Federal Register Vol. 80, No.45,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 45 (March 9, 2015)

Page Range12321-12554
FR Document

80_FR_45
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 12554 - Notice of Availability of a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the San Francisco VA Medical Center Long Range Development PlanPDF
80 FR 12436 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 7-Mayaguez, Puerto Rico; Authorization of Production Activity; IPR Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; (Pharmaceutical Products); Canóvanas, Puerto RicoPDF
80 FR 12445 - Welded Line Pipe From the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Turkey: Postponement of Preliminary Determinations of Antidumping Duty InvestigationsPDF
80 FR 12439 - Stainless Steel Bar From India: Preliminary Results, and Rescission, in Part, of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014PDF
80 FR 12505 - Missouri River Waterways Analysis and Management SystemPDF
80 FR 12338 - Safety Zone for Ice Conditions; Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, Upper Chesapeake Bay, and Tributaries, MDPDF
80 FR 12441 - Certain Frozen Warmwater Shrimp From the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014PDF
80 FR 12456 - Large Residential Washers From the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Results of the Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2012-2014PDF
80 FR 12436 - Large Residential Washers From Mexico: Preliminary Results of the Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Preliminary Determination of No Shipments; 2012-2014PDF
80 FR 12365 - Safety Zone; 24 Mile Tampa Bay Marathon Swim, Tampa Bay, Tampa, FLPDF
80 FR 12434 - Low-Enriched Uranium From France; Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014PDF
80 FR 12458 - Steel Wire Garment Hangers From Taiwan: Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative ReviewPDF
80 FR 12544 - Removal of Sanctions on Person on Whom Sanctions Have Been Imposed Under the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996, as AmendedPDF
80 FR 12519 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Consolidated Plan, Annual Action Plan & Annual Performance ReportPDF
80 FR 12511 - Applicability of Davis-Bacon Labor Requirements to Projects Selected as Existing Housing Under the Section 8 Project-Based Voucher Program-GuidancePDF
80 FR 12509 - Collection of Information Under Review by Office of Management and BudgetPDF
80 FR 12506 - Collection of Information Under Review by Office of Management and BudgetPDF
80 FR 12481 - Robocall Contest; “DetectaRobo”PDF
80 FR 12475 - Robocall Contest: Robocalls: Humanity Strikes BackPDF
80 FR 12523 - Annual Determination of Average Cost of IncarcerationPDF
80 FR 12426 - Rural Development Voucher ProgramPDF
80 FR 12465 - Applications for New Awards; Rehabilitation Services Administration-Rehabilitation Short-Term Training ProgramPDF
80 FR 12507 - Information Collection Request to Office of Management and BudgetPDF
80 FR 12521 - Notice of Mailing/Street Address Change for the BLM-Idaho Twin Falls District Office, IDPDF
80 FR 12447 - BE-125: Quarterly Survey of Transactions in Selected Services and Intellectual Property With Foreign PersonsPDF
80 FR 12522 - Certain Non-Volatile Memory Devices and Products Containing Same; Commission Determination Not To Review Granting Motion Terminating the Investigation as to all Respondents; Termination of the InvestigationPDF
80 FR 12447 - BE-185: Quarterly Survey of Financial Services Transactions Between U.S. Financial Services Providers and Foreign PersonsPDF
80 FR 12368 - Safety Zone; Swim Around Lido Key; Tampa Bay; Sarasota, FLPDF
80 FR 12488 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 12475 - Notice of Agreements FiledPDF
80 FR 12524 - Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals With Disabilities; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 12500 - Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 12489 - Advisory Committee on Organ Transplantation (ACOT)PDF
80 FR 12494 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 12446 - BE-150: Quarterly Survey of Payment Card and Bank Card Transactions Related to International TravelPDF
80 FR 12523 - Bureau of International Labor Affairs National Advisory Committee for Labor Provisions of U.S. Free Trade AgreementsPDF
80 FR 12525 - Public Forum-Trains and Trespassing: Ending Tragic EncountersPDF
80 FR 12548 - Twenty Eighth Meeting; RTCA Special Committee 213, Enhanced Flight Vision Systems/Synthetic Vision Systems (EFVS/SVS)PDF
80 FR 12546 - Notice of Intent To Rule on Request to Release Airport Property From Aeronautical Use at the Grand Junction Regional Airport, Grand Junction, ColoradoPDF
80 FR 12352 - Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage Contingent Cost AllocationPDF
80 FR 12422 - National Organic Program; Nominations for Task Force MembersPDF
80 FR 12425 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Revision and Extension of Approved Collection; Comment Request; Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service DeliveryPDF
80 FR 12493 - Meeting of the National Advisory Council for Healthcare Research and QualityPDF
80 FR 12423 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 12551 - Sanctions Actions Pursuant to Executive Orders 13382, 13572, 13573, 13582, and 13608PDF
80 FR 12473 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 12460 - Notice of One-Year Extension of TRICARE Co-Pay Waiver at Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center Demonstration ProjectPDF
80 FR 12470 - Fourth Branch Associates; Ampersand Long Falls Hydro, LLC; Notice of Transfer of ExemptionPDF
80 FR 12472 - Notice of Commission Staff AttendancePDF
80 FR 12470 - Beethoven Wind, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 12472 - Technical Conference on Environmental Regulations and Electric Reliability, Wholesale Electricity Markets, and Energy Infrastructure; Supplemental Notice of Technical ConferencePDF
80 FR 12471 - Records Governing Off-the-Record Communications; Public NoticePDF
80 FR 12380 - Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; 2015 and 2016 Sector Operations Plans and 2015 Contracts and Allocation of Northeast Multispecies Annual Catch EntitlementsPDF
80 FR 12375 - International Fisheries; Pacific Tuna Fisheries; 2015 and 2016 Commercial Fishing Restrictions for Pacific Bluefin Tuna in the Eastern Pacific OceanPDF
80 FR 12394 - Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Groundfish Fishery; Framework Adjustment 53PDF
80 FR 12355 - Slot Management and Transparency for LaGuardia Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, and Newark Liberty International Airport; Extension of Comment Period; Availability of Further Data; Request for Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 12394 - Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Large Coastal and Small Coastal Atlantic Shark Management MeasuresPDF
80 FR 12520 - Final Environmental Assessment of the Proposed Olmsted Hydroelectric Power Plant Replacement ProjectPDF
80 FR 12496 - Use of an Electronic Informed Consent in Clinical Investigations: Questions and Answers; Draft Guidance for Industry, Clinical Investigators, and Institutional Review Boards; AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 12504 - Compounding of Human Drug Products Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; Establishment of a Public DocketPDF
80 FR 12526 - Submission of Information Collection for OMB Review; Comment Request; Survey of Nonparticipating Single Premium Group Annuity RatesPDF
80 FR 12349 - Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Fishing Year 2014 Sector ExemptionPDF
80 FR 12553 - Open Meeting of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Tax Forms and Publications Project CommitteePDF
80 FR 12550 - Open Meeting of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Special Projects CommitteePDF
80 FR 12550 - Open meeting of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Taxpayer Communications Project CommitteePDF
80 FR 12519 - Notice of May 6-7, 2015, Meeting of the National Park System Advisory BoardPDF
80 FR 12550 - Open Meeting of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Joint CommitteePDF
80 FR 12549 - Recruitment Notice for the Taxpayer Advocacy PanelPDF
80 FR 12510 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) and the Trusted Trader ProgramPDF
80 FR 12500 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; 513(g) Request for InformationPDF
80 FR 12491 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Petition To Request an Exemption From 100 Percent Identity Testing of Dietary Ingredients: Current Good Manufacturing Practice in Manufacturing, Packaging, Labeling, or Holding Operations for Dietary SupplementsPDF
80 FR 12486 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Substances Prohibited From Use in Animal Food or FeedPDF
80 FR 12438 - BE-577: Quarterly Survey of U.S. Direct Investment Abroad-Transactions of U.S. Reporter With Foreign AffiliatePDF
80 FR 12542 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed RequestPDF
80 FR 12524 - Arts Advisory Panel MeetingsPDF
80 FR 12525 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; National Endowment for the Arts Panelist Profile FormPDF
80 FR 12498 - Complexities in Personalized Medicine: Harmonizing Companion Diagnostics Across a Class of Targeted Therapies; Public WorkshopPDF
80 FR 12502 - Product-Specific Bioequivalence Recommendations; Draft and Revised Draft Guidances for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 12490 - International Cooperation on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Veterinary Medicinal Products; Studies To Evaluate the Metabolism and Residue Kinetics of Veterinary Drugs in Food-Producing Animals: Validation of Analytical Methods Used in Residue Depletion Studies; Revised Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 12501 - International Cooperation on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Veterinary Medicinal Products; Studies To Evaluate the Metabolism and Residue Kinetics of Veterinary Drugs in Food-Producing Animals: Marker Residue Depletion Studies To Establish Product Withdrawal Periods; Revised Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 12434 - BE-37: Quarterly Survey of U.S. Airline Operators' Foreign Revenues and ExpensesPDF
80 FR 12433 - BE-29: Annual Survey of Foreign Ocean Carriers' Expenses in the United StatesPDF
80 FR 12459 - BE-30: Quarterly Survey of Ocean Freight Revenues and Foreign Expenses of United States CarriersPDF
80 FR 12549 - Open Meeting of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Toll-Free Phone Line Project CommitteePDF
80 FR 12553 - Open Meeting of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Taxpayer Assistance Center Improvements Project CommitteePDF
80 FR 12549 - Open Meeting of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Notices and Correspondence Project CommitteePDF
80 FR 12364 - Electronic Distribution of Prescribing Information for Human Prescription Drugs, Including Biological Products; Extension of Comment PeriodPDF
80 FR 12374 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Pennsylvania; Revision to Allegheny County Regulations for Establishing Permit FeesPDF
80 FR 12459 - BE-15: Annual Survey of Foreign Direct Investment in the United StatesPDF
80 FR 12448 - BE-605: Quarterly Survey of Foreign Direct Investment in the United States-Transactions of U.S. Affiliate With Foreign ParentPDF
80 FR 12364 - U.S. Industrial Base Surveys Pursuant to the Defense Production Act of 1950; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 12542 - Legg Mason SBIC Mezzanine Fund, L.P.; Notice Seeking Exemption Under Section 312 of the Small Business Investment Act, Conflicts of InterestPDF
80 FR 12353 - Small Business Government Contracting and National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 AmendmentsPDF
80 FR 12429 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Requested-Review of Child Nutrition Data and Analysis for Program ManagementPDF
80 FR 12423 - Request for Information: Summer Meal Programs Data Reporting RequirementsPDF
80 FR 12431 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-WIC Participant and Program Characteristics StudyPDF
80 FR 12499 - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 12494 - National Institute of General Medical Sciences; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 12496 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 12496 - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 12493 - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 12489 - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 12498 - National Human Genome Research Institute; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 12487 - National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 12372 - Improving EPA RegulationsPDF
80 FR 12341 - Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Narrow Bay, Suffolk County, NYPDF
80 FR 12497 - Draft Guidance for Industry, Clinical Investigators, and Institutional Review Boards-Use of an Electronic Informed Consent in Clinical Investigations-Questions and Answers; AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 12487 - Submission for OMB Review; 30-Day Comment Request Surveys and Interviews To Support an Evaluation of the Innovative Molecular Analysis Technologies (IMAT) Program (NCI)PDF
80 FR 12451 - Award Competitions for Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Centers in the States of Alaska, Idaho, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah, Washington, West Virginia and WisconsinPDF
80 FR 12337 - Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Housatonic River, Stratford, CTPDF
80 FR 12534 - 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 12535 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; ISE Gemini, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend the Schedule of FeesPDF
80 FR 12537 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Eliminate Additional Order Type Combinations and Delete Related Rule Text and To Restructure the Remaining Rule Text in NYSE Arca Equities Rule 7.31PDF
80 FR 12526 - Janus ETF Trust, et al.; Notice of ApplicationPDF
80 FR 12449 - Utility Scale Wind Towers From the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014PDF
80 FR 12474 - Information Collection Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and BudgetPDF
80 FR 12370 - Proposed Waiver and Extension of the Project Period for the Community Parent Resource CentersPDF
80 FR 12432 - Census Advisory Committees; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 12516 - Privacy Act; Notice of Amended System of Records-Single Family Housing Enterprise Data WarehousePDF
80 FR 12432 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Oklahoma Advisory Committee for a Meeting To Discuss and Vote Upon a Project Proposal Regarding the School to Prison Pipeline in OklahomaPDF
80 FR 12461 - Office of Economic Adjustment; Announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO)PDF
80 FR 12547 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; VisionPDF
80 FR 12544 - Notice of Extension of Public Comment Period for the Cross Harbor Freight Program, Tier 1 Draft Environmental Impact StatementPDF
80 FR 12343 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; North Carolina Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 Lead National Ambient Air Quality StandardsPDF
80 FR 12545 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; Diabetes MellitusPDF
80 FR 12373 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; West Virginia; State Boards Requirements; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 Ozone, 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide, and 2010 Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality StandardsPDF
80 FR 12345 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; West Virginia; State Boards Requirements; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 Ozone, 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide, and 2010 Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality StandardsPDF
80 FR 12495 - Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 12354 - Proposed Revocation of Class E Airspace; Lexington, TNPDF
80 FR 12359 - Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace; Eufaula, ALPDF
80 FR 12335 - Amendment of Class E Airspace; Manchester, NHPDF
80 FR 12357 - Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace; Ashland, VAPDF
80 FR 12336 - Establishment of Class E Airspace; Plainville, CTPDF
80 FR 12341 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans and Designation of Areas for Air Quality Planning Purposes; Georgia; Redesignation of the Rome, Georgia, 1997 Annual Fine Particulate Matter Nonattainment Area to Attainment; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 12360 - Airworthiness Directives; Airbus AirplanesPDF
80 FR 12521 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Recovery Plan and Initiation of Status Review for Four Subspecies of Island Fox (Urocyon littoralis)PDF
80 FR 12321 - Pima Agriculture Cotton Trust Fund and Agriculture Wool Apparel Manufacturers Trust FundPDF
80 FR 12332 - Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company AirplanesPDF

Issue

80 45 Monday, March 9, 2015 Contents Agency Health Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality NOTICES Meetings: National Advisory Council for Healthcare Research and Quality, 12493 2015-05399 Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service NOTICES Request for Nominations: National Organic Program, 12422-12423 2015-05403 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

See

Commodity Credit Corporation

See

Food and Nutrition Service

See

Rural Housing Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 12423 2015-05397 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery, 12425-12426 2015-05401
Census Bureau Census Bureau NOTICES Meetings: National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations, 12432-12433 2015-05279 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 12488-12489 2015-05420 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: Oklahoma Advisory Committee, School to Prison Pipeline, 12432 2015-05275 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Housatonic River, Stratford, CT, 12337-12338 2015-05294 Narrow Bay, Suffolk County, NY, 12341 2015-05302 Safety Zones: Ice Conditions, Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, Upper Chesapeake Bay, and Tributaries, MD, 12338-12341 2015-05475 PROPOSED RULES Safety Zones: 24 Mile Tampa Bay Marathon Swim, Tampa Bay, Tampa, FL, 12365-12368 2015-05471 Swim Around Lido Key; Tampa Bay; Sarasota, FL, 12368-12370 2015-05422 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 12506-12510 2015-05430 2015-05443 2015-05461 Meetings: Missouri River Waterways Analysis and Management System, 12505-12506 2015-05486 Commerce Commerce Department See

Census Bureau

See

Economic Analysis Bureau

See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

Industry and Security Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Institute of Standards and Technology

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Commodity Credit Commodity Credit Corporation RULES Trust Funds: Pima Agriculture Cotton and Agriculture Wool Apparel Manufacturers, 12321-12332 2015-04385 Defense Department Defense Department NOTICES Funding Opportunities: Office of Economic Adjustment, 12461-12465 2015-05264 TRICARE Co-Pay Waivers: Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center Demonstration Project; Extensions, 12460-12461 2015-05393 Disability Disability Employment Policy Office NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities, 12524 2015-05417 Economic Analysis Bureau Economic Analysis Bureau NOTICES Annual Surveys: Foreign Direct Investment in the United States, 12459-12460 2015-05331 BE-125; Quarterly Survey of Transactions in Selected Services and Intellectual Property with Foreign Persons, 12447-12448 2015-05425 BE-150; Quarterly Survey of Payment Card and Bank Card Transactions Related to International Travel, 12446-12447 2015-05412 BE-185; Quarterly Survey of Financial Services Transactions Between U.S. Financial Services Providers and Foreign Persons, 12447 2015-05423 Surveys: Foreign Direct Investment in the U.S.-Transactions of U.S. Affiliate With Foreign Parent, 12448-12449 2015-05327 Foreign Ocean Carriers' Expenses in the United States, 12433-12434 2015-05343 Ocean Freight Revenues and Foreign Expenses of U.S. Carriers, 12459 2015-05342 U.S. Airline Operators' Foreign Revenues and Expenses, 12434 2015-05344 U.S. Direct Investment Abroad—Transactions of U.S. Reporter With Foreign Affiliate, 12438-12439 2015-05354 Education Department Education Department PROPOSED RULES Extension of the Project Period for the Community Parent Resource Centers, 12370-12372 2015-05280 NOTICES Applications for New Awards: Rehabilitation Services Administration—Rehabilitation Short-Term Training Program, 12465-12470 2015-05432 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

PROPOSED RULES Convention on Supplementary Compensation: Nuclear Damage Contingent Cost Allocation, 12352-12353 2015-05405
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Georgia; Redesignation of the Rome, GA, 1997 Annual Fine Particulate Matter Nonattainment Area to Attainment; Designation of Areas for Air Quality Planning Purposes; Correction, 12341-12343 2015-05071 North Carolina; Infrastructure Requirements for Lead National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 12343-12345 2015-05242 West Virginia; State Boards Requirements, Infrastructure Requirements, etc., 12345-12349 2015-05222 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Pennsylvania; Revision to Allegheny County Regulations for Establishing Permit Fees, 12374-12375 2015-05335 West Virginia; State Boards Requirements, Infrastructure Requirements, etc., 12373 2015-05223 Improving EPA Regulations, 12372-12373 2015-05303 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Airworthiness Directives: The Boeing Company Airplanes, 12332-12335 2015-03978 Amendment of Class E Airspace: Manchester, NH, 12335-12336 2015-05112 Establishment of Class E Airspace: Plainville, CT, 12336-12337 2015-05110 PROPOSED RULES Airworthiness Directives: Airbus Airplanes, 12360-12364 2015-05031 Amendment of Class E Airspace: Ashland, VA, 12357-12359 2015-05111 Eufaula, AL, 12359-12360 2015-05113 Revocation of Class E Airspace: Lexington, TN, 12354-12355 2015-05114 Slot Management and Transparency for LaGuardia Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, and Newark Liberty International Airport Extension of Comment Period; Availability of Further Data; Request for Public Meeting, 12355-12357 2015-05381 NOTICES Intent to Rule: Request to Release Airport Property from Aeronautical Use at the Grand Junction Regional Airport, Grand Junction, Colorado, 12546-12547 2015-05408 Meetings: RTCA Special Committee 213, 12548-12549 2015-05409 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 12474-12475 2015-05282 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Combined Filings: NGP Blue Mountain I, LLC, Solar Star Colorado III, LLC, et al., 12473-12474 2015-05394 Exemption Transfers: Fourth Branch Associates; Ampersand Long Falls Hydro, LLC, 12470 2015-05392 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: Beethoven Wind, LLC, 12470-12471 2015-05390 Meetings: Commission Staff Attendance, 12472 2015-05391 Environmental Regulations and Electric Reliability, Wholesale Electricity Markets, and Energy Infrastructure Technical Conference, 12472-12473 2015-05388 Records Governing Off-the-Record Communications, 12471 2015-05387 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Cross Harbor Freight Program, 12544-12545 2015-05243 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission NOTICES Agreements Filed, 12475 2015-05419 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications: Diabetes Mellitus, 12545-12546 2015-05239 Vision, 12547-12548 2015-05261 Federal Trade Federal Trade Commission NOTICES Guidance for Industry and Staff: Robocall Contest; DetectaRobo, 12481-12486 2015-05442 Robocall Contest: Robocalls: Humanity Strikes Back, 12475-12481 2015-05439 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Island Fox (Urocyon littoralis), Four Subspecies; Recovery Plan and Status Review, 12521-12522 2015-05029 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration PROPOSED RULES Electronic Distribution of Prescribing Information for Human Prescription Drugs, Including Biological Products; Comment Period Extension, 12364-12365 2015-05336 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 12500-12501 2015-05358 Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Petition to Request an Exemption from 100 Percent Identity Testing of Dietary Ingredients: Current Good Manufacturing Practice in Manufacturing, Packaging, Labeling, or Holding Operations for Dietary Supplements, 12491-12493 2015-05357 Substances Prohibited from Use in Animal Food or Feed, 12486-12487 2015-05356 Compounding of Human Drug Products under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act: Establishment of a Public Docket, 12504-12505 2015-05376 Guidance for Industry and Staff: Product-Specific Bioequivalence Recommendations, 12502-12504 2015-05347 Use of an Electronic Informed Consent in Clinical Investigations—Questions and Answers, 12496-12497 2015-05377 Guidance: Studies to Evaluate the Metabolism and Residue Kinetics of Veterinary Drugs in Food-Producing Animals: Marker Residue Depletion Studies to Establish Product Withdrawal Periods, 12501-12502 2015-05345 Studies to Evaluate the Metabolism and Residue Kinetics of Veterinary Drugs in Food-Producing Animals: Validation of Analytical Methods Used in Residue Depletion Studies, 12490-12491 2015-05346 Meetings: Complexities in Personalized Medicine: Harmonizing Companion Diagnostics Across a Class of Targeted Therapies; Public Workshop, 12498-12499 2015-05348 Food and Nutrition Food and Nutrition Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Review of Child Nutrition Data and Analysis for Program Management, 12429-12430 2015-05315 WIC Participant and Program Characteristics Study, 12431-12432 2015-05312 Requests for Information: Summer Meal Programs Data Reporting Requirements, 12423-12425 2015-05314 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 12551-12553 2015-05396 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Authorization of Production Activity: IPR Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Foreign-Trade Zone 7, Mayaguez, PR, 12436 2015-05489 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

NOTICES Guidance for Industry and Staff: Clinical Investigators and Institutional Review Boards, Use of Electronic Informed Consent in Clinical Investigations, Questions and Answers; Availability, 12497-12498 2015-05301
Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 12494-12495 2015-05414 Meetings: Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines, 12495-12496 2015-05200 Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality, 12500 2015-05416 Advisory Committee on Organ Transplantation; Correction, 12489 2015-05415 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Consolidated Plan, Annual Action Plan and Annual Performance Report, 12519 2015-05464 Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 12516-12519 2015-05278 Section 8 Voucher Program: Davis Bacon Labor Requirements, 12511-12516 2015-05462 Industry Industry and Security Bureau PROPOSED RULES U.S. Industrial Base Surveys under The Defense Production Act; Correction, 12364 2015-05324 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Park Service

NOTICES Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Olmsted Hydroelectric Power Plant Replacement Project, 12520-12521 2015-05378
Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service NOTICES Meetings: Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Joint Committee, 12550 2015-05361 Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Notices and Correspondence Project Committee, 12549 2015-05339 Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Special Projects Committee, 12550-12551 2015-05364 Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Tax Forms and Publications Project Committee, 12553-12554 2015-05365 Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Taxpayer Assistance Center Improvements Project Committee, 12553 2015-05340 Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Taxpayer Communications Project Committee, 12550 2015-05363 Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Toll-Free Phone Line Project Committee, 12549 2015-05341 Requests for Nominations: Taxpayer Advocacy Panel; Recruitment, 12549-12550 2015-05360 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Frozen Warmwater Shrimp from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, 12441-12445 2015-05474 Large Residential Washers from Mexico, 12436-12438 2015-05472 Large Residential Washers from the Republic of Korea, 12456-12458 2015-05473 Low-Enriched Uranium from France, 12434-12436 2015-05470 Stainless Steel Bar From India, 12439-12440 2015-05487 Steel Wire Garment Hangers from Taiwan, 12458-12459 2015-05469 Utility Scale Wind Towers from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, 12449-12451 2015-05287 Welded Line Pipe from the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Turkey, 12445-12446 2015-05488 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Non-Volatile Memory Devices and Products Containing Same, 12522-12523 2015-05424 Justice Department Justice Department See

Prisons Bureau

Labor Department Labor Department See

Disability Employment Policy Office

NOTICES Charter Renewals: Bureau of International Labor Affairs National Advisory Committee for Labor Provisions of U.S. Free Trade Agreements, 12523-12524 2015-05411
Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Mailing/Street Address Change for the BLM-Idaho Twin Falls District Office, 12521 2015-05429 National Endowment for the Arts National Endowment for the Arts NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: National Endowment for the Arts Panelist Profile Form, 12525 2015-05349 Meetings: Arts Advisory Panel, 12524-12525 2015-05350 National Foundation National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities See

National Endowment for the Arts

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80 45 Monday, March 9, 2015 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Commodity Credit Corporation 7 CFR Part 1471 RIN 0551-AA86 Pima Agriculture Cotton Trust Fund and Agriculture Wool Apparel Manufacturers Trust Fund AGENCY:

Foreign Agricultural Service and Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), USDA.

ACTION:

Final rule with request for comments.

SUMMARY:

This final rule implements the Pima Agriculture Cotton Trust Fund (Agriculture Pima Trust) and the Agriculture Wool Apparel Manufacturers Trust Fund (Agriculture Wool Trust) Fund established in the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill). The Agriculture Pima Trust provides annually for one payment, called the Pima Cotton Payments. The Agriculture Wool Trust provides annually for four payments. The first payment under the Agriculture Wool Trust is currently administered by the Department of Commerce's Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA), and is called the Grants to Manufacturers of Certain Worsted Wool Fabrics. This program is being transferred from OTEXA to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary), who will administer the payment for the 2015-2019 calendar years, and will be called Payments to Manufacturers of Certain Worsted Wool Fabrics. The second payment is called Monetization of the Wool TRQ. The Farm Bill requires the Secretary to determine a monetary amount equivalent to what a person would have saved if OTEXA's Wool Tariff Rate Quota program (Wool TRQ) were still in effect. This payment will be based on OTEXA's Wool Tariff Rate Quota program, which terminated at the end of calendar year 2014. The Monetization of the Wool TRQ will be administered by the Secretary for the 2015-2019 calendar years. The third payment is called the Wool Yarn, Wool Fiber, and Wool Top Duty Compensation Payment. Payments are made to processors of wool yarn, wool fiber, and wool top to compensate them for termination of the suspension of import duties on such wool. This payment will be administered by the Secretary for the 2015-2019 calendar years. The fourth payment is called the Refund of Duties Paid on Imports of Certain Wool Products. This program is currently administered by the Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection (CBP) through calendar year 2015. The program will be transferred in calendar year 2016 to the Secretary, who will administer the program for the 2016-2019 calendar years. Regulations for the fourth payment will be published at a later date.

DATES:

This final rule is effective March 9, 2015. Comments concerning this final rule must be received by April 8, 2015, to be assured consideration. We are issuing this final rule without prior notice and opportunity for comment.

ADDRESSES:

The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), USDA, invites interested persons to submit comments on this final rule. Comments may be submitted by one of the following methods:

Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Preferred method; follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments on the final rule.

Email: Comments can also be addressed to Mr. Benjamin Chan at [email protected] All comments submitted in response to this rule will be included in the record and will be made available to the public. FAS will make the comments publicly available online at: http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Benjamin Chan, Import Policies and Export Reporting Division, Office of Trade Policy, Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture; email: [email protected]; 202-720-8877.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background Purpose of the Regulatory Action

This rule sets forth regulations regarding the implementation of the Pima Agriculture Cotton Trust Fund and the Agriculture Wool Apparel Manufacturers Trust Fund.

Subpart A. Pima Agriculture Cotton Trust Fund (Agriculture Pima Trust)

The Agriculture Pima Trust was established in section 12314 of the Farm Bill. The Agriculture Pima Trust is a funding mechanism for pima cotton payments.

(1) Pima Cotton Payments

The Secretary is required in section 12314 of the Farm Bill to establish an annual payment for domestic users of pima cotton, pima cotton yarn spinners, and pima cotton trade associations. The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) has been delegated the authority to administer this payment and to issue regulations to carry it out for calendar years 2014-2018. There was insufficient time to publish regulations for the 2014 payment and a notice was published in the Federal Register at 72 FR 29363 on May 2, 2014. Subpart A is applicable to annual payments in the 2015-2018 calendar years.

The purpose of the annual payment is to provide monetary relief to certain persons in the U.S. that have incurred economic injury through the importation of pima cotton and have incurred tariffs on pima cotton fabric that are higher than tariffs on certain imported apparel articles made of pima cotton fabric. The first Pima Cotton Trust Fund was established under the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 and administered by the Customs and Border Protection Agency of the Department of Homeland Security (CBP) in 2007 and 2008. Section 12314 of the Farm Bill authorized the Agriculture Pima Trust and pima cotton payment for the 2014-2018 calendar years. The Farm Bill authorizes $16 million from the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) for each calendar year to fund annual payments.

Section 12314 requires that a specific percentage of annual funding be distributed to certain sectors of the domestic pima cotton apparel industry. Twenty-five percent is to be paid to one or more nationally recognized associations established for the promotion of pima cotton for use in textile and apparel goods.

Twenty-five percent is to be paid to domestic yarn spinners of pima cotton that, during the calendar year immediately preceding the payment and during calendar year 2013, produced ring spun cotton yarns in the United States measuring less than 83.33 decitex (exceeding 120 metric number), in single and plied form. A payment to a yarn spinner is based on the ratio of the yarn spinner's 2013 production to the total production of all domestic yarn spinners in 2013 who qualify for a payment.

The remaining fifty percent is to be paid to manufacturers that during both the calendar year immediately preceding the payment and during the 2013 calendar year used imported pima cotton fabric (80s or higher count and 2-ply in warp) to manufacture men's and boys' woven pima cotton shirts. A payment to a manufacturer is based on the ratio of the dollar value (excluding duty, shipping, and insurance) of the manufacturer's 2013 production of men's and boys' woven pima cotton shirts to the dollar value (excluding duty, shipping, and insurance) of the total production in 2013 of all men's and boys' woven pima cotton shirts by manufacturers who qualify for a payment. The Farm Bill explicitly requires exclusion of “duty, shipping, and related costs” from the reported dollar value of imported woven cotton shirting fabric. Of the costs “related” to shipping that are separate from the freight cost itself, insurance is generally the largest. As payments to manufacturers are based on a production ratio incorporating the intrinsic dollar value of the imported fabric, excluding “duty, shipping, and related costs” in both parts of the ratio, to limit “related costs” to insurance gives effect to the purpose of the statute and affords simplicity of calculation.

To apply for a payment, claimants are required to submit an affidavit by March 15 of the calendar year of the application for a payment. Payments will be made not later than April 14.

Persons applying for a payment must provide information required by the Secretary through annual affidavits.

Subpart B. Agriculture Wool Apparel Manufacturers Trust Fund (Agriculture Wool Trust)

The Agriculture Wool Trust was established in section 12315 of the Farm Bill. The Agriculture Wool Trust is a funding mechanism for four payments: (1) Payments to Manufacturers of Certain Worsted Wool Fabrics; (2) Monetization of the Wool Tariff Rate Quota; (3) Wool Yarn, Wool Fiber, and Wool Top Duty Compensation Payment; and (4) Refund of Duties Paid on Imports of Certain Wool Products.

(1) Payments to Manufacturers of Certain Worsted Wool Fabrics

OTEXA has administered the Grants to Manufacturers of Certain Worsted Wool Fabrics program through calendar 2014. Section 4002(c)(6) of the Miscellaneous Trade and Technical Corrections Act of 2004, as amended, authorizes OTEXA to administer this payment through 2014. Section 12315(b)(1) of the Farm Bill directed the Secretary to continue to administer this payment for the 2015-2019 calendar years. The title is changed to “Payments to Manufacturers of Certain Worsted Wool Fabrics” to avoid confusion with competitive grant programs also administered by the Secretary.

The purpose of this payment is to provide financial assistance to persons in the U.S. that manufactured worsted wool fabrics during 1999, 2000, and 2001. Section 12315 of the Farm Bill authorizes the Secretary to continue to make these payments to the same persons that, during the calendar year immediately preceding the payment and during calendar years 1999, 2000, and 2001, were manufacturers of at least one of two kinds of worsted wool fabrics: (1) Subheading 9902.51.11 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) containing 85 percent or more by weight of wool, with average fiber diameters greater than 18.5 microns; and (2) subheading 9902.51.15 of the HTS containing 85 percent or more by weight of wool, with average fiber diameters of 18.5 microns or less.

All references to subheadings of the HTS in the context of this payment are to the subheadings as described in the HTS in 2014.

As specified by the Miscellaneous Trade and Technical Corrections Act of 2004, an amount of $2.666 million is available each year for each HTS subheading of wool fabric, to be divided between persons based on the percentage of each person's total actual manufacturing of that type of worsted wool fabric during each of calendar years 1999, 2000, and 2001 in relation to the total manufacturing of such fabric by all persons who qualified for payments in those years.

Persons applying for a payment must provide information required by the Secretary through annual affidavits.

(2) Monetization of the Wool Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ)

The Wool TRQ was established in Title V of the Trade and Development Act of 2000, and provided for temporary duty reductions—i.e., lower duty rates—on limited quantities of two categories of worsted wool fabrics suitable for use in making suits, suit-type jackets, or trousers for men and boys. The TRQ has been administered since 2004 by OTEXA, and the authority for the TRQ expired on December 31, 2014.

This worsted wool fabric is of the kind described in subheading 9902.51.11 of the HTS with average fiber diameters greater than 18.5 microns, and subheading 9902.51.15 of the HTS with average fiber diameters of 18.5 microns or less. A third worsted wool fabric HTS subheading was added to the TRQ by the Miscellaneous Trade Act of 2004, subheading 9902.51.16 of the HTS, with average fiber diameters of 18.5 microns or less.

All references to subheadings of the HTS in the context of this payment are to the subheadings as described in the 2014 HTS. The subheading references are to a past HTS because these subheadings have expired and have been subsumed under other HTS headings in 2015. Congress also used these now expired HTS subheadings in the Farm Bill, further necessitating their use here. The term “duty paid” means the dollar amount of the duty actually paid by an importer in the calendar year immediately preceding the payment. In other words, duty paid equals the applicable duty rate multiplied by the quantity of worsted wool fabric imported. The term “lower duty rate” means the rate of duty that would have been applied under the 2014 HTS because of the duty reduction percentage required by the Wool TRQ that ended on December 31, 2014.

On February 7, 2014, Congress created in section 12315(e) of the Farm Bill a new payment that “monetizes” OTEXA's Wool TRQ. Because the lower duty rate is no longer available to importers after December 31, 2014, when authority for the TRQ expired, Congress decided to monetarily compensate importers of worsted wool fabric of the kind covered by the three HTS subheadings for the additional cost of the increased tariff. Congress accomplished this in section 12315(e) by requiring that in the event that the Wool TRQ administered by OTEXA should expire during the administration of the Agriculture Wool Trust by the Secretary (through 2019), the Secretary shall determine an amount “. . . that is equal to the amount the manufacturer or successor-in-interest would have saved during the calendar year of the payment if the suspension [or reduction] of duty on wool fabrics were in effect.” The Secretary has delegated this function to FAS at 7 CFR 2.43.

Section 12315(e) provides that only the person (or a successor-in-interest to the person) that imported worsted wool fabric involving one or more of the three HTS subheadings covered by this payment is eligible for the payment. To be eligible for a payment, the person must also have used the imported worsted wool fabric to produce in the U.S. suits, suit-type jackets, or trousers for men and boys (or, in the case of imported wool of the kind described in HTS subheading 9902.51.16, must have manufactured the wool fabric) during the calendar year immediately preceding the payment.

The worsted wool fabric covered by the three HTS subheadings under this payment are either imported directly by persons (i.e., importing manufacturer), in which case the person directly purchased the imported worsted wool fabric and paid the duty, or imported indirectly (i.e., non-importing manufacturer) through a third party broker that had directly paid the duty. The payment applies to persons that either directly or indirectly imported worsted wool fabric.

The calendar year immediately preceding the payment is the time period that will be used to establish the basis for calculating a payment. This historical basis applies to the duty paid and to the production or processing by the person applying for a payment. The duty paid arises from application of the duty rate applicable to imports of one or more of the three worsted wool fabrics of the kind described in the three subheadings covered by the payment. To be eligible for a payment, during the calendar year immediately preceding the payment a person must have imported, directly or indirectly, one or more of these HTS subheadings of worsted wool fabric, and used such worsted wool fabric in the U.S. to make men's and boy's suits, suit-type jackets, or trousers (or, in the case of subheading 9902.51.16, manufactured such worsted wool fabric).

Section 12315(e) of the Farm Bill anticipates a time when the TRQ's lower duty rate is no longer in effect, acknowledges that duty rates will have increased upon expiration of the TRQ, and focuses on the savings that an importer (direct or indirect) of worsted wool fabric would have realized had the lower duty rate remained in effect. Section 12315(e) states that the savings is “. . . an amount . . . equal to the amount the manufacturer or successor-in-interest would have saved during the calendar year . . . if the suspension [or reduction] of duty on wool fabrics were in effect.” The focus of the savings is on the difference between the duty paid for the worsted wool fabric in the calendar year immediately preceding the payment, and the duty that would have been paid on the same quantity of worsted wool fabric if the lower duty rate had applied. This allows the payment to address the “savings” contemplated in 12315(e) of the Farm Bill as close to the real time experience of the person as is administratively possible. For example, a person's import of worsted wool fabric in calendar year 2016 will be the basis for calculating the person's payment in 2017. This is consistent with the statute's focus on the savings that would have been realized if a TRQ were still in effect, and is also consistent with OTEXA previously basing a TRQ allocation on a period of time immediately prior to the allocation.

The payment will be made to eligible persons by April 15 of the calendar year subsequent to the year of the person's reported wool fabric imports. This allows the Secretary to base the payment on the person's total actual imports of wool fabric during the calendar year immediately preceding the payment.

The savings involves three factors spread over two time periods: (1) The duty paid at the higher duty rate applicable to the worsted wool fabric described in the applicable 2014 HTS subheadings in the calendar year immediately preceding the payment; (2) the production or further processing of the imported worsted wool fabric in the calendar year immediately preceding the payment; and (3) the duty paid at the lower duty rate applicable to that HTS subheading of worsted wool fabric in 2014, the last year the TRQ was effective. The higher value of duty paid in the calendar year immediately preceding the payment is used to calculate the 2016-2019 payments. However, for the 2015 payment, the higher duty rate in the 2015 HTS will be used instead of the duty rate applicable in the calendar year immediately preceding the payment, which would be 2014. The reason for this exception for the 2015 payment is that 2014 is both the last year in which the TRQ's lower duty rate was still in effect, and is also the calendar year immediately preceding the payment (2015). As a result, for the 2015 payment, a proxy is necessary to serve as the higher duty rate in the calendar year immediately preceding the payment. It is necessary to create such a proxy and generate a 2015 payment, because the statute requires that this payment be made in any year in which the wool TRQ is not in effect. The first year the TRQ is not in effect is calendar year 2015. Notwithstanding this proxy for the higher duty rate for a 2015 payment, the calendar year immediately preceding the payment (2014) will still be used to establish that production or processing by the eligible person occurred (which is an eligibility requirement).

There were three essential data components of the wool TRQ that terminated at the end of the 2014 calendar year: (1) The quantity of imported wool fabric subject to the lower duty rate; (2) the price of the imported wool fabric; and (3) the person's actual production of worsted wool suits, suit-type jackets, or trousers for men and boys (or, in the case of wool under HTS subheading 9902.51.16, manufactured the wool fabric). This information has been annually collected by OTEXA by means of affidavits supplied by persons applying for a payment. The Secretary will continue to collect this information through annual affidavits to ensure that the person, during the calendar year immediately preceding the payment, (1) imported, either directly or indirectly, the quantity of worsted wool fabric of the kind described under one or more of the HTS subheadings covered by this payment, and (2) produced in the U.S. suits, suit-type jackets, or trousers for men and boys (or, in the case of wool under HTS subheading 9902.51.16, manufactured the wool fabric).

The dollar value and quantity of such imports are also factors in determining the savings that would have been realized because of the TRQ. Dollar value data effectively captures the price of such fabric and the dollar amount paid by the person. OTEXA has collected data about the dollar value and quantity of such imports by requiring the person to report the dollar value and quantity of the imports during the first six months of the calendar year of the license allocation. The Secretary will continue to collect the person's reported dollar value and quantity of imports of worsted wool fabric, but will require information about imports for the entire calendar year immediately preceding the payment. The savings in the context of the payment can be restated accordingly. In any calendar year in which the lower duty rate on worsted wool fabric of the kind described in subheadings 9902.51.11, 9902.51.15, and 9902.51.16 of the 2014 HTS is not in effect, a person (or a successor-in-interest of the person) that, during the calendar year immediately preceding the payment, in the U.S., (1) directly or indirectly imported worsted wool fabric of the kind described under one or more of the three HTS subheadings covered by this payment, and (2) used the worsted wool fabric to produce suits, suit-type jackets, or trousers for men and boys (or, in the case of worsted wool fabric covered by subheading 9902.51.16, manufactured the worsted wool fabric), is eligible for a payment that is equivalent to the difference between the higher duty paid on such worsted wool fabric in the calendar year immediately preceding the payment and the reduced duty that would have been payable under the TRQ (in 2014) on the quantity of worsted wool fabric imported in the calendar year immediately preceding the payment. For the purpose of calculating the payment for each of the 2015-2019 calendar years, it will be assumed that 100% of the person's imports were covered by the lower duty. The rationale for this assumption is that under the wool TRQ that expired on December 31, 2014, persons that received licenses to import up to specific amounts of worsted wool fabric at reduced duty rates never used the entire license allotment, and the excess allotment was left unused. In those cases, because 100% of the person's imports were in fact covered by the available lower duty rate under the TRQ, the savings referenced in section 12315(e) should also apply to 100% of a person's imports.

The duty rate codified in the 2014 HTS applicable to imports of worsted wool fabric in the calendar year immediately preceding the payment fall into one of three categories: (1) The general duty rate that is applicable to worsted wool fabric covered by the subheading unless one of the other two categories applies; (2) the duty rate is 0%, because imports from certain listed countries are duty free; and (3) duty rates applicable to imports from specific countries (e.g., 7.5% duty rate for imports of worsted wool fabric under subheading 9902.51.11 of the HTS from Oman in 2015). Because the HTS is statutory, one of the three categories must be applied when calculating a monetary payment. Similarly, in years following 2014, the applicable duty may vary as a function of the country of origin of the imported fabric. In any given year, the country of origin of the worsted wool fabric will affect the applicable duty rate and resulting duty paid used to calculate the payment. The duty rate applicable to worsted wool fabric under subheadings 9902.51.15 and 9902.51.16 of the 2014 HTS was 0%, and for subheading 9902.51.11 of the 2014 HTS was 10%. Thus, in any given year, duty rates may vary based on the country of origin of the imported fabrics, and as a result, the amount of the payment may be significantly affected.

The payment will be annually calculated for each of the 2015-2019 calendar years as follows. For each HTS subheading, the savings of the person for any given calendar year will be the difference between the higher duties paid in the calendar year preceding the payment and the duties that would have been payable at the lower 2014 duty rate. The savings for each of the three subheadings will then be added together, the sum of which will equal the annual payment for that person.

Two simple examples, the first involving imports in 2017 and the other in 2015, illustrate how this calculation will work.

The first example applies to a payment in 2017. Under the TRQ that expired on December 31, 2014, worsted wool fabrics entering the United States under HTS subheadings 9902.51.15 and 9902.51.16 were assessed zero duty, and worsted wool fabrics from Oman entering under 9902.51.11 were assessed a 10% duty. Starting on January 1, 2017, assume that imports entering the United States of worsted wool fabrics previously described under HTS subheadings 9902.51.15 and 9902.51.16 (but in 2017 actually entering under a different HTS subheading, because of the expiration of the particular subheadings under HTS chapter 99) are assessed a 20% duty, and worsted wool fabrics from Oman previously described under 9902.51.11 are assessed a 10% duty.

A person imports 200 square meters of worsted wool fabric in 2017, 100 square meters of which is of the kind described by HTS subheadings 9902.51.15 and 9902.51.16, and the remaining 100 square meters is of the kind described in HTS subheading 9902.51.11, imported from Oman. The person reports a dollar value of $1 per square meter. For the 100 square meters of worsted wool described under HTS subheadings 9902.51.15 and 9902.51.16, the calculation would be 0.20 (20% converted to a numeric value), which is the duty rate in 2016, minus 0 (2014 duty rate, 0%, converted to a numeric value), multiplied by 100 (dollar value), which would equal $20 ((0.20−0) × 100). For the 100 square meters of worsted wool fabric described under HTS subheading 9902.51.11 and imported from Oman, the calculation would be 0.10 (10% converted to a numeric value), the duty rate in 2015, the calendar year immediately preceding the payment, minus 0.10 (10%, the 2016 duty rate when Oman is the country of origin) multiplied by 100 (dollar value), which would equal $0 ((0.10−0.10) × 100).

The second example applies to a payment in 2015 using the “2015 proxy” discussed above. Recall that under the applicable TRQ that expired on December 31, 2014, worsted wool fabrics entering the United States under HTS subheadings 9902.51.15 and 9902.51.16 were assessed zero duty, and worsted wool fabrics from Oman entering under 9902.51.11 were assessed a 10% duty. Starting on January 1, 2015, imports entering the United States of worsted wool fabrics previously described under HTS subheadings 9902.51.15 and 9902.51.16 are assessed a 25% duty, and imports of worsted wool fabrics from Oman previously described under 9902.51.11 are assessed a 20% duty.

A person imports 200 square meters of worsted wool fabric in 2015, 100 square meters of which is of the kind previously described by HTS subheadings 9902.51.15 and 9902.51.16, and the remaining 100 square meters is of the kind previously described in HTS subheading 9902.51.11 imported from Oman. The person reports a dollar value of $1 per square meter. For the 100 square meters of worsted wool under HTS subheadings 9902.51.15 and 9902.51.16, the calculation would be 0.25 (25% converted to a numeric value), which is the 2015 higher duty proxy used when the calendar year immediately preceding the payment is 2014, minus 0 (2014 duty rate, 0%, converted to a numeric value), multiplied by 100 (dollar value), which would equal $25 ((0.25−0) × 100). For the 100 square meters of worsted wool fabric under HTS subheading 9902.51.11 imported from Oman, the calculation would be 0.20 (20% converted to a numeric value), the 2015 higher duty proxy when the calendar year immediately preceding the payment is 2014, minus 0.10 (10%, the 2014 duty rate when Oman is the country of origin) multiplied by 100 (dollar value), which would equal $10 ((0.20−0.10) × 100). The statutory language of section 12315 directs the Secretary to determine the savings that the person would have realized if the lower duty rate had been in effect. Thus, it is not necessary to determine what the person would have done with the savings realized from the lower duty rate. Nor is it necessary to inquire about the person's imports in a year that also include imported worsted wool fabric that is of the kind under HTS subheadings other than those covered by this payment, imported worsted wool fabric not subject to the duty reduction, or domestic wool.

As discussed earlier, the payment applies to direct and indirect imports of worsted wool fabric of the kind described in the three specific HTS subheadings. If the import was through a third party broker, the person must so state in the affidavit prior to the payment, and provide any other information required by FAS. For persons that are indirect importers of worsted wool fabric, the dollar value of the imports reported in their affidavit will be subject to a 10% reduction by the Secretary. The reason for this reduction is that the broker that directly imported the worsted wool fabric is assumed to sell it to the person who submits the affidavit for an amount higher than the tariff price. The 10% reduction is intended to compensate for that higher price, and make the reported price paid by indirect importers more equivalent to the price paid by direct importers. OTEXA also administered this 10% reduction in the reported price paid by indirect importers as part of its administration of the wool TRQ.

Persons that imported worsted wool fabric directly are required to submit to FAS as part of the affidavit package scanned copies of the CBP Form 7501 “Entry Summary” for the relevant calculations made in the affidavit. Persons that imported worsted wool fabric indirectly are required to submit to FAS as part of the affidavit package invoices from third party brokers for the relevant calculations made in the affidavit.

Persons applying for a payment must provide information required by the Secretary through annual affidavits.

(3) Wool Yarn, Wool Fiber, and Wool Top Duty Compensation Payment

All references to subheadings of the HTS in the context of this payment are to the subheadings as described in the 2014 HTS.

The duty on imported wool yarn of the kind described in subheading 9902.51.13 of the HTS, and the duty on wool fiber and wool top of the kind described in subheading 9902.51.14 of the HTS were suspended in their entirety in section 503 of the Trade and Development Act of 2000. The total duty suspension for both subheadings has been extended three times since then, most recently through December 31, 2014. Section 12315(e) of the Farm Bill requires the Secretary to make payments to processors of wool yarn, fiber, and top of the kind described in subheadings 9902.51.13 and 9902.51.14 of the HTS, respectively, in amounts that the processors would have saved if the duty suspension had been in effect.

To be eligible for a payment, during the calendar year immediately preceding the payment a person must have imported into the U.S., directly or indirectly, wool yarn, fiber or top of the kind described in subheadings 9902.51.13 and 9902.51.14, and manufactured such wool yarn, fiber, or top in the U.S.

The duty rates in chapter 99 of the HTS for subheadings 9902.51.13 and 9902.51.14 are listed in three categories: (1) The general duty rate applicable to wool yarn covered by the subheading, unless one of the other two categories applies; (2) the duty rate is 0 because imports from certain listed countries are duty free; and (3) duty rates applicable to imports from specific countries (e.g., 2.4% duty rate for imports of wool yarn from Oman in calendar year 2014). Because the HTS is statutory, one of the three categories must be applied when calculating a monetary payment equivalent to the savings that a person would have realized if the suspension of the duty rate had been in effect. Thus, the country of origin of the wool yarn, wool fiber, or wool top, may significantly affect the duty rate used to calculate a person's payment. The general duty rate applicable to subheading 9902.51.13 in 2000 was 6% of the import price of the imported wool yarn at the time the duties were suspended. The general duty rate reverted to 6% of the import price of the imported wool yarn in 2015.

However, subheading 9902.51.14, which expired at the end of 2014, applied to wool fiber and top now described in eight subheadings of chapter 51 of the HTS, and the duty applicable to each subheading in chapter 51 varies. Thus, a determination of the applicable duty is subject to the determination of the Secretary in accordance with duty rates applicable to the specific sub-subheading of wool fiber or top imported.

The difference between the 0% duty in effect during the duty suspension and the duty applicable in the calendar year immediately preceding the payment for the two HTS subheadings of wool yarn, fiber, and top (which is 100% of the duty) will be used to calculate duty compensation payments. Section 12315(e) of the Farm Bill anticipates a time when the total duty suspension is no longer in effect, acknowledges that duty rates will have increased upon expiration of the total duty suspension, and focuses on the savings that an importer (direct or indirect) of wool yarn, fiber, or top would have realized had the 0% duty rate remained in effect. Section 12315(e) of the Farm Bill states that the annual payment is “. . . an amount . . . equal to the amount the manufacturer or successor-in-interest would have saved during the calendar year . . . if the suspension . . . of duty on wool fabrics were in effect.” The focus of the savings is on the difference between the duty paid for the wool yarn, fiber or top of the kind described in subheadings 9902.51.13 and 9902.51.14 in the calendar year immediately preceding the payment, and the 0% duty that would have been paid for such wool imported into the U.S., directly or indirectly, if the total duty suspension were still in effect. This allows the payment to address the “savings” contemplated in 12315(e) of the Farm Bill as close to the real time experience of the person as is administratively possible. For example, a person's import of wool yarn, fiber or top in calendar year 2016 will be the basis for calculating the person's payment in 2017. This is consistent with the statute's focus on the savings that would have been realized if a duty suspension were still in effect, and is also consistent with CBP's treatment of wool yarn, fiber or top in its Wool Duty Refund Program, in which it based the Duty Refund payment on the prior year. The payment will be made to eligible persons by April 15 of the calendar year subsequent to the year of the person's reported imports. This allows the Secretary to base the payment on the person's total actual imports of wool yarn, fiber or top during the calendar year immediately preceding the payment.

The savings involves three factors spread over two time periods: (1) The higher duty rate applicable to the wool yarn, fiber or top described in the applicable 2014 HTS subheadings in the calendar year immediately preceding the payment; (2) the further processing of the imported wool yarn, fiber or top in the calendar year immediately preceding the payment; and (3) the total duty suspension applicable to that HTS subheading of wool yarn, fiber or top in 2014, the last year the duty suspension was effective. The higher duty rate paid by the eligible person in the calendar year immediately preceding the payment is used to calculate the 2016-2019 payments. However, for the 2015 payment, the higher duty rate in the 2015 HTS will be used instead of the total duty suspension effective through the 2014 calendar year. The reason for this exception for the 2015 payment is that 2014 is both the last year in which the total duty suspension was still in effect and the calendar year immediately preceding the payment (in 2015). As a result, for the 2015 payment, a proxy is necessary for the higher duty rate. It is necessary to create this proxy for the 2015 payment because Congress requires that this payment be made when the duty suspension is no longer in effect. The first year the duty suspension is not in effect is calendar year 2015. Finally, for a 2015 payment, the calendar year immediately preceding the payment will still be used to establish the dollar value of the imported wool yarn, fiber, or top by the eligible person.

The dollar value of the wool yarn, fiber or top imported into the U.S. is also a factor in determining the savings that would have been realized because of the TRQ. Dollar value data effectively captures the price of such fabric and the dollar amount paid by the person. CBP has not been collecting this data in the context of its Wool Duty Refund Program. But in light of the statutory requirement to capture the savings that would have been realized for wool yarn, fiber or top imported into the U.S. had the duty suspension been in effect, the Secretary will collect the person's reported dollar value and quantity of imports of wool yarn, fiber or top imported into the U.S. during the entire calendar year immediately preceding the payment.

The Secretary has determined that the intent of the savings language in section 12315 of the Farm Bill can be best realized by looking at what the person would have saved during the calendar year immediately preceding the payment. For example, the dollar value of the person's imports wool yarn, fiber, or top in calendar year 2014 will be the basis for calculating the payment in 2015 (in contrast to the proxy duty used for the 2015 payment). This allows the payment to address the “savings” in section 12315(e) of the Farm Bill as close to the real time experience of the person as is administratively possible yet still cover the full prior year's imports.

Other than with respect to the 2015 payment calculated using a proxy duty rate as described above, the duty compensation payment under this section will be equal to 100% of the duty paid for wool yarn, fiber, or top of the kind described in subheadings 9902.51.13 and 9902.51.14 imported in the calendar year immediately preceding the payment.

The two HTS subheadings of imported wool yarn, fiber, or top covered by this payment are either imported directly by persons, in which case the person also directly paid the duty, or imported indirectly through a third party broker that directly paid the duty. The payment applies to persons that either directly or indirectly imported wool yarn, fiber, and top. If the import was through a third party broker, the person must so state in the affidavit prior to the payment, and provide any other information required by FAS. For persons that are indirect importers of wool yarn, fiber, or top, the dollar value of the imports reported in their affidavit will be subject to a 10% reduction by the Secretary. The reason for this reduction is that the broker that directly imported the wool yarn, fiber, or top is assumed to sell it to the person who submits the affidavit for an amount higher than the price merely increased by the applied duty. The 10% reduction is intended to compensate for that higher price, and make the reported price paid by indirect importers more equivalent to the price paid by direct importers. CBP also administers this 10% reduction in the reported price paid by indirect importers as part of its administration of the Wool Duty Refund Program (which includes subheadings 9902.51.13 and 9902.51.14).

Persons that imported wool yarn, fiber or top directly are also required to submit to FAS as part of the affidavit package scanned copies of the CBP Form 7501 “Entry Summary” for the relevant calculations made in the affidavit. Persons that imported wool yarn, fiber or top indirectly are required to submit to FAS as part of the affidavit package invoices from third party brokers for the relevant calculations made in the affidavit.

Persons applying for a payment must provide information required by the Secretary through annual affidavits.

(4) Refund of Duties Paid on Imports of Certain Wool Products

CBP is administering this payment to U.S. manufacturers and processors of wool for duties paid on the imported wool in 2000, 2001, and 2002 through calendar year 2015. FAS will continue this payment for calendar years 2016-2019, and will publish regulations later next year. The regulations for this payment will be published at 7 CFR 1471.12.

Effective Date and Notice and Comment

We are issuing this final rule without prior notice and opportunity for comment. The Administrative Procedure Act exempts rules “relating to agency management or personnel or to public property, loans, grants, benefits, or contracts” from the statutory requirement for prior notice and opportunity for comment 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(2). Accordingly, this rule may be made effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. However, we invite you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. We will consider the comments we receive and may conduct additional rulemaking based on the comments. This rule allows FAS to provide adequate notice to eligible manufacturers about the new Pima Agriculture Cotton and Wool Apparel Manufacturers Trusts regulation so that they will be ready to begin filing for payments by March 15 in the case of Agriculture Pima Trust payment, and by March 1 in the case of the several Agriculture Wool Trust payments.

Executive Order 12630

This Executive Order requires careful evaluation of governmental actions that interfere with constitutionally protected property rights. This rule does not interfere with any property rights and, therefore, does not need to be evaluated on the basis of the criteria outlined in Executive Order 12630.

Executive Order 12866

This final rule is issued in conformance with Executive Order 12866 and Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553). It has been determined to be not significant for the purposes of Executive Order 12866 and was not reviewed by OMB for this purpose. A cost-benefit assessment of this rule was not completed.

Executive Order 12372

This final rule is not subject to Executive Order 12372, which requires intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials. See the notice related to 7 CFR part 3015, subpart V, published at 48 FR 29115 (June 24, 1983).

Executive Order 12988

This final rule has been reviewed in accordance with Executive Order 12988. This rule would not preempt State or local laws, regulations, or policies unless they present an irreconcilable conflict with this rule. This rule would not be retroactive.

Executive Order 13132

This final rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 13132, “Federalism.” The policies contained in this final rule do not have any substantial direct effect on States, on the relationship between the Federal government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, nor does this final rule impose substantial direct compliance costs on State and local governments. Therefore, consultation with the States is not required.

Executive Order 13175

This final rule has been reviewed for compliance with E.O. 13175. The policies contained in this final rule do not have tribal implications that preempt tribal law.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act does not apply to this rule because FAS is not required by 5 U.S.C. 553 or any other law to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking with respect to the subject matter of this rule.

Civil Rights Impact Statement

No major civil rights impact is likely to result from the announcement of this notice. It will not have a negative civil rights impact on very-low income, low income, and moderate income and minority populations.

Environmental Assessment

The environmental impacts of this rule have been considered in a manner consistent with the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA, 42 U.S.C. 4321-4347), the regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), and FAS regulations for compliance with NEPA (7 CFR part 799). FAS has determined that NEPA does not apply to this rule and that no environmental assessment or environmental impact statement will be prepared.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

This final rule does not impose any enforceable duty or contain any unfunded mandate as described under Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA). Therefore, this rule is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of UMRA.

E-Government Act Compliance

FAS is committed to complying with the E-Government Act to promote the use of the internet and other information technologies to provide increased opportunities for citizen access to Government information, services and for other purposes. The forms, regulations, and other information collection activities required to be utilized by a person subject to this rule are available at: http://www.fas.usda.gov.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 1471

Agricultural commodities, Imports.

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 1471 is added to read as follows:

PART 1471—PIMA AGRICULTURE COTTON TRUST FUND (AGRICULTURE PIMA TRUST) AND AGRICULTURE WOOL APPAREL MANUFACTURERS TRUST FUND (AGRICULTURE WOOL TRUST) Subpart A—Agriculture Pima Trust Sec. 1471.1 Provisions common to this subpart. 1471.2 Pima cotton payments. 1471.3 Affidavit of producers of ring spun pima cotton yarn. 1471.4 Affidavit of manufacturers of pima cotton shirts. 1471.5 Affidavit of pima cotton trade association. Subpart B—Agriculture Wool Trust 1471.10 Provisions common to this subpart. 1471.11 Payments to manufacturers of certain worsted wool fabrics. 1471.12 [Reserved] 1471.13 Monetization of the wool tariff rate quota. 1471.14 Wool yarn, wool fiber, and wool top duty compensation payment. Authority:

Sections 501-506, Pub. L. 106-200, (114 Stat. 299-304); Section 4002, Pub. L. 108-429 (7 U.S.C. 7101 note); Section 1633, Pub. L. 109-280 (120 Stat. 1166); Section 325, Pub. L. 110-343 (122 Stat. 3875); Sections 12314 and 12315, Pub. L. 113-79 (7 U.S.C. 2101 note and 7101 note).

Subpart A—Agriculture Pima Trust
§ 1471.1 Provisions common to this subpart.

(a) Agriculture Pima Trust—(1) Establishment. The Agriculture Pima Trust has been established to provide funding for payments under this part.

(2) Purpose. The purpose of the Agriculture Pima Trust is to reduce the injury to domestic manufacturers resulting from tariffs on cotton fabric that are higher than tariffs on certain apparel articles made of cotton fabric.

(3) Funding availability. $16,000,000 will be available annually for eligible payments authorized under subpart A of this part.

(4) Definitions. As used in this subpart:

Agriculture Pima Trust means the Pima Agriculture Cotton Trust Fund.

CCC means the Commodity Credit Corporation.

FAS means the Foreign Agricultural Service.

Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture.

Agriculture Pima Trust means the Pima Agriculture Cotton Trust Fund.

U.S. means the United States of America.

(b) Other provisions common to subpart A of this part—(1) Affidavits. FAS shall annually, not later than February 15 of the year of the applicable payment, make affidavits available on the FAS Web site, which can be found at http://www.fas.usda.gov/. Affidavits must be submitted electronically to [email protected].

(2) Filing deadline. Any person filing an affidavit under this part for a particular year must file the affidavit for such calendar year, during calendar years 2015 through 2018, not later than March 15 of the applicable calendar year.

(3) Basic information. In addition to information required in §§ 1471.3, 1471.4, and 1471.5, as applicable, every person applying for a payment must provide the following information, applicable to the year for which a payment is sought:

(i) The current company name, address, contact, phone number of the person;

(ii) The name and address of each plant or location of the person during the calendar year immediately preceding the payment; and

(iii) A W-9 providing the Federal tax identification number of the person;

(4) Standard Form 1199A. Every person claiming a payment must provide Standard Form 1199A, a direct deposit sign-up form, to facilitate any transfer of funds.

(5) Affirmation. Every person applying for a payment must affirm in its affidavit that “all information contained in the application is complete and correct and that the information does not contain a false claim, statement, or representation.”

(6) Document retention. All persons receiving a payment under this part must maintain all pertinent documentation for 3 years after the year of receipt of the payment.

(7) False statements. Persons providing false or fraudulent claims, or persons making materially false statements or representations in their affidavit, are subject to civil or criminal penalties pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 1001.

(8) Confidentiality. Specific business information that is marked “business confidential” will be protected from disclosure to the full extent permitted by law.

(9) Review of affidavits. Affidavits will be reviewed to determine whether they are complete and responsive to the content and form of affidavit requirements under this part.

(10) Finality of determinations by Secretary. A determination by the Secretary about a payment under this part shall be final and is not subject to appeal or protest.

(11) Timing of payments. A payment for which a person is eligible under this part will be disbursed in each of calendar years 2015 through 2018, not later than April 15 of the applicable year.

(12) Sequester. Payments covered by this part shall be subject to sequester of payments, if required by law.

§ 1471.2 Pima cotton payments.

From available funds in the Agriculture Pima Trust, CCC will annually make payments for each of calendar years 2015 through 2018 as follows:

(a) Twenty-five percent of the amounts in the Agriculture Pima Trust shall be paid to one or more nationally recognized associations established for the promotion of pima cotton for use in textile and apparel goods, as determined by the Secretary, during the calendar year immediately preceding the payment.

(b) Twenty-five percent of the amounts in the Agriculture Pima Trust shall be paid to yarn spinners of pima cotton that produce ring spun cotton yarns in the U.S. during 2013 and the calendar year immediately preceding the payment, to be allocated to each yarn spinner in an amount that bears the same ratio as

(1) The yarn spinner's production of ring spun cotton yarns in 2013, measuring less than 83.33 decitex (exceeding 120 metric number) from pima cotton in single and plied form during calendar year 2013, bears to

(2) The production of the yarns described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section during calendar year 2013 by all yarn spinners that qualify under this paragraph (b).

(c) Fifty percent of the amounts in the Agriculture Pima Trust shall be paid to manufacturers that, during the calendar year immediately preceding the payment, certify, pursuant to the affidavit under § 1471.4, they used imported pima cotton fabric during calendar year 2013 to produce such shirts, to be allocated to each manufacturer in an amount that bears the same ratio as

(1) The dollar value (excluding duty, shipping, and insurance of imported woven pima cotton shirting fabric of 80s or higher count and 2-ply in warp used by the manufacturer during calendar year 2013 to produce men's and boys' pima cotton shirts, bears to

(2) The dollar value (excluding duty, shipping, and insurance of the fabric described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section used to manufacture men's and boy's pima cotton shirts in 2013 by all manufacturers that qualify under this paragraph (c).

§ 1471.3 Affidavit of producers of ring spun pima cotton yarn.

In addition to reporting and information requirements in § 1471.1, the affidavit of a yarn spinner that is a producer of ring spun cotton yarn must be an affidavit provided annually by an officer of the yarn spinner that produces ring spun yarns affirming that:

(a) During the calendar year immediately preceding the payment and during calendar year 2013, the yarn spinner used pima cotton to produce ring spun cotton yarns in the U.S. measuring less than 83.33 decitex (exceeding 120 metric number), in single and plied form;

(b) During 2013, the yarn spinner actually produced the quantity, measured in pounds, of ring spun cotton yarns measuring less than 83.33 decitex (exceeding 120 metric number), in single and plied form; and

(c) The yarn spinner continues to maintain supporting documentation about such production during calendar year 2013 which shows the actual quantity of such yarns produced, and evidencing the yarns as ring spun pima cotton yarns, measuring less than 83.33 decitex (exceeding 120 metric number), in single and plied form.

§ 1471.4 Affidavit of manufacturers of pima cotton shirts.

(a) In general. In addition to applicable information requirements in § 1471.1, an affidavit of a manufacturer that is a producer of men's and boys' pima cotton shirts must be an affidavit provided annually by an officer of the manufacturer which affirms the following information

(1) During the calendar year immediately preceding the payment and during calendar year 2013, the manufacturer used imported pima cotton fabric to cut and sew men's and boys' pima cotton shirts in the U.S.;

(2) During calendar year 2013, the dollar value of imported woven pima cotton shirting fabric of 80s or higher count and 2-ply in warp purchased and used by the manufacturer to cut and sew men's and boys' woven pima cotton shirts in the U.S.;

(3) The manufacturer continues to maintain invoices and other supporting documentation (such as price lists and other technical descriptions of the fabric qualities) showing the dollar value of such fabric purchased, the date of purchase, and evidencing the fabric as woven pima cotton fabric of 80s or higher count and 2-ply in warp; and

(4) The imported pima cotton fabric purchased in 2013 and in the calendar year immediately preceding the payment was suitable for use in the manufacturing of men's and boys' cotton shirts.

(b) Date of purchase. For purposes of the affidavit under paragraph (a) of this section, the date of purchase shall be the invoice date, and the dollar value shall be determined excluding duty, shipping, and insurance.

§ 1471.5 Affidavit of pima cotton trade associations.

In addition to applicable information requirements in § 1471.1, trade associations filing a claim for a payment must electronically provide a statement which states whether, during the calendar year immediately preceding the payment and in calendar year 2014, they were, as determined by the Secretary, a domestic nationally recognized association established and operating for the promotion of pima cotton for domestic use in textile and apparel goods.

Subpart B—Agriculture Wool Trust
§ 1471.10 Provisions common to this subpart.

(a) Agriculture wool trust—(1) Establishment. The Agriculture Wool Trust has been established to provide funding for payments under this part.

(2) Purpose. The purpose of the Agriculture Wool Trust is to reduce the injury to domestic manufacturers resulting from tariffs on wool fabric that are higher than tariffs on certain apparel articles made of wool fabric.

(3) Funding availability. Not more than $30,000,000 will be available annually for payments authorized under this part.

(4) Definitions. As used in this subpart:

Agriculture Wool Trust means the Agriculture Wool Apparel Manufacturers Trust Fund.

U.S. means the United States of America.

CCC means the Commodity Credit Corporation.

FAS means the Foreign Agricultural Service.

HTS means the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States.

Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture.

TRQ means Tariff Rate Quota.

(b) Provisions common to this part—(1) Affidavits. FAS shall annually, not later than February 15 of the year of the applicable payment, make affidavits available on the FAS Web site, which can be found at http://www.fas.usda.gov/. Affidavits must be submitted electronically to: [email protected].

(2) Filing deadline. Any person filing an affidavit under this part for a particular year must file the affidavit for such calendar year, during calendar years 2015 through 2019, not later than March 1 of such year.

(3) Required information. In addition to information required in §§ 1471.11, 1471.13, and 1471.14, as applicable, every person applying for a payment under this part must provide the following information applicable to the year for which a payment is sought:

(i) The current company name, address, contact, phone number of the person;

(ii) The name and address of each plant or location of the person in the year immediately preceding the payment; and

(iii) A W-9 providing the Federal tax identification number of the person.

(4) Standard Form 1199A. Every person seeking a payment must also provide Standard Form 1199A, a direct deposit sign-up form, to facilitate any transfer of funds.

(5) Affirmation. A person filing an affidavit under this part must affirm that “all information contained in the application is complete and correct and that the information does not contain a false claim, statement, or representation.”

(6) Document retention. All persons receiving a payment under this part must maintain all pertinent documentation for three years after the year of receipt of the payment.

(7) False statements. Persons providing false or fraudulent claims or making materially false statements or representations are subject to civil or criminal penalties pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 1001.

(8) Confidential information. Specific business information provided in affidavits that is marked “business confidential” will be protected from disclosure to the full extent permitted by law.

(9) Review of affidavits. Affidavits will be reviewed to determine whether they are complete and responsive to the content and form of affidavit requirements in this part.

(10) Finality of determination by the Secretary. A determination by the Secretary about a payment under this part shall be final and is not subject to appeal or protest.

(11) Timing of payments. A payment for which a person eligible under this part will be disbursed in each of calendar years 2015 through 2019 not later than April 15 of the applicable year.

(12) Proration and sequester. Payments covered by this part will be subject to proration in the event that insufficient funds exist in the Agriculture Wool Trust during the year of the payment, and will be subject to sequester, if required by law.

(13) HTS subheadings. All references to subheadings of the HTS in this part are to the subheadings as described in the HTS in 2014.

§ 1471.11 Payments to manufacturers of certain worsted wool fabrics.

(a) Definitions. In this section the following definitions apply:

Eligible person. The term “eligible person” means a manufacturer in the U.S. of qualifying worsted wool fabric during the calendar year immediately preceding the payment and during each of calendar years 1999, 2000, and 2001.

Qualifying worsted wool fabric. The term “qualifying worsted wool fabric” means a worsted wool fabric containing at least 85% by weight worsted wool of the kind described in subheading 9902.51.11 or 9902.51.15 of the 2014 HTS that, during the calendar year immediately preceding the payment and during each of calendar years 1999, 2000, and 2001, was manufactured by an eligible person in the United States.

(b) Distribution of funds. From amounts in the Agriculture Wool Trust, CCC will annually make payments for each of calendar years 2015 through 2019 to eligible persons that manufactured qualifying worsted wool fabric as provided in paragraphs (b)(1) or (2) of this section.

(1) Payments for production under subheading 9902.51.11 of the HTS—(i) In general. Eligible persons that manufactured qualifying worsted wool fabric during calendar years 1999, 2000, and 2001 that is of the kind described in subheading 9902.51.11 of the HTS are eligible for a payment as provided in paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section.

(ii) Payment amounts. A total of $2,666,000 will be allocated annually among eligible persons covered by this paragraph on the basis of the percentage of each eligible person's total production (actual production, not estimates) for the calendar year immediately preceding the payment of qualifying worsted wool fabric described in paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section in relation to the total production for the calendar year immediately preceding the payment of such fabric by all eligible persons who qualify for payments under this paragraph.

(2) Payments for production under subheading 9902.51.15—(i) In general. Eligible persons that manufactured qualifying worsted wool fabric during calendar years 1999, 2000, and 2001 that conforms in composition to subheading 9902.51.15 of the HTS are eligible for a payment as provided in paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section.

(ii) Payment amounts. A total of $2,666,000 will be allocated annually among eligible persons covered by this paragraph on the basis of the percentage of each eligible person's total production (actual production, not estimates) for the calendar year immediately preceding the payment of qualifying worsted wool fabric described in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section in relation to the total production for the calendar year immediately preceding the payment of such fabric by all eligible persons who qualify for payments under this paragraph.

(c) Annual affidavit—(1) In general. An eligible person applying for a payment under this section shall comply with all applicable reporting requirements of this section and of § 1471.10.

(2) Specific business information. An eligible person shall, for the calendar year immediately preceding the payment and for each of calendar years 1999, 2000, and 2001, annually report the actual dollar value and the actual quantity (linear yards) of qualifying worsted wool fabric that was manufactured.

(3) Manufacturing of wool. When reporting the annual dollar value and quantity of imports of qualifying worsted wool fabric, and the annual dollar value and quantity of the qualifying wool fabric that was manufactured, an eligible person may either have manufactured the qualifying worsted wool on its own behalf or had another person manufacture the qualifying worsted wool fabric, provided the eligible person owned the qualifying worsted wool fabric at the time of manufacture.

§ 1471.12 [Reserved]
§ 1471.13 Monetization of the wool tariff rate quota.

(a) Definitions. In this section the following definitions apply:

(1) Lower duty rate. The term “lower duty rate” means the duty rate as codified in the 2014 HTS that would have been applicable to qualifying worsted wool fabric of the kind described in subheadings 9902.51.11, 9902.51.15, and 9902.51.16 of the 2014 HTS prior to the expiration of the Wool TRQ on December 31, 2014.

(2) Eligible person—(i) In general. The term “eligible person” means a manufacturer (or a successor-in-interest to the manufacturer) in the U.S. during the calendar year immediately preceding the payment that:

(A) Imported qualifying worsted wool fabric; and

(B) Used the imported qualifying worsted wool fabric

(1) In the case of wool of the kind described in subheadings 9902.51.11 or 9902.51.15 of the 2014 HTS, to produce worsted wool suits, suit-type jackets and trousers for men and boys; or

(2) In the case of wool fabric of the kind described in subheading 9902.51.16 of the 2014 HTS, used such wool fabric in manufacturing.

(ii) Successor-in-interest. If a person satisfies the criteria for becoming a successor-in-interest to an eligible person under paragraph (a)(4) of this section, the person shall succeed to the status of the eligible person and become eligible for the payment.

(3) Qualifying worsted wool fabric. The term “qualifying worsted wool fabric” means imported worsted wool fabric containing at least 85% by weight worsted wool of the kind described in subheadings 9902.51.11, 9902.51.15, or 9902.51.16 of the 2014 HTS that, during the calendar year immediately preceding the payment was:

(i) Imported by an eligible person in the U.S.; and

(ii) Used by the eligible person in the U.S.

(A) In the case of wool fabric of the kind described in subheadings 9902.51.11 or 9902.51.15 of the HTS, to produce worsted wool suits, suit-type jackets and trousers for men and boys; or

(B) In the case of wool fabric of the kind described in subheading 9902.51.16 of the HTS, was used in manufacturing.

(4) Successor-in-interest. The term “successor-in-interest” means a person that is eligible to claim a payment under this section as if the person were the original eligible person, without regard to section 3727, title 31, United States Code because of—

(i) An assignment of the claim;

(ii) An assignment of the original eligible person's right to manufacture under the same trade name; or

(iii) A reorganization of the eligible person.

(b) Purposes. The purposes of a TRQ monetization payment are to provide an eligible person—

(1) Compensation for termination of the TRQ for qualifying worsted wool fabric; and

(2) A payment that is equivalent to the amount the eligible person would have saved during the calendar year for imports of qualifying worsted wool fabric if the lower duty rate under the applicable 2014 HTS subheading(s) of a qualifying worsted wool fabric were in effect.

(c) Calculation of monetized TRQ payment. A payment will be established by calculating, as provided in paragraphs (c)(1) through (4) of this section, the savings that would have been realized by the eligible person for imports of qualifying worsted wool fabric of the kind described in one of the three subheadings 9902.51.11, 9902.51.15, or 9902.51.16 of the 2014 HTS (as applicable), had the lower duty rate been in effect.

(1) Payment formula. Except as provided in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, a payment shall be calculated by

(i) Establishing the reported dollar value of imported worsted wool fabric, for each of the 2014 HTS subheadings of worsted wool fabric, during the calendar year immediately preceding the payment;

(ii) Subtracting the duty rate (converted to numeric value) for each applicable 2014 HTS subheading of worsted wool fabric that would have been paid in calendar year 2014 from the duty rate (converted to numeric value) that was actually paid in the calendar year immediately preceding the payment;

(iii) For each applicable 2014 HTS subheading of worsted wool fabric, multiplying the numeric values described in paragraphs (c)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section; and

(iv) Adding each product obtained in paragraph (c)(1)(iii) of this section.

(2) Exception for 2015 payment. In the case of the payment to be made in 2015, for purposes of the calculation component described in paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section the duty rate applicable in 2015 shall be deemed the duty rate actually paid in 2014. The reason for this exception for the 2015 payment is that 2014 is both the last year in which the lower duty rate was still in effect, and is also the calendar year immediately preceding the payment (the payment is in 2015). As a result, for the 2015 payment, a proxy is necessary for the higher duty rate in the calendar year immediately preceding the payment.

(3) 2015 payment. A payment in 2015 shall be calculated by

(i) Establishing the reported dollar value of imported worsted wool fabric during the calendar year immediately preceding the payment under the 2014 HTS subheading of worsted wool fabric;

(ii) Subtracting the lower duty rate (converted to numeric value) that would have been applicable to the 2014 HTS subheading of worsted wool fabric from the duty rate applicable to that HTS subheading in 2015 (converted to numeric value);

(iii) Multiplying the numeric values described in paragraphs (c)(3)(i) and (ii) of this section); and(iv) Adding the product obtained in paragraph (c)(3)(iii) of this section to the product obtained for every applicable subheading of worsted wool fabric.

(4) 2016-2019 payments. A payment in each of years 2016-2019 shall be calculated by

(i) Establishing the reported dollar value of imported worsted wool fabric during the calendar year immediately preceding the payment under the 2014 HTS subheading of worsted wool fabric;

(ii) Subtracting the lower duty rate (converted to numeric value) that would have been applicable to the 2014 HTS subheading of worsted wool fabric from the duty rate applicable to the calendar year preceding the payment (converted to numeric value);

(iii) Multiplying the numeric values described in paragraphs (c)(4)(i) and (ii) of this section; and

(iv) Adding the product obtained in paragraph (c)(3)(iii) of this section to the product obtained for every applicable subheading of worsted wool fabric.

(d) Annual affidavit—(1) In general. An eligible person applying for a payment under this section shall comply with all applicable reporting requirements of this section and of § 1471.10.

(2) Specific business information—(i) Imports and production.—An eligible person shall, for the entire calendar year immediately preceding the payment, report the actual dollar value and the actual quantity of

(A) Imports into the U.S. of qualifying worsted wool fabric (square meters); and

(B) The qualifying worsted wool fabric used by the eligible person in the U.S.

(1) In the case of wool of the kind described in subheadings 9902.51.11 or 9902.51.15 of the 2014 HTS, to produce worsted wool suits, suit-type jackets and trousers for men and boys (units); or

(2) In the case of wool of the kind described in subheading 9902.51.16 of the 2014 HTS, such wool that was manufactured (square meters).

(ii) Direct and indirect importers—(A) In general. Eligible persons that import qualifying worsted wool fabric through a third party broker are considered to be indirect importers of the qualifying worsted wool fabric. Persons that directly import qualifying worsted wool fabric and pay the import duty for such wool are considered to be direct importers of the qualifying worsted wool fabric.

(B) Reported dollar value. Eligible persons must state in their annual affidavit whether, in the calendar year immediately preceding the payment, they were direct or indirect importers, and the dollar value of the imported qualifying worsted wool fabric. The reported dollar value of such imports by indirect importers will be subject to a 10% reduction.

(C) Affirmation. An eligible person shall annually affirm in the affidavit that, in the calendar year immediately preceding the payment, in the U.S., the eligible person:

(1) Directly or indirectly imported the qualifying worsted wool fabric into the U.S.;

(2) Used that fabric to produce in the U.S. worsted wool suits, suit jackets, and trousers for men and boys (or, in the case of qualifying worsted wool fabric of the kind described in the 2014 HTS subheading 9902.51.16, for manufactured in the U.S.); and

(3) Imported qualifying worsted wool fabric from the country of origin identified in the affidavit.

(iii) Import documentation—(A) Direct imports. Applicable to the calendar year immediately preceding payment, an eligible person that directly imported qualifying worsted wool fabric is required to submit to FAS as part of the affidavit package scanned copies of CBP Form 7501 “Entry Summary” for the relevant calculations made in the affidavit.

(B) Indirect imports. Applicable to the calendar year immediately preceding payment, an eligible person that indirectly imported qualifying worsted wool fabric is required to submit to FAS as part of the affidavit package invoices from third party brokers as required in the affidavit.

(3) Production of garments or manufacturing of qualifying worsted wool fabric—(i) Production of garments—(A) In general. When reporting the annual dollar value and quantity of imported qualifying worsted wool fabric, and the annual dollar value and quantity of the qualifying worsted wool fabric that was cut and sewn, an eligible person may either have cut and sewn the wool on its own behalf or had another person cut and sew the wool on behalf of the eligible person, provided the eligible person owned the wool at the time it was cut and sewn.

(B) Applicability. This paragraph applies to wool of the kind described in subheadings 9902.51.11 and 9902.51.15 of the 2014 HTS.

(ii) Manufacturing of qualifying worsted wool fabric—(A) In general. When reporting the annual dollar value and quantity of imported qualifying worsted wool fabric, and the annual dollar value and quantity of the qualifying worsted wool fabric that was manufactured, an eligible person may either have manufactured the wool on its own behalf or had another person manufacture the wool, provided the eligible person owned the wool at the time of manufacture.

(B) Applicability. This paragraph applies to wool of the kind described in subheading 9902.51.16 of the 2014 HTS.

§ 1471.14 Wool yarn, wool fiber, and wool top duty compensation payment.

(a) Definitions. In this section the following definitions apply:

(1) Duty. The term “duty” means the duty rate codified in the HTS for a year that is applicable to qualifying wool of the kind described in subheadings 9902.51.13 and 9902.51.14 of the 2014 HTS.

(2) Eligible person—(i) In general. The term “eligible person” means a manufacturer (or a successor-in-interest to the manufacturer) in the U.S. during the calendar year immediately preceding the payment; that

(A) Imported qualifying wool; and

(B) Manufactured the qualifying wool.

(ii) Successor-in-interest. If a person satisfies the criteria for becoming a successor-in-interest to an eligible person under paragraph (a)(4) of this section, the person shall succeed to the status of the eligible person and become eligible for the payment.

(3) Qualifying wool. The term “qualifying wool” means imported wool yarn of the kind described in subheading 9902.51.13 of the 2014 HTS, and imported wool fiber or wool top of the kind described in subheading 9902.51.14 of the 2014 HTS, that, during the calendar year immediately preceding the payment was

(i) Imported, directly or indirectly, by an eligible person (or a successor-in-interest) into the U.S.; and

(ii) Manufactured by the eligible person in the U.S.

(4) Successor-in-interest. The term “successor-in-interest” means a person that is eligible to claim a payment under this section as if the person were the original eligible manufacturer, without regard to section 3727, title 31, U.S. Code because of

(i) An assignment of the claim;

(ii) An assignment of the eligible person's right to manufacture under the same trade name; or

(iii) A reorganization of the eligible person.

(b) Import duties. The duties on imports of qualifying wool were suspended in their entirety in section 503 of the Trade and Development Act of 2000. The suspension of the duties for both HTS subheadings of qualifying wool was extended through December 31, 2014. These duties were reinstated as of January 1, 2015.

(c) Duty compensation payment—(1) Calculation of payment. For each of the 2015-2019 calendar years the duty compensation payment of an eligible person will be established by calculating, as provided in paragraphs (c)(2) through (5) of this section, the savings that would have been realized by the eligible person for imports of qualifying wool had the duty suspension been in effect.

(2) Savings for each subheading. The savings realized by an eligible person for imports of qualifying wool under a HTS subheading covered by this section shall be obtained by multiplying

(i) The reported dollar value of imports under a HTS subheading during the calendar year immediately preceding the payment; and

(ii) Except as provided in paragraph (c)(5) of this section, the duty applicable to that HTS subheading in the calendar year preceding the payment, converted to numeric value.

(3) Sum of subheading savings. The product obtained in paragraph (c)(2) of this section for imports of qualifying wool previously described under each HTS subheading shall be added to the savings obtained for imports under the other HTS subheading (as applicable).

(4) Duty compensation payment amount. The sum obtained in paragraph (c)(3) of this section shall equal the annual duty compensation payment for the eligible person for the applicable calendar year.

(5) Exception for 2015 payment. In the case of the 2015 payment, for purposes of the calculation component described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section the duty rate applicable in 2015 shall be deemed the duty rate actually paid in 2014. The reason for this exception for the 2015 payment is that 2014 is both the last year in which the duty suspension was still in effect, and is also the calendar year immediately preceding the payment (the payment is in 2015). As a result, for the 2015 payment, a proxy is necessary for the higher duty rate in the calendar year immediately preceding the payment.

(d) Annual affidavit required—(1) In general. An eligible person applying for a payment under this section shall comply with all applicable reporting requirements described in this section and § 1471.10.

(2) Specific business information—(i) Imports and production. An eligible person shall, for the calendar year immediately preceding the payment, report the actual dollar value and the actual quantity of:

(A) Imports into the U.S. of qualifying wool by the eligible person; and

(B) Such qualifying wool that was manufactured in the U.S. by the eligible person.

(ii) Direct and indirect importers—(A) In general. Eligible persons that import qualifying wool through a third party broker are considered to be indirect importers of the qualifying wool. Persons that directly import qualifying wool and pay the import duty for such wool are considered to be direct importers of the qualifying wool.

(B) Reported dollar value. Eligible persons must state in their annual affidavit whether, in the calendar year immediately preceding the payment, they were direct or indirect importers, and the dollar value of the imported qualifying wool. The reported dollar value of imports by indirect importers will be subject to a 10% reduction.

(C) Affirmation. An eligible person shall annually affirm in the affidavit that, in the calendar year immediately preceding the payment, the eligible person

(1) Directly or indirectly imported the qualifying wool into the U.S.;

(2) Manufactured the qualifying wool in the U.S.; and

(3) Imported qualifying wool from the country of origin identified in the affidavit.

(iii) Import documentation—(A) Direct imports. Applicable to the calendar year immediately preceding the payment, an eligible person that directly imported qualifying wool is required to submit to FAS as part of the affidavit package scanned copies of CBP Form 7501 “Entry Summary” for the relevant calculations made in the affidavit.

(B) Indirect imports. Applicable to the calendar year immediately preceding the payment, an eligible person that indirectly imported qualifying wool is required to submit to FAS as part of the affidavit package invoices from third party brokers for the relevant calculations made in the affidavit.

(3) Manufacture of qualifying wool. When reporting the annual dollar value and quantity of imported qualifying wool, and the annual dollar value and quantity of the qualifying wool that was manufactured, an eligible person may either have manufactured the qualifying wool on its own behalf or had another person manufacture the qualifying wool, provided the eligible person owned the qualifying wool at the time of manufacture.

Dated: February 25, 2015. Phil C. Karsting, Administrator, Foreign Agricultural Service, and Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation.
[FR Doc. 2015-04385 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-10-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0347; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-173-AD; Amendment 39-18109; AD 2015-04-07] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 767-200 and -300 series airplanes equipped with Pratt & Whitney Model JT9D or PW4000 engines. This AD was prompted by a report of several cases of low hydraulic pressure or loss of electrical power to the alternating current motor pump (ACMP) on the left engine. This AD requires inspecting for damage of the wiring bundles in the left engine's strut and corrective actions if necessary, and installing new wire support brackets and bundle clamps. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct chafed wire bundles due to rubbing against structure or a hydraulic piping elbow, which could result in electrical arcing in a flammable fluid leakage zone, and provide a possible ignition source for fuel vapors and hydraulic fluids. Ignited fuel vapors or hydraulic fluid in an area without a fire detection or suppression system could result in an uncontained engine strut fire and structural damage to the engine strut.

DATES:

This AD is effective April 13, 2015.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this AD as of April 13, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2014-0347.

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-2014-0347; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Philip Sheridan, Senior Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Equipment Branch, ANM-130S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6441; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain The Boeing Company Model 767-200 and -300 series airplanes equipped with Pratt & Whitney Model JT9D or PW4000 engines. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on June 30, 2014 (79 FR 36680). The NPRM was prompted by a report of several cases of low hydraulic pressure or loss of electrical power to the ACMP on the left engine. The NPRM proposed to require inspecting for damage of the wiring bundles in the left engine's strut and corrective actions if necessary, and installing new wire support brackets and bundle clamps. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct chafed wire bundles due to rubbing against structure or a hydraulic piping elbow, which could result in electrical arcing in a flammable fluid leakage zone, and provide a possible ignition source for fuel vapors and hydraulic fluids. Ignited fuel vapors or hydraulic fluid in an area without a fire detection or suppression system could result in an uncontained engine strut fire and structural damage to the engine strut.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM (79 FR 36680, June 30, 2014) and the FAA's response to each comment.

Request To Include Airplanes Equipped With General Electric Engines

Boeing requested that paragraphs (c), (g), and (h) of the proposed AD (79 FR 36680, June 30, 2014) be revised to include Model 767 airplanes that are equipped with General Electric engines. Boeing stated that the identified unsafe condition for Model 767 airplanes equipped with Pratt & Whitney engines also exists on Model 767 airplanes equipped with General Electric engines. Boeing also noted that it has issued Service Bulletins 767-29A0098 and 767-29A0100 to address the unsafe condition for the airplanes with General Electric Model CF6-80A or CF6-80C2 engines.

We agree that a similar unsafe condition might exist for Model 767 airplanes that are equipped with General Electric engines. We are evaluating the potential for this unsafe condition to exist on those airplanes and might consider further rulemaking for those airplanes. However, while we determine whether further rulemaking is appropriate for those airplanes with General Electric engines, we consider it appropriate to proceed with issuance of this AD for Model 767 airplanes equipped with Pratt & Whitney engines. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

Request To Clarify Certain Figures in Service Information

United Airlines stated that it has no issues with the reason for the NPRM (79 FR 36680, June 30, 2014) or the proposed actions. However, United Airlines did have concerns about the clarity of some parts of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-29A0115, dated May 22, 2013.

• Figure 2 has an illustration that shows four wire bundles, but Step 1 of the figure only specifies three wire bundles to inspect. Another figure, Figure 3, also has the same illustration that shows four wire bundles, but Step 1 of Figure 3 specifies four wire bundles to inspect. It is unclear if the illustration or the Step 1 is incorrect.

• Step 1 in Figure 4 specifies removing two Hi-Loks and a bracket; then the Hi-Loks are re-installed in Step 4, which seems to indicate the bracket should be discarded. However, Figure 4 does not specify what to do with that bracket, which means it is not clear what the new Hi-loks would be retaining or if the other bracket that is apparently attached to the bulkhead web remains.

• Steps 2 and 3 of Figure 4 each specify to remove four bolts, but a note for Step 3 states “do not remove valve mounting brackets.” It seems the mounting brackets will fall free at that time and, if that is the case, the note should say “retain brackets for reuse.”

• Figure 4 does not specify “remove and discard” for certain parts that are not re-used, especially those parts that are duplicated in the new parts kit.

We agree that Figure 4 of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-29A0115, dated May 22, 2013, could be improved for clarity. However, Figure 4 of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-29A0115, dated May 22, 2013, was referenced by a step in the Accomplishment Instructions that was not labeled “RC” (required for compliance) and may be deviated from as specified in paragraph (j)(4) of this AD. We revised paragraph (j)(4) of this AD to specify that steps that are not marked “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 “RC”-marked steps can still be done and the airplane can be put back in a serviceable condition.

Figure 3 of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-29A0115, dated May 22, 2013, is correct.

Figure 2 of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-29A0115, dated May 22, 2013, was identified in a step labeled “RC” in the Accomplishment Instructions as a figure that must be done to comply with this AD. We agree that the illustration for Figure 2 is misleading with regard to the number of wire bundles that must be inspected. However, the title of Figure 2 clearly indicates the correct wire bundle numbers (three) and wire bundle identification (W290, W390, and W398) to inspect, and the number of wire bundles specified in Step 1 of the figure is also correct.

FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 20-176A, “Service Bulletins Related to Airworthiness Directives and Indicating FAA Approval on Service Documents,” dated June 16, 2014 (http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgAdvisoryCircular.nsf/0/979ddd1479e1ec6f86257cfc0052d4e9/$FILE/AC%2020-176A.PDF), states that “To avoid subjective misinterpretation, the text in the accomplishment instructions must be the authoritative information.” Therefore, we regard the text in Figure 2 to be more authoritative than the illustration for Figure 2.

To clarify this information, we added a new Note 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD and renumbered a subsequent note accordingly. Note 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD clarifies that the illustration in Figure 2 of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-29A0115, dated May 22, 2013, shows four wire bundles, but the text in Figure 2 correctly identifies three wire bundles to be inspected. Following the text in Figure 2 will result in accomplishment of the appropriate actions; no approval of an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) is needed to address this issue. We conclude that this will enable operators to successfully incorporate the service information.

Effect of Winglets on Accomplishment of the Proposed Actions

Aviation Partners Boeing stated that the installation of winglets per Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) ST01920SE (http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgstc.nsf/0/59027F43B9A7486E86257B1D006591EE?OpenDocument&Highlight=st01920se) does not affect the accomplishment of the manufacturer's service instructions.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed except for minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

• Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (79 FR 36680, June 30, 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 36680, June 30, 2014).

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-29A0115, dated May 22, 2013. The service information describes procedures for inspection of wire bundles and replacement of wire support bracket in the left engine strut. This service information is reasonably available; see ADDRESSES for ways to access this service information.

Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-29A0115, dated May 22, 2013, specifies concurrent or prior accomplishment of Boeing Service Bulletin 767-29-0057, Revision 3, dated June 9, 2011, for modification of certain wire bundles. Boeing Service Bulletin 767-29-0057, Revision 3, dated June 9, 2011, describes procedures for modifying certain wire bundles. This service information is reasonably available; see ADDRESSES for ways to access this service information.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 126 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

Estimated Costs Action Labor cost Parts cost Cost per
  • product
  • Cost on U.S. operators
    Inspection and installation 13 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,105 $349 $1,454 $183,204

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

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

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

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    Adoption of the Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): 2015-04-07 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-18109; Docket No. FAA-2014-0347; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-173-AD. (a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective April 13, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    None.

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 767-200 and -300 series airplanes, certificated in any category, equipped with Pratt & Whitney Model JT9D or PW4000 engines, as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-29A0115, dated May 22, 2013.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 29, Hydraulic Power.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report of several cases of low hydraulic pressure or loss of electrical power to the alternating current motor pump (ACMP) on the left engine. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct chafed wire bundles due to rubbing against structure or a hydraulic piping elbow, which could result in electrical arcing in a flammable fluid leakage zone, and provide a possible ignition source for fuel vapors and hydraulic fluids. Ignited fuel vapors or hydraulic fluid in an area without a fire detection or suppression system could result in an uncontained engine strut fire and structural damage to the engine strut.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Inspection and Corrective Actions

    Within 48 months after the effective date of this AD, do a detailed inspection for damage of the wiring bundles in the left engine's strut, and all applicable corrective actions; and install new wire support brackets and bundle clamps; in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-29A0115, dated May 22, 2013. Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight.

    Note 1 to paragraph (g) of this AD:

    The illustration in Figure 2 of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-29A0115, dated May 22, 2013, shows four wire bundles, but the text in Figure 2 correctly identifies three wire bundles to be inspected. Following the text in Figure 2 will result in accomplishment of the appropriate actions; no approval of an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) is needed to address this issue.

    (h) Prior or Concurrent Action

    For airplanes identified as Group 1 airplanes in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-29A0115, dated May 22, 2013: Prior to or concurrently with doing the actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, do a modification of the wire bundles, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin 767-29-0057, Revision 3, dated June 9, 2011.

    Note 2 to paragraph (h) of this AD:

    For certain airplanes, paragraph (b) of AD 2004-16-12, Amendment 39-13768 (69 FR 51002, August 17, 2004), references Boeing Service Bulletin 767-29-0057, dated December 16, 1993; and Boeing Service Bulletin 767-29-0057, Revision 1, dated August 14, 2003; as concurrent requirements.

    (i) Credit for Previous Actions

    This paragraph provides credit for the actions specified in paragraph (h) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using any of the service information identified in paragraphs (i)(1), (i)(2), and (i)(3) of this AD.

    (1) Boeing Service Bulletin 767-29-0057, dated December 16, 1993, which was incorporated by reference in AD 2000-19-09, Amendment 39-11910 (65 FR 58641, October 2, 2000).

    (2) Boeing Service Bulletin 767-29-0057, Revision 1, dated August 14, 2003, which was incorporated by reference in AD 2004-16-12, Amendment 39-13768 (69 FR 51002, August 17, 2004).

    (3) Boeing Service Bulletin 767-29-0057, Revision 2, dated September 24, 2009, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

    (j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

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

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

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

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

    (k) Related Information

    (1) For more information about this AD, contact Philip Sheridan, Senior Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Equipment Branch, ANM-130S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6441; fax: 425-917-6590; email: [email protected].

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

    (l) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

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

    (i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-29A0115, dated May 22, 2013.

    (ii) Boeing Service Bulletin 767-29-0057, Revision 3, dated June 9, 2011.

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

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

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on February 19, 2015. Jeffrey E. Duven, Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-03978 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0601; Airspace Docket No. 14-ANE-7] Amendment of Class E Airspace; Manchester, NH AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action amends Class E Airspace at Manchester, NH, as a new approach procedure has been developed, requiring airspace redesign at Manchester Airport. This enhances the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at the airport. This action also updates the geographic coordinates of the airport.

    DATES:

    Effective 0901 UTC, April 30, 2015. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.9 and publication of conforming amendments.

    ADDRESSES:

    FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points can be viewed online at the FAA Air Traffic Plans and Publications Web site at http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Order/JO_7400.9Y.pdf. An additional link on this site entitled Airspace Amendments is updated routinely with the most current airspace designations and reporting points. It may also be viewed online at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal-regulations/ibr_locations.html.

    FAA Order 7400.9, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy and Regulations Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington DC, 20591; telephone: 202-267-8783.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Fornito, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, P.O. Box 20636, Atlanta, Georgia 30320; telephone (404) 305-6364.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    History

    On October 16, 2014, the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend Class E airspace at Manchester Airport, Manchester, NH, (79 FR 62079). Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. One anonymous, positive comment was received.

    Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6003 of FAA Order 7400.9Y dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

    This document amends FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014. FAA Order 7400.9Y is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this final rule. FAA Order 7400.9Y lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

    The Rule

    This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 amends Class E airspace designated as an extension to Class C surface area, at Manchester Airport, Manchester, NH. Airspace reconfiguration extending from the 5-mile radius of the airport to 8.3-miles northwest of the airport is necessary due to the development of the RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 17 approach, and for continued safety and management of IFR operations at the airport. Also, the geographic coordinates of Manchester Airport are adjusted to coincide with the FAAs aeronautical database. An editorial change is made to correct the title of paragraph 6003 of FAA Order 7400.9Y, to read “Class E Airspace Designated as an Extension to a Class C Surface area”.

    The FAA has determined that this regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current, is non-controversial and unlikely to result in adverse or negative comments. It, therefore, (1) is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a Regulatory Evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that only affects air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when promulgated, does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it amends controlled airspace at Manchester Airport, Manchester, NH.

    Environmental Review

    The FAA has determined that this action qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1E, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures,” paragraph 311a. This airspace action is not expected to cause any potentially significant environmental impacts, and no extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    Adoption of the Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

    PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(g); 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959-1963 Comp., p. 389.

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of Federal Aviation Administration Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, effective September 15, 2014, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6003 Class E Airspace Designated as an Extension to a Class C Surface Area. ANE NH E3 Manchester, NH [Amended] Manchester Airport, NH (Lat. 42°55′58″ N., long. 71°26′09″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from the surface within 3.3-miles each side of the 337° bearing of Manchester Airport extending from the 5-mile radius to 8.5-miles northwest of the airport.

    Issued in College Park, Georgia, on February 25, 2015. Gerald E. Lynch, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Air Traffic Organization.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05112 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0293; Airspace Docket No. 14-ANE-5] Establishment of Class E Airspace; Plainville, CT AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This action establishes Class E Airspace at Plainville, CT, to accommodate new Area Navigation (RNAV) Global Positioning System (GPS) Standard Instrument Approach Procedures (SIAPs) serving Robertson Field Airport. This action enhances the safety and management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations within the National Airspace System.

    DATES:

    Effective 0901 UTC, April 30, 2015. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.9 and publication of conforming amendments.

    ADDRESSES:

    FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points can be viewed online at the FAA Air Traffic Plans and Publications Web site at http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Order/JO_7400.9Y.pdf. An additional link on this site entitled Airspace Amendments is updated routinely with the most current airspace designations and reporting points. It may also be viewed online at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal-regulations/ibr_locations.html.

    FAA Order 7400.9, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy and Regulations Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington DC 20591; telephone: 202-267-8783.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Fornito, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, P.O. Box 20636, Atlanta, Georgia 30320; telephone (404) 305-6364.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    History

    On October 17, 2014, the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to establish Class E airspace at Robertson Field Airport, Plainville, CT, (79 FR 62366). Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. One anonymous positive comment was received.

    Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6005 of FAA Order 7400.9Y dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

    This document amends FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014. FAA Order 7400.9Y is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this final rule. FAA Order 7400.9Y lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

    The Rule

    This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 establishes Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 9.5-mile radius of Robertson Field Airport, Plainville, CT. Controlled airspace is required to support the new RNAV (GPS) standard instrument approach procedures for Robertson Field Airport.

    The FAA has determined that this regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current, is non-controversial and unlikely to result in adverse or negative comments. It, therefore, (1) is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a Regulatory Evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that only affects air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when promulgated, does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it establishes controlled airspace at Robertson Field Airport, Plainville, CT.

    Environmental Review

    The FAA has determined that this action qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1E, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures,” paragraph 311a. This airspace action is not expected to cause any potentially significant environmental impacts, and no extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment.

    Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    Adoption of the Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

    PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(g); 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959-1963 Comp., p. 389.

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of Federal Aviation Administration Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, effective September 15, 2014, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward from 700 feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ANE CT E5 Plainville, CT [New] Robertson Field Airport, CT (Lat. 41°41′22″ N., long. 72°51′53″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 9.5-mile radius of Robertson Field Airport.

    Issued in College Park, Georgia, on February 25, 2015. Gerald E. Lynch, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Air Traffic Organization.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05110 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0110] Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Housatonic River, Stratford, CT AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the operation of the Metro-North (Devon) railroad bridge across the Housatonic River at Stratford, Connecticut. This deviation is necessary to allow the bridge owner to perform electrical repairs at the bridge. This deviation allows the bridge to remain closed for seven days.

    DATES:

    This deviation is effective from 7 a.m. on March 23, 2015 through 7 a.m. on March 29, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2015-0110] 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 temporary deviation, call or email Ms. Judy K. Leung-Yee, Project Officer, First Coast Guard District, telephone (212) 514-4330, [email protected] If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone (202) 366-9826.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Metro-North (Devon) railroad bridge across the Housatonic River, mile 3.9, at Stratford, Connecticut, has a vertical clearance in the closed position of 19 feet at mean high water and 25 feet at mean low water. The existing bridge operating regulations are found at 33 CFR 117.207(b).

    The waterway is transited by seasonal recreational vessels and commercial vessels of various sizes.

    The bridge owner, Metro-North, requested a temporary deviation from the normal operating schedule to facilitate electrical repairs at the bridge.

    Under this temporary deviation the Metro-North (Devon) railroad bridge may remain in the closed position from 7 a.m. on March 23, 2015 through 7 a.m. on March 29, 2015.

    The draw shall maintain its normal operating schedule at all other times.

    There are no alternate routes for vessel traffic; however, vessels that can pass under the closed draw during this closure may do so at all times. The bridge may be opened in the event of an emergency.

    The Coast Guard will inform the users of the waterways through our Local and Broadcast Notice to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge so that vessels can arrange their transits to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation.

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

    Dated: February 23, 2015. C.J. Bisignano, Supervisory Bridge Management Specialist, First Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05294 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2014-0292] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone for Ice Conditions; Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, Upper Chesapeake Bay, and Tributaries, MD AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone in all navigable waters within the northern portion of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, including the western portion of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, located between the Delaware/Maryland Boundary Line across the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal east of Chesapeake City, MD, and a line drawn across the Chesapeake Bay at the William P. Lane, Jr. (US-50/301) Memorial Bridges, located between Sandy Point and Kent Island, MD. The temporary safety zone restricts vessels from transiting the zone during the effective period, unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Baltimore or his designated representative. This safety zone is necessary to protect mariners from the hazards associated with ice in the navigable waterways.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective without actual notice from March 9, 2015 until April 15, 2015. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from the date the rule was signed, February 17, 2015 until March 9, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of Docket Number USCG-2014-0292. To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to 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 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.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email Mr. Ronald L. Houck, Sector Baltimore Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 410-576-2674, 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 A. Regulatory History and Information

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because it is contrary to public interest to delay issuing this rule. Delaying the rule by first publishing an NPRM would be contrary to the public interest in the safety zone's intended objective to protect persons and vessels against the hazards associated with ice on navigable waters. Such hazards include vessels becoming beset or dragged off course, sinking or grounding, and creating hazards to navigation.

    For similar reasons, under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

    B. Basis, Purpose, and Discussion

    The legal basis for this rule is provided by 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; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1. The purpose of this rule is to protect personal and vessel safety against dangers posed by frozen waterways.

    During an average or severe winter, frozen waterways present numerous hazards to vessels. Ice in a waterway may hamper a vessel's ability to maneuver, and could cause visual aids to navigation to be submerged, destroyed or moved off station. Ice abrasions and ice pressure could also compromise a vessel's watertight integrity, and non-steel hulled vessels would be exposed to a greater risk of hull breach.

    When ice conditions develop to a point where vessel operations become unsafe, it becomes necessary to impose operating restrictions to ensure the safe navigation of vessels. A safety zone is a tool available to the Captain of the Port (COTP) to restrict and manage vessel movement when hazardous conditions exist. The COTP Baltimore is establishing a safety zone within all navigable waters within the northern portion of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, including the western portion of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, located between the Delaware/Maryland Boundary Line across the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal east of Chesapeake City, MD, and a line drawn across the Chesapeake Bay at the William P. Lane, Jr. (US-50/301) Memorial Bridges, located between Sandy Point and Kent Island, MD. This safety zone will restrict certain vessels meeting certain conditions specified from entering the navigable waters within the northern portion of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, including the western portion of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, located between the Delaware/Maryland Boundary Line across the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal east of Chesapeake City, MD, and a line drawn across the Chesapeake Bay at the William P. Lane, Jr. (US-50/301) Memorial Bridges, located between Sandy Point and Kent Island, MD. Those vessels prohibited from entering the safety zone will be specified via broadcast notice to mariners and marine safety information bulletins.

    Ice generally begins to form in the Upper Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, including the C & D Canal, in late December or early January. During an average or severe winter, ice in navigable waters can become a serious problem, requiring the use of federal, state and private ice breaking resources. The Commander, Coast Guard Sector Baltimore will use his COTP authority to promote vessel safety in ice-congested waters and the continuation of waterborne commerce throughout the cold weather months.

    Ice fields in the Upper Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries move with prevailing winds and currents. Heavy ice buildups can occur in the C & D Canal, from Town Point Wharf to Reedy Point. Other areas that are commonly affected by high volumes of ice are within the approaches to Baltimore Harbor, including: The Elk River, Susquehanna River, Patapsco River, and the approaches to Baltimore Harbor. Once ice buildup begins it can affect the transit of large ocean-going vessels. This regulation is intended to mitigate the threat ice poses to the maritime public.

    C. Discussion of the Interim Rule

    A safety zone is being established encompassing navigable waters within the northern portion of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, including the western portion of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, located between the Delaware/Maryland Boundary Line across the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal east of Chesapeake City, MD, and a line drawn across the Chesapeake Bay at the William P. Lane, Jr. (US-50/301) Memorial Bridges, located between Sandy Point and Kent Island, MD. The COTP Baltimore anticipates only having to enforce certain parts of the regulated area at certain times. The purpose of this regulation is to promote maritime safety and to protect mariners transiting the area from the potential hazards due to ice conditions that become a threat to navigation. The COTP Baltimore will notify the maritime community, via marine broadcasts, of the location and thickness of the ice as well as the ability of vessels to transit through the safety zone depending on the prevailing ice conditions. Prevailing ice conditions will be categorized as Condition One, Condition Two, or Condition Three.

    Ice Condition One is an emergency condition in which ice has largely covered the regulated area. Under these conditions, convoys may be required and restrictions based on shaft horsepower and a vessel's planned transit may be imposed by the COTP on certain vessels seeking to enter the safety zone.

    Ice Condition Two is an alert condition in which at least 2 inches of ice begins to form in the regulated area. The COTP Baltimore may impose restrictions, including but not limited to, those based on shaft horsepower and hull type restrictions for certain vessels seeking to enter the safety zone.

    Ice Condition Three is a readiness condition in which weather conditions are favorable for the formation of ice in the regulated area. Daily reports for the Coast Guard Stations and commercial vessels are monitored, and no limitations for vessels seeking to enter the zone based on vessel traffic, hull type or shaft horsepower are anticipated.

    This rule has been enforced with actual notice since February 17, 2015 and it will be enforced until April 15, 2015, unless sooner terminated by the COTP Baltimore.

    D. Regulatory Analyses

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

    1. Regulatory Planning and Review

    This 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. Although this regulation could hinder or prevent traffic from transiting within the northern portion of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, including the western portion of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, located between the Delaware/Maryland Boundary Line across the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal east of Chesapeake City, MD, and a line drawn across the Chesapeake Bay at the William P. Lane, Jr. (US-50/301) Memorial Bridges, located between Sandy Point and Kent Island, MD., the effect of this regulation will not be significant because there is little vessel traffic associated with recreational boating and commercial fishing during the effective period.

    2. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule will affect the following entities, some of which may be small entities: The owners or operators of vessels intending to operate, transit or anchor in the regulated area, from February 17, 2015 until April 15, 2015. This safety zone will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities due to a lack of seasonal vessel traffic associated with recreational boating and commercial fishing during the effective period. Although the safety zone will apply to the northern portion of Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, including the western portion of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, located between the Delaware/Maryland Boundary Line across the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal east of Chesapeake City, MD, and a line drawn across the Chesapeake Bay at the William P. Lane, Jr. (US-50/301) Memorial Bridges, located between Sandy Point and Kent Island, MD, the COTP Baltimore anticipates only having to enforce certain parts of the regulated area at certain times. Traffic will be allowed to pass through the zone with the permission of the COTP Baltimore. Also, the COTP Baltimore will notify the maritime community, via marine broadcasts, of the location and thickness of the ice, as well as the ability of vessels to transit through the safety zone.

    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 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.

    Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal employees who enforce, or otherwise determine compliance with, Federal regulations to the Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and the Regional Small Business Regulatory Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman evaluates these actions annually and rates each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish to comment on actions by employees of the Coast Guard, call 1-888-REG-FAIR (1-888-734-3247). The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

    4. Collection of Information

    This 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 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 rule will not result in such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

    8. Taking of Private Property

    This rule will 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 rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.

    10. Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks

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

    11. Indian Tribal Governments

    This rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it does 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 action 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 rule does not use technical standards. Therefore, we did not consider the use of voluntary consensus standards.

    14. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have determined 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 rule involves establishing a temporary safety zone. This rule is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. An 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 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 amends 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, 160.5; Pub. L. 107-295, 116 Stat. 2064; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. Add § 165.T05-0292 to read as follows:
    § 165.T05-0292 Safety Zone for Ice Conditions; Chesapeake and Delaware Canal and Upper Chesapeake Bay, and their tributaries; MD.

    (a) Regulated Area. The following area is a safety zone: The navigable waters within the northern portion of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, including the western portion of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, located between the Delaware/Maryland Boundary Line across the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal east of Chesapeake City, MD, and a line drawn across the Chesapeake Bay at the William P. Lane, Jr. (US-50/301) Memorial Bridges, located between Sandy Point and Kent Island, MD.

    (b) Regulations. The general safety zone regulations found in 33 CFR 165.23 apply to the safety zone created by this temporary section, § 165.T05-0292.

    (1) All vessels and persons are prohibited from entering into or moving within the safety zone unless they meet the requirements set forth by the Captain of the Port (COTP) Baltimore for the prevailing ice conditions. Requirements for entry during periods when the safety zone is enforced will be described via Marine Safety Radio Broadcast on VHF-FM marine band radio, channel 22A (157.1 MHZ). Requirements may include, but are not limited to, the use of convoys, restrictions on shaft horsepower, and hull type restrictions, dependent on the prevailing ice conditions and vessel type.

    (2) Persons desiring to transit in the safety zone not meeting the requirements established by the COTP Baltimore must contact the COTP Baltimore or his designated representative at telephone number 410-576-2693 or on VHF-FM channel 16 (156.8 MHZ) to seek permission prior to transiting the area. If permission is granted, all persons and vessels shall comply with the instructions of the COTP Baltimore or his designated representative.

    (3) The Coast Guard vessels enforcing this safety zone can be contacted on VHF-FM marine band radio channel 16 (156.8 MHZ). Upon being hailed by a U.S. Coast Guard vessel, or other Federal, State, or local agency vessel operating under the authority of the COTP Baltimore, by siren, radio, flashing light, or other means, the operator of a vessel shall proceed as directed. The COTP Baltimore and his designated representatives can be contacted at telephone number 410-576-2693.

    (4) The COTP Baltimore or his designated representative will notify the public of any changes in the status of this safety zone by Marine Safety Radio Broadcast on VHF-FM marine band radio channel 22A (157.1 MHZ).

    (c) Definitions. As used in this section:

    Captain of the Port Baltimore means the Commander, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Baltimore, Maryland.

    Designated representative means any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant, or petty officer who has been authorized by the Captain of the Port Baltimore to assist in enforcing the safety zone described in paragraph (a) of this section.

    (d) Enforcement. The U.S. Coast Guard may be assisted by Federal, State and local agencies in the patrol and enforcement of the zone.

    (e) Enforcement period. This section will be enforced from February 17, 2015 until April 15, 2015.

    Dated: February 17, 2015. Kevin C. Kiefer, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Baltimore.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05475 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0037] Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Narrow Bay, Suffolk County, NY AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of deviation from drawbridge regulation.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard has issued a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the operation of the Smith Point Bridge across Narrow Bay, mile 6.1, at Suffolk County, New York. This deviation is necessary to provide public safety during a public event, the Smith Point Triathlon. This deviation allows the bridge to remain closed for two hours on Sunday August 2, 2015, to facilitate the Smith Point Triathlon.

    DATES:

    This deviation is effective from 7 a.m. through 9 a.m. on August 2, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2015-0037] 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 temporary deviation, call or email Ms. Judy K. Leung-Yee, Project Officer, First Coast Guard District, telephone (212) 514-4330, [email protected] If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone (202) 366-9826.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Smith Point Bridge across Narrow Bay, mile 6.1, at Suffolk County, New York, has a vertical clearance in the closed position of 18 feet at mean high water and 19 feet at mean low water. The existing bridge operating regulations are found at 33 CFR 117.799(d).

    The waterway is transited by seasonal recreational vessels of various sizes.

    The Event Power Triathlon Committee and the owner of the bridge, Suffolk County Department of Public Works, Parks Department, requested a temporary deviation from the normal operating schedule to facilitate public safety during the running of the Smith Point Triathlon.

    Under this temporary deviation the Smith Point Bridge may remain in the closed position for two hours between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. on Sunday August 2, 2015.

    There are no alternate routes for vessel traffic; however, vessels that can pass under the closed draw during this closure may do so at all times. The bridge may be opened in the event of an emergency.

    The Coast Guard will inform the users of the waterways through our Local and Broadcast Notice to Mariners of the change in operating schedule for the bridge so that vessels can arrange their transits to minimize any impact caused by the temporary deviation.

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

    Dated: February 23, 2015. C.J. Bisignano, Supervisory Bridge Management Specialist, First Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05302 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 52 and 81 [EPA-R04-OAR-2012-0893; FRL-9923-89-Region 4] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans and Designation of Areas for Air Quality Planning Purposes; Georgia; Redesignation of the Rome, Georgia, 1997 Annual Fine Particulate Matter Nonattainment Area to Attainment; Correction AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    On May 14, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final rule to approve a request submitted on June 21, 2012, by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, through Georgia Environmental Protection Division, to redesignate the Rome, Georgia, fine particulate matter (PM2.5) nonattainment area (hereafter referred to as the “Rome Area” or “Area”) to attainment for the 1997 Annual PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). This action corrects an inadvertent error in the preamble of EPA's May 14, 2014, final rule related to the redesignation of the Rome Area for the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS.

    DATES:

    This action is effective March 9, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Copies of the documentation used in the action being corrected are available for inspection during normal business hours at the following location: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tiereny Bell, Air Regulatory Management Section (formerly the Regulatory Development Section), Air Planning and Implementation Branch (formerly the Air Planning Branch), Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Ms. Bell may be reached by phone at (404) 562-9088 or via electronic mail at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This action corrects an error in the preamble of EPA's May 14, 2014, final rule related to the redesignation of the Rome Area for the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS. See 79 FR 27493. The Rome Area is comprised of one county, Floyd County, in Georgia. In the “Final Action” section of the preamble at 79 FR 27495, EPA inadvertently stated that the final rule was changing the legal designation of “Bibb County and a portion of Monroe County” to attainment for the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS. EPA is now correcting that inadvertent error in the preamble by replacing the phrase “Bibb County and a portion of Monroe County” with “Floyd County.” The regulatory text associated with the May 14, 2014, final rule at 40 CFR 52.570 and 81.311 correctly identifies “Floyd County” as the redesignated county associated with the Rome Area. See 79 FR 27496.

    EPA has determined that today's action falls under the “good cause” exemption in section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) which, upon finding “good cause,” authorizes agencies to dispense with public participation where public notice and comment procedures are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest. Public notice and comment procedures are unnecessary for today's action because this action merely corrects the aforementioned inadvertent error in the preamble of EPA's May 14, 2014, final rule and has no substantive impact on EPA's May 14, 2014, action. In addition, EPA can identify no particular reason why the public would be interested in having the opportunity to comment on the correction prior to this action being finalized because this correction does not change or reopen EPA's redesignation of the Rome Area for the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS.

    EPA also finds that there is good cause under APA section 553(d)(3) for this correction to become effective on the date of publication of this action. Section 553(d)(3) of the APA allows an effective date less than 30 days after publication “as otherwise provided by the agency for good cause found and published with the rule.” 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). The purpose of the 30-day waiting period prescribed in APA section 553(d)(3) is to give affected parties a reasonable time to adjust their behavior and prepare before the final rule takes effect. Today's action, however, does not create any new regulatory requirements such that affected parties would need time to prepare before the action takes effect. Rather, today's action merely corrects the inadvertent error identified above. For these reasons, EPA finds good cause under APA section 553(d)(3) for this correction to become effective on the date of publication of this action.

    IV. 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 imposes no additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. Accordingly, the Administrator certifies that this action 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 action merely corrects an inadvertent error in the preamble to EPA's May 14, 2014, final rulemaking, 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, the SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000) nor will it 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 does not alter the relationship or the distribution of power and responsibilities established in the Clean Air Act (CAA). This action 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 addition, this action does not involve technical standards, 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 action also 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 action and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. A major rule cannot take effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by May 8, 2015. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final action does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. See CAA section 307(b)(2).

    List of Subjects 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, and Particulate matter.

    40 CFR Part 81

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, National parks, Wilderness areas.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: February 13, 2015. V. Anne Heard, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05071 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0444; FRL 9924-16-Region 4] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; North Carolina Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 Lead National Ambient Air Quality Standards AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking final action to approve a portion of the July 20, 2012, State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission, provided by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NC DENR), Division of Air Quality (NCDAQ) for inclusion into the North Carolina SIP. This final action pertains to the Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act) infrastructure requirements for the 2008 Lead national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). The CAA requires that each state adopt and submit a SIP for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of each NAAQS promulgated by EPA, which is commonly referred to as an “infrastructure” SIP. NCDAQ certified that the North Carolina SIP contains provisions that ensure the 2008 Lead NAAQS is implemented, enforced, and maintained in North Carolina. With the exception of provisions pertaining to prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) permitting and state board requirements, EPA is taking final action to approve North Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission, provided to EPA on July 20, 2012, because it addresses the required infrastructure elements for the 2008 Lead NAAQS.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on April 8, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket Identification No. EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0444. All documents in the docket are listed on the www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., Confidential Business Information or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Regulatory Management Section (formerly the Regulatory Development Section), Air Planning and Implementation Branch (formerly the Air Planning Branch), Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. excluding federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Zuri Farngalo, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. The telephone number is (404) 562-9152. Mr. Farngalo can be reached via electronic mail at [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    Upon promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS, sections 110(a)(1) and (2) of the CAA require states to address basic SIP requirements, including emissions inventories, monitoring, and modeling to assure attainment and maintenance for that new NAAQS. Section 110(a) of the CAA generally requires states to make a SIP submission to meet applicable requirements in order to provide for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of a new or revised NAAQS within three years following the promulgation of such NAAQS, or within such shorter period as EPA may prescribe. These SIP submissions are commonly referred to as “infrastructure” SIP submissions. Section 110(a) imposes the obligation upon states to make an infrastructure SIP submission to EPA for a new or revised NAAQS, but the contents of that submission may vary depending upon the facts and circumstances. In particular, the data and analytical tools available at the time the state develops and submits the infrastructure SIP for a new or revised NAAQS affect the content of the submission. The contents of such infrastructure SIP submissions may also vary depending upon what provisions the state's existing SIP already contains. In the case of the 2008 Lead NAAQS, states typically have met the basic program elements required in section 110(a)(2) through earlier SIP submissions in connection with previous lead NAAQS.

    More specifically, section 110(a)(1) provides the procedural and timing requirements for SIPs. Section 110(a)(2) lists specific elements that states must meet for infrastructure SIP requirements related to a newly established or revised NAAQS. As mentioned above, these requirements include basic structural SIP elements such as modeling, monitoring, and emissions inventories that are designed to assure attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS. The applicable infrastructure SIP requirements that are the subject of this rulemaking are listed below.1

    1 Two elements identified in section 110(a)(2) are not governed by the three year submission deadline of section 110(a)(1) because SIPs incorporating necessary local nonattainment area controls are not due within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS, but rather due at the time the nonattainment area plan requirements are due pursuant to other provisions of the CAA for submission of SIP revisions specifically applicable for attainment planning purposes. These requirements are: (1) Submissions required by section 110(a)(2)(C) to the extent that subsection refers to a permit program as required in part D Title I of the CAA; and (2) submissions required by section 110(a)(2)(I) which pertain to the nonattainment planning requirements of part D, Title I of the CAA. Today's proposed rulemaking does not address infrastructure elements related to section 110(a)(2)(I) or the nonattainment planning requirements of 110(a)(2)(C).

    • 110(a)(2)(A): Emission limits and other control measures. • 110(a)(2)(B): Ambient air quality monitoring/data system. • 110(a)(2)(C): Program for enforcement, prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) and new source review (NSR).2

    2 This rulemaking only addresses requirements for this element as they relate to attainment areas.

    • 110(a)(2)(D): Interstate and international transport provisions. • 110(a)(2)(E): Adequate personnel, funding, and authority. • 110(a)(2)(F): Stationary source monitoring and reporting. • 110(a)(2)(G): Emergency episodes. • 110(a)(2)(H): Future SIP revisions. • 110(a)(2)(J): Consultation with government officials, public notification, and PSD and visibility protection. • 110(a)(2)(K): Air quality modeling/data. • 110(a)(2)(L): Permitting fees. • 110(a)(2)(M): Consultation/participation by affected local entities.

    On November 20, 2014, EPA proposed to approve North Carolina's July 20, 2012, 2008 Lead NAAQS infrastructure SIP submission with the exception of preconstruction PSD permitting requirements for major sources of sections 110(a)(2)(C), prong 3 of D(i), and (J) and the state board requirements of 110(E)(ii), which EPA will address in a separate action. See 79 FR 69082.

    II. Today's Action

    In this rulemaking, EPA is taking final action to approve North Carolina's July 20, 2012, infrastructure submission as demonstrating that the State meets the applicable requirements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2) of the CAA for the 2008 Lead NAAQS, with the exception of preconstruction PSD permitting requirements for major sources of sections 110(a)(2)(C), prong 3 of D(i), and (J); and the state board requirements of 110(E)(ii). EPA will act on these portions of North Carolina's July 20, 2012, submission in a separate action.

    III. Final Action

    With the exception of provisions pertaining to preconstruction PSD permitting requirements for major sources of sections 110(a)(2)(C), prong 3 of D(i), and (J); and the state board requirements of 110(E)(ii), EPA is approving North Carolina's July 20, 2012, infrastructure submission because it addresses the required infrastructure elements for the 2008 Lead NAAQS. This submission addresses infrastructure requirements for the 2008 Lead NAAQS for the North Carolina SIP. With the exceptions noted above, NC DENR has addressed the elements of the CAA 110(a)(1) and (2) SIP requirements to ensure that the 2008 Lead NAAQS is implemented, enforced, and maintained in North Carolina.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by May 8, 2015. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. See section 307(b)(2).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Dated: February 20, 2015. Heather McTeer Toney, Regional Administrator, Region 4.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart II—North Carolina
    2. Section 52.1770(e), the table is amended by adding an entry “110(a)(1) and (2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 Lead National Ambient Air Quality Standards” at the end of the table to read as follows:
    § 52.1770 Identification of plan.

    (e) * * *

    EPA-Approved North Carolina Non-Regulatory Provisions Provision State
  • effective date
  • EPA
  • approval date
  • Federal Register citation Explanation
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * 110(a)(1) and (2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 Lead National Ambient Air Quality Standards 6/15/2012 3/9/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] With the exception of PSD permitting requirements for major sources of sections 110(a)(2)(C), prong 3 of D(i), and (J) and the state board requirements of 110(E)(ii).
    [FR Doc. 2015-05242 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0903; FRL-9924-02-Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; West Virginia; State Boards Requirements; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 Ozone, 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide, and 2010 Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Direct final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to approve revisions to the West Virginia State Implementation Plan (SIP). The SIP revision addresses the State Boards requirements for all criteria pollutants of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). EPA is also approving a related infrastructure element from the West Virginia February 21, 2012 SIP submittal for the 2008 ozone (O3) NAAQS, the December 13, 2012 SIP submittal for the 2010 nitrogen dioxide (NO2) NAAQS, and the July 1, 2013 SIP submittal for the 2010 sulfur dioxide (SO2) NAAQS. EPA is approving this SIP revision in accordance with the requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on May 8, 2015 without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse written comment by April 8, 2015. If EPA receives such comments, it will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register and inform the public that the rule will not take effect.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0903 by one of the following methods:

    A. www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.

    B. Email: [email protected]

    C. Mail: EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0903, Marilyn Powers, Acting Associate Director, Office of Air Program Planning, Air Protection Division, Mailcode 3AP30, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103.

    D. Hand Delivery: At the previously-listed EPA Region III address. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0903. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change, and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or email. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

    Docket: All documents in the electronic docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy during normal business hours at the Air Protection Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103. Copies of the State submittal are available at the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Air Quality, 601 57th Street SE., Charleston, WV 25304.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ellen Schmitt, (215) 814-5787, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    Section 128 of the CAA requires SIPs to include certain requirements regarding State Boards; section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) of the CAA also references these requirements. Section 128(a) requires SIPs to contain provisions that: (1) Any board or body which approves permits or enforcement orders under the CAA shall have at least a majority of its members represent the public interest and not derive any significant portion of their income from persons subject to permits or enforcement orders under the CAA; and (2) any potential conflict of interest by members of such board or body or the head of an executive agency with similar powers be adequately disclosed. The requirements of section 128(a)(1) are not applicable to West Virginia because it does not have any board or body which approves air quality permits or enforcement orders. The requirements of section 128(a)(2), however, are applicable because the head of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP), or his/her designees, approve permits or enforcement orders within West Virginia.

    On July 24, 2014, the State of West Virginia, through WVDEP, submitted a SIP revision to address the requirements of section 128 for all criteria pollutants of the NAAQS in relation to State Boards. The SIP revision consists of relevant portions of West Virginia Code 6B of the West Virginia Governmental Ethics Act for inclusion into the West Virginia SIP.

    In addition, this rulemaking action approves the section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) infrastructure element from the following West Virginia infrastructure SIP submittals for each identified NAAQS: February 21, 2012 for the 2008 O3 NAAQS, December 13, 2012 for the 2010 NO2 NAAQS, and July 1, 2013 for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS (collectively, the Three Submittals). For the Three Submittals, EPA had previously approved those submittals as addressing certain requirements in section 110(a)(2), and specifically stated EPA would take later separate action, for each of the NAAQS addressed, on section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) which requires a state's SIP to meet the requirements of CAA section 128. See 79 FR 3504 (January 22, 2014), 79 FR 19001 (April 7, 2014), and 79 FR 62022 (October 16, 2014).

    II. Summary of SIP Revision

    This rulemaking action approves certain statutory provisions for the West Virginia SIP submitted by WVDEP to meet the requirements of section 128 of the CAA. Upon meeting the requirements of section 128, West Virginia will also meet the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) of the CAA for all criteria pollutants of the NAAQS in relation to State Boards.

    WVDEP submitted these statutory provisions for inclusion in the West Virginia SIP to meet requirements of section 128. These West Virginia statutory provisions are in the West Virginia Governmental Ethics Act set forth in West Virginia Code 6B, specifically in W.V. Code section 6B-1-3 (Definitions), section 6B-2-6 (Financial disclosure statement; filing requirements), and section 6B-2-7 (Financial disclosure statement; contents). In the July 24, 2014 SIP submittal, WVDEP states that any potential conflicts of interest by the head of an executive agency that approves permits or enforcement orders must be disclosed pursuant to the West Virginia Governmental Ethics Act found in W.V. Code sections 6B-1-3, 6B-2-6, and 6B-2-7. In order to meet the requirements of CAA sections 128 and 110(a)(2)(E)(ii), West Virginia is seeking to incorporate into the SIP these relevant provisions of the West Virginia Code.

    III. The State Boards Requirements and EPA's Analysis of West Virginia's Submittal

    As previously stated, section 128 of the CAA requires that SIPs include provisions which provide: (1) Any board or body which approves permits or enforcement orders under the CAA have at least a majority of its members represent the public interest and not derive any significant portion of their income from persons subject to permits or enforcement orders under the CAA; and (2) any potential conflict of interest by members of such board or body or the head of an executive agency with similar powers be adequately disclosed.

    The requirements of section 128(a)(1) are not applicable to West Virginia because it does not have any board or body which approves air quality permits or enforcement orders. To address requirements in section 128(a)(2), West Virginia submitted for incorporation into its SIP the relevant portions of the West Virginia Code 6B, specifically W.V. Code sections 6B-1-3 (Definitions), 6B-2-6 (Financial disclosure statement; filing requirements), and 6B-2-7 (Financial disclosure statement; contents).

    According to WVDEP, the Secretary of WVDEP, or his/her designees, approve all CAA permits and enforcement orders in West Virginia. West Virginia Code 6B at W.V. Code section 6B-2-6 and section 6B-2-7 require secretaries of departments, commissioners, deputy commissioners, assistant commissioners, directors, deputy directors, assistant directors, department heads, deputy department heads and assistant department heads to disclose annually relevant information including certain direct and indirect financial interests, employment, business interests, income and sources of income, financial liabilities, participation on boards of directors, and gifts. The West Virginia Code at W.V. Code section 6B-1-3 also contains relevant definitions for terms used in W.V. Code sections 6B-2-6 and 6B-2-7. EPA finds these West Virginia statutory provisions provide for adequate disclosure of potential conflicts of interest. This SIP revision will incorporate existing West Virginia law into the SIP and demonstrates that West Virginia complies with the requirements of sections 128 for all NAAQS pollutants through the relevant sections of West Virginia Code 6B. Thus, EPA finds the July 24, 2014 SIP submittal addresses the relevant State Boards requirements in section 128 for West Virginia.

    IV. Infrastructure Requirements and EPA's Analysis of West Virginia's Submittals

    Whenever new or revised NAAQS are promulgated, the CAA requires states to submit a plan for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of such NAAQS. The plan is required to address basic program elements including, but not limited to, regulatory structure, monitoring, modeling, legal authority, and adequate resources necessary to assure attainment and maintenance of the standards. These elements are referred to as infrastructure requirements. In particular, the infrastructure requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) require that each state's SIP meet the requirements of section 128.

    On the following dates, and for the applicable NAAQS, West Virginia submitted infrastructure SIP submittals to meet the requirements of CAA section 110(a)(2): February 21, 2012 for the 2008 O3 NAAQS, December 13, 2012 for the 2010 NO2 NAAQS, and July 1, 2013 for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS.

    EPA has approved these submittals as meeting certain requirements or elements in section 110(a)(2) for the applicable NAAQS but has stated in each of these approvals that EPA would take later, separate action for requirements in section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii). For a discussion of EPA's approach to reviewing infrastructure SIPs, including our longstanding interpretation of requirements for section 110(a)(1) and (2), our interpretation that the CAA allows states to make multiple SIP submissions separately addressing infrastructure SIP elements in section 110(a)(2) for a specific NAAQS, and our interpretation that EPA has the ability to act on separate elements of 110(a)(2) for a NAAQS in separate rulemaking actions, see our proposed approvals of West Virginia's infrastructure SIPs for the 2008 O3 NAAQS and the 2010 NO2 and SO2 NAAQS. See 78 FR 39650 (July 2, 2013) (2008 O3 NAAQS), 78 FR 65593 (November 1, 2013) (2010 NO2 NAAQS), and 79 FR 27524 (May 14, 2014) (2010 SO2 NAAQS).

    With the July 24, 2014 SIP submittal from West Virginia, EPA finds that the West Virginia SIP adequately addresses all requirements in CAA section 128 and section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii). Thus, EPA is now approving the section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) infrastructure element for the Three Submittals for the 2008 O3, 2010 NO2, and 2010 SO2 NAAQS.

    V. Final Action

    EPA is approving the July 24, 2014 West Virginia SIP revision that addresses the requirements of sections 128 and 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) of the CAA for all criteria pollutants of the NAAQS. EPA is also specifically approving West Virginia's February 21, 2012 SIP revision for the 2008 O3 NAAQS, the December 13, 2012 SIP revision for the 2010 NO2 NAAQS, and the July 1, 2013 SIP revision for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS as addressing the requirements in section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) of the CAA. EPA is publishing this rule without prior proposal because EPA views this as a noncontroversial amendment and anticipates no adverse comment. However, in the “Proposed Rules” section of today's Federal Register, EPA is publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the SIP revision if adverse comments are filed. This rule will be effective on May 8, 2015 without further notice unless EPA receives adverse comment by April 8, 2015. If EPA receives adverse comment, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect. EPA will address all public comments in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. 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 EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    VI. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is proposing to include in a final EPA rule regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is proposing to incorporate by reference the West Virginia Code sections described in the proposed amendments to 40 CFR part 52 set forth below. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and/or in hard copy at the appropriate EPA office (see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

    VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. General Requirements

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    B. Submission to Congress and the Comptroller General

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

    C. Petitions for Judicial Review

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by May 8, 2015. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of today's Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking action. This action, approving West Virginia submissions meeting section 128 and approving the infrastructure element E(ii) for three NAAQS submittals, may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides.

    Dated: February 12, 2015. William C. Early, Acting Regional Administrator, Region III.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

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

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Subpart XX—West Virginia
    2. In § 52.2520: a. Paragraph (c) is amended by adding a table entitled “EPA-Approved Regulations and Statutes” after the existing table; and b. The table in paragraph (e) is amended by revising the entries for: i. Section 110(a)(2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone NAAQS, ii. Section 110(a)(2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 nitrogen dioxide NAAQS, and Section 110(a)(2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 1-Hour Sulfur Dioxide NAAQS.

    The addition and revisions read as follows:

    § 52.2520 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    EPA-Approved Regulations and Statutes State citation Title/subject State
  • effective
  • date
  • EPA approval date Explanation [former SIP citation]
    West Virginia Code 6B—Ethics Standards and Financial Disclosure 6B-1-3 Definitions 10/1/2014 3/9/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] Addresses CAA section 128. 6B-2-6 Financial disclosure statement; filing requirements 10/1/2014 3/9/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] Addresses CAA section 128. 6B-2-7 Financial disclosure statement; contents 10/1/2014 3/9/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation] Addresses CAA section 128.

    (e) * * *

    Name of non-regulatory SIP revision Applicable geographic area State submittal date EPA approval date Additional explanation *         *         *         *         *         *         * Section 110(a)(2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone NAAQS Statewide 8/31/11, 2/17/12 10/17/12, 77 FR 63736 Approval of the following PSD-related elements or portions thereof: 110(a)(2)(C), (D)(i)(II), and (J), except taking no action on the definition of “regulated NSR pollutant” found at 45CSR14 section 2.66 only as it relates to the requirement to include condensable emissions of particulate matter in that definition. See § 52.2522(i). 2/17/12 4/7/2014, 79 FR 19001 This action addresses the following CAA elements, or portions thereof: 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M). 7/24/14 3/9/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] Addresses CAA element 110(a)(2)(E)(ii). *         *         *         *         *         *         * Section 110(a)(2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 nitrogen dioxide NAAQS Statewide 12/13/12 1/22/14, 78 FR 3504 This action addresses the following CAA elements: 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M), or portions thereof. 7/24/14 3/9/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] Addresses CAA element 110(a)(2)(E)(ii). *         *         *         *         *         *         * Section 110(a)(2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 1-Hour Sulfur Dioxide NAAQS Statewide 6/25/13 10/16/14, 79 FR 62035 This action addresses the following CAA elements: 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C) (enforcement and minor new source review), (D)(ii), (E)(i) and (iii), (F), (G), (H), (J) (consultation, public notification, and visibility protection), (K), (L), and (M). 7/24/14 3/9/15 [Insert Federal Register citation] Addresses CAA element 110(a)(2)(E)(ii). *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2015-05222 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 RIN 0648-XD775 Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; General Provisions for Domestic Fisheries; Application for Fishing Year 2014 Sector Exemption AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final grant of regulatory exemptions.

    SUMMARY:

    The Regional Administrator, Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS, has approved a request for exemptions from two recently implemented Gulf of Maine cod interim management measures.

    DATES:

    The effective dates of these regulatory exemptions are from March 4, 2015 through April 30, 2015. The regulatory exemptions were applicable on March 3, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    William Whitmore, Fisheries Policy Analyst, 978-281-9182.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On March 3, 2015, we granted several groundfish sectors their request for exemptions from two management measures implemented in a temporary rule intended to enhance protections for Gulf of Maine (GOM) cod (79 FR 67362; November 13, 2014). The GOM cod interim rule implemented several management restrictions including: (1) A GOM cod trip limit of 200 lb (90.7 kg) for groundfish sector vessels and; (2) a restriction limiting commercial limited access groundfish vessels to fishing only in the GOM broad stock area (BSA) for the duration of the declared trip. The interim rule also established a series of time and area closures to protect GOM cod but we are not relieving or granting any exemptions from those closures.

    On February 9, 2015, we received an exemption request from several sectors. These sectors worked together to assemble 30 mt of GOM cod annual catch entitlement (ACE), which was traded to Northeast Fishery Sector IV, a lease-only sector with no active fishing effort. That sector proposed to withhold and render unusable that 30 mt of GOM cod ACE, including preventing its use for potential carryover to the next fishing year, if sectors are granted regulatory exemptions from the GOM cod trip limit and GOM BSA restriction.

    As explained in our February 23, 2015, notice (80 FR 9438), the sectors proposed to implement a management measure we did not include in our November 13, 2014, GOM cod interim rule: A reduction to the ACE available to those sectors that have opted to fish under these regulatory exemptions for the remainder of the fishing year. Because the fishing industry will continue to fish through the end of the fishing year, and will continue to encounter GOM cod, the sector exemptions would establish a firm 30-mt reduction in the limit on total cod catch that is expected to be greater than the mortality reduction that would otherwise be achieved through the interim trip-limit measure. In addition to an actual reduction in the total potential cod catch, these sector exemptions should reduce regulatory discards, reduce management uncertainty affiliated with catch and mortality, and improve catch yield, while providing greater operational flexibility. For these reasons, we have determined that these exemptions are consistent with the goals and objectives of the interim measures and the fishery management plan.

    Also in our February 23, 2015, notice, we proposed a daily catch reporting requirement in place of the BSA exemption. This requirement was intended to address our concerns about the accurate apportionment of catch between the BSAs and the incentive to misreport catch on unobserved trips to avoid potentially constraining catch limits. We noted these same concerns in our 2014 interim action for GOM cod. Additionally, this issue was discussed during the development of Framework Adjustment 53 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan, and is noted in various analyses prepared by the Council in support of Framework 53. We are continuing to consider the possibility of additional reporting requirements (e.g., daily Vessel Monitoring System catch reports) for commercial groundfish vessels that could improve attribution of catch and help reduce the incentive to misreport. We are not specifically requiring these additional requirements in this action, however, to provide time for further deliberation. We intend to further consult with the Council on this issue to explore whether additional reporting requirements implemented through a future rule-making could help address the noted concerns.

    We received a total of 24 comments in response to our February 23 notice soliciting public comment on the sector exemption request: 16 comments in support of the exemption requests; 3 partially supporting the requests; 4 opposed to the requests; and 1 comment that was not applicable to the exemptions. Comments were submitted by 17 members of the fishing industry, Maine Division of Marine Resources (ME DMR), Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (MA DMF), and four environmental non-governmental organizations. Most of the commenters simply favored or opposed granting the exemption requests and did not otherwise substantively address the details of the exemptions. ME DMR supports the exemptions and the additional flexibility they would provide to fishermen, but expressed some concern about GOM cod catch reporting. In addition to supporting our granting the exemption request, MA DMF submitted lengthy comments, including several questions and requests for clarifications, which we respond to further below.

    Several commenters opposed removing the GOM BSA restriction due to concern that vessels could misreport GOM cod catch as Georges Bank cod. While we understand this concern, this is a larger issue that should be addressed through a more long-term solution developed by the New England Fishery Management Council. We intend to further consult with the Council on this issue.

    Some commenters claimed that the exemptions provided benefits to larger vessels that could fish offshore but did relatively little to help inshore fishing vessels. Most of the GOM cod stock is located inshore in the western Gulf of Maine. Therefore, in order to protect the most concentrated stocks of GOM cod, we need to reduce fishing efforts inshore. This is why the majority of the seasonal interim closure areas are inshore and the inshore/dayboat fleet is affected the most by the GOM cod seasonal interim closure areas. We considered these exemption requests as they were presented to us. Our analyses showed a more certain benefit to the fishery overall than the likely potential benefit from maintaining trip limits or the single GOM BSA restriction. Based on this, we have determined that these exemptions fairly and reasonably promote overall conservation consistent with the goals and objectives of the groundfish fishery management plan.

    The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) opposed the exemption requests because they do not adequately address the overfishing of GOM cod or efforts to rebuild the overfished stocks. We evaluated the impacts of these exemptions compared to the status quo under the current GOM cod interim measures. The analyses in our supplemental information report indicates that granting these exemptions will likely result in conservation positive biological impacts as well as positive economic impacts relative to not granting the exemptions. We understand that additional measures may need to be developed to protect and rebuild GOM cod over the long term. The comments provided by CLF and CBD that focused on general GOM cod management measures, however, are beyond the scope of these exemption requests and are impracticable to address in this document, especially given the limited time available, as well as the GOM cod interim action. We have concluded that the benefits from approving this exemption outweigh the concerns expressed by those that do not support the exemption request, particularly because these exemptions are effective only from March 4, 2015 through April 30, 2015.

    MA DMF requested that we provide a more thorough explanation of why we elected to remove the 200-lb (90.7-kg) trip limit. During the GOM cod interim rule public comment period, several sectors proposed a similar offer to remove the trip limit in favor of an overall ACE reduction; however, we could not develop a means to reduce sector ACE through the interim action in a sufficiently timely manner. Re-allocating a reduced quota amongst all the sectors was too complex and potentially disruptive. For example, reducing the allocation of all permits enrolled in sectors would create complex logistical challenges for sector managers who would then need to reallocate ACE mid-way through the fishing year. We were also unsure how to enforce the sectors' voluntary proposal not to utilize the ACE through the interim action. Also, as explained below, fishing practices changed after the GOM cod interim action was put in place. Taking into account these changes, our comparison of the potential conservation benefits of the trip limits to the firm reduction in the GOM cod ACE weighed in favor of removing the trip limit. Further, the sectors submission of a regulatory exemption request to voluntarily reduce their ACE provided a more feasible and timely process than the interim action process.

    MA DMF questioned how we can claim that removing trip limits (and potentially allowing vessels to target cod) reduces regulatory discarding. We expect that removing the 200 lb. trip limit should reduce regulatory discarding because vessels will no longer be required to discard legal sized fish that are caught after the 200-lb limit is attained. With trip limits under the interim rule, any undersized fish and GOM cod caught after 200 lb (90.7 kg) was on board the vessel was legally required to be discarded. Data analyzed after the trip limits were implemented (see Figure 2, pg. 8 in the GOM cod Supplemental Information Report) indicates that groundfish vessels appeared to target GOM cod even with a 200-lb (90.7-kg) trip limit in place. Because vessels are required to discard all cod over the 200-lb. limit, we were concerned with the potential for increased discards that would accompany this increased effort. Removing the trip limit allows vessels to discard only fish that are undersized. We stated in our notice that with trip limits, there was uncertainty in the amount of reduction in cod mortality, in large part due to the uncertainty in the rate of discards, but also in the total amount of catch that sectors might achieve. Removing the trip limits is expected to reduce discards because it allows discarding only of undersized fish and substantially reduce the uncertainty in the rate of discards. The 30-mt reduction in ACE also provides a firm limit on the total amount of catch.

    MA DMF expressed concern over our proposal to approve minor sector exemption modifications without additional notice because they felt that we did not adequately define “minor.” As explained in the notice, our intent is to modify sector exemptions in this manner only if a modification is deemed essential to facilitate the exemption and has minimal impacts that would not change the scope or impact of the initially approved sector exemption request. We interpret this to mean that any small change that is necessary for the exemption to be implemented properly could be done so without additional notice. We expect such changes to be administrative in nature. For instance, there may be a monitoring or reporting detail that is inadvertently overlooked that could be enacted to improve the effectiveness of the exemption. We believe any such change would not alter the intent, affect, or impacts of the exemption.

    Several commenters, including MA DMF, suggested that we should have further considered the additional 30-mt set-aside offered by the sectors in exchange for access to the March GOM cod seasonal interim closure areas. These commenters argue that the inshore fleet would greatly benefit from fishing in the March closure areas. The primary tool in the GOM cod interim rule to reduce GOM cod mortality and protect spawning GOM cod was area closures. We spent considerable time and effort determining the correct seasons and times and received many comments in support of the GOM cod interim seasonal closure areas. Also, the commenters have not proposed any comparable protection measures for spawning cod that would support modifying these area closures. For these reasons, we are unwilling to modify the March closure areas.

    MA DMF asked which sectors contributed to the 30-mt set-aside and inquired whether the allocation reductions were commensurate with how much ACE was set aside (or contributed by each sector). Sector ACE trade information is available online at http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/aps/monitoring/nemultispecies.html. We regard the relative amount of ACE contributed by each sector to be irrelevant to the total reduction in ACE because the sectors requesting the exemptions specifically requested to offer the exemption to every sector, regardless of whether or not it contributed GOM cod ACE to the set-aside. Also, which sector provided the ACE is irrelevant to the certainty of the conservation benefit provided by the ACE reduction this fishing year.

    We are not putting in place a 30-day delay in effectiveness for this action because this document grants exemptions that relieve two regulatory restrictions. By recognizing an exemption and eliminating the 200-lb GOM cod trip limit and allowing vessels to fish inside and outside of the GOM on the same trip, this action is excepted from the 30-day delayed effectiveness provision of the APA pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1). This action will allow fishing vessels enrolled in sectors greater operational flexibility, which should improve efficiency while providing a certain limit on GOM cod mortality. Furthermore, there is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to implement these exemptions immediately because a delay in implementation of these measures would reduce the positive economic impacts and potential conservation benefits that are intended by these measures. These exemptions are effective only from March 4, 2015 through April 30, 2015. Any delay in effectiveness would be contrary to the public interest because it would significantly reduce the benefits of these measures to groundfish sector participants, associated fishing communities, and the GOM cod stock.

    These exemptions apply only for the remainder of the 2014 fishing year and are available to all sectors who request them. Sector vessels that wish to fish under these exemptions must have the appropriate Letter of Authorization on board their vessel prior to harvesting more than 200 lb (90.7 kg) of GOM cod or fishing inside and outside of the GOM BSA on the same trip. The following sectors have received revised Letters of Authorization allowing them to fish under these exemptions: Maine Coastal Communities Sector; Northeast Fishery Sectors II, III, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI; and Sustainable Harvest Sector 1.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: March 4, 2015. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05366 Filed 3-4-15; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 45 Monday, March 9, 2015 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Part 951 [Docket Number DOE-HQ-2014-0021] RIN 1990-AA39 Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage Contingent Cost Allocation AGENCY:

    Office of the General Counsel, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Extension of public comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR), which proposes regulations under section 934 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). The proposed regulations would establish a retrospective risk pooling program whereby nuclear suppliers would pay for any contribution made by the United States government to an international supplementary fund created under the Convention for Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC) in the event of certain nuclear incidents not covered by the Price-Anderson Act. The NOPR provided a deadline of March 17, 2015 for comments. In response to requests for an extension, this document announces an extension of the comment period to April 17, 2015. This document also requests comment by April 17, 2015 on specific questions to inform a process for DOE to obtain additional data and information.

    DATES:

    DOE will accept comments and information regarding the NOPR and development of regulations under section 934 published on December 17, 2014 (79 FR 75076), and the specific questions identified in this document no later than April 17, 2015. DOE will consider any comments received by midnight of April 17, 2015, and deems any comments received by that time to be timely submitted.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested persons may submit comments identified by RIN 1990-AA39 by any of the following methods:

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

    Email: [email protected]. Include Section 934 in the subject line of the message.

    Mail: Ms. Sophia Angelini, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of General Counsel, Mailstop GC-72, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585. Please submit one signed original and three copies of all comments.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, docket number [DOE-HQ-2014-0021], and the RIN for this rulemaking. Note that all comments received will be posted, without change, including personal information.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov, or the Web site specifically established for this proceeding at http://www.energy.gov/gc/convention-supplementary-compensation-rulemaking.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sophia Angelini, Attorney-Advisor, Office of the General Counsel for Civilian Nuclear Programs, GC-72, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585; telephone: (202) 586-0319.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On December 17, 2014, DOE published a NOPR in the Federal Register (79 FR 75076) in which it proposed regulations under section 934 of EISA to establish a retrospective risk pooling program whereby, in the event of certain nuclear incidents, nuclear suppliers would pay for any contribution by the United States government to the international supplementary fund created by the CSC. The NOPR provided that written public comments were to be received by DOE no later than March 17, 2015. By letter dated January 28, 2015, DOE received a request from the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) for an extension of the public comment period to May 19, 2015, stating that the complexity of the NOPR requires extensive analysis on a number of issues such as the proposed reporting requirements, the potential impact of the two alternative methods of calculating the risk premium payment to a particular nuclear supplier and the nuclear industry as a whole, and clarification of key terms in the proposed rule.

    On February 20, 2015, DOE held a public workshop on the proposed rulemaking (80 FR 4227). In advance of the public workshop, DOE solicited from the public questions or suggestions for topics to be addressed at the workshop in order to structure the discussion and enhance participation (80 FR 4228). DOE received extensive questions and topic suggestions from the Contractors International Group on Nuclear Liability (CIGNL) and NEI. The day-long workshop was attended by representatives of various nuclear industry organizations and other entities. The participants at the workshop raised a number of questions and expressed concerns regarding, among other things, the level of information and data available to DOE on the cost and burden of reporting requirements under the proposed rule, the nature and quantity of nuclear exports and the nuclear suppliers that export, and the allocation of risk and premium payments across and among nuclear suppliers. Thereafter, DOE received written requests from other participants at the public workshop echoing the NEI request for an extension of time for public comment given the complexity of the issues raised in the proposed rule and further described at the public meeting. All these entities requested an extension of the comment period to May 19, 2015, to allow sufficient time to review the proposed rule and formulate comments to the extent possible given available information.

    DOE has considered the written extension requests noted above, along with the comments and information provided prior to and at the public meeting, and determined that the comment period on the NOPR should be extended to April 17, 2015, which provides, in total, a 120 day comment period.

    DOE is especially interested in potential modifications to the proposals set forth in the NOPR, in light of the issues discussed at the workshop. These issues include: (1) The extent, if any, to which transactions prior to the effective date of the rule should be considered in the allocation formula; (2) the justification for capping the allocation assigned to a single entity; (3) the possibility of different caps for different types of suppliers; (4) the criteria for classifying a supplier as a small entity exempt from the allocation formula; (5) goods and services that pose no or de minimis risk of triggering the international supplementary fund; (6) alternative methodologies for evaluating risk, including examples of existing risk allocation mechanisms in the nuclear industry; and (7) potential modification to simplify, minimize and/or clarify the burden on industry.

    In addition, DOE intends to conduct additional data and information gathering in response to and in consideration of statements in the written comments and at the public workshop. These statements suggest certain additional information should be obtained by DOE and is necessary for the public to comment on the NOPR. In response to these statements, DOE is requesting any entity that believes additional information is needed to provide detailed comments as to the specific information it believes is needed.

    DOE is enumerating several general questions to assist DOE in its additional data gathering effort. The general questions for which DOE seeks comment are: (1) What data and information should be gathered on U.S. nuclear suppliers and their exports (for example, what entity should be considered the exporter (especially in situations where a supplier employs an entity to facilitate the export), should quantity, value and/or another factor be used to measure exports, and what time period should be used); (2) what data and information should be gathered on nuclear suppliers to inform reporting requirements (for example, what are the recordkeeping methods employed in the nuclear industry and what is currently reported to other government agencies); and (3) what data and information should be gathered on the allocation of risk across and among nuclear suppliers and nuclear supplier groups. Comments concerning additional information to be gathered will facilitate DOE's effort to obtain additional data and information to inform the proposed rulemaking and should be provided to DOE by April 17, 2015. DOE intends to make the additional data and information it obtains available for public review and comment, the date and timing of which will be announced in a subsequent Federal Register notice.

    DOE will consider any comments received by midnight of April 17, 2015, and deems any comments received by that time to be timely submitted. To the extent commenters provide confidential business information, pursuant to 10 CFR 1004.11, any person submitting information he or she believes to be confidential and exempt by law from public disclosure should submit via email, postal mail, or hand delivery/courier two well-marked copies: One copy of the document marked “confidential” including all the information believed to be confidential, and one copy of the document marked “non-confidential” with the information believed to be confidential deleted. Submit these documents via email or on a CD, if feasible. DOE will make its own determination about the confidential status of the information and treat it according to its determination. Factors of interest to DOE when evaluating requests to treat submitted information as confidential include: (1) A description of the items; (2) whether and why such items are customarily treated as confidential within the industry; (3) whether the information is generally known by or available from other sources; (4) whether the information has previously been made available to others without obligation concerning its confidentiality; (5) an explanation of the competitive injury to the submitting person which would result from public disclosure; (6) when such information might lose its confidential character due to the passage of time; and (7) why disclosure of the information would be contrary to the public interest.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on March 4, 2015. Samuel T. Walsh, Deputy General Counsel for Energy Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05405 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION 13 CFR Parts 121, 124, 125, 126 and 127 [Docket No. SBA-2014-0006] RIN 3245-AG58 Small Business Government Contracting and National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 Amendments AGENCY:

    U.S. Small Business Administration.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; reopening of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is reopening the comment period for the proposed rule published in the Federal Register on December 29, 2014 at 79 FR 77955. In that rule SBA proposed to implement provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013, which pertain to performance requirements applicable to small business and socioeconomic program set aside contracts and small business subcontracting. SBA also proposed to make changes to its regulations concerning the nonmanufacturer rule and affiliation rules. Further, SBA proposed to allow a joint venture to qualify as small for any government procurement as long as each partner to the joint venture qualifies individually as small under the size standard corresponding to the NAICS code assigned in the solicitation. Finally, SBA requested comments on the timeline and procedures for North American Industry Classification System code appeals. The comment period closed on February 27, 2015.

    SBA is reopening the comment period in response to the significant level of interest generated by the proposed rule and due to the request of multiple stakeholders. Given the scope of the proposed rule and the nature of the issues raised by the comments received to date, SBA believes that affected businesses need more time to review the proposal and fully prepare their comments.

    DATES:

    The comment period for the proposed rule published on December 29, 2014 (79 FR 77955) is extended through April 6, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket Number: SBA-2014-0006, by any of the following methods:

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

    • For mail, paper, disk, or CD/ROM submissions: Brenda Fernandez, U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Policy, Planning and Liaison, 409 Third Street SW., 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20416.

    • Hand Delivery/Courier: Brenda Fernandez, U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Policy, Planning and Liaison, 409 Third Street SW., 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20416.

    SBA will post all comments on www.regulations.gov. If you wish to submit confidential business information (CBI) as defined in the User Notice at www.regulations.gov, please submit the information to Brenda Fernandez, U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Policy, Planning and Liaison, 409 Third Street SW., 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20416, or send an email to [email protected] Highlight the information that you consider to be CBI and explain why you believe SBA should hold this information as confidential. SBA will review the information and make the final determination on whether it will publish the information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brenda Fernandez, Office of Policy, Planning and Liaison, 409 Third Street SW., Washington, DC 20416; (202) 207-7337; [email protected]

    Dated: March 3, 2015. Kenneth Dodds, Director, Office of Policy, Planning & Liaison, Office of Government Contracting & Business Development.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05316 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8025-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0969; Airspace Docket No. 14-ASO-20] Proposed Revocation of Class E Airspace; Lexington, TN AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to remove Class E Airspace at Lexington, TN, as the Franklin Wilkins Airport has been abandoned, and controlled airspace is no longer required. This action would enhance the safety and airspace management around the Lexington, TN, area.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before April 23, 2015. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA, Order 7400.9 and publication of conforming amendments.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this rule to: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations,1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Bldg Ground Floor Rm. W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001; Telephone: 1-800-647-5527; Fax: 202-493-2251. You must identify the Docket Number FAA-2014-0969; Airspace Docket No. 14-ASO-20, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit and review received comments through the Internet athttp://www.regulations.gov. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Office (telephone 1-800-647-5527), is on the ground floor of the building at the above address.

    FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed online at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this proposed incorporation by reference material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal-regulations/ibr_locations.html.

    FAA Order 7400.9, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy and Regulations Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: 202-267-8783.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Fornito, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, P.O. Box 20636, Atlanta, Georgia 30320; telephone (404) 305-6364.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    Interested persons are invited to comment on this rule by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal.

    Communications should identify both docket numbers (FAA Docket No. FAA-2014-0969; Airspace Docket No. 14-ASO-20) and be submitted in triplicate to the Docket Management System (see ADDRESSES section for address and phone number). You may also submit comments through the Internet athttp://www.regulations.gov.

    Persons wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this action must submit with those comments a self-addressed stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2014-0969; Airspace Docket No. 14-ASO-20.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    All communications received before the specified closing date for comments will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposal contained in this notice may be changed in light of the comments received. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerned with this rulemaking will be filed in the docket.

    Availability of NPRMs

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded from and comments submitted through http://www.regulations.gov. Recently published rulemaking documents can also be accessed through the FAA's Web page at http://www.faa.gov/airports_airtraffic/air_traffic/publications/airspace_amendments/.

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see the ADDRESSES section for address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. An informal docket may also be examined between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays at the office of the Eastern Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, room 350, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, Georgia 30337.

    Persons interested in being placed on a mailing list for future NPRM's should contact the FAA's Office of Rulemaking, (202) 267-9677, to request a copy of Advisory circular No. 11-2A, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking distribution System, which describes the application procedure.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

    This document proposes to amend FAA Order 7400.9Y, airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014. FAA Order 7400.9Y is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this proposed rule. FAA Order 7400.9Y lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

    The Proposal

    The FAA is considering an amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 to remove Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Franklin Wilkins Airport, Lexington, TN. The airport has been abandoned, therefore, the airspace is no longer necessary.

    Class E airspace designations are published in Paragraph 6005 of FAA Order 7400.9Y, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designation listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    The FAA has determined that this proposed regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current. It, therefore, (1) is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a Regulatory Evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that will only affect air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this proposed rule, when promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This proposed rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This proposed regulation is within the scope of that authority as it would remove Class E airspace at Franklin Wilkins Airport, Lexington, TN.

    This proposal would be subject to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1E, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures” prior to any FAA final regulatory action.

    Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

    PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for Part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(g); 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959-1963 Comp., p. 389.

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, effective September 15, 2014, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ASO TN E5 Lexington, TN [Removed] Issued in College Park, Georgia, on February 25, 2015. Gerald E. Lynch, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Air Traffic Organization.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05114 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 93 [Docket No. FAA-2014-1073; Notice No. 14-11A] RIN 2120-AJ89 Slot Management and Transparency for LaGuardia Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, and Newark Liberty International Airport; Extension of Comment Period; Availability of Further Data; Request for Public Meeting AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking; Extension of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    This action extends the comment period for a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) published on January 8, 2015. In the NPRM, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the FAA proposed to replace the Orders limiting scheduled operations at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), and limiting scheduled and unscheduled operations at LaGuardia Airport (LGA). The Orders are scheduled to expire when the rulemaking is final and in effect, but not later than October 29, 2016. The proposed rule is intended to provide a longer-term and comprehensive approach to slot management at JFK, EWR, and LGA.

    The FAA has also placed further information in support of the proposal in the docket for this rulemaking.

    Finally, this document responds to a request for a public meeting regarding this rulemaking.

    DATES:

    The comment period for the NPRM is extended until May 8, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may send comments identified by docket number FAA-2014-1073 using any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

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

    Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at 202-493-2251.

    Privacy: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at www.dot.gov/privacy.

    Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read athttp://www.regulations.gov at any time. Follow the online instructions for accessing the docket or Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For technical questions concerning this action, contact Molly Smith, Office of Aviation Policy and Plans, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-3274; email [email protected]; Susan Pfingstler, System Operations Services, Air Traffic Organization, Federal Aviation Administration, 600 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-6462; email [email protected]; or Peter Irvine, U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Aviation Analysis, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590; telephone (202) 366-3156; email: [email protected]

    For legal questions concerning this action, contact Bonnie Dragotto, Office of the Chief Counsel, Regulations Division, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-3808; email [email protected]; or Cindy Baraban, U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of the General Counsel, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590; telephone (202) 366-9159; email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On January 8, 2015, the DOT and the FAA published an NPRM entitled “Slot Management and Transparency for LaGuardia Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, and Newark Liberty International Airport” (80 FR 1274). Comments regarding the proposal were to be received on or before April 8, 2015.

    By letters posted to the public docket, Airlines for America and the International Air Transport Association, as well as the Airports Council International-North America, American Association of Airport Executives, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (Port Authority), and the Regional Plan Association, have requested that the comment period for the NPRM be extended for an additional 60 days up to and including June 8, 2015. In support of the extension request, the petitioners noted that the NPRM was lengthy and technical in nature, and included approximately 40 questions for comment, some of which require the public to analyze the impact of the provisions on operations at the affected airports and submit supporting data and analysis of the anticipated impacts.

    While the DOT and the FAA concur with the petitioners' requests for an extension of the comment period for the NPRM, we are not persuaded that an additional 60 days is necessary to provide comment on this proposal. The DOT and the FAA find that providing an additional 30 days is sufficient for these petitioners to analyze the NPRM and provide meaningful comment.

    Absent unusual circumstances, we do not anticipate any further extension of the comment period for this rulemaking.

    Request for Data and Analysis

    The petitioners also requested that the FAA provide certain data and analysis referenced in the NPRM and the regulatory impact analysis (RIA) accompanying the rule. Specifically, the petitioners requested that the FAA provide all models, data and analysis, including the MITRE queuing models and the University of Maryland (UMD) Delay Model, as well as the raw data used in the model to forecast the impact of the changes as a result of the proposed use-or-lose requirement.

    As described in the NPRM, MITRE Center for Advanced Aviation System Development (CAASD) Modeling and Analysis conducted a series of operational analyses and modeling for the FAA. In response to the petitioners' requests, the following documents have been placed in the docket for this rulemaking:

    • Overview of MITRE Queuing Delay Model;

    • Modeling reflecting Summer 2008 Orders Limiting Scheduled Operations at JFK and EWR;

    • Additional Scheduled Operations Analysis for JFK and EWR;

    • Airport Runway Capacity Analyses for JFK, LGA, and EWR;

    • Operational Performance Analyses for JFK, LGA, and EWR; and

    • Historical Unscheduled Traffic Counts at JFK, LGA, and EWR.

    The FAA has also placed the UMD Delay Model and supporting data, as used in the RIA, in the docket for this rulemaking.

    Additionally, the Port Authority requested slot utilization records including slot holder, operator, and terms of any slot lease and trade agreements in a form such as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet or Microsoft Access database. The FAA does not track or maintain slot information in the form and manner as requested. The FAA also does not have information on the terms of slot leases or trade agreements, as the current Orders do not require carriers to submit terms to the FAA. Nonetheless, additional information to address this request has been placed in the docket, including information to help the public understand this proposal as well as information relied upon by the agency in developing the NPRM. This additional information includes:

    • Slot allocation reports for summer and winter seasons from 2009-2012 (January and July) for JFK, LGA, and EWR.

    • Uneven slot transfers at JFK, LGA, and EWR from 2009-2012 reflecting slots that were transferred between carriers on other than a one-for-one basis at the same airport. Transfers between carriers under unified market control, such as mainline and regional partners, are not included in the uneven transfer lists.

    • Slot allocation reports for Mondays in August 2009 to reflect the analysis of scheduled and actual operations compared to allocated slots as discussed in the RIA.

    • Scheduled flight information from FAA's Innovata data base for Mondays in August 2009. Slot usage information is submitted to the FAA in various formats by carriers to report their actual operations using an allocated slot. Under current practice, the FAA uses this information along with supporting FAA air traffic control and operational data to determine if the minimum usage requirement has been met by a particular operator. The FAA uses information on actual and planned flights, rather than carrier slot usage reports, for operational and historical trend analyses at slot controlled airports.1 Scheduled demand was compared to allocated slots, as discussed in the RIA. Information on published schedules for other dates is available from commercial and other sources outside the FAA.

    1 The NPRM discusses slot usage reporting practices permitted under the current Orders, which allow carriers to optimize slot use by distributing flights between all the slots the carrier holds in a particular half-hour slot time. 80 FR 1287 (Jan. 8, 2015). The FAA observes the results of this practice using operational data.

    Request for Public Meeting

    By letter posted to the public docket on February 17, 2015, the National Air Transportation Association requested that the DOT and the FAA hold a public meeting to allow affected stakeholders to ask clarifying questions and discuss the NPRM. The DOT and the FAA have carefully considered this request.

    In light of the comment period extension and additional information provided for review, analysis, and comment, the DOT and the FAA will not hold a public meeting at this time. We encourage all interested persons to submit detailed comments on the NPRM to the docket. All comments submitted to the docket will be considered by the agency in developing a final rule. The submission of comments to the public docket provides the most transparent means for all interested parties to participate at this stage in the rulemaking process.

    Extension of Comment Period

    In accordance with § 11.47(c) of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, the DOT and the FAA have reviewed the petitions for an extension of the comment period for the proposal. The petitioners have shown a substantive interest in the proposed rule and good cause for extending the comment period.

    Accordingly, the comment period for the NPRM is extended until May 8, 2015.

    Additional Information Comments Invited

    The FAA invites interested persons to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views. The agency also invites comments relating to the economic, environmental, energy, or federalism impacts that might result from adopting the proposals in this document. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, 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 only one time.

    The FAA will file in the docket all comments it receives, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal, the DOT and the FAA will consider all comments received on or before the closing date for comments. We will also consider comments filed after the comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. The agency may change this proposal in light of the comments it receives.

    Proprietary or Confidential Business Information: Do not file proprietary or confidential business information in the docket. Such information must be sent or delivered directly to the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document, and marked as proprietary or confidential. If submitting information on a disk or CD ROM, mark the outside of the disk or CD ROM, and identify electronically within the disk or CD ROM the specific information that is proprietary or confidential.

    Under 14 CFR 11.35(b), if the FAA is aware of proprietary information filed with a comment, the agency does not place it in the docket. It is held in a separate file to which the public does not have access, and the FAA places a note in the docket that it has received it. If the FAA receives a request to examine or copy this information, it treats it as any other request under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552). The FAA processes such a request under the DOT procedures found in 49 CFR part 7.

    Availability of Rulemaking Documents

    An electronic copy of rulemaking documents may be obtained from the Internet by—

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

    2. Visiting the FAA's Regulations and Policies Web page at http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies or

    3. Accessing the Government Publishing Office's Web page at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/.

    Copies may also be obtained by sending a request to the Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Rulemaking, ARM-1, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591, or by calling (202) 267-9680. Commenters must identify the docket or notice number of this rulemaking.

    All documents the FAA considered in developing this proposed rule, including economic analyses and technical reports, may be accessed from the Internet through the Federal eRulemaking Portal referenced in item (1) above.

    Issued under authority provided by 49 U.S.C. 106(f) in Washington, DC, on March 3, 2015. Richard M. Swayze, Assistant Administrator for Policy, International Affairs, and Environment.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05381 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2015-0252; Airspace Docket No. 15-AEA-1] Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace; Ashland, VA AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to amend Class E Airspace at Ashland, VA as new Standard Instrument Approach Procedures have been developed at Hanover County Municipal Airport. This action would enhance the safety and airspace management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations at the airport. This action also would update the geographic coordinates of airport.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before April 23, 2015. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA, Order 7400.9 and publication of conforming amendments.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this rule to: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Bldg. Ground Floor Rm. W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001; Telephone: 1-800-647-5527; Fax: 202-493-2251. You must identify the Docket Number FAA-2015-0252; Airspace Docket No. 15-AEA-1, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit and review received comments through the Internet athttp://www.regulations.gov. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Office (telephone 1-800-647-5527), is on the ground floor of the building at the above address.

    FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed online at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this proposed incorporation by reference material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal-regulations/ibr_locations.html.

    FAA Order 7400.9, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy and Regulations Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: 202-267-8783.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Fornito, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, P.O. Box 20636, Atlanta, Georgia 30320; telephone (404) 305-6364.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    Interested persons are invited to comment on this rule by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal.

    Communications should identify both docket numbers (FAA Docket No. FAA-2015-0252; Airspace Docket No. 15-AEA-1) and be submitted in triplicate to the Docket Management System (see ADDRESSES section for address and phone number). You may also submit comments through the Internet athttp://www.regulations.gov.

    Persons wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this action must submit with those comments a self-addressed stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2015-0252; Airspace Docket No. 14-AEA-1.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    All communications received before the specified closing date for comments will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposal contained in this notice may be changed in light of the comments received. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerned with this rulemaking will be filed in the docket.

    Availability of NPRMs

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded from and comments submitted through http://www.regulations.gov. Recently published rulemaking documents can also be accessed through the FAA's Web page at http://www.faa.gov/airports_airtraffic/air_traffic/publications/airspace_amendments/.

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see the ADDRESSES section for address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. An informal docket may also be examined between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays at the office of the Eastern Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, Room 350, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, Georgia 30337. Persons interested in being placed on a mailing list for future NPRM's should contact the FAA's Office of Rulemaking, (202) 267-9677, to request a copy of Advisory circular No. 11-2A, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking distribution System, which describes the application procedure.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

    This document proposes to amend FAA Order 7400.9Y, airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014. FAA Order 7400.9Y is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this proposed rule. FAA Order 7400.9Y lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

    The Proposal

    The FAA is considering an amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 to amend Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Hanover County Municipal Airport, Ashland, VA. Airspace reconfiguration to within a 7-mile radius of the airport is necessary to support new Standard Instrument Approach Procedures developed at Hanover County Municipal Airport, and for continued safety and management of IFR operations at the airport. The geographic coordinates of the airport would be adjusted to coincide with the FAAs aeronautical database.

    Class E airspace designations are published in Paragraph 6005 of FAA Order 7400.9Y, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designation listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    The FAA has determined that this proposed regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current. It, therefore, (1) is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a Regulatory Evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that will only affect air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this proposed rule, when promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This proposed rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part, A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This proposed regulation is within the scope of that authority as it would amend Class E airspace at Hanover County Municipal Airport, Ashland, VA.

    This proposal would be subject to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1E, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures” prior to any FAA final regulatory action.

    Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71:

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

    PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for Part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(g); 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959-1963 Comp., p. 389.

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, effective September 15, 2014, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. AEA VA E5 Ashland, VA [Amended] Hanover County Municipal Airport, VA (Lat. 37°42′32″ N., long. 77°26′12″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7-mile radius of Hanover County Municipal Airport.

    Issued in College Park, Georgia, on February 25, 2015. Gerald E. Lynch, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Air Traffic Organization.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05111 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0970; Airspace Docket No. 14-ASO-18] Proposed Amendment of Class E Airspace; Eufaula, AL AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to amend Class E Airspace at Eufaula, AL as the Eufaula VORTAC has been decommissioned, requiring airspace redesign at Weedon Field Airport. This action would enhance the safety and airspace management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations at the airport.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before April 23, 2015. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA, Order 7400.9 and publication of conforming amendments.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this rule to: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Bldg. Ground Floor Rm. W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-000; Telephone: 1-800-647-5527; Fax: 202-493-2251. You must identify the Docket Number FAA-2014-0970; Airspace Docket No. 14-ASO-18, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit and review received comments through the Internet athttp://www.regulations.gov. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Office (telephone 1-800-647-5527), is on the ground floor of the building at the above address.

    FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed online at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this proposed incorporation by reference material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal-regulations/ibr_locations.html.

    FAA Order 7400.9, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy and Regulations Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone: 202-267-8783.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Fornito, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, P.O. Box 20636, Atlanta, Georgia 30320; telephone (404) 305-6364.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    Interested persons are invited to comment on this rule by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal.

    Communications should identify both docket numbers (FAA Docket No. FAA-2014-0970; Airspace Docket No. 14-ASO-18) and be submitted in triplicate to the Docket Management System (see ADDRESSES section for address and phone number). You may also submit comments through the Internet athttp://www.regulations.gov.

    Persons wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this action must submit with those comments a self-addressed stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2014-0970; Airspace Docket No. 14-ASO-18.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    All communications received before the specified closing date for comments will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposal contained in this notice may be changed in light of the comments received. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerned with this rulemaking will be filed in the docket.

    Availability of NPRMs

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded from and comments submitted through http://www.regulations.gov. Recently published rulemaking documents can also be accessed through the FAA's Web page at http://www.faa.gov/airports_airtraffic/air_traffic/publications/airspace_amendments/.

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see the ADDRESSES section for address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. An informal docket may also be examined between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays at the office of the Eastern Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, Room 350, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, Georgia 30337.

    Persons interested in being placed on a mailing list for future NPRM's should contact the FAA's Office of Rulemaking, (202) 267-9677, to request a copy of Advisory circular No. 11-2A, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Distribution System, which describes the application procedure.

    Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

    This document proposes to amend FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014. FAA Order 7400.9Y is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this proposed rule. FAA Order 7400.9Y lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points.

    The Proposal

    The FAA is considering an amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 to amend Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Weedon Field Airport, Eufaula, AL. Airspace reconfiguration to within a 7.3-mile radius of the airport is necessary due to the decommissioning of the Eufaula VORTAC and cancellation of the VOR approach, and for continued safety and management of IFR operations at the airport.

    Class E airspace designations are published in Paragraph 6005 of FAA Order 7400.9Y, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designation listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    The FAA has determined that this proposed regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current. It, therefore, (1) is not a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a “significant rule” under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a Regulatory Evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that will only affect air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this proposed rule, when promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's authority. This proposed rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part, A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This proposed regulation is within the scope of that authority as it would amend Class E airspace at Weedon Field Airport, Eufaula, AL.

    This proposal would be subject to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1E, “Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures” prior to any FAA final regulatory action.

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

    The Proposed Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

    PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for Part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(g); 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959-1963 Comp., p. 389.

    § 71.1 [Amended]
    2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. ASO AL E5 Eufaula, AL [Amended] Weedon Field Airport, AL (Lat. 31°57′05″ N., long. 85°07′44″ W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7.3-mile radius of Weedon Field Airport.

    Issued in College Park, Georgia, on February 25, 2015. Gerald E. Lynch, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Air Traffic Organization.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05113 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA-2013-0834; Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-045-AD] RIN 2120-AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM); reopening of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    We are revising an earlier proposed Airworthiness Directive (AD) for certain Airbus Model A330 series airplanes. The NPRM proposed to require revising the maintenance program or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate certain maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations. The NPRM was prompted by a determination that more restrictive maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations are necessary. This action revises the NPRM by proposing to supersede AD 2007-05-12, AD 2009-18-20, and AD 2010-15-02 in addition to those ADs already identified in the NPRM, as well as to require more restrictive limitations and to add Airbus Model A330-323 airplanes to the applicability. We are proposing this supplemental NPRM (SNPRM) to address the aging effects of aircraft systems. Such aging effects could change the characteristics of those systems, which, in isolation or in combination with one or more other specific failures or events, could result in failure of certain life limited parts, which could reduce the structural integrity of the airplane or reduce the controllability of the airplane. Since these actions impose an additional burden over those proposed in the NPRM, we are reopening the comment period to allow the public the chance to comment on these proposed changes.

    DATES:

    We must receive comments on this SNPRM by April 23, 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: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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

    Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FAA-2013-0834 or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone: (800) 647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2013-0834.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited

    We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2013-0834; Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-045-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD based on those comments.

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

    Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    Airbus issued A330 Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) Part 4—Aging Systems Maintenance, Revision 04, dated August 27, 2013, and Airbus A330 ALS Part 4—Aging Systems Maintenance (ASM), Variation 4.1 and Variation 4.2, both dated July 23, 2014. This service information describes preventative maintenance requirements and associated airworthiness limitations applicable to aircraft systems susceptible to aging effects. The actions described in this service information are intended to correct the unsafe condition identified in the MCAI. This service information is reasonably available; see ADDRESSES for ways to access this service information.

    Discussion

    On February 22, 2007, we issued AD 2007-05-12, Amendment 39-14973 (72 FR 10057, March 7, 2007), for certain Airbus Model A330, A340-200, and A340-300 series airplanes. AD 2007-05-12 requires inspecting to determine the part number of certain spoiler servo controls (SSCs) and replacing any affected SSC with a new SSC. AD 2007-05-12 resulted from a determination of a new load duty cycle defined by the manufacturer. We issued AD 2007-05-12 to prevent fatigue cracking of certain SSCs, which could result in hydraulic leakage and consequent loss of SSC function and loss of the associated hydraulic system. These conditions could affect all three hydraulic systems, which could result in reduced controllability of the airplane.

    On August 26, 2009, we issued AD 2009-18-20, Amendment 39-16017 (74 FR 46313, September 9, 2009), for certain Airbus Model A330-300, A340-200, and A340-300 series airplanes. AD 2009-18-20 requires identification and modification of certain SSCs. AD 2009-18-20 resulted from a report of a failure of a SSC whose maintenance cover had ruptured due to pressure pulse fatigue. We issued AD 2009-18-20 to prevent the loss of a hydraulic system due to leakage; loss of three hydraulic systems could result in reduced controllability of the airplane.

    On June 30, 2010, we issued AD 2010-15-02, Amendment 39-16368 (75 FR 42589, July 22, 2010), for certain Airbus Model A330-200 and -300 series airplanes, and A340-200, -300, -500, and -600 series airplanes. AD 2010-15-02 requires repetitive detailed visual inspections for corrosion and wear detection of the input gear boxes (IPGBs) and down drive shafts (DDSs) on the flap tracks on both wings, and corrective actions, as applicable. AD 2010-15-02 resulted from reports of corrosion and damage on the DDSs and IPGBs on the flap tracks. We issued AD 2010-15-02 to detect and correct corrosion and wear due to absence of grease in the spline interfaces which could cause DDS disconnection and result in a free movable flap surface, potentially leading to aircraft asymmetry or even flap detachment, and reduce the ability of the flightcrew to maintain the safe flight and landing of the airplane.

    We issued an NPRM to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Airbus Model A330 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on November 7, 2013 (78 FR 66861).

    The NPRM proposed to supersede AD 2003-14-11, Amendment 39-13230 (68 FR 41521, July 14, 2003); AD 2004-11-08, Amendment 39-13654 (69 FR 31874, June 8, 2004); AD 2004-13-25, Amendment 39-13707 (69 FR 41394, July 9, 2004); AD 2004-18-14, Amendment 39-13793 (69 FR 55326, September 14, 2004); AD 2008-06-07, Amendment 39-15419 (73 FR 13103, March 12, 2008; corrected April 15, 2008 (73 FR 20367)); and AD 2012-04-07, Amendment 39-16963 (77 FR 12989, March 5, 2012) to require actions intended to address the aging effects of aircraft systems. Such aging effects could change the characteristics of those systems, which, in isolation or in combination with one or more other specific failures or events, could result in failure of certain life limited parts, which could reduce the structural integrity of the airplane or reduce the controllability of the airplane.

    Actions Since the NPRM (78 FR 66861, November 7, 2013) Was Issued

    Since we issued the NPRM (78 FR 66861, November 7, 2013), we received Airbus A330 Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) Part 4—Aging Systems Maintenance, Revision 04, dated August 27, 2013, and Airbus A330 ALS Part 4—Aging Systems Maintenance (ASM), Variation 4.1 and Variation 4.2, both dated July 23, 2014, which contain more restrictive maintenance requirements. We determined that more restrictive maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations are necessary and that Airbus Model A330-323 airplanes need to be added to the applicability of this AD in order to address the unsafe condition.

    The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, also issued new EASA AD 2013-0268, dated November 7, 2013 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or “the MCAI”), to correct an unsafe condition on certain Airbus Model A330 series airplanes. EASA AD 2013-0268 supersedes and retains the requirements of four EASA ADs and requires accomplishment of the actions specified in Airbus A330 Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) Part 4—Aging Systems Maintenance, Revision 04, dated August 27, 2013. The MCAI states:

    The airworthiness limitations for Airbus aeroplanes are currently published in Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) documents.

    The airworthiness limitations applicable to the Ageing Systems Maintenance (ASM) are given in Airbus A330 ALS Part 4, which is approved by EASA.

    Revision 04 of Airbus A330 ALS Part 4 introduces more restrictive maintenance requirements and/or airworthiness limitations. Failure to comply with these instructions could result in an unsafe condition.

    For the reason described above, this [EASA] AD retains the requirements of EASA AD 2012-0020, which is superseded, and requires accomplishment of the actions specified in Airbus A330 ALS Part 4 at Revision 04.

    In addition, this [EASA] AD also supersedes EASA AD 2006-0159, EASA AD 2008-0026, and EASA AD 2008-0160 [which correspond to FAA ADs 2007-05-12, Amendment 39-14973 (72 FR 10057, March 7, 2007); 2010-15-02, Amendment 39-16368 (75 FR 42589, July 22, 2010); and 2009-18-20, Amendment 39-16017 (74 FR 46313, September 9, 2009), respectively], whose requirements applicable to A330 aeroplanes have been transferred into Airbus A330 ALS Part 4.

    The unsafe condition is the aging effects of aircraft systems. Such aging effects could change the characteristics of those systems, which, in isolation or in combination with one or more other specific failures or events, could result in failure of certain life limited parts, which could reduce the structural integrity of the airplane or reduce the controllability of the airplane. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating it in Docket No. FAA-2013-0834. Related Rulemaking

    We have issued AD 2014-23-17, Amendment 18033 (79 FR 71304, December 2, 2014) for Airbus Model A340-211, -212, -213, -311, -312, -313, -541, and -642 airplanes. AD 2014-23-17 terminates the requirements of the following ADs for Airbus Model A340-211, -212, -213, -311, -312, -313, -541, and -642 airplanes.

    • AD 2003-14-11, Amendment 39-13230 (68 FR 41521, July 14, 2003);

    • AD 2004-11-08, Amendment 39-13654 (69 FR 31874, June 8, 2004);

    • AD 2004-13-25, Amendment 39-13707 (69 FR 41394, July 9, 2004);

    • AD 2004-18-14, Amendment 39-13793 (69 FR 55326, September 14, 2004);

    • AD 2007-05-12, Amendment 39-14973 (72 FR 10057, March 7, 2007);

    • AD 2008-06-07, Amendment 39-15419 (73 FR 13103, March 12, 2008; corrected April 15, 2008 (73 FR 20367));

    • AD 2009-18-20, Amendment 39-16017 (74 FR 46313, September 9, 2009);

    • AD 2010-15-02, Amendment 39-16368 (75 FR 42589, July 22, 2010); and

    • AD 2012-04-07, Amendment 39-16963 (77 FR 12989, March 5, 2012).

    Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this proposed AD. We have considered the comment received on the NPRM (78 FR 66861, November 7, 2013) and the FAA's response to each comment.

    Request To Add Airplane Model to the Applicability

    Delta Airlines (Delta) requested that we add Airbus Model A330-323 airplanes to paragraph (c), “Applicability,” of the NPRM (78 FR 66861, November 7, 2013).

    We agree. Airbus Model A330-323 airplanes were erroneously omitted from the applicability. We have revised the applicability of this proposed AD to add these airplanes.

    FAA's Determination and Requirements of This SNPRM

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

    This proposed AD would retain none of the requirements of the following ADs:

    • AD 2007-05-12, Amendment 39-14973 (72 FR 10057, March 7, 2007);

    • AD 2009-18-20, Amendment 39-16017 (74 FR 46313, September 9, 2009); and

    • AD 2010-15-02, Amendment 39-16368 (75 FR 42589, July 22, 2010).

    This proposed AD would require implementation of certain maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations and adding Airbus Model A330-323 airplanes to the applicability. Certain changes described above expand the scope of the NPRM (78 FR 66861, November 7, 2013). As a result, we have determined that it is necessary to reopen the comment period to provide additional opportunity for the public to comment on this SNPRM.

    Differences Between This SNPRM and the Service Information

    This SNPRM proposes to incorporate Airbus A330 ALS Part 4—Aging Systems Maintenance, Revision 04, dated August 27, 2013, including the compliance times for the actions. However, the compliance times for certain initial actions are different from those specified in Airbus A330 ALS Part 4—Aging Systems Maintenance, Revision 04, dated August 27, 2013, because the actions and associated compliance times are required by AD 2009-18-20, Amendment 39-16017 (74 FR 46313, September 9, 2009). Therefore, the initial compliance time for these actions is relative to the effective date of the applicable superseded AD, as specified in paragraphs (h)(5), (h)(6), and (h)(7) of this SNPRM.

    The MCAI specifies that if there are findings from the ALS inspection tasks, corrective actions must be accomplished in accordance with Airbus maintenance documentation. However, this AD does not include that requirement. Operators of U.S.-registered airplanes are required by general airworthiness and operational regulations to perform maintenance using methods that are acceptable to the FAA. We consider those methods to be adequate to address any corrective actions necessitated by the findings of ALS inspections required by this AD.

    Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this SNPRM affects 79 airplanes of U.S. registry.

    We estimate that it would take about 2 work-hours per product to comply with the new basic requirements of this SNPRM. The average labor rate is $85 per work-hour. Required parts would cost $0 per product. Based on these figures, we estimate the cost of this SNPRM on U.S. operators to be $13,430, or $170 per product.

    Authority for This Rulemaking

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

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

    Regulatory Findings

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

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

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

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

    3. Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska; and

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

    List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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

    The Proposed Amendment

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

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

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

    § 39.13 [Amended]
    2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by a. Removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2003-14-11, Amendment 39-13230 (68 FR 41521, July 14, 2003); AD 2004-11-08, Amendment 39-13654 (69 FR 31874, June 8, 2004); AD 2004-13-25, Amendment 39-13707 (69 FR 41394, July 9, 2004); AD 2004-18-14, Amendment 39-13793 (69 FR 55326, September 14, 2004); AD 2007-05-12, Amendment 39-14973 (72 FR 10057, March 7, 2007); AD 2008-06-07, Amendment 39-15419 (73 FR 13103, March 12, 2008; corrected April 15, 2008 (73 FR 20367)); AD 2009-18-20, Amendment 39-16017 (74 FR 46313, September 9, 2009); AD 2010-15-02, Amendment 39-16368 (75 FR 42589, July 22, 2010); AD 2012-04-07, Amendment 39-16963 (77 FR 12989, March 5, 2012); and b. Adding the following new AD: Airbus: Docket No. FAA-2013-0834; Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-045-AD. (a) Comments Due Date

    We must receive comments by April 23, 2015.

    (b) Affected ADs

    This AD supersedes the ADs specified in paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(9) of this AD.

    (1) AD 2003-14-11, Amendment 39-13230 (68 FR 41521, July 14, 2003).

    (2) AD 2004-11-08, Amendment 39-13654 (69 FR 31874, June 8, 2004).

    (3) AD 2004-13-25, Amendment 39-13707 (69 FR 41394, July 9, 2004).

    (4) AD 2004-18-14, Amendment 39-13793 (69 FR 55326, September 14, 2004).

    (5) AD 2007-05-12, Amendment 39-14973 (72 FR 10057, March 7, 2007).

    (6) AD 2008-06-07, Amendment 39-15419 (73 FR 13103, March 12, 2008; corrected April 15, 2008 (73 FR 20367)).

    (7) AD 2009-18-20, Amendment 39-16017 (74 FR 46313, September 9, 2009).

    (8) AD 2010-15-02, Amendment 39-16368 (75 FR 42589, July 22, 2010).

    (9) AD 2012-04-07, Amendment 39-16963 (77 FR 12989, March 5, 2012).

    (c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Airbus Model A330-201, -202, -203, -223, -243, -223F, -243F, -301, -302, -303, -321, -322, -323, -341, -342, and -343 airplanes; certificated in any category; all manufacturer serial numbers.

    (d) Subject

    Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 05, Time Limits/Maintenance Checks.

    (e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a determination that more restrictive maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations are necessary. We are issuing this AD to address the aging effects of aircraft systems. Such aging effects could change the characteristics of those systems, which, in isolation or in combination with one or more other specific failures or events, could result in failure of certain life limited parts, which could reduce the structural integrity of the airplane or reduce the controllability of the airplane.

    (f) Compliance

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

    (g) Maintenance Program Revision and Actions

    Within 6 months after the effective date of this AD, revise the maintenance program or inspection program, as applicable, by incorporating Airbus A330 Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) Part 4—Aging Systems Maintenance, Revision 04, dated August 27, 2013, and Airbus A330 ALS Part 4—Aging Systems Maintenance (ASM), Variation 4.1 and Variation 4.2, both dated July 23, 2014. The initial compliance times for the actions are within the applicable compliance times specified in the Record of Revisions pages of Airbus A330 ALS Part 4—Aging Systems Maintenance, Revision 04, dated August 27, 2013, Airbus A330 ALS Part 4—Aging Systems Maintenance (ASM), Variation 4.1 and Variation 4.2, both dated July 23, 2014, or within 6 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever is later, except as required by paragraph (h) of this AD.

    (h) Exceptions to Initial Compliance Times

    (1) Where Airbus A330 ALS Part 4—Aging Systems Maintenance, Revision 04, dated August 27, 2013, defines a calendar compliance time for elevator servo-controls having part number (P/N) SC4800-2, SC4800-3, SC4800-4, SC4800-6, SC4800-7, or SC4800-8 as “August 31, 2004,” the calendar compliance time is June 13, 2007 (34 months after August 13, 2004 (the effective date of AD 2004-13-25, Amendment 39-13707 (69 FR 41394, July 9, 2004))).

    (2) Where Airbus A330 ALS Part 4—Aging Systems Maintenance, Revision 04, dated August 27, 2013, defines a calendar compliance time for spoiler servo-controls (SSCs) having P/N 1386A0000-01, P/N 1386B0000-01, P/N 1387A0000-01 or P/N 1387B0000-01 as “December 31, 2003,” the calendar compliance time is November 19, 2005 (13 months after October 19, 2004 (the effective date of AD 2004-18-14, Amendment 39-13793 (69 FR 55326, September 14, 2004))).

    (3) Where Airbus A330 ALS Part 4—Aging Systems Maintenance, Revision 04, dated August 27, 2013, defines a calendar compliance time for elevator servo-controls having P/N SC4800-73, SC4800-93, SC4800-103 and SC4800-113 as “June 30, 2008,” the calendar compliance time is September 16, 2009 (17 months after April 16, 2008 (the effective date of AD 2008-06-07, Amendment 39-15419 (73 FR 13103, March 12, 2008; corrected April 15, 2008 (73 FR 20367)))).

    (4) The initial compliance time for replacement of the retraction brackets of the main landing gear (MLG) having a part number specified in paragraphs (h)(4)(i) through (h)(4)(xvi) of this AD is before the accumulation of 19,800 total landings on the affected retraction brackets of the MLG, or within 900 flight hours after April 9, 2012 (the effective date of AD 2012-04-07, Amendment 39-16963 (77 FR 12989, March 5, 2012), whichever occurs later.

    (i) 201478303 (ii) 201478304 (iii) 201478305 (iv) 201478306 (v) 201478307 (vi) 201478308 (vii) 201428380 (viii) 201428381 (ix) 201428382 (x) 201428383 (xi) 201428384 (xii) 201428385 (xiii) 201428378 (xiv) 201428379 (xv) 201428351 (xvi) 201428352

    (5) Where Airbus A330 ALS Part 4—Aging Systems Maintenance, Revision 04, dated August 27, 2013, defines a calendar compliance time for the modification of SSCs on three hydraulic circuits having part numbers MZ4339390-01X, MZ4306000-01X, MZ4339390-02X, MZ4306000-02X, MZ4339390-10X, or MZ4306000-10X as “March 5, 2010,” the calendar compliance time is April 14, 2011 (18 months after October 14, 2009 (the effective date of AD 2009-18-20, Amendment 39-16017 (74 FR 46313, September 9, 2009))).

    (6) Where Note (6) of “ATA 27-64-00 Flight Control—Spoiler Hydraulic Actuation,” of Sub-part 4-2-1, “Life Limits,” of Sub-part 4-2, “Systems Life Limited Components,” of Airbus A330 ALS Part 4—Aging Systems Maintenance, Revision 04, dated August 27, 2013, defines a calendar date of “September 5, 2008,” as a date for the determination of accumulated flight cycles since the aircraft initial entry into service, the date is October 14, 2009 (the effective date of AD 2009-18-20, Amendment 39-16017 (74 FR 46313, September 9, 2009)).

    (7) Where Note (6) of “ATA 27-64-00 Flight Control—Spoiler Hydraulic Actuation,” of Sub-part 4-2-1, “Life Limits,” of Sub-part 4-2, “Systems Life Limited Components,” of Airbus A330 ALS Part 4—Aging Systems Maintenance, Revision 04, dated August 27, 2013, defines a calendar compliance time as “March 5, 2010,” for the modification of affected servo controls, the calendar compliance time is April 14, 2011 (18 months after October 14, 2009 (the effective date of AD 2009-18-20, Amendment 39-16017 (74 FR 46313, September 9, 2009))).

    (i) No Alternative Actions or Intervals

    After accomplishing the revision required by paragraph (g) of this AD, no alternative actions (e.g., inspections) or intervals may be used unless the actions or intervals are approved as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j)(1) of this AD.

    (j) Other FAA AD Provisions

    The following provisions also apply to this AD:

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

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

    (k) Related Information

    (1) Refer to Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information (MCAI) European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) AD 2013-0268, dated November 7, 2013, for related information. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FAA-2013-0834-0003.

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

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on February 20, 2015. Victor Wicklund, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05031 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security 15 CFR Part 702 [RIN 0694-AG17] U.S. Industrial Base Surveys Pursuant to the Defense Production Act of 1950; Correction AGENCY:

    Bureau of Industry and Security, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    This rule corrects the preamble to a proposed rule published in the Federal Register of March 3, 2015, regarding U.S. Industrial Base Surveys by adding the inadvertently omitted ADDRESSES Caption.

    DATES:

    March 9, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    William Arvin, Bureau of Industry and Security Regulatory Policy Division, 202-482-2440 or [email protected].

    Correction

    In proposed rule FR Doc. 2015-04299, on page 11350 in the issue of March 3, 2015, in the first column, immediately following the DATES section, add the following:

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted:

    • Via the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Search for this rule using its regulations.gov docket number: BIS-2015-0010.

    • By email directly to [email protected]. Include “RIN 0694-AG17” in the subject line.

    • By mail or delivery to Regulatory Policy Division, Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. Department of Commerce, Room 2099B, 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230. Refer to “RIN 0694-AG17.”

    Dated: March 3, 2015. Matthew S. Borman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Export Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05324 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-33-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Parts 201, 606, and 610 [Docket No. FDA-2007-N-0363] RIN 0910-AG18 Electronic Distribution of Prescribing Information for Human Prescription Drugs, Including Biological Products; Extension of Comment Period AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; extension of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is extending the comment period for the proposed rule that appeared in the Federal Register of December 18, 2014. In the proposed rule, FDA requested comments on its proposal to amend its labeling regulations for human prescription drugs and biological products to require that the prescribing information intended for health care professionals that is on or within the package from which the product is dispensed be distributed electronically and not in paper form, except as provided by the proposed rule. The Agency is taking this action in response to a request for an extension to allow interested persons additional time to submit comments.

    DATES:

    FDA is extending the comment period on the proposed rule published on December 18, 2014 (79 FR 75506). Submit either electronic or written comments by May 18, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments to the proposed rule by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

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

    Written Submissions

    Submit written submissions in the following ways:

    Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for paper submissions): Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2007-N-0363 for this rulemaking. All comments received may be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. For additional information on submitting comments, see the “Comments” heading of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Division of Dockets Management, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Emily Gebbia, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Rm. 6226, Silver Spring, MD 20993, 240-402-0980.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    In the Federal Register of December 18, 2014, FDA published a proposed rule to amend its labeling regulations for human prescription drugs and biological products to require that the prescribing information intended for health care professionals that is on or within the package from which the product is dispensed be distributed electronically and not in paper form, except as provided by the proposed rule. The proposed rule is intended to facilitate the distribution of updated prescribing information as new information becomes available and as changes in prescribing information are made. FDA is proposing the change to help ensure that the most current prescribing information will be available and readily accessible to health care professionals at the time of clinical decision making and dispensing. FDA provided a 90-day comment period (i.e., until March 18, 2015) for the proposed rule.

    The Agency has received a request for a 60-day extension of the comment period for the proposed rule. The request conveyed concern that the current 90-day comment period does not allow sufficient time for entities and individuals who will be most affected by a final rule to examine and to comment upon the proposed rule. The request suggested that FDA would benefit by granting stakeholders sufficient time to develop their comments and to address as many relevant issues as possible.

    FDA has considered the request and is extending the comment period for the proposed rule for 60 days, until May 18, 2015. The Agency believes that a 60-day extension allows adequate time for interested persons to submit comments without significantly delaying rulemaking on this important issue.

    II. Request for Comments

    Interested persons may submit either electronic comments regarding the proposed rule to http://www.regulations.gov or written comments to the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES). It is only necessary to send one set of comments. Identify comments with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document. Received comments may be seen in the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and will be posted to the docket at http://www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: March 3, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05336 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2015-0071] RIN 1625-AA08 Safety Zone; 24 Mile Tampa Bay Marathon Swim, Tampa Bay, Tampa, FL AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is proposing to establish a temporary moving safety zone on the waters of the Tampa Bay in Tampa, Florida during the 24 Mile Tampa Bay Marathon Swim. The swim is scheduled to take place from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m. on April 25, 2015. Approximately 30 swimmers are anticipated to participate in the marathon swim event. No spectators are expected to be present during the event. The safety zone is necessary to provide for the safety of the participants, participant vessels, and the general public on the navigable waters of the United States during the event. The safety zone will establish a moving protective area around all swimmers involved in the race. Persons and vessels, except those participating in the event, will be prohibited from entering, transiting through, anchoring in, or remaining within the regulated area unless authorized by the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg or a designated representative.

    DATES:

    Requests for public meetings, comments or related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before March 16, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    (2) Fax: (202) 493-2251.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email Tyrone J. Stafford, Sector St. Petersburg Prevention Department, Coast Guard; telephone (813) 228-2191, 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 A. Public Participation and Request for Comments

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

    1. Submitting Comments

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

    To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number USCG-2015-0071 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on “Submit a Comment” on the line associated with this rulemaking.

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

    2. Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number USCG-2015-0071 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 to hold a public meeting. But you may submit a request for one, 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

    The Coast Guard is proposing to establish this temporary moving safety zone on the waters of the Tampa Bay in Tampa, Florida during the 24 Mile Tampa Bay Marathon Swim. The race is scheduled to take place from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m. on April 25, 2015. This proposed rule is necessary to protect the safety of the participants, participant vessels, and the general public on the navigable waters of the United States during the event.

    C. Basis and Purpose

    The legal basis for the proposed rule is the Coast Guard's authority to establish safety zones: 33 U.S.C. 1231; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    The purpose of the proposed rule is to provide for the safety of life on navigable waters of the United States during the 24 Mile Tampa Bay Marathon Swim.

    D. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    This proposed rule is to establish a temporary moving safety zone that will encompass certain waters of Tampa Bay in Tampa, Florida. The proposed safety zone will be enforced from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m. on April 25, 2015. The safety zone will establish a moving protective area around all swimmers involved in the race. Persons and vessels, except those participating in the event, will be prohibited from entering, transiting through, anchoring in, or remaining within the regulated area unless authorized by the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg or a designated representative.

    Persons and vessels may request authorization to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the enforcement areas by contacting the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg by telephone at (727) 824-7506, or a designated representative via VHF radio on channel 16. If authorization to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the enforcement areas is granted by the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg or a designated representative, all persons and vessels receiving such authorization must comply with the instructions of the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg or a designated representative.

    E. Regulatory Analyses

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

    1. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

    The economic impact of this proposed rule is not significant for the following reasons: (1) The temporary moving safety zone would be enforced for 17 hours; (2) although persons and vessels are prohibited to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the enforcement areas without authorization from the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg or a designated representative, they may operate in the surrounding area during the enforcement period; (3) persons and vessels may still enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the enforcement areas during the enforcement period if authorized by the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg or a designated representative; and (4) the Coast Guard would provide advance notification of the safety zone to the local maritime community by Local Notice to Mariners, Broadcast Notice to Mariners and/or on-scene designated representatives.

    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.

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

    3. Assistance for Small Entities

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this proposed rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section 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 From Environmental Health Risks

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

    11. Indian Tribal Governments

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

    12. Energy Effects

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

    13. Technical Standards

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

    14. Environment

    We have analyzed this 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 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 is 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

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

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR part 165 as follows:

    PART 165—SAFETY ZONES 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, 160.5; Pub. L. 107-295, 116 Stat. 2064; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. Add a temporary § 165.T07-0071 to read as follows:
    § 165.T07-0071 Safety Zone; 24 Mile Tampa Bay Marathon Swim, Tampa Bay; Tampa, FL.

    (a) Regulated Areas. All waters within a 50-yard radius around the swimmers and safety vessels including kayaks.

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

    (c) Regulations. (1) All persons and vessels are prohibited from entering, transiting through, anchoring in, or remaining within the regulated area unless authorized by the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg or a designated representative.

    (2) Non-participant persons and vessels desiring to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the regulated area may contact the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg by telephone at (727) 824-7506, or a designated representative via VHF radio on channel 16. If authorization to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the regulated area is granted by the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg or a designated representative, all persons and vessels receiving such authorization must comply with the instructions of the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg or a designated representative.

    (3) The Coast Guard will provide notice of the regulated area by Local Notice to Mariners, Broadcast Notice to Mariners, and/or on-scene designated representatives.

    (d) Effective Date. This rule is effective on April 25, 2015 and will be enforced from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m.

    Dated: February 18, 2015. G.D. Case, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port St. Petersburg.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05471 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2015-0093] RIN 1625-AA08 Safety Zone; Swim Around Lido Key; Tampa Bay; Sarasota, FL AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is proposing to establish a temporary moving safety zone on the waters of the Sarasota Bay in Sarasota, Florida during the Swim Around Lido Key. The swim is scheduled to take place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 12, 2015. Approximately 100 swimmers are anticipated to participate in the swim event. No spectators are expected to be present during the event. The safety zone is necessary to provide for the safety of the participants, participant vessels, and the general public on the navigable waters of the United States during the event. The safety zone will establish a moving protective area around all swimmers involved in the race. Persons and vessels, except those participating in the event, will be prohibited from entering, transiting through, anchoring in, or remaining within the regulated area unless authorized by the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg or a designated representative.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must be received by March 20, 2015.

    Requests for public meetings must be received by the Coast Guard on or before March 16, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    (2) Fax: (202) 493-2251.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email Tyrone J. Stafford, Sector St. Petersburg Prevention Department, Coast Guard; telephone (813) 228-2191, 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 A. Public Participation and Request for Comments

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

    1. Submitting Comments

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

    To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number USCG-2015-0093 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on “Submit a Comment” on the line associated with this rulemaking.

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

    2. Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number USCG-2015-0093 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 to hold a public meeting. But you may submit a request for one, 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

    The Coast Guard is proposing to establish this temporary moving safety zone on the waters of the Tampa Bay in Tampa, Florida during the Swim Around Lido Key. The race is scheduled to take place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 12, 2015. This proposed rule is necessary to protect the safety of the participants, participant vessels, and the general public on the navigable waters of the United States during the event.

    C. Basis and Purpose

    The legal basis for the proposed rule is the Coast Guard's authority to establish safety zones: 33 U.S.C. 1231; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    The purpose of the proposed rule is to provide for the safety of life on navigable waters of the United States during the Swim Around Lido Key.

    D. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    This proposed rule is to establish a temporary moving safety zone that will encompass certain waters of Tampa Bay in Tampa, Florida. The proposed safety zone will be enforced from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 12, 2015. The safety zone will establish a moving protective area around all swimmers involved in the race. Persons and vessels, except those participating in the event, will be prohibited from entering, transiting through, anchoring in, or remaining within the regulated area unless authorized by the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg or a designated representative.

    Persons and vessels may request authorization to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the enforcement areas by contacting the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg by telephone at (727) 824-7506, or a designated representative via VHF radio on channel 16. If authorization to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the enforcement areas is granted by the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg or a designated representative, all persons and vessels receiving such authorization must comply with the instructions of the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg or a designated representative.

    E. Regulatory Analyses

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

    1. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

    The economic impact of this proposed rule is not significant for the following reasons: (1) The temporary moving safety zone would be enforced for 6 hours; (2) although persons and vessels are prohibited to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the enforcement areas without authorization from the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg or a designated representative, they may operate in the surrounding area during the enforcement period; (3) persons and vessels may still enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the enforcement areas during the enforcement period if authorized by the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg or a designated representative; and (4) the Coast Guard would provide advance notification of the safety zone to the local maritime community by Local Notice to Mariners, Broadcast Notice to Mariners and/or on-scene designated representatives.

    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.

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

    3. Assistance for Small Entities

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this proposed rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section 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 From Environmental Health Risks

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

    11. Indian Tribal Governments

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

    12. Energy Effects

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

    13. Technical Standards

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

    14. Environment

    We have analyzed this 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 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 is 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

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

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR part 165 as follows:

    PART 165—SAFETY ZONES 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, 160.5; Pub. L. 107-295, 116 Stat. 2064; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. Add a temporary § 165.T07-0093 to read as follows:
    § 165.T07-0093 Safety Zone; Swim Around Lido key, Sarasota Bay; Sarasota, FL.

    (a) Regulated Areas. All waters within a 50-yard radius around the swimmers and safety vessels including kayaks.

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

    (c) Regulations. (1) All persons and vessels are prohibited from entering, transiting through, anchoring in, or remaining within the regulated area unless authorized by the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg or a designated representative.

    (2) Non-participant persons and vessels desiring to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the regulated area may contact the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg by telephone at (727) 824-7506, or a designated representative via VHF radio on channel 16. If authorization to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the regulated area is granted by the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg or a designated representative, all persons and vessels receiving such authorization must comply with the instructions of the Captain of the Port St. Petersburg or a designated representative.

    (3) The Coast Guard will provide notice of the regulated area by Local Notice to Mariners, Broadcast Notice to Mariners, and/or on-scene designated representatives.

    (d) Effective Date. This rule will be enforced from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 12, 2015.

    Dated: February 18, 2015. G.D. Case, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port St. Petersburg.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05422 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION 34 CFR Chapter III [Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.328C.] Proposed Waiver and Extension of the Project Period for the Community Parent Resource Centers AGENCY:

    Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Proposed waiver and extension of the project period.

    SUMMARY:

    The Secretary proposes to waive the requirements in the Education Department General Administrative Regulations that generally prohibit project periods exceeding five years and project period extensions involving the obligation of additional Federal funds. We take this action because this proposed waiver and extension of the project period would enable nine currently funded Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs) to receive funding from October 1, 2015, through September 30, 2016.

    DATES:

    We must receive your comments on or before April 8, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Address all comments about this proposed waiver and extension of the project period to Carmen Sanchez, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4057, Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2600.

    If you prefer to send your comments by email, use the following address: [email protected] You must include the phrase “Proposed waiver and extension of the project period” in the subject line of your message.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Carmen Sanchez. Telephone: (202) 245-6595, or by email at: [email protected]

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf or a text telephone, call the Federal Relay Service, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Invitation to Comment: We invite you to submit comments regarding this proposed waiver and extension. During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public comments about this proposed waiver and extension of the project period in room 4057, PCP, 550 12th Street SW., Washington, DC, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, Monday through Friday of each week, except Federal holidays.

    Assistance to Individuals with Disabilities in Reviewing the Rulemaking Record: On request, we will provide an appropriate accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability who needs assistance to review the comments or other documents in the public rulemaking record for this notice. If you want to schedule an appointment for this type of aid, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Background

    On May 3, 2010, the Department of Education (Department) published in the Federal Register (75 FR 23254) a notice inviting applications (2010 NIA) for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2010 for up to 10 CPRCs. The CPRCs were funded under the Parent Training and Information (PTI) Program, authorized under sections 672 and 673 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

    The purpose of CPRCs is to provide underserved parents of children with disabilities in targeted communities—including low-income parents, parents of limited English proficient children, and parents with disabilities—with the training and information they need to enable them to participate cooperatively and effectively in helping their children with disabilities to—

    (1) Meet developmental and functional goals, as well as challenging academic achievement standards that have been established for all children; and

    (2) Be prepared to lead the most productive, independent adult lives possible.

    The CPRCs provide training and information to parents of infants, toddlers, and children, from birth through age 26, with the full range of disabilities described in section 602(3) of IDEA by: (a) Responding to individual requests for information and support from parents of children with disabilities, including parents of children who may be inappropriately identified in their targeted communities; (b) providing training to parents of children with disabilities; (c) supporting parents of children with disabilities, as needed, such as helping them to prepare for individualized education program or individualized family service plan meetings; and (d) maintaining a Web site and social media presence, as appropriate, to inform parents in their targeted communities of appropriate resources.

    Based on the selection criteria published in the 2010 NIA, the Department made awards for a period of 60 months to 10 organizations, nine of which have received FY 2014 continuation funding: Fiesta Educativa in California; Parent to Parent of Miami, Inc. in Florida; Agenda for Children/Pyramid Parent Training in Louisiana; Urban PRIDE in Massachusetts; SPEAKS Education, Inc. in Michigan; Education for Parents of Indian Children with Special Needs (EPICS) in New Mexico; Palau Parents Empowered in Palau; Philadelphia HUNE, Inc. in Pennsylvania; and Disabilities Information Coalition in Texas.

    The 2010 CPRC cohort's current project period is scheduled to end on September 30, 2015. We do not believe that it would be in the public interest to run a competition for new CPRCs this year because the Department is in the process of changing the competition schedule for the PTI Program to make better use of Department resources. Under the proposed CPRC competition schedule, instead of holding three competitions over five years, each for 10 CPRCs, we would hold one competition for 30 CPRCs for a project period of up to five years. We propose to fund 30 CPRCs in FY 2016. We also have concluded that it would be contrary to the public interest to provide services to fewer underserved families in order to change the Department's competition schedule.

    For these reasons, the Secretary proposes to waive the requirements in 34 CFR 75.250, which prohibit project periods exceeding five years, as well as the requirements in 34 CFR 75.261(a) and (c)(2), which allow the extension of a project period only if the extension does not involve the obligation of additional Federal funds. The waiver would allow the Department to issue FY 2015 continuation awards of $100,000 to each of the nine centers in the FY 2010 cohort.

    Any activities carried out during the year of this continuation award would have to be consistent with, or a logical extension of, the scope, goals, and objectives of the grantee's application as approved in the FY 2010 CPRC competition.

    If the proposed waiver and extension of the project period are announced in a final notice in the Federal Register, the requirements applicable to continuation awards for this competition set forth in the 2010 NIA and the requirements in 34 CFR 75.253 would apply to any continuation awards sought by the current CPRC grantees. We will base our decisions regarding continuation awards on the program narratives, budgets, budget narratives, and program performance reports submitted by the current grantees, and the requirements in 34 CFR 75.253.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    The Department certifies that the proposed waiver and extension of the project period would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The only entities that would be affected by the proposed waiver and extension of the project period are the current grantees receiving Federal funds and any other potential applicants.

    The Secretary certifies that the proposed waiver and extension would not have a significant economic impact on these entities because the extension of an existing project period imposes minimal compliance costs, and the activities required to support the additional year of funding would not impose additional regulatory burdens or require unnecessary Federal supervision.

    Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This notice of proposed waiver and extension of the project period does not contain any information collection requirements.

    Intergovernmental Review

    This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. One of the objectives of the Executive order is to foster an intergovernmental partnership and a strengthened federalism. The Executive order relies on processes developed by State and local governments for coordination and review of proposed Federal financial assistance. This document provides early notification of our specific plans and actions for this program.

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Dated: March 3, 2015. Sue Swenson, Acting Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05280 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Chapter 1 [EPA-HQ-OA-2011-0156; FRL-9923-87-OA] Improving EPA Regulations AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requesting public input on the agency's periodic retrospective review of its regulations. Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review,” and Executive Order 13610, “Identifying and Reducing Regulatory Burdens,” call on all federal agencies to conduct a retrospective analysis of rules that may be outmoded, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome and to modify, streamline, expand, or repeal them in accordance with what has been learned. The EPA is particularly seeking public input on how the agency can promote regulatory modernization through business-process streamlining, facilitated by improved technology.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before April 8, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OA-2011-0156, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. If you need to include CBI as part of your comment, please visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html for instructions. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For further information on this document, please contact Nathaniel Jutras, Office of Policy, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Mail Code 1803A, Washington, DC 20460, Phone: (202) 564-0301; Fax: (202) 564-8601; [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is committed to a regulatory strategy that effectively achieves the Agency's mission of protecting the environment and the health, welfare, and safety of Americans while also supporting economic growth, job creation, competitiveness, and innovation.

    Recognizing the importance of reducing unnecessary red tape—especially for America's small businesses—with Executive Orders 13563 and 13610 President Obama launched a historic review of existing rules to eliminate, streamline or update those that no longer make sense in their current form. This effort is on track to produce completed actions that will reduce nearly $20 billion in regulatory costs in the near term.

    As part of this review, in August 2011 the agency issued its Final Plan for Periodic Retrospective Reviews of Existing Regulations (http://www.epa.gov/regdarrt/). This Plan was developed after extensive public outreach that sought input on an agency plan for retrospective review, as well as on possible reforms to modify, streamline, expand or repeal existing regulations. That outreach included 20 public meetings, town halls, and Webinars with over 600 participants. Since 2011, the EPA has maintained an open comment docket for public feedback on the existing Plan for Periodic Retrospective Review of Existing Regulations and the subsequent progress reports. To date, we have completed 21 of our original 35 retrospective reviews. We added five new reviews in July 2014.

    The EPA views this review process as an ongoing exercise and is seeking further public input to ensure our regulations continue to maximize net social benefit. The focus of this new request for input is on how the agency can promote regulatory modernization through business-process streamlining facilitated by improved technology. We specifically solicit comments on the following questions:

    Which regulations, including economically significant rules, could be transitioned from paper to electronic reporting?

    How can the EPA reduce duplicative reporting requirements in existing regulations that may overlap other federal requirements?

    How can the EPA streamline or consolidate reporting requirements to reduce burden?

    Which regulations could benefit from the use of existing shared services (such as the Substance Registry System) or new shared services?

    Should the EPA create a joint registry of regulated facilities with states and tribes to streamline electronic reporting to multiple programs and maximize burden reduction?

    Which regulations could be improved through the use of advance monitoring techniques or the development of mobile applications to facilitate environmental protection?

    Which regulations could be amended to reduce the frequency of reporting while maintaining effective programs?

    Is the same information being collected in multiple places, either across different regulations, or across different levels of government (Federal, State, Tribal, and local)?

    We request that commenters be as specific as possible, include any supporting data or other information, and provide a citation when referencing a specific regulation. In addition, in drafting comments, bear in mind that the EPA must uphold both its legal obligations under governing statutes and its mission to protect human health and the environment; and that the EPA's retrospective review will be tailored to reflect its resources, rulemaking schedule, and workload.

    Additionally, the EPA published a notice on January 26, 2015 seeking comment on the development of an online portal to serve as a consolidated entry point for providing information, tools and streamlined interactions with the EPA by the public and regulated entities (80 FR 3962). Commenters may wish to review this notice and consider how such a portal could be used while considering regulations that the EPA should include in its review.

    The EPA is accepting comments until April 8, 2015. Although the agency will not respond to individual comments, the EPA values and will give careful consideration to all input that it receives. Please see http://www.epa.gov/regdarrt/retrospective/history.html for additional information and updates.

    Dated: February 26, 2015. Joel Beauvais, Associate Administrator, Office of Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05303 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0903; FRL-9924-03-Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; West Virginia; State Boards Requirements; Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 Ozone, 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide, and 2010 Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standards AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to approve the State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of West Virginia for the purpose of addressing the State Boards requirements for all criteria pollutants of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). EPA is also proposing to approve a related infrastructure element from the West Virginia February 21, 2012 SIP submittal for the 2008 ozone (O3) NAAQS, the December 13, 2012 SIP submittal for the 2010 nitrogen dioxide (NO2) NAAQS, and the July 1, 2013 SIP submittal for the 2010 sulfur dioxide (SO2) NAAQS. In the Final Rules section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving the State's SIP submittal as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for the approval is set forth in the direct final rule. If no adverse comments are received in response to this action, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received in writing by April 8, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0903 by one of the following methods:

    A. www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.

    B. Email: [email protected].

    C. Mail: EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0903, Marilyn Powers, Acting Associate Director, Office of Air Program Planning, Air Protection Division, Mailcode 3AP30, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103.

    D. Hand Delivery: At the previously listed EPA Region III address. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0903. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change, and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or email. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

    Docket: All documents in the electronic docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy during normal business hours at the Air Protection Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103. Copies of the State submittal are available at the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Air Quality, 601 57th Street SE., Charleston, WV 25304.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ellen Schmitt, (215) 814-5787, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    For further information, please see the information provided in the direct final action, with the same title, that is located in the “Rules and Regulations” section of this Federal Register publication. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    Dated: February 12, 2015. William C. Early, Acting Regional Administrator, Region III.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05223 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0886; FRL-9924-01-Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Pennsylvania; Revision to Allegheny County Regulations for Establishing Permit Fees AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA is proposing to approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) on August 30, 2010. This revision pertains to the Air Pollution Control portion of the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) Rules and Regulations, and consists of changes to the regulations establishing installation permit application and administration fees, as well as open burning permit application fees. This action is being taken under the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before April 8, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0886 by one of the following methods:

    A. www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.

    B. Email: [email protected]

    C. Mail: EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0886, David J. Campbell, Associate Director, Office of Permits and Air Toxics, Mailcode 3AP10, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103.

    D. Hand Delivery: At the previously-listed EPA Region III address. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0886. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change, and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or email. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

    Docket: All documents in the electronic docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form.

    Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy during normal business hours at the Air Protection Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103. Copies of the Commonwealth submittal are available at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Air Quality Control, P.O. Box 8468, 400 Market Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17105; and the Allegheny County Health Department, Bureau of Environmental Quality, Division of Air Quality, 301 39th Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15201.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Paul T. Wentworth, P.E. at: (215) 814-2183, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    On August 23, 2010 the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) submitted a revision to the Allegheny County portion of the Pennsylvania State Implementation Plan. This SIP submission contains revisions to ACHD's regulations under Article XXI section 2102.10, entitled “Installation Permit Application and Administration Fees”; and section 2105.50, entitled “Open Burning and Administration Fees.”

    II. Summary of SIP Revision

    The revisions to sections 2102.10 and 2105.50 under Article XXI consist of: (1) Deleting the fixed monetary amounts for permit fees provided for in both sections; (2) adding language in both sections stating that the amount of the given fee shall be set by the Board of Health, and approved by Allegheny County Council; and 3) adding language in section 2102.10 establishing fees by factoring in the degree of technical and regulatory difficulty in establishing fees for each category of installation permit. These categories include: (1) Any source requiring a Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permit; (2) an installation permit for a source for which ACHD is required to establish a maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standard for such source; (3) any source requiring an installation permit and subject to section 2102.06 involving new major sources and major modifications locating in or impacting a non-attainment area; (4) any source requiring an installation permit and subject to existing standards, such as: the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) or the MACT standard; (5) any source requiring an installation permit but not subject to any of the previous requirements; and (6) for all applications to use general installation permits.

    III. Proposed Action

    EPA review of this material submitted on August 30, 2010 determined that the rule changes have gone through the appropriate state procedures and that the revised regulations satisfy the requirements laid out in the CAA at section 110(a)(2)(L)(i) and (ii) which requires SIPs to include fees sufficient to cover the reasonable costs of reviewing and acting upon any application for a permit required by the CAA, and (if the owner or operator receives a permit for such source) the reasonable costs of implementing and enforcing the terms and conditions of any such permit. Therefore EPA is proposing to approve this PADEP SIP revision containing revisions to the installation permit application and administration fees and open burning and administration fees requirements under ACHD Rules and Regulations, Article XXI.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, EPA's proposal to approve changes to ACHD regulations pertaining to establishing installation permit application and administration fees does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because the SIP is not approved to apply in Indian country located in the state, and EPA notes that it will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Carbon monoxide, Incorporation by reference Intergovernmental relations, Lead, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides, Volatile organic compounds.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: February 11, 2015. William Early, Acting, Regional Administrator, Region III.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05335 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 300 [Docket No. 141222999-5173-01] RIN 0648-BE71 International Fisheries; Pacific Tuna Fisheries; 2015 and 2016 Commercial Fishing Restrictions for Pacific Bluefin Tuna in the Eastern Pacific Ocean AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is proposing regulations under the Tuna Conventions Act to implement Resolution C-14-06 of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC or the Commission) establishing limits on U.S. commercial catch of Pacific bluefin tuna from waters of the IATTC Convention Area for 2015 and 2016. This action is necessary for the United States to satisfy its obligations as a member of the IATTC.

    DATES:

    Comments on the proposed rule and supporting documents must be submitted in writing by April 8, 2015. A public hearing will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. PDT, March 26, 2015. (See ADDRESSES for the public hearing location.)

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2014-0151, by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2014-0151, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to Celia Barroso, NMFS West Coast Region Long Beach Office, 501 W. Ocean Blvd., Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802. Include the identifier “NOAA-NMFS-2014-0151” in the comments.

    Public hearing: The public is welcome to attend a public hearing and offer comments on this proposed rule from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. PDT, March 26, 2015, at 501 W. Ocean Boulevard, Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802. The public may also participate in the public hearing via conference line: 1-877-934-5061, passcode 7998683.

    Instructions: Comments must be submitted by one of the above methods to ensure they are received, documented, and considered by NMFS. Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.) submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive or protected information. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).

    Copies of the draft Regulatory Impact Review (RIR) and other supporting documents are available via the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov, docket NOAA-NMFS-2014-0151 or contact with the Regional Administrator, William W. Stelle, Jr., NMFS West Coast Region, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Bldg 1, Seattle, WA 98115-0070, or [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Celia Barroso, NMFS, 562-432-1850

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background on the IATTC

    The United States is a member of the IATTC, which was established under the 1949 Convention for the Establishment of an Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission. The full text of the 1949 Convention is available at: http://www.iattc.org/PDFFiles/IATTC_convention_1949.pdf.

    The IATTC facilitates scientific research into, as well as conservation and management of, highly migratory species of fish in the IATTC Convention Area (defined as the waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO)). Since 1998, conservation resolutions adopted by the IATTC have further defined the Convention Area as the area bounded by the coast of the Americas, the 50° N. and 50° S. parallels, and the 150° W. meridian. The IATTC has maintained a scientific research and fishery monitoring program for many years, and regularly assesses the status of tuna and billfish stocks in the EPO to determine appropriate catch limits and other measures deemed necessary to prevent overexploitation of these stocks and to promote sustainable fisheries. The IATTC currently consists of 21 member nations and four cooperating non-member nations.

    International Obligations of the United States Under the Convention

    As a Contracting Party to the 1949 Convention and a member of the IATTC, the United States is legally bound to implement IATTC resolutions. The Tuna Conventions Act (16 U.S.C. 951-962) directs the Secretary of Commerce, after approval by the Secretary of State, to promulgate such regulations as may be necessary to implement resolutions adopted by the IATTC. The Secretary's authority to promulgate such regulations has been delegated to NMFS.

    Pacific Bluefin Tuna Resolution

    Recognizing the need to reduce fishing mortality of Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis), the IATTC has adopted catch limits for Pacific bluefin tuna in the Convention Area since 2012. In 2011, NMFS determined overfishing was occurring on Pacific bluefin tuna (76 FR 28422, May 17, 2011), which is considered a single Pacific-wide stock. Based on the results of a 2012 stock assessment conducted by the International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean (ISC), NMFS determined Pacific bluefin tuna was not only experiencing overfishing, but was also overfished (78 FR 41033, July 9, 2013). NMFS implemented the previous resolutions (Resolutions C-12-09 and C-13-02) to establish catch limits for the United States via rulemaking in 2013 (78 FR 33240, June 4, 2013) and 2014 (79 FR 28452, May 16, 2014). At its resumed 87th Meeting in October 2014, the IATTC adopted Resolution C-14-06, “Measures for the Conservation and Management of Bluefin Tuna in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, 2015-2016.” The resolution, and subject of this rulemaking, was approved by the Secretary of State thereby prompting implementation by NMFS. Resolution C-14-06 reaffirms “. . . that it is necessary to adopt . . . measures to reduce the fishing mortality of Pacific bluefin tuna . . . to contribute to the rebuilding of the stock” and follows the IATTC scientific staff recommendations for a 20 to 45 percent reduction in catch.

    In 2014, the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), which has purview over the management of highly migratory fish stocks in the western and central Pacific Ocean, also adopted a conservation and management measure for Pacific bluefin tuna, to decrease the level of fishing mortality (CMM 2014-04). Future conservation measures adopted by the IATTC and WCPFC for Pacific bluefin tuna are expected to be based, in part, on information and advice from the ISC, which intends to complete an updated stock assessment in 2016.

    The main objective of Resolution C-14-06 is to reduce overfishing and to conserve and rebuild the Pacific bluefin tuna stock by setting limits on the commercial catch of Pacific bluefin tuna in the Convention Area for 2015 and 2016. C-14-06 establishes a catch limit for 2015 and 2016 combined of 600 metric tons (mt) for commercial vessels of each member or cooperating non-member (collectively known as CPCs), except Mexico, with a historical record of Pacific bluefin tuna catch from the EPO (such as the United States). For the United States, as well as any other CPC with a historical record of Pacific bluefin tuna catch in the EPO, the catch limit for both years combined would be 600 mt and is not to exceed 425 mt in a single year. Additionally, if U.S. commercial Pacific bluefin tuna catch in the Convention Area exceeds 300 mt in 2015, then the 2016 U.S. catch limit may not exceed 200 mt, which could result in a total combined catch for both years that is less than 600 mt.

    Resolution C-14-06 differs from prior IATTC resolutions on the conservation and management of Pacific bluefin tuna. As with prior resolutions, the current resolution establishes a Commission-wide catch limit applicable to all CPCs collectively and throughout the Convention Area; however, the individual CPC catch limits (as described above) count toward the Commission-wide limit. Under previous resolutions, the individual CPC limits were separate from the Commission-wide limit; specifically, the United States had the opportunity to catch the individual CPC limit as a minimum while also having access to the Commission-wide limit. Under Resolution C-14-06, the United States may not fish more than the individual CPC catch limit, as described above. Furthermore, since 2012, the annual CPC limit has been 500 mt. Under C-14-06, the individual CPC limit would be approximately 600 mt over 2 years, as described above.

    Council Recommendations for the Implementation of C-14-06

    At its November 2014 meeting, the Pacific Fishery Management Council recommended that two trip limits be included in the rule to implement the annual catch limits in accordance with the resolution: (1) An initial 20 mt trip limit until catch is within 50 mt of the annual catch limit, and (2) a 2 mt trip limit that would be imposed when the cumulative catch for the year is within 50 mt of the annual catch limit. The trip limits are intended to enhance the effectiveness of inseason management such that the fishery is more likely to have access to the maximum catch limit for 2015 and 2016 (i.e., 600 mt). The monitoring of trip limits will assist managers and industry with staying informed on current catch levels as well as to ensure that the fishery is not closed prematurely. Furthermore, the trip limits may help alleviate derby-style fishing pressure and the potential for excess supply of Pacific bluefin tuna over short periods of time. This excess supply could drive down prices, while depriving consumers of Pacific bluefin tuna at other times. The 2 mt trip limit would be intended to prevent large-scale targeting of Pacific bluefin tuna, while allowing the retention of Pacific bluefin tuna that is harvested incidentally by fishermen targeting other species. This would reduce the likelihood of wasteful discards in non-directed fisheries (e.g., from drift gillnet, hook-and-line), which typically land less than 2 mt per trip.

    Annual and trip catch limits have been used in past management of this fishery. In 2014, NMFS closed the commercial fishery to U.S. vessels in 2014 (79 FR 53631, September 10, 2014) to avoid exceeding the annual catch limit of 500 mt; preliminary landings data, which is used to estimate catch, indicated catch was 454 mt. However, updated landings data revealed that U.S. catch was 403.5 mt; therefore, NMFS re-opened the fishery with a 1 mt trip limit with the intent to reduce the likelihood of wasteful discards in non-directed fisheries (e.g., from drift gillnet, hook-and-line) (79 FR 68133, November 14, 2014).

    Pacific Bluefin Tuna Catch History

    While Pacific bluefin tuna catch by U.S. commercial vessels fishing in the Convention Area exceeded 1,000 mt per year in the early 1990s, annual catches have remained below 500 mt for more than a decade. The U.S. commercial catch of Pacific bluefin tuna in the Convention Area for the years 1999 to 2014 can be found in Table 1 below. The average annual Pacific bluefin tuna landed catch by U.S. commercial vessels fishing in the Convention Area from 2010 to 2014 represents only two percent of the average annual landings for all fleets fishing in the Convention Area during that period (for information on Pacific bluefin tuna harvests in the Convention Area through 2013, see: http://isc.ac.affrc.go.jp/pdf/ISC14pdf/ISC14_Plenary_Report_draft%20cleared%20140721-2_2Sept14_sms_forpostingonweb.pdf; for preliminary information on Pacific bluefin tuna harvest in the Convention Area in 2014, see http://www.iattc.org/MonthlyReports/2014/201410MonthlyRpt.pdf).

    Table 1—Annual U.S. Commercial Catch, in Metric Tons (mt), of Pacific Bluefin Tuna in the Eastern Pacific Ocean From 1999 to 2014 Year Catch
  • (mt)
  • 1999 186 2000 313 2001 196 2002 11 2003 36 2004 10 2005 207 2006 1 2007 45 2008 1 2009 415 2010 1 2011 118 2012 43 2013 10 2014 * 404 Source: Highly Migratory Species Stock Assessment and Fishery Evaluation: http://www.pcouncil.org/highly-migratory-species/stock-assessment-and-fishery-evaluation-safe-documents/current-hms-safe-document/. * Preliminary estimate of 2014 Pacific bluefin tuna landed catch by United States based on communications with California Department of Fish and Wildlife on December 11, 2014.
    Proposed Regulations for Pacific Bluefin Tuna for 2015-2016

    This proposed rule would establish annual and trip catch limits for U.S. commercial vessels that catch Pacific bluefin tuna in the Convention Area for 2015 and 2016 (Table 2). A trip limit is proposed to be defined as the total allowable amount of a species by weight of fish that may be retained on board, transshipped, or landed during a single fishing trip by a vessel that harvests tuna or tuna-like species. In 2015, an annual catch limit for the entire U.S. fleet of 425 mt with an initial trip limit of 20 mt per vessel would be imposed. When NMFS anticipates that total catch for the fleet has reached 375 mt, NMFS will announce that a 2 mt trip limit for each vessel will be in effect until the total catch for the year reaches 425 mt. In 2016, the annual catch limit will be announced in a Federal Register notice and calculated to correspond with the limits established in the resolution (i.e., not to exceed 425 mt in a year and if catch exceeds 300 mt in 2015, then catch will be limited to 200 mt in 2016). The 2016 annual catch limit will be calculated as the remainder from 2015 (i.e., how much of 425 mt was not caught) added to 175 mt, except as follows: (1) If 175 mt or less is caught in 2015, then the 2016 annual catch limit is 425 mt; (2) if greater than 300 mt and up to 400 mt are caught in 2015, then the annual catch limit in 2016 will be 200 mt; or (3) if greater than 425 mt is caught in 2015, then the annual catch limit in 2016 will be further reduced by the amount in excess of 425 mt (i.e., the remainder of the 600 mt limit for 2015-2016). The fishery in 2016 will also be subject to an initial 20 mt trip limit until catch is within 50 mt of the 2016 annual catch limit, after which a 2 mt trip limit will be imposed.

    When NMFS determines that the annual catch limit is expected to be reached in 2015 or 2016 (based on landings receipts, data submitted in logbooks, and other available fishery information), NMFS will prohibit commercial fishing for, or retention of, Pacific bluefin tuna for the remainder of the calendar year. NMFS would publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing that the targeting, retaining, transshipping or landing for Pacific bluefin tuna will be prohibited on a specified effective date through the end of that calendar year. Upon that effective date, a commercial fishing vessel of the United States may not be used to target, retain on board, transship, or land Pacific bluefin tuna captured in the Convention Area during the period specified in the announcement, with the exception that any Pacific bluefin tuna already on board a fishing vessel on the effective date may be retained on board, transshipped, and/or landed, to the extent authorized by applicable laws and regulations, provided that they are landed within 14 days after the effective date.

    Table 2—Potential Scenarios for U.S. Commercial Catch of Pacific Bluefin Tuna, in Metric Tons (mt), From the Eastern Pacific Ocean in 2015 and 2016 Scenarios 2015 U.S. commercial catch
  • (and/or limit)
  • 2016 U.S. commercial limit
    1 0-175 mt 425 mt (max allowed). 2 176-300 mt greater than 300-424 mt (remainder of 600 mt catch limit). 3 300 mt and up to 400 mt 200 mt. 4 401-425 mt 175-200 mt (remainder of 600 mt catch limit). 5 * 426-600 mt 0-174 mt. * Scenario 5 would occur only if the 2015 limit under Resolution C-14-06 were exceeded.
    Proposed Catch Monitoring, Annual and Trip Catch Limit Announcements

    NMFS would provide updates on Pacific bluefin tuna catches in the Convention Area to the public via the IATTC listserv and the West Coast Region Web site: http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/fisheries/migratory_species/bluefin_tuna_harvest_status.html. Additionally, NMFS would report preliminary estimates of Pacific bluefin tuna catch between monthly intervals if and when catches approach the limits to help participants in the U.S. commercial fishery plan for the possibility of the annual catch limit being reached. NMFS will notify industry when catch approaches 250 mt in 2015.

    In 2015, NMFS would publish up to two Federal Register notices after the final rule is issued, imposing inseason management measures. First, NMFS would publish a notice when the commercial 2 mt trip limit is imposed (i.e., catch is expected to reach 375 mt). Second, NMFS would publish a notice closing the entire commercial fishery completely when NMFS determines that the annual catch limit is expected to be met.

    In 2016, NMFS would publish up to three notices in the Federal Register. The first notice would announce the 2016 annual catch limit. A second notice would announce the 2 mt trip limit, when NMFS determines that the commercial catch is expected to be within 50 mt of the annual catch limit. NMFS would publish a third notice in the Federal Register when NMFS determines that the annual catch limit is expected to be reached.

    Classification

    The NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with the Tuna Conventions Act and other applicable laws.

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

    Additionally, although there are no new collection-of-information requirements associated with this action that are subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act, existing collection-of-information requirements associated with the Fishery Management Plan for U.S. West Coast Fisheries for Highly Migratory Species (HMS FMP) still apply. These requirements have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget under Control Number 0648-0204. Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, and no person shall be subject to penalty for failure to comply with, a collection-of-information subject to the requirements of the PRA, unless that collection-of-information displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 605(b), the Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The rationale for the certification is provided in the following paragraphs:

    On June 12, 2014, the Small Business Administration (SBA) issued an interim final rule revising the small business size standards for several industries effective July 14, 2014 (79 FR 33467). The rule increased the size standard for Finfish Fishing from $19.0 million to $20.5 million, Shellfish Fishing from $5.0 million to $5.5 million, and Other Marine Fishing from $7.0 million to $7.5 million. NMFS conducted its analysis for this action in light of the new size standards. The small entities that would be affected by the proposed action are the small coastal purse seine vessels that harvest Pacific bluefin tuna.

    This proposed rule, in accordance with IATTC Resolution C-14-06 and following advice from the Pacific Fishery Management Council, will implement annual and trip catch limits for U.S. commercial vessels that harvest Pacific bluefin tuna in the Convention Area for 2015 and 2016. U.S. commercial catch of Pacific bluefin tuna from the Convention Area is primarily made in waters off of California largely by the coastal pelagic small purse seine fleet that opportunistically targets Pacific bluefin tuna and by other fleets that incidentally catch Pacific bluefin tuna (e.g., California large-mesh drift gillnet, surface hook-and-line, west coast longline, and Hawaii's pelagic fisheries). Resolution C-14-06 sets a catch limit of 600 mt for both years combined and is not to exceed 425 mt in a single year. If the U.S. commercial Pacific bluefin tuna catch in the Convention Area exceeds 300 mt in 2015, the U.S. catch may not exceed 200 mt in 2016. In each year, based on the Pacific Fishery Management Council's recommendation, NMFS is proposing a trip limit of 20 mt until catch is within 50 mt of the annual catch limit and a 2 mt trip limit when catch is within 50 mt of the annual catch limit.

    The two trip limits are expected to benefit the fishery. They are intended to enhance the effectiveness of inseason management such that the fishery will have access to the full catch limit for 2015 and 2016, combined. Further, the trip limit may help alleviate derby-style fishing pressure and the potential for excess supply of Pacific bluefin tuna, which could drive down market prices. Additionally, the 2 mt trip limit is intended to reduce the likelihood of wasteful discards in non-directed fisheries (e.g., from drift gillnet and hook-and-line). NMFS will publish a notice in the Federal Register to notify stakeholders when the 2 mt trip limit will be imposed.

    The small entities to which the proposed action would apply are all U.S. commercial fishing vessels that may target (e.g., coastal pelagic purse seine vessels) or incidentally catch Pacific bluefin tuna in the Convention Area (e.g., drift gillnet); however, not all are affected by the proposed action. Annually, from 2009 to 2013, the number of small coastal pelagic purse seine vessels that landed Pacific bluefin tuna in the Convention Area ranged from zero to six. In 2009, eight purse seine vessels fishing in the Convention Area landed HMS in California, but only six of them were involved in landing about 410 mt of Pacific bluefin tuna in west coast ports worth about $427,000. In 2010 and 2013, the coastal purse seine fishery did not land Pacific bluefin tuna. In 2011 and 2012, less than three vessels targeted Pacific bluefin tuna; therefore, their landings and revenue are confidential. Purse seine vessels have caught an average of 26 mt per trip from 2009 through 2013; therefore, the 20 mt trip limit may result in an economic loss. From 2004 through 2013, purse seiners have caught an average of 42 mt of Pacific bluefin tuna per vessel annually (an average only of the years in which there were Pacific bluefin tuna landings by purse seine vessels). Vessels are expected to cease fishing for Pacific bluefin tuna when they reach the trip limit and possibly divert effort to other fisheries, such as coastal pelagic species (e.g., market squid, sardine) or make more frequent trips targeting Pacific bluefin tuna. In contrast, vessels with other gear-types landing incidentally-caught Pacific bluefin tuna have not landed more than 2 mt; therefore, these vessels are unlikely to be affected by the proposed trip limits. Vessels with incidental landings of Pacific bluefin tuna in 2013 include twelve drift gillnet vessels, nine surface hook-and-line vessels, three longline vessels, and three bait boats.

    Since 2000, the average annual revenue per vessel from all finfish fishing activities for the U.S. purse seine fleet and other fleets that have landed Pacific bluefin tuna has been less than $20.5 million, whether considering an individual vessel or per vessel average. Since 2004, in years Pacific bluefin tuna was landed, purse seine vessels that caught Pacific bluefin tuna had an average annual income of about $1.9 million per vessel (based on all species landed). The revenue derived from Pacific bluefin tuna is only a small fraction (2.62% annually from 2004-2013) of the overall revenue, as small coastal pelagic purse seine vessels typically harvest other species, including Pacific sardine, Pacific mackerel, squid, and anchovy. Implementation of the annual catch limits for 2015 and 2016 in this proposed action is not expected to result in changes in current fishery operations, as the annualized catch limit is above recent annual average catches of Pacific bluefin tuna by all fleets. The proposed action is expected to result in an annual loss of approximately 12 mt (value of $12,000) of Pacific bluefin tuna by purse seine vessels during 2015 and 2016; the ex-vessel value of Pacific bluefin tuna in this fishery is $1.03/kilogram. This amount is negligible relative to the fleet's annual revenue resulting from other species. Accordingly, vessels' income is not expected to be altered significantly as a result of this rule.

    The absence of the proposed action would allow U.S. fisheries to target Pacific bluefin tuna without restriction (except for existing permit requirements, such as a Pacific Highly Migratory Species Permit under the HMS FMP). The 2014 annual catch limit of 500 mt expired on December 31, 2014 (79 FR 28448, May 16, 2014). Not implementing the limits in Resolution C-14-06 that are intended to reduce fishing mortality could contribute to continued overfishing or overfished conditions for the stock (78 FR 41033, July 9, 2013). Alternatively, the implementation of Resolution C-14-06 will contribute to the sharing of sustainable benefits from Pacific bluefin tuna fishery resources among the IATTC member and cooperating non-member countries.

    Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act and the SBA's June 20, 2013 and June 14, 2014 final rules (78 FR 37398 and 79 FR 33647, respectively), this certification was developed for this action using the SBA's revised size standards. NMFS considers all entities subject to this action to be small entities as defined by both the former, lower size standards and the revised size standards. Because each affected vessel is a small business, this proposed action is considered to equally affect all of these small entities in the same manner. Based on the disproportionality and profitability analysis above, the proposed action, if adopted, will not have adverse or disproportional economic impact on these small business entities. Therefore, the proposed action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. As a result, an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis is not required, and was not prepared for this proposed rule.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 300

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

    Dated: March 3, 2015. Eileen Sobeck, Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.

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

    PART 300—INTERNATIONAL FISHERIES REGULATIONS 1. The authority citation for part 300, Subpart C, continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 951 et seq.

    2. In § 300.21, add the definition for “Trip limit” in alphabetical order to read as follows:
    § 300.21 Definitions.

    Trip limit means the total allowable amount of a species by weight of fish that may be retained on board, transshipped, or landed from a single fishing trip by a vessel that harvests tuna or tuna-like species.

    3. In § 300.24, revise paragraph (u) to read as follows:
    § 300.24 Prohibitions.

    (u) Use a United States commercial fishing vessel in the Convention Area to target, retain on board, transship or land Pacific bluefin tuna in contravention of § 300.25(h)(3) and (h)(5).

    4. In § 300.25, revise paragraph (h) to read as follows:
    § 300.25 Eastern Pacific fisheries management.

    (h) Pacific bluefin tuna commercial catch limits in the eastern Pacific Ocean for 2015-2016. The following is applicable to the U.S. commercial fishery for Pacific bluefin tuna in the Convention Area in the years 2015 and 2016.

    (1) For the calendar year 2015, all commercial fishing vessels of the United States combined may capture, retain, transship, or land no more than 425 metric tons in the Convention Area.

    (2) In 2016, NMFS will publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing the 2016 annual catch limit. For the calendar year 2016, all commercial fishing vessels of the United States combined may capture, retain on board, transship, or land no more than the 2016 annual catch limit. The 2016 annual catch limit is calculated by adding any amount of the 425 metric ton catch limit that was not caught in 2015, as determined by NMFS, to 175 metric tons, except as follows:

    (i) if 175 metric tons or less are caught in 2015, as determined by NMFS, then the 2016 catch limit is 425 metric tons;

    (ii) if in 2015, greater than 300 metric tons and up to 400 metric tons are caught, as determined by NMFS, then the 2016 catch limit is 200 metric tons; or

    (iii) if greater than 425 metric tons are caught in 2015, as determined by NMFS, then the 2016 catch limit is calculated by subtracting the amount caught in 2015 from 600 metric tons.

    (3) In 2015 and 2016, a 20 metric ton trip limit will be in effect until NMFS anticipates that catch will be within 50 metric tons of the annual catch limits, after which a 2 metric ton trip limit will be in effect upon publication of a notice in the Federal Register by NMFS.

    (4) After NMFS determines that the annual catch limits under paragraphs (h)(1) and (h)(2) of this section are expected to be reached by a future date, NMFS will publish a fishing closure notice in the Federal Register announcing the effective date that additional targeting, retaining on board, transshipping or landing Pacific bluefin tuna in the Convention Area shall be prohibited as described in paragraph (h)(5) of this section.

    (5) Beginning on the date announced in the fishing closure notice published under paragraph (h)(4) of this section through the end of the calendar year, a commercial fishing vessel of the United States may not be used to target, retain on board, transship, or land Pacific bluefin tuna captured in the Convention Area, with the exception that any Pacific bluefin tuna already on board a fishing vessel on the effective date of the notice may be retained on board, transshipped, and/or landed, to the extent authorized by applicable laws and regulations, provided such Pacific bluefin tuna is landed within 14 days after the effective date published in the fishing closure notice.

    [FR Doc. 2015-05385 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 140821699-5191-01] RIN 0648-XD461 Magnuson-Stevens Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Multispecies Fishery; 2015 and 2016 Sector Operations Plans and 2015 Contracts and Allocation of Northeast Multispecies Annual Catch Entitlements AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    We propose to approve 17 sector operations plans and contracts for fishing years 2015 and 2016, grant regulatory exemptions for fishing years 2015 and 2016, and provide Northeast multispecies annual catch entitlements to these sectors for fishing year 2015. We request comment on the proposed sector operations plans and contracts; the environmental assessment analyzing the impacts of the operations plans; and our proposal to grant (in whole or partially) 19 of the 22 regulatory exemptions requested by the sectors. Approval of sector operations plans is necessary to allocate annual catch entitlements to the sectors and for the sectors to operate. The Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan allows limited access permit holders to form sectors, and requires sectors to submit their operations plans and contracts to us, NMFS, for approval or disapproval. Approved sectors are exempt from certain effort control regulations and receive allocation of Northeast multispecies based on its members' fishing history.

    This document also announces the target at-sea monitoring coverage rate for sector trips for fishing year 2015.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before March 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2014-0111, by either of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2014-0111, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to Liz Sullivan, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930.

    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Liz Sullivan, Fishery Management Specialist, phone (978) 282-8493, fax (978) 281-9135. To review Federal Register documents referenced in this rule, you can visit: http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/sustainable/species/multispecies.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    Amendment 13 to the Northeast (NE) Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP) (69 FR 22906, April 27, 2004) established a process for forming sectors within the NE multispecies (groundfish) fishery, and Amendment 16 to the FMP (74 FR 18262, April 9, 2010), followed by Framework Adjustment 45 to the FMP (76 FR 23042, April 25, 2011) and Framework 48 to the FMP (78 FR 26118; May 3, 2013), expanded and revised sector management.

    The FMP defines a sector as “[a] group of persons (three or more persons, none of whom have an ownership interest in the other two persons in the sector) holding limited access vessel permits who have voluntarily entered into a contract and agree to certain fishing restrictions for a specified period of time, and which has been granted a TAC(s) [sic] in order to achieve objectives consistent with applicable FMP goals and objectives.” Sectors are self-selecting, meaning each sector can choose its members.

    The NE multispecies sector management system allocates a portion of the NE multispecies stocks to each sector. These annual sector allocations are known as annual catch entitlements (ACE). These allocations are a portion of a stock's annual catch limit (ACL) available to commercial NE multispecies vessels, based on the collective fishing history of a sector's members. Currently, sectors may receive allocations of most large-mesh NE multispecies stocks with the exception of Atlantic halibut, windowpane flounder, Atlantic wolffish, and ocean pout. A sector determines how to harvest its ACEs and may decide to consolidate operations to fewer vessels.

    Because sectors elect to receive an allocation under a quota-based system, the FMP grants sector vessels several “universal” exemptions from the FMP's effort controls. These universal exemptions apply to: Trip limits on allocated stocks; the Georges Bank (GB) Seasonal Closure Area; NE multispecies days-at-sea (DAS) restrictions; the requirement to use a 6.5-inch (16.5-cm) mesh codend when fishing with selective gear on GB; portions of the Gulf of Maine (GOM) Rolling Closure Areas (or as modified by Framework 53); and the at-sea monitoring (ASM) coverage rate for sector vessels fishing on a monkfish DAS in the Southern New England (SNE) Broad Stock Area (BSA) with extra-large mesh gillnets. The FMP prohibits sectors from requesting exemptions from permitting restrictions, gear restrictions designed to minimize habitat impacts, and reporting requirements.

    We received operations plans and preliminary contracts for fishing years 2015 and 2016 from 17 sectors. The operations plans are similar to previously approved versions, but propose operations spanning 2 fishing years, and include additional exemption requests and proposals for industry-funded ASM plans. This is the first year that 2-year operations plans have been submitted by the sectors, as allowed in the Amendment 16 final rule. Two-year sector operations plans will help streamline the process for sector managers and reduce administrative burdens for both sectors and NMFS. Six sectors that have operated in past years did not submit operations plans or contracts. Four of these sectors now operate as state-operated permit banks as described below.

    We have made a preliminary determination that the proposed 17 sector operations plans and contracts, and 19 of the 22 regulatory exemptions, in whole or partially, are consistent with the FMP's goals and objectives, and meet sector requirements outlined in the regulations at § 648.87. We summarize many of the sector requirements in this proposed rule and request comments on the proposed operations plans, the accompanying environmental assessment (EA), and our proposal to wholly or partially grant 19 of the 22 regulatory exemptions requested by the sectors, but deny the rest. Copies of the operations plans and contracts, and the EA, are available at http://www.regulations.gov and from NMFS (see ADDRESSES). One of the 17 sectors, Northeast Fishery Sector (NEFS) 4, proposes to operate as a private lease-only sector.

    The six sectors that chose not to submit operations plans and contracts for fishing years 2015 and 2016 are the Tri-State Sector, the GB Hook Sector, and four state-operated permit bank sectors as follows: The State of Maine Permit Bank Sector, the State of New Hampshire Permit Bank Sector, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Permit Bank Sector, and the State of Rhode Island Permit Bank Sector. The final rule implementing Amendment 17 to the FMP allows a state-operated permit bank to receive an allocation without needing to comply with the administrative and procedural requirements for sectors (77 FR 16942, March 23, 2012). These permit banks are required to submit a list of participating permits to us by a date specified in the permit bank's Memorandum of Agreement, typically April 1.

    Sector Allocations

    Sectors typically submit membership information to us on December 1 prior to the start of the fishing year, which begins each year on May 1. Due to a delay in distributing a letter describing each vessel's potential contribution to a sector's quota for fishing year 2015, we extended the deadline to join a sector until February 18, 2014. Based on sector enrollment trends from the past 5 fishing years, we expect sector participation in fishing year 2015 will be similar. Thus, we are using fishing year 2014 rosters as a proxy for fishing year 2015 sector membership and calculating the fishing year 2015 projected allocations in this proposed rule. In addition to the membership delay, all permits that change ownership after December 1, 2014, retain the ability to join a sector through April 30, 2015. All permits enrolled in a sector, and the vessels associated with those permits, have until April 30, 2015, to withdraw from a sector and fish in the common pool for fishing year 2015. For fishing year 2016, we will set similar roster deadlines, notify permit holders of the fishing year 2016 deadlines, and allow permit holders to change sectors separate from the annual approval process. We will publish final sector ACEs and common pool sub-ACL totals, based upon final rosters, as soon as possible after the start of fishing year 2015, and again after the start of fishing year 2016.

    The allocations proposed in this rule are based on the fishing year 2015 specifications recommended by the New England Fishery Management Council in Framework 53. These allocations are not final, and are subject to the approval of Framework 53. We expect a rule proposing the Framework 53 management measures to publish in March 2015.

    We calculate the sector's allocation for each stock by summing its members' potential sector contributions (PSC) for a stock, as shown in Table 1. The information presented in Table 1 is the total percentage of each commercial sub-ACL each sector would receive for fishing year 2015, based on their fishing year 2014 rosters. Tables 2 and 3 show the allocations each sector would be allocated for fishing year 2015, based on their fishing year 2014 rosters. At the start of the fishing year, after sector enrollment is finalized, we provide the final allocations, to the nearest pound, to the individual sectors, and we use those final allocations to monitor sector catch. While the common pool does not receive a specific allocation, the common pool sub-ACLs have been included in each of these tables for comparison.

    We do not assign an individual permit separate PSCs for the Eastern GB cod or Eastern GB haddock; instead, we assign a permit a PSC for the GB cod stock and GB haddock stock. Each sector's GB cod and GB haddock allocations are then divided into an Eastern ACE and a Western ACE, based on each sector's percentage of the GB cod and GB haddock ACLs. For example, if a sector is allocated 4 percent of the GB cod ACL and 6 percent of the GB haddock ACL, the sector is allocated 4 percent of the commercial Eastern U.S./Canada Area GB cod total allowable catch (TAC) and 6 percent of the commercial Eastern U.S./Canada Area GB haddock TAC as its Eastern GB cod and haddock ACEs. These amounts are then subtracted from the sector's overall GB cod and haddock allocations to determine its Western GB cod and haddock ACEs. A sector may only harvest its Eastern GB cod ACEs in the Eastern U.S./Canada Area. However, Framework 51 implemented a mechanism that allows sectors to “convert” their Eastern GB haddock allocation into Western GB haddock allocation (79 FR 22421; April 22, 2014) and fish that converted ACE in Western GB.

    At the start of fishing year 2015, we will withhold 20 percent of each sector's fishing year 2015 allocation until we finalize fishing year 2014 catch information. Further, we will allow sectors to transfer fishing year 2014 ACE for 2 weeks of the fishing year following the completion of year-end catch accounting to reduce or eliminate any fishing year 2014 overages. If necessary, we will reduce any sector's fishing year 2015 allocation to account for a remaining overage in fishing year 2014. We will follow the same process for fishing year 2016. We will notify the Council and sector managers of this deadline in writing and will announce this decision on our Web site at: http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/.

    BILLING CODE 3510-22-P EP09MR15.000 EP09MR15.001 EP09MR15.002 BILLING CODE 3510-22-C Sector Operations Plans and Contracts

    As stated previously, we received 17 sector operations plans and contracts by the September 2, 2014, deadline for fishing years 2015 and 2016. In order to approve a sector's operations plan for fishing years 2015 and 2016, that sector must have been compliant with reporting requirements from all previous years, including the year-end reporting requirements found at § 648.87(b)(1)(vi)(C). Approved operations plans, provided on our Web site as a single document for each sector, not only contain the rules under which each sector would fish, but also provide the legal contract that binds each member to the sector for the length of the sector's operations plan. Each sector's operations plan, and sector members, must comply with the regulations governing sectors, found at § 648.87. In addition, each sector must conduct fishing activities as detailed in its approved operations plan.

    Any permit holder with a limited access NE multispecies permit that was valid as of May 1, 2008, is eligible to participate in a sector, including an inactive permit currently held in confirmation of permit history. If a permit holder officially enrolls a permit in a sector and the fishing year begins, then that permit must remain in the sector for the entire fishing year, and cannot fish in the NE multispecies fishery outside of the sector (i.e., in the common pool) during the fishing year. Participating vessels are required to comply with all pertinent Federal fishing regulations, except as specifically exempted in the letter of authorization (LOA) issued by the Regional Administrator, which details any approved exemptions from regulations. If, during a fishing year, or between fishing years 2015 and 2016, a sector requests an exemption that we have already approved, or proposes a change to administrative provisions, we may amend the sector operations plans. Should any amendments require modifications to LOAs, we would include these changes in updated LOAs and provide these to the appropriate sector members.

    As in previous years, we retain the right to revoke exemptions in-season for the following reasons: If we determine that the exemption jeopardizes management measures, objectives, or rebuilding efforts; if the exemption results in unforeseen negative impacts on other managed fish stocks, habitat, or protected resources; if the exemption causes enforcement concerns; if catch from trips utilizing the exemption cannot properly be monitored; or if a sector is not meeting certain requirements. If it becomes necessary to revoke the exemption, we will do so through a process consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act.

    Each sector is required to ensure that it does not exceed its ACE during the fishing year. Sector vessels are required to retain all legal-sized allocated NE multispecies stocks, unless a sector is granted an exemption allowing its member vessels to discard legal-sized unmarketable fish at sea. Catch (defined as landings and discards) of all allocated NE multispecies stocks by a sector's vessels count against the sector's allocation. Catch from a sector trip (e.g., not fishing under provisions of a NE multispecies exempted fishery or with exempted gear) targeting dogfish, monkfish, skate, and lobster (with non-trap gear) would be deducted from the sector's ACE because these trips use gear capable of catching groundfish. Catch from a trip in an exempted fishery does not count against a sector's allocation because the catch is assigned to a separate ACL sub-component.

    For fishing years 2010 and 2011, there was no requirement for an industry-funded ASM program, and we were able to fund an ASM program with a target ASM coverage rate of 30 percent of all trips. In addition, we provided 8-percent observer coverage through the Northeast Fishery Observer Program (NEFOP), which helps to support the Standardized Bycatch Reporting Methodology (SBRM) and stock assessments. This resulted in an overall target coverage rate of 38 percent, between ASM and NEFOP, for fishing years 2010 and 2011. Beginning in fishing year 2012, we have conducted an annual analysis to determine the total coverage that would be necessary to achieve the same level of precision as attained by the 38-percent total coverage target used for fishing years 2010 and 2011. Since fishing year 2012, industry has been required to pay for their costs of ASM coverage, while we continued to fund NEFOP. However, we were able to fund the industry's portion of ASM costs and NEFOP coverage in fishing years 2012 through 2014. Table 4 shows the annual target coverage rates.

    Table 4—Historic Target Coverage Rate for Monitoring Fishing year Total coverage rate
  • (percent)
  • ASM coverage rate
  • (percent)
  • NEFOP coverage rate
  • (percent)
  • Funding source
    2010 38 30 8 NMFS 2011 38 30 8 NMFS 2012 25 17 8 NMFS 2013 22 14 8 NMFS 2014 26 18 8 NMFS

    Due to funding changes that would be required by the proposed SBRM amendment, we expect that sector vessels will be responsible for paying at-sea costs associated with the ASM program before the end of the 2015 fishing year. Thus, sectors will be responsible for designing, implementing, and funding an ASM program in fishing years 2015 and 2016 that will provide a level of ASM coverage specified by NMFS. Amendment 16 regulations require NMFS to specify a level of ASM coverage that is sufficient to meet the same coefficient of variation (CV) specified in the SBRM, and to accurately monitor sector operations. Framework 48 clarified the level of ASM coverage necessary to meet these goals. Regarding meeting the SBRM CV level, Framework 48 determined that it should be made at the overall stock level, which is consistent with the level NMFS determined was necessary in fishing year 2013. Framework 48 also amended the goals of the sector monitoring program to include achieving an accuracy level sufficient to minimize effects of potential monitoring bias.

    Taking the provisions of Framework 48 into account, and interpreting the ASM monitoring provision in the context of Magnuson-Stevens Act requirements and National Standards, we have determined that the appropriate level of ASM coverage should be set at the level that meets the CV requirement specified in the SBRM and minimizes the cost burden to sectors and NMFS to the extent practicable, while still providing a reliable estimate of overall catch by sectors needed for monitoring ACEs and ACLs. Based on this standard, NMFS has determined that the appropriate target coverage rate for fishing year 2015 is 24 percent. We expect ASM coverage to be 20 percent and NEFOP coverage to be 4 percent, covering a total of 24 percent of all sector trips, with the exception of trips using a few specific exemptions, as described later in this rule. We will use discards derived from these observed and monitored trips to calculate discards for unobserved sector trips. We have published a more detailed summary of the supporting information, explanation and justification for this decision at: http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/ro/fso/reports/Sectors/ASM/FY2015_Multispecies_Sector_ASM_Requirements_Summary.pdf.

    The draft operations plans submitted in September 2014 included industry-funded ASM plans for fishing year 2015. Therefore, we are proposing to approve the sector's ASM programs as described in their operations plans. We gave sectors the option to design their own programs in compliance with regulations, or opt for the program that we have previously utilized in previous fishing years. ASM programs proposed by the sectors are described in detail later in this proposed rule. The proposed operations plans each contain an ASM program sufficient to ensure ASM coverage for fishing years 2015 and 2016, including once sectors assume responsibility for funding their ASM program, at the required levels stated in this rule. Given the potential for changes in the ASM program funding for sectors, NMFS will verify that all approved sectors continue to comply with all ASM requirements, including contracting with approved providers in a timely fashion.

    We are currently looking at how industry funding of the ASM program will affect our data collection systems, especially the PTNS system, and have begun working on an implementation plan to help ensure a seamless transition when the industry assumes responsibility for at-sea costs in 2015. To ensure that the ASM programs continue to provide sufficient coverage, the Regional Administrator is authorized to adjust operational standards such as vessel selection protocols as needed, consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act. We will continue to keep the sector managers informed about any changes or updates to the situation.

    Our ability to fund our portion of costs for ASM coverage above SBRM coverage levels for the entire 2015 and 2016 fishing years is not precisely known at this time due to budget uncertainties. Currently, funding for our portion of ASM costs will expire before the end of the 2015 fishing year. If we have insufficient funding available for our portion of coverage costs beyond that time, we may need to consider other measures, including emergency action, to allow sectors to continue fishing while still ensuring that we can adequately monitor sector catch for management purposes. We expect this funding issue to be resolved before this rule is effective, but are seeking comments on possible measures to help adequately monitor catch limits.

    Sectors are required to monitor their allocations and catch, and submit weekly catch reports to us. If a sector reaches an ACE threshold (specified in the operations plan), the sector must provide sector allocation usage reports on a daily basis. Once a sector's allocation for a particular stock is caught, that sector is required to cease all fishing operations in that stock area until it acquires more ACE. ACE may be transferred between sectors, but transfers to or from common pool vessels is prohibited. Within 60 days of when we complete year-end catch accounting, each sector is required to submit an annual report detailing the sector's catch (landings and discards), enforcement actions, and pertinent information necessary to evaluate the biological, economic, and social impacts of each sector.

    Each sector contract provides procedures to enforce the sector operations plan, explains sector monitoring and reporting requirements, presents a schedule of penalties for sector plan violations, and provides sector managers with the authority to issue stop fishing orders to sector members who violate provisions of the operations plan and contract. A sector and sector members can be held jointly and severally liable for ACE overages, discarding legal-sized fish, and/or misreporting catch (landings or discards). Each sector operations plan submitted for fishing years 2015 and 2016 states that the sector would withhold an initial reserve from the sector's ACE sub-allocation to each individual member to prevent the sector from exceeding its ACE. Each sector contract details the method for initial ACE sub-allocation to sector members. For fishing years 2015 and 2016, each sector has proposed that each sector member could harvest an amount of fish equal to the amount each individual member's permit contributed to the sector.

    Requested Fishing Years 2015 and 2016 Exemptions

    Sectors requested 22 exemptions from the NE multispecies regulations through their fishing years 2015 and 2016 operations plans. We evaluate each exemption to determine whether it allows for effective administration of and compliance with the operations plan and sector allocation, and that it is consistent with the goals and objectives of the FMP. We propose to grant the following for fishing years 2015 and 2016: 16 exemptions that were previously granted; 1 exemption that was previously granted, but has been modified; 1 exemption that we propose to partially grant; and 1 new exemption. We propose to deny three exemption requests for fishing years 2015 and 2016.

    For fishing year 2014, sectors had requested an exemption that would allow access to year-round closed areas. This request may be considered in a separate action pending results from an ongoing Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) (see Exemptions That May Be Considered in a Separate Action).

    A discussion of all 22 exemption requests appears below; we request public comment on the proposed sector operations plans and our proposal to grant 19 requested exemptions, in whole or partially, and deny 3 requested exemptions, as well as the EA prepared for this action.

    Exemptions We Propose To Grant (16)

    In fishing year 2014, we exempted sectors from the following requirements, all of which have been requested for fishing years 2015 and 2016, and which we propose to grant again: (1) 120-day block out of the fishery required for Day gillnet vessels; (2) 20-day spawning block out of the fishery required for all vessels; (3) prohibition on a vessel hauling another vessel's gillnet gear; (4) limits on the number of gillnets that may be hauled on GB when fishing under a NE multispecies/monkfish DAS; (5) limits on the number of hooks that may be fished; (6) DAS Leasing Program length and horsepower restrictions; (7) prohibition on discarding; (8) daily catch reporting by sector managers for sector vessels participating in the Closed Area (CA) I Hook Gear Haddock Special Access Program (SAP); (9) prohibition on fishing inside and outside of the CA I Hook Gear Haddock SAP while on the same trip; (10) prohibition on a vessel hauling another vessel's hook gear; (11) the requirement to declare intent to fish in the Eastern U.S./Canada SAP and the CA II Yellowtail Flounder/Haddock SAP prior to leaving the dock; (12) gear requirements in the Eastern U.S./Canada Management Area; (13) seasonal restrictions for the Eastern U.S./Canada Haddock SAP; (14) seasonal restrictions for the CA II Yellowtail Flounder/Haddock SAP; (15) sampling exemption; and (16) prohibition on groundfish trips in the Nantucket Lightship Closed Area. A detailed description of the previously approved exemptions and rationale for their approval can be found in the applicable final rules identified in Table 5 below.

    Table 5—Exemptions From Previous Fishing Years Proposed for Approval in Fishing Years 2015 and 2016 Exemptions Rulemaking Date Citation 1-8, 12 Fishing Year 2011 Sector Operations Final Rule April 25, 2011 76 FR 23076 9-11 Fishing Year 2012 Sector Operations Final Rule May 2, 2012 77 FR 26129 13-15 Fishing Year 2013 Sector Operations Interim Final Rule May 2, 2013 78 FR 25591 16 Fishing Year 2014 Sector Operations Final Rule April 28, 2014 79 FR 23278 NE Multispecies Federal Register documents can be found at http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/sustainable/species/multispecies/. Exemption We Propose To Approve, but Have Modified From 2014(1) (17) Prohibition on Combining Small Mesh Exempted Fishery and Sector Trips

    For fishing year 2014, sectors requested and we granted an exemption that would allow vessels to possess and use small-mesh and large-mesh trawl gear on a single trip, within portions of the SNE regulated mesh areas (RMA). Sectors proposed that vessels using this exemption to fish with smaller mesh would fish in two discrete areas that have been shown to have minimal amounts of regulated species and ocean pout. See the 2014 Sector Final Rule (79 FR 23278; April 28, 2014) for a complete description of the previously granted exemption.

    For fishing years 2015 and 2016, sectors requested a similar exemption, but with a revised northern border of the eastern Small-Mesh Exemption Area 2, shifted 15 minutes north. This expansion will allow for greater opportunities for sector vessels to target small-mesh species. The coordinates and maps for these two areas are shown in Figure 1.

    EP09MR15.003

    Sector Small-Mesh Fishery Exemption Area 1 is bounded by the following coordinates connected in the order listed by straight lines, except where otherwise noted:

    Point N. Latitude W. Longitude Note A 40°39.2′ 73°07.0′ B 40°34.0′ 73°07.0′ C 41°03.5′ 71°34.0′ D 41°23.0′ 71°11.5′ E 41°27.6′ 71°11.5′ (1) F 41°18.3′ 71°51.5′ G 41°04.3′ 71°51.5′ (2) A 40°39.2′ 73°07.0′ 1 From POINT E to POINT F along the southernmost coastline of Rhode Island and crossing all bays and inlets following the COLREGS Demarcation Lines defined in 33 CFR part 80. 2 From POINT G back to POINT A along the southernmost coastline of Long Island, NY, and crossing all bays and inlets following the COLREGS Demarcation Lines defined in 33 CFR part 80.

    For fishing years 2015 and 2016, Sector Small-Mesh Fishery Exemption Area 2 is bound by the following coordinates connected in the order listed by straight lines. Sector vessels cannot fish the small-mesh portion of their trip using this exemption in the Nantucket Lighship Closed Area where the two areas overlap.

    Point N. Latitude W. Longitude H 41°15.0′ N 71°20.0′ W I 41°15.0′ N 70°00.0′ W J 40°27.0′ N 70°00.0′ W K 40°27.0′ N 71°20.0′ W H 41°15.0′ N 71°20.0′ W

    As was approved in fishing year 2014, one of three trawl gear modifications would be required when using small mesh: Drop-chain sweep with a minimum of 12 inches (30.48 cm) in length; a large-mesh belly panel with a minimum of 32-inch (81.28-cm) mesh size; or an excluder grate secured forward of the codend with an outlet hole forward of the grate with bar spacing of no more than 1.97 inches (5.00 cm) wide. These gear modifications, when fished properly, have been shown to reduce the catch of legal and sub-legal groundfish stocks. Requiring these modifications is intended to also reduce the incentive for a sector vessel to target groundfish with small mesh.

    A vessel using this exemption is required to meet the same NEFOP and ASM coverage as standard groundfish trips (i.e., a total of 24 percent in fishing year 2015). The vessel would be required to declare their intent to use small mesh to target non-regulated species by submitting a trip start hail through its vessel monitoring system (VMS) unit prior to departure, which would be used for monitoring and enforcement purposes. Trips declaring this exemption must stow their small-mesh gear and use their large-mesh gear first, and once finished with the large mesh, would have to submit a Multispecies Catch Report via VMS with all catch on board at that time. Once the Catch Report was sent, the vessel could then deploy small mesh with the required modifications in the specific areas (see map above), outside of the Nantucket Lightship Closed Area, at which point, the large mesh could not be redeployed. Any legal-sized allocated groundfish stocks caught during these small-mesh hauls must be landed and the associated landed weight (dealer or vessel trip report (VTR)) would be deducted from the sector's ACE.

    As in fishing year 2014, we are concerned about vessels potentially catching groundfish, including bycatch of juvenile fish, in the requested exemption area with small-mesh nets. The expansion of the Small-Mesh Exemption Area 2 by 15 minutes north could increase this potential, because more groundfish are found in the expansion area. The three gear modifications proposed for this exemption could mitigate catch of regulated species when properly installed, but none have been shown to completely eliminate the catch of regulated species.

    If approved, we will closely monitor the catch from these exempted trips. If it is determined that this exemption is having a negative impact on groundfish stocks, we would consider revoking this exemption during the fishing year.

    Exemption We Propose To Partially Grant, and Partially Deny (1) (18) Limits on the Number of Gillnets on Day Gillnet Vessels

    The FMP limits the number of gillnets a Day gillnet vessel may fish in the groundfish RMAs to prevent an uncontrolled increase in the number of nets being fished, thus undermining applicable DAS effort controls. The limits are specific to the type of gillnet within each RMA: 100 gillnets (of which no more than 50 can be roundfish gillnets) in the GOM RMA (§ 648.80(a)(3)(iv)); 50 gillnets in the GB RMA (§ 648.80(a)(4)(iv)); and 75 gillnets in the Mid-Atlantic (MA) RMA (§ 648.80(b)(2)(iv)). We previously approved this exemption in fishing years 2010, 2011, and 2012 to allow sector vessels to fish up to 150 nets (any combination of flatfish or roundfish nets) in any RMA to provide greater operational flexibility to sector vessels in deploying gillnet gear. Sectors argued that the gillnet limits were designed to control fishing effort and are no longer necessary because a sector's ACE limits overall fishing mortality.

    Previous effort analysis of all sector vessels using gillnet gear indicated an increase in gear used in the RMA which could lead to an increase in interactions with protected species. While a sector's ACE is designed to limit a stock's fishing mortality, fishing effort may affect other species. This increased effort could ultimately lead to a rise in interactions with protected species; however, we do not expect this to be the case, because a take reduction plan has been implemented to reduce bycatch in the fisheries affecting these species.

    For fishing year 2013, based on the comments received and the concern for spawning GOM cod, we restricted the use of this exemption to better protect spawning cod. Therefore, a vessel fishing in the GOM RMA was able to use this exemption seasonally, but was restricted to the 100-net gillnet limit in blocks 124 and 125 in May, and in blocks 132 and 133 in June. A vessel fishing in the GB RMA, SNE RMA, MA RMA, and the GOM outside of these times and areas did not have this additional restriction. We granted this exemption with the same GOM seasonal restrictions for fishing year 2014.

    The November 2014 interim action implemented to protect GOM cod (79 FR 67362; November 13, 2014) revoked this exemption for all of the GOM for the remainder of fishing year 2014, given concerns relating to mortality of GOM cod caused by continuous fishing by gillnets left in the water and the potential to disrupt spawning when cod are caught. For these same concerns, we are proposing to partially grant the exemption for fishing years 2015 and 2016 when fishing in all RMAs except the GOM, and to deny the exemption for the GOM. Therefore, vessels fishing in the GOM under the Day boat gillnet category would be restricted to no more than 100 nets, only 50 of which may be roundfish nets.

    New Exemption Proposed (1) (19) Regulated Mesh Size 6.5-Inch (16.5-cm) or Greater, for Directed Redfish Trips

    Minimum mesh size restrictions (§ 648.80(a)(3)(i), (a)(4)(i), (b)(2)(i), and (c)(2)(i)) were implemented under previous groundfish actions to reduce overall mortality on groundfish stocks, change the selection pattern of the fishery to target larger fish, improve survival of sublegal fish, and allow sublegal fish more opportunity to spawn before entering the fishery. Beginning in fishing year 2012, we have approved exemptions that allow sector vessels to target redfish, the smallest species of regulated groundfish, with a sub-legal size mesh codend, ranging from 4.5 inches (11.4 cm) to 6 inches (15.2 cm) (see Table 6). In order to use these previous exemptions, sectors have been required to meet an 80-percent threshold of redfish catch, relative to groundfish catch, and a 5-percent discard threshold of total groundfish, including redfish. These thresholds were intended to ensure that a vessel using the exemption effectively targets redfish and does not target other species with a smaller mesh, and attempts to avoid catching sub-legal groundfish. The thresholds were based on Component 2 of the REDNET report (Kanwit et al. 2013), which used a 4.5-inch mesh codend, and observer data for trips conducted in fishing year 2012. REDNET is a group that includes the Maine Department of Marine Resources, the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, and the University of Massachusetts School for Marine Science and Technology joined with other members of the scientific community and the industry to develop a research plan to develop a sustainable, directed, redfish trawl fishery in the GOM. Each year, we have changed the exemption at the sectors' request in an attempt to balance the goal of increasing use of the exemption while preventing misuse and ensuring it is consistent with the FMP's goals and objectives.

    Table 6—Redfish Exemptions by Fishing Year Exemptions Rulemaking Date Citation 6.0 inch (15.2 cm) with 100% NMFS-funded coverage FY 2012 Sector Operations Final Rule May 2, 2012 77 FR 26129 4.5 inch (11.4 cm) with 100% NMFS-funded coverage FY 2012 Redfish Exemption Final Rule March 5, 2013 78 FR 14226 4.5 inch (11.4 cm) with 100% Industry-funded coverage FY 2013 Sector Operations Interim Final Rule May 2, 2013 78 FR 25591 6.0 inch (15.2 cm) with standard observer coverage FY 2014 Sector Operations Final Rule April 28, 2014 79 FR 23278 NE Multispecies Federal Register documents can be found at http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/sustainable/species/multispecies.

    For fishing years 2012 and 2013, the exemption required 100-percent monitoring with either an ASM or observer on every trip, primarily because of concerns over a greater retention of sub-legal groundfish, as well as non-allocated species and bycatch. In fishing year 2012, we found that allowing trips that are randomly selected for federally funded NEFOP or ASM coverage provided an incentive to take an exemption trip when selected for coverage, thereby reducing the number of observers/monitors available to cover standard sector trips (i.e., trips not utilizing this exemption). If fewer observers/monitors deploy on standard sector trips, then the exemption undermines both the ability to meet required coverage levels and the reliability of discard rates calculated for unobserved standard sector trips. Therefore, in fishing year 2013, we required sectors to pay for 100 percent of the at-sea cost for a monitor on all redfish exemption trips, which resulted in sectors not taking a redfish trip that fishing year.

    For fishing year 2014, we granted an exemption that allowed vessels to use a 6-inch (15.2-cm) or larger mesh codend to target redfish when fishing in the Redfish Exemption Area. The vessels participating in the redfish fishery in fishing year 2014 were subject to the same NEFOP and ASM target coverage as standard groundfish trips (26 percent). Vessels could fish with the regulated mesh nets (6.5-inch [16.5-cm] codends or larger) and with the 6.0-inch (15.2-cm) mesh codends on the same trip; however, for all trips (by sector, by month) declaring this exemption, we monitored landings for the entire trip to determine if the vessel had met the 80-percent redfish catch threshold and the 5-percent discard threshold.

    Following approval of the exemption in fishing year 2014, sectors indicated that an 80-percent redfish catch threshold, based on REDNET data collected using a 4.5-inch (11.4-cm) mesh codend, is not appropriate for all mesh sizes (i.e., as mesh size increases, the efficiency of catching redfish decreases). Additionally, given the average landed value of redfish, they indicated that they do not consider it economically viable to have an offload comprised of 80 percent redfish. Therefore, as of January 2015, few have been taken under this exemption, because, according to sectors, they cannot effectively or profitably target redfish to meet the 80-percent threshold.

    For fishing years 2015 and 2016, we propose granting the sectors' request to use a 5.5-inch (14.0-cm) mesh codend when fishing in the redfish exemption. A vessel would have the option to fish the first portion of a trip with current legal codend mesh size (6.5 inches; 16.5 cm), and then switch to a codend no smaller than 5.5 inches (14.0 cm) for the redfish portion of their trip. Allowing sectors to legally target groundfish on the first portion of the trip would provide flexibility and would address the sector's concern regarding profitability. In addition, the sectors have requested a 50-percent catch threshold, which would only apply to the second half of the trip. The sectors argue that this threshold is more appropriate for a 5.5-inch (14.0-cm) codend, as data from Component 3 of the REDNET report (Pol and He 2013) indicates that as the codend mesh size increases from 4.5 inches (11.4 cm) to 5.5 inches (14.0 cm), selectivity decreases, making it more difficult for vessels to catch only redfish. However, the lower 50-percent threshold would allow greater catch of other regulated groundfish species with small mesh, which could result in higher discards or targeting of groundfish with small mesh. We are proposing to address this by implementing reporting requirements to facilitate monitoring and enforcement. If we detect vessels targeting non-redfish socks, particularly stocks of concern, the RA retains the right to rescind approval of the exemption. We request comment on this issue. The 5-percent discard threshold for all groundfish, including redfish, would still apply on the redfish portion of observed trips.

    Due to concern for GOM cod, we have modified the redfish exemption area (Figure 2) from 2014 (see Figure 2).

    EP09MR15.004

    The Redfish Exemption Area would be bounded on the east by the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary, and bounded on the north, west, and south by the following coordinates, connected in the order listed by straight lines:

    Point N. Lat. W. Long. Note A 44°27.25′ 67°02.75′ B 44°16.25′ 67°30.00′ C 44°04.50′ 68°00.00′ D 43°52.25′ 68°30.00′ E 43°40.25′ 69°00.00′ F 43°28.25′ 69°30.00′ G 43°00.00′ 69°30.00′ H 43°00.00′ 70°00.00′ I 42°00.00′ 70°00.00′ J 42°00.00′ (67°00.63′) (1) 1 The intersection of 42°00′ N. latitude and the U.S.-Canada Maritime Boundary, approximate longitude in parentheses.

    We have modified the redfish exemption area to exclude block 138 for the entire fishing year, and allow only seasonal access to block 131. Sector vessels would not be allowed to use the redfish exemption in block 131 in February and March. We based this decision on the closures implemented by the November 2014 interim action taken for the protection of cod; areas 138 and 131 were the only areas closed by the interim action that overlapped with the fishing year 2014 redfish exemption area. These areas are known to have higher levels of GOM cod catch and/or spawning activity, and we propose to close them to avoid interaction with and bycatch of GOM cod. Additionally, area 138 has historically had very little redfish catch; therefore, the exclusion of this area should not limit sectors from targeting redfish. The area is bounded on the east, north, west, and south by the following coordinates, connected by straight lines in the order listed:

    Point N. Lat. W. Long. G 43°00.00′ 69°30.00′ H 43°00.00′ 70°00.00′ K 42°30.00′ 70°00.00′ L 42°30.00′ 69°30.00′ G 43°00.00′ 69°30.00′

    Vessels must declare their trip in the pre-trip notification system (PTNS) under standard requirements, but there are no additional monitoring requirements above the target coverage for the groundfish fishery. Prior to leaving the dock, any vessel that intends to use the redfish exemption on a trip must declare so through the VMS trip start hail by checking the box next to “Redfish Trip” under sector exemptions. This notification must be made if the vessel intends to use a 5.5-inch (14.0-cm) codend or larger to target redfish on any portion of the trip.

    Any vessel declaring this exemption must submit catch reports via VMS each day for the entire trip. For the first portion of the trip, a vessel may fish using a 6.0-inch (15.2-cm) mesh codend with selective gear in the GB BSA (current mesh flexibility allowed from Council exemption est. in 2010) or 6.5-inch (16.5-cm) mesh codend in any BSA, including the GOM. Any sub-legal codend must be stowed below deck for this entire portion of the trip. Catch thresholds do not apply to this portion of the trip.

    When a vessel switches its codend to target redfish, it must first transit to the Redfish Exemption Area. Once the vessel is in the Redfish Exemption Area, it must declare via VMS that it is switching to the 5.5-inch (14.0-cm) mesh codend (or larger) and will be conducting the remainder of its fishing activity exclusively in the Redfish Exemption Area. The vessel can then retrieve the 5.5-inch (14.0-cm) mesh codend from below deck and begin using it. All fishing activity for the remainder of the trip must occur in the Redfish Exemption area. For this portion of the trip, at least 50 percent of the total allocated groundfish kept must be redfish, and on observed trips, no more than 5 percent of all groundfish, including redfish, may be discarded. These thresholds will be used by NMFS to determine if this sector exemption should be revoked. The vessel must also submit a final catch report and a Trip End Hail via VMS at the end of the trip to facilitate dockside enforcement.

    There are enforcment concerns associated with the additional flexibility this exemption provides. Specifically, enforcing different mesh size restrictions on different portions of a single fishing trip could be challenging at sea, and there is the potential for vessels to misreport the mesh size used to catch groundfish to avoid having the exemption revoked for exceeding the threshold.

    Additionally, we are concerned about vessels catching groundfish, including their bycatch of juvenile fish, which could potentially cause them to exceed the discard threshold of 5 percent, in the Redfish Exemption Area when fishing with codend mesh sized nets smaller than the GOM regulated mesh size of 6.5 inches (16.5 cm). The 50-percent catch threshold is meant to reflect the likely proportion of redfish catch while using a 5.5-inch (14.0-cm) mesh codend, based on the results of Component 3 of REDNET. We are concerned, however, that it could allow sectors to target groundfish when fishing with a smaller codend and could increase discards that would likely go unreported, which could undermine the protections of the 5-percent bycatch threshold. Therefore, we are specifically seeking comment on this exemption, regarding the enforcement concerns, the reporting concerns, and the appropriateness of the threshold.

    If the redfish exemption is approved, we intend to monitor use of the exemption carefully. For example, should it be determined that vessels are not using the exemption when assigned an observer or ASM, and only using it when unobserved, we would have concerns about monitoring the exemption. Additionally, if a vessel does not submit daily catch reports or the required declaration when switching to the redfish portion of the trip, we may not be able to adequately monitor the exemption. The RA retains authority to rescind approval of this exemption, if it is needed. All vessels in a sector may be held jointly and severally liable for misreporting by a single vessel in a sector.

    Exemptions We Propose To Deny (3) (20) GOM Sink Gillnet Mesh Exemption in May, and January Through April

    We propose to deny the GOM sink gillnet mesh exemption request due to concern for GOM cod. We did not analyze this exemption in the EA because no new information was available to change the analyses previously published in past EAs.

    The GOM Sink Gillnet Mesh Exemption was approved for fishing years 2010 through 2012. This exemption allowed sector vessels to use 6-inch (15.2-cm) mesh gillnets in the GOM to target GOM haddock seasonally. However, due to concerns regarding the stock status of GOM haddock and the potential increase in interactions with protected species, the exemption was denied for fishing year 2013 (78 FR 25591, May 2, 2013) and fishing year 2014.

    On November 12, 2014, at the request of the New England Fishery Management Council and in response a stock assessment conducted by the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, we published an emergency action that increased the GOM haddock ACL for fishing year 2014 (79 FR 67090). This action nearly doubled each sector's ACE for GOM haddock. Because sectors anticipated that GOM haddock would not be a concern for fishing year 2014, they again requested this exemption for fishing years 2015 and 2016.

    While the stock status of GOM haddock has improved, biomass has not increased to the level it was in fishing year 2010, when this exemption was first approved. In addition, we are concerned about the effects of this exemption on GOM cod. The November 2014 interim action implemented to protect GOM cod revoked an exemption that resulted in decreasing the amount of gillnet gear in the GOM, given concerns relating to mortality of GOM cod caused by continuous fishing by gillnets left in the water and the potential to disrupt spawning when cod are caught. We are similarly concerned that using nets smaller than the minimum size may impact GOM cod mortality. For these same concerns, we are proposing to deny the GOM Haddock Sink Gillnet Mesh exemption for fishing years 2015 and 2016.

    (21) Powering Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) While at the Dock

    Beginning in fishing year 2011, we approved an exemption from the requirement to keep the VMS units powered while tied to the dock or on a mooring. In fishing year 2012, the NOAA Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) recognized a lack of compliance. The exemption was only applicable for vessels that did not otherwise possess Federal fishing permits for other FMPs that required a VMS unit, and vessels were required to follow certain protocols, such as sending a powerdown code before turning off the VMS unit. Misuse of the exemption decreases our confidence in our ability to adequately monitor the fishery. During fishing year 2013, we worked with sector managers to identify the sector members who were out of compliance with the exemption. However, in this time, compliance did not improve. Therefore, for fishing years 2015 and 2016, we propose to not approve this exemption due to lack of compliance.

    (22) Requirement To Use 6.5-Inch (16.5-cm) Mesh Size or Greater for Directed Redfish Trips, as Previously Approved in Fishing Year 2014

    The exemption request to use a 6.0-inch (15.2-cm) mesh codend nets, with a threshold of no lower than 80 percent redfish of the total groundfish catch on hauls using the redfish exemption, for fishing years 2015 and 2016, is identical to the exemption for fishing year 2014. A second redfish exemption request, described above (exemption #19), is proposed for approval. Therefore, we are proposing to deny this exemption request.

    Exemption That May Be Considered in a Separate Action (1) Prohibition on Groundfish Trips in Closed Areas I and II

    In fishing year 2013, we disapproved an exemption that would have allowed sector vessels restricted access to portions of CAs I and II, provided each trip carried an industry-funded ASM. When we proposed allowing sector access to these areas, we announced that we did not have funding to pay for monitoring the additional trips for exemptions requiring a 100-percent coverage level. Industry members indicated that it was too expensive to participate in the exemption, given the requirement to pay for a monitor on every trip. This, in combination with extensive comment opposing access to these areas to protect depleted stocks and our concern about the impacts on depleted stocks such as GB cod and GB yellowtail flounder, resulted in disapproval. For a detailed description of the exemption request and justifications for disapproval, see the final rule (78 FR 41772, December 16, 2013).

    For fishing year 2014, we remained unable to fund monitoring costs for exemptions requiring a 100-percent coverage level. In addition, we had some concerns about funding and administering the shore-side portion of any monitoring program for an exemption that requires additional ASM, such as the exemption to access CAs I and II. However, we authorized two EFPs to gather catch data from CAs I and II, one in coordination with the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, the other with members of the industry. Results from these EFPs could better inform us, the industry, and the public, regarding the economic efficacy of accessing these CAs, while providing information specific to bycatch of depleted stocks. Trips taken under these EFPs are attempting to address the following questions: (1) Could enough fish be caught to adequately offset the industry's additional expense of having an ASM on board, and (2) could catch of groundfish stocks of concern be addressed?

    The two authorized EFPs have allowed access to participating vessels into the same portions of CAs I and II that were originally proposed for access to sectors. Vessels using the EFPs are required to use specialized trawl gear to reduce impacts on flounder species, are restricted seasonally to avoid spawning fish, and must adhere to an agreement between the lobster and groundfish fishery in CA II to avoid gear conflicts. One of the two approved EFPs is still ongoing. Upon review of the EFP results, we will consider potential access to these areas through a separate action.

    2014 Interim Cod Action

    On November 13, 2014, at the request of the New England Fishery Management Council and in response a stock assessment conducted by the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, we published an interim action implemented to protect GOM cod. In this action, one fishing year 2014 exemption (limits on the number of gillnets on Day gillnet vessels, exemption #18) was revoked when fishing in the GOM because of its potential to affect GOM cod; the exemption as it applied in GB, SNE, and MA remains in place. As described above, we are proposing to not grant the exemption for the limits on gillnets for Day gillnet vessels in the GOM, but grant it in the other RMAs. Additionally, we have proposed to modify the previously approved redfish exemption area (as described in exemption #19) due to concern for GOM cod. There are several other exemptions proposed in the GOM that also could potentially affect GOM cod. These exemptions include:

    (1) 120-day block out of the fishery required for Day gillnet vessels;

    (2) 20-day spawning block out of the fishery required for all vessels;

    (3) Prohibition on a vessel hauling another vessel's gillnet gear;

    (5) Limits on the number of hooks that may be fished; and

    (10) Prohibition on a vessel hauling another vessel's hook gear.

    While we request comment on all exemptions in fishing years 2015 and 2016, we specifically request the public to comment on exemptions in the GOM that could affect the GOM cod stock and its ability to rebuild.

    Additional Sector Provisions Inshore GOM Restrictions

    Several sectors have proposed a provision to limit and more accurately document a vessel's behavior when fishing in what they consider the inshore portion of the GOM BSA, or the area to the west of 70° 15′ W. long. A vessel that is carrying an observer or ASM would remain free to fish without restriction. As proposed under the Inshore GOM Restriction provision, if a vessel is not carrying an observer or ASM and fishes any part of its trip in the GOM west of 70° 15′ W. long., the vessel would be prohibited from fishing outside of the GOM BSA. Also, if a vessel is not carrying an observer or ASM and fishes any part of its trip outside the GOM BSA, this provision would prohibit a vessel from fishing west of 70° 15′ W. long. in the GOM BSA. The sectors' proposal includes a requirement for a vessel to declare whether or not it intends to fish in the inshore GOM area through the trip start hail. We are providing sector managers with the ability to monitor this provision through the Sector Information Management Module (SIMM), a Web site where we currently provide roster, trip, discard, and observer information to sector managers. If approved, final declaration requirements would be included in each vessel's LOA. We propose to allow a sector to use a federally funded NEFOP observer or ASM on these trips because we do not believe it will create bias in coverage or discard estimates, as fishing behavior is not expected to change as a result of this provision.

    Prohibition on a Vessel Hauling Another Vessel's Trap Gear To Target Groundfish

    Several sectors have proposed a provision to allow a vessel to haul another vessel's fish trap gear, similar to the current exemptions that allow a vessel to haul another vessel's gillnet gear, or hook gear. These exemptions have generally been referred to as “community” gear exemptions. Regulations at § 648.84(a) require a vessel to mark all bottom-tending fixed gear, which would include fish trap gear used to target groundfish. To facilitate enforcement of that regulation, we propose requiring that any community fish trap gear be tagged by each vessel that plans on hauling the gear, similar to how this provision was implemented in fishing year 2014. This would allow one vessel to deploy the trap gear and another vessel to haul the trap gear, provided both vessels tag the gear prior to deployment. This requirement would be captured in the sector's operations plan to provide the opportunity for the sector to monitor the use of this provision and ensure that the OLE and the U.S. Coast Guard can enforce the provision.

    At-Sea Monitoring Proposals

    For fishing years 2015 and 2016, each sector is required to develop and fund an ASM program that must be reviewed and approved by NMFS. In the event that a proposed ASM program could not be approved, all sectors were asked to include an option to use the current NMFS-designed ASM program as a back-up. Sustainable Harvest Sectors 1 and 3, GB Cod Fixed Gear Sector, Northeast Coastal Communities Sector, and Maine Coast Community Sector have proposed to use the ASM program that we developed and used for fishing years 2010-2014. We propose this program for these sectors because we believe the existing program to be consistent with goals and objectives of monitoring, and with regulatory requirements. As requested, the remaining 12 sectors stated that they would use the NMFS-designed ASM program in the event that we did not approve their individual ASM program for fishing years 2015 and 2016. NEFS 4 has not included provisions for an ASM program because the sector operates as a private permit bank and explicitly prohibits fishing.

    We propose to approve the ASM programs proposed by the NEFS 1-13 (excluding NEFS 4). These programs state that they will: Contract with a NMFS-approved ASM provider; meet the specified coverage level; and utilize the PTNS for random selection of monitored trips and notification to providers. In addition, these proposed ASM programs detail protocols for waivers, incident reporting, and safety requirements. We believe that the proposed programs are consistent with goals and objectives of monitoring, and with regulatory requirements.

    Although the current regulations require a sector to fund its costs for its ASM program beginning in fishing year 2013, we funded industry's ASM costs in fishing years 2013 and 2014. It is unclear if the Agency will have money to fund industry's ASM costs, in whole or in part, for fishing year 2015. Additional information on funding and implementation of ASM for fishing year 2015 will be provided at a future date.

    Sector EA

    To comply with NEPA, a Programmatic EA was prepared encompassing all 17 operations plans, analyzing the impacts expected from the continued operation of the sectors over the next six years. The sector EA is tiered from the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) prepared for Amendment 16. The EA examines the biological, economic, and social impacts unique to each sector's proposed operations, including requested exemptions, and provides a cumulative effect analysis that addresses the combined impact of the direct and indirect effects of approving all proposed sector operations plans. The summary findings of the EA conclude that each sector would produce similar effects that have non-significant impacts. Visit http://www.regulations.gov to view the EA prepared for the 17 sectors that this rule proposes to approve.

    We decided to do a programmatic assessment beginning in fishing year 2015 because the past four years of sector operations have been relatively homogeneous, and the EA covering the management regime has changed little since inception of the program. We believe future sector operations would likely operate similarly, and the impacts associated with their activities would also likely be similar in nature to past years. However, we understand that it is impossible to fully anticipate the future, and that new requests for sector exemptions may arise that could have impacts outside the scope of this programmatic document. In this case, a supplementary EA may be necessary to analyze future sector operations.

    Classification

    The Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) requires advance notice of rulemaking and opportunity for public comment. The Council required additional time to develop measures to address GOM cod as part of Framework 53, which delayed our ability to present this to the public. We are therefore providing a 15-day comment period for this rule. A longer comment period would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest because we must publish a final rule prior to the start of fishing year 2015 on May 1, 2015, to enable sectors to fish at the start of the fishing year. A vessel enrolled in a sector may not fish in fishing year 2015 unless its operations plan is approved. If the final rule is not published prior to May 1, the permits enrolled in sectors must either stop fishing until their operations plan is approved or elect to fish in the common pool for the entirety of fishing year 2015. Both of these options would have very negative impacts for the permits enrolled in the sectors. Delaying the implementation beyond May 1, 2015, would result in an unnecessary economic loss to the sector members because vessels would be prevented from fishing in a month when sector vessels landed approximately 10 percent of several allocations, including GB cod east and GB winter flounder. Finally, without a seamless transition between fishing years 2014 and 2015, a delay would require sector vessels to remove gear that complies with an exemption, and redeploy the gear once the final rule is effective. Talking these additional trips would require additional fuel and staffing when catch may not be landed.

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the NMFS Assistant Administrator has determined that this proposed rule is consistent with the NE Multispecies FMP, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law, subject to further consideration after public comment.

    This proposed action is exempt from the procedures of Executive Order 12866 because this action contains no implementing regulations.

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA) that this proposed rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    As outlined in the preamble to this proposed rule, the purpose of this action is the implementation of fishing years 2015 and 2016 sector operations plans and associated regulatory exemptions. In an effort to rebuild the NE multispecies complex, other actions have reduced the allocations of several stocks managed by the NE Multispecies FMP, and the economic impacts of those allocations have been analyzed in accordance with their respective actions. This action, if finalized, would provide flexible fisheries management options to reduce the potential social and economic hardships resulting from those allocation reductions.

    The regulated entities most likely to be affected by the proposed action are the 102 groundfish-dependent ownership entities that own permits currently enrolled in sectors, all of which are considered small under the SBA's definition of a small finfishing business.

    Under the proposed rule, sector operations plans for fishing years 2015 and 2016 would be approved, allowing sector participants to use the universal sector exemptions granted under Amendment 16. In addition to the universal sector exemptions granted under the approval of individual sector operations plans, sector participants have requested relaxation of 22 other gear, area, administrative, and seasonal restrictions. This rule proposes to grant 19 of the 22 requested exemptions. Because all of the regulated entities are considered small businesses per the SBA guidelines, there are no disproportionate impacts for participating in sectors and using the universal exemptions and additional exemptions requested by individual sectors.

    All of the requested sector-specific exemptions in this proposed rule are expected to have a positive economic impact on participants, as they further increase the flexibility of fishermen to land their allocation at their discretion. By choosing when and how to land their allocations, sector participants have the potential to reduce marginal costs, increase revenues, and ultimately increase profitability. Again, it is expected that fishermen will only use sector-specific exemptions that they believe will maximize utility, and that long-term stock impacts from the collective exemptions will be minimal and will be outweighed by benefits from operational flexibility.

    This rule would not impose significant negative economic impacts on any of the sector participants. No small entities would be placed at a competitive disadvantage to large entities, and the regulations would not reduce the profit for any small entities. Therefore, this rule would not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. As a result, an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis is not required and none has been prepared.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: March 3, 2015. Eileen Sobeck, Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05386 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 635 RIN 0648-BA17 Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Large Coastal and Small Coastal Atlantic Shark Management Measures AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of rescheduled public hearing.

    SUMMARY:

    On January 20, 2015, NMFS published a proposed rule with public hearing dates for Draft Amendment 6 to the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP). On February 25, 2015, NMFS announced that the public hearing in Manteo, NC, would be rescheduled due to inclement weather conditions expected for Manteo and surrounding areas. In this notice, NMFS announces the date and location for the rescheduled public hearing to provide opportunities for members of the public to comment on the management measures proposed in Draft Amendment 6.

    DATES:

    The rescheduled public hearing will be held on March 18, 2015, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Written comments will be accepted until April 3, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The rescheduled public hearing will be held in Manteo, NC, at the Dare Country Administration Building, Commissioner's Meeting Room, 954 Marshall C. Collins Drive, Manteo, NC 27954.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    LeAnn Hogan, Guý DuBeck, Alexis Jackson or Karyl Brewster-Geisz by phone: 301-427-8503, or by fax: 301-713-1917.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Atlantic sharks are managed under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), and the authority to issue regulations has been delegated from the Secretary to the Assistant Administrator (AA) for Fisheries, NOAA. On October 2, 2006, NMFS published in the Federal Register (71 FR 58058) final regulations, effective November 1, 2006, implementing the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP, which details management measures for Atlantic HMS fisheries. The implementing regulations for the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP and its amendments are at 50 CFR part 635.

    On January 20, 2015, NMFS published a proposed rule (80 FR 2648) for Draft Amendment 6 to the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP. Management measures in the proposed rulemaking are designed to respond to the problems facing Atlantic commercial shark fisheries, such as landings that exceed the commercial quotas, declining numbers of fishing permits since limited access was implemented, increasingly complex regulations, derby fishing conditions due to small quotas and short seasons, increasing numbers of regulatory discards, and declining market prices. The primary goal of Amendment 6 to the 2006 Consolidated HMS FMP is to implement management measures for the Atlantic shark fisheries that will achieve the objectives of increasing management flexibility to adapt to the changing needs of the Atlantic shark fisheries, and achieve optimum yield while rebuilding overfished shark stocks and ending overfishing. Specifically, the rule proposes to: Adjust the large coastal sharks (LCS) retention limit for shark directed Limited Access Permit holders; create sub-regional quotas in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico regions for LCS and small coastal sharks (SCS); modify the LCS and SCS quota linkages; establish total allowable catches and adjust quotas for non-blacknose SCS in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico regions based on the results of the 2013 stock assessments for Atlantic sharpnose and bonnethead sharks; and modify upgrading restrictions for shark permit holders.

    On February 25, 2015, NMFS announced via listserv notice, an announcement on the HMS Management Division's Web page, and phone calls to known interested parties that the public hearing that was scheduled in Manteo, NC, on February 26, 2015, would be rescheduled due to inclement weather conditions expected for Manteo and surrounding areas at that time. The public hearing in Manteo, NC, has been rescheduled for March 18, 2015, to provide the opportunity for public comment on potential management measures (see ADDRESSES and DATES).

    The public is reminded that NMFS expects participants at the public hearings to conduct themselves appropriately. At the beginning of each public hearing, a representative of NMFS will explain the ground rules (e.g., alcohol is prohibited from the hearing room; attendees will be called to give their comments in the order in which they registered to speak; each attendee will have an equal amount of time to speak; and attendees should not interrupt one another). The NMFS representative will attempt to structure the meeting so that all attending members of the public will be able to comment, if they so choose, regardless of the controversial nature of the subject(s). Attendees are expected to respect the ground rules, and, if they do not, they may be asked to leave the hearing.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 971 et seq.; 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: March 4, 2015. Alan D. Risenhoover, Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05380 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 150105004-5190-01] RIN 0648-BE75 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Northeast Groundfish Fishery; Framework Adjustment 53 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes approval of, and regulations to implement, Framework Adjustment 53 to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan. This rule would set fishing years 2015-2017 catch limits for several groundfish stocks, modify management measures for Gulf of Maine cod, and adopt other measures to improve the management of the groundfish fishery. This action is necessary to respond to updated scientific information and achieve the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan. The proposed measures are intended to help prevent overfishing, rebuild overfished stocks, achieve optimum yield, and ensure that management measures are based on the best scientific information available.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by March 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2015-0020, by either of the following methods:

    Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal.

    1. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2015-0020;

    2. Click the “Comment Now!” icon and complete the required fields; and

    3. Enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to John K. Bullard, Regional Administrator, National Marine Fisheries Service, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930. Mark the outside of the envelope, “Comments on the Proposed Rule for Groundfish Framework Adjustment 53.”

    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by us. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. We will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).

    Copies of Framework Adjustment 53, including the draft Environmental Assessment, the Regulatory Impact Review, and the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis prepared by the New England Fishery Management Council in support of this action are available from Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950. The supporting documents are also accessible via the Internet at: http://www.nefmc.org/management-plans/northeast-multispecies or http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/sustainable/species/multispecies.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sarah Heil, Fishery Policy Analyst, phone: 978-281-9257; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents 1. Summary of Proposed Measures 2. Status Determination Criteria 3. Fishing Year 2015 Shared U.S./Canada Quotas 4. Fishing Years 2015-2017 Catch Limits 5. Gulf of Maine Cod Protection Measures 6. Default Catch Limits 7. Sector Carryover 8. Fishing Year 2015 Annual Measures Under Regional Administrator Authority 9. Possible Fishing Year 2015 Northern Windowpane Flounder Accountability Measure 10. Regulatory Corrections Under Regional Administrator Authority 1. Summary of Proposed Measures

    This action would implement the management measures in Framework Adjustment 53 (Framework 53) to the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The Council deemed the proposed regulations consistent with, and necessary to implement, Framework 53, in a February 25, 2015, letter from Council Chairman E.F. “Terry” Stockwell to Regional Administrator John Bullard. Framework 53 proposes to:

    • Revise the status determination criteria for several groundfish stocks;

    • Set fishing years 2015-2017 catch limits for several groundfish stocks;

    • Set fishing year 2015 shared U.S./Canada quotas for transboundary Georges Bank (GB) stocks;

    • Revise management measures for Gulf of Maine (GOM) cod to provide additional protection for the stock;

    • Establish a mechanism to set default catch limits in the event a future management action is delayed; and

    • Modify the provision that allows groundfish sectors to carryover unused quota in response to a recent court ruling.

    This action also proposes a number of other measures that are not part of Framework 53, but that may be considered and implemented under our authority specified in the FMP. We are proposing these measures in conjunction with the Framework 53 proposed measures for expediency purposes, and because these measures are related to the catch limits proposed as part of Framework 53. The additional measures proposed in this action are listed below.

    Management measures for the common pool fishery—this action proposes fishing year 2015 trip limits for the common pool fishery. We have the authority to set management measures for the common pool fishery that will help ensure the fishery achieves, but does not exceed, its catch limits.

    Possible accountability measure for northern windowpane flounder—this action announces the possibility that an accountability measure for northern windowpane flounder could be implemented for fishing year 2015 if the fishing year 2014 catch limit for this stock is exceeded. We are announcing this to provide as much notice as possible to groundfish vessels that would be affected by these measures, if implemented, in 2015.

    Other regulatory corrections—we propose several revisions to the regulations to correct references, remove unnecessary text, and make other minor edits. Each proposed correction is described in the section “10. Regulatory Corrections Under Regional Administrator Authority.”

    2. Status Determination Criteria

    The Northeast Fisheries Science Center conducted stock assessments in 2014 for GOM cod, GOM haddock, GOM winter flounder, GB yellowtail flounder, GB winter flounder, and pollock. In response to these assessments, this action proposes to revise status determination criteria, as necessary, and provide updated numerical estimates of these criteria, in order to incorporate the results of the most recent stock assessments. Table 1 provides the updated numerical estimates of the status determination criteria, and Table 2 summarizes changes in stock status based on the new stock assessments conducted in 2014.

    Updated stock status information is provided in this rule for all of the stocks that had a new assessment in 2014. However, only the status determination criteria for GB yellowtail flounder is proposed to change relative to the status determination criteria currently specified in the FMP. As described in more detail below, status determination relative to reference points is no longer possible for GB yellowtail flounder, and is proposed to be unknown.

    Table 1—Numerical Estimates of Status Determination Criteria Stock Biomass target SSBMSY or Proxy
  • (mt)
  • Maximum fishing mortality threshold
  • (FMSY or Proxy)
  • MSY
  • (mt)
  • M = 0.2 Model 47,184 0.18 7,753 GOM Cod: Mramp Model 69,621 0.18 11,388 GOM Haddock 4,108 0.46 955 GOM Winter Flounder n/a 0.23 exploitation rate n/a GB Yellowtail Flounder n/a n/a n/a GB Winter Flounder 8,100 0.44 3,200 Pollock 76,900 0.42 (equivalent to F5-7 = 0.27) 14,800 SSB = Spawning Stock Biomass; MSY = Maximum Sustainable Yield; F = Fishing Mortality; M = Natural Mortality Note. An explanation of the two assessment models for GOM cod is provided in the section “4. Fishing Years 2015-2017 Catch Limits.”
    Table 2—Summary of Changes to Stock Status Stock Previous assessment Overfishing? Overfished? 2014 Assessment Overfishing? Overfished? GOM Cod Yes Yes Yes Yes GOM Haddock Yes No 1 No No GOM Winter Flounder No Unknown No Unknown GB Yellowtail Flounder Yes Yes Unknown Unknown GB Winter Flounder No No No No Pollock No No No No 1 Stock was approaching an overfished condition. Georges Bank Yellowtail Flounder Status Determination Criteria

    GB yellowtail flounder is jointly managed with Canada, and the Transboundary Resources Assessment Committee (TRAC) conducts an annual assessment of this stock. In recent years, there has been a strong retrospective pattern in the approved assessment model for GB yellowtail flounder. This retrospective pattern causes the model to overestimate stock biomass and underestimate fishing mortality. Recent stock assessments for GB yellowtail flounder have been unable to determine the cause of the retrospective pattern. Additionally, attempts to address the retrospective pattern in the existing assessment model were only temporarily successful, and the magnitude of the retrospective pattern has increased in recent years.

    In July 2013, a World Conference on Stock Assessment Methods, hosted by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, explored alternative assessment models for GB yellowtail flounder that may address the retrospective pattern. However, the workshop was not able to provide any alternative modeling solutions. Instead, the workshop concluded that the poor performance of the assessment model was likely due to issues in the underlying data. As a result, the TRAC conducted a diagnostic benchmark assessment in April 2014. This diagnostic benchmark was intended to further explore possible causes of the model's poor performance through examination of all of the available data sources, as well as to develop a method for providing catch advice that does not rely on an analytical assessment model (i.e., an empirical approach).

    During the subsequent annual TRAC assessment in June 2014, the TRAC agreed to no longer use the assessment model for GB yellowtail flounder to evaluate stock status or provide catch advice. This decision was based on the poor performance of the assessment model in recent years, conclusions from the April 2014 diagnostic benchmark, as well as inconsistencies in the underlying data. As a replacement for the assessment model, the TRAC agreed to use the empirical approach developed at the diagnostic benchmark as the basis for providing management advice. This empirical approach does not provide historical estimates of biomass, fishing mortality rates, or recruitment estimates. As a result, the TRAC concluded that status determination relative to reference points is not possible because reference points cannot be defined. Additional details on recent GB yellowtail flounder assessments, including the 2014 diagnostic benchmark, can be found at: http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/saw/trac/.

    Although status determination relative to reference points is unknown, the best scientific information available indicates that GB yellowtail flounder stock status is poor. The changes to the status determination criteria that are proposed in this action do not affect the rebuilding plan for this stock, which has an end date of 2032. Although biomass estimates are not currently available, to ensure that rebuilding progress is made, catch limits will continue to be set at levels at which the TRAC and the Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) determine will prevent overfishing. Additionally, at whatever point the stock assessment for GB yellowtail flounder can provide numerical estimates of status determination criteria, those estimates will be used to evaluate progress towards the existing rebuilding targets.

    3. Fishing Year 2015 U.S./Canada Quotas Management of Transboundary Georges Bank Stocks

    Eastern GB cod, eastern GB haddock, and GB yellowtail flounder are jointly managed with Canada under the U.S./Canada Resource Sharing Understanding. Each year, the Transboundary Management Guidance Committee (TMGC), which is a government-industry committee made up of representatives from the United States and Canada, recommends a shared quota for each stock based on the most recent stock information and the TMGC's harvest strategy. The TMGC's harvest strategy for setting catch levels is to maintain a low to neutral risk (less than 50 percent) of exceeding the fishing mortality limit for each stock. The harvest strategy also specifies that when stock conditions are poor, fishing mortality should be further reduced to promote stock rebuilding. The shared quotas are allocated between the United States and Canada based on a formula that considers historical catch (10-percent weighting) and the current resource distribution (90-percent weighting).

    For GB yellowtail flounder, the SSC also recommends an acceptable biological catch (ABC) for the stock, which is typically used to inform the U.S. TMGC's discussions with Canada for the annual shared quota. Although the stock is jointly managed with Canada, and the TMGC recommends annual shared quotas, the United States may not set catch limits that would exceed the SSC's recommendation. The SSC does not recommend ABCs for eastern GB cod and haddock because they are management units of the total GB cod and haddock stocks. The SSC recommends overall ABCs for the total GB cod and haddock stocks. The shared U.S./Canada quota for eastern GB cod and haddock is accounted for in these overall ABCs, and must be consistent with the SSC's recommendation for the total GB stocks.

    2015 U.S./Canada Quotas

    The TRAC conducted assessments for the three transboundary stocks in June 2014, and detailed summaries of these assessments can be found at: http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/saw/trac/. The TMGC met in September 2014 to recommend shared quotas for 2015 based on the updated assessments, and the Council adopted the TMGC's recommendations in Framework 53. The proposed 2015 shared U.S./Canada quotas, and each country's allocation, are listed in Table 3.

    Table 3—Proposed Fishing Year 2015 U.S./Canada Quotas (mt, Live Weight) and Percent of Quota Allocated to Each Country Quota Eastern GB cod Eastern GB haddock GB Yellowtail flounder Total Shared Quota 650 37,000 354 U.S. Quota 124 (19%) 17,760 (48%) 248 (70%) Canada Quota 526 (81%) 19,240 (52%) 106 (30%)

    The proposed 2015 U.S. quotas for eastern GB cod and GB yellowtail flounder would be a 20-percent and 25-percent reduction, respectively, compared to 2014. These reductions are due to both recent biomass declines and small reductions in the amount of the shared quota that is allocated to the United States. The proposed U.S. quota for eastern GB haddock would be a 70-percent increase compared to 2014, which is a result of both increased stock biomass and an increase in the amount allocated to the United States. For a more detailed discussion of the TMGC's 2015 catch advice, see the TMGC's guidance document at: http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/sustainable/species/multispecies/index.html. Additionally, the proposed 2015 catch limit for GB yellowtail flounder is discussed in more detail in the section “4. Fishing Years 2015-2017 Catch Limits.”

    The regulations implementing the U.S./Canada Resource Sharing Understanding require that any overages of the U.S. quota for eastern GB cod, eastern GB haddock, or GB yellowtail flounder be deducted from the U.S. quota in the following fishing year. If fishing year 2014 catch information indicates that the U.S. fishery exceeded its quota for any of the shared stocks, we will reduce the respective U.S. quota for fishing year 2015 in a future management action, as close to May 1, 2015, as possible. If any fishery that is allocated a portion of the U.S. quota exceeds its allocation, and causes an overage of the overall U.S. quota, the overage reduction would only be applied to that fishery's allocation in the following fishing year. This ensures that catch by one component of the fishery does not negatively affect another component of the fishery.

    4. Fishing Years 2015-2017 Catch Limits Summary of the Proposed Catch Limits

    The catch limits proposed in this action can be found in Tables 4 through 11. A brief summary of how these catch limits were developed is provided below. More details on the proposed catch limits for each groundfish stock can be found in Appendix III to the Framework 53 Environmental Assessment (see ADDRESSES for information on how to get this document).

    Framework 53 proposes to adopt fishing years 2015-2017 catch limits for GOM cod, GOM haddock, GOM winter flounder, GB winter flounder, GB yellowtail flounder (2015-2016 only), and pollock based on the 2014 assessments for these stocks. In addition, this action proposes to update the 2015 catch limits for GB cod and haddock based on the proposed U.S./Canada quotas for the portions of these stocks managed jointly with Canada. For all other stocks, the overall catch limits included in this rule are the same as those previously adopted in Framework 50 and Framework 51, although small changes have been made to the distribution of these catch limits to the various components of the fishery.

    For a number of stocks, the catch limits proposed in this action are substantially lower than the catch limits set for the 2014 fishing year. Compared to 2014, the proposed catch limits would be a 75-percent reduction for GOM cod, a 53-percent reduction for GOM winter flounder, and a 44-percent for GB winter flounder. The proposed GOM haddock catch limit would be a 114-percent increase compared to 2014, and the proposed pollock catch limit would be relatively similar to 2014. The GOM haddock and pollock catch limits could provide additional fishing opportunities for groundfish vessels to help mitigate some of the economic impacts of the catch limit reductions proposed for other key groundfish stocks. However, the proposed reductions are expected to be very restrictive for groundfish vessels, particularly small inshore vessels, which could minimize these benefits.

    There are no catch limits proposed for fishing years 2016 or 2017 for most groundfish stocks. Stock assessment updates for all groundfish stocks are scheduled for September 2015, and, based on these assessment updates, catch limits will be set in a future action for fishing years 2016-2018. Given the timing of the stock assessments, the management action for the 2016 fishing year is not expected to be completed by the start of the fishing year. As a result, this action proposes default catch limits that would be implemented on May 1, 2016, to help prevent disruption to the fishery (see the section “6. Default Catch Limits”).

    Overfishing Limits and Acceptable Biological Catches

    The overfishing limit (OFL) serves as the maximum amount of fish that can be caught in a year without resulting in overfishing. The OFL for each stock is calculated using the estimated stock size and FMSY (i.e., the fishing mortality rate that, if applied over the long term, would result in maximum sustainable yield). The OFL does not account for scientific uncertainty, so the SSC typically recommends an ABC that is lower than the OFL in order to account for this uncertainty. Usually, the greater the amount of scientific uncertainty, the lower the ABC is set compared to the OFL. For GB cod, haddock, and yellowtail flounder, the total ABC is then reduced by the amount of the Canadian quota (see Table 3 for the Canadian share of these stocks). Additionally, although GB winter flounder and Atlantic halibut are not jointly managed with Canada, there is some Canadian catch of these stocks. Because the total ABC must account for all sources of fishing mortality, expected Canadian catch of GB winter flounder (114 mt) and halibut (19 mt) is deducted from the total ABC. The U.S. ABC is the amount available to the U.S. fishery after accounting for Canadian catch.

    Table 4—Proposed Fishing Years 2015-2017 Overfishing Limits and Acceptable Biological Catches [mt, live weight] Stock 2015 OFL U.S. ABC 2016 OFL U.S. ABC 2017 OFL U.S. ABC GB Cod 4,191 1,980 GOM Cod 514 386 514 386 514 386 GB Haddock 56,293 24,366 GOM Haddock 1,871 1,454 2,270 1,772 2,707 2,125 GB Yellowtail Flounder 248 354 SNE/MA Yellowtail Flounder 1,056 700 CC/GOM Yellowtail Flounder 1,194 548 American Plaice 2,021 1,544 Witch Flounder 1,846 783 GB Winter Flounder 3,242 2,010 3,383 2,107 3,511 2,180 GOM Winter Flounder 688 510 688 510 688 510 SNE/MA Winter Flounder 4,439 1,676 Redfish 16,845 11,974 White Hake 6,237 4,713 6,314 4,645 Pollock 21,538 16,600 21,864 16,600 24,598 16,600 N. Windowpane Flounder 202 151 S. Windowpane Flounder 730 548 Ocean Pout 313 235 Atlantic Halibut 198 100 Atlantic Wolffish 94 70 SNE/MA = Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic; CC = Cape Cod; N = Northern; S = Southern. Note: An empty cell indicates no OFL/ABC is adopted for that year. These catch limits will be set in a future action. Gulf of Maine Cod Assessment Summary and Catch Projections

    A stock assessment update for GOM cod was completed in 2014. This assessment was an update of the existing 2012 benchmark assessment, which approved two assessment models for GOM cod. One assessment model (base case model) assumes that natural mortality is 0.2. The second assessment model (Mramp model) assumes that natural mortality has increased from 0.2 to 0.4 in recent years, although the 2012 benchmark assessment did not conclude that natural mortality would remain at 0.4 indefinitely. As a result, biological reference points for GOM cod are based on a natural mortality assumption of 0.2. Under both assessment models, GOM cod is overfished and overfishing is occurring. There was a retrospective pattern in both the 2012 benchmark assessment and the 2014 assessment update, although it was not large enough to warrant making any specific adjustment to address this bias. The 2014 assessment results indicated that the 2012 benchmark overestimated spawning stock biomass and underestimated fishing mortality. Detailed summaries of the 2012 benchmark assessment and the 2014 assessment update are available from the Northeast Fisheries Science Center at: http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/saw/reports.html and http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/publications/crd/crd1414/, respectively.

    Based on the two stock assessment models, there are three different catch projections that were considered for providing catch advice:

    1. Natural mortality is 0.2 (base case model);

    2. Natural mortality increased to 0.4, but returns to 0.2 in 2014 (Mramp model); and

    3. Natural mortality increased to 0.4, and will remain 0.4 for the remainder of the rebuilding program for GOM cod (2024) (Mramp model).

    The first two catch projections indicate that rebuilding is possible under catch limits that are consistent with the fishing mortality rate required to rebuild the stock by the rebuilding end date of 2024 (Frebuild). However, the remaining projection from the Mramp model suggests that rebuilding to the current biological reference points is not possible if natural mortality remains at 0.4. Natural mortality would have to return to 0.2 by 2016 in order for the stock to rebuild by 2024. There are some inconsistencies between this catch projection, which assumes natural mortality remains at 0.4, and the existing reference points, which are based on a natural mortality rate of 0.2. There are also several sources of uncertainties around the natural mortality rate that are important to note when evaluating the available catch projections. All of these uncertainties were discussed in detail in the available reports from the stock assessment, the Council's Groundfish Plan Development Team, and the SSC, but a brief summary is provided below.

    First, there are uncertainties around whether the natural mortality rate has actually increased to 0.4. Both the 2012 benchmark assessment and the SSC's peer review of the 2014 assessment update noted that no definitive or conclusive evidence has been presented to support the assumption that natural mortality has increased. One motivation for applying an increased natural mortality rate was to try to reduce the retrospective pattern in the assessment model. The 2012 benchmark assessment also concluded that, because the retrospective pattern was worse in the assessment model that assumed a natural mortality of 0.2, the increased natural mortality rate of 0.4 could be partially disguising unaccounted fishing mortality. Despite these uncertainties, no peer review body has concluded that either natural mortality scenario is more plausible than the other. As a result, both assessment models were advanced for providing management advice.

    Second, if natural mortality has increased to 0.4, there is uncertainty around when, and if, it would return to 0.2. The 2012 benchmark assessment concluded that if natural mortality has increased in recent years, it is unlikely to be a permanent change. However, in subsequent SSC meetings, some SSC members noted that it is unlikely the natural mortality rate would suddenly return to the lower rate, particularly coincident with the end of the assessment time series.

    Because the 2012 benchmark assessment did not conclude that natural mortality would remain at 0.4 indefinitely, the biological reference points currently specified in the FMP assume a natural mortality rate of 0.2. However, given the uncertainties around the natural mortality rate, the SSC has had considerable discussion about the implications of an increased natural mortality rate on the biological reference points for GOM cod. The SSC debated whether the biomass target (BMSY) should be lowered under a scenario where natural mortality has increased, and, if so, whether the maximum fishing mortality threshold (FMSY) should be increased. Ultimately, the SSC was not able to reach agreement on the appropriate response for estimating BMSY and FMSY under a scenario when natural mortality has increased. In addition, although the SSC discussed the various scenarios and implications for biological reference points, it concluded that any deviation from the biological reference points established at the 2012 benchmark assessment would not be appropriate outside of the benchmark assessment process.

    Gulf of Maine Cod Catch Advice

    The SSC recommended an OFL of 514 mt for fishing years 2015-2017, which was calculated by averaging the 2015 catches at FMSY from the three catch projections. The SSC recommended a 3-year constant OFL to help offset some of the uncertainties in the catch projections. Thus, for 2016 and 2017, the recommended OFL is increasingly further below the catch at FMSY that is indicated from the catch projections. In support of its OFL recommendation, the SSC also noted that it used the results from each of the catch projections because all of the various natural mortality scenarios were plausible.

    The SSC initially recommended a provisional ABC of 200 mt for fishing years 2015-2017. This recommendation was based on the Frebuild approach that is specified by the default ABC control rule. An ABC of 200 mt was the midpoint between the Frebuild catch for the scenario in which natural mortality is 0.2 and the scenario in which natural mortality increases, but returns to 0.2. This provisional ABC recommendation did not include the Frebuild catch for the projection that assumes natural mortality remains at 0.4, and that suggests rebuilding is not possible. This catch projection was not included in the ABC alternatives that the Groundfish Plan Development Team initially presented to the SSC because it was not considered to be consistent with the existing biological reference points, which assume a natural mortality rate of 0.2.

    During the development of the provisional ABC recommendation of 200 mt, there was considerable discussion on the rebuilding potential for GOM cod. Although two of the catch projections indicate that rebuilding could occur, both the Groundfish Plan Development Team and the SSC noted concerns for the prospects of rebuilding GOM cod within the 10 year timeframe. The projections that indicate rebuilding can occur by 2024 require steady, sustained stock growth (approximately 40 percent growth each year). However, both technical bodies noted that these growth rates have rarely been observed, and that it seems unlikely this growth would occur.

    The default ABC control rule specifies that, if a stock cannot rebuild in the specified rebuilding period, even with no fishing, the ABC should be based on incidental bycatch, including a reduction in the bycatch rate. Thus, given the available catch projections, uncertainties around the natural mortality rate, and past performance of catch projections, the SSC considered incidental bycatch information to help develop its final ABC recommendation. Based on analysis presented by the Groundfish Plan Development Team, the SSC determined that the overall incidental catch of GOM cod was approximately 500-600 mt under the current operating conditions of the fishery.

    After consideration of incidental bycatch information, and given the noted uncertainties, the SSC recommended an ABC of 386 mt, which was calculated by taking 75 percent of the OFL. The SSC noted that its ABC recommendation was well below the OFL. Updated catch projections indicate that, if catch equals the proposed ABC of 386 mt in 2015, the probability of overfishing would range from 6 percent to 33 percent. Additionally, the SSC's recommendation is above the ABC associated with Frebuild, but below the average of the ABCs at 75 percent of FMSY for the three catch projections (405 mt). The SSC noted that an ABC of 386 mt would not compromise the ability of the stock to rebuild, and that catch projections still indicate a biomass increase under this scenario.

    To help offset some of the uncertainty in catch projections, the SSC recommended a constant catch for the next 3 years. However, the SSC noted that the September 2015 stock assessment update for GOM cod will provide the opportunity to update its recommendation for the 2016 fishing year. Although not repeated in its report for this action, during the development of catch limits for 2013-2015, the SSC did note that presenting two models for GOM cod helped to better understand the nature and extent of scientific uncertainty. As discussed in this rule, presenting two assessment models does introduce difficulties in developing catch advice. However, overall, the SSC's final recommendation was an attempt to balance the various catch projections, natural mortality scenarios, and uncertainties in the assessment information with the various provisions of the control rule. Further, although the proposed ABC is not based on an Frebuild approach, the FMP and National Standard 1 give deference to the SSC to recommend ABCs that are departures from the established control rules. In such situations, the SSC must use the best scientific information available and provide amble justification on why the control rule is not the best approach for the particular circumstances.

    NMFS Concerns on Gulf of Maine Cod Catch Limit

    We have several concerns for the proposed ABC that are highlighted below. We are requesting specific comment on these concerns, particularly on how the proposed ABC would sufficiently offset the noted uncertainties and effectively control fishing mortality.

    Due to several sources of uncertainty, groundfish catch projections tend to be overly optimistic and routinely overestimate stock growth and underestimate fishing mortality. As a result, for a number of groundfish stocks, even catches that were substantially lower than the projected catch resulted in fishing mortality rates that did not meet the intended targets. A number of PDT reports and assessment documents note this past performance, and that this performance should be taken into account when setting ABCs.

    The 2014 assessment results for GOM cod indicate that, in each year of the previous rebuilding plan (2004-2013), fishing mortality exceeded the target rate. Thus, past performance indicates that projected catch does not result in the desired fishing mortality and stock growth does not occur as expected. Additionally, there was a retrospective error in the assessment model for both the 2012 benchmark assessment and the 2014 assessment update. If this retrospective pattern continues, then the catch projections could be overly optimistic and their starting assumptions (e.g., current stock biomass) could be wrong. When considering performance of the initial rebuilding program for GOM cod and catch projections, effectively controlling fishing mortality is essential for rebuilding efforts.

    The SSC noted that an ABC of 386 mt is still well below the OFL to account for uncertainty. However, the buffer between the recommended OFL and ABC (25 percent) is relatively similar to the buffer that would occur under a typical scenario using 75 percent of FMSY. In addition, the recommended ABC of 386 mt is only slightly below the average ABC based on 75 percent of FMSY for the three catch projections (405 mt). In its justification for an ABC of 386 mt, the SSC also noted that this would be a substantial reduction (75 percent) from the status quo ABC of 1,550 mt. This substantial reduction is necessary based on the 2014 assessment results that indicated a catch of 1,550 mt could result in a fishing mortality rate that is five times the target rate. In light of the past performance for GOM cod, we are requesting specific comment on whether the proposed ABC would sufficiently offset the uncertainties and effectively control fishing mortality.

    As noted earlier, updated catch projections indicate rebuilding could occur by 2024 under an ABC of 386 mt. However, an ABC larger than Frebuild may necessitate lower ABCs later in the rebuilding timeline. Additionally, the SSC noted that an ABC of 386 mt would not compromise the stock's ability to rebuild based on the available catch projections. However, this aspect of the SSC's recommendation appears to differ from its conclusion that GOM cod seems unlikely to rebuild in 10 years given existing stock conditions. This difference highlights an important difficulty in evaluating the proposed ABC. As discussed earlier, there is some uncertainty around the likelihood of rebuilding the stock within 10 years, which were noted by both the Groundfish Plan Development Team and the SSC. However, neither technical body concluded that these uncertainties represent a foregone conclusion that this stock, unequivocally, cannot rebuild by 2024. We are requesting specific comment on how the proposed ABC would likely affect stock rebuilding, particularly compared to an ABC based on an Frebuild approach.

    One factor that may help offset some of these concerns is that updated stock assessment information will be available in 2015, and in time to re-specify GOM cod catch limits for fishing year 2016. This updated information would also likely provide additional information on the rebuilding potential for GOM cod and the stock's response to recent catch limit reductions. Thus, although this action proposes a 3-year constant ABC, the catch limits adopted are expected to be in place for only 1 year. We also note that despite various uncertainties, no peer review body has concluded that any scenario is more plausible than another, and many of the uncertainties cannot be fully addressed until the next benchmark assessment is completed. Until then, catch limits for GOM cod must, to the extent possible, balance the two assessment models, various natural mortality assumptions, and other uncertainties in the available information. The proposed ABC appears to do this; however, we are requesting specific comments on whether the proposed ABC sufficiently incorporates all of the available information.

    Although not specifically mentioned in the SSC's recommendation, the proposed ABC is expected to have substantial economic impacts on groundfish vessels, which are summarized in the section “Economic Impacts of the Proposed Measures” later in this preamble. These impacts are expected to be disproportionately distributed among the groundfish fleet. The largest revenue reductions are expected for vessels less than 50 ft (15 m), and those fishing from Gloucester, MA, and New Hampshire ports. Given current stock conditions, and all of the noted uncertainties in the stock assessment information, the proposed ABC would likely mitigate economic impacts, as much as possible, compared to other ABC alternatives that the SSC reviewed.

    Due to the low catch limit proposed for GOM cod, we have some concerns regarding apportionment of catch and the incentive to misreport catch on unobserved trips. We noted these same concerns in our 2014 interim action for GOM cod. Additionally, this issue was discussed during the development of Framework 53, and is noted in various analyses prepared by the Council in support of this action. Due to these concerns, we are considering the possibility of additional reporting requirements (e.g., daily Vessel Monitoring System catch reports) for commercial groundfish vessels. We are not specifically proposing any additional requirements in this action; we are highlighting these concerns because they relate to the proposed specifications. We intend to further consult with the Council on this issue to explore whether additional reporting requirements could help address the noted concerns.

    Annual Catch Limits Development of Annual Catch Limits

    The U.S. ABC for each stock is divided among the various fishery components to account for all sources of fishing mortality. First, an estimate of catch expected from state waters and the “other” sub-component (i.e., non-groundfish fisheries) is deducted from the U.S. ABC. These sub-components are not subject to specific catch controls by the FMP. As a result, the state waters and other sub-components are not allocations, and these components of the fishery are not subject to accountability measures if the catch limits are exceeded. After the state and other sub-components are deducted, the remaining portion of the U.S. ABC is distributed to the fishery components that receive an allocation for the stock. Components of the fishery that receive an allocation are subject to accountability measures if they exceed their respective catch limit during the fishing year.

    Once the U.S. ABC is divided, sub-annual catch limits (sub-ACLs) are set by reducing the amount of the ABC distributed to each component of the fishery to account for management uncertainty. Management uncertainty is the likelihood that management measures will result in a level of catch greater than expected. For each stock and fishery component, management uncertainty is estimated using the following criteria: Enforceability and precision of management measures, adequacy of catch monitoring, latent effort, and catch of groundfish in non-groundfish fisheries. The total ACL is the sum of all of the sub-ACLs and ACL sub-components, and is the catch limit for a particular year after accounting for both scientific and management uncertainty. Landings and discards from all fisheries (commercial and recreational groundfish fisheries, state waters, and non-groundfish fisheries) are counted against the ACL for each stock.

    Sector and Common Pool Allocations

    For stocks allocated to sectors, the commercial groundfish sub-ACL is further divided into the non-sector (common pool) sub-ACL and the sector sub-ACL, based on the total vessel enrollment in sectors and the cumulative Potential Sector Contributions (PSCs) associated with those sectors. The preliminary sector and common pool sub-ACLs proposed in this action are based on fishing year 2015 PSCs and fishing year 2014 sector rosters. 2015 sector rosters will not be finalized until May 1, 2015, because individual permit holders have until the end of the 2014 fishing year to drop out of a sector and fish in the common pool fishery for 2015. Therefore, it is possible that the sector and common pool catch limits proposed in this action may change due to changes in the sector rosters. If changes to the sector rosters occur, updated catch limits will be published as soon as possible in the 2015 fishing year to reflect the final sector rosters as of May 1, 2015. Sector specific allocations for each stock can be found in the proposed rule for 2015 Sector Operations Plans and Contracts.

    Common Pool Total Allowable Catches

    The common pool sub-ACL for each stock (except for SNE/MA winter flounder, windowpane flounder, ocean pout, Atlantic wolffish, and Atlantic halibut) is further divided into trimester total allowable catches (TACs). The distribution of the common pool sub-ACLs into trimesters was adopted by Amendment 16 to the FMP and is based on recent landing patterns. Once we project that 90 percent of the trimester TAC is caught for a stock, the trimester TAC area for that stock is closed for the remainder of the trimester to all common pool vessels fishing with gear capable of catching the pertinent stock. Any uncaught portion of the TAC in Trimester 1 or Trimester 2 will be carried forward to the next trimester. Overages of the Trimester 1 or Trimester 2 TAC will be deducted from the Trimester 3 TAC. Any overages of the total common pool sub-ACL will be deducted from the following fishing year's common pool sub-ACL for that stock. Uncaught portions of the Trimester 3 TAC may not be carried over into the following fishing year. Table 8 summarizes the common pool trimester TACs proposed in this action.

    Incidental catch TACs are also specified for certain stocks of concern (i.e., stocks that are overfished or subject to overfishing) for common pool vessels fishing in the special management programs (i.e., special access programs (SAPs) and the Regular B Days-at-Sea (DAS) Program), in order to limit the catch of these stocks under each program. Tables 9 through 11 summarize the proposed Incidental Catch TACs for each stock and the distribution of these TACs to each special management program.

    Closed Area I Hook Gear Haddock Special Access Program

    Overall fishing effort by both common pool and sector vessels in the Closed Area I Hook Gear Haddock SAP is controlled by an overall TAC for GB haddock, which is the target species for this SAP. The maximum amount of GB haddock that may be caught in any fishing year is based on the amount allocated to this SAP for the 2004 fishing year (1,130 mt), and adjusted according to the growth or decline of the western GB haddock biomass in relationship to its size in 2004. Based on this formula, the proposed GB Haddock TAC for this SAP is 2,448 mt for the 2015 fishing year. Once this overall TAC is caught, the Closed Area I Hook Gear Haddock SAP will be closed to all groundfish vessels for the remainder of the fishing year.

    Table 5—Proposed Fishing Year 2015 Catch Limits [mt, live weight] Stock Total ACL Total groundfish fishery Preliminary sector Preliminary common pool Recreational fishery Midwater trawl fishery Scallop fishery Small-mesh fisheries State waters sub-component Other sub-component GB Cod 1,886 1,787 1,753 34 20 79 GOM Cod 366 328 202 5 121 26 13 GB Haddock 23,204 21,759 21,603 156 227 244 975 GOM Haddock 1,375 1,329 949 9 372 14 11 21 GB Yellowtail Flounder 240 195 192 3 38 5 na 2 SNE/MA Yellowtail Flounder 666 557 457 102 66 14 28 CC/GOM Yellowtail Flounder 524 458 442 16 38 27 American Plaice 1,470 1,408 1,381 27 31 31 Witch Flounder 751 610 598 12 23 117 GB Winter Flounder 1,952 1,891 1,876 15 na 60 GOM Winter Flounder 489 392 375 18 87 10 SNE/MA Winter Flounder 1,607 1,306 1,149 157 117 184 Redfish 11,393 11,034 10,974 60 120 239 White Hake 4,484 4,343 4,311 32 47 94 Pollock 15,878 13,720 13,628 92 996 1,162 N. Windowpane Flounder 144 98 na 98 2 44 S. Windowpane Flounder 527 102 na 102 183 55 186 Ocean Pout 220 195 na 195 2 24 Atlantic Halibut 97 64 na 64 30 3 Atlantic Wolffish 65 62 na 62 1 3 Table 6—Proposed Fishing Year 2016 Catch Limits [mt, live weight] Stock Total ACL Total groundfish fishery Preliminary sector Preliminary common pool Recreational fishery Midwater trawl fishery Scallop fishery Small-mesh fisheries State waters sub-component Other sub-component GOM Cod 366 328 202 5 121 26 13 GOM Haddock 1,675 1,620 1,155 12 453 16 13 26 GB Yellowtail Flounder 343 278 274 4 55 7 na 4 GB Winter Flounder 2,046 1,982 1,967 15 na 63 GOM Winter Flounder 489 392 375 18 87 10 White Hake 4,420 4,280 4,249 31 46 93 Pollock 15,878 13,720 13,628 92 996 1,162 Table 7—Proposed Fishing Year 2017 Catch Limits [mt, live weight] Stock Total ACL Total groundfish fishery Preliminary sector Preliminary common pool Recreational fishery Midwater trawl fishery State waters sub-component Other sub-component GOM Cod 366 328 202 5 121 26 13 GOM Haddock 2,009 1,943 1,386 14 543 20 15 31 GB Winter Flounder 2,117 2,051 2,035 16 na 65 GOM Winter Flounder 489 392 375 18 87 10 Pollock 15,878 13,720 13,628 92 996 1,162 Table 8—Proposed Fishing Years 2015-2017 Common Pool Trimester TACs [mt, live weight] Stock 2015 Trimester 1 Trimester 2 Trimester 3 2016 Trimester 1 Trimester 2 Trimester 3 2017 Trimester 1 Trimester 2 Trimester 3 GB Cod 8.6 12.7 13.1 GOM Cod 1.3 1.7 1.8 1.3 1.7 1.8 1.3 1.7 1.8 GB Haddock 42.0 51.3 62.2 GOM Haddock 2.56 2.47 4.46 3.1 3.0 5.4 3.7 3.6 6.5 GB Yellowtail Flounder 0.6 0.9 1.6 0.9 1.4 2.3 SNE/MA Yellowtail Flounder 21.4 37.7 42.8 CC/GOM Yellowtail Flounder 5.5 5.5 4.7 American Plaice 6.6 9.9 11.0 Witch Flounder 3.4 3.8 5.2 GB Winter Flounder 1.2 3.5 10.1 1.2 3.7 10.5 1.3 3.8 10.9 GOM Winter Flounder 6.5 6.6 4.4 6.5 6.6 4.4 6.5 6.6 4.4 Redfish 14.9 18.5 26.2 White Hake 12.0 9.8 9.8 11.9 9.7 9.7 Pollock 25.7 32.1 33.9 25.7 32.1 33.9 25.7 32.1 33.9 Note. An empty cell indicates that no catch limit has been set yet for these stocks. These catch limits will be set in a future management action. Table 9—Proposed Common Pool Incidental Catch TACs for Fishing Years 2015-2016 [mt, live weight] Stock Percentage of common pool sub-ACL 2015 2016 GB Cod 2 0.69 na GOM Cod 1 0.05 0.05 GB Yellowtail Flounder 2 0.06 0.09 CC/GOM Yellowtail Flounder 1 0.16 na American Plaice 5 1.37 na Witch Flounder 5 0.62 na SNE/MA Winter Flounder 1 1.57 na Table 10—Percentage of Incidental Catch TACs Distributed to Each Special Management Program Stock Regular B DAS program Closed area I hook gear haddock SAP Eastern US/CA haddock SAP GB Cod 50 16 34 GOM Cod 100 GB Yellowtail Flounder 50 50 CC/GOM Yellowtail Flounder 100 American Plaice 100 Witch Flounder 100 SNE/MA Winter Flounder 100 White Hake 100 Table 11—Proposed Fishing Years 2015-2016 Incidental Catch TACs for Each Special Management Program [mt, live weight] Stock Regular B DAS
  • program
  • 2015 2016 Closed area I hook gear
  • haddock SAP
  • 2015 2016 Eastern U.S./Canada haddock SAP 2015 2016
    GB Cod 0.34 na 0.11 na 0.23 na GOM Cod 0.05 0.05 GB Yellowtail Flounder 0.03 0.05 0.03 0.05 CC/GOM Yellowtail Flounder 0.16 na American Plaice 1.37 na Witch Flounder 0.62 na SNE/MA Winter Flounder 1.57 na
    5. Gulf of Maine Cod Protection Measures

    This action proposes to re-configure the GOM rolling closures and prohibit possession of GOM cod for the recreational fishery. A summary of the proposed changes to the GOM rolling closures is provided in Table 12. This action would add closures in the winter (November-January), May, and June, and would remove all closures in April, and one closure in June. Additionally, this action proposes to remove a number of other rolling closures, although sector vessels have been exempt from these areas since 2010.

    These closures would apply to all commercial vessels, except for commercial vessels that are fishing with exempted gear, as defined in § 648.2, or in an exempted fishery. Exempted gear is deemed to be not capable of catching groundfish and currently includes: Pelagic hook and line, pelagic longline, spears, rakes, diving gear, cast nets, tongs, harpoons, weirs, dipnets, stop nets, pound nets, pelagic gillnets, pots and traps, shrimp trawls (with a properly configured grate), and surfclam and ocean quahog dredges. Based on the current list of approved exempted fisheries defined in § 648.80, the proposed protection closures would not apply to vessels fishing in the Midwater Trawl Gear Exempted Fishery, the Purse Seine Gear Exempted Fishery, the Raised Footrope Trawl Exempted Whiting Fishery, the Small Mesh Area II Exemption Area, or the Scallop Dredge Exemption Area. As adopted in Amendment 16 to the FMP, sector vessels would continue to be exempt from the closures in March and October. The March and October closures would also not apply to Handgear A vessels, regardless of whether the vessel was fishing in the common pool or in a sector.

    The proposed GOM cod closures are intended to protect spawning GOM cod, reduce fishing mortality on GOM cod, and provide additional fishing opportunities for groundfish vessels to target healthy groundfish stocks. These closures are an additional tool the Council is using to protect GOM cod, and are complementary to its requirement for setting catch limits that will prevent overfishing and help rebuild the stock. Based on the available information, and as noted in the Council's analysis, protecting spawning GOM cod could help improve the chances of successful spawning events, and, as a result, help prevent failures of future year classes. Ultimately, the biological objectives of these closures are intended to help prevent further biomass declines and improve the likelihood of rebuilding GOM cod. As part of the proposed measure, the Council also adopted a provision that the closures would be subject to review when the GOM cod spawning stock biomass reaches the minimum biomass threshold (50 percent of SSBMSY).

    Table 12—Proposed Re-Configuration of the Gulf of Maine Rolling Closures Month Current GOM rolling closures 1 Proposed GOM cod protection closures May All Vessels: 132, 133, 138, 139, 140 All Vessels: 125 north of 42°20′, 132, 133, 138, 139, 140. Non-Sector Vessels: 124, 125, 129, 130, 131, 136, 137, 138 June All Vessels: 139, 140, 145, 146, 147 All Vessels: 125 north of 42°20′, 132, 139, 140, 146, 147. Non-Sector Vessels: 132, 133, 142, 143, 144 July None None. August None None. September None None. October Non-Sector Vessels: 124, 125 Non-Sector Vessels: 124, 125. November Non-Sector Vessels: 124, 125 All Vessels: Portion of 124, 125. December None All Vessels: Portion of 124, 125. January None All Vessels: Portion of 124, 125. February None None. March Non-Sector Vessels: 121, 122, 123 Non-Sector Vessels: 121, 122, 123. April All Vessels: 124, 125, 132, 133 None. Non-Sector Vessels: 121, 122, 123, 129, 130, 131 1 This table includes the current rolling closures implemented in the FMP; it does not incorporate area closures that NMFS implemented for 2014 under emergency authority. Note. Handgear A vessels are exempt from the same closures as sector vessels.

    Recreational vessels would not be subject to the GOM cod protection closures, and could continue to fish in these areas. Instead, this action proposes to prohibit possession of GOM cod for all private and party/charter recreational vessels. This is intended to provide recreational vessels the opportunity to target other healthy groundfish stocks, while reducing the incentive to target GOM cod in order to reduce fishing mortality on this stock by the recreational fishery. Recent catch projections indicate that the recreational fishery would still exceed its allocation for GOM cod in the 2015 fishing year due to bycatch, even with the prohibition on possession that is proposed in this action. Therefore, in a separate rulemaking, we will implement additional recreational measures under our discretionary authority to implement proactive accountability measures to help ensure the recreational fishery does not exceed its allocation in 2015.

    BILLING CODE 3510-22-P EP09MR15.005 BILLING CODE 3510-22-C Summary of NMFS Concerns on Gulf of Maine Cod Protection Measures

    We have some concerns for the proposed re-configuration of the GOM area closures. First, the supporting analysis prepared by the Council for this action indicates that the added closures in May and June may provide little additional benefit because little fishing activity has typically occurred in these times and areas. Additionally, the areas proposed to be open in April are historically important areas for spawning cod, and some information indicates the core of the GOM cod stock is concentrated in these areas. The analysis indicates that removing April closures could allow fishing effort to shift into areas of high cod concentration when vessels are targeting other stocks, like GOM haddock. Given the expected low GOM cod allocation, it is difficult to predict how groundfish vessels will operate in 2015, and any potential effort shifts may be minimal with such a restrictive GOM cod catch limit. However, if the removal of the April rolling closures does result in an effort shift into areas of high cod concentration, benefits from additional winter closures could be diminished if fishing mortality increases in April.

    The current April rolling closures provide some secondary benefits for other groundfish stocks that spawn in the spring. Framework 53 analysis indicates that removing April closures would provide less spawning protection for GOM winter flounder, CC/GOM yellowtail flounder, plaice, and GOM haddock. Although this spawning protection is a secondary benefit of the current April closures, the expected impact should be considered carefully. For a number of these stocks, the most recent stock assessment information indicates biomass declines. Also important to note is that, in 2014, we implemented the second 10-year rebuilding program for plaice due to inadequate rebuilding progress.

    The Council's analysis also summarizes some of the available research on GOM cod spawning. This information indicates that fishing on spawning cod may affect spawning activity beyond just the removal of fish. Fishing activity may disrupt spawning signals, and, as a result, can reduce spawning success. In addition, because spawning fish are stressed, these fish may be less likely to survive capture and release than under normal conditions, or may have reduced egg production following release. Considering all of this supporting information, allowing exempted fisheries and recreational vessels in these protection closures could diminish the additional spawning protection that these closures are intended to provide.

    Based on all of these considerations, we are concerned that the proposed protection closures may not fully meet the Council's intended objectives. The Council initially identified enhancing spawning protection as a goal for the Omnibus Habitat Amendment 2. However, because this amendment was not anticipated to be completed quickly enough, and due to concern for the low GOM cod stock size, the Council prioritized GOM cod spawning protection for Framework 53. During the development of Framework 53, the Council identified additional objectives for the GOM area closures beyond just spawning protection. However, complete analysis of the impacts of the proposed protection closures was not available when the Council took final action on Framework 53. As a result, it may have been difficult for the Council to evaluate the likelihood that the proposed measures would meet its intended objectives. Because much of the supporting analysis was not available when the Council adopted the proposed protection closures, we are requesting specific comments on the extent to which the proposed closures would fully meet all of the Council's stated objectives, as well as the biological tradeoffs related to the proposed changes to the GOM area closures for winter (November-January) and April.

    Although we have some concerns, largely for the removal of April closures, this action would provide important spawning protection during the winter, which the status quo measures do not provide. The Council's analysis indicates that the proposed changes would protect an additional 35 percent of the winter spawning biomass and 8 percent less of the spring spawning biomass. Available information does not indicate whether the winter or spring spawning biomass is more important relative to overall contribution to cod recruitment. However, some analysis indicates that the winter spawning component may be much smaller than the spring component, although the reasons for this are unknown. The available GOM cod spawning research suggests that once a specific spawning aggregation is lost, there is little indication that the aggregation could recolonize. As a result, the proposed winter closures could provide essential protection for the winter component, and help prevent further depletion of this component. At least in the short-term, the addition of winter closures proposed in this action appears to be more beneficial than the status quo measures.

    Further, the economic impacts analysis of the proposed closures indicates that these measures may provide some additional economic opportunities compared to the existing rolling closures. Although the analysis indicates that the economic benefits may be small, we recognize that, given the low catch limits for many groundfish stocks, even small increases in fishing opportunities are meaningful. This is particularly true for small vessels and the ports that would be most impacted by this action, and the proposed closures could help increase the viability of some inshore vessels. As noted in the analysis, it is difficult to quantify the economic impacts of the proposed protection closures. As a result, we are requesting specific comment on these anticipated impacts, including the economic trade-offs that would occur under the proposal to close new areas in the winter and open previously closed areas in April.

    The proposed protection measures include a provision that the closures would be subject to review once the minimum biomass threshold for GOM cod is met. However, the Council could review and modify these closures at any time. For all of the reasons mentioned above, protecting spawning aggregations is one way to help prevent further biomass declines and improve the likelihood of rebuilding GOM cod. Given the poor status of GOM cod, and the possibility of additional research on GOM cod spawning, reviewing these closures as additional stock information becomes available is likely more important than waiting for the minimum biomass threshold to be met.

    Assessment updates for all 20 groundfish stocks are scheduled for September 2015. If the results of the next GOM cod assessment indicate the stock has declined further, then additional action may be warranted. The Council would likely need to review the GOM cod protection measures, and any updated stock information, and consider expanding protection closures, particularly for the month of April, or other areas of high cod concentration.

    6. Default Catch Limits Mechanism for Setting Default Catch Limits

    This action proposes to establish a mechanism for setting default catch limits in the event a future management action is delayed. If final catch limits have not been implemented by the start of the fishing year on May 1, then default catch limits would be implemented. The default catch limits would be set at 35 percent of the previous year's catch limit, as long as this value does not exceed the Council's recommendation for the upcoming fishing year. If this value exceeds the Council's recommendation, the default catch limits would be reduced to an amount equal to the Council's recommendation for the upcoming fishing year.

    The default catch limits would be in place from May 1 through July 31, unless a final rule including permanent catch limits is implemented prior to July 31 that replaces the default catch limits. If final catch limits are not implemented by the end of the default specifications period, then no catch limits would be in place beginning on August 1. Under this scenario, commercial groundfish vessels would be unable to fish until final catch limits and allocations were implemented for the fishing year. All catch occurring while default catch limits are in place would be attributed to the appropriate fishery allocation and the final catch limits for the fishing year.

    The default catch limits would be distributed to the various components of the fishery based on the distribution adopted by the Council for the previous fishing year. Additionally, this proposed measure would not change any of the existing accountability measures for any fishery. For example, if a sector catches its entire allocation of redfish specified for the default specifications time period, it would be prohibited from fishing in the redfish stock area until final specifications were set, or it received additional allocation for this stock. The midwater trawl fishery is the only non-groundfish fishery with an inseason accountability measure for its allocation of GOM and GB haddock. When the GOM or GB haddock catch cap specified for the default specifications period is caught, the directed herring fishery would be closed for all herring vessels fishing with midwater trawl gear for the remainder of the default specifications time period, unless final specifications were set prior to July 31. For other non-groundfish fisheries that receive an allocation (e.g., scallop, small-mesh), this proposed measure would not affect current operations because these fisheries do not have inseason accountability measures.

    If default catch limits are implemented for any fishing year, groundfish sectors would not be subject to the 20 percent holdback of the prior year's allocation. This holdback provision was implemented in Amendment 16 to the FMP to allow time for processing end-of-year transfers and determine whether any overage reductions are necessary. However, the holdback provision would not be necessary under default catch limits because additional precaution has already been built in with the 65-percent reduction from the previous year's catch limits.

    Although most FMPs implement default catch limits that are equal to the previous year's catch limits, a more precautionary approach is proposed for default groundfish catch limits. In recent years, there have been a number of substantial reductions in groundfish catch limits, up to 80 percent. Given the frequency of large reductions, default catch limits equal to the previous year's catch limits could increase the risk of overfishing during the time period which default catch limits are implemented. As a result, reducing the default catch limits from the previous year's catch limits would help ensure that overfishing does not occur during the default time period.

    This measure is largely intended to prevent disruption to the groundfish fishery in the event a management action is delayed. Sector vessels are not allowed to fish in a stock area unless their sector has received an allocation for the respective stock. As a result, if catch limits are not implemented by the start of the groundfish fishing year on May 1 in any year, then sector vessels would not be allowed to fish. This would cause severe disruption to the groundfish fishery and could result in foregone yield. Any revenue reductions that may occur during a gap in specifications could worsen the severe economic impacts that have resulted from recent groundfish catch limit reductions.

    Default Catch Limits for Fishing Year 2016

    Groundfish assessment updates are anticipated in September 2015, and these assessments are expected to be used to set catch limits for the 2016 fishing year beginning on May 1, 2016. However, due to the timing of these assessments, the Council's management action that will adopt the catch limits for the 2016 fishing year is not expected to be completed in time to be implemented by May 1, 2016. As a result, in conjunction with the default specifications process proposed in Framework 53, this action also proposes default limits for 2016 that would become effective May 1, 2016, unless otherwise replaced by final specifications. Default catch limits are proposed only for those groundfish stocks that would not have final specifications in place for 2016, absent another management action. The default catch limits proposed in this action are provided in Tables 13 and 14. If these default catch limits exceed the Council's recommendation for fishing year 2016, then they would be adjusted, as necessary, in a future action prior to May 1, 2016.

    Table 13—Fishing Year 2016 Default Specifications [mt, live weight] Stock U.S. ABC Total ACL Groundfish sub-ACL Preliminary sector sub-ACL Preliminary common pool sub-ACL Midwater trawl fishery GB Cod 693 660 625 614 12 GB Haddock 8,528 8,121 7,616 7,563 53 79 SNE/MA Yellowtail Flounder 245 232 151 124 27 CC/GOM Yellowtail Flounder 192 184 161 155 5 American Plaice 540 514 492 483 9 Witch Flounder 274 263 213 209 4 SNE/MA Winter Flounder 587 563 457 402 56 Redfish 4,191 3,988 3,862 3,846 16 N. Windowpane Flounder 53 50 35 na 35 S. Windowpane Flounder 192 184 36 na 36 Ocean Pout 82 77 68 na 68 Atlantic Halibut 35 34 22 na 22 Atlantic Wolffish 25 23 22 na 22 Table 14—Fishing Year 2016 Default Common Pool Trimester Total Allowable Catches [mt, live weight] Stock Trimester 1 Trimester 2 Trimester 3 GB Cod 3.0 4.4 4.5 GB Haddock 14.2 17.4 21.1 SNE/MA Yellowtail Flounder 5.7 10.1 11.5 CC/GOM Yellowtail Flounder 1.9 1.9 1.6 American Plaice 2.2 3.3 3.7 Witch Flounder 1.2 1.3 1.8 Redfish 4.0 5.0 7.1 7. Sector Carryover Proposed Change to Sector Carryover Provision

    This action proposes to modify the provision that allows sectors to carryover unused allocations from the previous year, which was initially implemented in Amendment 16 to the FMP. Currently, sectors can carry over up to 10 percent of their unused allocation into the next fishing year. However, this action proposes to reduce the maximum available carryover possible if up to 10 percent of the unused sector sub-ACL, plus the total ACL for the upcoming fishing year, exceeds the ABC. This proposed change does not modify any other part of the carryover provisions previously implemented.

    The proposed change is in response to a recent Court ruling in Conservation Law Foundation v. Pritzker, et al. (Case No. 1:13-CV-0821-JEB) that determined sector carryover combined with the total ACL for the upcoming fishing year, or total potential catch, could not exceed the ABC. Previously, under the sector carryover provision adopted in Amendment 16, any available sector carryover that was caught was not counted against the ACLs, or the sector's allocation, in determining whether accountability measures would be implemented. However, during the development of catch limits for the 2013 fishing year, it became apparent that, if carryover (up to 10 percent of 2012 sector allocation) was caught in conjunction with the much lower catch limits being put in place for 2013, overages of the ACL, ABC, and, for one stock the OFL, would occur. As a result, we implemented a rule in May 2013, under our authority specified in section 305(d) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, to clarify how sector carryover catch would be counted in evaluating if accountability measures were triggered because ACLs had been exceeded (78 FR 26172; May 3, 2013 and 78 FR 53363; August 29, 2013).

    This measure is intended to reduce the risk of catches exceeding the ABCs that the SSC recommends. Although our rule clarified that sectors would be held accountable for all carryover caught for fishing years 2014 and beyond, we did not adjust the provision that allows sectors to carryover up to 10 percent of their unused allocations into the following fishing year. As a result, “total potential catch” could exceed the ABC, although accountability measures would still have been implemented if an overage occurred. However, consistent with the court ruling, this action proposes to reduce the maximum available carryover down from 10 percent to ensure that total potential catch does not exceed the ABC. For example, if 10 percent of sector carryover from the previous year plus the total ACL for the upcoming year was expected to exceed the ABC by 50 mt, then we would reduce the available carryover for each sector. The overall reduction of available carryover would be equal to 50 mt, and this amount would be applied to each sector proportional to the total PSCs of the vessels/permits enrolled in the sector.

    Sector Carryover From Fishing Year 2014 to 2015

    Based on the catch limits proposed in Framework 53, we evaluated whether the total potential catch in fishing year 2015 would exceed the proposed ABC if sectors carried over the maximum 10 percent of unused allocation allowed from 2014 to 2015 (Table 15). Under this scenario, total potential catch would exceed the 2015 ABC for all groundfish stocks, except for GOM haddock. As a result, we expect we will need to adjust the maximum amount of unused allocation that a sector can carry forward from 2014 to 2015 (down from 10 percent). However, it is possible that not all sectors will have 10 percent of unused allocation at the end of the 2014 fishing year. We will make the final adjustment to the maximum carryover possible for each sector based on final 2014 catch for the sectors, each sector's total unused allocation, and proportional to the cumulative PSCs of vessels/permits participating in the sector. We will announce this adjustment as close to May 1, 2015, as possible.

    Based on the proposed ABCs, the de minimis carryover amount for the 2015 fishing year will be set at the default one percent of the 2015 overall sector sub-ACL. The overall de minimis amount will be applied to each sector based on the cumulative PSCs of vessels/permits participating in that sector. If the overall ACL for any allocated stock is exceeded for the 2015 fishing year, the allowed carryover harvested by a sector, minus its specified de minimis amount, will be counted against its allocation to determine whether an overage, subject to an accountability measure, occurred.

    Table 15—Evaluation of Maximum Carryover Allowed From Fishing Year 2014 to 2015 [mt, live weight] Stock 2015 U.S. ABC 2015 Total ACL Potential carryover (10% of 2014 Sector sub-ACL) Total potential catch (2015 total ACL + potential carryover) Difference
  • between total
  • potential catch
  • and ABC
  • GB Cod 1,980 1,886 174 2,060 80 GOM Cod 386 366 81 447 61 GB Haddock 24,366 23,204 1,705 24,909 543 GOM Haddock 1,454 1,375 43 1,418 −36 SNE Yellowtail Flounder 700 666 46 712 12 CC/GOM Yellowtail Flounder 548 524 46 570 22 Plaice 1,544 1,470 136 1,605 61 Witch Flounder 783 751 60 811 28 GB Winter Flounder 2,010 1,952 336 2,287 277 GOM Winter Flounder 510 489 68 558 48 SNE/MA Winter Flounder 1,676 1,607 106 1,714 38 Redfish 11,974 11,393 1,052 12,445 471 White Hake 4,713 4,484 425 4,909 196 Pollock 16,600 15,878 1,314 17,192 592 Note. Carryover of GB yellowtail flounder is not allowed because this stock is jointly managed with Canada.
    8. 2015 Annual Measures Under Regional Administrator Authority

    The FMP gives us authority to implement certain types of management measures for the common pool fishery, the U.S./Canada Management Area, and Special Management Programs on an annual basis, or as needed. This proposed rule includes a description of these management measures that are being considered for the 2015 fishing year in order to provide an opportunity for the public to comment on whether the proposed measures are appropriate. These measures are not part of Framework 53, and were not specifically proposed by the Council. We are proposing them in conjunction with Framework 53 measures in this action for expediency purposes, and because they relate to the catch limits proposed in Framework 53.

    Common Pool Trip Limits

    Tables 16 and 17 provide a summary of the current common pool trip limits for fishing year 2014 and the trip limits proposed for fishing year 2015. The proposed 2015 trip limits were developed after considering changes to the common pool sub-ACLs and sector rosters from 2014 to 2015, proposed trimester TACs for 2015, catch rates of each stock during 2014, and other available information.

    The default cod trip limit is 300 lb (136 kg) for Handgear A vessels and 75 lb (34 kg) for Handgear B vessels. If the GOM or GB cod landing limit for vessels fishing on a groundfish DAS drops below 300 lb (136 kg), then the respective Handgear A cod trip limit must be reduced to the same limit. Similarly, the Handgear B trip limit must be adjusted proportionally (rounded up to the nearest 25 lb (11 kg)) to the DAS limit. This action proposes a GOM cod landing limit of 50 lb (23 kg) per DAS for vessels fishing on a groundfish DAS, which is 85 percent lower than the default limit specified in the regulations for these vessels (800 lb (363 kg) per DAS). As a result, the proposed Handgear A trip limit for GOM cod is reduced to 50 lb (23 kg) per trip, and the proposed Handgear B trip limit for GOM cod is reduced proportionally to 25 lb (11 kg) per trip.

    Vessels with a Small Vessel category permit can possess up to 300 lb (136 kg) of cod, haddock, and yellowtail, combined, per trip. For fishing year 2015, we are proposing that the maximum amount of GOM cod and haddock (within the 300-lb (136-kg) trip limit) be set equal to the possession limits applicable to multispecies DAS vessels (see Table 16). This adjustment is necessary to ensure that the trip limit applicable to the Small Vessel category permit is consistent with reductions to the trip limits for other common pool vessels, as described above.

    Table 16—Proposed Fishing Year 2015 Common Pool Trip Limits Stock Current 2014 trip limit Proposed 2015 trip limit GB Cod (outside Eastern U.S./Canada Area) 2,000 lb (907 kg)/DAS, up to 20,000 lb (9,072 kg)/trip GB Cod (inside Eastern U.S./Canada Area) 500 lb (227 kg)/DAS, up to 5,000 lb (2,268 kg)/trip 100 lb (45 kg)/DAS, up to 500 lb (227 kg)/trip. GOM Cod 200 lb (91 kg)/trip 50 lb (23 kg)/DAS, up to 200 lb (91 kg)/trip. GB Haddock 10,000 lb (4,536 kg)/trip 25,000 lb (11,340 kg)/trip. GOM Haddock 25 lb (11 kg)/trip 50 lb (23 kg)/DAS, up to 200 lb (91 kg)/trip. GB Yellowtail Flounder 100 lb (45 kg)/trip SNE/MA Yellowtail Flounder 250 lb (113 kg)/DAS, up to 500 lb (227 kg)/trip 2,000 lb (907 kg)/DAS, up to 6,000 lb (2,722 kg)/trip. CC/GOM Yellowtail Flounder 1,000 lb (454 kg)/trip 1,500 lb (680 kg)/DAS up to 3,000 lb (1,361 kg)/trip. American plaice Unlimited Witch Flounder 500 lb (227 kg)/trip 1,000 lb (454 kg)/trip. GB Winter Flounder 1,000 lb (454 kg)/trip GOM Winter Flounder 1,000 lb (454 kg)/trip SNE/MA Winter Flounder 3,000 lb (1,361 kg)/DAS, up to 6,000 lb (2,722 kg)/trip Redfish Unlimited White hake 1,000 lb (454 kg)/trip 1,500 lb (680 kg)/trip. Pollock 10,000 lb (4,536 kg)/trip Atlantic Halibut 1 fish/trip Windowpane Flounder
  • Ocean Pout
  • Atlantic Wolffish
  • Possession Prohibited
    Table 17—Proposed Fishing Year 2015 Cod Trips Limits for Handgear A, Handgear B, and Small Vessel Category Permits Permit Current 2014 trip limit Proposed 2015 trip limit Handgear A GOM Cod 200 lb (91 kg)/trip 50 lb (23 kg)/trip. Handgear A GB Cod 300 lb (136 kg)/trip Handgear B GOM Cod 25 lb (11 kg)/trip 25 lb (11 kg)/trip. Handgear B GB Cod 75 lb (34 kg)/trip Small Vessel Category 300 lb (136 kg) of cod, haddock, and yellowtail flounder combined Maximum of 200 lb (91 kg) of GOM cod and 25 lb (11 kg) of GOM haddock within the 300-lb combined trip limit Maximum of 50 lb (23 kg) of GOM cod and 50 lb (23 kg) of GOM haddock within the 300-lb combined trip limit. Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder/Haddock Special Access Program

    This action proposes to allocate zero trips for common pool vessels to target yellowtail flounder within the Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder/Haddock SAP for fishing year 2015. Vessels could still fish in this SAP in 2015 to target haddock, but must fish with a haddock separator trawl, a Ruhle trawl, or hook gear. Vessels would not be allowed to fish in this SAP using flounder nets. This SAP is open from August 1, 2015, through January 31, 2016.

    We have the authority to determine the allocation of the total number of trips into the Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder/Haddock SAP based on several criteria, including the GB yellowtail flounder catch limit and the amount of GB yellowtail flounder caught outside of the SAP. The FMP specifies that no trips should be allocated to the Closed Area II Yellowtail Flounder/Haddock SAP if the available GB yellowtail flounder catch is insufficient to support at least 150 trips with a 15,000-lb (6,804-kg) trip limit (or 2,250,000 lb (1,020,600 kg). This calculation accounts for the projected catch from the area outside the SAP. Based on the proposed fishing year 2015 GB yellowtail flounder groundfish sub-ACL of 429,240 lb (194,700 kg), there is insufficient GB yellowtail flounder to allocate any trips to the SAP, even if the projected catch from outside the SAP area is zero. Further, given the low GB yellowtail flounder catch limit, catch rates outside of this SAP are more than adequate to fully harvest the 2015 GB yellowtail flounder allocation.

    9. Possible 2015 Northern Windowpane Flounder Accountability Measure

    If inseason catch estimates for the 2014 fishing year indicate that the total ACL has been exceeded for northern windowpane flounder, we are required to implement an accountability measure for fishing year 2015. As described below, inseason catch estimates do not indicate the total ACL has been exceeded yet; however, catch estimates are approaching the total ACL. In order to give notice to groundfish vessels as early as possible, we are announcing the possibility of an accountability measure being triggered for the 2015 fishing year and implemented through the final rule of this action. As additional catch estimates become available, we will update groundfish vessels. The final rule to this action will announce whether or not an accountability measure has been triggered.

    For data reported through February 24, 2015, the commercial groundfish fishery has caught an estimated 140 mt of northern windowpane flounder, which is 97 percent of the total ACL (144 mt). Fishing year 2014 catch reports can be found here: http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov/ro/fso/MultiMonReports.htm. With 2 months remaining in the fishing year, it is possible that catch could exceed the total ACL. However, northern windowpane flounder is a discard-only stock, so the current catch estimate could decrease if the discard rate substantially changes for the remainder of the 2014 fishing year.

    If an accountability measure is triggered as a result of a 2014 overage, common pool and sector vessels fishing on a groundfish trip with trawl gear will be required to use one of the approved selective gears when fishing in the AM areas (haddock separator trawl, Ruhle trawl, or rope separator trawl). There would be no restrictions on common pool or sector vessels fishing with longline or gillnet gear. In addition, because northern windowpane is not allocated to any non-groundfish fishery, the accountability measure would not affect any non-groundfish vessels. Based on the current catch estimates, it is not known which gear-restricted areas would be implemented, and this will depend on the magnitude of any overage. If the overage is less than 20 percent, only the small gear restricted area would be implemented; however, if the overage is more than 20 percent, the large gear restricted area would be implemented. An overview of the windowpane accountability measure can be found here: http://www.nero.noaa.gov/sfd/sfdmulti.html. As a reminder, sectors would not be able to request an exemption from these AMs.

    Current catch estimates indicate that fishing year 2014 catches of southern windowpane flounder are not likely to exceed the total ACL for this stock. As a result, we do not anticipate that any accountability measures would be implemented for southern windowpane flounder. However, this could change if catch estimates change dramatically for the remainder of the 2014 fishing year.

    10. Regulatory Corrections Under Regional Administrator Authority

    The following changes are being proposed to the regulations to correct references, inadvertent deletions, and other minor errors.

    In § 648.14(k)(7), the reference to the GOM Cod Spawning Protection Area (Whaleback) would be corrected. This change was overlooked in a previous FMP action.

    In § 648.14(k)(12) and (13), the introductory text would be revised to clarify that it is unlawful for any person to do any of the general restrictions listed in these paragraphs.

    In § 648.87(b)(1)(i)(C)(2), the reference to the sector AM provision would be corrected.

    In § 648.89(b)(1), this rule would remove an unnecessary acronym and add the default minimum size for cod caught inside the GOM Regulated Mesh Area to the table. Currently, this default minimum size is located in a separate paragraph, so this change is intended to improve readability for the public.

    In § 648.89(f)(1), this rule would remove reference to special provisions for recreational catch evaluation for fishing years 2010 and 2011. These provisions are no longer relevant, and so would be removed.

    In § 648.90(a)(2)(i), this rule would remove reference to a special provision implemented for the biennial review for 2008 and 2009. These provisions are no longer relevant, and so would be removed.

    In § 648.90(a)(2)(viii), this rule would correct a reference that was overlooked during the implementation of a previous FMP action.

    In § 648.90(a)(5)(i), this rule would correct a spelling error.

    Classification

    Pursuant to section 304(b)(1)(A) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the NMFS Assistant Administrator has made a preliminary determination that this proposed rule is consistent with Framework 53, other provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law. In making the final determination, NMFS will consider the data, views, and comments received during the public comment period.

    This proposed rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order (E.O.) 12866.

    This proposed rule does not contain policies with Federalism or “takings” implications as those terms are defined in E.O. 13132 and E.O. 12630, respectively.

    An Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) was prepared for this proposed rule, as required by section 603 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 603. The IRFA describes the economic impact that this proposed rule would have on small entities, including small businesses, and also determines ways to minimize these impacts. The IRFA includes this section of the preamble to this rule and analyses contained in Framework 53 and its accompanying EA/RIR/IRFA. A copy of the full analysis is available from the Council (see ADDRESSES). A summary of the IRFA follows.

    Statement of Objective and Need

    This action proposes management measures, including annual catch limits, for the multispecies fishery in order to prevent overfishing, rebuild overfished groundfish stocks, and achieve optimum yield in the fishery. A complete description of the action, why it is being considered, and the legal basis for this action are contained in Framework 53, and elsewhere in the preamble to this proposed rule, and are not repeated here.

    Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities To Which the Proposed Rule Would Apply

    The Small Business Administration defines a small business as one that is:

    • Independently owned and operated;

    • not dominant in its field of operation;

    • has annual receipts that do not exceed—

    ○ $20.5 million in the case of commercial finfish harvesting entities (NAICS 1 114111)

    1 The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy.

    ○ $5.5 million in the case of commercial shellfish harvesting entities (NAICS 114112)

    ○ $7.5 million in the case of for-hire fishing entities (NAICS 114119); or

    • has fewer than—

    ○ 500 employees in the case of fish processors

    ○ 100 employees in the case of fish dealers.

    This proposed rule impacts commercial and recreational fish harvesting entities engaged in the groundfish fishery, the small-mesh multispecies and squid fisheries, the midwater trawl herring fishery, and the scallop fishery. Individually-permitted vessels may hold permits for several fisheries, harvesting species of fish that are regulated by several different FMPs, even beyond those impacted by the proposed action. Furthermore, multiple-permitted vessels and/or permits may be owned by entities affiliated by stock ownership, common management, identity of interest, contractual relationships, or economic dependency. For the purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act analysis, the ownership entities, not the individual vessels, are considered to be the regulated entities.

    Ownership entities are defined as those entities with common ownership personnel as listed on the permit application. Only permits with identical ownership personnel are categorized as an ownership entity. For example, if five permits have the same seven persons listed as co-owners on their permit application, those seven persons would form one ownership entity, that hold those five permits. If two of those seven owners also co-own additional vessels, that ownership arrangement would be considered a separate ownership entity for the purpose of this analysis.

    On June 1 of each year, ownership entities are identified based on a list of all permits for the most recent complete calendar year. The current ownership data set used for this analysis is based on calendar year 2013 and contains average gross sales associated with those permits for calendar years 2011 through 2013. In addition to classifying a business (ownership entity) as small or large, a business can also be classified by its primary source of revenue. A business is defined as being primarily engaged in fishing for finfish if it obtains greater than 50 percent of its gross sales from sales of finfish. Similarly, a business is defined as being primarily engaged in fishing for shellfish if it obtains greater than 50 percent of its gross sales from sales of shellfish.

    A description of the specific permits that are likely to be impacted by this action is provided below, along with a discussion of the impacted businesses, which can include multiple vessels and/or permit types.

    Regulated Commercial Fish Harvesting Entities

    Table 18 describes the total number of commercial business entities potentially regulated by the proposed action. As of May 1, 2014, there were 1,386 commercial business entities potentially regulated by the proposed action. These entities participate in, or are permitted for, the groundfish, small-mesh multispecies, herring midwater trawl and scallop fisheries. For the groundfish fishery, the proposed action directly regulates potentially affected entities through catch limits and other management measures designed to achieve the goals and objectives of the FMP. For the non-groundfish fisheries, the proposed action includes allocations for groundfish stocks caught as bycatch in these fisheries. For each of these fisheries, there are accountability measures that are triggered if their respective allocations are exceeded. As a result, the likelihood of triggering an accountability measure is a function of changes to the ACLs each year.

    Table 18—Commercial Fish Harvesting Entities Regulated by the Proposed Action Type Total number Classified as small businesses Primarily finfish 813 813 Primarily shellfish 573 549 Total 1,386 1,362 Limited Access Groundfish Fishery

    The proposed action will directly impact entities engaged in the limited access groundfish fishery. The limited access groundfish fishery consists of those enrolled in the sector program and those in the common pool. Both sectors and the common pool are subject to catch limits, and accountability measures that prevent fishing in a respective stock area when the entire catch limit has been caught. Additionally, common pool vessels are subject to DAS restrictions and trip limits. All permit holders are eligible to enroll in the sector program; however, many vessels remain in the common pool because they have low catch histories of groundfish stocks, which translate into low PSCs. Low PSCs would limit a vessel's viability in the sector program. In general, businesses enrolled in the sector program rely more heavily on sales of groundfish species than vessels enrolled in the common pool.

    As of May 1, 2014 (beginning of fishing year 2014), there were 1,046 individual limited access permits. Of these, 613 were enrolled in the sector program, and 433 were in the common pool. For fishing year 2013, which is the most recent complete fishing year, 708 of these limited access permits had landings of any species, and 360 of these permits had landings of groundfish species.

    Of the 1,046 individual limited access multispecies permits potentially impacted by this action, there are 868 distinct ownership entities. Of these, 855 are categorized as small entities, and 13 are categorized as large entities. However, these totals may mask some diversity among the entities. Many, if not most, of these ownership entities maintain diversified harvest portfolios, obtaining gross sales from many fisheries and not dependent on any one. However, not all are equally diversified. This action is most likely to affect those entities that depend most heavily on sales from harvesting groundfish species. There are 114 entities that are groundfish-dependent, all of which are small, and all of which are finfish commercial harvesting businesses. Of these groundfish-dependent entities, 102 have some level of participation in the sector program, and 12 operate exclusively in the common pool.

    Limited Access Scallop Fisheries

    The limited access scallop fisheries include Limited Access (LA) scallop permits and Limited Access General Category (LGC) scallop permits. LA scallop businesses are subject to a mixture of DAS restrictions and dedicated area trip restrictions. LGC scallop businesses are able to acquire and trade LGC scallop quota, and there is an annual cap on quota/landings. The scallop fishery receives an allocation for GB and SNE/MA yellowtail flounder and southern windowpane flounder. If these allocations are exceeded, accountability measures are implemented in a subsequent fishing year. These accountability measures close certain areas of high groundfish bycatch to scallop fishery, and the length of the closure depends on the magnitude of the overage.

    Of the total commercial business entities potentially affected by this action (1,386), there are 171 scallop fishing entities. The majority of these entities are defined as shellfish businesses (167). However, four of these entities are defined as finfish businesses, all of which are small. Of the total scallop fishing entities, 149 entities are classified as small entities.

    Midwater Trawl Fishery

    There are four categories of permits for the herring fishery. Three of these permit categories are limited access, and vary based on the allowable herring possession limits and areas fished. The fourth permit category is open access. Although there is a large number of open access permits issued each year, this category is subject to fairly low possession limits for herring, account for a very small amount of the herring landings, and derive relatively little revenue from the fishery. The midwater trawl herring fishery receives an allocation of GOM and GB haddock. Once the entire allocation for either stock has been caught, the directed herring fishery is closed in the respective area for the remainder of the fishing year. Additionally, if the midwater trawl fishery exceeds its allocation, the overage is deducted from its allocation in the following fishing year.

    Of the total commercial business entities potentially regulated by this action (1,386), there are 71 herring fishing entities. Of these, 43 entities are defined as finfish businesses, all of which are small. There are 28 entities that are defined as shellfish businesses, and 21 of these are considered small. For the purposes of this analysis, squid is classified as shellfish. Thus, because there is some overlap with the herring and squid fisheries, it is likely that these shellfish entities derive most of their revenues from the squid fishery.

    Small-Mesh Fisheries

    The small-mesh exempted fishery allows vessels to harvest species in designated areas using mesh sizes smaller than the minimum mesh size required by the Northeast Multispecies FMP. To participate in the small-mesh multispecies (whiting) fishery, vessels must hold either a limited access multispecies permit or an open access multispecies permit. Limited access multispecies permit holders can only target whiting when not fishing under a DAS or a sector trip, and while declared out of the fishery. A description of limited access multispecies permits was provided above. Many of these vessels target both whiting and longfin squid on small-mesh trips, and therefore, most of them also have open access or limited access Squid, Mackerel, and Butterfish (SMB) permits. As a result, SMB permits were not handled separately in this analysis.

    The small-mesh fisheries receive an allocation of GB yellowtail flounder. If this allocation is exceeded, an accountability measure is triggered for a subsequent fishing year. The accountability measure requires small-mesh vessels to use selective trawl gear when fishing on GB. This gear restriction is only implemented for 1 year as a result of an overage, and is removed as long as additional overages do not occur.

    Of the total commercial harvesting entities potentially affected by this action, there are 570 small-mesh entities. However, this is not necessarily informative because not all of these entities are active in the whiting fishery. Based on the most recent information, 25 of these entities are considered active, with at least 1 lb of whiting landed. Of these entities, 7 are defined as finfish businesses, all of which are small. There are 18 entities that are defined as shellfish businesses, and 17 of these are considered small. Because there is overlap with the whiting and squid fisheries, it is likely that these shellfish entities derive most of their revenues from the squid fishery.

    Regulated Recreational Party/Charter Fishing Entities

    The charter/party permit is an open access groundfish permit that can be requested at any time, with the limitation that a vessel cannot have a limited access groundfish permit and an open access party/charter permit concurrently. There are no qualification criteria for this permit. Charter/party permits are subject to recreational management measures, including minimum fish sizes, possession restrictions, and seasonal closures.

    During calendar year 2014, 732 party/charter permits were issued. Of these, 267 party/charter permit holders reported catching and retaining any groundfish species on at least one for-hire trip. In addition, 204 party/charter permit holders reported catching at least one cod in 2014. While all party/charter fishing businesses that catch cod may be affected by the proposed action, the recreational groundfish fishery only receives an allocation for the GOM stock. Of the 204 party/charter businesses that reported to have caught cod, 106 reported catching cod in the GOM.

    A 2013 report indicated that, in the northeast United States, the mean gross sales was approximately $27,650 for a charter business and $13,500 for a party boat. Based on the available information, no business approached the $7.5 million large business threshold. Therefore, the 267 potentially regulated party/charter entities are all considered small businesses.

    Economic Impacts of the Proposed Measures and Alternatives and Measures Proposed To Mitigate Adverse Economic Impacts of the Proposed Action

    The economic impacts of each proposed measure are summarized below and are discussed in more detail in sections 7.4 and 8.11 of the Framework 53 Environmental Assessment. Although small entities are defined based on gross sales of ownership groups, not physical characteristics of the vessel, it is reasonable to assume that larger vessels are more likely to be owned by large entities. The proposed action is anticipated to result in aggregate gross revenue losses of approximately $4 million in fishing year 2015, compared to predicted revenues for fishing year 2014. These losses are expected to be absorbed primarily by small business. As a result, the proposed action has the potential to place small entities at a competitive disadvantage relative to large entities. This is mainly because large entities may have more flexibility to adjust to, and accommodate, the proposed measures. However, as discussed in more detail below, the additional declines in gross revenues expected as a result of the proposed measures would pose serious difficulties for groundfish vessels, owners, and crew. Additionally, some ports are predicted to have 50-80 percent declines in revenues from groundfish, and many vessels may be forced to relocate to Southern New England ports, or stop fishing altogether. The impacts of the proposed measures on shoreshide businesses are difficult to predict, but infrastructure and facilities supporting fishing operations may be forced to consolidate, or to stop operating.

    Status Determination Criteria

    The proposed action would change the GB yellowtail flounder status, relative to reference points, to unknown. Further, the proposed action would update the numerical estimates of the status determination criteria for GOM cod, GOM haddock, GOM winter flounder, GB winter flounder, and pollock. These updates would result in lower values of MSY. For some of these, the lower values of MSY would result in lower ACLs in the short-term, which is expected to have negative economic impacts (i.e., lower net revenues). However, the proposed updates to the status determination criteria are expected to have positive stock benefits by helping to prevent overfishing. Thus, in the long-term, the proposed action is expected to result in higher and more sustainable landings when compared to the No Action option. All of the proposed revisions would be based on the 2014 assessments for the respective stocks, and would be based on the best scientific information available.

    The only other alternative considered for this action was the No Action option, which would not update the status determination criteria for any groundfish stocks. This option would not incorporate the best scientific information available, and would not be consistent with Magnuson-Stevens Act requirements. This option would not have any immediate economic impacts. However if this option resulted in overfishing in the long-term, then it would have severe negative economic impacts for the fisheries affected by the proposed action.

    Annual Catch Limits

    The proposed action to set catch limits for eastern GB cod and haddock, GOM cod, GOM haddock, GB yellowtail flounder, GOM winter flounder, and pollock has the potential to impact groundfish (including small-mesh), midwater trawl, and scallop-dependent small entities.

    For the commercial groundfish fishery, the proposed catch limits are expected to result in a 7-percent decrease in gross revenues on groundfish trips, or $6 million, compared to predicted gross revenues for fishing year 2014. However, as described later, the aggregate predicted revenues for 2015 also depend on the combination of other measures that would be adopted in this action. The negative impacts of the proposed catch limits would not be uniformly distributed across vessels size classes. Vessels in the 30-50 ft (9-15 m) category are predicted to incur the largest decrease in gross revenues compared to 2014. Based only on the proposed catch limits, vessels in this category could incur revenue losses of 33 percent, and aggregate losses are expected to be more as a result of other measures proposed in this action. Larger vessel classes are not expected to be impacted as heavily by the catch limits proposed in this action. Based only on the proposed catch limits, 50-75 ft (15-23 m) vessels are predicted to incur losses of 16 percent, and the largest vessels (75 ft (23 m) and greater) are predicted to incur losses of 3 percent.

    On a home-port state level, New Hampshire would incur the largest decline (42 percent) in gross revenues from groundfish relative to 2014 as a result of the proposed catch limits. However, in combination with other measures proposed in this action this revenue decline could reach 50 percent. Maine and Massachusetts are also predicted to incur revenue losses of 16 percent and 8 percent, respectively, as a result of the proposed catch limits. Both New York and Rhode Island are expected to have small increases to gross revenues compared to 2014, up to a 33-percent and 29-percent increase, respectively. For major home ports, Gloucester, MA, is expected to have the largest decline in gross revenue (up to 28 percent). New Bedford, MA, is expected to be the least affected, with predicted revenue losses of 6 percent compared to 2014.

    For the scallop, midwater trawl, and small-mesh fisheries, the catch limits proposed in this action would include allocations for bycatch of groundfish species that occurs in these fisheries. The GB yellowtail flounder allocation for both the scallop and small-mesh fisheries would be a decrease in 2015 compared to 2014, which could increase the likelihood of triggering accountability measures. However, based on recent catch performance, accountability measures for GB yellowtail flounder have never been implemented for these fisheries as a result of an overage. Additionally, based on scallop management measures that are proposed for 2015, it is not expected that scallop effort will increase on GB relative to recent years. Although the proposed reduction for GB yellowtail flounder could have negative economic impacts, these fisheries are not expected to exceed their respective allocations in 2015, and no accountability measures are expected to be triggered.

    For the midwater trawl fishery, the proposed allocations for GOM and GB haddock are both expected to increase in 2015 relative to 2014. However, in fishing year 2013, the accountability measure for GB haddock was triggered. As a result, it is possible that this could occur again in 2015 depending on catch rates of herring and haddock. If the accountability measure for GB haddock is triggered, there could be negative economic impacts that result from foregone herring yield. The magnitude of these negative impacts would depend on how much herring quota remained at the time the accountability measure was implemented, and whether other herring management areas were open for directed herring fishing.

    The proposed catch limits are based on the latest stock assessment information, which is considered the best scientific information available, and the applicable requirements in the FMP and the Magnuson-Stevens Act. The only other possible alternatives to the catch limits proposed in this action that would mitigate negative impacts would be higher catch limits. Alternative, higher catch limits, however, are not permissible under the law because they would not be consistent with the goals and objectives of the FMP, or the Magnuson-Stevens Act, particularly the requirement to prevent overfishing. The Magnuson-Stevens Act, and case law, prevent implementation of measures that conflict with conservation requirements, even if it means negative impacts are not mitigated. The catch limits proposed in this action are the highest allowed given the best scientific information available, the SSC's recommendations, and requirements to end overfishing and rebuild fish stocks. The only other catch limits that would be legal would be lower than those proposed in this action, which would not mitigate the economic impacts of the proposed catch limits.

    Under the No Action option, no catch limits would be specified for the U.S./Canada stocks, GB winter flounder, GOM winter flounder, or pollock. In this scenario, sector vessels would be unable to fish in the respective stock areas at the start of the 2015 fishing year if no allocations were specified. This would result in greater negative economic impacts for vessels compared to the proposed action due to lost revenues as a result of being unable to fish. The proposed action is predicted to result in approximately $77 million in gross revenues from groundfish trips. All of this revenue would be lost if no action was taken to specify catch limits. Further, if no action was taken, the Magnuson-Stevens Act requirements to achieve optimum yield and consider the needs of fishing communities would be violated.

    If no catch limits were adopted in this action, it is not clear whether allocations for the scallop, midwater trawl, and small-mesh fisheries would be treated as zero. If so, then any catch of groundfish species would result in an overage of their allocations, which would trigger an accountability measure. This would have negative economic impacts on these fisheries, and the severity of these impacts would depend on the magnitude of the overage, and the corresponding accountability measures. However, if this is not treated as a sub-ACL of zero, then these fisheries would have unrestricted catch of groundfish species. Although this would have positive economic impacts for these fisheries in the short-term, any negative biological impacts that would result from unrestricted catch could result in lower catch limits in the future. This would have negative economic impacts on these fisheries, as well as the groundfish fishery.

    Gulf of Maine Cod Spawning Closures

    Currently, the only spawning closure for GOM cod is the Whaleback Protection Area. The proposed action (No action) is expected to have economic impacts that are neutral to the status quo for the commercial and recreational groundfish fisheries. However, when compared to other alternatives that were considered in this action, the proposed action is predicted to result in lower gross revenues for the commercial fishery compared to alternatives that would have adopted additional spawning closures. Some of the closures considered for this action would have closed large areas of the inshore GOM. Under this scenario, smaller inshore vessels would likely be unable to adapt to the closures and prosecute the GOM fishery due to vessel size limitations of fishing further offshore. As a result, these small inshore vessels that are unable to fish would lease quota to larger offshore vessels. The flow of quota to these larger offshore vessels, which are able to use it, is the primary reason why additional closures are predicted to result in higher gross revenues than the proposed action (No Action). However, although the aggregate gross revenues are predicted to be higher under additional closure scenarios, smaller inshore vessels would lose viability, and would likely not be able to prosecute the fishery during closures considered in this action. Thus, these alternatives would not have helped mitigate the anticipated disproportionate impact to small entities that would have resulted from these additional closures.

    For the recreational fishery, the economic impacts of other alternatives considered in this action would be extensive and severe. Approximately 75 percent of recreational landings of groundfish species are attributed to the spawning area closures that were considered in this action. Because the majority of landings are concentrated in these areas, it would likely be difficult for party/charter vessels to move to alternative areas to fish for groundfish species. Further, recreational vessels would likely not be able to adapt by fishing further offshore due to vessel size limitations. The total steam time to fish further offshore would also exceed the standard party/charter trip of 4 or 6 hours. Businesses that support the recreational fishing industry would also be largely impacted by the other closure alternatives that were considered in this action. As a result, the other alternatives to the proposed action would not mitigate economic impacts to the recreational fishing vessels and businesses.

    Prohibition on Possession of Gulf of Maine Cod for the Commercial Fishery

    Currently, sector vessels are required to land all legal-sized GOM cod, and common pool vessels are subject to trip limits. The proposed action (No Action) is expected to result in economic impacts that are neutral to the status quo. The economic impacts of the other alternative considered (prohibition on possession) is difficult to predict. Anticipated gross revenues are predicted to be slightly higher if zero possession was adopted compared to the No Action. However, this increase is expected to occur largely because zero possession may create an incentive to behave differently on observed and unobserved trips. On observed trips, vessels would likely achieve very low discard rates of GOM cod. However, on unobserved trips, vessels would seek to maximize revenue of all species, regardless of GOM cod catch. As a result, although predicted revenues would be higher under the zero possession alternative, this option could result in greater uncertainty in the catch estimates. In the long-term, unaccounted for fishing mortality could compromise stock rebuilding efforts, which would have negative economic impacts on the fishery. As a result, the alternative to adopt zero possession would not mitigate economic impacts relative to the proposed action (No Action).

    Gulf of Maine Cod Protection Measures

    This action proposes to re-configure the GOM rolling closures for commercial vessels and adopt a prohibition on possession of GOM cod for the recreational fishery. For the commercial groundfish fishery, the proposed action is expected to result in less severe negative economic impacts than the proposed catch limits alone. However, the negative economic impacts of the proposed action are expected to be greater compared to other alternatives considered that would adopt additional GOM cod spawning closures. As discussed above, the aggregate economic impacts of the spawning closures that were considered for this action are largely driven by the flow of quota from smaller inshore vessels, which would be unable to fish, to larger offshore vessels. Although the proposed action would have greater negative impacts compared to these other alternatives, the negative impacts to small vessels can be hidden by the predicted aggregate gross revenues. The proposed action would add closures in some months, while removing other closures, largely in the month of April. As a result, the proposed action is expected to improve the viability of the inshore fleet, and help mitigate the economic impacts of the proposed catch limits, compared to other closure alternatives considered in the action.

    The ability for the proposed action to provide increased spawning protection would largely dictate the long-term economic impacts of this action. If the proposed action enhances spawning protection, which translates into increased stock rebuilding, then the long-term economic impacts would be positive. However, if the proposed action does not enhance spawning protection or translate into increased stock rebuilding, then the long-term economic impacts would be similar to the status quo, or negative.

    For the recreational fishery, the proposed action (zero possession of GOM cod) is expected to result in negative economic opportunities due to the lost opportunity to land GOM cod. In the short-term, the proposed action would likely result in some recreational anglers not booking party/charter trips, which would have a negative impact on party/charter businesses, and other shoreside businesses that support the recreational fishery (e.g., bait and tackle shops, marinas). However, if the proposed action results in a decrease in fishing mortality relative to the status quo, then it could contribute to stock rebuilding. If this occurs, the long-term economic impacts of the proposed action would be positive. Further, in the long-term, the recreational fishery would benefit from the commercial closures discussed above if they successfully enhance spawning protection and increase stock rebuilding.

    Default Groundfish Specifications

    The proposed action would establish a mechanism for setting default catch limits in the event a management action is delayed. This is expected to have positive economic benefits, primarily for sector vessels, compared to the No Action option. Sector vessels are not allowed to fish without an allocation, so if no catch limits are specified for the fishing year, there would be severe negative economic impacts to the groundfish fishery. The proposed action is expected to avoid this situation that would otherwise occur if no action was taken.

    The No Action option would not establish a mechanism for setting default catch limits

    Sector Carryover

    The proposed action would modify the provision that allows sectors to carryover unused allocation from one fishing year into the next fishing year. The economic impacts of the proposed action are likely minor, and similar to the status quo. In any fishing year, if the maximum available sector carryover is reduced from 10 percent, this could have a negative economic impact. However, the proposed action does not modify the accountability measure for sectors that requires any overages, even overages that result from harvesting available carryover, must be paid back. As a result, the proposed action is not expected to largely change sector operations compared to the status quo.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 648

    Fisheries, Fishing, Recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

    Dated: March 3, 2015. Eileen Sobeck, Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, 50 CFR part 648 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 648—FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES 1. The authority citation for part 648 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    2. In § 648.2: a. Remove the definition for “Gillnet gear capable of catching multispecies (for purposes of the interim action)”; and b. Lift the suspension of the definition for “Gillnet gear capable of catching multispecies” and revise it to read as follows:
    § 648.2 Definitions.

    Gillnet gear capable of catching multispecies means all gillnet gear except pelagic gillnet gear specified at § 648.81(f)(5)(ii) and pelagic gillnet gear that is designed to fish for and is used to fish for or catch tunas, swordfish, and sharks.

    § 648.10 [Amended]
    3. In § 648.10, remove paragraphs (k)(3)(i)(A) and (B). 4. In § 648.14: a. Lift suspension of paragraphs (k)(6)(i)(E), (k)(7)(i)(A) and (B), (k)(12)(v)(E) and (F), (k)(12)(v)(K) and (L), (k)(13)(i)(D)(1) through (4), (k)(13)(ii)(B) through (D), (k)(13)(ii)(K) through (M), (k)(14)(viii), and (k)(16)(iii)(A) through (C), and (k)(16)(iii)(D) and (F); b. Remove paragraphs (k)(6)(i)(H), (k)(7)(i)(H) through (J), (k)(12)(v)(K) through (N), (k)(13)(i)(D)(5) and (6), (k)(13)(ii)(K) through (P), (k)(14)(xii), and (k)(16)(iii)(D) through (H); and c. Revise paragraphs (k)(6)(i)(E), (k)(7)(i)(A) and (B), (k)(12)(i) introductory text, (k)(13)(i) introductory text, (k)(16) introductory text, and (k)(16)(iii)(A) and (B) to read as follows:
    § 648.14 Prohibitions.

    (k) * * *

    (6) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (E) Use, set, haul back, fish with, possess on board a vessel, unless stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in § 648.2, or fail to remove, sink gillnet gear and other gillnet gear capable of catching NE multispecies, with the exception of single pelagic gillnets (as described in § 648.81(f)(5)(ii)), in the areas and for the times specified in § 648.80(g)(6)(i) and (ii), except as provided in § 648.80(g)(6)(i) and (ii), and § 648.81(f)(5)(ii), or unless otherwise authorized in writing by the Regional Administrator.

    (7) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (A) Enter, be on a fishing vessel in, or fail to remove gear from the EEZ portion of the areas described in § 648.81(d)(1), (e)(1), (f)(4), and (g)(1), except as provided in § 648.81(d)(2), (e)(2), (f)(5), (g)(2), and (i).

    (B) Fish for, harvest, possess, or land regulated species in or from the closed areas specified in § 648.81(a) through (f) and (n), unless otherwise specified in § 648.81(c)(2)(iii), (f)(5)(i), (f)(5)(iv), (f)(5)(viii) and (ix), (i), (n)(2)(i), or as authorized under § 648.85.

    (12) * * *

    (i) It is unlawful for any person to:

    (13) * * *

    (i) It is unlawful for any person to:

    (16) Recreational and charter/party requirements. It is unlawful for the owner or operator of a charter or party boat issued a valid Federal NE multispecies permit, or for a recreational vessel, as applicable, unless otherwise specified in § 648.17, to do any of the following if fishing under the recreational or charter/party regulations:

    (iii) * * *

    (A) Fail to comply with the applicable restrictions if transiting the GOM Regulated Mesh Area with cod on board that was caught outside the GOM Regulated Mesh Area.

    (B) Fail to comply with the requirements specified in § 648.81(f)(5)(v) when fishing in the areas described in § 648.81(d)(1), (e)(1), and (f)(4) during the time periods specified.

    5. In § 648.80: a. Lift suspension of paragraphs (a)(3)(vi), (a)(3)(viii), (a)(4)(iii), (a)(4)(ix), and (g)(6)(i) and (ii); b. Remove paragraphs (a)(3)(viii) and (x), (a)(4)(ix) and (x), and (g)(6)(iii) and (iv); and c. Revise paragraphs (g)(6)(i) and (ii) to read as follows:
    § 648.80 NE multispecies regulated mesh areas and restrictions on gear and methods of fishing.

    (g) * * *

    (6) * * *

    (i) Requirements for gillnet gear capable of catching NE multispecies to reduce harbor porpoise takes. In addition to the requirements for gillnet fishing identified in this section, all persons owning or operating vessels in the EEZ that fish with sink gillnet gear and other gillnet gear capable of catching NE multispecies, with the exception of single pelagic gillnets (as described in § 648.81(f)(5)(ii)), must comply with the applicable provisions of the Harbor Porpoise Take Reduction Plan found in § 229.33 of this title.

    (ii) Requirements for gillnet gear capable of catching NE multispecies to prevent large whale takes. In addition to the requirements for gillnet fishing identified in this section, all persons owning or operating vessels in the EEZ that fish with sink gillnet gear and other gillnet gear capable of catching NE multispecies, with the exception of single pelagic gillnets (as described in § 648.81(f)(5)(ii)), must comply with the applicable provisions of the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan found in § 229.32 of this title.

    6. In § 648.81: a. Lift suspension of paragraphs (d)(1) through (4), (e)(1) and (2), (f)(1) and (2), and (g)(1)(i), and (o)(1)(iii), (iv), and (viii) through (x); b. Remove paragraphs (d)(3) through (6), (e)(3) and (4), (g)(1)(vii), and (o); and c. Revise paragraphs (d)(2), (e)(2), (f), (g)(2) introductory text, (g)(2)(i), and (i) to read as follows:
    § 648.81 NE multispecies closed areas and measures to protect EFH.

    (d) * * *

    (2) Unless otherwise restricted under the EFH Closure(s) specified in paragraph (h) of this section, paragraph (d)(1) of this section does not apply to persons on fishing vessels or fishing vessels that meet the criteria in paragraphs (f)(5)(ii) through (v) of this section.

    (e) * * *

    (2) Unless otherwise restricted under paragraph (h) of this section, paragraph (e)(1) of this section does not apply to persons on fishing vessels or fishing vessels that meet the criteria in paragraphs (f)(5)(ii) through (v) of this section consistent with the requirements specified under § 648.80(a)(5).

    (f) GOM Cod Protection Closures. (1) Unless otherwise allowed in this part, no fishing vessel or person on a fishing vessel may enter, fish in, or be in; and no fishing gear capable of catching NE multispecies may be in, or on board a vessel in GOM Cod Protection Closures I through V as described, and during the times specified, in paragraphs (f)(4)(i) through (v) of this section.

    (2) Any vessel subject to a GOM Cod Protection Closure may transit the area, provided it complies with the requirements specified in paragraph (i) of this section.

    (3) The New England Fishery Management Council shall review the GOM Cod Protection Closures Areas specified in this section when the spawning stock biomass for GOM cod reaches the minimum biomass threshold specified for the stock (50 percent of SSBMSY).

    (4) GOM Cod Protection Closure Areas. Charts depicting these areas are available from the Regional Administrator upon request.

    (i) GOM Cod Protection Closure I. From May 1 through May 31, the restrictions specified in paragraphs (f)(1) and (2) of this section apply to GOM Cod Protection Closure I, which is the area bounded by the following coordinates connected in the order stated by straight lines:

    GOM Cod Protection Closure I [May 1-May 31] Point N. latitude W. longitude CPCI 1 43°30′ N (1) CPCI 2 43°30′ N 69°30′ W CPCI 3 43°00′ N 69°30′ W CPCI 4 43°00′ N 70°00′ W CPCI 5 42°30′ N 70°00′ W CPCI 6 42°30′ N 70°30′ W CPCI 7 42°20′ N 70°30′ W CPCI 8 42°20′ N (2) (3) CPCI 1 43°30′ N (1) (3) 1 The intersection of 43°30′ N latitude and the coastline of Maine. 2 The intersection of 42°20′ N latitude and the coastline of Massachusetts. 3 From Point 8 back to Point 1 following the coastline of the United States.

    (ii) GOM Cod Protection Closure II. From June 1 through June 30, the restrictions specified in paragraphs (f)(1) and (2) of this section apply to GOM Cod Protection Closure II, which is the area bounded by the following coordinates connected in the order stated by straight lines:

    GOM Cod Protection Closure II [June 1-June 30] Point N. latitude W. longitude CPCII 1 (1) 69°30′ W CPCII 2 43°30′ N 69°30′ W CPCII 3 43°30′ N 70°00′ W CPCII 4 42°30′ N 70°00′ W CPCII 5 42°30′ N 70°30′ W CPCII 6 42°20′ N 70°30′ W CPCII 7 42°20′ N (2) (3) CPCII 8 42°30′ N (4) (3) CPCII 9 42°30′ N 70°30′ W CPCII 10 43°00′ N 70°30′ W CPCII 11 43°00′ N (5) (6) CPCII 1 (1) 69°30′ W (6) 1 The intersection of 69°30′ W longitude and the coastline of Maine. 2 The intersection of 42°20′ N latitude and the coastline of Massachusetts. 3 From Point 7 to Point 8 following the coastline of Massachusetts. 4 The intersection of 42°30′ N latitude and the coastline of Massachusetts. 5 The intersection of 43°00′ N latitude and the coastline of New Hampshire. 6 From Point 11 back to Point 1 following the coastlines of New Hampshire and Maine.

    (iii) GOM Cod Protection Closure III. From November 1 through January 31, the restrictions specified in paragraphs (f)(1) and (2) of this section apply to GOM Cod Protection Closure III, which is the area bounded by the following coordinates connected in the order stated by straight lines:

    GOM Cod Protection Closure III [November 1-January 31] Point N. latitude W. longitude CPCIII 1 42°30′ N (1) CPCIII 2 42°30′ N 70°30′ W CPCIII 3 42°15′ N 70°30′ W CPCIII 4 42°15′ N 70°24′ W CPCIII 5 42°00′ N 70°24′ W CPCIII 6 42°00′ N (2) (3) CPCIII 1 42°30′ N (1) (3) 1 The intersection of 42°30′ N latitude and the Massachusetts coastline. 2 The intersection of 42°00′ N latitude and the mainland Massachusetts coastline at Kingston, MA. 3 From Point 6 back to Point 1 following the coastline of Massachusetts.

    (iv) GOM Cod Protection Closure IV. From October 1 through October 31, the restrictions specified in paragraphs (f)(1) and (2) of this section apply to GOM Cod Protection Closure IV, which is the area bounded by the following coordinates connected in the order stated by straight lines:

    GOM Cod Protection Closure IV [October 1-October 31] Point N. latitude W. longitude CPCIV 1 42°30′ N (1) CPCIV 2 42°30′ N 70°00′ W CPCIV 3 42°00′ N 70°00′ W CPCIV 4 42°00′ N (2) (3) CPCIV 1 42°30′ N (1) (3) 1 The intersection of 42°30′ N latitude and the Massachusetts coastline. 2 The intersection of 42°00′ N latitude and the mainland Massachusetts coastline at Kingston, MA. 3 From Point 4 back to Point 1 following the coastline of Massachusetts.

    (v) GOM Cod Protection Closure V. From March 1 through March 31, the restrictions specified in paragraphs (f)(1) and (2) of this section GOM Cod Protection Closure V, which is the area bounded by the following coordinates connected in the order stated by straight lines:

    GOM Cod Protection Closure V [March 1-March 31] Point N. latitude W. longitude CPCV 1 42°30′ N 70°00′ W CPCV 2 42°30′ N 68°30′ W CPCV 3 42°00′ N 68°30′ W CPCV 4 42°00′ N 70°00′ W CPCV 1 42°30′ N 70°00′ W

    (5) The GOM Cod Protection Closures specified in this section do not apply to persons aboard fishing vessels or fishing vessels that meet any of the following criteria:

    (i) That have not been issued a multispecies permit and that are fishing exclusively in state waters;

    (ii) That are fishing with or using exempted gear as defined under this part, except for pelagic gillnet gear capable of catching NE multispecies, unless fishing with a single pelagic gillnet not longer than 300 ft (91.4 m) and not greater than 6 ft (1.83 m) deep, with a maximum mesh size of 3 inches (7.6 cm), provided that:

    (A) The net is attached to the boat and fished in the upper two-thirds of the water column;

    (B) The net is marked with the owner's name and vessel identification number;

    (C) There is no retention of regulated species; and

    (D) There is no other gear on board capable of catching NE multispecies;

    (iii) That are fishing in the Midwater Trawl Gear Exempted Fishery as specified in § 648.80(d);

    (iv) That are fishing in the Purse Seine Gear Exempted Fishery as specified in § 648.80(e);

    (v) That are fishing under charter/party or recreational regulations specified in § 648.89, provided that:

    (A) For vessels fishing under charter/party regulations in a GOM Cod Protection Closure described under paragraph (f)(4) of this section, it has on board a letter of authorization issued by the Regional Administrator, which is valid from the date of enrollment through the duration of the closure or 3 months duration, whichever is greater; for vessels fishing under charter/party regulations in the Cashes Ledge Closure Area or Western GOM Area Closure, as described under paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section, respectively, it has on board a letter of authorization issued by the Regional Administrator, which is valid from the date of enrollment until the end of the fishing year;

    (B) Fish species managed by the NEFMC or MAFMC that are harvested or possessed by the vessel, are not sold or intended for trade, barter or sale, regardless of where the fish are caught;

    (C) The vessel has no gear other than rod and reel or handline on board; and

    (D) The vessel does not use any NE multispecies DAS during the entire period for which the letter of authorization is valid;

    (vi) That are fishing with or using scallop dredge gear when fishing under a scallop DAS or when lawfully fishing in the Scallop Dredge Fishery Exemption Area as described in § 648.80(a)(11), provided the vessel does not retain any regulated NE multispecies during a trip, or on any part of a trip; or

    (vii) That are fishing in the Raised Footrope Trawl Exempted Whiting Fishery, as specified in § 648.80(a)(15), or in the Small Mesh Area II Exemption Area, as specified in § 648.80(a)(9);

    (viii) That are fishing on a sector trip, as defined in this part, and in the GOM Cod Protection Closures IV or V, as specified in paragraphs (f)(4)(vi) and (v) of this section; or

    (ix) That are fishing under the provisions of a Northeast multispecies Handgear A permit, as specified at § 648.82(b)(6), and in the GOM Cod Protection Closures IV or V, as specified in paragraphs (f)(4)(vi) and (v) of this section.

    (g) * * *

    (2) Paragraph (g)(1) of this section does not apply to persons on fishing vessels or to fishing vessels that meet any of the following criteria:

    (i) That meet the criteria in paragraphs (f)(5)(i), (ii), or (iii) of this section;

    (i) Transiting. Unless otherwise restricted or specified in this paragraph (i), a vessel may transit CA I, the Nantucket Lightship Closed Area, the Cashes Ledge Closed Area, the Western GOM Closure Area, the GOM Cod Protection Closures, the GB Seasonal Closure Area, the EFH Closure Areas, and the GOM Cod Spawning Protection Area, as defined in paragraphs (a)(1), (c)(1), (d)(1), (e)(1), (f)(4), (g)(1), (h)(1), and (n)(1), of this section, respectively, provided that its gear is stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in § 648.2. A vessel may transit CA II, as defined in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, in accordance with paragraph (b)(2)(iv) of this section. Private recreational or charter/party vessels fishing under the Northeast multispecies provisions specified at § 648.89 may transit the GOM Cod Spawning Protection Area, as defined in paragraph (n)(1) of this section, provided all bait and hooks are removed from fishing rods, and any regulated species on board have been caught outside the GOM Cod Spawning Protection Area and has been gutted and stored.

    § 648.82 [Amended]
    7. In § 648.82, lift suspension of paragraphs (b)(5) through (8) and remove paragraphs (b)(7) through (10).
    § 648.85 [Amended]
    8. In § 648.85, lift suspension of paragraphs (b)(6)(iv)(D) and (K) and remove paragraphs (b)(6)(iv)(K) and (L).
    § 648.86 [Amended]
    9. In § 648.86, lift suspension of paragraphs (b)(1) through (7) and remove paragraphs (b)(5) through (10). 10. In § 648.87: a. Lift suspension of paragraphs (b)(1)(v)(A), (b)(1)(ix), (b)(1)(x), (c)(2)(i), (c)(2)(ii)(A) and (B), (c)(2)(ii)(E), and (c)(2)(iii); b. Remove paragraphs (b)(1)(v)(C), (b)(1)(x) and (xi), (c)(2)(ii)(E) through (G), and (c)(2)(iii) and (iv); and c. Revise paragraphs (b)(1)(i)(C), (b)(1)(iii)(C), (c)(2)(i), and (c)(2)(ii)(B) to read as follows:
    § 648.87 Sector allocation.

    (b) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (i) * * *

    (C) Carryover. (1) With the exception of GB yellowtail flounder, a sector may carryover an amount of ACE equal to 10 percent of its original ACE for each stock that is unused at the end of one fishing year into the following fishing year, provided that the total unused sector ACE plus the overall ACL for the following fishing year does not exceed the ABC for the fishing year in which the carryover may be harvested. If this total exceeds the ABC, NMFS shall adjust the maximum amount of unused ACE that a sector may carryover (down from 10 percent) to an amount equal to the ABC of the following fishing year. Any adjustments made would be applied to each sector based on its total unused ACE and proportional to the cumulative PSCs of vessels/permits participating in the sector for the particular fishing year, as described in paragraph (b)(1)(i)(E) of this section.

    (i) Eastern GB Stocks Carryover. Any unused ACE allocated for Eastern GB stocks in accordance with paragraph (b)(1)(i)(B) of this section shall contribute to the carryover allowance for each stock, as specified in this paragraph (b)(1)(i)(C)(1), but shall not increase individual sector's allocation of Eastern GB stocks during the following year.

    (ii) This carryover ACE remains effective during the subsequent fishing year even if vessels that contributed to the sector allocation during the previous fishing year are no longer participating in the same sector for the subsequent fishing year.

    (2) Carryover accounting. (i) If the overall ACL for a particular stock is exceeded, the allowed carryover of a particular stock harvested by a sector, minus the NMFS-specified de minimis amount, shall be counted against the sector's ACE for purposes of determining an overage subject to the AM in paragraph (b)(1)(iii) of this section.

    (ii) De Minimis Carryover Amount. The de minimis carryover amount is one percent of the overall sector sub-ACL for the fishing year in which the carryover would be harvested. NMFS may change this de minimis carryover amount for any fishing year through notice consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act. The overall de minimis carryover amount would be applied to each sector proportional to the cumulative PSCs of vessels/permits participating in the sector for the particular fishing year, as described in (b)(1)(i)(E) of this section.

    (iii) * * *

    (C) ACE buffer. At the beginning of each fishing year, NMFS shall withhold 20 percent of a sector's ACE for each stock for a period of up to 61 days (i.e., through June 30), unless otherwise specified by NMFS, to allow time to process any ACE transfers submitted at the end of the fishing year pursuant to paragraph (b)(1)(viii) of this section and to determine whether the ACE allocated to any sector needs to be reduced, or any overage penalties need to be applied to individual permits/vessels in the current fishing year to accommodate an ACE overage by that sector during the previous fishing year, as specified in paragraph (b)(1)(iii) of this section. NMFS shall not withhold 20 percent of a sector's ACE at the beginning of a fishing year in which default specifications are in effect, as specified in § 648.90(a)(3).

    (c) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (i) Regulations that may not be exempted for sector participants. The Regional Administrator may not exempt participants in a sector from the following Federal fishing regulations: Specific times and areas within the NE multispecies year-round closure areas; permitting restrictions (e.g., vessel upgrades, etc.); gear restrictions designed to minimize habitat impacts (e.g., roller gear restrictions, etc.); reporting requirements; AMs specified in § 648.90(a)(5)(i)(D). For the purposes of this paragraph (c)(2)(i), the DAS reporting requirements specified in § 648.82; the SAP-specific reporting requirements specified in § 648.85; and the reporting requirements associated with a dockside monitoring program are not considered reporting requirements, and the Regional Administrator may exempt sector participants from these requirements as part of the approval of yearly operations plans. For the purpose of this paragraph (c)(2)(i), the Regional Administrator may not grant sector participants exemptions from the NE multispecies year-round closures areas defined as Essential Fish Habitat Closure Areas as defined in § 648.81(h); the Fippennies Ledge Area as defined in paragraph (c)(2)(i)(A) of this section; Closed Area I and Closed Area II, as defined in § 648.81(a) and (b), respectively, during the period February 16 through April 30; and the Western GOM Closure Area, as defined at § 648.81(e), where it overlaps with GOM Cod Protection Closures I through III, as defined in § 648.81(f)(4). This list may be modified through a framework adjustment, as specified in § 648.90.

    (ii) * * *

    (B) The GOM Cod Protection Closures IV and V specified in § 648.81(f)(4)(iv) and (v) and the GB Seasonal Closed Area specified in § 648.81(g)(1);

    § 648.88 [Amended]
    11. In § 648.88, lift suspension of paragraphs (a)(1) and (3) and remove paragraphs (a)(3) and (4). 12. In § 648.89: a. Lift suspension of paragraphs (b)(3), (c)(1) and (2), (c)(8), and (e)(1) through (4); b. Remove paragraphs (c)(2)(v), (c)(8) and (9), and (e)(4) through (7); and c. Revise paragraphs (b), (c)(1), (c)(2)(i), (e)(1), and (f) to read as follows:
    § 648.89 Recreational and charter/party vessel restrictions.

    (b) Recreational minimum fish sizes—(1) Minimum fish sizes. Unless further restricted under of this section, persons aboard charter/party vessels permitted under this part and not fishing under the NE multispecies DAS program or under the restrictions and conditions of an approved sector operations plan, and recreational fishing vessels in or possessing fish from the EEZ, may not possess fish smaller than the minimum fish sizes, measured in total length, as follows:

    Species Size
  • (inches)
  • Cod: Inside the GOM Regulated Mesh Area 1 24 (63.7 cm). Outside the GOM Regulated Mesh Area 1 22 (55.9 cm). Haddock 18 (45.7 cm). Pollock 19 (48.3 cm). Witch flounder (gray sole) 14 (35.6 cm). Yellowtail flounder 13 (33.0 cm). American plaice (dab) 14 (35.6 cm). Atlantic halibut 41 (104.1 cm). Winter flounder (blackback) 12 (30.5 cm). Redfish 9 (22.9 cm). 1 GOM Regulated Mesh Area specified in § 648.80(a).

    (2) Exception. Vessels may possess fillets less than the minimum size specified, if the fillets are taken from legal-sized fish and are not offered or intended for sale, trade or barter.

    (3) Fish fillets, or parts of fish, must have at least 2 square inches (5.1 square cm) of skin on while possessed on board a vessel and at the time of landing in order to meet minimum size requirements. The skin must be contiguous and must allow ready identification of the fish species.

    (c) Possession Restrictions—(1) Recreational fishing vessels. (i) Each person on a private recreational vessel may possess no more than 10 cod per day in, or harvested from, the EEZ when fishing outside of the GOM Regulated Mesh Area specified in § 648.80(a)(1).

    (ii) When fishing in the GOM Regulated Mesh Area specified in § 648.80(a)(1), persons aboard private recreational fishing vessels may not fish for or possess any cod with the exception that private recreational vessels in possession of cod caught outside the GOM Regulated Mesh Area specified in § 648.80(a)(1) may transit this area, provided all bait and hooks are removed from fishing rods and any cod on board has been gutted and stored.

    (iii) For purposes of counting fish, fillets will be converted to whole fish at the place of landing by dividing the number of fillets by two. If fish are filleted into a single (butterfly) fillet, such fillet shall be deemed to be from one whole fish.

    (iv) Cod harvested by recreational fishing vessels in or from the EEZ with more than one person aboard may be pooled in one or more containers. Compliance with the possession limit will be determined by dividing the number of fish on board by the number of persons on board. If there is a violation of the possession limit on board a vessel carrying more than one person, the violation shall be deemed to have been committed by the owner or operator of the vessel.

    (v) Cod must be stored so as to be readily available for inspection.

    (2) Charter/party vessels. (i) Persons aboard charter/party fishing vessels permitted under this part and not fishing under the NE multispecies DAS program or on a sector trip that are fishing in the GOM Regulated Mesh Area specified in § 648.80(a)(1) may not fish for, possess, or land any cod with the exception that charter/party vessels in possession of cod caught outside the GOM Regulated Mesh Area specified in § 648.80(a)(1) may transit this area, provided all bait and hooks are removed from fishing rods and any cod on board has been gutted and stored.

    (e) * * *

    (1) GOM Closed Areas. (i) A vessel fishing under charter/party regulations may not fish in the GOM closed areas specified in § 648.81(d)(1), (e)(1), and (f)(4) during the time periods specified in those paragraphs, unless the vessel has on board a valid letter of authorization issued by the Regional Administrator pursuant to § 648.81(f)(5)(v) and paragraph (e)(3) of this section. The conditions and restrictions of the letter of authorization must be complied with for a minimum of 3 months if the vessel fishes or intends to fish in the GOM Cod Protection Closures; or for the rest of the fishing year, beginning with the start of the participation period of the letter of authorization, if the vessel fishes or intends to fish in the year-round GOM closure areas.

    (ii) A vessel fishing under charter/party regulations may not fish in the GOM Cod Spawning Protection Area specified at § 648.81(n)(1) during the time period specified in that paragraph, unless the vessel complies with the requirements specified at § 648.81(n)(2)(iii).

    (f) Recreational fishery AM—(1) Catch evaluation. As soon as recreational catch data are available for the entire previous fishing year, the Regional Administrator will evaluate whether recreational catches exceed any of the sub-ACLs specified for the recreational fishery pursuant to § 648.90(a)(4). When evaluating recreational catch, the components of recreational catch that are used shall be the same as those used in the most recent assessment for that particular stock. To determine if any sub-ACL specified for the recreational fishery was exceeded, the Regional Administrator shall compare the 3-year average of recreational catch to the 3-year average of the recreational sub-ACL for each stock.

    (2) Reactive AM adjustment. (i) If it is determined that any recreational sub-ACL was exceeded, as specified in paragraph (f)(1) of this section, the Regional Administrator, after consultation with the New England Fishery Management Council, shall develop measures necessary to prevent the recreational fishery from exceeding the appropriate sub-ACL in future years. Appropriate AMs for the recreational fishery, including adjustments to fishing season, minimum fish size, or possession limits, may be implemented in a manner consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act, with final measures published in the Federal Register no later than January when possible. Separate AMs shall be developed for the private and charter/party components of the recreational fishery.

    (ii) The Regional Administrator shall not adjust the possession limit for GOM cod, under the reactive AM authority specified in paragraph (f)(2)(i) of this section, as long as possession of this stock is prohibited for the recreational fishery, as specified in paragraph (c) of this section.

    (3) Proactive AM adjustment. (i) When necessary, the Regional Administrator, after consultation with the New England Fishery Management Council, may adjust recreational measures to ensure the recreational fishery achieves, but does not exceed any recreational fishery sub-ACL in a future fishing year. Appropriate AMs for the recreational fishery, including adjustments to fishing season, minimum fish size, or possession limits, may be implemented in a manner consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act, with final measures published in the Federal Register prior to the start of the fishing year where possible. In specifying these AMs, the Regional Administrator shall take into account the non-binding prioritization of possible measures recommended by the Council: For cod, first increases to minimum fish sizes, then adjustments to seasons, followed by changes to bag limits; and for haddock, first increases to minimum size limits, then changes to bag limits, and then adjustments to seasons.

    (ii) The Regional Administrator shall not adjust the possession limit for GOM cod, under the proactive AM authority specified in paragraph (f)(3)(i) of this section, as long as possession of this stock is prohibited for the recreational fishery, as specified in paragraph (c) of this section.

    13. In § 648.90, revise paragraphs (a)(2)(i) and (viii), (a)(3), and (a)(5)(i) introductory text to read as follows:
    § 648.90 NE multispecies assessment, framework procedures and specifications, and flexible area action system.

    (a) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (i) The NE multispecies PDT shall meet on or before September 30 every other year to perform a review of the fishery, using the most current scientific information available provided primarily from the NEFSC. Data provided by states, ASMFC, the USCG, and other sources may also be considered by the PDT. Based on this review, the PDT will develop ACLs for the upcoming fishing year(s) as described in paragraph (a)(4) of this section and develop options for consideration by the Council if necessary, on any changes, adjustments, or additions to DAS allocations, closed areas, or other measures necessary to rebuild overfished stocks and achieve the FMP goals and objectives.

    (viii) If the Regional Administrator concurs in the Council's recommendation, a final rule shall be published in the Federal Register on or about April 1 of each year, with the exception noted in paragraph (a)(2)(vii) of this section. If the Council fails to submit a recommendation to the Regional Administrator by February 1 that meets the FMP goals and objectives, the Regional Administrator may publish as a proposed rule one of the options reviewed and not rejected by the Council, provided that the option meets the FMP objectives and is consistent with other applicable law. If, after considering public comment, the Regional Administrator decides to approve the option published as a proposed rule, the action will be published as a final rule in the Federal Register.

    (3) Default OFLs, ABCs, and ACLs. (i) Unless otherwise specified in this paragraph (a)(3), if final specifications are not published in the Federal Register for the start of a fishing year, as outlined in paragraph (a)(4) of this section, specifications for that fishing year shall be set at 35 percent of the previous year's specifications for each NE multispecies stock, including the U.S./Canada shared resources, for the period of time beginning on May 1 and ending on July 31, unless superseded by the final rule implementing the current year's specifications.

    (ii) If the default specifications exceed the Council's recommendations for any stock for the current year, the specifications for that stock shall be reduced to the Council's recommendation through notice consistent with the Administrative Procedures Act.

    (iii) These specifications shall be subdivided among the various sub-components of the fishery consistent with the ABC/ACL distribution adopted for the previous year's specifications.

    (5) * * *

    (i) AMs for the NE multispecies commercial and recreational fisheries. If the catch of regulated species or ocean pout by a sub-component of the NE multispecies fishery (i.e., common pool vessels, sector vessels, or private recreational and charter/party vessels) exceeds the amount allocated to each sub-component, as specified in paragraph (a)(4)(iii)(H) of this section, then the applicable AM for that sub-component of the fishery shall take effect, pursuant to paragraphs (a)(5)(i)(A) through (C) of this section. In determining the applicability of AMs specified for a sub-component of the NE multispecies fishery in paragraphs (a)(5)(i)(A) through (C) of this section, the Regional Administrator shall consider available information regarding the catch of regulated species and ocean pout by each sub-component of the NE multispecies fishery, plus each sub-component's share of any overage of the overall ACL for a particular stock caused by excessive catch by vessels outside of the FMP, exempted fisheries, or the Atlantic sea scallop fishery, as specified in this paragraph (a)(5), as appropriate.

    [FR Doc. 2015-05383 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 45 Monday, March 9, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service [Document Number AMS-NOP-15-0004; NOP-15-03] National Organic Program; Nominations for Task Force Members AGENCY:

    Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is soliciting nominees to participate in a task force to examine hydroponic and aquaponic practices and their alignment with the USDA organic regulations and the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA). The USDA organic regulations do not include specific provisions for organic hydroponic or aquaponic production. However, these production systems have obtained certification under the USDA organic regulations by complying with the existing requirements for organic crop production. The task force will inform the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) of their findings and advise on what practices should be allowed or restricted in organic hydroponic and aquaponic production.

    DATES:

    Written nominations, with resumes, must be post-marked on or before May 8, 2015. Electronic submissions must be received on or before May 8, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Nominations should be sent to Rita Meade, USDA-AMS-NOP, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 2648-So., Ag Stop 0268, Washington, DC 20250-0268 or via email to [email protected] Electronic submittals by email are preferred.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mark Bradley, Assistant to the Deputy Administrator, National Organic Program, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Room 2648, STOP 0268; Washington, DC 20250-0268; Telephone (202) 720-3252; Fax: (202) 205-7808; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Why is this task force being formed?

    The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, as amended (7 U.S.C. 6501-6522) provides for the certification of agricultural products for human consumption. To implement this Act, AMS published the USDA organic regulations on December 20, 2000. The regulations provide for the certification of crops and livestock production and operations that handle and process agricultural products. Hydroponic and aquaponic operations are currently being certified under the USDA organic regulations.

    Hydroponics is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions in water without soil. Terrestrial plants may be grown with their roots in the mineral nutrient solution only or in an inert medium, such as perlite, gravel, biochar, or coconut husk. Aquaponics combines the features of hydroponics and aquaculture. In these systems, the metabolic waste from fish tanks provides a source of nutrients for vegetables grown hydroponically. The USDA organic regulations do not include specific provisions for organic hydroponic or aquaponic production. However, there are certified organic operations observing the crop production requirements of the USDA organic regulations to produce organic crops via hydroponic or aquaponic growing methods. These operations, for example, must maintain water quality and use only approved inputs as fertilizers and pest control practices. Organic hydroponic production is allowed as long as the producer can demonstrate compliance with the USDA organic regulations.

    In 2010, the NOSB provided recommendations to the NOP on Production Standards for Terrestrial Plants in Containers and Enclosures (Greenhouses). The NOSB recommended practice standards for growing terrestrial plants in containers using growing media rather than soil. The NOSB recommended not allowing organic hydroponic production because these systems are not soil based.

    AMS is assembling a task force to assess the diversity of these soilless production practices and advise on what specific practices may or may not be supported by the current USDA organic regulations.

    What are the hydroponics task force's objectives and time requirements?

    There are two main objectives of the task force: (i) To describe current hydroponic and aquaponic production methods used in organic production, and (ii) to assess whether these practices align with OFPA and the USDA organic regulations. The task force will prepare a report advising the NOSB on proposed standards or guidelines for hydroponic and aquaponic methods in organic agriculture. The report may be used to inform the NOSB on recommendations concerning hydroponic and aquaponic systems and for possible guidance or rulemaking by the NOP.

    USDA will name the members of the task force approximately 120 days after the publication of this notice. The discussions between task force members will be conducted through electronic mail and conference calls with no requirement for travel. We expect the task force to present its completed report to the NOSB in the spring of 2016.

    What are the minimum skills and experience requirements to be considered for this task force?

    Candidates for the hydroponics and aquaponics task force should have 3 years of demonstrable work experience in hydroponic or aeroponic production in any of the following roles: Producer; researcher or scientist; consumer representative; conservationist; systems designer; organic inspector; or accredited certifying agent. Candidates with demonstrable knowledge of organic production or certification procedures are preferred.

    Successful candidates should be familiar with the NOSB recommendation on Production Standards for Terrestrial Plants in Containers and Enclosures (Greenhouses).

    Persons interested in serving on this task force should submit their qualifications in a resume or curriculum vitae format. In addition to this information, candidates should submit, if applicable, a “declaration of interests” list. This list should state all direct commercial, financial, consulting, family, or personal relationships that currently exist or have existed with business entities that may be regulated through any future rulemaking on these issues. The declaration of interests lists should cover activities undertaken by the candidate during the past 12 months.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 6501-6522.

    Dated: March 4, 2015. Rex A. Barnes, Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05403 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request March 4, 2015.

    The Department of Agriculture will submit the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 on or after the date of publication of this notice. Comments regarding (a) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC; New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC, 20503. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602.

    Comments regarding these information collections are best assured of having their full effect if received by April 8, 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.

    Agricultural Marketing Service

    Title: Regulations for the Inspection of Eggs.

    OMB Control Number: 0581-0113.

    Summary of Collection: Congress enacted the Egg Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 1031-1056) (EPIA) to provide a mandatory inspection program to assure egg products are processed under sanitary conditions, are wholesome, unadulterated, and properly labeled; to control the disposition of dirty and checked shell eggs; to control unwholesome, adulterated, and inedible egg products and shell eggs that are unfit for human consumption; and to control the movement and disposition of imported shell eggs and egg products that are unwholesome and inedible. Regulations developed under 7 CFR part 57 provide the requirements and guidelines for the Department and industry needed to obtain compliance. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will collect information using several forms. Forms used to collect information provide method for measuring workload, record of compliance and non compliance and a basis to monitor the utilization of funds.

    Need and Use of the Information: AMS will use the information to assure compliance with the Act and regulations, to take administrative and regulatory action and to develop and revise cooperative agreements with the States, which conduct surveillance inspections of shell egg handlers and processors. If the information is not collected, AMS would not be able to control the processing, movement, and disposition of restricted shell eggs and egg products and take regulatory action in case of noncompliance.

    Description of Respondents: Business or other for-profit; Federal Government; State, Local or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents: 818.

    Frequency of Responses: Recordkeeping; Reporting: On occasion; Quarterly.

    Total Burden Hours: 1,909.

    Agricultural Marketing Service

    Title: Dairy Products Mandatory Sales Reporting.

    OMB Control Number: 0581-0274.

    Summary of Collection: The Mandatory Price Reporting Act of 2010 amended § 273(d) of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, requiring the Secretary of Agriculture to establish an electronic reporting system for certain manufacturers of dairy products to report sales information under 7 CFR part 1170, the mandatory Dairy Product Mandatory Reporting Program. Data collection for cheddar cheese, butter, dry whey, or nonfat dry milk sales is limited to manufacturing plants producing annually 1 million pounds or more of one of the surveyed commodities specified in the program.

    Need and Use of the Information: Persons engaged in manufacturing dairy products are required to provide the Department of Agriculture (USDA) certain information, including the price, quantity, and moisture content, where applicable, of dairy products sold by the manufacturer. Various manufacturer reports are filed electronically on a weekly basis. Additional paper forms are filed by manufacturers on an annual basis to validate participation in the mandatory reporting program. Manufacturers and other persons storing dairy products must also report information on the quantity of dairy products stored. USDA publishes composites of the information obtained to help industry members make informed marketing decisions regarding dairy products. The information is also used to establish minimum prices for Class III and Class IV milk under Federal milk marketing orders. Without this information USDA would not be able to verify compliance with applicable regulations.

    Description of Respondents: Businesses—Cheddar Cheese, 40 lb. Blocks.

    Number of Respondents: 181.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion; Weekly; Annually.

    Total Burden Hours: 2,331.

    Charlene Parker, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05397 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service Request for Information: Summer Meal Programs Data Reporting Requirements AGENCY:

    Food and Nutrition Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice; request for information.

    SUMMARY:

    The purpose of this Request for Information is to help the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) better understand what sponsors and State agencies could regularly report to FNS to more adequately track participation in the summer meal programs. The current data reporting system for sponsors and State agencies was designed primarily to process meal claims and not to track program participation. FNS is interested in modifying the current reporting system to better identify the number of eligible children the programs are serving and assess the impacts of efforts to increase program participation. In order to develop proposed changes to reporting requirements, FNS is seeking information from all affected parties regarding current State agency and sponsor data reporting requirements. Specifically, FNS is interested in information about data that sites, sponsors, and State agencies currently collect but do not report to FNS, as well as the feasibility of obtaining currently reported data in a timelier manner. FNS is particularly interested in the opportunities and challenges associated with these changes.

    DATES:

    To be assured of consideration, written information must be submitted or postmarked on or before June 8, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Food and Nutrition Service, USDA, invites the submission of the requested information through one of the following methods:

    Preferred method: Submit information through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submissions.

    Mail: Submissions should be addressed to Mandana Yousefi, Program Analyst, Child Nutrition Programs, Food and Nutrition Service, P.O. Box 66740, Saint Louis, MO 63166-6740.

    All information properly and timely submitted, using one of the two methods described above, in response to this request for information will be included in the record and will be made available to the public on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Please be advised that the substance of the information provided and the identity of the individuals or entities submitting it will be subject to public disclosure.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mandana Yousefi, Program Analyst, Child Nutrition Programs, Food and Nutrition Service, at 703-305-2590.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Food and Nutrition Service's (FNS) summer meal programs play a critical role in ensuring that America's children have access to nutritious food. The summer meal programs include meals served to children during the summer through either the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) or the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP). The SFSP is a Federal program, administered by State agencies, and operated locally by approved sponsors who provide free meals to children in low-income areas when school is not in session. Schools may provide meals to eligible children during the summer through either the SFSP or the NSLP and SBP. Schools that serve children meals during the summer through the NSLP and SBP can choose to only serve meals to children enrolled in summer school or utilize the Seamless Summer Option to provide meals to children in the general community.

    The current data reporting system for sponsors and State agencies was designed primarily to process meal claims and not to track program participation. FNS is interested in modifying the current reporting system to better identify the number of eligible children the programs are serving and assess the impacts of efforts to increase program participation.

    In addition to increasing the utility and accuracy of summer meal program data collection, FNS is also interested in ensuring that data is collected and reported to FNS in a timely manner. Although anecdotal information is collected during program operations, the current data reporting timeline does not provide FNS with accurate program participation information until several months after the programs are completed. Receiving more timely data would help FNS in its efforts to improve program access. FNS recognizes that because many State operating systems are more technologically advanced than when reporting requirements were first implemented, changes to improve the timeliness and utility of reporting requirements may be possible without imposing significant additional burden on sponsors or State agencies.

    In order to assess FNS efforts to increase access to the summer meal programs, FNS would like to reexamine the current sponsor and State agency reporting requirements for meal claims and participation data, and the timeline for submitting this information. FNS is interested in obtaining feedback about the reporting requirements for the SFSP and for meals served during the summer through the NSLP and SBP.

    In accordance with SFSP regulations at 7 CFR part 225, sponsors currently submit monthly claims to their State administering agencies to receive reimbursement. These are due within 60 days following the claim month. State agencies are required to submit data on SFSP participation using the FNS-418—Report of the Summer Food Service Program for Children—30 and 90 days following the month being reported.

    Schools that provide summer meals to eligible children through the NSLP and SBP submit claims to the State agency using the same process as that used during the regular school year. State agencies report participation data on a monthly basis using the form FNS-10—Report of School Program Operations. This is the same form submitted by schools providing NSLP and SBP meals during the school year.

    FNS' objective with this Request for Information is to receive input from a broad spectrum of parties that may be affected by changes to reporting requirements. These include site supervisors, sponsors, school food authorities, State agency officials, summer partners, and the general public. We are especially interested in current reporting and data collection purposes, methods, and outcomes used by State agencies, sponsors, and sites, which are in addition to those required for completing and submitting FNS-10 and FNS-418. Finally, FNS has an interest in working with sponsors and State agencies to collect data in a more comprehensive, timely manner while also minimizing additional reporting burden.

    FNS intends to use the information it receives to propose modifications to the current reporting requirements. Information submitted will help FNS to modify the FNS-418 and FNS-10 to receive more concrete data at an earlier stage in the reporting process. FNS expects such changes to also require amendments to Program regulations.

    To assist in the development of these changes, FNS is seeking input regarding the following questions. FNS welcomes comments to all questions below.

    Summer Food Service Program Reporting

    1. In order to more quickly assess participation during the summer, would it be possible for sponsors to submit meal claims fewer than 60 days from the month being claimed?

    a. Would it be possible for them to submit meal claims within 30 days of the close of the claim month?

    b. Would reducing this time frame impact the accuracy of the claims submitted? Please explain.

    c. What challenges would arise due to a reduced submission period?

    d. What additional technology and guidance would be required for State agencies and sponsors to comply with new timeframes?

    2. On average, what percentage of final meal claims have been modified annually since the initial claim? Are modified final meal claims usually higher or lower than the initial claims?

    a. How often are meal claims revised?

    b. Why are meal claims revised?

    c. How often do sponsors appeal State imposed meal claim disallowances? What are the outcomes of these appeals?

    3. a. How accurate is the data for meals served which is submitted by the State agency in the 30-day report when compared with the subsequent 90-day report?

    b. What accounts for the difference in actual (versus estimated) meals served between the 30-day and 90-day reports?

    4. The FNS-418 only requires State agencies to report the number of sponsors, the number of sites, and the average daily attendance (ADA) of sponsors for the month of July.

    a. Would it be feasible for States to report this for every month during the summer?

    b. How much time would States need to report this to FNS after each month?

    5. FNS currently collects the ADA of sponsors, which is calculated as the total number of meals served in a sponsor's primary meal service during the claim period divided by the number of operating or meal service days for that claim period.

    a. Is this an effective method for calculating ADA?

    b. Is the current reporting of ADA accurate at the sponsor and/or State level?

    c. How could ADA be calculated more accurately?

    6. FNS is interested in tracking the number of unique children that participate in the SFSP each day. Do you have any suggestions for how this information could be captured and reported?

    7. FNS is interested in tracking the number of meals served through rural sites. Would it be feasible to separate “self-prep” meals served from “rural” meals served on the FNS-418?

    8. In your State, do sponsors submit meal claims electronically or manually?

    9. Are there any data that sponsors or State agencies currently collect that are not reported to FNS?

    a. If yes, please describe these data and how they are used.

    b. Would sponsors and State agencies be able to regularly report these data to FNS?

    10. What are the best indicators or data elements to track changes to program participation from the previous summer?

    11. Please provide any additional information that would assist FNS with understanding State agency and sponsor administrative capacities, and how to enhance the quality and utility of the data collected while also minimizing any additional reporting burden.

    National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program Summer Meal Reporting Seamless Summer Option

    1. Are schools able to easily separate the meal claims for children served during the regular school year and children served through the Seamless Summer Option? Could these meals be separately tracked on the FNS-10?

    2. Are there any State agency concerns about separately reporting meals served to children through the Seamless Summer Option?

    3. Please provide any additional information that would assist FNS with understanding State agency and school administrative capacities, and how to enhance the quality and utility of the data collected while also minimizing the reporting burden. FNS is particularly interested in receiving feedback from State agencies that already separately track meals served through the Seamless Summer Option from those served through NSLP during the traditional school year.

    Serving Meals to Children Enrolled in Summer School

    1. For schools that do not participate in the SFSP or the Seamless Summer Option, but serve meals to children enrolled in summer school through the NSLP and SBP, would it be feasible to separately report the meals served to these children? Could these meals be separately tracked on the FNS-10?

    2. Please provide any additional information that would assist FNS with understanding State agency and school administrative capacities, and how to enhance the quality and utility of the data collected while also minimizing any additional reporting burden.

    FNS appreciates your thoughtful and responsive comments.

    Dated: February 24, 2015. Audrey Rowe, Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05314 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agency Information Collection Activities: Revision and Extension of Approved Collection; Comment Request; Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery March 4, 2015. AGENCY:

    Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    30-Day notice of submission of information collection approval from the Office of Management and Budget and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of a Federal Government-wide effort to streamline the process to seek feedback from the public on service delivery, the Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has submitted a Generic Information Collection Request (Generic ICR): “Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery” to OMB for approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et. seq.).

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted by April 8, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments may be submitted to the Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503; [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request additional information, please contact Ruth Brown (202) 720-8958 or Charlene Parker (202) 720-8681.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery.

    Abstract: The information collection activity will garner qualitative customer and stakeholder feedback in an efficient, timely manner, in accordance with the Administration's commitment to improving service delivery. By qualitative feedback we mean information that provides useful insights on perceptions and opinions, but are not statistical surveys that yield quantitative results that can be generalized to the population of study. This feedback will provide insights into customer or stakeholder perceptions, experiences and expectations, provide an early warning of issues with service, or focus attention on areas where communication, training or changes in operations might improve delivery of products or services. These collections will allow for ongoing, collaborative and actionable communications between the Agency and its customers and stakeholders. It will also allow feedback to contribute directly to the improvement of program management.

    Feedback collected under this generic clearance will provide useful information, but it will not yield data that can be generalized to the overall population. This type of generic clearance for qualitative information will not be used for quantitative information collections that are designed to yield reliably actionable results, such as monitoring trends over time or documenting program performance. Such data uses require more rigorous designs that address: the target population to which generalizations will be made, the sampling frame, the sample design (including stratification and clustering), the precision requirements or power calculations that justify the proposed sample size, the expected response rate, methods for assessing potential non-response bias, the protocols for data collection, and any testing procedures that were or will be undertaken prior fielding the study. Depending on the degree of influence the results are likely to have, such collections may still be eligible for submission for other generic mechanisms that are designed to yield quantitative results.

    The Agency received no comments in response to the 60-day notice published in the Federal Register on September 17, 2014 (79 FR 55745). No comments were received.

    The Food Safety and Inspection Service—0583-0151

    Current Actions: Revision and Extension of Currently Approved Collection.

    Type of Review: Revision and Extension.

    Affected Public: Not-for-profit institutions.

    Average Expected Annual Number of Activities: 10.

    Respondents: 10,000.

    Annual Responses: 10,000.

    Frequency of Response: Once per request.

    Average Minutes per Response: 60.

    Burden Hours: 10,000.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget control number.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05401 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Housing Service Rural Development Voucher Program AGENCY:

    Rural Housing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in fiscal year (FY) 2006 established the demonstration Rural Development Voucher Program (RDVP), as authorized under Section 542 of the Housing Act of 1949 as amended (42 U.S.C. 1490R) (without regard to Section 542(b)). This Notice informs the public of the general policies and procedures for the RDVP for FY 2015. Rural Development Vouchers are only available to low-income tenants of Rural Development (RD)-financed multi-family properties where the Rural Rental Housing loan (Section 515) has been prepaid (either through prepayment or foreclosure action), prior to the loan's maturity date.

    DATES:

    In order for eligible tenants to participate, a voucher obligation form must be submitted within 10 months of the foreclosure or pre-payment.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Stephanie B.M. White, Director, Multi-Family Housing Portfolio Management Division, Rural Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 0782, Washington, DC 20250, telephone (202) 720-1615. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number via TDD by calling the toll-free Federal Information Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    This Notice outlines the process for providing voucher assistance to eligible tenants when a property owner either prepays a Section 515 loan or USDA action results in a foreclosure after September 30, 2005.

    II. Design Features of the RDVP

    This section sets forth the design features of the RDVP, including the eligibility of tenants, the inspection of the housing units, and the calculation of the subsidy amount.

    Rural Development Vouchers under this part are administered by the Rural Housing Service, an agency under the RD mission area, in accordance with requirements set forth in this Notice and further explained in, “The Rural Development Voucher Program Guide,” which can be obtained by contacting any RD Office. Contact information for RD offices can be found at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/StateOfficeAddresses.html. These requirements are generally based on the housing choice voucher program regulations of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) set forth at 24 CFR part 982, unless otherwise noted by this Notice.

    The RDVP is intended to offer protection to eligible Multi-Family Housing tenants in properties financed through RD's Section 515 Rural Rental Housing program (Section 515 property) who may be subject to economic hardship due to the property owner's prepayment of the RD mortgage. When the owner of a Section 515 property pays off the loan prior to the loan's maturity date (either through prepayment or foreclosure action), the RD affordable housing requirements and Rental Assistance (RA) subsidies generally cease to exist. Rents may increase, thereby making the housing unaffordable to tenants. Regardless, the tenant may become responsible for the full payment of rent when a prepayment occurs, whether or not the rent increases.

    The Rural Development Voucher is intended to help tenants by providing an annual rental subsidy, renewable on the terms and conditions set forth herein and subject to the availability of funds, that will supplement the tenant's rent payment. This program enables a tenant to make an informed decision about remaining in the property, moving to a new property, or obtaining other financial housing assistance. Low-income tenants in the prepaying property are eligible to receive a voucher to use at their current rental property, or to take to any other rental unit in the United States and its territories. Tenants in properties foreclosed on by RD are eligible for a Rural Development Voucher under the same conditions as properties that go through the standard prepayment process.

    There are some general limitations on the use of a voucher:

    • The rental unit must pass a RD health and safety inspection, and the owner must be willing to accept a Rural Development Voucher.

    • Rural Development Vouchers cannot be used for units in subsidized housing, like Section 8 and public housing, where two housing subsidies would result. The Rural Development Voucher may be used for rental units in other properties financed by RD, but it cannot be used in combination with the RD RA program.

    • The Rural Development Voucher may not be used to purchase a home.

    a. Tenant Eligibility. In order to be eligible for the Rural Development Voucher under this Notice, the tenant must meet the following conditions:

    1. Be residing in the Section 515 project on the date of the prepayment of the Section 515 loan or foreclosure by RD;

    2. Be a United States (U.S.) citizen, U.S. citizen national, or a resident alien that meets certain qualifications. In accordance with Section 214 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 1436a), financial assistance under this voucher program can only be provided to a United States (U.S.) citizen, U.S. non-citizen national, or a resident alien that meets certain qualifications. RD considers the tenant who applies for the voucher under this Notice as the individual receiving the financial assistance from the voucher. Accordingly, the individual tenant who applies for a voucher under this program must submit the following documentation (42 U.S.C. 1436a(d)):

    i. For citizens, a written declaration of U.S. citizenship signed under the penalty of perjury. RD may request verification of the declaration by requiring presentation of a U.S. passport, Social Security card, or other appropriate documentation, as determined by RD;

    ii. For non-citizens who are 62 years of age or older, the evidence consists of:

    A. A signed declaration of eligible immigration status; and

    B. Proof of age document; and

    iii. For all other non-citizens:

    A. A signed declaration of eligible immigration status;

    B. Alien registration documentation or other proof of immigration registration from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that contains the individual's alien admission number or alien file number; and

    C. A signed verification consent form that provides that evidence of eligible immigration status may be released to RD and USCIS for purposes of verifying the immigration status of the individual. RD shall provide a reasonable opportunity, not to exceed 30 days, for an individual to submit evidence indicating a satisfactory immigration status, or to appeal to the Immigration and Naturalization Service the verification determination of the Immigration and Naturalization Service; and

    3. Be a low-income tenant on the date of the prepayment or foreclosure. A low-income tenant is a tenant whose annual income does not exceed 80 percent of the tenant median income for the area as defined by HUD. HUD's definition of median income can be found at:http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/il/il14/index_mfi.html.

    During the prepayment or foreclosure process, RD will evaluate the tenant to determine if the tenant is low-income. If RD determines a tenant is low-income, then within 90 days following the foreclosure or prepayment, RD will send the tenant a letter offering the tenant a voucher and will enclose a Voucher Obligation Request Form and a citizenship declaration form. If the tenant wants to participate in the RDVP, the tenant has 10 months from the date of prepayment or foreclosure to return the Voucher Obligation Request Form and the citizenship declaration to the local RD Office. If RD determines that the tenant is ineligible, RD will provide administrative appeal rights in accordance with 7 CFR part 11.

    b. Obtaining a Voucher. RD will monitor the prepayment request process or foreclosure process, as applicable. As part of prepayment or foreclosure of the Section 515 property, RD will determine market rents in the housing market area prior to the date of prepayment or foreclosure. The market rents will be used to calculate the amount of the voucher each tenant is entitled to receive.

    As noted above, all tenants will be notified if they are eligible and the amount of the voucher within 90 days following the date of prepayment or foreclosure. The tenant notice will include a description of the RDVP, a Voucher Obligation Request Form, and letter from RD offering the tenant participation in RDVP. The tenant has 10 months from the date of prepayment or foreclosure to return the Voucher Obligation Request Form and the signed citizenship declaration. Failure to submit the Voucher Obligation Request Form and the signed citizenship declaration within the required timeframes eliminates the tenant's opportunity to receive a voucher. A tenant's failure to respond within the required timeframes is not appealable.

    Once the tenant returns the Voucher Obligation Request Form and the citizenship declaration to RD, a voucher will be issued within 30 days subject to the availability of funding. All information necessary for a housing search, explanations of unit acceptability, and RD contact information will be provided by RD to the tenant after the Voucher Obligation Request Form and citizenship declaration are received. In cases where the foreclosure sale yields no successful bidders and the property enters RD inventory, vouchers will only be offered upon the property's entry into inventory. The voucher cannot be used at an inventory property.

    The tenant receiving a Rural Development Voucher has an initial period of 60 calendar days from issuance of the voucher to find a housing unit. At its discretion, RD may grant one or more extensions of the initial period for up to an additional 60 days. Generally, the maximum voucher period for any tenant participating in the RDVP is 120 days. RD will extend the voucher search period beyond the 120 days only if the tenant needs and requests an extension of the initial period as a reasonable accommodation to make the program accessible to a disabled family member. If the Rural Development Voucher remains unused after a period of 150 days from the date of original issuance, the Rural Development Voucher will become void, any funding will be cancelled, and the tenant will no longer be eligible to receive a Rural Development Voucher at that property.

    If a tenant previously participated in the RDVP and was subsequently terminated, that tenant is ineligible for future participation in the RDVP.

    c. Initial Lease Term. The initial lease term for the housing unit where the tenant wishes to use the Rural Development Voucher must be for one year. The “initial lease” is the first lease signed by and between the tenant and the property owner.

    d. Inspection of Units and Unit Approval. Once the tenant finds a housing unit, Rural Development will inspect and determine if the housing standard is acceptable within 30 days of RD's receipt of the HUD Form 52517, “Request for Tenancy Approval Housing Choice Voucher Program” found at: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=52517.pdf and the Disclosure of Information on Lead-Based Paint Hazards. The inspection standards currently in effect for the RD Section 515 Multi-Family Housing program apply to the RDVP. RD must inspect the unit and ensure that the unit meets the housing inspection standards set forth at 7 CFR 3560.103. Under no circumstances will RD make voucher rental payments for any period of time prior to the date that RD physically inspects the unit and determines the unit meets the housing inspection standards. In the case of properties financed by RD under the Section 515 program, RD will only accept the results of physical inspections performed no more than one year prior to the date of receipt by RD of Form HUD 52517, in order to make determinations on acceptable housing standards. Before approving tenancy or executing a Housing Assistance Payments contract, RD must first determine that the following conditions are met:

    1. The unit has been inspected by RD and passes the housing standards inspection or has otherwise been found acceptable by RD, as noted previously; and

    2. The lease includes the HUD Tenancy Addendum. A copy of the HUD Tenancy Addendum will be provided by RD when the tenant is informed he/she is eligible for a voucher.

    Once the conditions in the above paragraph are met, RD will approve the unit for leasing. RD will then execute with the owner a Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) contract, Form HUD-52641. The HAP contract must be executed before Rural Development Voucher payments can be made. RD will attempt to execute the HAP contract on behalf of the tenant before the beginning of the lease term. In the event that this does not occur, the HAP contract may be executed up to 60 calendar days after the beginning of the lease term. If the HAP contract is executed during this 60-day period, RD will make retroactive housing assistance payments to the owner, on behalf of the tenant, to cover the portion of the approved lease term before execution of the HAP contract. The HAP contract and lease will need to be revised to the later effective date. RD will not execute a HAP contract that is dated prior to either the prepayment date of the Section 515 loan, or the date of foreclosure, as appropriate. Any HAP contract executed after the 60-day period will be considered untimely. If the failure to execute the HAP contract within the aforementioned 60-day period lies with the owner, as determined by RD, then RD will not pay any housing assistance payment to the owner for that period.

    e. Subsidy Calculations for Rural Development Vouchers. As stated earlier, an eligible tenant will be notified of the maximum voucher amount within 90 days following prepayment or foreclosure. The maximum voucher amount for the RDVP is the difference between the market rent in the housing market area and the tenant's contribution on the date of the prepayment, as determined by RD. The voucher amount will be based on the market rent; the voucher amount will never exceed the market rent at the time of prepayment even if the tenant chooses to stay in-place.

    Also, in no event will the Rural Development Voucher payment exceed the actual tenant lease rent. The amount of the voucher will not change either over time or if the tenant chooses to move to a more expensive location.

    f. Mobility and Portability of Rural Development Vouchers. An eligible tenant that is issued a Rural Development Voucher may elect to use the voucher in the same project, or may choose to move to another location. The Rural Development Voucher may be used at the prepaid property or any other rental unit in the United States and its territories that passes RD physical inspection standards, and where the owner will accept a Rural Development Voucher and execute a Form HUD 52641. Both the tenant and landlord must inform RD if the tenant plans to move during the HAP agreement term, even to a new unit in the same complex. All moves (within a complex or to another complex) require a new voucher obligation form, a new inspection by RD, and a new HAP agreement. In addition, HUD Section 8 and federally-assisted public housing are excluded from the RDVP because those units are already federally subsidized; tenants with a Rural Development Voucher would have to give up the Rural Development Voucher to accept those other types of assistance at those properties. However, while the Rural Development Voucher may be used in other properties financed by RD, it cannot be used in combination with the RD RA program. Tenants with a Rural Development Voucher that apply for housing in an RD-financed property must choose between using the voucher or RA, if available. If the tenant relinquishes the Rural Development Voucher in favor of RA, the tenant is not eligible to receive another Rural Development Voucher while the tenant is receiving such RA.

    g. Term of Funding and Conditions for Renewal for Rural Development Vouchers. The RDVP provides voucher assistance over 12 monthly payments. The voucher is issued to the household in the name of the primary tenant as the voucher holder. The voucher is not transferable from the voucher holder to any other household member, except in the case of the voucher holder's death or involuntary household separation, such as the incarceration of the voucher holder or transfer of the voucher holder to an assisted living or nursing home facility. Upon receiving documentation of such cases, the voucher may be transferred at the Agency's discretion to another tenant on the voucher holder's lease.

    The voucher is renewable subject to the availability of appropriations to the USDA. In order to renew a voucher, a tenant must return a signed Voucher Obligation Request Form, which will be sent to the tenant within 60-90 days before the current voucher expires. If the voucher holder fails to return the renewal Voucher Obligation Request Form before the current voucher funding expires, the voucher will be terminated and no renewal will occur.

    In order to ensure continued eligibility to use the Rural Development Voucher, tenants must certify at the time they apply for renewal of the voucher that the current tenant income does not exceed the “maximum income level,” which is 80 percent of family median income (a HUD dataset broken down by State, and then county). RD will advise the tenant of the maximum income level when the renewal Voucher Obligation Request Form is sent.

    Renewal requests will enjoy no preference over other voucher requests, and will be processed as described in this Notice.

    III. Non-Discrimination Statement

    USDA prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because of all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

    If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html or at any USDA Office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter by mail to: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250; by fax at (202) 690-7442; or, by email at: [email protected]. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities and who wish to file a program complaint should please contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339 or (800) 845-6136 (in Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. The full “Non-Discrimination Statement” is found at: http://www.usda.gov.wps/portal/usda/usdahome?navtype=Non_Discrimination.

    IV. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The information collection requirements contained in this document are those of the Housing Choice Voucher Program, which have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520) and assigned OMB control number 2577-0169.

    Dated: March 3, 2015. Tony Hernandez, Administrator, Housing and Community Facilities Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05433 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-XV-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Requested—Review of Child Nutrition Data and Analysis for Program Management AGENCY:

    Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on this proposed information collection. This is a new collection to review and document State and School Food Authority (SFA) National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) Management Information Systems (MIS) in order to provide FNS with a baseline assessment of the MIS system and to inform FNS regarding how States and SFAs use data systems beyond fulfilling FNS reporting requirements.

    DATES:

    Written comments on this notice must be received on or before May 8, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions that were used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments may be submitted through one of the following methods:

    Preferred method: Submit information through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submissions.

    Mail: Submissions should be addressed to Dennis Ranalli, Social Science Policy Analyst, Office of Policy Support, FNS, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 1014, Alexandria, VA 22302. Comments may also be emailed to [email protected]

    All information properly and timely submitted, using one of the methods described above, in response to this request will be included in the record and will be made available to the public on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Please be advised that the substance of the information provided and the identity of the individuals or entities submitting it will be subject to public disclosure.

    All written comments will be open for public inspection at the FNS office located at 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, Virginia, 22302, Room 1014, during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday). All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval. All comments will be a matter of public record.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of this information collection should be directed to Dennis Ranalli at 703-305-2149 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Review of Child Nutrition Data and Analysis for Program Management.

    Form Number: N/A.

    OMB Number: Not yet assigned.

    Expiration Date: Not yet determined.

    Type of Request: New collection.

    Abstract: The Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act of 1946 and Child Nutrition Act of 1966 provide the legislative authority for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP). These programs provide federal financial assistance and USDA foods to public and non-profit private schools and residential childcare institutions to facilitate serving meals that meet nutritional standards. At the State level, State education agencies (SEAs) administer NSLP/SBP. At the local level, School Food Authorities (SFAs) operate these programs through agreements with SEAs. SFAs use Management Information Systems (MIS) of varying levels of sophistication to collect the range of information required to implement and manage school food service programs.

    The information SFAs collect include meal production, labor cost, food cost, inventory and other data needed to manage their operations. SFAs also collect reimbursable meal counts and other information for obtaining NSLP/SBP reimbursements and meeting State reporting requirements. SFAs are accountable for meeting NSLP/SBP standards, maintaining food safety standards, ensuring proper use of funds, and managing meal services within a budget.

    Current State and federal data collection requirements for the NSLP/SBP have grown from manual paper-based reporting and early computer eras that were characterized by concerns to minimize paperwork and reporting burden. While SFAs collect a wide array of data to enhance local administration, SEAs request and aggregate a subset of this data and ultimately report only a small part of it to the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) as State data.

    The purpose of this study is to review and document the management information systems of State education agencies and School Food Authorities. Specifically, the study will present a baseline assessment of the MIS systems based on data collected:

    • Objective 1: Determine the baseline “as is” functionality of State education agencies (SEA) and School Food Authority (SFA) National School Lunch Program (NSLP)/School Breakfast Program (SBP) data management information systems.

    • Objective 2: Assess when State and local NSLP/SBP data management information systems were developed, and the expected longevity of these systems.

    • Objective 3: Determine the typical costs of developing, maintaining, modifying and replacing State and local NSLP/SBP data management information systems.

    • Objective 4: Outline the data elements that State and SFA NSLP/SBP data management systems collect and generate, beyond those reported to FNS, to administer and manage the NSLP and SBP at the State and SFA levels.

    • Objective 5: Assess what proportion of States and SFAs collect or generate NSLP/SBP management data that they do not report to FNS.

    • Objective 6: Describe how long these data elements are retained and how frequently they are updated.

    • Objective 7: Determine the functions that these data element serve. Describe the types of access, analysis, and standard or ad-hoc report generation supported by State and local NSLP/SBP data systems.

    • Objective 8: Describe the technical and other challenges SFA and State administrators face in NSLP/SBP data collection, aggregation, and reporting. Describe the perceptions of these officials of the quality of the reported data.

    The purpose of this project is to review and document SFA and State NSLP/SBP management information systems by conducting:

    1. A census of all State agencies responsible for administering NSLP/SBP, and

    2. A Web survey of a nationally representative sample of small, medium and large SFAs.

    Affected Public: State, Local and Tribal Government. Respondent groups identified include: (1) Data managers from State agencies that administer school meal programs in all 50 States and the District of Columbia and (2) a sample of SFA administrators or data managers.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: The total estimated number of unique respondents is 5,091. FNS expects that one representative from each State school meals agency will participate in the State agency survey. In addition, FNS expects that two respondents from each SFA will be needed to complete the SFA survey because this survey will seek information on a range of aspects of the MIS of SFAs. Based on this, FNS estimates that the total number of unique respondents for this study will include 51 representatives from State school meals agencies; 4,032 administrators and data managers from small, medium, and large SFAs; and 1,008 non-respondents. The study will contact 2,520 SFAs with an expected response rate of 80%, which will result in 2,016 completed Web surveys.

    Estimated Frequency of Responses per Respondent: 3.16.

    Estimated Total Annual Responses: 16,062.

    Estimated Time per Response: 10 minutes (0.17 hours). The estimated response time varies from three minutes to one hour. The census of State school meal agencies will take 60 minutes (1 hour) to complete. All representatives will receive prior notification of the survey. The estimated burden of this notification is 5 minutes (0.08 hours). For the Web survey of SFAs, all potential respondents will receive prior notification, which will require 5 minutes (0.08 hours) to read. It is anticipated that two respondents from each SFA will respond—the administrator and data manager. Estimated time of response for SFA administrators is 12 minutes (0.2 hours). The estimated time of response for SFA data managers (or equivalent) is 48 minutes (0.8 hours). Estimated time for non-respondents is 3 minutes (0.05 hours). Non-respondents include those who attempt the survey but do not complete or decline to participate. There will be three follow-up activities for both the census and the Web survey. The estimated burden for each follow-up activity is 3 minutes (0.05 hours).

    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 2,743.09 hours.

    See the table below for estimated total annual burden for each type of respondent.

    Respondent Estimated number
  • respondent
  • Frequency
  • of response
  • (annually)
  • Total annual responses (col. bxc) Estimated
  • avg. number
  • of hours per
  • response
  • Estimated
  • total hours
  • (col. dxe)
  • Census. Census Notification 51 1 51 0.08 4.08 Representative of State school meals agencies 51 1 51 1.00 51.00 Census Follow-up 1 36 1 36 0.05 1.79 Census Follow-up 2 28 1 28 0.05 1.40 Census Follow-up 3 20 1 20 0.05 1.02 Web Survey Survey Notification 2,520 1 2,520 0.08 201.60 School Food Authority Administrator 2,016 1 2,016 0.20 403.20 Survey Follow-up 1 (Administrator and Data Manager) 3,528 1 3,528 0.05 176.40 Survey Follow-up 2 (Administrator and Data Manager) 2,772 1 2,772 0.05 138.60 Survey Follow-up 3 (Administrator and Data Manager) 2,016 1 2,016 0.05 100.80 School Food Authority Data Manager (or equivalent) 2,016 1 2,016 0.80 1,612.80 School Food Authority Administrator (Attempted)—Non-Response 504 1 504 0.05 25.20 School Food Authority Data Manager (or equivalent)—Non-Response 504 1 504 0.05 25.20 Total Reporting Burden 5,091 3.16 16,062 0.17 2,743.09
    Dated: February 19, 2015. Audrey Rowe, Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05315 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request—WIC Participant and Program Characteristics Study AGENCY:

    Food and Nutrition Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on this proposed information collection. This collection is a new collection for the WIC Participant and Program Characteristics study.

    DATES:

    Written comments on this notice must be received on or before May 8, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to: Jinee Burdg, Policy Analyst, Office of Policy Support, Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 1014, Alexandria, VA 22302. Comments may also be submitted via fax to the attention of Jinee Burdg at 703-305-2576 or via email to [email protected] Comments will also be accepted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov, and follow the online instructions for submitting comments electronically.

    All written comments will be open for public inspection at the office of the Food and Nutrition Service during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday) at 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 1014, Alexandria, VA 22302.

    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval. All comments will be a matter of public record.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of this information collection should be directed to Jinee Burdg at 703-305-2744.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: 2016 & 2018 WIC Participant and Program Characteristics Study.

    Form Number: N/A.

    OMB Number: 0584-NEW.

    Expiration Date: Not yet determined.

    Type of Request: New collection.

    Abstract: The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is administered by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). WIC benefits include nutritious supplemental foods; nutrition education; counseling, including breastfeeding promotion and support; and referrals to health care, social service, and other community providers for pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women, infants, and children up to the age of 5 years. For pregnant women, WIC seeks to improve fetal development and reduce the incidence of low birth weight, short gestation, and anemia through intervention during the prenatal period. For infants and children, WIC seeks to provide nutritious foods during critical times of growth and development in an effort to prevent health problems and to improve the health status of these children.

    WIC was established in 1972 by an amendment to the Child Nutrition Act of 1966. WIC is not an entitlement program. To receive WIC benefits, an individual must be categorically eligible: A pregnant, breastfeeding, or postpartum woman; an infant up to the age of 1 year; or a child age 1 through his or her fifth birthday. In addition, each applicant must be found to be income eligible and at nutritional risk. Eligible applicants receive supplemental food, usually in the form of vouchers, checks, or Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards that allow them to obtain specific types of food (for example, milk, juice, and cereal) from participating retail vendors at no charge.

    Since 1988, FNS has produced biennial reports on participant and program characteristics in WIC. This information is used for general program monitoring as well as for managing the information needs of the program. FNS uses this regularly updated WIC information to estimate budgets, submit civil rights reporting, identify needs for research, and review current and proposed WIC policies and procedures. This study will be the 15th and 16th completed in the WIC Participant and Program Characteristics (PC) Study series.

    Like all biennial WIC PC reports since 1992, the 2016 and the 2018 reports (PC2016 and PC2018) employ the prototype reporting system developed by FNS in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and WIC State Agencies that uses participant information compiled from State WIC administrative records. The reports, including PC2016 and PC 2018, contain information on a census of WIC participants in April of the reporting year, and provide information as summary statistics and maps.

    The current system for reporting participant data is based on the automated transfer of an agreed-upon set of data elements. State WIC agencies download routinely collected information from their existing automated client and management information systems. State and local WIC staff use these data to certify applicant eligibility for WIC benefits and to issue food vouchers and checks. This set of 20 agreed-upon items is called the Minimum Data Set (MDS) and was developed by FNS working with the Information Committee of the National WIC Association (formerly the National Association of WIC Directors) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This minimum data set will be used for this study. The MDS consists of 20 items, and the Supplemental Data Set (SDS) consists of 11 items. State agencies can provide supplemental data if they are available.

    Affected Public: State, Local, or Tribal Government.

    Type of Respondents: State WIC Officials.

    Estimated Total Number of Respondents: 90.

    Frequency of Response: 8 annually.

    Estimated Total Annual Responses: 712.

    Estimated Time per Respondent and Annual Burden: 31 minutes (0.52 hours). The estimated time of response varies from 3 minutes (0.05 hours) for reminders to 60 minutes (1 hour) for running the reports. The total estimated annual burden is 370 hours.

    Affected public/respondents Data collection activity Estimated number
  • of respondents
  • Frequency of response Total annual responses Average
  • burden hours per response
  • Total annual burden
  • estimate
  • (hours)
  • State WIC Agency Officials (2016) MDS Reports
  • SDS Reports
  • 90
  • 86
  • 1
  • 1
  • 90
  • 86
  • 1
  • 1
  • 90
  • 86
  • Advance/Follow-up Communication 90 1 90 0.05 4.50 Advance/Follow-up Communication 90 1 90 0.05 4.50 State WIC Agency Officials (2018) MDS Reports
  • SDS Reports
  • 90
  • 86
  • 1
  • 1
  • 90
  • 86
  • 1
  • 1
  • 90
  • 86
  • Advance/Follow-up Communication 90 1 90 0.05 4.50 Advance/Follow-up Communication 90 1 90 0.05 4.50 Total 90 8 712 0.52 370
    Dated: February 24, 2015. Audrey Rowe, Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05312 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-P
    COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Oklahoma Advisory Committee for a Meeting To Discuss and Vote Upon a Project Proposal Regarding the School to Prison Pipeline in Oklahoma AGENCY:

    U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act that the Oklahoma Advisory Committee (Committee) will hold a meeting on Friday, March 27, 2015, at 3 p.m. CST for the purpose of discussing and voting on a project proposal regarding the school to prison pipeline of Oklahoma girls, students of color, and students with disabilities.

    Members of the public can listen to the discussion. This meeting is available to the public through the following toll-free call-in number: 888-466-4462, conference ID: 7610695. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. The conference call operator will ask callers to identify themselves, the organization they are affiliated with (if any), and an email address prior to placing callers into the conference room. Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free telephone number. Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the proceedings by first calling the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-977-8339 and providing the Service with the conference call number and conference ID number.

    Member of the public are also entitled to submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office by April 27, 2015. Written comments may be mailed to the Midwestern Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 55 W. Monroe St., Suite 410, Chicago, IL 60615. They may also be faxed to the Commission at (312) 353-8324, or emailed to Administrative Assistant, Carolyn Allen at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Midwestern Regional Office at (312) 353-8311.

    Records generated from this meeting may be inspected and reproduced at the Midwestern Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Records of the meeting will be available via www.facadatabase.gov under the Commission on Civil Rights, Oklahoma Advisory Committee link. Persons interested in the work of this Committee are directed to the Commission's Web site, http://www.usccr.gov, or may contact the Midwestern Regional Office at the above email or street address.

    Agenda Welcome and Introductions
    3 p.m. to 3:05 p.m. Vicki Limas, Chair Discussion of Proposal on School to Prison Pipeline in Oklahoma 3:05 p.m. to 3:35 p.m. Oklahoma Advisory Committee Planning Next Steps 3:35 p.m. to 4 p.m. Adjournment 4 p.m. Date: The meeting will be held on Friday, March 27, 2015, at 3 p.m. Public Call Information: Dial: 888-466-4462 Conference ID: 7610695 Dated March 3, 2015. David Mussatt, Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05275 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6335-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Census Bureau Census Advisory Committees; Notice of Meeting AGENCY:

    Bureau of the Census, Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Bureau of the Census (Census Bureau) is giving notice of a meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations (NAC). The NAC will address census policies, research and methodology, tests, operations, communications/messaging and other activities to ascertain needs and best practices to improve censuses, surveys, operations and programs. The NAC will meet in a plenary session on March 26-27, 2015. Last-minute changes to the schedule are possible, which could prevent giving advance public notice of schedule adjustments. Please visit the Census Advisory Committees Web site for the most current meeting agenda at: http://www.census.gov/cac/.

    DATES:

    March 26-27, 2015. On March 26, the meeting will begin at approximately 8:30 a.m. and end at approximately 5:00 p.m. On March 27, the meeting will begin at approximately 8:30 a.m. and end at approximately 1:30 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the U.S. Census Bureau, 4600 Silver Hill Road, Suitland, Maryland 20746.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kim Collier, Assistant Division Chief, Customer Liaison and Marketing Services Office, [email protected], Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, Room 8H185, 4600 Silver Hill Road, Washington, DC 20233, telephone 301-763-6590. For TTY callers, please use the Federal Relay Service 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The NAC comprises up to thirty-two members. The Committee provides an organized and continuing channel of communication between race, ethnic, and other populations and the Census Bureau. The Committee advises the Director of the Census Bureau on the full range of economic, housing, demographic, socioeconomic, linguistic, technological, methodological, geographic, behavioral and operational variables affecting the cost, accuracy and implementation of Census Bureau programs and surveys, including the decennial census.

    The Committee is established in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Title 5, United States Code, Appendix 2, Section 10(a)(b)).

    All meetings are open to the public. A brief period will be set aside at the meeting for public comment on March 27. However, individuals with extensive questions or statements must submit them in writing to: [email protected] (subject line `March 2015 NAC Meeting Public Comment”), or by letter submission to the Committee Liaison Officer, March 2015 NAC Meeting, Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, Room 8H185, 4600 Silver Hill Road, Washington, DC 20233.

    If you plan to attend the meeting, please register by Monday, March 23. You may access the online registration from the following link: http://www.regonline.com/nac_mar2015_meeting. Seating is available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.

    These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to the Committee point of contact as soon as possible, preferably two weeks prior to the meeting.

    Due to increased security and for access to the meeting, please call 301-763-9906 upon arrival at the Census Bureau on the day of the meeting. A photo ID must be presented in order to receive your visitor's badge. Visitors are not allowed beyond the first floor.

    Dated: March 2, 2015. John H. Thompson, Director, Bureau of the Census.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05279 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-07P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Economic Analysis [Docket No. 150127081-5081-01] RIN 0691-XC031 BE-29: Annual Survey of Foreign Ocean Carriers' Expenses in the United States AGENCY:

    Bureau of Economic Analysis, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of reporting requirements.

    SUMMARY:

    By this notice, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Department of Commerce, is informing the public that it is conducting the mandatory survey titled Annual Survey of Foreign Ocean Carriers' Expenses in the United States (BE-29). This survey is authorized by the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice constitutes legal notification to all United States persons (defined below) who meet the reporting requirements set forth in this Notice that they must respond to, and comply with, the survey. Reports are due 90 days after the end of each calendar year. This notice is being issued in conformance with the rule BEA issued in 2012 (77 FR 24373) establishing guidelines for collecting data on international trade in services and direct investment through notices, rather than through rulemaking. Additional information about BEA's collection of data on international trade in services and direct investment can be found in the 2012 rule, the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act (22 U.S.C. 3101 et seq.), and 15 CFR part 801. Survey data on international trade in services and direct investment that are not collected pursuant to the 2012 rule are described separately in 15 CFR part 801. The BE-29 survey forms and instructions are available on the BEA Web site at www.bea.gov/ssb.

    Definitions

    (a) Person means any individual, branch, partnership, associated group, association, estate, trust, corporation, or other organization (whether or not organized under the laws of any State), and any government (including a foreign government, the United States Government, a State or local government, and any agency, corporation, financial institution, or other entity or instrumentality thereof, including a government-sponsored agency).

    (b) United States person means any person resident in the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

    (c) United States, when used in a geographic sense, means the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and all territories and possessions of the United States.

    (d) Foreign person means any person resident outside the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of a country other than the United States.

    (e) Carriers means owners or operators of dry cargo, passenger (including cruise and combination) and tanker vessels, including very large crude carriers (VLCCs), calling at U.S. ports.

    (f) Foreign Carriers means those carriers whose residence is outside the United States, including those who own or operate their own chartered (U.S.-flag or foreign-flag) vessels. They also include foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies operating their own or chartered vessels as carriers for their own accounts.

    Reporting

    Who Must Report: (a) Reports are required from U.S. agents of foreign carriers who handle 40 or more port calls in the reporting period by foreign ocean vessels, or have total annual covered expenses for all foreign ocean vessels handled by the U.S. agent of $250,000 or more.

    (b) Entities required to report will be contacted individually by BEA. Entities not contacted by BEA have no reporting responsibilities.

    What To Report: This survey collects information on foreign ocean carriers' expenses in the United States.

    How To Report: Reports can be filed using BEA's electronic reporting system at www.bea.gov/efile. Copies of the survey forms and instructions, which contain complete information on reporting procedures and definitions, may be obtained at the BEA Web site given above. Form BE-29 inquiries can be made by phone to BEA at (202) 606-5588 or by sending an email to [email protected].

    When To Report: Reports are due to BEA 90 days after the end of each calendar year.

    Paperwork Reduction Act Notice

    This data collection has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act and assigned control number 0608-0012. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid control number assigned by OMB. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 3 hours per response. Send comments regarding this burden estimate to Director, Bureau of Economic Analysis (BE-1), U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230; and to the Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project 0608-0012, Washington, DC 20503.

    Authority:

    22 U.S.C. 3101-3108.

    Dated: February 2, 2015. Brian C. Moyer, Director, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05343 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Economic Analysis [Docket No. 150128087-5087-01] RIN 0691-XC035 BE-37: Quarterly Survey of U.S. Airline Operators' Foreign Revenues and Expenses AGENCY:

    Bureau of Economic Analysis, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of reporting requirements.

    SUMMARY:

    By this Notice, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Department of Commerce, is informing the public that it is conducting a mandatory survey titled Quarterly Survey of U.S. Airline Operators' Foreign Revenues and Expenses (BE-37). This survey is authorized by the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This Notice constitutes legal notification to all United States persons (defined below) who meet the reporting requirements set forth in this Notice that they must respond to, and comply with, the survey. Reports are due 45 days after the end of each calendar quarter. This notice is being issued in conformance with the rule BEA issued in 2012 (77 FR 24373) establishing guidelines for collecting data on international trade in services and direct investment through notices, rather than through rulemaking. Additional information about BEA's collection of data on international trade in services and direct investment can be found in the 2012 rule, the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act (22 U.S.C. 3101 et seq.), and 15 CFR part 801. Survey data on international trade in services and direct investment that are not collected pursuant to the 2012 rule are described separately in 15 CFR part 801. The BE-37 survey forms and instructions are available on the BEA Web site at www.bea.gov/ssb.

    Definitions

    (a) Person means any individual, branch, partnership, associated group, association, estate, trust, corporation, or other organization (whether or not organized under the laws of any State), and any government (including a foreign government, the United States Government, a State or local government, and any agency, corporation, financial institution, or other entity or instrumentality thereof, including a government-sponsored agency).

    (b) United States person means any person resident in the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

    (c) United States, when used in a geographic sense, means the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and all territories and possessions of the United States.

    (d) Foreign person means any person resident outside the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of a country other than the United States.

    Reporting

    Who Must Report: (a) Reports are required from each U.S person whose total covered revenues or total covered expenses were $500,000 or more during the previous year, or are expected to be $500,000 or more during the current year.

    (b) Entities required to report will be contacted individually by BEA. Entities not contacted by BEA have no reporting responsibilities.

    What To Report: The survey collects information on U.S. airline operators' foreign revenues and expenses.

    How To Report: Reports can be filed using BEA's electronic reporting system at www.bea.gov/efile. Copies of the survey forms and instructions, which contain complete information on reporting procedures and definitions, may be obtained at the BEA Web site given above. Form BE-30 inquiries can be made by phone to BEA at (202) 606-5588 or by sending an email to [email protected]

    When To Report: Reports are due to BEA 45 days after the end of each calendar quarter.

    Paperwork Reduction Act Notice

    This data collection has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act and assigned control number 0608-0011. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid control number assigned by OMB. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 4 hours per response. Send comments regarding this burden estimate to Director, Bureau of Economic Analysis (BE-1), U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230; and to the Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project 0608-0011, Washington, DC 20503.

    Authority:

    22 U.S.C. 3101-3108.

    Brian C. Moyer, Director, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05344 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-427-818] Low-Enriched Uranium From France; Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on low-enriched uranium (LEU) from France.1 The period of review (POR) is February 1, 2013, through January 31, 2014. The review covers one producer/exporter of the subject merchandise, Eurodif S.A., AREVA NC, and AREVA NC, Inc. (collectively AREVA). The Department preliminarily determines that AREVA sold subject merchandise at less than normal value in the United States during the POR. We invite interested parties to comment on these preliminary results.

    1See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews and Request for Revocation in Part, 79 FR 18262 (April 1, 2014).

    DATES:

    Effective Date: March 9, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Andrew Huston, AD/CVD Operations, Office VII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4261.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Scope of the Order

    The product covered by the order is all low-enriched uranium from France. Low-enriched uranium is enriched uranium hexafluoride (UF6) with a U235 product assay of less than 20 percent that has not been converted into another chemical form, such as UO2, or fabricated into nuclear fuel assemblies, regardless of the means by which the LEU is produced (including low-enriched uranium produced through the down-blending of highly enriched uranium).2

    2 For a full description of the scope of the order, see “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Low-Enriched Uranium from France: 2013-2014” from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance (Preliminary Decision Memorandum), dated concurrently with these results and herby adopted by this notice.

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this review in accordance with section 751(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov, and it is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit in room 7046 of the main Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    Preliminary Determination

    AREVA timely filed a “no shipment” certification stating that they had no entries of subject merchandise during the POR. Global Nuclear Fuels-America (GNF-A) 3 , an interested party, submitted a separate response to the Department's initial questionnaire. Data that the Department obtained from CBP showed entries of LEU from AREVA during the POR. The Department issued two supplemental questionnaires to AREVA, and one supplemental questionnaire to GNF-A, and received a timely responses. The Department also requested and received entry documents from CBP.

    3 GNF-A is an importer of subject merchandise and fabricator of nuclear fuel for use in power plants outside the United States. For information regarding GNF-A see Preliminary Decision Memorandum at 2 and 3.

    Based on the questionnaire responses filed by AREVA and GNF-A, and information received from CBP, we preliminarily determine that, while the majority of the entries of LEU from France, identified in the import data from CBP, were either excluded from the order under the re-export provision of the scope or not subject to the order, AREVA did have shipments of merchandise subject to the antidumping order on LEU from France during the POR. The shipments in question were identified by AREVA as “sample sales,” however the Department finds these to be bona fide sales, and therefore subject to antidumping order on LEU from France.4

    4See Preliminary Decision Memorandum at 3.

    Facts Available

    For the preliminary results, we have relied, in part, on facts available. AREVA did not provide full responses to the Departments initial questionnaire and did not provide sales and cost data requested in a supplemental.5 Because we lack necessary AREVA sales and cost data, we determine that it is appropriate to apply “facts available” pursuant to section 776(a)(2)(B) of the Act. We further determine that an adverse inference is warranted in accordance with section 776(b) of the Act because, pursuant to section 782(e) of the Act, AREVA did not act to the best of its ability to comply with our requests for information and we do not have sufficient sales and cost information on the record to calculate a weighted-average dumping margin for AREVA. Because AREVA did not act to the best of its ability to respond to the Department's request for information, we have drawn an adverse inference in selecting from among the facts available, pursuant to 776(a) and (b) of the Act. For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    5See id.

    Preliminary Results of Review

    As a result of this review, we preliminarily determine that the following weighted-average dumping margins on LEU from France exist for the period February 1, 2013, through January 31, 2014 at the following rates:

    Producer or exporter Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • AREVA 30.22
    Assessment Rates

    Upon issuance of the final results, the Department shall determine and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review. If we continue to rely on adverse facts available to establish AREVA's weighted-average dumping margin, then we will instruct CBP to assess antidumping duties for entries of subject merchandise during the POR which were produced and/or exported by AREVA at a rate equal to the weighted-average dumping margin found in the final results.

    The Department clarified its “automatic assessment” regulation on May 6, 2003. This clarification will apply to entries of subject merchandise during the POR produced by companies included in the final results of review for which these companies did not know that the merchandise was destined for the United States. In such instances, we will instruct CBP to liquidate un-reviewed entries at the all-others rate if there is no rate for the intermediate company(ies) involved in the transaction.6

    6See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 68 FR 23954 (May 6, 2003).

    We intend to issue instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of the final results of this review.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following deposit requirements will be effective for all shipments of LEU from France entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of the final results of this administrative review, as provided for by section 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for AREVA will be equal to the weighted-average dumping margin established in the final results of this administrative review, except for entries which AREVA claims to be excluded from the order under the re-export provision of the scope, which will require a cash deposit rate of zero percent; (2) for previously reviewed or investigated companies not listed above, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recent period; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a prior review, or the less-than-fair-value investigation, but the manufacturer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recent period for the manufacturer of the merchandise; and (4) the cash deposit rate for all other manufacturers or exporters will continue to be 19.95 percent, the all-others rate established in the investigation.7 These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    7See Notice of Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Antidumping Duty Order: Low Enriched Uranium From France, 67 FR 6680 (February 13, 2002).

    Comments

    Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results and submit written arguments or case briefs within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice, unless otherwise notified by the Department.8 Parties are reminded that written comments or case briefs are not the place for submitting new factual material. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, will be due five days later.9 Parties that submit case or rebuttal briefs are requested to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; and (2) a brief summary of the argument. Parties are requested to provide a summary of the arguments not to exceed five pages and a table of statutes, regulations, and cases cited.

    8See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(ii).

    9See 19 CFR 351.309(d).

    Any interested party who wishes to request a hearing, or to participate if one is requested, must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance within 30 days after the day of publication of this notice. A request should contain: (1) The party's name, address, and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of issues to be discussed.10 Issues raised in the hearing will be limited to those raised in case briefs. The Department will issue the final results of administrative review, including the results of our analysis of issues raised in any briefs, within 90 days after the date on which the preliminary results were issued, unless the deadline for the final results is extended.11

    10See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    11See 19 CFR 351.213(h).

    Submissions should be filed electronically via the Department's electronic records ACCESS. An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by ACCESS by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the deadline date for submission.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice serves as a preliminary reminder to the importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    These preliminary results of administrative review are issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: March 2, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix List of Topics Discussed in Preliminary Decision Memorandum 1. Scope of the Order 2. Preliminary Determination 3. Facts Otherwise Available 4. Adverse Facts Available
    [FR Doc. 2015-05470 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-83-2014] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 7—Mayaguez, Puerto Rico; Authorization of Production Activity; IPR Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; (Pharmaceutical Products); Canóvanas, Puerto Rico

    On November 3, 2014, the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company, grantee of FTZ 7, submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board on behalf of IPR Pharmaceuticals, Inc., located within FTZ 7, in Canóvanas, Puerto Rico.

    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 69832, November 24, 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 Board's regulations, including Section 400.14.

    Dated: March 3, 2015. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05489 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-201-842] Large Residential Washers From Mexico: Preliminary Results of the Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Preliminary Determination of No Shipments; 2012-2014 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on large residential washers from Mexico. The period of review (POR) is August 3, 2012, through January 31, 2014. This review covers two companies, Electrolux Home Products Corp. N.V. and Electrolux Home Products de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. (collectively, Electrolux) and Samsung Electronics Mexico S.A. de C.V. (Samsung). We preliminarily determine that Electrolux made sales of subject merchandise at less than normal value. In addition, we preliminarily find that no shipments of subject merchandise were made by Samsung during the POR. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: March 9, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brian Smith or Brandon Custard, AD/CVD Operations, Office II, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-1766 or (202) 482-1823.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Scope of the Order

    The products covered by the order are all large residential washers and certain subassemblies thereof from Mexico. The products are currently classifiable under subheadings 8450.20.0040 and 8450.20.0080 of the Harmonized Tariff System of the United States (HTSUS). Products subject to this order may also enter under HTSUS subheadings 8450.11.0040, 8450.11.0080, 8450.90.2000, and 8450.90.6000. Although the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the merchandise subject to this scope is dispositive.1

    1 A full description of the scope of the order is contained in the memorandum to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, from Gary Taverman, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, “Large Residential Washers from Mexico: Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Results of the Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2012-2014” (Preliminary Decision Memorandum), dated concurrently with and adopted by this notice. The HTSUS numbers are revised from the numbers previously stated in the scope. See Memorandum to the File entitled “Changes to the HTS Numbers to the ACE Case Reference Files for the Antidumping Duty Orders,” dated January 6, 2015.

    Methodology

    The Department conducted this review in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(B) and (2) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). Constructed export price is calculated in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Normal value is calculated in accordance with section 773 of the Act.

    For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS).2 ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, Room 7046 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content. A list of the topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is attached as an Appendix to this notice.

    2 On November 24, 2014, Enforcement and Compliance changed the name of Enforcement and Compliance's AD and CVD Centralized Electronic Service System (“IA ACCESS”) to AD and CVD Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”). The Web site location was changed from http://iaaccess.trade.gov to http://access.trade.gov. The Final Rule changing the references to the Regulations can be found at 79 FR 69046 (November 20, 2014).

    Preliminary Determination of No Shipments

    Based on our analysis of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) information and information provided by Samsung, we preliminarily determine that Samsung had no shipments of the subject merchandise, and, therefore, no reviewable transactions, during the POR. For a full discussion of this determination, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Preliminary Results of Review

    As a result of this review, the Department preliminarily determines that the following weighted-average dumping margin exists for Electrolux for the period August 3, 2012, through January 31, 2014:

    Producer/exporter Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Electrolux Home Products Corp. NV/Electrolux Home Products de Mexico, S.A. de C.V 4.48
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    The Department intends to disclose to interested parties the calculations performed in connection with these preliminary results within five days after the date of publication of this notice.3 Interested parties may submit case briefs within 30 days of the date of publication of these preliminary results.4 Rebuttal briefs, which must be limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may be filed no later than five days after the time limit for filing case briefs.5 Parties submitting arguments in this proceeding are requested to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.6

    3See 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    4See 19 CFR 351.309(c).

    5See 19 CFR 351.309(d); see also 19 CFR 351.303 (for general filing requirements).

    6See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2).

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), any interested party may request a hearing within 30 days of publication of this notice. To request a hearing, or to participate if one is requested, parties must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce. Hearing requests should contain: (1) The party's name, address, and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of issues to be discussed. If a hearing is requested, the Department will notify interested parties of the hearing schedule. Issues raised in the hearing will be limited to those raised in the case and rebuttal briefs. All documents must be filed electronically using ACCESS.

    The Department intends to issue the final results of this administrative review, which will include the results of its analysis of issues raised in any such comments, within 120 days of publication of these preliminary results, unless the deadline is extended.7

    7See section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213(h).

    Assessment Rate

    Upon issuance of the final results, the Department shall determine, and CBP shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212. The Department intends to issue assessment instructions to CBP 41 days after the date of publication of the final results of this review.

    Electrolux reported the names of the importers of record and the entered value for all of its sales to the United States during the POR. If Electrolux's weighted-average dumping margin is above de minimis (i.e., 0.50 percent), we will calculate importer-specific ad valorem duty assessment rates based on the ratio of the total amount of dumping calculated for the importer's examined sales to the total entered value of those same sales in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).8 We will instruct CBP to assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review when the importer-specific assessment rate calculated in the final results of this review is above de minimis. Where either the respondent's weighted-average dumping margin is zero or de minimis, or an importer-specific assessment rate is zero or de minimis, we will instruct CBP to liquidate the appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties.

    8 In these preliminary results, the Department applied the assessment rate calculation method in Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Proceedings: Final Modification, 77 FR 8101 (February 14, 2012).

    The Department clarified its “automatic assessment” regulation on May 6, 2003.9 If applicable, this clarification will apply to entries of subject merchandise during the POR produced by Electrolux, for which it did not know that its merchandise was destined for the United States. Furthermore, this clarification applies to all POR entries entered under the case number for Samsung if we continue to make a final determination of no shipments of subject merchandise because it certified that it made no POR shipments of subject merchandise for which it had knowledge of U.S. destination. In such instances, we will instruct CBP to liquidate these entries at the all-others rate established in the less-than fair-value (LTFV) investigation, 36.52 percent,10 if there is no rate for the intermediary involved in the transaction. See Assessment Policy Notice for a full discussion of this clarification.

    9See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 68 FR 23954 (May 6, 2003) (Assessment Policy Notice).

    10See Notice of Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Large Residential Washers from Mexico, 77 FR 76288, 76291 (December 27, 2012).

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following deposit requirements will remain effective upon publication of the notice of final results of administrative review for all shipments of the subject merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication as provided in section 751(a)(1) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for Electrolux will be that rate established in the final results of this review; (2) for previously investigated companies not covered in this review, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the rate published for the LTFV investigation; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, or the LTFV investigation but the manufacturer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recent period for the manufacturer of the subject merchandise; (4) if neither the exporter nor the manufacturer is a firm covered in this review or the LTFV investigation, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the all-others rate established in the LTFV investigation, which is 36.52 percent.11 These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    11See Large Residential Washers From Mexico and the Republic of Korea: Antidumping Duty Orders, 78 FR 11148 (February 15, 2013).

    Notification to Importers

    This notice also serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    Notification to Interested Parties

    We are issuing and publishing these preliminary results of administrative review in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.221(b)(4).

    Dated: March 2, 2015. Paul Piquado Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix List of Topics Discussed in Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope of the Order IV. Discussion of Methodology A. Preliminary Determination of No Shipments B. Comparisons to Normal Value C. Product Comparisons D. Constructed Export Price E. Normal Value F. Currency Conversion V. Recommendation
    [FR Doc. 2015-05472 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Economic Analysis [Docket No. 150128091-5091-01] RIN 0691-XC039 BE-577: Quarterly Survey of U.S. Direct Investment Abroad—Transactions of U.S. Reporter With Foreign Affiliate AGENCY:

    Bureau of Economic Analysis, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of reporting requirements.

    SUMMARY:

    By this notice, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Department of Commerce, is informing the public that it is conducting the mandatory survey titled Quarterly Survey of U.S. Direct Investment Abroad—Transactions of U.S. Reporter with Foreign Affiliate (BE-577). This survey is authorized by the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice constitutes legal notification to all United States persons (defined below) who meet the reporting requirements set forth in this Notice that they must respond to, and comply with, the survey. Reports are due 30 days after the close of each calendar or fiscal quarter; 45 days if the report is for the final quarter of the financial reporting year. This notice is being issued in conformance with the rule BEA issued in 2012 (77 FR 24373) establishing guidelines for collecting data on international trade in services and direct investment through notices, rather than through rulemaking. Additional information about BEA's collection of data on international trade in services and direct investment can be found in the 2012 rule, the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act (22 U.S.C. 3101 et seq.), and 15 CFR part 801. Survey data on international trade in services and direct investment that are not collected pursuant to the 2012 rule are described separately in 15 CFR part 801. The BE-577 survey forms and instructions are available on the BEA Web site at www.bea.gov/dia.

    Definitions

    (a) United States, when used in a geographic sense, means the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and all territories and possessions of the United States.

    (b) Foreign, when used in a geographic sense, means that which is situated outside the United States or which belongs to or is characteristic of a country other than the United States.

    (c) Person means any individual, branch, partnership, associated group, association, estate, trust, corporation, or other organization (whether or not organized under the laws of any State), and any government (including a foreign government, the United States Government, a State or local government, and any agency, corporation, financial institution, or other entity or instrumentality thereof, including a government-sponsored agency).

    (d) Business enterprise means any organization, association, branch, or venture that exists for profit making purposes or to otherwise secure economic advantage, and any ownership of any real estate.

    Reporting

    Who Must Report: (a) Reports are required from each U.S. person that has a direct and/or indirect ownership interest of at least 10 percent of the voting stock in an incorporated foreign business enterprise, or an equivalent interest in an unincorporated foreign business enterprise, and that meets the additional conditions detailed in Form BE-577.

    (b) Entities required to report will be contacted individually by BEA. Entities not contacted by BEA have no reporting responsibilities.

    What To Report: The survey collects information on transactions between parent companies and their affiliates and on direct investment positions (stocks).

    How To Report: Reports can be filed using BEA's electronic reporting system at www.bea.gov/efile. Copies of the survey forms and instructions, which contain complete information on reporting procedures and definitions, may be obtained at the BEA Web site given above. Form BE-577 inquiries can be made by phone to (202) 606-5557 or by sending an email to [email protected].

    When To Report: Reports are due to BEA 30 days after the close of each calendar or fiscal quarter; 45 days if the report is for the final quarter of the financial reporting year.

    Paperwork Reduction Act Notice

    This data collection has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act and assigned control number 0608-0004. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid control number assigned by OMB. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour per response. Send comments regarding this burden estimate to Director, Bureau of Economic Analysis (BE-1), U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230; and to the Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project 0608-0004, Washington, DC 20503.

    Authority:

    22 U.S.C. 3101-3108.

    Dated: February 2, 2015. Brian C. Moyer, Director, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05354 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-533-810] Stainless Steel Bar From India: Preliminary Results, and Rescission, in Part, of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on stainless steel bar (SSB) from India. The period of review (POR) is February 1, 2013, through January 31, 2014. This review covers one exporter/producer of the subject merchandise, Bhansali Bright Bars Pvt. Ltd. (Bhansali). We preliminarily find that subject merchandise has not been sold at less than normal value (NV) during this POR. We are also rescinding this review for one other producer/exporter, Ambica Steels Limited (Ambica). We invite interested parties to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: March 9, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Joseph Shuler or Dana Mermelstein, 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) 482-1293 or (202) 482-1391, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Scope of the Order

    The merchandise subject to the order is SSB from India. The SSB subject to the order is currently classifiable under subheadings 7222.10.00, 7222.11.00, 7222.19.00, 7222.20.00, 7222.30.00 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). The HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes. The written description is dispositive.1

    1 A full description of the scope of the order is contained in the memorandum from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, “Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Stainless Steel Bar from India” dated concurrently with this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum), which is hereby adopted by this notice.

    The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS).2 ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room 7046 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the Internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/index.html. A list of the topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is attached as an Appendix to this notice.

    2 On November 24, 2014, Enforcement and Compliance changed the name of Enforcement and Compliance's AD and CVD Centralized Electronic Service System (IA ACCESS) to AD and CVD Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). The Web site location was changed from http://iaaccess.trade.gov to http://access.trade.gov. The Final Rule changing the references to the Regulations can be found at 79 FR 69046 (November 20, 2014).

    Partial Rescission of Administrative Review

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), we are rescinding this administrative review with respect to Ambica because the review request was timely withdrawn.

    Methodology

    The Department has conducted this review in accordance with Section 751(a)(2) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). Export price is calculated in accordance with section 772(a) of the Act. Normal value is calculated in accordance with section 773 of the Act. For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusion, please see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    Preliminary Results of the Review

    As a result of this review, we preliminarily determine the following weighted-average dumping margin for the period February 1, 2013, through January 31, 2014.

    Exporter/Manufacturer Weighted-
  • average
  • dumping
  • margin
  • (percent)
  • Bhansali Bright Bars Pvt. Ltd. 0.00
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    The Department intends to disclose to interested parties the calculations performed in connection with these preliminary results within five days of the date of publication of this notice.3 Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.309(c), interested parties may submit cases briefs no later than 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. Rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may be filed no later than five days after the date for filing case briefs.4 Parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs in this proceeding are encouraged to submit with each argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.5 Case and rebuttal briefs should be filed using ACCESS.6

    3See 19 CFR 351.224(b).

    4See 19 CFR 351.309(d).

    5See 19 CFR 351.309(c)(2) and (d)(2).

    6See 19 CFR 351.303.

    Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.310(c), interested parties who wish to request a hearing, or to participate if one is requested, must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, filed electronically via ACCESS. An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.7 Hearing requests should contain: (1) The party's name, address, and telephone number; (2) the number of participants; and (3) a list of issues to be discussed. Issues raised in the hearing will be limited to those raised in the respective case briefs. If a request for a hearing is made, parties will be notified of the date and time for the hearing to be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    7See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    The Department intends to issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of its analysis of the issues raised in any written briefs, within 120 days after the date of publication of this notice, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act.

    Assessment Rates

    The Department will 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).8 The Department intends to issue appropriate assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after publication of the final results of review.

    8 In these preliminary results, the Department applied the assessment rate calculation method adopted in Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Proceedings: Final Modification, 77 FR 8101 (February 14, 2012).

    For Bhansali, 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).

    Bhansali reported the name of the importer of record and the entered value for some of its sales to the United States during the POR. Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1), for these sales, if Bhansali's weighted-average dumping margin is above de minimis (i.e., 0.50 percent) in the final results of this review, we will calculate importer-specific assessment rates based on the ratio of the total amount of antidumping duties calculated for the examined sales to the total entered value of those sales. Where Bhansali did not report entered value, we will calculate importer-specific assessment rates for the merchandise in question by aggregating the dumping margins calculated for all U.S. sales to each importer and dividing this amount by the total quantity of those sales.

    The Department clarified its “automatic assessment” regulation on May 6, 2003. This clarification will apply to entries of subject merchandise during the POR produced by Bhansali for which it did not know its merchandise was destined for the United States. In such instances, we will instruct CBP to liquidate un-reviewed entries at the all-others rate if there is no rate for the intermediate company(ies) involved in the transaction. For a full discussion of this clarification, see Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 68 FR 23954 (May 6, 2003).

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the notice of final results of administrative review for all shipments of SSB from India entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication as provided by section 751(a)(2) of the Act: (1) The cash deposit rate for Bhansali will be the rate established in the final results of this administrative review; (2) for previously reviewed or investigated companies not listed above, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the company-specific rate published for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding; (3) if the exporter is not a firm covered in this review, a prior review, or the original investigation but the manufacturer is, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established for the most recent period for the manufacturer of the merchandise; (4) the cash deposit rate for all other manufacturers or exporters will continue to be 12.45 percent, the all-others rate established in Notice of Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Stainless Steel Bar from India, 59 FR 66915, 66921 (December 28, 1994). These cash deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice also serves as a preliminary reminder to importers of their responsibility under 19 CFR 351.402(f)(2) to file a certificate regarding the reimbursement of antidumping duties prior to liquidation of the relevant entries during this review period. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the Secretary's presumption that reimbursement of antidumping duties occurred and the subsequent assessment of double antidumping duties.

    We are issuing and publishing these results in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act.

    Dated: March 2, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary, for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum Summary Background Partial Rescission Scope of the Order Discussion of the Methodology Normal Value Comparisons Product Comparisons Date of Sale Export Price Level of Trade Analysis of Home Market Sales Level of Trade Analysis of U.S. Sales Level of Trade Level of Trade Determination Normal Value Home Market Viability as Comparison Market Cost of Production Analysis  Calculation of Cost of Production  Test of Comparison Market Sales  Prices  Results of the COP Test Calculation of Normal Value Based on Comparison Market Prices Calculation of Normal Value Based on Constructed Value Currency Conversion
    [FR Doc. 2015-05487 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-552-802] Certain Frozen Warmwater Shrimp From the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    In response to requests from interested parties, the Department of Commerce (“Department”) is conducting the administrative review of the antidumping duty order on certain frozen warmwater shrimp from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (“Vietnam”) for the period of review February 1, 2013, through January 31, 2014. The Department selected three mandatory respondents based on a sampling methodology, using the information available at the time of selection.1 The Department preliminarily determines that sales of subject merchandise by the Minh Phu Group 2 and Thuan Phuoc 3 were made below normal value (“NV”). The Department preliminarily determines that sales of subject merchandise by Fimex VN 4 were not made below NV. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    1See Memorandum to: James Doyle, Director Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, From: Alexis Polovina, International Trade Compliance Analyst, Office V Enforcement and Compliance, Re: Antidumping Duty Administrative Review of Certain Frozen Warmwater Shrimp from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Respondent Selection Methodology and Sampling Pool for Selection of Respondents, dated October 3, 2014.

    2 Minh Phu Seafood Corporation, Minh Qui Seafood Co., Ltd., Minh Phat Seafood Co., Ltd., and Minh Phu Hau Giang Seafood Co., Ltd. (collectively, the “Minh Phu Group”).

    3 Thuan Phuoc Seafoods and Trading Corporation (“Thuan Phuoc”).

    4 Sao Ta Foods Joint Stock Company (“Fimex VN”).

    DATES:

    Effective Date: March 9, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Bob Palmer, Irene Gorelik, or Alexis Polovina, AD/CVD Operations, Office V, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-9068, (202) 482-6905, (202) 482-3927, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Scope of the Order

    The merchandise subject to the Order5 is certain frozen warmwater shrimp. The product is currently classified under the following Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) item numbers: 0306.17.00.03, 0306.17.00.06, 0306.17.00.09, 0306.17.00.12, 0306.17.00.15, 0306.17.00.18, 0306.17.00.21, 0306.17.00.24, 0306.17.00.27, 0306.17.00.40, 1605.21.10.30, and 1605.29.10.10. Although the HTSUS numbers are provided for convenience and for customs purposes, the written product description, available in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, remains dispositive.6

    5See Certain Frozen Warmwater Shrimp From Brazil, India, the People's Republic of China, Thailand, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Amended Antidumping Duty Orders in Accordance with Final Court Decision, 76 FR 23277 (April 26, 2011) (“Order”).

    6 For a complete description of the Scope of the Order, see Memorandum to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, from Christian Marsh, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations, titled “Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Certain Frozen Warmwater Shrimp from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam; 2013-2014,” dated concurrently with and adopted by this notice (“Preliminary Decision Memorandum”).

    Methodology

    The Department conducted this review in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(A) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”). Constructed export prices and export prices were calculated in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Because Vietnam is a nonmarket economy within the meaning of section 771(18) of the Act, NV was calculated in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act.

    For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see Preliminary Decision Memorandum. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via the Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”).7 ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov and in the Central Records Unit, room 7046 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly on the internet at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic versions of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    7 On November 24, 2014, Enforcement and Compliance changed the name of Enforcement and Compliance's AD and CVD Centralized Electronic Service System (“IA ACCESS”) to AD and CVD Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”). The Web site location was changed from http://iaaccess.trade.gov to http://access.trade.gov. The Final Rule changing the references to the Regulations can be found at 79 FR 69046 (November 20, 2014).

    Preliminary Determination of No Shipments

    Based on our analysis of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) information and information provided by a number of companies, we preliminarily determine that eight companies 8 did not have any reviewable transactions during the POR. In addition, the Department finds, consistent with its refinement to its assessment practice in non-market economy cases, that it is appropriate not to rescind the review in part in these circumstances, but to complete the review with respect to these eight companies and issue appropriate instructions to CBP based on the final results of the review.9 For additional information regarding this determination, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    8 These eight companies are: (1) Bien Dong Seafood Co., Ltd. (“Bien Dong”); (2) BIM Foods Joint Stock Company; (3) Cafatex Fishery Joint Stock Corporation; (4) Camau Seafood Processing and Service Joint-stock Corporation (“CASES”); (5) Camranh Seafoods Co., Ltd.; (6) Nhat Duc Co., Ltd.; (7) Phu Cuong Jostco Seafood Corporation; and (8) Seavina Joint Stock Company (“Seavina”).

    9See Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694 (October 24, 2011) (“Assessment Notice”); see also “Assessment Rates” section below.

    Preliminary Results of Review

    The Department finds that 56 companies for which a review was requested have not established eligibility for a separate rate and, thus, they are considered to be part of the Vietnam-wide entity for these preliminary results.10 The Department's change in policy regarding conditional review of the Vietnam-wide entity applies to this administrative review.11 Under this policy, the Vietnam-wide entity will not be under review unless a party specifically requests, or the Department self-initiates, a review of the entity. Because no party requested a review of the Vietnam-wide entity, the entity is not under review and the entity's rate is not subject to change. For companies for which a review was requested and that have established eligibility for a separate rate, the Department preliminarily determines that the following weighted-average dumping margins exist:

    10See Appendix II for a full list of the 56 companies; see also Preliminary Decision Memorandum, at 9-10.

    11Antidumping 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).

    12 Due to the issues we have had in the past with variations of exporter names related to this Order, we remind exporters that the names listed below are the exact names, including spelling and punctuation which the Department will provide to CBP and which CBP will use to assess POR entries and collect cash deposits.

    13 The Department previously collapsed the companies within the Minh Phu Group in the sixth administrative review. See Certain Frozen Warmwater Shrimp From the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Preliminary Results of Administrative Review, 77 FR 13547, 13549 (March 7, 2012), unchanged in Certain Frozen Warmwater Shrimp From the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Final Results and Final Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 77 FR 55800 (September 11, 2012). In this review, the Department reevaluated the collapsed entity based on a corporate structure and name change of one of the collapsed companies, Minh Phu Hau Giang Seafood Co., Ltd. See “Memorandum to the File, through Catherine Bertrand, Program Manager, Office V, from Irene Gorelik, Senior Analyst, Office V, re; Collapsing Determination for the Minh Phu Seafood Corporation and its Affiliates, with Minh Phu Hau Giang Seafood Joint Stock Company,” dated concurrently with this notice. In this memorandum, the Department found that Minh Phu Hau Giang Seafood Joint Stock Company is affiliated with the the Minh Phu Group group of companies, and that they comprise a single entity. Therefore, we will assign this rate to the companies in the single entity. The company name and trade names formerly used by Minh Phu Hau Giang Seafood Joint Stock Company have not been included above, for cash deposit purposes, based on the business license submitted on the record. However, the former names will be included for liquidation purposes at the conclusion of this review.

    Exporter 12 Weighted-average margin
  • (percent)
  • Minh Phu Group: 13 1.50 Minh Phu Seafood Corp., aka Minh Phu Seafood Corporation, aka Minh Phu Seafood Pte, aka Minh Phat Seafood Co., Ltd., aka Minh Qui Seafood Co., Ltd., aka Minh Qui Seafood, aka Minh Phu Hau Giang Seafood Joint Stock Company Sao Ta Foods Joint Stock Company (“Fimex VN”), aka 0.00 Sao Ta Foods Joint Stock Company, aka Fimex VN, aka Sao Ta Seafood Factory, aka Saota Seafood Factory Thuan Phuoc Seafoods and Trading Corporation, aka 1.06 Thuan Phuoc Corp., aka Frozen Seafoods Factory No. 32, aka Seafoods and Foodstuff Factory, aka Seafoods and Foodstuff Factory Vietnam, aka My Son Seafoods Factory Bac Lieu Fisheries Joint Stock Company, aka 0.93 Bac Lieu Fisheries Company Limited, aka Bac Lieu Fisheries Co., Ltd., aka Bac Lieu Fisheries Limited Company, aka Bac Lieu Fis Bentre Forestry and Aquaproduct Import-Export Joint Stock Company, aka 0.93 FAQUIMEX Camau Frozen Seafood Processing Import Export Corporation, aka 0.93 Camimex, aka Camau Seafood Factory No. 4, aka Camau Seafood Factory No. 5, aka Camau Frozen Seafood Processing Import Export Corp. (CAMIMEX-FAC 25), aka Frozen Factory No. 4 C.P. Vietnam Corporation, aka 0.93 C.P. Vietnam Livestock Corporation, aka C.P. Vietnam Livestock Company Limited, aka C.P. Vietnam Cadovimex Seafood Import-Export and Processing Joint Stock Company, aka 0.93 Cai Doi Vam Seafood Import-Export Company, aka Caidoivam Seafood Company (Cadovimex), aka Cadovimex-Vietnam Can Tho Import Export Fishery Limited Company, aka 0.93 CAFISH Fine Foods Co., aka 0.93 FFC Cuu Long Seaproducts Company, aka 0.93 Cuulong Seaproducts Company Cuu Long Seaproducts Limited, aka Cuulong Seapro aka Cuu Long Seapro Gallant Ocean (Vietnam) Co., Ltd 0.93 Gallant Dachan Seafood Co., Ltd 0.93 Goldenquality Seafood Corporation 0.93 Hai Viet Corporation, aka 0.93 HAVICO Investment Commerce Fisheries Corporation, aka 0.93 Investment Commerce Fisheries Corp., aka Investment Commerce Fisheries, aka Incomfish, aka Incomfish Corp., aka Incomfish Corporation Kim Anh Company Limited, aka 0.93 Kim Anh Co, Ltd. Minh Cuong Seafood Import Export Frozen Processing Joint Stock Co, aka 0.93 Minh Cuong Seafood Import- Export Processing, aka MC Seafood Minh Hai Export Frozen Seafood Processing Joint-Stock Company, aka 0.93 Minh Hai Jostoco Minh Hai Joint-Stock Seafoods Processing Company, aka 0.93 Seaprodex Minh Hai, aka Sea Minh Hai, aka Seaprodex Min Hai, aka Seaprodex Minh Hai-Factory No. 78, aka Seaprodex Minh Hai (Minh Hai Joint Stock Seafoods Processing Co.), aka Seaprodex Minh Hai Workshop 1, aka Seaprodex Minh Hai Factory No. 69 Minh Hai Sea Products Import Export Company, aka 0.93 Ca Mau Seafood Joint Stock Company, aka Seaprimexco Vietnam, aka Seaprimexco Nha Trang Fisheries Joint Stock Company, aka 0.93 Nha Trang Fisco aka Nhatrang Fisco, aka Nha Trang Fisheries, Joint Stock Nha Trang Seafoods Group: 0.93 Nha Trang Seaproduct Company, aka Nha Trang Seafoods, aka NT Seafoods Corporation, aka NT Seafoods, aka Nha Trang Seafoods—F89 Joint Stock Company, aka Nha Trang Seafoods—F89, aka NTSF Seafoods Joint Stock Company, aka NTSF Seafoods Ngoc Tri Seafood Joint Stock Company, aka 0.93 Ngoc Tri Seafood Company Phuong Nam Foodstuff Corp., aka 0.93 Phuong Nam Co., Ltd., aka Phuong Nam Foodstuff Product Processing Joint Stock Corporation, aka Phuong Namco-Ltd Quoc Viet Seaproducts Processing Trading and Import-Export Co., Ltd 0.93 Soc Trang Seafood Joint Stock Company, aka 0.93 Stapimex, aka Soc Trang Aquatic Products and General Import Export Company, aka Soc Trang Aquatic Products and General Import Export Company (“Stapimex”), aka Stapmex Tacvan Frozen Seafood Processing Export Company, aka 0.93 Tacvan Seafoods Co. Tan Phong Phu Seafoods Co., Ltd 0.93 Thong Thuan Company Limited, aka 0.93 T&T Co., Ltd UTXI Aquatic Products Processing Corporation, aka 0.93 UT XI Aquatic Products Processing Corporation, aka UTXI Aquatic Products Processing Company, aka UT XI Aquatic Products Processing Company, aka UTXI Co. Ltd., aka UTXI, aka UTXICO, aka Hoang Phuong Seafood Factory, aka Hoang Phong Seafood Factory Viet Foods Co., Ltd., aka 0.93 Nam Hai Foodstuff and Export Company Ltd. Vietnam Clean Seafood Corporation, aka 0.93 Vina Cleanfood Viet Hai Seafood Co., Ltd., aka 0.93 Vietnam Fish One Co., Ltd. Viet I-Mei Frozen Foods Co., Ltd 0.93
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    The Department will disclose the calculations used in our analysis to parties in this review within five days of the date of publication of this notice. The Department intends to verify the information upon which we will rely for the final results. As such, the Department will establish the briefing schedule at a later time, and will notify parties of the schedule in accordance with 19 CFR 351.309. Parties who submit case briefs or rebuttal briefs are requested to submit with the argument: (1) A statement of the issue; (2) a brief summary of the argument; and (3) a table of authorities.14 Rebuttal briefs must be limited to issues raised in the case briefs.15

    14See 19 CFR 351.309(c) and (d).

    15See 19 CFR 351.309(d)(2).

    Interested parties who wish to request a hearing, or to participate if one is requested, must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, filed electronically using ACCESS. An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety in ACCESS, by 5 p.m. Eastern Time within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.16 Requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number, the number of participants, and a list of the issues to be discussed. If a request for a hearing is made, the Department will inform parties of the scheduled date for the hearing which will be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, at a time and location to be determined. Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing. Interested parties are invited to comment on the preliminary results of this review.

    16See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    The Department intends to issue the final results of this administrative review, including the results of our analysis of issues raised in the written comments, within 120 days of publication of these preliminary results in the Federal Register.

    Assessment Rates

    Upon issuance of the final results, the Department will determine, and CBP shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review.17 The Department intends to issue assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the publication date of the final results of this review. For any individually examined respondent whose weighted average dumping margin is above de minimis (i.e., is 0.50 percent or more) in the final results of this review, the Department will calculate importer-specific assessment rates on the basis of the ratio of the total amount of dumping calculated for the importer's examined sales and the total entered value of sales, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).18 We will instruct CBP to assess antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review when the importer-specific assessment rate calculated in the final results of this review is above de minimis. Where either the respondent's weighted-average dumping margin is zero or de minimis, or an importer-specific assessment rate is zero or de minimis, we will instruct CBP to liquidate the appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties. For the final results, if we continue to treat the 56 companies identified above as part of the Vietnam-wide entity, we will instruct CBP to apply an ad valorem assessment rate of 25.76 percent to all entries of subject merchandise during the POR which were produced and/or exported by those companies. The Department recently announced a refinement to its assessment practice in non-market economy cases. Pursuant to this refinement in practice, for entries that were not reported in the U.S. sales databases submitted by companies individually examined during this review, the Department will instruct CBP to liquidate such entries at the Vietnam-wide rate. Additionally, if the Department determines that an exporter had no shipments of the subject merchandise, any suspended entries that entered under that exporter's case number (i.e., at that exporter's rate) will be liquidated at the Vietnam-wide rate.19

    17See 19 CFR 351.212(b).

    18 In these preliminary results, the Department applied the assessment rate calculation method adopted in Antidumping Proceedings: Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Proceedings; Final Modification, 77 FR 8101 (February 14, 2012).

    19 For a full discussion of this practice, see Assessment Notice.

    The final results of this review shall be the basis for the assessment of antidumping duties on entries of merchandise covered by the final results of this review and for future deposits of estimated duties, where applicable.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the final results of this administrative review for shipments of the subject merchandise from Vietnam entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date, as provided by sections 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) For the companies listed above, which have a separate rate, the cash deposit rate will be that established in the final results of this review (except, if the rate is zero or de minimis, then zero cash deposit will be required); (2) for previously investigated or reviewed Vietnam and non-Vietnam exporters not listed above that received a separate rate in a prior segment of this proceeding, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the existing exporter-specific rate; (3) for all Vietnam exporters of subject merchandise that have not been found to be entitled to a separate rate, the cash deposit rate will be the existing rate for the Vietnam-wide entity of 25.76 percent; and (4) for all non-Vietnam exporters of subject merchandise which have not received their own rate, the cash deposit rate will be the rate applicable to the Vietnam exporter that supplied that non-Vietnam exporter. These deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice also serves as a preliminary 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 double antidumping duties.

    This determination is issued and published in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.221(b)(4).

    Dated: March 2, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary, for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I—List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum 1. Summary 2. Background 3. Extension of Preliminary Results 4. Respondent Selection 5. Scope of the Order 6. Preliminary Determination of No Shipments 7. Non-Market Economy Country 8. Separate Rates 9. Sample Rate Calculation 10. Vietnam-Wide Entity 11. Affiliation and Collapsing 12. Surrogate Country and Surrogate Value Data 13. Surrogate Country 14. Economic Comparability 15. Significant Producers of Comparable Merchandise 16. Data Availability 17. Public Availability and Broad-Market Average 18. Specificity 19. Contemporaneity and Tax and Duty Exclusive 20. Date of Sale 21. Determination of Comparison Method 22. Results of the Differential Pricing Analysis 23. U.S. Price 24. Normal Value 25. Factor Valuations 26. Currency Conversion Appendix II—Companies Subject To Review Determined To Be Part of the Vietnam-Wide Entity 1. An Giang Coffee JSC 2. Agrex Saigon 3. Amanda Foods (Vietnam) Ltd. Amanda Seafood Co., Ltd. 4. Amanda Foods (Vietnam) Ltd. Ngoc Tri Seafood Company (Amanda's affiliate) 5. Anvifish Joint Stock Co. 6. Binh An Seafood Joint Stock Company 7. Camimex Seafood Company Limited 8. Ca Mau Foods and Fishery Export Joint Stock Company 9. Can Tho Agricultural and Animal Products Import Export Company, aka, Can Tho Agricultural Products, aka Can Tho Agricultural and Animal Products Imex Company, aka CATACO, aka Can Tho Agricultural and Animal Product Import Export Company (“CATACO”), aka Can Tho Agricultural and Animal Product Import Export Company (“CATACO”) and/or Can Tho Agricultural and Animal Products Import Export Company (“CATACO'”), aka Can Tho Agricultural & Animal Product Import Export Company (“CATACO'”) and/or Can Tho Agricultural and Animal Products Import Export Company (“CATACO”) 10. Can Tho Import Export Seafood Joint Stock Company, aka CASEAMEX 11. Cau Tre Enterprise (C.T.E.) 12. Cautre Export Goods Processing Joint Stock Company 13. Chang Shin Vietnam Co., Ltd. 14. CL Fish Co., Ltd. (Cuu Long Fish Company) 15. Cautre Export Goods Processing Joint Stock Company 16. Coastal Fisheries Development Corporation Coastal Fisheries Development Corporation (“COFIDEC”) Coastal Fisheries Development Corporation (“Cofidec”) Coastal Fishery Development COFIDEC 17. D & N Foods Processing (Danang Company Ltd.) 18. Danang Seaproduct Import-Export Corporation (“Seaprodex Danang”) (and its affiliates) Danang Seaproducts Import Export Corporation Danang Seaproducts Import Export Corporation (“Seaprodex Danang”) Danang Seaproducts Import-Export Corporation (and its affilliate, Tho Quang Seafood Processing and Export Company) (collectively “Seaprodex Danang”) Tho Quang Tho Quang Co. Tho Quang Seafood Processing and Export Company Tho Quang Seafood Processing & Export Company Seaprodex Danang 19. Duy Dai Corporation 20. Gallant Ocean (Quang Ngai) Co., Ltd. 21. Gn Foods 22. Hai Thanh Food Company Ltd. 23. Hai Vuong Co., Ltd. 24. Hoa Phat Aquatic Products Processing And Trading Service Co., Ltd. 25. Hoang Hai Company Ltd. 26. Hua Heong Food Industries Vietnam Co. Ltd. 27. Interfood Shareholding Co. 28. Khanh Loi Seafood Factory 29. Kien Long Seafoods Co. Ltd. 30. Luan Vo Fishery Co., Ltd. 31. Lucky Shining Co., Ltd. 32. Minh Chau Imp. Exp. Seafood Processing Co., Ltd. 33. Mp Consol Co., Ltd. 34. Ngoc Chau Co., Ltd. and/or Ngoc Chau Seafood Processing Company 35. Ngoc Sinh Ngoc Sinh Seafoods Processing and Trading Enterprise Ngoc Sinh Fisheries Ngoc Sinh Private Ngoc Sinh Private Enterprises Ngoc Sinh Seafood Processing Company Ngoc Sinh Seafood Trading & Processing Ngoc Sinh Seafood Trading & Processing Enterprise Ngoc Sinh Seafoods Ngoc Sinh Seafoods (Private Enterprise) Ngoc Sinh Seafoods Processing and Trading Enterprises 36. Ngo Bros Seaproducts Import-Export One Member Company Limited (“Ngo Bros”) 37. Quang Ninh Export Aquatic Products Processing Factory 38. Quang Ninh Seaproducts Factory 39. S.R.V. Freight Services Co., Ltd. 40. Sustainable Seafood 41. Tai Kim Anh Seafood Joint Stock Company 42. Tan Thang Loi Frozen Food Co., Ltd. 43. Thanh Doan Seaproducts Import & Export Processing Joint-Stock Company (THADIMEXCO) 44. Thanh Hung Frozen Seafood Processing Import Export Co., Ltd. 45. Thanh Tri Seafood Processing Co. Ltd. 46. The Quang Co. 47. The Quang Seafood Processing & Export Company 48. Thong Thuan-Cam Ranh Seafood Joint Stock Company 49. Tien Tien Garment Joint Stock Company 50. Tithi Co., Ltd. 51. Trang Corporation 52. Viet Cuong Seafood Processing Import Export Joint-Stock Company Viet Cuong Seafood Processing Import Export 53. Vietnam Northern Viking Technologies Co. Ltd. 54. Vinatex Danang 55. Vinh Hoan Corp. 56. Vinh Loi Import Export Company (“Vimexco”), aka Vinh Loi Import Export Company (“VIMEX”), aka VIMEXCO aka VIMEX aka Vinh Loi Import/Export Co., aka Vinhloi Import Export Company aka Vinh Loi Import-Export Company Vinh Loi Import Export Company (“Vimexco”) and/or Vinh Loi Import Export Company (“VIMEX”)
    [FR Doc. 2015-05474 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-580-876, A-489-822] Welded Line Pipe From the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Turkey: Postponement of Preliminary Determinations of Antidumping Duty Investigations AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Goldberger (Korea) (202) 482-4136, or Alice Maldonado (Turkey) (202) 482-4682; AD/CVD Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Postponement of Preliminary Determinations

    On November 5, 2014, the Department of Commerce (the Department) initiated antidumping duty investigations of imports of welded line pipe from the Republic of Korea (Korea) and the Republic of Turkey (Turkey).1 The notice of initiation stated that we would issue our preliminary determinations no later than 140 days after the date of initiation. Currently, the preliminary determinations in these investigations are due on March 25, 2015.

    1See Welded Line Pipe From the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Turkey: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations, 79 FR 68213 (November 14, 2014).

    On February 24, 2015, American Cast Iron Pipe Company; Energex Tube, a division of JMC Steel Group; Northwest Pipe Company; Stupp Corporation, a division of Stupp Bros., Inc.; Tex-Tube Company; TMK IPSCO; and Welspun Tubular LLC USA, seven out of the eight U.S. producers on whose behalf the petitions in these cases were filed (hereafter, the petitioners) made timely requests, pursuant to section 733(c)(1)(A) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), and 19 CFR 351.205(e), for a 50-day postponement of the preliminary determinations in the investigations.2 The petitioners stated that a postponement of the preliminary determinations in both welded line pipe investigations is necessary because the Department has either initiated, or is currently considering whether to initiate, investigations of sales below the cost of production, and, thus, the Department will require additional time for analysis and data collection prior to the preliminary determinations.

    2See the petitioners' letters to the Department dated February 24, 2015.

    Under section 733(c)(1)(A) of the Act, if a petitioner makes a timely request for an extension of the period within which the preliminary determination must be made under subsection (b)(1), then the Department may postpone making the preliminary determination under subsection (b)(1) until not later than the 190th day after the date on which the administering authority initiated the investigation. Therefore, for the reasons stated above, and because there are no compelling reasons to deny the petitioners' requests, the Department is postponing the preliminary determinations in these investigations until May 14, 2015, which is 190 days from the date on which the Department initiated these investigations.

    The deadline for the final determinations will continue to be 75 days after the date of the preliminary determinations, unless extended.

    This notice is issued and published pursuant to section 733(c)(2) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(f)(1).

    Dated: March 3, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05488 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Economic Analysis [Docket No. 150128089-5080-01] XRIN 0691-XC037 BE-150: Quarterly Survey of Payment Card and Bank Card Transactions Related to International Travel AGENCY:

    Bureau of Economic Analysis, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Reporting Requirements.

    SUMMARY:

    By this Notice, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Department of Commerce, is informing the public that it is conducting the mandatory survey titled Quarterly Survey of Payment Card and Bank Card Transactions Related to International Travel (BE-150). This survey is authorized by the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This Notice constitutes legal notification to all United States persons (defined below) who meet the reporting requirements set forth in this Notice that they must respond to, and comply with, the survey. Reports are due 45 days after the end of each calendar quarter. This notice is being issued in conformance with the rule BEA issued in 2012 (77 FR 24373) establishing guidelines for collecting data on international trade in services and direct investment through notices, rather than through rulemaking. Additional information about BEA's collection of data on international trade in services and direct investment can be found in the 2012 rule, the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act (22 U.S.C. 3101 et seq.), and 15 CFR part 801. Survey data on international trade in services and direct investment that are not collected pursuant to the 2012 rule are described separately in 15 CFR part 801. The BE-150 survey forms and instructions are available on the BEA Web site at www.bea.gov/ssb.

    Definitions

    (a) Person means any individual, branch, partnership, associated group, association, estate, trust, corporation, or other organization (whether or not organized under the laws of any State), and any government (including a foreign government, the United States Government, a State or local government, and any agency, corporation, financial institution, or other entity or instrumentality thereof, including a government-sponsored agency).

    (b) United States person means any person resident in the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

    (c) United States, when used in a geographic sense, means the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and all territories and possessions of the United States.

    (d) Foreign person means any person resident outside the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of a country other than the United States.

    Reporting

    Who Must Report: (a) U.S. credit card companies and personal identification number (PIN)-based debit network companies that process payment and bank card transactions between U.S. cardholders and foreign businesses and between foreign cardholders and U.S. businesses.

    (b) Entities required to report will be contacted individually by BEA. Entities not contacted by BEA have no reporting responsibilities.

    What to Report: The survey collects information on the credit, debit, charge, automated teller machine (ATM), and point of sale transactions of U.S. persons traveling abroad and foreign persons traveling in the United States.

    How to Report: Reports can be filed using BEA's electronic reporting system at www.bea.gov/efile. Copies of the survey forms and instructions, which contain complete information on reporting procedures and definitions, may be obtained at the BEA Web site given above. Form BE-150 inquiries can be made by phone to BEA at (202) 606-5588 or by sending an email to [email protected]

    When to Report: Reports are due to BEA 45 days after the end of the fiscal quarter.

    Paperwork Reduction Act Notice

    This data collection has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act and assigned control number 0608-0072. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid control number assigned by OMB. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 16 hours per response. Send comments regarding this burden estimate to Director, Bureau of Economic Analysis (BE-1), U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230; and to the Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project 0608-0072, Washington, DC 20503.

    Authority:

    22 U.S.C. 3101-3108.

    Dated: February 2, 2014. Brian C. Moyer, Director, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05412 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Economic Analysis [Docket No. 150128090-5090-01] RIN 0691-XC038 BE-185: Quarterly Survey of Financial Services Transactions Between U.S. Financial Services Providers and Foreign Persons AGENCY:

    Bureau of Economic Analysis, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Reporting Requirements.

    SUMMARY:

    By this Notice, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Department of Commerce, is informing the public that it is conducting the mandatory survey titled Quarterly Survey of Financial Services Transactions Between U.S. Financial Services Providers and Foreign Persons (BE-185). This survey is authorized by the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act and by Section 5408 of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This Notice constitutes legal notification to all United States persons (defined below) who meet the reporting requirements set forth in this Notice that they must respond to, and comply with, the survey. Reports are due 45 days after the end of the U.S. person's fiscal quarter, except for the final quarter of the U.S. person's fiscal year when reports must be filed within 90 days. This notice is being issued in conformance with the rule BEA issued in 2012 (77 FR 24373) establishing guidelines for collecting data on international trade in services and direct investment through notices, rather than through rulemaking. Additional information about BEA's collection of data on international trade in services and direct investment can be found in the 2012 rule, the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act (22 U.S.C. 3101 et seq.), and 15 CFR part 801. Survey data on international trade in services and direct investment that are not collected pursuant to the 2012 rule are described separately in 15 CFR part 801. The BE-185 survey forms and instructions are available on the BEA Web site at www.bea.gov/ssb.

    Definitions

    (a) Person means any individual, branch, partnership, associated group, association, estate, trust, corporation, or other organization (whether or not organized under the laws of any State), and any government (including a foreign government, the United States Government, a State or local government, and any agency, corporation, financial institution, or other entity or instrumentality thereof, including a government-sponsored agency).

    (b) United States person means any person resident in the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

    (c) United States, when used in a geographic sense, means the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and all territories and possessions of the United States.

    (d) Foreign person means any person resident outside the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of a country other than the United States.

    Reporting

    Who Must Report: (a) Reports are required from each U.S. person who had sales of covered financial services to foreign persons that exceeded $20 million for the previous fiscal year, or are expected to exceed that amount during the current fiscal year; or had purchases of covered financial services from foreign persons that exceeded $15 million for the previous fiscal year, or are expected to exceed that amount during the current fiscal year. Because the thresholds are applied separately to sales and purchases, the reporting requirements may apply only to sales, only to purchases, or to both sales and purchases.

    (b) Entities required to report will be contacted individually by BEA. Entities not contacted by BEA have no reporting responsibilities.

    What to Report: The survey collects information on transactions in the covered financial services between U.S. financial services providers and foreign persons.

    How to Report: Reports can be filed using BEA's electronic reporting system at www.bea.gov/efile. Copies of the survey forms and instructions, which contain complete information on reporting procedures and definitions, may be obtained at the BEA Web site given above. Form BE-185 inquiries can be made by phone to BEA at (202) 606-5588 or by sending an email to [email protected]

    When To Report: Reports are due to BEA 45 days after the end of the fiscal quarter, except for the final quarter of the reporter's fiscal year when reports must be filed within 90 days.

    Paperwork Reduction Act Notice

    This data collection has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act and assigned control number 0608-0065. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid control number assigned by OMB. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 10 hours per response. Send comments regarding this burden estimate to Director, Bureau of Economic Analysis (BE-1), U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230; and to the Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project 0608-0065, Washington, DC 20503.

    Authority:

    22 U.S.C. 3101-3108 and 15 U.S.C. 4908(b).

    Dated: February 2, 2015. Brian C. Moyer, Director, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05423 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Economic Analysis [Docket No. 150128088-5088-01] RIN 0691-XC036 BE-125: Quarterly Survey of Transactions in Selected Services and Intellectual Property With Foreign Persons AGENCY:

    Bureau of Economic Analysis, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Reporting Requirements.

    SUMMARY:

    By this Notice, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Department of Commerce, is informing the public that it is conducting the mandatory survey titled Quarterly Survey of Transactions in Selected Services and Intellectual Property with Foreign Persons (BE-125). This survey is authorized by the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This Notice constitutes legal notification to all United States persons (defined below) who meet the reporting requirements set forth in this Notice that they must respond to, and comply with, the survey. Reports are due 45 days after the end of the U.S. person's fiscal quarter, except for the final quarter of the U.S. person's fiscal year when reports must be filed within 90 days. This notice is being issued in conformance with the rule BEA issued in 2012 (77 FR 24373) establishing guidelines for collecting data on international trade in services and direct investment through notices, rather than through rulemaking. Additional information about BEA's collection of data on international trade in services and direct investment can be found in the 2012 rule, the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act (22 U.S.C. 3101 et seq.), and 15 CFR part 801. Survey data on international trade in services and direct investment that are not collected pursuant to the 2012 rule are described separately in 15 CFR part 801. The BE-125 survey forms and instructions are available on the BEA Web site at www.bea.gov/ssb.

    Definitions

    (a) Person means any individual, branch, partnership, associated group, association, estate, trust, corporation, or other organization (whether or not organized under the laws of any State), and any government (including a foreign government, the United States Government, a State or local government, and any agency, corporation, financial institution, or other entity or instrumentality thereof, including a government-sponsored agency).

    (b) United States person means any person resident in the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

    (c) United States, when used in a geographic sense, means the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and all territories and possessions of the United States.

    (d) Foreign person means any person resident outside the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of a country other than the United States.

    Reporting

    Who Must Report: (a) Reports are required from each U.S. person who had sales of covered services or intellectual property to foreign persons that exceeded $6 million for the previous fiscal year, or are expected to exceed that amount during the current fiscal year; or had purchases of covered services or intellectual property from foreign persons that exceeded $4 million for the previous fiscal year, or are expected to exceed that amount during the current fiscal year. Because the thresholds are applied separately to sales and purchases, the reporting requirements may apply only to sales, only to purchases, or to both sales and purchases.

    (b) Entities required to report will be contacted individually by BEA. Entities not contacted by BEA have no reporting responsibilities.

    What To Report: The survey collects information on U.S. international trade in selected services and intellectual property.

    How To Report: Reports can be filed using BEA's electronic reporting system at www.bea.gov/efile. Copies of the survey forms and instructions, which contain complete information on reporting procedures and definitions, may be obtained at the BEA Web site given above. Form BE-125 inquiries can be made by phone to BEA at (202) 606-5588 or by sending an email to [email protected]

    When To Report: Reports are due to BEA 45 days after the end of the fiscal quarter, except for the final quarter of the reporter's fiscal year when reports must be filed within 90 days.

    Paperwork Reduction Act Notice

    This data collection has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act and assigned control number 0608-0067. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid control number assigned by OMB. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 16 hours per response. Send comments regarding this burden estimate to Director, Bureau of Economic Analysis (BE-1), U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230; and to the Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project 0608-0067, Washington, DC 20503.

    Authority:

    22 U.S.C. 3101-3108.

    Dated: February 2, 2015. Brian C. Moyer, Director, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05425 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Economic Analysis [Docket No. 150127080-5080-01] RIN 0691-XC030 BE-605: Quarterly Survey of Foreign Direct Investment in the United States-Transactions of U.S. Affiliate With Foreign Parent AGENCY:

    Bureau of Economic Analysis, Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of reporting requirements.

    SUMMARY:

    By this notice, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Department of Commerce, is informing the public that it is conducting the mandatory survey titled Quarterly Survey of Foreign Direct Investment in the United States—Transactions of U.S. Affiliate with Foreign Parent (BE-605). This survey is authorized by the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This notice constitutes legal notification to all United States persons (defined below) who meet the reporting requirements set forth in this Notice that they must respond to, and comply with, the survey. Reports are due 30 days after the close of each calendar or fiscal quarter; 45 days if the report is for the final quarter of the financial reporting year. This notice is being issued in conformance with the rule BEA issued in 2012 (77 FR 24373) establishing guidelines for collecting data on international trade in services and direct investment through notices, rather than through rulemaking. Additional information about BEA's collection of data on international trade in services and direct investment can be found in the 2012 rule, the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act (22 U.S.C. 3101 et. seq.), and 15 CFR part 801. Survey data on international trade in services and direct investment that are not collected pursuant to the 2012 rule are described separately in 15 CFR part 801. The BE-605 survey forms and instructions are available on the BEA Web site at www.bea.gov/fdi.

    Definitions

    (a) United States, when used in a geographic sense, means the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and all territories and possessions of the United States.

    (b) Foreign, when used in a geographic sense, means that which is situated outside the United States or which belongs to or is characteristic of a country other than the United States.

    (c) Person means any individual, branch, partnership, associated group, association, estate, trust, corporation, or other organization (whether or not organized under the laws of any State), and any government (including a foreign government, the United States Government, a State or local government, and any agency, corporation, financial institution, or other entity or instrumentality thereof, including a government-sponsored agency).

    (d) Business enterprise means any organization, association, branch, or venture that exists for profit making purposes or to otherwise secure economic advantage, and any ownership of any real estate.

    Reporting

    Who Must Report: (a) Reports are required from each U.S. business enterprise in which a foreign person has a direct and/or indirect ownership interest of at least 10 percent of the voting stock if an incorporated business enterprise, or an equivalent interest if an unincorporated business enterprise, and that meets the additional conditions detailed in Form BE-605.

    (b) Entities required to report will be contacted individually by BEA. Entities not contacted by BEA have no reporting responsibilities.

    What To Report: The survey collects information on transactions between parent companies and their affiliates and on direct investment positions (stocks).

    How To Report: Reports can be filed using BEA's electronic reporting system at www.bea.gov/efile. Copies of the survey forms and instructions, which contain complete information on reporting procedures and definitions, may be obtained at the BEA Web site given above. Form BE-605 inquiries can be made by phone to (202) 606-5577 or by sending an email to [email protected]

    When To Report: Reports are due to BEA 30 days after the close of each calendar or fiscal quarter; 45 days if the report is for the final quarter of the financial reporting year.

    Paperwork Reduction Act Notice

    This data collection has been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act and assigned control number 0608-0009. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid control number assigned by OMB. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour per response. Send comments regarding this burden estimate to Director, Bureau of Economic Analysis (BE-1), U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230; and to the Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project 0608-0009, Washington, DC 20503.

    Authority:

    22 U.S.C. 3101-3108.

    Dated: February 2, 2015. Brian C. Moyer, Director, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05327 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-552-814] Utility Scale Wind Towers From the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2013-2014 AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (“the Department”) is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on utility scale wind towers (“wind towers”), from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (“Vietnam”). The period of review (“POR”) is February 13, 2013, through January 31, 2014. The review covers one mandatory respondent, CS Wind Vietnam and CS Wind Corporation (“collectively, CS Wind Group”). We preliminarily find that the respondent has not made sales below (“NV”) during the POR. Interested parties are invited to comment on these preliminary results.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: March 9, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Trisha Tran, AD/CVD Operations, Office IV, Enforcement & Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4852.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Scope of the Order

    The merchandise covered by this order are certain wind towers, whether or not tapered, and sections thereof.1 Merchandise covered by the order is currently classified in the Harmonized Tariff System of the United States (“HTSUS”) under subheadings 7308.20.0020 2 or 8502.31.0000.3 Prior to 2011, merchandise covered by the order was classified in the HTSUS under subheading 7308.20.0000 and may continue to be to some degree. While the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of the order is dispositive.4

    1See Memorandum from Christian Marsh Deputy Assistant Secretary for Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations to Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, regarding “Decision Memorandum for Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: Utility Scale Wind Towers from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,” (“Preliminary Decision Memorandum”) issued and dated concurrently with this notice for a complete description of the Scope of the Order.

    2 Wind towers are classified under HTSUS 7308.20.0020 when imported as a tower or tower section(s) alone.

    3 Wind towers may also be classified under HTSUS 8502.31.0000 when imported as part of a wind turbine (i.e., accompanying nacelles and/or rotor blades.

    4See Utility Scale Wind Towers From the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Amended Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Antidumping Duty Order, 78 FR 11150 (February 15, 2013) (“Order”).

    Methodology

    The Department conducted this review in accordance with section 751(a)(1)(A) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (“the Act”). The Department calculated export prices in accordance with section 772 of the Act. Because Vietnam is a non-market economy (“NME”) within the meaning of section 771(18) of the Act, the Department calculated NV in accordance with section 773(c) of the Act.

    For a full description of the methodology underlying our conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum, which is hereby adopted by this notice. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (“ACCESS”).5 ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is also available in the Central Records Unit, room 7046 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum are identical in content.

    5 On November 24, 2014, Enforcement and Compliance changed the name of Enforcement and Compliance's AD and CVD Centralized Electronic Service System (“IA ACCESS”) to (“ACCESS”). The Web site location was changed from http://iaaccess.trade.gov to http://access.trade.gov. The Final Rule changing the references to ACCESS in the regulations can be found at 79 FR 69046 (November 20, 2014).

    Preliminary Results of Review

    The Department preliminarily determines that the following weighted-average dumping margins exist for the period February 13, 2013, through January 31, 2014:

    Exporter Weighted-average dumping margin
  • (percent)
  • The CS Wind Group 0.00
    Disclosure and Public Comment

    The Department intends to disclose calculations performed for these preliminary results to the parties within five days of the date of publication of this notice in accordance with 19 CFR 351.224(b). Interested parties may submit case briefs no later than 30 days after the date of publication of these preliminary results of review.6 Rebuttal briefs may be filed no later than five days after case briefs are filed and may respond only to arguments raised in the case briefs.7 A table of contents, list of authorities used and an executive summary of issues should accompany any briefs submitted to the Department. This summary should be limited to five pages total, including footnotes.

    6See 19 CFR 351.309(c).

    7See 19 CFR 351.309(d).

    Interested parties who wish to request a hearing must submit a written request to the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance, U.S. Department of Commerce, within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice.8 Requests should contain the party's name, address, and telephone number, the number of participants, and a list of the issues to be discussed. Oral argument presentations will be limited to issues raised in the briefs. If a request for a hearing is made, the Department intends to hold the hearing at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230, at a date and time to be determined.9 Parties should confirm by telephone the date, time, and location of the hearing two days before the scheduled date.

    8See 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    9See 19 CFR 351.310(d).

    All submissions, with limited exceptions, must be filed electronically using ACCESS.10 An electronically filed document must be received successfully in its entirety by the Department's electronic records system, ACCESS, by 5 p.m. Eastern Time (“ET”) on the due date. Documents excepted from the electronic submission requirements must be filed manually (i.e., in paper form) with the APO/Dockets Unit in Room 1870 and stamped with the date and time of receipt by 5 p.m. ET on the due date.11

    10See, generally, 19 CFR 351.303.

    11See Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings: Electronic Filing Procedures; Administrative Protective Order Procedures, 76 FR 39263 (July 6, 2011).

    The Department intends to issue the final results of this administrative review, which will include the results of its analysis of issues raised in any briefs, within 120 days of publication of these preliminary results, pursuant to section 751(a)(3)(A) of the Act.

    Assessment Rates

    Upon issuance of the final results of this review, the Department will determine, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) shall assess, antidumping duties on all appropriate entries covered by this review.12 The Department intends to issue assessment instructions to CBP 15 days after the publication date of the final results of this review. For any individually examined respondent whose weighted-average dumping margin is above de minimis (i.e., 0.50 percent) in the final results of this review, the Department will calculate an importer-specific assessment rate on the basis of the ratio of the total amount of antidumping duties calculated for the importer's examined sales and the total entered value of sales, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1). In these preliminary results, the Department applied the assessment rate calculation method adopted in the Final Modification for Reviews. 13 Where either the respondent's weighted-average dumping margin is zero or de minimis, or an importer- (or customer-) specific assessment rate is zero or de minimis, we will instruct CBP to liquidate the appropriate entries without regard to antidumping duties.

    12See 19 CFR 351.212(b)(1).

    13See Antidumping Proceeding Calculation of the Weighted-Average Dumping Margin and Assessment Rate in Certain Antidumping Duty Proceedings; Final Modification, 77 FR 8101 (February 14, 2012) (“Final Modification for Reviews.”).

    On October 24, 2011, the Department announced a refinement to its assessment practice in NME antidumping duty cases.14 Pursuant to this refinement in practice, for merchandise that was not reported in the U.S. sales databases submitted by an exporter individually examined during this review, but that entered under the case number of that exporter (i.e., at the individually-examined exporter's cash deposit rate), the Department will instruct CBP to liquidate such entries at the Vietnam-wide rate. Additionally, pursuant to this refinement, if the Department determines that an exporter under review had no shipments of the subject merchandise, any suspended entries that entered under that exporter's case number will be liquidated at the Vietnam-wide rate.

    14See Non-Market Economy Antidumping Proceedings: Assessment of Antidumping Duties, 76 FR 65694 (October 24, 2011), for a full discussion of this practice.

    Cash Deposit Requirements

    The following cash deposit requirements will be effective upon publication of the final results of this administrative review for shipments of the subject merchandise from Vietnam entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the publication date, as provided by sections 751(a)(2)(C) of the Act: (1) For the exporter listed above, the cash deposit rate will be equal to the weighted-average dumping margin established in the final results of this review (except, if the rate is zero or de minimis, then the cash deposit rate will be zero for that exporter); (2) for previously investigated or reviewed Vietnamese and non-Vietnamese exporters not listed above that have separate rates, the cash deposit rate will continue to be the exporter-specific rate published for the most recently completed segment of this proceeding; (3) for all Vietnamese exporters of subject merchandise which have not been found to be entitled to a separate rate, the cash deposit rate will be the rate for the Vietnamese-wide entity, 59.91 percent; and (4) for all non-Vietnamese exporters of subject merchandise which have not received their own rate, the cash deposit rate will be the rate applicable to the Vietnamese exporter that supplied that non-Vietnamese exporter. These deposit requirements, when imposed, shall remain in effect until further notice.

    Notification to Importers

    This notice also serves as a preliminary 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 double antidumping duties.

    We are issuing and publishing these results in accordance with sections 751(a)(1) and 777(i)(1) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.213.

    Dated: March 2, 2015. Paul Piquado, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix—List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum 1. Summary 2. Background 3. Scope of the Order 4. Discussion of the Methodology a. Non-Market Economy Country Status b. Single-Entity Treatment c. Bona Fide Sale Analysis d. Separate Rates e. Surrogate Country f. Surrogate Value Comments g. Date of Sale h. Normal Value Comparisons i. Determination of the Comparison Method j. U.S. Price k. Normal Value l. Factor Valuations m. Currency Conversion 5. Conclusion
    [FR Doc. 2015-05287 Filed 3-6-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Institute of Standards and Technology [Docket Number: 150302201-5201-01] RIN 0693-ZB09 Award Competitions for Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Centers in the States of Alaska, Idaho, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin AGENCY:

    National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), United States Department of Commerce (DoC).

    ACTION:

    Notice of funding availability.

    SUMMARY:

    NIST invites applications from eligible organizations in connection with NIST's funding up to twelve (12) separate MEP cooperative agreements for the operation of an MEP Center in the designated States' service areas and in the funding amounts identified in the corresponding Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO). NIST anticipates awarding one (1) cooperative agreement for each of the identified States. The objective of the MEP Center Program is to provide manufacturing extension services to primarily small and medium-sized manufacturers within the whole State designated in the applications. The selected organization will become part of the MEP national system of extension service providers, currently comprised of more than 400 Centers and field offices located throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

    DATES:

    Electronic applications must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, June 1, 2015. Paper applications will not be accepted. Applications received after the deadline will not be reviewed or considered. The approximate start date for awards under this notice and the corresponding FFO is expected to be January 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Applications must be submitted electronically through www.grants.gov. NIST will not accept applications submitted by mail, facsimile, or by email.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Administrative, budget, cost-sharing, and eligibility questions and other programmatic questions should be directed to Diane Henderson at Tel: (301) 975-5105; Email: [email protected]; Fax: (301) 963-6556. Grants Administration questions should be addressed to: Jannet Cancino, Grants Management Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 1650, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-1650; Tel: (301) 975-6544; Email: [email protected]; Fax: (301) 975-6368. For technical assistance with Grants.gov submissions contact Christopher Hunton at Tel: (301) 975-5718; Email: [email protected]; Fax: (301) 975-8884. Questions submitted to NIST/MEP may be posted as part of an FAQ document, which will be periodically updated on the MEP Web site at http://nist.gov/mep/ffo-state-competitions-02.cfm.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Electronic access: Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the corresponding FFO announcement available at www.grants.gov for complete information about this program, including all program requirements and instructions for applying electronically. Paper applications or electronic applications submitted other than through www.grants.gov will not be accepted. The FFO may be found by searching under the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Name and Number provided below.

    Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 278k, as implemented in 15 CFR part 290.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Name and Number: Manufacturing Extension Partnership—11.611.

    Webinar Information Session: NIST/MEP will hold one or more webinar information sessions for organizations that are considering applying for this funding opportunity. These webinars will provide general information regarding MEP and offer general guidance on preparing proposals. NIST/MEP staff will be available at the webinars to answer general questions. During the webinars, proprietary technical discussions about specific project ideas will not be permitted. Also, NIST/MEP staff will not critique or provide feedback on any project ideas during the webinars or at any time before submission of a proposal to MEP. However, NIST/MEP staff will provide information about the MEP eligibility and cost-sharing requirements, evaluation criteria and selection factors, selection process, and the general characteristics of a competitive MEP proposal during this webinar. The webinars will be held approximately fifteen (15) to thirty (30) business days after posting of this notice and the corresponding FFO and publication of an abbreviated solicitation in the Federal Register. The exact dates and times of the webinars will be posted on the MEP Web site at http://nist.gov/mep/ffo-state-competitions-02.cfm. The webinars will be recorded, and a link to the recordings will be posted on the MEP Web site. In addition, the webinar presentations will be available after the webinars on the MEP Web site. Organizations wishing to participate in one or more of the webinars must register in advance by contacting MEP by email at [email protected] Participation in the webinars is not required in order for an organization to submit an application pursuant to this notice and the corresponding FFO.

    Program Description: NIST invites applications from eligible organizations in connection with NIST's funding up to twelve (12) separate MEP cooperative agreements for the operation of an MEP Center in the designated States' service areas and in the funding amounts identified in Section II.2. of the corresponding FFO. NIST anticipates awarding one (1) cooperative agreement for each of the identified States. The objective of the MEP Center Program is to provide manufacturing extension services to primarily small and medium-sized manufacturers within the whole State designated in the applications. The selected organization will become part of the MEP national system of extension service providers, currently comprised of more than 400 Centers and field offices located throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

    See the corresponding FFO for further information about the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the MEP National Network.

    The MEP Program is not a Federal research and development program. It is not the intent of the program that awardees will perform systematic research.

    To learn more about the MEP Program, please go to http://www.nist.gov/mep/.

    Funding Availability: NIST anticipates funding twelve (12) MEP Center awards with an initial five-year period of performance in accordance with the multi-year funding policy described in Section II.3. of the corresponding FFO. Initial funding for the projects listed in the corresponding FFO is contingent upon the availability of appropriated funds.

    The table below lists the twelve (12) States identified for funding as part of this notice and the corresponding FFO and the estimated amount of funding available for each:

    MEP Center location and assigned geographical service area (by State) Annual Federal funding for each year of the award Total Federal funding for 5 year award
  • period
  • Alaska $500,000 $2,500,000 Idaho 640,236 3,201,180 Illinois 5,029,910 25,149,550 Minnesota 2,653,649 13,268,245 New Jersey 2,814,432 14,072,160 New York 5,985,194 29,925,970 Ohio 5,246,822 26,234,110 Oklahoma 1,309,080 6,545,400 Utah 1,147,573 5,737,865 Washington 2,534,872 12,674,360 West Virginia 500,000 2,500,000 Wisconsin 3,250,792 16,253,960

    Applicants may propose annual Federal funding amounts that are different from the anticipated annual Federal funding amounts set forth in the above table; provided, that the total amount of Federal funding being requested by an Applicant does not exceed the total amount of federal funding for the five-year award period as set forth in the above table. For example, if the anticipated annual Federal funding amount for an MEP Center is $500,000 and the total Federal funding amount for the five-year award period is $2,500,000, an Applicant may propose Federal funding amounts greater, less than, or equal to $500,000 for any year or years of the award, so long as the total amount of Federal funding being requested by the Applicant for the entire five-year award period does not exceed $2,500,000.

    Multi-Year Funding Policy. When an application for a multi-year award is approved, funding will usually be provided for only the first year of the project. Recipients will be required to submit detailed budgets and budget narratives prior to the award of any continued funding. Continued funding for the remaining years of the project will be awarded by NIST on a non-competitive basis, and may be adjusted higher or lower from year-to-year of the award, contingent upon satisfactory performance, continued relevance to the mission and priorities of the program, and the availability of funds. Continuation of an award to extend the period of performance and/or to increase or decrease funding is at the sole discretion of NIST.

    Potential for Additional 5 Years. Initial awards issued pursuant to this notice and corresponding FFO are expected to be for up to five (5) years with the possibility for NIST to renew the award, on a non-competitive basis, for an additional 5 years at the end of the initial award period. The review processes in 15 CFR 290.8 will be used as part of the overall assessment of the recipient, consistent with the potential long-term nature and purpose of the program. In considering renewal for a second five-year, multi-year award term, NIST will evaluate the results of the annual reviews and the results of the 3rd Year peer-based Panel Review findings and recommendations as set forth in 15 CFR 290.8, as well as the Center's progress in addressing findings and recommendations made during the various reviews. The full process is expected to include programmatic, policy, financial, administrative, and responsibility assessments, and the availability of funds, consistent with Department of Commerce and NIST policies and procedures in effect at that time.

    Kick-Off Conferences

    Each recipient will be required to attend a kick-off conference, which will be held at the beginning of the project period, to help ensure that the MEP Center operator has a clear understanding of the program and its components. The kick-off conference will take place at NIST/MEP headquarters in Gaithersburg, MD, during which time NIST will: (1) Orient MEP Center key personnel to the MEP program; (2) explain program and financial reporting requirements and procedures; (3) identify available resources that can enhance the capabilities of the MEP Center; and (4) negotiate and develop a detailed three-year operating plan with the recipient. NIST/MEP anticipates an additional set of site visits at the MEP Center and/or telephonic meetings with the recipient to finalize the three-year operating plan.

    The kick-off conference will take up to approximately 5 days and must be attended by the MEP Center Director, along with up to two additional MEP Center employees. Applicants must include travel and related costs for the kick-off conference as part of the budget for year one (1), and these costs should be reflected in the SF-424A covering the first four (4) years of the project. (See Section IV.2.a.(2). of the corresponding FFO.) These costs must also be reflected in the budget table and budget narrative for year 1, which is submitted as part of the budget tables and budget narratives section of the Technical Proposal. (See Section IV.2.a.(6).(e). of the corresponding FFO.) Representatives from key subrecipients and other key strategic partners may attend the kick-off conference with the prior written approval of the Grants Officer. Applicants proposing to have key subrecipients and/or other key strategic partners attend the kick-off conference should clearly indicate so as part of the budget narrative for year one of the project.

    MEP System-Wide Meetings

    NIST/MEP typically organizes system-wide meetings approximately four times a year in an effort to share best practices, new and emerging trends, and additional topics of interest. These meetings are rotated throughout the United States and typically involve 3-4 days of resource time and associated travel costs for each meeting. The MEP Center Director must attend these meetings, along with up to two additional MEP Center employees.

    Applicants must include travel and related costs for four quarterly MEP system-wide meetings in each of the five (5) project years (4 meetings per year; 20 total meetings over five-year award period). These costs must be reflected in the SF-424A covering the first four (4) years of the project (see Section IV.2.a.(2). of the corresponding FFO) and in the SF-424A covering year five (5) of the project (see Section IV.2.a.(10). of the corresponding FFO). These costs must also be reflected in the budget tables and budget narratives for each of the project's five (5) years, which are submitted in the budget tables and budget narratives section of the Technical Proposal. (See Section IV.2.a.(6).(e). of the corresponding FFO).

    Cost Share or Matching Requirement: Non-Federal cost sharing of at least 50 percent of the total project costs is required for each of the first through the third year of the award, with an increasing minimum non-federal cost share contribution beginning in year 4 of the award as follows:

    Award year Maximum NIST share Minimum non-Federal share 1-3 1/2 1/2 4 2/5 3/5 5 and beyond 1/3 2/3

    Non-Federal cost sharing is that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal Government. The applicant's share of the MEP Center expenses may include cash, services, and third party in-kind contributions, as described at 2 CFR 200.306, as applicable, and in the MEP program regulations at 15 CFR 290.4(c). No more than 50% of the applicant's total non-Federal cost share for any year of the award may be from third party in-kind contributions of part-time personnel, equipment, software, rental value of centrally located space, and related contributions, per 15 CFR 290.4(c)(5). The source and detailed rationale of the cost share, including cash, full- and part-time personnel, and in-kind donations, must be documented in the budget tables and budget narratives submitted with the application and will be considered as part of the review under the evaluation criterion found in Section V.1.c.ii. of the corresponding FFO.

    Recipients must meet the minimum non-federal cost share requirements for each year of the award as identified in the chart above. For purposes of the MEP Program, “program income” (as defined in 2 CFR 200.80, as applicable) generated by an MEP Center may be used by a recipient towards the required non-federal cost share under an MEP award.

    As with the Federal share, any proposed costs included as non-Federal cost sharing must be an allowable/eligible cost under this program and under the Federal cost principles set forth in 2 CFR part 200, subpart E. Non-Federal cost sharing incorporated into the budget of an approved MEP cooperative agreement is subject to audit in the same general manner as Federal award funds. See 2 CFR part 200, subpart F.

    As set forth in Section IV.2.a.(7) of the corresponding FFO, a letter of commitment is required from an authorized representative of the applicant, stating the total amount of cost share to be contributed by the applicant towards the proposed MEP Center. Letters of commitment for all other third-party sources of non-Federal cost sharing identified in a proposal are not required, but are strongly encouraged.

    Eligibility: The eligibility requirements given in this section of the FFO will be used in lieu of those given in the MEP regulations found at 15 CFR part 290, specifically 15 CFR 290.5(a)(1). Each applicant for and recipient of an MEP award must be a U.S.-based nonprofit institution or organization. For the purpose of this notice and the corresponding FFO, nonprofit institutions include public and private nonprofit organizations, nonprofit or State colleges and universities, public or nonprofit community and technical colleges, and State, local or Tribal governments. Existing MEP awardees and new applicants that meet the eligibility criteria set forth in Section III.1. of the corresponding FFO may apply. An eligible organization may work individually or may include proposed subawards to eligible organizations or proposed contracts with any other organization as part of the applicant's proposal, effectively forming a team. However, as discussed in Section III.3.a. of the corresponding FFO, NIST generally will not fund applications that propose an organizational or operational structure that, in whole or in part, delegates or transfers to another person, institution, or organization the applicant's responsibility for core MEP Center management and oversight functions.

    Application Requirements: Applications must be submitted in accordance with the requirements set forth in Section IV. of the corresponding FFO announcement. Also see Sections IV.b.(1)., IV.b.(2)., and IV.b.(7). in the Full Announcement Text of the corresponding FFO.

    Application/Review Information: The evaluation criteria, selection factors, and review and selection process provided in this section will be used for this competition in lieu of those provided in the MEP regulations found at 15 CFR part 290, specifically 15 CFR 290.6 and 290.7.

    Evaluation Criteria: The evaluation criteria that will be used in evaluating applications and assigned weights, with a maximum score of 100, are listed below.

    a. Executive Summary and Project Narrative. (40 points; Sub-criteria i through iv will be weighted equally) NIST/MEP will evaluate the extent to which the applicant's Executive Summary and Project Narrative demonstrates how the applicant's methodology will efficiently and effectively establish an MEP Center and provide manufacturing extension services to primarily small and medium-sized manufacturers in the applicable State-wide geographical service area identified in Section II.2. of the corresponding FFO. Applicants should name the state to be covered in the first sentence of the Executive Summary and Project Narrative. Reviewers will consider the following topics when evaluating the Executive Summary and Project Narrative:

    i. Center Strategy. Reviewers will assess the applicant's strategy proposed for the Center to deliver services that support a strong manufacturing ecosystem, meet manufacturers' needs and generate impact. Reviewers will assess the quality with which the applicant:

    • Incorporates the market analysis described in the criterion V.1.a.ii.(1). below to inform strategies, products and services;

    • defines a strategy for delivering services that balances market penetration with impact and revenue generation, addressing the needs of manufacturers, with an emphasis on the small and medium-sized manufacturers;

    • defines the Center's existing and/or proposed roles and relationships with other entities in the State's manufacturing ecosystem, including State, regional, and local agencies, economic development organizations and educational institutions such as universities and community or technical colleges, industry associations, and other appropriate entities;

    • plans to engage with other entities in Statewide and/or regional advanced manufacturing initiatives; and

    • supports achievements of the MEP mission and objectives while also satisfying the interests of other stakeholders, investors, and partners.

    ii. Market Understanding. Reviewers will assess the strategy proposed for the Center to define the target market, understand the needs of manufacturers (especially Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs)), and to define appropriate services to meet identified needs. Reviewers will evaluate the proposed approach for regularly updating this understanding through the five years. The following sub-topics will be evaluated and given equal weight:

    (1) Market Segmentation. Reviewers will assess the quality and extent of the applicant's market segmentation including:

    • Company size, geography, industry including a segmentation of rural, emerging, start-up and very small manufacturers as appropriate to the state;

    • alignment with state and/or regional initiatives; and

    • other important factors identified by the applicant.

    (2) Needs Identification and Product/Service Offerings. Reviewers will assess the quality and extent of the applicant's proposed needs identification and proposed products and services for both sales growth and operational improvement in response to the applicant's market segmentation and understanding assessed by reviewers under the preceding Section V.1.a.ii.1. Of particular interest is how the applicant would leverage new manufacturing technologies, techniques and processes usable by small and medium-sized manufacturers. Reviewers will also consider how an applicant's proposed approach will support a job-driven training agenda with manufacturing clients.

    iii. Business Model. Reviewers will assess the applicant's proposed business model for the Center as the applicant provides in its Project Narrative, Qualifications of the Applicant; Key Personnel, Organizational Structure and Budget Tables and Budget Narratives sections of its Technical Proposal, submitted under section IV.2.a.(6). of the corresponding FFO, and the proposed business model's ability to execute the strategy evaluated under criterion V.1.a.i. above, based on the market understanding evaluated under criterion V.1.a.ii. above. The following sub-topics will be evaluated and given equal weight:

    (1) Outreach and Service Delivery to the Market. Reviewers will assess the extent to which the proposed Center is organized to:

    • Identify, reach and provide proposed services to key market segments and individual manufacturers described above;

    • work with a manufacturer's leadership in strategic discussions related to new technologies, new products and new markets; and

    • leverage the applicant's past experience in working with small and medium-sized manufacturers as a basis for future programmatic success.

    (2) Partnership Leverage and Linkages. Reviewers will assess the extent to which the proposed Center will make effective use of resources or partnerships with third parties such as industry, universities, community/technical colleges, nonprofit economic development organizations, and Federal, State and Local Government Agencies in the Center's business model.

    iv. Performance Measurement and Management. Reviewers will assess the extent to which the applicant will use a systematic approach to measuring and managing performance including the:

    • Quality and extent of the applicant's stated goals, milestones and outcomes described by operating year (year 1, year 2, etc.);

    • applicant's utilization of client-based business results important to stakeholders in understanding program impact; and

    • depth of the proposed methodology for program management and internal evaluation likely to ensure effective operations and oversight for meeting program and service delivery objectives.

    b. Qualifications of the Applicant; Key Personnel and Organizational Structure (30 points; Sub-criteria i and ii will be weighted equally). Reviewers will assess the ability of the key personnel and the applicant's management structure to deliver the program and services envisioned for the Center. Reviewers will consider the following topics when evaluating the qualifications of the applicant and of program management:

    i. Key Personnel. Reviewers will assess the extent to which the:

    • Proposed key personnel have the appropriate experience and education in manufacturing, outreach and partnership development to support achievements of the MEP mission and objectives;

    • proposed key personnel have the appropriate experience and education to plan, direct, monitor, organize and control the monetary resources of the proposed Center to achieve its business objectives and maximize its value;

    • proposed staffing plan flows logically from the specified approach to the market and products and service offerings; and

    • proposed field staff structure sufficiently supports the geographic concentrations and industry targets for the region.

    ii. Organizational Structure. Reviewers will assess the extent to which the:

    • Proposed management structure (leadership and governance) is aligned to support the execution of the strategy, products and services;

    • organizational roles and responsibilities of key personnel and staff are clearly delineated; and

    • degree to which the Center's proposed oversight board meets the requirements of Section III.3.b. of the corresponding FFO or, if such a structure is not currently in place or is not expected to continue meet these requirements at the time of the MEP award, a feasible plan is proposed for developing such an oversight board within 12 months of issuance of an MEP award (expected to be January 2016).

    c. Budget and Financial Plan. (30 points; Sub-criteria i and ii will be weighted equally) Reviewers will assess the suitability and focus of the applicant's five (5) year budget. The application will be assessed in the following areas:

    i. Budget. Reviewers will assess the extent to which:

    • The proposed financial plan is aligned to support the execution of the proposed Center's strategy and business model over the five (5) year project plan;

    • the proposed projections for income and expenditures are appropriate for the scale of services that are to be delivered by the proposed Center and the service delivery model envisioned within the context of the overall financial model over the five (5) year project plan;

    • a reasonable ramp-up or scale-up scope and budget that has the Center fully operational by the 4th year of the project; and

    • the proposal's narrative for each of the budgeted items explains the rationale for each of the budgeted items, including assumptions the applicant used in budgeting for the Center.

    ii. Quality of the Financial Plan for Meeting the Award's Non-Federal Cost Share Requirements over 5 Years. Reviewers will assess the quality of and extent to which the:

    • Applicant clearly describes the total level of cost share and detailed rationale of the cost share, including cash and in-kind, in their proposed budget.

    • applicant's funding commitments for cost share are documented by letters of support from the applicant, proposed sub-recipients and any other partners identified and meet the basic matching requirements of the program;

    • applicant's cost share meets basic requirements of allowability, allocability and reasonableness under applicable federal costs principles set for in 2 CFR part 200, subpart E;

    • applicant's underlying accounting system is established or will be established to meet applicable federal costs principles set for in 2 CFR part 200, subpart E; and

    • the overall proposed financial plan is sufficiently robust and diversified so as to support the long term sustainability of the Center throughout the five (5) years of the project plan.

    Selection Factors: The Selection Factors for this notice and the corresponding FFO are as follows:

    a. The availability of Federal funds;

    b. Relevance of the proposed project to MEP program goals and policy objectives;

    c. Reviewers' evaluations, including technical comments;

    d. The need to assure appropriate distribution of MEP services within the designated State;

    e. Whether the project duplicates other projects funded by DoC or by other Federal agencies; and

    f. Whether the application complements or supports other Administration priorities, or projects supported by DoC or other Federal agencies, such as but not limited to the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation and the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership.

    Review and Selection Process

    Proposals, reports, documents and other information related to applications submitted to NIST and/or relating to financial assistance awards issued by NIST will be reviewed and considered by Federal employees, Federal agents and contractors, and/or by non-Federal personnel enter into nondisclosure agreements covering such information.

    (1) Initial Administrative Review of Applications. An initial review of timely received applications will be conducted to determine eligibility, completeness, and responsiveness to this notice and the corresponding FFO and the scope of the stated program objectives. Applications determined to be ineligible, incomplete, and/or non-responsive may be eliminated from further review. However, NIST, in its sole discretion, may continue the review process for an application that is missing non-substantive information that can easily be rectified or cured.

    (2) Full Review of Eligible, Complete, and Responsive Applications. Applications that are determined to be eligible, complete, and responsive will proceed for full reviews in accordance with the review and selection processes below. Eligible, complete and responsive applications will be grouped by the State in which the proposed MEP Center is to be established. The applications in each group will be reviewed by the same reviewers and will be evaluated, reviewed, and selected as described below in separate groups.

    (3) Evaluation and Review. Each application will be reviewed by at least three technically qualified individual reviewers who will evaluate each application based on the evaluation criteria (see Section V.1. of the corresponding FFO). Applicants may receive written follow-up questions in order for the reviewers to gain a better understanding of the applicant's proposal. Each reviewer will assign each application a numeric score, with a maximum score of 100. If a non-Federal reviewer is used, the reviewers may discuss the applications with each other, but scores will be determined on an individual basis, not as a consensus.

    Applicants whose applications receive an average score of 70 or higher out of 100 will be deemed finalists. If deemed necessary, all finalists will be invited to participate with reviewers in a conference call and/or all finalists will be invited to participate in a site visit that will be conducted by the same reviewers at the applicant's location. Finalists will be reviewed and evaluated, and reviewers may revise their assigned numeric scores based on the evaluation criteria (see Section V.1. of the corresponding FFO) as a result of the conference call and/or site visit.

    (b) Ranking and Selection. The reviewers' final numeric scores for all finalists will be converted to ordinal rankings (i.e., a reviewer's highest score will be ranked “1”, second highest score will be ranked “2”, etc.). The ordinal rankings for an applicant will be summed and rank order will be established based on the lowest total for the ordinal rankings, and provided to the Selecting Official for further consideration.

    The Selecting Official is the NIST Associate Director of Innovation and Industry Services or designee. The Selecting Official makes the final recommendation to the NIST Grants Officer regarding the funding of applications under this notice and the corresponding FFO. NIST/MEP expects to recommend funding for the highest ranked applicant for each of the twelve (12) States being competed under this notice and the corresponding FFO. However, the Selecting Official may decide to select an applicant out of rank order based upon one or more of the Selection Factors identified in Section V.3. of the corresponding FFO. The Selecting Official may also decide not to recommend funding for a particular State to any of the applicants.

    NIST reserves the right to negotiate the budget costs with any applicant selected to receive an award, which may include requesting that the applicant remove certain costs. Additionally, NIST may request that the successful applicant modify objectives or work plans and provide supplemental information required by the agency prior to award. NIST also reserves the right to reject an application where information is uncovered that raises a reasonable doubt as to the responsibility of the applicant. The final approval of selected applications and issuance of awards will be by the NIST Grants Officer. The award decisions of the NIST Grants Officer are final.

    Anticipated Announcement and Award Date. Review, selection, and award processing is expected to be completed in late 2015. The anticipated start date for awards made under this notice and the corresponding FFO is expected to be January 2016.

    Additional Information

    a. Application Replacement Pages. Applicants may not submit replacement pages and/or missing documents once an application has been submitted. Any revisions must be made by submission of a new application that must be received by NIST by the submission deadline.

    b. Notification to Unsuccessful Applicants. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified in writing.

    c. Retention of Unsuccessful Applications. An electronic copy of each non-selected application will be retained for three (3) years for record keeping purposes. After three (3) years, it will be destroyed.

    Administrative and National Policy Requirements

    Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements: Through 2 CFR 1327.101, the Department of Commerce adopted the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards at 2 CFR part 200, which apply to awards made pursuant to this FFO. Refer to http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=bd58a13de66200ce25c4fa5f6fdbf197&node=pt2.1.200&rgn=div5 and http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=bd58a13de66200ce25c4fa5f6fdbf197&node=pt2.1.1327&rgn=div5.

    The Department of Commerce Pre-Award Notification Requirements: The Department of Commerce Pre-Award Notification Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements, 79 FR 78390 (December 30, 2014), are applicable to this notice and the corresponding FFO and are available at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-12-30/pdf/2014-30297.pdf.

    Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM): Pursuant to 2 CFR part 25, applicants and recipients (as the case may be) are required to: (i) Be registered in SAM before submitting its application; (ii) provide a valid unique entity identifier in its application; and (iii) continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by a Federal awarding agency, unless otherwise excepted from these requirements pursuant to 2 CFR 25.110. NIST will not make a Federal award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable unique entity identifier and SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time that NIST is ready to make a Federal award pursuant to this notice and the corresponding FFO, NIST may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a Federal award and use that determination as a basis for making a Federal award to another applicant.

    Paperwork Reduction Act: The standard forms in the application kit involve a collection of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act. The use of Standard Forms 424, 424A, 424B, SF-LLL, and CD-346 have been approved by OMB under the respective Control Numbers 0348-0043, 0348-0044, 0348-0040, 0348-0046, and 0605-0001. MEP program-specific application requirements have been approved by OMB under Control Number 0693-0056.

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

    Certifications Regarding Federal Felony and Federal Criminal Tax Convictions, Unpaid Federal Tax Assessments and Delinquent Federal Tax Returns. In accordance with Federal appropriations law, an authorized representative of the selected applicant(s) may be required to provide certain pre-award certifications regarding federal felony and federal criminal tax convictions, unpaid federal tax assessments, and delinquent federal tax returns.

    Funding Availability and Limitation of Liability: Funding for the program listed in this notice and the corresponding FFO is contingent upon the availability of appropriations. In no event will NIST or DoC be responsible for application preparation costs if this program fails to receive funding or is cancelled because of agency priorities. Publication of this notice and the corresponding FFO does not oblige NIST or DoC to award any specific project or to obligate any available funds.

    Other Administrative and National Policy Requirements: Additional administrative and national policy requirements are set forth in Section VI.2. of the corresponding FFO.

    Executive Order 12866: This funding notice was determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866.

    Executive Order 13132 (Federalism): It has been determined that this notice does not contain policies with federalism implications as that term is defined in Executive Order 13132.

    Executive Order 12372: Proposals under this program are not subject to Executive Order 12372, “Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.”

    Administrative Procedure Act/Regulatory Flexibility Act: Notice and comment are not required under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) or any other law, for matters relating to public property, loans, grants, benefits or contracts (5 U.S.C. 553(a)). Moreover, because notice and comment are not required under 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other law, for matters relating to public property, loans, grants, benefits or contracts (5 U.S.C. 553(a)), a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis is not required and has not been prepared for this notice, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.