive, New Bedford, MA 02740.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    James Weinberg, 508-495-2352; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    For further information please visit the Northeast Fisheries Science Center Web site at http://nefsc.noaa.gov/. For additional information about the peer review meeting of the Sea Scallop, please visit the NMFS NEFSC SAW Web site at http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/nefsc/saw/.

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to James Weinberg at the NEFSC, (508) 495-2352, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: February 18, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03671 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD787 Western Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meetings AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meetings and hearings.

    SUMMARY:

    The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) will hold meetings of its American Samoa, Hawaii, and Mariana Archipelago Fishery Ecosystem Plan (FEP) Advisory Panels (AP) by teleconference and webconference to discuss and make recommendations on fishery management issues in the Western Pacific Region.

    DATES:

    The Mariana Archipelago FEP AP will meet on March 10, 2015, between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.; The Hawaii Archipelago FEP AP will meet on March 12, 2015, between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.; and The American Samoa Archipelago FEP AP will meet on March 13, 2014, between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. All times listed are local island times.

    Location: All meetings will be held by teleconference and webconference. For specific times and agendas, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    ADDRESSES:

    The teleconference will be conducted by telephone and by web. The teleconference numbers are: U.S. toll-free: 1-888-482-3560 or International Access: +1 647 723-3959, and Access Code: 5228220. The webconference can be accessed at https://wprfmc.webex.com/join/info.wpcouncilnoaa.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kitty M. Simonds, Executive Director; telephone: (808) 522-8220.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Public comment periods will be provided throughout the agendas. The order in which agenda items are addressed may change. The meetings will run as late as necessary to complete scheduled business.

    Schedule and Agenda for the Mariana Archipelago FEP AP Meeting 5 p.m.-7 p.m., Tuesday, March 10, 2015 1. Welcome and Introductions 2. Review and Approval of the Agenda 3. New Advisory Panel Structure and Process 4. Meeting Expectations and Overview 5. Issues to be discusseed at 162nd Council Meeting A. Council Action Items i. Recommendations on Territory Longline Bigeye Specification ii. Report on FEP Review B. Issues Relevant to the FEP AP i. Update on Data Collection Projects ii. Update on Community Activities iii. Education and Outreach Initiatives 6. Mariana Archipelago FEP AP Issues A. Island Fisheries Subpanel B. Pelagic Fisheries Subpanel C. Ecosystems and Habitat Subpanel D. Indigenous Fishing Rights Subpanel 7. Public Comment 8. Discussion of Solutions to Issues 9. Recommendations to the Council 10. Other Business Schedule and Agenda for the Hawaii Archipelago FEP AP 4 p.m.-6 p.m., Thursday, March 12, 2015 1. Welcome and Introductions 2. Review and Approval of the Agenda 3. New Advisory Panel Structure and Process 4. Meeting Expectations and Overview 5. Issues to be discussed at 162nd Council Meeting A. Council Action Items i. Recommendations on Territory Longline Bigeye Specification ii. Report on FEP Review B. Issues Relevant to the FEP AP i. Report on Main Hawaiian Islands (MHI) Bottomfish Public Scoping Meetings ii. Report on MHI Ahi (Yellowfin Tuna) Public Scoping Meetings iii. Update on Community Projects iv. Education and Outreach Initiatives 6. Hawaii Archipelago FEP AP Issues A. Island Fisheries Subpanel B. Pelagic Fisheries Subpanel C. Ecosystems and Habitat Subpanel D. Indigenous Fishing Rights Subpanel 7. Public Comment 8. Discussion of Solutions to Issues 9. Recommendations to the Council 10. Other Business Schedule and Agenda for the American Samoa Archipelago FEP AP Meeting 4 p.m.-6 p.m., March 13, 2016 1. Welcome and Introductions 2. Review and Approval of the Agenda 3. New Advisory Panel Structure and Process 4. Meeting Expectations and Overview 5. Issues to be Discussed at 162nd Council Meeting A. Council Action Items i. Recommendations on the American Samoa Large Vessel Prohibited Area Temporary Exemption ii. Recommendations on American Samoa Longline EEZ Albacore Catch Limit iii. Recommendations on Territory Longline Bigeye Specification iv. Report on FEP Review B. Issues Relevant to the FEP AP i. Update on Data Collection Projects ii. Update on Fisheries Development Projects iii. Education and Outreach Initiatives 6. American Samoa Archipelago FEP AP Issues A. Island Fisheries Subpanel B. Pelagic Fisheries Subpanel C. Ecosystems and Habitat Subpanel D. Indigenous Fishing Rights Subpanel 7. Public Comment 8. Discussion of Solutions to Issues 9. Recommendations to the Council 10. Other Business

    Non-Emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before the Council for discussion and formal Council action during its 161st meeting. However, Council action on regulatory issues will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this document and any regulatory issue arising after publication of this document that requires emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Kitty M. Simonds, (808) 522-8220 (voice) or (808) 522-8226 (fax), at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: February 19, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03715 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD788 North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) Ecosystem Committee will meet in Seattle, WA.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held March 17-18, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at The Mountaineers Seattle Program Center, 7700 Sand Point Way NE., Cascade Room, Seattle, WA. Teleconference will be available by calling (712) 775-7031, access code 403-899-011.

    Council address: North Pacific Fishery Management Council, 605 W. 4th Ave., Suite 306, Anchorage, AK 99501-2252.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Steve MacLean, Council staff; telephone: (907) 271-2809.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Committee will discuss the following issues: (1) Ecosystem Vision Statement; (2) updates on Essential Fish Habitat 5-year review, Norton Sound king crab research, deep-sea corals research, Bering Strait Marine Life and Subsistence Data Synthesis, Aleutian Islands Risk Assessment, Arctic and Bering Sea shipping, Alaska Arctic Policy Commission final report, AOOS ocean acidification workshop; (3) Bering Sea Fishery Ecosystem Plan.

    The Agenda is subject to change, and the latest version is posted at http://www.npfmc.org/committees/ecosystem-committee/.

    Special Accommodations

    These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Gail Bendixen at (907) 271-2809 at least 7 working days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: February 19, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03716 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary Reserve Forces Policy Board; Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting AGENCY:

    Reserve Forces Policy Board, Office of the Secretary of Defense, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Federal Advisory Committee Meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Defense is publishing this notice to announce that the following Federal Advisory Committee meeting of the Reserve Forces Policy Board (RFPB) will take place. This meeting will be partially-closed to the public.

    DATES:

    Wednesday, March 11, 2015 from 8:20 a.m. to 4:05 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The address is the Pentagon, Room 3E863, Arlington, VA.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Alex Sabol, Designated Federal Officer, (703) 681-0577 (Voice), (703) 681-0002 (Facsimile), Email—[email protected] Mailing address is Reserve Forces Policy Board, 5113 Leesburg Pike, Suite 601, Falls Church, VA 22041. Web site: http://rfpb.defense.gov/. The most up-to-date changes to the meeting can be found on the RFPB's Web site.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This meeting notice is being published under the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (FACA) (5 U.S.C., Appendix, as amended), the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 (5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended), and 41 CFR 102-3.150.

    Purpose of the Meeting: The purpose of the meeting is to obtain, review and evaluate information related to strategies, policies, and practices designed to improve and enhance the capabilities, efficiency, and effectiveness of the Reserve Components.

    Agenda: The RFPB will hold a meeting from 8:20 a.m. until 4:05 p.m. The portion of the meeting from 8:20 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. will be open to the public and will consist of remarks to the RFPB from the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel &Readiness), the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission (“the Commission”), two RFPB subcommittees, and Mr. Sergio Pecori, a RFPB member. The Under Secretary of Defense (P&R) Reorganization will provide updates on the Department of Defense Under Secretary of Defense (P&R) reorganization, and the possible impact that it will have on the support of National Guard and Reserve requirements. The Executive Director of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission will discuss the findings of facts and recommendations presented in the Commission's final report to the President. Two RFPB subcommittee chairs will provide updates on the work of their respective subcommittee. The Enhancing DoD's Role in the Homeland Subcommittee will provide updates on the Department of Defense support of civil authorities and FEMA requirements. The Supporting & Sustaining Reserve Component Personnel Subcommittee will provide updates on the Survivor Benefits Program, the Post 9/11 GI Bill Change Proposal, and the Duty Status recommendations to the Secretary of Defense. Mr. Sergio Pecori, a RFPB member will discuss his thoughts on the DoD Cyber approach. The portion of the meeting from 11:55 a.m. to 4:05 p.m. will be closed to the public and will consist of remarks to the RFPB from invited speakers that include the Deputy Secretary of Defense; the Commander, U.S. Northern Command; and the Principle Director, Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation; and Brig Gen Whitman, a RFPB member. The Deputy Secretary of Defense will discuss the future strategies for Reserve Component use, highlighting his thoughts on issues impacting reserve organizations, the right balances of Active and Reserve Component forces, and the cost to maintain a strong Reserve Component. The Commander, U.S. Northern Command will discuss the readiness, availability, and use of the National Guard and Reserve within Northern Command, and his thoughts on his command's increased emphasis on homeland security missions fit for Reserve Component members. The Principle Director, Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation will brief the findings and recommendations on the Active Component/Reserve Component cost, force mix, and their use to address national security challenges in a constrained fiscal environment. Brig Gen Whitman, a RFPB member will discuss his observations on his recent deployment to Afghanistan.

    Meeting Accessibility: Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b, as amended, and 41 CFR 102-3.140 through 102-3.165, and subject to the availability of space, the meeting is open to the public from 8:20 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Seating is based on a first-come, first-served basis. All members of the public who wish to attend the public meeting must contact Mr. Alex Sabol, the Designated Federal Officer, not later than 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 4, 2015, as listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. An escort may be required for attendees without appropriate DoD badges. In accordance with section 10(d) of the FACA, 5 U.S.C. 552b, and 41 CFR 102-3.155, the Department of Defense has determined that the portion of this meeting scheduled to occur from 11:55 a.m. to 4:05 p.m. will be closed to the public. Specifically, the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness), in coordination with the DoD FACA Attorney, has determined in writing that this portion of the meeting will be closed to the public because it is likely to disclose classified matters covered by 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(1).

    Written Statements: Pursuant to 41 CFR 102-3.105(j) and 102-3.140 and section 10(a)(3) of the FACA, interested persons may submit written statements to the RFPB at any time about its approved agenda or the Board's mission. Written statements should be submitted to the RFPB's Designated Federal Officer at the address or facsimile number listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. If statements pertain to a specific topic being discussed at the planned meeting, then these statements must be submitted no later than five (5) business days prior to the meeting in question. Written statements received after this date may not be provided to or considered by the RFPB until its next meeting. The Designated Federal Officer will review all timely submitted written statements and provide copies to all the committee members before the meeting that is the subject of this notice. Please note that since the RFPB operates under the provisions of the FACA, all submitted comments and public presentations will be treated as public documents and will be made available for public inspection, including, but not limited to, being posted on the RFPB's Web site.

    Dated: February 19, 2015. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03712 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No. ED-2014-ICCD-0160] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and approval; Comment Request; Teacher Cancellation Low Income Directory AGENCY:

    Federal Student Aid (FSA), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 3501 et seq.), ED is proposing an extension of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before March 26, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting Docket ID number ED-2014-ICCD-0160 or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. If the regulations.gov site is not available to the public for any reason, ED will temporarily accept comments at [email protected] Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted; ED will ONLY accept comments during the comment period in this mailbox when the regulations.gov site is not available. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Mailstop L-OM-2-2E319, Room 2E103, Washington, DC 20202.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Tammy Gay, 816-268-0432.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: Teacher Cancellation Low Income Directory.

    OMB Control Number: 1845-0077.

    Type of Review: An extension of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: State, Local or Tribal Governments.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 57.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 6,840.

    Abstract: The Teacher Cancellation Low Income (TCLI) Directory is the on-line data repository of elementary and secondary schools and educational service agencies that serve low-income families. State and Territory agencies report these schools to the TCLI Directory. The purpose of the TCLI Directory is to provide a single location for the public to find the list of schools and educational service agencies that are reported. By teaching at one of these schools, recipients of Federal student loans may qualify for loan cancellation as provided under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. Additionally teaching at one of these schools is a requirement for the TEACH Grant program. Institutions of higher education as well as the Department use the TCLI Directory to assist students in determining if the schools they may teach at upon completing their degrees meet the qualifications for receiving the loan cancellations or receiving the TEACH Grant as grant funds.

    Dated: February 19, 2015. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Privacy, Information and Records Management Services, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03709 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute on Smart Manufacturing Industry Day Workshop AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of Open Meeting: Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute on Smart Manufacturing Industry Day Workshop.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Energy (DOE) is announcing the following public workshop entitled, “Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute on Smart Manufacturing Industry Day Workshop.” The intent is to discuss the specifics of the previously announced potential investment in SMART Manufacturing.

    DATES:

    The public workshop will be held on Wednesday, February 25, 2015, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at the Georgia Tech Global Learning Center.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting location is: 84 5th St. NW., Atlanta, GA 30308.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Questions may be directed to—David Hardy at 202-586-8092 or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Meeting: The purpose of this workshop is to bring together parties interested in responding to the upcoming Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for the Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute on Smart Manufacturing. Smart Manufacturing represents an emerging opportunity faced broadly by the U.S. manufacturing sector to merge information and communications technologies with the manufacturing environment for the real-time management of energy, productivity, and costs in American factories all across the country. Smart Manufacturing was recently identified by private sector and university leaders in the White House's Advanced Manufacturing Partnership 2.0 as one of the highest priority manufacturing technology areas in need of federal investment. Participants will hear presentations from government officials about the framework for the Institute, specific technical topic areas of interest, and anticipated proposal requirements; be provided an opportunity to ask questions about the Institute and the FOA; and have opportunity for networking discussions with other potential collaborators. DOE previously posted an associated Notice of Intent (NOI) entitled “Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute on Smart Manufacturing: Advanced Sensors, Controls, Platforms and Modeling for Manufacturing” regarding the planned competition on December 11, 2014.

    Public Participation: Members of the public are welcome to attend the workshop. Registration is free and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Persons interested in attending this public workshop must register online by 4 p.m., February 23. Early registration is recommended because facilities are limited and, therefore, DOE may limit the number of participants from each organization. If time and space permit, onsite registration on the day of the public workshop will be provided beginning at 8:30 a.m. To register for the public workshop, please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/industry-day-tickets-15743251489. Registrants will receive confirmation after they have been accepted. If you need special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Kendra Pierson, 678-478-2030, email: [email protected], no later than February 23, 2015.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on February 12, 2015. Mark J. Shuart, R&D Facilities Program Manager, Advance Manufacturing Office.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03456 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 14657-000] Appalachian Mountain Club; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing, Intent To Waive Scoping, Soliciting Motions To Intervene and Protests, Ready for Environmental Analysis, and Soliciting Comments, Terms and Conditions, Recommendations, Prescriptions, and Establishing an Expedited Schedule for Processing

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection.

    a. Type of Application: Original Minor License.

    b. Project No.: 14657-000.

    c. Date filed: December 29, 2014.

    d. Applicant: Appalachian Mountain Club.

    e. Name of Project: Zealand Falls Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: On Whitehall Brook, in the Town of Bethlehem, Grafton County, New Hampshire. The project occupies 0.66 acres of federal land managed by the U.S. Forest Service.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act 16 U.S.C. 791(a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contact: James Wrigley, Appalachian Mountain Club, PO Box 298, Gorham, New Hampshire 03581, (603) 466-8110; [email protected].

    i. FERC Contact: John Baummer, (202) 502-6837, or email at [email protected].

    j. Deadline for filing motions to intervene and protests, comments, terms and conditions, recommendations, and prescriptions: 30 days from the issuance date of this notice; reply comments are due 45 days from the issuance date of this notice.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file motions to intervene and protests, comments, terms and conditions, recommendations, and prescriptions using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-14657-000.

    The Commission's Rules of Practice require all intervenors filing documents with the Commission to serve a copy of that document on each person on the official service list for the project. Further, if an intervenor 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.

    k. This application has been accepted for filing and is now ready for environmental analysis.

    l. Project Description: The existing, unlicensed Zealand Falls Hydroelectric Project consists of: (1) A 27-foot-long, 3-inch diameter intake pipe with a 1/8-inch welded wire debris screen; (2) a 50.5-inch-long, 26.5-inch-wide, 31-inch-high settling tank; (3) a 1,374-foot-long penstock consisting of a 970-foot-long, 3-inch-diameter section connected to a 404-foot-long, 2-inch diameter section; (4) a 47.75-inch-wide, 41.25-inch-long generator shed; (5) a single turbine-generator unit with an installed capacity of 2.5 kilowatts; (6) a 6.5-foot-long, 3-inch diameter drain line; (7) a buried 300-foot-long, 48-volt transmission line connecting the turbine-generator unit to Zealand Falls Hut; and (8) appurtenant facilities. The project generates approximately 1,010 kilowatt-hours annually. The applicant proposes to continue operating the project in a run-of-river mode.

    m. Due to the applicant's close coordination with federal and state agencies during preparation of the application, the inclusion of draft terms and conditions with the application, and the lack of any new construction in the applicant's proposal, we intend to waive scoping and expedite the licensing process. Based on a review of the application, resource agency consultation letters including the preliminary terms and conditions, and comments filed to date, Commission staff intends to prepare a single environmental assessment (EA). Commission staff determined that the issues that need to be addressed in its EA have been adequately identified during the pre-filing period, and no new issues are likely to be identified through additional scoping. The EA will consider assessing the potential effects of project operation on geology and soils, aquatic, terrestrial, threatened and endangered species, recreation, and cultural and historic resources.

    n. A copy of the application is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item h above.

    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, contact FERC Online Support.

    o. Any qualified applicant desiring to file a competing application must submit to the Commission, on or before the specified intervention deadline date, a competing development application, or a notice of intent to file such an application. Submission of a timely notice of intent allows an interested person to file the competing development application no later than 120 days after the specified intervention deadline date. Applications for preliminary permits will not be accepted in response to this notice.

    A notice of intent must specify the exact name, business address, and telephone number of the prospective applicant, and must include an unequivocal statement of intent to submit a development application. A notice of intent must be served on the applicant(s) named in this public notice.

    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, and .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.

    All filings must (1) bear in all capital letters the title “PROTEST”, “MOTION TO INTERVENE”, “NOTICE OF INTENT TO FILE COMPETING APPLICATION,” “COMPETING APPLICATION,” “COMMENTS,” “REPLY COMMENTS,” “RECOMMENDATIONS,” “TERMS AND CONDITIONS,” or “PRESCRIPTIONS;” (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, recommendations, terms and conditions or prescriptions 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. 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.

    p. Procedural schedule: The application will be processed according to the following procedural schedule. Revisions to the schedule may be made as appropriate.

    Milestone Target date Notice of the availability of the EA August 2015. Dated: February 13, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03647 Filed 2-23-15; 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: RP15-453-000.

    Applicants: Transwestern Pipeline Company, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing per 154.203: Penalty Refund Report.

    Filed Date: 2/12/15.

    Accession Number: 20150212-5083.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/24/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-454-000.

    Applicants: Northern Natural Gas Company.

    Description: Northern Natural Gas submits report of the penalty and daily delivery variance charge (DDVC) revenues that have been credited to shippers.

    Filed Date: 2/12/15.

    Accession Number: 20150212-5115.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/24/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-455-000.

    Applicants: Sierrita Gas Pipeline LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) rate filing per 154.204: Parking and Lending Service Filing to be effective 4/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/12/15.

    Accession Number: 20150212-5118.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/24/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-456-000.

    Applicants: Northern Natural Gas Company.

    Description: § 4(d) rate filing per 154.204: 20150212 Negotiated Rate to be effective 2/13/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/12/15.

    Accession Number: 20150212-5169.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/24/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-457-000.

    Applicants: Rockies Express Pipeline LLC.

    Description: § 4(d) rate filing per 154.204: Neg Rate 2015-02-12 Concord to be effective 2/12/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/12/15.

    Accession Number: 20150212-5170.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/24/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-458-000.

    Applicants: ANR Pipeline Company.

    Description: § 4(d) rate filing per 154.601: Integrys Energy FTS-1 Agmts to be effective 2/13/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150213-5046.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/25/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-459-000.

    Applicants: National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation.

    Description: § 4(d) rate filing per 154.403(d)(2): Fuel Tracker (04/01/15) to be effective 4/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150213-5267.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/25/15.

    Docket Numbers: RP15-460-000.

    Applicants: Texas Eastern Transmission, LP.

    Description: § 4(d) rate filing per 154.204: TETLP Mainline-Lateral Fuel Option to be effective 5/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150218-5008.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/2/15.

    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 18, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03739 Filed 2-23-15; 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: EC15-76-000.

    Applicants: PowerMinn 9090, LLC, Fibrominn LLC, Benson Power, LLC, CPV Biomass Holdings, LLC.

    Description: Application for Authorization for Disposition of Jurisdictional Facilities and Request for Expedited Action of PowerMinn 9090, LLC, et. al.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150218-5260.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/11/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following exempt wholesale generator filings:

    Docket Numbers: EG15-50-000.

    Applicants: Prairie Breeze Wind Energy LLC.

    Description: Notice of Self-Certification of Exempt Wholesale Generator Status of Prairie Breeze Wind Energy LLC.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150218-5106.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: EG15-51-000.

    Applicants: Prairie Breeze Wind Energy II LLC.

    Description: Notice of Self-Certification of Exempt Wholesale Generator Status of Prairie Breeze Wind Energy II LLC.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150218-5109.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/11/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER13-99-004.

    Applicants: Puget Sound Energy, Inc.

    Description: Compliance filing per 35: OATT Order No. 1000 Compliance Filing to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150218-5203.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER13-1447-002.

    Applicants: Public Service Company of New Mexico.

    Description: Compliance filing per 35: PNM's Order No. 1000 Interregional Compliance Filing of WestConnect Parties to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150218-5130.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER13-1450-002.

    Applicants: Arizona Public Service Company.

    Description: Compliance filing per 35: Western Interconnection—Order No. 1000 Interregional Compliance Filing to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150218-5125.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER13-1450-002.

    Applicants: Arizona Public Service Company.

    Description: Report Filing: Western Interconnection—Order No. 1000 Interregional Compliance Filing to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150218-5134.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER13-1461-002.

    Applicants: Tucson Electric Power Company.

    Description: Compliance filing per 35: Order No. 1000 Interregional Compliance Filing to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150218-5179.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER13-1462-002.

    Applicants: UNS Electric, Inc.

    Description: Compliance filing per 35: Order No. 1000 Interregional Compliance Filing to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150218-5180.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER13-1465-002.

    Applicants: El Paso Electric Company.

    Description: Compliance filing per 35: Compliance Filing with FERC December 18, 2014 Interregional Order to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150218-5142.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER13-1466-002.

    Applicants: NV Energy, Inc.

    Description: Compliance filing per 35: OATT Order 1000 Interregional Compliance December 18, 2014 Order to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150218-5201.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER13-1469-002.

    Applicants: Public Service Company of Colorado.

    Description: Compliance filing per 35: 2015-2-18_PSCo_InterRegional Comp Filing to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150218-5013.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER13-1470-002.

    Applicants: California Independent System Operator Corporation.

    Description: Compliance filing per 35: 2015-02-Interregional Second Compliance to be effective 10/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150218-5135.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER13-1473-002.

    Applicants: PacifiCorp.

    Description: Compliance filing per 35: OATT Order 1000 Second Interregional Compliance Filing to be effective 10/1/2013.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150218-5182.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER13-1730-002.

    Applicants: Avista Corporation.

    Description: Compliance filing per 35: Avista Corp OATT Order 1000 Compliance Filing to be effective 1/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150218-5096.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER14-346-003.

    Applicants: MATL LLP.

    Description: Compliance filing per 35: Compliance with ER14-346 to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150218-5141.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER14-2707-003.

    Applicants: Mammoth Plains Wind Project, LLC.

    Description: Supplement to January 13, 2015 Notice of Non-Material Change in Status of Mammoth Plains Wind Project, LLC.

    Filed Date: 2/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150213-5160.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER14-2868-002.

    Applicants: Portland General Electric Company.

    Description: Tariff Amendment per 35.17(b): 7th Amend Boardman Agreement Deficiency Response 2 to be effective 11/1/2014.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150217-5081.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/10/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-191-001.

    Applicants: Duke Energy Progress, Inc.

    Description: Compliance filing per 35: Compliance Filing ER15-191, ER15-74, ER13-1313, ER15-345 to be effective 1/1/2014.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150218-5006.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-807-001.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C., Duke Energy Ohio, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Amendment per 35.17(b): Duke submits Amendment to Revised SA No. 3140 Filing to be effective 11/10/2014.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150218-5054.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-916-000.

    Applicants: Sierra Solar Greenworks LLC.

    Description: Request for Waiver of Commission Rules and Request for Waiver of Prior Notice for Certificate of Concurrence for Shared Facilities Agreement of Sierra Solar Greenworks LLC.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150217-5195.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/5/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1039-000.

    Applicants: Homer City Generation, L.P.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation per 35.17(a): Withdrawal of Homer City Generation Filing in ER15-1039 to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150217-5077.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/10/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1050-000.

    Applicants: ISO New England Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Rev. to Address Treatment of ETU (Part 1 of 2) to be effective 2/16/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150213-5310.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1051-000.

    Applicants: ISO New England Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Rev. to Address the Treatment of ETU (Part 2 of 2) to be effective 2/16/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150213-5317.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1052-000.

    Applicants: Transource Missouri, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): TMO Facilities Sharing Agreement Concurrence to be effective 4/15/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150213-5324.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1053-000.

    Applicants: Wisconsin Power and Light Company.

    Description: Compliance filing per 35: Amended Wisconsin Dells PSA to be effective 2/12/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150217-5073.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/10/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1054-000.

    Applicants: Central Maine Power Company.

    Description: Notice of Termination of Interconnection Agreement No. 108 of Central Maine Power Company.

    Filed Date: 2/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150213-5334.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1055-000.

    Applicants: AEP Texas Central Company.

    Description: § 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): TCC-Patriot Wind Farm IA Amendment to be effective 2/9/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150218-5017.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1056-000.

    Applicants: Cassadaga Wind LLC.

    Description: Petition of Cassadaga Wind LLC for Limited Waiver.

    Filed Date: 2/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150213-5349.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/27/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1057-000.

    Applicants: AEP Texas North Company.

    Description: § 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): TNC-Buckthorn Westex Interconnection Agreement to be effective 1/26/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150218-5019.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1058-000.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: § 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Amended LGIA NextEra Desert Center Blythe, LLC to be effective 2/19/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150218-5040.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1059-000.

    Applicants: Wisconsin Electric Power Company.

    Description: Notice of Cancellation Service Agreement No. 58 of Wisconsin Electric Power Company.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150218-5133.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1060-000.

    Applicants: Arizona Public Service Company.

    Description: § 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Rate Schedule Nos. 242 and 243 Certificate of Concurrence to be effective 11/1/2014.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150218-5145.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1061-000.

    Applicants: New York Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): 205—Ancillary Service Demand Curves; Transmission Shortage Cost to be effective 12/31/9998.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150218-5152.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1062-000.

    Applicants: PacifiCorp.

    Description: § 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): BPA AC Intertie Agreement 13th Revised to be effective 4/20/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150218-5184.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1063-000.

    Applicants: Northern States Power Company, a Minnesota corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): 2015-2-18_GRE-Multi-Pty JPZ Agrmt_304-NSP-0.2.0 to be effective 9/1/2014.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150218-5191.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1064-000.

    Applicants: California Clean Power Corp.

    Description: Initial rate filing per 35.12 California Clean Power Corp. Initial Market-Based Rate Tariff to be effective 4/20/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150218-5214.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1065-000.

    Applicants: Balko Wind, LLC.

    Description: Initial rate filing per 35.12 Balko Wind, LLC—MBR Tariff to be effective 2/18/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150218-5215.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1066-000.

    Applicants: Red Horse Wind 2, LLC.

    Description: Initial rate filing per 35.12 Red Horse 2, LLC—MBR Tariff to be effective 2/18/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150218-5263.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/11/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1067-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): 2015-02-18_MMTG RTO Adder Filing to be effective 1/6/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150218-5273.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/11/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following qualifying facility filings:

    Docket Numbers: QF15-440-000.

    Applicants: Grossmont Hospital Corporation.

    Description: Form 556 of Grossmont Hospital Corporation.

    Filed Date: 2/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150213-5351.

    Comments Due: None Applicable.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following PURPA 210(m)(3) filings:

    Docket Numbers: RR15-6-000.

    Applicants: North American Electric Reliability Corporation.

    Description: Request of North American Electric Reliability Corporation to Revise Certain “Metrics” Components for Its Annual Business Plan and Budget Filings and Its Annual Actual Cost-to-Budget True-up Filings.

    Filed Date: 2/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150218-5205.

    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 18, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03743 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #2

    Take notice that the Commission received the following exempt wholesale generator filings:

    Docket Numbers: EG15-48-000.

    Applicants: Pilot Hill Wind, LLC.

    Description: Notice of Self-Certification of Exempt Wholesale Generator Status of Pilot Hill Wind, LLC.

    Filed Date: 2/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150213-5230.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: EG15-49-000.

    Applicants: Kingfisher Wind, LLC.

    Description: Notice of Self-Certification of Exempt Wholesale Generator Status of Kingfisher Wind, LLC.

    Filed Date: 2/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150213-5280.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER10-2249-004.

    Applicants: Portland General Electric Company.

    Description: Notice of Non-Material Change in Status of Portland General Electric Company.

    Filed Date: 2/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150213-5211.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER12-1279-001.

    Applicants: BluCo Energy LLC.

    Description: Notification of Non-Material Change in Status of BluCo Energy LLC.

    Filed Date: 2/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150213-5213.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER13-2379-004.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Compliance filing per 35: 2015-02-13_Attachment O MISO TO Rate Protocol Compliance Filing to be effective 1/1/2014.

    Filed Date: 2/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150213-5224.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-522-002.

    Applicants: Arizona Public Service Company.

    Description: Compliance filing per 35: Errata to MBR Tariff Filing Under ER15-522 to be effective 2/2/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150213-5263.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-697-001.

    Applicants: Tonopah Solar Energy, LLC.

    Description: Second supplement to December 22, 2014 Tonopah Solar Energy, LLC tariff filing.

    Filed Date: 2/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150213-5152.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-709-001.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Amendment per 35.17(b): 2015-02-13_SA 2331 Termination MidAmerican-Cornbelt WDS to be effective 1/10/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150213-5220.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1040-000.

    Applicants: NSTAR Electric Company.

    Description: Initial rate filing per 35.12 LCC Services Agreement—Braintree to be effective 5/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150213-5169.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1041-000.

    Applicants: Prairie Breeze Wind Energy II LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing per 35.1: Application for Market-Based Rate Authorization to be effective 4/15/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150213-5180.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1041-001.

    Applicants: Prairie Breeze Wind Energy II LLC.

    Description: Tariff Amendment per 35.17(b): Supplement to Market-Based Rate Application to be effective 4/15/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150213-5195.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1042-000.

    Applicants: New York Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): NYISO 205 filing VSS tariff revision to be effective 1/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 2/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150213-5188.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1043-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): 2198R17 Kansas Power Pool NITSA and Cancellation of 1997R2 City of Mulvane, KS to be effective 9/1/2014.

    Filed Date: 2/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150213-5190.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1044-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): 607R24 Westar Energy, Inc. NITSA NOA to be effective 2/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150213-5196.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1045-000.

    Applicants: Pilot Hill Wind, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing per 35.1: Pilot Hill Wind Initial Baseline MBR Application Filing to be effective 4/15/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150213-5198.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1046-000.

    Applicants: Kansas City Power & Light Company.

    Description: § 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): KCP&L Rate Schedule 140 Filing to be effective 4/15/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150213-5212.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1047-000.

    Applicants: R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant, LLC.

    Description: Initial rate filing per 35.12 Initial Rates Normal to be effective 4/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150213-5233.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1047-000.

    Applicants: R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant, LLC.

    Description: Initial rate filing per 35.12 Initial Rates Normal to be effective 4/1/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150213-5235.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1048-000.

    Applicants: KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company.

    Description: § 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): KCP&L-GMO Rate Schedule 136 Filing to be effective 4/15/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150213-5250.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1049-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Revisions in Addendum 1 of Attachment AF to be effective 4/15/2015.

    Filed Date: 2/13/15.

    Accession Number: 20150213-5265.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/6/15.

    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 13, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03644 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL15-45-000] Notice of Complaint Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation Mississippi Delta Energy Agency Clarksdale Public Utilities Commission Public Service Commission of Yazoo City Hoosier Energy Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. v. ALLETE, Inc. Ameren Illinois Company Ameren Missouri Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois American Transmission Company LLC Cleco Power LLC Duke Energy Business Services, LLC Entergy Arkansas, Inc. Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, LLC Entergy Louisiana, LLC Entergy Mississippi, Inc. Entergy New Orleans, Inc. Entergy Texas, Inc. Indianapolis Power & Light Company International Transmission Company ITC Midwest LLC Michigan Electric Transmission Company, LLC MidAmerican Energy Company Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. Northern Indiana Public Service Company Northern States Power Company-Minnesota Northern States Power Company-Wisconsin Otter Tail Power Company Southern Indiana Gas & Electric Company

    Take notice that on February 12, 2015, pursuant to sections 206 and 306 of the Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 824(e) and 825(e) and Rules 206 and 212 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.206 and 385.212, Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC), Mississippi Delta Energy Agency (MDEA), Clarksdale Public Utilities Commission (Clarksdale), Public Service Commission of Yazoo City, (Yazoo City), and Hoosier Energy Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Hoosier) (collectively, Complainants or Joint Customer Complainants) filed a formal complaint against ALLETE, Inc. (for its operating division Minnesota Power, Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary Superior Water Light, and Power Company), Ameren Illinois Company, Ameren Missouri, Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois, American Transmission Company LLC (ATC), Cleco Power LLC, Duke Energy Business Services, LLC, Entergy Arkansas, Inc., Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, LLC, Entergy Louisiana, LLC, Entergy Mississippi, Inc., Entergy New Orleans, Inc., Entergy Texas, Inc., Indianapolis Power & Light Company, International Transmission Company, ITC Midwest LLC, Michigan Electric Transmission Company, LLC, MidAmerican Energy Company, Montana-Dakota Utilities Co., Northern Indiana Public Service Company, Northern States Power Company-Minnesota, Northern States Power Company Wisconsin, Otter Tail Power Company, and Southern Indiana Gas & Electric Company (collectively, Respondents), alleging that the current 12.38% return on equity applicable to transmission-owning members of the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., and the 12.2% ROE applicable to ATC are excessive and should be reduced as of the date of the Complaint.

    The Joint Customer Complainants certify that copies of the complaint were served on the contacts for the Respondents as listed on the Commission's list of Corporate Officials.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. The Respondents' answer and all interventions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. The Respondents' answer, motions to intervene, and protests must be served on the Complainants.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an “eSubscription” link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on March 4, 2015.

    Dated: February 13, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03645 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. PF14-10-000] Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC; Supplemental Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Planned Dalton Expansion Project, Request for Comments on Environmental Issues Related to a New Route Variation Under Consideration, and Notice of Public Scoping Meeting

    In response to concerns raised about the Dalton Expansion Project planned by the Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC, (Transco), a new route variation is being considered. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources—Wildlife Resources Division, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Nature Conservancy requested a route variation in northern Paulding County, Georgia. Transco reviewed the requested variation and incorporated some changes for engineering and other considerations. The variation, referred to herein as the Raccoon Creek Watershed Variation (Transco Major Route Alternative H), is being considered to avoid and minimize potential environmental impacts on the biologically sensitive Raccoon Creek Watershed.

    This variation, which is described in further detail below, would affect new landowners; therefore, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) is issuing this supplemental notice (Notice) to provide these new landowners and other interested parties an opportunity to comment on the merits of the route variation.

    The FERC is the lead federal agency responsible for conducting the environmental review of the Dalton Expansion Project (Project). The Commission's staff will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) that discusses the environmental impacts of the Project. This EA will be used to inform the Commission as it determines whether the Project is in the public convenience and necessity.

    This Notice announces the opening of an additional scoping period the Commission will use to gather input from the public and interested agencies. Specifically, we are requesting comments on the Raccoon Creek Watershed Variation. Please note that comments on this Notice should be filed with the Commission by March 16, 2015.

    Comments on the route variation may be submitted in writing as described in the public participation section of this notice. In lieu of, or in addition to, submitting written comments, you are invited to attend a public scoping meeting on March 4, 2015 at the Dallas Civic Center in Dallas, Georgia.

    Date and time Location March 4, 2015, 7:00 p.m. EST Dallas Civic Center, 121 E Griffin Street, Dallas, GA 30132, (770) 445-5180.

    You have been identified as a landowner or an interested party that may be affected by the Raccoon Creek Watershed Variation or by the corresponding segment of the currently planned route. Information in this notice was prepared to familiarize you with this new route variation, the Project as a whole, the Commission's environmental review process, and instruct you on how to submit comments about the route variation under consideration. This notice is also being sent to federal, state, and local government agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes; other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. State and local government representatives should notify their constituents of this proposed route variation and encourage them to comment on their areas of concern.

    If you are a landowner receiving this Notice, a pipeline company representative may have already contacted you or may contact you soon about surveys associated with the Raccoon Creek Watershed Variation. If the company ultimately decides to incorporate this route variation it would contact you again to acquire an easement to construct, operate, and maintain the pipeline. The company would seek to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement. However, if the Commission approves the Project and the route variation, that approval conveys with it the right of eminent domain. Therefore, if easement negotiations fail to produce an agreement, the pipeline company could initiate condemnation proceedings where compensation would be determined in accordance with state law.

    To help potentially affected landowners and other interested parties better understand the Commission and its environmental review process, the “For Citizens” section of the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov) provides information about getting involved in FERC jurisdictional projects. A citizens' guide entitled “An Interstate Natural Gas Facility On My Land? What Do I Need to Know?” is also available in this section of the Commission's Web site. This guide addresses a number of frequently asked questions, including the use of eminent domain and how to participate in the Commission's proceedings.

    Dalton Expansion Project

    Transco plans to construct and operate about 111 miles of new natural gas pipeline and associated facilities in Coweta, Carroll, Douglas, Paulding, Bartow, Gordon, and Murray Counties, Georgia and a new compressor station in Carroll County, Georgia. Additionally, Transco plans to modify existing facilities along its mainline transmission system in Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina to accommodate bidirectional flow. Transco has indicated that the Project would provide 448,000 dekatherms per day of incremental firm transportation service to markets in northwest Georgia.

    Summary of the Raccoon Creek Watershed Variation

    As stated previously, the Raccoon Creek Watershed Variation was created to avoid and minimize potential environmental impacts on the biologically sensitive Raccoon Creek Watershed. The Raccoon Creek Watershed covers about 35,000 acres, includes several high priority streams, significant wetlands, and provides habitat for numerous federally-listed threatened and endangered species. The route variation would originate at approximately milepost (MP) 44 of the planned route in northern Paulding County. The variation would extend in a northeasterly direction for approximately 9.0 miles before joining an existing utility easement and then extending northwest for another 1.5 miles, rejoining the planned route at approximately MP 53 near the Paulding and Bartow County line.

    The general location of the Project facilities and the Raccoon Creek Watershed Variation are shown in appendix 1.1

    1 The appendices referenced in this notice will not appear in the Federal Register. Copies of the appendices were sent to all those receiving this notice in the mail and are available at www.ferc.gov using the link called “eLibrary” or from the Commission's Public Reference Room, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, or call (202) 502-8371. For instructions on connecting to eLibrary, refer to the last page of this notice.

    The EA Process

    The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires the Commission to take into account the environmental impacts that could result from an action whenever it considers the issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. NEPA also requires us 2 to discover and address concerns the public may have about proposals. This process is referred to as scoping. The main goal of the scoping process is to focus the analysis in the EA on the important environmental issues. By this notice, the Commission requests public comments on the scope of the issues to address in the EA. We will consider all filed comments during the preparation of the EA.

    2 “We,” “us,” and “our” refer to the environmental staff of the Commission's Office of Energy Projects.

    In the EA we will discuss impacts that could occur as a result of the construction and operation of the Project under these general headings:

    • Geology and soils;

    • water resources, fisheries, and wetlands;

    • vegetation and wildlife;

    • endangered and threatened species;

    • land use;

    • socioeconomics;

    • cultural resources;

    • air quality and noise; and

    • public safety.

    We will also evaluate possible alternatives to the Project or portions of the Project, and make recommendations on how to lessen or avoid impacts on the various resource areas.

    Although no formal application has been filed, we began our NEPA review under the Commission's pre-filing process on April 25, 2014. The purpose of the pre-filing process is to encourage the early involvement of interested stakeholders and to identify and resolve issues before the FERC receives an application. As part of our pre-filing review, we contacted federal and state agencies to discuss preparation of the EA. During the process, the Raccoon Creek Watershed Variation was proposed. Transco will provide additional environmental data to present the potential impacts of the variation at a later date.

    The EA will present our independent analysis of the issues. The EA will be available in the public record through eLibrary. We will also publish and distribute the EA to the public for an allotted comment period. We will consider all comments on the EA before we make our recommendations to the Commission. To ensure we have the opportunity to consider and address your comments, please carefully follow the instructions in the Public Participation section of this notice.

    Consultations Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act

    In accordance with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's implementing regulations for section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, we are using this notice to initiate consultation with the applicable State Historic Preservation Office(s), and to solicit their views and those of other government agencies, interested Indian tribes, and the public on the Project's potential effects on historic properties.3 We will define the Project-specific Area of Potential Effects (APE) in consultation with the SHPO as the Project develops. On natural gas facility projects, the APE at a minimum encompasses all areas subject to ground disturbance (examples include construction right-of-way, contractor/pipe storage yards, compressor stations, and access roads). Our EA for this Project will document our findings on the impacts on historic properties and summarize the status of consultations under section 106.

    3 The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation regulations are at Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 800. Those regulations define historic properties as any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, or object included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.

    Public Participation

    You can make a difference by providing us with your specific comments or concerns about the Project. Your comments should focus on the potential environmental effects, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen environmental impacts. The more specific your comments, the more useful they will be. To ensure that your comments are timely and properly recorded, please send your comments so that the Commission receives them in Washington, DC on or before March 16, 2015.

    For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. In all instances, please reference the Project docket number (PF14-10-000) with your submission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or [email protected]

    (1) You can file your comments electronically using the eComment feature located on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. This is an easy method for interested persons to submit brief, text-only comments on a project;

    (2) You can file your comments electronically using the eFiling feature located on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the link to Documents and Filings. With eFiling, you can provide comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on “eRegister.” You must select the type of filing you are making. If you are filing a comment on a particular project, please select “Comment on a Filing”; or

    (3) You can file a paper copy of your comments by mailing them to the following address: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.

    Environmental Mailing List

    The environmental mailing list includes federal, state, and local government representatives and agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American Tribes; other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. This list also includes all affected landowners (as defined in the Commission's regulations) who are potential right-of-way grantors, whose property may be used temporarily for Project purposes, or who own homes within certain distances of aboveground facilities, and anyone who submits comments on the Project. We will update the environmental mailing list as the analysis proceeds to ensure that we send the information related to this environmental review to all individuals, organizations, and government entities interested in and/or potentially affected by the planned Project.

    Copies of the EA will be sent to the environmental mailing list for public review and comment. If you would prefer to receive a paper copy of the document instead of the CD version or would like to remove your name from the mailing list, please return the attached Information Request (appendix 2).

    Becoming an Intervenor

    Once Transco files its application with the Commission, you may want to become an “intervenor” which is an official party to the Commission's proceeding. Intervenors play a more formal role in the process and are able to file briefs, appear at hearings, and be heard by the courts if they choose to appeal the Commission's final ruling. An intervenor formally participates in the proceeding by filing a request to intervene. Instructions for becoming an intervenor are in the User's Guide under the “e-filing” link on the Commission's Web site. Please note that the Commission will not accept requests for intervenor status at this time. You must wait until the Commission receives a formal application for the Project.

    Additional Information

    Additional information about the Project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs, at (866) 208-FERC, or on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on “General Search” and enter the docket number, excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., PF14-10). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rulemakings.

    In addition, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription which allows you to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Finally, public meetings or site visits will be posted on the Commission's calendar located at www.ferc.gov/EventCalendar/EventsList.aspx along with other related information.

    Dated: February 13, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03648 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Apple, Inc.; Project No. 14430-004] Notice of Transfer of Exemption

    1. By letter filed January 9, 2014, Apple, Inc. informed the Commission that the exemption from licensing for the Monroe Drop Hydroelectric Project, FERC No. 14430, originally issued August 1, 2014,1 has been transferred from Monroe Hydro, LLC to Apple, Inc. The proposed project would be located on North Unit Irrigations District's main irrigation canal near the town of Culver in Jefferson County, Oregon. The transfer of an exemption does not require Commission approval.

    1 148 FERC ¶ 62,098, Order Granting Exemption from Licensing (Conduit).

    2. Apple, Inc. is now the exemptee for the Monroe Drop Hydroelectric Project, FERC No. 14430. All correspondence should be forwarded to: Apple, Inc., Attn: Mr. Nathan Fleisher, 1 Infinite Loop, MS: 119-REF, Cupertino, CA 95014.

    Dated: February 18, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03745 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER15-1045-000] Pilot Hill Wind, 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 Pilot Hill Wind, LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is March 10, 2015.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: February 18, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03744 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER15-1041-000] Prairie Breeze Wind Energy II 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 Prairie Breeze Wind Energy II LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is March 10, 2015.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: February 18, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03748 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Notice of Application For Transfer of Licenses and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Protests Ada County, Idaho Aquenergy Systems, Inc. Barnet Hydro Company Big Wood Canal Company BP Hydro Associates Cherokee Falls Hydroelectric Project, LLC Consolidated Hydro New York, Inc. Consolidated Hydro New Hampshire, Inc. Consolidated Hydro Southeast, Inc. Dietrich Drop Hydro, LLC Essex Company Fowler Hydro, LLC Fulcrum, Inc. Goodyear Lake Hydro, LLC Hydro Development Group Inc. Hydro Development Group Acquisition, LLC Kelley's Falls, LLC Lawrence Hydroelectric Associates Lower Saranac Corporation Lower Saranac Hydro, LLC Lower Saranac Hydro Partners, L.P. Missisquoi Associates Newbury Hydro Company Pelzer Hydro Company, Inc. Pyrites Associates Pyrites Hydro, LLC Rock Creek L.P. Salmon Falls Hydro, LLC Sweetwater Hydroelectric, Inc. Walden Hydro, LLC

    Project Nos. 2416-027, 2428-006, 2788-016, 2800-044, 2880-012, 2883-006, 3025-025, 3189-047, 3511-021, 4114-056, 4428-007, 4881-025, 5261-020, 5702-016, 6058-020, 6059-019, 6115-014, 7153-016, 7186-048, 8909-025, 10253-029, 10254-024, 10898-014, and 11163-046

    On January 26, 2015, a joint application for transfer of licenses was filed to include the following projects:

    Conversions of Licensee to a Limited Liability Company Project(s) Transferor
  • (existing licensee or co-licensee)
  • Transferee
  • (new licensee or co-licensee)
  • Action
    Cherokee Falls P-2880; Fries P-2883; Piedmont P-2428; Ware Shoals P-2416 Aquenergy Systems, Inc Aquenergy Systems, LLC Conversion to limited liability company. Barnet P-5702 Barnet Hydro Company Barnet Hydro Company, LLC Conversion to limited liability company. Kelley's Falls P-3025; South Berwick (Salmon Falls) P-11163 Consolidated Hydro New Hampshire, Inc Consolidated Hydro New Hampshire, LLC Conversion to limited liability company. Walden P-4428; Victory Mills P-7153 Consolidated Hydro New York, Inc Consolidated Hydro New York, LLC Conversion to limited liability company. Lower Pelzer P-10253; Upper Pelzer P-10254 Consolidated Hydro Southeast, Inc Consolidated Hydro Southeast, LLC Conversion to limited liability company. Lawrence P-2800 Essex Company Essex Company, LLC Conversion to limited liability company. Barber Dam P-4881 Fulcrum, Inc Fulcrum, LLC Conversion to limited liability company. Lower Saranac P-4114 Lower Saranac Hydro Partners, L.P Lower Saranac Hydro Partners, LLC Conversion to limited liability company. Sheldon Springs P-7186 Missisquoi Associates Missisquoi, LLC Conversion to limited liability company. Newbury P-5261 Newbury Hydro Company Newbury Hydro Company, LLC Conversion to limited liability company. Lower Pelzer P-10253; Upper Pelzer P-10254 Pelzer Hydro Company, Inc Pelzer Hydro Company, LLC Conversion to limited liability company. Rock Creek P-3189 Rock Creek L.P Rock Creek Hydro, LLC Conversion to limited liability company. Sweetwater P-10898 Sweetwater Hydroelectric, Inc Sweetwater Hydroelectric, LLC Conversion to limited liability company.
    Merger of Transferor Into Transferee With Transferee Surviving Project(s) Transferor
  • (existing licensee or co-licensee)
  • Transferee
  • (new licensee or co-licensee)
  • Action
    Fowler #7 P-6059; Colliersville P-2788; Hailesboro #4; P-6058 Hydro Development Group Inc Hydro Development Group Acquisition, LLC Merger of Transferor into Transferee with Transferee surviving. Lawrence P-2800 Lawrence Hydroelectric Associates Essex Company, LLC Merger of Transferor into Transferee with Transferee surviving. Groveville P-3511 Lower Saranac Corporation Lower Saranac Hydro, LLC Merger of Transferor into Transferee with Transferee surviving.
    Transfer of Project Assets to a Newly Formed Limited Liability Company Project(s) Transferor
  • (existing licensee or co-licensee)
  • Transferee
  • (new licensee or co-licensee)
  • Action
    Cherokee Falls P-2880 Aquenergy Systems, LLC Cherokee Falls Hydroelectric Project, LLC Transfer of Project assets to Transferee. Dietrich Drop P-8909 BP Hydro Associates Dietrich Drop Hydro, LLC Transfer of Project assets to Transferee. Kelley's Falls P-3025 Consolidated Hydro New Hampshire, LLC Kelley's Falls, LLC Transfer of Project assets to Transferee. South Berwick (Salmon Falls) P-11163 Consolidated Hydro New Hampshire, LLC Salmon Falls Hydro, LLC Transfer of Project assets to Transferee. Walden P-4428 Consolidated Hydro New York, LLC Walden Hydro, LLC Transfer of Project assets to Transferee. Fowler #7 P-6059 Hydro Development Group Acquisition, LLC Fowler Hydro, LLC Transfer of Project assets to Transferee. Pyrites P-6115 Pyrites Associates Pyrites Hydro, LLC Transfer of Project assets to Transferee. Colliersville P-2788 Hydro Development Group Acquisition, LLC Goodyear Lake Hydro, LLC Transfer of Project assets to Transferee.

    Applicants seek Commission approval to transfer the licenses for the above projects by conversion of licensee to a limited liability company, merger of transferor into transferee with transferee surviving, or transfer of project assets to a newly formed limited liability company.

    Applicants' Contact: For Applicants other than Ada County, ID and Big Wood Canal Company: Mr. Stephen Champagne, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Enel Green Power North America, Inc., One Tech Drive, Suite 220, Andover, MA 01810, Phone: 978-296-6812, Email: [email protected]. Mr. William Conway, Jr., Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, 1440 New York Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20005, Phone 202-371-7135, Email: [email protected]. For Ada County, ID: Board of Ada County Commissioners, c/o Lorna K. Jorgensen, Deputy Processing Attorney, Ada County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, Third Floor, Ada County Courthouse, 200 W. Front Street, Boise, ID 83702, Phone: 208-287-7722, Email: [email protected]. For Big Wood Canal Company: Lynn Harmon, Big Wood Canal Company, 409 N Apple, Shoshone, ID 83352, Email: [email protected].

    FERC Contact: Patricia W. Gillis (202) 502-8735, [email protected].

    Deadline for filing comments and motions to intervene: 30 days from the issuance date of this notice by the Commission. Comments and motions to intervene may be filed electronically via the Internet. See 18 CFR 385.2001(a)(1) and the instructions on the Commission's Web site under http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. If unable to be filed electronically, documents may be paper-filed. To paper-file, an original plus seven copies should be mailed to: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. More information about this project can be viewed or printed on the eLibrary link of Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the docket number(s) (P-2416-027, 2428-006, 2788-016, 2800-044, 2880-012, 2883-006, 3025-025, 3189-047, 3511-021, 4114-056, 4428-007, 4881-025, 5261-020, 5702-016, 6058-020, 6059-019, 6115-014, 7153-016, 7186-048, 8909-025, 10253-029, 10254-024, 10898-014, and 11163-046) in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, call toll-free 1-866-208-3372.

    Dated: February 13, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03646 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. AD15-4-000] Technical Conference on Environmental Regulations and Electric Reliability, Wholesale Electricity Markets, and Energy Infrastructure; Supplemental Notice of Technical Conference

    As announced in the Notice of Technical Conferences issued on December 9, 2014 1 and the Supplemental Notice of Technical Conferences issued on January 6, 2015,2 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) staff will hold an Eastern region 3 technical conference to discuss implications of compliance approaches to the Clean Power Plan proposed rule, issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on June 2, 2014.4 The technical conference will focus on issues related to electric reliability, wholesale electric markets and operations, and energy infrastructure in the Eastern region. The Commission will hold the Eastern region technical conference on March 11, 2015, from approximately 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC. This conference is free of charge and open to the public. Commission members may participate in the conference. The agenda for the Eastern region technical conference is attached to this Supplemental Notice of Technical Conference.

    1 Technical Conference on Environmental Regulations and Electric Reliability, Wholesale Electricity Markets, and Energy Infrastructure, Docket No. AD15-4-000, (Dec. 9, 2014) (Notice of Technical Conferences), available at http://www.ferc.gov/CalendarFiles/20141209165657-AD15-4-000TC.pdf.

    2 Technical Conference on Environmental Regulations and Electric Reliability, Wholesale Electricity Markets, and Energy Infrastructure, Docket No. AD15-4-000, (Jan. 6, 2015) (Supplemental Notice of Technical Conferences), available at http://www.ferc.gov/CalendarFiles/20150106170115-AD15-4-000TC1.pdf.

    3 For purposes of this conference, the Eastern region includes the following Commission-approved Order No. 1000 planning regions: ISO New England Inc. (ISO-NE), PJM Interconnection, LLC (PJM), New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), Southeastern Regional Transmission Planning (SERTP), South Carolina Regional Transmission Planning (SCRTP), and Florida Reliability Coordinating Council (FRCC). This region also includes the Northern Maine Independent System Administrator (NMISA).

    4 Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units, 79 FR 34,830 (2014) (Proposed Rule), available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-06-18/pdf/2014-13725.pdf.

    Those interested in speaking at the technical conference should notify the Commission by February 18, 2015, by completing the online form at the following Web page: https://www.ferc.gov/whats-new/registration/03-11-15-speaker-form.asp. At this Web page, please provide an abstract (700 character limit) of the issue(s) you propose to address. Due to time constraints, we expect to not be able to accommodate all those interested in speaking. Selected speakers will be notified as soon as possible.

    If you have not already done so, those who plan to attend the technical conference are strongly encouraged to complete the registration form located at: https://www.ferc.gov/whats-new/registration/03-11-15-eastern-form.asp. Those interested in attending the Eastern region conference are encouraged to register by close of business March 2, 2015.

    The Commission will post information on the technical conference on the Calendar of Events on the Commission's Web site, http://www.ferc.gov, prior to the conference. The Eastern region technical conference will also be transcribed. Transcripts of the technical conference will be available for a fee from Ace-Federal Reporters, Inc. ((202) 347-3700 or (800) 336-6646). There will also be a free webcast of the conference. The Webcast will allow persons to watch the Eastern region technical conference, but not participate. Anyone with Internet access who desires to watch the Eastern region conference can do so by navigating to the Calendar of Events on the Commission's Web site, http://www.ferc.gov, and locating the Eastern region technical conference in the Calendar. The Eastern region technical conference will contain a link to its webcast.5

    5 The Webcast will continue to be available on the Calendar of Events on the Commission's Web site, http://www.ferc.gov, for three months after the conference.

    Commission conferences are accessible under section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. For accessibility accommodations, please send an email to [email protected] or call toll free (866) 208-3372 (voice) or (202) 502-8659 (TTY), or send a FAX to (202) 208-2106 with the required accommodations.

    For more information about the technical conferences, please contact:

    Logistical Information

    Sarah McKinley, Office of External Affairs, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8368, [email protected].

    Legal Information

    Alan Rukin, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8502, [email protected].

    Technical Information

    Matthew Jentgen, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8725, [email protected].

    Technical Information

    Michael Gildea, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8420, [email protected].

    Dated: February 13, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03643 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. AD15-4-000] Technical Conference on Environmental Regulations and Electric Reliability, Wholesale Electricity Markets, and Energy Infrastructure; Supplemental Notice of Technical Conferences

    As announced in the Notice of Technical Conferences issued on December 9, 2014 1 and the Supplemental Notice of Technical Conferences issued on January 6, 2015,2 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) staff will hold a Western Region 3 technical conference to discuss implications of compliance approaches to the Clean Power Plan proposed rule, issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on June 2, 2014.4 The technical conference will focus on issues related to electric reliability, wholesale electric markets and operations, and energy infrastructure in the Western region. The Commission will hold the Western Region technical conference on February 25, 2015, from approximately 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. at the Renaissance Denver Hotel, 3801 Quebec Street, Denver, CO 80207 (Phone: (303) 399-7500). This conference is free of charge and open to the public. Commission members may participate in the conference. The agenda and list of speakers for the Western Region technical conference is attached to this Supplemental Notice of Technical Conferences.

    1 Technical Conference on Environmental Regulations and Electric Reliability, Wholesale Electricity Markets, and Energy Infrastructure, Docket No. AD15-4-000, (Dec. 9, 2014) (Notice of Technical Conferences), available at http://www.ferc.gov/CalendarFiles/20141209165657-AD15-4-000TC.pdf.

    2 Technical Conference on Environmental Regulations and Electric Reliability, Wholesale Electricity Markets, and Energy Infrastructure, Docket No. AD15-4-000, (Jan. 6, 2015) (Supplemental Notice of Technical Conferences), available at http://www.ferc.gov/CalendarFiles/20150106170115-AD15-4-000TC1.pdf.

    3 For purposes of this conference, the Western Region includes all the areas in the Western Interconnection, including the California Independent System Operator (CAISO).

    4 Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units, 79 FR 34,830 (2014) (Proposed Rule), available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-06-18/pdf/2014-13725.pdf.

    If you have not already done so, those who plan to attend the technical conference are strongly encouraged to complete the registration form located at: https://www.ferc.gov/whats-new/registration/02-25-15-form.asp. Those interested in attending the Western region conference are encouraged to register by close of business February 16, 2015.

    The Commission will post information on the technical conference on the Calendar of Events on the Commission's Web site, http://www.ferc.gov, prior to the conference. The Western Region technical conference will also be transcribed. Transcripts of the technical conference will be available for a fee from Ace-Federal Reporters, Inc. ((202) 347-3700 or 1 (800) 336-6646). There will also be a free audiocast of the conference. The audiocast will allow persons to listen to the Western region technical conference, but not participate. Anyone with Internet access who desires to listen to the Western region conference can do so by navigating to www.ferc.gov's Calendar of Events and locating the Western region technical conference in the Calendar. The Western region technical conference will contain a link to its audiocast.5

    5 The audiocast will continue to be available on the Calendar of Events on the Commission's Web site www.ferc.gov for three months after the conference.

    Commission conferences are accessible under section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. For accessibility accommodations, please send an email to [email protected] or call toll free 1 (866) 208-3372 (voice) or (202) 502-8659 (TTY), or send a FAX to (202) 208-2106 with the required accommodations.

    For more information about the technical conferences, please contact:

    Logistical Information

    Sarah McKinley, Office of External Affairs, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8368, [email protected]

    Legal Information

    Alan Rukin, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8502, [email protected]

    Technical Information

    Matthew Jentgen, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8725, [email protected]

    Technical Information

    Michael Gildea, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8420, [email protected]

    Dated: February 13, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03642 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. RM98-1-000] Records Governing Off-the-Record Communications; Public Notice February 18, 2015.

    This constitutes notice, in accordance with 18 CFR 385.2201(b), of the receipt of prohibited and exempt off-the-record communications.

    Order No. 607 (64 FR 51222, September 22, 1999) requires Commission decisional employees, who make or receive a prohibited or exempt off-the-record communication relevant to the merits of a contested proceeding, to deliver to the Secretary of the Commission, a copy of the communication, if written, or a summary of the substance of any oral communication.

    Prohibited communications are included in a public, non-decisional file associated with, but not a part of, the decisional record of the proceeding. Unless the Commission determines that the prohibited communication and any responses thereto should become a part of the decisional record, the prohibited off-the-record communication will not be considered by the Commission in reaching its decision. Parties to a proceeding may seek the opportunity to respond to any facts or contentions made in a prohibited off-the-record communication, and may request that the Commission place the prohibited communication and responses thereto in the decisional record. The Commission will grant such a request only when it determines that fairness so requires. Any person identified below as having made a prohibited off-the-record communication shall serve the document on all parties listed on the official service list for the applicable proceeding in accordance with Rule 2010, 18 CFR 385.2010.

    Exempt off-the-record communications are included in the decisional record of the proceeding, unless the communication was with a cooperating agency as described by 40 CFR 1501.6, made under 18 CFR 385.2201(e)(1)(v).

    The following is a list of off-the-record communications recently received by the Secretary of the Commission. The communications listed are grouped by docket numbers in ascending order. These filings are available for electronic review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov using the eLibrary link. Enter the docket number, excluding the last three digits, in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866)208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202)502-8659.

    Exempt: Docket No. File date Presenter or requester 1. CP09-6-001 1-29 to 2-11-15 FERC Staff.1 2. CP13-483-000 2-3-15 Hon. Jeffrey A. Merkley. 3. CP13-483-000 2-3-15 Hon. Ron Wyden. 4. CP14-96-000 2-9-15 United States Senate.2 5. CP14-504-000 2-9-15 FERC Staff.3 6. CP13-193-000 2-11-15 FERC Staff.4 7. CP14-497-000 2-12-15 Janet I. Trumbull, Town Clerk, Town of Minden, NY. 1 Meeting records for meeting that took place on 1/29/15, 2/3/15, 2/5/15, and 2/11/15. 2 Letter signed by Hons. Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. 3 Phone record. 4 Email record. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03747 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 14628-000] Minneapolis Leased Housing Associates IV, Limited Partnership A-Mill Artists Loft Hydroelectric Project; Notice of Proposed Restricted Service List for a Programmatic Agreement For Managing Properties Included in or Eligible for Inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places

    Rule 2010 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure 1 provides that, to eliminate unnecessary expense or improve administrative efficiency, the Secretary may establish a restricted service list for a particular phase or issue in a proceeding. The restricted service list should contain the names of persons on the service list who, in the judgment of the decisional authority establishing the list, are active participants with respect to the phase or issue in the proceeding for which the list is established.

    1 18 CFR 385.2010.

    The Commission staff is consulting with the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office (Minnesota SHPO) and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (Advisory Council) pursuant to the Advisory Council's regulations, 36 CFR part 800, implementing section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, as amended, (16 U.S.C. 470f), to prepare a Programmatic Agreement for managing properties included in, or eligible for inclusion in, the National Register of Historic Places that could be affected by issuance of an original license for the A-Mill Artists Loft Hydroelectric Project No. 14628.

    The programmatic agreement, when executed by the Commission and the Minnesota SHPO, would satisfy the Commission's section 106 responsibilities for all individual undertakings carried out in accordance with the license until the license expires or is terminated (36 CFR 800.13[e]). The Commission's responsibilities pursuant to section 106 for the project would be fulfilled through the Programmatic Agreement, which the Commission staff proposes to draft in consultation with certain parties listed below. The executed Programmatic Agreement would be incorporated into any Order issuing a license.

    Minneapolis Leased Housing Associates IV, Limited Partnership, as applicant for the A-Mill Artists Loft Hydroelectric Project, has expressed an interest in this proceeding and is invited to participate in consultations to develop the Programmatic Agreement. For purposes of commenting on the programmatic agreement, we propose to restrict the service list for Project No. 14628 as follows:

    John Eddins or Representative, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, 401 F Street NW., Suite 308, Washington, DC 20001-2637. Sarah J. Beimers or Representative, Manager of Government Programs & Compliance, State Historic Preservation Office, Minnesota Historical Society, 345 Kellogg Blvd. W., St. Paul MN 55102. Owen Metz or Representative, Minneapolis Leased Housing Associates IV, Limited Partnership, 2905 Northwest Blvd., Suite 150, Plymouth, MN 55441. Melissa Jenny or Representative, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Regulatory Project Manager, 180 5th St. East, Ste. 700, St. Paul, MN 55101-1678. Susan Overson or Representative, Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, National Park Service, 111 East Kellogg Blvd., Suite 105, St. Paul, MN 55101. Laura Salveson or Representative, Director, Mill City Museum, 704 South Second Street, Minneapolis, MN 55401.

    Any person on the official service list for the above-captioned proceeding may request inclusion on the restricted service list, or may request that a restricted service list not be established, by filing a motion to that effect within 15 days of this notice date. In a request for inclusion, please identify the reason(s) why there is an interest to be included. Also please identify any concerns about historic properties, including Traditional Cultural Properties. If historic properties are to be identified within the motion, please use a separate page, and label it NON-PUBLIC Information.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file motions using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-14628-000.

    If no such motions are filed, the restricted service list will be effective at the end of the 15 day period. Otherwise, a further notice will be issued ruling on any motion or motions within the 15-day period.

    Dated: February 18, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03746 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ- OAR-15-000-5154; FRL-9923-52-OAR] Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2013 AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of document availability and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Draft Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2013 is available for public review.

    DATES:

    To ensure your comments are considered for the final version of the document, please submit your comments by March 26, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit your comments by any of the following methods:

    Mail: Leif Hockstad, Climate Change Division, Office of Atmospheric Programs (MC-6207S), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460.

    Email: [email protected]

    Fax: (202) 566-2203.

    The draft report can be obtained by visiting the U.S. EPA's Climate Change Site.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Leif Hockstad, Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air and Radiation, Office of Atmospheric Programs, Climate Change Division; telephone number: (202) 343-9432; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Draft Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2013 is being made available for a thirty day public review and comment period. Annual U.S. emissions for the period of time from 1990 through 2013 are summarized and presented by source category and sector. The inventory contains estimates of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), perfluorocarbons (PFC), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) emissions. The inventory also includes estimates of carbon fluxes in U.S. agricultural and forest lands. The technical approach used in this report to estimate emissions and sinks for greenhouse gases is consistent with the methodologies recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and reported in a format consistent with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) reporting guidelines. The Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2013 is the latest in a series of annual U.S. submissions to the Secretariat of the UNFCCC. EPA requests recommendations for improving the overall quality of the inventory report to be finalized in April 2015, as well as subsequent inventory reports.

    As in previous years and as encouraged by stakeholders in public comments received on the inventory, this inventory report incorporates data reported to the EPA's Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP). For certain sectors, the inventory uses values calculated by aggregating GHGRP data that are confidential business information (CBI). Once aggregated, these values no longer disclose facility-level data. In order to determine that an aggregation protects underlying CBI, the EPA uses criteria established through a recent Federal Register notice (79 FR 32948, June 9, 2014) and posted on the GHGRP Web site, http://www.epa.gov/ghgreporting/. The EPA intends to continue to use GHGRP data, including aggregated CBI values, to develop the annual inventory. Some aggregations are calculated from data reported by many separate companies that the aggregations far exceed the criteria established by the EPA. For aggregations that do not far exceed the aggregation criteria, the EPA plans to notify facilities prior to publishing the aggregated data as noted in the FR notice.

    Dated: February 17, 2015. Sarah Dunham, Director, Office of Atmospheric Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03729 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Update to Notice of Financial Institutions for Which the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has been Appointed Either Receiver, Liquidator, or Manager AGENCY:

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

    ACTION:

    Update Listing of Financial Institutions in Liquidation.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (Corporation) has been appointed the sole receiver for the following financial institutions effective as of the Date Closed as indicated in the listing. This list (as updated from time to time in the Federal Register) may be relied upon as “of record” notice that the Corporation has been appointed receiver for purposes of the statement of policy published in the July 2, 1992 issue of the Federal Register (57 FR 29491). For further information concerning the identification of any institutions which have been placed in liquidation, please visit the Corporation Web site at www.fdic.gov/bank/individual/failed/banklist.html or contact the Manager of Receivership Oversight in the appropriate service center.

    Dated: February 18, 2015.

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

    Pamela Johnson, Regulatory Editing Specialist.
    Institutions In Liquidation (In alphabetical order) FDIC ref. No. Bank name City State Date closed 10512 Capitol City Bank & Trust Company Atlanta GA 2/13/2015
    [FR Doc. 2015-03735 Filed 2-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Agency Information Collection Activities: Announcement of Board Approval Under Delegated Authority and Submission to OMB AGENCY:

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given of the final approval of proposed information collection by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) under OMB delegated authority, as per 5 CFR 1320.16 (OMB Regulations on Controlling Paperwork Burdens on the Public). Board-approved collections of information are incorporated into the official OMB inventory of cu