Federal Register Vol. 80, No.49,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 49 (March 13, 2015)

Page Range13199-13478
FR Document

80_FR_49
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 13323 - Notice of Availability of a Treatment Evaluation Document; Methyl Bromide Fumigation of FigsPDF
80 FR 13289 - Abbreviated New Drug Applications and 505(b)(2) ApplicationsPDF
80 FR 13469 - Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to IranPDF
80 FR 13456 - Sunshine Act Cancellation Notice-OPIC March 11, 2015 Public HearingPDF
80 FR 13376 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
80 FR 13473 - Student Aid Bill of Rights To Help Ensure Affordable Loan RepaymentPDF
80 FR 13464 - Notice of Finding That Banca Privada d'Andorra Is a Financial Institution of Primary Money Laundering ConcernPDF
80 FR 13457 - In the Matter of Global Leadership Institute, Inc.; Order of Suspension of TradingPDF
80 FR 13393 - Solicitation of Nominations for Organizations To Serve as Non-Voting Liaison Representatives to the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee (CFSAC)PDF
80 FR 13384 - Notice of the Establishment of the Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research Advisory Council (DILRRAC)PDF
80 FR 13413 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Multifamily Financial Management TemplatePDF
80 FR 13457 - Temporary Emergency Committee of the Board of Governors; Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
80 FR 13373 - Environmental Impact Statements; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 13334 - Approval of Subzone Status; Thyssenkrupp Presta Danville, LLC; Danville, IllinoisPDF
80 FR 13336 - Further Proposed Interpretations of Parts of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012PDF
80 FR 13422 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993; Pistoia Alliance, Inc.PDF
80 FR 13451 - Low-Level Radioactive Waste Regulatory ProgramPDF
80 FR 13372 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Identification, Listing and Rulemaking Petitions (Renewal)PDF
80 FR 13372 - Meeting of the Mobile Sources Technical Review SubcommitteePDF
80 FR 13371 - Chlorpyrifos Registration Review; Revised Human Health Risk Assessment; Extension of Comment PeriodPDF
80 FR 13375 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; RCRA Expanded Public Participation.PDF
80 FR 13335 - Foreign-Trade Zone 114-Peoria, Illinois; Authorization of Production Activity, Bell Sports, Inc. (Football Helmets), Rantoul, IllinoisPDF
80 FR 13423 - Notice Pursuant to the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993; National Armaments ConsortiumPDF
80 FR 13334 - Approval of Expansion of Subzone 57C; DNP Imagingcomm America Corporation; Concord, North CarolinaPDF
80 FR 13328 - Initiation of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review: Multilayered Wood Flooring From the People's Republic of ChinaPDF
80 FR 13332 - Steel Wire Garment Hangers From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 2012-2013PDF
80 FR 13383 - Advisory Committee for Women's Services (ACWS); Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 13244 - Safety Zone; St. Patrick's Day Fireworks, Manitowoc River, Manitowoc, WisconsinPDF
80 FR 13246 - Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Hackensack River, Jersey City, NJPDF
80 FR 13403 - Prince William Sound Regional Citizens' Advisory Council Charter RenewalPDF
80 FR 13445 - Meetings of Humanities PanelPDF
80 FR 13398 - Privacy Act of 1974; Department of Homeland Security/United States Customs and Border Protection-016 Nonimmigrant and Immigrant Information SystemPDF
80 FR 13446 - Department of the Air Force; Hill Air Force Base, Utah Proposed Decommissioning PlanPDF
80 FR 13373 - Notification of a Teleconference and a Face-to-Face Meeting of the Science Advisory Board Economy-Wide Modeling PanelPDF
80 FR 13309 - Safety Zone; Shore (Belt) Parkway Bridge Construction, Mill Basin; Brooklyn, NYPDF
80 FR 13404 - Privacy Act of 1974; Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency 004 Non-Disaster Grant Management Information Files System of RecordsPDF
80 FR 13407 - Privacy Act of 1974; Department of Homeland Security/United States Customs and Border Protection Advanced Passenger Information System Systems of RecordsPDF
80 FR 13264 - Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to U.S. Marine Corps Training Exercises at Brant Island Bombing Target and Piney Island Bombing Range, USMC Cherry Point Range Complex, North CarolinaPDF
80 FR 13391 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 13358 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Migrant Student Information Exchange (MSIX) User Guide and Application FormPDF
80 FR 13457 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Raku: The Cosmos in a Teabowl” ExhibitionPDF
80 FR 13377 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
80 FR 13377 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Savings and Loan Holding CompaniesPDF
80 FR 13377 - Change in Bank Control Notices; Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding CompanyPDF
80 FR 13324 - Meeting Notice of the Agricultural Research Service-Animal Handling and Welfare Review PanelPDF
80 FR 13359 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program Deferment Request FormsPDF
80 FR 13458 - Notice of Availability of Revised Guidance on the Environmental Review ProcessPDF
80 FR 13422 - Filing of Plats of Survey: CaliforniaPDF
80 FR 13210 - Revisions To Support Document Requirements for License Applications Under the Export Administration RegulationsPDF
80 FR 13351 - Procurement List; AdditionPDF
80 FR 13351 - Procurement List; Proposed Additions and DeletionsPDF
80 FR 13330 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request; “Third-Party Submissions and Protests”PDF
80 FR 13239 - Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans; Benefits Payable in Terminated Single-Employer Plans; Interest Assumptions for Valuing and Paying BenefitsPDF
80 FR 13335 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Certificate Action FormPDF
80 FR 13423 - Distribution of 1998 and 1999 Cable Royalty FundsPDF
80 FR 13385 - Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 13332 - Ocean Exploration Advisory Board (OEAB); Notice of Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 13468 - Sanctions Actions Pursuant to Executive Order 13224PDF
80 FR 13322 - Tongass Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 13352 - Market Risk Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 13467 - Sanctions Actions Pursuant to Executive Order 13224PDF
80 FR 13365 - Wave Energy PrizePDF
80 FR 13461 - Notice of Final Federal Agency Actions on South Mountain Freeway (Loop 202), Interstate 10 (Papago Freeway) to Interstate 10 (Maricopa Freeway) in Phoenix, AZPDF
80 FR 13444 - NASA Advisory Council; Institutional Committee; MeetingPDF
80 FR 13251 - Medicare Program; Quality Incentive Program; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 13325 - Public Meeting on Facilitating the Development of the Online Licensing Environment for Copyrighted WorksPDF
80 FR 13413 - Notice of Intent To Conduct a Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) Project DemonstrationPDF
80 FR 13415 - Jobs-Plus Pilot InitiativePDF
80 FR 13416 - Federal Property Suitable as Facilities To Assist the HomelessPDF
80 FR 13334 - Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 13397 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Petition for Remission or Mitigation of Forfeitures and Penalties IncurredPDF
80 FR 13360 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Student Messaging in GEAR UP DemonstrationPDF
80 FR 13449 - Draft Guidance Regarding the Alternate Pressurized Thermal Shock RulePDF
80 FR 13462 - Petition for Waiver of CompliancePDF
80 FR 13459 - Petition for Waiver of CompliancePDF
80 FR 13458 - Filing Process for Petitions for Waiver and Other Exemptions, Applications, and Special ApprovalsPDF
80 FR 13463 - Petition for Waiver of CompliancePDF
80 FR 13383 - Center for Substance Abuse Prevention; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 13446 - Proposal Review Panel for Materials Research; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 13456 - New Postal ProductPDF
80 FR 13419 - Filing of Plats of Survey: Oregon/WashingtonPDF
80 FR 13241 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Mokelumne River, East Isleton, CAPDF
80 FR 13241 - Safety Zone; Tuscaloosa Regional Air Show; Black Warrior River; Tuscaloosa, ALPDF
80 FR 13246 - Safety Zone; State Route 520 Bridge Construction, Lake Washington; Seattle, WAPDF
80 FR 13323 - Sierra National Forest; California; Exchequer Restoration ProjectPDF
80 FR 13464 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 13357 - Advisory Committee on Arlington National Cemetery Meeting NoticePDF
80 FR 13354 - Board of Visitors, United States Military Academy (USMA)PDF
80 FR 13352 - Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site Training and Operations Final Environmental Impact StatementPDF
80 FR 13359 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program: Internship/Residency and Loan Debt Burden Forbearance FormsPDF
80 FR 13384 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 13325 - Science Advisory Board (SAB)PDF
80 FR 13446 - Advisory Committee for Biological Sciences Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 13322 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 13323 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 13419 - Notice of Public Video Teleconference of the Central California Resource Advisory CouncilPDF
80 FR 13304 - Imposition of Special Measure against Banca Privada d'Andorra as a Financial Institution of Primary Money Laundering ConcernPDF
80 FR 13355 - 36(b)(1) Arms Sales NotificationPDF
80 FR 13396 - Proposed Collection; 60 Day Comment Request; Assessment of NHLBI's Global Health Initiative Collaborating Centers of Excellence (NHLBI)PDF
80 FR 13420 - Theodore Roosevelt and Holt Collier National Wildlife Refuges, Mississippi; Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental AssessmentPDF
80 FR 13203 - Establishment of Class E Airspace; Rogue Valley, ORPDF
80 FR 13378 - The President's Management Advisory Board (PMAB); Notification of Upcoming Public Advisory MeetingPDF
80 FR 13207 - Establishment of Class E Airspace; Seattle, WAPDF
80 FR 13376 - Notice of Agreement FiledPDF
80 FR 13395 - Gastroenterology and Urology Devices Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 13204 - Establishment of Class E Airspace, and Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace; Prescott, AZPDF
80 FR 13202 - Establishment of Class E Airspace; Maxwell, CAPDF
80 FR 13390 - Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 13382 - Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 13206 - Establishment of Class E Airspace; Hazen, NVPDF
80 FR 13209 - Establishment of Class E Airspace; Bend, ORPDF
80 FR 13208 - Establishment of Class E Airspace; North Adams, MAPDF
80 FR 13444 - NASA Advisory Council; Aeronautics Committee; MeetingPDF
80 FR 13201 - Establishment of Class E Airspace; Spokane, WAPDF
80 FR 13288 - Proposed Establishment of Class D and Class E Airspace; Aurora, ORPDF
80 FR 13336 - Notice of Public Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote SensingPDF
80 FR 13375 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection Renewal; Comment Request (3064-0135)PDF
80 FR 13362 - Gulf South Pipeline Company, LP; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Planned Coastal Bend Header Project and Request for Comments on Environmental IssuesPDF
80 FR 13366 - Alaska Gasline Development Corporation; BP Alaska LNG, LLC; Conoco Phillips Alaska LNG Company; ExxonMobil Alaska LNG, LLC; TransCanada Alaska Midstream, LP; Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Planned Alaska Lng Project and Request for Comments on Environmental IssuesPDF
80 FR 13371 - North East Wisconsin Hydro, LLC; Notice of Authorization for Continued Project OperationPDF
80 FR 13223 - Disruptive Conduct at Commission Open MeetingsPDF
80 FR 13361 - Pacific Gas and Electric Company; Notice of Availability of Environmental AssessmentPDF
80 FR 13369 - Express Pipeline LLC; Notice of Petition for Declaratory OrderPDF
80 FR 13370 - Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC; Notice of ApplicationPDF
80 FR 13365 - Texas Eastern Transmission, LP; Notice of ApplicationPDF
80 FR 13361 - Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC; Notice of ApplicationPDF
80 FR 13371 - National Grid USA; Notice of Request for WaiverPDF
80 FR 13353 - Privacy Act of 1974; System of RecordsPDF
80 FR 13392 - Ear, Nose, and Throat Devices Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee; Notice of MeetingPDF
80 FR 13382 - Current Good Manufacturing Practice Requirements for Combination Products; Draft Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff; Extension of Comment PeriodPDF
80 FR 13392 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; State Enforcement NotificationsPDF
80 FR 13466 - Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Forms 9779, 9783, 9787, and 9789PDF
80 FR 13292 - Reporting of Original Issue Discount on Tax-Exempt Obligations; Basis and Transfer Reporting by Securities Brokers for Debt Instruments and OptionsPDF
80 FR 13248 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Illinois; Amendments to Gasoline Vapor Recovery Requirements for IllinoisPDF
80 FR 13233 - Reporting for Premium; Basis Reporting by Securities Brokers and Basis Determination for Debt Instruments and OptionsPDF
80 FR 13312 - Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; North Carolina Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality StandardsPDF
80 FR 13253 - Transportation for Individuals With Disabilities; Reasonable Modification of Policies and PracticesPDF
80 FR 13226 - New Animal Drugs; Approval of New Animal Drug Applications; Change of SponsorPDF
80 FR 13460 - Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation; Grant of Temporary Exemption for Volvo/Prevost LLCPDF
80 FR 13225 - Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments; Small Entity Compliance Guide; AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 13252 - Official Symbol, Logo and SealPDF
80 FR 13295 - Updating OSHA Standards Based on National Consensus Standards; Eye and Face ProtectionPDF
80 FR 13251 - Consolidated Rules of Practice Governing the Administrative Assessment of Civil Penalties, Issuance of Compliance or Corrective Action Orders, and the Revocation, Termination or Suspension of Permits; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 13199 - Rural Development Loan ServicingPDF
80 FR 13401 - Cooperative Research and Development Agreement-Coast Guard Response Boat-Medium Data RecorderPDF
80 FR 13222 - Annual Update of Filing FeesPDF
80 FR 13378 - Proposed priorities; National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research; Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects ProgramPDF
80 FR 13386 - Applications for New Awards; National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research-Small Business Innovation Research Program-Phase IPDF

Issue

80 49 Friday, March 13, 2015 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

See

Forest Service

See

Rural Business-Cooperative Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Marking, Labeling, and Packaging of Meat, Poultry, and Egg Products, 13323 2015-05727 Patent License Application, 13322-13323 2015-05728 Meetings: Agricultural Research Service -- Animal Handling and Welfare Review Panel, 13324-13325 2015-05790
Animal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service NOTICES Treatment Evaluation Documents: Methyl Bromide Fumigation of Figs, 13323 C1--2015--04172 Antitrust Division Antitrust Division NOTICES Changes under National Cooperative Research and Production Act: Pistoia Alliance, Inc., 13422-13423 2015-05853 Changes under the National Cooperative Research and Production Act: National Armaments Consortium, 13423 2015-05835 Army Army Department NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site Training and Operations, 13352-13353 2015-05736 Meetings: Advisory Committee on Arlington National Cemetery, 13357-13358 2015-05738 Board of Visitors, United States Military Academy, 13354-13355 2015-05737 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services RULES Medicare Programs: Quality Incentive Program; Correction, 13251-13252 2015-05766 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 13391-13392 2015-05796 Children Children and Families Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Subsidized and Transitional Employment Demonstration and Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration, 13385-13386 2015-05776 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Drawbridge Operations: Hackensack River, Jersey City, NJ, 13246 2015-05809 Mokelumne River, East Isleton, CA, 13241 2015-05745 Safety Zones: St. Patrick's Day Fireworks, Manitowoc River, Manitowoc, WI, 13244-13246 2015-05814 State Route 520 Bridge Construction, Lake Washington; Seattle, WA, 13246-13248 2015-05741 Tuscaloosa Regional Air Show; Black Warrior River; Tuscaloosa, AL, 13241-13244 2015-05744 PROPOSED RULES Safety Zones: Shore (Belt) Parkway Bridge Construction, Mill Basin, Brooklyn, NY, 13309-13312 2015-05800 NOTICES Charter Renewals: Prince William Sound Regional Citizens' Advisory Council, 13403 2015-05806 Cooperative Research and Development Agreements: Coast Guard Response Boat—Medium Data Recorder, 13401-13403 2015-05418 Commerce Commerce Department See

First Responder Network Authority

See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

Industry and Security Bureau

See

International Trade Administration

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

National Telecommunications and Information Administration

See

Patent and Trademark Office

Committee for Purchase Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled NOTICES Procurement List; Additions and Deletions, 13351-13352 2015-05782 2015-05783 Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission NOTICES Meetings: Market Risk Advisory Committee, 13352 2015-05772 Community Living Administration Community Living Administration NOTICES Establishment of the Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research Advisory Council, 13384-13385 2015-05882 New Award Applications: National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research--Small Business Innovation Research Program--Phase I, 13386-13390 2015-05329 Priorities, Requirements, Definitions, and Selection Criteria: National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research; Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects Program, 13378-13382 2015-05333 Copyright Royalty Board Copyright Royalty Board NOTICES Distribution of 1998 and 1999 Cable Royalty Funds, 13423-13444 2015-05777 Defense Department Defense Department See

Army Department

NOTICES Arms Sales, 13355-13357 2015-05723 Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 13353-13354 2015-05676
Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Migrant Student Information Exchange User Guide and Application Form, 13358-13359 2015-05795 Student Messaging in GEAR UP Demonstration, 13360 2015-05755 William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program Deferment Request Forms, 13359-13360 2015-05787 William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program: Internship/Residency and Loan Debt Burden Forbearance Forms, 13359 2015-05734 Energy Department Energy Department See

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office

See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Energy Efficiency Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office NOTICES Guidance: Wave Energy Prize, 13365 2015-05770 Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Administrative Assessment of Civil Penalties, Issuance of Compliance or Corrective Action Orders, and the Revocation, Termination or Suspension of Permits; Correction, 13251 2015-05438 Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Illinois; Gasoline Vapor Recovery Requirements, 13248-13250 2015-05649 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: North Carolina Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 8-hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards, 13312-13321 2015-05647 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Identification, Listing and Rulemaking Petitions, 13372-13373 2015-05850 RCRA Expanded Public Participation, 13375 2015-05842 Environmental Impact Statements; Weekly Receipts, 13373 2015-05862 Meetings: Mobile Sources Technical Review Subcommittee, 13372 2015-05845 Science Advisory Board Economy-Wide Modeling Panel; Teleconferences, 13373-13374 2015-05801 Revised Human Health Risk Assessments: Chlorpyrifos Registration Review; Extension, 13371-13372 2015-05844 Farm Service Farm Service Agency RULES Rural Development Loan Servicing, 13199-13201 2015-05435 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration RULES Establishment of Class E Airspace, and Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace: Prescott, AZ, 13204-13206 2015-05709 Establishment of Class E Airspace: Bend, OR, 13209-13210 2015-05704 Hazen, NV, 13206-13207 2015-05705 Maxwell, CA, 13202-13203 2015-05708 North Adams, MA, 13208-13209 2015-05703 Rogue Valley, OR, 13203-13204 2015-05719 Seattle, WA, 13207-13208 2015-05716 Spokane, WA, 13201-13202 2015-05701 PROPOSED RULES Establishment of Class D and Class E Airspace: Aurora, OR, 13288-13289 2015-05700 NOTICES Final Federal Agency Actions: South Mountain Freeway, Interstate 10 to Interstate in Phoenix, AZ, 13461-13462 2015-05769 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 13375-13376 2015-05696 Federal Election Federal Election Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 13376 2015-05884 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission RULES Disruptive Conduct at Commission Open Meetings, 13223-13225 2015-05689 Filing Fees; Update, 13222-13223 2015-05407 NOTICES Applications: Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC, 13370-13371 2015-05686 Texas Eastern Transmission, LP, 13365-13366 2015-05685 Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co., LLC, 13361 2015-05684 Continued Project Operations: North East Wisconsin Hydro, LLC, 13371 2015-05690 Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Gulf South Pipeline Co., LP; Coastal Bend Header Project, 13362-13364 2015-05692 Pacific Gas and Electric Co., 13361-13362 2015-05688 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Alaska Gasline Development Corp., et al., 13366-13369 2015-05691 Petitions for Declaratory Orders: Express Pipeline, LLC, 13369-13370 2015-05687 Waiver Requests: National Grid USA, 13371 2015-05683 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Guidance: Environmental Review Process, 13458-13459 2015-05786 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission NOTICES Agreement Filed, 13376-13377 2015-05714 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 13376 2015-05955 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Temporary Exemptions: Volvo/Prevost, LLC from Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation, 13460-13461 2015-05634 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration NOTICES Filing Process for Petitions for Waiver and Other Exemptions, Applications, and Special Approvals, 13458 2015-05751 Petitions: Waivers of Compliance, 13459-13460, 13462-13464 2015-05750 2015-05752 2015-05753 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Changes in Bank Control: Acquisitions of Shares of a Bank or Bank Holding Company, 13377-13378 2015-05791 Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 13377 2015-05793 Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Savings and Loan Holding Companies, 13377 2015-05792 Federal Transit Federal Transit Administration NOTICES Guidance: Environmental Review Process, 13458-13459 2015-05786 Financial Crimes Financial Crimes Enforcement Network PROPOSED RULES Imposition of Special Measures: Banca Privada d'Andorra, 13304-13309 2015-05724 NOTICES Financial Institutions of Primary Money Laundering Concern: Banca Privada d'Andorra, 13464-13466 2015-05911 FIRSTNET First Responder Network Authority NOTICES Proposed Interpretations of Parts of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, 13336-13351 2015-05855 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service NOTICES Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Theodore Roosevelt and Holt Collier National Wildlife Refuges, Mississippi; Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan, 13420-13422 2015-05721 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration RULES New Animal Drugs: Application Approvals; Change of Sponsor, 13226-13232 2015-05644 Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments; Small Entity Compliance Guide, 13225-13226 2015-05590 PROPOSED RULES Abbreviated New Drug Applications, etc., 13289-13292 C1--2015--01666 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: State Enforcement Notifications, 13392 2015-05668 Guidance: Current Good Manufacturing Practice Requirements for Combination Products, 13382-13383 2015-05674 Meetings: Ear, Nose, and Throat Devices Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee, 13392-13393 2015-05675 Gastroenterology and Urology Devices Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee, 13395-13396 2015-05710 Foreign Assets Foreign Assets Control Office NOTICES Blocking or Unblocking of Persons and Properties, 13467-13468 2015-05771 2015-05774 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Approvals of Sub-Zone Status: Thyssenkrupp Presta Danville, LLC Danville, IL, 13334 2015-05856 Expansions of Trade Zones: Subzone 57C, DNP Imagingcomm America Corp., Concord, NC, 13334 2015-05833 Production Activities; Authorizations: Bell Sports, Inc., Foreign-Trade Zone 114, Peoria, IL, 13335 2015-05837 Forest Forest Service NOTICES Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Sierra National Forest; California; Exchequer Restoration Project, 13323-13324 2015-05740 Meetings: Tongass Advisory Committee, 13322 2015-05773 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Meetings: President's Management Advisory Board, 13378 2015-05718 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Community Living Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

See

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

RULES Official Symbol, Logo and Seal, 13252-13253 2015-05536 NOTICES Requests for Nominations: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee; Organizations to Serve as Non-Voting Liaison Representatives, 13393-13395 2015-05887
Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 13384 2015-05733 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

NOTICES Privacy Act; Systems of Records, 13398-13401, 13404-13413 2015-05798 2015-05799 2015-05804
Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Multifamily Financial Management Template, 13413 2015-05874 Federal Properties Suitable as Facilities to Assist the Homeless, 13416-13419 2015-05762 Jobs Plus Pilot Initiative, 13415-13416 2015-05763 Project Demonstrations: Violence Against Women Act and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS, 13413-13415 2015-05764 Industry Industry and Security Bureau RULES Revisions to Support Document Requirements for License Applications, 13210-13222 2015-05784 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service RULES Reporting for Premium: Basis Reporting by Securities Brokers and Basis Determination for Debt Instruments and Options, 13233-13239 2015-05648 PROPOSED RULES Reporting of Original Issue Discount on Tax-Exempt Obligations: Basis and Transfer Reporting by Securities Brokers for Debt Instruments and Options, 13292-13295 2015-05654 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 13466-13467 2015-05660 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Multilayered Wood Flooring from the People's Republic of China, 13328-13330 2015-05830 Steel Wire Garment Hangers from the People's Republic of China, 13332-13334 2015-05828 Justice Department Justice Department See

Antitrust Division

Labor Department Labor Department See

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Meetings: Central California Resource Advisory Council; Video Teleconference, 13419 2015-05726 Plats of Surveys: California, 13422 2015-05785 Oregon/Washington, 13419-13420 2015-05746 Library Library of Congress See

Copyright Royalty Board

NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Council, Aeronautics Committee, 13444 2015-05702 Advisory Council, Institutional Committee, 13444 2015-05768 National Endowment for the Humanities National Endowment for the Humanities NOTICES Meetings: Humanities Panel, 13445-13446 2015-05805 National Foundation National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities See

National Endowment for the Humanities

National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Assessment of National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Global Health Initiative Collaborating Centers of Excellence, 13396-13397 2015-05722 Meetings: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 2015-05706 13382, 13390-13391 2015-05707 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Taking and Importing Marine Mammals: Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to U.S. Marine Corps Training Exercises at Brant Island Bombing Target and Piney Island Bombing Range, USMC Cherry Point Range Complex, North Carolina, 13264-13287 2015-05797 NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing, 13336 2015-05698 Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, 13334-13335 2015-05759 Ocean Exploration Board, 13332 2015-05775 Science Advisory Board, 13325 2015-05730 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee for Biological Sciences, 13446 2015-05729 Proposal Review Panel for Materials Research, 13446 2015-05748 National Telecommunications National Telecommunications and Information Administration NOTICES Meetings: Facilitating the Development of the Online Licensing Environment for Copyrighted Works, 13325-13328 2015-05765 Proposed Interpretations of Parts of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, 13336-13351 2015-05855 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Guidance: Alternate Pressurized Thermal Shock Rule, 13449-13451 2015-05754 Low-Level Radioactive Waste Regulatory Programs, 13451-13456 2015-05851 Proposed Decommissioning Plans: Department of the Air Force, Hill Air Force Base, UT, 13446-13449 2015-05803 Occupational Safety Health Adm Occupational Safety and Health Administration PROPOSED RULES Updating OSHA Standards Based on National Consensus Standards; Eye and Face Protection, 13295-13304 2015-05521 Overseas Overseas Private Investment Corporation NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 13456 2015-05965 Patent Patent and Trademark Office NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Public Key Infrastructure Certificate Action Form, 13335-13336 2015-05779 Third-Party Submissions and Protests, 13330-13332 2015-05781 Meetings: Facilitating the Development of the Online Licensing Environment for Copyrighted Works, 13325-13328 2015-05765 Pension Benefit Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation RULES Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans, 13239-13241 2015-05780 Postal Regulatory Postal Regulatory Commission NOTICES New Postal Products, 13456-13457 2015-05747 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 13457 2015-05863 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS Iran; Continuation of National Emergency (Notice of March 11, 2015), 13469-13472 2015-06031 Student Aid Bill of Rights; Affordable Loan Repayment, Improvement Efforts (Memorandum of March 10, 2015), 13473-13478 2015-05933 Rural Business Rural Business-Cooperative Service RULES Rural Development Loan Servicing, 13199-13201 2015-05435 Rural Housing Rural Housing Service RULES Rural Development Loan Servicing, 13199-13201 2015-05435 Rural Utilities Rural Utilities Service RULES Rural Development Loan Servicing, 13199-13201 2015-05435 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Trading Suspension Orders: Global Leadership Institute, Inc., 13457 2015-05891 State Department State Department NOTICES Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: Raku: The Cosmos in a Teabowl, 13457 2015-05794 Substance Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee for Women's Services, 13383 2015-05816 Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, 13383 2015-05749 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

RULES Transportation for Individuals with Disabilities; Reasonable Modification of Policies and Practices, 13253-13263 2015-05646
Treasury Treasury Department See

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network

See

Foreign Assets Control Office

See

Internal Revenue Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 13464 2015-05739
Customs U.S. Customs and Border Protection NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Petition for Remission or Mitigation of Forfeitures and Penalties Incurred, 13397-13398 2015-05756 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Presidential Documents, 13469-13472 2015-06031 Part III Presidential Documents, 13473-13478 2015-05933 Reader Aids

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80 49 Friday, March 13, 2015 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Housing Service Rural Business-Cooperative Service Rural Utilities Service Farm Service Agency 7 CFR Parts 1951 and 1956 RIN 0570-AA88 Rural Development Loan Servicing AGENCY:

Rural Housing Service, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service, and Farm Service Agency, USDA.

ACTION:

Direct final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Rural Business-Cooperative Service is amending its regulations for Debt Settlement. This amendment would allow the Rural Business Service's (referred to as Agency throughout the remainder of the text) Administrator to use the statutory authority that has been delegated to him/her in accordance with title 331(b)(4) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (CONACT), but is currently not being used for all of RBS's revolving loan programs, which include: The Intermediary Relending Program (IRP) loans, Rural Development Loan Fund (RDLF) loans, and the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP)loans. This regulation will allow the RBS to be consistent across all of its loan programs; all of RBS's other loan programs have regulations in place to settle debt.

This Direct Final Rule is intended to authorize the Agency to use its independent debt settlement authority under CONACT. Nothing in this Direct Final Rule is intended to affect the requirements of the Agency to follow other applicable Federal debt collection law such as the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, as amended. Further nothing in this Direct Final Rule is intended to alter any requirements the Agency must follow when making collection referrals to the Department of Justice or the Treasury Department.

DATES:

This rule is effective May 18, 2015. Comments on this direct final rule must be received on or before April 13, 2015 to be assured of consideration.

If RBS receives adverse comment(s) on all or a distinct portion of this rule, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that some of this rule or the entire direct final rule will not take effect. The rule provisions that are not withdrawn will become effective on the date set out above, notwithstanding adverse comments on any other provision, unless we determine that it would not be appropriate to promulgate those provisions.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments to this direct final rule by any of the following methods:

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

Mail: Submit written comments via the U.S. Postal Service to the Branch Chief, Regulations and Paperwork Management Branch, U.S. Department of Agriculture, STOP 0742, 300 7th Street SW., 7th Floor, Washington, DC 20024.

Hand Delivery/Courier: Submit written comments via Federal Express Mail, or other courier service requiring a street address, to the Branch Chief, Regulations and Paperwork Management Branch, U.S. Department of Agriculture. All written comments will be available for public inspection during regular work hours at the 300 7th Street SW., 7th Floor address listed above.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Melvin Padgett, Rural Development, Business Programs, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Stop 3226, Washington, DC 20250-3225; email: [email protected]; telephone: (202) 720-1495.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Executive Order 12866, Classification

This rule has been determined to be significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866 and has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The Executive Order defines a “significant regulatory action” as one that is likely to result in a rule that may: (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect, in a material way, the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or Tribal Governments or communities; (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in this Executive Order.

The Agency conducted a benefit-cost analysis to fulfill the requirements of EO 12866. This rule will not impose any new costs for the public (customers, applicants, borrowers, grantees, recipients and/or beneficiaries) of Rural Development's loan programs. This direct final rule permits the debt settlement policy to be uniform and consistent for all programs and will allow the Rural Development to process eligible debt settlement cases in a prompt and efficient manner.

Programs Affected

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program number assigned to the IRP is 10.767.

Environmental Impact Statement

This document has been reviewed in accordance with 7 CFR, part 1940, subpart G, “Environmental Program.” Rural Development has determined that this action does not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment and, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq., an Environmental Impact Statement is not required.

Executive Order 12372, Intergovernmental Consultation

The program is subject to the provisions of Executive Order 12372, which requires intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials. Consultation will be completed at the time of the action performed.

Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice

This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. The Agency has determined that this rule meets the applicable standards provided in § 3 of the Executive Order. Additionally, (1) all State and local laws and regulations that are in conflict with this rule will be preempted; (2) no retroactive effect will be given to the rule; and (3) administrative appeal procedures, if any, must be exhausted before litigation against the Department or its agencies may be initiated, in accordance with the regulations of the National Appeals Division of USDA at 7 CFR part 11.

Executive Order 13132, Federalism

The policies contained in this rule do not have any substantial direct effect on 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. Nor does this rule impose substantial direct compliance costs on State and local governments. Therefore, consultation with States is not required.

Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

Under section 605(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 605(b), the Agency certifies that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The Agency made this determination based on the fact that this regulation only impacts those who choose to participate in the program. Small entity applicants will not be impacted to a greater extent than large entity applicants.

Unfunded Mandate Reform Act

This rule contains no Federal mandates (under the regulatory provisions of Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995) for State, local, and Tribal Governments or the private sector. Thus, this rule is not subject to the requirements of § s 202 and 205 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

This executive order imposes requirements on Rural Development (RD) in the development of regulatory policies that have tribal implications or preempt tribal laws. RD has determined that this rule does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribe(s) or on either the relationship or the distribution of powers and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. Thus, this rule is not subject to the requirements of Executive Order 13175. If a tribe determines that this rule has implications of which RD is not aware and would like to engage with RD on this rule, please contact RD's Native American Coordinator at (720) 544-2911 or [email protected].

Paperwork Reduction Act

This rule contains no new reporting or recordkeeping requirements that would require approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

E-Government Act Compliance

Rural Development 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 citizens to access Government information and services electronically.

I. Background

The process of debt settlement is a time consuming process. Before a borrower in default can settle their indebtedness to the Agency, current regulations require four levels of review: The local/area office, the State Office, the National Office, and finally a United States Department of Justice (DOJ) review. This review process results in loans that are eligible for debt settlement, to continue to sit on the books much longer than necessary, incurring interest, and decreasing the likelihood that a borrower will exist to collect recoveries once the loan is finally sent to the Department of the Treasury.

The Agency has shown, through its use of the settlement authority in 7 U.S.C. 1981(b)(4) in its other loan programs, that it can judiciously and reasonably administer that authority on its own without the need for additional levels of review.

By revising its regulations governing the review process for debt settlement, the Agency will be able to process debt settlement claims in a more uniform, prompt, and efficient manner.

II. Discussion of Changes

The Agency is proposing to modify several paragraphs in 7 CFR part 1951, subpart R and in 7 CFR part 1956, subpart C in order to allow the aforementioned loans to be settled under Agency policies and procedures for debt settlement as found in 7 CFR part 1956, subpart C, and to remove the requirement to send settlements to DOJ, allowing us to use the Federal Claims Collection Standards (31 CFR parts 900-904). This will permit the Agency to quickly and efficiently dispose of debt settlements. The specific changes are summarized below:

1. The Agency is proposing to modify § 1951.851(a) by adding a sentence to indicate that all debt settlement cases submitted under 7 CFR part 1951, subpart R, will be handled in accordance with 7 CFR part 1956, subpart C. The Agency is adding reference to the RMAP in the first sentence to indicate its inclusion.

2. The Agency is proposing to revise § 1951.894 to state that the debt settlement of all claims, which would now include RMAP, would be handled in accordance with 7 CFR 1956, subpart C. Specifically, the Agency is replacing the reference to Federal Claims Collection Standards, 4 CFR parts 101-105, with reference to “Subpart C of Part 1956 of this Chapter.”

3. The Agency is proposing to revise §§ 1956.101 so that debt settlement of RDLF loans, IRP loans and RMAP loans, will be under 7 CFR part 1956, subpart C (and will be handled by the Agency's Administrator) rather than under the Federal Claims Collection Standards as currently provided in the regulation.

4. The Agency is proposing to revise the introductory text to § 1956.147 to remove reference to RDLF loans and IRP loans. This is a conforming change that removes these loans from complying with the debt settlement provisions under the Federal Claims Collection Act.

List of Subjects 7 CFR Part 1951

Loan programs—agriculture, Loan programs—housing and community development.

7 CFR Part 1956

Loan programs—agriculture, Loan programs—housing and community development.

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, chapter XVIII, title 7, of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

CHAPTER XVIII—RURAL HOUSING SERVICE, RURAL BUSINESS-COOPERATIVE SERVICE, RURAL UTILITIES SERVICE, AND FARM SERVICE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE PART 1951—SERVICING AND COLLECTIONS 1. The authority citation for part 1951 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 301; and 7 U.S.C. 1989.

Subpart R—Rural Development Loan Servicing 2. Paragraph (a) of § 1951.851 is revised to read as follows:
§ 1951.851 Introduction.

(a) This subpart contains regulations for servicing or liquidating loans or other assistance made by the Rural Business-Cooperative Service or its successor agency under the IRP and the RMAP. All debt settlement cases under this subpart will be settled in accordance with the debt settlement provisions set forth in 7 CFR part 1956, subpart C. The provisions of this subpart supersede conflicting provisions of any other subpart.

3. Section 1951.894 is revised to read as follows:
§ 1951.894 Debt settlement.

Debt settlement of all claims will be handled in accordance with subpart C of part 1956 of this chapter.

PART 1956—DEBT SETTLEMENT 4. The authority citation for part 1956 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 301; and 7 U.S.C. 1989.

Subpart C—Debt Settlement—Community and Business Programs 5. Section 1956.101 is revised to read as follows:
§ 1956.101 Purpose.

This subpart delegates authority and prescribes policies and procedures for debt settlement of Community Facility loans; Association Recreation loans; Rural Renewal loans; direct Business and Industry loans; Rural Development Loan Fund loans; Intermediary Relending Program loans; and the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) loans and repayable portions of RMAP grants; and Shift-in-land-use loans. Settlement of Economic Opportunity Cooperative loans, Claims Against Third Party Converters, Non-program loans, Rural Business Enterprise/Television Demonstration Grants, Nonprofit National Corporations Loans and Grants, and 601 Energy Impact Assistance Grants, is not authorized under independent statutory authority, and settlement under these programs is handled pursuant to the Federal Claims Collection Joint Standards, 31 CFR parts 900 through 904, inclusive. In addition, this subpart does not apply to Water and Waste Programs of the Rural Utilities Service, Watershed loans, and Resource Conservation and Development loans, which are serviced under part 1782 of this title.

6. The section heading and introductory text to § 1956.147 are revised to read as follows:
§ 1956.147 Debt settlement under the Federal Claims Collection Standard.

Unless otherwise provided in this title, loans and claims will be settled in accordance with the Federal Claims Collection Standards at 31 CFR parts 900 through 904, inclusive.

Dated: February 27, 2015. Lisa Mensah, Under Secretary. Dated: February 26, 2015. Michael Scuse, Under Secretary, Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services.
[FR Doc. 2015-05435 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-XY-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0467; Airspace Docket No. 14-ANM-7] Establishment of Class E Airspace; Spokane, WA AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action establishes Class E airspace at Spokane, WA, to facilitate vectoring of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) aircraft under control of Seattle Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC). This action enhances the safety and management of IFR operations within the National Airspace System (NAS).

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, and subsequent amendments can be viewed on line at http://www.faa.gov/airtraffic/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 ATC Regulations Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 29591; telephone: 202-267-8783.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Steve Haga, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057; telephone (425) 203-4563.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

History

On November 19, 2014 the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to establish Class E en route domestic airspace at Spokane, WA (79 FR 68809). Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. One comment was received from the National Business Aviation Association in support of the proposal.

Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6006, 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.

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 en route domestic airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface at Spokane, WA. By this action, aircraft are contained while in IFR conditions under control of Seattle ARTCC by vectoring aircraft from en route airspace to terminal areas. This action enhances the safety and management of controlled airspace within the NAS.

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 Spokane, WA.

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 FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6006 En route domestic airspace areas. ANM WA E6 Spokane, WA [New] Spokane, WA

That airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface within an area bounded by lat. 45°49′52″ N., long. 118°02′34″ W.; to lat. 44°50′06″ N., long. 117°05′33″ W.; to lat. 45°50′00″ N., long. 115°45′00″ W.; to lat. 46°02′00″ N., long. 115°45′00″ W.; to lat. 48°24′00″ N., long. 115°44′57″ W.; to lat. 49°00′00″ N., long. 115°30′00″ W.; to lat. 49°00′00″ N., long. 120°00′00″ W.; to lat. 46°23′19″ N., long. 121°07′50″ W.; to lat. 45°09′13″ N., long. 119°01′43″ W.; thence to the point of beginning.

Johanna Forkner, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, AJV-W2.
[FR Doc. 2015-05701 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0870; Airspace Docket No. 14-AWP-7] Establishment of Class E Airspace; Maxwell, CA AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action establishes Class E airspace at the Maxwell VHF Omni-Directional Radio Range Tactical Air Navigation Aid (VORTAC), Maxwell, CA, to facilitate vectoring of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) aircraft under control of Oakland Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC). This action enhances the safety and management of IFR operations within the National Airspace System (NAS).

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, and subsequent amendments can be viewed on line at http://www.faa.gov/airtraffic/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 ATC Regulations Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 29591; telephone: 202-267-8783.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Steve Haga, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057; telephone (425) 203-4563.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

History

On December 12, 2014 the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to establish Class E airspace at the Maxwell VORTAC, Maxwell, CA (79 FR 73853). Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. One comment was received from the National Business Aviation Association in support of the proposal. Subsequent to publication, the FAA found an inadvertent omission of exclusionary language regarding the 12-mile offshore territorial limit. This action makes the correction.

Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6006, 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.

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 en route domestic airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface at the Maxwell VORTAC navigation aid, Maxwell, CA. By this action, aircraft are contained while in IFR conditions under control of Oakland ARTCC by vectoring aircraft from en route airspace to terminal areas. This action enhances the safety and management of controlled airspace within the NAS.

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 the Maxwell VORTAC, Maxwell, CA.

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 FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6006 En route domestic airspace areas. AWP CA E6 Maxwell, CA [New] Maxwell VORTAC, CA (Lat. 39°19′03″ N., long. 122°13′18″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface within an area bounded by a line beginning at lat. 39°42′30″ N., long. 124°25′58″ W.; to lat. 39°40′00″ N., long. 124°06′00″ W.; to lat. 40°05′00″ N., long. 120°00′00″ W.; to lat. 39°33′00″ N., long. 120°18′00″ W.; to lat. 38°27′00″ N., long. 123°23′00″ W.; to lat. 38°59′30″ N., long. 124°00′00″ W.; thence to the point of beginning, excluding that airspace beyond 12-miles of the shoreline.

Issued in Seattle, Washington, on February 27, 2015. Johanna Forkner, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, AJV-W2.
[FR Doc. 2015-05708 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2013-1055; Airspace Docket No. 13-ANM-27] Establishment of Class E Airspace; Rogue Valley, OR AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action establishes Class E airspace at the Rogue Valley VHF Omni-Directional Radio Range Tactical Air Navigation Aid (VORTAC), Rogue Valley, OR, to facilitate vectoring of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) aircraft under control of Seattle and Oakland Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCCs). This action enhances the safety and management of IFR operations within the National Airspace System (NAS).

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, and subsequent amendments can be viewed on line at http://www.faa.gov/airtraffic/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 ATC Regulations Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 29591; telephone: 202-267-8783.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Steve Haga, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057; telephone (425) 203-4563.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

History

On October 16, 2014 the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to establish Class E en route domestic airspace at the Rogue Valley VORTAC, Rogue Valley, OR (79 FR 62080). Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. Two comments were received supporting the proposal, one from the National Business Aviation Association, and one by an anonymous individual. Subsequent to publication, the FAA found an inadvertent omission of exclusionary language regarding the 12-mile offshore territorial limit. This action makes the correction.

Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6006, 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.

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 en route domestic airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface at the Rogue Valley VORTAC navigation aid, Rogue Valley, OR. By this action, aircraft are contained while in IFR conditions under control of Seattle and Oakland ARTCCs by vectoring aircraft from en route airspace to terminal areas. This action enhances the safety and management of controlled airspace within the NAS.

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 the Rogue Valley VORTAC, Rogue Valley, OR.

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 FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6006 En route domestic airspace areas. ANM OR E6 Rogue Valley, OR [New] Rogue Valley VORTAC, OR (Lat. 42°28′47″ N., long. 122°54′47″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface within an area bounded by lat. 43°27′19″ N., long. 119°56′31″ W.; to lat. 42°39′54″ N., long. 119°42′02″ W.; to lat. 41°00′07″ N., long. 120°10′44″ W.; to lat. 40°45′47″ N., long. 120°14′45″ W.; to lat. 40°27′51″ N., long. 119°37′10″ W.; to lat. 39°33′53″ N., long. 120°19′02″ W.; to lat. 39°05′16″ N., long. 124°05′00″ W.; to lat. 39°42′30″ N., long. 124°25′58″ W.; to lat. 40°01′00″ N., long. 124°35′00″ W.; to lat. 40°25′25″ N., long. 124°40′06″ W.; to lat. 42°50′00″ N., long. 124°50′00″ W.; thence to the point of beginning, excluding that airspace beyond 12-miles of the shoreline.

Issued in Seattle, Washington, on February 27, 2015. Johanna Forkner, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, AJV-W2.
[FR Doc. 2015-05719 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2013-1020; Airspace Docket No. 13-AWP-20] Establishment of Class E Airspace, and Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace; Prescott, AZ AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action establishes Class E airspace and modifies Class D and Class E surface area airspace at Prescott, AZ, to accommodate aircraft departing and arriving under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) at Ernest A. Love Field. New Area Navigation (RNAV) Global Positioning System (GPS) standard instrument approach procedures have made this action necessary for the safety and management of IFR operations at the airport. The geographic coordinates of the airport are adjusted in the respective Class D and Class E airspace areas. This also corrects the airport name to Ernest A. Love Field.

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, and subsequent amendments can be viewed on line at http://www.faa.gov/airtraffic/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 ATC Regulations Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 29591; telephone: 202-267-8783.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Steve Haga, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057; telephone (425) 203-4563.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

History

On September 2, 2014 the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend the Class D and Class E airspace areas at Ernest A. Love Field, Prescott, AZ (79 FR 51920). Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received.

Class D and E airspace designations are published in paragraph 5000, 6002, 6004, and 6005, respectively, 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.

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 action amends Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) Part 71 by establishing Class E surface area airspace designated as an extension to Class D surface area within a 6-mile radius of Ernest A. Love Field, Prescott, Arizona, having a segment extending from the 6-mile radius of the airport to 11 miles southwest. Class E surface area airspace is amended by adding a segment from the 6-mile radius of the airport to 11 miles southwest. Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface is modified to within a 18.7-mile radius of the airport; the Class E airspace area extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface is modified to within a 22-mile radius of the airport clockwise east to west, and within a 38-mile radius of the airport to the north. Controlled airspace is necessary to accommodate RNAV (GPS) standard instrument approach procedures at the airport and enhances the safety and management of IFR operations. The geographic coordinates of the airport are updated to coincide with the FAA's aeronautical database for the respective Class D and Class E airspace areas. This action also corrects the airport name in the Class D and Class E surface area airspace descriptions from Prescott, Ernest A. Love Field to Ernest A. Love Field.

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 Ernest A. Love Field, Prescott, AZ.

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 FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, is amended as follows: Paragraph 5000 Class D airspace. AWP AZ D Prescott, AZ [Modified] Ernest A. Love Field, AZ (Lat. 34°39′17″ N, long. 112°25′09″ W)

That airspace extending upward from the surface to and including 7,500 feet MSL within a 6-mile radius of Ernest A. Love Field. This Class D airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be published in the Airport/Facility Directory.

Paragraph 6002 Class E airspace Designated as Surface Areas. AWP AZ E2 Prescott, AZ [Modified] Ernest A. Love Field, AZ (Lat. 34°39′17″ N, long. 112°25′09″ W)

Within a 6-mile radius of Ernest A. Love Field, and within 2 miles each side of the 222° bearing of the airport extending from the 6-mile radius to 11 miles southwest of the airport. This Class E airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be published in the Airport/Facility Directory.

Paragraph 6004 Class E airspace areas designated as an extension to Class D or Class E surface area. AWP AZ E4 Prescott, AZ [New] Ernest A. Love Field, AZ (Lat. 34°39′17″ N, long. 112°25′09″ W)

That airspace extending upward from the surface within 2 miles each side of the Ernest A. Love Field 222° bearing extending from the 6-mile radius of the airport to 11 miles southwest of the airport. This Class E airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Airport/Facility Directory.

Paragraph 6005 Class E airspace areas extending upward from 700 feet or more above the surface of the earth. AWP AZ E5 Prescott, AZ [Modified] Ernest A. Love Field, AZ (Lat. 34°39′17″N, long. 112°25′09″ W)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 18.7-mile radius of the Ernest A. Love Field; that airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface within a 22-mile radius of Ernest A. Love Field, extending clockwise from the 047° bearing of the airport to the 300° bearing of the airport, and that airspace within a 38-mile radius of the airport extending clockwise from the 300° bearing of the airport to the 047° bearing of the airport.

Issued in Seattle, Washington, on February 27, 2015. Johanna Forkner, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, AJV-W2.
[FR Doc. 2015-05709 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0869; Airspace Docket No. 14-AWP-6] Establishment of Class E Airspace; Hazen, NV AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action establishes Class E airspace at the Hazen VHF Omni-Directional Radio Range Tactical Air Navigation Aid (VORTAC), Hazen, NV, to facilitate vectoring of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) aircraft under control of Oakland Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC). This action enhances the safety and management of IFR operations within the National Airspace System (NAS).

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, and subsequent amendments can be viewed on line at http://www.faa.gov/airtraffic/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 ATC Regulations Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 29591; telephone: 202-267-8783.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Steve Haga, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057; telephone (425) 203-4563.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

History

On December 15, 2014 the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to establish Class E en route domestic airspace at the Hazen VORTAC, Hazen, NV (79 FR 74042). Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. One comment was received from the National Business Aviation Association in support of the proposal.

Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6006, of FAA Order 7400.9Y, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR part 71.1. The Class E airspace designation 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 en route domestic airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface at the Hazen VORTAC navigation aid, Hazen, NV. By this action, aircraft are contained while in IFR conditions under control of Oakland ARTCC by vectoring aircraft from en route airspace to terminal areas. This action enhances the safety and management of controlled airspace within the NAS.

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 the Hazen VORTAC, Hazen, NV.

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 FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6006 En route domestic airspace areas. AWP NV E6 Hazen, NV [New] Hazen VORTAC, NV (Lat. 39°30′59″ N., long. 118°59′52″ W.) That airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface within an area bounded by a line beginning at lat. 40°05′00″ N., long. 120°00′00″ W.; to lat. 40°27′51″ N., long. 119°37′10″ W.; to lat. 40°04′38″ N., long. 118°49′42″ W.; to lat. 39°39′28″ N., long. 117°59′55″ W.; to lat. 39°41′00″ N., long. 119°00′00″ W.; thence to the point of beginning. Issued in Seattle, Washington, on February 27, 2015. Johanna Forkner, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group Western Service Center, AJV-W2.
[FR Doc. 2015-05705 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0466; Airspace Docket No. 14-ANM-6] Establishment of Class E Airspace; Seattle, WA AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action establishes Class E airspace at Seattle, WA, to facilitate vectoring of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) aircraft under control of Seattle Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC). This action enhances the safety and management of IFR operations within the National Airspace System (NAS).

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, and subsequent amendments can be viewed on line at http://www.faa.gov/airtraffic/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 ATC Regulations Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 29591; telephone: 202-267-8783.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Steve Haga, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057; telephone (425) 203-4563.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

History

On November 19, 2014 the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to establish Class E en route domestic airspace at Seattle, WA (79 FR 68807). Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. Two comments were received on the proposal, one from the National Business Aviation Association supporting the proposal and identifying a latitude typographical error, and one by Tim Gravelle, also identifying the same latitude typographical error. Subsequent to publication, the FAA found an inadvertent omission of exclusionary language regarding the 12-mile offshore territorial limit. These errors have been corrected in this document.

Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6006, 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.

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 en route domestic airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface at Seattle, WA. By this action, aircraft are contained while in IFR conditions under control of Seattle ARTCC by vectoring aircraft from en route airspace to terminal areas. This action enhances the safety and management of controlled airspace within the NAS.

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 Seattle, WA.

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 FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6006 En route domestic airspace areas. ANM WA E6 Seattle, WA [New] Seattle, WA

That airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface within an area bounded by a line beginning at lat. 49°00′00″ N., long. 120°00′00″ W.; to lat. 49°00′00″ N., long. 123°00′00″ W.; to lat. 48°30′00″ N., long. 123°00′00″ W.; to lat. 48°17′08″ N., long. 123°15′16″ W.; to lat. 48°13′28″ N., long. 123°32′45″ W.; to lat. 48°17′50″ N., long. 124°00′40″ W.; to lat. 48°26′30″ N., long. 124°32′40″ W.; to lat. 48°30′00″ N., long. 124°45′00″ W.; to lat. 48°30′00″ N., long. 125°00′00″ W.; to lat. 46°15′00″ N., long. 124°30′00″ W.; to lat. 46°23′19″ N., long. 121°07′50″ W.; thence to the point of beginning, excluding that airspace beyond 12-miles of the shoreline.

Issued in Seattle, Washington, on February 27, 2015. Johanna Forkner, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center.
[FR Doc. 2015-05716 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0805; Airspace Docket No. 14-ANE-9] Establishment of Class E Airspace; North Adams, MA AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action establishes Class E Airspace at North Adams, MA, to accommodate new Area Navigation (RNAV) Global Positioning System (GPS) Standard Instrument Approach Procedures (SIAPs) serving Harriman-and-West Airport. This action enhances the safety and management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations for SIAPs 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, and subsequent amendments can be viewed on line at http://www.faa.gov/airtraffic/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 ATC Regulations Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 29591; 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 November 26, 2014, the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to establish Class E airspace at Harriman-and-West Airport, North Adams, MA, (79 FR 70477). Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were 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 Harriman-and-West Airport, North Adams, MA. 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 Harriman-and-West Airport, North Adams, MA.

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 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. ANE MA E5 North Adams, MA [New] Harriman-and-West Airport, MA (Lat. 42°41′46″ N., long. 73°10′13″ W.)

That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 9.5-mile radius of Harriman-and-West Airport.

Issued in College Park, Georgia, on February 27, 2015. James H. Dickinson, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Air Traffic Organization.
[FR Doc. 2015-05703 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2014-0468; Airspace Docket No. 14-ANM-8] Establishment of Class E Airspace; Bend, OR AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This action establishes Class E airspace at Bend, OR, to facilitate vectoring of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) aircraft under control of Seattle Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC). This action enhances the safety and management of IFR operations within the National Airspace System (NAS).

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, and subsequent amendments can be viewed on line at http://www.faa.gov/airtraffic/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 ATC Regulations Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 29591; telephone: 202-267-8783.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Steve Haga, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057; telephone (425) 203-4563.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

History

On November 19, 2014 the FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to establish Class E en route domestic airspace at Bend, OR (79 FR 68808). Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. One comment was received from the National Business Aviation Association in support of the proposal. Subsequent to publication, the FAA found an inadvertent omission of exclusionary language regarding the 12-mile offshore territorial limit. This action makes the correction.

Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 6006, 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.

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 en route domestic airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface at Bend, OR. By this action, aircraft are contained while in IFR conditions under control of Seattle ARTCC by vectoring aircraft from en route airspace to terminal areas. This action enhances the safety and management of controlled airspace within the NAS.

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 Bend, OR.

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 FAA Order 7400.9Y, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 6, 2014, and effective September 15, 2014, is amended as follows: Paragraph 6006 En route domestic airspace areas. ANM WA E6 Bend, OR [New] Bend, OR

That airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface within an area bounded by a line beginning at lat. 45°09′13″ N., long. 119°01′43″ W.; to lat. 43°41′51″ N., long. 120°00′19″ W.; to lat. 43°27′19″ N., long. 119°56′31″ W.; to lat. 42°50′00″ N., long. 124°50′00″ W.; to lat. 46°15′00″ N., long. 124°30′00″ W.; to lat. 46°23′19″ N., long. 121°07′50″ W.; thence to the point of beginning, excluding that airspace beyond 12-miles of the shoreline.

Issued in Seattle, Washington, on February 27, 2015. Johanna Forkner, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, AJV-W2.
[FR Doc. 2015-05704 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Bureau of Industry and Security 15 CFR Parts 742, 748 and 762 [Docket No. 131018874-5199-02] RIN 0694-AG00 Revisions To Support Document Requirements for License Applications Under the Export Administration Regulations AGENCY:

Bureau of Industry and Security, Department of Commerce.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This rule finalizes changes to the support document requirements for license applications submitted to the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and is part of BIS's retrospective regulatory review under Executive Order 13563. In addition to clarifying and streamlining the support document requirements for license applications in part 748 of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), this final rule removes the requirement to obtain an International Import Certificate or Delivery Verification in connection with a license application and limits the requirement to obtain a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser to exports, reexports, and transfers (in-country) of 600 Series Major Defense Equipment. Revisions to the EAR affecting BIS's participation in issuing documents for the Import Certificate and Delivery Verification system for imports into the United States will be addressed in a future final rule, as will potential substantive changes to information collections under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

DATES:

This rule is effective March 13, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Patricia Muldonian, Office of National Security and Technology Transfer Controls, 202-482-4479, [email protected], or Steven Emme, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Export Administration, 202-482-5491, [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

On April 9, 2014, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published a proposed rule (79 FR 19552) (hereinafter, the “April 9 rule”) to revise the support document requirements of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). This proposed rule was part of BIS's retrospective regulatory review being undertaken under Executive Order 13563, which requires each agency to “periodically review its existing significant regulations to determine whether any such regulations should be modified, streamlined, expanded, or repealed so as to make the agency's regulatory program more effective or less burdensome in achieving the regulatory objectives.” The EAR's support document requirements are largely premised on the Import Certificate/Delivery Verification (IC/DV) system. As described in the proposed rule, the IC/DV system, while intended to prevent diversion and increase awareness among participating countries of potential enforcement concerns, has limited utility today and imposes unnecessary burdens on license applicants and BIS.

To further the aims of Executive Order 13563, BIS proposed to streamline and clarify the support document requirements as well as reduce unnecessary burdens for license applicants by removing the requirement to obtain International Import Certificates (ICs) for applications and by increasing the value threshold for requiring a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser for an application. In addition, BIS proposed to eliminate the agency's participation in issuing United States ICs, ICs with triangular transaction stamp, and DV certificates. The proposals to change BIS's participation in issuing U.S. ICs and DVs will be addressed in a subsequent final rule. In addition, any other changes that substantively affect information collection burden hour estimates under the Paperwork Reduction Act will also be addressed in the subsequent, final rule.

In response to the proposed rule, BIS received eight public comments. Generally, commenters believed that the proposed rule provided greater clarity and flexibility, streamlined requirements, and ended outdated and ineffective requirements under the IC/DV system. However, to address public comments and to further the aims of Executive Order 13563, BIS is making additional changes to the proposed rule, as described herein. This final rule changes the implementation of the IC/DV system. That system is not addressed in the Wassenaar Arrangement Initial Elements nor is there an applicable U.S. statutory requirement for the system. A summary of the public comments and changes made to the proposed rule are addressed below.

Support Document Requirements for License Applications Submitted to BIS Elimination of Import Certificate Requirement and Changes to Requirement to Obtain Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser

The April 9 rule would have eliminated the requirement to obtain an IC in conjunction with a BIS license application, and instead proposed the imposition of a requirement to obtain a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser for certain license applications for commodities destined for countries (other than the People's Republic of China (PRC)) or territories not in the “Americas” (as proposed to be defined in § 772.1). This final rule maintains the elimination of Import Certificates but also limits the scope of applications requiring a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser.

Commenters largely supported the proposal to eliminate the requirement to obtain ICs. They stated that the proposal would eliminate an outdated, burdensome requirement that creates red tape and obstacles for U.S. exporters that are not faced by exporters in other countries. One commenter, however, disagreed and stated that some U.S. exporters and their foreign affiliates have established timely procedures for obtaining ICs. Further, the commenter stated that the IC notifies the government that items controlled for national security reasons are being imported and that the government commits to take responsibility for any subsequent exports of the items. While some U.S. exporters may have developed efficient procedures for handling the IC requirement, such procedures do not justify the imposition of a burdensome requirement that provides little utility. In addition, BIS believes that the commenter overstates the purpose of the IC requirement. The IC only notifies the government of the importing country that the national security controlled items are planned to be imported into the country. Also, it is not the role of the government to take responsibility for subsequent exports; under U.S. law, the exporter must comply with any applicable requirements for the subsequent export of items subject to the EAR or other applicable regulations.

While commenters largely supported the elimination of the IC requirement, some commenters expressed concerns about requiring a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser for commodities controlled for national security reasons valued over $50,000 and destined for a location not in the PRC or the “Americas.” Three commenters stated that the proposed requirement would still be more restrictive than the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), 22 CFR parts 120-130. The commenters stated that under the ITAR, the DSP-83 Nontransfer and Use Certificate is the equivalent support document for license applications to the Department of State's Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), and the DSP-83 is only required for significant military equipment (SME), as defined in § 120.7 of the ITAR. Thus, for 600 series items and 9x515 spacecraft items transitioning from the USML to the CCL, the proposed support document requirements would actually be more burdensome under the EAR than the ITAR. Further, one commenter also stated that requiring a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser would prevent industry in allied countries from optimizing procurement of U.S. equipment for “long lead items or bulk procurement” in advance of identifying a customer. The commenter stated that such capability is necessary for affordability and timeliness of space and military assets for U.S. allies and that imposing a more strict support document requirement than the ITAR is inconsistent for items that have been deemed to not require the strictest controls of the ITAR.

In order to address these concerns, commenters provided different suggestions. Two commenters suggested requiring a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser for items on the Wassenaar Very Sensitive List. One commenter suggested the requirement be tied to countries in Country Group D:5 and that the value threshold be raised to $1 million. Also, one commenter suggested amending the scope of locations subject to the requirement by pointing out that many allied countries, such as those in NATO, would be subject to the requirement as they are not part of the exclusion for the “Americas.”

BIS agrees that the EAR should not impose additional or more burdensome requirements than the ITAR, and has repeated this assertion in many Federal Register publications pertaining to Export Control Reform (see e.g., Proposed Revisions to the Export Administration Regulations: Implementation of Export Control Reform; Revisions to License Exceptions After Retrospective Regulatory Review, 77 FR 37524 (June 21, 2012); Revisions to the Export Administration Regulations: Initial Implementation of Export Control Reform, 78 FR 22660 (Apr. 16, 2013)).

The support document requirements should not hinder the benefits articulated under ECR by imposing more strict requirements for items moving to the EAR that do not warrant the controls of the ITAR. In addition, non-munitions items subject to the EAR should not have more onerous support document requirements than those items providing a critical military or intelligence capability that are listed on the USML. Consequently, in addition to removing the IC requirement, BIS is amending § 748.11(a)(1) to limit the requirement to obtain a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser to commodities that are “600 Series Major Defense Equipment.” BIS agrees with the approach stated by one commenter that the requirement should match the ITAR in focusing on the type of item rather than situational parameters, such as value. BIS believes that using “600 Series Major Defense Equipment” best follows this approach and avoids requiring greater support document requirements for items subject to the EAR than items subject to the ITAR.

With this change to the requirement for providing a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser, BIS is also eliminating the proposed $50,000 value threshold and the exclusion for locations in the “Americas.” All commodities that are “600 Series Major Defense Equipment,” as defined in § 772.1, will require a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser to any destination other than the PRC, regardless of value. However, BIS will maintain discretion to require applicants to obtain a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser for a license application that would not otherwise require one. Also, BIS may add, as a condition on a license, a requirement to obtain a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser or a purchase order prior to shipment. Such requests may be common for license applications involving items controlled for Nuclear Nonproliferation, Chemical and Biological Weapons, or Missile Technology reasons to countries in Country Group D:2, D:3, or D:4, respectively. Additional changes to the proposed rule on the requirement to obtain a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser are reflected below under changes to § 748.11.

Because this final rule removes the requirement to obtain an IC in conjunction with a license application submitted to BIS, this final rule also removes the requirement to obtain a DV in conjunction with a license application. This is reflected in the removal of text in prior § 748.13 and Supplement No. 4 to part 748. BIS did not receive any public comments on this topic.

Section 748.6—General Instructions for License Applications

The April 9 rule proposed to revise § 748.6(a) to provide greater clarity on general instructions for license applications and support documents, reference the specific requirements for support documents in proposed §§ 748.9 through 748.13, and refer to a new chart in Supplement No. 4 to part 748. BIS did not receive any public comments on § 748.6, and this final rule adopts that language with one exception. Because this final rule removes the proposed chart in Supplement No. 4 (as further explained herein), the sentence referencing the chart has been deleted.

Section 748.9—General Instructions for Support Documents

In the proposed rule, § 748.9 described the scope of support document requirements for license applications; the type of applications requiring a support document (i.e., PRC End-User Statement, Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser, or Firearms Convention (FC) Import Certificate); exceptions to such requirements; content requirements; recordkeeping requirements; and other general requirements. This final rule largely adopts the description set forth in § 748.9 with additional modifications based on public comments and other changes, as described below.

Two commenters requested that BIS insert a clarifying note that applicants are not required to obtain support documents from end users. BIS did not accept this recommendation because the proposed rule did not include a requirement that applicants must obtain a support document from end users. However, if an end user is also an ultimate consignee on the license application, then that end user would be subject to applicable support document requirements. In addition, BIS notes that the agency may request additional information from any party listed on the license application, including end users.

Two commenters recommended that BIS delete the phrase, “for certain transactions” from proposed § 748.9(b)(1), which described the support document requirements for license applications involving the PRC. BIS does not accept this recommendation as not all license applications involving the PRC require a PRC End-User Statement. Thus, the qualifying phrase is needed. With respect to the scope of the requirements for a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser and for an FC Import Certificate, two commenters recommended that the Organization of American States (OAS) be made new Country Group A:7 and that “Americas” be replaced with “destinations not identified in Country Group A:7.” BIS rejects these recommendations as the term “Americas” is removed under this final rule due to the changes to requirements for the Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser, as described above. Further, since the OAS is only used in conjunction with one requirement under the EAR, BIS believes it is inappropriate to make it a Country Group so this final rule continues to list the countries in § 748.12.

One commenter pointed out that proposed § 748.9(b)(1)-(b)(3) used the term “ultimately destined” with respect to the PRC End-User Statement and Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser, but only used “destined” for the FC Import Certificate. Under this final rule, this wording no longer appears in new § 748.9(b) because the description for the requirements to obtain a support document has been further streamlined. However, this final rule only uses “destined” in §§ 748.10(a), 748.11(a), and 748.12(a) when describing the requirements for the three support documents.

One commenter stated that the final rule should remove any ambiguity over whether support documents must be submitted as part of the license application, and the commenter cited to differing requirements in § 748.9(f), (g), and (i). Additionally, with respect to PRC End-User Statements, two commenters recommended that proposed § 748.10(d)(1) be revised to allow for applications requiring a PRC End-User Statement to be submitted to BIS prior to the PRC's issuance of the statement, and condition the license such that no items may be shipped under the license until the statement is obtained by the applicant.

BIS agrees that the final rule should remove ambiguity on this topic, but BIS only partially accepts the recommendation regarding the PRC End-User Statement. This final rule adds new § 748.9(e)(1), which applies to all support documents required under the EAR. Unless BIS informs an applicant that a support document must be submitted with a specific application, the applicant may submit an application prior to receipt of a copy of the support document. However, rather than conditioning the license, new § 748.9(e)(1) provides that the license holder may not ship items authorized on the license until obtaining a copy of the support document. Thus, for those applications BIS believes require support documentation in addition to that specified in part 748, BIS will have discretion to consider a support document contemporaneous with the license application. For all other applications, applicants may obtain the support document after submitting the application. However, applicants may not ship prior to receipt of a copy of the support document, and they must retain the original or a copy of the document in conformance with the recordkeeping requirements of the EAR (see further below for a discussion on allowing retention of copies).

One commenter noted that there was no exception to the support document requirements when the U.S. Government is an end user in a foreign country in proposed § 748.9(d)(1). BIS agrees that for transactions for which License Exception GOV is not available, the U.S. Government should not have to supply a support document. Therefore, this final rule adds a new exception in new § 748.9(c)(1) for when the purchaser or ultimate consignee is an “Agency of the United States Government,” as defined in § 740.11(b)(1). If another party listed on the license application is an ultimate consignee or purchaser and does not qualify for an exception listed under new § 748.9(c)(1), then such party is still subject to any applicable support document requirements.

One commenter requested guidance on a situation where a support document may be required under proposed § 748.9(d)(1)(i), which described the exception to support document requirements for foreign governments excluding the PRC. Under this final rule, if a license application involving the export of 600 series MDE lists a non-governmental entity as a purchaser and a foreign government agency (excluding an agency of the PRC) as an ultimate consignee and end user, then a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser would be required from the purchaser but not the ultimate consignee. One commenter questioned whether the English translation requirement for proposed § 748.9(e)(1), should be included in that section. BIS confirms that the English translation requirement should be in § 748.9 as the requirement applies to all support documents.

For proposed § 748.9(f)(1), two commenters stated that obtaining an electronic copy of a support document should suffice and thus the requirement to obtain an original support document should be removed. BIS agrees and has removed references to obtaining an original version of the support document throughout this final rule. Two commenters recommended striking the reference to “import certificate” in proposed § 748.9(h). Proposed § 748.9(h) applied to the grace period for complying with the support document requirements following a regulatory change. Given that this final rule removes the requirement to obtain an IC for any license application, BIS is changing the reference from “import certificate” to “FC Import Certificate” since future regulatory changes may affect the requirements for that support document.

To further streamline and clarify the support document requirements, BIS is making additional changes to this section. First, since the final rule further simplifies the support document requirements, BIS eliminated much of the text in new § 748.9(b) to eliminate redundancy. The specific requirements triggering a support document requirement are now fully described in the applicable section applying to the specific support document. Also, this final rule adds a new note to § 748.9(b) to make more clear that BIS may request that an applicant obtain a support document for any application.

This final rule also removes the distinction for support document requirements applying to reexport and in-country transfer license applications. This change simplifies the requirements, and given the changes for ICs and Statements by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser described above, the only impact would be to require a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser for 600 series MDE destined for a country not in Country Group D:1 or E:1. New § 748.9(d)(2)(i), which addresses responsibility for full disclosure, has been revised from the proposed rule. As proposed, that provision indicated that support documents do not have to be submitted to BIS as part of the application unless the applicant is informed by BIS to do so. In addition to the revisions described above, that section has also been updated to provide that information contained in a support document obtained after submission of a license application and not submitted to BIS as part of the application cannot be construed as modifying the specific information supplied in a license application or a license. This change is made in accordance with BIS's policy on license conditions, which began on December 8, 2014. New § 748.9(h)(2) has been revised to indicate BIS retains discretion to require additional information for applications filed during the 45-day grace period for complying with the support document requirements.

As part of the simplification effort, this final rule also harmonizes certain support document requirements that varied slightly among the documents. New § 748.9(e)(2) describes the requirements to follow in SNAP-R for license applications requiring a support document, regardless of whether BIS has informed the applicant that the document must be submitted as part of the application. Further, new § 748.9(f) describes the recordkeeping requirements for all support documents, and this final rule removes references to original document requirements, random sampling of documents (which is redundant of other sections of the EAR that apply to BIS's ability to request documents), and returning support documents to foreign importers (which is now obsolete due to the ability to retain copies).

Section 748.10—PRC End-User Statement

The proposed rule described the requirements for obtaining a PRC End-User Statement under § 748.10. This final rule largely adopts the requirements under the proposed rule, with the following changes described below.

Two commenters stated that it was unclear whether the value threshold requirement for any commodity requiring a license for any reason on the Commerce Control List (CCL) applies to one unit, line item value, or total license value in proposed § 748.10(a)(3). That value threshold requirement applies to the aggregate value for all commodities listed in the application that require a license to the PRC based on any reason on the CCL. To make this requirement clearer, BIS is revising that description, under new § 748.10(a)(3), to indicate that the license application includes “any commodity(ies) requiring a license to the PRC for any reason on the Commerce Control List, and the total value of such commodity(ies) requiring a license exceeds $50,000.”

One commenter recommended removing the last sentence in proposed § 748.10(b)(1) that required obtaining an original PRC End-User Statement. As described above, BIS accepts this comment throughout this final rule and has revised the text accordingly. Two commenters suggested putting the contact information for the PRC's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) on the BIS Web site, which would be referred to by the EAR. BIS has added a reference to the BIS Web site in new § 748.10(b)(2) to obtain the current contact information for MOFCOM.

Two commenters stated that proposed § 748.10(d)(5), which required that the first application used in conjunction with a PRC End-User Statement be submitted within six months from the date the statement was signed does not take into account the impact of multi-year programs and MOFCOM's reluctance to issue new statements until all items identified in the original statement have been shipped. In place of the six-month validity period, the commenters requested that BIS use a validity period based on whether the quantities identified on the statement have been shipped. BIS accepts this recommendation, which is addressed in new § 748.10(d)(3). To reflect this change, BIS has also amended new § 748.10(d)(1), which describes the requirements for using a PRC End-User Statement for multiple applications.

One commenter recommended removing the requirement under proposed § 748.10(e)(1) to obtain an original support document, and two commenters suggested eliminating the requirement under proposed § 748.10(e)(2), which described the requirements for returning a PRC End-User Statement to the foreign importer. As previously addressed, BIS is removing the requirement to obtain an original support document, which makes the text in proposed §§ 748.10(e)(1)-(e)(2) and 748.9(f)(2) obsolete. Thus, this final rule removes those paragraphs. All recordkeeping requirements for PRC End-User Statements, as well as the other support documents, are now reflected in new § 748.9(f).

To further streamline and clarify the support document requirements, BIS is making additional changes to this section. First, all information regarding corrections, additions, or alterations has been moved to new § 748.10(d)(2), including a revised requirement that if the PRC End-User Statement contains any inaccuracies, then the applicant should note any necessary corrections in a statement on file with the applicant rather than submitting such a statement with the application. In addition, the requirement to provide a certification on quantities of items in Block 24 of the application when using a PRC End-User Statement with multiple applications has been removed. This requirement is redundant and unnecessary. Also, this rule revises the wording in new § 748.10(a)(1) and (a)(2) to clarify that the requirement for a PRC End-User Statement applies to 6A003 cameras and computers if there are any license requirements under the EAR for those commodities to the PRC, not just for reasons on the Commerce Control List. This revised text conforms to the prior requirements for PRC End-User Statements. Other changes to new § 748.10, including to recordkeeping and retention of original documents, are addressed above under new § 748.9.

Section 748.11—Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser

The proposed rule put forward new requirements for obtaining a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser. The proposed rule increased the value threshold for requiring a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser from $5,000 to $50,000, and it proposed to require the statement in place of an IC for most license applications that currently require an IC. As addressed above, commenters expressed concerns that these changes would make the support document requirements of the EAR more burdensome than the ITAR. Consequently, this final rule limits the requirement to obtain a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser to exports, reexports, or in-country transfers of “600 Series Major Defense Equipment,” regardless of value and destination (excluding the PRC). In addition to the comparison to the ITAR's support document requirements, commenters also raised additional concerns.

One commenter suggested that the permissive use of a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser for the PRC, as described in proposed § 748.11(a)(2), be moved to § 748.10 so that all support document requirements pertaining to the PRC reside in one section. While BIS understands the concern, the agency did not accept this recommendation because the support document requirements are organized by document rather than by destination. However, this final rule adds a new note to new § 748.10(a) to provide a cross-reference to new § 748.11(a)(2).

Two commenters requested clarification or examples on proposed Note 2 to § 748.11(a). That proposed note, which is retained in this final rule, states that BIS has discretion to require a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser for an application even though the EAR would not normally require one. For example, under this final rule, BIS may require a statement for an application not involving the PRC for items that are not “600 Series Major Defense Equipment.” BIS may make this request when additional information is needed to help verify the bona fides of a party involved in the transaction.

One commenter expressed concerns regarding proposed § 748.11(b)(5)(iii), which, inter alia, requires that the consignee and/or purchaser “promptly send a new statement to the applicant if changes in the facts or intentions contained in the statement(s) occur after the statement(s) have been forwarded to the applicant.” The commenter stated it was unclear which party is responsible for reporting changes to the license applicant, especially if the changes are a result of the actions of a different party involved in the transaction. BIS notes that an individual party is responsible for ensuring that its representations are true and correct to the best of the party's knowledge. Further, all parties participating in a transaction subject to the EAR must comply with the EAR, including the requirement that a party not proceed with a transaction with knowledge that a violation has occurred or is about to occur as a result of actions by another party.

Two commenters recommended moving proposed § 748.11(c), which describes the content requirements of the statement, to a new supplement to make § 748.11 easier to read. BIS accepts this recommendation and moved the information that was in proposed § 748.11(c) to newly revised Supplement No. 3 to part 748.

One commenter stated that the Form BIS-711 and the information required for a letter on company letterhead vary in the following ways: The letter allows for naming any country while the BIS-711 limits action to a single country (the country of residence of the ultimate consignee); the letter requires indicating whether the Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser is for a single transaction or multiple transactions while the BIS-711 does not require this; the letter requires identifying the name of the license applicant while the BIS-711 does not; and the letter does not require naming a party that assisted in preparing the letter while the BIS-711 does so in block 5. With respect to the country scope of the letter versus the BIS-711, BIS notes that the BIS-711 is not limited to a single country in that boxes B and D under block 2 allow for the identification of other countries, so BIS believes no changes are necessary to either the letter or BIS-711 requirements. The additional issues identified by the commenter will be addressed in a different rule. BIS will evaluate these concerns as part of the agency's separate review of Information Collection 0694-0021 under the Paperwork Reduction Act, which authorizes BIS to collect the information described in § 748.11. Any substantive changes to Information Collection 0694-0021 will be finalized under an additional rule.

Two commenters stated that the validity period for a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser to be used for multiple license applications should be increased from two years to four years, which would correlate with the new license validity period in the EAR. BIS accepts this recommendation, which is reflected in new § 748.11(d)(1)(ii) and Supplement No. 3 to part 748. One commenter also suggested that the name “Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser” be changed to “Recipient Statement” to better identify the appropriate parties to make the relevant representations on the document. BIS does not accept this recommendation as part of this final rule. While using the term “recipient” would provide greater flexibility, it may also increase ambiguity since “recipient” is not a defined term, unlike both “ultimate consignee” and “purchaser.” BIS will, however, monitor the effects this final rule will have on support document requirements and will re-evaluate if further clarifications or changes are warranted.

To further streamline and clarify the support document requirements, BIS is making additional changes to this section. First, the term “sub-assemblies” has been replaced with “components” under new § 748.11(a)(2) since “components” is a defined term in part 772 and reflects the intent of the scope of “sub-assemblies.” Also, new § 748.11(d) has been revised to extend the validity period by allowing an applicant to submit the first license application within one year from the date the statement was signed rather than the prior six months. This change reflects the increased license validity period for BIS licenses and DDTC's practice of allowing purchase orders for DSP-5 licenses to be used within one year.

Section 748.12—Firearms Convention Import Certificate

The proposed rule made no substantive changes to the scope of the support document requirements for firearms and related commodities, but it did propose changing certain submission requirements to recordkeeping requirements and clarifying the name of the support document as a Firearms Convention (FC) Import Certificate. BIS did not receive any public comments specific to the FC Import Certificate requirements, and this final rule largely adopts the proposed requirements in § 748.12, as well as references to the revised name in § 742.17. However, to further clarify and streamline the proposed rule, BIS is making additional changes in this final rule.

This final rule revises new § 748.12(b)(1) to reflect that obtaining a copy of the FC Import Certificate or equivalent official document is permissible and that the application may be submitted prior to receipt of the original or copy. New § 748.12(b)(2) has been revised to incorporate text on the procedure to follow if the government of the importing country will not issue a document; this information was previously in proposed § 748.12(d)(1)(ii). New § 748.12(d)(2) has been revised to incorporate similar wording in prior sections addressing alterations, and new § 748.12(d)(3) has been revised to more closely harmonize, to the extent possible, the validity period on an FC Import Certificate (or equivalent official document) to that of a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser. Unless the Certificate or equivalent official document has an expiration date, the new validity period will be four years rather than the prior limit of one year. Multiple license applications may be submitted using the same Certificate or equivalent official document so long as the document is still valid.

Section 748.13—Granting of Exceptions to the Support Document Requirements

The proposed rule suggested moving the information on granting exceptions to the support document requirements into § 748.13 and made no substantive changes to the existing text, which was previously in § 748.12(c) and (d). One commenter believed that the EAR's requirements for granting an exception are too onerous, and two commenters suggested replacing the process with a requirement for the applicant to keep a letter on file or provide such letter with the application describing why a required support document could not be obtained. BIS believes that a recordkeeping requirement would not be sufficient for utilizing an exception. However, this final rule revises new § 748.13 to streamline the process by requiring that information supporting the request be in or referred to in Block 24 of the application. Thus, a separate letter is not required. Additionally, this final rule revises new § 748.13 to give the agency greater discretion on adjudicating such requests.

Additional Public Comments on Support Document Requirements for License Applications and Additional Conforming Changes

Two commenters believed that the table in proposed Supplement No. 4 to part 744, which provided informal guidance on support document requirements, was confusing; one commenter believed that the proposed table was helpful. Because of changes described above to the requirements for obtaining a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser, BIS believes that the support document requirements are sufficiently clear without the need for the table. Thus, this final rule removes the proposed table.

One commenter requested that BIS clarify the definition of “ultimate consignee” since it affects which party must fill out the Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser. The commenter further proposed a new definition for the term. BIS does not accept this comment as it is outside the scope of the proposed rule. The proposed changes to the support document requirements were premised on the existing definition of “ultimate consignee.” Moreover, any changes to the definition of that term should go through the proposed rulemaking process. Accordingly, at this time, BIS does not believe that such a proposal is warranted.

One commenter recommended that BIS add and define the term “support document” in part 772 to avoid inconsistency with the existing definition of “export control document.” BIS does not accept this recommendation. Support documents already fall under the definition of “export control document,” and BIS believes that new §§ 748.6(a)(3) and 748.9(a) provide sufficient guidance to applicants on the use of the term “support documents.”

Finally, due to the removal of Import Certificate and Delivery Verification requirements, as well as the revised name for FC Import Certificates, this rule finalizes the references to support document names in § 762.2.

Export Administration Act

Since August 21, 2001, the Export Administration Act of 1979, as amended, has been in lapse. However, the President, through Executive Order 13222 of August 17, 2001, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783 (2002), as amended by Executive Order 13637 of March 8, 2013, 78 FR 16129 (March 13, 2013), and as extended by the Notice of August 7, 2014, 79 FR 46959 (August 11, 2014) has continued the EAR in effect under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. BIS continues to carry out the provisions of the Export Administration Act, as appropriate and to the extent permitted by law, pursuant to Executive Order 13222 as amended by Executive Order 13637.

Rulemaking Requirements

1. Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distribute impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This final rule is part of BIS's retrospective regulatory review being undertaken under Executive Order 13563. This rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866.

2. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required to respond to, nor is subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information, subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) (PRA), unless that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number. This final rule affects two collection numbers: Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser (0694-0021) and Import Certificates And End-User Certificates (0694-0093).

This final rule amends the requirements for support documents required in conjunction with a license application. Collection number 0694-0093 addresses Import Certificates and End-User Certificates, changes to Import Certificates and End-User Certificates, exception requests to Import Certificates and End-User Certificates, Delivery Verifications, exception requests to Delivery Verifications, and related recordkeeping. This final rule eliminates the requirement for obtaining a Delivery Verification in conjunction with a license application submitted to BIS. This results in an annual reduction in burden of 361 hours for Delivery Verifications and 0.5 hours for Delivery Verification exception requests. Also, this rule eliminates the requirement to obtain an Import Certificate in conjunction with a license application. This change results in the reduction of the following annual burden hour estimates: 354.5 hours for preparing the Import Certificate, 23.6 hours for recordkeeping related to the Import Certificate, 99 hours for changes to Import Certificates, and 7 hours for Import Certificate exception requests.

The changes to support documents required in conjunction with a license application also impact collection number 0694-0021, which addresses the Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser. This final rule limits the requirement to obtain a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser to license applications involving “600 Series Major Defense Equipment,” as defined in part 772 of the EAR. Since Export Control Reform was initially implemented in October 2013, BIS has not received an application to export, reexport, or transfer (in-country) “600 Series Major Defense Equipment.” Therefore, BIS estimates this final rule will result in one application per year requiring a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser. Based on the aggregate number of license applications in SNAP-R that have the entry for “Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser/BIS 711” checked, and those applications BIS believes were mistakenly checked as “Import Certificate or End User Certificate” but in fact were also Statements by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser due to the destination of the application, BIS believes the changes in this final rule will decrease the burden hours measured under collection number 0694-0021 by approximately 1160.5 hours.

3. This rule does not contain policies with Federalism implications as that term is defined under E.O. 13132.

4. The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., generally requires an agency to prepare an initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) for any rule subject to the notice and comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) or any other statute. However, under section 605(b) of the RFA, if the head of an agency certifies that a rule will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities, the RFA does not require the agency to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis. BIS does not collect data on the size of entities that apply for and are issued export licenses. Although BIS is unable to estimate the exact number of small entities that would be affected by this rule, it acknowledges that this rule would affect some unknown number by reducing the burden of having to obtain certain support documents for certain license applications. Therefore, the impact on any affected small entities will be wholly positive. Pursuant to section 605(b), the Chief Counsel for Regulation, Department of Commerce, submitted a memorandum to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy, Small Business Administration, certifying that this final rule, will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. No comments were received on the certification and therefore no regulatory flexibility analysis is required. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1) good cause exists to waive the otherwise applicable 30 day delay in effectiveness. Because the information obtained through the pertinent support documents is collected elsewhere, there is no need for regulated entities to come into compliance with any regulatory requirements. Furthermore, there is a strong public interest in making these changes. The information contained in the support documents is collected in the license applications themselves, so there is no government or public interest in a duplicative collection. In addition, this rule decreases the burden on the regulated parties. A primary goal of the President's Export Control Reform Initiative is that the transition to jurisdiction under BIS should be no more burdensome under the EAR than the ITAR. However, under the existing regulations, the EAR's support document requirements are more restrictive than the ITAR, which control articles that provide the United States with a critical military or intelligence advantage or otherwise warrant more restrictive controls. There is no need for items subject to the EAR to have more restrictive requirements than defense articles under the ITAR. Indeed, any ongoing requirement that these documents be collected would undermine public policy goals.

There is also a public interest in moving this process along to ensure that entities that are transitioning from being regulated by the ITAR to being regulated by the EAR are not temporarily burdened by having to comply with a requirement that they did not previously have to comply with under the ITAR. For all these reasons, BIS finds good cause to waive the 30 day delay in effective date and implement this rule upon publication in the Federal Register.

List of Subjects 15 CFR Part 742

Exports, Terrorism.

15 CFR Part 748

Administrative practice and procedure, Exports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

15 CFR Part 762

Administrative practice and procedure, Business and industry, Confidential business information, Exports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Export Administration Regulations (15 CFR parts 730-774) are amended as follows:

PART 742—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 742 continues to read as follows: Authority:

50 U.S.C. app. 2401 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 3201 et seq.; 42 U.S.C. 2139a; 22 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 7210; Sec. 1503, Pub. L. 108-11, 117 Stat. 559; E.O. 12058, 43 FR 20947, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp., p. 179; E.O. 12851, 58 FR 33181, 3 CFR, 1993 Comp., p. 608; E.O. 12938, 59 FR 59099, 3 CFR, 1994 Comp., p. 950; E.O. 13026, 61 FR 58767, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 228; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; Presidential Determination 2003-23 of May 7, 2003, 68 FR 26459, May 16, 2003; Notice of August 7, 2014, 79 FR 46959 (August 11, 2014); Notice of November 7, 2014, 79 FR 67035 (November 12, 2014).

2. Section 742.17 is amended by: a. Revising the last sentence of paragraph (a); b. Removing “Import Certificate” and adding in its place “FC Import Certificate” in paragraph (b); and c. Revising paragraph (g), to read as follows:
§ 742.17 Exports of firearms to OAS member countries.

(a) * * * Licenses will generally be issued on a Firearms Convention (FC) Import Certificate or equivalent official document, satisfactory to BIS, issued by the government of the importing OAS member country.

(g) Validity period for licenses. Although licenses generally will be valid for a period of four years, your ability to ship items that require an FC Import Certificate or equivalent official document under this section may be affected by the validity of the FC Import Certificate or equivalent official document (see § 748.12(d)(4) of the EAR).

PART 748—[AMENDED] 3. The authority citation for part 748 continues to read as follows: Authority:

50 U.S.C. app. 2401 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; E.O. 13026, 61 FR 58767, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 228; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; Notice of August 7, 2014, 79 FR 46959 (August 11, 2014).

4. Section 748.6 is amended by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:
§ 748.6 General instructions for license applications.

(a) Instructions. (1) General instructions for filling out license applications are in Supplement No. 1 to this part.

(2) License applications may require additional information due to the type of items requested in the application or the characteristics of the transaction. Special instructions for applications requiring such additional information are listed in § 748.8 and described fully in Supplement No. 2 to this part.

(3) License applications may also require additional information for evaluation of the parties in the transaction. Special instructions for applications requiring such additional information are listed in §§ 748.9 through 748.13.

5. Section 748.9 is revised to read as follows:
§ 748.9 Support documents for evaluation of foreign parties in license applications.

(a) Scope. License applicants may be required to obtain support documents concerning the foreign parties and the disposition of the items intended for export, reexport, or transfer (in-country). Some support documents are issued by foreign governments, while other support documents are signed and issued by the purchaser and/or ultimate consignee. For support documents issued by foreign governments, any foreign legal restrictions or obligations exercised by the government issuing the support document are in addition to the conditions and restrictions placed on the transaction by BIS. However, the laws and regulations of the United States are in no way modified, changed, or superseded by the issuance of a support document by a foreign government.

(b) Requirements to obtain support documents for license applications. Unless an exception in paragraph (c) of this section applies, a support document is required for certain license applications for the People's Republic of China (PRC) (see §§ 748.10 and 748.11(a)(2)), “600 Series Major Defense Equipment” (see § 748.11), and firearms and related commodities to member countries of the Organization of American States (see § 748.12).

Note 1 to paragraph (b):

On a case-by-case basis, BIS may require license applicants to obtain a support document for any license application.

Note 2 to paragraph (b):

For End-Use Certificate requirements under the Chemical Weapons Convention, see § 745.2 of the EAR.

(c) Exceptions to requirements to obtain support documents. (1) Even if a support document requirement is imposed by paragraph (b) of this section, no support document is required for any of the following situations:

(i) The ultimate consignee or purchaser is an “Agency of the United States Government” (see § 740.11(b)(1) for definition). If either the ultimate consignee or purchaser is not an agency of the United States government, however, a support document may still be required from the non-U.S. governmental party;

(ii) The ultimate consignee or purchaser is a foreign government(s) or foreign government agency(ies), other than the government of the People's Republic of China. To determine whether the parties in a transaction meet the definition of “foreign government agency,” refer to the definition contained in part 772 of the EAR. If either the ultimate consignee or purchaser is not a foreign government or foreign government agency, however, a support document may still be required from the nongovernmental party;

(iii) The license application is filed by, or on behalf of, a relief agency registered with the Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid, U.S. Agency for International Development, for export to a member agency in the foreign country;

(iv) The license application is submitted for commodities for temporary exhibit, demonstration, or testing purposes;

(v) The license application is submitted for commodities controlled for short supply reasons (see part 754 of the EAR);

(vi) The license application is submitted under the Special Comprehensive License procedure described in part 752 of the EAR;

(vii) The license application is submitted for software or technology; or

(viii) The license application is submitted for encryption commodities controlled under ECCN 5A002 or 5B002.

(2) BIS will consider granting an exception to the requirement for obtaining a support document where the requirements cannot be met due to circumstances beyond the applicant's control. An exception will not be granted contrary to the objectives of the U.S. export control laws and regulations. Refer to § 748.13 of this part for specific instructions on procedures for requesting an exception.

(d) Content of support documents. In addition to specific requirements described for each support document in §§ 748.10, 748.11, and 748.12, the use and submission of support documents must comply with the following requirements.

(1) English translation. All abbreviations, coded terms, or other expressions on support documents having special significance in the trade or to the parties to the transaction must be explained on an attachment to the document. Documents in a language other than English must be accompanied by an attachment giving an accurate English translation, either made by a translating service or certified by the applicant to be correct. Explanations or translations should be provided on a separate piece of paper, and not entered on the support documents themselves.

(2) Responsibility for full disclosure. (i) The license application covering the transaction discloses all facts pertaining to the transaction. Information contained in a support document obtained after submission of a license application and not submitted to BIS as part of the application cannot be construed as extending or expanding or otherwise modifying the specific information supplied in a license application or license issued by BIS. The authorizations contained in the resulting license are not extended by information contained in the support document regarding reexport from the country of destination, transfer (in-country), or any other facts relative to the transaction that are not reported on the license application.

(ii) Misrepresentations, either through failure to disclose facts, concealing a material fact, or furnishing false information, may subject responsible parties to administrative or criminal action by BIS.

(iii) In obtaining the required support document, the applicant is not relieved of the responsibility for full disclosure of any other information concerning the ultimate destination, end use, or end user of which the applicant knows, even if inconsistent with the representations made in the applicable support document. The applicant is responsible for promptly notifying BIS of any change in the facts contained in the support document that comes to the applicant's attention.

(e) Procedures for using support document with license application.—(1) Timing for obtaining support document. When a support document is required for a license application in §§ 748.10, 748.11, and 748.12, license applicants may submit the application prior to receipt of a copy of the support document, unless BIS informs the applicant that the support document must be submitted with the application. However, if the license is granted, items authorized on the license may not be exported, reexported, or transferred (in-country) until the license holder obtains a copy of the support document.

(2) Information necessary for license application. When a support document is required for a license application, applicants should mark the appropriate box in Block 7, regardless of whether a copy of the support document is on file with the applicant at the time of submission.

(f) Recordkeeping provisions. License applicants must retain on file the original or a copy of any support document issued in support of a license application submitted to BIS. All recordkeeping provisions in part 762 of the EAR apply to this requirement.

(g) Effect on license application review. BIS reserves the right in all respects to determine to what extent any license will be issued covering items for which a support document has been issued. If a support document was issued by a foreign government, BIS will not seek or undertake to give consideration to recommendations from the foreign government as to the action to be taken on a license application. A support document will be only one of the factors upon which BIS will base its licensing action, since end uses and other considerations are important factors in the decision making process.

(h) Grace period for complying with requirements following regulatory change. (1) Whenever the requirement for a PRC End-User Statement, Statement by Ultimate Consignee or Purchaser, or Firearms Convention Import Certificate is imposed or extended by a change in the regulations, the license application need not conform to the new support documentation requirements for a period of 45 days after the effective date of the regulatory change published in the Federal Register.

(2) License applications filed during the 45-day grace period may require the submission of evidence available to the applicant that will support representations concerning the ultimate consignee, ultimate destination, and end use, such as copies of the order, letters of credit, correspondence between the applicant and ultimate consignee, or other documents received from the ultimate consignee. If such evidence is required, applicants must also identify the regulatory change (including its effective date) that justifies exercise of the 45-day grace period.

6. Section 748.10 is revised to read as follows:
§ 748.10 People's Republic of China (PRC) End-User Statement.

(a) Requirement to obtain document. Unless the provisions of §§ 748.9(c) or 748.11(a)(2) apply, a PRC End-User Statement is required for license applications including any of the following commodities destined for the PRC:

(1) Cameras classified under ECCN 6A003 requiring a license to the PRC for any reason, and the value of such cameras exceeds $5,000;

(2) Computers requiring a license to the PRC for any reason, regardless of the value of the computers; or

(3) Any commodity(ies) requiring a license to the PRC for any reason on the Commerce Control List, and the total value of such commodity(ies) requiring a license exceeds $50,000.

Note 1 to paragraph (a):

If an order meets the commodity(ies) and value requirements listed above, then a PRC End-User Statement is required. An order may not be split into multiple license applications solely to avoid a requirement to obtain a PRC End-User Statement.

Note 2 to paragraph (a):

If an order includes both items that do require a license to the PRC and items that do not require a license to the PRC, the value of the latter items should not be factored into the value thresholds described above. Also, if a license application includes 6A003 cameras and other items requiring a license to the PRC, then the value of the 6A003 cameras should be factored into the value threshold described in paragraph (a)(3).

Note 3 to paragraph (a):

See § 748.11(a)(2) for permissive use of a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser in place of a PRC End-User Statement.

Note 4 to paragraph (a):

On a case-by-case basis, BIS may require license applicants to obtain a PRC End-User Statement for a license application that would not otherwise require a PRC End-User Statement under the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section.

(b) Obtaining the document. (1) If a PRC End-User Statement is required for any reason under paragraph (a) of this section, then applicants must request that the importer obtain a PRC End-User Statement for all items on a license application that require a license to the PRC for any reason listed on the CCL.

(2) PRC End-User Statements are issued and administered by the Ministry of Commerce; Department of Mechanic, Electronic and High Technology Industries; Export Control Division I; Chang An Jie No. 2; Beijing 100731 China; Phone: (86)(10) 6519 7366 or 6519 7390; Fax: (86)(10) 6519 7543; http://zzyhzm.mofcom.gov.cn/. See the BIS Web site (www.bis.doc.gov) for the current contact information.

(c) Content of the document. (1) The license applicant's name must appear on the PRC End-User Statement submitted to BIS as the applicant, supplier, or order party.

(2) License applicants must ensure that the following information is included on the PRC End-User Statement signed by an official of the Department of Mechanic, Electronic and High Technology Industries, Export Control Division I, of the PRC Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), with MOFCOM's seal affixed to it:

(i) Title of contract and contract number (optional);

(ii) Names of importer and exporter;

(iii) End user and end use;

(iv) Description of the commodity, quantity and dollar value; and

(v) Signature of the importer and date.

Note to paragraph (c):

The license applicant should furnish the consignee with the commodity description contained in the CCL to be used in applying for the PRC End-User Statement. It is also advisable to furnish a manufacturer's catalog, brochure, or technical specifications if the commodity is new.

(d) Procedures for using document with license application. (1) Using a PRC End-User Statement for multiple applications. A PRC End-User Statement may cover more than one purchase order and more than one item. Where the Statement includes items for which more than one license application will be submitted, the applicant should ensure that the total quantities on the license application(s) do not exceed the total quantities shown on the PRC End-User Statement.

(2) Alterations. After a PRC End-User Statement is issued by the Government of the People's Republic of China, no corrections, additions, or alterations may be made on the certificate by any person. Any necessary corrections, additions, or alterations should be noted by the applicant in a separate statement on file with the applicant.

(3) Validity period. A PRC End-User Statement is valid until the quantities of items identified on the Statement have been shipped.

7. Section 748.11 is revised to read as follows:
§ 748.11 Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser.

(a) Requirement to obtain document. (1) General requirement for all countries excluding the People's Republic of China (PRC). Unless an exception in § 748.9(c) or paragraph (a)(3) of this section applies, a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser is required if the license application includes “600 Series Major Defense Equipment” (600 series MDE) requiring a license for any reason on the Commerce Control List and such items are destined for a country other than the PRC.

(2) Permissive substitute of Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser in place of PRC End-User Statement. The requirement to obtain a support document for license applications involving the PRC is generally determined by § 748.10(a) of the EAR. However, a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser may be substituted in place of a PRC End-User Statement when the commodities to be exported (i.e., replacement parts and components) are valued at $75,000 or less and are for servicing previously exported commodities.

(3) Exception to general requirement. The general requirement described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section does not apply if the applicant is the same person as the ultimate consignee, provided the required statements are contained in Block 24 on the license application. This exemption does not apply, however, where the applicant and consignee are separate entities, such as parent and subsidiary, or affiliated or associated firms.

Note 1 to paragraph (a):

An order may not be split into multiple license applications solely to avoid a requirement to obtain a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser.

Note 2 to paragraph (a):

On a case-by-case basis, BIS may require license applicants to obtain a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser for a license application that would not otherwise require a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser under the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section.

(b) Obtaining the document. (1) The ultimate consignee and purchaser must complete either a statement on company letterhead, or Form BIS-711, Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser, as described in paragraph (c) of this section. Unless otherwise specified, any reference in this section to “Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser” applies to both the statement on company letterhead and to Form BIS-711.

(2) If the consignee and purchaser elect to complete the statement on letterhead and both the ultimate consignee and purchaser are the same entity, only one statement is necessary.

(3) If the ultimate consignee and purchaser are separate entities, separate statements must be prepared and signed.

(4) If the ultimate consignee and purchaser elect to complete Form BIS-711, only one Form BIS-711 (containing the signatures of the ultimate consignee and purchaser) need be completed.

(5) Whether the ultimate consignee and purchaser sign a written statement or complete Form BIS-711, the following constraints apply:

(i) Responsible officials representing the ultimate consignee or purchaser must sign the statement. “Responsible official” is defined as someone with personal knowledge of the information included in the statement, and authority to bind the ultimate consignee or purchaser for whom they sign, and who has the power and authority to control the use and disposition of the licensed items.

(ii) The authority to sign the statement may not be delegated to any person (agent, employee, or other) whose authority to sign is not inherent in his or her official position with the ultimate consignee or purchaser for whom he or she signs. The signing official may be located in the United States or in a foreign country. The official title of the person signing the statement must also be included.

(iii) The consignee and/or purchaser must submit information that is true and correct to the best of their knowledge and must promptly send a new statement to the applicant if changes in the facts or intentions contained in their statement(s) occur after the statement(s) have been forwarded to the applicant. Once a statement has been signed, no corrections, additions, or alterations may be made. If a signed statement is incomplete or incorrect in any respect, a new statement must be prepared, signed and forwarded to the applicant.

(c) Content of the document. See Supplement No. 3 to this part for the information necessary to complete a statement on company letterhead or on Form BIS-711.

(d) Procedures for using document with license application.—(1) Validity period. (i) If a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser is obtained prior to submission of the license application and the Statement is required to support one or more license applications, an applicant must submit the first license application within one year from the date the statement was signed.

(ii) All subsequent license applications supported by the same Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser must be submitted within four years of signature by the consignee or purchaser, whichever was last.

(2) [Reserved]

8. Section 748.12 is revised to read as follows:
§ 748.12 Firearms Convention (FC) Import Certificate.

(a) Requirement to obtain document. Unless an exception in § 748.9(c) applies, an FC Import Certificate is required for license applications for firearms and related commodities, regardless of value, that are destined for member countries of the Organization of American States (OAS). This requirement is consistent with the OAS Model Regulations described in § 742.17 of the EAR.

(1) Items subject to requirement. Firearms and related commodities are those commodities controlled for “FC Column 1” reasons under ECCNs 0A984, 0A986, or 0A987.

(2) Countries subject to requirement. (i) OAS member countries include: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

(ii) [Reserved]

(3) Equivalent official document in place of FC Import Certificate. For those OAS member countries that have not yet established or implemented an FC Import Certificate procedure, BIS will accept an equivalent official document (e.g., import license or letter of authorization) issued by the government of the importing country as supporting documentation for the export of firearms.

(b) Obtaining the document. (1) Applicants must request that the importer (e.g., ultimate consignee or purchaser) obtain the FC Import Certificate or an equivalent official document from the government of the importing country, and that it be issued covering the quantities and types of firearms and related items that the applicant intends to export. (See Supplement No. 6 to this part for a list of the OAS member countries' authorities administering the FC Import Certificate System.) Upon receipt of the FC Import Certificate, its official equivalent, or a copy, the importer must provide the original or a certified copy of the FC Import Certificate or the original or a certified copy of the equivalent official document to the license applicant.

(2) If the government of the importing country will not issue an FC Import Certificate or its official equivalent, the applicant must supply the information described in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(6) through (c)(8) of this section on company letterhead.

(c) Content of the document. The FC Import Certificate or its official equivalent must contain the following information:

(1) Applicant's name and address. The applicant may be either the exporter, supplier, or order party.

(2) FC Import Certificate Identifier/Number.

(3) Name of the country issuing the certificate or unique country code.

(4) Date the FC Import Certificate was issued, in international date format (e.g., 24/12/12 for 24 December 2012, or 3/1/99 for 3 January 1999).

(5) Name of the agency issuing the certificate, address, telephone and facsimile numbers, signing officer name, and signature.

(6) Name of the importer, address, telephone and facsimile numbers, country of residence, representative's name if commercial or government body, citizenship, and signature.

(7) Name of the end user(s), if known and different from the importer, address, telephone and facsimile numbers, country of residence, representative's name if commercial (authorized distributor or reseller) or government body, citizenship, and signature. Note that BIS does not require the identification of each end user when the firearms and related commodities will be resold by a distributor or reseller if unknown at the time of export.

(8) Description of the commodities approved for import including a technical description and total quantity of firearms, parts and components, ammunition and parts.

Note to paragraph (c)(8):

You must furnish the consignee with a detailed technical description of each commodity to be given to the government for its use in issuing the FC Import Certificate. For example, for shotguns, provide the type, barrel length, overall length, number of shots, the manufacturer's name, the country of manufacture, and the serial number for each shotgun. For ammunition, provide the caliber, velocity and force, type of bullet, manufacturer's name and country of manufacture.

(9) Expiration date of the FC Import Certificate in international date format (e.g., 24/12/12) or the date the items must be imported, whichever is earlier.

(10) Name of the country of export (i.e., United States).

(11) Additional information. Certain countries may require the tariff classification number, by class, under the Brussels Convention (Harmonized Tariff Code) or the specific technical description of a commodity. For example, shotguns may need to be described in barrel length, overall length, number of shots, manufacturer's name and country of manufacture. The technical description is not the Export Control Classification Number (ECCN).

(d) Procedures for using document with license application.—(1) Information necessary for license application. The license application must include the same commodities as those listed on the FC Import Certificate or the equivalent official document.

(2) Alterations. After an FC Import Certificate or equivalent official document is used to support the issuance of a license, no corrections, additions, or alterations may be made on the FC Import Certificate by any person. Any necessary corrections, additions, or alterations should be noted by the applicant in a separate statement on file with the applicant.

(3) Validity period. FC Import Certificates or equivalent official documents issued by an OAS member country will be valid until the expiration date on the Certificate or for a period of four years, whichever is shorter.

9. Section 748.13 is revised to read as follows:
§ 748.13 Granting of exceptions to the support documentation requirements.

(a) Overview. A request for an exception to obtaining the required support documentation will be considered by BIS; however, an exception will not be granted contrary to the objectives of the U.S. export control program. A request for exception may involve either a single transaction or, where the reason necessitating the request is continuing in nature, multiple transactions. If satisfied by the evidence presented, BIS may waive the support document requirement and accept the license application for processing.

(b) Procedure for requesting an exception. The request for an exception must be submitted with the license application to which the request relates, and the reason(s) for requesting the exception must be described in Block 24 or referred to in Block 24. Where the request relates to more than one license application, it should be submitted with the first license application and referred to in Block 24 on any subsequent license application.

(c) Action by BIS.—(1) Single transaction request. Where a single transaction is involved, BIS will act on the request for exception at the same time as the license application with which the request is submitted. In those instances where the related license application is approved, the issuance of the license will serve as an automatic notice to the applicant that the exception was approved. If any restrictions are placed on granting of the exception, these will appear on the approval. If the request for exception is not approved, BIS will advise the applicant.

(2) Multiple transactions request. Where multiple transactions are involved, BIS will advise the applicant of the action taken on the exception request. The response from BIS will contain any conditions or restrictions that BIS finds necessary to impose (including an exception termination date if appropriate). In addition, a written acceptance of these conditions or restrictions may be required from the parties to the transaction.

§ 748.14 [Removed and reserved]
10. Section 748.14 is removed and reserved.
11. Supplement No. 3 to part 748 is revised to read as follows: SUPPLEMENT NO. 3 TO PART 748—STATEMENT BY ULTIMATE CONSIGNEE AND PURCHASER CONTENT REQUIREMENTS

If a statement on company letterhead will be used to meet the requirement to obtain a Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser, as described in § 748.11(a), follow the requirements described in paragraph (a) of this appendix. If Form BIS-711 will be used to meet the requirement, follow the requirements described in paragraph (b) of this appendix.

(a) Statement on company letterhead. Information in response to each of the following criteria must be included in the statement. If any information is unknown, that fact should be disclosed in the statement. Preprinted information supplied on the statement, including the name, address, or nature of business of the ultimate consignee or purchaser appearing on the letterhead or order form is acceptable but will not constitute evidence of either the signer's identity, the country of ultimate destination, or end use of the items described in the license application.

(1) Paragraph 1. One of the following certifications must be included depending on whether the statement is proffered in support of a single license application or multiple license applications:

(i) Single. This statement is to be considered part of a license application submitted by [name and address of applicant].

(ii) Multiple. This statement is to be considered a part of every license application submitted by [name and address of applicant] until four years from the date this statement is signed.

(2) Paragraph 2. One or more of the following certifications must be included. Note that if any of the facts related to the following statements are unknown, this must be clearly stated.

(i) The items for which a license application will be filed by [name of applicant] will be used by us as capital equipment in the form in which received in a manufacturing process in [name of country] and will not be reexported or incorporated into an end product.

(ii) The items for which a license application will be filed by [name of applicant] will be processed or incorporated by us into the following product(s) [list products] to be manufactured in [name of country] for distribution in [list name of country or countries].

(iii) The items for which a license application will be filed by [name of applicant] will be resold by us in the form in which received for use or consumption in [name of country].

(iv) The items for which a license application will be filed by [name of applicant] will be reexported by us in the form in which received to [name of country or countries].

(v) The items received from [name of applicant] will be [describe use of the items fully].

(3) Paragraph 3. The following two certifications must be included:

(i) The nature of our business is [possible choices include: broker, distributor, fabricator, manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer, value added reseller, original equipment manufacturer, etc.].

(ii) Our business relationship with [name of applicant] is [possible choices include; contractual, franchise, distributor, wholesaler, continuing and regular individual business, etc.] and we have had this business relationship for [number of years].

(4) Paragraph 4. The final paragraph must include all of the following certifications:

(i) We certify that all of the facts contained in this statement are true and correct to the best of our knowledge and we do not know of any additional facts that are inconsistent with the above statements. We shall promptly send a replacement statement to [name of the applicant] disclosing any material change of facts or intentions described in this statement that occur after this statement has been prepared and forwarded to [name of applicant]. We acknowledge that the making of any false statement or concealment of any material fact in connection with this statement may result in imprisonment or fine, or both, and denial, in whole or in part, of participation in U.S. exports or reexports.

(ii) Except as specifically authorized by the U.S. Export Administration Regulations, or by written approval from the Bureau of Industry and Security, we will not reexport, resell, or otherwise dispose of any items approved on a license supported by this statement:

(A) To any country not approved for export as brought to our attention by the exporter; or

(B) To any person if there is reason to believe that it will result directly or indirectly in disposition of the items contrary to the representations made in this statement or contrary to the U.S. Export Administration Regulations.

(iii) We understand that acceptance of this statement as a support document cannot be construed as an authorization by BIS to reexport or transfer (in country) the items in the form in which received even though we may have indicated the intention to reexport or transfer (in country), and that authorization to reexport (or transfer in country) is not granted in an export license on the basis of information provided in the statement, but as a result of a specific request in a license application.

(b) Form BIS-711. Form BIS-711 is available at http://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/component/rsform/form/21-request-bis-forms?task=forms.edit. Instructions on completing Form BIS-711 are described below. The ultimate consignee and purchaser may sign a legible copy of Form BIS-711. It is not necessary to require the ultimate consignee and purchaser to sign an original Form BIS-711, provided all information contained on the copy is legible. All information must be typed or legibly printed in each appropriate Block or Box.

(1) Block 1: Ultimate Consignee. The Ultimate Consignee must be the person abroad who is actually to receive the material for the disposition stated in Block 2. A bank, freight forwarder, forwarding agent, or other intermediary is not acceptable as the Ultimate Consignee.

(2) Block 2: Disposition or Use of Items by Ultimate Consignee named in Block 1. Place an (X) in “A.,” “B.,” “C.,” “D.,” and “E.,” as appropriate, and fill in the required information.

(3) Block 3: Nature of Business of Ultimate Consignee named in Block 1. Complete both “A” and “B”. Possible choices for “A” include: broker, distributor, fabricator, manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer, value added reseller, original equipment manufacturer, etc. Possible choices for “B” include: contractual, franchise, distributor, wholesaler, continuing and regular individual business, etc.

(4) Block 4: Additional Information. Provide any other information not appearing elsewhere on the form such as other parties to the transaction, and any other material facts that may be of value in considering license applications supported by this statement.

(5) Block 5: Assistance in Preparing Statement. Name all persons, other than employees of the ultimate consignee or purchaser, who assisted in the preparation of this form.

(6) Block 6: Ultimate Consignee. Enter the requested information and sign the statement in ink. (For a definition of ultimate consignee, see § 748.5(e) of this part.)

(7) Block 7: Purchaser. This form must be signed in ink by the Purchaser, if the Purchaser is not the same as the Ultimate Consignee identified in Block 1. (For a definition of purchaser, see § 748.5(c) of this part.)

(8) Block 8: Certification for Exporter. This Block must be completed to certify that no correction, addition, or alteration on this form was made subsequent to the signing by the Ultimate Consignee in Block 6 and Purchaser in Block 7.

Supplement No. 4 to part 748 [Removed and reserved] 12. Supplement No. 4 to part 748 is removed and reserved. PART 762—[AMENDED] 13. The authority citation for part 762 continues to read as follows: Authority:

50 U.S.C. app. 2401 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; Notice of August 7, 2014, 79 FR 46959 (August 11, 2014).

14. Section 762.2 is amended by: a. Revising paragraphs (b)(22) and (b)(24); and b. Removing and reserving paragraph (b)(25), to read as follows:
§ 762.2 Records to be retained.

(b) * * *

(22) § 748.10, PRC End-User Statement;

(24) § 748.12, Firearms Convention (FC) Import Certificate;

(25) [Reserved]

Dated: March 5, 2015. Kevin J. Wolf, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration.
[FR Doc. 2015-05784 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-33- P
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 18 CFR Part 381 [Docket No. RM15-6-000] Annual Update of Filing Fees AGENCY:

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, DOE.

ACTION:

Final rule; annual update of Commission filing fees.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with Commission regulations, the Commission issues this update of its filing fees. This notice provides the yearly update using data in the Commission's Financial System to calculate the new fees. The purpose of updating is to adjust the fees on the basis of the Commission's costs for Fiscal Year 2014.

DATES:

Effective Date: April 13, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Raymond D. Johnson Jr., Office of the Executive Director, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 42-66, Washington, DC 20426, 202-502-8402.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

From FERC's Web site on the Internet, this information is available in the eLibrary. The full text of this document is available on eLibrary in PDF and Microsoft Word format for viewing, printing, and/or downloading. To access this document in eLibrary, type the docket number excluding the last three digits of this document in the docket number field and follow other directions on the search page.

User assistance is available for eLibrary and other aspects of FERC's Web site during normal business hours. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659.

Annual Update of Filing Fees (Issued March 4, 2015)

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) is issuing this notice to update filing fees that the Commission assesses for specific services and benefits provided to identifiable beneficiaries. Pursuant to 18 CFR 381.104, the Commission is establishing updated fees on the basis of the Commission's Fiscal Year 2014 costs. The adjusted fees announced in this notice are effective April 13, 2015. The Commission has determined, with the concurrence of the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of the Office of Management and Budget, that this final rule is not a major rule within the meaning of section 251 of Subtitle E of Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act, 5 U.S.C. 804(2). The Commission is submitting this final rule to both houses of the United States Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States.

The new fee schedule is as follows:

Fees Applicable to the Natural Gas Policy Act 1. Petitions for rate approval pursuant to 18 CFR 284.123(b)(2). (18 CFR 381.403) $12,310 Fees Applicable to General Activities 1. Petition for issuance of a declaratory order (except under Part I of the Federal Power Act). (18 CFR 381.302(a)) $24,730 2. Review of a Department of Energy remedial order: Amount in controversy $0-9,999. (18 CFR 381.303(b)) $100 $10,000-29,999. (18 CFR 381.303(b)) $600 $ 30,000 or more. (18 CFR 381.303(a)) $36,100 3. Review of a Department of Energy denial of adjustment: Amount in controversy $0-9,999. (18 CFR 381.304(b)) $100 $10,000-29,999. (18 CFR 381.304(b)) $600 $30,000 or more. (18 CFR 381.304(a)) $18,920 4. Written legal interpretations by the Office of General Counsel. (18 CFR 381.305(a)) $7,090 Fees Applicable to Natural Gas Pipelines 1. Pipeline certificate applications pursuant to 18 CFR 284.224. (18 CFR 381.207(b)) * $1,000 Fees Applicable to Cogenerators and Small Power Producers 1. Certification of qualifying status as a small power production facility. (18 CFR 381.505(a)) $21,260 2. Certification of qualifying status as a cogeneration facility. (18 CFR 381.505(a)) $24,070 * This fee has not been changed. List of Subjects in 18 CFR Part 381

Electric power plants, Electric utilities, Natural gas, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Anton C. Porter, Executive Director.

In consideration of the foregoing, the Commission amends Part 381, Chapter I, Title 18, Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below.

PART 381—FEES 1. The authority citation for part 381 continues to read as follows: Authority:

15 U.S.C. 717-717w; 16 U.S.C. 791-828c, 2601-2645; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 42 U.S.C. 7101-7352; 49 U.S.C. 60502; 49 App. U.S.C. 1-85.

§ 381.302 [Amended]
2. In § 381.302, paragraph (a) is amended by removing “$24,260” and adding “$24,730” in its place.
§ 381.303 [Amended]
3. In § 381.303, paragraph (a) is amended by removing “$35,410” and adding “$36,100” in its place.
§ 381.304 [Amended]
4. In § 381.304, paragraph (a) is amended by removing “$18,570” and adding “$18,920” in its place.
§ 381.305 [Amended]
5. In § 381.305, paragraph (a) is amended by removing “$6,960” and adding “$7,090” in its place.
§ 381.403 [Amended]
6. Section 381.403 is amended by removing “$12,070” and adding “$12,310” in its place.
§ 381.505 [Amended]
7. In § 381.505, paragraph (a) is amended by removing “$20,860” and adding “$21,260” in its place and by removing “$23,610” and adding “$24,070” in its place.
[FR Doc. 2015-05407 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 18 CFR Part 375 [Docket No. RM15-15-000; Order No. 806] Disruptive Conduct at Commission Open Meetings AGENCY:

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Commission is amending the CFR regulations which specify the roles available to the public at the Commission's open meetings. This rule utilizes language from the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) open meeting regulation, and the Rural Telephone Bank's open meeting regulation, to clarify that the term “observe” does not include disruptive behavior. The rule also uses language from the FCC's open meeting regulation to clarify that communications made or presented by unscheduled presenters will not be considered by the Commission. Finally, the rule uses language similar to the Consumer Product Safety Commission's open meeting regulation, to clarify that members of the public may use electronic audio and visual equipment to record open meetings in a non-disruptive manner. The rule imposes no new obligations on the public.

DATES:

This rule will become effective April 13, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark Hershfield, Office of the General Counsel, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8597, [email protected] Nathaniel Higgins, Office of the General Counsel, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-6110, [email protected]
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Order No. 806 Final Rule Table of Contents Paragraph
  • numbers
  • I. Introduction 1. II. Background 2. III. Discussion 6. IV. Information Collection Statement 10. V. Environmental Analysis 11. VI. Regulatory Flexibility Act 12. VII. Document Availability 13. VIII. Effective Date 16.
    I. Introduction

    1. By this final rule, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) is amending 18 CFR 375.203(b), which specifies the roles available to the public at the Commission's open meetings. This rule utilizes language from the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) open meeting regulation, 47 CFR 0.602, and the Rural Telephone Bank's open meeting regulation, 7 CFR 1600.3, to clarify that the term “observe” does not include disruptive behavior. The rule also utilizes language from the FCC's open meeting regulation to clarify that communications made or presented by unscheduled presenters will not be considered by the Commission. Finally, the rule uses language similar to the Consumer Product Safety Commission's open meeting regulation, 16 CFR 1013.4, to clarify that members of the public may record open meetings in a non-disruptive manner. The rule imposes no new obligations on the public.

    II. Background

    2. The Commission has recently experienced multiple disruptions to its open meetings from individual protesters. The disruptions have consisted of members of the public making unscheduled statements, standing up repeatedly, walking about the room, and displaying signs.

    3. The Commission's regulations outline the roles available to the public at the Commission's open meetings. Specifically, 18 CFR 375.203(b) states that “[m]embers of the public are invited to listen and observe at open meetings.”

    4. Like the Commission, other Federal agencies limit the conduct of the public at open meetings.1 Several other agencies have regulations on open meetings that expressly address disruptive conduct by members of the public and their removal for such conduct.2 The language of the rules of the FCC, EEOC, and the Rural Telephone Bank are particularly useful in clarifying the term “observe” as it appears in the Commission's regulations. The FCC, EEOC, and the Rural Telephone Bank define “observation” as not including disruptive conduct.3 Furthermore, the FCC's regulation addresses documents that an unscheduled presenter might seek to deliver at an open meeting, prohibiting their entry into the FCC's official record.

    1See, e.g., 12 CFR 311.2, 10 CFR 9.103, and 16 CFR 4.15 (Regulations of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and Federal Trade Commission limiting the participation of the public to observing open meetings).

    2See, e.g., 47 CFR 0.602 (Federal Communication Commission defines “observation” as to not include “participation or disruptive conduct by observers, and persons engaging in such conduct will be removed from the meeting”); see also 7 CFR 1600.3 (The Rural Telephone Bank defines “observation” as to not include “participation or disruptive conduct by observers, and persons engaging in such conduct will be removed from the meeting”); see also 29 CFR 1612.3 (The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines “public observation” as to “not include participation or disruptive conduct by observers” and “any attempted participation or disruptive conduct by observers shall be cause for removal of persons so engaged at the discretion of the presiding member of the agency); see also 17 CFR 200.410 (The Securities Exchange Commission permits the exclusion of “any person from attendance at any meeting whenever necessary to preserve decorum, or where appropriate or necessary for health or safety reasons”) and 45 CFR 702.52 (The Commission on Civil Rights empowers the presiding Commissioner to “exclude persons from a meeting” and “take all steps necessary to preserve order and decorum”).

    3See 47 CFR 0.602, 29 CFR 1612.3, and 7 CFR 1600.3, respectively.

    5. Another related topic is possible disruption stemming from observers' use of personal electronic recording devices at open meetings. The applicable provision of the Commission's regulations, 18 CFR 375.203(b), allows members of the public to record open meetings in a non-disruptive manner.4 Other agencies similarly permit the recording of open meetings in a non-disruptive manner.5 The language adopted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, stating that “[t]o the extent their use does not interfere with the conduct of open meetings, cameras and sound-recording equipment may be used at open Commission meetings,” is particularly succinct in making this point.

    4 18 CFR 375.203(b)(2)(i)-(iv) .

    5See, e.g., 16 CFR 1013.4 (The Consumer Product Safety Commission provides that “[t]o the extent their use does not interfere with the conduct of open meetings, cameras and sound-recording equipment may be used at open Commission meetings”); see also 18 CFR 1301.43 (The Tennessee Valley Authority permits the public to “make reasonable use of electronic or other devices or cameras to record deliberations or actions at meetings so long as such use is not disruptive of the meetings”) and 39 CFR 3001.43 (The Postal Rate Commission regulation states that “[m]embers of the public may not participate in open meetings. They may record the proceedings, provided they use battery-operated recording devices at their seats. Cameras may be used by observers to photograph proceedings, provided it is done from their seats and no flash or lighting equipment is used. Persons may electronically record or photograph a meeting, as long as such activity does not impede or disturb the members of the Commission in the performance of their duties, or members of the public attempting to observe, or to record or photograph, the Commission meeting”).

    III. Discussion

    6. The Commission is concerned about the impact of public disruptions on its ability to conduct open meetings. To ensure compliance with the Government in the Sunshine Act,6 it is essential that the Commission's open meetings focus on the items listed in the posted agenda. Members of the public do not have a right to disrupt open meetings or to raise extraneous issues.7

    6 29 CFR 2701.

    7 The First Amendment does not provide a right to disrupt a Commission open meeting. Cf. White v. City of Norwalk, 900 F.2d 1421, 1424-1426 (9th Cir. 1990) (holding that a city ordinance allowing removal of persons who disrupt, disturb, or otherwise impede orderly conduct of council meetings is not overly broad and not a violation of First Amendment rights); Smith-Caronia v. United States, 714 A.2d 764, 765 (D.C. Cir. 1998) (upholding the constitutionality of DC Code 9-112(b)(4), which prohibits disruptive conduct within any of the Capitol Buildings). Moreover, agencies do not violate the First Amendment when they “confine their meetings to specified subject matter.” Madison School Dist. v. Wisconsin Employment Relations Comm'n, 429 U.S. 167, 175 n.8 (1976).

    7. The Commission is issuing this Final Rule to clarify that the term “observe” used in § 375.203(b) of its regulation, has the same meaning as the term “observation” in the regulations of the FCC and the Rural Telephone Bank.8 Thus, this rule merely clarifies that the term “observe” as used in § 375.203(b) does not mean the right to disrupt.9 The rule gives the Commission no new authority, and it imposes no obligations on the public that do not currently exist. The public already has an obligation to avoid disruptive conduct at the Commission's open meetings.

    8 While the EEOC essentially interprets “observation” the same way, the Commission is specifically utilizing the regulatory language of the FCC and the Rural Telephone Bank.

    9 The Commission has a comparable rule in 18 CFR 385.2102(b), which states that, “[c]ontumacious conduct in a hearing before the Commission or a presiding officer will be grounds for exclusion of any person from such hearing and for summary suspension for the duration of the hearing by the Commission or the presiding officer.”

    8. The final rule also addresses the possibility that when disruptive conduct involves the reading of unscheduled statements, those statements could trigger potential violations of the Government in the Sunshine Act notice provisions, the ex parte communications provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act, and the Commission's ex parte communications rule, 18 CFR 385.2201. Specifically, incorporating language from Section 0.602(c) of the FCC's regulations into the Commission's regulations clarifies that disruptive statements, oral or written, will not be included in the record or considered by the Commission.

    9. Finally, the Commission recognizes that its existing regulations concerning recording open meetings are unduly complex and out of date. The Commission is therefore amending its regulation to clarify that seated members of the public, or seated observers, may use electronic audio and visual recording equipment to record open meetings in a non-disruptive manner. In this regard, the Commission is utilizing language similar to that used by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

    IV. Information Collection Statement

    10. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations require OMB to approve certain information collection requirements imposed by agency rule.10 However, this instant Final Rule does not contain any information collection requirements. Therefore, compliance with OMB regulations is not required.

    10 5 CFR 1320.12.

    V. Environmental Analysis

    11. The Commission is required to prepare an Environmental Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement for any action that may have a significant adverse effect on the human environment.11 Issuance of this Final Rule does not represent a major federal action having a significant adverse effect on the human environment under the Commission's regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. Part 380 of the Commission's regulations lists exemptions to the requirement to draft an Environmental Analysis or Environmental Impact Statement. Included is an exemption for procedural, ministerial, or internal administrative actions.12 This rulemaking is exempt under that provision.

    11Regulations Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Order No. 486, 52 FR 47897 (Dec. 17, 1987), FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 30,783 (1987).

    12 18 CFR 380.4(a)(1).

    VI. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    12. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA) 13 generally requires a description and analysis of final rules that will have significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This Final Rule concerns an interpretation of current Commission regulations and practices. The Commission certifies that it will not have a significant economic impact upon participants in Commission proceedings. An analysis under the RFA is not required.

    13 5 U.S.C. 601-12.

    VII. Document Availability

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

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

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

    VIII. Effective Date

    16. The Commission is issuing this rule as a Final Rule without a period for public comment. Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(A), notice and comment procedures are unnecessary for “interpretative rules, general statements of policy, or rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice. . . .” This rule merely provides the public with guidance concerning the existing regulation and reminds the general public of the roles available to the public at the Commission's open meetings. The rule will not significantly affect regulated entities or the general public.

    17. These regulations are effective April 13, 2015.

    List of Subjects in 18 CFR Part 375

    Open Meetings.

    Issued: March 9, 2015.

    By the Commission.

    Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Commission amends Part 375, Chapter I, Title 18, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:

    PART 375—THE COMMISSION 1. The authority citation for Part 375 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 551-557; 15 U.S.C. 717-717w, 3301-3432; 16 U.S.C. 791-825r, 2601-2645; 42 U.S.C. 7101-7352

    2. Section 375.203 is amended by adding paragraphs (b)(1)(i) and (ii) and revising paragraph (b)(2) to read as follows:
    § 375.203 Open meetings.

    (b) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (i) “Observe” does not include participation or disruptive conduct, and persons engaging in such conduct will be removed from the meeting.

    (ii) The right of the public to observe open meetings does not alter those rules which relate to the filing of motions, pleadings, or other documents. Unless such pleadings conform to the other procedural requirements, pleadings based upon comments or discussions at open meetings, as a general rule, will not become part of the official record, will receive no consideration, and no further action by the Commission will be taken thereon.

    (2) To the extent their use does not interfere with the conduct of open meetings, electronic audio and visual recording equipment may be used by a seated observer at an open meeting.

    [FR Doc. 2015-05689 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Parts 11 and 101 [Docket No. FDA-2011-F-0172] Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments; Small Entity Compliance Guide; Availability AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notification of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is announcing the availability of a guidance for industry entitled “Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments—Small Entity Compliance Guide”. The small entity compliance guide (SECG) is intended to help small entities comply with the final rule entitled “Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments.”

    DATES:

    The SECG will be available as of March 13, 2015. Submit either electronic or written comments on FDA guidances at any time.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit written requests for single copies of the SECG to the Office of Nutrition, Labeling and Dietary Supplements, Food Labeling and Standards Staff, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (HFS-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5100 Paint Branch Pkwy., College Park, MD 20740. Send two self-addressed adhesive labels to assist that office in processing your request. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the SECG.

    Submit electronic comments on the SECG to http://www.regulations.gov. Submit written comments on the SECG to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Daniel Y. Reese, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (HFS-820), Food and Drug Administration, 5100 Paint Branch Pkwy., College Park, MD 20740, 240-402-2371.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    In the Federal Register of December 1, 2014 (79 FR 71156), we issued a final rule requiring nutrition labeling of standard menu items in restaurants and similar retail food establishments (the final rule). The final rule, which is codified at 21 CFR 101.11, is effective December 1, 2015.

    We examined the economic implications of the final rule as required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612) and determined that the final rule will have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. In compliance with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (Pub. L. 104-121, as amended by Pub. L. 110-28), we are making available the SECG to explain the actions that a small entity must take to comply with the rule.

    We are issuing the SECG consistent with our good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115(c)(2)). The SECG represents our current thinking on nutrition labeling of standard menu items in restaurants and similar retail food establishments. It does not create or confer any rights for or on any person and does not operate to bind FDA or the public. An alternative approach may be used if such approach satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations.

    II. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This SECG refers to collections of information described in FDA's final rule that published in the Federal Register of December 1, 2014 (79 FR 71156), and that will be effective on December 1, 2015. As stated in the final rule, these collections of information are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). In compliance with the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)), the Agency has submitted the information collection provisions of the final rule to OMB for review. FDA will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing OMB's decision to approve, modify, or disapprove the information collection provisions in this final rule. An Agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    III. Comments

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

    IV. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the Internet may obtain the SECG at either http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/default.htm or http://www.regulations.gov. Use the FDA Web site listed in the previous sentence to find the most current version of the guidance.

    Dated: March 6, 2015. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05590 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Parts 510, 520, 522, 524, 556, and 558 [Docket No. FDA-2014-N-0002] New Animal Drugs; Approval of New Animal Drug Applications; Change of Sponsor AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; technical amendments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is amending the animal drug regulations to reflect approval actions for new animal drug applications (NADAs) and abbreviated new animal drug applications (ANADAs) during November and December 2014. FDA is also informing the public of the availability of summaries of the basis of approval and of environmental review documents, where applicable. The animal drug regulations are also being amended to reflect a change of sponsorship of eight NADAs and nine ANADAs, and to make correcting amendments for a drug labeler code.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective March 13, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    George K. Haibel, Center for Veterinary Medicine (HFV-6), Food and Drug Administration, 7519 Standish Pl., Rockville, MD 20855, 240-276-9019, [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    FDA is amending the animal drug regulations to reflect approval actions for NADAs and ANADAs during November and December 2014, as listed in table 1. In addition, FDA is informing the public of the availability, where applicable, of documentation of environmental review required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and, for actions requiring review of safety or effectiveness data, summaries of the basis of approval (FOI Summaries) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). These public documents may be seen in the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Persons with access to the Internet may obtain these documents at the CVM FOIA Electronic Reading Room: http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CentersOffices/OfficeofFoods/CVM/CVMFOIAElectronicReadingRoom/default.htm. Marketing exclusivity and patent information may be accessed in FDA's publication, Approved Animal Drug Products Online (Green Book) at: http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/Products/ApprovedAnimalDrugProducts/default.htm.

    In addition, Pennfield Oil Co., 14040 Industrial Rd., Omaha, NE 68144, has transferred ownership of, and all rights and interest in, the following approved applications to Pharmgate LLC, 161 North Franklin Turnpike, Suite 2C, Ramsey, NJ 07446:

    File No. Product name 21 CFR Cite 065-480 Chlortetracycline Soluble Powder 520.441. 138-934 PENNCHLOR SP (chlortetracycline, sulfamethazine, penicillin) Type A medicated articles 558.145. 138-935 PENNCHLOR (chlortetracycline) Type A medicated articles 558.128. 138-938 PENNOX (oxytetracycline) Type A medicated articles 558.450. 138-939 NEO-OXY (neomycin sulfate and oxytetracycline) Type A medicated articles 558.455. 140-680 TYLAN (tylosin phosphate) Type A medicated articles 558.625. 140-681 TYLAN Sulfa-G (tylosin phosphate and sulfamethazine) Type A medicated articles 558.630. 141-137 PENITRACIN (bacitracin methylenedisalicylate) 50 Type A medicated article Not codified. 200-026 PENNOX 343 (oxytetracycline) 520.1660d. 200-154 PENNOX 200 (oxytetracycline) 558.450. 200-295 PENNCHLOR 64 (chlortetracycline) 558.128. 200-314 PENNCHLOR S (chlortetracycline) 558.140. 200-354 PENNCHLOR (chlortetracycline)/COBAN (monensin) 558.355. 200-356 PENNCHLOR (chlortetracycline)/DENAGARD (tiamulin) 558.600. 200-357 PENNCHLOR (chlortetracycline)/BIO-COX (salinomycin) 558.550. 200-358 PENNCHLOR (chlortetracycline)/BMD (bacitracin MD) 558.76. 200-359 PENNCHLOR (chlortetracycline)/DECCOX (decoquinate) 558.195.

    At this time, the regulations are being amended to reflect these changes of sponsorship. Following these changes of sponsorship, Pharmgate LLC will now be the sponsor of an approved application while Pennfield Oil Co. will no longer be the sponsor of an approved application. Also, Hikma Pharmaceuticals LLC, P.O. Box 182400, Bayader Wadi Seer, Amman, Jordan 11118, has informed FDA that it has changed its name to Hikma International Pharmaceuticals LLC. Accordingly, § 510.600 (21 CFR 510.600) is being amended to reflect these changes. In addition, FDA is amending § 510.600 and several sections of part 520 to reflect a correct drug labeler code for Akorn Animal Health, Inc. FDA is also amending the regulations in 21 CFR parts 520, 522, 556, and 558 to redesignate several sections to reflect alphabetical order and to make minor technical amendments. These corrections and technical amendments are being made to improve the accuracy of the animal drug regulations.

    Table 1—Original and Supplemental NADAs and ANADAs Approved During November and December 2014 NADA/
  • ANADA
  • Sponsor New animal drug
  • product name
  • Action 21 CFR
  • Sections
  • FOIA
  • Summary
  • NEPA
  • Review
  • 200-575 Putney, Inc., One Monument Sq., suite 400, Portland, ME 04101 Carprofen Chewable Tablets Original approval as a generic copy of NADA 141-111 520.309 yes CE 12 141-232 Zoetis Inc., 333 Portage St., Kalamazoo, MI 49007 SIMPLICEF (cefpodoxime proxetil) Chewable Tablets Supplemental approval of chewable tablet dosage form for dogs 520.370 yes CE 13 200-512 Zoetis Inc., 333 Portage St., Kalamazoo, MI 49007 TRIAMULOX (tiamulin hydrogen fumarate) Liquid Concentrate Original approval as a generic copy of NADA 140-916 520.2455 yes CE 12 200-573 Putney, Inc., One Monument Sq., suite 400, Portland, ME 04101 Dexmedetomidine HCl
  • (dexmedetomidine hydrochloride)
  • Injectable Solution
  • Original approval as a generic copy of NADA 141-267 522.558 yes CE 12
    141-068 Bayer HealthCare LLC, Animal Health Division, P.O. Box 390, Shawnee Mission, KS 66201 BAYTRIL 100 (enrofloxacin)
  • Injectable Solution
  • Supplemental approval adding administration by intramuscular injection in swine and an indication for control of colibacillosis in groups or pens of weaned pigs 522.812 yes  CE14
    141-349 Zoetis Inc., 333 Portage St., Kalamazoo, MI 49007 DRAXXIN 25
  • (tulathromycin)
  • Injectable Solution
  • Supplemental approval for treatment of bovine respiratory disease (BRD) in suckling calves, dairy calves, and veal calves 522.2630 yes CE 14
    141-437 Novartis Animal Health US, Inc., 3200 Northline Ave., suite 300, Greensboro, NC 27408 OSURNIA
  • (florfenicol, terbinafine, betamethasone acetate) Otic Gel
  • Original approval for the treatment of otitis externa in dogs 524.955 yes CE 13
    034-267 Intervet, Inc., 556 Morris Ave., Summit, NJ 07901 GENTOCIN DURAFILM
  • (gentamicin sulfate and betamethasone)
  • Ophthalmic Solution
  • Supplemental approval of additional safety information 524.1044i yes CE 13
    141-034 Huvepharma AD, 5th Floor, 3A Nikolay Haytov Str., 1113 Sophia, Bulgaria GAINPRO
  • (bambermycins)
  • Type A medicated article
  • Supplemental approval of a free-choice Type C medicated loose mineral feed without selenium for pasture cattle 558.95 yes CE 12
    200-510 5 Pharmgate LLC, 161 North Franklin Turnpike, suite 2C, Ramsey, NJ 07446 DERACIN
  • (chlortetracycline)
  • Type A medicated articles
  • Original approval as a generic copy of NADA 048-761 558.128 yes CE 12
    141-258 Intervet, Inc., 556 Morris Ave., Summit, NJ 07901 ZILMAX (zilpaterol hydrochloride) Type A medicated article Supplemental approval to provide for component feeding of Type C medicated feeds 558.665 yes CE 12 141-276 5 Intervet, Inc., 556 Morris Ave., Summit, NJ 07901 ZILMAX (zilpaterol hydrochloride) plus RUMENSIN (monensin) plus TYLAN (tylosin phosphate) Type C medicated feeds Supplemental approval to provide for component feeding of combination drug Type C medicated feeds 558.665 yes CE 16 1 The Agency has determined that this action is categorically excluded (CE) from the requirement to submit an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement because it is of a type that does not have a significant effect on the human environment. 2 CE granted under 21 CFR 25.33(a)(1). 3 CE granted under 21 CFR 25.33(d)(1). 4 CE granted under 21 CFR 25.33(d)(5). 5 This application is affected by guidance for industry (GFI) #213, “New Animal Drugs and New Animal Drug Combination Products Administered in or on Medicated Feed or Drinking Water of Food-Producing Animals: Recommendations for Drug Sponsors for Voluntarily Aligning Product Use Conditions with GFI #209,” December 2013. 6 CE granted under 21 CFR 25.33(a)(2).

    This rule does not meet the definition of “rule” in 5 U.S.C. 804(3)(A) because it is a rule of “particular applicability.” Therefore, it is not subject to the congressional review requirements in 5 U.S.C. 801-808.

    List of Subjects 21 CFR Part 510

    Administrative practice and procedure, Animal drugs, Labeling, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    21 CFR Parts 520, 522, and 524

    Animal drugs.

    21 CFR Part 556

    Animal drugs, Foods.

    21 CFR Part 558

    Animal drugs, Animal feeds.

    Therefore, under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and under authority delegated to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs and redelegated to the Center for Veterinary Medicine, 21 CFR parts 510, 520, 522, 524, 556, and 558 are amended as follows:

    PART 510—NEW ANIMAL DRUGS 1. The authority citation for 21 CFR part 510 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 321, 331, 351, 352, 353, 360b, 371, 379e.

    2. Amend § 510.600 as follows: a. In the table in paragraph (c)(1), in the entry for “Akorn Animal Health, Inc.”, in the ”Drug labeler code” column, remove “053599”, and in its place add “059399”; b. In the table in paragraph (c)(1), in the entry for “Hikma Pharmaceuticals LLC”, in the “Firm name and address” column, remove “Hikma Pharmaceuticals LLC”, and in its place add “Hikma International Pharmaceuticals LLC”; c. In the table in paragraph (c)(1), remove the entry for “Pennfield Oil Co.” and add an entry, in alphabetical order, for “Pharmgate LLC”; d. In the table in paragraph (c)(2), remove the entries for “000008”, “048164”, and “053599” and add entries, in numerical order, for “059399” and “069254”; and e. In the table in paragraph (c)(2), in the entry for “059115”, in the “Firm name and address” column, remove “Hikma Pharmaceuticals LLC”, and in its place add “Hikma International Pharmaceuticals LLC”.

    The additions and revisions read as follows:

    § 510.600 Names, addresses, and drug labeler codes of sponsors of approved applications.

    (c) * * *

    (1) * * *

    Firm name and address Drug labeler code *         *         *         *         *         *         * Pharmgate LLC, 161 North Franklin Turnpike, suite 2C, Ramsey, NJ 07446 069254 *         *         *         *         *         *         *

    (2) * * *

    Drug labeler code Firm name and address *         *         *         *         *         *         * 059399 Akorn Animal Health, Inc., 1925 West Field Ct., suite 300, Lake Forest, IL 60045 *         *         *         *         *         *         * 069254 Pharmgate LLC, 161 North Franklin Turnpike, suite 2C, Ramsey, NJ 07446 *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    PART 520—ORAL DOSAGE FORM NEW ANIMAL DRUGS 3. The authority citation for 21 CFR part 520 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 360b.

    §§ 520.310 and 520.312 [Redesignated as §§ 520.301 and 520.302]
    4. Redesignate §§ 520.310 and 520.312 as §§ 520.301 and 520.302, respectively.
    § 520.309 [Redesignated as § 520.304 and Amended]
    5. Redesignate § 520.309 as § 520.304 and revise newly redesignated § 520.304 by adding paragraph (b)(3) to read as follows:
    § 520.304 Carprofen.

    (b) * * *

    (3) No. 026637 for use of product described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section as in paragraph (d) of this section.

    6. In § 520.370, revise paragraphs (a) and (b) and in paragraph (c)(2), remove “intermedius” and in its place add “pseudintermedius” to read as follows:
    § 520.370 Cefpodoxime tablets.

    (a) Specifications. (1) Each tablet contains cefpodoxime proxetil equivalent to 100 or 200 milligrams (mg) cefpodoxime.

    (2) Each chewable tablet contains cefpodoxime proxetil equivalent to 100 or 200 mg cefpodoxime.

    (b) Sponsors. See sponsors in § 510.600(c) of this chapter for uses as follows:

    (1) No. 026637 for use of product in paragraph (a)(1) of this section as in paragraph (c) of this section.

    (2) No. 054771 for use of products in paragraph (a) of this section as in paragraph (c) of this section.

    § 520.441 [Amended]
    7. In § 520.441, in paragraph (b)(1), remove “048164” and in its place add “069254”.
    8. Amend § 520.1660d as follows: a. In paragraph (b)(6), remove “048164” and in its place add “069254”. b. In paragraphs (d)(1)(ii)(A)(3), (d)(1)(ii)(B)(3), and (d)(1)(ii)(C)(3), revise the last sentence.

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 520.1660d Oxytetracycline powder.

    (d) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (ii) * * *

    (A) * * *

    (3) * * * Zero-day withdrawal for those products sponsored by Nos. 054771, 057561, 061133, and 069254.

    (B) * * *

    (3) * * * Zero-day withdrawal for those products sponsored by Nos. 054771, 057561, 061133, and 069254.

    (C) * * *

    (3) * * * Zero-day withdrawal for those products sponsored by Nos. 054771, 057561, 061133, and 069254.

    9. In § 520.2455, revise paragraphs (b)(3) and (c) to read as follows:
    § 520.2455 Tiamulin.

    (b) * * *

    (3) No. 054771 for the product described in paragraph (a)(3) of this section.

    (c) Related tolerances. See § 556.732 of this chapter.

    PART 522—IMPLANTATION OR INJECTABLE DOSAGE FORM NEW ANIMAL DRUGS 10. The authority citation for 21 CFR part 522 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 360b.

    § 522.246 [Amended]
    11. In § 522.246, in paragraph (b)(3), remove “053599” and in its place add “059399”.
    12. In § 522.558, revise paragraphs (a) and (b) to read as follows:
    § 522.558 Dexmedetomidine.

    (a) Specifications. Each milliliter of solution contains:

    (1) 0.1 milligrams (mg) dexmedetomidine hydrochloride; or

    (2) 0.5 mg dexmedetomidine hydrochloride.

    (b) Sponsors. See sponsors in in § 510.600(c) of this chapter for use as in paragraph (c) of this section:

    (1) No. 026637 for use of product described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section;

    (2) No. 052483 for use of products described in paragraph (a) of this section.

    13. Amend § 522.812 as follows: a. Revise paragraph (b)(2); b. Remove paragraph (e)(3)(i); c. Redesignate paragraphs (e)(3)(ii) and (e)(3)(iii) as paragraphs (e)(3)(i) and (e)(3)(ii), respectively; and d. Revise newly redesignated paragraph (e)(3)(i).

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 522.812 Enrofloxacin.

    (b) * * *

    (2) No. 055529 for use of product described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section as in paragraph (e)(1) of this section, and use of product described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section as in paragraphs (e)(2)(i)(B), (e)(2)(ii)(B), (e)(2)(iii), (e)(3)(i)(B), and (e)(3)(ii) of this section.

    (e) * * *

    (3) * * *

    (i) Amounts and indications for use. (A) Administer, either by intramuscular or subcutaneous (behind the ear) injection, a single dose of 7.5 mg/kg of body weight for the treatment and control of swine respiratory disease (SRD) associated with Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae, Pasteurella multocida, Haemophilus parasuis, Streptococcus suis, Bordetella bronchiseptica, and Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae.

    (B) Administer, by subcutaneous (behind the ear) injection, a single dose of 7.5 mg/kg of body weight for the treatment and control of swine respiratory disease (SRD) associated with Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae, Pasteurella multocida, Haemophilus parasuis, and Streptococcus suis.

    (C) Administer, either by intramuscular or subcutaneous (behind the ear) injection, a single dose of 7.5 mg/kg of body weight for the control of colibacillosis in groups or pens of weaned pigs where colibacillosis associated with Escherichia coli has been diagnosed.

    14. In § 522.1222, revise paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 522.1222 Ketamine.

    (b) Sponsors. See Nos. 000859, 026637, 054628, 054771, 059399, and 063286 in § 510.600(c) of this chapter.

    § 522.2474 [Amended]
    15. In § 522.2474, in paragraph (b), remove “053599” and in its place add “059399”.
    16. In § 522.2630, revise paragraphs (b)(1), (b)(2), (d)(1)(ii)(A), (d)(1)(ii)(B), and (d)(1)(iii) to read as follows:
    § 522.2630 Tulathromycin.

    (b) * * *

    (1) Product described as in paragraph (a)(1) of this section for use as in paragraphs (d)(1)(i), (d)(1)(ii), (d)(1)(iii)(A), and (d)(2) of this section.

    (2) Product described as in paragraph (a)(2) of this section for use as in paragraphs (d)(1)(i), (d)(1)(ii)(B), (d)(1)(iii)(B), and (d)(2) of this section.

    (d) * * *

    (1) * * *

    (ii) * * *

    (A) Beef and non-lactating dairy cattle. For the treatment of bovine respiratory disease (BRD) associated with Mannheimia haemolytica, Pasteurella multocida, Histophilus somni, and Mycoplasma bovis. For the control of respiratory disease in cattle at high risk of developing BRD associated with M. haemolytica, P. multocida, H. somni, and M. bovis. For the treatment of infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis (IBK) associated with Moraxella bovis. For the treatment of bovine foot rot (interdigital necrobacillosis) associated with Fusobacterium necrophorum and Porphyromonas levii.

    (B) Suckling calves, dairy calves, and veal calves. For the treatment of bovine respiratory disease (BRD) associated with Mannheimia haemolytica, Pasteurella multocida, Histophilus somni, and Mycoplasma bovis.

    (iii) Limitations. (A) Cattle intended for human consumption must not be slaughtered within 18 days from the last treatment. Do not use in female dairy cattle 20 months of age or older. Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian.

    (B) Calves intended for human consumption must not be slaughtered within 22 days from the last treatment. Not for use in ruminating cattle. Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian.

    § 522.2662 [Amended]
    17. In § 522.2662, in paragraph (b)(4), remove “053599” and in its place add “059399”.
    § 522.2670 [Amended]
    18. In § 522.2670, in paragraph (b)(1), remove “053599” and in its place add “059399”.
    PART 524—OPHTHALMIC AND TOPICAL DOSAGE FORM NEW ANIMAL DRUGS 19. The authority citation for 21 CFR part 524 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 360b.

    20. Add § 524.955 to read as follows:
    § 524.955 Florfenicol, terbinafine, and betamethasone acetate otic gel.

    (a) Specifications. Each milliliter of gel contains 10 milligrams (mg) florfenicol, 10 mg terbinafine, and 1 mg betamethasone acetate.

    (b) Sponsor. See No. 058198 in § 510.600(c) of this chapter.

    (c) Conditions of use in dogs—(1) Amount. Administer one dose (1 tube) per affected ear(s) and repeat administration in 7 days.

    (2) Indications for use. For the treatment of otitis externa in dogs associated with susceptible strains of bacteria (Staphylococcus pseudintermedius) and yeast (Malassezia pachydermatis).

    (3) Limitations. Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian.

    21. In § 524.1044i, revise paragraph (c)(2) to read as follows:
    § 524.1044i Gentamicin and betamethasone ophthalmic solution.

    (c) * * *

    (2) Indications for use. For treatment of external eye infections and inflammation.

    PART 556—TOLERANCES FOR RESIDUES OF NEW ANIMAL DRUGS IN FOOD 22. The authority citation for 21 CFR part 556 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 342, 360b, 371.

    § 556.738 [Redesignated as § 556.732]
    23. Redesignate § 556.738 as § 556.732.
    PART 558—NEW ANIMAL DRUGS FOR USE IN ANIMAL FEEDS 24. The authority citation for 21 CFR part 558 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 360b, 371.

    § 558.76 [Amended]
    25. In § 558.76, in paragraph (d)(1)(iv), in the “Limitations” and “Sponsor” columns, remove “048164” and in its place add “069254”.
    26. In § 558.95, add paragraph (d)(4)(v) to read as follows:
    § 558.95 Bambermycins.

    (d) * * *

    (4) * * *

    (v) Used as a free-choice Type C medicated loose mineral feed for pasture cattle (slaughter, stocker, and feeder cattle; and dairy and beef replacement heifers) as follows:

    (A) Specifications.

    Ingredient International feed No. Percent Deflorinated phosphate (20.5% calcium, 18.5% phosphorus) 6-01-080 42.50 Sodium chloride (salt) 6-04-152 20.10 Calcium carbonate (38% calcium) 6-01-069 15.45 Corn distillers dried grains w/solubles 5-28-236 9.57 Magnesium oxide 6-02-756 5.15 Vitamin and trace mineral premix * 3.72 Mineral oil 1.00 Yeast (primary dehydrated yeast) 7-05-533 0.75 Bambermycins Type A article (10 g/lb) 0.60 Iron oxide 6-02-431 0.50 Magnesium sulfate (67%) 6-02-758 0.32 Copper sulfate 6-01-720 0.18 Potassium sulfate (0.33%) 6-06-098 0.16 * Content of vitamin/trace mineral premix may be varied. However, they should be comparable to those used for other free-choice feeds. Formulation modifications require FDA approval prior to marketing. Ethylenediamine dihydroiodide (EDDI) should comply with FDA Compliance Policy Guides Sec. 651.100 (CPG 7125.18).

    (B) Amount per ton. 120 grams.

    (C) Indications for use. For increased rate of weight gain.

    (D) Limitations. For free-choice feeding to pasture cattle (slaughter, stocker, and feeder cattle; and dairy and beef replacement heifers). Feed a non-medicated commercial mineral product for 6 weeks to stabilize consumption between 2.66 and 10.66 ounces per head per day. Feed continuously to provide 10 to 40 milligrams bambermycins per head per day. Daily bambermycins intakes in excess of 20 mg/head/day have not been shown to be more effective than 20 mg/head/day.

    27. Amend § 558.128 as follows: a. In paragraph (b)(1), remove “Nos. 054771, 048164, and 066104” and in its place add “Nos. 054771, 066104, and 069254”; b. In paragraphs (e)(4)(ii) and (iv), in the “Limitations” column, remove “048164” wherever it occurs and in its place add “069254”; c. In paragraphs (e)(1)(i), (ii), and (iii), (e)(2)(i), (ii), (iii), and (iv), (e)(3)(i), (ii), (iii), and (iv), (e)(4)(i), (ii), (iv), (vii), and (viii), and (e)(5)(i) and (ii), in the “Sponsor” column, remove “048164” wherever it occurs and in its place in numerical order add “069254”; and d. Revise paragraphs (e)(1)(iv), (e)(4)(v), and (e)(4)(ix).

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 558.128 Chlortetracycline.

    (e) * * *

    (1) * * *

    Chlortetracycline amount Indications for use Limitations Sponsor *         *         *         *         *         *         * (iv) 500 g/ton Chickens: For the reduction of mortality due to E. coli infections susceptible to chlortetracycline 1. Feed for 5 d. To sponsor No. 054771 under NADA 048-761 and No. 069254 under ANADA 200-510: zero withdrawal time 054771,
  • 069254.
  • 2. Feed for 5 d; withdraw 24 h prior to slaughter; do not feed to chickens producing eggs for human consumption 012286,
  • 054771,
  • 066104,
  • 069254.
  • (4) * * *

    Chlortetracycline amount Indications for use Limitations Sponsor *         *         *         *         *         *         * (v) 500 to 4,000 g/ton Calves, beef and nonlactating dairy cattle; treatment of bacterial enteritis caused by E. coli and bacterial pneumonia caused by P. multocida susceptible to chlortetracycline Feed continuously for not more than 5 days to provide 10 mg/lb body weight per day. To sponsor No. 054771 under NADA 046-699: 24-h withdrawal time
  • To sponsor No. 054771 under NADA 048-761 and No. 069254 under ANADA 200-510: Zero withdrawal time
  • 054771
  • 069254
  • *         *         *         *         *         *         * (ix) 350 mg/head/day 1. Beef cattle: For control of bacterial pneumonia associated with shipping fever complex caused by Pasteurella spp. susceptible to chlortetracycline Withdraw 48 h prior to slaughter. To sponsor No. 054771 under NADA 046-699: 48-h withdrawal time. To sponsor No. 054771 under NADA 048-761 and No. 069254 under ANADA 200-510: Zero withdrawal time 012286,
  • 054771,
  • 066104,
  • 069254.
  • 2. Beef cattle (under 700 lb): For control of active infection of anaplasmosis caused by A. marginale susceptible to chlortetracycline Withdraw 48 h prior to slaughter. To sponsor No. 054771 under NADA 046-699: 48-h withdrawal time. To sponsor No. 054771 under NADA 048-761 and No. 069254 under ANADA 200-510: zero withdrawal time 012286,
  • 054771,
  • 066104,
  • 069254.
  • § 558.140 [Amended]
    28. In § 558.140, in paragraph (b)(1), remove “048164” and in its place add “069254”.
    § 558.145 [Amended]
    29. In § 558.145, in paragraph (a)(2), remove “048164” and in its place add “069254”.
    § 558.195 [Amended]
    30. In § 558.195, in paragraph (e)(2)(iv), in the “Limitations” and “Sponsor” columns, remove “048164” and in its place add “069254”.
    § 558.355 [Amended]
    31. In § 558.355, in paragraph (f)(1)(xiv)(b), remove “048164” and in its place add “069254”.
    § 558.450 [Amended]
    32. Amend § 558.450 as follows: a. In paragraph (a)(2), remove “048164” and in its place add “069254”; b. In paragraphs (d)(2)(iii), (d)(2)(iv), and (d)(4)(ii), in the “Limitations” column, remove “048164” wherever it occurs and in its place add “069254”; and c. In paragraphs (d)(1)(i), (ii), (iii), and (iv), (d)(2)(i), (ii), (iii), and (iv), (d)(3)(i) and (ii), (d)(4)(i), (ii), (iii), (iv), and (v), and (d)(5)(i), (ii), and (iii), in the “Sponsor” column, remove “048164” and in its place add “069254”.
    § 558.455 [Amended]
    33. Amend § 558.455 as follows: a. In paragraph (b), remove “Nos. 048164 and 066104” and in its place add “Nos. 066104 and 069254”; and b. In paragraphs (e)(1)(i), (ii), (iii), and (iv), (e)(2)(i), (ii), (iii), and (iv), (e)(3)(i) and (ii), and (e)(4)(i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), and (vi), in the “Sponsor” column, remove “048164” and in its place in numerical order add “069254”.
    § 558.550 [Amended]
    34. In § 558.550, in paragraphs (b)(3) and (d)(1)(xvi)(c), remove “048164” and in its place add “069254”.
    § 558.600 [Redesignated as § 558.612 and Amended]
    35. Redesignate § 558.600 as § 558.612 and amend newly redesignated § 558.612 as follows: a. In paragraph (c), remove “§ 556.738” and in its place add “§ 556.732”; and b. In paragraph (e)(1)(iii), in the “Limitations” and “Sponsor” columns, remove “048164” and in its place in numerical order add “069254”.
    § 558.615 [Redesignated as § 558.600]
    36. Redesignate § 558.615 as § 558.600.
    § 558.625 [Amended]
    37. In § 558.625, in paragraph (b)(5), remove “048164” and in its place add “069254”.
    § 558.630 [Amended]
    38. In § 558.630, in paragraph (b)(2), remove “No. 054771” and in its place add “Nos. 054771 and 069254”.
    39. Amend § 558.665 as follows: a. Revise paragraphs (d)(1) and (e)(1); b. Redesignate paragraph (d)(2) as paragraph (d)(4); and c. Add paragraphs (d)(2), (d)(3), (e)(7), and (e)(8).

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 558.665 Zilpaterol.

    (d) * * *

    (1) Labeling shall bear the following caution statements: “Zilpaterol hydrochloride is not for use in animals intended for breeding. Do not allow horses or other equines access to feed containing zilpaterol. Do not use in veal calves.”

    (2) Labeling of Type A medicated articles and Type B medicated feeds used to manufacture complete Type C medicated feeds shall bear the caution statements in paragraph (d)(3) of this section.

    (3) Labeling of complete Type C medicated feeds shall bear the following caution statements: “Not to be fed to cattle in excess of 90 mg zilpaterol/head/day in complete feed. If pen consumption of complete feed exceeds 26.5 lb/head/day (90 percent dry matter basis), zilpaterol should not be fed in complete feed.”

    (e) * * *

    Zilpaterol in grams/ton Combination grams/ton Indications for use Limitations Sponsor (1) 6.8 Cattle fed in confinement for slaughter: For increased rate of weight gain, improved feed efficiency, and increased carcass leanness in cattle fed in confinement for slaughter during the last 20 to 40 days on feed Feed continuously as the sole ration during the last 20 to 40 days on feed to provide 60 to 90 mg/head/day. Withdrawal period: 3 days 000061 *         *         *         *         *         *         * (7) 6.8 to 24 Cattle fed in confinement for slaughter: For increased rate of weight gain, improved feed efficiency, and increased carcass leanness in cattle fed in confinement for slaughter during the last 20 to 40 days on feed Feed continuously to cattle during the last 20 to 40 days on feed to provide 60 mg zilpaterol hydrochloride per head per day. Withdrawal period: 3 days 000061 (8) 6.8 to 24 Monensin 10 to 40, plus tylosin 8 to 10 Cattle fed in confinement for slaughter: For increased rate of weight gain, improved feed efficiency, and increased carcass leanness in cattle fed in confinement for slaughter during the last 20 to 40 days on feed; for prevention and control of coccidiosis due to Eimeria bovis and E. zuernii; and for reduction of incidence of liver abscesses caused by Fusobacterium necrophorum and Arcanobacterium (Actinomyces) pyogenes Feed continuously to cattle during the last 20 to 40 days on feed to provide 60 mg zilpaterol hydrochloride per head per day. See paragraphs §§ 558.355(d) and 558.625(c). Monensin and tylosin as provided by No. 000986 in § 510.600(c) of this chapter. Withdrawal period: 3 days 000061
    Dated: March 9, 2015. Bernadette Dunham, Director, Center for Veterinary Medicine.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05644 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [TD 9713] RIN 1545-BL46; 1545-BM60 Reporting for Premium; Basis Reporting by Securities Brokers and Basis Determination for Debt Instruments and Options AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Final and temporary regulations.

    SUMMARY:

    This document contains final regulations relating to information reporting by brokers for bond premium and acquisition premium. This document also contains final and temporary regulations relating to information reporting by brokers for transactions involving debt instruments and options, including the reporting of original issue discount (OID) on tax-exempt obligations, the treatment of certain holder elections for reporting a taxpayer's adjusted basis in a debt instrument, and transfer reporting for section 1256 options and debt instruments. The regulations in this document provide guidance to brokers and payors and to their customers. The text of the temporary regulations in this document also serves as the text of the proposed regulations (REG-143040-14) set forth in the Proposed Rules section in this issue of the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Effective date: These regulations are effective on March 13, 2015.

    Applicability dates: For the dates of applicability, see §§ 1.6045-1(m)(2)(ii)(B), 1.6045-1T(n)(11)(i)(A), 1.6045-1T(n)(11)(i)(B), 1.6045A-1T(e)(1), 1.6045A-1T(f), 1.6049-9(a), and 1.6049-10T(c).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Pamela Lew of the Office of the Associate Chief Counsel (Financial Institutions and Products) at (202) 317-7053 (not a toll-free number).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Paperwork Reduction Act

    Section 1.6049-9 of the final regulations in this document requires a payor to report amortizable bond premium on taxable and tax-exempt debt instruments acquired on or after January 1, 2014, and acquisition premium on taxable debt instruments acquired on or after January 1, 2014. This information is required to enable the IRS to verify that a taxpayer is reporting the correct amount of interest (including OID) each year. In addition, because this information is used to report a taxpayer's adjusted basis in a debt instrument under section 6045(g), this information is required to enable the IRS to verify that a taxpayer is reporting the correct amount of gain or loss upon the sale of a debt instrument. The burden for the collection of information contained in § 1.6049-9 will be reflected in the burdens on Form 1099-INT (OMB control number 1545-0112) and Form 1099-OID (OMB control number 1545-0117) when revised to request the additional information in the regulations.

    Section 1.6049-10T of the temporary regulations in this document requires a payor to report OID and acquisition premium on tax-exempt obligations acquired on or after January 1, 2017. This information is required to enable the IRS to verify that a taxpayer is reporting the correct amount of tax-exempt interest each year for alternative minimum tax and other purposes. In addition, because this information is used to report a taxpayer's adjusted basis in a debt instrument under section 6045(g), this information is required to enable the IRS to verify that a taxpayer is reporting the correct amount of gain or loss upon the sale of a tax-exempt obligation. The burden for the collection of information contained in § 1.6049-10T will be reflected in the burden on Form 1099-OID (OMB control number 1545-0117) when revised to request the additional information in the regulations.

    Upon the transfer of a covered security, section 6045A and § 1.6045A-1 require the transferring broker to provide to the transferee broker a transfer statement containing certain information relating to the security. This transfer statement generally provides the transferee broker the information needed to determine a customer's adjusted basis and whether any gain or loss with respect to the security is long-term, short-term, or ordinary as required by section 6045(g). Prior to the issuance of § 1.6045A-1T in this document, a broker did not have to provide a transfer statement for a section 1256 option. In addition, a broker did not have to provide the last date on or before the transfer date that the broker made an adjustment for a particular item relating to a debt instrument. Section 1.6045A-1T, however, now requires a broker to transfer this information for a section 1256 option transferred on or after January 1, 2016, and for a debt instrument transferred on or after June 30, 2015.

    The collection of information contained in § 1.6045A-1 relating to the furnishing of information in connection with the transfer of securities has been reviewed and approved by the Office of Management and Budget in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)) under control number 1545-2186. The collection of information in § 1.6045A-1T and the cross-reference notice of proposed rulemaking under § 1.6045A-1 is necessary to allow brokers that effect sales of transferred section 1256 options and debt instruments that are covered securities to determine and report the adjusted basis of these securities in compliance with section 6045(g). This collection of information is required to comply with the provisions of section 403 of the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008, Division B of Public Law 110-343 (122 Stat. 3765, 3854 (2008)) (the Act). The collection of information contained in § 1.6045A-1T and the cross-reference notice of proposed rulemaking under § 1.6045A-1 is an increase in the total annual burden under control number 1545-2186. The likely respondents are brokers transferring section 1256 options and debt instruments that are covered securities.

    Estimated total annual reporting burden is 3,333 hours.

    Estimated average annual burden per respondent is 2 hours.

    Estimated average burden per response is 4 minutes.

    Estimated number of respondents is 7,500.

    Estimated total frequency of responses is 200,000.

    The collection of information is required to comply with the provisions of section 403 of the Act.

    The holder of a debt instrument is permitted to make a number of elections that affect how basis is computed. To minimize the need for reconciliation between information reported by a broker to both a customer and the IRS and the amounts reported on the customer's tax return, a broker is required to take into account certain specified elections, including the election under § 1.1272-3 to treat all interest as OID and the election under section 1276(b)(2) to accrue market discount on a constant yield method, in reporting information to the customer. A customer, therefore, must provide certain information concerning an election to the broker in a written notification. A written notification includes a writing in electronic format. See § 1.6045-1(n)(5).

    The collection of information contained in § 1.6045-1(n)(5) relating to the furnishing of information by a customer to a broker in connection with the sale or transfer of a debt instrument that is a covered security has been reviewed and approved by the Office of Management and Budget in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)) under control number 1545-2186. Under § 1.6045-1T(n)(11)(i)(A) of the temporary regulations in this document, unlike the rule in current § 1.6045-1(n)(5) adopted in 2013, a broker must not take into account the election under § 1.1272-3 in reporting a customer's adjusted basis in a debt instrument. Therefore, a customer is no longer required to notify the broker that the customer has made or revoked an election under § 1.1272-3. This change represents a decrease in the total annual burden under OMB control number 1545-2186. In addition, under § 1.6045-1T(n)(11)(i)(B), a broker must take into account the election under section 1276(b)(2) unless the customer timely notifies the broker that the customer has not make the election. The temporary regulations reverse the assumption in current § 1.6045-1(n)(5) adopted in 2013. Because the section 1276(b)(2) election results in a more taxpayer-favorable result than the default ratable method for accruing market discount in most cases, it is anticipated that more customers will want to use this method and these customers will no longer need to notify their brokers that they have made the election. As a result, this change represents a decrease in the total annual burden under OMB control number 1545-2186.

    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 the Office of Management and Budget.

    Books or records relating to a collection of information must be retained as long as their contents may become material in the administration of any internal revenue law. Generally, tax returns and tax return information are confidential, as required by section 6103.

    Background

    Section 6045 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) generally requires a broker to report gross proceeds upon the sale of a security. Section 6045 was amended by section 403 of the Act to require the reporting of adjusted basis for a covered security and whether any gain or loss upon the sale of the security is long-term or short-term. In addition, the Act added section 6045A of the Code, which requires certain information to be reported in connection with a transfer of a covered security to another broker, and section 6045B of the Code, which requires an issuer of a specified security to file a return relating to certain actions that affect the basis of the security. Section 6049 of the Code requires the reporting of interest payments (including accruals of OID treated as payments).

    On November 25, 2011, the Treasury Department and the IRS published in the Federal Register (76 FR 72652) proposed regulations (REG-102988-11) relating to information reporting by brokers, transferors, and issuers of securities under sections 6045, 6045A, and 6045B for debt instruments, options, and securities futures contracts (the 2011 proposed basis reporting regulations). On April 18, 2013, the Treasury Department and the IRS published in the Federal Register (TD 9616 at 78 FR 23116) final regulations under sections 6045, 6045A, and 6045B (the 2013 final basis reporting regulations). A number of commenters on the 2011 proposed basis reporting regulations requested that the rules for reporting interest income associated with a debt instrument acquired at a premium be conformed to the rules regarding basis reporting for these debt instruments. Accordingly, TD 9616 also contained temporary regulations relating to information reporting for bond premium and acquisition premium under section 6049 (the 2013 temporary interest reporting regulations). A notice of proposed rulemaking cross-referencing the 2013 temporary interest reporting regulations also was published in the Federal Register on April 18, 2013 (REG-154563-12 at 78 FR 23183) (the 2013 proposed interest reporting regulations).

    No written comments were received on the 2013 proposed interest reporting regulations. No public hearing was requested or held. These final regulations adopt the provisions of the 2013 proposed interest reporting regulations with certain clarifications and one conforming change for acquisition premium. These final regulations also remove the corresponding 2013 temporary interest reporting regulations.

    After the publication of the 2013 final basis reporting regulations in the Federal Register, the Treasury Department and the IRS received written comments on certain provisions of the 2013 final basis reporting regulations. In response to these written comments, this document contains final and temporary regulations under sections 6045 and 6045A relating to certain aspects of the 2013 final basis reporting regulations, as discussed in this preamble.

    Explanation of Provisions A. Final Regulations for Reporting Bond Premium and Acquisition Premium

    Under section 171, a taxpayer may elect to amortize bond premium on a taxable debt instrument and must amortize bond premium on a tax-exempt debt instrument. In general, a taxpayer amortizes bond premium by offsetting the qualified stated interest allocable to an accrual period by the amount of the bond premium allocable to the accrual period. This offset occurs when the taxpayer takes the qualified stated interest into account under the taxpayer's regular method of accounting. For example, the offset occurs when a cash method taxpayer receives a payment of qualified stated interest. See section 171(e) and § 1.171-2. As a result, only the portion of qualified stated interest that is not offset by the amortized bond premium is treated as interest for federal income tax purposes. A taxpayer's basis in a debt instrument acquired with bond premium is reduced by amortized bond premium. For purposes of section 6045, a broker is required to report the adjusted basis of a taxable debt instrument that is a covered security and that is acquired with bond premium by presuming that the taxpayer has elected to amortize bond premium unless the taxpayer notifies the broker in writing that the taxpayer does not want to amortize bond premium. See § 1.6045-1(n)(5) of the 2013 final basis reporting regulations.

    Under section 1272(a)(7) and § 1.1272-2, a taxpayer who purchases a debt instrument with acquisition premium is required to reduce the amount of OID includible in income each year by the amount of acquisition premium allocable to the taxable year. In general, the amount of acquisition premium allocable to a taxable year is determined using a ratable method, although a taxpayer may elect under § 1.1272-3 to determine the amount of acquisition premium allocable to a taxable year based on a constant yield method. See § 1.1272-2(b)(5). A taxpayer's basis in a taxable debt instrument purchased with acquisition premium is increased by the amount of OID included in income by the taxpayer. A taxpayer's basis in a tax-exempt debt instrument purchased with acquisition premium is increased by the amount of OID that accrues in accordance with section 1272(a), including section 1272(a)(7). For purposes of section 6045, a broker currently is required to report the adjusted basis of a debt instrument that is a covered security using the ratable method for acquisition premium, unless the taxpayer notifies the broker in writing that the taxpayer has elected to determine the amount of acquisition premium allocable to a taxable year based on a constant yield method. See § 1.6045-1(n)(5) of the 2013 final basis reporting regulations. However, as explained in Part B.2.a in this preamble, under these final regulations, for a debt instrument acquired on or after January 1, 2015, a broker must use the ratable method to determine the amount of acquisition premium allocable to a taxable year for purposes of basis reporting under section 6045, regardless of any election under § 1.1272-3.

    Under section 6049(a), the Secretary may prescribe regulations to implement the reporting of interest payments, which includes the determination of the amount of a payment that is reportable interest. Similarly, under section 6049(a) the Secretary may prescribe by regulations how to determine the amount reportable as OID.

    Section 1.6049-9T of the 2013 temporary interest reporting regulations was issued by the Treasury Department and the IRS in response to comments suggesting that the rules under section 6049 for reporting interest income associated with a debt instrument acquired at a premium be conformed to the rules under section 6045 for basis reporting for these debt instruments. Section 6045 generally requires a broker to report on an information return, such as a Form 1099-B, the adjusted basis of a debt instrument that is a covered security, including basis adjustments attributable to amortized bond premium or acquisition premium. See § 1.6045-1(n) of the 2013 final basis reporting regulations. However, prior to the issuance of § 1.6049-9T, interest income (including OID) on a debt instrument acquired at a premium was reported under section 6049 without adjustment for amortized bond premium or acquisition premium. Consequently, a customer generally could not reconcile the interest income reported to the customer on Form 1099-INT or Form 1099-OID, whichever was applicable, with the adjusted basis reported to the customer on Form 1099-B upon the sale of the debt instrument. The Treasury Department and the IRS issued the 2013 temporary interest reporting regulations to coordinate the information reporting for income and basis. Under section 1.6049-9T of the 2013 temporary interest reporting regulations, a broker generally is required to report to a customer any amortized bond premium and acquisition premium on a debt instrument that is a covered security. The amount reported may either be a gross number for both stated interest and amortized bond premium (or OID and amortized acquisition premium) or a net number that reflects the offset of the stated interest (or OID) by the amortized bond premium (or amortized acquisition premium).

    No comments were received on the 2013 proposed interest reporting regulations and the final regulations in this document generally adopt the provisions of the 2013 temporary interest reporting regulations. However, as explained in the final paragraph of this Part A in this preamble, the final regulations contain a change for the reporting of acquisition premium for a debt instrument acquired on or after January 1, 2015, to conform to the change in this document for reporting basis adjustments for acquisition premium under section 6045.

    Under these final regulations, for purposes of section 6049, a broker is required to presume that a customer has elected to amortize bond premium on taxable debt instruments unless the broker has been notified that the customer does not want the broker to take into account the election or has revoked the election. This presumption applies only to the information reported by the broker to its customer. Thus, a customer that chooses not to make the section 171 election may report interest on the customer's income tax return unadjusted for bond premium because the information reporting rules do not change the substantive rules affecting amortizable bond premium (or any of the other rules pertaining to OID or acquisition premium). If a broker is required to report amounts reflecting amortization of bond premium, the final regulations allow a broker to report either a gross amount for both stated interest and amortized bond premium or a net amount of stated interest that reflects the offset of the stated interest payment by the amount of amortized bond premium allocable to the payment.

    In addition, under these final regulations, unlike the 2013 temporary interest reporting regulations, a broker must report OID adjusted for acquisition premium based on the ratable method. Under these final regulations, for a debt instrument acquired on or after January 1, 2015, even if a customer has made an election to amortize acquisition premium based on a constant yield under § 1.1272-3, a broker must not take the election into account for reporting acquisition premium. This change conforms the rules for reporting OID with the rules for reporting adjustments to basis attributable to acquisition premium described in section B.2.a of this preamble. See § 1.6045-1T(n)(11)(i)(A). As in the 2013 temporary interest reporting regulations, the final regulations allow a broker to report either a gross amount for both OID and acquisition premium, or a net amount of OID that reflects the offset of the OID by the amount of amortized acquisition premium allocable to the OID.

    B. Final and Temporary Regulations Relating to Basis and Transfer Reporting

    After the publication of the 2013 final basis reporting regulations, commenters recommended a number of changes to the 2013 final basis reporting regulations. Upon consideration of these comments, the Treasury Department and the IRS have decided to make the following changes to the 2013 final basis reporting regulations and to add broker reporting for OID on tax-exempt obligations under section 6049.

    1. Request for Delayed Effective Date for Options on Certain Foreign Debt Instruments

    Under the 2013 final basis reporting regulations, if a debt instrument requires a payment of either interest or principal in a currency other than the U.S. dollar or if the debt instrument is issued by a non-U.S. issuer, a broker is required to report the debt instrument's basis only if the instrument is acquired on or after January 1, 2016. See § 1.6045-1(n)(2)(ii)(D) and (G). The 2013 final basis reporting regulations delayed the applicability date for these types of debt instruments to address commenters' concerns that it would take extra time to build the systems to account for the complexity of these debt instruments (for example, brokers would be required to track and retain on a daily basis foreign exchange rates for translation purposes) and, in some cases, a lack of publicly available information.

    Under the 2013 final basis reporting regulations, a broker is required to report gross proceeds and basis for certain options on a debt instrument granted or acquired on or after January 1, 2014. See § 1.6045-1(m). The 2013 final basis reporting regulations apply to an option on a debt instrument that requires a payment of either interest or principal in a currency other than the U.S. dollar or an option on a debt instrument issued by a non-U.S. issuer. Because a broker is not required to report basis for these types of debt instruments until January 1, 2016, one commenter requested a delay in the applicability date for reporting gross proceeds and basis for these types of options. The commenter stated that the data collection and computation difficulties related to the underlying debt instruments also exist for options on these types of debt instruments. Responding to this comment, the final regulations in this document delay until January 1, 2016, the applicability date for reporting gross proceeds and basis for options on debt instruments that provide for one or more payments denominated in a foreign currency and options on debt instruments issued by non-U.S. issuers.

    2. Certain Debt Elections Relating to Broker Basis Reporting

    Under the 2013 final basis reporting regulations, for purposes of reporting adjusted basis to a customer, a broker must take into account only the debt-related elections specified in § 1.6045-1(n)(4). If an election is not specified in § 1.6045-1(n)(4), a broker may not take the election into account for reporting adjusted basis to a customer. In general, a broker must take into account a specified election if a customer timely notifies the broker that the customer has made the election. Two of the specified elections are the election to treat all interest as OID under § 1.1272-3 and the election to accrue market discount based on a constant yield under section 1276(b)(2).

    a. Election To Treat All Interest as OID

    Under § 1.1272-3, a customer may elect to treat all interest on a debt instrument, adjusted by any amortizable bond premium or acquisition premium, as OID. If this election is made, the amount of interest (including any adjustment) that accrues during a period is based on a constant yield. This election is made on a debt instrument by debt instrument basis; however, if made, the election may affect other debt instruments with amortizable bond premium or market discount held by the customer even if the debt instrument is held in a separate account with the broker or any other broker.

    One commenter on the 2013 final basis reporting regulations indicated that it was extremely difficult to program the election given its effects on other debt instruments. Another commenter argued that the results of the election could mostly be achieved by a combination of other debt elections that the brokers also must support. Also, according to the commenters, the types of customers who receive Forms 1099-B, such as individuals, partnerships, or S corporations, rarely make the election to treat all interest as OID.

    In consideration of the comments received and the burden that the rule in the 2013 final basis reporting regulations would impose, these temporary and proposed regulations provide that a broker may not take into account the election under § 1.1272-3 when computing basis. The temporary and proposed regulations supersede the 2013 final basis reporting regulations relating to the broker's treatment of the election under § 1.1272-3.

    In general, the amount of acquisition premium allocable to a taxable year is determined using a ratable method, unless the taxpayer elects under § 1.1272-3 to determine the amount of acquisition premium allocable to a taxable year based on a constant yield method. See § 1.1272-2(b)(4) and (5). As noted in the final paragraph in Part A in this preamble, to conform the rules for reporting OID with the rules for reporting adjustments to basis attributable to acquisition premium, a broker must report acquisition premium for purposes of section 6049 on the ratable method even if a customer has made the election under § 1.1272-3 to use a constant yield method.

    The temporary regulations apply to a debt instrument acquired on or after January 1, 2015. A broker may, however, rely on the temporary regulations for a debt instrument acquired on or after January 1, 2014, and before January 1, 2015.

    b. Constant Yield Election for Market Discount

    Under section 1276(b)(2), a customer may elect to accrue market discount on a constant yield method rather than a ratable method. The election may be made on a debt instrument by debt instrument basis and must be made for the earliest taxable year for which the customer is required to determine accrued market discount. The election may not be revoked once it has been made.

    The 2011 proposed basis reporting regulations attempted to simplify broker reporting by requiring brokers to compute accrued market discount by assuming that a customer had made an election under section 1276(b)(2) to use a constant yield method. The use of a constant yield method to determine accruals of market discount backloads market discount and is therefore more taxpayer favorable than the use of a ratable method in most cases. A number of commenters to the 2011 proposed basis reporting regulations indicated a desire by brokers to support debt instrument election choices made by their customers rather than rely on assumptions provided in the regulations. In response to these comments, the 2013 final basis reporting regulations instructed brokers to assume that a customer did not make an election to determine accrued market discount using a constant yield method unless the broker received timely notification from the customer that the election had been or would be made.

    After the 2013 final basis reporting regulations were published, the majority of commenters reconsidered their initial objections to the 2011 proposed basis reporting regulations requirement to use a constant yield method to determine accrued market discount. These commenters indicated that the use of the constant yield method would generally result in a more favorable tax result for most Form 1099-B recipients. The commenters therefore requested that the broker assumption for calculating accrued market discount be changed so that brokers will assume that a customer has made the election unless the customer timely notifies the broker otherwise. The Treasury Department and the IRS agree with the recommendation that brokers should assume the constant yield method for accruing market discount. Accordingly, the temporary regulations supersede the assumption in the 2013 final debt reporting regulations and provide that for a debt instrument acquired on or after January 1, 2015, brokers are required to assume that a customer has elected to determine accrued market discount using a constant yield method unless the customer notifies the broker otherwise. A customer that does not want to use a constant yield method to determine accrued market discount must, by the end of the calendar year in which the customer acquired the debt instrument in an account with the broker, notify the customer's broker in writing that the customer wants the broker to use the ratable method to determine accrued market discount.

    3. Transfer Reporting a. Section 1256 Options

    Under § 1.6045A-1(a)(1)(vi) of the 2013 final basis reporting regulations, a transferring broker is not required to provide a transfer statement for the transfer of a section 1256 option. In response to the 2013 final basis reporting regulations, a number of commenters stated that brokers often treat the transfer of a section 1256 option in the same manner as transfers of equities or debt instruments and do not treat the transferred section 1256 option contract as being novated. Thus, commenters stated that a transfer statement, as provided for by section 6045A, is necessary to ensure that a receiving broker has all relevant data required to properly report information for section 1256 options.

    In response to these comments, these temporary and proposed regulations supersede the exception for section 1256 options in the 2013 final basis reporting regulations and extend transfer reporting to section 1256 options. Because the 2013 final basis reporting regulations explicitly instruct brokers not to send transfer statements for section 1256 options, it is understood that brokers may need some additional time to modify their systems to generate the required transfer statements. The temporary regulations therefore provide that a transfer statement is required for the transfer of a section 1256 option that occurs on or after January 1, 2016. The temporary regulations also list the data specific to section 1256 options that must be provided in addition to the data required for the transfer of a non-section 1256 option.

    b. Debt Instruments

    Under § 1.6045A-1 of the 2013 final basis reporting regulations, brokers are required to provide to a receiving broker certain information relating to a transfer of a debt instrument that is a covered security. The preamble to the 2013 final basis reporting regulations indicated that the information required to be provided included the date through which the transferor broker made adjustments. However, several commenters on the 2013 final basis reporting regulations noted that this item of information was not included in the list of information required to be provided in the 2013 final basis reporting regulations. The temporary and proposed regulations correct this omission by adding the date through which the transferring broker made adjustments to the list of information required to be provided upon the transfer of a debt instrument that is a covered security. This change applies to a transfer that occurs on or after June 30, 2015.

    4. Reporting of OID on a Tax-Exempt Obligation

    The 2013 final basis reporting regulations require a broker to report the adjusted basis for a debt instrument that is a covered security, including a tax-exempt obligation. However, under Notice 2006-93 (2006-2 CB 798), for purposes of section 6049, a broker is not required to report OID on tax-exempt obligations until further guidance is issued.

    Several commenters on the 2013 final basis reporting regulations pointed out that the section 6045 rules now require a broker to compute the OID on a tax-exempt obligation to properly report adjusted basis at the time of a transfer, sale, or other disposition of a tax-exempt obligation. These commenters requested that, similar to what was done in § 1.6049-9T for amortizable bond premium and acquisition premium on a debt instrument that is a covered security, reporting of OID under section 6049 be coordinated with reporting of basis for tax-exempt obligations.

    To align the rules and improve consistency between OID reporting and basis reporting, § 1.6049-10T of the temporary regulations in this document provides that a payor must report under section 6049 the daily portions of OID on a tax-exempt obligation. The daily portions of OID are determined as if section 1272 and § 1.1272-1 applied to a tax-exempt obligation. A payor must determine whether a tax-exempt obligation was issued with OID and the amount that accrues for each relevant period. In addition, OID on a tax-exempt obligation is determined without regard to the de minimis rule in section 1273(a)(3) and § 1.1273-1(d). Because the temporary regulations require the reporting of OID, payors also must report amortized acquisition premium (which offsets OID) on a tax-exempt obligation. A broker may report either a gross amount for both OID and amortized acquisition premium, or a net amount of OID that reflects the offset of the OID by the amount of amortized acquisition premium allocable to the OID. To provide payors with time to adapt their systems to report this information, the temporary regulations apply to a tax-exempt obligation acquired on or after January 1, 2017.

    Applicability Dates

    The final regulations under section 6049 apply to a debt instrument that is a covered security (that is, a debt instrument described in § 1.6045-1(a)(15)(i)(C) acquired on or after January 1, 2014, or a debt instrument described in § 1.6045-1(a)(15)(i)(D) acquired on or after January 1, 2016). The temporary regulations under section 6049 apply to a tax-exempt obligation acquired on or after January 1, 2017. The temporary regulations under section 6045A apply to a transfer of a section 1256 option that occurs on or after January 1, 2016, and to a transfer of a debt instrument that occurs on or after June 30, 2015. The temporary regulations under section 6045 apply to a debt instrument acquired on or after January 1, 2015. The final regulations under section 6045 apply to an option on a debt instrument that provides for one or more payments denominated in a foreign currency or a debt instrument issued by a non-U.S. issuer if the option is granted or acquired on or after January 1, 2016.

    Special Analyses

    It has been determined that this Treasury decision is not a significant regulatory action as defined in Executive Order 12866, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563. Therefore, a regulatory assessment is not required. It also has been determined that section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 5) does not apply to these regulations.

    It is hereby certified that the final regulations in this document will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Therefore, a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) is not required. It is anticipated that the requirements in the final regulations in this document will fall only on financial services firms with annual receipts greater than the $38.5 million threshold and, therefore, on no small entities.

    In addition, any economic impact is expected to be minimal because a broker already is required to determine the amortization of bond premium and acquisition premium for purposes of determining and reporting a customer's adjusted basis on Form 1099-B under section 6045. The information provided to a customer on Form 1099-INT or Form 1099-OID, whichever is applicable, generally will allow a customer to reconcile the interest information reported to the customer with the adjusted basis information reported to the customer on Form 1099-B. Moreover, any effect on small entities by the rules in the final regulations flows from section 6049 of the Code and section 403 of the Act.

    Therefore, because the final regulations in this document will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required.

    For the applicability of the Regulatory Flexibility Act to the other regulations in this document, please refer to the cross-reference notice of proposed rulemaking published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

    Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Internal Revenue Code, the proposed regulations preceding the final regulations in this document were submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on their impact on small businesses. No comments were received. In addition, the proposed regulations accompanying the temporary regulations in this document have been submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on their impact on small business.

    Drafting Information

    The principal author of these regulations is Pamela Lew, Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Financial Institutions and Products). However, other personnel from the IRS and the Treasury Department participated in their development.

    List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 1

    Income taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Adoption of Amendments to the Regulations

    Accordingly, 26 CFR part 1 is amended as follows:

    PART 1—INCOME TAXES Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 1 is amended by removing the entry for § 1.6049-9T and adding entries for §§ 1.6045-1T, 1.6045A-1T, 1.6049-9, and 1.6049-10T in numerical order to read in part as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    Section 1.6045-1T also issued under 26 U.S.C. 6045(g). * * *

    Section 1.6045A-1T also issued under 26 U.S.C. 6045A(a). * * *

    Section 1.6049-9 also issued under 26 U.S.C. 6049(a). * * *

    Section 1.6049-10T also issued under 26 U.S.C. 6049(a). * * *

    Par. 2. Section 1.6045-1 is amended by: 1. Revising paragraph (m)(2)(ii). 2. Adding a sentence at the end of paragraph (n)(4)(iv). 3. Adding a sentence at the end of paragraph (n)(5)(i). 4. Adding paragraph (n)(11).

    The revision and additions read as follows:

    § 1.6045-1 Returns of information of brokers and barter exchanges.

    (m) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (ii) Delayed effective date for certain options—(A) Notwithstanding paragraph (m)(2)(i) of this section, if an option, stock right, or warrant is issued as part of an investment unit described in § 1.1273-2(h), paragraph (m) of this section applies to the option, stock right, or warrant if it is acquired on or after January 1, 2016.

    (B) Notwithstanding paragraph (m)(2)(i) of this section, if the property referenced by an option (that is, the property underlying the option) is a debt instrument that is issued by a non-U.S. person or that provides for one or more payments denominated in, or determined by reference to, a currency other than the U.S. dollar, paragraph (m) of this section applies to the option if it is granted or acquired on or after January 1, 2016.

    (n) * * *

    (4) * * *

    (iv) * * * However, see § 1.6045-1T(n)(11)(i)(A) for a debt instrument acquired on or after January 1, 2014.

    (5) * * *

    (i) * * * However, see § 1.6045-1T(n)(11) for the treatment of an election described in paragraph (n)(4)(iii) of this section (election to accrue market discount based on a constant yield) and an election described in paragraph (n)(4)(iv) of this section (election to treat all interest as OID).

    (11) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.6045-1T(n)(11).

    Par. 3. Section 1.6045-1T is amended by revising paragraphs (h) through (p) to read as follows:
    § 1.6045-1T Returns of information of brokers and barter exchanges (temporary).

    (h) through (n)(10) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.6045-1(h) through (n)(10).

    (11) Additional rules for certain holder elections—(i) In general. For purposes of § 1.6045-1, the rules in this paragraph (n)(11) apply notwithstanding any other rule in § 1.6045-1(n).

    (A) Election to treat all interest as OID. A broker must report the information required under § 1.6045-1(d) without taking into account any election described in § 1.6045-1(n)(4)(iv) (the election to treat all interest as OID in § 1.1272-3). As a result, for example, a broker must determine the amount of any acquisition premium taken into account each year for purposes of § 1.6045-1 in accordance with § 1.1272-2(b)(4). This paragraph (n)(11)(i)(A) applies to a debt instrument acquired on or after January 1, 2015. A broker may, however, rely on this paragraph (n)(11)(i)(A) for a debt instrument acquired on or after January 1, 2014, and before January 1, 2015.

    (B) Election to accrue market discount based on a constant yield. A broker must report the information required under § 1.6045-1(d) by assuming that a customer has made the election described in § 1.6045-1(n)(4)(iii) (the election to accrue market discount based on a constant yield). However, if a customer notifies a broker in writing that the customer does not want the broker to take into account this election, the broker must report the information required under § 1.6045-1(d) without taking into account this election. The customer must provide this notification to the broker by the end of the calendar year in which the customer acquired the debt instrument in an account with the broker. This paragraph (n)(11)(i)(B) applies to a debt instrument acquired on or after January 1, 2015.

    (ii) Expiration date. The applicability of this paragraph (n)(11) expires on or before March 12, 2018.

    (o) through (p) [Reserved]. For further guidance, see § 1.6045-1(o) through (p).

    Par. 4. Section 1.6045A-1 is amended by removing paragraph (a)(1)(vi) and adding paragraphs (e) and (f) to read as follows:
    § 1.6045A-1 Statements of information required in connection with transfers of securities.

    (e) Section 1256 options. [Reserved.] For further guidance, see § 1.6045A-1T(e).

    (f) Additional information required for a debt instrument. [Reserved.] For further guidance, see § 1.6045A-1T(f).

    Par. 5. Section 1.6045A-1T is added to read as follows:
    § 1.6045A-1T Statements of information required in connection with transfers of securities (temporary).

    (a) through (d) [Reserved.] For further guidance, see § 1.6045A-1(a) through (d).

    (e) Section 1256 options—(1) In general. A transferor of an option described in § 1.6045-1(m)(3) (section 1256 option) is required to furnish to the receiving broker a transfer statement for a transfer that occurs on or after January 1, 2016. The transfer statement must include the information described in § 1.6045A-1(b) and paragraph (e)(2) of this section for a section 1256 option that is a covered security or in § 1.6045A-1(b) for a section 1256 option that is a noncovered security.

    (2) Additional information required for a section 1256 option. In addition to the information required in § 1.6045A-1(b), the following information is required for a transfer of a section 1256 option that is a covered security:

    (i) The original basis of the option; and

    (ii) The fair market value of the option as of the end of the prior calendar year.

    (f) Additional information required for a debt instrument. In addition to the information required in § 1.6045A-1(b)(3) for a transfer of a debt instrument that is a covered security, the transferor must provide the last date on or before the transfer date that the transferor made an adjustment for a particular item (for example, the last date on or before the transfer date that bond premium was amortized). This paragraph (f) applies to a transfer that occurs on or after June 30, 2015.

    (g) Expiration date. The applicability of this section expires on or before March 12, 2018.

    Par. 6. Section 1.6049-5 is amended by adding a sentence after the third sentence in paragraph (f) to read as follows:
    § 1.6049-5 Interest and original issue discount subject to reporting after December 31, 1982.

    (f) * * * However, see § 1.6049-9 for the reporting of premium for a debt instrument acquired on or after January 1, 2014. * * *

    Par. 7. Section 1.6049-9 is added to read as follows:
    § 1.6049-9 Premium subject to reporting for a debt instrument acquired on or after January 1, 2014.

    (a) General rule. Notwithstanding § 1.6049-5(f), for a debt instrument acquired on or after January 1, 2014, if a broker (as defined in § 1.6045-1(a)(1)) is required to file a statement for the debt instrument under § 1.6049-6, the broker generally must report any bond premium (as defined in § 1.171-1(d)) or acquisition premium (as defined in § 1.1272-2(b)(3)) for the calendar year. This section, however, only applies to a debt instrument that is a covered security as defined in § 1.6045-1(a)(15).

    (b) Reporting of bond premium amortization. Unless a broker has been notified in writing in accordance with § 1.6045-1(n)(5) that a customer does not want to amortize bond premium under section 171, the broker must report the amount of any amortizable bond premium allocable to a stated interest payment made to the customer during the calendar year. See §§ 1.171-2 and 1.171-3 to determine the amount of amortizable bond premium allocable to a stated interest payment. Instead of reporting a gross amount for both stated interest and amortizable bond premium, a broker may report a net amount of stated interest that reflects the offset of the stated interest payment by the amount of amortizable bond premium allocable to the payment. In this case, the broker must not report the amortizable bond premium as a separate item. This paragraph (b) also applies to amortizable bond premium on a tax-exempt obligation, which is required to be amortized under section 171.

    (c) Reporting of acquisition premium amortization. A broker must report the amount of any acquisition premium amortization that reduces the amount of original issue discount includible in income by the customer during a calendar year. For a debt instrument acquired on or after January 1, 2015, a broker must use the rules in § 1.1272-2(b)(4) to determine the amount of acquisition premium amortization. However, for a debt instrument acquired on or after January 1, 2014, and before January 1, 2015, if a customer timely notifies the broker in accordance with § 1.6045-1(n)(5), a broker may use the rules in § 1.1272-3 to determine the amount of acquisition premium amortization. Instead of reporting a gross amount for both original issue discount and acquisition premium amortization, a broker may report a net amount of original issue discount that reflects the offset of the original issue discount includible in income by the customer for the calendar year by the amount of acquisition premium allocable to the original issue discount. In this case, the broker must not report the acquisition premium amortization as a separate item. See § 1.6049-10T for the reporting of acquisition premium on a tax-exempt obligation.

    § 1.6049-9T [Removed]
    Par. 8. Section 1.6049-9T is removed.
    Par. 9. Section 1.6049-10T is added to read as follows:
    § 1.6049-10T Reporting of original issue discount on a tax-exempt obligation (temporary).

    (a) In general. For purposes of section 6049, a payor (as defined in § 1.6049-4(a)(2)) of original issue discount (OID) on a tax-exempt obligation (as defined in section 1288(b)(2)) is required to report the daily portions of OID on the obligation as if the daily portions of OID that accrued during a calendar year were paid to the holder (or holders) of the obligation in the calendar year. The amount of the daily portions of OID that accrues during a calendar year is determined as if section 1272 and § 1.1272-1 applied to a tax-exempt obligation. Notwithstanding any other rule in section 6049 and the regulations thereunder, a payor must determine whether a tax-exempt obligation was issued with OID and the amount of OID that accrues for each relevant period. As prescribed by section 1288(b)(1), OID on a tax-exempt obligation is determined without regard to the de minimis rules in section 1273(a)(3) and § 1.1273-1(d).

    (b) Acquisition premium. A payor is required to report acquisition premium amortization on a tax-exempt obligation in accordance with the rules in § 1.6049-9(c) as if section 1272 applied to a tax-exempt obligation. See paragraph (a) of this section to determine the amount of OID allocable to an accrual period.

    (c) Effective/applicability date. This section applies to a tax-exempt obligation acquired on or after January 1, 2017.

    (d) Expiration date. The applicability of this section expires on or before March 12, 2018.

    John Dalrymple, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement. Approved: February 19, 2015. Mark J. Mazur, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (Tax Policy).
    [FR Doc. 2015-05648 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION 29 CFR Parts 4022 and 4044 Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans; Benefits Payable in Terminated Single-Employer Plans; Interest Assumptions for Valuing and Paying Benefits AGENCY:

    Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This final rule amends the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's regulations on Benefits Payable in Terminated Single-Employer Plans and Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans to prescribe interest assumptions under the benefit payments regulation for valuation dates in April 2015 and interest assumptions under the asset allocation regulation for valuation dates in the second quarter of 2015. The interest assumptions are used for valuing and paying benefits under terminating single-employer plans covered by the pension insurance system administered by PBGC.

    DATES:

    Effective April 1, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Catherine B. Klion ([email protected]), Assistant General Counsel for Regulatory Affairs, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, 1200 K Street NW., Washington, DC 20005, 202-326-4024. (TTY/TDD users may call the Federal relay service toll free at 1-800-877-8339 and ask to be connected to 202-326-4024.)

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    PBGC's regulations on Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans (29 CFR part 4044) and Benefits Payable in Terminated Single-Employer Plans (29 CFR part 4022) prescribe actuarial assumptions—including interest assumptions—for valuing and paying plan benefits under terminating single-employer plans covered by title IV of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. The interest assumptions in the regulations are also published on PBGC's Web site (http://www.pbgc.gov).

    The interest assumptions in Appendix B to Part 4044 are used to value benefits for allocation purposes under ERISA section 4044. PBGC uses the interest assumptions in Appendix B to Part 4022 to determine whether a benefit is payable as a lump sum and to determine the amount to pay. Appendix C to Part 4022 contains interest assumptions for private-sector pension practitioners to refer to if they wish to use lump-sum interest rates determined using PBGC's historical methodology. Currently, the rates in Appendices B and C of the benefit payment regulation are the same.

    The interest assumptions are intended to reflect current conditions in the financial and annuity markets. Assumptions under the asset allocation regulation are updated quarterly; assumptions under the benefit payments regulation are updated monthly. This final rule updates the benefit payments interest assumptions for April 2015 and updates the asset allocation interest assumptions for the second quarter (April through June) of 2015.

    The second quarter 2015 interest assumptions under the allocation regulation will be 2.71 percent for the first 20 years following the valuation date and 2.78 percent thereafter. In comparison with the interest assumptions in effect for the first quarter of 2015, these interest assumptions represent no change in the select period (the period during which the select rate (the initial rate) applies), a decrease of 0.18 percent in the select rate, and a decrease of 0.34 percent in the ultimate rate (the final rate).

    The April 2015 interest assumptions under the benefit payments regulation will be 0.75 percent for the period during which a benefit is in pay status and 4.00 percent during any years preceding the benefit's placement in pay status. In comparison with the interest assumptions in effect for March 2015, these interest assumptions represent an increase of 0.25 percent in the immediate annuity rate and are otherwise unchanged.

    PBGC has determined that notice and public comment on this amendment are impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This finding is based on the need to determine and issue new interest assumptions promptly so that the assumptions can reflect current market conditions as accurately as possible.

    Because of the need to provide immediate guidance for the valuation and payment of benefits under plans with valuation dates during April 2015, PBGC finds that good cause exists for making the assumptions set forth in this amendment effective less than 30 days after publication.

    PBGC has determined that this action is not a “significant regulatory action” under the criteria set forth in Executive Order 12866.

    Because no general notice of proposed rulemaking is required for this amendment, the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 does not apply. See 5 U.S.C. 601(2).

    List of Subjects 29 CFR Part 4022

    Employee benefit plans, Pension insurance, Pensions, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    29 CFR Part 4044

    Employee benefit plans, Pension insurance, Pensions.

    In consideration of the foregoing, 29 CFR parts 4022 and 4044 are amended as follows:

    PART 4022—BENEFITS PAYABLE IN TERMINATED SINGLE-EMPLOYER PLANS 1. The authority citation for part 4022 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    29 U.S.C. 1302, 1322, 1322b, 1341(c)(3)(D), and 1344.

    2. In appendix B to part 4022, Rate Set 258, as set forth below, is added to the table. Appendix B to Part 4022—Lump Sum Interest Rates for PBGC Payments Rate set For plans with a valuation date On or after Before Immediate annuity rate
  • (percent)
  • Deferred annuities
  • (percent)
  • i 1 i 2 i 3 n 1 n 2
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * 258 4-1-15 5-1-15 0.75 4.00 4.00 4.00 7 8
    3. In appendix C to part 4022, Rate Set 258, as set forth below, is added to the table. Appendix C to Part 4022—Lump Sum Interest Rates for Private-Sector Payments Rate set For plans with a valuation date On or after Before Immediate annuity rate
  • (percent)
  • Deferred annuities
  • (percent)
  • i 1 i 2 i 3 n 1 n 2
    *         *         *         *         *         *         * 258 4-1-15 5-1-15 0.75 4.00 4.00 4.00 7 8
    PART 4044—ALLOCATION OF ASSETS IN SINGLE-EMPLOYER PLANS 4. The authority citation for part 4044 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    29 U.S.C. 1301(a), 1302(b)(3), 1341, 1344, 1362.

    5. In appendix B to part 4044, a new entry for April-June 2015, as set forth below, is added to the table. Appendix B to Part 4044—Interest Rates Used to Value Benefits For valuation dates occurring in the month— The values of i t are: i t for t = i t for t = i t for t = *         *         *         *         *         *         * April-June 2015 0.0271 1-20 0.0278 >20 N/A N/A Issued in Washington, DC, on this 6th day of March 2015. Judith Starr, General Counsel, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05780 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7709-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2014-0966] Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Mokelumne River, East Isleton, CA 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 California Department of Transportation highway drawbridge across the Mokelumne River, mile 3.0, at East Isleton, CA. The deviation is necessary to allow the bridge owner to perform structural repair work to the bridge. This deviation allows the bridge to remain in the closed-to-navigation position during the deviation period.

    DATES:

    This deviation is effective without actual notice from March 13, 2015 through 10 p.m. on May 29, 2015. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from 5 a.m. on March 2, 2015, until March 13, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2014-0966], 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 David H. Sulouff, Chief, Bridge Section, Eleventh Coast Guard District; telephone 510-437-3516, email [email protected]. If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    California Department of Transportation has requested a temporary change to the operation of the California Department of Transportation highway drawbridge across the Mokelumne River, mile 3.0, at East Isleton, CA. The drawbridge navigation span provides approximately 7 feet vertical clearance above Mean High Water in the closed-to-navigation position. In accordance with 33 CFR 117.175(a), the draw opens on signal from November 1 through April 30 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and from May 1 through October 31 from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., except that during the following periods the draw need only open for recreational vessels on the hour, 20 minutes past the hour, and 40 minutes past the hour: Saturdays, 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.; Sundays, 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.; and Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. At all other times the drawbridge shall open on signal if at least 4 hours notice is given. Navigation on the waterway is commercial and recreational.

    The drawspan will be secured in the closed-to-navigation position from 5 a.m. on March 2, 2015 to 10 p.m. on May 29, 2015, due to replacement of bridge deck and rehabilitation of the bridge control house. This temporary deviation has been coordinated with the waterway users. Caltrans work plan and dates have been tailored to produce the least possible impacts to waterway traffic, land traffic, businesses and potential flood response plans, while allowing the work to be performed, to ensure dependable future operation of the drawbridge. Vessels able to pass through the drawbridge in the closed position may do so at any time. The drawbridge will not be able to open for emergencies. Alternative paths for recreational vessel traffic are available via Little Potato Slough and Georgiana Slough. Alternative paths for land traffic are also available. The Coast Guard will inform waterway users of this temporary deviation via our Local and Broadcast Notices to Mariners, to minimize resulting navigational impacts.

    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 27, 2015. D.H. Sulouff, District Bridge Chief, Eleventh Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05745 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2015-0076] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Tuscaloosa Regional Air Show; Black Warrior River; Tuscaloosa, AL AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone encompassing the waters of the Black Warrior River in Tuscaloosa, AL. This action is necessary for the safeguard of participants and spectators, including all crews, vessels, and persons on navigable waters during the Tuscaloosa Regional Air Show. Entry into or transiting in this zone is prohibited to all vessels, mariners, and persons unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port Mobile or a designated representative.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective on March 26-29, 2015, from 11:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day.

    ADDRESSES:

    Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket USCG-2015-0076. 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 temporary rule, call or email LT Stanley A. Tarrant, Sector Mobile, Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 251-441-5940, email [email protected] If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Cheryl F. Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Acronyms APA  Administrative Procedures Act BNM Broadcast Notice to Mariners COTP Captain of the Port DHS Department of Homeland Security FAA Federal Aviation Administration FR Federal Register LNM Local Notice to Mariners NEPA National Environmental Policy Act NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking A. Regulatory History and Information

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary final 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)(3)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because the Coast Guard did not receive the necessary information from The City of Tuscaloosa of their intentions to conduct an air show on March 26-29, 2015 over a portion of the Black Warrior River, in Tuscaloosa, AL until January 29, 2015. The City of Tuscaloosa informed Coast Guard Sector Mobile that a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rule prohibits all vessel traffic and persons within the exclusion area where the air craft will be flying overhead and therefore, requested a safety zone to keep all vessels out of the exclusion area that crosses over the Black Warrior River. As a result, the Coast Guard did not have sufficient time to publish an NPRM and to receive public comments prior to the event. Any delay in the effective date of this rule would be contrary to public interest because immediate action is needed to protect persons and vessels from the safety hazards associated with the planned event. Additionally, delaying the safety zone for the NPRM process would unnecessarily interfere with the Tuscaloosa Regional Air Show flight schedule, compliance with federal regulations enforced by the FAA, and potential contractual obligations.

    For the same 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 and Purpose

    The legal basis and authorities for this rule are found in 33 U.S.C. 1231; 50 U.S.C. 191; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, and 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1, 1 which collectively authorize the Coast Guard to propose, establish, and define regulatory safety zones.

    The City of Tuscaloosa plans to conduct an air show for the public, over a portion of the Black Warrior River in Tuscaloosa, AL on March, 26-29, 2015 between the hours of 11:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day.

    The hazards associated with the air show poses safety hazards to both vessels and mariners while airplanes fly over the Black Warrior River, in Tuscaloosa, AL. The (Captain of the Port) COTP Mobile is establishing a temporary safety zone encompassing the waters of the Black Warrior River between Mile Marker (MM) 335.8 to MM 336.3, in Tuscaloosa, AL, to protect persons and vessels, during the air show.

    The COTP anticipates minimal impact on vessel traffic due to this regulation. However, this safety zone is deemed necessary for the protection of life and property within the COTP Mobile zone.

    C. Discussion of the Final Rule

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone encompassing the waters of the Black Warrior River between MM 335.8 to MM 336.3, in Tuscaloosa, AL. This temporary rule will protect the safety of life and property in this area. Entry into or transiting in this zone is prohibited to all vessels, mariners, and persons unless specifically authorized by the COTP Mobile or a designated representative. The COTP may be contacted by telephone at 251-441-5976.

    The COTP Mobile or a designated representative will inform the public through broadcast notice to mariners (BNM) of changes in the effective period for the safety zone. This rule will be enforced from March 26-29, 2015 at 11:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day.

    BNMs will be used to inform waterway users of the exact enforcement times and any changes in this safety zone or its enforcement prior to the Tuscaloosa Regional Air Show.

    D. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this 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 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 safety zone listed in this rule will restrict vessel traffic from entering or transiting in a small portion of the Black Warrior River, in Tuscaloosa, AL. The effect of this regulation will not be significant for several reasons: (1) This rule will only affect vessel traffic for a short duration; (2) vessels may request permission from the COTP to transit through the safety zone; and (3) impacts on routine navigation are expected to be minimal. Notifications to the marine community will be made through BNMs. These notifications will allow the public to plan operations around the affected area.

    2. Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. 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 transit in the affected portions of the Black Warrior River during the Tuscaloosa Regional Air Show. This safety zone will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons. The zone is limited in size, is of short duration and vessel traffic may request permission from the COTP Mobile or a designated representative to enter or transit through the 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 have determined that it 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 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

    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 which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves a safety zone on a waterway during the Tuscaloosa Regional Air Show and is not expected to result in any significant adverse environmental impact as described in NEPA. 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 will be made 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 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; 50 U.S.C. 191; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, and 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. Add temporary § 165.T08-0076 to read as follows:
    § 165.T08-0076 Safety Zone; Tuscaloosa Regional Air Show; Black Warrior River; Tuscaloosa, AL.

    (a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: all waters encompassing the waters of the Black Warrior River between MM 335.8 to MM 336.3, in Tuscaloosa, AL.

    (b) Effective dates and enforcement period. This rule is effective on March 26-29, 2015, from 11:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. each day.

    (c) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23 of this part, entry into this zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Mobile or a designated representative.

    (2) Persons or vessels desiring to enter into or passage through the zone must request permission from the Captain of the Port Mobile or a designated representative. They may be contacted on VHF-FM channels 16 or by telephone at 251-441-5976.

    (3) If permission is granted, all persons and vessels shall comply with the instructions of the Captain of the Port Mobile or designated representative.

    (d) Informational broadcasts. The Captain of the Port Mobile or a designated representative will inform the public through broadcast notices to mariners of the enforcement period for the safety zone as well as any changes in the safety zone or the planned schedule.

    Dated: February 2, 2015. S. Walker, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Mobile.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05744 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR PART 165 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0130] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; St. Patrick's Day Fireworks, Manitowoc River, Manitowoc, Wisconsin AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a safety zone on the Manitowoc River in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. This safety zone is intended to restrict vessels from a portion of the Manitowoc River due to a fireworks display. This safety zone is necessary to protect the surrounding public and vessels from the hazards associated with the fireworks display.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective and will be enforced from 6 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. on March 13, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket USCG-2015-0130. 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, contact or email MST1 Joseph McCollum, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan, at 414-747-7148 or [email protected] If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 1-800-647-5527.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Acronyms DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking A. Regulatory History and Information

    On December 24, 2014, the Coast Guard published an NPRM in the Federal Register which listed safety zones corresponding to annual marine events in the Sector Lake Michigan zone (79 FR 77415). This NPRM included the safety zone for the St. Patrick's Day Fireworks in Manitowoc, WI (the subject of this TFR). After the 30 day comment period for the NPRM closed, the Coast Guard published a corresponding Final Rule on February 18, 2015 (80 FR 8536).

    Because the Manitowoc St. Patrick's Day Fireworks would occur within 30 days of the Final Rule's publication, the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Waiting for a 30 day notice period to run would be impracticable, unnecessary, and contrary to the public interest because it would inhibit the Coast Guard's ability to protect vessels from the hazards associated with the Manitowoc St. Patrick's Day Fireworks on March 13, 2015, which are discussed further below.

    B. Basis and Purpose

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

    On March 13, 2015, the City of Manitowoc is expected to hold its annual St. Patrick's Day fireworks display. This fireworks display will be launched from the shore of the Manitowoc River. The Captain of the Port Lake Michigan has determined that this fireworks display will pose a significant risk to public safety and property. Such hazards include falling and/or flaming debris.

    C. Discussion of the Final Rule

    With the aforementioned hazards in mind, the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan has determined that this safety zone is necessary to ensure the safety of persons and vessels during the fireworks display on the shore of the Manitowoc River. This zone is effective and will be enforced from 6 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. on March 13, 2015. The safety zone will encompass all waters of the Manitowoc River within a 200 foot radius of an approximate launch position at 44°05.492′ N, 087°39.332′ W (NAD 83).

    Entry into, transiting, or anchoring within the safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan or her designated on-scene representative. The Captain of the Port or her designated on-scene representative may be contacted via VHF Channel 16.

    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. It is not “significant” under the regulatory policies and procedures of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). We conclude that this rule is not a significant regulatory action because we anticipate that it will have minimal impact on the economy, will not interfere with other agencies, will not adversely alter the budget of any grant or loan recipients, and will not raise any novel legal or policy issues. The safety zone created by this rule will be relatively small and enforced for only one day. Under certain conditions, moreover, vessels may still transit through the safety zone when permitted by the Captain of the Port.

    2. Impact on Small Entities

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we have considered the impact of this rule on small entities. 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 might be small entities: the owners or operators of vessels intending to transit or anchor in the affected portion of the Manitowoc River on March 13, 2015.

    This safety zone will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities for the reasons cited in the Regulatory Planning and Review section. Additionally, before the enforcement of this zone, we would issue local Broadcast Notice to Mariners so vessel owners and operators can plan accordingly.

    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 section 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

    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 the establishment of a safety zone and therefore it 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 for this zone have been previously completed and are available via http://www.regulations.gov under Docket Number USCG-2014-1001. 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 record keeping requirements, Security measures, Waterways.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR parts 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. Chapters 701, 3306, 3703; 50 U.S.C. 191, 195; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, and 160.5; Pub. L. 107-295, 116 Stat. 2064; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. Add § 165.T09-0130 to read as follows:
    § 165.T09-0130 Safety Zone; St. Patrick's Day Fireworks, Manitowoc River, Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

    (a) Location. All waters of the Manitowoc River within a 200 foot radius of an approximate launch position at 44°05.492′ N, 087°39.332′ W (NAD 83).

    (b) Effective and enforcement period. This zone is effective and will be enforced from 6 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. on March 13, 2015.

    (c) Regulations. (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23 of this part, entry into, transiting, or anchoring within this safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan or her designated on-scene representative.

    (2) This safety zone is closed to all vessel traffic, except as may be permitted by the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan or her designated on-scene representative.

    (3) The “on-scene representative” of the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan is any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant or petty officer who has been designated by the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan to act on her behalf.

    (4) Vessel operators desiring to enter or operate within the safety zone must contact the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan or her on-scene representative to obtain permission to do so. The Captain of the Port Lake Michigan or her on-scene representative may be contacted via VHF Channel 16. Vessel operators given permission to enter or operate in the safety zone must comply with all directions given to them by the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan or her on-scene representative.

    Dated: March 2, 2015. A.B. Cocanour, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Lake Michigan.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05814 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 117 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0109] Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Hackensack River, Jersey City, NJ 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 Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) railroad bridge across the Hackensack River, mile 3.0, at Jersey City, New Jersey. This deviation is necessary to allow the bridge owner to replace rails and ties at the bridge. This deviation allows the bridge to remain closed on Saturday and Sunday for twenty six consecutive weekends.

    DATES:

    This deviation is effective from April 4, 2015 through September 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this deviation, [USCG-2015-0109] 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 Mr. Joe M. Arca, Project Officer, First Coast Guard District, telephone (212) 514-4336, [email protected] If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Cheryl Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone (202) 366-9826.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The PATH railroad bridge across the Hackensack River, mile 3.0, at Jersey City, New Jersey, has a vertical clearance in the closed position of 40 feet at mean high water and 45 feet at mean low water. The existing bridge operating regulations are found at 33 CFR 117.723.

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

    The bridge owner, Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH), requested a temporary deviation from the normal operating schedule to facilitate structural repairs, replacement of the rails and ties, at the bridge.

    Under this temporary deviation, the PATH railroad bridge may remain in the closed position for twenty six weekends, between 12:01 a.m. on Saturdays through 12:01 a.m. on Mondays from April 4, 2015 through September 27, 2015.

    There are no alternate routes for vessel traffic; however, the vertical clearance at the bridge is 40 feet at mean high water and 45 feet at mean low water, which should allow most vessels that normally transit this bridge to pass under the closed draws during this repair period. 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 bridges 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. 2015-05809 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG-2015-0098] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; State Route 520 Bridge Construction, Lake Washington; Seattle, WA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone on Lake Washington around the east span of the State Route 520 Bridge in Seattle, Washington for the construction of the new bridge. The safety zone is necessary to ensure the safety of the maritime public and workers involved in the bridge construction. The safety zone will prohibit any person or vessel from entering or remaining in the safety zone unless authorized by the Captain of the Port or his Designated Representative.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective without actual notice from March 13, 2015 until May 30, 2015. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from the date the rule was signed, February 18, 2015, until March 13, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket USCG-2015-0098. 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 BM2 Ryan Griffin, Waterways Management Division, Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound; Coast Guard; telephone (206) 217-6323, email [email protected]. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Barbara Hairston, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone (202) 366-9826.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Acronyms DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking A. Regulatory History and Information

    The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary final 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 publishing an NPRM would be impracticable as delayed promulgation may result in injury or damage to the maritime public, vessel crews, the vessels themselves, and the facilities prior to conclusion of a notice and comment period.

    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. Delaying the effective date until 30 days after publication would be contrary to public interest, as this delay would eliminate the safety zone's effectiveness and usefulness in protecting persons, property, and the safe navigation of maritime traffic before 30 days have elapsed.

    B. Basis and Purpose

    Coast Guard Captains of the Port are granted authority to establish safety and security zones in 33 CFR 1.05-1(f) for safety and environmental purposes, described in 33 CFR part 165.

    The State Route 520 Bridge is the longest floating bridge in the world that has a span of 1.4 miles across Lake Washington and is supported by 33 pontoons.

    The State Route 520 Bridge is being replaced, and those efforts include upgrading the bridge's floating pontoons for larger ones. During the bridge replacement project, construction barges will occasionally need to block the waterway that runs beneath the east span of the bridge. As a result, the Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone which is necessary to ensure the safety of the maritime public and workers involved in the bridge construction.

    C. Discussion of the Final Rule

    The Coast Guard is establishing a safety zone which encompasses all waters within 100 yards of the east span of the State Route 520 Bridge, located on Lake Washington at the following point: 47°38′16.4″ N, 122°14′31.4″ W.

    Vessels wishing to enter the zone must request permission for entry by contacting the Joint Harbor Operations Center at 206-217-6001. Once permission for entry is granted vessels must proceed at a minimum speed for safe navigation.

    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. This rule is not a significant regulatory action as the safety zone is both limited in size and duration.

    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 term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. 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 transit the affected waterway during the period mentioned. This safety zone will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because the zone established in this rule is limited in size and duration.

    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. 3501-3State Route 520).

    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 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

    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 a 100 yard temporary safety zone around the east span of the State Route 520 Bridge. The rule will prevent any vessel from approaching within 100 yards of the east span during periods of construction with permission of the Captain of the Port. 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.

    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.T13-283 to read as follows:
    § 165.T13-283 Safety Zone; State Route 520 Bridge, Lake Washington; Seattle, WA.

    (a) Location. The following areas are designated as a safety zone: All waters within 100 yards of the east span of the State Route 520 Bridge, located on Lake Washington at the following point: 47°38′16.4″ N, 122°14′31.4″ W.

    (b) Regulations. In accordance with the general regulations in 33 CFR part 165, subpart C, vessels wishing to enter the zone must request permission for entry by contacting the Joint Harbor Operation Center at 206-217-6001. Once permission for entry is granted vessels must proceed at a minimum speed for safe navigation.

    (c) Dates. This rule will be enforced on days during which construction operations occur, from 3 a.m. to 11 a.m., or until the construction barge has departed from the waterway under the east span, starting on February 18, 2015, until May 30, 2015.

    Dated: February 18, 2015. M. W. Raymond, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Puget Sound.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05741 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R05-OAR-2014-0123; FRL-9922-71-Region 5] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Illinois; Amendments to Gasoline Vapor Recovery Requirements for Illinois AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving a state implementation plan (SIP) revision submitted by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) on January 17, 2014, concerning the state's gasoline vapor recovery requirements. The revision phases out the Stage II vapor recovery (Stage II) program requirements in the Illinois portion of the Chicago ozone nonattainment area (NAA) as a component of the Illinois ozone SIP. To be consistent with the repeal of the Stage II program requirements, the SIP revision also includes amendments to the state's permitting regulations applicable to storage tanks and fuel dispensing, including repealing the Stage I vapor recovery (Stage I) registration provisions due to overlapping Federal notification requirements and state tracking systems for gasoline dispensing operations. Finally, the SIP revision includes other clarifying and clean-up amendments at 35 Ill. Adm. Code Parts 201, 218, and 219. The submittal also includes a demonstration under section 110(l) of the Clean Air Act (CAA) that shows there are no emissions impacts associated with the removal of the program. A proposed rule approving IEPA's submittal was published in the Federal Register on October 17, 2014.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective on April 13, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2014-0123. All documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., 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 Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, Air and Radiation Division, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604. This facility is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays. We recommend that you telephone Francisco J. Acevedo, Mobile Source Program Manager, at (312) 886-6061, before visiting the Region 5 office.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Francisco J. Acevedo, Mobile Source Program Manager, Control Strategies Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 886-6061, acevedo.franci[email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean EPA. This supplementary information section is arranged as follows:

    I. What is being addressed by this document? II. What is our response to comments received on the notice of proposed rulemaking? III. What action is EPA taking? IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews. I. What is being addressed by this document?

    On October 17, 2014, EPA published proposed (79 FR 62378) and direct final (79 FR 62352) rules approving revisions to the Illinois ozone SIP submitted on January 17, 2014, concerning the State's Stage II vapor recovery program requirements in Illinois. The rules also included amendments to 35 Ill. Adm. Code Parts 201, 218, and 219 to make necessary updates and to be consistent with the repeal of the Stage II program standards. A full list of the regulatory changes submitted by Illinois for EPA approval included:

    • Revisions to 35 Ill. Adm. Code 201.146 and 201.302 adopted at 38 Ill. Reg. 1005, effective December 23, 2013.

    • Revisions to 35 Ill. Adm. Code 218.112, 218.583, and 218.586 adopted at 38 Ill. Reg. 1032, effective December 23, 2013.

    • Revisions to 35 Ill. Adm. Code 219.105, 219.112, and 218.583 adopted at 38 Ill. Reg. 1061, effective December 23, 2013.

    EPA subsequently received adverse comments on the direct final rule and withdrew it on December 10, 2014 (79 FR 73202). The proposal was not withdrawn and remained in effect. In this action we are responding to the comments and taking final action to approve Illinois' SIP revision request submitted on January 17, 2004.

    II. What is our response to comments received on the notice of proposed rulemaking?

    EPA only received one adverse comment on the October 17, 2014, proposed approval of this Illinois rule. We are responding to the commenter who disagreed with our action.

    Comment. The commenter notes that the CAA section 110(l) demonstration submitted by Illinois is flawed and the commenter claims that there are in fact significant emission reduction losses resulting from the removal of the Stage II program requirements in Illinois. The commenter further claims that the increased emissions represent a significant environmental, health and safety risk.

    Response

    The commenter's primary argument that Illinois' 110(l) demonstration is “flawed” is not directly supported in the comments submitted to EPA. The commenter does not provide any specific information outlining how or why he believes the state's 110(l) demonstration is unsound, or how approving the state's action would represent a significant environmental, health and safety risk. The state's SIP submittal, on the other hand, included an extensive analysis using state specific data demonstrating that beginning in 2014, on-board refueling vapor recovery (ORVR) systems alone would start providing greater reductions in refueling emissions than the simultaneous use of ORVR and Stage II in the Chicago ozone NAA. The commenter submitted only general calculations deriving the increase in refueling emissions, but the methodology and data used for calculating the stated emissions impacts are unexplained and appear to be based on incomplete assumptions that on their own are not acceptable for SIP demonstration purposes as they do not use state specific information, including vehicle miles traveled, fuel Reid vapor pressure, meteorological data, and vehicle population. Further, the commenter's calculations do not take into consideration the incompatibility issue between some Stage II systems and ORVR systems that is being addressed through the state's Stage II decommissioning process. EPA has provided guidance to states on how the compatibility factor should be incorporated into SIP revisions for Stage II programs. Specifically, EPA issued guidance including a document entitled “Guidance on Removing Stage II Gasoline Vapor Control Programs from State Implementation Plans and Assessing Comparable Measures,” EPA457/B-12-001 (August 7, 2012). IEPA's calculations are consistent with EPA guidance and take the compatibility factor into account. After considering the commenter's concerns and re-examining Illinois' SIP submittal, including the state's responses to similar issues raised by the commenter during the state's rule development process, EPA continues to find that IEPA's modeling demonstration supports phasing out the state's Stage II vapor recovery systems and complies with the CAA section 110(l) “anti-backsliding” provisions.

    III. What action is EPA taking?

    EPA is approving the revisions to the Illinois ozone SIP submitted on January 17, 2014, concerning the State's Stage II vapor recovery program standards in Illinois. EPA is also approving amendments to 35 Ill. Adm. Code Parts 201, 218, and 219 to make necessary updates and to be consistent with the repeal of the Stage II program standards. EPA finds that the revisions will not interfere with any applicable requirement concerning attainment, reasonable further progress or any other applicable CAA requirement.

    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 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).

    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 12, 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, Oxides of nitrogen, Ozone, Volatile organic compounds.

    Dated: January 30, 2015. Bharat Mathur, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 5.

    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.

    2. Section 52.720 is amended by adding paragraph (c)(203) to read as follows:
    § 52.720 Identification of plan.

    (c) * * *

    (203) On January 17, 2013, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency submitted a request to phase out Stage II vapor recovery standards at 35 Ill. Adm. Code 218.586 and to make other related revisions to 35 Ill. Adm. Code Parts 201, 218, and 219.

    (i) Incorporation by reference.

    (A) Illinois Administrative Code, Title 35: Environmental Protection, Subtitle B: Air Pollution, Chapter I: Pollution Control Board, Subchapter a: Permits and General Provisions, Part 201, Permits and General Provisions, Subpart C: Prohibitions, Section 201.146, Exemptions from State Permit Requirements, and Subpart K: Records and Reports, Section 201.302, Reports, effective December 23, 2013.

    (B) Illinois Administrative Code, Title 35: Environmental Protection, Subtitle B: Air Pollution, Chapter I: Pollution Control Board, Subchapter c: Emission Standards and Limitations for Stationary Sources, Part 218, Organic Material Emission Standards and Limitations for the Chicago Area, Subpart A: General Provisions, Section 218.112, Incorporations by Reference, Subpart Y: Gasoline Distribution, Section 218.583, Gasoline Dispensing Operations—Storage Tank Filling Operations and Section 218.586, Gasoline Dispensing Operations—Motor Vehicle Fueling Operations, effective December 23, 2013.

    (C) Illinois Administrative Code, Title 35: Environmental Protection, Subtitle B: Air Pollution, Chapter I: Pollution Control Board, Subchapter c: Emission Standards and Limitations for Stationary Sources, Part 219, Organic Material Emission Standards and Limitations for the Metro East Area, Subpart A: General Provisions, Section 219.105, Test Methods and Procedures, and Section 219.112, Incorporations by Reference, Subpart Y: Gasoline Distribution, Section 219.583, Gasoline Dispensing Operations—Storage Tank Filling Operations, effective December 23, 2013.

    [FR Doc. 2015-05649 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 22 [EPA-HQ-OECA-2014-0551; FRL-9922-62-OECA] Consolidated Rules of Practice Governing the Administrative Assessment of Civil Penalties, Issuance of Compliance or Corrective Action Orders, and the Revocation, Termination or Suspension of Permits; Correction AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Correcting amendment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a document in the Federal Register on November 6, 2014. That document included the correct mailing and hand delivery addresses for the Environmental Appeals Board, but inadvertently failed to omit the incorrect addresses. This amendment deletes the incorrect addresses.

    DATES:

    Effective on March 13, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ammie Roseman-Orr, Environmental Appeals Board, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, William Jefferson Clinton Building East, Room 3332, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Mail Code 1103M, Washington DC 20460, phone number (202) 233-0122 or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The rule amendment published on November 6, 2014 (79 FR 65897), corrected the mailing and hand delivery addresses for the Environmental Appeals Board in § 22.5(a) to reflect the Board's relocation. The rule also revised § 22.30(a)(1) by adding a reference to the corrected addresses in § 22.5(a). This amendment, however, inadvertently did not omit the Board's incorrect addresses in the second and third sentences of § 22.30(a)(1).

    Need for Correction

    As published on November 6, 2014 (79 FR 65897), the final regulation contains an error which may prove to be misleading and is in need of clarification.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 22

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Air pollution control, Hazardous substances, Hazardous waste, Penalties, Pesticides and pests, Poison prevention, Water pollution control.

    Dated: February 19, 2015. Nanci E. Gelb, Acting Assistant Administrator, Office of Administration and Resources Management.

    Accordingly, 40 CFR part 22 is corrected by making the following correcting amendment:

    PART 22—CONSOLIDATED RULES OF PRACTICE GOVERNING THE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSESSMENT OF CIVIL PENALTIES AND THE REVOCATION, TERMINATION OR SUSPENSION OF PERMITS 1. The authority citation for part 22 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136(l); 15 U.S.C. 2615; 33 U.S.C. 1319, 1342, 1361, 1415 and 1418; 42 U.S.C. 300g-3(g), 6912, 6925, 6928, 6991e and 6992d; 42 U.S.C. 7413(d), 7524(c), 7545(d), 7547, 7601 and 7607(a), 9609, and 11045.

    § 22.30 [Corrected]
    2. In § 22.30, paragraph (a)(1) is amended by removing the second and third sentences.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05438 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 42 CFR Parts 405, 411, 413 and 414 [CMS-1614-CN] RIN 0938-AS13 Medicare Program; Quality Incentive Program; Correction AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    This document corrects technical errors that appeared in the final rule published in the Federal Register on November 6, 2014 entitled “End-Stage Renal Disease Prospective Payment System, Quality Incentive Program, and Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies.”

    DATES:

    This correction is effective on March 13, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Tamyra Garcia, (410) 786-0856.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    In FR Doc. 2014-26182 of November 6, 2014 (79 FR 66120), there were technical and typographical errors that are identified and corrected in the Correction of Errors section below. The provisions in this correction document are effective as if they had been included in the document published on November 6, 2014. Accordingly, the corrections are effective March 13, 2015.

    II. Summary of Errors

    On page 66184 of the preamble, we have determined that there were errors in the performance standard, achievement threshold, and benchmark values presented in the Numerical Values for the Performance Standards for the Payment Year (PY) 2017 End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Quality Incentive Program (QIP) Clinical Measures Using the Most Recently Available Data table for PY 2017 of the ESRD QIP (Table 23). Specifically, the numerical values published for the Standardized Readmission Ratio clinical measure were calculated using only 6 months of data from calendar year 2013 instead of the full 12 months, as specified under our finalized policy (79 FR 66183). Therefore, we are publishing this technical correction to ensure that these numerical standards align with the finalized policies for the PY 2017 ESRD QIP.

    III. Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking

    We ordinarily publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register to provide a period for public comment before the provisions of a rule take effect in accordance with section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). However, we can waive this notice and comment procedure if the Secretary finds, for good cause, that the notice and comment process is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest, and incorporates a statement of the finding and the reasons; therefore, in the notice.

    Since this rule correction is simply correcting technical and typographical errors in the preamble, but does not make substantive changes to the policies or payment methodologies that were adopted in the final rule, it is unnecessary to follow the notice and comment procedure in this instance. Therefore, we believe that we have good cause to forego notice and a period for comment.

    IV. Correction of Errors

    In FR Doc. 2014-26182 of November 6, 2014 (79 FR 66120) make the following corrections:

    1. On page 66184, in Table 23 “Numerical Values for the Performance Standards for the PY 2017 ESRD QIP Clinical Measures Using the Most Recently Available Data”; in the fifth row titled “Standardized Readmission Ratio” remove the existing values and add the following values in their place:

    Measure Performance standard Achievement threshold Benchmark Standardized Readmission Ratio 0.648 1.261 0.998 Dated: March 6, 2015. C'Reda Weeden, Executive Secretary to the Department, Department of Health and Human Services.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05766 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES 45 CFR Part 18 Official Symbol, Logo and Seal AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is adopting final regulations containing a description of its official symbol, logo, and seal.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective April 13, 2015 without further action.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gloria Barnes, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs ([email protected]).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    HHS is adopting regulations (45 CFR part 18) describing its official logo and seal. HHS has developed a symbol, logo, and seal that signifies the authoritativeness of the item or document to which it is affixed as an official endorsement of HHS. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A), notice and comment are not required because this rule only impacts HHS' procedure and practice. In addition, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), there is good cause to waive notice and comment as unnecessary, because this rule is non-controversial and merely describes HHS' official symbol, logo, and seal.

    HHS previously published a Direct Final Rule on April 14, 2014 (79 FR 20801). In response, HHS received two public comments. Among other things, both comments argued that the rule violated the First Amendment. The commenters argued that restrictions in the Direct Final Rule violated the First Amendment by not including exceptions for certain uses of the seal (e.g., for illustrative purposes by the media). HHS withdrew this rule on June 4, 2014 (79 FR 32170). HHS is now publishing a Final Rule that merely describes the Department's symbol, seal, and logo.

    Executive Order No. 12866

    This rule does not meet the criteria for a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866. Thus, review by the Office of Management and Budget is not required.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Therefore, a regulatory flexibility analysis as provided by the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended, is not required.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not contain any collections of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act.

    List of Subjects in 45 CFR Part 18

    Seals and insignia.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, HHS adds Part 18 to Title 45, Subtitle A, subchapter A of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

    Subtitle A—DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Subchapter A—GENERAL ADMINISTRATION PART 18—OFFICIAL SYMBOL, LOGO, AND SEAL Sec. 18.1 Description of the Symbol, Logo, and Seal. Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 3505 and 5 U.S.C. 301.

    § 18.1 Description of the Symbol, Logo, and Seal.

    (a) The Departmental Symbol (Symbol) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the key element in Department identification. It represents the American People sheltered in the wing of the American Eagle, suggesting the Department's concern and responsibility for the welfare of the people. This Symbol is the visual link which connects the graphic communications of all components and programs of the Department. It is the major design component for the Department Identifiers — the Department Logo, Seal, and Signatures.

    (b) The Symbol is described as follows: The outline of an American Eagle, facing left, with one of its wings stretched upward and the other wing pointed downward, is flanked on its right side by two outlines of the profile of a human head, both of which are located in between the eagle's wings. One of the profile outlines is smaller than the other and is nestled in the larger outline.

    ER13MR15.002

    (c) The HHS Departmental Logo (Logo) incorporates the Symbol and is described as follows: From the tip of the outstretched wing of the American Eagle in symbol to the tip of the other, downward-facing wing, the words, “DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES • USA” form a circular arc. The official colors of the Logo are either Black or Reflex Blue. Reflex Blue RGB Numbers: 0/0/153 (R0, G0, B153)

    ER13MR15.003

    (d) The HHS Departmental Seal (Seal) incorporates the Symbol and is described as follows: Starting from the tip of the downward-facing wing of the American Eagle in the HHS symbol and forming a complete circle clockwise around the HHS symbol, the words, “DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES • USA •” are printed, surrounded by a border composed of a solid inner ring at the base of the text and a triangular, scalloped edge at the top of the text. The official colors of the Seal are Reflex Blue and Gold [Reflex Blue RGB Numbers: 0/0/153 (R0, G0, B153); Reflex Gold RGB Numbers: 254/252/1 (R254, G252, B1)]. The Seal may also appear in Reflex Blue or Black.

    ER13MR15.004

    (e) The HHS Departmental symbol, logo, and seal shall each be referred to as an HHS emblem and shall collectively be referred to as HHS emblems.

    Dated: March 4, 2015. Sylvia M. Burwell, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05536 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4150-04-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 49 CFR Parts 27 and 37 [Docket OST-2006-23985] RIN 2105-AE15 Transportation for Individuals With Disabilities; Reasonable Modification of Policies and Practices AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department is revising its rules under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (section 504), specifically to provide that transportation entities are required to make reasonable modifications/accommodations to policies, practices, and procedures to avoid discrimination and ensure that their programs are accessible to individuals with disabilities.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective July 13, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jill Laptosky, Office of the General Counsel, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, Room W96-488, 202-493-0308, [email protected]. For questions related to transit, you may contact Bonnie Graves, Office of Chief Counsel, Federal Transit Administration, same address, Room E56-306, 202-366-0944, [email protected]; and, for rail, Linda Martin, Office of Chief Counsel, Federal Railroad Administration, same address, Room W31-304, 202-493-6062, [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This final rule concerning reasonable modification of transportation provider policies and practices is based on a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) issued February 27, 2006 (71 FR 9761). The NPRM also concerned several other subjects, most notably nondiscriminatory access to new and altered rail station platforms. The Department issued a final rule on these other subjects on September 19, 2011 (76 FR 57924).

    Executive Summary I. Purpose of the Regulatory Action

    This final rule is needed to clarify that public transportation entities are required to make reasonable modifications/accommodations to their policies, practices, and procedures to ensure program accessibility. While this requirement is not a new obligation for public transportation entities receiving Federal financial assistance (see section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act), including the National Passenger Railroad Corporation (Amtrak), courts have identified an unintended gap in our Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations. This final rule will fill in the gap. The real-world effect will be that the nature of an individual's disability cannot preclude a public transportation entity from providing full access to the entity's service unless some exception applies. For example, an individual using a wheelchair who needs to access the bus will be able to board the bus even though sidewalk construction or snow prevents the individual from boarding the bus from the bus stop; the operator of the bus will need to slightly adjust the boarding location so that the individual using a wheelchair may board from an accessible location.

    Reasonable modification/accommodation requirements are a fundamental tenet of disability nondiscrimination law—for example, they are an existing requirement for recipients of Federal assistance and are contained in the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) ADA rules for public and private entities, the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) ADA rules for passenger vessels, and DOT rules under the Air Carrier Access Act. In addition, section 504 has long been interpreted by the courts to require recipients of Federal financial assistance—virtually all public transportation entities subject to this final rule—to provide reasonable accommodations by making changes to policies, practices, and procedures if needed by an individual with a disability to enable him or her to participate in the recipient's program or activity, unless providing such accommodations are an undue financial and administrative burden or constitute a fundamental alteration of the program or activity. Among the Department's legal authorities to issue this rulemaking are section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 794), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. 12101-12213.

    II. Summary of the Major Provisions of the Regulatory Action

    Public entities providing designated public transportation (e.g., fixed route, demand-responsive, and ADA complementary paratransit) service will need to make reasonable modifications/accommodations to policies and practices to ensure program accessibility subject to several exceptions. These exceptions include when the modification/accommodation would cause a direct threat to the health or safety of others, would result in a fundamental alteration of the service, would not actually be necessary in order for the individual with a disability to access the entity's service, or (for recipients of Federal financial assistance) would result in an undue financial and administrative burden. Appendix E of this final rule provides specific examples of requested modifications that public transportation entities typically would not be required to grant for one or more reasons.

    Public entities providing designated public transportation service will need to implement their own processes for making decisions and providing reasonable modifications under the ADA to their policies and practices. In many instances, entities already have compliant processes in place. This final rule does not prescribe the exact processes entities must adopt or require DOT approval of the processes. However, DOT reserves the right to review an entity's process as part of its normal oversight. See 49 CFR 37.169.

    III. Costs and Benefits

    The Department estimates that the costs associated with this final rule will be minimal for two reasons. First, modifications to policies, practices, and procedures, if needed by an individual with a disability to enable him or her to participate in a program or activity, are already required by other Federal law that applies to recipients of Federal financial assistance. Since virtually every entity subject to this final rule receives Federal financial assistance, each entity should already be modifying its policies, practices, and procedures when necessary. Second, the reasonable modification/accommodation requirements contained in this final rule are not very different from the origin-to-destination requirement already applicable to complementary paratransit service, as required by current DOT regulations at 49 CFR 37.129(a) and as described in its implementing guidance.

    The Reasonable Modification NPRM

    Through amendments to the Department's ADA regulations at 49 CFR 37.5 and 37.169, the NPRM proposed that transportation entities, including, but not limited to, public transportation entities required to provide complementary paratransit service, must make reasonable modifications to their policies and practices to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability and ensure program accessibility. Making reasonable modifications to policies and practices is a fundamental tenet of disability nondiscrimination law, reflected in a number of DOT (e.g., 49 CFR 27.11(c)(3), 14 CFR 382.7(c)) and DOJ (e.g., 28 CFR 35.130(b)(7)) regulations. Moreover, since at least 1979, section 504 has been interpreted to require recipients of Federal financial assistance to provide reasonable accommodations to program beneficiaries. See, e.g., Alexander v. Choate, 469 U.S. 287 (1985); Southeastern Community College v. Davis, 442 U.S. 397 (1979). In accordance with these decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court (e.g., Choate and Davis), the obligation to modify policies, practices, and procedures is a longstanding obligation under section 504, and the U.S. Department of Justice, which has coordination authority for section 504 pursuant to Executive Order 12250, is in agreement with this interpretation.

    However, as the NPRM explained, DOT's ADA regulations do not include language specifically requiring regulated parties to make reasonable modifications to policies and practices. The Department, when drafting 49 CFR part 37, intended that § 37.21(c) would incorporate the DOJ provisions on this subject, by saying the following:

    Entities to which this part applies also may be subject to ADA regulations of the Department of Justice (28 CFR parts 35 or 36, as applicable). The provisions of this part shall be interpreted in a manner that will make them consistent with applicable Department of Justice regulations.

    Under this language, provisions of the DOJ regulations concerning reasonable modifications of policies and practices applicable to public entities, such as 28 CFR 35.130(b)(7), could apply to public entities regulated by DOT, while provisions of DOJ regulations on this subject applicable to private entities (e.g., 28 CFR 36.302) could apply to private entities regulated by DOT. A 1997 court decision appeared to share the Department's intention regarding the relationship between DOT and DOJ requirements (Burkhart v. Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority, 112 F.3d 1207 (D.C. Cir. 1997)).

    However, more recent cases that addressed the issue directly held that, in the absence of a DOT regulation explicitly requiring transportation entities to make reasonable modifications, transportation entities were not obligated to make such modifications under the ADA. The leading case on this issue was Melton v. Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), 391 F.3d 669 (5th Cir. 2004); cert. denied 125 S. Ct. 2273 (2005). In this case, the court upheld DART's refusal to pick up a paratransit passenger with a disability in a public alley behind his house, rather than in front of his house (where a steep slope allegedly precluded access by the passenger to DART vehicles). The DART argued that paratransit operations are not covered by DOJ regulations. “Instead,” as the court summarized DART's argument, “paratransit services are subject only to Department of Transportation regulations found in 49 CFR part 37. The Department of Transportation regulations contain no analogous provision requiring reasonable modification to be made to paratransit services to avoid discrimination.” 391 F.3d at 673.

    The court essentially adopted DART's argument, noting that the permissive language of § 37.21(c) (“may be subject”) did not impose coverage under provisions of DOJ regulations which, by their own terms, provided that public transportation programs were “not subject to the requirements of [28 CFR part 35].” See 391 F.3d at 675. “It is undisputed,” the court concluded

    that the Secretary of Transportation has been directed by statute to issue regulations relating specifically to paratransit transportation. Furthermore, even if the Secretary only has the authority to promulgate regulations relating directly to transportation, the reasonable modification requested by the Meltons relates specifically to the operation of DART's service and is, therefore, exempt from the [DOJ] regulations in 28 CFR Part 35. Id. Two other cases, Boose v. Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon, 587 F.3d 997 (9th Cir. 2009) and Abrahams v. MTA Long Island Bus, 644 F.3d 110 (2d Cir. 2011), subsequently agreed with Melton.

    Because the Department believed that, as in all other areas of disability nondiscrimination law, making reasonable modifications to policies and practices is a crucial element of nondiscriminatory and accessible service to people with disabilities, we proposed to fill the gap the courts had identified in our regulations. Consequently, the 2006 NPRM proposed amending the DOT rules to require that transportation entities, both fixed route and paratransit, make reasonable modifications in the provisions of their services when doing so is necessary to avoid discrimination or to provide program accessibility to services.

    In § 37.5, the general nondiscrimination section of the ADA rule, the Department proposed to add a paragraph requiring all public entities providing designated public transportation to make reasonable modifications to policies and practices where needed to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability or to provide program accessibility to services. The language was based on DOJ's requirements and, like the DOJ regulation, would not require a modification if doing so would fundamentally alter the nature of the entity's service.

    The NPRM also proposed to place parallel language in a revised § 37.169, replacing an obsolete provision related to over-the-road buses. Under the proposal, in order to deny a request for a modification, the head of a public entity providing designated public transportation services would have had to make a written determination that a needed reasonable modification created a fundamental alteration or undue burden. The entity would not have been required to seek DOT approval for the determination, but DOT could review the entity's action (e.g., in the context of a complaint investigation or compliance review) as part of a determination about whether the entity had discriminated against persons with disabilities. In the case where the entity determined that a requested modification created a fundamental alteration or undue burden, the entity would be obligated to seek an alternative solution that would not create such an undue burden or fundamental alteration.

    The ADA and part 37 contain numerous provisions requiring transportation entities to ensure that persons with disabilities can access and use transportation services on a nondiscriminatory basis. Some of these provisions relate to the acquisition of vehicles or the construction or alteration of transportation facilities. Others concern the provision of service by public and private entities, in modes ranging from public demand-responsive service for the general public to private over-the-road buses. Still others concern the provision of complementary paratransit service.

    In all of these cases, public transportation entities are likely to put policies and procedures in place to carry out applicable requirements. In order to achieve the objectives of the underlying requirements in certain individual cases, entities may need to depart from these otherwise acceptable policies. This final rule concerns the scope of situations in which such departures—i.e., reasonable modifications—are essential. The underlying provisions of the rule describe the “bottom line” of what transportation entities must achieve. This reasonable modification rule describes how transportation entities get to that “bottom line” in individual situations where entities' normal procedures do not achieve the intended result.

    As comments to the NPRM made clear, an important concern of transportation entities is that the DOT final rule makes it possible to understand clearly what modifications are expected; in other words, which requested modifications would be “reasonable” and which would not. For example, in the fixed route context, we believe that stopping a bus a short distance from a bus stop sign to allow a wheelchair user to avoid an obstacle to boarding using a lift (e.g., a utility repair, a snowdrift) would generally be reasonable. Establishing a “flag stop” policy that allowed a passenger to board a bus anywhere, without regard to bus stop locations, would not. In the complementary paratransit context, the Department would expect, in many circumstances, that drivers would provide assistance outside a vehicle where needed to overcome an obstacle, but drivers would not have to provide personal services that extend beyond the doorway into a building to assist a passenger. Appendix E to this final rule addresses issues of this kind in greater detail.

    In addition to the “modification of policies” language from the DOJ ADA rules, there are other features of those rules that are not presently incorporated in the DOT ADA rules (e.g., pertaining to auxiliary aids and services). The NPRM sought comment on whether it would be useful to incorporate any additional provisions from the DOJ rules into Part 37.

    Comments to the NPRM

    The Department received over 300 comments on the reasonable modification provisions of the NPRM. These comments were received during the original comment period, a public meeting held in August 2010, and a reopened comment period at the time of that meeting. The comments were polarized, with almost all disability community commenters favoring the proposal and almost all transit industry commenters opposing it.

    The major themes in transit industry comments opposing the proposal were the following. Many transit industry commenters opposed the application of the concept of reasonable modification to transportation, and a few commenters argued that it was not the job of transit entities to surmount barriers existing in communities. Many transit commenters said that the rule would force them to make too many individual, case-by-case decisions, making program administration burdensome, leading to pressure to take unreasonable actions, creating the potential for litigation, and making service slower and less reliable. Some of these commenters also objected to the proposal that the head of an entity, or his designee, would be required to make the decision that a requested modification was a fundamental alteration or would result in an undue burden, and provide a written decision to the requestor, stating this requirement would take substantial staff time to complete. Many commenters provided examples or, in some cases, extensive lists, of the kinds of modifications they had been asked or might be asked to make, many of which they believed were unreasonable. A number of commenters said the rule would force paratransit operators to operate in a door-to-door mode, eliminating, as a practical matter, the curb-to-curb service option. A major comment from many transit industry sources was that reasonable modification would unreasonably raise the costs of providing paratransit. Per-trip costs would rise, various commenters said, because of increased dwell time at stops, the need for additional personnel (e.g., an extra staff person on vehicles to assist passengers), increased insurance costs, lower service productivity, increased need for training, or preventing providers from charging fees for what they would otherwise view as premium service. Some of these commenters attached numbers to their predictions of increased costs (e.g., the costs of paratransit would rise from 22-50 percent, nationwide costs would rise by $1.89-2.7 billion), though, with few exceptions, these numbers appeared to be based on extrapolations premised on assumptions about the requirements of the NPRM that were contrary to the language of the NPRM's regulatory text and preamble or on no analysis at all.

    Commenters opposed to the proposal also raised safety issues, again principally in the context of paratransit. Making some reasonable modifications would force drivers to leave vehicles, commenters said. This could result in other passengers being left alone, which could expose them to hazards. Drivers leaving a vehicle would have to turn off the vehicle's engine, resulting in no air conditioning or heating for other passengers in the time the driver was outside the vehicle. The driver could be exposed to injury outside the vehicle (e.g., from a trip and fall).

    A smaller number of commenters also expressed concern about the application of the reasonable modification concept to fixed route bus service. Some commenters said that the idea of buses stopping at other than a designated bus stop was generally unsafe and burdensome, could cause delays, and impair the clarity of service. A number of these commenters appeared to believe that the NPRM could require transit entities to stop anywhere along a route where a person with a disability was flagging a bus down, which they said would be a particularly burdensome practice.

    Commenters also made legal arguments against the proposal. Some commenters supported the approach taken by the court in Melton. Others said that the Department lacks statutory authority under the ADA to require reasonable modification or that reasonably modifying paratransit policies and practices would force entities to exceed the “comparable” service requirements of the statute. Some of these commenters said that the proposal would push entities too far in the direction of providing individualized, human service-type transportation, rather than mass transit. A number of commenters also said that it was good policy to maintain local option for entities in terms of the service they provide. Others argued that the proposed action was inconsistent with statutes or Executive Orders related to unfunded mandates and Federalism.

    A variety of commenters—in both the disability community and transportation industry—noted that a significant number of paratransit operators already either provide door-to-door service as their basic mode of service (some commenters said as many as 50 percent of paratransit operators provide door-to-door service) or follow what, in effect, is curb-to-curb with reasonable modification approach for paratransit, or allowed fixed route buses flexibility in terms of where they stop. Some of these commenters said that transit operators imposed conditions on the kind of modifications that could be made (e.g., drivers could only leave the vehicle for a limited time or distance).

    In some cases, commenters said, while they use their discretion to make the kinds of modifications the NPRM proposed, they wanted these actions to remain discretionary, rather than being the subject of a Federal mandate. A smaller number of commenters asked for additional guidance on expectations under a reasonable modification rule or for clarification of an enforcement mechanism for the proposed requirement.

    Disability community commenters were virtually unanimous in supporting the proposal, saying that curb-to-curb paratransit service was often inadequate for some people with disabilities, who, in some circumstances, could not make use of ADA-mandated paratransit service. For example, medical oxygen users should not have to use part of their supply waiting at the curb for a vehicle; blind passengers may need wayfinding assistance to get to or from a vehicle; or bad weather may make passage to or from a vehicle unduly difficult for wheelchair users. Some disability community commenters supported the inclusion in the rule of various other provisions of the DOJ ADA regulations (e.g., with respect to auxiliary aids and services).

    DOT Response to Comments

    Reasonable modification is a central concept of disability nondiscrimination law, based on the principle that it is essential for entities to consider individuals with disabilities as individuals, not simply as members of a category. The concept recognizes that entities may have general policies, legitimate on their face, that prevent nondiscriminatory access to entities' service, programs, or facilities by some individuals with disabilities under some circumstances. The concept calls on entities to make individual exceptions to these general policies, where needed to provide meaningful, nondiscriminatory access to services, programs, or facilities, unless making such an exception would require a fundamental alteration of an entity's programs.

    Reasonable modification requirements are part of existing requirements for recipients of Federal financial assistance, DOJ ADA rules for public and private entities, DOT ADA rules for passenger vessels, and DOT rules under the Air Carrier Access Act. In none of these contexts has the existence of a reasonable modification requirement created a significant obstacle to the conduct of the wide variety of public and private functions covered by these rules. Nor has it led to noticeable increases in costs. At this point, surface transportation entities are the only class of entities not explicitly covered by an ADA regulatory reasonable modification requirement. Having reviewed the comments to this rulemaking, the Department has concluded that commenters failed to make a persuasive case that there is legal justification for public transportation entities to be treated differently than other transportation entities. Further, per the analysis above, section 504 requires entities receiving Federal financial assistance to make reasonable accommodations to policies and practices when necessary to provide nondiscriminatory access to services. This existing requirement applies to nearly all public transportation entities.

    As stated in the NPRM, DOT recognizes that not all requests by individuals with disabilities for modifications of transportation provider policies are, in fact, reasonable. The NPRM recognized three types of modifications that would not create an obligation for a transportation provider to agree with a request: (1) Those that would fundamentally alter the provider's program, (2) those that would create a direct threat, as defined in 49 CFR 37.3, as a significant risk to the health or safety of others, and (3) those that are not necessary to enable an individual to receive the provider's services. The NPRM provided some examples of modifications that should be or need not be granted. Commenters from both the disability community and the transit industry provided a vastly larger set of examples of modifications that they had encountered or believed either should or should not be granted.

    To respond to commenters' concerns that, given the wide variety of requests that can be made, it is too difficult to make the judgment calls involved, the Department has created an Appendix E to its ADA regulation that lists examples of types of requests that we believe, in most cases, either will be reasonable or not. This guidance recognizes that, given the wide variety of circumstances with which transportation entities and passengers deal, there may be some generally reasonable requests that could justly be denied in some circumstances, and some requests that generally need not be granted that should be granted in other circumstances. In addition, we recognize that no list of potential requests can ever be completely comprehensive, since the possible situations that can arise are far more varied than can be set down in any document. That said, we hope that this Appendix will successfully guide transportation entities' actions in a substantial majority of the kinds of situations commenters have called to our attention, substantially reducing the number of situations in which from-scratch judgment calls would need to be made, and will provide an understandable framework for transportation entities' thinking about specific requests not listed. Of course, as the Department learns of situations not covered in the Appendix, we may add to it.

    The Department wants again to make clear that, as stated in the preamble to the last rulemaking:

    [the] September 2005 guidance concerning origin-to-destination service remains the Department's interpretation of the obligations of ADA complementary paratransit providers under existing regulations. As with other interpretations of regulatory provisions, the Department will rely on this interpretation in implementing and enforcing the origin-to-destination requirement of part 37. 76 FR 57924, 57934 (Sept. 19, 2011).

    Thus, achieving the objective of providing origin-to-destination service does not require entities to make door-to-door service their basic mode of service provision. It remains entirely consistent with the Department's ADA rule to provide ADA complementary paratransit in a curb-to-curb mode. When a paratransit operator does so, however, it would need to make exceptions to its normal curb-to-curb policy where a passenger with a disability makes a request for assistance beyond curb-to-curb service that is needed to provide access to the service and does not result in a fundamental alteration or direct threat to the health or safety of others. Given the large number of comments on this issue, and to further clarify the Department's position on this, we have added a definition of “origin-to-destination” in part 37.

    As commenters noted, a significant number of paratransit operators already follow an origin-to-destination policy that addresses the needs of passengers that require assistance beyond the curb in order to use the paratransit service. This fact necessarily means that these providers can and do handle individual requests successfully. When a significant number of complementary paratransit systems already do essentially what this rule requires, or more, it is difficult to argue that it cannot be done without encountering insuperable problems.

    To respond to commenters' concerns about an asserted onerous review process of requested modifications, the Department has removed the requirement that a response to a request be in writing, and is amending the complaint procedure in 49 CFR 27.13, and then mirroring that provision in a new section 37.17, to ensure it applies not just to recipients of Federal funds but to all designated public transportation entities. A person who is denied a modification may file a complaint with the entity, but the process would be the same as with any other complaint, so no separate complaint procedure is listed in 37.169.

    With respect to fixed route bus service, the Department's position—elaborated upon in Appendix E—is that transportation providers are not required to stop at nondesignated locations. That is, a bus operator would not have to stop and pick up a person who is trying to flag down the bus from a location unrelated to or not in proximity to a designated stop, regardless of whether or not that person has a disability. On the other hand, if a person with a disability is near a bus stop, but cannot get to the precise location of the bus stop sign (e.g., because there is not an accessible path of travel to that precise location) or cannot readily access the bus from the precise location of the bus stop sign (e.g., because of construction, snow, or a hazard that makes getting onto the lift from the area of the bus stop sign too difficult or dangerous), then it is consistent both with the principle of reasonable modification and with common sense to pick up that passenger a modest distance from the bus stop sign. Doing so would not fundamentally alter the service or cause significant delays or degradation of service.

    While it is understandable that commenters opposed to reasonable modification would support the outcome of Melton and cases that followed, it is important to understand that the reasoning of these cases is based largely on the proposition that, in the absence of a DOT ADA regulation, transportation entities could not be required to make reasonable modifications on the basis of DOJ requirements, standing alone. This final rule will fill the regulatory gap that Melton identified. While Melton stated that there was a gap in coverage with respect to public transportation and paratransit, as § 37.5(f) notes, private entities that were engaged in the business of providing private transportation services have always been obligated to provide reasonable modifications under title III of the ADA. Further, as stated above, reasonable accommodation is a requirement under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

    We do not agree with commenters who asserted that reasonable modification goes beyond the concept of comparable complementary paratransit found in the ADA, going too far in the direction of individualized, human services transportation, rather than mass transit. To the contrary, complementary paratransit remains a shared-ride service that must meet regulatory service criteria. Nothing in this final rule changes that. What the final rule does make clear is that in providing complementary paratransit service, transit authorities must take reasonable steps, even if case-by-case exceptions to general procedures, to make sure that eligible passengers can actually get to the service and use it for its intended purpose. ADA complementary paratransit remains a safety net for individuals with disabilities who cannot use accessible fixed route service. Adhering rigidly to policies that deny access to this safety net is inconsistent with the nondiscrimination obligations of transportation entities. Because transportation entities would not be required to make any modifications to their general policies that would fundamentally alter their service, the basic safety net nature of complementary paratransit service remains unchanged.

    By the terms of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, as amended, requirements to comply with nondiscrimination laws, including those pertaining to disability, are not unfunded mandates subject to the provisions of the Act. 2 U.S.C. 1503. As a practical matter, for the vast majority of transportation entities subject to the DOT ADA regulation who receive FTA or other DOT financial assistance, compliance with any DOT regulations is, to a significant degree, a funded mandate. For both these reasons, comments suggesting that the proposal would impose an unfunded mandate were incorrect.

    With respect to federalism, State and local governments were consulted about the rule, both by means of the opportunity to comment on the NPRM and a public meeting. Transportation authorities—many of which are likely to be State and local entities—did participate extensively in the rulemaking process, as the docket amply demonstrates. As stated previously, transportation industry commenters prefer to use their discretion to make the kinds of modifications the NPRM proposed, rather than being subject to a Federal mandate. These entities continue to have the discretion to grant or deny requests for reasonable modification, albeit in the context of Appendix E.

    The effects of the final rule on fixed route service are quite modest, and comments did not assert the contrary. The issue of the cost impact of the reasonable modification focused almost exclusively on ADA complementary paratransit. There was little in the way of allegations that making exceptions to usual policies would increase costs in fixed route service.

    In looking at the allegations of cost increases on ADA complementary paratransit, the Department stresses that all recipients of Federal financial assistance—which includes public transportation entities of complementary paratransit service—are already required to modify policies, practices, and procedures if needed by an individual with a disability to enable him or her to participate in the recipient's programs or activities, and this principle has been applied by Federal agencies and the courts accordingly. However, to provide commenters with a fuller response to their comments, the Department would further make three primary points. First, based on statements on transportation provider Web sites and other information, one-half to two-thirds of transit authorities already provide either door-to-door service as their basic mode of service or provide what amounts to curb-to-curb service with assistance beyond the curb as necessary in order to enable the passenger to use the service. The rule would not require any change in behavior, or any increase in costs, for these entities. Second, the effect of providing paratransit service in a door-to-door, or curb-to-curb, with reasonable modification, mode on per-trip costs is minimal. In situations where arrangements for reasonable modification are made in advance, which would be a significant portion of all paratransit modification requests, per-trip costs could even be slightly lower. The concerns expressed by commenters that per-trip costs would escalate markedly appear not to be supported by the data. Third, there could be cost increases, compared to current behavior, for paratransit operators that do not comply with existing origin-to-destination requirements of the rule. Suppressing paratransit ridership by preventing eligible individuals from using the service or making the use of the service inconvenient saves money for entities. Conversely, making service more usable, and hence more attractive, could increase usage. Because of the operating cost-intensive nature of paratransit service, providing service to more people tends to increase costs. The Department estimated that increased costs from increased ridership stemming from improved service could amount to $55 million per year nationwide for those public transportation entities who are not in compliance with the current DOT origin-to-destination regulations.

    This estimate would be at the upper end of the range of possible ridership-generated cost increases, since it is not clear that transportation entities with a strict curb-to-curb policy never provide modifications to their service. Analysts made the assumption that transportation agencies with curb-to-curb policies did not make modifications when modifications were not mentioned on the entities' Web sites. Disability community commenters suggested that, as a practical matter, transportation entities often provide what amounts to modifications even if their formal policies do not call for doing so.

    In addition, it should be emphasized that transportation entities who comply with the existing rule's origin-to-destination requirement will not encounter ridership-related cost increases. In an important sense, any paratransit operation that sees an increase in ridership when this rule goes into effect are experiencing increased costs at this time because of their unwillingness to comply with existing requirements over the past several years.

    Provisions of the Final Rule

    In amendments to 49 CFR part 27 (the Department's section 504 rule) and part 37 (the Department's ADA rule for most surface transportation), the Department is incorporating specific requirements to clarify that public transportation entities are required to modify policies, practices, procedures that are needed to ensure access to programs, benefits, and services.

    With regard to the Department's section 504 rule at 49 CFR part 27, we are revising the regulation to specifically incorporate the preexisting reasonable accommodation requirement recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court (see, e.g., Choate and Davis). The revised section 27.7 will clarify that recipients of Federal financial assistance are required to provide reasonable accommodations to policies, practices, or procedures when the accommodations are necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability unless making the modifications (1) would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity, or (2) would result in undue financial and administrative burdens.

    With regard to the Department's ADA regulations in part 37, we are revising the regulation to further clarify this requirement and to fill in the gap identified by the courts. Under our revised part 37 regulations, public transportation entities may deny requests for modifications to their policies and practices on one or more of the following grounds: Making the modifications (1) would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity, (2) would result in a direct threat to the health or safety of others, or (3) without the requested modification, the individual with a disability is able to fully use the entity's services, programs, or activities for their intended purpose. Please note that under our section 504 regulations at part 27, there is an undue financial and administrative burden defense, which is not relevant to our ADA regulations at part 37.

    This final rule revises section 37.169, which focuses on the reasonable modification obligations of public entities providing designated public transportation, including fixed route, demand-responsive, and complementary paratransit service. The key requirement of the section is that these types of transportation entities implement their own processes for making decisions on and providing reasonable modifications to their policies and practices. In many cases, agencies are handling requests for modifications during the paratransit eligibility process, customer service inquiries, and through the long-existing requirement in the Department's section 504 rule for a complaint process. Entities will need to review existing procedures and conform them to the new rule as needed. The Department is not requiring that the process be approved by DOT, and the shape of the process is up to the transportation provider, but it must meet certain basic criteria. The DOT can, however, review an entity's process as part of normal program oversight, including compliance reviews and complaint investigations.

    First, the entity must make information about the process, and how to use it, readily available to the public, including individuals with disabilities. For example, if a transportation provider uses printed media and a Web site to inform customers about bus and paratransit services, then it must use these means to inform people about the reasonable modification process. Of course, like all communications, this information must be provided by means accessible to individuals with disabilities.1

    1See 28 CFR 35.160(b)(1).

    Second, the process must provide an accessible means by which individuals with disabilities can request a reasonable modification/accommodation. Whenever feasible, requests for modifications should be made in advance. This is particularly appropriate where a permanent or long-term condition or barrier is the basis for the request (e.g., difficulty in access to a paratransit vehicle from the passenger's residence; the need to eat a snack on a rail car to maintain a diabetic's blood sugar levels; lack of an accessible path of travel to a bus stop, resulting in a request to have the bus stop a short distance from the bus stop location). In the paratransit context, it may often be possible to consider requests of this kind in conjunction with the eligibility process. The request from the individual with a disability should be as specific as possible and include information on why the requested modification is needed in order to allow the individual to use the transportation provider's services.

    Third, the process must also provide for those situations in which an advance request and determination is not feasible. The Department recognizes that these situations are likely to be more difficult to handle than advance requests, but responding to them is necessary. For example, a passenger who uses a wheelchair may be able to board a bus at a bus stop near his residence but may be unable to disembark due to a parked car or utility repair blocking the bus boarding and alighting area at the stop near his destination. In such a situation, the transit vehicle operator would have the front-line responsibility for deciding whether to grant the on-the-spot request, though it would be consistent with the rule for the operator to call his or her supervisor for guidance on how to proceed.

    Further, section 37.169 states three grounds on which a transportation provider could deny a requested modification. These grounds apply both to advance requests and on-the-spot requests. The first ground is that the request would result in a fundamental alteration of the provider's services (e.g., a request for a dedicated vehicle in paratransit service, a request for a fixed route bus to deviate from its normal route to pick up someone). The second ground is that fulfilling a request for a modification would create a direct threat to the health or safety of others (e.g., a request that would require a driver to engage in a highly hazardous activity in order to assist a passenger, such as having to park a vehicle for a prolonged period of time in a no-parking zone on a high-speed, high-volume highway that would expose the vehicle to a heightened probability of being involved in a crash). Third, the requested modification would not be necessary to permit the passenger to use the entity's services for their intended purpose in a nondiscriminatory fashion (e.g., the modification might make transportation more convenient for the passenger, who could nevertheless use the service successfully to get where he or she is going without the modification). Appendix E provides additional examples of requested modifications that transportation entities usually would not be required to grant for one or more of these reasons.

    Where a transportation provider has a sound basis, under this section, for denying a reasonable modification request, the entity would still need to do all it could to enable the requester to receive the services and benefits it provides (e.g., a different work-around to avoid an obstacle to transportation from the one requested by the passenger). Transportation agencies that are Federal recipients are required to have a complaint process in place. The Department has added a new section 37.17 that extends the changes made to 49 CFR 27.13 to all public and private entities that provide transportation services, regardless of whether the entity receives Federal funds.

    By requiring entities to implement a local reasonable modification process, the Department intends decisions on individual requests for modification to be addressed at the local level. The Department does not intend to use its complaint process to resolve disagreements between transportation entities and individuals with disabilities about whether a particular modification request should have been granted. However, if an entity does not have the required process, it is not being operated properly (e.g., the process is inaccessible to people with disabilities, does not respond to communications from prospective complainants), it is not being operated in good faith (e.g., virtually all complaints are routinely rejected, regardless of their merits), or in any particular case raising a Federal interest, DOT agencies may intervene and take enforcement action.

    Regulatory Analyses and Notices Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review), DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures, and Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review)

    This final rule is not significant for purposes of Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 and the Department of Transportation's Regulatory Policies and Procedures. Therefore, it has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 13563. The costs of this rulemaking are expected to be minimal for two reasons. First, modifications to policies, practices, and procedures, if needed by an individual with a disability to enable him or her to participate in a program or activity, are already required by other Federal law that applies to recipients of Federal financial assistance. Since virtually every entity subject to this final rule receives Federal financial assistance, each entity should already be modifying its policies, practices, and procedures when necessary. Second, the reasonable modification/accommodation requirements contained in this final rule are not very different from the origin-to-destination requirement already applicable to complementary paratransit service, as required by current DOT regulations at 49 CFR 37.129(a) and as described in its implementing guidance. However, the Department recognizes that it is likely that some regulated entities are not complying with the current section 504 requirements and origin-to-destination regulation. In those circumstances only, the Department estimates that increased costs from increased ridership stemming from improved service could amount to $55 million per year nationwide for those public transportation entities who are not in compliance with the current DOT origin-to-destination regulations and section 504 requirements. Those costs are not a cost of this rule, but rather a cost of coming into compliance with current law.

    Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    This final rule has been analyzed in accordance with the principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 13132. This final rule does not include any provision that (1) has substantial direct effects on the States, the relationship between the national government and the States, or the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various level of government; (2) imposes substantial direct compliance costs on State and local governments; or (3) preempts State law. Therefore, the rule does not have federalism impacts sufficient to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment.

    Executive Order 13084 (Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments)

    The final rule has been analyzed in accordance with the principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 13084. Because this final rule does not significantly or uniquely affect the communities of the Indian Tribal governments or impose substantial direct compliance costs on them, the funding and consultation requirements of Executive Order 13084 do not apply.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601, et seq.) requires an agency to review regulations to assess their impact on small entities unless the agency determines that a rule is not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The Department certifies that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The rule may affect actions of some small entities (e.g., small paratransit operations). However, the bulk of paratransit operators are not small entities, and the majority of all paratransit operators already appear to be in compliance. There are not significant cost impacts on fixed route service at all, and the number of small grantees who operate fixed route systems is not large. Since operators can provide service in a demand-responsive mode (e.g., route deviation) that does not require the provision of complementary paratransit, significant financial impacts on any given operator are unlikely.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule imposes no new information reporting or recordkeeping necessitating clearance by the Office of Management and Budget.

    National Environmental Policy Act

    The agency has analyzed the environmental impacts of this action pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and has determined that it is categorically excluded pursuant to DOT Order 5610.1C, Procedures for Considering Environmental Impacts (44 FR 56420, Oct. 1, 1979). Categorical exclusions are actions identified in an agency's NEPA implementing procedures that do not normally have a significant impact on the environment and therefore do not require either an environmental assessment (EA) or environmental impact statement (EIS). See 40 CFR 1508.4. In analyzing the applicability of a categorical exclusion, the agency must also consider whether extraordinary circumstances are present that would warrant the preparation of an EA or EIS. Id. Paragraph 3.c.5 of DOT Order 5610.1C incorporates by reference the categorical exclusions for all DOT Operating Administrations. This action is covered by the categorical exclusion listed in the Federal Highway Administration's implementing procedures, “[p]romulgation of rules, regulations, and directives.” 23 CFR 771.117(c)(20). The purpose of this rulemaking is to provide that transportation entities are required to make reasonable modifications/accommodations to policies, practices, and procedures to avoid discrimination and ensure that their programs are accessible to individuals with disabilities. The agency does not anticipate any environmental impacts, and there are no extraordinary circumstances present in connection with this rulemaking.

    There are a number of other statutes and Executive Orders that apply to the rulemaking process that the Department considers in all rulemakings. However, none of them is relevant to this rule. These include the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (which does not apply to nondiscrimination/civil rights requirements), Executive Order 12630 (concerning property rights), Executive Order 12988 (concerning civil justice reform), and Executive Order 13045 (protection of children from environmental risks).

    List of Subjects 49 CFR Part 27

    Administrative practice and procedure, Airports, Civil rights, Highways and roads, Individuals with disabilities, Mass transportation, Railroads, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    49 CFR Part 37

    Buildings and facilities, Buses, Civil rights, Individuals with disabilities, Mass transportation, Railroads, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Department of Transportation amends 49 CFR parts 27 and 37, as follows:

    PART 27—NONDISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF DISABILITY IN PROGRAMS OR ACTIVITIES RECEIVING FEDERAL FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE 1. The authority citation for part 27 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 794); 49 U.S.C. 5332.

    2. Amend § 27.7 by adding a new paragraph (e) to read as follows:
    § 27.7 Discrimination prohibited.

    (e) Reasonable accommodations. A recipient shall make reasonable accommodations in policies, practices, or procedures when such accommodations are necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability unless the recipient can demonstrate that making the accommodations would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity or result in an undue financial and administrative burden. For the purposes of this section, the term reasonable accommodation shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with the term “reasonable modifications” as set forth in the Americans with Disabilities Act title II regulations at 28 CFR 35.130(b)(7), and not as it is defined or interpreted for the purposes of employment discrimination under title I of the ADA (42 U.S.C. 12111-12112) and its implementing regulations at 29 CFR part 1630.

    3. Revise § 27.13 to read as follows:
    § 27.13 Designation of responsible employee and adoption of complaint procedures.

    (a) Designation of responsible employee. Each recipient shall designate at least one person to coordinate its efforts to comply with this part.

    (b) Adoption of complaint procedures. A recipient shall adopt procedures that incorporate appropriate due process standards and provide for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action prohibited by this part and 49 CFR parts 37, 38, and 39. The procedures shall meet the following requirements:

    (1) The process for filing a complaint, including the name, address, telephone number, and email address of the employee designated under paragraph (a) of this section, must be sufficiently advertised to the public, such as on the recipient's Web site;

    (2) The procedures must be accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities;

    (3) The recipient must promptly communicate its response to the complaint allegations, including its reasons for the response, to the complainant by a means that will result in documentation of the response.

    PART 37—TRANSPORTATION SERVICES FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES (ADA) 4. The authority citation for part 27 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 12101-12213; 49 U.S.C. 322.

    5. In § 37.3, add a definition of “Origin-to-destination service” in alphabetical order to read as follows:
    § 37.3 Definitions.

    Origin-to-destination service means providing service from a passenger's origin to the passenger's destination. A provider may provide ADA complementary paratransit in a curb-to-curb or door-to-door mode. When an ADA paratransit operator chooses curb-to-curb as its primary means of providing service, it must provide assistance to those passengers who need assistance beyond the curb in order to use the service unless such assistance would result in in a fundamental alteration or direct threat.

    6. Amend § 37.5 by revising paragraph (h) and adding paragraph (i) to read as follows:
    § 37.5 Nondiscrimination.

    (h) It is not discrimination under this part for an entity to refuse to provide service to an individual with disabilities because that individual engages in violent, seriously disruptive, or illegal conduct, or represents a direct threat to the health or safety of others. However, an entity shall not refuse to provide service to an individual with disabilities solely because the individual's disability results in appearance or involuntary behavior that may offend, annoy, or inconvenience employees of the entity or other persons.

    (i) Public and private entity distinctions.— (1) Private entity-private transport. Private entities that are primarily engaged in the business of transporting people and whose operations affect commerce shall not discriminate against any individual on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of specified transportation services. This obligation includes, with respect to the provision of transportation services, compliance with the requirements of the rules of the Department of Justice concerning eligibility criteria, making reasonable modifications, providing auxiliary aids and services, and removing barriers (28 CFR 36.301-36.306).

    (2) Private entity-public transport. Private entities that provide specified public transportation shall make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures, when the modifications are necessary to afford goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations to individuals with disabilities, unless the entity can demonstrate that making the modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations.

    (3) Public entity-public transport. Public entities that provide designated public transportation shall make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures when the modifications are necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability or to provide program accessibility to their services, subject to the limitations of § 37.169(c)(1)-(3). This requirement applies to the means public entities use to meet their obligations under all provisions of this part.

    (4) In choosing among alternatives for meeting nondiscrimination and accessibility requirements with respect to new, altered, or existing facilities, or designated or specified transportation services, public and private entities shall give priority to those methods that offer services, programs, and activities to qualified individuals with disabilities in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of individuals with disabilities.

    7. Add § 37.17 to read as follows:
    § 37.17 Designation of responsible employee and adoption of complaint procedures.

    (a) Designation of responsible employee. Each public or private entity subject to this part shall designate at least one person to coordinate its efforts to comply with this part. (b) Adoption of complaint procedures. An entity shall adopt procedures that incorporate appropriate due process standards and provide for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action prohibited by this part and 49 CFR parts 27, 38 and 39. The procedures shall meet the following requirements:

    (1) The process for filing a complaint, including the name, address, telephone number, and email address of the employee designated under paragraph (a) of this section, must be sufficiently advertised to the public, such as on the entity's Web site;

    (2) The procedures must be accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities;

    (3) The entity must promptly communicate its response to the complaint allegations, including its reasons for the response, to the complainant and must ensure that it has documented its response.

    8. Add § 37.169 to read as follows:
    § 37.169 Process to be used by public entities providing designated public transportation service in considering requests for reasonable modification.

    (a)(1) A public entity providing designated public transportation, in meeting the reasonable modification requirement of § 37.5(g)(1) with respect to its fixed route, demand responsive, and complementary paratransit services, shall respond to requests for reasonable modification to policies and practices consistent with this section.

    (2) The public entity shall make information about how to contact the public entity to make requests for reasonable modifications readily available to the public through the same means it uses to inform the public about its policies and practices.

    (3) This process shall be in operation no later than July 13, 2015.

    (b) The process shall provide a means, accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, to request a modification in the entity's policies and practices applicable to its transportation services.

    (1) Individuals requesting modifications shall describe what they need in order to use the service.

    (2) Individuals requesting modifications are not required to use the term “reasonable modification” when making a request.

    (3) Whenever feasible, requests for modifications shall be made and determined in advance, before the transportation provider is expected to provide the modified service, for example, during the paratransit eligibility process, through customer service inquiries, or through the entity's complaint process.

    (4) Where a request for modification cannot practicably be made and determined in advance (e.g., because of a condition or barrier at the destination of a paratransit or fixed route trip of which the individual with a disability was unaware until arriving), operating personnel of the entity shall make a determination of whether the modification should be provided at the time of the request. Operating personnel may consult with the entity's management before making a determination to grant or deny the request.

    (c) Requests for modification of a public entity's policies and practices may be denied only on one or more of the following grounds:

    (1) Granting the request would fundamentally alter the nature of the entity's services, programs, or activities;

    (2) Granting the request would create a direct threat to the health or safety of others;

    (3) Without the requested modification, the individual with a disability is able to fully use the entity's services, programs, or activities for their intended purpose.

    (d) In determining whether to grant a requested modification, public entities shall be guided by the provisions of Appendix E to this Part.

    (e) In any case in which a public entity denies a request for a reasonable modification, the entity shall take, to the maximum extent possible, any other actions (that would not result in a direct threat or fundamental alteration) to ensure that the individual with a disability receives the services or benefit provided by the entity.

    (f)(1) Public entities are not required to obtain prior approval from the Department of Transportation for the process required by this section.

    (2) DOT agencies retain the authority to review an entity's process as part of normal program oversight.

    9. Add a new Appendix E to Part 37 to read as follows: Appendix E to Part 37—Reasonable Modification Requests

    A. This appendix explains the Department's interpretation of §§ 37.5(g) and 37.169. It is intended to be used as the official position of the Department concerning the meaning and implementation of these provisions. The Department also issues guidance by other means, as provided in § 37.15. The Department also may update this appendix periodically, provided in response to inquiries about specific situations that are of general relevance or interest.

    B. The Department's ADA regulations contain numerous requirements concerning fixed route, complementary paratransit, and other types of transportation service. Transportation entities necessarily formulate policies and practices to meet these requirements (e.g., providing fixed route bus service that people with disabilities can use to move among stops on the system, providing complementary paratransit service that gets eligible riders from their point of origin to their point of destination). There may be certain situations, however, in which the otherwise reasonable policies and practices of entities do not suffice to achieve the regulation's objectives. Implementing a fixed route bus policy in the normal way may not allow a passenger with a disability to access and use the system at a particular location. Implementing a paratransit policy in the usual way may not allow a rider to get from his or her origin to his or her destination. In these situations, subject to the limitations discussed below, the transportation provider must make reasonable modifications of its service in order to comply with the underlying requirements of the rule. These underlying provisions tell entities the end they must achieve; the reasonable modification provision tells entities how to achieve that end in situations in which normal policies and practices do not succeed in doing so.

    C. As noted above, the responsibility of entities to make requested reasonable modifications is not without some limitations. There are four classes of situations in which a request may legitimately be denied. The first is where granting the request would fundamentally alter the entity's services, programs, or activities. The second is where granting the request would create a direct threat to the health or safety of others. The third is where without the requested modification, the individual with a disability is able to fully use the entity's services, programs, or activities for their intended purpose. The fourth, which applies only to recipients of Federal financial assistance, is where granting the request would cause an undue financial and administrative burden. In the examples that follow, these limitations are taken into account.

    D. The examples included in this appendix are neither exhaustive nor exclusive. Transportation entities may need to make determinations about requests for reasonable modification that are not described in this appendix. Importantly, reasonable modification applies to an entities' own policies and practices, and not regulatory requirements contained in 49 CFR parts 27, 37, 38, and 39, such as complementary paratransit service going beyond 3/4 mile of the fixed route, providing same day complementary paratransit service, etc.

    Examples

    1. Snow and Ice. Except in extreme conditions that rise to the level of a direct threat to the driver or others, a passenger's request for a paratransit driver to walk over a pathway that has not been fully cleared of snow and ice should be granted so that the driver can help the passenger with a disability navigate the pathway. For example, ambulatory blind passengers often have difficulty in icy conditions, and allowing the passenger to take the driver's arm will increase both the speed and safety of the passenger's walk from the door to the vehicle. Likewise, if snow or icy conditions at a bus stop make it difficult or impossible for a fixed route passenger with a disability to get to a lift, or for the lift to deploy, the driver should move the bus to a cleared area for boarding, if such is available within reasonable proximity to the stop (see Example 4 below).

    2. Pick Up and Drop Off Locations with Multiple Entrances. A paratransit rider's request to be picked up at home, but not at the front door of his or her home, should be granted, as long as the requested pick-up location does not pose a direct threat. Similarly, in the case of frequently visited public places with multiple entrances (e.g., shopping malls, employment centers, schools, hospitals, airports), the paratransit operator should pick up and drop off the passenger at the entrance requested by the passenger, rather than meet them in a location that has been predetermined by the transportation agency, again assuming that doing so does not involve a direct threat.

    3. Private Property. Paratransit passengers may sometimes seek to be picked up on private property (e.g., in a gated community or parking lot, mobile home community, business or government facility where vehicle access requires authorized passage through a security barrier). Even if the paratransit operator does not generally have a policy of picking up passengers on such private property, the paratransit operator should make every reasonable effort to gain access to such an area (e.g., work with the passenger to get the permission of the property owner to permit access for the paratransit vehicle). The paratransit operator is not required to violate the law or lawful access restrictions to meet the passenger's requests. A public or private entity that unreasonably denies access to a paratransit vehicle may be subject to a complaint to the U.S. Department of Justice or U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for discriminating against services for persons with disabilities.

    4. Obstructions. For fixed route services, a passenger's request for a driver to position the vehicle to avoid obstructions to the passenger's ability to enter or leave the vehicle at a designated stop location, such as parked cars, snow banks, and construction, should be granted so long as positioning the vehicle to avoid the obstruction does not pose a direct threat. To be granted, such a request should result in the vehicle stopping in reasonably close proximity to the designated stop location. Transportation entities are not required to pick up passengers with disabilities at nondesignated locations. Fixed route operators would not have to establish flag stop or route-deviation policies, as these would be fundamental alterations to a fixed route system rather than reasonable modifications of a system. Likewise, subject to the limitations discussed in the introduction to this appendix, paratransit operators should be flexible in establishing pick up and drop off points to avoid obstructions.

    5. Fare Handling. A passenger's request for transit personnel (e.g., the driver, station attendant) to handle the fare media when the passenger with a disability cannot pay the fare by the generally established means should be granted on fixed route or paratransit service (e.g., in a situation where a bus passenger cannot reach or insert a fare into the farebox). Transit personnel are not required to reach into pockets or backpacks in order to extract the fare media.

    6. Eating and Drinking. If a passenger with diabetes or another medical condition requests to eat or drink aboard a vehicle or in a transit facility in order to avoid adverse health consequences, the request should be granted, even if the transportation provider has a policy that prohibits eating or drinking. For example, a person with diabetes may need to consume a small amount of orange juice in a closed container or a candy bar in order to maintain blood sugar levels.

    7. Medicine. A passenger's request to take medication while aboard a fixed route or paratransit vehicle or in a transit facility should be granted. For example, transit agencies should modify their policies to allow individuals to administer insulin injections and conduct finger stick blood glucose testing. Transit staff need not provide medical assistance, however, as this would be a fundamental alteration of their function.

    8. Boarding Separately From Wheelchair. A wheelchair user's request to board a fixed route or paratransit vehicle separately from his or her device when the occupied weight of the device exceeds the design load of the vehicle lift should generally be granted. (Note, however, that under § 37.165(b), entities are required to accommodate device/user loads and dimensions that exceed the former “common wheelchair” standard, as long as the vehicle and lift will accommodate them.)

    9. Dedicated vehicles or special equipment in a vehicle. A paratransit passenger's request for special equipment (e.g., the installation of specific hand rails or a front seat in a vehicle for the passenger to avoid nausea or back pain) can be denied so long as the requested equipment is not required by the Americans with Disabilities Act or the Department's rules. Likewise, a request for a dedicated vehicle (e.g., to avoid residual chemical odors) or a specific type or appearance of vehicle (e.g., a sedan rather than a van, in order to provide more comfortable service) can be denied. In all of these cases, the Department views meeting the request as involving a fundamental alteration of the provider's service.

    10. Exclusive or Reduced Capacity Paratransit Trips. A passenger's request for an exclusive paratransit trip may be denied as a fundamental alteration of the entity's services. Paratransit is by nature a shared-ride service.

    11. Outside of the Service Area or Operating Hours. A person's request for fixed route or paratransit service may be denied when honoring the request would require the transportation provider to travel outside of its service area or to operate outside of its operating hours. This request would not be a reasonable modification because it would constitute a fundamental alteration of the entity's service.

    12. Personal Care Attendant (PCA). While PCAs may travel with a passenger with a disability, transportation agencies are not required to provide a personal care attendant or personal care attendant services to meet the needs of passengers with disabilities on paratransit or fixed route trips. For example, a passenger's request for a transportation entity's driver to remain with the passenger who, due to his or her disability, cannot be left alone without an attendant upon reaching his or her destination may be denied. It would be a fundamental alteration of the driver's function to provide PCA services of this kind.

    13. Intermediate Stops. The Department views granting a paratransit passenger's request for a driver to make an intermediate stop, where the driver would be required to wait, as optional. For example, a passenger with a disability arranges to be picked up at a medical facility and dropped off at home. On the way, the passenger with a disability wishes to stop by a pharmacy and requests that the driver park outside of the pharmacy, wait for the passenger to return, and then continue the ride home. While this can be a very useful service to the rider, and in some cases can save the provider's time and money (by scheduling and providing a separate trip to and from the drug store), such a stop in the context of a shared ride system is not required. Since paratransit is, by its nature, a shared ride system, requests that could disrupt schedules and inconvenience other passengers could rise to the level of a fundamental alteration.

    14. Payment. A passenger's request for a fixed route or paratransit driver to provide the transit service when the passenger with a disability cannot or refuses to pay the fare may be denied. If the transportation agency requires payment to ride, then to provide a free service would constitute a fundamental alteration of the entity's service.

    15. Caring for Service Animals. A paratransit or fixed route passenger's request that the driver take charge of a service animal may be denied. Caring for a service animal is the responsibility of the passenger or a PCA.

    16. Opening Building Doors. For paratransit services, a passenger's request for the driver to open an exterior entry door to a building to provide boarding and/or alighting assistance to a passenger with a disability should generally be granted as long as providing this assistance would not pose a direct threat, or leave the vehicle unattended or out of visual observation for a lengthy period of time.1 Note that a request for “door-through-door” service (i.e., assisting the passenger past the door to the building) generally would not need to be granted because it could rise to the level of a fundamental alteration.

    1 Please see guidance issued on this topic. U.S. Department of Transportation, Origin-to-Destination Service, September 1, 2005, available at http://www.fta.dot.gov/12325_3891.html (explaining that, “the Department does not view transit providers' obligations as extending to the provision of personal services. . . . Nor would drivers, for lengthy periods of time, have to leave their vehicles unattended or lose the ability to keep their vehicles under visual observation, or take actions that would be clearly unsafe . . .”).

    17. Exposing Vehicle to Hazards. If the passenger requests that a vehicle follow a path to a pick up or drop off point that would expose the vehicle and its occupants to hazards, such as running off the road, getting stuck, striking overhead objects, or reversing the vehicle down a narrow alley, the request can be denied as creating a direct threat.

    18. Hard-to-Maneuver Stops. A passenger may request that a paratransit vehicle navigate to a pick-up point to which it is difficult to maneuver a vehicle. A passenger's request to be picked up in a location that is difficult, but not impossible or impracticable, to access should generally be granted as long as picking up the passenger does not expose the vehicle to hazards that pose a direct threat (e.g., it is unsafe for the vehicle and its occupants to get to the pick-up point without getting stuck or running off the road).

    19. Specific Drivers. A passenger's request for a specific driver may be denied. Having a specific driver is not necessary to afford the passenger the service provided by the transit operator.

    20. Luggage and Packages. A passenger's request for a fixed route or paratransit driver to assist with luggage or packages may be denied in those instances where it is not the normal policy or practice of the transportation agency to assist with luggage or packages. Such assistance is a matter for the passenger or PCA, and providing this assistance would be a fundamental alteration of the driver's function.

    21. Request to Avoid Specific Passengers. A paratransit passenger's request not to ride with certain passengers may be denied. Paratransit is a shared-ride service. As a result, one passenger may need to share the vehicle with people that he or she would rather not.

    22. Navigating an Incline, or Around Obstacles. A paratransit passenger's request for a driver to help him or her navigate an incline (e.g., a driveway or sidewalk) with the passenger's wheeled device should generally be granted. Likewise, assistance in traversing a difficult sidewalk (e.g., one where tree roots have made the sidewalk impassible for a wheelchair) should generally be granted, as should assistance around obstacles (e.g., snowdrifts, construction areas) between the vehicle and a door to a passenger's house or destination should generally be granted. These modifications would be granted subject, of course, to the proviso that such assistance would not cause a direct threat, or leave the vehicle unattended or out of visual observation for a lengthy period of time.

    23. Extreme Weather Assistance. A passenger's request to be assisted from his or her door to a vehicle during extreme weather conditions should generally be granted so long as the driver leaving the vehicle to assist would not pose a direct threat, or leave the vehicle unattended or out of visual observation for a lengthy period of time. For example, in extreme weather (e.g., very windy or stormy conditions), a person who is blind or vision-impaired or a frail elderly person may have difficulty safely moving to and from a building.

    24. Unattended Passengers. Where a passenger's request for assistance means that the driver will need to leave passengers aboard a vehicle unattended, transportation agencies should generally grant the request as long as accommodating the request would not leave the vehicle unattended or out of visual observation for a lengthy period of time, both of which could involve direct threats to the health or safety of the unattended passengers. It is important to keep in mind that, just as a driver is not required to act as a PCA for a passenger making a request for assistance, so a driver is not intended to act as a PCA for other passengers in the vehicle, such that he or she must remain in their physical presence at all times.

    25. Need for Return Trip Assistance. A passenger with a disability may need assistance for a return trip when he or she did not need that assistance on the initial trip. For example, a dialysis patient may have no problem waiting at the curb for a ride to go to the dialysis center, but may well require assistance to the door on his or her return trip because of physical weakness or fatigue. To the extent that this need is predictable, it should be handled in advance, either as part of the eligibility process or the provider's reservations process. If the need arises unexpectedly, then it would need to be handled on an ad hoc basis. The paratransit operator should generally provide such assistance, unless doing so would create a direct threat, or leave the vehicle unattended or out of visual observation for a lengthy period of time.

    26. Five-Minute Warning or Notification of Arrival Calls. A passenger's request for a telephone call 5 minutes (or another reasonable interval) in advance or at time of vehicle arrival generally should be granted. As a matter of courtesy, such calls are encouraged as a good customer service model and can prevent “no shows.” Oftentimes, these calls can be generated through an automated system. In those situations where automated systems are not available and paratransit drivers continue to rely on hand-held communication devices (e.g., cellular telephones) drivers should comply with any State or Federal laws related to distracted driving.

    27. Hand-Carrying. Except in emergency situations, a passenger's request for a driver to lift the passenger out of his or her mobility device should generally be denied because of the safety, dignity, and privacy issues implicated by hand-carrying a passenger. Hand-carrying a passenger is also a PCA-type service which is outside the scope of driver duties, and hence a fundamental alteration.

    Issued this 6th day of March, 2015, at Washington, DC, under authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.27(a). Kathryn B. Thomson, General Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05646 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-9X-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 218 [Docket No. 131119976-5119-02] RIN 0648-BD79 Taking and Importing Marine Mammals; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to U.S. Marine Corps Training Exercises at Brant Island Bombing Target and Piney Island Bombing Range, USMC Cherry Point Range Complex, North Carolina AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    Upon application from the U.S. Marine Corps (Marine Corps), NMFS is issuing regulations per the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) to govern the unintentional taking of marine mammals, incidental to training operations at the Brant Island Bombing Target (BT-9) and Piney Island Bombing Range (BT-11) located within the Marine Corps' Cherry Point Range Complex in Pamlico Sound, North Carolina from March 2015 to March 2020. These regulations allow NMFS to issue a Letter of Authorization (LOA) for the incidental take of marine mammals during the Marine Corps' specified activities and timeframes, set forth the permissible methods of taking, set forth other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on marine mammal species or stocks and their habitat, and set forth requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of the incidental take.

    DATES:

    Effective March 13, 2015 through March 12, 2020.

    ADDRESSES:

    An electronic copy of the application, our 2015 Environmental Assessment, the Marine Corps' 2009 Environmental Assessment, and our Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) are available on the following Web site at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/military.htm. The public may also view documents cited in this final rule, by appointment, during regular business hours at 1315 East West Highway, Silver Spring, MD, 20910.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jeannine Cody, National Marine Fisheries Service, Office of Protected Resources, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Executive Summary

    This regulation, under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA; 16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.), establishes a framework for authorizing the take of marine mammals incidental to the Marine Corps' military training operations at the Brant Island Bombing Target (BT-9) and Piney Island Bombing Range (BT-11) located within the Marine Corps' Cherry Point Range Complex in Pamlico Sound, North Carolina.

    The Marine Corps conducts military training to meet its statutory responsibility to organize, train, equip, and maintain combat-ready forces. The Marine Corps training activities include air-to-ground weapons delivery, weapons firing, and water-based training occurring at the BT-9 and BT-11 bombing targets located within the Marine Corps' Cherry Point Range Complex in Pamlico Sound, North Carolina. The Marine Corps' training activities are military readiness activities under the MMPA as defined by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 (NDAA; Public Law 108-136).

    Purpose and Need for this Regulatory Action

    NMFS received an application from the Marine Corps requesting 5-year regulations and one 5-year Letter of Authorization to take marine mammals, specifically bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), by harassment, injury, and mortality incidental to training operations at BT-9 and BT-11 bombing targets. NMFS has determined that these operations, which constitute a military readiness activity, have the potential to cause behavioral disturbance and injury to marine mammals.

    Section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA directs the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) to allow, upon request, the incidental, but not intentional, taking of small numbers of marine mammals by U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial fishing) within a specified geographical region if, after notice and public comment, the agency makes certain findings and issues regulations.

    This regulation would establish a framework to authorize the take of marine mammals incidental to the Marine Corps' training exercises through NMFS' issuance of one 5-year Letter of Authorization to the Marine Corps, which would contain mitigation, monitoring, and reporting requirements.

    Legal Authority for the Regulatory Action

    Section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA and our implementing regulations at 50 CFR part 216, subpart I provide the legal basis for issuing the 5-year regulations and subsequent Letter of Authorization. In the case of military readiness activities, such as those proposed to be conducted by the Marine Corps, the specified geographical region and small numbers provisions of section 101(a)(5)(A) do not apply.

    Summary of Major Provisions Within the Final Regulation

    The following provides a summary of some of the major provisions within this rulemaking for the Marine Corps' training exercises at Brant Island Bombing Target—BT-9 and Piney Island Bombing Range—BT-11 in Pamlico Sound, North Carolina. First, this final rulemaking authorizes take by harassment and injury only; it does not authorize take by mortality. Second, NMFS has determined that the Marine Corps' adherence to the proposed mitigation, monitoring, and reporting measures would achieve the least practicable adverse impact on the affected marine mammals. These measures include:

    • Required pre- and post-exercise monitoring of the training areas to detect the presence of marine mammals during training exercises.

    • Required monitoring of the training areas during active training exercises with required suspensions/delays of training activities if a marine mammal enters within any of the designated mitigation zones.

    • Required reporting of stranded or injured marine mammals in the vicinity of the BT-9 and BT-11 bombing targets located within the Marine Corps' Cherry Point Range Complex in Pamlico Sound, North Carolina to the NMFS Marine Mammal Stranding Network.

    • Required research on a real-time acoustic monitoring system to automate detection of bottlenose dolphins in the training areas.

    Cost and Benefits

    This final rule, specific only to the Marine Corps' training activities in BT-9 and BT-11 bombing targets, is not significant under Executive Order 12866-Regulatory Planning and Review.

    Availability of Supporting Information

    In 2009, the Marine Corps prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) titled, “Environmental Assessment MCAS Cherry Point Range Operations,” in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and the regulations published by the Council on Environmental Quality. The EA is available at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/incidental/military.htm. In 2009, the Marine Corps issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for its activities, which is also available at the same internet address.

    After evaluating the Marine Corps' application and the 2009 EA, NMFS determined that there were changes to the proposed action (i.e., increased ammunitions levels) and new environmental impacts (i.e., the use of revised thresholds for estimating potential impacts on marine mammals from explosives) not addressed in the 2009 EA. In 2015, NMFS conducted a new analysis per NEPA, augmenting the information contained in the Marine Corps' 2009 EA, on the issuance of a MMPA rulemaking and subsequent LOA. In February 2015, NMFS determined that the issuance of this regulation and subsequent LOA would not have a significant effect on the quality of the human environment and issued a FONSI. In February 2015, the Marine Corps issued a new FONSI for their activities under the MMPA regulations and subsequent LOA.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    Section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA directs the Secretary to allow, upon request, the incidental, but not intentional taking of small numbers of marine mammals by U.S. citizens who engage in a specified activity (other than commercial fishing) within a specified geographical region if, after notice and public review, NMFS makes certain findings and issues regulations.

    NMFS shall grant authorization for the incidental takings if the agency finds that the total taking will have a negligible impact on the species or stock(s), and will not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the species or stock(s) for subsistence uses (where relevant). Further, the authorization for incidental takings must set forth the permissible methods of taking; other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on the species or stock and its habitat; and requirements pertaining to the mitigation, monitoring, and reporting of such taking.

    NMFS has defined “negligible impact” in 50 CFR 216.103 as “an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival.”

    The National Defense Authorization Act of 2004 (NDAA; Pub. L. 108-136) removed the “small numbers” and “specified geographical region” limitations indicated earlier and amended the definition of harassment as it applies to a “military readiness activity” to read as follows: (i) Any act that injures or has the significant potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild [Level A Harassment]; or (ii) any act that disturbs or is likely to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of natural behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, surfacing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering, to a point where such behavioral patterns are abandoned or significantly altered [Level B Harassment].

    Summary of Request

    On January 28, 2013, NMFS received an application from the Marine Corps requesting a rulemaking and subsequent Letter of Authorization for the take of marine mammals incidental to training exercises conducted at Brant Island Bombing Target (BT-9) and Piney Island Bombing Range (BT-11) bombing targets at the USMC Cherry Point Range Complex located within Pamlico Sound, North Carolina.

    On March 29, 2013, per the regulations at 50 CFR 216.104(b)(1)(i), NMFS began the public review process by publishing a Notice of Receipt in the Federal Register (78 FR 19224). After the close of the public comment period and review of comments, NMFS published a proposed rule in the Federal Register on July 15, 2014 (79 FR 41373) to authorize the take of marine mammals per the Marine Corps' training activities and solicited public comments.

    The Marine Corps would conduct weapons delivery training exercises (air-to-surface and surface-to-surface) at the two water-based bombing targets located within the Cherry Point Range Complex in North Carolina. The military readiness activities would occur between March 2015 and March 2020, year-round, day or night. The Marine Corps proposes to use small arms, large arms, bombs, rockets, grenades, and pyrotechnics for the air-to-surface and surface-to-surface training exercises, which qualify as military readiness activities. NMFS anticipates that take, by Level B (behavioral) and Level A harassment of individuals of Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) would result from the training exercises.

    The regulations would establish a framework for authorizing incidental take in a 5-year Letter of Authorization (LOA) which would authorize the take of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) by Level A and Level B (behavioral) harassment only.

    NMFS has issued three one-year Incidental Harassment Authorizations to the Marine Corps under section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA for the conduct of similar training exercises from 2010 to 2014 (75 FR 72807, November 26, 2010; 77 FR 87, January 3, 2012; and 78 FR 42042, July 15, 2013). The Marine Corps' last Incidental Harassment Authorization expired in 2014.

    NMFS is committed to the use of the best available science in its decision making. NMFS uses an adaptive, transparent process that allows for both timely scientific updates and public input into agency decisions regarding the use of acoustic research and thresholds. NMFS is currently in the process of re-evaluating acoustic thresholds based on the best available science, as well as how NMFS applies these thresholds under the MMPA to all activity types. This re-evaluation could potentially result in changes to the acoustic thresholds or their application as they apply to future Marine Corps training activities at BT-9 and BT-11. However, it is important to note that while changes in acoustic thresholds may affect the enumeration of “takes,” they do not necessarily change the evaluation of population level effects or the outcome of the negligible impact analysis. In addition, while acoustic criteria may also inform mitigation and monitoring decisions, the Marine Corps will implement an adaptive management program that will address new information allowing for the modification of mitigation and/or monitoring measures as appropriate.

    Description of the Specified Activity Overview

    The Marine Corps must meet its statutory responsibility to organize, train, equip, and maintain combat-ready Marine Corps forces at the BT-9 and BT-11 bombing targets in Pamlico Sound, North Carolina. The bombing targets provide unique training environments and are of vital importance to the readiness of Marine Corps forces.

    The types of ordnances proposed for use at the BT-9 and BT-11 bombing targets include gun ammunition (small and large arms), rockets, grenades, bombs, and pyrotechnics. Training for any activity may occur year-round, day or night, with no seasonal restrictions. Active sonar is not a component of these specified training exercises.

    Dates and Duration

    The Marine Corps' activities would occur between March 2015 and March 2020. Each type of training exercise described in more detail later in this rule may occur year-round, day or night. Approximately 15 percent of the activities would occur at night.

    NMFS notes that the proposed rule in the Federal Register (79 FR 41373, July 15, 2014) discussed that the Marine Corps' activities would occur in a five-year period between September 2014 and September 2019. Although the dates have changed between the proposed rule and the final rule, the underlying analysis occurs on an annual basis and accounts for seasonal variation (winter and spring) over a five-year span.

    Location of Proposed Activities

    The Marine Corps administers and uses the BT-9 and BT-11 bombing targets (See Figure 1), located at the convergence of the Neuse River and Pamlico Sound, North Carolina, for the purpose of training military personnel in the skill of ordnance delivery by aircraft and small watercraft.

    The BT-9 area is a water-based bombing target and mining exercise area located approximately 52 kilometers (km) (32.3 miles (mi)) northeast of Marine Air Corps Station Cherry Point. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Wilmington District has defined a danger zone (prohibited area) by a 6 statute-mile (sm) diameter boundary around BT-9 (33 CFR 334.420). This restriction prohibits non-military vessels within the designated area. The BT-9 target area ranges in depth from 1.2 to 6.1 meters (m) (3.9 to 20 feet (ft)), with the shallow areas concentrated along the Brandt Island Shoal. The target itself consists of three ship hulls grounded on Brant Island Shoals, located approximately 4.8 km (3.0 mi) southeast of Goose Creek Island.

    The BT-11 area encompasses a total of 50.6 square kilometers (km2) (19.5 square miles (mi2)) on Piney Island located in Carteret County, NC. The target prohibited area, at a radius of 1.8 sm, is roughly centered on Rattan Bay and includes approximately 9.3 km2 (3.6 mi2) of water and water depths range from 0.3 m (1.0 ft) along the shoreline to 3.1 m (10.1 ft) in the center of Rattan Bay. Water depths in the center of Rattan Bay range from approximately 2.4 to 3 m (8 to 10 ft) with bottom depths ranging from 0.3 to 1.5 m (1 to 5 ft) adjacent to the shoreline of Piney Island. The BT-11 in-water, stationary target consists of a barge and patrol boat located in roughly the center of Rattan Bay. The Marine Corps also use on an intermittent basis for strafing at water- and land-based targets, a second danger zone, with an inner radius of 1.8 sm and outer radius of 2.5 sm and also roughly centered on Rattan Bay.

    ER13MR15.001

    The Marine Corps conducts all inert and live-fire exercises at BT-9 and BT-11 so that all ammunition and other ordnances strike and/or fall on the land or water-based targets or within the existing danger zones or water restricted areas. The Marine Corps would close danger zones to the public on an intermittent or full-time basis for hazardous operations such as target practice and ordnance firing. They also prohibit or limit public access to water restricted areas to provide security for government property and/or to protect the public from the risks of injury or damage that could occur from the government's use of that area (33 CFR 334.2). Surface danger zones are designated areas of rocket firing, target practice, or other hazardous operations (33 CFR 334.420). The surface danger zone (prohibited area) for BT-9 is a 4.8 km (3.0 mi) radius centered on the south side of Brant Island Shoal. The surface danger zone for BT-11 is a 2.9 km (1.8 mi) radius centered on a barge target in Rattan Bay.

    Detailed Description of the Activities

    The following sections describe the training activities that have the potential to affect marine mammals present within the BT-9 and BT-11 bombing targets. These activities fall into two categories based on the ordnance delivery method: (1) Surface-to-surface gunnery exercises; and (2) air-to-surface bombing exercises.

    Surface-to-Surface Exercises

    Gunnery exercises are the only category of surface-to-surface activity currently conducted within BT-9 or BT-11. Surface-to-surface gunnery firing exercises typically involve Special Boat Team personnel firing munitions from a machine gun and 40 mm grenade launchers at a water-based target or throwing concussion grenades into the water (e.g., not at a specific target) from a small boat. The number and type of boats used depend on the unit using the boat and the particular training mission. These include: small unit river craft, combat rubber raiding craft, rigid hull inflatable boats, and patrol craft. These boats may use inboard or outboard, diesel or gasoline engines with either propeller or water jet propulsion systems.

    The Marine Corps propose to use a maximum of six boats ranging in size from 7.3 to 26 m (24 to 85 ft) to conduct surface-to-surface firing activities. Each boat would travel between 0 to 20 knots (kts) (0 to 23 miles per hour (mph)) with an average of two vessels to approach and engage the intended targets. The boats typically travel in linear paths and do not operate erratically.

    Boat sorties would occur in all seasons and the number of sorties conducted at each range may vary from year to year based on training needs and worldwide operational tempo. The majority of boat sorties at BT-9 originate from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point's boat docks, but they may also originate from the State Port in Morehead City, NC, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, and U.S. Coast Guard Station Hobucken in Pamlico Sound. The majority of boat sorties at BT-11 originate from launch sites within the range complex.

    There is no specific schedule associated with the use of BT-9 or BT-11 by the small boat teams. However, the Marine Corps schedules the exercises for 5-day blocks with exercises at various times throughout the year. Variables such as deployment status, range availability, and completion of crew-specific training requirements influence the exercise schedules. Table 1 in this document outlines the number of surface-to-surface exercises that occurred between 2011 and 2013 by bombing target area.

    Table 1—Counts of Surface-to-Surface Sorties Conducted in Calendar Years 2011, 2012, and 2013 in BT-9 and BT-11 Year BT-9 BT-11 2011 223 105 2012 322 106 2013 87 62

    The direct-fire gunnery exercises (i.e., all targets are within the line of sight of the military personnel) at BT-9 would typically use 7.62 millimeter (mm) or .50 caliber (cal) machine guns; 40 mm grenade machine guns; or G911 concussion hand grenades. The proposed exercises at BT-9 are usually live-fire exercises. At times, Marine Corps personnel would use blanks (inert ordnance) so that the boat crews could practice ship-handling skills during training without being concerned with the safety requirements involved with live weapons.

    The Marine Corps estimates that it could conduct up to approximately 354 vessel-based sorties annually at BT-9. This estimate includes the highest number of sorties conducted during 2010 through 2013 (322) plus an additional 10 percent increase (32) in sorties to account for interannual variation based on future training needs and worldwide operational tempo.

    The direct-fire gunnery exercises at BT-11 would include the use of small arms, large arms, bombs, rockets, and pyrotechnics. All munitions fired within the BT-11 range are non-explosive with the exception of the small explosives in the single charges. No live firing occurs at BT-11. The Marine Corps estimates that it could conduct up to approximately 117 vessel-based sorties annually at BT-11. This estimate includes the highest number of sorties conducted during 2010 through 2013 (106) plus an additional 10 percent increase (11) in sorties to account for interannual variation based on future training needs and worldwide operational tempo.

    Air-to-Surface Exercises

    Air-to-surface training exercises involve fixed-, rotary-, or tilt-wing aircraft firing munitions at targets on the water's surface or on land (as in the case of BT-11). There are four types of air-to-surface activities conducted within BT-9 and BT-11. They include: Mine laying, bombing, gunnery, or rocket exercises. Table 2 in this document outlines the number of air-to-surface exercises that occurred in 2011, 2012, and 2013 by bombing target area.

    Table 2—Counts of Air-to-Surface Exercises Conducted in Calendar Years 2011, 2012, and 2013 in BT-9 and BT-11 Year BT-9 BT-11 2011 1,554 4,251 2012 842 11,706 2013 407 1,177 Total 2,803 17,134

    The Marine Corps estimates that it could conduct up to approximately 1,709 air-based based sorties annually at BT-9. This estimate includes the highest number of sorties conducted during 2010 through 2013 (1,554) plus an additional 10 percent increase (155) in sorties to account for interannual variation based on future training needs and worldwide operational tempo.

    For the BT-11 area, the Marine Corps estimates that it could conduct up to approximately 12,877 air-based based sorties annually. This estimate includes the highest number of sorties conducted during 2010 through 2013 (11,706) plus an additional 10 percent increase (1,171) in sorties to account for interannual variation based on future training needs and worldwide operational tempo.

    The following sections provide more detail on each exercise type that the Marine Corps proposes to conduct from 2015 through 2020.

    Mine Laying Exercises: Aircraft With Inert Shapes

    Mine laying exercises are simulations only, meaning that mine detonations would not occur during training. These exercises, regularly conducted at the BT-9 bombing target, involve the use of fixed-wing aircraft (F/A-18F Hornet Strike Fighter, P-3 Orion, or P-8 Poseidon) flying undetected to the target area using either a low- or high-altitude tactical flight pattern. When the aircraft reaches the target area, the pilot would deploy a series of inert mine shapes in an offensive or defensive pattern into the water. The aircraft would make multiple passes along a pre-determined flight azimuth dropping one or more of the inert shapes each time.

    The mine-laying exercises at BT-9 would include the use of MK-62, MK-63, MK-76, BDU-45, and BDU-48 inert training shapes. Each inert shape weighs 500, 1000, 25, 500, and 10 pounds (lbs), respectively.

    Bombing Exercises: Fixed-Wing Aircraft With Inert Bombs

    Pilots train to destroy or disable enemy ships or boats during bombing exercises. These exercises, conducted at BT-9 or BT-11, normally involve the use of two to four fixed-wing aircraft (i.e., an F/A-18F Hornet Strike Fighter or AV-8 Harrier II) approaching the target area from an altitude of approximately 152 m (500 ft) up to 4,572 m (15,000 ft). When the aircraft reach the target area, they establish a predetermined racetrack pattern relative to the target and deliver the bombs. Participating aircraft follow the same flight path during subsequent target ingress, ordnance delivery, target egress, and downwind pattern. The Marine Corps uses this type of pattern to ensure that only one aircraft releases ordnance at any given time.

    The pilots deliver the bombs against targets at BT-9 or BT-11, day or night; the average time to complete this type of exercise is approximately one hour. There is no set level or pattern of amount of sorties conducted and there are no cluster munitions authorized for use during bombing exercises.

    The bombing exercises would typically use unguided MK-76, BDU-45, MK-82, and MK-83 inert training bombs (25, 500, 500, and 1,000 lbs, respectively); precision-guided munitions consisting of laser-guided bombs (inert); and laser-guided training rounds (inert, but contains a small impact-initiated spotting charge).

    For unguided munitions, the typical release altitudes are 914 m (3,000 ft) or above 4,572 m (15,000 ft). The typical release altitude for precision-guided munitions is 1.8 km (1.1 mi) or greater in altitude. For laser-guided munitions, onboard laser designators, laser designators from support aircraft, or ground support personnel, use lasers to illuminate the certified targets. For either weapons delivery system, the lowest minimum altitude for ordnance delivery (inert bombs) would be 152 m (500 ft).

    Gunnery Exercises: Aircraft With Cannons

    During air-to-surface gunnery exercises with cannons, pilots train to destroy or disable enemy ships, boats, or floating/near-surface mines from aircraft with mounted cannons equal to or larger than 20 mm. The Marine Corps proposes to use either fixed-wing (F/A-18F Hornet Strike Fighter or an AV-8 Harrier II) or rotary-wing (AH-1 Super Cobra), tilt-rotor (V-22), and other aircraft to conduct gunnery exercises at BT-9 or BT-11. During the exercise (i.e., strafing run), two aircraft would approach the target area from an altitude of approximately 914 m (3,000 ft) and within a distance of 1,219 m (4,000 ft) from the target, begin to fire a burst of approximately 30 rounds of munitions before reaching an altitude of 305 m (1,000 ft) to break off the attack. Each aircraft would reposition for another strafing run until each aircraft expends its exercise ordnance of approximately 250 rounds (approximately 8-12 passes per aircraft per exercise). This type of gunnery exercise would typically use a Vulcan M61A1/A2, 20 mm cannon or a GAU-12, 25 mm cannon. The Marine Corps proposes to use inert munitions for these exercises. The aircraft deliver the ordnance against targets at BT-9 or BT-11, day or night. The average time to complete this type of exercise is approximately one hour.

    Gunnery Exercises: Aircraft With Machine Guns

    During air-to-surface gunnery exercises with machine guns, pilots train to destroy or disable enemy ships, boats, or floating/near-surface mines with aircraft using mounted machine guns. The Marine Corps proposes to use rotary-wing (CH-52 Super Stallion, UH-1 Iroquois Huey, CH-46 Sea Knight, MV-22 Osprey, or H-60 Hawk series, and other types) aircraft to conduct gunnery exercises at BT-9 or BT-11. During the exercise an aircraft would fly around the target area at an altitude between 15 and 30 m (50 and 100 ft) in a 91 m (300 ft) racetrack pattern around the water-based target. Each gunner would expend approximately 400 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition and 200 rounds of .50 cal ammunition in each exercise. The aircraft deliver the ordnance against the bombing targets at BT-9 or BT-11, day or night. The average time to complete this type of exercise is approximately one hour.

    Rocket Exercises

    The Marine Corps proposes to conduct rocket exercises similar to the bombing exercises. Fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft crews would launch rockets at surface maritime targets, day and night, to train for destroying or disabling enemy ships or boats. These operations employ 2.75-inch and 5-inch rockets (4.8 and 15.0 lbs net explosive weight, respectively). Generally, personnel would deliver an average of approximately 14 rockets per sortie. As with the bombing exercises, there is no set level or pattern of amount of sorties conducted.

    Pyrotechnics

    Pyrotechnics are non-explosive devices that use chemical reactions to produce heat, light, gas, smoke, and/or sound to simulate threat conditions during exercises (DoN, 2009). The Marine Corps proposes to use chaff, LUU-2, LUU-19, MI27 A1-parachute flare, self-protection flares, signal illuminations, simulated booby traps, Smokey Sams, artillery simulators, and ground bursts.

    Munitions and Estimated Annual Expenditures

    Tables 3 and 4 in this document provide a list and expenditure levels of the live and inert ordnance proposed for use at BT-9 and BT-11, respectively.

    There are several varieties of ordnance and net explosive weights (for live munition used at BT-9) can vary according to type. All practice bombs are inert but simulate the same ballistic properties of service type bombs. They are either solid cast metal bodies or thin sheet metal containers. Since practice bombs contain no explosive filler, a practice bomb signal cartridge (smoke) serves as a visual observation of weapon target impact.

    When a high explosive detonates, the explosive fill within the weapon case converts almost instantly into a gas at very high pressure and temperature. Under the pressure of the gases generated, the weapon case expands and breaks into fragments. The air surrounding the casing compresses and transmits a shock (blast) wave. Typical initial values for a high-explosive weapon are 200 kilobars of pressure (1 bar = 1 atmosphere) and 5,000 degrees Celsius (9,032 degrees Fahrenheit). The Marine Corps proposes to use five types of explosive sources at BT-9: 2.75-inch Rocket High Explosives, 5-inch Rocket High Explosives, 30 mm High Explosives, 40 mm High Explosives, and G911 grenades. All munitions proposed for use at BT-11 are inert (not live).

    Table 3—Type of Ordnance, Net Explosive Weight, and Proposed Levels of Annual Expenditures at BT-9 Proposed ordnance Net explosive weight in pounds (lbs) Proposed number of rounds Small arms excluding .50 cal (7.62 mm) N/A, inert 525,610 .50 cal N/A, inert 568,515 Large arms—live (30 mm) 0.1019 3,432 Large arms—live (40 mm) 0.1199 10,420 Large arms—inert (20, 25, 30, and 40 mm) N/A 120,405 Rockets—live (2.75-inch) 4.8 220 Rockets—live (5-inch) 15.0 68 Rockets—inert (2.75-inch rocket, 2.75-inch illumination, 2.75-inch white phosphorus, 2.75-inch red phosphorus; 5-inch rocket, 5-inch illumination, 5-inch white phosphorus, 5-inch red phosphorus ) N/A 844 Grenades—live (G911) 0.5 144 Bombs—inert (BDU-45 practice bomb, MK-76 practice bomb, MK-82 practice bomb, MK-83 practice bomb) 0.083800—0.1676 signal cartridge only 4,460 Pyrotechnics—inert (chaff, LUU-2, self-protection flares) N/A 4,496 Table 4—Type of Ordnance, Net Explosive Weight, and Proposed Levels of Annual Expenditures at BT-11 Proposed ordnance Net explosive weight in pounds (lbs) Proposed number of rounds Small arms excluding .50 cal (7.62 mm) N/A, inert 610,957 .50 cal N/A, inert 366,775 Large arms—inert (20, 25, 30, and 40 mm) N/A 240,334 Rockets—inert (2.75-inch rocket, 2.75-inch illumination, 2.75-inch white phosphorus, 2.75-inch red phosphorus; 5-inch rocket, 5-inch illumination, 5-inch white phosphorus, 5-inch red phosphorus ) N/A 5,592 Bombs—inert (BDU-45 practice bomb, MK-76 practice bomb, MK-82 practice bomb, MK-83 practice bomb) 0.083800—0.1676 signal cartridge only 22,114 Pyrotechnics—inert (chaff, LUU-2, self-protection flares, SMD SAMS) N/A 8,912

    The Marine Corps estimates that the 5-year level of expended ordnance at BT-9 and BT-11 (both surface-to-surface and air-to-surface) would be approximately 6,193,070 and 6,273,420 rounds, respectively. The approximate annual quantities of ordnance listed in Tables 3 and 4 represent conservative figures, meaning that the volume of each type of inert and explosive ordnance proposed is the largest number that personnel could expend annually.

    The Marine Corps realizes that its evolving training programs, linked to real world events, necessitate flexibility regarding the amounts of ordnance used in air-to-surface and surface-to-surface exercises. Thus, this rule would account for inter-annual variability in ordnance expenditures over the course of the five years. NMFS refers the reader to Table 2-2 of the Marine Corps' application for a complete list of munitions authorized for use at the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Range Complex.

    Acoustic Characteristics of Ordnance

    Noise generated by live or inert ordnance impacting the water and associated detonations from live ordnance may present some risk to bottlenose dolphins. Estimates of the noise fields generated in water by the impact of non-explosive (inert) ordnance indicate that the energy radiated is about one to two percent of the total kinetic energy of the impact. This energy level (and likely peak pressure levels) is well below the thresholds for predicting potential physical impacts from underwater pressure waves, because the firing of an inert projectile does not create an explosion even at 1 m (3 ft) from the impact. Therefore, NMFS and the Marine Corps do not expect that the noise generated by the in-water impact of inert ordnance would have the potential to take marine mammals within the action area. Thus, NMFS will not consider the acoustic impacts of inert ordnance further in this document.

    However, live ordnance detonated underwater introduces loud, impulsive broadband (producing sound over a wide frequency band) sounds into the marine environment and does have the potential to take marine mammals. Broadband explosives produce significant acoustic energy across several frequency decades of bandwidth. Propagation loss is sufficiently sensitive to frequency as to require model estimates at several frequencies over such a wide band. Three source parameters influence the effect of an explosive: The weight of the explosive material, the type of explosive material, and the detonation depth. The net explosive weight (or NEW) accounts for the first two parameters. The ordnance's NEW is the weight of trinitrotoluene (TNT) that produces an equivalent explosive power. The detonation depth of an explosive is particularly important due to a propagation effect known as surface-image interference. For sources located near the sea surface, a distinct interference pattern arises from the coherent sum of the two paths that differ only by a single reflection from the pressure-release surface. As the source depth and/or the source frequency decreases, these two paths increasingly and destructively interfere with each other, reaching total cancellation at the surface (barring surface-reflection scattering loss).

    For this final rulemaking, the Marine Corps proposes to use five types of explosive sources: 2.75-inch rocket high explosives, 5-inch rocket high explosives, 30 mm high explosives, 40 mm high explosives, and G911 grenades.

    The firing sequence for some of the munitions consists of a number of rapid bursts, often lasting a second or less. The maximum firing time is 10 to 15 second bursts. Due to the tight spacing in time, the Marine Corps considers each burst as a single detonation. For the energy metrics, the Marine Corps considers the impact area of a burst using a source energy spectrum that is the source spectrum for a single detonation scaled by the number of rounds in a burst. For the pressure metrics, the impact area for a burst is the same as the impact area of a single round. For all metrics, the cumulative impact area of an event consisting of a certain number of bursts is the product of the impact area of a single burst and the number of bursts, as would be the case if the bursts are sufficiently spaced in time or location as to insure that each burst is affecting a different set of marine wildlife.

    Table 5 provides a comparison of the live explosive ordnance proposed for use during 2015 through 2020. Table 5 lists the number of rounds per burst by ordnance; the acoustic characteristics of the proposed ordnance including the peak one-third octave (OTO) source level (SL); and the approximate frequency at which the peak occurs.

    Table 5—Proposed Levels of Ordnance, Net Explosive Weight, Source Levels, and Center Frequencies Proposed ordnance NEW (lbs) Rounds per burst Source level of peak 1/3rd
  • octave (decibels, dB)
  • Center
  • frequency of peak 1/3rd octave (hertz, Hz)
  • Large arms—live (30 mm) 0.1019 30 207 dB re: 1μPa 4,032 Large arms—live (40 mm) 0.1199 5 208 dB re: 1μPa 4,032 Rockets—live (2.75-inch) 4.8 1 224 dB re: 1μPa 1,270 Rockets—live (5-inch) 15.0 1 229 dB re: 1μPa 1,008 Grenades—live (G911) 0.5 1 214 dB re: 1μPa 2,540

    For ordnance detonated at shallow depths, often the source level of the explosion may breech the surface with some of the acoustic energy escaping the water column. The source levels presented in Table 5 do not account for possible venting of the acoustic energy through the water surface which the Marine Corps expects to be minor because of the low source net explosive weights and detonation depth of 1.2 m (3.9 ft).

    Description of Marine Mammals in the Area of the Specified Activity

    There is one species of marine mammal with possible or confirmed occurrence in the area of the specified activity: The Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) which routinely frequents Pamlico Sound (Lefebvre et al, 2001; DoN 2003). The region of influence for the proposed project includes estuarine waters, and does not include offshore waters.

    Four designated coastal stocks for bottlenose dolphins may occur within the proposed activity area. They include: the Western North Atlantic Northern Migratory Coastal; Western North Atlantic Southern Migratory; Northern North Carolina Estuarine System; and the Southern North Carolina Estuarine System stocks. Dolphins encountered at BT-9 and BT-11 would most likely belong to the Northern North Carolina Estuarine System and the Southern North Carolina Estuarine System stocks.

    Table 6 in this document presents information on the abundance, status, and distribution of the four stocks. The reader may also refer to Section 4 of the Marine Corps' application, their 2014 application addendum, and Chapter 3 of the Marine Corps' EA for more detailed information. NMFS summarizes this information and presents updated information on the species' abundance, status, and distribution from the 2013 NMFS Stock Assessment Report for the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico (Waring et al., 2014). The publication is available at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars/region.htm.

    Table 6—General Information on the Species/Stocks That Could Potentially Occur in BT-9 and BT-11 Bottlenose dolphin stocks Regulatory status Stock/species
  • abundance
  • Occurrence and range Season
    Western North Atlantic Northern Migratory Coastal (NMC) MMPA—D ESA—NL 11,548 (CV=0.36) Occasional Coastal Winter Western North Atlantic Southern Migratory (SMC) MMPA—D ESA—NL 9,173 (CV=0.46) Occasional Coastal Winter Northern North Carolina Estuarine System (NNCES) MMPA—S ESA—NL 950 (CV = 0.23) Common Estuarine Summer-Fall Southern North Carolina Estuarine System (SNCES) MMPA—S ESA—NL 188 (CV=0.19) Common Estuarine Late Summer 1 MMPA: D = Depleted, Strategic Stock; S = Strategic Stock only; NC = Not Classified. 2 ESA: NL = Not listed.
    Bottlenose Dolphins

    The bottlenose dolphin is one of the most well-known species of marine mammals. They have a robust body and a short, thick beak. Their coloration ranges from light gray to black with lighter coloration on the belly. Inshore and offshore individuals vary in color and size. Inshore animals are smaller and lighter in color, while offshore animals are larger, darker in coloration and have smaller flippers.

    Bottlenose dolphins range in lengths from 1.8 to 3.8 m (6.0 to 12.5 ft) with males slightly larger than females. Adults weight from 300-1,400 lbs (136-635 kg). Generally, the species has a lifespan of 40 to 45 years for males and more than 50 years for females.

    Sexual maturity varies by population and ranges from five to 13 years for females and 9 to 14 years for males. Calves, born after a 12-month gestation period, generally wean at 18 to 20 months. On average, calving occurs every 3 to 6 years.

    Bottlenose dolphins are generalists and feed on a variety of prey items “endemic” to their habitat, foraging individually and cooperatively. Like other dolphins, bottlenose dolphins use high frequency echolocation to locate and capture prey. Coastal animals prey on benthic invertebrates and fish, and offshore animals feed on pelagic squid and fish.

    Western North Atlantic Northern Migratory Coastal (NMC) Stock: This stock is not listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.); however, it is categorized as depleted (and thus strategic) under the MMPA. The best available abundance estimate for the NMC stock is 11,548 animals (Waring et al., 2014). However, there is insufficient data to determine the population trends for this stock.

    Based on aerial survey data, tag-telemetry studies, photo-identification data, and genetic studies, the NMC stock of bottlenose dolphins occurs along the North Carolina coast and as far north as Long Island, New York (CETAP, 1982; Kenney, 1990; Garrison et al., 2003; Waring et al., 2014). During summer months (July-September), this stock occupies coastal waters from the shoreline to approximately the 25-m (82-ft) isobath between the Chesapeake Bay mouth and Long Island, New York. During the winter months (January-March), the stock moves south to waters of North Carolina and occupies coastal waters from Cape Lookout, North Carolina to the Virginia-North Carolina border (Barco and Swingle, 1996; Waring et al., 2014).

    Western North Atlantic Southern Migratory Coastal (SMC) Stock: This stock is not listed as threatened or endangered under the ESA; however, it is categorized as depleted (and thus strategic) under the MMPA. The best available abundance estimate for the SMC stock is 9,173 animals (Waring et al., 2014). However, there is insufficient data to determine the population trends for this stock.

    Based on tag-telemetry studies, the SMC stock of bottlenose dolphins occurs in coastal waters between southern North Carolina and Georgia, but the stock's migratory movements and spatial distribution are the most poorly understood of the coastal stocks (Waring et al., 2014). During the fall (October-December), this stock occupies waters of southern North Carolina (South of Cape Lookout) where it overlaps spatially with the Southern North Carolina Estuarine System stock in coastal waters. In winter months (January-March), the SMC stock moves as far south as northern Florida where it overlaps spatially with the South Carolina/Georgia and Northern Florida Coastal stocks. In spring (April-June), the stock moves north to waters of North Carolina where it overlaps with the Southern North Carolina Estuarine System stock and the Northern North Carolina Estuarine System stock. In summer months (July-September), the stock most likely occupies coastal waters north of Cape Lookout, North Carolina, to the eastern shore of Virginia (Waring et al., 2014).

    Northern North Carolina Estuarine System (NNCES) Stock: This stock is not listed as threatened or endangered under the ESA; however, it is categorized as strategic (but not depleted) under the MMPA. The best available abundance estimate for the NNCES stock is 950 animals (Waring et al., 2014). However, there is insufficient data to determine the population trends for this stock.

    Based on photo-identification studies, the NNCES stock of bottlenose dolphins occurs in the estuarine waters of Pamlico Sound (Waring et al., 2014). The ranging patterns of bottlenose dolphins in those studies support the presence of a group of dolphins within these waters that are distinct from both dolphins occupying estuarine and coastal waters in southern North Carolina and animals in the NMC and SMC stocks that occupy coastal waters of North Carolina at certain times of the year (Read et al., 2003; NMFS, 2001; NMFS, unpublished data).

    During summer and fall months (July-October), the NNCES stock occupies waters of Pamlico Sound and nearshore coastal (less than 1 km (3,280 ft) from shore) and estuarine waters of central and northern North Carolina to Virginia Beach and the lower Chesapeake Bay (Waring et al., 2014). It likely overlaps with animals from the SMC stock in coastal waters during these months. During late fall and winter (November-March), the NNCES stock moves out of estuarine waters and occupies nearshore coastal waters between the New River and Cape Hatteras (Waring et al., 2013). It overlaps with the NMC stock during this period, particularly between Cape Lookout and Cape Hatteras. It appears that the region near Cape Lookout including Bogue Sound and Core Sound is an area of overlap with the Southern North Carolina Estuarine System stock during late summer (Waring et al., 2014).

    Southern North Carolina Estuarine System (SNCES) Stock: This stock is not listed as threatened or endangered under the ESA; however, it is categorized as strategic (but not depleted) under the MMPA. The best available abundance estimate for the SNCES stock is 188 animals (Waring et al., 2014). However, there is insufficient data to determine the population trends for this stock.

    Based on photo-identification studies, the SNCES stock of common bottlenose dolphins occupies estuarine and nearshore coastal waters (less than 3 km from shore) between the Little River Inlet Estuary, including the estuary and the New River (Waring et al., 2014). During summer and fall months (July-October), the SNCES stock occupies estuarine and nearshore coastal waters (less than 3 km (1.7 mi) from shore) between the North Carolina-South Carolina border and Core Sound. It likely overlaps with the NNCES stock in the northern portion of its range (i.e., southern Pamlico Sound) during late summer (Waring et al., 2014). During late fall through spring, the SNCES stock moves south to waters near Cape Fear. In coastal waters, it overlaps with the SMC stock during this period (Waring et al., 2014).

    Bottlenose Dolphin Distribution Within BT-9 and BT-11

    In Pamlico Sound, bottlenose dolphins concentrate in shallow water habitats along shorelines, and few, if any, individuals are present in the central portions of the sounds (Gannon, 2003; Read et al., 2003a, 2003b). The dolphins utilize shallow habitats, such as tributary creeks and the edges of the Neuse River, where the bottom depth is less than 3.5 m (11.5 ft) (Gannon, 2003). Fine-scale distribution of dolphins seems to relate to the presence of topography or vertical structure, such as the steeply-sloping bottom near the shore and oyster reefs. Bottlenose dolphins may use these features to facilitate prey capture (Gannon, 2003).

    In 2000, Duke University Marine Lab (Duke) conducted a boat-based mark-recapture survey throughout the estuaries, bays and sounds of North Carolina (Read et al., 2003). The 2000 boat-based survey produced an estimate of 919 dolphins for the northern inshore waters divided by an estimated 5,015 km2 (1,936 mi2) survey area.

    In a follow-on aerial study (July, 2002 to June, 2003) specifically in and around BT-9 and BT-11, Duke reported one sighting in the restricted area surrounding BT-9, two sightings in proximity to BT-11, and seven sightings in waters adjacent to the bombing targets (Maher, 2003). In total, the study observed 276 bottlenose dolphins ranging in group size from two to 70 animals.

    Results of a passive acoustic monitoring effort conducted from 2006-2007 by Duke University researchers detected that dolphin vocalizations in the BT-11 vicinity were higher in August and September than vocalization detection at BT-9 (Read et al., 2007). Additionally, detected vocalizations of dolphins were more frequent at night for the BT-9 area and during early morning hours at BT-11 (Read et al., 2007).

    Other Marine Mammals in the Proposed Action Area

    The endangered West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus), under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, rarely occurs in the area (Lefebvre et al., 2001; DoN 2003). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has jurisdiction over the manatee; therefore, NMFS would not include a proposed authorization to harass manatees and does not discuss this species further in this final rule.

    Based on the best available information, there are no observations of the endangered North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) or other large whales within Pamlico Sound or in vicinity of the bombing targets (Kenney, 2006). No suitable habitat exists for these species in the shallow Pamlico Sound or bombing target vicinity; therefore, because NMFS does not expect these species to be present in the action area, there is no potential for take (NMFS, 2012). Thus, NMFS will not discuss these species further.

    Other dolphins, such as Atlantic spotted (Stenella frontalis) and the common dolphin (Delphinus delphis), have an oceanic distribution and do not venture into the shallow, brackish waters of southern Pamlico Sound. Because these species are rare and/or have extralimital occurrence in the bombing target area, NMFS will not discuss these species further in this final rule.

    Potential Effects of the Specified Activity on Marine Mammals

    The surface-to-surface and air-to-surface training exercises proposed for taking of marine mammals under these regulations have the potential to take marine mammals by exposing them to impulsive noise and pressure waves generated by live ordnance detonation at or near the surface of the water. Exposure to energy, pressure, or direct strike by ordnance has the potential to result in non-lethal injury (Level A harassment), disturbance (Level B harassment), serious injury, and/or mortality. In addition, NMFS also considered the potential for harassment from vessel and aircraft operations.

    In the Potential Effects of the Specified Activity on Marine Mammals section of the proposed rule (79 FR 41373, July 15, 2014), NMFS included a qualitative discussion of the different ways that the Marine Corps' activities may potentially affect marine mammals without consideration of mitigation and monitoring measures (see 79 FR 41373, July 15, 2014; pages 41383-41391). Marine mammals may experience direct physiological effects (e.g., threshold shift and non-acoustic injury, acoustic masking, impaired communication, stress responses, behavioral disturbance, stranding, behavioral responses from vessel movement, and injury or death from vessel collisions). The information contained in this section in the proposed rule has not changed and NMFS does not repeat that information here in this document.

    This section did not consider the specific manner in which the Marine Corps would carry out the proposed activity, what mitigation measures the Marine Corps would implement, and how either of those would shape the anticipated impacts from this specific activity. The “Estimated Take by Incidental Harassment, Injury, or Mortality” section later in this document will include a quantitative analysis of the number of individuals that NMFS expects the Marine Corps to take during this activity. The “Negligible Impact Analysis” section will include the analysis of how this specific activity would impact marine mammals. NMFS will consider the content of the following sections: (1) Estimated Take by Incidental Harassment, Injury, or Mortality; (2) Mitigation; and (3) Anticipated Effects on Marine Mammal Habitat, to draw conclusions regarding the likely impacts of this activity on the reproductive success or survivorship of individuals—and from that consideration—the likely impacts of this activity on the affected marine mammal populations or stocks.

    Anticipated Effects on Habitat

    In the Anticipated Effects Habitat section of the proposed rule (79 FR 41373, July 15, 2014), we included a qualitative discussion of the different ways that the Marine Corps' activities may potentially affect marine mammals marine mammal habitat (see 79 FR 41373, July 15, 2014; page 41391). The information contained in this section in the proposed rule has not changed and NMFS does not repeat that information here in this document.

    Impacts on marine mammal habitat are part of the consideration in making a finding of negligible impact on the species and stocks of marine mammals. Habitat includes rookeries, mating grounds, feeding areas, and areas of similar significance. NMFS does not anticipate that the operations would result in any temporary or permanent effects on the habitats used by the marine mammals in the area, including the food sources they use (i.e., fish and invertebrates). Although NMFS anticipates that the specified activity may result in marine mammals avoiding certain areas due to temporary ensonification, this impact to habitat is temporary and reversible.

    Summary of Previous Monitoring

    The Marine Corps complied with the mitigation and monitoring required under the previous authorizations (2010-2013). The Marine Corps submitted final monitoring reports, which described the activities conducted and observations made. For the 2010 period, the Marine Corps did not observe any marine mammals during training exercises. The only recorded observations—which were bottlenose dolphins—occurred on two occasions by maintenance vessels engaged in target maintenance. Personnel did not observe marine mammals during range sweeps, air-to-ground or surface-to-surface activities (small boats), or during ad hoc monitoring via range cameras.

    For the 2012 period, the total amount of ordnance expended at BT-9 and BT-11 was 301,687 and 955,528 rounds, respectively. During the period of the 2012 IHA, the Marine Corps did not fire any high explosive (live) munitions at BT-9. The Marine Corps do not permit high explosive (live) munitions within BT-11. Maintenance vessels engaged in target maintenance observed marine mammals on two occasions during the 2012 reporting period. Flight crews conducting range sweeps identified dolphins within the confines of Rattan Bay at BT-11 on two separate occasions: February 10, 2012 and August 16, 2012. When the sightings occurred during range sweeps, the Marine Corps suspended military training until the dolphins exited the mouth of the embayment, per Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Range standard operating procedures. There were no observations of marine mammals during the air-to surface or surface-to-surface activities (small boats), or during ad hoc monitoring via range cameras other than during follow-up on the two occasions of sightings made during the pre-exercise range sweeps.

    For the 2013 period, the total amount of ordnance expended at BT-9 and BT-11 was 821,516 and 1,217,824 rounds, respectively. During the period of the 2013 IHA, the Marine Corps did not fire any high explosive (live) munitions at BT-9. The Marine Corps do not permit high explosive (live) munitions within BT-11.

    During the 2013 reporting period, a small boat crew observed a pod of eight dolphins within Rattan Bay (BT-11) while conducting surface-to-surface exercises. The Marine Corps suspended all small arms, live-fire activities until the pod departed Rattan Bay. On one other occasion, flight crews conducting range sweeps and observed dolphins within the confines of Rattan Bay at BT-11 prior to live-fire activities. The Marine Corps suspended the start of all training activities until the dolphins exited the mouth of the embayment, per MCAS Cherry Point Range standard operating procedures. For BT-9 during the 2013 period, there were no observations of marine mammals during the air-to surface or surface-to-surface activities (small boats), or during ad hoc monitoring via range cameras or maintenance vessels.

    In summary, no instances of mortality, serious injury, or Level A harassment occurred during the conduct of training activities during the course of the previous three incidental harassment authorizations.

    Mitigation

    In order to issue an incidental take authorization under section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA, NMFS must set forth the permissible methods of taking pursuant to such activity, and other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on such species or stock and its habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar significance, and the availability of such species or stock for taking for certain subsistence uses (where relevant).

    The NDAA of 2004 amended the MMPA as it relates to military-readiness activities and the incidental take authorization process such that “least practicable adverse impact” shall include consideration of personnel safety, practicality of implementation, and impact on the effectiveness of the military readiness activity.

    NMFS and the Marine Corps have worked to identify potential practicable and effective mitigation measures, which include a careful balancing of the likely benefit of any particular measure to the marine mammals with the likely effect of that measure on personnel safety, practicality of implementation, and impact on the “military-readiness activity.” NMFS refers the reader to Appendix B of the Marine Corps' application for more detailed information on the proposed mitigation measures which include the following:

    1. Visual Monitoring: Range operators will conduct or direct visual surveys to monitor BT-9 or BT-11 for protected species before and after each exercise. Range operation and control personnel would monitor the target area through tower mounted safety and surveillance cameras. The remotely operated range cameras are high-resolution cameras that allow viewers to see animals at the surface and breaking the surface, but not underwater. The camera system has night vision (IR) capabilities. Lenses on the camera system have a focal length of 250 mm to 1500 mm, with view angles of 2.2° x 1.65° (in wide-view) and 0.55° x 41° (in narrow-view) respectively. Using the night-time capabilities, with a narrow view, an observer could identify a 1-by-1 meter target out to three kilometers.

    In the event that the Marine Corps sight a marine mammal within 914 m (3,000 ft) of the BT-9 target area, personnel would declare the area as fouled and cease training exercises. Personnel would commence operations in BT-9 only after the animal moves beyond and on a path away from the 914-m (3,000-ft) radius around the target area.

    For BT-11, in the event that a marine mammal is sighted anywhere within the confines of Rattan Bay, personnel would declare the water-based targets within Rattan Bay as fouled and cease training exercises. Personnel would commence operations in BT-11 only after the marine mammal has left the confines of Rattan Bay.

    2. Range Sweeps: The VMR-1 squadron, stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, includes three specially equipped HH-46D helicopters. The primary mission of these aircraft, known as PEDRO, is to provide search and rescue for downed 2nd Marine Air Wing aircrews. On-board are a pilot, co-pilot, crew chief, search and rescue swimmer, and a medical corpsman. Each crew member has received extensive training in search and rescue techniques, and is therefore particularly capable at spotting objects floating in the water.

    The PEDRO crew would conduct a range sweep the morning of each exercise day prior to the commencement of range operations. The crew would also conduct post-exercise sweeps. The primary goal of the pre-exercise sweep is to ensure that the target area is clear of fisherman, other personnel, and protected species. Generally, the weekly monitoring events would include a maximum of five pre-exercise and four post-exercise sweeps. The maximum number of days that would elapse between pre- and post-exercise monitoring events would be approximately 3 days, and would normally occur on weekends.

    The sweeps would occur at 100 to 300 meters (328 to 984 ft) above the water surface, at airspeeds between 60 to 100 knots (69 to 115 mph). The path of the sweep runs down the western side of BT-11, circles around BT-9 and then continues down the eastern side of BT-9 before leaving. The sweep typically takes 20 to 30 minutes to complete.

    The PEDRO crew communicates directly with range personnel and can provide immediate notification to range operators of a fouled target area due to the presence of protected species. The PEDRO aircraft would remain in the area of a marine mammal sighting until the animal clears the area, if possible, or as mission requirements dictate.

    If the crew sights marine mammals during a range sweep, they would collect sighting data and immediately provide the information to range personnel who would take appropriate management action. Range staff would relay the sighting information to training Commanders scheduled on the range after the observation. Range personnel would enter the data into the Marine Corps' sighting database, web-interface, or report generator. Sighting data includes the following (collected to the best of the observer's ability): (1) Species identification; (2) group size; (3) the behavior of marine mammals (e.g., milling, travel, social, foraging); (4) location and relative distance from the bombing target; (5) date, time and visual conditions (e.g., Beaufort sea state, weather) associated with each observation; (6) direction of travel relative to the bombing target; and (7) duration of the observation.

    3. Aircraft Cold Pass: Standard operating procedures for waterborne targets require the pilot to perform a visual check prior to ordnance delivery to ensure the target area is clear of unauthorized civilian boats and personnel, and protected species such as turtles and marine mammals. This is a “cold” or clearing pass. Pilots requesting entry onto the BT-9 and BT-11 airspace must perform a low-altitude, cold first pass (a pass without any release of ordnance) immediately prior to ordnance delivery at the bombing targets both day and night.

    Pilots would conduct the cold pass with the aircraft (helicopter or fixed-winged) flying straight and level at altitudes of 61 to 914 m (200 to 3,000 ft) over the target area. The viewing angle is approximately 15 degrees. A blind spot exists to the immediate rear of the aircraft. Based upon prevailing visibility, a pilot can see more than one mile forward upon approach. If marine mammals are present in the target area, the Range Controller may deny ordnance delivery to the target as conditions warrant. If marine mammals are not present in the target area, the Range Controller may grant ordnance delivery as conditions warrant.

    4. Delay of Exercises: The Marine Corps would consider an active range as fouled and not available for use if a marine mammal is present within 914 m (3,000 ft) of the target area at BT-9 or anywhere within the confines of Rattan Bay (BT-11). Therefore, if Marine Corps personnel observe a marine mammal within 914 m (3,000 ft) of the target at BT-9 or anywhere within Rattan Bay at BT-11 during the cold pass or from range camera detection, they would delay training until after the animal moves beyond and on a path away from the 914-m (3,000-ft) radius around the target area at BT-9 or has moved out of Rattan Bay at BT-11. This mitigation measure applies to both air-to-surface and surface-to-surface exercises during the day or night.

    5. Vessel Operations: All vessels used during training operations would abide by NMFS' Southeast Regional Viewing Guidelines designed to prevent harassment to marine mammals (http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/education/southeast/).

    6. Stranding Network Coordination: The Marine Corps would coordinate with the local NMFS Stranding Coordinator to discuss observations of any unusual marine mammal behaviors, strandings, or any beached live/dead, or floating marine mammals at any time during training activities or within 24 hours after completion of training.

    Mitigation Conclusions

    NMFS has carefully evaluated the Marine Corps' mitigation measures in the context of ensuring that NMFS prescribes the means of effecting the least practicable impact on the affected marine mammal species and stocks and their habitat. NMFS' evaluation of potential measures included consideration of the following factors in relation to one another:

    • The manner in which, and the degree to which, the successful implementation of the measure is expected to minimize adverse impacts to marine mammals;

    • The proven or likely efficacy of the specific measure to minimize adverse impacts as planned; and

    • The practicability of the measure for applicant implementation.

    Any mitigation measure(s) prescribed by NMFS should be able to accomplish, have a reasonable likelihood of accomplishing (based on current science), or contribute to the accomplishment of one or more of the general goals listed here:

    1. Avoidance or minimization of injury or death of marine mammals wherever possible (goals 2, 3, and 4 may contribute to this goal).

    2. A reduction in the numbers of marine mammals (total number or number at biologically important time or location) exposed to training exercises that we expect to result in the take of marine mammals (this goal may contribute to goal 1 or to reducing harassment takes only).

    3. A reduction in the number of times (total number or number at biologically important time or location) individuals would be exposed to training exercises that we expect to result in the take of marine mammals (this goal may contribute to goal 1 or to reducing harassment takes only).

    4. A reduction in the intensity of exposures (either total number or number at biologically important time or location) to training exercises that we expect to result in the take of marine mammals (this goal may contribute to goal 1 or to reducing the severity of harassment takes only).

    5. Avoidance or minimization of adverse effects to marine mammal habitat, paying special attention to the food base, activities that block or limit passage to or from biologically important areas, permanent destruction of habitat, or temporary destruction/disturbance of habitat during a biologically important time.

    6. For monitoring directly related to mitigation—an increase in the probability of detecting marine mammals, thus allowing for more effective implementation of the mitigation.

    Based on the evaluation of the Marine Corps' mitigation measures, which includes consideration of the results from past monitoring reports required under the 2010-2013 Authorizations, NMFS has determined that the mitigation measures provide the means of effecting the least practicable impact on marine mammal species or stocks and their habitat, paying particular attention to rookeries, mating grounds, and areas of similar significance while also considering personnel safety, practicality of implementation, and the impact of effectiveness of the military readiness activity.

    Monitoring and Reporting

    In order to issue a Letter of Authorization for an activity, section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA states that we must set forth “requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of such taking.” The MMPA implementing regulations at 50 CFR 216.104(a)(13) indicate that requests for an authorization must include the suggested means of accomplishing the necessary monitoring and reporting that will result in increased knowledge of the species and our expectations of the level of taking or impacts on populations of marine mammals present in the action area.

    As part of its application, the Marine Corps provided a monitoring plan for assessing impacts to marine mammals from military training activities at BT-9 and BT-11 in Pamlico Sound, NC. This plan is similar, if not identical, to those conducted in previously issued Incidental Harassment Authorizations for the Marine Corps' activities from 2010-2013. The Marine Corps' suggested means of accomplishing the necessary monitoring and reporting under these regulations includes the following:

    1. Protected Species Observer Training: Operators of small boats, and other personnel monitoring for marine mammals from watercraft shall be required to take the Department of the Navy's Marine Species Awareness Training. The Marine Corps shall instruct those pilots conducting range sweeps on marine mammal observation techniques during routine Range Management Department briefings. This training would make personnel knowledgeable of marine mammals, protected species, and visual cues related to the presence of marine mammals and protected species.

    2. Pre- and Post-Exercise Monitoring: The Marine Corps would conduct pre-exercise monitoring the morning of an exercise and post-exercise monitoring the morning following an exercise, unless an exercise occurs on a Friday, in which case the post-exercise sweep would take place the following Monday. Weekly monitoring events would include a maximum of five pre-exercise and four post-exercise sweeps. The maximum number of days that would elapse between pre- and post-exercise monitoring events would be approximately three days, and would normally occur on weekends. If the Marine Corps observe marine mammals during this monitoring, personnel would record sighting data identical to those collected by the PEDRO crew.

    3. Long-term Monitoring: The Marine Corps awarded Duke University Marine Lab (Duke) a contract to obtain abundance, group dynamics (e.g., group size, age census), behavior, habitat use, and acoustic data on the bottlenose dolphins which inhabit Pamlico Sound, specifically those around BT-9 and BT-11. Duke began conducting boat-based surveys and passive acoustic monitoring of bottlenose dolphins in Pamlico Sound in 2000 (Read et al., 2003) and specifically at BT-9 and BT-11 in 2003 (Mayer, 2003). To date, boat-based surveys indicate that bottlenose dolphins may be resident to Pamlico Sound and use the BT-9 and BT-11 restricted areas on a frequent basis. Passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) provides more detailed insight into how dolphins use the two ranges, by monitoring for their vocalizations year-round, regardless of weather conditions or darkness. In addition to these surveys, the Marine Corps and Duke's scientists continue to test a real-time passive acoustic monitoring system at BT-9 that will allow automated detection of bottlenose dolphin whistles, providing yet another method of detecting dolphins prior to training operations.

    4. Reporting: The Marine Corps will submit an annual report to NMFS by June 1st of each year starting in 2016. The first report will cover the time period from issuance of the March 13, 2015 Letter of Authorization through March 12, 2016. Each annual report after that time will cover the time period from March 13 through March 12, annually.

    The Marine Corps will submit a draft final comprehensive report to NMFS no later than 180 days prior to expiration of these regulations. This report must summarize the findings made in all previous reports and assess both the impacts at each of the bombing targets and the cumulative impact on bottlenose dolphin from the specified activities.

    The draft final comprehensive report will summarize the type and amount of training exercises conducted, all marine mammal observations made during monitoring, and if mitigation measures were implemented. The draft final comprehensive report will also address the effectiveness of the monitoring plan in detecting marine mammals. The draft comprehensive report will be subject to review and comment by NMFS. Prior to acceptance by NMFS, the Marine Corps must address any recommendations made by NMFS, within 60 days of its receipt, in the final comprehensive report.

    General Notification of Injured or Dead Marine Mammals

    The Marine Corps will systematically observe training operations for injured or disabled marine mammals. In addition, the Marine Corps will monitor the principal marine mammal stranding networks and other media to correlate analysis of any dolphin strandings that could potentially be associated with BT-9 or BT-11 training operations.

    Marine Corps personnel will ensure that they notify NMFS immediately or as soon as clearance procedures allow if personnel find an injured, stranded, or dead marine mammal during or shortly after, and in the vicinity of, any training operations. The Marine Corps will provide NMFS with species or description of the animal(s), the condition of the animal(s) (including carcass condition if the animal is dead), location, time of first discovery, observed behaviors (if alive), and photo or video (if available).

    In the event that an injured, stranded, or dead marine mammal is found by Marine Corps personnel that is not in the vicinity of, or found during or shortly after operations, the Marine Corps personnel will report the same information as listed above as soon as operationally feasible and clearance procedures allow.

    General Notification of a Vessel Strike

    In the event of a vessel strike, at any time or place, the Marine Corps shall do the following:

    • Immediately report to us the species identification (if known), location (lat/long) of the animal (or the strike if the animal has disappeared), and whether the animal is alive or dead (or unknown);

    • Report to us as soon as operationally feasible the size and length of the animal, an estimate of the injury status (e.g., dead, injured but alive, injured and moving, unknown, etc.), vessel class/type and operational status;

    • Report to NMFS the vessel length, speed, and heading as soon as feasible; and

    • Provide us a photo or video, if equipment is available.

    Adaptive Management

    NMFS has included an adaptive management component in the regulations governing the take of marine mammals incidental to the Marine Corps' activities at BT-9 and BT-11. In accordance with 50 CFR 216.105(c), NMFS must base the regulations on the best available information. As the Marine Corps develops new information, through monitoring, reporting, or research, NMFS may modify the regulations, in whole or in part, after notice and opportunity for public review. The use of adaptive management will allow NMFS to consider new information from different sources to determine if NMFS should modify mitigation or monitoring measures (including additions or deletions) if new data suggest that such modifications are appropriate for subsequent LOAs. NMFS may modify or augment the existing mitigation or monitoring measures (after consulting with the Marine Corps regarding the practicability of the modifications) if doing so creates a reasonable likelihood of more effectively accomplishing the goals of mitigation and monitoring set forth in the preamble of these regulations. Following are some of the possible sources of new data that could contribute to the decision to modify the mitigation or monitoring measures:

    1. Results from the Marine Corps' monitoring from the previous year.

    2. Results from marine mammal and/or sound research or studies; or

    3. Any information which reveals that marine mammals may have been taken in a manner, extent, or number not authorized by these regulations or subsequent Letters of Authorization.

    In addition, NMFS may withdraw or suspend the LOA, if, after notice and opportunity for public comment, the Assistant Administrator finds, among other things, that the Marine Corps are not substantially complying with the regulations or the taking allowed is having more than a negligible impact on the species or stock, as allowed for in 50 CFR 216.106(e). That is, should monitoring and reporting indicate that the operations and activities from the Marine Corps' activities at BT-9 and BT-11 are having more than a negligible impact on marine mammals, then NMFS reserves the right to modify the regulations and/or withdraw or suspend an LOA after public review.

    Research

    The Marine Corps has funded surveys performed by Duke University researchers and provided financial support to augment surveys conducted by the NMFS Southeast Fisheries Science Center. Information and knowledge gained from the Marine Corps-funded research has contributed significantly to the understanding of bottlenose dolphin stocks, including their distribution and movement, in Pamlico Sound, NC.

    The Marine Corps, in collaboration with Duke scientists, are in the process of developing and testing a real-time passive acoustic monitoring system that will allow automated detection of bottlenose dolphin whistles (Appendix C in the application). The Marine Corps and Duke have performed the work in two phases. Phase I was the development of an automated signal detector (a software program) to recognize the whistles of dolphins at BT-9 and BT-11. Phase II, currently in progress, is the assembly and deployment of a prototype real-time monitoring unit on one of the towers in the BT-9 range. The success of this effort will help direct future research initiatives and activities within the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Range Complex. As funding becomes available and research opportunities arise, the Marine Corps will continue to fund and participate in studies that will enhance the understanding of the life history of marine mammals in Pamlico Sound.

    Comments and Responses

    On July 15, 2014, NMFS published a proposed rule (79 FR 41374) in response to the Marine Corps' request to take marine mammals incidental to military training activities at BT-9 and BT-11 in Pamlico Sound. In that Federal Register notice, NMFS requested comments, information, and suggestions concerning the request. During the 30-day public comment period, we received comments from the following: The Marine Mammal Commission (Commission), the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), and 12 comments from private citizens. Following is a summary of the substantive comments and NMFS' responses.

    MMPA Concerns

    Comment 1: The CBD requested that NMFS not issue regulations authorizing serious injury and mortality of up to 30 dolphins during the course of the five-year rule, stating that NMFS' analysis shows that the take of bottlenose dolphins will be more than negligible, specifically for the Southern and Northern North Carolina Estuarine System stocks.

    Response: NMFS acknowledges CBD's concerns regarding the Marine Corps' training activities on the Southern and Northern North Carolina Estuarine System stocks of bottlenose dolphins. NMFS has reassessed the estimates of bottlenose dolphins that the Marine Corps could potentially take during the course of the training activities and will not authorize take of bottlenose dolphins by mortality or serious injury in these regulations.

    NMFS reanalyzed the take estimates presented in the Marine Corps' 2014 application addendum and Tables 10 and 11 of the proposed rulemaking (79 FR 41374, July 14, 2014, page 41397), and has determined that these estimates overestimated the number of marine mammals that could potentially be taken by mortality and serious injury. First, in the proposed rule, NMFS rounded up the annual take estimates that were less than 0.5 to the nearest whole number (1). Instead, NMFS should have presented the annual take estimates for mortality and serious injury that were less than 0.5 as zero takes, which is the standard practice in calculating take estimates and recommended by the Marine Mammal Commission when estimating incidental take for military readiness activities (MMC, 2015). Generally, one should round down if less than 0.50 and round up if greater than or equal to 0.50.

    Second, NMFS inadvertently included estimated take by slight lung injury within the annual estimated take by serious injury category in Table 10 of the proposed rulemaking (79 FR 41374, July 14, 2014, page 41397). NMFS classifies slight lung injury as Level A harassment, not serious injury. Thus, this error of commission led NMFS to inaccurately state the number of takes by serious injury that could potentially occur in the absence of mitigation. Tables 10 and 11 of this final rule present the corrected take estimates for serious injury and mortality in the absence of mitigation. In summary, NMFS now estimates that, in the absence of mitigation, the Marine Corps could potentially take up to zero animals by mortality and potentially take up to two animals by serious injury on an annual basis.

    However, as stated in the proposed rule, in consideration of the effectiveness of the mitigation measures, NMFS does not expect take by serious injury or mortality to occur. NMFS believes it has sufficient information about the Marine Corp's activities and the effectiveness of the mitigation measures to reasonably conclude that the activities are not likely to result in any serious injury or mortality. NMFS notes that over the course of the previous incidental harassment authorizations issued to the Marine Corps for the same activities, there were no reported incidents of serious injury to or mortality of any marine mammal. NMFS believes that the mitigation measures that will be implemented by the Marine Corps (e.g., conservative exclusion zones for marine mammals; pre- and post-exercise monitoring, range sweeps, cold passes, delay of exercises, visual monitoring with high-resolution cameras with night vision capabilities, and passive acoustic monitoring) would reduce the amount and severity of the potential impacts from the activity, making it unlikely that any take by serious injury or morality would occur. Therefore, NMFS is not authorizing take by serious injury or mortality.

    In making a negligible impact determination, NMFS considers a variety of factors, including but not limited to: (1) The number of anticipated serious injuries and mortalities; (2) the number and nature of anticipated injuries (Level A harassment); (3) the number, nature, and intensity, and duration of Level B harassment; (4) the status of stock or species of marine mammals; (5) the context in which the takes occur; and (6) the effectiveness of monitoring and mitigation measures. Taking into consideration the historically low concentrations of bottlenose dolphins present within the BT-9 and BT-11 areas; the small scale and spatial footprint of the proposed detonations within the target areas; the relatively short duration and intermittent nature of the training activities; and the incorporation of proven mitigation and monitoring measures to lessen adverse effects, NMFS expects the activities to affect a small number of marine mammals on an infrequent basis to the degree that it would have a negligible impact on the one species of bottlenose dolphins or any of the four stocks of bottlenose dolphins in the action area.

    Comment 2: The CBD commented that the proposed regulations would authorize mortality for the Southern and Northern North Carolina Estuarine System strategic stocks of bottlenose dolphins at a rate above the Potential Biological Removal (PBR) for the stocks under the MMPA. They further state that any additional mortalities proposed for authorization above PBR for the North Caroline Estuarine System stock would slow that stock's recovery rate and preclude the species from reaching its optimum sustainable population and that any additional mortalities authorized above PBR for the Southern North Carolina Estuarine System stock would affect annual rates of recruitment or survival.

    Response: See NMFS' response to Comment 1. For reasons stated previously in the response to Comment 1, NMFS will not authorize the take of bottlenose dolphins by serious injury or mortality in these regulations. No takes by serious injury or mortality occurred during NMFS' previous authorizations to the Marine Corps. Based on the Marine Corps' compliance with previous authorizations for the same activities, NMFS expects the required mitigation and monitoring measures to minimize the potential risk for serious injury or mortality and does not expect these types of takes to occur.

    In addition, NMFS has included an adaptive management component in the regulations governing the take of marine mammals incidental to the Marine Corps' activities at BT-9 and BT-11. The use of adaptive management will allow NMFS to consider new information from different sources to determine whether mitigation or monitoring measures should be modified. NMFS may modify or augment the existing mitigation or monitoring measures (after consulting with the Marine Corps regarding the practicability of the modifications) if doing so creates a reasonable likelihood of more effectively accomplishing the goals of mitigation and monitoring set forth in the preamble of these regulations.

    Effects Analyses

    Comment 3: The CBD states that NMFS should not issue regulations authorizing harassment and mortality of the North Carolina Estuarine System bottlenose dolphins because the additional mortality associated with the Unusual Mortality Event (UME) in the mid-Atlantic Ocean.

    Response: For reasons stated previously in the response to Comment 1, NMFS would not authorize the take of bottlenose dolphins by serious injury or mortality in these regulations. See our responses to Comments 1 and 2 regarding NMFS' determinations of the expected level of mortality and serious injury that could potentially occur in BT-9 and BT-11 given the required mitigation and monitoring measures in this final rule.

    NOAA has declared an UME for bottlenose dolphins in the mid-Atlantic Ocean from early July 2013 through the present. Elevated strandings of bottlenose dolphins have occurred in North Carolina. However, none have occurred in BT-9 or BT-11.

    All age classes of bottlenose dolphins are involved and strandings range from a few live animals to mostly dead animals with many very decomposed (NMFS, 2015). Based upon preliminary diagnostic testing and discussion with disease experts, the tentative cause of this UME could be cetacean morbillivirus (NMFS, 2015). However the investigation is still ongoing and additional contributory factors to the UME are under investigation including other pathogens, biotoxins, range expansion, etc. (NMFS, 2015).

    Comment 4: The Commission recommends the NMFS require the Marine Corps to use either direct strike or dynamic Monte Carlo models to determine the probability of ordnance strike.

    Response: NMFS considers the Marine Corps' model for direct strike to be the best available information. Although the Commission recommended “direct strike or dynamic Monte Carlo methods,” it noted that the result of using a new risk probability model would likely provide negligible changes from the model described in the application. Because NMFS also believes that any change would be negligible and that the Marine Corps' existing model is the best available information, NMFS disagrees that the alternative modeling suggested by the Commission is necessary.

    Mitigation

    Comment 5: The Commission also requested that we require the Marine Corps to implement a plan to evaluate the effectiveness of all of its sensor-based monitoring systems (i.e., the remote-camera passive acoustic monitoring systems).

    Response: NMFS worked closely with the Marine Corps to develop proper mitigation, monitoring, and reporting requirements designed to minimize and detect impacts from the specified activities. This includes a Marine Mammal and Protected Species Monitoring Plan (Plan) that satisfies the requirements of the MMPA.

    The Marine Corps has collaborated with Duke University to develop and test a real-time passive acoustic monitoring system that will allow automated detection of bottlenose dolphin whistles. Duke University is performing the work in two phases. Phase I was the development of an automated signal detector (a software program) to recognize the whistles of dolphins at BT-9 and BT-11. Phase II, currently in progress, is the assembly and deployment of a prototype real-time monitoring unit on one of the towers in the BT-9 range. Through the adaptive management component of the regulations, NMFS and the Marine Corps will continue evaluate the effectiveness of all of the sensor-based monitoring systems in BT-9 and BT-11.

    Miscellaneous Concerns

    Comment 6: Several individuals expressed general opposition to the Marine Corps' activities and to NMFS' proposed issuance of MMPA regulations because of the danger of killing or harassing marine life.

    Response: NMFS appreciates the commenters' concerns for the marine life in the areas of the proposed activities. We note that over the course of the previous incidental harassment authorizations issued to the Marine Corps for the same activities, there were no reported incidents of injury to or mortality of any marine mammal. NMFS does not expect take by serious injury or mortality to occur. Again, taking into consideration the historically low concentrations of bottlenose dolphins present within the BT-9 and BT-11 areas; the small scale and spatial footprint of the proposed detonations within the target areas; the relatively short duration of the activities; and the incorporation of proven mitigation and monitoring measures to lessen adverse effects, NMFS expects the activities to have a negligible impact on marine mammals.

    Estimated Numbers of Marine Mammals Taken by Harassment

    NMFS' analysis identified the lethal responses, physiological responses, and behavioral responses that could potentially result from exposure to underwater explosive detonations. In this section, NMFS will relate the potential effects to marine mammals from underwater detonation of explosives and direct strike by ordnance to the MMPA regulatory definitions of Level A and Level B harassment, serious injury, and mortality. This section will also quantify the effects that might occur from the military readiness activities in BT-9 and BT-11.

    Definition of Harassment

    The NDAA removed the “small numbers” and “specified geographic region” limitations indicated earlier in this document and amended the definition of harassment as it applies to a “military readiness activity” to read as follows: (i) Any act that injures or has the significant potential to injure a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild [Level A Harassment]; or (ii) any act that disturbs or is likely to disturb a marine mammal or marine mammal stock in the wild by causing disruption of natural behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, surfacing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering, to a point where such behavioral patterns are abandoned or significantly altered [Level B Harassment].

    Level B Harassment

    Of the potential effects described in the proposed rule, the following are the types of effects that fall into the Level B harassment category:

    Behavioral Harassment—Behavioral disturbance that rises to the level described in the above definition, when resulting from exposures to non-impulsive or impulsive sound, is Level B harassment. Some of the lower level physiological stress responses discussed earlier would also likely co-occur with the predicted harassments, although these responses are more difficult to detect and fewer data exist relating these responses to specific received levels of sound. When predicting Level B harassment based on estimated behavioral responses, those takes may have a stress-related physiological component.

    Acoustic Masking and Communication Impairment—NMFS considers acoustic masking to be Level B harassment, as it can disrupt natural behavioral patterns by interrupting or limiting the marine mammal's receipt or transmittal of important information or environmental cues.

    Temporary Threshold Shift (TTS)—As discussed previously, TTS can affect how an animal behaves in response to the environment, including conspecifics, predators, and prey. NMFS classifies TTS (when resulting from exposure to explosives and other impulsive sources) as Level B harassment, not Level A harassment (injury).

    Level A Harassment

    Of the potential effects that were described in the proposed rule, the following are the types of effects that fall into the Level A Harassment category:

    Permanent Threshold Shift (PTS)—PTS (resulting either from exposure to explosive detonations) is irreversible and NMFS considers this to be an injury.

    Physical Disruption of Tissues Resulting from Explosive Shock Wave— NMFS classifies physical damage of tissues resulting from a shock wave (from an explosive detonation) as an injury.

    NMFS considers direct strike by ordnance associated with the specified activities to be serious injury or mortality.

    Impulsive Sound Explosive Thresholds

    NMFS has identified three potential levels of take for the Marine Corps' training exercises: Level B harassment; Level A harassment; and mortality (or serious injury leading to mortality). We present the acoustic thresholds for impulse sounds in this section.

    Table 7 summarizes the marine mammal impulsive sound explosive thresholds used for the Marine Corps' acoustic impact modeling for marine mammal take in its application and 2009 EA. Several standard acoustic metrics (Urick, 1983) describe the thresholds for predicting potential physical impacts from underwater pressure waves. They are:

    • Total energy flux density or Sound Exposure Level (SEL). For plane waves (as assumed here), SEL is the time integral of the instantaneous intensity, where the instantaneous intensity is defined as the squared acoustic pressure divided by the characteristic impedance of sea water. Thus, SEL is the instantaneous pressure amplitude squared, summed over the duration of the signal. Standard units are dB referenced to 1 re: μPa2-s.

    1/3-octave SEL. This is the SEL in a 1/3-octave frequency band. A 1/3-octave band has upper and lower frequency limits with a ratio of 21:3, creating bandwidth limits of about 23 percent of center frequency.

    • Positive impulse. This is the time integral of the initial positive pressure pulse of an explosion or explosive-like wave form. Standard units are Pa-s or psi-ms.

    • Peak pressure. This is the maximum positive amplitude of a pressure wave, dependent on charge mass and range. Standard units are psi, μPa, or Bar.

    Table 7—Impulsive Sound Explosive Thresholds Used by the Marine Corps in Its Previous Acoustics Impacts Modeling Criterion Criterion definition Threshold Mortality Onset of severe lung injury (mass of dolphin calf: 12.2 kg) (1% probability of mortality) 31 psi-msec (positive impulse). Level A harassment (injury) 50% animals would experience ear drum rupture, 30% animals exposed sustain permanent threshold shift 205 dB re 1 μPa2-s EFD (full spectrum energy). Level A harassment (injury) Onset of slight lung injury (mass of dolphin calf: 12.2 kg) 13 psi-msec (positive impulse). Level B harassment TTS and associated behavioral disruption 23 psi peak pressure. Level B harassment TTS and associated behavioral disruption (dual criteria) 182 dB re: 1 μPa2-s EFD*, 1/3-octave band. Level B harassment Sub-TTS behavioral disruption (for multiple/sequential detonations only) 177 dB re: 1 μPa2-s EFD*, 1/3-octave band. * Note: In greatest 1/3-octave band above 10 Hz or 100 Hz.

    NMFS previously developed the explosive thresholds for assessing impacts of explosions on marine mammals shown in Table 7 for the shock trials of the USS Seawolf and USS Winston S. Churchill. However, at NMFS' recommendation, the Marine Corps has updated the thresholds used for onset of temporary threshold shift (TTS; Level B Harassment) and onset of permanent threshold shift (PTS; Level A Harassment) to be consistent with the thresholds outlined in the Navy's report titled, “Criteria and Thresholds for U.S. Navy Acoustic and Explosive Effects Analysis Technical Report,” on which the Navy coordinated with NMFS. NMFS believes that the thresholds outlined in the Navy's report represent the best available science. The report is available on the Internet at: http://aftteis.com/Portals/4/aftteis/Supporting%20Technical%20Documents/Criteria_and_Thresholds_for_US_Navy_Acoustic_and_Explosive_Effects_Analysis-Apr_2012.pdf.

    Table 8 in this document outlines the revised acoustic thresholds used by NMFS for this rulemaking when addressing noise impacts from explosives.

    Table 8—Impulsive Sound Explosive Thresholds Used by the Marine Corps in Its Current Acoustics Impacts Modeling Group Behavior Behavioral TTS Slight injury PTS Gastro-intestinal tract Lung Mortality Mid-frequency Cetaceans 167 dB SEL 172 dB SEL or 23 psi 187 dB SEL or 45.86 psi 104 psi 39.1 M1/3 (1+[DRm/10.081])1/2 Pa-sec
  • Where: M = mass of the animals in kg DRm = depth of the receiver (animal) in meters
  • 91.4 M1/3 (1+DRm/10.081])1/2 Pa-sec.
  • Where: M = mass of the animals in kg DRm = depth of the receiver (animal) in meters.
  • The Marine Corps conservatively modeled that all explosives would detonate at a 1.2 m (3.9 ft) water depth despite the training goal of hitting the target, resulting in an above water or on land explosion. For sources detonated at shallow depths, it is frequently the case that the explosion may breech the surface with some of the acoustic energy escaping the water column. Table 9 provides the estimated maximum range or radius, from the detonation point to the various thresholds described in Table 8.

    Table 9—Distances (m) to Harassment Thresholds From the Marine Corps' Explosive Ordnance Proposed ordnance NEW
  • (lbs)
  • Mortality Level A harassment 187 dB 46 psi-msec Level B harassment 172 dB 23 psi 167 dB
    30 mm HE 0.1019 0 297.8 8.5 677.7 70 856.7 40 mm HE 0.1199 0 168.2 9.5 467.5 64.4 604.6 2.75-inch Rocket 4.8 29.3 270.4 49.1 631.5 197.3 830.4 5-inch Rocket 15.0 39.8 346.1 63.4 778.7 233.4 1,032.4 G911 Grenade 0.5 9.6 136.4 23.3 416.2 103.5 547.3
    Density Estimation

    The Marine Corps bases its method to estimate the number of marine mammals potentially affected using bottlenose dolphin densities (summer and winter), the amount/type of ordnance proposed, and distances to NMFS' harassment threshold criteria.

    In 2000, Duke conducted a boat-based mark-recapture survey throughout the estuaries, bays and sounds of North Carolina (Read et al., 2003). The 2000 boat-based survey yielded a dolphin density of 0.183 per square kilometer (km2) (0.071 square mile (mi2)) based on an estimate of 919 dolphins for the northern inshore waters divided by an estimated 5,015 km2 (1,936 mi2) survey area.

    In a follow-on aerial study (July 2002-June 2003) specifically in and around BT-9 and BT-11, Duke reported one sighting in the restricted area surrounding BT-9, two sightings in proximity to BT-11, and seven sightings in waters adjacent to the bombing targets (Maher, 2003). In total, 276 bottlenose dolphins were sighted ranging in group size from two to 70 animals with mean dolphin density in BT-11 more than twice as large as the density of any of the other areas; however, the daily densities were not significantly different (Maher, 2003). The researchers calculated the estimated dolphin density at BT-9 and BT-11 based on these surveys to be 0.11 dolphins/km2, and 1.23 dolphins/km2, respectively.

    For the regulations, the Marine Corps chose to estimate take of dolphins based on the higher density reported from the summer 2000 surveys (0.183/km2). Although the researchers conducted the aerial surveys year round and provided seasonal density estimates, the average year-round density from the aerial surveys is 0.0936, lower than the 0.183/km2 density chosen to calculate take for purposes of these proposed regulations. Additionally, Goodman et al. (2007) acknowledged that boat based density estimates may be more accurate than the uncorrected estimates derived from the aerial surveys.

    Estimated Take From Explosives at BT-9

    In order to calculate take from ordnance, the Marine Corps considered the distances to which animals could be harassed along with dolphin density (0.183 km2) and based take calculations for munitions firing on 100 percent water detonation. Because the goal of training is to hit the targets and not the water, NMFS considers these take estimates based on 100 percent water detonation of munitions to be conservative.

    Table 10 presents the annual estimated take of bottlenose dolphins from exposure to explosive ordnance based on current thresholds. The Marine Corps has requested, and NMFS proposes to authorize, the incidental take of 323 bottlenose dolphins from Level B Harassment (behavioral and TTS) and 34 bottlenose dolphins from Level A Harassment (PTS) annually.

    Table 10 also includes an estimated annual take of 2 bottlenose dolphins by mortality (or serious injury leading to mortality) as a result of exposure to impulsive sound explosions. However, in consideration of the effectiveness of the mitigation measures, NMFS does not expect take by serious injury or mortality related to exposure to explosive ordnance to occur, and is not authorizing serious injury or mortality. The Marine Corps has conducted gunnery and bombing training exercises at BT-9 and BT-11 for several years and, to date, the monitoring reports do not indicate that dolphin injury, serious injury, or mortality has occurred as a result of the training exercises. Also, the Marine Corps has a history of notifying the NMFS stranding network when any injured or stranded animal comes ashore or is spotted by personnel on the water. The stranding responders have examined each of the stranded animals, confirming that it was unlikely that the Marine Corps' exercises resulted in the death or injury of the stranded marine mammal.

    Table 10—Annual and 5-year Estimated Take of Bottlenose Dolphins From Exposure to Explosive Ordnance Based on Indicated Thresholds and the Absence of Mitigation Measures Proposed ordnance Mortality Serious
  • injury
  • 104 psi Level A harassment
  • (PTS/slight lung injury)
  • 187 dB SEL/
  • Positive impulse
  • Level B harassment
  • (TTS and behavior)
  • 172 dB SEL 167 dB SEL
    30 mm HE 0 (0.0) 0 (0.46) 3.70 17.18 10.41 40 mm HE 0 (0.0) 2 (1.56) 24.03 153.84 95.37 2.75-inch Rocket 0 (0.06) 0 (0.34) 3.53 15.35 9.82 5-inch Rocket 0 (0.032) 0 (0.19) 1.66 7.21 4.77 G911 Grenade 0 (0.004) 0 (0.06) 0.87 4.60 2.91 Annual Totals * 0   2   34 199 124 5-Year Totals 0   10   170 1,615 Estimates in parentheses less than or equal to 0.5 rounded to zero.
    Estimated Take by Direct Strike of Ordnance

    Table 11 presents the annual estimated take of bottlenose dolphins from direct strike by ordnance, which is zero for each location. In consideration of the effectiveness of the mitigation measures, NMFS does not expect take by serious injury or mortality related to direct strike to occur.

    Table 11—Annual Estimated Take of Bottlenose Dolphins From Direct Strike by Ordnance Bombing target Estimated annual ordnance levels Strike probability Estimated number of strikes Annual estimate 5-Year estimate BT-9 1,225,815 2.61 × 10 7 0 (0.32) 0 0 BT-11 451,686.24 1 9.4 × 10 8 0 (0.042) 0 0 1 BT-11 based on 36 percent of the total estimated ordnance levels (1,254,684) with a deployment footprint over water. In reanalyzing the data based on public comments, NMFS considered the modeled numbers less than or equal to 0.5 to be discountable for estimating take. Estimates in parentheses less than or equal to 0.5 rounded to zero.

    The Marine Corps conducted modeling for the bombing targets to determine the total surface area needed to contain 99.99 percent of initial and ricochet impacts (95 percent confidence interval) for each aircraft and ordnance type. It then generated the surface area or footprints of weapon impact areas associated with air-to-ground ordnance delivery and estimated that at both BT-9 and BT-11 the probability of deployed ordnance landing in the impact footprint is essentially 1.0, since the footprints were designed to contain 99.99 percent of impacts, including ricochets. However, only 36 percent of the weapon footprint for BT-11 is over water in Rattan Bay. Water depths in Rattan Bay range from 3 m (10 ft) in the deepest part of the bay to 0.5 m (1.6 ft) close to shore.

    The Marine Corps calculated the probability of hitting a bottlenose dolphin at the bombing targets by multiplying the dolphin's dorsal surface area by the density estimate of dolphins in the area. It estimated that the dorsal surface area of a bottlenose dolphin was approximately 1.425 m2 (15.3 ft2) with an average length and width of 2.85 m (9.3 ft) and 0.5 m (1.6 ft), respectively. Then using the density estimate of 0.183 km2, it calculated the probability of direct strike in the waters of BT-9 as 2.61 × 10−7 and the probability of direct strike in the waters of BT-11 as 9.4 × 10−8. The probability for BT-11 is 64 percent lower, because only 36 percent of the weapons footprint occurs over the water column. This method is the best available information for estimating the probability of ordnance striking a marine mammal in BT-9 or BT-11.

    Vessel Presence

    Interactions with vessels are not a new experience for bottlenose dolphins in Pamlico Sound. Pamlico Sound is heavily used by recreational, commercial (fishing, daily ferry service, tugs, etc.), and military (including the Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard) vessels year-round. The NMFS' Southeast Regional Office has developed marine mammal viewing guidelines to educate the public on how to responsibly view marine mammals in the wild and avoid causing a take(http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/education/southeast/). The guidelines recommend that vessels should remain a minimum of 50 yards (45.7 m; 150 ft) from a dolphin, operate in a predictable manner, avoid excessive speed or sudden changes in speed or direction in the vicinity of animals, and not pursue, chase, or separate a group of animals. The Marine Corps would abide by these guidelines to the fullest extent practicable. The Marine Corps would not engage in high speed exercises if personnel detect a marine mammal within the immediate area of the bombing targets prior to training commencement and would never closely approach, chase, or pursue dolphins. Personnel monitoring on the vessels, marking success rate of target hits, and monitoring the remote camera would facilitate detection of marine mammals within the bombing targets.

    Based on the description of the action, the other activities regularly occurring in the area, the species that may be exposed to the activity and their observed behaviors in the presence of vessel traffic, and the implementation of measures to avoid vessel strikes, NMFS has determined that it is unlikely that the small boat maneuvers during surface-to-surface maneuvers would result in the take of any marine mammals, in the form of either behavioral harassment, injury, serious injury, or mortality.

    Negligible Impact Analysis and Determinations

    Negligible impact is “an impact resulting from the specified activity that cannot be reasonably expected to, and is not reasonably likely to, adversely affect the species or stock through effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival” (50 CFR 216.103). A negligible impact finding is based on the lack of likely adverse effects on annual rates of recruitment or survival (i.e., population-level effects). An estimate of the number of Level B harassment takes, alone, is not enough information on which to base an impact determination. In addition to considering estimates of the number of marine mammals that might be “taken” through behavioral harassment, NMFS must consider other factors, such as the likely nature of any responses (their intensity, duration, etc.), the context of any responses (critical reproductive time or location, migration, etc.), as well as the number and nature of estimated Level A harassment takes, the number of estimated mortalities, and effects on habitat.

    NMFS would authorize Level A and Level B harassment only of bottlenose dolphins over the course of a 5-year period. The Marine Corps has described its specified activities based on best estimates of the number of sorties that it proposes to conduct training exercises at BT-9 and BT-11. The exact number of ordnance expenditures may vary from year to year, but will not exceed the 5-year total of ordnance expenditures based on the information in Tables 3 and 4. NMFS does not anticipate that the take totals proposed for authorization would exceed the 5-year totals indicated in Tables 10 and 11.

    Tolerance

    Depending on the intensity of the shock wave and size, location, and depth of the animal, an animal can exhibit tolerance from hearing the blast sound. However, tolerance effects on bottlenose dolphins within the bombing target areas are difficult to assess given their affinity for the area. Scientific boat-based surveys conducted throughout Pamlico Sound conclude that dolphins use the areas around the BTs more frequently than other portions of Pamlico Sound (Maher, 2003), despite the Marine Corps actively training in a manner identical to the specified activities described here for years. Because of the low concentration of bottlenose dolphins present within the BT-9 and BT-11 areas, the incorporation of mitigation measures to lessen effects, and the short durations of the missions, NMFS expects that tolerance effects would be minimal and would affect a small number of marine mammals on an infrequent basis.

    Masking

    For reasons stated previously in the proposed rule, NMFS expects masking effects from ordnance detonation to be minimal because masking is typically of greater concern for those marine mammals that utilize low frequency communications, such as baleen whales. While it may occur temporarily, NMFS does not expect auditory masking to result in detrimental impacts to an individual's or population's survival, fitness, or reproductive success. Dolphin movement is not restricted within the BT-9 or BT-11 ranges, allowing for movement out of the area to avoid masking impacts.

    Disturbance

    The Level B harassment takes would likely result in dolphins being temporarily affected by bombing or gunnery exercises. However, the probability that detonation events will overlap in time and space with marine mammals is low, particularly given the densities of marine mammals in the vicinity of BT-9 and BT-11 and the implementation of monitoring and mitigation measures. Moreover, NMFS does not expect animals to experience repeat exposures to the same sound source, as bottlenose dolphins would likely move away from the source after being exposed. In addition, NMFS expects that these isolated exposures, when received at distances of Level B behavioral harassment, would cause brief startle reactions or short-term behavioral modification by the animals. These brief reactions and behavioral changes would disappear when the exposures cease.

    Read et al. (2003) concluded that dolphins rarely occur in open waters in the middle of North Carolina sounds and large estuaries, but instead are concentrated in shallow water habitats along shorelines. However, no specific areas have been identified as vital reproduction or foraging habitat.

    NMFS and the Marine Corps have estimated that individuals of bottlenose dolphins may sustain some level of temporary threshold shift (TTS) from underwater detonations. TTS can last from a few minutes to days, be of varying degree, and occur across various frequency bandwidths. Although the degree of TTS depends on the received noise levels and exposure time, studies show that TTS is reversible. NMFS expects the animals' sensitivity to recover fully in minutes to hours based on the fact that the proposed underwater detonations are small in scale and isolated. In summary, we do not expect that these levels of received impulse noise from detonations would affect annual rates of recruitment or survival.

    Stress Response

    NMFS expects short-term effects such as stress during underwater detonations, as repeated exposure to sounds from underwater explosions may cause physiological stress that could lead to long-term consequences for the individual such as reduced survival, growth, or reproductive capacity. However, the time scale of individual explosions is very limited, and the Marine Corps disperses its training exercises in space and time.

    Consequently, repeated exposure of individual bottlenose dolphins to sounds from underwater explosions is not likely and most acoustic effects are expected to be short-term and localized. NMFS does not expect long-term consequences for populations because the BT-9 and BT-11 areas continue to support bottlenose dolphins in spite of ongoing missions. The best available data do not suggest that there is a decline in the Pamlico Sound population due to these exercises.

    Permanent Threshold Shift

    NMFS believes that many marine mammals would deliberately avoid exposing themselves to the received levels of explosive ordnance necessary to induce injury by moving away from or at least modifying their path to avoid a close approach. Also, in the unlikely event that an animal approaches the bombing target at a close distance, NMFS believes that the mitigation measures (i.e., the delay/postponement of missions) would typically ensure that animals would not be exposed to injurious levels of sound. As discussed previously, the Marine Corps utilizes both aerial and passive acoustic monitoring in addition to personnel on vessels to detect marine mammals for mitigation implementation. The potential for permanent hearing impairment and injury is low due to the incorporation of the proposed mitigation measures specified in this final rule.

    Lethal Responses

    As stated previously, NMFS would not authorize take by mortality (or serious injury leading to mortality). There have been no recorded incidents of mortality or serious injury of marine mammals resulting from previous missions in BT-9 or BT-11 to date. Based on the Marine Corps' compliance with previous authorizations for the same activities, NMFS expects the proposed mitigation and monitoring measures to minimize the potential risk for serious injury or mortality and does not expect these types of takes to occur.

    The Marine Corps has conducted gunnery and bombing training exercises at BT-9 and BT-11 for several years and, to date, the monitoring reports do not indicate that dolphin injury, serious injury, or mortality has occurred as a result of its training exercises. Also, the Marine Corps has a history of notifying the NMFS stranding network when any injured or stranded animal comes ashore or is spotted by personnel on the water. The stranding responders have examined each of the stranded animals, confirming that it was unlikely that the Marine Corps' exercises resulted in the death or injury of the stranded marine mammal.

    Synopsis

    As described in the Affected Species section of this final rule, bottlenose dolphin stock segregation is complex with stocks overlapping throughout the coastal and estuarine waters of North Carolina. It is not possible for the Marine Corps to determine to which stock any individual dolphin taken during training activities belongs, as this can only be accomplished through genetic testing. However, it is likely that many of the dolphins encountered would belong to the Northern or Southern North Carolina Estuarine System stocks. These stocks have abundance estimates of 950 and 188 animals, respectively, and are not listed as threatened or endangered under the ESA.

    In addition, the potential for temporary or permanent hearing impairment and injury is low and through the incorporation of the proposed mitigation measures specified in this document would have the least practicable adverse impact on the affected species or stocks. The information contained in the Marine Corps' application, the 2009 EA, and this document support NMFS' finding that impacts will be mitigated by implementation of a conservative safety range for marine mammal exclusion in Rattan Bay, incorporation of platform and aerial survey monitoring efforts both prior to and after detonation of explosives, and delay/postponement/cancellation of detonations whenever marine mammals or other specified protected resources are either detected within the bombing target areas or enter the bombing target areas at the time of detonation, or if weather and sea conditions preclude adequate surveillance.

    The Marine Corps has complied with the requirements of the previous incidental harassment authorizations issued for similar activities, and reported few observed takes of marine mammals incidental to these training exercises.

    Based on the best available information, NMFS authorizes: take by Level B harassment of 1,615 bottlenose dolphins and take by Level A harassment of 170 bottlenose dolphins only. This represents an overestimate of the number of individuals harassed over the duration of the final rule and LOA because these totals represent much smaller numbers of individuals that may be harassed multiple times. There are no stocks known from the action area listed as threatened or endangered under the ESA. Two bottlenose dolphin stocks designated as strategic under the MMPA may be affected by the Marine Corps' activities. In this case, under the MMPA, strategic stock means a marine mammal stock for which the level of direct human-caused mortality exceeds the potential biological removal level. These include the Southern North Carolina Estuarine System and Northern North Carolina Estuarine System Stocks. NMFS does not expect the this action to result in long-term impacts such as permanent abandonment or reduction in presence at BT-9 or BT-11. No impacts are expected at the population or stock level.

    Taking into account information presented in this final rule, the Marine Corps' application and 2014 application addendum, the 2009 EA, and results from previous monitoring reports, NMFS has determined that the total level of take incidental to authorized training exercises over the 5-year effective period of the regulations would have a negligible impact on the marine mammal species and stocks affected at BT-9 and BT-11 in Pamlico Sound, NC.

    Impact on Availability of Affected Species or Stock for Taking for Subsistence Uses

    There are no relevant subsistence uses of marine mammals implicated by this action. Therefore, NMFS has determined that the total taking of affected species or stocks would not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of such species or stocks for taking for subsistence purposes.

    Endangered Species Act (ESA)

    For the reasons explained above, this action will not affect any ESA-listed species or designated critical habitat under NMFS' jurisdiction. Therefore, there is no requirement for NMFS to consult under Section 7 of the ESA on the issuance of an Authorization under section 101(a)(5)(A) of the MMPA.

    National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

    On February 11, 2009, the Marine Corps issued a Finding of No Significant Impact for its Environmental Assessment (EA) on MCAS Cherry Point Range Operations. Based on the analysis of the EA, the Marine Corps determined that the proposed action would not have a significant impact on the human environment.

    After evaluating the Marine Corps' application and the 2009 EA, NMFS determined that there were changes to the proposed action (i.e., increased ammunitions levels) and new environmental impacts (i.e., the use of revised thresholds for estimating potential impacts on marine mammals from explosives) not addressed in the 2009 EA. In 2015, NMFS conducted a new analysis per NEPA, augmenting the information contained in the Marine Corps' 2009 EA, on the issuance of MMPA rulemaking and a subsequent LOA. In February 2015, NMFS determined that the issuance of this regulation and subsequent LOA would not have a significant effect on the quality of the human environment and issued a FONSI. In 2015, the Marine Corps issued a new FONSI for their activities under the regulations and subsequent LOA.

    Classification

    This action does not contain any collection of information requirements for purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

    The Office of Management and Budget has determined that this final rule is not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866.

    Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration at the proposed rule stage, that this rule, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. NMFS published the certification in the Federal Register notice of the proposed rulemaking on July 15, 2014. NMFS received no comments about the certification. Accordingly, a final regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and NMFS has not prepared one for this rulemaking.

    The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries has determined that there is good cause under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3)) to waive the 30-day delay in effective date of the measures contained in the final rule. The Marine Corps has a compelling national policy reason to continue military readiness activities without interruption to the routine training at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Range Complex.

    This rulemaking began after our receipt of the Marine Corps' revised application for take authorization in May 2014. Since that time, NMFS has prepared an EA for the rulemaking and subsequent LOA for the Marine Corps' activities. Both agencies seriously considered all public comments and worked together to ensure an outcome that satisfied both the Marine Corps purpose and need and our statutory responsibilities under the MMPA.

    The Marine Corps has a compelling national policy reason to continue military readiness activities without interruption to their military training activities. Under these circumstances, it was not possible to finalize the MMPA rulemaking and the NEPA obligations with sufficient time to allow for the 30-day delay in effectiveness date.

    As discussed below, suspension/interruption of the Marine Corps' ability to conduct training exercises disrupts adequate and realistic testing of military equipment, weapons, and sensors for proper operation and suitability for combat essential to national security.

    In order to meet its national security objectives, the Marine Corps must continually maintain its ability to train and operate. To meet these objectives, the Marine Corps must identify, develop, and procure defense systems by continually integrating test and evaluation support throughout the defense acquisition process and providing essential information to decision-makers. Such testing and evaluation is critical in determining that defense systems perform as expected and whether these systems are operationally effective, suitable, survivable, and safe for their intended use.

    In order to effectively fulfill its national security mission, the Marine Corps has a need to conduct training activities covered by this final rule as soon as possible. A 30-day delay further reduces the amount of time the Marine Corps has available to plan for and execute an activity covered by this rule. Further, should an immediate national security issue arise; the 30-day delay would prevent the Marine Corps from meeting its mission, which would have adverse national security consequences. Waiver of the 30-day delay of the effective date of the final rule will allow the Marine Corps to continue training marines quickly, while also ensuring compliance with the MMPA.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 218

    Exports, Fish, Imports, Indians, Labeling, Marine mammals, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Seafood, Transportation.

    Dated: March 4, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For reasons set forth in the preamble, 50 CFR part 218 is amended as follows:

    PART 218—REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE TAKING AND IMPORTING OF MARINE MAMMALS 1. The authority citation for part 218 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1361 et seq.

    2. Subpart E is added to part 218 to read as follows: Subpart E—Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to U.S. Marine Corps Training Exercises at Brant Island Bombing Target and Piney Island Bombing Range, Pamlico Sound, North Carolina Sec. 218.40 Specified activity and location of specified activities. 218.41 Effective dates. 218.42 Permissible methods of taking. 218.43 Prohibitions. 218.44 Mitigation. 218.45 Requirements for monitoring and reporting. 218.46 Applications for Letters of Authorization. 218.47 Letter of Authorization. 218.48 Renewal and Modifications of Letters of Authorization. Subpart E—Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to U.S. Marine Corps Training Exercises at Brant Island Bombing Target and Piney Island Bombing Range, Pamlico Sound, North Carolina
    § 218.40 Specified activity and location of specified activities.

    (a) Regulations in this subpart apply only to the U.S. Marine Corps (Marine Corps) for the incidental taking of marine mammals that occurs in the area outlined in paragraph (b) of this section incidental to the activities described in paragraph (c) of this section.

    (b) The taking of marine mammals by the Marine Corps is only authorized if it occurs within the Brant Island Target (BT-9) and Piney Island Bombing Range (BT-11) bombing targets at the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Range Complex located within Pamlico Sound, North Carolina (as depicted in Figure 3-1 of the Marine Corps' request for regulations and Letter of Authorization). The BT-9 area is a water-based bombing target and mining exercise area located approximately 52 kilometers (km) (32.3 miles (mi)) northeast of Marine Air Corps Station Cherry Point. The BT-11 area encompasses a total of 50.6 square kilometers (km2) (19.5 square miles (mi2)) on Piney Island located in Carteret County, North Carolina.

    (c) The taking of marine mammals by the Marine Corps is only authorized if it occurs incidental to the following activities within the annual amounts of use:

    (1) The level of training activities in the amounts indicated here:

    (i) Surface-to-Surface Exercises—up to 471 vessel-based sorties annually at BT-9 and BT-11; and

    (ii) Air-to-Surface Exercises—up to 14,586 air-based based sorties annually at BT-9 and BT-11.

    (2) The use of the following live ordnance for Marine Corps training activities at BT-9, in the total amounts over the course of the five-year rule indicated here:

    (i) 30 mm HE—17,160 rounds;

    (ii) 40 mm HE—52,100 rounds;

    (iii) 2.75-inch Rocket—1,100 rounds;

    (iv) 5-inch Rocket—340 rounds; and

    (v) G911 Grenade—720 rounds.

    (3) The use of the following inert ordnance for Marine Corps training activities at BT-9 and BT-11, in the total amounts over the course of the five-year rule indicated here:

    (i) Small arms excluding .50 cal (7.62 mm)—2,628,050 rounds at BT-9 and 3,054,785 rounds at BT-11;

    (ii) 0.50 Caliber arms—2,842,575 rounds at BT-9 and 1,833,875 rounds at BT-11;

    (iii) Large arms (up to 25 mm)—602,025 rounds at BT-9 and 1,201,670 rounds at BT-11;

    (iv) Rockets, inert (2.75-inch rocket, 2.75-inch illumination, 2.75-inch white phosphorus, 2.75-inch red phosphorus; 5-inch rocket, 5-inch illumination, 5-inch white phosphorus, 5-inch red phosphorus)—4,220 rounds at BT-9 and 27,960 rounds at BT-11;

    (v) Bombs, inert (BDU-45 practice bomb, MK-76 practice bomb, MK-82 practice bomb, MK-83 practice bomb)—4,055 rounds at BT-9 and 22,114 rounds at BT-11; and

    (vi) Pyrotechnics—4,496 rounds at BT-9 and 8,912 at BT-11.

    § 218.41 Effective dates.

    Regulations in this subpart are effective from March 13, 2015 until March 12, 2020.

    § 218.42 Permissible methods of taking.

    (a) Under a Letter of Authorization issued pursuant to § 216.106 of this chapter and § 218.47, the Holder of the Letter of Authorization may incidentally, but not intentionally, take marine mammals by Level A and Level B harassment only within the area described in § 218.40(b), provided the activity is in compliance with all terms, conditions, and requirements of these regulations and the appropriate Letter of Authorization.

    (b) The incidental take of marine mammals under the activities identified in § 218.40(c) is limited to the following species, by the indicated method of take and the indicated number over a five-year period:

    (1) Level B Harassment:

    (i) Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)—1,615.

    (ii) [Reserved]

    (2) Level A Harassment:

    (i) Atlantic bottlenose dolphin—170.

    (ii) [Reserved]

    § 218.43 Prohibitions.

    No person in connection with the activities described in § 218.40 shall:

    (a) Take any marine mammal not specified in § 218.42(c);

    (b) Take any marine mammal specified in § 218.42(c) other than by incidental take as specified in § 218.42(c)(1) and (2);

    (c) Take a marine mammal specified in § 218.42(c) if such taking results in more than a negligible impact on the species or stocks of such marine mammal; or

    (d) Violate, or fail to comply with, the terms, conditions, and requirements of these regulations or a Letter of Authorization issued under § 216.106 of this chapter and § 218.47.

    § 218.44 Mitigation.

    (a) When conducting operations identified in § 218.40(c), the mitigation measures contained in the Letter of Authorization issued under § 216.106 of this chapter and § 218.47 must be implemented. These mitigation measures include, but are not limited to:

    (b) Training Exercises at BT-9 and BT-11:

    (1) Safety Zone:

    (i) The Marine Corps shall establish and monitor a safety zone for marine mammals comprising the entire Rattan Bay area at BT-11.

    (ii) The Marine Corps shall establish and monitor a safety zone for marine mammals comprising a radius of 914 meters (m) (3,000 feet) around the target area at BT-9.

    (2) For training exercises, the Marine Corps shall comply with the monitoring requirements, including pre-mission and post-mission monitoring, set forth in § 218.45(c).

    (3) When detonating explosives or delivering ordnance:

    (i) If personnel observe any marine mammals within the safety zone prescribed in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, or if personnel observe marine mammals that are on a course that will put them within the designated safety zone prior to surface-to-surface or air-to-surface training exercises, the Marine Corps shall delay ordnance delivery and/or explosives detonations until all marine mammals are no longer within the designated safety zone.

    (ii) If personnel cannot reacquire marine mammals detected in the safety zone after delaying training missions, the Marine Corps shall not commence activities until the next verified location of the animal is outside of the safety zone and the animal is moving away from the mission area.

    (iii) If personnel are unable to monitor the safety zone prescribed in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, then the Marine Corps shall delay training exercises.

    (iv) If daytime weather and/or sea conditions preclude adequate surveillance for detecting marine mammals, then the Marine Corps shall postpone training exercises until adequate sea conditions exist for adequate monitoring of the safety zone prescribed in paragraph (b)(1) of this section.

    (4) Pre-Mission and Post-Mission Monitoring:

    (i) Range operators shall conduct or direct visual surveys to monitor BT-9 or BT-11 for marine mammals before and after each exercise. Range operation and control personnel shall monitor the target area through two tower-mounted safety and surveillance cameras.

    (ii) Range operators shall use the surveillance camera's night vision (i.e., infrared) capabilities to monitor BT-9 or BT-11 for marine mammals during night-time exercises.

    (iii) For BT-9, in the event that a marine mammal is sighted within the 914-m (3,000-ft) radius around the target area, personnel shall declare the area as fouled and cease training exercises. Personnel shall commence operations in BT-9 only until the marine mammal moves beyond and on a path away from the 914-m (3,000 ft) radius from the BT-9 target.

    (iv) For BT-11, in the event that a marine mammal is sighted anywhere within the confines of Rattan Bay, personnel shall declare the water-based targets within Rattan Bay as fouled and cease training exercises. Personnel shall commence operations in BT-11 only after the animal has moved out of Rattan Bay.

    (5) Range Sweeps for Safety Zone Monitoring and Delay of Exercises:

    (i) The Marine Corps shall conduct a range sweep the morning of each exercise day prior to the commencement of range operations.

    (ii) The Marine Corps shall also conduct a range sweep after each exercise following the conclusion of range operations.

    (iii) Marine Corps Air Station personnel shall conduct the sweeps by aircraft at an altitude of 100 to 300 m (328 to 984 ft) above the water surface, at airspeeds between 60 to 100 knots.

    (iv) The path of the sweeps shall run down the western side of BT-11, circle around BT-9, and then continue down the eastern side of BT-9 before leaving the area.

    (v) The maximum number of days that shall elapse between pre- and post-exercise monitoring events shall be approximately 3 days, and will normally occur on weekends.

    (6) Cold Pass by Aircraft:

    (i) For waterborne targets, the pilot must perform a low-altitude visual check immediately prior to ordnance delivery at the bombing targets both day and night to ensure the target area is clear of marine mammals. This is referred to as a “cold” or clearing pass.

    (ii) Pilots shall conduct the cold pass with the aircraft (helicopter or fixed-winged) flying straight and level at altitudes of 61 to 914 m (200 to 3,000 ft) over the target area.

    (iii) If marine mammals are present in the target area during a range sweep, cold pass, or visual surveillance with the camera, the Range Controller shall deny ordnance delivery to the target as conditions warrant. If marine mammals are not present in the target area, the Range Controller may grant clearance to the pilot as conditions warrant.

    (7) Vessel Operation:

    (i) All vessels used during training operations shall abide by NMFS' Southeast Regional Viewing Guidelines designed to prevent harassment to marine mammals (http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/education/southeast/).

    (ii) [Reserved]

    § 218.45 Requirements for monitoring and reporting.

    (a) The Holder of the Letter of Authorization issued pursuant to § 216.106 of this chapter and § 218.47 for activities described in § 218.40(c) is required to conduct the monitoring and reporting measures specified in this section and § 218.44 and any additional monitoring measures contained in the Letter of Authorization.

    (b) The Holder of the Letter of Authorization is required to cooperate with the National Marine Fisheries Service, and any other Federal, state, or local agency monitoring the impacts of the activity on marine mammals. Unless specified otherwise in the Letter of Authorization, the Holder of the Letter of Authorization must notify the Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, or designee, by letter or telephone (301-427-8401), at least 2 weeks prior to any modification to the activity identified in § 218.40(c) that has the potential to result in the serious injury, mortality, or Level A or Level B harassment of a marine mammal that was not identified and addressed previously.

    (c) Monitoring Procedures for Missions at BT-9 and BT-11:

    (1) The Holder of this Authorization shall:

    (i) Designate qualified on-site individual(s) to record the effects of training exercises on marine mammals that inhabit Pamlico Sound;

    (ii) Require operators of small boats, and other personnel monitoring for marine mammals from watercraft to take the Marine Species Awareness Training (Version 2), provided by the Department of the Navy.

    (iii) Instruct pilots conducting range sweeps on marine mammal observation techniques during routine Range Management Department briefings. This training would make personnel knowledgeable of marine mammals, protected species, and visual cues related to the presence of marine mammals and protected species.

    (iv) Continue the Long-Term Monitoring Program to obtain abundance, group dynamics (e.g., group size, age census), behavior, habitat use, and acoustic data on the bottlenose dolphins which inhabit Pamlico Sound, specifically those around BT-9 and BT-11.

    (v) Continue the Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) Program to provide additional insight into how dolphins use BT-9 and BT-11 and to monitor for vocalizations.

    (vi) Continue to refine the real-time passive acoustic monitoring system at BT-9 to allow automated detection of bottlenose dolphin whistles.

    (d) Reporting:

    (1) Unless specified otherwise in the Letter of Authorization, the Holder of the Letter of Authorization shall conduct all of the monitoring and reporting required under the LOA and shall submit an annual and comprehensive report to the Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service by a date certain to be specified in the LOA. This report must include the following information:

    (i) Date and time of each training exercise;

    (ii) A complete description of the pre-exercise and post-exercise activities related to mitigating and monitoring the effects of the training exercises on marine mammal populations;

    (iii) Results of the Marine Corps monitoring, including numbers by species/stock of any marine mammals injured or killed as a result of the training exercises and number of marine mammals (by species, if possible) that may have been harassed due to presence within the applicable safety zone;

    (iv) A detailed assessment of the effectiveness of the sensor-based monitoring in detecting marine mammals in the area of the training exercises; and

    (v) Results of coordination with coastal marine mammal stranding networks. The Marine Corps shall coordinate with the local NMFS Stranding Coordinator to discuss any unusual marine mammal behavior and any stranding, beached (live or dead), or floating marine mammals that may occur at any time during training activities or within 24 hours after completion of training.

    (2) The Marine Corps will submit an annual report to NMFS by June 1st of each year starting in 2016. The first report will cover the time period from issuance of the March 2015 Letter of Authorization through March 12, 2016. Each annual report after that time will cover the time period from March 13 through March 12, annually.

    (3) The Marine Corps shall submit a draft comprehensive report on all marine mammal monitoring and research conducted during the period of these regulations to the Director, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS at least 180 days prior to expiration of these regulations or 180 days after the expiration of these regulations if the Marine Corps will not request new regulations.

    (i) The draft comprehensive report will be subject to review and comment by NMFS. Prior to acceptance by NMFS, the Marine Corps must address any recommendations made by NMFS, within 60 days of its receipt, in the final comprehensive report.

    (ii) [Reserved]

    (4) General Notification of Injured or Dead Marine Mammals:

    (i) The Marine Corps shall systematically observe training operations for injured or disabled marine mammals. In addition, the Marine Corps shall monitor the principal marine mammal stranding networks and other media to correlate analysis of any dolphin strandings that could potentially be associated with BT-9 or BT-11 training operations.

    (ii) Marine Corps personnel shall notify NMFS immediately, or as soon as clearance procedures allow, if personnel find an injured, stranded, or dead marine mammal during or shortly after, and in the vicinity of, any training operations. The Marine Corps shall provide NMFS with species or description of the animal(s), the condition of the animal(s) (including carcass condition if the animal is dead), location, time of first discovery, observed behaviors (if alive), and photo or video (if available).

    (iii) In the event that an injured, stranded, or dead marine mammal is found by Marine Corps personnel that is not in the vicinity of, or found during or shortly after operations, the Marine Corps personnel will report the same information listed above as soon as operationally feasible and clearance procedures allow.

    (5) General Notification of a Ship Strike:

    (i) In the event of a vessel strike, at any time or place, the Marine Corps shall do the following:

    (ii) Immediately report to NMFS the species identification (if known), location (lat/long) of the animal (or the strike if the animal has disappeared), and whether the animal is alive or dead (or unknown);

    (iii) Report to NMFS as soon as operationally feasible the size and length of the animal, an estimate of the injury status (e.g., dead, injured but alive, injured and moving, unknown, etc.), vessel class/type, and operational status;

    (iv) Report to NMFS the vessel length, speed, and heading as soon as feasible; and

    (v) Provide NMFS with a photo or video, if equipment is available.

    § 218.46 Applications for Letters of Authorization.

    To incidentally take marine mammals pursuant to these regulations, the U.S. citizen (as defined at § 216.103 of this chapter) conducting the activities identified in § 218.40 must apply for and obtain either an initial Letter of Authorization in accordance with § 216.106 of this chapter and § 218.47 or a renewal under § 218.48.

    § 218.47 Letter of Authorization.

    (a) To incidentally take marine mammals pursuant to these regulations, the Marine Corps must apply for and obtain a Letter of Authorization.

    (b) A Letter of Authorization, unless suspended or revoked, may be effective for a period of time not to exceed the expiration date of these regulations.

    (c) If a Letter of Authorization expires prior to the expiration date of these regulations, the Marine Corps must apply for and obtain a renewal of the Letter of Authorization.

    (d) In the event of any changes to the activity or to mitigation and monitoring measures required by a Letter of Authorization, the Marine Corps must apply for and obtain a modification of the Letter of Authorization as described in § 218.48.

    (e) The Letter of Authorization shall set forth:

    (1) Permissible methods of incidental taking;

    (2) Means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact (i.e., mitigation) on the species, its habitat, and on the availability of the species for subsistence uses; and

    (3) Requirements for monitoring and reporting.

    (f) Issuance of the Letter of Authorization shall be based on a determination that the level of taking will be consistent with the findings made for the total taking allowable under these regulations.

    (g) Notice of issuance or denial of a Letter of Authorization shall be published in the Federal Register within 30 days of a determination.

    § 218.48 Renewals and Modifications of Letters of Authorization.

    (a) A Letter of Authorization issued under § 216.106 of this chapter and § 218.47 for the activity identified in § 218.40 shall be renewed or modified upon request by the applicant, provided that:

    (1) The proposed specified activity and mitigation, monitoring, and reporting measures, as well as the anticipated impacts, are the same as those described and analyzed for these regulations (excluding changes made pursuant to the adaptive management provision in § 218.47(c)(1)), and

    (2) NMFS determines that the mitigation, monitoring, and reporting measures required by the previous Letter of Authorization under these regulations were implemented.

    (b) For Letter of Authorization modification or renewal requests by the applicant that include changes to the activity or the mitigation, monitoring, or reporting (excluding changes made pursuant to the adaptive management provision in § 218.47(c)(1)) that do not change the findings made for the regulations or result in no more than a minor change in the total estimated number of takes (or distribution by species or years), NMFS may publish a notice of proposed Letter of Authorization in the Federal Register, including the associated analysis illustrating the change, and solicit public comment before issuing the Letter of Authorization.

    (c) A Letter of Authorization issued under § 216.106 of this chapter and § 218.47 for the activity identified in § 218.40 may be modified by NMFS under the following circumstances:

    (1) Adaptive Management—NMFS may modify (including augment) the existing mitigation, monitoring, or reporting measures (after consulting with the Marine Corps regarding the practicability of the modifications) if doing so creates a reasonable likelihood of more effectively accomplishing the goals of the mitigation and monitoring set forth in the preamble for these regulations.

    (i) Possible sources of data that could contribute to the decision to modify the mitigation, monitoring, or reporting measures in a Letter of Authorization include:

    (A) Results from the Marine Corps' monitoring from the previous year(s);

    (B) Results from other marine mammal and/or sound research or studies; or

    (C) Any information that reveals marine mammals may have been taken in a manner, extent, or number not authorized by these regulations or subsequent Letters of Authorization.

    (ii) If, through adaptive management, the modifications to the mitigation, monitoring, or reporting measures are substantial, NMFS shall publish a notice of proposed Letter of Authorization in the Federal Register and solicit public comment.

    (2) Emergencies—If NMFS determines that an emergency exists that poses a significant risk to the well-being of the species or stocks of marine mammals specified in § 218.42(c), a Letter of Authorization may be modified without prior notice or opportunity for public comment. NMFS will publish a notice in the Federal Register within 30 days subsequent to the action.

    [FR Doc. 2015-05797 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 49 Friday, March 13, 2015 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA-2014-1070; Airspace Docket No. 14-ANM-9] Proposed Establishment of Class D and Class E Airspace; Aurora, OR AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

    SUMMARY:

    This action proposes to establish Class D and Class E surface area airspace and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Aurora State Airport, Aurora, OR, to accommodate a new air traffic control tower. The FAA is taking this action to enhance the safety and management of Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations for Standard Instrument Approach Procedures (SIAPs) at the airport.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before April 27, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590; telephone (202) 366-9826. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2014-1070; Airspace Docket No. 14-ANM-9, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Office (telephone 1-800-647-5527), is on the ground floor of the building at the above address.

    FAA Order 7400.9Y, 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:

    Steve Haga, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057; telephone (425) 203-4563.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal. Communications should identify both docket numbers and be submitted in triplicate to the address listed above. Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this notice must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: “Comments to Docket No. FAA-2014-1070/Airspace Docket No. 14-ANM-9.” The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

    Availability of NPRMs

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

    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received, and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see the ADDRESSES section for the address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the Northwest Mountain Regional Office of the Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Organization, Western Service Center, Operations Support Group, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057.

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

    Availability and Summary of Documents Proposed for Incorporation by Reference

    This document 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 proposing an amendment to Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) Part 71 by establishing Class D surface area airspace, Class E surface area airspace and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Aurora State Airport, Aurora, OR. The construction of a new air traffic control tower has made this action necessary for the safety and management of IFR operations for SIAPs at the airport. Class D airspace and Class E surface area airspace would extend upward from the surface to and including 2,700 feet within a 5-mile radius of Aurora State Airport, excluding segments below 1,300 feet beyond 3.3 miles southeast, and southwest of the airport. Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface would be established within a 7-mile radius of Aurora State Airport, with segments extending from the 7-mile radius to 20 miles northeast and 10.9 miles northwest of the airport.

    Class D and Class E airspace designations are published in paragraph 5000, 6002, and 6005, respectively, 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 D and Class E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.

    The FAA has determined this proposed regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current. Therefore, this proposed regulation: (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 this proposed rule, when promulgated, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the U.S. Code. Subtitle 1, Section 106, describes the authority for 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 the airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it would establish controlled airspace at Aurora State Airport, Aurora, OR.

    Environmental Review

    This proposal will 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

    Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

    PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for 14 CFR part 71 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 106(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 5000 Class D airspace. ANM OR D Aurora, OR [New] Aurora, Aurora State Airport, OR (Lat. 45°14′50″ N., long. 122°46′12″ W) Canby, Workman Airpark, OR (Lat. 45°12′27″ N., long. 122°40′09″ W)

    That airspace extending upward from the surface to and including 2,700 feet within a 5-mile radius of Aurora State Airport, excluding that airspace below 1,300 feet beyond 3.3 miles from the airport from the 142° bearing clockwise to the 172° bearing from the airport, and the 250° bearing clockwise to the 266° bearing from the airport, and that airspace within a 0.5-mile radius of Workman Airpark, OR. This Class D airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Airport/Facility Directory.

    Paragraph 6002 Class E airspace designated as surface areas. ANM OR E2 Aurora, OR [New] Aurora, Aurora State Airport, OR (Lat. 45°14′50″ N., long. 122°46′12″ W) Canby, Workman Airpark, OR (Lat. 45°12′27″ N., long. 122°40′09″ W)

    That airspace extending upward from the surface to and including 2,700 feet within a 5-mile radius of Aurora State Airport, excluding that airspace below 1,300 feet beyond 3.3 miles from the airport from the 142° bearing clockwise to the 172° bearing from the airport, and the 250° bearing clockwise to the 266° bearing from the airport, and that airspace within a 0.5-mile radius of Workman Airpark, OR.

    Paragraph 6005 Class E airspace areas extending upward from 700 feet or more above the surface of the earth. ANM OR E5 Aurora, OR [New] Aurora, Aurora State Airport, OR (Lat. 45°14′50″ N., long. 122°46′12″ W)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7-mile radius of Aurora State Airport, and that airspace 1.6 miles either side of the 007° bearing from airport extending from the 7-mile radius to 20 miles northeast of the airport, and that airspace 1.2 miles either side of the 306° bearing from airport extending from the 7-mile radius to 10.9 miles northwest of the airport.

    Issued in Seattle, Washington, on February 25, 2015. Christopher Ramirez, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, AJV-W2.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05700 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Parts 314 and 320 [Docket No. FDA-2011-N-0830] RIN 0910-AF97 Abbreviated New Drug Applications and 505(b)(2) Applications Correction

    In Proposed Rule Document 2015-01666, pages 6801-6896, publishing in the Issue of Friday, February 6, 2015, make the following corrections:

    1. On page 6807, in the second column in Table 1, the heading should read:

    Proposed Changes
  • See section of this document
  • (identified in parentheses)
  • for more detailed information regarding the proposed change
  • 2. On page 6808, in Table 1, the second column should read:

    314.95(e) Documentation of Timely Sending and Receipt of Notice of Paragraph IV Certification, including:
  • a. Acceptable methods of sending notice of paragraph IV certification; and
  • b. Amendment documenting timely sending and confirmation of receipt of notice of paragraph IV certification.
  • (II.D.4).
  • 3. On pages 6818-6819, in Table 2, the second row should read:

    Current regulations Proposed revisions to regulations General Requirements (§ 314.53(c)(1)) General Requirements (§ 314.53(c)(1)) Patent information will not be accepted unless it is complete and submitted on the appropriate forms (Form FDA 3542a or 3542) • Patent information will not be accepted unless it is submitted on the appropriate forms (Form FDA 3542a or 3542) and contains the information required in § 314.53(c)(2). Reporting Requirements (§ 314.53(c)(2)) Reporting Requirements (§ 314.53(c)(2)) The required information and verification in § 314.53(c)(2)(i) and (c)(2)(ii) includes:
  • • Information on whether the patent has been submitted previously for the NDA
  • • Information on whether the drug substance patent claims a polymorph that is the same active ingredient that is described in the pending NDA or supplement, and, if so, has test data described in § 314.53(b)(2)
  • The required information and verification in § 314.53(c)(2)(i) and (c)(2)(ii) includes:
  • • Information on whether the patent is a re-issued patent of a patent submitted previously for listing for the NDA or supplement.
  • • Information on whether the drug substance patent claims only a polymorph that is the same active ingredient that is described in the pending NDA or supplement, and, if so, has test data described in § 314.53(b)(2).
  • 4. On pages 6838-6839, in Table 8, the second row should read:

    Current regulations Proposed revisions to regulations Documentation of receipt of notice (§§ 314.52(e) and 314.95(e)) Documentation of timely sending and receipt of notice (§§ 314.52(e) and 314.95(e)) • Applicant must amend its 505(b)(2) application or ANDA to document the date of receipt of the notice of paragraph IV certification by each patent owner and NDA holder provided the notice.
  • • Applicant must include a copy of the return receipt or other similar evidence of the date the notification was received.
  • — FDA will accept as adequate documentation of the date of receipt a return receipt or a letter acknowledging receipt by the person provided the notice.
  • • An applicant may rely on another form of documentation only if FDA has agreed to such documentation in advance.
  • • Applicant must amend its 505(b)(2) application or ANDA to provide documentation of the date of receipt of the notice of paragraph IV certification by each patent owner and NDA holder provided the notice.
  • —FDA will accept as adequate documentation of the date of receipt a return receipt, signature proof of delivery by a designated delivery service, or a letter acknowledging receipt by the person provided notice.
  • — Amendment must be submitted to FDA within 30 days after the last date on which notice was received by a patent owner or NDA holder.
  • • Amendment also must include adequate documentation that notice was sent on a date that complies with the timeframe required by § 314.52(b) or (d) or § 314.95(b) or (d), as applicable. —FDA will accept a copy of the registered mail receipt, certified mail receipt, or receipt from a designated delivery service, as adequate documentation of the date of delivery. • An ANDA applicant's amendment must include a dated printout of the Orange Book entry for the RLD that includes the patent that is the subject of the paragraph IV certification. • An applicant may rely on another form of documentation only if FDA has agreed in advance.

    5. On pages 6842-6843, in Table 9, the third row should read:

    Current regulations Proposed revisions to regulations After a Finding of Infringement (§§ 314.50(i)(6)(i) and 314.94(a)(12)(viii)(A)) After a Finding of Infringement (§§ 314.50(i)(6)(i) and 314.94(a)(12)(viii)(A)) • Change from paragraph IV certification to paragraph III certification required after a final judgment is entered finding the patent to be infringed.
  • • Provision applies if patent infringement action initiated within 45 days of receipt of notice of paragraph IV certification.
  • • Change from paragraph IV certification to paragraph III certification required after court enters final decision from which no appeal has been or can be taken, or signs settlement order or consent decree with a finding of infringement (unless the patent also is found invalid). An applicant may instead provide a statement under § 314.50(i)(1)(iii) or § 314.94(a)(12)(iii) with respect to a method-of-use patent if the 505(b)(2) application or ANDA is amended such that the applicant is no longer seeking approval for a method of use claimed by the patent.
  • • Provision applies if patent infringement action initiated after receipt of notice of paragraph IV certification, irrespective of whether the action is brought within the 45-day period.
  • 6. On pages 6859-6861, in Table 12, the third, sixth, and seventh rows should read:

    Current regulations Proposed revisions to regulations Date of approval letter (§ 314.107(b)(1)) Timing of approval based on patent certification or statement (§ 314.107(b)(1)) • Except as provided in § 314.107(b)(3), (b)(4), and (c), approval will become effective on the date FDA issues an approval letter if the applicant certifies that:
  • (i) there are no relevant patents; or
  • (ii) the patent information has not been submitted to FDA; or
  • (iii) the relevant patent has expired; or
  • (iv) the relevant patent is invalid, unenforceable, or will not be infringed.
  • • If none of the reasons in § 314.125 or § 314.127 for refusing to approve the application apply, and none of the reasons in § 314.107(d) for delaying approval apply, the 505(b)(2) application or ANDA may be approved—
  • (i) Immediately, if the applicant certifies that:
  • (A) the patent information has not been submitted to FDA; or
  • (B) the relevant patent has expired; or
  • (C) the relevant patent is invalid, unenforceable, or will not be infringed, except as provided in § 314.107(b)(3) and (c), and the 45-day period provided for in section 505(c)(3)(C) and 505(j)(5)(B)(iii) of the FD&C Act has expired; or
  • (D) there are no relevant patents.
  • (ii) Immediately, if the applicant submits an appropriate statement explaining that a method-of-use patent does not claim an indication or other condition of use for which it is seeking approval.
  • Disposition of patent litigation (§ 314.107(b)(3)(i)) Disposition of patent litigation (§ 314.107(b)(3)(i)) • (A) Except as provided in § 314.107(b)(3)(ii) through (b)(3)(iv), if
  • — applicant submits a paragraph IV certification; and
  • — patent owner or its representative or the exclusive patent licensee brings suit for patent infringement within 45 days of receipt by the patent owner of the notice of paragraph IV certification,
  • Approval may be made effective 30 months after the date of the receipt of the notice of paragraph IV certification by the patent owner or by the exclusive licensee (or their representatives) unless the court has extended or reduced the period; or
  • • (B) If the patented drug product qualifies for 5-year exclusivity, and
  • — patent owner or its representative or the exclusive patent licensee brings suit for patent infringement during the 1-year period beginning 4 years after the date the patented drug was approved and within 45 days of receipt by the patent owner of the notice of paragraph IV certification,
  • Approval may be made effective at the expiration of 71/2 years from the date of NDA approval for the patented drug product.
  • • (A) Except as provided in § 314.107(b)(3)(ii) through (b)(3)(viii), if, with respect to patents for which required information was submitted before the date on which the 505(b)(2) application or ANDA was submitted to FDA (excluding an amendment or supplement),
  • —applicant submits a paragraph IV certification; and
  • —patent owner or the exclusive patent licensee brings suit for patent infringement within 45 days of receipt of the notice of paragraph IV certification, 505(b)(2) application, or ANDA may be approved 30 months after the later of the date of the receipt of the notice of certification by any owner of the listed patent or by the NDA holder who is an exclusive patent licensee (or their representatives) unless the court has extended or reduced the period; or
  • • (B) If the patented drug product qualifies for 5-year exclusivity, and
  • —patent owner or its representative or the exclusive patent licensee brings suit for patent infringement during the 1-year period beginning 4 years after the date the patented drug was approved and within 45 days of receipt of the notice of paragraph IV certification,
  • the 505(b)(2) application or ANDA may be approved at the expiration of 71/2 years from the date of NDA approval for the patented drug product.
  • Disposition of patent litigation (§ 314.107(b)(3)(ii)-(b)(3)(iv)) Disposition of patent litigation (§ 314.107(b)(3)(ii)-(b)(3)(viii) If before the expiration of the 30-month period, or 71/2 years where applicable:
  • • (ii) the court issues a final order that the patent is invalid, unenforceable, or not infringed, approval may be made effective on:
  • — the date the court enters judgment;
  • • (iii) the court issues a final order or judgment that the patent has been infringed, approval may be made effective on:
  • — the date the court determines that the patent will expire or otherwise orders
  • • (iv) the court grants a preliminary injunction prohibiting the applicant from engaging in the commercial manufacture or sale of the drug product until the court decides the issues of patent validity and infringement, and if the court later decides that the patent is invalid, unenforceable, or not infringed, approval may be made effective on:
  • — the date the court enters a final order or judgment that the patent is invalid, unenforceable, or not infringed.
  • If before the expiration of the 30-month period, or 71/2 years where applicable:
  • • (ii) the district court decides that the patent is invalid, unenforceable, or not infringed (including any substantive determination that there is no cause of action for patent infringement or invalidity), the 505(b)(2) application or ANDA may be approved on:
  • —(A) the date on which the court enters judgment reflecting the decision; or
  • —(B) the date of a settlement order or consent decree signed and entered by the court stating that the patent that is the subject of the certification is invalid or not infringed.
  • • (iii) the district court decides that the patent has been infringed and the judgment is appealed, the 505(b)(2) application or ANDA may be approved on:
  • —(A) the date on which the mandate is issued by the court of appeals entering judgment that the patent is invalid or not infringed; or
  • —(B) the date of a settlement order or consent decree signed and entered by the court of appeals stating that the patent is invalid or not infringed.
  • • (iv) the district court decides that the patent has been infringed and the judgment is not appealed or is affirmed, the 505(b)(2) application or ANDA may be approved no earlier than the date specified by the district court in an order under 35 U.S.C. 271(e)(4)(A).
  • • (v) the district court grants a preliminary injunction prohibiting the applicant from engaging in the commercial manufacture or sale of the drug product until the court decides the issues of patent validity and infringement: — if the court later decides the patent is invalid, unenforceable, or not infringed, the 505(b)(2) application or ANDA may be approved per § 314.107(b)(3)(ii). —if the court decides that the patent has been infringed, the 505(b)(2) application or ANDA may be approved per § 314.107(b)(3)(iii) or (b)(3)(iv), as applicable. • (vi) the patent owner or the exclusive patent licensee (or their representatives) agrees in writing that the 505(b)(2) application or ANDA may be approved any time on or after the date of the consent, approval may be granted on or after that date. • (vii) the court enters an order requiring the 30-month or 71/2-year period to be terminated, the 505(b)(2) application or ANDA may be approved in accordance with the court's order. • (viii) the court enters an order of dismissal, with or without prejudice, without a finding of infringement, the 505(b)(2) application or ANDA may be approved on or after the date of the order.
    [FR Doc. C1-2015-01666 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1505-01-D
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [REG-143040-14] RIN 1545-BM59 Reporting of Original Issue Discount on Tax-Exempt Obligations; Basis and Transfer Reporting by Securities Brokers for Debt Instruments and Options AGENCY:

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking by cross-reference to temporary regulations.

    SUMMARY:

    In the Rules and Regulations section of this issue of the Federal Register, the IRS is issuing temporary regulations relating to information reporting by brokers for transactions involving debt instruments and options, including the reporting of original issue discount (OID) and acquisition premium on tax-exempt obligations, the treatment of certain holder elections for reporting a taxpayer's adjusted basis in a debt instrument, and transfer reporting for section 1256 options and debt instruments. The text of those regulations also serves as the text of these proposed regulations.

    DATES:

    Written or electronic comments must be received by June 11, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send submissions to: CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-143040-14), Room 5203, Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044. Submissions may be hand-delivered Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-143040-14), Courier's Desk, Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC, or sent electronically via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov (IRS REG-143040-14).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Concerning the proposed regulations, Pamela Lew, (202) 317-7053; concerning submissions of comments, Regina Johnson, (202) 317-6901 (not toll-free numbers).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    Section 1.6049-10T, which is published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, requires a payor to report OID and acquisition premium on tax-exempt obligations acquired on or after January 1, 2017. This information is required to enable the IRS to verify that a taxpayer is reporting the correct amount of tax-exempt interest each year for alternative minimum tax and other purposes. In addition, because this information is used to report a taxpayer's adjusted basis in a debt instrument under section 6045(g), this information is required to enable the IRS to verify that a taxpayer is reporting the correct amount of gain or loss upon the sale of a tax-exempt obligation. The burden for the collection of information contained in § 1.6049-10T and the corresponding proposed regulations in this document will be reflected in the burden on Form 1099-OID (OMB control number 1545-0117) when revised to request the additional information in the regulations.

    Upon the transfer of a covered security, section 6045A and § 1.6045A-1 require the transferring broker to provide to the transferee broker a transfer statement containing certain information relating to the security. This transfer statement generally provides the transferee broker the information needed to determine a customer's adjusted basis and whether any gain or loss with respect to the security is long-term, short-term, or ordinary as required by section 6045(g). Prior to the publication of § 1.6045A-1T in this issue of the Federal Register, a broker did not have to provide a transfer statement for a section 1256 option. In addition, a broker did not have to provide the last date on or before the transfer date that the broker made an adjustment for a particular item relating to a debt instrument. Section 1.6045A-1T, however, now requires a broker to transfer this information for a section 1256 option transferred on or after January 1, 2016, and for a debt instrument transferred on or after June 30, 2015.

    The collection of information contained in section 1.6045A-1 relating to the furnishing of information in connection with the transfer of securities has been reviewed and approved by the Office of Management and Budget in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)) under control number 1545-2186. The collection of information in § 1.6045A-1T and the corresponding proposed regulations in this document is necessary to allow brokers that effect sales of transferred section 1256 options and debt instruments that are covered securities to determine and report the adjusted basis of these securities in compliance with section 6045(g). This collection of information is required to comply with the provisions of section 403 of the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008, Division B of Public Law 110-343 (122 Stat. 3765, 3854 (2008)) (the Act). The collection of information contained in § 1.6045A-1T is an increase in the total annual burden under control number 1545-2186. The likely respondents are brokers transferring section 1256 options and debt instruments that are covered securities.

    Estimated total annual reporting burden is 3,333 hours.

    Estimated average annual burden per respondent is 2 hours.

    Estimated average burden per response is 4 minutes.

    Estimated number of respondents is 7,500.

    Estimated total frequency of responses is 200,000.

    The collection of information is required to comply with the provisions of section 403 of the Act.

    The holder of a debt instrument is permitted to make a number of elections that affect how basis is computed. To minimize the need for reconciliation between information reported by a broker to both a customer and the IRS and the amounts reported on the customer's tax return, a broker is required to take into account certain specified elections in reporting information to the customer. A customer, therefore, must provide certain information concerning an election to the broker in a written notification. A written notification includes a writing in electronic format. See § 1.6045-1(n)(5).

    The collection of information contained in § 1.6045-1(n)(5) relating to the furnishing of information by a customer to a broker in connection with the sale or transfer of a debt instrument that is a covered security has been reviewed and approved by the Office of Management and Budget in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)) under control number 1545-2186. Under § 1.6045-1T(n)(11)(i)(A), which is published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, unlike the rule in current § 1.6045-1(n)(5) adopted in 2013, a broker must not take into account the election under § 1.1272-3 in reporting a customer's adjusted basis in a debt instrument. Therefore, a customer is no longer required to notify the broker that the customer has made or revoked an election under § 1.1272-3. This change represents a decrease in the total annual burden under OMB control number 1545-2186. In addition, under § 1.6045-1T(n)(11)(i)(B), a broker must take into account the election under section 1276(b)(2) unless the customer timely notifies the broker that the customer has not make the election. The temporary regulations reverse the assumption in current § 1.6045-1(n)(5) adopted in 2013. Because the section 1276(b)(2) election results in a more taxpayer-favorable result than the default ratable method for accruing market discount in most cases, it is anticipated that more customers will want to use this method and these customers will no longer need to notify their brokers that they have made the election. As a result, this change represents a decrease in the total annual burden under OMB control number 1545-2186.

    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 the Office of Management and Budget.

    Books or records relating to a collection of information must be retained as long as their contents may become material in the administration of any internal revenue law. Generally, tax returns and tax return information are confidential, as required by section 6103.

    Background and Explanation of Provisions

    Section 6045 generally requires a broker to report gross proceeds upon the sale of a security. Section 6045 was amended by section 403 of the Act to require the reporting of adjusted basis for a covered security and whether any gain or loss upon the sale of the security is long-term or short-term. In addition, the Act added section 6045A, which requires certain information to be reported in connection with a transfer of a covered security to another broker. Section 6049 requires the reporting of interest payments (including accruals of OID treated as payments).

    On April 18, 2013, the Treasury Department and the IRS published in the Federal Register (TD 9616 at 78 FR 23116) final regulations under sections 6045 and 6045A (the 2013 final basis reporting regulations). After the publication of the 2013 final basis reporting regulations in the Federal Register, the Treasury Department and the IRS received written comments on certain provisions of the 2013 final basis reporting regulations. In response to these written comments, temporary regulations in the Rules and Regulations section of this issue of the Federal Register amend the Income Tax Regulations (26 CFR part 1) relating to sections 6045, 6045A, and 6049. The temporary regulations (1) amend § 1.6045-1(n) of the 2013 final basis reporting regulations to change a broker's treatment of the election to treat all interest as OID under § 1.1272-3 and the election to accrue market discount based on a constant yield under section 1276(b)(2), (2) amend § 1.6045A-1 of the 2013 final basis reporting regulations to require transfer statement reporting under section 6045A for section 1256 options, (3) amend § 1.6045A-1 of the 2013 final basis reporting regulations to require an additional item of information to be provided on transfer statements for debt instruments, and (4) require information reporting under section 6049 for OID and acquisition premium on tax-exempt obligations. The text of the temporary regulations also serves as the text of these proposed regulations.

    Consideration of Administrative Burdens Related to Basis Reporting

    A number of commenters have indicated that compliance with basis reporting requirements and the use of basis and other information reported by brokers will require considerable resources and effort on the part of return preparers and information recipients. The Treasury Department and the IRS are continuing to review all aspects of the information reporting process and are exploring ways to reduce the compliance burden for both brokers and for information recipients.

    Special Analyses

    It has been determined that this notice of proposed rulemaking is not a significant regulatory action as defined in Executive Order 12866, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563. Therefore, a regulatory assessment is not required. It also has been determined that section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 5) does not apply to these regulations.

    It is hereby certified that the collection of information in these regulations will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Therefore, a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) is not required. Any effect on small entities by the rules in the regulations generally flows directly from section 403 of the Act. In addition, it is anticipated that the requirements in the regulations in this document will fall only on financial services firms with annual receipts greater than the $38.5 million threshold and, therefore, on no small entities.

    Section 403(a) of the Act requires a broker to report the adjusted basis of a debt instrument that is a covered security. Although a holder of a debt instrument (customer) is permitted to make a number of elections that affect how basis is computed, a broker only is required to take into account specified elections in reporting a debt instrument's adjusted basis, including the election under section 1276(b)(2) to determine accruals of market discount on a constant yield method. Under the 2013 final basis reporting regulations, a customer had to notify the broker that the customer had made the section 1276(b)(2) election. However, § 1.6045-1T(n)(11)(i)(B) requires a broker to take into account the election under section 1276(b)(2) in reporting a debt instrument's adjusted basis unless the customer timely notifies the broker that the customer has not made the election. The notification must be in writing, which includes a writing in electronic format. In most cases, this election results in a more taxpayer-favorable result than the default ratable method. It is anticipated that this collection of information in the regulations will not fall on a substantial number of small entities, especially because fewer customers will need to notify brokers about the election. Further, the regulations generally implement the statutory requirements for reporting adjusted basis under section 403 of the Act. Moreover, any economic impact is expected to be minimal because it should take a customer no more than seven minutes to satisfy the information-sharing requirement in these regulations.

    Section 403(c) of the Act added section 6045A, which requires applicable persons to provide a transfer statement in connection with the transfer of custody of a covered security. Section 1.6045A-1T and the corresponding proposed regulations in this document effectuate the Act by giving the broker who receives the transfer statement the information necessary to determine and report adjusted basis and whether any gain or loss with respect to a debt instrument or section 1256 option is long-term or short-term as required by section 6045 when the security is subsequently sold. Consequently, § 1.6045A-1T and the corresponding proposed regulations in this document do not add to the impact on small entities imposed by the statutory provisions. Instead, the regulations limit the information to be reported to only those items necessary to effectuate the statutory scheme.

    The information required under § 1.6049-10T and the corresponding proposed regulations in this document will enable the IRS to verify that a taxpayer is reporting the correct amount of tax-exempt interest each year for alternative minimum tax and other purposes. In addition, because this information is used to report a taxpayer's adjusted basis in a debt instrument under section 6045(g), this information is required to enable the IRS to verify that a taxpayer is reporting the correct amount of gain or loss upon the sale of a tax-exempt obligation. Any economic impact on small entities is expected to be minimal because a broker already is required to determine the accruals of OID and acquisition premium for purposes of determining and reporting a customer's adjusted basis on Form 1099-B under section 6045. Moreover, any effect on small entities by the rules in the final regulations flows from section 6049 and section 403 of the Act.

    Pursuant to section 7805(f) of the Internal Revenue Code, this notice of proposed rulemaking has been submitted to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for comment on its impact on small businesses.

    Comments and Request for Public Hearing

    Before these proposed regulations are adopted as final regulations, consideration will be given to any written (a signed original and eight (8) copies) or electronic comments that are submitted timely to the IRS as prescribed in the preamble under the Addresses heading. The Treasury Department and the IRS welcome comments on the clarity of the proposed rules and how they can be made easier to understand. All comments will be available at www.regulations.gov for public inspection and copying. A public hearing may be scheduled if requested in writing by any person that timely submits written comments. If a public hearing is scheduled, notice of the date, time, and place for a public hearing will be published in the Federal Register.

    Drafting Information

    The principal author of these regulations is Pamela Lew, Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Financial Institutions and Products). However, other personnel from the IRS and the Treasury Department participated in their development.

    List of Subjects in 26 CFR Part 1

    Income Taxes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Proposed Amendments to the Regulations

    Accordingly, 26 CFR part 1 is proposed to be amended as follows:

    PART 1—INCOME TAXES Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 1 is amended by adding entries in numerical order to read in part as follows: Authority:

    26 U.S.C. 7805 * * *

    Section 1.6045-1(n)(11) also issued under 26 U.S.C. 6045(g). * * *

    Section 1.6045A-1(e) and (f) also issued under 26 U.S.C. 6045A(a). * * *

    Section 1.6049-10 also issued under 26 U.S.C. 6049(a). * * *

    Par. 2. Section 1.6045-1(n)(11) is added to read as follows:
    § 1.6045-1 Returns of information of brokers and barter exchanges.

    [The text of proposed § 1.6045-1(n)(11) is the same as the text of § 1.6045-1T(n)(11) published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register].

    Par. 3. Sections 1.6045A-1(e) and (f) are added to read as follows:
    § 1.6045A-1 Statements of information required in connection with transfers of securities.

    [The text of proposed § 1.6045A-1(e) and (f) is the same as the text of § 1.6045A-1T(e) and (f) published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register].

    Par. 4. Section 1.6049-10 is added to read as follows:
    § 1.6049-10 Reporting of original issue discount on a tax-exempt obligation. [The text of proposed § 1.6049-10 is the same as the text of § 1.6049-10T published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register].
    John Dalrymple, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05654 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Occupational Safety and Health Administration 29 CFR Parts 1910, 1915, 1917, 1918, and 1926 [Docket No. OSHA-2014-0024] RIN 1218-AC87 Updating OSHA Standards Based on National Consensus Standards; Eye and Face Protection AGENCY:

    Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Department of Labor.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA” or “Agency”) is issuing this notice of proposed rulemaking to update its general industry, shipyard employment, marine terminals, longshoring, and construction eye and face protection standards by incorporating by reference the three most recent versions of the American National Standards Institute (“ANSI” or “national consensus standard”) Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection standard. In addition, OSHA proposes to change language in the construction eye and face protection standard to make it consistent with both the general industry and maritime standards.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on this notice of proposed rule (including comments on the information-collection (paperwork) determination described under the section titled Procedural Determinations, hearing requests, and other information) by April 13, 2015. All submissions must bear a postmark or provide other evidence of the submission date (the following section titled ADDRESSES describes the available methods of making submissions).

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments, hearing requests, and other information as follows:

    Electronic. Submit comments electronically to http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Follow the instructions online for submitting comments.

    Facsimile. OSHA allows facsimile transmission of comments and hearing requests that are 10 pages or fewer in length (including attachments). Send these documents to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-1648; OSHA does not require hard copies of these documents. Instead of transmitting facsimile copies of attachments that supplement these documents (e.g., studies, journal articles), commenters must submit these attachments to the OSHA Docket Office, Technical Data Center (TDC), Room N-2625, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20210. These attachments must clearly identify the sender's name, date, subject, and docket number (i.e., OSHA-2014-0024 so that the Agency can attach them to the appropriate document.

    Regular mail, express delivery, hand delivery, and messenger (courier) service. Submit comments and any additional material (e.g., studies, journal articles) to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. OSHA-2013-0024 or RIN 1218-AC8708 Technical Data Center, Room N-2625, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-2350. (OSHA's TTY number is (877) 889-5627)). Note that security procedures may result in significant delays in receiving comments and other written materials by regular mail. Contact the OSHA Docket Office for information about security procedures for delivery of materials by express delivery, hand delivery, and messenger service. The hours of operation for the OSHA Docket Office are 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., e.t.

    Instructions. All submissions must include the Agency name and the OSHA docket number (i.e., OSHA Docket No. OSHA-2014-0024). OSHA will place comments and other material, including any personal information, in the public docket without revision, and these materials will be available online at: http://www.regulations.gov. Therefore, the Agency cautions commenters about submitting statements they do not want made public, or submitting comments that contain personal information (either about themselves or others), such as social security numbers, birth dates, and medical data.

    OSHA invites comments on all issues related to this notice of proposed rulemaking. The Agency also welcomes comments on its findings that this notice of proposed rulemaking will have no impact on the regulated community.

    Docket. To read or download comments or other material in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov. The electronic docket for this notice of proposed rule established at http://www.regulations.gov contains most of the documents in the docket. Some information (e.g., copyrighted material), however, cannot be read or downloaded through this Web site. All submissions, including copyrighted material, are accessible at the OSHA Docket Office. Contact the OSHA Docket Office for assistance in locating docket submissions.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    General information and press inquiries: Contact Frank Meilinger, OSHA Office of Communications, Room N-3647, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-1999, email: [email protected]

    Technical inquiries: Contact Kenneth Stevanus, Directorate of Standards and Guidance, Room N-3609, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-2260; fax: (202) 693-1663; email; [email protected]

    Copies of this Federal Register notice. Electronic copies of this Federal Register notice are available at http://www.regulations.gov. This Federal Register notice, as well as news releases and other relevant information, also are available at OSHA's Web page at http://www.osha.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The preamble to the proposed standard follows this outline:

    I. Background A. OSHA's Eye and Face Protection Standards B. ANSI's Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection Standard a. Comparison Between the 2010 and 2003 Versions of ANSI Z87.1 b. Comparison Between the 2010 and 1968 Versions of ANSI Z87.1 C. Overview of Proposed Rulemaking D. Reasonable Availability of the ANSI Standard to the Public II. Summary and Explanation of Revisions to the Eye and Face Protection Standards A. Updating the General Industry and Maritime Industry Standards B. Updating the Construction Industry Standard III. Procedural Determinations A. Legal Considerations B. Preliminary Economic Analysis and Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification C. OMB Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 D. Federalism E. State Plan States F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 G. Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments H. Consultation With the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health IV. Authority and Signature I. Background A. OSHA's Eye and Face Protection Standards

    The original OSHA standards addressing eye and face protection were adopted in 1971 from established Federal standards and national consensus standards to address the various workplace hazards that pose a significant risk of death or injury. Since then, OSHA has amended its standards on numerous occasions, most recently in 2009 for the general industry, shipyard employment, longshoring, and marine terminals standards (74 FR 46350), and in 1993 for the construction standard (58 FR 35309). See 29 CFR 1910.133 (General Industry); 29 CFR 1915.153 (Shipyard Employment); 29 CFR 1917.91 (Marine Terminals); 29 CFR 1918.101 (Longshoring); and 29 CFR 1926.102 (Construction). The general industry and maritime standards require that eye and face protection comply with national consensus standards incorporated by reference unless the employer demonstrates that non-specified eye and face protection equipment is at least as protective of workers. See 29 CFR 1910.133(b)(2); 29 CFR 1915.153(b)(2); 29 CFR 1917.91(a)(1)(ii); and 29 CFR 1918.101(a)(1)(ii). The construction standard requires that eye and face protection meet the requirements of ANSI Z87.1-1968. See 29 CFR 1926.102(a)(2). Each of these provisions are part of OSHA's comprehensive requirements to ensure that employees use personal protective equipment that will protect them from hazards in the workplace.

    B. ANSI's Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection Standard

    ANSI's Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection, Z87.1, was first published in 1968 and revised in 1979, 1989, 2003, and 2010. The 1979 version was nearly identical to the 1968 version; it contained only minor changes in language and organization. The 1989 version emphasized performance requirements to encourage and accommodate advancements in design, materials, technologies, and product performance. Performance requirements were specified wherever practical. Minimum thickness requirements for protectors were added and new impact testing requirements were established to ensure that protectors intended to provide side protection were tested from the side and the front. This version also improved the transmittance requirements for filter lenses. The 2003 version added an enhanced user selection chart with a system for selecting equipment (e.g., spectacles, goggles, and faceshields) that adequately protects from a particular hazard.

    Unlike earlier versions, the 2010 version of ANSI Z87.1 focuses on a hazard, such as droplet and splash, impact, optical radiation, dust, fine dust, and mist, and specifies the type of equipment needed to protect from that hazard. Earlier versions focused on protector type, such as spectacles, goggles, faceshields, or welding hats. See Ex. OSHA-2014-0024-0001 (a side-by-side comparison of versions prepared by OSHA). It contains general requirements for all protector types, which assess optical qualities, minimum robustness, ignition, corrosion resistance, and minimum coverage. It also includes performance assessments that are unique to a specific protector configuration such as welding devices or prescription safety eyewear. Finally, it defines the number of samples to be tested when assessing a protector's ability to meet applicable performance criteria.

    a. Comparison Between the 2010 and 2003 Versions of ANSI Z87.1

    The 2010 version of ANSI Z87.1 adds new requirements to and changes the structure of the 2003 version. See Ex. OSHA-2014-0024-0001 (a side-by-side comparison of versions prepared by OSHA). Section 5 of the 2010 version, general requirements, adds Section 5.2, which requires that protectors are free from projections, sharp edges, or other defects. The drop ball impact test, which appeared in Section 7.3.1 of the 2003 version, is in Section 5.2.1 of the 2010 version. Additionally, the test is universally-applied rather than protector-dependent. Section 7.6 of the 2003 version, flammability, has been replaced with Section 5.2.3, ignition. The new section states that protectors shall not ignite or continue to glow once the rod is removed. It also states that each externally-exposed material shall be tested. Section 5.2.5 adds requirements for the minimum coverage area of the eyewire and lens. Section 5.4 adds marking requirements and states that protectors shall bear the permanent marking in specified locations.

    In Section 6 of the 2010 version, impact protector requirements, the spectacle frame test that appeared in Section 7.2 of the 2003 version, has been moved to Section 6.12, and now requires components to be tested as a complete device. Section 6.13 adds a requirement for lateral side coverage, and states that the impact-rated protectors shall provide continuous lateral coverage with specified diameters/dimensions. Section 6.2.5 includes qualifications for prescription lens material and lists different ways that the lens can fail to meet the qualifications. Section 6.2.6 adds qualifications for prescription lens mounting. It also requires that complete devices using representative test lenses meeting the requirements of Section 6.2.5 be capable of resisting high mass and high velocity impact. Section 6.3 provides additional impact requirements for specific protectors, such as devices with lift fronts, welding helmets, and faceshields, and prescription lens carriers behind plano protectors.

    Section 7 of the 2010 version, optical radiation protector requirements, adds a requirement to test in lightest to darkest states in Section 7.1.3. Section 7.2.1 adds a requirement that goggle housing intended to provide protection against optical radiation meet transmittance requirements of shade 6 or higher.

    Section 8 of the 2010 version, droplet and splash, dust, and fine dust protector requirements, adds a new requirement to Section 8.1.1 that goggles be tested so that the droplets or liquid splash do not cause a red coloration. Section 8.1.2 mandates that a laser beam not make direct contact with any point on the eye-region rectangle “without first being intercepted by the faceshield.”

    Section 14 of the 2003 version is section 9 in the 2010 version and addresses test methods. This section requires testing at standard laboratory conditions rather than normal laboratory ambient conditions required in the previous version. Section 9.10 includes new testing requirements for lateral protection to assess the lateral protection area of a complete device. Section 9.14 includes a new prescription lens test that requires lens materials to withstand impact from high velocity. Section 9.16 is a new testing requirement for goggles and faceshields that require a determination of the protector's capability to keep liquid splashes and sprays from reaching eyes. Sections 9.17 and 9.18 contain new requirements to, respectively, determine the protector's capability to keep larger dust particles and fine dust particles from reaching the wearer's eyes. Finally, Sections 7.8, 8.8, 9.8, and 10.8 of the 2003 version, which addressed cleanability of spectacles and goggles, were removed.

    b. Comparison Between the 2010 and 1968 Versions of ANSI Z87.1

    The 2010 version of ANSI Z87.1 also differs significantly from the 1968 version. See Ex. OSHA-2014-0024-0002 (a side-by-side comparison of versions prepared by OSHA). Whereas the scope of the 1968 version simply states that it applies to all occupational operations, the 2010 scope is far more specific in that it sets forth criteria related to the general requirements, testing, permanent marking, selection, care, and use of protectors to minimize the occurrence and severity or prevention of injuries from the different types of hazards. In addition, the 2010 version excludes more hazardous exposures than the 1968 version, including bloodborne pathogens, microwaves, radio-frequency radiation, and sports and recreation. It also removes nearly all of the definitions contained in the 1968 version and makes significant alterations to the remaining definitions. For example, the 1968 definitions for ultraviolet and infrared radiation were defined as within the range of 50 to 390 nm and 770 to 12000 nm, respectively. The 2010 version defines these ranges from 200 to 380 nm and 780 to 2000 nm, respectively.

    C. Overview of Proposed Rulemaking

    As discussed in a previous Federal Register notice (69 FR 68283), OSHA is undertaking a series of projects to incorporate the latest versions of national consensus and industry standards into its regulations. These projects include removing outdated national consensus and industry standards and updating regulatory text.

    On May 17, 2007, OSHA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (72 FR 27771) entitled “Updating OSHA Standards Based on National Consensus Standards; Personal Protective Equipment.” This notice did not include a revision of the construction industry standards that cover personal protective equipment, which had last been updated in 1993. 58 FR 35160. In response to the notice, the Agency received approximately 25 comments. On December 4, 2007, OSHA held an informal public hearing at which nine witnesses testified. Several of the commenters and witnesses questioned the Agency's decision not to include the construction industry in this rulemaking. See Exs. OSHA-2007-0044-0021 and -0034; see also, Tr. at 18-19 and 51-52. OSHA responded that limited resources did not permit inclusion of the construction industry at that time. Tr. at 18-19; see also, 74 FR 46352.

    On September 9, 2009, OSHA published the final rule (74 FR 46350), which became effective on October 9, 2009, and pertained only to the general industry and maritime standards. The final rule did not include a reference to the 2010 edition of the ANSI standard because this edition was not available to OSHA prior to February 8, 2008, the date on which the administrative law judge who presided over the hearing closed the rulemaking record.

    By this notice, OSHA is proposing to update the references in 29 CFR 1910.133(b)(1), 29 CFR 1915.153(b)(1), 29 CFR 1917.91(a)(1)(i), and 29 CFR 1918.101(a)(1)(i) to include ANSI Z87.1-2010, the most recent version of that standard and delete the reference to ANSI Z87.1-1989. As a result, these provisions will allow use of eye and face protection that complies with the three most recent editions of the consensus standard, i.e., ANSI Z87.1-2010, Z87.1-2003 and Z87.1-1989 (R-1998). In addition, OSHA is proposing to amend 29 CFR 1926.102(a)(2) of the construction standard to remove ANSI Z87.1-1968 and add the three most recent versions of the ANSI standard to 29 CFR 1926.102(b)(1). This will make the ANSI references in the construction standard identical to those in the general industry and maritime standards. This action addresses the comments received during the initial rulemaking, cited above, and as stated above, will ensure consistency among the Agency's standards. These changes also eliminate any confusion, clarify employer obligations, and provide up-to-date protection for workers exposed to eye and face hazards.

    D. Reasonable Availability of the ANSI Standard to the Public

    OSHA believes that the ANSI standards included in this proposal are reasonably available to interested parties. The 2010, 2003, and 1989 (R-1998) versions of ANSI Z87.1 can be purchased as a package from ANSI in pdf form for $57 (http://webstore.ansi.org/). All three are also available for purchase at both the IHS Standards (http://global.ihs.com/) or Techstreet (http://www.techstreet.com/) stores. In addition, they are available at OSHA's docket office for review. In addition, both the 2003 and 1989 (R-1998) versions are available at OSHA's regional offices for review. If OSHA ultimately finalizes this rule, all three documents would be maintained in OSHA's national and regional offices for review by the public.

    II. Summary and Explanation of Revisions to the Eye and Face Protection Standards A. Updating the General Industry and Maritime Industry Standards

    OSHA adopted the previous revision of the general industry and maritime eye and face protection standards on September 9, 2009. 74 FR 46350. These revisions, which became effective on October 9, 2009, permit compliance with ANSI Z87.1-2003, ANSI Z87.1-1989 (R-1998), or ANSI Z87.1-1989. Since OSHA published the previous revision, ANSI Z87.1-2010 has become available. This rulemaking will update the references in 29 CFR 1910.133(b)(1), 29 CFR 1915.153(b)(1), 29 CFR 1917.91(a)(1)(i), and 29 CFR 1918.103(a)(1)(i) to recognize the 2010 edition of ANSI Z87.1 and delete the reference to Z87.1-1989. It will also update the general incorporation by reference section for each of these standards (i.e., 29 CFR 1910.6, 1915.5, 1917.3, 1918.3) to reflect the incorporation of ANSI Z87.1-2010, ANSI Z87.1-2003, and ANSI Z87.1-1989 (R-1998).

    Since it is OSHA's understanding that eye and face protection is now only designed, tested, or manufactured in accordance with the 2010, 2003, or 1989 (R-1998) versions of ANSI Z87.1, OSHA believes these updates are consistent with the usual and customary practice of employers in the general and maritime industries. Therefore, incorporating by reference ANSI Z87.1-2010, and deleting ANSI Z87.1-1989, will not add a compliance burden for employers. OSHA invites public comment on whether the revisions in the 2010 edition of the consensus standard represent current industry practice, as well as any other issues raised by OSHA's proposed revisions to the general industry and maritime eye and face protection standards.

    B. Updating the Construction Industry Standard

    The proposed update to the construction eye and face protection standard involves: (1) Changes to the ANSI standard references and (2) inclusion of language from the general industry eye and face protection standard. With respect to the ANSI standard update, OSHA will amend 29 CFR 1926.6 and 1926.102, which currently incorporate by reference ANSI Z87.1-1968, to include the three most recent versions of the ANSI standard, ANSI Z87.1-2010, ANSI Z87.1-2003, and ANSI Z87.1-1989 (R-1998). With respect to the inclusion of language from the general industry standard, OSHA will modify certain existing language to make it nearly identical to the language in the general industry standard's eye and face protection provisions. It will also retain provisions unique to the current construction standard that do not appear to be covered in the versions of the ANSI Z87.1 incorporated by the proposal. These changes better reflect the requirements of the newer consensus standards and ease compliance for employers whose employees might also perform work covered by the general industry or maritime standards.

    Specifically, OSHA is proposing to replace sections 1926.102(a)(1) through (a)(3), and (a)(7) with the language found in the general industry standard at 1910.133(a)(1) through (a)(4) and 1910.133(b). The Agency will also replace: (1) The statement of scope in section 1926.102(a)(1) with the statement of scope in 1910.133(a)(1); (2) the reference to the 1968 ANSI standard in 1926.102(a)(2) with the updated list of national consensus standards in 1910.133(b)(1); and (3) the requirements for corrective lenses in 1926.102(a)(3) with the corrective-lens requirements in 1910.133(a)(3). The proposal deletes section 1926.102(a)(4)'s requirement to keep the protective equipment clean, in good repair, and free of structural and optical defects. This provision does not appear in 1910.133, and is addressed by requirements in each of the three versions of Z87.1 included in the proposal. See, e.g., ANSI Z87.1-2010 (sections 10.3 and 10.4); ANSI Z87.1-2003 (section 6.2.6); and ANSI Z87.1-1989 (R 1998) (sections 14.4, 14.5, 15.7). The proposal also removes Table E-1, Eye and Face Protector Selection Guide, which is specific to the 1968 version of ANSI Z87.1 and referenced in the current section 1926.102(a)(5). Removal of Table E-1 is of no consequence because employers and employees may use any of the three newly-referenced ANSI standards, which contain similar selection guides. See ANSI Z87.1-2010, Annex I. Selection Chart, ANSI Z87.1-2003, Annex I—Selection Chart, or ANSI Z87.1-1989 (R-1998), Selection Chart. Once Table E-1 is removed, OSHA will renumber Tables E-2 and E-3 under this paragraph as Tables E-1 and E-2, respectively.

    The proposal retains section 1926.102(a)(6)—which specifies, among other requirements, that protectors must be capable of being disinfected, easily cleanable, and durable—because its language does not appear to be in the most recent ANSI standard, Z87.1-2010. The proposal also substitutes the marking requirement specified by section 1926.102(a)(7) with the marking requirement in section 1910.133(a)(4). In addition, the proposal will delete the requirement in 1926.102(a)(8)—that employers must transmit information from manufacturers to users about equipment limitations or precautions and that such limitations and precautions must be strictly observed—to bring the section into closer alignment with the general industry standard because this requirement is covered by requirements in each of the ANSI standards (see ANSI Z87.1-2010, section 10.2; ANSI Z87.1-2003, section 6.2.6; ANSI Z87.1-1989 (R 1998), section 14.2. The language adopted from the general industry standard will add a provision to the construction standard that permits an employer to use eye and face protection not manufactured in accordance with one of the incorporated ANSI Z87.1 standards if the employer can demonstrate compliance with one of the incorporated ANSI Z87.1 standards (i.e., the equivalent-protection provision). Finally, section 1926.102(b) will be redesignated as section 1926.102(c).

    OSHA believes that it is consistent with employers' usual and customary practice in the construction industry to require use of eye and face protection that complies with ANSI Z87.1-2010, ANSI Z87.1-2003, or ANSI Z87.1-1989 (R-1998). Accordingly, the Agency determined that incorporating these editions of ANSI Z87.1 consensus standards for eye and face protection into 29 CFR 1926.102(b)(1) does not add a compliance burden for employers. OSHA invites public comment on whether use of eye and face protection that complies with ANSI Z87.1-2010, ANSI Z87.1-2003, or ANSI Z87.1-1989 (R-1998) and inclusion of language from the general industry standard's eye and face provisions accords with employers' usual and customary practice in the construction industry, as well as any other issues raised by OSHA's proposed revisions to the construction standard for eye and face protection.

    III. Procedural Determinations A. Legal Considerations

    The purpose of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) is to achieve to the extent possible safe and healthful working conditions for all employees. 29 U.S.C. 651(b). To achieve this goal, Congress authorized the Secretary of Labor to promulgate and enforce occupational safety and health standards. 29 U.S.C. 654(b), 655(b). A safety or health standard is a standard “which requires conditions, or the adoption or use of one or more practices, means, methods, operations, or processes reasonably necessary or appropriate to provide safe or healthful employment and places of employment.” 29 U.S.C. 652(8). A standard is reasonably necessary or appropriate within the meaning of Section 652(8) of the OSH Act when a significant risk of material harm exists in the workplace and the standard would substantially reduce or eliminate that workplace risk. See Indus. Union Dep't, AFL-CIO v. Am. Petroleum Inst., 448 U.S. 607 (1980). OSHA already determined that requirements specified by eye and face protection standards, including design requirements, are reasonably necessary or appropriate within the meaning of Section 652(8). See, e.g., 49 FR 49726, 49737 (1978); 51 FR 33251, 33251-59 (1986).

    Moreover, this notice of proposed rulemaking neither reduces employee protection nor alters an employer's obligations under the existing standards. With respect to employee protection, because the proposal will allow employers to continue to provide the same eye and face protection they currently provide, employees' protection will not change. In terms of employers' obligations, the proposal will allow employers additional options for meeting the design-criteria requirements for eye and face protection. Accordingly, this proposal does not require an additional significant risk finding (cf. Edison Elec. Inst. v. OSHA, 849 F.2d 611, 620 (D.C. Cir. 1988)).

    In addition, a safety standard must be technologically feasible. See UAW v. OSHA, 37 F.3d 665, 668 (D.C. Cir. 1994). A standard is technologically feasible when the protective measures it requires already exist, when available technology can bring the protective measures into existence, or when that technology is reasonably likely to develop. See Am. Textile Mfrs. Inst. v. OSHA, 452 U.S. 490, 513 (1981); Am. Iron and Steel Inst. v. OSHA, 939 F.2d 975, 980 (D.C. Cir. 1991)). The proposed revisions detailed in this NPRM are technologically feasible because: (1) Protectors are already manufactured in accordance with the 2010 ANSI standard or the other versions permitted under the revision and (2) employers already comply with the 2003 and 1998 versions of the ANSI standard incorporated by reference into the general industry and maritime standards, which will remain in effect under the proposed rule.

    B. Preliminary Economic Analysis and Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    OSHA has preliminarily determined that employers can comply with the proposed rule by following their current usual and customary practice in providing eye and face protection to their employees. Therefore, OSHA finds that this notice of proposed rulemaking is not economically significant within the context of Executive Order 12866, or a major rule under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act or Section 801 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. In addition, this notice of proposed rulemaking complies with Executive Order 13563 because employers are allowed increased flexibility in choosing eye and face protection for their employees and are not required to update or replace that protection solely as a result of this rule if the employer's current practice meets the revised standards. Because the rule imposes no costs, OSHA certifies that it will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of private or public sector entities and does not meet any of the criteria for an economically significant or major rule specified by the Executive Order or relevant statutes.

    C. OMB Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This notice of proposed rulemaking does not establish or revise any collection of information requirements for purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501. Accordingly, the Agency did not submit an Information Collection Request to OMB in association with this rulemaking.

    Members of the public may respond to this paperwork determination by sending their written comments to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: OSHA Desk Officer (RIN 1218-AC77), Office of Management and Budget, Room 10235, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503. The Agency encourages commenters to submit these comments to the rulemaking docket, along with their comments on other parts of this notice of proposed rulemaking. For instructions on submitting these comments and accessing the docket, see the sections of this Federal Register document titled DATES and ADDRESSES.

    To make inquiries or to request other information contact Mr. Todd Owen, Directorate of Standards and Guidance, OSHA, Room N-3609, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-2222.

    D. Federalism

    OSHA reviewed this notice of proposed rulemaking in accordance with the Executive Order on Federalism (Executive Order 13132, 64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999), which requires that agencies, to the extent possible, refrain from limiting state policy options, consult with states prior to taking any actions that would restrict state policy options, and take such actions only when clear constitutional authority exists and the problem is national in scope. Executive Order 13132 provides for preemption of state law only with the expressed consent of Congress. Agencies must limit any such preemption to the extent possible.

    Under Section 18 of the OSH Act, 29 U.S.C. 651 et seq., Congress expressly provides that states may adopt, with Federal approval, a plan for the development and enforcement of occupational safety and health standards (29 U.S.C. 667); OSHA refers to states that obtain Federal approval for such a plan as “State Plan states.” Occupational safety and health standards developed by State Plan states must be at least as effective in providing safe and healthful employment and places of employment as the Federal standards. 29 U.S.C. 667. Subject to these requirements, State Plan states are free to develop and enforce under state law their own requirements for occupational safety and health standards.

    While OSHA drafted this notice of proposed rulemaking to protect employees in every state, Section 18(c)(2) of the OSH Act permits State Plan states and U.S. territories to develop and enforce their own standards for eye and face protection provided these requirements are at least as effective in providing safe and healthful employment and places of employment as the requirements specified in this notice of proposed rulemaking.

    In summary, this notice of proposed rulemaking complies with Executive Order 13132. In states without OSHA-approved state plans, this rulemaking limits state policy options in the same manner as other OSHA standards. In State Plan states, this rulemaking does not significantly limit state policy options because, as explained in the following section, State Plan states do not have to adopt this notice of proposed rulemaking

    E. State Plan States

    When Federal OSHA promulgates a new standard or amends an existing standard to be more stringent than it was previously, the 27 states or U.S. territories with their own OSHA-approved occupational safety and health plans must revise their standards to reflect the new standard or amendment, or show OSHA why such action is unnecessary, e.g., because an existing state standard covering this area is at least as effective in protecting workers as the new Federal standard or amendment. 29 CFR 1953.5(a). In this regard, the state standard must be at least as effective as the final Federal rule. State Plan states must adopt the Federal standard or complete their own standard within six months of the publication date of the final Federal rule. When OSHA promulgates a new standard or amendment that does not impose additional or more stringent requirements than the existing standard, State Plan states need not amend their standards, although OSHA may encourage them to do so. The following 21 states and 1 U.S. territory have OSHA-approved occupational safety and health plans that apply only to private-sector employers: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming. In addition, Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and the Virgin Islands have OSHA-approved State Plans that apply only to state and local government employees.

    When OSHA promulgates a new final rule, states and territories with approved State Plans must adopt comparable amendments to their standards relating to personal protective equipment across OSHA's various industries within six months of OSHA's promulgation of the final rule unless they demonstrate that such a change is not necessary because their existing standards are already the same, or at least as effective, as OSHA's new final rule.

    F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    OSHA reviewed this notice of proposed rulemaking according to the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), 2 U.S.C. 1501-1571, and Executive Order 12875, 58 FR 58093 (1993). As discussed above in Section IV.B (“Preliminary Economic Analysis and Regulatory Flexibility Certification”) of this preamble, OSHA preliminarily determined that the proposed rule imposes no additional costs on any private-sector or public-sector entity. Accordingly, this notice of proposed rulemaking requires no additional expenditures by either public or private employers.

    As noted above under Section IV.E (“State Plan States”) of this preamble, OSHA standards do not apply to state or local governments except in states that elected voluntarily to adopt an OSHA-approved state plan. Consequently, this notice of proposed rulemaking does not meet the definition of a “Federal intergovernmental mandate.” See 2 U.S.C. 658(5). Therefore, for the purposes of the UMRA, OSHA certifies that this notice of proposed rulemaking does not mandate that state, local, or tribal governments adopt new, unfunded regulatory obligations, or increase expenditures by the private sector of more than $100 million in any year.

    G. Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

    OSHA reviewed this notice of proposed rulemaking in accordance with Executive Order 13175, 65 FR 67249 (2000), and determined that it does not have “tribal implications” as defined in that order. As proposed, the rule does not have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal government and Indian tribes.

    H. Consultation With the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health

    Under 29 CFR parts 1911 and 1912, OSHA must consult with the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (“ACCSH” or “the Committee”), established pursuant to Section 107 of the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (40 U.S.C. 3701 et seq.), in setting standards for construction work. Specifically, 29 CFR 1911.10(a) requires the Assistant Secretary to provide the ACCSH with a draft proposed rule (along with pertinent factual information) and give the Committee an opportunity to submit recommendations. See also 29 CFR 1912.3(a) (“[W]henever occupational safety or health standards for construction activities are proposed, the Assistant Secretary [for Occupational Safety and Health] shall consult the Advisory Committee”).

    On May 8, 2014, OSHA presented its proposal to update the Agency's eye and face protection standards including its construction standard at 29 CFR 1926.102 to the ACCSH. OSHA presented the committee two options for updating of its construction standard. In the first option OSHA proposed to replace the provisions in the construction standard with those of the general industry and maritime standards, except for those that were unique to the construction industry standard. This would make the construction eye and face protection standard nearly identical to the general industry and maritime standards however, it would preserve those provisions that are unique to the construction standard.

    The second option proposed would substitute only the three most current ANSI standards for the outdated ANSI standard currently cited and include the new provision allowing the use of any equivalent-protection standards. The remaining provisions of the construction standard would stay intact except for the removal of Table E-1 which references the outdated ANSI standard. This option would retain existing requirements that are familiar to employers and employees in the construction industry. The Committee subsequently selected the first option and passed a motion recommending that the Agency move forward in the rulemaking process. (See the minutes from the meeting Docket No. OSHA-2014-0024-0004; see also two options for an update, available at Docket No. OSHA-2014-0024-0003).

    List of Subjects in 29 CFR Parts 1910, 1915, 1917, 1918, and 1926

    Incorporation by reference, Occupational safety and health, Personal protective equipment.

    IV. Authority and Signature

    David Michaels, Ph.D., MPH, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20210, authorized the preparation of this notice. OSHA is issuing this proposed rule pursuant to 29 U.S.C. 653, 655, and 657; 40 U.S.C. 3701 et seq.; 5 U.S.C. 553; Secretary of Labor's Order 1-2012, 77 FR 3912 (2012); and 29 CFR part 1911.

    Signed at Washington, DC, on March 2, 2015. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. Amendments to Standards

    For the reasons stated above in the preamble, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration proposes to amend 29 CFR parts 1910, 1915, 1917, 1918 and 1926 as follows:

    PART 1910—[AMENDED] Subpart A—[Amended] 1. The authority citation for subpart A of part 1910 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    29 U.S.C. 653, 655, 657; Secretary of Labor's Order Numbers 12-71 (36 FR 8754), 8-76 (41 FR 25059), 9-83 (48 FR 35736), 1-90 (55 FR 9033), 6-96 (62 FR 111), 3-2000 (65 FR 50017), 5-2002 (67 FR 65008), 5-2007 (72 FR 31159), 4-2010 (75 FR 55355), or 1-2012 (77 FR 3912), as applicable.

    Sections 1910.6, 1910.7, 1910.8 and 1910.9 also issued under 29 CFR 1911. Section 1910.7(f) also issued under 31 U.S.C. 9701, 29 U.S.C. 9a, 5 U.S.C. 553; Public Law 106-113 (113 Stat. 1501A-222); Pub. L. 11-8 and 111-317; and OMB Circular A-25 (dated July 8, 1993) (58 FR 38142, July 15, 1993).

    2. Amend § 1910.6 by revising paragraphs (e)(69) through (e)(71) to read as follows:
    § 1910.6 Incorporation by reference.

    (e) * * *

    (69) ANSI Z87.1-2010, Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices, approved April 13, 2010; IBR approved for § 1910.133(b)(1)(i). Copies are available for purchase from:

    (i) American National Standards Institute's e-Standards Store, 25 W 43rd Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10036; telephone: (212) 642-4980; Web site: http://webstore.ansi.org/;

    (ii) IHS Standards Store, 15 Inverness Way East, Englewood, CO 80112; telephone: (877) 413-5184; Web site: http://global.ihs.com; or

    (iii) TechStreet Store, 3916 Ranchero Dr., Ann Arbor, MI 48108; telephone: (877) 699-9277; Web site: http://techstreet.com.

    (70) ANSI Z87.1-2003, Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Personal Protection Devices, approved June 19, 2003; IBR approved for §§ 1910.133(b)(1)(ii). Copies available for purchase from the:

    (i) American National Standards Institute's e-Standards Store, 25 W 43rd Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10036; telephone: (212) 642-4980; Web site: http://webstore.ansi.org/;

    (ii) IHS Standards Store, 15 Inverness Way East, Englewood, CO 80112; telephone: (877) 413-5184; Web site: http://global.ihs.com; or

    (iii) TechStreet Store, 3916 Ranchero Dr., Ann Arbor, MI 48108; telephone: (877) 699-9277; Web site: http://techstreet.com.

    (71) ANSI Z87.1-1989 (R-1998), Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection; IBR approved for § 1910.133(b)(1)(iii). Copies are available for purchase from:

    (i) American National Standards Institute's e-Standards Store, 25 W 43rd Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10036; telephone: (212) 642-4980; Web site: http://webstore.ansi.org/;

    (ii) IHS Standards Store, 15 Inverness Way East, Englewood, CO 80112; telephone: (877) 413-5184; Web site: http://global.ihs.com; or

    (iii) TechStreet Store, 3916 Ranchero Dr., Ann Arbor, MI 48108; telephone: (877) 699-9277; Web site: http://techstreet.com.

    Subpart I—[Amended] 3. The authority citation for subpart I of part 1910 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Sections 4, 6, and 8 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 653, 655, 657); Secretary of Labor's Order No. 12-71 (36 FR 8754), 8-76 (41 FR 25059), 9-83 (48 FR 35736), 1-90 (55 FR 9033), 6-96 (62 FR 111), 3-2000 (65 FR 50017), 5-2002 (67 FR 65008), 5-2007 (72 FR 31160), 4-2010 (75 FR 55355), or 1-2012 (77 FR 3912), as applicable, and 29 CFR part 1911; Sections 1910.132, 1910.134, and 1910.138 of 29 CFR also issued under 29 CFR 1911; Sections 1910.133, 1910.135, and 1910.136 of 29 CFR also issued under 29 CFR 1911 and 5 U.S.C. 553.

    4. Amend § 1910.133 by revising paragraph (b)(1) to read as follows:
    § 1910.133 Eye and face protection.

    (b) Criteria for protective eye and face protection. (1) Protective eye and face protection devices must comply with any of the following consensus standards:

    (i) ANSI Z87.1-2010, Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices, incorporated by reference in § 1910.6;

    (ii) ANSI Z87.1-2003, Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices, incorporated by reference in § 1910.6; or

    (iii) ANSI Z87.1-1989 (R-1998), Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection, incorporated by reference in § 1910.6;

    PART 1915—[AMENDED] 5. The authority citation for part 1915 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Section 41, Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (33 U.S.C. 941); Sections 4, 6, and 8 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 653, 655, 657); Secretary of Labor's Order No. 12-71 (36 FR 8754), 8-76 (41 FR 25059), 9-83 (48 FR 35736), 1-90 (55 FR 9033), 6-96 (62 FR 111), 3-2000 (65 FR 50017), 5-2002 (67 FR 65008), 5-2007 (72 FR 31160), 4-2010 (75 FR 55355), or 1-2012 (77 FR 3912), as applicable; 29 CFR part 1911.

    Section 1915.100 also issued under 49 U.S.C. 1801-1819 and 5 U.S.C. 553.

    Sections 1915.120 and 1915.152 of 29 CFR also issued under 29 CFR part 1911.

    Source: 47 FR 16986, Apr. 20, 1982, unless otherwise noted.

    6. Amend § 1915.5 by revising paragraphs (d)(1)(vi) through (d)(1)(viii) to read as follows:
    § 1915.5 Incorporation by reference.

    (d)(1) * * *

    (vi) ANSI Z87.1-2010, Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices, approved April 13, 2010; IBR approved for § 1915.153(b)(1)(i). Copies are available for purchase from:

    (A) American National Standards Institute's e-Standards Store, 25 W 43rd Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10036; telephone: (212) 642-4980; Web site: http://webstore.ansi.org/;

    (B) IHS Standards Store, 15 Inverness Way East, Englewood, CO 80112; telephone: (877) 413-5184; Web site: http://global.ihs.com; or

    (C) TechStreet Store, 3916 Ranchero Dr., Ann Arbor, MI 48108; telephone: (877) 699-9277; Web site: http://techstreet.com.

    (vii) ANSI Z87.1-2003, Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices, approved June 19, 2003; IBR approved for § 1910.153(b)(1)(ii). Copies available for purchase from the:

    (A) American National Standards Institute's e-Standards Store, 25 W 43rd Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10036; telephone: (212) 642-4980; Web site: http://webstore.ansi.org/;

    (B) IHS Standards Store, 15 Inverness Way East, Englewood, CO 80112; telephone: (877) 413-5184; Web site: http://global.ihs.com; or

    (C) TechStreet Store, 3916 Ranchero Dr., Ann Arbor, MI 48108; telephone: (877) 699-9277; Web site: http://techstreet.com.

    (viii) ANSI Z87.1-1989 (R-1998), Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection; IBR approved for § 1910.153(b)(1)(iii). Copies are available for purchase from:

    (A) American National Standards Institute's e-Standards Store, 25 W 43rd Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10036; telephone: (212) 642-4980; Web site: http://webstore.ansi.org/;

    (B) IHS Standards Store, 15 Inverness Way East, Englewood, CO 80112; telephone: (877) 413-5184; Web site: http://global.ihs.com; or

    (C) TechStreet Store, 3916 Ranchero Dr., Ann Arbor, MI 48108; telephone: (877) 699-9277; Web site: http://techstreet.com.

    Subpart I—[Amended] 7. Amend § 1915.153 by revising paragraph (b)(1) to read as follows:
    § 1915.153 Eye and face protection.

    (b) Criteria for protective eye and face devices. (1) Protective eye and face protection devices must comply with any of the following consensus standards:

    (i) ANSI Z87.1-2010, Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices, incorporated by reference in § 1915.5;

    (ii) ANSI Z87.1-2003, Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices, incorporated by reference in § 1915.5; or

    (iii) ANSI Z87.1-1989 (R-1998), Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection, incorporated by reference in § 1915.5;

    PART 1917—[AMENDED] 8. The authority citation for part 1917 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 941; 29 U.S.C. 653, 655, 657; Secretary of Labor's Order No. 12-71 (36 FR 8754), 8-76 (41 FR 25059), 9-83 (48 FR 35736), 1-90 (55 FR 9033), 6-96 (62 FR 111), 3-2000 (65 FR 50017), 5-2002 (67 FR 65008), 5-2007 (72 FR 31160), 4-2010 (75 FR 55355), or 1-2012 (77 7 FR 3912),as applicable; and 29 CFR 1911.

    Section 1917.28 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 553.

    Section 1917.29 also issued under 49 U.S.C. 1801-1819 and 5 U.S.C. 553.

    Source: 48 FR 30909, July 5, 1983, unless otherwise noted.

    9. Amend § 1917.3 by revising paragraphs (b)(6) through (b)(8) to read as follows:
    § 1917.3 Incorporation by reference.

    (b) * * *

    (6) ANSI Z87.1-2010, Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices, approved April 13, 2010; IBR approved for § 1917.91(a)(1)(i)(A). Copies are available for purchase from:

    (i) American National Standards Institute's e-Standards Store, 25 W 43rd Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10036; telephone: (212) 642-4980; Web site: http://webstore.ansi.org/;

    (ii) IHS Standards Store, 15 Inverness Way East, Englewood, CO 80112; telephone: (877) 413-5184; Web site: http://global.ihs.com; or

    (iii) TechStreet Store, 3916 Ranchero Dr., Ann Arbor, MI 48108; telephone: (877) 699-9277; Web site: http://techstreet.com.

    (7) ANSI Z87.1-2003, Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices, approved June 19, 2003; IBR approved for § 1917.91(a)(1)(i)(B). Copies available for purchase from the:

    (i) American National Standards Institute's e-Standards Store, 25 W 43rd Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10036; telephone: (212) 642-4980; Web site: http://webstore.ansi.org/;

    (ii) IHS Standards Store, 15 Inverness Way East, Englewood, CO 80112; telephone: (877) 413-5184; Web site: http://global.ihs.com; or

    (iii) TechStreet Store, 3916 Ranchero Dr., Ann Arbor, MI 48108; telephone: (877) 699-9277; Web site: http://techstreet.com.

    (8) ANSI Z87.1-1989 (R-1998), Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection; IBR approved for § 1917.91(a)(1)(i)(C). Copies are available for purchase from:

    (i) American National Standards Institute's e-Standards Store, 25 W 43rd Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10036; telephone: (212) 642-4980; Web site: http://webstore.ansi.org/;

    (ii) IHS Standards Store, 15 Inverness Way East, Englewood, CO 80112; telephone: (877) 413-5184; Web site: http://global.ihs.com; or

    (iii) TechStreet Store, 3916 Ranchero Dr., Ann Arbor, MI 48108; telephone: (877) 699-9277; Web site: http://techstreet.com.

    Subpart E—[Amended] 10. Amend § 1917.91 by revising paragraph (a)(1)(i) to read as follows:
    § 1917.91 Eye and face protection.

    (a)(1)(i) The employer shall ensure that each affected employee uses protective eye and face protection devices that comply with any of the following consensus standards:

    (A) ANSI Z87.1-2010, Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices, incorporated by reference in § 1917.3;

    (B) ANSI Z87.1-2003, Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices, incorporated by reference in § 1917.3; or

    (C) ANSI Z87.1-1989 (R-1998), Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection, incorporated by reference in § 1917.3;

    PART 1918—[AMENDED] 11. The authority citation for part 1918 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 941; 29 U.S.C. 653, 655, 657; Secretary of Labor's Order No. 12-71 (36 FR 8754), 8-76 (41 FR 25059), 9-83 (48 FR 35736), 1-90 (55 FR 9033), 6-96 (62 FR 111), 3-2000 (65 FR 50017), 5-2002 (67 FR 65008), 5-2007 (72 FR 31160), 4-2010 (75 FR 55355), or 1-2012 (77 FR 3912), as applicable; and 29 CFR 1911.

    Section 1918.90 also issued under 5 U.S.C. 553.

    Section 1918.100 also issued under 49 U.S.C. 1801-1819 and 5 U.S.C. 553.

    Source: 62 FR 40202, July 25, 1997, unless otherwise noted.

    12. Amend § 1918.3 by revising paragraphs (b)(6) through (b)(8) to read as follows:
    § 1918.3 Incorporation by reference.

    (b) * * *

    (6) ANSI Z87.1-2010, Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices, approved April 13, 2010; IBR approved for § 1918.101(a)(1)(i)(A). Copies are available for purchase from:

    (i) American National Standards Institute's e-Standards Store, 25 W 43rd Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10036; telephone: (212) 642-4980; Web site: http://webstore.ansi.org/;

    (ii) IHS Standards Store, 15 Inverness Way East, Englewood, CO 80112; telephone: (877) 413-5184; Web site: http://global.ihs.com; or

    (iii) TechStreet Store, 3916 Ranchero Dr., Ann Arbor, MI 48108; telephone: (877) 699-9277; Web site: http://techstreet.com.

    (7) ANSI Z87.1-2003, Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices, approved June 19, 2003; IBR approved for § 1918.101(a)(1)(i)(B). Copies available for purchase from the:

    (i) American National Standards Institute's e-Standards Store, 25 W 43rd Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10036; telephone: (212) 642-4980; Web site: http://webstore.ansi.org/;

    (ii) IHS Standards Store, 15 Inverness Way East, Englewood, CO 80112; telephone: (877) 413-5184; Web site: http://global.ihs.com; or

    (iii) TechStreet Store, 3916 Ranchero Dr., Ann Arbor, MI 48108; telephone: (877) 699-9277; Web site: http://techstreet.com.

    (8) ANSI Z87.1-1989 (R-1998), Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection; IBR approved for § 1918.101(a)(1)(i)(C). Copies are available for purchase from:

    (i) American National Standards Institute's e-Standards Store, 25 W 43rd Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10036; telephone: (212) 642-4980; Web site: http://webstore.ansi.org/;

    (ii) IHS Standards Store, 15 Inverness Way East, Englewood, CO 80112; telephone: (877) 413-5184; Web site: http://global.ihs.com; or

    (iii) TechStreet Store, 3916 Ranchero Dr., Ann Arbor, MI 48108; telephone: (877) 699-9277; Web site: http://techstreet.com.

    Subpart J—[Amended] 13. Amend § 1918.101 by revising paragraph (a)(1)(i) to read as follows:
    § 1918.101 Eye and face protection.

    (a) * * *

    (1)(i) Employers must ensure that each employee uses appropriate eye and/or face protection when the employee is exposed to an eye or face hazards, and that protective eye and face devices comply with any of the following consensus standards:

    (A) ANSI Z87.1-2010, Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices, incorporated by reference in § 1918.3;

    (B) ANSI Z87.1-2003, Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices, incorporated by reference in § 1918.3; or

    (C) ANSI Z87.1-1989 (R-1998), Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection, incorporated by reference in § 1918.3

    PART 1926—[AMENDED] Subpart A—General [Amended] 14. The authority citation for subpart A of part 1926 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 3701 et seq.; 29 U.S.C. 653, 655, 657; Secretary of Labor's Order No. 12-71 (36 FR 8754), 8-76 (41 FR 25059), 9-83 (48 FR 35736), 1-90 (55 FR 9033), 6-96 (62 FR 111), 5-2002 (67 FR 65008), 5-2007 (72 FR 31160), 4-2010 (75 FR 55355), or 1-2012 (77 FR 3912), as applicable; and 29 CFR part 1911.

    15. Amend § 1926.6 as follows: a. Revise paragraph (h)(31); b. Redesignate paragraphs (h)(32) thru (h)(34) as (h)(34) thru (h)(36); c. Add new paragraphs (h)(32) and (h)(33).

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 1926.6 Incorporation by reference.

    (h) * * *

    (31) ANSI Z87.1-2010, Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices, approved April 13, 2010; IBR approved for § 1926.102(b)(1)(i). Copies are available for purchase from:

    (i) American National Standards Institute's e-Standards Store, 25 W 43rd Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10036; telephone: (212) 642-4980; Web site: http://webstore.ansi.org/;

    (ii) IHS Standards Store, 15 Inverness Way East, Englewood, CO 80112; telephone: (877) 413-5184; Web site: http://global.ihs.com; or

    (iii) TechStreet Store, 3916 Ranchero Dr., Ann Arbor, MI 48108; telephone: (877) 699-9277; Web site: http://techstreet.com.

    (32) ANSI Z87.1-2003, Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices, approved June 19, 2003; IBR approved for § 1926.102(b)(2)(ii). Copies available for purchase from the:

    (i) American National Standards Institute's e-Standards Store, 25 W 43rd Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10036; telephone: (212) 642-4980; Web site: http://webstore.ansi.org/;

    (ii) IHS Standards Store, 15 Inverness Way East, Englewood, CO 80112; telephone: (877) 413-5184; Web site: http://global.ihs.com; or

    (iii) TechStreet Store, 3916 Ranchero Dr., Ann Arbor, MI 48108; telephone: (877) 699-9277; Web site: http://techstreet.com.

    (33) ANSI Z87.1-1989 (R-1998), Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection; IBR approved for § 1926.102(b)(2)(iii). Copies are available for purchase from:

    (i) American National Standards Institute's e-Standards Store, 25 W 43rd Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10036; telephone: (212) 642-4980; Web site: http://webstore.ansi.org/;

    (ii) IHS Standards Store, 15 Inverness Way East, Englewood, CO 80112; telephone: (877) 413-5184; Web site: http://global.ihs.com; or

    (iii) TechStreet Store, 3916 Ranchero Dr., Ann Arbor, MI 48108; telephone: (877) 699-9277; Web site: http://techstreet.com.

    Subpart E—[Amended] 16. Revise the authority citation for subpart E of part 1926 to read as follows: Authority:

    40 U.S.C. 3701 et seq.; 29 U.S.C. 653, 655, 657; Secretary of Labor's Order No. 12-71 (36 FR 8754), 8-76 (41 FR 25059), 9-83 (48 FR 35736), 1-90 (55 FR 9033), 6-96 (62 FR 111), 5-2002 (67 FR 65008), 5-2007 (72 FR 31160), 4-2010 (75 FR 55355), or 1-2012 (77 FR 3912), as applicable; and 29 CFR part 1911.

    17. Amend § 1926.102 as follows: a. Revise paragraphs (a)(1) thru (a)(4). b. Delete paragraphs (a)(5), (a)(7), (a)(8) and Table E-1. c. Redesignate paragraph (a)(6) as (a)(5) and Tables E-2 and E-3 as Tables E-1 and E-2 . d. Revise paragraph (b). e. Add paragraph (c).

    The additions and revisions read as follows:

    § 1926.102 Eye and face protection.

    (a) General requirements. (1) The employer shall ensure that each affected employee uses appropriate eye or face protection when exposed to eye or face hazards from flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids or caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapors, or potentially injurious light radiation.

    (2) The employer shall ensure that each affected employee uses eye protection that provides side protection when there is a hazard from flying objects. Detachable side protectors (e.g. clip-on or slide-on side shields) meeting the pertinent requirements of this section are acceptable.

    (3) The employer shall ensure that each affected employee who wears prescription lenses while engaged in operations that involve eye hazards wears eye protection that incorporates the prescription in its design, or wears eye protection that can be worn over the prescription lenses without disturbing the proper position of the prescription lenses or the protective lenses.

    (4) Eye and face PPE shall be distinctly marked to facilitate identification of the manufacturer.

    (b) Criteria for protective eye and face protection. (1) Protective eye and face protection devices must comply with any of the following consensus standards:

    (i) ANSI Z87.1-2010, Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices, incorporated by reference in § 1926.6;

    (ii) ANSI Z87.1-2003, Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices, incorporated by reference in § 1926.6; or

    (iii) ANSI Z87.1-1989 (R-1998), Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection, incorporated by reference in § 1926.6;

    (2) Protective eye and face protection devices that the employer demonstrates are at least as effective as protective eye and face protection devices that are constructed in accordance with one of the above consensus standards will be deemed to be in compliance with the requirements of this section.

    (c) Protection against radiant energy—(1) Selection of shade numbers for welding filter. Table E-1 shall be used as a guide for the selection of the proper shade numbers of filter lenses or plates used in welding. Shades more dense than those listed may be used to suit the individual's needs.

    Table E-1—Filter Lens Shade Numbers for Protection Against Radiant Energy Welding operation Shade No. Shielded metal-arc welding 1/16-, 3/32-, 1/8-, 5/32-inch diameter electrodes 10. Gas-shielded arc welding (nonferrous) 1/16-, 3/32-, 1/8-, 5/32-inch diameter electrodes 11. Gas-shielded arc welding (ferrous) 1/16-, 3/32-, 1/8-, 5/32-inch diameter electrodes 12. Shielded metal-arc welding 3/16-, 7/32-, 1/4-inch diameter electrodes 12. 5/16-, 3/8-inch diameter electrodes 14. Atomic hydrogen welding 10-14. Carbon-arc welding 14. Soldering 2. Torch brazing 3 or 4. Light cutting, up to 1 inch 3 or 4. Medium cutting, 1 inch to 6 inches 4 or 5. Heavy cutting, over 6 inches 5 or 6. Gas welding (light), up to 1/8-inch 4 or 5. Gas welding (medium), 1/8-inch to 1/2-inch 5 or 6. Gas welding (heavy), over 1/2-inch 6 or 8.

    (2) Laser protection. (i) Employees whose occupation or assignment requires exposure to laser beams shall be furnished suitable laser safety goggles which will protect for the specific wavelength of the laser and be of optical density (O.D.) adequate for the energy involved. Table E-2 lists the maximum power or energy density for which adequate protection is afforded by glasses of optical densities from 5 through 8.

    Table E-2—Selecting Laser Safety Glass Intensity, CW
  • maximum power density
  • (watts/cm2)
  • Attenuation Optical
  • density
  • (O.D.)
  • Attenuation
  • factor
  • 10−2 5 105 10−1 6 106 1.0 7 107 10.0 8 108

    Output levels falling between lines in this table shall require the higher optical density.

    (ii) All protective goggles shall bear a label identifying the following data:

    (A) The laser wavelengths for which use is intended;

    (B) The optical density of those wavelengths;

    (C) The visible light transmission.

    [FR Doc. 2015-05521 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-26-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Financial Crimes Enforcement Network 31 CFR Part 1010 RIN 1506-AB30 Imposition of Special Measure against Banca Privada d'Andorra as a Financial Institution of Primary Money Laundering Concern AGENCY:

    Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    In a finding, notice of which is published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register (“Notice of Finding”), the Director of FinCEN found that Banca Privada d'Andorra (“BPA”) is a financial institution operating outside of the United States that is of primary money laundering concern. FinCEN is issuing this notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPRM”) to propose the imposition of a special measure against BPA.

    DATES:

    Written comments on this NPRM must be submitted on or before May 12, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by 1506-AB30, by any of the following methods:

    Federal E-rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Include 1506-AB30 in the submission.

    Mail: The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, P.O. Box 39, Vienna, VA 22183. Include 1506-AB30 in the body of the text. Please submit comments by one method only.

    • Comments submitted in response to this NPRM will become a matter of public record. Therefore, you should submit only information that you wish to make publicly available.

    Inspection of comments: Public comments received electronically or through the U.S. Postal Service sent in response to a notice and request for comment will be made available for public review on http://www.regulations.gov. Comments received may be physically inspected in the FinCEN reading room located in Vienna, Virginia. Reading room appointments are available weekdays (excluding holidays) between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., by calling the Disclosure Officer at (703) 905-5034 (not a toll-free call).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    The FinCEN Resource Center at (800) 767-2825.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Statutory Provisions

    On October 26, 2001, the President signed into law the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (the “USA PATRIOT Act”), Public Law 107-56. Title III of the USA PATRIOT Act amends the anti-money laundering provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”), codified at 12 U.S.C. 1829b, 12 U.S.C. 1951-1959, and 31 U.S.C. 5311-5314, 5316-5332, to promote the prevention, detection, and prosecution of international money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Regulations implementing the BSA appear at 31 CFR Chapter X. The authority of the Secretary of the Treasury (the “Secretary”) to administer the BSA and its implementing regulations has been delegated to the Director of FinCEN.

    Section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act (“Section 311”), codified at 31 U.S.C. 5318A, grants the Director of FinCEN the authority, upon finding that reasonable grounds exist for concluding that a foreign jurisdiction, institution, class of transaction, or type of account is of “primary money laundering concern,” to require domestic financial institutions and financial agencies to take certain “special measures” to address the primary money laundering concern.

    II. Imposition of a Special Measure Against BPA as a Financial Institution of Primary Money Laundering Concern A. Special Measure

    As noticed elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, on March 6, 2015, the Director of FinCEN found that BPA is a financial institution operating outside the United States that is of primary money laundering concern (“Finding”). Based upon that Finding, the Director of FinCEN is authorized to impose one or more special measures. Following the consideration of all factors relevant to the Finding and to selecting the special measure proposed in this NPRM, the Director of FinCEN proposes to impose the special measure authorized by section 5318A(b)(5) (the “fifth special measure”). In connection with this action, FinCEN consulted with representatives of the Federal functional regulators, the Department of Justice, and the Department of State, among others.

    B. Discussion of Section 311 Factors

    In determining which special measures to implement to address the primary money laundering concern, FinCEN considered the following factors.

    1. Whether Similar Action Has Been or Will Be Taken by Other Nations or Multilateral Groups Against BPA

    Other countries or multilateral groups have not yet taken action similar to the action proposed in this rulemaking that would: (1) Prohibit domestic financial institutions and agencies from opening or maintaining a correspondent account for or on behalf of BPA; and (2) require certain covered financial institutions to screen their correspondent accounts in a manner that is reasonably designed to guard against processing transactions involving BPA. FinCEN encourages other countries to take similar action based on the information contained in this NPRM and the Notice of Finding.

    2. Whether the Imposition of the Fifth Special Measure Would Create a Significant Competitive Disadvantage, Including Any Undue Cost or Burden Associated With Compliance, for Financial Institutions Organized or Licensed in the United States

    The fifth special measure proposed by this rulemaking would prohibit covered financial institutions from opening or maintaining correspondent accounts for or on behalf of BPA after the effective date of the final rule implementing the fifth special measure. Currently, only four U.S. covered financial institutions maintain an account for BPA; therefore, FinCEN believes this action will not present an undue regulatory burden. As a corollary to this measure, covered financial institutions also would be required to take reasonable steps to apply special due diligence, as set forth below, to all of their correspondent accounts to help ensure that no such account is being used to provide services to BPA. For direct correspondent relationships, this would involve a minimal burden in transmitting a one-time notice to certain foreign correspondent account holders concerning the prohibition on processing transactions involving BPA through the U.S. correspondent account. U.S. financial institutions generally apply some level of screening and, when required, conduct some level of reporting of their transactions and accounts, often through the use of commercially-available software such as that used for compliance with the economic sanctions programs administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) of the Department of the Treasury and to detect potential suspicious activity. To ensure that U.S. financial institutions are not being used unwittingly to process payments for or on behalf of BPA, directly or indirectly, some additional burden will be incurred by U.S. financial institutions to be vigilant in their suspicious activity monitoring procedures. As explained in more detail in the section-by-section analysis below, financial institutions should be able to leverage these current screening and reporting procedures to detect transactions involving BPA.

    3. The Extent to Which the Proposed Action or Timing of the Action Would Have a Significant Adverse Systemic Impact on the International Payment, Clearance, and Settlement System, or on Legitimate Business Activities of BPA

    The requirements proposed in this NPRM would target BPA specifically; they would not target a class of financial transactions (such as wire transfers) or a particular jurisdiction. BPA is not a major participant in the international payment system and is not relied upon by the international banking community for clearance or settlement services. Additionally, it is difficult to assess on the information available the extent to which BPA is used for legitimate business purposes. BPA provides services in private banking, personal banking, and corporate banking. These services include typical bank products such as savings accounts, corporate accounts, credit cards, and financing. BPA provides services to high-risk customers including international foreign operated shell companies, businesses likely engaged in unlicensed money transmission, and senior foreign political officials. Because of the demonstrated cooperation of high level management at BPA with TPMLs, BPA's legitimate business activity is at high risk of being abused by money launderers. Given this risk, FinCEN believes that any impact on the legitimate business activities of BPA is outweighed by the need to protect the US financial system. Moreover, the imposition of the fifth special measure against BPA would not have a significant adverse systemic impact on the international payment, clearance, and settlement system.

    4. The Effect of the Proposed Action on United States National Security and Foreign Policy

    The exclusion of BPA from the U.S. financial system as proposed in this NPRM would enhance national security by making it more difficult for money launderers, transnational criminal organizations, human traffickers, and other criminals to access the U.S. financial system. More generally, the imposition of the fifth special measure would complement the U.S. Government's worldwide efforts to expose and disrupt international money laundering.

    Therefore, pursuant to the Finding that BPA is a financial institution operating outside of the United States of primary money laundering concern, and after conducting the required consultations and weighing the relevant factors, the Director of FinCEN proposes to impose the fifth special measure.

    III. Section-by-Section Analysis for Imposition of the Fifth Special Measure A. 1010.662(a)—Definitions 1. Banca Privada d'Andorra

    Section 1010.662(a)(1) of the proposed rule would define BPA to include all domestic and international branches, offices, and subsidiaries of BPA wherever located.

    Covered financial institutions should take commercially reasonable measures to determine whether a customer is a branch, office, or subsidiary of BPA.

    2. Correspondent Account

    Section 1010.662(a)(2) of the proposed rule would define the term “correspondent account” by reference to the definition contained in 31 CFR 1010.605(c)(1)(ii). Section 1010.605(c)(1)(ii) defines a correspondent account to mean an account established to receive deposits from, or make payments or other disbursements on behalf of, a foreign bank, or to handle other financial transactions related to the foreign bank. Under this definition, “payable through accounts” are a type of correspondent account.

    In the case of a U.S. depository institution, this broad definition includes most types of banking relationships between a U.S. depository institution and a foreign bank that are established to provide regular services, dealings, and other financial transactions, including a demand deposit, savings deposit, or other transaction or asset account, and a credit account or other extension of credit. FinCEN is using the same definition of “account” for purposes of this rule as was established for depository institutions in the final rule implementing the provisions of section 312 of the USA PATRIOT Act requiring enhanced due diligence for correspondent accounts maintained for certain foreign banks.1

    1See 31 CFR 1010.605(c)(2)(i).

    In the case of securities broker-dealers, futures commission merchants, introducing brokers-commodities, and investment companies that are open-end companies (“mutual funds”), FinCEN is also using the same definition of “account” for purposes of this rule as was established for these entities in the final rule implementing the provisions of section 312 of the USA PATRIOT Act requiring enhanced due diligence for correspondent accounts maintained for certain foreign banks.2

    2See 31 CFR 1010.605(c)(2)(ii)-(iv).

    3. Covered Financial Institution

    Section 1010.662(a)(3) of the proposed rule would define “covered financial institution” with the same definition used in the final rule implementing the provisions of section 312 of the USA PATRIOT Act,3 which in general includes the following:

    3See 31 CFR 1010.605(e)(1).

    • An insured bank (as defined in section 3(h) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1813(h));

    • a commercial bank;

    • an agency or branch of a foreign bank in the United States;

    • a Federally insured credit union;

    • a savings association;

    • a corporation acting under section 25A of the Federal Reserve Act (12 U.S.C. 611);

    • a trust bank or trust company;

    • a broker or dealer in securities;

    • a futures commission merchant or an introducing broker-commodities; and

    • a mutual fund.

    4. Subsidiary

    Section 1010.662(a)(4) of the proposed rule would define “subsidiary” as a company of which more than 50 percent of the voting stock or analogous equity interest is owned by BPA.

    B. 1010.662(b)—Prohibition on Accounts and Due Diligence Requirements for Covered Financial Institutions 1. Prohibition on Opening or Maintaining Correspondent Accounts

    Section 1010.662(b)(1) of the proposed rule imposing the fifth special measure would prohibit covered financial institutions from establishing, maintaining, administering, or managing in the United States any correspondent account for or on behalf of BPA.

    2. Special Due Diligence for Correspondent Accounts To Prohibit Use

    As a corollary to the prohibition on maintaining correspondent accounts for or on behalf of BPA, section 1010.662(b)(2) of the proposed rule would require a covered financial institution to apply special due diligence to all of its foreign correspondent accounts that is reasonably designed to guard against processing transactions involving BPA. As part of that special due diligence, covered financial institutions must notify those foreign correspondent account holders that the covered financial institutions know or have reason to know provide services to BPA that such correspondents may not provide BPA with access to the correspondent account maintained at the covered financial institution. Covered financial institutions should implement appropriate risk-based procedures to identify transactions involving BPA.

    A covered financial institution may satisfy the notification requirement by transmitting the following notice to its foreign correspondent account holders that it knows or has reason to know provide services to BPA:

    Notice: Pursuant to U.S. regulations issued under Section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act, see 31 CFR 1010.662, we are prohibited from establishing, maintaining, administering, or managing a correspondent account for or on behalf of Banca Privada d'Andorra. The regulations also require us to notify you that you may not provide Banca Privada d'Andorra or any of its subsidiaries with access to the correspondent account you hold at our financial institution. If we become aware that the correspondent account you hold at our financial institution has processed any transactions involving Banca Privada d'Andorra or any of its subsidiaries, we will be required to take appropriate steps to prevent such access, including terminating your account.

    A covered financial institution may, for example, have knowledge through transaction screening software that a correspondent processes transactions for BPA. The purpose of the notice requirement is to aid cooperation with correspondent account holders in preventing transactions involving BPA from accessing the U.S. financial system. However, FinCEN would not require or expect a covered financial institution to obtain a certification from any of its correspondent account holders that access will not be provided to comply with this notice requirement. Methods of compliance with the notice requirement could include, for example, transmitting a one-time notice by mail, fax, or email. FinCEN specifically solicits comments on the form and scope of the notice that would be required under the rule.

    The special due diligence would also include implementing risk-based procedures designed to identify any use of correspondent accounts to process transactions involving BPA. A covered financial institution would be expected to apply an appropriate screening mechanism to identify a funds transfer order that on its face listed BPA as the financial institution of the originator or beneficiary, or otherwise referenced BPA in a manner detectable under the financial institution's normal screening mechanisms. An appropriate screening mechanism could be the mechanism used by a covered financial institution to comply with various legal requirements, such as the commercially available software programs used to comply with the economic sanctions programs administered by OFAC.

    A covered financial institution would also be required to implement risk-based procedures to identify indirect use of its correspondent accounts, including through methods used to disguise the originator or originating institution of a transaction. Specifically, FinCEN is concerned that BPA may attempt to disguise its transactions by relying on types of payments and accounts that would not explicitly identify BPA as an involved party. A financial institution may develop a suspicion of such misuse based on other information in its possession, patterns of transactions, or any other method available to it based on its existing systems. Under the proposed rule, a covered financial institution that suspects or has reason to suspect use of a correspondent account to process transactions involving BPA must take all appropriate steps to attempt to verify and prevent such use, including a notification to its correspondent account holder requesting further information regarding a transaction, requesting corrective action to address the perceived risk and, where necessary, terminating the correspondent account. A covered financial institution may re-establish an account closed under the rule if it determines that the account will not be used to process transactions involving BPA. FinCEN specifically solicits comments on the requirement under the proposed rule that covered financial institutions take reasonable steps to prevent any processing of transactions involving BPA.

    3. Recordkeeping and Reporting

    Section 1010.662(b)(3) of the proposed rule would clarify that paragraph (b) of the rule does not impose any reporting requirement upon any covered financial institution that is not otherwise required by applicable law or regulation. A covered financial institution must, however, document its compliance with the requirement that it notify those correspondent account holders that the covered financial institution knows, or has reason to know, provide services to BPA, that such correspondents may not process any transaction involving BPA through the correspondent account maintained at the covered financial institution.

    IV. Request for Comments

    FinCEN invites comments on all aspects of the proposal to impose the fifth special measure against BPA and specifically invites comments on the following matters:

    1. The impact of the proposed special measure upon legitimate transactions using BPA involving, in particular, U.S. persons and entities; foreign persons, entities, and governments; and multilateral organizations doing legitimate business.

    2. The form and scope of the notice to certain correspondent account holders that would be required under the rule;

    3. The appropriate scope of the proposed requirement for a covered financial institution to take reasonable steps to identify any use of its correspondent accounts to process transactions involving BPA; and

    4. The appropriate steps a covered financial institution should take once it identifies use of one of its correspondent accounts to process transactions involving BPA.

    V. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    When an agency issues a rulemaking proposal, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (“RFA”) requires the agency to “prepare and make available for public comment an initial regulatory flexibility analysis” that will “describe the impact of the proposed rule on small entities.” (5 U.S.C. 603(a)). Section 605 of the RFA allows an agency to certify a rule, in lieu of preparing an analysis, if the proposed rulemaking is not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    A. Proposal To Prohibit Covered Financial Institutions From Opening or Maintaining Correspondent Accounts With Certain Foreign Banks Under the Fifth Special Measure 1. Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Whom the Proposed Fifth Special Measure Will Apply

    For purposes of the RFA, both banks and credit unions are considered small entities if they have less than $500,000,000 in assets.4 Of the estimated 7,000 banks, 80 percent have less than $500,000,000 in assets and are considered small entities.5 Of the estimated 7,000 credit unions, 94 percent have less than $500,000,000 in assets.6

    4Table of Small Business Size Standards Matched to North American Industry Classification System Codes, Small Business Administration Size Standards (SBA Jan. 22, 2014) [hereinafter SBA Size Standards].

    5 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Find an Institution, http://www2.fdic.gov/idasp/main.asp; select Size or Performance: Total Assets, type Equal or less than $: “500000” and select Find.

    6 National Credit Union Administration, Credit Union Data, http://webapps.ncua.gov/customquery/; select Search Fields: Total Assets, select Operator: Less than or equal to, type Field Values: “500000000” and select Go.

    Broker-dealers are defined in 31 CFR 1010.100(h) as those broker-dealers required to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Because FinCEN and the SEC regulate substantially the same population, for the purposes of the RFA, FinCEN relies on the SEC's definition of small business as previously submitted to the Small Business Administration (“SBA”). The SEC has defined the term “small entity” to mean a broker or dealer that: “(1) had total capital (net worth plus subordinated liabilities) of less than $500,000 on the date in the prior fiscal year as of which its audited financial statements, were prepared pursuant to Rule 17a-5(d) or, if not required to file such statements, a broker or dealer that had total capital (net worth plus subordinated debt) of less than $500,000 on the last business day of the preceding fiscal year (or in the time that it has been in business if shorter); and (2) is not affiliated with any person (other than a natural person) that is not a small business or small organization as defined in this release.” 7 Based on SEC estimates, 17 percent of broker-dealers are classified as “small” entities for purposes of the RFA.8

    7 17 CFR 240.0-10(c).

    8 76 FR 37572, 37602 (June 27, 2011) (the SEC estimates 871 small broker-dealers of the 5,063 total registered broker-dealers).

    Futures commission merchants (“FCMs”) are defined in 31 CFR 1010.100(x) as those FCMs that are registered or required to be registered as a FCM with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) under the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”), except persons who register pursuant to section 4f(a)(2) of the CEA, 7 U.S.C. 6f(a)(2). Because FinCEN and the CFTC regulate substantially the same population, for the purposes of the RFA, FinCEN relies on the CFTC's definition of small business as previously submitted to the SBA. In the CFTC's “Policy Statement and Establishment of Definitions of `Small Entities' for Purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act,” the CFTC concluded that registered FCMs should not be considered to be small entities for purposes of the RFA.9 The CFTC's determination in this regard was based, in part, upon the obligation of registered FCMs to meet the capital requirements established by the CFTC.

    9 47 FR 18618, 18619 (Apr. 30, 1982).

    For purposes of the RFA, an introducing broker-commodities dealer is considered small if it has less than $35,500,000 in gross receipts annually.10 Based on information provided by the National Futures Association (“NFA”), 95 percent of introducing brokers-commodities dealers have less than $35.5 million in Adjusted Net Capital and are considered to be small entities.

    10 SBA Size Standards at 28.

    Mutual funds are defined in 31 CFR 1010.100(gg) as those investment companies that are open-end investment companies that are registered or are required to register with the SEC. Because FinCEN and the SEC regulate substantially the same population, for the purposes of the RFA, FinCEN relies on the SEC's definition of small business as previously submitted to the SBA. The SEC has defined the term “small entity” under the Investment Company Act to mean “an investment company that, together with other investment companies in the same group of related investment companies, has net assets of $50 million or less as of the end of its most recent fiscal year.” 11 Based on SEC estimates, 7 percent of mutual funds are classified as “small entities” for purposes of the RFA under this definition.12

    11 17 CFR 270.0-10.

    12 78 FR 23637, 23658 (April 19, 2013).

    As noted above, 80 percent of banks, 94 percent of credit unions, 17 percent of broker-dealers, 95 percent of introducing brokers-commodities, zero FCMs, and 7 percent of mutual funds are small entities. The limited number of foreign banking institutions with which BPA maintains or will maintain accounts will likely limit the number of affected covered financial institutions to the largest U.S. banks, which actively engage in international transactions. Thus, the prohibition on maintaining correspondent accounts for foreign banking institutions that engage in transactions involving BPA under the fifth special measure would not impact a substantial number of small entities.

    2. Description of the Projected Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements of the Fifth Special Measure

    The proposed fifth special measure would require covered financial institutions to provide a notification intended to aid cooperation from foreign correspondent account holders in preventing transactions involving BPA from accessing the U.S. financial system. FinCEN estimates that the burden on institutions providing this notice is one hour. Covered financial institutions would also be required to take reasonable measures to detect use of their correspondent accounts to process transactions involving BPA. All U.S. persons, including U.S. financial institutions, currently must exercise some degree of due diligence to comply with OFAC sanctions and suspicious activity reporting requirements. The tools used for such purposes, including commercially available software used to comply with the economic sanctions programs administered by OFAC, can easily be modified to identify correspondent accounts with foreign banks that involve BPA. Thus, the special due diligence that would be required by the imposition of the fifth special measure—i.e., the one-time transmittal of notice to certain correspondent account holders, the screening of transactions to identify any use of correspondent accounts, and the implementation of risk-based measures to detect use of correspondent accounts—would not impose a significant additional economic burden upon small U.S. financial institutions.

    B. Certification

    For these reasons, FinCEN certifies that the proposals contained in this rulemaking would not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small businesses.

    FinCEN invites comments from members of the public who believe there would be a significant economic impact on small entities from the imposition of the fifth special measure regarding BPA.

    VI. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The collection of information contained in this proposed rule is being submitted to the Office of Management and Budget for review in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)). Comments on the collection of information should be sent to the Desk Officer for the Department of Treasury, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project (1506), Washington, DC 20503 (or by email to oira [email protected]) with a copy to FinCEN by mail or email at the addresses previously specified. Comments should be submitted by one method only. Comments on the collection of information should be received by May 12, 2015. In accordance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act and its implementing regulations, 5 CFR 1320, the following information concerning the collection of information as required by 31 CFR 1010.662 is presented to assist those persons wishing to comment on the information collection.

    A. Proposed Information Collection Under the Fifth Special Measure

    The notification requirement in section 1010.662(b)(2)(i) is intended to aid cooperation from correspondent account holders in denying BPA access to the U.S. financial system. The information required to be maintained by section 1010.662(b)(3)(i) would be used by federal agencies and certain self-regulatory organizations to verify compliance by covered financial institutions with the provisions of 31 CFR 1010.662. The collection of information would be mandatory.

    Description of Affected Financial Institutions: Banks, broker-dealers in securities, futures commission merchants and introducing brokers-commodities, and mutual funds.

    Estimated Number of Affected Financial Institutions: 5,000.

    Estimated Average Annual Burden in Hours Per Affected Financial Institution: The estimated average burden associated with the collection of information in this proposed rule is one hour per affected financial institution.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden: 5,000 hours.

    FinCEN specifically invites comments on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the mission of FinCEN, including whether the information would have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of FinCEN's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information required to be maintained; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the required collection of information, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (e) estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to report the information.

    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 OMB control number.

    VII. Executive Order 12866

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. It has been determined that the proposed rule is not a “significant regulatory action” for purposes of Executive Order 12866.

    List of Subjects in 31 CFR Part 1010

    Administrative practice and procedure, banks and banking, brokers, counter-money laundering, counter-terrorism, foreign banking.

    Authority and Issuance

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, part 1010, chapter X of title 31 of the Code of Federal Regulations, is proposed to be amended as follows:

    1. The authority citation for part 1010 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1829b and 1951-1959; 31 U.S.C. 5311-5314, 5316-5332 Title III, secs. 311, 312, 313, 314, 319, 326, 352, Pub. L. 107-56, 115 Stat. 307.

    2. Add § 1010.662 to read as follows:
    § 1010.662 Special measures against Banca Privada d'Andorra.

    (a) Definitions. For purposes of this section:

    (1) Banca Privada d'Andorra means all branches, offices, and subsidiaries of Banca Privada d'Andorra wherever located.

    (2) Correspondent account has the same meaning as provided in § 1010.605(c)(1)(ii).

    (3) Covered financial institution has the same meaning as provided in § 1010.605(e)(1).

    (4) Subsidiary means a company of which more than 50 percent of the voting stock or analogous equity interest is owned by another company.

    (b) Prohibition on accounts and due diligence requirements for covered financial institutions—(1) Prohibition on use of correspondent accounts. A covered financial institution shall terminate any correspondent account that is established, maintained, administered, or managed in the United States for, or on behalf of, Banca Privada d'Andorra.

    (2) Special due diligence of correspondent accounts to prohibit use. (i) A covered financial institution shall apply special due diligence to its foreign correspondent accounts that is reasonably designed to guard against their use to process transactions involving Banca Privada d'Andorra. At a minimum, that special due diligence must include:

    (A) Notifying those foreign correspondent account holders that the covered financial institution knows or has reason to know provide services to Banca Privada d'Andorra that such correspondents may not provide Banca Privada d'Andorra with access to the correspondent account maintained at the covered financial institution; and

    (B) Taking reasonable steps to identify any use of its foreign correspondent accounts by Banca Privada d'Andorra, to the extent that such use can be determined from transactional records maintained in the covered financial institution's normal course of business.

    (ii) A covered financial institution shall take a risk-based approach when deciding what, if any, other due diligence measures it reasonably must adopt to guard against the use of its foreign correspondent accounts to process transactions involving Banca Privada d'Andorra.

    (iii) A covered financial institution that obtains knowledge that a foreign correspondent account may be being used to process transactions involving Banca Privada d'Andorra shall take all appropriate steps to further investigate and prevent such access, including the notification of its correspondent account holder under paragraph (b)(2)(i)(A) and, where necessary, termination of the correspondent account.

    (3) Recordkeeping and reporting. (i) A covered financial institution is required to document its compliance with the notice requirement set forth in paragraph (b)(2)(i)(A) of this section.

    (ii) Nothing in this paragraph (b) shall require a covered financial institution to report any information not otherwise required to be reported by law or regulation.

    Dated: March 6, 2015. Jennifer Shasky Calvery, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05724 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-2-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2014-1044] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Shore (Belt) Parkway Bridge Construction, Mill Basin; Brooklyn, NY AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes to establish a safety zone on the navigable waters of Mill Basin surrounding the Belt Parkway Bridge. In response to a planned Belt Parkway Bridge construction project, this rule would allow the Coast Guard to prohibit all vessel traffic through the safety zone during bridge replacement operations, both planned and unforeseen, that could pose an imminent hazard to persons and vessels operating in the area. This rule is necessary to provide for the safety of life in the vicinity of the construction of the Belt Parkway Bridge.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before May 12, 2015.

    Requests for public meetings must be received by the Coast Guard on or before April 3, 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, contact LT Hannah Eko, Coast Guard Sector New York; telephone (718) 354-4114, or 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-2014-1044] in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on “Submit a Comment” on the line associated with this rulemaking.

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

    2. Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type the docket number (USCG-2014-1044) in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.” Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rulemaking. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    3. Privacy Act

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

    4. Public meeting

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

    B. Regulatory History and Information

    A Coast Guard Public Notice detailing work on the portion of the Belt Parkway Bridge over Mill Basin was published on 31 July 2007.

    C. Basis and Purpose

    The legal basis for this rule is 33 U.S.C. 1231; 46 U.S.C. Chapter 701, 3306, 3703; 50 U.S.C. 191, 195; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, 160.5; Pub. L. 107-295, 116 Stat. 2064; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1, which collectively authorize the Coast Guard to define regulatory safety zones.

    The purpose of this rulemaking is to ensure the safety of vessels and workers from hazards associated with construction on the Belt Parkway Bridge.

    D. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    The proposed rule will give the Captain of the Port (COTP) New York the authority to prohibit vessel traffic on this portion of Mill Basin when necessary for the safety of vessels and workers during construction work in the channel. The Coast Guard will close the designated area to all traffic during any circumstance, planned or unforeseen, that poses an imminent threat to waterway users or construction operations in the area. Complete waterway closures will be minimized to that period absolutely necessary and made with as much advanced notice as possible. During closures there will not be enough space for mariners to transit through the safety zone between the construction vessels and the current bridge piers.

    The COTP would notify the public of the enforcement of this safety zone by publishing a Notice of Enforcement (NOE) in the Federal Register and via the other means listed in 33 CFR 165.7. Such notifications would include the date and times of enforcement, along with any pre-determined conditions of entry.

    A navigation safety situation created by construction of the new Belt Parkway Bridge and removal of the current Belt Parkway Bridge prompted the proposed rule. This bridge carries the Shore Parkway (also referred to as the Belt Parkway) over Mill Basin. The current Belt Parkway Bridge was built in 1940 and no longer meets current federal and state safety standards. The New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) will hire contractors to construct a new fixed bridge approximately 100 feet west of the current bridge and remove the current movable, bascule bridge. This new bridge will represent an increase of about 1,780 feet in length over the existing bridge and an increase of about 46 feet in width. Construction is scheduled to begin mid to late 2015. Scheduled completion of the new bridge and removal of the old bridge is 2021.

    The Coast Guard has discussed this project with NYC DOT to determine whether the project can be completed without channel closures and, if possible, what impact that would have on the project timeline. Through these discussions, it became clear that while the majority of construction activities during the span of this project would not require waterways closures, there are certain tasks that can only be completed in the channel and will require closing the waterway.

    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 these statutes and 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 Coast Guard expects the economic impact of this proposed rule to be minimal as this proposed safety zone will be limited to the Mill Basin area, closures will mostly occur during weekdays when traffic is low, and most waterway closures will be during times of reduced recreational boating traffic.

    Advanced public notifications would also be made to local mariners through appropriate means, which may include but are not limited to the Local Notice to Mariners and at http://homeport.uscg.mil/newyork which would allow the public an opportunity to plan for these closures.

    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 term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. For all of the reasons discussed in the REGULATORY PLANNING AND REVIEW section, 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, above. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this proposed rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

    4. Collection of Information

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

    5. Federalism

    A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. We have analyzed this proposed rule under that Order and determined that this rule does not have implications for federalism.

    6. Protest Activities

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

    7. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

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

    8. Taking of Private Property

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

    9. Civil Justice Reform

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

    10. Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks

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

    11. Indian Tribal Governments

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

    12. Energy Effects

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

    13. Technical Standards

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

    14. Environment

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA)(42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a preliminary determination that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This proposed rule involves the establishment of a safety zone and thus, is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. A preliminary environmental analysis checklist supporting this determination and a Categorical Exclusion Determination will be available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule.

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

    Harbors, Marine safety, Navigation (water), Reporting and record keeping requirements, Security measures and Waterways.

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

    PART 165—REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREA 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.T01-1044 to read as follows:
    § 165.T01-1044 Safety Zone; Belt Parkway Bridge Construction, Mill Basin, Brooklyn, NY.

    (a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: All waters from surface to bottom of Mill Basin within 200 yards of the Belt Parkway Mill Basin bridge, east of a line drawn from 40-36-24.29″ N, 73-54-02.59″ W to 40-36-11.36″ N, 073-54-04.69″ W, and west of a line drawn from 40-36-21.13″ N, 073-53-47.38″ W to 40-36-11.59″ N, 073-53-48.88″ W.

    (b) Definitions. The following definitions apply to this section:

    (1) Designated Representative. A “designated representative” is any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant or petty officer of the U.S. Coast Guard who has been designated by the Captain of the Port (COTP) New York, to act on his or her behalf. The designated representative may be on an official patrol vessel or may be on shore and will communicate with vessels via VHF-FM radio or loudhailer. In addition, members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary may be present to inform vessel operators of this regulation.

    (2) Official Patrol Vessels. Official patrol vessels may consist of any Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, state, or local law enforcement vessels assigned or approved by the COTP.

    (c) Enforcement Periods. (1) This safety zone is in effect permanently 1 June 2015 but will only be enforced when deemed necessary by the COTP.

    (2) The COTP will notify the public of the enforcement of this safety zone by publishing a Notice of Enforcement (NOE) in the Federal Register and via the other means listed in 33 CFR 165.7. Such notifications will include the date and times of enforcement, along with any pre-determined conditions of entry.

    (d) Regulations. (1) The general regulations contained in 33 CFR 165.23, as well as the following regulations, apply.

    (2) During periods of enforcement, all persons and vessels must comply with all orders and directions from the COTP or a COTP's designated representative.

    (3) During periods of enforcement, upon being hailed by a U.S. Coast Guard vessel by siren, radio, flashing light, or other means, the operator of the vessel must proceed as directed.

    Dated: March 3, 2015. G. Loebl, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port New York.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05800 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0795; FRL-9924-28-Region 4] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; North Carolina Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve portions of the November 2, 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 proposal pertains to the Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act) infrastructure requirements for the 2008 8-hour ozone 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 8-hour ozone NAAQS is implemented, enforced, and maintained in North Carolina (hereafter referred to as an “infrastructure SIP submission”). With the exception of provisions pertaining to prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) permitting, interstate transport, and state boards requirements, EPA is proposing to approve North Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission provided to EPA on November 2, 2012, as satisfying the required infrastructure elements for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before April 3, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0795, by one of the following methods:

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

    2. Email: [email protected]

    3. Fax: (404) 562-9019.

    4. Mail: “EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0795,” 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.

    5. Hand Delivery or Courier: Lynorae Benjamin, Chief, 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. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Regional Office's normal hours of operation. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0795. 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 through www.regulations.gov or email, information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional information about EPA's public docket visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.

    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 at the 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. 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:

    Nacosta C. Ward, 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) 562-9140. Ms. Ward can be reached via electronic mail at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Background II. What elements are required under sections 110(a)(1) and (2)? III. What is EPA's approach to the review of infrastructure SIP submissions? IV. What is EPA's analysis of how North Carolina addressed the elements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2) “infrastructure” provisions? V. Proposed Action VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background

    On March 27, 2008, EPA promulgated a revised NAAQS for ozone based on 8-hour average concentrations. EPA revised the level of the 8-hour ozone NAAQS to 0.075 parts per million. See 77 FR 16436. Pursuant to section 110(a)(1) of the CAA, states are required to submit SIPs meeting the applicable requirements of section 110(a)(2) within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS or within such shorter period as EPA may prescribe. Section 110(a)(2) requires states to address basic SIP elements such as requirements for monitoring, basic program requirements and legal authority that are designed to assure attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS. States were required to submit such SIPs for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS to EPA no later than March 2011.1

    1 In these infrastructure SIP submissions states generally certify evidence of compliance with sections 110(a)(1) and (2) of the CAA through a combination of state regulations and statutes, some of which have been incorporated into the federally-approved SIP. In addition, certain federally-approved, non-SIP regulations may also be appropriate for demonstrating compliance with sections 110(a)(1) and (2). Unless otherwise indicated, the Title 15A regulations (also referred to as rules) of the North Carolina Administrative Code (“15A NCAC”) cited throughout this rulemaking have been approved into North Carolina's federally-approved SIP. The North Carolina General Statutes (“NCGS”) cited throughout this rulemaking, however, are not approved into the North Carolina SIP unless otherwise indicated.

    This action is proposing to approve North Carolina's infrastructure submission for the applicable requirements of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS, with the exception of the PSD permitting requirements for major sources of section 110(a)(2)(C) and (J), the interstate transport requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II) (prongs 1 through 4), and the state board requirements of 110(E)(ii). With respect to North Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission related to provisions pertaining to the PSD permitting requirements for major sources of sections 110(a)(2)(C) and (J), the interstate transport requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II), and the state board requirements of 110(E)(ii), EPA is not proposing any action today regarding these requirements. EPA will act on these portions of North Carolina's submission in a separate action. For the aspects of North Carolina's submittal proposed for approval today, EPA notes that the Agency is not approving any specific rule, but rather proposing that North Carolina's already approved SIP meets certain CAA requirements.

    II. What elements are required under sections 110(a)(1) and (2)?

    Section 110(a) of the CAA requires states to submit SIPs 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. Section 110(a) imposes the obligation upon states to make a 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 SIP for a new or revised NAAQS affects the content of the submission. The contents of such SIP submissions may also vary depending upon what provisions the state's existing SIP already contains. In the case of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS, states typically have met the basic program elements required in section 110(a)(2) through earlier SIP submissions in connection with the 1997 8-hour ozone 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 SIP elements such as requirements for monitoring, basic program requirements and legal authority that are designed to assure attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS. The requirements of section 110(a)(2) are summarized below and in EPA's September 13, 2013, memorandum entitled “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2).” 2

    2 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 section 172. 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. This 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): Programs for Enforcement of Control Measures and for Construction or Modification of Stationary Sources 3

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

    • 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II): Interstate Pollution Transport • 110(a)(2)(D)(ii): Interstate Pollution Abatement and International Air Pollution • 110(a)(2)(E): Adequate Resources and Authority, Conflict of Interest, and Oversight of Local Governments and Regional Agencies • 110(a)(2)(F): Stationary Source Monitoring and Reporting • 110(a)(2)(G): Emergency Powers • 110(a)(2)(H): SIP revisions • 110(a)(2)(I): Plan Revisions for Nonattainment Areas 4

    4 As mentioned above, this element is not relevant to this proposed rulemaking.

    • 110(a)(2)(J): Consultation with Government Officials, Public Notification, and PSD and Visibility Protection • 110(a)(2)(K): Air Quality Modeling and Submission of Modeling Data • 110(a)(2)(L): Permitting fees • 110(a)(2)(M): Consultation and Participation by Affected Local Entities III. What is EPA's approach to the review of infrastructure SIP submissions?

    EPA is acting upon the SIP submission from North Carolina that addresses the infrastructure requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. The requirement for states to make a SIP submission of this type arises out of CAA section 110(a)(1). Pursuant to section 110(a)(1), states must make SIP submissions “within 3 years (or such shorter period as the Administrator may prescribe) after the promulgation of a national primary ambient air quality standard (or any revision thereof),” and these SIP submissions are to provide for the “implementation, maintenance, and enforcement” of such NAAQS. The statute directly imposes on states the duty to make these SIP submissions, and the requirement to make the submissions is not conditioned upon EPA's taking any action other than promulgating a new or revised NAAQS. Section 110(a)(2) includes a list of specific elements that “[e]ach such plan” submission must address.

    EPA has historically referred to these SIP submissions made for the purpose of satisfying the requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) as “infrastructure SIP” submissions. Although the term “infrastructure SIP” does not appear in the CAA, EPA uses the term to distinguish this particular type of SIP submission from submissions that are intended to satisfy other SIP requirements under the CAA, such as “nonattainment SIP” or “attainment plan SIP” submissions to address the nonattainment planning requirements of part D of title I of the CAA, “regional haze SIP” submissions required by EPA rule to address the visibility protection requirements of CAA section 169A, and nonattainment new source review permit program submissions to address the permit requirements of CAA, title I, part D.

    Section 110(a)(1) addresses the timing and general requirements for infrastructure SIP submissions, and section 110(a)(2) provides more details concerning the required contents of these submissions. The list of required elements provided in section 110(a)(2) contains a wide variety of disparate provisions, some of which pertain to required legal authority, some of which pertain to required substantive program provisions, and some of which pertain to requirements for both authority and substantive program provisions.5 EPA therefore believes that while the timing requirement in section 110(a)(1) is unambiguous, some of the other statutory provisions are ambiguous. In particular, EPA believes that the list of required elements for infrastructure SIP submissions provided in section 110(a)(2) contains ambiguities concerning what is required for inclusion in an infrastructure SIP submission.

    5 For example: Section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) provides that states must provide assurances that they have adequate legal authority under state and local law to carry out the SIP; section 110(a)(2)(C) provides that states must have a SIP-approved program to address certain sources as required by part C of title I of the CAA; and section 110(a)(2)(G) provides that states must have legal authority to address emergencies as well as contingency plans that are triggered in the event of such emergencies.

    The following examples of ambiguities illustrate the need for EPA to interpret some section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2) requirements with respect to infrastructure SIP submissions for a given new or revised NAAQS. One example of ambiguity is that section 110(a)(2) requires that “each” SIP submission must meet the list of requirements therein, while EPA has long noted that this literal reading of the statute is internally inconsistent and would create a conflict with the nonattainment provisions in part D of title I of the Act, which specifically address nonattainment SIP requirements.6 Section 110(a)(2)(I) pertains to nonattainment SIP requirements and part D addresses when attainment plan SIP submissions to address nonattainment area requirements are due. For example, section 172(b) requires EPA to establish a schedule for submission of such plans for certain pollutants when the Administrator promulgates the designation of an area as nonattainment, and section 107(d)(1)(B) allows up to two years, or in some cases three years, for such designations to be promulgated.7 This ambiguity illustrates that rather than apply all the stated requirements of section 110(a)(2) in a strict literal sense, EPA must determine which provisions of section 110(a)(2) are applicable for a particular infrastructure SIP submission.

    6See, e.g., “Rule To Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone (Clean Air Interstate Rule); Revisions to Acid Rain Program; Revisions to the NOx SIP Call; Final Rule,” 70 FR 25162, at 25163-65 (May 12, 2005) (explaining relationship between timing requirement of section 110(a)(2)(D) versus section 110(a)(2)(I)).

    7 EPA notes that this ambiguity within section 110(a)(2) is heightened by the fact that various subparts of part D set specific dates for submission of certain types of SIP submissions in designated nonattainment areas for various pollutants. Note, e.g., that section 182(a)(1) provides specific dates for submission of emissions inventories for the ozone NAAQS. Some of these specific dates are necessarily later than three years after promulgation of the new or revised NAAQS.

    Another example of ambiguity within sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) with respect to infrastructure SIPs pertains to whether states must meet all of the infrastructure SIP requirements in a single SIP submission, and whether EPA must act upon such SIP submission in a single action. Although section 110(a)(1) directs states to submit “a plan” to meet these requirements, EPA interprets the CAA to allow states to make multiple SIP submissions separately addressing infrastructure SIP elements for the same NAAQS. If states elect to make such multiple SIP submissions to meet the infrastructure SIP requirements, EPA can elect to act on such submissions either individually or in a larger combined action.8 Similarly, EPA interprets the CAA to allow it to take action on the individual parts of one larger, comprehensive infrastructure SIP submission for a given NAAQS without concurrent action on the entire submission. For example, EPA has sometimes elected to act at different times on various elements and sub-elements of the same infrastructure SIP submission.9

    8See, e.g., “Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Revisions to the New Source Review (NSR) State Implementation Plan (SIP); Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR) Permitting,” 78 FR 4339 (January 22, 2013) (EPA's final action approving the structural PSD elements of the New Mexico SIP submitted by the State separately to meet the requirements of EPA's 2008 PM2.5 NSR rule), and “Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Infrastructure and Interstate Transport Requirements for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS,” (78 FR 4337) (January 22, 2013) (EPA's final action on the infrastructure SIP for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS).

    9 On December 14, 2007, the State of Tennessee, through the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, made a SIP revision to EPA demonstrating that the State meets the requirements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2). EPA proposed action for infrastructure SIP elements (C) and (J) on January 23, 2012 (77 FR 3213) and took final action on March 14, 2012 (77 FR 14976). On April 16, 2012 (77 FR 22533) and July 23, 2012 (77 FR 42997), EPA took separate proposed and final actions on all other section 110(a)(2) infrastructure SIP elements of Tennessee's December 14, 2007 submittal.

    Ambiguities within sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) may also arise with respect to infrastructure SIP submission requirements for different NAAQS. Thus, EPA notes that not every element of section 110(a)(2) would be relevant, or as relevant, or relevant in the same way, for each new or revised NAAQS. The states' attendant infrastructure SIP submissions for each NAAQS therefore could be different. For example, the monitoring requirements that a state might need to meet in its infrastructure SIP submission for purposes of section 110(a)(2)(B) could be very different for different pollutants because the content and scope of a state's infrastructure SIP submission to meet this element might be very different for an entirely new NAAQS than for a minor revision to an existing NAAQS.10

    10 For example, implementation of the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS required the deployment of a system of new monitors to measure ambient levels of that new indicator species for the new NAAQS.

    EPA notes that interpretation of section 110(a)(2) is also necessary when EPA reviews other types of SIP submissions required under the CAA. Therefore, as with infrastructure SIP submissions, EPA also has to identify and interpret the relevant elements of section 110(a)(2) that logically apply to these other types of SIP submissions. For example, section 172(c)(7) requires that attainment plan SIP submissions required by part D have to meet the “applicable requirements” of section 110(a)(2). Thus, for example, attainment plan SIP submissions must meet the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(A) regarding enforceable emission limits and control measures and section 110(a)(2)(E)(i) regarding air agency resources and authority. By contrast, it is clear that attainment plan SIP submissions required by part D would not need to meet the portion of section 110(a)(2)(C) that pertains to the PSD program required in part C of title I of the CAA, because PSD does not apply to a pollutant for which an area is designated nonattainment and thus subject to part D planning requirements. As this example illustrates, each type of SIP submission may implicate some elements of section 110(a)(2) but not others.

    Given the potential for ambiguity in some of the statutory language of section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2), EPA believes that it is appropriate to interpret the ambiguous portions of section 110(a)(1) and section 110(a)(2) in the context of acting on a particular SIP submission. In other words, EPA assumes that Congress could not have intended that each and every SIP submission, regardless of the NAAQS in question or the history of SIP development for the relevant pollutant, would meet each of the requirements, or meet each of them in the same way. Therefore, EPA has adopted an approach under which it reviews infrastructure SIP submissions against the list of elements in section 110(a)(2), but only to the extent each element applies for that particular NAAQS.

    Historically, EPA has elected to use guidance documents to make recommendations to states for infrastructure SIPs, in some cases conveying needed interpretations on newly arising issues and in some cases conveying interpretations that have already been developed and applied to individual SIP submissions for particular elements.11 EPA most recently issued guidance for infrastructure SIPs on September 13, 2013 (2013 Guidance).12 EPA developed this document to provide states with up-to-date guidance for infrastructure SIPs for any new or revised NAAQS. Within this guidance, EPA describes the duty of states to make infrastructure SIP submissions to meet basic structural SIP requirements within three years of promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS. EPA also made recommendations about many specific subsections of section 110(a)(2) that are relevant in the context of infrastructure SIP submissions.13 The guidance also discusses the substantively important issues that are germane to certain subsections of section 110(a)(2). Significantly, EPA interprets sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) such that infrastructure SIP submissions need to address certain issues and need not address others. Accordingly, EPA reviews each infrastructure SIP submission for compliance with the applicable statutory provisions of section 110(a)(2), as appropriate.

    11 EPA notes, however, that nothing in the CAA requires EPA to provide guidance or to promulgate regulations for infrastructure SIP submissions. The CAA directly applies to states and requires the submission of infrastructure SIP submissions, regardless of whether or not EPA provides guidance or regulations pertaining to such submissions. EPA elects to issue such guidance in order to assist states, as appropriate.

    12 “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2),” Memorandum from Stephen D. Page, September 13, 2013.

    13 EPA's September 13, 2013, guidance did not make recommendations with respect to infrastructure SIP submissions to address section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). EPA issued the guidance shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the DC Circuit decision in EME Homer City, 696 F.3d7 (D.C. Cir. 2012) which had interpreted the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). In light of the uncertainty created by ongoing litigation, EPA elected not to provide additional guidance on the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) at that time. As the guidance is neither binding nor required by statute, whether EPA elects to provide guidance on a particular section has no impact on a state's CAA obligations.

    As an example, section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) is a required element of section 110(a)(2) for infrastructure SIP submissions. Under this element, a state must meet the substantive requirements of section 128, which pertain to state boards that approve permits or enforcement orders and heads of executive agencies with similar powers. Thus, EPA reviews infrastructure SIP submissions to ensure that the state's implementation plan appropriately addresses the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) and section 128. The 2013 Guidance explains EPA's interpretation that there may be a variety of ways by which states can appropriately address these substantive statutory requirements, depending on the structure of an individual state's permitting or enforcement program (e.g., whether permits and enforcement orders are approved by a multi-member board or by a head of an executive agency). However they are addressed by the state, the substantive requirements of section 128 are necessarily included in EPA's evaluation of infrastructure SIP submissions because section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) explicitly requires that the state satisfy the provisions of section 128.

    As another example, EPA's review of infrastructure SIP submissions with respect to the PSD program requirements in sections 110(a)(2)(C), (D)(i)(II), and (J) focuses upon the structural PSD program requirements contained in part C and EPA's PSD regulations. Structural PSD program requirements include provisions necessary for the PSD program to address all regulated sources and NSR pollutants, including greenhouse gases. By contrast, structural PSD program requirements do not include provisions that are not required under EPA's regulations at 40 CFR 51.166 but are merely available as an option for the state, such as the option to provide grandfathering of complete permit applications with respect to the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS. Accordingly, the latter optional provisions are types of provisions EPA considers irrelevant in the context of an infrastructure SIP action.

    For other section 110(a)(2) elements, however, EPA's review of a state's infrastructure SIP submission focuses on assuring that the state's SIP meets basic structural requirements. For example, section 110(a)(2)(C) includes, among other things, the requirement that states have a program to regulate minor new sources. Thus, EPA evaluates whether the state has an EPA-approved minor new source review program and whether the program addresses the pollutants relevant to that NAAQS. In the context of acting on an infrastructure SIP submission, however, EPA does not think it is necessary to conduct a review of each and every provision of a state's existing minor source program (i.e., already in the existing SIP) for compliance with the requirements of the CAA and EPA's regulations that pertain to such programs.

    With respect to certain other issues, EPA does not believe that an action on a state's infrastructure SIP submission is necessarily the appropriate type of action in which to address possible deficiencies in a state's existing SIP. These issues include: (i) Existing provisions related to excess emissions from sources during periods of startup, shutdown, or malfunction that may be contrary to the CAA and EPA's policies addressing such excess emissions (“SSM”); (ii) existing provisions related to “director's variance” or “director's discretion” that may be contrary to the CAA because they purport to allow revisions to SIP-approved emissions limits while limiting public process or not requiring further approval by EPA; and (iii) existing provisions for PSD programs that may be inconsistent with current requirements of EPA's “Final NSR Improvement Rule,” 67 FR 80186 (December 31, 2002), as amended by 72 FR 32526 (June 13, 2007) (“NSR Reform”). Thus, EPA believes it may approve an infrastructure SIP submission without scrutinizing the totality of the existing SIP for such potentially deficient provisions and may approve the submission even if it is aware of such existing provisions.14 It is important to note that EPA's approval of a state's infrastructure SIP submission should not be construed as explicit or implicit re-approval of any existing potentially deficient provisions that relate to the three specific issues just described.

    14 By contrast, EPA notes that if a state were to include a new provision in an infrastructure SIP submission that contained a legal deficiency, such as a new exemption for excess emissions during SSM events, then EPA would need to evaluate that provision for compliance against the rubric of applicable CAA requirements in the context of the action on the infrastructure SIP.

    EPA's approach to review of infrastructure SIP submissions is to identify the CAA requirements that are logically applicable to that submission. EPA believes that this approach to the review of a particular infrastructure SIP submission is appropriate, because it would not be reasonable to read the general requirements of section 110(a)(1) and the list of elements in 110(a)(2) as requiring review of each and every provision of a state's existing SIP against all requirements in the CAA and EPA regulations merely for purposes of assuring that the state in question has the basic structural elements for a functioning SIP for a new or revised NAAQS. Because SIPs have grown by accretion over the decades as statutory and regulatory requirements under the CAA have evolved, they may include some outmoded provisions and historical artifacts. These provisions, while not fully up to date, nevertheless may not pose a significant problem for the purposes of “implementation, maintenance, and enforcement” of a new or revised NAAQS when EPA evaluates adequacy of the infrastructure SIP submission. EPA believes that a better approach is for states and EPA to focus attention on those elements of section 110(a)(2) of the CAA most likely to warrant a specific SIP revision due to the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS or other factors.

    For example, EPA's 2013 Guidance gives simpler recommendations with respect to carbon monoxide than other NAAQS pollutants to meet the visibility requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), because carbon monoxide does not affect visibility. As a result, an infrastructure SIP submission for any future new or revised NAAQS for carbon monoxide need only state this fact in order to address the visibility prong of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II).

    Finally, EPA believes that its approach with respect to infrastructure SIP requirements is based on a reasonable reading of sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) because the CAA provides other avenues and mechanisms to address specific substantive deficiencies in existing SIPs. These other statutory tools allow EPA to take appropriately tailored action, depending upon the nature and severity of the alleged SIP deficiency. Section 110(k)(5) authorizes EPA to issue a “SIP call” whenever the Agency determines that a state's SIP is substantially inadequate to attain or maintain the NAAQS, to mitigate interstate transport, or to otherwise comply with the CAA.15 Section 110(k)(6) authorizes EPA to correct errors in past actions, such as past approvals of SIP submissions.16 Significantly, EPA's determination that an action on a state's infrastructure SIP submission is not the appropriate time and place to address all potential existing SIP deficiencies does not preclude EPA's subsequent reliance on provisions in section 110(a)(2) as part of the basis for action to correct those deficiencies at a later time. For example, although it may not be appropriate to require a state to eliminate all existing inappropriate director's discretion provisions in the course of acting on an infrastructure SIP submission, EPA believes that section 110(a)(2)(A) may be among the statutory bases that EPA relies upon in the course of addressing such deficiency in a subsequent action.17

    15 For example, EPA issued a SIP call to Utah to address specific existing SIP deficiencies related to the treatment of excess emissions during SSM events. See “Finding of Substantial Inadequacy of Implementation Plan; Call for Utah State Implementation Plan Revisions,” 74 FR 21639 (April 18, 2011).

    16 EPA has used this authority to correct errors in past actions on SIP submissions related to PSD programs. See “Limitation of Approval of Prevention of Significant Deterioration Provisions Concerning Greenhouse Gas Emitting-Sources in State Implementation Plans; Final Rule,” 75 FR 82536 (December 30, 2010). EPA has previously used its authority under CAA section 110(k)(6) to remove numerous other SIP provisions that the Agency determined it had approved in error. See, e.g., 61 FR 38664 (July 25, 1996) and 62 FR 34641 (June 27, 1997) (corrections to American Samoa, Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada SIPs); 69 FR 67062 (November 16, 2004) (corrections to California SIP); and 74 FR 57051 (November 3, 2009) (corrections to Arizona and Nevada SIPs).

    17See, e.g., EPA's disapproval of a SIP submission from Colorado on the grounds that it would have included a director's discretion provision inconsistent with CAA requirements, including section 110(a)(2)(A). See, e.g., 75 FR 42342 at 42344 (July 21, 2010) (proposed disapproval of director's discretion provisions); 76 FR 4540 (Jan. 26, 2011) (final disapproval of such provisions).

    IV. What is EPA's Analysis of How North Carolina addressed the elements of sections 110(a)(1) and (2) “infrastructure” provisions?

    The North Carolina infrastructure submission addresses the provisions of sections 110(a)(1) and (2) as described below.

    1. 110(a)(2)(A) Emission limits and other control measures: There are several provisions within the North Carolina General Statutes (NCGS) and the North Carolina Administrative Code (NCAC) that provide NCDAQ with the necessary authority to adopt and enforce air quality controls, which include enforceable emission limitations and other control measures. NCGS 143-215.107(a)(5), “Air quality standards and classifications,” provides North Carolina with the authority to “develop and adopt emission control standards as in the judgment of the Commission may be necessary to prohibit, abate, or control air pollution commensurate with established air quality standards.” Rules 15A NCAC 2D .0600 “Monitoring: Recordkeeping: Reporting,” 15A NCAC 2D .1600 “General Conformity,” 15A NCAC 2D .2200 “Special Orders,” and, 15A NCAC 2D .2600 “Source Testing,” provide enforceable emission limits and other control measures, means, and techniques.18 EPA has made the preliminary determination that the provisions contained in these statutes and regulations and North Carolina's practices are adequate to protect the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS in the State.

    18 State rules 15A NCAC 2D .1600 “General Conformity,” and 15A NCAC 2D .2200 “Special Orders,” are state-approved rules and not incorporated into the federally approved SIP.

    In this action, EPA is not proposing to approve or disapprove any existing State provisions with regard to excess emissions during SSM of operations at a facility. EPA believes that a number of states have SSM provisions which are contrary to the CAA and existing EPA guidance, “State Implementation Plans: Policy Regarding Excess Emissions During Malfunctions, Startup, and Shutdown” (September 20, 1999), and the Agency plans to address such state regulations in a separate action.19 In the meantime, EPA encourages any state having a deficient SSM provision to take steps to correct it as soon as possible.

    19 On February 22, 2013, EPA published a proposed action in the Federal Register entitled, “State Implementation Plans: Response to Petition for Rulemaking; Findings of Substantial Inadequacy; and SIP Calls to Amend Provisions Applying to Excess Emissions During Periods of Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction; Proposed Rule.” See 78 FR 12459.

    Additionally, in this action, EPA is not proposing to approve or disapprove any existing State rules with regard to director's discretion or variance provisions. EPA believes that a number of states have such provisions which are contrary to the CAA and existing EPA guidance (52 FR 45109 (November 24, 1987)), and the Agency plans to take action in the future to address such state regulations. In the meantime, EPA encourages any state having a director's discretion or variance provision which is contrary to the CAA and EPA guidance to take steps to correct the deficiency as soon as possible.

    2. 110(a)(2)(B) Ambient air quality monitoring/data system: SIPs are required to provide for the establishment and operation of ambient air quality monitors; the compilation and analysis of ambient air quality data; and the submission of these data to EPA upon request. NCGS 143-215.107(a)(2), “Air quality standards and classifications,” along with the North Carolina Annual Monitoring Network Plan, provide for an ambient air quality monitoring system in the State, which includes the monitoring of ozone at appropriate locations throughout the state using the EPA approved Federal Reference Method or equivalent monitors. NCGS 143-215.107(a)(2) also provides North Carolina with the statutory authority to “determine by means of field sampling and other studies, including the examination of available data collected by any local, State or federal agency or any person, the degree of air contamination and air pollution in the State and the several areas of the State.” Annually, States develop and submit to EPA for approval statewide ambient monitoring network plans consistent with the requirements of 40 CFR parts 50, 53, and 58. The annual network plan involves an evaluation of any proposed changes to the monitoring network, includes the annual ambient monitoring network design plan and a certified evaluation of the agency's ambient monitors and auxiliary support equipment.20 The latest monitoring network plan for North Carolina was submitted to EPA on July 2, 2013, and on November 25, 2013, EPA approved this plan. North Carolina's approved monitoring network plan can be accessed at www.regulations.gov using Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0795. EPA has made the preliminary determination that North Carolina's SIP and practices are adequate for the ambient air quality monitoring and data system related to the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.

    20 On occasion, proposed changes to the monitoring network are evaluated outside of the network plan approval process in accordance with 40 CFR part 58.

    3. 110(a)(2)(C) Program for enforcement of control measures including review of proposed new sources: This element consists of three sub-elements; enforcement, state-wide regulation of new and modified minor sources and minor modifications of major sources; and preconstruction permitting of major sources and major modifications in areas designated attainment or unclassifiable for the subject NAAQS as required by CAA title I part C (i.e., the major source PSD program). To meet these obligations, North Carolina cited regulations 15A NCAC 2D. 0500 “Emissions Control Standards;” 2D. 0530 “Prevention of Significant Deterioration;” and, 2D. 0531 “Sources in Nonattainment Area,” each of which pertain to the construction of any new major stationary source or any project at an existing major stationary source in an area designated as attainment or unclassifiable and 15A NCAC 2Q .0300 “Construction Operation Permits,” which pertains to the regulation of minor stationary sources. In this action, EPA is only proposing to approve North Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS with respect to the general requirement in section 110(a)(2)(C) to include a program in the SIP that provides for the enforcement of emission limits and control measures such as oxides of nitrogen (NOX) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and the regulation of minor sources and modifications to assist in the protection of air quality in nonattainment, attainment or unclassifiable areas.

    Enforcement: NCDAQ's above-described, SIP-approved regulations provide for enforcement of ozone precursor (VOC and NOX) emission limits and control measures and construction permitting for new or modified stationary sources.

    Preconstruction PSD Permitting for Major Sources: With respect to North Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission related to the preconstruction PSD permitting requirements for major sources of section 110(a)(2)(C), EPA is not proposing any action today regarding these requirements and instead will act on this portion of the submission in a separate action.

    Regulation of minor sources and modifications: Section 110(a)(2)(C) also requires the SIP to include provisions that govern the minor source program that regulates emissions of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. Regulation 15A NCAC 2Q .0300 “Construction Operation Permits,” governs the preconstruction permitting of modifications and construction of minor stationary sources.

    EPA has made the preliminary determination that North Carolina's SIP and practices are adequate for enforcement of control measures and regulation of minor sources and modifications related to the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.

    4. 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II) Interstate Pollution Transport: Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) has two components; 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II). Each of these components have two subparts resulting in four distinct components, commonly referred to as “prongs,” that must be addressed in infrastructure SIP submissions. The first two prongs, which are codified in section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), are provisions that prohibit any source or other type of emissions activity in one state from contributing significantly to nonattainment of the NAAQS in another state (“prong 1”), and interfering with maintenance of the NAAQS in another state (“prong 2”). The third and fourth prongs, which are codified in section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II), are provisions that prohibit emissions activity in one state interfering with measures required to prevent significant deterioration of air quality in another state (“prong 3”), or to protect visibility in another state (“prong 4”). With respect to North Carolina's infrastructure SIP submissions related to the interstate transport requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (prongs 1 through 4), EPA is not proposing any action today regarding these requirements and instead will act on these portions of the submissions in a separate action.

    5. 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) Interstate Pollution Abatement and International Air Pollution: Section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii) requires SIPs to include provisions insuring compliance with sections 115 and 126 of the Act, relating to interstate and international pollution abatement. 15A NCAC 2D .0530 “Prevention of Significant Deterioration” and 15A NCAC 2D .0531 “Sources of Nonattainment Areas” provide how NCDAQ will notify neighboring states of potential impacts from new or modified sources consistent with the requirements of 40 CFR 51.166. This regulation requires NCDAQ to provide an opportunity for a public hearing to the public, which includes State or local air pollution control agencies, “whose lands may be affected by emissions from the source or modification” in North Carolina. In addition, North Carolina does not have any pending obligation under sections 115 and 126 of the CAA. Accordingly, EPA has made the preliminary determination that North Carolina's SIP and practices are adequate for insuring compliance with the applicable requirements relating to interstate and international pollution abatement for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.

    6. 110(a)(2)(E) Adequate Resources and Authority, Conflict of Interest, and Oversight of Local Governments and Regional Agencies: Section 110(a)(2)(E) requires that each implementation plan provide (i) necessary assurances that the State will have adequate personnel, funding, and authority under state law to carry out its implementation plan, (ii) that the State comply with the requirements respecting State Boards pursuant to section 128 of the Act, and (iii) necessary assurances that, where the State has relied on a local or regional government, agency, or instrumentality for the implementation of any plan provision, the State has responsibility for ensuring adequate implementation of such plan provisions. EPA is proposing to approve North Carolina's SIP as meeting the requirements of sub-elements 110(a)(2)(E)(i) and (iii). EPA will act on sub-element (ii) in a separate action. EPA's rationale for this proposal respecting sub-elements (i) and (iii) is described in turn below.

    To satisfy the requirements of sections 110(a)(2)(E)(i) and (iii), North Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission cites several regulations. Rule 15A NCAC 2Q. 0200 “Permit Fees,” provides the mechanism by which stationary sources that emit air pollutants pay a fee based on the quantity of emissions emitted. State statutes NCGS 143-215.3 “General powers of Commission and Department: auxiliary powers,” and NCGS 143-215.107(a)(1) “Air quality standards and classifications” provide NCDAQ with the statutory authority “[t]o prepare and develop, after proper study, a comprehensive plan or plans for the prevention, abatement and control of air pollution in the State or in any designated area of the State.” As further evidence of the adequacy of NCDAQ's resources, EPA submitted a letter to North Carolina on February 28, 2014, outlining 105 grant commitments and the current status of these commitments for fiscal year 2013. The letter EPA submitted to North Carolina can be accessed at www.regulations.gov using Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2014-0795. Annually, states update these grant commitments based on current SIP requirements, air quality planning, and applicable requirements related to the NAAQS. North Carolina satisfactorily met all commitments agreed to in the Air Planning Agreement for fiscal year 2013, therefore North Carolina's grants were finalized and closed out. Collectively, these rules and commitments provide evidence that NCDAQ has adequate personnel, funding, and legal authority to carry out the state's implementation plan and related issues. EPA has made the preliminary determination that North Carolina has adequate resources and authority to satisfy sections 110(a)(2)(E)(i) and (iii) of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.

    With respect to North Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission related to the state board requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii), EPA is not proposing any action today regarding this requirement and will act on this portion of the submission in a separate action.

    7. 110(a)(2)(F) Stationary Source Monitoring and Reporting: North Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission describes how the State establishes requirements for emissions compliance testing and utilizes emissions sampling and analysis. It further describes how the State ensures the quality of its data through observing emissions and monitoring operations. NCDAQ uses these data to track progress towards maintaining the NAAQS, develop control and maintenance strategies, identify sources and general emission levels, and determine compliance with emission regulations and additional EPA requirements. North Carolina meets these requirements through 15A NCAC 2D .0604 “Exceptions to Monitoring and Reporting Requirements,” 15A NCAC 2D .0605 “General Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements,” 15A NCAC 2D .0611 “Monitoring Emissions from Other Sources,” 15A NCAC 2D .0612 “Alternative Monitoring and Reporting Procedures,” 15A NCAC 2D .0613 “Quality Assurance Program,” and, 15A NCAC 2D .0614 “Compliance Assurance Monitoring.” In addition, Rule 15A NCAC 2D .0605(c) “General Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements,” allows for the use of credible evidence in the event that the NCDAQ Director has evidence that a source is violating an emission standard or permit condition, the Director may require that the owner or operator of any source submit to the Director any information necessary to determine the compliance status of the source. In addition, EPA is unaware of any provision preventing the use of credible evidence in the North Carolina SIP.

    Stationary sources are required to submit periodic emissions reports to the State by Rule 15A NCAC 2Q .0207 “Annual Emissions Reporting.” North Carolina is also required to submit emissions data to EPA for purposes of the National Emissions Inventory (NEI). The NEI is EPA's central repository for air emissions data. EPA published the Air Emissions Reporting Rule (AERR) on December 5, 2008, which modified the requirements for collecting and reporting air emissions data. See 73 FR 76539. The AERR shortened the time states had to report emissions data from 17 to 12 months, giving states one calendar year to submit emissions data. All states are required to submit a comprehensive emissions inventory every three years and report emissions for certain larger sources annually through EPA's online Emissions Inventory System. States report emissions data for the six criteria pollutants and the precursors that form them—NOx, sulfur dioxide, ammonia, lead, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds. Many states also voluntarily report emissions of hazardous air pollutants. North Carolina made its latest update to the 2011 NEI on June 3, 2014. EPA compiles the emissions data, supplementing it where necessary, and releases it to the general public through the Web site http://www.epa.gov/ttn/chief/eiinformation.html. EPA has made the preliminary determination that North Carolina's SIP and practices are adequate for the stationary source monitoring systems obligations for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.

    8. 110(a)(2)(G) Emergency powers: This section requires that states demonstrate authority comparable with section 303 of the CAA and adequate contingency plans to implement such authority. North Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission cites 15A NCAC 2D .0300 “Air Pollution Emergencies” as identifying air pollution emergency episodes and preplanned abatement strategies, and provides the means to implement emergency air pollution episode measures. If NC DENR finds that such a “condition of . . . air pollution exists and that it creates an emergency requiring immediate action to protect the public health and safety or to protect fish and wildlife, the Secretary of the Department [NC DENR] with the concurrence of the Governor, shall order persons causing or contributing to the . . . air pollution in question to reduce or discontinue immediately the emission of air contaminants or the discharge of wastes. In addition, NCGS 143-215.3(a)(12) provides NC DENR with the authority to declare an emergency when it finds that a generalized condition of water or air pollution which is causing imminent danger to the health or safety of the public. This statute also allows, in the absence of a generalized condition of air pollution, should the Secretary find “that the emissions from one or more air contaminant sources . . . is causing imminent danger to human health and safety or to fish and wildlife, he may with the concurrence of the Governor order the person or persons responsible for the operation or operations in question to immediately reduce or discontinue the emissions of air contaminants . . . or to take such other measures as are, in his judgment, necessary.” EPA also notes that NCDAQ maintains a Web site that provides the public with notice of the health hazards associated with ozone NAAQS exceedances, measures the public can take to help prevent such exceedances, and the ways in which the public can participate in the regulatory process. See http://www.ncair.org/news/. EPA has made the preliminary determination that North Carolina's SIP and practices are adequate to satisfy the emergency powers obligations of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.

    9. 110(a)(2)(H) SIP revisions: NCDAQ is responsible for adopting air quality rules and revising SIPs as needed to attain or maintain the NAAQS in North Carolina. Statutes NCGS 143-215.107(a)(1) and (a)(10) grants NCDAQ the authority to implement the CAA, and as such, provide NCDAQ the authority to prepare and develop, after proper study, a comprehensive plan for the prevention of air pollution. These provisions also provide NCDAQ the ability and authority to respond to calls for SIP revisions, and North Carolina has provided a number of SIP revisions over the years for implementation of the NAAQS. Accordingly, EPA has made the preliminary determination that North Carolina's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate a commitment to provide future SIP revisions related to the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS, when necessary.

    10. 110(a)(2)(J) Consultation with Government Officials, Public Notification, and PSD and Visibility Protection: EPA is proposing to approve North Carolina's infrastructure SIP for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS with respect to the general requirement in section 110(a)(2)(J) to include a program in the SIP that complies with the applicable consultation requirements of section 121, and the public notification requirements of section 127. With respect to North Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission related to the preconstruction PSD permitting, EPA is not proposing any action today regarding these requirements and instead will act on these portions of the submission in a separate action. EPA's rationale for its proposed action regarding applicable consultation requirements of section 121 and the public notification requirements of section 127 is described below.

    Consultation with government officials (121 consultation): Section 110(a)(2)(J) of the CAA requires states to provide a process for consultation with local governments, designated organizations and federal land managers (FLMs) carrying out NAAQS implementation requirements pursuant to section 121 relative to consultation. 15A NCAC 2D.1600 “General Conformity,” 15A NCAC 2D .2000 “Transportation Conformity,” and 15A NCAC 2D .0531 “Sources in Nonattainment Areas,” along with the Regional Haze SIP Plan provide for consultation with government officials whose jurisdictions might be affected by SIP development activities. These consultation procedures were developed in coordination with the transportation partners in the State and are consistent with the approaches used for development of mobile inventories for SIPs. Implementation of transportation conformity as outlined in the consultation procedures requires NCDAQ to consult with federal, state and local transportation and air quality agency officials on the development of motor vehicle emissions budgets. The Regional Haze SIP provides for consultation between appropriate state, local, and tribal air pollution control agencies as well as the corresponding Federal Land Managers. EPA has made the preliminary determination that North Carolina's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate that the State meets applicable requirements related to consultation with government officials for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS when necessary.

    Public notification (127 public notification): Rule 15A NCAC 2D .0300 “Air Pollution Emergencies” provides North Carolina with the authority to declare an emergency and notify the public accordingly when it finds that a generalized condition of water or air pollution which is causing imminent danger to the health or safety of the public. In addition, the North Carolina SIP process affords the public an opportunity to participate in regulatory and other efforts to improve air quality by holding public hearings for interested persons to appear and submit written or oral comments. Rule 15A NCAC 2D .0530 “Prevention of Significant Deterioration,” requires the owners and operators of major stationary sources and major modifications to apply for and receive, as appropriate, a permit as described in Rule 15A NCAC 02Q .0300. Rule 15A NCAC 02Q. 0306 provides for public notice for comments with an opportunity to request a public hearing on the draft permits required pursuant to Rule 15A NCAC 2D. 0530. EPA also notes that NCDAQ maintains a Web site that provides the public with notice of the health hazards associated with ozone NAAQS exceedances, measures the public can take to help prevent such exceedances, and the ways in which the public can participate in the regulatory process. See http://www.ncair.org/ news/.

    EPA has made the preliminary determination that North Carolina's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate the State's ability to provide public notification related to the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS when necessary.

    Visibility protection: EPA's 2013 Guidance notes that it does not treat the visibility protection aspects of section 110(a)(2)(J) as applicable for purposes of the infrastructure SIP approval process. NC DENR referenced its regional haze program as germane to the visibility component of section 110(a)(2)(J). EPA recognizes that states are subject to visibility protection and regional haze program requirements under Part C of the Act (which includes sections 169A and 169B). However, there are no newly applicable visibility protection obligations after the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS. Thus, EPA has determined that states do not need to address the visibility component of 110(a)(2)(J) in infrastructure SIP submittals so NC DENR does not need to rely on its regional haze program to fulfill its obligations under section 110(a)(2)(J). As such, EPA has made the preliminary determination that the visibility protection element of section 110(a)(2)(J) does not need to be addressed in North Carolina's infrastructure SIP related to the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.

    11. 110(a)(2)(K) Air Quality Modeling and Submission of Modeling Data: Section 110(a)(2)(K) of the CAA requires that SIPs provide for performing air quality modeling so that effects on air quality of emissions from NAAQS pollutants can be predicted and submission of such data to the USEPA can be made. 15A NCAC 2D .0530 “Prevention of Significant Deterioration” and 15A NCAC 2D .0531 “Sources in Nonattainment Areas,” require that air modeling be conducted in accordance with 40 CFR part 51, appendix W “Guideline on Air Quality Models.” These regulations demonstrate that North Carolina has the authority to perform air quality modeling and to provide relevant data for the purpose of predicting the effect on ambient air quality of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. Additionally, North Carolina supports a regional effort to coordinate the development of emissions inventories and conduct regional modeling for several NAAQS, including the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS, for the Southeastern states. Taken as a whole, North Carolina's air quality regulations demonstrate that NCDAQ has the authority to provide relevant data for the purpose of predicting the effect on ambient air quality of the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. EPA has made the preliminary determination that North Carolina's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate the State's ability to provide for air quality and modeling, along with analysis of the associated data, related to the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS when necessary.

    12. 110(a)(2)(L) Permitting fees: This element necessitates that the SIP require the owner or operator of each major stationary source to pay to the permitting authority, as a condition of any permit required under the CAA, a fee sufficient to cover (i) the reasonable costs of reviewing and acting upon any application for such a permit, and (ii) 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 (not including any court costs or other costs associated with any enforcement action), until such fee requirement is superseded with respect to such sources by the Administrator's approval of a fee program under title V.

    To satisfy these requirements, North Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission cites NCGS 143-215.3 “General powers of Commission and Department; auxiliary Powers,” which directs NCDAQ to require a processing fee in an amount sufficient for the reasonable cost of reviewing and acting upon PSD and NNSR permits. Regulation 15A NCAC 2Q .0200 “Permit Fees,” implements this directive and requires the owner or operator of each major stationary source to pay to the permitting authority, as a condition of any permit required under the CAA, a sufficient fee to cover the costs of the permitting program. Additionally, North Carolina has a fully approved title V operating permit program that covers the cost of implementation and enforcement of PSD and NNSR permits after they have been issued. EPA has made the preliminary determination that North Carolina's practices adequately provide for permitting fees related to the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS, when necessary.

    13. 110(a)(2)(M) Consultation and Participation by Affected Local Entities: This element requires states to provide for consultation and participation in SIP development by local political subdivisions affected by the SIP. North Carolina 15A NCAC 2D .0530 “Prevention of Significant Deterioration,” and NCGS 150B-21.1 and -21.2 authorize and require NCDAQ to advise, consult, cooperate and enter into agreements with other agencies of the state, the Federal Government, other states, interstate agencies, groups, political subdivisions, and industries affected by the provisions of this act, rules, or policies of the Department. Furthermore, NCDAQ has demonstrated consultation with, and participation by, affected local entities through its work with local political subdivisions during the developing of its Transportation Conformity SIP, Regional Haze Implementation Plan, and the 8-Hour Ozone Attainment Demonstration for the North Carolina portion of the Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill NC-SC nonattainment area. EPA has made the preliminary determination that North Carolina's SIP and practices adequately demonstrate consultation with affected local entities related to the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS, when necessary.

    V. Proposed Action

    With the exception of the PSD permitting requirements for major sources of section 110(a)(2)(C) and (J), the interstate transport requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) and (II) (prongs 1 through 4), and the state board requirements of section 110(a)(E)(ii), EPA is proposing to approve that NCDAQ's infrastructure SIP submissions, submitted November 2, 2012, for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS have met the above described infrastructure SIP requirements. EPA is proposing to approve these portions of North Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS because these aspects of the submission are consistent with section 110 of the CAA. EPA will address those portions of North Carolina's infrastructure SIP submission not acted upon through this notice in a separate action.

    VI. 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. See 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 proposed 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 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, the North Carolina 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.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: February 20, 2015. Heather McTeer Toney, Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05647 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    80 49 Friday, March 13, 2015 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Tongass Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Tongass Advisory Committee (Committee) will meet in Juneau, Alaska. The Committee is established consistent with the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (5 U.S.C. App. 2). Committee recommendations and advice may directly inform the development of a proposed action for modification of the 2008 Tongass Land Management Plan. The meeting is open to the public. Additional information concerning the Committee, including the meeting summary/minutes, can be found by visiting the Committee's Web site at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/R10/Tongass/TAC.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on:

    • Wednesday, March 25, 2015 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (AKDT).

    • Thursday, March 26, 2015 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (AKDT).

    • Friday, March 27, 2015 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (AKDT).

    All meetings are subject to change and cancellation. For updated status of the meetings prior to attendance, please visit the Web site listed in the SUMMARY section, or contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meetings will be held in the Assembly Chambers in the Juneau Municipal Building, 155 S. Seward Street, Juneau, Alaska 99801. Written comments may be submitted as described under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. All comments, including names and addresses when provided, are placed in the record and available for public inspection and copying. The public may inspect comments received at the Tongass National Forest Office. Please call ahead to facilitate entry into the building.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Marina Whitacre, Committee Coordinator, by phone at 907-772-5934, or by email at [email protected] Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The purpose of the meeting is to:

    1. Continue discussions about Plan Amendment recommendations;

    2. Continue discussions about implementation, investments, and monitoring/accountability;

    3. Review status of Forest Service effects analyses on Plan components; and

    4. Finalize plans for subsequent TAC meeting(s).

    There will be time allotted on the agenda for oral public comment. Those interested can register at the meeting. In addition, written statements may be filed with the Committee's staff before or after the meeting. Written comments may also be submitted by mail to Jason Anderson, Designated Federal Officer, Tongass National Forest, P.O. Box 309, Petersburg, Alaska 99833; or email to [email protected], or facsimile to 907-772-5895. Summary/minutes of the meeting will be posted on the Web site listed above within 45 days after the meeting.

    Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices or other reasonable accommodation for access to the facility or proceedings by contacting the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case-by-case basis.

    Dated: March 4, 2015. Jason Anderson, Deputy Forest Supervisor, Tongass National Forest.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05773 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-11-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request March 9, 2015.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments regarding (a) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments regarding this information collection received by April 13, 2015 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725—17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20502. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Agricultural Research Service

    Title: Patent License Application.

    OMB Control Number: 0518-0003.

    Summary of Collection: Public Law 96-517, HR 209 (Technology Transfer Commercialization Act of 2000), and 37 CFR part 404 requires Federal agencies to use the patent system to promote the utilization of inventions arising from federally supported research and provide the authority to grant patent licenses. 37 CFR 404.8 specifies the information which must be submitted by a patent license applicant to the Federal agency having custody of a patent.

    Need and Use of the Information: The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) will collect identifying information on the applicant, identifying information for the business, and a detailed description for development and/or marketing of the invention using form AD-761. The information collected is used to determine whether the applicant has both a complete and sufficient plan for developing and marketing the invention and the necessary manufacturing, marketing, technical, and financial resources to carry out the submitted plan.

    Description of Respondents: Business or other for profit; not-for-profit institutions; individuals or households.

    Number of Respondents: 75.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 225.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05728 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-03-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2015-0007] Notice of Availability of a Treatment Evaluation Document; Methyl Bromide Fumigation of Figs Correction

    In Notice Document 2015-04172, appearing on pages 10661-10662, in the Issue of Friday, February 27, 2015, make the following corrections:

    1. On page 10661, in the third column, in the paragraph beginning with “DATES:”, “May 28, 2015” should read “April 28, 2015”.

    2. On page 10662, in the first column, in the forty-second line, “1.5 lb □ 4.0 lb” should read “1.5 lb—4.0 lb”.

    3. On page 10662, in the second column, in the thirteenth line and in the twenty-first line from the bottom of the page, “T101-i-2-22” is corrected to read “T101-i-2-2”.

    [FR Doc. C1-2015-04172 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1505-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request March 9, 2015.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments regarding (a) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Comments regarding these information collections are best assured of having their full effect if received within 30 days of this notification. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8958.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Food Safety and Inspection Service

    Title: Marking, Labeling, and Packaging of Meat, Poultry, and Egg Products.

    OMB Control Number: 0583-0092.

    Summary of Collection: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has been delegated the authority to exercise the functions of the Secretary as provided in the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) (21 U.S.C. 601 seq.), the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA) (21 U.S.C. 451 et seq.), and the Egg Products Inspection Act (EPIA) (21 U.S.C. 1031, et seq.). These statues mandate that FSIS protect the public by ensuring that meat, poultry, and egg products are safe, wholesome, unadulterated, and properly labeled and packaged.

    Need and Use of the Information: FSIS will collect information to ensure that meat, poultry, and egg products are accurately labeled. To control the manufacture of marking devices bearing official marks, FSIS requires that official meat and poultry establishments and the manufacturers of such marking devices complete FSIS form 5200-7, Authorization Certificate and FSIS form 7234-1, Application for Approval of Labels, Marking or Device and FSIS Form 8822-4 Request for Label Reconsideration. If the information is not collected it would reduce the effectiveness of the meat, poultry, and egg products inspection program.

    Description of Respondents: Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 7,536.

    Frequency of Responses: Recordkeeping; reporting: on occasion.

    Total Burden Hours: 128,267.

    Ruth Brown, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05727 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-DM-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Sierra National Forest; California; Exchequer Restoration Project AGENCY:

    Forest Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement.

    SUMMARY:

    The United States Forest Service (USFS), Sierra National Forest, proposes to approve the Notice of Intent (NOI) and Proposed Action (PA) with appropriate mitigation measures to reduce resource impacts. This NOI is to reduce hazardous fuels and restore ecological components within the Exchequer Management Unit Group (MUG), McKinley Grove (MUG), and a managed-fire area.

    DATES:

    Comments concerning the scope of the analysis must be received by April 13, 2015. The draft environmental impact statement is expected October 2015 and the final environmental impact statement is expected February 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send written comments to 29688 Auberry Road, Prather, CA 93651. Comments may also be sent via email to [email protected], or via facsimile to 559-855-5375.

    It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times and in such a way that they are useful to the Agency's preparation of the EIS. Therefore, comments should be provided prior to the close of the comment period and should clearly articulate the reviewer's concerns and contentions.

    Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be part of the public record for this proposed action. Comments submitted anonymously will be accepted and considered, however.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jody Nickerson, 559-297-0706 extension 4943 or [email protected]

    Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The project is located in Fresno County, CA in T. 9 S., R. 25 E. Sections 32-34; T. 9 S., R. 26 E. Sections 31 and 34-36; T. 10 S., R. 25 E. Sections 3-4; 9-10; 15-16, 22, 27-29 and 34; T. 10 S. R. 26 E. Sections 1-3; 10-16; 21-24; 25-29; 34-36; T. 10 S., R. 27 E. Sections 5-8; 18-20; T. 11 S., R. 26 E. Section 1; and T. 11 S., R. 27 E. Section 6, MDBM. The project proposes to reduce hazardous fuels and restore ecological components, with a focus on the California spotted owl within the project area based on a landscape assessment conducted by the Landscape Planning Work Group (LPWG) of the Dinkey Collaborative. The landscape assessment was completed for the Dinkey Landscape Restoration Project (DLRP) area in which the Exchequer MUG was rated as the highest priority area to treat at this time.

    Purpose and Need for Action

    The purpose of the project is to improve and maintain key California spotted owl habitat structures, reduce fire risk to communities and fire fighters, restore forest health to a more natural condition characteristic of frequent-fire forests and the Sierra National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP), and to meet the interests expressed by the Dinkey Collaborative. In the project area, there is a need to protect from wildfire and enhance nesting and foraging structures for California spotted owl and fisher; to restore a vigorous, diverse forest ecosystem resilient to the effects of wildfire, insect and disease, air pollution, and climate change; to protect adjacent landowners and private property from the effects of wildfire; to incorporate potential ecological benefits into the fire management decision making process; to improve watershed resilience and function and improve aquatic habitat for sensitive species; to restore and enhance meadow habitat and aspen communities; and to reduce the spread of noxious weeds and to protect sensitive botanical species.

    Proposed Action

    The USFS, Sierra National Forest is proposing to apply restoration treatments to Exchequer MUG including vegetation treatments (mechanical commercial thinning, ladder fuels), plantation treatments (reforestation, site preparation, herbicide use), treatment of watershed improvement needs, meadow and aspen restoration, fuels reduction (strategic roads treatments, prescribed fire, mastication, dozer piling), and hazard tree removal. The project proposes to apply prescribed fire to the McKinley Grove MUG for beneficial ecological purposes. A project-specific land management plan is being proposed in the eastern portion of the project area to use managed wildfire outside of a designated wilderness boundary. Actions area designed to move current conditions of the project area closer to reference conditions. Design criteria would be incorporated into the project design and would incorporate all applicable LRMP (and amendments) Standards and Guidelines, Best Management Practices, and Conservation Measures and Terms and Conditions from appropriate Biological Opinions relating to the project.

    Responsible Official

    Sierra National Forest Supervisor, Dean A. Gould

    Nature of Decision To Be Made

    The decision to be made is whether or not to approve the proposed action or any additional alternatives analyzed for the Exchequer Project area.

    Preliminary Issues

    Preliminary issues include impacts to California spotted owl, Pacific fisher, Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog, and Yosemite toad and their habitats and impacts from hazardous fuels and risk of uncharacteristic wildfire.

    Scoping Process

    This notice of intent initiates the scoping process, which guides the development of the environmental impact statement. Tribal consultation will be initiated simultaneously. Collaboration with the Dinkey Collaborative has been an ongoing process in the planning of the project.

    It is important that reviewers provide their comments at such times and in such manner that they are useful to the agency's preparation of the environmental impact statement. Therefore, comments should be provided prior to the close of the comment period and should clearly articulate the reviewer's concerns and contentions.

    Dated: March 5, 2015. Steven Ostoja, Acting Forest Supervisor.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05740 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-11-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Office of the Secretary Meeting Notice of the Agricultural Research Service—Animal Handling and Welfare Review Panel AGENCY:

    Research, Education, and Economics, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with 7 U.S.C. 3124a, Federal-State Partnership and Coordination, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announces an open meeting of the Agricultural Research Service—Animal Handling and Welfare Review Panel (ARS-AHWR) to discuss their report and recommendations on the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center.

    DATES:

    The ARS-AHWR will meet virtually on March 18, 2015, at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will take place virtually at the AT&T Meeting Room below. Please follow the pre-registration instructions to ensure your participation in the meeting.

    Call-In instructions for Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time:

    Web Preregistration: Participants may preregister for this teleconference at http://emsp.intellor.com?p=419075&do=register&t=8. Once the participant registers, a confirmation page will display dial-in numbers and a unique PIN, and the participant will also receive an email confirmation of this information.

    You may submit written comments to: REE Advisory Board Office, Jamie L. Whitten Building, Room 332A, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250, or via email at [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michele Esch, Executive Director, REE Advisory Board Office, US Department of Agriculture; telephone: (202) 720-3684; fax: (202) 720-6199; or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On Wednesday, March 18, 2015, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time a virtual meeting will be conducted for any interested stakeholders and/or interested parties, to hear the summary of findings and recommendations on the review of the animal handling, care, and welfare at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center. The Review Panel plans to hear stakeholder input received from this meeting as well as other written comments. The report will be available at www.ree.usda.gov on March 9, 2015.

    This meeting is open to the public and any interested individuals wishing to attend.

    Opportunity for verbal public comment will be offered on the day of the meeting. Written comments by attendees or other interested stakeholders will be welcomed for the public record before and up to the day of the meeting (by close of business Wednesday, March 18, 2015). All statements will become a part of the official record of the REE Mission Area and will be kept on file for public review in the REE Advisory Board Office.

    Done at Washington, DC this 10th day of March 2015. Catherine E. Woteki, Under Secretary, REE, Chief Scientist, USDA.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05790 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-03-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Science Advisory Board (SAB) AGENCY:

    Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce (DOC).

    ACTION:

    Notice of Open Meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Science Advisory Board (SAB) was established by a Decision Memorandum dated September 25, 1997, and is the only Federal Advisory Committee with responsibility to advise the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere on strategies for research, education, and application of science to operations and information services. SAB activities and advice provide necessary input to ensure that National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) science programs are of the highest quality and provide optimal support to resource management.

    Time and Date: The meeting will be held Thursday April 16, 2015 from 9:45 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. EST and on Friday April 17, 2015 from 8:15 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. EST. These times and the agenda topics described below are subject to change. Please refer to the Web page http://www.sab.noaa.gov/Meetings/meetings.html for the most up-to-date meeting times and agenda.

    Place: The meeting will be held at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, 2660 Woodley Rd. NW., Washington, DC 20008. Please check the SAB Web site http://www.sab.noaa.gov/Meetings/meetings.html for directions to the meeting location.

    Status: The meeting will be open to public participation with a 15-minute public comment period on April 16 5:30-5:45 p.m. EST (check Web site to confirm time). The SAB expects that public statements presented at its meetings will not be repetitive of previously submitted verbal or written statements. In general, each individual or group making a verbal presentation will be limited to a total time of two (2) minutes. Individuals or groups planning to make a verbal presentation should contact the SAB Executive Director by April 9, 2015, to schedule their presentation. Written comments should be received in the SAB Executive Director's Office by April 9, 2015, to provide sufficient time for SAB review. Written comments received by the SAB Executive Director after April 9, 2015, will be distributed to the SAB, but may not be reviewed prior to the meeting date. Seating at the meeting will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Special Accommodations: These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for special accommodations may be directed no later than 12:00 p.m. on April 9, 2015, to Dr. Cynthia Decker, SAB Executive Director, SSMC3, Room 11230, 1315 East-West Hwy., Silver Spring, MD 20910; Email: [email protected]

    Matters To Be Considered: The meeting will include the following topics: (1) Report from the Data Archive and Access Requirements Working Group on GOES-R Level 0 Data; (2) NOAA Response to the SAB Coastal Habitat Restoration Report; (3) SAB Strategy Discussion; (4) Updates from the NOAA Administrator and Chief Scientist; and (5) Working Group Updates.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Cynthia Decker, Executive Director, Science Advisory Board, NOAA, Rm. 11230, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910. (Phone: 301-734-1156, Fax: 301-713-1459). Email: [email protected]; or visit the NOAA SAB Web site at http://www.sab.noaa.gov.

    Dated: March 6, 2015. Jason Donaldson, Chief Financial Officer, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05730 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-KD-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Patent and Trademark Office National Telecommunications and Information Administration [Docket No.: PTO-C-2015-0016] Public Meeting on Facilitating the Development of the Online Licensing Environment for Copyrighted Works AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce; United States Patent and Trademark Office, U.S. Department of Commerce; National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the Department of Commerce's Internet Policy Task Force (Task Force) Green Paper on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy, released on July 31, 2013, the Task Force has sought and received comments from the public about how the Federal Government (Government) can facilitate the further development of a robust online licensing environment. The Task Force heard a range of stakeholder views at an initial public meeting in December 2013. The Task Force will hold another public meeting on April 1, 2015, to explore this issue further, focusing specifically on how the Government can assist in facilitating the development and use of standard identifiers for all types of works of authorship, interoperability among databases and systems used to identify owners of rights and terms of use, and a possible portal for linking to such databases and to licensing platforms (similar in its goals to what has been established in the United Kingdom).

    DATES:

    The public meeting will be held on April 1, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Eastern Time. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The public meeting will be held at the United States Patent and Trademark Office in the Singapore and Venice Rooms of the Global Intellectual Property Academy on the second floor of the Madison Building, which is located at 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. All major entrances to the building are accessible to people with disabilities.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For further information regarding the meeting, contact Hollis Robinson or Ann Chaitovitz, Office of Policy and International Affairs, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Madison Building, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; telephone (571) 272-9300; email [email protected]. Please direct all media inquiries to the Office of the Chief Communications Officer, USPTO, at (571) 272-8400.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background A. Ongoing Government Initiatives

    The Department of Commerce's Internet Policy Task Force (Task Force) released Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy on July 31, 2013 (Green Paper).1 The Green Paper was the product of extensive public consultation led by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). It provided a comprehensive review of the current policy landscape related to copyright and the Internet, and identified important issues that called for attention and possible solutions.

    1 The Green Paper is available at http://www.uspto.gov/news/publications/copyrightgreenpaper.pdf.

    In October 2013, the USPTO and NTIA published a request for public comments relating to three areas of work flowing out of the Green Paper, including whether and how the Government can facilitate the further development of a robust online licensing environment.2 The request for comments noted that building the online marketplace is fundamentally a function of the private sector, and described how that process has been progressing. It also concluded that there remains a need for more comprehensive and reliable ownership data, interoperable standards enabling communication among databases, and more streamlined licensing mechanisms. As described in the Green Paper, while much progress has been made in the licensing of creative content for online uses, the pace of development has varied from sector to sector, and we are still far from a world in which individuals, business entities and other organizations wishing to license rights to use works online can always easily locate the owners of rights in specific works or large repertoires of works and obtain licenses to engage in the desired activities. This is especially true with respect to high-volume, low-value transactions and uses.

    2 The other two areas involved (1) policy issues relating to the legal framework for the creation of remixes; the relevance and scope of the first sale doctrine in the digital environment; the appropriate calibration of statutory damages in the contexts of individual file sharers and of secondary liability for large-scale infringement, and (2) the establishment of a multistakeholder dialogue on improving the operation of the notice and takedown system for removing infringing content from the Internet under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Request for Comments on Department of Commerce Green Paper, Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy, 78 FR 61337 (Oct. 3, 2013). Those topics have been the subjects of a number of roundtables and meetings since October 2013. See http://www.uspto.gov/ip/global/copyrights/.

    The Task Force therefore posited that there could be an appropriate and useful role for Government in facilitating the process, whether by removing obstacles or taking steps to encourage faster and more collaborative action. It posed a number of questions regarding access to and standardization of rights ownership information, facilitating the effectiveness of the online marketplace, and the role of the Government in such matters. The request for comments also raised the possibility of pursuing the concept of a digital copyright hub similar to that being constructed in the United Kingdom.3

    3 The Copyright Hub homepage is available at http://www.copyrighthub.co.uk/.

    At the December 2013 public meeting, two panels addressed issues related to this topic, one discussing access to rights information and one discussing online licensing transactions. An archive of the webcast of the public meeting is available at http://new.livestream.com/uspto/copyright. A transcript of the public meeting is available at http://www.uspto.gov/ip/global/copyrights/121213-USPTO-Green_Paper_Hearing-Transcript.pdf. Copies of the comments received are available at http://www.uspto.gov/ip/global/copyrights/green_paper_public_comments.jsp.

    The Copyright Office is also engaged in a number of activities to improve its own public databases of rights information as well as connecting them to those maintained by the private sector. In March 2013, the Copyright Office solicited public comments regarding possible improvements to its registration and recordation functions. It focused on making the registration process more user-friendly, making access to public registration records more robust and versatile, ensuring that the information in those records is accurate and up-to-date, using proper data and metadata standards and integrating with third party databases.4 The Technical Upgrades Special Project Team delivered a report to the Register on February 18, 2015, suggesting technical upgrades necessary to enable, among other things, improved searchability, collection of appropriate data including identifiers, integration with third party databases, and the development of a data repository.5

    4 See U.S. Copyright Office, Technological Upgrades to Registration and Recordation Functions, 78 FR 17722 (Mar. 22, 2013), http://www.copyright.gov/fedreg/2013/78fr17722.pdf.

    5 See U.S. Copyright Office, Report and Recommendations of the Technical Upgrades Special Projects Team (Feb. 2015), http://www.copyright.gov/docs/technical_upgrades/usco-technicalupgrades.pdf.

    The Copyright Office has also solicited public comments and held public meetings regarding strategies for the electronic recordation of documents relating to transfers of copyright ownership, including the use of standard identifiers and other metadata standards.6 In a December 2014 report, Robert Brauneis, the Kaminstein Scholar in Residence, made a number of recommendations, including accommodating standard identifiers in registration and recordation documents to enable interoperability with other databases and developing an application programming interface (API) allowing third parties to develop software to retrieve data from Copyright Office records.7 In February 2015, the Copyright Office issued a Report on Copyright and the Music Marketplace, which examined the current systems for licensing of musical works and sound recordings in the United States and made a number of recommendations for updating and improving those systems.8 Among these recommendations was one that would involve the use of standard identifiers for music: The creation of a “general” music rights organization (GMRO), a non-profit entity designated and regulated by the government, to supplement the activities of music rights organizations (MROs) with regard to licensing musical works. The proposed GMRO would maintain a publicly accessible database of musical works represented by each MRO and by the publishers who directly license interactive performances/downloads, as well as of sound recording data. The proposed GMRO would use standard identifiers, and would actively gather missing data, correct flawed or conflicting data, handle competing ownership claims and develop additional data to match sound recordings with musical works. It would serve as the default licensing and collection agent for musical works (or shares of works) that licensees were unable to associate with an MRO or a direct licensing publisher. The Copyright Office also raised the possibility that its copyright registration database could be modified to incorporate standard identifiers, and stated the belief that the best strategy to address data issues would be to strongly incentivize the universal adoption and dissemination of several data standards.

    6 U.S. Copyright Office, Strategic Plan for Recordation of Documents, 79 FR 2696 (Jan. 15, 2014), http://copyright.gov/fedreg/2014/79fr2696.pdf.

    7 Robert Brauneis, Abraham L. Kaminstein Scholar in Residence, U.S. Copyright Office, Transforming Document Recordation at the United States Copyright Office (Dec. 2014), http://copyright.gov/docs/recordation/recordation-report.pdf.

    8 U.S. Copyright Office, Copyright and the Music Marketplace (Feb. 2015), http://copyright.gov/docs/musiclicensingstudy/copyright-and-the-music-marketplace.pdf.

    The Task Force is interested in examining these recommendations as a potential solution to at least some of the licensing problems that have been identified in the music sector. We will also consider alternative proposals, as well as looking at the use of standard identifiers in other creative sectors and identifier schema to enable interoperability among them.9 Finally, we will look at the desirability and feasibility of U.S. stakeholders establishing or participating in a copyright hub that would include all types of works and facilitate multi-media licensing.

    9 These unique identifiers (hereafter referred to as standard identifiers or identifiers) include International Standard Audiovisual Number (ISAN), International Standard Book Number (ISBN), International Standard Music Number (ISMN), International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI), International Standard Recording Code (ISRC), International Standard Serial Number (ISSN), and International Standard Work Code (ISWC), Digital Object Identifier (DOI), Interested Parties Information (IPI), International Standard Text Code (ISTC), Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) and Entertainment Identifier Registry (EIDR).

    Possible roles for the Government, apart from the Copyright Office's initiatives described above, include promoting greater use of standard identifiers in all sectors as well as interoperability among standards and databases; encouraging the creation of a standardized framework for APIs that could facilitate automatic access to information; working with other countries to prioritize the use of identifiers or standards; participating in the development of international licensing projects; facilitating the creation of or participation in a “copyright hub;” and convening stakeholders to take forward any related initiatives.

    The April 1 public meeting will delve into specific aspects of these issues, building on the earlier questions, the public submissions, and the December 2013 discussion. Ultimately, the information obtained through this public process will be used to inform the Administration's views and recommendations.

    B. Questions for This Public Meeting

    We plan to discuss whether the enhanced use and interoperability of standard identifiers across different sectors and geographical borders can help the continued development of online markets, whether the United States should develop or participate in an online licensing platform such as the U.K.'s Copyright Hub, and what the role of the Government should be in furthering any of these efforts.

    1. Standard Identifiers

    The questions we hope to examine at the meeting include:

    • Would greater use of standard identifiers help streamline licensing and facilitate the continued growth of an online marketplace?

    • What conditions would likely lead to such greater use in each creative sector? How can the use of identifiers best be encouraged?

    • To what extent does every type of work have one or more identifiers, and how and when are they used today?

    • Are there ways in which identifiers should be used in order to maximize their usefulness? For example, should they contain or be linked to the relevant licensing information (e.g., ownership information, licensing terms)?

    • Would it be advisable to combine separate public or private databases, for either the same or different types of works, into a comprehensive database or repository, or to link them through a hub? If so, how should this be accomplished and by whom?

    • Is there a need to make the identifier schema interoperable?

    • How can interoperability be ensured across sectors, and across geographical borders?

    • Can a standards-based approach facilitate API development to enable seamless data exchange between databases containing unique identifier data? In the field of music, would the creation of a GMRO as proposed by the Copyright Office be sufficient to resolve the issues identified in the Green Paper with respect to access to comprehensive, standardized and interoperable rights ownership information? If not, why not?

    • What other options would be possible and desirable, either with or without the need for legislation? Would they require government regulation or oversight?

    2. Copyright Hub

    In the Green Paper, the Task Force discussed the U.K.'s Copyright Hub, a portal established and operated by industry to make licensing easier, especially for low-value, high-volume requests, by linking to a network of private and public copyright exchanges, rights registries and other copyright-related databases, with the government playing a facilitating and advisory role.10

    10 Richard Hooper and Ros Lynch, Copyright works: Streamlining copyright licensing for the digital age (July 2012), par. 7, http://www.copyrighthub.co.uk/Documents/dce-report-phase2.aspx.

    As it has evolved, the Copyright Hub is run by a non-profit company funded by the creative industries, with its technical development designed by the Connected Digital Economy Catapult, funded by the U.K. Government.11 The public meeting will include representatives from the Copyright Hub, who will describe its status and operations. The discussion will explore whether a similar project would be desirable in the United States, or whether the U.K. Copyright Hub should or could be extended to further incorporate U.S. works and licensing information, and if so, whether and how the Government should be involved.

    11 More information about the Copyright Hub is available at http://www.copyrighthub.co.uk/about.

    Public Meeting

    On April 1, 2015, the Task Force will hold a public meeting to hear stakeholder views on these topics. We look forward to hearing from all interested stakeholders, including creators, right holders, businesses that use copyrighted works, Internet intermediaries, and consumer and public interest groups. A draft agenda will be posted one week before the meeting.

    The meeting will be webcast. The agenda and webcast information will be available on the Internet Policy Task Force Web site, http://www.ntia.doc.gov/internetpolicytaskforce, and the USPTO's Web site, http://www.uspto.gov.

    The meeting will be open to members of the public to attend, space permitting, on a first-come, first-served basis. Pre-registration for the meeting is available at the “Register” tab at: http://events.SignUp4.com/EfficientOnlineMarketplace. The meeting will be physically accessible to people with disabilities. Individuals requiring accommodation, such as sign language interpretation, real-time captioning of the webcast or other ancillary aids, should communicate their needs to Hollis Robinson or Ann Chaitovitz, Office of Policy and International Affairs, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Madison Building, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; telephone (571) 272-9300; email [email protected] at least seven (7) business days prior to the meeting. Attendees should arrive at least one-half hour prior to the start of the meeting, and must present a valid government-issued photo identification upon arrival. Persons who have pre-registered (and received confirmation) will have seating held until 15 minutes before the program begins. Members of the public will have an opportunity to make comments at the meeting.

    Dated: March 9, 2015. Michelle K. Lee, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information.
    [FR Doc. 2015-05765 Filed 3-12-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-60-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A-570-970] Initiation of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review: Multilayered Wood Flooring From the People's Republic of China AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (“the Department”) has received information sufficient to warrant initiation of a changed circumstances review (“CCR”) of the antidumping duty order on multilayered wood flooring from the People's Republic of China (“PRC”). Based upon a request filed by Sino-Maple (JiangSu) Co., Ltd. (“Sino-Maple”), an exporter of multilayered wood flooring to the United States, the Department is initiating a CCR to determine whether Sino-Maple is the successor-in-interest to Jiafeng Wood (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. (“Jiafeng”) for purposes of the antidumping duty order on multilayered wood flooring from PRC and, as such, is entitled to Jiafeng's cash deposit rate with respect to entries of subject merchandise.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: March 13, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    James Martinelli or Charles Riggle, AD/CVD Operations, Office IV, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-2923 or (202) 482-0650, respectively.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    On December 23, 2014, Sino-Maple requested that the Department initiate an expedited CCR to confirm that Sino-Maple is the successor-in-interest to Jiafeng for purposes of determining antidumping duty liabilities.1 On January 16, 2015, Sino-Maple responded to the supplemental questionnaire issued by the Department on January 9, 2015.2 On February 4, 2015, the Department extended the time period for determining whether to initiate a CCR by 30 days, until March 8, 2015.3 On February 10, 2015, Sino-Maple responded to the Department's second supplemental questionnaire, which was issued on February 4, 2015.4 We received no comments opposing Sino-Maple's request.

    1See Letter from Sino-Maple to the Department regarding, “Multilayered Wood Flooring from the PRC: Request of Sino-Maple (Jiangsu) Co., Ltd. and Jiafeng Wood (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. for Changed Circumstances Review” (December 23, 2014) (“CCR Request”).

    2See Letter from Sino-Maple to the Department, regarding “Multilayered Wood Flooring from the PRC: Response of Sino-Maple (Jiangsu) Co., Ltd. and Jiafeng Wood (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. to Supplemental Changed Circumstances Review Questionnaire” (January 16, 2015).

    3See Letter from the Department to Sino-Maple “Multilayered Wood Flooring from the People's Republic of China: Request for a Changed Circumstances Review” (February 4, 2015).

    4See Letter from Sino-Maple to the Department “Multilayered Wood Flooring from the PRC: Response of Sino-Maple (Jiangsu) Co., Ltd. and Jiafeng Wood (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. to Second Supplemental Changed Circumstances Review Questionnaire” (February 10, 2015) (“Second Supplemental Response”).

    Scope of the Order

    Multilayered wood flooring is composed of an assembly of two or more layers or plies of wood veneer(s) in combination with a core. The several layers, along with the core, are glued or otherwise bonded together to form a final assembled product. Multilayered wood flooring is often referred to by other terms, e.g., “engineered wood flooring” or “plywood flooring.” Regardless of the particular terminology, all products that meet the description set forth herein are intended for inclusion within the definition of subject merchandise.

    All multilayered wood flooring is included within the definition of subject merchandise, without regard to: dimension (overall thickness, thickness of face ply, thickness of back ply, thickness of core, and thickness of inner plies; width; and length); wood species used for the face, back and inner veneers; core composition; and face grade. Multilayered wood flooring included within the definition of subject merchandise may be unfinished (i.e., without a finally finished surface to protect the face veneer from wear and tear) or “prefinished” (i.e., a coating applied to the face veneer, including, but not exclusively, oil or oil-modified or water-based polyurethanes, ultra-violet light cured polyurethanes, wax, epoxy-ester finishes, moisture-cured urethanes and acid-curing formaldehyde finishes). The veneers may be also soaked in an acrylic-impregnated finish. All multilayered wood flooring is included within the definition of subject merchandise regardless of whether the face (or back) of the product is smooth, wire brushed, distressed by any method