Federal Register Vol. 80, No.57,

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 57 (March 25, 2015)

Page Range15665-15884
FR Document

80_FR_57
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
80 FR 15752 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Comprehensive Economic Development StrategyPDF
80 FR 15871 - Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next DecadePDF
80 FR 15827 - Regular Board of Directors Meeting; Sunshine ActPDF
80 FR 15857 - Sunshine Act Meeting.PDF
80 FR 15796 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 15760 - Applications for New Awards; Rehabilitation Training: Rehabilitation Long-Term Training Program-Rehabilitation Specialty AreasPDF
80 FR 15827 - Exelon Generation Company, LLC; Braidwood Station, Units 1 and 2PDF
80 FR 15827 - Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc.; Establishment of Atomic Safety and Licensing BoardPDF
80 FR 15829 - Seeking Qualified Candidates for the Advisory Committee on Reactor SafeguardsPDF
80 FR 15803 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Single Family Premium Collection Subsystem-Periodic (SFPCS)PDF
80 FR 15787 - Receipt of Test Data Under the Toxic Substances Control ActPDF
80 FR 15801 - Collection of Information Under Review by Office of Management and BudgetPDF
80 FR 15755 - Subzone 38G-Anderson, South Carolina; Application for Production Authority Kravet Inc.; Comment Period on Submission of New EvidencePDF
80 FR 15804 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) Counseling Standardization and RosterPDF
80 FR 15751 - Endangered Species; File No. 19288PDF
80 FR 15800 - Imposition of Conditions of Entry for Certain Vessels Arriving to the United States From Yemen-Additional PortsPDF
80 FR 15803 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Single Family Mortgage Insurance on Hawaiian HomelandsPDF
80 FR 15715 - Auction of FM Broadcast Construction Permits Scheduled for July 23, 2015; Comment Sought on Competitive Bidding Procedures for Auction 98PDF
80 FR 15743 - Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) for Section 514 Farm Labor Housing Loans and Section 516 Farm Labor Housing Grants for Off-Farm Housing for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015PDF
80 FR 15788 - Notice of Agreements FiledPDF
80 FR 15785 - Registration Review Proposed Interim Decisions; Notice of AvailabilityPDF
80 FR 15709 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Maryland; Biomass Fuel-Burning Equipment StandardsPDF
80 FR 15800 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, Form I-360; Revision of a Currently Approved CollectionPDF
80 FR 15756 - Information Collection; Submission for OMB Review, Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 15695 - Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pollock in the Bering Sea and Aleutian IslandsPDF
80 FR 15793 - Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel (SEP): Initial ReviewPDF
80 FR 15798 - Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel (SEP): Initial ReviewPDF
80 FR 15705 - Safety Zones Within the Captain of the Port New Orleans ZonePDF
80 FR 15790 - Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for LicensingPDF
80 FR 15792 - Center For Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 15793 - Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 15793 - Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 15798 - National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
80 FR 15793 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 15824 - Brayton International, a Subsidiary of Steelcase, Inc., Including On-Site Leased Workers From Manpower Group, Experis, Bradley Personnel Inc., Graham Personnel Services, Aerotek, Workforce Unlimited, Experis, and Impact Business Group High Point, North Carolina; Amended Certification Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment AssistancePDF
80 FR 15825 - Apex Tool Group, LLC, A Subsidiary of Bain Capital, North American Hand Tools Operations, Including On-Site Leased Workers From 1st Employment Staffing, TEC Staffing Services and Kelly Staffing Services, Springdale, Arkansas; Amended Certification Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment AssistancePDF
80 FR 15825 - Notice of Determinations Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment Assistance and Alternative Trade Adjustment AssistancePDF
80 FR 15821 - Investigations Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment AssistancePDF
80 FR 15825 - Stanley Furniture Young America, Including On-Site Leased Workers From Workforce Unlimited and Guardsmark LLC, Robbinsville, North Carolina; Amended Certification Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment AssistancePDF
80 FR 15823 - Covidien LP, North American Shared Services Group, Mansfield, Massachusetts; Notice of Negative Determination Regarding Application for ReconsiderationPDF
80 FR 15824 - Honeywell, Aerospace Division; Including On-Site Leased Workers From OptiScan, Tempe, Arizona; Notice of Affirmative Determination Regarding Application for ReconsiderationPDF
80 FR 15755 - Agency Information Collection Activities Under OMB ReviewPDF
80 FR 15789 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
80 FR 15778 - Waverly Wind Farm LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 15783 - Arbuckle Mountain Wind Farm LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 15776 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 15742 - Notice of Intent for Renewal of a Currently Approved Information CollectionPDF
80 FR 15755 - New England Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 15754 - Fisheries of the South Atlantic; South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public MeetingPDF
80 FR 15753 - Fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public MeetingsPDF
80 FR 15808 - Agency Information Collection Activity; National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (EDMAP and STATEMAP)PDF
80 FR 15862 - Agency Information Collection Activities; New Information Collection Request: The Impact of Driver Compensation on Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 15866 - Reports, Forms, and Record Keeping RequirementsPDF
80 FR 15863 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; VisionPDF
80 FR 15789 - Federal Acquisition Regulation; Information Collection; U.S.-Flag Air Carriers StatementPDF
80 FR 15775 - Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, HanfordPDF
80 FR 15807 - Indian Education Study GroupPDF
80 FR 15859 - Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications; VisionPDF
80 FR 15776 - Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Northern New MexicoPDF
80 FR 15810 - United States v. Waste Management, Inc. and Deffenbaugh Disposal, Inc.; Proposed Final Judgment and Competitive Impact StatementPDF
80 FR 15781 - Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Idaho National LaboratoryPDF
80 FR 15781 - Agency Information Collection ExtensionPDF
80 FR 15858 - Actions Taken at March 5, 2015, MeetingPDF
80 FR 15805 - Proposed Information Collection; National Park Service ConcessionsPDF
80 FR 15791 - Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act ReviewPDF
80 FR 15750 - U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) Advisory CommitteePDF
80 FR 15809 - Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee: MeetingPDF
80 FR 15692 - Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Black Sea Bass Fishery; Framework Adjustment 8PDF
80 FR 15752 - Pacific Fishery Management Council (Pacific Council); Public MeetingsPDF
80 FR 15806 - Gettysburg National Military Park Advisory Commission Meeting Schedule for 2015PDF
80 FR 15806 - Notice of April 21, 2015, Meeting for Kalaupapa National Historical Park Advisory CommissionPDF
80 FR 15768 - Applications for New Awards; Ready-To-Learn TelevisionPDF
80 FR 15861 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; Gama Charters, Inc.PDF
80 FR 15757 - Notice of Intent To Grant Exclusive Patent License; Premium Manufacturing GroupPDF
80 FR 15807 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Receipt of Application for Incidental Take Permit Transfer and Renewal; Availability of Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan and Associated Documents; Polk County, FLPDF
80 FR 15790 - Decision To Evaluate a Petition To Designate a Class of Employees From the Argonne National Laboratory-West in Scoville, Idaho, To Be Included in the Special Exposure CohortPDF
80 FR 15795 - Decision To Evaluate a Petition To Designate a Class of Employees From the Hanford Site in Richland, Washington, To Be Included in the Special Exposure CohortPDF
80 FR 15742 - Board for International Food and Agricultural Development; Notice Of MeetingPDF
80 FR 15864 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel ST VITUS' DANCE; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
80 FR 15866 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel AURORA; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
80 FR 15865 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel GREEN FLASH; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
80 FR 15799 - Submission for OMB Review; 30-Day Comment Request; Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery (NINR)PDF
80 FR 15861 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel HOOKED UP; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
80 FR 15827 - Designation of County as High Intensity Drug Trafficking AreaPDF
80 FR 15865 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel MISS AVA LEE; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
80 FR 15750 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
80 FR 15862 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel KAHO; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
80 FR 15860 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel SUMMER SCHOOL; Invitation for Public CommentsPDF
80 FR 15821 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Amendment to Consent Decree Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability ActPDF
80 FR 15822 - Proposed Revision and Extension of the Approval of Information Collection RequirementsPDF
80 FR 15680 - Organization and Functions; Field Office LocationsPDF
80 FR 15767 - Reopening; Applications for New Awards; Training and Information for Parents of Children With Disabilities-Parent Training and Information CentersPDF
80 FR 15784 - Mr. Ray F. Ward; Notice of Scoping Meetings and Environmental Site Review and Soliciting Scoping CommentsPDF
80 FR 15777 - East Texas Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Notice of FilingPDF
80 FR 15778 - Questar Pipeline Company; Notice of Request Under Blanket AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 15778 - Mohawk Hydro Corporation; Notice of Pre-Filing Activities in Another DocketPDF
80 FR 15782 - Northwest Pipeline, LLC; Notice of ApplicationPDF
80 FR 15782 - Texas Gas Transmission, LLC; Notice of Application for Certificate of Public Convenience and NecessityPDF
80 FR 15751 - Advisory Committee to the U.S. Section to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas; Spring Species Working Group MeetingPDF
80 FR 15711 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Maryland; Determination of Attainment of the 1997 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard for the Baltimore, Maryland Serious Nonattainment AreaPDF
80 FR 15713 - Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Maryland; Preconstruction Requirements-Nonattainment New Source ReviewPDF
80 FR 15840 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to the LBMA Gold Price as a Replacement for the London Gold Fix for Certain Gold Related Exchange Traded ProductsPDF
80 FR 15838 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Its Rules Governing the Short Term Option Series Program To Extend Current $0.50 Strike Price Intervals in Non-Index Options to Short Term Options With Strike Prices Less Than $100PDF
80 FR 15848 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Its Rules Governing the Short Term Option Series Program To Extend Current $0.50 Strike Price Intervals in Non-Index Options to Short Term Options With Strike Prices Less Than $100PDF
80 FR 15834 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Miami International Securities Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change by Miami International Securities Exchange LLC To Amend Its Fee SchedulePDF
80 FR 15845 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Options Clearing Corporation; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment 1 Thereto, To Expand the Officers Who May Declare That a Clearing Member Is Summarily SuspendedPDF
80 FR 15846 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; The Options Clearing Corporation; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change To Enhance the Measurement Used To Establish Minimum Capital Requirements for Banks Approved To Issue Letters of CreditPDF
80 FR 15829 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Rule 900.3NY(w) and Rule 980NY(d)(1) to Delete the PNP Plus Designation for Electronic Complex Orders From Its RulesPDF
80 FR 15834 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on Proposed Rule Change Amending NYSE Arca Equities Rule 5.2(j)(3), Commentary .02 Relating to Listing of Investment Company Units Based on Municipal Bond IndexesPDF
80 FR 15831 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Updating to Certain Phlx RulesPDF
80 FR 15850 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Pricing Schedule's Preface and Sections I, II and IVPDF
80 FR 15688 - Cargo Airlines Association Petition for Expedited Declaratory RulingPDF
80 FR 15757 - Annual Updates to the Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) Plan Formula for 2015-William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan ProgramPDF
80 FR 15794 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Regulations Under the Federal Import Milk ActPDF
80 FR 15797 - Ninth Annual Drug Information Association/Food and Drug Administration Statistics Forum-2015; Public ConferencePDF
80 FR 15798 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
80 FR 15858 - Quarterly Rail Cost Adjustment FactorPDF
80 FR 15700 - Revised Exhibit Submission Requirements for Commission HearingsPDF
80 FR 15784 - Kingfisher Wind, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
80 FR 15779 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
80 FR 15685 - 2-Propenoic acid, 2-methyl-, 2-methylpropyl ester, homopolymer; Tolerance ExemptionPDF
80 FR 15699 - Position Limits for Derivatives and Aggregation of Positions; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 15680 - Foreign Futures and Options TransactionsPDF
80 FR 15679 - List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: Holtec International HI-STORM Underground Maximum Capacity Canister Storage System, Certificate of Compliance No. 1040; CorrectionPDF
80 FR 15689 - Migratory Bird Permits; Removal of Regulations Concerning Certain Depredation OrdersPDF
80 FR 15683 - Safety Zone; ARCTIC CHALLENGER, Port of Bellingham; Bellingham, WAPDF
80 FR 15691 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 16PDF
80 FR 15737 - Acquisition Regulation: Technical and Administrative Changes to Department of Energy Acquisition RegulationPDF
80 FR 15697 - Small Business Timber Set Aside ProgramPDF
80 FR 15702 - Chemical Management and Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs)PDF
80 FR 15673 - Fruit, Vegetable, and Specialty Crops-Import Regulations; Changes to Reporting Requirements To Add Electronic Form Filing OptionPDF
80 FR 15665 - Rural Business Development GrantPDF
80 FR 15703 - Safety Zone; Big Foot TLP, Walker Ridge 29, Outer Continental Shelf on the Gulf of MexicoPDF
80 FR 15693 - Pacific Island Fisheries; Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument ExpansionPDF
80 FR 15723 - Creation of Interstitial 12.5 kHz Channels in the 800 MHz Band Between 809-817/854-862 MHzPDF

Issue

80 57 Wednesday, March 25, 2015 Contents Agency Agency for International Development NOTICES Meetings: Board for International Food and Agricultural Development, 15742 2015-06783 Agricultural Marketing Agricultural Marketing Service RULES Import Regulations: Fruit, Vegetable, and Specialty Crops; Adding Electronic Form Filing Option to Reporting Requirements, 15673-15679 2015-06490 Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Agricultural Marketing Service

See

National Institute of Food and Agriculture

See

Rural Business-Cooperative Service

See

Rural Housing Service

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 15750 2015-06766
Antitrust Division Antitrust Division NOTICES Proposed Final Judgments and Competitive Impact Statements: United States v. Waste Management, Inc. and Deffenbaugh Disposal, Inc., 15810-15821 2015-06810 Centers Disease Centers for Disease Control and Prevention NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 15791-15792 2015-06801 Meetings: Disease, Disability, and Injury Prevention and Control Special Emphasis Panel, 15793, 15798 2015-06849 2015-06850 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 15796-15797 2015-06884 Coast Guard Coast Guard RULES Safety Zones: ARCTIC CHALLENGER, Port of Bellingham, Bellingham, WA, 15683-15685 2015-06580 PROPOSED RULES Safety Zones: Big Foot Tension Leg Platform, Walker Ridge 29, Outer Continental Shelf on the Gulf of Mexico, 15703-15705 2015-06482 Captain of the Port New Orleans Zone, 15705-15709 2015-06846 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 15801-15803 2015-06872 Imposition of Conditions of Entry for Certain Vessels Arriving to the U.S. from Yemen; Additional Ports, 15800-15801 2015-06866 Commerce Commerce Department See

Economic Development Administration

See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission RULES Foreign Futures and Options Transactions, 15680-15683 2015-06687 PROPOSED RULES Position Limits for Derivatives and Aggregation of Positions; Correction, 15699-15700 2015-06688 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 15755-15756 2015-06831 Corporation Corporation for National and Community Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 15756-15757 2015-06852 Defense Department Defense Department See

Navy Department

Economic Development Economic Development Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy; correction, 15752 C1--2015--06194 Education Department Education Department NOTICES Annual Updates to the Income Contingent Repayment Plan Formula for 2015: William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, 15757-15760 2015-06704 Applications for New Awards: Ready-to-Learn Television, 15768-15775 2015-06791 Rehabilitation Training; Rehabilitation Long-Term Training Program--Rehabilitation Specialty Areas, 15760-15767 2015-06880 Training and Information for Parents of Children with Disabilities--Parent Training and Information Centers; Reopening, 15767-15768 2015-06744 Employment and Training Employment and Training Administration NOTICES Worker Adjustment Assistance; Amended Certifications: Apex Tool Group, LLC, et al., 15825 2015-06837 Brayton International, et al., 15824 2015-06838 Stanley Furniture Young America, et al., 15825 2015-06834 Worker Adjustment Assistance; Determinations: Covidien LP, 15823-15824 2015-06833 Honeywell, et al., 15824-15825 2015-06832 Worker Adjustment Assistance; Investigations, 15821-15822 2015-06835 Worker and Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance; Determinations, 15825-15827 2015-06836 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

PROPOSED RULES Acquisition Regulations: Technical and Administrative Changes, 15737-15741 2015-06564 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 15781-15782 2015-06807 Meetings: Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Hamford, 15775 2015-06815 Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Idaho National Laboratory, 15781 2015-06808 Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Northern New Mexico, 15776 2015-06811
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Tolerance Exemption: 2-Propenoic acid, 2-methyl-, 2-methylpropyl ester, homopolymer, 15685-15688 2015-06690 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Maryland; Baltimore Nonattainment Area; 1997 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard, 15711-15713 2015-06731 Maryland; Biomass Fuel-Burning Equipment Standards, 15709-15711 2015-06856 Maryland; Preconstruction Requirements, Nonattainment New Source Review, 15713-15715 2015-06729 NOTICES Registration Review Proposed Interim Decisions, 15785-15787 2015-06860 Test Data under the Toxic Substances Control Act, 15787-15788 2015-06873 Farm Credit Farm Credit Administration RULES Organization and Functions: Field Office Locations, 15680 2015-06756 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration NOTICES Petition for Exemption; Summaries: Gama Charters, Inc., 15861-15862 2015-06789 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission RULES Cargo Airlines Association Petition for Expedited Declaratory Ruling, 15688-15689 2015-06709 PROPOSED RULES Auction of FM Broadcast Construction Permits: Competitive Bidding Procedures for Auction 98 Scheduled for July 23, 2015, 15715-15722 2015-06864 Creation of Interstitial 12.5 kHz Channels in the 800 MHz Band Between 809-817/854-862 MHz, 15723-15737 2015-06069 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission PROPOSED RULES Revised Exhibit Submission Requirements for Commission Hearings, 15700-15702 2015-06694 NOTICES Applications: Northwest Pipeline, LLC, 15782 2015-06738 Texas Gas Transmission, LLC, 15782-15783 2015-06737 Combined Filings, 15776-15777, 15779-15781 2015-06692 2015-06827 Environmental Site Reviews; Scoping Meetings: Mr. Ray F. Ward, 15784-15785 2015-06742 Filings: East Texas Electric Coop., Inc., 15777-15778 2015-06741 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: Arbuckle Mountain Wind Farm, LLC, 15783-15784 2015-06828 Kingfisher Wind, LLC, 15784 2015-06693 Waverly Wind Farm LLC, 15778-15779 2015-06829 License Applications: Mohawk Hydro Corp.; Pre-Filing Activities in Another Docket, 15778 2015-06739 Requests under Blanket Authorizations: Questar Pipeline Co., 15778 2015-06740 Federal Maritime Federal Maritime Commission NOTICES Agreements Filed, 15788 2015-06862 Federal Motor Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: The Impact of Driver Compensation on Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety; Correction, 15862-15863 2015-06821 Qualification of Drivers; Exemption Applications: Vision, 15859-15860, 15863-15864 2015-06812 2015-06819 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 15789 2015-06830 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service RULES Migratory Bird Permits: Removal of Regulations Concerning Certain Depredation Orders, 15689-15691 2015-06639 NOTICES Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan and Associated Documents; Polk County, FL; Availability, 15807-15808 2015-06787 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Regulations under the Federal Import Milk Act, 15794-15795 2015-06703 Meetings: Ninth Annual Drug Information Association/Food and Drug Administration Statistics Forum; Public Conferences, 15797-15798 2015-06702 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Application for Productive Authority: Kravet, Inc., Subzone 38G, Anderson, SC, 15755 2015-06871 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: U.S. Flag Air Carriers Statement, 15789-15790 2015-06818 Geological Geological Survey NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program, 15808-15809 2015-06822 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

NOTICES Decision to Evaluate a Petitions: Designate a Class of Employees from the Argonne National Laboratory-West in Scoville, Idaho, to be included in the Special Exposure Cohort, 15790 2015-06786 Special Exposure Cohort Petitions: Hanford Site, Richland, WA, 15795-15796 2015-06784
Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

See

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Home Equity Conversion Mortgage Counseling Standardization and Roster, 15804-15805 2015-06870 Single Family Mortgage Insurance on Hawaiian Homelands, 15803 2015-06865 Single Family Premium Collection Subsystem-Periodic, 15803-15804 2015-06874 Indian Affairs Indian Affairs Bureau NOTICES Meetings: Indian Education Study Group, 15807 2015-06814 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Geological Survey

See

Indian Affairs Bureau

See

National Park Service

Justice Department Justice Department See

Antitrust Division

NOTICES Proposed Consent Decrees under CERCLA, 15821 2015-06761
Labor Department Labor Department See

Employment and Training Administration

See

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

See

Wage and Hour Division

Maritime Maritime Administration NOTICES Requests for Administrative Waivers of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel AURORA, 15866 2015-06778 Vessel GREEN FLASH, 15865 2015-06774 Vessel HOOKED UP, 15861 2015-06772 Vessel KAHO, 15862 2015-06764 Vessel MISS AVA LEE, 15865-15866 2015-06768 Vessel ST VITUS DANCE, 15864-15865 2015-06779 Vessel SUMMER SCHOOL, 15860-15861 2015-06763 National Drug National Drug Control Policy Office NOTICES High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Designations, 15827 2015-06771 National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NOTICES Reports, Forms, and Record Keeping Requirements, 15866-15867 2015-06820 National Institute Food National Institute of Food and Agriculture NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 15742-15743 2015-06826 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery, 15799-15800 2015-06773 Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing, 15790-15791 2015-06845 Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 15792-15793 2015-06840 2015-06844 Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 15793-15794 2015-06842 2015-06843 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 15798-15799 2015-06699 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 15798 2015-06841 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RULES Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic: Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 16, 15691-15692 2015-06571 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska: Pollock in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands; Reallocation, 15695-15696 2015-06851 Fisheries of the Northeastern U.S.: Black Sea Bass Fishery; Framework Adjustments, 15692-15693 2015-06797 Pacific Island Fisheries: Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument Expansion, 15693-15695 2015-06402 NOTICES Applications: Endangered Species; File No. 19288, 15751 2015-06868 Meetings: Advisory Committee to the U.S. Section to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas; Spring Species Working Group, 15751-15752 2015-06736 Fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review, 15753-15754 2015-06823 Fisheries of the South Atlantic; South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 15754-15755 2015-06824 New England Fishery Management Council, 15755 2015-06825 Pacific Fishery Management Council, 15752-15753 2015-06794 U. S. Integrated Ocean Observing System Advisory Committee, 15750-15751 2015-06799 National Park National Park Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: National Park Service Concessions, 15805-15806 2015-06803 Meetings: Gettysburg National Military Park Advisory Commission, 15806 2015-06793 Kalaupapa National Historical Park Advisory Commission, 15806-15807 2015-06792 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee, 15809-15810 2015-06798 Navy Navy Department NOTICES Intent to Grant Exclusive Patent License: Premium Manufacturing Group, 15757 2015-06788 Neighborhood Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 15827 2015-06901 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission RULES Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: Holtec International HI-STORM Underground Maximum Capacity Canister Storage System; Corrections, 15679-15680 2015-06664 NOTICES Atomic Safety and Licensing Board: Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc., 15827 2015-06877 Environmental Impact Statements; Availability, etc.: Exelon Generation Company, LLC; Braidwood Station, Units 1 and 2, 15827-15829 2015-06878 Requests for Nominations: Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards, 15829 2015-06875 Occupational Safety Health Adm Occupational Safety and Health Administration PROPOSED RULES Chemical Management and Permissible Exposure Limits, 15702 2015-06516 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents EXECUTIVE ORDERS Government Agencies and Employees: Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade; Plans for Improving, 15869-15884 2015-07016 Rural Business Rural Business-Cooperative Service RULES Rural Business Development Grant, 15665-15673 2015-06489 Rural Housing Service Rural Housing Service NOTICES Funding Availability: Section 514 Farm Labor Housing Loans and Section 516 Farm Labor Housing Grants for Off-Farm Housing for Fiscal Year 2015, 15743-15750 2015-06863 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 15857-15858 2015-06900 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Miami International Securities Exchange LLC, 15834-15838 2015-06716 NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC, 15831-15834, 15850-15857 2015-06710 2015-06711 NYSE Arca, Inc., 2015-06712 15834, 15838-15845 2015-06718 2015-06719 NYSE MKT LLC, 15829-15831, 15848-15850 2015-06713 2015-06717 Options Clearing Corp., 15845-15847 2015-06714 2015-06715 Small Business Small Business Administration PROPOSED RULES Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 15697-15699 2015-06557 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board NOTICES Quarterly Rail Cost Adjustment Factor, 15858-15859 2015-06695 Susquehanna Susquehanna River Basin Commission NOTICES Meetings:, 15858 2015-06804 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

See

Maritime Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

See

Surface Transportation Board

U.S. Citizenship U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, 15800 2015-06853 Wage Wage and Hour Division NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 15822-15823 2015-06758 Reader Aids

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80 57 Wednesday, March 25, 2015 Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Business-Cooperative Service Rural Housing Service Rural Utilities Service Farm Service Agency 7 CFR Parts 1901 and 1942 Rural Business-Cooperative Service Rural Utilities Service 7 CFR Parts 4280 and 4284 RIN 0570-AA92 Rural Business Development Grant AGENCY:

Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service and Farm Service Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

ACTION:

Interim final rule with request for comments.

SUMMARY:

This Interim Final Rule is needed to ensure that the Agency will have a regulation in place to meet the Congressional mandate established in Congress in the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill). This mandate requires the Agency to establish a new program called the Rural Business Development Grant Program which combines the former Rural Business Enterprise Grant and Rural Business Opportunity Grant programs. The Agency has made no substantive changes to either the Rural Business Enterprise Grant or Rural Business Opportunity Grant programs when combining these regulations into the Rural Business Development Grant program.

Rural Development, Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) is establishing a new regulation for the Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) program. The program was established by the 2014 Farm Bill. The RBDG Program will combine the Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) and the Rural Business Opportunity Grant (RBOG) programs. There are no substantive programmatic changes to RBEG and RBOG with this consolidation.

DATES:

This Interim Final Rule is effective March 25, 2015. Written comments on this Interim Final Rule must be received on or before May 26, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments on this Interim Final Rule by any of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. You can find the rule by searching the RIN number 0570-AA92.

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

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 or Cindy Mason, Rural Development, Business Programs, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Stop 3226, Washington, DC 20250; email: [email protected] or [email protected]; at (202) 720-1495 or (202) 690-1433, respectively.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Request for Comments: The Agency is interested in receiving comments on all aspects of the Interim Final Rule. All comments should be submitted as indicated in the ADDRESSES section of this preamble. The Agency is seeking specific comments on whether or not to utilize this RBDG regulation to continue to process television demonstration grants and regional commission grants which are currently in 7 CFR part 1942, subpart G. And, whether or not to incorporate grants for expansion of employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities and health care services which were authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill. The Agency is interested in considering all factors that affect the public. Please be sure to include your rationale for your suggestions.

Additionally, in 2007, Rural Development published a proposed rule for RBEG, however, a final rule was never published. Rural Development appreciates the comments that were submitted on the proposed rule, and requests that reviewers resubmit comments on this consolidated rule if they believe they are still valid.

Executive Order 12866, Classification

This rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866 and has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Programs Affected

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program number assigned to the RBDG is 10.351.

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 each grant is made.

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 section 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 the U.S. Department of Agriculture 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 sections 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 in the development of regulatory policies that have Tribal implications or preempt Tribal laws. As previously noted, the consolidation of the RBEG and RBOG programs through the publication of this Interim Final Rule will not institute any substantive programmatic changes. However, since Congress has legislatively mandated funds to benefit federally recognized Indian Tribes in both programs, in the past, implementation of the RBDG program in future years may have substantial and direct effects on one or more Indian Tribe(s).

Consequently, the consolidation of the RBEG and RBOG programs under the RBDG program was featured in two Tribal Consultation webinars hosted by Rural Development in fiscal year (FY) 2014. On April 2, 2014, Rural Development hosted a Tribal Consultation webinar and teleconference that summarized significant changes to its programs mandated by the 2014 Farm Bill. During the webinar, in addition to summarizing the Farm Bill changes, Rural Development listed five Farm Bill provisions that would likely require further consultation—including the RBDG program. No objections were raised by participants to alter that assumption.

On August 25, 2014, Rural Development hosted a Tribal Consultation webinar and teleconference that covered the implementation of the RBDG program and the Strategic Economic and Community Development (Section 6025) provision in great depth. Again, no objections were raised by participants to alter the course of implementation for either the RBDG program or Section 6025.

For further information regarding Rural Development's past Tribal Consultation events or Rural Development's Tribal Consultation process, please contact Rural Development's Native American Coordinator at (720) 544-2911 or [email protected]

Paperwork Reduction Act

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this document announces the intention of RBS to request information collection in support of the RBDG program (7 CFR part 4280, subpart E). No new requirements have been added, but it is the intent of the Agency to combine the two current Paperwork Reduction Act packages into one. Until this paperwork burden is approved, the Agency will utilize the current RBEG and RBOG paperwork burdens. These burdens are approved under 0570-0022 and 0570-0024 respectively.

Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 3.0 hours per response.

Respondents: Nonprofit corporations and public bodies.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 920.

Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 22.

Estimated Number of Responses: 20,517.

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 64,773.

Comments on this document must be received by May 26, 2015 to be assured of consideration.

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.

Good Cause

Rural Development is publishing this rule as an interim final rule for good cause in that:

Rural Development anticipates going forward that Congress will only be providing appropriations for RBDG and not for the RBOG and RBEG programs;

Since the RBEG and RBOG programs are being merged without substantive changes, the public will not be unfamiliar with the new RBDG provisions; and

Making the RBDG rule an interim final rule will assure the continuity of benefits historically provided under the RBOG and RBEG programs.

Additionally, notice and comment are not required because of the Administrative Procedures Act exceptions for loans and grants at 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(2).

I. Background

Rural Development is charged with assisting, among other entities, the startup, expansion, and the continuation of small and emerging businesses and/or non-profits in rural communities. Rural Development supports this portion of the overall mission through two grant programs, the RBEG and RBOG programs.

Rural Development makes RBEGs to public bodies and non-profit corporations so that they may assist small and emerging businesses and/or non-profits in their communities to create and support jobs. RBEG funds may be used to: Acquire or develop land, buildings, plants, equipment; access streets and roads, parking areas, utility extensions, necessary water and supply and waste disposal facilities; provide technical assistance; establish revolving loan funds; and to create, expand, or operate rural distance learning programs that provide educational or job training instruction related to potential employment or job advancement to adult students.

RBOG funds are made to public bodies and non-profit corporations to assist businesses and/or non-profits in their communities. RBOG funds may be used to assist in the economic development of rural areas by providing technical assistance, training, and planning for business and economic development.

In February 2014 the United States Congress passed the 2014 Farm Bill. This law combined the RBEG and RBOG programs into one grant program, the RBDG program. The Congressional Record emphasizes that the two programs should continue to operate in essentially the same manner as they operated when they were separate grant programs. Thus, Rural Development is publishing this Interim Final Rule to meet the statutory requirements of the 2014 Farm Bill.

Grants made before the implementation of the RBDG program will continue to be governed by the terms of the applicable RBOG and RBEG regulations in effect at the time the grants were made together with any other applicable agreements.

II. Discussion of Changes

The Agency is publishing this Interim Final Rule to meet the statutory requirements of the 2014 Farm Bill including revising the definition of rural and rural areas to conform to the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act definition. The 2014 Farm Bill consolidated the RBEG and RBOG programs into one grant program while allowing both programs to operate essentially as they have in the past. The Agency is soliciting comments to this new regulation and will consider all comments received prior to publishing a Final Rule. Publishing this Interim Final Rule will permit the Agency to provide continuous service to rural small and emerging businesses, non-profit corporations, and local public bodies, while requesting input from the public on their views of this grant program.

The Agency combined 7 CFR part 1942, subpart G and 7 CFR part 4284, subpart G into the RBDG rule at 7 CFR part 4280, subpart E. Rural Development has also integrated applicable general provisions of 7 CFR part 4284, subpart A into the RBDG rule. Essentially, the Agency did not change any of the requirements of either program but blended the two regulations into one and eliminated duplicative portions so that there is only one set of requirements. The Agency also combined definitions so that the public has one definition for both programs as well as blended the scoring requirements of both former regulations. Finally, the Agency blended the application processes into one streamlined set of procedures under the RBDG funding, incorporating the statutory language of the 2014 Farm Bill (7 U.S.C. 1932(c)) specifying how the funding would be split.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Agency is adopting the new the U.S. Department of Agriculture grant regulation at 2 CFR chapter IV for monitoring and servicing RBDG funding. If this rule is published prior to new the U.S. Department of Agriculture grant regulations being published and effective, the Agency will comply with all applicable parts of 2 CFR chapter IV and chapter XXX including 7 CFR parts 3015, 3016, 3019, and 3052.

List of Subjects 7 CFR Part 1901

Civil rights, Compliance reviews, Fair housing, and Minority groups.

7 CFR Part 1942

Business and Industry, Grant programs—Housing and Community development, Industrial park, and Rural areas.

7 CFR Part 4280

Business and Industry, Economic Development, Grant programs, Community development, Industrial Sites, and Rural Areas.

7 CFR Part 4284

Business and Industry, Economic Development, Grant programs—Housing and Community development, and Rural Areas.

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, chapters XVIII and XLII, title 7, of the Code of Federal Regulations are being amended as follows:

CHAPTER XVIII—RURAL HOUSING SERVICE, RURAL BUSINESS-COOPERATIVE SERVICE, RURAL UTILITIES SERVICE, AND FARM SERVICE AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE PART 1901—PROGRAM-RELATED INSTRUCTIONS 1. The authority citation for part 1901 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 301; 7 U.S.C. 1989; 40 U.S.C. 442; 42 U.S.C. 1480, 2942.

Subpart E—Civil Rights Compliance Requirements 2. Amend § 1901.204 by revising paragraph (a)(16) to read as follows:
§ 1901.204 Compliance reviews.

(a) * * *

(16) Rural Business Development Grants.

PART 1942—ASSOCIATIONS 3. The authority citation for part 1942 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

Subpart G—[Removed and Reserved] 4. Remove and reserve subpart G, consisting of §§ 1942.301 through 1942.350 and Guides 1 and 2 to subpart G. CHAPTER XLII—RURAL BUSINESS-COOPERATIVE SERVICE AND RURAL UTILITIES SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRIGULTURE PART 4280—LOANS AND GRANTS 5. The authority citation for part 4280 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 301: 7 U.S.C. 940c and 7 U.S.C. 1932(c).

6. Add subpart E to read as follows: Subpart E—Rural Business Development Grants General Sec. 4280.401 Purpose. 4280.402 [Reserved] 4280.403 Definitions. 4280.404 Exception authority. 4280.405 Review or appeal rights. 4280.406 Conflict of interest. 4280.407 Statute and regulation references. 4280.408 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) departmental regulations and laws that contain other compliance requirements. 4280.409 [Reserved] 4280.410 Other laws and regulations that contain compliance requirements for this program. 4280.411 Forms, guides, and attachments. 4280.412-4280.414 [Reserved] Rural Business Development Grants 4280.415 Rural Business Development Grants. Eligibility 4280.416 Applicant eligibility. 4280.417 Project eligibility. 4280.418-4280.420 [Reserved] Funding Provisions 4280.421 Term requirement. 4280.422 Joint funding. 4280.423 Ineligible uses of grant funds. 4280.424-4280.426 [Reserved] Applying for a Grant 4280.427 Application. 4280.428-4280.429 [Reserved] 4280.430 Notification of decision. 4280.431-4280.433 [Reserved] Processing and Scoring Application 4280.434 General processing and scoring provisions. 4280.435 Scoring criteria. 4280.436-4280.438 [Reserved] Grant Awards and Agreements 4280.439 Grant awards and agreements. 4280.440-4280.442 [Reserved] Post Award Activities and Requirements 4280.443 Grant monitoring and servicing. 4280.444-4280.447 [Reserved] 4280.448 Transfers and assumptions. 4280.449-4280.499 [Reserved] 4280.500 OMB control number. General
§ 4280.401 Purpose.

This subpart implements the RBDG program administered by the Agency. Grants made under this subpart will be made to eligible entities for use in funding various business opportunity and business enterprise Projects that serve Rural Areas.

§ 4280.402 [Reserved]
§ 4280.403 Definitions.

Administrator. The Administrator of RBS or designees or successors.

Agency. Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) or successor.

Agriculture Production. The cultivation, production, growing, raising, feeding, housing, breeding, hatching, or managing of crops, plants, animals or birds, either for fiber, food for human consumption, or livestock feed.

Arm's-length Transaction. The sale, release, or disposition of assets in which the title to the property passes to a ready, willing, and able disinterested third party that is not affiliated with or related to and has no security, monetary, or stockholder interest in the grantee or transferor at the time of the transaction.

Business Support Centers. Centers established to provide assistance to businesses in such areas as counseling, business planning, training, management assistance, marketing information, and locating financing for business operations. The centers need not be located in a Rural Area, but must provide assistance to businesses located in Rural Areas.

Departmental Grant Regulations. The USDA grant regulations at 2 CFR chapter IV.

Economic Development. The industrial, business and financial augmentation of an area as evidenced by increases in total income, employment opportunities, value of production, duration of employment, or diversification of industry, reduced outmigration, higher labor force participation rates or wage levels or gains in other measurements of economic activity, such as land values.

Indian Tribe (Tribal). Indian Tribes on Federal and State reservations and other federally recognized Indian Tribal groups.

Industrial Site. The development of undeveloped real estate for uses which will assist Small and Emerging Businesses.

Long-term. The period of time covered by the three most recent decennial censuses of the United States to the present.

Nonprofit. An entity chartered as a nonprofit organization under applicable State or Tribal law.

Other Business Development. Any business related activity that will assist Small and Emerging Businesses and may include but is not limited to business incubators, business training centers, and other training activity which leads directly to Small and Emerging Business development.

Planning. A process to coordinate Economic Development activities, develop guides for action, or otherwise assist local community leaders in the Economic Development of Rural Areas.

Priority Communities. Communities targeted for Agency assistance as determined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development that are experiencing trauma due to natural disasters or are undertaking or completing fundamental structural changes, have remained persistently poor, or have experienced Long-Term population decline or job deterioration.

Project. The result of the use of grant funds provided under this subpart through Technical Assistance or Planning relating to the Economic Development of a Rural Area; or the result of the use of program funds (i.e., a facility whether constructed by the applicant or a third party made with grant funds, Technical Assistance, startup operating costs, or working capital). A revolving fund established in whole or in part with grant funds will also be considered a Project.

Public Bodies/Government Entity. Public Bodies include States, counties, cities, townships, and incorporated towns and villages, boroughs, authorities, districts, and education institutions organized under State and Federal laws, and Indian Tribes.

Rural and Rural Area. As described in 7 U.S.C. 1991(a)(13)(A) and (D) et seq.

Small and Emerging Business. Any private and/or Nonprofit business which will employ 50 or fewer new employees and has less than $1 million in gross revenue; for retail operations, total sales minus cost of goods sold minus returns or for a service organizations, gross revenue minus cost of providing service or for a manufacturing operation it will be total sales minus cost of raw materials minus the cost of production.

State. Any of the 50 States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

Technical Assistance. A function performed for the benefit of a private business enterprise or a community and which is a problem solving activity, such as market research, product and/or service improvement, feasibility study, etc., to assist in the Economic Development of a Rural Area.

§ 4280.404 Exception authority.

The Administrator may make an exception, on a case-by-case basis, to any requirement or provision of this subpart that is not inconsistent with any authorizing statute or applicable law if the Administrator determines that application of the requirement or provision would adversely affect the Government's financial interest.

§ 4280.405 Review or appeal rights.

A person may seek a review of an Agency decision under this subpart from the appropriate Agency official that oversees the program in question or appeal to the National Appeals Division in accordance with 7 CFR part 11.

§ 4280.406 Conflict of interest.

(a) General. No conflict of interest or appearance of conflict of interest will be allowed. For purposes of this subpart, Conflict of Interest includes, but is not limited to, distribution or payment of grant, guaranteed loan funds, and matching funds or award of Project construction contracts to an individual owner, partner, or stockholder, or to a beneficiary or immediate family of the applicant or grantee when the recipient will retain any portion of ownership in the applicant's or grantee's Project. Grant and matching funds may not be used to support costs for services or goods going to, or coming from, a person or entity with a real or apparent conflict of interest. All transactions must be Arm's-length Transactions.

(b) Assistance to employees, relatives, and associates. The Agency will process any requests for assistance under this subpart in accordance with 7 CFR part 1900, subpart D.

(c) Member/delegate clause. No member of or delegate to Congress shall receive any share or part of this grant or any benefit that may arise therefrom; but this provision shall not be construed to bar, as a contractor under the grant, a publicly held corporation whose ownership might include a member of Congress so long as the member's ownership is less than 10 percent.

§ 4280.407 Statute and regulation references.

All references to statutes and regulations are to include any and all successor statutes and regulations.

§ 4280.408 U.S. Department of Agriculture departmental regulations and laws that contain other compliance requirements.

(a) Departmental regulations. All funded under this subpart are subject to the provisions of the Departmental Regulations, as applicable, which are incorporated by reference herein.

(b) Equal opportunity and nondiscrimination. The Agency will ensure that equal opportunity and nondiscrimination requirements are met in accordance with the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, 15 U.S.C. 1691 et seq. and 7 CFR part 15d, “Nondiscrimination in Programs and Activities Conducted by the United State Department of Agriculture.” The Agency will not discriminate against applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, or age (provided that the applicant has the capacity to contract); because all or part of the applicant's income derives from any public assistance program; or because the applicant has in good faith exercised any right under the Consumer Credit Protection Act, 15 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.

(c) Civil rights compliance. Recipients of grants must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq., Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq., and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. 794. This may include collection and maintenance of data on the race, sex, and national origin of the recipient's membership/ownership and employees. The data must be available to conduct compliance reviews.

(1) Initial compliance reviews will be conducted by the Agency prior to funds being obligated.

(2) Grants will require one subsequent compliance review following Project completion. This will occur prior to the last disbursement of grant funds.

(d) Environmental requirements. 7 CFR part 1940, subpart G or successor regulation applies to this subpart. Prospective applicants are advised to contact the Agency to determine environmental requirements as soon as practicable after they decide to pursue any form of financial assistance directly or indirectly available through the Agency.

(1) Any required environmental review must be completed by the Agency prior to the Agency obligating any funds.

(2) The applicant will be notified of all specific compliance requirements, including, but not limited to, the publication of public notices, and consultation with State Historic Preservation Offices (or Tribal Historic Preservation Offices where appropriate) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

(3) A site visit by the Agency may be scheduled, if necessary, to determine the scope of the review.

(4) Applications for Technical Assistance or Planning Projects are generally excluded from the environmental review process by § 1940.333 of this title provided the assistance is not related to the development of a specific site. However, as further specified in 7 CFR 1940.330, the grantee for a Technical Assistance grant, in the process of providing Technical Assistance, must consider the potential environmental impacts of the recommendations provided to the recipient of the Technical Assistance.

(5) Applicants for grant funds must consider and document within their plans the important environmental factors within the Planning area and the potential environmental impacts of the plan on the Planning area, as well as the alternative Planning strategies that were reviewed.

(6) Whenever an applicant files an application that includes a direct construction Project and a plan, they must have a separate environmental evaluation.

(e) Discrimination complaints—(1) Who may file. Persons or a specific class of persons believing they have been subjected to discrimination prohibited by this section may file a complaint personally, or by an authorized representative with USDA, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250.

(2) Time for filing. A complaint must be filed no later than 180 days from the date of the alleged discrimination, unless the time for filing is extended by the designated officials of USDA or the Agency.

(f) Uniform Relocation and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act. All Projects must comply with the requirements set forth in 7 CFR part 21.

(g) Floodplains and wetlands. All Projects must comply with Executive Order 11988 “Floodplain Management” and Executive Order 11990 “Protection of Wetlands.” The applicable regulations are codified at 44 CFR parts 59 through 80.

§ 4280.409 [Reserved]
§ 4280.410 Other laws and regulations that contain compliance requirements for this program.

(a) Equal employment opportunity. For all construction contracts and grants in excess of $10,000, the contractor must comply with Executive Order 11246, as amended by Executive Order 11375, and as supplemented by applicable Department of Labor regulations (41 CFR part 60-1). The applicant is responsible for ensuring that the contractor complies with these requirements.

(b) Architectural barriers. All facilities financed with Zero-Interest Loans that are open to the public or in which persons may be employed or reside must be designed, constructed, or altered to be readily accessible to and usable by disabled persons. Standards for these facilities must comply with the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968, as amended, (42 U.S.C. 4151-4157).

(c) Uniform relocation assistance. Relocations in connection with these programs are subject to 49 CFR part 24 as referenced by 7 CFR part 21 except that the provisions in title III of the Uniform Act do not apply to these programs.

(d) Drug-free workplace. Grants made under these programs are subject to the requirements contained in 2 CFR chapter IV which implements the Drug-Free Workplace Act. RBDG recipients will be required to certify that it will establish and make a good faith effort to maintain a drug-free workplace program.

(e) Debarment and suspension. The requirements of 2 CFR chapter IV are applicable to this program.

(f) Intergovernmental review of Federal programs. These programs are subject to the requirements of Executive Order 12372 and 2 CFR chapter IV. Proposed Projects are subject to the State and local government review process contained in 2 CFR chapter IV.

(g) Restrictions on lobbying. The restrictions and requirements imposed by 31 U.S.C. 1352, and 2 CFR chapter IV, are applicable to these programs.

(h) Earthquake hazards. These programs are subject to the seismic requirements of the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977 (42 U.S.C. 7701-7706).

(i) Affirmative fair housing. If applicable, the grantee will be required to comply with the Affirmative Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 3601-3631 and 24 CFR part 100).

(j) Flood hazard insurance. The RBDG program is subject to the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 and the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, as amended by 42 U.S.C. 4001-4129 and 7 CFR part 1806, subpart B.

(k) Uniform administrative requirements, cost principles, and audit requirements for Federal awards. The requirements of 2 CFR chapter IV, or its successor regulations are applicable to this program.

(l) Planning and performing construction and other development. The requirements of 7 CFR part 1924, subpart A, or its successor regulations, are applicable to this program.

(m) Transparency Act. The requirements of 2 CFR part 170 are applicable to this program.

§ 4280.411 Forms, guides, and attachments.

All forms, guides, and attachments referenced in this subpart are available online at: http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/eForms/ or in any Rural Development State office.

§§ 4280.412-4280.414 [Reserved]
Rural Business Development Grants
§ 4280.415 Rural Business Development Grants.

Sections 4280.416 through 4280.439 identify the provisions that the Agency will use for making awards for Rural Business Development Grants.

Eligibility
§ 4280.416 Applicant eligibility.

To receive an RBDG under this subpart, an applicant must meet the requirements specified in paragraphs (a) through (e) of this section. If an award is made to an applicant, that applicant (grantee) must continue to meet the requirements specified in this section. If the grantee does not, then grant funds may be recovered from the grantee by the Agency in accordance with Departmental Regulations.

(a) Type of applicant. The Applicant must be one of the following:

(1) A Public Body/Government Entity;

(2) An Indian Tribe; or

(3) A Nonprofit entity.

(b) Financial strength and expertise. The Applicant must have sufficient financial strength and expertise in activities proposed in the application to ensure accomplishment of the described activities and objectives.

(1) Financial strength will be analyzed by the Agency based on financial data provided in the application. The analysis will consider the applicant's tangible net worth, which must be positive, and whether the applicant has dependable sources of revenue or a successful history of raising revenue sufficient to meet cash requirements.

(2) Expertise will be analyzed by the Agency based on the applicant staff's training and experience in activities similar to those proposed in the application and, if consultants will be used, on the staff's experience in choosing and supervising consultants.

(c) Universal identifier and system for awards management. Unless exempt under 2 CFR 25.110, the Applicant must:

(1) Be registered in the System for Awards Management (SAM) prior to submitting an application;

(2) Maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application under consideration by the Agency; and

(3) Provide its Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number in each application it submits to the Agency. Generally, the DUNS number is included on Standard Form (SF) 424, “Application for Federal Assistance.”

(d) Delinquent debt. The applicant must not have any delinquent debt to the Federal Government. If an applicant has any delinquent debt to the Federal Government, the applicant will be ineligible to receive any funds obligated under this subpart until the debt has been paid.

(e) Legal authority and responsibility. Each Applicant must have the legal authority necessary to apply for and carry out the purpose of the grant.

§ 4280.417 Project eligibility.

For a Project to be eligible for funding under this subpart, the proposed Project must meet each of the requirements specified in paragraphs (a) through (e) of this section.

(a) Types of projects. Grant funds may be used for Projects identified in either paragraph (a)(1) of this section, business opportunity type grants, or paragraph (a)(2) of this section, business enterprise type grants. Unless otherwise announced in a Notice of Solicitation of Applications, the Agency will set aside 10 percent of its RBDG appropriation for business opportunity type grants. The Agency reserves the right to reallocate funds set aside for business opportunity type grants to business enterprise type grants if it becomes apparent to the Agency that there is insufficient demand for the funds set aside for the business opportunity type grants.

(1) Business opportunity Projects. Grant funds may be used for business opportunity Projects that include one or more of the following activities:

(i) Identify and analyze business opportunities that will use local rural materials or human resources. This includes opportunities in export markets, as well as feasibility and business plan studies;

(ii) Identify, train, and provide Technical Assistance to existing or prospective rural entrepreneurs and managers;

(iii) Establish Business Support Centers and otherwise assist in the creation of new Rural businesses;

(iv) Conduct local community or multi-county Economic Development Planning;

(v) Conduct leadership development training of existing or prospective adult rural entrepreneurs and managers;

(vi) Establish centers for training, technology, and trade that will provide training to Rural businesses in the utilization of interactive communications technologies to develop international trade opportunities and markets; or

(vii) Pay reasonable fees and charges for professional services necessary to conduct the Technical Assistance, training, or planning functions.

(2) Business enterprise projects. Grant funds may be used to finance and/or develop Small and Emerging Businesses in Rural Areas including, but not limited to, the following activities:

(i) Acquisition and development of land, easements and rights-of-way;

(ii) Construction, conversion, enlargement, repairs or modernization of buildings, plants, machinery, equipment, access streets and roads, parking areas, utilities, and pollution control and abatement facilities;

(iii) Provision of loans for startup operating cost and working capital;

(iv) Reasonable fees and charges for professional services necessary for the planning and development of the Project;

(v) Establishment of a revolving loan fund to provide financial assistance to third parties through a loan; and

(vi) Establishment, expansion, and operation of Rural distance learning networks or development of Rural learning programs that provide educational instruction or job training instruction related to potential employment or job advancements for adult students;

(vii) Provision of Technical Assistance for Small and Emerging Businesses, including but not limited to feasibility studies and business plans; and/or

(viii) Provision of Technical Assistance and training to rural communities for the purpose of improving passenger transportation services or facilities.

(b) Result of projects. (1) For business opportunity type grants, the Project must have a reasonable prospect that the Project will result in the Economic Development of a Rural Area.

(2) For business enterprise type grants, the Project must have a reasonable prospect that it will result in the development or financing of Small and Emerging Businesses.

(c) Basis for success or failure. Grants may be made only when the application demonstrates a need for the Project and includes a basis for determining the success or failure of the Project and individual major elements of the Project and outlines procedures that will be taken to assess the Project's impact at its conclusion.

(d) Local and area-wide strategic plans. Business opportunity type grants may be made only when the proposed Project is consistent with any local and area-wide strategic plans for community and Economic Development, coordinated with other Economic Development activities in the Project area, and consistent with any Rural Development State Strategic Plan.

§§ 4280.418-4280.420 [Reserved] Funding Provisions
§ 4280.421 Term requirement.

A grant may be considered for the amount needed to assist with the completion of a proposed Project, provided that the Project can reasonably be expected to be completed within 1 full year after it has begun.

§ 4280.422 Joint funding.

To the extent permitted by law, Agency grant funds may be used jointly and in proportion with funds furnished by the grantee or from other sources including Agency loan funds.

§ 4280.423 Ineligible uses of grant funds.

Grant funds may not be used towards any of the uses identified in paragraphs (a) through (n) of this section.

(a) Duplicate current services or substitute support previously provided. If the current service is inadequate, however, grant funds may be used to expand the level of effort or services beyond what is currently being provided.

(b) Pay costs of preparing the application package for funding under this program or any other program.

(c) Pay costs for any expenses incurred prior to receipt of a full application, except for those permitted under Departmental Regulations.

(d) Fund political activities.

(e) Pay for assistance to any private business enterprise which does not create and/or support jobs in the United States.

(f) Pay any judgment or debt owed to the United States.

(g) Fund Agriculture Production either directly or through horizontally integrated livestock operations except for commercial nurseries, timber operations or limited Agricultural Production related to Technical Assistance Projects. The following are not considered Agriculture Production:

(1) Aquaculture, including conservation, development, and utilization of water for aquaculture;

(2) Commercial fishing;

(3) Commercial nurseries engaged in the production of ornamental plants and trees and other nursery products such as bulbs, flowers, shrubbery, flower and vegetable seeds, sod, and the growing of plants from seed to the transplant stage;

(4) Forestry, which includes businesses primarily engaged in the operation of timber tracts, tree farms, and forest nurseries and related activities such as reforestation; or

(5) The growing of mushrooms or hydroponics.

(h) To finance comprehensive area-wide type Planning. This does not preclude the use of grant funds for Planning for a given Project.

(i) To make loans when the rates, terms, and charges for those loans are not reasonable or would be for purposes not eligible under 7 CFR part 4274, subpart D.

(j) For programs operated by cable television systems.

(k) To fund a part of a Project that is dependent on other funding unless there is a firm commitment of the other funding to ensure completion of the Project.

(l) To pay for Technical Assistance that duplicates assistance provided to implement an action plan funded by the Forest Service (FS) under the National Forest-Dependent Rural Communities Economic Diversification Act for 5 continuous years from the date of grant approval by the FS. To avoid duplicate assistance, the grantee shall coordinate with FS and the Agency to ascertain if a grant has been made in a substantially similar geographical or defined local area in a State for Technical Assistance under the FS program. The grantee will provide documentation to FS and the Agency regarding the contact with each agency.

(m) Pass through grants. Pass through grants are for, but not limited to:

(1) The purchase, refurbishing, or remodeling of real estate for use as a business incubator without charging a fair market rental;

(2) The purchase of equipment for use by an ultimate recipient without charging a fair market rental; and

(3) The making of a Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) loan without taking appropriate security to reasonably assure repayment of the loan.

(n) For a Project that would result in the transfer of existing employment or business activity more than 25 miles from its existing location.

§§ 4280.424-4280.426 [Reserved] Applying for a Grant
§ 4280.427 Application.

Applications for an RBDG grant as specified in § 4280.417(a)(1) and (2) must contain the following:

(a) An original and one copy of SF 424, “Application For Federal Assistance (For Non-construction);”

(b) Copies of applicant's organizational documents showing the applicant's legal existence and authority to perform the activities under the grant;

(c) A proposed scope of work, including a description of the proposed Project, e.g., RLF, Technical Assistance, Industrial Site, Business Opportunity and Other Business Development, details of the proposed activities to be accomplished and timeframes for completion of each task, the number of months duration of the Project, and the estimated time it will take from grant approval to beginning of Project implementation;

(d) A written narrative that includes, at a minimum, the following items:

(1) An explanation of why the Project is needed, the benefits of the proposed Project, and how the Project meets the grant eligible purposes;

(2) Area to be served, identifying each governmental unit, i.e. town, county, etc., to be affected by the Project;

(3) Description of how the Project will coordinate Economic Development activities with other Economic Development activities within the Project area;

(4) Business to be assisted, if appropriate, and Economic Development to be accomplished;

(5) An explanation of how the proposed Project will result in newly created, increased, or supported jobs in the area and the number of projected new and supported jobs within the next 3 years;

(6) A description of the applicant's demonstrated capability and experience in providing the proposed Project assistance or similar Economic Development activities, including experience of key staff members and persons who will be providing the proposed Project activities and managing the Project;

(7) The method and rationale used to select the areas and businesses that will receive the service;

(8) A brief description of how the work will be performed including whether organizational staff or consultants or contractors will be used; and

(9) Other information the Agency may request to assist it in making a grant award determination;

(e) The latest 3 years of financial information to show the applicant's financial capacity to carry out the proposed work. If the applicant is less than 3 years old, at a minimum, the information should include all balance sheet(s), income statement(s) and cash flow statement(s). A current audited report is required if available;

(f) Intergovernmental review comments from the State Single Point of Contact, or evidence that the State has elected not to review the program under Executive Order 12372;

(g) Documentation regarding the availability and amount of other funds to be used in conjunction with the funds from the RBDG;

(h) A budget which includes salaries, fringe benefits, consultant costs, indirect costs, and other appropriate direct costs for the Project; and

(i) RBDG construction Project grants must conform with 7 CFR part 1924, subpart A requirements.

§§ 4280.428-4280.429 [Reserved]
§ 4280.430 Notification of decision.

When the Agency has determined that an application is not eligible or that no further action will be taken, the Agency will notify the applicant in writing of the reasons why the application was not favorably considered and provide any appeal rights.

§§ 4280.431-4280.433 [Reserved] Processing and Scoring Applications
§ 4280.434 General processing and scoring provisions.

The Agency will review each application for assistance in accordance with the priorities established in § 4280.435. The Agency will assign each application a priority rating and will select applications for funding based on the priority ratings and the total funds available to the program.

(a) Applications. The Agency will score each application based on the information contained in the application and its supporting information. All applications submitted for funding must contain sufficient information to permit the Agency to complete a thorough priority rating.

(b) Unfunded applications. The Agency will notify eligible applicants if funds are not available. If an applicant wishes to have their application maintained in an active file for future consideration, the applicant must revise and update their application in writing for the Agency to reconsider in a future funding cycle.

§ 4280.435 Scoring criteria.

The Agency will use the criteria in this section to score applications for purposes identified under § 4280.417(a)(1)and (2).

(a) Leveraging. If the grant will fund a critical element of a larger program of Economic Development, without which the overall program either could not proceed or would be far less effective, or if the program to be assisted by the grant will also be partially funded from other sources, points will be awarded as follows. If points are awarded for leveraging, funds must be spent proportionally, and if leveraged funds are not utilized proportionately with the grant, the Agency reserves the right to take any legal action, including terminating the grant.

(1) If Rural Development's portion of Project funding is:

(i) Less than 20 percent—30 points;

(ii) 20 but less than 50 percent—20 points;

(iii) 50 but less than 75 percent—10 points; or

(iv) 75 percent or more—0 points.

(2) [Reserved]

(b) Points will be awarded for each of the following criteria met by the community or communities that will receive the benefit of the grant. However, regardless of the mathematical total of points indicated by paragraphs (b)(1) through (4) of this section, total points awarded under this paragraph (b) must not exceed 40.

(1) Trauma. Experiencing trauma due to a major natural disaster that occurred not more than 3 years prior to the filing of the application for assistance—15 points;

(2) Economic distress. The community has suffered a loss of 20 percent or more in their total jobs caused by the closure of a military facility or other employers within the last 3 years—15 points;

(3) Long-term poverty. Has experienced Long-Term poverty as demonstrated by being a former Rural empowerment zone, Rural economic area partnership zone, Rural enterprise community, champion community, or a persistent poverty county as determined by USDA's Economic Research Serviced—10 points;

(4) Population decline. Has experienced Long-Term population decline—10 points as demonstrated by the latest three decennial censuses.

(c) Population. Proposed Project(s) will be located in a community of:

(1) Under 5,000 population—15 points;

(2) Between 5,000 and less than 15,000 population—10 points; or

(3) Between 15,000 and 25,000 population—5 points.

(d) Unemployment. Proposed Project(s) will be located in areas where the unemployment rate:

(1) exceeds the State rate by 25 percent or more—20 points;

(2) exceeds the State rate by less than 25 percent—10 points; or

(3) is equal to or less than the State rate—0 points.

(e) Median household income. Proposed Project(s) will be located in areas where Median Household Income (MHI) as prescribed by section 673(2) of the Community Services Block Grant Act for a family of 4 for the State is:

(1) Less than poverty line—25 points;

(2) More than poverty line but less than 65 percent of State MHI—15 points;

(3) Between 65 and 85 percent of State MHI—10 points; or

(4) Greater than 85 percent State MHI—0 points.

(f) Experience. Applicant has evidence of successful experience in the type of activity. Evidence of successful experience may be a description of experience supplied and certified by the applicant based upon its current employees' resumes:

(1) 10 or more years-30 points;

(2) At least 5 but less than 10 years-20 points;

(3) At least 3 but less than 5 years-10 points; or

(4) At least 1 but less than 3 years-5 points.

(g) Small business start-up or expansion. Applicant has evidence that small business development will be supported by startup or expansion as a result of the activities to be carried out under the grant. Written evidence of commitment by a small, or a Small and Emerging Business must be provided to the Agency, and should include the number of jobs that will be supported and created. 5 points for each letter up to 25 points.

(h) Jobs created or supported. The anticipated development, expansion, or furtherance of business enterprises as a result of the proposed Project will create and/or support existing jobs associated with the affected businesses. The number of jobs must be evidenced by a written commitment from the business to be assisted.

(1) One job for less than $5,000—25 points;

(2) one job for $5,000 but less than $10,000—20 points;

(3) one job for $10,000 but less than $15,000—15 points;

(4) one job for $15,000 but less than $20,000—10 points; or

(5) one job for $20,000 but less than $25,000—5 points.

(i) Size of grant request. Grant Projects utilizing funds available under this subpart of:

(1) less than $100,000—25 points;

(2) $100,000 to $200,000—15 points; or

(3) more than $200,000 but not more than $500,000—10 points.

(j) Indirect cost. Applicant is not requesting grant funds to cover their administrative or indirect costs-5 points.

(k) Discretionary points. Either the State Director or Administrator may assign up to 50 discretionary points to an application. Assignment of discretionary points must include a written justification. Permissible justifications are geographic distribution of funds, special Secretary of Agriculture initiatives such as Priority Communities, or a state's strategic goals. Discretionary points may only be assigned to initial grants. However, in the case where two Projects have the same score, the State Director may add one point to the Project that best fits the State's strategic plan regardless of whether the Project is an initial or subsequent grant.

§§ 4280.436-4280.438 [Reserved] Grant Awards and Agreement
§ 4280.439 Grant awards and agreements.

The Agency will award and administer RBDG grants in accordance with applicable Departmental regulations, this subpart, and the unauthorized grant provisions of 7 CFR part 1951, subpart O.

(a) Letter of conditions. The Agency will provide each approved applicant a letter of conditions, which sets out the conditions under which the grant will be made, including, but not limited to, an Agency grant agreement.

(b) Applicant's intent to meet conditions. The applicant must complete, sign and return a “Letter of Intent to Meet Conditions,” to the Agency. If applicant identifies certain conditions that the applicant cannot meet, the applicant may propose alternate conditions to the Agency. The Agency must concur with any changes proposed by the letter of conditions by the applicant before the any grant will be made.

§§ 4280.440-4280.442 [Reserved] Post Award Activities and Requirements
§ 4280.443 Grant monitoring and servicing.

RBDG grants will be monitored and serviced in accordance with the grant agreement, this subpart, and 2 CFR chapter IV.

§§ 4280.444-4280.447 [Reserved]
§ 4280.448 Transfers and assumptions.

The Agency will approve transfer and assumption requests on grants awarded under this subpart on a case by case basis, and then only to eligible entities under § 4280.416.

§§ 4280.449-4280.499 [Reserved]
§ 4280.500 OMB control number.

The reporting and recordkeeping requirements contained in this regulation have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the provisions of 44 U.S.C. chapter 35 and have been assigned OMB control numbers 0570-0022 and 0570-0024 in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. You are not required to respond to this collection of information unless it displays a valid OMB control number.

PART 4284—GRANTS 7. The authority citation for part 4284 continues to read as follows: Authority:

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

Subpart F also issued under 7 U.S.C 1932(e).

Subpart G also issued under 7 U.S.C 1926(a)(11).

Subpart J also issued under 7 U.S.C 1621 note.

Subpart K also issued under 7 U.S.C. 1621 note.

Subpart G—[Removed and Reserved] 8. Subpart G, consisting of §§ 4284.601 through 4284.700, is removed and reserved.
Dated: March 6, 2015. Lisa Mensah, Under Secretary, Rural Development. Dated: March 3, 2015. Michael Scuse, Under Secretary, Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services.
[FR Doc. 2015-06489 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-XY-P
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Parts 944, 980, and 999 [Doc. No. AMS-FV-14-0093; FV15-944/980/999-1 IR] Fruit, Vegetable, and Specialty Crops—Import Regulations; Changes to Reporting Requirements To Add Electronic Form Filing Option AGENCY:

Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Interim rule with request for comments.

SUMMARY:

This rule changes the reporting requirements for commodities exempt from import regulations under section 608(e) (hereinafter referred to as “8e”) of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 by adding an option to electronically file an “Importer's Exempt Commodity Form” (FV-6 form). These changes are needed to bring the import regulations into conformance with the current practice of filing FV-6 forms electronically using the Marketing Order Online System (MOLS), an internet-based application that was implemented in 2008. This rule also changes the import regulations for dates and raisins by moving the FV-6 form-filing procedures for these two commodities to the safeguard procedure regulations for specialty crops and by making other administrative updates. These changes to the import regulations are also required to support the International Trade Data System (ITDS), a key White House economic initiative that will automate the filing of import and export information by the trade. All government agencies that are participating in the ITDS initiative, including AMS, are required by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (hereinafter referred to as “CBP”) to make updates to import and export regulations to provide for the electronic entry of shipment data.

DATES:

Effective March 30, 2015; comments received by May 26, 2015 will be considered prior to issuance of a final rule.

ADDRESSES:

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Richard Lower, Senior Marketing Specialist, or Candice Spalding, Deputy Director, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, AMS, USDA; Telephone: (202) 720-2491, Fax: (202) 720-8938, or Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This rule is issued under section 8e of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674), hereinafter referred to as the “Act.” Section 8e provides that whenever certain commodities are regulated under Federal marketing orders, imports of those commodities into the United States are prohibited unless they meet the same or comparable grade, size, quality, and/or maturity requirements as those in effect for the domestically produced commodities. The Act also authorizes USDA to perform inspections on those imported commodities and certify whether these requirements have been met.

Parts 944, 980, and 999 of title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) specify which imported commodities may be exempt from grade, size, quality, and/or maturity requirements when imported for specific purposes, such as processing, donation to charitable organizations, or livestock feed. These parts further specify the form importers must use to report to USDA and CBP imports of commodities exempt from 8e regulations.

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

This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. This rule is not intended to have retroactive effect.

There are no administrative procedures that must be exhausted prior to any judicial challenge to the provisions of import regulations issued under section 8e of the Act.

This rule changes §§ 944.350, 980.501, and 999.500 of the import regulations, which specify safeguard procedures for fruits, vegetables, and specialty crops, respectively, that are exempt from 8e regulations. Currently, safeguard procedures exist for the following commodities: Avocados, grapefruit, kiwifruit, fresh prunes (suspended indefinitely in 2006), olives, oranges, table grapes, Irish potatoes, onions, tomatoes, dates, walnuts, raisins, and pistachios.

The safeguard procedures require that importers and receivers certify to AMS by filing an FV-6 form that an imported commodity is sent to and used in an exempt outlet as authorized by the regulations and as declared on the FV-6 form. Examples of authorized exempt uses include processing, livestock feed, seed, and distribution to charitable organizations or relief agencies. Prior to this change, the safeguard procedures specified requirements for filing a paper copy of an FV-6 form for an imported shipment intended for an exempted purpose, with an “online” submission option also provided for in § 999.500. These sections will now provide options to submit an FV-6 form either electronically or on paper.

In addition, the three import safeguard sections have been updated to reflect that the definition of an importer includes a customs broker, when that broker is acting as an importer's representative, and to clarify that both an importer and a receiver must certify an FV-6 form. Changes have also been made to update contact information (for example, agency name, email address, etc.).

This rule also changes §§ 999.1 and 999.300, the date and raisin import regulations, respectively, by moving the procedures for filing FV-6 forms for dates or raisins that are exempt from 8e regulations from those sections to the specialty crops safeguard procedures section (§ 999.500). This change makes the safeguard regulations consistent for walnuts, dates, pistachios, and raisins that are exempt from 8e regulations. This rule also makes minor administrative updates and corrections to §§ 999.1 and 999.300 (for example, updating division names and correcting typographical errors).

Importer's Exempt Commodity Form (FV-6)

The import regulations in parts 944, 980, and 999 provide that individual lots of some imported commodities may be exempted from 8e requirements if those commodities are intended to be used in processing or in some other exempted outlet, such as a charitable organization or as livestock feed. To import exempt commodities into the United States, importers and receivers are required to certify to USDA and CBP as to the intended, authorized exempt use of those commodities. Certification is reported by both importers and receivers using an FV-6 form (“Importer's Exempt Commodity Form”).

Submission of FV-6 Form

Prior to 2008, an FV-6 form was only available in a paper format. The paper FV-6 form is a four-part form that is used as follows: One part is presented to CBP by the importer; one part accompanies the import shipment to its destination, where the receiver of the shipment certifies its receipt and submits that certified copy to AMS' Marketing Order and Agreement Division (MOAD) for compliance purposes; one part is submitted to MOAD by the importer; and one part is retained by the importer.

To streamline and automate the FV-6 filing process, in August 2008, AMS launched its Marketing Order Online System (MOLS), an internet-based application, which continues to be used today. Using MOLS, importers and receivers complete an electronic registration process that allows them to utilize the system for the completion and certification of FV-6 forms.

After registering in MOLS, and prior to importing a commodity for an exempt purpose, an importer electronically completes an FV-6 form in MOLS, certifying that the commodity will be used in the declared exempt outlet. After inputting the required FV-6 form data in MOLS, an importer is able to print a certificate for the exempt commodity that accompanies that shipment into the United States. Each certificate has a unique identification number.

The FV-6 form data input into MOLS by an importer is accessible to the receiver of the imported commodity as well as to AMS. The receiver must certify in MOLS that he or she received the imported commodity and that it was or will be used for the declared exempt purpose; this certification must be completed within two days of receipt of the exempt commodity.

MOAD uses MOLS to monitor industry compliance with 8e regulations. Using MOLS and other data available from CBP, MOAD is able to identify shipments that require the submission of FV-6 forms as well as FV-6 forms that have been initiated but not yet completed.

The majority of all FV-6 forms are filed electronically using MOLS. However, MOAD continues to maintain a supply of paper FV-6 forms for use in those rare instances where an importer or receiver is unable to use MOLS. In those cases, MOAD tracks the distribution of the paper forms by maintaining a log of the form numbers and the contact information of the importers to whom the paper forms were provided.

When MOLS was implemented in 2008, the regulations for imported fruit, vegetable, and specialty crops were not updated to provide for the option to enter an FV-6 form electronically, in addition to the paper form option. However, in 2012, the specialty crop safeguard regulations (§ 999.500) were amended to include an “online” option for the submission of FV-6 forms to MOAD. This “online” submission change was made in a final rule that was published in the Federal Register on August 27, 2012, (77 FR 51686).

This rule updates all of the safeguard procedures in the fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop import regulations to add the option to file an FV-6 form electronically (for consistency among the three safeguard procedures, the term “online” in § 999.500 is changed to “electronically”). Other changes to the safeguard procedures include the following clarifications and updates: (1) A customs broker, acting as a representative for an importer, is considered an “importer”; (2) both an importer and a receiver must certify an FV-6 form; (3) paper versus electronic FV-6 form requirements (for example, an importer and receiver must certify a paper FV-6 form using a handwritten signature, whereas certification is automated when the form is submitted electronically); and (4) updates to MOAD and CBP contact information. These changes do not add new requirements to the regulations but are intended to provide clarity and up-to-date information.

Date and Raisin Regulation Changes

On January 16, 2009, a final rule was published in the Federal Register (74 FR 2806) that changed, among other things, the import regulations for dates and raisins (§§ 999.1 and 999.300, respectively) by replacing four commodity-specific import exemption forms with the FV-6 form; specifically, the FV-6 form replaced Date Forms No. 1 and 2 and Raisin Form Nos. 1 and 2. In that 2009 action, the form names were changed in the regulations; however, the submission requirements that were associated with the former date- and raisin-specific forms were not updated accordingly. As a result, the date and raisin regulations have continued to require that a certified FV-6 form be submitted to MOAD by the fifth day of the month in the month following receipt of the exempt dates or raisins by the receiver. This submission requirement is associated with the forms that were replaced in 2009 and is not applicable to an FV-6 form. Therefore, the old submission deadline has been removed by this action.

In addition to removing the obsolete exempt form submission deadline requirement, the requirements for filing an FV-6 form for a shipment of dates or raisins exempted from 8e regulations have been moved from §§ 999.1 and 999.300, respectively, to the safeguard procedures section for specialty crops (§ 999.500). The import regulations for dates and raisins still reference the types of dates and raisins that are exempted from 8e requirements provided that those dates and raisins follow the safeguard procedures contained in § 999.500.

Prior to this change, § 999.500 contained safeguard procedures for filing an FV-6 form for walnuts, certain types of dates, and pistachios, while the requirements for certain other types of dates and for raisins were contained in the import regulations for those two import commodities. Incorporating the safeguard procedures for dates and raisins into the specialty crop safeguard procedures streamlines and standardizes the specialty crop regulations.

Finally, the date and raisin import regulations are further changed to include miscellaneous updates, such as updating agency names, deleting outdated references to terms no longer applicable to the regulations, and correcting typographical errors. These changes are administrative in nature and do not impose any new requirements on importers or receivers.

International Trade Data System (ITDS)

Changing the 8e regulations to provide for the electronic filing of an FV-6 form supports the International Trade Data System (ITDS), a key White House economic initiative that has been under development for over ten years and is mandated for completion by December 31, 2016 (pursuant to Executive Order 13659, Streamlining the Export/Import Process for America's Businesses, signed by President Obama on February 19, 2014). Under ITDS, the import and export trade will file shipment data through an electronic “single window,” instead of completing multiple paper-based forms to report the same information to different government agencies. ITDS will greatly reduce the burden on America's import and export trade while still providing information necessary for the United States to ensure compliance with its laws.

By the end of 2016, the ITDS “single window” will be presented to the import and export trade through CBP's Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) platform. ACE will be the primary system through which the global trade community will file information about imports and exports so that admissibility into the U.S. may be determined and government agencies may monitor compliance.

Prior to the implementation of the ITDS “single window,” CBP is requiring that the 47 partnering government agencies that are participating in the ITDS project, including AMS, ensure that agency regulations provide for the electronic entry of import and/or export information.

MOAD is currently developing a new automated system called the Compliance and Enforcement Management System (CEMS) that will interface with CBP's ACE system in support of ITDS. CEMS will electronically link with the ACE system to create a “pipeline” through which data will be transmitted between MOAD and CBP. CEMS will contain several components, including an exempt imported commodities module that will replace MOLS. Until CEMS is implemented, MOLS will continue to allow for the electronic entry and certification of FV-6 form data.

The revised reporting requirements for imported commodities that are exempt from 8e regulations will bring the fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop import regulations into conformance with the current standard industry practice of filing FV-6 forms electronically using MOLS. This change will also meet CBP's requirements for ITDS/ACE by adding the existing electronic filing option for FV-6 forms to the safeguard procedures in the import regulations.

Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

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

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

Small agricultural service firms, which include importers and receivers of commodities exempt from import regulations, are defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as those having annual receipts of less than $7,000,000 (13 CFR 121.201). USDA estimates that there are approximately 220 importers and receivers of commodities that are exempt from 8e requirements. Although USDA does not have access to data about the business sizes of these importers and receivers, it is likely that the majority may be classified as small entities.

This action adds to the import regulations the existing option of electronically reporting on shipments of imported fruits, vegetables, and specialty crops that are exempt from 8e regulations. Importers and receivers of exempt commodities have been filing FV-6 forms electronically for several years, since the implementation of MOLS in 2008. There are an estimated 100 importers and 92 receivers of commodities exempt from 8e requirements who report exempt shipment information electronically using MOLS. During the two-year period 2013-2014, USDA information shows that 637,818,253 pounds of exempt commodities were electronically reported on 12,832 FV-6 forms. The table below provides a breakdown of this information by commodity:

Commodities Reported Electronically as Exempt From Import Regulations—2013-2014 Commodity Pounds Electronic
  • FV-6 Forms
  • Avocados 757,939 33 Dates 1,029,855 37 Grapefruit 511,965 14 Kiwifruit 360 1 Olives 79,858 3 Onions 17,959,787 418 Oranges 46,441,261 1,138 Potatoes 570,971,367 11,172 Tomatoes 65,861 16 Total 637,818,253 12,832

    In comparison, USDA received only 365 paper FV-6 forms from importers and receivers for all exempted commodities in 2013-2014. As mentioned earlier, the majority of FV-6 forms are filed electronically.

    This change to the import regulations does not revise the procedures currently used by importers and receivers to report shipments that are exempt from 8e regulations. Most importers and receivers already file FV-6 forms electronically using MOLS and will continue to do so. In the future, importers and receivers will report these exempt shipments electronically through CBP's ACE system or MOAD's CEMS system, which is currently under development and will eventually replace MOLS. This action imposes no additional cost or burden on importers and receivers of any size.

    The current process of electronically filing FV-6 forms streamlines business operations, both for filers of the forms as well as for USDA, which uses the electronic form data to monitor compliance with 8e regulations. Changing the regulations to include the current standard industry practice of filing FV-6 forms electronically also meets CBP's requirement to ensure that the regulations of those government agencies participating in the ITDS project provide for an electronic data collection. The electronic filing option for FV-6 forms has existed for many years, and this change aligns the regulations with that longstanding industry practice.

    Regarding alternatives to this action, AMS considered making no changes to the import regulations. However, AMS determined that the regulations should contain complete and accurate information about the electronic option that is already available to importers and receivers to file FV-6 forms. AMS also determined that moving the safeguard procedures for dates and raisins exempted from 8e regulations to the specialty crop safeguard section will standardize the regulations, which will benefit importers and receivers who use these regulations. Finally, CBP is requiring all government agencies who are partnering with CBP on the ITDS project (including AMS) to update their regulations to provide for the electronic entry of import and export shipment data. Therefore, the alternative to not update the regulations alternative was rejected.

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), the information collection requirements for the FV-6 form and imported commodities exempt from 8e regulations were previously approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and assigned OMB No. 0581-0167 (Specific Commodities Imported into the United States Exempt From Import Regulations), effective August 19, 2014. Administrative modifications to the FV-6 form and the shift of exemption authority for dates and raisins from §§ 999.1 and 999.300, respectively, to § 999.500, as necessitated by this rulemaking action, have been submitted to OMB for approval. Because importers and receivers of dates and raisins exempt from import regulations will continue to file FV-6 forms, the burden hours associated with OMB No. 0581-0167 remain unchanged at 17,734 hours. Should additional changes become necessary, they would be submitted to OMB for approval.

    This rule will not impose any additional reporting or recordkeeping requirements on either small or large importers or receivers of commodities exempt from 8e regulations. As with all import regulations, reports and forms are periodically reviewed to reduce information requirements and duplication by industry and public sector agencies.

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

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

    Further, importers and receivers of commodities exempt from 8e regulations have been using MOLS for more than six years to electronically complete and certify FV-6 forms. The import trade is also fully aware of the ITDS initiative, which is designed to eliminate paper-based manual processes and replace those processes with electronic entry methods such as the one used to electronically file FV-6 forms.

    Finally, interested persons are invited to submit comments on this interim rule, including the regulatory and informational impacts of this action on small businesses.

    This rule invites comments on a change that aligns the fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop import regulations with the standard practice of allowing importers and receivers of exempt commodities the option to submit FV-6 forms electronically. Any comments received will be considered prior to finalization of this rule.

    After consideration of all relevant material presented, it is found that this interim rule, as hereinafter set forth, will tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act.

    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553, it is also found and determined upon good cause that it is impracticable, unnecessary, and contrary to the public interest to give preliminary notice prior to putting this rule into effect and that good cause exists for not postponing the effective date of this rule until 30 days after publication in the Federal Register because: (1) This rule does not impose any new requirements on importers or receivers of imported commodities; (2) this rule clarifies, updates, and standardizes exempt commodity form-filing requirements and related information, which should benefit importers and receivers; (3) the import industry is well aware of the ITDS initiative and its goal to streamline and automate paper-based processes; (4) CPB is requiring timely update of import and export regulations to meet the ITDS electronic entry requirement; and (5) this rule provides a 60-day comment period, and any comments received will be considered prior to finalization of this rule.

    List of Subjects 7 CFR Part 944

    Avocados, Food grades and standards, Grapefruit, Grapes, Imports, Kiwifruit, Limes, Olives, Oranges.

    7 CFR Part 980

    Food grades and standards, Imports, Marketing agreements, Onions, Potatoes, Tomatoes.

    7 CFR Part 999

    Dates, Filberts, Food grades and standards, Imports, Nuts, Prunes, Raisins, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Walnuts.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR parts 944, 980, and 999 are amended as follows:

    1. The authority citation for 7 CFR parts 944 and 980 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 601-674.

    PART 944—FRUITS; IMPORT REGULATIONS 2. Revise § 944.350 to read as follows:
    § 944.350 Safeguard procedures for avocados, grapefruit, kiwifruit, olives, oranges, prune variety plums (fresh prunes), and table grapes, exempt from grade, size, quality, and maturity requirements.

    (a) Each person who imports or receives any of the commodities listed in paragraphs (a)(1) through (5) of this section shall file (electronically or paper) an “Importer's Exempt Commodity Form” (FV-6) with the Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, AMS, USDA. A “person who imports” may include a customs broker, acting as an importer's representative (hereinafter referred to as “importer”). A copy of the completed form (electronic or paper) shall be provided to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. If a paper form is used, a copy of the form shall accompany the lot to the exempt outlet specified on the form. Any lot of any commodity offered for inspection and, all or a portion thereof, subsequently imported as exempt under this provision shall also be reported on an FV-6 form. Such form (electronic or paper) shall be provided to the Marketing Order and Agreement Division in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section. The applicable commodities are:

    (1) Avocados, grapefruit, kiwifruit, olives, oranges, and prune variety plums (fresh prunes) for consumption by charitable institutions or distribution by relief agencies;

    (2) Avocados, grapefruit, kiwifruit, oranges, prune variety plums (fresh prunes), and table grapes for processing;

    (3) Olives for processing into oil;

    (4) Grapefruit for animal feed; or

    (5) Avocados for seed.

    (b) Certification of exempt use. (1) Each importer of an exempt commodity as specified in paragraph (a) of this section shall certify on the FV-6 form (electronic or paper) as to the intended exempt outlet (e.g., processing, charity, livestock feed). If certification is made using a paper FV-6 form, the importer shall provide a handwritten signature on the form.

    (2) Each receiver of an exempt commodity as specified in paragraph (a) of this section shall also receive a copy of the associated FV-6 form (electronic or paper) filed by the importer. Within two days of receipt of the exempt lot, the receiver shall certify on the form (electronic or paper) that such lot has been received and will be utilized in the exempt outlet as certified by the importer. If certification is made using a paper FV-6 form, the receiver shall provide a handwritten signature on the form.

    (c) It is the responsibility of the importer to notify the Marketing Order and Agreement Division of any lot of exempt commodity rejected by a receiver, shipped to an alternative exempt receiver, exported, or otherwise destroyed. In such cases, a second FV-6 form must be filed by the importer, providing sufficient information to determine ultimate disposition of the exempt lot, and such disposition shall be so certified by the final receiver.

    (d) All FV-6 forms and other correspondence regarding entry of exempt commodities must be submitted electronically, by mail, or by fax to the Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; telephone (202) 720-2491; email [email protected]; or fax (202) 720-5698.

    PART 980—VEGETABLES; IMPORT REGULATIONS 3. Revise § 980.501 to read as follows:
    § 980.501 Safeguard procedures for potatoes, onions, and tomatoes exempt from grade, size, quality, and maturity requirements.

    (a) Each person who imports or receives any of the commodities listed in paragraphs (a)(1) through (4) of this section shall file (electronically or paper) an “Importer's Exempt Commodity Form” (FV-6) with the Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, AMS, USDA. A “person who imports” may include a customs broker, acting as an importer's representative (hereinafter referred to as “importer”). A copy of the completed form (electronic or paper) shall be provided to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. If a paper form is used, a copy of the form shall accompany the lot to the exempt outlet specified on the form. Any lot of any commodity offered for inspection and, all or a portion thereof, subsequently imported as exempt under this provision shall also be reported on an FV-6 form. Such form (electronic or paper) shall be provided to the Marketing Order and Agreement Division in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section. The applicable commodities are:

    (1) Potatoes, onions or tomatoes for consumption by charitable institutions or distribution by relief agencies;

    (2) Potatoes, onions, or tomatoes for processing;

    (3) Potatoes or onions for livestock feed; or

    (4) Pearl onions.

    (b) Certification of exempt use. (1) Each importer of an exempt commodity as specified in paragraph (a) of this section shall certify on the FV-6 form (electronic or paper) as to the intended exempt outlet (e.g., processing, charity, livestock feed). If certification is made using a paper FV-6 form, the importer shall provide a handwritten signature on the form.

    (2) Each receiver of an exempt commodity as specified in paragraph (a) of this section shall also receive a copy of the associated FV-6 form (electronic or paper) filed by the importer. Within two days of receipt of the exempt lot, the receiver shall certify on the form (electronic or paper) to the Marketing Order and Agreement Division that such lot has been received and will be utilized in the exempt outlet as certified by the importer. If certification is made using a paper FV-6 form, the receiver shall provide a handwritten signature on the form.

    (c) It is the responsibility of the importer to notify the Marketing Order and Agreement Division of any lot of exempt commodity rejected by a receiver, shipped to an alternative exempt receiver, returned to the country of origin, or otherwise disposed of. In such cases, a second FV-6 form must be filed by the importer, providing sufficient information to determine ultimate disposition of the exempt lot, and such disposition shall be so certified by the final receiver.

    (d) All FV-6 forms and other correspondence regarding entry of exempt commodities must be submitted electronically, by mail, or by fax to the Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; telephone (202) 720-2491; email [email protected]; or fax (202) 720-5698.

    PART 999—SPECIALTY CROPS; IMPORT REGULATIONS 4. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 999 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 601-674.

    5. In § 999.1: a. Remove paragraph (a)(7); b. Redesignate paragraphs (a)(8) through (10) as paragraphs (a)(7) through (9), respectively; c. Revise newly redesignated paragraphs (a)(7) and (9); d. Revise paragraph (c)(2)(vi); e. Revise paragraph (d); f. Revise paragraph (e); g. Remove paragraphs (f) and (g); and h. Redesignate paragraphs (h) through (k) as paragraphs (f) through (i), respectively.

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 999.1 Regulation governing the importation of dates.

    (a) * * *

    (7) USDA inspector means an inspector of the Specialty Crops Inspection Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, or any other duly authorized employee of the USDA.

    (9) Importation means release from custody of United States Customs and Border Protection.

    (c) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (vi) If the lot fails to meet the import requirements, a statement to that effect and the reasons therefor.

    (d) Exemptions. (1) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, any lot of dates for importation which in the aggregate does not exceed 70 pounds and any dates that are so denatured as to render them unfit for human consumption may be imported exempt from the provisions of this section.

    (2) The grade, size, quality, and maturity requirements of this section shall not apply to dates which are donated to needy persons, prisoners, or Native Americans on reservations; dates for processing; or dates prepared or preserved, but all such dates shall be subject to the safeguard provisions contained in § 999.500.

    (3) Dates for packaging or dates in retail packages that fail to meet the grade, size, quality, and maturity requirements of this section may be reclassified as dates for processing for importation, but such dates shall be subject to the safeguard provisions contained in § 999.500.

    (e) Importation. No person may import dates into the United States unless he or she first files with Customs and Border Protection at the port at which the Customs entry is filed, as a condition of each such importation, either an inspection certificate or an executed “Importer's Exempt Commodity Form” (FV-6).

    6. In § 999.300: a. Remove paragraphs (a)(5) and (8); b. Redesignate paragraphs (a)(6) and (a)(7) as paragraphs (a)(5) and (6), respectively; c. Revise newly redesignated paragraphs (a)(5) and (6); d. Revise the last sentence in paragraph (c)(3); and e. Revise paragraph (e)(2).

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 999.300 Regulation governing importation of raisins.

    (a) * * *

    (5) USDA inspector means an inspector of the Specialty Crops Inspection Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, or any other duly authorized employee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    (6) Importation of raisins means the release of raisins from custody of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

    (c) * * *

    (3) * * * To avoid delay in scheduling the inspection the applicant should make advance arrangements with the USDA inspection office.

    (e) * * *

    (2) Any lot of raisins which does not meet the applicable grade and size requirements of paragraph (b) of this section may be imported for use in the production of alcohol, syrup for industrial use, or any lot of raisins which does not meet such requirements with respect to mechanical damage or sugaring may be imported for use in the production of raisin paste, but all such raisins shall be subject to the safeguard provisions contained in § 999.500.

    7. Revise § 999.500 to read as follows:
    § 999.500 Safeguard procedures for walnuts, dates, pistachios, and raisins exempt from grade, size, quality, and maturity requirements.

    (a) Each person who imports or receives any of the commodities listed in paragraphs (a)(1) through (4) of this section shall file (electronically or paper) an “Importer's Exempt Commodity Form” (FV-6) with the Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, AMS, USDA. A “person who imports” may include a customs broker, acting as an importer's representative (hereinafter referred to as “importer”). A copy of the form (electronic or paper) shall be provided to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. If a paper form is used, a copy of the form shall accompany the lot to the exempt outlet specified on the form. Any lot of any commodity offered for inspection or aflatoxin testing and, all or a portion thereof, subsequently imported as exempt under this provision shall also be reported on an FV-6. Such form (electronic or paper) shall be provided to the Marketing Order and Agreement Division in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section. The applicable commodities are:

    (1) Dates which are donated to needy persons, prisoners or Native Americans on reservations; dates for processing; dates prepared or preserved; or dates for packaging or dates in retail packages that fail to meet grade, size, quality, and maturity requirements and are reclassified as dates for processing;

    (2) Walnuts which are: Green walnuts (so immature that they cannot be used for drying and sale as dried walnuts); walnuts used in non-competitive outlets such as use by charitable institutions, relief agencies, governmental agencies for school lunch programs, and diversion to animal feed or oil manufacture;

    (3) Substandard pistachios which are for non-human consumption purposes; or

    (4) Raisins which do not meet grade and size requirements and are used in the production of alcohol, or syrup for industrial use, or which do not meet grade requirements with respect to mechanical damage or sugaring and are used in the production of raisin paste.

    (b) Certification of exempt use. (1) Each importer of an exempt commodity as specified in paragraph (a) of this section shall certify on the FV-6 form (electronic or paper) as to the intended exempt outlet (e.g., processing, charity, livestock feed). If certification is made using a paper FV-6 form, the importer shall provide a handwritten signature on the form.

    (2) Each receiver of an exempt commodity as specified in paragraph (a) of this section shall also receive a copy of the associated FV-6 form (electronic or paper) filed by the importer. Within two days of receipt of the exempt lot, the receiver shall certify on the form (electronic or paper) that such lot has been received and will be utilized in the exempt outlet as certified by the importer. If certification is made using a paper FV-6 form, the receiver shall provide a handwritten signature on the form.

    (c) It is the responsibility of the importer to notify the Marketing Order and Agreement Division of any lot of exempt commodity rejected by a receiver, shipped to an alternative exempt receiver, exported, or otherwise disposed of. In such cases, a second FV-6 form must be filed by the importer, providing sufficient information to determine ultimate disposition of the exempt lot, and such disposition shall be so certified by the final receiver.

    (d) All FV-6 forms and other correspondence regarding entry of exempt commodities must be submitted electronically, by mail, or by fax to the Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; telephone (202) 720-2491; email [email protected]; or fax (202) 720-5698.

    Dated: March 17, 2015. Rex A. Barnes, Associate Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06490 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Part 72 [NRC-2014-0120] RIN 3150-AJ42 List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: Holtec International HI-STORM Underground Maximum Capacity Canister Storage System, Certificate of Compliance No. 1040; Correction AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final rule; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is correcting a final rule that was published in the Federal Register (FR) on March 6, 2015. The final rule amends the NRC's spent fuel storage regulations by adding the Holtec International HI-STORM Underground Maximum Capacity Canister Storage System, Certificate of Compliance No. 1040, to the “List of approved spent fuel storage casks.” This action is necessary to correct the Certificate Expiration Date from March 6, 2035, to April 6, 2035.

    DATES:

    This correction is effective April 6, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2014-0120 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this document using any of the following methods:

    • Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2014-0120. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

    • NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected]

    • NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Gregory R. Trussell, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, telephone: 301-415-6445, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the FR on March 6, 2014, in FR Doc. 2015-05238, on page 12078, second column, under the heading “§ 72.214 List of approved spent fuel storage casks,” eleventh line, the “Certificate Expiration Date” of “March 6, 2035” is corrected to read “April 6, 2035.”

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 18th day of March 2015.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Cindy Bladey, Chief, Rules, Announcements, and Directives Branch, Division of Administrative Services, Office of Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06664 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION 12 CFR Part 600 RIN 3052-AD05 Organization and Functions; Field Office Locations AGENCY:

    Farm Credit Administration.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, we, our or Agency) issues a final rule amending our regulation in order to change the addresses for two field offices as a result of recent office relocations.

    DATES:

    The regulation shall become effective upon the expiration of 30 days after publication in the Federal Register during which either or both Houses of Congress are in session. We will publish notice of the effective date in the Federal Register.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Michael T. Wilson, Policy Analyst, Office of Regulatory Policy, Farm Credit Administration, McLean, VA 22102-5090, (703) 883-4124, TTY (703) 883-4056,

    Or

    Jane Virga, Senior Counsel, Office of General Counsel, Farm Credit Administration, McLean, VA 22102-5090, (703) 883-4071, TTY (703) 883-4056.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Objective

    The objective of this final rule is to reflect the change of address for two FCA field office locations. The Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, requires, in part, that each Federal agency publish in the Federal Register for the guidance of the public a description and the location of its central and field organizations. As two of FCA's field offices recently changed locations, this final rule amends our regulation to include the new addresses, in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.

    II. Certain Finding

    We have determined that the amendment involves Agency management and personnel. Therefore, this amendment does not constitute a rulemaking under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 551, 553(a)(2). Under this statute of the APA, the public may participate in the promulgation of rules that have a substantial impact on the public. This amendment to our regulation relates to Agency management and personnel only and has no direct impact on the public and, therefore, does not require public participation.

    Even if this amendment was a rulemaking under 5 U.S.C. 551, 553(a)(2) of the APA, we have determined that notice and public comment are unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A) and (B) of the APA, an agency may publish regulations in final form when they involve matters of agency organization or where the agency for good cause finds that notice and public comment are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest. As discussed above, this amendment results from recent address changes due to the relocation of two field offices. Because the amendments will provide accurate and current information on field office addresses to the public, it would be contrary to the public interest to delay amending the regulation.

    III. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Pursuant to section 605(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), the FCA hereby certifies that the final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Each of the banks in the Farm Credit System (System), considered together with its affiliated associations, has assets and annual income in excess of the amounts that would qualify them as small entities. Therefore, System institutions are not “small entities” as defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 600

    Organization and functions (Government agencies).

    As stated in the preamble, part 600 of chapter VI, title 12, of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

    PART 600--ORGANIZATION AND FUNCTIONS 1. The authority citation for part 600 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Secs. 5.7, 5.8, 5.9, 5.10, 5.11, 5.17, 8.11 of the Farm Credit Act (12 U.S.C. 2241, 2242, 2243, 2244, 2245, 2252, 2279aa-11).

    2. Amend § 600.2 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:
    § 600.2 Farm Credit Administration.

    (b) Locations. FCA's headquarters address is 1501 Farm Credit Drive, McLean, Virginia 22102-5090. The FCA has the following field offices:

    1501 Farm Credit Drive, McLean, VA 22102-5090 7900 International Drive, Suite 200, Bloomington, MN 55425-2563 500 East John Carpenter Freeway, Suite 400, Irving, TX 75602-3957 3131 South Vaughn Way, Suite 250, Aurora, CO 80014-3507 2180 Harvard Street, Suite 300, Sacramento, CA 95815-3323.
    Date: March 19, 2015. Dale L. Aultman, Secretary, Farm Credit Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06756 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6705-01-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION 17 CFR Part 30 Foreign Futures and Options Transactions AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Order.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Commission or CFTC) is granting an exemption to certain firms designated by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (HKSFC) from the application of certain of the Commission's foreign futures and option regulations based upon substituted compliance with certain comparable regulatory and self-regulatory requirements of a foreign regulatory authority consistent with conditions specified by the Commission, as set forth herein. This Order is issued pursuant to Commission Regulation 30.10, which permits persons to file a petition with the Commission for exemption from the application of certain of the Regulations set forth in Part 30 and authorizes the Commission to grant such an exemption if such action would not be otherwise contrary to the public interest or to the purposes of the provision from which exemption is sought. The Commission notes that the relief granted by this Order is not applicable to any licensed corporation subject to joint oversight by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the HKSFC, or to any registered institution subject to oversight solely by the HKMA. Further, this Order does not pertain to any transaction in swaps, as defined in Section 1a(47) of the Commodity Exchange Act.

    DATES:

    Effective March 25, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Andrew V. Chapin, Associate Director, (202) 418-5465, [email protected], or Scott W. Lee, Special Counsel, (202) 418-5090, [email protected], Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Commission has issued the following Order:

    Order Under CFTC Regulation 30.10 Exempting Certain Firms Designated by Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission From the Application of Certain of the Foreign Futures and Option Regulations as of the Later of the Date of Publication of the Order Herein in the Federal Register or After Filing of Consents by Such Firms and HKSFC, as Appropriate, to the Terms and Conditions of the Order Herein.

    Commission Regulations governing the offer and sale of commodity futures and option contracts traded on or subject to the regulations of a foreign board of trade to customers located in the U.S. are contained in Part 30 of the Commission's regulations.1 These regulations include requirements for intermediaries with respect to registration, disclosure, capital adequacy, protection of customer funds, recordkeeping and reporting, and sales practice and compliance procedures that are generally comparable to those applicable to transactions on U.S. markets.

    1 Commission regulations referred to herein are found at 17 CFR Ch. I (2014).

    In formulating a regulatory program to govern the offer and sale of foreign futures and option products to customers located in the U.S., the Commission, among other things, considered the desirability of ameliorating the potential impact of such a program. Based upon these considerations, the Commission determined to permit persons located outside the U.S. and subject to a comparable regulatory structure in the jurisdiction in which they were located to seek an exemption from certain of the requirements under Part 30 of the Commission's regulations based upon substituted compliance with the regulatory requirements of the foreign jurisdiction.2

    2 “Foreign Futures and Foreign Options Transactions,” 52 FR 28290 (Aug. 5, 1987).

    Appendix A to Part 30, “Interpretative Statement With Respect to the Commission's Exemptive Authority Under § 30.10 of Its Rules” (Appendix A), generally sets forth the elements the Commission will evaluate in determining whether a particular regulatory program may be found to be comparable for purposes of exemptive relief pursuant to Regulation 30.10.3 These elements include: (1) Registration, authorization or other form of licensing, fitness review or qualification of persons that solicit and accept customer orders; (2) minimum financial requirements for those persons who accept customer funds; (3) protection of customer funds from misapplication; (4) recordkeeping and reporting requirements; (5) sales practice standards; (6) procedures to audit for compliance with, and to take action against those persons who violate, the requirements of the program; and (7) information sharing arrangements between the Commission and the appropriate governmental and/or self-regulatory organization (SRO) to ensure Commission access on an “as needed” basis to information essential to maintaining standards of customer and market protection within the U.S.

    3 52 FR 28990, 29001.

    Moreover, the Commission specifically stated in adopting Regulation 30.10 that no exemption of a general nature would be granted unless the persons to whom the exemption is to be applied: (1) Submit to jurisdiction in the U.S. by designating an agent for service of process in the U.S. with respect to transactions subject to Part 30 and filing a copy of the agency agreement with the National Futures Association (NFA); (2) agree to provide access to their books and records in the U.S. to the Commission and Department of Justice representatives; and (3) notify NFA of the commencement of business in the U.S.4

    4 52 FR 28980, 28981, and 29002.

    On September 8, 2012, the HKSFC petitioned the Commission on behalf of its member firms, known as “licensed corporations”, for which it is the sole regulatory body, located and doing business in Hong Kong, for an exemption from the application of the Commission's Part 30 Regulations to those firms. In support of its petition, the HKSFC stated that granting such an exemption with respect to such firms that it has authorized to conduct foreign futures and option transactions on behalf of customers located in the U.S. would not be contrary to the public interest or to the purposes of the provisions from which the exemption is sought because such firms are subject to a regulatory framework comparable to that imposed by the Commodity Exchange Act (Act) and the regulations thereunder.

    Based upon a review of the petition, including supplementary materials filed by the HKSFC, the Commission has concluded that the standards for relief set forth in Regulation 30.10 and, in particular, Appendix A thereof, have been met and that compliance with applicable Hong Kong law and regulations may be substituted for compliance with those sections of the Act and regulations thereunder more particularly set forth herein.

    By this Order, the Commission hereby exempts, subject to specified conditions, those firms identified to the Commission by the HKSFC as eligible for the relief granted herein from:

    • Registration with the Commission for firms and for firm representatives;

    • The requirement in Commission Regulation 30.6(a) and (d), 17 CFR 30.6(a) and (d), that firms provide customers located in the U.S. with the risk disclosure statements in Commission Regulation 1.55(b), 17 CFR 1.55(b), and Commission Regulation 33.7, 17 CFR 33.7, or as otherwise approved under Commission Regulation 1.55(c), 17 CFR 1.55(c);

    • The separate account requirement contained in Commission Regulation 30.7, 17 CFR 30.7;

    • Those sections of Part 1 of the Commission's financial regulations that apply to foreign futures and options sold in the U.S. as set forth in Part 30; and

    • Those sections of Part 1 of the Commission's regulations relating to books and records which apply to transactions subject to Part 30, based upon substituted compliance by such persons with the applicable statutes and regulations in effect in Hong Kong.

    This determination to permit substituted compliance is based on, among other things, the Commission's finding that the regulatory framework governing persons in Hong Kong who would be exempted hereunder provides:

    (1) A system of qualification or authorization of firms who deal in transactions subject to regulation under Part 30 that includes, for example, criteria and procedures for granting, monitoring, suspending and revoking licenses, and provisions for requiring and obtaining access to information about authorized firms and persons who act on behalf of such firms;

    (2) Financial requirements for firms including, without limitation, a requirement for a minimum level of working capital and daily mark-to-market settlement and/or accounting procedures;

    (3) A system for the protection of customer assets that is designed to preclude the use of customer assets to satisfy house obligations and requires separate accounting for such assets;

    (4) Recordkeeping and reporting requirements pertaining to financial and trade information;

    (5) Sales practice standards for authorized firms and persons acting on their behalf that include, for example, required disclosures to prospective customers and prohibitions on improper trading advice;

    (6) Procedures to audit for compliance with, and to redress violations of, the customer protection and sales practice requirements referred to above, including, without limitation, an affirmative surveillance program designed to detect trading activities that take advantage of customers, and the existence of broad powers of investigation relating to sales practice abuses; and

    (7) Mechanisms for sharing of information between the Commission, and the HKSFC on an “as needed” basis including, without limitation, confirmation data, data necessary to trace funds related to trading futures products subject to regulation in Hong Kong, position data, and data on firms' standing to do business and financial condition.

    Commission staff has concluded, upon review of the petition of the HKSFC and accompanying exhibits, that the HKSFC's regulation of financial futures and options intermediaries is comparable to that of the U.S. in the areas specified in Appendix A of Part 30, as described above.

    This Order does not provide an exemption from any provision of the Act or regulations thereunder not specified herein, such as the antifraud provision in Regulation 30.9. Moreover, the relief granted is limited to brokerage activities undertaken by certain licensed corporations on behalf of customers located in the U.S. with respect to transactions on a foreign futures and options exchange located in Hong Kong subject to exclusive regulatory oversight by the HKSFC for products that customers located in the U.S. may trade.5 The relief does not extend to regulations relating to trading, directly or indirectly, on U.S. exchanges, and does not pertain to any transaction in swaps, as defined in Section 1a(47) of the Act. For example, a licensed corporation trading in U.S. markets for its own account would be subject to the Commission's large trader reporting requirements.6 Similarly, if such a licensed corporation were carrying positions on a U.S. exchange on behalf of foreign clients and submitted such transactions for clearing on an omnibus basis through a firm registered as a futures commission merchant under the Act, it would be subject to the reporting requirements applicable to foreign brokers.7 The relief herein is not applicable where the licensed corporation solicits or accepts orders from customers located in the U.S. for transactions on U.S. exchanges. In that case, the firm must comply with all applicable U.S. laws and regulations, including the requirement to register in the appropriate capacity. The Commission further notes that the relief granted by this Order is not applicable to any licensed corporation subject to joint oversight by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the HKSFC.8

    5See, e.g ., Sections 2(a)(1)(C) and (D) of the Act.

    6See, e.g ., 17 CFR part 18 (2014).

    7See, e.g ., 17 CFR parts 17 and 21 (2014).

    8 The HKMA administers the Hong Kong Banking Ordinance and is the government authority in Hong Kong responsible for maintaining monetary and banking stability. Certain financial institutions may be required to become a licensed corporation by virtue of undertaking certain regulated activities subject to HKSFC oversight. Elements of the HKMA's regulatory program did not form the basis, in whole or in part, for this exemptive relief.

    The eligibility of any firm to seek relief under this exemptive Order is subject to the following conditions:

    (1) The regulator or SRO responsible for monitoring the compliance of such firms with the regulatory requirements described in the Regulation 30.10 petition must represent in writing to the Commission that:

    (a) Each firm for which relief is sought is registered, licensed or authorized, as appropriate, and is otherwise in good standing under the standards in place in Hong Kong; such firm is engaged in business with customers located in Hong Kong as well as in the U.S.; and such firm and its principals and employees who engage in activities subject to Part 30 would not be statutorily disqualified from registration under Section 8a(2) of the Act, 7 U.S.C. 12a(2);

    (b) It will monitor firms to which relief is granted for compliance with the regulatory requirements for which substituted compliance is accepted and will promptly notify the Commission or NFA of any change in status of a firm that would affect its continued eligibility for the exemption granted hereunder, including the termination of its activities in the U.S.;

    (c) All transactions with respect to customers located in the U.S. will be made subject to the regulations of the HKSFC and the Commission will receive prompt notice of all material changes to the relevant laws in Hong Kong, any rules promulgated thereunder and HKSFC rules;

    (d) Customers located in the U.S. will be provided no less stringent regulatory protection than Hong Kong customers under all relevant provisions of Hong Kong law; and

    (e) It will cooperate with the Commission with respect to any inquiries concerning any activity subject to regulation under the Part 30 Regulations, including sharing the information specified in Appendix A on an “as needed” basis and will use its best efforts to notify the Commission if it becomes aware of any information that in its judgment affects the financial or operational viability of a member firm doing business in the U.S. under the exemption granted by this Order.

    (2) Each firm seeking relief hereunder must represent in writing that it:

    (a) Is located outside the U.S., its territories and possessions and, where applicable, has subsidiaries or affiliates domiciled in the U.S. with a related business (e.g., banks and broker/dealer affiliates) along with a brief description of each subsidiary's or affiliate's identity and principal business in the U.S.;

    (b) Consents to jurisdiction in the U.S. under the Act by filing a valid and binding appointment of an agent in the U.S. for service of process in accordance with the requirements set forth in Regulation 30.5;

    (c) Agrees to provide access to its books and records related to transactions under Part 30 required to be maintained under the applicable statutes and regulations in effect in Hong Kong upon the request of any representative of the Commission or U.S. Department of Justice at the place in the U.S. designated by such representative, within 72 hours, or such lesser period of time as specified by that representative as may be reasonable under the circumstances after notice of the request;

    (d) Has no principal or employee who solicits or accepts orders from customers located in the U.S. who would be disqualified under Section 8a(2) of the Act, 7 U.S.C. 12a(2), from doing business in the U.S.;

    (e) Consents to participate in any NFA arbitration program that offers a procedure for resolving customer disputes on the papers where such disputes involve representations or activities with respect to transactions under Part 30, and consents to notify customers located in the U.S. of the availability of such a program; provided, however, that the firm may require its customers located in the U.S. to execute a consent concerning the exhaustion of certain mediation or conciliation procedures made available by the HKSFC prior to bringing an NFA arbitration proceeding;

    (f) Undertakes to comply with the applicable provisions of Hong Kong laws and HKSFC rules that form the basis upon which this exemption from certain provisions of the Act and regulations thereunder is granted; and

    (g) Consents to refuse those customers located in the U.S. the option of not segregating funds notwithstanding relevant provisions of Hong Kong law or regulations promulgated by the HKSFC.

    As set forth in the Commission's September 11, 1997 Order delegating to NFA certain responsibilities, the written representations set forth in paragraph (2) shall be filed with NFA.9 Each firm seeking relief hereunder has an ongoing obligation to notify NFA should there be a material change to any of the representations required in the firm's application for relief.

    9 62 FR 47792, 47793 (Sept. 11, 1997). Among other duties, the Commission authorized NFA to receive requests for confirmation of Regulation 30.10 relief on behalf of particular firms, to verify such firms' fitness and compliance with the conditions of the appropriate Regulation 30.10 Order and to grant exemptive relief from registration to qualifying firms.

    This Order will become effective as to any designated HKSFC firm on the later of the date of publication of the Order in the Federal Register or the filing of the consents set forth in paragraphs (2)(a)-(f). Upon filing of the notice required under paragraph (1)(b) as to any such firm, the relief granted by this Order may be suspended immediately as to that firm. That suspension will remain in effect pending further notice by the Commission, or the Commission's designee, to the firm and the HKSFC.

    This Order is issued pursuant to Regulation 30.10 based on the representations made and supporting material provided to the Commission and the recommendation of the staff, and is made effective as to any firm granted relief hereunder based upon the filings and representations of such firms required hereunder. Any material changes or omissions in the facts and circumstances pursuant to which this Order is granted might require the Commission to reconsider its finding that the standards for relief set forth in Regulation 30.10 and, in particular, Appendix A, have been met. Further, if experience demonstrates that the continued effectiveness of this Order in general, or with respect to a particular firm, would be contrary to public policy or the public interest, or that the systems in place for the exchange of information or other circumstances do not warrant continuation of the exemptive relief granted herein, the Commission may condition, modify, suspend, terminate, withhold as to a specific firm, or otherwise restrict the exemptive relief granted in this Order, as appropriate, on its own motion.

    The Commission will continue to monitor the implementation of its program to exempt firms located in jurisdictions generally deemed to have a comparable regulatory program from the application of certain of the foreign futures and option regulations and will make necessary adjustments if appropriate.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on March 19, 2015, by the Commission. Christopher J. Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission. Appendix to Foreign Futures and Options Transactions—Commission Voting Summary

    On this matter, Chairman Massad and Commissioners Wetjen, Bowen, and Giancarlo voted in the affirmative. No Commissioner voted in the negative.

    [FR Doc. 2015-06687 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2015-0158] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; ARCTIC CHALLENGER, Port of Bellingham; Bellingham, WA AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Temporary final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone around the barge ARCTIC CHALLENGER within the waters of the Captain of the Port Zone Puget Sound. This action is necessary to ensure the safety of the maritime public and the crews involved in operational testing of the Arctic Containment System, and will do so by prohibiting all persons and vessels not involved with the operational testing of the Arctic Containment System from entering, transiting, 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 25, 2015 until April 1, 2015. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from the date the rule was signed, March 11, 2015, until March 25, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Documents mentioned in this preamble are part of docket USCG-2015-1058 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 Petty Officer Ryan Griffin, Waterways Management Division, Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound; Coast Guard; telephone (206) 217-6051, 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 impracticable, as such a delay would eliminate the safety zone's effectiveness and usefulness in protecting waterway users, property, and the safe navigation of maritime traffic from the hazards associated with sea trials 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 ARCTIC CHALLENGER is a barge currently located at the Port of Bellingham that has been converted by Superior Energy Services for use in the Arctic drilling operations as a containment system that would respond in the event that a well blowout should occur.

    The ARCTIC CHALLENGER is scheduled to depart the Port of Bellingham to anchor inside the East Vendovi Island Anchorage site located in the Samish Bay. While at anchorage, the ARCTIC CHALLENGER will be conducting several operational tests of the Arctic Containment System. These operational tests are complex and will involve five different vessels in conducting deployment and recovery of containment dome systems and subsea pump operation and testing. 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 operational tests.

    C. Discussion of the Final Rule

    The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone which encompasses all waters within 100 yards of the barge ARCTIC CHALLENGER, located in Samish Bay.

    Vessels not involved with the operational testing of the Arctic Containment System wishing to enter the zone must request permission for entry by contacting the Joint Harbor Operations Center at 206-217-6001, or the on-scene patrol craft via VHF-FM CH 13. 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 limited both 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. Further, vessels wishing to pass through the zone may do so with permission of the Captain of the Port.

    3. Assistance for Small Entities

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

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

    4. Collection of Information

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

    5. Federalism

    A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. We have analyzed this rule under that Order and determined that this rule does not have implications for federalism.

    6. Protest Activities

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

    7. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100,000,000 (adjusted for inflation) or more in any one year. Though this rule will not result in such 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 safety zone around the barge ARCTIC CHALLENGER. The rule will prevent any vessel not involved with operational tests of the Arctic Containment System from approaching within 100 yards of ARCTIC CHALLENGER without 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 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 1231; 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.T13-285 to read as follows:
    § 165.T13-285 Safety Zone; ARCTIC CHALLENGER, Port of Bellingham; Bellingham, WA.

    (a) Location. The following areas are designated as a safety zone: All waters within 100 yards of the vessel ARCTIC CHALLENGER as it conducts operational tests of the Arctic Containment System within the waters of the Captain of the Port Zone Puget Sound.

    (b) Regulations. In accordance with the general regulations in subpart C of this part vessels not involved with the Arctic Containment System operational tests who wish to enter the zone must request permission for entry by contacting the Joint Harbor Operation Center at 206-217-6001 or the on-scene patrol craft on VHF-FM CH13. Once permission for entry is granted vessels must proceed at a minimum speed for safe navigation.

    (c) Dates. This rule is effective March 25, 2015 through April 1, 2015. It is enforceable from 12 a.m. on March 11, 2015 until 12 a.m. on April 1, 2015.

    Dated: March 11, 2015. M. W. Raymond, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port, Puget Sound.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06580 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0677; FRL-9924-33] 2-Propenoic acid, 2-methyl-, 2-methylpropyl ester, homopolymer; Tolerance Exemption AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This regulation establishes an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of 2-propenoic acid, 2-methyl-, 2-methylpropyl ester, homopolymer; when used as an inert ingredient in a pesticide chemical formulation. Evonik Corporation submitted a petition to EPA under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), requesting an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance. This regulation eliminates the need to establish a maximum permissible level for residues of 2-propenoic acid, 2-methyl-, 2-methylpropyl ester, homopolymer on food or feed commodities.

    DATES:

    This regulation is effective March 25, 2015. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before May 26, 2015, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

    ADDRESSES:

    The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0677, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Susan Lewis, Registration Division (7505P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; main telephone number: (703) 305-7090; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me?

    You may be potentially affected by this action if you are an agricultural producer, food manufacturer, or pesticide manufacturer. The following list of North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide to help readers determine whether this document applies to them. Potentially affected entities may include:

    • Crop production (NAICS code 111).

    • Animal production (NAICS code 112).

    • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).

    • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

    B. How can I get electronic access to other related information?

    You may access a frequently updated electronic version of 40 CFR part 180 through the Government Printing Office's e-CFR site at http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?&c=ecfr&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title40/40tab_02.tpl.

    C. Can I file an objection or hearing request?

    Under FFDCA section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0677 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing, and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before May 26, 2015. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

    In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0677, by one of the following methods.

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    Mail: OPP Docket, Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), (28221T), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.

    Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the instructions at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.html. Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    II. Background and Statutory Findings

    In the Federal Register of February 11, 2015 (80 FR 7559) (FRL-9921-94), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408, 21 U.S.C. 346a, announcing the receipt of a pesticide petition (PP IN-10754) filed by Evonik Corporation, 299 Jefferson Rd., Parsippany, NJ 07054. The petition requested that 40 CFR 180.960 be amended by establishing an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of 2-propenoic acid, 2-methyl-, 2-methylpropyl ester, homopolymer; (CAS Reg. No. 9011-15-8). That document included a summary of the petition prepared by the petitioner and solicited comments on the petitioner's request. The Agency did not receive any comments.

    Section 408(c)(2)(A)(i) of FFDCA allows EPA to establish an exemption from the requirement for a tolerance (the legal limit for a pesticide chemical residue in or on a food) only if EPA determines that the exemption is “safe.” Section 408(c)(2)(A)(ii) of FFDCA defines “safe” to mean that “there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue, including all anticipated dietary exposures and all other exposures for which there is reliable information.” This includes exposure through drinking water and use in residential settings, but does not include occupational exposure. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA requires EPA to give special consideration to exposure of infants and children to the pesticide chemical residue in establishing an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance and to “ensure that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to infants and children from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue . . .” and specifies factors EPA is to consider in establishing an exemption.

    III. Risk Assessment and Statutory Findings

    EPA establishes exemptions from the requirement of a tolerance only in those cases where it can be shown that the risks from aggregate exposure to pesticide chemical residues under reasonably foreseeable circumstances will pose no appreciable risks to human health. In order to determine the risks from aggregate exposure to pesticide inert ingredients, the Agency considers the toxicity of the inert in conjunction with possible exposure to residues of the inert ingredient through food, drinking water, and through other exposures that occur as a result of pesticide use in residential settings. If EPA is able to determine that a finite tolerance is not necessary to ensure that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the inert ingredient, an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance may be established.

    Consistent with FFDCA section 408(b)(2)(D), EPA has reviewed the available scientific data and other relevant information in support of this action and considered its validity, completeness and reliability and the relationship of this information to human risk. EPA has also considered available information concerning the variability of the sensitivities of major identifiable subgroups of consumers, including infants and children. In the case of certain chemical substances that are defined as polymers, the Agency has established a set of criteria to identify categories of polymers expected to present minimal or no risk. The definition of a polymer is given in 40 CFR 723.250(b) and the exclusion criteria for identifying these low-risk polymers are described in 40 CFR 723.250(d). 2-propenoic acid, 2-methyl-, 2-methylpropyl ester, homopolymer conforms to the definition of a polymer given in 40 CFR 723.250(b) and meets the following criteria that are used to identify low-risk polymers.

    1. The polymer is not a cationic polymer nor is it reasonably anticipated to become a cationic polymer in a natural aquatic environment.

    2. The polymer does contain as an integral part of its composition the atomic elements carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.

    3. The polymer does not contain as an integral part of its composition, except as impurities, any element other than those listed in 40 CFR 723.250(d)(2)(ii).

    4. The polymer is neither designed nor can it be reasonably anticipated to substantially degrade, decompose, or depolymerize.

    5. The polymer is manufactured or imported from monomers and/or reactants that are already included on the TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory or manufactured under an applicable TSCA section 5 exemption.

    6. The polymer is not a water absorbing polymer with a number average molecular weight (MW) greater than or equal to 10,000 daltons.

    7. The polymer does not contain certain perfluoroalkyl moieties consisting of a CF3- or longer chain length as specified in 40 CFR 723.250(d)(6).

    Additionally, the polymer also meets as required the following exemption criteria specified in 40 CFR 723.250(e).

    8. The polymer's number average MW of 55,000 is greater than or equal to 10,000 daltons. The polymer contains less than 2% oligomeric material below MW 500 and less than 5% oligomeric material below MW 1,000.

    Thus, 2-propenoic acid, 2-methyl-, 2-methylpropyl ester, homopolymer meets the criteria for a polymer to be considered low risk under 40 CFR 723.250. Based on its conformance to the criteria in this unit, no mammalian toxicity is anticipated from dietary, inhalation, or dermal exposure to 2-propenoic acid, 2-methyl-, 2-methylpropyl ester, homopolymer.

    IV. Aggregate Exposures

    For the purposes of assessing potential exposure under this exemption, EPA considered that 2-propenoic acid, 2-methyl-, 2-methylpropyl ester, homopolymer could be present in all raw and processed agricultural commodities and drinking water, and that non-occupational non-dietary exposure was possible. The number average MW of 2-propenoic acid, 2-methyl-, 2-methylpropyl ester, homopolymer is 55,000 daltons. Generally, a polymer of this size would be poorly absorbed through the intact gastrointestinal tract or through intact human skin. Since 2-propenoic acid, 2-methyl-, 2-methylpropyl ester, homopolymer conforms to the criteria that identify a low-risk polymer, there are no concerns for risks associated with any potential exposure scenarios that are reasonably foreseeable. The Agency has determined that a tolerance is not necessary to protect the public health.

    V. Cumulative Effects From Substances With a Common Mechanism of Toxicity

    Section 408(b)(2)(D)(v) of FFDCA requires that, when considering whether to establish, modify, or revoke a tolerance, the Agency consider “available information” concerning the cumulative effects of a particular pesticide's residues and “other substances that have a common mechanism of toxicity.”

    EPA has not found 2-propenoic acid, 2-methyl-, 2-methylpropyl ester, homopolymer to share a common mechanism of toxicity with any other substances, and 2-propenoic acid, 2-methyl-, 2-methylpropyl ester, homopolymer does not appear to produce a toxic metabolite produced by other substances. For the purposes of this tolerance action, therefore, EPA has assumed that 2-propenoic acid, 2-methyl-, 2-methylpropyl ester, homopolymer does not have a common mechanism of toxicity with other substances. For information regarding EPA's efforts to determine which chemicals have a common mechanism of toxicity and to evaluate the cumulative effects of such chemicals, see EPA's Web site at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/cumulative.

    VI. Additional Safety Factor for the Protection of Infants and Children

    Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA provides that EPA shall apply an additional tenfold margin of safety for infants and children in the case of threshold effects to account for prenatal and postnatal toxicity and the completeness of the data base unless EPA concludes that a different margin of safety will be safe for infants and children. Due to the expected low toxicity of 2-propenoic acid, 2-methyl-, 2-methylpropyl ester, homopolymer, EPA has not used a safety factor analysis to assess the risk. For the same reasons the additional tenfold safety factor is unnecessary.

    VII. Determination of Safety

    Based on the conformance to the criteria used to identify a low-risk polymer, EPA concludes that there is a reasonable certainty of no harm to the U.S. population, including infants and children, from aggregate exposure to residues of 2-propenoic acid, 2-methyl-, 2-methylpropyl ester, homopolymer.

    VIII. Other Considerations A. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

    An analytical method is not required for enforcement purposes since the Agency is establishing an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance without any numerical limitation.

    B. International Residue Limits

    In making its tolerance decisions, EPA seeks to harmonize U.S. tolerances with international standards whenever possible, consistent with U.S. food safety standards and agricultural practices. EPA considers the international maximum residue limits (MRLs) established by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), as required by FFDCA section 408(b)(4). The Codex Alimentarius is a joint United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization food standards program, and it is recognized as an international food safety standards-setting organization in trade agreements to which the United States is a party. EPA may establish a tolerance that is different from a Codex MRL; however, FFDCA section 408(b)(4) requires that EPA explain the reasons for departing from the Codex level.

    The Codex has not established a MRL for 2-propenoic acid, 2-methyl-, 2-methylpropyl ester, homopolymer.

    IX. Conclusion

    Accordingly, EPA finds that exempting residues of 2-propenoic acid, 2-methyl-, 2-methylpropyl ester, homopolymer from the requirement of a tolerance will be safe.

    X. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    This action establishes a tolerance under FFDCA section 408(d) in response to a petition submitted to the Agency. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted these types of actions from review under Executive Order 12866, entitled “Regulatory Planning and Review” (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993). Because this action has been exempted from review under Executive Order 12866, this action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, entitled “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) or Executive Order 13045, entitled “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997). This action does not contain any information collections subject to OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), nor does it require any special considerations under Executive Order 12898, entitled “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations” (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

    Since tolerances and exemptions that are established on the basis of a petition under FFDCA section 408(d), such as the tolerance in this final rule, do not require the issuance of a proposed rule, the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), do not apply.

    This action directly regulates growers, food processors, food handlers, and food retailers, not States or tribes, nor does this action alter the relationships or distribution of power and responsibilities established by Congress in the preemption provisions of FFDCA section 408(n)(4). As such, the Agency has determined that this action will not have a substantial direct effect on States or tribal governments, on the relationship between the national government and the States or tribal governments, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government or between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. Thus, the Agency has determined that Executive Order 13132, entitled “Federalism” (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999) and Executive Order 13175, entitled “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000) do not apply to this action. In addition, this action does not impose any enforceable duty or contain any unfunded mandate as described under Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.).

    This action does not involve any technical standards that would require Agency consideration of voluntary consensus standards pursuant to section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (15 U.S.C. 272 note).

    XI. Congressional Review Act

    Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), EPA will submit a report containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, Agricultural commodities, Pesticides and pests, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: March 16, 2015. Susan Lewis, Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

    PART 180—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 180 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    21 U.S.C. 321(q), 346a and 371.

    2. In § 180.960, add alphabetically the following polymer to the table to read as follows:
    §  180.960 Polymers; exemptions from the requirement of a tolerance. Polymer CAS No. *         *         *         *         *         *         * 2-Propenoic acid, 2-methyl-, 2-methylpropyl ester, homopolymer, minimum number average molecular weight (in amu), 55,000 9011-15-8 *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    [FR Doc. 2015-06690 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Parts 1 and 64 [CG Docket No. 02-278; FCC 14-32] Cargo Airlines Association Petition for Expedited Declaratory Ruling AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Exemption.

    SUMMARY:

    In this document, the Commission grants a request to exempt package delivery notifications from the Telephone Consumer Protection Act's (TCPA) restrictions on autodialed and prerecorded calls and messages to wireless telephone numbers, as long as consumers are not charged and may easily opt out of future messages if they wish, among other pro-consumer conditions. Congress gave the Commission the authority to exclude from this prohibition calls and texts that are not charged to the called party, subject to conditions necessary to protect the called party's privacy rights. This action is necessary to allow wireless consumers to receive package delivery notifications that will be welcome both as a convenience and as a way to guard against package theft.

    DATES:

    Effective March 25, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kristi Lemoine, Consumer Policy Division, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, at (202) 418-2467 (voice), or email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's Order, document FCC 14-32, adopted March 27, 2014 and released on March 27, 2014, in CG Docket No. 02-278. An Erratum to document FCC 14-32, was released on May 12, 2014. The full text of these documents and copies of any subsequently filed documents in this matter will be available for public inspection and copying via ECFS, and during regular business hours at the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. Document FCC 14-32 can also be downloaded in Word or Portable Document Format (“PDF”) at http://www.fcc.gov/document/cargo-airline-petition-declaratory-ruling. To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to [email protected] or call the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY).

    Final Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Analysis

    Document FCC 14-32 does not contain new or modified information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, Public Law 104-13. In addition, therefore, it does not contain any new or modified information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4).

    Congressional Review Act

    The Commission will not send a copy of FCC 14-32 pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, see 5 U.S.C 801(a)(1)(A), because the Commission adopted no rules therein. Rather than adopting rules, the Commission exercised its statutory authority to grant an exemption by Order. See 47 U.S.C. 227(b)(2)(C).

    Synopsis

    The Commission grants the Cargo Airline Association's request to exempt, from the TCPA's restrictions, its proposed free-to-end-user package delivery notifications to consumers' wireless phones, subject to certain conditions. The TCPA prohibits making, without the prior express consent of the called party, any non-emergency call using an automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice to, among other recipients, any wireless telephone number. Specifically, the Commission adopts the following conditions applicable to each delivery notification (voice call or text message) made utilizing the exemption the Commission grants:

    (1) A notification must be sent, if at all, only to the telephone number for the package recipient;

    (2) notifications must identify the name of the delivery company and include contact information for the delivery company;

    (3) notifications must not include any telemarketing, solicitation, or advertising content;

    (4) voice call and text message notifications must be concise, generally one minute or less in length for voice calls and one message of 160 characters or less in length for text messages;

    (5) delivery companies shall send only one notification (whether by voice call or text message) per package, except that one additional notification may be sent to a consumer for each of the following two attempts to obtain the recipient's signature when the signatory was not available to sign for the package on the previous delivery attempt;

    (6) delivery companies relying on this exemption must offer parties the ability to opt out of receiving future delivery notification calls and messages and must honor the opt-out requests within a reasonable time from the date such request is made, not to exceed thirty days; and,

    (7) each notification must include information on how to opt out of future delivery notifications; voice call notifications that could be answered by a live person must include an automated, interactive voice- and/or key press-activated opt-out mechanism that enables the called person to make an opt-out request prior to terminating the call; voice call notifications that could be answered by an answering machine or voice mail service must include a toll-free number that the consumer can call to opt out of future package delivery notifications; text notifications must include the ability for the recipient to opt out by replying “STOP.”

    The Commission's grant of the requested exemption, to the extent indicated herein, is limited to package delivery notifications to consumers' wireless phones either by voice or text and only applies so long as those calls are not charged to the consumer recipient, including not being counted against the consumer's plan limits on minutes or texts, and must comply with the conditions the Commission adopts. In addition to the limited context within which package delivery companies will be making autodialed or prerecorded package delivery notification calls to consumers' wireless numbers, the conditions adopted herein to protect consumers' privacy interests are critical to the Commission's exercise of the statutory authority to grant an exemption. Taken as a whole, the Commission finds that these conditions simultaneously fulfill the statutory obligation to protect consumers' privacy interest in avoiding unwanted calls while allowing package delivery companies a reasonable time in which to implement opt-out elections. The Commission clarifies that, as required by the statute, except in an emergency or with the prior express consent of the consumer, any party who sends an autodialed or prerecorded package delivery notification to a wireless number that is not in full conformance with the requirements the Commission adopts today may not take advantage of this exemption and risks violating the TCPA.

    Ordering Clause

    Pursuant to sections 4(i), 4(j), and 227 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 154(j), 227, and §§ 1.2 and 64.1200 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.2, 64.1200, that the Petition for Expedited Declaratory Ruling filed by Cargo Airline Association on August 17, 2012 is granted in part and is otherwise dismissed to the extent indicated herein.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06709 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 21 [Docket No. FWS-R9-MB-2011-0100; FF09M29000-145-FXMB12320900000] RIN 1018-AX92 Migratory Bird Permits; Removal of Regulations Concerning Certain Depredation Orders AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We are removing two regulations that set forth certain depredation orders for migratory birds. There have been no requests for authorization of a depredation order under one regulation we are removing, and no reports of activities undertaken under the other in the last 10 years. Control of depredating birds may be undertaken under depredation permits in accordance with the regulations already set forth.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective April 24, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    George Allen, at 703-358-1825.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On November 4, 2013, we published a proposed rule (78 FR 65953) to remove 50 CFR 21.42, 21.45, and 21.46. These regulations concern depredating migratory birds.

    Specifically, 50 CFR 21.42 governs control of depredating migratory game birds in the United States; under this section of the regulations, the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is authorized to issue, by publication in the Federal Register, a depredation order to permit the taking of migratory game birds under certain conditions if the Director receives evidence clearly showing that the migratory game birds have accumulated in such numbers in a particular area as to cause or about to cause serious damage to agricultural, horticultural, and fish cultural interests.

    Under 50 CFR 21.45, landowners, sharecroppers, tenants, or their employees or agents actually engaged in the production of rice in Louisiana, may, without a permit and in accordance with certain conditions, take purple gallinules (Ionornis martinica) when found committing or about to commit serious depredations to growing rice crops on the premises owned or occupied by those persons.

    Under 50 CFR 21.46, landowners, sharecroppers, tenants, or their employees or agents actually engaged in the production of nut crops in Washington and Oregon may, without a permit and in accordance with certain conditions, take scrub jays (Aphelocoma coerulescens) and Steller's jays (Cyanocitta stelleri) when found committing or about to commit serious depredations to nut crops on the premises owned or occupied by such persons.

    This Rule

    In response to our November 4, 2013, proposed rule (78 FR 65953), we received no comments on our proposal to remove 50 CFR 21.42 or 21.45, but we did receive comments about our proposal to remove 50 CFR 21.46. In this final rule, we are removing only 50 CFR 21.42 and 21.45, as well as references to those two sections that appear in 50 CFR 21.41 and 21.53. Removal of these depredation orders does not affect any other depredation order in 50 CFR part 21. We will address our proposal to remove 50 CFR 21.46 in a separate rule, in which we will respond to the comments we received concerning the proposal to remove that section of our regulations.

    The regulations at 50 CFR 21.42 and 21.45 were put in place in 1974, to help commercial agricultural interests (39 FR 1157, January 4, 1974). 50 CFR 21.45 requires reporting and recordkeeping on activities taken in accordance with the regulations. We have received no applications for declaration of a depredation order under § 21.42 in the last 15 years, and there have been no reports of activities conducted under § 21.45 in at least 10 years.

    Upon the effective date of this rule (see DATES, above), control of depredating birds may still be undertaken under depredation permits, in accordance with 50 CFR 21.41.

    Required Determinations Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

    Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) will review all significant rules. OIRA has determined that this rule is not significant.

    Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while calling for improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. The executive order directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with regulatory objectives. E.O. 13563 emphasizes further that regulations must be based on the best available science and that the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open exchange of ideas. We developed this rule in a manner consistent with these requirements.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.)

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121)), whenever an agency is required to publish a notice of rulemaking for any proposed or final rule, it must prepare and make available for public comment a regulatory flexibility analysis that describes the effect of the rule on small businesses, small organizations, and small government jurisdictions. However, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required if the head of an agency certifies the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    SBREFA amended the Regulatory Flexibility Act to require Federal agencies to provide the statement of the factual basis for certifying that a rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. There are no costs associated with this regulations change. The Federal Government will see a small benefit because it will no longer incur the annual cost of publishing the three sections of the regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

    We have examined this rule's potential effects on small entities as required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act. This action will not have not have a significant economic impact on any small entity, so a regulatory flexibility analysis is not required.

    This rule is not a major rule under the SBREFA (5 U.S.C. 804(2)). It will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    a. This rule does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more.

    b. This rule will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, Tribal, or local government agencies, or geographic regions.

    c. This rule will not have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.

    Therefore, we certify that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    In accordance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.), we have determined the following.

    a. This rule will not “significantly or uniquely” affect small governments. A small government agency plan is not required.

    b. This rule will not produce a Federal mandate of $100 million or greater in any year. It is not a “significant regulatory action.”

    Takings

    This rule does not contain a provision for taking of private property. In accordance with Executive Order 12630, a takings implication assessment is not required.

    Federalism

    This rule does not have sufficient Federalism effects to warrant preparation of a federalism summary impact statement under Executive Order 13132. It will not interfere with the States' abilities to manage themselves or their funds. We do not expect significant economic impacts to result from the removal of the depredation orders.

    Civil Justice Reform

    In accordance with Executive Order 12988, the Office of the Solicitor has determined that the rule does not unduly burden the judicial system and meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of the Order.

    Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    There is no information collection requirement associated with this regulations change. 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.

    National Environmental Policy Act

    We have analyzed this rule in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 432-437(f) and 43 CFR 46.210. The regulations change will remove unused regulations, and is administrative in nature. The action is categorically excluded from further NEPA consideration by 43 CFR 46.210(i).

    Socioeconomic. The regulations change will have no socioeconomic impacts.

    Migratory bird populations. The regulations change will not affect native migratory bird populations.

    Endangered and threatened species. The regulation change will not affect endangered or threatened species or habitats important to them.

    Government-to-Government Relationship With Tribes

    In accordance with the President's memorandum of April 29, 1994, “Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal Governments” (59 FR 22951), Executive Order 13175, and 512 DM 2, we have determined that there are no potential effects on Federally recognized Indian Tribes from the regulations change. The regulations change will not interfere with Tribes' abilities to manage themselves or their funds or to regulate migratory bird activities on Tribal lands.

    Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (Executive Order 13211)

    This rule will affect only two depredation orders for migratory birds, and will not affect energy supplies, distribution, or use. This is not a significant energy action, and no Statement of Energy Effects is required.

    Compliance With Endangered Species Act Requirements

    Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), requires that “The Secretary [of the Interior] shall review other programs administered by him and utilize such programs in furtherance of the purposes of this chapter” (16 U.S.C. 1536(a)(1)). It further states that the Secretary must “insure that any action authorized, funded, or carried out . . . is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered species or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of [critical] habitat” (16 U.S.C. 1536(a)(2)). The regulations change will not affect listed species.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 21

    Exports, Hunting, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation, Wildlife.

    Regulation Promulgation

    For the reasons described in the preamble, we amend subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below:

    PART 21—MIGRATORY BIRD PERMITS 1. The authority for part 21 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 703-712.

    2. Amend § 21.41 by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 21.41 Depredation permits.

    (a) Permit requirement. Except as provided in §§ 21.43, 21.44, and 21.46, a depredation permit is required before any person may take, possess, or transport migratory birds for depredation control purposes. No permit is required merely to scare or herd depredating migratory birds other than endangered or threatened species or bald or golden eagles.

    § 21.42 [Removed and reserved]
    3. Remove and reserve § 21.42.
    § 21.45 [Removed and reserved]
    4. Remove and reserve § 21.45.
    § 21.53 [Amended]
    5. Amend § 21.53 by removing the fourth sentence of paragraph (c)(2).
    Dated: February 2, 2015. Michael J. Bean, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06639 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-55-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 140903744-5258-02] RIN 0648-BE46 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 16 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS issues this final rule to implement Amendment 16 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Shrimp Fishery of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP), as prepared and submitted by the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) Fishery Management Council (Council). This final rule revises the annual catch limit (ACL) for royal red shrimp, removes the royal red shrimp quota, and revises the accountability measures (AMs) for royal red shrimp to remove an inconsistency in the regulations. The purpose of this rule is to prevent overfishing of the royal red shrimp resource while helping to achieve optimum yield and reconcile conflicting Federal regulations.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective April 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Electronic copies of Amendment 16, which includes an supplemental environmental impact statement, a Regulatory Flexibility Act analysis, and a regulatory impact review, may be obtained from the Southeast Regional Office Web site at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/shrimp/2014/am16/index.html.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Susan Gerhart, telephone: 727-824-5305, or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The shrimp fishery in the Gulf is managed under the FMP. The FMP was prepared by the Council and implemented through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act).

    On March 11, 2014, NMFS published a notice of intent to prepare a supplemental environmental impact statement for Amendment 16 and requested public comment (79 FR 13623). NMFS published a notice of availablility for Amendment 16 on December 24, 2014, (79 FR 77425) and published the proposed rule on January 26, 2015, (80 FR 3937) and requested public comment. A summary of the actions implemented by Amendment 16 and this final rule is provided below.

    On January 30, 2012, NMFS implemented regulations developed through the Generic ACL/AMs Amendment to multiple fishery management plans, including the Shrimp FMP (December 29, 2011, 76 FR 82044). That amendment included actions to establish the commercial ACL and AM for royal red shrimp. However, the “no action” alternatives and discussions in the Generic ACL Amendment incorrectly stated that there were currently no catch limits or AMs for royal red shrimp, even though a quota and in-season quota closure were in the regulations. As a consequence, through the Generic ACL Amendment, both a royal red shrimp ACL and AM were added to the regulations, but the existing quota and in-season quota closure provision were not removed.

    Federal regulations currently include a royal red shrimp ACL of 334,000 lb (151,000 kg), tail weight, and a quota of 392,000 lb (177.8 mt), tail weight. This final rule removes the royal red shrimp quota and updates the ACL to 337,000 lb (152,861 kg), tail weight, which is equal to the acceptable biological catch as recommended by the Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee.

    Federal regulations also include a royal red shrimp in-season closure if the quota is met or projected to be met, based on in-season monitoring (which functions as an AM), and include an AM that implements in-season monitoring and an ACL closure in the year following any ACL overage. The presence of two AMs in the regulations presents an inconsistency in the management of royal red shrimp. This final rule removes the in-season quota closure associated with the royal red shrimp quota and retains the AM associated with the ACL.

    Comments and Responses

    NMFS received one comment on the proposed rule related to analysis in the final supplemental environmental impact statementfrom a Federal agency. That comment is outside the scope of the rule and is addressed in the Record of Decision for Amendment 16. No other comments were received. No changes were made to the final rule based on public comment.

    Classification

    The Regional Administrator, Southeast Region, NMFS has determined that this final rule is necessary for the conservation and management of royal red shrimp and is consistent with Amendment 16, the FMP, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and other applicable law.

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

    The Magnuson-Stevens Act provides the statutory basis for this rule. No duplicative, overlapping, or conflicting Federal rules have been identified. In addition, no new reporting, record-keeping, or other compliance requirements are introduced by this final rule.

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration during the proposed rule stage that this rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for this determination was published in the proposed rule and is not repeated here. No comments were received regarding the certification and NMFS has not received any new information that would affect its determination. As a result, a final regulatory flexibility analysis is not required and none was prepared.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 622

    Accountability measures, Annual catch limits, Fisheries, Fishing, Gulf of Mexico, Royal red shrimp, Shrimp.

    Dated: March 18, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 622 is amended as follows:

    PART 622—FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF OF MEXICO, AND SOUTH ATLANTIC 1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    § 622.57 [Removed and Reserved]
    2. Section 622.57 is removed and reserved.
    3. In § 622.58, paragraph (a)(1) is revised to read as follows:
    § 622.58 Annual catch limits (ACLs), annual catch targets (ACTs), and accountability measures (AMs).

    (a) * * *

    (1) Commercial sector. If commercial landings, as estimated by the SRD, exceed the commercial ACL, then during the following fishing year, if commercial landings reach or are projected to reach the commercial ACL, the AA will file a notification with the Office of the Federal Register to close the commercial sector for the remainder of that fishing year. When the commercial sector is closed, royal red shrimp in or from the Gulf EEZ may not be retained, and the sale or purchase of royal red shrimp taken from the Gulf EEZ is prohibited. This prohibition on sale or purchase during a closure for royal red shrimp does not apply to royal red shrimp that were harvested, landed ashore, and sold prior to the effective date of the closure and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor. The commercial ACL for royal red shrimp is 337,000 lb (152,861 kg), tail weight.

    [FR Doc. 2015-06571 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 648 [Docket No. 141103917-5223-02] RIN 0648-BE60 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Provisions; Fisheries of the Northeastern United States; Black Sea Bass Fishery; Framework Adjustment 8 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is implementing regulations consistent with Framework Adjustment 8 to the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan. This action allows the black sea bass recreational fishery to begin on May 15 of each year, instead of May 19, to provide additional fishing opportunities earlier in the year, unless otherwise modified by further rulemaking.

    DATES:

    Effective April 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Copies of the Supplemental Information Report and other supporting documents for this action are available from Dr. Christopher M. Moore, Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, Suite 201, 800 N. State Street, Dover, DE 19901. These documents are also accessible via the Internet at: http://www.greateratlantic.fisheries.noaa.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Moira Kelly, Fishery Policy Analyst, (978) 281-9218.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    General Background

    The summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass fisheries are managed cooperatively under the provisions of the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan (FMP) developed by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, in consultation with the New England and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils. This rule applies to black sea bass (Centropristis striata) in U.S. waters of the Atlantic Ocean from 35 E. 13.3′ N. lat. (the latitude of Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Buxton, North Carolina) northward to the U.S./Canada border.

    The FMP is managed jointly by the Council and Commission. States manage black sea bass within 3 nautical miles (4.83 km) of their coasts under the Commission's plan. The applicable Federal regulations govern vessels and individual anglers fishing in Federal waters of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ), as well as vessels possessing a Federal black sea bass charter/party vessel permit, regardless of where they fish. The recreational fishery is essentially managed using four tools: The recreational harvest limit; the open season; minimum fish size; and a recreational angler bag limit. The recreational harvest limit is established based on the specifications formula in the FMP. The open season, minimum fish size, and bag limit are collectively referred to as the “recreational management measures,” which are designed to ensure that the recreational harvest limit is not exceeded. Because of the way we collect recreational fisheries data along the Atlantic coast, recreational fishing years are divided into 2-month waves: Wave 1 (January/February); Wave 2 (March/April); Wave 3 (May/June); Wave 4 (July/August); Wave 5 (September/October); and Wave 6 (November/December). In the last several years, the black sea bass recreational season has opened during Wave 3. Additional background information on the standard recreational management process was provided in the proposed rule for this action (79 FR 78022; December 29, 2014), and is not repeated here. Additional background information on recreational fishing data can be found on the Marine Recreational Information Program's Web site (http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/recreational-fisheries).

    Final Action

    This action revises the start date of the black sea bass recreational fishery by four days to begin on May 15 instead of May 19, unless otherwise changed by subsequent rulemaking.

    In recent years, the black sea bass recreational harvest limit has been achieved or exceeded. Because of this, starting the season on May 15 (i.e., earlier in Wave 3) requires the Council to compensate by shortening the Wave 5 season, when fishing effort is equivalent to Wave 3, by four days, in addition to other potential management changes, to ensure that the recreational harvest limit is not exceeded in 2015. The Council made the necesary recommendations on other management measures, including shortening Wave 5 to accommodate the earlier season opening, at its December 2014 meeting. The Commission is also preparing state-by-state management measures for the 2015 season in order to ensure the recreational harvest limit is not exceeded. Pending submission and review of the Council's and Commission's proposed recreational management measures, NMFS will implement further changes to the black sea bass recreational management measures in a subsequent rulemaking later this year.

    Comments and Responses

    Two comments were received on the proposed rule.

    Comment: One commenter stated that the start date for the black sea bass season should not be changed to make the season longer.

    Response: As described above, the Wave 5 season will be adjusted in a future rulemaking action, as recommended by the Council and Commission, to offset the extra days added to Wave 3, so the fishing season as a whole is not getting longer. Because of the timing of the normal recreational management measures rulemaking, in order have the change effective for fishing year 2015, we needed to separate the changes into two rulemakings.

    Comment: A second commenter simply stated that black sea bass are delicious.

    Response: NMFS agrees (see FishWatch at http://www.fishwatch.gov), but this comment is not directly relevant to the action.

    Changes From the Proposed Rule

    There are no changes from the proposed measures.

    Classification

    The Administrator, Greater Atlantic Region, NMFS, determined that this framework adjustment is necessary for the conservation and management of the black sea bass fishery and that it is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and other applicable laws.

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

    The Chief Counsel for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration during the proposed rule stage that this action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The factual basis for the certification was published in the proposed rule and is not repeated here. No comments were received regarding this certification. As a result, a Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis was not required and none was prepared.

    There are no new reporting or recordkeeping requirements contained in any of the alternatives considered for this action.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 648

    Fisheries, Fishing, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: March 18, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 648 is amended as follows:

    PART 648—FISHERIES OF THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES 1. The authority citation for part 648 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    2. Section 648.146 is revised to read as follows:
    § 648.146 Black sea bass recreational fishing season.

    Vessels that are not eligible for a moratorium permit under § 648.4(a)(7), and fishermen subject to the possession limit specified in § 648.145(a), may only possess black sea bass from May 15 through September 18, and October 18 through December 31, unless this time period is adjusted pursuant to the procedures in § 648.142.

    [FR Doc. 2015-06797 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 665 [Docket No. 141110950-5227-02] RIN 0648-BE63 Pacific Island Fisheries; Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument Expansion AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    In this final rule, NMFS establishes requirements for fishing in the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument Expansion. This final rule implements fishery management measures required by Presidential Proclamation 9173.

    DATES:

    This final rule is effective on April 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may review Presidential Proclamation 9173 establishing the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument (PRI Monument Expansion), Presidential Proclamation 8336 (establishing the PRI Monument), and the PRI Monument fishing requirements established in Amendment 2 to the Fishery Ecosystem Plan for the Pacific Remote Island Areas published in 2013, at www.regulations.gov. Amendment 2 is also available from the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), 1164 Bishop St., Suite 1400, Honolulu, HI 96813, tel 808-522-8220, fax 808-522-8226, or from www.wpcouncil.org.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Bob Harman, NMFS PIR Sustainable Fisheries, tel 808-725-5170.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NMFS and the Council manage Pacific Island fisheries through fishery ecosystem plans (FEP) for American Samoa, Hawaii, the Mariana Archipelago (Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands), the Pacific Remote Island Areas (PRIA), and pelagic fisheries. Fishing regulations for the Pacific Islands are found mainly in 50 CFR part 665.

    In 2009, President Bush issued Presidential Proclamations that established three Marine National Monuments in the Pacific Islands, including the PRI Monument (Proclamation 8336). The 2009 Proclamations directed the Secretaries of the Interior and Commerce to regulate fisheries, including allowing for traditional indigenous fishing practices, and to ensure proper care and management of the monuments. In 2013, the Council incorporated the Proclamations' fishery management provisions into its FEPs. Based on the Proclamations and Council recommendations, NMFS implemented a final rule (78 FR 32996, June 3, 2013) that, among other things, codified the PRI Monument's boundaries and prohibited commercial fishing throughout the PRI Monument. It further established management measures for non-commercial and recreational fishing.

    In September 2014, President Obama issued Presidential Proclamation 9173, the “Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument Expansion” (PRI Monument Expansion). The PRI Monument Expansion includes the waters and submerged lands of Jarvis and Wake Islands and Johnston Atoll that lie from the PRI Monument boundary established in Proclamation 8336 to the seaward limit of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (U.S. EEZ, as established in Proclamation 5030 of March 10, 1983).

    The intent of the PRI Monument Expansion was to provide expanded protection to objects of scientific interest, including seamounts, deep sea corals, sea turtles, seabirds, and other species. The action called for the prohibition on commercial fishing in the PRI Monument Expansion and directed the Secretaries of the Interior and Commerce to ensure that recreational and non-commercial fishing continue to be managed as sustainable activities in the PRI Monument and Monument Expansion.

    Consistent with Proclamation 9173, existing requirements in the PRI Monument, and Council recommendations from its 161st meeting held in Honolulu from October 20-23, 2014, this final rule prohibits commercial fishing, and allows for managed non-commercial fishing, in the PRI Monument Expansion. The requirements for fishing in the Monument Expansion now include, among other things, the following:

    • Prohibition of commercial fishing;

    • Permit and reporting requirements for non-commercial and recreational fishing;

    • Prohibition of the conduct of commercial fishing outside the PRI Monument and Monument Expansion and non-commercial fishing within the PRI Monument and Monument Expansion during the same trip; and

    • Federal permit and reporting requirements at §§ 665.13 and 665.14, and the vessel identification requirements at § 665.16.

    Additional background information on this final rule is found in the preamble to the proposed rule published on January 14, 2015 (80 FR 1881), and is not repeated here.

    Comments and Responses

    On January 14, 2015, NMFS published a proposed rule and request for public comments (80 FR 1881); the comment period ended February 13, 2015. NMFS received one comment from the Tri Marine Group, which represents six U.S. flag tuna purse seine vessels, and responds as follows:

    Comment: The proposed expansion of the Monument would be harmful to the economic future of the U.S. purse seine fleet and to American Samoa because it unnecessarily restricts access to fishing areas that are already heavily restricted, and would further concentrate tuna fishing pressure into a smaller geographic area. Therefore, NMFS should include a regulatory permit exception in the final rule that would allow U.S. fishery endorsed and documented purse seine vessels to fish in the expanded Monument area between the existing Monument boundaries and the outer limit of the U.S. EEZ at Jarvis and Wake Islands and at Johnston Atoll.

    Response: NMFS acknowledges that the Monument Expansion will have impacts on the U.S. purse seine fishery. Purse seine fishing effort in the PRIAs over the past several decades has ranged from less than one percent to about a fifth of the total U.S. purse seine fishing effort in the Pacific. The purse seine catch from the PRIAs has ranged from none to a quarter of the total U.S. Pacific purse seine catch. The average catch from all the PRIAs combined have averaged about five percent of the total U.S. Pacific purse seine catch. The EEZ around Howland and Baker—not affected by this final rule—has received the most effort (about eight fishing days per vessel per year), followed by Jarvis (two days) and Kingman and Palmyra (0.3 days). No purse seine fishing has occurred at Wake Island.

    Despite these impacts, Presidential Proclamation 8336 clearly states that the Secretaries of Commerce and the Interior shall not allow or permit any appropriation, injury, destruction, or removal of any feature of this monument, except as provided for by the Proclamation. Specifically, the Proclamation calls for the prohibition of commercial fishing within boundaries of the monument (January 12, 2009, 74 FR 1565). Proclamation 9173 expands the boundaries of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument to the seaward limit of the U.S. EEZ at Jarvis and Wake Islands and Johnston Atoll, and directs the Secretaries of the Commerce and the Interior to continue to manage the expanded monument as directed in Proclamation 8336. Proclamation 9173 directs the Secretary of Commerce to extend the ban on commercial fishing to the seaward limit of the U.S. EEZ at Jarvis and Wake Islands and Johnston Atoll. NMFS, under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, may not take action inconsistent with other applicable laws; here, the Proclamations are clear regarding the prohibition on commercial fishing within the PRI Monument and Monument Expansion. NMFS, therefore, does not have authority under the Magnuson-Stevens Act to provide a permit exception to this prohibition.

    Changes to the Proposed Rule

    There are no changes in this final rule from the proposed rule.

    Classification

    The Regional Administrator, Pacific Islands Region, NMFS, has determined that this final rule is necessary for the conservation and management of the fisheries in the PRI Monument, and that it is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and other applicable laws.

    Executive Order 12866

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

    Certification Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Chief Council for Regulation of the Department of Commerce certified to the Chief Council for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration during the proposed rule stage that this action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. NMFS published the factual basis for the certification in the proposed rule and does not repeat it here. NMFS received no comments regarding this certification. As a result, a regulatory flexibility analysis was not required and none was prepared.

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 665

    Administrative practice and procedure, Commercial fishing, Fisheries, Monuments and memorials, Pacific Remote Islands.

    Dated: March 13, 2015. Samuel D. Rauch III, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, NMFS amends 50 CFR part 665 as follows:

    PART 665—FISHERIES IN THE WESTERN PACIFIC 1. The authority citation for 50 CFR part 665 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    2. Revise § 665.930 to read as follows:
    § 665.930 Scope and purpose.

    The regulations in this subpart codify certain provisions of the Proclamations, and govern the administration of fishing in the Monument.

    3. In § 665.931, revise paragraphs (a), (c), and (d) to read as follows:
    § 665.931 Boundaries.

    (a) Wake Island. The Wake Island unit of the Monument includes the waters and submerged and emergent lands around Wake Island to the seaward limit of the U.S. EEZ.

    (c) Jarvis Island. The Jarvis Island unit of the Monument includes the waters and submerged and emergent lands around Jarvis Island to the seaward limit of the U.S. EEZ.

    (d) Johnston Atoll. The Johnston Atoll unit of the Monument includes the waters and submerged and emergent lands around Johnston Atoll to the seaward limit of the U.S. EEZ.

    4. In § 665.932, revise the definition of “Monument”, remove the definition of “Proclamation”, and add the definition of “Proclamations” in alphabetical order to read as follows:
    § 665.932 Definitions.

    Monument means the waters and submerged and emergent lands of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument and the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument Expansion, as defined in § 665.931.

    Proclamations means Presidential Proclamation 8336 of January 6, 2009, “Establishment of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument,” and Presidential Proclamation 9173 of September 29, 2014, “Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument Expansion.”

    [FR Doc. 2015-06402 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 679 [Docket No. 141021887-5172-02] RIN 0648-XD846 Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Reallocation of Pollock in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Temporary rule.

    SUMMARY:

    NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amounts of the Aleut Corporation pollock directed fishing allowance from the Aleutian Islands subarea to the Bering Sea subarea. This action is necessary to provide opportunity for harvest of the 2015 total allowable catch of pollock, consistent with the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area.

    DATES:

    Effective 1200 hrs, Alaska local time (A.l.t.), March 25, 2015, through 2400 hrs, A.l.t., December 31, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Steve Whitney, 907-586-7228.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    NMFS manages the groundfish fishery in the BSAI exclusive economic zone according to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area (FMP) prepared by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Regulations governing fishing by U.S. vessels in accordance with the FMP appear at subpart H of 50 CFR part 600 and 50 CFR part 679.

    In the Aleutian Islands subarea, the portion of the 2015 pollock total allowable catch (TAC) allocated to the Aleut Corporation directed fishing allowance (DFA) is 14,700 metric tons (mt) as established by the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (80 FR 11919, March 5, 2015).

    As of March 17, 2015, the Administrator, Alaska Region, NMFS, (Regional Administrator) has determined that 2,554 mt of the A season allowance of the Aleut Corporation pollock DFA in the Aleutian Islands subarea will not be harvested. Therefore, in accordance with § 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(4), NMFS reallocates 2,554 mt of A season pollock DFA from the Aleutian Islands subarea to the 2015 Bering Sea subarea DFAs. The 2,554 mt of the A season Aleut Corporation pollock DFA is added to the 2015 Bering Sea non-CDQ DFA. As a result, the 2015 harvest specifications for pollock in the Aleutian Islands subarea included in the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications for groundfish in the BSAI (80 FR 11919, March 5, 2015, and 80 FR 12781, March 11, 2015) are revised as follows: 12,146 mt to the annual Aleut Corporation pollock DFA and 7,350 mt to the A season Aleut Corporation pollock DFA. Furthermore, pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5), Table 4 of the final 2015 and 2016 harvest specifications for groundfish in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (80 FR 11919, March 5, 2015, and 80 FR 12781, March 11, 2015), is revised to make 2015 pollock allocations consistent with this reallocation. This reallocation results in adjustments to the 2015 pollock allocations established at § 679.20(a)(5).

    Table 4—Final 2015 Allocations of Pollock TACS to the Directed Pollock Fisheries and to the CDQ Directed Fishing Allowances (DFA) 1 [Amounts are in metric tons] Area and sector 2015
  • Allocations
  • 2015 A season 1 A season DFA SCA harvest limit 2 2015 B
  • season 1
  • B season DFA
    Bering Sea subarea TAC 1 1,314,454 n/a n/a n/a CDQ DFA 132,900 53,160 37,212 79,740 ICA 1 47,160 n/a n/a n/a AFA Inshore 567,197 226,879 158,815 340,318 AFA Catcher/Processors 3 453,758 181,503 127,052 272,255 Catch by C/Ps 415,188 166,075 n/a 249,113 Catch by CVs 3 38,569 15,428 n/a 23,142 Unlisted C/P Limit 4 2,269 908 n/a 1,361 AFA Motherships 113,439 45,376 31,763 68,064 Excessive Harvesting Limit 5 198,519 n/a n/a n/a Excessive Processing Limit 6 340,318 n/a n/a n/a Total Bering Sea DFA 1,134,394 453,758 317,630 680,636 Aleutian Islands subarea ABC 29,659 n/a n/a n/a Aleutian Islands subarea TAC 1 14,546 n/a n/a n/a CDQ DFA 0 0 n/a 0 ICA 2,400 1,200 n/a 1,200 Aleut Corporation 12,146 7,350 n/a 4,796 Area harvest limit 541 8,898 n/a n/a n/a 542 4,449 n/a n/a n/a 543 1,483 n/a n/a n/a Bogoslof District ICA 7 100 n/a n/a n/a 1 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A), the BS subarea pollock, after subtracting the CDQ DFA (10 percent) and the ICA (4.0 percent), is allocated as a DFA as follows: inshore sector—50 percent, catcher/processor sector (C/P)—40 percent, and mothership sector—10 percent. In the BS subarea, 40 percent of the DFA is allocated to the A season (January 20-June 10) and 60 percent of the DFA is allocated to the B season (June 10-November 1). Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(2)(i) and (ii), the annual AI pollock TAC, after subtracting first for the CDQ directed fishing allowance (10 percent) and second the ICA (2,400 mt), is allocated to the Aleut Corporation for a pollock directed fishery. In the AI subarea, the A season is allocated 40 percent of the ABC and the B season is allocated the remainder of the pollock directed fishery. 2 In the BS subarea, no more than 28 percent of each sector's annual DFA may be taken from the SCA before April 1. 3 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4), not less than 8.5 percent of the DFA allocated to listed catcher/processors shall be available for harvest only by eligible catcher vessels delivering to listed catcher/processors. 4 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(4)(iii), the AFA unlisted catcher/processors are limited to harvesting not more than 0.5 percent of the catcher/processors sector's allocation of pollock. 5 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(6), NMFS establishes an excessive harvesting share limit equal to 17.5 percent of the sum of the non-CDQ pollock DFAs. 6 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(i)(A)(7), NMFS establishes an excessive processing share limit equal to 30.0 percent of the sum of the non-CDQ pollock DFAs. 7 Pursuant to § 679.20(a)(5)(iii)(B)(6), NMFS establishes harvest limits for pollock in the A season in Area 541 no more than 30 percent, in Area 542 no more than 15 percent, and in Area 543 no more than 5 percent of the Aleutian Islands pollock ABC. 8 The Bogoslof District is closed by the final harvest specifications to directed fishing for pollock. The amounts specified are for ICA only and are not apportioned by season or sector. Note: Seasonal or sector apportionments may not total precisely due to rounding.
    Classification

    This action responds to the best available information recently obtained from the fishery. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds good cause to waive the requirement to provide prior notice and opportunity for public comment pursuant to the authority set forth at 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) as such requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. This requirement is impracticable and contrary to the public interest as it would prevent NMFS from responding to the most recent fisheries data in a timely fashion and would delay the reallocation of Aleutian Island subarea pollock. Since the pollock fishery is currently underway, it is important to immediately inform the industry as to the final Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands pollock allocations. Immediate notification is necessary to allow for the orderly conduct and efficient operation of this fishery; allow the industry to plan for the fishing season and avoid potential disruption to the fishing fleet as well as processors; and provide opportunity to harvest increased seasonal pollock allocations while value is optimum. NMFS was unable to publish a notice providing time for public comment because the most recent, relevant data only became available as March 17, 2015.

    The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in the effective date of this action under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). This finding is based upon the reasons provided above for waiver of prior notice and opportunity for public comment.

    This action is required by § 679.20 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: March 20, 2015. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06851 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    80 57 Wednesday, March 25, 2015 Proposed Rules SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION 13 CFR Part 121 RIN 3245-AG69 Small Business Timber Set Aside Program AGENCY:

    U.S. Small Business Administration.

    ACTION:

    Advance notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA or Agency) is seeking comments on possible amendments to its Small Business Timber Set-Aside Program (the Program) regulations. The Small Business Timber Set-Aside Program is rooted in the Small Business Act, which tasked SBA with ensuring that small businesses receive a fair proportion of the total sales of government property. Several timber industry stakeholders have petitioned SBA to make changes to the Program because they believe that the current regulations do not provide adequate protections to ensure that small businesses maintain a fair share of the National Forest timber sale market. In response, SBA, in consultation with the United States Forest Service, is seeking comment on several issues to assist the agency in formulating potential regulatory proposals. SBA will share the comments received in response to this advance notice of proposed rulemaking with the United States Forest Service for their use in determining whether, and if so how, to make any corresponding changes to the United States Forest Service Handbook. First, SBA seeks comments on the possibility of including saw timber volume sold as part of a stewardship timber or stewardship services contract in the calculation of the timber sale share of small business. Second, SBA seeks comments on how timber sale appraisals should be performed for small business set aside sales and associated costs and benefits to stakeholders. The SBA is also seeking input on various policy options.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before May 26, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by RIN: 3245-AG69, by any of the following methods:

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

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

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brenda J. Fernandez, Procurement Analyst, Office of Policy, Planning and Liaison, 409 Third Street SW., Washington, DC 20416; (202) 205-7337; [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Forest Service, an agency of the federal government sells saw logs in accordance with the Small Business Act (Pub. L. 85-536 as amended) and the National Forest Management Act (Pub. L. 94-588 as amended). Timber is regularly sold from the federal forests managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service (USDA/FS) and the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (DOI/BLM). On occasion, timber is sold from federal forests which are under the supervision of the U.S. Department of the Interior's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Tennessee Valley Authority. Collectively, these agencies are considered the “sales agencies.” SBA and the sales agencies jointly set aside timber sales for bidding by small concerns when market data demonstrates that small businesses would not obtain their fair share under open sales. In 1971, USDA and SBA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) intended to accomplish the declared policy of Congress that a fair proportion of the total sales of Government property be made to small business enterprises defined by SBA (Small Business Act. 15 U.S.C. 631, et seq.). In the 1980s and 1990s, efforts to protect species habitat and watersheds in compliance with federal law and regulation resulted in dramatic changes to the United States timber industry. These changes included reduced timber harvests on Federal and private lands which in turn caused market failures for timber mills that could not adapt and retool. As a result, many small timber mills (western mills in particular) have been forced to close. As such, the Small Business Timber Set-Aside Program has become increasingly important to ensure that a “fair proportion” of Federal timber is available for purchase by qualified small business concerns.

    SBA is soliciting public comment on the Small Business Timber Set-Aside Program to help the agency determine what, if any, changes should be proposed. Specifically, SBA is soliciting public comments on methods to include stewardship sales in the calculation of the timber sale share for small business and considerations for how timber sale appraisals are performed for small business set-aside sales. These possible amendments would not impact the DOI/BLM's Timber Sale and Forest Management Programs. DOI/BLM's small business set-asides, which are limited to 8 markets in Oregon, are made in accordance with the terms of a separate MOU between SBA and DOI/BLM. Rather than setting forth computation methods for small business market share considerations, SBA's MOU with DOI/BLM affords SBA the opportunity to review DOI/BLM annual timber sale plans prior to publication and to request set-asides under the authority of the Small Business Act. When DOI/BLM agrees to set aside certain timber sales, DOI/BLM consults with SBA concerning financial and other performance qualifications to be included in the conditions of sale. While DOI/BLM utilizes various stewardship contracting vehicles, the regulatory amendments contemplated by SBA will not impact DOI/BLM's use of stewardship contracting. Further, DOI's current policy regarding small business set-aside timber sales is to appraise the hauling costs to the closest mill that qualifies as a small business under SBA's definition located in.

    Saw logs are sold through conventional timber sales and through stewardship contracting. The stewardship contracting program was established by Section 347 of the FY1999 Omnibus Appropriations Act (Pub. L. 105-277) to help achieve land management goals on the national forests, and to help meet the needs of local and rural communities. Stewardship contracting is a goods-for-services arrangement that requires timber companies who cut trees on National Forest System lands to perform other service work in exchange for the timber volume. Integrated Resource Timber Contract (IRTC) formats were developed by the Forest Service for exclusive use in implementing stewardship contracting projects when the value of goods exceeds the cost of services. Integrated Resource Service Contract (IRSC) formats were developed by the Forest Service for exclusive use in implementing stewardship contracting projects when the cost of services exceeds the value of the goods. As demonstrated below, stewardship sales accounted for 31% of all timber (sawtimber plus non-sawtimber) sold by the FS in Fiscal Year 2013. This is the highest percentage of total sales in the last ten years. However, some stakeholders believe that certain FS Regions could/should do consistently better in making timber sales awards to small business.

    Stewardship Timber/Service Sales Sold [FY 2004-2013] Year (FY) R-1 R-2 R-3 R-4 R-5 R-6 R-8 R-9 R-10 All FS All sales, sawtimber + non-sawtimber (MMbf) 2004 159 163 49 107 208 434 359 319 85 1,883 2005 243 132 72 49 386 392 414 364 54 2,105 2006 189 165 69 68 228 470 858 381 83 2,511 2007 135 198 57 69 272 489 501 352 29 2,101 2008 186 201 43 70 109 525 539 349 4 2,026 2009 216 199 21 41 236 498 476 319 6 2,011 2010 180 196 46 60 252 424 540 358 45 2,100 2011 149 159 54 46 212 464 556 379 37 2,056 2012 144 196 32 53 219 512 521 419 41 2,137 2013 115 210 129 71 229 527 475 393 13 2,162 Stewardship timber/service sales (MMbf) 2004 7 9 25 12 23 19 0 0 0 96 2005 12 9 17 7 23 30 4 2 1 105 2006 48 16 18 15 24 64 42 4 0 231 2007 44 16 28 9 62 91 34 23 1 308 2008 64 35 21 12 14 100 28 10 1 284 2009 45 38 15 11 54 96 62 22 0 343 2010 56 70 26 38 75 120 50 50 0 486 2011 43 33 31 21 47 105 62 50 33 427 2012 41 35 19 22 102 175 92 67 40 592 2013 36 39 107 51 75 202 90 61 0 661 % Stewardship 2004 4 5 51 12 11 4 0 0 0 5 2005 5 7 23 13 6 8 1 1 1 5 2006 25 10 26 22 11 14 5 1 0 9 2007 33 8 49 14 23 19 7 6 2 15 2008 35 17 49 17 13 19 5 3 27 14 2009 21 19 72 27 23 19 13 7 0 17 2010 31 36 56 64 30 28 9 14 0 23 2011 29 21 59 47 22 23 11 13 9 21 2012 28 18 58 42 47 34 18 16 96 28 2013 32 19 83 72 33 38 19 16 0 31 Data Source: Timber Data Company; November 19, 2013.

    To help ensure a fair proportion of timber sales go to small businesses, timber sales must be set aside when small business participation falls below a certain amount. In determining this trigger amount, the FS calculates the amount of small business market share based on small business purchases of saw timber volume over a five-year period. This percentage, based upon historical purchases, sets the framework for what constitutes small businesses' fair proportion of the total sales volume. Currently, the computation of small business market share does not include saw logs from stewardship contracts. SBA is seeking comment on whether the calculation should also include saw timber purchased through stewardship contracts. Specifically, SBA invites comments and supporting data in response to the following questions.

    Stewardship Contracting Questions

    1. How should the FS include the saw timber volume on stewardship contracts awarded to small business in the computation of small business market share?

    2. How might including stewardship saw timber volume impact future market share calculations for small business concerns that participate in stewardship contracts and/or conventional timber sales?

    3. What are the potential impacts (costs and benefits) if SBA regulations at 13 CFR 121.506 were to include the saw timber volume from IRTCs and IRSCs in the calculation of small business market share?

    a. What is the anticipated impact of the inclusion of saw timber volume from stewardship contracts on stumpage prices?

    b. If inclusion of saw timber volume from stewardship contracts leads to lower stumpage prices, what is the impact to land management activities (paid for by stumpage prices) and retained receipts?

    c. What is the anticipated impact on sale values both from an agency perspective and a treasury perspective?

    4. What would be the most efficient and effective way to account for actual saw timber volume from stewardship contracts awarded to small business?

    5. Would an increase in the utilization of stewardship contracts in a market area result in a lower representation of small businesses successfully bidding for timber sales in that market area? Should this lead to lowering the market share for small business set-aside sales in that market area when the FS and SBA compute small business participation?

    6. Would including stewardship saw timber volume on contracts awarded to small business in the calculation result in more accurate representation of small business participation in the market area?

    Unrelated to stewardship contracting, SBA is also seeking public comments on potential amendments to its current regulations at 13 CFR 121.507(a)(4)(i), which provides that on a set-aside timber sale, the small business may not resell more than 30% of the saw timber volume to a large business concern. When the FS offers any timber sale, it appraises the sale for its potential market value and sets the minimum bid that it will accept based on that appraisal. One factor in the appraisal is the haul cost that the purchaser (small or large) will absorb to bring the timber to a manufacturing facility. Currently, all appraisals are made to the nearest mill. In timber sales set aside for small businesses, large mills are ineligible to bid. In the context of a set-aside, if the nearest mill is a large mill, the appraisal will not accurately capture the haul cost to eligible bidders. As such, SBA is seeking public comment on whether the appraisal for a small business set-aside sale should be made to the nearest, small mill.

    Set-aside Sale Appraisal Point Questions

    1. How can the actual haul costs to eligible small business timber set-aside purchasers be better reflected in the appraisal process?

    2. Should there be considerations for keeping the appraisal point to the nearest mill on a small business timber set-aside sale in those market areas that do not have mills that would qualify as “small” under the SBA criteria?

    3. How should the prohibition against small businesses reselling more than 30% of the saw timber volume to a large business concern be taken into account when making appraisals for small business timber set-aside sales?

    4. What is the financial impact to the Forest Service if the 30% rule is included in the appraisal point haul cost calculation of a small business timber set-aside sale?

    5. What is the anticipated impact on trust funds (e.g., Knutson-Vandenberg), if any, if appraisals are made to a small mill rather than the closest processer.

    6. SBA is also requesting data on mill size and location.

    The SBA welcomes comments and any available data to help substantiate recommendations made in response to the foregoing general questions, or other potential policy options—including status quo—that should be considered for the Small Business Timber Sales Set-Aside Program.

    Dated: March 16, 2015. Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06557 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8025-01-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION 17 CFR Parts 1, 15, 17, 19, 32, 37, 38, 140, and 150 RIN 3038-AD99; 3038-AD82 Position Limits for Derivatives and Aggregation of Positions; Correction AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking; provision of Table 11a; and reopening of comment periods; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    This is a correction to the preamble of a document published by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“Commission”) in the Federal Register of February 25, 2015, regarding the reopening of the comment periods for proposed rulemakings to establish speculative position limits for 28 exempt and agricultural commodity futures and options contracts and the physical commodity swaps that are economically equivalent to such contracts (the “Position Limits Proposal”) and to amend existing regulations setting out the Commission's policy for aggregation under its position limits regime (the “Aggregation Proposal”). This correction clarifies the closing date for the reopened comment periods, which was inadvertently set to fall on a non-business day.

    DATES:

    The comment periods for the Aggregation Proposal published November 15, 2013, at 78 FR 68946, and for the Position Limits Proposal published December 12, 2013, at 78 FR 75680, which reopened on February 26, 2015, will close on March 30, 2015.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Stephen Sherrod, Senior Economist, Division of Market Oversight, (202) 418-5452, [email protected]; or Riva Spear Adriance, Senior Special Counsel, Division of Market Oversight, (202) 418-5494, [email protected]; Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581.

    Correction

    In the Federal Register of February 25, 2015, in proposed rule FR Doc. 2015-03834, on page 10023, in the first column, correct the Dates caption to read:

    DATES: The comment periods for the Aggregation Proposal published November 15, 2013, at 78 FR 68946, and for the Position Limits Proposal published December 12, 2013, at 78 FR 75680, will reopen on February 26, 2015, and will close on March 30, 2015.

    Dated: March 19, 2015. Christopher J. Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06688 Filed 3-19-15; 04:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 18 CFR Part 385 [Docket No. RM15-5-000] Revised Exhibit Submission Requirements for Commission Hearings AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission proposes to amend Rule 508 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure to eliminate the requirement that participants in Commission trial-type evidentiary hearings must provide paper copies of all exhibits introduced as evidence. The Proposed Rule will facilitate a shift toward electronic hearing procedures which should improve the efficiency and administrative convenience of the Commission hearing process, reduce the burden and expense associated with paper exhibits, and facilitate the compilation and transmittal of the hearing record to the Commission in electronic format.

    DATES:

    Comments are due May 26, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments, identified by docket number, may be filed in the following ways:

    • Electronic Filing through http://www.ferc.gov. Documents created electronically using word processing software should be filed in native applications or print-to-PDF format and not in a scanned format.

    Mail/Hand Delivery: Those unable to file electronically may mail or hand-deliver comments to: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Instructions: For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the Comment Procedures Section of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Karin Herzfeld, Office of the General Counsel, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, Telephone: (202) 502-8459.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Table of Contents Paragraph

  • numbers
  • I. Background 2. II. Discussion 4. III. Information Collection Statement 7. IV. Environmental Analysis 8. V. Regulatory Flexibility Act 9. VI. Comment Procedures 11. VII. Document Availability 15.

    1. The Commission is proposing to amend Rule 508 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure 1 to eliminate the requirement that participants in Commission trial-type evidentiary hearings must provide paper copies of all exhibits introduced as evidence. The Commission proposes to amend section 385.508 of the Commission's regulations by removing paragraph (a)(2) and redesignating paragraph (a)(3) as paragraph (a)(2). While still retaining the option to provide exhibits in paper form, the proposed rule will facilitate a shift toward electronic hearing procedures which should improve the efficiency and administrative convenience of the Commission hearing process, reduce the burden and expense associated with paper exhibits, and facilitate the compilation and transmittal of the hearing record to the Commission in electronic format.

    1 18 CFR 385.508.

    I. Background

    2. The Federal government has set a goal to substitute electronic means of communication and information storage for paper. For example, the Government Paperwork Elimination Act directed agencies to provide for the optional use and acceptance of electronic documents and signatures, and electronic record-keeping, where practical.2 Similarly, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-130 required agencies to use electronic information collection techniques, where such means will reduce the burden on the public, increase efficiency, reduce costs, and help provide better service.

    2 44 U.S.C. 3504.

    3. On September 21, 2000, the Commission issued Order No. 619, which implemented the use of the Internet for submission of certain documents to the Commission for filing.3 The eFiling system plays an important role in the Commission's efforts to comply with the Government Paperwork Elimination Act's requirement that agencies provide the option to submit information electronically, when practicable, as a substitute for paper.4 Filing via the Internet is optional for eligible documents.5 Since issuing Order No. 619, the Commission has greatly expanded its ability to accept electronically filed material, including interventions, protests, rehearings, complaints, and applications for certificates and licenses.6 In 2008, the Commission further implemented a system for electronic tariff filing.7 Consistent with these prior efforts to provide electronic filing options, the Commission is proposing to eliminate the requirement that all exhibits introduced at Commission hearings must be provided in paper form.

    3Electronic Filing of Documents, Order No. 619, 65 FR 57088 (Sept. 21, 2000), FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶31,107 (2000).

    4 44 U.S.C. 3504.

    5 18 CFR 385.2001(a).

    6See Electronic Registration, Order No. 891, 67 FR 52,406 (Aug. 12, 2002), FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,132 (2002); Electronic Filing of FERC Form 1, and Elimination of Certain Designated Schedules in Form Nos. 1 and 1F, Order No. 626, 67 FR 36,093 (May 23, 2002), FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,130 (2002); Electronic Service of Documents, 66 FR 50,591 (Oct. 4, 2001), FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 35,539 (2001); Revised Public Utility Filing Requirements, Order No. 2001, 67 FR 31,043 (May 8, 2002), FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,127 (2002); Filing Via the Internet, Order No. 703, 72 FR 65,659 (Nov. 23, 2007), FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,259 (2007).

    7Electronic Tariff Filings, Order No. 714, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,276 (2008).

    II. Discussion

    4. Section 385.508 of the Commission's regulations currently requires that “[a]ny participant who seeks to have an exhibit admitted into evidence must provide one copy of the exhibit to the presiding officer and two copies to the reporter, not later than the time that the exhibit is marked for identification.” 8 Under current practice, the court reporter assigns Exhibit Numbers to the paper copies and provides the paper copies to the Commission's Docket Branch to be scanned into the Commission's eLibrary system. Copies of all exhibits and motions that are not pre-filed must also be provided to all participants at the hearing.9

    8 18 CFR 385.508(2).

    9 18 CFR 385.510(d).

    5. The administrative law judges recently adopted a revised practice for handling exhibits and creating the Exhibit List that removes the need for providing paper copies at the hearing. Under this policy, within seven days of the end of the hearing, participants must file (via eFiling) a “Joint Exhibit List” and each sponsoring party must file (via eFiling) the “Official Copies” of each exhibit that was offered into evidence and admitted or rejected.10 Thus, it is no longer necessary or efficient to require all participants to provide the presiding judge and court reporter with paper copies of each exhibit introduced at the hearing.

    10See Notice to the Public, Procedures for Handling Exhibits and Developing the Electronic Hearing Record (issued December 12, 2014), http://www.ferc.gov/media/headlines/2014/2014-4/12-12-14-notice.pdf.

    All electronically-filed exhibits must comply with eFiling file format requirements. See Filing Via the Internet, Order No. 703, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,259 at P 33.

    For exhibits that have not previously been provided to the participants, such exhibits must still be provided to the participants at the hearing. See 18 CFR 385.510(d).

    6. The Commission therefore proposes to eliminate the requirement that participants provide one paper copy of each exhibit to the presiding officer and two paper copies to the court reporter.11 The proposed rule represents a continuation of the Commission's efforts to implement the goal of substituting electronic means of communication and information storage for paper means. The proposed rule should save resources because participants will no longer be required to make multiple paper copies of all exhibits that they intend to submit into evidence. The proposed rule also will facilitate the presiding judge's compilation and transmittal of the hearing record to the Commission in electronic format.

    11 Most participants file pre-filed testimony and exhibits electronically via the eFiling system before the hearing. The presiding judge in each case will continue to determine how participants exchange exhibits brought to the hearing. See 18 CFR 385.504(b)(1), (4).

    III. Information Collection Statement

    7. Certain collections of information are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under section 3507(d) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA).12 OMB's regulations require OMB to approve certain information collection requirements imposed by agency rule.13 This Proposed Rule does not contain any information collection requirements, as defined under section 3502(3) of the PRA, and compliance with the OMB regulations is thus not required.

    12 44 U.S.C. 3507(d).

    13 5 CFR 1320.12.

    IV. Environmental Analysis

    8. 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.14 This action has been categorically excluded under section 380.4(a)(2)(ii), addressing procedural rules.15

    14Regulations Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act, Order No. 486, 52 FR 47897 (Dec. 17, 1987), FERC Stats. & Regs. Preambles 1986-1990 ¶ 30,783 (1987).

    15 18 CFR 380.4(a)(2)(ii).

    V. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    9. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA) 16 generally requires a description and analysis of proposed rules that will have significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) concerns procedural matters and, if adopted, is expected to reduce the burden and expense associated with paper exhibits and improve the efficiency and administrative convenience of the Commission hearing process.

    16 5 U.S.C. 601-12.

    10. Accordingly, the Commission certifies that this NOPR, if adopted, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. An analysis under the RFA is not required.

    VI. Comment Procedures

    11. The Commission invites interested persons to submit comments on the matters and issues proposed in this notice to be adopted, including any related matters or alternative proposals that commenters may wish to discuss. Comments are due May 26, 2015. Comments must refer to Docket No. RM15-5-000, and must include the commenter's name, the organization they represent, if applicable, and their address in their comments.

    12. The Commission encourages comments to be filed electronically via the eFiling link on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov. The Commission accepts most standard word processing formats. Documents created electronically using word processing software should be filed in native applications or print-to-PDF format and not in a scanned format. Commenters filing electronically do not need to make a paper filing.

    13. Commenters that are not able to file comments electronically must send an original of their comments to: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    14. All comments will be placed in the Commission's public files and may be viewed, printed, or downloaded remotely as described in the Document Availability section below. Commenters on this proposal are not required to serve copies of their comments on other commenters.

    VII. Document Availability

    15. 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.

    16. 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.

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

    By direction of the Commission.

    Dated: March 19, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Commission proposes to amend Part 385, Chapter I, Title 18, Code of Federal Regulations, as follows.

    PART 385—RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE 1. The authority citation for Part 385 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 551-557; 15 U.S.C. 717-717z, 3301-3432; 16 U.S.C. 792-828c, 2601-2645; 28 U.S.C. 2461; 31 U.S.C. 3701, 9701; 42 U.S.C. 7101-7352, 16441, 16451-16463; 49 U.S.C. 60502; 49 App. U.S.C. 1-85 (1988).

    2. Section 385.508 is amended by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 385.508 Exhibits (Rule 508).

    (a) General rules. (1) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) through (e) of this section, any material offered in evidence, other than oral testimony, must be offered in the form of an exhibit.

    (2) The presiding officer will cause each exhibit offered by a participant to be marked for identification.

    [FR Doc. 2015-06694 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Occupational Safety and Health Administration 29 CFR Parts 1910, 1915, 1917, 1918, and 1926 [Docket No. OSHA-2012-0023] RIN 1218-AC74 Chemical Management and Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) AGENCY:

    Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

    ACTION:

    Extension of comment period.

    SUMMARY:

    OSHA is extending the comment period on the Request for Information on Chemical Management and Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) to October 9, 2015.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted (postmarked, sent or received) by October 9, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by Docket No. OSHA-2012-0023, by any one of the following methods:

    Electronically: You may submit comments and written testimony along with attachments electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Click on the “COMMENT NOW!” box next to the title “Chemical Management and Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs); Extension of Comment Period,” and follow the instructions on-line for making electronic submissions.

    Fax: If your comments, including attachments, do not exceed 10 pages, you may fax them to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-1648.

    Mail, hand delivery, express mail, messenger or courier service: You must submit three copies of your comments and attachments to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. OSHA-2009-0044, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-2625, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693-2350 (OSHA's TTY number is (877) 889-5627). Deliveries (hand, express mail, messenger and courier service) are accepted during the Department of Labor's and Docket Office's normal business hours, 8:15 a.m.-4:45 p.m., e.t.

    Instructions: All submission must include the docket number (Docket No. OSHA-2012-0023) or RIN number (RIN 1218-AC74) for this rulemaking. Because of security-related procedures, submission by regular mail may result in significant delay. Please contact the OSHA Docket Office about security procedures for hand delivery, express delivery, messenger or courier.

    All comments, including any personal information you provide, are placed in the public docket without change and may be made available on http://www.regulations.gov. Therefore, OSHA cautions you about submitting personal information such as social security numbers and birthdates.

    Docket: To read or download submissions in response to the proposed rule, go to Docket No. OSHA-2009-0044 at http://www.regulations.gov. All submissions are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index, however, some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available to read or download through that Web page. All submissions, including copyrighted material, are available for inspections and copying at the OSHA Docket Office.

    Electronic copies of this Federal Register document are available at http://www.regulations.gov. This document, as well as news releases and other relevant information, also are available at OSHA's Web page at http://www.osha.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For general information and press inquiries, contact Frank Meilinger, Director, Office of Communications, Room N-3647, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, 200Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-1999; email: [email protected]

    For technical inquiries, contact William Perry or Lyn Penniman, Directorate of Standards and Guidance, Room N-3718, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-1950 or fax (202) 693-1678; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On October 10, 2014, OSHA published in the Federal Register (79 FR 61384-61438) a Request for Information (RFI) soliciting stakeholder feedback with respect to OSHA's overall approach to managing hazardous chemical exposures in the workplace. The document outlines potential modifications to OSHA's current risk and feasibility assessment approaches and requests additional information about chemical management for the workplace that may be more efficient, while still maintaining worker protection. The RFI set a date of April 8, 2015 for submitting written comments.

    OSHA has received multiple requests from stakeholders, including the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM), the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), and ORCHSE Strategies, LLC, to extend the comment period by 60 to 180 additional days. These groups have requested this additional time in order to better research, consider, and formulate responses to the over 50 questions OSHA included in the RFI.

    OSHA has decided to extend the comment deadline to October 9, 2015, which provides stakeholders an additional 6 months in which to submit comments.

    Authority and Signature

    David Michaels, Ph.D., MPH, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210, directed the preparation of this notice. OSHA is issuing this notice under 29 U.S.C. 653, 655, 657; 33 U.S.C. 941; 40 U.S.C. 3704 et seq.; Secretary of Labor's Order 1-2012 (77 FR 3912, 1/25/2012); and 29 CFR part 1911.

    Signed at Washington, DC, on March 12, 2015. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06516 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-26-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 147 [Docket No. USCG-2014-0863] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Big Foot TLP, Walker Ridge 29, Outer Continental Shelf on the Gulf of Mexico AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes a safety zone around the Big Foot Tension Leg Platform (TLP), Walker Ridge 29 on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) in the Gulf of Mexico. The purpose of the safety zone is to protect the facility from all vessels operating outside the normal shipping channels and fairways that are not providing services to or working with the facility. Placing a safety zone around the facility will significantly reduce the threat of allisions, collisions, security breaches, oil spills, releases of natural gas, and thereby protect the safety of life, property, and the environment.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before April 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2014-0863 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 instructions on submitting comments. To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this proposed rule, call or email Mr. Rusty Wright, U.S. Coast Guard, District Eight Waterways Management Branch; telephone 504-671-2138, [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 DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking OCS Outer Continental Shelf USCG United States Coast Guard 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-2014-0863] 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-2014-0863) 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 by using one of the methods specified under ADDRESSES. Please explain why you believe a public meeting would be beneficial. If we determine that one would aid this rulemaking, we will hold one at a time and place announced by a later notice in the Federal Register.

    B. Basis and Purpose

    Under the authority provided in 14 U.S.C. 85, 43 U.S.C. 1333, and Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1, 33 CFR part 147 permits the establishment of safety zones for facilities located on the OCS for the purpose of protecting life, property and the marine environment. The protections included in a safety zone established under 33 CFR part 147 include promoting safety of life and property on the facilities as well as their appurtenances and attending vessels and also for the adjacent waters located in and around each facility. Therefore, a safety zone under 33 CFR part 147 may also include provisions to restrict, prevent, or control certain activities, including access by vessels or persons to maintain safety of life, property and the environment. Chevron North America requested that the Coast Guard establish a safety zone around its facility located in the deepwater area of the Gulf of Mexico on the OCS. Placing a safety zone around this facility will significantly reduce the threat of allisions, oil spills, and releases of natural gas, and thereby protect the safety of life, property, and the environment.

    The safety zone proposed by this rulemaking is on the OCS in the deepwater area of the Gulf of Mexico in Walker Ridge 29 with a center point at N. 26°55′58″, W. 90°31′12″. For the purpose of safety zones established under 33 CFR part 147, the deepwater area is considered to be waters of 304.8 meters (1,000 feet) or greater depth extending to the limits of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) contiguous to the territorial sea of the United States and extending to a distance up to 200 nautical miles from the baseline from which the breadth of the sea is measured. Navigation in the vicinity of the safety zone consists of large commercial shipping vessels, fishing vessels, cruise ships, tugs with tows and the occasional recreational vessel. The deepwater area also includes an extensive system of fairways.

    C. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    Chevron North America requested that the Coast Guard establish a safety zone extending 500 meters from each point on the Big Foot TLP facility structure's outermost edge. The request for the safety zone was made due to safety concerns for both the personnel aboard the facility, including its appurtenances and attending vessels, and the environment. Chevron North America indicated that it is highly likely that any allision with the facility would result in a catastrophic event. In evaluating this request, the Coast Guard explored relevant safety factors and considered several criteria, including but not limited to, (1) the level of shipping activity around the facility, (2) safety concerns for personnel aboard the facility, (3) concerns for the environment, (4) the likeliness that an allision would result in a catastrophic event based on proximity to shipping fairways, offloading operations, production levels, and size of the crew, (5) the volume of traffic in the vicinity of the proposed area, including those vessels providing services to or working with the facility, (6) the types of vessels navigating in the vicinity of the proposed area, both related and unrelated to facility operations, and (7) the structural configuration of the facility.

    Results from a thorough and comprehensive examination of the criteria, IMO guidelines, and existing regulations warrant the establishment of a safety zone of 500 meters around the facility. The proposed safety zone would restrict all vessels from entering into, transiting through, remaining in, or anchoring in the safety zone area. Vessels attending to, servicing, or working with the facility would be exempt from the restrictions in this proposed rule. This proposed safety measure reduces significantly the threat of allisions, collisions, oil spills, and releases of natural gas and increases the safety of life, property, and the environment in the Gulf of Mexico. Authorization to deviate from this proposed rule and transit through the safety zone may be requested from the Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District or a designated representative. Such deviation requests would be considered on a case-by-case basis.

    D. Regulatory Analyses

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

    1. Regulatory Planning and Review

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

    This rule is not a significant regulatory action due to the location of the Big Foot TLP—on the Outer Continental Shelf—and its distance from both land and safety fairways. Additionally, the area covered by this proposed safety zone is limited in scope as it would encompass only the waters within 500 meters of the outer edges of the facility structure. This is the area where the facility operates and vessels servicing the facility transit and maneuver, presenting the area most vulnerable to risk of allision or collision. Vessels traversing waters near the proposed safety zone will be able to safely travel around the zone using alternate routes. Exceptions to this proposed rule include vessels measuring less than 100 feet in length overall and not engaged in towing. Deviation to transit through the proposed safety zone may be requested. Such requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis and may be authorized by the Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District or a designated representative.

    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 proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    This proposed rule would affect the following entities, some of which might be small entities: The owners or operators of vessels intending to transit or anchor within the area extending 500 meters from the outermost edges of the Big Foot TLP facility structure located in Walker Ridge 29 on the OCS.

    This safety zone will not have a significant economic impact or a substantial number of small entities for the following reasons: Vessel traffic can pass safely around the safety zone using alternate routes. Based on the limited scope of the safety zone, any delay resulting from using an alternate route is expected to be minimal depending on vessel traffic and speed in the area. Additionally, exceptions to this proposed rule include vessels measuring less than 100 feet in length overall and not engaged in towing. Deviation to transit through the proposed safety zone may be requested. Such requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis and may be authorized by the Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District or a designated representative.

    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 submit a comment (see ADDRESSES) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically affect it.

    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 would call for no 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 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 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

    We have analyzed this proposed rule 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 which do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This proposed rule involves the establishment of a safety zone around an OCS facility to protect life, property and the marine environment. This proposed rule is categorical excluded from further review, under figure 2-1, paragraph (34)(g), of the Commandant Instruction. A preliminary environmental analysis checklist supporting this determination and the Categorical Exclusion Determination are available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule.

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 147

    Continental shelf, Marine safety, Navigation (water).

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR part 147 as follows:

    PART 147—SAFETY ZONES 1. The authority citation for part 147 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    14 U.S.C. 85; 43 U.S.C. 1333; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. Add § 147.861 to read as follows:
    § 147.861 Big Foot Tension Leg Platform (TLP) Facility Safety Zone.

    (a) Description. The Big Foot TLP is in the deepwater area of the Gulf of Mexico at Walker Ridge 29. The facility is located at N. 26°55′58″, W. 90°31′12″, and the area within 500 meters (1640.4 feet) from each point on the facility structure's outer edge is a safety zone.

    (b) Regulation. No vessel may enter or remain in this safety zone except the following:

    (1) An attending vessel;

    (2) A vessel under 100 feet in length overall not engaged in towing; or

    (3) A vessel authorized by the Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District or a designated representative.

    Dated: February 11, 2015. Kevin S. Cook, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, Eighth Coast Guard District.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06482 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2014-1069] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zones Within the Captain of the Port New Orleans Zone AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes temporary safety zones for multiple locations and dates within the Captain of the Port New Orleans' zone. These safety zones are necessary to protect persons and vessels from potential safety hazards associated with fireworks displays on or over federal waterways. Entry into these zones is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port New Orleans or a designated representative.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before April 9, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

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

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

    (2) Fax: 202-493-2251.

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

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions on this rule, call or email Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) James Gatz, Sector New Orleans, at (504) 365-2281 or [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 BNM Broadcast Notice to Mariners COTP Captain of the Port DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register LNM Local Notice to Mariners 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-2014-1069] 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-2014-1069) 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

    Safety zones are proposed during the following five (5) individual marine events:

    (1) New Orleans Navy Week is a single, non-repeating fireworks event. This event is scheduled to occur on April 27, 2015, on the Lower Mississippi River in New Orleans, Louisiana. The sponsor for this event applied for a marine event permit. The permit application is currently under review but the Coast Guard believes that additional safety measures in the form of a temporary safety zone will be necessary for safety of navigation during the event. There is no regulatory history for this event.

    (2) The Hosts Global fireworks event is an annually-occurring event which occurs in late April on the Lower Mississippi River in New Orleans, Louisiana. The sponsor for this event applied for a marine event permit. The permit application is currently under review but the Coast Guard believes that additional safety measures in the form of a temporary safety zone will be necessary for safety of navigation during the event. The sponsor applied for the 2014 occurrence of this event and the permit was approved. A temporary safety zone was enforced through actual notice for the 2014 occurrence.

    (3) The Madisonville 4th of July fireworks display is an annually-occurring event which occurs on July 4 each year in the Tchefuncta River near Madisonville, Louisiana. The sponsor for this event applied for a marine event permit. The permit application is currently under review but the Coast Guard believes that additional safety measures in the form of a temporary safety zone will be necessary for safety of navigation during the event. The sponsor for this event applied for a marine event permit in 2014 but the event was cancelled by the fireworks provider due to short notice on the sponsor's part.

    (4) The Mandeville City Seafood Festival is an annually-occurring fireworks event that occurs on July 4 each year at Fountainbleau State Park in Mandeville, Louisiana. The sponsor for this event applied for a marine event permit. The permit application is currently under review but the Coast Guard believes that additional safety measures in the form of a temporary safety zone will be necessary for safety of navigation during the event. There is no other regulatory history for this event.

    (5) The Mandeville Lakefront fireworks show is a single event which is scheduled to occur July 4, 2015, in Mandeville, Louisiana. The sponsor for this event applied for a marine event permit. The permit application is currently under review but the Coast Guard believes that additional safety measures in the form of a temporary safety zone will be necessary for safety of navigation during the event. There is no regulatory history for this event.

    Upon initial review of the details for each of these events, the Coast Guard determined that additional safety measures will be necessary.

    C. 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, which collectively authorize the Coast Guard to establish and define regulatory safety zones.

    The Coast Guard has determined that temporary safety zones are necessary to promote the safety of life on navigable waterways within the COTP New Orleans Zone during these events.

    D. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    The Coast Guard proposes to establish five temporary safety zones within the Captain of the Port (COTP) New Orleans Zone between April 27, 2015 and July 4, 2015.

    The events to be covered by this proposed rule will be enforced on the respective dates listed in the table below.

    Item No. Name of event Date and location 1 New Orleans Navy Week Date: April 27, 2015.
  • Location: the entire width of the Lower Mississippi River between MM 94 and MM 96 Above Head of Passes.
  • 2 Hosts Global Date: April 28, 2015.
  • Location: the entire width of the Lower Mississippi River between MM 94 and MM 96 Above Head of Passes.
  • 3 Madisonville 4th of July Date: July 4, 2015.
  • Location: the entire width of the Tchefuncta River between the confluence of the Tchefuncta River and Lake Pontchartrain, extending one mile north.
  • 4 Mandeville City Seafood Festival Date: July 4, 2015.
  • Location: 350 feet in all directions from the end of the Fountainbleau State Park Pier in Lake Pontchartrain.
  • 5 Mandeville Lakefront Fireworks Date: July 4, 2015.
  • Location: 350 feet in all directions from the fireworks barge, which will be positioned offshore of Mandeville, LA in Lake Pontchartrain.
  • The COTP New Orleans will inform the public through broadcast notices to mariners (BNM) and local notices to mariners (LNM) of the enforcement periods for the safety zones as well as any changes in the planned schedules. Mariners and other members of the public may also contact Coast Guard Sector New Orleans Command Center to inquire about the status of the safety zones, at (504) 365-2200.

    E. Regulatory Analyses

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

    1. Regulatory Planning and Review

    This proposed rule is not a significant regulatory action under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, as supplemented by Executive Order 13563, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review, and does not require an assessment of potential costs and benefits under section 6(a)(3) of Executive Order 12866 or under section 1 of Executive Order 13563. The Office of Management and Budget has not reviewed it under those Orders. These temporary safety zones will restrict navigation on the Lower Mississippi River in the vicinity of New Orleans, Louisiana, the southern end of the Tchefuncta River near Madisonville, Louisiana, and Lake Pontchartrain in vicinity of Mandeville, Louisiana. No safety zone will be established for longer than one hour. Due to the limited scope and short duration of each temporary safety zone, the impacts on routine navigation are expected to be minimal.

    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 proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    This proposed rule will affect the following entities, some of which may be small entities: The owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the following waterways on the listed dates: The Lower Mississippi River in New Orleans, Louisiana on April 27, 2015 and April 28, 2015; the Tchefuncta River near Madisonville, Louisiana on July 4, 2015, and the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain in the vicinity of Mandeville, LA on July 4, 2015. 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 because it is limited in scope and each temporary safety zone will only be in effect for approximately one hour on one day. Before enforcement, COTP New Orleans will issue maritime advisories widely available to users of the impacted waterways and will make notifications to the public through marine band radio when the temporary safety zones are being enforced. Additionally, deviation from this rule may be requested and will be considered on a case by case basis by COTP New Orleans or a COTP New Orleans designated representative.

    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 establishing temporary safety zones in the Lower Mississippi River, Tchefuncta River, and Lake Pontchartrain. This rule is categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of the Commandant Instruction. A preliminary environmental analysis checklist supporting this determination and a Categorical Exclusion Determination are available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule.

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

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

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

    PART 165—REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS 1. The authority citation for part 165 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 1231; 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. A new temporary § 165.T08-1069 is added to read as follows:
    § 165.T08-1069 Safety Zones, Captain of the Port New Orleans Zone, LA.

    (a) Locations. The following areas are safety zones:

    (1) All waters of the Lower Mississippi River from mile marker 94 to mile marker 96 above Head of Passes, New Orleans, LA. This location will be used for the New Orleans Navy Week and Hosts Global events.

    (2) All waters of the Tchefuncta River from the confluence of the Tchefuncta River and Lake Pontchartrain, extending one mile north into the Tchefuncta River, Madisonville, LA. This location will be used for the Madisonville Fourth of July event.

    (3) All waters of Lake Pontchartrain extending 350 feet in all directions from the end of the Fountainbleau State Park Pier in Mandeville, LA. This location will be used for the Mandeville City Seafood Festival.

    (4) All waters of Lake Pontchartrain extending 350 feet in all directions from a fireworks barge located offshore of Mandeville, LA. This location will be used for the Mandeville Lakefront Fireworks event.

    (b) Effective Dates and Enforcement Periods. This rule is effective during five individual events occurring on four separate dates from April 27, 2015 through July 4, 2015. The temporary safety zones will be enforced during the following dates and times:

    (1) April 27, 2015, in the evening for one hour or less in the location noted in section a.1.

    (2) April 28, 2015, in the evening for one hour or less in the location noted in section a.1.

    (3) July 4, 2015, in the evening for one hour or less in the location noted in section a.2.

    (4) July 4, 2015, in the evening for one hour or less the locations noted in section a.3 and a.4.

    (c) Regulations.

    (1) In accordance with the general regulations in § 165.23 of this part, entry into these zones is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the Captain of the Port (COTP) New Orleans or designated personnel. Designated personnel include commissioned, warrant and petty officers of the U.S. Coast Guard assigned to units under the operational control of Sector New Orleans.

    (2) Persons and vessels requiring deviation from this rule must request permission from the COTP New Orleans or a COTP New Orleans designated representative. They may be contacted on VHF-FM Channel 16 or 67, or through Coast Guard Sector New Orleans at 504-365-2200.

    (3) Persons and vessels permitted to deviate from this rule must transit at the slowest safe speed and comply with all lawful directions issued by the COTP New Orleans or designated representative.

    (d) Information Broadcasts. The COTP New Orleans or a COTP New Orleans designated representative will inform the public through broadcast notices to mariners of the enforcement period for the safety zones as well as any changes in the planned schedule.

    Dated: March 4, 2015. P.C. Schifflin, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port New Orleans.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06846 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 a.m.] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2015-0089; FRL-9925-15-Region 3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Maryland; Biomass Fuel-Burning Equipment Standards AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Maryland. This revision pertains to a new regulation for biomass fuel-burning equipment and related amendments to existing regulations. This action is being taken under the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before April 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-R03-OAR-2015-0089 by one of the following methods:

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

    B. Email: [email protected]

    C. Mail: EPA-R03-OAR-2015-0089, Marilyn Powers, Acting Associate Director, Office of Air Program Planning, Mailcode 3AP30, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103.

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

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2015-0089. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change, and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or email. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

    Docket: All documents in the electronic docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy during normal business hours at the Air Protection Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103. Copies of the State submittal are available at the Maryland Department of the Environment, 1800 Washington Boulevard, Suite 705, Baltimore, Maryland 21230.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Irene Shandruk, (215) 814-2166, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    Biomass materials, which include wood residue and wood products, animal manure (including litter and other bedding materials), vegetative agricultural materials as well as silvicultural materials, can be used as fuel burned to provide heat and power. New technologies and environmental initiatives have recently increased the use of biomass material for combustion in the State of Maryland. Therefore, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has established emission standards for the combustion of biomass fuel by developing a new Code of Maryland (COMAR) regulation, COMAR 26.11.09.12—“Standards for Biomass Fuel-Burning Equipment Greater Than 350,000 British Thermal Units (Btu)/Hour (hr) Heat Input.” The typical type of equipment that is regulated under this new regulation is a boiler; however, it also applies to process heaters and other applications.

    II. Summary of SIP Revision

    On January 12, 2015, MDE submitted to EPA a SIP revision concerning new regulation COMAR 26.11.09.12 (Standards for Biomass Fuel-Burning Equipment Equal to or Greater Than 350,000 Btu/hr) and related amendments to regulations .01, .04, .06, .07, .09, and .10 under COMAR 26.11.09—Control of Fuel-Burning Equipment, Stationary Internal Combustion Engines, and Certain Fuel-Burning Installations. The new regulation, COMAR 26.11.09.12, Standards for Biomass Fuel-Burning Equipment Equal to or Greater Than 350,000 Btu/hr, establishes particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxide (NOX) emission limits (see Table 1) and additional requirements (such as compliance and record keeping and reporting) for biomass fuel-burning equipment. According to MDE, small biomass boilers will need to install PM emission controls; however, MDE asserts the NOX emission rates for biomass fuel-burning equipment can be achieved through efficient system design and do not require add-on pollution controls. MDE also asserted in the SIP submittal that new biomass fuel-burning equipment would still be subject to standards based on federal maximum achievable control technology (MACT), generally available control technology (GACT), and best available control technology (BACT) analysis. Further EPA analysis and information on the MDE regulations for this SIP submittal are provided in the Technical Support Document (TSD) with Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2015-0089.

    Table 1—Emission Standards for Biomass Fuel-Burning Equipment Heat input capacity
  • (mmBtu/hr)
  • PM
  • (pounds/mmBtu)
  • NOX
  • (pounds/mmBtu)
  • ≥10 0.03-0.07 0.25-0.30 >1.5 and <10 0.1-0.23 0.30 >0.35 and ≤1.5 0.1-0.35 0.30

    MDE has submitted the new biomass fuel-burning provisions in COMAR 26.11.09.12 and revised provisions in COMAR 26.11.09.10 for inclusion in the Maryland SIP. The SIP submittal also includes revisions to COMAR 26.11.09.01 (February 22, 2011, 76 FR 9650), .04 (November 3, 1992, 57 FR 49651), .06 (July 6, 2005, 70 FR 38774), .07 (November 3, 1992, 57 FR 49651), and .09 (May 1, 2003, 68 FR 23206), which were previously included in the Maryland SIP.

    III. Proposed Action

    EPA's review of this material indicates that MDE's regulation provides emission limits on smaller biomass fuel-burning equipment providing PM and NOX emission reductions which will strengthen the Maryland SIP. The reductions in PM and NOX will help Maryland attain and maintain the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone and PM. EPA is proposing to approve Maryland's January 12, 2015 SIP revision for biomass fuel-burning equipment. EPA is soliciting public comments on the issues discussed in this document. These comments will be considered before taking final action.

    IV. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rulemaking, the EPA is proposing to include in a final EPA rule regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is proposing to incorporate by reference the Maryland rules regarding the definitions and requirements for biomass fuel-burning equipment in COMAR 26.11.09.01, .04, .06, .07, .09, .10, and .12. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and/or in hard copy at the EPA Region III office (see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

    V. 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 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, this proposed rule pertaining to Maryland's biomass fuel-burning equipment standards does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because the SIP is not approved to apply in Indian country located in the state, and EPA notes that it will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: March 10, 2015. William C. Early, Acting Regional Administrator, Region III.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06856 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0883; FRL-9924-96-Region-3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Maryland; Determination of Attainment of the 1997 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard for the Baltimore, Maryland Serious Nonattainment Area AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to make a determination that the Baltimore, Maryland Serious Nonattainment Area (Baltimore Area) has attained the 1997 8-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). This proposed determination is based upon complete, quality-assured, and certified ambient air monitoring data that shows the Area has monitored attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the 2012-2014 monitoring period. If this proposal becomes final, the requirement for this Area to submit an attainment demonstration, reasonably available control measures (RACM), a reasonable further progress (RFP) plan, and contingency measures related to attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS shall be suspended for so long as the Area continues to attain the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. This action does not constitute a redesignation to attainment. The Baltimore Area will remain nonattainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS until such time as EPA determines that the Baltimore Area meets the Clean Air Act (CAA) requirements for redesignation to attainment, including an approved maintenance plan. This action is being taken under the CAA.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before April 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0883 by one of the following methods:

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

    B. Email: [email protected]

    C. Mail: EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0883, Cristina Fernandez, Associate Director, Office of Air Program Planning, Mailcode 3AP30, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103.

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

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0883. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change, and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or email. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

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

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Irene Shandruk, (215) 814-2166, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    On July 18, 1997, EPA revised the health-based NAAQS for ozone based on 8-hour average concentrations. 62 FR 38856. The 8-hour averaging period replaced the previous 1-hour averaging period, and the level of the NAAQS was changed from 0.12 parts per million (ppm) to 0.08 ppm. Id. On April 30, 2004 (69 FR 23858), EPA finalized its attainment/nonattainment designations for areas across the country for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. These actions became effective on June 15, 2004. Among those nonattainment areas was the Baltimore Area (specifically, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County), which was designated as a moderate ozone nonattainment area. Id. Later, the Baltimore Area was reclassified as a serious nonattainment area for the 1997 ozone NAAQS. 77 FR 4901 (February 1, 2012). See 40 CFR 81.321. Air quality monitoring data from the 2012-2014 monitoring period indicate that the Baltimore Area is now attaining the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS.

    Under the provisions of EPA's ozone implementation rule (40 CFR 51.918), if EPA issues a determination that an area is attaining the relevant standard (through a rulemaking that includes public notice and comment), it will suspend the area's obligations to submit an attainment demonstration, RACM, RFP, contingency measures and other planning requirements related to attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS for as long as the area continues to attain the standard. This suspension remains in effect until such time, if ever, that EPA (i) redesignates the area to attainment at which time those requirements no longer apply, or (ii) subsequently determines that the area has violated the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. Although these requirements are suspended, EPA is not precluded from acting upon these elements at any time if submitted to EPA for review and approval. The determination of attainment is not equivalent to a redesignation under section 107(d)(3) of the CAA. The designation status of the Baltimore Area will remain nonattainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS until such time as EPA determines that the Baltimore Area meets the CAA requirements for redesignation to attainment, including an approved maintenance plan. Additionally, the determination of attainment is separate from, and does not influence or otherwise affect, any future designation determination or requirements for the Baltimore Area based on any new or revised ozone NAAQS, and it remains in effect regardless of whether EPA designates the Baltimore Area as a nonattainment area for purposes of any new or revised ozone NAAQS.

    II. EPA's Evaluation

    For ozone, an area may be considered to be attaining the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS if there are no violations, as determined in accordance with 40 CFR part 50, based on three complete, consecutive calendar years of quality-assured ambient air monitoring data. Under EPA regulations at 40 CFR part 50, the 1997 8-hour ozone standard is attained when the 3-year average of the annual fourth-highest daily maximum 8-hour average ozone concentration at an ozone monitor is less than or equal to 0.08 ppm. This 3-year average is referred to as the design value. When the design value is less than or equal to 0.084 ppm (based on the rounding convention in 40 CFR part 50, Appendix I) at each monitor within the area, then the area is attaining the NAAQS. Also, the data completeness requirement is met when the average percent of days with valid ambient monitoring data is greater than or equal to 90 percent (%), and no single year has less than 75% data completeness as determined in Appendix I of 40 CFR part 50. The data must be collected and quality-assured in accordance with 40 CFR part 58, and recorded in the EPA Air Quality System (AQS).

    EPA has reviewed the complete, quality-assured and certified ozone ambient air monitoring data for the monitoring period for 2012-2014 for the Baltimore Area. The design values for each monitor for the years 2012-2014 are less than or equal to 0.084 ppm, and all monitors meet the data completeness requirements (see Table 1). Based on this 2012-2014 data from the AQS database and consistent with the requirements contained in 40 CFR part 50, EPA has concluded that this Area attained the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS.

    Table 1—2012-2014 Baltimore Area 1997 8-Hour Ozone Design Values Monitor ID Average percent (%)
  • data completeness
  • 2012-2014
  • Design value
  • (ppm)
  • 24-003-0014 97 0.074 24-005-1007 95 0.072 24-005-3001 99 0.072 24-013-0001 99 0.069 24-025-1001 98 0.075 24-025-9001 96 0.073 24-510-0054 90 0.064

    The data in Table 1 are available in EPA's AQS database. The AQS report with this data is available in the docket for this rulemaking under docket number EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0883 and available online at www.regulations.gov, docket number EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0883.

    III. Proposed Action

    EPA is proposing to make a determination that the Baltimore Area has attained the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. This proposed determination is based upon complete, quality-assured, and certified ambient air monitoring data that show the Area has monitored attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the 2012-2014 monitoring period. Once this proposal is final, the requirement for this Area to submit an attainment demonstration, RACM, a RFP plan, contingency measures, and other planning requirements related to attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS shall be suspended for so long as the Area continues to attain the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. Although these requirements are suspended, EPA is not precluded from acting upon these elements at any time if submitted to EPA for review and approval. Finalizing this determination does not constitute a redesignation of the Baltimore Area to attainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS under CAA section 107(d)(3). This determination of attainment also does not involve approving any maintenance plan for the Baltimore Area and does not determine that the Area has met all the requirements for redesignation under the CAA, including that the attainment be due to permanent and enforceable measures. Therefore, the designation status of the Baltimore Area will remain nonattainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS until such time as EPA takes final rulemaking action to determine that such Area meets the CAA requirements for redesignation to attainment. EPA is soliciting public comments on the issues discussed in this document. These comments will be considered before taking final action.

    IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    This action proposes to make an attainment determination based on air quality data and would, if finalized, result in the suspension of certain Federal requirements and would not impose any additional requirements. 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 (Public Law 104-4);

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

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

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

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

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

    In addition, this proposed rule, concerning a determination of attainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the Baltimore Area, does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because the State Implementation Plan (SIP) is not approved to apply in Indian country located in the state, and EPA notes that it will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

    List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: March 9, 2015. William C. Early, Acting Regional Administrator, Region III.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06731 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0833; FRL-9924-97-Region-3] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Maryland; Preconstruction Requirements—Nonattainment New Source Review AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted on August 22, 2013 by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). This revision pertains to Maryland's major nonattainment New Source Review (NSR) program, notably preconstruction permitting requirements for sources of fine particulate matter (PM2.5). This action is being taken under the Clean Air Act (CAA).

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before April 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0833 by one of the following methods:

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

    B. Email: [email protected]

    C. Mail: EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0833, David Campbell, Associate Director, Office of Permits and Air Toxics, Mailcode 3AP10, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103.

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

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2014-0833. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change, and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or email. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

    Docket: All documents in the electronic docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy during normal business hours at the Air Protection Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103. Copies of the State submittal are available at the Maryland Department of the Environment, 1800 Washington Boulevard, Suite 705, Baltimore, Maryland 21230.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Talley, (215) 814-2117, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    On August 22, 2013, MDE submitted a SIP revision request to EPA. This SIP revision request, if approved, would revise Maryland's currently approved nonattainment NSR program by amending Regulation .01 under section 26.11.01 of the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR), and Regulations .01 and .02 under COMAR 26.11.17. Generally, the revisions incorporate provisions related to the 2008 “Implementation of the New Source Review (NSR) Program for Particulate Matter Less than 2.5 Micrometers (PM2.5)” (2008 NSR PM2.5 Rule). 73 FR 28321 (May 16, 2008). The 2008 NSR PM2.5 rule: (1) Required NSR permits to address directly emitted PM2.5 and precursor pollutants; (2) established significant emission rates for direct PM2.5 and precursor pollutants (including sulfur dioxide (SO2) and oxides of nitrogen (NOX)); (3) established PM2.5 emission offsets; and (4) required states to account for gases that condense to form particles (condensables) in PM2.5 emission limits.

    Additionally, the 2008 NSR PM2.5 Rule authorized states to adopt provisions in their nonattainment NSR rules that would allow major stationary sources and major modifications locating in areas designated nonattainment for PM2.5 to offset emissions increases of direct PM2.5 emissions or PM2.5 precursors with reductions of either direct PM2.5 emissions or PM2.5 precursors in accordance with offset ratios contained in the approved SIP for the applicable nonattainment area. The inclusion, in whole or in part, of the interpollutant offset provisions for PM2.5 is discretionary on the part of the states. In the preamble to the 2008 NSR PM2.5 Rule, EPA included preferred or presumptive offset ratios, applicable to specific PM2.5 precursors, that states may adopt in conjunction with the new interpollutant offset provisions for PM2.5, and for which the state could rely on the EPA's technical work to demonstrate the adequacy of the ratios for use in any PM2.5 nonattainment area. Alternatively, the preamble indicated that states may adopt their own ratios, subject to the EPA's approval, that would have to be substantiated by modeling or other technical demonstrations of the net air quality benefit for ambient PM2.5 concentrations. The preferred ratios were subsequently the subject of a petition for reconsideration, which the Administrator granted. EPA continues to support the basic policy that sources may offset increases in emissions of direct PM2.5 or of any PM2.5 precursor in a PM2.5 nonattainment area with actual emissions reductions in direct PM2.5 or PM2.5 precursors in accordance with offset ratios as approved in the SIP for the applicable nonattainment area. However, we no longer consider the preferred ratios set forth in the preamble to the 2008 NSR PM2.5 Rule to be presumptively approvable. Instead, any ratio involving PM2.5 precursors adopted by the state for use in the interpollutant offset program for PM2.5 nonattainment areas must be accompanied by a technical demonstration that shows the net air quality benefits of such ratio for the PM2.5 nonattainment area in which it will be applied. Maryland's August 22, 2013 submittal did not include the interpollutant offset provisions.

    The 2008 NSR PM2.5 Rule (as well as the 2007 “Final Clean Air Fine Particle Implementation Rule” (2007 PM2.5 Implementation Rule) 1 ), was the subject of litigation before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit) in Natural Resources Defense Council v. EPA (hereafter, NRDC v. EPA).2 On January 4, 2013, the D.C. Circuit remanded to EPA both the 2007 PM2.5 Implementation Rule and the 2008 NSR PM2.5 Rule. The court found that in both rules EPA erred in implementing the 1997 PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) solely pursuant to the general implementation provisions of subpart 1 of part D of title I of the CAA (subpart 1), rather than pursuant to the additional implementation provisions specific to particulate matter in subpart 4 of part D of title I (subpart 4).3 As a result, the court remanded both rules and instructed EPA “to re-promulgate these rules pursuant to subpart 4 consistent with this opinion.” Although the D.C. Circuit declined to establish a deadline for EPA's response, EPA intends to respond promptly to the court's remand and to promulgate new generally applicable implementation regulations for the PM2.5 NAAQS in accordance with the requirements of subpart 4. In the interim, however, states and EPA still need to proceed with implementation of the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS in a timely and effective fashion in order to meet statutory obligations under the CAA and to assure the protection of public health intended by those NAAQS. In a June 2, 2014 final rulemaking entitled “Identification of Nonattainment Classification and Deadlines for Submission of State Implementation Plan (SIP) Provisions for the 1997 Fine Particle (PM2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS; Final Rule,” (79 FR 31566), EPA identified the classification status under subpart 4 for areas currently designated nonattainment for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS. That rulemaking also established a December 31, 2014 deadline for the submission of any additional attainment related SIP elements that may be needed to meet the applicable requirements of subpart 4.

    1 72 FR 20586 (April 25, 2007).

    2 706 F.3d 428 (D.C. Cir. 2013).

    3 The court's opinion did not specifically address the point that implementation under subpart 4 requirements would still require consideration of subpart 1 requirements, to the extent that subpart 4 did not override subpart 1. EPA assumes that the court presumed that EPA would address this issue of potential overlap between subpart 1 and subpart 4 requirements in subsequent actions.

    EPA is in the process of evaluating the requirements of subpart 4 as they pertain to nonattainment NSR. In particular, subpart 4 includes section 189(e) of the CAA, which requires the control of major stationary sources of coarse particulate matter (PM10) precursors (and hence under the NRDC v. EPA court decision, PM2.5 precursors) “except where the Administrator determines that such sources do not contribute significantly to PM10 levels which exceed the standard in the area.” The evaluation of which precursors need to be controlled to achieve the standard in a particular area is typically conducted in the context of the state's preparing and the EPA's reviewing an area's attainment plan SIP. At the time of the August 22, 2013 SIP submittal, three areas in Maryland were designated as nonattainment for the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS: The Maryland portion of the Washington DC-MD-VA nonattainment area; the Baltimore nonattainment area; and the Maryland portion of the Martinsburg-Hagerstown, MD-WV nonattainment area.

    Since the SIP submittal, EPA has taken final action to redesignate all of these areas to attainment. On October 6, 2014, EPA took final action to redesignate the Washington, DC-MD-VA area. 79 FR 60081. On December 16, 2014, EPA took final action to redesignate both the Baltimore nonattainment area and the Martinsburg-Hagerstown nonattainment area to attainment. 79 FR 75032 (Baltimore area) and 79 FR 75035 (Maryland portion of the Martinsburg-Hagerstown area). As a result, MDE is no longer obligated to submit a nonattainment NSR SIP revision under section 189 of the CAA addressing nonattainment NSR permitting requirements for PM2.5, including the requirements under subpart 4. Therefore, EPA has not evaluated the August 22, 2013 submittal for the purposes of determining compliance with the subpart 4 requirements. To the extent that any area is designated nonattainment for PM2.5 in Maryland in the future, MDE will have to make a submission under section 189 of the CAA addressing how its nonattainment permitting program satisfies the CAA statutory requirements as to PM2.5, including subpart 4 and any applicable PM2.5 Federal implementation rules.

    II. Summary of SIP Revision

    As previously discussed, this SIP revision incorporates provisions related to the 2008 NSR PM2.5 Rule, which: (1) Required NSR permits to address directly emitted PM2.5 and precursor pollutants;(2) established significant emission rates for direct PM2.5 and precursor pollutants (including sulfur dioxide (SO2) and oxides of nitrogen (NOX)); (3) established PM2.5 emission offsets; and (4) required states to account for gases that condense to form particles (condensables) in PM2.5 emission limits.

    To implement these provisions, Maryland amended Regulation .01 under COMAR 26.11.01 (General Administrative Provisions) and Regulations .01 and .02 under COMAR 26.11.17 (Nonattainment Provisions for Major New Sources and Major Modifications). The general definitions at COMAR 26.11.01.01 were amended to add definitions of “PM2.5” and “PM2.5 emissions.” COMAR 26.11.17 contains the preconstruction requirements for new major stationary sources and major modifications locating in nonattainment areas. The definitions of “regulated NSR pollutant” and “significant” under COMAR 26.11.17.01 were amended. The amended definitions require that sources account for the condensable fraction of PM10 and PM2.5, require that NOX and SO2 be regulated as precursors to PM10 and PM2.5, and establish significant emission rates (SERs) for PM2.5 and its precursors. COMAR 26.11.17.02 was revised to specify that all of the major nonattainment NSR preconstruction requirements of the chapter are applicable to new major stationary sources and major modifications that are major for PM2.5 or its precursors. COMAR 26.11.17.02 was also revised to clarify that in addition to the requirements of that chapter, the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) requirements of COMAR 26.11.04.16 may also apply to sources locating in nonattainment areas.

    III. Proposed Action

    EPA's review of this material indicates that the proposed revisions comply with the nonattainment NSR program requirements of the CAA and its implementing regulations (including the 2008 NSR PM2.5 Rule) that are applicable in Maryland at this time. EPA is therefore proposing to approve MDE's August 22, 2013 submittal as a revision to the Maryland SIP. EPA is soliciting public comments on the issues discussed in this document. These comments will be considered before taking final action.

    IV. Incorporation by Reference

    In this proposed action, the EPA is proposing to include in a final EPA rule, regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is proposing to incorporate by reference amendments to Regulation .01 under COMAR 26.11.01 (General Administrative Provisions) and Regulations .01 and .02 under COMAR 26.11.17 (Nonattainment Provisions for Major New Sources and Major Modifications). The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through www.regulations.gov and/or in hard copy at the appropriate EPA office (see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

    V. 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 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, this proposed rule, relating to Maryland's nonattainment NSR program, does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because the SIP is not approved to apply in Indian country located in the state, and EPA notes that it will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law. List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Carbon monoxide, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Lead, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides, Volatile organic compounds.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

    Dated: March 9, 2015. William C. Early, Acting Regional Administrator, Region III.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06729 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Parts 1 and 73 [AU Docket No. 15-3; DA 15-25] Auction of FM Broadcast Construction Permits Scheduled for July 23, 2015; Comment Sought on Competitive Bidding Procedures for Auction 98 AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule; proposed auction procedures; comment sought.

    SUMMARY:

    The Wireless Telecommunications and Media Bureaus (the Bureaus) announce the auction of certain FM broadcast construction permits. This document also seeks comment on competitive bidding procedures for Auction 98.

    DATES:

    Comments are due on or before April 1, 2015, and reply comments are due on or before April 8, 2015. Bidding for construction permits in Auction 98 is scheduled to begin on July 23, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties may submit comments to the Auction 98 Request for Comment by any of the following methods:

    FCC's Web site: Federal Communication Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS): http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Mail: FCC Headquarters, 445 12th Street SW., Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554.

    People With Disabilities: To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (braille, large print, electronic files, or audio format), send an email to [email protected] or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY).

    For detailed instructions for submitting comments, see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    Initial Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Analysis:

    This document does not contain proposed information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. In addition, therefore, it does not contain any proposed information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198. See 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Auctions and Spectrum Access Division: For auction legal questions: Lynne Milne or Howard Davenport at (202) 418-0660; for general auction questions: Jeff Crooks at (202) 418-0660 or Sue Sterner at (717) 338-2868.

    Media Bureau, Audio Division: For FM service rules questions: Lisa Scanlan or Tom Nessinger at (202) 418-2700.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Auction 98 Request for Comment in AU Docket No. 15-3, DA 15-25, released on March 16, 2015. The complete text of this document, including any attachment, is available for public inspection and copying from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) Monday through Thursday or from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET on Fridays in the FCC Reference Information Center, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. The Auction 98 Request for Comment and related documents also are available on the Internet at the Commission's Web site: http://wireless.fcc.gov/auctions/98/, or by using the search function for AU Docket No. 15-3 on the Commission's ECFS Web page at http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/.

    All filings in response to the Auction 98 Request for Comment must refer to AU Docket No. 15-3. The Bureaus strongly encourage interested parties to file comments electronically, and request that an additional copy of all comments and reply comments be submitted electronically to the following address: [email protected]

    Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the Federal Communication Commission's Electronic Comments Filing System (ECFS): http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and one copy of each filing. Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary Attn: WTB/ASAD, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission (FCC). All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission's Secretary must be delivered to the FCC Headquarters at 445 12th Street SW., Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET). All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and boxes must be disposed of before entering the building. Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743. U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554.

    I. Construction Permits in Auction 98

    1. Auction 98 will offer 131 construction permits in the FM broadcast service. The construction permits to be auctioned are for 113 new FM allotments, including 18 construction permits that were offered but not sold or were defaulted upon in prior auctions. Attachment A of the Auction 98 Request for Comment lists the specific vacant FM allotments, along with the reference coordinates for each vacant FM allotment. These comprise FM channels added to the Table of FM Allotments, 47 CFR 73.202(b), and designated for use in the indicated communities.

    2. Under established Commission policies, an applicant may apply for any vacant FM allotment listed in Attachment A of the Auction 98 Request for Comment. If two or more short-form applications (FCC Form 175) specify a construction permit for the same FM allotment in Auction 98, mutual exclusivity exists for auction purposes, and even if only one applicant is qualified to bid for a particular construction permit in Auction 98, that applicant is required to submit a bid in order to obtain that construction permit. Any applicant that submits a short-form application for Auction 98, but fails to become a qualified bidder for any reason, including a failure to timely submit an upfront payment, will retain its status as an applicant in Auction 98 and will remain subject to the rules prohibiting certain communications.

    II. Due Diligence

    3. Each potential bidder is solely responsible for investigating and evaluating all technical and marketplace factors that may have a bearing on the value of the construction permits for broadcast facilities that it is seeking in this auction. Each bidder is responsible for assuring that, if it wins a construction permit, it will be able to build and operate facilities in accordance with the Commission's rules. The FCC makes no representations or warranties about the use of this spectrum for particular services. Each applicant should be aware that an FCC auction of FM station construction permits represents an opportunity to become an FCC permittee in the broadcast service, subject to certain conditions and regulations. These conditions include, but are not limited to, the condition that FCC licenses and other authorizations (whether awarded through competitive bidding or otherwise) are subject to the authority of the FCC, under the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, to modification through rulemaking and adjudicative proceedings. An FCC auction does not constitute an endorsement by the FCC of any particular service, technology, or product, nor does an FCC construction permit or license constitute a guarantee of business success.

    4. An applicant should perform its due diligence research and analysis before proceeding, as it would with any new business venture. In particular, the Bureaus strongly encourage each potential bidder to review all underlying Commission orders, such as the specific Report and Order amending the FM Table of Allotments and allotting the FM channel(s) on which it plans to bid. A Report and Order adopted in an FM allotment rulemaking proceeding may include anomalies such as site restrictions or expense reimbursement requirements. Additionally, each potential bidder should perform technical analyses and/or refresh any previous analyses to assure itself that, should it become a winning bidder for any Auction 98 construction permit, it will be able to build and operate facilities that will fully comply with all applicable technical and legal requirements. The Bureaus strongly encourage each applicant to inspect any prospective transmitter sites located in, or near, the service area for which it plans to bid; confirm the availability of such sites; and familiarize itself with 47 CFR 1.1301-1.1319.

    5. The Bureaus strongly encourage each applicant to conduct its own research prior to Auction 98 in order to determine the existence of pending administrative or judicial proceedings, including pending allocation rulemaking proceedings that might affect its decisions regarding participation in the auction. The Bureaus strongly encourage participants in Auction 98 to continue such research throughout the auction. These due diligence considerations are not an exhaustive list of steps that should be undertaken prior to participating in this auction. As always, the burden is on the potential bidder to determine how much research to undertake, depending upon the specific facts and circumstances related to its interests.

    III. Bureaus Seek Comment on Auction Procedures A. Auction Structure

    6. Simultaneous Multiple Round Auction Design. The Bureaus propose to auction all construction permits included in Auction 98 using the Commission's standard simultaneous multiple-round auction format. This type of auction offers every construction permit for bid at the same time and consists of successive bidding rounds in which eligible bidders may place bids on individual construction permits. Typically, bidding remains open on all construction permits until bidding stops on every construction permit. The Bureaus seek comment on this proposal.

    7. Bidding Rounds. Auction 98 will consist of sequential bidding rounds, each followed by the release of round results. The initial bidding schedule will be announced in a public notice to be released at least one week before the start of the auction. Details on viewing round results, including the location and format of downloadable round results files, will be included in the same public notice.

    8. The Commission will conduct Auction 98 over the Internet using the Commission's Integrated Spectrum Auction System (FCC Auction System). Bidders will also have the option of placing bids by telephone through a dedicated Auction Bidder Line. The toll-free telephone number for the Auction Bidder Line will be provided to qualified bidders prior to the start of the auction.

    9. The Bureaus propose to retain the discretion to change the bidding schedule in order to foster an auction pace that reasonably balances speed with the bidders' need to study round results and adjust their bidding strategies. Under this proposal, the Bureaus may change the amount of time for the bidding rounds, the amount of time between rounds, or the number of rounds per day, depending upon bidding activity and other factors. The Bureaus seek comment on this proposal. Commenters on this issue should address the role of the bidding schedule in managing the pace of the auction, specifically discussing the tradeoffs in managing auction pace by bidding schedule changes, by changing the activity requirements or bid amount parameters, or by using other means.

    10. Stopping Rule. To complete the auction within a reasonable time, the Bureaus propose to employ a simultaneous stopping rule approach for Auction 98, which means all construction permits remain available for bidding until bidding stops on every construction permit. Specifically, bidding will close on all construction permits after the first round in which no bidder submits any new bid, applies a proactive waiver, or, if bid withdrawals are permitted in this auction, withdraws any provisionally winning bid which is a bid that would become a final winning bid if the auction were to close in that given round. Thus, unless the Bureaus announce alternative procedures, the simultaneous stopping rule will be used in this auction, and bidding will remain open on all construction permits until bidding stops on every construction permit. Consequently, it is not possible to determine in advance how long the bidding in this auction will last.

    11. Further, the Bureaus propose to retain the discretion to exercise any of the following options during Auction 98. (1) Use a modified version of the simultaneous stopping rule that would close the auction for all construction permits after the first round in which no bidder applies a waiver, withdraws a provisionally winning bid (if withdrawals are permitted in this auction), or places any new bid on a construction permit for which it is not the provisionally winning bidder, which means that, absent any other bidding activity, a bidder placing a new bid on a construction permit for which it is the provisionally winning bidder would not keep the auction open under this modified stopping rule. (2) Use a modified version of the simultaneous stopping rule that would close the auction for all construction permits after the first round in which no bidder applies a waiver, withdraws a provisionally winning bid (if withdrawals are permitted in this auction), or places any new bid on a construction permit that is not FCC held, which means that, absent any other bidding activity, a bidder placing a new bid on a construction permit that does not already have a provisionally winning bid (an FCC-held construction permit) would not keep the auction open under this modified stopping rule. (3) Use a modified version of the simultaneous stopping rule that combines (1) and (2). (4) Declare the auction will end after a specified number of additional rounds (special stopping rule). If the Bureaus invoke this special stopping rule, they will accept bids in the specified final round(s), after which the auction will close. (5) Keep the auction open even if no bidder places any new bid, applies a waiver, or withdraws any provisionally winning bid (if withdrawals are permitted in this auction). In this event, the effect will be the same as if a bidder had applied a waiver. The activity rule will apply as usual, and a bidder with insufficient activity will either lose bidding eligibility or use a waiver.

    12. The Bureaus propose to exercise these options only in certain circumstances, for example, where the auction is proceeding unusually slowly or quickly, there is minimal overall bidding activity, or it appears likely that the auction will not close within a reasonable period of time or will close prematurely. Before exercising these options, the Bureaus are likely to attempt to change the pace of the auction. For example, the Bureaus may adjust the pace of bidding by changing the number of bidding rounds per day and/or the minimum acceptable bids. The Bureaus proposed to retain the discretion to exercise any of these options with or without prior announcement during the auction. The Bureaus seek comment on these proposals.

    13. Information Relating to Auction Delay, Suspension or Cancellation. Pursuant to 47 CFR 1.2104(i), the Bureaus propose that they may delay, suspend, or cancel Auction 98 in the event of a natural disaster, technical obstacle, administrative or weather necessity, evidence of an auction security breach or unlawful bidding activity, or for any other reason that affects the fair and efficient conduct of competitive bidding. The Bureaus will notify participants of any such delay, suspension or cancellation by public notice and/or through the FCC Auction System's announcement function. If the auction is delayed or suspended, the Bureaus may, in their sole discretion, elect to resume the auction starting from the beginning of the current round or from some previous round, or cancel the auction in its entirety. Network interruption may cause the Bureaus to delay or suspend the auction. The Bureaus emphasize that they will exercise this authority solely at their discretion, and not as a substitute for situations in which bidders may wish to apply activity rule waivers. The Bureaus seek comment on this proposal.

    B. Auction Procedures

    14. Upfront Payments and Bidding Eligibility. The Bureaus have delegated authority and discretion to determine an appropriate upfront payment for each construction permit being auctioned, taking into account such factors as the efficiency of the auction process and the potential value of similar construction permits. The upfront payment is a refundable deposit made by each bidder to establish eligibility to bid on construction permits. Upfront payments that are related to the specific construction permits being auctioned protect against frivolous or insincere bidding and provide the Commission with a source of funds from which to collect payments owed at the close of the auction. With these considerations in mind, the Bureaus propose the upfront payments set forth in Attachment A of the Auction 98 Request for Comment. The Bureaus seek comment on the upfront payments specified in Attachment A of the Auction 98 Request for Comment.

    15. The Bureaus further propose that the amount of the upfront payment submitted by a bidder will determine its initial bidding eligibility in bidding units. The Bureaus propose to assign each construction permit a specific number of bidding units, equal to one bidding unit per dollar of the upfront payment listed in Attachment A of the Auction 98 Request for Comment. The number of bidding units for a given construction permit is fixed and does not change during the auction as prices change. A bidder may place bids on multiple construction permits, provided that the total number of bidding units associated with those construction permits does not exceed the bidder's current eligibility. A bidder cannot increase its eligibility during the auction; it can only maintain its eligibility or decrease its eligibility. Thus, in calculating its upfront payment amount and hence its initial bidding eligibility, an applicant must determine the maximum number of bidding units on which it may wish to bid (or hold provisionally winning bids) in any single round, and submit an upfront payment amount covering that total number of bidding units. The Bureaus request comment on these proposals.

    16. Activity Rule. In order to ensure that the auction closes within a reasonable period of time, an activity rule requires bidders to bid actively throughout the auction, rather than wait until late in the auction before participating. A bidder's activity in a round will be the sum of the bidding units associated with any construction permits upon which it places bids during the current round and the bidding units associated with any construction permits for which it holds provisionally winning bids. Bidders are required to be active on a specific percentage of their current bidding eligibility during each round of the auction. Failure to maintain the requisite activity level would result in the use of an activity rule waiver, if any remain, or a reduction in the bidder's eligibility for the next round of bidding, possibly curtailing or eliminating the bidder's ability to place additional bids in the auction. The Bureaus seek comment on these proposals.

    17. The Bureaus propose to divide the auction into at least two stages, each with a different activity requirement. Under this proposal, a bidder desiring to maintain its current bidding eligibility would be required to be active on bidding units associated with construction permits representing at least 80 percent of its current bidding eligibility in each round of the first stage of the auction. During Stage One, a bidder's reduced eligibility for the next round would be calculated by multiplying the bidder's current round activity level by five-fourths (5/4). The Bureaus propose to advance the auction to the next stage by announcement during the auction. A bidder desiring to maintain its current bidding eligibility would be required to be active in each round of the second stage of Auction 98 on 95 percent of its current bidding eligibility. During Stage Two, a bidder's reduced eligibility for the next round would be calculated by multiplying the bidder's current round activity by twenty-nineteenths (20/19). If the Bureaus implement a stage with an activity requirement other than 80 percent or 95 percent, the Bureaus propose to calculate a bidder's reduced eligibility for the next round by multiplying the bidder's current round activity by the reciprocal of the activity requirement. Failure to maintain the requisite activity level will result in the use of an activity rule waiver, if any remain, or a reduction in the bidder's eligibility for the next round of bidding, possibly curtailing or eliminating the bidder's ability to place additional bids in the auction. The Bureaus seek comment on these activity requirements.

    18. The Bureaus retain the discretion to change stages unilaterally by announcement during the auction and to change the activity requirements during the auction. For example, the Bureaus could decide to add an additional stage with a higher activity requirement, not to transition to Stage Two if the Bureaus believe the auction is progressing satisfactorily under the Stage One activity requirement, or to transition to Stage Two with an activity requirement that is higher or lower than the 95 percent proposed for Stage Two in the Auction 98 Request for Comment.

    19. Activity Rule Waivers and Reducing Eligibility. When a bidder's activity in the current round is below the required minimum level, it may preserve its current level of eligibility through an activity rule waiver. An activity rule waiver applies to an entire round of bidding, not to a particular construction permit. Activity rule waivers can be either proactive or automatic. Activity rule waivers are principally a mechanism for a bidder to avoid the loss of bidding eligibility in the event that exigent circumstances prevent it from bidding in a particular round.

    20. The FCC Auction System assumes that a bidder that does not meet the activity requirement would prefer to use an activity rule waiver (if available) rather than lose bidding eligibility. Therefore, the system will automatically apply a waiver at the end of any bidding round in which a bidder's activity is below the minimum required unless (1) the bidder has no activity rule waiver remaining or (2) the bidder overrides the automatic application of a waiver by reducing eligibility, thereby meeting the activity requirement. If a bidder has no waiver remaining and does not satisfy the required activity level, the bidder's current eligibility will be permanently reduced, possibly curtailing or eliminating the ability to place additional bids in the auction.

    21. A bidder with insufficient activity may wish to reduce its bidding eligibility rather than use an activity rule waiver. If so, the bidder must affirmatively override the automatic waiver mechanism during the bidding round by using the reduced eligibility function in the FCC Auction System. In this case, the bidder's eligibility is permanently reduced to bring it into compliance with the activity requirement specified for that stage of the auction. Reducing eligibility is an irreversible action; once eligibility has been reduced, a bidder will not be permitted to regain its lost bidding eligibility, even if the round has not yet closed.

    22. Under the proposed simultaneous stopping rule, a bidder may apply an activity rule waiver proactively as a means to keep the auction open without placing a bid. If a bidder proactively applies an activity rule waiver (using the apply waiver function in the FCC Auction System) during a bidding round in which no bids are placed or withdrawn (if bid withdrawals are permitted in this auction), the auction will remain open and the bidder's eligibility will be preserved. An automatic waiver applied by the FCC Auction System in a round in which there are no new bids, withdrawals (if bid withdrawals are permitted in this auction), or proactive waivers will not keep the auction open. A bidder cannot apply a proactive waiver after bidding in a round, and applying a proactive waiver will preclude it from taking any other bidding-related action in that round, including placing bids or withdrawing bids (if bid withdrawals are permitted in this auction). Applying a waiver is irreversible; once a proactive waiver is submitted, it cannot be unsubmitted, even if the round has not yet closed.

    23. The Bureaus propose that each bidder in Auction 98 be provided with three activity rule waivers that may be used at the bidder's discretion during the course of the auction. The Bureaus seek comment on this proposal.

    24. Reserve Price or Minimum Opening Bids. Normally, a reserve price is an absolute minimum price below which an item will not be sold in a given auction. The Bureaus do not propose to establish separate reserve prices for the construction permits to be offered in Auction 98.

    25. A minimum opening bid is the minimum bid price set at the beginning of the auction below which no bids are accepted. Because it is an effective bidding tool for accelerating the competitive bidding process, the Bureaus propose to establish minimum opening bid amounts for Auction 98 determined by taking into account the type of service and class of facility offered, market size, population covered by the proposed broadcast facility, and recent broadcast transaction data. Attachment A of the Auction 98 Request for Comment lists a proposed minimum opening bid amount for each construction permit available in Auction 98. The Bureaus seek comment on the minimum opening bid amounts specified in Attachment A of the Auction 98 Request for Comment.

    26. If commenters believe that these minimum opening bid amounts will result in unsold construction permits, are not reasonable amounts, or should instead operate as reserve prices, they should explain why this is so and comment on the desirability of an alternative approach. The Bureaus ask commenters to support their claims with valuation analyses and suggested amounts or formulas for reserve prices or minimum opening bids. In establishing the minimum opening bid amounts, the Bureaus particularly seek comment on factors that could reasonably have an impact on valuation of the broadcast spectrum, including the type of service and class of facility offered, market size, population covered by the proposed FM broadcast facility, and any other relevant factors.

    27. Bid Amounts. The Bureaus propose that, if the bidder has sufficient eligibility to place a bid on a particular construction permit in a round, an eligible bidder will be able to place a bid on that construction permit in any of up to nine different amounts. Under this proposal, the FCC Auction System interface will list the acceptable bid amounts for each construction permit. If there are duplicate bid amounts due to rounding, the FCC Auction System will omit the duplicates and will list fewer than nine acceptable bid amounts for the construction permit.

    28. The first of the acceptable bid amounts is called the minimum acceptable bid amount. The minimum acceptable bid amount for a construction permit will be equal to its minimum opening bid amount until there is a provisionally winning bid for the construction permit. After there is a provisionally winning bid for a construction permit, the minimum acceptable bid amount will be a certain percentage higher. That is, the FCC will calculate the minimum acceptable bid amount by multiplying the provisionally winning bid amount times one plus the minimum acceptable bid percentage. If, for example, the minimum acceptable bid percentage is 10 percent, the minimum acceptable bid amount will equal (provisionally winning bid amount) * (1.10), rounded using the Commission's standard rounding procedures for auctions as described in the Auction 98 Request for Comment. If bid withdrawals are permitted in this auction, in the case of a construction permit for which the provisionally winning bid has been withdrawn, the minimum acceptable bid amount will equal the second highest bid received for the construction permit.

    29. The FCC will calculate the eight additional bid amounts using the minimum acceptable bid amount and a bid increment percentage. The first additional acceptable bid amount equals the minimum acceptable bid amount times one plus the bid increment percentage, rounded. If, for example, the bid increment percentage is 5 percent, the calculation is (minimum acceptable bid amount) * (1 + 0.05), rounded, or (minimum acceptable bid amount) * 1.05, rounded; the second additional acceptable bid amount equals the minimum acceptable bid amount times one plus two times the bid increment percentage, rounded, or (minimum acceptable bid amount) * 1.10, rounded; etc. The Bureaus will round the results using the Commission's standard rounding procedures for auctions.

    30. For Auction 98, the Bureaus propose to use a minimum acceptable bid percentage of 10 percent. This means that the minimum acceptable bid amount for a construction permit will be approximately 10 percent greater than the provisionally winning bid amount for the construction permit. To calculate the additional acceptable bid amounts, the Bureaus proposed to use a bid increment percentage of 5 percent. The Bureaus seek comment on these proposals.

    31. The Bureaus retain the discretion to change the minimum acceptable bid amounts, the minimum acceptable bid percentage, the bid increment percentage, and the number of acceptable bid amounts if the Bureaus determine that circumstances so dictate. Further, the Bureaus retain the discretion to do so on a construction-permit-by-construction-permit basis. The Bureaus also retain the discretion to limit (a) the amount by which a minimum acceptable bid for a construction permit may increase compared with the corresponding provisionally winning bid, and (b) the amount by which an additional bid amount may increase compared with the immediately preceding acceptable bid amount. For example, the Bureaus could set a $10,000 limit on increases in minimum acceptable bid amounts over provisionally winning bids. Thus, if calculating a minimum acceptable bid using the minimum acceptable bid percentage results in a minimum acceptable bid amount that is $12,000 higher than the provisionally winning bid on a construction permit, the minimum acceptable bid amount would instead be capped at $10,000 above the provisionally winning bid. The Bureaus seek comment on the circumstances under which the Bureaus should employ such a limit, factors the Bureaus should consider when determining the dollar amount of the limit, and the tradeoffs in setting such a limit or changing other parameters, such as changing the minimum acceptable bid percentage, the bid increment percentage, or the number of acceptable bid amounts. If the Bureaus exercise this discretion, they will alert bidders by announcement in the FCC Auction System during the auction.

    32. Provisionally Winning Bids. Provisionally winning bids are bids that would become final winning bids if the auction were to close in that given round. At the end of a bidding round, the FCC Auction System determines a provisionally winning bid for each construction permit based on the highest bid amount received. If identical high bid amounts are submitted on a construction permit in any given round (i.e., tied bids), the FCC Auction System will use a random number generator to select a single provisionally winning bid from among the tied bids. (The FCC Auction System assigns a random number to each bid when the bid is entered. The tied bid with the highest random number wins the tiebreaker.) The remaining bidders, as well as the provisionally winning bidder, can submit higher bids in subsequent rounds. However, if the auction were to end with no other bids being placed, the winning bidder would be the one that placed the provisionally winning bid. If the construction permit receives any bids in a subsequent round, the provisionally winning bid again will be determined by the highest bid amount received for the construction permit.

    33. A provisionally winning bid will be retained until there is a higher bid on the construction permit at the close of a subsequent round, unless the provisionally winning bid is withdrawn (if bid withdrawals are permitted in this auction). The Bureaus remind bidders that provisionally winning bids count toward a bidder's activity level for purposes of the activity rule.

    34. Bid Removal and Bid Withdrawal. For Auction 98, the Bureaus propose the following bid removal procedures. Before the close of a bidding round, a bidder has the option of removing any bid that bidder placed in that round. By removing a selected bid in the FCC Auction System, a bidder may effectively unsubmit any bid placed within that round. In contrast to the bid withdrawal provisions, a bidder removing a bid placed in the same round is not subject to a withdrawal payment. Once a round closes, a bidder may no longer remove a bid. The Bureaus seek comment on this bid removal proposal.

    35. The Bureaus also seek comment on whether bid withdrawals should be permitted in Auction 98. When permitted in an auction, bid withdrawals provide a bidder with the option of withdrawing bids placed in prior rounds that have become provisionally winning bids. A bidder may withdraw its provisionally winning bids using the withdraw bids function in the FCC Auction System. A bidder that withdraws its provisionally winning bid(s), if permitted in this auction, is subject to the bid withdrawal payment provisions of 47 CFR 1.2104(g) and 1.2109.

    36. Based on guidance provided by the Commission in several competitive bidding rulemaking proceedings and on the experience of the Bureaus with past auctions of FM broadcast construction permits, the Bureaus propose to prohibit bidders from withdrawing any bid after the close of the round in which the bid was placed. The Bureaus make this proposal in light of the site-specific nature and wide geographic dispersion of the permits available in this auction, which suggests that potential applicants for this auction may have fewer incentives to aggregate permits through the auction process (as compared with bidders in many auctions of wireless licenses). Thus, the Bureaus believe that it is unlikely that bidders will have a need to withdraw bids in this auction. Bid withdrawals also could encourage insincere bidding and the use of withdrawals for anti-competitive strategic purposes. The Bureaus also remain mindful that bid withdrawals, particularly those made late in this auction, could result in delays in licensing new FM stations and attendant delays in the offering of new broadcast service to the public. The Bureaus seek comment on their proposal to prohibit bid withdrawals in Auction 98.

    C. Post-Auction Payments

    37. Interim Withdrawal Payment Percentage. A bidder that withdraws a bid during an auction is subject to a withdrawal payment equal to the difference between the amount of the withdrawn bid and the amount of the winning bid in the same or a subsequent auction. However, if a construction permit for which a bid has been withdrawn does not receive a subsequent higher bid or winning bid in the same auction, the FCC cannot calculate the final withdrawal payment until that construction permit receives a higher bid or winning bid in a subsequent auction. In such cases, when that final withdrawal payment cannot yet be calculated, the FCC imposes on the bidder responsible for the withdrawn bid an interim bid withdrawal payment, which will be applied toward any final bid withdrawal payment that is ultimately assessed.

    38. The amount of the interim bid withdrawal payment may range from three percent to twenty percent of the withdrawn bid amount. If bid withdrawals are allowed in Auction 98, the Bureaus propose that the interim bid withdrawal payment be 20 percent of the withdrawn bid, the maximum interim bid withdrawal payment percentage allowed by 47 CFR 1.2104(g)(1). The Bureaus request comment on using twenty percent for calculating an interim bid withdrawal payment amount in Auction 98. Commenters advocating the use of bid withdrawals should also address the percentage of the interim bid withdrawal payment.

    39. Additional Default Payment Percentage. Any winning bidder that defaults or is disqualified after the close of an auction (i.e., fails to remit the required down payment within the prescribed period of time, fails to submit a timely long-form application, fails to make full and timely final payment, or is otherwise disqualified) is liable for a default payment under 47 CFR 1.2104(g)(2). This default payment consists of a deficiency payment equal to the difference between the amount of the Auction 98 bidder's winning bid and the amount of the winning bid the next time a construction permit covering the same spectrum is won in an auction, plus an additional payment equal to a percentage of the defaulter's bid or of the subsequent winning bid, whichever is less.

    40. Defaults weaken the integrity of the auction process and may impede the deployment of service to the public, and an additional twenty percent default payment will be more effective in deterring defaults than the three percent used in some earlier auctions. Moreover, a twenty percent additional default payment amount is consistent with the percentage used in recent auctions of FM permits. Based on the nature of the service and the construction permits being offered, the Bureaus propose for Auction 98 an additional default payment of twenty percent of the relevant bid. The Bureaus seek comment on this proposal.

    IV. Ex Parte Rules

    41. This proceeding has been designated as a permit-but-disclose proceeding in accordance with the Commission's ex parte rules. Persons making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that memoranda summarizing the presentations must contain summaries of the substance of the presentations and not merely a listing of the subjects discussed. More than a one- or two-sentence description of the views and arguments presented is generally required. Other provisions pertaining to oral and written ex parte presentations in permit-but-disclose proceedings are set forth in 47 CFR 1.1206(b).

    V. Supplemental Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    42. Consistent with the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA), as well as the Bureaus' obligations to small businesses under 47 U.S.C. 309(j)(3)(B) and 309(j)(4)(D), the Bureaus have prepared this additional analysis to supplement the Commission's Initial and Final Regulatory Flexibility Analyses completed in the underlying notices of proposed rulemaking and orders, including the Broadcast First Report and Order and associated competitive bidding orders, which are hereby incorporated by reference. This analysis addresses any possible incremental significant economic impact on small entities by the competitive bidding procedures proposed in the Auction 98 Request for Comment implementing such rulemaking orders. The Bureaus request written public comments on this supplemental analysis. Comments must be filed on or before April 1, 2015, and reply comments are due on or before April 8, 2015, and must be identified as responses to this supplemental analysis. The Bureaus will send a copy of the Auction 98 Request for Comment, including this supplemental analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA).

    43. Need for, and Objectives of, the Proposed Competitive Bidding Procedures. The Auction 98 Request for Comment seeks comment on proposed procedures to govern Auction 98, an auction of 131 FM radio station construction permits. This process is intended to implement the Commission's duty under 47 U.S.C. 309(j)(3)(e)(i) to provide notice of and adequate time for potential applicants to comment on proposed auction procedures. The objective is to promote the efficient and fair administration of the competitive bidding process for all Auction 98 participants, including small businesses.

    44. The Auction 98 Request for Comment seeks comment on proposed procedures for conducting Auction 98, including: (1) Use of a simultaneous multiple-round auction format, consisting of sequential bidding rounds with a simultaneous stopping rule (with discretion to exercise alternative stopping rules under certain circumstances); (2) A specific minimum opening bid amount for each construction permit proposed to be offered in Auction 98; (3) A specific upfront payment amount for each construction permit; (4) Establishment of a bidder's initial bidding eligibility in bidding units based on that bidder's upfront payment through assignment of a specific number of bidding units for each construction permit; (5) Use of an activity rule that would require bidders to bid actively during the auction rather than waiting until late in the auction before participating; (6) Use of different activity requirements in two stages of the auction, with the Bureaus retaining discretion to change the activity requirement during the auction; (7) Provision of three activity rule waivers for each bidder to allow it to preserve bidding eligibility during the course of the auction; (8) Use of minimum acceptable bid amounts and bid increments, along with a proposed methodology for calculating such amounts, with the Bureaus retaining discretion to change their methodology if circumstances dictate; (9) A procedure for breaking ties if identical high bid amounts are submitted on a permit in a given round; (10) Bid removal procedures; (11) Whether to permit bid withdrawals; (12) Establishment of an interim bid withdrawal percentage of 20 percent of the withdrawn bid in the event the Bureaus allow bid withdrawals in Auction 98; and (13) Establishment of an additional default payment of 20 percent under 47 CFR 1.2104(g)(2) in the event that a winning bidder defaults or is disqualified after the auction.

    45. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to which Specified Auction 98 Procedures Will Apply. The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of and, where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that may be affected by rules proposed in that rulemaking proceeding, if adopted. The RFA generally defines the term small entity as having the same meaning as the terms small business, small organization, and small governmental jurisdiction. In addition, the term small business has the same meaning as the term small business concern under the Small Business Act. A small business concern is one which: (1) Is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the SBA. Moreover, the SBA has created a small business size standard of $38.5 million or less in annual receipts for establishments primarily engaged in broadcasting aural programs. The size data provided by the SBA, however, does not enable the Bureaus to make a meaningful estimate of the number of small entities who may participate in Auction 98.

    46. The specific procedures on which comment is sought in the Auction 98 Request for Comment will affect directly all applicants participating in Auction 98. The number of entities that may apply to participate in Auction 98 is unknown. Based on the numbers of applicants in prior FM auctions, the Bureaus estimate that the number of applicants for Auction 98 may range from approximately 175 to 260. This estimate is based on the number of applicants who filed short-form applications to participate in previous auctions of FM radio station construction permits (exclusive of closed auctions). In the eight open FM broadcast auctions held to date, an average of 1.98 short-form applications were filed per construction permit offered, with a median of 1.365 applications per permit. If those figures apply to Auction 98, the number of applicants may range between 179 and 259. The Bureaus recognize, however, that the actual number of applicants for Auction 98 could vary significantly as any individual's or entity's decision to participate may be affected by a number of factors beyond the Commission's control.

    47. The Bureaus are unable to accurately develop an estimate based on the number of small entities that applied to participate in prior broadcast auctions because that information is not collected from applicants for broadcast auctions in which bidding credits are not based on an applicant's size (as is the case in auctions of licenses for wireless services). Potential applicants in Auction 98 may include existing holders of broadcast station construction permits or licenses, as well as non-licensees. The Bureaus note, however, that the Commission has recently estimated that 97 percent of radio broadcasters met the SBA's prior definition of small business concern, based on annual revenues of $7 million. Moreover, the SBA has since increased that revenue threshold to $38.5 million. Based on this assessment, the Bureaus conclude that nearly all of Auction 98 applicants will likely meet the SBA's definition of a small business concern.

    48. Legal Basis. The Commission has established a framework of competitive bidding rules pursuant to which it has conducted auctions since the inception of the auction program in 1994 and would conduct Auction 98. The basis for those rules is found in various statutory provisions, including 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 301, 302, 303(e), 303(f), 303(r), 304, 307 and 309(j). The Commission has directed the Bureaus, under delegated authority, to seek comment on a variety of auction-specific procedures prior to the start of each auction.

    49. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements. In the Auction 98 Request for Comment, the Bureaus do not propose to implement any new reporting requirements, recordkeeping requirements or any other compliance requirements. Any individual or entity seeking to participate in an auction must submit a short-form application (FCC Form 175). The information collected on FCC Form 175 is used by the Bureaus to determine if an applicant is legally, technically, and financially qualified to participate in a Commission auction. Additionally, if an applicant applies for status as a new entrant auction participant pursuant to Commission rules, the Commission uses information collected on FCC Form 175 to determine whether the applicant is eligible for the status requested. If an applicant is a winning bidder, it is required to submit a more detailed long-form application (such as an FCC Form 301 for an FM station), including any showings to demonstrate its eligibility for new entrant status it may have claimed. This two-phased process helps minimize reporting and compliance requirements for auction applicants.

    50. Steps Taken to Minimize Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant alternatives beneficial to small entities considered in reaching a proposed approach, which may include the following four alternatives (among others): (1) Establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into account the resources available to small entities; (2) clarification, consolidation, or simplification for small entities of compliance and reporting requirements; (3) use of performance, rather than design, standards; and (4) an exemption for small entities.

    51. The Bureaus propose a number of specific procedures to govern an auction of 131 FM radio station construction permits, which are summarized above in this supplemental analysis. Based on experience in conducting numerous auctions since the program's inception in 1994, the Commission has taken steps to minimize the impact of its auction procedures on small businesses. For example, following consideration of any comments submitted in response to the Auction 98 Request for Comment, the Bureaus will release a public notice to provide detailed guidance for potential applicants on how to complete a short-form application, participate in the auction, and comply with the various competitive bidding requirements applicable to all Auction 98 applicants.

    52. The Commission designed the auction application process to minimize reporting and compliance requirements for applicants, including small business applicants. In the first part of the Commission's two-phased auction application process, parties desiring to participate in an auction file streamlined, short-form applications in which they certify under penalty of perjury as to their qualifications. Eligibility to participate in bidding is based on an applicant's short-form application and certifications, as well as its upfront payment. In the second phase of the process, winning bidders file a more comprehensive long-form application. Thus, a small business which fails to become a winning bidder does not need to file a long-form application and provide the additional showings and more detailed demonstrations required of a winning bidder.

    53. The Commission provides a number of resources through which potential auction participants, including small entities, may seek clarification of or guidance on complying with competitive bidding rules and procedures, reporting requirements, and the FCC's auction system. An FCC Auctions Hotline provides access to Commission staff for information about the auction process and procedures. The FCC Auctions Technical Support Hotline is another resource which provides technical assistance to applicants, including small business entities, on issues such as access to or navigation within the electronic FCC Form 175 and use of the FCC's auction system. These hotlines are generally accessible during regular business hours. Commission staff also produces a web-based, interactive online tutorial for each auction which potential applicants, including small businesses, may access to familiarize themselves with auction procedures, filing requirements and other matters related to an auction. Once posted, the online tutorial remains available for reference and is accessible anytime.

    54. The Bureaus also make various databases and other sources of information, including the Media Bureau's Consolidated Database System, the Auctions program Web sites, and copies of Commission decisions, available to the public without charge, providing a low-cost mechanism for small businesses to conduct research prior to and throughout the auction. Prior to and at the close of Auction 98, the Bureaus will post public notices on the Auctions Web site, which articulate auction procedures and deadlines. The Bureaus make this information easily accessible and without charge to benefit all Auction 98 applicants, including small businesses, by lowering their administrative costs to comply with the Commission's competitive bidding rules.

    55. Prior to the start of bidding in each auction, all auction applicants are given an opportunity to become familiar with auction procedures and the bidding system by participating in a mock auction. Further, the Commission intends to conduct Auction 98 electronically over the Internet using its web-based auction system that eliminates the need for qualified bidders to be physically present in a specific location. Qualified bidders also have an option to place bids by telephone. These mechanisms are made available to facilitate participation in Auction 98 by all applicants, including small business entities. Moreover, the adoption of bidding procedures in advance of the auction, consistent with statutory directive, is designed to ensure that the auction will be administered predictably and fairly for all participants, including small businesses.

    56. Federal Rules that May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict with the Procedures for which Comment is Solicited. None. These proposed procedures for the conduct of Auction 98 constitute the more specific implementation of the competitive bidding rules contemplated by Parts 1 and 73 of the Commission's rules and the underlying rulemaking orders, including the Broadcast First Report and Order and associated competitive bidding orders, and are fully consistent therewith.

    Federal Communications Commission. Gary D. Michaels, Deputy Chief, Auctions and Spectrum Access Division, WTB.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06864 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Part 90 [WP Docket No. 15-32; FCC 15-17] Creation of Interstitial 12.5 kHz Channels in the 800 MHz Band Between 809-817/854-862 MHz AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This document seeks comment on proposals to amend the Commission's rules to promote spectrum efficiency and flexibility in 800 MHz Mid-Band (809-817 MHz/854-862 MHz). This document contains proposed new or modified information collection requirements. By this action, the Commission affords interested parties an opportunity to submit comments on these proposed rule changes and proposed new or modified information collections.

    DATES:

    Comments are due on or before May 11, 2015 and reply comments are due on or before May 26, 2015. Written Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) comments on the proposed information collection requirements contained herein must be submitted by the public, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and other interested parties on or before May 26, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by WP Docket No. 15-32, by any of the following methods:

    Federal Communications Commission's Web site: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    People with Disabilities: Contact the FCC to request reasonable accommodations (accessible format documents, sign language interpreters, CART, etc.) by email: [email protected] or phone: 202-418-0530 or TTY: 202-418-0432.

    For detailed instructions for submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document. In addition to filing comments with the Secretary, a copy of any PRA comments on the proposed collection requirements contained herein should be submitted to the Federal Communications Commission via email to [email protected] and to Nicholas A. Fraser, Office of Management and Budget, via email to [email protected] or via fax at 202-395-5167.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For further information, contact John Evanoff, Esq., of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, Policy and Licensing Division, at (202) 418-0848, or by email to [email protected] or Rodney Conway, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Mobility Division, at (202) 418-2904, or by email to [email protected] For additional information concerning the information collection requirements contained in this document, send an email to [email protected] or contact Benish Shah, Office of Managing Director, Performance Evaluation and Records Management, 202-418-7866, or by email to [email protected] To view or obtain a copy of this information collection request (ICR) submitted to OMB: (1) Go to this OMB/GSA Web page: http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain, (2) look for the section of the Web page called “Currently Under Review,” (3) click on the downward-pointing arrow in the “Select Agency” box below the “Currently Under Review” heading, (4) select “Federal Communications Commission” from the list of agencies presented in the “Select Agency” box, (5) click the “Submit” button to the right of the “Select Agency” box, and (6) when the list of FCC ICRs currently under review appears, look for the OMB control number of this ICR as shown in the Supplementary Information section below (or its title if there is no OMB control number) and then click on the ICR Reference Number. A copy of the FCC submission to OMB will be displayed.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This is a summary of the Commission's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 15-17, released on February 9, 2015. The document is available for download at http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/edocs-public/. The complete text of this document is also available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to [email protected] or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY).

    In the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in WP Docket No. 15-32, the Commission initiates a new proceeding to seek comment on proposals to amend the Commission's rules governing 800 MHz Mid-Band operations (809-817 MHz/854-862 MHz). The Commission seeks comment on whether to create new, full-power 12.5 kilohertz interstitial channels in the 800 MHz Mid-Band. The Commission also seeks comment on appropriate interference protection criteria for interstitial channels, including a proposal from the Land Mobile Communications Council (LMCC) to amend the rules to adopt new “Interstitial 800 MHz Coordination Procedures.” Finally, the Commission seeks comment on a number of licensing and eligibility issues, including whether to provide T-Band public safety incumbents priority access to new interstitial channels, as well as technical issues related to authorized bandwidth and emission mask requirements for new interstitial channels.

    Pursuant to §§ 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.415, 1.419, interested parties may file comments and reply comments on or before the dates indicated on the first page of this document. Comments may be filed using the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS). See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR 24121 (1998).

    Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the ECFS: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/.

    Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and one copy of each filing. If more than one docket or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding, filers must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or rulemaking number.

    Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.

    All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission's Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St. SW., Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and boxes must be disposed of before entering the building.

     Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.

    U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554.

    People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to [email protected] or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty). Commenters who file information that they believe should be withheld from public inspection may request confidential treatment pursuant to § 0.459 of the Commission's rules. Commenters should file both their original comments for which they request confidentiality and redacted comments, along with their request for confidential treatment. Commenters should not file proprietary information electronically. See Examination of Current Policy Concerning the Treatment of Confidential Information Submitted to the Commission, Report and Order, 13 FCC Rcd 24816 (1998), Order on Reconsideration, 14 FCC Rcd 20128 (1999). Even if the Commission grants confidential treatment, information that does not fall within a specific exemption pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) must be publicly disclosed pursuant to an appropriate request. See 47 CFR 0.461; 5 U.S.C. 552. We note that the Commission may grant requests for confidential treatment either conditionally or unconditionally. As such, we note that the Commission has the discretion to release information on public interest grounds that does fall within the scope of a FOIA exemption.

    This proceeding shall be treated as a “permit-but-disclose” proceeding in accordance with the Commission's ex parte rules. Persons making ex parte presentations must file a copy of any written presentation or a memorandum summarizing any oral presentation within two business days after the presentation (unless a different deadline applicable to the Sunshine period applies). Persons making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that memoranda summarizing the presentation must (1) list all persons attending or otherwise participating in the meeting at which the ex parte presentation was made, and (2) summarize all data presented and arguments made during the presentation. If the presentation consisted in whole or in part of the presentation of data or arguments already reflected in the presenter's written comments, memoranda or other filings in the proceeding, the presenter may provide citations to such data or arguments in his or her prior comments, memoranda, or other filings (specifying the relevant page and/or paragraph numbers where such data or arguments can be found) in lieu of summarizing them in the memorandum. Documents shown or given to Commission staff during ex parte meetings are deemed to be written ex parte presentations and must be filed consistent with Section 1.1206(b). In proceedings governed by Section 1.49(f) or for which the Commission has made available a method of electronic filing, written ex parte presentations and memoranda summarizing oral ex parte presentations, and all attachments thereto, must be filed through the electronic comment filing system available for that proceeding, and must be filed in their native format (e.g., .doc, .xml, .ppt, searchable .pdf). Participants in this proceeding should familiarize themselves with the Commission's ex parte rules.

    This document contains proposed information collection requirements. As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burden and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on the following information collection(s). Public and agency comments are due May 26, 2015.

    Comments should address: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimates; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. In addition, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), we seek specific comment on how we might “further reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.”

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0798.

    Title: FCC Application for Radio Service Authorization Wireless Telecommunications Bureau; Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau.

    Form No.: FCC Form 601.

    Respondents: Individuals and households; Business or other for-profit; not-for-profit institutions; and state, local or tribal government.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 253,320 respondents and 253,320 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.5-1.25 hours.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirement, recordkeeping requirement, every ten year reporting requirement and third party disclosure requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this collection of information is contained in 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154, 154(i), 155(c), 157, 201, 202, 208, 214, 301, 302a, 303, 307, 308, 309, 310, 311, 314, 316, 319, 324, 331, 332, 333, 336, 534, 535 and 554.

    Total Annual Burden: 221,955 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: $71,306,250.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: Yes.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: In general there is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Needs and Uses: FCC Form 601 is a consolidated, multi-part application form that is used for market-based and site-based licensing for wireless telecommunications services, including public safety licenses, which are filed through the Commission's Universal Licensing System (ULS). FCC Form 601 is composed of a main form that contains administrative information and a series of schedules used for filing technical and other information. This form is used to apply for a new license, to amend or withdraw a pending application, to modify or renew an existing license, cancel a license, request a duplicate license, submit required notifications, request an extension of time to satisfy construction requirements, or request an administrative update to an existing license (such as mailing address change), request a Special Temporary Authority or Developmental License. Respondents are encouraged to submit FCC Form 601 electronically and are required to do so when submitting FCC Form 601 to apply for an authorization for which the applicant was the winning bidder in a spectrum auction.

    The data collected on FCC Form 601 includes the FCC Registration Number (FRN), which serves as a “common link” for all filings an entity has with the FCC. The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 requires entities filing with the Commission use an FRN. This document seeks comment on proposals to amend the Commission's rules to promote spectrum efficiency and flexibility in 800 MHz Mid-Band (809-817 MHz/854-862 MHz). To accommodate these proposed changes, the Commission seeks comment on expanding the universe of respondents.

    OMB Control No.: NONE.

    Title: Section 90.175 Frequency Coordinator Requirements.

    Form No.: N/A.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities, and State, Local or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 2,500 respondents; 2,500 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 1 hour.

    Frequency of Response: One time reporting requirement, and third party disclosure requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this collection is contained in 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 161, 303(g), 303(r), and 332(c)(7).

    Total Annual Burden: 2,500 hours.

    Annual Cost Burden: None.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: No impact(s). Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Needs and Uses: Frequency coordinators have been certified by the Commission to recommend the most appropriate frequencies for applicants in the designated Part 90 radio services. Section 90.175 requires coordinators to provide a statement recommending the most appropriate frequency. Section 90.175 of the Commission's rules require third party disclosures by applicants proposing to operate a land mobile radio station. This document seeks comment on proposals to amend the Commission's rules to promote spectrum efficiency and flexibility in 800 MHz Mid-Band (809-817 MHz/854-862 MHz). To accommodate these proposed changes, the Commission proposes to revise the frequency coordination process. This information will be used by Commission personnel in evaluating the applicant's need for such frequencies and to minimize the interference potential to other stations operating on the proposed frequencies.

    OMB Control Number: NONE.

    Title: Section 90.621, Selection and Assignment of Frequencies.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities; Not-for-profit institutions; and State, Local, or Tribal Government.

    Number of Respondents: 20 respondents; 20 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 1.5 hours.

    Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirement and recordkeeping requirement.

    Obligation To Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. Statutory authority for this information collection is contained in 47 U.S.C. Sections 154(i) and 309(j).

    Total Annual Burden: 30 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: $2,000.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: N/A.

    Needs and Uses: This document seeks comment on proposals to amend the Commission's rules to promote spectrum efficiency and flexibility in 800 MHz Mid-Band (809-817 MHz/854-862 MHz). To accommodate these proposed changes, the Commission seeks comment on adopting new interference criteria. As an alternative, the Commission seeks comment on permitting stations that do not meet the proposed interference criteria to obtain letters of concurrence from incumbent licensees and to file such letters of concurrence with the Commission when they file their FCC Form 601.

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0057.

    Title: Application for Equipment Authorization, FCC Form 731.

    Form Number: FCC 731.

    Respondents: Business or other for profit entities.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 280 (multiple responses annually).

    Estimated Time per Response: 25 hours (average).

    Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirements; Third party disclosure.

    Total Annual Burden: 200,000 hours.

    Total Annual Costs: $8,244,000.

    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: Not Applicable.

    Needs and Uses: This document seeks comment on proposals to amend the Commission's rules to promote spectrum efficiency and flexibility in 800 MHz Mid-Band (809-817 MHz/854-862 MHz). To accommodate these proposed changes, the Commission seeks comment on adopting new authorized bandwidth and emission mask specifications for equipment. If adopted, equipment manufacturers may be required to update their equipment certifications. We do not propose any substantive or material changes to the wording of this existing information collection. Instead, if we amend the emission mask and authorized bandwidth rules, which are important technical criteria, then the number of respondents subject to the existing information collections may increase.

    A. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA), the Commission prepared this Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) of the possible significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities by the policies and rules proposed in this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). Written public comments are requested on this IRFA. Comments must be filed by the same dates as listed on the first page of the NPRM and must have a separate and distinct heading designating them as responses to this IRFA. The Commission will send a copy of the NPRM, including this IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA). In addition, the NPRM and IRFA (or summaries thereof) will be published in the Federal Register.

    B. Need for, and Objectives of, the Proposed Rules

    The proposed changes to the 800 MHz band plan between 809-817 MHz/854-862 MHz (the 800 MHz “Mid-Band”) provide flexibility in channel spacing and bandwidth limitation governing 800 MHz Private Land Mobile Radio (PLMR) licensees. Specifically, we propose to modify the band plan to accommodate full power, interstitial 12.5 kHz “offset” channels in the 800 MHz Mid-Band, subject to certain protections designed to safeguard 800 MHz incumbents from interference. These proposed band plan changes provide licensees with the flexibility to deploy advanced PLMR technologies while also continuing to protect 800 MHz incumbents, including public safety licensees, from any potential interference. The proposed band plan changes allow 800 MHz PLMR licensees in the 809-817 MHz/854-862 MHz band to reduce the channel spacing and bandwidth limits in Section 90.209 of the Commission's rules, upon completion of 800 MHz reconfiguration. We believe these proposed band plan changes will reduce barriers to innovation and investment and allow 800 MHz PLMR licensees to deploy advanced technologies at reduced cost and to the benefit of safety of life, health, and property as well as small businesses.

    The NPRM seeks comment on the following implementation proposals. First, the NPRM seeks comment on licensing the proposed interstitial channels. The NPRM notes that licensing the interstitial channels would require frequency coordination (e.g. PLMR licensees would be required to submit a license application on Form 601 demonstrating evidence of frequency coordination). The Commission also seeks comment on appropriate eligibility requirements to ensure the efficient use of the interstitial channels.

    The NPRM also seeks comment on adopting an adjacent channel interference analysis, which would modify the existing frequency coordination process for the 800 MHz PLMR spectrum. Specifically, the NPRM seeks comments on adopting a contour overlap analysis, which would be different than the existing co-channel mileage separation rules (i.e. 47 CFR 90.621) used in the selection and assignment of 800 MHz PLMR channels. The NPRM seeks comment on alternatives to the contour overlap analysis, including TSB-88, and whether such alternatives are more appropriate for protecting adjacent channel incumbents.

    Under the contour overlap analysis approach, the NPRM also seeks comment on whether PLMR applicants should be allowed to provide letters of concurrence indicating that the applicant and each adjacent-channel licensee agree to accept any interference resulting from the reduced adjacent channel separation between systems, an approach that would be similar to the consensual short-spacing approach (i.e. 47 CFR 90.621(e)(5)) or the concurrence approach below 512 MHz.

    The NPRM seeks comment on whether or not the proposed band plan changes would require equipment manufacturers to update their equipment authorizations in order to comply with Emission Mask D and 12.5 kHz/11.25 kHz channel spacing/authorized bandwidth, important technical parameters that minimize adjacent channel interference. As a general matter, the Commission rules require that manufacturers of certain radio frequency (RF) equipment file FCC Form 731 to obtain approval prior to marketing their equipment. Manufacturers may then market their RF equipment based on a showing of compliance with technical standards established in the FCC Rules for each type of equipment or device operated under the applicable FCC Rule part.

    The primary beneficiaries of the proposed band plan changes are PLMR licensees, including small governmental jurisdictions and small business entities, as well as small equipment manufacturers and small business associations that are certified to coordinate PLMR frequencies in the 800 MHz band. The FCC notes that the proposed band plan changes do not require existing PLMR licensees, equipment manufacturers or certified frequency coordinators to make any changes unless they choose to take advantage of the proposed interstitial channels to make more intensive use of the 800 MHz Mid-Band. Thus, incumbent licensees, including small businesses and small governmental jurisdictions, will not be required to modify their systems and may continue to operate on their licensed spectrum. PLMR entities seeking to apply for the proposed interstitial channels may be required to obtain frequency coordination and submit a license application on FCC Form 601 in order to license, construct and operate base, control and mobile stations on the interstitial channels. Additionally, frequency coordinators would be allowed to coordinate more PLMR spectrum provided they incorporate adjacent channel protection criteria in making frequency recommendations. Further, equipment manufacturers may be allowed to exploit an expanded market for radio frequency equipment, provided they comply with the FCC's technical and equipment certification rules to avoid interference.

    C. Legal Basis

    The proposed action is taken under Sections 1, 2, 4(i), 4(j), 301, 302, 303, 308, 309, 316, 324, and 332 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i), 154(j), 301, 302a, 303, 308, 309, 316, 324, and 332.

    D. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which the Proposed Rules Will Apply

    The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of and, where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that may be affected by the proposed rules, if adopted. The RFA generally defines the term “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” “small organization,” and “small governmental jurisdiction.” In addition, the term “small business” has the same meaning as the term “small business concern” under the Small Business Act. A small business concern is one which: (1) Is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the SBA.

    Private Land Mobile Radio Licensees. PLMR systems serve an essential role in a range of industrial, business, land transportation, and public safety activities. These radios are used by companies of all sizes operating in all U.S. business categories, and are often used in support of the licensee's primary (non-telecommunications) business operations. For the purpose of determining whether a licensee of a PLMR system is a small business as defined by the SBA, we use the broad census category, Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite), which comprises establishments engaged in operating and maintaining switching and transmission facilities to provide communications via the airwaves. Establishments in this industry have spectrum licenses and provide services using that spectrum, such as cellular phone services, paging services, wireless Internet access, and wireless video services. The appropriate size standard under SBA rules is for the category Wireless Telecommunications Carriers. The size standard for that category is that a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. For this category, census data for 2007 show that there were 11,163 establishments that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 10,791 establishments had employment of 999 or fewer employees and 372 had employment of 1000 employees or more. Thus under this category and the associated small business size standard, the Commission estimates that the majority of wireless telecommunications carriers (except satellite) are small entities.

    Small Businesses, Small Organizations, and Small Governmental Jurisdictions. Our action may, over time, affect small entities that are not easily categorized at present. We therefore describe here, at the outset, three comprehensive, statutory small entity size standards that encompass entities that could be directly affected by the proposals under consideration. As of 2009, small businesses represented 99.9% of the 27.5 million businesses in the United States, according to the SBA. Additionally, a “small organization” is generally “any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field.” Nationwide, as of 2007, there were approximately 1,621,315 small organizations. Finally, the term “small governmental jurisdiction” is defined generally as “governments of cities, counties, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or special districts, with a population of less than fifty thousand.” Census Bureau data for 2007 indicate that there were 89,527 governmental jurisdictions in the United States. We estimate that, of this total, as many as 88,761 entities may qualify as “small governmental jurisdictions.” Thus, we estimate that most governmental jurisdictions are small.

    Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless Communications Equipment Manufacturing. The Census Bureau defines this category as follows: “This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing radio and television broadcast and wireless communications equipment. Examples of products made by these establishments are: Transmitting and receiving antennas, cable television equipment, GPS equipment, pagers, cellular phones, mobile communications equipment, and radio and television studio and broadcasting equipment.” The SBA has developed a small business size standard for Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless Communications Equipment Manufacturing, which is: All such firms having 750 or fewer employees. According to Census Bureau data for 2007, there were a total of 939 establishments in this category that operated for part or all of the entire year. Of this total, 912 had less than 500 employees and 17 had more than 1000 employees. Thus, under that size standard, the majority of firms can be considered small.

    Frequency Coordinators. Neither the Commission nor the SBA have developed a definition of small entities specifically applicable to frequency coordinators. Therefore, the Commission concluded that the closest applicable definition under SBA rules is Business Associations (NAICS Code 813910). The SBA defines a small business association as an entity with $7 million or less in annual receipts. There are 18 entities certified to perform frequency coordination functions under Part 90 of our Rules. However, the Commission is unable to ascertain how many of these frequency coordinators are classified as small entities under the SBA definition. The Census Bureau indicates that 97% of business associations have annual receipts of $7 million or less and would be classified as small entities. The Census Bureau category is very broad, and does not include specific figures for firms that are engaged in frequency coordination. Therefore, for the purposes of this IRFA, the Commission estimates that almost all of the 18 FCC-certified frequency coordinators are small as defined by the SBA.

    E. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance Requirements

    The proposed rules provide regulatory flexibility to all 800 MHz PLMR licensees, including small governmental jurisdictions and small businesses. The proposed rules would minimize the filing burden and paperwork burden for all PLMR licensees seeking to license 12.5 kHz full power channels, for which applicants would under the current rules have to request a waiver. PLMR entities seeking licenses in the 800 MHz band are required to obtain coordination from certain frequency coordinators as specified in Sections 90.20 and 90.35 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 90.20 and 90.35. OMB has already approved the information collection requirements, including frequency coordination requirement associated with Form 601. See ICR Reference Number: 201311-3060-018, OMB Control No. 3060-0798. We do not propose any substantive or material changes to the wording of this existing information collection. Instead, if we amend to rules to allow PLMR licensees to license the proposed interstitial channels, then the number of respondents subject to the existing information collections would increase. Frequency coordinators have been certified by the Commission to recommend the most appropriate frequencies for applicants in the designated Part 90 radio services. Section 90.175 requires coordinators to provide a statement recommending the most appropriate frequency. In the below 512 MHz band, frequency coordinators are required to analyze adjacent channel interference. However, in the 800 MHz band, coordinators generally consider co-channel mileage separation requirements. If we amended the rules to permit frequency coordination of interstitial channels then the existing frequency coordination process for the 800 MHz PLMR spectrum would be modified. We anticipate that the burden and cost levels would be comparable to the existing contour overlap analysis in the below 512 MHz band, which OMB approved. See ICR Reference No: 201311-3060-015, OMB Control No: 3060-0984.

    Under the proposed contour overlap approach, PLMR applicants may be allowed to provide letters of concurrence indicating that the applicant and each adjacent-channel incumbent agree to accept any interference resulting from the reduced adjacent channel separation between systems, an approach that would be similar to the consensual short-spacing approach. Currently PLMR applicants may provide letters of concurrence indicating that the applicant and each co-channel licensee agree to accept any interference resulting from the reduced co-channel separation between systems (i.e. 47 CFR 90.621(e)(5)). We envision that the estimated burden and cost levels would be comparable to the existing consensual short spacing rules. See ICR Reference No: 201205-3060-017, OMB Control No: 3060-0441.

    If we amend to rules to allow manufacturers to comply with Emission Mask D and 12.5 kHz/11.25 kHz channel spacing/authorized bandwidth, then manufacturers may be required to update their equipment certifications. OMB has already approved the information collection requirements associated with updating equipment authorizations. OMB has already approved the information collection requirements associated with updating equipment authorizations. The estimated burden and cost levels for equipment certification are described in more detail in the supporting statement for ICR Reference No: 201404-3060-029, OMB Control No. 3060-0057. We do not propose any substantive or material changes to the wording of this existing information collection. Instead, if we amend to rules to allow manufacturers to comply with Emission Mask D and 12.5 kHz/11.25 kHz channel spacing/authorized bandwidth, then the number of respondents subject to the existing information collections may increase.

    The Commission believes that applying the proposed information collections will promote spectrum efficiency, development of new technologies and mitigate adjacent channel interference. The Commission does not believe that the costs and/or administrative burdens associated with the proposed rules will unduly burden small entities. The rule revisions the Commission proposes should benefit small governmental jurisdictions, small businesses, small equipment manufacturers and small business associations by giving them more flexibility, and more options for gaining access to PLMR spectrum. As noted above, the FCC invites comment on these new or modified information collection requirements.

    F. Steps Taken To Minimize Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered

    The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant, specifically small business, alternatives that it has considered in reaching its proposed approach, which may include the following four alternatives (among others): (1) The establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into account the resources available to small entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of compliance and reporting requirements under the rule for small entities; (3) the use of performance rather than design standards; and (4) an exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof for small entities.1

    1 5 U.S.C. 603(c)(1)-(4).

    The NPRM seeks comment on a proposal to make more intensive use of the 800 MHz Mid-Band. Denying the proposal would preclude PLMR licensees and applicants, including small governmental jurisdictions and small businesses from making more effective use of the band and thus potentially increase costs on those entities. The NPRM is deregulatory in nature and seeks comment on appropriate interference and eligibility requirements on all affected entities, including small entities. In recognition of the resources available to small entities, and in the interest of simplified compliance obligations, the NPRM does not mandate a transition to 12.5 kHz technology. Specifically, the NPRM proposes to allow 800 MHz PLMR licensees the flexibility to increase capacity by reducing channel size and bandwidth as long as they meet interference protection criteria and eligibility requirements. While we strive to provide flexibility to small entities, because we believe that protection of public safety licensees and PLMR entities is essential and in the public interest, we do not propose any exemption for small entities. We invite comment on less burdensome alternatives.

    G. Federal Rules That May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the Proposed Rules

    None.

    Ordering Clauses

    Accordingly, it is ordered, pursuant to Sections 1, 2, 4(i), 4(j), 301, 302, 303, 308, 309, 316, 324, and 332 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i), 154(j), 301, 302a, 303, 308, 309, 324, 316, and 332, that this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is hereby adopted.

    It is further ordered that pursuant to applicable procedures set forth in §§ 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.415 and 1.419, interested parties may file comments on the NPRM on or before May 11, 2015, and reply comments on or before May 26, 2015.

    It is further ordered that the Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, including the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

    List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 90

    Radio.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary. Proposed Rules

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission proposes to amend 47 CFR part 90 as follows:

    PART 90—PRIVATE LAND MOBILE RADIO SERVICE 1. The authority citation for part 90 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    Sections 4(i), 11, 303(g), 303(r), and 332(c)(7) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 161, 303(g), 303(r), and 332(c)(7), and Title VI of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Pub. L. 112-96, 126 Stat. 156.

    2. Amend § 90.209 by adding an entry for “809-817/854-869” in numerical order and revising footnote 6 to the table in paragraph (b)(5) and adding paragraph (b)(8) to read as follows:
    § 90.209 Bandwidth limitations.

    (b) * * *

    (5) * * *

    Standard Channel Spacing/Bandwidth Frequency band
  • (MHz)
  • Channel
  • spacing
  • (kHz)
  • Authorized
  • bandwidth
  • (kHz)
  • *    *    *    *    * 809-817/854-869 25/12.5 6 20/11.25 *    *    *    *    *  *    *    *    *    * 6 Operations using equipment designed to operate with a 25 kHz channel bandwidth may be authorized up to a 22 kHz bandwidth if the equipment meets the Adjacent Channel Power limits of § 90.221. Operations using equipment designed to operate with a 12.5 kHz channel bandwidth will be authorized a 11.25 kHz bandwidth.

    (8) Private Land Mobile Radio (PLMR) site-based licensees in frequencies 809-817/854-862 MHz may reduce the standard channel spacing and authorized bandwidth listed in paragraph (b)(5) of this section in any National Public Safety Planning Advisory Committee Region upon issuance of Public Notice announcing the availability of interstitial channels. Licensees authorized to reduce the standard channel spacing and authorized bandwidth under this paragraph must meet the applicable co-channel and adjacent channel interference criteria and eligibility requirements prior to initiating service in the 809-817/854-862 MHz.

    3. Amend § 90.210 by revising the introductory paragraph to revise footnote 5 to the table to read as follows:
    § 90.210 Emission masks. Applicable Emission Masks Frequency band
  • (MHz)
  • Mask for equipment
  • with audio low
  • pass filter
  • Mask for equipment
  • without audio low
  • passfilter
  • *         *         *         *         *         *         *      *         *         *         *         *         *         * 5 Equipment designed to operate with a 25 kHz channel bandwidth may alternatively meet the Adjacent Channel Power limits of § 90.221. Equipment designed to operate with a 12.5 kHz channel bandwidth must meet the requirements of Emission Mask D.
    4. Amend the introductory paragraph of § 90.613 by adding the following entries in alpha-numeric order in the table titled “Table of 806-824/851-869 MHz Channel Designations” to read as follows:
    § 90.613 Frequencies available. Table of 806-824/851-869 MHz Channel Designations Channel No. Base
  • frequency
  • (MHz)
  • *    *    *    *    * 231a .0250 *    *    *    *    * 232a .0500 *    *    *    *    * 233a .0750 *    *    *    *    * 234a .1000 *    *    *    *    * 235a .1250 *    *    *    *    * 236a .1500 *    *    *    *    * 237a .1750 *    *    *    *    * 238a .2000 *    *    *    *    * 239a .2250 *    *    *    *    * 240a .2500 *    *    *    *    * 241a .2750 *    *    *    *    * 242a .3000 *    *    *    *    * 243a .3250 *    *    *    *    * 244a .3500 *    *    *    *    * 245a .3750 *    *    *    *    * 246a .4000 *    *    *    *    * 247a .4250 *    *    *    *    * 248a .4500 *    *    *    *    * 249a .4750 *    *    *    *    * 250a .5000 *    *    *    *    * 251a .5250 *    *    *    *    * 252a .5500 *    *    *    *    * 253a .5750 *    *    *    *    * 254a .6000 *    *    *    *    * 255a .6250 *    *    *    *    * 256a .6500 *    *    *    *    * 257a .6750 *    *    *    *    * 258a .7000 *    *    *    *    * 259a .7250 *    *    *    *    * 260a .7500 *    *    *    *    * 261a .7750 *    *    *    *    * 262a .8000 *    *    *    *    * 263a .8250 *    *    *    *    * 264a .8500 *    *    *    *    * 265a .8750 *    *    *    *    * 266a .9000 *    *    *    *    * 267a .9250 *    *    *    *    * 268a .9500 *    *    *    *    * 269a .9750 *    *    *    *    * 270a 855.0000 * * * * .0125 271a .0250 *    *    *    *    * 272a .0500 *    *    *    *    * 273a .0750 *    *    *    *    * 274a .1000 *    *    *    *    * 275a .1250 *    *    *    *    * 276a .1500 *    *    *    *    * 277a .1750 *    *    *    *    * 278a .2000 *    *    *    *    * 279a .2250 *    *    *    *    * 280a .2500 *    *    *    *    * 281a .2750 *    *    *    *    * 282a .3000 *    *    *    *    * 283a .3250 *    *    *    *    * 284a .3500 *    *    *    *    * 285a .3750 *    *    *    *    * 286a .4000 *    *    *    *    * 287a .4250 *    *    *    *    * 288a .4500 *    *    *    *    * 289a .4750 *    *    *    *    * 290a .5000 *    *    *    *    * 291a .5250 *    *    *    *    * 292a .5500 *    *    *    *    * 293a .5750 *    *    *    *    * 294a .6000 *    *    *    *    * 295a .6250 *    *    *    *    * 296a .6500 *    *    *    *    * 297a .6750 *    *    *    *    * 298a .7000 *    *    *    *    * 299a .7250 *    *    *    *    * 300a .7500 *    *    *    *    * 301a .7750 *    *    *    *    * 302a .8000 *    *    *    *    * 303a .8250 *    *    *    *    * 304a .8500 *    *    *    *    * 305a .8750 *    *    *    *    * 306a .9000 *    *    *    *    * 307a .9250 *    *    *    *    * 308a .9500 *    *    *    *    * 309a .9750 *    *    *    *    * 310a 856.0000 * * * * .0125 311a .0250 *    *    *    *    * 312a .0500 *    *    *    *    * 313a .0750 *    *    *    *    * 314a .1000 *    *    *    *    * 315a .1250 *    *    *    *    * 316a .1500 *    *    *    *    * 317a .1750 *    *    *    *    * 318a .2000 *    *    *    *    * 319a .2250 *    *    *    *    * 320a .2500 *    *    *    *    * 321a .2750 *    *    *    *    * 322a .3000 *    *    *    *    * 323a .3250 *    *    *    *    * 324a .3500 *    *    *    *    * 325a .3750 *    *    *    *    * 326a .4000 *    *    *    *    * 327a .4250 *    *    *    *    * 328a .4500 *    *    *    *    * 329a .4750 *    *    *    *    * 330a .5000 *    *    *    *    * 331a .5250 *    *    *    *    * 332a .5500 *    *    *    *    * 333a .5750 *    *    *    *    * 334a .6000 *    *    *    *    * 335a .6250 *    *    *    *    * 336a .6500 *    *    *    *    * 337a .6750 *    *    *    *    * 338a .7000 *    *    *    *    * 339a .7250 *    *    *    *    * 340a .7500 *    *    *    *    * 341a .7750 *    *    *    *    * 342a .8000 *    *    *    *    * 343a .8250 *    *    *    *    * 344a .8500 *    *    *    *    * 345a .8750 *    *    *    *    * 346a .9000 *    *    *    *    * 347a .9250 *    *    *    *    * 348a .9500 *    *    *    *    * 349a .9750 *    *    *    *    * 350a 857.0000 * * * * .01250 351a .02500 *    *    *    *    * 352a .0500 *    *    *    *    * 353a .0750 *    *    *    *    * 354a .1000 *    *    *    *    * 355a .1250 *    *    *    *    * 356a .1500 *    *    *    *    * 357a .1750 *    *    *    *    * 358a .2000 *    *    *    *    * 359a .2250 *    *    *    *    * 360a .2500 *    *    *    *    * 361a .2750 *    *    *    *    * 362a .3000 *    *    *    *    * 363a .3250 *    *    *    *    * 364a .3500 *    *    *    *    * 365a .3750 *    *    *    *    * 366a .4000 *    *    *    *    * 367a .4250 *    *    *    *    * 368a .4500 *    *    *    *    * 369a .4750 *    *    *    *    * 370a .5000 *    *    *    *    * 371a .5250 *    *    *    *    * 372a .5500 *    *    *    *    * 373a .5750 *    *    *    *    * 374a .6000 *    *    *    *    * 375a .6250 *    *    *    *    * 376a .6500 *    *    *    *    * 377a .6750 *    *    *    *    * 378a .7000 *    *    *    *    * 379a .7250 *    *    *    *    * 380a .7500 *    *    *    *    * 381a .7750 *    *    *    *    * 382a .8000 *    *    *    *    * 383a .8250 *    *    *    *    * 384a .8500 *    *    *    *    * 385a .8750 *    *    *    *    * 386a .9000 *    *    *    *    * 387a .9250 *    *    *    *    * 388a .9500 *    *    *    *    * 389a .9750 *    *    *    *    * 390a 858.0000 * * * * .0125 391a .0250 *    *    *    *    * 392a .0500 *    *    *    *    * 393a .0750 *    *    *    *    * 394a .1000 *    *    *    *    * 395a .1250 *    *    *    *    * 396a .1500 *    *    *    *    * 397a .1750 *    *    *    *    * 398a .2000 *    *    *    *    * 399a .2250 *    *    *    *    * 400a .2500 *    *    *    *    * 401a .2750 *    *    *    *    * 402a .3000 *    *    *    *    * 403a .3250 *    *    *    *    * 404a .3500 *    *    *    *    * 405a .3750 *    *    *    *    * 406a .4000 *    *    *    *    * 407a .4250 *    *    *    *    * 408a .4500 *    *    *    *    * 409a .4750 *    *    *    *    * 410a .5000 *    *    *    *    * 411a .5250 *    *    *    *    * 412a .5500 *    *    *    *    * 413a .5750 *    *    *    *    * 414a .6000 *    *    *    *    * 415a .6250 *    *    *    *    * 416a .6500 *    *    *    *    * 417a .6750 *    *    *    *    * 418a .7000 *    *    *    *    * 419a .7250 *    *    *    *    * 420a .7500 *    *    *    *    * 421a .7750 *    *    *    *    * 422a .8000 *    *    *    *    * 423a .8250 *    *    *    *    * 424a .8500 *    *    *    *    * 425a .8750 *    *    *    *    * 426a .9000 *    *    *    *    * 427a .9250 *    *    *    *    * 428a .9500 *    *    *    *    * 429a .9750 *    *    *    *    * 430a 859.0000 * * * * .0125 431a .0250 *    *    *    *    * 432a .0500 *    *    *    *    * 433a .0750 *    *    *    *    * 434a .1000 *    *    *    *    * 435a .1250 *    *    *    *    * 436a .1500 *    *    *    *    * 437a .1750 *    *    *    *    * 438a .2000 *    *    *    *    * 439a .2250 *    *    *    *    * 440a .2500 *    *    *    *    * 441a .2750 *    *    *    *    * 442a .3000 *    *    *    *    * 443a .3250 *    *    *    *    * 444a .3500 *    *    *    *    * 445a .3750 *    *    *    *    * 446a .4000 *    *    *    *    * 447a .4250 *    *    *    *    * 448a .4500 *    *    *    *    * 449a .4750 *    *    *    *    * 450a .5000 *    *    *    *    * 451a .5250 *    *    *    *    * 452a .5500 *    *    *    *    * 453a .5750 *    *    *    *    * 454a .6000 *    *    *    *    * 455a .6250 *    *    *    *    * 456a .6500 *    *    *    *    * 457a .6750 *    *    *    *    * 458a .7000 *    *    *    *    * 459a .7250 *    *    *    *    * 460a .7500 *    *    *    *    * 461a .7750 *    *    *    *    * 462a .8000 *    *    *    *    * 463a .8250 *    *    *    *    * 464a .8500 *    *    *    *    * 465a .8750 *    *    *    *    * 466a .9000 *    *    *    *    * 467a .9250 *    *    *    *    * 468a .9500 *    *    *    *    * 469a .9750 *    *    *    *    * 470a 860.0000 * * * * .0125 471a .0250 *    *    *    *    * 472a .0500 *    *    *    *    * 473a .0750 *    *    *    *    * 474a .1000 *    *    *    *    * 475a .1250 *    *    *    *    * 476a .1500 *    *    *    *    * 477a .1750 *    *    *    *    * 478a .2000 *    *    *    *    * 479a .2250 *    *    *    *    * 480a .2500 *    *    *    *    * 481a .2750 *    *    *    *    * 482a .3000 *    *    *    *    * 483a .3250 *    *    *    *    * 484a .3500 *    *    *    *    * 485a .3750 *    *    *    *    * 486a .4000 *    *    *    *    * 487a .4250 *    *    *    *    * 488a .4500 *    *    *    *    * 489a .4750 *    *    *    *    * 490a .5000 *    *    *    *    * 491a .5250 *    *    *    *    * 492a .5500 *    *    *    *    * 493a .5750 *    *    *    *    * 494a .6000 *    *    *    *    * 495a .6250 *    *    *    *    * 496a .6500 *    *    *    *    * 497a .6750 *    *    *    *    * 498a .7000 *    *    *    *    * 499a .7250 *    *    *    *    * 500a .7500 *    *    *    *    * 501a .7750 *    *    *    *    * 502a .8000 *    *    *    *    * 503a .8250 *    *    *    *    * 504a .8500 *    *    *    *    * 505a .8750 *    *    *    *    * 506a .9000 *    *    *    *    * 507a .9250 *    *    *    *    * 508a .9500 *    *    *    *    * 509a .9750 *    *    *    *    * 510a 861.0000 * * * * .0125 511a .0250 *    *    *    *    * 512a .0500 *    *    *    *    * 513a .0750 *    *    *    *    * 514a .1000 *    *    *    *    * 515a .1250 *    *    *    *    * 516a .1500 *    *    *    *    * 517a .1750 *    *    *    *    * 518a .2000 *    *    *    *    * 519a .2250 *    *    *    *    * 520a .2500 *    *    *    *    * 521a .2750 *    *    *    *    * 522a .3000 *    *    *    *    * 523a .3250 *    *    *    *    * 524a .3500 *    *    *    *    * 525a .3750 *    *    *    *    * 526a .4000 *    *    *    *    * 527a .4250 *    *    *    *    * 528a .4500 *    *    *    *    * 529a .4750 *    *    *    *    * 530a .5000 *    *    *    *    * 531a .5250 *    *    *    *    * 532a .5500 *    *    *    *    * 533a .5750 *    *    *    *    * 534a .6000 *    *    *    *    * 535a .6250 *    *    *    *    * 536a .6500 *    *    *    *    * 537a .6750 *    *    *    *    * 538a .7000 *    *    *    *    * 539a .7250 *    *    *    *    * 540a .7500 *    *    *    *    * 541a .7750 *    *    *    *    * 542a .8000 *    *    *    *    * 543a .8250 *    *    *    *    * 544a .8500 *    *    *    *    * 545a .8750 *    *    *    *    * 546a .9000 *    *    *    *    * 547a .9250 *    *    *    *    * 548a .9500 *    *    *    *    * 549a .9750 *    *    *    *    *
    5. Amend § 90.615 by revising the introductory paragraph, the introductory text to paragraphs (a) and (b), and paragraph (c) to read as follows:
    § 90.615 Individual channels available in the General Category in 806-824/851-869 MHz band.

    The General Category will consist of channels 231-260a and 511-550 at locations farther than 110 km (68.4 miles) from the U.S./Mexico border and 140 km (87 miles) from the U.S./Canadian border. All entities will be eligible for licensing on these channels except as described in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section.

    (a) In a given 800 MHz NPSPAC region, any channel in the 231-260a range which is vacated by a licensee relocating to channels 551-830 and which remains vacant after band reconfiguration will be available as follows:

    * * *

    (b) In a given 800 MHz NPSPAC region, any channel in the 231-260a range which is vacated by a licensee relocating to channels 511-550 and remains vacant after band reconfiguration will be available as follows:

    * * *

    (c) Spectrum Block F1 consists of channels 236-260a.

    6. Amend § 90.617 by revising Table 1 in the introductory text of paragraph (a), Table 1A in paragraph (a)(2), and Table 1B in paragraph (a)(3); Table 2 in the introductory text of paragraph (b), Table 2A in paragraph (b)(1), and Table 2B in paragraph (b)(2); Table 4B in the introductory text of paragraph (d), Table 4C in paragraph (d)(1), and Table 4D in paragraph (d)(2) to read as follows:
    § 90.617 Frequencies in the 809.750-824/854.750-869 MHz, and 896-901/935-940 MHz bands available for trunked, conventional or cellular system use in non-border areas.

    (a) * * *

    Table 1—Public Safety Pool 806-816/851-861 MHz Band Channels [140 channels] Group No. Channel Nos. 269 269-289-311-399-439 269a 269a-289a-311a-399a-439a 270 270-290-312-400-440 270a 270a-290a-312a-400a-440a 279 279-299-319-339-359 279a 279a-299a-319a-339a-359a 280 280-300-320-340-360 280a 280a-300a-320a-340a-360a 309 309-329-349-369-389 309a 309a-329a-349a-369a-389a 310 310-330-350-370-390 310a 310a-330a-350a-370a-390a 313 313-353-393-441-461 313a 313a-353a-393a-441a-461a 314 314-354-394-448-468 314a 314a-354a-394a-448a-468a 321 321-341-361-381-419 321a 321a-341a-361a-381a-419a 328 328-348-368-388-420 328a 328a-348a-368a-388a-420a 351 351-379-409-429-449 351a 351a-379a-409a-429a-449a 352 352-380-410-430-450 352a 352a-380a-410a-430a-450a Single Channels 391, 391a, 392, 392a, 401, 401a, 408, 408a, 421, 421a, 428, 428a, 459, 459a, 460, 460a, 469, 469a, 470, 470a

    (2) * * *

    Table 1A—Public Safety Pool 806-816/851-861 MHz Band Channels for Counties in Southeastern U.S. [140 channels] Group No. Channel Nos. 261 261-313-324-335-353 261a 261a-313a-324a-335a-353a 262 262-314-325-336-354 262a 262a-314a-325a-336a-354a 265 265-285-315-333-351 265a 265a-285a-315a-333a-351a 266 266-286-316-334-352 266a 266a-286a-316a-334a-352a 269 269-289-311-322-357 269a 269a-289a-311a-322a-357a 270 270-290-312-323-355 270a 270a-290a-312a-323a-355a 271 271-328-348-358-368 271a 271a-328a-348a-358a-368a 279 279-299-317-339-359 279a 279a-299a-317a-339a-359a 280 280-300-318-340-360 280a 280a-300a-318a-340a-360a 309 309-319-329-349-369 309a 309a-319a-329a-349a-369a 310 310-320-330-350-370 310a 310a-320a-330a-350a-370a 321 321-331-341-361-372 321a 321a-331a-341a-361a-372a Single Channels 326, 326a, 327, 327a, 332, 332a, 337, 337a, 338, 338a, 342, 342a, 343, 343a, 344, 344a, 345, 345a, 356, 356a

    (3) * * *

    Table 1B—Public Safety Pool 806-816/851-861 MHz Band Channels for Atlanta, GA [140 channels] Group No. Channel Nos. 261 261-313-324-335-353 261a 261a-313a-324a-335a-353a 262 262-314-325-336-354 262a 262a-314a-325a-336a-354a 269 269-289-311-322-357 269a 269a-289a-311a-322a-357a 270 270-290-312-323-355 270a 270a-290a-312a-323a-355a 279 279-299-319-339-359 279a 279a-299a-319a-339a-359a 280 280-300-320-340-360 280a 280a-300a-320a-340a-360a 285 285-315-333-351-379 285a 285a-315a-333a-351a-379a 286 286-316-334-352-380 286a 286a-316a-334a-352a-380a 309 309-329-349-369-389 309a 309a-329a-349a-369a-389a 310 310-330-350-370-390 310a 310a-330a-350a-370a-390a 321 321-331-341-361-381 321a 321a-331a-341a-361a-381a 328 328-348-358-368-388 328a 328a-348a-358a-368a-388a Single Channels 317, 317a, 318, 318a, 326, 326a, 327, 327a, 332, 332a, 337, 337a, 338, 338a, 356, 356a, 371, 371a, 372, 372a

    (b) * * *

    Table 2—Business/Industrial/Land Transportation Pool 806-816/851-861 MHz Band Channels [200 channels] Group No. Channel Nos. 261 261-313-324-335-353 261a 261a-313a-324a-335a-353a 262 262-314-325-336-354 262a 262a-314a-325a-336a-354a 269 269-289-311-322-357 269a 269a-289a-311a-322a-357a 270 270-290-312-323-355 270a 270a-290a-312a-323a-355a 279 279-299-319-339-359 279a 279a-299a-319a-339a-359a 280 280-300-320-340-360 280a 280a-300a-320a-340a-360a 285 285-315-333-351-379 285a 285a-315a-333a-351a-379a 286 286-316-334-352-380 286a 286a-316a-334a-352a-380a 309 309-329-349-369-389 309a 309a-329a-349a-369a-389a 310 310-330-350-370-390 310a 310a-330a-350a-370a-390a 321 321-331-341-361-381 321a 321a-331a-341a-361a-381a 328 328-348-358-368-388 328a 328a-348a-358a-368a-388a Single Channels 317, 317a, 318, 318a, 326, 326a, 327, 327a, 332, 332a, 337, 337a, 338, 338a, 356, 356a, 371, 371a, 372, 372a

    (1) * * *

    Table 2A—Business/Industrial/Land Transportation Pool 806-816/851-861 MHz Band for Channels in Southeastern U.S. [138 channels] Channel Nos. Single Channels 263, 263a, 264, 264a, 267, 267a, 268, 268a, 272, 272a, 273, 273a, 274, 274a, 275, 275a, 276, 276a, 277, 277a, 278, 278a, 281, 281a, 282, 282a, 283, 283a, 284, 284a, 287, 287a, 288, 288a, 291, 291a, 292, 292a, 293, 293a, 294, 294a, 295, 295a, 296, 296a, 297, 297a, 298, 298a, 301, 301a, 302, 302a, 303, 303a, 304, 304a, 305, 305a, 306, 306a, 307, 307a, 308, 308a, 346, 346a, 347, 347a, 362, 362a, 363, 363a, 364, 364a, 365, 365a, 366, 366a, 367, 367a, 379, 379a, 380, 380a, 381, 381a, 382, 382a, 383, 383a, 384, 384a, 385, 385a, 386, 386a, 387, 387a, 388, 388a, 389, 389a, 390, 390a, 391, 391a, 392, 392a, 393, 393a, 394, 394a, 399, 399a, 400, 400a, 401, 401a, 402, 402a, 403, 403a, 404, 404a, 405, 405a, 406, 406a, 407, 407a, 408, 408a, 409, 409a, 410, 410a

    (2) * * *

    Table 2B—Business/Industrial/Land Transportation Pool 806-816/851-861 MHz Band for Channels in Atlanta, GA [138 channels] Channel Nos. Single Channels 263, 263a, 264, 264a, 265, 265a, 266, 266a, 267, 267a, 268, 268a, 271, 271a, 272, 272a, 273, 273a, 274, 274a, 275, 275a, 276, 276a, 277, 277a, 278, 278a, 281, 281a, 282, 282a, 283, 283a, 284, 284a, 287, 287a, 288, 288a, 291, 291a, 292, 292a, 293, 293a, 294, 294a, 295, 295a, 296, 296a, 297, 297a, 298, 298a, 301, 301a, 302, 302a, 303, 303a, 304, 304a, 305, 305a, 306, 306a, 307, 307a, 308, 308a, 342, 342a, 343, 343a, 344, 344a, 345, 345a, 346, 346a, 347, 347a, 362, 362a, 363, 363a, 364, 364a, 365, 365a, 366, 366a, 367, 367a, 382, 382a, 383, 383a, 384, 384a, 385, 385a, 386, 386a, 387, 387a, 391, 391a, 392, 392a, 393, 393a, 394, 394a, 399, 399a, 400, 400a, 401, 401a, 402, 402a, 403, 403a, 404, 404a, 405, 405a, 406, 406a, 407, 407a, 409, 409a, 410, 410a

    (d) * * *

    Table 4B—SMR Category 806-816/851-861 MHz Band Channels, Available After January 21, 2005, for Site-Based Licensing [160 channels] Group No. Channel Nos. 315 315-355-395-435-475 315a 315a-355a-395a-435a-475a 316 316-356-396-436-476 316a 316a-356a-396a-436a-476a 317 317-357-397-437-477 317a 317a-357a-397a-437a-477a 318 318-358-398-438-478 318a 318a-358a-398a-438a-478a 331 331-371-411-451-491 331a 331a-371a-411a-451a-491a 332 332-372-412-452-492 332a 332a-372a-412a-452a-492a 333 333-373-413-453-493 333a 333a-373a-413a-453a-493a 334 334-374-414-454-494 334a 334a-374a-414a-454a-494a 335 335-375-415-455-495 335a 335a-375a-415a-455a-495a 336 336-376-416-456-496 336a 336a-376a-416a-456a-496a 337 337-377-417-457-497 337a 337a-377a-417a-457a-497a 338 338-378-418-458-498 338a 338a-378a-418a-458a-498a Single Channels 431, 431a, 432, 432a, 433, 433a, 434, 434a, 471, 471a, 472, 472a, 473, 473a, 474, 474a, 479, 479a, 480, 480a, 481, 481a, 488, 488a, 489, 489a, 490, 490a, 499, 499a, 500, 500a, 501, 501a, 508, 508a, 509, 509a, 510, 510a

    (1) * * *

    Table 4C—SMR Category 806-816/851-861 MHz Band Channels Available for Site-Based Licensing in Southeastern U.S. After January 21, 2005 [22 channels] Channel Nos. Single Channels 371, 371a, 373, 373a, 374, 374a, 375, 375a, 376, 376a, 377, 377a, 378, 378a, 395, 395a, 396, 396a, 397, 397a, 398, 398a

    (2) * * *

    Table 4D—SMR Category 806-816/851-861 MHz Band Channels Available for Site-Based Licensing in Atlanta, GA after January 21, 2005 [22 channels] Channel Nos. Single Channels 373, 373a, 374, 374a, 375, 375a, 376, 376a, 377, 377a, 378, 378a, 395, 395a, 396, 396a, 397, 397a, 398, 398a, 408, 408a
    7. Amend § 90.619 by: a. Revising the entries for “Regions 1, 4, 5, and 6,” “Region 3,” “Regions 7A and 8,” and “Region 7B” in Table C6 in paragraph (c)(6); b. Revising the entries for “Region 3” and “Regions 7A and 8” in Table C7 in paragraph (c)(7); c. Revising the entry for “Regions 7A, 7B, and 8” in Table C8 in paragraph (c)(8); and d. Revising the entries for “Regions 7A and 8” and “Region 7B” in Table C9 in paragraph (c)(9).

    The revisions read as follows:

    § 90.619 Operations within the U.S./Mexico and U.S./Canada border areas.

    (c) * * *

    (6) * * *

    Table C6—Public Safety Pool 806-816/851-861 MHz Band Channels in the Canada Border Regions Canada border region Channel Nos. Total Regions 1, 4, 5, and 6 231-260a 60 Channels. *         *         *         *         *         *         * Region 3 231-320a, 501-508a 180 Channels. Regions 7A and 8 269, 269a, 289, 289a, 311, 311a, 399, 399a, 439, 439a, 270, 270a, 290, 290a, 312, 312a, 400, 400a, 440, 440a, 279, 279a, 299, 299a, 319, 319a, 339, 339a, 359, 359a, 280, 280a, 300, 300a, 320, 320a, 340, 340a, 360, 360a, 309, 309a, 329, 329a, 349, 349a, 369, 369a, 389, 389a, 310, 310a, 330, 330a, 350, 350a, 370, 370a, 390, 390a, 313, 313a, 353, 353a, 393, 393a, 441, 441a, 461, 461a, 314, 314a, 354, 354a, 394, 394a, 448, 448a, 468, 468a, 321, 321a, 341, 341a, 361, 361a, 381, 381a, 419, 419a, 328, 328a, 348, 348a, 368, 368a, 388, 388a, 420, 420a, 351, 351a, 379, 379a, 409, 409a, 429, 429a, 449, 449a, 352, 352a, 380, 380a, 410, 410a, 430, 430a, 450, 450a, 391, 391a, 392, 392a, 401, 401a, 408, 408a, 421, 421a, 428, 428a, 459, 459a, 460, 460a, 469, 469a, 470, 470a 140 Channels. Region 7B 231-260a, 269, 269a, 289, 289a, 311, 311a, 399, 399a, 439, 439a, 270, 270a, 290, 290a, 312, 312a, 400, 400a, 440, 440a, 279, 279a, 299, 299a, 319, 319a, 339, 339a, 359, 359a, 280, 280a, 300, 300a, 320, 320a, 340, 340a, 360, 360a, 309, 309a, 329, 329a, 349, 349a, 369, 369a, 389, 389a, 310, 310a, 330, 330a, 350, 350a, 370, 370a, 390, 390a, 313, 313a, 353, 353a, 393, 393a, 441, 441a, 461, 461a, 314, 314a, 354, 354a, 394, 394a, 448, 448a, 468, 468a, 315, 315a, 355, 355a, 395, 395a, 435, 435a, 475, 475a, 316, 316a, 356, 356a, 396, 396a, 436, 436a, 476, 476a, 317, 317a, 357, 357a, 397, 397a, 437, 437a, 477, 477a, 318, 318a, 358, 358a, 398, 398a, 438, 438a, 478, 478a, 321, 321a, 341, 341a, 361, 361a, 381, 381a, 419, 419a, 328, 328a, 348, 348a, 368, 368a, 388, 388a, 420, 420a, 331, 331a, 371, 371a, 411, 411a, 451, 451a, 491, 491a, 332, 332a, 372, 372a, 412, 412a, 452, 452a, 492, 492a, 333, 333a, 373, 373a, 413, 413a, 453, 453a, 493, 493a, 334, 334a, 374, 374a, 414, 414a, 454, 454a, 494, 494a, 335, 335a, 375, 375a, 415, 415a, 455, 455a, 495, 495a, 336, 336a, 376, 376a, 416, 416a, 456, 456a, 496, 496a, 337, 337a, 377, 377a, 417, 417a, 457, 457a, 497, 497a, 338, 338a, 378, 378a, 418, 418a, 458, 458a, 498, 498a, 351, 351a, 379, 379a, 409, 409a, 429, 429a, 449, 449a, 352, 352a, 380, 380a, 410, 410a, 430, 430a, 450, 450a, 391, 391a, 392, 392a, 401, 401a, 408, 408a, 421, 421a, 428, 428a, 459, 459a, 460, 460a, 469, 469a, 470, 470a, 431, 431a, 432, 432a, 433, 433a, 434, 434a, 471, 471a, 472, 472a, 473, 473a, 474, 474a, 479, 479a, 480, 480a 340 Channels.

    (7) * * *

    Table C7—General Category 806-821/851-866 MHz Band Channels in the Canada Border Regions Canada border region General category channels where 800 MHz high
  • density cellular
  • systems are
  • prohibited
  • General category channels where 800 MHz high
  • density cellular
  • systems are
  • permitted
  • *         *         *         *         *         *         * Region 3 321-500a 509-710. Regions 7A and 8 231-260a, 511-550 None. *         *         *         *         *         *         *

    (8) * * *

    Table C8—Business/Industrial/Land Transportation Pool 806-816/851-861 MHz Band Channels in the Canada Border Regions Canada border region Channel Nos. Total *         *         *         *         *         *         * Regions 7A, 7B, and 8 261, 261a, 271, 271a, 281, 281a, 291, 291a, 301, 301a, 262, 262a, 272, 272a, 282, 282a, 292, 292a, 302, 302a, 263, 263a, 273, 273a, 283, 283a, 293, 293a, 303, 303a, 264, 264a, 274, 274a, 284, 284a, 294, 294a, 304, 304a, 265, 265a, 275, 275a, 285, 285a, 295, 295a, 305, 305a, 266, 266a, 276, 276a, 286, 286a, 296, 296a, 306, 306a, 267, 267a, 277, 277a, 287, 287a, 297, 297a, 307, 307a, 268, 268a, 278, 278a, 288, 288a, 298, 298a, 308, 308a, 322, 322a, 362, 362a, 402, 402a, 442, 442a, 482, 482a, 323, 323a, 363, 363a, 403, 403a, 443, 443a, 483, 483a, 324, 324a, 364, 364a, 404, 404a, 444, 444a, 484, 484a, 325, 325a, 365, 365a, 405, 405a, 445, 445a, 485, 485a, 326, 326a, 366, 366a, 406, 406a, 446, 446a, 486, 486a, 327, 327a, 367, 367a, 407, 407a, 447, 447a, 487, 487a, 342, 342a, 382, 382a, 422, 422a, 462, 462a, 502, 502a, 343, 343a, 383, 383a, 423, 423a, 463, 463a, 503, 503a, 344, 344a, 384, 384a, 424, 424a, 464, 464a, 504, 504a, 345, 345a, 385, 385a, 425, 425a, 465, 465a, 505, 505a, 346, 346a, 386, 386a, 426, 426a, 466, 466a, 506, 506a, 347, 347a, 387, 387a, 427, 427a, 467, 467a, 507, 507a 200 Channels

    (9) * * *

    Table C9—SMR Category 806-816/851-861 MHz Channels Available for Site-Based Licensing in the Canada Border Regions Canada border region Channel Nos. Total *         *         *         *         *         *         * Regions 7A and 8 315, 315a, 355, 355a, 395, 395a, 435, 435a, 475, 475a, 316, 316a, 356, 356a, 396, 396a, 436, 436a, 476, 476a, 317, 317a, 357, 357a, 397, 397a, 437, 437a, 477, 477a, 318, 318a, 358, 358a, 398, 398a, 438, 438a, 478, 478a, 331, 331a, 371, 371a, 411, 411a, 451, 451a, 491, 491a, 332, 332a, 372, 372a, 412, 412a, 452, 452a, 492, 492a, 333, 333a, 373, 373a, 413, 413a, 453, 453a, 493, 493a, 334, 334a, 374, 374a, 414, 414a, 454, 454a, 494, 494a, 335, 335a, 375, 375a, 415, 415a, 455, 455a, 495, 495a, 336, 336a, 376, 376a, 416, 416a, 456, 456a, 496, 496a, 337, 337a, 377, 377a, 417, 417a, 457, 457a, 497, 497a, 338, 338a, 378, 378a, 418, 418a, 458, 458a, 498, 498a, 431, 431a, 432, 432a, 433, 433a, 434, 434a, 471, 471a, 472, 472a, 473, 473a, 474, 474a, 479, 479a, 480, 480a, 481, 481a, 488, 488a, 489, 489a, 490, 490a, 499, 499a, 500, 500a, 501, 501a, 508, 508a, 509, 509a, 510, 510a 160 Channels. Region 7B * * *
  • 481a, 488a, 489a, 490a, 499a, 500a, 501a, 508a, 509a, 510a
  • 20 Channels.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06069 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 48 CFR Parts 902, 909, 916, 917, 922, 925, 931, 936, 942, 952, and 970 RIN 1991-AC00 Acquisition Regulation: Technical and Administrative Changes to Department of Energy Acquisition Regulation AGENCY:

    Office of Acquisition and Project Management, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Energy (DOE) is proposing to amend the Department of Energy Acquisition Regulation (DEAR) to make technical and administrative changes to the DEAR, including changes to conform to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), remove out-of-date coverage, update references, and correct minor errors and omissions. This proposed rule does not alter substantive rights or obligations under current law.

    DATES:

    Written comments on the proposed rulemaking must be received on or before close of business April 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by: Technical and Administrative Changes to Department of Energy Acquisition Regulation and RIN 1991-AC00, by any of the following methods:

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

    Email to: [email protected] Include DEAR: Small Business and other Socioeconomic Programs and RIN 1991-AC00 in the subject line of the message.

    Mail to: U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Acquisition and Project Management, MA-611, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585. Comments by email are encouraged.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lawrence Butler, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Acquisition and Project Management, MA-611, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0121. Telephone: (202) 287-1945. Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background II. Section-by-Section Analysis III. Procedural Requirements A. Review Under Executive Order 12866 and 13563 B. Review Under Executive Order 12988 C. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act D. Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act E. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act F. Review Under Executive Order 13132 G. Review Under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995. H. Review Under the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999 I. Review Under Executive Order 13211 J. Review Under the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001 K. Approval by the Office of the Secretary of Energy I. Background

    The DEAR has outdated citations and minor errors of a technical nature. The objective of this proposed rule is to update the outdated citations and correct the errors and omissions in the existing DEAR to conform to the FAR. None of these changes are substantive or of a nature to cause any significant expense for DOE or its contractors.

    II. Section-by-Section Analysis

    DOE proposes to amend the DEAR as follows:

    Part 902—DEFINITIONS OF WORDS AND TERMS

    1. Section 902.101, paragraph (2), is revised to change the title of the National Nuclear Security Agency (NNSA) Senior Procurement Executive (SPE).

    Part 909—CONTRACTOR QUALIFICATIONS

    2. Section 909.403, paragraphs (1) and (2), are revised to change the title of the NNSA SPE.

    Part 916—TYPES OF CONTRACTS

    3. Section 916.505, paragraph (b)(6)(i), is revised to change the title of the NNSA SPE.

    Part 917—SPECIAL CONTRACTING METHODS

    4. Section 917.602, paragraph (a), is revised to remove language that is no longer needed in the DEAR.

    Part 922—APPLICATION OF LABOR LAWS TO GOVERNMENT ACQUISITION

    5. Section 922.804 is no longer needed in the DEAR and is removed.

    Part 925—FOREIGN ACQUISITION

    6. Section 925.103, paragraph (a), is revised to correct the CFR reference.

    7. Section 925.1001, paragraph (b), is revised to change the title of the NNSA SPE.

    Part 931—CONTRACT COST PRINCIPLES AND PROCEDURES

    8. Section 931.205-18, paragraph (c)(2), is deleted in its entirety and replaced with a new paragraph (c).

    Part 936—CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS

    9. Section 936.202-70 is no longer needed in the DEAR and is removed.

    Part 942—CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION AND AUDIT SERVICES

    10. Section 942.705-3 is revised to update the circular number and remove the paragraph numbering.

    Part 952—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES

    11. Section 952.204-2, paragraph (j), is revised to inform contractors of the format for submitting Foreign Ownership, Control or Influence (FOCI) information. Paragraph (h)(2)(vi), is revised to remove Contractor requirement for submitting in writing information to the head of the cognizant local DOE Security Office concerning each uncleared applicant or uncleared employee who is selected for a position requiring an access authorization.

    12. Section 952.204-73, paragraph (a), is revised to inform contractors of the format for submitting FOCI information.

    13. Section 952.236-72 is no longer needed in the DEAR and is removed.

    14. Section 952.250-70, paragraph (d)(1), is revised to raise the threshold as required by the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

    Part 970—DOE MANAGEMENT AND OPERATING CONTRACTS

    15. Section 970.5215-3 is revised to update the Order number.

    16. Section 970.5223-1 is revised to correct the prescription.

    17. Section 970.5244-1, paragraph (f) is revised to reflect threshold increase in 48 CFR 28.102-2. Paragraph (g) is revised to reflect the threshold increase in DOE's class deviation for DEAR 970.5244-1.

    18. Section 970.5245-1, Alternate I, paragraph (j)(3), is revised to update the Order number and to add language that clarifies the sentence.

    III. Procedural Requirements A. Review Under Executive Order 12866 and 13563

    This regulatory action has been determined not to be a “significant regulatory action” under Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review,” 58 FR 51735 (October 4, 1993). Accordingly, this proposed rule is not subject to review under that Executive Order by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    DOE has also reviewed this regulation pursuant to Executive Order 13563, issued on January 18, 2011 (76 FR 3281 (Jan. 21, 2011)). Executive Order 13563 is supplemental to and explicitly reaffirms the principles, structures, and definitions governing regulatory review established in Executive Order 12866. To the extent permitted by law, agencies are required by Executive Order 13563 to: (1) Propose or adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned determination that its benefits justify its costs (recognizing that some benefits and costs are difficult to quantify); (2) tailor regulations to impose the least burden on society, consistent with obtaining regulatory objectives, taking into account, among other things, and to the extent practicable, the costs of cumulative regulations; (3) select, in choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, those approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity); (4) to the extent feasible, specify performance objectives, rather than specifying the behavior or manner of compliance that regulated entities must adopt; and (5) identify and assess available alternatives to direct regulation, including providing economic incentives to encourage the desired behavior, such as user fees or marketable permits, or providing information upon which choices can be made by the public.

    DOE emphasizes as well that Executive Order 13563 requires agencies to use the best available techniques to quantify anticipated present and future benefits and costs as accurately as possible. In its guidance, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has emphasized that such techniques may include identifying changing future compliance costs that might result from technological innovation or anticipated behavioral changes. DOE believes that this final rule is consistent with these principles, including the requirement that, to the extent permitted by law, agencies adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned determination that its benefits justify its costs and, in choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, those approaches maximize net benefits.

    B. Review Under Executive Order 12988

    With respect to the review of existing regulations and the promulgation of new regulations, section 3(a) of Executive Order 12988, “Civil Justice Reform,” 61 FR 4729 (February 7, 1996), imposes on Executive agencies the general duty to adhere to the following requirements: (1) Eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity; (2) write regulations to minimize litigation; and (3) provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct rather than a general standard and promote simplification and burden reduction.

    With regard to the review required by section 3(a), section 3(b) of Executive Order 12988 specifically requires that Executive agencies make every reasonable effort to ensure that the regulation: (1) Clearly specifies the preemptive effect, if any; (2) clearly specifies any effect on existing Federal law or regulation; (3) provides a clear legal standard for affected conduct while promoting simplification and burden reduction; (4) specifies the retroactive effect, if any; (5) adequately defines key terms; and (6) addresses other important issues affecting clarity and general draftsmanship under any guidelines issued by the United States Attorney General. Section 3(c) of Executive Order 12988 requires Executive agencies to review regulations in light of applicable standards in section 3(a) and section 3(b) to determine whether they are met or if it is unreasonable to meet one or more of them. DOE has completed the required review and determined that, to the extent permitted by law, this proposed rule meets the relevant standards of Executive Order 12988.

    C. Review Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act

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

    This notice of proposed rulemaking is to amend the DEAR to make technical and administrative changes as described in the summary. This rule would not have a significant economic impact on small entities because it imposes no significant burdens. No substantive rights or obligations are altered by the proposed amendment. Consequently, this proposed rule is exempt from the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    D. Review Under the Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed rule does not impose a collection of information requirement subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. Existing burdens associated with the collection of certain contractor data under the DEAR have been cleared under OMB control number 1910-4100, with an expiration date of October 31, 2014.

    E. Review Under the National Environmental Policy Act

    DOE has concluded that promulgation of this proposed rule falls into a class of actions which would not individually or cumulatively have significant impact on the human environment, as determined by DOE's regulations (10 CFR part 1021, subpart D) implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). Specifically, this proposed rule is categorically excluded from NEPA review because the amendments to the DEAR are strictly procedural (categorical exclusion A6). Therefore, this proposed rule does not require an environmental impact statement or environmental assessment pursuant to NEPA.

    F. Review Under Executive Order 13132

    Executive Order 13132, 64 FR 43255 (August 4, 1999), imposes certain requirements on agencies formulating and implementing policies or regulations that preempt State law or that have federalism implications. Agencies are required to examine the constitutional and statutory authority supporting any action that would limit the policymaking discretion of the States and carefully assess the necessity for such actions. The Executive Order requires agencies to have an accountability process to ensure meaningful and timely input by state and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have federalism implications.

    On March 14, 2000, DOE published a statement of policy describing the intergovernmental consultation process it will follow in the development of such regulations (65 FR 13735). DOE has examined the proposed rule and has determined that it does not preempt State law and does not have a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. No further action is required by Executive Order 13132.

    G. Review Under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4) generally requires a Federal agency to perform a written assessment of costs and benefits of any rule imposing a Federal mandate with costs to State, local or tribal governments, or to the private sector, of $100 million or more. This rulemaking does not impose a Federal mandate on State, local or tribal governments or on the private sector.

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

    Section 654 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 1999 (Pub. L. 105-277), requires Federal agencies to issue a Family Policymaking Assessment for any rulemaking or policy that may affect family well-being. This rulemaking will have no impact on the autonomy or integrity of the family as an institution. Accordingly, DOE has concluded that it is not necessary to prepare a Family Policymaking Assessment.

    I. Review Under Executive Order 13211

    Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use, 66 FR 28355 (May 22, 2001), requires Federal agencies to prepare and submit to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), a Statement of Energy Effects for any significant energy action. A “significant energy action” is defined as any action by an agency that promulgates or is expected to lead to promulgation of a final rule, and that: (1) Is a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, or any successor order; (2) is likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy; or (3) is designated by the Administrator of OIRA as a significant energy action. For any significant energy action, the agency must give a detailed statement of any adverse effects on energy supply, distribution, or use should the proposal be implemented, and of reasonable alternatives to the action and their expected benefits on energy supply, distribution, and use. This proposed rule is not a significant energy action. Accordingly, DOE has not prepared a Statement of Energy Effects.

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

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

    K. Approval by the Office of the Secretary of Energy

    Issuance of this proposed rule has been approved by the Office of the Secretary of Energy.

    List of Subjects in 48 CFR Parts 902, 909, 916, 917, 922, 925, 931, 936, 942, 952 and 970

    Government procurement.

    Issued in Washington, DC on March 16, 2015. Patrick M. Ferraro, Deputy Director, Office of Acquisition and Project Management, Department of Energy. Joseph Waddell, Deputy Associate Administrator, Acquisition and Project Management, National Nuclear Security Administration.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, the Department of Energy proposes to amend Chapter 9 of Title 48 of the Code of Federal Regulations as set forth below.

    Title 48—Federal Acquisition Regulations System 1. The authority citation for parts 902, 903, 916, 917, 922, 925, 931, 936 and 942 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7101 et seq. and 50 U.S.C. 2401 et seq.

    PART 902—DEFINITIONS OF WORDS AND TERMS
    902.101 [Amended]
    2. Section 902.101 is amended in the definition of “Senior Procurement Executive”, by removing “Director, Office of Acquisition and Supply Management” and adding in its place “Deputy Associate Administrator for Acquisition and Project Management”. PART 909—CONTRACTOR QUALIFICATIONS
    909.403 [Amended]
    3. Section 909.403 is amended in paragraphs (1) and (2), by removing “Director, Office of Acquisition and Supply Management” and adding in its place “Deputy Associate Administrator for Acquisition and Project Management”. PART 916—TYPES OF CONTRACTS
    916.505 [Amended]
    4. Section 916.505 is amended in paragraph (b)(6)(i), by removing “Director, Office of Acquisition and Supply Management,” and adding in its place “Deputy Associate Administrator for Acquisition and Project Management,”. PART 917—SPECIAL CONTRACTING METHODS
    917.602 [Amended]
    5. Section 917.602 is amended in paragraph (a), by removing “, Deputy Secretary or Under Secretary”. PART 922—APPLICATION OF LABOR LAWS TO GOVERNMENT ACQUISITION
    922.804 [Removed and Reserved]
    6. Section 922.804 is removed and reserved. PART 925—FOREIGN ACQUISITION 7. Section 925.103 is amended by removing paragraph (a), and revising paragraph (b)(2)(ii) to read as follows:
    925.103 Exceptions.

    (b) Nonavailabilty.

    (2)(i) Individual determinations. Contracting officers may make the determination required by 48 CFR 25.103(b)(2)(i), provided such determination is factually supported in writing. If the contract is estimated to exceed $1 million, the Head of the Contracting Activity must approve the determination.

    (ii) Proposals to add an article to the list of nonavailable articles at 48 CFR 25.104, with appropriate justifications, must be submitted for approval by the Senior Procurement Executive and submission to the appropriate council.

    925.1001 [Amended]
    8. Section 925.1001 is amended in paragraph (b), by removing “Director, Office of Acquisition and Supply Management” and adding in its place “Deputy Associate Administrator for Acquisition and Project Management”. PART 931—CONTRACT COST PRINCIPLES AND PROCEDURES 9. Section 931.205-18 is revised to read as follows:
    931.205-18 Independent research and development (IR&D) and bid and proposal (B&P) costs.

    (c) In addition to all the other FAR requirements for allowability of IR&D costs, costs for IR&D are allowable under DOE contracts to the extent: they are not otherwise unallowable; and they have potential benefit or relationship to the DOE program. The term “DOE program” encompasses the DOE total mission and its objectives. In addition to all the other FAR requirements for allowability of B&P costs, costs for B&P are allowable under DOE contracts to the extent they are not otherwise unallowable.

    PART 936—CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS
    936.202-70 [Removed and Reserved]
    10. Section 936.202-70 is removed and reserved. PART 942—CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION AND AUDIT SERVICES
    942.705-3 [Amended]
    11. Section 942.705-3 is amended by: a. Removing the paragraph numbering “(a)(2)”; and b. Removing “A-88” and adding in its place “A-21”. PART 952—SOLICITATION PROVISIONS AND CONTRACT CLAUSES 12. The authority citation for part 952 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 2201; 2282a; 2282b; 2282c; 42 U.S.C. 7101 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 2401 et seq.

    13. Section 952.204-2 is amended by: a. Revising the section heading; b. Revising the clause heading and clause date; and c. Revising introductory paragraph (h)(2)(vi) and paragraph (j)(1).

    The revisions read as follows:

    952.204-2 Security requirements. Security Requirements ([(XXX 20XX)])

    (h) * * *

    (2) * * *

    (vi) The Contractor must maintain a record of information concerning each uncleared applicant or uncleared employee who is selected for a position requiring an access authorization. Upon request only, the following information will be furnished to the head of the cognizant local DOE Security Office:

    (j) Foreign ownership, control, or influence. (1) The Contractor shall immediately provide the cognizant security office written notice of any change in the extent and nature of foreign ownership, control or influence over the Contractor which would affect any answer to the questions presented in the Standard Form (SF) 328, Certificate Pertaining to Foreign Interests, executed prior to award of this contract. The Contractor will submit the Foreign Ownership, Control or Influence (FOCI) information in the format directed by DOE. When completed the Contractor must print and sign one copy of the SF 328 and submit it to the Contracting Officer. In addition, any notice of changes in ownership or control which are required to be reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, or the Department of Justice, shall also be furnished concurrently to the Contracting Officer.

    14. Section 952.204-73 is amended by: a. Revising the date of the clause; and b. Revising paragraph (a)(1).

    The revisions read as follows:

    952.204-73 Facility clearance. Facility Clearance ([(XXX 20XX)])

    (a) Use of Certificate Pertaining to Foreign Interests, Standard Form 328. (1) The contract work anticipated by this solicitation will require access to classified information or special nuclear material. Such access will require a Facility Clearance for the Contractor's organization and access authorizations (security clearances) for Contractor personnel working with the classified information or special nuclear material. To obtain a Facility Clearance the Contractor must submit the Standard Form 328, Certificate Pertaining to Foreign Interests, and all required supporting documents to form a complete Foreign Ownership, Control or Influence (FOCI) Package. The Contractor will submit the Foreign Ownership, Control or Influence (FOCI) information in the format directed by DOE. When completed the Contractor must print and sign one copy of the SF 328 and submit it to the Contracting Officer.

    952.236-72 [Removed and Reserved]
    15. Section 952.236-72 is removed and reserved.
    952.250-70 [Amended]
    16. Section 952.250-70 is amended by: a. Revising the date of the clause; and b. Removing in paragraph (d)(1), “$100 million” and adding in its place “$500 million”.

    The revision reads as follows:

    952.250-70 Nuclear hazards indemnity agreement. Nuclear Hazards Indemnity Agreement ([(XXX 20XX)])
    PART 970—DOE MANAGEMENT AND OPERATING CONTRACTS 17. The authority citation for part 970 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 2201; 2282a; 2282b; 2282c; 42 U.S.C. 7101 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 2401 et seq.

    970.5215-3 [Amended]
    18. Section 970.5215-3, paragraphs (c)(1)(i) and (c)(2)(i) are amended by removing “DOE Order 225.1A” and adding in its place “DOE Order 225.1B, or successor version”.
    970.5223-1 [Amended]
    19. Section 970.5223-1 is amended by removing “970.2303-3(b)” in the clause introductory paragraph and adding in its place, “970.2303-3(a)”. 20. Section 970.5244-1 is amended by: a. Revising the clause date; b. Removing in paragraphs (f)(1) and (f)(2) “$100,000” and adding in its place “$150,000”; and c. Removing in paragraph (g) “$100,000” in both occurrences and adding in its place “$500,000”.

    The revision read as follows:

    970.5244-1 Contractor purchasing system. Contractor Purchasing System ([(XXX 20XX)])
    21. Section 970.5245-1 is amended by: a. Revising the clause date; b. Revising Alternate I heading and date; and c. Removing in Alternate I paragraph (j)(3), a. “Major System Acquisition or Major Project” and adding in its place “Major System Project”, and b. “DOE Order 4700.1” and adding in its place “DOE Order 413.3B, or successor version”.

    The revisions read as follows:

    970.5245-1 Property. Property ([(XXX 20XX)]) Alternate I ([(XXX 20XX)]).
    [FR Doc. 2015-06564 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    80 57 Wednesday, March 25, 2015 Notices AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT Board for International Food and Agricultural Development; Notice Of Meeting

    Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, notice is hereby given of the public meeting of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD). The meeting will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. MDT on Thursday, April 9, 2015 and then from 8:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. MDT on Friday, April 10, 2015 in the Ballroom A of the Strand Union Building at Montana State University, P.O. Box 174140, Bozeman, Montana.

    Beginning on Thursday, April 9th, BIFAD will hear from presenters during three sessions. Starting at 1:00 p.m. MDT, the Tropical Agriculture Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) will provide an update. Presenters will be Dr. Jose Joaquin Campos, Director General of CATIE, and Dr. I. Miley Gonzalez, Deputy Director General.

    The second presentation for the day will start at 1:45 p.m., BIFAD will hear from a panel on Effective Developments for Enhanced Nutrition in Smallholder Farming. Presenters will be Montana State University Faculty: Dr. David Sands, Professor, Plant Pathology, Dr. Edward Dratz, Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry, and Dr. Florence Dunkel, Associate Professor, Entomology.

    Rob Bertram, Chief Scientist, USAID Bureau for Food Security will lead the third presentation, providing an update and highlights of the current research priorities for the Presidential Feed the Future Initiative. After this presentation BIFAD Chair Deaton will adjourn the public meeting for the day.

    Friday, April 10th, the public meeting will resume at 8:30 a.m. MDT in the Strand Union Building. The meeting will be streamed live on the Internet. The link to the global live stream is on BIFAD's home page: http://www.usaid.gov/bifad.

    Dr. Brady Deaton, BIFAD Chair, will preside over the public business meeting, which will begin promptly at 8:30 a.m. MDT with opening remarks. Dr. Waded Cruzado, BIFAD Board Member and President of Montana State University, will deliver welcoming remarks. At this public meeting, the Board will address old and new business and hear updates from USAID, the university community, and other experts on progress and mechanisms for advancing programming in agricultural research and capacity development. BIFAD Board Member Gebisa Ejeta will present a status report for the human and institutional capacity development (HICD) working group.

    Starting at 10:00 a.m., a Dean from MSU will moderate the panel discussion to inform BIFAD and the public of the Tribal Colleges' activities and how it benefits agriculture both domestically and abroad. Presenters for this panel are Dr. Billie Jo Kipp, President, Blackfeet Community College and Dr. David Yarlott, President, Little Big Horn College.

    Following this presentation, BIFAD and members of the public are invited to spend 30 minutes walking through the Montana State University (MSU) Global Agriculture poster display.

    The final presentation of the morning will focus on Decision Making to Enhance Food Security and Resilience. This panel will bring together experts from Montana State University to share their experiences, success stories, and provide discussion on best practices. Presenters for this panel are Dr. Sarah Janzen, Associate Professor, Agricultural Economics, Dr. Selena Ahmed, Associate Professor, Health & Human Development, and Dr. Eric Raile, Assistant Professor, Political Science.

    At 12:15 p.m., Chairman Deaton will moderate a half-hour public comment period. At 12:45 p.m. MDT Dr. Brady Deaton, BIFAD Chair, will make closing remarks and adjourn the public meeting.

    Those wishing to attend the meeting or obtain additional information about BIFAD should contact Susan Owens, Executive Director and Designated Federal Officer for BIFAD in the Bureau for Food Security at USAID. Interested persons may write to her in care of the U.S. Agency for International Development, Ronald Reagan Building, Bureau for Food Security, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Room 2.09-067, Washington, DC 20523-2110 or telephone her at (202) 712-0218.

    Susan Owens, Executive Director and USAID Designated Federal Officer for BIFAD, Bureau for Food Security, U.S. Agency for International Development.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06783 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE National Institute of Food and Agriculture Service Notice of Intent for Renewal of a Currently Approved Information Collection AGENCY:

    National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations (5 CFR part 1320) which implement the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this notice announces the National Institute of Food and Agriculture's (NIFA's) intention to request an extension for a currently approved information collection (OMB No. 0524-0026) for Form NIFA-666, “Organizational Information.”

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before May 26, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments concerning this notice and requests for copies of the information collection may be submitted by any of the following methods to Robert Martin, Records Officer, Information Policy, Planning and Training Mail: NIFA/USDA; Mail Stop 2216; 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-2299; Hand Delivery/Courier: 800 9th Street SW., Waterfront Centre, Room 4206, Washington, DC 20024; or Email: [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Martin; Records Officer, Information Policy, Planning and Training; Office of Information Technology; USDA/NIFA, Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Organizational Information.

    OMB Number: 0524-0026.

    Expiration Date of Current Approval: June 1, 2015.

    Type of Request: Intent to extend a currently approved information collection for three years.

    Abstract: NIFA has primary responsibility for providing linkages between the Federal and State components of a broad-based, national agricultural research, extension, and education system. Focused on national issues, its purpose is to represent the Secretary of Agriculture and carry out the intent of Congress by administering capacity and grant funds appropriated for agricultural research, extension, and education. Before awards can be made, certain information is required from applicants to effectively assess the potential recipient's ability to manage Federal funds.

    Need for the Information

    Form NIFA-666 “Organizational Information”: Enables NIFA to determine that applicants recommended for awards will be responsible recipients of Federal funds. The information pertains to organizational management and financial matters of the potential grantee. This form and the documents which the applicant attaches to it provide NIFA with information such as the legal name of grantee, certification that the organization has the legal authority to accept Federal funding, identification and signatures of the key officials of the organization, the organization's practices in regard to compensation rates and benefits of employees, insurance for equipment, subcontracting with other organizations, etc., as well as the financial condition of the organization and certification that the organization is not delinquent on Federal taxes. All of this information is considered by NIFA prior to award to determine the grantee is both managerially and fiscally responsible. This information is submitted to NIFA on a one-time basis and updated accordingly. If sufficient changes occur within the organization, the grantee submits revised information.

    Estimate of the Burden: NIFA estimates the number of responses for the Form NIFA-666 will be 150 with an estimated response time of 6.3 hours per form, representing a total annual burden of 945 hours for this form. These estimates are based on a survey of grantees that were approved for grant awards. They were asked to give an estimate of time it took them to complete each form. This estimate was to include such things as: (1) Reviewing the instructions; (2) searching existing data sources; (3) gathering and maintaining the data needed; and (4) actual completion of the forms. The average time it took each respondent was calculated from their responses.

    Comments: Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have a practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the information collection 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.

    Done at Washington, DC, this 16th day of 2015. Catherine E. Woteki, Under Secretary, Research, Education, and Economics.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06826 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Housing Service Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) for Section 514 Farm Labor Housing Loans and Section 516 Farm Labor Housing Grants for Off-Farm Housing for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 AGENCY:

    Rural Housing Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Rural Housing Service (RHS) announces the timeframe to submit pre-applications for Section 514 Farm Labor Housing (FLH) loans and Section 516 FLH grants for the construction of new off-farm FLH units and related facilities for domestic farm laborers and for the purchase and substantial rehabilitation of an existing non-FLH property. The intended purpose of these loans and grants is to increase the number of available housing units for domestic farm laborers. This Notice describes the method used to distribute funds, the application process, and submission requirements.

    RHS will publish on its Web site, http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/farm-labor-housing-direct-loans-grants, the amount of funding available in FY 2015 based on current appropriations.

    Of particular note this year, the Agency will assign additional points to pre-applications for projects based in or serving census tracts with poverty rates greater than or equal to 20 percent over the last 30 years. This emphasis will support Rural Development's mission of improving the quality of life for rural Americans and commitment to directing resources to those who most need them.

    DATES:

    The deadline for receipt of all applications in response to this Notice is 5:00 p.m., local time to the appropriate Rural Development State Office on June 23, 2015. Rural Development will not consider any application that is received after the deadline unless the date and time is extended by another Notice published in the Federal Register. Applicants intending to mail applications must provide sufficient time to permit delivery on or before the deadline. Acceptance by a post office or private mailer does not constitute delivery. Facsimile (FAX) and postage due applications will not be accepted.

    ADDRESSES:

    Applicants wishing to submit an application in response to this Notice must contact the Rural Development State Office serving the State of the proposed off-FLH project in order to receive further information and copies of the application package. You may find the addresses and contact information for each State Office following this web link, http://www.rd.usda.gov/contact-us/state-offices. Rural Development will date and time stamp incoming applications to evidence timely receipt and, upon request, will provide the applicant with a written acknowledgment of receipt.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mirna Reyes-Bible, Finance and Loan Analyst, Multi-Family Housing Preservation and Direct Loan Division, STOP 0781 (Room 1263-S), USDA Rural Development, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-0781, telephone: (202) 720-1753 (this is not a toll free number.), or via email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Overview

    Federal Agency: Rural Housing Service.

    Funding Opportunity Title: NOSA for Section 514 Farm Labor Housing Loans and Section 516 Farm Labor Housing Grants for Off-Farm Housing for Fiscal Year 2015.

    Announcement Type: Solicitation of pre-applications from qualified applicants for FY 2015.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA): 10.405 and 10.427.

    Due Date for Applications: June 23, 2015.

    A. Federal Award Description

    Pre-applications will only be accepted through the date and time listed in this Notice. All awards are subject to availability of funding. Individual requests may not exceed $3 million (total loan and grant).

    No State may receive more than 30 percent of available FLH funding available in FY 2015. If there are insufficient applications from around the country to exhaust Sections 514/516 funds available, the Agency may then exceed the 30 percent cap per State. Section 516 off-farm FLH grants may not exceed 90 percent of the total development cost (TDC) of the housing as defined in 7 CFR 3560.11.

    If leveraged funds are going to be used and are in the form of tax credits, the applicant must include in its pre-application written evidence that a tax credit application has been submitted and accepted by the Housing Finance Agency (HFA). All applications that will receive any leveraged funds must have firm commitments in place within 12 months of the issuance of a “Notice of Pre-application Review Action,” Handbook Letter 103 (3560). Applicants without written evidence that a tax credit application has been submitted and accepted by the HFA must certify in writing they will apply for tax credits to the HFA and obtain a firm commitment within 12 months of the issuance of a “Notice of Pre-application Review Action.”

    Rental Assistance (RA) and operating assistance will be available for new construction in FY 2015. Operating assistance is explained at 7 CFR 3560.574 and may be used in lieu of tenant-specific RA in off-FLH projects that serve migrant farm workers as defined in 7 CFR 3560.11, that are financed under Section 514 or Section 516 (h) of the Housing Act of 1949, as amended (42 U.S.C. 1484 and 1486(h) respectively), and otherwise meet the requirements of 7 CFR 3560.574.

    B. Eligibility Information 1. Eligibility

    Housing Eligibility—Housing that is constructed with FLH loans and/or grants must meet Rural Development's design and construction standards contained in 7 CFR part 1924, subparts A and C. Once constructed, off-farm FLH must be managed in accordance with 7 CFR part 3560. In addition, off-farm FLH must be operated on a non-profit basis and tenancy must be open to all qualified domestic farm laborers, regardless at which farm they work. Section 514(f) (3) of the Housing Act of 1949, as amended (42 U.S.C. 1484(f) (3)) defines domestic farm laborers to include any person regardless of the person's source of employment, who receives a substantial portion of his or her income from the primary production of agricultural or aqua cultural commodities in the unprocessed or processed stage, and also includes the person's family.

    Tenant Eligibility—Tenant eligibility is limited to persons who meet the definition of a “disabled domestic farm laborer,” or a “domestic farm laborer,” or “retired domestic farm laborer,” as defined in 7 CFR 3560.11. Farm workers who are admitted to this country on a temporary basis under the Temporary Agricultural Workers (H-2A Visa) program are not eligible to occupy Sections 514/516 off-farm FLH.

    Applicant Eligibility—

    (a) To be eligible to receive a Section 516 grant for off-farm FLH, the applicant must be a broad-based non-profit organization, including community and faith-based organizations, a non-profit organization of farm workers, a Federally recognized Indian tribe, an agency or political subdivision of a State or local Government, or a public agency (such as a housing authority). The applicant must be able to contribute at least one-tenth of the TDC from non-Rural Development resources which can include leveraged funds.

    (b) To be eligible to receive a Section 514 loan for off-farm FLH, the applicant must be a broad-based non-profit organization, including community and faith-based organizations, a non-profit organization of farm workers, a Federally recognized Indian tribe, an agency or political subdivision of a State or local Government, a public agency (such as a housing authority), or a limited partnership which has a non-profit entity as its general partner, and

    (i) Be unable to provide the necessary housing from its own resources;

    (ii) Except for State or local public agencies and Indian tribes, be unable to obtain similar credit elsewhere at rates that would allow for rents within the payment ability of eligible residents.

    (iii) Broad-based non-profit organizations must have a membership that reflects a variety of interests in the area where the housing will be located.

    2. Cost Sharing or Matching—Section 516 grants for off-farm FLH may not exceed 90 percent of the TDC as provided in 7 CFR 3560.562(c)(1).

    3. Other Requirements—The following requirements apply to loans and grants made in response to this Notice:

    (a) 7 CFR part 1901, subpart E, regarding equal opportunity requirements;

    (b) For grants only, 2 CFR parts 200 and 400, which establishes the uniform administrative and audit requirements for grants and cooperative agreements to State and local Governments and to non-profit organizations;

    (c) 7 CFR part 1901, subpart F, regarding historical and archaeological properties;

    (d) 7 CFR part 1940, subpart G, regarding environmental assessments;

    (e) 7 CFR part 3560, subpart L, regarding the loan and grant authorities of the off-farm FLH program;

    (f) 7 CFR part 1924, subpart A, regarding planning and performing construction and other development;

    (g) 7 CFR part 1924, subpart C, regarding the planning and performing of site development work;

    (h) For construction financed with a Section 516 grant, the provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act (40 U.S.C. 276(a)-276(a)-5) and implementing regulations published at 29 CFR parts 1, 3, and 5;

    (i) All other requirements contained in 7 CFR part 3560, regarding the Sections 514/516 off-farm FLH programs; and

    (j) Please note that grant applicants must obtain a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and maintain registration in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) prior to submitting a pre-application pursuant to 2 CFR 25.200(b). In addition, an entity applicant must maintain registration in the CCR database at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application or plan under construction by the Agency. Similarly, all recipients of Federal financial assistance are required to report information about first-tier sub-awards and executive compensation in accordance with 2 CFR part 170. So long as an entity applicant does not have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b), the applicant must have the necessary processes and systems in place to comply with the reporting requirements should the applicant receive funding. See 2 CFR 170.200(b).

    C. Application and Submission Information 1. Pre-Application Submission

    The application process will be in two phases: The initial pre-application (or proposal) and the submission of a final application. Only those pre-applications or proposals that are selected for further processing will be invited to submit final applications. In the event that a proposal is selected for further processing and the applicant declines, the next highest ranked unfunded pre-application may be selected for further processing. All pre-applications for Sections 514 and 516 funds must be filed with the appropriate Rural Development State Office and must meet the requirements of this Notice. Incomplete pre-applications will not be reviewed and will be returned to the applicant. No pre-application will be accepted after the deadline unless date and time are extended by another Notice published in the Federal Register.

    Pre-applications can be submitted either electronically using the FLH Pre-application form found at http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/farm-labor-housing-direct-loans-grants or in hard copy to the appropriate Rural Development Office where the project will be located. Follow the link for the RD Office address for requesting and submitting pre-application at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/StateofficeAddresses.html. Applicants are strongly encouraged, but not required, to submit the pre-application electronically. The electronic form contains a button labeled “Send Form.” By clicking on the button, the applicant will see an email message window with an attachment that includes the electronic form the applicant filled out as a data file with an .fdf extension. In addition, an auto-reply acknowledgement will be sent to the applicant when the electronic Loan Proposal form is received by the Agency unless the sender has software that will block the receipt of the auto-reply email. The State Office will record pre-applications received electronically by the actual date and time when all attachments are received at the State Office.

    Submission of the electronic Section 514 Loan Proposal form does not constitute submission of the entire proposal package which requires additional forms and supporting documentation as listed within this Notice. You may use one of the following three options for submitting the entire proposal package comprising of all required forms and documents. On the Loan Proposal form you can indicate the option you will be using to submit each required form and document.

    (a) Electronic Media Option. Submit all forms and documents as read-only Adobe Acrobat files on electronic media such as CDs, DVDs or USB drives. For each electronic device submitted, the applicant should include a Table of Contents of all documents and forms on that device. The electronic media should be submitted to the Rural Development State Office listed in this Notice where the property is located. Any forms and documents that are not sent electronically, including the check for credit reports, must be mailed to the Rural Development State Office.

    (b) Email Option. On the Loan Proposal form you will be asked for a submission email address. This email address will be used to establish a folder on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) server with your unique email address. Once the Loan Proposal form is processed, you will receive an additional email notifying you of the email address that you can use to email your forms and documents. Please Note: All forms and documents must be emailed from the same submission email address. This will ensure that all forms and documents that you send will be stored in the folder assigned to that email address. Any forms and documents that are not sent in via the email option must be submitted on an electronic media or in hard copy form to the Rural Development State Office.

    (c) Hard Copy Submission to the Rural Development State Office. If you are unable to send the proposal package electronically using either of the options listed above, you may send a hard copy of all forms and documents to the Rural Development State Office where the property is located. Hard copy pre-applications received on or before the deadline date will receive the close of business time of the day received as the receipt time. Hard copy pre-applications must be received by the submission deadline and no later than 5:00 p.m., local time, June 23, 2015. Assistance for filing electronic and hard copy pre-applications can be obtained from any Rural Development State Office.

    For electronic submissions, there is a time delay between the time it is sent and the time it is received depending on network traffic. As a result, last-minute submissions sent before the deadline date and time could well be received after the deadline date and time because of the increased network traffic. Applicants are reminded that all submissions received after the deadline date and time will be rejected, regardless of when they were sent.

    If a pre-application is accepted for further processing, the applicant must submit a complete, final application, acceptable to Rural Development prior to the obligation of Rural Development funds. If the pre-application is not accepted for further processing the applicant will be notified of appeal rights under 7 CFR part 11.

    2. Pre-Application Requirements

    (a) The pre-application must contain the following:

    (1) A summary page listing the following items. This information should be double-spaced between items and not be in narrative form.

    (i) Applicant's name.

    (ii) Applicant's Taxpayer Identification Number.

    (iii) Applicant's address.

    (iv) Applicant's telephone number.

    (v) Name of applicant's contact person, telephone number, and address.

    (vi) Amount of loan and/or grant requested.

    (vii) For grants of Federal financial assistance (including loans and grants, cooperative agreements, etc.), the applicant's Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and registration in the CCR database in accordance with 2 CFR part 25. As required by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), all grant applicants must provide a DUNS number when applying for Federal grants, on or after October 1, 2003. Organizations can receive a DUNS number at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-free number at (866) 705-5711 or via the internet at: http://www.dnb.com/. Additional information concerning this requirement can be obtained on the Grants.gov Web site at www.grants.gov. Similarly, applicants may register for the CCR at: https://www.uscontractorregistration.com/ or by calling (877) 252-2700.

    (2) Awards made under this Notice are subject to the provisions contained in an appropriation in FY 2014 that funds FLH.

    (3) A narrative verifying the applicant's ability to meet the eligibility requirements stated earlier in this Notice. If an applicant is selected for further processing, Rural Development will require additional documentation as set forth in a Conditional Commitment in order to verify the entity has the legal and financial capability to carry out the obligation of the loan.

    (4) Standard Form 424, “Application for Federal Assistance,” can be obtained at: http://www.grants.gov or from any Rural Development State Office listed in Section VII of this Notice.

    (5) For loan pre-applications, current (within 6 months of pre-application date) financial statements with the following paragraph certified by the applicant's designated and legally authorized signer:

    “I/we certify the above is a true and accurate reflection of our financial condition as of the date stated herein. This statement is given for the purpose of inducing the United States of America to make a loan or to enable the United States of America to make a determination of continued eligibility of the applicant for a loan as requested in the loan application of which this statement is a part.”

    (6) For loan pre-applications, a check for $24 from applicants made out to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This will be used to pay for credit reports obtained by Rural Development.

    (7) Evidence that the applicant is unable to obtain credit from other sources. Letters from credit institutions which normally provide real estate loans in the area should be obtained and these letters should indicate the rates and terms upon which a loan might be provided. (Note: Not required from State or local public agencies or Indian tribes.)

    (8) If a FLH grant is desired, a statement concerning the need for a FLH grant. The statement should include preliminary estimates of the rents required with and without a grant.

    (9) A statement of the applicant's experience in operating labor housing or other rental housing. If the applicant's experience is limited, additional information should be provided to indicate how the applicant plans to compensate for this limited experience (i.e., obtaining assistance and advice of a management firm, non-profit group, public agency, or other organization which is experienced in rental management and will be available on a continuous basis).

    (10) A brief statement explaining the applicant's proposed method of operation and management (i.e., on-site manager, contract for management services, etc.). As stated earlier in this Notice, the housing must be managed in accordance with the program's management regulation, 7 CFR part 3560 and tenancy is limited to “disabled domestic farm laborers,” “domestic farm laborers,” and “retired domestic farm laborers,” as defined in 7 CFR 3560.11.

    (11) Applicants must also provide:

    (i) A copy of, or an accurate citation to, the special provisions of State law under which they are organized, a copy of the applicant's charter, Articles of Incorporation, and by-laws;

    (ii) The names, occupations, and addresses of the applicant's members, directors, and officers; and

    (iii) If a member or subsidiary of another organization, the organization's name, address, and nature of business.

    (12) A preliminary market survey or market study to identify the supply and demand for farm labor housing in the market area. The market area must be clearly identified and may include only the area from which tenants can reasonably be drawn for the proposed project. Documentation must be provided to justify a need within the intended market area for the housing of “domestic farm laborers,” as defined in 7 CFR 3560.11. The documentation must take into account disabled and retired farm workers. The preliminary survey should address or include the following items:

    (i) The annual income level of farmworker families in the area and the probable income of the farm workers who will likely occupy the proposed housing;

    (ii) A realistic estimate of the number of farm workers who remain in the area where they harvest and the number of farm workers who normally migrate into the area. Information on migratory workers should indicate the average number of months the migrants reside in the area and an indication of what type of family groups are represented by the migrants (i.e., single individuals as opposed to families);

    (iii) General information concerning the type of labor intensive crops grown in the area and prospects for continued demand for farm laborers;

    (iv) The overall occupancy rate for comparable rental units in the area and the rents charged and customary rental practices for these units (i.e., will they rent to large families, do they require annual leases, etc.);

    (v) The number, condition, adequacy, rental rates and ownership of units currently used or available to farm workers;

    (vi) A description of the units proposed, including the number, type, size, rental rates, amenities such as carpets and drapes, related facilities such as a laundry room or community room and other facilities providing supportive services in connection with the housing and the needs of the prospective tenants such as a health clinic or day care facility, estimated development timeline, estimated TDC, and applicant contribution; and

    (vii) The applicant must also identify all other sources of funds, including the dollar amount, source, and commitment status. (Note: A Section 516 grant may not exceed 90 percent of the TDC of the housing.)

    (13) The applicant must submit a checklist, certification, and signed affidavit by the project architect or engineer, as applicable, for any energy programs listed in Section IV the applicant intends to participate in.

    (14) The following forms are required:

    (i) A completed Form RD 1940-20, “Request for Environmental Information,” and a description of anticipated environmental issues or concerns. The form can be found at: http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/efcommon/eFileServices/eForms/RD1940-20.PDF.

    (ii) A prepared HUD Form 935.2A, “Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing Plan (AFHM) Multi-Family Housing,” in accordance with 7 CFR 1901.203(c). The plan will reflect that occupancy is open to all qualified “domestic farm laborers,” regardless of which farming operation they work and that they will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, disability, marital or familial status or National origin in regard to the occupancy or use of the units. The form can be found at: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=935-2a.PDF.

    (iii) A proposed operating budget utilizing Form RD 3560-7, “Multiple Family Housing Project Budget/Utility Allowance,” can be found at: http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/efcommon/eFileServices/eForms/RD3560-7.PDF.

    (iv) An estimate of development cost utilizing Form RD 1924-13, “Estimate and Certificate of Actual Cost,” can be found at: http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/efcommon/eFileServices/eForms/RD1924-13.PDF.

    (v) Form RD 3560-30, “Certification of no Identity of Interest (IOI),” can be found at: http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/efcommon/eFileServices/eForms/RD3560-30.PDF and Form RD 3560-31, “Identity of Interest Disclosure/Qualification Certification,” can be found at: http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/efcommon/eFileServices/eForms/RD3560-31.PDF.

    (vi) Form HUD 2530, “Previous Participation Certification,” can be found at: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=2530.pdf.

    (vii) If requesting RA or Operating Assistance, Form RD 3560-25, “Initial Request for Rental Assistance or Operating Assistance,” can be found at: http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/efcommon/eFileServices/eForms/RD3560-25.PDF.

    (viii) Form RD 400-4, “Assurance Agreement,” can be found at: http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/efcommon/eFileServices/eForms/RD400-4.PDF. Applicants for revitalization, repair, and rehabilitation funding are to apply through the Multifamily Housing Preservation and Revitalization (MPR) Demonstration Program.

    (ix) Evidence of compliance with Executive Order 12372. The applicant must send a copy of Form SF-424, “Application for Federal Assistance”, to the applicant's State clearinghouse for intergovernmental review. If the applicant is located in a State that does not have a clearinghouse, the applicant is not required to submit the form. Applications from Federally recognized Indian tribes are not subject to this requirement.

    (15) Evidence of site control, such as an option contract or sales contract. In addition, a map and description of the proposed site, including the availability of water, sewer, and utilities and the proximity to community facilities and services such as shopping, schools, transportation, doctors, dentists, and hospitals.

    (16) Preliminary plans and specifications, including plot plans, building layouts, and type of construction and materials. The housing must meet Rural Development's design and construction standards contained in 7 CFR part 1924, subparts A and C and must also meet all applicable Federal, State, and local accessibility standards.

    (17) A supportive services plan, which describes services that will be provided on-site or made available to tenants through cooperative agreements with service providers in the community, such as a health clinic or day care facility. Off-site services must be accessible and affordable to farm workers and their families. Letters of intent from service providers are acceptable documentation at the pre-application stage.

    (18) A sources and uses statement which shows all sources of funding included in the proposed project. The terms and schedules of all sources included in the project should be included in the sources and uses statement.

    (19) A separate one-page information sheet listing each of the “Pre-Application Scoring Criteria,” contained in this Notice, followed by a reference to the page numbers of all relevant material and documentation that is contained in the proposal that supports the criteria.

    (20) Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to include a checklist of all of the pre-application requirements and to have their pre-application indexed and tabbed to facilitate the review process;

    (21) Evidence of compliance with the requirements of the applicable State Housing Preservation Office (SHPO), and/or Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO). A letter from the SHPO and/or THPO where the off-farm labor housing project is located, signed by their designee will serve as evidence of compliance.

    D. Pre-Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria. Section 514 FLH loan funds and Section 516 FLH grant funds will be distributed to States based on a national competition, as follows:

    (a) Rural Development State Office will accept, review, and score pre-applications in accordance with this Notice. The scoring factors are:

    (1) The presence of construction cost savings, including donated land and construction leverage assistance, for the units that will serve program-eligible tenants. The savings will be calculated as a percentage of the Rural Development TDC. The percentage calculation excludes any costs prohibited by Rural Development as loan expenses, such as a developer's fee. Construction cost savings includes, but is not limited to, funds for hard construction costs, and State or Federal funds which are applicable to construction costs. A minimum of 10 percent cost savings is required to earn points; however, if the total percentage of cost savings is less than 10 percent and the proposal includes donated land, two points will be awarded for the donated land. To count as cost savings for purposes of the selection criteria, the applicant must submit written evidence from the third-party funder that an application for those funds has been submitted and accepted points will be awarded in accordance with the following table using rounding to the nearest whole number.

    Percentage Points 75 or more 20 60-74 18 50-59 16 40-49 12 30-39 10 20-29 8 10-19 5 0-9 0

    (2) The presence of operational cost savings, such as tax abatements, non-Rural Development tenant subsidies or donated services are calculated on a per-unit cost savings for the sum of the savings. Savings must be available for at least 5 years and documentation must be provided with the application demonstrating the availability of savings for 5 years. To calculate the savings, take the total amount of savings and divide it by the number of units in the project that will benefit from the savings to obtain the per unit cost savings. For non-Rural Development tenant subsidy, if the value changes during the 5 year calculation, the applicant must use the lower of the non-Rural Development tenant subsidy to calculate per unit cost savings. For example, a 10-unit property with 100 percent designated farm labor housing units receiving $20,000 per year non-Rural Development subsidy yields a cost savings of $100,000 ($20,000 × 5 years); resulting to a $10,000 per-unit cost savings ($100,000/10 units).

    Use the following table to apply points:

    Per-unit cost savings Points Above $15,000 50 $10,001-$15,000 35 $7,501-$10,000 20 $5,001-$7,500 15 $3,501-$5,000 10 $2,001-$3,500 5 $1,000-$2,000 2

    (3) Percent of units for seasonal, temporary, migrant housing. (10 points for up to and including 50 percent of the units; 20 points for 51 percent or more units used for seasonal, temporary, or migrant housing.)

    (4) Additional 10 points will be awarded to projects in persistent poverty counties. A county is considered persistently poor if 20 percent or more of its population was living in poverty over the last 30 years (measured by the 1980, 1990 and 2000 decennial censuses and 2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-year estimates).

    (5) Presence of tenant services.

    (i) Up to 25 points will be awarded based on the presence of and extent to which a tenant services plan exists that clearly outlines services that will be provided to the residents of the proposed project. These services may include, but are not limited to, transportation related services, on-site English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, move-in funds, emergency assistance funds, homeownership counseling, food pantries, after school tutoring, and computer learning centers.

    (ii) Two points will be awarded for each resident service included in the tenant services plan up to a maximum of 10 points. Plans must detail how the services are to be administered, who will administer them, and where they will be administered. All tenant service plans must include letters of intent that clearly state the service that will be provided at the project for the benefit of the residents from any party administering each service, including the applicant.

    (6) Energy Initiative Scoring Points (maximum 70 points).

    Properties may receive points for energy initiatives in the categories of energy conservation, energy generation, water conservation and green property management. Depending on the scope of work (SOW), properties may earn “energy initiative” points (up to a maximum of 70 points) in either one of two categories: (1) New Construction or (2) Purchase and Rehabilitation of an Existing Non-Farm Labor Housing Building. Projects will be eligible for one category of the two, but not both.

    Energy programs including LEED for Homes, Green Communities, etc., will each have an initial checklist indicating prerequisites for participation in its energy program. The applicable energy program checklist will establish whether prerequisites for the energy program's participation will be met. All checklists must be accompanied by a signed affidavit by the project architect or engineer stating that the goals are achievable. In addition, projects that apply for points under the energy generation category must include calculations of savings of energy. Compare property energy usage of three scenarios: (1) Property built to required code of State with no renewables, to (2) property as-designed with commitments to stated energy conservation programs without the use of renewables and (3) property as-designed with commitments to stated energy conservation programs and the use of proposed renewables. Use local average metrics for weather and utility costs and detail savings in kWh and dollars. Provide payback calculations. These calculations must be done by a licensed engineer or credentialed renewable energy provider. Include with application, the provider/engineer's credentials including qualifications, recommendations, and proof of previous work. The checklist, affidavit, calculations and qualifications of engineer/energy provider must be submitted together with the loan application.

    Enrollment in EPA Portfolio Manager Program. All projects awarded scoring points for energy initiatives must enroll the project in the EPA Portfolio Manager program to track post-construction energy consumption data. More information about this program may be found at: http://www.energystar.gov/buildings/facility-owners-and-managers/existing-buildings/use-portfolio-manager.

    (i) Energy Conservation for New Construction or Purchase and Rehabilitation of an Existing Non-Farm Labor Housing Building (maximum 55 points). Projects may be eligible for up to 55 points when the pre-application includes a written certification by the applicant to participate in the following energy efficiency programs.

    The points will be allocated as follows:

    • Participation in the EPA's Energy Star for Homes V3 program. (20 points) http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=bldrs_lenders_raters.pt_bldr.

    OR

    • Participation in the Green Communities program by the Enterprise Community Partners. (30 points) http://www.enterprisecommunity.com/solutions-and-innovation/enterprise-green-communities.

    OR

    • Participation in one of the following two programs will be awarded points for certification.

    Note: Each program has four levels of certification. State the level of certification that the applicant plans will achieve in their certification:

    • LEED for Homes program by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC): http://www.usgbc.org.

    — Certified Level (30 points), OR — Silver Level (35 points), OR — Gold Level (40 points), OR — Platinum Level (45 points).

    Applicant must state the level of certification that the applicant's plans will achieve in their certification in its pre-application.

    OR

    • Home Innovation's and The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) ICC 700 National Green Building Standard TM: http://www.nahb.org/.

    — Green-Bronze Level (30 points), OR — Silver Level (35 points), OR — Gold Level (40 points), OR — Emerald Level (45 points).

    Applicant must state the level of certification that the applicant's plans will achieve in their certification in its pre-application.

    AND

    • Participation in the Department of Energy's Zero Energy Ready program. (8 points) http://www.energy.gov/eere/buildings/zero-energy-ready-home.

    AND

    • Participation in local green/energy efficient building standards. Applicants who participate in a city, county or municipality program, will receive an additional 2 points.

    (ii) Energy Conservation for Rehabilitation (maximum 55 points). Pre-applications for the purchase and rehabilitation of non-program MFH and related facilities in rural areas may be eligible to receive 55 points when the pre-application includes a written certification by the applicant to participate in one of the following energy efficiency programs. Again, the certification must be accompanied by a signed affidavit by the project architect or engineer stating that the goals are achievable. Points will be award as follows:

    • Participation in the Green Communities program by the Enterprise Community Partners (53 points) http://www.enterprisecommunity.com/solutions-and-innovation/enterprise-green-communities. At least 30 percent of the points needed to qualify for the Green Communities program must be earned under the Energy Efficiency section of Green Communities.

    AND

    • Participation in local green/energy efficient building standards.

    Applicants who participate in a city, county or municipality program, will receive an additional 2 points. The applicant should be aware of and look for additional requirements that are sometimes embedded in the third-party program's rating and verification systems. (2 points)

    (iii) Energy Generation (maximum 7 points). Pre-applications for new construction or purchase and rehabilitation of non-program multi-family projects which participate in the above mentioned programs and receive at least 20 points in the point allocations above are eligible to earn additional points for installation of on-site renewable energy sources. Energy analysis of preliminary building plans using industry-recognized simulation software must document the projected total energy consumption of all of the building components and building site usage. Projects with an energy analysis of the preliminary or rehabilitation building plans that propose a 10 percent to 100 percent energy generation commitment (where generation is considered to be the total amount of energy needed to be generated on-site to make the building a net-zero consumer of energy) will be awarded points as follows:

    • 0 to 9 percent commitment to energy generation receives 0 points;

    • (b) 10 to 20 percent commitment to energy generation receives 1 point;

    • (c) 21 to 40 percent commitment to energy generation receives 2 points;

    • (d) 41 to 60 percent commitment to energy generation receives 3 points;

    • (e) 61 to 80 percent commitment to energy generation receives 4 points; and

    • (f) 81-100 percent or more commitment to energy generation receives 5 points.

    Projects may participate in Power Purchase Agreements or Solar Leases to achieve their on-site renewable energy generation goals provided that the financial obligations of the lease/purchase agreements are clearly documented and included in the application, and qualifying ratios continue to be achieved.

    An additional (2) points will be awarded for off-grid systems, or elements of systems, provided that at least 5 percent of on-site renewable system is off-grid. See www.dsireusa.org for State and local specific incentives and regulations of energy initiatives.

    (iv) Water Conservation in Irrigation Measures (maximum 3 points). Projects may be awarded 3 points for the use of an engineered recycled water (gray water or storm water) for landscape irrigation covering 50 percent or more of the property's site landscaping needs.

    (v) Property Management Credentials (maximum 5 points). Projects may be awarded an additional 5 points if the designated property management company or individuals that will assume maintenance and operations responsibilities upon completion of construction work have a Credential for Green Property Management. Credentialing can be obtained from the National Apartment Association (NAA), National Affordable Housing Management Association, The Institute for Real Estate Management, U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Operations and Maintenance (LEED OM), or another source with a certifiable credentialing program. Credentialing must be illustrated in the resume(s) of the property management team and included with the pre-application.

    The National Office will rank all pre-applications nationwide and distribute funds to States in rank order, within funding and RA limits. When proposals have an equal score, preference will be given first to Indian tribes as defined in § 3560.11 and then local non-profit organizations or public bodies whose principal purposes include low-income housing that meet the conditions of § 3560.55(c) and the following conditions:

    • Is exempt from Federal income taxes under section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue code;

    • Is not wholly or partially owned or controlled by a for-profit or limited-profit type entity;

    • Whose members, or the entity, do not share an identity of interest with a for-profit or limited-profit type entity;

    • Is not co-venturing with another entity; and

    • The entity or its members will not be receiving any direct or indirect benefits pursuant to Low Income Housing Tax Credits.

    If there are two or more applications that have the same score and both cannot be funded, a lottery in accordance with 7 CFR 3560.56(c)(2) will be used to break the tie. If insufficient funds or RA remain for the next ranked proposal, that applicant will be given a chance to modify their pre-application to bring it within remaining funding levels. This will be repeated for each next ranked eligible proposal until an award can be made or the list is exhausted.

    Rural Development will notify all applicants whether their applications have been accepted or rejected and provide appeal rights under 7 CFR part 11, as appropriate.

    E. Federal Award Administration Information 1. Federal Award Notices

    Loan applicants must submit their initial applications by the due date specified in this Notice. Once the applications have been scored and ranked by the National Office, the National Office will advise State Offices of the proposals selected for further processing, State Offices will respond to applicants by letter.

    If the application is not accepted for further processing, the applicant will be notified of appeal rights under 7 CFR part 11.

    2. Administrative and National Policy

    All Farm Labor Housing loans and grants are subject to the restrictive-use provisions contained in 7 CFR 3560.72(a)(2).

    3. Reporting

    Borrowers must maintain separate financial records for the operation and maintenance of the project and for tenant services. Tenant services will not be funded by Rural Development. Funds allocated to the operation and maintenance of the project may not be used to supplement the cost of tenant services, nor may tenant service funds be used to supplement the project operation and maintenance. Detailed financial reports regarding tenant services will not be required unless specifically requested by Rural Development, and then only to the extent necessary for Rural Development and the borrower to discuss the affordability (and competitiveness) of the service provided to the tenant. The project audit, or verification of accounts on Form RD 3560-10, “Borrower Balance Sheet,” together with an accompanying Form RD 3560-7, “Multiple Family Housing Project Budget Utility Allowance,” [showing actual,] must allocate revenue and expense between project operations and the service component.

    F. Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Requirements

    Borrowers and applicants will comply with the provisions of 7 CFR 3560.2. All housing must meet the accessibility requirements found at 7 CFR 3560.60(d). All applicants must submit or have on file a valid Form RD 400-1, “Equal Opportunity Agreement,” and Form RD 400-4, “Assurance Agreement.”

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

    If you wish to file an employment complaint, you must contact your Agency's EEO Counselor within 45 days of the date of the alleged discriminatory act, event, or in the case of a personnel action. Additional information can be found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_file.html.

    If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form (PDF), found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410, by fax (202) 720-7442 or email at: [email protected]

    Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities and you wish to file either an EEO or program complaint please contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339 or (800) 845-6136 (in Spanish).

    Persons with disabilities, who wish to file a program complaint, please see information above on how to contact us by mail directly or by email. If you require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) please contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

    Dated: March 17, 2015. Tony Hernandez, Administrator, Housing and Community Facilities Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06863 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-XV-P
    DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request March 19, 2015.

    The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments regarding (a) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20502. Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: [email protected] or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Comments regarding these information collections are best assured of having their full effect if received by April 24, 2015. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8681.

    An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Rural Business Service

    Title: 7 CFR 1951-R, Rural Development Loan Servicing.

    OMB Control Number: 0570-0015.

    Summary of Collection: The Rural Development (RD) Loan Servicing was legislated in 1985 under Section 1323 of the Food and Security Act of 1985. This action is needed to implement the provision of Section 407 of the Health and Human Services Act of 1986, which amended Section 1323 of the Food and Security Act of 1985. 7 CFR part 1951, subpart R contains regulations for servicing and liquidating existing loans previously approved and administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under 45 CFR part 1076 and transferred from HHS to the Department of Agriculture. This subpart contains regulations for servicing and liquidating loans made by RD, successor to the Farmers Home Administration under the Intermediary Relending Program to eligible intermediaries and applies to ultimate recipients and other involved parties.

    Need and Use of the Information: The Intermediary will provide RD information from, i.e. assets and liabilities, income statement and a summary of its lending and guarantee program. Form 1951-4 gathers information about jobs created or saved for the Intermediary Relending Program and Rural Development Loan Fund. The required financial information provided by the Intermediary is vital to RD for the Agency to make sound credit and financial analysis decisions and monitor the program.

    Description of Respondents: Not-for-profit institutions; Business or other for-profit.

    Number of Respondents: 459.

    Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion; Quarterly; Semi-annually; Annually.

    Total Burden Hours: 12,421.

    Charlene Parker, Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06766 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-XY-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given of a meeting of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) Advisory Committee (Committee) in Washington, DC.

    Dates and Times:

    The meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 29, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Thursday, April 30, 2015, from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. These times and the agenda topics described below are subject to change. Refer to the Web page listed below for the most up-to-date meeting agenda.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, 1201 New York Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20005.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jessica Snowden, Alternate Designated Federal Official, U.S. IOOS Advisory Committee, U.S. IOOS Program, 1100 Wayne Ave., Suite 1225, Silver Spring, MD 20910; Phone 301-427-2453; Fax 301-427-2073; Email [email protected] or visit the U.S. IOOS Advisory Committee Web site at http://www.ioos.noaa.gov/advisorycommittee.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Committee was established by the NOAA Administrator as directed by Section 12304 of the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act, part of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (Pub. L. 111-11). The Committee advises the NOAA Administrator and the Interagency Ocean Observation Committee (IOOC) on matters related to the responsibilities and authorities set forth in section 12302 of the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act of 2009 and other appropriate matters as the Under Secretary refers to the Committee for review and advice.

    The Committee will provide advice on:

    (a) Administration, operation, management, and maintenance of the System;

    (b) expansion and periodic modernization and upgrade of technology components of the System;

    (c) identification of end-user communities, their needs for information provided by the System, and the System's effectiveness in dissemination information to end-user communities and to the general public; and

    (d) any other purpose identified by the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere or the Interagency Ocean Observation Committee.

    The meeting will be open to public participation with a 15-minute public comment period on April 29, 2015, from 4:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. and on April 30, 2015, from 2:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. (check agenda on Web site to confirm time.) The Committee 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 three (3) minutes. Written comments should be received by the Designated Federal Official by April 17, 2015 to provide sufficient time for Committee review. Written comments received after April 17, 2015, will be distributed to the Committee, but may not be reviewed prior to the meeting date. Seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Matters to be Considered: The meeting will focus on new committee priorities, including discussions of ICOOS Act Reauthorization, raising IOOS to a national-level program, and increasing engagement with industry. The agenda is subject to change. The latest version will be posted at http://www.ioos.gov/advisorycommittee.

    Special Accomodations: These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Jessica Snowden, Alternate Designated Federal Official at 301-427-2453 by April 10, 2015.

    Dated: March 10, 2015. Zdenka S. Willis, Director, U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06799 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD853 Endangered Species; File No. 19288 AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; receipt of application.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that Mark Flint, University of Florida, School of Forest Resources and Conservation, 529 Ellsberry Road, Apollo Beach, FL 33572 has applied in due form for a permit to take loggerhead (Caretta caretta), Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), green (Chelonia mydas) and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles for purposes of scientific research.

    DATES:

    Written, telefaxed, or email comments must be received on or before April 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    The application and related documents are available for review by selecting “Records Open for Public Comment” from the “Features” box on the Applications and Permits for Protected Species (APPS) home page, https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov, and then selecting File No. 19288 from the list of available applications.

    These documents are also available upon written request or by appointment in the Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone (301) 427-8401; fax (301) 713-0376.

    Written comments on this application should be submitted to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, at the address listed above. Comments may also be submitted by facsimile to (301) 713-0376, or by email to [email protected]. Please include the File No. in the subject line of the email comment.

    Those individuals requesting a public hearing should submit a written request to the Chief, Permits and Conservation Division at the address listed above. The request should set forth the specific reasons why a hearing on this application would be appropriate.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Amy Hapeman or Howard Goldstein, (301) 427-8401.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The subject permit is requested under the authority of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and the regulations governing the taking, importing, and exporting of endangered and threatened species (50 CFR parts 222-226).

    The applicant requests a five-year permit to conduct research on sea turtles in Tampa Bay, Florida to determine the distribution and health status of the resident population of sea turtles in the region. Sea turtles would be captured by hand or net and have the following procedures performed before release: Measure, weigh, blood sample, lavage, internal and external biopsy sampling, laparoscopy and associated transport, and ultrasound. Carcasses and parts of dead sea turtles may be collected for necropsy to determine cause of death or contributors to mortality.

    Dated: March 20, 2015. Julia Harrison, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06868 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD809 Advisory Committee to the U.S. Section to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas; Spring Species Working Group Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of Advisory Committee meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Advisory Committee (Committee) to the U.S. Section to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) announces its annual spring meeting on April 8-9, 2015.

    DATES:

    The open sessions of the Committee meeting will be held on April 8, 2015, 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.; and April 9, 2015, 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Closed sessions will be held on April 8, 2015, 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., and on April 9, 2015, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will be held at the Sheraton Hotel, 8777 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20910. The phone number is (301) 589-0800.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rachel O'Malley at (301) 427-8373.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Advisory Committee to the U.S. Section to ICCAT will meet in open session to receive and discuss information on the 2014 ICCAT meeting results and U.S. implementation of ICCAT decisions; NMFS research and monitoring activities; global and domestic initiatives related to ICCAT; the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act-required consultation on any identification of countries that are diminishing the effectiveness of ICCAT; the results of the meetings of the Committee's Species Working Groups; and other matters relating to the international management of ICCAT species. The public will have access to the open sessions of the meeting, but there will be no opportunity for public comment. A copy of the agenda is available from the Committee's Executive Secretary upon request (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).

    The Committee will meet in its Species Working Groups for part of the afternoon of April 8, 2015, and for one hour on the morning of April 9, 2015. These sessions are not open to the public, but the results of the species working group discussions will be reported to the full Advisory Committee during the Committee's open session on April 9, 2015.

    Special Accommodations

    The meeting location is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Rachel O'Malley at (301) 427-8373 at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: March 19, 2015. Paul Doremus, Acting Director, Office of International Affairs and Seafood Inspection, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06736 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Economic Development Administration Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Correction

    In notice document 2015-06194 beginning on page 13835 in the issue of Tuesday, March 17, 2015, make the following correction:

    On page 13836, in the second column, in the fifth line, the file date “3-17-15” should read “3-16-15”.

    [FR Doc. C1-2015-06194 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1505-01-D
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD851 Pacific Fishery Management Council (Pacific Council); Public Meetings AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    The Pacific Fishery Management Council and its advisory entities will hold public meetings.

    DATES:

    The Pacific Council and its advisory entities will meet April 10-16, 2015. The Pacific Council meeting will begin on Saturday, April 11, 2015 at 8 a.m., reconvening each day through Thursday, April 16, 2015. All meetings are open to the public, except a closed session will be held at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 11 to address litigation and personnel matters. The Pacific Council will meet as late as necessary each day to complete its scheduled business.

    ADDRESSES:

    Meetings of the Council and its advisory entities will be held at the Doubletree by Hilton Sonoma, One Doubletree Drive, Rohnert Park, CA 94928; telephone: (707) 584-5466.

    Council address: Pacific Fishery Management Council, 7700 NE Ambassador Place, Suite 101, Portland, OR 97220. Instructions for attending the meeting via live stream broadcast are given under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION, below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Donald O. McIsaac, Executive Director; telephone: (503) 820-2280 or (866) 806-7204 toll free; or access the Pacific Council Web site, http://www.pcouncil.org/council-operations/council-meetings/current-meeting/ for the current meeting location, proposed agenda, and meeting briefing materials.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The April 10-16, 2015 meeting of the Pacific Fishery Management Council will be streamed live on the internet. The live meeting will be broadcast daily starting at 9 a.m. Pacific Time (PT) beginning on Saturday, April 11, 2015 through Thursday, April 16, 2015. The broadcast will end daily at 6 p.m. PT or when business for the day is complete. Only the audio portion, and portions of the presentations displayed on the screen at the Council meeting, will be broadcast. The audio portion is listen-only; you will be unable to speak to the Council via the broadcast. Join the meeting by visiting this link http://www.gotomeeting.com/online/webinar/join-webinar, enter the Webinar ID for this meeting, which is 109-418-027 and enter your email address as required. It is recommended that you use a computer headset as GoToMeeting allows you to listen to the meeting using your computer headset and speakers. If you do not have a headset and speakers, you may use your telephone for the audio portion of the meeting by dialing this TOLL number 1-480-297-0021 (not a toll free number); entering the phone audio access code 965-893-632; and then entering your Audio Pin which will be shown to you after joining the webinar. The webinar is broadcast in listen only mode.

    The following items are on the Pacific Council agenda, but not necessarily in this order. Agenda items noted as “(Final Action)” refer to actions requiring the Council to transmit a proposed fishery management plan, proposed plan amendment, or proposed regulations to the Secretary of Commerce, under Sections 304 or 305 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Additional detail on agenda items, Council action, and meeting rooms, is described in Agenda Item A.4, Proposed Council Meeting Agenda, and will be in the advance April 2015 briefing materials and posted on the Council Web site http://www.pcouncil.org/council-operations/council-meetings/current-briefing-book/.

    A. Call to Order 1. Opening Remarks 2. Roll Call 3. Executive Director's Report 4. Approve Agenda B. Open Comment Period Comments on Non-Agenda Items C. Habitat Current Habitat Issues D. Salmon Management 1. Tentative Adoption of 2015 Ocean Salmon Management Measures for Analysis 2. Methodology Review Preliminary Topic Selection 3. Clarify Council Direction on 2015 Ocean Salmon Management Measures 4. Additional Council Direction on 2015 Ocean Salmon Management Measures 5. Final Action on 2015 Ocean Salmon Management Measures (Final Action) E. Groundfish Management 1. National Marine Fisheries Service Report 2. Trawl Cost Recovery Report (Final Action) 3. Salmon Endangered Species Act Reconsultation Update 4. Finalize Methodology Review Council Operating Procedure (COP) 5. Groundfish Essential Fish Habitat Amendment Scoping, Including Rockfish Conservation Area and Area Adjustments 6. Final Action on Widow Rockfish Reallocation and Divestiture Issues (Final Action) 7. Blackgill and Slope Rockfish Reallocation 8. Inseason Adjustments Including Carryover and Regulatory Amendment to Manage Set-Asides (Final Action) 9. Final Action to Implement 2015 Pacific Whiting Fishery under the U.S.-Canada Pacific Whiting Agreement (Final Action) F. Administrative Matters 1. Seabird Protection Update 2. Prepare Comments on Proposed Changes to National Standard Guidelines 1, 3, and 7 3. Approval of Council Meeting Minutes 4. Membership Appointments and Council Operating Procedures 5. Future Council Meeting Agenda and Workload Planning G. Coastal Pelagic Species Management 1. Final Action on Sardine Assessment, Specifications, and Management Measures (Final Action) 2. Finalize Methodology Review Council Operating Procedures H. Pacific Halibut Management Final Action on Incidental Landing Restrictions for 2015-2016 Salmon Troll Fishery (Final Action) I. Enforcement Issues 1. Regulations for Vessel Movement Monitoring Schedule of Ancillary Meetings Day 1—Friday, April 10, 2015 Groundfish Advisory Subpanel 8 a.m. Groundfish Management Team 8 a.m. Model Evaluation Workgroup 8 a.m. Salmon Advisory Subpanel 8 a.m. Salmon Technical Team 8 a.m. Scientific and Statistical Committee 8 a.m. Habitat Committee 8:30 a.m. Day 2—Saturday, April 11, 2015 California State Delegation 7 a.m. Oregon State Delegation 7 a.m. Washington State Delegation 7 a.m. Coastal Pelagic Species Advisory Subpanel 8 a.m. Coastal Pelagic Species Management Team 8 a.m. Groundfish Advisory Subpanel 8 a.m. Groundfish Management Team 8 a.m. Salmon Advisory Subpanel 8 a.m. Salmon Technical Team 8 a.m. Scientific and Statistical Committee 8 a.m. Enforcement Consultants 3 p.m. Chair's Reception 6 p.m. Day 3—Sunday, April 12, 2015 California State Delegation 7 a.m. Oregon State Delegation 7 a.m. Washington State Delegation 7 a.m. Coastal Pelagic Species Advisory Subpanel 8 a.m. Coastal Pelagic Species Management Team 8 a.m. Groundfish Advisory Subpanel 8 a.m. Groundfish Management Team 8 a.m. Salmon Advisory Subpanel 8 a.m. Salmon Technical Team 8 a.m. Enforcement Consultants Ad hoc Tribal Policy Group Ad hoc Tribal and Washington Technical Group Ad hoc Day 4—Monday, April 13, 2015 California State Delegation 7 a.m. Oregon State Delegation 7 a.m. Washington State Delegation 7 a.m. Groundfish Advisory Subpanel 8 a.m. Groundfish Management Team 8 a.m. Salmon Advisory Subpanel 8 a.m. Salmon Technical Team 8 a.m. Enforcement Consultants Ad hoc Tribal Policy Group Ad hoc Tribal and Washington Technical Group Ad hoc Day 5—Tuesday, April 14, 2015 California State Delegation 7 a.m. Oregon State Delegation 7 a.m. Washington State Delegation 7 a.m. Groundfish Advisory Subpanel 8 a.m. Groundfish Management Team 8 a.m. Salmon Advisory Subpanel 8 a.m. Salmon Technical Team 8 a.m. Enforcement Consultants Ad hoc Tribal Policy Group Ad hoc Tribal and Washington Technical Group Ad hoc Day 6—Wednesday, April 15, 2015 California State Delegation 7 a.m. Oregon State Delegation 7 a.m. Washington State Delegation 7 a.m. Groundfish Advisory Subpanel 8 a.m. Groundfish Management Team 8 a.m. Salmon Technical Team 8 a.m. Enforcement Consultants Ad hoc Tribal Policy Group Ad hoc Tribal and Washington Technical Group Ad hoc Day 7—Thursday, April 16, 2015 California State Delegation 7 a.m. Oregon State Delegation 7 a.m. Washington State Delegation 7 a.m.

    Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this Council for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal Council action during these meetings. Council action will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under Section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Carolyn Porter at (503) 820-2280 at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Dated: March 20, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06794 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD833 Fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Public Meetings AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of SEDAR 42 assessment process webinars for Gulf of Mexico Red Grouper.

    SUMMARY:

    The SEDAR 42 assessment of Gulf of Mexico Red Grouper will consist of a series of webinars. This notice is for a webinar associated with the Assessment portion of the SEDAR process. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    DATES:

    The assessment webinar for SEDAR 42 will be held on Monday, April 13, 2015, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. eastern time.

    ADDRESSES:

    Meeting address: The meeting will be held via webinar. The webinar is open to the public. Those interested in participating should contact Julie A. Neer at SEDAR (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT below) to request an invitation providing webinar access information. Please request webinar invitations at least 24 hours in advance of each webinar.

    SEDAR address: 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, N. Charleston, SC 29405.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Julie A. Neer, SEDAR Coordinator; telephone: (843) 571-4366; email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils, in conjunction with NOAA Fisheries and the Atlantic and Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commissions, have implemented the Southeast Data, Assessment and Review (SEDAR) process, a multi-step method for determining the status of fish stocks in the Southeast Region. SEDAR is a multi-step process including: (1) Data Workshop; and (2) a series of assessment webinars; and (3) Review Workshop. The product of the Data Workshop is a report which compiles and evaluates potential datasets and recommends which datasets are appropriate for assessment analyses. The product of the Assessment Webinar Process is a report which compiles and evaluates potential datasets and recommends which datasets are appropriate for assessment analyses; and describes the fisheries, evaluates the status of the stock, estimates biological benchmarks, projects future population conditions, and recommends research and monitoring needs. The assessment is independently peer reviewed at the Review Workshop. The product of the Review Workshop is a Summary documenting panel opinions regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the stock assessment and input data. Participants for SEDAR Workshops are appointed by the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Fishery Management Councils and NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office, Highly Migratory Species Management Division, and Southeast Fisheries Science Center. Participants include: Data collectors and database managers; stock assessment scientists, biologists, and researchers; constituency representatives including fishermen, environmentalists, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs); international experts; and staff of Councils, Commissions, and state and federal agencies.

    The items of discussion in the Assessment Process webinars are as follows:

    1. Using datasets and initial assessment analysis recommended from the Data Workshop, panelists will employ assessment models to evaluate stock status, estimate population benchmarks and management criteria, and project future conditions.

    2. Panelists will recommend the most appropriate methods and configurations for determining stock status and estimating population parameters.

    Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meeting. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to the Council office (see ADDRESSES) at least 10 business days prior to the meeting.

    Note:

    The times and sequence specified in this agenda are subject to change.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: March 20, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06823 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD839 Fisheries of the South Atlantic; South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice of a public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council will hold a meeting of its Snapper Grouper Advisory Panel (AP) in North Charleston, SC. The meeting is open to the public.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held from 1:30 p.m. until 5 p.m. on Monday, April 13, 2015 and from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 14, 2015. A workshop on proposed Spawning Special Management Zones will be held in conjunction with the Snapper Grouper AP meeting on Monday, April 13, 2015, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Meeting address: The meeting will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn, 5265 International Blvd., N. Charleston, SC 29418; telephone: (843) 308-9330.

    Council address: South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, N. Charleston, SC 29405.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kim Iverson, Public Information Officer, South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, N. Charleston, SC 29405; telephone: (843) 571-4366 or toll free: (866) SAFMC-10; fax: (843) 769-4520; email: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Snapper Grouper Advisory Panel will receive an update on the status of various amendments to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan (FMP) and other amendments affecting the snapper grouper fishery. AP members will receive overviews and provide recommendations on the following amendments to the Snapper Grouper FMP: Regulatory Amendment 16 with options to modify the current seasonal closure for the commercial black sea bass pot fishery; Amendment 37 addressing management measures for multiple species; Regulatory Amendment 23 addressing measures for golden tilefish; the development of a Joint South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Amendment on South Florida Issues (yellowtail snapper, mutton snapper and black grouper); and Amendment 36 to establish Spawning Special Management Zones (SMZs). The AP will provide recommendations as appropriate. The AP will also review the draft System Management Plan for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), Electronic Technology Plan, and the Joint South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Charterboat Electronic Reporting Amendment and provide recommendations as appropriate. The AP will receive updates on blueline tilefish management measures, the Council's Vision Blueprint for the Snapper Grouper Fishery, and address other business as necessary. A workshop to address proposed Spawning Special Management Zones through Amendment 36 to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan will also be held in conjunction with the AP meeting.

    Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before these groups for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during these meetings. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for auxiliary aids should be directed to the Council office (see ADDRESSES) 3 days prior to the meeting.

    Note:

    The times and sequence specified in this agenda are subject to change.

    Dated: March 20, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06824 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XD850 New England Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting AGENCY:

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

    ACTION:

    Notice; public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The New England Fishery Management Council (Council) is scheduling a public meeting of its Habitat Committee to consider actions affecting New England fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Recommendations from this group will be brought to the full Council for formal consideration and action, if appropriate.

    DATES:

    This meeting will be held on Thursday, April 9, 2015 at 9 a.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Meeting address: The meeting will be held at the Radisson Airport Hotel, 2081 Post Road, Warwick, RI 02886; telephone: (401) 739-3000; fax: (401) 732-9309.

    Council address: New England Fishery Management Council, 50 Water Street, Mill 2, Newburyport, MA 01950.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, New England Fishery Management Council; telephone: (978) 465-0492.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Habitat committee's goal is to continue development of Omnibus Essential Fish Habitat Amendment 2 and finalize preferred alternative recommendations for the full Council. They will discuss other business as necessary.

    Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before these groups for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during this meetings. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically listed in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take final action to address the emergency.

    Special Accommodations

    This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Thomas A. Nies, Executive Director, at (978) 465-0492, at least 5 days prior to the meeting date.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: March 20, 2015. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06825 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-40-2014] Subzone 38G—Anderson, South Carolina; Application for Production Authority Kravet Inc.; Comment Period on Submission of New Evidence

    On May 20, 2014, an application was submitted by the South Carolina State Ports Authority, grantee of FTZ 38, requesting production authority within Subzone 38G on behalf of Kravet Inc. (Kravet), in Anderson, South Carolina. The proposed activity involves the cutting and tagging of textiles, paper wall coverings and decorative trimmings to be used as commercial samples (79 FR 30078-30079, 5-27-2014).

    On March 13, 2015, Kravet made a submission to the FTZ Board that included new evidence in response to the examiner's preliminary recommendation not to approve the application. Public comment is invited on Kravet's new evidence through April 24, 2015. Rebuttal comments may be submitted during the subsequent 15-day period, until May 11, 2015. Submissions shall be addressed to the FTZ Board's Executive Secretary at: Foreign-Trade Zones Board, U.S. Department of Commerce, Room 21013, 1401 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20230.

    A copy of Kravet's March 13, 2015, submission will be available for public inspection at the address above, and in the “Reading Room” section of the FTZ Board's Web site, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Elizabeth Whiteman at [email protected] or (202) 482-0473.

    Dated: March 18, 2015. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06871 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Agency Information Collection Activities Under OMB Review AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), this notice announces that the Information Collection Request (ICR) abstracted below has been forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and comment. The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected costs and burden.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before April 24, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments regarding the burden estimated or any other aspect of the information collection, including suggestions for reducing the burden, may be submitted directly to OMB within 30 days of the notice's publication by email at [email protected] Please identify the comments by OMB Control No. 3038-0072. Please provide the Commission with a copy of all submitted comments at the address listed below. Please refer to OMB Reference No. 3038-0072, found on http://reginfo.gov. Comments may also be mailed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attention: Desk Officer for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503, and to Christopher Cummings, Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581. Comments may also be submitted by any of the following methods:

    The Agency's Web site, at: http://comments.cftc.gov/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments through the Web site.

    Mail: Christopher Kirkpatrick, Secretary, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Same as Mail, above.

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

    Please submit your comments using only one method.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Christopher Cummings, Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581; (202) 418-6700; email: [email protected], and refer to OMB Control No. 3038-0072.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Registration of Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants (OMB Control No. 3038-0072). This is a request for extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: Pursuant to Section 731 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Public Law 111-203, 124 Stat. 1376 (2010) (Dodd-Frank Act), the Commission promulgated regulations setting forth the procedure whereby persons required by the Dodd-Frank Act to register with the Commission as Swap Dealers or Major Swap Participants may do so.

    Burden Statement: The Commission estimates that the total annual respondent burden for this collection is 629 hours:

    Form 7-R

    Respondents/Affected Entities: Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants.

    Estimated number of respondents: 125.

    Estimated burden per response: 1 hour.

    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 125 hours.

    Frequency of collection: On occasion and annually.

    Form 8-R

    Respondents/Affected Entities: 5 principals per each of 125 Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants.

    Estimated number of respondents: 625.

    Estimated burden per response: 0.8 hour.

    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 500 hours.

    Frequency of collection: On occasion.

    Form 8-T

    Respondents/Affected Entities: 1 principal per each of 20 Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants.

    Estimated number of respondents: 20.

    Estimated burden per response: 0.2 hour.

    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 4 hours.

    Frequency of collection: On occasion.

    Authority:

    44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    Dated: March 20, 2015. Christopher J. Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06831 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE Information Collection; Submission for OMB Review, Comment Request AGENCY:

    Corporation for National and Community Service.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has submitted a public information collection request (ICR) entitled The Senior Corps Longitudinal Evaluation for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13, (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35). Copies of this ICR, with applicable supporting documentation, may be obtained by calling the Corporation for National and Community Service, Anthony Nerino, at (202) 606-3919 or email to [email protected] Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TTY-TDD) may call 1-800-833-3722 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted, identified by the title of the information collection activity, to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: Ms. Sharon Mar, OMB Desk Officer for the Corporation for National and Community Service, by any of the following two methods within 30 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register:

    (1) By fax to: (202) 395-6974, Attention: Ms. Sharon Mar, OMB Desk Officer for the Corporation for National and Community Service; or

    (2) By email to: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The OMB is particularly interested in comments which:

    • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of CNCS, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

    • Propose ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Propose 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

    A 60-day Notice requesting public comment was published in the Federal Register on October 1, 2014. This comment period ended December 1, 2014. No public comments were received from this Notice.

    Description: CNCS is seeking approval the Senior Corps Longitudinal Evaluation which is used by CNCS Program Staff and Senior Corps Grantees to provide evidence-based findings of the effectiveness of National Service. First, the data will be useful to assess the benefits of National Service participation on the volunteers' and caregivers psychosocial outcomes. Second, the data will be useful to CNCS in identifying: (1) Best practices for recruitment and retention of volunteers and caregivers, (2) obstacles to high response rates, and (3) assessments of the psychometric characteristics of the surveys to inform future research with this population.

    Type of Review: New.

    Agency: Corporation for National and Community Service.

    Title: The Senior Corps Longitudinal Study.

    OMB Number: TBD.

    Agency Number: None.

    Affected Public: Newly enrolled Senior Companion and Foster Grandparent Volunteers, and newly enrolled caregivers of clients receiving Senior Companion Program Respite Services, Senior Companion Project Staff and Foster Grandparent Project Staff.

    Total Respondents: 5,273.

    Frequency: New Caregivers, 2 times—New Volunteers, 3 times—SCP Project Staff, 2 times and FGP Project Staff, 2 times.

    Average Time Per Response: New Caregivers, 30 minutes and 20 minutes—New Volunteers, 20 Minutes, 15 Minutes and 20 Minutes—SCP and FGP Project Staff, 90 minutes and 120 minutes.

    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 2,785.26 hours.

    Respondent category Number of
  • respondents
  • Participation time per
  • respondent
  • (minutes)
  • Burden
  • hours per
  • respondent
  • Burden hours all respondents
    Caregiver Study: Baseline 926 30 0.50 463 Follow-up 740 20 0.33 244.2 Volunteer Study: Baseline 1,224 20 0.33 403.92 First follow-up 979 15 0.25 244.75 Second follow-up 783 20 0.33 258.39 SCP project staff: Caregiver Study 1: Baseline and follow-up 142 90 1.50 213 Volunteer Study 2: Baseline and two follow-ups 170 120 2.00 340 FGP project staff: Volunteer Study 2: baseline and two follow-ups 309 120 2.00 618 Total Burden 5,273 435 7.24 2,785.26

    Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): None.

    Total Burden Cost (operating/maintenance): None.

    Dated: March 19, 2015. Mary Hyde, Deputy Director of Research and Evaluation.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06852 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6050-28-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Navy Notice of Intent To Grant Exclusive Patent License; Premium Manufacturing Group AGENCY:

    Department of the Navy, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of the Navy hereby gives notice of its intent to grant to Premium Manufacturing Group a revocable, nonassignable, exclusive license to practice in the field of use of a knife and knife components in the United States, the Government-owned inventions described in U.S. Patent No. 7,421,751 entitled “Folding Knife Having Locking Portion, Clip Portion and Unsharpened Protrusion”, Navy Case No. 097,793 and any continuations, divisionals or re-issues thereof.

    DATES:

    Anyone wishing to object to the granting of this license must file written objections along with supporting evidence, if any, not later than April 9, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written objections are to be filed with the U.S. Naval Academy, Academic Dean and Provost Office, 589 McNair Road, Stop 10G, Annapolis, MD 21402 (attn: Prof. J. E. Shade).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Prof. J. E. Shade, Associate Director of Research and Scholarship for Technology Transfer, Academic Dean and Provost Office, 589 McNair Road, Stop 10G, Annapolis, MD 21402, office: 410-293-2509. Due to U.S. Postal delays, please fax 410-293-2507 and send email to [email protected] Use courier delivery to expedite response.

    Authority:

    35 U.S.C. 207, 37 CFR part 404.

    N. A. Hagerty-Ford, Commander, Office of the Judge Advocate General, U.S. Navy, Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06788 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3810-FF-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Annual Updates to the Income Contingent Repayment (ICR) Plan Formula for 2015—William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.063.

    AGENCY:

    Federal Student Aid, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Secretary announces the annual updates to the ICR plan formula for 2015, as required by 34 CFR 685.209(b)(1)(ii)(A), to give notice to Direct Loan borrowers and the public regarding how monthly ICR payment amounts will be calculated for the 2015-2016 year.

    DATES:

    The adjustments to the income percentage factors for the ICR plan formula contained in this notice are effective from July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2016, for any borrower who enters the ICR plan or has his or her monthly payment amount recalculated under the ICR plan during that period.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ian Foss, U.S. Department of Education, 830 First Street NE., Room 113H2, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 377-3681 or by email: [email protected]

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program, borrowers may choose to repay their non-defaulted loans (Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Direct PLUS Loans made to graduate or professional students, and Direct Consolidation Loans) under the ICR plan. The ICR plan bases the borrower's repayment amount on the borrower's income, family size, loan amount, and the interest rate applicable to each of the borrower's loans.

    A Direct Loan borrower who repays his or her loans under the ICR plan pays the lesser of: (1) The amount that he or she would pay over 12 years with fixed payments multiplied by an income percentage factor or (2) 20 percent of discretionary income.

    Each year, to reflect changes in inflation, we adjust the income percentage factor used to calculate a borrower's ICR payment. We use the adjusted income percentage factors to calculate a borrower's monthly ICR payment amount when the borrower initially applies for the ICR plan or when the borrower submits his or her annual income documentation, as required under the ICR plan. This notice contains the adjusted income percentage factors for 2015, examples of how the monthly payment amount in ICR is calculated, and charts showing sample repayment amounts based on the adjusted ICR plan formula. This information is included in the following three attachments:

    Attachment 1—Income Percentage Factors for 2015 Attachment 2—Examples of the Calculations of Monthly Repayment Amounts Attachment 3—Charts Showing Sample Repayment Amounts for Single and Married Borrowers

    In Attachment 1, to reflect changes in inflation, we have updated the income percentage factors that were published in the Federal Register on April 21, 2014 (79 FR 22107). Specifically, we have revised the table of income percentage factors by changing the dollar amounts of the incomes shown by a percentage equal to the estimated percentage change between the not-seasonally-adjusted Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers for December 2014 and December 2015.

    The income percentage factors reflected in Attachment 1 may cause a borrower's payments to be lower than they were in prior years, even if the borrower's income is the same as in the prior year. However, the revised repayment amount more accurately reflects the impact of inflation on the borrower's current ability to repay.

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in this section of the notice.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site, you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Program Authority:

    20 U.S.C. 1087 et seq.

    Dated: March 19, 2015. James W. Runcie, Chief Operating Officer, Federal Student Aid. Attachment 1—Income Percentage Factors for 2015 Income Percentage Factors for 2015 Single Income % Factor Married/head of household Income % Factor $11,150 55.00 $11,150 50.52 15,342 57.79 17,593 56.68 19,741 60.57 20,965 59.56 24,240 66.23 27,408 67.79 28,537 71.89 33,954 75.22 33,954 80.33 42,648 87.61 42,648 88.77 53,487 100.00 53,488 100.00 64,331 100.00 64,331 100.00 80,596 109.40 77,318 111.80 107,695 125.00 99,003 123.50 145,638 140.60 140,221 141.20 203,682 150.00 160,776 150.00 332,833 200.00 286,370 200.00 Attachment 2—Examples of the Calculations of Monthly Repayment Amounts

    General notes about the examples in this attachment:

    • We have a calculator that borrowers can use to estimate what their payment amount would be under the ICR plan. The calculator is called the “Repayment Estimator” and is available at StudentAid.gov/repayment-estimator. This calculator provides a detailed, individualized assessment of a borrower's loans and repayment plan options, including the ICR plan.

    • The interest rates used in the examples are for illustration only. The actual interest rates on an individual borrower's Direct Loans depend on the loan type and when the postsecondary institution first disbursed the Direct Loan to the borrower.

    • The Poverty Guideline amounts used in the examples are from the 2015 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Poverty Guidelines for the 48 contiguous States and the District of Columbia. Different Poverty Guidelines apply to residents of Alaska and Hawaii. The Poverty Guidelines for 2015 were published in the Federal Register on January 22, 2015 (80 FR 3236).

    • All of the examples use an income percentage factor corresponding to an adjusted gross income (AGI) in the table in Attachment 1. If your AGI is not listed in the income percentage factors table in Attachment 1, calculate the applicable income percentage by following the instructions under the “Interpolation” heading later in this attachment.

    • Married borrowers may repay their Direct Loans jointly under the ICR plan. If a married couple elects this option, we add the outstanding balance on the Direct Loans of each borrower and we add together both borrowers' AGIs to determine a joint ICR payment amount. We then prorate the joint payment amount for each borrower based on the proportion of that borrower's debt to the total outstanding balance. We bill each borrower separately.

    • For example, if a married couple, John and Sally, has a total outstanding Direct Loan debt of $60,000, of which $40,000 belongs to John and $20,000 to Sally, we would apportion 67 percent of the monthly ICR payment to John and the remaining 33 percent to Sally. To take advantage of a joint ICR payment, married couples need not file taxes jointly; they may file separately and subsequently provide the other spouse's tax information to the borrower's Federal loan servicer.

    Calculating the monthly payment amount using a standard amortization and a 12-year repayment period.

    The formula to amortize a loan with a standard schedule (in which each payment is the same over the course of the repayment period) is as follows:

    M = P × <(I ÷ 12) ÷ [1−{1 + (I ÷ 12)}⁁−N]>

    In the formula—

    • M is the monthly payment amount;

    • P is the outstanding principal balance of the loan at the time the calculation is performed;

    • I is the annual interest rate on the loan, expressed as a decimal (for example, for a loan with an interest rate of 6.8 percent, 0.068); and

    • N is the total number of months in the repayment period (for example, for a loan with a 12-year repayment period, 144 months).

    For example, assume that Billy has a $10,000 Direct Unsubsidized Loan with an interest rate of 6.8 percent.

    Step 1: To solve for M, first simplify the numerator of the fraction by which we multiply P, the outstanding principal balance. To do this divide I, the interest rate, as a decimal, by 12. In this example, Billy's interest rate is 6.8 percent. As a decimal, 6.8 percent is 0.068.

    • 0.068 ÷ 12 = 0.005667

    Step 2: Next, simplify the denominator of the fraction by which we multiply P. To do this divide I, the interest rate, as a decimal, by 12. Then, add one. Next, raise the sum of the two figures to the negative power that corresponds to the length of the repayment period in months. In this example, because we are amortizing a loan to calculate the monthly payment amount under the ICR plan, the applicable figure is 12 years, which is 144 months. Finally, subtract the result from one.

    • 0.068 ÷ 12 = 0.005667 • 1 + 0.005667 = 1.005667 • 1.005667 ⁁ −144 = 0.44319544 • 1−0.44319554 = 0.55680456

    Step 3: Next, resolve the fraction by dividing the result from step one by the result from step two.

    • 0.005667 ÷ 0.55680456 = 0.01017772

    Step 4: Finally, solve for M, the monthly payment amount, by multiplying the outstanding principal balance of the loan by the result of step 3.

    • $10,000 × 0.01017772 = $101.78

    The remainder of the examples in this attachment will only show the results of the formula.

    Example 1. Brenda is single with no dependents and has $15,000 in Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans. The interest rate on Brenda's loans is 6.80 percent, and she has an AGI of $28,537.

    Step 1: Determine the total monthly payment amount based on what Brenda would pay over 12 years using standard amortization. To do this, use the formula that precedes Example 1. In this example, the monthly payment amount would be $152.67.

    Step 2: Multiply the result of Step 1 by the income percentage factor shown in the income percentage factors table (see Attachment 1 to this notice) that corresponds to Brenda's AGI. In this example, an AGI of $28,537 corresponds to an income percentage factor of 71.89 percent.

    • 0.7189 × $152.66 = $109.75

    Step 3: Determine 20 percent of Brenda's discretionary income and divide by 12 (discretionary income is AGI minus the HHS Poverty Guideline amount for a borrower's family size and State of residence). For Brenda, subtract the Poverty Guideline amount for a family of one from her AGI, multiply the result by 20 percent, and then divide by 12:

    • $28,537−$11,770 = $16,767 • $16,767 × 0.20 = $3,353.40 • $3,353.40 ÷ 12 = $279.45

    Step 4: Compare the amount from Step 2 with the amount from Step 3. The lower of the two will be the monthly ICR payment amount. In this example, Brenda will be paying the amount calculated under Step 2 ($109.75).

    Example 2. Joseph is married to Susan and has no dependents. Joseph has a Direct Loan balance of $10,000, and Susan has a Direct Loan balance of $15,000. The interest rate on all of the loans is 6.80 percent.

    Joseph and Susan have a combined AGI of $80,596 and are repaying their loans jointly under the ICR plan (for general information regarding joint ICR payments for married couples, see the fifth and sixth bullets under the heading “General notes about the examples in this attachment”).

    Step 1: Add Joseph's and Susan's Direct Loan balances to determine their combined aggregate loan balance:

    • $10,000 + $15,000 = $25,000

    Step 2: Determine the combined monthly payment amount for Joseph and Susan based on what both borrowers would pay over 12 years using standard amortization. To do this, use the formula that precedes Example 1. In this example, the combined monthly payment amount would be $254.44.

    Step 3: Multiply the result of Step 2 by the income percentage factor shown in the income percentage factors table (see Attachment 1 to this notice) that corresponds to Joseph and Susan's combined AGI. In this example, the combined AGI of $80,596 corresponds to an income percentage factor of 109.40 percent.

    • 1.094 × $254.44 = $278.36

    Step 4: Determine 20 percent of Joseph and Susan's combined discretionary income (discretionary income is AGI minus the HHS Poverty Guideline amount for a borrower's family size and State of residence). To do this subtract the Poverty Guideline amount for a family of two from the combined AGI, multiply the result by 20 percent, and divide by 12:

    • $80,596−$15,930 = $64,666 • $64,666 × 0.20 = $12,933.20 • $12,933.20 ÷ 12 = $1,077.77

    Step 5: Compare the amount from Step 3 with the amount from Step 4. The lower of the two will be Joseph and Susan's joint monthly payment amount. Joseph and Susan will jointly pay the amount calculated under Step 3 ($278.36).

    Step 6: Because Joseph and Susan are jointly repaying their Direct Loans under the ICR plan, the monthly payment amount calculated under Step 5 applies to both Joseph and Susan's loans. To determine the amount for which each borrower will be responsible, prorate the amount calculated under Step 4 by each spouse's share of the combined Direct Loan debt. Joseph has a Direct Loan debt of $10,000 and Susan has a Direct Loan Debt of $15,000. For Joseph, the monthly payment amount will be:

    • $10,000 ÷ ($10,000 + $15,000) = 40 percent • 0.40 × $278.36 = $111.34

    For Susan, the monthly payment amount will be:

    • $15,000 ÷ ($10,000 + $15,000) = 60 percent • 0.60 × $278.36 = $167.02

    Example 3. David is single with no dependents and has $60,000 in Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans. The interest rate on all of the loans is 6.80 percent, and David's AGI is $33,954.

    Step 1: Determine the total monthly payment amount based on what David would pay over 12 years using standard amortization. To do this, use the formula that precedes Example 1. In this example, the monthly payment amount would be $610.66.

    Step 2: Multiply the result of Step 1 by the income percentage factor shown in the income percentage factors table (see Attachment 1 to this notice) that corresponds to David's AGI. In this example, an AGI of $33,954 corresponds to an income percentage factor of 80.33 percent.

    • 0.8033 × $610.66 = $490.54

    Step 3: Determine 20 percent of David's discretionary income and divide by 12 (discretionary income is AGI minus the HHS Poverty Guideline amount for a borrower's family size and State of residence). To do this subtract the Poverty Guideline amount for a family of one from David's AGI, multiply the result by 20 percent, then divide by 12:

    • $33,954−$11,770 = $22,184 • $22,184 × 0.20 = $4,436.80 • $4,436.80 ÷ 12 = $369.73

    Step 4: Compare the amount from Step 2 with the amount from Step 3. The lower of the two will be David's monthly payment amount. In this example, David will be paying the amount calculated under Step 3 ($369.73).

    Interpolation. If an income is not included on the income percentage factor table, calculate the income percentage factor through linear interpolation. For example, assume that Joan is single with an income of $50,000.

    Step 1: Find the closest income listed that is less than Joan's income ($50,000) and the closest income listed that is greater than Joan's income ($50,000).

    Step 2: Subtract the lower amount from the higher amount (for this discussion we will call the result the “income interval”):

    • $53,488−$42,648 = $10,840

    Step 3: Determine the difference between the two income percentage factors that correspond to the incomes used in Step 2 (for this discussion, we will call the result the “income percentage factor interval”):

    • 100.00 percent−88.77 percent = 11.23 percent

    Step 4: Subtract from Joan's income the closest income shown on the chart that is less than Joan's income of $50,000:

    • $50,000−$42,648 = $7,352

    Step 5: Divide the result of Step 4 by the income interval determined in Step 2:

    • $7,352 ÷ $10,840 = 67.82 percent

    Step 6: Multiply the result of Step 5 by the income percentage factor interval:

    • 11.23 percent × 67.82 percent = 7.62 percent

    Step 7: Add the result of Step 6 to the lower of the two income percentage factors used in Step 3 to calculate the income percentage factor interval for $50,000 in income:

    • 7.62 percent + 88.77 percent = 96.39 percent (rounded to the nearest hundredth)

    The result is the income percentage factor that we will use to calculate Joan's monthly repayment amount under the ICR plan.

    Attachment 3—Charts Showing Sample Repayment Amounts for Single and Married Borrowers Sample First-Year Monthly Repayment Amounts for a Single Borrower Income Family Size = 1 Initial debt $10,000 $20,000 $30,000 $40,000 $50,000 $60,000 $70,000 $80,000 $90,000 $100,000 $10,000 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 20,000 63 126 137 137 137 137 137 137 137 137 30,000 78 155 233 304 304 304 304 304 304 304 40,000 89 179 268 358 447 471 471 471 471 471 50,000 100 201 301 401 502 602 637 637 637 637 60,000 102 204 305 407 509 611 712 804 804 804 70,000 110 220 329 439 549 659 769 878 971 971 80,000 117 234 351 469 586 703 820 937 1,054 1,137 90,000 123 246 369 492 614 737 860 983 1,106 1,229 100,000 128 256 384 512 640 768 896 1,024 1,152 1,280 Sample First-Year Monthly Repayment Amounts for a Married or Head-of-Household Borrower Income Family Size = 3 Initial debt $10,000 $20,000 $30,000 $40,000 $50,000 $60,000 $70,000 $80,000 $90,000 $100,000 $10,000 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 20,000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 30,000 73 147 165 165 165 165 165 165 165 165 40,000 88 176 263 332 332 332 332 332 332 332 50,000 100 200 301 401 499 499 499 499 499 499 60,000 102 204 305 407 509 611 665 665 665 665 70,000 107 214 321 428 534 641 748 832 832 832 80,000 113 226 339 452 565 678 791 904 999 999 90,000 119 238 357 476 596 715 834 953 1,072 1,165 100,000 125 250 376 501 626 751 877 1,002 1,127 1,252
    [FR Doc. 2015-06704 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Applications for New Awards; Rehabilitation Training: Rehabilitation Long-Term Training Program—Rehabilitation Specialty Areas AGENCY:

    Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    Overview Information: Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA)—Rehabilitation Training: Rehabilitation Long-Term Training Program—Rehabilitation Specialty Areas.

    Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2015.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Numbers: 84.129Q and W. DATES:

    Applications Available: March 25, 2015.

    Date of Pre-Application Webinar: April 8, 2015.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 26, 2015.

    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 23, 2015.

    Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The Rehabilitation Long-Term Training program provides financial assistance for projects that provide—

    (1) Basic or advanced training leading to an academic degree in areas of personnel shortages in rehabilitation as identified by the Secretary;

    (2) A specified series of courses or program of study leading to the award of a certificate in areas of personnel shortages in rehabilitation as identified by the Secretary; and

    (3) Support for medical residents enrolled in residency training programs in the specialty of physical medicine and rehabilitation.

    Priority: This priority is from the notice of final priority for this program, published on July 23, 2014 in the Federal Register (79 FR 42680).

    Absolute Priority: For FY 2015 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet this priority.

    This priority is:

    Rehabilitation Specialty Areas.

    The purpose of the priority is to fund programs leading to a master's degree or certificate in one of two specialty areas: Rehabilitation of Individuals Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (84.129Q) and Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (84.129W). The goal of this priority is to increase the skills of scholars in these rehabilitation specialty areas so that, upon successful completion of their master's degree or certificate programs, they are prepared to effectively meet the needs and demands of individuals with disabilities.

    Under this priority, applicants must:

    (a) Provide data on the current and projected employment needs and personnel shortages in the specialty area in State VR agencies and other related agencies as defined in 34 CFR 386.4 in their local area, region, and State, and describe how the proposed program will address those employment needs and personnel shortages.

    (b) Describe how the proposed program will provide rehabilitation professionals with the skills and knowledge that will help ensure that the individuals with disabilities whom they serve can meet current demands and emerging trends in the labor market, including how:

    (1) The curriculum provides a breadth of knowledge, experience, and rigor that will adequately prepare scholars to meet the employment needs and goals of VR consumers and aligns with evidence-based and competency-based practices in the rehabilitation specialty area;

    (2) The curriculum prepares scholars to meet all applicable certification standards;

    (3) The curriculum addresses new or emerging consumer needs or trends at the national, State, and regional levels in the rehabilitation specialty area;

    (4) The curriculum teaches scholars to address the needs of individuals with disabilities who are from diverse cultural backgrounds;

    (5) The curriculum trains scholars to assess the assistive technology needs of consumers, identify the most appropriate assistive technology services and devices for assisting consumers to obtain and retain employment, and train consumers to use such technology;

    (6) The curriculum teaches scholars to work with employers effectively in today's economy, including by teaching strategies for developing relationships with employers in their State and local areas, identifying employer needs and skill demands, making initial employer contacts, presenting job-ready clients to potential employers, and conducting follow-up with employers; and

    (7) The latest technology is incorporated into the methods of instruction (e.g., the use of distance education to reach scholars who live far from the university and the use of technology to acquire labor market information).

    (c) Describe their methods to:

    (1) Recruit highly capable prospective scholars who have the potential to successfully complete the academic program, all required practicum and internship experiences, and the required service obligation;

    (2) Educate potential scholars about the terms and conditions of the service obligation under 34 CFR 386.4, 386.34, and 386.40 through 386.43 so that they will be fully informed before accepting a scholarship;

    (3) Maintain a system that ensures that scholars sign a payback agreement and an exit form when they exit the program, regardless of whether they drop out, are removed, or successfully complete the program;

    (4) Provide academic support and counseling to scholars throughout the course of the academic program to ensure successful completion;

    (5) Ensure that all scholars complete an internship in a State VR agency or a related agency as a requirement for completion of a program leading to a master's degree. The internship must be in a State VR agency unless the VR agency does not directly perform work related to the scholar's course of study or an applicant can provide sufficient justification that it is not feasible for all students receiving scholarships to complete an internship in a State VR agency. In such cases, the applicant may require scholars to complete an internship in a related agency, as defined in 34 CFR 386.4. Circumstances that would constitute sufficient justification may include, but are not limited to, a lack of capacity at the State VR agency to provide adequate supervision of scholars during their internship experience and the physical distance between scholars and the nearest office of the State VR agency (e.g., for scholars enrolled in distance-learning programs or at rural institutions). Applicants should include a written justification in the application or provide it to RSA for review and approval by the appropriate RSA Project Officer no later than 30 days prior to a scholar beginning an internship in a related agency. For applicants proposing a certificate program, the requirement for an internship in a State VR agency or a related agency is waived unless the certificate program has an internship requirement.

    (6) Provide career counseling, including informing scholars of professional contacts and networks, job leads, and other necessary resources and information to support scholars in successfully obtaining and retaining qualifying employment;

    (7) Maintain regular contact with scholars upon successful program completion to ensure that they have support during their search for qualifying employment as well as support during the initial months of their employment (e.g., by matching scholars with mentors in the field);

    (8) Maintain regular communication with scholars after program exit to ensure that their contact information is current and that documentation of employment is accurate and meets the regulatory requirements for qualifying employment; and

    (9) Maintain accurate information on, while safeguarding the privacy of, current and former scholars from the time they are enrolled in the program until they successfully meet their service obligation.

    (d) Describe a plan for developing and maintaining partnerships with State VR agencies and community-based rehabilitation service providers that includes:

    (1) Coordination between the grantee and the State VR agencies and community-based rehabilitation service providers that will promote qualifying employment opportunities for scholars and formalized on-boarding and induction experiences for new hires;

    (2) Formal opportunities for scholars to obtain work experiences through internships, practicum agreements, job shadowing, and mentoring opportunities; and

    (3) When applicable, a scholar internship assessment tool that is developed to ensure a consistent approach to the evaluation of scholars in a particular program. The tool should reflect the specific responsibilities of the scholar during the internship. The grantee and worksite supervisor are encouraged to work together as they see fit to develop the assessment tool. Supervisors at the internship site will complete the assessment detailing the scholar's strengths and areas for improvement that must be addressed and provide the results of the assessment to the grantee. The grantee should ensure that (i) scholars are provided with a copy of the assessment and all relevant rubrics prior to beginning their internship, (ii) supervisors have sufficient technical support to accurately complete the assessment, and (iii) scholars receive a copy of the results of the assessment within 90 days of the end of their internship.

    (e) Describe how scholars will be evaluated throughout the entire program to ensure that they are proficient in meeting the needs and demands of today's consumers and employers, including the steps that will be taken to provide assistance to a scholar who is not meeting academic standards or who is performing poorly in a practicum or internship setting.

    (f) Describe how the program will be evaluated. Such a description must include:

    (1) How the program will determine its effect over a period of time on filling vacancies in the State VR agency with qualified rehabilitation professionals capable of providing quality services to consumers;

    (2) How input from State VR agencies and community-based rehabilitation service providers will be included in the evaluation;

    (3) How feedback from consumers of VR services and employers (including the assessments described in paragraph (d)(3)) will be included in the evaluation;

    (4) How data from other sources, such as those from the Department on the State VR program, will be included in the evaluation; and

    (5) How the data and results from the evaluation will be used to make necessary adjustments and improvements to the program.

    Fourth and Fifth Years of the Project: In deciding whether to continue funding any Rehabilitation Long-Term Training project for the fourth and fifth years, the Secretary will consider the requirements of 34 CFR 75.253(a), and in addition—

    (a) The recommendation of the RSA project officer who will monitor the reported annual performance of the grantee's training program and measure progress towards achieving the projections in the grantee's application. This review will consider the number of students actually enrolled in the grantee's training program, the number of students who successfully enter qualifying employment with State vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies, and the number of students who obtain qualifying employment in related agencies;

    (b) The timeliness and effectiveness with which all requirements of the grant award have been or are being met by the grantee, including the submission of annual performance reports and annual RSA scholar payback program reports, and adherence to fiduciary responsibilities related to the budget submitted in the application; and

    (c) The quality, relevance, and usefulness of the grantee's training program and activities, and the degree to which the training program and activities and their outcomes have contributed to significantly improving the quality of VR professionals ready for employment with State VR agencies and related agencies, as measured by the percentage of students entering eligible employment under 34 CFR 386.34.

    Grantees must also provide assurances that they will abide by all of the administrative and performance reporting requirements associated with the RSA scholar payback program reports and will retain all the documentation, including the scholarship agreement, exit forms, and any other documentation, necessary to ensure students understand their financial responsibilities and liabilities under this program (34 CFR part 386).

    Note:

    While applicants may not hire staff or select trainees based on race or national origin/ethnicity, they may conduct outreach activities to increase the pool of eligible minority candidates. We may disqualify and not consider for funding any applicant that indicates that it will hire or train a certain number or percentage of minority candidates.

    Program Authority:

    29 U.S.C. 772.

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 86, and 99. (b) The Office of Management and Budget Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and amended in 2 CFR part 3474. (d) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR parts 385 and 386. (e) The notice of final priority published in the Federal Register on July 23, 2014 (79 FR 42680).

    Note:

    The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants except federally recognized Indian tribes.

    Note:

    The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply only to institutions of higher education (IHEs).

    II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

    Estimated Available Funds: $3,450,000.

    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2016 from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition.

    Estimated Range of Awards: See chart.

    Estimated Average Size of Awards: See chart.

    Maximum Award: See chart.

    Estimated Number of Awards: See chart.

    Project Period: See chart.

    Rehabilitation Training: Rehabilitation Long-Term Training Program—Rehabilitation Specialty Areas Application Notice for Fiscal Year 2015 CFDA No. and name Applications available Deadline for transmittal of
  • applications
  • Estimated range of awards Estimated average size of awards Maximum award
  • (budget
  • period of
  • 12 months) 1
  • Estimated number of awards Project period Contact person
    Rehabilitation of Individuals Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (84.129Q) 3/25/15 5/26/15 $140,000-$150,000 $145,000 $150,000 3 Up to 60 months Don Bunuan, 202-245-6616, [email protected], PCP, Room 5046. Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (84.129W) $190,000-$200,000 195,000 200,000 15 Up to 60 months Karen Holliday, 202-245-7318, [email protected], PCP, Room 5090. 1 We will reject any application under 84.129Q that proposes a budget exceeding $150,000 for a single budget period of 12 months, and we will reject any application under 84.129W that proposes a budget exceeding $200,000 for a single budget period of 12 months. The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services may change the maximum amount through a notice published in the Federal Register.
    Note:

    The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.

    III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: States and public or nonprofit agencies and organizations, including Indian tribes and IHEs.

    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: Cost sharing of at least 10 percent of the total cost of the project is required of grantees under the Rehabilitation Long-Term Training program. The Secretary may waive part of the non-Federal share of the cost of the project after negotiations if the applicant demonstrates that it does not have sufficient resources to contribute the entire match (34 CFR 386.30).

    Note:

    Under 34 CFR 75.562(c), an indirect cost reimbursement on a training grant is limited to the recipient's actual indirect costs, as determined by its negotiated indirect cost rate agreement, or eight percent of a modified total direct cost base, whichever amount is less. Indirect costs in excess of the limit may not be charged directly, used to satisfy matching or cost-sharing requirements, or charged to another Federal award.

    IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an application package via the Internet, from the Education Publications Center (ED Pubs), or from the program office.

    To obtain a copy via the Internet, use the following address: www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/grantapps/index.html.

    To obtain a copy from ED Pubs, write, fax, or call the following: ED Pubs, U.S. Department of Education, P.O. Box 22207, Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone, toll free: 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (703) 605-6794. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.

    You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: www.EDPubs.gov or at its email address: [email protected]

    If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify this competition as follows: CFDA number 84.129Q or 84.129W.

    To obtain a copy from the program office, contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice.

    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) by contacting the person or team listed under Accessible Format in section VIII of this notice.

    2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this competition.

    Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. You must limit the application narrative to the equivalent of no more than 45 pages, using the following standards:

    • A “page” is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.

    • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.

    • Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch).

    • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial. An application submitted in any other font (including Times Roman or Arial Narrow) will not be accepted.

    The page limit of 45 pages applies to all of the application narrative section, Part III. We will reject your application if you exceed the page limit for Part III, or if you apply other standards and exceed the equivalent of the page limit.

    However, the page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-page double-spaced abstract.

    If you submit optional materials such as resumes, a bibliography, or letters of support, please limit these materials to a total of no more than 30 pages.

    Please note that, if you receive funding under the competition, the abstract will be made available to the public.

    3. Submission Dates and Times: Applications Available: March 25, 2015. Date of Pre-Application Webinar: Interested parties are invited to participate in a pre-application webinar. The pre-application webinar with staff from the Department will be held on April 8, 2015 at 2:00 p.m., Washington, DC time. The webinar will be recorded. For further information about the pre-application webinar, contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 26, 2015.

    Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to section IV. 7. Other Submission Requirements of this notice.

    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements.

    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the application process, the individual's application remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this notice. Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 23, 2015.

    4. Intergovernmental Review: This competition is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this competition.

    5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, and System for Award Management: To do business with the Department of Education, you must—

    a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);

    b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly the Central Contractor Registry (CCR)), the Government's primary registrant database;

    c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and

    d. Maintain an active SAM registration with current information while your application is under review by the Department and, if you are awarded a grant, during the project period.

    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number can be created within one to two business days.

    If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a new TIN, please allow two to five weeks for your TIN to become active.

    The SAM registration process can take approximately seven business days, but may take upwards of several weeks, depending on the completeness and accuracy of the data entered into the SAM database by an entity. Thus, if you think you might want to apply for Federal financial assistance under a program administered by the Department, please allow sufficient time to obtain and register your DUNS number and TIN. We strongly recommend that you register early.

    Note:

    Once your SAM registration is active, you will need to allow 24 to 48 hours for the information to be available in Grants.gov and before you can submit an application through Grants.gov.

    If you are currently registered with SAM, you may not need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to update your registration annually. This may take three or more business days.

    Information about SAM is available at www.SAM.gov. To further assist you with obtaining and registering your DUNS number and TIN in SAM or updating your existing SAM account, we have prepared a SAM.gov Tip Sheet, which you can find at: www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/sam-faqs.html.

    In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined at the following Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/web/grants/register.html.

    7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in this section.

    a. Electronic Submission of Applications.

    Applications for grants under the Rehabilitation Training: Rehabilitation Long-Term Training—Rehabilitation Specialty Areas competition, CFDA numbers 84.129Q and W, must be submitted electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at www.Grants.gov. Through this site, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit your application. You may not email an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

    We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.

    You may access the electronic grant application for the Rehabilitation Training: Rehabilitation Long-Term Training Program—Rehabilitation Specialty Areas competition at www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this competition by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.129, not 84.129Q or W).

    Please note the following:

    • When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation.

    • Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if it is received—that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system—after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.

    • The amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.

    • You should review and follow the Education Submission Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are included in the application package for this competition to ensure that you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 system home page at www.G5.gov.

    • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your application in paper format.

    • You must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: The Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications.

    • You must upload any narrative sections and all other attachments to your application as files in a PDF (Portable Document) read-only, non-modifiable format. Do not upload an interactive or fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, non-modifiable PDF or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material.

    • Your electronic application must comply with any page-limit requirements described in this notice.

    • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send a second notification to you by email. This second notification indicates that the Department has received your application and has assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified identifying number unique to your application).

    • We may request that you provide us original signatures on forms at a later date.

    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.

    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because of technical problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing instructions described elsewhere in this notice.

    If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person listed under For Further Information Contact in section VII of this notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that that problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The Department will contact you after a determination is made on whether your application will be accepted.

    Note:

    The extensions to which we refer in this section apply only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application through the Grants.gov system because—

    • You do not have access to the Internet; or

    • You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to the Grants.gov system;

    and

    • No later than two weeks before the application deadline date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevents you from using the Internet to submit your application.

    If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the application deadline date.

    Address and mail or fax your statement to: Karen Holliday, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5090, PCP, Washington, DC 20202-2800. FAX: (202) 245-7318.

    Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.

    b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.129Q or W), LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260. You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.

    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service.

    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier.

    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:

    (1) A private metered postmark.

    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

    If your application is postmarked after the application deadline date, we will not consider your application.

    Note:

    The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office.

    c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.129Q or W), 550 12th Street SW., Room 7039, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260. The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

    Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications:

    If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department—

    (1) You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your application; and

    (2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this notification within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

    V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are from 34 CFR 75.210 and 34 CFR 386.20 and are listed in the application package.

    2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality.

    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    3. Special Conditions: Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose special conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

    VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, also.

    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.

    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

    3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).

    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.

    In addition, all Rehabilitation Long-Term Training—Rehabilitation Specialty Areas grantees must submit the following quantitative and qualitative data in an annual performance report:

    (a) Program activities that occurred during each fiscal year from October 1 to March 31 and projected program activities to occur from April 1 to September 30. For subsequent reporting years, grantees confirm projections made from the prior year;

    (b) Summary of academic support and counseling provided to scholars to ensure successful completion;

    (c) Summary of career counseling provided to scholars upon program completion to ensure that they have support during their search for qualifying employment, as well as during the initial months of their employment. This may include, but is not limited to, informing scholars of professional contacts, network opportunities, and job leads, matching scholars with mentors in the field, and connecting scholars to other necessary resources and information;

    (d) Summary of partnership and coordination activities with State VR agencies and community-based rehabilitation providers. This may include but is not limited to obtaining input and feedback regarding curricula from State VR agencies and community-based rehabilitation providers; organizing internships, practicum agreements, job shadowing, and mentoring opportunities; and assessing scholars at the work site;

    (e) Assistance provided to scholars who may not be meeting academic standards or who are performing poorly in a practicum or internship setting;

    (f) Results of the program evaluation, as well as information describing how these results will be used to make necessary adjustments and improvements to the program;

    (g) Results from scholar internship, practicum, job shadowing, or mentoring assessments, as well as information describing how those results will be used to ensure that future scholars receive all necessary preparation and training prior to program completion;

    (h) Results from scholar evaluations and information describing how these results will be used to ensure that future scholars will be proficient in meeting the needs and demands of today's consumers and employers;

    (i) Number of scholars who began an internship during the reporting period;

    (j) Number of scholars who completed an internship during the reporting period;

    (k) Number of scholars who dropped out or were dismissed from the program during the reporting period;

    (l) Number of scholars receiving RSA scholarships during the reporting period;

    (m) Number of scholars who graduated from the program during the reporting period;

    (n) Number of scholars who obtained qualifying employment during the reporting period;

    (o) Number of vacancies filled in the State VR agency with qualified counselors from the program during the reporting period;

    (p) A budget and narrative detailing expenditures covering the period of October 1 through March 31 and projected expenditures from April 1 through September 30. The budget narrative must also verify progress towards meeting the 10 percent match requirement. For subsequent reporting years, grantees will confirm projections made from the prior year; and

    (q) Other information, as requested by RSA, in order to verify substantial progress and effectively report program impact to Congress and key stakeholders.

    4. Performance Measures: The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA) directs Federal departments and agencies to improve the effectiveness of programs by engaging in strategic planning, setting outcome-related goals for programs, and measuring program results against those goals.

    The goal of RSA's Rehabilitation Training: Rehabilitation Long-Term Training—Rehabilitation Specialty Areas program is to increase the number of qualified VR personnel, including counselors and other professional and paraprofessional staff, working in State VR or related agencies. At least 75 percent of total project funds must be used for direct payment of student scholarships.

    Grantees are required to maintain a system that safeguards the privacy of current and former scholars from the time they are enrolled in the program until they successfully meet their service obligation through qualified employment or monetary repayment. This system must ensure that scholars sign a payback agreement and an exit form when they exit the program, regardless of whether they drop out, are removed, or successfully complete the program. Specifically, each grantee is required to maintain the following scholar information:

    (a) Current contact information for all students receiving scholarships, including home address, email, and a phone number (home or cell);

    (b) A point of contact for each scholar in the event that the grantee is unable to contact the student. This contact must be at least 21 years of age and may be a parent, relative, spouse, partner, sibling, or guardian;

    (c) Cumulative financial support granted to scholars;

    (d) Scholar debt in years;

    (e) Program completion date and reason for exit for each scholar;

    (f) Annual documentation from the scholar's employer(s) until the scholar completes the service obligation. This documentation must include the following elements in order to verify qualified employment: Start date of employment to the present date, confirmation of full-time or part-time employment (if the scholar is working part-time the number of hours per week must be included in the documentation), type of employment, and a description of the roles and responsibilities performed on the job. This information is required for each employer if the scholar has worked in more than one setting in order to meet the service obligation.

    If the scholar is employed in a related agency, the agency must also provide documentation to validate that there is a relationship with the State VR agency. This may be a formal or informal contract, cooperative agreement, memorandum of understanding, or related document;

    (g) Annual documentation from the scholar's IHE to verify dates of deferral, if applicable. The documentation may be prepared by the scholar's advisor or department chair and must include: Confirmation of enrollment date, estimated graduation date, confirmation that the scholar is enrolled in a full-time course of study, and confirmation of the scholar's intent to fulfill the service obligation upon completion of the program.

    Grantees are required to report annually to RSA on the data elements described above using the RSA Grantee Reporting Form, OMB number 1820-0617, an electronic reporting system supported by the RSA Management Information System (RSA MIS). In addition, grantees are required to utilize all forms required by RSA to prepare and process repayment, as well as requests for deferral and exceptions. The RSA Grantee Reporting Form collects specific data, including the number of scholars entering the rehabilitation workforce, the rehabilitation field each scholar enters, and the type of employment setting each scholar chooses (e.g., State VR agency, nonprofit service provider, or professional practice group). This form allows RSA to measure the progress towards achieving the goal of increasing the number of qualified VR personnel working in State VR and related agencies.

    5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: Whether a grantee has made substantial progress in achieving the goals and objectives of the project; whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget; and, if the Secretary has established performance measurement requirements, the performance targets in the grantee's approved application. In making a continuation grant, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    VII. Agency Contact FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    See chart in the Award Information section in this notice for the name, room number, telephone number, and email address of the contact person for each specialty area of this competition. You can write to the specialty area contact person at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2600.

    If you use a TDD or TTY, call the Federal Relay Service, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    VIII. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact persons listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Dated: March 20, 2015. Sue Swenson, Acting Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06880 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.328M] Reopening; Applications for New Awards; Training and Information for Parents of Children With Disabilities—Parent Training and Information Centers AGENCY:

    Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    On December 11, 2014, we published in the Federal Register (79 FR 73557) a notice inviting applications for the FY 2015 Parent Training and Information Centers competition (NIA). The notice established a deadline date of February 9, 2015, for the transmittal of applications. This notice reopens the competition for five days.

    DATES:

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: March 30, 2015.

    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: May 29, 2015.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    A significant number of applications received in response to the NIA were not eligible because the applicants did not follow the formatting or deadline requirements in the NIA. Consequently, we did not receive eligible applications for a number of States. Therefore, we are reopening the competition to allow applicants to submit or resubmit applications that meet the requirements in the NIA, in order to ensure that parents in all States can be served by a Parent Training and Information Center.

    Applicants that have already submitted applications under the FY 2015 Parent Training and Information Centers competition are encouraged to review their applications and determine whether they have met all eligibility requirements, including formatting requirements and the deadline for submission, in the NIA and the application package, which is available at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/oseppic/applicant.html.

    Note that the NIA requires double spacing (no more than three lines per vertical inch) for all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, reference citations, and captions, as well as all text in charts, tables, figures, graphs, and screen shots.

    Applicants may review a recorded Webinar that discusses the application requirements at http://tadnet.adobeconnect.com/p763v5dg8fm/.

    As stated above, applicants may resubmit applications that may not have met all formatting requirements. Applicants that already submitted timely applications that meet all of the formatting requirements do not have to resubmit their applications. If a new application is not submitted, the Department will use the application that was submitted before the February 9, 2015, 4:30 p.m. EST deadline.

    Note:

    Applications that did not meet the February deadline must be resubmitted to be considered for review.

    Note to Applicants: The notice published on December 11, 2014, provides other information that applies to this competition. Specifically, the priority in that notice, entitled “Parent Training and Information Centers,” identifies the requirements for applications submitted in response to this notice, including the eligible entities, the States from which we are accepting applications, and the instructions for submitting applications.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Carmen Sanchez, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4057, Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2600. Telephone: (202) 245-6595.

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) by contacting the Grants and Contracts Services Team, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., room 5075, PCP, Washington, DC 20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 245-7363. If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Dated: March 18, 2015. Sue Swenson, Acting Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06744 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Applications for New Awards; Ready-To-Learn Television AGENCY:

    Office of Innovation and Improvement, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    Overview Information:

    Ready-to-Learn Television.

    Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2015.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.295A.

    DATES:

    Applications Available: March 25, 2015.

    Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: April 9, 2015.

    Date of Pre-Application Webinar: An informational Webinar will be announced on the Ready-to-Learn Television Web site at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/rtltv/index.html.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 26, 2015.

    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 23, 2015.

    Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The Ready-to-Learn Television Program (Ready-to-Learn) is designed to: (1) Facilitate school readiness and academic achievement by supporting the development and national distribution of educational television and interactive media programming for preschool and elementary school children and their parents; (2) develop and disseminate educational outreach materials and programs that are designed to deepen and extend the effectiveness of the educational television and interactive media and (3) build social and virtual communities of parents, educators, and children devoted to using the media materials.

    Background:

    Ready-to-Learn aims to take advantage of common mass media consumer technologies in order to reach children in low-income homes who may be lacking in educationally-rich learning opportunities and make it easier for parents, caregivers, and early learning providers to find trustworthy materials that they can use with the children in their care.

    Ready-to-Learn accomplishes this by using Federal dollars to stimulate the creation of educational media content that meets the highest standards of educational quality, while aiming to be just as entertaining as the best commercially produced media programs. Ready-to-Learn is not meant to be a mere subsidy to enable media producers to create educational content that would not otherwise be commercially feasible for them to produce. Rather, Ready-to-Learn seeks to bring educators and media producers together in cooperative working relationships that would not otherwise be possible, while also using the Federal investment to leverage additional contributions in funding, talent, and resources.

    To succeed, media producers generally must depart from their typical ways of working and embrace the contributions of educators and other education experts. Experts in subject matter and pedagogy, instructional designers, formative researchers, and other educators will work side by side and on equal footing with creative and media production experts in areas such as storytelling and interactive gameplay in order to merge their contributions into a unified and integrated effort.

    As in the 2010 competition, in which Ready-to-Learn supported the development of educational “transmedia,” we are again looking to create new, interrelated combinations of television and interactive media in which characters, narrative story lines, and problem-solving are used to connect the various media products. In order to make this work, producers may need to plan how their different products will work together to execute a cohesive strategy, and then build a production model accordingly. Furthermore, producers may need to think carefully about how the eventual distribution of the products will be sequenced and organized to ensure that users will experience them in a manner that reflects this cohesiveness.

    Striking the right balance between innovation and access is key. Technologies are constantly changing, and with them come new opportunities for improving young children's learning. Ready-to-Learn seeks to take advantage of the best educational uses of each medium and explore how best to combine both emerging and older media platforms to reach young children and their caregivers. With emerging technologies, it is important, however, to keep in mind what is available to low-income users in their homes or communities and what is accessible to a wide range of users, particularly those with disabilities.

    Although the television programming created under Ready-to-Learn has generally been made accessible to users who have hearing or vision loss through captioning and video description, some of the transmedia created to accompany these programs has lacked meaningful accessibility features for users with disabilities. Products produced by projects funded through this competition must be accessible both for purposes of complying with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and to ensure that the needs of all users, including those with disabilities, are addressed. In meeting the requirement to reach the “widest possible audience” set out in section 2431(a)(1)(D) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), applicants are expected to include the accommodations needed to provide accessibility to individuals with disabilities.

    Furthermore, distribution has been an issue. In the past, the Department has generally assumed that if Ready-to-Learn grantees created high-quality products, national distribution deals would follow—usually through the existing infrastructure of the public television system. But the range of media available to producers has expanded beyond broadcast or cable television and Web sites to include national video streaming companies, applications for tablets and smartphones, game platforms, social media, and other technologies. Contemporary users also desire the ability to move freely between these platforms.

    Therefore, in this competition we are encouraging applicants to consider and plan for distribution much earlier in the life of their proposed projects, and to directly partner with those broadcasters, streamers, game companies, publishers, or others that will be integral to ensure that the media is accessible to all users and will reflect both the creative and educational vision that went into its design.

    Historically, Ready-to-Learn has also required grantees to develop and implement outreach programs in culturally diverse local communities. This year, we continue this focus by encouraging applicants to partner with both local and national organizations that promote wider use of the educational media materials in homes, daycare facilities, museums and libraries, and a variety of other informal learning and school-based settings. We therefore encourage the creation of supplemental materials for teachers, parents, and caregivers to use in these settings. We also encourage the development of both local and virtual user communities to share information, model effective practices, and promote dissemination.

    Throughout this process, conducting research is essential in at least two ways: First, when formative research is conducted in coordination with the production teams, it can help to ensure that learners are responding appropriately to design elements such as user interfaces, visual cues, programmed feedback, and more. Second, research can be used to determine the effectiveness of the media products in helping young children learn or improve their school readiness. Because of the importance of research to the success of projects, Ready-to-Learn encourages applicants to enlist independent researchers to conduct one or more rigorous effectiveness studies that will meet the What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards (as defined in this notice). Such studies should examine the effectiveness of the proposed combination of television and other interactive media to improve science or literacy learning outcomes and to improve school readiness, when used by children in the proposed home or informal learning. Studies should also compare the learning and school readiness outcomes of children using products supported by Ready-to-Learn to the outcomes of children using other similar educational media or non-media-based learning materials.

    Statutory Requirements:

    As set forth in section 2431 of the ESEA, to be eligible to receive a cooperative agreement under Ready-to-Learn, an applicant must propose to:

    (1) Develop, produce, and distribute educational and instructional video programming for preschool and elementary school children and their parents in order to facilitate student academic achievement;

    (2) Facilitate the development, directly or through contracts with producers of children and family educational television programming, of educational programming for preschool and elementary school children, and the accompanying support materials and services that promote the effective use of such programming;

    (3) Facilitate the development of programming and digital content containing Ready-to-Learn-based children's programming and resources for parents and caregivers that is specially designed for nationwide distribution over public television stations' digital broadcasting channels and the Internet;

    (4) Contract with entities (such as public telecommunications entities) so that programs developed under this program are disseminated and distributed to the widest possible audience appropriate to be served by the programming, and through the use of the most appropriate distribution technologies; and

    (5) Develop and disseminate education and training materials, including interactive programs and programs adaptable to distance learning technologies, that are designed—

    (i) To promote school readiness; and

    (ii) To promote the effective use of materials developed under paragraphs (2) and (3) among parents, teachers, Head Start providers, Even Start providers, providers of family literacy services, child care providers, early childhood development personnel, elementary school teachers, public libraries, and after-school program personnel caring for preschool and elementary school children.

    Note:

    As set forth in section 2431(d) of the ESEA, a recipient of a Ready-to-Learn Television cooperative agreement is authorized to use up to five percent of the amount received for the normal and customary expenses of administering the grant.

    Priorities: Under this competition, we are particularly interested in applications that address one or both of the following priorities.

    Invitational Priorities: For FY 2015 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, these priorities are invitational priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1) we do not give an application that meets these invitational priorities a competitive or absolute preference over other applications.

    These priorities are:

    Invitational Priority 1.

    The Secretary invites applications from eligible public telecommunications entities that have a demonstrated track record in high-quality educational television production for preschool or elementary school-aged children and demonstrated success in improving reading, math, or science skills for children ages two through eight. These entities are invited to collaborate, as needed, with early learning educators; professional media producers; national broadcasters, streaming companies, or other mass media distributors; learning game companies; formative researchers; and other relevant organizations to produce and nationally distribute high-quality, age-appropriate educational television and digital media content that focuses on science (including scientific thinking and skill development) or literacy. The media should target children ages two through eight (or subsets), particularly those from low-income families, for use in the home or in informal learning settings for the purposes of improving learning outcomes or school readiness. Applicants are encouraged to use both television and a variety of accessible digital media to explore new combinations of narrative storytelling and interactive learning, and whenever possible, to make these media available to consumers at no cost.

    Invitational Priority 2.

    The Secretary invites applications from eligible public telecommunications entities that have a demonstrated track record in high-quality educational television production for preschool or elementary school aged children and demonstrated success in improving reading, math, or science skills for children ages two through eight. These entities are invited to create and nationally distribute new combinations of educational television and accessible interactive media for young children, ages two through eight (or subsets), particularly those from low-income families, that use analytics and embedded assessments, consistent with applicable privacy requirements, in order to (a) create personalized learning experiences that adapt as users progressively demonstrate competency or (b) provide useful and meaningful learning data to parents, caregivers, or educators.

    Note:

    The media produced using Ready-to-Learn funds must comply with 16 CFR 312, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule, which protects children under the age of 13 from unfair or deceptive use of personal information. This rule can be found at: www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=4939e77c77a1a1a08c1cbf905fc4b409&node=16%3A1.0.1.3.36&rgn=div5.

    Definitions: The following definitions apply to this competition. The definitions of “logic model,” “strong theory,” and “What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards” are from 34 CFR 77.1(c). The definition of “public telecommunications entity” is from 20 U.S.C. 7801(35), which references 47 U.S.C. 397.

    Logic model (also referred to as theory of action) means a well-specified conceptual framework that identifies key components of the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice (i.e., the active “ingredients” that are hypothesized to be critical to achieving the relevant outcomes) and describes the relationships among the key components and outcomes, theoretically and operationally.

    Note:

    In developing logic models, applicants may want to use resources such as the Pacific Education Laboratory's Education Logic Model Application (www.relpacific.mcrel.org/PERR.html or http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED544779.pdf) to help design their logic models.

    Public telecommunications entity means any enterprise which (a) is a public broadcast station or a noncommercial telecommunications entity; and (b) disseminates public telecommunications services to the public.

    Strong theory means a rationale for the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice that includes a logic model.

    What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards means the standards set forth in the What Works Clearinghouse Procedures and Standards Handbook (Version 3.0, March 2014), which can be found at the following link: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/DocumentSum.aspx?sid=19.

    Program Authority:

    20 U.S.C. 6775.

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and amended in 2 CFR part 3474.

    Note:

    The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants except federally recognized Indian tribes.

    Note:

    The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions of higher education only.

    II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Cooperative agreements.

    Estimated Available Funds: $25,621,000 for FY 2015.

    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2016 from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition.

    Estimated Range of Awards: $4,000,000-$12,000,000 for the first year of the project. Funding for the second, third, fourth, and fifth years is subject to availability of funds and the approval of continuation awards (see 34 CFR 75.253).

    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $8,000,000 for the first year of the project; $40,000,000 over five years.

    Estimated Number of Awards: 3.

    Note:

    The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.

    Project Period: Up to 60 months.

    III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: To receive a cooperative agreement under this competition, an entity must be a public telecommunications entity (as defined in this notice) that is able to demonstrate:

    (A) A capacity to develop and nationally distribute educational and instructional television programming of high quality that is accessible by a large majority of disadvantaged preschool and elementary school children;

    (B) A capacity to contract with the producers of children's television programming for the purpose of developing educational television programming of high quality;

    (C) A capacity, consistent with the entity's mission and nonprofit nature, to negotiate such contracts in a manner that returns to the entity an appropriate share of any ancillary income from sales of any program-related products; and

    (D) A capacity to localize programming and materials to meet specific State and local needs and to provide educational outreach at the local level.

    Note:

    If more than one public telecommunications entity wishes to form a consortium and jointly submit a single application, they must follow the procedures for group applications described in 34 CFR 75.127 through 75.129 of EDGAR.

    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This competition does not require cost sharing or matching.

    IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an application package via the Internet, from the Education Publications Center (ED Pubs), or from the program office.

    To obtain a copy via the Internet, use the following address: www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/grantapps/index.html.

    To obtain a copy from ED Pubs, write, fax, or call the following: ED Pubs, U.S. Department of Education, P.O. Box 22207, Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone, toll free: 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (703) 605-6794. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.

    You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: www.EDPubs.gov or at its email address: [email protected]

    If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify this program as follows: CFDA number 84.295A.

    To obtain a copy from the program office, contact: Brian Lekander, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4C133, Washington, DC 20202-9830. Telephone: (202) 205-5633 or by email: [email protected] If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) by contacting the program contact person listed in this section.

    2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this program.

    Notice of Intent to Apply: April 9, 2015.

    We will be able to develop a more efficient process for reviewing grant applications if we have a better understanding of the number of public telecommunications entities that intend to apply for funding under this program. Therefore, we strongly encourage each potential applicant to notify the Department by sending a short email message indicating the applicant's intent to submit an application for funding. The email should indicate the invitational priority or priorities to be addressed and the subject matter focus (e.g., science or literacy) of the application. The email should be addressed to [email protected] Applicants may also fill out a brief letter of intent to apply form on the Ready-to-Learn Web site. Applicants that do not provide this email notification or fill out the form may still apply for funding.

    Page Limit: The application narrative is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluation your application. Applicants are strongly encouraged to limit the application narrative (Part III) to the equivalent of no more than 50 pages. Applicants are also strongly encouraged not to include lengthy appendices that contain information that they were unable to include within the page limits for the narrative. Applicants should use the following standards:

    • A “page” is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.

    • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions.

    • Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch).

    • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial.

    The page limit for the application does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-page abstract, the resumes, the bibliography, or the letters of support of the application. However, the page limit does apply to all of the application narrative section of the application.

    3. Submission Dates and Times:

    Applications Available: March 25, 2015.

    Deadline for Notice of Intent to Submit an Application: April 9, 2015.

    Date of Pre-Application Webinar: The Department intends to hold a Webinar designed to provide technical assistance to those interested in applying for a Ready-to-Learn grant. Detailed information regarding this meeting will be provided on the Ready-to-Learn Web site at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/rtltv/index.html.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 26, 2015.

    Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to section IV. Application and Submission Information. 7. Other Submission Requirements of this notice.

    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements.

    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the application process, the individual's application remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this notice.

    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: May 26, 2015.

    4. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this program.

    5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, and System for Award Management: To do business with the Department of Education, you must—

    a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);

    b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly the Central Contractor Registry (CCR)), the Government's primary registrant database;

    c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and

    d. Maintain an active SAM registration with current information while your application is under review by the Department and, if you are awarded a grant, during the project period.

    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number can be created within one to two business days.

    If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a new TIN, please allow 2-5 weeks for your TIN to become active.

    The SAM registration process can take approximately seven business days, but may take upwards of several weeks, depending on the completeness and accuracy of the data entered into the SAM database by an entity. Thus, if you think you might want to apply for Federal financial assistance under a program administered by the Department, please allow sufficient time to obtain and register your DUNS number and TIN. We strongly recommend that you register early.

    Note:

    Once your SAM registration is active, you will need to allow 24 to 48 hours for the information to be available in Grants.gov and before you can submit an application through Grants.gov.

    If you are currently registered with SAM, you may not need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to update your registration annually. This may take three or more business days.

    Information about SAM is available at www.SAM.gov. To further assist you with obtaining and registering your DUNS number and TIN in SAM or updating your existing SAM account, we have prepared a SAM.gov Tip Sheet, which you can find at: http://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/sam-faqs.html.

    In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined at the following Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/web/grants/register.html.

    7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under this program must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in this section.

    a. Electronic Submission of Applications.

    Applications for grants under the Ready-to-Learn Television Program, CFDA Number 84.295A, must be submitted electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at www.Grants.gov. Through this site, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit your application. You may not email an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

    We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.

    You may access the electronic grant application for the Ready-to-Learn program at www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this competition by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.295, not 84.295A).

    Please note the following:

    • When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation.

    • Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if it is received—that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system—after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.

    • The amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.

    • You should review and follow the Education Submission Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are included in the application package for this competition to ensure that you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 system home page at http://www.G5.gov.

    • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your application in paper format.

    • You must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: the Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications.

    • You must upload any narrative sections and all other attachments to your application as files in a PDF (Portable Document) read-only, non-modifiable format. Do not upload an interactive or fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, non-modifiable PDF or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material.

    • Your electronic application must comply with any page-limit requirements described in this notice.

    • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send a second notification to you by email. This second notification indicates that the Department has received your application and has assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified identifying number unique to your application).

    • We may request that you provide us original signatures on forms at a later date.

    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.

    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because of technical problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing instructions described elsewhere in this notice.

    If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that that problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The Department will contact you after a determination is made on whether your application will be accepted.

    Note:

    The extensions to which we refer in this section apply only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application through the Grants.gov system because—

    • You do not have access to the Internet; or

    • You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to the Grants.gov system; and

    • No later than two weeks before the application deadline date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevents you from using the Internet to submit your application. If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the application deadline date.

    Address and mail or fax your statement to: Brian Lekander, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4C133, Washington, DC 20202. FAX: (202) 205-5631.

    Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.

    b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.295A), LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260.

    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.

    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service.

    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier.

    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:

    (1) A private metered postmark.

    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

    If your application is postmarked after the application deadline date, we will not consider your application.

    Note:

    The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office.

    c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original and two copies of your application, by hand, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.295A), 550 12th Street, SW., Room 7039, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

    Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications: If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department—

    (1) You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your application; and

    (2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this grant notification within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

    V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for the Ready-to-Learn competition are from the EDGAR general selection criteria in 34 CFR 75.210 and are listed below.

    The points assigned to each criterion are indicated in the parentheses next to the criterion. An applicant may earn up to a total of 100 points based on its responses to the selection criteria.

    Note:

    An applicant must provide in the project narrative section of its application information about how its proposed project addresses the selection criteria. In responding to the selection criteria, applicants should keep in mind that peer reviewers may consider only the information provided in the written application when scoring and commenting on the application.

    A. Significance (10 points)

    The Secretary considers the significance of the proposed project. In determining the significance of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

    (i) The extent to which the proposed project will provide services or otherwise address the needs of students at risk of educational failure.

    (ii) The extent to which the proposed project involves the development or demonstration of promising new strategies that build on, or are alternatives to, existing strategies.

    B. Quality of the Project Design (25 points)

    The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the design of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

    (i) The extent to which the proposed project represents an exceptional approach for meeting statutory purposes and requirements.

    (ii) The extent to which the proposed project is supported by strong theory (as defined in this notice).

    (iii) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified and measurable.

    (iv) The extent to which the proposed development efforts include adequate quality controls and, as appropriate, repeated testing of products.

    Note:

    In responding to the Quality of the Project Design selection criterion, an applicant should include a detailed description of its proposal to develop media and conduct outreach, as described in section 2431 of the ESEA.

    C. Strategy to Scale (25 points)

    The Secretary considers the applicant's strategy to scale the proposed project. In determining the applicant's capacity to scale the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

    (i) The applicant's capacity (e.g., in terms of qualified personnel, financial resources, or management capacity) to further develop and bring to scale the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice, or to work with others to ensure that the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice can be further developed and brought to scale, based on the findings of the proposed project.

    (ii) The likely utility of the products (such as information, materials, processes, or techniques) that will result from the proposed project, including the potential for their being used effectively in a variety of other settings.

    D. Quality of the Management Plan (20 Points)

    The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan for the proposed project. In determining the quality of the management plan for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

    (i) The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing project tasks.

    (ii) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of key project personnel.

    (iii) The relevance and demonstrated commitment of each partner in the proposed project to the implementation and success of the project.

    E. Quality of the Project Evaluation (20 points)

    The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be conducted of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the evaluation, the Secretary considers the following factors:

    (i) The extent to which the methods of evaluation include the use of objective performance measures that are clearly related to the intended outcomes of the project and will produce quantitative and qualitative data to the extent possible.

    (ii) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide timely guidance for quality assurance.

    (iii) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will, if well-implemented, produce evidence about the project's effectiveness that would meet the What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards (as defined in this notice) with reservations.

    Note:

    We encourage applicants to review the following technical assistance resources on evaluation: (1) WWC Procedures and Standards Handbook: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/references/idocviewer/doc.aspx?docid=19&tocid=1; and (2) IES/NCEE Technical Methods papers: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/tech_methods/. In addition, we invite applicants to view two optional Webinar recordings that was hosted by the Institute of Education Sciences. The first Webinar discussed strategies for designing and executing well-designed quasi-experimental design studies. Applicants interested in viewing this Webinar may find more information at the following Web site: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/news.aspx?sid=23. We also encourage applicants to review a second Webinar recorded by the IES that focused on more rigorous evaluation designs. This Webinar discusses strategies for designing and executing studies that meet WWC standards without reservations. Applicants interested in reviewing this Webinar may find more information at the following Web site: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/News.aspx?sid=18.

    2. Review and Selection Process: Before making awards, we will screen applications submitted in accordance with the requirements in this notice to determine whether applications have met eligibility and other requirements. This screening process may occur at various stages of the process; applicants that are determined to be ineligible will not receive a grant, regardless of peer reviewer scores or comments.

    We will use independent peer reviewers with varied backgrounds and professions, such as experts in science or literacy education, early learning, media production and distribution, educational game development, educational technology, community-based outreach, or educational research and evaluation. All reviewers will be thoroughly screened for conflicts of interest to ensure a fair and competitive review process. Peer reviewers will read, prepare a written evaluation, and score the assigned applications, using the selection criteria provided in this notice.

    We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality.

    Finally, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    3. Special Conditions: Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose special conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

    VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, also.

    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.

    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

    3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).

    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.

    4. Performance Measures: The Department has established four performance measures for the Ready-to-Learn program. These measures constitute the Department's indicators of success for the program. Consequently, we advise an applicant for a grant under this program to give careful consideration to these measures in conceptualizing the approach and evaluation for its proposed project. Each grantee will be required to provide, in its annual performance reports and in its final report, data about its progress in meeting these measures.

    The first three are Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA) performance measures for the Ready-to-Learn program:

    • The percentage of summative experimental or quasi-experimental research studies that demonstrate positive and statistically significant gains in science or literacy skills when Ready-to-Learn transmedia properties are compared to similar non-Ready-to-Learn-funded digital properties or to other more traditional educational materials.

    • The number of children who annually use Ready-to-Learn produced educational media products, disaggregated by individual product, as determined by appropriate industry standard metrics or, when available, by tracking tools.

    • The percentage of educational “transmedia products,” along with necessary supporting materials, that are deemed to be of high quality in promoting learning of science or literacy by an independent panel of expert reviewers.

    Note:

    The Department will convene expert panels annually to review grantee-produced products. Applicants should include in their budgets funds for two individuals each year to spend two days in Washington, DC to attend these panel meetings and to demonstrate the identified products to reviewers.

    The fourth performance measure for Ready-to-Learn is a program efficiency measure:

    • Dollars leveraged from non-Federal sources per Federal dollar dedicated to core non-outreach and non-research program activities.

    5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: Whether a grantee has made substantial progress in achieving the goals and objectives of the project; whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget; and, if the Secretary has established performance measurement requirements, the performance targets in the grantee's approved application. In making a continuation grant, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    VII. Agency Contact FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brian Lekander, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4C133, Washington, DC 20202-5930. Telephone: (202) 205-5633 or by email: [email protected]

    If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    VIII. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Dated: March 20, 2015. Nadya Chinoy Dabby, Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06791 Filed 3-23-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Hanford AGENCY:

    Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a meeting of the Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board (EM SSAB), Hanford. The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of this meeting be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Wednesday, April 8, 2015—12:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. Thursday, April 9, 2015—8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. ADDRESSES:

    Red Lion Hanford House, 802 George Washington Way, Richland, WA 99352.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kristen Skopeck, Federal Coordinator, Department of Energy Richland Operations Office, 825 Jadwin Avenue, P.O. Box 550, A7-75, Richland, WA 99352; Phone: (509) 376-5803; or Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Board: The purpose of the Board is to make recommendations to DOE-EM and site management in the areas of environmental restoration, waste management, and related activities.

    Tentative Agenda:

    • Central Plateau Inner Area Cleanup Guidelines • Hanford Advisory Board Committee Reports • Tri-Party Agreement Agencies' Updates • Board Business

    Public Participation: The meeting is open to the public. The EM SSAB, Hanford, welcomes the attendance of the public at its advisory committee meetings and will make every effort to accommodate persons with physical disabilities or special needs. If you require special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Kristen Skopeck at least seven days in advance of the meeting at the phone number listed above. Written statements may be filed with the Board either before or after the meeting. Individuals who wish to make oral statements pertaining to agenda items should contact Kristen Skopeck at the address or telephone number listed above. Requests must be received five days prior to the meeting and reasonable provision will be made to include the presentation in the agenda. The Deputy Designated Federal Officer is empowered to conduct the meeting in a fashion that will facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Individuals wishing to make public comments will be provided a maximum of five minutes to present their comments.

    Minutes: Minutes will be available by writing or calling Kristen Skopeck's office at the address or phone number listed above. Minutes will also be available at the following Web site: http://www.hanford.gov/page.cfm/hab.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on March 18, 2015. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06815 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Northern New Mexico AGENCY:

    Department of Energy

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a combined meeting of the Environmental Monitoring and Remediation Committee and Waste Management Committee of the Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board (EM SSAB), Northern New Mexico (known locally as the Northern New Mexico Citizens' Advisory Board [NNMCAB]). The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of this meeting be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Wednesday, April 8, 2015 2:00 p.m.—4:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    NNMCAB Office, 94 Cities of Gold Road, Santa Fe, NM 87506.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Menice Santistevan, Northern New Mexico Citizens' Advisory Board, 94 Cities of Gold Road, Santa Fe, NM 87506. Phone (505) 995-0393; Fax (505) 989-1752 or Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Board: The purpose of the Board is to make recommendations to DOE-EM and site management in the areas of environmental restoration, waste management, and related activities.

    Purpose of the Environmental Monitoring and Remediation Committee (EM&R): The EM&R Committee provides a citizens' perspective to NNMCAB on current and future environmental remediation activities resulting from historical Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) operations and, in particular, issues pertaining to groundwater, surface water and work required under the New Mexico Environment Department Order on Consent. The EM&R Committee will keep abreast of DOE-EM and site programs and plans. The committee will work with the NNMCAB to provide assistance in determining priorities and the best use of limited funds and time. Formal recommendations will be proposed when needed and, after consideration and approval by the full NNMCAB, may be sent to DOE-EM for action.

    Purpose of the Waste Management (WM) Committee: The WM Committee reviews policies, practices and procedures, existing and proposed, so as to provide recommendations, advice, suggestions and opinions to the NNMCAB regarding waste management operations at the Los Alamos site.

    Tentative Agenda:

    • Call to Order and Introductions • Approval of Agenda • Approval of Minutes from March 11, 2015 • Old Business • New Business • Update from Executive Committee • Update from DOE • Presentation by NNMCAB Student Members • Public Comment Period • Sub-Committee Breakout Session • Adjourn

    Public Participation: The NNMCAB's Committees welcome the attendance of the public at their combined committee meeting and will make every effort to accommodate persons with physical disabilities or special needs. If you require special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Menice Santistevan at least seven days in advance of the meeting at the telephone number listed above. Written statements may be filed with the Committees either before or after the meeting. Individuals who wish to make oral statements pertaining to agenda items should contact Menice Santistevan at the address or telephone number listed above. Requests must be received five days prior to the meeting and reasonable provision will be made to include the presentation in the agenda. The Deputy Designated Federal Officer is empowered to conduct the meeting in a fashion that will facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Individuals wishing to make public comments will be provided a maximum of five minutes to present their comments. This notice is being published less than 15 days prior to the meeting date due to programmatic issues that had to be resolved prior to the meeting date.

    Minutes: Minutes will be available by writing or calling Menice Santistevan at the address or phone number listed above. Minutes and other Board documents are on the Internet at: http://www.nnmcab.energy.gov/.

    Issued at Washington, DC on March 18, 2015. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06811 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6405-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC15-99-000.

    Applicants: Spring Canyon Energy II LLC, Spring Canyon Energy III LLC, Spring Canyon Interconnection LLC, NRG Yield Operating LLC.

    Description: Joint Application for Authorization Under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act and Request for Waivers and Expedited Action of Spring Canyon Energy II LLC, et. al.

    Filed Date: 3/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150318-5188.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/8/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER10-2124-010; ER15-103-002; ER14-2821-005; ER14-2820-005; ER14-2799-003; ER14-2798-003; ER14-25-007; ER14-2187-005; ER12-645-011; ER12-164-009; ER12-161-010; ER11-4046-010; ER11-4044-011; ER11-3872-012; ER11-2127-006; ER10-2764-010; ER10-2141-011; ER10-2140-011; ER10-2139-011; ER10-2138-011; ER10-2137-011; ER10-2136-008; ER10-2135-008; ER10-2134-008; ER10-2133-011; ER10-2132-010; ER10-2131-011; ER10-2130-010; ER10-2129-008; ER10-2128-010; ER10-2125-011.

    Applicants: Spring Canyon Energy LLC, Judith Gap Energy LLC, Invenergy TN LLC, Wolverine Creek Energy LLC, Grays Harbor Energy LLC, Forward Energy LLC, Grand Ridge Energy LLC, Willow Creek Energy LLC, Sheldon Energy LLC, Hardee Power Partners Limited, Spindle Hill Energy LLC, Invenergy Cannon Falls LLC, Beech Ridge Energy LLC, Grand Ridge Energy II LLC, Grand Ridge Energy III LLC, Grand Ridge Energy IV LLC, Grand Ridge Energy V LLC, Vantage Wind Energy LLC, Stony Creek Energy LLC, Gratiot County Wind LLC, Gratiot County Wind II LLC, Bishop Hill Energy LLC, Bishop Hill Energy III LLC, California Ridge Wind Energy LLC, Prairie Breeze Wind Energy LLC, Grand Ridge Energy Storage LLC, Beech Ridge Energy II LLC, Beech Ridge Energy Storage LLC, Spring Canyon Energy II LLC, Spring Canyon Energy III LLC, Invenergy Nelson LLC.

    Description: Notification of Change in Facts of Spring Canyon Energy LLC, et. al..

    Filed Date: 3/19/15.

    Accession Number: 20150319-5156.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER11-2059-006.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Compliance filing per 35: 2015-03-19 LTTR effects to TO withdrawals Compliance Filing to be effective 1/19/2011.

    Filed Date: 3/19/15.

    Accession Number: 20150319-5044.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER12-1308-004.

    Applicants: Palouse Wind, LLC.

    Description: Supplement to January 28, 2015 Notice of Non-Material Change in Status of Palouse Wind, LLC.

    Filed Date: 3/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150318-5183.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/8/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER14-2820-004; ER14-2821-004.

    Applicants: Spring Canyon Energy II LLC, Spring Canyon Energy III LLC.

    Description: Notification of Change in Facts of Spring Canyon Energy II LLC, et. al.

    Filed Date: 3/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150318-5195.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/8/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-212-001.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: eTariff filing per 35.19a(b): 2900R1 Kansas Municipal Energy Authority Refund Report to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 3/19/15.

    Accession Number: 20150319-5084.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-232-001.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: eTariff filing per 35.19a(b): 2415R3 Kansas Municipal Energy Authority Refund Report to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 3/19/15.

    Accession Number: 20150319-5073.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-473-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: eTariff filing per 35.19a(b): 1886R3 Westar Energy, Inc. Refund Report to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 3/19/15.

    Accession Number: 20150319-5091.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-884-001.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., ITC Midwest LLC.

    Description: Tariff Amendment per 35.17(b): 2015-03-19_SA 2728 Amendment MidAmerican-ITCM FSA (H021) to be effective 1/31/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/19/15.

    Accession Number: 20150319-5045.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-939-002.

    Applicants: Western Massachusetts Electric Company.

    Description: Tariff Amendment per 35.17(b): Amendment 2 SUPPLEMENT—HG&E Asset Demarcation Agreement to be effective 1/5/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150318-5162.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/8/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-957-000.

    Applicants: AltaGas Ripon Energy Inc.

    Description: Supplement to February 2, 2015 AltaGas Ripon Energy Inc. tariff filing.

    Filed Date: 3/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150318-5201.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/1/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1336-000.

    Applicants: Alabama Power Company.

    Description: § 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Terrell County Solar LGIA Filing to be effective 3/5/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150318-5161.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/8/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1337-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Service Agreement No. 4099; Queue X1-087 (WMPA) to be effective 2/19/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150318-5172.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/8/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1338-000.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: § 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): GIA and Distribution Service Agmt with Ridgetop Energy and Pacific Crest Power to be effective 3/25/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/19/15.

    Accession Number: 20150319-5004.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/9/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1339-000.

    Applicants: Virginia Electric and Power Company.

    Description: Notice of Cancellation of Rate Schedule Nos. 111, 112, 113, and 115 of Application of Virginia Electric and Power Company.

    Filed Date: 3/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150318-5185.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/8/15.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: March 19, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06827 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL15-54-000] East Texas Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Notice of Filing

    Take notice that on March 17, 2015, East Texas Electric Cooperative, Inc. submitted an application of cost-based revenue requirements schedule for reactive power production capability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. On or before the comment date, it is not necessary to serve motions to intervene or protests on persons other than the Applicant.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an “eSubscription” link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5 p.m. Eastern Time on April 7, 2015.

    Dated: March 18, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06741 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 12636-002; Project No. 12153-000] Mohawk Hydro Corporation; Notice of Pre-Filing Activities in Another Docket

    Take notice that some pre-filing activities related to the preparation of the license application for the Middle Mohawk Hydroelectric Project (P-12636) were undertaken in docket number P-12153. Documents pertaining to that proceeding are available in the Commission's eLibrary under docket number P-12153.

    For further information, please contact Monir Chowdhury at (202) 502-6736.

    Dated: March 18, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06739 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP15-113-000] Questar Pipeline Company; Notice of Request Under Blanket Authorization

    Take notice that on March 10, 2015, Questar Pipeline Company (Questar), 333 South State Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111, filed in Docket No. CP15-113-000, a prior notice request pursuant to sections 157.205 and 157.216 of the Commission's regulations under the Natural Gas Act (NGA)and Questar's blanket authorization issued in Docket No. CP82-491-000. Questar seeks authorization to abandon, in-place its Price Dew Point Plant and appurtenant facilities (collectively the Price DPP or Plant) located in Carbon County, Utah, all as more fully set forth in the application which is on file with the Commission and open for public inspection. The filing may also be viewed on the web at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC at [email protected] or call toll-free, (866) 208-3676 or TTY, (202) 502-8659.

    Any questions concerning this application may be directed to: L. Bradley Burton, General Manager, Federal Regulatory Affairs and FERC Compliance Officer, Questar Pipeline Company, 333 South State Street, P.O. Box 45360, Salt Lake City, Utah 84145-0360. Mr. Burton also may be contacted at (801) 324-2459, (801) 324-5623 (fax) or [email protected]

    Any person may, within 60 days after the issuance of the instant notice by the Commission, file pursuant to Rule 214 of the Commission's Procedural Rules (18 CFR 385.214) a motion to intervene or notice of intervention. Any person filing to intervene or the Commission's staff may, pursuant to section 157.205 of the Commission's Regulations under the NGA (18 CFR 157.205) file a protest to the request. If no protest is filed within the time allowed therefore, the proposed activity shall be deemed to be authorized effective the day after the time allowed for protest. If a protest is filed and not withdrawn within 30 days after the time allowed for filing a protest, the instant request shall be treated as an application for authorization pursuant to section 7 of the NGA.

    Pursuant to section 157.9 of the Commission's rules, 18 CFR 157.9, within 90 days of this Notice the Commission staff will either: complete its environmental assessment (EA) and place it into the Commission's public record (eLibrary) for this proceeding; or issue a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review. If a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review is issued, it will indicate, among other milestones, the anticipated date for the Commission staff's issuance of the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) or EA for this proposal. The filing of the EA in the Commission's public record for this proceeding or the issuance of a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review will serve to notify federal and state agencies of the timing for the completion of all necessary reviews, and the subsequent need to complete all federal authorizations within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's FEIS or EA.

    Persons who wish to comment only on the environmental review of this project should submit an original and two copies of their comments to the Secretary of the Commission. Environmental commenters will be placed on the Commission's environmental mailing list, will receive copies of the environmental documents, and will be notified of meetings associated with the Commission's environmental review process. Environmental commenters will not be required to serve copies of filed documents on all other parties. However, the non-party commenters will not receive copies of all documents filed by other parties or issued by the Commission (except for the mailing of environmental documents issued by the Commission) and will not have the right to seek court review of the Commission's final order.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filings of comments, protests, and interventions via the internet in lieu of paper. See 18 CFR 385.2001(a)(1)(iii) and the instructions on the Commission's Web site (www.ferc.gov) under the “e-Filing” link. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Dated: March 18, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06740 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER15-1333-000] Waverly Wind Farm LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding, of Waverly Wind Farm LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate schedule, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability is April 8, 2015.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding(s) are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: March 19, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06829 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings:

    Docket Numbers: EC15-97-000.

    Applicants: American Transmission Company LLC, Wisconsin Power and Light Company.

    Description: Joint Application for Authority to Acquire Transmission Facilities Under Section 203 of the FPA of American Transmission Company LLC, et al.

    Filed Date: 3/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150317-5223.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/7/15.

    Docket Numbers: EC15-98-000.

    Applicants: Union Power Partners, L.P., Entergy Arkansas, Inc., Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, L.L.C., Entergy Texas, Inc.

    Description: Joint Application for Section 203 Authorization of Union Power Partners, L.P., Entergy Arkansas, Inc., Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, L.L.C., and Entergy Texas, Inc.

    Filed Date: 3/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150317-5227.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/7/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following exempt wholesale generator filings:

    Docket Numbers: EG15-67-000.

    Applicants: Arbuckle Mountain Wind Farm LLC.

    Description: Notice of Self-Certification of Exempt Wholesale Generator Status of Arbuckle Mountain Wind Farm LLC.

    Filed Date: 3/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150318-5129.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/8/15.

    Docket Numbers: EG15-68-000.

    Applicants: Waverly Wind Farm LLC.

    Description: Notice of Self-Certification of Exempt Wholesale Generator Status of Waverly Wind Farm LLC.

    Filed Date: 3/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150318-5130.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/8/15.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER11-1933-005.

    Applicants: Green Mountain Power Corporation.

    Description: Non-Material Change-in-Status Report of Green Mountain Power Corporation.

    Filed Date: 3/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150317-5228.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/7/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-879-001.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Amendment per 35.17(b): 2446R1 Substitute Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska NITSA and NOA to be effective 12/1/2014.

    Filed Date: 3/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150317-5068.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/7/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-902-000.

    Applicants: Pacific Summit Energy LLC.

    Description: Amendment to January 23, 2015 Pacific Summit Energy LLC tariff filing.

    Filed Date: 3/16/15.

    Accession Number: 20150316-5256.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 3/30/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-939-001.

    Applicants: Western Massachusetts Electric Company.

    Description: Tariff Amendment per 35.17(b): Amendment 2 Revised HG&E Asset Demarcation Agreement to be effective 1/5/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150317-5162.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/7/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-980-001.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Amendment per 35.17(b): 2015-03-17_SA 2740 ATC-WE FCA Amendment to be effective 4/6/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150317-5175.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/7/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1308-000.

    Applicants: Kingfisher Wind, LLC.

    Description: Initial rate filing per 35.12 Kingfisher Wind FERC Electric Tariff Volume No. 1 MBR Tariff to be effective 6/30/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150317-5157.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/7/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1309-000.

    Applicants: Bethpage Energy Center 3, LLC.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Market-Based Rate Tariff Revisions to be effective 3/18/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150317-5177.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/7/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1310-000.

    Applicants: Calpine Bethlehem, LLC.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Market-Based Rate Tariff Revisions to be effective 3/18/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150317-5180.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/7/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1311-000.

    Applicants: Calpine Energy Services, L.P.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Market-Based Rate to be effective 3/18/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150317-5185.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/7/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1312-000.

    Applicants: Calpine Mid-Atlantic Generation, LLC.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Market-Based Rate Tariff Revisions to be effective 3/18/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150317-5188.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/7/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1313-000.

    Applicants: Calpine Mid Merit, LLC.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Market-Based Rate Tariff Revisions to be effective 3/18/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150317-5189.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/7/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1314-000.

    Applicants: Calpine New Jersey Generation, LLC.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Market-Based Rate Tariff Revisions to be effective 3/18/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150317-5190.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/7/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1315-000.

    Applicants: Calpine Power America—CA, LLC.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Market-Based Rate Tariff Revisions to be effective 3/18/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150317-5191.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/7/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1316-000.

    Applicants: Calpine Vineland Solar, LLC.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Market-Based Rate Tariff Revisions to be effective 3/18/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150317-5192.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/7/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1317-000.

    Applicants: CES Marketing IX, LLC.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Market-Based Rate Tariff Revisions to be effective 3/18/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150317-5193.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/7/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1318-000.

    Applicants: CES Marketing X, LLC.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Market-Based Rate Tariff Revisions to be effective 3/18/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150317-5194.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/7/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1319-000.

    Applicants: CPN Bethpage 3rd Turbine, Inc.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Market-Based Rate Tariff Revisions to be effective 3/18/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150317-5195.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/7/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1320-000.

    Applicants: Nissequogue Cogen Partners.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Market-Based Rate Tariff Revisions to be effective 3/18/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150317-5196.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/7/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1321-000.

    Applicants: Power Contract Financing, L.L.C.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Market-Based Rate Tariff Revisions to be effective 3/18/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150317-5197.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/7/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1322-000.

    Applicants: TBG Cogen Partners.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Market-Based Rate Tariff Revisions to be effective 3/18/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150317-5198.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/7/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1323-000.

    Applicants: Westbrook Energy Center, LLC.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Market-Based Rate Tariff Revisions to be effective 3/18/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150317-5199.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/7/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1324-000.

    Applicants: Zion Energy LLC.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Market-Based Rate Tariff Revisions to be effective 3/18/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150317-5200.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/7/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1325-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Service Agreement No. 3748; Queue No. W2-061 to be effective 2/24/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150317-5201.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/7/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1326-000.

    Applicants: KIAC Partners.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Market-Based Rate Tariff Revisions to be effective 3/18/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/17/15.

    Accession Number: 20150317-5202.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/7/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1328-000.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): GIA and Distribution Service Agmt with SunEdison Utility Solutions to be effective 3/19/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150318-5086.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/8/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1329-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Service Agreement No. 4095; Queue No. X3-087 to be effective 2/19/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150318-5098.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/8/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1330-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Service Agreement No. 3236; Queue No. W4-064 to be effective 3/6/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150318-5112.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/8/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1331-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: Tariff Withdrawal per 35.15: Notice of Cancellation of Service Agreement No. 3206; Queue No. W4-014 to be effective 3/26/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150318-5117.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/8/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1332-000.

    Applicants: Arbuckle Mountain Wind Farm LLC.

    Description: Initial rate filing per 35.12 MBR Application to be effective 5/17/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150318-5125.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/8/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1333-000.

    Applicants: Waverly Wind Farm LLC.

    Description: Initial rate filing per 35.12 MBR Application to be effective 5/17/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150318-5126.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/8/15.

    Docket Numbers: ER15-1334-000.

    Applicants: Tucson Electric Power Company.

    Description: Section 205(d) rate filing per 35.13(a)(2)(iii): Large Generator Interconnection Agreement to be effective 2/17/2015.

    Filed Date: 3/18/15.

    Accession Number: 20150318-5136.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 4/8/15.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: March 18, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06692 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Idaho National Laboratory AGENCY:

    Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a meeting of the Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board (EM SSAB), Idaho National Laboratory. The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of this meeting be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Wednesday, April 8, 2015 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

    The opportunity for public comment is at 2:45 p.m.

    This time is subject to change; please contact the Federal Coordinator (below) for confirmation of times prior to the meeting.

    ADDRESSES:

    Clarion Hotel, 1399 Bench Road, Pocatello, ID 83201.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert L. Pence, Federal Coordinator, Department of Energy, Idaho Operations Office, 1955 Fremont Avenue, MS-1203, Idaho Falls, Idaho 83415. Phone (208) 526-6518; Fax (208) 526-8789 or email: [email protected] or visit the Board's Internet home page at: http://inlcab.energy.gov/.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Board: The purpose of the Board is to make recommendations to DOE-EM and site management in the areas of environmental restoration, waste management, and related activities.

    Tentative Topics (agenda topics may change up to the day of the meeting; please contact Robert L. Pence for the most current agenda):

    • Welcome and Opening Remarks • Agency Update Presentations • Committee Reports: ○ Student Participation in the Idaho National Laboratory Site EM Citizens Advisory Board ○ Land Use Committee • Public Comment

    Public Participation: The EM SSAB, Idaho National Laboratory, welcomes the attendance of the public at its advisory committee meetings and will make every effort to accommodate persons with physical disabilities or special needs. If you require special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Robert L. Pence at least seven days in advance of the meeting at the phone number listed above. Written statements may be filed with the Board either before or after the meeting. Individuals who wish to make oral presentations pertaining to agenda items should contact Robert L. Pence at the address or telephone number listed above. The request must be received five days prior to the meeting and reasonable provision will be made to include the presentation in the agenda. The Deputy Designated Federal Officer is empowered to conduct the meeting in a fashion that will facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Individuals wishing to make public comments will be provided a maximum of five minutes to present their comments.

    Minutes: Minutes will be available by writing or calling Robert L. Pence, Federal Coordinator, at the address and phone number listed above. Minutes will also be available at the following Web site: http://inlcab.energy.gov/pages/meetings.php.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on March 18, 2015. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06808 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Agency Information Collection Extension AGENCY:

    U.S. Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Submission for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) review; comment request.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Energy (DOE) has submitted an information collection request to the OMB for extension under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. The information collection package requests a three-year extension of “Industrial Relations,” OMB Control Number 1910-0600. This proposed collection covers major Department contractor Human Resource information necessary for contract management, administration, and cost control.

    DATES:

    Comments regarding this collection must be received on or before April 24, 2015. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, please advise the Desk Officer for the Department of Energy of your intention to make a submission as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments should be sent to:

    Attention Desk Officer for DOE, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, Room 10202, 725 17th St. NW., Washington, DC 20503-0009, or by email at [email protected]; and to

    Robert M. Myers, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-1615, 202-287-1584, or by email at [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to Robert Myers at the address listed above.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    This information collection request contains:

    (1) OMB No. 1910-0600;

    (2) Information Collection Request Title: Industrial Relations;

    (3) Type of Request: Renewal;

    (4) Purpose: This information is required for management oversight of the Department of Energy's Facilities Management Contractors and to ensure that the programmatic and administrative management requirements of the contracts are managed efficiently and effectively;

    (5) Annual Estimated Number of Respondents: 329;

    (6) Annual Estimated Number of Total Responses: 329;

    (7) Annual Estimated Number of Burden Hours: 8,062;

    (8) Annual Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Cost Burden: $0.

    Authority:

    42 U.S.C. 7256; 48 CFR 970.0370-1.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on March 17, 2015. Patrick M. Ferraro, Deputy Director, Office of Acquisition and Project Management.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06807 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP15-110-000] Northwest Pipeline, LLC; Notice of Application

    Take notice that on March 6, 2015, Northwest Pipeline, LLC (Northwest), 295 Chipeta Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, filed an application under section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA), and Part 157 of the Commission's regulations, requesting authorization to upgrade the delivery meter capacity of its existing Union Meter Station in Union County, Oregon, all as more fully set forth in the application which is on file with the Commission and open for public inspection. The filing may also be viewed on the web at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, please contact FERC at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or TTY, (202) 502-8659.

    Any questions regarding the proposed project should be directed to Pam Barnes, Project Manager, Business Development, Northwest Pipeline, LLC, 295 Chipeta Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, or by calling (801) 584-6857 (telephone), or (801) 584-7764 (fax), or email at [email protected]

    Pursuant to section 157.9 of the Commission's regulations, 18 CFR 157.9, within 90 days of this Notice, the Commission's staff will either complete its environmental assessment (EA) and place it into the Commission's public record (eLibrary) for this proceeding; or issue a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review. If a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review is issued, it will indicate, among other milestones, the anticipated date for the Commission's staff issuance of the EA for this proposal. The filing of the EA in the Commission's public record for this proceeding or the issuance of a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review will serve to notify federal and state agencies of the timing for the completion of all necessary reviews, and the subsequent need to reach a final decision on a request for federal authorization within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's EA.

    There are two ways to become involved in the Commission's review of this project. First, any person wishing to obtain legal status by becoming a party to the proceedings for this project should, on or before the comment date stated below, file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.214 or 385.211) and the Regulations under the NGA (18 CFR 157.10). A person obtaining party status will be placed on the service list maintained by the Secretary of the Commission and will receive copies of all documents filed by the applicant and by all other parties. A party must submit 7 copies of filings made with the Commission and must mail a copy to the applicant and to every other party in the proceeding. Only parties to the proceeding can ask for court review of Commission orders in the proceeding.

    However, a person does not have to intervene in order to have comments considered. The second way to participate is by filing with the Secretary of the Commission, as soon as possible, an original and two copies of comments in support of or in opposition to this project. The Commission will consider these comments in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but the filing of a comment alone will not serve to make the filer a party to the proceeding. The Commission's rules require that persons filing comments in opposition to the project provide copies of their protests only to the party or parties directly involved in the protest.

    Persons who wish to comment only on the environmental review of this project should submit an original and two copies of their comments to the Secretary of the Commission. Environmental commenters will be placed on the Commission's environmental mailing list, will receive copies of the environmental documents, and will be notified of meetings associated with the Commission's environmental review process. Environmental commenters will not be required to serve copies of filed documents on all other parties. However, the non-party commenters will not receive copies of all documents filed by other parties or issued by the Commission (except for the mailing of environmental documents issued by the Commission) and will not have the right to seek court review of the Commission's final order.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filings of comments, protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Comment Date: April 8, 2015.

    Dated: March 18, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06738 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP15-105-000] Texas Gas Transmission, LLC; Notice of Application for Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity

    Take notice that on March 4, 2015 Texas Gas Transmission, LLC (Texas Gas), 9 Greenway Plaza, Suite 2800, Houston, Texas 77046, filed in the above referenced docket an application pursuant to section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA) and Part 157 of the Commission's regulations, requesting a certificate of public convenience and necessity authorizing Western Kentucky Lateral Project (Project) in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. Texas Gas proposes to construct, own, operate, and maintain a new natural gas lateral consisting of approximately 22.5 mile of 24-inch diameter pipe, a meter and regulator station, and appurtenant auxiliary facilities that will provide a design capacity of up to 230,000 dekatherms per day of firm natural gas transportation capacity, all as more fully set forth in the application which is on file with the Commission and open to public inspection. The filing may also be viewed on the Web at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected] or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or TTY, contact (202) 502-8659.

    Any questions concerning this application may be directed to J. Kyle Stephens, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Texas Gas Transmission, LLC, 9 Greenway Plaza, Houston, Texas 77046; by fax to (713) 479-1846; or by email to [email protected], or to Nell Gutierrez, Director of Regulatory Affairs, Texas Gas Transmission, LLC, 9 Greenway Plaza, Houston, Texas 77046; by fax to (713) 479-1745; or by email to [email protected].

    Specifically, Texas Gas states that new lateral will extend from its Midland 3 Compressor Station to a proposed interconnection with the Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA) new combined cycle natural gas-fired electric generation unit at the Paradise Plant. The Project is supported by the binding Precedent Agreement with TVA that provided for the full design capacity of firm transportation service at negotiated rates for a primary term of 20 years. Texas Gas states the total estimated cost of constructing the project is $81,000,000 and that it will have no impact on rates currently charged to Texas Gas' existing customers.

    Pursuant to section 157.9 of the Commission's rules, 18 CFR 157.9, within 90 days of this Notice the Commission staff will either: complete its environmental assessment (EA) and place it into the Commission's public record (eLibrary) for this proceeding; or issue a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review. If a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review is issued, it will indicate, among other milestones, the anticipated date for the Commission staff's issuance of the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) or EA for this proposal. The filing of the EA in the Commission's public record for this proceeding or the issuance of a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review will serve to notify federal and state agencies of the timing for the completion of all necessary reviews, and the subsequent need to complete all federal authorizations within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's FEIS or EA.

    There are two ways to become involved in the Commission's review of this project. First, any person wishing to obtain legal status by becoming a party to the proceedings for this project should, on or before the comment date stated below, file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.214 or 385.211) and the Regulations under the NGA (18 CFR 157.10). A person obtaining party status will be placed on the service list maintained by the Secretary of the Commission and will receive copies of all documents filed by the applicant and by all other parties. A party must submit five copies of filings made with the Commission and must mail a copy to the applicant and to every other party in the proceeding. Only parties to the proceeding can ask for court review of Commission orders in the proceeding.

    However, a person does not have to intervene in order to have comments considered. The second way to participate is by filing with the Secretary of the Commission, as soon as possible, an original and two copies of comments in support of or in opposition to this project. The Commission will consider these comments in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but the filing of a comment alone will not serve to make the filer a party to the proceeding. The Commission's rules require that persons filing comments in opposition to the project provide copies of their protests only to the party or parties directly involved in the protest.

    Persons who wish to comment only on the environmental review of this project should submit an original and two copies of their comments to the Secretary of the Commission. Environmental commentors will be placed on the Commission's environmental mailing list, will receive copies of the environmental documents, and will be notified of meetings associated with the Commission's environmental review process. Environmental commentors will not be required to serve copies of filed documents on all other parties. However, the non-party commentors will not receive copies of all documents filed by other parties or issued by the Commission (except for the mailing of environmental documents issued by the Commission) and will not have the right to seek court review of the Commission's final order.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filings of comments, protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit original and five copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Comment Date: April 8, 2015.

    Dated: March 18, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06737 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER15-1332-000] Arbuckle Mountain Wind Farm LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding, of Arbuckle Mountain Wind Farm LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate schedule, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability is April 8, 2015.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding(s) are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: March 19, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06828 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER15-1308-000] Kingfisher Wind, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding, of Kingfisher Wind, LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate schedule, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability is April 7, 2015.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding(s) are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: March 18, 2015. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06693 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 9842-006] Mr. Ray F. Ward; Notice of Scoping Meetings and Environmental Site Review and Soliciting Scoping Comments

    Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection.

    a. Type of Application: Minor New License.

    b. Project No.: 9842-006.

    c. Date Filed: August 28, 2014.

    d. Applicant: Mr. Ray F. Ward.

    e. Name of Project: Ward Mill Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: On the Watauga River, in the Township of Laurel Creek, Watauga County, North Carolina. The project does not occupy lands of the United States.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 791(a)-825(r).

    h. Applicant Contact: Andrew C. Givens, Cardinal Energy Service, Inc., 620 N. West St., Suite 103, Raleigh, North Carolina 27603, (919) 834-0909.

    i. FERC Contact: Adam Peer, (202) 502-8449 or [email protected]

    j. Deadline for Filing Scoping Comments: May 21, 2015.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file additional study requests and requests for cooperating agency status using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P-9842-006.

    The Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedures require all intervenors filing documents with the Commission to serve a copy of that document on each person on the official service list for the project. Further, if an intervenor files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency.

    k. This application is not ready for environmental analysis at this time.

    l. The Ward Mill Project consists of the following facilities: (1) A 130-foot-long, 20-foot-high rock and concrete dam; (2) an impoundment with a surface area of 4.6 acres and an estimated gross storage capacity of 16.3 acre-feet; (3) a 14-foot-long, 5-foot-wide, and 7.5-foot-tall penstock made of rock, reinforced concrete and steel; (4) a 60-foot-long, 20-foot-wide powerhouse integrated into the south end of the dam, containing two generating units with a total capacity of 168 kW; (5) a 45-foot-long, 12.48-kilovolt transmission line; and (6) appurtenant facilities. The project is estimated to generate from below 290,000 to over 599,000 kilowatt-hours annually. The dam and existing facilities are owned by the applicant. No new project facilities are proposed.

    m. A copy of the application is available for review at the Commission in the Public Reference Room or may be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item h above.

    You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, contact FERC Online Support.

    n. Scoping Process

    The Commission intends to prepare an environmental assessment (EA) on the project in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act. The EA will consider both site-specific and cumulative environmental impacts and reasonable alternatives to the proposed action.

    Scoping Meetings

    FERC staff will conduct one agency scoping meeting and one public meeting. The agency scoping meeting will focus on resource agency and non-governmental organization (NGO) concerns, while the public scoping meeting is primarily for public input. All interested individuals, organizations, and agencies are invited to attend one or both of the meetings, and to assist the staff in identifying the scope of the environmental issues that should be analyzed in the EA. The times and locations of these meetings are as follows:

    Agency Scoping Meeting

    DATE: Tuesday, April 21, 2015.

    TIME: 1 p.m. (EDT).

    PLACE: Watauga County Center.

    ADDRESS: 971 W. King Street, Boone, NC 28607.

    Public Scoping Meeting

    DATE: Tuesday, April 21, 2015.

    TIME: 7 p.m. (EDT).

    PLACE: Watauga County Center.

    ADDRESS: 971 W. King Street, Boone, NC 28607.

    Copies of the Scoping Document (SD1) outlining the subject areas to be addressed in the EA were distributed to the parties on the Commission's mailing list. Copies of the SD1 will be available at the scoping meeting or may be viewed on the web at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link (see item m above).

    Environmental Site Review

    The Applicant and FERC staff will conduct a project Environmental Site Review. The time and location of this meeting is as follows:

    PROJECT: Ward Mill Hydroelectric Project.

    DATE: Tuesday, April 21, 2015.

    TIME: 3:30 p.m. (EDT).

    LOCATION: Watauga County Center Parking Lot, 971 W. King Street, Boone, NC 28607.

    All interested individuals, organizations, and agencies are invited to attend. All participants should meet at the time and location specified above. All participants are responsible for their own transportation to the site. Anyone with questions about the Environmental Site Review should contact Andrew C. Givens, Cardinal Energy Service, Inc., 620 N. West St., Suite 103, Raleigh, North Carolina 27603, (919) 834-0909 on or before April 14, 2015.

    Objectives

    At the scoping meetings, the staff will: (1) Summarize the environmental issues tentatively identified for analysis in the EA; (2) solicit from the meeting participants all available information, especially quantifiable data, on the resources at issue; (3) encourage statements from experts and the public on issues that should be analyzed in the EA, including viewpoints in opposition to, or in support of, the staff's preliminary views; (4) determine the resource issues to be addressed in the EA; and (5) identify those issues that require a detailed analysis, as well as those issues that do not require a detailed analysis.

    Procedures

    The meetings are recorded by a stenographer and become part of the formal record of the Commission proceeding on the project.

    Individuals, organizations, and agencies with environmental expertise and concerns are encouraged to attend the meeting and to assist the staff in defining and clarifying the issues to be addressed in the EA.

    Dated: March 18, 2015. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06742 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0059; FRL-9923-76] Registration Review Proposed Interim Decisions; Notice of Availability AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces the availability of EPA's proposed interim registration review decisions on certain pesticides and opens a public comment period on the proposed interim decisions. Registration review is EPA's periodic review of pesticide registrations to ensure that each pesticide continues to satisfy the statutory standard for registration, that is, that the pesticide can perform its intended function without unreasonable adverse effects on human health or the environment. Through this program, EPA is ensuring that each pesticide's registration is based on current scientific and other knowledge, including its effects on human health and the environment.March 25, 2015

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before May 26, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by the docket identification (ID) number for the specific pesticide of interest provided in the table in Unit II., by one of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

    Mail: OPP Docket, Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), (28221T), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.

    Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the instructions at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.html.

    Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For pesticide specific information, contact: The Chemical Review Manager for the pesticide of interest identified in the table in Unit II.

    For general information on the registration review program, contact: Richard Dumas, Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division (7508P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (703) 308-8015; email address: [email protected].

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me?

    This action is directed to the public in general, and may be of interest to a wide range of stakeholders including environmental, human health, farm worker, and agricultural advocates; the chemical industry; pesticide users; and members of the public interested in the sale, distribution, or use of pesticides. Since others also may be interested, the Agency has not attempted to describe all the specific entities that may be affected by this action. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the Chemical Review Manager for the pesticide of interest identified in the table in Unit II.

    B. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

    1. Submitting CBI. Do not submit this information to EPA through regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information in a disk or CD-ROM that you mail to EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD-ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD-ROM the specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.

    2. Tips for preparing your comments. When preparing and submitting your comments, see the commenting tips at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/comments.html.

    II. What action is the Agency taking?

    Pursuant to 40 CFR 155.58, this notice announces the availability of EPA's proposed interim registration review decisions for the pesticides shown in the following table, and opens a 60-day public comment period on the proposed interim decisions.

    Table—Registration Review Proposed Interim Decisions Registration review case name and No. Pesticide Docket ID No. Chemical review manager, telephone No., email address Debacarb (2-EEEBC) (Case 4031) EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0802 Roy Johnson, 703-347-0492, [email protected]. Maleic Hydrazide (Case 0381) EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0387 Ricardo Jones, 703-347-0493, [email protected]. Soap Salts (Case 4083) EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0519 Eric Miederhoff, 703-347-8028 [email protected].

    Debacarb (2-EEEBC) (Proposed Interim Decision). Debacarb is a fungicide registered for use to control certain diseases in ornamental trees. The fungicide is applied to mature trees by injection through the trunk. EPA has completed a draft ecological risk assessment, including a screening-level listed species assessment. A human health risk assessment is not needed because the method of application limits the possibility for applicator or other human exposure. Direct adverse effects are not expected for birds, reptiles, terrestrial-phase amphibians, mammals, and terrestrial plants. The Agency has made a No Effects (NE) determination for all federally-listed species within these groups and a No Habitat Modification determination for all designated critical habitats associated with these species for the currently registered uses of debacarb. Risks currently cannot be precluded for aquatic receptors and terrestrial invertebrates. At this time, to eliminate uncertainty and reduce potential risks to non-listed aquatic species, the Agency is proposing restrictions on application to trees near waterbodies. To reduce uncertainty and potential risks to insect pollinators, the Agency is proposing that applications to trees be limited to the post-bloom period. This proposed interim decision does not cover the Endocrine Disruptor Screening program (EDSP) component of this registration review case, nor does it provide a complete Endangered Species assessment (ESA) for debacarb. However, pending the outcome of this action, the EPA is planning to issue an interim registration review decision for debacarb.

    Maleic Hydrazide (Proposed Interim Decision). The registration review docket for maleic hydrazide (EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0387) opened in September 2009. Maleic hydrazide is a systemic plant growth regulator registered for use on tobacco, potato, onions, non-bearing citrus, turf, utility and highway rights-of-way, airports, industrial land, lawns, recreational areas, ornamental/shade trees and ornamental plants. Uses include residential use on turf and lawns as a perimeter or spot treatment. EPA published draft human health and ecological risk assessments in July 2014. No human health risks of concern were identified. The Agency also completed an ecological risk assessment. The results of this quantitative risk assessment indicates that the currently labeled rates of maleic hydrazide pose a potential for risk to non-target terrestrial birds and terrestrial invertebrates. In addition, applications may impact sensitive species of semi-aquatic and terrestrial monocotyledonous plants (monocots). The Agency completed a screening-level ESA and made a “no effects” determination for the following taxa: Aquatic plants and aquatic freshwater and estuarine/marine organisms. For all other species applications “may affect” or are uncertain. Maleic hydrazide has not been evaluated under the EDSP nor has it completed ESA section 7 consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine and Fisheries Service (Services). Therefore, the Agency's final registration review decision is dependent upon the result of the evaluation of potential endocrine disruptor risk and consultation with the Services for endangered species. Pending the outcome of this action, the EPA is planning to issue an interim registration review decision for maleic hydrazide.

    Soap Salts (Proposed Interim Decision). The registration review docket for soap salts (EPA-HQ-OPP-2008-0519) opened in September 2008. Soap Salts are used as acaricides, herbicides, and insecticides on food and non-food crops in various settings, chiefly residential and agricultural. Ammonium and sodium soap salts are also used as animal repellants. EPA published draft human health and ecological risk assessments in March 2013. EPA conducted a human health risk assessment and did not identify any risks of concern. No human health mitigation is being proposed by the Agency for the soap salts at this time. The Agency also conducted an ecological risk assessment for the current uses of the soap salts. The screening-level risk assessment did find the potential for minor risk to terrestrial plants and aquatic organisms from the use of potassium and ammonium salts. However, the Agency believes there is little actual risk to non-target plants exposed to soap salts due to the rapid degradation of soap salts in surface water runoff, which was not accounted for in the risk assessment model, and the inherent insolubility and low toxicity of the soap salts. Therefore, the Agency has no risk concerns from the terrestrial or aquatic assessments and is not proposing ecological risk mitigation at this time. The Agency also completed a screening-level endangered and threatened (listed) species assessment for soap salts and identified potential risks to several taxa: Freshwater invertebrates, estuarine/marine invertebrates, and terrestrial plants. However, at this time in registration review, it is premature to make an endangered species effects determination for federally listed species and their designated critical habitats under ESA. Also, the soap salts have not yet been evaluated under the EDSP. Therefore, the Agency's final registration review decision is dependent upon the results of the evaluation of risks to threatened and endangered species and of potential endocrine disruptor risk. Pending the outcome of this action, the EPA is planning to issue an interim registration review decision for the soap salts.

    The registration review docket for a pesticide includes earlier documents related to the registration review of the case. For example, the review opened with a Summary Document, containing a Preliminary Work Plan, for public comment. A Final Work Plan was placed in the docket following public comment on the initial docket. The documents in the docket describe EPA's rationales for conducting additional risk assessments, as well as the Agency's subsequent risk findings and consideration of possible risk mitigation measures. A proposed interim registration review decision is supported by the rationales included in those documents. Following public comment on a proposed decision, the Agency will issue interim registration review decisions for products containing the pesticides listed in the table in Unit II.

    The registration review program is being conducted under congressionally mandated time frames, and EPA recognizes the need both to make timely decisions and to involve the public. Section 3(g) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) (7 U.S.C. 136a(g)) required EPA to establish by regulation procedures for reviewing pesticide registrations, originally with a goal of reviewing each pesticide's registration every 15 years to ensure that a pesticide continues to meet the FIFRA standard for registration. The Agency's final rule to implement this program was issued in August 2006 and became effective in October 2006, and appears at 40 CFR part 155, subpart C. The Pesticide Registration Improvement Act of 2003 (PRIA) was amended and extended in September 2007. FIFRA, as amended by PRIA in 2007, requires EPA to complete registration review decisions by October 1, 2022, for all pesticides registered as of October 1, 2007.

    The registration review final rule at 40 CFR 155.58(a) provides for a minimum 60-day public comment period on all proposed interim registration review decisions. This comment period is intended to provide an opportunity for public input and a mechanism for initiating any necessary amendments to the proposed interim decision. All comments should be submitted using the methods in ADDRESSES, and must be received by EPA on or before the closing date. These comments will become part of the docket for the pesticides included in the table in Unit II. Comments received after the close of the comment period will be marked “late.” EPA is not required to consider these late comments.

    The Agency will carefully consider all comments received by the closing date and will provide a “Response to Comments Memorandum” in the docket as appropriate. The final registration review decision will explain the effect that any comments had on the decision.

    Background on the registration review program is provided at: http://www2.epa.gov/pesticide-reevaluation. Links to earlier documents related to the registration review of these pesticides are provided at: http://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/registration_review/reg_review_status.htm.

    Authority:

    7 U.S.C. 136 et seq.

    Dated: March 17, 2015. Richard P. Keigwin, Jr., Director, Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06860 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA-HQ-OPPT-2013-0677; FRL-9924-68] Receipt of Test Data Under the Toxic Substances Control Act AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    EPA is announcing its receipt of test data submitted pursuant to a test rule issued by EPA under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). As required by TSCA, this document identifies each chemical substance and/or mixture for which test data have been received; the uses or intended uses of such chemical substance and/or mixture; and describes the nature of the test data received. Each chemical substance and/or mixture related to this announcement is identified in Unit I. under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For technical information contact: Kathy Calvo, Chemical Control Division (7405M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (202) 564-8089; email address: [email protected]

    For general information contact: The TSCA-Hotline, ABVI-Goodwill, 422 South Clinton Ave., Rochester, NY 14620; telephone number: (202) 554-1404; email address: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Chemical Substances and/or Mixtures

    Information about the following chemical substances and/or mixtures is provided in Unit IV.: 1,3-Propanediol, 2,2-bis[(nitrooxy)methyl]-, dinitrate (ester) (78-11-5).

    II. Federal Register Publication Requirement

    Section 4(d) of TSCA (15 U.S.C. 2603(d)) requires EPA to publish a notice in the Federal Register reporting the receipt of test data submitted pursuant to test rules promulgated under TSCA section 4 (15 U.S.C. 2603).

    III. Docket Information

    A docket, identified by the docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2013-0677, has been established for this Federal Register document that announces the receipt of data. Upon EPA's completion of its quality assurance review, the test data received will be added to the docket for the TSCA section 4 test rule that required the test data. Use the docket ID number provided in Unit IV. to access the test data in the docket for the related TSCA section 4 test rule.

    The docket for this Federal Register document and the docket for each related TSCA section 4 test rule is available electronically at http://www.regulations.gov or in person at the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics Docket (OPPT Docket), Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPPT Docket is (202) 566-0280. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

    IV. Test Data Received

    This unit contains the information required by TSCA section 4(d) for the test data received by EPA.: 1,3-Propanediol, 2,2-bis[(nitrooxy)methyl]-, dinitrate (ester) (78-11-5)

    1. Chemical Use(s): Manufacturing demolition explosives and blasting caps.

    2. Applicable Test Rule: Chemical testing requirements for second group of high production volume chemicals (HPV2), 40 CFR 799.5087.

    3. Test Data Received: The following listing describes the nature of the test data received. The test data will be added to the docket for the applicable TSCA section 4 test rule and can be found by referencing the docket ID number provided. EPA reviews of test data will be added to the same docket upon completion.

    Water Solubility. The docket ID number assigned to this data is EPA-HQ-OPPT-2007-0531.

    Authority:

    15 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.

    Dated: March 18, 2015. Lyn Vedinello, Acting, Director, Chemical Control Division, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06873 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION Notice of Agreements Filed

    The Commission hereby gives notice of the filing of the following agreements under the Shipping Act of 1984. Interested parties may submit comments on the agreements to the Secretary, Federal Maritime Commission, Washington, DC 20573, within twelve days of the date this notice appears in the Federal Register. Copies of the agreements are available through the Commission's Web site (www.fmc.gov) or by contacting the Office of Agreements at (202) 523-5793 or [email protected]

    Agreement No.: 011463-010.

    Title: East Coast North America to West Coast South America and Caribbean Cooperative Working Agreement.

    Parties: Compania Chilena de Navegacion Interoceanica S.A.; Hamburg-Sudamerikanische Dampfschifffahrts-Gesellschaft KG (HSDG); Compania Sud Americana de Vapores S.A. (CSAV); and Norasia Container Lines Limited.

    Filing Party: Wayne R. Rohde, Esq.; Cozen O'Connor; 1627 I Street NW.; Suite 1100; Washington, DC 20006.

    Synopsis: The Amendment would delete CCNI as a party to the agreement and indicate that HSDG will be operating under the agreement under both its own name and the CCNI brand, which it will be acquiring with other assets of CCNI in the near future. The parties have requested expedited review.

    Agreement No.: 011539-018.

    Title: HLAG/NYK Space Charter and Sailing Agreement.

    Parties: Companhia Libra de Navegacao; Comania Libra de Navegacion Uruguay S.A.; Norasia Container Lines Limited; Hapag-Lloyd AG; Nippon Yusen Kaisha.

    Filing Party: Wayne R. Rohde, Esq.; Cozen O'Connor, 1627 I Street NW.; Washington, DC 20006.

    Synopsis: The Amendment would delete Norasia as a party and make corresponding changes in the vessel provision and space allocation provisions of the Agreement.

    Agreement No.: 012297-001.

    Title: ECNA/ECSA Vessel Sharing Agreement.

    Parties: Hamburg Sud; Alianca Navegacao e Logistica Ltds. e CIA; Norasia Container Lines Limited; Companhia Libra de Navegacao; Compania Libra de Navegacion Uruguay S.A.; Hapag-Lloyd AG; and Nippon Yusen Kaisha.

    Filing Party: Wayne Rohde, Esq.; Cozen O'Connor; 1627 I Street NW.; Suite 1100; Washington, DC 20006.

    Synopsis: The agreement would delete Norasia as a party to the agreement and revise the vessel provision and space allocation provisions accordingly.

    Agreement No.: 012321.

    Title: MOL/“K” Line Space Charter Agreement.

    Parties: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd.

    Filing Party: Eric. C. Jeffrey, Esq.; Nixon Peabody LLP; 401 9th Street NW., Suite 900; Washington, DC 20004.

    Synopsis: The Agreement authorizes the parties to charter space to/from one another for the transportation of vehicles and other Ro/Ro cargo in the trade between the United States and Europe.

    Agreement No.: 012322.

    Title: TOKO Line/NYK Bulk & Projects Space Charter and Cooperative Working Agreement.

    Parties: TOKO Kaiun Kaisha, Ltd. and NYK Bulk & Projects Carriers, Ltd.

    Filing Party: Eric. C. Jeffrey, Esq.; Nixon Peabody LLP; 401 9th Street NW.; Suite 900; Washington, DC 20004.

    Synopsis: The Agreement authorizes the parties to charter space to/from one another on an as needed/as available basis in the trade from Japan to the United States.

    Agreement No.: 012323.

    Title: Hoegh/Hyundai Glovis Transatlantic Vessel Sharing Agreement

    Parties: Hoegh Autoliners AS and Hyundai Glovis Co. Ltd.

    Filing Party: Wayne R. Rohde, Esq.; Cozen O'Connor; 1627 I Street NW.; Suite 1100; Washington, DC 20006.

    Synopsis: The Agreement authorizes the parties to share vessels in the trades between the U.S. Atlantic Coast and Mexico, Belgium, France and Germany.

    Agreement No.: 201227-001.

    Title: Pacific Ports Operational Improvements Agreement.

    Parties: Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association, Inc.; West Coast MTO Agreement; Maersk Line A/S; APL Co. Pte Ltd.; American President Lines, Ltd.; CMA CGM S.A.; Cosco Container Lines Company Limited; Evergreen Line Joint Service Agreement FMC Agreement No. 011982; Hamburg-Sud; Alianca Navegacao e Logistica Ltda.; Hanjin Shipping Co., Ltd.; Hapag-Lloyd AG; Hapag-Lloyd USA; Companhia Libra de Navegacao; Compania Libra de Navegacion Uruguay S.A.; Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.; Nippon Yusen Kaisha Line; Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd.; APM Terminals Pacific, Ltd.; California United Terminals, Inc.; Eagle Marine Services, Ltd.; International Transportation Service, Inc.; Long Beach Container Terminal, Inc.; Seaside Transportation Service LLC; Trapac, Inc.; Total Terminals LLC; West Basin Container Terminal LLC; Yusen Terminals, Inc.; Pacific Maritime Services, L.L.C.; SSA Terminals, LLC; and SSA Terminal (Long Beach), LLC.

    Filing Party: Jeffrey F. Lawrence, Esq.; Cozen O'Connor; 1627 I Street NW.; Suite 1100; Washington, DC 20006.

    Synopsis: The Amendment would add Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., Ltd., Zim Integrated Shipping Services and Matson Navigation Company, Inc. as ocean carrier parties to the Agreement and SSA Terminals (Oakland), LLC, SSA Terminals (Seattle), LLC, Sea Star Stevedoring Company, Inc. and Washington United Terminals, Inc. as marine terminal operator parties to the Agreement. The parties have requested expedited review.

    By Order of the Federal Maritime Commission.

    Dated: March 20, 2015. Rachel E. Dickon, Assistant Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06862 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6730-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies

    The companies listed in this notice have applied to the Board for approval, pursuant to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq.) (BHC Act), Regulation Y (12 CFR part 225), and all other applicable statutes and regulations to become a bank holding company and/or to acquire the assets or the ownership of, control of, or the power to vote shares of a bank or bank holding company and all of the banks and nonbanking companies owned by the bank holding company, including the companies listed below.

    The applications listed below, as well as other related filings required by the Board, are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The applications will also be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing on the standards enumerated in the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1842(c)). If the proposal also involves the acquisition of a nonbanking company, the review also includes whether the acquisition of the nonbanking company complies with the standards in section 4 of the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1843). Unless otherwise noted, nonbanking activities will be conducted throughout the United States.

    Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding each of these applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than April 20, 2015.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City (Dennis Denney, Assistant Vice President) 1 Memorial Drive, Kansas City, Missouri 64198-0001:

    1. UMB Financial Corporation and Lakes Merger Sub LLC, both in Kansas City, Missouri; to acquire 100 percent of the voting shares of Marquette Financial Companies, Minneapolis, Minnesota, parent of Meridian Bank, National Association, Phoenix, Arizona, and Meridian Bank Texas, Fort Worth, Texas. Immediately thereafter, Lakes Merger Sub LLC will merge into UMB Financial Corporation.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, March 20, 2015. Margaret McCloskey Shanks, Deputy Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2015-06830 Filed 3-24-15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [OMB Control No. 9000-0054; Docket 2015-0053; Sequence 3] Federal Acquisition Regulation; Information Collection; U.S.-Flag Air Carriers Statement AGENCIES:

    Department of Defense (DOD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of request for public comments regarding an extension to an existing OMB clearance.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Regulatory Secretariat will be submitting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request to review and approve a previously approved information collection requirement concerning U.S. Flag Air Carriers Statement.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before May 26, 2015.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments identified by Information Collection 9000-0054, U.S. Flag Air Carriers Statement by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching the OMB control number 9000-0054. Select the link “Comment Now” that corresponds with “Information Collection “Information Collection 9000-0054, U.S. Flag Air Carriers Statement”. Follow the instructions provided on the screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and “Information Collection 9000-0054, U.S. Flag Air Carriers Statement” on your attached document.

    Fax: 202-501-4067.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405. ATTN: Ms. Hada Flowers/IC 9000-0054, U.S. Flag Air Carriers Statement.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite Information Collection 9000-0054, U.S. Flag Air Carriers Statement, in all correspondence related to this collection. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Curtis E. Glover, Sr. Procurement Analyst, Contract Policy Division, GSA 202-501-1448 or via email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Purpose

    Section 5 of the International Air Transportation Fair Competitive Practices Ac